February 16, 2010

Red Sox In Camp

Extra Bases reports there are about 80 Red Sox players on the field this morning. Tim Wakefield and Josh Beckett are tossing and Daisuke Matsuzaka is expected in camp later today.

Victor Martinez can be a free agent at the end of this season and he says he wants to stay in Boston, but I think that desire comes from not wanting to move to yet another team as much as it does wanting to stay with the Sox. Naturally, the team is saying nothing about any possible talks.

Clay Buchholz gained about 13 pounds over the winter and Theo Epstein likes what he sees:
He's really taken it very seriously this winter. He looks to be in great shape and has really strengthened his core. ... He's at an advantaged stage as opposed to where most guys are at this point.
Epstein also said that Mike Lowell had the pin removed from his thumb recently and that will put him a few weeks behind schedule.

Daniel Bard is working on a changeup:
Probably threw 20 of them the whole year [2009]. There's so many situations where I would think, "OK, this kind of situation kind of calls for a changeup." If there's a guy on second base, guy on third, important run, I don't want to get beat on my third-best pitch. What I want to do this year is make it so I don't have that feeling, so I can say the situation calls for a changeup and have the confidence that I'm going to get an out on it.
Example
Amalie Benjamin has a good feature on the value of J.D. Drew (she even mentions WAR!):
Just 10 players had an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of .900 or greater in 2008 and '09: Pujols, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Lance Berkman, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Holliday, Chase Utley - and Drew.

Over the three seasons since he signed with Boston, Drew has gotten on base at a .390 clip. That stands as fourth-best among outfielders in baseball in that span, behind only Manny Ramirez (.412), Holliday (.403), Magglio Ordonez (.397), and tied with Adam Dunn. ...

Drew has gotten the hit so many times that some in the organization privately wonder why David Ortiz has gotten all the praise.

There was the two-out grand slam off Fausto Carmona in Game 6 of the 2007 American League Championship Series, the ninth-inning tie-breaking homer off Francisco Rodriguez in Game 2 of the 2008 ALDS, the home run and game-winning RBI in the Sox' epic comeback in Game 5 of the 2008 ALCS, the homer in a loss in Game 3 of the 2009 ALDS. ...

6 comments:

the bus driver said...

If Bard ever succeeds with this changeup and uses it wisely, his fastball will become unhittable. Then again, he's probably a long way to start throwing it confidently in key situations.

The Omnipotent Q said...

I believe that is JOSH Beckett, Allen. Unless he has a brother named John in camp...

Mochaman said...

Bard coming up big this year is huge, considering I don't think that the Sox pen is as much of a lock that people say it is. Have to see if Pap gets his split back as well.

http://bit.ly/aUjE2B

Zenslinger said...

Extending V-Mart's an interesting case. Ortiz was extended at around $12m a year, I think in part because he's a DH. V-Mart could on one hand be considered one of the rarest prizes in baseball: an elite-hitting catcher. On the other hand, his defense is poor, and any extension would be with the understanding that he's probably a future 1B/DH.

What's he worth? Something like 3/36 seems low. But I don't know if he's a $16m/year. Maybe a JD Drew (5/70 @ $14m/year) contract?

westcoastsox said...

Of course, it makes sense, because Drew is perennially ON FIRE!!!!!

buffwarrior said...

It's going to be an interesting season with a healthy Dice-K and Wakefield. Not a huge fan of Dice but two years ago he had the best win percentage among sox pitchers now he's the fourth best maybe behind -Lackey, Beck, Lester and maybe even Clay.. I like the pitching better this year then any year in the past.