e premte, 20 korrik 2007

Lineup Needs a Shuffle

The offense is not scoring runs and the Sox really need a spark. This spark could come from a roster change in the future and a lineup change in the more immediate future. Kevin Youkillis is not comfortable as a run producer in the 5 hole and needs to be moved back up to the upper part of the order. Pedroia is hitting to well to be moved out of the 2 hole and if youk hit lead off the top of the lineup would be too slow. If I were Terry Francona I would move Youkillis to the three spot and move Ortiz and Manny down a spot. The lineup would be as follows:

1.Coco Crisp
2.Dustin Pedroia
3.Kevin Youkillis
4.David Ortiz
5.Manny Ramires
6.JD Drew
7.Mike Lowell
8.Jason Varitek
9.Julio Lugo

Sox Notes:
Gammons ESPN Interview With Mike Felger: Gammons talks about how Scott Boras ruined Craig Hansen, Buchholz being called up to Boston, Kason Gabbard's success, Daisuke and some trades.

- The real Coco Crisp emerged when June started. Coco's monthly splits:

April: .235 .274 .338 .612
May: .224 .303 .308 .611
June: .330 .362 .455 .817
July: .283 .377 .547 .924

- The Red Sox will win tonight, I guarantee it.

e martë, 17 korrik 2007

Doug Mirabelli= Automatic Out

DISCLAIMER- This is poorly written, but comes straight from my heart and mind as my brain sends impulses to my hands in order to type. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE NEGATIVITY, DO NOT READ!

Doug Mirabelli is useless. He is batting .188/.258/.318 this season. Big Papi could step up to the plate with a toothpick and post those numbers. Mirabelli is a rally killer and an automatic out. He kills this team whenever he plays. Fans complain about Wily Mo Pena and his strikeout woes, but they should be complaining about Mirabelli, who strikes out out nearly as much and doesn't possess any kind of power. He always looks overmatched at the plate and has the ugliest swing I have ever seen at the Major League level. It is no coincidence that Tim Wakefield gets poor run support compared to other Red Sox startes, because this stiff catches him.

I don't care if Doug Mirabelli can catch a knuckleball. If you put any half-way decent catcher behind the plate he will eventually learn to catch Wakefield. This hypothetical catcher (Say Josh Bard), would outperform Mirabelli at the plate and make up for the passed balls he allows with his performance at the plate. I will end my tirade and leave you with a new prayer to say every night.

Dear God, I hope that Doug Mirabelli will not kill us in an important game in a playoff series that wake has to pitch and that he is gone next year.

e hënë, 16 korrik 2007

Should Kason Gabbard be the fifth starter, when Schill comes Back?

Per Roto World:
Kason Gabbard pitched a three-hit shutout and struck out a career-high eight Monday against the Royals.
Very impressive. Gabbard walked just one, though he did hit two batters. He was helped by three double plays, but he started two of those himself. Only four of the outs against him came on fly balls. With Gabbard now 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA, there's a good chance that Julian Tavarez will head to the pen when Curt Schilling comes off the DL. Jon Lester's season debut can wait

Gabbard was great tonight, but the Royals are a terrible ball club. Pawtucket could hold their own against them. I believe that Gabby will be a potentially good back of the rotation starter, and has been admirable as an emergency fill in, but I would rather have Tavarez or an upgrade in the 5th starter spot down the stretch.

Gabbard has been very good in five starts this season. He has pitched 29.1 innings and is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA, even with his disastrous start in Seattle where he gave up 4 runs in 3.1 innings with 6 walks. Kason has an unimpressive 25/14 K/BB rate, but has been saved by his ability to induce ground balls (1.79 GO/AO,only 2 HR given up). Opponents have a .286 BABIP (Batting Average Balls Put In Play) against Gabbard, which means that he has benefited from good luck and/or defense.

Kason Gabbard Game Stats

Atlanta 5 6 2 2 1 7
Seattle 3.1 6 4 4 6 2
Texas 5.2 3 3 3 4 5
Detroit 6.1 3 2 2 2 3
Kansas City 9 3 0 0 1 8

If Gabbard can cut down on the walks and go deeper into games, he will have a bright future. With that in mind I still would rather not see him take a rotation spot down the stretch for this team. Gabby has two more starts before the trade deadline and most likely when Schilling comes back. These starts are against Chicago and a very tough Cleveland lineup, which might be his toughest test to date. If Gabbard performs well he can really enhance his trading value or actually force Tavarez to the bullpen, which is very unlikely considering a roster move will take place when Schill comes back and Javier Lopez and Gabbard are the only two players on the team with options.

