Boston Red Sox: Ryan Kalish

Quick hits: Buchholz throws light session

August, 13, 2013
TORONTO -- Clay Buchholz's return from the disabled list isn't imminent, but the right-hander is continuing to take steps in his recovery from the neck and shoulder injuries that have interrupted his season.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Buchholz threw a "lighter" side session on Tuesday and is scheduled to ramp things up on Wednesday.

"With yesterday being the off-day, he couldn't get on the field with the game going on here [in Toronto], so tomorrow a more aggressive bullpen is planned that would hopefully include some up-and-down inside of that," Farrell said. "Today was more of just the normal throwing program that's outlined."

Buchholz had a sterling 1.71 ERA through his first 12 starts of the 2013 season, though he was bothered by soreness in his neck and collarbone area over the last couple of those starts. What seemed like a minor injury at the time has become a major issue that has kept Buchholz sidelined since June 8. Given how many setbacks Buchholz has already had, Farrell wanted to make sure his young ace was completely fit before taking the next step of throwing a simulated game.

"Everything continues to point to him building that foundation," Farrell said. "We don't have a sim game planned yet, but I think tomorrow will be that real first aggressive test in a bullpen setting."

* Matt Thornton, another injured Red Sox hurler, is also taking small steps in his own recovery process. Thornton went on the DL with a right oblique strain last week, and Farrell said the veteran southpaw threw both long-toss sessions and off the flat ground on Tuesday with no further strain on the oblique.

"He's advancing pretty good, given our first initial thought when he walked off the mound," Farrell said, though he noted that the nature of the injury would require Thornton to make some minor league rehab outings before returning to the Boston bullpen.

* David Ross is continuing a minor league assignment of his own, as Farrell said the plan is for Ross to catch five or six innings with Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday night. Ross suffered a concussion in early May and hasn't played for Boston since June 14. The catcher has already played three games for Double-A Portland and now is taking the next step up the organizational ladder.

Farrell said Ross will "hopefully get three at-bats [tonight], likely DH tomorrow, and then as he gets back behind the plate we'll increase the number of innings caught to the point of catching on back-to-back days."

* Ryan Kalish underwent cervical fusion surgery on Tuesday, a process that (if all goes well) will finally put an end to the outfielder's injury problems and will get him ready for spring training.

This is the second neck surgery (and fourth surgical procedure overall) that Kalish has undergone within the last two years. He hasn't played at all this season and was limited to 36 major league games (and 33 minor league games) in 2012 and only 24 minor league games in 2011.

Farrell described Kalish's current surgery as "probably the most invasive and drastic" of the three options that were originally presented to the 25-year-old following his initial neck exam.

"It's one of some severity, and hopefully through the rehab he gets back to [being] the player he was when he first came up," Farrell said. "He was an exciting young player, a guy that was good on both sides of the ball and handled himself as a real pro. We're hopeful he gets back to that level."

Rehabbing Kalish inspired by 'Westy'

March, 6, 2013
Boston Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish has experienced both great success and disappointment in his professional career. Injuries and surgeries in the past two years have detoured him, but he realizes his goal to become a full-time big-leaguer remains a possibility and he has good friend Ryan Westmoreland to thank for that.

On Wednesday morning in Fort Myers, Fla., the two friends sat in the trainer’s room at the Red Sox spring training facility. In only a few hours, Westmoreland would announce his retirement from pro baseball, and he never mentioned anything to Kalish about it.

“That’s the kind of guy he is,” Kalish said in a phone interview with “That’s the thing with Westy, man, it’s one of those things where you can’t even tell when something’s gone bad for him. We were talking in the training room and he was asking me how I was doing and he didn’t even mention [retirement]. It’s truly unbelievable the kind of guy he is. That’s Westy right there.”

Westmoreland, 22, a former top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was forced to retire after two life-threatening brain surgeries ravaged his body and stole his ability to play baseball at the highest level.

When Kalish returned home from the ballpark Wednesday afternoon, he read Westmoreland’s statement online.

“It’s sad,” Kalish said. “It gets you all choked up inside.”

Prior to his first surgery on March 16, 2010, Westmoreland was a five-tool player with a direct path to the big leagues. He was one of many skilled players in the Red Sox development system, including Kalish, Josh Reddick (now with the Oakland Athletics) and Will Middlebrooks.

