Red Sox Recall Top Pitching Prospect Darwinzon Hernandez from Triple-A Pawtucket, Option Ryan Brasier in Corresponding Move

Before taking on the Toronto Blue Jays in the second of a four-game series Tuesday night, the Red Sox announced that left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez had been recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket. In a corresponding move, right-hander Ryan Brasier was optioned to Triple-A. The club made the transaction official earlier Tuesday.

Hernandez, 22, is now up with Boston for the fourth time this season after being promoted to the PawSox on June 15th.

Ranked as the Sox’ top pitching prospect, the Venezuela native has posted a 4.76 ERA and .175 batting average against to go along with 20 strikeouts and 16 walks over seven International League appearances (three starts) and 17 total innings pitched.

Since being moved to Pawtucket’s bullpen at the beginning of the month, Hernandez has allowed just one earned run on one hit, one HBP, one walk, and six punchouts over four relief outings.

In two separate appearances with the Red Sox so far in 2019, one coming as a reliever and the other as a starter, the 2013 international signee owns an ERA of 5.06 and xFIP of 4.68 over a small 5-1/3 inning sample size.

Over those 5 1/3 frames of work, Hernandez has faced 22 right-handed batters and eight left-handed batters. The rightys are slashing .375/.545/.500 off him, while the leftys are just 1-for-8 with one double.

Hernandez’s stuff certainly plays, it’s always been about his control, or lack thereof, that has raised some concern.

But, with the move to the bullpen for the time being, it appears as though Alex Cora and the Red Sox have another southpaw to turn to alongside Josh Taylor.

On the other side of this move, Ryan Brasier was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket following a night in which he yielded four runs on four hits in the eighth inning of 10-8 win for Boston. He had pitched in the final two games against the Los Angeles Dodgers before that.

After really coming out of nowhere last year, Brasier has fallen back to Earth in 2019, posting a 4.24 ERA and .242 batting average against over 44 appearances and 40 1/3 innings of work.

As Red Sox Stats surmises though, this could just be a way to get the 31-year-old off his feet for a bit.

Still, looking back to this past offseason, where Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said that either one of Brasier, Matt Barnes, Tyler Thornburg, or Steven Wright could become the team’s closer with the departure of Craig Kimbrel, it’s clear that that certain strategy didn’t quite pan out.

Brasier was optioned on Tuesday, Barnes has blown six saves so far this season, Thornburg was released last week, and Wright was placed on the injured list this past Saturday.

Now, we turn to Nathan Eovaldi, who signed a four-year, $68 million deal with the Red Sox to be a starting pitcher, as the next option out of the ‘pen.

They got away with it since they won the World Series, but the lack of preparation that went into this Red Sox season, specifically with the makeup of the bullpen, should have been criticized more, because it’s the main talking point with this team at this point in the year.

Advertisements

Red Sox Release Tyler Thornburg After Reliever Refused Minor League Assignment

The Red Sox have released right-handed reliever Tyler Thornburg, per the club’s official Twitter account.

Thornburg, 30, was returned from his month-long rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday without being activated from the 10-day injured list with a right hip impingement, meaning the Sox had two days to decide whether to add the righty back to the active roster, designate him for assignment, or outright him.

On Tuesday, WEEI’s Rob Bradford reported that Thornburg would not accept a minor league assignment, so this outcome seemed the most likely before it even occurred.

Acquired by Boston from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for infielder Travis Shaw and minor leaguers, Yeison Coca, Maurico Dubon, and Josh Pennington in December of 2016, Thornburg’s tenure with the Red Sox did not go according to plan.

Given his reputation as one of the better setup men in the National League in his time with Milwaukee, Thornburg was seen as part of the bridge out of the Sox bullpen that would make way for Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning.

Instead, the Texas native missed all the 2017 season due to thoracic outlet syndrome in his throwing shoulder and did not make his Red Sox debut until July 6th of the following season.

There, Thornburg appeared in 25 games for Boston, posting a dismal 5.63 ERA and .901 OPS against over 24 innings pitched before being shut down for the remainder of the year on September 26th.

