Results tagged ‘ Dustin Pedroia ’
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.
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.
David Ortiz came into the day hitting .170 with no homers, four RBIs, 14 strikeouts, a .255 OBP and a .191 slugging percentage.
In other words, he came into the day with the scrutiny of Red Sox Nation all around him. What is the matter with Big Papi?
It was a New York Times writer that broached the subject with Red Sox manager Terry Francona before the game. And Tito, per usual, was fiercely loyal to his veteran.
“I think right now, you’re seeing a guy that’s in between. Fastballs getting by him and he’s ahead of the breaking ball. Hitting is such a .. it can be intricate when it’s going bad and it can be easy when it’s going good, or simplified. When you hear every hitter … just about … when they’re going really well, they’ll tell you the same thing. ‘Boy, I’m just seeing the ball good.’
And they don’t think about a whole lot else.
“When you’re not going good, you can see where the umpire is behind the pitcher, you see the resin bag, you see the scoreboard, you see the camera, you see everything but the ball. And everything looks fast. And once you get to a position and you can hit a ball and you’re in a good position and you square it up, everything seems to slow down. I don’t know exactly why that is. We’ve all been through it and it can be awful and it can be really good. And just as awful, it usually gets that good. That’s kind of the, I don’t know, the uniqueness of hitting is. Guys get to their level. They just don’t always do it in the most consistent manner.”
Then the questioner wondered if Ortiz, because he is approaching his mid 30s, could be well, heading for his own type of Heartbreak Hill.
“Oh. Oohhh. You would be ahead of me on that one,” Francona said. “I think last year, his start, it wasn’t good. Whatever his first 50 at-bats were, weren’t good. I think I was answering similar questions last year at this time. I don’t even know how to answer that. I think he’s got so much more offense left in him. He’s just having a tough time right now. I remember last year watching a game on TV and the announcers were wondering aloud why Carlos Delgado hadn’t been let go yet. They were pretty vocal about it. That’s probably you guys are doing your jobs and we’ll try to do ours. That’s just the way it is.”
And wouldn’t you know, Ortiz drilled a double off the wall today and a two-run triple to center.
I wondered if Francona would sit him this morning given the early start time and the fact the Red Sox were facing a 6-foot-10 lefty in Mark Hendrickson. But Francona thought that challenge would be good for Ortiz’s timing, and it wound up working out.
At any rate, Ortiz is a player who figures to be under the microscope for much of the year. But if today is any indication, there are still some hits left in that bat.
Speaking of revived hitters, Dustin Pedroia looks as if he is ready to resume his annual laster show. The little second baseman banged out four hits today and is now hitting .286.
Just as the Red Sox were updating the situation on Kevin Youkilis, which doesn’t seem to be anything to fret about, it was revealed that Dustin Pedroia will be back in the lineup for Friday’s game against the Pirates. Pedroia will get two at-bats Friday, take BP on Saturday and then get about three at-bats on Sunday.
As for Youkilis, he will wear a boot on his foot for two to three days, then hopefully progress to batting practice, and perhaps game action at some point next week.
Bench coach Brad Mills will manage the Sox on Friday. Terry Francona will be attending the graduation of son Nick from Officer Candidate School.
Yes, the return of Brownie Points is coming. When last I was in Fort Myers five days ago, it was a slow camp. It was by the far the slowest Spring Training in my eight years on the Red Sox beat. And then I left and all you know what broke loose.
Lugo, surgery. Pedroia, injured, and out of the World Baseball Classic. Jon Lester, signed for five years. Jason Bay, no contract extension this spring. Josh Bard, out of a job. Kevin Youkilis, now out of the World Baseball Classic.
Wow. Quite literally, there was NOTHING going on when last I left Fort Myers. Now we have an official Red Sox Spring Training in full motion.
I land in Fort Myers after 11 tonight. Back in to blog and story mode tomorrow.
This is obviously terrific news for the Red Sox that Jon Lester is seemingly on the verge of signing a five-year deal, $30 million that includes a $14 million option for 2013. So now the Red Sox, going into the next four to five years, know that they can depend on a sturdy nucleus of Pedroia, Youkilis, Lester and Ellsbury.
It is so hard to find a big, strong lefty like Lester that you can anchor a staff around, so you knew the Red Sox would pounce at the first opportunity to get him secured for the forseeable future.
Of course, the Jonathan Papelbon situation is still year to year, and you wonder if the sides will ever meet up there. Papelbon has made it clear that he wants to get his maximum worth, and the Red Sox might eventually deem that they can get someone like Daniel Bard to do the job at far less money.
