Tagged: Clayton Mortensen

Can Alex Wilson Stick?


When John Lackey landed on the DL with a right bicep strain, the Red Sox decided to call up reliever Alex Wilson to add some length to the bullpen with Alfredo Aceves moving to the starting rotation. A lot has changed since then, Lackey has returned, Aceves is gone, Daniel Bard and Ryan Lavarnway have both had brief cups of coffee with the team, and Joel Hanrahan hit the DL and since returned. Through all of that Alex Wilson has been there and pitched surprisingly well. In 6 appearances he’s pitched 6 shutout innings allowing just 4 hits and 3 walks and has struck out 4. Now he hasn’t pitched in any high leverage situations, but still numbers he’s still been impressive. Clayton Mortensen whose been in a similar role has not pitched quite as well. In 7 appearances he’s pitched 9.2 innings allowing 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks and has struck out 11. So the question is once the team is fully healthy could Alex Wilson still be with the team? Alfredo Aceves is gone leaving an open bullpen spot and he’s out-pitched another pitcher in a similar role, so I believe he has the ability to remain with the team and contribute in an even bigger role than he’s in right now. We’ll find out soon out his fate with Craig Breslow and Franklin Morales both returning soon. I hope that he will survive the return of the two lefties and continue to contribute to the team.

 

Aceves Forcing His Way Out?


Alfredo Aceves

Alfredo Aceves (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Tonight’s game did not go well at all. Nothing went right from hitting, to pitching, and even fielding. The starter, Alfredo Aceves, made matters worse following the game with his comments. Aceves refused to take accountability for his poor performance on the field. He blamed the weather, the umpires, and even his own teammates for the loss, but not himself. This goes against the “good guy” mantra that the Sox have been trying to buy into, and as long as Aceves is around they’ll never fully achieve that.

 

This isn’t the first time Aceves has caused a stir. Last year his relationship with manager Bobby Valentine was well documented and by the end of the year he and Valentine were no longer on speaking terms, and I doubt they’ll ever speak again. This year he created problems in Spring Training when he and John Farrell had a misunderstanding when Aceves was throwing BP for someone. That blew over quickly, but he found himself in more trouble when he went to go represent Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. During a game between Mexico and Canada a Canadian batter was hit intentionally after Canada tried to run up the score. A brawl ensued and Aceves was right in the middle of it throwing punches. He was eventually restrained by Larry Walker and Walker said that he, “Saw the Devil in [Aceves’] eyes”. Clearly, he’s had his fair share of mishaps due to his character and attitude. This has always caused rumours about whether or not the Sox would keep him.

 

Personally, at this point in the year Aceves is way to valuable to get rid of. The Sox would be able to net a semi-decent return for him, but it wouldn’t be worth what he provides for the Sox on the field. Having him as a swingman (someone who can be used as a starter and a reliever) is much better than a couple if hit or miss reliever prospects. The swingman has become a bit of lost art as many teams decide to use the spot in their bullpen for another quality arm rather than shoving a starter in the pen, but it comes in handy when your starters back tightens up 30 minutes before the game and can’t pitch. The swingman saves you from a dreaded bullpen game and saves your bullpen as well. What makes Aceves so valuable is that he’s also a very good reliever, and not just a long man. With the Sox injury history in recent years I’d feel more comfortable with Alfredo Aceves as a spot starter then Clayton Mortensen. Although I don’t particularly like Aceves as a person he’s too valuable to this team to get rid of.

 

 

Game 6: @ Blue Jays


Lester (1-0) v. Dickey (0-1)

I’m back! I doubt you really care but I’m here and ready to do another review. I was away from all technology pretty much Friday and Saturday and missed both games. I was pretty P.O.ed but I watched all of today’s game and I feel much better.

Will Middlebrooks came into today’s game with half of the teams home runs. He left the game also having half of the teams home runs. The difference was the Sox had 8 homers on the season rather than 2. Middlebrooks had arguably the best game of his career going 4 for 5 hitting 3 homers and knocking in 4 runs. He missed a record tying 4th by what couldn’t of been much more than 20 feet. It was a remarkable performance, but did it lead the Sox to a win?

