Red Sox president Sam Kennedy received a new title and a five-year contract extension on Wednesday. He is now president and chief executive officer of the team and Fenway Sports Management.
The 44-year-old Kennedy is in charge of what he described as the “boring behind-the-scenes stuff.” But that includes oversight over the Sox, Fenway Park, and other ancillary businesses and ventures. He reports directly to principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner.
“It’s a recognition of John and Tom’s confidence in the overall front office,” Kennedy said. “I’ve been here so long now. I think it’s a statement by [Henry and Werner] that they’re very pleased with how the front office is functioning. It’s a big credit to everyone on our team; we’ve got a great senior management team.
“Stability within ownership is a good thing from a fan’s perspective.”
Kennedy, a Brookline native, joined the Red Sox in 2002 after stints with the Yankees and Padres.
“I see the job as the same. But excited and renewed. It’s always rewarding to be recognized,” Kennedy said. “I’m from here. This is where I grew up. My family’s excited that we’re going to be staying here for a long, long time.”
Kennedy has had a productive relationship with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. He described his role as providing the revenues needed for the Red Sox to maintain one of baseball’s highest payrolls.
“Some days are more challenging than others,” Kennedy said. “Seems like we’ve had a few of those this year. But I think a lot of the challenges result from the passion and energy that is Red Sox Nation.
“I always remind myself of that and I remind my colleague and other employees that if people didn’t care and people aren’t as passionate and the Red Sox not as relevant, some of those challenges wouldn’t be there.”
Henry also owns the Globe separately from Fenway Sports Management.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday, believes he can return when first eligible. That would be Tuesday at Tampa Bay. “I hope so. It’s getting there,” said Pedroia, whose stint was backdated to Saturday. “This was probably the best thing, getting some time.” . . . David Price had another throwing session as he returns from an elbow strain. Before getting back into a major league game, he would have to throw off a mound and either face hitters or pitch in a minor league game . . . Joe Kelly, on the DL with a left hamstring strain, pitched a scoreless seventh inning for Triple A Pawtucket in a rain-delayed game vs. Syracuse. Kelly, who is due to be activated Friday, retired the side in order with a groundball out to third, a flyball out to center, and a strikeout.
Smith set for rehab
Carson Smith threw 21 pitches to hitters and is now scheduled to start a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Double A Portland on Saturday. The Sea Dogs host Bowie at 6 p.m.
Smith would throw an inning in that game. The plan would then be to have him join Pawtucket.
Smith last pitched in a game since May 14, 2016 and had Tommy John surgery 10 days later. Because of the long layoff, the 27-year-old will need some time in the minors to regain his stuff.
“We’re talking about a year and a half,” manager John Farrell said. “While there’s a lot of encouraging signs, he’s going to need some appearances to continue to build endurance. He’s probably going to go through some arm strength ebbs and flows. That’s fully anticipated.”
Smith could well return to the majors in September. But the odds of him being capable of a significant role in the bullpen are long.
Pitchers who are coming back from Tommy John surgery can spend up to 60 days on a rehab assignment. But the minor league regular season ends Sept. 4.
Indians lose Miller
Indians lefthander Andrew Miller was placed on the disabled list with patellar tendinitis in his right knee. Righthanded reliever Adam Plutko was recalled from Triple A Columbus.
Miller faced five batters in Tuesday’s game and three of them reached base. He hit Chris Young with a pitch, allowed a three-run double by Eduardo Nunez and walked Jackie Bradley Jr.
Miller is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday in Cleveland. The injury has bothered him for several weeks and in his last 9⅔ innings, Miller has given up six hits and walked five.
Miller played for the Red Sox from 2011-14. The Sox play the Indians again Aug. 21-24 in Cleveland.
After two days off, slumping left fielder Andrew Benintendi was back in the lineup hitting second. He hit .222 with a .643 OPS in 22 games and 103 plate appearances in July . . . Catcher Sandy Leon (right knee) caught in the bullpen and should be back in the lineup in a day or two . . . Through Tuesday, Craig Kimbrel had allowed four runs on 10 hits and three walks in his last nine innings. His earned run average went from 1.01 to 1.61. It’s a matter of missing spots. “I can’t say there’s one thing or another he’s working on,” Farrell said.