News: Napoli (finger) is back in the lineup Wednesday vs. the Blue Jays, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports.
Impact: Napoli was only kept out of Tuesday's game as a precaution, after he experienced swelling on his ring finger. The issue apparently isn't presenting problems for him when he's batting, but Napoli will serve as the DH rather than at his usual first base spot in Wednesday's lineup.
Wed. July 30, 2014 | STATS
News: Holt was 2 for 5 in Tuesday's 4-2 loss to Toronto with his 20th double of the season.
Impact: Owners hope Tuesday's performance helps Holt get on track as he was 1 for 23 in his previous six contests.
News: Ortiz is out of the lineup Wednesday vs. the Blue Jays, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports.
Impact: Ortiz has started every game for the Red Sox since the All-Star break, so manager John Farrell likely just thought it was a good time to give him some rest. He'll miss out on facing off against lefty Mark Buehrle, whom Ortiz has destroyed over his career, going 25-for-79 (.316) with four homers and 14 RBI.
News: Pedroia had two hits, a double and an RBI in Tuesday night's loss to the Blue Jays. He's hit safely in five of the last six games, going 8-for-20.
Impact: Pedroia had been scuffling coming out of the All-Star break, enduring an 0-for-17 slide from July 18 to July 22. We've seen these mini surges out of Pedroia all season, but he hasn't been able to sustain them. The second baseman is hitting .274 at this stage of the season.
News: Bogaerts went 2-for-4 with a homer in Tuesday night's loss to the Blue Jays. He currently has a four-game hitting streak and is 11-for-37 (.297) since the All-Star break.
Impact: Bogaerts endured a horrendous June (.135) and is hitting only .213 for July despite the good run since the break. The Red Sox need to get the promising rookie back on track and will continue to give him at-bats through the end of the season.
News: Napoli is not in the lineup Tuesday versus the Blue Jays.
Impact: It'll be the second day off in three days for Napoli, who also rested Sunday versus Tampa Bay. After a fairly strong month of June (.311 batting average with five home runs), Napoli has cooled off of late and is hitting .257 with five RBI and 24 strikeouts in July. Mike Carp will get the start at first base in his place Tuesday.
News: De La Rosa (3-4) lost to the Blue Jays for the second straight start Tuesday, giving up three earned runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out one over six innings.
Impact: The righty didn't fare well against the AL East rival from Canada, surrendering a combined 18 hits and nine runs in 10 innings. De La Rosa now sports a 3.64 ERA with a 1.29 WHIP and 16:37 BB:K in nine starts (54.1 innings) this season, and is scheduled to face the Cardinals after an extended break next Tuesday.
News: Workman will start Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays, the Providence Journal's Tim Britton reports.
Impact: Jon Lester was scratched from the start, and will likely be traded before Thursday's trade deadline. It's not clear if Workman will join the rotation for the remainder of the season once Lester is dealt, but Wednesday's start could go a long way to keeping him in the rotation. He has a 4.50 ERA and 34 strikeouts in 46 innings as a starter this season with the Red Sox.
News: Lester has been scratched from Wednesday's start for the Red Sox, the Providence Journal's Tim Britton reports. "In light of all the uncertainty, it's probably in everyone's best interest (Lester) does not make that start," manager John Farrell said Tuesday night.
Impact: He hasn't been traded yet, but at this point it seems like a foregone conclusion. Brandon Workman will make the start Wednesday in Lester's place. Assuming Lester gets traded, he will probably start a game this weekend with his new team, so owners aren't necessarily going to miss out on a start this week.
News: There is an increasing likelihood that Lester will be scratched from Wednesday's start amid trade speculation, Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reports.
Impact: He would still make a start this week, even if he does get traded, but obviously any team trading for two-plus months of Lester will want to get every possible start out of him, which means he would pitch Thursday or sometime this weekend for whichever team acquires him. Brandon Workman has already been announced as the replacement starter if Lester is scratched Wednesday.
Tue. July 29, 2014 | STATS
News: Buchholz was abysmal Monday.
Impact: Buchholz was tagged for a season-high seven runs in five-plus innings. He draws the Yanks next on Sunday night baseball in a major showdown.
News: Workman will start Wednesday if ace Jon Lester is traded prior to his scheduled start, manager John Farrell announced Tuesday, WEEI's Conor Ryan reports.
Impact: The chances of Lester remaining a member of the Red Sox are looking increasingly slim, especially after he announced that he would still consider re-signing with Boston should the team decide to trade him before the deadline. This makes Workman a possible option for owners looking for a spot starter Wednesday. In 46 innings as a starter with Boston this season, Workman has a 4.50 ERA and a 34:18 K:BB ratio, so he's a lower-tier fantasy option if he does in fact get called upon Wednesday.
News: Napoli will miss Tuesday's game due to swelling in his left ring finger, the Providence Journal's Tim Britton reports. "We felt a day down and added treatment would give him a chance to get ahead of it a little more," manager John Farrell said.
Impact: He's been dealing with issues ever since dislocating that finger on a slide in the first month of the season, and this will be his second day off over Boston's last three games. Mike Carp will start at first base in Napoli's place Tuesday, but it sounds like the Red Sox are hopeful he'll be able to take the field Wednesday.
