No Yearning for Youk


No Yearning for Youk

Life hasn't been easy for Will Middlebrooks in the days since Kevin Youkilis was sent packing.

First, there was the slump: 1-for-15 with two RBI in four games after the trade.

He had a mini-breakout on Friday in Seattle going 2-4 with a home run but then injured himself stealing second on Sunday. He's now day-to-day with a hamstring injury, and while it remains to be seen whether he'll make a trip to the DL, odds are that he won't be in the lineup today, or tomorrow.

In other words, the Red Sox don't have a third baseman, which leads to the natural question:

Did they make a mistake by trading Youk?

After all, this is essentially their worst-case scenario.

1. Trade
2. Slump
3. Injury
4. Nick Punto.


But when it comes to Youk, I'm not ready to bite.

He needed to go, and should still be gone.

Can you imagine if we were still stuck in that every day back and forth? The he saidhe said between Youk and Bobby V? The unbelievable tension that surrounded every aspect of that story? It would be torture. Honestly, I don't care if it turns out that Middlebrooks is secretly working for Al-Qaeda. There are no circumstances under which I'd consider that trade a mistake.

Not to mention, just because Youkilis is a "third baseman," doesn't mean you necessarily want him playing third base. I mean, this isn't 2008 MVP candidate Youk we're talking about. Since the start of last season, Youkilis has played in 169 games and is hitting only .250 (151-603). When he was traded to the White Sox on June 24, everyone was like: "Uh oh. Get ready for Youk to blow up now that he's playing every day!"

So far in Chicago, he's batting .231 (6-for-26) with one double, zero homers and four RBI.

I'll take a week of Nick Punto, a healthy Will Middlebrooks and no more drama, please.

Rich can be reached at

Price struggles in third inning, but otherwise shines in first start


Price struggles in third inning, but otherwise shines in first start

CHICAGO -- Everything was going smoothly until the No. 9 hitter.

Protecting a 1-0 lead in the third inning Monday in his first start of 2017, David Price walked two straight batters with none on and one out in the third inning. Ninth-place hitter Adam Engel walked, as did leadoff man Tim Anderson -- who had drawn just four walks in 181 plate appearances entering the game.


Price, whose command was in question coming off just two rehab starts for Triple-A Pawtucket, immediately paid for the consecutive free passes.

Melky Cabrera jumped on Price's first pitch, a middle-in fastball, for a three-run homer and a 3-1 lead.

The Sox got Price two runs back in the top of the fourth inning, giving him something of a fresh slate with a tie game at 3-3. He took advantage of the second chance, striking out two of the three batters he faced in the bottom of the inning and keeping the game tied, and was rewarded when Mookie Betts homered to lead off the fifth and put the Red Sox back on top, 4-3.

He immediately put himself back in hot water by hitting the first two batters in the bottom of the fifth. But two groundballs to the left side -- the second of which, hit by Cabrera, was turned into an inning-ending double play -- got Price and the Sox out of the inning with their lead intact.

Back from an elbow injury, Price was impressive out of the gate in his first major league game since last year's playoffs. He struck out Anderson to begin his season and needed just 14 pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning.

The lefty touched 96 mph on the final pitch of the first inning, which produced an easy groundout to shortstop from first baseman Jose Abreu.

Price was staked to a 1-0 lead before he threw a pitch.

Betts' leadoff double against Chicago's David Holmberg gave way to a run thanks to some great Betts base running. He took third base on Dustin Pedroia's ground out and then scored on a foul pop up that Abreu, the first baseman, snagged in foul territory with a basket catch — a rare sacrifice fly to the first baseman.

Home runs were a big problem for Price last year. So too was the third inning, when he had a 6.03 ERA.

Pedroia lifted in second inning after hurting wrist in collision


Pedroia lifted in second inning after hurting wrist in collision

CHICAGO -- Injury scares are finding Dustin Pedroia in all the wrong places.

The Red Sox second baseman was pulled in the second inning Monday afternoon against the White Sox because of a left wrist sprain, an injury he seemed to suffer on a collision running to first base in the top of the first inning.


He and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu converged on the bag at the same time on a grounder to Abreu, and Pedroia tumbled over Abreu

Pedroia had season-ending surgery on the wrist in September 2014, addressing a tendon issue. Pedroia had surgery on his left knee this year, and missed time after Manny Machado's slide caught him in that leg in April.

Pedroia during the last homestand was pulled as a precaution because of concern for that leg.

Josh Rutledge took over for Pedroia at second base.