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   101. villageidiom Posted: April 25, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4116433)
How'd the little idiom do? How old is he?
He's 11. When I say he sang the national anthem, I mean he along with his whole 5th grade class. So, uh... they did well.
This morning? What time did it start?
10:35 AM. They try to hook schools into doing field trips. In pregame ceremonies one school led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance while another school held a giant flag in CF. Another school's band played America the Beautiful. And of course my son's school with the national anthem. And yet another school came to the field during the 7th inning stretch for GBA. They had >5,000 people in attendance, mostly kids. The loudest moment was when, between innings, the video played the title sequence to Spongebob. Before the 9th inning, by which time the kids had to get back to their schools, there were maybe 30 people left in the seats, and you could hear on-field conversations clearly. I started rooting out loud for Tejeda, partly out of pity.

Any thoughts on Brentz or Vitek?
Vitek had grounded to short twice and flied out to CF before ending the day with a single and BB in his last two PA. But toward the end of the game everyone except Tejeda was getting on base, which meant Vitek's success didn't really stand out. Thinking back to my late-game conversation with mrsidiom - yeah, she wasn't missing the occasion, either - Vitek seemed the most patient of all the batters. He always took the first two pitches. I'd noticed the take-two approach in his 4th PA, in the 8th inning. When he came up in the 9th, it was just after a pitching change, up by 1 with 2 out and 2 RISP. He took strike 1, then strike 2, then 4 straight balls. On the day he saw 13 balls in 5 PA; nobody else saw more than 5.

I was surprised how little Brentz did to make an impression. Doesn't mean he's not impressive; I just didn't get much of a read on him. Probably says more about me than it does about him. His first sign of life in the day was a double to start the 9th inning rally, after which he was lifted for a pinch runner (Hazelbaker).

Gibson an interesting guy to me. High draft pick who hasn't done much and he always looks scary thin to me. I just don't think he can hit the ball hard enough to be a big leaguer but he can take a walk and he's got speed so it seems like he's a guy who can hang around for awhile and carve out something.
His single in the first was a solid shot up the middle, FWIW.
   102. Xander Posted: April 29, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4119336)
Saw Barnes pitch today:
Overall: Clearly is not challenged by the low-A competition. He could probably cruise using his fastball alone. Facing the 1st batter in the 3rd inning, he threw 3 straight fastballs down the middle (91 mph then 93 mph then 94 mph) for three straight swinging strikes. When hitters were able to make contact, they mostly pounded weak groundballs into the ground. Of the three singles off him, 1 was a seeing-eye single up the middle, one was a broken-bat blooper into RF, and the other was a hard hit line drive which came on a get-me-over two-seamer on the first pitch of the 6th inning. He has a clean and easy delivery reminiscent of Luke Hochevar.

Fastball: Sat 94-96 in the first 2 innings and 92-95 over the rest of the game. He also showed a limited 2-seamer which he used as a show-me pitch in the first pitch of some AB's. He showed good control, the ability to hit the catcher's mitt and throw to both sides of the plate. 3 times in the game he should have struck a batter out on a good cross-arm fastball which wasn't called a strike. His fastball didn't have much movement and he rarely threw it down in the zone. He has a tendency to throw his fastball on one plane. That wasn't a problem today and obviously this season, since his velocity is enough where he can still blow it by hitters. But more advanced hitters will drive those balls he leaves up. Nevertheless, sitting 94-96 is impressive enough in its own right. Exhibiting above average control with that type of velocity clearly has been the ticket to his early success.

Current Grade/Future Grade: 60/65

Curveball: His curve was erratic for the entire game. His curveball velocity sat in the mid-70's. Yes, he snapped off a couple curveballs with nice depth. One of them should have been a called strike three, but it fooled the umpire. Other than those handful of curves, Barnes was having tremendous difficulty locating the pitch. He has a tendency of flying open early, which causes drag on his throwing arm and slows it down. The result were several tumblers with little deception and a lot of curveballs spiked in the dirt. I don't know if this has been a tendency for him all season, but his curveball looked below average to me today.

Current Grade/Future Grade: 40/50

Changeup: Barnes' changeup was his most surprising pitch to me. It was between 85-87 mph for most of the game. He used it exclusively against LHH's, but he seemed much more comfortable throwing it than his curve. He started out several AB's with his changeup and one time threw it for the first two strikes of the AB. He overthrew it once which led to him pounding it into the dirt on the cross-arm side of the plate. But every other time he kept it on the outside third of the plate and it either led to swings and misses or weak contact. He doesn't get a tremendous amount of fade, but enough to miss the sweet spot of bats.

Current Grade/Future Grade: 55/60

Conclusion: He seems to be adjusting well to the 5-man rotation.
   103. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 30, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4119595)
Thanks for the detailed report, Temple.

