Tagged: David Ortiz

Nava Should Start


Daniel Nava

Daniel Nava (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Tomorrow David Ortiz is expected to be activated and Jackie Bradley Jr. is expected to be optioned to AAA to make room for Papi. That is exactly how the Sox had planned for this to go. Following those two moves Jonny Gomes was supposed to move from the DH role to left field, but there could be a change of plans.

 

Nobody expected Daniel Nava to get off the start that he has. In 10 games he’s batted .324/.429/.618 and I know it’s a small sample size, but it’s all we’ve got so far and why not ride the hot bat? Nava’s also has 3 home runs this year, 2 more than all other Red Sox outfielders combined. He’s also tied for second on the team with 9 RBIs and tide for fifth on the team with 6 runs scored. So, not only is he getting on base and scoring runs, he’s also driving them in.

 

Compare that to Jonny Gomes whose hit just about as well as Jackie Bradley Jr., so not very good. He has taken his fair share of walks, leading the team with nine, and has a higher OBP than Nava with .433. Other than that though Gomes’ bat has been dead. As long as Nava continues to perform at the rate he’s at and Gomes continues to under perform there’s no reason to start Gomes over Nava.

 

Also Nava’s defense in left has been impressive. He may not be a gold glover, but he plays very well in left field. The thing that impresses me the most about Nava’s defense is how quickly he gets the ball back into the infield. He’s turned a few doubles into singles by just playing the ball off the wall quickly and firing the ball back in. He’s like Dustin Pedroia in the outfield, he never stops hustling  always giving a 100%.We’ve only seen Gomes in left for two innings this year, but from I’ve seen from him, which isn’t too much, he’s not quite as quick as Nava. It may be a minimal difference, but if you can hold a couple more guys at first rather than letting them get a double, it could end up saving some critical runs throughout the year.

 

One last thing in regards to Monday’s attack at the Marathon. The One Fund has been started by Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino  to help those affected by the tragic events. If you’d like to donate you can here. Also 47 Brand has new “Boston Strong” hats with all proceeds going to The One Fund.

 

Was it Worth it?


Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr. (Photo credit: paul.hadsall)

Jackie Bradley Jr. hasn’t exactly been a star so far this year, yet the Red Sox have been just fine without production from him. For all the people who said that he could be the difference between making the playoffs or missing them by a game or two. I think it’s safe to say that that point of view has been proven to be incorrect. Now that leads to the question, was all that trouble even worth it? It’s already started to take it’s toll and it hasn’t exactly benefited anyone. Bradley has gotten a good look at major league pitching and now knows he can’t hit it, but other than that the Red Sox or any of their players have had any benefit from this.

I was shocked when I saw the headline on MLBTR and found out Mauro Gomez had been claimed by the Toronto Blue Jays. A capable Major League bat gone out of the Sox system because of Bradley. This could haunt the Sox especially if injuries start to pile up for the Sox like they have in the past. It also adds depth to the enemy which is never good. It may seem like I’m making a big deal over spilt milk, and that may be the case, but it could turn into something more. With the recent luck of the Sox I’d bet that it will become something bigger. Hopefully I’m wrong, but I’m still a little nervous about this whole situation.

Another issue is the service clock. It has begun for JBJ and it seemingly has gone to waste. I realize he’ll likely be sent down and we’ll still have control in 2019 but these few games could be the difference between him being a Super Two or having just the regular 3 years of arbitration. That could help save a few million dollars in the future which is always nice. Would those few millions be worth the few games he’s played thus far and some September games? I’d say no at this point. Which leads back to the question is it worth it?

Now it’s not all bad. The experience Bradley has gained is invaluable and when he does eventually gets sent back down, he’ll know exactly what to work on to get better and become a great major leauger. Despite all of that we are still left with that underlying question that’ll always remain; was it worth it?

The Situation at Short


Stephen Drew has a concussion and the reports on him seem to get worse as each day passes by. He’s left the team to get further reports on his health and is expected to begin the season on the DL. With the money he’s getting on a one year deal it’s safe to say that this news is more than a little disappointing. Also this leaves a gaping hole in the position that hasn’t been found a permanent owner since Nomar occupied it and there isn’t exactly a plethora of option for the Sox to pick from.

