Inane banter…

…with myself while awaiting the legendary celebration the Red Sox are cooking up in preparation for Mike Napoli’s 200th major league home run…

*That’s why Napoli is still here, right?  For the marketing opportunities the Sox so love?  Since Nappy is at 199, I expected more hoopla around it.  Especially when John Farrell keeps penciling him into the lineup every night…and hitting him 4th or 5th to boot.

Does this make any sense at all?  Nap’s contract runs out at the end of the year, he has been absolutely putrid all year, the team is awful, etc.  Why is he taking up ANYONE’S playing time?

Listen, I have no idea if Travis Shaw will be even a serviceable major league ballplayer and/or if he is a real prospect or not.  But what is the harm in finding out now?  Especially when he had a weekend like he had last weekend and tore the cover off the ball.  Yes, it was 2 games.  But it felt like more than Napoli had done all season.

The organization was able to get a bag of used baseballs and a couple of beat up fungo bats (otherwise known as Josh Rutledge) for Shane Victorino…in addition to eating a lot of his remaining dough.  Are you telling me they couldn’t have gotten the same for Nappy?  So what if “he can clear waivers in August because of his salary”, as many yahoo’s have said.  Who needs him around now?

*Speaking of the trading deadline, it was refreshing to see the Sox do almost nothing.  Wait…no it wasn’t.  Admittedly, they didn’t have a whole lot of options to deal.  Not as much as last year anyway.  But there were some players that should have been shipped out.  In addition to Napoli, guys like Alejandro de Aza, Craig Breslow, Justin Masterson & Ryan Hanigan should have been given new addresses.  They weren’t going to get much for that steaming pile of dung, but these are also guys who serve no purpose on this team the rest of the year and are unlikely to be back next year.  Actually Hanigan may be, but as long as Christian Vazquez is recovered from his Tommy John surgery, he shouldn’t.  Vazquez and Blake Swihart should be the tandem, but I know they won’t be.  I’ll save my anger on that one for next spring however…

But one asset the Sox do have and have not dealt for 2 years running is Koji Uehara.  Love the dude.  But let’s be realistic.  He’s 40.  He has had a good year, but not quite as dominant as we have known.  He isn’t going to get better.  Etc.  Couldn’t get a nice piece for him?  Mystifying that they have not dealt him.

*The one move the Sox did make was to acquire Ryan Cook from Oakland.  Former All-Star…but ummmmm, think “All-Star” as in “All-Star Brock Holt” or “All-Star Scott Cooper” instead of “All-Star Mike Trout” or “All-Star Miguel Cabrera”.  In any event, had a decent run from 2012-14, though has been buried in the minors all this year for whatever reason.  Worth a look, especially since they traded zero for him essentially.

But where is he?  Pawtucket.  Because there needs to be space on the major league roster for Breslow, Masterson, Jean Machi (who?) and Machine Gun Joe Kelly.  Yup…makes total sense here too…nope…and don’t even get me going on Kelly.  Talk about useless.  I’d hold onto Kelly for now though, but wouldn’t throw him out there every 5 days to get pummeled.  Bullpen for him and see where that goes.  But…here he is toeing the rubber tonight.  Awesome.

*There is another dude in Pawtucket, Heath Hembree.  Dominates in AAA.  Never really has had an extended look in the majors.  Again, he may be no better than a AAAA player long term.  But do we need to see more Masterson?

*Sure looks like Jackie Bradley Jr. still cannot hit major league pitching.  6 for 51 for the year, 2 for 21 since his last recall.  At 25 years old, running out of time for his “prospect” status.  But you know what?  Keep him out there every day even when Mookie comes back.  Again, no need to see more of de Aza.  May as well play JBJ and see if he can hit a little in August.  September numbers may not matter, since he may be facing a ton of minor league pitchers then.  But let him play.  Maybe you can sucker someone into taking him over the offseason.

*Speaking of potential moves in the offseason, did anyone buy that garbage from Ben Cherington that he was “laying the groundwork” and “gathering information” for deals in the winter?  Me neither.  What a joke.  Heard that one before around here, by a gentleman named Peter Chiarelli.  And where is Pete now?

