Boston Red Sox

Ortiz (Achilles) placed on disabled list, hopes to return

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Ortiz (Achilles) placed on disabled list, hopes to return

BOSTON David Ortiz was placed back on the 15-day disabled list Monday morning (retroactive to Saturday) and will have an injection of platelet-rich plasma later this week.

Id like to be out there playing, helping out this ballclub, my teammates now and those are things that you definitely got to be healthy to do it, Ortiz said. The good thing out of what we talked about today is were going to try this one PRP injection, see how it goes in the next couple of weeks. And if Im good I just go back and play.

Ortiz missed 35 games, from July 17 until he was reinstated Friday. He is hopeful this next treatment will allow him to play again before the end of the season.

Oh, man, theres no question, he said. You guys know me, you know I live for this and theres not one thing that I would like to do more than be out there performing for our fans and this organization.

The team is also hopeful Ortiz can return before the end of the season. While he was out, the Sox went 13-22, a .371 winning percentage, well below their .477 season mark.

We have expectation that hell be back depending on how this treatment goes, said manager Bobby Valentine. The treatment will last a week or so where he wouldnt be able to play. So well give him the full benefit of 15 days retroactive to last time he played and see if we can't get him back before the end of the season.

He wants to do what he does every day: wake up and help the team win a baseball game. Hes totally frustrated that he can't do that today. And he wants to do everything possible to give everything that he has. He understands, he trusts our medical staff, and he understands the way his body feels. And were just trying to blend the two worlds to make the best possible scenario.

Ortiz has had the PRP therapy before, after he had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in November 2007. The result of that treatment give him confidence it will work on his Achilles.

The doctors say theres a 60, 70 percent chances of healing faster, he said. I had that done before and I believe in that big time . . . At this stage, at this point, it seems like I got to get through it. When I heard them taking about it this morning it made me happy because the one thing that I was concerned about before was being out for the rest of the season. Its something that got into my head a little bit. Im not used to being out, but being out with no hope. But the doctor brought that up and I want to do it.

It is not recommended that Ortiz fly in the immediate aftermath of having the PRP injection. He will wait to see what his comfort level is before deciding if and when to join the Sox on their nine-game west coast trip.

He will also have a shockwave treatment in the offseason. That treatment would have sidelined Ortiz for about 4-5 weeks, which would be the remainder of the season something he thought he might be facing after his last game on Friday, when he hit his 26th double of the season in the third inning.

The other day I tried to come back for the reason that I thought I was going to be OK, he said. Until I hit that double that I had to rush out to get to second base, I feel that pain because I was running with intensity. And the way I felt I know I wasnt right.

So I thought the other option that we have was the shockwave. I dont know if you guys have heard of it, it was going to be my next step, which is something that you got to be out of activity, baseball activity for four to five weeks. So thats why in my mind I was like well thats what we got left for the season. So I guess if Im going to go and have that done, its going to be a wrap. But we came out with some ideas, different ideas today. And thats what were going to go and do now in the next couple of days. And if Im good to go Im good to go. Ill be happy to come back and play.

For now, he is confident he will not need surgery.

I think my problem is more of a healing issue than anything else, he said. Theres nothing that I need to have fixed until now. And thats part of the reason why I want to be careful with it because I dont want to get to the point where I keep on playing sore. When youre sore you know your bodys telling you something. And if you continue, youre just doing damage on top of it on top of what you already have.

He is also confident he will be completely in 2013. He is not concerned the injury will affect his impending free agency.

No, not really, he said. Im not really worried about that because the Achilles is not torn. Its not something that I need to go and get surgery. Surgery means different than what it is. My tendon is not as bad as it can be to need surgery. But I got to be careful.

After this weekends blockbuster trade general manager Ben Cherington said he would like to have Ortiz back. Likewise, Ortiz would like to be back.

Through the years I always keep on telling everyone how important it is for me to be part of this organization, Ortiz said. This is what I know. This is something that I want to be a part of. And I know weve been having a lot of issues through the years but I always try to be honest with you guys and I know how hard it is at times to perform at the highest level here. But things will get better. I think a lot of it has to do with the way the teams playing at the time. And when things are going good you dont hear any of it. So hopefully for the years to come, we start performing better and all the negativities and stuff just got away.

Its hard to get good players in the free agency market. Pretty much most of the good players are locked up for years unless you go out there and trade, something like that. Its hard to get a 30-hoem run hitter. In my case, Im always open to whatever this organization. One thing that I wzlwyas keep in mind is how supportive the fans have been to me through the years and to me thats the most important thing.

Ortiz knows not every player is able to play in Boston.

That happens, he said. Not everybody is able to deal with the game, which is superhard, plus all the other activities off the field that gets you mentally distracted. Its sort of hard. Its harder for some others. Some players can deal with it, some others really cant. So hopefully that was our case and we can come back next year, move on, and do the right thing. I like to win. Winning is good. I know how good that tastes and hopefully things change.

Drellich: Pomeranz, league's second-best lefty, knows how to be even better

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Drellich: Pomeranz, league's second-best lefty, knows how to be even better

BOSTON — Drew Pomeranz may not actually be the No. 2 starter for the Red Sox in this year’s presumed American League Division Series. Maybe the Sox will mix in a right-hander between Pomeranz and Chris Sale.

Still, everyone knows which pitcher, in spirit, has been the second-most reliable for the Red Sox. A day after Chris Sale notched his 300th strikeout and on the final off-day of the regular season, it’s worth considering the importance of the other excellent lefty on the Sox, and how much he’s meant to a team that’s needed surprise performances because of the lineup’s drop-off.

