Boston Red Sox

Drellich: Devers is a keeper, even with addition of Nunez

Drellich: Devers is a keeper, even with addition of Nunez

BOSTON -- The cherub stays.

There's no way Rafael Devers is headed back to Triple-A before the homestand starts Friday, right, Dave Dombrowski? Not for the newly acquired Eduardo Nunez, who's a fine player but has nowhere near the offensive upside of Devers, the 20-year-old phenom you just rushed to the big leagues.

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You probably weren't really considering sending Devers straight back, were you now, Dave? Sometime in the 3 o'clock hour Eastern time on Wednesday morning (after a 13-inning, 6-5 loss to the Mariners), you did tell reporters in Seattle that you would need to sit down with manager John Farrell to figure out the plan at third base from here.

Likely, you're just making sure your ducks are in a row. That Nunez himself has a chance to shake hands with you, and gets to hear straight from you what he'll be doing.

That's fair. But let's be doubly sure we're on the same page.

As long as something else doesn't happen between now and then -- no other trades for third basemen, no injuries -- Devers must at least platoon at third unless he shows he can't handle it. Nunez bats right, Devers left.

But it wouldn't be crazy to let Devers have the bulk of the playing time, either, and use Nunez to spell Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia. Or simply have him come off the bench.

Devers didn't look overmatched in his very first big-league game Tuesday night. On the contrary, he was patient at the plate, drawing the walk that started a sixth-inning rally against Felix Hernandez. (King Felix is quite the draw for a someone making his major-league debut, we should note.) He looked like a happy kid, and sounded like one after the game.

"For me it's just going out there and playing my brand of baseball and having fun out there," Devers told reporters through translator Daveson Perez. "That's what I was trying to do and I think I did that."

Devers finished 0-for-4 with a pair of walks, one strikeout and a run scored. He didn't make any errors and looked smooth and quick, his athleticism shining through some baby fat.

Dombrowski spoke during the last homestand about the lack of league-norm production at third base. Nunez can bring that, if nothing more. He is, at a position that's had no certainty, some form of certainty. A stable piece that can help out around the infield and has valuable versatility.

But Nunez is not what the Sox need most: A bopper.

Devers has pop. The chances he blossoms this year are not in his favor because he is the youngest player in the majors. But it would be a most strange and almost cruel choice to call the kid up for two days and then decide you don't need him because of Nunez, who entered Tuesday with the same OPS as Mitch Moreland (.745).

If you're the glass-is-half-full-type, the first four-game losing streak of the season for the Red Sox was numbed by a third-base situation that's been upgraded twofold. Let's assume the Sox know how to best deploy the two from here -- in the big leagues together, until shown a reason to change course.

Eduardo Nunez aggravates right knee injury

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Eduardo Nunez aggravates right knee injury

BOSTON — In the starting lineup for the first time in 16 days, Eduardo Nunez had just two at-bats Monday before he aggravated his right knee.

Nunez has been out with a hurt PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) injury, which affects the back of the knee. 

The designated hitter on Monday, Nunez doubled in his first at-bat. In the third inning, he fouled a pitch away and his leg appeared to buckle under him. 

Sox manager John Farrell and a trainer went out to speak with Nunez, who jogged briefly up the third-base line and swung the bat before he was permitted to finish the at-bat. Nunez lined out to third base and walked gingerly to the dugout, with a little limp.

That was it for Nunez, with Sam Travis batting for Nunez the next time up.

Farrell indicated before the game it was possible Nunez would still be bothered by the knee, but said "he’s not putting himself at further risk."

Drew Pomeranz leaves after just two innings with velocity down again

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Drew Pomeranz leaves after just two innings with velocity down again

BOSTON — With his velocity down again Monday, Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz was pulled after just two innings at Fenway Park, an alarming move with the playoffs beginning next week and Pomeranz expected to pitch Game 2 of the American League Division Series.

Facing the Blue Jays, the lefty on Monday allowed seven hits and five runs and struck out none. His fastball was around 89-91 mph Monday, after he averaged 92.74 mph on it in August, per BrooksBaseball.net.

Pomeranz's regular heat wasn't quite there in his previous outing in Baltimore, either, sitting at 89.29. But even in the two prior starts, he saw a drop-off. On Sept. 8, he sat at 90.11 mph, and on Sept. 14 was 91.19 mph.

"At this point in the year, it’s late in the year, I’m focused on making pitches," Pomeranz said when asked about his velocity after the Baltimore start. "Changing speeds has been working for me the last few times. I’ve got more in the tank when I need to. You see I had a couple guys on and I can start throwing harder if I want to. I’m focused on making pitches and throwing all four pitches for strikes. That’s what I’ve been doing pretty much these last three or four outings."

The Sox trailed 5-2 when Pomeranz left. 

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