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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Pablo Sandoval needs surgery and his season is over - SBNation.com

Maybe the Red Sox need the Orioles’ doctors to examine future free agents.

Just when Sandoval will return is up in the air, as the procedure is reconstructive. The Red Sox didn’t insure Sandoval’s shoulder when he signed prior to the 2015 season, as there was no physical need to do so. Since that time, though, his shoulder has obviously suffered and degraded, and for all we know it could have been part of his problem a year ago and this spring.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:41 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, pablo sandoval, red sox

To learn about himself, Ben Cherington decided to teach - The Boston Globe

I still believe he was scapegoated.

The topics seemingly have sharpened Cherington’s views of what happened during his time in Boston. Even as the organization’s emerging young core — which Cherington proved resolute in preserving — appears to have the team back on a promising track, he understands why he is no longer GM of the Red Sox.

“Results do matter. In Boston, you know they matter. That’s fundamentally a part of the job,” he said. “In Boston, you know that the results do matter and there isn’t a long time to get there. I guess what I’m trying to get at is that I don’t think that covering yourself in the sort of gauze of strategy and process is sufficient if you’re really trying to learn from what happened. Yes, there were reasons why we did everything we did, but the bottom line is we didn’t perform well enough for two years. When that happens in a place like Boston, there’s a lot of pressure on the institution to make change because it’s a business. That change happened. If I’m going to learn something from it, I think I have to embrace that the results weren’t there, and why was that.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:35 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, general managers, red sox

Carson Smith brings different look to Red Sox bullpen - Sports - providencejournal.com - Providence, RI

The Red Sox can really use him.

It’s Carson Smith’s offseason workout partner, former Red Sox and current Pirates All-Star reliever Mark Melancon, who probably sums it up best.

“You’ve got righties, and you’ve got lefties,” Melancon said. “And then you’ve got Carson. It’s almost like a third dimension.”

“It’s like sidearm, but it’s not sidearm, you know?” said Mookie Betts, who has done his best to forget the times he’s faced Smith. “It’s not over the top, it’s not three-quarters, but it’s not submarine. And then it’s coming hard, too.”

Smith’s release point is pretty much unique in baseball. Although he stands 6-foot-6, Smith releases the ball about five-and-a-half feet from the ground, according to Brooks Baseball. His 6-foot-7 teammate Henry Owens, by comparison, releases the ball a foot higher. Smith’s release point is lower in absolute terms than Toronto’s Marcus Stroman, who’s 10 inches shorter than him.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 03, 2016 at 11:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: carson smith, red sox

Monday, May 02, 2016

Pablo Sandoval to Undergo Shoulder Surgery

The Red Sox announced that third baseman Pablo Sandoval will undergo left shoulder surgery in the coming days.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopedist who examined Sandoval in Florida on Monday. Sandoval, 29, had complained of shoulder soreness in early April and was placed on the disabled list on April 13.

The Red Sox did not provide an update on how long Sandoval will be out or what kind of rehab his surgery will entail, noting in a press release that more information will be made available after surgery.


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hardball Times: The Doug Mirabelli Trade, an Oral History

10 years ago this weekend, marked backup catcher and knuckleball whisperer Doug Mirabelli’s return to the Red Sox.

The December prior, the Red Sox sent the 35-year-old Mirabelli — long Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher — to the Padres for second baseman Mark Loretta. They acquired Josh Bard from the Indians (in the Coco Crisp deal) a month later to replace Mirabelli.

April 2006 was a period of adjustment — Mirabelli adjusting to San Diego, Bard to Boston, Wakefield to Bard. It wasn’t going well. Bard had 10 passed balls in five Wakefield starts, including two in their first inning together and four in Bard’s final start on April 26 in Cleveland, the middle stop of a three-city road trip for the Red Sox.

Then-Sox general manager Theo Epstein was on that road trip. The game against the Indians motivated him to move on perhaps the most famous trade for a backup catcher in the history of baseball — a trade he now considers the worst he’s ever made.

Shoulda had them throw in plenty of chicken parm.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Silverman: Red Sox should stick with Steven Wright in rotation | Boston Herald

Steven Wright is the real deal.

Let’s not lose our shirts just because Steven Wright joined Rick Porcello and David Price in the “I, too, shut down the Braves lineup” club last night.

