Results tagged ‘ Kevin Youkilis ’

Opening Day lineups set (in a way)

FORT MYERS, Fla. — OK, so it’s not really Opening Day, per se, but it is the first game of the 2010 season (never mind the fact that it doesn’t count, and it’s a doubleheader against two college programs). Anyway, the Red Sox finalized the lineup for that Wednesday exhibition-opening doubleheader at City of Palms Park. Victor Martinez will bat third in the opener, and captain Jason Varitek will make his spring debut in the nightcap.

Here it is …
Against Northeastern (1:05 p.m. ET)
Jacoby Ellsbury, LF
Bill Hall, 3B
Victor Martinez, C
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
Lars Anderson, 1B
Darnell McDonald, RF
Che-Hsuan Lin, CF
Gil Velazquez, 2B
SP: Casey Kelly
Against Boston College (6:05 p.m.)
Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Jeremy Hermida, LF
Tug Hulett, DH
Josh Reddick, CF
Ryan Kalish, CF
SP: Boof Bonser
By the way, I’m filling in for Ian Browne on Red Sox duty today. Follow along if you’re on Twitter (@Alden_Gonzalez), and feel free to drop me a line via e-mail (
— Alden Gonzalez

Field Day

So the first official workout isn’t until Wednesday, I will grant you that. But today sure felt like an official workout. The only players who didn’t participate? J.D. Drew, who showed up in the late morning, Mike Lowell who unpacked his belongings in the early afternoon, and Marco Scutaro, who will make his first appearance in camp for physicals on Tuesday.

There was clearly a surge in energy with the arrival of David Ortiz. Big Papi showed up with a smile, eager to turn the page from a tough 2010.
Mike Cameron and Adrian Beltre, two key newcomers, were also full of enthusiasm in their first day at the office with their new team. The biggest challenge for poor Cameron was finding the workout fields. He first drove to City of Palms Park, only to find that it was completely empty. Cameron also forgot his batting gloves, but he had an old friend in Bill Hall to borrow some from.
It didn’t take Beltre long to put on a show during infield drills, as he smoothly picked just about everything that came his way.

Meanwhile, Kevin Youkilis was among the first to arrive in camp, and he was clearly having himself a good time today. Check out the leap action here, as showcased by photographer Brita Meng Outzen.
Lowell will hold his press conference on Tuesday. It is obviously an awkward position for Mike, but if anyone is professional enough to handle the situation of being in complete limbo, it is Lowell.

And Daisuke Matsuzaka resumed throwing, playing catch between 60 and 90 feet, further proof that his back injury isn’t really much of an injury. He should be off a mound by early next week.

Say hello to the Early Birds

Sorry about the delay between blog posts. There’s been a whole lot of nothing going on with the Red Sox of late, so there hasn’t been a whole lot to post about. It’s just that time of year.

I must confess that several Red Sox players have beaten me to Fort Myers. Jon Lester, Kevin Youkilis, Manny Delcarmen and Jonathan Papelbon have all been cited on the premises this week. The official reporting date is Feb. 18, and that’s just for pitchers and catchers.

My good friend Jonny Miller of WBZ-Radio AM caught up with some of these guys this week and here is a sampling.

Delcarmen on his poor finish last year: “A little disappointed. I felt like I was a little banged up and probably should have said something earlier. I just want to go out there and get the ball all the time and Tito knows that. For the most part, I’m excited to come down here early and get ready for the season because I definitely want to start off and finish stronger than I did last year.”

He looks a little leaner this year.

“I lost a little weight. A lot more cardio than last offseason. So I just wanted to come to Florida and show that I was ready.”

Without a doubt, the way last year ended was a bitter pill for the Red Sox to swallow.

“It was tough,” Youkilis said. “Walking away from the season like that. We had a good season. Won 95 games. We made the playoffs nad came up short and got beat by a team that was better than us at the time. For us, this year, I think we have a pretty good team and hopefully we can get to the playoffs again and go further than the first round.”

That said, Jon Lester said it was best not to let the loss fester for too long.

