|01.20.11 at 4:32 pm ET|
Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish said on Thursday that playing behind newly acquired left fielder Carl Crawford and veteran Mike Cameron was the opposite of discouraging, adding that it is a great opportunity for the young player to learn and grow.
Kalish saw significant time in the majors last season due to injuries in the outfield, namely to Jacoby Ellsbury, who played in only 18 games in 2010.
‘First of all, these guys are all elite players; Mike Cameron, Carl Crawford,’ Kalish said on Thursday at the Westin Hotel in Boston before the Red Sox Writers’ Dinner. ‘These guys are all very, very elite. For me to even just be able to watch these guys is going to be awesome.
‘My goal is to just keep progressing and getting better, and hopefully if the Red Sox ask me to come up this year or whenever it is, if it ever happens, I’m going to be ready to help them win.’
Kalish said that his time spent in the organization last year was incredible, and really helped him to develop relationships with other guys on the team. But despite his budding success at the end of the 2010 campaign, Kalish said he doesn’t have any expectations for himself going into the new year.
‘I’m just going to go have fun and play, and that’s about it,’ Kalish said.
|01.20.11 at 4:31 pm ET|
This time last year, Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz was unsure of what his role would be with the team. It was undetermined as to whether Buchholz would even be with Boston to open the season, as his name was mentioned in several trade rumors and minor league conversations. But after the season the young right-handed starter had last year, recording 17 wins with a 2.33 ERA, there is no question as to his role going into 2011.
But Buchholz said on Thursday that he doesn’t want to look at any of his numbers from last year when setting goals for himself for the upcoming season. He said that his main focus is getting into shape and preparing for the upcoming year ahead.
‘My only goal is going into spring training being ready, and try to help this team get prepared in spring training and then be ready for our first game,’ Buchholz said. ‘It’s tough to set goals because sometimes, as far as the numbers go, you might not meet them and then you might feel like it wasn’t a good season. As far as numbers go, I’m not going to set any goals. ‘¦ I give just about all of the credit to the actual team, and all of the guys playing defense behind me.’
As far as the notion that his spot in the rotation is all but solidified, Buchholz said that he feels much better knowing that his name will be called, which he said withers away a lot of stress from last season.
‘[The stress] isn’t going to be there as much as it was the last couple of years going in, but on the other side of it, going into spring training knowing that you don’t have a job solidified makes you work a little bit harder, just because you want to be with the big team,’ Buchholz said. ‘I learned a lot last year; I learned a lot the year before that, and I’m trying to intertwine that into this offseason.’
Talking about the overall strength of the lineup this year, Buchholz said that he’s talked to a couple of people who said that it’s the best team on paper, and given everyone being ready coming into spring training, it could be a very eventful year for the Red Sox.
|01.20.11 at 4:09 pm ET|
Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Thursday that newly-acquired slugger Adrian Gonzalez will enter spring training behind the rest of the team in terms of getting ready for the season after surgery last October on his sore right shoulder.
“I don’t know,” Francona said when asked where Gonzalez stands in terms of his readiness for spring training. “I know he’ll start throwing in a little bit. He’ll be behind everyone else for sure. It’ll be real important when we get down to spring training to get a gauge on where he is because there’s going to be so much excitement with him being here. He’s going to be excited, we’re going to be excited and we don’t want to set him back. If he’s a little slower than everyone else, that’s not the end of the world. We certainly want him playing but we want him playing healthy.
“That’s where having a guy like Jed [Lowrie] comes in. We can handle missing a guy for a week. We don’t want a guy missing for two months.”
Francona, who made the statements Thursday prior to the annual Red Sox writers’ dinner in Boston, said he has been in touch with Gonzalez through text messages this winter.
|01.20.11 at 4:06 pm ET|
Ending any speculation that there will be a shortstop competition at spring training in Fort Myers, Terry Francona said Thursday that Marco Scutaro will be the club’s starting shortstop to begin the season. Francona was asked if Jed Lowrie, after his strong finish to 2010, could challenge Scutaro for the starting shortstop job this season.