e premte, 13 korrik 2007

Does the Home Run Derby Ruin a Player's Second Half

This season a number of players, including the notorious Barry Bonds, declined invitations to partcipate in the Home Run Derby. The two big excuses from each player who declined were that the derby makes you tired and that it messes up your swing. Bonds claimed it would make him too tired to finish his "quest" to top Hank Aarron's home run record. Bobby Abreu claims that his swing has not been the same since the 2005 Home Run Derby at Comerica Park, where he set a record with 41 homers in a single derby. Sox Rawk investigates the pre derby/post derby splits of the last 9 derby winnners:

1998 Ken Griffey JR

88 35 .299 .382 .678

Second Half 73 21 .267 .345 .541

1999 Ken Griffey JR

85 29 .310 .404 .620

Second Half 79 19 .255 .360 .522

2000 Sammy Sosa

86 23 .305 .388 .574

Second Half 70 27 .338 .428 .711

2001 Luis Gonzalez

87 35 .355 .443 .745

Second Half 75 22 .290 .412 .620

2002 Jason Giambi

86 22 .318 .430 .602

Second Half 69 19 .309 .442 .593

2003 Garret Anderson

96 22 .316 .345 .597

Second Half 67 7 .313 .344 .463

2004 Miguel Tejeda

85 15 .311 .358 .506

Second Half 77 19 .311 .363 .566

2005 Bobby Abreu

89 18 .307 .428 .526

Second Half 73 6 .260 .376 .787

2006 Ryan Howard
84 28 .278 .341 .582

Second Half 75 30 .355 .509 .751

Sox Notes

-Our Sox picked up another win tonight. Daisuke was not spectacular allowing four runs on nine hits in 6 innings, but pitched well enough for the win. Manny Delcarmen continues to prove that he is capable of being the 7th innning guy giving up no runs on four hits over 2. Okajima did his thang in the 9th to finish off the Jays.

-It looks like Julio might finally be breaking out with a great 3-4 performance at the plate tonight.


Here are a few good articles I have read during the week:

- Jayson Stark's Mid Season Awards

- To Youkilis, Every Pitch Matters

- Story of Josh Hamilton's Drug Addicition as old by him

- Sox Rawk Preview- This weekend Jed Lowrie will be our featured prospect and a piece will be done on the impact of the Home Run Derby on the winner's season.

e hënë, 9 korrik 2007

Jacoby Ellsbury: As Good as Gone

Last weekend, Red Sox Nation caught a glimpse of Boston's #1 position prospect, Jacoby Ellsbury. The 2005 first rounder out of Oregon State impressed with his sprinter-like speed, hitting approach, defense and toughness. Ellsbury gave the Fenway Faithful a glimpse of the future, batting .375/.444/.438 in 16 at bats. He also left an everlasting impression when he scored from second on a wild pitch against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Sorry to all of you readers that loved Ellsbury's exciting play and are looking forward to watching him roam the spacious Fenway outfield for the next ten years, because he wasn't called up out of necessity or even for a cup of coffee. Jacoby Ellsbury was being showcased.

One might disagree with this by saying that Coco Crisp was hurt and Wily Mo Pena could not be trusted, but the better option in that case would to call up David Murphy especially since Coco was only day to day. Although Murphy was reassigned to Pawtucket just days earlier, he did not have to go through the normal 10 day waiting period to be recalled because Joel Piniero was placed on the DL.

Ellsbury was only hitting .286/.361/.380, after spending about 2 months in Pawtucket. Murphy was hitting .281/.355/.419 for the season, is a lesser prospect and has Major League service time under his belt. Ellsbury obviously needs some more seasoning in Triple A and the short time in the majors might have hindered his development long term

The Sox brass saw Coco's injury and upcoming series's against pitching-lowly Texas and Tampa Bay as a chance to showcase Ellsbury for the upcoming July 31 trading deadline. They optioned him down not only because they wanted to give Youkillis a rest (Jeff Bailey callup), but also because they were going on to face two southpaws (Andrew Miller and Nate Robertson) and Jeremy Bonderman in the upcoming series with the Tigers.

I enjoyed watching Ellsbury play,as he quickly became one of my favorite players, but I will not be one bit surprised if he is not Red Sox property after July 31. Coco has a good contract and his showing signs of life with the bat, but Ellsbury projects to be the better player long term. Hopefully Theo doesn't trade him for crap.

