Results tagged ‘ Brad Penny ’

Wake starting Wednesday; What about Penny?

Tim Wakefield will reclaim his spot in the rotation on Wednesday at Fenway against the White Sox. What about Brad Penny?

That remains to be seen. Manager Terry Francona said that the team told Brad Penny he’s got to “kind of hang tight a little bit.”

To me, that means the club is waiting to see how Tazawa does today. If Tazawa has a good outing, perhaps he will start Thursday. If not, maybe they give Penny another shot.

Varitek is behind the plate today, with Victor Martinez playing first and Youk over at third.

Wake to the rescue?

While Brad Penny was getting shelled by the Yankees — to the tune of 10 hits and eight runs over four-plus innings — Tim Wakefield was making perhaps his final step toward re-claiming his spot in the Boston Red Sox’s pitching rotation.

The veteran knuckleballer, pitching at Triple-A Pawtucket, allowed two hits and one run in a start against Rochester.

Wakefield walked one and struck out four and could slide back into the Boston rotation as early as Wednesday — Penny’s next scheduled start. Wakefield could also pitch Thursday in place of Junichi Tazawa.

At any rate, the Red Sox have badly missed Wakefield during his time on the disabled list. The 43-year-old right-hander went 11-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 17 starts before the All-Star break.

While Josh Beckett and Jon Lester have been tremendous at the top of the rotation, the Red Sox have struggled to get quality starts in the 3-5 spots, though Clay Buchholz has emerged with three strong performances in a row.

Wakefield was first placed on the disabled list with a lower back strain, but it then became a nerve issue which caused weakness in his left calf. The concern with Wakefield the last couple of weeks is whether he could field his position effectively, and without risking further injury.

The Red Sox could reveal as early as Saturday when the veteran will return to the rotation.

No. 500 at Fenway

Groundskeeper Dave Mellor has struck with his handy lawn mower again. In left field, there is a giant 5. to the right, in shallow center, a giant 0. and another huge 0 in right. Yes, tonight is the 500 consecutive sellout at Friendly Fenway.

The streak started on May 15, 2003, and has included some highly memorable moments.

As for more current affairs, Brad Penny will face Andrew Miller this evening. Penny is throwing mid to upper 90s heat consistently right now. His trade value is going up by the minute. Would you trade him though?

Ellsbury makes history

While all the buzz at Fenway Park was over David Ortiz ending his home run drought — not to mention the Red Sox belting four homers in that same bottom of the fifth inning — center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury set a club record for an outfielder with 11 putouts and then tied a Major League record by collecting putout No. 12 on the final out of the game.

In the sixth inning, the speedster recorded his 11th putout of the night. Four Red Sox outfielders had made 10 putouts in a game. Who held that record previously? Ted Williams on Sept. 4, 1948, Tommy Umphlett on Aug. 16, 1953, Fred Lynn on June 4, 1978 and Lee Tinsley on Aug. 14, 1995.

Ellsbury made several fine running catches at the wall, helping along Brad Penny, who turned in his best performance in a Red Sox uniform.

The 12 putouts tied Earl Clark of the Boston Braves (May 10, 1929) and the Twins’ Lymon Bostock (May 25, 1977) against the Red Sox

“Good thing he stretched,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He had a lot going on.”

“I got off to a busy start. What was the total?” Ellsbury asked.

He was told it was 12.

“It didn’t seem like that many,” Ellsbury said. “Just got quite a few from the get-go. Brad was getting a lot of flyball action and I was tracking them down.”

Penny good to go

Before the Red Sox got on a plane to New York, they were assured from Brad Penny‘s last outing of Spring Training that he is fine to make his first start of the regular season as scheduled on April 12.

“Yeah, I think so,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “Again, weather can get in the way of things. We just need to stay tuned to that and see how we get there.”

In other words, if the Red Sox got rained out on Opening Day, Josh Beckett would pitch Tuesday instead, meaning that a fifth starter would be needed on April 11 instead of April 12. At any rate, Penny is healthy.

“Great, no pain,” Penny said. “Velocity was there. I threw a couple of pitches I wouldn’t normally throw in certain counts. I think today was probably the best overall stuff I’ve had in spring.”

Carter and Green on the team — sort of

The last roster spots have been finalized, with the exception of the Brad Penny/Clay Buchholz decision.

Chris Carter and Nick Green, if everything stays the same, will be with the Red Sox on Opening Day at Fenway on April 6. However, general manager Theo Epstein and manager Terry Francona cautioned both players that a waiver transaction or trade is always possible in the last few days of camp.

Jeff Bailey was informed he won’t be on the team, and I’m sure it was a bitter pill to swallow, considering that he has played 1,111 games and came so close to making the club.

As far as the fifth rotation spot, Buchholz will make his final start of the spring today. Brad Penny pitches on Thursday, at which point the Red Sox will know for sure if the righty is ready to begin the season on the active roster.

Dice-K is 1-0 — 4-0 lifetime in the Classic

No, I did not wake up to watch Dice-K pitch against Korea either, but I got a full recap of e-mails from my friend Jonny Miller of WBZ Radio. Jonny is, how shall we say, an early riser.

Jon’s first e-mail came to me at 5:44 a.m. “First inning, gave up 455-foot homer to Kim.” … 30 pitches, end of 1, 3-2 Japan.

