To ward off the cold winter, five underrated moments from the Red Sox magical 2004 World Series run.
After visiting Oaksterdam the Advanced Scout… uh… oh yeah, analyzes the Oakland Athletics
Boston Red Sox (17-20) @ New York Yankees (20-15) Clay Buchholz (3-3, 4.19) @ Bartolo Colon (2-1, 3.86) 7:05 PM EDT |Yankee Stadium (New York, NY) TV: NESN, MLB Network RADIO: WEEI 850, WWZN 1510 INJURY REPORT New York: Phil Hughes, dead arm (Placed on the 15 day DL on April fifteenth); Eric Chavez, Bruised [...]
Now that Andy Pettitte has officially retired, the Yanks can kick their fifth starter pursuit up a notch – and the Sox can breathe a bit easier.
After signing Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia to minor league contracts, New York has a few extra options to compete with Sergio Mitre for the fifth slot.
Bartolo Colon shouldn’t be much cause for concern around the rest of the division. Though he did earn a few major accolades earlier in his career, he hasn’t thrown a pitch in the MLB since ’09 and hasn’t been effective since the 2005 season. If he does find a way to pitch effectively, it will surely surprise everyone. But hey, competition is competition.
Freddy Garcia, on the other hand, is an interesting name. The King of the Comeback, every year it seems as if Garcia’s career is over — only for him to rise from the ashes to mediocrity and mild relevancy. This year could be another one of those years and, given how surprisingly good he was last year (157.0 IP, 4.64 ERA/4.59 xFIP), he could actually be the Yankees’ fifth best starter — and a league average one at that.
We’ve got him posting a 4.67 expected ERA this season (adjusted for the AL East bats), which would place him well above Mitre in the fifth starter chase. However, the Yanks look to have room for only one on the active roster, and Spring Training or the stipulations of their respective deals might dictate who gets the slot. If one or the other has a minor league option or Opening Day opt-out clause, that could very well dictate who gets the slot.
Then again, both players are injury prone, so their agents may decide the best course of action is to wait it out in the minors until a slot inevitably opens.
Only time will tell.
Other than the in-house options, pundits have been throwing around the idea of a possible trade. One of the more popular names has been Joe Blanton, who has been lost in the shuffle among Philadelphia’s rotation of future Hall of Famers.
Blanton would be a nice fit for any team, especially one with championship aspirations in need of a fifth starter. At the number five slot, he would provide very good production — his expected ERA last season was a 3.98.
Much of the bump up in his expected ERA comes from an uncharacteristically high 32.0 O-Swing percentage. If that number falls to his previous levels of production, his expected ERA would have fallen closer to 4.40, which is a more reasonable expectation for the hurler.
Assuming that is his true performance level, Blanton doesn’t seem to be much of an upgrade over Garcia at number five — especially considering the league and division switch. Taking that into account, it seems like the right move that the Yankees will take the wait-and-see approach on their in-house options.
Victor Martinez should get back on track upon returning from injury. Martinez may not be a great catcher, but he actually has value outside of the batters box, unlike Hafner. I expect good things out of Martinez this season, maybe not great things, but good. Shoppach will handle some of the duties behind the plate as well, which will help Victor stay rested.
If Carlos Santana can make his way up to the big leagues this season, Victor could basically stay at first, and Shoppach could be moved for another piece, since they will need something, somewhere, eventually…
From the likes of Wade Miller and Kyle Snyder to Bartolo Colon the Red Sox have often found value, or potential value in signing a veteran pitcher looking to right the ship after injury or at the end of their line to a one year deal and have them fill spots at the back of the rotation.
That type of insurance policy combined with an influx of youth at the tail end of your rotation has been invaluable in recent years where the Red Sox have needed their fair share of spot starts. I can remember more Julian Tavarez starts than I care to!
While the top of the rotation certainly is full of horses (Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka) and Wakefield and the young guns (Buchholz, Bowden, Masterson) provide a solid tail, injury is unpredictable. The 2008 New York Yankees are a great proof to the theorem that you can’t have enough starting pitching.
Prev. Gm: Toronto Blue Jays (80-68) @ Boston Red Sox (86-61) Jesse Litsch (11-8, 3.70) @ Bartolo Colon (4-2, 4.09) 7:05 PM EDT | Fenway Park (Boston, MA) TV: NESN RADIO: WRKO 680, SBN 1150 GAME NOTES: Since Litsch’s befuddling minor league demotion and subsequent promotion, he’s allowed just five earned runs over 25.2 innings. [...]
Devern Hansack was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket today. It
Zach isn’t here. I think he might have forgotten to put up the game thread because he’s so despondent over Bartolo Colon being placed on the DL. Chris Smith is being called up to replace Colon, and Dice-K will return this weekend in place of Smith. When Colon’s ready, Justin Masterson will head down. Don’t [...]
Boston’s offense wasted no time in letting their bullpen have a chance to blow up another game scoring five runs in the first inning led by a Jason Varitek three-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles to win 6-3. Good thing the Sox jumped out to an early lead because the brass of the pen [...]