Tuesday, January 06, 2009

FIVE Weeks Until Pitchers & Catchers Report...Already! Time Flies.

Hello and good morning on this Tuesday, January 6, 2009. I've already written 2008 on a couple checks, but I'll get used to the one digit change eventually. On the baseball front, in a little more than five weeks we'll see the Boston Red Sox pitchers and catchers report to Ft. Myers. It's a great place...my parents used to live in nearby Naples. The Sox still have work to do. Sean McAdam wrote a piece in the Tuesday Boston Herald. With his permission, here's a bit of it, and my comments will follow, as always. Here you go...

"In just more than five weeks, Red Sox pitchers and catchers will begin reporting to spring training in Fort Myers, but a number of holes remain to be filled before the roster is complete.

Catcher - The free agent pickings are slim - Gregg Zaun is probably the most intriguing name, but he’s viewed as a remote possibility - so it’s more likely that the club will deal for additional help behind the plate to team with the prodigal Josh Bard.
For now, the asking price on the trade front (read: Clay Buchholz or Michael Bowden) remains too high for the Red Sox’ liking.
With each passing day, it seems more and more likely that Jason Varitek has played his last game in a Red Sox uniform.

Starting pitching depth - John Smoltz remains the top target, essentially filling the role of Bartolo Colon last season as a veteran coming off an arm injury who could provide quality innings by May or June. The Sox have been told they are still among the contenders, but many in the game question whether Smoltz will end a 21-year association with the Atlanta Braves."

Peter here. That's the first time I heard John Smoltz's name bandied about. Our starting pitching is solid with the addition of our number four starter, Brad Penny. But we all know that a team can never have TOO much pitching. Smoltz could only help, but I, too, wonder if he'll ever sever his ties with his beloved Braves. And as for the catching situation, McAdam's paragraph was ambiguous...I didn't "get it." Bard is NOT an everyday catcher...Theo & company know what to do. For once, I don't. But if they have to trade a young pitcher (Buchholz, etc.), don't kid yourself...they will. Varitek or no Varitek, the club will come to Fenway in early April stocked and ready to go when it comes to the guy behind the plate. A right handed hitter/outfielder wouldn't hurt, either. John Henry has the money to spend...but to part with a future star pitcher would be rough. Time will tell. Five weeks and counting. Tick tock, tick tock...

You can click on this post's title for the entire McAdam article. As always, BE WELL. Your comments are welcome and always answered.


At 1/06/2009 9:33 AM, Anonymous Ian said...

The Red Sox were looking at Smoltz back in November or December. They received his medical records to take a look at.

Not sure how he'd fit in with Brad Penny around now.

At 1/06/2009 10:52 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Hello to you, Ian. I realized the Smoltz situation an hour ago. My bad. With Brad Penney, I don't know how he would fit, either. Does Theo (John,etc.) want to sign someone, if not needed? A catcher would be nice. If Mike Lowell is good to go, with our five primary starters, I think we'll compete in the AL East.
Nice to hear from you...Pete


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