News: The Red Sox intend to make Uehara a qualifying offer for next season, CSN New England reports.
Impact: While several members of Boston's staff have been tied to trade rumors, there's been little talk of Uehara moving. Of Boston's pitchers, he is the easiest to retain due to the option of a qualifying offer they hold. There's still a chance the Red Sox trade him this year and attempt to re-sign him after the season, but they would lose the mechanism of the qualifying offer and have to compete with other teams, some of whom might be willing to give him more than a one-year deal.
News: The Red Sox are willing to listen to offers for Lester, the Boston Globe reports. A major league source said the Red Sox have been informed what kind of contract Lester is seeking and that has led the team to put him on the market.
Impact: Lester, who will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, is having one of the finest seasons of his career at age 30. Boston is reticent to extend too many years to a pitcher north of 30, but Lester has repeatedly said his preference is to stay in Boston. The Red Sox have a lot of pitching depth ready to go at the minor league level, but none will be able to replace Lester's cache -- at least not immediately. The team finds itself in this position after low-balling Lester in spring training with a four-year, $70 million offer that prompted Lester's side to table negotiations until after the season. And while the two sides have been in contact over the course of the season, no offer was made and the two sides agreed to wait until November for new talks.
News: Bradley is out of the lineup Monday against the Blue Jays, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Bradley is taking a seat for the first time since last Tuesday, a span in which he mustered three hits, including a double, and one walk versus six strikeouts in 18 at-bats. He'll yield center field to Brock Holt, while Xander Bogaerts covers the hot corner.
News: Buchholz was battered by the Blue Jays on Monday, allowing seven runs in five innings.
Impact: The righty has really struggled over his past three starts, allowing 16 runs in 17 innings. Buchholz will carry an unsightly 5.87 ERA and 1.56 WHIP into his weekend start against the Yankees.
Mon. July 28, 2014 | STATS
News: Ortiz provided all the offense with a three-run homer in Sunday's 3-2 win at Tampa Bay.
Impact: Ortiz has five homers and 12 RBIs over the last seven games.
News: Webster will stick in the Boston rotation for the time being, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports.
Impact: Webster made his season debut with the big club Sunday against the Rays, giving up two runs over 5.1 innings. He'll face the Yankees in his next turn Saturday, but if he struggles in the outing, he could be replaced by Brandon Workman, who is currently serving in the rotation at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Andrew Miller - #30 - Pitcher - 6'7" - 210lbs
News: The Red Sox are willing to listen to offers for Miller, CSN New England reports.
Impact: Miller has transformed himself into a dominant late-inning reliever. He's showed improved control while striking out 14.6 per nine innings.
Junichi Tazawa - #36 - Pitcher - 5'11" - 200lbs
News: Tazawa pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Sunday's win over Tampa Bay. He picked up his 11th hold of the season while retiring the heart of the Rays' order.
Impact: Tazawa rebounded from his worst outing of the season Friday night when he gave up three runs on two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.
Edward Mujica - #54 - Pitcher - 6'3" - 225lbs
News: Mujica pitched a scoreless two-thirds of an inning in Sunday's win over Tampa Bay. He picked up his first hold of the season and lowered his season ERA to 5.35.
Impact: Mujica has been unable to post any kind of sustained effectiveness this season. It started in the second game of the season when he allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning.
News: Uehara hurled a scoreless ninth to notch his 21st save of the season in Boston's 3-2 victory over the Rays on Sunday. After allowing a leadoff single to Yunel Escobar, Uehara shut the door on the Rays, striking out the next three batters.
Impact: Uehara was dominant again Sunday and is one of the best relievers in the game despite not getting a ton of opportunities. Sunday was his first save since July 19 and just his fourth appearance since the All-Star break.
News: Webster started his first game of the season Sunday and earned the win against the red-hot Rays. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out four in 5.1 innings of work. His control was a bit of an issue Sunday, as he walked five.
Impact: Webster's first start of the season was an important one for the Red Sox, who had lost five in a row coming into Sunday's game. His next start is yet to be announced.
News: Ortiz hit his 25th home run of the season Sunday, a three-run shot that was his fifth in his last seven games.
Impact: Ortiz hadn't had much luck against Rays pitching this season, batting .179 with no homers in 39 at-bats until his third-inning home run gave the Red Sox a lead that they would not surrender. He has two home runs in 15 at-bats against Monday's start R.A. Dickey, so his hot streak could continue.
Sun. July 27, 2014 | STATS
News: Lackey fell 3-0 to the Rays on Saturday night.
Impact: Lackey came up short in his first attempt at his 150th win, giving up three runs and eight hits over seven innings. He faces the Yankees in his next start.
News: Bogaerts is out of the lineup Sunday against the Rays.
Impact: Bogaerts has started six straight games for the Red Sox, but will give way to Brock Holt, whose versatility allows manager John Farrell to give nearly any of his infielders a day off when needed. Despite collecting seven hits in his last six games, Bogaerts' slump has largely continued, as he owns just a .191 July batting average.