Let’s, however, start banging the drum for Wright to establish permanent residency in the Red Sox rotation.

For a guy who described himself as a starter “by default” just because Eduardo Rodriguez got hurt during spring training, Wright has seized the opportunity to become the most consistent, reliable and arguably the best starter on the team.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 28, 2016 at 09:43 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, steven wright

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Steven Wright sends gift to Chris Colabello after beaning Jays 1B

“[Wright] went above and beyond in my eyes,” he said. “It was pretty obvious there was no intent. You could see by his reaction.”

Colabello said the act of a pitcher sending a gift to a player after hitting him “happens more than people know. You build relationships with people.”

Wright said he did it because it scared so many, including Colabello’s parents, who were in the stands. Colabello graduated from high school in Milford, Massachusetts, and played college ball at Assumption in Worcester, Massachusetts.

“I felt like it was the least I could do for scaring myself and probably his parents because I know he’s from around here and his parents were here,” Wright said. “I know that’s something I needed to do.”

I am all for this being a full unwritten rule. Especially for accidentally hitting someone in the head, but even for intentional plunks to the meaty parts. If you hit someone, get them a little something to let them know you realize that getting hit sucks.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Peter Gammons: Troy Tulowitzki, Travis Shaw, and attention to the defensive side - GammonsDaily.com

While the Blue Jays watch Tulowitzki’s work ethic so that he gets rid of throws strongly, quickly and accurately however he reaches them, so too, on the other side the Red Sox have come to marvel at the throwing of Travis Shaw.

Now, for a guy who was moved to first base for awhile, Shaw’s athleticism has surprised the coaches and the front office. “I know I am very impressive with his defense,” says Dave Dombrowski. “Travis gets rid of the ball very quickly,” says Brian Butterfield, “and he does so with arm strength and exceptional accuracy. He impressed all of us when he came up last year, but he’s better than we imagined. And his throwing is special.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 17, 2016 at 12:46 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, defense, red sox

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dustin Pedroia’s game has always been bigger than his stature | FOX Sports

Right-hander Mike Pelfrey started for Wichita State. The following year, he would be the Mets’ first-round pick, and ninth overall selection.

“That was one of the first places you could see the (velocity readings) on the scoreboard. Pelfrey was throwing 96-97,” Murphy said.

“Pedroia was a junior. Sure enough, Pelfrey warmed up before the game with some high numbers. One of the first pitches of the game, Pedroia hits a line drive off the center-field fence, just a bolt. He gets to second base, and he’s ripping off his batting gloves saying, ‘Hey, 96 coming in, 113 going out.’ Pelfrey is 6-foot-7, looking at him, thinking, ‘What the heck?’

“We had a pretty good game. Pedroia came in the dugout, maybe after his second line drive and started yelling, ‘Hey, it’s a laser show! A laser show all day!’ I think that was the first time I heard the ‘laser show’ comment.”

Arizona State won, 4-3. Pedroia went 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Pelfrey lasted just four innings, giving up four runs, two earned.

“Did you ever see him pitch in college? He was throwing 1,000 miles an hour,” Pedroia said. “We were trying to talk ourselves into the idea that we were going to beat him. You know what I mean? It was one of those kind of deals.

“We ended up winning both the games we played there. But his stuff, he was by far the best pitcher I faced in college. He was throwing 100.”

Was it the first time Pedroia invoked the term, “laser show?”

Hardly.

“We always talked about that. In my high school, we would mess around with that,” Pedroia said.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 16, 2016 at 06:40 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, red sox

Friday, April 15, 2016

Ex-trainer says Pablo Sandoval needs baby sitter to control weight | Boston Herald

Did the Red Sox research him at all before signing him?

“I care about him greatly,” said Banning, who lost touch with Sandoval after the 2011-12 offseason. “But it’s a tough love. He needs to be smart enough to say there’s a problem. It’s like the alcoholic that won’t admit he’s an alcoholic: well, you can’t address that you’re an alcoholic if you don’t ever admit there’s a problem. He’s got to address that.

