Thursday, December 27, 2012

Might as Well Face It, We're Addicted to Saves

First, go and read Jonah Keri’s terrific blog post from Grantland this past April.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.

Now that we’ve all chewed on Keri’s post,  here are some highlights and extended thoughts that I'll eventually get around to relating to the Red Sox 2013 bullpen:
  • Jerome Holtzman, a Chicago sportswriter, in 1959 created the save statistic, inadvertently creating the way major league teams have structured their bullpens for over fifty years.  Professional pitchers fight for their careers to get into a sacred closer role to accumulate this statistic created by the Chicago sportswriter, in order to cash in on the huge contracts bestowed on successful closers.  Rafael Soriano and Jonathan Papelbon get over $10 million a year, Koji Uehara gets 1 year $4.25 million.  Are Papelbon and Soriano three times better pitchers than Uehara?  Or do they just have better entrance music and happen to get the 25th-27th outs in a game rather than the 19th-21st?  The baseball powers that be has added incredible importance to the final three outs, and the established closers have a vested interest in keeping it that way.  Managers, for their part, are afraid to go away from the traditional model, lest they be labelled as trying to use a “bullpen by committee” when guys don’t know which inning they may be used in and when the approach results in a blown save or two by Holtzman’s statistic, the manager gets shamed back into announcing a “closer”.
  • The biggest argument for the traditional closer role is that there are certain pitchers who can handle the stress of the “clutch” situations with the game on the line getting those 25th-27th outs.  That there is an “ice in the veins” mentality to great closers that some guys just don’t have.  I don’t buy this argument.  I think it would be more stressful to come into a game in the 7th inning with the bases loaded and only one out than it would be to enter the 9th inning with the bases empty and no outs.  The key is to have your best pitchers on the mound during those moments when a game can potentially swing dramatically to one side or the other (or a team’s Win Probability begins to swing).  
  • Two of the best closers in the game last year, according to Keri’s statistic SD/MD, which we’ll get to in a moment, were Fernando Rodney and Jim Johnson.  Both were AL East pitchers, and both came into 2012 with huge question marks.  Johnson had been a middle relief or setup guy for most of his career and Rodney had sucked so bad in Anaheim’s bullpen the year before they let him go.  Were these two guys known for having ice water in their veins?  No!  For whatever reason, they fixed their control a year ago (Johnson and Rodney had a sub-2.00 BB/9 for the first time in their careers a year ago, Rodney down from 7.9 in 2011. 7.9!!!).  These two guys were not good closers in 2012 because they have ice water in their veins, they were good because they threw strikes.

Monday, December 24, 2012


Is there a new theme forming within the Red Sox offseason plan? Is Ben Cherington stealing a page from Bill Belichick's playbook?

So far this offseason the Red Sox "gameplan" has been quite clear:

  1. Protect your draft picks at all cost
  2. Target players who had down years in '12 but have a lot to prove
  3. Despite the down years, overpay for those players in order to get them on short term deals
  4. Improve the character of the clubhouse
Updated 12/27 *Here is a glimpse at another potential part of the offseason game plan from Brian MacPheron

With the not yet finalized, but seemingly imminent, trade for Joel Hanrahan we have to ask ourselves if there is a 5th part of this plan? Is Ben Cherington trying to create roster competition going into spring training? Or is this just the beginning of a plan that has not yet finalized and calls for several more players to be traded? As the roster is constituted right now one would have to say that there will be a lot of competition for jobs on this team.  

As further evidence that competition was a part of the offseason plan from the beginning we can take a look at some of Larry Lucchino's early offseason interviews.  In those interviews Larry Lucchino talked about having young players who were "hungry" as a key part of the team.  At the time we thought that he was talking about players like Iglesias, Kalish, Lavarnway, Middlebrooks and others.  What he may have been saying is that they want those players to be highly motivated to earn a spot on the roster and take away a starting job from a veteran like Middlebrooks did last year to Youkilis.  Giving players like Iglesias and Lavarnway a starting job is not an ideal way for a team to win a division or make the playoffs, but having them compete for jobs with veterans can create a winning team.  

Here is a look at a few of the spots that will feature competition during spring training: 

Monday, December 17, 2012

How Does Stephen Drew Affect the Sox Roster?

With today's signing of Stephen (don't call me J.D.) Drew the Red Sox offseason spending spree continues. Last week we took a look at the Sox roster and examined their few remaining needs, one of which was infield depth, we can cross that one off the list now that Drew has signed for one year and $9.25 million. Today we are going to take a look at the Red Sox roster and see who may make the 25 man out of spring training and who may end up being traded. The roster is listed by position with players that are likely to make the team, then in the comments section we can decide who goes to Pawtucket, who gets traded or released. We will assume all players are healthy for this offseason roster exercise (and hope it stays that way!)

  1. Mike Napoli (again, let's assume the deal gets finalized)
  2. Daniel Nava (don't be surprised to see him play some 1B in spring training)

We all know that injuries will take a toll on a few of these players which will make it possible to get to 25 by opening day. We also know that there will be a few surprises in spring training that we don't expect that will throw a wrinkle into things. Bryce Brentz is someone who I think could make the team ahead of schedule with a really strong spring training.

Here's how I'd get to 25: Lavarnway, de la Rosa, Kalish to Pawtucket; trade Aceves and put one relief pitcher on the DL (or send Bard to Pawtucket if he doesn't find his command)

What would you do?  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dempster-Yes, Hamilton-No, Napoli...Maybe?

...Sandy Rosario-Just wait a couple of days

The Red Sox continue to add pieces to the team through free agency after agreeing to terms with Ryan Dempster on a 2 year deal worth 26.5 million.  They also continue to overpay annually in return for shorter years.  Josh Hamilton got 5 years at 125 million from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  The Red Sox were not willing to go beyond 3 years for Hamilton so they were not able to sign him, but when the best player on the market goes for basically 50% of the going rate (Pujols got 250 million last offseason) an opportunity has been missed.  Now word is coming out that the Red Sox contract with Mike Napoli has been slow to be finalized due to some medical terms in the contract over injury concerns.  The potential glitch is serious enough for the Red Sox to be back in the market looking for other first base options.  Maybe this is what Cherington meant by "being disciplined".

