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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox
Sunday, September 02, 2007
A Much-Needed Youth Infusion!
The arrival of Buc and co. couldn’t have come too quickly. After last night’s heartbreaker, this team really needed a victory. Brandon Moss and Jacoby Ellsbury contributed with the bats and Clay Buchholz, well, you know what he did. One of the most enjoyable games of the season given the context.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Buchholz to pitch tonight (and promotions!)
With Tim Wakefield unable to go last night, Clay Buchholz will get the call tonight. He, along with Jacoby Ellsbury, Brandon Moss, Royce Clayton, and Bryan Corey will be called up today. (link)
First of all, thank goodness for the reinforcements. Sox players are dropping like flies and it has really hamstrung them the last couple days. Having said that, all of these players make sense to me except for Clayton. He is a terrible hitter with an overhyped defensive reputation and he’s not ...Read More...
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Weekly Minor League Thread: Splitting the Difference
There are a couple of players who have had good to great 2nd halves after struggling in the first half. I’m hopeful that at least a few of these guys have made real improvements during the season that have been masked by their season totals. Here are a couple examples:
Jeff Natale: Gadzyouki, as all the cool kids are calling him, put up a .389 OBP but only a .341 SLG before the All-Star break. Since the break he’s batting .308 with a .461 SLG and .429 SLG. That’s still pretty lousy power but ...Read More...
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Really Fun Interview with Pedroia’s College Coach
I don’t know who runs the site “Hacks with Hags” but they have an excellent interview with Dustin Pedroia’s college coach, Pat Murphy. Murphy affectionately gives insight into Pedroia’s rather boisterous attitude and marvels at his success despite his lack of physical skills. Here are a couple excerpts, but you’ve got to read the whole thing:
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Make That a Good Weekend in Chicago!
What a great series. The Sox taking 4 blowouts allows them to go into the Yankees series with their pen lined up and well rested with at least a 7 game lead. A few other fun highlights:
—I’m glad that they used Papelbon today—he needed a little work so he won’t be rusty. 1 IP with a day off before the series is perfect. With his 3 K performance he boosted his ratio over 1.5 K/IP. He’s in ‘Lidge/Gagne/Wagner’ in their primes territory.
—Gagne’s turned it around. Last 4 appearances: 4 IP, 4 ...Read More...
Saturday, August 25, 2007
ROY for the Red Sox?
Piehole wrote me and requested a thread on the possibility of a Red Sox player winning the rookie of the year. Boston has three great candidates: Dustin Pedroia, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Hideki Okajima. All three have contributed greatly to the team this year, but that is not always the biggest consideration. I think that media attention plays a far bigger role and because of that I think Matsuzaka is the favorite. What do you think?
A Good Day in Chicago
The Red Sox swept the doubleheader today, pushing their lead in the East to a more comfortable 6 games (for the time being). I have to admit, when the Sox were winning 5-3 and Okajima was in a jam in the 7th, I thought there might be some trouble. But they pulled away and several good things happened today:
—The team won two games while only using up 1 IP between their top two relievers. I was a little concerned to see Pap warming with a 7-3 lead, but thankfully, Mike Meyers had nothing and ...Read More...
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Pap’s New Pitch Needs a New Name
According to this Globe article, Jonathon Papelbon has invented a new pitch. It’s a combination of a slider and cutter, which he has predictably named “the slutter.” This is a near Wok-level affront to decency and goodness, so I think we really need to come up with a new name for it. I have come up with very little so far. The Cut slider? Clider? Gadzyouki?
Pap apparently threw one such pitch to Johnny Gomes in the game yesterday. He didn’t get a chance throw it tonight because every ...Read More...
Weekly Minor League Thread: How did this guy go undrafted?
Hunter Jones is 6’4, 240 lb. lefty who pitched for Florida State. According to his Sox Prospects profile, he features “a low 90s two-seam fastball, a circle change, and a curveball.” He apparently missed some time in college with a fractured arm (pitched with it during his sophomore year) and had a rather unimpressive 5.05 ERA in 2005, his last collegiate season. Somehow, this was enough for him to go completely undrafted. How bad could have been that nobody even took a flier the big huge lefty ...Read More...
Friday, August 17, 2007
Wily Mo Pena Traded to Washington
According to ESPN, Washington acquired outfielder Wily Mo Pena and cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named. This deal reunites Wily Mo with Jim Bowden, who previously traded for Pena while GM of the Reds.
