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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Red Sox notebook: Following surgery, Mike Napoli feels refreshed and ready - Sports - The Boston Globe

This does not sound like a fun way to spend an off-season.

“I couldn’t do it anymore, feeling the way I was feeling,” he said. “I was like, ‘I need to have the surgery or I’m not going play anymore.’ That’s how bad it was.”

Dr. Leonard Kaban, the chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, broke Napoli’s upper and lower jaw and moved them forward. That doubled the space in his airway.

Kaban inserted a titanium plate and several screws to reconnect Napoli’s jaw. Napoli spent two days in intensive care and experienced “10 days of pain.” Then came six weeks of a liquid diet. Nearly three months later, Napoli doesn’t have feeling in his lips and chin because of nerve damage that may not heal for up to a year.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2015 at 07:01 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: mike napoli, red sox

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Pedroia ‘ready to go,’ sees Sox rebounding | MLB.com

In case you were worried.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2015 at 07:00 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, red sox

Friday, January 23, 2015

Don’t expect Red Sox to acquire an ace for rotation - Sports - The Boston Globe

The Red Sox don’t feel a *need* to overspend on an ace right now.

“Look, starting pitchers who perform at the highest level and do so consistently and are relatively young and near their prime, those guys are hard guys to get and are valuable and cost a lot, whether it’s dollars or talent,” he said.

“We’re trying to put ourselves in a position where we have that caliber of pitching and hopefully we have some of it internally and maybe some of it still has to develop. There’s no question a team benefits from having high-end starting pitching performance. It’s just a question of how to get that. We looked at all sort of things.”

Triple A lefthanders Brian Johnson, Henry Owens, and Eduardo Rodriguez could emerge as solutions. Former first-round pick Anthony Ranaudo is another option.

“We think we have enough pitching talent to put together a good pitching staff, one that can help us contend in the division,” Cherington said.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 09:23 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Making the Case for a Strasburg/Betts Trade | FanGraphs Baseball

Neither side is comfortable with the deal which suggests that perhaps it’s a reasonably fair proposal? Really? David Cameron writes some enjoyable articles at times. I’m glad, though, that he’s not the GM of the Red Sox.

In talking with people in the game, neither side seems comfortable with the deal, which suggests that perhaps it’s a reasonably fair proposal, or at least in the ballpark of being reasonable on both sides. I know I’m higher on Betts than most, and if you place a very high value on frontline pitching, perhaps you think the Red Sox should add a sweetener to the deal. This isn’t so much about trying to say that Betts are Strasburg are equivalent in value as it is to say that the Red Sox and Nationals are currently setup to help each other about as well as two organizations have been in some time.

It’s almost certainly not going to happen, but as far as speculative trade suggestions go, this one seems to make as much sense on both sides as any I can remember.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2015 at 07:41 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, nationals, red sox, stephen strasburg

Friday, January 16, 2015

red sox - Red Sox banking clubhouse culture won’t go south - WEEI | Rob Bradford

Here’s a pretty good article about chemistry with an interesting perspective on the clubhouse dynamic between Spanish and English speaking players.

“With non-English-speaking players, they try to learn English as quickly as possible or shy away from it immediately,” he said. “The American players either really see an effort that they are trying to endear themselves, or they feel the Hispanics are sticking together and they feel they are alienating themselves. So the dynamic can be tricky. When you’re looking at the Red Sox, having a decent number of Latin guys is a plus when you have a guy like Rusney Castillo because he really hasn’t spent a lot of times in the minor leagues and to have that ability to talk to someone that he can relate to is pretty important.

“But overall, Hispanic, Japanese, American, whatever it is, I think you have to earn the respect of your teammates by the way you go about your business. That is universal in baseball when it comes to having a good clubhouse. Are there guys who can bridge the gap a little bit? Yes. I’ve heard that Hispanics only hang out with themselves, but it’s not that. It’s when you’re stretching and everybody is having a conversation you kind of want to understand what everybody is saying, and when you don’t speak English well you’re going to go to a guy who speaks Spanish.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 16, 2015 at 06:13 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: chemistry, red sox

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Boston Red Sox may have to sell low on Jackie Bradley Jr. | masslive.com

The false urgency some writers try and project onto teams is seemingly everywhere. The Red Sox don’t *need* to do anything with Bradley this year. Doing so would be trading low on him. He can play in Pawtucket or make the team as a 4th/5th outfielder this year. The team can decide what to do with him in the future.

