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Ortiz goes deep – against Sabathia

06.11.09 at 8:02 pm ET
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David Ortiz‘ fourth homer of the year was his most impressive. The Red Sox slugger jumped on a 94 mph fastball from Yankees starter Carsten Charles Sabathia, and sent a rocket over the Green Monster.

It is rare enough to see Ortiz going deep this year (though it is worth noting that the occurrence is becoming increasingly frequent, as Ortiz now has three homers this month). But to see him do it against CC Sabathia qualifies as the sort of event that should lead to bold proclamations.

Here’s one: Ortiz is back.

Sabathia had gone 26 straight starts, from last July 2 to this May 24, WITHOUT PERMITTING A SINGLE EXTRA-BASE HIT TO LEFT-HANDERS. Since then, he has allowed a double to Raul Ibanez and a homer by Grady Sizemore. From last July 2 through yesterday, the left-hander was holding portsiders to a .186 average (16th lowest in the majors, min. 100 plate appearances) and .226 slugging mark (4th lowest).

So the homer by Ortiz qualifies as a major turn of events. So does the fact that Ortiz is now hitting .296 with a 1.033 OPS and a team-leading three homers in June.

Just last night, hitting coach Dave Magadan suggested that Ortiz appeared primed for a breakout:

‘€œHe’€™s looking like he’€™s got some confidence. He’€™s consistently hitting the ball hard. His outs tonight were loud outs,’€ hitting coach Dave Magadan said after last night’€™s 6-5 Red Sox win over the Yankees. ‘€œHe’€™s getting his pitch and he’€™s exploding on it. He took (two walks).

‘€œHe’€™s just looking very hitter-ish up there,’€ said Magadan. ‘€œHe’€™s got a little bit of a swagger going. Hopefully sooner than later he’€™s going to start becoming his old self.’€

It now appears that time might have come.

Red Sox lead 1-0 after two innings.

(Footnote: not to be forgotten – J.D. Drew also stroked a liner off the base of the Green Monster in left-center for a double, so the Sox have become the first team to have left-handers record multiple extra-base hits against Sabathia since last May 31.)

Read More: C.C. Sabathia, David Ortiz,

Penny Drills A-Rod

06.11.09 at 7:27 pm ET
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If this is Brad Penny’s last start as a member of the Red Sox, chances are that his teammates will remember him fondly.

With two outs and a runner on third, Brad Penny fired a 96 mph fastball inside to Alex Rodriguez for a ball. Penny followed that with a 97 mph fastball for a called strike and then, with his third pitch, he drilled Rodriguez with another 97 mph fastball in the middle of the lower back.

The clearly intentional drilling was likely in response to the fact that the Yankees have twice drilled Jason Bay with pitches – first when Joba Chamberlain fired a fastball into Bay’s back in early May in New York, and again on Tuesday when Jose Veras pounded Bay (hitting .480 against the Yankees this year) with another mid-90s heater.

Both benches were warned.

There is an irony to any discipline that might be meted out by Major League Baseball: if Penny is suspended for intentionally drilling Rodriguez, the suspension could either a) be served with another team, if the pitcher does get traded to make room in the rotation for John Smoltz; or b) could buy some time with a quick-fix clearing of the log-jam in the rotation by forcing Penny to miss a turn.

Anyhoo, Penny’s featured his best fastball velocity of the season in the first inning, firing six fastballs at 97 mph, and sitting in the 95-97 mph range. Still, the Yankees are making him work: Penny threw 25 pitches in the first, and the Yankees swung and missed at none.

Read More: Alex Rodriguez, Brad Penny, jason bay, joba chamberlain

Lowell: Philly fans can be rude

06.11.09 at 5:12 pm ET
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Mike Lowell nearly signed with the Philadelphia Phillies following his 2007 MVP performance in the World Series.

On Thursday, on the eve of a return trip to the city with the Red Sox, he sounded like he was glad he stayed in Boston.

“They’re kind of rude there,” Lowell said of the Philadelphia fan base. “In New York you hear, ‘You (stink),’ a lot, which I think you can deal with. They’re a little more personal in Philadelphia. But I think that’s the nature of their fans and how they’ve been characterized through the years. They’re tough on their own players so I think it’s only normal to feel like if you’re a visiting guy it’s not really going to be that easy.”

The Red Sox resume the interleague portion of their schedule on Friday at Citizens Bank Park in South Philly when they open a three-game weekend series.

