Massive (brain) dump…Part II…
Continuing on from a few days ago…
*The Revs scored some goals…and won a game! I feel better…really…
Ok, back to real sports (sorry Barry…and Guy…and Keo…and…!!!)…slew of Red Sox comments/concerns to catch up on, as well as other baseball notes:
*Christian Vazquez is going to see Dr. James Andrews. Uh oh. Elbow problems for the young catcher. And the MRI showed “something”. A trip to Andrews is not usually a good thing. Especially for a catcher that probably won’t ever hit much and will be in the big leagues for years solely on his defense. Good luck to him.
In the meantime, where does that leave the team? Last year at one point, they had 5 on the 40-man roster, which seemed high to me. AJ Pierzynski, Vazquez, David Ross, Ryan Lavarnway and Dan Butler. Ok, labeling some of these guys “catchers” may be pushing it. But now? Just Ryan Hanigan and an unproven Blake Swihart behind Vasky. Luke Montz, Matt Spring and Humberto Quintero are non-roster invitees this spring, but…ugh.
If Vazquez’ injury turns out to be a short term thing, I see Hanigan obviously getting the bulk of the reps. But I also see Swihart getting an early cup of coffee. Not ideal, but I don’t see any obvious 40-man roster cuts at this point to consider adding one of the vets above. Too early to start cutting roster depth. If it’s long term, Vasky will likely go on the 60 day DL and that would open up a spot for I would assume Quintero out of the above group.
I guess we shouldn’t really worry about the 9th spot in the lineup though. As long as any of those dudes performs satisfactorily on defense, they should be ok.
*You think John Farrell may start to be worried about his “5 aces”? If he isn’t, he should be. This group still scares the bejesus out of me. Hasn’t been a great spring. Clay Buchholz gave up 12 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings plus the other day. Nice. I normally don’t pay much attention to spring training stats. But as it comes to a close I like to see guys pretty much in mid-season form. Clay certainly isn’t…and no one else seems to be either.
Joe Kelly will likely start the year on the DL. Masterson and Miley have been up and down. Scouts have not written good things about any of the starters’ performances this spring. In addition, it seems as if the team is still auditioning guys. Steven Wright went yesterday. Brian Johnson goes today. Etc. I am not sure you can depend on any of these guys in the first place. One guy I haven’t mentioned is Rick Porcello. I actually don’t mind him and am more confident in him performing ok than any of the others. But if he is your #1? Ouch.
I’m still not overpaying for Cole Hamels though.
*Who else is tired of hearing Big Papi open his mouth? If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Contract, scoring decisions, pace of play rules…just play ball! What was the purpose of bringing up steroids again this spring? And do you really feel the need to tout your Hall of Fame candidacy while you are still playing? For once, I just wish he would just play and not be sour about seemingly everything. To me, he’s a Hall of Famer. But we can debate about that when he’s done.
*Speaking of the Hall of Fame, you know who else belongs there? Pete Rose. So what if he is a scumbag? How many others in the Hall are? Probably most. You may argue he bet on baseball games and that is a different type of infraction that should keep him out. I argue that the case against him was while he was managing…and I am not putting him in the Hall for his managerial abilities. You may deduce that he was betting on baseball when he was playing too. Well, how many other players were doing that too? How many guys were doing some sort of performance enhancing drug while they were playing and weren’t caught? How many cheated in other ways on the field and were never caught? I could go on. There are people I know with strong opinions that he should never get in. I think otherwise. So be it…
*I have absolutely no sympathy for Brady Aiken. He was the #1 pick overall last year, to the Houston Astros. They apparently agreed on a contract that included a $6.5 million signing bonus. The Astros conducted a physical and it showed something like a UCL being smaller than normal. They balked and cut the bonus in about half. They eventually upped it back to $5 mil. Aiken balked and did not sign. Then he had Tommy John surgery the other day.
Aiken doesn’t sound too upset about any of this. And look, he is still just 18 years old. Tommy John surgery has actually made pitchers come back better on average over recent years. So he may still get his money. But if I’m 18, I’m taking the 5 mil and setting myself up for life. So many things can happen as a kid that could jeopardize future earnings. On top of that, he may not even develop as planned. On top of that, it’s not like he went to college instead (he had a scholarship to UCLA, but chose to go to go to some sort of training school, IMG Academy).
Then again, Jeff Allison came out of high school and signed as a first round pick. Then he apparently spent all that dough on truckloads of heroin. 18 year olds with tons of dough can be easily influenced, we know. See also, Hamilton, Josh. So maybe Aiken made the right choice…
*Lastly, for today, Shane Victorino.
In my opinion, this whole thing with him is completely overblown. For those who missed it, he essentially said he would trade prospects for Cole Hamels in a heartbeat. He played with Hamels, Hamels is good, why wouldn’t you of course?
The problem people are having here is that the players mentioned most in trade rumors are Mookie Betts, Swihart and Henry Owens. Betts in particular is the rub here, since technically, Betts and Vic are competing for playing time in the Sox outfield. People are interpreting this as Vic wanting to trade Betts, therefore kind of guaranteeing him his spot. And people are asking why Vic would be so open to trading any of these guys, when he knows who is being talked about and he has to share a locker room with these players.
I say…who cares? Of course Vic wants to play. But he won a World Series here and I am sure he wants to win as well. Adding ace (or close to ace) pitchers cannot hurt. Especially since he played with Hamels, as noted above, and knows what he can bring to a staff/team. What if Xander Bogaerts was the one regularly mentioned instead of Betts, does that change perception now that it’s not a guy specifically competing with Vic? What if Vic said he would trade prospects for Chris Sale or Clayton Kershaw or King Felix? Would people be as upset? Who doesn’t want to add quality, proven major league players to their team?
Then Vic felt the need to defend himself and probably didn’t do himself any favors in the process.
Big Papi can speak out about anything and the media fawns over him most of the time. But Victorino can’t? Just seems stupid.
That being said, I think Vic is close to done and probably should be the odd guy out in the outfield. I want to see Betts and Rusney Castillo play. I’d like to see if Allen Craig can regain his value. He was once pretty good and I’d hate to give him away for nothing. Daniel Nava has his uses.
But if Castillo is truly ok about going to the minors to start the year (and with his 10 mil, why wouldn’t he…as long as it’s temporary?), this will all work itself out anyway. Vic and Hanley Ramirez will likely get hurt. Craig may be dealt anyway, but also play some first and DH. Everyone will get at-bats.
Just another reason why Spring Training is too long…people making stories out of really nothing at all…
Posted on March 29, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged Big Papi, Brady Aiken, Christian Vazquez, Clay Buchholz, Cole Hamels, David Ortiz, Hall of Fame, Jeff Allison. Pete Rose, John Farrell, Major League Baseball, Mookie Betts, New England Revolution, Shane Victorino, Spring Training, steroids. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.