Jose Iglesias: Iglesias is the favorite to get the job and his strong spring has bolstered his chance to make the team. Iglesias was projected to be the Red Sox shortstop in 2012 a few years back, but as we all know that did not happen. There has never been a question about his fielding ability, but his bat has raised several question marks. He’s yet prove he can be a productive hitter in the major league or really at any level for that matter. He did spend time working out with Dustin Pedroia this Winter and maybe that work has paid off and he can finally reach his full potential.

Pedros Ciriaco:  Ciriaco stormed on to the scene last season when he played phenomenally in a short stretch at the end of the year. He is a great fastball hitter, but the second the pitch moves Ciriaco looks lost. Obviously with time he’ll be able to learn how to pick up the breaking ball, but do want to wait for that from your starting shortstop? If you want to wait for progression you might as well go with the top prospect in Iglesias. Like Iglesias there aren’t any questions with his defense. I can definitely see the Sox choosing Ciriaco to start at short I just question if it’d be the right choice.

Brock Holt: Holt is your traditional utility infielder. Can hold his own at every infield position, but won’t hit too much for you. Holt came over to the Red Sox in the Joel Hanrahan trade and was expected to battle with Ciriaco for the utility infielder spot and he has been outperformed by Ciriaco thus far and it doesn’t appear as if that’ll change. Odds are the only way he’s making the team is on the bench.

Xander Bogaerts: Bogaerts, whose name I’ll never be able to spell correctly on my first try, has about a 0.0000001% chance of starting the season as the Red Sox starting shortstop, (and that may be a stretch) but never say never I suppose. He’s one of, if not the, top prospects in the Red Sox system and has a lot of people excited about his future. He’s excelled at every level and appears to be just a couple of years away from being major league ready. MLB.com’s Jonathon Mayo believes that he’ll be ready for next year. The Sox could start him at the beginning of the season to see how he fares against top-level competition, but that would cause them to use an option and start his service time clock. Neither of those things are something the Sox want to do, so I highly doubt they would go this route.

 

Who’s the DH?


David Ortiz

David Ortiz (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

As many of you know there’s a very good chance that David Ortiz will open the 2013 on the DL with a heel injury. This heel injury is said to have nothing to do with the Achilles injury that sidelined him for much of last season. I seriously doubt that that is the case because the Achilles attached the heel to the ankle and it would make sense that a partially torn Achilles tendon would relate to pain in the heel, but I’m no doctor. Anyways, with this injury the Sox are left with an opening at DH and with no concrete way to fill the hole. Some options to take his spot on the roster are Lyle Overbay, Mike Carp, Ryan Lavarnway, Mauro Gomez, Jeremy Hazlebaker, or everyone’s favorite Red Sox this spring Jackie Bradley Jr.

Of all of the option I mentioned the only one who projects to make the Opening Day roster is Mike Carp. If he does take over the DH spot in Papi’s absence then the most likely candidate to take the open roster spot would be Lyle Overbay. Overbay would serve as the backup first baseman behind Mike Napoli and a left-handed bat off the bench, the same roles Carp is projected to have now.  Carp and Overbay could also split time at DH especially if Carp struggles early on, but that’s unlikely. I think Carp would be the best option, because, aside from Overbay whose far pat his prime, he’s the only one whose had success at the big league level. It may not have been much success but putting up decent numbers in limited play time at Safeco is better than anything else the Sox have.

Ryan Lavarnway is an interesting case. When the Red Sox signed David Ross it appeared that Lavarnway would be the odd man out, but Ortiz’s injury has given him some hope of making the Opening Day roster. Unfortunately, his numbers this spring aren’t helping his cause at all. He has just 5 hits in 33 at bats with only one of them being an extra base hit. Another thing working against him is he’s right-handed. In an already right-handed heavy lineup, Ortiz provided power from left side, but Lavarnway would just add another righty to the lineup which would make creating matchups fairly easy for opposing managers. One thing he could do is be a right-handed complement to Mike Carp, but other than that I don’t see any way of Lavarnway getting the job.

Mauro Gomez got a chance to showcase his ability in last years debacle and actually played rather nicely. He fits the mold of a DH, but has the same issue as Lavarnway, he’s a righty and his spring numbers are very similar. I can see him as a much more likely candidate to platoon with Carp. This is because the Sox aren’t concerned with him getting playing time and consistent at bats like they are with Lavarnway. Also Gomez is more versatile as he can play both first and third. I definitely think Gomez will be given serious consideration for the job.

