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Tag:Red Sox
Posted on: March 2, 2009 1:14 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2009 2:29 pm
 

Orioles-Red Sox, March 2

FORT LAUDERDALE -- The Red Sox make one of their two visits. It's Bradley Bergesen vs. Justin Masterson -- a pitching prospect delight. Here are a few random observations:

-- Bradley Bergesen is earning a significant look at a rotation spot. The arrival of Adam Eaton hurts him some, but if a pitching prospect can make the rotation, it will be Bergesen.

Bergesen tossed up three zeroes, but it was a Red Sox lineup that had only Jacoby Ellsbury in it. Lars Anderson was here. A nice slugging prospect that Baseball America says can arrive later this year. Anderson ripped a gapper to right-center off Bergesen.

-- Justin Masterson is a strong man -- with a real nasty arm slot, a right-handed Randy Johnson. Masterson was hit a little harder in the second inning as Ty Wigginton and Luke Scott both made good contact on drives to the outfield. The shots were caught, though.

Masterson is going to be a big winner in this league. If Brad Penny cannot make the No. 5 starter's spot, it will come down to Masterson or Clay Buchholz in the rotation to start the season. John Smoltz (shoulder) won't arrive from the DL until late May. Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield are the other four starters.

Since Penny is a bit behind right now, Masterson has a shot. The addition of Ramon Ramirez and Takashi Saito make it more possible Masterson won't be needed in the bullpen.

-- Joe Angel, the Orioles play-by-play radio announcer, was in the lunch line in front of me. The attendant asked, "Does anyone remember you were OJ Simpson's high school quarterback?" ... He responded: "No, and I try to forget as well."

Angel is best-known for his and the Marlins "are in the win column." ... Also, he famously has the home run call "Hasta la vista pelota!" ... Translation: See you later, ball.

Emack.

 

Posted on: March 10, 2008 2:43 pm
 

Oh, Dodger, Trachsel and O's stink

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Dodgers-O's today. Chan Ho Park vs. Steve Trachsel. Ugh. The dog days of spring.

-- Adam Jones -- in the at least he looks like he is trying category -- just missed a diving catch of a Chin-lung Hu liner. Hu is a shortstop prospect to watch this season, especially since Rafael Furcal is a free-agent-to-be and the Dodgers almost certainly won't make the same mistake with him again.

-- Furcal tripled in Hu (2-for-2 with a SB while I was at the game). Delwyn Young singled in Furcal. Matt Kemp singled in Young. Yeah, Trachsel is trash. Heck, he made Chan Ho Park look good today.

-- Saw the Dodgers play the Red Sox in Vero Beach on Sunday. I went as a fan; therefore, no blogging. But I sat out on the left field berm, watching Daisuke Matsuzaka deal. With two men on in the first and Kemp up, I said to the crowd "Here's someone who can reach us." Two pitches later, I was wrong. He hit it well over our heads for a three-run homer. That was launched, albeit a bit wind-aided. Kemp is going to be a superstar. He first needs a full-time job. Andre Ethier and him are currently slated to share at-bats in right with Andruw Jones in center and Juan Pierre likely full-time in left. You have to say "likely" because Pierre could be traded or bench in favor of the younger guys now. Kemp is a must-get in all leagues. A few years ago Sandy Alomar Jr. compared him to a young Manny Ramirez. Alomar would know, he played with the Indians when Ramirez was getting started.

-- 19-year-old Clayton Kershaw was impressive Sunday, retiring the side in order. The seventh overall pick in the 2006 draft out of high school got Mike Lowell to pop out, broke J.D. Drew's bat on a groundout and struck out Sean Casey.

-- Back to Monday, Delwyn Young -- no relation to the Twins' Delmon -- is a short, stocky hitter (5-foot-8, 209 pounds). He has been playing outfield and also back in the infield this spring. He began as a second baseman in the Dodgers' system. Now, he has a great chance to open the season as the Dodgers' super utility guy. He can really hit. Check out his Triple-A numbers, 54 doubles is eye-popping in any league. He also had 17 homers, 97 RBI and 107 runs scored. He is a great pick in deeper NL-only Rotisserie leagues.

-- Another stolen base for Brian Roberts. Wait, make that two ... on the next pitch and after a pickoff attempt. That boy is a running fool. Third steal of third of the spring. Seven steals total. If you read past blogs, David Gonos said Roberts won't ever steal 50 again. I saw him in spring and said, I don't know ... he is built to run. Roberts has been running all over the place. I bet Gonos a lunch Roberts will steal over 40 bases. That's a good number for him, which I obviously think is reachable -- putting $10 of my hard-earned money on it.

