Behold! The Cafardo Mail Bag!

To those of you who read Nick Cafardo regularly, this will come as no surprise to you. Mr. Cafardo has a giant non-sexual man crush on Bobby Valentine. Just huge. Massive. At times, the gushing is unbarable to the point of being a bit embarrassing. Still, Cafardo seems like a nice enough guy, so I […]

Waiting For Lars Anderson

We’re waiting for Lars Anderson. Of course, this has been the case since he was drafted by Boston in 2006. He’s been the next great thing, he’s been a bust, he’s been a maybe. Really, he’s been everything but what was expected: a solid major league player. Drafted in the 18th round in the 2006 […]

9/13: Where did I put my panic button?

Toronto Blue Jays (74-73) @ Boston Red Sox (85-61) Brandon Morrow (9-10, 5.12) @ Tim Wakefield (6-6, 5.03) 7:10 PM EDT | Fenway Park (Boston, MA) TV: NESN RADIO: WEEI 850, WWZN 1510 GAME NOTES Having lost nine of their last eleven games, the Red Sox return home to Fenway for their final homestand of the regular […]

Who Will Be Called Up When Rosters Expand?

With the non-waiver trade deadline having recently passed; the waiver deadline bearing few fruit in terms of rumors; and September call-ups right around the corner, I thought I’d take a little bit of time to examine who the Red Sox might consider promoting once the rosters expand on September 1st.  According to Mike Andrews of […]

Red Sox Acquire Rich Harden

Well, the Red Sox landed a starting pitcher.  It wasn’t Ubaldo Jimenez who was traded to the Cleveland Indians for four prospects including Drew Pomeranz (listed as player to be named later because he can’t officially be traded until August 15th due to amateur draft rules).  It wasn’t Hiroki Kuroda who apparently decided not to […]

Lars Anderson wants to put 2009 behind him for good

A pitcher could drill first baseman Lars Anderson in the ribs with a fastball. A base runner could spike him when he tags the bag. A clubhouse manager could grind his bats into sawdust. But nothing aggravates the 23-year-old Anderson more than mentioning all the hype he received heading into and during the 2009 season […]

Ten Things to Watch for this Spring

photo © 2005 Ken Curtis | more info (via: Wylio)Spring training is finally “official”! Before we know it, lineup cards will be filled out and the Sox will take the field against an opponent for the first time in 2011. Below is a list of the top ten things I will be watching during the […]

Ryan Kalish continues to perform

Boston Red Sox batter Ryan Kalish celebrates with runner Mike Lowell (25) at home plate after he hit a two-run home run, his first major league home run, against the New York Yankees in the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 6, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

I’ve got a new man crush and his name is Ryan Kalish.

With the Sox 5.5 games out of first, there is still hope for a postseason in Boston despite a season filled with injuries and frustration. One of the reasons the Sox continue to stay within striking distance of the Yanks and Rays is the way that the replacement players have stepped up. From Bill Hall to Jed Lowrie to Ryan Kalish, who continues to embed himself as the cream for the Red Sox crop of prospects.

‘Tis the season… it is better to give than receive

New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli stands near Boston Red Sox J.D. Drew, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis as they celebrate Drew's 3-run homer in the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium in New York City on May 17, 2010. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

The calendar is closing in on July 31, 2010 and most are discussing who could the Red Sox acquire to help the team close the gap in the A.L. East. But few talk about the prospects that could be moved until a year or two or twenty years from now. Hopefully, the Olde Towne Team will not give up another future Hall of Famer this summer.

Hopefully, the Olde Towne Team will not give up another future Hall of Famer this summer. Two that could go are Lars Anderson and Oscar Tejada .

The former Red Sox top prospect could now find his w

Epstein’s Draft Hits… and Misses

With the 2010 Amateur Draft just around the corner (Monday June 7 through Wednesday, June 9), I wanted to spend this week’s column looking back at the previous best and worst picks of the Theo Epstein era, an era in which the strength of the minor league system has been both a top priority for the team and an area of almost unparalleled success.

With seven drafts under their belts, this front office has taken the team from a roster of two homegrown regulars (Nomar Garciaparra and Trot Nixon) in 2003 to eight in 2010. Among them are a perennial Cy Young contender, a powerhouse corner infielder, a league champion base stealer, an elite closer, a man with a 100 mile an hour fastball, and an MVP. In addition, there is a new crop of talent maturing in the minors, with some players nearing the point where they will make a Major League contribution. So, not bad for a few years. After the jump, we’ll take a look at the best and worst draft picks of the past seven years.