It sounds like Barnes needs to be facing tougher competition, if low-A hitters can't punish his mistakes.
   104. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 30, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4119623)
Wow, that is phenomenal stuff temple. Thanks for that. Were you able to be behind the plate for this one?
   105. Mattbert Posted: April 30, 2012 at 10:28 AM (#4119630)
It sounds like Barnes needs to be facing tougher competition, if low-A hitters can't punish his mistakes.

He's just been promoted to Salem. Happy Barnesday, everyone!
   106. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4119645)
I have an important proposal.

It's annoying to have to distinguish between all the different forms of A-ball. We have high-A, low-A, short-season-A, and then we have rookie ball and the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues.

I propose that we should bring back the old-time names.

A: Carolina League, Florida State League, California League
B: South Atlantic League, Midwest League
C: New York Penn League, Northwest League
D: Gulf Coast League, Appalachian League, Pioneer League

This doesn't get the foreign leagues in, but it'd be way easier for anyone to distinguish between levels.
   107. Dan Posted: April 30, 2012 at 06:07 PM (#4120108)
Good god yes. It would also better illustrate the gap that does exist between these levels. High-A and Low-A have a bigger gap between them than you'd think from their current naming.
   108. Mattbert Posted: May 01, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4120601)
As someone who is relatively new to (casually) following the minors, that would make it harder for me to differentiate between levels. I don't know which leagues are which off the top of my head.
   109. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 01, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4120607)
Well, the idea isn't that we'd stop using the league names when appropriate - the Sally League is still the Sally League. It's just that, when we talk about a prospect being promoted from Greenville to Salem, we could say either "he was promoted from the Sally League to the Carolina League" or "he was promoted from the B-leagues to A-ball." Instead of "from low-A to high-A".
   110. Mattbert Posted: May 01, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4120646)
That I would support. More information, specifically pairing the league name with "low-A", "high-A", etc, is good and would help me start to learn the leagues. Because that's what it's all about. Me.
   111. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 04, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4123318)
Jackie Bradley: 360/470/539, 11 XBH, 18 BB, 16 K, 10 SB in 89 AB, with reportedly plus defense in CF. I think this draft class might even have two serious prospects in it.
   112. Mattbert Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:13 PM (#4123456)
Bradley, after swiping two more bases on Wednesday to bring his total to 10 steals through 23 games, had this to say on his apparently newfound "speed" on the basepaths.
“Let me go ahead and clear that up,” Bradley said by phone this week. “Our coach at South Carolina is a gorilla ball player who didn’t let us steal. Now that I finally have the green light, I can steal. I get the rep about having average speed, but some of the fastest guys don’t have baseball instincts. It’s about instincts and being quick.”
The same minor league roundup had more encouraging reports from Salem: on Xander Bogaerts (.287/.361/.506 as a 19-year-old in high-A the Carolina League) and Brandon Workman (14/1 K/BB in 16.3 IP).
   113. Mattbert Posted: May 04, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4123461)
Bogaerts went 0-for-4 last night, so his line is down to .275/.347/.484 - still excellent given his age.

Tomorrow is Barnesday. He'll be making his Salem debut.
   114. Mattbert Posted: May 05, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4124476)
Happy Barnesday!

6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 12 K (9 swinging)
   115. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 05, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4124478)
And a Happy Barnesday to you too! Damn that's impressive.
   116. Dan Posted: May 06, 2012 at 12:05 AM (#4124493)
That's an incredible first start after a promotion.
   117. Mattbert Posted: May 06, 2012 at 12:13 AM (#4124495)
92 pitches, 70 strikes. Reportedly touching 97 with the heater.
   118. Dan Posted: May 06, 2012 at 02:16 AM (#4124520)
Can we just bring him to the majors now if Beckett has to miss more starts?
   119. Darren Posted: May 06, 2012 at 08:41 PM (#4125020)
Hey, how about if Linares comes up and takes over CF?
   120. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 06, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4125066)
Hey, how about if Linares comes up and takes over CF?


Preach it Brother Darren.
   121. Dan Posted: May 06, 2012 at 09:58 PM (#4125077)
Thirded. Byrd blows.
   122. Mattbert Posted: May 07, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4125265)
To the surprise of ####### nobody besides Ben Cherington apparently. I sure am glad the Sox gave up a cheap asset for the privilege of sucking just as much as if they'd called up some minor leaguer who can handle center.
   123. Nasty Nate Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4125291)
Wasn't Bowden going to be gone - Byrd or no Byrd?

I may be mistaken, but I thought they DFA'd him to make room for a position player, and then found a trading partner during the DFA window.
   124. Mattbert Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4125305)
I guess the broader point is that acquiring Marlon Byrd at any price is a waste of a roster spot. That they DFA'd a potentially useful long/swingman (no, not Dave McCarty) is not as relevant, but nor was it helpful.
   125. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4125323)
I may be mistaken, but I thought they DFA'd him to make room for a position player, and then found a trading partner during the DFA window.


