Tagged: Jon Smoltz

The Other Manny And Boston’s Bullpen

Manny Delcarmen began his carer in the shadows of a position player. This year he is starting the season in Jonathan Papelbon, Justin Masterson, and Hideki Okajima’s shadows. But this year he is going to put those guys in his shadows.

Most people when you say Manny they think of Manny Ramirez but trust me they should be thinking Manny Delcarmen. Delcarmen could be a closer on some teams like the Mariners or the Cardinals. He has a fantastic twelve to six curveball along with a mid 90’s fastball and a decent change up. His control is okay but could use some work on it.
What the Red Sox are doing is somewhat of a crime. Besides Papelbon Boston has three guys that could be closers, Delcarmen, Okajima, and Takashi Saito. Along with Justin Masterson who would start on most teams.
The first series that Jason Bay was in a Red Sox uniform they gave out these signs for free.
Sorry I could not find a good picture of them but they are the signs that say Manny Who? When I was at these games I was waving the sign around and stuff. We had seats right by the Pesky Pole and in the game I pointed the sign to the bullpen. I then noticed Manny Delcarmen. I am not sure how he felt but if I was him I would have felt like garbage.
Delcarmen has a 0.00 ERA so far this year in 2.2 innings of work and he has only given up one hit. The only bad this is he has walked three already. Papelbon, Okajima, and Saito have worked 4.2 combined innings in which they have given up six earned runs.
I am not saying that Delcarmen should be the closer because at the end of the day Jonathan Papelbon is better. However Delcarmen should be Boston’s number one set up man snd not Okajima. Saito is fine but needs to learn how the Red Sox roll. The reason Ramon Ramirez or Javier Lopez are not is because Delcarmen is just better then them.
Now one problem in Boston’s bullpen and rotation is what will Jon Smoltz do once he comes back. He could join the bullpen or fill in for an injury or work in the rotation. If I am Terry Francona I would really consider having a six man rotation. 
Not many teams get the chance to have a six man rotation because they do not have enough pitching. If anything it would be a gift to have a six man rotation. Each starter gets an extra day of rest and they are less likely to get hurt if the go out there once every six days rather then once every five days.
If he goes to the bullpen I just do not see how he fits there. The long relief pitcher is Justin Masterson. The closer is Jonathan Papelbon. Setup man belongs to Saito, Okajima, and Delcarmen. Then Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez are just the regular relief pitchers with out roles. I guess you could make Somaltz the second long relief pitcher but I would not do that. I would have just one long relief pitcher.
if he fills in for someone it would most likely be due to injury. However he could fill in for a suspension (see Josh Beckett) but more on Beckett possibly tomorrow. Brad Penny has a little gut of an injury history but I do not see him getting hurt this year. 
In the playoffs however I would move Tim Wakefield to the bullpen and have Smaoltz start. Smoltz has been there before a ton of times and has amazed hitters. I know Wakefield has the second most experience but hitters are figuring out how to hit the knuckleball so I would move Wakefield to the bullpen.
John Smoltz
One last problem Boston has is that they have three setup men. I my opinion you only need two setup men. Saito, Okajima, and Delcarmen are all great choices. However Saito can only pitch one inning, Okajima does not have the stamina to pitch three innings, but Delcarmen can. So if Boston does make the move Delcarmen’s role will be reduced. However I do not think that will change. If it does change teams have ways to slowly cut their work down so no one notices except the team.
Boston Red Sox Hideki Okajima (L) of Japan talks with new teammate Takashi Saito during spring training workouts at the team's practice facility in Ft. Myers, Florida February 22, 2009. Saito was signed after playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers last year.
All these problems are not really problems if anything it is a good thing. Boston has an over talented bullpen but with that comes some flaws.

