Sox resume losing ways, fall to Yankees, 9-4

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Sox resume losing ways, fall to Yankees, 9-4

By Art Martone
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- The Red Sox' Era of Good Feeling lasted a little less than 24 hours.

Instead of being able to build on their Opening Day win over the Yankees, the Sox on Saturday got yet another horrific performance from their starting pitcher -- Clay Buchholz was the culprit this time -- along with less-than-airtight relief from Felix Doubront and Alfredo Aceves. In addition, they returned to their wasteful ways at the plate (1-for-15 with runners in scoring position).

The result? A 9-4 loss that dropped their record for the season to 1-7.

As bad as the hitting numbers may seem, it was Buchholz who dug the hole. He allowed 11 baserunners (eight hits, three walks) in 3 23 innings, and left the game trailing 5-2.

A two-run double by Dustin Pedroia (one of his three doubles in the game) in the bottom of the fourth cut the Yankee lead to 5-4, but neither Doubront nor Aceves could keep it there. Doubront -- making his first appearance of the season -- gave up a two-run homer to Curtis Granderson in the fifth, and Aceves surrendered solo shots to Robinson Cano in the sixth and Russell Martin in the seventh.

Martin hit two homers for the Yanks, and Cano and Eric Chavez each had three hits.

The horse had long since left the barn, but Tim Wakefield worked two perfect innings at the end, and -- considering Boston's pitching woes so far -- raised questions as to whether or not his role will be enhanced going forward.

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

Rangers have used medical staff to recruit players

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Rangers have used medical staff to recruit players

Acquiring pitchers who stay healthy hasn’t been the easiest for Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski since he got to Boston.

The Texas Rangers, on the other hand, seem to be having success taking pitchers with prior injury concerns and revitalizing them.

Righty Andrew Cashner has been on the disabled list seven times. The first was for a rotator cuff strain. Elbow, shoulder, biceps, it’s all there on his body’s rap sheet. He has a 3.18 ERA.

Another Rangers starter, A.J. Griffin, has been to the DL six times. He doesn’t have the best ERA at the moment, 5.02, but he is in the rotation. 

Tyson Ross, who has great upside if healthy, is getting close to a return to the big leagues on a minor league rehab assignment. He's coming back from thoracic outlet syndrome surgery.

It’s been a catchphrase for major league executives: the medical arena is where the most valuable advances will come now that advanced on-field statistics are so readily available.

Have the Rangers figured something out more broadly, or are Cashner, Griffin and Ross just case-by-case discussions?

Rangers president Jon Daniels explained on the CSNNE Baseball Show podcast. 

“There’s some of both,” Daniels said. “I think that there are certain injuries, there are certain body types, there are certain medical histories that probably lend themselves to coming back more than others. But the biggest [matter] is about the individual, both the individual player and then the individuals on your medical staff and your coaching staff and how do they handle it. 

“One of the things that I’ve become so acutely aware of, whether it’s sports medicine or it’s the real world, real-life medicine, it matters dramatically. If you have a heart attack, you have a stroke, it matters dramatically which hospital you go to and which doctor you see. And so by the same token, when you’re putting a medical team together and they’re all highly qualified, and yet there’s still an enormous difference between — and not just in medical practices, but in bedside manner. Kind of the ability to communicate with the players, get the most out of them, have players trust them. Our whole medical team, top to bottom, has been a real asset for us and has helped us both recruit players and then get the most out of them when they’re on the mend.”

Daniels said his medical staff has grown in recent years. Team physician Dr. Keith Meister has a sports medicine facility that players take advantage of.

“The personnel there, the [physical therapists] there [are] really really gifted. And so we work very closely with them. We have given some, with [Yu] Darvish … we’ve been open to some different like styles of treatment.”

Daniels didn’t specify the treatments, but noted they weren’t too far out there.

“I don’t think it’s like anything crazy, and I don’t think we’re the only ones doing it,” he said. “When you’re exposed to just different mindsets, you explore it a little bit, you end up taking the best of each world and kind of incorporating it into our plan. Jamie Reed, long-time major league trainer, he’s our medical director and he gets people, he gets players and he gets sports medicine. And he’s been instrumental in putting together a lot of really good people on our medical side. When you look at some of the better medical staffs out there, Arizona and Tampa, he’s been directly involved with training some of those guys.

“Like anything else, you can have like the best ideas in the world,” Daniels continued. “If you don’t have the right people executing it, it doesn’t matter. It comes down to the people and really proud of the group we’ve got together.”