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.
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.
Sorry once again for the absence. Today will be my catch up day.
Compensation for Theo suggestion: Take Lackey and Jenks too. Give us Garza.
Then we package Garza with Bowden, Doubront or Miller, Reddick, Lowrie, and either Tejeda or Pimentel for Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo. Then we sign Willingham for one year. Re-sign CoJack and sign Andruw Jones and Jose Molina to round out the bench.
Why it would work: For what we’d be giving the Cubs it seems like a fair enough deal to get Garza in return. Then shipping him to San Francisco would be a huge package for Lincecum and Romo. The Giants would have to at least consider it. And also, signing Conner Jackson, Josh Willingham Andruw Jones, and Jose Molina wouldn’t be to bad of a deal.
Why it wouldn’t work: They’re are plenty of flaws with this proposition. First of all Garza is the Cubs ace, and they don’t want to part with him. They also don’t want another washed up pitcher with a huge contract like Lackey when they already have Carlos Zambrano. They could want Jenks, but it’s unlikely that he’d serve much of purpose there. In the other half of deal the first that doesn’t work is that involves Tim Lincecum. He’s probably the biggest piece in San Fransico, and they never want to lose him. Also the package for them is a bit ridiculous. The front office loves Reddick, Lowrie, and Doubront, and are too valuable to the Sox after they lost they’re top three prospects last year. Lastly, I don’t have a problem with signing Josh Willingham, Andruw Jones, and Jose Molina, but resigning Conner Jackson just isn’t a good idea. He can’t hit very well anymore, plus he’s nothing special on defense besides his slightly above average arm.
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