Prospects for the finish

Can Clay Buchholz pitch out of the bullpen on a short-term basis? Let’s see, bases loaded, nobody out, tie game, sixth inning, nerves running through him. He gets out of it with no runs. I think the kid can handle it.

This is one of the more interesting stretch runs in recent Red Sox memory because of the youth factor. What role will Buchholz play in the postseason? I think for exactly what he did last night. Come in during a tie or tight game and fire two or three innings. Of course, there is the innings dilemma. He’s now at about 143, which gives him 12 to 15 left during the season. Can that be extended a little during the postseason? That is the big question.

Then there is the case of Ellsbury. Manny will probably be back in the lineup in a week or so. Who sits? Ellsbury or Drew? There’s going to be a large public outcry for Ellsbury to get the bulk of the at-bats, we all know that. But that could have ramifications beyond this season. Burying Drew in year one of a five-year contract? Not sure where the Red Sox would be able to go from there. Also, Ellsbury barely has any experience in right field, not that he couldn’t make that adjustment. As I was typing all this, Drew belted a double to left.

Maybe by the time Manny comes back, Drew will be hot again and Ellsbury will have cooled off. These are tough choices for a manager to make. Then again, they are good types of decisions.

It’s interesting that Brandon Moss is going to play first base in the Dominican this winter. Manny, Coco, Drew and Ellsbury fill out the outfield. By going to first, perhaps Moss creates a way to make the team next year. Could he be next year’s Eric Hinske with more at-bats? I suppose a lot of that depends on what happens with Lowell this winter. Would the Red Sox consider going with Moss at first and Youkilis at third?

I’m just throwing it all out there. That’s all.

More later,

Ian.

25 Comments

Ian, you know that my vote as to who sits will be JD Drew. It’s not the Trot issue, it’s the fact that he can’t get or stay hot. I think that Jacoby is the one to get the AB’s in this case.

Cabrera is a PUNK. The tallest guy on the field throws at the smallest guy on the field.

Do we think this guy Cabrera has some issues?? Can you say “anger management” can you say big dollar fine and suspension?? I don’t think that there is any room in sports, whether it is baseball, hockey, football or whatever for that kind of behavior. Little leaguers behave better than that, maybe not the parents, but the players.

Specualtion on what happened there with the brawl. Boston.com said perhaps someone yelled something out of the Red Sox dugout when Cabrera was in his windup with Crisp at 3b. Cabrera balked as we all know and that lead to a run.

Cabrera as we all know has a 2 cent head. They’ve always questioned his makeup. He has the hardware as they say but not the software.

Red Sox don’t have to answer back on the beaning this weekend. Remember they have the Orioles about 19 times next year. Sox don’t want any suspensions coming down the stretch. We’ll see if they answer back this weekend.

If they do Beckett with his 96 m.p.h. heater will do the job. Line someone up in the ribs, do not throw at there head. I have ZERO respect for a pitcher if he throws at someone’s head.

M.L.B. should come down hard if someone throws at someone’s head. Big suspension and a heavy fine. That to me has no place in baseball.

If indeed something was yelled from the Sox dugout then that was somewhat bush league. It seems very similar to A-Rod’s “mine” incident in Toronto. Still however, doing what Cabrera did has no place in Major League Baseball.

I think that is bushleague as well rizzo. Play the game right. We’ll see if that is the case.

For a Cabrera/Lester ballgame, going to the 9th inning at 10 PM is a very manageable night.

Good outing by Lester, I’m really glad to see it.
I hope Matsuzaka gets plenty of rest tonight and doesn’t have one of his “sleepy” innings tomorrow/

Life is good, we at least stay up 6 1/2.. Go Royals!!!

See y’all tomorrow.

Same Sox time, same Sox channel.

Hi everybody! I’ve been busy for sooo long. But I’m back and look! the Sox are doing great! Sure, they should have won Wednesday’s game–both the bullpen and the hitters blew that one– but all-in-all things are going swimmingly for the Sox.

