Saturday, January 5, 2008

'08 Outlook for Julian Tavrez

'07 Season: Julian was 7-11 with a 5.15 ERA for the Red Sox. He was a member of the rotation while the team waited on Lester to return and when other starters were hurt. His first half of the season was better, especially May and June where his ERA was under 4. He started to struggle in the second half and was given as short leash by Tito and would be pulled as soon as he got in a jam. He finished the season out of the pen and was not on the post-season roster but as I posted earlier he was a total team player.

'08 Outlook: The Red Sox picked up the option on Tavarez but he appears to be the odd man out. He will not be in the rotation where the Sox have 6 solid options and Snyder seems to have locked up the long reliever position. Tavarez was not good as the setup guy in '06 so that is not really an option. His stats vs. left and right handed hitters is pretty close so he is not going to be a specialist. He has limited value for Boston with Lester and Buchholz coming up so look for him to be traded before the season starts. If he does remain on the team he will most likely spend some time in AAA and be called up when injuries occur. He has shown he can be handle being that type of pitcher in the past and that might be his asset.


Hockey at Fenway?

With the success of the outdoor game in Buffalo the Bruins are looking to try an outside game of their own. Bruins execs have ask the NHL to let them play an outdoor game at Fenway Park and the Red Sox are open to the idea, so it may go forward. Red Sox executives have been very active in the past into expanding the brand by joining Roush Racing and by bringing the World Series Trophy to a Pats game. The Bruins are the one Boston franchise that is not doing great so they need a shot in the arm. Maybe a little Fenway Magic could put them back on top; they could put Big Papi between the pipes and no one could score on them.


Friday, January 4, 2008

Latest on Santana

The Twins are getting a little nervous as the off season progresses and are seeing if they can get the Yankees to tweak their deal by taking Hughes, Cabrera and a player other than Kennedy. The Red Sox are sticking with their two offers. The Yankees may get the deal done if they can find that player to subsititute for Kennedy, giving them a good rotation in '08. The news is not great for Boston, as of tonight it looks like the Yanks are back in the lead of the Santana sweepstakes.


Clemens* Asked to Testify Before Congress

Roger * will get a chance to tell the House Oversight Committee all about his vitamin injections on January 16th if he complies with a request by the Committee to testify. The Committee also asked Andy Pettitte to appear along with their former trainer, Brian McNamee.

On January 15th the Oversight Committee will hear from Bud Selig, Donald Fehr and George Mitchell.

UPDATE: Clemens' lawyer said Roger will accept the invitation and will attend the hearings and testify under oath.


Boston Signs 2 New Minor League Pitchers

The Red Sox signed 28 year old Jon Switzer and 31 year old Michael Tejera today. Both pitchers will start in AAA but will be invited to Spring Training as non-roster invitees. Switzer went 0-2 with an 8.05 ERA for Tampa Bay last year (with those numbers they might as well have signed Barry Switzer.) Tejera was 8-5 in AAA ball last season with a 3.90 ERA. Not much hope for either pitcher to make the 40 man roster.


Big Storm In California

We are getting a 2nd big storm with potential for hurricane force winds today in Northern California so there is a good chance the power will go out. We had 2 inches of rain yesterday and may get 6 more today!! I added a weather station at the end of December so you can check what's going on at the bottom of this page...until the power goes out.

UPDATE: Just as predicted the power went off at 7 am and has just come back on at 1:45 pm. Lots of downed trees and minor flooding but the worst of the storm has passed.


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Clemens: It was just vitamins

Roger Clemens* told 60 Minutes in a soon to be released interview that trainer Brian McNamee injected him with the vitamin B-12.

I don't know about you, but I tend to think that taking vitamin pills is easier than getting injected with them in the ass.


'08 Outlook for Kyle Snyder

I've covered the starters so now its time to move on to the bullpen.

'07 Season: Kyle Snyder finished the season with a 2-3 record and a 3.81 ERA. After starting 10 games for the Sox in '06 he became strictly a bullpen pitcher last season. He seemed more comfortable out of the pen than he did in his starts after Boston picked him up when K.C. released him. He was not on the post-season roster for the ALDS or ALCS but was added for the World Series in place of Wake.

'08 Outlook: Synder is a good option to continue as the long reliever for the Sox. He has the stamina to pitch the innings they need and can get hitters out. He does have trouble getting out of jams and can blow up in a hurry but this happens with all long term relief pitchers. (if they were great they'd be in the rotation) His stats against hitters from both sides of the plate are pretty good, making him fit in this role well. He was much improved this last season and should build on it for '08. He needs to limit his walks and have better concentration with runners on. Snyder looked like someone the Sox should have left on the waiver wire at times in '06 but in '07 he was a good option for Boston. Snyder is like an umpire; he is doing a good job if you don't notice him. He is not a high profile guy but does his part for charity is well liked by teammates, and comfortable in Boston which should translate into another good year for the Red Sox.