"He was born to be a big-leaguer,” Kalish said. “He had all that skill, and honestly, I think he was better than everybody else, but you never would have known. It’s a real tragic event, but I really think he will have an opportunity to do something really special with the rest of his life. He’s already provided me with inspiration.”

There have been plenty of days since his two shoulder surgeries and neck surgery, along with the grueling rehabilitation that followed, when Kalish felt about giving up on his dream of playing full time in the big leagues. But all he had to do was think of his friend Ryan.

“I know he wouldn’t quit if he were me,” Kalish said. “So I’m not going to. He’s provided inspiration already and he probably doesn’t know it.”

Kalish said he plans to share his gratitude soon with his good friend.

Westmoreland wants to attend college and pursue his degree. He also hopes to return to baseball in some capacity.

"He can do anything. His personality is top of the charts,” Kalish said. “He was born to be a baseball player, but there is something higher for him out there and we’re going to find out what it is. I’m excited to see what he does because he’ll put his energy into something else now and he’ll be really good at that.”

Kalish 'really down' after latest surgery

February, 13, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Standing by his locker with his right arm in a sling, Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish is still in disbelief that his career suffered another setback this winter.

Kalish had surgery in January to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder and he’s been told his rehab will take 4-to-6 months. It was his third surgery in just over a year. He already had a similar surgery on his right shoulder in addition to a neck operation in the fall of 2011.

“Honestly, I’ve been really down,” Kalish said Wednesday. “It’s been really tough for me. I really just want to play again. Obviously, I want to play in the big leagues, but at this point I’m just tired of being hurt.”

He began last season on the disabled list while he rehabbed from the previous surgeries, but he eventually returned and split time between Triple-A Pawtucket and Boston. He was shut down last September when the pain in his left shoulder became too much. He eventually had an MRI and the tear was discovered.

The first course of action was rest and strengthening during the offseason in hopes of avoiding surgery. He was feeling better and thought he would be able to make it through the winter without going under the knife, but once he started to swing a bat, the pain came back and he had surgery in January.

“Eventually, after a couple of shutdowns, more strengthening and not swinging, as soon as I picked up the swinging, it hurt again,” he said. “Eventually, I just got tired of it and I had to make a call and say, ‘Listen, I just can’t do this anymore.’ The pain is one thing, but the other is my head. It’s been a crazy ride ever since 2010. I just need to get healthy.”

Physically, he’s feeling better.

“It’s better now with the surgery,” he said. “Obviously, mentally it’s a little different. I’m happy I got it fixed because it just wasn’t working. It was too much pain, too hard to play with. It wouldn’t have been good for me or the team, so it was definitely time to do it.”

Once he’s healthy, he’s hoping to resume his once-promising career path to the majors.

“Once you have the two shoulders and the neck, I think it’s time to be right -- I hope,” Kalish said.

Kalish has shoulder surgery

January, 30, 2013
The Red Sox reported that outfielder Ryan Kalish underwent successful surgery on his right (non-throwing) shoulder on Wednesday.

Th arthroscopy and posterior labrum repair was done by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles.

Kalish, who made his big league debut in 2010 but missed all of the 2011 season and most of 2012 with neck and shoulder injuries, will miss all of spring training.

Kalish missed 10 games with soreness in his right shoulder in September. He previously had two surgeries in 2011, the first to repair a bulging disc in his neck, the second to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Kalish surgery planned; Sox sign Sweeney

January, 25, 2013
Ryan Kalish's determination to return to the big leagues has sustained another major setback.

Kalish, who made an auspicious big league debut in 2010 but missed all of the 2011 season and most of 2012 with neck and shoulder injuries, will require surgery on his right (non-throwing) shoulder and will miss spring training. The operation is scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum, according to a major league source.

Kalish missed 10 games with soreness in his right shoulder in September. He previously had two surgeries in 2011, the first to repair a bulging disc in his neck, the second to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Neither Kalish nor Red Sox GM Ben Cherington immediately responded to requests for comment.

The Red Sox moved quickly to add to their outfield depth, signing Ryan Sweeney, who was nontendered by the club after last season.

