6/3/2014 7:14 P.M. ET
Prospect Betts moves up to Triple-A
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Red Sox prospect Mookie Betts, who has created a lot of excitement this season, was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday.
In other words, he is one step closer to coming to the Major Leagues and helping the Red Sox. There's at least a chance that could happen in 2014.
"You certainly can't rule it out," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Positional fit defensively is going to be part of this. I know he's going to Pawtucket to play second base, which is his position over a long period of time just to get settled in there. He played roughly 10 or 12 games in center field in Portland. I'm sure while in Pawtucket, he'll play center field in time. But it's exciting to see a young player who this time a year ago was in the South Atlantic League. He's moving quick."
Betts, 21, was selected by the Red Sox out of high school in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. He's ranked as the club's No. 5 prospect by MLB.com.
"You look at his performance over the course of the season to date and he's really excelled in every area of the game," said general manager Ben Cherington. "He's controlling the strike zone, he's running the bases, he's playing defense, he's obviously hitting, he's hitting for power, and I think at some point, we have an obligation to challenge our young players when they are performing at a level where it's not certain that they're being challenged, it's up to us to make sure that they're being challenged."
One of the most exciting things about Betts is his athleticism, which creates a lot of versatility on defense.
"This conversation started a few days ago and we wanted to avoid introducing too much all at once to Mookie," said Cherington. "We knew that, because he had started to play the outfield, we wanted to give him a little bit of time to settle in in the outfield before also introducing him to Triple-A. So now that he's gotten a little bit of time in the outfield and he's gotten comfortable out there, we felt like this was the time to move him up to Pawtucket."
At Double-A Portland, Betts hit .355 with a .433 on-base percentage and a .994 OPS. In 253 at-bats, Betts had 18 doubles, three triples and six homers.
Workman appealing suspension; Papi weighs in
CLEVELAND -- Red Sox right-hander Brandon Workman appealed the six-game suspension he received Tuesday and will start the finale of a three-game series against the Indians on Wednesday night.
Workman was suspended and fined for throwing a pitch behind Rays third baseman Evan Longoria last Friday at Fenway after both sides had been warned in the bottom of the first inning. The warning came after David Price had hit David Ortiz in the back with a pitch.
Joe Garagiola Jr., senior vice president of standards and operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.
"I really didn't know what to expect," said Workman. "That's their decision. We're going to appeal it. I knew beforehand that if you get ejected, automatically you get a fine, I didn't know about a suspension, I was kind of waiting to see. It wasn't intentional, it was raining, the ball slipped out of my hand. They can take that into consideration."
Ortiz was displeased that Price wasn't suspended by MLB. After Price hit Ortiz and received the warning, he later hit Mike Carp in the right forearm and was not ejected. And that was before Workman's pitch to Longoria.
"I don't even know what to say," Ortiz said. "I mean, he started everything up and we've got to pay for it, basically. That's the message that I'm getting, right? I don't have any answer about that, but it's like I say, there's way too much evidence now that he hit me on purpose, and the funny thing is that we are the ones that are getting fines, suspensions, all kind of stuff. I guess the rules are not for everyone."
There was some history between Ortiz and Price. In Game 2 of last year's American League Division Series, Ortiz clocked two homers against Price. On the second one, he watched it as it curled around the foul pole, and Price was critical that Ortiz didn't immediately go into his home run trot.
The pitch Price hit Ortiz in the back with Friday was the very first pitch he had thrown to him since the home run in Game 2 of the Division Series.
"I don't care what he does or what he doesn't do from this point on; what I care about is MLB looking at the case from the point where I didn't start this up, Workman didn't start this up. Price did," said Ortiz.
"I know that we presented our case in response to the discussions and what was being talked about with MLB," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "The suspension is in place but there's a process to appeal and that's what's taken place. Again, you present all the facts and the thoughts and what took place from our perspective and you trust that things will be handled in a way that you might see a certain way. They deemed what they thought was the appropriate way to go."
The Red Sox still wonder why the umpires didn't automatically eject Price after he hit Carp.
"I thought the rules were for everybody. I thought that the minute you figure that somebody hit someone on purpose, the rules that it says right there, you're going to follow up with. In this case, it seems like it isn't," said Ortiz.
Following the game on Friday, crew chief Jeff Kellogg said the umpires didn't deem there was any intent with the pitch that hit Carp.
"Again, if we felt there was intent to hit the batter, he would have been ejected," said Kellogg. "We felt the pitch was certainly inside, but not intentional, so that's why he stayed in the game."
Ortiz reiterated what he said Friday -- that there will be fireworks if Price decides to plunk him again.
"In my case, I made my point clear," said Ortiz. "I'm not going to get hit again, not by him. He did it on purpose, he punked me and that's very disrespectful. I'm a [grown] man, I've been around the league for a long time and I know how to take care of business on my own."
The Red Sox and Rays play next on July 25 at Tropicana Field.
Doubront to start rehab assignment Thursday
CLEVELAND -- Red Sox lefty Felix Doubront is progressing well in his return from a left shoulder sprain and will start a Minor League rehab assignment on Thursday for Double-A Portland.
"He threw the ball well," said manager John Farrell. "He feels confident that the arm speed is getting out of his hand consistent with outings prior to coming off the mound. He's scheduled to start Thursday with Portland to begin his rehab process."
There is no word on how many rehab starts Doubront will get before returning to the Red Sox.
Doubront is 2-4 with a 5.12 ERA in nine starts.
Drew gets a rest; Herrera starts at short
CLEVELAND -- After making his debut for the Red Sox on Monday night, Stephen Drew found himself on the bench at the start of Tuesday's game.
This was due to the fact Drew didn't have Spring Training and the fact lefty T.J. House was pitching for the Indians.
"This was outlined after Stephen came back," said manager John Farrell. "We targeted today as part of that progression and he'll be back in the lineup [Wednesday]. This is about getting Stephen back to nine innings every day."
Jonathan Herrera made the start at shortstop while Xander Bogaerts was at third base for the second straight game.
Eventually, Bogaerts could find himself at short against lefties. For now, Farrell wants to give Bogaerts the chance to get reacclimated at third.
Grady Sizemore was out of the lineup against the lefty, with Alex Hassan starting in right two days after he got a hit in his Major League debut.
• First baseman/catcher Ryan Lavarnway underwent surgery performed by Dr. Thomas Graham on Tuesday in Cleveland for the left hamate fracture he suffered last week.
"The hamate bone was removed," said Farrell. "And with cases like this, we're probably in a five- to seven-week period for healing and recovery before baseball activities take place."
• Right fielder Shane Victorino, who is on the disabled list for the second time this season with a right hamstring, hasn't resumed baseball activities.
"Ground-based activities are starting to initiate, so that's some running that's going to take place," said Farrell. "We're still too early to determine when he'd be ready for any kind of at-bats or a rehab assignment."
• Third baseman Will Middlebrooks (fractured right index finger) still seems a ways from being able to contemplate a return to action.
"Still trying to gain full range of motion with the index finger," said Farrell. "That's not there yet. He won't start to swing a bat until he's able to gain full range of motion, which would indicate that the healing of the fracture is moving along as anticipated. He's still in kind of an inactive period."