His last name barely fits on his jersey, he
couldn’t throw the ball back to the pitcher last year, and he’s only hit
twenty-three home runs in his career. Yet, Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be catching Josh Beckett, Jon
Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, and Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2011.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia was drafted by the
Atlanta Braves with the thirty-sixth pick in the 2003 draft, one pick before
Orioles all-star outfielder Adam Jones.
In 2006 with the braves class A
affiliate, the Rome Braves, Salty had his best year of his young career. He hit
.314, with nineteen home runs, and eighty-one runs batted in. After his
breakout season Baseball America ranked Saltalamacchia as the eighteenth best
prospect in Major League Baseball.
The following year, Saltalamacchia became
the starting catcher for the Mississippi Braves (AA). In twenty-two games,
Salty hit .373 with seven big flies.
The same year, in 2007 Saltalamacchia was
called up on his twenty-second birthday after an injury to Brian McCann and
then made his major league debut.
On July 31, 2007, also in the same year, Elvis
Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Beau Jones, and Saltalamacchia were
traded to the Texas Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay.
Fast-forward three years latter and
Saltalamacchia was put on the disabled list after the first two games of the
2010 season. He was then sent down to AAA because he couldn’t do one of the
simplest things in baseball. Eventually and thankfully, Salty learned how to
throw the ball back to the pitcher.
On July 31, 2010 Jarrod Saltalamacchia
was traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Chris McGuiness, Ramon Mendez, a player to be named later (Michael
Thomas), and some money. He was then sent to Pawtucket.
Saltalamacchia was eventually called up after
an injury to Kevin Cash. In his first appearance in the Red Sox starting line
up on August 12, Saltalamacchia went 2-4 with a run scored.
So far, in his time in Bean town, Salty went
just 3-19 (.158), with one RBI, two runs scored, and no home runs. Yet, despite
those stats, the Red Sox are letting Jarrod Saltalamacchia control one of the
best pitching staffs in baseball.
Do the additions of Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon make the Rays contenders again? My answer is no.
After losing Grant Balfour, Jason Bartlett, Joaquin
Benoit, Randy Choate, Carl Crawford, Matt Garza, Brad Hawpe, Dioner Navarro, Carlos
Pena, Fernando Perez, Chad Qualls, Rafael Soriano, and Dan Wheeler the Rays
think that by signing two outfielders, one 37 and the other 38, they along with
the rest of America thinks they are “good” again.
I mean I think that the Rays’ general manager, Andrew
Friedman, is one of the best in baseball. However, what the heck is he
First off, the Rays didn’t really need any more
outfielders/ designated hitters. I mean Desmond Jennings, B.J. Upton, and Ben
Zobrist make up maybe one of the best outfields in baseball, even without
Crawford. Now, either Johnny Damon or Desmond Jennings will have to sit on the
bench. That is, unless, Jennings gets sent down to AAA.
However, Zobrist could also be moved to shortstop,
second base, and first base. If Zobrist does get moved to the infield, in my
opinion he would most likely take Dan Johnson’s spot at first.
Then at D.H. you have Matt Joyce and/or Dan Johnson
(depending on Zobrist) who aren’t the best players in the world, but they both
are capable of being an everyday D.H.
The problem with me is that I don’t understand why
they signed both Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. Their outfield has enough
depth with Justin Ruggiano as to fourth outfielder and Joyce can play the
Jennings is ready for the majors so he shouldn’t be
sent down to AAA. I understand signing Damon or Ramirez to D.H. Yet, I think
signing both of them may have been the Red Sox’s “fault.”
Everyone knows that they Rays have had a pretty bad
offseason. I mean just look at the first sentence of this article. The Red Sox
on the other hand “stole” Carl Crawford and Dan Wheeler. So, I’m assuming that
these moves were made to say that they Rays aren’t just going to roll over.
Also, another obvious reason is attendance. I mean
the Rays have always had low attendances. Heck, Carl Crawford said he signed
with the Red Sox in part to the fact that he knows that there is going to be a
full house every night. I mean Damon has an “attendance clause” for crying out
However, from Damon and Ramirez’s point of view this
is the perfect team. Damon could be “getting back” at the Yankees for not
resigning him. Also, I’m not exactly sure Damon likes Beantown anymore. Manny
might be trying to “get back” at Boston. I mean that’s just not how you want to
end your stay anywhere. Most likely though, both of those things are false.
