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Author: @bostonsportsahd

Red Sox Trade Potential 2019: Rafael Devers For Kris Bryant

A shock-wave spread across the MLB Hot Stove when Buster Olney reported that the Chicago Cubs could trade Kris Bryant.  The Red Sox minor league system is bare, but Rafael Devers is young, cheap, talented, and a powerful trade chip.  Would a Rafael Devers Kris Bryant swap make sense? Rafael Devers Devers can be seen as a Red Sox wunderkind.  He will only be 22 years old at the start of 2019 season.  At that tender age, his accomplishments are many.  Here are just a few: His Baseball Reference page compares him at a similar age to Willie Mays and Cal Ripken Jr. He’s the youngest Red Sox player to hit a Home Run since Tony Conigliaro in 1965. He has a .884 OPS in the postseason including 3 Home Runs and 14 RBI in 15 games. Because of these, and many other great performances, most consider him an untouchable.  And for the vast majority of all the talent in all the world, he is. But what if he could be the centerpiece, or only piece, in a trade for one of the best young players in all of baseball? Kris Bryant Kris Bryant himself is seen as a Chicago Cubs wunderkind.  At the tender age of 26, he has already been a Rookie Of The Year, an NL MVP, and linchpin of a 2016 World Series Championship for the...

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Red Sox Free Agency 2019: Does Charlie Morton Compare to Nathan Eovaldi?

One of the surprises of the 2019 Free Agency crop in Major League baseball is that Charlie Morton is available.  The Astros did not sign him before he hit free agency and they did not extend him a qualifying offer. Nathan Eovaldi In Demand Why does that matter to the Red Sox?  Because Nathan Eovaldi is suddenly starting to attract attention in the market.  A quick google search will show the Yankees’ interest.  And shockingly, curveball enthusiast Lance McCullers is going to miss the 2019 season for the Astros due to Tommy John Surgery.  According to many, this puts Eovaldi on the Astros list. All of this is to say, the Red Sox will have a lot of competition for Eovaldi.  And while we rightly sing songs to his World Series heroics, it’s not like Eovaldi is the second coming of Pedro Martinez.  So it’s worth asking, if Eovaldi signs elsewhere, are there legit replacements available? Charlie Morton Let’s play a choose your own pitcher game.  Here are the average stats for the past two active seasons of each pitcher.  One of these is Charlie Morton, the other is Nathan Eovaldi: Pitcher A: 118 innings, 23 starts, 4.28 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 Pitcher B: 157 innings, 27 starts, 3.53 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 Can you guess which is which?  A is Eovaldi, B...

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Red Sox Free Agency 2019: Is Marwin Gonzalez A Fit?

When last we gazed on the 2018 Red Sox, the view was majestic.  But the 2018 season is over, and second base is a need.  Could Marwin Gonzalez meet that need? On The Roster Now For over 10 years, Dustin Pedroia was the guardian of second base and the second spot in the batting order for the Red Sox.  Before the dark times, before Manny Machado. But let’s not be too harsh.  Machado’s spike and the aftermath, it could be argued, ended with the Sox getting Alex Cora.  That’s a great thing! Pedroia is making a lot of money.  He’s on the books for an average of $13.75 million until 2021.  And that would be fine if he could play.  But the outlook is extremely iffy. He had knee cartilage restoration surgery in late 2017, followed by arthroscopic surgery to remove scar tissue in late July of this year. I’m not a doctor, I don’t even play one on the Boston Sports Extra website, but because of those knee surgeries, I’m not hopeful for a full recovery. Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt are the remaining possibilities at second base.  But Nunez is a DL stint waiting to happen, while Brock Holt provides limited returns the more he plays. Look, I love me some Brock Holt, but he’s averaged 89 games a year for the past 3 years.  He’s not...

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The 2019 Red Sox Bullpen: The Craig Kimbrel Question

There are changes coming to the 2019 Red Sox Bullpen.  Yesterday I took a look at Joe Kelly.  The biggest piece, closer Craig Kimbrel, is today’s focus..  Is he worth paying to keep and what are some options out there? Craig Kimbrel In 2017 Craig Kimbrel was the 800 lb gorilla of all time Red Sox closers.  5-0 with 35 saves and a 1.43 ERA.  If he had been given more opportunity I’m sure he would’ve had even more saves. Using a 3 year average is an attempt to have some perspective, but in Kimbrel’s case the 2017 season has a massive effect.  Because Kimbrel’s three year stats are, frankly, amazing: 14.8 K/9 and a 2.52 ERA. Even then though, the walks show through: 3.8 per 9 innings.  That’s a lot of base runners.  When he’s on his game and striking out the world, it works.  When he’s not, let’s just say Alex Cora going with Chris Sale to close out game five says a ton.  And Kimbrel giving up a two run home run to Kiki Hernandez of all people in game four brought back all those non save situation failures from prior years. All of this is to say Kimbrel’s not a guarantee to bring back as the 2019 Red Sox closer.  But who is out there who could be a good fit?  Closers who have working...

