Tagged: Clay Buchholz

Total Bases Mailbag: 1

Hello Total Bases veiwers, and welcome to the first and much anticapted Total Bases mailbag!

Q: Is this the last year that Garnet, Peirce and Ray Allen stay together? It seems that age is starting to take it’s toll on the team. Also, Where would you rather have Victor: first or at catcher?
– Indians

A: Hello Indains, thank you for your questions! Yes, I would expect this is the last year of the big three. Allen was in trade rumors this deadline, and with his money coming of the books with players like Wade and Bosh avaliable. The Celtics do look very old as of late. I think Rasheed Wallace is a huge problem for this team, and I never wanted him here.

I would rather have Victor at catcher, mostly beacuse the Sox have Youkilis at first. He could play third, but that would mean they would have Varitek as a starter. Having Beltre in the lineup much improves the team compared to V-Tek. I also don’t think Victor’s defense is that terrible. He can catch Wake’s knuckleball, and has helped Buchholz a lot with his development.

Q: Does it worry you that the Celtics split with the Cavs, got swept by the Hawks, and lost the season series to the Magic this year? And also, how old do you think Mike Lowell will be when he retires? The guy is a horse.

-Ted

A: It worries me a lot. The Hawks are a great team, and I can easily see them go all the way. The Celtics are an old team at this point. They are still one of the best teams in the NBA, but they could struggle with a team like Miami or Charlote in the playoffs. Hell, they lost to the Nets yesterday!

Mike Lowell is 36 right now. I can see him play two or three more years, maybe more. I still think he is a productive player, and I would love to see a Lowell/Ortiz platoon for DH. I don’t think his defense is that bad right now either. He has lost a little range, and that hip is a concern, but he can still get to most balls.

Thank you everybody who answered questions! The next mailbag will be Sunday, and you can submit questions on this post or on the BestBostonSports.com Message Boards. On Wednesday I will have a live post for the NHL trading deadline, and anyone is welcome to add their imut there as well. Thanks again, everybody!

Spring Training Parks and Schedule

Last year I went to roughly 15 spring games. I’ll go to about the same amount this year, I’ve seen Ft.Lauderdale, where the Orioles used to play. Ft.Myers, home of the Red Sox. Bradenton, where the Pirates play. Orlando, with the Braves. In Viera beach for the Nats. Lakeland, home of the Tigers. I’ve seen the Cardinals and Marlins in Jupiter. And Pt.Charlotte for the Rays. This year I will go to games in Ft.Myers(Red Sox and Twins) Pt.Charlotte(Rays), Dunedin(Jays), Kissimmee(Astros), Bradenton(Pirates) and Sarasota(Orioles). My first game is this Friday at Twins. It’s the first time I’ve seen that park. After this year the only parks I won’t have seen in the grapefruit league are the Yankees, Mets, and Phillies. I am right behind the Red Sox dugout for most games. Best seats I;ve ever had at any sporting event. I hope to get some player autographs. Last year I got Joe Maddon in Ft.Myers, and Cesar Cedeno in Viera.

I will see Lester/Wakefield Friday, and I’ll see Buchholz Sunday in Sarasota. I really want to see Kelly pitch this year. That would be so awesome! Anyways, I love spring training games. It gets you so pumped for the reaguler season. Go Red Sox! Remember to ask questions on the mailbag! I’ll post any pictures I get here at the blog! I had some I wanted to put here, but the computer is not coroperating!

Evaluation

This is a full evaluation of the 2010 Red Sox roster as it stands now. I will look at the lineup, defense, pitching, bench, bullpen, and minor leagues, and try to prove to you complainers that this is a good team.

Lineup: I really like the lineup. I’m not trying to be an optimist, I really like the lineup. I love the combination of speed and power. The bottom of the lineup impresses me with Drew-Cameron-Scutaro. I feel speed is going to come from Jacoby Ellsbury (duh) and Scutaro. Cameron can steal a few as can Pedroia. Don’t even say Drew, I believe he was 2-for-8 in the SB catagory.

On the power side, you got Ortiz, Youk, Beltre, Cameron, Drew, and Victor. Each one of them will hit from 15-30 HRs, maybe more for Beltre or Cameron at Fenway. I feel a big year coming from Youk, I really do.He was hurt a lot of last year, and I think it really affected him. The suspension did not help either.

I also liked the way the lineup is built. I thought last year Pedroia struggled leadoff beacuse he missed the presence of Jacoby Ellsbury. Since he is a base stealer, pitchers are going to throw more fastballs to the next batter in an attempt to pick him off. A fastball gets to the plate fatser, and the catcher can gun it down to second faster. I hope Francona keeps Ellsbury in the lead-off spot, that is where he is supposed to be.

More about the lineup, I would like to see JD Drew bat eighth and Cameron bat seventh. Mostly beacuse it strenghens the bottom of the lineup. Here is the lineup I would like to see:

Ellsbury

Pedroia

Victor

Youk

Ortiz

Beltre

Cameron

Drew

Scutaro.

