A pair of rookies squared off in the series finale of a 4 game set between the Red Sox and Blue Jays on Thursday. The Red Sox sent 25 year-old Rubby De La Rosa to the mound, while Toronto countered with the former 2012 first round draft pick, Marcus Stroman. After De La Rosa retired the first batter he faced, he started to struggle with his control, and loaded the bases on two walks and a single, which lead to a first inning run for Toronto. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, De La Rosa was never able to overcome his control problems and surrendered 7 runs on 9 hits in just 4 innings pitched. Meanwhile, Stroman was dealing for the Blue Jays, and even took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, but Shane Victorino’s lead off single ended the 23-year old’s bid. In the end, the Blue Jays won by a final of 8-0, the Red Sox lost an important series, and David Ortiz tweaked his back. Not a fun trip north of the boarder.
- The recent news of Jon Lester and the Red Sox tabling contract talks has given rise to the idea of trading the 30-year old southpaw. With the Rays suddenly surging, and looking less likely to deal David Price, Lester would become the best starter on the market — even if he is a rental. Lester’s postseason track record makes him especially appealing to teams in “win now” mode. (Jon Lester trade the next logical step for the Red Sox)
- While the Red Sox game on Thursday left a lot to be desired, there was a little bit of history made. Brock Holt (because, who else?) started at second base on a scheduled off day for Dustin Pedroia, and became the first player in the history of the Red Sox to start at every position except pitcher and catcher. (Pedroia take day off, Holt starts at seventh position)
- Speaking of history, Thursday marked the 10 anniversary of the infamous brawl between Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez. While most of the conversation that lead up to Varitek shoving his catchers mitt down Rodriguez’s gullet can be deciphered through lip-reading, the thoughts of the players involved are still vividly recalled. (2004 Red Sox-Yankees brawl to remember, starring Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez)
- In a radio appearance on Thursday, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino predicted that the Red Sox will be big players on and around the July 31st trade deadline. Along with the fact that the Red Sox have some appealing veterans with expiring contracts, a new dynamic is added to Boston’s approach to the deadline when mulling the possibility of trading Jon Lester. (Larry Lucchino: “I do think that we will be active” leading up to the trade deadline)
- With the growing possibility of Jon Lester not being part of the Boston Red Sox beyond 2014, it’s important to begin examining the landscape of the starters market. Internally, Boston has some solid arms but none that can replicate the consistency and overall dominance of Lester. The 2015 free agent market doesn’t offer a sure-fire replacement for the southpaw. Looking at the big picture, the trade market could present the best opportunity to find a new staff ace. (If Jon Lester walks, who can the Red Sox acquire)
- Tweet of the day: Lester replacement?