Though the Red Sox haven’t lived up to their preseason status as division favorites, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowksi told reporters Tuesday that he doesn’t place the blame for the team’s relatively slow start on manager John Farrell (link via Jen McCaffery of MassLive.com). Dombrowki pointed to the fact that the Sox won the AL East under Farrell’s guidance last season and also noted that injuries up and down the roster are beyond Farrell’s control. Indeed, the team has been without David Price, Tyler Thornburg and Carson Smith all season, while injuries to Pablo Sandoval, Brock Holt and now Marco Hernandez have created a revolving door at third base.
That said, FOX’s Ken Rosenthal penned a lengthy column of his own on Farrell’s job security today, noting that while the manager doesn’t necessarily appear to be at immediate risk, there are some Red Sox players that would like to see Farrell defend them more to the Boston media during the team’s struggles. Rosenthal points to the Manny Machado debacle and a more recent dugout altercation with Drew Pomeranz as two instances this season in which Farrell hasn’t looked his best.
A few more notes on the AL East…
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter was evasive when the subject of Ubaldo Jimenez’s spot in the rotation came up with reporters, as MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko writes. Showalter noted that Jimenez’s next scheduled start is set for Sunday and said, “…we’ll see what happens,” regarding the potential outing. Right-hander Alec Asher is the top candidate to step in for Jimenez prior to Sunday, Kubatko notes, but Showalter suggested that taking Asher out of his current late-inning relief role would only open another need. “…[H]e’s shown the ability to serve a need in our bullpen with Zach (Britton) being down,” said the skipper. “There’s some different challenges in our bullpen with Zach out that you need to have an optionable bullpen, you need to have some versatility down there and some guys that can pitch physically more than once every four days down there.” The 33-year-old Jimenez is in the final season of a four-year, $50MM contract and has followed up last year’s 5.44 ERA with an even more unbecoming 7.17 ERA through 42 2/3 innings in 2017.
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rays second baseman Brad Miller won’t be ready for activation from the disabled list when he’s first eligible this coming Friday. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters today that Miller’s abdominal strain still needs to “cool down,” and Topkin notes that Miller has not yet begun running since suffering the injury. Wilson Ramos, on the other hand, is ahead of schedule in his rehab from last September’s torn ACL. He’ll head to extended Spring Training this week and begin a minor league rehab assignment next week. Ramos, according to Topkin, has been hitting, running and participating in full workouts behind the plate.
- Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres debuted with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday night at third base writes Newsday’s Erik Boland. While the Yankees still expect to give Torres work at shortstop, third base and second base — as was the case in Double-A — he’ll see an uptick in playing time at third base in Triple-A, according to Boland. While Torres is a natural shortstop, the Yankees’ current infield need lies at third base due to Chase Headley’s recent slump. (Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro, on the other hand, are both hitting well.) Boland spoke to a talent evaluator from an opposing club that felt Torres is more than capable of handling the hot corner, even if he’s looked his best at his natural position of shortstop thus far in 2017. “Playing over there is more reactionary, he’s shown his first step toward the ball is good,” said the scout. “His feet are good after he makes the play. He doesn’t have that quick-twitch quickness that the elite third basemen have, but he does some things well that will get better.” Boland’s piece offers additional quotes as well as further details on Torres’ defensive scheduling with Scranton.