Category: MLB News (page 2 of 2)

Buchholz Done, Lackey’s Chance To Stop Being An Idiot

Twitter has let me down of late (doesn’t help trying to break trades after a couple cocktails either), but word on that beast is that last year’s American League ERA leader, Clay Buchholz, has a stress fracture in his back and is likely to miss the remainder of the season.  I do not believe this injury will stop the Sox from winning the A.L. East but it certainly hurts their chances in any 5 or 7 game series (especially against the Phils).  Outside of Lester and Beckett the starting pitching has been so-so this season, and what was considered the strength of this Red Sox team at the start of spring training is now their biggest question mark heading into the dog days of summer.  Buchholz was not posting the numbers of last season, but I would feel very comfortable with him on the bump against anyone’s number three starter and now the Sox do not posses that luxury.

The season must go on and I still feel great about this Sox team making it deep into October.  The opportunity is here for my number one stiff, John Lackey, to at least justify a little of that contract.  Lackey has won a World Series Game 7 and anchored the pitching staff of a very successful Los Angles Angles of Anaheim ball club for a number of years, so I know he has it in him.  Honestly as a Sox fan, I HATED watching Lackey take the mound against the Red Sox in the playoffs.  He competed his balls off, threw nothing but strikes, most of which were impossible to square up, and was the kind of pitcher I would love to see in a Sox uniform.

Prior to last season I got my wish, I was excited about the Lackey signing (not crazy about the amount of money though),  and let’s just say I finally realized the meaning of that goofy “be careful what you wish for” saying.  My expectations for regular season John Lackey were moderate, I thought he would win 13-15 games, have a decent ERA, but would give the Sox a chance to win every time out (obviously not the case).  I was most excited for post-season Lackey, who wouldn’t love a proven top of the rotation veteran pitching Game 3 in a playoff series?  Lackey made his name in the playoffs and was excellent every time he took the mound in October (often against Red Sox and Yankee lineups), it seemed like Boston would be a perfect fit.  The Sox came up short of a playoff birth last season and we have yet to witness the post-season Lackey I was looking forward to after he arrived in The Hub. This year’s rendition of the Red Sox seem poised to make the dance and now is Lackey’s chance to put his first year and a half in Boston behind him.  Lackey actually hasn’t looked so terrible of late, a decent end to this season and a couple solid starts in the playoffs will go along way in helping Lackey rehabilitate his rocky relationship with the Fenway Faithful. Call me crazy but I’m with El Pres on this one and I think he has it in him (nice D Lowe comparison). I am officially ending my feud with Lackey and will be his number one supporter from this day forward, let’s go big dog.

P.S.  I will not address Erik Bedard until he has 5 quality starts in a Red Sox uniform.  I like the move because Theo did not give up much, but I am not going to piss on your boots and tell you its raining by saying he will be the difference down the stretch.  Bedard adds depth but I have major questions about an injury prone stiff who is on record saying he never wanted to pitch for a big market team (your boy couldn’t even get out of the 2nd inning due to trade rumor pressure, can’t wait to see him pitch in one of the most scrutinizing sports cities in the country).

Forget Beltran, Get Me This Guy


The All-Star game is behind us and now it is time to look towards the MLB trade deadline.  Theo has made it clear that he will be looking for an OF bat prior to July 31 and if I had my choice that guy would be Hunter Pence.  Pence may not be as sexy of a name of as Beltran, but let’s face it, Beltran is a stiff. It has been reported that the Mets would eat a good portion of the money owed to Beltran but are looking for a top prospect in return, the Astros have also said they would have to be “overwhelmed” to deal Pence.  Neither guy will come cheap, but if Theo could land Pence he could be the solution in RF for years to come.

Pence will be due for a nice pay raise via arbitration next season, but with the Million Dollar Baby J.D. Drew coming off the books combined with the weak free agent OF market in 2012 and 2013 it may not be a bad idea to give up a little to land this guy.  Pence’s game may not be the prettiest but his gritty old school style gets results (career .292 BA) and would be a perfect fit in Boston.  The Sox have the power and put up like 15 runs a game and any guy acquired before the deadline would most likely hit in the 7 or 8 hole. What the Sox need is a player who can get on base and drive in a couple runs here and there, Pence would be the perfect fit to stabilize the back end of the Red Sox lineup.

