|Buster Olney on M&M: Jackie Bradley Jr. ‘looks like he’s going to be [Red Sox] version of Derek Jeter’||03.27.13 at 1:52 pm ET|
ESPN’s Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni Wednesday to talk about Jackie Bradley Jr. and his expectations of how the AL East will shake out this year.
Olney said he expects Bradley to start the season in Boston, although he doesn’t believe that’s the best move for the Red Sox since it could cost them or hurt their chances to retain Bradley in the long run.
“What gets brought up constantly in their conversations, I would guess, is, look what happened to the Braves when Jason Heyward was a rookie,” Olney said. “They start the year with him and they make the playoffs by one game. You look at the Angels last year, who didn’t start the year with [Mike] Trout, and they went 6-14, scrambled back and fell short because they had played the first month without him. There are other examples of that, and that’s why my guess is they’re going to start the year with him on their roster.”
Although he thinks waiting to bring Bradley up is the smarter move, Olney said he thinks Bradley’s personality, as well as his play, will benefit the Sox significantly.
“He is a blessing for the Red Sox, in terms that they have this type of player with this type of personality at the beginning of the year,” Olney said. “He’s so mature. He looks like he’s going to be their version of Derek Jeter, he really does. I don’t mean as a player — I mean in terms of being able to handle things when he gets up.”
In a crowded, tough-to-predict AL East, Olney is picking the Red Sox third, behind the Orioles and Rays and ahead of the Jays and Yankees.
“I think you literally could pick the names out of a hat and come up with plausible scenarios every single time,” Olney said. “After wrestling with it and being around the Yankees, I’m picking them last in the division. I just think they have too many issues with that lineup. I’ve got the Red Sox third. I’ve got the Orioles first. I think they have a lot more pitching depth than we’ve been giving them credit for.”
On Jackie Bradley Jr: “I would not start the year with him. I would say right away, he’s going down to the minor leagues. I think that’s what they should do, because his agent is Scott Boras. He’s almost certainly not going to sign a team-friendly deal in the first couple years of his career. He’s probably going to become a free agent, and why not back that up by a year? That’s a decision that involves dollars, and if you’re the Red Sox and it’s nine games in April, you’re probably going to forget about it by June.
|Kevin Youkilis on WAAF: Why he chose the Yankees, bringing more love to the rivalry, and getting Derek Jeter to rock a ‘stache||12.18.12 at 5:10 pm ET|
Former Red Sox All-Star Kevin Youkilis, in an interview on WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show (to hear the complete interview, click here), said that he didn’t envision signing with the Yankees at the start of the offseason, and that the decision to do so “wasn’t easy.” He had a preference to play close to the Bay Area — where he and his family live during the offseason — and he was also intrigued by the possibility of playing for Terry Francona in Cleveland, where the former Red Sox manager will now steward the Indians.
But, ultimately, the Yankees’ combination of a competitive opportunity and a sizable one-year, $12 milliion contract sold Youkilis on joining the Yankees for 2013.
“It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy to sign, because I had Tito in Cleveland, New York and there were a couple other teams in the mix. But in the end, I had to do what was best. I thought it was the best opportunity to win the World Series, was with the New York Yankees,” he said. “I think when you’re a free agent, it’s never easy. For me, the easiest decision would have been if the Oakland A’s or San Francisco Giants were in the running because they’re the closest teams to where I am now. Read the rest of this entry »
|Saturday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Jon Lester vs. CC Sabathia||07.28.12 at 10:09 am ET|
Jon Lester will take the mound for the Red Sox against the Yankees for the second time this season on Saturday afternoon, going up against New York lefty CC Sabathia.
In his most recent outing, Lester tossed four innings and allowed 11 runs and four home runs as the Red Sox lost 15-7 to the Blue Jays. On the season Lester is 5-8 with a 5.46 ERA.
Boston has lost Lester’s last four starts, and the lefty allowed 22 combined runs over that stretch. His last win came a month ago, on June 27, when he allowed four runs in seven innings en route to a 10-4 victory over the Blue Jays.
He last took the mound against the Yankees on July 8 at Fenway. He allowed four earned runs and lasted 4 1/3 innings as the Red Sox lost 7-3. Nick Swisher leads Yankees batters with eight RBIs in his career against Lester and Derek Jeter has a .365 batting average against the southpaw.
