|Poll: What should the Red Sox do with Bobby Valentine?||08.07.12 at 8:39 am ET|
As controversy swirled around the future of Bobby Valentine with the Red Sox on Monday, team owner John Henry said that his team is “not making a change in manager,” noting that an organization is “more than a field manager,” while GM Ben Cherington amplified the point, saying, “Bobby’s our manager and we’re not considering anyone else.”
Are the Red Sox right to proceed in this fashion? Should Valentine (now in the first year of a two-year deal) remain the manager of the Red Sox? And if not, when is the right time to make a change? Vote below and then say your peace in the comments section.
|Trade Deadline: Francisco Liriano goes from Twins to White Sox||07.28.12 at 11:22 pm ET|
The White Sox announced (via twitter) that they acquired left-hander Francisco Liriano from the Twins in exchange for versatile 23-year-old Eduardo Escobar and 23-year-old left-hander Pedro Hernandez.
Liriano, 28, is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA for the Twins, but he possesses electric stuff that makes him an interesting wild card as a pickup. He has 109 strikeouts in 100 innings, ranking third in the AL with 9.8 strikeouts per nine, but he’s also issued 55 walks (5.0 per nine). He had an eye-opening three-start run earlier this month, going 1-2 but with 31 strikeouts and 10 walks in 20 2/3 innings and forging a 2.61 ERA over that span, but then yielded seven runs in just 2 2/3 innings in his most recent start on July 23.
Escobar is hitting .195/.275/.244/.519 in 35 games this year for Chicago, having played second, third, short and left field. Hernandez was hammered by the Red Sox for eight runs in four innings. He is 8-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 85 2/3 combined innings in Double-A and Triple-A this year.
|Trade Deadline: Zack Greinke traded to Angels||07.27.12 at 8:12 pm ET|
According to FoxSports.com, Brewers ace pitcher Zack Greinke has been traded to the Angels for top infield prospect Jean Segura and two Double-A pitchers, Ariel Pena and John Hellweg.
The 28-year-old Greinke, who will be eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season, was 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts with the Brewers. He is coming off a 2011 season in which the righty went 16-6 with a 3.83 ERA. Greinke had joined Milwaukee prior to the ’11 season, moving over from Kansas City in exchange for Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress.
Greinke is in the midst of a four-year, $38 million deal that is paying him $13.5 million for the ’12 season.
The 22-year-old Segura, a shortstop, was ranked by Baseball America as baseball’s 55th-ranked prospect. He was hitting .294 with a .749 OPS and 33 stolen bases for the Double-A Arkansas Travelers.
MLB Trade Rumors writes regarding the two pitchers:
Pena, 23, has a 3.37 ERA, an 8.9 K/9 rate and a 2.2 K/BB rate in 111 games (103 of them starts) over six seasons in the Angels’ system. Hellweg, also 23, was a 16th-round pick for the Angels in the 2008 amateur draft. He has a 3.66 ERA and a 9.6 K/9 rate in 127 minor league games (38 starts) though control has been an issue, as Hellweg has a career 6.4 BB/9 rate.
|Trade Deadline: Former Red Sox Marco Scutaro most likely Rockies player to be dealt||07.26.12 at 4:53 pm ET|
The report states that the Nationals — who recently lost Ian Desmond for a month — and the Rays were among the teams in attendance at Chase Field scouting Scutaro. The 36-year-old infielder has $2.3 million remaining on his current deal, which runs out at the end of this season.
Scutaro has primarily played at second base for the Rockies (71 games), while manning shortstop for 27 games. He is hitting .271 with a .684 OPS, also totaling four homers and seven stolen bases. The infielder’s best month came in June, when he hit .337.
The Red Sox dealt Scutaro last offseason for pitcher Clayton Mortensen, in part to free up money to sign free agent outfielder Cody Ross.
|Trade Deadline: Hideki Matsui designated for assignment by Rays||07.25.12 at 1:18 pm ET|
The Rays have designated Hideki Matsui for assignment to make room for newly acquired Ryan Roberts.
Matsui, who signed a minor league contract with Tampa Bay in April, hit .147 with two home runs and .438 OPS in 34 games with the Rays.