Around The League

- Shame on you, Barry Bonds. I cannot believe you are sticking it to your home fans by not participating in the Home Run Derby. I hope you blow your knee out swinging for McCovey cove in tommorow's Mid Summer Classic, so you will never reach Hank Aaron's home run record.

- It was great to see the Phillies help the Coors Field grounds crew yesterday. Some loud mouth reporters chastised them because they might have got hurt. Give me a break, the players were having fun and saved some grounds crew members from a potentially dangerous situation. Fun moments like these are what baseball is all about and it is nice to see the players enjoy themselves. See the video clip here:

e shtunë, 7 korrik 2007

My Favorite Jar of Spit

That is 100% high quality Clay Buchholz spit. (SEE EXPLANATION IN LAST POST)

- Just a terrible performance from the boys tonight. (Game Wrap Here)

- Terry Francona's decision to walk Sean Casey to load the bases in the 5th was awful. Casey is not a huge power threat with a .394 slugging percentage and just one home run. There were two outs and the Sox did not have to load the bases to induce a double play. They should have taken their chances with Casey instead of putting another man on base. The next batter Marcus Thames, who has a .514 slugging percentage and 9 homers, crushed the Julian Taveraz offering for a grand slam.

- Speaking of Tavarez, he needs to be moved to the bullpen. The guy is very effective his first time through an order, but is just not effective his second and third times through the order. I do not have opponnents batting average splits, but trust me, they are terrible. When Schilling comes back and the rotation is back to normal, Theo can either turn to an in house option by filling the spot with Jon Lester (encouraging performance tonight) or Buchholz, or he can acquire a starter through a trade.

- Wily Mo Pena has struck out 46 times in 116 at bats. He has walked 11 times. I love his power potential, but he just doesn't have the plate discipline or contact rates to be a solid regular.

e mërkurë, 4 korrik 2007

I am Officially a Fanatic

Today, I took the 20 minute drive from my house to New Britain to check out some Sox
Prospects in action as the Portland Sea Dogs played the New Britain Rock Cats. The game was great (Portland Won), but the most noteworthy part of my sojourn came after the game, while I waited to get some autographs of future Sox stars.

25 minutes after the completion of the game, Clay Buchholz, Boston's top prospect and arguably the best pitcher in the minors walks out of the locker room carrying a paper cup. I ask him if he would please sign some cards for me and he puts his paper cup on top of a soda machine and signs away for all of the people waiting for his autograph.

Right when he is boarding the team bus my friend points out to me that Buchhols left his paper cup on top of the soda machine. I go to grab the cup and yell to Clay that he left his "drink", but he already boarded the bus. I look into the cup and realize that Clay was only using it for tobacco spit. My friend dared me I would not keep it, so naturally i took the dare, brought it home and poured it into a small bottle. I am now the only person in the world, other than Clay Buchholz to own genuine, Clay Buchholz spit. Clay better become a superstar because this souvenir, although one of a kind, is pretty gross. How much did the guy on EBAY make for Luis Gonzalez "ABC" gum?


- After collecting 2 hits last night, Julio Lugo went 0 for 3 today. He is now 2 for his last 39.

- Manny Delcarmen seems to be settling into the 7th inning setup role. His strikeout in relief of Lopez today was absolutely huge. Keep it up Manny! We need you.

- After today's action the Sox are now 12 games up on New York.

e hënë, 2 korrik 2007

Do Not Vote for Okajima (SERIOUSLY)

Hideki Okajima is one of 5 American League players to qualify for the Final Vote, which determines who will fill the last roster spot on the All Star team. Okajima is competing with 5 other American League pitchers: Pat Neshek, Jeremy Bonderman, Roy Halladay and Kelvim Escobar for the final spot on the AL All Star team. Fans can vote as many times as the want for any player involved in the vote. For the sake of the Red Sox, DO NOT VOTE FOR HIDEKI OKAJIMA.

With a 2-0 record with a dismal 0.90 ERA and 36 strikeouts, Okie is the most deserving player. Even though Okajima deserves a trip to San Fran for the All Star game, he has carried a heavy workload and would benefit more from a 3 day break where he would keep Daisuke company in Boston than a trip to San Francisco where he might have to pitch in a meaningless game. Again, DO NOT VOTE FOR HIDEKI OKAJIMA.