-- Two-run triple by Nick Markakis -- speaking of players who can run. Markakis looks like a 20-base thief.

-- Adam Jones -- first-and-third, one out -- popout. Ouch. Gotta get the 'Cake home.

-- The O's are terrible. I came to see the Mets play them here Saturday. The Mets brought as no-name of a lineup as you will ever see in a big league uniform. Worse than the 1999 Marlins. They had multiple teenagers in the lineup ... and they beat the Orioles, who had most of their regulars in. Ouch. They stink. The Rays will finish ahead of them.

-- The teenage Mets were impressive. Reuben Tejada, 18, is from Panama and looks already big league ready defensively. He also has a 1-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in the minors. In four years, he could be an interesting leadoff hitter. Greg Veloz is a large 19-year-old second baseman, who looks like he might need to move over to third base. He has pop in his bat and should be a fast-rising prospect in Class A this season. The third teenager in the starting lineup was Fernando Martinez, who hasn't showed great pop but he does have a quick bat and was 2-for-3 in the game. Martinez is a bit on the shorter side, reminding me a little too much of Jay Paton and Lastings Milledge at this point. Martinez's bat speed is impressive, though.

Emack.

Posted on: March 7, 2008 11:34 am
Edited on: March 7, 2008 4:11 pm
 

Goin' bloggin' at the Fort

FORT LAUDERDALE -- At the Red Sox split squad vs. the O's today. Julian Tavarez vs. Jeremy Guthrie. I am also finishing my pre-draft series on sleepers and breakouts with Part VI ... 27 under 27. The thought here is players younger than their prime should be good picks for continued improvement.

Don't have internet access in the O's press box... that stadium is ancient, so this blog comes after the game:

-- Save for Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox brought their B squad.

-- Guthrie retired Ellsbury, shortstop prospect Jed Lowrie and Youkilis in order in the first. The 2007 rookie surprise has an awful supporting cast, but he continues to make the Indians look dumb for giving him away last winter. He had a great first half before coming back down to earth after the break. That can be expected of a rookie starter. The 180-inning grind is tough on first-timers. Guthrie should be able to stretch it out to over 200 innings this season. He is far more of a veteran sophomore than most. His poor team makes him a sleeper, especially in Rotisserie leagues -- where 2-1 losses don't matter as much.

-- Lowell got jammed on a good Guthrie changeup with two on in the third. Lowell is not in regular-season form, but Guthrie is a lot better than I had given credit for most of last year. I didn't really trust his first half numbers. Heck, the Indians just gave him away. Guthrie went three smooth innings.

-- Unlike Guthrie, Tavarez is facing most of the O's regulars. I don't give much of a chance of him supplanting Clay Buchholz (starting in Fort Myers today) or Bartolo Colon (working live BP in Fort Myers) as the Red Sox's No. 5 starter -- but he is a free-agent-to-be if you buy into that with older players.

-- Melvin Mora hit a 420-foot foul to left and then a 390-foot gap-job to right-center off Tavarez, scoring Brian Roberts from first. Roberts, as I have noticed many times, is built to run.

-- Nick Markakis followed with a sharp RBI single in the hole to right, scoring Mora. And Kevin Millar followed him with a slap single past Lowrie to center, scoring Markakis. Tavarez belongs in long relief, or on the trading block. Kyle Snyder, last year's long reliever, had to replace Tavarez in the middle of the innings -- embarrasing.

--  Aubrey Huff, who got off to a late start this spring because of sports hernia surgery in January, hit a high two-run homer to right to greet Snyder. Not sure if the winds was blowing directly in, but it most certainly wasn't blowing out. It didn't matter which way the wind was blowing, it was going to be a homer in any conditions in any ballpark. Huff hit another on the nose in his next at-bat, lining out to second.

-- Jamie Walker, who was going to close before the O's got George Sherrill from the Mariners, came into the game with Motley Crue's Kickstart My Heart playing over the PA. Now that's a sweet entrance song. Anything from the '80s rock era is good, but some are getting overplayed by relievers.

-- Guillermo Quiroz is the only other catcher on the O's 40-man roster outside of Ramon Hernandez. That makes it likely he serves as the backup. Quiroz was once a highly regarded prospect in the Jays system before injuries and multiple changes of scenery made him a non-factor in keeper leagues. He did have a solid double down the line in this game and might be a serviceable No. 2 catcher in the deepest of AL-only leagues on the cheap.

-- Jim Leyritz made an appearance, hanging outside of the Red Sox lockerroom before the game. He was talking to a policeman of all people.

