Saturday, April 15, 2006

Boomer expected to miss next start 

Jeff Horrigan of the Boston Herald is reporting that David Wells is expected to miss his next start on Monday and could be headed back to the 15-day disabled list.

Boomer is still experiencing problems with his right knee and met with the Red Sox’ medical staff following last night’s win over the Seattle Mariners. No final determination was made, but according to the report, indications point to Wells returning to the DL to undergo further treatment on the knee, which required arthroscopic surgery last October.

Lenny DiNardo is expected to get the start in Boomer's absence. No word on who will fill DiNardo's role as the long-man, but I figure that Abe Alvarez and Matt Ginter are the leading candidates to get the call. Ginter intrigues me, and is pitching rather well in Pawtucket, already throwing 10 scoreless innings, incuding a terrific 5-inning outing on April 9th. I'm not as hot on Alvarez, mainly because
a pitcher who doesn't miss many bats and gives up a lot of flyballs is not a recipe for success in Fenway.

UPDATE: The Red Sox called up right-hander Jermaine Van Buren from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Wells' spot on the 25-man roster.

Schilling burns M's; Sox win 2-1 

Once is a fluke. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a trend. And so it goes without saying that Curt Schilling nailed down his third win in as many starts on Friday night.

It poured practically the entire evening, but it sure didn't faze Curt Schilling, who allowed three hits in eight innings, leading Boston to a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners. Schilling struck out seven and walked none.

Alex Gonzalez, of all people, provided all the necessary offense by driving in both runs with a double off the Monster in the fourth inning. Gonzalez finished the night 3-for-4 with two doubles off of Seattle starter Jamie Moyer.

Jonathan Papelbon, earned his fifth save in five opportunities. So far this season, Papelbon has allowed hitters to go a lilliputian 2-for-20.

Other interesting notes:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Crisp signed; Riske DL'd 

A few things to get to here.

Rather than recapping the home opener, which I'm sure most of you saw, I'll just say this: Josh Beckett is going to be a lot of fun to watch this season. He's a warrior on the mound and can scratch and claw his way through a game. He didn't have his best stuff yesterday, but as you saw, he was able to chew up the Blue Jays. Stud.

Next, Coco Crisp agreed with the Red Sox on a three-year extension that includes a club option for the 2010 season. Crisp already was signed for this year at $2.75 million. The extension contains a $1 million signing bonus and salaries of $3.5 million in 2007, $4.75 million in 2008 and $5.75 million in 2009. The club option for 2010, which would buy out his first year of free agency, is at $8 million and includes $500,000 buyout and salary escalator provisions.

A good deal for the Sox here, essentially buying out Coco's arbitration years and adding an option year at the end. Three years of Coco for about the same amount of money as one year of Johnny Damon? I can't complain.

It was expected that Lenny DiNardo would be returned to Pawtucket today, as David Wells would be removed from the Disabled List. Well, that didn't happen. Instead, the Sox have decided to place reliever David Riske on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain, retroactive to April 5. Riske has only pitched once this season, giving up two runs and two hits in one inning.

I, personally, don't think Riske is hurt. He's just pitching poorly. The fact that he's been placed on the DL retroactive to April 5th is suspicious to me. That means he will be eligible to come off the DL on the 21st, the exact day that Stern is eligible to be sent to Pawtucket. It works out nicely.

Tonight, we take a 2nd straight from the Jays...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Dustan Mohr to be called up 

Gary Jacobs of Sox On Deck is reporting that Dustan Mohr will be recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket as Coco Crisp's replacement.

From said report:
“I’m excited to have the opportunity,” said the newest member of the Boston Red Sox. “Kind of a bittersweet thing, because you hate to get called up because of an injury on one hand, but on the other hand, this is the reason I signed with the Red Sox, is to be a [Boston] Red Sox. I’m very excited about it. I can’t wait to go up there and do whatever they ask me to do.”

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sources: Ortiz contract extension imminent 

Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald is reporting that the chances are good that the Red Sox and designated hitter David Ortiz will announce a contract extension as soon as today.

Both sides are keeping extremely quiet, but indications from multiple baseball sources last night indicated that both sides were close to completing a deal. It is believed to be a 4-year-deal, through the 2010 season, worth in excess of $12 million a season.

Last-minute hangups could postpone an announcement of a deal today, but an announcement is expected in the coming days.

UPDATE: The Red Sox have announced that they have signed designated hitter David Ortiz to a four-year contract extension with a club option for 2011. No financial terms were revealed, but the deal is believed to be worth at least $12 million per season.

Steve Burton: Coco could miss 6-8 weeks 

On CBS4's Sports Final tonight, Bob Lobel reported that Steve Burton has learned that Coco Crisp could miss 6-8 weeks with a fractured left index finger.

Later on the show, Coco, himself, was shown standing in the stands in Fenway Park, just looking at everything, taking it all in, but then Steve Burton walked up and asked if he was pumped for Opening Day, to which Coco responded that it's going to be awesome, but that he pretty much wouldn't be playing.

When asked how the finger was, Coco said, "We'll see how it goes. We'll rest and see how it goes."

Gordon Edes reports that an Orioles doctor looked at it and preliminary reports are that it's fractured.

Coco said earlier today that if it was October, he'd be playing.

On WHDH's Sports Xtra, Joe Amorosino and Wendi Nix both reiterated that Coco could miss up to a month.

