Drew working on shoulder, happy for Reddick

191542.jpg

Drew working on shoulder, happy for Reddick

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON -- J.D. Drew, on the DL since July 20 with a left shoulder impingement, said before Thursdays game his shoulder has been bothering him for quite a while, as far back as spring training, and that he has had several injections to deal with the problem in his left rotator cuff. His priority now is to get some strength back in the area.

Shoulders been nagging for quite a while," he said. Everythings coming along. Just trying to get some strength to get back in there. Impingement, irritation, tendinitis, whatever you want to call it, over a period of time its just gotten weaker and weaker, creating some bad habits. Just trying to battle through it, get some strength in there and see where we go from there.

Ive had a couple of injections this year but were trying to let this last one I had about a week ago take effect. In the meantime, Im doing some strengthening work.

In the final year of a five-year, 70 million contract with the Red Sox, Drew is batting .219 with four home runs and 21 RBI. He has never gotten onto a hot streak this season as he had in past years, bothered by the shoulder since the start of the season.

I think I had some of the effects in spring training, first month of the season, he said. Ive felt it for a while but its one of those things thats slowly, gradually taking some strength out of that shoulder, which is causing some bad habits and it got to a point where the discussion with the training staff trying to figure out what direction we need to go to get some strength back in my shoulder without continually tearing it down at the same time.

We made the decision to not really continue to swing for a while. The DL was the obvious option.

Drew is confident, however, that he will play again this season.

Yeah, I think so, he said. I want to get to the point strengthwise where I can go out and start swinging the bat and I can kind of control that (without) too much of an impact. I created some bad habits at the plate. I want to kind of get away from by making the strength gains to kind of regain where I want to be at the plate.

I dont really have a timetable. I just think as soon as I find the strength gains and get back to hitting again and am pain free Ill be fine.

He is working on strengthening the shoulder first, breaking the bad habits that he has developed this season.

When you get weakness what Ive found, the weaker my shoulder has become the more I jump at balls, try to create bat speed, power and everything from my lower half vs. letting my hands work, he said. Its been a frustrating battle because Ive found myself having a couple of nice rounds of batting practice and when I get in the game I want to create that bat speed and when your top hands kind of lagging behind you find another place to try to create that bat speed and its been my lower half kind of jumping out in front.

For whatever reason, a lot of swings throughout my whole career Ive kind of hung onto the bat, followed through with both hands and Ive found myself kind of casting with my bottom hand and releasing with my top hand. Things that I watch the tapes and Im trying not to do that. Its just involuntary motions trying to take a little pressure off my shoulder."

Despite the injuries and being in the last year of his contract, Drew, who in the past has mentioned the possibility of retiring, is not thinking about that at this point.

No, not at all, said. This has been a frustrating year from the standpoints of this and trying to get things figured out at the plate. So thats been the main focus, trying to get everything back to normal, keep rolling and help this team in any way I can. Its been one of them battles where ultimately just from a daily basis, talking to the training staff, I dont feel like I can do what I want to do because of this weakness in there. Well take some time here and get some strength built back up and start taking swings again and see where we go.

Josh Reddick has filled in during Drews absence. He is playing right field, batting sixth in the series finale against the Royals today. Reddick is batting .358 with four home runs and 21 RBI in35 games. He is among the American League rookie leaders in several offensive categories.

Josh has played great, man, Drew said. Hes probably one of the most improved young players Ive seen. He went from one extreme to another. So its been fun to watch.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

red_sox_brian_johnson_2_052617.jpg

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

red_sox_brian_johnson_052617.jpg

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.