Red Sox News: Ceddanne Rafaela, scary spring training injury, UL Washington passing

Washington Nationals v Boston Red Sox
Washington Nationals v Boston Red Sox / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora stated before spring training began that he believed outfield prospect Ceddanne Rafaela could make the team this season.

Many fans and experts expected Rafaela's eye to require another year — or at least more time in the minors — to improve. He's changing people's minds, one swing at a time. Rafaela is showing out at spring training, making good on his manager's words.

In 17 spring training at-bats, Rafaela has logged a .313 batting average with four walks. When he makes contact, he makes it count, and on Monday the 23-year-old belted his first homer of the year.

Ceddanne Rafaela is making his case for the Red Sox Opening Day roster

There were assumptions that Rafaela would only make the team if Jarren Duran was traded, but it may be hard to justify leaving him off the roster after the performance he's been putting together this spring.

Nationals prospect Daylen Lile safe after scary fall into Red Sox bullpen

On Saturday afternoon, the Red Sox played two split-squad games and the big-league team posted a win against the Nationals. During the game, there was an injury that had both teams on their feet.

Washington outfield prospect Daylen Lile was attempting to rob a home run when he tumbled over the outfield fence and into the Red Sox bullpen. Instead of celebrating Sox prospect Tyler Miller's homer, Boston's bullpen pitchers immediately called for help and trainers flocked to Lile.

As he was carted off the field, Lile gave a thumbs-up to the crowd — he still had movement in his limbs. Lile was later taken to a hospital to have a CT scan of his lower back done. He received the best-case-scenario diagnosis of a lower back contusion. He will be able to play again when his pain from the injury subsides.

Former Royals shortstop and Red Sox player development coach U.L. Washington dies

Over the weekend, the Red Sox organization lost a beloved staff member.

Former Kansas City Royals shortstop and Red Sox coach U.L. Washington has died from cancer at the age of 70. He passed away in Atoka, Oklahoma on March 3.

Washington is remembered for the trademark toothpick he always played with in his mouth during his years as a player. As a coach with the Greenville Drive, he helped Mookie Betts fine-tune his swing to be able to hit for power.

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