Results tagged ‘ Manny Delcarmen ’

Lowell, others getting healthier

Dustin Pedroia is still a few weeks away. Same with Jason Varitek. Same probably for Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie and Victor Martinez. But some other bodies are getting healthy.

Manny Delcarmen returned to the mix tonight after being down for two weeks with a forearm strain. Clay Buchholz gets back Wednesday when he pitches in Oakland. Josh Beckett could well be the next day in Seattle.

And there was even a Mike Lowell update today. The 3B/1B/DH will have a cortisone shot on his right hip on Monday and be back playing in a Minor League rehab assignment by Thursday. The question for Lowell is, when he does come back, will it be for the Red Sox or another team?

The Rangers are interested again, though they are monitoring all available corner infielders.

“I think there’s been rumors since the Winter Meetings of last year,” said Lowell. “If something happens, I don’t think that changes the way I feel about my teammates or the city or the fans. Those are all positives for me. I love Miami too. So, I don’t see why it changes, or it’s always a bad thing. I do know I enjoy playing baseball and I’m doing that less this year than I ever have. I don’t know. I’ve heard talks, but I’ve heard talks for eight months. I have no idea. I don’t know the situations other teams are in, whether it’s a need or what, I don’t really care to know either. I think you’ll drive yourself crazy trying to break down every team. I just want to be in a position where I can play.”

Friday injury updates from hot, steamy Fenway

It’s a scorcher out here at Fenway tonight. You want the requisite injury updates? Here you go. ‘

Third baseman Adrian Beltre is in the lineup tonight, apparently over the hamstring woes that troubled him through the All-Star break.

Manny Delcarmen will be back in the Boston bullpen tomorrow evening after successfully completing his one-day rehab.

Dustin Pedroia is off crutches and doing some light weight-bearing activities. He is probably stuck in the walking boot for another week or two, and then he can ramp back up. In other words, Pedroia won’t play for the Red Sox before August, not that it’s that big a surprise.

Jason Varitek is a couple of weeks behind Pedroia, and will remain in crutches for the time being.

In the meantime, nothing like a little pressure for young lefty Felix Doubront. The Red Sox badly need a win tonight with Cliff Lee looming tomorrow.

Delcarmen getting closer

It was interesting that the Red Sox sent Manny Delcarmen to the Minor League complex for two innings on Monday so he could work on physical and mental aspects of his game. The righty is an important piece to Boston’s bullpen when he is going well, but he struggled mightily in the second of last season.

Delcarmen is a perfect example of how Spring Training statistics mean almost nothing to the way the club evaluates a player. In Delcarmen’s case, he has a 1.35 ERA in eight games, but the club has noticed him laboring.

Monday’s exercise seemed to do Delcarmen some good. But he is still a bit of a wrok in progress.

“He was better,” said Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell. “I thought there was better consistency to the command, and the location of the fastball was not down in the zone as much as we’d like to see. That’s more fundamental or delivery-related. There was more of a willingness and an intensity to his two innings of work here and the whole idea today was to allow him to go through 35 to 40 pitches of work, granted, the atmosphere and the intensity is not what we’re going to see of him or what he’s going to be involved with.”

Delcarmen was pitching through shoulder pain duiring his second half struggles, and might have lost some of his swagger. Farrell is trying to get Delcarmen to pitch with more confidence.

The righty will pitch his final Grapefruit League game on Thursday against the Twins.

“Talking to Farrell, he wants me to go out there and get that
attitude like, ‘you’re going out there and nobody can touch you.’ I took
that approach a little bit today, just threw some pitches inside and
like I said, I felt great,” Delcarmen said. “Hopefully this carries on to the next time I
throw and I’ll just keep going and attacking. John said, ‘I want you to get that fiery attitude back that you used to have.”‘

Delcarmen is one of Boston’s more versatile relievers in this sense: He can go multi-innings in the middle of a game or he can pitch later in the game for a batter or an inning. He can also get lefties out. If anything, Delcarmen said, he needs to get back to the point where he is dominating righties. Lefties hit .221 against Delcarmen last year. Righties hit .322.

