The Red Sox, who are in the midst of an eight-game losing streak, look like a different team than last year’s edition, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe writes. The team has lost players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Jarrod Saltalamacchia who contributed big hits this year, while some newer ones, like Jackie Bradley and Grady Sizemore, have struggled. In any case, Cafardo suggests, the 2014 edition doesn’t seem to have the same spark the 2013 team did. Here are more notes from the American League East.
- A.J. Pierzynski symbolizes the Red Sox’ problems so far this season, John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes. Many players dislike Pierzynski, and Tomase wonders what it might mean that, when the Red Sox signed Pierzynski, one rarely heard that his teammates disputed his notorious reputation throughout the game. Even in his short time with the Red Sox, there has been “tension” between Pierzynski and Red Sox pitchers. Pierzynski is also hitting just .258/.291/.356 in his first 142 plate appearances. The Red Sox signed him to a one-year, $8.25MM deal last offseason.
- With Esmil Rogers now gone, and Jeremy Jeffress and Moises Sierra gone as well, the Blue Jays’ roster is now based on “merit rather than asset management,” SportsNet.ca’s Shi Davidi writes. With the Blue Jays now in first place in the AL East, the team can no longer wait for players like Rogers to harness their potential. “It’s fun being on a winning team,” says infielder Steven Tolleson. “All of us want to be in the lineup every day, but all of us understand how we contribute to this team.”