Lowell and Rocco ready

When the spring started, two of the biggest question marks from a health standpoint were Mike Lowell and Rocco Baldelli. Lowell, of course, coming off hip surgery. And Baldelli dealing with channelopathy, which causes excessive muscle fatigue.

Both players essentially gave themselves clean bills of health heading into 2009.

Lowell is especially enthusiastic with one week left before Opening Day.

“I feel fine,” said Lowell. “I’m
actually further along than what I thought I’d be in a sense of, I thought this
week was going to be a final test of me bouncing back but I answered that a
week or 10 days ago. I’m really not worried about the season at all from the surgery
standpoint. I’m really happy. I’m actually ready to get out of here. It’s been
a long spring.”

As for Rocco, he belted a home run to left, his second in his last two games.

“I mean, I feel
alright. I could always be seeing the ball better, making more hard contact
consistently,” said Baldelli. “But I feel pretty good, and I’m happy with how Spring Training is
going so far.”

It speaks volumes that Baldelli is speaking more about specific baseball adjustments than his health.

“I would have been
very pleased to come in and just get on the field consistently, and just get in
some kind of baseball shape, and I think I have, and I feel good,” said Baldelli.

More from Fort Myers on Tuesday, when Clay Buchholz pitches against the Rays. Speaking of that, it really is starting to feel like Buchholz will make that April 12 start in Anaheim — and perhaps even another start after that — before Brad Penny takes that spot. The Red Sox have made no such announcement yet, but I’m starting to get that feeling. We’ll find out soon if I’m right. There’s no doubt about this — Buchholz has earned that start or two.

27 Comments

Hey Brian,
I’ll pinch hit for you in the lead-off spot today, but get your keyboard ready for the season. We all know it’s bad luck to have anyone else lead off on this blog.

Good to hear that Mike Lowell is ready to go. One of RSN’s biggest worries in the off-season is healthy!!! And Rocco hitting and saying that he’s feeling good can only be a huge plus. He’ll be spending a lot of time in right field if JD’s back etc act up. Go Rocco!

I’m with you, Judge, can’t wait for spring to be over and the season to begin.

Robert, to answer your question about Cabrera, I don’t think he would be a long-term replacement for Delcarmen if the Sox deal Delcarmen. Cabrera has major league experience, but he is coming off surgery. I would like to see how Cabrera does at Pawtucket. I hope Delcarmen stays, but if he doesn’t maybe Daniel Bard or Junichi Tazawa will get a chance. I read where Tazawa threw just three balls in three innings of work. Now that is hitting the strike zone!

I’m glad to see Lowell and Baldelli are doing well. The Sox need a healthy Lowell, and they could use Baldelli, especially while Kotsay is out since he will be the backup center fielder.

I hope that Buchholz gets a couple starts in April. It will only make Penny’s shoulder stronger and more prepared for the long season ahead. If Penny is healthy, his presence is like having another top of the rotation starter.

Jeff
http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

penny when healthy is lights out a 15 game winner easy….lets hope it happens….im thinkin once the hitters get in their warm weather grooves timmy will go to long relief or retire….im not hopin for it cause timmy is a fav of mine but im thinkin hes near the end as a pitcher….he still deserves his lifetime contract and im hopin he will be around the team….that might open the door for buch or tazawa…..or someone else….smoltzy maybe…..im also hopin carter gets the job so he can spell some at 1st and pinch hit…hes a pure hitter…..we all know nancy drew is gonna get hurt shaving her legs or clippin toenails so im sure carter will get a chance…..judge

I’m with Jeff. I hope Buch gets some starts in April–he’ll need them as the season goes on, no matter what the back of the pen looks like!
I am THRILLED that Mike Lowell is doing so well. I think he’ll be at least close to 07 numbers this year! I am also pleased with how Big Papi and Tek are progressing. If youk gets off to a fast start!…
Regarding the previous thread: WHO was the GENIUS who let ANYONE into the park with the name DENT? We do not need any reminders of B.F.Dent! That guy needs to be shipped out–he can put a “dent” in a NL park’s facade! AACK! GO SOX!

GO ROCCO! Stay healthy, we’re pulling for you! GO SOX!

It is great to hear that both Lowell and Rocco are feeling good. I think both of them will have significant impacts on the Red Sox if they stay healthy.
Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

The RedSox management seems so religious about their statistics, not granting contracts beyond a certain number of years (for better or worse: Millar, Pedro, Damon, Manny, Varitek, Lowell). Though most of the eventual end decisions more often than not turns out to have been the right one — no one seems off limits numbers wise according to their precious formula — … except of course Wakefield.

Can someone tell me how Wakefield stays on year after year (in particular given RedSox Management). I know he eats up innings, but he is so streaky and loses as many (if not more) games as he wins these days.

