Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski issued a public vote of confidence to manager John Farrell on Friday, writes Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. “I think John Farrell has done a fine job managing our team,” Dombrowski said. “The only thing I would tell him is the same I would tell any manager: You need to manage with your conviction. Whatever you believe is the right move, you’re the one who is most knowledgeable in the case, and you do what you think is the right thing to do.” The Red Sox won the World Series under Farrell in 2013, but they’ve endured back-to-back sub-.500 seasons since and are a so-so 8-8 this year, leading to calls for his ouster from the team’s fan base. Mastrodonato defends Farrell by pointing out that the Red Sox have played disciplined baseball under him this season (they entered Friday with only six errors and just one caught stealing, as the writer notes). Further, Farrell was right to award Travis Shaw and Brock Holt the third base and left field jobs over Pablo Sandoval and Rusney Castillo, respectively, and has handled the team’s various personalities well – including Hanley Ramirez’s – Mastrodonato offers.
Here’s more from Boston and two of its American League East rivals:
- Red Sox starters are currently toward the bottom of the league in ERA (5.38) and FIP (4.52), and if the team is looking for outside rotation help around July’s trade deadline, Mastrodonato lists five potential options: Jered Weaver (Angels), Mat Latos (White Sox), James Shields (Padres), Andrew Cashner (Padres) and Scott Kazmir (Dodgers). Of that group, only Shields and Kazmir are signed beyond this season, but both have opt-outs in their contracts at the end of the year. Barring an unexpected fall from contention by the Dodgers, Kazmir seems unlikely to be dealt. If the White Sox continue their winning ways, Latos probably won’t end up on the block, either. In the immediate future, the forthcoming return of lefty Eduardo Rodriguez from a knee injury should buoy the Red Sox’s rotation.
- There was a report that Orioles right-hander Yovani Gallardo would see team orthopedist Dr. Mike Jacobs regarding his injured shoulder on Saturday. That examination will actually take place today, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. An MRI should offer more clarity on the status of Gallardo, who landed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with tendinitis.
- With Gallardo on the shelf for at least two weeks, the Orioles need another starter. They may have found a temporary solution in righty Tyler Wilson, who threw five innings of three-run ball in an 8-3 win over Kansas City on Saturday and impressed manager Buck Showalter in the process. “Things don’t seem to bother him mentally. He’s very mentally strong and that bodes well up here,” Showalter told reporters, including Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com. Showalter indicated that Wilson will start again, per Ghiroli. Wilson, who had been in the Orioles’ bullpen until Saturday, made five big league starts last season and put up a 4.32 ERA/4.05 FIP/5.01 xFIP in 25 innings.
- Rays outfielder Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch a major league-record-tying three times Thursday, a feat that had only been accomplished on 22 previous occasions. Guyer also did it once last year, when he was hit an American League-leading 24 times. Guyer, who has already been hit by five pitches this year, told David Laurila of FanGraphs that there isn’t a special skill involved. “There’s no art to it. I promise,” he said. “It’s not something I’m out there looking to do, it just happens. I don’t know how to get out of the way. It’s just instinctual that I don’t move. I’m not afraid.” Thanks in part to his fearlessness, Guyer got on base an impressive 35.9 percent of the time in 385 plate appearances in 2015 and has a tremendous .485 OBP in 33 PAs this season.