This year, the former third round pick made his first Opening Day roster as a member of the Red Sox, and allowed 16 earned runs on 21 hits and 10 walks to go along with 22 strikeouts over 16 appearances and 18 2/3 innings of work. That’s good for an ERA of 7.71 and OPS against of .972. Not great.

Thornburg yielded two runs on two hits and two walks in the sixth inning of a 10-3 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays on may 21st, two days before he was placed on the IL.

While rehabbing with the PawSox, Thornburg posted a 12.66 ERA and 2.44 WHIP over 11 outings (one start) and just 10 2/3 frames pitched.

As mentioned before, his reputation while with the Brewers should give Thornburg another shot with another club, but it was clear that the marriage between him and the Red Sox was never going to work out. Perhaps a change of scenery will do him better.

Out of all the trades Dave Dombrowski has made since taking over as the Red Sox’ president of baseball operations in 2015, this particular one he made with David Stearns should go down as one of the worst.

The Red Sox virtually got nothing of value out of Thornburg while he was with the club, nor could they flip him for any sort of asset(s) either.

Instead, Travis Shaw, despite being demoted to Triple-A San Antonio last month, has gone on to have two 30-plus home run seasons with the Brewers.

Mauricio Dubon, meanwhile, worked his way to becoming Milwaukee’s fifth-ranked prospect before getting the call up the majors on July 7th, where he will look to provide infield depth to a team competing for a National League Central crown.

All this transpiring while the Red Sox continue to deal with struggles in their bullpen and may even trade for a reliever of Thornburg’s perceived caliber before he arrived in Boston.

Milwaukee Brewers Call up Former Red Sox Prospect Mauricio Dubon

The Milwaukee Brewers recalled infielder Mauricio Dubon from Triple-A San Antonio earlier Sunday, meaning another former Red Sox prospect will be making his major league debut this season.

Dubon, 24, was selected by Boston in the 26th round of the 2013 amateur draft out of Capital Christian School in Sacramento, Ca.

In four minor league seasons across Boston’s farm system, the Honduras native rose to become the club’s 17th-ranked prospect before being part of the trade, along with Travis Shaw,  Josh Pennington, and Yeison Coca, that sent right-handed reliever Tyler Thornburg to the Red Sox in December of 2016.

Since then, Dubon has shined. That much is evident by his .307/.343/.491 slash line to go along with 14 home runs and 42 RBI over 82 games with Triple-A San Antonio in 2019.

Thornburg, meanwhile, has done quite the opposite, posting a 7.71 ERA and 5.34 xFIP through 16 appearances and 18 2/3 innings pitched with Boston this season.

Placed on the injured list with a right hip impingement on May 23 and sent out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on June 9th, the 30-year-old has surrendered 15 earned runs on 16 hits and eight walks over 9 2/3 innings and 10 total appearances. That’s good for an ERA of 13.97 and a batting average against of .340. Not great.

Per MassLive.com, Thornburg’s rehab assignment expires on July 8th, so the Red Sox will have to decide what actions to take with the reliever over the All-Star break. Whether its to add him back to the active roster or designate him for assignment has yet to be determined.

#RedSox Place Tyler Thornburg on 10-Day Injured List, Recall Travis Lakins from Triple-A Pawtucket

Prior to Thursday’s series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox announced that right-handed reliever Tyler Thornburg has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a right hip impingement. In a corresponding move, the club also recalled right-handed reliever Travis Lakins from Triple-A Pawtucket and added him to the 25-man roster.

Thornburg, 30, has posted a 7.71 ERA over 16 appearances in 2019 and owns an overall ERA of 6.54 since being acquired by the Red Sox from the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the start of the 2017 season.

There were no real signs or indications that the Houston native was dealing with an injury after his latest outing on Tuesday, so this very well could be a move to keep Thornburg on the roster for the time being without designating him for assignment.