Sweeney tweeted, "So excited to be back with Boston! Thanks to the Red Sox for the opportunity to play there again."

To read Edes' full story and what it means for the Sox, CLICK HERE.

Decision 2013: Corner outfield spots

October, 29, 2012
On each weekday until baseball’s GM meetings Nov. 7, we will spotlight one key decision the Red Sox need to make this offseason that will help determine the success or failure of the 2013 team.

Today’s topic: Who will play LF and RF for the Red Sox in 2013?

The Red Sox need to shore up the left field position for next season and beyond. It’s a position GM Ben Cherington and new manager John Farrell will focus on this offseason. But who ends up in left field could have a lot to do with who plays right field.

Defining the decision: LF was a constant concern for the Red Sox in 2012.

With Carl Crawford limited to 31 games due to injuries and ultimately traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in August, Boston was forced to mix and match for the majority of the season.

[+] EnlargeCody Ross
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesCody Ross hit 22 homers in his first season with the Red Sox.
A total of nine players -- Crawford, Cody Ross, Pedro Ciriaco, Ryan Kalish, Darnell McDonald, Daniel Nava, Scott Podsednik, Nate Spears and Lars Anderson -- roamed the landscape in left field. Nava played the most with 76 games and hit .243 with six homers and 33 RBIs. A recurring wrist injury limited his ability to produce. Combined, Sox left fielders hit .267 with 14 homers and 72 RBIs on the season.

The Red Sox won’t solely focus on left field. In fact, the club has a few options available in hopes of stabilizing all three outfield positions. The key could be to find interchangeable parts with players that can play more than one outfield position.

Now that the free-agency period has opened with the conclusion of the World Series, the Red Sox will increase their talks with Ross. If the sides are able to come to an agreement and Ross re-signs with Boston, Cherington’s challenge to stabilize left field becomes more interesting.

If Kalish can remain healthy and produce the way he did during his rookie season in 2010, his ability to play both corner outfield positions will help. If the Red Sox want Kalish to play right, Ross could easily play left field. The problem is, Kalish can't stay healthy. After missing the majority of 2011 with neck and shoulder injuries, he spent the first half of 2012 recovering from surgeries on both. He was shut down in the final weeks of this season in order to help jumpstart his offseason rest period because it was such a long and arduous year of rehab for him.

Boston’s new bench coach, Torey Lovullo, managed Kalish at Triple-A Pawtucket in 2010 and witnessed first-hand what the outfielder can achieve when healthy.

“When Ryan Kalish is healthy, he’s as capable as any young player that the Red Sox have,” Lovullo said. “We got a little snapshot of that in 2010 when he had a great run. Unfortunately, these injuries have kind of sidetracked him.”

When center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury was limited to 18 games in 2010 due to three separate rib injuries, Kalish emerged as a potential long-term option in the outfield. He hit .252 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 53 games as a 22-year-old that season.

Option A: Stay with current personnel

If Ross re-signs, the Red Sox don’t trade Ellsbury and Kalish is healthy, that threesome could be the starting outfield for Boston from left to right. Nava, a switch-hitter, proved he could be reliable. Ryan Sweeney, who played only 63 games due to injury in his first season in Boston, is arbitration eligible and also could be in the mix.

Option B: Go outside

[+] EnlargeNick Swisher
Anthony Gruppuso/US PresswireNick Swisher hit 24 homers in 2012 for the Yankees.
Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher is a free agent and his ability to play right field and first base could be a major asset to the Red Sox. Despite his tenure with the Yankees, Red Sox fans would certainly be drawn to a player like Swisher for his personality. He’ll be looking for another big payday, but it’s possible the 31-year-old will have to settle for a mid-level deal instead.

Another interesting addition could be veteran All-Star Torii Hunter. He’s close friends with David Ortiz and would fit well in the Red Sox clubhouse. A center fielder by trade, Hunter could play right and allow Ross or Kalish to play left.

Adding either Swisher or Hunter could allow the Sox to move Ross to left field.

Among the other intriguing free-agent options are Michael Bourne, B.J. Upton, Melky Cabrera, Ryan Ludwick and Shane Victorino.