It’s too bad the Red Sox don’t have any room for him. He’ll show up to spring training and say that he’s fighting for a spot on the major league roster, that he has to show the coaching staff what he’s capable of and maybe he’ll get a chance to play. But that hardly seems fathomable on the current roster. The Red Sox will need to either trade him or a different outfielder before opening day, otherwise they’ll risk starting the season with too many veterans forced to accept back-up roles.

And one former prospect/current Gold Glove contender stuck in Triple-A without a chance to prove anything he already hasn’t.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 14, 2015 at 06:21 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Red Sox scouting director on lookout for next Kevin Youkilis - Sports - The Boston Globe

With the 7th pick in the 2013 draft, the Red Sox selected P Trey Ball. To this point, the pick is questionable. He’s still early in his development, though, so maybe this will work out for them.

Of course, Rikard won’t just be in charge of searching for hidden gems later in the draft. For the second time in three years — but just the third time in nearly half a century, thanks to their dismal 2014 season — the Sox hold one of the top 10 picks (No. 7) in this year’s draft.

“It’s an opportunity that, more than anything, you hope you don’t have too often or ever again as far as picking near the top of the draft,” said Rikard. “But it is an exciting opportunity, and this looks like it will be a pretty good group of players. It should be fun.”

There is weight in that responsibility, a sense that a franchise-changing selection could offer a silver lining to a brutal 2014 season if the Sox find the next Frank Thomas, Clayton Kershaw, or Troy Tulowitzki — a few of the stars who have been taken at No. 7.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2015 at 03:10 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: amateur draft, red sox

Full Count » Daniel Nava contemplating switch from switch-hitting

So he probably hasn’t seen a really nasty curve ever?

And now, with the Red Sox flush with righty-hitting outfielders, the 31-year-old is on the verge of embracing what is working for him.

“I have thought about it. Is it something I’m going to do? I don’t know. It’s a tough thing to do,” he said. “[Shane] Victorino did it a couple of years ago, just dropping it. It definitely runs through my head. It’s definitely something I’m considering doing, but at the same time it’s something I’ve never done. Would I even be effective lefty on lefty, or would it be better hitting against lefties from the right side. I would have to go out and give it a test run.”

Despite the numbers, Nava’€™s hesitancy is somewhat understandable. It has been quite a while, after all, since he stared down a lefty pitcher as a lefty hitter.

“Probably Little League,” he said when asked the last time he didn’€™t hit from both sides of the plate. “I’ve been a switch-hitter my whole life. Hopefully I raked in Little League, but I don’t’ really remember.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2015 at 08:08 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel nava, red sox

Red Sox create new behavioral health department - The Boston Globe

The staff plans to place an emphasis on the emerging field of “mindfulness,” in which individuals consciously identify and take stock of the circumstances surrounding them to avoid getting overwhelmed or distracted. So, rather than getting distracted by a hostile crowd while batting in the ninth inning of a tie game, a player is trained through mindfulness to recognize that crowd prior to the at-bat and implement behaviors such as controlled breathing to manage his response to it.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 13, 2015 at 08:03 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ex-Red Sox setup man Daniel Bard healthy, ready to bounce back - Sports - The Boston Globe

Rose knew the consequences of his gambling should he get caught. He got caught.

More than 25 years have passed since Pete Rose was banned from baseball by commissioner Bart Giamatti for betting on baseball games.

The all-time hits leader never got on the Hall of Fame ballot.

I’ve always agreed with Giamatti’s decision of the lifetime ban, and with his decision to allow Rose to apply for reinstatement at some point. After all, gambling on baseball games while you’re uniformed personnel is an egregious offense, compromising the game’s integrity. For those reasons, Bud Selig was right not to have allowed Rose to be relevant in baseball.

But after 25 years, at age 73, has Rose paid for his crime? Granted, it took some 15 years for him to admit to betting on games.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2015 at 01:34 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: daniel bard, pete rose, red sox, sunday notes

Red Sox payroll on track to be larger than ever to start season

Even before the addition of Craig Breslow to the roster this week on a $2-million contract, the Red Sox already appeared to have pushed past the luxury-tax threshold of $189 million. Their payroll as constituted has pushed past $193 million, which would be an all-time high for Opening Day — well beyond the $175 million with which they started the season in 2012.

(Bolstered by the signing of Carl Crawford, Boston’s payroll wound up at $189 million for luxury-tax purposes in 2011, earning them a $3.4-million bill from Major League Baseball. The blockbuster trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers the following August pushed them back below the threshold.)

