Results tagged ‘ Mike Cameron ’

Marathon Monday

Everyone ready for some morning baseball? The Red Sox are ready to erase a four-game losing streak and the general bad feeling that engulfs the Nation at the moment.

John Lackey was double-fisted with Red Bull at 9:15 this morning, so I think he’s ready to go.

The Sox will be without Mike Cameron today. The center fielder is again in pain, perhaps in the midst of passing another kidney stone. Bill Hall makes the start in his place.

Cameron a late scratch; Hall to play center

When Mike Cameron limped through the clubhouse this morning to huddle with manager Terry Francona and trainer Mike Reinold, it was pretty apparent his name wasn’t going to be in the starting lineup very much longer. And moments later, he was out of the lineup, replaced in center by Bill Hall. Cameron has a lower abdominal strain. Obviously the Red Sox are short-handed in the outfield, as Jacoby Ellsbury is still out of the mix after hurting his left ribs in a collision on Sunday.

This is Hall’s first start in center since 2007, when he played there regularly. No word yet on how long Cameron will be out. And while the hope is that Ellsbury can play tomorrow at Fenway, that is far from a certainty. There’s at least a chacne the Red Sox might need an outfield reinforcement from Pawtucket for the start of the homestand.

Jeremy Hermida was originally on the bench today, replaced in left by Bill Hall. But that changed once Hall moved to center.

David Ortiz will get a rest today, with Mike Lowell drawing the start at DH against lefty Fransisco Liriano.

By the way, in case you were wondering if Ortiz had a steal sign or a hit and run sign when he was caught stealing on Wednesday, the answer would be, um, no.

“Neither,” quipped Francona. “That was re-established during the game.”

Dice-K has a mound date

Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka will throw his first full-fledged side session of camp on Friday morning. Dice-K, who had a minor back issue earlier in camp that forced his delayed program, played long toss again on Wednesday morning, and finished by throwing some pitches off the mound, with the catcher standing up.

 “Dice-K had a real good day and he’ll have a side on Friday,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. “[Wednesday] was the same as last time. Catcher didn’t get down yet but it’s a way of progressing. Once you get out there to 180, 190 feet and you’re fully loose, then you get on the mound and create that angle, but not as much as when you have the catcher down. He’ll go right to the bullpen Friday.”

The Red Sox are confident Matsuzaka is completely over the injury.

“I think he’s done it the right way,” Francona said. “There’s no way you can get out and throw as far as he has [and not be healthy], that’s hard to do. It’s impressive, actually. He’s ready to go. He’s ready to go. The timing, I think we did it right.”

In other nuts and bolts-type news:

Casey Kelly’s first game action in a Red Sox uniform was productive and brief. He threw 10 pitches, seven of them strikes, in setting Northeastern down 1-2-3.

“I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling since I got off the mound,” said Kelly. “It was a good first outing. To have the crowd, and some of the people behind me playing defense behind me was a tremendous honor.”

Center fielder Mike Cameron, bothered by minor tightness in his left groin this week, will likely take his first “game swings” in a Sox uniform in Friday’s game against the Twins. J.D. Drew is expected to make his spring debut that day also, serving as the DH.

Francona said that nothing is wrong with Drew physically.

“I think I’m probably slowing him down,” Francona said. “He stayed indoors a day and a half.
I just don’t think it makes sense to rush him. I think I’ve been around him long enough that I think I know what works for him, and that’s why we have spring training. I don’t think it’s a huge big deal that we run our everyday lineup out there today or tomorrow.”

Though there aren’t many positional battles in camp, one to watch is for the final slot(s) in the bullpen. Right-hander Joe Nelson and lefty Brian Shouse are two veteran contenders who are in the running. It is a fine line because the Red Sox have never been big on evaluating specific results from Spring Training games.

“It’s not easy,” Francona said. “It’s really not. That’s why, as we get into this, we watch how they’re throwing the ball. You can make some mistakes. Shouse is a good example. If he goes through a day where a couple of righties take him over the palm trees, that doesn’t mean he can’t help your team. We try to make good decisions on what can help your ballclub.”

Mike Lowell continues to get closer to game action, though no official date has been set.

“Mikey was already in the cage. He’s going to take BP again today,” Francona said. “He actually, [hitting coach Dave Magadan] made a comment that he looked pretty good – the ball was coming off his bat pretty good. I think Mikey was happy about it.”

A clean bill of health

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The weather was crisp, the sun was beaming and the crowds were healthy. It was a good day at Red Sox camp on Monday — and the injury report reflected that.