Read More: mike lowell, Philadelphia Phillies, Philly fans,

Smoltz pursues perfection

06.11.09 at 5:00 pm ET
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In a few minutes, John Smoltz will commence his fifth and likely last rehab outing in the first game of a double-header for Triple-A Pawtucket in Syracuse. His rehab assignment, which featured two outings for Single-A Greenville, one with Double-A Portland and, most recently, one last Friday with the Pawsox, has been just short of flawless to date: in four starts, he has a 1.56 ERA, has held opponents to a .148 average and has struck out 13 and walked just two in his 17.1 innings of work.

Yet Smoltz, while pleased, remains unsatisfied. On Sunday, he gave himself a Grade B for his most recent outing, and said that he is eager to take the necessary steps to improve on that mark.

That being the case, it seems fair to wonder what the difference is between an A and a B. (Worth noting: Smoltz is close friends with Tiger Woods, the man who popularized the term “A-Game.”) Smoltz offered the following clarification on Tuesday, following Josh Beckett’s one-hit, six-inning mastery:

“What Josh did (on Tuesday) was an A: key pitches when you have to, quality of the pitch needed to dominate a lineup like the Yankees,” Smoltz said. “You can still be very effective with B and C stuff, but your chances to dominate, to get to that level, you need the stuff to make your pitches. I have room for improvement on that. That’€™s got to come with time. It’€™s been a long time since I’€™ve been up on the mound. With that patience will hopefully come the stuff that I’€™m used to.

“The (split-finger fastball) was an A the other day. Fastball was close to an A. Slider was a C. Changeup was probably a B. It’€™s just cumulative ‘€“ what I know I can do. It might never get to an A-plus, but that’€™s the goal.”

Of course, the Sox are convinced that Smoltz – an extremely intelligent pitcher thanks in part to his professorial association with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine in Atlanta – can win without his best stuff. Nonetheless, the team and the pitcher will both be eager to see whether he takes another step forward with the quality of his pitches on Thursday.

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Red Sox vs. Yankees Match-Ups, 6/11 – Can Sabathia Win 300?

06.11.09 at 3:36 pm ET
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Finally, in the third series of the year between the Red Sox and Yankees, CC Sabathia will make his debut in ‘€œThe Rivalry.’€ He’€™s had his fair share of big games against the Sox before ‘€“ most notably, when he lost a pair of games to Boston in the 2007 ALCS. But the scrutiny that will attend him here, now, will be immense, particularly after fellow Yankees free-agent signee A.J. Burnett and Chien-Ming Wang both got lit up in the first two games of this series, leaving after just 2.2 innings each.

The Yankees need Sabathia to step up, need him to absorb innings, and, one would likely say, need him to win. Of course, winning is a peculiar talent exhibited by the mountain of a moundsman.

Sabathia (5-3, 3.56 ERA) is still just 28 years old (he turns 29 on July 21). He has 122 wins in his career. And he is now with an organization that gives him an excellent likelihood of claiming lots of wins on an annual basis, so long as he remains healthy.

His 122 wins (and counting) through his age 28 season put him on a short list. He has the eighth highest wins total for a player of that age in the last 40 years. And so, amidst the talk that Randy Johnson might be the last 300-game winner, it is worth taking a moment to consider whether Sabathia might make a run at the milestone.

Certainly, he is close to or ahead of most of the recent members of the 300 wins club through age 28. Johnson had just 49 wins at that age. Roger Clemens had 134, Greg Maddux 131 ‘€“ marks that Sabathia will likely near by the end of the year if he remains healthy. Tom Glavine had just 108 wins by Sabathia’€™s age.

So, what does Sabathia think of the milestone?

‘€œIt would be awesome to do. It would definitely be a blessing to play that long and pitch that good,’€ said Sabathia. ‘€œThree-hundred wins is unbelievable, though. I’€™d much rather focus on trying to win championships and trying to win some rings. If that comes, it comes. But it’€™s so far down the road that it’€™s something you can’€™t let yourself think about.’€

That said, Sabathia is signed to a seven-year contract right now. And he has no intention of walking away from the game when he concludes it at the age of 35. The left-hander, who won the Cy Young award in 2007, would embrace the possibility of pitching into his 40s.

‘€œYou play this game as long as you want. It’€™s a privilege,’€ said Sabathia. ‘€œIf I’€™m healthy enough, I’€™ll play until my arm falls off.’€

Here is how Sabathia has fared against the team against whom he will target career win No. 123 tonight.