Outside of one or two productive season’s and a 2004 postseason where he hit like 49 homeruns, Beltran has been kind of a stiff; spending most of his prime dominating the DL.  Pence is 28 years old (6 years younger than Beltran) and has put up solid offensive numbers in his first four Big League seasons to go along with a pretty impressive glove (Pence committed only 1 error in 2008 while leading the N.L. with 16 outfield assists).  The young Texan’s strong start to 2011 was good enough to land him his second All-Star selection. Pence has been stuck in the cellar playing in Houston and his style of play is reminiscent of the original Dirt Dog Christopher Trotman Nixon which has my gut telling me he would thrive playing meaningful ball games each night in front of the most passionate fan base in all of sports.

Josh Reddick has been solid this season but I do not see him as the long term solution in RF.  Reddick reminds me a lot of David Murphy who played well for the Sox a few years back and has been a serviceable 4th outfielder for the Texas Rangers (the Sox dealt Murphy for Eric Gagne).  Therefore there is no better time to take advantage of  the young Red Sox outfielder’s nice start to 2011, a package involving Reddick and another prospect or two may be enticing to a rebuilding Astros squad.  The Sox would control the rights to an an arbitration eligible Pence in 2012 but for some reason the Astros young RF comes off as the kind of player who may be open to a contract extension at a fair price to play for a perennial Championship contender. Theo obviously knows more than I do but Pence’s ability to hit for a high average and poke a few out of the park (25 Bombs in ’08, ’09, ’10) would certainly be an upgrade from J.D. Drew.  Dumping Drew for Pence would add a nice right handed bat to a lefty dominated lineup leading me to believe Pence would fit perfectly in the Red Sox lineup this season and for seasons to come.  I would love to see this guy guarding Pesky’s Pole at the Fens, just something to think about Mr. Epstein.

First Half Grades By Position

Reader advisory:  These grades are based off how these players have performed based on the expectations I had for them going into the season.  Pretty pumped to be on the giving end of some grades as opposed to the receiving.

Catcher: B

Jarrod Saltamacchia/ Jason Varitek: Despite a slow start Salty has been a pleasant surprise this season hitting .251 with 6 HRs and 24 RBI.  The numbers do not wow you but there are certainly sufficient for a back end of the order kind of guy.  His defensive has been solid for the most part with the staff trusting him more each time out.  I like what I have seen out of this once highly toted prospect. Tek is doing his thing behind the plate, especially every 5th day for Joshua Patrick and his batting numbers are similar to those of Salty.  I was prepared to lose a little defense to gain a little offense with Salty taking the every day catching duties, but with Tek swinging it decently and Salty not throwing it all over the place this combo has done well.

First Base: A+

This will be the only A+ I will be handing out but it is well worth it.  The guy has been as advertised, you always hear the overpaid free agent bust chatter (Jayson Werth cough cough), but I am pretty sure the Sox are underpaying for Gonzo.  The Sox had a hole in the middle of their lineup and Adrian Gonzalez has done more than fill that need.  He has started all but 1 game for the Sox this season, batting .354 with 17 HRs and 77 RBI and has been very solid defensively.  I am not overreacting when I say I think Gonzo is the best hitter in all of baseball and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was handed the AL MVP award before the All-Star Game tomorrow.

Second Base: B+

Dustin Pedroia has been Dustin Pedroia the first half.  The numbers read .284 BA 11 HR 44 RBI, solid average and some above average power for the little guy.  Pedroia is one of those guys whose stats do not reflect his importance to his team’s success, the former MVP is the leader of this clubhouse and will most likely be handed the “C” once Tek hangs them up.  Pedroia has been streaky at the plate this year, defensive as solid as ever, but I am convinced his biggest contribution this season was keeping the clubhouse level headed during the rough stretch to start the season. Gotta love this guy.

Third Base: B

Let me start by saying I do not like Kevin Youkilis the person, just annoying to watch with all the whining and crap, just gives me the loser vibe.  However I am grading the on field Youkilis and that Youk has not disappointed.  The guy is as sure of a player you can find from a numbers stand point, will always hover around .300, gets on base, drives in runs, scores runs, hits 25 plus bombs, and plays gold glove caliber defense.  This first half has been no different and that is why he is an All-Star.

