Red Sox notes: Dlugach dislocates left shoulder

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Red Sox notes: Dlugach dislocates left shoulder

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Brent Dlugach was a distinct longshot to make the Red Sox 25-man roster at the start of the season. Now, whatever slim hope he had is gone, too.

Dlugach, a utility infielder, suffered a dislocated left shoulder when he charged a pop-up bunt in the fifth inning Tuesday and his momentum sent him to the ground, where he landed on the shoulder.

He left the field holding the shoulder in place and was examined soon after by a member of the Minnesota Twins' medical staff.

"You could tell right away that he was injured," said Terry Francona after the Red Sox blanked the Twins, 5-0. "We feel bad. The kid was coming in, trying to show what he can do. He dove on a bunt, made a real nice play. We're going to have to some follow-up to see the severity of it.''

Dlugach was to undergo a scan of the shoulder Tuesday night and again Wednesday morning.

The injury was the culmination of a rough week for the infielder. He was drilled in the backside during live batting practice Sunday before committing two errors and hitting into two double plays in Monday's win before the injury struck Tuesday.

Jonathan Papelbon looked sharp in his Grapefruit League debut, tossing a scoreless 1-2-3 fifth inning in the Red Sox' 2-0 win over Minnesota.

"I was pleased,'' said Papelbon. "It's something that I've taken from the end of the season last year when I was throwing the ball really well and I've been able to take that into this spring. So, I was pleased.''

Two weeks ago, Papelbon said he was already locked into his proper delivery, a rare occurence for him this early in spring.

"I felt as locked in as I'm probably going to get all spring,'' he said, "and hopefully, I'll be able to continue that throughout the spring and into the season.''

After missing most of the second half of last season following surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle, Mike Cameron has had a blistering start this spring. He had a hit and a stolen base Sunday night against the Twins and added two hits in three plate appearances Tuesday.

"Right now,'' said Cameron, "it just feels good to go out and work on baseball things without having to overload the body with so much protection. Now I just go and get the body warmed up and go and play. The biggest thing is the body is starting to respond to certain things and I feel a litle bit stronger.''

"It's nice to see him not having to think before he runs,'' said Francona. "He looks good.''

Jon Lester's early spring starts have been about as efficient as his starts in April most years, which is to say, not very.

But Lester tossed two shutout innings Tuesday in his first spring start and pronounced himself satisfied with the outing.

"I was just glad to get the first one done and over with,'' Lester said. "The first one is always hard - getting in front of a crowd, different hitters . . . so it's good it's over with."

Lefty reliever Dennys Reyes faced hitters on a back field for the first time Tuesday morning and will have another outing Thursday before seeing game action sometime this weekend.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

A farewell to the many prospects Dave Dombrowski traded Tuesday

A farewell to the many prospects Dave Dombrowski traded Tuesday

A baseball lesson: There’s trading a top prospect because you know he’s not as good as everyone thinks (a la the Atlanta Braves back in the day with Andy Marte) and then there’s straight-up dumping out the treasure chest because you’re Dave GD Dombrowski and you’ll be damned if “promise” is going to get in the way of you making a zillion trades… a la Dave Dombrowski.  

Since the start of the 2016 season, Dombrowski has traded four of his top 10 prospects by Baseball America’s rankings, and three of his top five. The group is led by Yoan Moncada, who was considered the team’s best prospect before he was shipped to Chicago in Tuesday’s blockbuster trade for Chris Sale. 

All in all, the Sox sent out six prospects in two trades Tuesday, and they’ll join the likes of Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot and others with whom Dombrowski has willingly parted since taking over as Boston’s president of baseball operations. 

Here’s a look at the players the Sox gave up Tuesday: 

YOAN MONCADA, 2B 
Baseball America Red Sox ranking: 1
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 1

Moncada’s eight games in the Major Leagues to this point haven’t been impressive, but using that as rationale (as some may have when the Sox traded a young Hanley Ramirez in the Josh Beckett trade) is likely wishful thinking. 

The Cuban infielder was ranked the No. 1 prospect in baseball by Baseball America last season. The outlet projects him as a five-tool player whose potential to hit for average and power will outweigh strikeout concerns. 

From August: 

Built like a running back at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Moncada is an explosive athlete with true five-tool potential. A switch-hitter, Moncada has electric bat speed, which combined with his strength allows him to smash hard line drives all over the field. He has at least plus raw power, with that power starting to translate more in games thanks to mechanical adjustments he’s worked on this season.  

