Tag Archives: Andrew Bailey

Red Sox Report: Sox Quiet At Winter Meetings

With the transaction wire more than active last week some expected to annual MLB Winter Meetings to be quiet but some moves went down. The Mariners added Corey Hart and Logan Morrison to hit behind new second baseman Robinson Cano. The Angels, Diamondbacks, and White Sox pulled off a three team trade, which saw Mark Trumbo go to Arizona, Tyler Scaggs and Hector Santiago to the Angles, and Adam Eaton to the Windy City. The Rockie got Brett Anderson from the A’s for a pair of minor league pitchers and Bartolo Colon and the Mets came to an agreement on a two year deal.

Things remained relatively quiet for the Red Sox. Last week with the addition of A.J. Pierzynski the catching situation was taken care of. Edward Mujica addition to the bullpen all but takes away the chance of Andrew Bailey resigning with the Red Sox and along with the early offseason addition of Burke Badenhop, the Red Sox bullpen appears to be set. Matt Thornton is most likely gone after he provided the Red Sox with below average stuff after his acquisition in July and was left off the postseason roster.

Mike Napoli tweeted out this picture of himself, announcing his resigning with the Red Sox on Twitter.

Mike Napoli resigned with the Red Sox last Friday for two years and $16MM per year. This is a raise for Napoli after reaching all his bonuses last season to make $13 million. Napoli again, will be the right handed power bat to protect David Ortiz the Red Sox need. As it stands now Shane Victorino will most likely lead off followed by either Jonny Gomes or Daniel Nava in left field.

The Red Sox seem to be confident in Jackie Bradley in center field and I could not be more happier. Not bringing in a premier outfield bat to replace Ellsbury will have the outfielder believing the team believes in him and he will perform. Of course they will need a more than able back up which I feel is still important. The Sox could always slide of Victorino and play Nava in right with Carp in left. Mike Carp has generated some interest in the trade market and who could blame a team for not wanting him? He had some big hits for the Red Sox in a small sample size and I hope he is back next near unless they can generate a big return for him.

The Stephen Drew market has not surfaced yet as the Red Sox have given no formal offer to super agent Scott Boras. The Mets are rumored to be interested in a shortstop but certainly not for Drew’s asking price. There is no question Xander Bogaerts will be an everyday player next year whether that is at third or shortstop and Drew is really that factor that changes everything. I don’t think this team needs Stephen Drew. His defense was stellar but he is not worth the money he is seeking. Will Middlebrooks had a horrible sophomore season and he knows it. I feel he can bounce back his third year and be something like his rookie year, if he puts in the work. Brock Holt is still on the roster and could be a backup at both positions. The  Sox might want to get a more qualified backup at those infield spots as well.

Stephen Drew is still a free agent and Scott Boras expects there to be a market for him.

Stephen Drew is still a free agent and Scott Boras expects there to be a market for him.

The Red Sox might go through the winter with the pitching depth they have and see how the roster turns out in spring training. Injuries do happen in the spring and teams might seek an experienced starter like the Red Sox have in Peavy, Dempster or Lackey. I think holding onto the pitching depth is a smart plan right now, as you can never have enough pitching and there is no need to make a trade just because you have too many of one position. Remember the Bronson Arroyo trade? Things have been quiet for the Sox in the past week but rumors will continue to swirl throughout the offseason.

Red Sox Report: Bullpen A Huge Question Mark Down The Stretch

Ryan Dempster couldn't make it out of the sixth inning last night against the Yankees.

Ryan Dempster couldn’t make it out of the sixth inning last night against the Yankees.

Last night we saw Ryan Dempster only last 5 1/3 innings.  That wasn’t the biggest story after him plunking Alex Rodriguez in the second inning but still it should be a story.  The Red Sox bullpen is missing three arms they thought would be of great help this season with Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey, and Andrew Miller out for the rest of the season.  With Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa stepping up to key roles Bailey and Hanrahan have been forgotten but let us not forget about Andrew Miller.  Miller, a lefty was coming into his own this season and was a force getting not only lefties out but righties as well.  Now the Red Sox are forced to used Drake Britton and Franklin Morales in tight situations early in the game when starters fail, because Craig Breslow is more of a late inning reliever. Fellow lefty Matt Thornton is on the disabled list as well with a leg injury and it is unsure when he will begin rehab.

