10-22-09 Links: Successful surgeries, Aroldis, Kikuchi, staff changes and Bay versus Holliday
October 22, 2009 2 Comments
Tim Wakefield had successful back surgery yesterday, and is expected to make a full recovery in time for Spring Training 2010. I hope this means he can come back for an encore. Outfield prospect Zach Daeges also had surgery to remove an extra bone in his ankle, which sidelined him for the 2009 season. His prognosis is also good going forward.
Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, a 21-year old (supposedly) left-hander, has arrived in New York and will begin meeting with teams. Legend has it that he hit 102 mph with his fastball, but that’s as dubious as his age, at this point. The Sox will show up, but I think the bidding gets too out of hand for them to have a good shot at landing him.
The Red Sox have been eyeing another young lefty, Yusei Kikuchi. The 18-year old has never played professional ball, so we don’t know much about him. The reputation says he can touch 96 mph, but Dave Cameron says otherwise. Still, there’s a lot to like and the Sox do have an advantage in Japanese recruiting. Perhaps we’re looking at the lefty complement to Junichi Tazawa?
John Farrell declined to interview for the Indians managerial position (probably out of respect for previous manger and friend Eric Wedge), but it looks like Jed Hoyer may be the new GM of the San Diego Padres. Here’s an outside perspective on what he seems to bring to the Red Sox. The problem is that when a guy becomes a GM, he takes people with him. With Brad Mills and Tim Bogar both interviewing for the Astros job, this could be a turbulent offseason in Boston, regardless of what happens with the players.
For those of you who just can’t get enough of the pre-Hot Stove talk, here’s a nice article comparing Jason Bay and Matt Holliday. They agree with me, BTW, on the relative value of these players. For what it’s worth, I have Bay at .251/.356/.473 next season, hitting 29 HR with 106 RBI. My projection of Holliday is .290/.376/.485 with 24 HR and 104 RBI (NL projection).