Boston Red Sox

Manny Ramirez to play professionally in Japan


Manny Ramirez to play professionally in Japan

Appartantly being on the Hall of Fame ballot isn't enough for former Red Sox star Manny Ramirez because the 2004 World Series MVP is dusting off the cleats for another go-round, signing with the Kochi Fighting Dogs on Monday.

The right fielder most recently served as a batting consultant to the World Series winning Chicago Cubs, after a turn as a player-coach for the AAA Iowa Cubs in 2014.

Ramirez had 555 career home runs and hit .312 in 19 MLB seasons, but also got in trouble for PED use twice.

The 44-year-old is no spring chicken at this point, so it'll be interesting to see how he fairs in the Shikoku Island League Plus -- a Japanese professional independent league -- after not having played a game since 2014.

Fister pitches one-hitter as Red Sox roll 9-1 in Cleveland


Fister pitches one-hitter as Red Sox roll 9-1 in Cleveland

Doug Fister gave up a leadoff homer in the first inning to Francisco Lindor and then nothing else, finishing with a career-best one-hitter, and Eduardo Nunez had five RBIs as the Boston Red Sox rolled to a 9-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

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Red Sox put Matt Barnes (back) on DL, Velazquez called up from Pawtucket

Red Sox put Matt Barnes (back) on DL, Velazquez called up from Pawtucket

CLEVELAND — The Red Sox bullpen is further in flux.

A night after another troubled outing on the road for Matt Barnes, the righty went to the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain. Hector Velazquez, a starter for Triple-A Pawtucket, was recalled, likely to give the Red Sox some insurance if tonight's starter, Doug Fister, has trouble against the Indians for a second straight start.

Addison Reed was entirely unavailable on Monday, said manager John Farrell, who added that he wanted to avoid using Brandon Workman and Craig Kimbrel as well. Workman wound up pitching the ninth, when the Indians walked off on the Red Sox, 5-4.

It’s to be seen who’s available on Tuesday for the second game of the four-game set. But Barnes’ trip to the DL further sends the notion of roles in the Red Sox bullpen into jeopardy. Farrell has credited roles for the bullpen’s overall success this season, but it's not as though anyone’s really been entrenched in a particular time and place, outside of Craig Kimbrel. 

Barnes (6-3, 3.60 ERA) has remarkably different numbers on the road (5.53 ERA, 25/19 strikeout-to-walk ratio) vs. Fenway Park (1.95 ERA, 41/8 K/BB ratio) this season and hasn't exactly excelled in high-leverage situations (.284 batting average against, .778 OPS against). 

Barnes is tied for second in the American League with 59 appearances. In his past four, he has allowed four earned runs on eight hits (one homer) and three walks while striking out three in four innings.

In three stints (two starts) this season with the Red Sox, Velazquez is 2-1, 4.08, including 7 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He is 7-4, 2.39 in 17 starts for the PawSox.