A Whole Lot of Nothin Going On

According to today's Globe the Santana talks have not gained steam after the holidays although both sides are willing to discuss other players. The negotiations into offering Tito a long term deal have not begun. Additionally, the Sox have not offered Youk a long term deal and may continue to negotiate 1 year deals to avoid arbitration until he is a free agent. There is still plenty of time left in the off-season to make the moves and the holidays just ended. Theo just became a dad so it is likely we will not see much activity for a while. If you take away Santana the Sox still need a backup catcher and they need to trade Coco.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Voter Asks McCain To Thaw Teddy Ballgame

New Hampshire voter Jack Polidoro asked Sen. John McCain to help remove Ted Williams from the Alcor Life Extension Foundation where he has been frozen in 2 pieces in liquid nitrogen since he died in 2002. Polidorao said Williams should be cremated according to his wishes. McCain is a senator from Arizona, the state where Williams is frozen but told the voter he has no power to go against William's son's choice to have him permanently frozen.


'08 Outlook for Clay Buchholz

'07 Season: Clay Buchholz became a well known name around Major League Baseball when he threw a no-hitter on Sept.1. It was his second career start in a game he did not know he was going to pitch the day before. He pitched one more game out of the bullpen for Boston and loaded the bases before retiring the next 9 batters in a row and not giving up an earned run. He showed some arm problems so the Red Sox decided to end his season early to the disappointment of fans who thought he might be on the post-season roster.

'08 Outlook: The sky is the limit for Buchholz in the coming season. Buchholz is just 23 but has proven he has dominant stuff. He has a curve ball as good as Zito's, a change up like Keith Foulke used to have, and a fastball that can reach 97 MPH. He has ace stuff and could one day be the opening day pitcher for Boston. If he can stay healthy the Sox will have the best rotation in baseball, with or without Santana.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

'08 Outlook for Jon Lester

'07 Season: Lester completed his amazing comeback from cancer and arrived at Spring Training almost 100%. He began pitching in the minors in April but his stay there took longer than expected. He went 4-5 with the PawSox with a 3.89 ERA. When he arrived in Boston he pitched fairly well going 4-0 in 11 games with a 4.57 ERA. He got the win in game 4 of the World Series and won the MLB Tony C. Award.

'08 Outlook: Lester has shown he has the stuff to be a dominant power pitcher in the majors. He has a good fastball and can overpower hitters. He had some games where he lost his focus causing bad innings in an otherwise good outing. As he matures and works with pitchers like Curt Schilling he should be able to limit those situations in '08. He needs to have better control next season to be a great pitcher but he has shown signs of improving. Lester could be a 15 game winner next year if he can stay healthy, the cancer is no longer a concern but power pitchers usually have a stay on the DL. The other big issue is Johan Santana; Lester is the main player being mentioned in a trade for the Twins ace. If Lester had pitched a full season in Boston last year his trade value would be much better but he is a very good starting pitcher and the Red Sox could count on him in the rotation for years if he is not traded.


Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year


'08 Outlook for Tim Wakefield

'07 Season: Tim Wakefield started the season with numbers typical of his career; he had 9 wins and a 4.39 ERA before the All Star Game. As the season progressed he showed signs of excellence and his knuckle ball continued to work well in domed stadiums where he had a 5-2 record and an ERA in the 2's. His walks were up this year which hurts him more than other pitchers. With his slow delivery to the plate a walk can often equal a double or triple for speedy runners. Wake missed most of the post season with a shoulder injury. He continued to be a good starter for the Red Sox last season with 17 wins.

'08 Outlook: Boston picked up Wakefield for another year and the longest tenured player on the Sox could be in his last season. He is 41 years old but because he throws the knuckler his career can extend more than average pitchers. The shoulder problems of last season are gone so Wake will be ready for Spring Training. The biggest question is who will be behind the dish when he is on the mound next year. Some of Wake's past success has to be given to his personal catcher Doug Mirabelli. The Red Sox have yet to sign Mirabelli for '08 so it is unclear who will catch him. Everyone remembers Josh Bard's feeble attempt at catching the knuckle ball. With Mirabelli back the Red Sox can count on another workhorse season from Wakefield with around 15 wins and an ERA under 5. If Doug is not back look for more past balls and a higher ERA from Wake. He will continue to be a clubhouse leader and for the fans it will be another year of wondering which Wake is going to pitch tonight?


Sunday, December 30, 2007

'08 Outlook for Curt Schilling

'07 Season: Schilling had an up and down year for the Sox with a 9-8 record and a 3.87 ERA. His best pitching of the season was on June 7 against the A's (I was lucky enough to have a ticket behind home plate) where he pitched a near perfect game; only an error by Lugo and a single with 2 outs in the 9th broke it up. The Red Sox were in the middle of a losing streak and Schilling was able to right the ship. His effort in this game may led to his time on the DL after just 2 more starts. He was able to get back into playing shape by the end of the season and pitch well down the stretch. He pitched great against the Angels in the division series followed by a terrible start in the ALCS. He apologized for his performance and made up for it in game 7 and had a good outing in the World Series.

'08 Outlook: Schilling accepted less money to finish his career in Boston. He knows that the Red Sox could win again next year and wants to go out on top. He is 41 years old and past his prime, his fastball has lost some zip. However, Schilling is a well prepared pitcher; he takes detailed notes on every batter he faces to prepare for the future. He has a "weight clause" in his new contract to make sure he does not show up at spring training looking like El Guapo again. Schilling could really benefit from a 6 man rotation giving him more recovery time between starts. He can still be a good major league pitcher in '08 by mixing up his pitches an limiting his walks. Schilling will be focused for his last year and that will help him where his abilities are waining. I would expect a 16 win season from him and an ERA under 4.00. If the Sox make it to the post-season again they can count on Curt to do his part.



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