Category Archives: Baseball

Red Sox Report: Hot Seat At The Hot Corner

The Red Sox lineup is sorely missing Middlebrooks and his prestigious pop

The Red Sox lineup is sorely missing Middlebrooks and his prestigious pop

Before the season, everyone questioned what Will Middlebrooks could bring to the table for the Red Sox during the 2014 season. Some questioned his defensive ability following the still-questionable obstruction nonsense from the World Series. Others questioned his offensive capacity and wondered whether he would ever get back to being the offensive force he was as a rookie in 2012. One thing is now clear regarding Will Middlebrooks: the Red Sox need him. Badly.

Even though he had only provided modest production at the season’s outset (.231/.333/.538 triple-slash in just four games this season), Middlebrooks has left a sizeable hole in the Red Sox lineup ever since he was placed on the Disabled List with a calf injury on April 6th. Ever since that time, the Red Sox have rolled out numerous players in an attempt to provide at least serviceable production at the hot corner. Unfortunately, the results have not been there, and the combination of Jonathan Herrera, Ryan Roberts, and now Brock Holt simply has not gotten the job done.



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Herrera won the utility infielder job out of spring training, but he has been forced into more regular action so far due to injuries. The bulk of Herrera’s time in the major leagues has come in the middle infield, and while the Red Sox spent a decent amount of time trying to get him adjusted during the spring, Herrera seems uncomfortable at third base. He has already cost the Red Sox two runs at third in just ten games there this season (-2 Defensive Runs Saved, -2 Ultimate Zone Rating), which is obviously something that cannot continue for an extended stretch of time. Combined with his mediocre .222/.323./.222 triple-slash, it is pretty clear that Herrera is not capable of being a useful starting infielder.

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Red Sox Report: Sox Lose 3 of 4 In Bronx, Possibly Pedroia

Sox manager John Farrell was the first manager ejected for arguing with a replay ruling.



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The feelings John Farrell expressed toward the umpires last night seemed to have boiled over from a bigger problem the Red Sox are going through. The offense is struggling without its healthy starters playing every day. Dustin Pedroia seems to have received good news this afternoon that his wrist is not broken but just bruised. Pedroia, who hates missing games period, missed Sunday’s game and might still require a DL stint but not an extended one.

Koji Uehara did not pitch this weekend either with soreness in his shoulder. This made the Sox bring on Edward Mujica for the save in Friday night’s 4-2 over the Yankees, their only win in the series. Home runs from Jonny Gomes and Grady Sizemore were the only offense Jon Lester needed en route to his first win on the young season. The Sox offense did not score over four runs in any of the games this weekend and have only scored five runs in four games this season, with two of them being a losing effort.

Shane Victorino who has not played at all this season, will likely start a rehab assignment in AA Portland on Tuesday. Victorino who has been bothered by hamstring issues, would have likely been back sooner if he did not catch the flu. His return will cause an outfield logjam as John Farrell has been playing Jackie Bradley and Grady Sizemore together in the outfield with Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes seeing more time on the bench. Bradley is better defensively than Sizemore in center and left field might save Sizemore’s legs making him more effective on the base paths. A decision might come as early as this weekend on who Victorino replaces on the roster and Daniel Nava could be on his way out.

The  loss of Pedroia would hurt Sox offense even more.

The loss of Pedroia would hurt Sox offense even more.

With Will Middlebrooks on the disabled list the Sox brought in veteran infielder Ryan Roberts to platoon with Jonathan Herrera. Roberts collected his first two hits with the team in last night’s game and has been playing good defense. He was pinch hit for in the eight by Mike Carp, who struck out with the bases loaded against David Phelps. No timetable has been set on Middlebrooks return, but I expected him to come back strong this season, so hopefully a return is soon.

The starting pitching this weekend besides John Lackey’s start on Friday was excellent. 4,2,7,3 those were the runs given up respectively in the series. With this offense you should win three of those games. Run support has been a problem with the team as the leadoff hitter has been a spinning wheel between Gomes, Nava, Sizemore, and even Pedroia got a crack at it on Saturday. Xander Bogaerts has no RBI but a .283 average, can’t knock in runs with no one on base.