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The 2019 Red Sox Bullpen: Joe Kelly or David Robertson

There are changes coming to the 2019 Red Sox Bullpen.  Two big pieces, closer Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly, are both free agents.  Who is worth paying to keep and what are some options out there? Today is the beginning of our deep dive into those questions.  We start with Joe Kelly. Joe Kelly Kelly had an indelible stamp on the 2018 team.  He started the year by blowing game 1.  He became Jim Buchanon and started a Joe Kelly Fight Club faze when he called out Tyler Austin of the Yankees.  Then he became an afterthought and albatross around the neck of the bullpen as the summer dragged on. But then, in the playoffs, the mid-bullpen became a strength, because he became a strength.  In six innings in the World Series he had a 0.00 ERA and 10 strikeouts.  That is domination. However, is that the Joe Kelly we know for any other stretch of time?  His ERA over the past three years has been 4.12 during the regular season.  His fastball has averaged 97.8 MPH over that same time.  How is that? It has been noted frequently that his fastball is straight, and he could not get his breaking ball over for strikes.  This lead to walks, a lot of them.  Almost 5 per 9 innings, 4.67 to be exact. It feels like instead of only relying...

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Boston Red Sox World Series Championship Game 5 Recap

The 2018 World Champion Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 and cemented their status as the most dominant team in baseball. Steve Pearce This was a win that felt inevitable from the first pitch.  Thanks to World Series MVP Steve Pearce it pretty much was. Over 3 at bats at the end of game 4 and the beginning of game 5 Pearce was unstoppable.  2 Home Runs, a Double, and 6 RBI.  He threw in another homer in the 8th to put the cherry on top of this Championship. Turns out that kind of performance puts you shoulder to shoulder with MLB Legends.  Here’s a couple of facts that stand out. Steve Pearce joins Babe Ruth in 1927 and Lou Gehrig in 1928 with at least one home run and three RBI in back to back World Series Games. Pearce, Ruth, and Ted Kluszewski are the only players in history to have a multiple home run game at age 35 or older in the World Series Pearce told Andrew Benintendi before the series started that he wanted to win World Series MVP so he could go to the owners’ box at a Patriots game and sit with Bob Kraft and Bon Jovi.  Mission accomplished my man. I thought this World Series would invoke Legends, little did I know Steve Pearce would join them. David...

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David Price, Red Sox Win, Game 2 Recap

The Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series.  David Price was locked in, the relentless 2 out offense was in bloom, and now the Sox have a 2-0 lead. We’re not in the peak Eck ‘Time To Party‘ zone yet, but man oh man are we getting close! David Price Once again, @DAVIDprice24 had complete control on the mound tonight. Controlling his adorable son? Not as easy.😂 pic.twitter.com/7XNd9PafEm — Cut4 (@Cut4) October 25, 2018 Live it up David.  Any man who goes six innings with three hits allowed and two earned runs in the World Series gets to have his kid up there bring some levity. While Price was busy rewriting his post season narrative, the offense continued to do things we have never seen.  The mantra for offense in baseball is batting with runners in scoring position.  For premium offense it’s all that plus doing it with two outs. There is David Ortiz clutch, in which a singular individual gets hit after hit to win games in the post season.  Then there is this team’s version. In the top of the 5th inning, Hyun-Jin Ryu was steamrolling the Red Sox lineup.  He got Ian Kinsler to ground out and JBJ to hit a weak infield fly.  He got Christian Vazquez to an 0-2 count.  Then it began. Vasqy keeps his...

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Alex Cora, Right Again

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports It’s Alex Cora’s world.  We’re all just living in it. Cora continues to absolutely dunk on his managerial opponents, including in the 2018 World Series. This game is a prime example of his managerial domination.  By the time the 7th inning was over, Dave Roberts had used all of his bench players and the game was effectively over. Dave Roberts Makes Mistakes Let’s get one thing straight.  I love Dave Roberts.  I was part of the Fenway crowd giving him all kinds of love last night during introductions. But he seemed befuddled when his team couldn’t quite take the lead.  This caused him to completely empty his bench in the top of the 7th to try and score some runs. Greg Amsinger of the MLB Network did a piece on how Roberts was too humanized to manage well.   Nonsense arguments like this happen when things don’t work for a team.  Things that used to work just last week in the NLCS. Those things don’t work anymore because you are facing Alex Cora’s Red Sox. Alex Cora Is A Clairvoyant Genius In this game, he started little brother Rafael Devers at third base over Eduardo Nunez.  That’s interesting because Nunez has started all year when the Red Sox face a left handed pitcher like Clayton Kershaw.  It’s match-up based. But Cora decided to buck the match-up,...