RED SOX VS. SABATHIA

Rocco Baldelli (19 career at-bats against Sabathia): .211 average/ .286 OBP/ .316 slugging, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
David Ortiz (18): .278/ .286/ .316, homer, walk
Julio Lugo (18): .222/ .300/ .444, homer, 2 walks
Mark Kotsay (14): .286/ .333/ .357, walk
Jason Varitek (10): .100/ .250/ .400, homer, walk
Mike Lowell (7): 2-for-7
Kevin Youkilis (7): 3-for-7
J.D. Drew (3): 0-for-3, 3 strikeouts
Nick Green (3): 0-for-3, 2 strikeouts
Jason Bay (3): 0-for-3
Dustin Pedroia (3): 0-for-3

YANKEES VS. BRAD PENNY

Sabathia will oppose Boston’€™s Brad Penny, whose every start seems like an audition for scouts of other clubs. He is clearly a moveable piece for the Sox, given the imminence of John Smoltz‘€™ return and the depth provided in the minors by Clay Buchholz and Mike Bowden. Moreover, his stuff appears to be getting better as the season progresses. How that will translate into his first outing as a member of the Sox against the Yankees tonight remains to be seen. Here’€™s his history against the current New Yorkers:

Xavier Nady (10 career at-bats against Penny): .400 average/ .455 OBP/ .700 slugging, walk
Mark Texeira (6): 0-for-6, 3 strikeouts
Jose Molina (5): .1-for-5, homer
Angel Berroa (4): 1-for-4
Derek Jeter (3): 1-for-3
Alex Rodriguez (2): 0-for-2, walk
Johnny Damon (2): 0-for-2, walk
Jorge Posada (1 PA): walk

D.J. Bean contributed to this post.

Read More: Brad Penny, C.C. Sabathia,

Sox and Yanks vs. “aces”: Quantity over quality?

06.11.09 at 2:17 pm ET
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Despite being 0-7 against the Red Sox thus far, Joe Girardi should have the utmost confidence in tonight’s matchup: his ace, CC Sabathia, against a has-been ace in Brad Penny. Sabathia currently stands at 5-3 with a 3.56 earned run average while Penny is 5-2 with an ERA of 5.85. Looking a bit deeper into the numbers, maybe the Sox shouldn’t be too worried.

In light of the Red Sox not being scheduled to face Cole Hamels in Philadelphia this weekend, I took a deeper look into exactly how many “number one” starters the Red Sox have faced over the course of the season. I use quotes because, as is evident by the following lists, not every “number one” starter is an ideal “ace.”

Obviously, what truly makes a pitcher an ace is an age-old argument. For the sake of this entry, here’s what I’m going on:

An ace should:

1. Be the team’s Opening Day starter.
2. Lead his team in wins.
3. Be a legitimate Cy Young candidate in any given year in recent memory. Has-beens don’t count.
4. Have an ERA under 4 (A pretty lenient benchmark).

Now, the tertiary factor can be more opinion-oriented than the other three, but luckily neither team has really faced any fringe-guys and I wasn’t very generous with the has-beens. Sorry Dontrelle, a pitcher with your name may have been the Cy Young runner-up in ’05, but we’re not letting you anywhere near this list.

If a pitcher meets three of the four criteria, they are, in one man’s opinion, the team’s “ace” this season (young starters have a bit of an advantage. If either team had faced Zack Greinke, he would be considered an ace because of the near certainty that he will receive Cy Young votes this season if he stays healthy):

Here is the list of “number one” starters that each team has faced.

[Format= Pitcher (multiple times faced)- team’s result vs. pitcher. Pitcher’s current stats (sub-4.00 ERA in bold), criteria met.]

Number 1 starters faced by Red Sox:

James Shields (ACE, 2)

2-0

5-5, 3.36 ERA

Opening Day starter, Tied for team lead in wins

Jeremy Guthrie

W

4-6, 5.52

Opening Day starter, Tied for team lead in wins

Jered Weaver (ACE, 2)

1-1

6-2, 2.31

Opening Day starter, Tied for team lead in wins

Kevin Slowey

L

8-2, 4.21

Leads team in wins

Kevin Millwood (ACE)

L

5-4, 2.96

Received Cy Young votes in ’05, Tied for team lead in wins

Johan Santana (ACE)

L

8-3, 2.39

Received Cy Young votes every year since ’03 (2x winner), Opening Day starter, Leads team in wins

Season record vs. no. 1 starters*: 4-4
*Scott Baker is excluded because he only meets the criteria of being Opening Day starter

Season record vs. aces: 3-3

Number 1 starters faced by Yankees:

Gil Meche

L

3-5, 3.70

Opening Day starter, Zack Greinke (8-2, 1.55 ERA) is team’s ace.