But what can you expect from the two of them. Well, I
believe player A, will hit fifteen-twenty home runs, drive in over
seventy-five, and bat anywhere from .250 to .290. Player B will hit ten to
twenty homeruns, drive in either around fifty or eighty, and bat around .250.
Who do you think are player A and B? Player A is
Johnny Damon. Player B is Manny Ramirez. Damon has the potential to have some
nice power numbers this year while the odds are he’ll have a higher batting
average then Ramirez.
Manny though, has an injury history. If he stays
healthy though I think you might be able to see some of his old form return.
Regardless of the performance, baseball fans need to
play close attention to the Rays this year. It could be the last year that two
of baseball’s greatest players play.
Also, in a completely off topic story, am I the only
one that found it ironic that Tom Brady got foot surgery after playing the
* Here is my persuasive essay for school and as you can imagine, I wrote it about sports.
Small market teams don’t stand a chance against
the big spenders in Major League Baseball.
At New Yankee Stadium,
Yankee fans cheer for “their” team, a team that had a payroll of $206,333,389
in 2010. One of their many star players, Alex Rodriguez, made thirty-three
million dollars last year.
However, at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pirate
fans don’t cheer for a star player, because they don’t have one. In fact their
payroll last year was “just” $34,943,000. Is it fair that Alex Rodriguez made
nearly as much money as the entire Pittsburgh Pirates last year?
Much like their
payroll, the Yankees were at the top of the list when it came to winning. The
Pirates on the other hand, had one of the worst records in baseball. Major
League Baseball needs a salary cap.
A “salary cap” is a
limit on how much money teams can spend and/or how much money a player can
earn. It would level the playing field, increase fan attendance, and increase
team and league revenue.
However, if a salary cap was implemented, the
large market teams wouldn’t have enough money to have ten superstars on their
team. As a result of this, more superstars would have to play on “bad” teams
and the overall talent level would become more evenly divided among all thirty
Many casual baseball fans go to a game to see the
superstars. With the talent being more evenly divided, fans in Baltimore,
Pittsburgh, etc. will get to see more superstars play; thus increasing fan
attendance. Due to this increased interest and attendance of the game, the
league’s revenue would increase.
Personally, I’m a fan of the Boston Red Sox, who are a big
spender. With that said, is it fair that the Red Sox can out spend the Pirates
by over 160 million dollars?
Not everyone agrees on the topic of a salary cap. Some say
the fact that some teams can spend ridiculous amounts more money than other
teams is just a part of the game.
On one side, just because you have a high payroll doesn’t
mean you are going to be good. Despite having the third highest payroll in
baseball last year, the Cubs finished fifth in their division.
Then there are always teams like the Rangers and Rays, who
despite being in the bottom ten in payroll, made the playoffs.
However, there is one roadblock, the Players Association.
They would most likely reject anything about lowering player salaries. However,
I’m sure Alex Rodriguez can afford to give up a couple million dollars.
So, Bud Selig (the commissioner of the MLB), if you
know what is good for the league you need to try to implement a salary cap
was born in Northridge, California and raised in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. His
name is probably the second most mispronounced name on the Red Sox behind
Jarrod Slatalamacchia. But, Ryan Kalish (KAY-lish) is making a name for himself
self in Bean town. He may have only eighty-four major league at-bats under his
belt, two home runs (one of which I saw, his first, in New York), a .238
batting average, and just ten RBIs but the outfielder deserves to be starting
in left fielder on Opening in 2011.
off, I’m not turning the page for the year the Red Sox can and will make the
playoffs. I’m simply just looking at the potential roster next year. Both J.D.
Drew and Mike Cameron will most likely be gone after the 2011 seasons is over.
So the obvious choice would be to trade one of those two players in the
offseason. It would make more since to trade Cameron as that allows Ellsbury to
move back to center, where he has played most of his career.
Jacoby does not have the best arm for an outfielder his speed would be wasted
were he to play in left with the Green Monster as his backdrop. Which is why he
never should have moved to left in the first place.
Anyway, while Daniel Nava, Darnell
McDonald, and Bill Hall have had nice seasons there simply is not enough room
and are simply not better then Kalish, Cameron, Ellsbury, or Drew.