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2015 at 07:55 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Friday, January 09, 2015

Visualizing 2015 Mookie Betts vs. 2015 Javier Baez | FanGraphs Baseball

Two prospects enter, one prospect leaves.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2015 at 08:14 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, javier baez, mookie betts, prospects, red sox, sabermetrics

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Curt Schilling says he lost Hall of Fame votes because he’s a Republican

THANKS OBAMA

Schilling appeared Wednesday on Boston radio station WEEI, telling the Dennis and Callahan show that he thinks his political leanings certainly didn’t help. Asked why Smoltz did so much better than him on the ballot, Schilling said:

  “The fact that [the Braves] won 14 straight pennants. I think his ‘Swiss Army knife versatility,’ which is what somebody said yesterday. I think he got a lot of accolades for that. I think he got a lot of recognition for that. He’s a Hall of Famer. The other big thing is, I think he’s a Democrat. I know that as a Republican that there’s some people that really don’t like that.”

Lest you think Schilling was just joking or being goofy, he was asked in a follow-up whether he thought he would have gotten at least 100 more votes if weren’t an “outspoken Republican.” His response:

  “Absolutely. When human beings do something, anything, there’s bias and prejudice,” Schilling said. “Listen, nine percent of the voters did not vote for Pedro. There’s something wrong with the process and some of the people in the process when that happens. I don’t think that it kept me out or anything like that but I do know there are guys who probably will never vote for me because of the things I said or did. That’s the way it works.”


Tuesday, January 06, 2015


Thursday, January 01, 2015

general - Closing Time: 5 things I learned while working for WEEI.com - WEEI | Alex Speier

I’ve enjoyed Alex Speier’s coverage of the Red Sox and look forward to what’s next for him. I find his view of the changing nature of baseball coverage interesting.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 01, 2015 at 08:40 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Monday, December 29, 2014

Nine possible spots for Max Scherzer: Star FA without a team, or a rumor - CBSSports.com

Will Boras really be able to convince a team to go $200 million on Scherzer?

9. Yankees: Hal Steinbrenner has been weighing Scherzer for weeks, but in recent days indications are Steinbrenner still isn’t ready to dive in, and they’ve said as much. Many rotation question questions carry over from last season, and it appears that for now at least, talented youngster Nate Eovaldi is the answer to McCarthy’s departure. Their starting group could be very good, but there’s a lot of uncertainty, from Mashiro Tanaka’s elbow to CC Sabathia’s knee to Ivan Nova’s elbow to Michael Pineda’s ability to continue to perform. The issue is this: With a 50 percent tax for them, a $28 million salary for Scherzer would cost them $42 million, steep even by Yankees standards.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Despite losses, Orioles still perched on top in AL East - Sports - The Boston Globe

No excuse? How about if the price tags on the available starters are unreasonable? Don’t get me wrong. Getting an ace would be great. Getting an ace at the expense of too much talent, though, is a price they shouldn’t be willing to pay. That’s especially true if you believe having the ace will only get the team to 84-88 wins.

To do: Find an ace. The Red Sox have no excuse for leaving themselves short in this area. They have player and financial resources to obtain free agents such as Max Scherzer or James Shields, and trade for Cole Hamels, David Price, or Jordan Zimmermann. John Henry said the team can go over the $189 million luxury tax threshold for a year. And they need another lefty in the bullpen.

Ugh.

5. As fun as it is to pore over some sabermetric stats, batting average, home runs, and RBIs pretty much tell the story of a hitter. For a top-of-the-order speed guy, walks, on-base percentage, and stolen bases do the same.

Backup job at DH?

8. Ryan Lavarnway, C, Orioles — The Orioles were the fourth team Lavarnway ended up with in December, when he was passed around on waivers from Boston to the Dodgers to the Cubs and now to the Orioles. Lavarnway could compete for a backup job at DH.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 02:50 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles, rays, red sox, yankees

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Cubs, the Red Sox and a Blank Check | Community – FanGraphs Baseball

An interesting idea.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 23, 2014 at 10:03 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, economics, red sox

Friday, December 19, 2014

Full Count » Source: Red Sox close to deal sending Will Middlebrooks to Padres for Ryan Hanigan

He should have played winter ball.