Robert Allen did not have his best stuff today. Last year the reigning NL Cy Young award winner had given up 4 first inning runs all year. Today he gave up 5. R.A. Dickey struggled through all 4.2 innings he pitched. Along with those 5 first inning runs, he gave up 8 runs (7 earned). The knuckleball just wasn’t working for him today and the Sox pounded him. Dave Bush relieved Dickey but there wasn’t much relief. He gave up 5 runs in his 3 innings of work. Then Brett Cecil saved the day, kinda. He finished  the game allowing only a walk but the damage had already been done. Along with Middlebrooks 3 homers Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli, and Daniel Nava all homered as well.

On the other side was vintage Jon Lester. He looked like pre-September 2011 Lester and it was a beautiful sight to watch. He shutout the Blue Jays for 7 solid innings. He allowed just 5 hits with 6 strikeouts and no walks. They couldn’t of asked for much more from him and he appears to be backed to his old self. I realize it’s only been 2 games against lineups missing key pieces, but it’s encouraging nevertheless. Clayton Mortensen finished off the game pitching 2 shutout innings giving up just 2 hits and striking out 4

In the end the Sox coasted to a 13-0 blowout victory. It was a great way to end the road trip and got me excited for tomorrow’s home opener against the Orioles. Also the Sox were the only AL East team to win today and hold sole possession of the first place in division for the first time since early September in 2011. We all know what happened after that, but we can forget that and just be happy that we’re back in first. Hopefully we can hang on to the top spot, but it’s early and a lot will change over the next 6 months.

Player of the Game: Will Middlebrooks: 4 for 5 3 HRs, 1 2B, 4 RBIs

6 games down 156 to go.

Padilla to the DL


Today the Red Sox announced that they placed Vicente Padilla on the DL and recalled Clayton Mortensen. The Red Sox said in a press release:

“The Boston Red Sox today placed right-handed pitcher Vicente Padilla on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to August 6) with right arm tightness and recalled right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen from Triple-A Pawtucket.  Mortensen will be active for today’s game against the Rangers at Fenway Park.”

It’s a pretty big blow to the Sox, because Padilla has been a big part of their bullpen and they’ve lost a late inning reliever. Who will fill the eight inning role remains to be seen, but it may end up being Mark Melancon, who acquired to fill that role. Also Andrew Bailey could return very soon as he needs just three more rehab appearances before returning and his next two are scheduled for today and tomorrow.

File:Vicente Padilla on May 22, 2012.jpg

Deadline Review


In the past two days there’s been a flurry of roster moves made by the Red Sox in the past couple days. Yesterday the Red Sox said in a press release:

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox today placed outfielder Ryan Sweeney on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured bone in his left hand and recalled both outfielder Ryan Kalish and right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen from Triple-A Pawtucket.  Kalish and Mortensen will be active for tonight’s game against the Tigers at Fenway Park.  Additionally, the club today activated right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter from the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Sweeney is likely done for the season if the Sox miss the playoffs, but he may return for the final games of the season.  Kalish is returning to the Sox after a brief and largely unsuccessful stint in the majors earlier this year. Mortensen was called up to fill the open spot Albers left, until Craig Breslow arrived which was just a few minutes ago. Chris Carpenter has missed the entire year with a right elbow surgery. He was the compensation received by the Sox for Theo Epstein.

Now on to the trades. Yesterday the Sox made two trades. The first was the Sox acquiring lefty Craig Breslow from the Arizona Diamondbacks for right-handed Matt Albers and Scott Podsednik. This move was made to give the Sox bullpen flexibility, so that Franklin Morales could be put back into the starting rotation. I like this move, because Morales had been very effective as a starter and I love that he’ll be returning to this role. Also the bullpen doesn’t lose anything, because Breslow is a great left reliever. I am a huge Albers and Podsednic fan, but there wasn’t a need for either of them (although you can never have enough pitching.)

The other trade was between the Cleveland Indians and the BoSox. The Sox acquired righty, knuckleballer Steven Wright for first baseman Lars Anderson. This a great move, because it brings everyone’s favorite pitch, the knuckleball. Also, Lars needed to be moved, because he had been blocked for a long while now and I’m glad they got a good return for him. Another great thing is that Tim Wakefield will work with Wright, so he’ll be taught well.

Today there were a few more roster moves that took place. Daniel Nava was placed on the DL with a sprained left wrist and able to be activated on Sunday August 12th. Ryan Lavarnway was recalled from Pawtucket to take his place. Clayton Mortensen was optioned to AAA to make room for Craig Breslow who was added to the 25-man roster.