“I thought about it for a day,” said Lester. “Your offseason comes around and you move on. You can’t sit there and wallow in it and say, ‘pitiful me, we got swept.’ You get in the offseason and you get home and you move on, you watch a couple of playoff games and a couple of world series games and see who wins. I really didn’t think about it at all. I think this team is pretty much determined every year to come in and win a World Series. I don’t think our goals are any less than that. We’re going to work hard in Spring Training to get to that goal.”

The players are not minimizing the loss of Jason Bay.

“Jason, we’re going to miss him for his personality and his overall character. He’s a great guy, a great teammate,” Youkilis said. “He really loved Boston. It was very sad that it had to go the way it did. Baseball, it’s a business in a lot of senses. It’s a sad thing sometimes but it is a business. Guys come and go. It’s one of those things where you stay in touch and wish them the best but you also have to accept another guy coming in Mike Cameron that will try to help this team win a World Series. We’re excited to see Mike. I hear he’s a great guy, a great teammate. That’s all you ask for, for guys to give 100 percent on the field.”

Meanwhile, Mike Lowell, who remains in limbo, figures to be a topic of conversation as long as he is still with the Red Sox.

“He’s a great ballplayer,” Youkilis said. “His numbers and accolades speak for themselves. He’s probably one of the best third basemen defensively to play the game. He’s on this team right now. I don’t know if he’s going to be traded or on this team for the year. You never know. If there’s a place for him to play every day, they’re going to try to do that for him. If he’s healthy, he’s a guy that can help a team out.”

Youk back in the fold; Lowell sits

For the first time since Game 1 of Sunday’s day-night doubleheader against the Rays, Red Sox manager Terry Francona produced a lineup on Friday night that included Kevin Youkilis.

The corner infielder, bothered by back spasms all week, was sufficiently recovered enough to return to his customary cleanup spot. Youkilis got the start at third base for the opener of a three-game series at Camden Yards.

“Yeah, he feels pretty good. Good enough where there were no qualms about playing him,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

Mike Lowell got the night off but it was not for health reasons. Lowell is hitting .174 lifetime against Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie with one homer and seven RBIs. Casey Kotchman, who started at first place, effectively taking Lowell’s spot in the lineup, is a .429 hitter against Guthrie in a small sample size (3-for-7) with one homer and three RBIs But the move was basically to keep Lowell fresh.

“Not so much matchup because I think Mike is a good hitter,” Francona said. “He played three days in a row. We traveled last night. I wanted to get Kotch enough at-bats where he could help us.”

Ian Browne

Play Ball

Taprp coming off the field here at 10:31 p.m. It’s amazing how baseball works sometimes. Mike Lowell was supposed to have the night off, but Youk loses his temper and his helmet and gets thrown out of the game after being hit by a pitch. Next thing you know, Lowell is in the game and hits not one, but two home runs.

The last Sox player to hit two home runs off the bench? Joe Foy on June 9, 1967 against the Washington Senators.

Tazawa is in line to get the win. He settled down nicely after a rocky first which was prolonged by Nick Green’s error.

One of the most encouraging signs of the night was the absolute rocket that Jason Bay hit.

I’m sure the Red Sox will lose Youkilis for five to seven games once the league comes out with punishment. But the Red Sox are fortunate to be deep at the corners with Martinez, Kotchman and Lowell.

Another day, another duel

So nothing could live up to Beckett-Burnett? Well, not so fast. Sabathia and Buchholz is pretty good theater so far today. CC has a no-no through five. Buchholz might be coming of age in front of our very eyes.

Still no word on a starter for Tuesday, but I’m guessing Tazawa.

That was one of the best games I’ve seen in a long time last night. If it was a playoff game, that game would be rehashed for years.

Where do you rank that catch by J.D.? Just a fantastic game. It was fun to be there for it.

In the context of the rivalry from 2003-09 — call it the Epstein-Cashman era — it was second only to July 1, 2004 in terms of regular season games. July 24, 2004 definitely had drama, and a brawl and a walkoff, but it wasn’t a GREAT game. It was more of a slugfest.

Poor Youk in left today. He’s getting exposed.

