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Fenway Park Grabs Big Air This Week

By on February 11, 2016 at 5:39am
big air fenway park (Photo Credit: nesn.com)

While Fenway Park staff will be filling trucks with equipment on the streets around the ballpark, inside the park Olympic snowboarders and skiers compete in the Polartec Big Air Fenway on February 11th and 12th.

This one-of a-kind extreme sports event features professional extreme sport athletes. They will compete in a variety of competitions including slopeside snowboarding on a ramp that begins in the outfield, reaches 140 feet above the center field wall and runs  through the center of the diamond ending at home plate. The highest part of the ramp towers above the center field wall, higher than the park lights. Competitors can be seen from the Massachusetts Turnpike, which runs behind the park’s outfield.

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Meet the Prospects: Anderson Espinoza

January 30, 2016 at 5:04pm in Boston, Red Sox

I have to be honest, I have a really hard time following and writing about the NBA. Even when it is the Celtics. I’ve written a couple posts about them, but I’m just lack the same passion that I have for baseball. So, in response to this epiphany, I have decided to start a new weekly segment leading up to spring training focused on Red Sox prospects. These are some guys that Red Sox Nation should keep their eyes on in this spring and in the coming years. Because of all the hype Yoan Moncada has gotten since his signing I will skip him and save you the redundancy by simply saying: he is a really promising prospect. To lead off the series this week’s post will feature Venezuelan RHP Anderson Espinoza, who was recently rated the #39 on the 2016 MLB Top Prospect List.

The Red Sox signed the 16-year old Espinoza for $1.8 million in the summer of 2014. At the time he threw his fastball 90-92, with a decent slider and makings of a change-up. This past season at 17 years of age, his first as a professional in the United States, he was sitting 94-96 on the gun and touching 98. Pretty good for the equivalent of a junior in high school.

Espinoza has a wiry build at 6 feet tall and 170 pounds, but looks like natural athlete on the mound. From the windup he as a simple low leg rock with an ever-so-slight pause at the top before he break his hands. This simple, efficient motion helps him repeat his delivery well for someone his age. Up to this point in his life he has been able to rely heavily on his explosive fastball without much need for a secondary pitch, and had a thorough debut in Rookie and low Class-A ball last year to the tone of a combined 2.16 ERA in the 15 starts. The next step in his progression will be to put on some muscle, develop a feel for his change-up and, like every young pitcher, improve his command of all three pitches.

Red Sox fans should not expect Espinoza to debut at Fenway Park anytime soon. He needs to put on some muscle and develop a pitcher not just a thrower. He will likely need time in Class-A ball for a year, but even that may still keep him on pace to debut at Fenway before his first legal beer. Expect him to start the year in Greenville with the chance of promotion to Salem by the end of the season. Plans for Espinoza are long term because he is so young, but with a special talent like his the sky is the limit.

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Another day, another salary arbitration hearing avoided. Friday, relief pitcher Robbie Ross Jr. signed a 1-year contract with the Boston Red Sox worth $1.25 million.

In addition, Ross may be eligible for a $25,000 performance bonus if he takes the mound 60 times or pitches 60 innings.

Continue reading Robbie Ross Jr., Red Sox Agree to 1-Year Contract Worth $1.25 Million »

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david price  globe

For the second year in a row, the Red Sox franchise’s Winter Weekend allowed fans, players, media, and management to come together and report on their off-season activities.

Hanley Ramirez declared he was working on his skills towards what he feels will be an “easy” transition from left field to first base. Since so much has been written about the Ramirez move, I’ll just say I will believe it when I see it. Less vertical box jumps posted to Instagram and more footwork and ball-handling drills, would be my advice to Hanley. Both are the secret to success at first base. Just ask Mike Napoli.

Continue reading Winter Weekend Yields Positive News from Dombrowski on Price, and More »

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Junichi Tazawa and the Boston Red Sox narrowly avoided arbitration, coming to an agreement on Wednesday night. This contract is not guaranteed by the Red Sox. Tazawa stands to make approximately $3.375 million in the 2016 season.

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Travis Shaw (Kathy Willens/Associated Press)

By now just about everyone knows that the Red Sox are going to throw Hanley Ramirez out at first base in 2016 and hope for the best. The good part about that plan is that Ramirez can’t possibly be worse at first than he was in Left Field in 2015, so there is nowhere to go but up. One aspect of this move that seems to have gone unnoticed is the status of incumbent First baseman Travis Shaw.

Shaw played well in his limited sample of plate appearances in 2015, but it appears that there is not much room for him to take an expanded role on the 2016 Red Sox. This may actually be a positive for now, as Shaw’s success last season surprised just about everyone, given his lack of flashy tools and mediocre minor league numbers (.249/.318/.356 in Triple-A in 2015). In fact, Shaw finished the season hitting fifth in the Red Sox order and was relied upon as one of their better run producers in the month of September, yet is still going into the 2016 season without a major role. Is this because the Red Sox basically had nowhere else to put Ramirez defensively, or because they do not believe Shaw can sustain his breakout going forward? Let’s answer the latter question by doing a quick comparison of two players in their rookie seasons with the Red Sox:

Continue reading What to Expect from Travis Shaw »

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The Red Sox announced on Monday that they plan to retire former third-baseman Wade Boggs’ number, 26, during the 2016 season. He went on to play for the New York Yankees for four years and ended his career with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999.

Continue reading Red Sox to Retire Wade Boggs’ Number… But is it the Right Thing to do? »

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