Lars Anderson puts hype, 2009 behind him in resurgence

A pitcher could drill first baseman Lars Anderson in the ribs with a fastball.

A base runner could spike him when he tags the bag.

A clubhouse manager could grind his bats into sawdust.

But nothing aggravates the 22-year-old Anderson more than mentioning all the hype he received heading into and during the 2009 season and his stats at Portland.

Anderson split the 2008 season between Lancaster and Portland, where he combined to hit. .317 and 18 home runs, replete with 80 RBI. That prompted Baseball America to name him Boston’s No. 1 prospect.

Lars Anderson looking like a younger Casey Kotchman

Cincinnati Reds v Boston Red Sox

I think Casey Kotchman should be a warning to any long term success we might expect from Lars Anderson. This is also just a discussion of their offense as Kotchman has a much better glove. Kotchman was a much higher draftpick going in the first round of the 2001 draft while Anderson was an 18th round pick. So what is it that makes these two have anything in common?

First is that they have excellent plate discipline. Even at the minor league level they both have between a half a walk to a full walk for every strikeout. Anderson strikes out quite a bit more, but he walks a lot more too. All things being equal Kotchman would probably have a better average, but their OBP would be close.

An interesting comparison is how Baseball America viewed them. In 2005 BA ranked Kotchman #6 and had this quote from a scout. “He’s such a good hitter and he’s still developing. I think he’ll easily hit 30-plus homers in the majors. As we have seen that power never came and now Kotchman is more of a 10-15 homer guy at a power position.

The Science of Selling Felix, A-Gon Short

MLB-Home Run Derby

In our versions of an offseason blueprint the Red Sox could follow (1, 2, 3) one topic that came up fairly often was how realistic or unrealistic our proposed trade packages were for certain players. Let’s recap:

Mike Lowell, Casey Kotchman, Clay Buchholz and key minor league pieces (defined as anyone sans Kelly, numbering two) for Felix Hernandez.

Money comment: Getting King Felix would be nice, but you are crazy thinking Seattle would have any interest in picking up Lowell or Kotchman. Why would they pick up $16+ in salaries? Lowell is going nowhere unless we pay his salary, which is crazy. – MEe

Clay Buchholz, Lars Anderson, Manny Delcarmen, Michael Bowden, two “second-tier” prospects to San Diego for Adrian Gonzalez.

Money comment: Delcarmen is a stiff. Bowden is a stiff. Anderson has done NOTHING in the minor leagues. Clay Buccholz has major league stuff but has yet to prove himself for an entire season. For this you’ll get one of the best young power hitters in the game? I think not!! – Nick

If our proposed deals are not up to snuff, that’s not good. Let’s try to figure out what a proposed deal could, should be.

Lars Anderson: ‘Learning how to deal with own expectations’

Cincinnati Reds v Boston Red Sox

Drafted in the 18th round in 2006, Lars Anderson burst on the scene after a strong 2007. In 2008, Anderson did nothing to dispel his skyrocketing value, closing the year out with a .316/.436/.526 line in Double-A Portland in 41 games.

This year, Anderson has returned to Portland for what many thought would be a temporary situation. Instead, as the 21-year old struggles with adversity, he’s been leapfrogged in the prospect standings by Josh Reddick as the organization’s top bat.

While a line of .257/.350/.385 with eight home runs in 394 at-bats doesn’t exactly make one drool, Anderson’s hitting is too advanced to last. So what’s the problem?

Keeping up with the corners

MLB: APR 10 Red Sox at AngelsWith Mike Lowell’s recent injury concerns creeping back into the active conscious of Red Sox Nation, depth at the corners and in the middle of the lineup has suddenly been thrust to the forefront of the early pre-trade deadline chatter.

Much of the Red Sox trade innuendo to this point has surrounded the potential acquisition of a shortstop or catcher, positions without organizational depth or strength. But with Jason Varitek and George Kottaras holding down the fort behind the plate with acceptable production and Nick Green earning the job at short with Jed Lowrie waiting in the wings (and Julio Lugo being Julio Lugo), those positions may not be the most critical to address as July rolls in.