TORONTO - When the Blue Jays last saw the Boston Red Sox, they were looking at their tail lights at Pearson International.
Boston swept the Jays in June, outscoring Toronto 35-6 in a three-game series.
Now, Boston sits second behind the New York Yankees, who may or may not have the best position player in their infield, if you ask Alex Rodriguez.
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein told reporters this week when asked if the Sox be active at the trade deadline: “Definitely we will be actively involved in discussions. We may be very active in trade, or we may be less active and do some smaller things.”
“We’re certainly not a perfect club, there are needs that we have and areas we’re going to attempt to upgrade,” Epstein said.
Boston has Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.255, five homers, 20 RBIs, .758 OPS) and Jason Varitek (.248, five, 17, .752) splitting time behind the plate.
This is not a perfect team.
Boston designated Mike Cameron for assignment, releasing him after platooning with J.D. Drew in right. Cameron was 9-for-63 (.143) against left-handed pitchers. In parts of two season with the Red Sox, he hit .219. The right field platoon wasn’t working with J.D. Drew also having a bad year.
That’s $22 million US for an unproductive position. Epstein took his lumps on the Cameron contract, which has $3.6 million remaining, saying “This one’s on me. We knew it was a risk and it didn’t work.”
“You had to be blind not to notice that we’re not getting much out of right field, we’re all expecting to get more out of it going forward,” Epstein said. “It’s a combination of letting the players with good track records play and sooner or later find their stroke and also while we’re banged up, giving other guys opportunities and seeing who can get hot.”
They recalled infielder Yamaico Navarro as Kevin Youkilis injured his left ankle Wednesday. Darnell McDonald was in right field Thursday. Epstein said he likes the depth of his the bullpen, despite losing Rich Hill. Franklin Morales was promoted.
In an interleague game Wednesday, Adrian Gonzalez played right field with regular DH David Ortiz moving to first base. Gonzalez did so with the promise he would not be running or crashing into any outfield walls. The American League’s leading hitter will be back at first today.
Boston hopes to add Clay Buchholz before the all-star break. Buchholz has a muscle issue that affects only in a certain point in his delivery.
Hall of Famer scribe Peter Gammons reported John Lackey, Monday’s starter, is headed for Tommy John surgery.
“You can say the same about every pitcher in baseball,” Epstien said.
“Every pitcher in baseball might have to have Tommy John surgery at some point. John (Lackey) had an elbow injury We’re not hiding that. He’s had a history of elbow issues in the past.”