They DFAd him initially to add someone to the 40 man (I think it was Repko after the Ellsbury injury) at a time when they still had Justin Thomas on the roster. Bowden cleared waivers though and was at Pawtucket when the trade went through.
   126. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4125330)
Darren, you were the one who said that the Sox should have signed Byrd a few years ago. Linares is not the answer. Also, are you people still ######## about Bowden? Srsly? Byrd has been fine.
   127. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4125334)
Byrd has been fine.

240/250/260 (gee, that's cool!) is fine?
   128. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:54 AM (#4125336)
240/250/260 (gee, that's cool!) is fine?


Troll. Have you watched any of Byrd's games with the Sox? If not, then #### off.
   129. Nasty Nate Posted: May 07, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4125341)
They DFAd him initially to add someone to the 40 man (I think it was Repko after the Ellsbury injury) at a time when they still had Justin Thomas on the roster. Bowden cleared waivers though and was at Pawtucket when the trade went through.


Thanks, I didn't know he had cleared waivers.
   130. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4125356)

Troll. Have you watched any of Byrd's games with the Sox? If not, then #### off.


Lighten up, Francis. It's trolling now to point out a factually incorrect statement?
   131. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4125368)
Lighten up, Francis. It's trolling now to point out a factually incorrect statement?


The slash line doesn't tell the whole story. Prior to Byrd, the Sox had Cody Ross in CF. Just in terms of defense, Byrd is a big upgrade. I think that even Ross's defenders will say that he sucked out there. Byrd's slash line is obviously terrible, but 13 games of offense is not enough to get me worried. He doesn't look lost at the plate. Other Red Sox hitters with better stats look actually lost up there, like Salty batting right-handed.

So yes, despite the terrible slash line, so far, Byrd has been fine. Sending Byrd from 3rd last night was unforgivably stupid. But that's not Ross's fault. Ellsbury would have been out too. And so would Vince Coleman and Rickey Henderson in their primes. They might have gotten 5 feet closer to home but they would have been out by a mile too.
   132. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: May 07, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4125384)
The sentence in the previous post that says "But that's not Ross's fault" should read "But that's not Byrd's fault." For some reason I can't edit the post.
   133. Der-K thinks the Essex Green were a good band. Posted: May 07, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4125786)
Fwiw, i use the league labels:
A+: Carolina, fla st, cal
A: Midwest, Sally
A-: ny penn, northwest
B: appy, pioneer
C: gulf coast, Arizona
D: Dominican, Venezuelan

Any word on noe Ramirez?
   134. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 09, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4127211)
So the Sox Single A (um...Class B?) affiliate Greenville threw a combined no-hitter yesterday. I'm not terribly familiar with any of the pitchers; Miguel Pena, Hunter Czervenka or Tyler Lockwood...um, Sox affiliate, no hitter, don't know much about the pitchers, yup, I hit the high points.

Box
   135. Mattbert Posted: May 10, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4128418)
Alex Speier has a bit of background on Miguel "Mickey" Pena, just for Jose's edification.

I am starting to get a little bit excited about Jackie Bradley Jr. His OBP is over .500 now, and he has more walks than strikeouts (24 BB to 18 Ks in 133 PAs). Given that he's a college product, I'll be surprised if he doesn't get bumped up to Portland soon.
   136. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 11, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4129481)
Happy Barnesday everyone! Matty Baseball takes the mound at 7:05 tonight against Myrtle Beach (Rangers). 3rd baseman Christian Villanueva was Baseball America's #100 prospect this year but is struggling so far. Myrtle Beach has one player on their roster with an OPS above .737, Jared Hoying at .882.
   137. Nasty Nate Posted: May 11, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4129491)
Happy Barnesday everyone! Matty Baseball takes the mound at 7:05 tonight against Myrtle Beach (Rangers).


Kenny ####### Powers!
   138. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 12, 2012 at 12:55 AM (#4130073)
Matt Barnes' line: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. 9 groundouts, 1 flyout.
   139. Dan Posted: May 12, 2012 at 01:21 AM (#4130094)
Send him to Portland!



...only half kidding.
   140. Mattbert Posted: May 12, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4130256)
I don't see why you're even half kidding. There may be observational reasons to bring him along slowly, but looking solely at the numbers there's no evidence at all that he has anything left to prove in A-ball. I guess if they need him to work on his secondary pitches before exposing him to hitters who stand more of a chance against a plus fastball then that's reasonable.

Reading the reports, Barnes also seems to have added another couple mph on the fastball since he was drafted. Alex Speier's latest minor league roundup says he's working in the mid to upper 90s, whereas I remember the scouting reports last summer having him working in the low to mid 90s and reaching back for 94-95 when he needed it. That's a significant bump.
   141. Joel W Posted: May 13, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4130690)
Red Sox need to bring up Linares if only so we can see how long it takes a headline writer to go with Linaresanity.
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