News: Napoli is out of the lineup Sunday against the Rays, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Napoli will receive a day of rest after starting six straight games for the Red Sox. He's just 1-for-6 with three strikeouts so far in the Tampa Bay series, but could be used as an extra bat off the bench if needed. Mike Carp will take over first base in his stead.
News: Lackey (11-7) gave up two earned runs on eight hits while walking four and striking out four across seven innings in a loss to the Rays on Saturday.
Impact: Lackey actually wasn't bad in this one, tossing 22-of-32 first-pitch strikes, but the Red Sox just couldn't muster a run off any of the Rays' five pitchers. Lackey now has a 3.60 ERA to go with a 1.23 WHIP and 116 strikeouts in 137.1 innings (21 starts) this season and will welcome the Yankees to Fenway in the series opener when he next starts Friday.
News: Victorino is not in the lineup Saturday against the Rays, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports.
Impact: Victorino homered off David Price on Friday to extend his hitting streak to six games, but the Red Sox aren't quite ready to take the training wheels off, so they will sit the 33-year-old after four straight starts. Brock Holt will man right field in his absence.
Sat. July 26, 2014 | STATS
News: Victorino was 2 for 4 with his second homer of the year in Friday's 6-4 loss at Tampa Bay.
Impact: Victorino is 10 for 23 over his last six games.
Sat. July 26, 2014 | STATS
News: Lester came away without a decision despite a decent showing in Friday's 6-4 loss at Tampa Bay, allowing two runs and six hits over six innings.
Impact: Lester continues to be impressive, going 4-0 over his last eight starts with a 1.07 ERA.
News: Webster will be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to start Sunday against the Rays, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Webster will temporarily resume the rotation spot of Jake Peavy, who was traded to the Giants on Saturday morning. Manager John Farrell has yet to confirm Webster as the team's fifth starter or make any other announcement regarding his rotation plans moving forward. Webster owns a 3.10 ERA and .234 opponent batting average in Pawtucket, so he could certainly warrant consideration for the job by pitching well Sunday.
News: Lavarnway (wrist) had his rehabilitation assignment moved to Triple-A Pawtucket. He played his first game Friday night, going 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and two runs scored.
Impact: Lavarnway is 7-for-18 with a double, homer and four walks in six rehab games spanning three minor league levels. At this point, it's hard to see where he fits into Boston's immediate plans.
News: Betts went 4-for-5 with a walk, a double, an RBI and two runs scored Friday night for Triple-A Pawtucket. He played right field and batted leadoff.
Impact: Since rejoining the PawSox, Betts is 10-for-27 in six games and is currently on five-game hitting streak. He'll remain with Pawtucket for a bit to hone his outfield defense and get regular at-bats, but we expect him to be back up in Boston at some point.
News: Lester turned in a solid performance, allowing two runs on six hits, walking one and striking out seven over six innings, but came away with a no-decision when the bullpen couldn't hold the lead in a 6-4 loss to Tampa Bay on Friday night.
Impact: Unfortunately, he had tossed 110 pitches (69 for strikes) after six innings and departed early with a narrow 3-2 lead. Andrew Miller and Junichi Tazawa then promptly gave the Rays a four-run seventh inning to erase Lester's chance for a win. He'll hope for better next time out at home against the Blue Jays.
News: Victorino had two hits, including his first homer of the season, in Friday night's loss to Tampa Bay.
Impact: Victorino, who spent much of the season on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, didn't bring a lot of expectation when he was activated last week. But, he has hit safely in all six games (10-for-23) and scored four runs.
News: Ross, who's been hampered by a heel injury, was in the lineup Friday against Tampa Bay. He was hitless with an RBI in a 6-4 loss.
Impact: Ross said he's been dealing with the injury all year and will continue to manage it. He's loosely scheduled to play two out of every five games.
Fri. July 25, 2014 | STATS
News: De La Rosa was terrible Thursday.
Impact: De La Rosa allowed seven runs, six earned, in a season-low four-plus innings, raising his ERA from 2.64 to 3.54. De La Rosa, who lost for the first time since June 11 at Baltimore, walked two and struck out one.
News: Drew is not in the lineup Friday, the Boston Globe's Pete Abraham reports.
Impact: Brock Holt will man shortstop, as Drew gets a day off against a lefty (David Price). He has had a nice week so far at the dish, hitting home runs in back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday.
News: Ortiz (back) is in the lineup batting third against David Price and the Rays on Friday, the Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson reports.
Impact: He had been dealing with back spasms, but they seem to have subsided to the point that he's able to make his typical 4-to-5 trips to the plate.
News: Workman allowed one run on five hits and one walk while striking out six Thursday night for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Impact: Workman has put together a couple of nice starts for the PawSox after getting hit regularly for a three-week stretch in the majors. He's allowed one run on eight hits and three walks while striking out 12 in those two starts, spanning 11 innings. With the trade deadline looming and Jake Peavy most certain to find a new home, Workman's next start could be in Boston.
News: Middlebrooks (finger) homered for a second straight game Thursday on his rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. He is 9-for-28 with three homers, four RBI and six runs scored since re-starting his rehab seven games ago.
