I know this a little late, but Darnell McDonald has been designated for assignment. He’ll likely suffer the same fate as Marlon Byrd without the suspension. He was a decent fourth outfielder for the past few years, but it was his time to go. With Kalish and Nava surprising everyone with their play he got pushed out. Although I thought Mortensen would get sent down, but he would’ve only lasted a few more weeks if he had stayed with Crawford and Ellsbury returning soon. I would have never guessed he would’ve lasted with the team as long as he did when he first came up. He’ll be missed in the clubhouse and by fans across Red Sox Nation, but it was his time.
The Red Sox looked good tonight in a win over the Marlins for the second straight win putting them in a tie for fourth with the Toronto Blue Jays. They batted around in the eighth and were 7 for 10 with runners in scoring position. This has to be the start of a huge run that puts them in the playoff race, otherwise this season may not be able to be salvaged. Right now it looks bleak, but if they can ride this momentum it could be huge.
Tommorow the Sox have an off day before they go to Wrigley to face the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have the second worst record in the MLB and have proven to be very beatable. With 3 straight very winable games ahead this could be the start of a huge streak that outs the Sox in the top 3 of the division with hope of grabbing at least the second wild card spot. If this doesn’t pan out, come August 1st this team could end up looking very different. So fingers crossed Bobby V’s crew shows up and they do their job.
IN OTHER NEWS: The Red Sox released Marlon Byrd the other day. It surprises me that they would let him go for nothing, or at least leave him in Pawtucket for outfield depth. I enjoyed having him here and I wish him the best (unless he signs with the Yankees.)
The Red Sox are close to signing Taiwanese shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin. He’s 18, but I guess he’s worth more than $2 million, because that’s what he’s getting paid. I hope this signing proves to be worthwhile because I’m skeptical for now.
Today Daisuke Matsuzaka returned to the mound for the first time in over a year. He faced Gio Gonzalez and the Washington Nationals, and he picked up his first loss of 2012 and put the Sox back under .500. Now that sounds terrible, but it wasn’t all bad. Dice-K hadn’t seen big league hitters in over a year so you have to cut him some slack, but the most encouraging sign was his strikeout to walk rate. He struck out 8 and walked only one batter in just 5 innings. Dice-K’s biggest problem has always been walks. In the past would always walk himself into trouble, but find a way to Houdini his way out of it, sometimes. Everyone knew Jonathon Papelbon as a heart attack closer, well Dice-K is a heart attack starter. He was difficult to watch, but I’m not here to talk about his inconsistent past, I’m here to talk about his bright future. Like I mentioned earlier, his 8:1 strikeout to walk ratio was amazing. Hitters have always had trouble hitting Matsuzaka, but he’s struggled because of his control problems.Now if he can duplicate his low walk, high strikeout performance and go even deeper into games, he can become the ace of this staff.
IN OTHER NEWS: To make room for Daisuke Matsuzaka on the roster the Red Sox designated Marlon Byrd for assignment. The Sox now have 10 days to decide whether they want to release him, trade him, or place him on optional waivers to try to send him to Pawtucket. My guess is they’ll try to trade him and see what they can get, and if there’s nothing good they’ll option him where he’ll likely be claimed. Byrd filled in nicely in his short time up in Boston as the team’s primary center fielder. The Sox got him from the Cubs in April trading Michael Bowden and a player to be named later who eventually became Hunter Cervenka. He was just 3 for 47 with a walk for the Cubs, but had a .273/.288/.333 line in Boston. He’s likely done for good in Boston and I’m sure he’ll be missed for about a week and then be forgotten about forever.
FINAL NOTE: Go Celtics! They lead by 5 with about 30 seconds to go in the first half with the season on the line.
As all of Red Sox Nation knows Dustin Pedroia is hurt. He tore his abductor in his right thumb while swinging. This the same injury that sidelined Kevin Youkilis for the end of the of the 2010 season. The only reason Pedroia doesn’t need surgery, like Youk did, is because Youk’s abductor was torn off the bone because he continued to play with it. So Pedroia doesn’t end up with the same fate as Youk, he’s taking a few games off, but we don’t know how long he’ll be held out. While he’s out Nick Punto has been given the role of second base, but his struggles at the plate have made him a bit of a liability. I have an idea that may seem crazy, but it very well could solve multiple problems. Will Middlebrooks is the answer. Now immediately you think I’m crazy, but it’s not really far-fetched at all. He hardly, if ever, played anywhere but shortstop and pitcher in high school and college, but the Red Sox moved to third while playing at Class-A. He’s a natural shortstop, so second shouldn’t be too much of a challenge even if he hasn’t played middle infield for a while. This not only would solve the second base issue, but the third base one as well. Without Middlebrooks pushing Youk to third and Gonzalez to right you don’t have to sacrifice speed in the outfield, which has at times hurt us. This gives the Sox’s the ability to give them the best hitting lineup they can every night. If this idea was presented to Bobby V, I wouldn’t be surprised if he went with it, because he loves unique ways to make the team better. Personally I love the idea, but I’m not so sure it will happen but it would work.
UPDATE: Apparently Bobby V discussed this possibility before the game today, so it could happen.
Today the Red Sox acquired Marlon Byrd from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Michael Bowden and a player to be named later. I have mixed feelings about this move. On one hand it’s nice to have an experienced center fielder, but is it a pressing need? Not really. After what unfolded today Ben Cherrington should have put center on the back burner and focused on relief. The thing I like most about at this move though, is how much we have to pay. Bowden’s not the top prospect he once was and he really needed a change pf scenery before he was going to have success at the big league level. Also, the Sox only have to pay $400k of his $6.5 million contract. This move is either a hit or miss, and who knows we might be able to flip him to somebody for relief help.
After being featured on mlbtraderumors.com I got some love and a lot of hate. I meant to respond to the comments right away, but life and laziness got in the way. Now I’m finally going to talk about all your critical points.
First off I’ll admit I forgot to mention Marlon Byrd. He’s a good fit, but that’ll be saved for a little later.
I got some heat about Spilborghs and not backing it up. I know he’s not a star, but with a platoon with Sweeney and/or Kalish he’d work nicely. He can hit for a decent average with a little pop. The lineup doesn’t need much work and Spilborghs just enough to help out the team. A .272/.345/.423 line isn’t that bad, better than Drew’s last year.
Johnny Damon’s arm took some hits as well. Sure, the guy can’t throw, but Crawford can play right and Damon fits in at left. This wasn’t a list of perfect fits it was basically just the available outfielders.
Lastly the comparison between Sweeney and Gonzalez was their hitting styles not performance. They both are powerful opposite field hitters. The reason why Sweeney hasn’t shown it much is his struggles with big league pitching, and the Coliseum didn’t help either.
I hope that helped clear up any confusion. If not complain so more, it gives me more ideas. Thank you.