Lakins, meanwhile, is ranked as Boston’s 17th-best prospect, per MLB.com, and this will be his second stint with the big league club after spending approximately three days in the majors back in April.

There, the 24-year-old hurler appeared in just one game for the Red Sox, one in which he yielded one earned run on four hits and no walks to go along with four strikeouts over 2.2 innings of relief back on April 23rd against the Detroit Tigers in his big league debut.

Through 14 outings with the PawSox this season, Lakins is 1-0 with a 4.02 ERA and 1.79 WHIP over 15.2 total innings of work.

Given that Thursday will be a bullpen day for the Red Sox, expect Lakins to get another extended look against the Blue Jays, as he has not pitched in a game since May 19th.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 12:37 PM EDT on NESN.

 

Eduardo Rodriguez Gets Taken Deep Three Times as #RedSox Fall to Blue Jays in Blowout 10-3 Loss

How do you follow up a 12-2 blowout win to open up a seven-game road trip? By getting blown out yourself the very next day, of course!

That’s right, after blowing the doors off the Blue Jays in the first of a four-game set on Monday, the Red Sox fell behind in the fourth inning on Tuesday and never recovered.

Making his 10th start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered the day unbeaten in his last seven outings.

Working the first five innings of this one, the left-hander yielded six runs, all earned, on six hits and three walks to go along with five strikeouts on the night. Half of those hits went for Blue Jays home runs.

Retiring eight of the first 10 hitters he faced, the bottom half of the fourth is where things fell apart for Rodriguez, and it all started with a harmless leadoff single off the bat of baseball’s top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., making his first ever start against the Red Sox after being held out of Toronto’s lineup Monday.

That was followed up by Justin Smoak flying out to center field for the first out of the inning, and then Rodriguez went ahead and made his first mistake of the evening, an 83 MPH changeup located way inside that Blue Jays designated hitter Rowdy Tellez took deep to right field to put his team on the board at 2-0.

Two pitches later, Toronto added to their lead, this time with Randal Grichuk taking Rodriguez deep to left on a 1-0, 87 MPH changeup on the bottom half of the strikezone.

In the fifth, it was once again Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who would wind up being the catalyst for another three-run inning by ripping another single off of Rodriguez with two outs in the inning.

After Justin Smoak drew a five-pitch walk and a wild pitch allowed both runners to advance up 90 feet, Tellez struck again for his second dinger of the night, this one a three-run, 397 foot shot to right field that seemed avoidable.

Why do I say that? Well, when you see where Christian Vazquez was set up, and then when you see where that 82 MPH slider ended up, it becomes a bit frustrating.

Anyway, Rodriguez got Grichuk to fly out to center for the final out of the fifth, and that is how his night would come to a close.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 95 (57 strikes), the 26-year-old hurler turned to his four-seam fastball nearly 37% of the time he was on the mound Tuesday, inducing two swings and misses and topping out at 93.8 MPH with the pitch.

Falling to 4-3 on the season with his ERA jumping up to 5.43, Rodriguez will look to improve those numbers in his next time out against the Houston Astros on Sunday.

In relief of Rodriguez, Tyler Thornburg entered this contest in the sixth with his team trailing by five runs and left with them trailing by seven thanks to back-to-back RBI singles from Danny Jansen and Brandon Drury.

From there, Colten Brewer allowed an additional pair of runs to score in the seventh on a two-RBI double from Drury before retiring the side in order in the eighth. Just a banner day for Red Sox pitching.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against the ace of the Blue Jays pitching staff in 5’7″ right-hander Marcus Stroman.

Despite having several opportunities to push some runs across, the Boston bats didn’t get going until it was already too late.

It started in the second inning, really. No outs, runners on first and second in a scoreless game. Michael Chavis grounds into a 6-4-3 double play and Xander Bogaerts ends up stranded at third.

Just an inning later, one out and the 9-1-2 hitters do their job by loading the bases for the middle part of the lineup. Anything to show for it? Nope, because Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts both struck out to end the top half of the third.

