Reyes, Red Sox extend deadline by one day

191542.jpg

Reyes, Red Sox extend deadline by one day

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. Left-hander Dennys Reyes, in the mix for a Red Sox bullpen spot, said he has allowed the team to extend the deadline from Friday to Saturday to make a decision on adding him to the roster.

He is currently on a minor-league contract. If he is not added to the major-league roster by Saturday, he would be allowed to become a free agent.

It was one more day, he said. They asked me for an extra day and I gave it to them.

But, hes looking forward to having a decision made.

Yeah, its always a little stressful just waiting to see what the decision is going to be, he said. Especially the last couple of days because everything is getting close and you want to know what you want to do. People like to know whats going to happen. But I understand their decision is going to be tough because they got a lot of good pitchers in camp. So we just have to wait.

He is expected to pitch Friday night against the Blue Jays at City of Palms Park. It will be his ninth Grapefruit League appearance. Although he was delayed getting to spring training because of visa issues, he has appeared in eight games so far, spanning eight innings and posting a record of 1-1 with a 1.12 ERA. He has given up two runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks with eight strikeouts and a hit batter.

He believes hes had ample opportunity to show the Red Sox what he can do.

Yeah, I did, he said. I gave everything I have. I think I showed them I can pitch at the big-league level, and I dont think I could do anything different than what I did. Its up to them whether theyre going to take me with the team or theyre going to take somebody else. Its not my decision. I just have to wait and see what theyre going to do.

If not with the Red Sox, though, he would like an opportunity with another major-league team. Reyes, who turns 34 in April, has thrown 725 major-league innings over 14 seasons, with 10 teams.

Yeah, I want to play for a contending team," he said. That was my first idea when I signed. Ive been lucky to play for contending teams the last five, six years. Its fun going into September and youre playing for something, instead of just playing to finish the season. I kind of got used to that feeling and I want to keep doing it. Thats why I signed with this team. But the main thing is I want to pitch in the big leagues, stretch my career as long as I can, and if it's not going to be here, I want it to be somewhere else.

Late sink, good sink, and a little bit of a late-breaking breaking ball, Terry Francona said earlier this week of what he has seen from Reyes this spring. Those are the decisions that are hard to make. He does have a pretty good track record.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Are Red Sox entering spring training with fewer questions than ever?

Are Red Sox entering spring training with fewer questions than ever?

BOSTON -- Every year it seems like there are major issues or question marks to start spring training where the answers are up in the air.

In 2015, the Red Sox lacked an ace, had Hanley Ramirez moving to left field and Pablo Sandoval coming to town.

In 2016, Ramirez was moving back to the infield, but at a new position, and his bat was in question. Sandoval was coming off a year where he couldn’t hit his weight (he hit .245 and he last weighed in at 255 pounds). How would the starting rotation look after David Price?

This year, there seem to be three questions, but in a way, they’ve already been answered.

How will the Red Sox make up for David Ortiz’s absence?

Well, for one, the Red Sox have three Cy Young-caliber starting pitchers (Price, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello) in their rotation.

And two, Hanley Ramirez is coming off a career year with his highest career output in RBI (111) and second-highest home run total (30). And while Mitch Moreland isn’t the greatest hitter, he’s good for 20 or more home runs. Plus, it seems he’s holding a spot for a certain Red Sox prospect who’s bouncing back well from an injury.

 

Will Sandoval earn the starting third base job back?

The weight loss is a good sign, not only for the physical reasons, but it shows he’s mentally committed to being better.

However, that doesn’t guarantee he gets his job back.

“I’m not going to say [third base] resolved itself,” John Farrell told CSNNE.com, “but you know Panda’s done a very good job of committing to get himself in better shape and we’re looking forward to seeing that play to in spring training.”

Even if Panda can’t put it all together, Farrell told reporters before Thursday’s BBWAA dinner, both Brock Holt and Josh Rutledge would be competing for the job as well.

Holt as plan B -- in the infield? Who wouldn’t take that?

Who’s going to start at catcher?

Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart each have their pros an cons.

Leon did it all last year, but went from hitting .383 in his first 39 games to .242 in his last 39.

Vazquez has Ivan Rodriguez-esque abilities behind the plate, but couldn’t keep the staff under control last year and cannot hit.

Swihart, who turns 25 April 3, is the youngest of the three, has the most potential at the plate, but is far and away the worst of the three defensively at the most important defensive position -- excluding pitcher -- on the field.

They all have their drawbacks, but they’ve all shown at some point why they can be the Red Sox starting catcher in the present and future.

Everywhere else, the Red Sox seem to be in a comfortable position as pitchers and catchers reporting to camp draws ever nearer.

“I think the fact that we’ve got veteran players that have done a great job in staying healthy [and] young players that are getting more establishing in their return, we’re in a pretty good place in terms of the overall status of our position player group,” Farrell told CSNNE.com.

And it seems some players are confident in the team’s options as they ready for camp.

“We’re looking good in a lot of areas,” shortstop Xander Bogaerts told CSNNE.com. “Especially the pitching staff, [since] we just got Chris Sale one of the best in the game.”

“Pablo’s definitely going to bounce back, especially with the weight he’s lost."

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

world_series_francona_epstein_102416.png

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.