Daily Red Sox Links: Jon Lester, Junichi Tazawa, Daniel Bard

Arlington, TX, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine (25) watches the game against the Texas Rangers from the dugout at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers won beating the Red Sox 9-1. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

The Red Sox are doing a good solid job of killing off any optimism that might be lingering. Feel like I've written this far too much over the last ten months, but yuck.

This is bound to be a reoccurring theme both here as well as in the national press, but the struggles of Jon Lester, a pitcher who should be in his prime, who should be delivering his best seasons, but is instead generating calls to be dropped from the rotation, is beyond odd. There are numerous theories as to what the problem(s?) could be. Paul Swydan looks at Lester's pitch selection and the quality of his pitches to see if he can find the culprit. (Paul Swydan; Fan Graphs)

Lester isn't tipping his pitches, but maybe his mechanics aren't right? Maybe he should be sent down. Or traded. Or DL'd. Or shot out of a cannon. (I kid! I kid!) Rob Bradford looks at the problems and attempts to find a few reasonable solutions. (Rob Bradford; WEEI.com)

One of the few golden rings around the dark cloud that is the Red Sox this season has been the performance of Junichi Tazawa. Tazawa was once thought of as a Quad-A kind of guy, but he has looked like a legitimate major league longman out of the bullpen this year, a performance that makes one wonder: could there be more here than we previously thought? (Tim Britton; The Providence Journal)

Even the worst of seasons (not that this is the worst of seasons; no, that would be last year) have their lighter moments. Anyone who saw Franklin Morales's pick-off move two Fridays ago would have to agree. (Matthew Kory; Baseball Prospectus; Free!)

Who are baseball's most valuable players and pitchers through the 2012 season? How about the least valuable? I won't spoil it but there aren't many Red Sox on the first lists and there is at least one on the second. (Glenn DuPaul; Beyond the Boxscore)

Who is the real Daniel Bard? Mike Scandura tries to find out. (MIke Scandura; Fire Brand of the AL)

One of the more depressing stories in Red Sox nation, aside from the performance of the starting pitching, has been that of minor leaguer and recent draftee Shaq Green-Thompson. Green-Thompson went 0-for-39 with 37 strikeouts for the Golf Coast League Red Sox. The performance was so awful it generated some sort of national attention. Alex Speier says it's no laughing matter. He also says that this might not be the last you'll hear from Green-Thompson (in a good way). (Alex Speier; WEEI.com)

You may have heard about a little trade yesterday that sent Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners to the New York Yankees. Here's some links concerning that deal:

  • The names are big (Ichiro!, the Yankees) but the end result won't do much if anything to affect the pennant race. (Jay Jaffe; SI.com)
  • The excellent Jeff Sullivan says good-bye to Ichiro from the pages of SB Nation blog Lookout Landing. (Jeff Sullivan; Lookout Landing)
  • SB Nation's Amy K. Nelson sums up the internet's reaction to the trade in this video. (Amy K. Nelson; SB Nation) (Warning: NSFW language is beeped, but not so you can't understand it)
  • The staff at Pinstriped Alley including the terrific Steven Goldman, take a look at what the acquisition of Ichiro means to the Yankees. (Steven Goldman; Pinstriped Alley)

Finally, if you enjoy depressing yourself, here is the great Red Sox message board Sons of Sam Horn on who the Red Sox should deal off by the deadline. ("Yard Sale;" Sons of Sam Horn)

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