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Hanley Moving to First! Red Sox Defense is Saved!

By on August 28, 2015 at 6:14pm

There is a noticeable difference between a disappointment and a disaster. Dustin Pedroia missing almost half of a season’s worth of games due to injury is a disappointment; Hanley Ramirez playing Left Field is a disaster. In fact, Hanley playing just about any position is a disaster, and he is effectively a Designated Hitter at this point in his career. The Red Sox are locked into David Ortiz at that spot for 2016, so there is a logjam in the immediate future. It is clear that keeping Ramirez in the Outfield is no longer an option going forward, so it was encouraging to learn earlier this week that the Red Sox will be moving him to First Base going forward. The move sets up the team well both in the near and long term, and eliminates one of the biggest issues with the 2015 Red Sox.

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I believe in miracles: Rick Porcello goes seven shutout innings off the DL to beat Chris Sale and the White Sox. (Getty Images)

Did anyone in Boston see Rick Porcello walk across the Charles River recently? Because if Wednesday’s start against the Chicago White Sox was any indication, something mildly miraculous is going on with the embattled righthander.

Going up against Chris Sale and his now MLB-leading 229 strikeouts, Porcello went pitch for pitch with the White Sox ace for seven shutout innings in his return from the 15-day disabled list. When Sale turned it over to the White Sox bullpen in the eighth, Travis Shaw went deep to break a scoreless tie (who said to move Hanley Ramirez to first anyway?) to give Porcello his first win since May 16.

Continue reading Miracles Do Happen! Porcello, Tazawa Outduel Sale, White Sox in Red Sox Shutout »

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don-orsillo1

In a stunning move, NESN has fired longtime Red Sox play by play announcer Don Orsillo. Orsillo will stay on for the remainder of the season and will be replaced in 2016 by Dave O’Brien. Orsillo, who has been with NESN since 2001, has become a fixture in New England and has been there to call some of the greatest moments in Red Sox history such as Manny Ramirez’s 500th home run and the the 2004 World Series Ring ceremony held on opening day of 2005.

Despite the Red Sox being bottom-feeders over the past two seasons, Orsillo has been a mainstay and one of the most enjoyable parts of NESN broadcasts. Orsillo has also been brilliant when faced with challenges, namely the revolving door he has had in the booth over the past several years. Color commentator Jerry Remy has been with Orsillo nearly all of this season, but has missed significant time over the last few seasons due to illness and to personal issues. Despite this, Orsillo was always at the top of his game, making his work with 26 different partners while Remy was out dealing with his son’s arrest look effortless.

When asked about Orsillo’s departure, Remy was visibly dejected. “I love him,” Remy said.

Orsillo will be missed from Spring through Fall on TVs across New England. His professionalism and broadcasting talent have brought the game to life for fans and his ability to switch from comedy to announcing skill will be sorely missed. In what might be the greatest testament of all to Orsillo’s time in Boston, no one that has come in to contact with him could have a negative word to say. Orsillo was, and remains, the class of broadcasting. His replacement, Dave O’Brien, has been calling Red Sox games for WEEI and will be able to handle the work. But even though  O’Brien is a qualified broadcaster, this move is a sad one for Red Sox Nation.

 

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Clay Buchholz (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If it seems like Clay Buchholz has gone mostly unnoticed since the All-Star break, it’s because he has. The Red Sox’ subpar record and recent youth movement have combined to make Buchholz and his future an afterthought in recent weeks, but that is not likely to continue much longer. Of course it helps that he hasn’t taken the mound since July 10th, and seems to be in no rush to return to it. There is something to be said for a pitcher being cautious with an injury to his pitching elbow, but if we go on recent quotes from Buchholz regarding his health, it seems like he could be doing more to get close to pitching than he currently is. All this really does is continue a trend of Buchholz taking an injury way too far, and continue to prove that he is unreliable in every sense of the word.

Plenty has been made of Buchholz’s health record (or lack thereof), including the popular sentiment that the Red Sox should have traded him earlier in this season while he still had value. That ship has sailed, so we’re not going to dwell on it here. However, we can look at the fact that Buchholz has only topped 170 innings pitched in roughly one third of his “full” Major League seasons. As an outside observer, it is impossible to say for certain that Buchholz could have pitched more than he has in those seasons, but that lack of durability has to be caused, at least in part, by an inability to pitch through discomfort. Many, many players are on the record stating that a Major League season is a grind, so a ballplayer needs to be able to deal with the nicks and bumps that come with that grind. No player is likely going to be at 100% through the course of an entire season, but some are able to persevere better than others.

Continue reading Clay Buchholz Has a Hazy Future with Red Sox »

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Henry Owens (Barry Chin/Boston Globe)

Friday’s win over the Royals at Fenway Park gave the Red Sox their fourth straight win, the last two of which came against the best team in the American League. Just about everything went right for the Red Sox, and they now remain just a win away from taking a series from the reigning AL champs. Henry Owens and Blake Swihart carried most of the load on Friday, with some help from their friends. The contributions from younger players just keep on coming, and are starting to give Red Sox fans hope for 2016.

Continue reading Henry Owens & Blake Swihart Dominate Royals »

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Hanley Ramirez

Coming into the 2015 baseball season, the Boston Red Sox were expected to have a potent offense, especially with the new additions of Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Mike Napoli, who underwent offseason surgery to repair a sleep apnea problem, tore the cover off the ball in spring training by batting .400 with a team high six homers and 11 RBIs.

Unfortunately, inconsistent play from Ramirez and Sandoval, as well as a steep decline from Napoli that seemingly came out of nowhere, combined with a less than stellar starting rotation has the Boston Red Sox in the cellar of the AL East for the third time in four seasons. To make matters worse, the Red Sox payroll was $150,655,500, the highest in franchise history. Continue reading What Could Have Been: The 2015 Red Sox »

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dave dombrowski

The Boston Red Sox named Dave Dombrowski President of Baseball Operations, effective immediately, on Tuesday evening. In reaction to the hire of Dombrowski, Ben Cherrington decided to step down as General Manager once Dombrowski’s transitional period is complete.

Continue reading Dave Dombrowski Named Red Sox President of Baseball Operations »

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