For Red Sox fans, one of the most notable moments in the 38-year-old’s brief Rays career came on July 14 when Bobby Valentine chose to walk the pinch-hitter to load the bases with out and the Red Sox carrying a one-run lead. The result was a Jose Lobaton bases-loaded walk followed by Elliot Johnson‘s go-ahead sacrifice fly.
Matsui, 38, has spent 10 years in the majors since coming over from Japan. He’s a career .282 hitter with a .360 on-base percentage and .462 slugging percentage. He’s hit 175 home runs and recorded 760 RBIs.
Following seven years as a member of the Yankees, Matsui played one year with the Angels and last season with the Athletics.
|Closing time: Red Sox beat Rays in Jacoby Ellsbury’s return||07.13.12 at 11:14 pm ET|
The victory improved the Sox to 44-43 on the season, moving them one game behind the Rays (45-42) as they look to work their way up the AL East and Wild Card standings.
Boston took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when David Ortiz launched a 3-1 offering from Jeremy Hellickson to right field. They added two more in the second inning when a Pedro Ciriaco single scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ryan Sweeney.
The Rays got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to a throwing error from Mike Aviles and an RBI double from Sean Rodriguez.
Franklin Morales improved to 2-2 with the win Friday. He threw five scoreless innings for the Sox, allowing two hits and walking three while picking up five strikeouts on 95 pitches. His fastball stayed around 94 miles an hour throughout the night, though he was able to dial it up to 96 mph as his outing went on.
Alfredo Aceves threw a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 20th save of the season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– Sweeney came up with some defensive heroics in the bottom of the eighth inning, sliding to catch a B.J. Upton line drive and getting the ball in quickly to Aviles with Ben Zobrist trying to advance from second to third. Aviles’ throw to Nick Punto was accurate enough to get Zobrist, whose base-running decision with one out was rather questionable.
– Ciriaco had big night in the ninth spot for the Red Sox, going 3-for-3 with two RBI and a stolen base. His biggest hit of the game came in the form of his second-inning single to drive in a pair of runs. In addition to his contributions with the bat, Ciriaco stole third base in the top of the seventh inn in on a hit-and-run that saw Daniel Nava strike out swinging. Ciriaco bunted Aviles over to third in the top of the ninth inning, but had to slide head-first into first base to avoid colliding with Jeff Keppinger.
– Jacoby Ellsbury made his long-awaited return to the lineup after being out with a right shoulder injury since April 13. He went 1-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts, and the addition of a healthy Ellsbury will undoubtedly add some stability and star power to an outfield that has seen some musical chairs throughout the season.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– Morales cruised through the first three innings but ran into some series control issues in the fourth. After handing out free passes to B.J. Upton and Keppinger with two out, Morales balked on a 3-0 count to Rodriguez. Morales tried to throw to first on a pickoff attempt, but Mauro Gomez seemed unaware that a play was on, causing Morales to hold the ball during his delivery before finally tossing it to first. The balk advanced both Upton and Keppinger, and Morales ended up walking Rodriguez anyway, good for his third consecutive walk of the inning.
Morales would end up getting out of the jam in dramatic fashion, getting Luke Scott to strike out on a 2-2 fastball up in the zone that clocked in at 96 miles per hour.
– For whatever reason, Mauro Gomez dropped a throw from Will Middlebrooks in the bottom of the first inning. The throw to first got there in enough time to beat Upton, but there seemed to be some sort of webbing issue with Gomez’ glove that prevented him from holding on. Gomez was a late replacement for Adrian Gonzalez in the lineup.
– Gomez’ glove malfunction wasn’t the only error of the Sox on the night. Zobrist grounded to Aviles to lead off the sixth inning, and Aviles’ throw was well over the head of Gomez. Zobrist advanced to second on the play, giving the Rays a man in scoring position with nobody down and it cost the Sox when Rodriguez hit a Scott Atchison offering down the third base line to score the run.
– Ortiz’ first-inning bomb earned him some respect when he came to the plate later in the game, and it hurt the Sox. The Rays elected to give him two free passes in order to face Gomez in jams, and it worked out in Tampa’s favor both times. With two out in the fifth and Nava (walk) at first, Hellickson and the Rays elected to give Ortiz a free pass, and Gomez grounded to third to end the inning. Ortiz was intentionally walked again in the top of the seventh with two men on and one out, and Gomez grounded into an inning-ending double play.
|David Ortiz ‘humiliated’ by way Red Sox treated him in offseason||07.05.12 at 8:15 am ET|
David Ortiz has another problem.