Long shot: Josh Hamilton

The Red Sox went out of their way to shed more than $200 million in salaries after trading Crawford, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pitcher Josh Beckett and infielder Nick Punto to the Dodgers last August. Even though Hamilton is the most intriguing free agent this offseason, Cherington and the Red Sox would be taking a risk given the club’s recent history with high-priced free agents.
Only Delmon Young swung at a higher percentage of pitches this past season. No one missed on a higher percentage of his swings or chased a higher percentage of pitches outside the zone.


Besides Cody Ross, which player would you most like to see in the Red Sox outfield next season


Discuss (Total votes: 7,062)

Hamilton is a hugely productive hitter right now, but it's pretty easy to envision a time when age catches up to him. Few power hitters have survived into old age without plate discipline. Notable exceptions include Andre Dawson and Joe Carter.

For a 31-year-old about to enjoy a huge payday, that's a troubling thought.

Hamilton would infuse the Red Sox with star power, but a risky signing seems counterproductive for a team seeking fiscal responsibility.

Your turn: What's the best option for the Red Sox?

We’ve outlined the possibilities, now tell us what you would do if you were in Ben’s shoes. Vote in the poll above and leave your more detailed thoughts in the comments section.

Information from ESPN Stats & Information's Jeremy Lundblad was used in this report.

Sox to shut down Kalish for rest of season

September, 23, 2012
BOSTON -- It appears that the Boston Red Sox have decided to shut down outfielder Ryan Kalish for the remainder of the season due to a sore shoulder and neck.

As a result of his lack of availability, the Red Sox recalled outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin from Pawtucket on Sunday.

Kalish began the season on the disabled list after undergoing both neck and shoulder surgery last offseason. His rehab process was slow and arduous and he was finally activated and started playing for Triple-A Pawtucket in late May. He’s been recalled to Boston three times this season.

Kalish has not played since Sept. 16.

“Yeah, I would think, unless an emergency arises,” said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine about shutting down Kalish. “I can’t see him really playing. He hasn’t swung now in a long time. He might pinch-run. He’s not even throwing very much.”

In a total of 20 games, he’s posted a .229 average with zero home runs and five RBI.

Kalish originally suffered a partially torn labrum in his shoulder and a neck injury when he made a diving catch for the PawSox on April 21, 2011.

Now, with an extended rest, the Red Sox are hoping he’ll be ready to compete for a job at spring training.

“I think he’s going to be fine for spring training,” Valentine said. “I think he’s going to get on a program during the winter that’s going to put his body and his mind in the exact place it needs to be, to be the kind of player we need for next year.”
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox have activated outfielder Ryan Sweeney from the disabled list and he'll be starting in center Saturday night against the New York Yankees.

The clubhouse attendants were packing Ryan Kalish's bags after the Sox lost the Saturday matinee game, and the Sox announced before Saturday's night game that he was indeed headed back to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Sweeney was placed on the 15-day DL on June 17 with inflammation in his left big toe. He played in two rehab games for Double-A Portland and went 1-for-7. Kalish was called up from Pawtucket on June 17 and hit .217 with five RBIs in 15 games with the Red Sox.

Overall, Sweeney is hitting .292 with 13 RBIs in 53 games for the Red Sox this season, his first in Boston.

Ross gives Kalish pick-me-up

June, 19, 2012
BOSTON -- Tuesday night represented Ryan Kalish’s first game at Fenway Park since Oct. 3, 2010. It was also Cody Ross’s first game with the Red Sox after a month spent recovering from a foot injury.

Those firsts are not the only reasons the two will remember Tuesday's game for some time to come.

Kalish had an adventurous night in center field, to say the least. He misplayed one ball that bounced at the base of the Green Monster, completely dropped another and nearly misplayed a third. The 24-year-old also had a nice sliding grab on a sinking liner for the first out of the game and a fine running catch in the triangle in center to end the top of the eighth inning and help preserve a 7-5 lead over the Miami Marlins.

That would be the final score, which allowed Kalish to look back on the night with an upbeat attitude.

[+] EnlargeRyan Kalish
Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesRyan Kalish was able to laugh off his adventures in center after making a nice catch in the eighth.
“Obviously I can smile about it now, but at the time I wasn’t,” he said of the drop in the top of the seventh. “I just dropped it. There is no excuse for that. It won’t happen again.”

