Tag Archives: RODRIGUEZ

THE YOUTH IN RED SOX FUTURE

THE YOUTH IN RED SOX FUTURE

The Red Sox are in last place in the American League East, 12 ½ games behind the Yankees. This weekend, they scored 45 runs and had 60 base hits in three games against the disappointing Seattle Mariners who were expected to contend for the Western Division Title this year but instead are mired in fourth place, with a 55-63 record, 9 games behind the surprising Houston Astros.

After winning the first two games 15-1 and 22-10, the Sox lost the third game of the series, 10-8, despite scoring 8 runs on 13 hits and coming from behind 7-0 to force the Mariners to twelve innings before they got beaten.

It is pretty obvious by now, with a record of 52-65, that they are not going to be in the playoffs. The best that they can hope for is to rebuild their pitching staff over the winter and develop the young talent that they have available to them into a contender.

With Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval out of the lineup with minor injuries yesterday, the Sox started Mookie Betts in center, Brock Holt at third, Xander Bogaerts at short, Rusney Castillo in right, Travis Shaw at first base, Blake Swihart behind the plate, Josh Rutledge at second , Jackie Bradley in left and Henry Owens on the mound. The only starter over 28 years old was designated hitter David Ortiz.

The average age of these starters, not counting Ortiz, was 24.5 years. At this point, the Sox could do worse than start these youngsters the rest of the way to give them experience, to be able to evaluate their potential for the future and perhaps even to enhance their value as trade bait for the future.

With 25 year old Christian Vasquez coming back from elbow surgery next year and Dustin Pedroia returning to play second, they will have some excess talent available that might help them trade for pitching. You have to assume that Owens, 22 year old Eduardo Rodriguez and 24 year old Brian Johnson are a part of their starting pitching plans for the future so they may not need a lot of starting pitching help.

This may be a lost year for the Red Sox but the future can look bright if they work on developing the talent they have and filling the holes they have through smart trades.

There should be no reason for Ben Cherrington, if he is still there after this season, to throw away more money on the Free Agent Market when the talent is there to rebuild with. At this point another Blockbuster trade that would allow them to dump Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval in exchange for a quality starting pitcher might be the answer to their prayers.

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WHO WAS THAT MASKED MAN????

Who was that masked man? That’s what the Texas Rangers must have wondered after being baffled by Eduardo Rodriguez on Thursday night.

The Sox came into Arlington for a four game series having just been swept by the Minnesota Twins in a three game series in which their hitting woes continued and their pitching was less than good, with the exception of Game 2 where Clay Buchholz, after giving up two runs in the first inning, turned in a quality start but got beaten 2-1. The Sox scored just 7 runs in the three games while giving up 15.

The Sox announced they were bringing up Eddie Rodriguez from Pawtucket, where he had compiled a 4-3 record and a 2.98 ERA in eight starts. He had averaged almost exactly six innings per start with the Triple A level team.

What did he do in his first Major League appearance less than two months after his twenty-second birthday? He shut down the Rangers. He pitched shutout ball for 7 2/3 innings, striking out seven and gave up his third hit in the eighth before being removed. This against a lineup that, although it has struggled as a team, features the American League leading hitter Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton and Mitch Moreland in the three to six spots.

While Rodriguez was performing his magic, the Sox actually scored five runs to win 5-1, pounding out 13 hits, including three each by Pedroia and Betts and Hanley Ramirez and Blake Swihart got two apiece. For the first time in many games, Designated Hitter David Ortiz did not leave any runners in scoring position, only because he didn’t play.

Eddie Rodriguez was born in Valencia, Venezuela on April 7, 1993 and signed with the Orioles as an Amateur Free Agent in January of 2010. He started his career in the Rookie Dominican Summer League and began to work his way up through the Orioles system with stops at Aberdeen in Low A, Delmarva in the A South Atlantic League, Frederick Keys in the High A Carolina League and, in 2013, with the Bowie Bay Sox in the AA Eastern League.

In 2014, he started the season with Bowie and was traded from Baltimore to the Red Sox on July 31, 2014, for Andrew Miller, during the Red Sox purge of pitching at the trade deadline. He finished the year at the Sox AA affiliate Portland ending the season with a 6-8 record and an ERA of 3.60 and had 108 strikeouts in 120 innings.

No one, even the most optimistic Red Sox fans and certainly the shell shocked Rangers fans, could have predicted what he would do in his first start in the Big Leagues. There’s a lot of season left but no one should
expect him to be the answer to all the Red Sox problems. He may have shown them that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Meantime, there is a guy named Allen Craig in Pawtucket who is hitting .315 and who hit .315, .307 and.315 for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2011-2013. Maybe the Sox could give him another shot and solve some of their hitting problems.

HOT STOVE LEAGUE HEATING UP

For those of you who, like me, are going through withdrawal now that the baseball season is over, I have these words. Hang in there, it’s only 107 days until February 15 when most of the players will be in Florida or Arizona for Spring Training 2015. On top of that, it is only 156 days until I will be in Tropicana Field to watch the Rays play the Eastern Division winning Baltimore Orioles to open the 2015 regular season.

To most of us real baseball fans that seems like a long time away. As Rogers Hornsby the St. Louis Cardinals’ great slugger, said when asked what he did in the winter when there was no baseball, ‘ I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring. ‘

I, like the great Rajah, will be doing a lot of staring out the window between now and Opening Day. In the meantime, though, there will be lots of activity to keep us interested during the long winter.

Already, Red Sox fans are worried because Rusney Castillo, their future center fielder from Cuba, has hurt his right thumb while playing in the Arizona Fall League and is going to miss the end of that season. On top of that, Bill Madden in the New York Daily News, reported that Yoenis Cespedes, who the Red Sox got from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Jon Lester, does not like it in Boston and, since, as Madden said, ‘ he marches to his own drum and the coaches all hate him ‘, he would probably be traded. John Farrell came back shortly after to reassure everyone that Cespedes was in the Sox plans for 2015.

The Yankees are doing everything in their power to downplay the animosity generated last year between their front office and Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who is returning to the Yankees after a year long suspension in the Biogenesis scandal, still has three years and $61. million on his contract and will be back in the spring, at age 40, with two repaired hips. His skills were declining significantly before the suspension, who knows what value, if any, he will have to the Yankees.

The American League Champion Kansas City Royas wasted no time after losing Game 7 of the World Series in declining their option on designated hitter Billy Butler, their longest tenured player, who hit only .271 this year with just 9 homers and 66 RBI’s. Similarly, the Baltimore Orioles have declined to exercise their option on Nick Markakis, their veteran right fielder and lead off hitter, who hit .276 with 14 homers and 50 RBI’s last year. Despite the fact that both will hit the Free Agent market, both players and both clubs have expressed interest in reaching agreement to bring them back next year.

On the other hand, the Cardinals were quick to pick up their option on John Lackey, whose contract they obtained from the Red Sox last year and who, according to the terms of that contract, will pitch for the major league minimum salary of roughly $500,000. this year. Those same Red Sox just gave Koji Uehara, their 38 year old Closer, $18. million for the next two years even though he had a poor second half of last season.

Sometimes, baseball sounds like one big dysfunctional family, but this is just the beginning. It will get more and more interesting as the winter wears on. The Free Agent market has some interesting players and some teams will spend money like water to improve their chances even though the Giants and Royals, the two teams that made the World Series this year, were ranked seventh and nineteenth in total salary at the start of the 2014 season.