The Red Sox‘ designated hitter and only All-Star this season voiced some of his issues with the Sox and their upper management, a point made clear in a piece written by USA Today’s Jorge L. Ortiz. In the story, the slugger suggested that he will not necessarily have an allegiance to the Sox on the open market.
Ortiz, a free agent after the season, made it clear in the piece that he has an issue with the Sox spending big on free agents but not on their longest-tenured player.
“If you go crazy and give contracts to whoever comes along despite not knowing how they’re going to do, then you don’t give me my due consideration, even though I do my thing every year, [expletive] that,” Ortiz said. “I’m going to be open to anything. My mentality is not going to be, ‘I like it here.’ It’s going to be, ‘Bring it to the table, and we’ll see what happens.'”
Last offseason, Ortiz wanted a two-year deal but eventually took a one-year, $14.575 million pact shortly before he would have gone to arbitration.
“It was humiliating. There’s no reason a guy like me should go through that,” Ortiz said. “All I was looking for was two years, at the same salary [$12.5 million].
“They ended up giving me [$2.025 million] more than that , and look at my numbers this year. Tell me if they wouldn’t have been better off. And yet they don’t hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing.”
This season, Ortiz is hitting .302/.391/.607 with a team-leading 22 homers and 55 RBI.
|Nationals finish sweep with ninth-inning win vs. Red Sox||06.10.12 at 4:42 pm ET|
Roger Bernadina doubled off Alfredo Aceves in the top of the ninth and advanced to third on a play that scored Bryce Harper and gave the Nationals both a 4-3 victory and a series sweep against the Red Sox Sunday.
Jon Lester was sharp for the most part after allowing a run in the top of the first inning, but his final inning of work was an ugly one as he allowed two runs in the top of the seventh. He finished the day having allowed six hits and three earned runs over seven innings with a season-high nine strikeouts. He walked two batters on the day.
Lester allowed a leadoff double to Danny Espinosa in the top of the first, and it cost the lefty when Ryan Zimmerman drove Espinosa home two batters later. The Sox would tie it up and take the lead by getting a run in both the third and fourth innings, the second of which came on David Ortiz‘ 14th homer of the season.
The Nationals scored two more off Lester in the seventh inning to take a 3-2 lead, but the Sox tied it in the bottom of the inning on an RBI groundout from Scott Podsednik that scored Ryan Sweeney.
Jordan Zimmerman countered Lester’s performance with a strong showing of his own, limiting the Red Sox to three runs over seven innings. He surrendered seven hits, a pair of walks and compiled seven strikeouts.
The game was the Red Sox’ 745th consecutive sellout, setting a new record for American major league sports. The previous record was held by the Portland Trail Blazers, who sold out 744 games from 1987-1995.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX
– Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a tough time both at the plate and behind it. He struck out swinging four times (in each one of his at-bats), and the ball slipped out of his hand when he tried to get the lead runner on a third-inning double-steal. Saltalamacchia, who is having a career year offensively, has now struck out multiple times in two of the last three games.
– Will Middlebrooks also had a rather rough day offensively, as he struck out twice against Zimmerman but drew a walk in the bottom of the eighth. In his last four games, Middlebrooks is now 1-for-10.
– Depending on how you look at it, Bobby Valentine’s decision to have Darnell McDonald bunt with runners on first and second and nobody out in the seventh inning was either a good thing or a bad thing. McDonald, who has a sub-.200 batting average, advanced the runners along to set up Podsednik’s grounder to tie the game, but in sacrificing the at-bat, the Sox also sacrificed the opportunity to have a bigger inning rather than just getting the one run. According to a tweet from the Boston Herald’s Jon Couture, it was the fifth time in 16 such scenarios that the Sox have scored following a sacrifice bunt this season.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX
– As previously mentioned, Lester’s nine strikeouts made for a season-high. He had previously recorded two seven-strikeout performances this season, the most recent of which came on May 30 against the Orioles.
Lester came through with a big strikeout in what could have been a much uglier third inning. Roger Bernadina had reached singled to center with one out and advanced to second when Lester walked Danny Espinosa. Jarrod Saltalamacchia bobbled the ball while trying to throw to third on a double-steal when Xavier Nady struck out swinging, forcing Lester to intentionally walk Ryan Zimmerman to load the bases with two out. Lester controlled the damage and kept the Nationals off the board for the inning by getting Michael Morse looking with a 95 miler-per-hour fastball.
