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Red Sox manager John Farrell on Eduardo Rodriguez setback: ‘Game action is going to be held off for right now’

Eduardo Rodriguez won't be making his next rehab start. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Eduardo Rodriguez won’t be making his next rehab start. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY — Red Sox manager John Farrell shed more light on the condition of left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who will miss his next rehab start because of soreness in his injured right knee.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday before the Red Sox faced the Royals, Farrell followed up on comments he had made earlier in the day to WEEI’s Dale & Holley.

“He has felt, on occasion, some soreness in the right knee,” Farrell said. “He was obviously going through his starts, but there’s a reason why — and this now becomes the reason why — some restriction on his part to get that final five percent effort and related velocity that’s still not there yet. He went through a full workup today with Dr. [Peter] Asnis. We’re targeting Friday for another bullpen so we can still keep his arm in shape to a certain extent, but the game action is going to be held off for right now.”

Rodriguez injured his knee during spring training while shagging fly balls and has made three rehab starts since. His velocity has been down, however, and he reported discomfort during fielding drills, as well as in games.

“More with the PFP drills, the change of direction,” Farrell said. “All the reports in the last two starts were that he felt more natural with his delivery and was getting out over the front side with better extension, but, subconsciously, there’s still some restriction on his part, and we’re not going to risk anything with the potential of trying to do more with your arm to put him position for potential injury in that way. We felt like the best case was to recall him from the rehab, and he’s not going to start Thursday.”

Farrell said the team isn’t considering surgery at this point, and when asked if he expected Rodriguez to pitch in the big leagues this year, he paused before saying, “We fully expect him to, yeah, even with this most recent slowdown.”

The Red Sox halted Rodriguez’s rehab clock, which has 11 days remaining. If he’s inactive for seven days, they can reset his clock to 30 days, though they’re not thinking in those terms at the moment.

“For a pitcher in particular, it’s always that last 5-10 percent of energy and drive in the delivery that you’re trying to achieve,” Farrell said. “This is something that was restricting him to do that. We felt all along, with the progression he was making in terms of the number of pitches thrown and some increase in velocity, he was making some satisfactory progress, but he has admitted to feeling some occasional discomfort, and we don’t want to push it right now.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Kelly Olynyk undergoes right shoulder surgery, no timeframe for return to basketball actitivities

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk finally had his bothersome right shoulder fixed on Monday.

The Celtics announced Tuesday that the 7-foot forward underwent a successful right shoulder arthroscopy for recurrent subluxations.

The team also indicated that he will begin an immediate rehabilitation program and the time frame for his return to basketball activities has not yet been determined.

Olynyk initially injured the shoulder on Feb. 10 against the Clippers. He missed 14 games before returning for the rest of the season. He re-injured the shoulder in Game 1 against the Hawks and missed Games 2 and 3. He was severely limited in his return to action in Games 4,5 and 6.

Olynyk, who completed his third year with the team, averaged 10.0 points, including shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.2 minutes per game during the 2015-16 regular season. At the time of the injury, Olynyk was leading the team in 3-point shooting and his ability to stretch the floor and spread the offense was noticeable when he was not on the court.

Olynyk recorded a season-high 28 points on 11-21 (.524) shooting from the field, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block on Dec. 11 against the Golden State Warriors.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Afternoon Delight: ‘If Meat Eaters Acted Like Vegans’

This thing isn’t even a day old and it’s over three-quarters of a million hits. But that is not nearly enough. If you love eating tasty, delicious animals, spread the word until this video takes over the Internet. Remember, you are the product of two billion years of evolution. And our ancestors didn’t bite and claw their way to the top of the food chain just to settle for kale.

 Have you come across a video you’d like to see posted? Send the link to your Afternoon Delight-worthy vid to me at jthornton@weei.com. If I use it I’ll make you sports radio station website Internet famous.

DraftKings Baseball is in full swing and you can be a part of the action all season long at DraftKings! Play for FREE in the $10K fantasy baseball contest TODAY with your first deposit. Just draft two pitchers and eight position players, stay under the salary cap and outscore the competition to turn your love of baseball into CASH! To draft your team today, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Sebastian Vollmer: ‘We don’t need extra motivation for anything’

Sebastian Vollmer speaks Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Sebastian Vollmer speaks Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — Sebastian Vollmer wasn’t about to take the bait.