Pitchers, Catchers, and the Rest of the Team

Today, Friday the 13th was the first full day of pitchers and catchers camp. It came just in time although it could have been earlier. Today there are two college basketball games, seven hockey games, a golf tournament, four women’s basketball games, and the 2009 Rookie Challenge. Some could argue that today is the loneliest day in the history of sports. It would be the loneliest day in sports if the NBA Rookie Challenge wasn’t today at nine P.M. eastern. I’m getting off track though. I know that all the first few days of pitchers and catchers camp is just conditioning, stretching, and throwing the ball around. The real work doesn’t start until Monday when position players report to camp. The only problem is Kevin Youkillis and Chris Carter will not arrive at camp . . . because they are already there. I think it would be kind of boring to be the only two position players (besides catchers) to be there. Like all of the drills would be mostly related to the pitchers and catchers. I’m sure they have someone else training Youk and Carter though. Everyone seems healthy or better. It looks like Brad Penny and Jon Smoltz or doing great but Mike Lowell might need a little extra time maybe till the end of spring training but he should be able to practice Monday. Josh Beckett is also looking great. When he threw yesterday he seemed like when he had his 2007 form according to reports. Jed Lowrie who got a left wrist sprain and an unknown fracture should also be ready to compete for the starting spot at shortstop. Julio Lugo also will be after recovering from a torn right quad. David Ortiz looks healed and should have a Big Papi type season smacking 40 homers out of the yard. Mark Kotsay looks to be the only Red Sox position player not ready for spring training. He underwent back surgery and looks like he will be ready in May. Another big question for the Red Sox in spring training is will Josh Bard be able to catcher knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield? I think he will. There will be a few rough spots, most of them coming in spring training but I think he will. Sure he stunk last time he tried t catch him but he saw a guy catch a knuckleballer in San Diego with the Padres and that must count for something. Spring Training is where champions are made. Prospects get called up, players meet new teammates, and baseball starts again.

P.S.- Sorry for no pictures extra ones tomorrow.

Progress With Varitex

First- Manny and the Dodgers are still just talking.

Second- Carlos Zambrano has to get LASIK eye surgery on his right eye.
Third- Tom Glavine threw of the mound for the first time since shoulder and elbow surgery. Glavine, a free agent, is a low risk high reward player. I think he could come to Boston because of that and his long time teammate, Jon Smoltz signed with the Red Sox. More on that soon.
Third- After the San Diego Padres signed David Eckstein the Texas Rangers want Omar Vizquel.
Forth- Just a quick shout out to got milb? and District Boy who made my link list.
Jason Varitex wants to stay in Boston and the Red Sox want him back. Jason Varitex meet with Red Sox owner John Henry, The meeting was requested by Varitex. They spoke one on one for 90 minutes. Varitex said that the meeting was “okay” as he put it. Varitex could have been lying because maybe he didn’t want the media to know about something. Henry had no comment. They meeting was just Henry and Varitex so that means Scott Boras, Teo Epstein, or any one else. Varitex, a switch hitter, turns 37 in April. Varitex hit .220, with 13 home runs, and drove in 43. He also threw out 16 runners and caught Jon Lester’s no hitter. Varitex managed to make the all-star game last season as the back up catcher. The Red Sox signed catcher Josh Bard this month. They also let knuckle ball catcher, Kevin Cash leave. Cash then signed with the New York Yankees. Varitex has been with the Red Sox for twelve seasons. Derek Lowe, who recently signed with the Atlanta Braves, and Varitex were traded from the Seattle Mariners to the Red Sox in 1997. In 2002 Varitex caught Derek Lowe’s no hitter. Both had great seasons with the Red Sox. I hope Varitex comes back to Boston. I mean what other catcher has caught four no hitters? No one. Yes, he is getting old and he had a down year last season but he is a Red Sox legend. The city of Boston loves Varitex. Having Varitex go would be like Johnny Damon going to the Yankees. Okay, that was a little to dramatic. So Mr. Varitex if your reading this right now come back to Boston.
Clockwise from top left) Jason Varitek has been behind the plate for gems by Hideo Nomo, Derek Lowe, Clay Buchholz and now Jon Lester.

