This has not been a fun day to be a Red Sox fan. Out of nowhere we learned that David Price could be facing a serious injury to his elbow, and we’ve been holding our collective breath all day for more details. Those won’t come until tomorrow, at the earliest, but for now we can at least bask in a beatdown of the Rays.
The lineup explodes behind Jackie Bradley and Hanley Ramirez
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the Red Sox are going to be without David Ortiz in 2017. For those not in The Know, that is a bad thing. Luckily, the Red Sox still have hitters like Jackie Bradley and Hanley Ramirez who will be leading to charge in replacing the power Ortiz brought to the table on a daily basis. They showed off their big bats on Thursday. Bradley hit two dingers in his three at bats, with one coming off Ryan Garton and the other coming off Ryne Stanek. Bradley will have hot and cold streaks, but we’ve seen enough to know that his power is legitimate. Ramirez, meanwhile, only managed to hit one home run. What a bum. His dinger off Chase Whitley was a positive sign for a guy who will sit out the World Baseball Classic due to shoulder soreness. Nobody will replace Ortiz’ power, but both of these guys can easily post .200+ ISOs in 2017.
The rest of the lineup wasn’t too shabby, either.
Bradley and Ramirez knocked in ten runs on Thursday, and that was somehow only half of the team’s offense on the day. There were two other home runs in the contest, to start with. One came from Bryce Brentz. Remember him? He’s still on the roster, although he’s out of options and will have to be exposed to waivers if everyone remains healthy. If he has a big spring, I could see a bad team taking a chance on his pop. Luckily, they also have Steve Selsky on the roster. Sure enough, he hit the other home run. He’s apparently been the apple of John Farrell’s eye this spring, and there is legitimate potential here. Obviously, they don’t want him playing a ton this year but he’s the best they have on a roster that severely lacks outfield depth. Elsewhere, Pablo Sandoval and Brock Holt both had two hits including a double. Mookie Betts also had a double, and although it was his only hit the beat writers indicated he made some hard contact. Dustin Pedroia also tallied a couple singles.
Eduardo Rodriguez and Craig Kimbrel shine in their spring debuts
Eduardo Rodriguez fell a bit behind early on this spring, but he’s back now. That’s a very good thing, as the Red Sox will need everyone else as healthy as possible if this David Price news turns out to be as bad as we fear. He certainly made a good first impression. In two innings of work the lefty set down all six batters he faced and tacked on two strikeouts. We all know the potential here, but we also know he’s no sure thing, either. Craig Kimbrel, meanwhile, is looking for something of a bounce back year and could use a good spring to re-endear himself to fans. His first outing was a good start. He set down all three batters he faced (no walks!) and struck out one.
Solid day for the rest of the pitchers, too
Rodriguez and Kimbrel were the headliners in this one, but the rest of the game was filled out with notable names, too. The seventh starter race became much more important today, and Roenis Elias took a decent step forward in that race. He did allow one run but it came over three innings. His first and third innings were 1-2-3 frames, but the middle one started off with three straight singles. He beared down after that and got out of the jam by allowing just one run, though. Given the performances for the others in this position battle, it’s a good day. Meanwhile, Robbie Ross and Brandon Workman each pitched a scoreless inning, with the former setting down three in a row including a strikeout. Workman allowed a single and a walk. The other run in the game was allowed by Noe Ramirez, who allowed three hits including a solo home run to Andrew Velazquez. He also struck out two in his one inning of work.