Links 8-11-2010: Lowell/Delgado/Saltalamacchia controversy, roster moves, looking ahead

Despite yet more heroics yesterday, the Red Sox have made it abundantly clear that they don’t trust Mike Lowell to play every day at first base. Jerry Remy also thinks Lowell will be somewhat limited. First they signed Carlos Delgado to a minor league deal, and now with Kevin Cash on the DL, they have called up Jarrod Saltalamacchia, probably to be the backup catcher/left-handed first baseman. It makes sense to employ a platoon at first base to try and replace some of the production lost with Kevin Youkilis, says Matt Klaassen. For his part, Lowell is confident that he can play regularly, and he doesn’t see himself being ousted by former teammate Delgado.

Hideki Okajima hit the DL with a hamstring issue, and Felix Doubront has gotten the call to the bullpen. Apart from the solo HR he allowed yesterday, Doubront has looked every bit the part of a strong Major League reliever.

Jeremy Hermida cleared waivers and was outrighted to Pawtucket this week. That really says something about how far his star has fallen; nobody wanted him for free (besides his remaining salary, which isn’t nothing). He’ll be called up on September 1 when the rosters expand, but he’s running out of time to convince the Red Sox he’s worth a roster spot.

August 17. Circle that date on your calendar, because that’s when The Laser Show (TM) comes back to town. That’s right, Dustin Pedroia has a due date.

The Red Sox signed 6th-round OF pick Kendrick Perkins for a $600k bonus this week. Perkins is super-athletic and has drawn comparisons to Carl Crawford.

Beyond the Box Score ranks catchers by overall value this year, and finds that Red Sox catchers are smack in the middle of the road, thanks primarily to Victor Martinez.

MLB Trade Rumors looks at teams who may pursue Adrian Beltre in the offseason. I think if the Red Sox can’t land him, it’ll be the Tigers or Angels.


Links 7-22-2010: Trade outlook, getting healthy is painful

There is about a week and a half left before this year’s non-waiver trade deadline, and it appears that the Sox are trying to upgrade their bullpen, outfield and catcher. To me, this year has been all about health, and it may not make sense to pull the trigger on a big trade at this point; Sox Therapy agrees.

According to various reports, the Sox have shown interest in the following players:

Relievers: Scott Downs (TOR), Leo Nunez (FLA)
Outfielders: David DeJesus (KC) , Cody Ross (FLA), Corey Hart (MIL)
Catchers: Chris Iannetta (COL), Chris Snyder (ARI)

That doesn’t mean much in July, however. Everyone’s calling around about options, but that doesn’t mean something’s necessarily going to happen. The market for relievers is notably bad this year – Blue Jays initially asked for Jose Iglesias in exchange for Downs. That shows you how tough it is to actually get a deal done as a buyer. I’m on board with the names on this list, but not so big on spending a lot to get Ross or Hart, not when we already have Jeremy Hermida, Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava. With Jacoby Ellsbury out until God knows when and Mike Cameron being slow to heal, I’m convinced we need someone who can play a passable center field, and DeJesus fits that the best.

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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.

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Links 5-26-2010: Reversal on McDonald, reason for optimism, Youk is good

Darnell McDonald woke up to his phone ringing. Jacoby Ellsbury is feeling pain in his side, get to the park, pronto! Just after activating Mike Cameron off of the DL, turns out Ellsbury is not quite ready yet after all. Scott Atchison was designated as a result instead of McDonald to make room on the roster. Earlier yesterday, he was feeling fine, and was ready to man centerfield the rest of the year; let’s hope this doesn’t derail what we’ve got going now, as Cameron himself is not 100% yet, either.

Another impressive game by Red Sox pitching yesterday. Jon Lester is just wow. As I mentioned, it looks like the Sox are getting a pretty good run together. Could we see the Sox get back in it over the next couple of weeks? I think it’s quite possible, as we have a relatively easy schedule coming up, followed by a couple of weeks of Inter-League play, which we love. Before you get too bent out of shape about our place in the standings, consider that we have had the toughest schedule strength in our division (+0.174), according to Dolphin Sports (these are published by Andrew Dolphin, a co-author of THE BOOK with noted sabermetrician Tom Tango). The Yankees have had it pretty tough too (+0.136), but the Rays have had a cakewalk by comparison thus far (+0.019).

Kevin Youkilis gets some props from Patrick Sullivan at Baseball Analysts. Why do we need Adrian Gonzalez when we’ve got Youuuuk?

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Links 5-13-2010: Toronto series encouraging, Beckett, more

Despite the 3-2 loss to end the series, I’d argue that we actually ended that series on an up note. Sure, the offense looked pitiful against Shaun Marcum, but he’s a pretty good pitcher, and Dale Scott helped him and Tim Wakefield out plenty. Wake turned in a really good performance too, and we nearly pulled it out at the end.

David Ortiz continues to show signs of life, so the calls for him to be released are still premature. After being called out on strikes on a 3-2 fastball way out of the zone yesterday, Ortiz was livid. Terry Francona backed him up, getting tossed from the game, and Dustin Pedroia, J.D. Drew and Jerry Remy all agreed with PITCHf/x that there was no way that pitch was a strike (see pitch #7):

Papi called out on on "strikes" in the 9th

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Links: Health reports, Bay, Dice-K

J.D. Drew is sitting with that quad again, which was fine today with Scott Kazmir on the mound. But it’d be nice to get him back in the lineup sooner rather than later. Somewhat more worrisome to me is Kevin Youkilis being out with tightness in his side. It’s improving, but the Sox are loathe to test it prematurely. Asked about it today, Youk said he has no clue what it is. Jacoby Ellsbury is back in the lineup after tweaking his hamstring at the end of last week. Read more of this post