Speaking of Bard, I don’t ever remember a prospect who was all but a lock not to make the team having a camp like this. He is just overpowering hitters.
The Red Sox are representing themselves well at the World Baseball Classic. A day after Dice-K got the win for Japan, Youkilis just obliterated a towering home run, his second longball in his many days. Dustin Pedroia might have broken out of his swing, golfing a pitch down the left field line for a double in Team USA’s big top of the sixth inning.
Meanwhile, in Fort Myers, the shortstop situation continues to be intriguing becuase Julio Lugo and Jed Lowrie are both playing well.
“They both look good,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
“If that ends up being a dilemma, I’d rather have that happen than guys not
Lugo remains confident that he can be the player he was before coming to the Red Sox.
“Things are going to take care of themselves as long as I’m healthy,” Lugo said.
And fans will be happy to know that the shortstop is working very hard on his defense this spring with new infield coach Tim Bogar.
“Very well, i think Bogar is going to be a big help to me,” Lugo said. “He’s letting me be myself and making plays the way I know how to make it and that’s the way it should be. That’s what got you here. Just refine those skills and that’s it.”
Who are the truest baseball junkies out there? The correct answer is those of you who will set your alarm clocks so you can watch Daisuke Matsuzaka face Korea at 5 a.m. ET on Saturday. This World Baseball Classic encounter from Tokyo will be televised on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and yes, MLB.TV.
Under tournament rules, Matsuzaka is permitted to throw 70 pitches in his first-round start.
Those of you who need a Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay fix can check out Team USA vs. Canada at 2 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN. And Big Papi David Ortiz will be representing the Domincan Republic in an 11 a.m. encounter (ESPN 2) against the Netherlands.
Things are much quieter here in Fort Myers, where a home game Spring Training lineup features Josh Reddick, Jeff Bailey, Zach Daeges, Chip Ambres and Ivan Ochoa.
Ace Josh Beckett is nearing the completion of a three-inning outing. Jed Lowrie and Jacoby Ellsbury will make the trip to Port Charlotte tomorrow — “You’ll see those guys on every trip,” quipped Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
With the Marlins in town today, Alex Speier of WEEI.com used the timing element to write a nice blog entry on how close Manny Ramirez came to being a Marlin. Imagine how that could have changed the course of events? Would Manny still have wound up with the Dodgers this year? Would Manny have even approved a trade to the Marlins?
By the way, how utterly perplexing was Manny’s comment at the presser yesterday: “Sometimes you’re better off to have a two-year deal in a place that
you’re going to be happy than have an eight-year deal in a place that
you’re going to, you know, suffer.”
Suffer? Really? Did Manny suffer while winning two World Series? Did he suffer while earning $160 million in Red Sox dollars? Did he suffer while getting the trophy as World Series MVP in 2004? Did he suffer as fans adored him unconditionally for eight years, many of them who would write e-mails to every sportswriter who had the audacity to dare criticize Manny for one of his indiscretions? Did he suffer while teaming with David Ortiz to form one of the most dynamic 3-4 punches of this generation?
Suffer?!? If Manny ever plays at Fenway again, he will probably be greeted with the loudest round of boos in Red Sox history.
I will say one thing though. I did not “suffer” covering Manny during his time in Boston. He is the best pure hitter I’ve ever seen, and was always amusing to observe and, even when he allowed, to interact with.
There was a different feel in the clubhouse at City of Palms Park this morning, as David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and Jason Bay were spending their final few hours in Fort Myers before going to the camps of their respective countries for the World Baseball Classic. Javy Lopez was also leaving camp, but Puerto Rico will train just down the road in Fort Myers for the next few days.
Meanwhile, Dice-K remains in Japan, where he’s been all spring. He pitched for the second time in a game situation yesterday — or is it tomorrow in Japan ??? — giving up a hit and two walks over three shutout innings against the Yomiuri Giants. It was a relief appearance for the Dice Man.
By the way, Mr. Ortiz has a message for his teammate, but possible competitor during the Classic
going to take Dice-K deep for sure,” chuckled Ortiz.
But Dustin Pedroia, whose TEAM USA squad will be playing in the same bracket as Canada in the first round, couldn’t resist telling Jason Bay that his squad won’t be around long.
“Pedroia told me to pack one pair of underwear,” said Bay.
Speaking of Bay, he will play center field for Canada to allow his team to generate some more offense.
After those early-morning chats about the Classic, I trucked over here to Hammond Stadium for a tilt against the Twins. The Red Sox trotted out Pedroia, Ortiz and Youkilis in this one, and have a loaded arsenal of pitchers going today, including Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima and Takashi Saito.