Jeremy Hazelbaker is the longest of long shots, but I’ve heard his name mentioned in the discussion. He’s a lefty, so that’s one positive. He’s got some power and a lot of speed, in 2010 he stole 63 bases in 80 attempts. The big issue is he’s already been sent to minor league camp and I doubt they’d bring him back up, but the more I think about it he does seem like a good fit, but his lack of experience (7 AAA games) is a strong enough case against him to say it’s not going to happen.

The scenario that everyone is talking about is Johnny Gomes DHing and Jackie Bradley Jr. starting in left. Bradley is having a monster spring and it seems as if everyone believes he’s ready to be an everyday major leaguer. He’s expected to take over center field after Jacoby Ellsbury departs, if he actually does, following this year, but people are saying his time is now. This situation has created a very convenient situation for Bradley, but I don’t see it happening, at least not right away. The first issue is he’s never played a game above the AA level, but it wouldn’t be the first time a players skipped the AAA level. Also at some point in late April, the date I’m not sure of, the Red Sox gain extra year of control over Bradley. If they wanted Bradley on the major league roster they’d most likely wait for that date because a few early season games in April isn’t worth a year of service.  This seems to be the scenario that’s being talked about, but I still believe it’s a long shot for Opening Day.

These aren’t the only option the Sox have to choose from , but they seem the most likely. Who knows though, they could decide to rotate players in the DH slot or pick a guy who I never suspected. All things considered I think on Opening Day we’ll see Mike Carp as the Red Sox DH.

 

The Injury Bug is Already Biting


Spring Training has just begun, but bad news has already come out of the Red Sox camp. Felix Doubront, Clay Buchholz, and David Ortiz have all had news regarding their health come out and none of it has been positive. Doubront has suffered a “setback” in his throwing shoulder, Buchholz has an issue with his hamstring, and Ortiz still hasn’t gotten over his Achilles injury (or Bobby Valentine but that’s a different story). All three of these injuries are huge blows to the Red Sox. If none of these guys are 100% for Opening Day, the Sox are down 2 of their top 3 starters and their most productive hitter. This a team that has a shot at making the postseason, but their not overly talented so every game matters and getting off to a good start is critical to their success. If their is a bright side to this it’s that a couple of the younger guys could get an extended look not just in Spring Training, but potentially in April. Steven Wright and Rubby De La Rosa would be the 2 most likely candidates to fill those roles and Mauro Gomez or even Ryan Lavarnway to replace Papi. Either way spring games haven’t even started yet and the future is already starting to look bleak. Hopefully, none of these injuries are serious and they can all come back at full strength and be ready to go Opening Day.

Sox Update


So I know I’ve been away for a little while, but I’m back, for now anyways. Since I last wrote a lot has happened, so here’s a condensed version of what I planned on writing about, but never did.

First off, a couple of key guys have landed on the DL. Scott Atchison and David Ortiz have been placed on the 15 day DL for a sore wrist and heel respectively. Atchison (my favorite Sox) was huge for the team out of the bullpen this year. He assumed the role vacated by Alfredo Aceves. He’s thrived in the role, but hasn’t got the praise that Aceves did last year. That hasn’t bothered him though, as he has been one of, if not the most, consistent reliever. Many people believe that the increase in workload is the cause of the injury and he just needs some rest. Ortiz was injured in a much stranger way. On Monday night Papi injured his heel rounding the bases on Adrian Gonzalez’s home run. To replace them the Red Sox called up Junichi Tazawa and Mauro Gomez. Both these guys have played in the big leagues this year, so this isn’t new to them. Tazawa has been excellent this  year while Gomez’s bat has outshined his glove by far. They both are depth moves and both will help.

Another big headline is that the Red Sox are aggressively pursuing Ryan Dempster. Although the Red Sox front office denied the rumor it doesn’t surprise me that they are making a push for a quality starting pitcher. The downside to this is that Dempster might not be all he’s cracked up to be. He’s having a career year, but his numbers could revert back to the Dempster of old. Now Dempster has always been a quality starter, but they’d have to pay the price of a top tier starter. Also they’d be negotiating with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, two guys who know the Sox’s farm system very well. The price would be steeper than normal, because neither guy could be tricked. I like Dempster, but I’m not sure how much.

