When Tim Wakefield took what was, essentially a year-to-year contract with the Red Sox, and even since that deal expired, it seemed pretty clear that his preference was either to play in Boston or not play at all. But as Rob Bradford of WEEI reports, that’s not necessarily the case:
Tim Wakefield, who will become the oldest player in Red Sox history to participate in a game with the next pitch he throws, talked Tuesday night about the chance he might play for another organization. “It depends on the situation. I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said prior to the Sox’ game against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. “I want to retire a Red Sox, but I’m going to rule that out.”
He said he wasn’t going to go crazy, specifically saying that he wouldn’t move his family — which is based in Florida — way the heck out to Seattle or something. But he did say, when prompted, that sure, Florida or Tampa Bay could be a good fit.
Of course this all seems more theoretical than anything else. Wakefield turns 45 this summer. He has given up 17 runs on 22 hits in 21 innings so far this year and was no great shakes last year either. Knuckleballers never really die, but they do fade away and Wakefield seems to be fading.
But I bet he’d rock the Old Timers Game for a couple of decades after he retires. Assuming the Sox have one, which now that I think about it, I don’t believe they do. Somebody get on that, OK?
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.