Red Sox’ Eric Hosmer targeting Monday return from injured list

Like Trevor Story, Red Sox first baseman Eric Hosmer could return before the end of the season.

Hosmer, who has been on the injured list since August 21 with low back inflammation, took live batting practice against Kutter Crawford at Fenway Park on Wednesday afternoon.

When speaking with reporters (including’s Ian Browne) prior to Wednesday’s contest against the Orioles, Red Sox manager Alex Cora indicated that Hosmer could be ready for the final series of the season with the Rays beginning on Monday.

Since the minor-league season is over, however, Hosmer would not have the benefit of going out on a rehab assignment. The 32-year-old would instead stay behind and face live pitching in Boston while the Red Sox visit the Blue Jays in Toronto over the weekend.

“He hit today. Let’s see how he reacts to that and we’ll go from there,” Cora said of Hosmer. “There’s no at-bats right now [in the Minors], but obviously, if somebody stays back [from the road trip], another live BP, and I do believe by Monday he’ll be OK for the Rays series. Just the running part of it today. He hit, he ran. Let’s see how reacts tomorrow and we’ll see what we do.”

The Red Sox acquired Hosmer and minor-leaguers Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier from the Padres in exchange for pitching prospect Jay Groome ahead of last month’s trade deadline. As part of the deal, San Diego agreed to pay the remainder of Hosmer’s contract down to the minimum.

Hosmer, who is under club control through 2025, has appeared in just 12 games with the Sox. In those 12 games, the left-handed hitter has batted .225/.311/.300 with three doubles, four RBIs, six runs scored, four walks, and nine strikeouts over 45 plate appearances.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)


Red Sox place Nathan Eovaldi, Eric Hosmer on injured list; Josh Winckowski, Franchy Cordero recalled from Triple-A Worcester

Before opening a three-game series against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on Tuesday, the Red Sox placed right-hander Nathan Eovaldi on the 15-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation. They also placed first baseman Eric Hosmer on the 10-day injured list due to low back inflammation.

In a pair of corresponding moves, right-hander Josh Winckowski and first baseman Franchy Cordero were recalled from Triple-A Worcester, the club announced.

Eovaldi, who last pitched against the Yankees on August 12, has been scratched from his last two starts due to right trapezius muscle soreness. The 32-year-old hurler had been optimistic that he could avoid the injured list, but that is no longer the case.

This will be Eovaldi’s second stint on the injured list this season, as the righty was previously sidelined from June 12-July 10 with low back inflammation. When healthy, Eovaldi has posted a 4.15 ERA and 4.50 FIP with 96 strikeouts to 18 walks over 18 starts spanning 99 2/3 innings of work. That includes a 2.95 ERA in the month of August.

Hosmer, meanwhile, left Saturday’s game against the Orioles in the fifth inning due to a back issue and did not play in Sunday’s Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa. Since being acquired from the Padres on Aug. 2, the left-handed hitting 32-year-old has batted .225/.311/.300 with three doubles, four RBIs, six runs, four walks, and nine strikeouts in 12 games (45 plate appearances) with the Red Sox.

Eovaldi’s stint on the injured list was backdated to Aug. 19, so he will be eligible to return on Saturday, September 3, at the earliest. Hosmer’s stint on the injured list was backdated to Aug. 21, so he will be eligible to return to action one week from Wednesday at the earliest.

Winckowski will start in place of Eovaldi for Tuesday’s series opener against Toronto. The 24-year-old hurler was most-recently optioned to Worcester last Friday, but was eligible to be recalled within 15 days as long as he was replacing an injured player.

Since making his big-league debut on May 28, Winckowski has posted a 5.19 ERA and 5.21 FIP with 36 strikeouts to 21 walks over 12 starts (60 2/3 innings) for Boston. He had compiled a solid 3.71 ERA across a six-start stretch from June 15-July 13, but has struggled to a 6.46 ERA (6.71 FIP) since returning from a bout with COVID-19 on July 26.

Cordero, on the other hand, served as the Red Sox’ 27th man in Williamsport on Sunday and hit a game-tying, pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning. The 27-year-old was technically optioned back to Worcester after the game, but his latest stint with the WooSox proved to be short-lived.

Including Sunday’s performance, Cordero is now slashing .222/.300/.380 to go along with 17 doubles, one triple, five homers, 25 RBIs, 32 runs scored, four stolen bases, 24 walks, and 78 strikeouts over 73 games (245 plate appearances) with the Red Sox this season. He will be batting eighth and starting at first base for Boston on Tuesday.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)

Red Sox prospect Max Ferguson homers for first time since being acquired from Padres

Max Ferguson hit his first home run as a member of the Red Sox organization in High-A Greenville’s 9-4 win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Sunday afternoon.

