Youkilis has not begun baseball activities yet

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Youkilis has not begun baseball activities yet

BOSTON Third baseman Kevin Youkilis has been on the disabled list with a low back strain retroactive to April 29 and is eligible to come off Monday. But he has not begun baseball activities yet, and is not sure of a timetable.

No, they havent given me that. Im just basically following their orders, Youkilis said. The past couple of days it felt great, been moving around and doing what they tell me to do and hopefully soon I can do baseball activities. Pretty excited to get back and playing.

He has been working on cardio exercises and core-strengthening activities.

I just want to come back, he said. I feel good but they want to make sure I can be healthy all year. So its tough. Its tough to watch and not be a part of. For me personally, I just hate watching baseball and love to play it. Hopefully these guys can turn around tonight and get a win and try to win the series.

Youkilis has been impressed with the play of Will Middlebrooks, who has taken his place at third.Middlebrooks is batting .346 with three home runs and nine RBI in six games. He hit home runs down the left and right field lines on Monday in Kansas City.

Its awesome, Youkilis said. I was watching the game and I was just joking, I was like they should put a foul pole in center field so he can hit it off that too. But it was pretty amazing to watch and its great. Its great for him to come up here on this stage and perform at a high level.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.