|06.23.10 at 4:34 pm ET|
According to a source familiar with the situation, the Red Sox have shown some interest in shortstop Adam Everett, who was designated for assignment by the Detroit Tigers on June 8 and released by the club seven days later. Everett, who is currently a free agent, would only cost the Major League minimum with the Tigers responsible for what was left on the infielder’s one-year, $1.55 million deal he signed with Detroit prior to the 2010 season.
It is believed that the Red Sox wouldn’t attempt to make any such signing until a move is made to clear a roster spot (perhaps in a transaction involving Mike Lowell). Right now the Sox are using Bill Hall as their backup shortstop and second baseman.
Everett, the Red Sox’ first-round pick in the 1998 amateur draft (12th overall), was traded by the Sox with minor leaguer Greg Miller for outfielder Carl Everett prior to the 2000 season. In 31 games with the Tigers this season, Everett — who is known more for his glove than his bat — was hitting .185. He played in 118 games for Detroit last season, finishing with a .238 batting average.
Appearing on Sirius/XM Radio Tuesday, Red Sox assistant general manager Ben Cherington said that one of the team’s needs heading toward the trade deadline was a backup middle infielder (along with bullpen help and a left-handed hitting outfielder). The 33-year-old Everett has played shortstop almost exclusively throughout his 10-year big league career, manning second base for one inning while with Minnesota in ’08.
|06.23.10 at 3:22 pm ET|
Red Sox manager Terry Francona had his weekly discussion with the Dale & Holley show Wednesday afternoon and discussed Tuesday’s tough 2-1 loss to the Rockies, the seemingly more pitcher-friendly Coors Field and the tough decisions he has to make when the Sox play in National League parks, including the decision on whom to sit between Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre.
‘Either way we go, we’re going to have one of our 3, 4, 5 hitters not playing, our most productive hitters,’ Francona said. ‘I understand the concept. I know the fans love it, but we have one of our main guys that we’re paying a lot of money for how many games we play on the road in interleague, nine maybe, that can’t play. That’s tough. It puts us at a disadvantage. So far we’ve handled it pretty well, but it’s a tough way to play.’
He also explained that he believes the resurgence of the Sox pitching staff is the biggest reason why his team is one of the hottest in baseball right now.
‘The formula’s been different from time to time because our offense has actually been kicking in all gears, but there’s so many nights when we were facing a good pitcher. If your guy’s pitching well, it gives you a chance, and that’s been the big story for me,’ Francona said. ‘Our pitching’s gotten us deeper in games. It’s made our bullpen better, and that just gets contagious.’
What follows is a transcript of that interview. You can hear the entire interview at the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Considering how things went the last time you guys were in Denver, do you get a little smile when you enter that airport?
You know, I always have when we come here. In 1991 when I played Triple-A ball here, it seemed like everything went right so maybe more than some of the others. There’s always been good memories coming back to this place, but we get so caught up in what we’re doing. It wasn’t like we had a big parade down memory lane when we landed. We need to play good baseball. I think we always feel that way. I think sometimes we don’t quite do as much going back and thinking about stuff as people think.
Last night, you had to take out Jon Lester despite throwing only 90 pitches because the bases were loaded and there were two outs when he would have hit. If you were in an American League park, you wouldn’t have taken out Jon Lester when you. Do you agree?
If it was in the American League, he wouldn’t have been hitting, so yeah. He didn’t come out of the game because he wasn’t pitching well, but it’s hard to let him hit when we’re losing on the road with the bases loaded. I don’t know if I would have been doing my job properly. I did not want to take him out of the game. In fact, I told him before the inning started, if we tied the game before he got up there he would have stayed in the game, but we can’t let him hit with bases loaded and two outs. Read the rest of this entry »
|06.23.10 at 12:39 pm ET|
Speaking via a conference call with his father, Ron, and Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, minor league outfielder Ryan Westmoreland said his “progress has been amazing” in coming back from surgery on a cavernous malformation in his brain back in March.
The 20-year-old said that he is already going some running and throwing along with physical and occupational therapy four days a week. Westmoreland noted that none of his doctors has presented any sort of timetable regarding his return to playing baseball. Ron Westmoreland said after the shock of the initial diagnosis and surgery, every day “has been positive,” noting that his son was up and walking during his second day in intensive care.