The Yankees lost Sabathia’s last start, 5-4 to the Athletics. He allowed three runs and struck out six through seven innings. It was Sabathia’s second start since coming off the DL, making the lefty 1-1 since his return.
His first game off the DL was a 6-1 victory over Toronto, when Sabathia threw six innings and allowed zero runs.
The 32-year-old will be making his first start against the Red Sox this season. He has pitched against 11 current Red Sox batters, surrendering seven RBIs to Jacoby Ellsbury. In 71 plate appearances against Sabathia, Carl Crawford is batting .319.
|Derek Jeter on Red Sox in second half: ‘I’m sure they’ll be fine’||07.09.12 at 11:11 am ET|
Don’t worry Red Sox fans. Derek Jeter says your team will be just fine in the second half.
Easy for the captain of the best team in baseball to say after his Yankees just took three of four at Fenway Park to put 10 games in the loss column between themselves and the woebegone Red Sox.
They’re always tough,” Jeter said after his three hits paced the Yankees to a 7-3 win over the Red Sox Sunday night into Monday morning. “You play 162 games for a reason. Teams go through rough periods. They’ve had a lot of injuries and they have a lot of guys that will be coming back. So, yeah, they’re always tough. We won three out of four but it’s not like you’re looking forward to playing them like it’s easy or anything. It’s a challenge every time you face these guys. I’m sure they’ll be fine.”
The Yankees are already fine. They’re a major league best 52-33 at the break, going on a 30-12 tear since May 22.
“We wanted to finish strong obviously four days off,” Jeter said. “We’ve been playing good. We’ve been playing good now for what seems like quite a long time. Obviously, there’s a lot more attention paid when we’re playing Boston but I think we’ve playing good regardless of who the opposition has been. We had four games in three days here and it seems like we never left the place so it definitely feels good to win.”
Challenge is one way to describe one of the only misfires for Jeter in a night and weekend of precious few highlights for Red Sox fans.
Jeter dropped back into his customary stance behind second base for what seemed the certain end of a first-inning rally for the Red Sox. He got under a Cody Ross pop up that would’ve stranded two runners on base. But the unthinkable happened. He dropped the ball, Pedro Ciriaco scored and Fenway went into a brief frenzy.
“Well, I wish I had a good story for you, like a bird hit it or something but it was basically a pop up and I dropped it. That’s it. There’s really nothing else to say. I think I’ve done it one other time in my career in Anaheim. I don’t know, man. I dropped it. I used two hands. It didn’t go into the glove or my hand. That’s probably, if you think about it, the most embarrassing thing that could happen to a player on defense, whether it’s an infielder, outfielder or catcher. I wish I could tell you the wind was gusting and blew it all over the place but it didn’t happen, man. I just dropped it.”
Jeter was battling a cramp in his right shoulder that he said was like a charley horse. He was given the out of saying it affected him but turned down the excuse.
“It’s nothing. Just a little muscle spasm,” said Jeter, who was asked when it cropped up.
“Right when the pop up came,” Jeter joked. “No, it was after that.”
|Bobby Valentine has every intention of improving the outfield arms||02.28.12 at 3:47 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox held their first formal workout inside the brand new jetBlue Park Tuesday morning as manager Bobby Valentine threw and batted balls off the left and right field walls to simulate cutoff plays and throwing in the park that has the identical outfield dimensions as the club’s Fenway Park home.
Valentine said he is making a point this year of improving outfield defense and throwing strength, trying to improve the throwing arms of all of his outfielders.
“Part of the program today was cutoffs and positioning with our relays,” Valentine said. “This is our ballpark and we’re going to play at least 81 games in it and it’s great to have it and practice in. So, because there are a couple of nooks and crannies that are particular to ours, I think, obviously, our cutoffs and relays are a little different at times so, it’s good.”
Eight-time Gold Glover Dwight Evans paid a visit to Red Sox camp on Tuesday.
“I’d love to talk to Dwight about that,” Valentine said. “He’s one of the good men. And, I hear [Carl Yastrzemski] comes to camp, too. I hope I can get him over. There hasn’t been an invite out only because I didn’t know he’d be down here.”
While Valentine was poking fun at Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for fighting the now-retired Jason Varitek, Valentine took a shot at another Yankee, Derek Jeter, and his famous cutoff play near the plate that resulted in a crucial put out of Jeremy Giambi in Game 4 of the 2001 ALDS.