The first of Kalish’s misplays came in the fifth. With two on and two out, Marlins designated hitter Logan Morrison ripped a ball toward the center-field side of the Monster. Kalish made an early decision to play the bounce instead of racing all the way to the wall and attempting to make the catch. That left him watching as the ball hit near the base of the wall, where he might have been standing.

Two runs scored to tie the game at 5.

The Sox had a 7-5 lead entering the seventh when Miami shortstop Jose Reyes smacked a shot in almost the exact same spot. This time, Kalish drifted under the ball and sized up what appeared to be a semi-routine catch. But the ball bounced off the center fielder’s glove and rolled around long enough for the speedy Reyes to scamper into third.

It was a three-base error that gave the Marlins a great opportunity to halve their deficit.

But the Boston bullpen has become accustomed to escaping such situations. Matt Albers, who had relieved Clay Buchholz to start the inning, teamed with lefty Andrew Miller to keep Reyes at third and the Marlins had only one other threat. That came in the eighth when Kalish hauled in Gaby Sanchez’s 400-foot drive with a man on second.

One reason for Kalish’s ability to keep his head in the game was Ross, who not only homered in his return to the lineup but acted as Kalish’s support system. The two shared a meaningful talk during a break in the game.

“He’s such a good outfielder,” Ross said. “This place can get the best of you. I’ve had my troubles out there as well and I just told him that. I said, ‘Listen, man, we’ve all done it. We’ve all dropped fly balls. I dropped one this year already. I’ve misplayed a few balls. It happens. Shake it off. You’re a great outfielder and we’re going to get out of this right here.’

“The bullpen came in and did a great job of not letting them get that run in right there.”

Kalish said he told Ross that the drop was the “most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done.” Speaking like a true veteran who’s experienced the highs and lows of the game, Ross was quick to put it into perspective.

“He said, ‘If that’s the most embarrassing thing you have ever done then you’re going to be all right,'” Kalish said.

Several Red Sox players answered questions before the game about the reported poor atmosphere of their clubhouse. The affable Ross was one of the more vocal defenders, saying the clubhouse is "one of the better ones I have ever been in." Hours later, Ross' ability to calm the talented young center fielder, with whom he had never played before, was a small but vital show of togetherness.
PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Ryan Kalish knows he may never be the same player who made an immediate impact for the Boston Red Sox during the 2010 season, but now that he’s a step closer to returning to the big leagues, the 24-year-old outfielder believes he could be even better.

It’s been a long and arduous rehab process for Kalish after undergoing both shoulder and neck surgery last September. When he arrived at spring training in February, he slowly began baseball activities and when camp broke, he remained in Fort Myers, Fla.

Finally, on May 26, he was activated from the disabled list and played three games at Single-A Salem where he went 4-for-12 with one home run and one RBI. He was transferred to Double-A Portland on May 31 and played three games for the Sea Dogs, going 2-for-9.

[+] EnlargeRyan Kalish
Diamond Images/Getty ImagesAfter starting his rehab assignment May 26 in Single-A Salem, Ryan Kalish debuted at Pawtucket on Tuesday and hit a home run.
Kalish made his debut at Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday and went 2-for-2 with a home run, three RBIs, three walks, three runs scored and a stolen base.

“It’s just awesome to be here with my friends and playing the game again at a good level,” Kalish said. “I’m trying to get comfortable and get it back. Well, I can’t say ‘get it back’ because what I had is gone. Now it’s a new time and I’m here and need to have fun, really. I’m just trying to keep it real simple.”

The Red Sox selected Kalish in the ninth round of the 2006 draft and he quickly climbed the organizational ladder, making his major league debut with Boston in 2010.

He hit .252 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 53 games for the Red Sox that season and proved he could produce at that level. He was on the fast track to becoming an everyday player in the big leagues.

Then came the disappointing 2011 season.

Kalish was limited to 24 games due to injuries that eventually required season-ending surgeries in September. He hopes all that adversity is behind him and there are only good things to come.

“Where I was as a player, if you focus on trying to become the same guy, you could lose what you could be. Shoot, you never know,” he said. “I was thinking because I had such a long time to think that it got to a point I was always thinking about whether I would be the same player.