Short Stop: C+

Going to keep this short (no pun intended).  When Scutaro got hurt Lowrie got hot, and when Lowrie got hurt Scutaro got hot.  The bottom line is both play viable defense and put the ball in play, when healthy Lowrie probably has a higher upside offensively but it does not matter to me which one is holding down the SS position and either will be a fine fit for the stretch run.

Outfield: B-

This grade represents the outfield as a whole.  Ellsbury recieves an easy A from me.  After a down injury filled season the once top prospect has performed as hoped leading to a 2011 All-Star selection.  His numbers tell the story, posting a .316 BA to go along with his 11 HR, 49 RBI, and 28 bags. Tito has always said the Red Sox are at their best when Ells is in the leadoff spot and it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere anytime soon.

Carl Crawford receives a C on my report card. Crawford dug himself a huge hole with a dismal month of May but during some stretches this season he has shown signs of the player who was granted over $150 MM this past off season.  A hamstring injury has placed Crawford on the sidelines but I am confident his second half performance will lead to a different grade at season’s end.

Nancy Drew gets a D- because he’s brutal.

Josh Reddick has been a huge surprise this season and gets a B+.  Reddick has seen limited playing action but has done the most with it hitting a cool .394 in 23 games this season. I know it is a relatively small sample size but I would not be opposed to Reddick getting some every day action in Drew’s place if Theo can’t fill that need by the deadline.

Darnell McDonald has not been the same guy we got to know last year and receives a D+.  He has struggled at the plate all season but has shown signs of snapping out of it in recent weeks.  His defense has been decent and he will be a solid option off the bench during the dog days of summer.

Starting Pitchers: B+

Lets begin with the All-Stars. Josh Beckett had an historic first half of the season and will be able to place an A on the fridge, he is pitching like an Ace and it has come as some what of a surprise after his struggles last season.

Jon Lester will be given an A- after a start to the season that features a 10-4 record with a 3.31 ERA, 110 SO’s in 114.1 IP, and a 2011 All-Star nod, despite a subpar May from the Sox lefty.

Clay Buchholz has had his struggles this season but has managed to post a 6-3 record with a 3.48 ERA resulting in a grade of a B.

Tim Wakefield also receives a B.  There is no need to discuss Wake’s stats, the bottom line is he has filled in nicely while returning the rotation by giving the Sox a chance to win almost every time he takes the mound.

Finally the reverse curve buster, John Lackey.  Lackey has almost been as bad as J.D. Drew and will also receive a D-. My disdain for Lackey is well documented so there could be some bias to this grade, to give credit where credit is due the Million Dollar Man has turned in two nice starts in last last three, I know it is a stretch but it would be nice if he figured it out.

Bullpen: A-

Lets start with the three guys who posted the highest marks thus far.  In his contract year Papelbon has been spectacular closing out 20 games in 21 opportunities and receives an A for his efforts.

Bard has also been great, he has really turned it on after a couple hiccups in the early going, and sits at an 2.05 ERA with 44 SO’s in 44 IP.  Bard get’s an A-.

The star pupil not named Adrian Gonzales has to be Matt Albers.  Albers stats are great (2.55 ERA, 34 SO’s, 35.1 IP) but they only tell half the story.  It feels as though every time I look up this season Albers is either putting out fires started by Lackey, pitching great in meaningful situations, or simply eating innings in games that may have gotten away from the Sox.  Albers is a managers dream, a total team player with the numbers to boot, the heartthrob of the Sox gets an A- thus far.

Alfredo Aceves (Alfredo Sauce) has been up and down this season but overall has done a serviceable job, making some nice spot starts and eating innings out of the pen, I have to give him a B.

I am going to keep it short with Dan Wheeler, to be honest I have not read about him much or remember seeing him much so that means he must doing his job, when we start hearing more about him it means he is not quite cutting it, but thus far I have to give him a B as well.