Impact: This is the best stretch Middlebrooks has put up since his fractured finger landed him on the disabled list. While Xander Bogaerts struggles at the major league level, it appears Middlebrooks is making a case for reinstatement. The Red Sox will need to make some roster adjustments -- likely some trades -- in order to accommodate Middlebrooks.
Fri. July 25, 2014 | STATS
News: Ortiz is in the starting lineup, a day after leaving a game because of back spasms.
Impact: Ortiz was set to bat third Friday night at Tampa Bay. David Price is scheduled to start for the Rays. The last time Price faced Boston, he hit Ortiz with a fastball in late May and that led to a verbal skirmish between the stars. Ortiz exited Thursday's game at Toronto during an at-bat in the ninth inning after hurting his back on a swing.
News: Ortiz was removed from Thursday's game against the Blue Jays after suffering an apparent back injury during his ninth-inning at-bat, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Ortiz appeared to sustain the injury on a checked swing, as he immediately reached for his lower back after the swing. The Red Sox should have a more information on his condition after the game, but it's tough to see Ortiz succumb to an injury of any severity while he's dialed in at the plate. Prior to Thursday's 0-for-3 showing, Ortiz had gone 5-for-14 with four homers and seven RBI in the first three games of the series.
News: De La Rosa (3-3) gave up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits and two walks in a loss to Toronto on Thursday afternoon.
Impact: A tough game for Rubby -- his shortest outing, fewest strikeouts (one) and most runs surrendered in the majors this year. He'll get a chance to redeem himself against these same Blue Jays at home on Tuesday.
News: Buchholz lost for the first time in three starts, allowing five runs, four earned, and six hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out one Wednesday.
Impact: Buchholz stayed in the game after Munenori Kawasaki's comebacker hit him on the right temple in the first inning. "It dazed me for sure," Buchholz said. "I feel fine." He faces the Jays again next week.
News: Nava rapped two hits Wednesday.
Impact: Nava is sizzling at .409 in his last 14 games.
News: Ortiz hit a three-run bomb Wednesday.
Impact: Ortiz has 24 homers and 72 RBIs.
News: Ortiz was diagnosed with mid-back spasms following his removal from Thursday's tilt with the Blue Jays, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports.
Impact: The Red Sox will treat Ortiz as day-to-day, with a reevaluation likely to come Friday morning. There's a good chance the team will take a cautious approach with Ortiz and have him sit out Friday's series opener even if he reports improvement, making him a risky play in leagues that allow for weekend lineup changes.
News: Ortiz went 1-for-4 Wednesday against the Blue Jays, hitting his 24th home run of the season.
Impact: He took R.A. Dickey deep for a three-run shot in the first inning to give the Red Sox a quick 3-0 lead. Ortiz has been a one-man wrecking crew against the Jays in this series, going 5-for-14 with four home runs, eight RBI and four runs scored. The 38-year-old veteran is now fourth in the American League in home runs (24) and fifth in RBI (72).
News: Buchholz (5-6) gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits, walking four and striking out just one over six innings in Wednesday's loss to the Blue Jays.
Impact: After being staked to a 3-0 lead right out of the gate, Buchholz gave the runs right back in a three-run first inning that saw him allow four hits (two doubles) and a walk. There was a scary moment in that opening frame, as Munenori Kawasaki hit a chopper that bounced off the turf and struck Buchholz in the side of the head. Trainers came out to check on the right-hander, but after a few warm-up pitches, he stayed in the game. Buchholz then threw four scoreless innings before Ryan Goins' RBI triple tied the game. A throwing error by Xander Bogaerts later in the inning allowed the go-ahead run to score. He'll look for a better result when he faces the Blue Jays again next week.
News: Pedroia is not in the lineup for Thursday's series finale versus the Blue Jays.
Impact: Struggling to a miserable .083/.154/.083 slash line over six games since the All-Star break, Pedroia will receive a routine day off before heading into the weekend. Brock Holt will get the start at second base.
News: Pedroia's single Wednesday night was his first hit in five games.
Impact: Since the All-Star break, Pedroia has two hits, two walks and one RBI in 26 plate appearances. Pedroia and the team continue to maintain that the second baseman is not injured and that his recent stretch is more a result of poor timing in his swing.
News: Ross, who is dealing with a sore heel, is expected to start Friday night, the Providence Journal reports.
Impact: Ross said he's been dealing with the same heel injury since spring training, however, it did get bad enough to have him pulled for a pinch runner in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's loss to the Jays.
News: Holt isn't in the lineup Wednesday in Toronto.
Impact: For the first time in 59 games (since May 22), someone other than Holt is leading off for the Red Sox: Shane Victorino. In any case, Holt is yielding center field to Jackie Bradley, while the usual suspects man their regular positions.
Wed. July 23, 2014 | STATS
News: Holt is not in the starting lineup Wednesday for the first time since being recalled May 17, ending a streak of 59 straight games.
Impact: Holt has played an AL-high 533 innings since his streak began, appearing at all four infield positions and all three outfield spots. The only major leaguer to play every position except pitcher and catcher this season, he leads AL rookies with a .321 average and has three homers and 23 RBIs. Holt's break won't last long: manager John Farrell said the rookie will return to the lineup Thursday.
