Atchison heads list of Red Sox cuts


Atchison heads list of Red Sox cuts

By Maureen Mullen

FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox made another round of roster moves Friday.

Left-handers Andrew Miller, Rich Hill, and Randy Williams and right-hander Brandon Duckworth were assigned to minor-league camp. Right-handers Scott Atchison and Michael Bowden and outfielder Ryan Kalish were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Its a disappointing day for these guys, manager Terry Francona said. That doesnt mean we dont like what theyve done. The fact that the pitchers are all bunched together says a lot about how they competed.

Bowden and Atchison have options, which factored into the decision. Atchison appeared in seven Grapefruit League games, spanning 8 13 innings, posting a 6.48 ERA. Bowden was 1-0, 4.35, in 10 13 innings over 8 games.

Last season, after three roundtrips between Boston and Pawtucket early in the season, Atchison appeared in 43 games for the Sox, going 2-3, 4.50, providing stability to a bullpen that was mostly inconsistent.

Hard, Francona said of giving Atchison the news. And that was the first thing I told him: You know what, I dont want to tell you something just to get you out of my office. Its hard. He may feel its unfair. I think its not unfair to the organization. We had good competition, and if its close, which it is and the guys got an option, thats kind of the way it is.

"So rather than snow him, we just told him he'd been sent down. There were some days where I thought he might have got outpitched. But it doesnt just come down to that. Saying that, we dont dislike him. We like him as much today as we did, if not more. Its just hes going to start out in Triple-A.

Left-hander Andrew Miller, who posted a 10.57 ERA (mostly due to one difficult outing last Sunday against the Cardinals, when he faced six batters without recording an out, and all six scoring), will pitch in Pawtuckets rotation.

We actually talked to Andrew the other day, Francona said. We told him we made up our mind but we had an inning for him Thursday in Jupiter against the Marlins . . . But we told him he was going to start in Triple A, and he came back to us and goes, You know what, I want to get going. So he instead of pitching against the Marlins, he pitched today in a minor-league game and hes going to start getting extended a little bit . . . I think that was his concern, was he wasnt stretched out enough to start. So he wants to get the reps. So hell begin that.

Hill, who will continue to refine his new sidearm delivery, will come out of the bullpen to face left-handed hitters in Pawtucket.

Obviously his role is to come in and get that first lefty he faces and then to stay in the game, Francona said. Hes not going to just throw to one hitter, but obviously to handle left-handers.

I think he needs to stay with the sidearm delivery. I think he would -- I dont know if owned ups the right word -- but its still a little bit of a work in progress, which I think would be hard not to be. But I think there is enough there to really like . . . When youre in a situation like that, that first hitter he faces, a lot of times the games on the line. Just needs some repetition, some consistency.

"But theres a lot to like there. Thursday he hit 92 on the gun at times. Thats plenty, especially pitching sidearm.

Despite the move, Duckworth will start Sunday for the Red Sox in Sarasota against the Orioles, throwing two innings. He will be part of Pawtuckets rotation.

The moves reduce the number of players in major league camp to 33.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

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


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


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.