Incompletes: Bobby Jenks, Drew Sutton, Franklin Morales, Andrew Miller, Yamaico Navarro, Kyle Weilland



Theo’s Time to Shine

The Red Sox have had a little case of the J.D. Drews spreading throughout the clubhouse with with the likes of Crawford, Buchholz, and most recently Lester finding themselves on the the Disabled List.  I attended the game Tuesday night and I almost thought I was watching a game from last season with Darnell McDonald hosing guys to win games and a guy named Yamaico Navarro manning the hot corner.  The All-Star break is near and the next couple of weeks will have a significant impact on the second half of the season.

Mandy B posted a great blog couple weeks ago highlighting some of the less notable off season moves made by Epstein that have proven to be successful to this point in the season.  Those moves and others will have a lasting impression on the success of the 2011 Red Sox.   The offseason was headlined by the signings of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford but to quote the late great Lou Brown “over 162 games even tough guys get strained, a soar arm, or a muscle pull (cue the raspy voice).”  The time has to come for Theo’s moves that didn’t make the back page to win some ball games.

When Theo first took the Red Sox GM position I had to be one of his biggest skeptics. How could this Jewish kid who couldn’t get off the pine for Brookline High School baseball team lead my Red Sox to the top?  I was wrong, during his tenure Theo has proven time and time again he is the right man for the job.   While Epstein’s big money free agent signings have been shaky, he has been able to develop star players and successfully plug “no name” players into the lineup when called upon during the regular season. The core of this Red Sox team is young and is a reflection of their young GM’s success during his tenure.  Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbson, and Jacoby Ellsbury are the most notable home grown players helping the Red Sox climb back to the top of the A.L. East.  Pedroia has already collected an MVP award, Lester is a legitimate Big League Ace, Buchholz led the American League in ERA last season, Youkilis has been an on base machine hitting in the middle of the Red Sox lineup, Papelbon is one of the best closers in the Bigs, and Ellsbury snagged about 400 bags in 2009 (not to mention a 2011 All-Star nod).  The 2010 Red Sox were able to grind out 89 wins and stay in the playoff hunt for the majority of last season with Tito penciling in names such as Darnell McDonald, Josh Reddick, Daniel Nava, Jed Lowrie, and calling on a kid named Bard to gas guys out of the pen on a day to day basis.

Whether it is developing top tier Major League players or finding value in lesser known players, Theo has a knack for showing confidence in players and placing them in situations to be successful on one of the biggest stages in Baseball.  I expect no difference this season, Josh Reddick has been a pleasant surprise to me, Darnell McDonald (I know he is struggling at the plate this season, but more playing time will change that) continues to prove he is a viable Major League player, and Andrew Miller has shown a lot promise in his first few outings.  These guys have been able to offset the lack of production from the big money stiffs such as Lackey, Dice K, and Drew and have kept the Sox in striking distance during this tough stretch.

Any GM can write checks but Theo has proven his worth time and time again, through the efforts of guys whose jerseys aren’t even available for purchase, that he his without a doubt one of the best GMs around.  I look forward to getting to know these players some more and I am confident they will fill in just fine setting the Red Sox up for the stretch run, in Theo We Trust.

Obviously the fate of the season depends on the health of Lester and Buchholz, but if things go south Theo may be in the market for a new disguise this coming fall.

P.S. If the Sox need more pitching help we could see Kevin Millwood in a Sox uni, I think he’s a bum but he may be another one of Theo’s heroes (a man can dream).

 

AGon to Roam Around The Outfield Tomorrow

Let me start off by saying I do not envy Tito’s position right now.  Ortiz has been one of the best hitters in the American League this year and you obviously can’t sit him for like 6 straight series, the offense has been struggling during this NL tour, and you would have to be deranged not to pencil in AGon’s .600 average and 176 RBI.  It only makes sense to try to get both of these landscapers in the line up together.

I am usually a don’t out think the room and let common sense reign kind of guy but for some reason I do not like the idea of Gonzalez running down fly balls in the outfield.  I have nothing to back my argument other than it is physically painful to watch him leg out wall ball doubles and the last thing I want to see is The Big Guy chasing down gappers drilled by Ryan Howard.  The Sox DL is a little full right now and I would prefer Gonzalez stay away from anything that could increase his chances of him spending more time with Bobby Jenks (the guy just doesn’t come off as the best influence and will most certainly be back on the DL soon).

