Results tagged ‘ Dustin Pedroia ’

Spring Training, meet boot camp

This wasn’t one of the most glamorous days for Red Sox position players, but it was a necessary part of camp, as they all went through conditioning drills, which included the shuttle relay, among other activities.

David Ortiz walked off the field, claiming kiddingly, “I was the champ out there!”.

All kidding aside, manager Terry Francona appreciated Ortiz going through the drills like a professional.

“That’s a lot of body,” said Francona. “I got tired watching those guys. I laugh at them, but he did it. I don’t know how many players of his stature [would do that] – but that’s a lot of body to move twice 300 yards and he did it and I know his teammates probably really appreciate it. It means something. It’s not the end all. It doesn’t mean he’s going to hit home runs. It doesn’t mean he’s not. But it’s part of being a team going in one direction and that’s important.”

It wasn’t all business for Ortiz, who had some fun on the field with his little buddy Dustin Pedroia, as captured in this photo by Brita Meng Outzen.
Pedroia, who works out fanatically during the winter, got to put his supreme shape on display in the drills. Here he is, setting the pace with teammates Marco Scutaro and Jed Lowrie.

Back when Red Sox manager Terry Francona was a player, these type of tests did not occur during Spring Training.

“We were just happy to get BP. I do agree with it though,” Francona said. “[Strength coach] Dave Page [suggested it] a few years back, because we’re always worried about ‘let’s get on the field, let’s throw, pitch, let’s hit, let’s take groudners.’ It’s really a good day. It gives us baseline testing for where everybody is. It’s just really important and our guys do a good job with it. no [whining] and moaning, they go out and do it. I would not enjoy doing it. but they do it and we appreciate it.”

Wednesday will mark the first full-squad workout for the Sox. Red Sox manager Terry Francona will hold his annual team meeting before the workout. General manager Theo Epstein will also appreciate, and so will the ownership trio of John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino.

More rumblings from the Stove

While the Red Sox continue to discuss how to best align their middle infield for the 2010 season, one intriguing name that has surfaced is second baseman Placido Polanco.

However, by the end of Wednesday, learned that the Phillies had the inside track on Polanco, making him their top target to replace Pedro Feliz at third base. The Astros are another team that has inquired about Polanco’s services.

According to a Major League source, the Red Sox expressed interest in Polanco when the Tigers declined to offer him arbitration by Tuesday’s midnight deadline.

In other words, if the Red Sox do decide to move Dustin Pedroia to shortstop, a move the player said he would welcome, they could sign Polanco to play second base and not have to give up any draft compensation.

However, the Phillies are making Polanco their top priority to take over for Pedro Feliz at third base so it seems more likely he will go there. He is just one of several scenarios for the Red Sox, so the Phillies might be able to close a deal sooner than Boston can commit. The Astros are also said to be interested.

Polanco has won the Gold Glove two of the last three years. Pedroia broke up his string in 2008.

Of course, Polanco is also a solid hitter with a career average of .303. He hit .285 in 2009, including 10 homers and 72 RBIs.

Polanco is 34 years old, the same age as another middle infield Type A free agent the Red Sox are pursuing – Marco Scutaro.

If the Red Sox sign Scutaro, it would require a draft pick because the Blue Jays offered him arbitration.

Sunday in St. Louis

While the Red Sox are completing their first half behind Josh Beckett in a game against the Royals, I have arrived in St. Louis for the Futures Game.

Nice view of the arch from the press box by the way.


Casey Kelly will work in relief today, completing his season as a pitcher. The dynamic athlete will convert back to shortstop later this week and then decide after the season where his future is best suited.

Junichi Tazawa is starting for the World Team, so it’s a pretty compelling day from a Future of the Red Sox standpoing.

Back in Boston, Dustin Pedroia understandably gave up his spot on the All-Star Team due to the situation involving his wife, who is in the hospital after going into premature labor a week ago. Obviously Pedroia’s top priority is to have a healthy baby boy, whenever the boy ends up being delivered, and a healthy wife. Best wishes to the Pedroia family.