“I’ve heard Tito say it a bunch this spring. I know from my numbers
last year, I felt like I couldn’t get a righty out for my life toward
the end,” Delcarmen said. “I kept getting lefties out. He said, ‘Manny has that ability
to get lefties out and when he’s on top, downhill, he can get righties
out.’ I see that as a plus, just stay healthy and whenever he needs me,
be ready to go.  I definitely want to attack righties more.”

There are also some delivery adjustments that should help Delcarmen.

“hen he separates his hands, when he’s on time in his delivery, he’s going to leverage the ball downhill with some giddy-up on it, with some life through the zone,” Delcarmen said. “I think he understands it better. You could see it today. he was trying to get it out there and get it done. When he does it, it’s good. I think it’s still a little bit sporadic. He threw some good changeups today. I think the two innings helps. He’ll go two innings again Thursday, which I think will help.”

Tito still plotting lineup

What will the Red Sox’s starting lineup be on Opening Night — which is one week from today — against the Yankees? Well, the nine players are a given, but manager Terry Francona said he is still trying to figure out the exact order.

One “A” lineup the Sox have had out there a few times this spring is Ellsbury-Pedroia-Martinez-Youkilis-Ortiz-Drew-Beltre-Cameron-Scutaro. But the one dilemma with that alignment is that the five-six spots are back-to-back lefties and the last three spots are all righties.

Francona said he recently had assistant director of baseball operations Zach Scott do some statistical research for him, so he is waiting for some answers on that.

“Tthere’s probably going to be some things in our lineup where either you’re going to set it up for the beginning or the end. I don’t know that there’s a way to set it up where it works perfect. We have a few more right-handers then we’ve had in the past,” Francona said. “They may line up together. I don’t know. We’ll see. That lineup we’ve used so far this year, we’ve had 7-8-9 have been right-handed, five and six have been right-handed. I don’t know that that sounds perfect.

“At the same time, there’s other things we’re trying to account for also so we’ll see. The one thing I don’t want to do is put a lineup out there for Opening Night because it’s [CC] Sabathia that’s not our lineup. I think sometimes that can get overdone. We’ll see.”

Marco Scutaro has the ability to hit at the top or bottom of the order, and Francona has enjoyed the shortstop’s attitude.

“He’s really good about it,” Francona said. “He goes, ‘just put me out there, I’ll play.’ He’s really good about that.”

In other news:

Phenom Casey Kelly will make a one-day return to Major League camp on Tuedsay when he starts against the Rays in Port Charlotte. Tim Wakefield will stay back in Fort Myers that day and throw three innings in a Minor League game, and then come back on three days rest and start the exhibition game against the Nationals in D.C. on April 3.

Kelly’s workload is being monitored closely, similar to Jon Lester in 2006, because his innings will take a significant jump this year. At any rate, it will be fun to watch him pitch again.

“I think it will be a nice day to let him start,” Francona said. “It will be fun for us to get to watch. I think it will be a good experience for him.”

Kelly is expected to throw 60-65 pitches.

Corner infielder Mike Lowell dodged a bullet with that foul ball he nailed off his left knee on Friday. Lowell seemed to be moving around well before Sunday’s game and should play third base on either Monday or Tuesday.

Monday will be a busy day for Francona and his staff. Boof Bonser, Manny Declarmen and Daisuke Matsuzaka will all pitch in the Minors in the afternoon, and Josh Beckett, Scott Schoeneweis and Alan Embree are all on tap that night at home against the Rays.

Outfielder Jeremy Hermida is fine, a day after tweaking his right hamstring. He should return soon.

Big game today, as the Red Sox can clinch the vaunted Mayor’s Cup Trophy with a win against the cross-town Twins.

Pedroia healthy, happy upon return

It was pretty clear that Dustin Pedroia had no ill effects from the left wrist he strained on Tuesday. After making his return to the lineup, the little second baseman was clearly in a good mood in the clubhouse.

As John Lackey was holding court across the way, Pedroia couldn’t resist doing some chirping.

“He would have signed for five years at the league minimum to come here and not to have to face me [anymore],” Pedroia said.