If you recall, on May 11, 2002, Manny Ramirez fractured his left index finger by diving into home head first. He was placed on the disabled list on May 14th and missed 39 games.

Sox top O's, 4-1 

First off, let's give a nice round of applause for one Josh Bard. Way to silence your critics, man. He caught the knuckler as well as anyone has and one could argue that he's the reason Wakefield was able to focus and set the O's down for 6 solid innings. The only run of the afternoon came in the first inning, as Miguel Tejada singled home David Newhan.

The highlight of Wakefield's afternoon came just after he yielded a double to a sizzling Ramon Hernandez, who then reached third base on Chris Gomez' single to right. Wakefield recovered by getting Corey Patterson, David Newhan, and Luis Matos to all go down swinging.

In the 7th, Timlin allowed two batters to reach base, but neither scored.

Foulke pitched the 8th inning and was nothing short of spectacular. He struck out the first two batters he faced and got the third to lineout to J.T. Snow at first on a botched bunt attempt. His changeup was sitting at 75 MPH again and had nasty low-and-away tailing action to the lefty batters. His fastball touched 89 MPH and he was placing it perfectly up in the zone.

Papelbon pitched the 9th, and didn't look as sharp as he did the evening prior, but still got the Orioles to go quietly. Instead of the 97 MPH heater he was throwing on Saturday, his fastball topped out at 94 (and was mostly around 92), forcing popups rather than strikeouts. The ump seemed to be squeezing him a bit, so Papelbon was forced to come inside with his fastball, and accidently plunked Miguel Tejada on the elbow. Tejada wasn't too pleased, and it looked for a moment that he was about to go Bert Campaneris on the young fireballer.

On offense, the star for the Sox was leadoff hitter Adam Stern, who was subbing for Coco Crisp due to his injured finger. Stern had two hits, each an RBI single.

So the Sox are 5-1, and are heading back north for their opener on Tuesday. I cannot wait. You thought Josh Beckett was fired up in Texas? Just wait until he sees 36,000 screaming lunatics as he takes the mound at Fenway.

By the way, thanks to amh03 of SoSH, I've been priveleged enough to see some inside shots of the new-look Fenway Park, and let me tell you, it looks fantastic. The banners under the 'Fenway Park' facade look excellent, and the new seats under the press boxes look as if they've been there forever, fitting into the ballpark seemlessly. Also, according to Jerry Remy on the Sox broadcast today, the Sox have finally decided to install nets in front of the dugouts.

My only complaint? There are just too many ads on the Green Monster now, giving it a cheap minor league appearance. But, hey, if they're going to put the money from those ads to good use, who am I to complain?

Report: Coco to miss a month due to broken hand 

Joe Amorosino of WHDH-Boston is reporting that Coco Crisp will miss about a month with a broken hand, suffered when he awkwardly slid into third base during Saturday night's game.

More on this as it develops..

UPDATE: Ian Browne and Mike Petraglia of redsox.com cite the report from WHDH that Coco Crisp could miss up to one month as the result of a broken knuckle in his left index finger.

The report also states, "Reached by phone on Sunday night, team spokesman John Blake told MLB.com that the club could not confirm the report and that there was no immediate change to the original diagnosis of a jammed finger. Crisp will be examined by the team's medical staff on Monday."

Sox @ O's - Wakefield vs Lopez 

Will the Sox make Rodrigo Lopez look like the reincarnation of Cy Young or will they bust out and put some big runs up on the board? This is no doubt the most difficult game of the young season to project.

Overall, Lopez isn't that great of a pitcher, but he has always given the Red Sox a headache. Over the past two seasons, Lopez is 5-3 vs Boston with a 2.87 ERA. Versus the rest of the league over that same time period, Lopez has posted a 4.50 ERA.

In Lopez' first start of the season (vs Tampa), he picked up the victory, but allowed six runs (five earned) on seven hits, one walk and two home runs through seven innings while only striking out two. The numbers look rather ugly at first, but it's important to note that he only allowed eight baserunners in those seven innings and used an extremely economical 90 pitches to do so.

Lopez' fastball rarely tops out above 88 MPH, but it does have good movement. Lopez uses it to keep hitters off the plate and set up his other pitches, mainly his slurve. When the slurve flattens out he can really get himself into trouble. Lopez is at his best when he's mixing his pitches and working the corners of the plate. Last season, Lopez' numbers were essentially identical vs lefties and righties, so there's no need to load the lineup one way or the other. Should Lopez have his usual solid command, the Sox just need to jump on his underwhelming fastball early in the count.

Hopefully this game will also bring the Wakefield/Bard saga to a screeching halt. The Orioles, as a club, are only hitting .259 lifetime vs Wakefield, but they're slugging him to a tune of .492, so it could be very crucial that Bard does does not allow the Orioles extra bases. Tejada has been the most impressive vs Wakefield, smashing 5 home runs in 51 career at-bats (as I type this, visions of Tejada clobbering a knuckler into the Monster seats play over and over in my head).

How does this sound? We head back to Boston for the Home Opener with a 5-1 record, a pitching staff that's on an absolute roll, and a batting lineup that is just itching to bust out in true Fenway fashion? Good? I thought so.

P.S. - To Michael Kay and the rest of you Yankee clowns, you can quit rehashing the played out "1998 Yankees also started the season 1-4 and they won 114 games!" line. Newsflash! The 1989 Yankees started the season 1-4 as well. Their final record? 74-87. Chew on that for a little bit.

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