– Dustin Pedroia beat out a double-play to give the Red Sox their first run of the day in the bottom of the third inning. After Nick Punto walked to lead off the inning and later advanced to third on a Scott Podsednik single, Pedroia came to the base with one out and the tying run at third base. He sent a grounder to second base, but hustled enough down the line to beat Ian Desmond’s throw (which first baseman Adam LaRoche had to pick), getting the Red Sox on the board rather than ending the inning.
– Ortiz’ fourth-inning homer was his first dinger in the last eight games, but it was also his first RBI in that span. He now has 14 homers and 38 runs batted in on the season.
– The Red Sox took advantage of some careless baserunning by the Nationals in the top of the fourth inning. After picking up a double with one out, Ian Desmond came a little too far off the bag and hesitated when Tyler Moore hit a grounder to short. Noticing the hesitation on the baserunner’s part, Nick Punto threw to second, where Dustin Pedroia tagged Desmond out. Moore reached on a fielder’s choice, but Jesus Flores grounded out on the next at-bat to end the inning.
|Red Sox fourth-round pick Ty Buttrey in high school graduation controversy||06.06.12 at 6:48 pm ET|
According to a report on WBTV.com, high school right-hander Ty Buttrey, a fourth-round selection by the Red Sox in the amateur draft, is in the middle of a controversy about whether or not he can take part in his high school graduation after he skipped a graduation rehearsal while engaged in conversations with teams during the Major League Baseball draft.
From the report:
The family told WBTV News that they and Buttrey’s coach asked Principal Tracey Harrill to make an exception to a standing rule that said if students don’t participate in the rehearsal that they cannot walk.
The family said Harrill denied their request.
According to the school district’s rules, in order to participate in graduation exercises “a student must participate in the graduation rehearsal. Exceptions to this provision must be reviewed by the principal and decisions shall be made on a case-by-case basis.”
“His coach tried to work with the principal and she wouldn’t have anything to do with it. So it’s not like we didn’t try,” said Dan Buttrey Ty’s father.
Buttrey’s father says students were told that no cell phone would be allowed at the practice.
The family says that teams and advisors were set to call Buttrey at the exact same time as the graduation rehearsal. With new collective bargaining agreement rules, he needed to be on the phone to get the information and negotiate from various teams, his father told WBTV.
Buttrey’s father, Dan Buttrey, told the station that his son requested an exception to the policy prohibiting cell phones at the rehearsal, and that the Providence High School principal refused the request. Given the need to be engaged with both teams and advisors during the draft, Ty Buttrey felt compelled not to attend the rehearsal. Read the rest of this entry »
|Everything you need to know for the Red Sox’ 2012 draft||06.04.12 at 4:59 pm ET|
Here’s a look at the coverage of Monday night’s draft on WEEI.com:
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement made numerous changes to the Major League Baseball amateur draft, with lots of implications for how the Red Sox will tackle the acquisition of top amateur talent. Trying to make sense of the Brave New World? Here’s a primer from Alex Speier.
One of the foremost draft experts, Jim Callis of Baseball America, joined the Minor Details podcast to discuss the changes to the draft and shed some light on some of the players whom the Red Sox might target with their top picks. Listen to the podcast by clicking here.
Want to know whose been available in past drafts in the spots where the Red Sox are making their selections? A complete history of the spots where the Sox will make their first five draft picks is here.
Don’t bother asking what positional need the Red Sox want to address with their top pick. The team believes in taking the best player available, regardless of position or competition level. For more on that, click here.
A ninth-round pick who is having a tremendous season for the Red Sox underscores the idea that it’s more than just the early-round picks who matter.
It’s a bit of a crapshoot to try to predict who the Red Sox might take with their early picks, let alone their later ones. However, Kevin Dillon profiles some of the players who have been connected to the Red Sox as potential draft targets, including: polished Duke right-hander Marcus Stroman (click here), high school third baseman Tanner Rahier (click here), hard-throwing high school right-hander Zach Elfin (click here) and 6-foot-8 high school left-hander Matt Smoral (click here).
More to come as the day unfolds…
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