Links: Smoltz, Bard, Bay and the resurgence of Aaron Bates
June 11, 2009 1 Comment
John Smoltz threw 74 pitches (51 strikes) in his June 6th start, stifling Triple-A hitting to the tune of one run on one hit in 6 IP. He struck out three and walked two. He’s got another start today for the Paw Sox. Bye bye, Brad Penny; it was nice knowing you.
Daniel Bard got his first taste of the Yankees this week, closing out the 9th inning of the 7-0 shutout, and he likes it. Pretty easy to like pitching when you touch three digits on the radar gun, IMO.
A walk year is always a great year to have a career year. Jason Bay has said that he wants to focus on baseball for now, and that he just wants a “fair” contract after his current deal expires. Most people expect him to fall in the 4-5 year, $14-16M/year range. However, he’s keeping his options open – the Red Sox are “high on the list” of teams he’d like to sign with next year. MLB Trade Rumors (link above) has the Yankees as potential competitors for Bay’s services, so if we want to keep him, I suggest we get it done before he hits free agency.
After a lot of deliberation and debate this past offseason, Jason Varitek’s contract is turning out to be a sweet deal for the Red Sox. Who says you can’t get the best of Scott Boras?
To those calling for the removal of Daisuke Matsuzaka from the rotation: ain’t happening, so quit yer yappin’. I know that last start was brutal, but he’s still working stuff out. It’s not just the money. Given two years of performance data, there’s no way he can continue being this bad (unless something’s wrong with his arm). If there is, could he be hiding it from the Sox, since he knows how some feel about his participation in WBC?
Aaron Bates “off year” in 2008 was apparently an adjustment year for removing that big leg kick from his swing. Now that that’s over, he’s pounding Double-A pitching again (.932 OPS). One of the knocks on Bates was that his swing was too slow for the upper levels of baseball. Lets see how this plays out now.