The team's longest winning streak this season is six games, a mark they established back in April. With two-thirds of the season over, the Red Sox are still seesawing over and under the .500 plateau.
As the Red Sox continue clawing their way through the troubles, let's take a look at this week's mailbag.
I would like to read your candid evaluation of this bummer trade deadline. [Craig] Breslow looks to be 'designated' when the injured return from Pawtucket. As for [Scott] Podsednik, I believe that was a mistake. After losing [Darnell] McDonald and the ever feckless [Ryan] Sweeney, they are terribly short of spare outfielders.
-Doug, Waterbury, CT
Doug, I'm not quite sure where you got the idea that Craig Breslow — acquired via trade in exchange for Matt Albers — would be a candidate to be designated for assignment. He went 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in 40 appearances for the Diamondbacks, so the Red Sox wouldn't ship of a consistent piece of the puzzle like Albers for nothing.
The fact of the matter was that Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was looking to add another lefty to the bullpen with the intent of potential opening up an avenue for Franklin Morales to return to the rotation. Breslow, who is familiar with Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, fit the bill since Rich Hill is on the disabled list.
As for shipping Scott Podsednik, that trade took place before the Red Sox deemed it necessary to place Daniel Nava on the disabled list. No one could've predicted that outcome a day after Ryan Sweeney needed surgery on his hand.
If there's an emergency, the Red Sox could slide either Mike Aviles or Pedro Ciriaco into the outfield shuffle, but it appears the team will attempt to ride it out with just Ryan Kalish as a backup.
Any consideration of re-signing Scott Podsednik after he was recently released [by the Diamondbacks]?
Extra outfielder can't hurt. He definitely serves a purpose with [Ryan] Kalish.
— PJ Letourneau, via Facebook
That likely won't happen. After getting traded to Arizona, Podsednik refused to start anew in the team's Triple-A organization, showing that he wants to play in the majors and put himself in a position where he can achieve that goal.
And it likely wouldn't happen in Boston. Despite a dearth of outfielders, Podsednik would likely still have to report to Pawtucket. Plus, why would Podsednik want to come back to Boston after the way they treated him?
Keep in mind that Podsednik was scorching in 19 games for Boston, hitting .387 with a home run, seven RBIs and six steals. But after he was briefly sidelined by a groin injury, the Red Sox optioned Podsednik directly to Triple-A without giving him another shot to contribute at the major league level.
So yeah, I don't think it's likely, but you never know.
With [Terry Francona's] reappearance in the Sox's clubhouse during the rain delay, is it a possibility that, after Bobby V, Francona could come back to the Red Sox organization?
-Kenny, Stratford, CT
As an ESPN analyst, Terry Francona has routinely appeared in the Red Sox clubhouse this season. But in New York, it was the first time that Francona made a conscious effort to talk to his former players.
I wouldn't read much into it. Now that he's a member of the media, Francona was simply trying to do his job by schmoozing with the players and getting a feel for what to report on the broadcast.
Were there old memories shared in that talk? Most likely, but it's normal, considered Francona spent eight seasons in the Red Sox organization and groomed some of these guys into stars.
As for your second question, I'd say it's unlikely. But shoot, never say never since ex-Yankees owner George Steinbrenner hired and fired manager Billy Martin five times, so anything is possible in that case.
Why didn't the Red Sox claim Cliff Lee off waivers from the Phillies?
–Jose Streeter, via Facebook
The Red Sox are currently trying to sift through a six-man rotation and debating who will be the odd man out, so it wouldn't necessarily be smart to add another starting pitcher to the already-complicated puzzle piece.
Plus, in reality, it looks like the Phillies weren't serious about moving Cliff Lee in the first place. As soon as the Dodgers plucked him off waivers, Philadelphia removed Lee from the waiver wire.