Lacking that big bat in the middle of the lineup has exposed the Sox to an extent during these road inter league games and getting Ortiz in the lineup when the Sox meet the Phils in October is a must.  I’m pretty sure Crawford and Ellsbury together can cover the entire outfield, so let Gonzalez shag some flies in August and September and pencil the MVP out in RF around October 23.  Until then let’s keep it simple Tito, no need to get fancy over some cute little series in June.  I suggest giving AGon July 4th weekend off so he can come rip up Jim Plunkett’s Happy Hour with me at the Improper Bostonian on the Cod.

 

P.S. Can Ortiz play short? The Sox could use some pop at the spot in the lineup.

P.P.S. Why do it tomorrow?  Pretty sure we will see more than a few fly balls with Lackey going and I am sure even a weak Sox line up could get a few off of Vance Worley.  If you’re going to get them both in there it should be Thursday, Lester is a little better than Lackey and the could use the boost against Hamels.  (Save the Hamels is a lefty comments, Gonzalez and Ortiz are big boys, lefty righty match ups don’t matter)

 

 

 

Padres Walk Past Sox


Alfredo Aceves did his best Rick “Wildthing” Vaughn impression last night,  giving up four runs on four hits and six walks while throwing a career high 98 pitches during a 5 IP no decision.  Filling it for a sick Josh Beckett, Aceves had trouble finding the strike zone putting the Sox in an early 4-1 hole.  The Sox chipped away at Padres starter Matt Latos, eventually tying the game at 4, behind four hits from Kevin “the Chin” Youkilis, Ortiz’s blazing speed, and a game tying RBI single from AL MVP Adrian Gonzalez in the 6th.  However San Diego’s bullpen was lights out (they have a really impressive bullpen, the Sox should take a peak around the deadline to see if they are selling any of those dudes) and the Padres were able to take game two of the three game set 5-4.

 

The Red Sox finished the game with 13 hits, but were just 3-13 with runners in scoring position.  I look for the Sox to bounce back this afternoon and take the series from the Padres and head to the Steel city off a W, not looking forward to it though, Lackey has replaced Dice K as the most miserable Sox pitcher to watch.  Check for my twitter updates during the game, that’s if the Lackey Effect doesn’t have me drinking by the 2nd.

Miller Time

 

 

Andrew Miller makes the start for the Sox tonight.  I am not expecting 8 innings and 10 K’s but any type of productivity out of this kid could be huge for the Sox.  Injuries have hit of late all over the diamond and it is going to be players like Miller who will ride the Sox into the All-Star Break a top the A.L. East.

It was not long ago Miller was a First Round selection (6th overall) by the Detroit Tigers.  He and Daniel Bard were quite the Friday and Saturday combo at UNC a few years back.  The expectations need to be realistic but he is worth the gamble and I am excited to see what he and his mustache bring to the table.

 

P.S. It doesn’t hurt making your first start against the Padres, pretty sure they would have trouble hitting it out of their hands.  I ponied up and started him tonight in my fantasy league, could be a mistake but I like to live on the edge.

What Happened This Weekend?

Just returned from Las Vegas, got through the Yanks series then everything after that was a a blur.  What happened in the games last weekend?  Did the MLB switch to NFL rules while I was gone?  Did Roberto Luongo start every game for the Blue Jays?  Silly Canucks. Was Lebron some how involved with this? I refuse to believe those were traditionally played baseball games, I will appreciate every and all explanations for what went down.

 

Win it for Horty, couldn’t be more jacked for Game 7

Horton Playoff Montage

 

 

 

The Resurrection of David Ortiz

Hector Noesi had never faced David Ortiz before. He was in his second inning of work, mopping up for starter Freddy Garcia, who got whacked harder than a piñata at a second grader’s birthday party. Noesi had walked Adrian Gonzalez to start

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the inning before inducing a Kevin Youkilis fly-out in the next at

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bat.

Ortiz took Noesi to Souvenir City Tuesday night

With the count one and one to Ortiz, Noesi delivered a 94 mile-an-hour fastball right down the heart

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of the plate: Big Papi’s happy place. Soon that baseball traveled from happy place to the right field bleachers as Ortiz bopped his 14th home run of the season. Papi didn't have to watch the ball to know where it ended up … so

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he didn’t.

