Arroyo leaving it all on the field
Looking like one of Bloom’s best scoops
The Red Sox have found a gem in Christian Arroyo.
Claimed off waivers last season, the second baseman, a 2013 first-round pick who hasn’t had a consistent opportunity, is starting to look like one of Chaim Bloom’s best pickups. Arroyo edged out Michael Chavis for the final spot on the Red Sox coming out of spring training, and he’s been everything they’ve hoped for and more. This week, he’s having his best stretch in a Boston uniform.
RED SOX NOTEBOOK
A night after his game-tying three-run homer helped the Red Sox come back to beat the Astros, Arroyo responded to getting hit by a pitch again on his hand by belting another game-tying blast to help them come from behind over the Blue Jays on Friday. Arroyo was never a lock to make the team after the Red Sox signed Marwin Gonzalez and Kiké Hernandez, but with a dependable glove and now a clutch bat, he’s proven to be an indispensable asset who plays with his emotions on his sleeve.
“He kind of recognized who the infield was and he’s like, ‘No, I’ll stay in camp and try to make the team,’ ” manager Alex Cora said. “But full credit to Christian, because he’s a grinder. Sometimes you have to actually kind of slow it down with him. He gets very emotional and upset and he gets away from his game but when he’s in control, he puts good swings. It’s a quick swing. He’s a strong kid and he’s doing an outstanding job for us.”
Arroyo made his 29th start in 36 games this season on Saturday against the Blue Jays, which are both career highs.
Entering the day, his three homers, 10 RBI, .394 on-base percentage and .643 slugging in June led the Red Sox.
Remy better after leaving broadcast
Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy left the NESN booth at Fenway Park during the third inning of Friday’s game between the Red Sox and Blue Jays as a precaution because he was experiencing shortness of breath, and he’s resting comfortably at Mass. General Hospital, where he’s doing better.
NESN and Remy released the following joint statement prior to Saturday’s game.
“Last night, during the third inning of the Red Sox game against the Toronto Blue Jays, NESN broadcaster Jerry Remy experienced shortness of breath and stepped away from the broadcast as a precaution. He’s resting comfortably at Mass General, and is feeling better. He is grateful for all of the support and well wishes. There is no update or timeline for when he’ll return to the broadcast booth.”
Dave O’Brien and Dennis Eckersley continued broadcast duties on NESN for Saturday’s game.
Whitlock continues to stretch out
In Cora’s mind, the two shutout innings Garrett Whitlock pitched in Friday’s win represented the ideal spot the Red Sox want to use their reliever — in a high-leverage situation with the lead or a tie game and getting six outs. The Red Sox are continuing to build Whitlock out to pitch more innings — Cora has said they envision him as a starter down the line — and for now, they’re picking multiinning spots with the impressive 24-year-old Rule
“We’re trying to stretch him as much as possible,” Cora said. “When he goes out there, try to throw multiple innings. It would be perfect for us. …
“He’s not a Rule 5 guy. He might be by rules, but as far as his stuff, he’s part of the equation and he’s part of the solution. … I actually spoke to Chaim about this and it makes sense. Instead of using him one inning here, one inning there, we use him twice a week or three times a week for multiple innings and he’s actually giving us more innings in more highleverage situations. Hopefully we can accomplish that.”
Bogaerts still out
Xander Bogaerts was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game on Saturday as he deals with left knee soreness that forced him to be scratched from Friday’s lineup.
Cora was hopeful the shortstop could return today, but the Red Sox aren’t going to rush him back.
“I’m not in a rush with this one because of how important he is,” Cora said. “I think in ’18, but ’18 was totally different, right? He had that little fracture. We were smart about that and you saw what happened. If we have to stay away from him (today), we’ll do it, too. The hope is for him to play (today). He hasn’t run yet. He hasn’t moved around. He just got here to get treatment and he was like, ‘I’m feeling better,’ but obviously he has to go through the whole process and we’ll know more a little bit later in the day (Saturday).” …
Tanner Houck pitched an up-and-down bullpen session earlier this week as he works his way back from a sore flexor muscle injury in his elbow. Cora said the next step is for him to face live hitters.
“He’s been bouncing back great,” Cora said. “Now, I think it’s facing hitters and then the next step, we’ll see if it’s him getting into games. But we feel really good.”