“€œI want to stay in Boston; I want to play in Boston,”€ Middlebooks said a few weeks ago at David Ortiz‘s charity golf event. “I came up here, and I know it’€™s pretty rare for someone to stay in one place their whole career. I understand that. But I’€™m still going to try. I don’€™t really fit the mix right now. It doesn’€™t seem that there’€™s a place for me now. But it’€™s a long time until April and a lot of things can happen.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 19, 2014 at 03:13 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, will middlebrooks

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

AZCentral: Miley’s Preparation Apparently an Issue for DBacks

AZ FO taking a page from the Red Sox playbook?

Miley doesn’t think there is anything wrong with his diet and believes his work ethic is where it needs to be. He admits it wasn’t always that way.

“My first couple of years going into camp, I hunted more than I worked out,” Miley said. “It was kind of a wake up call.”

...

Miley said he didn’t want to go into specifics about his diet but did make a passing reference about not being gluten free. He said he wished the team were more willing to tailor its approach toward individuals rather than having everyone doing the same things.

Also, looks like Boston has cornered the market on pitchers with rib injuries (after jump)...

Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: December 17, 2014 at 02:20 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: celiac disease, diamondbacks, diet, red sox

Monday, December 15, 2014

Major League Baseball teams always wonder if they did enough in offseason - Sports - The Boston Globe

As I’ve said a few times, the Red Sox don’t *need* an ace. They want one. Teams with *needs* sometimes do stupid things. I’d rather the Sox show patience and wait for the right deal, even if that deal doesn’t come for a while.

The Red Sox lost out on Jon Lester and Andrew Miller, but traded for Wade Miley and Rick Porcello, and signed Justin Masterson. Good going, but the Red Sox need an ace. They also need a lefthander in the bullpen, a strong setup man. While they bolstered their lineup with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, did they do enough? Is their bullpen vulnerable?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 15, 2014 at 06:39 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Farrell points to Betts as potential leadoff man | MLB.com

Mookie Betts is a leadoff hitter.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 14, 2014 at 08:26 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: mookie betts, red sox

Lucchino on Lester: “We failed” | Boston Herald

They really shouldn’t let Larry talk to the press. It’s like listening to a 300-pound lawyer simultaneously giving you legal advice and trying to get you to give her a dollar at a strip club.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 14, 2014 at 08:13 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: larry lucchino, red sox

Friday, December 12, 2014

Do The Red Sox Have a Ground Ball Fetish? | FanGraphs Baseball

Fans want what they want RIGHT NOW. A front office which feeds into that does stupid things. I’m glad the Red Sox front office hasn’t bought into that mindset. It leads to bad decisions. Getting Lester (and/or Scherzer or Cole Hamels) at all costs would make the Red Sox a better team in 2015. It also would most probably make it more difficult to sustain success in 2017+.

Certainly neither pitcher carries the cache that Hamels does, but their projections aren’t that much different — in fact, Steamer likes Porcello better than Hamels for 2015. It is possible that the Red Sox and Phillies can still come together on a deal, but the clear preference has been established — take lower ceiling players on in order to make the pieces fit rather than trade a bounty for the one pitcher they need, because that will just create more holes to fill. This makes perfect sense. As I outlined last week for the Boston Globe, the mission now for Ben Cherington and Co. is not to go out and find great players — they’ve already done that. The offense is littered with both proven and potential above-average players. The key now is filling in around them. This current five-man rotation — new recruits Masterson, Miley and Porcello, plus holdovers Kelly and Clay Buchholz — are a good bet to be just what they needed.

Time will tell if the Red Sox have a newfound fascination with ground ball pitchers. They haven’t in the past, but with Sandoval in the fold to go with Dustin Pedroia, the Sox now have two above-average infield defenders locked up for the foreseeable future, that plan may change. But the more likely explanation is that the team is simply trying to fill out the best roster they can, and this year, that means going heavier on position players than starting pitchers.

Edit: Fixed year. :p

Jim Furtado Posted: December 12, 2014 at 08:26 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sabermetrics

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Red Sox To Sign Justin Masterson

“Our pitchers are so mediocre. And we have so few of them!”

The Red Sox have agreed to sign righty Justin Masterson, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports on Twitter. The deal is for approximately $9MM, Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets.

Masterson, 29, fell off significantly last year after a three-year run in which he averaged 205 frames and a 3.86 ERA… In 2014, he scuffled to a 5.88 ERA in 128 2/3 innings last year, striking out 8.1 and walking 4.8 batters per nine while dealing with a variety of shoulder, knee, and back issues. Masterson lost nearly three ticks on his average fastball velocity last year, though he managed to carry a typically stellar 58.2% groundball rate.

The District Attorney Posted: December 11, 2014 at 12:47 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, justin masterson, red sox, transactions

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