MICHAEL KOPECH, RHP
Baseball America Red Sox ranking: 5
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 5

A first-round pick of the Sox in the 2014 draft, Kopech has yet to reach Double A, but, per two radar guns, has reached 105 miles an hour with his fastball. If that number is accurate, it ranks just one tenth of a mile-per-hour behind Arolis Chapman’s 2010 fastball for the fastest pitch recorded. 

Regardless of the pitch’s exact speed, it does damage. Pitching in High-A Salem last season, Kopech struck out a whopping 82 batters in 52 innings. 

LUIS ALEXANDER BASABE, OF 
Baseball America Red Sox ranking: 9 
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 8

The switch-hitting outfielder spent most of last season in Single-A Greenville, hitting .258/.325/.447 in 105 games with 12 homers and 52 RBI. The Venezuela native is considered a decent fielder with a very good arm. 

If his name sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same first and last name as twin brother Luis Alejandro Basabe. Perhaps not surprisingly, Dombrowski also traded him over the last year when he shipped the second baseman to Arizona in the Brad Ziegler trade. 

MAURICIO DUBON, SS/2B
(Not ranked among Baseball America’s top 10 Red Sox prospects) 
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 17

Maybe the kind of guy you want to keep on the same day you trade Yoan Moncada. 

Dubon is considered a very solid infield prospect, so much so that The Boston Globe noted Tuesday that “teams were absolutely drooling over Dubon’s defense and his offensive potential.” He finished the season at Double-A Portland, hitting .339/.371/.538 with six homers, six triples and 40 RBI. 

VICTOR DIAZ, RHP
(Not ranked among Baseball America’s top 10 Red Sox prospects) 
 MLB.com Red Sox ranking: 28

The hard-throwing righty reportedly hit triple digits with his fastball this season and, like Kopech, used his fastball to his advantage. He struck out 63 batters in 60.1 innings for Single-A Greenville

JOSH PENNINGTON, RHP 
(Not ranked among Baseball America’s top 10 Red Sox prospects) 
MLB.com Red Sox ranking: N/A

This is an interesting one. He was drafted as a project in the 2014 draft after learning that he would need Tommy John Surgery. He was starting to make good on his potential this past season, posting a 2.86 ERA and striking out 49 batters in 56.2 innings for Short-Season A Lowell. 

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

McAdam: For Dombrowski and Red Sox, the future is now

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Dave Dombrowski has jumped in. All in. With both feet.

MORE ON THE TRADE

For an executive with a reputation for making bold moves, Dombrowski may have made his boldest one yet Tueday by shipping arguably the organization's best position player prospect (Yoan Moncada) and its best pitching prospect (Michael Kopech), along with two others, to the Chicago White Sox for lefty ace Chris Sale.

Adding Sale to a rotation that already includes reigning Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and David Price gives the Red Sox the American League's best rotation and makes the Sox the team to beat in the A.L.

Hired 17 months ago with a mandate to make the Red Sox winners again after three last-place finishes in the span of four seasons, Dombrowski has acted aggressively and decisively.

Since then, he's obtained Price, Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Drew Pomeranz, Tyler Thornburg and Sale. That translates into three lefty starters and three back-end power arms in the bullpen.

Of course, all those moves have come at a significant cost. Dombrowski has gone through the Red Sox' minor-league system and shredded it, sacrificing Anderson Espinoza, Manuel Margot, Javier Guerra, and now, Moncada and Kopech.

The pitching, in particular, has been stripped bare, with Espinoza and Kopech representing the two best arms in the system. And in Moncada, the Sox gave up on arguably the single most talented propsect in the entire sport.

At a time when teams protect their best young players as though their existence depends on them, Dombrowski has demonstrated a willingess to move them for a chance to win now.

In exchange, the Sox have now built a super rotation, with three front-line starters, augmented by two other lefties (Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez) along with Steven Wright and Clay Buchholz.

It's a virtual certainty that the Sox will move one of those arms now, in a market where there's virtually no quality free-agent starters available.

Buchholz, who stands to earn $13.5 million in 2017, would give them payroll relief, while Rodriguez, because of his youth and upside, might give the team its biggest return.

Dombrowski's moves create a window for the Red Sox. Sale's deal runs through 2019, while Price has an opt-out in his deal after 2018.

That creates some urgency for the Red Sox to capitalize on the strength of their rotation and a nucleus of young position players -- Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Andrew Benintendi -- and win multiple titles in the next few seasons.

Anything less will be considered a failure.

It's championship-or-bust time at Fenway.