Wed. July 23, 2014 | STATS
News: Ortiz homered for the third time in two games in Tuesday's 7-3 loss at Toronto, and he also recorded his 20th double of the season.
Impact: Big Papi has driven in 17 runs over his last 15 contests, slugging .625 with runners in scoring position in that span.
News: Victorino was back in the lineup Tuesday and had three hits in a loss to Toronto. He had been given the night off Monday as part of plan to give him regular days off.
Impact: The Red Sox plan to use Victorino, who cam back from a lengthy hamstring injury over the weekend, about five times per week initially. He has a hit in each of the three games he's played since returning. His presence extends the batting order, a lineup that has struggled to produce runs this season.
News: Drew homered and knocked in two runs in Tuesday night's loss to Toronto. It was his second straight game with a homer.
Impact: Drew has started to heat up, something that began in Houston during the final series before the All-Star break and has carried forth. He's 8-for-21 with four extra-base hits, six RBI and seven runs scored in the past six games. The stretch has raised his average from .128 to .178. For those who have been frightened away by Drew's poor hitting since signing with Boston in June, he's been a better hitter in the second half of seasons throughout his career.
News: Bradley is out of the lineup Tuesday against the Blue Jays.
Impact: Bradley will yield center-field duties to Brock Holt on Tuesday, as the Sox face left-hander J.A. Happ. In 286 at-bats this season, Bradley is hitting .234 with 28 RBI and 18 doubles.
News: Ross, who pulled up lame while running to first base in the third inning Tuesday, believes he has plantar fasciitis in his right foot, WEEI's Rob Bradford reports.
Impact: He had a similar injury for the final two months of the 2007 season, and doesn't believe it will force him to miss any starts this time around. He stayed in the game Tuesday. Ross is the pseudo-backup to Christian Vasquez anyway, so he'll have a limited role.
News: Lackey allowed one run and two hits over seven innings to win 14-1 at Toronto on Monday.
Impact: Lackey has posted a 2.08 ERA in winning back-to-back starts. He owns a solid 3.66 mark on the season.
News: Nava collected three more hits and scored twice in Monday's 14-1 win at Toronto.
Impact: Nava is 10 for 21 over the last five games.
News: Napoli went 3 for 5 with a homer and three runs scored in Monday's 14-1 win at Toronto.
Impact: Napoli is now 7 for 12 over the last three games. He could be in for a huge second half.
News: Drew went 2 for 4 with a homer and four RBIs in Monday's 14-1 win at Toronto.
Impact: While Drew is 7 for his last 17, he's still hitting just .175 since joining the Red Sox on June 2.
News: Ortiz hit two towering home runs in Monday's 14-1 win at Toronto.
Impact: They were the 452nd and 453rd of his career, moving Ortiz past Boston great Carl Yastrzemski into 36th place on the all-time list. It was the third multihomer game of the season for Ortiz and the 44th of his career.
Garin Cecchini - #70 - Third Base - 6'3" - 218lbs
News: Cecchini (shoulder) returned to the lineup Saturday for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Impact: He missed several games after his involvement in a collision at home plate. Cecchini played Saturday, was given Sunday off and was back in the lineup Monday.
News: Victorino isn't in the lineup Monday in Toronto, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Following Saturday's activation from the disabled list, Victorino's absence so soon after isn't a surprise with a four-game set on tap. Fortunately, he hits the pine with some confidence, after tallying three hits, including a double, and one run across seven at-bats this weekend. He'll hand over right field to Brock Holt, while Xander Boegarts handles the hot corner.
News: Lavarnway (wrist) had his rehab assignment moved to Double-A Portland, ESPN Boston reports. He played first base for Portland on Monday, going 0-for-4 with an RBI.
Impact: Lavarnway, who's been on the disabled list since May 30 with a fractured hamate bone in his left wrist, popped up over the weekend to begin his rehab with the Gulf Coast Red Sox.
News: Bradley had a nice day at the dish Monday, going 2-for-5 with a run, two RBI and a stolen base.
Impact: Bradley has turned things around in a big way this month. After hitting .207 through June, Bradley has hit .378 thus far this month. The outfielder has scored 42 runs and stolen seven bases this season for the Red Sox.
News: Drew had perhaps his best offensive game of the season Monday, going 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI.
Impact: Drew has struggled mightily this season after getting off to a late start, hitting a paltry .151 at the All-Star break. Things have been looking up for the shortstop lately however, as Drew has seven hits in his last five games. He had 11 hits in the 26 games he'd played this season before this stretch.
News: Ortiz led the offensive charge for the Red Sox on Monday, going 2-for-5 with a pair of two-run home runs a 14-1 win over the Blue Jays.
Impact: Ortiz went just 1-for-13 in the first series of the second half, but rediscovered his swing Monday in Toronto. Boston's DH now has 22 home runs and 68 RBI on the season.
News: Lackey cruised to a win Monday night, holding the Blue Jays to one run on two hits in seven innings.
Impact: Lackey only struck out three, but didn't walk a batter in the impressive outing. The veteran hurler hit a rough patch before the All-Star break, but his first start of the second half was encouraging. He'll face the Rays in Tampa this weekend.
Mon. July 21, 2014 | STATS
News: Nava went 2 for 3 with three RBIs in Sunday's 6-0 win over Kansas City.
