Results tagged ‘ Marco Scutaro ’

First getaway day in 2010

It is a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in Kansas City, with the waterfall out in right-center in full effect. Perfect day for baseball.
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The only real lineup news for the Sox is J.D. Drew being out for a day with a stiff neck.  Bill Hall will make his first start of the year at short.

Of course, it will be intriguing to watch Clay Buchholz pitch today, because, at some point, Daisuke Matsuzaka is going to be in the rotation and someone is going to have to come out. Tim Wakefield didn’t look like that someone on Friday, when he threw seven terrific innings.

And a happy 38th birthday to Sox captain Jason Varitek, who celebrated with a pair of homers last night.

Run prevention on display in chilly Florida

It was 62 degrees at game-time. Or at least that’s what was announced.

“My [butt],” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona following his team’s 2-1 Grapefruit League victory over the Twins on Thursday night at City of Palms.

The manager was asked if he thinks he’ll need to get out of Florida before rediscovering what it is like to be warm. The manager was tempted to peel off some layers before answering the question.

“Everything that the Red Sox have ever issued me, I wore,” quipped Francona. “It was awful. “

Not so awful, however, was the type of baseball the Red Sox put on display. All winter, there was talk of their improved run-prevention, the type of ball that will play well in the October chill.

The plan was showcased against the Twins. Marco Scutaro made two dazzling defensive plays. The bullpen got shutout innings from everyone, a group that included Jonathan Papelbon, Hideki Okajima, Daniel Bard (pictured below by Brita Meng Outzen), Ramon Ramirz, Brian Shose, Scott Atchison and Joe Nelson.
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The man who wowed the crowd was the new shortstop. Scutaro ranged smoothly to the hole to start an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the first. And wiht Hideki Okajima pitching in the fourth, Scutaro opened the inning with a brilliant diving stop to rob Alexi Casilla of a hit.

“I think I’ve said early on, as people watch him play, they’ll come quickly to realize why we wanted him,” Francona said. “Those are really good plays. We played a crisp game defensively. We didn’t’ do much offensively. And I know it’s Spring Training, but it’s a nice way to win a game. “

And don’t forget about the vital importance. The Red Sox have taken a 1-0 lead against the Twins in the all-important Mayor’s Cup standings. But the Twins are hardly panicking, with six games left, including today and tomorrow. Ever wonder what the Mayor’s Cup Trophy looks like? Check it out, in all its’ glory.
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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.
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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@mlb.com).
– Alden Gonzalez

Cameron injury minor; Sctuaro earns rave reviews

Red Sox center fielder Mike Cameron came off the field early in Sunday’s workout with tightness in his left groin, but it is the definition of a nagging Spring Training injury.

“Because we were getting pretty active with the relays, I told him to come in and get treatment,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “I don’t think it’s anything. He tested it out, his strength was good, his range of motion was good. But it’s not something we want to make worse now.”

Though Cameron, pictured below by photographer Brita Meng Outzen conferring with trainers, might not be back in time for game action on Wednesday, when the Sox open their exhibition slate with a day-night doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College, he had no concern whatsoever.

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“I’ll be fine. If I had to play a game, I could play a game,” said Cameron. “I just didn’t want to push it you know with the body just starting to get shocked and starting to do a lot, didn’t want to get too far behind and get tired and really hurt something. It’s precautionary, we jumped on things quickly. It’s kind of good to sit back and let the body catch up with the mind and listen to it for a change.”

One player who seems to be winning everyone over early in camp is diminutive shortstop Marco Scutaro. Yes, you can already count Dustin Pedroia as a huge fan of his new double-play partner. Here they are below walking off the field together today.

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“He’s real steady over there. He’s a baseball player. He makes all the plays. He’s going to make my job real easy,” said Pedroia. “Everyone I’ve talked to who I’ve asked about Marco, they say the same thing. What a great teammate he is, great guy. So we’re excited to have him. I can see why everyone loves him. He works hard. He’s going to be a huge help to this team.”

Pedroia also had some praise for top prospect Casey Kelly, who he faced during batting practice.

“The command, his presence, he’s got a real good idea of what he wants to do and you never really see that at that age,” said Pedroia. “There’s a reason why he’s talked about a lot. A lot of teams want him. He’s got good stuff.”

In other newws, Daisuke Matsuzaka played catch at about 150 feet. Still no precise word on wehther he will ramp up to a bullpen session. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is Tuesday or Wednesday.

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.
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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.
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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.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

Follow along in Indy

So the Red Sox have their shortstop, which means Theo Epstein can start pursuing all his other needs as he and 29 other general managers travel to Indianapolis for the Winter Meetings, which start Monday.

Roy Halladay? The more I hear on this, the less I think he will wind up with the Red Sox. The exception will be if the price drops. Much like the Red Sox wouldn’t give up Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury for Johan Santana two years ago, they aren’t going to give up a combination of Buchholz and Casey Kelly this year. It’s not just lip service when Theo Epstein says that every move he makes has both the present and future in mind. He won’t make moves that he feels will significantly impact the future of the organization, especially not for a pitcher who is 32 years old and entering the last year of his contract.

I arrive in Indy tonight. Starting tomorrow, check for regular updates throughout the Meetings, which conclude on Thursday with the Rule 5 Draft.

Halladay in their sights

The Red Sox are reportedly in negotiations with the Blue Jays to try to
land Roy Halladay, who is likely to be the top pitcher available on
either the trade or free agent market this winter.

According to
the New York Daily News, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein is
putting on a “full-court press” for the righty and would love to get it
done before the Winter Meetings, which commence in Indianapolis on Dec.
7.

The question is, how far are the Red Sox willing to go to
land Halladay? The Daily News suggested that Boston might have to part
with Clay Buchholz and Casey Kelly,  two of their most promising
right-handers. Buchholz established himself in the second half of 2009,
emerging into Boston’s No. 3 starter by the postseason. Kelly, a
pitcher-shortstop, is still in the development phase after being
selected by the Red Sox in the first round (30th overall) in the
first-year player draft.  The Red Sox haven’t officially decided if
Kelly will be a pitcher or a shortstop, though wide speculation has
always been that they are leaning toward the former.

In addition
to focusing on Halladay, the Boston Herald reported that Boston has
expressed preliminary interest in another player with Toronto ties –
free agent shortstop Marco Scutaro.

The Hot Stove is at last starting to simmer. Things will likely quiet down over the Thanksgiving holiday, but at least the foundation appears to be in place for things to pick up next week.

All is quiet — for now

I know everyone is getting restless because the speculation is out there on the Hot Stove front but not a whole lot has happened yet. This is the calm before the storm.

At the end of Thursday — when midnight turns to Friday — all free agents will be eligible to sign with other teams. This is where things will start to pick up.

Obviously with the Red Sox, the big domino is Jason Bay. Will they be able to keep him, and if not, who plays left field?

The Billy Wagner situation is also interesting. Could he actually stay in Boston? The likelihood is still that he will go somewhere else and the Red Sox will get compensatory draft picks.

Then, there is the shortstop situation. Who will it be? Alex Gonzalez? Omar Vizquel? Marco Scutaro? One reason I don’t see them signing Scutaro is because they are so high on Julio Iglesias as the shortstop of the future, and Iglesias might only be a year or two away.

They spoke with John Lackey’s agent, but I don’t see that as a vialbe option. As the most accomplished starter on the market, Lackey is likely going to get big bucks from someone this winter, and when it comes to starting pitchers in their 30s, that someone is usually not the Red Sox.

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