Sox player impressed with field of managerial candidates


Sox player impressed with field of managerial candidates

Compared to earlier managerial searches conducted by the ownership team of HenryWernerLucchino, the Red Sox are flying under the radar in their hunt for a new skipper this year.

No media availability for the candidates. No comments from management. Nothing, really, to even indicate that they're in the market for a new manager.

But at least one Red Sox player -- who spoke to Comcast SportsNet's Mike Giardi on the condition of anonymity -- is impressed, at least with the quality of the field.

"Last year, there were a bunch of guys I didn't know or care about," he told Giardi, referring to the early part of the search when the Sox focused on a field of low-profile candidates (Dale Sveum, Sandy Alomar Jr., Pete Mackanin, etc.). "This year, when I saw the names, I was excited. These guys are well-respected."

(That great respect for Ausmus, Wallach and Pena, incidentally, is "unlike how he felt about the guy they hired last year", Bobby Valentine.)

"I can call any one of my friends on other teams and ask them about Tim Wallach or Tony Pena or Brad Ausmus, and they've got nothing but good things to say, or heard nothing but good things. How can you not like that, after last winter's expletive?"

But he's not as impressed with management's presumed favorite, current Blue Jays manager and former Sox pitching coach John Farrell.

"He's a hell of a pitching coach, but did you see Toronto play this year? They were as lost as we were.

"Losing Jose Bautista was like us losing David Ortiz, but they didn't gut their team at the deadline (and still finished only four games ahead of the Sox). And what happened to their pitching staff? Isn't that Farrell's strength? He can't make 'em make the pitch, but isn't that the expectation here? Whatever."

(EDITOR'S NOTE: To be fair to Farrell, the Blue Jays suffered a wave of pitching injuries -- Drew Hutchinson, Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch, Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Robert Coello -- that severely impacted the staff.)

"I'm pretty sure those guys were in more of a hurry to end the season than we were. Did you see how fast they went in the expletive? That was a step backward."

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.

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.