The Red Sox signed Dempster with the hope that he would give them dependability at the back end of the rotation which is something that they have not had the last two years.  He is capable of throwing 200 innings in a season having done it seven times in his career.  The question is, can he be effective in the American League?  The Red Sox think so, and the nicest thing that I can say about it is that I hope they are right.  However, I think they are wrong on this one.  He wasn't terrible for the Rangers after his midyear trade last year, but he was terrible against good lineups like the Angels and Yankees.  The one piece of reasoning that I find laughable is that he pitched two gems against the Red Sox last year.  I got news for you, that was no feat. The 2012 Red Sox were experts at making bad pitchers look good.  Despite their ability to put up big run totals in some games against really bad pitching they were not a good offensive team last year no matter what the stats say.  Now if Dempster is the #4 or 5 starter and we are able to match him up against lesser teams than he may give us a better #5 starter than we've had in 2 years.  Plus with interleague play being dispersed throughout the season he may be able to pitch against a NL team more often than he would have been with the old schedule.  If he is managed well than he may be able to give the Red Sox what they need which is stability.  Just don't expect a 2.25 era because a 4.25 is much more likely.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Return of the Live Chat!

Join us tonight at 8:30 as the Live Chats make a December appearance.  We will discuss the Pats Monday Night showdown with the 11-1 Texans, the Red Sox/MLB Hot Stove, as well as I'm sure some Maine HS Hoops talk. Be there, Santa and his elves are watching!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What's Next For Red Sox at Winter Meetings?

The 2012 Winter Meetings are half over and the Red Sox have been the busiest team so far.  The Red Sox had plenty of money to spend in Nashville and it appears that their plan was to use that money to get players to sign shorter deals.  By upping the annual salary average over less years they were able to land Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli.  Rumor has it that the Indians offered Victorino 4 years and 44 million, but Victorino took the higher annual salary and a chance to play for a big market team and the shorter deal which is what the Sox wanted.  So far that plan has worked, which begs the question: What's Next?

Their biggest need now appears to be starting pitching.  There are a number of free agent options like Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse and Edwin Jackson.  Those three guys would all appear to fit the Red Sox free agent strategy.  There are a number of trade possibilities as well.  Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe mentioned Cliff Lee, but there are other pitchers who are available.  Some of the rumored names available in trades are Chris Capuano, Homer Bailey, R.A. Dickey, Gavin Floyd and Derek Holland.  The Rangers need a CF and now that the Sox have signed Victorino perhaps a trade could be worked out for Ellsbury to go to the Rangers for Holland.

Other needs appear to be a left handed hitting first baseman for when Napoli catches, a veteran SS to provide insurance for Iglesias, perhaps a relief pitcher and another outfielder if Ellsbury gets traded.

I think, and it's only my gut instinct, that the Red Sox want Nick Swisher to take one of those 3 year deals with a higher annual salary so that he can split 1B with Napoli and RF with Victorino.  He would fill 2 of the four needs listed in the paragraph above.  If the Sox trade Ellsbury then I think the Sox will go after Swisher very aggressively.  Or they may sign Swisher first (who is supposedly waiting for Hamilton to sign to set the market) and then trade Ellsbury from a position of strength.  We could do a whole post on Ellsbury trade options and we probably will soon if rumors start to heat up, but overall I think that Sox fans should temper their expectations for what they could get in return for Ellsbury.  If they can get one blue chip pitching prospect I would take it.  The Atlanta Braves have the prospects and need a CF so that could be a fit.  If the Sox could get one strong SP for this year's rotation, I would take it, like the Rangers and Derek Holland mentioned above or the Phillies and Cliff Lee. One thing is for sure, he is as good as gone after next year.  Get something for him now.

The Sox could also trade from their catching depth and bullpen depth to get a starter with a little less talent then what they could get in return for Ellsbury.  Then they could keep Ellsbury and get one good year out of him and an extra draft pick after he leaves.

There are some decent free agent bullpen options available like Mike Adams and Rafeal Soriano.  However, I think this need is of much less importance than the others.

The Red Sox have been busy so far in Nashville, but I think they've got one more move left in them before they leave.  If Ellsbury is going to be traded it will happen after the meetings, but I look for them to sign a free agent SP before they leave the Opryland Hotel.  Let's hear who you think they should pick up to fill their remaining holes at SP, left handed hitting 1B, OF (if Ells is traded), RP and SS.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

2012 Winter Meetings are Here!

The baseball world has converged on Nashville, and the actual meetings begin in the morning.
Let's use this post to gather any and all rumors, notes, news, or commentary on completed deals.

  Two quick thoughts: 1) many folks in and out of the game speculated that the Red Sox would be more active on the trade front than the free agent market.  If this is to become true, the Red Sox front office has certainly kept talks quiet.  Other than the Wil Myers-Lester rumor that came out of KC, there have been no concrete trade rumors. 2) on Sirrius/XM radio tonight, Larry Luchinno said the Sox were in on Josh Hamilton, the biggest concern being length of the deal.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Arbitration Deadline Looms

Check out the twitter feed on the right hand side of the blog for the latest updates and coverage of the Red Sox decisions on arbitration eligible players.  These players have 3 to 5 years of major league service and if they are offered arbitration it guarantees that they will be with the team this year barring a trade.  So let's play a little game of Keep or Let Go!! The Red Sox have 11 players eligible for arbitration and they need to make an arbitration offer to them by midnight tonight.  Many of the players on the list will be key players for the team this year.  Projected arbitration salaries are obviously a key part of whether or not a player will get an offer so I will include projected salaries in parenthesis.  The projected salaries come from Sean McAdam and  Put your answers in the comments section below and let us here at redsoxmaineiacs know if you want to "keep" the player or "let go" of the player (put an asterisk next to a player who you don't want to offer arbitration to, but try to sign them at a lower cost) Time to play everyone's favorite game show...Let's Go!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Red Sox finalize the coaching staff

The Red Sox and John Farrell have finalized their coaching staff for the upcoming season by naming Gregg Colbrunn the hitting coach. and Peter Abraham report that Victor Rodriquez is the leading candidate for the newly created assistant hitting coach position.  Assuming that these two hires go through there are no more openings on the staff for 2013.  Here is a look at how the staff shapes up:

Manager- John Farrell
Bench Coach- Torey Lovullo
Pitching Coach- Juan Nieves
3rd Base Coach- Brian Butterfield
1st Base Coach- Arnie Beyeler
Bullpen Coach- Gary Tuck
Hitting Coach- Gregg Colbrunn
Asst. Hitting Coach- Victor Rodriquez (not yet official)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rumored Red Sox Targets

With the Winter meetings only a week away, I thought I would post a list of every name ( or as close as I can recall) of players that have been connected to red Sox rumors this off season.  Some of these names have come from media reporting and speculation, others from fan blogs. Some names are more realistic than others.  Several names that had been on the list have all ready signed or been traded elsewhere:  Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Scott Baker, Jake Peavy, Torii Hunter, and Hideki Kuroda.  A couple of others are probably unavailable pipe dreams: Felix Hernandez and Giancarlo Stanton.