I don’t get it, with such strong arms in both the starting and relief rotations, I don’t know how he survives — unless maybe are not so pedantic about our numbers after all — maybe if you are a super-nice guy, without an over-inflated ego, the right price, and without a certain agent — then they will stick with you — then again, they were willing to part with Mike Lowell, so who knows.

How does Wakefield stay on this team?

I’m glad to hear that both Lowell and Baldelli are feeling well and doing well in ST!

Don’t count Wake out dgneubert. But we are in the great position that if things aren’t working out we have options. One week! GO SOX!!!!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Because, DG, he does NOT have an ever-inflated ego, he has been willing to take the ball not matter what his role might be (watch this year, and see if he does not pitch with the same game-on attitude whenever he goes to the pen, in long relief, in spot starts, etc.). Teams would KILL to have a guy like Wake on their team! And his numbers have NOT been that shabby. And in case you noticed, Mike Lowell is still around! What else do you want? GAME ON! GO WAKE!

I think Lowell is going to have a good year. The Sox will be glad they didn’t sign Tex.

Jason
http://jmays.mlblogs.com

Ian wrote at the begginning that Baldelli and Lowell were the biggest question marks from a health standpoint. I agree that Lowell is one of the two, the other guy that was a question mark from a health standpoint is Ortiz. Ortiz is coming back from his wrist injury and so far so good for the new and slim Ortiz. Baldelli has responded so far. If Baldelli can catch some Red Bull and stay awake, he’ll be just fine. He’ll get lots of playing time being a 4th outfielder in Boston. Look no further than Crisp in 2008. We all know Drew will get hurt waking up some morning.

Buchholz certainly deserves some starts in April and also starts as the season moves along. I am expecting Buchholz too have an impact in 2009! I like his attitude, I think he was full of himself in 2008. No reason too rush Penny. He needs all the extra work he can get.

I’m also happy that Lowell is ready. His comments sounds like he is ready too go for the season. His bat is very important and of course his glove at third. Also his leadership and his professionalism. A very respected guy on that team. Who doesn’t love Mike Lowell? Only people I can think of that don’t like Lowell, current pitchers in the A.L.

95 wins and the division for the Red Sox in 2009! Sorry T.B. and N.Y.

It’s great to hear that Lowell is going great with his hip. I don’t know why people think the Red Sox offense is a big question mark. We really have above average hitters in every position besides catcher and shortstop. A line up that starts with Jacoby, Pedroia, Ortiz, Youk, Drew, Bay, Lowell, then Lowrie and Varitek. Come on, pitchers will be crapping their pants with that line-up. Provided everyone stays healthy, expect Jacoby’s offense to improve, obviously Ortiz’s, Lowell obviously is gonna be better and I think Lowrie and Tek will be much better too. Pedrioa, Youk and Bay can’t get much much better, sorry. Drew could be a little more consistent. That month he was MVP last year when Ortiz was injured he was so sick. If he could keep up with that hitting rampage and just keep his back in good shape, then he’d be a disgusting hitter.

In the case Drew does get hurt, Rocco sounds like a real competitor and someone who has power who can help us out.

I’m a big fan of Wakefield but maybe it’s time for a rotation of Beckett, Lester, Dice-k, Penny, and Buchholz. With the way Wakefield has been throwing in spring training, I’m kind of afraid to see him throwing this year. Again, even though he finished 10-11 last year, those numbers were deceiving. He lost a lot of games where the score was 1-0 or 2-1 or 3-2. He lost A LOT of close games. If Buchholz is gonna stay in the AAA when the season starts, hopefully Wakefield can do a little better this season.

With our line up and our rotation, I think this team could hit 100 wins. I’m not kidding. This team this year right now is better than 2007 and 2004. I definitely think we can go all the way this year.

oh man!! I used to get SO killed for calling JD either Nancy or Judy (JD) … I never thought that he was worth the money that they gave him.. and with the number of starts he misses I DO mean GAVE.. I know he’s been huge in PS play, but come on.. have your ingrown hair and the run in your hose, suck it up and get on the field.

have them fixed or repaired.. I meant.

dgn: If you look at his (Wakes)career stats (an exception being last season) he’s done as well if not better than some of our starters.. What did he do in 07?? Oh he only won 17 I think it was.. yeah he wasnt up to hi s”normal par” last season, but lets wait and see what happens this season… sorry just my l’il ol opinion. Yes I know I have a problem with my loyalty to the veterans on the team.. so shoot me!! lol

