Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Why they should start Wells earlier rather than later

What it comes down to is motivation. There are two things that could motivate Wells to play well.

1) Pride
Wells has stopped speaking to the print media this year. An unusual move by such a prolific mouth, Wells was motivated through pride. He felt they weren't giving him enough credit and it's only gotten worse as the year went along (all those stints on the DL didn't improve the writers opinions for some reason).

Also, this is probably Wells last year pitching and he may be motivated to make a statement about his career as a whole by going out with a bang. Helping the Red Sox reach the promised land once again would certainly end his career on a high note.

2) Competition
Wells has a reputation for being a big game pitcher. While that 'big game' clutch performance has been missing recently, it's certainly a motivating factor in his makeup. Wells likes to compete, likes to go out there and put it on the line.

3) Money
This is probably the biggest factor of all. His contract was written with all sorts of performance clauses, including a minimum number of games started. By getting him out there now, rather than a week later, David has a chance of hitting that number plus getting a couple of games at the $200K range. - Boston Red Sox: All could be very Wells: Sox lefty nears return

Convinced that David Wells is ready to face major-league hitters, the Red Sox have all but settled on activating the veteran left-hander from the disabled list early next week rather than send him out on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Wells is ready to go?

I hate to agree, but if Wells is ready, let's throw him out there. He can't be any worse than the other starters by committee. - Boston Red Sox: Wells simulates success: Lefty passes test; decision due

Forget the rehab outing, start David Wells right now.
That’s the sentiment of the Red Sox hitters who faced the veteran left-hander during his five impressive innings under simulated game conditions yesterday at McAfee Coliseum. The team is pondering whether to have Wells throw another similar outing or head to the minors over the weekend for a rehab start.

And you know I mean it given how I feel about Wells. That's how much the Red Sox need another starter. Beckett and Schilling (and isn't it nice to add Beckett to the list of reliable starters... I mean two starts in a row he's mowed'em down) need the help. So do the relievers.

But most likely, we won't see Wells until August 3rd.  He'll probably get a start in AAA, then move on up.

BTW, my prediction for trades involving the Red Sox is for middle relief. With the added strain of backing up pitchers who are only going five or six innings at a time, Theo should be expecting some injuries in the middle relief corps. I hope he is, anyways.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Ty Law goes to KC

I'm sorry, but I just don't understand. Yes, he played well last year for a lousy team. But keep in mind that he got all those interceptions by being targeted by the opposing quarterbacks.

At 32, he's not going to get any better and that's the end of his story with the Patriots.

BTW, please don't read this as saying I dislike Ty Law or feel that he's not a good player. He just isn't marquee anymore. - N.E. Patriots: Kansas City yanks Law out of New England’s grasp

“It got to a number where we were comfortable and they were comfortable,” Chiefs president Carl Peterson told the Kansas City Star. “Hopefully, he will be well worth the effort.”

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Beckett deal is a good idea

I'm not convinced Josh is our 'ace' of the future, however. He's getting a good deal for the next three years, the Sox aren't paying too much for a starting pitcher, he's only six months older than Papelbon. All signs are good for this deal.

Source:Boston Red Sox - Red Sox give Beckett three-year extension -

"He threw the ball so well, I think Theo just gave him a three-year deal," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said in his postgame meeting with the media.

After reporters chuckled, he added: "No, I'm serious."

But after Schilling is done (and he's already said he's done at the end of this contract), I'm not convinced Beckett is going to be our ace going forward. If nothing else, the Red Sox need to find a co-ace to run with him. Either by from inside (Papelbon becomes a starter, perhaps) or from outside in a trade.

I don't see anyone on the horizon to become that co-ace from outside right now, but with another year to worry about it, I believe Theo Epstein will find someone.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The more I think about it, the more I worry

The more I think about what Wakefield means to this rotation, the more I worry about his injury. If he can't come back to pitch soon, the Red Sox will replace him in the rotation with Johnson. Add Snyder and Wells to the mix and what have you got?