Cliff Lee (2)

1-1

3-6, 3.17

2008 AL Cy Young, Carl Pavano (6-5) leads team in wins

Justin Verlander (ACE)

L

7-2, 3.02

Received Cy Young votes in ’06 and ’07, Leads team in wins

Jered Weaver (ACE)

W

6-2, 2.31

Opening Day starter, Tied for team lead in wins

Josh Beckett (ACE, 2)

0-2

7-2, 3.77

2007 AL Cy Young runner-up, Opening Day starter, Tim Wakefield (8-3) leads team in wins

Jeremy Guthrie (2)

2-0

4-6, 5.52

Tied for team lead in wins

Roy Halladay (ACE)

L

10-1, 2.52

Finished top three in AL Cy Young voting four of last 6 seasons (2003 winner), Opening Day starter, Leads team in wins

Kevin Slowey

W/10

8-2, 4.21

Leads team in wins

Cole Hamels

L/11

4-2, 4.62

Received Cy Young votes in ‘€™07, Tied for team lead in wins

Kevin Millwood (ACE)

L

5-4, 2.96

Received Cy Young votes in ’05, Tied for team lead in wins

Season record vs. no. 1 starters: 5-8

Season record vs. aces: 1-5

All in all, the Yankees have faced more number one starters (ten) than the Sox (six), and while each team has faced four aces apiece, the numbers are on Boston’s side. Heading into tonight’s game, the Red Sox are 4-2 against Sabathia and famously beat him up twice in the 2007 ALCS. All eyes will be on the lefty tonight to see if Sabathia can be the ace he’s being paid to be.

Read More: Aces, Brad Penny, C.C. Sabathia,

Magadan: Ortiz Looking ‘Hitter-ish’

06.11.09 at 1:11 pm ET
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The moment was almost uncomfortable, not for what happened, but for what followed.

Mike Lowell had just launched a homer to lead off the third inning. But the ovation for Lowell was not as enthusiastic or sustained as the one when David Ortiz followed by jumping on a 93 mph fastball from Chien-Ming Wang, and hammering it to the Triangle in centerfield at Fenway Park. The ball died short of the fence, traveling about 400 to 410 feet for a loud out. Yet the Red Sox fans, in a show of support for the Sox’ D.H., offered a rousing ovation for the simple act of a hard-hit ball.

The fact that there would be such a response to a well-struck ball underscores how deep Ortiz’ struggles have been to start this year. Nonetheless, the indications are now increasingly frequent that Ortiz is moving beyond his season-opening futility.

Through the first 10 days of June, Ortiz is hitting .269 with an .883 OPS and two homers. He’s also had several ringing outs. The difference — to Ortiz, and to those in the Red Sox dugout — is obvious.

“He’€™s looking like he’€™s got some confidence. He’€™s consistently hitting the ball hard. His outs tonight were loud outs,” hitting coach Dave Magadan said after last night’s 6-5 Red Sox win over the Yankees. “He’€™s getting his pitch and he’€™s exploding on it. He took (two walks).

“He’€™s just looking very hitter-ish up there,” said Magadan. “He’€™s got a little bit of a swagger going. Hopefully sooner than later he’€™s going to start becoming his old self.”

Perhaps the most pronounced difference for Ortiz is that, when he misses, it seems that he’s missing by millimeters rather than feet. In recent days, his expressions of frustration have most typically occurred when he’s just missed (fouling off or hitting high pop-ups) a pitch that he was anticipating and whose arrival he had timed well. His balance on those swings has remained intact. That is a stark contrast to the uncertainty that he seemed to be offering in the batter’s box just a couple weeks ago, when he would be unable to pull the trigger on hittable pitches, or when he’d seem to misread badly what was being thrown to the plate.

“When you’€™re not  swinging the bat the way you want to swing it, you become a little unsure of the strike zone,” said Magadan. “What he’€™s looked like over the last week, he’€™s aggressive in his strike zone and he’€™s confident that he’€™s going to do some damage.”

Read More: Dave Magadan, David Ortiz,

Red Sox draft picks: Rounds 21-30

06.11.09 at 12:48 pm ET
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The Sox continued to pound pitching in their next 10 picks. Here’s the break down for rounds 21-30:

4 college pitchers

4 high school position players

2 high school pitchers

This stretch of the draft also featured the Sox’ first New England picks of the draft. The breakdown:

Round 21: Randall Fant, left-handed pitcher, Texas HS (TX), 18 years old

Another tall pitcher – the seventh straight pick by the Sox of a pitcher who is at least 6-foot-3. Fant has a commitment to go to school in Arkansas.

