Saturday, May 30, 2015

No 'Josh'-Ing—Sox Are Powered Over By Texas

(AP Photo)
Talk about your bad timing. Josh Hamilton and the Rangers decided to make his homecoming coincide with a visit by the Red Sox. Last night, Hamilton hit two bombs off knuckle-baller Steven Wright—propelling Texas to a 7-4 win. The first broke a 2-2 tie, the second came on a 66 MPH offering from Wright. Having said that, Wright only gave up three runs—it was the bullpen that handed Texas this win. Hanley Ramirez continued his 'Reinvention Tour', with a 2-4 night—including his 12th HR. But it just wasn't enough to overcome the Ranger Prodigal Son and his ability to use lightening bat speed to crush baseballs.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Saltalamacchia Back In 'The Show' With Snakes

After being cut by the Miami Marlins, former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is back in the major leagues with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Salty had been languishing at AAA Reno (where he batted a dismal .188) before today's call-up. Even more oddly-spelled Arizona catcher Tuffy Gosewisch went on the DL—opening up a spot for Salty. This, after The Fish decided that their oddly-named young backstop ( J.T. Realmuto) was a better bargain than the high-priced and under-performing Saltalamacchia. We wish Salty the best in his return to "The Show".

Mock Draft Has Red Sox Taking Vandy RHP #7

Carson Fulmer
The respected Baseball America Mock Draft projects that—at pick #7—the Red Sox will take right-handed pitcher Carson Fulmer out of Vanderbilt University. The Red Sox tried gabbing the kid in the 15th round of the 2012 draft, but lost out to Vandy. As a freshman, Fulmer closed for the Commodores, but, after switching to starter the next year, he posted a 1.98 ERA. He can reach the high 90s on his fastball, and also features a nasty curve and a devastating change-up. The Twinkies have also shown interest in Fulmer—and they pick one spot ahead of Boston in the draft. But, if things fall right, look for the 5'11", 195-pound Fulmer to be somewhere in the Sox system at this time next year.

Scout: Boston Is Likely Cole Hamels Destination

Coming To A Park Near You?
A report on CSNPhilly.com quotes a "rival" scout as suggesting that a deal involving Cole Hamels makes sense for both teams. Says the scout, "There’s a deal to be made there, absolutely. The AL East is there for the taking....I think the team with the most resources to get him is Boston. They have the talent and can take the financial hit...The Red Sox have enough minor-league talent that they can move some of it if they want to make a deal." The scout went on to detail the bevy of Sox prospects (other than the 'untouchable' Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts) who could improve the competitiveness of the Phillies. Chief among these was 3B Rafael Devers (who we profiled yesterday on FenwayNation). Hamels makes another start tonight for Philadelphia. Stay tuned!

'Super Sub' John Kennedy Turns 74 Today

You can image the level of expectation that accompanied one John Kennedy when he donned a Boston uniform. Amazingly, this John Kennedy was born 24 years to the day (May 29th) after his more famous presidential namesake. In June of 1970, Kennedy was purchased from the Milwaukee Brewers and joined the Red Sox. What followed was a five-year stint that bestowed upon him the title of "Super Sub". In 265 games over that span, Kennedy hit a respectable .243, with 13 HRs and 78 RBIs. He played 2B, 3B, SS and DH for The Carmine Hose and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time—sort of a 1970s version of Brock Holt. Today, Kennedy turns 74 years old. Happy birthday, "Super Sub"!

Eduardo Rodriguez: Best Lefty Speed In MLB

(Getty Images)
After his MLB debut, Eduardo Rodriguez has more than just a win under his belt and the admiration of millions of Red Sox fans. He's also been sprinkled with the 'holy water' of the influential FanGraphs.com website. According to that site's Eno Sarris, E-Rod has "the best lefty velocity among starters in the game". Averaging 95.0 MPH, Rodriguez (at the tender age of 22) tops other fire-balling port-siders like Chris Sale, David Price, and some guy named Clayton Kershaw. Pretty high praise from a well-respected source. Congrats to E-Rod!

