Results tagged ‘ Joe Nelson ’
The homestand is officially underway, but don’t get used to it. The Red Sox will be at Fenway for all of two games before venturing back on the road for a six-game road trip through Philly and Tampa Bay that starts on Friday.
A long night at Yankee Stadium — an hour rain delay and a four-hour game — became longer even still for the Red Sox when they had some flight issues coming home. What time did manager Terry Francona return to his residence?
“I think I pulled up at the driveway at 10 till 6,” Francona said.
He didn’t stay home long. When did he get to Fenway?
“I got here at 10 to 12 because I had to do the EEI thing at noon so I made it,” Francona said.
By the way, Francona is surprised that the media did not ask him about the somewhat humorous scene on Monday night, when he was in the middle of an argument with the umpire and wound up staying on the field during God Bless America.
“I can’t believe nobody asked me about the God Bless America the other night,” Francona said. “I can’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do. I went out to tell the guy I was mad at him and I ended up honoring America with him. We were both looking at each other laughing. I told him during the song, did you ever throw anybody out during God Bless America. He didn’t know me, I don’t think he knew how to take that. I said, ‘I’m just teasing.”‘
On to the nuts and bolts of the day:
Josh Beckett won’t pitch for the Red Sox again until June 3. The righty is on the DL with a lower back strain. But Tim Wakefield will step right in and pitch Sunday in Philly.
Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron will both play at Portland on Thursday, inching closer to returning to the team.
Joe Nelson, the last cut in Spring Training, is back, ready to help the bullpen.
Manager Terry Francona informed righty reliever Scott Atchison this morning that he is on the team. It is a feel-good story of sorts, as Atchision returned to the U.S. after pitching the last two years in Japan, hoping he’d be able to win a spot in the Majors.
The final spot on the roster is between lefty reliever Scott Schoeneweis — who will pitch today — and righty Joe Nelson. Either way, Nelson will travel with the team to Washington. The Red Sox are hoping to have a better read on Schoeneweis by the end of the day.
Alan Embree, the club has determined, is not ready for Opening Day. They’ve asked the lefty to pitch on a rehab program, which would consist of several outings in the Minors. Embree is going to mull it over and talk to his family. He has an opt-out clause in his contract on April 15.
And Junichi Tazawa, the Japanese prospect, will undergo Tommy John ligament transfer surgery on his elbow. Tazawa will be operated on by the renowned Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. on Tuesday. The righty won’t pitch at all this season, but given the normal time-table of Tommy John recovery, he could be ready by the early portion of the 2011 season.
So Alan Embree walked in this morning, heating up the competition in the bullpen. Among those on the bubble are Joe Nelson, Scott Atchison and Brian Shouse. As manager Terry Francona mentioned, some of the pitchers’ “radars might have gone up a bit”.
But Nelson, the well-traveled vet, knows by now he can’t stress about such things. After throwing a shutout ninth inning against the Orioles, the righty spoke openly about the situation.
“Theo owes it to the people that own the team, to Red Sox Nation, to everyone, to exhaust every possible avenue,” Nelson said. “That’s their job and that’s why they’re good at what they do. They’ll bring in a truck driver if he says he can throw 90-mph and can throw a splitter. If they check it out for themselves and he can, they’ll probably keep him around for a while. They have to exhaust every avenue.
“I expect that from the organization. I’m not rooting against Shouse or Atch or Embree for that matter. We can only do what we’re capable of. The decisions are going to be made behind closed doors besides what we do on the field and even that, you can say, what do I need to do, throw nine perfect innings? And even that may not be enough. They’re looking for a certain person, a certain spot, chemistry is involved, your ability to pitch is involved. It’s more than just, ‘we’re taking this guy, he’s got the best numbers.’
“I’ve been on teams where I had a better spring than guys and they didn’t go that way. The Red Sox as a front office owe everyone to try to exhaust every possible reserouce. Alan is a 17-year veteran. He’s had tremendous success. I know he hasn’t pitched in a while and I know from experience how hard it is to come back. We’re going to see in a couple of days how far along he is. You don’t forget how to throw overnight so I’m sure he’ll do just fine.
“If it ends up he’s the guy, then that’s the way it is. Shousey, Atch and myself, we’re putting a good foot forward. We all think we’re going to pitch in the big leagues. It may not be on our time-table because we all want to be there April 4 and that’s probably not going to happen. Now, I’m trying to make the team. If I don’t make it, I’m going to try to be the first guy to call when something goes wrong. I don’t try to think about the second one too much.”
What excited Nelson on Saturday was some refined mechanics that he felt led to his best pitching since the middle of the 2008 season.
“I’m focused on what I’m doing right now, which is every time I get the ball to go out and work on some things. I’m excited,” said Nelson. “I feel good. I can honestly say that’s the best I’ve felt in 16 months, since 2008. Last year I went thorugh mechanical just cluster. I tried eveyr different thing in the world. Thursday I threw a pen on the off-day and me and John [Farrell] looked at my stride and it was really short. I got home and saw one glaring omission in the last two years of trying to throw the baseball. Today I felt good. I was just excited to be able to throw. I felt like I could have thrown 15 changeups in a row.”