The list includes mostly first basemen, outfielders, and starting pitchers.  In other words the areas of biggest Red Sox need.  There is only one each of relief pitcher and third baseman, a half dozen shortstops and no second basemen at all ( except Chase Utley, who in one rumor was suggested as a Sox first base candidate, so that is where he is listed), and two catchers.  The list is no particular order of likelihood or preference. A * after the name indicated free agent.


Joe Mauer
Russell Martin  *

First Base

Mark Reynolds *
Kevin Youkilis *
Victor Martinez
Eric Hosmer
Justin Smoak
Billy Butler
Mark Trumbo
Kendrys Morales
Justin Morneau
Carlos Pena  *
Mike Napoli  *
Adam Lind
Bryan LaHair
James Loney  *
Ike Davis
Matt Carpenter
Chase Utley
Lance Berkman  *
Brandon Belt
Adam Laroche  *
Michael Morse

2B- none


David Wright


Asdrubal Cabrera
Stephen Drew  *
Elvis Andrus
Troy Tulowitzki
Hanley Ramirez
Jhonny Peralta


Shin-Soo Choo
Josh Hamilton  *
Grady Sizemore  *
Delmon Young  *
Alex Gordon
Vernon Wells
Josh Willingham
Nick Swisher (1B, also) *
BJ Upton  *
Justin Upton
Alfonso Soriano
Ryan Ludwick  *
Cody Ross  *
Carlos Gonzalez
Andre Ethier
Shane Victorino  *
Giancarlo Stanton
Jason Bay  *
Jose Tabata
Angel Pagan  *
Michael Bourn  *

Joakim Soria  *


Francisco Liriano  *
Gavin Floyd
Justin Masterson
Anabil Sanchez  *
Dan Haren  *
Zack Greinke  *
Derek Lowe  *
Brandon McCarthy  *
Felix Hernandez
James Shields
Derek Holland
Carlos Villanueva  *
Matt Garza
Joe Blanton  *
Ricky Nolasco
Shaun Marcum  *
Jonathan Niese
Cliff Lee
Kyle Lohse  *
Tim Linecum
Edwin Jackson  *

Despite the length of this list, I am sure new names will crop up in pre-meetings and during the Winter Meetings.  In fact, I predict it is likely Ben Cherington acquires a player or two out of the blue and not on this list.  But the shopping season peak is almost here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Red Sox Thanksgiving Leftovers

While no Thanksgiving will probably ever match the 2003 version from a hot stove perspective the Red Sox did make a move around the holiday.  It has not been officially announced yet but it appears that the Sox have agreed to a 2 year 10 million dollar contract with Johnny Gomes.  Here are a few other Red Sox thoughts:

  1. Now that John Gibbons has been hired as the Toronto manager, Brian Butterfield is officially the 3rd base coach for 2013.  This is great news for the maineiacs. Butterfield is a graduate of Orono High School which is the alma mater of two of the four maineiacs.  
  2. The coaching staff will be rounded out as soon as they name a hitting coach or two.  Gregg Colbrunn will be the fifth person interviewed for that position and expect an announcement sometime within the next week.  
  3. Mike Napoli is reportedly looking for a fourth guaranteed year to sign with a team.  The Red Sox and Mariners are reported to be the top suitors with the Yankees being mentioned earlier in the process. 
  4. No new news to report on the catcher trade sweepstakes.  Perhaps the Sox could use either Saltalamacchia or Lavarnway as a center piece of a trade with the Minnesota Twins for Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer or both.  The more I think about it the more I think that the Twins and Red Sox are a good match for a trade.  The Red Sox have a number of relatively affordable team controlled players as well as a few big league ready cheap players.  The Twins would like to get rid of the Mauer and Morneau contracts, although Morneau only has one more year left on his deal at 14 million.  The Sox could start with a package of Saltalamacchia, Doubront and Jose Iglesias.  
  5. Ben Cherington appears to be trying to repeat Theo Epstein's successful rebuilding job through free agency prior to the 2003 season by going after high character clubhouse guys.  According to all reports David Ross and Johnny Gomes are good clubhouse guys.  Who's going to be next?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Division Rival on Verge of a Blockbuster

Red Sox divisional foe the Toronto Blue Jays are on the verge of a trade with the Miami Marlins that will make the Red Sox trade in August look small.  ESPN Boston is reporting that the Marlins are sending Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Beuhrle, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to the Jays.  In return, the Jays are sending Yunel Escobar, Jake Marisnick and Adeiny Hechevarria and possibly more to the Marlins.

What does this mean for the Red Sox?  Do you wish that the Sox had made this trade with the Marlins instead? Does this make the Blue Jays contenders in the AL east? Let's Discuss...

Monday, November 5, 2012

Offseason Road Map

After a long time away from the redsoxmaineiacs blog, thanks to life as a high school football coach from August to November, I have had some free time and my mind has started to think about the Red Sox hot stove season.   For my return to the blog I want to take a look at the team’s needs and wants during the offseason.   Then I will put together a road map that will lead the Red Sox back to postseason play. 

I am going to break down the Red Sox needs by category.  We will take a look at catcher, infield, outfield, DH, starting pitching, bullpen, bench, manager and coaching staff.  We will explore several different ways for the Red Sox to acquire more talent and ways to improve the talent that they already have.  There is already a vibe from the people who cover the Red Sox in the media that they are rebuilding for 2014, but in this day in age of 5 teams making the playoffs in each league there is no reason to throw away the 2013 season.  I am going to put together a blueprint for Ben Cherington and John Farrell to follow that will give them a chance to make the playoffs this coming season without jeopardizing the opportunity to build an AL east champion by 2014. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Red Sox need an Ace, but from where??

Since around mid-season of 2012 national baseball pundits and ardent Red Sox fans who have surmised that Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz are at their best #2 starters, have stated that a glaring need for the Red Sox to return to glory is an ace pitcher to head their rotation.  This sentiment lead me to ponder just how easy is it for any team to find and acquire an #1 starter.  Not every team even has an ace and most that do are not moving them ( Verlander, Kershaw, and Matt Cain just to name three).

We are going to go on a search, division by division, team by team to see if an acquirable ace is out there.  We will widen the search to include some guys who once were aces ( and maybe could be restored by a change of scenery or by John Farrell's magical pitching instruction) and will look at some guys who could be helpful #2-3 pitchers.  The market has changed even as this is written today.  Let's go ace hunting!

AL East-- Not likely the divisional rivals will help the Sox and with exception of one team not much help anyway.

Yankees and Orioles-- The Orioles despite the playoff season have no one remotely in the ace class, and the Yanks have only CC, who is not moving.  I suppose Hiroki Kuroda could be considered, he is a free agent.  But at age 38 he is a middle to back end guy.  I bet if he leaves it is back to LA Dodgers.