Fast forward to the sixth, Moreland led off what looked to be a promising frame by mashing his team-leading 13th homer of the season off of Stroman, a 352 foot shot to the opposite field to make it a 6-1 game.

Back-to-back walks drawn by Rafael Devers and Chavis in the same inning gave the Sox another chance to trim their deficit, but a 6-4-3 twin killing off the bat of Christian Vazquez put an end to that potential rally.

In the seventh, Stroman was chased due to Jackie Bradley Jr. and Steve Pearce reaching base to leadoff the inning.

One pitching change that saw left-hander Tim Mayza take over and one walk drawn by Andrew Benintendi later, the bases were full for the part of the Boston lineup you want the bases full for.

But, again, nothing to show with Mookie Betts and Moreland going down by way of the K and Bogaerts grounding out to short to end the seventh.

And in the eighth, a pair of solo homers from Devers and Bradley Jr. off Joe Biagini and Sam Gaviglio made it a 10-3 contest in favor of Toronto, which would go on to be Tuesday’s final score.

For Devers, his fifth big fly of the season and second in as many days to secure another mult-hit game.

Bradley Jr., meanwhile, has also homered in two straight. That much is encouraging to see.

Some notes from this loss:

The Red Sox went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday while also leaving 10 on base. Not great.

Tyler Thornburg has allowed runs in nine of his 16 appearances so far this season. His ERA currently stands at 7.71.

Over his last two starts, opposing hitters are slashing .333/.392/.600 off of Eduardo Rodriguez.

From Red Sox Notes:

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the third game of this series Wednesday night.

Right-hander Rick Porcello, fresh off a solid seven innings and a forgettable eighth inning against the Houston Astros, is set to get the ball for Boston while fellow right-hander Aaron Sanchez will do the same for Toronto.

In his career at Rogers Centre, Porcello owns a lifetime 5.47 ERA over 13 games (12 starts) and 72.1 total innings pitched.

Sanchez, meanwhile, has posted a career 3.91 ERA in 20 games (12 starts) and 76 innings against the Red Sox. He is currently 3-4 with a 3.88 ERA and .250 batting average against through 10 starts this season.

First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 7:07 PM EDT on NESN. Time to start another winning streak.

 

#RedSox Homer Three Times in 14-1 Rout over Mariners to Improve to 20-19 on Season

Coming off a 5-2 road trip and an off day on Thursday, the Red Sox opened up an eight-game homestand on Friday with a blowout 14-1 win over the Seattle Mariners to improve their record to 20-19 and pass the .500 plateau for the first time this season.

Making his eighth start of the season for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who entered the weekend fresh off a six strikeout performance in his last time out against the White Sox.

Tossing seven full innings in this one, the left-hander held the Mariners scoreless while scattering just five hits and one walk to go along with five K’s on the night.

Retiring nine of the first 10 he faced, Rodriguez faced more than four hitters in an inning just two times in the fourth and seventh, stranding the runners on base on both occasions to preserve the shutout effort.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 103 (68 strikes), the 26-year-old turned to his four-seam fastball 39% of the time he was on the mound Friday, inducing three swings and misses with the pitch and topping out at 93.8 MPH with it. He also induced a team-high eight swinging strikes with his changeup, a pitch he threw 26 times.

The Red Sox are now 6-0 in Rodriguez’s last six starts. Over that span, the Venezuela native himself is 4-0 and owns an ERA of 2.78. They’ll look to make it seven wins in a row in Rodriguez’s next time out, which should come against the Houston Astros next week.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was not faced with much pressure, as their team’s lead stood at 10 runs by the time Tyler Thornburg took the mound to begin the eighth inning.

Having given up runs in his last four appearances out of the ‘pen before Friday, Thornburg saw his ERA inflate to 8.04 on an Edwin Encarnacion RBI double in his lone inning of relief.

And in the ninth, making his second appearance for the Sox since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket last Monday, Ryan Weber closed things out in a scoreless frame to secure the blowout victory.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Mariners rookie left-hander Erik Swanson, and they really had their way with them beginning in the third inning.