“Now I’m realizing I’m not the same person I was in 2010. I’m always wondering if I could be up to the same par, but really, if I keep an open mind and play the game hard, there’s potential I could be better. But I think if you’re striving toward that goal, it could almost get in the way of where you want to be. I’m really not thinking about anything I’ve done in the past. I’m just trying to get comfortable here and play. That’s it.”

Kalish described his rehab process to return to this level as long.

“The first six years of my career felt like a breeze and the last year felt like my whole life, like eternity,” he said. “It was a tough process because there were no certain injuries and we were always searching for what was going on. I was going all over the country, talking with different doctors and getting different opinions. When it’s clear-cut it’s easier to deal with, but it was just stressful. Going that entire year, thinking I wouldn’t need surgery and then all of a sudden I needed two surgeries.

“The first few days I threw a ball after my surgery it was so painful, but that’s part of the process. It’s just so crazy to look back and think about all the people who have helped me and I’m grateful for that because there was a lot of work to be done, not just on my body, but on my mind.”

Physically he’s in a good place. Emotionally he’s content. Mentally he’s prepared for his next opportunity.

“Obviously it’s right here now. I’m in Triple-A, obviously you can go down, but I hope not. There’s only one more level to go and that’s to the big leagues," he said. "I feel like if you start to reach out for that goal and try to grab it and start to think about, ‘Oh, if I do good tonight I’ll get called up tomorrow’ and that turns into a mental block. I’m here and I’m going to work on my game, get quality at-bats and that’s really it.”

Kalish may describe himself as a different player now than he was a few years ago, but his goal is still the same. The hard-nosed, relentless style of play that helped him reach the big leagues in 2010 won’t change either, despite his injuries.

“Now I feel like, especially right now because I’m still dealing with some aches here or there and that’s part of baseball, but I’m only seven months out of a surgery that for some guys it could take up to two years to feel good, so I know right now it’s probably best to pick and choose my spots a little better," Kalish said. "Obviously, if there’s a wood wall or a metal wall, I don’t know if I’ll jump into it, but here there are pads so if I get a ball maybe I’ll go for it.

"You just need to be smart and you’re not invincible. Sometimes I felt like that a couple of years ago when I could dive on a warning track and not get hurt, but obviously it caught up with me.”

Sox cut Silva; Beckett, Cook look good

March, 17, 2012

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Takeaways from the Fort, where the green-clad Sox beat the Orioles, 7-4, in a split squad here while tying another batch of O's, 3-3, in 10 innings in Sarasota:

The Red Sox released pitcher Carlos Silva, who was coming off shoulder surgery and was shut down with shoulder inflammation this spring, taking him out of the competition for a starting spot here. GM Ben Cherington said the team elected to give Silva a chance to catch on with another club.

[+] EnlargeJosh Beckett, Wilson Betemit
AP Photo/Charles KrupaJosh Beckett delivered five solid innings Saturday against the Orioles at Fenway South.
Cody Ross had a double and a home run, his first since hitting two in the college games, and Lars Anderson had a double and two-run single for the Sox in the Fort. Ross is hitting .450 this spring, Anderson .429.

Aaron Cook made his second spring appearance, giving up a hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings against the Orioles in Sarasota.

"It's what I was looking for," Cook said upon his return to the Fort. "Groundball outs, and short innings. Four fly ball outs, one strikeout, rest were ground balls."

Cook has been hurt each of the last two seasons -- a broken leg in 2010, and a broken finger and an inflamed shoulder last season -- and was placed on a slower progression than the other pitchers in camp this spring. That's not a concern, he said.

"I don't worry about it," he said. "I threw three and a third today, they keep putting up innings and I'll just go out there and keep pitching. There are no issues."

Cook has a May 1 opt-out of his contract. "I want to start,'' said Cook, who pitched 10 seasons for the Rockies, winning a career-high 16 games in 2008, before signing a minor-league deal with the Red Sox. But if asked to go to the pen would he do so? "Definitely,'' he said.

