Gonzalez named AL Co-Player of the Week

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Gonzalez named AL Co-Player of the Week

BALTIMORE It will be a showdown between Co-players of the Week starting Tuesday at Camden Yards when Adrian Gonzalez and Manny Machado suit up respectively for the Red Sox and Orioles.

Gonzalez batted .393 (11-for-28) with seven doubles, two home runs, 14 RBI and six runs scored in seven games last week to win his second weekly honor of the season and the seventh time in his nine-year career.

I feel pretty comfortable, said Gonzalez after Sundays win over the Indians. Im in the right mindset and Im confident, and thats translating into the hitting. When youre making hard contact with the pitches that you want to make contact with, its a good feeling up there.

Im not hesitating. Im doubting myself. Im just ready to hit.

Both, of course, have arrived in the second half of the season as Gonzalez has hit close to .400 and leads all Major League Baseball players with 35 RBIs since the All-Star break.

The left-handed-hitting slugger led the Majors in doubles and RBI over the week, and was among his A.L. counterparts finishing second in total bases (24), tied for third in hits and was fourth in slugging percentage (.857).

On Monday, the 30-year-old went 3-for-5 with an RBI-double and two run-scoring singles as Boston defeated the A.L. West-leading Texas Rangers, 9-2, at Fenway Park. But that was just the appetizer.

Gonzalez teamed with Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Dustin Pedroia to go 11-for-18 with eight doubles, eight RBI and six runs scored in the win. Gonzalez wrapped up the week on Sunday by going 2-for-3 with a double, a homer, four RBI and two runs scored as Boston defeated the Cleveland Indians, 14-1, at Progressive Field.

The Sox first basemens AL honor comes as part of a second-half offensive surge as he leads the A.L. in batting average (.393), RBI (35) and slugging percentage (.673) since play resumed after the All-Star break on July 13.

Machado batted .375 (6-for-16) with a double, a triple, three homers, seven RBI and five runs scored in four games to win his first career A.L. Player of the Week honor. The 20 year-old has made a splash since making his Major League debut on August 9 against the Kansas City Royals, hitting safely in each of his first four games.

Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Biggest Red Sox busts in recent memory

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.