Blue Jays--Two guys who might qualify here, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero, who slumped badly this year.  I suspect the Jays keep both and surely will not send them to John Farrell.

Rays-  Ah, if only the Rays were not in the AL East this is the place to go.  Lots of rumors the Rays would listen on David Price before he gets too "pricey"and to get some much needed offense.  James Shields has a team options for 2013 for $9M and $12M for 2014, some rumors they could cut him loose, but it is way more likely he is traded if Price is not.  Even youngsters like Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore are exactly the young projectable aces the Sox ideally could trade for...but not from here.

Posssible AL East candidates: none

AL Central--Not many great names here either...

Royals and Twins- nada

Indians-  Here comes the first name of a one time ace, Ubaldo Jimenez.  Yes the same Ubaldo ( how many Ubaldos are there??) who was 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA in 2012.  Would the Sox take him for a next to nothing package? The Sox are reportedly interested in Shin Soo-Choo, could they get Choo by swallowing Ubaldo?   Another Indian hurler coveted in the last year or two ( or since the Sox traded him) is Justin Masterson.  But as much as I would like to see Justin back in Boston it would be a major stretch to see him as an ace, plus Tito Francona's arrival in Tribetown likely keeps him in place.

White Sox--Another former ace here in Francisco Liriano, who will be a free agent, and hopefully the Red Sox let him stay free.  If he is on the list it is way, way down the list.  The next name is the guy I had near the top of the list due to his past ace history, current ability, and availability.  He is Jake Peavey, but unfortunately the availability changed completely today.  Peavy had a $22M team option for '13 and no one in baseball expected the Chisox to pick up the option.  And they did not, but what they did do was sign Peavy to a new $29M 2 year deal.  Cross him off the list.  Chicago has the most valuable asset of all in young ace Chris Sale, who is going nowhere.

The Tigers are loaded with starting pitching 3/5 of which are staying in Motown ( Verlander, Scherzer, and Fister) it is possible youngster Rick Porcello is falling of favor and maybe could be dealt for.  It is more likely Porcello gets the spot of our next candidate, Anibal Sanchez. Here is our first very likely 2013 Red Sox pitcher, as the former Sox farmhand is a free agent.  There is little doubt Sanchez could help. There is doubt if he is really anything near an ace, and he has had health issues in his career.

AL Central possibilities-- Anibal Sanchez, Ubaldo Jimenez, Francisco Liriano

AL West- More fruitful hunting than the rest of the AL at least...

Houston- yes the American League's newest team with absolutely no one to consider for this list.

Seattle-  Only one target and we all know who it is, King Felix.  If Seattle had even once hinted there was a remote chance they would trade him, Felix would be at the top of the list.  Two other problems besides the M's reticence to deal him,  first if they did entertain offers the biding would be fierce.  The last problem is the thorniest.  Supposedly, a couple of years ago Theo made a stealth offer to the Mariners to choose any 5 guys from our system for Felix.  With all of the holes the Sox now have in the field, do you want to trade Middlebrooks, Bogaerts, Barnes, Bradley, Brentz, and de la Rosa for example for Felix.  Maybe?  Not so sure it would help in the long run, and less sure Seattle would do it.

Angels--Multiple likely candidates here.  First Zack Greinke is the biggest name pitching free agent here is. The Sox have the payroll flexibility to jump in, and would not lose a draft pick, but Zack does not seem like a great Northeast corridor fit.  The Angels are poised to push hard to keep him because they gave up a bushel of kids to trade for him, and because the Angels need to him so the can decline the options on our next two candidates: Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.  The Angels have a 2013 option for Santana of $13M, which there is no chance of taking.  Haren's team option is $15.5M or a buyout of $3.5.  Santana may be of use to Boston, but he is no ace.  Haren is a different story.  He has been an ace in the recent past for Arizona and Oakland.  He has put up outstanding career K/BB ratios, and at 32 is not long in the tooth on a short term deal.  This could have a quick resolution.  It has been widely assumed the Angels would save $12M by declining his option and paying Haren the buyout of $3.5M.  But it recent days it has been reported by several sources that the Angels would like to trade Haren and save the buyout as well.  This is where the Sox could ( and should ) jump in.  Unless several other teams are bidding, which could be, the price in players should not include our top prospects.  And by acquiring Haren's existing contract, it would be only a one year commitment, which Boston could more easily absorb than almost anyone.  Haren is high on the list.

Oakland-  With all of the young starting pitching the A's built last winter, they are likely all untouchable. But last winter Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez, et al seemed unlikely trade targets.  Would Billy Beane trade Brett Anderson and would the Sox dare to trade the 3 top propsects for the oft injured lefty??  I am assuming the top 3 prospects based on the packages the A's got for Cahill and Gio.  One other idea connected to Billy Beane's last off season.  Beane acquired potential aces like Jarrod Parker and Tom Millone by trading his existing young starters.  Could the Red Sox find a team to trade them the equivalent of Jarrod Parker plus more pitching by dealing Lester or Buchholz??  It was unlikely before the hiring of John Farrell, it seems more likely your ace or aces could be Jon and Clay if Farrell can resurrect them.  One other Oakland name is Brandon McCarthy he is a free agent, and could have been high on the Sox radar, but his serious beaning by a line drive complicates the picture.  He is a possibility to help but may not be a real ace in waiting.

Texas--They are not trading Yu or likely not Matt Harrison.  Not really an ace but interesting lefty is Derek Holland, a 26 year old who went 12-7 in 2012.  Would they trade Holland alone or in a package for Jacoby Ellsbury, who the Rangers could pursue as a Josh Hamilton replacement?  Could Holland blossom into an ace?

AL West candidates:  Felix Hernandez, Zack Greinke, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, Brett Anderson, Derek Holland, Brandon McCarthy

NL East- Maybe the top two on the list come from this divsion.

Miami-  Josh Johnson.  Hs name was rumored as a Boston target last July and will be again.  He has been and is an ace. He is in his prime at age 29 next year, and the always rebuilding Marlins are open for business.  There are names on this list that might be had just by taking on a big contract...Johnson is not one of these.  He will cost probably three young top players.  The only way to drive down the price in prospects might be to take on a contract the Marlins may want to move, maybe Mark Buehrle ( another useful but not ace pitcher) or Jose Reyes.  Reyes would be a huge financial deal to swallow, and I am not sure if Miami wants to move him, but by taking that whole deal, that should lower Johnson's price tag and Boston could use a shortstop of Reyes' talent.

NY Mets- They have an ace who has a team option in his deal, but R.A. Dickey will be staying.  The do have another one time ace who unlike Josh Johnson, you could deal for just by taking his $$$.  That is Johann Santana.  His 2012 no-hitter show he can still pitch but can he stay healthy?  To take his whole contract will cost at least $31M, $25.5M for 2013 with a $5.5 M buyout for '14.