E-Rod Claims The Role Of New Red Sox Ace

(AP Photo)
Hey, Clay, any extra "I'm The Ace" t-shirts? One is needed after last night's dominant performance by rookie lefty Eduardo Rodriguez in a 5-1 win. If he's sent back to AAA, there will be mobs with pitchforks and torches on Yawkey Way to contend with. The 22-year old Rodriguez twirled 7.2 brilliant innings—giving up just three hits and striking out seven. He was in command all the way, mixing in secondary pitches with a fastball that topped out often at 96 MPH. The kid looks for real. Fortunately, despite hitting into five double-plays, the Red Sox offense supported Rodriguez with five runs (normally a week's worth of production for The Raiders Of The Lost Offense). Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts led the way—each with 3-5 nights. Hanley Ramirez doubled and homered (his 11th of the year, but only his first in May) to also pace the offense. All in all, a very satisfying win.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

David Ortiz 'Working Things Out'—Not In Lineup

An ominous comment by Red Sox manager John Farrell has some wags wondering what's going on behind the scenes with The Carmine Hose. Appearing on WEEI's Dale And Holley Show, Farrell stated that David Ortiz would not be in the Red Sox lineup for "a couple of days". The explanation was that the DH needed "to try to work some things out". Hello!

Daniel Nava Placed On 15-Day 'Disabled' List

Call if the Fenway Flu—or, since they're on the road, Texas Trichinosis. Anyway, slumping Daniel Nava has been placed on the 15-day "disabled" list. No particular injury. No particular reason—other than a dramatic drop-off in performance. So far this year, the 32-year old Nava is hitting just .159 in 27 games. Partly a victim of the crowded outfield, Nava has had fewer chances to prove his worth this year than in the past. Neverthless, the acquisition of the immortal Carlos Peguero from Texas may have signalled the end for Nava. Stay tuned.

Cast Your May 2015 Dalton Jones Average Vote!

It's that time again—another month's end and another chance to vote in FenwayNation's exclusive Dalton Jones Industrial Average. The DJIA (honoring the Red Sox all-time pinch-hit leader) gathers four key metrics from FN readers scattered around the world. Through the DJIA, readers assess the fortunes of the team on: starting pitchingrelief pitchingoverall offense and overall defenseFenwayNation will publish the DJIA Index Score each month during the season—and the fluctuation up or down from the previous month's reading. You can now cast your May DJIA vote HERE.

Worcester Says 'No': Are PawSox Homeless?

Larry Lucchino's grand scheme for a AAA waterfront ballpark in Providence didn't exactly send a thrill up the legs of Rhode Island lawmakers. Somehow, they didn't see the value of spending $120 million of taxpayer money to make the Red Sox even richer than they already are. So, the "homeless" PawSox next turned to New Bedford. But now their Mayor says a stadium deal is a "non-starter". How about Worcester? After a brief dalliance with that central Massachusetts community, their City Manager is saying he has "no intention" of using public money to finance Lucchino's minor league empire. Hey, here's an idea: stay in Pawtucket!

Red Sox Under The Radar: 3B Rafael Devers

He's only 18 and he's still at Single A Greenville, but Rafael Devers is getting a lot of attention. So far this season, Devers is hitting .331 with 2 HRs and 20 RBIs in 37 games. Obviously, the kid has a lot of maturing to do, but he is a natural hitter—with plus power potential (30+ HRs) at a corner infield spot. His progress is particularly important given the drop-off of another third base prospect—Garin Cecchini. The 24-year old Cecchini is hitting just .191 this year at AAA Pawtucket, with a HR and two RBIs in 35 games. Devers is adequate at third—although he is not a pure athlete. So, he might profile better at first base—allowing Xander Bogaerts to (down the road) move to third, with Deven Marrero at SS. We'll keep the radar on.

The Aberration That Was The 2013 Red Sox Title

Rock Bottom: 2012
Talk about your outliers! It's becoming increasingly clear that the magical 2013 season was just that—something a wizard would pull out of his hat. If you look back over the last eight years of NOG (New Ownership Group) stewardship, you find a shockingly sub-par organization—that somehow cobbled together one ring. Starting in 2008, your Carmine Hose: lost the ALCS ('08); lost the LDS ('09); finished third in the AL East ('10); finished third again in the AL East ('11); finished fifth in AL East ('12); won it all ('13); finished fifth again in the AL East ('14) and currently sits in last place in their division ('15). That's three playoff appearances in eight years—only once making it to the World Series. Is this an acceptable record of achievement? Over their last 209 regular season games (all of the 2014 season through today), they have a .440 winning percentage. Even factoring in the 2013 championship year, over their last 533 regular season games, their wining percentage is a dismal .484. The hard truth is that—since 2007—this ownership and management have (for the most part) under-performed. And, if they hadn't won in 2013, their normally cranky fanbase would be far less accepting of this mediocre product.