Here are some camp tidbits on the ailing Daisuke Matsuzaka, Mike Lowell and Mike Cameron, plus some other stuff …
* Red Sox manager Terry Francona was pretty giddy about Matsuzaka’s progress on returning from tightness in his upper back, saying the Japanese right-hander “had a great day.” Matsuzaka, who threw from 150 feet on Sunday, increased the distance to 180-200 feet — Francona said he got “real aggressive” — and finished up throwing a bit off the mound, with the catcher standing up. 
Matsuzaka said through his interpreter that he threw about 25-30 pitches off the mound and would ideally like to throw his bullpen on Thursday. 
“That was about as good a day, I think, as you could have,” Francona said. “I don’t think you can throw the ball like that and not be totally healthy. So, probably start thinking about towards the end of the week, getting him some real mound work where he’s throwing some sides and throwing to hitters and going through that progression. But that was a real, real good day.”
* Lowell (right thumb) hit some actual pitches in the batting cage, taking in three rounds of about 15 pitches each. Lowell said, “It went OK,” and Francona said he’ll take batting practice on the field on Tuesday. “Sounds like it went real well,” Francona added. There’s still no timetable as to when Lowell — pictured below by Brita Meng Outzen with Adrian Beltre — will actually play in a Spring Training game.

* Cameron  didn’t do any of the outfield drills, but he took batting practice, as pictured below. “He has improved,” Francona said.
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* Utility man Bill Hall took some grounders at shortstop today. If Lowell isn’t traded before Opening Day, they’ll need him to be able to play the position because Jed Lowrie likely wouldn’t find a place on the 25-man roster. If Lowell stays with the team, the bench would likely be composed of Jason Varitek, Hall, Jeremy Hermida (more on him later) and Lowell. 
Hall is obviously the only one with shortstop experience in that group, having played 261 career games there but none since 2006. So, can he work out at shortstop again?
“I hope so,” Francona said. “That’s something we’ll find out this spring.”
* Jonathan Papelbon’s first game action will come Thursday, in the Grapefruit League opener against the nearby Twins. 
– 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.

camwithtrainers.JPG

“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.

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.
crouchingtigerhiddenyouk.JPG
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.

Wednesday is media day

The Red Sox have just announced that the Mike Cameron signing will be announced at 11:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, followed by John Lackey at 1:30 p.m. ET.

Should be an action-packed day for Theo and his crew, not to mention the Boston media.

There will be a whole lot to go over. In particular, I’m curious as to the Red Sox abandoning their usually conservative approach when it comes to free agent starters. Theo Epstein has long been against paying big money for free agent starters, with the exception of Daisuke Matsuzaka, which was a different situation altogether because of the international factor, and that it took a blind bid of $51.1 million just to secure the negotiating rights.

How exactly will Cameron fit in? I would imagine he will platoon with Hermida and rove all over the outfield. Does Epstein think he now has enough offense or does he need another impact bat to replace Jason Bay?

We will have updates aplenty from Fenway throughout Wednesday.

Mad Monday for Red Sox

Who could have predicted such an eventful day for Theo Epstein and his staff? First, reports circulated that John Lackey was in Boston for a physical. Not long after, there were rumblings of a five-year, $85 million deal that will soon be announced, assuming Lackey passed the physical.

Then, there was word that the Red Sox had agreed on a two-year deal with Mike Cameron, who figures to split time in left with Jeremy Hermida while also backing up Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew.

So ask yourself this: Who would help the Red Sox win more games in 2010? Jason Bay or John Lackey? I guess we won’t fully be able to answer this question until we see how the rest of the offseason shakes out.

Will the Red Sox turn around and trade Buchholz to get a star hitter? Adrian Gonzalez? Miguel Cabrera?

In other words, the offseason is still in full motion for Theo and the Red Sox.

I do like Lackey — a lot. He is one of those tough as nails competitors. The image of Lackey cussing out manager Mike Scioscia when he was given that hook in Game 5 of the ALCS against the Yankees speaks volumes about how much this guy wants to win. If that game was going to be lost, he wanted to be out there. He didn’t want his game decided by his bullpen.

So the Red Sox now have what could be a terrific rotation. Lester. Beckett. Lackey. Buchholz. Dice-K. And, of course, Wakefield.

If there are no more major moves with the offense, the lineup for 2010 could look something like this. Ellsbury-Pedroia-V.Mart-Youkilis-Ortiz-Drew-Cameron-Kotchman-Scutaro. I’m sure Theo has another bat or two up his sleeve, but that is how the tentative current roster would set up.

No official word yet on when the Lackey deal will be announced, but Tuesday seems like a logical guess.

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