|06.05.14 at 9:41 pm ET|
With their top pick (No. 26 overall in the first round) of the 2014 draft, the Red Sox selected shortstop Michael Chavis of Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia. Chavis represents one of the top high school hitters in the draft. Here’s a brief look at the versatile Chavis, who can play second, third and potentially the outfield after playing short in high school. (Chavis told MLB Network that the Sox talked to him about playing second and third base.)
Though smaller at 5-foot-10, he still generates a power hitter’s bat speed, the first tool that every scout who saw him noticed. One evaluator who saw him before his senior year raved that he has “serious bat speed.” Another suggested that his bat speed was close to that of 2013 first-round pick (No. 5 overall) Luke Frazier (who had an 80 power grade on the 20-80 scale) but with a quieter swing to allow him to unlock that power potential.
MICHAEL CHAVIS, 2B/3B — SPRAYBERRY (GA.) HS
Committed to Clemson
Age: 18 (born 8/11/1995)
5-foot-10, 192 pounds
Bats right, throws right
Stats (2014): 28 games, .580/.663/1.197, 13 HR, 14 BB, 10 K
Baseball America: As many of the toolsy high school position players raise questions about their hitting ability, the players that teams are confident will hit have moved up draft boards, and Chavis is one of the better bats in the class. He has a chance to go in the first round, a testament to his consistency as a 5-foot-10, 192-pound righthanded hitter. Chavis has tremendous strength through his hands and wrists and produces plus bat speed from a short, compact stroke. He hit consistently on the showcase circuit, including sending a 94 mph fastball from Touki Toussaint right back up the box at East Coast Pro. He has plus raw power that translates to game action. Currently a high school shortstop, Chavis will likely move off the position as a pro. Third base remains his most likely destination because of his first-step quickness, body control and above-average arm. Catching is an option and he has the necessary physical attributes, but he has spent limited time behind the plate. He has slightly above-average speed that will likely settle in around average with his strong, compact build. The Clemson commit is a high-effort, gamer who endears himself to scouts with his style of play, and scouts lauded his work ethic.
Biographical details: Comes from the same high school as Kris Benson and Marlon Byrd; Byrd follows him on twitter. Won a home run derby at a Perfect Game showcase event in San Diego.
– MLBTradeRumors.com — Draft Q&A: Michael Chavis
– Marietta Daily Journal: Sprayberry’s Chavis becoming nightmare for pitchers
The Red Sox have one more first-round pick at No. 33 overall.
|06.05.14 at 6:34 pm ET|
Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn did not travel with the team to Detroit after being admitted to the Cleveland Clinic with a subarachnoid hemorrhage on Wednesday.
Colbrunn is expected to remain in Cleveland, according to a statement released by the team. The statement is as follows:
Greg was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic last night after experiencing dizziness prior to Wednesday’s Red Sox-Indians game. After evaluation, it was determined that Greg had suffered subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Red Sox medical director, Dr. Larry Ronan and physicians from the Cleveland Clinic expect Greg to make a good recovery. However, for the next few days, Greg will remain in Cleveland for further evaluation.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|06.05.14 at 4:41 pm ET|
Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava joined Rob Bradford on The Bradfo Show podcast to discuss what has been a trying 2014 season so far for both himself and the club. To listen to the interview, go to The Bradfo Show audio on demand page.
Nava has struggled to re-create the success he had last year, when the now 31-year-old posted a .303/.385/.445 line and helped the Red Sox clinch their eighth World Series title. In 23 games this season, Nava is hitting a paltry .136 with three RBIs.
Nava got off to a slow start in spring training, hitting .205 with just four extra-base hits in 17 games. Nava’s slump extended into the season with a .149/.240/.269 line over the first three weeks. On April 23, Nava was sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket.
While Nava acknowledged that he got off to a slow start, he also believes that he would have been able to adjust before being sent down to the minor leagues.
“I’ve learned enough through the road I’ve taken to get here what works for me and what doesn’t and the type of swing and the type of approach that I was going to stick with,” Nava said. “I wasn’t going to change from that because I know what works for me and I would be foolish to try and change that.
“I wasn’t as comfortable as I wanted to be [in spring training], but sometimes you just aren’t. It was just unfortunate then that that’s how things started in the season. I like to think that I would’ve got things going in the right direction on a personal note, but … I don’t think the team expected things to start the way that they did.”
Nava continued: “Last year, during the first month, everything was clicking, and so a lot of comparisons were made about last year to this year already. It was understandable; it’s always going to be like that. But at the same time, I think there should be some grace and understanding that no two years are the same.”
|06.05.14 at 2:20 pm ET|
Former Red Sox shortstop/third baseman Rico Petrocelli joined Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss the life of baseball icon Don Zimmer, who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 83. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Zimmer, who spent 66 years in baseball as a player, manager, coach and executive, had a lasting impact on many within the game. While Petrocelli was only on the Red Sox roster during Zimmer’s first season as Boston manager in 1976, he had many positive takeaways regarding the man known to many as “Popeye.”
“He was a guy that sometimes players got mad [at], but they didn’t stay mad very long,” Petrocelli said. “Zim was tough, he expected a lot from the players, and what that meant was that he wanted guys to hustle and to play hard every game. … That’s all he asked as a coach and as a manager.