Lackey was swift with his rebuttal, clearly re-playing a scene that the two players have had at times when the media has not been in the clubhouse.

“I’m scared of singles to right,” chuckled Lackey. “He’s been saying that for two weeks. Don’t give him credit for that.”

In truth, the humor that Pedroia displayed was only another example of what a non-issue his wrist is. The Red Sox gave him three days off because it’s Spring Training, making it a perfect time to be conservative with a nagging injury. Pedroia went 1-for-4 on the day.

“I got on the ground a few times and dove, so it was fine,” Pedroia said. “Swinging, I was fine. My first at-bat, I was just getting my timing back. He kind of blew the ball by me a little bit. But my next three at-bats were good, hit the ball on the barrel, so that’s the only thing I was trying to do today, make sure it felt great and see some pitches.”

Pedroia felt that his last at-bat, when he flew out, was probably his best of the day.

“My last at-bat, that was good. I felt good,” Pedroia said. “He was throwing me some pretty good pitches on the corners and I was fouling them off and it was good.  I was seeing a lot of pitches. I saw a lot all day which was good.”

In other news, Jeremy Hermida left the game with minor soreness in his right hamstring.

“It just didn’t seem like a good thing to keep him in the game,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He just came up and he said, ‘I feel it.’ I said, ‘that’s enough.”

Hermida didn’t seem the least bit concerned about the ailment after the game.

One pitcher who isn’t quite in sync at the moment is reliever Manny Delcarmen, who has been battling his mechanics for a couple of weeks. The righty got two outs and didn’t give up any runs on Saturday, but he’s not quite there yet.

With that in mind, the Red Sox will pitch Declarmen for a couple of innings in a more controlled environment on Monday, in a Minor League game.

“That’s still a work in progress,” Francona said. “I think we’re going to take him down to the minor league side on Monday and give him a couple, try to get him enough reps where [he's more comfortable]. Still watching his warm-ups, he’s not driving the ball downhill yet. We’ve got to stay on that.”

Embree has solid Minors outing

Lefty Alan Embree, at least judging by the linescore, had no detectable rust in his first game action of 2010.

Embree pitched in a Minor League game against the Orioles’ Triple-A squad today, reeling off a 1-2-3 inning that included a strikeout, a groundout and a popout. He threw 12 pitches, 11 for strikes.

The next step for the 40-year-old Embree will likely be a Major League game on Saturday against the Orioles in Sarasota.

Aside from the good news on Dustin Pedroia’s negative X-ray, not much else in the news department.

Manager Terry Francona did express confidence in Clay Buchholz, despite his rough outing on Tuesday night.

“Two innings in Fort Myers in the middle of March,” said Francona. “I would rather take those nine starts that he [made late last year]. Again, that’s kind of what I’ve been saying. I know we have to make decisions on when guys pitch and things like that early in the season and that can get overblown. As far as we feel about Buck, he’s good. He’s gonna be good.”

Meanwhile, Manny Delcarmen threw a 1-2-3 inning against the Twins on Tuesday, but he hasn’t found his groove yet. The issue? Delivery tweaks.

“He and [pitching coach] John [Farrell] are going back and forth and it’s not like they’re butting heads.” said Francona. “They’re just trying to get to a point where he comes to balance and he can drive off that mound and have everything in sync. I don’t think we’re there yet. I’m just being honest.”

Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his long-awaited Grapefruit League debut for Thursday, when he comes on in relief of knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

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.”

Wake and MDC

Here are some leftovers from the Boston Baseball Writers DInner.

Tim Wakefield? It doesn’t sound like the Red Sox envision him for a relief role, despite having six starters for five spots at the moment.

“I haven’t thought about that a lot. He’s a starter,”Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “I think what we need to do is … for the last three or four years we haven’t had him at the end of the year. It’s probably hard for Wake to understand. He sees us signing guys and probably that’s a normal human reaction. What we’re trying to do is have our guys stay healthy and productive. You hear us say that all the time, all year. I think this is the best way we can do that. How that slots out, we really don’t know yet.”