Pitching: No one can deny this staff. Even if I am wrong and the lineup does suck, the pitching will keep you in games. Defense wins(Look how far the Jets got!). Offense is nice, but defense and pitching is more important(Unless you have Teixeira. And A-rod. And Jeter. And Granderson…..). This is no doubt about it the best staff in the game. You can say Seattle with Cliff Lee and King Felix, and I’ll give you that as the top 1-2 punch in baseball. But Lester. Beckett. Lackey. Dice-k. Buchholz. Wake. They have so much depth! I know this happened last year, and everyone got hurt to the point we needed Paul Byrd, and at least two or three of those guys are going to have to stay healthy. Ok, Lackey, out a month. Fine, Lester and Beckett. Lester out a few weeks? That’s ok, Dice-k/Wake/Buchholz might be pitching good, and Lackey might be back soon. Just theories here.

And either way, I expect some sort of reclamation/Theo Epstein projects like an Erik Bedard or Ben Sheets coming.(John Smoltz!)

Every game we are going to get a six-to-seven inning perfomrance or a quality start. Yes, Lackey has had injury problems. So has Beckett, and Dice-k, and every other pitcher in baseball. You learn to deal with it.

Defense: Joe Maddon called Adrain Beltre the best defensive player he has ever seen, and Maddon knows a damn lot about baseball. He took that team to the world series, and I think we all know who that team is. I don’t get to watch Beltre often, as he played for Seattle, but I’ll take Joe’s word for it. So on the right side of your infeild you got “The best defensive player ever” (I thought that was Darrelle Revis?) and Marco Scutaro, who should have gotten the AL gold glove for shortstop. Then on the left side you have two gold glove winners in Pedroia and Youk. In the outfield is Ellsbury, Cameron, and Drew. Pretty sick. Tell me a better defensive outfield? I think the only team that is in the same class is KC(Gasp!) with Ankeil, Posednik, and DeJesus. Fast outfield. Anyways, we have a good defense basicly beacuse Theo could not find another excuse to have a lackluster offense.

Bench: Solid bench. You got Jeremy Hermida, Bill Hall, V-Tek, and either a guy like Josh Reddick, Angel Sanchez, Gil Velezquez, or Aaron Bates. That is, unless another Nick Green type magicaly appears again. Hermida is a decent offensive player. He has some wheels and could be a good pinch running guy. He has a little pop. He was a Marlins top prospect for a while but has not really panned ouy yet. Theo was just taking a chance on some player with potential. Hall is what he is. Good defensivly(Shocker) with no bat. You all know about V-Tek. Can’t hit in the second half. look for V-Tek to have a somewhat of a bounce-back year in a limited role. He has hit well in the first half the last two years. And he may have to be Beckett’s personal catcher.

Bullpen: Who is in this bullpen? Papelbon, Bard, Oki, Delcarmen, Rameriz, the other Rameriz, Shouse, Atchison, Dustin Richardson, Fernando Cabrera, Boof. Meh. I like the top three. That’s about it. I wanted to see the Sox go out and sign either Darren Oliver or Mike Gonzalez, but that never happened. I kinda like Richardson. He dominated the AFL this season. Strikeout lefty. Casey Kelly could be up this year, but I doubt he would be ready to contribute. Shouse is no good. I have no clue who Atchison is. Rameriz is what he is. Delcarmen sucks. I never thought Boof was anything. So yeah, maybe improve the pen a bit. And when I say improve I do not mean Mike Timlin, who is looking for a major league job still.

Triple A: The Pawsox may have better players than last year, where they where awful. The Pawsox finished in fourth in their divison and offered no real MLB ready players. That should change this year, as a lot of prospects shoukd be ready for triple A. Here are some: Micheal Bowdon, Angel Sanchez, Gil Velezquez, Josh Reddick, Travis Denker, Josh Reddick, Lars Anderson, Aaron Bates, Ramon A. Rameriz, Bubba Bell, Darnelle MacDonald, Jeff Natle, Mark Wagner, Zach Daeges, Randor Beird, TJ Large, Kason Gabbard. Decent triple A roster. Bowdon has seen the big leagues, I honestly don’t think he is anything special. Sanchez is a terrific defensive player. Velezquez is the last minute, desprate, there is absolutly no one else in the world who can help, utility player. I like Reddick, but he’s not major league ready. Denker is a career minor leaguer. Lars is the second most overrated prospect in the system to Bowdon. I have a stupid man-crush on Aaron Bates although he hit around the medoza line in triple A last year. I don’t know anything about the other Rameriz, Bubba Bell did well in triple A last year. MacDonald can run, but that’s it. Natle is a 1B-DH type. Wagner is a catcher who should be on the MLB roster beacuse he can throw out base runners. The only thing I know about Daeges is he killed the ball in Spring Training and I never heard of him again. We got Beird for David Pauly, enough said there. TJ Large had an ERA over 6.00 last year, and Gabbard saved us from trading Lester to Texas for Eric Gagne.