The 34-year-old veteran offensive tackle took time out from his offseason workout Tuesday at Gillette Stadium and spoke about the process of moving on and building something new for the coming season.

When last we saw the right tackle entering his eighth season in the NFL, he was playing left tackle on a make-shift offensive line that was manhandled by the defensive front of the eventual Super Bowl champion. It was a performance that precipitated the departure of offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo and ushered in the return of Dante Scarnecchia.

Did the way the season ended last year (losses in Miami and Denver) factor into inspiration for this year?

“It’s a new year. I feel like we don’t need extra motivation for anything,” Vollmer said. “I think we come out here and try to better yourself as a player, as a team, as a group, all that stuff. Putting in these hours and working toward the common goal. Now, it’s getting ready for OTAs next week and then we have training camp coming up and all that stuff. So, it’s a long road ahead. But it’s just doing what we’re told to do and grinding it out, really.

“It’s good. There’s a lot of new teammates, obviously,” Vollmer said of the re-worked offensive line. “It’s exciting for us to get to know them and all get on the same page with OTAs starting next week. Exciting times.”

Exciting indeed. Naturally, everyone wanted to get a feel for what it’s like to have Scarnecchia back in the budiling.

“Obviously, had him my first five years. Excellent coach. Can’t praise him high enough. So obviously, us as players we’re asked to do to the best of our abilities. We’re going to keep that approach the same. Expecting good things. I think he expects the best of us and himself. I think just the way he coaches, detail-oriented. He just gets the best out of you.”

Vollmer downplayed the familiarity aspect of Scarnecchia.

“I don’t know. There are new players at every position in a year,” Vollmer said. “I don’t think that matters too much. I think you kind of re-do your whole thing every year and prepare yourself as good as you can. It’s not like we’re doing something completely new here. So, if you’ve spent a year here or more, there’s some familiarity with the system, obviously. I feel like you approach every year like you’ve never hear it before. I think that’s my approach and I think that might be best for maybe picking up a couple of things you didn’t realize before. I think it’s just starting from scratch and building the foundation again.”

Does Vollmer feel DeGuglielmo was a fall guy in the way the ’15 season ended?

“I think every team has the same goal in mind, especially in this phase now,” Vollmer said. “If ultimately your season comes to a crashing end, it’s never a good feeling. I think you do a lot of self-evaluation of things you could’ve done better. I think in the following year, you try to implement the good things and cut out the bad things. I don’t question anybody’s effort. We all gave whatever we could. In the end, it wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to give the Super Bowl champs all the credit and it’s onto a new year for us now.”

Any chip on the shoulder, individually or as a group?

“Again, I think that all might sound good for the media, playing things up,” he added. “It’s a new year. It’s new people on our team and everywhere in the league. You’re trying to build something new because it’s just not the same team for anybody. I think it’s just starting over.

“I just come in here and work as hard as I can to have a good season.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Carson Smith still managing elbow injury, which has limited ability to recover between outings

Carson Smith

Carson Smith

KANSAS CITY — Red Sox right-hander Carson Smith has pitched just three times since being activated two weeks ago, and it’s because he’s still feeling the effects of a spring training elbow injury.

The Red Sox acquired Smith this winter to bring his wipeout slider to the late innings, but he has pitched only 2 2/3 scoreless innings since debuting on May 3. He has gone six and five days, respectively, between appearances, which he attributes in part to his recovery time not being where it should be

“Sometimes I feel great the next day,” he told WEEI.com. “Sometimes there may be a hint of something there. They told me that’s what happens with these types of injuries, so we’re just taking it day by day.”

Smith last pitched in Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Astros, sandwiching two singles around a double-play grounder in the seventh before yielding to Tommy Layne.

Before that, he threw an inning on May 9 in a 14-7 shellacking of the White Sox, and he debuted with a scoreless seventh against the Cubs on May 3.

“There still are stages throughout the injury I had of recovering that I’m working through,” he said. “It’s just part of it. The way I bounce back is obviously one way to gauge that. We’re working it, working me in there as often as they can, and I’m getting sharper every time.”