I want to throw in my 2 cents on the Francona debate:

I’ll start with the negative:

1. Through most of the season he has had the habit of leaving his pitchers(starters) in too long. Now, however, he seems to be correcting that.

2. There were times this year when he showed too much patience with struggling players. True, in most cases he was right, but still…

3. In-game decisions. Often I have wondered, why not pinch-hit for Drew, Lugo, Crisp? The other night; bases loaded, one out. Drew at the plate. I was hoping for a strikeout so that he would not end the inning! PINCH-HIT!

4. Julian Tavarez. Put him back in the pen. No more spot starts.

Ok, on to the positives.

1. He has handled the bullpen this year masterfully. The bullpen is mostly fresh and ready to go for the playoffs, instead of burned out for the post-season. Okajima may be the lone exception.

2. His patience paid off with Pedroia, Crisp and to a lesser extent, Lugo. Oh yea, and Timlin. Drew is hopeless.

3. He handles the media with grace and charm. No small task in rabid Boston. Don’t forget, everything he says is heard by the players that he manages. It’s a little like what Torre does in NY.

4. He keeps these players with their monstrous egos and incomes focused and ready to play. At least, as well as can be done in the modern era.

5.He gives them a good chance to win each night. Look no further than their record for proof of that. If you think the players are winning and cohesive and tight-knit in spite of him then you don’t know what it’s like to manage people. Yes, the players play the games, but if there is an atmosphere of distrust, or envy, or feuding, then the team will not likely win consistently. There have been exceptions, but mostly the teams with that kind of management do not do well.

So on the whole, I think Tito is a very good manager. He’s not perfect, but I manage people all day long,and trust me, it’s not easy!

Great game tonight. I think Lester is BACK.

Youk has had some issues at thrid this year. I guess we could chalk them up to his not playing there very often, but he has been more than masterful around the first base bag. I can’t imagine the Sox weakening their infield next year by having Youk at third and Moss at first. They need to make a real effort to get Lowell signed unless they plan to make a play for A-Rod.

I still don’t believe an additional 20-30 innings is going to kill Bucholz. He could make a major contribution in the stretch run and in post season. I guess the Sox have to weigh the importance of giving themselves the best chance to win vs. the possibility (however remote it might be) Bucholz might hurt himself. I think you play to win.

Manny’s return does present some tough decisions for Francona. Ellsbury has to cool off some, but in every respect, he’s a better alternative to Drew at this point and give the Sox a stronger team on the field. So, again, the question is whether winning is more important that the perceived best interests of one player. Again, I think you play to win and Drew’s interests have to be secondary to the interest of the team.

What an exciting time for Red Sox Nation with all these rookies and minor league prospects. It’s unbelievable and while Tito has some tough decisons to make, how many managers wish they had those decisions? Too many good players and not enough spots for all of them.

The Sox should have won last Wednesday’s game. Alex Cora failed to move the runners on first and second with none out and JD Drew panifully and expectedly hit into DP with bases loaded with one out. And the bull pen gave up 2 home runs.
If Okajima is mentally and physically tired, I would give him a week off to relax at the sunny Carribean and come back refreshed. Okajima up till August is the most effective setup the Sox has for a long time.

Good post arnie, while tito may not be perfect, he’s still very good.

At the risk of having my house stormed by the towns people with pitch forks and lanterns, let me just make a few comments about JD. First and foremost he is having his worst year ever as a major league ball player. All numbers are down no question. But, look at his career numbers. Since 2000 he has averaged 20 homeruns and 65 RBIs a year. Only Lowell, Youk (assuming he gets to 20 homers which may be a stretch, but I’ll give you) Ortiz and Manny will do that this year, and I don’t believe anybody else on the current Sox could do that ever. He also is only 27. While I agree that is close to prime, it is still not quite there. The problem with JD is the contract price for value. In baseball you always look to get value for the dollar and the Sox are upside down. Don’t believe me Read Money Ball.