After collectively going 0-for-their-first-7, a Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff double in that third would turn out to be the catalyst for a four-run inning to get the scoring started in this one.

All coming with two outs, back-to-back singles from Mookie Betts and JD Martinez plated Bradley Jr. and put runners on the corners for Mitch Moreland, who absolutely demolished a first pitch fastball and deposited 436 feet into the bleachers with an exit velocity of 109 MPH. 4-0, just like that.

An inning later, Rafael Devers joined in on the moon bomb party, leading off the fourth with a 397 foot shot off Swanson to pad the Red Sox’ lead even further.

In the fifth, the pair of corner infielders were at it again, with Moreland collecting his fourth RBI of the night on a line drive double to the opposite field to score Andrew Benintendi all the way from first and Devers driving in Moreland on an RBI single off new M’s reliever Mike Swarzak to make it a 7-0 contest.

Fast forward to the sixth, and Benintendi went yard for the second time in the last two games, as he took Swarzak 393 feet deep to right for his fifth big fly of the season. That ball had an exit velocity of over 106 MPH.

Another inning later, with lefty Zac Rosscup on for Seattle, Xander Bogaerts got on the board with his 24th ribbie of the year, plating Steve Pearce, who pinch-hit for Moreland the at-bat prior, on a screamer of a double to right field.

After advancing to third on a Rafael Devers groundout, Bogaerts scored his club’s 10th run on another RBI groundout from the slumping Michael Chavis. 10-0.

And in the eighth, even with this one already out of reach, the Red Sox went ahead and struck four more times off Mariners reliever and former Baltimore Oriole Mike Wright.

Benintendi, Betts, and Eduardo Nunez got the rally started by loading the bases without recording an out to begin the inning, and Xander Bogaerts drove in the reigning AL MVP by grounding into a force out at third to put runners at first and second for Devers.

On the very first pitch he saw from Wright, the 22-year-old capped off a stellar night at the plate in style, emptying the bases on a two out, two-run, 100 MPH double to right to give Boston the 14-1 advantage, which would go on to be Friday’s final score.

Some notes from this win:

From Red Sox Notes:

In nine games this month, Rafael Devers has recorded multiple hits in six of them. He is currently batting .314 with an OPS of .826.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s the middle game of this three-game set on Saturday afternoon with a starting pitching matchup featuring two veteran right-handers.

For Boston, it will be Rick Porcello making his eighth start of the season. Since April 20th, the 30-year-old is 4-0 over his last four starts with an ERA of 2.45.

Opposite Porcello will be the 33-year-old righty Felix Hernandez for Seattle, who owns a lifetime 4.09 ERA over nine career starts and 57.2 innings of work at Fenway Park.

It took more than six weeks to get there, but the Red Sox are back to playing winning baseball with a record of 20-19.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 1:05 PM EDT on NESN. Red Sox going for their first four-game winning streak of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

Nine-Run Third Inning, Michael Chavis’ First Multi-Homer Game Carry #RedSox to 15-2 Blowout Win over White Sox

After bouncing back with a 6-1 win on Friday night, the Red Sox really poured it on against the White Sox on Saturday, pouring on a season-high 15 runs for their second straight victory on the South Side.

Making his seventh start of the season in this one for Boston was Eduardo Rodriguez, who struck out 12 White Sox in his previous start at Guaranteed Rate Field last September.

This time around, the left-hander yielded just one run on six hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts over six quality innings of work, eventually earning his third winning decision of the year.

Things started out a bit shaky for Rodriguez in the first, with Chicago plating their first run of the night and all, but after getting out of the inning and escaping a bases loaded jam in the second, it was relatively smooth sailing, and that was mostly thanks to what his lineup did in their half of the third.

Retiring 11 of the last 14 hitters he faced, the 26-year-old finished his evening with a final pitch count of exactly 100, 61 of which went for strikes.

Out of those 100 pitches, Rodriguez turned to his four-seam fastball 30% of the time he was on the mound Saturday, inducing two swings and misses and topping out at 93.2 MPH with the pitch.