Smith left a spring training outing on March 21 with right forearm soreness. Both pitcher and organization breathed a sigh of relief when he was placed on the disabled list with a flexor strain, and he opened the season on the DL before making two rehab appearances innings at Double-A Portland on the last two days of April.

Smith describes himself as a work in progress.

“Obviously I’m still trying to . . . I’m not in midseason form right now,” he said. “I had a shortened spring training as far as outings, but I feel pretty comfortable out there. I’m not the guy that needs to touch the ball every other day to stay sharp, so right now I’m comfortable with the outings I’m getting and see where it goes from here.

“I’m hopefully always getting better, regardless of an injury or not, but there’s room for progress to be made and maybe a little sharpness to be refined.”

Fangraphs has the velocity of his sinker down about 1 mph (from 92.5 last year to 91.3), and the numbers suggest his slider isn’t breaking horizontally as hard, either, but it’s not as if Smith’s stuff is egregiously diminished. It’s just going to take time.

In the meantime, he’s happy to watch the offense purr and limit the need for high-leverage relief innings.

“It’s been awesome to watch,” he said. “Those guys put up 10-plus every day last homestand. The way they’re swinging the bats is fun to watch. Being down there in the bullpen, it’s always a comfortable feeling knowing that your offense can go out there and put up runs.”

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Eduardo Rodriguez suffers setback in right knee, will miss Thursday start

Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

Red Sox manager John Farrell said on Dale & Holley Tuesday that Eduardo Rodriguez will miss Thursday’s rehab start in Pawtucket due to knee soreness.

“There’s been a little bit of a development here with Eduardo,” Farrell said. “He was scheduled for a start on Thursday. He was feeling some occasional soreness in that right knee. People have asked, ‘What are the updates on Eduardo?’ and the questions around velocity, the question around performance. I think any time you’re dealing with a pitcher and a player that’s coming back, you’re always kind of focusing in on that last five, 10 percent of effort. There’s been some restriction that Eduardo has felt, and as he has described this occasional soreness, we don’t want to put him at risk and we’re holding him out of that start on Thursday.

“He went through a full exam today with Dr. [Pete] Asnis. We’re continuing to work on his mechanics, the strengthening of the quad and knee area, so we don’t feel like for him to try to get that extra velocity puts him at risk. The thing that we fear is if he doesn’t feel right in his lower half, that added exertion is going to come from solely the arm, and that may show up in something we’re not seeing right now. We don’t want to put him at risk for a potential arm injury, so we’re backing him off the start on Thursday.

“He’ll continue to throw the baseball; long toss, he’ll still have bullpen situations, but this is something we feel we need to address to accomplish that last 10 percent of that energy and effort in his delivery.”

Rodriguez has not pitched in the majors this season, as he twisted his knee during a drill in late February. He has a 4.29 ERA in four rehab starts for Pawtucket.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

St. Louis Blues know how to distract opponents

 

 

 

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The St. Louis Blues is one of those pro sports franchises that just sort of is. They don’t move the needle for me in either direction. I neither like them nor do I hate them. Beyond being the Washington Generals to the Bruins Stanley Cup winner on Bobby Orr’s goal 40-something years ago, they’ve never done anything to inflame my emotions one way or the other. They’re the NHL equivalent of that guy you talk to at your high school reunion and you’re not sure if he actually went to school with you or he’s somebody’s plus one.

Until now. Until this playoffs when they’ve done pioneering work in the time-honored tradition of distracting the opposing team’s bench. Could this just be coincidence? One woman who has been gifted really great tickets and really small t-shirts to go with her superhuman ability to tolerate the cold? Possibly. But I like to think my newly adopted playoff hockey favorite is behind it.

So let’s go, St. Louis. Bring home the cups. I mean, Cup. Today … we … are all … Blues.

