Red Sox notebook: Team looking for outfielders, coaches

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Red Sox notebook: Team looking for outfielders, coaches

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- The Red Sox are in the market for two starting outfielders. Fortunately for them, there's a glut of them on the free agent and trade markets.
"I would say if there's an area of the free agent market that is probably a little bit deeper, it's probably the outfield,'' said Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. "We've talked to a lot of the agents for those guys. It's probably still a little bit of a feeling period.''
One possibility is Cody Ross, who enjoyed a solid season for the Red Sox last year, with a team-high 81 RBI and a 1.010 OPS against lefthanded pitching.
Ross is seeing what's available to him on the market, though the Red Sox remain on his radar.
B.J. Upton is a free agent and his brother, Justin, may be available through trade.
B.J. may command a nine-figure salary, which is more than the Sox would be ready to commit to a player who has been an inconsistent performer.
Two years ago, the Red Sox got deep into trade talks with the Arizona Diamondbacks over Justin, who is signed through 2015. Upton is due 38.5 million over the next three seasons and has a tantalizing mix of power and speed.
However, landing Upton would probably take two of the team's top three or four prospects and the Sox would seem unlikely to sacrifice that much of their future.
Boston has already made its interest in free agent Torii Hunter known, but Hunter, 37, is said to be most interested in going somewhere where he can compete for a World Series right away, something the Red Sox can't offer.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets bought out former Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay Wednesday, and Bay will probably be forced to sign a minor league deal with a major league invite.
"I'm certainly surprised that it didn't go better for him in New York,'' said Cherington. "He was a great player for a long time. I don't know the particulars of why it didn't work out. But I have a lot of respect for him and hopefully he'll find a good situation.''
Asked if the Sox would consider Bay as an option, Cherington said: "We haven't talked about it yet.''

Cherington confirmed that the Sox are considering hiring two hitting coaches for the 2013 season, a topic first broached earlier by manager John Farrell.
The approach is a trend in the game with, among others, the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers going with two hitting instructors.
"We are considering a two-man system,'' said Cherington. "I think it depends on who the first guy is and then if the right complement's there, it's something we'd consider. There are pros and cons of both approaches. It's a big job and trying to give appropriate attention to all 13 position players. It requires a lot of time so (splitting the job) is something we're considering.
"They ought to complement each other, certainly. I think there ought to be some philosophical alignment, but perhaps a different personality, or perhaps a different background. I don't think it makes any sense to look for a clone. So, we'll see.''
Cherington said the Sox were still awaiting permission on some candidates, but "it's fair to say we'll get (the interview) process started this weekend.''

Cherington hinted that Gary Tuck, who has served as the team's bullpen coach since 2007, could come back to the same role. Tuck has an option in his contract to return.
"We're working on the bullpen coach and hopefully we'll have something there soon,'' said Cherington. "(Tuck) is someone we've talked to.''

The GM added that the Sox are considering a number of candidates for the position of first base coach, including some who were internal.
"I know John (Farrell) would like to speak some people internally,'' said Cherington. "I wouldn't rule out someone outside the organization, but there are some people (within) that he'd like to talk to.''
A baseball source said that both Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler, who's managed at Pawtucket the last two seasons, and minor league field coordinator of instruction, David Howard, are under consideration for the first base coaching spot.

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

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Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

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Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.