Top Left- Hideo Nomo’s no hitter in 2001.

Top Right- Derek Lowe’s no hitter in 2002.

Bottom Right- Clay Buchholz’s no hitter in 2007.

Bottom Left- Jon Lester’s no hitter in 2008.

Jason Varitek gives Alex Rodriguez a face full of catcher's mitt, setting off a benches-clearing incident July 24.

Varitex stands up for the Red Sox, I mean no glove no love.

Baldelli, Penny, Smoltz, Saito, and Kotsay

First- Sorry I didn’t blog the past few days, I had a ton of home work.

Second- Wow. A lot of news since I haven’t been blogging.
Third most of those moves have been by the Red Sox
Roco Baldelli
Roco Baldelli signed with the Red Sox on a $500,000 with some performance incentives. Roco played for the Tampa Bay Rays last year. Roco grew up in Rhode Island only 50 miles away from Fenway Park. Baldelli will probably be the forth outfielder unless the Red Sox trade Jacoby Ellsbury for catching help. Which sadly means if that happened Jason Varitex wouldn’t be coming back. Baldelli had rare mitochondrial disease, but got an update and the disease he now has is highly treatable. Baldelli will wear number five. The first Red Sox since Nomar Garciaparra. Baldelli is 27 years old. This year Baldelli won the Tony Conigliaro award, given to the player that overcomes adversity. Baldelli has been know for his strong character, spirt, and is a great influence in the clubhouse.
Brad Penny


Brad Penny officially became a Red Sox today, on a one year deal. He passed his physical and will join the rotation in spring. Penny was an all-star in 2006 and 2007 with the Dodgers. In 2008 he was hurt. Penny will get payed $5 million dollars plus performance incentives up to $3 million. Penny is 30 years old. Brad Penny has a carer record of 94-75, a 4.06 ERA, and 1,032 strikeouts. The Red Sox rotation is now set, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Dice-K, Tim Wakefield, Brad Penny, and Jon Smoltz by June (more on him in a second). Penny spent nine years in the National League before joining the Red Sox.

Jon Smoltz 


Jon Smoltz signed the offer sheet from the Red Sox. The deal is worth $5.5 million plus incentives which could bring the total to $10 million dollars. Smoltz will not be able to play till June. Smoltz is 41 years old and has played with the Braves his whole carer, 21 years before joining the Red Sox. Smoltz has a 210-147 carer record, a 3.26 ERA, 3,011 strike outs, and 154 carer saves. One thing is will he start or be in the pen. I think Smoltz would be the ultimate setup man in the Boston bullpen.  


Takashi Saito


Takashi Saito signed with the Red Sox on a one year deal with a club option for 2010. I found this out when I was working on this entry. Saito was the Dodgers closer last year and will now be a setup man/ back up closer. Saito was hurt for most of 2008. Satio’s deal is worth between $1.5 million and $2.5 million. He could earn up to $7 million if he does all of his incentives. Saito is 38 and will join Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson and maybe Jon Smoltz in a great Boston bullpen. Saito will also join Dice-K and Okajima as three Japanese born players on the same team.


Mark Kotsay


Mark Kotsay resigned with the Red Sox on a one year, $1.5 million dollar deal. The deal would also include incentives that are unknown. Kotsay was a vital clog during the Red Sox postseason run last year. When Mike Lowell went down, Youk moved to third and Kotsay who plays outfield most of the time moved to first. Last year in 22 games for Boston Kotsay hit 19 hits, zero home runs, 12 RBI’s, and had a .226 batting average. Kotsay has played 12 years with the Marlins, Padres, A’s, Braves, and Red Sox. Kotsay had zero errors in the outfield and one error at first base last year.

I hope the next move I get to blog about is Jason Varitex resigning with Boston.