Results tagged ‘ Mike Cameron ’

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

Tito still mulling over Opening Day lineup

Usually an Opening Day lineup is pretty simple for a manager. You put your best nine players out there in the order you expect them to hit in for most of the season.  But Terry Francona is faced with a bit of a different situation this year, in that his team is going against Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson.

How good is Wilson against lefties? Well, last year, they hit .144 against him with no homers and 12 RBIs. Yes, that is filthy.

“It’s not just the lefty, it’s who the lefty is,” Francona told reporters today from City of Palms Park. “This is something, that’s why I’ve been so hesitant to talk about the lineup. C.J. Wilson is one of those lefties, where on normal days, if it’s July, that’s the day you give your righties a shot. Now, it’s Opening Day. There’s some thought that needs to go into that.”

Here is a breakdown of Sox lefties lifetime vs. Wilson:  Crawford 2-for-12, 1 HR, 4 RBIs; Ortiz 1-for-10, 1 RBI; J.D. Drew 1-for-6, 0 RBIs; Jacoby Ellsbury 0-for-1; Adrian Gonzalez 0-for-1.

So Francona has several dilemmas: Does he hit Ellsbury leadoff or put him at the bottom of the order? Does Drew start, or does Tito insert Mike Cameron?

Even though Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a switch-hitter, is going to be the primary catcher this season, does Francona give Jason Varitek the honor of starting Opening Day? His motive in that situation, aside from Varitek’s strong history with starting pitcher Jon Lester, is that ‘Tek is a stronger right-handed hitter and Salty is better from the left side.

What order do Youkilis and Gonzalez hit in? Does he hit Youk fourth and Gonzo fifth or vice versa?

More from the day Gonzo was unveiled

An impactful move by the Red Sox is one that makes the Yankees take notice. Yes, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is fully aware of the type of damage Gonzalez might do against his team for the next several years.

“It makes them a great team,” Cashman said. “He’s a heck of a hitter. That’s a huge addition for Boston. We know what our areas of weaknesses are that we need to tackle, and that’s what we need to continue to focus on. But they just obviously improved themselves in a significant way. He’s one of the premier players at that position in the game.”

Gonzalez showed good sensibility in his greeting with the Boston press, immediately talking about his goal of helping the Red Sox topple the Yankees.

“It was very emotional and very up and down,” said Gonzalez. “But I’m very excited that everything was able to be worked out and I’m very excited to be here in Boston. And I’m ready to beat the Yanks.”

He’s also like to help the Red Sox raise some more of those banners — like the ones from 2004 and 2007.

“I’ve had five incredible years in San Diego. My dream as a kid was to play in the Major Leagues and be a Padre and my second dream was to be a Red Sox. So I’m very excited, God has been very, very good to me and I’m just very excited to start the season and look forward to a lot of world championships,” Gonzalez said.

“It was one of the things where you grow up and you always root for a National League team and an American League team and the Red Sox have always been the American League team that I rooted for and I think with Ted Williams and all those things and him being from San Diego and seeing what he did here, everyone knows he’s one of the greatest of all time, there’s always been a lot of connections between me and my heart and the Red Sox.”

Watching Gonzalez hit at Fenway figures to become a must-watch experience, much like Manny Ramirez during his prime years.

“He’s one of the very best hitters in the game, a left-handed hitter with a
tremendous ability to control the strike zone, hit, hit for power, has power to all fields. His natural stroke is probably to the opposite field which is a great fit for our ballpark,” said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. “He hits the ball the other way with ease, so we
think he’s going to wear the wall out. Just going from PETCO to Fenway Park should do wonders for his overall production, not that it needs any help. He likes the ball away from him a little bit. He’s a thinking man’s hitter who controls the at-bats and knows what he wants to do up there and goes up to the plate with a plan every time.

“Defensively, he’s a plus fielder with great hands, good feet around the bag, and he can really throw. He’s a playmaker on defense and has outstanding makeup. He’s a high-character person who leads by example and wants to win. That and he’s working on his speed, he said, this winter, so he can get a lot of doubles to left.”