The trade deadline passed with the Red Sox not adding a bullpen arm, which I feel they will regret.  Sure they got two weeks to add an arm but the player must pass through waivers, so how good of an arm could they get? Franklin Morales has not been what I expected of him this year as a long man to provide some key innings.  Last night he did not look good against the Yankees.  Drake Britton gave up the three run triple to Brett Gardner after Dempster walked the nine hitter Chris Stewart on four pitches.  Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa appeared in last night’s game as well each giving up runs and could not stop the bleeding.  Britton, Workman, and De La Rosa will be forced into roles down the stretch that they have never experienced and I am not sure they can handle it.  Sure manager John Farrell needs to show trust in them cause he can’t pitch Uehara and Tazawa everyday but, at the same time they need to be able to pitch effectively to keep getting spots in which to pitch.

It is apparent that Farrell places great trust in Uehara, Tazawa, and Breslow who all three have been great this season but after those three it really is something to worry about when a reliever comes to the mound.  If a starter does not go six or seven innings it will get interesting to see how John Farrell handles the bullpen.  Uehara’s workload this season has been more than expected I feel but now he is the closer and they need him to pitch as often as he does.  It is also unknown when Alex Wilson will come back as he was on rehab with Triple A Pawtucket but, has not pitched since August 5th.  Brayan Villarreal acquired from Detroit in the Jake Peavy trade may also get a look down the stretch as he helped Detroit down the stretch last year although he had a poor start to this season.

Bullpen struggles had to be expected as you can only can get by so far with Pedro Beato and Jose De La Torre pitching in key spots for your team.  Sure the Red Sox got a starter in Peavy at the deadline to provide insurance as Clay Buchholz is still out.  They need another arm in that bullpen that John Farrell trusts and right now I feel like they do not have it.  It’ll be interesting to see in September when the rosters expand to 40 who will be added as the Red Sox have veterans in Pawtucket in Jose Contreras and Ryan Rowland-Smith as well as former Indians lefty Rafael Perez in Portland.

Former Red Sox Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez with welcome the Red Sox to Dodger Stadium this weekend.

Former Red Sox Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez with welcome the Red Sox to Dodger Stadium this weekend.

This week playing in the National League parks maybe the Sox starters can go deeper in games with less potent offenses.  The Giants, World Series Champions last year, have struggled all year and are not the offense they were last year.  Running into the Dodgers this weekend though better bring out the best in the Red Sox.  Former Sox Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez will play against the Red Sox for the first time since the big trade last August.  The Dodgers also are having one of the best runs in baseball winners of 42 of their last 51 and have jumped out to a lead in the National Leagues West.

With the Red Sox losing seven of ten and still having a one game lead in the division they should consider themselves lucky, but now it is time to reverse the course and win seven of ten before people start to talk of a collapse.

BREAKING: Red Sox Acquire Reliever Matt Thornton

New Red Sox reliever Matt Thornton

New Red Sox reliever Matt Thornton

The Red Sox made a fairly important move tonight by acquiring White Sox left-handed relief pitcher Matt Thornton.  Thornton is 0-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 40 appearances for the White Sox this season.  He is a solid lefty arm that will be added to a severely depleted bullpen.  After the injury to Andrew Miller and the ineffectiveness of Andrew Bailey multiple bullpen moves seemed essential to the Red Sox to continue to pace the AL East and they got one out of the way pretty early by trading for Thornton before the break.  He’ll add a much needed lefty arm to pair with Craig Breslow in the Red Sox bullpen.  I’d expect the Sox to make at least one more bullpen move by the trading deadline but this is a good start for the Sox.

To acquire Thornton the Sox had to give up outfielder Brandon Jacobs who had been playing with the Portland Sea Dogs.  Jacobs was a 10th round pick in the 2009 MLB draft for the Red Sox and has hit .265 with 47 home runs in the Red Sox system.

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Red Sox Report: Sox Hope to Race to All Star Break Without More Injuries

Two closers,  the starting right fielder, the backup catcher, and the designated hitter  have spent time on the disabled list this season for the Red Sox.