Round 22: Jordan Flasher, right-handed pitcher, George Mason University, 21 years old

Flasher is a year removed from Tommy John surgery. According to insidenova.com, he showed diminished velocity in his return to the hill this year. Even so, according to the story, the Sox were aggressive in their pursuit of him, and Flasher — the all-time saves leader for George Mason — suggested that he and the Sox have agreed to the basics of an agreement.

Round 23: Christopher Court, right-handed pitcher, Stephen F. Austin State University, 22 years old

Court is relatively new to pitching, having only been converted from catching after leaving high school. He pitched in relief for the Lumberjacks, holding left-handed hitters to a miniscule .133 average in his 28 appearances. (Profile here.)

Round 24: Daniel Kemp, shortstop, Daniel Kemp, Tantasqua Regional HS (MA), 17 years old

Kemp hit .472 with six homers and 14 steals. According to the Worcester Telegram, he had a particularly impressive workout in front of Sox G.M. Theo Epstein and the rest of the Sox brass at Fenway Park last week.

Round 25: Austin House, right-handed pitcher, La Cueva HS (NM), 18 years old

House’s La Cueva High School team was eliminated from their state tournament by the Carlsbad Cavemen.

Round 26: Miles Head, third baseman, Whitewater HS (GA), 18 years old

Head was a power-hitting prep player, slamming 14 homers this year in his Georgia high school league. Head also played some catcher in high school. He was a finalist in the Home Run Derby of the Perfect Game Showcase. He has signed a letter of intent to play for the University of Georgia.

Round 27: Reed Gragnani, shortstop, Mills E Godwin HS (VA), 18 years old

Gragnani has a commitment to play at the University of Virginia. He fell due to signabililty concerns, and told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that it would take a “pretty significant” bonus to convince him not to go to college. Gragnani will likely be a summer-follow, but he told the Times-Dispatch after getting selected that he believed the Red Sox might be willing to meet his asking price.

The Yankees and the Red Sox were the only ones who could match the figure I wanted,” Bragnani told the paper. “They know what it’s going to take to sign me. There’s a chance I could get what I want. [Boston] is such a big-market team. We’ll see.”

Round 28: Eric Curtis, right-handed pitcher, Miami Dade CC South, 19 years old

Curtis, who also caught in college, was a transfer to Miami Dade from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Round 29: Cody Stubbs, first baseman, Tuscola HS (NC), 18 years old

The power-hitting Stubbs has a commitment to play college ball at Tennessee, and told the Asheville Citizen-Times that he was up in the air about whether he might start his pro career.

Round 30: Jeremiah Bayer, right-handed pitcher, Trinity College, 23 years old

The Massachusetts native and former walk-on at the University of Vermont counts Rudy as his favorite film and professes a great enthusiasm for eating chicken parm. (Profile here.) He was also named the Division III pitcher of the year after going 12-1 with a 0.85 ERA.

Read More: mlb draft,

Red Sox Draft Rounds 11-20: Tall, Taller, Tallest

06.11.09 at 6:15 am ET
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Apparently, the Red Sox have had enough of the Dustin Pedroias of the world. Or at least it seemed that way for the team’s second 10 picks of the 2009 draft, when the Sox selected a bunch of players who could form a pretty formidable basketball team.

After leaning towards prep position prospects with four of their first 10 picks of the draft, the Sox veered towards collegiate players and pitchers with picks 11-20. The demographic breakdown was:

4 college pitchers

3 college position players (1 catcher)

2 high school pitchers

1 high school position player

There was a common theme. Namely, the players taken were very, very tall. In fact, from picks 15-20, the Sox selected six straight pitchers (including Daniel Bard’s brother, Luke), each of whom is listed at 6-foot-3 or taller.

Here’s the breakdown:

11th round: Jason Thompson – Shortstop, Germantown (TN) HS, 18 years old

The slender (180 pounds) switch-hitting shortstop was an Aflac All-American player last summer, and is described as a five-tool talent with across-the-board skills that project well. He has a commitment to the University of Louisville, and told the Memphis Commercial Appeal that he’s undecided about whether to go to college or turn pro.

12th round: Michael Thomas – Catcher, Southern University A&M, 20 years old

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Thomas is an absolutely colossal target behind the plate. He suffered a broken hand earlier this year. Reports suggest that he is a very good defensive catcher with a rocket arm.

