Unfazed Gonzalez goes about business after trade to L.A.

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Unfazed Gonzalez goes about business after trade to L.A.

DENVER -- Adrian Gonzalez isn't unaccustomed to being traded.

Drafted by the Florida Marlins, he's since been dealt to Texas, San Diego and Boston before being traded again Saturday in one of the biggest trades in baseball history.

He's played on the East Coast twice, in the South and twice on the West Coast. He's been in the National League and American League.

So while the nine-player blockbuster that also featured an exchange of more than a quarter of a billion dollars rocked the baseball world, Gonzalez remained calm and serene.

Been there, done that.

So while once and present teammate Nick Punto described the last few days of a "whirlwindchaos," Gonzalez mostly shrugged it off.

"No, it's sunk in, absolutely," said the former Red Sox first baseman in the visitor's clubhouse at Coors Field, where the Dodgers opened a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies. "I've been saying that I'm really happy and excited to be here. It's a great fit personally. The Dodger fans were awesome (in his two-game debut last weekend). The Hispanic population, the way they've rallied around me...

"I'm still, like, 'Is this really happening?' But it's sunk in as far being in a pennant race. I'm just trying to go out there and win every day."

When it was suggested that given the amount of money his new team took on from on from his former team, the expectations would be greater in L.A., Gonzalez dismissed the notion as though purposefully fouling off a pitch he wasn't particularly fond of.

"My only expectations," said Gonzalez evenly, "is to go out there and prepare, do my work, be ready to play and give it all I have. I can't control the outcomes. I can't control if I hit a line drive at somebody or the pitcher makes a good pitch.

"But if I'm prepared, the results should be there."

He answered every question posed to him Monday in much the same way: No, it wouldn't be a big adjustment. Yes, he was happy to be on a winner. No, he didn't want to leave Boston. Yes, Los Angeles should be just fine.

This shouldn't come as a big surprise. Gonzalez doesn't rattle. David Ortiz noted more than once that it was impossible to determine after a game whether Gonzalez had gone 4-for-4 or 0-for-4.

There was no panic, sometimes precious little emotion.

These answers came a day after Gonzalez suggested that he didn't have the type of fiery personality that Boston wants in its stars. He noted that it wasn't his style to toss his helmet in anger, as Kevin Youkilis might have done, or unleash a string of expletives, as Dustin Pedroia has been known to do.

That, Gonzalez said, was not his style. That, he hinted, was why he was never accepted in Boston, and probably never would be.

But he made clear that while he wasn't necessarily what Boston wanted, he never had a problem playing there.

"I thought it was a great fit," said Gonzalez. "Everything that happened, it wasn't a personal thing. It was more of a September thing."

Here, too, Gonzalez couldn't understand why fans and media couldn't forget about September of 2011, when the Sox stumbled to a 7-20 finish and blew a 9 12 game lead, costing themselves a playoff spot in the final inning of the final game.

For Sox fans, it was devastating. For Gonzalez, it was disappointing. Disappointing, but also, over with.

"People are always going to be mad when they have expectations of the team winning," shrugged Gonzalez. "The reasons people were giving for losing, us, as players, were going, 'Where's this coming from?'"

The "reasons" Gonzalez referred to, of course, are code for the chicken-and-beer scandal which rocked the organization to its core last fall. But here again, Gonzalez doesn't see what the big deal was.

One or two more wins, Gonzalez believes, would have changed everything.

"Nobody would have been writing about all this other stuff," he said. "People would have been writing about the wild card, the playoff series. And if we ended up winning a couple of series, everybody would have said, 'How awesome. These guys really get along -- they drink beer during the game.'"

To many, the 2011 Red Sox were unfocused and undisciplined. To Gonzalez and many of the players, it was because they didn't pitch or hit well enough.

But while Gonzalez tried to move on, the environment didn't allow it. If the Sox had begun the 2012 season, say, 19-14 instead of 14-19, the past would have been the past.

It wasn't however. In the minds of the players, last September got draped across them like an albatross, something they couldn't shake.

"The way everybody responded to the team (this year) was because of (last September)," he said.

So given that, change -- in the form of Saturday's trade -- would be welcomed, right?

"It didn't need to change," he said. "But the fact that it came about and I'm here, it's the perfect fit for me."

Pressed, he acknowledged that he far prefers playing in the National League.

