As he does every day, Red Sox manager John Farrell met with reporters before Friday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners. Most of the time was spent discussing what has gone wrong with lefthander Eduardo Rodriguez.
It was a long list.
Rodriguez has altered his delivery because of the right knee injury he suffered in spring training. That has affected his command on certain pitches.
He also may be tipping his pitches again, particularly to righthanded hitters. It’s a habit he broke last season but is now cropping up again.
Rodriguez also seems to lose focus, falling behind in counts in key situations and paying a steep price when he has to come in with a strike.
Rodriguez has a 6.97 earned run average in four starts since coming off the disabled list, putting 33 men on base over 20⅔ innings. But in a testament to the organization’s lack of starter depth, Rodriguez is staying in the rotation and will face the White Sox on Tuesday.
Rodriguez, Farrell, and pitching coach Carl Willis held a long meeting Thursday night after the pitcher allowed five runs in 4⅓ innings against the Orioles.
It was made clear to Rodriguez that he was running out of chances and the next step would be a demotion to the minors.
“Without getting into specifics, there was lot covered,” Farrell said.
Rodriguez reiterated Friday that his knee was not an issue. Farrell said the same, pointing out that Rodriguez’s fastball hit 95 miles per hour Thursday and that his secondary pitches showed good action.
The issue is how Rodriguez altered his mechanics because of the injury.
“If you compare his delivery these four starts versus the one last year, he went to more of a side step to take some the stress off the knee,” Farrell said. “We are adjusting back to the delivery that he used a year ago.”
Rodriguez also may be giving away what he is throwing, too. Farrell acknowledged that is again a problem.
“With Eddie there’s been different things that have been detected, whether it’s by the opposition or by us,” he said. “It’s been a little bit of a moving target, but there are some things we’re continuing to work on.”
Rutledge on DL
To make roster space for lefthander Roenis Elias, who started Friday, infielder Josh Rutledge was put on the 15-day disabled list with what was described as patellar tendinitis in his left knee.
“It’s been coming on. He hasn’t been able to swing the bat as aggressively as he did when he first came up,” Farrell said. “As much as he tried to get through it by the treatment and managing it, he needs rest.”
Rutledge has played in 28 games, the last Tuesday. He has hit .265 with a .733 OPS, playing third base, second base, and shortstop .
With Rutledge out, the Sox had only three players on their bench Friday night.
Farrell said the Red Sox are investigating ways to improve their bench. There are scant options at Triple A Pawtucket, particularly for lefthanded hitters.
Four draftees sign
The Sox signed four of their selections from last week’s amateur draft.
Outfielder Ryan Scott (seventh round, Arkansas-Little Rock); outfielder Matt McLean (ninth round, Texas-Arlington); catcher Nick Sciortino (17th round, Boston College); and shortstop Nick Lovullo (20th round, Holy Cross) were all assigned to Single A Lowell.
According to MLB.com, Scott and McLean received only $10,000 bonuses, far below the money slotted for those spots in the draft. As college seniors, they had little choice but to take those deals.
The Sox are likely to use the $359,100 saved to aid in the signing of first-round pick Jay Groome, a lefthanded pitcher.
The Sox also have agreed to terms with two other picks but no announcement has been made. Second-round pick C.J. Chatham, a shortstop from Florida Atlantic, agreed to a $1.1 million bonus. Sixth-round choice Steve Nogosek, a righthander out of Oregon, accepted $250,000. Both of those deals were slightly below slot, adding $163,800 to be used on other picks.
Groome, a high school pitcher from New Jersey, fell to 12th overall in the draft. His bonus is slotted at $3,192,800 but it surely will take more for the Red Sox to keep him from attending college.
Mariners on move
Lefthander Wade Miley, Seattle’s scheduled starter for Saturday, was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder impingement. Miley was 6-3 with a 5.28 earned run average in 13 starts. He was with the Red Sox last season before being traded in December.
Righthander Jonathan Aro and lefthander David Rollins were recalled from Triple A Tacoma.
Aro, who was with the Red Sox for six games last season, appeared in 22 games for Tacoma and had a 2.45 ERA. Rollins was 2-0 with a 2.36 ERA in 22 games in Triple A.
Righthander Adrian Sampson is with the Mariners and is the likely starter Saturday. Either Aro or Rollins would return to Tacoma. Sampson, 24, is 7-4 with a 3.25 ERA in 13 starts at Triple A.
Brock Holt, who has not played since May 18 because of a concussion, is not yet ready for a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
“There are days in which he gets through an intense physical workday and he responds well to that. There are other days . . . there’s some effects of the concussion that are there,” Farrell said. “That’s the frustration part for Brock in all this.”
Dr. Michael Collins, a head trauma specialist, will examine Holt Sunday. Collins has been working with Holt for several weeks.
Productive day off
Christian Vazquez was out of the lineup for the second consecutive night. The catcher is 4 of 32 (.125) in his last 11 games with one extra-base hit and one RBI. That dropped his batting average to .209 and his OPS to .547. “This gives Christian a couple of days of early BP. Felt like he needed it; felt like he needed to address some things from a timing standpoint,” Farrell said . . . Grammy-winning rapper and big Mariners fan Macklemore attended batting practice before heading over to Agganis Arena for his show with Ryan Lewis . . . Rick Porcello, a shortstop in high school, took a few groundballs before batting practice just for fun. After the pitcher made a sparkling backhanded play from one knee, infield coach Brian Butterfield told him to shut it down because it couldn’t get any better.