Links 5-27-2010: Sox sweep Rays, Ellsbury dissatisfied, catcher defense

The Red Sox blew it wide open in the top of the 9th inning yesterday, tacking on five runs to blow out Tampa Bay by a score of 11-3. John Lackey struggled some, but cobbled together enough to limit the Rays to two runs. Despite that, he maintains that it was a very good start. Adrian Beltre doubled and homered twice, driving in a career-high 6 runs. While I was surprised by the show of power, his teammates think he’s got the most raw power in the lineup. Another great moment- David Ortiz chugging home, with Kevin Youkilis hot on his heels.

The Red Sox certainly made a statement when, even with an 8-run margin, the Sox sent the half-loping, half-hobbling Mike Cameron around from first base on a single Jeremy Hermida to score their last run. I’m don’t agree with that call for a 9th insurance run, not given the risk of injury to Cameron with an already light outfield. With the victory, the Sox move within 5 1/2 games of the Rays, and just two games behind the Yankees, who are sliding hard of late. It’s been a good week.

Jacoby Ellsbury spoke out of frustration yesterday, hinting that he was displeased with the way Boston’s medical staff handled his cracked ribs. Even though tests look good, Ellsbury felt enough discomfort that he couldn’t play yesterday. This is not the first time that a player has insinuated that the Boston medical team, which has a great reputation, may not have handled an injury correctly.

Big Papi continues to produce, and yesterday reclaimed the third spot in the batting order. However, Jerry Remy told WEEI yesterday morning that even if David Ortiz hits 40 HRs this year, he doesn’t think that they’ll bring him back on a new contract. Looks like Theo Epstein may be leaning towards utilizing players with more flexibility to fill the DH role.

Thinking ahead to what to do with Victor Martinez and the catching situation, you might want to consider this. It’s a defensive ranking of catchers based on developing sabermetric measures. Jason Varitek grades out as just above average, ranked 31st out of 79 big league catchers, but Martinez shows up all the way at number 77. This might have something to do with leaving DH open after this season is over.


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