“I keep hearing from pretty much every doctor that the progress is what they term remarkable. Only three months out I feel like I’m doing things that are above the limits of what the doctors thought. The therapists themselves are setting goals for me and I’m breaking those goals earlier than they expected. From a general perspective I’m definitely getting better. I don’t stop setting goals for myself and neither do they and it’s good because it keeps me going and I want to break through those goals earlier,” said Westmoreland, who said both he, the trainers, and doctor were “stunned” after tests revealed the condition considering there was no pain or headaches involved in his initial symptoms.
|06.23.10 at 12:23 pm ET|
After struggling offensively Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series against Colorado, the Red Sox now turn their attention to the pitcher with the best numbers in baseball: Ubaldo Jimenez (13-1, 1.15). Struggling to generate much of anything last night, the Sox could muster only one run against Jhoulys Chacin.
John Lackey (8-3, 4.53 ERA) will take the ball for the Sox, looking to win his third consecutive start. Lackey gave up three runs and eight hits over six innings in his last start against Arizona, and will look to improve against an offense that is ranked 18th in runs scored (313). Lackey has an impressive 14-5 career record in interleague play but has yet to pitch more than seven innings in a start this season.
Jimenez, on the other hand, is having a historic start to the season. He has given up three runs or less in every start and will look to become the quickest pitcher to 14 wins since John Smoltz in 1996. His 13 wins and 1.15 ERA is tops in the majors, having recently given up one run over eight innings in a 5-1 win last Thursday over Minnesota.
The Red Sox do not have much plate experience against the young righty, so it will be interesting to see how they handle him in the first couple innings. A matchup to look out for on the other side is Lackey vs. Jason Giambi. In 44 career plate appearances against Lackey, Giambi has three home runs and seven RBI.
Looking to avoid losing their first interleague series in nine tries, the Sox will look to to stay abreast of the Rays and continue their push toward the Yankees in the AL East.
Red Sox vs. Ubaldo Jimenez
Mike Cameron (9 career plate appearances): .125 average/.222 OBP/.500 slugging, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Adrian Beltre (4): .250/.250/.500, 1 double, 2 RBI
Darnell McDonald is hitless in two plate appearances against Jimenez. The Colorado starter has never faced J.D. Drew, Bill Hall, Mike Lowell, Victor Martinez, Daniel Nava, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Josh Reddick, Marco Scutaro, Jason Varitek and Kevin Youkilis.
Diamondbacks vs. John Lackey
Jason Giambi (44 career plate appearances against Lackey): .351 average/.455 OBP/.649 slugging, 2 doubles, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts
Melvin Mora (29): .240/.345/.280, 1 double, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
Miguel Olivo (18): .118/.167/.176, 1 double, 9 strikeouts
Carlos Gonzalez (5): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts
Clint Barmes (4): .250/.250/.250, 1 hit
Todd Helton (4): .333/.500/1.333, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Brad Hawpe (3): .667/.667/.667, 2 hits, 1 RBI
The Boston starter has never faced Jonathan Herrera, Chris Iannetta, Chris Nelson, Seth Smith, Ryan Spilborghs and Ian Stewart.
|06.22.10 at 7:39 pm ET|
After sweeping the Dodgers in Manny Ramirez‘s homecoming at Fenway Park, the Red Sox travel to Denver where they won their last championship to open a three-game set against the Rockies. On the mound for Boston will be lefty Jon Lester, who clinched the World Series in 2007 with a win in Game 4. Rookie right-hander Jhoulys Chacin will counter for Colorado, which has won 30 of its last 37 interleague home games.
Lester (8-2, 3.13 ERA) will look to continue Boston’s six-game winning streak which has catapulted it within half a game of the Yankees for first in the AL East. Lester has been just as hot with wins in his last eight decisions to drop his ERA from 8.44 in his last loss on April 18 to Tampa Bay.
In his last outing, Lester pitched seven innings and allowed two runs while striking out seven in a win against the Diamondbacks. His 96 strikeouts for the season tie him for seventh in the majors with Toronto starter Ricky Romero. Lester has never faced Colorado in the regular season but could face a familiar face in Melvin Mora from his days on the Orioles. More doesn’t have much success against the Boston starter, hitting only .192 in 27 career plate appearances.
Chacin (3-6, 4.00 ERA), meanwhile, is looking to break his losing streak after beginning the season with a 3-2 record. In each of his last four outings, Chacin has received a loss despite allowing nearly three earned runs per game. Against the Twins in his last start, Chacin gave up two runs in five innings and was outdueled by Scott Baker, who struck out 12 in seven scoreless innings.
Boston will be on the road for interleague play for only the second time this season with the first coming in Philadelphia against the Phillies. Playing in a National League park means that Lester will have to get up to the plate, where he’s 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts for his career. Chacin hasn’t fared much better, striking out four times and collecting only one hit in his 17 career at-bats.
