Red Sox’ Triston Casas unlikely to return to Dominican Winter League due to knee injury

UPDATE: Licey general manager Audo Vicente told reporters (including David Alcantara) on Tuesday that while Casas remains in Boston, he is expected to rejoin the team in the third week of November.

Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas is not expected to return to the Dominican Winter League this offseason, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier) at the GM Meetings in Las Vegas on Monday.

Casas had been playing for the Tigres del Licey and went 2-for-9 (.222) with one RBI, two runs scored, five walks, and three strikeouts in his first three games with the club. The 22-year-old last suited up for Licey on October 17 and has since been sidelined with knee soreness.

Because of that discomfort, the Red Sox flew Casas to Boston so he could undergo further testing. An MRI revealed no structural damage, leaving Bloom and other team officials to believe Casas would be able to return to the Dominican Republic before Licey’s season ended. They no longer share that sense of optimism.

“He came back home, we looked at the knee, and we are not concerned,” Bloom said of Casas. “But just given that the soreness was still lingering, given what’s ahead of him — hopefully big things in 2023 — he ended up going back [home] to Florida. At this point, we don’t expect him to go back to [Licey].”

One of the reasons the Red Sox sent Casas to the Dominican because the former first-round draft pick missed nearly two months of the minor-league season with a high right ankle sprain. The idea was for him to make up for lost time, but this latest injury appears to have prevented that from happening in full.

Casas, who turns 23 in January, is expected to emerge as Boston’s everyday first baseman in 2023 if he can stay healthy. The left-handed hitter made his highly-anticipated major-league debut in September and batted .197/.358/.408 with one double, five home runs, 12 RBIs, 11 runs scored, one stolen base, 19 walks, and 23 strikeouts over 27 games (95 plate appearances) with the Red Sox.

(Picture of Triston Casas: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


Rob Refsnyder is in Red Sox’ plans for 2023: ‘He’s a guy we definitely can rely on,’ Alex Cora says

The Red Sox placed Rob Refsnyder on the 10-day injured list with low back spasms on Monday, thus ending the outfielder’s season.

Refsnyder, 31, originally signed a minor-league deal with the Sox last December. The former fifth-round draft pick came with plenty of experience, as he previously bounced around between the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays, Rangers, and Twins over the course of six seasons after breaking in with New York in 2015.

Once heralded as a top prospect in the Yankees organization, Refsnyder had to settle for a minors pact with Boston this past winter. After failing to make the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster, the right-handed hitter began his season with Triple-A Worcester. He first served as a COVID-related substitute in late April before having his contract selected on a full-time basis in early June.

Though he missed some time in August with a right knee sprain, Refsnyder still proved to be a valuable asset for the Red Sox in 2022. In 57 games, he batted .307/.384/.497 with 11 doubles, six home runs, 21 RBIs, 25 runs scored, one stolen base, 15 walks, and 46 strikeouts over 177 plate appearances.

“Great season. Great job for us,” manager Alex Cora told reporters (including’s Ian Browne) on Monday. “He was really good. Offensively, the versatility, the quality of the at-bats were awesome.”

As advertised, Refsnyder proved to be particularly effective against left-handed pitching by going 23-for-64 (.359) with six doubles and three homers off southpaws. He also posted a .417 on-base percentage and .932 OPS in 17 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter.

Defensively, Refsnyder saw playing time at all three outfield positions for the Sox. The 6-foot, 205-pounder logged 163 innings in right, 115 innings in center, and 24 2/3 innings in left. His one outfield assist came against the Rays at Tropicana Field on April 24. He also made a fantastic diving catch against the Mariners in Seattle on June 12.

Refsnyder, who turns 32 in March, is under club control through 2024 and is eligible for salary arbitration next year. Given his ability to hit lefties and play all over the outfield, it certainly seems like Refsnyder is in the Red Sox’ plans for 2023 as a potential fourth outfielder.