Joel Hanrahan is out for the season after the team thought he could straighten out the back end of the bullpen after last year did not go so well without Jonathan Papelbon.  Andrew Bailey who was acquired last year in hopes of replacing Papelbon, went on the disabled list and then performed poorly and was removed from the closers role.  Shane Victorino who got a nice big contract this off season has been a great character guy but has had some trouble staying on the field and was limping last night after tracking down a fly ball.  David Ross who was brought in to help the pitching staff has unfortunately had two concussions and is on the 60 day disabled list.  Ross may be able to help the staff in September.  David Ortiz, the only injured player of the bunch who started the season on the disabled list, has hit the cover off the ball since his return and leads the team in RBI even after missing nearly the whole month of April. With his next hit he will have the most hits all time as a designated hitter.

Injuries are a part of baseball and it really tests the depth of an organization and the general managers job.

David Ortiz had a four hit performance last night in Seattle.

David Ortiz had a four hit performance last night in Seattle.

If two months ago you told me Brock Holt and Jose Iglesias would be the Red Sox left side of the infield I would have laughed in your face.  The bottom two in the lineup have performed well and played well defensively.  Holt who was a middle infielder did not play all that much third base until Xander Bogaers got called up to Pawtucket so he slid over to third.  Holt, the other piece acquired in the Joel Hanrahan trade had a rough April in Pawtucket but has been performing much better of late which landed him a call up.  It seems he will get the starts against the right handed pitchers for the time being with Brandon Snyder getting the starts against lefties.  Snyder, who made a costly error at third in Saturday night’s game in Anaheim, might be on the bench for a while because of his defense at third.  These two of course are playing third because opening day third baseman Will Middlebrooks was demoted to Pawtucket.  Last week he hit two home runs and had eight runs batted in one game.  The Middlebrooks problem is his consistency.  He may have two home runs in one game but then go o-4 the next three.  At bats every day is what he needs and I feel he will be brought up after the All Star Break if he can prove something this upcoming weekend.  Stephen Drew who may always be compared to his brother, which I feel is unfair, is on the disabled list as well and might not have a job when he comes back because of Iglesias performing so well.

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Red Sox Report: Red Sox Cool Off Red Hot Blue Jays, Take 3 Of 4

Despite Koji Uehara blowing a ninth inning lead on Sunday, the Red Sox powered past the Toronto Blue Jays and took 3 out of 4 games this past weekend at Fenway Park. By taking three out of four, the Red Sox once again proved that they are for real, and that their not in first place because of luck.

The Blue Jays came into the series hot after winning 12 of their last 14, but Boston slowed them down, and once again sent them below the .500 mark that they worked so hard to get above this past month.


After beating the Jays 7-4 on Thursday, the Red Sox beat them 7-5 on Friday, no thanks to Andrew Bailey who pitched just two thirds of an inning giving up the lead to the Blue Jays. The Red Sox offense was able to regain the lead, and Andrew Miller pitched a solid inning and a third for his first win of the season.

Saturday was the one day the Blue Jays were able to beat the Red Sox. Trailing 2-0 in the 7th, the Red Sox rallied and were able to tie the Jays 2-2, but no sooner did Toronto score again taking the lead for a final time. Jose Bautista was Toronto’s savior in that game by hitting two homeruns off Red Sox pitching.

By taking three from the Blue Jays, the Red Sox now have a 3 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East, and Toronto is down by 8.5 games, last place in the division. Above the Blue Jays in the standings are the Yankees, and Rays, who both trail the first place Red Sox by six games.

After an off day on Monday, the Red Sox will host the San Diego Padres for a three game interleague series. The Padres are in 3rd place and trail the Arizona Diamondback by 2.5 games in a VERY weak NL West.

After the Padres series, the Red Sox will head west on a 10 game road trip with stops in Oakland, Los Angeles (Angels of Anaheim), and Seattle, before the All-Star break begins on July 15th.

