Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon didn’t say anything overly unreasonable in this interview Wednesday afternoon with Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe, but his comments are sure to bother somebody out there. Here’s an excerpt …
“The Red Sox are a part of who I am, man,” Papelbon said before Wednesday’s game between the Sox and Phils. “I don’t really feel much like a Phillie.”
“Boston’s where I was born and raised. It’s kind of like that, you know. It’s the city you were born and raised in.”
“It’s been a tough transition over here,” the 34-year-old right-hander continued. “I’m not going to lie. It’s been tough. Tough getting used to the way it is here. … It’s two totally different organizations. The way they’re ran, the way they’re coached, the players that are on them. Two totally different styles of baseball. I don’t know if I can honestly tell you if I’m even used to it yet.”
Papelbon is in the fourth year of a four-year, $50 million contract. He’ll be trade bait all summer.
Good news on Brandon Belt from Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com …
Belt strained his right groin muscle Tuesday while chasing after a foul pop-up in the fourth inning of the Giants’ 7-6 loss to the Diamondbacks. Buster Posey is starting at first base for San Francisco on Wednesday night in Arizona and Hector Sanchez will be behind the plate for spot starter Chris Heston. There were no new position players in the Giants’ clubhouse Wednesday evening, so maybe Belt really is in the clear.
From Chase Hughes at CSNWashington.com …
Werth, who is coming back from Jan. 9 surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder, will head to Potomac on Thursday to begin his rehab assignment. The P-Nats open their season on Thursday at home against Lynchburg.
The veteran outfielder is expected to play at least seven innings in his first rehab game Thursday in Potomac. He will be cleared to join the Nationals’ active roster once he plays nine innings on back-to-back days in the minors, which could happen by early next week.
Werth is recovering from January surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder.
He batted .292/.394/.455 with 16 home runs and 82 RBI in 147 games last season for the Nats.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter provided good news Tuesday on the status of shortstop J.J. Hardy, who had to be placed on the 15-day disabled list before Opening Day because of a left shoulder strain.
Hardy will take dry swings on Wednesday and then progress to live batting practice. If that all goes well, MASN’s Roch Kubatko says he should be cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment early next week with the High-A Frederick Keys.
Ryan Flaherty and Everth Cabrera are filling in at shortstop for the Orioles in the early going. Flaherty slugged a solo home run in Monday’s opener.