“He’s proven to me and shown consistently that he’s got to have somebody like me holding his hand doing that. And it’s not an exercise thing, it’s an eating thing. Obviously exercise is an important factor in it, a very important factor, but eating is going to be the component that needs to be managed and monitored. We had a chef on staff that cooked all his meals.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 15, 2016 at 05:59 AM | 64 comment(s)
  Beats: giants, pablo sandoval, red sox

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Drellich: Red Sox won’t be able to hide Pablo Sandoval for long | Boston Herald

The Red Sox don’t have many options. Right now, Shaw is a better player than Sandoval was before he went off the rails. So, even if Sandoval finds workout religion, how does the team find playing time to rebuild his value enough to get another team to take on even a small portion of his contract?

Jim Furtado Posted: April 14, 2016 at 08:55 AM | 76 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, red sox

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Farewell to The Maniacal One, Chuck Waseleski - The Boston Globe

I never met him but I’m sure he would have fit in well here.

Condolences to his family and friends.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 13, 2016 at 11:04 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: obituary, red sox

Red Sox must turn to Christian Vazquez to help struggling pitchers - Boston Red Sox Blog- ESPN

Swihart isn’t throwing those fat pitches in the middle of the plate. Replacing him behind the dish for missing a pop up is just silly. What’s even more silly is suggesting they should carry a third catcher because their “roster is imperfect anyway”.

During the final week of spring training, Farrell said the Red Sox wouldn’t rule out carrying three catchers. It’s hardly an ideal scenario, but as long as third baseman Pablo Sandoval is coming off the bench, the Sox’s roster is imperfect anyway. Sandoval doesn’t run well, has struggled defensively and hits far better from the left side of the plate than the right, making him a poor fit to come off the bench for a team that already has lefty-hitting Travis Shaw, Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the bottom half of the order.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 13, 2016 at 10:11 AM | 101 comment(s)
  Beats: blake swihart, christian vazquez, red sox

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Limits of Analytics: The Tale of the Red Sox, Hippos, and Groundhogs

Older article, going back to the John Henry announcement six weeks ago that the Red Sox would be placing less emphasis on analytics (which was discussed pretty thoroughly at the time). I think the biggest insight here is that organizations can get down in the weeds with the data and lose sight of the context to which the data applies.

But once organizations get zealous about data, such as the Red Sox, they can go too far in the other direction. Rudin calls these organizations “groundhogs” because they are too focused on the data to see the bigger story. In other words, they can’t see the forest through the trees. And a myopic emphasis on data to the exclusion of common sense leads to rather comical, if not tragic, outcomes.

Mike Emeigh Posted: April 12, 2016 at 11:43 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: analytics, red sox, sabermetrics

Monday, April 11, 2016

Stephen King: Protective netting at Fenway? Thanks, but no thanks

These are just a few of the more serious injuries, those that have been reported in the press. There are plenty more. According to a Bloomberg News report, 1,750 fans are injured in game-related incidents every year. That’s more than the number of batters hit by pitches (about 1,500, according to the Elias Sports Bureau). But almost 74 million fans attended MLB games in 2015, so the chances of being struck by a piece of bat or a foul line drive are pretty slim. Right up there with getting struck by lightning, I’d say. Maybe even less, if the fan is paying attention. Close to the field at Fenway, fans are specifically instructed to do just that by signs reading BATS AND FOUL BALLS HURT! PAY ATTENTION!

There are questions inherent in the decision to net, and I think they’re bigger than baseball. Like when does protection become overprotection? Is the safety of a fan at a public event like a baseball game the responsibility of the organization putting on that event? (According to the back of every MLB ticket sold, the fan is responsible.) When do safety precautions begin to steal away the pure joy of being there?

 


Edwin Encarnacion As Next Red Sox DH? David Ortiz Wants It To Happen

It appears David Ortiz has handpicked his successor. The Red Sox designated hitter is in his final Major League Baseball season, and there’s no doubt he’s going to leave a hole in Boston’s lineup come 2017. But Ortiz apparently has been scouting Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Edwin Encarnacion as his replacement. “Hell, yeah. He’s a perfect replacement,” Ortiz told WEEI’s Rob Bradford on Friday. “Because of everything, but mostly because he can hit.”

