Fort Myers, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Eugenio Velez (8) dives back to the first base ahead of a tag from Boston Red Sox first baseman Lars Anderson (62) during the eighth inning of a spring training game at Jet Blue Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
If you're old like me, you may remember all the way back to the 2007 season when a young buck named Clam Barkhouse (or something like that) came up from the minors and no-hit the Baltimore Orioles. The final pitch, the one that cemented the no-hitter, was a brutal curveball that caught Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis looking. Or scared the crap out of him, one or the other. In the seasons that have passed since however, the pitcher who I've since learned is named Clay Buchholz has minimized that curveball. Whether it's been for health reasons, arsenal redefinition, or whatever, the lack of that weapon has changed him as a pitcher. Yet yesterday Buchholz threw the curve effectively and, according to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, he did it a "bunch of times." To me, that's great news. Maybe it's just the memory of that one pitch, but to me that hellacious curveball is the missing ingredient between the very good Buchholz and the greatness that was forecast.
Carlos Silva Will Have His Revenge on Boston. We will undoubtedly not miss him anyway.
GM Ben Cherington was interviewed by the WEEI baseball broadcasters, John Rish and Joe Castiglione. It was a wide-ranging interview that covered Carl Crawford, Lars Anderson, the TJ Three, the players out of options (Andrew Miller, Michael Bowden, and Felix Doubront), and a host of other information. Listen or read, your choice!Two of the more interesting prospects in the Red Sox system are, at least in my humble opinion, Garin Cecchini and Sean Coyle. Cecchini is a talented and hard hitting third base prospect who, in his first season in pro ball hit well in a small sample before hurting his wrist. Coyle is always compared to Dustin Pedroia because of his size, position (he too plays second base), and swing-from-the-heals style. The players are alike in some ways, though in many ways comparing anyone to Pedroia is unfair and a mistake. But regardless, Coyle and Ceccini are two good bets for breakout campaigns this season and both are previewed here by Chris Mellon of Sox Prospects.
The immortal Chip Buck of Fire Brand of the AL takes a look at the Red Sox shortstop situation and is, well there's no other word for it, underwhelmed.
Could Jose Iglesias be the starting shortstop for the Red Sox on Opening Day? Well, sure, but so could I. I mean not really, but in the sense that anything is possible, it could happen. I'd think the same about Iglesias's chances to start in Detroit on April 5th. However, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal begs to differ. Or just differs. Brian doesn't beg. Or at least not that I've seen. In any case, he suggests that Iglesias might make the opening day roster as a fill in for Carl Crawford until Crawford can return from the DL. Mr. MacPherson lays the options out so you can decide. It makes a good amount of sense, unless the Sox think those first few weeks of the year will be important to Iglesias in some way and thus need him to play every day.
Speaking of roster machinations, Mr. MacPherson also has a piece for the Journal about the Red Sox catching situation. As you might have speculated after the Sox signed Kelly Shoppach this winter, Ryan Lavarnway will likely be headed to AAA Pawtucket to work on his catching skills in the hopes that he can take over the position or some portion of it in the not to distant future. Shoppach is the place holder until that happens, or until the Braves decide they like Michael Bowden so much they just have to give up Brian McCann for him. Cross your fingers!
Finally, this play has nothing to do with the Red Sox other than that it is a baseball play and watching it over and over again through the magic of the GIF is both fun (because it's an awesome play) and reminds me that Opening Day is around the corner. Cheers to that.