MLB Notes: Red Sox feel the absence of David Ortiz

MLB Notes: Red Sox feel the absence of David Ortiz

FORT MYERS, Fla. — When the Boston Red Sox started to report for spring training Monday, David Ortiz was missing.

For the first time since 2002, Big Papi is not on the roster.

"It's going to be different," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "He's been here every year that I've been here. We just have to find a way to overcome his absence and it's going to have to be a team effort to find a way to do that."

Ortiz retired last October after helping Boston win its first three World Series titles since 1918. He hit 541 home runs in 20 major league seasons and decided he didn't want to put himself through another season at age 41.

Hanley Ramirez took over Ortiz's locker, the one closes to the exit to the players' lounge and cafeteria. He also is expected to also take over the majority of Ortiz's duties as designated hitter, with Mitch Moreland also getting some at-bats.

"Nobody is going to replace Ortiz," Moreland said. (see full story)

Braves: Sean Rodriguez to have shoulder surgery
ATLANTA — Braves general manager John Coppolella isn't sure if it's realistic to hope for a return this season of infielder Sean Rodriguez, who will have shoulder surgery.

Rodriguez, who agreed to an $11.5 million, two-year contract with Atlanta in November, hurt his shoulder when a vehicle he was driving was rammed by a stolen police car in Miami on Jan. 28. His wife Giselle and two of their children were hospitalized with injuries she said on her Twitter account were not life-threatening.

Rodriguez's shoulder injury was not immediately disclosed. On Monday, Coppolella told The Associated Press that Rodriguez's surgery hasn't been finalized.

Atlanta acquired second baseman Brandon Phillips from Cincinnati on Sunday.

Rodriguez hit .270 with 18 homers and 56 RBI -- all career highs -- for Pittsburgh last year.

Rays: Odorizzi takes salary dispute to arbitration
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pitcher Jake Odorizzi and the Tampa Bay Rays have gone to salary arbitration.

Eligible for arbitration for the first time, Odorizzi asked arbitrators Edna Francis, Margaret Brogan and James Oldham for a raise from $520,700 to $4.1 million. The Rays argued during Monday's hearing that he should be paid $3,825,000.

A right-hander who turns 27 next month, Odorizzi was 10-6 with a 3.69 ERA last year, his third full season with the Rays.

A decision won't be issued until all cases involving first-time eligible starting pitchers are completed. Milwaukee's Chase Anderson, Houston's Collin McHugh, Toronto's Marcus Stroman and Arizona's Taijuan Walker also have had hearings and are awaiting decisions. St. Louis' Michael Wacha is among five players scheduled for hearings this week.

Teams and players have split six decisions: Oakland outfielder Khris Davis ($5 million), Miami pitcher David Phelps ($4.6 million) and New York Mets infielder Wilmer Flores ($2.2 million) won, and Arizona pitcher Shelby Miller ($4.7 million), Boston pitcher Fernando Abad ($2 million) and Baltimore catcher Caleb Joseph ($700,000) lost.

Red Sox: TV analyst Remy announces cancer diagnosis
BOSTON — Boston Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy says that he has experienced a cancer relapse.

Remy announced the diagnosis Monday on Twitter, a day before the Red Sox were set to hold their first spring training workout in Florida.

The 64-year-old former Red Sox second baseman was originally diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and has missed numerous games in recent years while battling health issues, including lung cancer. He also took time off while dealing with the legal problems of his son, Jared, who is serving a life term in prison after pleading guilty in 2014 to the murder of his girlfriend.

Remy, who has worked more than 3,900 Red Sox games during his broadcast career, agreed to a new multiyear contract with cable network NESN in January to remain the Red Sox's primary color analyst and work 115 Red Sox games each season.

Best of MLB: Indians storm back with 13 unanswered runs in win over Rangers

Best of MLB: Indians storm back with 13 unanswered runs in win over Rangers

CLEVELAND -- Francisco Lindor, Lonnie Chisenhall and Carlos Santana each had three RBIs to help the Cleveland Indians rally from a seven-run deficit and beat the Texas Rangers 15-9 on Monday night after manager Terry Francona left the game because he wasn't feeling well.

The Indians came back after trailing 9-2 in the fourth inning to avoid their first four-game losing streak since 2015.