Impact: Nava has hit safely in four straight, going 7 for 16.
Mon. July 21, 2014 | STATS
News: Lester threw eight innings of four-hit ball to beat Kansas City 6-0 on Sunday.
Impact: Lester, who fanned eight, is 4-0 with a 0.85 ERA in his last seven starts.
News: Ortiz was 0-for-5 in Sunday's win over Kansas City and finished the three-game series going 1-for-13 with just two hard-hit balls. His average dropped to .249.
Impact: Ortiz will tell you that he lost his timing after some inactivity over the All-Star break, but an argument can be made that his slump goes back much further. Dating back to May 16, Ortiz is hitting .210 with a .317 on-base percentage and .395 slugging mark.
News: Nava was moved up to second in the batting order and went 2-for-3 with a walk and three RBI in Sunday's win over Kansas City. Since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket, Nava is hitting .337 with a .421 on-base percentage.
Impact: Nava has worked his way into a lefty-righty split with Jonny Gomes in left field. As he's heated up, the Red Sox are less desperate to find outfield help. They've scrapped plans to have Will Middlebrooks take reps out there and Mookie Betts has been returned to the minors to work on his outfield defense.
News: Holt went 2-for-5, extending his hitting streak to six games, in Sunday's win over Kansas City. He started at third base and had another couple of good defensive plays as well.
Impact: Holt's played 51 straight games and is hitting .328/.365/.460 out of the leadoff spot. With 288 plate appearances this season, Holt has started to drop off a bit.
Sun. July 20, 2014 | STATS
News: De La Rosa allowed one run over seven innings to beat Kansas City 2-1 on Saturday.
Impact: De La Rosa is now 3-2 with a 2.64 ERA over seven starts. He'll get the Blue Jays in Toronto next.
News: Victorino went 2-for-4 with a run against the Royals on Sunday.
Impact: Victorino is 3-for-7 in his first two games back from an extended absence with a hamstring injury. However, manager John Farrell said Saturday that he won't be an everyday player right away, meaning he'll likely get at least one day off per week in the short term.
News: Lester struck out eight and picked up his 10th win of the season Sunday, pitching brilliantly through eight shutout innings and allowing just four hits and two walks to the Royals.
Impact: He has now given up one earned run over his last 31 innings and five earned runs over his last 52.2 innings. His ERA sits at a sterling 2.50, thanks in part to a career-low 5.5 percent walk rate. His 25.5 percent strikeout rate is the highest he has posted since 2010, and his career-best 2.61 FIP heading into play Sunday signifies that this could go down as the best season of his career.
News: Bogaerts is out of the lineup Sunday vs. the Royals, Maureen Mullen of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: Brock Holt's emergence and ability to play multiple positions has made him a mainstay in the Boston lineup, so he'll spell Bogaerts at third base as manager John Farrell pieces together Sunday's starting nine. There's a chance Bogaerts could miss out on the occasional start or two per week while his batting line sits at a pedestrian .234/.310/.353 for the season, but Stephen Drew's similar struggles afford Bogaerts a decent amount of job security at either third base or shortstop most nights.
News: Napoli is out of the lineup Sunday vs. the Royals, Maureen Mullen of the Boston Globe reports.
Impact: With no word on any injury, it would seem Napoli's absence from Sunday's lineup is for maintenance purposes more than anything. Even if he fails to gain any at-bats Sunday, he'll have had a very productive series. He went 4-for-7 with a homer and two runs scored in the first two contests of the three-game tilt.
News: Workman did not allow a run while giving up three hits and walking two in five innings Saturday night for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Impact: It was a grind for Workman, who needed 99 pitches (59 strikes) to get through his five innings. He's now eligible to be recalled to Boston, though at the moment, there's no room in the starting rotation. Rubby De La Rosa pitched well Saturday and Jake Peavy is still on the roster.
News: Middlebrooks (finger) homered in a rehab start Saturday for Triple-A Pawtucket. He went 2-for-4 while playing nine innings at third base.
Impact: Middlebrooks, who is still a number of days away from returning to Boston, had his rehab clock restarted, so there's no rush to get him back to the majors. That may be best, as he faces a jammed roster in Boston where playing time would be shared unless the Red Sox deal Stephen Drew.
Andrew Miller - #30 - Pitcher - 6'7" - 210lbs
News: Miller pitched a perfect eighth inning Saturday to pick up his team-leading 11th hold of the season.
Impact: Other than Koji Uehara, Miller has been Boston's best reliever and is earning high-leverage innings as a set up man. If Boston eventually deals Uehara, Miller is a candidate to pick up save opportunities.
News: Betts will continue to get exposure in right field and center field with Triple-A Pawtucket, ESPN Boston reports. He was optioned to Pawtucket on Saturday to make room for the return of Shane Victorino from the disabled list.
Impact: Manager John Farrell described Betts as a "work in progress defensively" in the outfield and he'll get a chance to play everyday with the PawSox. Betts will also stay connected to his natural position of second base.
News: Drew did not play in Saturday's win over Kansas City.
