Not just Adrian Gonzalez: The Dodgers have claimed Josh Beckett too

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Claiming Adrian Gonzalez is one thing, but claiming Josh Beckett too?  Yep, the Dodgers have done that, Sean McAdam of CSNNE confirms.

This is a little different than the Adrian Gonzalez claim.  For one thing, the Red Sox may very well just want to be rid of Josh Beckett. The fan base has turned on him and, depending on how much blame you put on him for the clubhouse problems in Boston — probably nowhere near as much as some folks claim, but in Boston everything sucks right now — it’s not like you have to sell the fans on letting him go.  The fact that he’s pitched like butt this year makes it easier too.  He’s due $35 million through the end of 2014 too, so losing him saves a lot of money.

But it’s also different in that Beckett has 10/5 rights, and a player with 10/5 rights has the right to block waiver claims too.  Beckett has given no indication that he’d waive his no-trade protection in the past, although things have gotten way worse in Boston lately so maybe he’s of a different mind about such things now.  Added incentive: pitching in the NL West could really help him rebound between now and 2014 when he’ll likely want to cash in on one last big free agency deal.

One final possibility: maybe the Dodgers claim of both Gonzalez and Beckett is the precursor to a gigantic mega-trade/player dump involving the two teams.  Again, the Dodgers don’t have that much to offer besides salary relief, but weirder things have happened. I think.

Stay tuned!

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.