Josh Beckett had an easy time of it Saturday, pitching against an Orioles team that had just one regular position player, Chris Davis (possibly two if you project Wilson Betemit as the team's DH). Beckett worked five innings in which he threw 59 pitches, an impressive 40 for strikes. Beckett gave up a run on two hits and a walk, striking out two. The game was completed in a snappy 2 hours 37 minutes, which should give you a sense of the pace at which he worked, and the results he achieved.

(Read full post)

Kalish to have season-ending surgery

August, 31, 2011
BOSTON -- The Red Sox have confirmed that prospect Ryan Kalish will have season-ending surgery for a bulging disk in his neck.

Kalish missed the majority of the season at Triple-A Pawtucket after he suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder while making a spectacular catch in center field for the PawSox on April 21. He was reinstated on Aug. 8 and played only a few games before he landed back on the DL with right trapezius inflammation.

“He’ll be fine. What everybody cares about is the kid lost a year, and a really big year of development,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He’ll come back and be fine. It cost him a year and now it’s going to cut into his winter. He’s a tough enough kid and he’ll do whatever it takes. He has a ton of confidence to do whatever it takes to come back.”

Francona spoke with Kalish on Tuesday.

“I actually think he’s OK,” said Francona. “Now that it’s said and done and he knows what’s going to happen, he’s ready to attack it, like he does everything. He sounded pretty good.”

Kalish, 23, made his big-league debut with the Red Sox in 2010 and made significant contributions. He hit .252 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 53 games for Boston. first reported the story.

Miscues hurt Red Sox in loss Saturday

September, 19, 2010
BOSTON -- It seems as though the Boston Red Sox have been on the receiving end of some unfortunate plays this season.

The trend continued Saturday night.

With the Red Sox trailing the Toronto Blue Jays by a run in the bottom of the ninth inning, rookie outfielder Ryan Kalish provided a one-out single to start a possible rally. Then teammate Victor Martinez, Boston’s No. 3 hitter in the order, stepped into the box against Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg.

During Martinez’s at-bat, Gregg threw a pitch in the dirt and Kalish was caught leaning toward second when Toronto catcher Jose Molina snared the ball and made a quick throw to first to get the runner attempting to get back.
[+] EnlargeJarrod Saltalamacchia
AP Photo/Michael DwyerMistakes by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and others cost the Red Sox on Saturday.

That pickoff proved crucial for the Red Sox as Martinez followed with a triple off the left-center field wall. Adrian Beltre grounded out to leave game-tying run 90 feet away as the Blue Jays finished with a 4-3 victory.

“The ball is in the dirt and Molina makes a great play,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He didn’t reach out to block it, he went out to stab it. Kalish got a good secondary lead, and if it glances off [Molina’s] glove, he’s at second. Molina catches it and a good snap throw gets him. The result was unfortunate, but I thought Kalish actually did a pretty good job.”

Earlier in the game, Red Sox starter Josh Beckett and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia were involved in another unfortunate play.

With Blue Jays’ John McDonald on second base, Molina provided a sacrifice bunt to move the runner over. The ball tickled the first-base line and remained fair with Beckett and Saltalamacchia waiting to see what it did.

Finally, Saltalamacchia picked it up and threw the runner out. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, McDonald never stopped running because he noticed no one was covering the plate and he scored easily, giving the Blue Jays their fourth run, which proved to be the eventual game-winner.

Beckett should have been covering the plate.

“That would have been a pretty heads-up play on his part,” Francona said of Beckett. “If he had the wherewithal to get there, that would have been great, but I don’t know how many times you’re going to see a pitcher [cover home] on that.”

“It’s not a situation that comes up very often,” admitted Beckett, who took full responsibility for the run scoring. “Nobody but me has to have the plate. That has to be my play. Salty is running after the ball and I’ve got to figure out what to do there. I sit there with my thumb in my [butt] and follow Salty. We don’t need two people fielding the ball. I need to figure out what I’m supposed to do there.”

“The ball is going foul and it gets in the lines with a little bit of a divot, so it’s a tough play,” added Beckett. “Salty didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. I certainly thought the ball was going to go foul, and I think Salty thought the same thing, but it stayed fair.”

Saltalamacchia could only shake his head after the game.

