9:20 p.m. EDT: Beckett was removed with the Red Sox are calling a mildly hyperextended left knee. The team said it was a precaution and that he’s listed as day-to-day.
Common sense would dictate that he’ll be scratched from the All-Star Game, even though it looks like he’ll be ready to pitch after the break.
Red Sox All-Star right-hander Josh Beckett left his start Friday against the Orioles after five innings with an apparent leg injury.
Beckett, who opened the game with four scoreless innings, appeared to slip on the mound while delivering a pitch in the fifth. The trainer came out to look at him, but all Beckett asked for at the time was for a little work to be done on the mound.
Beckett got his wish, but he struggled over the rest of the inning. Having already allowed a homer to Derrek Lee, he went on to walk two batters and give up two RBI singles before striking out Vladimir Guerrero to end the frame.
After the inning, Beckett walked into the tunnel with the trainer and a Red Sox team doctor and never came back out. Matt Albers replaced him in the sixth with Boston up 8-3.
Beckett didn’t appear to be walking with a significant limp, so hopefully this is just a minor injury for him. Still, it’s more distressing news for the Red Sox, who just lost a third starter to the DL when Jon Lester suffered a strained lat muscle Tuesday.
The Marlins are intent on adding one of the three best relievers available on the free agent market, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Those three, of course, are Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon.
As Ashley noted earlier, Melancon is reportedly fielding multiple four-year offers in excess of $60 million. The price tags for Chapman and Jansen are likely to match or exceed that. The Marlins haven’t typically been eager to whip out the checkbook for free agents but with the bullpen being the name of the game in baseball these days, GM Michael Hill may feel the need to match his rivals.
The Nationals, Giants, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers are the teams most often linked to the “big-three” group of relievers, so it won’t be easy for the Marlins.
A.J. Ramos handled the closer’s role for the Marlins this past season and did an admirable job, saving 40 games with a 2.81 ERA and a 73/35 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. There’s no doubt, though, that Chapman, Jansen, or Melancon would represent a significant upgrade in the ninth inning.
C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds manager Bryan Price is likely going to use a trio of pitchers in the closer’s role: Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen. At RedsFest on Saturday, Price said:
I’d say right now that we have a series of guys that I’m comfortable with in the ninth inning and that would include (Raisel) Iglesias, (Tony) Cingrani and (Michael Lorenzen). Should we stay with this format – which I intend to do – all three of those guys and maybe more could have opportunities in save situations. At this point in time, there’s no defined closer. There are multiple options and I’d like to stick with the philosophy that we’re going to have our multi-inning guys, so we’re going to need multi-closers.
This seems to be part of the new bullpen zeitgeist in which managers are shying away from strictly-defined roles for their relievers. Indians manager Terry Francona’s postseason success using Andrew Miller likely had some degree of influence on Price’s willingness to go with a three-headed giant.
Iglesias started the 2016 season in the Reds’ rotation but missed two months with an injury, then moved to the bullpen in late June. Price put him in the closer’s role down the stretch in September. The right-hander overall finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings.
Cingrani battled control issues in his 63 innings of work this past season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA and a 49/37 K/BB ratio. He’s left-handed, though, and gives Price some matchup flexibility in the late innings.
Lorenzen impressed in his first full season as a reliever, ending the year with a 2.88 ERA and a 48/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. The right-hander uses a fastball that sits around 96 MPH on average along with a cutter and slider.