Thursday, May 28, 2015

Can Eduardo Rodriguez Save the Season?

Eduardo Rodriguez

It is getting late real early for the Red Sox and tonight they turn their season over to a rookie, Eduardo Rodriguez. The Red Sox need a spark and they need one fast. They may play in a division without a team that is capable of running away with it but you don't want to get behind too many teams as we head into June.

Rodriguez is ranked as the Red Sox #4 prospect, Keith Law ranked him the 29th best prospect in all of baseball. What makes it even better is that he was acquired last year from the Baltimore Orioles for an Andrew Miller rental. Miller is now with the Yankees but the Red Sox still have Eddy.

From Keith Law:

Rodriguez faced 29 batters this spring, punching out nine and walking none. The last stat is the only one here I think has much if any significance in the tiny spring training sample, especially because Rodriguez's deficiencies as a prospect were areas such as command and feel for pitching. He has two plus pitches, with the breaking ball gradually improving. Getting him for two months of Andrew Miller looks like a genius move by Red Sox GM Ben Cherington.

Rodriguez has been just as impressive this year in Pawtucket where he is 4-3 with a 2.98 ERA. In a little over 48 innings pitched he has struck out 44 and only walked 7.

Can he save the season starting tonight? Can you imagine how different the Sox could look later tonight if Rodriguez goes out and looks like the real deal? It could be the kind of look that sparks this team to life.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Rumors, Praise and Questions about Jackie Bradley's Future with Sox

Jackie Bradley Jr. is back up with the Red Sox where has been used mainly as a fourth outfielder since his call up, in 8 at bats he has yet to get a hit. Dating back to last season, he is now 0 for his last 26. Not good. He did have a solid offensive spring with a new shortened swing and in Pawtucket he was hitting .343 with an .857 OPS. He still needs to prove he can hit at the MLB level though

JBJ was called back up to the majors as the Sox were facing the Blue Jays. John Gibbons, manager of the Blue Jays, raved about Bradley calling him the best defensive center fielder he has ever seen play. JBJ was up for the Gold Glove last year but didn't get it. Ironically, many feel he deserved it but his bat kept him from winning it. Gold Gloves are not always given to the best defensive players. It is more of a popularity contest. Derek Jeter is proof of that. Bradley turned 13 double plays from the outfield last year, next closest was 5. He also had 18 assists. Those are mind boggling numbers. His .180 batting average is just as mind boggling though.

His defensive prowess has many wondering why the Sox don't put him in center field when he enters the game. John Farrell explained that JBJ is not going to be a full time starter and he doesn't want to move around Mookie Betts who starts in center field. Betts is a decent defensive center fielder but he is still learning and there have been a few balls he didn't get to that JBJ would have.

Does Bradley have a future with the Red Sox? With Betts and Rusney Castillo, it doesn't look good. Will JBJ be better off with a change in scenery? Very possible. The latest rumor had the Sox offering him to the Mariners for Charlie Furbush of the Mariners. It is clear that JBJ makes an impact on the defensive side, if he can prove he can it, he will be a force in MLB just like he was in college with the Gamecocks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ESPN Mocks Derek Jeter

David Schoenfield, an ESPN blogger, has a piece up about the Yankees and that they are a really good team. I hate to toot my own horn and I hate even more to be right about this, but I warned you all right here that these Yankees were much better than the credit they were getting from the so-called experts. How good are they? Well they have the 4th best run differential in baseball while playing the third toughest schedule. That combination makes them the best overall team in MLB up to this point if you use the Simple Rating System or SRS.

It is what Schoenfield says at the end of his piece that caught my eye:

Back in April, Derek Jeter said of baseball, "I don't miss it at all."

After last year's worldwide retirement tour, nobody is missing Jeter, either -- least of all, his former team.

Well played David, well played.

You can read his full blog post here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

James Taylor and Angels of Fenway

One of the few bright spots of this past weekend was James Taylor releasing and singing his brand new song called Angels of Fenway. The song is inspired by the 2004 Red Sox and here is an interview James Taylor did with Steve Buckley and then sings the song afterwards. Very cool!

The Legacy of Ted Williams

Wright Thompson of ESPN has done it again with an incredible piece on the life of Ted Williams. This piece centers around his daughter Claudia Williams and her struggle with being the daughter of a very complicated man. The story goes into great detail about the decision to be frozen after death and what Claudia has planned for the future. Check it out here. It is a must read!