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Jackie Bradley Jr. A Better Option

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa) The Mookie debate about where he should play in Dodger stadium is so obviously over.   But that means someone else in the outfield has to sit.  It’s a grudge match between Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.  Let’s get ready to rumble! By The Stats I’m not going to flood you with statistics.  Suffice to say, JBJ was close to 20% better than Benny in September against left handed pitching.  That’s important, because the bulk of the best pitching on the Dodgers is left handed. In the playoffs against all pitching, JBJ is a full 50% better than Benny.  I’ve made light of Jackie’s three swings bringing him the MVP of the ALCS, but they were pretty big swings.  Remember Papi in 2013 off Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit? [embedded content] Papi only hit .248 in that ALCS.  But that one swing in game 2 changed everything. Now from Jackie we have this in the 2018 ALCS: [embedded content] Sure, Jackie hit just .200, but that was no slap hitter .200.  That was a Herculean .200.  Can you remember any Benintendi at bats like that in the past month?  Much fewer and farther between than from JBJ. Almost Clear Cut The fact remains these are small sample sizes we’re talking about.  Jackie’s streaky hitting is legendary around here.  How many times have we seen him hot as...

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Mookie Betts Should Not Play Second Base in the World Series

Per The Ringer The news that Mookie Betts could play at second base is percolating in the World Series buildup.  It’s thrilling, exciting, and fascinating to think about.  Could Mookie play second when the World Series moves to Chavez Ravine? THE CASE FOR MOOKIE AT SECOND .@redsox @mookiebetts working on the double play pivot with Dustin Pedroia during Sunday’s #RedSox workout. Alex Cora may possibly put Betts at 2nd when #WorldSeries shifts to LA for Game 3 Friday due to no DH in the National League. #WBZ @WBZ pic.twitter.com/HYmLr0yVxx — Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) October 22, 2018 I love Rochie.  Who doesn’t love Rochie?  To dream like him and be filled with wonder like him, that is living.  And it’s not just pure fandom rooting for this.  There are others making the argument that it truly makes sense.  The noted Yankee fan MLB writers at The Ringer are making the case. BETTS WANTS TO PLAY SECOND There is something Rochie, and others salivating over Betts at second footage, don’t realize or mention: Betts has been doing this all year. Betts is like that kid at CVS begging and touching all the candy when Mom and/or Dad have their hands full with prescriptions.  He’s the relentless ‘A ‘ student begging teachers for every last point.  He’s Bugs Bunny to the Red Sox coaching staff’s Daffy Duck. It is undeniable.  Mookie Betts wants...

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The Red Sox Dodgers Preview Extravaganza

The Dodgers just dispatched the upstart Brewers and move on to face the Red Sox in the 2018 World Series.  Cue the grainy black and white photos of The Babe in a Red Sox uniform. Let us see the Dropkick Murphy’s grinding rendition of Tessie.  Cue fans using the Brooklyn Robins in barroom and water cooler talk, and a million google searches for ‘Red Sox-Dodgers world series history’ hitting the 1916 World Series page on Wikipedia.  Cue every old Brooklyn Dodger fan coming out of the woodwork, and the slightly less grainy photos and videos of Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, and Pee Wee Reese. A mountain of content on the 1988 LA Dodgers World Series winners will come out. Cue Fever Pitch where the old guy counts off the string of Red Sox world series wins in 1912, 1915, 1916, 1918. Prompt Dave Roberts making his fateful steal in the bottom of the 9th in game 4 against Mariano Rivera.  Cue pictures of Alex Cora in an LA Dodgers uniform. The rating of this series is through the roof!  It’s an old-school, original 6 type of World Series that will be chock full of intrigue and potential controversy. Detroit Public Library THE RED SOX With a resounding thud, all the doubting and putting down of the 2018 Red Sox has been pushed off the desks of commentators nationwide.  This...

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Raising a Glass to Rick Porcello

Let’s take a minute to appreciate Rick Porcello from the ho hum, nothing to see here, game three of the ALCS in Houston.  He comes in to start the fourth inning and proceeds to give up a pesky pole special, a 326 foot homer to Mookie’ Betts’ best pal, and number 9 hitter, Tony Kemp.  Tony Kemp.  What a gnat.  If the script was flipped and Houston wins in five it might’ve been him instead of our beloved JBJ being the ALCS MVP.  Then he faces the daunting top of the Astros lineup. THE SETTING Just imagine: The roof is closed on Minute Maid park, the smell of leather, sweat, the Jackson Street BBQ and Taco Trio in the air.  The awesome noise of the Houston fans pounding on his amygdala.  It’s Alex Bregman at bat looking to atone for inciting the Sox with his Instagram post before game 3.  Can we get an Instagram post of this sweet 102 MPH dot he swung through in his last at bat of the season?  You know, this one.  Ah, I think David Price said it better.  “Post that” 😂😂😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/sG7LZ2n6zs — Justin Duarte (@JDuarte15) October 19, 2018 THE PITCHING At one point in the series Bregman was slashing a .000 batting average, .700 on base average, and .000 slugging percentage that was blowing statisticians minds.  Porcello dispatched the 800 lb...

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