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Boston Red Sox Fire & Ice: Mike Napoli Hot, Jake Peavy Cold

June 30th, 2014 at 1:55 PM
By Sean Penney

Is it too early to rave about Mookie Betts being on fire? The hyped prospect was promoted by the Boston Red Sox over the weekend and already Mookie Mania is running wild! He's only played one game so far, going 1 for 3 with a walk and a run scored in his debut. So yeah, it's too soon. Expectations of him becoming the savior for this struggling offense have been set unreasonably high, but if he adjusts as well to the majors as he did to his promotion to Triple-A earlier this season, we may see him in this column soon enough.

Keith Allison / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Fire

Mike Napoli
Past 7 Days: .412/.524/.882, 2 HRs

Napoli has been swinging a hot bat over the past week, leading the team in average, OBP and total bases (15). One of his two home runs this week was a game winning shot in the 9th inning off of Masahiro Tanaka. Napoli called the Yankees ace an "idiot" for throwing him that pitch, but with the way he's been hitting lately, Napoli has made a lot of pitchers look foolish. He may have also unintentionally added fuel to the slumbering rivalry between the two teams with his words, which were caught on an audio recording by Fox during Saturday night's broadcast. 

Jon Lester
Past 7 Days: 1-0, 8.0 innings, 0 earned runs, 6 strikeouts

Lester went into Yankee Stadium for a showdown of aces against Tanaka and proved up to the challenge. Tanaka may be one of the favorites for the AL Cy Young this year, but Lester proved to be the better pitcher that night, holding the Yankees to only an unearned run over 8 innings. Lester is now in the top 10 in the AL in innings, wins, ERA and strikeouts. He's set to become a free agent after the season after rejecting Boston's offer for an extension back in April, but sources said after his last start that the Red Sox have re-engaged Lester's representatives in hopes of getting a deal done before the season ends so he doesn't hit the open market. Lester claims there has been no new offer yet, but that may be coming soon. Stay tuned.

Ice Cold

Xander Bogaerts
Past 7 Days: .056/.056/.056

Bogaerts is 1 for his last 18 at the plate with only a measly single. His slump has essentially been going on all month long and the Red Sox finally decided to drop him in the order from the two spot all the way down to the seventh spot in the lineup. The rookie has all the tools and pedigree to become a future star in this league, but it will be interesting to see how he responds to his first prolonged slump. 

Jake Peavy
Past 7 Days: 0-1, 5 innings, 8 hits, 7 runs

Peavy's struggles continue, with his latest outing pushing his ERA to a season worst 4.93. After a strong start to the season, Peavy has been a mess since about mid-May. With the rest of the rotation getting healthier, you have to wonder how much longer they will stick with him if his performance doesn't improve. If he can't get the job done on Monday against the lowly Chicago Cubs, there is some thought that the team may be looking to move on. Perhaps an NL team in a pitcher friendly stadium could find a use for him, as long as Boston ate the majority of his remaining salary. Not that the Sox would get much for him, considering his value is at an all-time low, but the primary reason for it would be to open a spot for Rubby De La Rosa in the rotation.

Tags: Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Jake Peavy, Jon Lester, Mike Napoli, MLB, Xander Bogaerts

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