I just cannot believe that this years production will be indicative of what he will produce over the run of the contract. It defies his body of work thus far in his 10 year career. JD’s mark has always been that he is often injured. That has not been a problem this year. Yes, he’s killing us right now and deserves our tirades, but we may look back on this and say not a bad player, bad contract, but not too bad of a player. Now ellen I know you miss Christopher Trotman Nixon but his 3 homeruns and 31 RBIs and platoon status are not missed that much. I don’t know about the “club house guy” thing. I did see him yelling at Cabrera last night if that’s worth anything.

The biggest problem is the contract, but do we really care? The Sox can obsorb that contract without even blinking. We are not Baltimore who goes out and takes on Albert Belle’s contract from Reinsdorf (white sox) or the Rockies and Mike Hampton (that was 100 million folks) I may be sipping the cool aid here, but I think JD will have a good post season. Who was calling for Bellhorn’s head in the 04 series, I know I was. Tito stuck with him, and we all know what he did when it counted.

So like I tell my law partners about the slime we represents, JD may be a jack***, but he’s our Jack***. Bring it on guys, I posted this so I gotta live with the comments. Keep it civil.

I have been a fan of JD Drew since the signing. Obviously things haven’t worked out this year and it’s going to be tough for him to turn around his season with only 20+ games left to play.

With that being said, we’re stuck with him for the long run. And this is only Year 1. There’s an adjustment that goes along with making the transition from the NL to the AL (ie: Josh Beckett, Edgar Renteria).

He has been too good for too long to think that he’s going to hit .250 for the rest of his career with the Red Sox. I would love to see him have a strong postseason and then bounce back with a solid year next year. I also saw him screaming at Cabrera last night which was surprising, maybe the team energy is infectious.

I think with Moss playing 1b during the winter, it’s a chance for him to make himself more versatile/valuable. I can see Moss playing the Hinske role next year.

What a GREAT outing by Lester last night. If he can pitch like that the rest of the way, the Sox have another good arm to rely on. I am really looking towards next season for Lester, he is going to be sharp for sure. He’ll be at full strength and 1 year removed from his last chemo treatment.

This Orioles team is tanking it down the stretch. Andy McPhail has his work cut out. Joe Girardi I am sure he is very happy he didn’t take the Orioles job. He has his pick where he can go, alot of teams will want him as there manager.

Important start for Dice-K tonight. I want to see him go at least 6 solid innings if not 7 innings. He ran out of gas against Toronto in the 6th his last time out. Very disappointed in Dice-K his last time out. He had a 10-1 lead and couldn’t get out of the inning. Jump on this Orioles team early and often and then Dice-K should be able to hold it. This Orioles team is looking forward to the season ending, they have laid down in the last few weeks.

I did a little research on our buddy JD. In 8 full seasons, I consider 100 games a full season for Drew, otherwise he has only 4 years of 135 or more games, he averages 18 HR’s and 63 RBI’s. He is a .283 lifetime hitter. Batting average is good for a leadoff type guy but is not so important for an RBI man. And that is where Drew is weak, RBI. This was a guy Theo signed for production and he averages 63 RBI a year! 2 years he has had over 90. His next closest to that is 73.
In conclusion: this is not a clutch hitter. It’s not like he played on bad teams where no one was ever on base. Fact is, he has tremendous talent but underachieves. He is not mentally tough, IMO. Theo made a mistake, and there is nowhere to hide him. You don’t pay someone 14 million to ride the bench(well maybe against leftys), so you can’t put Ellsbury in there to be the starter. I suppose you could but it just isn’t done. So Drew could do us all a favor and get some injury, not serious, just enough to keep him out of the lineup.

You have to wonder what Theo was thinking. Drew has had 2 good years since becoming full time in ’99. 2 good years out of 9. More than 2/3 of the time he under-performs.