DraftKings Baseball is in full swing and you can be a part of the action all season long at DraftKings! Play for FREE in the $10K fantasy baseball contest TODAY with your first deposit. Just draft two pitchers and eight position players, stay under the salary cap and outscore the competition to turn your love of baseball into CASH! To draft your team today, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Video: Rob Gronkowski aces his Bro test

I confess that I’m not really well versed in Bro Culture. I do recognize that it is a real thing, with its own language, behaviors and customs. And I’m probably even in it a little bit, just based on the fact I’m straight outta Barstool, which is practically Bro World Headquarters. But for the most part, being immersed in Bro stuff feels like if you dropped me in the predominantly Asian sections of Quincy. I can function alright for a few days, but I’ll never really be of the culture.

That said, when I try to understand Bros and how they live, thrive and survive, Rob Gronkowski is my go-to. I figure he is their patron saint. And I can learn more about what makes Bros tick in one short video of him taking a Bro Wonderlich test than I could in a year of hanging out with a lacrosse team.

It’s safe to say no one has ever gotten more out of one simple GQ cover than Gronk has. It’s his world, you Bros are just living in it.

DraftKings Baseball is in full swing and you can be a part of the action all season long at DraftKings! Play for FREE in the $10K fantasy baseball contest TODAY with your first deposit. Just draft two pitchers and eight position players, stay under the salary cap and outscore the competition to turn your love of baseball into CASH! To draft your team today, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton

Source: Torey Lovullo contract allows for manager interviews in-season, but Braves haven’t contacted him

Torey Lovullo

Torey Lovullo

KANSAS CITY — A source tells WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford that the Braves have not yet reached out to Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo about becoming their new manager, but that Lovullo’s contract allows him to interview for in-season managerial openings.

The Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzalez on Tuesday after a 9-28 start that is the worst in franchise history and the worst in baseball this year.

Lovullo, 50, led the Red Sox to a 28-21 record as acting manager last summer after manager John Farrell was diagnosed with cancer. He has previously interviewed for openings with the Rangers, Twins, Dodgers, and Indians, and was linked to the Cubs after the 2013 World Series, though he never interviewed.

Down the stretch last season, Lovullo proved adept at handling young players, which could be appealing to the Braves, who are attempting to rebuild around youth. Atlanta has named Triple-A manager Brian Snitker its interim manager, and ESPN reported that he’ll hold the job through the end of the season.

Other candidates for the job, according to reports, include former Padres manager Bud Black, who’s now in the Angels’ front office, and ex-big league infielder Mark DeRosa.

The Braves will move to a new park in 2017. They’ve gutted their roster over the last two years, trading All-Star outfielder Jason Heyward, closer Craig Kimbrel, starter Shelby Miller, and Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons, among others.

Lovullo chose in the offseason to remain in Boston out of loyalty to Farrell, his longtime friend and former teammate. He signed a tw0-year deal that makes him one of the highest-paid bench coaches in baseball, but the contract does not prevent from interviewing for managerial opening during the season, the source said.

Blog Author: 
John Tomase

Paige VanZant was ‘risque’ perfection on ‘Dancing with the Stars’


Do I know how to pick a winner or do I know how to pick winner?

From the very beginning of “Dancing With the Stars: Season 22″ I put every dollar I had on the thoroughbred that is UFC strawweight fighter Paige VanZant and she has not disappointed for one Paso Doble. And Monday night might have been her finest hour. You know you’ve achieved perfection when you get one point deducted by the judges, not because there were any flaws in your white-hot tango that melted the varnish off the dance floor, but because obligatory British old fart Len Goodman thought it was “too risque.” That’s better than perfection. That’s being pluperfect.

Granted, there is another week to go before my girl Paige gets her furious fists around the Mirror Ball Trophy. But the finals are just a formality. She’s going up against some cute ABC weather babe and a male model who, while deaf and therefore a nice, inspirational story, are not in VanZant’s galaxy. They’ll be her backup dancers as she Foxtrots/Sambas/Charlestons her way into America’s heart and “DWTS” immortality. Then she’ll go back to kicking metric boatloads of ass in the octagon. And she’ll do so knowing that she made a fan out of me.

DraftKings Baseball is in full swing and you can be a part of the action all season long at DraftKings! Play for FREE in the $10K fantasy baseball contest TODAY with your first deposit. Just draft two pitchers and eight position players, stay under the salary cap and outscore the competition to turn your love of baseball into CASH! To draft your team today, CLICK HERE.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Thornton