Not only are the Red Sox winning, but they have proven to be an exciting team that is likeable. There are cynics who yawn at the idea of baseball and the red sox (I’m looking at you Scott Zolak), but this team is truly something to watch. And besides, there are no other sports being played right now. So unless you enjoy spending every minute of the summer watching your twitter timeline trying to figure out where Rajon Rondo and Tyler Seguin will be playing next year, flip on NESN and enjoy America’s pastime.

Red Sox Report: Koji Uehara, New Red Sox Closer

Koji Uehara has saves in back to back days without a base runner.

Koji Uehara has saves in back to back days without a base runner.

Going into spring training the Red Sox thought they had two capable closers in the back end of the bullpen, which could potentially be one of the greatest strengths to this year’s team. Newly proclaimed closer Joel Hanrahan tore his elbow within his first month with the team and may never pitch another game in a Red Sox uniform, after being acquired from the Pirates this past offseason. Andrew Bailey, acquired last offseason was set to be a setup man and was doing well for the first two weeks before Hanrahan got hurt then he became the closer. Bailey then had a sore lat muscle and spent time on the disabled where Junichi Tazawa filled in as closer, although never got a save opportunity.

When Bailey came off the disabled list he was back in the closer role and did not get many save opportunities and when he did get opportunities, he did not perform well. This past weekend John Farrell removed Bailey from the closer role after giving up home runs in four out of six appearances. Koji Uehara was the choice to take over the closer role and Wednesday against the Rockies he got his second save this season and first after being proclaimed the closer. Last night he also got the save against Toronto. So far 6 batters, 6 outs. Uehara has missed time over his career due to durability issues and is most successful not pitching in back to back days but, he has been lights out this season. His one year deal signed with the Sox this offseason really flew under the radar. He really does energize the team with his emotions and the high five parade. Whether he can be good in the closer role for the remainder of the season remains to be seen as we move into July things can change pretty quickly.

The All Star break is in two weeks and usually teams know where they are going for the remainder of the season. This year the Red Sox are obviously buyers. Could a closer be on the radar? Jonathan Papelbon reunion perhaps? Personally I would not like a reunion with Papelbon. It would take too much to get him from Philadelphia, an obvious seller, who might also move Cliff Lee and his large contract. The Red Sox did not want to pay him last offseason why would they want to pay Papelbon now? A trade just does not make sense to me. Papelbon is having great success in the National League, which is more of a league for the pitcher with maybe seven good bats in the lineup if they are lucky.

Andrew Bailey after surrendering a walk off home run last week to the Tigers.

Andrew Bailey after surrendering a walk off home run last week to the Tigers.

With Bailey removed from the closer role where does he fit in now? Right now he is middle relief and seems to be behind Tazawa when it comes to a key spot in a big game. Tazwa was used in the 8th inning during Wednesdays 5-3 win over Colorado.
Remember when the Red Sox had three lefties in the pen? It was a short stint as Franklin Morales is hurt again and I feel cannot be counted on this season. Andrew Miller has stepped up in recent months, but hitting a batter with the bases loaded on a 0-2 count like he did on Sunday is inexcusable. Craig Breslow has looked good after starting the year on the disabled list.

As it appears now the bullpen has Clayton Mortensen and Alex Wilson in long relief and low leverage situations. The remainder of Miller, Bailey, Breslow, and Tazawa will be mixed and matched depending on the situations. I feel like they could add another bullpen arm with experience to handle more pressure situations as right now we cannot be sure about Andrew Bailey. Alex Wilson has options and can be sent down. Clayton Mortensen I feel is replaceable but has done the job of mopping up when a starter has underperformed and lately that has been happening a lot with Jon Lester and the inconsistent Felix Doubront. Lester did have a nice outing last night against the Blue Jays and got his first win since May 15th. It looks like Allen Webster will be up with the big club until Clay Buchholz returns, which is looking like after the All Star break.

A great offense can bail out a mediocre starting rotation if they can win the slugfests. Right now the offense is clicking. The problem right now is manager John Farrell needs to figure out the best spot for all the relievers on the fly as they team has changed closers as many times as Lincoln Chafee has changed political parties. John Farrell has pushed his starters to go deeper into games and work out of jams but with the bullpen you cannot have much patience with a one run lead. I surely hope Uehara can handle the closer role and give high fives down the line after every Sox win for the rest of the season.

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