dben,
You want details…I’ll give you details!!!!!!! Last September I decided I wanted to go to Pebble Beach for my 50th B-Day in March 2009. 7 others were going to go and I figured that 6 months would give them plenty of time to do what they needed to do to go with me. One by one they started to drop like flies as the date drew near. It finally came down to me and 1 other. Had reservations at the Lodge and a tee time. He dropped out in January. I cancelled the trip. 2 weeks ago my wife says….just go and do it. God bless that woman!!!! On a whim, I flew to San Francisco on a morning flight and arrived at about 9:00 AM, rented a car, and went straight to the 17-mile drive in Monterey. I was given bad information and was told by one of my buddies who did not show….that Pebble Beach did not have a driving range. So I went to Poppy Hills at about noon and hit a bucket of balls. I arrived at Pebble Beach at about 1:00 PM and asked if they could get me out. I was playing on the last tee time at 2:10 PM. It was great!!!! My caddie saved me at least 6 strokes so he earned his tip. I think if I played that course in calmer conditions I could tear it up. It has generous room in the fairways and the greens putt true. Nothing tricky about it unlike the newer courses. Anyways after my round I stayed at a Comfort Inn in Monterey. The next morning I played a course called Pacific Groves and it was awesome. I headed back to the airport at 2:00 PM and flew back to Vegas. All in all it was a pretty cool trip although I was by myself. Next time I want to play Spyglass, I hear that is a tougher course. Anyways….this looks like one of your entries!!!!!!!!!! Sorry gang….you know how old men like to ramble!!!! Go Sox!!!!!!!!!!

Ellen,
Have to agree with you about Wakefield. Let’s see what he brings to the table before we crap-can him. We all know you can never have too much pitching. Every year one or two pitchers go down and it’s back fill time. Anyone who wants to know why the Sox keep bringing him back need only go to his lifetime stats. Maybe I am a blind follower concerning the Sox but I think they have a pretty good clue as to what they are doing. Wakefield is a gamer and deserves a look. Go Sox and go WAKEFIELD!!!!!

Shadows, I think you are right that the offense will not be a problem this year (even if Drew does AWOL for a while with that infamous hangnail! Rocco should be a VERY solid backup/ 4th OF ). The lineup does look solid. And yes, I think Youk and Pedroia DO still have upside–they CAN get even better!
Even if your projected lineup is correct, Shadows, (and it is not a bad lineup you’ve given there!) I don’t think that will mean the end of Wake. You are likely quite right that the lineup could include both Penny and Buch at various points in the year. If that means Wake comes out of the pen (or spot starts), he will come out of the pen, and I am quite confident he will do just fine if that his role. We also can’t forget that Smoltz will likely be in the rotation around June, and that gives us additional flexibility. So it would not surprise me if Wake comes out of the pen frequently. I think, though, that will simply ADD to his value for the Sox. Further, Smoltz could end up in the pen before he’s done here–and would be an asset there, also! I think we have so many options, we will have a great pitching year, to complement that solid lineup! GO SOX!

moanin all….offense oh yes….hey anyone look at lowries numbers….he pld just about half a yr….dbl his numbers and see what u get…also tek looks like he might be back after his on and off field woes…if we can get tito to manage a lil and pinch hit occasionally in the late innings for a guy slumpin…who knows….i know im psyched….judged

6 days, 3 hrs, 55 minutes (but who’s counting) til 1st pitch.
Lord, I can hardly wait, but wait I must!!! I am sure that the wait will be well worth it. I’m usually pretty quite about pre-1st pitch predictions, but something about this year feels different; really good. It just seems that last year there was always 1 puzzle piece missng at all times. I think we got the puzzle box this year with all the pieces included. Now, it’s time to put this picture together and play ball.

i miss the kevin millah factor myself….we need that goof to lighten stuff up a bit….maybe someone will step up….

that would be fine with me, he was the one that got the chemistry going starting in 03… Glue, more important than its given credit for. I missed seeing him this year at Orioles camp.. you could spot him out of every other guy in the crowd, he always wore the long black socks, and he was always the one goofing on everbody else!!

I didnt realize that Millar is barred from becoming a member of the players union. I just read that because he was a replacement during the strike, he can never be a member. Interesting.

This is for Dustin Pedroia and Terry Francona, I have been playing cribbage for 53 years and started when I was 21 years old, On March 8th of this year I got my first 29 Hand and wanted to show it to you both as we went to the spring training game the follow Sunday only to discover I was too late to get a chance to talk to you both. I would like to send you a picture of the one I got and the one my husband got 27 years ago. Yes we threw away the rest of the cards and framed the 29 hands. We are both in our 70’s and are so excited to show off our pictures to you both.
Please let me know where I can email them to you or send them to you.
thanks
Lorraine Parlin lparlin@gmail.com

ah yes cribbage….i was playing crib at age 6 with my dad and later in the service along with spades….ive gotten a numbe rof 28 hands and like u just one 29 hand…the 29 hand came in a losin game tho lol…go figure….congrats it sure is a thrill…judge

Lparlin: If you send something to them c/o RedSox (4 Yawkey Way, Boston Mass. 02215-3496) they will get it. congrats to you!

Ellen thanks for the info will send them the photo’s right off.

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