Two or three starters pitching fewer innings.

Which means the relief pitchers are going to be pitching a lot more.

Which is going to put a lot of strain on the other starters (Schilling, Beckett and Lester) to pitch more innings when they go out there.

Which is just going to overload the whole system as the second half moves into what will most likely be a closely contested three-way race.

Which is why I'm worried. - Boston Red Sox: Sox put Wakefield on hold

Tim Wakefield underwent a battery of tests yesterday, including CAT and bone scans, to try to get a better grasp on why his strained back has not improved.
Further review of the tests will be conducted, probably today, as the team tries to figure out if he will make his next start on Saturday, or go on the disabled list.
"We are trying to buy Wake some time to see how he bounces back," said manager Terry Francona. "We don’t have to do anything. We would like to give him some time to see how he reacts, then we will go from there."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Wondered about DiNardo lately?

It's not looking good. Take a look at the following link to see how Lenny is doing these days.

Boston Red Sox Nation: DiNardo’s Days of Uncertainty

Just when the Sox need him most, Lenny DiNardo’s future is as murky as it ever was.

Wake out, Wells in?

This is not good news for Red Sox nation. Replacing Wakefield with Wells isn't a good idea, but it's not like they have a choice. I would have been happy with Wells pitching in the fifth hole.

But having Wells come back just in time to replace an ailing Wakefield while fortunate in one way (where else are they going to find a pitcher) just doesn't fill me with confidence. Wakefield is our no 3 pitcher. He's been reliable and he usually pitches a lot of innings. Wells is neither.

Well, at least we still get to play the Royals tonight.

Monday, July 17, 2006

At the end of they day

It's all about us. - Boston Red Sox: Rite of summer’s here - Yankees creep back in

"We have a very strong division, but it’s about us," Varitek said. "We have to play well, and when we play well we can get this team back on a roll."

And that's the simple truth. The Red Sox, not the Yankees or the Blue Jays, are the team to beat in the AL East. With very few holes in their defense, strong hitting for the most part, an incredible closer with a very reliable ace, the Sox may only be a half game up, but I'm not (very) worried.

Yes, the Yankees and the Blue Jays are both strong teams. But they're also very flawed teams, with very little chance of going all the way this year. The Red Sox are one pitcher away (Josh Beckett, anyone) from being able to put this team out in front.

So despite losing 3 of 4 to Oakland, I was very encouraged by three things. One, the Royals are next on the list. Two, Schilling shut the As down completely and three, Wakefield is doing well enough that he's starting tonight.

For a Monday, I'm awfully optimistic.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Injury Updates

According to Gasper on the Globe staff, Clement wil be throwing at 60 feet today. Wells may be throwing a side session as early as this week. Foulke is ???. Pena is stuck in AAA since the Red Sox now have too many outfielders. DiNardo was placed on the 60 day DL, but will rehab at Pawtucket tomorrow.

If Pena comes back up, Harris may have to move out.

Source: Cameo for Breslow - Extra Bases -

Given the Red Sox injury woes and tendency lately to pitch in extra innings, I'm glad they have another pitcher in pen (Breslow). He may be a placeholder until they recall Snyder to pitch against KC on Monday, but I don't want the Sox relievers to get worn down the first week into the second half.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wily Mo Pena and the fifth starter

Remember him? He should be activated off of the DL today. Also, Kyle Snyder may be coming back to Boston, now that Jason has been sent back down.

Are we ever going to have a fifth starter? Given that there are no real options out there for trades, it looks like Clement or Wells need to recover somehow for the Sox to get someone to fill in. While not urgent (I'm sure every team in the league wishes they had stability in their fifth starter), the Sox are one more line drive off an elbow from this team going from the playoffs to going home.

Without a real no. 2 starter, that fifth hole becomes more important. With the issues Wakefield has been having, it becomes more urgent. If Lester hadn't shown us what he can do, it would be an outright emergency.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Selig tries to shame Manny for not going to all-star game

But, really, has that ever worked before? Owners, teammates, fans, talk show hosts, all have taken shots at Manny for one reason or another. And what effect has it had on him? None. He still jogs to first when he knows he's going to be out. I mean, he even has his own catch phrase, "That's just Manny being Manny".

