Losses bring Sox closer to protected draft pick

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Losses bring Sox closer to protected draft pick

BALTIMORE -- As the Red Sox limp to the finish line, each additional loss only adds to their embarrassment.

Following their 9-1 drubbing at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles Friday night, the Sox inched closer to the real possibility that they will record a 90-loss season for the first time since 1966.

But all is not -- you should pardon the expression -- lost. Because each loss also makes it more and more likely that the Red Sox will earn themselves a "protected'' pick in next June's amateur draft.

Under terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, a protected pick means a team doesn't have to forfeit its first-round pick should it sign a top free agent this off-season.

Ordinarily, the teams with the worst 10 records in Major League Baseball would qualify for protected pick status. But because the Pittsburgh Pirates failed to sign their first-round pick in last June's draft, they will get an extra compensation next June, knocking the team with the 10th worst record out of the protected class.

That means that the bottom nine teams will qualify. After Friday's loss, the Sox have 88 losses with five games to play. Six teams -- Cleveland, Minnesota, Miami, the Chicago Cubs, Houston, and Colorado -- all have 90 or more losses.

The teams the Sox must worry about are the Toronto Blue Jays, who have 88 losses as well, and the Kansas City Royals, who are right behind with 87 losses.

However, unless the Sox go on some completely unexpected hot streak in their final five games -- doubtful, since Friday's setback was their seventh in their last eight tries -- the Sox likely can't be caught from behind and forced out of the bottom nine finishers.

The Red Sox haven't had a Top 10 draft pick in the first-year player draft since they chose outfielder Trot Nixon seventh overall in the 1993 draft.

It's highly unlikely that the Sox will be involved for either of the top two free agents -- pitcher Zack Greinke or outfielder Josh Hamilton -- but there could be interest in other free agents who reject qualifying offers from their present teams, thus making them subject to compensation.

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

The angst surrounding the David Price- and (possibly) Drew Pomeranz-less Red Sox starting rotation may have eased a little -- or a lot -- on Thursday.

Steven Wright extended his string of scoreless spring-training innings to 9 1/3 by blanking the Pirates for 4 1/3 innings in his third spring-traing start, leading the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates at SkyBlue Park.

Red Sox-Pirates box score

Wright allowed two hits -- the only two hits he's allowed this spring -- with one walk and three strikeouts.

Several of his pitching brethren, notably Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross Jr., didn't fare nearly as well. (See box score above.) But the Sox -- using what may be their regular-season batting order for the first time -- bailed them out with a 16-hit attack, led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-3, now hitting ,500 for the spring). Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and, yes, Pablo Sandoval each added two hits. Sandoval also drove in three runs and is now hitting .362.

Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 in his return to the Sox from the World Baseball Classic.

 

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies in a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies in a week

This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.

Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, ate 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine

David Hastings, Moncada's agent, clarified to CSNNE that this was a one-time thing when Moncada first arrived in the U.S. Moncada had never had Twinkies before, Hastings said, so he was like "a kid in a candy store."

He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September. 

The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats — some of the best numbers anywhere.

Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.

Twinkies weren’t his only indulgence. 

More from the story: 

Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.

David Hastings reinforced to CSNNE that the message to Moncada was to invest in things that appreciate in value.