Links 6-16-2010: Scutaro’s condition, Doubront debut, looking ahead, Lowell makes sense for Twins

Marco Scutaro was given a nerve root injection in his neck the other day to dull pain in his left arm. Turns out he’s been playing through a pinched nerve and herniated disc in his back all year. His numbers aren’t all that bad, in that light.

With two main starters out of the rotation, the Red Sox have chosen to give prospect Felix Doubront the ball Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Fenway. The 22-year old lefty, currently 2-1 with a 1.08 ERA at Pawtucket, will make his Major League debut against Manny Ramirez and friends. Best of luck, Doubie.

After all of the reasons for optimism I gave yesterday, Patrick Sullivan balances that out with some things that could turn sour for the Red Sox this year. David Golebiewski also throws some water on the idea that Clay Buchholz is having his breakout season.

Aaron Gleeman takes a detailed look at Mike Lowell and cautiously approves of him as a trade target. He suggests a prospect in their top 30 or so in return for Lowell.

Wondering what it might cost for us to get Cliff Lee or a comparable player at the deadline? Dave Cameron has the lowdown: it should be one top prospect plus some parts, if history tells us anything. Of course, if the bidding gets hot and heavy, the price can only go up from there. What do you say, would you be willing to trade Casey Kelly and a couple of other guys for half a season of Lee?

How do sabermetricians look at the All-Star Game? Here’s how, courtesy of JinAZ at Beyond the Box Score (AL, NL). He says Dustin Pedroia deserves to start at second base this year, and Kevin Youkilis is right behind Miguel Cabrera at first base. You won’t hear any arguments from me there. And he actually has Scutaro as the second best AL shortstop this year. He was a very good signing for a team that just couldn’t do anything right at short the past four years.

The Red Sox are set to sign first-round pick Kolbrin Vitek, as expected. For all the noise about the Red Sox going with college-level guys early, it turns out that Boston was one of the two most aggressive teams at selecting high-school talent. Only the Blue Jays drafted more guys in high school.

And now, more on our draft from well-known evaluators. Talent evaluator John Sickels likes the way Boston drafts, and calls this “a great class”. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus notes that the Red Sox continued their effective strategy of selecting high-ceiling, over-slot guys. Calling Anthony Ranaudo as “possibly the steal of the draft”, he summarizes:

It’s going to cost a ton of money to turn all of their draftees into pros, but if the Red Sox get it done, this is a massive collection of talent.

The Sox are giddy about adding this much potential to their farm system, but let’s not forget about the talent that’s already there. John Tomase has an overview of outfielders in our system, given all the injuries we’ve faced this season.

Daniel Nava continues to get recognition from all over the Web for his debut hitting achievement. Carson Cistulli takes a look at his first at-bats using PITCHf/x.

At least according to BP’s Equivalent Baserunning Runs, the Red Sox are not doing themselves many favors on the basepaths this season. Could that be because a certain guy named Jacoby Ellsbury has been out of commission?

Bill Hall’s recent streak of good hitting is reflective of what he was capable of maybe 5 years ago, according to R.J. Anderson at FanGraphs. Could it be that his ability was just obscured by injuries and lack of playing time?

It must be hard to stay focused on baseball for the players these days. With the NBA Finals and the World Cup in full swing, who has time to think about the Diamondbacks? In recognition of this, the Red Sox have pushed up Thursday’s game to a 6:10 PM start time.


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