Chacin vs. Red Sox:
No Red Sox batters have faced this pitcher.
Lester vs. Rockies:
Melvin Mora (27 career plate appearances against Lester): .192 average/.222 OBP/.308 slugging, 1 home run, 3 RBI, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
Miguel Olivo (9): .111/.111/.111, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts
Jason Giambi (6): .333/.333/.500, 1 double, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts
Carlos Gonzalez is hitless in three at-bats against Lester with one strikeout. The Boston starter has never faced Clint Barmes, Brad Hawpe, Todd Helton, Jonathan Herrera, Chris Iannetta, Chris Nelson, Seth Smith, Ryan Spilborghs, or Ian Stewart.
|06.22.10 at 7:09 pm ET|
Red Sox relief pitcher Manny Delcarmen made a call from Denver into the Dale & Holley show Tuesday afternoon, a few hours before the start of Boston’s series against the Rockies. He talked about memories from the 2007 World Series vs. Colorado, concerns about his velocity going into this season and the strong work of the Sox bullpen.
‘The key with this bullpen is Tito is always doing the best he can to mix everybody in there, giving everybody work to keep them fresh. That’s going to be big for us,’ Delcarmen said. ‘Once everybody is in there and the team knows that everybody [in the bullpen] can go in there and get guys out, whether it’s in the fifth inning or the eighth inning, to give the ball to [Jonathan Papelbon], it’s going to be a special season for us.’
He also talked with the guys about his charity event, Bowling Strikes for Schools, which will take place at the end of the month at Jillian’s Boston, across from Fenway Park. For more information, visit his website at mannyd17.com.
The following are highlights of the interview. To listen to the full interview, click on the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
On returning to Denver, where the Red Sox won the 2007 World Series:
It’s definitely exciting to have the guys going [from that same team]. It’s like one big blur ‘ we were talking about it. I couldn’t remember the hotel we stayed at or anything, but it was definitely a good time and hopefully we come in and play well.
On his Game 4 experience from the 2007 World Series:
I remember I came in for [Jon] Lester, I think. I got the strikeout to get out of the inning. It was definitely an awesome time and hopefully we’ll get to experience that [again] one day. ‘¦ Going in, I thought the weather was going to be freezing or something like that, but it was OK. Lester battled the whole game and it was really emotional for him with everything that he went through [coming back from cancer]. When [Terry Francona] came in to take him out of the game, he was getting emotional on the mound. He pitched his butt off and I came in and got the out. Just seeing him going out there and dominating, then seeing [Jonathan Papelbon closing out the game] and being in that dugout waiting for the last pitch to end the game was pretty cool. It was pretty exciting. Read the rest of this entry »
|06.22.10 at 6:56 am ET|
The World Cup has been a regular part of the TV viewing in the Red Sox clubhouse, mostly for the same reason that the rest of the American sporting public is watching the tournament. There is something compelling about watching the best players from around the world in any sport taking part in the same tournament.
It is, of course, unfathomable that any soccer player on a qualifying country would opt not to play in the World Cup. But that is not the case with international baseball competition. Many baseball players opted to pass on competing in the World Baseball Classic out of concern that it would hinder their preparation for the regular season.
In 2006, his role as the outstanding pitcher of the tournament elevated his profile and likely resulted in the Sox having to pay even more dearly for his services than might have otherwise been the case. But in 2009, Matsuzaka rushed through his preparation, developed bad habits while trying to pitch through injuries and effectively derailed all but the final weeks of last season.
Given his prominence for Japan in the WBC, and the fact that the tournament appeared to impact him negatively last year, it was fascinating to see Matsuzaka monitor the World Cup. It was unavoidable to wonder whether the right-hander, who is due to come off the disabled list for an insignificant forearm strain on Thursday in Colorado, would once again pitch should the Japanese team ask him.
Matsuzaka made clear that he would certainly take part once again if the option presented itself in 2013. Asked if he would take part again, he nodded and, through translator Masa Hoshino, said simply, ‘If they want me and I’m called upon.’
The motivation is fairly clear. Matsuzaka said that he could not compare the experience of winning the WBC MVP trophy to winning the World Series with the Sox or to being victorious in Japan’s Koshien tournament, and made clear that each accomplishment offered ‘a great feeling or elation, and nothing can really top that.’
Even so, he did make clear that success while representing his country did carry a special meaning.
