Joe Kelly impressed in his season debut as he held the Yankees to just one run on one hit in seven innings. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

After the most brutal winter in the history of Boston, the start of a new season of Red Sox baseball is just what we needed. The temperature is finally rising and there is legitimate buzz surrounding this team. Thanks to the additions of high-profile free agents Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, the young players like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts have a great supporting cast while they develop. The biggest problem with the lineup last year was lack of veteran depth, forcing the younger players to carry the load way too early. This year their biggest strength on offense is their depth. It’s a good sign when you’re able to send one of your highest paid players in Rusney Castillo to triple A to start the year, and you’re still 4-1.

– With all the additions on offense there was a huge loss this off-season when the Red Sox weren’t able to bring Jon Lester back to Boston. Instead they traded for Wade Miley and Rick Porcello, and signed Justin Masterson. Without being able to lock down a sure ace pitcher, they filled the rotation with a bunch of guys who all have the ability to post double-digit wins. Another benefit of this pitching staff is age. Buchholz and Masterson are the oldest at 30, and they locked Porcello, 26, up for four more years at about $82 million. All five of these pitchers have shown the ability to be great in their careers, but as cliche as it sounds it all depends on their health. The offense is good enough to bail the pitching out of some games, but at the end of the day pitching wins championships. I do expect some young arms down in the farm such as Matt Barnes and Henry Owens to make an appearance at some point in the year to add to the team whether it be in the bullpen or the rotation. Continue reading Red Sox Weekly Round Up: Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz Shine Early »

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2015 MLB Expert Picks

April 7, 2015 at 7:58pm in Featured, MLB, Now!, Opinion, Red Sox
Jon Lester headlined a free agent class that saw more than a few big names change teams, with trades sure to come in time. (David Banks/Getty Images)

Baseball season is finally here, with a game in the books. Lots of offseason moves were made, especially with top pitchers, but just before the games got underway, San Diego acquired elite closer Craig Kimbrel and pricey outfielder Melvin Upton (formerly BJ, who rejoins his brother Justin) from Atlanta in a rare right-before-the-season deal.

All the moving made it a real possibility that last year’s playoff bracket could get shaken up quite a bit this year. Seattle and San Diego made plenty of acquisitions to bolster needs, and it’s making them trendy picks. Ditto for the Red Sox. As for the likes of Baltimore, Kansas City and San Francisco, who lost some key pieces, it’s tougher to see how the losses will affect them, especially with the teams around them in their divisions also having to be considered.

But that’s the fun of picking winners and losers as the season begins, and that’s why we’re here. Scoring is as before:

  • Correctly guessing a team to make the playoffs is worth one point, or two points for guessing a division winner instead.
  • Correctly guessing which team will finish #1 in each league is worth five points, then four points for #2, and so on.
  • Correctly guessing which #1 seed will finish with MLB’s best record is worth two points.
  • In the event of a tie, we’ll also be guessing which team will finish with MLB’s worst record, then second-worst, then third.

So check below for everyone’s picks, and be sure to come back at season’s end for the results. Continue reading 2015 MLB Expert Picks »

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Rick Porcello

Rick Porcello hasn’t thrown a pitch for the Red Sox, but the team has made him a very rich man.

The Red Sox, fresh off a big 8-0 win on Opening Day, have signed the 26-year-old free-agent-to-be Porcello to a four-year deal that covers the 2016-2019 seasons. Porcello will earn a $500,000 signing bonus, $20 million in 2016 and 2017 and $21 million in 2018 and 2019.

Porcello earns $12.5 million this season.

The casual fan will look at the contract and say, “Why didn’t we offer that to Jon Lester?” Decent question. Continue reading Red Sox Sign Rick Porcello to 4-Year, $82.5 Million Contract »

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Clay Buchholz is the Opening Day starter for the Red Sox, hopefully with a few more fist pumps than his counterpart Cole Hamels. (CBS Sports)

Summer is coming.

The 2015 Major League Baseball season kicked off Sunday night, and the Boston Red Sox will follow Monday afternoon with their season opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. As exciting as the prospect of real, regular season baseball season is (this is me for the past week), the Red Sox starting pitching situation is exactly the opposite.

After losing the Jon Lester sweepstakes to the midwestern Red Sox (aka Chicago Cubs), the Red Sox never did get a big ticket name to lead their pitching staff. Instead, in an announcement surprising no one, Clay Buchholz will be the Opening Day starter for the Red Sox. Opposite him for the Phillies? Cole Hamels, ironically.

Continue reading Red Sox Kick Off 2015 Season with Buchholz as “Ace” »

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c.vazquez.newslocker

Christian Vazquez’s 2015 season ended Wednesday with the announcement that he would undergo Tommy John surgery. Thursday night, journalist and broadcaster Rob Bradford tweeted that the surgery conducted on the catcher’s elbow by Dr. James Andrews was successful.

Veteran catcher Ryan Hanigan will be the primary catcher for the Boston Red Sox and the newly acquired Sandy Leon, a 26-year-old catcher formerly with the Washington Nationals, will serve as Hanigan’s backup. The Sox cannot be expecting much run production from Leon, who owned a .156 batting average last season. The potential for Leon lies in his defensive abilities. In 20 games last season, he put out 154 runners given 164 chances. Continue reading Christian Vazquez Undergoes Successful Tommy John Surgery »

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MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez will seek a second opinion this week on the elbow of his throwing arm after it was announced Friday that he was experiencing soreness. Last week he had an MRI and something came up, but nothing further was said about the initial imaging. Manager John Farrell stated to reporters that the team was still very much in “fact-finding mode.” No further details were given at Friday’s Red Sox press conference.

It is unclear as to whether Vazquez will see time behind the plate any time soon.

Farrell offered, “The positive thing is, whatever happens, he won’t have to deal with it the rest of his career. Get it taken care of now. I don’t know the details or what they’re saying now, but I was looking forward to working with him this year.” Continue reading Christian Vazquez Seeks Second Opinion on Throwing Arm »

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Allen Craig

According to ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes, a number of teams have begun preliminary negotiations with the Red Sox over Allen Craig, who can play the outfield, first base and third base.

Sure, Craig was a disaster after coming over in the John Lackey trade, but he’s a definite major league hitter with a good amount of pop in a league with a dearth of it.

In limited time with the Red Sox, his first at-bats as a player in the American League, Craig hit .128 in 29 games. He’s a better player than that, having hit .300 or better the previous three years with the Cardinals. Continue reading Red Sox Trade Rumors Swirl Around Allen Craig »

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