2010 AL East Preview: Sox, Yankees reloaded

As Spring Training finally dawns, we are looking at two teams at the top of the division with significant turnover from this offseason. The Yankees have shed several older, oft-injured players and added a powerful left-handed bat in OF Curtis Granderson. For their part, Boston has decided to focus on run prevention with the signing of John Lackey and even sacrificed OBP in order to improve their team defense in this “bridge year”. The Tampa Rays have another year of development and polish on their young and talented core. Meanwhile, Toronto has gone into rebuilding mode with the trade of Roy Halladay to the Phillies, and the Orioles’ youth movement is on the cusp of paying dividends. What can we expect to see in 2010? Read more of this post

2009 September callups and that Kazmir trade

With their grasp on the AL wild card tightening, the Red Sox can take a slightly less accelerated route for prospect promotion this September. So you may not see Michael Bowden or Josh Reddick up here again this season. As of today, they have recalled OFs Brian Anderson and Joey Gathright (remember that backup CF trade I mentioned at the July 31st deadline? Here they are.) SS Jed Lowrie and C George Kottaras will almost certainly join the club, now that rosters have expanded. Lowrie was recently given the all-clear to play.

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Jays and Rays: For real?

If you’ve been following along in the standings recently, you might be alarmed to see that the Toronto Blue Jays just keep winning. Not only that, but the Tampa Bay Rays are playing really good baseball after a less-than-stellar beginning to 2009. Heck, even the Yankees are doing well again. Comparatively, it seems like the Red Sox keep scuffling, playing .500 ball in May. If this keeps up, we may be in trouble. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers and see who we should fear and how much. Read more of this post

2009 Offseason: Sox add Green to infield depth

In another minor move, the Red Sox signed 30-year old utility infielder Nick Green yesterday. Green has bounced around with the Braves, Devil Rays, Yankees and Mariners and is a career .240/.309/.347 hitter in 275 big league games. His left-right split of .284/.351/.387 against LHP means he’s clearly Jed Lowrie’s backup, not his platoon mate.

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Trade Manny to Who?

I’ve said that I still believe that Manny Ramirez is still a highly valuable player. But Manny managed to do it again, and this might be the one that broke the Manny’s back. After being cleared by team doctors to play, he pulled himself out of the lineup with a sore knee. The Sox clubhouse was closed to the media, and after a team meeting, Manny was back in the lineup. Turns out he would have faced a team suspension if he had not played yesterday. Theo Epstein told Tim McCarver yesterday before the game that if Manny Ramirez is willing to waive his 10-5 no-trade rights, he would try to deal Ramirez before the deadline. All of this adds up to some bad juju for the long-time Sox slugger.

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Still Manny?

It used to be a given that you’d get at least 35 HR and 100 RBI annually from Manny Ramirez, but the last time Manny reached those levels was 2006. Since then, people have questioned his motivation (witness taking Septembers off, not running to first base on long flys, the infamous three-pitch strikeout) and his ability (the pressure of 500 HR, he can’t hit a fastball anymore). It has not helped that he’s had some bad PR events happen this season. With this being a contract year for him, it’s time to examine just how much he’s actually slipped.

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