Piggybacking on Aaron’s entry from earlier, a ‘frustrated’ Mike Lowell elaborated before Tuesday’s game against the Yankees, telling reporters that he has considered asking the Red Sox for his release (via Rob Bradford of WEEI.com).
“Have I given it thought, sure. I think that’s a normal train of thought
to go through,” he said. “Is that something that would happen? I don’t
know. I haven’t looked that deep into it. I think that’s more upper
management’s decision. They’ve been willing to eat a lot of my contract
so maybe that’s not holding them back. Sometimes you think if that
happens it would be better. But I don’t have a crystal ball and I don’t
think the flip side is always better or always worse. I know the
situation here is … I just don’t see it being very good.”
He doesn’t disagree with Terry Francona’s decision to play the red-hot David Ortiz, but fears that he’ll be even further buried on the bench once Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury return from the disabled list.
Lowell, 36, is batting .263/.354/.404 with one home run and nine RBI over 57 at-bats this season. He’d surely draw interest from any numbers of teams if the Red Sox were to aggressively pursue a trade, but the team would probably have to kick in a substantial portion of his $12 million salary for this season in order to do so.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.