By the way, Gonzalez did not have a number on his jersey during his unveiling, but Mike Cameron will give him 23 once some friendly high-stakes negotiations are complete.

“We’re in discussion,” laughed Cameron. “You know, I’m going to get something nice for Christmas.”

As for Red Sox manager Terry Francona, his early Christmas present is getting to pencil Gonzalez into his lineup every day.

“This is one of the best hitters in baseball,” Francona said in an interview with WEEI radio in Boston. “This is a big move for us. We’re getting a middle of the order bat, a guy that’s won a couple of Gold Gloves. He’s still young. This is exciting. We gave up some good players to get him, but that’s the only way you can get a guy of his caliber.”

Francona could sense how much Epstein wanted to make the deal happen.

“This was an important one,” Francona said. “I could tell that Theo was really digging his heels in on this one. And I’m glad he did because when he feels that strongly it’s got a chance to really be good for us.”

Cam on Camera

In perhaps a look at his future after baseball, Mike Cameron will shift into the role of broadcaster for MLB Network this weekend. Boston’s outfielder will join MLB Network’s MLB Tonight as an in-studio guest on Friday and Saturday.

Cameron is always an insightful quote, so his views on the LCS should be interesting.

I’m sure Cameron would much rather be playing in the postseason than commenting on it, but such is life. It was a tough year for him from start to finish, thanks to a painful lower abdomen injury that ended his season for good on July 30.

In other news, Darnell McDonald underwent surgery yesterday to repair a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb. McDonald should be fine by Spring Training.

Lowell still here, but for how long?

Mike Lowell is again not on the active roster, despite the fact his Minor League rehab assignment ended last Wednesday. Sounds like something will happen one way or another within the next 1-2 days.

Kevin Youkilis left the game with a jammed right thumb. If that had been any kind of a significant injury, Lowell’s presence could have come in handy. We will have more on Youk after the game.

Mike Cameron is shutting it down for a while. He was placed on the disabled list today, with Daniel Nava getting called back up from Pawtucket. Nava probably shouldn’t apply for that change of address form just yet though. Jacoby Ellsbury should be back within the next few days, at which point Nava will probably get sent back down.

What is going on with Dustin Pedroia? He can basically do everything but run at full speed. When he runs, he still “feels it” a little bit. That means the broken bone has not completely healed. Once that happens, his return to the lineup should be fairly quick.

Optimism on Cameron; Brakes on Beckett

Good news and semi-bad news on the Red Sox’s injury front today.

Mike Cameron was examined by a specialist today, and there are no significant problems with his lower abdomen. Instead, he has normal soreness that is to be expected considering the time he missed with the injury in the first place. Cameron won’t play tonight and tomorrow is a day game, so that could be a stretch. Friday in Baltimore? That might be pretty realistic.

“Good update,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “He was seen this morning. We ruled out any of the things that happened on the other side. There’s certainly some inflammation. It’s actually kind of deep. I think Cam feels a lot better knowing that, when this subsides, and it already is, it will be to the point where he can do everything he wants, he’s not going to hurt himself. Already, you see a little different look in his eyes. That was really good news. He’s not going to play tonight. I don’t know if he’s going to play tomorrow. And when he does play, like we talked about before, we’ll keep an eye on him. But that was really encouraging news.”

As for ace Josh Beckett, he likely won’t even pick up a baseball again for at least 10 days. Beckett had thrown an abbreviated side session last Friday, but the club didn’t like the execution of his delivery, and they are determined to be conservative with his lower back strain.

“We’re going to slow him down a little bit,” said Francona. “By that, probably, I don’t know if we’re going to have a firm timetable, but probably about 10 days. What we talked about the other day in the bullpen, the inconsistencies in his delivery, all of a sudden, when he’s doing that, we’re running into some lat discomfort, which we’re not comfortable with. We lean on this guy too much, or we need to. So until we can completely get back where he’s going through his delivery, we’re going to make him take it easy. I think he understands it. I don’t think he probably loves it.

