Five notes I wanted to talk about today. Three are relatively short, two are a bit more meaty. The short ones:
- Congratulations to Dustin Pedroia being named the AL Rookie of the Month for May! He hit an astounding .415/.472/.600 in May. What has he done in June? Um … .474/.474/.684. Geez!
- Jon Lester threw seven innings of one run ball yesterday. Without using his cut fastball (his strikeout pitch), he has a 0.89 ERA since rehabbing his forearm cramp. Why are we not calling him up yet? I understand we want him nice and strong for the second half, but … come on. Without his strikeout pitch, he’s dominating. Give him one more start, let him unleash the cutter, then call him up. If that happens, Julian Tavarez’s last start would be in Arizona on Saturday.
- Minor league news: Daniel Bard was activated (he was injured) and assigned to mid-A Greenville, a demotion of sorts, as he was pitching in high-A Lancaster (and getting bombed). Best of luck to the Bard! And while we’re on the topic of minor league pitchers, two words: Clay Buchholz. ‘Nuff said. Promote the dude to Triple-A after Lester goes up to the majors.
The meatier notes deal with the June swoon and … Coco Crisp.
- The Red Sox went 20-8 in May. In June, the Sox are 1-3. I’m willing to write off last night’s loss because we made a CROSS-COUNTRY TRIP after a game that did not end until AFTER MIDNIGHT. We then played a night game three hours later than the body clocks are used to, without THREE STARTERS.
We tied the game, and we almost won. THAT is a win in my book. I’m not counting this loss. That brings our record to 1-2. Now, the game before that was against the Yankees. Neither pitcher really did well. Neither bullpen did well. The fielding was atrocious, the running was atrocious, the hitting was atrocious. We did not get beat. The Yankees did not WIN the game. They simply got a win in the win column, while we got a loss. I’m not counting it. It could have gone either way. (PS: I totally called Papi’s homer in the first last night. That shot off Rivera really cheesed him off.) Now we’re 1-1… which is why I’m not worried. But check out the new poll, let me know your thoughts!
- Coco Crisp is now hitting a miserable .237/.299/.323. I’ve seen enough, especially factoring in last year. He’s not the same as he was in Cleveland. I don’t know why. Sure, his speed and his defense are flat out fantastic. I love having the luxury of someone scoring from first on a double, or Coco making pitchers sweat as he dances off the bag. But you don’t start if you don’t hit. His defense and his speed are perfect for the Red Sox … in a bench role. Seriously, it’s time to move on. The options to replace Crisp:
Wily Mo Pena: Solid game last night, he would play right, and Drew would move to center. Pena is hitting .240/.313/.453 on the season. The first two numbers would undoubtedly increase with more playing time. Am I a proponent of this move? Yes. What’s the probability of it actually happening? High.
Jacoby Ellsbury: Ellsbury earned a promotion from AA earlier this year, where he hit .452/.518/.644. In AAA, he is hitting .277/.358/.345. It’s clear that he’s starting to meet his match, and I wouldn’t want to rush him. Besides, he’s not enough of an upgrade over Coco … yet. Am I a proponent of this move? No, he would just basically give us what Coco is. What’s the probability of it actually happening? Moderate, it could happen in August or September if no trades are made.
David Murphy: Murphy made his big league debut this year and is now manning left for the PawSox, after playing all year in center. The former first-round pick is hitting .298/.382/.447 and is ready for the major leagues in defense. SoxProspects.com ranks him as a Ryan Langerhans, which sounds feasible – but I’d expect a bit more pop out of Murphy. Am I a proponent of this move? I actually am. He could surprise. What’s the probability of it actually happening? Moderate, the Red Sox do not seem high on him and probably view him as a future backup.
Brandon Moss: This would move Drew to center. Moss is 23, and enjoyed a breakout 2004, but settled into “averageness” after that. Not anymore. He’s whipping the ball in AAA with a .279/.388/.497 average. That’s very David Murphy, but Moss is two years younger. He has a good arm and is a tough competitor: reminds me of Gabe Kapler. Am I a proponent of this move? No. Pena or Murphy first. What’s the probability of it actually happening? Low, he probably is not ready to succeed in the majors yet.
Let’s see if Dice-K can stop the Athletics tonight.