“He’s a guy we definitely can rely on,” Cora said, via’s Christopher Smith. “We recognized it in spring training. I remember we were talking (during) the lockout and all that. We had our meetings with the information department. And the ability to impact the baseball was there and the projections. Defensively solid.

“It’s a matter of staying healthy,” added Cora. “That’s the most important thing with him. We’ll set up a good program for him in the off-season and this is a guy we really like. We really like. And he can contribute at this level.”

(Picture of Rob Refsnyder: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images)

Chaim Bloom and Alex Cora will be back with Red Sox next season, Sam Kennedy says

The Red Sox have no plans to move on from either chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom or manager Alex Cora this winter, team president and CEO Sam Kennedy told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal on Monday.

“I am very comfortable saying Chaim and Alex will be back,” Rosenthal said. “And I am very comfortable saying there is a strong belief in the direction of the franchise from our ownership group. That direction is continuing to build for the future, but also continuing to invest at the major-league level.”

Coming into play on Monday with a record of 62-66, the last-place Red Sox currently sit 16 games back of the Yankees for first place in the American League East and seven games back of the Blue Jays for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

This comes less than a year after Boston was only two games away from a World Series berth. So to say the 2022 season has been a disappointment would be an understatement.

“To be looking up at the American League East at this point of the year is painful and frustrating,” said Kennedy. “And frankly we deserve the criticism we’re getting. We’ve got to own that. It’s on us. But we’ve been around here a long time and we’re prepared to turn things around quickly here as we head into [2023].”

While both Bloom and Cora have been subjected to their fair share of criticism in recent weeks, neither are in contractual jeopardy. As noted by Rosenthal, the Red Sox exercised Cora’s club option for the 2023 and 2024 seasons back in November.

Bloom, meanwhile, was named Boston’s chief baseball officer in October 2019 and is now in the third year “of a long-term deal of at least four years,” according to Rosenthal.

Injuries have hindered the Red Sox throughout the season. Free agency will be a major focal point in the off-season. J.D. Martinez, Nathan Eovaldi, Tommy Pham, Enrique Hernandez, Michael Wacha, Rich Hill, Matt Strahm, and Kevin Plawecki are all eligible to hit the open market this winter. Xander Bogaerts could join them if he elects to opt out of his contract.

Star third baseman Rafael Devers has emerged as one of the top young hitters in the American League but is only club control through the end of the 2023 season. Per Rosenthal, Red Sox officials “continue to say they want to retain both Bogaerts and Devers, homegrown talents who have proven they can succeed in Boston.”

With only $91.97 million committed to the 2023 payroll at the moment, Kennedy believes the Red Sox can use their financial flexibility and prospect capital to get back on track and return to more competitive baseball next year.

“I see us continuing to invest across the entire organization, at the major-league level, throughout our baseball operations. This group is hungry for another World Series championship,” Kennedy Said. “The whole group is outstanding. I know we’re in a tough spot right now. But we have a lot of flexibility going into this off-season. I’m really excited to see what we’re going to do with that flexibility and the resources we have.”

(Picture of Chaim Bloom and Alex Cora: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox unveil 2023 schedule: Opening Day is March 30 at Fenway Park

The Red Sox unveiled their schedule for the 2023 regular season on Wednesday afternoon. Unlike past years, the Sox will face off against all 29 other club as part of new, more balanced schedule that was implemented in Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement.

Rather than playing divisional opponents 19 times per season, the Red Sox will go up against the Blue Jays, Orioles, Rays, and Yankees 13 times per year beginning in 2023. They will also play a total of 46 interleague games against National League clubs, which is up from 20 in 2022.

Opening Day is scheduled for March 30. The Red Sox will open their season with a three-game series against the Orioles at Fenway Park and conclude it with a four-game set against the O’s at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

In between, the Red Sox will be playing the likes of the Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, Rockies, Marlins, Mets, and Dodgers at home and the likes of the Brewers, Phillies, Padres, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Giants, and Nationals on the road. The Braves are the only National League opponent they will be playing at home and on the road.