Now with quality starts in two of his last three starts, the Venezuela international will look to build on a solid beginning to May in his next time out, which should come against the Seattle Mariners next Friday.

In relief of Rodriguez, the Red Sox bullpen was responsible for the final three innings of Saturday’s contest, and they had quite the comfortable cushion to work with.

Working both the seventh and eighth, Tyler Thornburg allowed just one run on one hit, a solo home run off the bat of Jose Abreu while fanning four.

Hector Velazquez, meanwhile, who started as recently as Wednesday, locked down the 15-2 win for the Sox with a scoreless ninth, and that was that.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against an unfamiliar opponent in White Sox left-hander Manny Banuelos to start this one off.

For never facing off against the Red Sox before in his career, Banuelos held his own through the first two-and-two-thirds innings Saturday by sitting down the first eight hitters he faced in order.

Despite the early success though, a Christian Vazquez two out single changed everything, and it all unraveled for the 29-year-old southpaw the second time through the Boston lineup.

Including the base hit from Vazquez, 10 straight Red Sox hitters all reached base off Banuelos and drove in a total of NINE runs in that span.

An Andrew Benintendi single advanced Vazquez into scoring position for Mookie Betts, who plated both runners on two-run RBI double to pull his team ahead 2-1.

Two pitches after that, JD Martinez collected his 17th RBI of the season by pulling a line drive double to left and driving in Betts from second to make it a 3-1 contest.

Following a brief mound visit, Xander Bogaerts and Michael Chavis went back-to-back with one two-run and one solo homer to pad Boston’s lead even further to 6-1.

With the bases once again empty, a Rafael Devers double and Steve Pearce RBI single gave the Red Sox a six-run advantage, which then inflated to eight on another two-runshot, this one coming from Eduardo Nunez in his first game back since being activated from the injured list. 9-1. End run-scoring outburst.

Just like how he started the rally, another Christian Vazquez single would result in the end of the line for Banuelos, who saw a potential no-hitter through three innings turn into an absolute disaster.

From there, the Red Sox struck for four more runs in their half of the fourth.

With reliever Carson Fulmer now in for Chicago, back-to-back leadoff walks drawn by Martinez and Bogaerts presented Chavis with another prime run-scoring opportunity, and the rookie capitalized on it by grounding an RBI single to right field, scoring Martinez and pushing his team’s lead to 10-1.

Rafael Devers would pick up an RBI by reaching on a fielding error following that Chavis single, and Steve Pearce notched his second multi-hit game of the season with another RBI single up the middle to plate Chavis from second. 12-1.

Devers wound up scoring the Red Sox’ 13th run of the night thanks to a throwing error comitted by Jose Abreu on an Eduardo Nunez grounder, and Pearce also scored on two-out RBI double off the bat of Andrew Benintendi in the same frame to make it a 14-1 game.

And finally, in the fifth, Chavis capped off his team’s impressive offensive tear by launching his second big fly of the night, a 438 foot solo shot with an exit velocity registering at 108 MPH off White Sox reliever Josh Osich.

That dinger made it a 15-1 contest at the time it was mashed, and 15-2 would go on to be the final score in this one.

Some notes from this win:

From the Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham:

Through his first 14 big league games, Michael Chavis has hit six home runs and collected 13 RBI. He is currently slashing .354/.466/.771.

The Red Sox are 7-3 in their last 10 ballgames.

Looking to finish off the series win over the White Sox Sunday, it will be right-hander Rick Porcello getting the start for the Red Sox, as he’ll be opposed by fellow righty Dylan Covey.

Coming off his best start of the season in which he tossed eight shutout innings against the Oakland A’s last Tuesday, Porcello brings a lifetime 3.81 ERA over 12 career starts at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Opposing Porcello, Covey went 2-0 in one start and one relief appearance against the Red Sox last season.

First pitch for the series finale Sunday is scheduled for 2:10 PM EDT on NESN.