The point is though someone is
going to get traded. I doubt Ellsbury would get traded partially because I am
not sure there would be an takers till we know he can still play ball. Cameron
would most likely be a one-year rental as I expect him to retire after his
current deal. As for Drew, he is often regarded as one of the most overpaid
players in major league baseball, meaning the Red Sox would most likely have to
toss in some money.
So what can we expect for Mr.
Kalish in the future? Well, in that very bright future I can see him hit .325
with fifteen homeruns, and 100 RBIs. Eventually, I think he’ll be a line drive
machine and hit doubles off the monster every game. However, next year I think
maybe a .290 average with five-ten home runs with any where from 60 to 85 runs
He could see time in the two, five,
six, or seven holes depending on injuries. He will most likely play all three-outfielder
spots. But at the end of the day the most important thing is that Kalish is
nearly a five-tool player. He can hit for contact, field (he has one error and
44 put outs), he can throw (he has two outfield assists), he has decent speed
(he’s faster then Big Papi J),
and the power will come as he reaches his prime.
He might turn out to be a six-tool
player, meaning he can hit in the clutch. I have said it before and I will say
it again, some players, like Alex Rodriguez just can’t hit in the clutch and
choke up. And for the record I think A-‘Roid last year in the postseason was a fluke.
Kalish’s first homerun was at Yankee
Stadium and the other was a grand slam. In his first game against the Tigers he
had two hits in four at-bats with an RBI and a run. Is that a sign of greatness
in the clutch or just a fluke? I believe the answer is greatness.
was often over shadowed in the minors by prospect Josh Reddick but know with
the opportunity to play full time Kalish is showing he is just as good if not
better then Reddick.
Wednesday Clay Buchholz and Jed
Lowrie returned from the disabled list. And while, Buchholz didn’t do that good
(Lowrie to me looked great) they are playing.
In order to activate Buchholz and
Lowrie Boston designate Ryan Shealy for assignment and sent Dustin Richardson
and Fernando Cabrera to Pawtuckett (AAA). The Red Sox active roster now has 25
With the emergence of Daniel Nava,
Darnell McDonald, and some nice play lately by Kevin Cash, Michael Bowden, and
Atchison, whom do you send down in place for Jeremy Hermida, Jacoby Ellsbury,
Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek and Josh Beckett.
soon as I finished writing Hermida’s name NESN said that Daniel Nava has been
optioned to Pawtuckett. It is a shame that Nava has to go back down after doing
a great job filling in for Hermida but at the end of the day either Darnell
McDonald or Nava had to go down and Boston chose Nava. He will probably be back
up in September unless another outfielder gets hurt.
might not be back as soon as Hermida but unless there is another injury among
the outfielders it looks like Darnell McDonald will be sent down. Obviously, a
shame that he has to be sent down but he will be back in September with Nava unless an injury happens.
Lowell is an interesting case. He will start his rehab Thursday. He has
publicly said that he is frustrated and honestly who could blame him. He has not
gotten many starts at third and with Big Papi stepping up not many at
designated hitter. He has done a decent job in a few starts at first base. I
think he will probably get traded before the deadline so it doesn’t really
matter who gets sent down.
think that Lowell might get Boston maybe a left-handed relief pitcher or a
decent prospect. Eric Patterson will probably get sent down but might get
called up after Lowell’s trade. If Lowell does not get traded then Patterson
will get sent down, designated for assignment, or maybe even get traded.
Lowell just gets traded for a prospect who is not ready yet then look at either
Nava, McDonald, or Aaron Bates to get called up. There are many possibilities
with Lowell so we will just have to wait and see.
Card because Boston has already won the East. (Wow that was one of my best sentences ever in my opinion) Once your a Red Sox your a Red Sox for life, Pedro is not going to the Yankees. (Sorry but man I’m on a roll) Even though the Rays are rivals with Boston as of the 2009 season I do not care if a former Red Sox player that is 37 played for the Rays. Okay I do and Pedro would kill me but I want Pedro to be back and I want him to pitch and I want him to be happy even if he does play with the Rays. Now if it was with the Yankees well we might have some issues. (Dang best paragraph of my blogging career. 🙂