‘I don’t try to divide up the game of baseball into two different categories [of pitching for a country vs. an MLB or NPB team],’ said Matsuzaka. ‘There’s a consciousness or an awareness that you are representing your country, and I think especially when your whole team feels that way, and that’s the atmosphere you’re inside, you can’t help but feel that’s part of your motivation.’
That plays into Matsuzaka’s willingness and desire to pitch in the WBC again. Of course, by the time of the next tournament in 2013, Matsuzaka’s current contract with the Sox ‘ a six-year, $52 million pact that runs through 2012 ‘ will have expired.
|06.21.10 at 9:06 pm ET|
NESN Red Sox analyst Peter Gammons talked to The Big Show Monday afternoon, and one of the big topics, as it was all around Boston last weekend, was Manny Ramirez. Gammons said that he wasn’t one of the media members swept in up in the hype of Manny’s return and that he wasn’t too surprised with the way the star left town.
‘I’m not celebrity-driven. I tend to be baseball-driven so it really didn’t fascinate me at all,’ Gammons said. ‘It’s a nice story and everything, but it’s not like he cared whether they ever won and it’s not like he left town with any dignity. He’s not Dustin Pedroia. I’m sorry. You wouldn’t be trading Clay Buchholz for him. The fact that there were only two teams willing to take him with the Red Sox willing to pay his salary in 2008 and neither team would give up a prospect really tells you something about his stature in the game.’
He also talked about the plausibility that the Red Sox, Rays and Yankees could all win 100 games, but one would not make the playoffs.
‘Now, we know that happened, but in this era, that’s really difficult to do. It is a possibility that all three teams could win 100 games, and one of them doesn’t make the playoffs.’
What follows is a transcript of that interview. To hear the entire interview, click on The Big Show audio on demand page.
How surprised were you to see Roger Clemens sitting on top of the Green Monster Friday night?
I was told he was coming on Wednesday. ‘¦ I decided, well, we’ll break the news on NESN at 6 o’clock on Friday night. A couple people from the Red Sox told me that [Clemens’ friend] Eddie Miller had the Monster seats. It really was a bizarre Friday night.
Is he not affected by the stories that are out there about him?
I don’t know. I don’t know what he believes and what he doesn’t believe. I’m not presuming guilt here, but I remember when he testified in front of Congress, I was watching a game with a general manager and I made the comment that I thought, watching him, that he believed he had never done anything, taken anything. And this person, who was a psychology major at an Ivy League school, said to me, ‘Well, you know, would you say, like a lot of professional athletes, that Roger’s a little self-absorbed?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, there’s no question.’ He said, ‘One of the basic truisms about psychology is that people who are self-absorbed can become delusional.’ So I’m not really sure that Roger thinks that there’s anything wrong there. Read the rest of this entry »
|06.21.10 at 4:02 pm ET|
Call it the Daniel Nava effect.
The Red Sox signed pitcher Jay Broughton, another independent league prospect from the Calgary Vipers out of the Golden Baseball League, and will move him to the Single-A Lowell Spinners, according to the Calgary Herald.
Broughton previously had been drafted by the Brewers in 2005 but chose to attend Ball State University on a partial scholarship instead. He struggled at Ball State, where he made just 30 appearances and had a 9.42 ERA in his four seasons there.
He went on to spend $3,000 that he had intended to use for grad school on the fee for the Arizona Winter League, and it was through his experience there that the Vipers drafted him into professional baseball. Broughton was 2-2 with a 4.01 ERA in Calgary before he signed with Boston.
His manager in Calgary was former Red Sox player Morgan Burkhart, who himself had been signed by Boston after being dubbed the “Babe Ruth of the [independent] Frontier League” by Hall of Fame writer Peter Gammons.
|06.21.10 at 10:35 am ET|
When Kolbrin Vitek and Bryce Brentz were selected by the Red Sox in the first 40 picks of the 2010 MLB draft, there wasn’t certainty as to what position they would man when getting on the field. What was certain, however, was that both players would have to leave behind an aspect of their game that allowed them to reach the professional level ‘ pitching.
Vitek, especially, spent much of his time on the mound in his three years at Ball State. After recording an ERA of 5.65 in both his freshman and sophomore seasons, Vitek held the lowest ERA not only on his team but in the entire Mid-American Conference at 3.28 as a junior. Through 17 appearances, including 13 starts, Vitek went 3-4 and recorded three saves while pitching a team-high 79 2/3 innings and punching out 60 hitters.
With Vitek posting numbers like that, no one would have blamed him if he had decided to go down the pitching road. That is, if he had wanted to.
‘Definitely position player over pitching was my preference,’ Vitek said. ‘I’m glad it worked out that way.’ Read the rest of this entry »
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