Drop some knowledge Nick. Drop it like it’s hot!
The Red Sox have decided their righthanded-bat acquisition is going to be Xander Bogaerts. They need help against lefty starters, and Bogaerts, 20 years old, will be the one chosen to help that.
Strangely, Bogaerts did not start against Ryu in LA, so there is some confusion, still, as to what Bogaerts’ role will be in the bigs this season. That said, if Nick wasn’t paying attention in July, teams are no longer rational when it comes to trading helpful/non-star pieces, so contending teams increasingly rely on their farm system late in the season. This should not surprise an expert like the great Nick Cafardo.
Let’s get to the questions!
How do you see the 1B situation shaping up next year? It seems that Napoli has had a good enough year to get a decent contract, but perhaps not good enough for a multiyear re-sign. Do you think that they stay in-house with Nava/Carp or even Middlebrooks? Or will they make a splash by making a trade or going all in on Abreu?
My guess is they stay in-house. A lot depends on Middlebrooks and how he finishes off the season. If he finishes strong and with power, he could move to first because he does a lot of work there before games. That would allow the Red Sox to move Xander Bogaerts to third and re-sign Stephen Drew. That’s one scenario for sure. If Bogaerts stays at short and Middlebrooks at third, then Carp/Nava is probably in play. If the Red Sox could find a power-hitting righthanded first baseman, they’d do it. Not feeling a Napoli return right now, but that could change as well. He tends to get hot in September.
“That’s one scenario for sure.” Here is another scenario…I declare myself eligible to play first base, make the league minimum, bust my hump in a manner that causes blue-collar Boston to love me, hit a robust .034/.034/.034, and earn the players minimum. That is a scenario!
Doesn’t mean it will/should happen.
Notice Cafardo does not address the Abreu possibility? Here’s guessing he has no idea who Jose Abreu is. But seriously, I say let’s roll the dice there, or else our editor, Hunter Golden, will become a hard drinking, hermit locked in an Alaskan igloo, ignoring his family while yelling into the snow filled abyss his disdain for Ben Cherington. (Hunter likes Jose Abreu).
[I skipped the obligatory A-Rod question. You are welcome]
If Napoli is down for a while, why would they not just play Carp? He seems to have been consistently good at 1B and at the plate. Is there any reason he isn’t being given the chance to play more regularly?
Carp should get more playing time, I agree. He’s a really good hitter. Not sure why they spot him like they do. It would be good to see him over a long stretch to see how he handles it and also to see if he might be your future full-time first baseman.
For one, there have been a bunch of interleague games in NL parks since Napoli went down, so 1b has been Papi’s ticket to the lineup. Second, Mike Carp is another left handed batter in a team that struggled v. left handed pitching (we seem fins against right handers, and do not need him in scenarios where his bat would play best). This opens the door for switch hitting Nava and right handed hitting Gomes to get the at bats where we need an offensive spark. Carp is good, not great, and his strengths play too much into the teams strengths. That is why he does not play more.
And, I thought I already told you it is Abreu or bust as our future first baseman, Nick!?!?! If there is no Abreu next year, we fold as a franchise!!
It seems like Clay Buchholz is not only injury-prone but one of those players who doesn’t know the difference between pain and injury. With the club fighting for a division title and others players playing hurt (Pedroia comes to mind), doesn’t this kind of thing cause division on a ball club?
He seems to be feeling better. Unfortunately, they have these guys on “throwing programs” and these things are like watching paint dry. The throwing progression is painfully slow, but management has to stick with them because it’s a way to measure and document the progress of the pitcher. The documentation part is important; in case of reinjury, the pitcher could have a claim against the team.
This is ridiculous. Barely dignifies being included. Does this fool know the toll of an arm trying to throw 95? Calling out Buchholz pain tolerance. This makes me too mad to even deal with properly. Suffice it to say, it angers me that Nick dignified it with a response that wasn’t “you suck, go away!”