The great Kanye West once said, “Mr. West in the building, swagger on a hundred thousand trillion.” Right now, I think David Ortiz’s swagger is at about two hundred thousand trillion.

Ortiz has been launching balls into the solar system all season. Right now, the man some call “the greatest clutch hitter in the history of the Boston Red Sox,” is on pace for 38 homers in 2011. The last time he hit that many was back in 2006, when he obliterated American League pitching for a career-best 54 round-trippers. People didn’t even know who flip-flop wearing Mark Zuckerberg was back then.

The most astonishing part of Papi’s resurgence isn’t the 14 homers, good for 5th best in the league: it’s his batting average. Ortiz is hitting .324 at the moment. The only time he’s ever had a higher average was when he hit .332 in 2007.

Two years earlier, it looked like Ortiz’s baseball career was disintegrating faster than MC Hammer’s bank account. The slugger hit just .238 in ‘09 while registering 28 homers, a far cry from his early years with the Sox when he averaged over 40 homers a season. Last year’s .270 and 32 dingers was an improvement but it still didn’t look like Ortiz could ever hit .300 again.

After he batted .143 in the opening month last year, Ortiz bumped that up to a respectable .267 this April. May was even better for Papi, who finished the month at .342 with 10 homers. In June he’s just been filthy, hitting .474 and notching his first player of the week award since August 2007.

He’s seeing the ball better. He’s using the opposite field. His bat speed is back. He’s not striking out as often as he used to. He’s still as slow as a sloth, but who needs to run fast when you’re blasting home runs all the time (just ask Bryce Harper)?
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But best of all, you can tell Big Papi’s having fun again. And it’s easy to see why. His mind is as clear as it’s been in

years.

Papi was hampered by a wrist injury

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and was right in the middle of Manny Ramirez’s dramatic divorce from the Red Sox in 2008. The next season, he had to answer to steroid allegations after the New York Times released a report that he had tested positive for PEDs back in 2003.

After struggling early last season, Ortiz's confidence at the plate has been off the charts so far in 2011

Last April it looked like he forgot how to hit altogether. You could have struck Papi out with a beach ball, that’s how lost he was out there. All of the confidence that propelled Ortiz to five straight

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All-Star appearances between 2004 and 2008 had evaporated. Furious talk radio callers wanted to give Terry Francona the guillotine for continuing to play Ortiz. At that time, it looked like there was a better chance Charlie Sheen would be DHing for the Red Sox in 2011 than David Ortiz.

Now all of that pressure is gone. Ortiz isn’t the three or four hitter anymore. He’s batted fifth in the order almost all season. Going into the season, fans expected Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to be Boston’s stars, not Ortiz. Whatever the 35-year-old could provide out of the five-hole would be an added bonus for the Red Sox. Most fantasy experts projected him to be in the .250, 20-25 homer range.

With Gonzalez and others shouldering the load instead of Papi, Ortiz has found his stroke again. Papi’s amazing comeback season is a major reason why Boston sits in a tie for first in the AL East, even after a sluggish 2-10 start.

With Crawford heating up and Gonzalez having perhaps the best statistical year of his career (his .340 average is tied

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for second-best in the majors), suddenly there is no easy out in the Red Sox lineup. Jacoby Ellsbury’s been as good a leadoff man as there is in the American League. Dustin Pedroia, Crawford and Kevin Youkilis are always threats and even if Jarrod Saltalamacchia can’t hit .250, he still has 15 home-run potential. Gonzalez and Papi have been two of the toughest outs in baseball

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this year and both of them should be headed to Phoenix for the All-Star Game next month.

It looks like Ortiz is back and so are the Red Sox, who have now won 17 out of their last 23 games. Think Hector Noesi will be daring enough to throw Papi a middle-of-the-plate fastball

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again this season? I doubt it. And if he does, I’d tell the ump to get an extra baseball ready.

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Meet Matt Barnes (Draft Day 1 Update)

 

Theo and crew didn’t have to look far for to find their First Round pick when the MLB First-Year Player Draft got underway yesterday, selecting 90’s baby and UConn’s stud Junior RHP Matt Barnes at #19 overall.  UConn lacks a rich baseball history, but scouts and obviously the Red Sox believe that this kid is the real deal.  Here is the tale of the tape on the newest member of your Boston Red Sox:

Birthplace: Bethel, Conn.