Philadelphia-  Another top of the list candidate, Cliff Lee.  The lefty was only 6-9 this year, but that is a reflection more on the Phils than Lee.  Lee's ERA was 3.16 and he had 207 strikeouts with only 28 walks. Lee is 34 years old and has three years remaining on his deal at $29M per year.  Now that is a huge price tag, but that is the only reason he is likely available.  The Phillies are an aging team with bloated contracts, and they need to re-tool.  Now it is possible the hot September that pushed the Phils to the edge of the wild card hunt will fool Ruben Amaro into thinking he can keep his team intact. But it is likely for only a warm body or three, the Sox could land Lee and maybe even have Philadelphia pay a little of the contract.  Roy Halladay may fit the same description but Lee had a much better year and Lee would save more $$ by being dealt.

Braves and Nationals--Tim Hudson was a potential free agent but the Braves today picked up his team option, everyone else on these teams are likely to stay put.  Maybe the Sox could ask for a Tommy Hanson or Jordan Zimmerman from each team for Ellsbury but I doubt that has much traction.

NL East possibilities:  Josh Johnson, Cliff Lee, Johann Santana, Roy Halladay, Mark Buehrle,

NL Central-- No aces available here, maybe a useful pitcher or two.

Pirates- no one unless the Sox want to try AJ Burnett again in the AL East...nah

Cubs- Only one name that has been repeatedly connected to Boston since Theo hit Chicago, Matt Garza.  He is only 29 and has had AL East success ( although mostly vs. Boston), but it is a reach to call him an ace.  And the rebuilding Cubs would look for sizable package in return, I think I would pass.

Brewers-  One free agent of note, Shaun Marcum. He had good years in Toronto before moving to the Brew Crew where he has been injured a lot.  Marcum could be a good buy low high ceiling risk.  Maybe the Sox could deal for Mark Rogers,  but that might be dealing for an ace for the Paw Sox.

Cards-  Their aces are too old to want even if they would trade them  in Adam Wainwright and the first Chris Carpenter.  Kyle Lohse is looking a big money deal as a free agent coming off a 15 win season.  Let some other club pay for the past performance.

Reds-  Guys like Cueto and Latos are not available, one younger pitcher who could be is Homer Bailey and an older pitcher who could be had is old friend Bronson Arroyo. Neither are aces.

NL Central candidates: Matt Garza, Shaun Marcum, Homer Bailey

NL West-  Slim pickings but one big name

Rockies and DBacks- none in Denver and not any readily available in Phoenix, but if the Backs are listening on Justin Upton maybe Ian Kennedy could be pried loose.  But it would take a big package of kids.  If the Sox send a boatload of kids to Arizona I would rather spend on Upton.

Padres and Dodgers- Nothing really of interest or acquirable here either.  Edison Volquez from the Padres was considered an upcoming young ace back in Cincinnati but not now.  Maybe San Diego would deal Casey Kelly to Boston?  Or maybe Josh Beckett could had from the Dodgers??( kidding, I'm kidding)

The World Champion San Francisco Giants--Once again the Giants won with a lucky last minute drive down the field.....wait a minute wrong friggin' Giants.  Once again these Giants won with pitching of which they have tons, but not likely to trade much, unless you want to take the rest of Barry Zito's contract.  But despite their 2 titles they are considered to need more offense and their starting center fielder, Angel Pagan, is a free agent. they also need to replace Melky Cabrera.  Would the Giants be interested in taking on Jacoby Ellsbury for at least the one year remaining before free agency?  And would they trade fellow one year to go before free agency Tim Linecum for Ells?  Would Boston do this?  Tim L was most certainly an ace a couple of years ago with 2 Cy Young Award seasons and he will be only 29 next June.  But he had a poor 2012 going 10-15 with a 5.18 ERA with 190 K's, following 4 straight seasons of over 200. His 2011 was considered subpar as well because of his 13-14 W/L record but his 2011 ERA was 2.74 with 220 K's.  So his 2012 resembled Jon Lester's.  If the Sox are banking on John Farrell administration to straighten out Lester, Buchholz, and Bard why not add Linecum to the list.  He is owed $22M for 2013 but is a free agent after so if he goes bust the 22 mil is all the Red Sox are on the hook for, and is not that why Ben Cherington craved payroll flexibility.  And based on the post season, if all else fails Linecum could help in the pen.

NL West candidates: Tim Linecum, Ian Kennedy (?). Casey Kelly(??)

So after our scavenger hunt here is a list of sixteen top possible targets.  The are listed in order of realistic availability as well as how close to a true ace they are.

1. Cliff Lee
2. Josh Johnson
3. Dan Haren
4. Tim Linecum
5. Zack Greinke
6. King Felix Hernandez
7. Anibal Sanchez
8. Matt Garza
9. Ian Kennedy
10 Brett Anderson
11 Derek Holland
12 Ubaldo Jimenez
13 Johann Santana
14 Brandon McCarthy
15 Shaun Marcum
16 James Shields ( much higher if it seemed at all likely he could be had)

Acquiring any of the pitchers on this list is not the second coming of Dan Duquette dealing for Pedro, but come to think of it maybe Ben has all ready done that by trading for Rubby de la Rosa.  Maybe our new ace is all ready here.

Enjoy the sure to be busy Hot Stove Season which is now underway.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bakers Dozen of Sox Prospects to Round Out Top 25

We continue to rate the talent in the Red Sox system, following our previous post of the top 12 prospects with numbers 13-25.

13. Brandon Jacobs  OF- Jacobs followed a strong 2011 at Greenville when he hit over .300 with 17 HRs and 80 RBIs with another solid season at high A Salem.  His somewhat lesser numbers in 2012 were 13-60-.251.  Jacobs, who figures to start 2013 in Portland, also stole 19 bags.  Average at best in the outfield, the power prospect will move up the system as far as his bat will take him.

14. Anthony Ranaudo  P-  2012 can only be called a completely lost season for the prospect who began our year as the #3 prospect.  Nagging injuries and command issues  held Ranaudo to only 37 2/3 innings for the Sea Dogs with an ERA of 6.69 and he walked as many batters as he struck out, 27.  In 2013 he will be only three years removed from entering his junior year in college as the top draft pitching prospect in the country. But next year his plus fastball and curve needs to reappear to regain his top of the line status.  Could be a trade chip this winter, but it would surely be a case of selling low.

