Notes: Ellsbury, Ortiz back in lineup, Gonzalez to RF


Notes: Ellsbury, Ortiz back in lineup, Gonzalez to RF

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
HOUSTON -- Jacoby Ellsbury returned to the lineup Saturday night, a night after missing a game because of illness.

"I don't think he feels great, but he's good enough to play," reported manager Terry Francona, "he's he's still kind of scuffling."

Francona also had Adrian Gonzalez back in right field for the second time in the last four games, with David Ortiz taking over at first base.

Ortiz had eight at-bats through the first seven game of the three-city road trip, enough so that he didn't get stale, though it's worth noting that Ortiz was hitless in those first eight at-bats and last got a hit on June 20.

"He's got his stroke," said Francona. "I'm thrilled about that."

Selections for the All-Star Game will be made Sunday and a number of Red Sox players seem positioned to make the American League squad.

It's a given that both Adrian Gonzalez (1B) and David Ortiz (DH) will be chosen for the game. Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and second baseman Dustin Pedroia are also strong possibilities.

On the pitching staff, it's expected that both Jon Lester and Josh Beckett will be given strong consideration, though Lester may be ineligible for the game since he's scheduled to start July 10, the final day of the first half.

Under rules introduced by MLB several years ago, starters who start games on the Sunday before the game can be chosen for the game, but aren't eligible to complete because of a lack of rest.

Reliever Daniel Bard, who had somewhat of a tough April, has been almost unhittable of late.

Bard went into Saturday night with a scoreless streak of 15 innings, covering 13 games. In that span, Bard has struck out 15 batters and allowed just four singles and three walks in that span.

At the same time, lefty Franklin Morales has been effective since coming off the DL following some elbow soreness.

He's made three appearances since being activated and has retired all five hitters he's faced. Francona is unafraid to use him in close-and-late situations and left him in the game Friday night when Houston manager Brad Mills went to a righthanded pinch-hitter.

Carl Crawford hit on the field for the first time since going on the DL and ran at about 70 percent effort. He's eligible to come off the DL Sunday, but probably won't be activated until the middle of next week.

Meanwhile, Francona acknowledged what's been obvious for a while: Clay Buchholz (back spasms) won't pitch again before the All-Star break.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to Hall of Fame

NEW YORK - Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received significantly more votes this time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell, on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta Braves executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

Sam Travis among nine non-roster invitees added to Red Sox spring training roster

The Red Sox have invited nine non-roster players to spring training, the team announced Wednesday. The team now has a total of 15 non-roster invitees. 

Added Wednesday to the spring training roster were outfielder/infielder Allen Craig, third baseman Rafael Devers, first baseman Sam Travis, catcher Jordan Procyshen, outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Rusney Castillo, and right-handed pitchers Kyle Kendrick, Chandler Shepherd and Ben Taylor.

In addition to 39 players on the 40-man roster, the Sox have the following breakdown of non-roster invitees: 

Pitchers: Kyle Kendrick, Edgar Olmos, Chandler Shepherd, Ben Taylor, Marcus Walden
Catchers: Dan Butler, Jake DePew, Jordan Procyshen
Infielders: Rafael Devers, Matt Dominguez, Sam Travis
Outfielders: Brian Bogusevic, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig, Junior Lake