“He was the type of guy that you wanted to protect, like a teddy bear. You couldn’t dislike him. The only guy I know who really disliked him was Bill Lee. They had their problems, but overall Zim was a great, great baseball man. Everyone respected him.”
Zimmer coached the Red Sox from 1976 until 1980, averaging 92 wins over his four full seasons at the helm. Despite his track record, Zimmer drew the ire of the Boston fans at the end of his tenure with the club, something that Petrocelli said really affected the Sox skipper.
“He was very hurt,” Petrocelli said. “The fans started to get on him. … He took it hard. That’s the thing about him. He could be tough on the field, he wanted players to play hard and sometimes get all over you if you didn’t, but he also was very emotional.”
|06.05.14 at 11:55 am ET|
Left-hander Henry Owens, possessor of size 17 feet qua flippers, continued a breakthrough stretch in Double-A Portland. The 21-year-old, almost exactly three years after being taken by the Red Sox in the supplemental first round of the draft, delivered a career-high eight innings of shutout ball in which he permitted just two hits (both singles), struck out two, punched out six (with 15 swings and misses on his fastball and changeup) and recorded 14 outs via groundball. His fastball angle and execution down in the strike zone were little short of dazzling (on a night when he topped out at 93 mph and averaged 90 mph), complemented by a characteristically nasty changeup and a smattering of curveballs.
Through the first 58 outings and two-plus years of his pro career, Owens had never posted back-to-back outings of more than six innings. He’s now done so in three straight starts, with Wednesday’s eight-inning effort following consecutive seven-inning efforts. During that time, Owens has walked just five batters during 22 scoreless innings, a drastic departure from the three-start command struggle that preceded it in which Owens issued 14 free passes in 15 2/3 innings.
Owens has achieved new heights in his pitch efficiency and strike throwing. On Wednesday, he found the strike zone with 73 of his career-high 107 pitches (68 percent). He’s compromised his strikeouts (he’s struck out 17 in his 22-inning scoreless run) but he’s addressed the walks issues that had permeated his earlier outings this year while eliciting terrible contact on a consistent basis. Read the rest of this entry »
|06.05.14 at 2:57 am ET|
CLEVELAND — It was the sixth inning, but by the time the Red Sox dropped their 7-4 decision in 12 innings to the Indians early Thursday morning, A.J. Pierzynski‘s sixth-inning ejection seemed like a lifetime ago.
(In reality, he wasn’t around for two at-bats.)
Pierzynski was tossed by home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott after a leadoff walk in the sixth by Red Sox starter Brandon Workman. Following the fourth ball, the Red Sox catcher exchanged words with Wolcott while asking for a new ball. Before the umpire could complete the exchange with Pierzynski, he had thrown out the Sox’ No. 5 hitter.
“I don’t know. It happens,” Pierzynski said after being replaced by David Ross, who went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. “Just the timing was rather odd. But you know, whatever. Stuff happens out there.
“I’ve been kicked out a couple of times in my career. I remember getting kicked out last year in a no-hitter. Stuff happens.”
When asked what was said, Pierzynski was non-committal.
“We didn’t agree on what time the game should have started,” he said sarcastically. “I said it should have started a little earlier, he said a little late. We just didn’t get along as far as that went.”
Later Pierzynski was a tad more forthcoming, saying, “Stuff happens. Sometimes you say the wrong thing, and they feel a need, and stuff happens.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell also had no desire to elaborate on the ejection after the loss.
“They weren’t seeing eye to eye on some things,” he said. “He threw him out.”
|06.05.14 at 2:05 am ET|
CLEVELAND — It started with a two-hour, 28-minute rain delay, mixed in with a bit of Johnny Manziel pregame preening (courtesy the first-pitch ceremony). And it all finished off with the Indians punctuating their three-game sweep of the Red Sox early Thursday morning.
The Indians claimed the 7-4 victory in the wee hours thanks to a 12th-inning rally against Red Sox reliever Edward Mujica.
Mike Aviles started things with a one-out, infield single, and was followed with another hit, this one from Michael Bourn who slid a grounder under first baseman Brock Holt‘s glove.
Then, with the Red Sox employing five infielders and just two outfielders, Asdrubal Cabrera launched a three-run homer over the right-field fence for the walkoff win.
“It was a changeup, high in the zone,” said Mujica, who hadn’t surrendered a run, and just two hits, over his previous five outings. “That situation right there, I’m looking for a ground ball. I want to throw my best pitch. The first one was pretty good and that one just ran a little bit inside and he put a pretty good swing on it.”
The game, which ended just after 2 a.m., took four- hours, 29 minutes to complete.
Here is what went wrong (and right) for the Red Sox.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– The Indians tied things up at 2 in the sixth inning when Jason Kipnis greeted reliever Chris Capuano with an RBI single up the middle, scoring Cabrera. Cabrera had drawn a leadoff walk off Red Sox starter Brandon Workman, with Michael Brantley following up with a single to bring on Capuano.
– David Murphy kept things going in the sixth by reaching out and placing a bases-loaded line drive just over the head of second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The hit — coming on a 1-2 pitch from Capuano — gave the hosts a 4-2 lead and drove the Sox lefty from the game.
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