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John Farrell calls for an approved substance pitchers can use for a better grip

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If, as the pitchers say, dabbing pine tar and/or sunscreen on one’s arm or the bill of one’s cap and then applying it to a baseball is merely to get a better grip — and if, as hitters say, said better grip is helpful for hitters too — then it seems silly that players have to resort to stealth in order to obtain that better grip.

I sometimes wonder if it really is a better grip pitchers seek or a little somethin’ extra which well help them get batters out. And if, in turn, batters say they’re OK with it because their own pitchers are doing the same thing. But let’s take everyone at their word and agree that this is a sensible thing for pitchers to want. If so, why can’t they do it without having to risk suspension for being too obvious about it?

That’s something Red Sox manager John Farrell wants to know too. From WEEI:

“I would like to see an approved substance that pitchers can use . . . I think any time the game loses players for eight to 10 games, I think it makes us as an industry look within,” Farrell said. “If a number of pitchers are putting themselves at risk and the belief is a widespread number of pitchers are using it, why would we not look to improve the game? Nobody wants to see pitchers sidelined.”

Farrell added that the ball, as manufactured, is slippery and that something is needed for grip. Again, assuming pitchers aren’t really just trying to get extra movement on a ball Gaylord Perry-style, he’s got a great point.

Justin Masterson says he’s healthy, Red Sox manager John Farrell says “clearly he’s not right”

Justin Masterson Red Sox
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Red Sox right-hander Justin Masterson had another rough start Tuesday, failing to make it out of the third inning against the A’s while allowing six runs, and his ERA now stands at 6.37.

After the game Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters that the team is considering its options with Masterson, saying “clearly he’s not right” to suggest a disabled list stint could be around the corner:

So we’ve got to gather some information overnight, we’ve got to check on him when he comes in in the morning, get a full work-up and just get a better assessment of where things are.

However, when asked minutes later about his health status Masterson made it very clear that he’s not hurt:

Other than not making good pitches? No. I never had a chance to feel comfortable. I didn’t feel comfortable in the pre-game bullpen, as far as just being able to get a good release point. … As we discuss right now, I’m more than capable [of making his next start Sunday]. I really think it’s not anything too extreme at this point.

Obviously there’s a big difference between a pitcher being injured and a pitcher’s mechanics being a mess, but either way the Red Sox may not want Masterson in the rotation for a while seven starts into a one-year, $9.25 million deal.

Red Sox manager John Farrell doesn’t expect Ryan Hanigan back before the All-Star break

Ryan Hanigan
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Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan suffered a fractured finger on his right hand in Friday night’s game against the Yankees, when he was hit on his non-glove hand when he was behind the dish. The injury required surgery, and as a result, manager John Farrell doesn’t expect to get Hanigan back before the All-Star break, per MLB.com’s Ian Browne.

The Red Sox called up catching prospect Blake Swihart for Saturday afternoon’s game with the Yankees. The rookie went 1-for-3 with an infield single and a walk. The Red Sox, however, will still keep their eyes peeled for catching help elsewhere, though Jarrod Saltalamacchia — recently designated for assignment by the Marlins — doesn’t appear to figure into their plans.