IMO, I would be happy with a
.283 BA, 18 HR, and 63 RBI as of now. Maybe thast just because he hasn’t performed all year.

I have to totally agree with arnieschmo. JD Drew if you look at his stats is only statistically a “mediocre” player at best. Everyone in the baseball community predicted before spring training even began that Drew would hit if he remained healthy somewhere in the neighborhood of .270 with 13 HRs and 60 RBIs per year. Now that we are six months into the regular season and Mr Drew is struggling to keep his BA above the .250 mark to go along with his puny 7HRs and 49 RBIs there really is no room for debate. Drew is what he is, nothing more, nothing less. He has had six injury free months to show what he is capable of and now we must move on. It is because of this Drew will not be a member of the Redsox next year. Theo took a gamble on Dreew and gave him 70 million hoping in return he would be getting a legitimate RBI guy to go along with Manny and Ortiz but what he got instead is a weak slap hitter with no speed. Everyone remembers Mark Bellhorn and what he did in the playoffs but also remember where he ended up the following season. Expect Drew to go to a West coast national league team at the end of the season.

Wow, with JD continuing to get pummeled by us all, the baseball gods will surely laugh and he will start hitting from here on out !!!

Everyone has set it all already concerning J.D. so let me really shake things up a bit —

What about Dice K and Manny in the post season?

After the Yankee series, seems to mean the Sox are hitting more consistently without Manny?? Manny coming off an injury, he usually takes a while to get hot anyway (especially this year), has hustling issues, and not much time left — ya never know, our hot outfield hitters could be Crisp, Drew and Ellisbury – —

and Dice-K hasn’t been consistent the ENTIRE YEAR — if I were manager, I would be sweating that big time, and continuing to test Buchholz — for three reasons — (1) he seems to hot, (2) more consistent (3) and none of the post season teams have seen him — ever — look what Beckett did the Yankees the first time they saw him in the playoffs — don’t think the RedSOX this year have hit any new pitcher well (infact pathetically) — why not play that card? The only think limiting this kid is this 140 innings nonsense — how many innings does a major pitcher throw anyway 30*7 = 210? come on? too much fear.

Huge difference between Belhorn and Drew. Belhorn wasn’t making 14 million a year.

If the Sox do decide to try to move Drew, it won’t be easy unless they are willing to pay a good portion of his salary.

connorgrace, Drew is nearly 32, not 27. He’s been around a while. The reality is that with Papi and Manny hitting in front of him, and Lowell and Varitek hitting behind him, he should have had a very productive season.

Revising my games estimate down for a ml picther to 25 games, that is still 150-175 innings (at 6-7 innings per game) — enough room for Clay to pitch some more in my book.

Gsm, you correct JD was born in 1975. I don’t know how I came up with 27. I guess I Looked too quickly at his stats and thought it said 1985 As I typed it I remember thinking if he was drafted in 1998 that doesn’t make sense . . . but didn’t think it through. My bad. Hence, he is in his prime years and my post really looks bad. I always thought he was younger. I guess I’ll stand behind the fact that this year is still his worse year and not consistent with what he’s done, but I may have to rethink this approach. Theo really signed a 31 year old under the assumption that his best years were ahead of him? Not in the steroid testing era theo, no way.

Look at Drew another way. In an average year he drives in 63. Lugo, who we all know has struggled, has 65 RBI. So you could say that on average Drew is a little less productive than Lugo is in a bad year. So again, all you can do is ask; what was Theo thinking?

That’s true but lugo never hit 20 and drove in 100

Yeah, Connor, it’s an unfair comparison. Lugo is having his 2nd best RBI year ever. It’s just that when you think of an RBI man, you think 80 to 100 per year. And Drew has only done that twice since ’99. Not a good choice by Theo.

Well guys we won today.But we better sweep Tampa Bay.

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