Category Archives: Baseball

Red Sox Offseason Outlook: Catching

red sox catching

Vazquez is a rock behind the plate

The Red Sox find themselves in an enviable position this offseason; for the first time in several years they can honestly say that their catching situation is already taken care of. Christian Vazquez is the clear starter and workhorse behind the plate, and he also leads very respectable organizational depth at the position. Aside from the decision of whether or not to bring back David Ross to backup Vazquez, there is very little consideration the Red Sox need to give their catching corp this offseason.



style="display:inline-block;width:728px;height:90px"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-0701776857259407"
data-ad-slot="5255958554">

There is really no argument to be made against Vazquez getting the vast majority of the playing time behind the dish in 2015. Even though he only managed a .277 wOBA and a 71 wRC+ in 55 major league games in 2014, Vazquez showed why he was considered an elite prospect for so many years: he can seriously flash the leather. In that relatively limited sample size, he allowed only 8 passed balls and caught 52% of runners attempting to steal off of him. Add in his penchant for throwing to bases in an attempt to pick off runners, and he was worth 7.8 wins above the average major league catcher from his defense alone. Vazquez reminds the Red Sox and their fans of the days when Jason Varitek controlled the game from behind the plate, which is a welcome comparison for all.

Read more

Red Sox Offseason Outlook: Bullpen

Will Badenhop return to lockdown the middle innings?

Will Badenhop return to lockdown the middle innings?

The Red Sox bullpen was somewhat mysterious in 2014, not a major strength but not a catastrophic weakness. There were pitchers that excelled (Andrew Miller, Burke Badenhop), and pitchers who could have been better (Edward Mujica, Craig Breslow, and to some extent Koji Uehara). The sum of these conflicting performances led to a roughly average bullpen for the Red Sox (12th in baseball with a 3.33 ERA), and leaves room for improvement heading into the offseason. GM Ben Cherington has several decisions to make on in-house free agents like Badenhop and Uehara, and could potentially look to bring Miller back into the fold after his brief stint in Baltimore. As with the starting rotation, options abound for the Red Sox to address their bullpen over the coming offseason.

The first item on Cherington’s list should be to decide who will be closing games come Opening Day. Uehara will be a free agent, and there is legitimate reason to wonder if he should be brought back in 2015. Koji showed that he cannot physically handle a heavy workload at this stage of his career, so it would probably be unwise to place high expectations on Uehara going forward. That being said, he could potentially be a valuable setup piece if handled correctly, and could provide quality innings in the middle of games. Badenhop excelled in this role in 2014, becoming a dependable weapon for John Farrell to use in a crucial point of the game. As stated above, Badenhop will be a free agent, and the Red Sox might end up being more comfortable letting some other team overpay for him, rather than lock themselves into a long-term commitment for a middle reliever. Each free agent could be an excellent middle relief candidate for the Red Sox in 2015.

Read more

Red Sox Offseason Outlook: Rotation

red sox rotation

Kelly could be a sleeper breakout candidate in 2015

The starting rotation was a source of major turnover for the Red Sox in 2014. By the first day of August the team had already lost 80% of its opening day rotation, and the future was well on the way. In fact, the team turned to a six-man rotation in September, in order to get a more accurate looks at the abundance of pitching prospects from Pawtucket. Those same prospects should be in the mix for rotation jobs in spring training, but the starting rotation is an area that the Red Sox plan to aggressively upgrade over the course of the offseason through both the free agent and trade markets.



style="display:inline-block;width:728px;height:90px"
data-ad-client="ca-pub-0701776857259407"
data-ad-slot="6620430552">

Internally, the Red Sox have several candidates who seem to be locked into rotation spots for 2015. Clay Buchholz is under contract and the Red Sox have shown absolutely no willingness to move him to the bullpen, plus Buchholz flashed plus stuff as recently as 2013. These factors, along with the fact that his recent performance makes him very difficult to trade, make it a near certainty that Buchholz will open the 2015 season in the rotation. Joe Kelly also represents a likely incumbent rotation candidate. While his numbers in Boston were not spectacular (6.02 K/9, 4.70 BB/9, 4.11 ERA, 4.41 xFIP in 10 starts), they were still solid for a mid-rotation pitcher. Kelly displayed plus stuff at times, and after adjusting to the American League over the final two months of the season, his rotation spot should be virtually guaranteed as well.