If you cannot decide who to vote for other than Okajima, vote for Minnesota reliever Pat Neshek. Neshek is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. In case you have never heard of him, he is a fan favorite, who runs his own blog called On The Road With Pat Neshek. Neshek is a class act and is a great ambassador for the game. In his latest website post, he expresses his desire to play in the All Star Game:
OW, how cool is getting nominated. I don't know what to say it's unreal to even think about. But man I need you guys to vote, vote and vote, http://www.mlb.com/mlb/events/all_star/y2007/fv/ballot.html it's unlimited voting...tell everyone you know and come together and get creative we have like 5 days or something! We need everyone, all Minnesotan's, all graphers, fans of baseball and yes everyone in Yankee Nation ( and we know why!) I seriously would like to promise everyone All Star balls or jerseys for voting but it might be a stretch...I will promise this, if you guys can get me in I will write about everything that goes on... multiple updates each day letting everyone know what the heck goes on behind closed doors, I will always inscribe anything with All Star 07...dont even have to ask, I will try my best to get lots of giveaways and give them away on here and if I get an extra jersey like they did last year I will give it away in a contest not an auction. I don't know what else to say it would be the greatest feeling in the world to be voted in by you guys. Please tell everyone to vote multiple times:)

Do this class act and the Red Sox a favor by voting for Pat Neshek instead of Hideki Okajima in the Final Vote. Another incentive for voting Neshek is that if you vote for him and send him a letter saying so, he will gladly sign any merchandise you send him as long as you include an envelope with your return address and postage.


- Jacoby Ellsbury is the fastest man I have ever seen on a baseball diamond. Today, he was the first Red Sox player since Jeff Frye to score from second on a wild pitch. Ellsbury has been very impressive in centerfield and is starting to show what he can do at the plate. Note to Coco: You better come back soon because this kid is going to steal your job.

- Kason Gabbard did a solid job tonight, even though he can cut down on the walks. (RED SOX GAME BOX HERE)

e shtunë, 30 qershor 2007

Prospect Profile: Reid Engel

AGE: 20
BORN: 5/7/87
Throws: Right
Acquired: 2005 Draft, 5th Round
Position: Right Field
Player Comparison: Steve Finley
Current Team: Greenville Drive (Low A)
Rank: BA: Unknown Sox Prospects- #17

Scouting Report( Courtesy of SoxProspects.com):
Speedy and athletic left-handed hitting outfielder. Makes good contact, above average plate discipline. Decent power, but needs to build up strength a bit. Raw with a high ceiling, still playing above his age level. Intelligent. Probably could stand to bulk up a little, but he's still young so that can be expected. Plays a sold right field. The Red Sox organization thinks very highly of Engel.

.304 60 217 3 28 94 22 40 7 .382 .433 .815

.247 62 251 22 26 88 13 53 5 .283 .351 .633

Amateur Career: Reid Engel attended Lewis-Palmer High School in Longmont Colorado where he played baseball. Reid showed potential as a 5-tool prospect with plus speed and a projectable frame. In his senior year, he hit .431 with 6 Home Runs and 37 RBI. Reid was and still is a very intelligent player who made Academic All State. Engel committed to Baylor University, but signed with the Red Sox (154K Bonus) after they made him a 5th round selection in 2005.

Pro Career:
In 2005, Engel signed early enough to play 27 games for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. He hit at a .233 and only slugged .330, but showed good plated discipline and some raw ability.

Reid was assigned to repeat the GCL in 2006 as a 19 year old. After six games where he hit .200 for the Sox GCL affiliate, Engel was promoted to Lowell (Short Season) where he became the youngest player on the team and played center field. He was disappointing for Lowell hitting a decent .251, but only got on base at a .280 clip and did not show much power with a .355 slugging percentage. Engel whiffed 48 times too.

This season, the Red Sox thought highly enough of Engel to start him in full season ball for the South Atlantic League's Greenville Drive(Low A). He is the team's right fielder. Engel got off to a slow start batting just .200 in April with a .458 OPS. As May came around,so did Engel's bat. Engel raked in May, putting up a line of .410/.473/.602. After cooling off slightly in June, when he hit .282, Engel is batting .304/.382/.433. Engel played flawless right fielder with 0 errors on the season. He played well enough in the first half to earn himself a starting spot on the Sally League All Star team.

Engel at 20, is young for his level and has a very bright future. He needs to show some more power and add more muscle to his frame in order to climb up through the ranks and produce at the higher levels. Engel is still a very raw talent who has as good of a chance of becoming a big league star as he does of becoming a career Minor League filler. Engel is a very good sleeper prospect who deserves more publicity and hype than he is getting. Look for him to start 2008 in Lancaster.

Sox Prospects: Reid Engel
MILB.COM: Reid Engel