Posts Tagged ‘Boston Red Sox’

Jacoby Ellsbury Is The Fastest Kid Alive

Jacoby Ellsbury, the 13th ranked prospect according to Baseball America’s preseason list, has been on the major league roster of the Boston Red Sox for the entire 2008 season to date, one of about eleven names on the Top 100 to do so.*  That makes him one of those guys that occasionally slips through the cracks at Bus Leagues: Ellsbury is clearly a major leaguer at this point, but his place on the Top 100 “allows” us to write about him if we so choose.

*The other ten: Joba Chamberlain (3), Kosuke Fukudome (30), Johnny Cueto (34), Joey Votto (44), Geovany Soto (47), Daric Barton (48), Jair Jurrjens (49), Carlos Gomez (52), Nick Blackburn (56), Manny Parra (72).  Am I leaving anyone out?  Only players who made their team out of spring training and have not been demoted are included.

Ellsbury is in the news today, not surprisingly, for his legs.  Yesterday afternoon in Cincinnati, he stole two bases to tie the Red Sox team record for stolen bases by a rookie.  Today, in the very first inning, he rolled a single through the hole between short and third, then stole second on the very first pitch to Dustin Pedroia to break the mark, which had stood since 1908.  Ellsbury then stole third and scored on Pedroia’s sacrifice fly.

In breaking the record, Ellsbury victimized fellow top prospect Homer Bailey, making his third start for the Reds.  Bailey did not have a good afternoon, allowing five runs in 2.1 innings pitched, including three homeruns (Ellsbury, Coco Crisp, J.D. Drew).  His ERA currently stands at a healthy 8.76 after three starts and the team is concerned with a serious decrease in the velocity on his fastball.

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What In The World Is Jay Bruce Doing!?

Nooooooo, Jay, nooooooo!  Stop!  Not against THAT team!  AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

Bruce, Dunn homers lead Reds over Red Sox 3-1 (Yahoo! Sports)

Getting DFAed Is Not Fun

The Boston Red Sox designated reliever Bryan Corey for assignment yesterday, the second time they have done so this season.  The Boston Globe’s Gordon Edes had a very good column on Corey today, reminding us that there is still a significant caste system in Major League Baseball:

Feel sorry for him? That’s the last thing he would want. A little understanding, maybe, that there’s a huge difference between the big-league life lived by Manny and Papi and ‘Tek and Schill, and the one lived by Bryan Corey and the many like him inhabiting the periphery of the game, here one day, a line of small type in the newspaper the next.

“We’re not all millionaires,” he said the other morning in Tropicana Field. “I have a nice life, a comfortable life – well, somewhat comfortable.”

Corey strikes me as a 4A player, a guy who is plenty good enough for the highest levels of the minor leagues but never quite manages to stick in the majors for very long, for whatever reason.  (Curtis Pride was a 4A-type player.)  This season, he has a 10.50 ERA in seven games (six innings), largely due to a couple of terrible outings prior to his first DFA.  He has only pitched once since then, on April 25, and struggled with his control.

Given Boston’s bullpen issues thus far, there’s a good chance that Corey will be back with the team soon (assuming he clears waivers and isn’t traded and all that good stuff).

Now Pitching, For The Boston Red Sox…

Question: How do you turn Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Jon Lester into David Pauley, Jon Lester, and Justin Masterson?

Answer: Influenza

With a flu mini-epidemic tearing through the Red Sox clubhouse, the team turned today to yet another youngster, 23-year-old righthander Justin Masterson.  Boston’s second-round pick in the 2006 amateur draft, Masterson was brought up from AA Portland to make the start originally scheduled for Lester, who had actually pitched the night before on three days rest when Matsuzaka was too sick to go.

Masterson made his major league debut this afternoon, limiting the Los Angeles Angels to one run on two hits in six innings.  He struggled with his control a bit, walking four, but also struck out four.  The only run came on a fifth inning homerun by catcher Mike Napoli. 

He departed with a 3-1 lead and was in line to pick up the win before the bullpen trio of Javier Lopez, Manny Delcarmen, and Hideki Okajima combined to allow four runs in the seventh (somehow, Okajima’s ERA emerged from the mess unscathed).

If I’m not mistaken, this means that every player the Red Sox offered to Minnesota in exchange for Johan Santana has seen action at Fenway Park this season (with the possible exception of Michael Bowden – I don’t remember if his name came up in the trade talks).  Masterson, Ellsbury, Lowrie, Lester, Crisp, Buchholz – am I leaving anyone out?  More importantly, all of those players have shown at least flashes of brilliance, helping Sox fans to understand why, exactly, Theo Epstein was so reluctant to part with them, even for a talent as transcendent as Santana’s.

(Thanks to YFSF for the tip on Masterson’s start)

Now Batting, For The Boston Red Sox…

He wasn’t quite amazing enough to earn a spot on Eric’s weekly prospect watch, but it might be worth noting that the Red Sox purchased the contract of shortstop Jed Lowrie from Pawtucket today.  Lowrie, rated by Baseball America as Boston’s fifth best prospect (Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Lars Anderson, and Justin Masterson are the names in front of him), takes the place of Mike Lowell, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb.

The fourth of Boston’s five 2005 first round draft picks to reach the majors (Ellsbury, Craig Hansen, and Buchholz came up ahead of him), Lowrie was hitting a robust .160 with an impressive .344 OBP in eight games with the PawSox.  He is reasonably lucky to still be a member of the Red Sox organization – his was one of several names included in a possible deal for Johan Santana in the offseason – but he’s still around and will likely make his major league debut in the next few days.

Better enjoy it – while Lowrie is projected as Boston’s shortstop of the future, only a huge performance in the next two weeks will keep him in the majors when Lowell returns.