The Red Sox are going to be short-handed as they attempt to snap their eight-game losing streak. In addition to Shane Victorino landing on the disabled list, both David Ortiz and Mike Napoli are out of the lineup against the Rays this afternoon.
According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, Ortiz is taking a planned day off due to a calf issue. As for Napoli, he could be sidelined for a little while longer. He’s dealing with a dislocated finger, as well as calf and hamstring issues and flu-like symptoms. It’s unlikely he’ll play again before Tuesday. Bad news for a team which is tied for 20th in the majors in runs scored.
The Red Sox are going with Jonny Gomes in right field, Mike Carp at first base, and A.J. Pierzynski out of the DH spot this afternoon against David Price. Meanwhile, David Ross is catching Jake Peavy. They are off to an early 5-0 lead with their makeshift lineup.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.