And with that, that’s all the Red Sox have done the past two days. Ben Cherrington is a very busy man.

Germano Called Up; McDonald to the Bronx


First of all Happy Fourth to you all, as we all celebrate our countries birthday. Sadly, it was not a happy day for the Sox. The Oakland A’s completed a 3-game sweep of the Sox. And now on to the news from today.

After last nights loss to the A’s, the Sox did exactly what I said they wouldn’t. That was option Clayton Mortensen to AAA and recalled Justin Germano. He’s pitching fairly  well in Pawtucket in 16 starts. With Morales working out of the pen today and scheduled to start in the series against the Yankees, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Germano take on the Yankees at some point.

Speaking of the devil, one of our own has joined the dark side. Darnell McDonald was claimed of waivers by the New York Yankees. He’ll join the team tomorrow for the series against the Red Sox. This move makes almost no sense as the Yankees already have a plethora outfielders who have all played better than McDonald. He may be a slight upgrade defensively to some guys, but not enough  to want to play him over anyone. He also adds a little speed to the  bench too, but not enough where they’d be compelled to DFA a reliever and overcrowd the bench. So what I’m getting at is this isn’t a baseball move, it’s just a big F U to the Red Sox from Brian Cashman. I wish Darnell the best, but I just hope he doesn’t help the Yankees too much.

Dice-K Back to DL; Gomez Gets the Call; Jenks Let Go


A busy day for the Red Sox as they made 4 roster moves. Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the DL with a stiff neck, Mauro Gomez was recalled from AAA, Bobby Jenks was released, and the contract of Justin Germano opted out of his contract.

Dice-K’s returning right back where his 2012 season began, the DL. This time it’s for something a lot less serious, just a stiff neck. Still it’s another set back in the up and down career of Daisuke Matsuzaka. In all honesty though, I think this is best for the team as he became the least reliable member of the pitching staff. At this point I’m sure  everyone would rather see Franklin Morales and Aaron Cook take the mound, then see Dice-K at this point. With a somewhat under performing and overcrowded pitching  staff you can’t have mediocre performances like Dice-K was giving, so I truly believe that the team is better with Dice-K not on it.

Now to replace Dice-K the Sox added some needed infield depth with corner infielder Mauro Gomez. He’s a true first basemen, but has a little experience as a third basemen and that’s where Bobby intends to use him with Middlebrooks’ health in question. He’s more depth for a short  bench that only has Brent Lillibridge and Kelley Shoppach. Gomez  signed as a free agent with the Sox this year. Aside from a quick stint with the big league club he’s been in Pawtucket all year and has played exceptionally well. With a slash line of .311/.366/.614 and 19 home runs and 55 RBI he earned the starting DH role in the International League All Star Game. He probably won’t play much, because he’s there for a worst case scenario. He’s a good hitter, but his lacking defense will keep him away from the starting lineup.

Probably the most surprising the news of  the day is the release of Bobby Jenks. The only reason it is so surprising is, because I forgot we even had him. Bobby Jenks’ tenure with the BoSox is the definition of a good idea gone bad. The deal was universally praised by baseball analysts from far and wide. The bullpen looked unstoppable with a 7,8,9  combo of Daniel Bard, Jenks, and Jonathon Papelbon what could wrong? The answer was everything. As you know none of those 3 are with the team anymore and now Bard is only one left in the entire organization with Pap in Philly and now Jenks getting cut. Everything with Jenks as Red Sox was a disaster. From his terrible outings, to the injuries, and then the surgery death scare, and lastly the DUI, he could never get his life together. I do feel terrible for the guy though. He went from a dominant closer to almost out of the game. I’ll be amazed if he gets another chance anywhere, but I sure hope he does. He doesn’t deserve the fate given to him, but he may never get another chance again.

Lastly, Justin Germano has decided to exercise his opt out clause for his contract. The Sox now have 48 hours to decide whether they want to add him to the 25 man roster or let him go.  Some people believe Clayton Mortensen may be sent down to make room for the reliever. I doubt a move will be made, because Mortensen’s been effective in his time with the team. He’ll likely be let go on Thursday and become a free agent, and I wish him the best.