“I think he realizes this is where his best interest ends up probably being our best interest, so we’re going to be pretty firm about this. He can do a lot of things, but when we get him back out there throwing, we don’t want him making any adjustments to his delivery, to his arm slot, because that’s where we run into problems.”

Victor Martinez is on the bench despite going 5-for-5 last night with four doubles. The reason? He still is recovering from that badly bruised big left toe and the Red Sox need Martinez to catch Tim Wakefield in Thursday’s day game.

In other news, the Red Sox won the daily double when it came to the American League’s Player and PItcher of the Month. David Ortiz was Player of the Month and Jon Lester earned pitching honors.

Getting shallow again in the outfield?

Just when it looked like Mike Cameron was getting healthy again after his big day at the plate on Sunday, he experienced recurring soreness during Monday’s off-day and was not in tonight’s lineup.

Cameron was examined before tonight’s game by Red Sox medical director Dr. Thomas Gill. Hopefully we will have more information after the game.

With Jacoby Ellsbury back on the DL, the Sox can ill-afford to lose Cameron again.

Cameron in center — at least tonight

Mike Cameron will hit ninth for the Red Sox tonight in his first game back from the disabled list. He will also be in center field. However, it sounds like that is not going to be a common occurrence for the next few weeks.Jacoby Ellsbury — who is taking a rest tonight — will be the team’s primary center fielder, at least while Cameron recovers from a lower abdominal strain. Ellsbury’s interpretation of the move is that he will play center for “the duration of the season.”

This is an injury that could linger a little for Cameron all season long, so it would not be a surprise at all if left field be comes his primary position for the foreseeable future. And now we get word that Ellsbury had soreness in his left side before the game and Darnell McDonald — who was supposed to be designated for assignment to make room for Cameron — has resurfaced. Scott Atchison was designated for assignment to make room for Cameron. More on that later

Josh Beckett threw off flat ground earlier this afternoon and threw briefly off the mound. He might throw a full-blown side session on Friday. No word yet on if Beckett will be able to be activated as soon as he is eligible — on June 3 vs. Oakland.

Here is tonight’s lineup:

Scutaro SS
Pedroia 2B
Drew RF
Youkilis 1B
Ortiz DH
Beltre 3B
Hermida LF
Varitek C
Cameron CF

Lester SP

Back at the Trop

Here we are, getting set for this three-game showdown between the Red Sox and the Rays. Obviously it’s a much bigger series for the Sox, who start the series 8 1/2 games back in the AL East.

This, even with five wins in the last six games. The Rays just don’t seem to lose. The Red Sox can at least control their own destiny the next three nights.

As for other subplots, Mike Cameron will be activated for Tuesday’s game, giving manager Terry Francona his full complement of players for the first time since April 11.

Jed Lowrie, still recovering from mono, is with the team for the next few days, taking a nice break from solitude in Fort Myers.

And Scott Atchison has returned for his second stint with the team, coming up from Pawtucket to take the roster spot vacated by shortstop Angel Sanchez.

Game 2 Red Sox-Angels

The 20-hit attack of Monday night was nice. Now the Red Sox will see if they can use it as a springboard.

Healthy bodies could be on the way soon, as Jacoby Ellsbury (hairline fracture left ribs) and Mike Cameron (lower abdomen strain) both appear close to Minor League rehab assignments.

Wednesday will be a festive night at Fenway. Nomar Garciaparra, who retired back in March, wil be honored during a pre-game ceremony. And it is Cinco de Mayo, which make it all the more special for Garciaparra, who is of Mexican descent. The big story Wednesday will be John Lackey pitching against his former team for the first time. Lackey went out of his way to say there would be no extra incentive or added motivation. Do you believe him?

And one final note: It was sad to hear of Ernie Harwell’s passing tonight. I only met him a couple of times, but he was a wonderful man, as well as one of the greatest broadcasters of all-time. Best known for his work with the Detroit Tigers, Harwell was 92. He was simply a legend.

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