Without a doubt, the trade for Pena must be classified as a failure. As you know, Bronson Arroyo has pitched very well for the Reds. Although Pena showed flashes of talent, the Sox could never find consistent playing time or a role for him. Since the National ...Read More...
Friday, August 10, 2007
Weekly Minor League Thread: AAron Bates
After a couple months of murdering the ball in Lancaster, 1B Aaron Bates has been bumped up to AA Portland. Bates is pushing 24, so he really needs to be tested at a higher level. He’s shown good power and average; the scouts also seem to like his glove.
Buchholz Should Replace Lester
It goes without saying that Jon Lester’s return from cancer to pitch in the Majors has been nothing short of amazing. However, he simply has not pitched all that well this year in AAA or the Majors. His results have been pretty mediocre at both levels. Watching him, his fastball seems to be off a couple MPH and his control isn’t all that great. If only the Red Sox had some great young pitcher at AAA who could come up and take his spot.
Wait a minute! They have Clay Buchholz, who is fanning 12 ...Read More...
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Can Winning Be a Priority Now? Please?
Watching tonight’s “game” and seeing the lead in the East shrink to 5 reminded of how low ‘winning games’ seems to have sunk on the Red Sox list of priorities. Lester/Gabbard/Tavarez spend time in the rotation while Buchholz toils in AAA. The Red Sox underbid the Yanks by about 30-40 percent on Clemens. Schilling pitches 7 scorelss IP in AAA while Tavarez pitches for the big club, and Schilling is then given a week of rest before returning to the Majors, and looks awfully rusty in his comeback. ...Read More...
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Timlin for a 2nd IP? Really? Seriously?
I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what the purpose of having Mike Timlin pitch 2 IP last night in a tie game was. I can understand if Tito thinks that Timlin has been pitching better and that he is a good choice in a tie game, especially when you’ve got 4 IP to fill. But what I don’t get is why he thought there was any way Timlin would be effective for a 2nd inning. Since his arrival with the Red Sox, one thing has been pretty consistent about Timlin: he can pitch well for 1 IP ...Read More...
Weekly Minor League Thread: Bowden Adjusting to AA
With Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy skyrocketing through the Yankees system, Michael Bowden’s accomplishments seem modest by comparison. But let’s take a moment and see what he’s done this year—it’s pretty impressive. He started the year in Lancaster and was young for the league. In an extreme hitting environment, he put up a 1.37 ERA, 46 Ks, 8 BBs, 35 H, and only 1 HR in 46 IP. This earned him a promotion to Portland, making him the youngest pitcher in AA.
AA seemed to provide Bowden with ...Read More...
Friday, August 03, 2007
Pairs of Sox, Part 3: Wily Mo and Hinske
Our right- and left-handed bats off the bench, Wily Mo Pena and Eric Hinske are the subject of the latest ‘Pair of Sox’ post. In a way, they’re very different players. Hinske has earned his spot in the majors by showing an ability to get on base while hitting for decent power. After his excellent rookie year at the plate, the Jays locked him up longterm, a decision that doesn’t look so hot in retrospect. As a bench player, though, he’s in the upper echelon.
Wily Mo has never been known for ...Read More...
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Trade Deadline Wrap-up
So the trade deadline has come and gone and the Red Sox have made two deals. One sent Pineiro to the Cardinals for a PTBNL. Good luck to him—he hardly got a chance in Boston.
The other trade, obviously, was the big one. The Red Sox getting Eric Gagne was a good move, but I wouldn’t call it a steal. Kason Gabbard is no Barry Zito, but he’s not filler either. He’s a guy who has been a decent to pretty good in the past 2 years after a few years of injury problems. He’ll be a nice addition to ...Read More...
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Weekly Minor League Thread: Interesting Developments in Pawtucket
A few pretty interesting things are going on at Pawtucket right now. First, Brandon Moss is expected to be used at first base soon, which could mean any number of things. Perhaps they think that his bat is for real and want to prepare to give him at shot at winning that job next year. Or maybe they consider him a bench player who could take over the role that Eric Hinske currently handles. Another possibility is that another team has shown interest in him as a 1B.
The next item is Jed Lowrie’s ...Read More...
Friday, July 27, 2007
Schilling’s Road to Recovery
Curt Schilling pitched a rehab start for AAA Pawtucket tonight and by all accounts was dominating: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 66 pitches. According to NESN reports, he hit 93 on the gun as well. To an outsider to me, that looks like he’s ready to go. Yet NESN reports that he will have another rehab outing on the 7/31 before returning to the rotation.
