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Sox News & Notes

*The platooning of Trot Nixon and Jay Payton has seemed to work out so far this season. Nixon is hitting .308 against righties, while Payton is hitting both successfully with a .357 batting average. I know Nixon doesn't like to sit so often, but this is for the best of the team at the moment. If Payton, or maybe even Nixon, severly drop off in production, then the other may see even more time in right field. But as of right now Francona is looking like a genius with this tandem.

*Anibal Sanchez, currently pitching for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, is absolutely lighting up the competition. Sanchez has pitched 10 innings and in those 10 innings has 22 strikeouts and zero walks. Last night against the Salem Avalanche, Sanchez struck out 14 batters in only six innings of work.

Sanchez is a stud now, and he will be a stud at the major leauge level. He can throw the fastball in the mid to high 90's and has a great curveball. Continue to watch Sanchez this season because odds are he'll continue this dominance all season long.

*Kevin Millar isn't THAT bad of a first baseman. He's not as good as Doug Mientkeiwicz, and will never be as good as him, but he's still decent and better than a lot of first basemen. I've become more and more comfortable with him at first, and it may come to the point where we don't need to substitute David McCarty in for him late in games. Knowing Francona we will still see McCarty in as the 'closer at first base,' but Millar deserves some recognition for the solid job he's done over at the first base bag.