Beer, fried chicken, and video games specifically got all the headlines, but various Red Sox players simply not being in peak physical condition was also an issue this season and today Boston fired strength and conditioning coach Dave Page along with assistant trainer Greg Barajas.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com notes that Page was with the Red Sox since 1996 and won the Professional Baseball Strength Coach of the Year award in 2007, while Barajas joined the big-league staff in 2010 after many years in the minors.
Bradford reports that “the Red Sox plan on restructuring some of their approach toward the strength, conditioning, and medical side of the organization.”
When your job is “strength and conditioning coach” and the team’s conditioning is in serious question that makes getting fired something less than a shock, but the scapegoats in Boston are getting so plentiful that it’s tough to keep track at this point.
Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.
Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.
Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.
That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.
Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.