Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts won his second consecutive American League Gold Glove Award on Tuesday night. Betts, who was an infielder until 2014, is one of only two converted infielders to be awarded multiple Gold Gloves in outfield.
Betts’ superior athleticism makes him a dominant defensive force at any position. It is also worth noting that Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, is one of the most difficult right fields in the league to cover.
Betts joins Dwight Evans, Fred Lynn, and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski as the only outfielders in Red Sox history to win multiple Gold Gloves. Betts is also the second player in Red Sox history to be awarded two Gold Gloves by age 25, along with first baseman George Scott.
This season, Betts led all outfielders in the league with 31 defensive runs saved (Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons was the overall leader with 32). He also had two home run robberies, one short of the MLB lead. According to FanGraphs, Betts led all Major League right fielders in ultimate zone rating (20.5).
The three other Red Sox Gold Glove finalists were Dustin Pedroia, Mitch Moreland and Chris Sale were beat out by Brian Dozier of the Minnesota Twins, Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals and Marcus Stroman of the Toronto Blue Jays, respectively.
Red Sox promote Dana LeVangie to pitching coach
The Red Sox announced Wednesday the promotion of Dana LeVangie from bullpen coach to pitching coach.
LeVangie, 48, has served as the club’s pitching coach for the past five seasons and was one of the few coaches expected to remain following the firing of John Farrell. He has a long history with the Red Sox, playing six minor league seasons with the organization. He was hired as a catching coach in 1997 and has been with the club ever since.
“When everyone started talking about me being a manager, he was a guy I always considered would be part of my staff,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “He is well prepared and versatile enough that he can work with catchers and be a pitching coach. I’m very comfortable with Dana being in this role. He knows the guys. He’s been through this whole process the last few years. He’s going to be someone I’m going to really rely on and I’m going to trust.”
This will be LeVangie’s first experience as a pitching coach. Additionally, he was never a pitcher himself. He credits much of his knowledge of how to work with pitchers to his own experience as a bullpen catcher.
“I think my truest learning experiencing stemmed from working as a bullpen catcher with the Red Sox. And it allowed me to really lock in on mechanics, movement of the baseball, spin of the baseball, identifying specifics of a pitcher’s strengths and weaknesses and identifying more importantly on the strengths and trying to identify what makes a pitcher have success and continued success,” said LeVangie.
The Red Sox also announced the addition of former infielder Ramon Vasquez as a major league coach. The club reports that role will primarily be to act as a liaison between the advance scouting and statistical analysis efforts given to players and coaches.
Alex Cora thanks Red Sox for sending aid to Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico native and newly appointed Red Sox manager Alex Cora was officially introduced as manager in a ceremony at Fenway Park on Monday.
As part of the ceremony, he thanked the organization for sending a plane of supplies to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Cora expressed his gratitude and presented President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski with a Puerto Rican flag.
“I’m proud to be a Puerto Rican,” he said. “You’re going to see that flag, and you’re going to see a lot of fans from back home. The history I understand and the history throughout the game — there’s not too many Latino managers. There’s not too many minority managers. But there’s 30 capable managers, and I’m one of them.”
Cora is the first minority manager in Red Sox history and has acknowledged the significance of his role both in Boston and in Puerto Rico.