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Posts Tagged ‘Adam LaRoche’


The Red Sox offense has been downright anemic.  Comatose, I tell you.  And with Smoltz, Buccholz and Penny not exactly being consistent, they need to put some runs on that big board in the outfield.  Theo had a mandate, a mission, and it was not impossible.  The Red Sox have a farm system loaded with players to ship out for guys who play in the Bigs now.

Rumors were non-stop.  But today was the day, and when it all came down the Red Sox were probably better but certainly more mystifying.

Victor Martinez, the switch-hitting, catcher-firstbaseman-DH from Cleveland was a coveted player.  He’s been consistent, and consistently good.  He’s got the power to be a middle of the line up hitter to keep pitchers honest.  The problem is how to get him on the field.  Ortiz, having now hit 2 HRs after learning he tested positive for PEDs in 2003, is the everyday DH.  You don’t want to sit him, right?  You don’t sit Youk unless he’s hurt.  Yes, Varitek has been slumping something awful in a return of 2008 ‘Tek at the plate.  But his true value is calling a game.  He needs more time off, and Kotaras can’t seem to hit even as well as ‘Tek.  So Victor will pick up a few games a week there.

The real question is Lowell.  He can still hit, but fielding has been an issue for him.  It’s the lateral movement, which should force the pitchers to adjust so the ball is not smoked down the left side of the field.  Victor will enable the Sox to give Mikey more time.  And he provides great insurance just in case Lowell is put on the DL again.

With Adam LaRoche sitting in that dugout, they decided to ship him out for a different first baseman.  Kotchman comes over in his place.  He doesn’t have much power, but his splits are better than LaRoche’s vs. lefties.  Gotta be, right?  He will most likely play the Dave Stapleton/Doug M. role this season as the late innings defensive replacement.  Unlike LaRoche, he’s also signed for next season.

All this means the Red Sox aren’t “renting” players.  And all they essentially gave up was Masterson and Hagadone.  I’m thinking the other guys don’t make it to the bigs.  Hagadone is the guy I think has real potential.  But Clay, Bowden and especially Bard remain with the team.

The real challenge is going to be for Francona to keep everyone reasonably happy.  They all want to play, and on most teams would play.  But I’m sure Francona would prefer this problem over the one he had in the ALCS last season when Lowell couldn’t play anymore and they really needed his offense.  Now, wake up bats!  No excuses not to challenge the Yankees.  Too bad they couldn’t pick up

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It has been a busy day for the Red Sox front office as the trade deadline draws near, and the Sox are mired in an offensive slump.  I’m not saying anything needed to be done, but they have not been playing well and have relinquished the AL East lead to the Yankees.

The Red Sox plundered the Pirates again.  I think I might prefer the players the Braves got from them, but Adam LaRoche fills the need they had.  That need is two-fold.  They needed a left-handed hitter with some power.  Mark Kotsay is not to be confused with a guy with power.  Kotsay did a great job filling in at first base when Lowell went down in the playoffs last year.  But the Red Sox needed some power in that line up.  He enables them to platoon a guy with power with Mike Lowell who continues to struggle with a bad hip.

They gave up 2 prospects that were quite unlikely to ever crack the Red Sox’ line up.  They might make the Pirates’ line up though.  Argenis Diaz made some very flashy plays at short, but often blew routine plays and hit a tad better than Alex Gonzalez.  The Red Sox have two other prospects with far better chances of playing SS in the big leagues, one of the their Dominican players and a recently signed Cuban player.  Hunter is perhaps a #4 starter, which we really don’t need.

The big news is that they actually got a warm body for Julio Lugo.  The Cards, in desperate need of warm bodies in the infield since Pujols can only play one position, took him.  They won’t pay any of his salary.

I like the symmetry of this.  The Red Sox’ revolving door at SS started when they did not re-sign Orlando Cabrera after the landmark 2004 season.  Instead they signed the SS for the Cards who made the final out of the 2004 World Series who is now known as Rent-a-Wreck since he played so miserably for the Red Sox that they promptly traded him to Atlanta after the 2005 season.  I think this is the final year of that deal, so they won’t be paying him anymore after this season.  Then we had the great fielding, but light hitting Alex Gonzalez who is also known for getting hurt (though not as much as Pokey Reese).  He was warming the seat until Julio Lugo was a free agent.  Theo promptly paid him $9 million/year, and we have suffered ever since.  He has not hit for anything resembling the power he displayed elsewhere, and had a knack for making errors.

His injuries paved the way for Jed Lowrie who rarely made errors and showed some power until injuring his wrist.  With his wrist surgically repaired, Lugo ran out of time.  Of course, it wasn’t like he was playing.  Throw away Nick Green has been playing solid defense (though mired in an ugly Lugo-like slump).  Lowrie can now platoon with Green until he’s ready to resume his role as starter, hopefully providing some good offense to go along with his solid defense.

So, the Red Sox have dealt with some of their issues as they struggle through the middle portion of the season.  Clay Buchholz makes his second start as Wakefield rests his back.  Plenty of people anticipate Penny being traded (prospects?) should Dice-K get his shoulder strong enough to pitch effectively again.  If he doesn’t, they can still trade Penny and keep Clay in the majors.  He worked out the kinks in his delivery, and his mindset.  Now it is time to take back the East from the Yankees.

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