“We’ll never practice that. We’ll never practice that. I think the ball gets him out if he doesn’t touch it, personally. But the Jeter-like simulation today is the idea what the first baseman and third baseman do as the ball is coming in.”
Outfield prospect Che-Hsuan Lin has already impressed with his arm in the outfield in workouts.
“I know we have one outstanding thrower according to [outfield instructor/first base coach]Alex Ochoa, and it’s not Alex and he was an outstanding thrower. Lin is in a different place. From reports, a couple of the arms are a little lower on the rating scale, and we’re going to try to adjust for that.” Read the rest of this entry »
|As Tim Wakefield retires, Red Sox now await the decision of Jason Varitek||02.17.12 at 7:26 pm ET|
FORT MYERS – Jason Varitek was not at JetBlue Park on Friday as Tim Wakefield announced his retirement. But the future of the longtime Red Sox captain remained very much a part of the proceedings.
Just as they did for Wakefield, the Sox have offered Varitek a minor league contract with an invitation to come to big league camp and compete for a roster spot. Just as was the case for Wakefield, the Sox are allowing a longtime franchise cornerstone the space to make his own decision about his future.
“We told him that there was an opportunity to come to camp, and gave him, as we did to Tim, gave him as much of the landscape as we could in terms of what that would mean. … We felt like they had earned that, to be given some sort of stake in the decision and we’ve tried to give them as much information as we can,” said Sox GM Ben Cherington. “[It is] a unique situation, to put that in a player’s court and not normally what we do. In these two particular cases, we felt that there was merit to doing it that way because of what the players meant to the team.”
Cherington said that at this point, with pitchers and catchers due to report on Sunday, he is not expecting any additions to the roster. However, the decision will ultimately be Varitek’s as to what to do with his career. Wakefield said that he has talked with his teammate of 15 seasons this offseason, but that it is impossible for him to use his own situation to make any assessments about what is right for Varitek. Read the rest of this entry »
|The Kevin Youkilis Fan Club has a chapter in Yankee Stadium||11.13.11 at 10:26 am ET|
RANDOLPH, Vermont — One of the most interesting exchanges of the Batting for Vermont roundtable came when the four participants in the panel were asked to identify their favorite players to watch from another team.
For Pirates GM Neal Huntington, it was Albert Pujols – the simple, direct, ferocious approach and the ability to murder a baseball no matter where it is in the strike zone.
Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein identified Phillies ace Roy Halladay, knowing the relentless preparation that goes into each outing, knowing the different ways he can carve up the strike zone, seeing the ability to dominate time after time on the mound.
Red Sox pro scout Galen Carr suggested that for him, it was Yankees captain Derek Jeter, given the “conviction in his actions, an unyielding belief in his abilities to get the job done and to succeed and to lead his team to a victory.”
Yankees GM Brian Cashman likewise looked across his AL East rivalry and identified a player who is perhaps less glamorous than the other three who were mentioned.
“Kevin Youkilis probably. He really grinds out an at-bat and just kills you. He is so determined,” said Cashman. “You can pitch him in. You can hit him. Whatever. He just gets back in there and it’s sheer determination. It’s never a comfortable at-bat when you’re watching this guy try to do damage against your pitchers. He just finds a way to do it. I appreciate watching how he goes about his business and just how tenacious he is. A lot of these guys are very controlled in this sport, unlike football. But he’s got a tenaciousness that just oozes right through his bat, right there at the plate, and it’s pretty special to watch.”
- Cup of Coffee: Kendrick Perkins keys Spinners win
- Red Sox sign 1st-round pick Trey Ball (UPDATED)
- Cup of Coffee: Shaw, Haeger help Sea Dogs earn split
- Players of the Week, June 10-16: Keury De La Cruz and Anthony Ranaudo
- Red Sox reportedly sign 12th-rounder Jake Drehoff
- Wendelken added to South Atlantic League All-Stars
- Red Sox reportedly sign Bryan Hudson, Jantzen Witte
- Cup of Coffee: Spinners open season with 15-strikeout gem
- SoxProspects Video of the Week: A-Ball hitters
- SoxProspects.com Podcast #39.1: Mellen's Excellent Adventure