The Red Sox have “keen interest” in Phillies righty Pat Neshek, reports WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. The 36-year-old Neshek (who has already tossed a scoreless inning in tonight’s All-Star Game) is widely expected to be traded, given his status as an impending free agent on baseball’s worst team. The sidearmer has worked to a pristine 1.27 ERA with 9.2 K/9, 1.3 BB/9 and a 36.5 percent ground-ball rate thus far in 2017. And, unlike in many previous seasons, Neshek has held left-handed opponents in check quite well. Right-handed opponents are hitting .234/.253/.286 against Neshek this season, while lefties are hitting .180/.231/.313. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported that the Sox had scouted Neshek over the weekend as well, and he’s also been linked to the Nationals this summer.
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- A promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket could be just days away for third base prospect Rafael Devers, writes Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. The 20-year-old Devers has crushed Double-A pitching this season, hitting at a .300/.369/.575 clip with 18 homers, which led to a second appearance on a Futures Game roster in is career. While many expect the Sox to trade for help at the hot corner, Speier notes that Devers could emerge in the Majors later this summer and provide Boston with a boost at its greatest position of need. Manager John Farrell has said that Devers will play in Triple-A before jumping to the Majors, though one would imagine that a strong showing there would tempt the Red Sox to take a glimpse at their potential third baseman of the future.
- Speier also spoke to Chris Sale, a number of his Red Sox teammates, and many other players throughout the American League about what, specifically, makes Sale such a dominant force on the mound. He also breaks down Sale’s unique delivery in terms of horizontal and vertical release point, noting that while a few other lefties have a similar release most are relievers (with the exception of Oakland lefty Sean Manaea), and none with that arm slot have Sale’s velocity. Speier breaks down each of Sale’s offerings using info from Brooks Baseball, Baseball Savant and other data sources, and the column even includes an animation to illustrate what it’s like to face Sale from the batter’s box. It’s an interesting look at one of the game’s great talents that is stuffed with quotes from his peers, coaches and others.