POLL: Plurality Want to 'Wait And See' On Sox

Very early voting in our latest FenwayNation Poll shows that most readers (45%) prefer to take a "wait and see" attitude before making any drastic moves among upper-level Red Sox management. However, as the chart shows, one-quarter each want to: fire John Farrell (25%) and fire both Farrell and Ben Cherington (25%). Moreover, about one reader in twenty (5%) wants to just sack the GM. So, while a plurality want to wait until August, fully 55% want some type of drastic action taken now. You can still vote in the poll HERE.

Red Sox Are 'Eyeing' Potential Trade Targets

All those 'untouchable' prospects may not be as safe as they once were. Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington told MLB Network Radio that Boston is "keeping an eye" on the trade market to try to improve what has been a dismal start to 2015. Of course, the most often mentioned target is LHP Cole Hamels of the Phillies. Nevertheless, according to Cherington, the team's first option is to look within to upgrade—the most recent case in point being the elevation of LHP Eduardo Rodriguez to start today's game in Texas. Cherington said the Red Sox will try to "get things better internally before...we can consider moves to supplement the team." Mired in last place and five games under .500, it's unclear who at AAA or AA (aside from a couple of pitchers and Jackie Bradley, Jr.) is going to provide a big enough jolt to make a real difference.

POLL: How To Deal With Red Sox Free-Fall?

How To Deal With Red Sox Free-Fall?

Which ONE of the following actions should be taken?

  Current Results

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Porcello 'Pitches In' For Today's 6-4 Sox Loss

(AP Photo)
Another day, another dismal starting pitching performance. Today, we were treated to a "matinee" defeat (6-4) thanks to Rick Porcello—who went seven innings and gave up six earned runs. Three of the runs came on two HRs—the 10th and 11th Porcello has given up this year. The loss came despite the best efforts of Dustin Pedroia—who clouted two two-run HRs to account for all of Boston's scoring. Not surprisingly, Brock Holt (filling in for the Rusney Castillo in RF) had two hits as well—including a double. The advent of 22-year old lefty starter Eduardo Rodriguez cannot come soon enough (Thursday), as The Carmine Hose sink to five games under .500 through their first forty-seven contests. Bobby Valentine—all is forgiven.

Eduardo Rodriguez To Start For Sox Thursday

(NESN)
We've been lobbying for this since at least March 18th—bring up phenom left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez! While the Red Sox are not committing to anything beyond this Thursday's start against the Rangers, don't be surprised if Rodriguez sticks and someone else (Joe Kelly?) heads to the bullpen. So far this year, the 22-year old Venezuelan is 4-3 with a 2.98 ERA at AAA. He's walked just seven and struck out forty-four in 48.1 innings for the PawSox. Rodriguez could turn out to be a major steal—after being picked up in the deal last year with Baltimore for Andrew Miller. Stay tuned!

'Unoffensive' Red Sox Drop Another To Twinkies

(AP Photo)
Apparently, the Red Sox need longer rain delays—or maybe just flat-out cancellations. After a one hour and twenty-minute delay (hey, why should Minnesota have a retractable roof?), Boston eked out a 2-1 loss to the Twinkies. On this night, it was not the pitching that failed them—although Clay Buchholz did give up two maddening early runs. No, it was once again, "Raiders Of The Lost Offense"—with Mike Napoli's broken bat bloop single the only RBI The Carmine Hose could muster. When Sandy León is your offensive stud (2 hits), you've got issues.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Kelly File Not-So-Prime Time; Sox Lose, 7-2

(AP Photo)
Joe Kelly had made two good starts before yesterday. But, in the typically inconsistent manner of this team, he was horrific on Sunday. Kelly didn't make it out of the second inning—giving up seven earned runs in an eventual 7-2 loss. Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts and Mike Napoli each had two hits for Boston, but the team couldn't overcome the huge hole created early by Kelly. Clay Buchholz goes to the hill at 8PM Eastern to try to right the good ship Carmine Hose.