15. Stolmy Pimental  P-  He completed his second Portland season with decent but not eye  popping stats. He was 6-7 with an ERA of 4.59 and a WHIP of 1.36 in 22 starts.  The 22 year old is all ready on the Sox 40 man roster, and likely is headed for the Paw Sox 2013 rotation.

16. Drake Britton  P- Britton recovered nicely from a horrible 2011 in which he was 1-13 at Salem.
A lefty with a delivery similar to Jon Lester, Drake throws in the low to mid 90's.  His combined record at Salem and Portland was 7-12 with an 4.45 ERA and 1.43.  The stats were very similar at A and AA, with a better ERA ( 3.72) at Portland.  Britton is also on the 40 man roster all ready and being a lefty may increase his trade value this winter as the Sox look to make multiple moves.  His name has also been mentioned as possible compensation to the Jays if John Farrell comes to Boston.

17. Travis Shaw 1B-  This 2011 9th round draftee from Kent State took a big step forward this season. After ripping up the Carolina League, Shaw was promoted to Portland.  His combined numbers at the two stops were 19 HR- 85 RBI - .288 BA with a OBP of .399.  The son of former big league reliever Jeff Shaw, now has a clearer path to the bigs with the August trade of Adrian Gonzalez

18. Alex Wilson  P-  Early in 2012 the Sox converted Wilson to the bullpen, his expected MLB home. He pitched effectively but was not used much as the closer.   His anticipated call to Boston did not come partially due to the fact he was not on the 40 man roster, but he will need to be added this winter. Like every other non 2012 draftee pitcher in this part of our rankings, Wilson could be added to a trade package this winter, if not he will compete for a Boston bullpen spot in spring training.

19. Brian Johnson P- One of two first round draft picks by Boston this year, Johnson could be someone who charges up these rankings and the Red Sox system next year. He is a left handed starter who hits 93 with his fastball and has a strong curveball as well.  At 6'3" and 235# Johnson projects as a durable big league starter.  His college pitching was done at Florida, and that high level of college competition also bodes well for a speedy trip up the ladder.  He only pitched in 4 games totaling 5 innings at Lowell and in his last appearance at the Futures at Fenway game he was struck in the head by a line drive, but is expected to be completely ready to go for spring training. 

20. Pat Light  P- A tall, lanky ( 6'6") righty was a sandwich round draft pick this summer.  He throws a fastball that sits at 95  while hitting 97 at times.  He pitched his college ball in the Northeast at Monmouth which makes him more on the raw side than fellow draftee, Brian Johnson.  Light  projects as a closer in the bigs, but the Sox will keep as a starter for the foreseeable future to build up his innings.  At Lowell in 30 innings Light had an ERA of 2.40, a WHIP of 1.07 and a K/BB of 30/5.

21. Ty Buttrey  P- Another 2012 draft pick this time in the 4th round, although Ty was considered a first round pick, he fell due to a commitment to pitch college ball at Arkansas. The Charlotte native instead signed with Boston where he will showcase his 96 MPH fastball.  Buttrey pitched only 5 innings for Lowell before heading the Red Sox instructional league.

22. Chris Hernandez P- This 2010 draftee from UMiami has risen all the way to Pawtucket by 2012. He is a soft tossing lefty whose fastball is in the mid 80's. But he gets outs by commanding his pitches.  He also has much better stats versus left handed batters, leading to speculation his future may be a a lefty bullpen specialist.  But to start 2013, Chris should hold down an opening day rotation spot in Rhode Island.

23. Christain Vazquez C-  An exceptional defensive catcher with a plus arm.  His question is can he hit enough? His combined numbers in 2012 at Salem and Portland were 7-46-.257, although he hit only .205 after his recall to Portland.  After Ryan Lavarnway,  Vazquez is the top of the heap for Sox catching prospects.

24. Jeremy Hazelbaker OF - A blazing fast base runner, Hazelbaker seemed like just another guy in the system.  Then this year his offense clicked for the Sea Dogs, which earned him a late season promotion to AAA, where he got to play in the Governor's Cup playoffs, won by his Paw Sox team.  His combined numbers were 19-67-.273, with an OBP of .335 and a SA of .472, with 36 steals.  he will begin 2013 back at Pawtucket, and will have a pivotal season to see if Hazelbaker is really a legitimate prospect.

25. Sean Coyle 2B-  Coyle's mediocre 2012 plunged him down this list after starting at #11.  Only a second half recovery to his year at Salem pushed him into the top 25 at all.  The first half of the year he had a BA/OBP/SA of .211/.285/.343, he followed the all star break with a line of .297/.355/.451 and finished the year with 9 homers.  Coyle may very well begin 2013 at Salem again, although a strong spring camp along with the strong 2012 2nd half may get him to Hadlock Field in April

That is the Red Sox Maineiacs top 25 Red Sox prospects.   We will rate another 25 Sox kids over the winter in a couple of more reports

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sox Fire Valentine Day After Worst Season Since 1965

Well, Deacon Art got his wish just hours after this horror show of a season ended.  The Red Sox, in a typical move of hilarity, announced that Bobby V was fired via Twitter!  Here's the tweet:

BREAKING: Bobby Valentine will not return as #RedSox Manager in 2013. EVP/GM Ben Cherington to lead managerial search.

So Bobby V gets to add to his resume that he presided over the worst Red Sox season since the Lyndon B. Johnson administration.  Good luck ever finding another managing job on this side of the Pacific Bobby.

Also, I'm not sure what is funnier about that tweet.  Here are the choices:

1. Bobby V was fired hours after the season ended
2. The Red Sox announced the firing via Twitter
3. The team announces that Ben Cherington will lead the managerial search.

Why should we believe #3? We all know that Cherington didn't get to lead the search last time, why should we expect the ownership troika to butt out this time?  Why include that in the tweet?  I suppose the easy answer to that is to try to convince Red Sox fans that this type Ben C and not Larry will choose the next guy.

Speaking of the next guy, Gordon Edes claims that the leading candidates are the following:

John Farrell

Who would you prefer?  

To me, Farrell would make the most sense baseball-wise, but when you look at the success that Robin Ventura and Mike Matheny had this year, I would love to see them go with an ex-player and preferably an ex-Red Sox player, meaning I would love to see Mikey Lowell as the manager in 2013.  I'll throw it up in a poll.

I'm already more excited for the off-season than I have been for the Red Sox since August.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Small Sox Silver Lining ( Or Welcome to the Reverse Wild Card (Race)

The Red Sox now have 15 games to go in the lost season of 2012.  For those diehards looking for anything at all to follow for the next couple of weeks or so, try this.  The Red Sox are in the hunt for one of the highest draft picks in team history.  As of the end of this weekend in Toronto, they are sitting at pick #7.  The last time the Red Sox picked seventh was in 1993 and they grabbed Trot Nixon.

