Loney excited to be in Boston after Dodgers trade


Loney excited to be in Boston after Dodgers trade

BOSTON James Loney made his Red Sox debut Sunday, playing first base, batting fifth against the Royals.

Loney, who was acquired in the nine-player deal with the Dodgers on Saturday, took a red-eye flight to Boston, arriving in the home clubhouse Sunday morning.

Ive been up a lot, he said of the last few days. I had a late flight last night. Im excited though to be here.

On Friday there was a lot going on, taken out of the lineup. So I knew something was probably going, and then I figured something would probably happen by the morning, which it did.

Im excited. This has always been one of my favorite parks. I got to come here in 2010 to play. It was fun. Just everything about the atmosphere here, the fans are great here, you got a lot of support, its a good atmosphere.

In three games at Fenway in 2010, Loney went 1-for-11, with a walk, two strikeouts, and two RBI, for an .091 average, his lowest mark at any park other than Oakland Coliseum. He was a first-round (19th overall) pick of the Dodgers in 2002 and had spent his entire career with them until Saturday.

Yeah, thats all Ive known but Im also looking forward to this change, said Loney, who turned 28 in May. I think Itll be great for me and my career and Im looking forward to playing and winning in this city.

Ive played for a few years only with the Dodgers, last five or six years. So Im kind of in the middle of my career and just bringing that experience and just I think just going out there and playing hard, showing that.

Hes familiar with several of his new teammates, including Dustin Pedroia, Jarrod Saltalamacchia from playing with them in the Arizona Fall League, and Vicente Padilla, Scott Podsednik, and Cody Ross from their times with the Dodgers. Loney, who can be a free agent after the season, is aware the Sox have had a difficult season, just as hes aware Boston can be a difficult place to play.

Ive heard that, he said. You hear that. I think a lot of big market, big city teams is like that. So you dont think about that when youre out there. You just go have fun.

A career .284 hitter, with a .341 on-base percentage and .344 slugging percentage, those numbers are down this season -- .254.302.344.

No particular reason, he said of the decline this season. Sometimes I think early on in a season you might try too hard and your timing gets a little off. But thats probably what I could say to that.

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mitch Moreland knows he's likely the only new player in Boston's lineup since David Ortiz retired at the end of last season.

He's just not listening to those who say he needs to replace Big Papi's lofty production.

"I try not to hear it because there's no replacing that guy," said the 31-year-old first baseman, who signed a one-year, $5.5-million deal with the Red Sox during the offseason.

"I think it's going to be more of a team effort," he said. "Obviously we picked up two big arms as well, and it's a very balanced club."

After playing his first six-plus seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers, Moreland is with a new organization for the first time in his career. So far, he said, the move has been smooth.

"They welcomed me from Day One," he said. "Handshakes and hugs right off the bat. It's going to be a lot of fun. You can see why they had so much success last year."

Coming off a subpar 2016 with a .233 batting average, 22 homers and 60 RBI, Moreland tested free agency. He wanted to go to a team that had a good chance at competing for a championship -- like he felt with the Rangers.

"Something that was at the top of my list as a player," he said. "If I was going to be on a team, I wanted a team that had a chance to win. It makes it that much more fun to come to the park every day when something's on the line and you're fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs, fighting to win the division and fighting to win a World Series."

A first-time Gold Glove winner last season, Moreland knows the defending A.L. East champion Red Sox wanted his defensive skills at first to allow Hanley Ramirez to shift to Ortiz's vacated DH spot.

"It gives you a little more confidence," Moreland said. "I take pride in that. That's going to be my main goal, to go out and show what they saw."

A left-handed batter like Ortiz, Moreland knows some people will expect him to fill the void offensively because of which side of the plate he bats from.

"I think it'll be a group effort picking up what will be missing," he said. "There's no replacing that guy."

Manager John Farrell also said the club needs to move on from Ortiz so Moreland and everyone else can relax and focus on their own game.

"David's effect on the lineup was felt by a number of people. We know opponents would game plan for David," Farrell said. "I think it's important for our guys - as we put David out of our mind, in a good way - that it's still a focus on what their strengths are in the strike zone."

The transition may be easy for Moreland so far, but one thing has certainly changed: spending spring training in Florida instead of Arizona.

"Fishing's a lot different than Arizona, so that's nice," he said.

NOTES: "We're getting a firsthand look to why he's been so successful and an elite pitcher," Farrell said after left-hander Chris Sale pitched batting practice. The Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade for four prospects. They also acquired right-handed, hard-throwing setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee . . . Farrell said righty Steven Wright, who missed the final two months of the season with a shoulder injury, "was unrestricted in his throwing." . . . The Red Sox will have a shorter workout Tuesday with the players association set to talk to the team and the organization's annual charity golf tournament in the afternoon.

Report from the Fort: Trenni and Lou discuss pitching

Report from the Fort: Trenni and Lou discuss pitching

Trenni Kusnierek and Lou Merloni comment on Tyler Thornburg's, Steven Wright's and Drew Pomeranz's work at Red Sox training camp on Monday.