The Sox turn to Jake Peavy for Tueday night’s opener in Chicago against the White Sox. Peavy will be making a return to Chicago where he pitched nearly four years. He has looked good in his first two starts, giving up a combined three runs, but no wins to show for it. The Sox offense has to come around or John Farrell will be yelling at more people than just umpires. Here’s to hoping it comes around tomorrow night with Peavy on the hill.

The ESPN Documentary “Boston Strong” Will Make You Love Boston Even More (VIDEOS)

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Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings which struck fear in the city and country, but also galvanized it’s people.

April 15th 2013 is a day you will never forget and always remember.

It was surreal…

It was horrific…

It was heartbreaking…

It was also inspiring…

ESPN produced this nicely done documentary on the tragedy and how sports helped Boston heal.

These are very well done and will bring you to tears again…

ESPN “Boston Strong” Part I

ESPN “Boston Strong” Part II

NEVER FORGET

EVER!

Red Sox Slugger David Ortiz Approves Of SNL’s Keenan Thompson Doing David Ortiz (VIDEO)

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Red Sox slugger David Ortiz tweeted his approval of SNL’s Keenan Thompson’s impression of him last night.

 

Thompson does a great “Big Papi” all the way to his beautifully sculpted/painted on beard.

His lunch at the White House & Bats For Bats is just classic.

 

Red Sox Report: Ryan Roberts Signs, Is Middlebrooks Injury Serious?

Week 1 is in the books for the Red Sox, and they would love to forget about this past weekend when the Brewers were in town. Not only did the Red Sox struggle this week, but already they’ve been hit with an early season injury bug.

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The injuries have prompted Boston to sign another veteran infielder. On Monday they signed Ryan Roberts who played for the Tampa Bay Rays the last 2 seasons. The move seems very questionable because it’s A.) a major league deal, and B.) it’s a mediocre player at best.

On Saturday, Will Middlebrroks was a late scratch against the Brewers, and had an MRI. He was placed on the 15 day DL as well, and the Jonathan Herrera started the rest of the weekend. It was called a minor strain, and it seemed as though the 2 weeks would be plenty of time for Middlebrooks to heal and be ready to go. With the Roberts acquisition, that makes it seem as though the injury may not be as mild as the team suggested.

The team called up Brock Holt as soon as Middlebrooks was placed on the DL, and it’s very peculiar that they would even consider Roberts because he hit only .247 last season, when Holt hit .203 in a very short span in Boston. If the Middlebrooks injury isn’t severe, the only other reason for brining a veteran onboard on a MAJOR league deal is that they have little faith in their utility infielder, Jonathan Herrera.

Herrera is 2 for 8 on the season, and if they didn’t have faith in him, why would they put him on the big league roster after Spring Training? Maybe the Red Sox do have a plan for Roberts even with a healthy Middlebrooks and Herrera, but things seem a tad strange from the Fenway front office as of now.

Love the Glove: Red Sox Catchers

The Red Sox solid catching corp

The Red Sox solid catching corp

The art of catching is one of the most undervalued skillsets in all of baseball. Teams that have a bad catcher find themselves wishing for better, but teams with good ones tend to underappreciate them until they’re gone. The Red Sox are a perfect example; they chose Jarrod-I-have-had-throwing-issues-my-whole-career-Saltalamacchia as their heir apparent to franchise legend Jason Varitek. While he only took home one Gold Glove throughout his career, Varitek was easily one of the best defensive catchers in the game for much of his career. The Red Sox finally seemed to learn the value of their mistake late last year, when they benched Salty in the World Series after his throwing deficiencies cost them victories in the Fall Classic, and then later in the offseason when they passive allowed him to relocate to Miami on the free agent market. Having good, if not solid, catching will definitely make or break a baseball team’s season, and luckily the Red Sox are now in a better position than they have been in quite some time regarding the catching talent in the organization.

At the major league level, A.J. Pierzynski and David Ross are expected to platoon behind the plate, most likely with Pierzynski facing right-handers and Ross to face lefties. Defensively, each is good, but not great. Pierzynski’s defensive numbers from last season show that he was slightly below average overall (-3 Defensive Runs Saved), but he was slightly better than average at throwing out potential base-stealers at 32.8 Caught Stealing %. Pierzynski allowed 6 passed balls last year, so his ability to block pitches in the dirt seems to be what limits his defensive value. However, Pierzynski spent a lot of time working with Varitek in spring training, so it remains to be seen if The Captain can improve on Pierzynski’s defensive acumen.

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