After collecting their first series since mid-July, the Red Sox will finish their road trip with a brief two game stop in Cincinnati on Tuesday. Joe Kelly will take the mound for the second time as a member of the Red Sox, while the Reds are scheduled to throw right-hander Mat Latos. For the Red Sox, Kelly will look to build off his previous start against the St. Louis Cardinals, in which he allowed just one run on 3 hits, over 7 innings of work. Mat Latos, however, will not make things easy for the Red Sox offense, as the 26-year old will try to continue his 2014 success. Since returning from the disabled list in June, Latos has posted an ERA of 2.13, with a WHIP just below 1.00. Having spent his entire career in the National League, Latos has only faced the Red Sox once before as a member of the San Diego Padres in 2011. In game 2 of the series, the Red Sox have Brandon Workman slated to oppose Reds ace Homer Bailey. Workman, who allowed Albert Pujol’s 19th inning walk-off home run on Saturday, has hit a rough patch as a starter recently. Over his past 5 starts, the right-hander has surrendered at least 4 runs to the opposition, while only pitching through the 7th inning twice. Homer Bailey, on the other hand, will look to continue his recent dominance. Since the start of July, Bailey has holds a sub-2.00 ERA, and hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in his last 7 starts.
- Typically, pitchers are not known as the most spry players on the field, but that stigma doesn’t apply to Red Sox newcomer Joe Kelly. Since breaking into the big leagues two seasons ago, Kelly’s athleticism has been highly touted around his current and former coaches and front office members. Remaining agile on the field has help Kelly develop into a strong fielding pitcher, and has benefited the 26-year old’s mechanics. (Joe Kelly has uncommon athleticism for a pitcher)
- After signing with the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent in 2009, Dan Butler spent 6 seasons in Boston’s farm system before getting called up to the MLB. Having gone unsolicited by baseball scouts in high school, serving as back-up on his college team, and not being selected in the MLB draft, Dan Butler’s rise to the majors is one of immense endurance. (Red Sox catcher Dan Butler’s day has come)
- Given his age and track record, the Red Sox can afford to give Xander Bogaerts some more time in the majors before calling him a bust. During the 2013 playoffs and the early months of the current season, Bogaerts displayed what makes him a highly touted player. On the other hand, the Red Sox can’t afford to give Bogaerts fellow rookie, Jackie Bradley, the same time and patience. Bradley is 3 years older than Bogaerts, and has shown no sustained ability to hit major league level pitching. While he has played a superb center field, Bradley’s bat will need to start preforming if he’s to succeed in Boston. (Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr, and trying to answer the lingering question)
- Speaking of Jackie Bradley’s struggles, the Red Sox are rumored to be involved with recent Cuban defector, Rusney Castillo as a potential replacement. While major league comparisons don’t always paint the best picture of a player, Castillo is said to possess a similar skill set to Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner. In time, we’ll see just how involved the Red Sox get in the bidding for 27-year old, but historically the Red Sox haven’t shied away from setting their target on international stars. (Red Sox sights set on Cuba’s crop)
- Bat preparation is probably the last thing on fans mind’s when a player like Dustin Pedroia, or David Ortiz digs into the batters box, but it’s actually a large part of each at-bat. For the Red Sox, pine tar, sprays, or even dirt were the norm when tailoring their weapon of choice prior to stepping to the plate. But during last season, the team began to use a new type of batting tape that eradicated the tools of the on-deck circle, and even put an end to David Ortiz’s signature batting glove spit. (With Red Sox, bat preparation is a gripping tale)
- Tweet of the day: Not a Red Sox note, but an important one regardless. RIP Robin Williams.
Robin Williams made the world a little bit better. RIP.
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) August 11, 2014