Jonny fired off another one at 6:16 a.m. “DIce-K update, second inning, one hit, 14 pitches, end of 2, Japan 8, Korea 2.”

Jonny strikes again at 6:32 a.m. “1 BB, 14 pitches, Japan 9, Korea 2 after three.”

Last Jonny update came at 7:15 a.m. “Dice-K done after 4. Japan 11, Korea 2, Mid five”.

At any rate, Matsuzaka and Japan cruised to a mercy rule victory. Matsuzaka wasn’t particularly sharp, but keep in mind he has never been a fast starter in his career.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona — who always awakens early this time of year — saw most of the outing (four innings, four hits, two runs, two walks, one strikeout) on television.I think all Tito really wants to see from Dice-K out of this tournament is a healthy finish to it.

“I watched most of that,” Francona said. “ A little shaky first inning, 29-pitch first
inning. Gave up some hard hits in the second, but they had a baserunning error,
then he settled down and got the last eight of nine. It was OK. It’s Spring
Training and you don’t have the luxury of missing your spots because the game
is on television.”

In other news, Mike Lowell is expected to make his exhibition debut on Tuesday, as the DH against the Orioles. He will proably play at third for the first time in the night game against the Yankees on Friday the 13th.

Brad Penny will fire off a 35-pitch side at City of Palms tomorrow. No word yet on his first game.

Penny back to flat ground; J.D. gets shot

Early news today: Brad Penny is officially out for Thursday’s start against Puerto Rico, and there is no timetable for his first exhibition game. He was a little fatigued, so he’ll work exclusively on flat ground for the time being

I feel pretty
good,” Penny said. “I don’t think the shoulder strength is quite where it needed to be yet
for the workload that had been scheduled out. It’s better to take it easy right
now then to get out there the first week of April and have it flare up on me.
So, just staying on the shoulder program, still going to play catch, and just try
to get my shoulder strength to where I need it to be.”

J.D. Drew flew back to Boston the other day for a cortisone shot on his back, but manager Terry Francona stressed that it was nothing to be overly alarmed about and that it was done more for maintenance than anything else. Drew could be back in the lineup by Friday.

“[I've] been
working with a chiropractor and started talking about some of the underlying
issues and thinking that the facets might be a little bound up,” Drew said in
an interview with NESN’s Heidi Watney before leaving City of Palms Park on Tuesday. “So,
talking with the training staff a little bit, decided to do an injection in
that area to see if that would free up some of the old scar issue, an old
injury, and give me some freer motion in that area.”

It looks like Nomar is on his way to Oakland. A little ironic, isn’t it, that Nomar and Orlando Cabrera will now be teammates?

Penny and Pap air it out

The action at today’s Spring Training workout was on Field 3, where Jonathan Papelbon and Brad Penny threw their first BP sessions of the spring.

Theo Epstein, Terry Francona and John Farrell were among those huddled over to watch, not to mention all the reporters on hand.

Yes, it’s been a slow spring, so Penny facing opposing hitters for the first time since early last September qualified as a nice news item. The righty declared the day a success.

I felt great.
Today, for me, answered a lot of questions mentally and physically,” Penny said. “I
really didn’t know what to expect going out there for the first time but
everything felt great.”

Of Rocco and Smoltz .. and a Penny for my thoughts

Finally, the 2009 Red Sox have begun to take shape with the only real ambiguity now whether Jason Varitek or someone else splits catching duties with Josh Bard.

Let’s start with the feel-good story of the day, the official news that the Red Sox have signed Rocco Baldelli, the pride of Cumberland, R.I. Well, let’s see, the Red Sox were looking for a fourth outfielder with pop in his bat and the ability to play all three OF positions. Enter Rocco, who does all those things. The difference is that Baldelli, when right, is a starting-caliber player. And given that J.D. Drew will probably miss three weeks to a month at some point during the year — no knock, J.D., that’s just who you are! — it is very valuable depth.

Obviously Baldelli’s health is an issue, but it sounds like progress has been made in determining why he was experiencing such excessive fatigue and how to combat it. If he stays on the field, this is a terrific signing. Baldelli and Theo Epstein will talk about the signing later today, prior to the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner.

Now, to John Smoltz. The veteran righty has long been one of my favorite pitchers to watch because, much like guys like Curt Schilling and David Wells, no stage is too big for him. Smoltz craves the big moment. Though the Red Sox obviously came through with a far better financial offer than the Braves, I wouldn’t be surprised if the allure of winning for a big market team had just as much to do with this highly-competitive athlete finishing his career somewhere other than Atlanta.

As for Mr. Brad Penny, if I had said a year ago or even two years ago, who would you rather have as your No. 4 starter, Penny or Burnett, I think a lot of you would have said Penny. He has always had tremendous stuff, but last year he obviously had arm problems and might have even clashed with management a little. If that was just his one down year — kind of like the one Mike Lowell had for the Marlins in 2005 — this could be one of the best signings of the winter, considering the price.

Now, Theo figures to spend his remaining weeks before Spring Training trying to find a catcher, or just keeping the old one. Personally, I hope they can keep Varitek. I think he means a lot to that team, both from a stability standpoint and with game preparation. But I do think Jason would need to come to grips with the fact that Josh Bard is going to pinch-hit for him quite a bit, and that he figures to get closer to 90 or 100 starts than the 120 he’s been accustomed to.

All for now. Talk to you in a bit. I’ll be live from the Writers Dinner tonight.

Ian.

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