Paul d mobile Posted: April 11, 2016 at 09:32 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, ortiz, red sox

Friday, April 08, 2016

Mookie Betts Is Dustin Pedroia All Over Again | FanGraphs Baseball

A great examination of what makes Betts and Pedroia similarly great hitters. Pedroia’s power numbers dipped for a couple of years when his wrist injury prevented him from turning on the inside stuff with any authority, especially up. He’s looked like his old self the last two years. Assuming he’s over his leg problems from last season, you should expect big numbers from him again.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 08, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, mookie betts, red sox

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

It’s only one game, but Hanley Ramirez sure looked good Tuesday - The Boston Globe

“The more pressure we can apply, we feel like there will be mistakes defensively,” he added. “We know that during the course of the year, you’re not always going to be swinging the bats as you’re capable of as a team for six months. You’ve got to find other ways to be successful.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2016 at 08:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: hanley ramirez, red sox

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Full Count » Travis Shaw beats out Pablo Sandoval for Red Sox’ starting 3B job

Pablo can either whine about it or work though it. We’ll see how he responds.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 31, 2016 at 11:11 AM | 85 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, red sox, travis shaw

Travis Shaw wins Boston Red Sox starting third base job; Pablo Sandoval to start year on bench

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters that Travis Shaw will be the Opening Day starting third baseman and that defense was the deciding factor.

Pablo Sandoval will begin the year on the bench as a backup despite being in the second year of a five-year, $95-million contract.

Sandoval has made four errors in 26 total chances during spring training. Shaw has gone errorless in 49 total chances. Sandoval told reporters he wasn’t surprised:

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 31, 2016 at 10:18 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: pablo sandoval, red sox, travis shaw

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

If you care about Red Sox’ future, you should care about Single-A Salem

“The ability for guys to come up together is always a great thing,” said Red Sox assistant farm director Brian Abraham. “You see that now with our major league team: Blake Swihart, Mookie Betts, Christian Vasquez, Travis Shaw. Those guys all played together throughout the minor leagues. The camaraderie and team work they are able to establish at the big league level, that’s been going on since they were drafted, since they signed. That’s really important, it’s great when you’re able to form that friendship all the way throughout the minor leagues.”

Jose Remains The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 30, 2016 at 10:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: minor leagues, red sox

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Analysis: Free bases and outs are costly | Boston Herald

“I’ve got nothing against the bunt, in its place. But most of the time that place is at the bottom of a long forgotten closet.” ~ Earl Weaver

This essentially means a manager must pick and choose his sacrifice bunting opportunities very carefully. The Red Sox have done just that, executing only 20 sacrifice bunts in 2014 and 30 in 2015.

“I think there’s a place and a time for it,” said Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo. “Never would we ask Mookie Betts or Travis Shaw or Hanley Ramirez or David Ortiz to lay down a bunt. They’re run producers. And we never stop players from making a baseball play. I would say over half the bunt attempts we make are players doing it on their own.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 06:44 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sabermetrics

Brian Bannister is leading Red Sox charge on applying analytics; Craig Kimbrel, Clay Buchholz already on board | masslive.com

Bannister will also work with Red Sox scouts in analyzing pitchers for potential trades.

“I can envision asking him to look at a pitcher on our staff and get me some data or get me some feedback on what he’s seeing as far as release point, spin rate, action of the pitches,” Willis said last fall when the team announced Bannister’s new role.

“Anytime you have anyone who knows the game and can break the game down and give you tendencies to look at, any opportunity you can get to give yourself an advantage is a good one,” Kimbrel said. “There are many many ways to do that in this game.”

Change in baseball is often met with skepticism. And analytics have certainly changed the game over the last decade.

The Red Sox are embracing it.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 06:36 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: brian bannister, red sox

Farrell: ‘We’ve got versatility’ in Red Sox lineup | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com

Jackie Bradley should be right where he is. Not that it will make a huge difference.

hould Bradley continue to hit as he has this spring (.378 before Sunday’s game) he could conceivably hit higher in the order, perhaps as high as sixth, which would, again, give the Sox a lefty hitter to break up a run of other righthanders.

“Could he hit higher? Yes,’’ said Farrell. “I think there’s some healthy conversation among our staff in that regard. It’s more about lineup configuration rather than what his abilities are, because Jackie’s swinging the bat very well. We’re seeing a guy get back to his natural swing, with better plate coverage and (fewer) holes to attack and a guy who’s growing in capability.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: March 29, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: lineups, red sox

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