Impact: With Shane Victorino returning to the lineup and playing right field, manager John Farrell moved Brock Holt from right to shortstop. There will be a lineup shuffle going on to accommodate Victorino's return, which means a less-than-everyday role for Drew.
News: Victorino, who went 1-for-3 in his return to the lineup Saturday after a long stint on the disabled list, will not be an everyday player immediately, the Providence Journal reports. Manager John Farrell said after Saturday's game that Victorino would be closely monitored and be given periodic breaks initially.
Impact: Farrell mentioned maybe playing Victorino five times a week, particularly with a road trip coming up next week that has Boston playing seven games on artificial turf in Toronto and Tampa Bay.
News: Victorino (hamstring) was activated from the disabled list in order to start Saturday's game versus the Royals, Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports.
Impact: Prior to tilts Thursday and Friday at Triple-A Pawtucket, Victorino endured a shutdown of his initial rehab assignment but still was hitless in 17 at-bats. However, the most recent pair of games seemed to include the encouraging signs that the Red Sox required: 3-for-8 at the plate with two runs scored. In his first MLB action since May 23, he'll cover right field and bat sixth in the order.
News: De La Rosa held the Royals to one run in seven innings Saturday while earning his third win of the season.
Impact: De La Rosa pitched to contact, striking out just two batters and walking four. He's doing everything he can to earn a longer look at the big league level, though Brandon Workman continues to be in the mix.
Sat. July 19, 2014 | STATS
News: The World Series champions have optioned outfielder Mookie Betts to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Impact: Betts hit .235 in 10 games with one homer and two RBIs.
News: Betts was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, MLB.com reports.
Impact: During his time with the big club, Betts played solely in the outfield, while slashing a mediocre .235/.278/.382 with one homer, two RBI, five runs, and one steal (in two attempts). His demotion is the corresponding move in order to activate Shane Victorino (hamstring) from the disabled list.
Sat. July 19, 2014 | STATS
News: Bogaerts hit a two-run homer in Friday's 5-4 win over Kansas City.
Impact: Friday's homer was Bogaerts' first in 25 games. He's hitting just .122 with six RBIs over that stretch.
News: Lavarnway (wrist) went 1-for-3 with a double while serving as the designated hitter Friday for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, WEEI.com reports.
Impact: Lavarnway is beginning a rehab assignment after suffering a fractured hamate bone in June.
News: Middlebrooks (finger, wrist) resumed his rehab stint Friday night, the Providence Journal reports. He played the entire game, going 0-for-2 with an RBI and a hit by pitch.
Impact: Middlebrooks was plunked on the arm by Esmil Rogers, which didn't sit well with the third baseman. The two have history. It was Rogers who hit Middlebrooks in 2012, ending his rookie season early with a broken wrist. In any event, this was Middlebrooks' first game in nearly a week after he sprained his left wrist while sliding. He's made 50 plate appearances in a stop-and-start rehab process over the last month and could be nearing a return to Boston.
News: The Red Sox are expected to option Betts back to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Shane Victorino (hamstring), who is slated to return Saturday, WEEI.com reports.
Impact: Victorino will be examined at Fenway Park on Saturday morning to determine if he is indeed ready to return after playing seven innings in his second of back-to-back games with Pawtucket on Friday. As for Betts, he's 8-for-34 (.235 average) with two doubles and a homer in 10 games with the big club, and it's certainly understandable that the club would prefer he play everyday in the minors rather than simply sit on the bench.
News: Betts is not in the lineup Friday, the Providence Journal's Tim Britton reports.
Impact: Brock Holt will man right field in the first game after the All-Star break. Betts is certainly an intriguing talent, but we aren't to the point were he's an everyday player, which hinders his fantasy value in mid-sized leagues.
News: Uehara logged save number 19, tossing a scoreless ninth inning of a 5-4 win over Kansas City on Friday night. He allowed one hit, and struck out one.
Impact: He has just 19 saves but that's not all his fault. The Red Sox have won just 44 games, and while he hasn't been as dominant as he was in 2013, his 1.61 ERA does indicate he has been pretty competent. The question is whether Boston will opt to deal him prior to the trading deadline since this season is likely a lost cause.
Jonny Gomes - #5 - Left Field - 6'1" - 230lbs
News: Gomes hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run to cap off a four-run sixth inning as the Red Sox rallied to down the Royals on Friday night.
Impact: Xander Bogaerts had hit a two-run shot earlier in the inning, and Gomes hit his sixth of the year, driving in his 31st and 32rd runs when the Royals lifted starter James Shields in favor of southpaw reliever Scott Downs.
News: Bogaerts was 1-for-3 with a walk and a two-run home run as the Red Sox defeated Kansas City on Friday night.
Impact: Bogaerts has gone through about a month of horrendous production so this had to be a breath of fresh air. Hitting just .236 with seven home runs and 24 RBI, the Red Sox have continually stated they will stick with him, and he has the talent to make that a wise decision once he gets everything back in sync.
News: Buchholz allowed four runs on 10 hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out three over six innings of a 5-4 win against the Royals on Friday night.
Impact: Buchholz (5-5, 5.46 ERA) was coming off a brilliant three-hit, no-walk, 12-strikeout complete game win over Houston so there was optimism that his season struggles were a thing of the past. Even though he picked up a win, this wasn't vintage Buchholz so the jury is still out on his turnaround. We'll see if the magic returns against Toronto in the Rogers Centre next time out.
