Ortiz taking cautious approach

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Ortiz taking cautious approach

BOSTON David Ortiz said his strained right Achilles tendon is feeling better. But he doesnt know when he will be back in the lineup.

Its getting better slowly, he said after Saturdays loss to the Twins. Its going day by day. But Im starting to feel better. The pains starting to go away. Thats a good sign.

Asked if he thought he could return during the homestand, which ends Wednesday, Ortiz replied:

I dont know. I dont know yet.

Got to wait until I start doing the power drill and be pain free.

Ortiz, who has been on the DL since July 17, has not had any setbacks in his rehab, though.

No I havent, he said. Everything is going pretty much the way they planned because this is an injury that youre going to have those good days and those bad days. This is an injury that the only thing that fixes it is the time off. And its a little difficult for me right now, just being able to watch the game on TV and not being out there to help the ball club.

At the same time Im planning to keep on playing baseball and I dont want to do anything thats stupid that can put my career in jeopardy. So got to do what they tell me to do.

It has been difficult for him to sit on the sidelines and watch, he said. The Sox are 7-11 in his absence, including the current four-game losing streak. Watching Saturdays ninth-inning loss was especially tough.

Its hard, really hard, he said. But its better to be smart than being stupid. I want to be out there. It doesnt depend on me. It depends on how fast my injury heals up, and I can go back on the field without running a risk. Its a serious injury that you got to go day by day with.

We havent been able to keep up, and its just frustrating just looking at the results.

He believes his team can bounce back.

Everythings possible, he said. We still have a lot of games left. We just have to get caught into go straight. Try to come back and play better.

The offense which has been inconsistent for much of the season, has been wildly inconsistent in his absence. In just the last three games against the Twins, they have recorded two hits Thursday, both by Adrian Gonzalez, 14 hits on Friday, and six hits on Saturday, all resulting in losses.

I would call this a funk that we work with in the season and we havent been able to be consistent lately, he said. Hopefully things get better and we find a way to score more runs for our pitchers.

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

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Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK - There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."