Why bother? He’s likely going to throw in the 80+ pitch range, so you might as well have him doing it in the majors so that we can avoid another ...Read More...
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Red Sox Trade Deadline Thread
The deadline is less than a week away and the rumors are flying: they’re trading for Teixiera, they’re trying to get Oswalt, they’re going to get the great Kietly. One thing is certain, there will be no shortage of possible deals discussed between now and July 31. One transaction that does seem very likely is Wily Mo Pena being dealt. He doesn’t have much of a role as a 4th OF who can’t play the OF. What they will get in return is an open question, but I can’t imagine it will be a whole lot. ...Read More...
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Lester up, Pineiro DFA’ed
I don’t have much to say about this except:
—DFA’ing Pineiro a few months after committing $4 mil to him makes the front office look awfully foolish, unless they have a good trade lined up involving Pineiro.
—Buchholz and Lobsterman appear to be better options than Lester.
—Do Snyder and Lopez really have more value than Pineiro? Particularly when the latter can be sent to the minors?
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Weekly Minor League Thread: Masterson—Groundball Machine
Justin Masterson, like many pitchers, initially struggled in the launching pad that is Lancaster. But he quickly learned to cope in that environment, and in 95 high-A innings, allowed only 4 HR while walking 22 and striking out 56. He also posted a 4.33 ERA and an impressive 2.09 GO/AO ratio, which probably explains his low HR and his high number of hits allowed (103).
The Red Sox decided that after a strong June, Masterson was ready to make the move to Portland. But instead of struggling ...Read More...
Pairs of Sox, Part 2: Coco and Lugo
Continuing with our player pairs, albeit under a much cheesier title, we move now to the speedy portion of the lineup. Both Coco Crisp and Julio Lugo started off this season horribly. Both now appear to be on the road to recovery, however. Crisp struggled badly until he and hitting coach Dave Magadan reworked his swing around June 15. His new upright stance seems to have made a bit of a difference:
Before June 15: 223/280/295
Lugo also stunk it up, but for much ...Read More...
Thursday, July 19, 2007
20-23 over the last 43
Say what you want to about the Yankees getting breaks or being red hot, it wouldn’t matter if the Sox had not gone on a horrible run for the past quarter of the season. On May 29, this team was 36-15. Since that time, they have gone 20-23, including 6-10 in 1-run games. The bats have gone absolutely dead in the clutch. While Coco and Lugo are digging their ways out of their slumps, Drew is back into his and Youkilis is a shell of what he was earlier this year. Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Tavarez have ...Read More...
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Player Pairs Part 1: Youks and Pedroia
I asked in the game chatter today for topics of discussion and MCOA suggested a few that I thought were pretty good. They all seemed to involve pairs of players, so I decided to do a brief series of threads about pairs of players who are in similar situations. The first one is about Pedroia and Youkilis.
Both of these guys are righthanded hitters with patient approaches and limited power at the plate, both have achieved new levels of production this year, and both are now falling back to ...Read More...
Weekly Minor League Thread: Jimmy James, Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Jimmy James put up a 20/1 K/BB ratio in Lowell and was recently promoted to Greenville. The 20-year-old Dominican pitcher said this about his trials and tribulations in the low minors:
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Where are the runs?
Hey, how about that Tigers series! As Glenn Geffner kept pointing out during the 14-inning torture test, “What a fun night of baseball!” Except it wasn’t just 1 fun night, it was 3!
One interesting thing about the series is that it really captured the most (only?) frustrating aspect of this year’s team: they are hitting well but are not scoring the runs that you would expect. I decided to take a look at just how inefficient the team has been at plating its baserunners, and the results were ...Read More...
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Weekly Minor League Thread: Boston signs Michael Almanzar
Per Soxprospects.com, the Red Sox have signed 16-year-old Dominican SS-3B Michael Almanzar for $1.5 mil. Almanzar is the son of a former Major League pitcher, Carlos Almanzar. As his bonus indicates, he’s well thought of.
Today’s game marked the halfway point in the season and the Red Sox are now on pace to go 100-62. Although that’s a disappointing pace when compared to how they looked at 36-15, in the big picture, it’s a nice place to be, especially with a 10-game lead. Biggest concern at this point has to be health. Coco, Ortiz, Schilling, and Lowell all have some health issues that could have serious impacts on the team’s second-half run. If those guys are sound, I like Boston’s chances to go a long way. ...Read More...
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Ellsbury Called Up
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