Cleveland did not provide any other details about Francona, who presented Rangers first baseman and former Indian Mike Napoli with his American League Championship ring before the game. Bench coach Brad Mills came out to fetch starter Carlos Carrasco in the fourth inning.

The Indians scored a run in the fourth, four in the fifth, took the lead with five in the sixth and added three in the seventh.

Bryan Shaw (2-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Tanner Scheppers (0-1) allowed all three batters he faced to reach the base (see full recap).

Cubs hold off Nationals for win
WASHINGTON -- Wade Davis struck out big league batting leader Ryan Zimmerman with runners on second and third to end Washington's ninth-inning rally, and the Chicago Cubs held off the Nationals 5-4 Monday night.

In jeopardy of being shut out for the first time this season, the NL East-leading Nationals scored four times in the ninth. Their comeback began against Hector Rondon and continued when Davis entered.

With Washington down 5-3, Bryce Harper's single loaded the bases with two outs. Davis threw a wild pitch that scored a run before striking out a swinging Zimmerman, who's hitting .344. The final pitch bounced, and catcher Willson Contreras zipped a low throw to first baseman Anthony Rizzo to close out the victory.

Contreras hit a leadoff home run in his first career game-opening at-bat and Eddie Butler (4-2) worked five scoreless innings to keep the Cubs ahead (see full recap).

Sale strikes out 9 in Red Sox victory
BOSTON -- Chris Sale pitched 6 1/3 overpowering innings with nine strikeouts, Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the third straight game and the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Monday in a matchup of two of the AL's top teams.

Dustin Pedroia had two hits and drove in a run and Moreland added a sacrifice for Boston, which kept pace with the New York Yankees atop the East.

Coming off a three-game sweep in Cleveland that had jumped them over the Indians into first in the Central, the Twins' offense was stymied by Sale and three relievers.

Sale (10-3) gave up one run and four hits, increasing his major-league strikeout total to 155. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 21st save.

Jose Berrios (7-2) allowed four runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Chris Gimenez had a solo homer for Minnesota (see full recap).

Sources: Pete Mackanin fined Odubel Herrera for incident in Saturday's game

Sources: Pete Mackanin fined Odubel Herrera for incident in Saturday's game

PHOENIX -- Early Sunday morning, Odubel Herrera was summoned into manager Pete Mackanin's office for a chat.

It wasn't the first time it has happened this season.

But it was the first time this happened:

Mackanin, according to sources, fined Herrera an undisclosed amount of money stemming from an incident in the previous night's game.

The amount of the fine is not known, but it definitely wasn't one of the $1 fines that Mackanin hands out for trivial missteps in the team's kangaroo court. 

This was a disciplinary action.

In Saturday night's game against Arizona, Herrera was caught trying to steal second base for the third out in the top of the sixth inning with the Phillies trailing, 3-2, in what became a 9-2 loss. Herrera took off on pitcher Robbie Ray's first move and was caught in a play that was scored 1-3-4.

The problem wasn’t as much Herrera getting caught — though that hurt in a close game — it was that Mackanin had put the red light on Herrera after he'd reached first base on a two-out single. Herrera often has a green light, but in this case Mackanin killed it because he feared an open first base would have resulted in Arizona walking No. 8 hitter Cameron Rupp to get to the pitcher's spot.

Mackanin would not confirm or deny the fine when asked about it Monday. After a moment of silence, all he would say was, "Base running matters." He then walked away.

Herrera's play this season has been occasionally amazing and often frustrating. He is hitting .333 (33 for 99) with a majors-high 13 doubles in the month of June and leads the Phillies with 75 hits and 31 extra-base hits for the season. 

But there have been times when Herrera has lacked focus, such as last week when he ran through a stop sign at third base in a close game and was picked off third base in another. In Monday's series finale in Phoenix, a 6-1 loss, he struck out three times. He made no effort to run to first base on a dropped third strike in the first inning.

Herrera signed a five-year, $30.5 million contract with the Phillies over the winter. Manager fines are generally just a few hundred dollars and are donated to charity so the one levied by Mackanin won't break Herrera. Nonetheless, it’s noteworthy that Mackanin was moved to such an action.