Yastrzemski reflects on 1967 Triple Crown win

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Yastrzemski reflects on 1967 Triple Crown win

BOSTON -- No player in either league has won baseball's Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera has a chance to it with a week to go in the season.
Yastrzemski thinks it's only a matter of time.
"Somebody's going to do it,'' said Yastrzesmki, who was part of the All Fenway Park Team introduced Wednesday night before the final home game of the season, "whether it's Cabrera this year or (somebody) next year or the year after. I'm surprised that it's gone this long, to be perfectly honest.
"When (Pete) Rose beat (Ty) Cobb's hit record, I never though that would happen. When (Cal) Ripken broke (Lou) Gehrig's consecutive game record, I never thought that would happen, either. So it's going to happen.''
In 1967, Yastrzemski was more consumed with trying to help the Sox finish first and with the Tigers in a fight with Chicago for the A.L. Central lead, Cabrera -- who leads the league in batting average and RBI and is second in homers -- has the ability to focus on something other than individual stats.
"One thing that's going to help him is that he's in a pennant race,'' said Yastrzemski. "Of course, there's so much more publicity nowadays. People follow him and everything else and you get a report every day and so forth. In '67, the Triple Crown was never mentioned once. We were so involved in the pennant race. I didn't know I won the Triple Crown until the next day when I read it in the paper.
"That's how involved we were in the pennant race. The only person who mentioned anything at all, the last couple weeks of the season, and I think he referred to the batting title, was Jim Lonborg. We were playing in Baltimore the last couple of weeks and Frank Robinson was ahead of me (in batting average) by a few points and (Lonborg) said: 'Get some hits today because I'm going to give Frank an 0-for.' And he did -- 0-for-5.''
Robinson, of course, won the Triple Crown the previous season and Mickey Mantle won it twice in the 1950s. That makes it all the more amazing that no one has done it in the last 45 years.
"I thought somebody would win it a long time ago,'' said Yastrzemski, "and the surprising thing about it is, during the 1950s when Mantle won it and Frank (in 1966), you had the higher mound. I'd like to see what some of the pitchers throwing today, what their speeds would be if they came off the high mound. Somebody like (Justin) Verlander would probably throw 100 mph or more on every pitch.
"So, like I said, I'm surprised it's lasted this long.''

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.