Valentine: Pedroia 'looked good' after batting practice

755318.jpg

Valentine: Pedroia 'looked good' after batting practice

TORONTO Dustin Pedroia worked at second base during Red Sox batting practice Saturday in Toronto, then took a full turn in the cage.

He looked good, said manager Bobby Valentine. So, its not 30 days, thats for sure.

Pedroia has not appeared in game since leaving Mondays game after the fifth inning. He was diagnosed with a tear in his right thumb abductor muscle. Pedroia said the injury did not occur in Mondays game, but happened in an at-bat three weeks previously after getting jammed. It was exacerbated Monday when he was jammed in his last at-bat.

He took ground balls at second base for the first time Friday, and again Saturday.

Saturdays BP session was his first time hitting. Valentine, batting coach Dave Magadan, trainer Rick Jameyson, and Sox director of minor league operations Zach Scott, representing the team on the trip, were among those looking on, with bench coach Tim Bogar throwing BP.

Pedroia and Jameyson conferred after several of his batting practice rounds.

Pedroia used a thumb guard under his batting gloves to hit, but worked without a guard in the field.

Earlier in the day, Valentine said the decision whether or not to place Pedroia on the disabled list has still not been made. The team prefers to wait to see how he gets through this weekend and reevaluate.

Valentine said Pedroia will likely take BP again before Sundays series finale in Toronto, and Monday, too, I bet. The Sox have a scheduled off day Monday.

The Sox are 3-1 in Pedroias absence from the lineup.

Sale gets 9 Ks, Moreland hits home run as Red Sox beat Twins, 4-1

red_sox_chris_sale_062617.jpg

Sale gets 9 Ks, Moreland hits home run as Red Sox beat Twins, 4-1

BOSTON - Chris Sale pitched 6 1/3 overpowering innings with nine strikeouts, Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the third straight game and the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Monday in a matchup of two of the AL's top teams.

Dustin Pedroia had two hits and drove in a run and Moreland added a sacrifice for Boston, which kept pace with the New York Yankees atop the East.

Coming off a three-game sweep in Cleveland that had jumped them over the Indians into first in the Central, the Twins' offense was stymied by Sale and three relievers.

Sale (10-3) gave up one run and four hits, increasing his major-league strikeout total to 155. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 21st save.

The 6-foot-6 Sale relied on his usual sharp-breaking slider and fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s to fan eight over the first six innings, getting the initial half dozen with his breaking pitch.

Jose Berrios (7-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Chris Gimenez had a solo homer for Minnesota.

Boston jumped ahead 2-0 in the first when Moreland homered into the first row of Green Monster seats after the first run scored on a double-play grounder.

Berrios had given up just two runs in each of his previous four starts, and six of eight since being promoted on May 7.

Gimenez's homer completely left Fenway Park over the Monster.

Red Sox do not need Sonny Gray, and they know it

Red Sox do not need Sonny Gray, and they know it

BOSTON — Sonny Gray is not what the Red Sox need.

As of Monday, the power rankings of their trade targets should go as such: 1. Third baseman 2. Reliever 3. Back-end starter.

When he was addressing the addition of Doug Fister three days ago, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski noted that a premier starter is not what he lacks.

“Unlike maybe some other clubs, I don't believe that we need to add a top-of-the-rotation-type starter,” Dombrowski said. “We have [Chris] Sale. I think David Price continues to make strides to come back. His stuff is good he's just got to get back. [Drew] Pomeranz has thrown well for us. [Eduardo] Rodriguez has thrown well. We know Rick Porcello is a good pitcher.

“So we're not, maybe other clubs are looking for that No. 1, No. 2 type starter. That's not really important for us. I think it's more important to be in a position where we add depth for us, somebody that can help us win major league games if needed.”

Yahoo’s Jeff Passan on Monday reported that the Red Sox “have quietly sent some of their most respected evaluators to his last two starts. This could fall under standard due diligence, but one source familiar with their intentions said the Red Sox are keen for Gray – and when president Dave Dombrowski targets a player, the price for other teams jumps accordingly.” 

Due diligence is indeed all the Red Sox are up to, a baseball source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told CSNNE.com on Monday.

The Red Sox’ trade chips are limited, if they don’t want to drastically diminish their farm system. Gray is very close with David Price, but Gray's 4.45 ERA isn’t inspiring. He has a 3.60 FIP — fielding independent pitching — and has great talent. But again, he doesn’t play the hot corner.

Offense on a whole is a greater need. The Sox entered Monday with the third lowest slugging percentage in the AL. Hanley Ramirez is now battling some left knee pain as well as his shoulder issue, after he took a pitch off the knee Sunday.

It’s warmed up, but the Sox power bats have not also warmed up.

“I wouldn’t hinge this all on just temperature,” manager John Farrell said Monday. “And I don’t know that we use that as an excuse prior. . . Over the last three or four weeks, it’s kind of stagnated a little bit. I think the biggest thing for us as a group is to still maintain a consistent approach at the plate. When we think about getting too much muscle in a swing, eventually the strike zone expands, you don’t get the pitch that you’re looking for. We can’t afford to maybe go away from that approach for the sake of maybe trying to drive the ball with greater consistency.”

Tzu-Wei Lin was starting for the Sox on Monday, yet another in the third-base carousel. Jhonny Peralta and Pablo Sandoval (rehab assignment) are going to alternate time at third base starting Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket. 

That’s where they need help.

The bullpen can’t be overlooked either. Carson Smith started a throwing program again Monday, but it’s unclear when he’ll be able to return, or at what effectiveness.