More Saito On A Sunday Morning
Good morning. It's still dark and still snowing here in north central Connecticut, but it's the dry type of snow that looks like it is piling up bigtime but really isn't. Since it started snowing early afternoon Saturday, there are only five inches of new white stuff on the turf. But it's nice to look at, at least it WILL be when the sun peeks over the horizon. But that's enough about winter's cold charms...let's talk baseball, in particular the new Boston Red Sox reliever Takashi Saito. First up, Theo Epstein with an explanation of what approach the Sox have been taking this off season, especially since the Teixeira Yankee signing...
"...what we're trying to do this offseason is accumulate as much pitching depth as we can possibly have, Epstein said. There's not a team out there during the season that isn't looking to gain some pitching. We've taken some educated gambles on pitchers that are geared to build that depth now, at the right price, rather than during the season, when it's very difficult to do, and you have to give up prospects. We feel like if we build a really deep stable of pitching it will serve us well throughout the year. If we build up enough pitching depth, we can trade someone to possibly fill one of the other spots on the club. We're thrilled to add Takashi to our bullpen, Epstein said. He's done an amazing job. He's been just about as good as anyone in baseball. Takashi has been just a dominant pitcher in the major leagues. We already have Jonathan Papelbon at the back end of our bullpen. With the guys we can roll out there, I think we have a chance to dominate."
Peter here, and that sounds dead on accurate to me. I like that word "dominate." A team can never have too much pitching...we Red Sox fans have learned exactly that in the past. I knew little of Takashi Saito until I did some research late yesterday in preparation for writing this very post.
Saito, 38, has played three seasons in America, all with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who originally signed him to a minor league contract when he came over from Japan. He quickly became one of the National League's top relievers. In 2007, Saito saved 39 games, made the All-Star Game, and posted a 1.40 ERA. In his three-year career, Saito has a 1.95 ERA in 189 2/3 innings with 245 strikeouts. And those are great numbers. If his elbow is recovered fully, and Boston gave him an MRI along with an extensive physical examination, he will be good to go by spring training. His eventual role would be a mid-inning reliever, one who could be very valuable if, say, Timmy Wakefield can only go five plus innings (I think we might be seeing that during the season) and Tito Francona needs an effective pitcher to get the team into the seventh inning, where the Boston 'pen is rock solid. Saito will be needed...his health and elbow have to cooperate, however. I hope they will.
And here is what the man himself, the newest member of the Boston Red Sox, had to say about his elbow, and other things. He was attracted to the Sox because he personally knows Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima, our Darkman. Here we go....
"Honestly, it feels great," Saito said through an interpreter. "I'm pretty confident it will hold up through the rest of the season."
"The biggest thing is, flat-out, they're a contender," Saito said. "I think any professional playing a sport is going to want to win. We're always playing for a championship ring, and I think the Red Sox have a very high possibility to achieve their goal. I think that's the biggest part."
Peter again. If he wanted to go to a winning ballclub, well, he sure picked one. I have to wrap this. When you click on this post's title, it will transport you instantly to the Red Sox homepage of the Boston Globe. Once there, you'll find any and all the Sox news you'd want on a Sunday morning. Enjoy your day and the rest of your weekend, and as always, BE WELL. Shalom. L'chaim (to life). See ya soon...your comments are always welcome and always answered. Thanks for stopping in.