Clay Buchholz (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Earlier this week Brad wrote an excellent article that addressed the recent Clay Buchholz trade rumors, in which he argued that the Red Sox should keep the mercurial starter. While Brad made a well-reasoned case, I would like to play devil’s advocate and outline a case for trading Buchholz, in an attempt to cash in while he is pitching well and his value on the open market may be inflated. I would like to start this outline by agreeing with Brad in that we need to look at what Buchholz actually is, rather than what the Red Sox say he can be.

Despite all of the hoopla about how great Buchholz’s stuff is and how good he can be, the reality is that in a good rotation he is no better than a number three starter. A mid-rotation starter is expected to be solid, if not average, performance-wise with the ability to go deep into a game and eat innings over the course of a season. Continue reading The Case For Trading Clay Buchholz »

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porcello.zimbio

Rick Porcello does not belong on the mound of any major league ballpark. No one in their right mind would put a pitcher in their starting rotation that owns a 6.08 ERA. A 6.00 + ERA, this is insane. Right? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Unfortunately, John Farrell does not have a choice, thanks to management’s decision to bring Porcello to Boston.

Continue reading Management Forced Its Hand With Rick Porcello, Red Sox Nation Pays »

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(Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

The Blue Jays gave the city of Toronto something to celebrate for Canada Day this afternoon by giving the Red Sox an 11-2 shellacking at the Rodgers Centre. The Jays jumped out to an early lead, blistering Rick Porcello for 5 runs on 5 hits, all in the first inning. Edwin Encarnacion put the Jays on the board with a 3-run homer, followed by a blast from Justin Smoak to make it 5-0. The butchering continued in the second inning when Jose Bautista homered to left-center field to make it 7-0 Blue Jays. Porcello was tagged for 7 earned runs on 7 hits, and allowed 3 home runs in just 2.0 innings before getting the hook. On the bright side he didn’t walk anybody, but that was likely because his pitches caught so much of the plate that Blue Jays batters couldn’t have held up if they had the take sign.

Porcello has now fallen to 4-9 on the year with a 6.08 ERA, which is the worst in the American League. The right-hander has lost his last seven starts and just can’t seem to get back on track. Continue reading Should Rick Porcello be Sent Down? »

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Not a true ace, but still a very quality member of the rotation

As the trade deadline approaches the rumors have begun to swirl rapidly. The most recent whispers have circled around pitcher Clay Buchholz. This season has been a roller coaster for the eight-year veteran; while he has shown flashes of brilliance, he has also pitched very poorly on many occasions. In a year when the Red Sox front office expected Buchholz would assume his role as ace of the staff, many have been underwhelmed by his overall body of work. But sentiments toward Buchholz should not amount only to disappointment. This year he is probably the best starting pitcher in the Red Sox rotatoin and his statistics support that claim. Although his record is a mere 5-6, Clay has posted a 3.68 ERA with 91 strikeouts over 93 total innings pitched. These are respectable statistics that do not deserve excessive scrutiny because it is what we need to learn to expect from Clay.

This leads us to the pivotal question: should the Red Sox put Clay Buchholz on the trade block for the upcoming deadline? My initial reaction is no, absolutely not. Although Buchholz may not have become the true ace we were hoping, he is still a very good Major League pitcher. Continue reading Red Sox Front Office Should Not Look to Trade Clay Buchholz »

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More common four-letter words may come to mind for the 2015 Red Sox, but Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts are starting to bring another one to mind: hope. (AP)

The 2015 Season for the Boston Red Sox has been defined by the latest tirade of four-letter words inspired by Rick Porcello’s latest pitching performance, Pablo Sandoval’s ninth inning fielding percentage, or any other seminal moment of disappointment. There are a lot to choose from.

But lately, strangely, I’ve been finding myself coming back to one four-letter word worse than any curse, more gut wrenching than the most creative string of expletives.

Hope. Continue reading The Newest Four-Letter Word for the Red Sox: Hope »

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Mike Napoli (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

It’s getting to that magical time of year when the trade machine starts to ramp up around the league. Even though the Red Sox aren’t likely to buy players like the fans hoped they would, they can still be active in the July trade market. One of the first names the Red Sox discuss with other teams should be Mike Napoli. Napoli hasn’t been performing to expectations, but he has a good playoff track record and an expiring contract, so an acquiring team would not need to make a long-term commitment. One would think that despite his struggles in 2015, Ben Cherington should not have much trouble moving Napoli at the trade deadline.

The Pros

Napoli has always had very good control of the strike zone, and that remains true in 2015. His .305 OBP is currently nothing to write home about, but it is also significantly higher than his .203 batting average. Continue reading Mike Napoli Should be on the Trade Block »

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Xander Bogaerts (Getty Images)

Not much has gone well to date for the Red Sox, from their pitching staff to their current standing in the American League East. This might leave some fans looking forward to the All-Star game, and attempting to keep track of who might represent the Red Sox in the Midsummer Classic. While it would be hard to make a case for most of the Red Sox to play in that game, Major League rules dictate that someone from the Red Sox roster be present. With all apologies to Dustin Pedroia (who would likely be going himself if the American League did not feature so many top-tier second basemen), we are here to tell you that Xander Bogaerts is the most deserving Red Sox of an All-Star roster spot. Don’t worry, we will also justify.

Swing the Stick

A quick look at Bogaerts’s triple-slash (.287/.324/.398) might not impress most fans as much as it should. He is carrying a pretty high average, but just an average-ish on-base rate, due mostly to his low walk rate (5%). There is some power (3 HRs), but not a whole lot and it is mostly doubles (12 2Bs, .111 Isolated Slugging) power. Continue reading All-Star Worthy: Xander Bogaerts »

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