Brent Lillibridge was designated for assignment on Monday. To be honest this move shocked me, because despite his near terrible performance (but a small sample size) he was just acquired and it seems strange that they just gave up  on him. I expected them to option Nava, because he doesn’t fit in with the team anymore. At least Lillibridge would provide outfield and infield depth rather than just left field. It makes more sense to me, but Bobby does love Nava so I’m sure it’ll work out somehow.

Darnell McDonald was DFA’d by the Yankees. He’ll likely be released later this week.

Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury both have returned and are fitting in quite nicely. It’s like they’ve never missed a game. Sadly, Crawford has got his  name in the headlines for the wrong reasons. He made some comments on how he  and Terry Francona never really got along. He thought he was too quick to drop him in the lineup which frustrated him and impacted his entire season. He also has had his name floated around in trade talks including a blockbuster  with the Marlins, which I’ll talk about in a full post.

So that’s all I got for you even though I’m sure I missed something, but whatever it doesn’t matter I’ll find out and somehow fit it in somewhere eventually, but if I don’t I’m sorry.

Could Ben Blow it Up?


Yesterday I wrote a post talking about how the Red Sox can turn it around this year. Today I’m going to look at the negative side to it. It’s obvious that there are problems with this team, but can they be fixed is the question. If the answer is no then it would be time to say goodbye to some of your favorite Red Sox players. Now Ben Cherrington has not been one to make a huge move so far, so whether or not he’s ready to do something like this remains to be seen.

To start off this wonderful rebuilding process, you begin with the obvious. Dump off Kevin Youkilis somewhere. There would be a lot of salary eaten and there wouldn’t be a very large return, but it would at least take Gonzalez out of right and get Middlebrooks in everyday. Now this would be a simple trade and could get done really quickly and should be done regardless of where they stand.

The next guy I would move may surprise you, but it would be the best thing the team could do. Trade Jacoby Ellsbury. Now that seems radical, but in reality it would be great. Everyone wants Ellsbury locked up after one good year, but why not trade him when his values at an all time high. When his value is this high GMs will turn a blind eye towards his injury history which has cost the Red Sox a lot of games.  Also his attitude and commitment to the team have been put into to question before, so there’s also a clubhouse factor in play as well. I good match up would be the Washington Nationals with their search for a center fielder and plethora of prospects would work perfectly.

The next guy yo go would have to be Jon Lester. Lester has been a huge part of the Red Sox ever since he took the mound for the first time at Fenway, but it might be time to say goodbye. He’s a guy who could produce a very nice return and could help almost any contender. There isn’t a true perfect trade partner for him, because he can go almost anywhere.

With a complete rebuild, David Ortiz would have to go too. An impact bat whose off to a scorching start is sure to generate some interest. I don’t think he’d get a huge return, I’m sure at least one impact prospect would be part of the deal. Papi’s loved in Boston, but Boston loves the team itself more, and in a few years they’d be happy with who they got.

Catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach are nice trade chips as well. Salty’s off to an amazing start to what could be a career year for him. That just makes him more valuable. Shoppach has been screwed out of playing time and could be traded for a hit or miss guy which wouldn’t be bad. All in all these 2 guys could pick up 3 or 4 prospects.

Daisuke Matsuzaka could be a name floated around as well. It could be a similar trade with what the Sox got with Erik Bedard. Nothing spectacular, but enough to say you got something worthwhile. He, like Lester could help almost any contender.

Many other guys could sent out also, like Alfredo Aceves, Mike Aviles, Nick Punto, Matt Albers, Vincente Padilla, Cody Ross, and Josh Beckett. Come August Bobby V might be throwing out a line up looking something like this.

DH Daniel Nava

2B Dustin Pedroia

1B Adrian Gonzalez

C Ryan Lavarnway

3B Will Middlebrooks

LF Carl Crawford

RF Ryan Kalish

CF Ryan Sweeney

SS Jose Iglesias

All in all it doesn’t look too bad of a lineup. I had to stick Nava at DH, because with a full outfield and no DH he fit in right there and Bobby V always finds a spot for him. Rebuilding could be good or it could be bad we just have to trust Ben to make the right choices.