Results tagged ‘ Marlins ’

Ross: Josh Johnson would bolster contender

Rumors fly around this time of year involving all sorts of players. But one that Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross is particularly intrigued by is his ex-teammate, right-hander Josh Johnson.

The Marlins have already made quite the splash this week, trading Anibal Sanchez and Hanley Ramirez. While they might be less inclined to move Johnson after already making two big trades, Ross knows that his former teammate could help any team he was traded to, including the Red Sox.

“I mean, he definitely would help any team,” Ross said. “He’s a bulldog. He’s one of the premier pitchers, an ace. I’ve always said that he is one of the most competitive players I’ve ever played with. He’s a bulldog.”

Ross and Johnson were teammates with the Marlins from 2006 until Ross was claimed off waivers by the Giants on Aug. 22, 2010. Though Johnson is just 6-7 with a 4.14 ERA this year, Ross is convinced his performance could improve down the stretch while pitching for higher stakes.

“Sometimes a change of scenery might help. He threw well his last time out,” Ross said. “He went through a little tough stretch but you can count on him being good down toward the end of the season. He’s as good as anybody out there.”

How about the change from a smaller market like Miami to a major market? Would Johnson be able to adapt to that change?

“Yeah, absolutely. He could definitely handle it. He’s so mentally strong that he wouldn’t let a big market affect him. He’s a professional. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s special,” Ross said.

Johnson is under contract through the 2013 season, which would make him more attractive to a team like the Red Sox. That also could make the Marlins more inclined to hang on to him.

Game 8 Grapefruit League: Red Sox 5, Marlins 3

FORT MYERS, Fla. –- Josh Beckett and Andrew Bailey both recovered nicely from shaky beginnings. Pedro Ciriaco again proved why he might be a utilityman the Red Sox will be able to use at some point during 2012. And Mike Aviles is hitting like a man determined to be the Opening Day shortstop.

What went right: Aviles hit the ball with authority twice, clubbing a double and a triple. Ciriaco belted a walkoff two-run homer and made a nice relay throw to nail a runner at the plate. Beckett hit two batters in the first, but settled down to pitch four solid innings. David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia impressed manager Bobby Valentine by hustling from first to third on hits.

What went wrong: Outfielder Ryan Sweeney left the game after two innings with a nagging left quad. Bailey, making his first appearance as Boston’s closer, gave up hits to the first three batters he faced. At least he minimized the damage, giving up only one run.

What they said: “He’s got big league stuff. He’s an All Star. We just want him to break camp healthy.” – Saltalamacchia on Bailey.

What’s next: Fifth-starter candidate Felix Doubront will get the ball in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest airing live on MLB.TV against the Yankees. The Sox regulars scheduled to make the trip are Mike Aviles, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Righty Vicente Padilla, who is also vying for a rotation job, is slated to pitch in relief. Ivan Nova will get the nod starting nod for New York.

Injury update: “He’s going to throw 90 feet today with the trainer. He’s ready to progress here mid-week with some monitored swings.” – Valentine on left fielder Carl Crawford.

Washed away at Roger Dean

JUPITER, Fla. — This is Alden Gonzalez here, filling in for Ian Browne, and it looks like I brought some of that Miami-ish rain from home with me on Friday. Sorry about that.
DSC01617.jpgAnyway, it’s been raining all morning at Roger Dean Stadium — and the night before — so the game was postponed before 11 a.m. ET. Here’s how it affects the Red Sox:
* They’ll play their regularly scheduled game against the Pirates at home on Saturday, at 1:05 p.m. ET (weather permitting). They’ll then play a 5 1/2-inning ‘B’ game against some of the guys from Minor League camp. Clay Buchholz (Friday’s scheduled starter) will start the game against the Pirates, followed by Michael Bowden. 
* Pitching in the ‘B’ game will be Hideki Okajima, Daniel Bard, Casey Kelly, Ramon Ramirez and others.

* Boston will now come back here to make this contest up on March 22 as part of a split-squad game. The other half of the squad will be back home playing the Rays. That will mark back-to-back split-squad doubleheaders on the schedule.
* Since the Marlins weren’t here on Friday (they were busy getting rained out in Sarasota, Fla.), Red Sox hitters were able to utilize the batting cages, and a few guys threw off the mound before they headed back to Fort Myers, Fla. 
* Mike Lowell (thumb) is still on track to play in his first exhibition game on Monday, against the Orioles. Daisuke Matsuzaka (upper back) is still scheduled to throw to hitters on Saturday. That will be at 11:30 a.m. in the backfields at City of Palms Park.
* Francona said his “best guess” would be that Jason Varitek, who missed a few days while attending to his ailing father, would play again against the Twins on Sunday, even though he’s itching to play tomorrow.
“I know he’s chomping at the bit, I just don’t think it makes any sense to rush and send him backwards,” Francona added.
* It’s too bad for Jupiter residents that the weather didn’t hold up. Even though Kevin Youkilis was the only everyday player in the lineup for the Red Sox, this contest was sold out.
“If I was the Cardinals, and I had a sellout, I would want to play the game, too,” said Francona, whose squad traveled 2 1/2 hours from Fort Myers. “I don’t blame them. If they want to pay for our dinner last night, we’ll accept it.” 

– Alden Gonzalez

Dice-K at Dawn

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.

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