“I think we’re thrilled,” Francona said of Lowrie’s recovery from a wrist injury and mono. “This kid went through a lot. He had the wrist injury, had mono, was in Fort Myers for the whole first half of the year. We didn’t see him. Then he comes up and gets an opportunity because we had a lot of guys beat up, and he hits the ball all over the ballpark, and he has the ability to play four different infield positions. So rather than worry about an infield competition, because Scutaro is our shortstop, this guy gives us something that I don’t know how many teams can say they have.”
Scutaro was also rumored to be a part of trade talks as the Red Sox explored ways to improve their bullpen.
|01.20.11 at 1:13 am ET|
LOWELL — Speaking prior to being honored at the Lowell Spinners Alumni Dinner at Tsongas Arena Wednesday night, Clay Buchholz said that the Red Sox have yet to approach him about a contract extension.
“I haven’t spoken money with anybody,” said the 26-year-old Buchholz. “It’s been basically go out and play until somebody approaches me about it. That’s sort of how I’m looking at it.”
Buchholz is closing in on the same service time teammate Jon Lester found himself with when agreeing to his five-year, $30 million contract extension prior to the 2009 season, his last campaign before becoming arbitration eligible.
“They’ve got a lot more on their plate than to worry about me,” Buchholz said. “They don’t have to do anything with me. That’s the way I’m looking at it, and if something happens and they want to talk about it I’m sure I’ll hear about it.”
Buchholz made $443,000 in 2010, a season in which the righty went 17-7 with an ERA of 2.33 in 28 starts. He is currently under the Red Sox’ control through the 2014 season.
When constructing contract extensions with players either not yet arbitration eligible or in the midst of their arbitration years, the Red Sox have a team policy of buying out at least one season of free agency while also including a team option.
As for comparing his situation with Lester’s, Buchholz explained that the two scenarios have their differences.
“When I think about Jon Lester, I think about a kid who came up through the organization, battled cancer, beat cancer, came all the way back through and made it to the big leagues and now is, if not the best, is one of the best, left-handers in the game,” Buchholz said. “They are two completely different paths.
“With his whole contract thing, I think the Red Sox sort of owe him for all of the struggles he went through to make it to where he was.”
For more Red Sox coverage, see the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|01.19.11 at 5:16 pm ET|
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez played catch on Monday, the first time he has tossed a baseball since the labrum surgery on his right shoulder was performed on October 20.
Gonzalez — who played catch with his brother, former Padres’ second baseman Edgar Gonzalez – could start swinging a bat sometime in late February if his rehabilitation continues to go well, according to the ESPN report. Gonzalez may report to the Sox’ spring training facility the second week of February to continue the rehabilitation process.
|01.19.11 at 3:31 pm ET|
The Red Sox Rookie Development Program, a two-week program for prospects considered to be 12 to 18 months from the major leagues, is in full swing. Players work out twice a day and get acclimated to major league life both on and off the field, whether through trips into the Fenway Park clubhouse or visits to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute to meet with Jimmy Fund patients. Perhaps most importantly for the participants, they gain the opportunity to work with and meet the major league coaching staff, and to make first impressions that may carry into spring training.
This year’s participants are Robert Coello, Tim Federowicz, Stephen Fife, Ryan Lavarnway, Juan Carlos Linares, Will Middlebrooks, Stolmy Pimentel, Jason Rice, Clevelan Santeliz, Oscar Tejeda and Alex Wilson. For a closer look at that group, click here.
On Wednesday, the players players and farm director Mike Hazen met with the media. Some highlights:
–There is no doubt that the Red Sox farm system looks different after three top prospects — Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes — were dealt to the Padres for Adrian Gonzalez. But Hazen said that the team still feels good about its prospect pool, particularly about a group of players who will offer depth to the big league club this year. Read the rest of this entry »
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