And Selig thinks he can shame him? Focus on your own problems and let the players focus on theirs. - Boston Red Sox: Selig blasts Ramirez for bailing out

Speaking at a noontime luncheon hosted by the Baseball Writers Association of America, Selig said, “Look, maybe I’m old-fashioned, you’re voted onto the All-Star team, it’s a privilege. You ought to be here.”

The Red Sox cited an injury to Ramirez’ right knee as his reason for sitting out the game. But Selig pointed out that other players unable to play last night, such as pitcher Tom Glavine and shortstop Jose Reyes, both of the Mets, made the trip to Pittsburgh to take part in the festivities.

“The only thing I want to say in all fairness is that he’s the only player we had that problem with this year,” Selig said of Ramirez. “Everybody else has been terrific. Tommy Glavine does the right thing. He comes anyway. Of course he can’t pitch, but he comes anyway. And Reyes is also here and he can’t (play). But he’s here. This is an honor.

“Do you know how many people in life would give, would run through a brick wall to have this kind of honor?”

Selig then added, “I need a vacation too, but . . .”

In the meantime, it's been reported that Manny may have a torn cartilage in his right knee, but he can still play for the season. It looks like Manny may have a legitimate excuse this year for sitting games out when he wants to. The Red Sox won't confirm the injury, though.

In other all-star news, Curt Schilling was invited at the last second to join the festivities, but ... “I got a call (Monday) asking me to be part of the team at 11 o’clock in the morning. They asked me to replace people for the same reason they said I didn’t get picked, which really kind of bothered me a little bit,” Schilling said during his weekly call-in on WEEI-AM yesterday. “It wasn’t something I felt right about.”

Schilling may be a little worried about his elbow after taking a big hit from a line drive off of Jim Thome's bat.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Talk today is about Manny

If Manny doesn't go to the All-Star game, is that really a problem for everyone? Yes, he was the top vote getter, but so? It's an exhibition game.

Just because MLB says 'it counts' this year, doesn't make it true. Home field advantage to the winning division is nice, but not really a big deal.

With a line-up like they have for the AL team, even if Manny showed up, would he really make a difference?

For my part, I hope he stays home and gets some rest. His team will need him in the second half, just as they did in the first. Without a true 5th batter, numbers 3 and 4 (Ortiz and Manny) have to carry most of the offensive weight on their shoulders. That can really put a strain on the body.

And without a true number two starting pitcher, their offense is going to be needed even more. Toronto and NY are not going to go away. This will be a close race right up to the finish and I doubt the wild card is going to come from the East this year. Somebody is going to stay home.

So, I hope Manny stays home and rests up. Frankly, I wish Ortiz would do the same, but at least he's having fun so far.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Is the game over, yet?

That was such a long game, and I'm glad I wasn't playing in it. It's a good thing they have three days to rest and, to be honest, I wouldn't want to go play in the All-Star game. Ortiz is already having nightmares about being late to the ballpark, I can't imagine what he's going to be like after that marathon game, followed by the home run derby tonight!

This race around the world reminds me of the tail end of last year when the Red Sox just got worn out trying to make up all of their missed games. Hopefully, the second half goes a little smoother.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Makes sense to me

Sometimes its easy to forget how different the big leagues is from AAA. When Jon Lester pitched last year in Portland, he threw a career high 148 innings. He's already thrown 73 innings this year.

And so the Red Sox, wisely in my opinion, have pushed back his start after the all-star break. He'll be pitching (most likely) on July 16th on eight days rest after starting tomorrow night against Chicago. Wakefield will start the second half, followed by Beckett and Schilling.

The only down side I can see is a lack of rhythm for the rookie, but this first game back won't be as important as how he fares at the end of the season. So, relax and enjoy, I say.

Source: - Boston Red Sox: Lester will get extra break time