As it stands now, this team is going nowhere. Half a lineup just won’t cut it facing top pitching in the playoffs. Imagine Napoli, Middlebrooks (unreliable fielding and throwing), Gomes, Saltalamacchia, and Drew actually having to move runners along, get big hits, sac flies when the chips are down against good pitching. They can all run into a ball and send it out on rare occasions, but these guys are all very mediocre players (to be kind). We need to stop the wishful thinking based on the glories of yesteryear. Your thoughts?
[The Red Sox were/are in first place when this question was written. First place, after being in last place last year.]
Well, I think Bill Parcells was right: You are what your record says you are. The Red Sox have had the best record in baseball quite a bit of the season. So I think they’re doing a lot right and the players are performing. I think elite pitching can beat any lineup. For most of the season, this lineup has led the majors in scoring, so while you seem frustrated, not so sure you should be. They have struggled against most lefty starters, so that could be an issue against David Price or Matt Moore or Derek Holland in the playoffs.
The question is nonsense, so the answer equals that. “Elite pitching can beat any lineup,” “this lineup has led the majors in scoring,” “Struggling against lefty starters…could be an issue.” But, “not sure why [we] should be frustrated.”
Nick made the case against the Red Sox while trying to defend them.
What he should have said is this: The goal is to make the playoffs, because it is a crap shoot from there, and the Red Sox are on pace to do just that.”
After some of our recent losses, I was wondering, if the Sox make it to the postseason, do we have a bullpen that can compete with other contenders?
I always wonder about having younger relievers in spots down the stretch. As far as the Breslow/Tazawa/Uehara combo at the end, I think that’s as solid as anyone. Workman has looked good. Drake Britton had been excellent until recently. I believe they should have obtained another veteran reliever, but they can avoid this by the starters going at least seven innings.
Cliche, cliche, cliche. Thank you, Nick! Please, let us know that other reliever, readily available at a decent cost, that the Red Sox should have acquired.
Also, remember that one of Lester/Doubront/Dempster will be added to the playoff bullpen.
[This guy has to be trolling Nick, right? Just to get him going on his favorite player???]
You make a great point, Rick. I never criticize a team for “going for it” and giving up what they have to in order to fill a need that could win it all for them. In the long run, it probably won’t be a good move, but if it turns out like Lowell/Beckett for Hanley Ramirez/Anibal Sanchez and it wins them a championship, you would do it, wouldn’t you?
Hahahahahahahahaha! Jose Iglesias has a .690 OPS for Detroit so far. He is a whiz at SS, but I would love to see him in the batters box in the playoffs. We have learned over and over and over that elite SS defense still demands an adequate bat. Iglesias may not have that adequate bat. This has been covered ad nauseaum.
Why hasn’t MLB (or maybe an MLB team) hired Jose Canseco as a consultant with this whole Biogenesis scandal coming out? This is a guy who’s done it, would know the telltale signs, could speak on it, etc. Seems to me like a no-brainer.
Interesting take. You’re right, Jose is the Godfather of steroids. He’s brought all of this out to light. I’m sure he knows a lot about it, but his name seems like poison to MLB, so I doubt there would be any consultations.
Starring Marlon Brando, as Jose Canseco.
I know there is a reluctance to criticize John Farrell when it come to handling pitchers, but recently Peavy struggled all night, was being hit hard, and except for a double play initiated by Napoli in the fifth inning, he probably was on his way out. Then Farrell brought him out for the sixth and he gives up three hits and a run. Why in
the world did Farrell wait so long?
No, we can disagree with Farrell on pitching moves. It’s just that he usually has a really good reason for taking a pitcher out too soon or too late. He explains his decisions very well. He also knows, better than me, what he has available in the bullpen and what he can expect from those guys. The one thing none of us know – even those of us who are around the team all the time – is if some guy is sick that day, or is fatigued, or isn’t available, or if he didn’t warm up well. They base a lot of that on that information. So I’m always hesitant to make a blanket statement on a pitching move unless I know all of the circumstances.
We can criticize Farrell!!!!! (But I am hesitant to, because I do not know what he is thinking…)
Makes a lot of sense!
Until next time…