Links 12-17-2010: Sox round out bullpen, Patterson to SD

Red Sox Beacon likes the addition of Bobby Jenks to the end of the bullpen. I think he’ll be very strong as an additional setup man/occasional closer.

The Red Sox announced a slew of minor league signings yesterday, including lefties Rich Hill, Andrew Miller, Randy Williams, Lenny DiNardo. They also signed right-handed pitchers Clevelan Santeliz and Ryan Harvey. So they are obviously trying hard to sift out a quality lefty out of that bunch. Out of those players, Hill, Miller, Williams and Santeliz have Spring Training invites. The nice thing about this bunch is that they’re not all old guys, and have some potential for breakouts. I’m glad we got Miller back, since we traded to get him.

Eric Patterson was sent to San Diego as the PTBNL in the Adrian Gonzalez deal. Patterson will make a nice complement with Cameron Maybin for the Pads as they try to sort out their mix for center field.

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Links 12-1-2010: The plan forming, Victor as a DH, compensation picks, trading Scutaro, Guerrier, Parraz, Spring Training schedule

It’s starting to look like a near certainty that the Red Sox will sign one of either Jayson Werth or Carl Crawford. As I’ve said before, I like the idea of adding Werth as a long-term right-handed bat with some punch, though Crawford would be a good add as well. Werth is pretty good on defense as well, while Crawford is stellar in that category. Signing either would go a long way towards replacing the offense we’ve lost from last year’s team.

Yes, it’s been a slow offseason so far, but before you start complaining about how the Sox never spend money, read this. They are simply waiting it out. Werth is a Boras client, so any offer made now would simply be used as leverage to drive up the price. Werth will almost certainly not sign before Christmas, and may even hold out until late January.

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8-18-2010: So you’re saying there’s a chance, bullpen, outfield, draft signings, etc

This AL East race is just maddening. Every time the Sox look like they’re about to go on a run, they stumble, and every time they stumble, so does either New York or Tampa Bay. This is the season that just refuses to die.

The porous bullpen has been better of late, though it is still prone to blowups. It seems that Felix Doubront has surpassed Dustin Richardson on the depth chart, since Richardson was sent down to make room for Dustin Pedroia.

The outfield situation is beginning to look especially dire, given that Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron are out for the year. Yes, those would be our only real center field options for 2010. Add to that Eric Patterson going on the DL, and we’re looking at a whole lot of Ryan Kalish over the next two weeks. Hey, he’s been playing great for us, but any rookie who is pressed into duty will get exposed a bit… On a related note, Kevin Youkilis thinks he could play in October if we make it that far. Mike Lowell is filling in admirably at first base for now, and with Carlos Delgado on the shelf, we may not have many other options. The Diamondbacks’ Adam LaRoche just cleared waivers today, so there’s an off chance that we could try to bring him back if we get back in the race.

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Links 7-8-2010: Swept in Tampa, the bullpen, Youk’s All-Star chase, Injury turnaround?

Ugh. Not a fun series to watch, as the Sox got swept away last night by the Tampa Bay Rays. We are now two games behind them and 4.5 games back of the Yankees in the AL East, and that All-Star Break can’t come quickly enough.

Game 1: I am usually a Daisuke Matsuzaka apologist, but this game was a disaster for him. He kept stepping off the rubber and delaying, so he could never get into any kind of rhythm. He just doesn’t look confident out there. Admittedly, he had some long half-inning breaks, but he just looked terrible. When the bases are full, he has no problem attacking hitters and going ahead 0-2, but the rest of the time he was nothing. Terry Francona should have pulled him earlier, yes, but who could he go to that is any better right now? A lot has been made of Dice-K’s botched bunt play, but that’s the least of his issues right now. That play shows how much he’s putting pressure on himself and not just playing the game… Eric Patterson had 3 XBH, including a double and two home runs, his first multi-HR game of his career. The first one was a fully legitimate one, but he was lucky to golf the second pitch, a low breaking ball from Andy Sonnanstine. You could just see the disgust and disbelief on Sonnanstine’s face on that one.

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6-27-2010: Victor Martinez breaks thumb, the season in perspective

Oh man, when it rains, it pours. Victor Martinez has broken his left thumb in today’s game, after taking a couple of foul tips off of his glove in today’s game. He may or may not go on the DL, but this is certainly not good news for the injury-riddled Sox.

At least Clay Buchholz won’t have to go on the DL. In fact, he may even make his next start, though the schedule would allow for the Sox to get him some extra time off without having to call anyone up.

Dan Barabisi notes that 2B/OF Eric Patterson will be activated Tuesday, and that the left-handed hitter could make a decent platoon partner with Bill Hall. It’s a nice thought, but Hall is actually hitting much better against righties this year, and in his career, his platoon split is not so bad; he’s hit righties at a .243/.298/.428 clip. Patterson has hit .226/.309/.365 against RHP. All indications are that Patterson is a depth backup.

This season, full of injuries and disappointments as well as pleasant surprises, is pretty frustrating, but it makes for some fascinating baseball, says Patrick Sullivan. I have to agree.

One thing about Josh Beckett’s poor performance this season – it’s come against some pretty tough competition. In fact, by at least one measure, it’s come against the toughest competition there is in baseball. So there’s still some small hope that if he can get back healthy, we might see the old Beckett.

The Red Sox took some measures to shut down their opponents on the basepaths back in May, and it really worked. However, now that the problem has become less of a concern, it seems that opponents are gearing it up again.

6-26-2010: Papelbummed, Pedroia and Buchholz hurt

It looks like someone is conspiring against the Red Sox. After riding an incredible hot streak in which they went 32-17, Boston finds themselves in deeper than before. Exhibit number 1: Jonathan Papelbon’s seeming early decline. First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room: Daniel Bard is NOT going to displace Papelbon anytime soon. Deal with it. Pap himself says he’s not bothered by the Colorado series, but you know he is very bothered.

To tell you the truth, I’m kind of flummoxed about Papelbon this year. His secondary stats are declining, yes, but not THAT much. People have been quick to point to Papelbon’s fastball velocity and command, but that doesn’t seem to be noticeably different. Here’s a quick look at his past three seasons (data from texasleaguers.com):

Pap’s fastball 2008 2009 2010
Velocity 95.0 94.5 94.3
Percent thrown 88.7 84.0 78.9
Horiz mov -8.54 -8.35 -7.95
Vert mov 8.53 9.58 9.07
Strike% 71.6 67.5 66.9
Whiff% 11.8 10.4 10.9
Foul% 26.3 25.8 24
In play% 18.5 15.6 15.9

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