Youkilis (photo below) just smashed a homer to right-center, improving a swing that he felt had been “horse manure” in recent days.
Beckett had a nice easy stint, mowing down all six batters he faced. He didn’t get to use his changeup because he was so efficient at being ahead in the count. Oh well, that’s a problem Beckett and the Red Sox will gladly take.
Papelbon was impressive in his first exhibition outing, firing 10 pitches and mowing through the Twins in order.
Sox are in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow. I’m not scheduled to go on that trip, but I will pass along whatever updates I get.
Back here for more baseball. Tim Wakefield and Josh Bard have officially been reunited in game action — albeit in an exhibition — for the first time since that ill-fated night of April 26, 2006. That game was in Cleveland, and Bard had four passed balls in a Sox loss. He was traded five days later and Doug Mirabelli came back in the police escort and all that. You remember.
Anyway, things were much smoother here tonight under the bright lights of Hammond Stadium, in this Red Sox-Twins exhibition. There were no mishaps of any kind in the first inning, though Wakefield did give up a double and walk a batter.
In the second inning, Wakefield’s problems had nothing to do with Bard. He just got hit a little bit. Single, single, RBI single, sac fly, bloop RBI single to right. Next thing you knew, it was 3-0. But the best part of that inning for Bard is that all but three pitches were with runners on base, so it was a great test to see how he’d handle the knuckler under duress. He did fine.
On to other matters: Dustin Pedroia didn’t waste any time making his presence felt this offseason, ripping a double to left-center in his first at-bat.
For all you basketball junkies out there, I am officially on record as saying that Stephon Marbury is going to be a nice fit with the Celtics. He’s trying to build back his value and his image. What better way of doing so then being a nice piece of a potential championship team? Don’t be a hater. Marbury is going to get the job done in Green.
To demonstrate how much I like basketball, I might go to a sports bar and take in a little Celtics-Clippers (10:30 p.m. EST) action once this fine baseball game is over.
Though it won’t match the buzz you will feel at Fenway Park on April 6, when the Red Sox open their season against the Rays, there is at least some excitement here at City of Palms Park, with the Old Towne Team facing off against Boston College.
Ace Josh Beckett fired two perfect innings, striking out two. His first pitch of the season, at 1:02 p.m. ET, was grounded to second off the bat of J.B. MacDonald. Harry Darling had his bat sawed off by Beckett, but the righty deftly caught the looping liner for the out. Mike Augustine hit a soft grounder to short to the third out. The leadoff batter in the second was none other than Sam Shaughnessy, the son of the long-time Boston Globe columnist. I wonder what was going through Dan’s mind as he took in the at-bat in from the press box.Young Sam struck out looking on a nasty 1-2 pitch from Beckett.
The early “almost highlight” of the game came in the bottom of the third when Ortiz launched one to deep right-center. It was going, going and … caught at the warning track.
As we start the top of the fifth, with BC leading 1-0, we are into Tazawa time. Here is Junichi Tazawa, signed out of the Industrial League of Japan and to a Major League contract back in December. He is likely to start the at Double-A Portland,but the Red Sox have been impressed by what they’ve seen from him this spring. Against BC, he turned in a swift, 1-2-3 inning.
It must be a pre-exhibition, exhibition game. The Red Sox just sent up batting practice pitcher Ino Guerrero up for an at-bat in the fifth inning. Ino, who is best known for being a close confidant of erstwhile Sox slugger Manny Ramirez, drew a walk. Who would have thought that Guerrero would draw a walk in an exhibition game while Ramirez still doesn’t have a job?
Below is a Brita Meng Outzen photo on Ino being congratulated by hitting coach Dave Magadan after he came out for a pinch-runner.
Guerrero, by the way, is 48 years old, according to a couple of trusty clubhouse sources.
“That was just to
liven up the day a little bit,” Francona said. “I liked the way he got the walk and acted like
he won the World Series. He may get another chance against Northeastern.”
It was like Christmas Day for the beat writers who cover the team, as we were handed copies of the 2009 media guide earlier this morning. Yes, that book will be our bible for the next eight or nine months, you can be sure of that. Snazzy cover this year, with a black and white image of Jim Rice “National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2009″ contrasted with a color image of Dustin Pedroia “2008 AL MVP GOLD GLOVE SLIVER SLUGGER AWARD.
Pedroia will play tonight against the Twins. Lugo, Baldelli, Ortiz and Drew are the regulars today who played behind Beckett.