The teams having the first five picks have somewhat separated from the pack.  They are Houston 48 wins, Cubs 57, Colorado 58, and the Twins and Indians with 60.  Here are the current  standings for the teams battling for picks 6 through 14.

6. Miami  65-82
7. Boston 66-81
8. Kansas City 66-80
9. Pittsburgh** ( more on this below)
10. Mets   66-80
11. Toronto 66-79
12. Seattle  70-76
13. San Diego  70-76
14. Arizona 71-74

The next three teams with between 72 and 74 wins are the Phillies, Brewers, and Pirates.

A couple of housekeeping notes, the teams that are tied above ( KC/Mets and M's /Padres) may change spots due to tie breaking system.  To be honest I did not look up the current status of those ties since it did not involve Boston.  But speaking of tiebreakers apparently the first one is the 2011 record of the teams, and therefore the Red Sox would lose a tie breaker to any of the other mentioned teams in the 6-14 range, and could drop a spot or two if the finished tied for a slot.

The ** for the Pirates at #9 means this.  This spot is not up for grabs but is locked in to Pittsburgh.  The have received the ninth pick in the 2013 draft for not signing Mark Appel, a Stanford pitcher they could not sign at number 8 this year.  So if Boston slips down "two spots" it would really be three.  For example if the Sox lost a tiebreaker for #8 or a three way tie breaker for #7 they could fall to #10.

Another thing to be aware of while following this "race".  If your pick is in the top 11 ( usually the top ten but this draft is adjusted for the #9 Pirates pick) you can sign a free agent without giving up your first round draft pick.  This makes the top 11 picks extra important.  For the Red Sox, they likely won't chase Greinke or Josh Hamilton, but one free agent they could want who may very well require draft pick compensation is Mike Napoli, and there could be a few others.

Now to root for the highest possible pick, it requires rooting for the Red Sox to lose.  I am not quite there yet, but look at their schedule.  All remaining 15 games are versus the three AL East teams in hot contention for the division title or the wild card race.  6 with the rays ( the next 4 in St. Pete, 2 in Boston), 6 total with Baltimore( 3 each road/home ), and the final three games of the year in the Bronx.

Besides getting an obviously high first round pick, it also means the Sox get to pick nearly 20 spots higher than usual in every round of the draft.  This will increase the chances or finding better players throughout.  Also, starting with the 2012 draft, MLB instituted a budget of money for teams to spend on the players in the first 10 rounds, or anyone selected after round ten who is paid more than $100,000.  The budget is based on giving the highest amount of money for pick #1 and incrementally goes down through the picks.  In order words the Red Sox will have a higher draft budget than last year in 2013.

So I say root for the Red Sox to win as always, but inevitably when the do not, keep one eye on the 2013 draft standings.  And I almost forgot.  Go Marlins.

Monday, September 10, 2012

RSM Top 12 Red Sox Prospects- Year End Edition

We here at RSM rated the top 12 Red Sox prospects to begin the season, and have updated the rankings every month.  With the minor league seasons now over ( except for the Paw Sox who begin the quest for the Governor's Cup tomorrow night as the International League finals begin in Rhode Island) we now bring our year end ratings of the Sox kids.

A couple of housekeeping notes, as we did with Will Middlebrooks earlier this year, we have graduated two players off the list: Junichi Tazawa and Ryan Kalish.  Kalish was a close call, he could ( and maybe should) be still considered a prospect.  But for now, he is not rated.

Another special note about an intriguing potential Sox newcomer, who actually is not yet property of Boston.  This is of course, Rubby de la Rosa, the pitcher expected to be one of the two players to be named later coming from the Dodgers.  Because he is not yet on the Boston roster and more importantly he is no longer rookie eligible in MLB due to his 13 games pitched for LA ( with 10 starts) in 2011, he is not ranked on this list.  But a separate feature will appear later this fall when Rubby brings his love to town.

Here are the Boston Red Sox Top 12 prospects:

1. Xander Bogaerts-  The numbers only tell a part of the story, although damned fine numbers they are. Bogaerts between Salem and Portland had 60 extra base hits, 20 of which were home runs. His combined BA was .305 with a OBP of .371.  He moved to AA the last month or so of the season and did not skip a beat.  Of course, the key part of the story is he put up those stats and easily transitioned to AA all at the age of 19.  With his 2012 season, and with Boston's,  Xander has likely shaved about a 1 1/2 years off his ETA to Boston.  It is highly probable Bogaerts arrives in the bigs during next season. If he begins 2013 ( either at AA or AAA) with anything resembling 2012, and if Boston is partially or totally in a bridge year, he will be one of the first recalls ( although not the only candidate, as we see as we traverse the list).  Bogaerts is the most outstanding prospect the Sox have had in a long time, and if he can make it by next year, he could still be playing shortstop although most scouts expect an eventual move  to an infield or outfield corner.

2. Jackie Bradley, Jr.- This is the player who had the biggest breakout season, being ranked at 15 on our pre-season list.  A 2011 draftee from Univ. of South Carolina, he began with what appeared to be an aggressive placement at high A Salem.  Bradley absolutely dominated the Carolina League defensively and offensively.  His most outstanding stat was a OBP that hovered around .500 during his entire stay. He was promoted to Portland in June, and started just as hot, before finally having a slump in late July, and finished the season with nagging leg injury.  Because of his on base ability and  A++ center field defense, Bradley also is a candidate to arrive in Boston next year. If Jacoby Ellsbury is traded this winter ( a very possible scenario) Bradley could be his successor with maybe another month or two at AAA first.

3. Matt Barnes-  This is a very close nod over our #4 entrant.  Barnes as expected in his maiden pro season, faltered somewhat the last month or so.  But before that he wiped the South Atlantic League batters on the bottom of his cleats, and after a quick promotion to Salem, he did the same to the batsmen of the Carolina League until fatigue set in.  Barnes struck out 133 batter in only 119 innings, and he walked only 29, about a 4.5 to 1 ratio.  His WHIP combined for both seasonal stops was 1.05.  Barnes will begin 2013 in Portland as the Red Sox prospect mostly likely to be a top of the rotation big league starter.

4. Allen Webster-  One of the two prized jewels pried away from Magic Johnson and his merry men in LA ( the other being the aforementioned Rubby de la Rosa).  Webster was ranked as LA's #2 prospect, but drops a couple of spots here due to our deeper system.  Webster throws a ball that sinks, and due to that is often compared to Derek Lowe.  But some scouts disagree, pointing out that Webster throws harder with a fastball that rides from 92-94 with an occasional 97.  He is also considered to have a plus change, with average slider and curve. He is projected to be a mid to back end rotation starter.  Webster will be 23 in February, and despite pitching in AA for all of 2012 ( including 2 Sea Dogs starts) could be nearly big league ready in part because he also started 17 games in AA in 2011.
Likely Webster starts next year in Pawtucket, but could have a shot at the Red Sox rotation right out of spring training.