Batting ninth and starting at shortstop for the Drive, Ferguson went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored. His homer came off right-hander Anthony Molina with two outs in the fifth inning and was good for three runs.

That performance wrapped up a solid weekend for Ferguson, who — over the course of three games — went 3-for-10 with two singles, the three-run home run, and two runs scored. He also drew three walks while not striking out at all.

Since being acquired from the Padres earlier this month, the versatile left-handed hitter has batted .225/.392/.325 (110 wRC+) to go along with one double, one home run, six runs driven in, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, and 11 walks to 11 strikeouts in his first 12 games (51 plate appearances) with the Drive.

Defensively, Ferguson has seen playing time at three different positions while in Greenville. The 6-foot-1, 180 pounder has logged 25 innings at second base, 51 innings at shortstop, and 27 innings in center field.

Ferguson, who turns 23 on Tuesday, was originally selected by the Padres in the fifth round of last year’s amateur draft out of the University of Tennessee. The Jacksonville, Fla. native signed with the club for approximately $324,100.

At that time, Baseball America ranked Ferguson as the No. 168 prospect in the 2021 draft class. The publication noted that The Bolles School product is “a good athlete and a plus runner who has always stolen bases at a high success rate.”

Since making his professional debut in the Arizona Complex League last July, Ferguson has stolen 73 bases in 79 attempts across 140 minor-league games. The speedster began his first full season with Low-A Lake Elsinore before earning a promotion to High-A Fort Wayne in late June. He then proceeded to slash .162/.270/.343 in 27 games with the TinCaps through the end of July.

Shortly after the calendar flipped from July to August, Ferguson and teammate Corey Rosier were traded to the Red Sox along with veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer. In return for those three, the Padres acquired pitching prospect Jay Groome.

So, between Fort Wayne and Greenville, Ferguson has appeared in 39 games at the High-A level this season. Among the 338 hitters who have made at least 170 trips to the plate across the three different High-A leagues, Ferguson ranks 25th in speed score (8.1) and 75th in weighted stolen base runs (0.6), per FanGraphs.

While his speed and athleticism certainly stand out, Ferguson is not yet regarded by Baseball America as one of the top 30 prospects in Boston’s farm system., on the other hand, ranks Ferguson one spot below Rosier at No. 57.

(Picture of Max Ferguson: Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)

Franchy Cordero to serve as 27th man for Red Sox in Sunday’s MLB Little League Classic

Franchy Cordero will serve as the Red Sox’ 27th man for Sunday’s Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pa., manager Alex Cora announced following Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Orioles in Baltimore.

Cordero was removed from Triple-A Worcester’s game against the Rochester Red Wings in the sixth inning at Polar Park on Saturday afternoon. Prior to being pulled, he had gone 0-for-2 with an RBI in the form of a sacrifice fly.

The Red Sox most-recently optioned Cordero to Worcester on August 2. Since then, the left-handed hitting 27-year-old has batted .370 (17-for-46) with two doubles, four home runs, 12 RBIs, 10 runs scored, three stolen bases, five walks, and 19 strikeouts in his last 12 games with the WooSox.

At the big-league level this season, Cordero has slashed .219/.298/.363 (85 wRC+) to go along with 17 doubles, one triple, four homers, 24 runs driven in, 31 runs scored, four stolen bases, 24 walks, and 78 strikeouts over 72 games (244 plate appearances).

Capable of playing first base and the outfield, Cordero could be needed for Sunday’s series finale against the Orioles since Eric Hosmer left Saturday’s game early due to back spasms.

Considering that he will be serving as the Sox’ 27th man, it seems likely that Cordero will be returned to Worcester once Sunday’s contest concludes.

(Picture of Franchy Cordero: Billie Weiss/Red Sox/Getty Images)

Nick Pivetta allows just 1 hit over 7 scoreless innings as Red Sox hold on for 5-3 win over Pirates

The Red Sox scored four runs out of the gate and held on for a series-opening win over the Pirates at PNC Park on Tuesday night. Boston defeated Pittsburgh by a final score of 5-3 to improve to 58-59 on the season and 7-9 in interleague play.

Making their first trip to Pittsburgh in nearly seven years, the Sox received an early boost from the top half of their lineup. Matched up against Mitch Keller to begin things on Tuesday, Tommy Pham led off the first inning with a line-drive single.

Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez followed by drawing back-to-back walks to fill the bases for Alex Verdugo, who drove in his side’s first run on a groundball single to right field. Christian Arroyo and Eric Hosmer tacked on two more with run-scoring singles of their own, though Hosmer’s — a 214-foot fly ball — deflected off the glove of Pirates rookie Oneil Cruz before landing in left field.

With the bases still full, Enrique Hernandez came through in his first plate appearance in more than two months by lifting a 350-foot sacrifice fly to left field to plate Verdugo. An inning later, Pham reached base again on a one-out single. He moved up to second base when Martinez drew a walk and scored from there after Pirates centerfielder Bryan Reynolds failed to catch a 366-foot line drive off the bat of Verdugo.

That sequence of events gave the Red Sox a five-run lead, which was plenty big for Nick Pivetta. Making his 24th start of the season on Tuesday, Pivetta allowed just one hit and three walks to go along with six strikeouts over seven scoreless innings of work.

The one hit Pivetta surrendered came with two outs in the bottom of the first and put runners at first and second. The right-hander did not buckle, though, as he proceeded to get Kevin Padlo to ground out to himself to extinguish the threat.

From there, Pivetta settled in by retiring 18 of the next 20 batters he faced through the end of the seventh. Of the 99 pitches the 29-year-old threw on Tuesday, 63 went for strikes. He induced a total of eight swings-and-misses in the process of picking up his ninth win and lowering his ERA on the season to 4.28.

In relief of Pivetta, Austin Davis received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora. The left-hander made things interesting in the eighth by loading the bases with one out on two singles and a walk. That prompted Cora to turn to John Schreiber, who struck out Reynolds on a nasty slider and was one strike away from ending the inning.

Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Schreiber served up a bases-clearing, three-run double to Gamel on another slider at the bottom of the strike zone. All three of those runs were charged to Davis as the Pirates trimmed the deficit down to two runs at 5-3.

Matt Barnes was called upon to end it in the ninth. He did just that by punching out Cruz and Rodolfo Castro and retiring Greg Allen on 12 pitches to earn his third save of the season (and first since May 21) to secure the win.

So, despite going hitless from the second inning on, the Red Sox picked up their fourth win in their last five games. Pham led the way with two singles and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot while Verdugo, Arroyo, and Hosmer, had one hit and one RBI between them.

Next up: Hill vs. Contreras

The Red Sox will go for their third straight series victory in Wednesday’s contest against the Pirates. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will get the start for Boston and rookie right-hander Josh Winckowski will follow out of the bullpen. Fellow righty Roansy Contreras is slated to take the mound for Pittsburgh.

First pitch from PNC Park is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. eastern time on NESN.

(Picture of Nick Pivetta: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Eric Hosmer comes through with game-winning RBI double as Red Sox end losing streak with 4-3 victory over Orioles

The Red Sox have done it. They have won a series against another American League East team.

Yes, it may have only been one game, but Thursday’s contest against the Orioles at Fenway Park counted as a series, according to The Elias Sports Bureau. Boston therefore clinched its first series win of the season against a divisional opponent with a 4-3 victory over Baltimore.

Matched up against Dean Kremer to begin things on Thursday, the Sox got off to a quick start. Right out of the gate, Xander Bogaerts and Alex Verdugo went back-to-back on a pair of two-out doubles in the first inning. The two traded places to give their side an early 1-0 lead.

Two innings later, Jarren Duran led the bottom of the third off with a hard-hit single and promptly scored all the way from first base when Tommy Pham ripped an RBI double down the left field line. Pham moved up to third on a Rafael Devers sacrifice fly and scored from third on a Bogaerts sacrifice fly to make it a 3-0 game in favor of Boston.

To that point in the contest, Josh Winckowski had been cruising right along. Making his 11th start of the season for the Sox, the rookie right-hander took his shutout bid into the sixth inning before running into some trouble.

After giving up a leadoff single to Cedric Mullins and issuing a five-pitch walk to Adley Rutschman, Winckowski recorded the first two outs of the inning. He then served up a two-run triple to Terrin Vavra, who proceeded to score from third base on an infield single off the bat of Austin Hays.

Winckowski attempted to field the 62.3 mph grounder, but struggled to get the ball out of his glove before making a late underhanded toss to first baseman Eric Hosmer. Hays was initially called out by first base umpire Mark Carlson, but the Orioles challenged the call on the field and it was overturned.

Hays proved to be the last batter Winckowski would face. The 24-year-old hurler wound up allowing three runs on six hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work. He threw 93 pitches (63 strikes) and raised his ERA on the season to 4.69.

