Infielder Brock Holt is dealing with an impingement in his right shoulder, an issue that bothered him some during spring training but took a back seat when the season began and after he had to deal with a scratched cornea. He will be shut down, said Cora, but he downplayed the length of the layoff. “He’s going to get treatment,” said Cora. “I’m not sure if he’s going to go to the road trip with us but it’s something that he felt it a little bit in Spring Training. It wasn’t a big deal. He went through all the workouts here getting ready for the rehab assignment and the last game, he was playing catch and it felt weird. So we shut him down, he came here. It’s not a great scenario because we want him to play but he feels like it’s not going to take that long. So he’ll get treatment and all that and hopefully he can get back sooner rather than later.”For those wondering why first baseman Mitch Moreland did not start Monday against a right-handed starter, it was simply a day off, said Cora. “He’s been playing a lot,” said Cora. Holt has appeared in only six games this season.
J.D. Martinez remains a model of both consistency and production, carrying a .337 batting average in Tuesday night’s game, with a .414 on-base percentage and .515 slugging percentage, the first two averages close to what he put up all of last year (.330, .402), the slugging trailing his .629 rate. Martinez’ power took some time to arrive last season — he slugged .574 with five homers last April, before exploding with 13 homers and a .729 slugging percentage in May — so he is serving the same invaluable presence in the heart of the Red Sox’ lineup. “Maybe they’re attacking him differently but his mindset is the same,” said Cora. “He will look at pitches in certain areas and put good swings on it. For all of the madness, when he gets in the batter’s box it’s very simple. That’s the beauty of it. We talk about his preparation and everything he does in the cage and the frisbees and the basketballs and all that stuff they got down there, but then at the end he keeps it very simple, and there’s results. I think in an era that everybody is getting caught up on angles, launch angles, and all that stuff, blah blah blah, he keeps it very simple. And if you see him I know he works on his thing, but it’s a pretty simple swing when the game starts at 7:05.”
Cora is a fan of Oakland manager Bob Melvin, who last year beat him in AL Manager of the Year voting. “They’ve got a good team and he does a good job managing up as far as maintaining advantages and what’s in the bullpen,” said Cora. “Last year he was amazing with what he had left rotation wise and was able to make it to the wild card game. As you guys know, we played them in (April and) May, that’s a pretty good team. They’re very athletic, besides their name, literally they’re athletic. They play good defense, (outfielders Ramon) Laureano and (Stephen) Piscotty, they change the game defensively and that’s something they didn’t have a few years ago. “They’ve got two corners (infielders) that are Gold Glove guys, you see the shortstop is swinging a lot better. It seems like he, whatever situation he’s in the last few years — last year I saw it, 2017 I did, too, from the other side — there’s no panic. he stays the course. he understands how the organization works and what they believe in.”
Wednesday will be an important test for left-hander Brian Johnson, who has been on the injured list since April 7 due to elbow inflammation. To date, he has not spun any breaking balls since the last ones he threw during the series in Arizona gave him discomfort. He has thrown a couple of bullpen sessions throwing nothing but fastballs, but on Wednesday he has the green light on curveballs. If that goes well — and an assessment on that would not be immediate — Johnson could get the green light on a rehab assignment.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment with Portland (Double A) on Thursday. For those wondering why first baseman Mitch Moreland did not start Monday against a right-handed starter, it was simply a day off, said Cora. “He’s been playing a lot,” said Cora.
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