Results tagged ‘ Matt Albers ’

Sunday notes from Fort Myers

Jon Lester’s pickoff move will be a point of emphasis:

“His actual technique was what was being worked on today, and that would be his ability to disguise to the runner when he’s coming to first and when he’s going home,” said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. “Today was mainly his bottom half, his leg movement, and kind of closing the gap a little when he throws to first. He was pretty good at it. He also has a thing about throwing to first, his confidence in firing it over there. Repetitions hopefully will cure some of those ills and get rid of some of those demons.”

Matt Albers started strong, but finished horrendously last year. The hope is that he can regain his form.

“Matt’s a good thrower. He’s throwing that two-seamer, which is something he’s working on here in the spring. Punto seemed to be on it pretty good hitting it to left field as a left-hand swinger. Matt’s had a wonderful spring so far. His work and his attitude. Like one of the guys said, ‘Don’t let his body fool you,’ because he’s a pretty good pitcher.”

Bobby Valentine is one of a plethora of managers who was able to write Hall of Famer Rickey Hendeson into his lineup card, having managed him in New York in 1999 and 2000.

Did Valentine ever try to hit Henderson anywhere but first?

“No. Matter of fact, the first conversation I ever had with Rickey, I said I wouldn’t ask him to hit anywhere else. He said, ‘Good, ’cause Rickey’s a good leadoff hitter.’ That was the same day Rickey told me, ‘Rickey don’t do signs.’ No signs? ‘Rickey don’t do signs.”‘

Odds and Ends from Fenway, April 29

  • Matt Albers, who relieved an injured Daisuke Matsuzaka in the fifth, said after Boston’s 5-4 loss to the Mariners that he had as much time as he needed to warm up. Albers was just on the DL because of a strained right lat, but said he wasn’t worried about a flare-up. That injury was minor to begin with. Albers threw two scoreless innings and allowed one hit, striking out and walking one.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury has a season-high eight-game hit streak after going 1-for-4 on Friday night. The last time he had a hit streak that length was July 31 to Aug. 8, 2009.  “Last week or so though, he’s using the whole field, he’s getting on top of the ball when he hits the ball to left field, and he’s hitting a lot of line drives,” manager Terry Francona said before the game.
  • Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz both have a hit streak at six games. Gonzalez has multiple hits in four of those games. He went 2-for-4 Friday and is 12-for-27 during the streak (.444). Gonzalez scored the 500th run of his career in the third inning Friday.
  • The Red Sox were 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position Friday. Boston entered the day hitting .217 with runners on second and/or third, fourth-worst in the Majors and second-worst in the American League (behind Oakland). “We’ve not been real good at it so far,” Francona said before the game. “That’s something we drastically want to improve on.”
  • Bobby Jenks was a stand-up guy when answering questions after he took the loss Friday, waiting by his locker for reporters to return from the media room. In a note possibly related to his performance, and possibly related to nothing, Jenks also appeared to have shaved after the game.
  • Comedic line of the night went to Jason Varitek. Asked what Daisuke Matsuzaka said when he went out to the mound to check on the right-hander in the fifth, the captain responded: “Well, he said it in Japanese, so I don’t really know.”
  • On a 70-degree day in Boston, Mike Cameron jokingly wore a Red Sox ski hat in the clubhouse before batting practice. He went on to hit two home runs.
– Evan Drellich

First of four in Anaheim

Tonight, the Red Sox open a four-game series in Anahiem, where J.D. Drew will lead off, Jason Varitek will catch and the scorching-hot Jed Lowrie will be in the lineup for the sixth straight day.

Varitek and Saltalamacchia will share the catching position this weekend — each guy starting twice.

Prospect Ryan Kalish injured his shoulder today for Pawtucket. At this point, it doesn’t appear to be serious.

Matt Albers is back in the bullpen, activated after a minor lat injury. Alfredo Aceves went back to Pawtucket, where he will be stretched out as a starter.

New Red Sox contract info

Here are some details regarding some of the recently-signed players by the Red Sox.

Dan Wheeler will make $3 million in 2011, and has a club option for 2012 that would pay him the same amount. Interestingly, that options automatically vests once Wheeler makes his 65th appearance in 2011. The option would increase to $3.25 million if he pitches in 70 games.

Carl Crawford’s deal is for $142,683,173 over the seven years. He will make $14 million in ’11, $19.5 in ’12, $20 million in ’13, $20.25 million in ’14, $20.5 million in ’15, $20.75 million in ’16 and $21 million in ’17. The deal came with a signing bonus of $6 million. Crawford gets $50,000 if he makes the All-Star team, $200,000 if he wins the MVP ($125,000 for second place, $100,000 for third place, $75,000 for fourth place, $50,000 for fifth place). He gets $100,000 if he wins the Gold Glove, $100,000 for the Silver Slugger, $100,00 for World Series MVP and $75,000 for the LCS MVP. Crawford can purchase six premium tickets to all home games, including Spring Training and postseason.

Matt Albers was signed for a one-year, $875,000 deal, $400,000 of which is guaranteed.

Jason Varitek’s $2 million deal includes $100,000 bumps at 60 games started behind the plate, 70 games started and 80 games.

I haven’t come across the exact details on Jenks’ deal yet, but will pass along when I get it.

How will Pap fit in?

In light of the fact that Bobby Jenks will sign with the Red Sox, assuming he passes his physical, it’s fair to wonder how this move will impact Jonathan Papelbon, Boston’s closer of the last five seasons.

After being an All-Star for his first four seasons, Papelbon had a downturn in 2010. His 3.90 ERA was more than a run and a half higher than his previous high as a closer — 2.34 in 2008. The eight blown saves also represented a career high, topping his six from 2006. The 28 walks were a career high, as was the 3.76 walks per nine innings.

Then there were the other signs that he hasn’t slipped that much. For instance, his 10.21 strikeouts per nine inning ratio was his best since 2007, when he had a dominant 12.96. The opposing batting average was also very respectable, at .226. The velocity was also sustained for the most part, his fastball typically coming in at 95-96 as it has for much of his career.

Papelbon is a free agent after the season, and with Jenks now on board for two years, the Red Sox have options. Do you trade Papelbon, who is on the hook for nearly $11 million in 2011? I think Papelbon will end up staying because his trade value is low at this point, given his performance last year combined with his salary.

So do you start Papelbon as the closer, but have Daniel Bard or Jenks available to step in if it looks like a 2010 repeat? It’s hard to imagine Papelbon — given his strong personality — suddenly being reduced to setup man.

But there is bound to be an odd dynamic when he gets to Fort Myers. After all, it is well-documented that the Sox made a run at Mariano Rivera even before making the move for Jenks.

Once the Jenks signing becomes official, it will be interesting to hear what Theo Epstein will have to say regarding Papelbon’s role going forward. Of course, it needs to be noted that Jenks is also coming off the worst year of his career. Will one of these two closers bounce back? Will both of them? WIll neither?

Meanwhile, if the pieces fit together right, Papelbon-Jenks-Bard could be a filty 1-2-3 combo in the back end of the ‘pen. Epstein has also acquired Matt Albers, a groundball specialist who seems like more of a sixth or seventh inning guy. And lefties Rich Hill and Andrew Miller might have a shot to be a lefty in the bullpen, if Epstein doesn’t acquire one from outside the organization.Felix Doubront figures to be in the mix, too, perhaps even as the primary lefty.

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