Here was Dustin’s statement released by the Red Sox.

 “After consulting with Tito, Theo, Phyllis Merhige of
Major League Baseball and my wife, Kelli, I have decided to withdraw from this
year’s All-Star Game in St. Louis.  I will instead stay in Boston with my
wife as we tend to a family health matter.


This was certainly not an easy decision.  I have a
tremendous amount of respect for the game of baseball and for the All-Star Game
and am incredibly honored that the fans voted me this year’s starting second
baseman for the American League.  I am disappointed that I will not be
able to enjoy the amazing experience with the other All-Stars, especially with
my Red Sox teammates, but it is important that I put my family first at this


I want to thank Major League Baseball as well as Tito and
Theo for supporting me in this decision.  I also want  to thank the
fans for their understanding and the continued support they have shown
throughout my career.”


Pedroia back in there; Nomar on the bench

Twenty-four hours after a last-minute scratch due to a personal issue, Dustin Pedroia is back in the Sox lineup tonight, batting second.

But Boston’s former favorite son Nomar Garciaparra will be on the bench for Game 2.

Aaron Bates will play his second Major League game tonight, again starting at first base and batting ninth. Against the lefty, J.D. Drew will lead off, David Ortiz will bat fifth and Jacoby Ellsbury is hitting seventh.

Checking in from … Boston

Sorry guys and gals, I did not make the trip to the land of the crab cakes. I’m home in Boston for some downtime. Figured I’d check in because a little birdie told me a new thread would be helpful for commenting purposes.

It looks from afar like Terry Francona has not lost his touch. A little lineup tweak and J.D. Drew, batting leadoff tonight with Dustin Pedroia to the two-hole, is in the midst of a big night.

Jon Lester putting up zeroes yet again.

I think John Smoltz’s start tomorrow night will be far more telling than the one against the Nats the other night when he had what I’m sure was an overpowering combination of rust, adrenaline and nerves.

As for Mike Lowell, the news seems good. Just the fact that they were able to drain all that fluid before the shot shows you there was cause to all the discomfort he has had of late. Best case scenario, Lowell returns to the lineup on Friday night at Fenway. Worst Case scenario, they put him on the DL and he returns for the first game after the All-Star break.

Anyway, talk to everyone soon.


Pedroia on the bases

After stealing two bases last night, Dustin Pedroia is on pace to snag 30 bags this season, 10 more than he finished with last year.

The interesting part of this is that Pedroia was in a steals slump earlier in the year. In April, he had three steals and was caught three times.

“You know what, I actually thought early in the season, he got thrown out a couple of times and I thought he was not as aggressive for a while,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “Was trying to tell him, it’s a hard conversation because we don’t like making outs on the bases but he’s such a good baserunner and he’s so conscientious, it’s like, not that he panicked, but he looks in like,’I can’t get thrown out like that.’ I’m like, ‘you’re alright, you’re a good baserunner.'”

“And he’s a very good basestealer. I thought it was more of an anomaly. It just happened a couple of times early in the season. I like when he runs. He’s a very good baserunner. If our guys, like Ellsbury, are good at what they do, we don’t want to stop them. I think that’s a little bit of a misrepresentation. We like the guys to steal but we just want to make sure they’re  safe.”

In May, Pedroia was 5-for-6 and he’s 4-for-4 this month.

Sunday subs

Not your average Red Sox lineup out there today.

No Pedroia, no Ortiz, no Varitek and no Drew.

It’s just a day off for Pedroia, who has four hits in his last 38 at-bats. Varitek caught 13 innings Friday and a long night last night, so he gets a rest today. With an off-day Monday and Wake pitching Tuesday, ‘Tek actually will have three days off in a row. J.D. Drew got smoked in the right shoulder by a pitch Saturday, so he’s sore. Rocco only played half the game, so he’s fine to go to today. And Ortiz is simply a product of National League rules and a lefty on the mound.

Here is the lineup.