Height/Weight: 6-4/203 lbs

Position: RHP

Birthdate: 6/17/1990

UConn Career Statistics (via The Official Website of Connecticut Athletics):

Year ERA W-L APP/GS CG SV IP H R ER BB SO
2009 5.43 5-3 13/7 0 1 53.0 54 38 32 23 55
2010 3.92 8-3 15/13 1 0 82.2 79 39 36 25 75
Totals 4.53 13-6 28/20 1 1 135.2 133 77 68 48 130

The hard throwing Right Hander posted some impressive numbers during his time in Storrs to go along with a couple superb summer ball campaigns while hurling for the Wareham Gatemen of the prestigious Cape Cod League and the Collegiate USA National Team last summer.  According to MLB’s Pro Draft Central’s scouting report, Barnes’s bread and butter is a plus mid 90’s fastball that is considered one of the better fastballs in all the draft.  He compliments the fastball with three average to above average pitches, with his second best pitch being a curveball (which could use some work), a quality changeup, and a slider which is by far the weakest of his arsenal.

The kid has the body of a major league pitcher and it will be interesting to see how he develops over the next couple of years.  Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Daniel Bard, and Casey Kelly (the centerpiece of the Adrian Gonzalez deal) demonstrate the success Epstein and the Front Office have had with their First Round picks, let’s hope this former Huskie is another example.

Draft Notables:

Second Pick (First Rd/26th Overall)- Blake Swihart, a switch hitting catcher from V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, NM.  Swihart hit .602 during his Senior Year.

Third Pick (36th Overall)- Henry Owens, a tall LHP from Edison High School in Huntington Beach, CA. Owens owned a 12-0 record while posting a 1.03 ERA while striking out 99 batters and only walking 13 in 78 2/3 innings of work his Senior Year.

Fourth Pick (40th Overall)-My favorite pick of Day 1, the University of South Carolina Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., or JBJ as the Gamecock faithful like to call him.  Bradley was named the Most Outstanding Player of the College Baseball World Series last year, leading the Gamecocks to a National Title.  JBJ hit .368 in 2010 but is batting just .259 in 2011.  A wrist injury has kept him out of the South Carolina lineup since April, probably resulting in JBJ being on the board at #40. (Great Value with this pick).  Follow my boy on twitter @JackieBradleyJr

 

Sox, Cubs Show Off Throwbacks

BOSTON — The ceremonial pitches at Fenway Park on Saturday were thrown out by Dr. Louis Zamperini, a 1936 United States Olympian, and Julia Ruth Stevens, Babe Ruth’s daughter, in keeping with the nostalgic theme of the Boston Red SoxChicago Cubs weekend, with the teams meeting in Boston for the first time since the 1918 World Series.

http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2011/0521/bos_u_ace_300.jpg

The teams wore throwback uniforms, the types worn in 1918. The Sox’s uniform was all white with nothing on the front of the jerseys. Numbers were on the back. Numbers were not on the uniforms backs in 1918, so this was a bow to the present identification of the players.

Boston’s hats were all white, again with no team insignia.

Each member of the Sox will sign his uniform, which will be auctioned to benefit the Red Sox Foundation.

While David Ortiz wasn’t a fan of the throwbacks (“I don’t like it,” he said. “I’m not used to those, but it’s OK, I guess.”), others enjoyed the change.

“I thought it was a cool look,” Jed Lowrie said. “For all the things we do during the year [with uniforms], I think this was a pretty good one.”

The Cubs’ uniforms were gray with blue lettering and numbers. The “C” on the jersey was rectangular in shape with the rest of the team’s name — “ubs” — in block letters.

“I always like the throwback uniforms,” Carl Crawford said. “I like the baggy pants and the old-school look. You can see – I’m taking my hat home.”

Also, in homage to the 1918 Series, the video message boards are to be dark during the third inning. No music is going to be played as the batters walk to the plate, and two people each with a megaphone will be stationed in the walkway between the Field Box and the Loge Box seats, announcing the hitters in the inning.

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