Among the highlights here are Boston’s second trip to Wrigley Field (July 14-16) in as many years, its first trip to San Francisco (July 28-30) since 2016, and Mookie Betts’ return to Fenway Park when the Dodgers visit from August 25-27.

The Red Sox will not play the Yankees until June 9, when the two sides open a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees do not visit Fenway Park until June 16-18. The two teams play again in the Bronx from August 18-20 and conclude their season series in Boston from September 11-14.

As far as road trips are concerned, the longest of the season will take place from May 19-28. It includes stops in San Diego, Anaheim, and Phoenix for a trio of three-game series against the Padres, Angels, and Diamdondbacks.

On the heels of the All-Star break in mid-July, the Red Sox will return to Wrigleyville for a three-game weekend set against the Cubs and will then travel to Oakland for three games with the Athletics. After a five-game homestand against the Mets and Braves, they will return to the west coast to visit the Giants in San Francisco and the Mariners in Seattle.

That takes them into early August, when they will begin their longest homestand of the season: a 10-gamer that consists of three games against the Jays, four against the Royals, and three against the Tigers. Following a three-game series against the Nationals in Washington, D.C., the Red Sox embark upon what may be their toughest stretch of the season.

From August 18-30, the Sox will play the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers 13 times in 13 days. It stars with three games in the Bronx followed by four in Houston. Boston will then return home for three against Los Angeles (Betts’ homecoming) and three more against Houston.

September begins with six straight on the road against the Royals and Rays. Following a pair of homestands, the Sox’ regular season will end in Baltimore on Sunday, October 1.

In terms of holidays, the Red Sox will be hosting the Angels on Patriots’ Day (April 17), the Cardinals on Mother’s Day (May 14), the Yankees on Father’s Day (June 18), the Rangers on Independence Day (July 4). They are not scheduled to play on Memorial Day (May 29).

All told, the Red Sox are slated to play 162 regular season games in the span of 185 days beginning next March.

(Picture of Fenway Park: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Red Sox team up with local analytics company to optimize start times of games at Fenway Park

In an effort to optimize the start times of games at Fenway Park, the Red Sox have recently teamed up with Boston-based analytics company Recentive, according to Sports Business Journal.

The Red Sox will become the first Major League Baseball team to join forces with Recentive, as the two sides reached agreement on a multi-year deal last month. The company has previously worked with organizations such as the National Football League and United States Tennis Association.

By forming a partnership with Recentive, the Red Sox are aiming to maximize
their local television ratings through start time variation. Red Sox games are broadcasted locally by NESN, which — like the club — is a subsidiary of Fenway Sports Group.

Coming into the 2022 season, the Red Sox are slated to play 81 regular season home games at Fenway Park. During the week, the majority of those contests are scheduled to begin at 7:10 p.m. eastern time. During the weekend, most Saturday games will start at 4 p.m. while most Sunday games will start at 1 p.m. ET.

In a conversation with Erik Bacharach of Sports Business Journal, Recentive CEO Andy Tabrizi emphasized that weekend games will be of particular interest since they represent the biggest opportunity for growth when it comes to ratings.

The foundation of Recentive’s relationship with the Red Sox will be granting the club access to “an on-demand, real-time web app that processes about 1,200 different data sources, all of which concern any start times for games on NESN.”

Any changes Boston implements to their schedule likely won’t come this year, but rather in 2023. The Sox previously experimented with the start times of their home games in 2020, moving the majority of them back to 7:30 p.m. during the pandemic-shortened campaign.

That decision proved to be an ineffective one, but Red Sox vice president of data, intelligence, and analytics Jonathan Hay remains optimistic about what’s to come in 2022 and beyond.

“It’s mid-January, so even if we sort of identify some spots, people have
already bought tickets, we’ve got calendars already printed and things
like that,” Hay said last month. “So I think we’d hopefully do a couple of things this year just to be able to test some things out.”

(Picture of Fenway Park: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)