The Red Sox have been linked recently to free agent pitchers Edwin Jackson and Roy Oswalt. But E-Jax apparently has better deals on the table from other clubs and Oswalt is thought to prefer a team in the middle of the country, like the Cards or Rangers.
Which leads us to the following report…
According to WEEI’s Alex Speier, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington said Wednesday night that it’s “unlikely” a new pitcher joins the team’s rotation mix before the start of spring training later this month.
“We wouldn’t rule out adding a starter, but I think it’s unlikely at this point,” said the Red Sox general manager. “We’re going to keep looking for ways to improve the team, including the pitching staff, (but) I wouldn’t expect any major changes. … We think the lineup is pretty balanced and I think we have some options in the bullpen and that can be a strength. We like the front of the rotation. We’re going to find out more about the end of the rotation in spring training and see if guys step up.”
Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz are locks for Boston’s 2012 starting rotation. Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard, Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla and Aaron Cook will compete for the other spots.
Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was childhood friends with Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, so it was expected when Diaz took time away from the team on Monday to visit Fernandez’s family in Miami. They grew up on the same street in Cuba and played for the same youth baseball team and both would ultimately wind up playing Major League Baseball in the United States.
In the bottom of the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Reds, Diaz hit a 2-1 Robert Stephenson fastball out to left-center field for a no-doubt grand slam. Teammate Yadier Molina gave Diaz a tight hug as he crossed home plate.
Before Tuesday’s game, Diaz said that the best way to honor Fernandez was to play with his passion, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports. Diaz said, “I only play for [Fernandez’s] family right now.”
Here’s the video.
The Red Sox would have clinched the AL East if one of two things happened on Tuesday night: the Red Sox themselves beat the Yankees, or the Orioles defeated the Blue Jays. Neither happened.
The Jays soundly took down the Orioles 5-1 behind six strong innings from Aaron Sanchez. Josh Donaldson went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and a pair of walks and leadoff batter Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, an RBI single, a walk, and three runs scored.
Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees outlasted the Red Sox for a 6-4 win, responding to both two-run innings the Sox had in the sixth and seventh with a run in the sixth and two in the seventh. Gary Sanchez hit his 20th homer of the season. Didi Gregorius and Tyler Austin also contributed dingers. Starter Luis Cessa pitched well, limiting the Sox to two runs over six innings on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Red Sox starter David Price struggled, yielding six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Yankees reliever Tyler Clippard got into trouble in the ninth inning but was able to wiggle out of trouble to finish out the game.
Once again, the Red Sox will be able to clinch the AL East on Wednesday with a win over the Yankees or a Blue Jays loss to the Orioles.