The Blue Jays announced after Thursday’s loss to the Red Sox that outfielder Melky Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left knee tendinitis. The club will recall infielder Munenori Kawasaki from Triple-A Buffalo to take his place on the active roster.
Cabrera went 1-for-4 with a run scored Thursday and played the entire game in left field. He has been bothered by leg problems at various times this season, so it sounds like this could be a lingering injury. The 28-year-old is batting .278/.321/.362 with three home runs and 29 RBI through 78 games this season.
Kawasaki was demoted to Triple-A Buffalo earlier this week when Jose Reyes was activated from the disabled list, but his stint in the minors didn’t last long. The 32-year-old is hitting just .225 with a .662 OPS in 185 plate appearances this season, but he has quickly become a fan and clubhouse favorite. In fact, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons held a team meeting after Tuesday’s game to discuss Kawasaki’s demotion, which speaks to how well-liked he is among his teammates.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.