Per FanGraphs’ wins above replacement, Pomeranz is the second-most valuable lefthanded starter among those qualified in the American League (you know who's No. 1). He's one of the 10 best starters in the AL overall.

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Pomeranz, 28, was a first-round pick seven years ago. But he didn’t exactly blossom until the last two years. He has a 3.15 ERA in 165 2/3 innings. His next start, if decent, should give him a career-high in innings after he threw 170 2/3 last year.

Pomeranz is a 16-game winner, just one win behind Sale. The value of wins and losses is known to be nil, but there’s still a picture of reliability that can be gleaned.

Is this the year Pomeranz became the pitcher he always envisioned he would be?

“I don’t know, I mean, I had a pretty dang good year last year,” Pomeranz said, referring to a 3.32 ERA between the Padres and Sox, and an All-Star selection. “I think these last two years have been kind of you know, more what I wanted to be like. But I still, I don’t think I’m done yet, you know what I mean?”

Most pro athletes say there’s always room to improve. Pomeranz, however, was able to specify what he wants. The focus is on his third and fourth pitches: his cutter and his change-up. 

“My changeup’s been really good this year,” Pomeranz said. “That’s something that still can go a lot further. And same with my cutter too. I still use it sparingly. I don’t think me just being a six-inning guy is the end of it for me either.

“You set personal goals. You want to throw more innings, cover more innings so the bullpen doesn’t have to cover those. Helps save them for right now during the year.”

Early in the year, Pomeranz wasn’t using his cutter much. He threw just nine in April, per BrooksBaseball.net. That led to talk that he wasn’t throwing the pitch to take it easy on his arm. He did start the year on the disabled list, after all, and cutters and sliders can be more stressful on the elbow and forearm.

That wasn’t the case.

“The reason I didn’t throw it in the beginning of the year was because half the times I threw it went the other way,” Pomeranz said. “It backed up. Instead of cutting, it was like sinking or running back. I mean, I pitched [in Baltimore] and gave up a home run to [Manny] Machado, we were trying to throw one in and it went back. So I didn’t trust it.

“Mechanical thing. I was still trying to clean my mechanics up, and once I cleaned ‘em up and got my arm slot right, then everything started moving the way it was supposed to and then I started throwing it more.”

Pomeranz’s cutter usage, and how he developed the pitch heading into 2016, has been well documented.

The change-up is more of an X-factor. He threw five in each of his last two starts, per Brooks, and it’s a pitch he wants to use more.

“It’s been good,” Pomeranz said. “I think I could throw it a lot more and a lot more effectively, and ... tweaking of pitch selection probably could help me get into some of those later innings too.”

Well, then why not just throw the change more often? Easier said than done when you’re talking about your fourth pitch in a key moment.

“I throw a few a game,” Pomeranz said. “Sometimes you feel like you don’t want too throw it in situations where you get beat with your third or fourth best pitch. I mean it’s felt — every time I’ve thrown it it’s been consistent. It’s just a matter of, it’s something me and Vazqy [Christian Vazquez] talk about, too." 

(When you hear these kind of issues, which most pitchers deal with, it makes you appreciate Sale’s ability to throw any pitch at any time even more.)

Speaking on Wednesday, the day after Pomeranz’s most recent outing, Sox pitching coach Carl Willis said he thinks the change-up’s already starting to have a greater presence.

“He’s kind of always had a changeup, and he hadn’t had any trust or conviction in that pitch,” Willis said. “I was really excited last night that he used the changeup more. He threw it. He doubled up with it on occasion. Something that’s not in the scouting report.

"It’s his fourth pitch and he seldom threw it in a game and he’s in a situation where, OK, the change-up’s the right pitch, but location of whatever I throw is going to outweigh [selection]. Now he’s starting to gain that confidence [that he can locate it]. 

“I think that’s going to make him an extremely better pitcher. I thought it was a huge factor in his outing last night. Because he didn’t have his best velocity. He really did a good job of changing speeds with the changeup, and obviously with the curveball and being able to give different shapes of the pitches.”

The Sox already have the best left-hander in the AL, if not anywhere. The AL's second-best southpaw happens to pitch on the same team, and has tangible plans to be even better.

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Werner criticizes Price for Eck incident; says Sox' relationship with Yanks is 'frosty'

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Werner criticizes Price for Eck incident; says Sox' relationship with Yanks is 'frosty'

BOSTON — Red Sox chairman Tom Werner doesn’t seem to be the biggest fan of the the Yankees, MLB disciplinarian Joe Torre, and players who can’t take criticism from broadcasters.

In a spot Thursday with WEEI, Werner made clear David Price’s handling of Dennis Eckersley was unprofessional.

“Boston is a tough place to play,” Werner said on WEEI’s Ordway, Merlonia and Fauria. “Some players thrive here, and some players don’t. Get a thicker skin. My feeling is, let the broadcasts be honest, be personable, informative, and get over it if you think a certain announcer took a shot at you.”

“I thought there was a way of handling that. It wasn’t handled appropriately. If I’ve got a problem with Lou [Merloni], and I hear something he says on the radio, I’ll say to Lou, ‘That wasn’t fair.’ ”

Werner also called the team’s relationship with the Yankees “frosty” following the public sign-stealing saga that resulted in fines for both clubs.

“The fact is, I do think this was a minor technical violation,” Werner said. “I start with the fact that this was unfortunately raised to a level it never should have been raised to.”

Werner also insinuated he did not approve of how MLB and Torre handled the disciplining of Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, who receieved a four-game suspension for his part in a fight against the Tigers (reduced on appeal to three games).

“Do you think Gary Sanchez got an appropriate punishment?” Werner asked.