5. Bryce Brentz- Brentz put up a very solid if not spectacular 2012 at Portland.  He hit 17 home runs with 76 RBI and a BA of .273.  He still was adjusting to hitting non-fastballs and from time to time struggled but always came back with another hot streak.  With a week to go in the season, Brentz was promoted to AAA.  He started slowly in the first 4 or 5 games, but came to life in a big way when the IL playoffs began.  Bryce had an extra base hit in each of the four games of a Pawtucket 3-1 series win in the semis ( 2 doubles and 2 home runs).  Because Brentz has big league power potential, is a right handed batter( a shortage in Boston in recent years), and has the arm and defensive ability to play right field, Brentz along with Bogaerts and Bradley could hit Beantown in 2013.  As a matter of fact, I would bet Brentz gets there first of the three.

6. Ryan Lavarnway- After a solid, but less sparkling offensive season than in 2011, Lavarnway has not greatly advanced his case since being recalled to Boston last month.  His play behind the dish has been acceptable but the expected power has not shown.  Nevertheless at this point it looks like Lavarnway is part of the Boston catching answer for next year.  Because there are so many other holes to fill, Boston could likely go into next year with Lavarnway and Salty as the catchers again.

7. Henry Owens- A 2011 draftee as a high school pitcher, Owens is another big riser on our list, #16 in the preseason.  Owens at age 20 pitched an entire season at low A Greenville.  His numbers included a 12-5 W/L with 130 K's.  His ERA was his only poor number at 4.88, but many, many of the runs came in the last inning of starts as the youngster tired.  Next season with an expected start at Salem, this will be one improvement to look for.  Even at age 21 Owens could hit Hadlock Field before 2013 ends.

8. Blake Swihart- Another player whose ranking is elevated due to performing at level in which he is younger than most players in his league. Swihart, one year removed from high school ball at age 20,  put up good numbers and caught regularly.  Blake hit 7 HR's with 53 RBI while hitting .262.  Swihart, who is often compared to Buster Posey, is probably 3 years away from Boston, but he is the long term catching solution.  Unless, he hits so well the Sox move him from behind the dish, to get his bat to the bigs more quickly ( a la Will Myers of the Royals system).

9. Garin Cecchini- If anyone coming up through the system could eventually unseat Will Middlebrooks, this could be the guy ( unless Bogaerts does it ahead of him).  The 2010 draftee, put together an outstanding first full pro season ( after 2011 at short season Lowell).  He hit .305 with an OBP of .394 , including 46 extra base hits.  Garin also showed off some of the best speed in the system with 52 stolen bases, being caught only 7 times. Some scouts believe he could play second base as well as his current third.  If the Sox make a number of trades this winter as speculated, Cecchini could be a main chip.

10. Jose Iglesias-  Another player who is not hitting while being tested in Boston this September.  And everyone knows, if he hits he plays shortstop in the bigs for a decade of more.  If not???.  Despite some nagging injuries he did hit .266 at Pawtucket this year, that would be acceptable.  Even though Jose is younger than it seems at 22, due to own lack of hitting and the fast charging Xander Bogaerts behind him, his grip on the Sox shortstop of the future is slipping, as did his ranking here ( from #5 pre-season).

11. Brandon Workman- The tall righty drafted in 2010 from UTexas is another fast riser on our rankings.  Not ranked in the top 20 pre-season, Workman  had a strong start to his season at Salem and pitched just as well after a promotion to Portland.  His numbers are very similar to the highly regarded Matt Barnes.

               Games    IP       W-L       ERA        K/BB         WHIP

Barnes       25       119     7-5          2.86       133/29           1.05

Workman  25       138    10-8         3.50        130/25           1.10

Workman turned 24 last month and is likely to begin 2013 at AAA, and could pitch himself into the Red Sox picture by Memorial Day.  A bit of a dark horse but with a strong college pedigree and strong minor league numbers, Workman could surpass some of his fellow prospects.

12. Deven Marrero- Marrero gets the last spot in our year end top 12, based on the fact he was this year's #1 draft pick and the numbers he put up at Lowell.  His stats include hitting .269 with a couple of home runs.  He also had an OBP of .361 and had an outstanding 24 bags stolen in 62 games.  The Sox were surprised to be able to grab Devin because he was considered at top ten pick, but he slid into the 20's to Boston.  Of course, in 2013 the Red Sox can grab a top ten pick all on their own.

Over the next few weeks here at RSM we will do write ups on another 2 or 3 dozen Sox prospects, the next report being the players who missed out on the Top 12.  As a preview the next list includes Brandon Jacobs, Travis Shaw and a whole lot of pitchers.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cousin Jason's Cooler Week of Sept. 3rd

Welcome to another edition of the cooler, this is going to be a long month in Red Sox Nation. The Sox are currently 62-74, can the Sox outperform last years September collapse and get 8+ wins to get to 70 or more wins? The consensus amongst the Maineiacs is that will not happen. How the hell have we gone from the World Champs of 2007 to this? Let's see what's on ice, besides the Sox season:

Random Shooters
- It's football season, the NFL kicks off tomorrow night with the Cowboys and the Giants. Thankfully Sox fans will have a distraction until the next managerial search gets under way.
- In addition to the NFL season beginning, also on October 11th "The League" on FX begins. What a great show!

Sox Pack
1. Hopefully John Henry found enough on his fact finding mission in Seattle yesterday to determine that Bobby Valentine must go before the start of the 2013 season.
2. I will be making another venture to Boston on Sunday to take in this disgusting display of baseball, wish me luck as my last 3 baseball excursions have involved rain. At least I'll get to partake in some lovely Narragansett Lager!
3. I took in the Sea Dogs, albeit briefly, on Sunday. Jackie Bradley walked right in front of me as the Dogs in their Portland Eskimo jerseys thanked the fans. Other than that the Dogs pretty much were disappointing.
4. Red
5. Sox
6. Suck

- Another Fenway adventure August 22, 1993. Sox vs. Indians. Sox finished 1993, 80-82. On the date of this adventure the Sox lost 3-2 in 11 innings to fall to 65-58. Aaron Sele pitched 7 shutout innings for the Sox only to be undone by the bullpen, led by John Dopson, Tony Fossas, and Ken Ryan.  This game was Rob Deer's debut in a Sox uniform and he went 3-6 with a HR. Hall of Famer Andre Dawson also went deep on this day. We had great seats down the 3rd base line 2 rows off the field.

Are you ready for some football!