Austin Davis came on to record the final out of the sixth and did just that to keep the 3-3 stalemate intact going into the bottom half of the inning. Kremer got the first two outs rather quickly before issuing a seven-pitch walk to J.D. Martinez. He was then pulled in favor of Nick Vespi.

Hosmer greeted the new O’s reliever by driving in Martinez all the way from first on a 394-foot RBI double to deep center field. Hosmer’s second hit of the night allowed the Red Sox to jump back out to a 4-3 advantage.

From there, Matt Barnes struck out two and stranded one in the seventh before John Schreiber closed things out by recording the final six outs of the game to notch his fourth save of the year.

With the win, the Red Sox improved to 55-58 on the season. They currently trail the Rays by 4 1/2 games for the third and final American League Wild Card spot.

Also of note, Bogaerts’ first-inning double was the 300th two-base hit of his career. He became the 11th player in Red Sox history to hit 300 doubles with the team, but only the second to do so before turning 30. Carl Yastrzemski first accomplished the feat in 1969.

Next up: Eovaldi vs. German

The Red Sox will now welcome the first-place Yankees into town for a three-game weekend series that begins Friday night. Nathan Eovaldi will get the start in the opener for Boston while fellow eight-hander Domingo German will do the same for New York.

First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Eric Hosmer day-to-day with left knee contusion

Well before falling to the Braves by a final score of 9-7 in 11 innings on Tuesday night, the Red Sox lost first baseman Eric Hosmer due to injury.

In the fourth inning of Tuesday’s loss, Hosmer — who was making his Fenway Park debut as a member of the Red Sox — took a foul ball off his left knee after making contact with an inside fastball from Braves starter Charlie Morton.

Despite being in visible pain and receiving a visit from manager Alex Cora and a team trainer, Hosmer was able to remain in the game for the moment. He finished his at-bat by striking out on eight pitches, but was then replaced at first base in the top half of the fifth by Bobby Dalbec.

Hosmer, who finished the night having gone 0-for-2 in his only two trips to the plate, was later diagnosed with a knee contusion. The 32-year-old is currently day-to-day with knee soreness and is unlikely to suit up for Wednesday’s series finale against Atlanta, Cora told reporters (including The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier) Tuesday.

Since being acquired from the Padres (along with minor-leaguers Max Ferguson and Corey Rosier) for pitching prospect Jay Groome last week, Hosmer has gone 2-for-12 (.167) with two doubles, one RBI, three runs scored, three walks, and two strikeouts over four games (15 plate appearances) with the Red Sox.

It remains to be seen at this point if Hosmer will require a stint on the injured list. If he does, that could require Boston to recall fellow left-handed hitting first baseman Franchy Cordero from Triple-A Worcester. Top prospect Triston Casas may be a possibility as well, though that would necessitate a 40-man roster move.

(Picture of Eric Hosmer: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox’ J.D. Martinez on MLB Season Being Put on Hold Due to Coronavirus Pandemic: ‘I’m 32. I’m an Antique. I Need to Be out There Playing’

Although he is confident that there will be a Major League Baseball season in some capacity in 2020, Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez is still anxiously awaiting to get back to doing what he’s used to doing this time of year.

Entering his third year with the Red Sox, Martinez can opt out of the final two years of the five-year, $110 million contract he signed with Boston in 2018 this winter. That is probably weighing on his mind as well, especially if he’s going to have fewer games to play in this year.

“I’m 32. I’m an antique. I need to be out there playing,” Martinez told The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham on Wednesday. “This sucks. Hopefully we’ll get a day and I can crank it up and get ready.”

Martinez believes that once baseball does return there should be strict policies in regards to testing just about everyone involved with the game for COVID-19. He told the MLB Players Association that much.

“Everyone would need to get tested,” Martinez told Abraham. “Players, coaches, the media, security guards. If you come in the ballpark, you get tested. I’m not an expert on this virus but you need daily testing.”

While waiting out this pandemic from his Fort Lauderdale home, Martinez has been using fellow south Florida native and Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer’s house, which has a batting cage, as a way to stay in shape. Hosmer is currently waiting things out himself in San Diego.

“He has a cage and I can hit there,” said Martinez of Hosmer’s Southwest Ranches residence. “It’s not ideal, but it’s fine. I’m in offseason mode.”

Based off a recent report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan among others, MLB is planning on sending the MLBPA a return-to-play proposal within the next week. This proposal appears to involve a spring training period starting in June and the regular season starting sometime in early July.

Of course, there are still plenty of hurdles to get over, but I can’t imagine players like Martinez, who comes off like a real creature of habit, enjoy being in “offseason mode” in early May.