Results tagged ‘ Cody Ross ’
The Red Sox are in the market for at least one starting outfielder, if not two, and a familiar name is out there. Jason Bay was a popular run producer during the year-and-a-half he played in Boston, but then went to the Mets, where he has had three horrific, injury-plagued seasons. Some thought that Bay was a bad fit for the Mets right from the outset. Could coming back to Boston resurrect his career?
It is at least a possibility. ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted the following: “The Red Sox are among the teams in contact with Jason Bay, as he considers his options for 2013. Looking for opportunity, familiarity.”
Fenway’s friendly dimensions in left field are a far better fit for Bay’s swing than CitiField ever was.
The Red Sox’s interest in Bay could depend on how things go with Cody Ross, who was a positive presence on the field and in the clubhosue for Boston in 2012. Ross is a free agent and said to be seeking a three-year deal. The Braves are among the teams who have shown early interest.
Rumors fly around this time of year involving all sorts of players. But one that Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross is particularly intrigued by is his ex-teammate, right-hander Josh Johnson.
The Marlins have already made quite the splash this week, trading Anibal Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez. While they might be less inclined to move Johnson after already making two big trades, Ross knows that his former teammate could help any team he was traded to, including the Red Sox.
“I mean, he definitely would help any team,” Ross said. “He’s a bulldog. He’s one of the premier pitchers, an ace. I’ve always said that he is one of the most competitive players I’ve ever played with. He’s a bulldog.”
Ross and Johnson were teammates with the Marlins from 2006 until Ross was claimed off waivers by the Giants on Aug. 22, 2010. Though Johnson is just 6-7 with a 4.14 ERA this year, Ross is convinced his performance could improve down the stretch while pitching for higher stakes.
“Sometimes a change of scenery might help. He threw well his last time out,” Ross said. “He went through a little tough stretch but you can count on him being good down toward the end of the season. He’s as good as anybody out there.”
How about the change from a smaller market like Miami to a major market? Would Johnson be able to adapt to that change?
“Yeah, absolutely. He could definitely handle it. He’s so mentally strong that he wouldn’t let a big market affect him. He’s a professional. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s special,” Ross said.
Johnson is under contract through the 2013 season, which would make him more attractive to a team like the Red Sox. That also could make the Marlins more inclined to hang on to him.
It all seemed so simple at the All-Star break. The Red Sox would get Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford back to start the second half and go on a nice little run. Then Ben Cherington’s trade strategy would be simple. He would add a piece or two to help the Red Sox get that extra push for their pursuit of a playoff berth.
And like clockwork, they ripped off five wins in their first seven games, the last of those five a thrilling win on a Cody Ross three-run walkoff shot.
How many games have the Red Sox won since Ross got bathed in a splash of Gatorade? That would be zero. The Sox have lost four in a row to fall 10 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the American League East, and four behind the A’s for the second Wild Card spot.
So now what does Cherington do?
“I mean, we hope not,” Dustin Pedroia said, when asked if the Sox could become sellers by July 31. “That second wild card, it could come down to the last week of the season. I was talking to Gary Tuck on the bus. He tells me every year, ‘Look at the standings Sept. 15 and see where you’re at.’ Usually every year, I remember 2010, we had half of our starters hurt and we look up Sept. 15 and we’re still there. We’ve got to keep fighting. That’s our mindset.”
But Cherington has to protect the Red Sox both this year and going forward. To help this year’s team, he might have to mortgage a future trip. And he must ask himself in that case: Has this team justified giving away future chips for?
There is always added tension in a clubhouse at this time of year, as rumors make their way from team to team. Almost to a man, the Red Sox say they aren’t thinking along these lines.
“All we can focus on is going out there and playing the game today,” said Adrian Gonzalez. “That’s all we can control. That’s what I’m pretty sure everyone feels in here. We’re not focused on the trade deadline. I don’t even know what today is to be honest with you. Actually I do know. today is the 23rd. that means it’s my daughter’s eight-month birthday. That’s the only reason I know what today is.”
Cherington is fully aware of the date. Back in 1987, the late Lou Gorman released veterans Bill Buckner and Don Baylor, and let the kids – from Ellis Burks to Mike Greenwell to Sam Horn to Todd Benzinger to John Marzano — play for the rest of the season.
Could Cherington take a similar approach this year with prospects like Ryan Lavarnway and Jose Iglesias and unload a few veterans?
The Red Sox are likely going to determine his path with what they do on the final five games of this crucial road trip through Texas and New York.
“It’s the same mood,” said Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “We’re trying to win. We’ve got to go out there and battle. We’ve just got to continue to do what we do best, and that’s stay in there and grind. We’ve got to pitch better. We’ve got to play better. We’ve been playing decent baseball since the break. Obviously, the last homestand wasn’t great, but other than that, we’ve been playing all right.”
To become a factor in 2012 — and to buy instead of sell — the Red Sox need to start playing better than all right real soon.
Some good news on the injury front. Red Sox righty Josh Beckett had an MRI Monday and there are no structural problems with his right shoulder.
Beckett said he should miss just one more start, and return to the rotation by the end of next week.
“We did an MRI yesterday and everything looks pretty good,” Beckett said. “Took the steps necessary. I think we’ll miss a start and maybe push me back a day.”
The discomfort Beckett felt wasn’t unfamiliar.
“I just had some pain that I was dealing within my shoulder,” Beckett said. “It’s stuff that I’ve dealt with before. But whenever it starts taking away from strength, that’s kind of where we got to, and the trainers made the decision that they made.”
Franklin Morales will again take Beckett’s spot in the rotation on Saturday against the Marlins.
In other news, the Red Sox activated Cody Ross before Monday’s game and put Scott Podsednik (left groin strain) on the disabled list.
The Red Sox will open their season on April 5 in Detroit, but you can be nearly certain that Carl Crawford will start his season a bit later.
After a Monday consultation with Dr. Donald Sheridan — the same doctor who performed his wrist surgery in January — Crawford was told not to hit or throw for five to seven days.
“The Opening Day thing is probably not realistic,” said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. “It might be. But probably not.”
Cody Ross will probably start in left on Opening Day, and hold down the fort until Crawford returns, which you would think will still be at some point in April.
Aside from familiar faces like Dustin Pedroia, Darnell McDonald and top prospect Jose Iglesias, a couple of the new guys arrived today — outfielder Cody Ross and infielder Nick Punto.
Ross was asked about his ability to step up when it mattered most in 2010, the year he helped the Giants win the World Series.
“I just had a different mindset. You go through the day-to-day routine of playing baseball and it’s a grind. You play everyday. But once you get to the playoffs, it’s like, ‘Wow, this is what we’ve played every single day for. This is why we’re here. This is why we play the game.’ You sort of have that mentality. You go and you play. Like I said, you either do it or you don’t. Fortunately for me and for us, we did. There’s a lot of guys in here with playoff experience. They understand what it takes to get there. That helps on teams. You realize from day one that you need to win this game. It can matter in Game 162, when you’re going down the stretch. That’s a good thing to have.”
Punto is no stranger to big games either, having just helped the Cardinals win a World Series. Now he will compete with Mike Aviles to be Bostons’ Opening Day shortstop.
“I’m just thrilled, excited to be part of a franchise like this, a team like this. It’s kind of a dream come true,” Punto said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m just here to compete, here to have some fun. I’ve worked hard this offseason. It’s going to be a good opportunity.”
And for once, he won’t be the shortest guy in the room — that honor, as always, going to Pedroia.
“It will probably the first [double play partner] I’m taller than,” Punto said. “I’m looking forward to that.”