The Red Sox lost 10-3 in last night’s series opener against the Yankees. It was their second straight loss and their sixth in their last seven. They now sit at 49-51 through the first hundred games of the season and currently find themselves in last place in the American League East.
Via Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, Dustin Pedroia had a tough time holding back his frustration after the loss.
“The first hundred games have been (expletive),” Pedroia said. “We’re two games under .500. We’re the Boston Red Sox. If anyone’s thrilled about where we’re at, they need to reevaluate because I don’t like losing. I know everyone else doesn’t like losing. We’ve got to play better, man.”
Pedroia was particularly perturbed by the team’s approach in the top of the eighth inning. Yankees set-up man David Robertson made it through the frame in just nine pitches, which included ground outs by Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford, a two-out single by Pedroia and a ground out by Adrian Gonzalez.
“Late in the game, they extended themselves from us. That’s what great teams do,” Pedroia said. “We didn’t do anything. Our at-bats later in the game were not good. Swinging early in the count, you know. Heck, if their eighth-inning guy is going to come in the game, let’s at least get 25-30 pitches so maybe he can’t pitch tomorrow. Do something productive, and we’re not doing that. That’s the sign of not-a-winning team. Those are the little things that we need to do better. It’s frustrating.”
While this is a legitimate criticism on the part of Pedroia, it’s a bit of a surprise to see him single out three of the team’s biggest names. The Red Sox clubhouse just doesn’t sound like a very happy place right now. Still, the brisk pace of the top of the eighth inning likely had Joe West smiling all the way from Texas. Last night’s game finished in 2 hours and 41 minutes, the fastest Yankees-Red Sox game since September 11, 2005.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.
Comments from an anonymous team official suggest that Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross will not be expected to join the rotation until May or June, per a report from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Both Ross and GM Jon Daniels favor a conservative approach for the 29-year-old as he works his way back up to full health after undergoing surgery last October to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.
The delay is reportedly being implemented so that Ross will be have the strength and stamina to contribute during the stretch run. Per Daniels:
We would rather err on a little extra time up front with the goal being to finish strong, pitching in big spots, meaningful games down the stretch and hopefully past 162.
Ross signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday after pitching through an injury-riddled season with the Padres in 2016. If all goes according to plan, he’ll slot into a rotation that includes Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Andrew Cashner and Martin Perez. The Rangers are expected to narrow down their fifth starter alternatives in spring training.