*Larry Lucchino stepping down as CEO and Sam Kennedy taking over.  I’ve said here before that, although Larry is a total arse, phasing him out from the baseball operation may have had a negative effect on the team this year.  Now they are officially putting a “non-baseball” guy in that chair.  Good thing?  Not sure.  Kennedy may be a helluva guy and smart as well.  But the team clearly needs to add more high level “baseball men” to the equation.  We will let it play out, but I can’t say I love what I am seeing with this move so far.

*LOVE the phantom injury the team came up with to put Rick Porcello on the DL last week.  Matter of time before that happened, but they likely had to convince Ricky to go for the idea.  Maybe next they can convince him to take the rest of the year off (like Clay Buchholz, except they won’t have to convince Clay to do so…he has probably already suggested it numerous times).  Stuck with the dude for the next four years, so they may as well see if they can get his head straight in this lost season.

*No tears shed over Daniel Nava getting claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay.  Nice story, overachiever, but he was brutal this year.  And a decent chunk of last year.  Can find a 32 year old 4th OF anywhere, like…de Aza!  Ok, Alejandro is only 31…

*I’d consider shopping Junichi Tazawa this winter.  He has had a nice run, but you know what happens with relievers.  Sometimes the shelf life is just not long.  And he isn’t even a closer.  30 years old next June, may be the time to sell somewhat high.

*I never bought the trade deadline rumors of being able to unload the Fat Panda onto the Padres or anyone else, for that matter.  But boy, if they could get someone to take that contract in the offseason, I’d drive him directly to that particular city.  If it was San Diego, I’d take Will Middlebrooks back for him.  After all, Bill James probably has Willy locked in to hit 32 bombs next year.  Good to see Will’s .212/9/29 line and .602 OPS landed him back in the minors with the Pads.  He’s hitting .333/2/10, .811 there in 51 AB’s, so maybe there is still hope for him.  Doubt it, but consider the next bullet…

*I leave with this:  Allen Craig is hitting .274/3/19 with 59 K’s and a .720 OPS in Pawtucket.  In 252 AB’s.  Ouch.  Probably works out to about 45 RBI’s projected over a full season.  Again, in AAA.  I don’t want to level any accusations or anything, but judging by the numbers alone and not seeing him in person at all…does he even care anymore?

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About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on August 7, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. No more Nap! I could not be happier. He lost all the weight, is getting sleep and now he can’t hit. WTF. I assume the 200 HR’s was a joke right? Yikes. I do like Rusney and Bogaerts obviously, but that is a nice tandem. But, after reading your piece the Sox have made atrocious moves over the past couple of years! Lucky for the minors are stocked. As I told you I never liked Panda or Hanley moves. They didn’t make sense. The were like “sexy” moves or something. Both have had some moments this year, and could certainly add to a solid 2016 season with say, David Price at the top of the rotation. And that Porcello move. Ugh. What is happening? Ben must be on thin ice.

    • I can’t believe I finally post again and then they trade him like an hour later!! I like the guy, as he has been a good “piece” and thanks for 2013, but it was time to move on. He’s had every chance to “get hot” this year and hasn’t. Last year of deal and not likely here next year. Didn’t make sense that he was here and also actually playing…in the 2nd half anyway. He does have 199 HR’s. But I hope I was joking about the “marketing around his 200th”. But it wouldn’t have shocked me with this Sox ownership. I don’t get the sleep apnea thing either. The surgery was supposed to help and clearly did not. Sure there were other factors though too. Like…he never was as good as people made him out to be. But I don’t hate him and wish him well in Texas. Jury is still out on Rusney…I’d keep playing him, but he really butchered a fly ball last night. Want to see more homers out of X too, but I am not complaining about his progression. Betts is nice and Swihart seems like he can play. There’s a good foundation. Need some of the young pitchers to pan out though too. E-Rod looks like a keeper, but who really knows with P? Ben and Farrell SHOULD be on thin ice, but I actually do not believe they are. And I do not believe the Sox will spend for a huge pitcher like Price…believe he is 30 next year and you know their rule with over-30 pitchers and big contracts! I DO believe they will try and trade for a mid-20’s ace…the names Chris Sale and Sonny Gray keep coming up. But that will be easier said than done. We shall see. They will probably make some more minor moves in August, but it will be an interesting offseason to say the least.

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