13th round: Christopher McGuinness – 1st baseman, The Citadel, 21 years old

McGuinness exhibited power and patience at The Citadel, hitting 15 homers as a junior while leading the country with 65 walks and forging a .520 OBP (12th in Division 1 ball).

14th round: William Holmes – Outfielder, Chaffey College, 21 years old

If you can read the tiny print detailing the statistics from the Foothill Athletic Conference, you can see that Holmes was a power-hitter with a good average (.379), OBP (.453) and slugging mark (.662) to go along with his nine homers. Insofar as the Chaffey College website describes him as an outfielder and DH, and he had but one steal in two attempts this year, one presumes that he is not the most athletic player selected by the Sox this year.

15th round: Michael Bugary – Left-handed pitcher, UC-Berkeley, 21 years old (6-foot-4)

Thus begins the run on mound giants. Injured for most of the past two years, Bugary returned to the mound for Berkeley and struck out a whopping 82 batters in 66 innings, perhaps because no one knew where the ball was going: Bugary also walked 51. (For his college profile, click here.)

16th round: Luke Bard – Right-handed pitcher, Charlotte Christian School (NC), 18 years old (6-foot-3)

You might have heard of Luke’s brother, Daniel, currently a reliever for the Sox who delivered his first big-league pitches of 100 mph on Tuesday. Here’s Daniel’s scouting report on his brother, who would likely require a considerable bonus to skip college and turn pro:

“(The Sox) really liked him. I talked to (amateur scouting director Jason McLeod) about him a couple times this spring. They said they saw him three or four times and that they really liked him,” said Daniel Bard. “He’s pretty similar (to where Dan Bard was when graduating high school). Velocity-wise, he’s pretty similar. He’s a little bit shorter, like an inch shorter. He’s really athletic. He’s a football player, a quarterback, so he’s a little beefier than me at the same age.”

Luke Bard — who was playing golf when he learned that he’d been drafted — has a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech, and as of now, the younger Bard anticipates fulfilling it.

“He’s not going to sign for 16th round money,” said Daniel Bard. “It depends on how much they like him and how much they think he’s worth. Then he’d have to decide. (Signing) probably wouldn’t happen until later in the summer.”

Regardless of what happens, the big brother expressed a note of pleasure.

“It’s really cool,” said Daniel Bard. “Regardless of what happens, whether he signs or not, it’s still pretty cool.”

17th round: Kraig Sitton – Left-handed pitcher, Oregon State University, 21 years old (6-foot-3)

In two years at Jacoby Ellsbury’s alma mater, the draft-eligible sophomore (Sitton was red-shirted as a freshman) has struck out more than a batter an inning while forging a 3.97 ERA, mostly in relief. According to The Oregonian, after dropping due to signability issues, Sitton is leaning towards returning to OSU.

18th round: Reynolds “Renny” Parthemore – Right-handed pitcher, Cedar Cliff High School (PA), 18 years old (6-foot-5)

He’s tall, athletic (he’s lettered in hoops, soccer, football as well as baseball) and throws pretty hard, with a low-90s fastball. He has signed a letter of intent to pitch at Penn State. Somehow, Parthemore seemed to strike a complimentary note when he suggested that the Sox handle high school pitchers like “fresh meat” in an interview with the Patriot-News.

19th round: Thomas Ebert - Right-handed pitcher, Florida International University, 21 years old (6-foot-6)

Ebert had an 84-18 strikeout to walk ratio while pitching for Mike Lowell’s alma mater this year.

20th round: Alexander Hassan – Right-handed pitcher, Duke University, 21 years old (6-foot-3)

Hassan, a native of Milton, Mass., is tied for the Blue Devils‘ career saves record. He played both outfield and pitched in college, but the Sox drafted him as a pitcher. The junior struck out 34 in 26.1 innings while holding opponents to a .228 average in 2009.

Read More: mlb draft,

Tough Tex

06.11.09 at 12:45 am ET
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‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’ were the words that President Theodore Roosevelt made famous and lived by.

After watching Mark Teixeira on Wednesday night at Fenway Park, there’ s no doubting he carries a big stick but his words following the seventh straight loss to the Red Sox this season spoke volumes about the kind of leader he could become.

“We just have to pick it up,” Teixeira said. “We can’t just throw out gloves out there and expect to win. I’m not saying anyone’s thinking that but it shows. We have to go out there and play well because a team like the Red Sox aren’t going to go out there and give us any wins.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Mark Teixeira, Red Sox, Yankees,
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