Lower-leval prospects: You probally know most of the names. Jose Iglesias, Casey Kelly, Alex Wilson, Reymond Fuentes, Ryan Westmorland, Ryan Kalish, and Dustin Richardson. Some of these guys may be September callups, the most likley being Kalish. I feel these are the players to watch in the minor leagues next year. Alex Wilson is not really known like Kelly or Kalish, but I feel he has a bright future in the majors. He is a righty, and was the Red sox second round pick last year. He is often compared to AL rookie of the eyar Andrew Bailey. His one down swing, he had tommy John surgery two years ago. Has a hard fastball and his out-pitch is his slider. He spent last year with Lowell and I would be surprised to see him with Salem or Greenville next year.

 

MLB Free Agents and Trade Rumors: AL East

Here is the first in a series of Hot Stove trade and free agent rumors.

Red Sox: It looks like the Red Sox are trying to sign Marco Scutaro after losing out on Alex Gonzalez. It was also rumored they may look to trade for Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, at a cost of at least Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Casey Kelly, and a close to MLB ready bat. I honestly don’t see this happening, since Theo Epstein has stated that he does not want to trade his top minor league prospects.

Yankees: The Yankees are also in the mix for Halladay, but if they want him will likley have to trade top prospects Jesus Montero, and Austin Jackson. I would not be shocked if this one hapened.

Rays: This week we learned that the Rays talked to Toronto about a possible trade for Reid Bringac. dont be surprised if they trade him, as they have Jason Bartlett and Ben Zobrist in the middle infeild. And a Milton Bradley-to-Tampa update; They won’t trade for him unless it’s on their terms.

Blue Jays: This week the Jays signed former Red Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez. They also tryed to sign Orlando Cabrera or trade for Bringac, as seen above.

Orioles: The Orioles would like to sign either Erik Bedard or Ben Sheets, according to sources. The O’s also placed Radhemes Liz on waivers, and he was claimed by San Diego.

Roy Halladay Talk

Never going to happen. Never.

I have to put this rumor to an end. This makes absolutley no sense at all. Theo Epstein will never trade his minor league players for a player with one year left on his contract. I would love to have Roy Halladay, don’t get me wrong. But there are better moves they can make. First off, just sign Jason Bay. Then go out and sign Marco Scutaro and John Lackey. Think about it. You are going after Halladay beacuse you want an ace caliber pitcher. So if you sign Lackey you gat an ace pitcher without giving up Clay Buchholz or Daniel Bard (or Casey Kelly, Jose Iglesias, etc). It just makes more sense. I would also like to see the Red Sox sign Rich Harden, Ben Sheets, or Kelvim Escobar. And with Alex Gonzalez signing with Toronto, Marco Scutaro may be close to signing with Boston, according to his agent. But do not look into this rumor if I were you. The Red Sox will not trade for Roy Halladay.

My Red Sox Offseason Predictions and Wishes

 As my readers may know, I get rather mad when the Red Sox don’t spend their money. And this will come up again when the fail to sign Jason Bay to the New York Yankees. Yes, the Yankees. I know many people say that the Yankeeshave no interest, but I do not belive that for one second. They had no interest in Mark Teixeira either, huh? But Jason Bay will be the Opening Day starting LF for the Yankees while the Red Sox will have Jeremy Hermida or Josh Reddick. And they are the Boston Red Sox, second richest team in baseball, with Jeremy Hermida as the starting LF. Sad, ain’t it?

Why didn’t the Red Sox just keep Alex Gonzalez? I know he would be making $6mm, but your the Red Sox! Keep Gonzo for one year then call up a guy like Jose Igleasias. Just keep Gonzalez for the year, and you are solidifyed at the SS position. Sure, he dosen’t hit much, but if you have Jason Bay, that’s not a problem. Oh wait…. They should have just got Micheal Young anways, Theo Epstein.

 Ok, the pitching looks good with a top four of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz. But I tell you, I would really, really like to have Felix Hernandez on this team. A lot. But I know it will never happen, beacuse Theo Epstein does not want to give up his unproven minor leaguers for an ace in Feliz Hernandez. That makes perfect sense. I’ll end the sarcasm here.

 Adrian Gonzalez is not happening, people. Period. It’s just not. Theo won’t give up his single A players first off, and having Jed Hoyer as GM of San Diego will not help things. He’s looking to turn around that franchise, and that starts with locking up Gonzalez.

 Ok Red Sox fans that are hoping to get rid of JD Drew. Sorry. According to his contract that gives him $14mm a year, if he injures his right shoulder that places him on the DL for 35 days or he ends the 2010 season on the DL and cannot play the outfield in the 2011 season, the Red Sox can buy out of his contract. Not happening, ever. But with Drew, you never know, you can only hope.

 

Discussion of the week- What will the Red Sox pitching staff look like in 2010?

 There are rumors of Jonathan Papelbon being traded, Takashi Saito’s option was declined, Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen may not be around next year, Billy Wagner is also a free agent.

 And thats just the bullpen.

 We know Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Daisuke Matsuzaka will be back next year. Will the Red Sox be interested in Felix Hernandez and Roy Halladay? Will Clay Bucholz be that big trade chip? Will they pick up a player like Rich Harden, Ben Sheets, or Mark Mudler? Will Tim Wakefield be back?

 Write your opinion in comments.

 You can see more of my work at Soxtime.com.