"Oh, absolutely," he said. "The National League, it's more baseball - more bunting, more moving guys over, understanding who's in the lineup when the nine hole comes up, pitching around guys . . . In the American League, it's just up there and bash."

Asked what he'll remember most about his time in Boston, Gonzalez doesn't hesitate: "Great fans. Great game atmosphere. That's the thing that was really amazing to be part of -- the great fan base."

The Dodgers have great fans, too. Different city, different league, but still baseball for Adrian Gonzalez.

Life goes on.

Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

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Rick Porcello starts, Drew Pomeranz relieves in Red Sox' 5-3 loss to Twins

Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz combined to allow all five of the Red Sox' runs in Boston's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

Porcello finished his start by fanning four, allowing four hits and earning two runs over four innings. Pomeranz followed in the next four innings with four strikeouts, five hits allowed and three earned runs. Pomeranz allowed ByungHo Park's eighth-inning, two-run homer, which ended up being the game-winner.

Porcello, however, was optimistic after the loss.

"The buildup was good," Porcello told reporters, via RedSox.com. "Today I felt as good as I've felt all spring. At this point, I'm ready to go. I'm looking forward to the start of the season."

While the Sox offense was able to get three runs off Ervin Santana in his 4 2/3 innings, they struggled against the Twins' next five pitchers. Xander Bogaerts (2 of 3) and Pablo Sandoval (1 of 3) managed homers. Hanley (3 of 3) Ramirez had a double, and Dustin Pedroia (2 of 3) had two singles.

Kyle Kendrick will start Thursday in the Sox' final Spring Training series against the Washington Nationals. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who's on first for Red Sox? It may be not someone you'd expect

Who’s on first? A middle infielder, maybe.

Hanley Ramirez, Josh Rutledge and Mitch Moreland aren't fully healthy. So the 25th man on the Red Sox has become a matter of corner-infield triage.

Rutledge was gearing up to play some first base with Ramirez restricted to DH because of his throwing shoulder. But Rutledge is hurt now too, likely headed to the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday morning in Florida.

Here’s the easiest way to think about who takes Rutledge's place: Who would the Red Sox like to see less against left handed pitching, third baseman Pablo Sandoval or first baseman Mitch Moreland? 

If it’s Sandoval, then you carry Marco Hernandez, who can play third base.

“He’s a very strong candidate,” manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday. “He’s one of a few that are being considered strongly right now.” 

If it’s Moreland, than you carry Steve Selsky, who has a history playing first base.

“He’s a guy we’re having discussions on,” Farrell said. “Any guy in our camp that we feel is going to make us a more complete or balanced roster, Deven Marrero, they’re all in consideration.”

The additional wrench here is that Moreland has the flu. If he's not available at all for a few days to begin the season, then the Sox probably have to carry Hernandez.

Why? Because Brock Holt can play some first base if Moreland is out. But then, you’d need another back-up middle infielder, and Hernandez gives you that. 

Hernandez is also hitting .379 in 58 at-bats this spring entering Wednesday.

Moreland isn’t the only one who has the flu.

"It’s running through our clubhouse," Sox manager John Farrell told reporters in Florida on Wednesday, including the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton. "Probably be held out for three days for a quarantine.” (LINK:http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/20170329/with-josh-rutledge-and-mitch-moreland-ailing-first-base-depth-compromised-for-red-sox)

That means the Red Sox won't have Moreland for their exhibitions against the Nationals on Friday and Saturday in Washington D.C. and Annapolis, Md. Moreland could still be ready for the regular season, but would likely be at less than full strength.

Having Ramirez available would sure make things a lot simpler for the Sox.

Both Sandoval at third base and Moreland could use right-handed bats to complement them. Or more specifically, they could use people who can hit left-handed pitching to complement them.

Hernandez is a left-handed hitter who might actually be able to hit lefties. But the Sox haven't used him at first base, and there's no indication they will.

“As we look at the upcoming games, there is the potential for two left-handed starters in Detroit,” Farrell said. “So there’s a number of things being factored right now.”

Early in spring training, Farrell was asked what player had started to catch his eye.

The guy he mentioned was Selsky, an outfielder and first baseman the Red Sox feel fortunate to have picked up off waivers because he still has minor league options remaining.

Now Selsky, who has already technically been cut from major league spring training, has a chance at making the opening day roster. He's 27 and hit .356 in 45 Grapefruit League at-bats.

Chris Young isn't going to have an easy time finding at-bats as it stands now, but the Sox aren't considering moving him to first base.