“It’s was of those plays that we didn’t know it was going to be that close of a play on the line,” Saltalamacchia said. “I saw it starting to go foul, so I was just starting to pick it up and then it started coming back fair. I just picked it up and threw it, but nobody was at home.”

"Kid, that is ridiculous"

August, 29, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- To the surprise of absolutely no one who saw it, Ryan Kalish’s catch Saturday night was the No. 1 “play of the day” on ESPN's SportsCenter.

The Red Sox rookie center fielder ran a fly pattern before going airborne to catch B.J. Upton’s liner into the right-center field gap in the second inning, rolling into a somersault and coming up on his feet for good measure. No catch, and the Rays would have scored at least one run, since there was a runner on first at the time.

“Unbelievable,’’ Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew said of the play. “I thought the ball was by him. I thought it was a run for them. And it was an unbelievable landing. It was incredible to be running that fast and flip and pop up. He was going so fast he almost fell back over.

“I’m just excited for the kid. He’s fired up to be part of the game. He hustles, he plays every pitch hard, and when he makes a catch like that you can see how excited he was. I got a big smile. He flips over, comes up, he’s excited, he almost falls down.

“I said, ‘Kid, that is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.'’’

Notes: Scutaro comes through

August, 24, 2010
BOSTON -- The plan this season was to bat Marco Scutaro at the bottom of the Red Sox order.

But with Jacoby Ellsbury out of action most of the season, Scutaro was thrust into the leadoff role. And despite battling injuries all year, notably a bad right (throwing) shoulder, Scutaro has been very valuable at the top of the order.

Marco Scutaro
AP Photo/Charles KrupaMarco Scutaro, who matched his career high with four RBIs on Monday, is a .321 career hitter with the bases loaded.
In Monday night's 6-3 win over the Mariners, he had one of his most productive games. Scutaro, who signed a two-year contract as a free agent last offseason, came through with a two-out, two-run single through the right side in the fifth to erase a 1-0 deficit and sparking the Sox to a three-run flurry. In the seventh, Scutaro drilled a tie-breaking single to center over the drawn-in Seattle infield, putting Boston on top 5-3.

The four RBIs matched Scutaro's career high, something he has done four times, including once this season, on July 28 in Anaheim.

His first two-run single came with the bases filled, improving his recent bases-loaded success surge to 5-for-5 with a sacrifice fly and 12 RBIs. For his career Scutaro is batting .321 (25-for-78) with the sacks filled with two homers and 66 RBIs.

“You just want to make sure you get a good pitch, try to hit the ball in the air. It doesn’t always happen, but you try,” Scutaro said with a shrug when pressed about the reason for his good fortunes with the bases loaded.

His overall contributions this season have not gone unnoticed.

“He has given us stability all year,” said manager Terry Francona. “He’s played through a lot. We know that. I’ve appreciated him from the beginning. We were real excited when we got him and we still are. He pretty much gives you the same player every game and I mean that in a good way.”

“With Ells going down, he has really stepped up, giving us a good presence at leadoff,” winning pitcher John Lackey said of Scutaro. “He was always a tough out. He never gives away an at-bat.”

Scutaro says his game plan has never changed.

“Since Day 1, I just try to get on base and score runs, no matter where I hit,” said Scutaro, who is batting a solid .276 with seven homers and 44 RBIs.

Okajima struggles

Hideki Okajima's rehab outing didn't go well. He recorded only one out and was tagged for four runs on four hits, including a two-run homer for Triple-A Pawtucket in Buffalo. He is scheduled to be re-evaluated in Boston on Tuesday ... The Red Sox had 10 hits -- all singles. It was Boston’s first game with at least 10 hits and none for extra bases since a 12-inning, 6-3 victory in Seattle on July 23, 2008. The Sox had 11 hits in that game ... Lackey was the first Red Sox pitcher to notch at least 10 strikeouts since Jon Lester, who fanned 13 Mariners in Seattle on July 24 ... Rookie Ryan Kalish failed to come through with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, popping the first pitch weakly to shortstop. But he also dropped down an important sacrifice bunt in the seventh, setting up a go-ahead three-run rally, and he recorded an assist from center field, gunning down Casey Kotchman trying to stretch a hit into a double in the second inning ... Mike Lowell's single in the eighth inning was his 1,600th career hit.