The Boston Red Sox soon must make roster decisions on Joely Rodriguez and Lucas Luetge, two experienced lefties in camp as non-roster invitees.

Rodriguez can opt out of his contract by 2 p.m. Friday if not guaranteed a spot on the Opening Day roster. Luetge has an upward mobility opt-out clause in his contract that kicks in next week.

Boston has yet to decide whether it will carry one or two left-handed relievers to open the season. Brennan Bernardino is the only healthy left-handed reliever on the 40-man roster who still is in big league camp. So it comes down to three pitchers for one or two spots. Bernardino has one minor league option remaining.

Left shoulder inflammation and right hip inflammation limited Rodriguez to just 11 innings last year after he signed a one-year, $2 million contract during the 2022-23 offseason that included a $4.25 million team option for 2024. Boston declined the option and resigned him to a minor league deal this past offseason.

He has had off-and-on success in the big leagues, posting a 4.70 ERA in 168 career outings.

“Joely, we know who he is. The swing-and-miss stuff is good,” Manager Alex Cora said. “The changeup against righties always is a weapon. The challenge is to get him in the zone. I think he did a good job in the last (preseason outing).”


Rodriguez has had issues with command throughout his major league career, averaging 4.2 walks per nine innings.

“Lucas, he’s been trending in the right direction,” Cora said. “The breaking ball has been good, especially against righties, which is very important.”

Opponents have gone just 6 for 83 (.072 batting average) with six singles against Luetge’s curveball over the past three seasons (143 1/3 major league innings). He recorded a 2.71 ERA, 2.92 FIP and 1.25 WHIP in 107 outings (129⅔ innings) in 2021 and 2022 for the Yankees. He was limited to 12 appearances (13 2/3 innings) in 2023 for Atlanta because of left bicep inflammation and poor performance (7.24 ERA).

“Obviously with all the righties that we have – whoever is in the rotation (all right-handed rotation) – we’re going to see a lot of lefties every night,” Cora said. “And we struggled with it last year.”

Left-handed hitters batted .269 against Red Sox lefties last year. Boston ranked 25th out of 30 teams in that category.

“The beauty of this is the lefties have to get righties out, because if they don’t do that, we’re going to be in a tough spot,” Cora said. “We play in a league where people are going to react to who is on the mound. I saw it yesterday. I think Kiké (Hernández) came in to pinch hit (for the Dodgers against the lefty) in the sixth inning. That’s how the league is playing. That’s probably how we’re going to do it (on offense). So those two guys are still in the mix because of who they are – they’ve done it before – but the stuff is good.”


NESN ANNOUNCED its broadcaster lineup for the upcoming season, with Dave O’Brien back in the booth as the primary play-by-play announcer, backed up by Mike Monaco.

O’Brien or Monaco will again be joined by a rotating cast of characters. Kevin Youkilis is expected to be the primary color analyst, followed by Will Middlebrooks – working about 10 games more than last season – and Lou Merloni. Kevin Millar will be in the booth for at least a dozen games, though not always as a solo analyst.

Tom Caron will celebrate his 29th anniversary with NESN in August and continue in his role as the primary studio host, backed up by Adam Pellerin. Jahmai Webster is entering his seventh season as the sideline reporter. Middlebrooks will continue serving as a studio analyst in addition to an increased workload in the booth. Jim Rice, Lenny DiNardo and Jonathan Papelbon will be back in the studio.

Deven Marrero is the lone newcomer in the studio. The former infielder was Boston’s first-round pick in the 2012 draft and spent the first three seasons of a seven-year big-league career with the Red Sox.

METS: J.D. Martinez agreed to a $12 million, one-year contract, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Martinez, 36, hit .271 with 33 homers and 103 RBI in just 113 games last year for the Los Angeles Dodgers


Right-hander Kodai Senga is expected to begin throwing within one week after tests revealed inflammation in his right shoulder has cleared.

Mets Manager Carlos Mendoza told reporters an MRI on Senga’s shoulder late Tuesday provided results he described as “very, very encouraging.” The Mets’ medical staff examined the results on Wednesday before providing the update.

“Inflammation is gone,” Mendoza said. “So he’s pretty much cleared from the doctor.”

Senga, 31, was shut down last month after he reported discomfort in the shoulder. He’s entering the second season of a $75 million, five-year contract after 11 seasons in Japan. His rookie season with New York was a success, as he posted a 12-7 record with a 2.98 ERA in 29 starts. He finished second in voting for National League rookie of the year, and seventh for the NL Cy Young Award.


PADRES 15, DODGERS 11: Yoshinobu Yamamoto was chased after one inning of a nightmarish major league debut and San Diego outlasted Los Angeles to split the season-opening series in Seoul, South Korea.

Mookie Betts had four hits and six RBI for the Dodgers, including the first home run of the major league season.

Jake Cronenworth tied a career high with four hits and had four RBI for San Diego. After the Dodgers cut a 9-2 deficit to 12-11, Manny Machado hit a three-run homer in the ninth off J.P. Feyereisen.


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