If you haven't heard, Leyritz is facing DUI and manslaughter charges in connection with a late December auto accident in Fort Lauderdale. Reports say Leyritz ran a red light and hit the SUV of a woman in the wee hours of the morning after partying with ex-school teacher/USA bikini model Erica Chevilliar. The woman he hit, Fredia Ann Veitch, was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the hospital.

She was a bartender of mine at the Original Steakhouse in Fort Lauderdale. Very flirtatious and my friends were very fond of her. My girl friend wouldn't appreciate me being as fond of her as they were. (Said "friends" were at the game today -- Red Sox fans Dr. Gene Perkins, Jimmy O'Halloran, Brett Tresky, Shannon Avello and my best buddy Colin Lucas Jordison -- who is almost 4).

A friend of Leyritz told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that former ballplayer was served by her before, too. He knew the person killed in his tragic accident. I didn't know her well, but she was as friendly and beautiful of a server as I can remember. She served us -- overserved us? -- during the postseason baseball games last October. Red Sox games in fact. And here Leyritz is in spring training visiting those Red Sox.

-- Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez are doing the broadcast today for MASN, the O's cable network in Baltimore. Thorne was the broadcaster who cited a player who said Curt Schilling's bloody sock during the 2004 playoffs was a hoax -- the red marks on the sock being paint and not blood. I am boycotting MASN. Not for the sock thing -- they stole CBSSports.com's huge center field ad space this spring. Actually, can't say I am boycotting MASN when I volunteer to do interviews for the Anita Marks Show whenever they ask.

-- The O's on Friday sent down No. 1 pick Matt Wieters and two of the arms received in the Erik Bedard trade, Chris Tillman and Kam Mickolio. They weren't candidates to make the team, but intrigue in O's campers wane by the day. Tillman was popping the glove better than most pitchers this spring, according to the Baltimore Sun blog by Roch Kubako.

-- Lowrie, an often-mentioned trade piece in the Johan Santana talks this winter, had a clean single to center. He looks like a solid shortstop prospect, but he doesn't have a whole lot of speed. He wasn't able to score on a ground single to left by Youkilis. He didn't even try to.

-- Brandon Moss showed something, a couple of hits. He could be and interesting contributor for the Red Sox and deeper AL-only leagues if J.D. Drew comes down with something serious.

-- O's pitching prospect Radhames Liz came on in the sixth after Guthrie, Walker and submariner Chad Bradford. He throws hard. He isn't really in the mix to make the rotation out of spring training at this point. Guthrie, Daniel Cabrera, Adam Loewen and Steve Trachsel are the likely first four, with Matt Albers, Garrett Olson, Hayden Penn and Brian Burres competing to be the No. 5.

Emack.

Posted on: March 3, 2008 1:22 pm
 

Back to work...

The games started late last week and I was able to catch three games in four days: Marlins-O's on Thursday in Fort Lauderdale, Cardinals-Mets on Friday in Port St. Lucie and Twins-Red Sox in Fort Myers on Sunday. A lot of driving. This week it will be all Fort Lauderdale, all the time... Cards-O's on Tuesday, Marlins-O's on Wednesday, Red Sox-O's on Friday and Mets-O's on Saturday. Busy week.

Mets-Braves on SNY right now. Will have that going as I catch up on the weekend news I missed while driving the highways of South Florida.

A few notes from the Red Sox-Twins on Sunday:

-- Big Papi and Manny look like they are in good shape. I was expecting them to have a lazy winter after a title. They look as motivated as ever, especially Manny amid a potential walk year.

-- Clay Buchholz was rocked, while Tim Wakefield was solid. That is significant because Bartolo Colon is now in the fold and he could be someone the Red Sox go with over Buchholz, while Curt Schilling (shoulder) is out. Watch Buchholz closely at this point. I was planning on putting him as a decliner in the Stockwatch this week even before his performance. If Colon is healthy, the Red Sox wouldn't hestitate to open Buchholz in the minors, I'd assume.

-- Denard Span is more live in the center field mix for the Twins than you might think.

-- Might this be Jason Kubel's year? Perhaps, but I have thought that for years.

-- Stephen King is a scary dude. I would think homeless person if I didn't know he was famous and real rich.

Also, a leftover from the Mets-Cardinals on Friday:

Orlando Hernandez is really behind at this point and Mike Pelfrey is looking strong in the fifth starter's competition. I definitely can see El Duque opening on the DL -- especially since the Mets won't need a No. 5 starter until March 12.

"I am not feeling 100 percent," El Duque said Friday, dealing with a bunion problem on his foot and a neck strain. A reporter wished him luck in his recovery and he responded with a smile: "Thanks, I am going to need it."

Consider Pelfrey another riser and El Duque another faller.

Emack.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com