News: Victorino (hamstring) appears to be on track to return Saturday, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports.
Impact: The Red Sox haven't confirmed Victorino's return, but it appears to be the likely outcome given the current signs from the club. Owners in daily formats should confirm Victorino's presence in the lineup Saturday prior to activation given the shred of uncertainty.
News: Victorino (hamstring) could be activated for Saturday's game, according to manager John Farrell, the Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson reports.
Impact: While Farrell wouldn't commit to Victorino being back with the Red Sox on Saturday, it certainly sounds like that's where the team is leaning, especially given how good Victorino looked in his last rehab game. Still, Boston has a bevy of middling options in the outfield, and Victorino might not be an everyday player going forward.
News: Middlebrooks (finger) should have an opportunity to play against left-handers when he returns to Boston, given Stephen Drew's platoon struggles, the Providence Journal reports. The thought is Xander Bogaerts can move to short with Middlebrooks playing the hot corner against southpaws.
Impact: With the organization scrapping plans for Middlebrooks to see time in the outfield and focus on third base, that means a squeeze on playing time at the major league level. Sitting Drew against lefties is one way for Middlebrooks to get at-bats. And if the Red Sox deal Drew, Middlebrooks will have an opportunity to regain a hold on the everyday job at third.
News: Victorino (hamstring) played all nine innings in a rehab game with Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, ESPN Boston reports. He went 2-for-4 with two runs scored while playing right field for the PawSox.
Impact: Victorino showed no hesitation in any aspect of the game, including a running catch in the outfield and a headfirst slide when going from first to third on a hit-and-run. The plan calls for him to play another nine innings in Pawtucket before returning to Boston, though Victorino said he's hoping to talk his way back to Boston early.
Thu. July 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Manager John Farrell said Middlebrooks (finger), who is expected to resume his rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday, will focus solely on playing third base, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports.
Impact: The Red Sox were tinkering with the idea of using Middlebrooks in left field upon his return to the big club, but positive contributions at the plate from Brock Holt and Mookie Betts in the corner outfield have prompted the Red Sox to table that position change for the time being. Instead, Middlebrooks will attempt to prove himself healthy and comfortable at his natural third base spot, though a playing time crunch looms once he's activated. The Red Sox want to see him play a full nine innings at third base in back-to-back games at Pawtucket before an activation will be considered.
Thu. July 17, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Victorino (hamstring) is tentatively scheduled to play for Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, the Boston Globe reports. Earlier this week, manager John Farrell suggested Victorino could be activated this weekend.
Impact: Victorino has had a few starts and stops while rehabbing his right hamstring strain. He's played in seven minor league games since June 14, going hitless in 17 at-bats with two walks.
Wed. July 16, 2014 | RotoWire
News: Middlebrooks (finger) has been recalled from his latest rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket because of a left wrist strain, according to sources, freelance reporter Maureen Mullen reports. This marks the second time that Middlebrooks has been forced to stop his rehab.
Impact: Middlebrooks, who's rehabbing a fractured finger, did not play in games over the weekend because he sprained his left wrist sliding headfirst. He'll be returned to Pawtucket when he's ready.
Christian Vazquez - #55 - Catcher - 5'9" - 195lbs
News: Vazquez had two hits and two RBIs Sunday.
Impact: Vazquez figures to see more action after the break with the Red Sox floundering out of contention.
News: Buchholz allowed three hits and struck out a career-high 12 in his fifth career shutout in Boston's 11-0 win over Houston on Sunday.
Impact: Buchholz went to high school 90 minutes from Houston in Lumberton, Texas. He didn't walk a batter in his first shutout since June 2, 2013, against the Yankees. "I definitely had a lot of people out here to watch the game, so that makes it even better," Buchholz said. "Obviously, a win to end the first half is a good thing, too."
News: Holt goes into the All-Star break on a sizzling note.
Impact: Holt had a career-best five hits, including a leadoff homer. He played his college ball at Rice. He smiled when told that a television shot of his mother showed her tearing up after his homer. "You don't expect to have weekends like this, so for all the family and friends to be in to see it was pretty special," Holt said. "It doesn't surprise me that (mom) was crying. She's probably about to cry right now when I say goodbye."
Sun. July 13, 2014 | STATS
News: Holt had three hits in a 3-2 loss to Houston on Saturday.
Impact: Holt, now batting .315, is 5 for 9 in this series after batting .194 (6 for 31) in his previous seven games.
Sat. July 12, 2014 | STATS
News: Ortiz drove in three runs in Friday's 8-3 win at Houston.
Impact: Ortiz now has 15 RBIs in his last 14 games.
Fri. July 11, 2014 | STATS
News: Lester struck out 12 in seven innings Thursday but did not get a decision against the Chicago White Sox.
Impact: Lester (9-7, 2.65 ERA) allowed one run and seven hits, but fellow All-Star Koji Uehara gave up a tying homer in the ninth to pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie. Lester has won three consecutive decisions and five of his last six. He has a 1.01 ERA in his last six starts.