Daily Red Sox Links: Kevin Youkilis, Jose Vinicio, Rafael Betancourt

St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox infielder Jacoby Ellsbury (2) is congratulated by third baseman Will Middlebrooks (64) after he scored a run in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Boston Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 703. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Yesterday, Nick Cafardo wrote an article declaring that the Red Sox offense needs to step it up more in "clutch" situations. Now, anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I'm not exactly the biggest Cafardo fan there is, but I do give him the benefit of the doubt because he is a quality reporter with high levels of access to the team. However, with men in scoring position, amongst all MLB teams, the Sox rank seventh in wOBA and OPS, and eighth in wRC+. With men on base, they are tied for first in wRC+, while ranking third in wOBA and OPS. Looking strictly at high leverage situations, though, Cafardo may have a point. Their offense ranks in the bottom ten in all three categories in those situations. His anecdotal evidence in the article may not be the best way to present his argument, but it seems "clutchness" may be a legitimate problem with this team. (Nick Cafardo; Boston Globe)

  • I'm not sure if you guys have heard, but Kevin Youkilis will be making his return to Fenway tonight. There has also been some bad blood between him and Bobby Valentine. Here's to hoping Bobby V can keep his mouth shut during this series. (Tim Britton; Providence Journal)
  • Speaking of the return of Youk, Steve Buckley has an interesting take on the feud between the player and manager, and where exactly Valentine went wrong in this whole spat. (Steve Buckley; Boston Herald)
  • Between Jose Iglesias, Xander Bogaerts, and Deven Marrero, the Red Sox farm system seems to be pretty deep at the shortstop position. The young Jose Vinicio just may add himself to that list. (Evan Brunell; Fire Brand of the AL)
  • Surely any fan of prospects has heard of Billy Hamilton and his super-human speed. Here, I present footage of his inside-the-park home run yesterday in which he rounded the bases in a ridiculous 13.8 seconds. (Matt Snyder; CBS' Eye On Baseball Blog)
  • As I pointed out a couple weeks ago, the Red Sox bullpen has pitched well lately, and stands to improve when guys return to the big league roster. However, that hasn't stopped the front office from targeting relievers, such as Rafael Betancourt. (Conor Duffy; BoSox Injection)
  • Baseball fans everywhere (myself included) have been clamoring for more replay to be instituted, and sooner rather than later. However, Anna McDonald says it's probably not smart to dismiss the opinions of people involved in the game so quickly. (Anna McDonald; ESPN's Sweetspot Blog)
  • Jacoby Ellsbury has returned to the leadoff spot in the Red Sox lineup, much to the delight of Sox fans everywhere. With that being the case, is he the most dynamic leadoff man in all of baseball? (NESN)
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