Rivalry Weekend starts early

Thursday here in New York, though I have to say it feels like Friday. Big four-game set begins in the Bronx tonight, with Kevin Youkilis starting in left field. This is the first time Youk has started in the outfield since 2006, when he started 17 games.

The reason, of course, is that Jason Bay is unavailable and might be for the entire series. Bay has hamstring woes. In addition, Rocco Baldelli fouled a ball off his left leg yesterday and was placed on the disabled list. Josh Reddick, back in the Minors for all of a day, will resurface in time for tonight’s game.

Greg Bouris from the Players Association confirmed that David Ortiz will address his situation on Saturday. Obviously Ortiz will meet with reps from the PA while he is in New York.

Smoltz vs. Joba tonight. Talk about a big spot for Smoltz.

Frankie singing Sweet Music

A different kind of Sunday morning in the Red Sox clubhouse today, as Frank Sinatra’s legendary voice replaced the usual mix of country, rap and hip hop. Good stuff, though some players — particularly Kevin Youkilis — seemed perplexed by the choice.

In actual baseball news, not a whole lot going on. Jacoby Ellsbury, who likely didn’t eat much beyond soup and jello this weekend in his rehab from intestinal turmoil, is back in the lineup, batting sixth.

What happened to him?

“I don’t know, but I felt terrible — absolutely terrible,” said Ellsbury. “But I feel better today.”

In lineup news, Kevin Youkilis moved over to third for the day, as Mark Kotsay — the brains behind the Sinatra selection — got the start at first. Mike Lowell and Jed Lowrie got the day off, but you could see one or both off the bench.

Roy Halladay liftime against the Red Sox: 12-12, 4.46 ERA. How is that possible? Don’t all of you feel like we’ve watched this guy throw a ton of gems against Boston?

If you aren’t already, follow me over on Twitter.

Youk recovered, back in lineup

BOSTON – After being removed during the past two games with right-leg issues, Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis was back in the lineup Friday night, batting third for manager Terry Francona.

The fact that Youkilis exited in the fourth inning of Thursday’s 6-3 win over the Tigers was purely a precaution.

“You know what, I think he was OK yesterday,” Francona said. “Watching [Miguel] Cabrera [get hurt] runing the bases – and knowing how important Youk is – and having [Mark Kotsay] available, we just thought it made sense. I guess around noon today, he said he was fine, ready to go.”

Youkilis initially had trouble with his leg when Josh Anderson of the Tigers inadvertently kicked him while trying to beat out a double play on Wednesday night.

“Yeah, I feel good,” Youkilis said. “Just had a problem yesterday with my calf tightening up. A little rest – day game after a night game.

In other news, shortstop Jed Lowrie took live batting practice for the first time since left surgery. There is still no precise time-table for his return the the roster.

Why did Julio Lugo start at shortstop for the second straight night with Nick Green on the bench?

“I don’t know,” quipped Francona. “We’re just trying to get the most out of both of them. There’s some things I probably don’t mind sharing and sometimes I just think there’s stuff where I’m trying to make my decision. Millsy and I sit around a lot and talk. There’s certain days I want a certain guy to play for various reasons, whether it’s range or who’s pitching for them. Just looking at it. Just thought, we’ll go with Julio tonight. And, again, we can adjust as we go over the weekend. My point is, it’s not a perfect science.”

Ian Browne

Youk: Lay off Papi

Clearly, Red Sox players are getting tired of talking about the ongoing power outage of David Ortiz. In other words, they can only imagine how tired Ortiz is of talking about it.

What will it take for Ortiz to bust out?

“Well, I think if everyone would stop asking questions about David Ortiz and left him alone, maybe he’d start hitting a little more,” Youkilis said. “If everyone just leaves him alone. Maybe talk about the weather outside or something. Maybe get off baseball convo and talk about something else, maybe that will help him out.”

“I don’t know. It would bother me if everyone was talking negatively about me every day. As baseball players and athletes, there’s nothing more frustrating than when you’re going through a slump. You’ve got to deal with it yourself. Then you have added pressures on you and people talking around time. David Ortiz wants to get out of the slump as much as you guys want him to get out of the slump and as much as the fans do. I think there’s a lot of added pressures there all around.”