10-17-2011: The Lackey situation

Everyone is pretty worried about John Lackey and the three years remaining on his contract. What do we do with this albatross? Certainly none of the stats guys saw this coming.¬†Curt Schilling claims that Lackey can’t rebound from the year he’s had, and the stats are beginning to agree.¬†Here’s what we see in the crystal ball, taking into account his poor performance this year:

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Links 4-28-2010: Embree called up, Castro down, Sox sign Rosario

Thanks to Clay Buchholz taking advantage of an impatient Blue Jay offense, lefty Fabio Castro was never needed in last night’s game. He was promptly optioned to Pawtucket in order to add Alan Embree. The move gives the Sox three lefties in the pen, but both Hideki Okajima and Embree can be used against RHB as well as PHB, so Terry Francona’s got some options. Embree had to be added to the 40-man roster, so the Sox designated IF Kevin Frandsen this morning as part of the move. Dustin Pedroia goes back to being the shortest player on the roster with Castro’s demotion.

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Links 4-27-2010: Dice-K Saturday, Lowell cleanup, Atchison demoted, Westmoreland out of the hospital

Daisuke Matsuzaka threw 69 pitches in a simulated game yesterday, and made a good impression on both Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell. Matsuzaka is expected to take the ball Saturday in Baltimore. He seems motivated to pitch well again, and that can only be a good thing.

David Ortiz sat again last night with lefty Dana Eveland on the mound, and Mike Lowell was inserted as the DH, batting cleanup in yesterday’s lineup. It’s becoming a very good thing that he wasn’t traded this offseason – it’s hard to argue with the production we’ve been getting out of him as a part-time player, and his numbers are simply increasing his trade value.

Scott Atchison knew that it was coming, but it happened a little sooner than we anticipated. After blowing through the bullpen in yesterday’s slugfest, the Sox sent him down and recalled LHP Fabio Castro. We’d expect Castro to be returned to Pawtucket once Matsuzaka is added to the active roster.

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4-4-2010: Opening Day, Sox down Yankees 9-7

Opening Day on Easter Sunday was quite the spectacle. I’m glad they brought in Pedro Martinez to throw the first pitch, and it was entertaining to have Steve Tyler and Neil Diamond sing (even if they weren’t so good). 5-year old Joshua Sacco’s reciting the speech from “Miracle” was entertaining, though I wouldn’t want my own 5-year old boy saying, “Screw ’em!”.

Some notes from game 1 yesterday: Read more of this post

Links 2-11-2010: Gaby Hernandez claimed, Beckett discussion, Spring is in the air, playoff odds

The Red Sox claimed 23-year old RHP Gaby Hernandez off waivers from the Seattle Mariners yesterday. Robert Manuel was designated to make room on the 40-man roster. Hernandez has good size at 6-3, 215 and throws in the low- to mid-90s with a cutter and a power slider and is known for a very good curveball (it was rated the best in the Marlins’ system back in 2007), though he’s had trouble commanding it. He’s got pretty decent stuff and doesn’t give up many HRs, but he’s struggled at the higher levels of the minors, and especially with lefties. Read Theo Epstein’s comments on him here. He’s got two option years left, so he’s expected to join the rotation at Triple-A Pawtucket.

What should we pay to re-sign Josh Beckett? Curt Schilling says whatever it takes. Rob Bradford warns that the shoulder could be an issue down the line. One thing I’d point out is that pitching in the AL East, and particularly in Fenway, has inflated Beckett’s numbers quite a bit. Make no mistake, he is an elite pitcher who’s perfectly suited to the atmosphere here. He’s also pitched well here at below market value, so I’d be fine with overpaying him a bit to keep playing here for 3-4 more years.

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Billy Wagner blocks trade to Boston

Well, those of you who were hoping for a little left-handed bullpen help will be disappointed. Billy Wagner has officially blocked his trade to Boston after the two sides could not come to terms on his upcoming player option and arbitration. Basically, Wagner wanted the Sox to guarantee his opportunity to go to free agency this offseason as a closer; by asking them to decline his option AND not offer him arbitration, he was denying them any compensation for him, should he turn out to be a dud for two months. Apparently the player the Mets wanted was more than an organizational guy, or else the trade would have gone through.

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Goodbye Curt, hello Cooperstown

Curt Schilling announced his retirement from baseball this week, after toying around with the idea of making a half-season comeback attempt in 2009. Thanks for everything, and best of luck to you. Read more of this post