Read more

Lester Puts Newton House on Market, Boston Return Doubtful

Remember when Jon Lester got traded to the Oakland A’s at the trade deadline and everybody thought he’d sign as a free agent with Boston this off season? Well that dream for most Sox fans seem to be dead because Lester put his Newton Home up for sale.

World Series - St Louis Cardinals v Boston Red Sox - Game One

The house in Newton is on the market for a cool $1.85 Million so if your looking for a mansion in the area, that might be just the place for you! It sure is more affordale than the Tom Brady/Gisele Property for sale.

And in case your worried about where Lester and his family will be living, he just bought a $3.4 Million house near Atlanta where he plans on spending his winter.

Lester House

Red Sox Report: Front Office has A Lot of Work to Do

Red Sox fans rejoice! The terrible season finally comes to an end this weekend!! It’s been an extremely long season, and in the end the Red Sox made history. They made history for the wrong reason by becoming the first team ever to go from last place, to winning a World Series, and back to last place in 3 consecutive years.

red sox

Once the Red Sox get off the field for the final time in 2014 on Sunday, Ben Cherington and the front office will have a lot of work to do to try and make the Red Sox a contending team again. The Red Sox find themselves in almost exactly the same situation they were in after the 2012 season, and no matter what moves they make from now until the start of the season, nobody is expecting them to do what they did in 2013.

Pitching Staff: The Red Sox have NO starting pitching. They traded Lester and Lackey at the deadline, and although fans have been hoping for a Red Sox-Jon Lester reunion since the minute he got shipped to Oakland at the deadline, the chances of that happening are slim. If they were able to get him back via Free Agency, they would at least have an ace to work around. They can also look at somebody like Max Scherzer who is a free agent, and even at Cole Hamels who they could acquire through a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Joe Kelley, who they acquired from the Cardinals in the John Lackey deal, looks to be a solid number 3 or 4 starter. He had some quality starts since coming over to Boston, and the front office will hope he can step up his game when given a clean slate in 2015.

It’s not just the rotation that needs work, it’s also the bullpen. Koji Uehara will be a free agent, and this season has not been kind to him. Nobody can expect Uehara to pitch at the level he did in 2013, especially because of his age.

Outfield: The Red Sox biggest problem in the 1st half of the season was the lack of production offensively from the outfield. They started the year with Grady Sizemore in Centerfield, and he was a major bust. By July he was off the team, and Jackie Bradley Jr. was the starting Centerfielder. JBJ wasn’t much better and doesn’t look like he belongs in the major.

Yoenis Cespedes, who was acquired from the A’s for Lester, has looked great since the deadline, and unless there is a big trade this offseason he’ll be starting in the outfield for the Red Sox on opening day. Rusney Castillo, the Cuban defector quickly made his way through the Red Sox system after signing with the club in August. The Red Sox have high hopes for him, and expect him to be on the opening day roster since he’s owed $10 million a year over the next 7 years. Read more

Jeter to End Career at Fenway

derek-jeter-fenway

After an incredible Yankee Stadium finale Thurdsady night with Derek Jeter driving in the game winning RBI’s in the bottom of the 9th, he dropped an ultimate bombshell by saying he will indeed play at Fenway this weekend.

With the Yankees and Red Sox out of contention, it was almost expected that Jeter would sit out the weekend series. Getting the Game Winning hit in his final Yankee Stadium At Bat, the immediate reaction was there was no way he would see the field at all at Fenway, yet he made no hesitation in saying he would play this weekend.

If your looking for tickets to the final game this weekend, ticket prices on StubHub start at $230, and if he is expected to play Sunday, the price will keep going up.

No matter what, you have to respect such a class act, especially one who respects his biggest rivals and their fans.

« Older Entries