While it’s true the Red Sox didn’t go out and make a major bullpen addition this winter, pitching coach John Farrell made a very interesting point.

“One acquisition we made this offseason would be getting Many Delcarmen back to what he was for two and a half years prior to the second half of last season,” said Farrell. “He was one of the top four or five middle relievers in all of baseball and he’s a key part of our bullpen. Getting him back to the form he pitched at for a two and a half year stretch will go a long way toward putting him back in that category of performer that he was. A lot of times, most recent outings are the most fresh in guys minds and how they draw confidence from that. It’s important for us to get him in to a confident state as we start the games in spring training and continue to build on. I think there was some fatigue that set in with him toward the end of the season and kept him off the postseason roster. They weren’t to the extent of a major injury, but the result of certain outings. He didn’t have the need for any repair or anything like that. We expect and anticipate he’ll get back to that level.”

Delcarmen on bubble

Red Sox reliever Manny Delcarmen, already on the bubble for the postseason roster because of a shaky second half, is now in further limbo after a car crash on Saturday that has left his back and neck stiff and sore.

Delcarmen felt a little better before Monday’s optional workout.

“Still a little sore, my back and my neck a little bit but a lot better than the last two days,” Delcarmen said. “Just the middle of my back and it kind of moved down to my lower back and my
neck feels a million times better than it did yesterday. Just little by
little, we’ll see how it feels and hopefully everything is good.”

The accident was a scary one and Delcarmen feels fortunate that he is OK.

“I hit the median. Car lost control and cut me off and I slammed and went left and went right into the median,” Delcarmen said. “I feel more bad for my Hummer, but I was kind of happy I was in my Hummer than in some other car. I was on my way here Saturday. The rain didn’t help. But I’m here, I’m healthy and just happy to be here.”

“it’s been weird for me this year. normally I start off a little shaky and finish strong. This year was the complete opposite. My velocity was down a little bit and we’re just trying to figure out what was the cause of it. My arm feels great right now. Being in the accident doesn’t really help that much. It’s just been tough for me these last couple of weeks. Hopefully I feel good, get on the mound and my job is to get people out, so hopefully I do that.”

After a solid first half in which Delcarmen posted a 2.41 ERA, he had a fairly horrific second half, notching a 7.27 ERA. What happened?

“I don’t know,” Delcarmen said. “I just really don’t know. One pitch would be 94 or 95 and another one would be at 90. I can’t remember the last time I was that low. I’m working with [pitching coach John] Farrrell, trying to figure stuff out.”

Delcarmen thinks he is healthy, other than the after-effects of the crash.

“Body-wise, I felt good. Shoulder felt fine at times. Just trying to figure it out,” Delcarmen said.

It remains to be seen if it is too late for Delcarmen to figure it out. The Red Sox must set their roster by the day of Game 1, which is likely to be on Thursday.

Stockpiling arms

Another day, another Red Sox signing. Since Christmas, Theo Epstein has added Josh Bard, Brad Penny, Rocco Baldelli, John Smoltz, Mark Kotsay and Takashi Saito.

Saito is an interesting one, considering the dominant numbers he has put up during his three years in the Majors. Obviously health was a concern in 2008, which is why the Dodgers non-tendered him.

But the Red Sox now have a ton of options in the bullpen. Jonathan Papelbon, Saito, Okajima, Masterson, Manny Delcarmen, Ramon Ramirez, Javier Lopez. All of those arms are of the quality variety.

This begs the question:  Will there be a trade in the works in which Theo can move one of these relievers to help fill another need on the club? It certainly appears that way. Don’t be surprised if one of these setup men is part of a package in a trade for a catcher. The Red Sox certainly have depth, that has become abundantly clear.

Saito will be 39 in February, which of course raises questions about his future durability. But in the context of this year, if he can stay healthy, it gives the Sox great insurance should Jonathan Papelbon need some rest during the season.

By the end of the ALCS, Papelbon admitted that he was just about spent. With the addition of Saito, and the continued emergence of Masterson, perhaps they can be even more conservative with him then they’ve been since the arm scare of 2006.

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