Lugo SS
Ellsbury CF
Youkilis 1B
Bay LF
Lowell 3B
Baldelli RF
Green 2B
Kottaras C
Beckett P

Leftovers from a wild night at Fenway

Wow, was there ever a lot going on at Fenway last night! It was hard to include it all in the game coverage, so here are some leftovers.

Takashi Saito has pitched in a lot of non-pressure situations this season, not as a reflection of him, but because of how dominant the rest of the bullpen has been. Saito’s inning and a third of shutout relief wound up being crucial on Thursday, given Boston’s comeback win. It was Saito’s 100th career win when you combine his work in Japanese pro baseball, and his first with the Red Sox.

“There are many pitchers out there with better numbers than I have, but to put it very simply I am very happy today, more than anything I’m happy that I was able to get my first win as a member of the Red Sox,” said Saito.

As for Saito’s former teammate with the Dodgers and current teammate Brad Penny, he was stunningly electric last night. I would say Penny’s shoulder has come all the way back from the right shoulder woes of a year ago. His fastball was exploding into the upper 90s, as he fired six shutout innings against the Yankees.

“I would say my mechanics are getting a little better,” Penny said. “I’m staying behind the ball and driving off my back foot.”

Then there is Big Papi. The big man with the big swing and the even bigger slump is finally getting hot. He crushed that homer against Sabathia, staying on the ball perfectly and belting it like the Papi of Old instead of an Old Papi.

“When I hit the ball oppo like that, it’s a sign that I’m waiting for the ball good. I’m trying to stay through the ball. I’ve been feeling a lot better at the plate,” Ortiz said.

“That was a good swing,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “He’s getting better and better every day and that’s a huge sign for us.”

Then there is Nick Green, who has started the last five games and turned Julio Lugo invisible. The play he made in the ninth might have been a game-saver.

“Not too many shortstops make that play,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

Papelbon actually told Green the play won them the game, though a lot of others think it was Pedroia’s 10-pitch walk.

Either way, the Red Sox seem to be rounding into form at just the right time, heading into a weekend series with the defending World Series champions.

“It’s not just that we’re getting momentum by winning games,” Papelbon said. “I think we’re gaining  momentum with our players .David is starting to feel it, Josh is starting to feel it, our bullpen is starting to feel it. We just have to stay on this wave and ride it out.”

Pedroia, Kotsay and Twitter

Here we are live from Comerica Park, where Dustin Pedroia is again leading off for the Red Sox. J.D. Drew is again hitting second. Youkilis is third, Bay cleanup, Lowell fifth, Ortiz sixth and Nick Green starting at short for the third day in a row.

The way the offense is going now, Terry Francona feels that he needs his best on-base players at the top of the lineup. He even mentioned the new look being at least partly a by-product of Ortiz’s on-going struggles.

Mark Kotsay is on the active roster; Jeff Bailey has gone back to Pawtucket.

And just to let you know again, I have joined the new wave known as Twitter. There are a lot of times where it’s going to be quicker for me to Tweet something than to post a whole new blog entry. Just to be clear, I won’t be blogging any less, so don’t worry about that! There will still be at least one new thread every game I am at. But you will get more info from me — and more timely info from me — by also following me on twitter.

So all of you should get in the habit of following me on twitter.

@IanMBrowne is where you can find me.

Looking for spark, Tito switches lineup

With the Red Sox doing close to nothing offensively in the five games that preceded Sunday’s finale in Toronto, manager Terry Francona switched around the lineup to try to change the results.

Dustin Pedroia was moved to leadoff. Jacoby Ellsbury moved to eighth. And for the first time in his Red Sox career, J.D. Drew batted second. This, with lefty Ricky Romero on the mound for Toronto.

Youkilis is hitting third, with Jason Bay in the cleanup spot, followed by Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, Jason Varitek, Ellsbury and Nick Green. Lugo is on the bench again, with Tito feeling that Green’s range is necessary with Lester pitching on turf.

And for all of you Tweeters out there — or Twitterers — or whatever you want to call it — I am now a member. Check me out at IanMBrowne.