‘Tis the season for giving. And for right hander, Jorge Marban, he’s been given a second chance at affiliated baseball by the Boston Red Sox.
Just two weeks ago, Marban was coming out of the bullpen for the Perth Heat and working on cutting down his walks in the early going of the 2014-15 Australian Baseball League season. The former Rangers prospect has a second chance at his baseball life after agreeing to a deal with the Red Sox. This follows three seasons in independent leagues across the U.S. and his first handful of games in Australia.
The following is from Tyler Maun of milb.com.
Marban first caught wind of the ABL while playing for Florence in the independent Frontier League last season. After asking his coaches if they had any connections in Australia, they didn’t, he was the beneficiary of a late-season transaction that set his course for Perth. The 25-year-old was sent to Southern Maryland of the Atlantic League, and before he even threw a pitch for the club, his new pitching coach put him in touch with Heat manager Steve Fish.
Joining the ABL’s reigning champions for the start of the league’s fifth season, Marban made a name for himself quickly, not allowing a hit or run through his first five outings. All the while, his manager — a part-time Boston scout — was keeping a close eye on the righty.
“After my outing against Canberra [his fifth appearance of the season on November 20], Fish calls me the next day and tells me to show up to the field early,” Marban said. “I show up early. I really don’t know what’s going on because it’s not like we’ve talked about this previously. I’m just running through my head, like, if I’ve gotten in trouble somewhere or what could be going on.
“He calls me into his office and just said, ‘Hey, the Red Sox want to have you play for them next year.’ He put the contract out in front of me, and I was just at a loss for words.”
The Canberra outing, during which Marban struck out three and walked one over two hitless innings, clinched the deal.
“I’d been struggling with my slider, and in that outing, I showed that I could throw my slider,” he said. “[Fish] was like, ‘That’s all we really needed to see. We like your fastball. We like your split-finger, and now that we see that you can throw your slider, we want you.’ I was pretty surprised.”
Marban made 35 appearances for Class A Hickory during the 2011 season, his second in the Rangers organization, but found himself out of affiliated ball for the next three seasons, appearing in 122 games for Florence and Southern Maryland during that time.
“I’ve learned so much throughout those three years in independent ball and developed so much as a pitcher,” he said. “That’s all I really wanted was one more opportunity, at what I think is the best I’ve been in my career, to give it one more shot. If things work out, great. If they don’t, it’s something you can accept with yourself knowing that you were at your best and did what you could.”
Through his first month in the ABL, Marban’s numbers are among the best in the league. After his five straight scoreless appearances to start the season, the righty has allowed runs in two of his last three but still boasts a 1-0 record, a save and a 2.25 ERA. He’s struck out 13 batters and limited opposing hitters to a paltry .081 average. Walks have been Marban’s biggest issue with 10 in his 12 innings.
“I got off to a good start,” he said. “I felt good out there. I wasn’t really overthinking too much. My last few outings, I guess I’ve put some extra pressure on myself that I don’t need. I’ve struggled a little bit. I’ve had a problem this year with my walks, but I was just coming out here trying to have fun, trying to get better throwing the ball over the plate. I’ve been successful doing so, so it’s just going back to that mindset to continue and have a great rest of the season.”
While the promise of Spring Training in Fort Myers awaits in February, Marban is ready to tend to the business of helping the Heat defend their Claxton Shield while thankful for the circumstances that have given him a long-awaited second chance.
“It is pretty crazy it took going halfway around the world to get an opportunity,” he said. “At first when I was here, I was a little homesick because I hadn’t been home for a while. I was honestly thinking about going home, but I talked to my family, and they told me to stick it out. Big things happened.
“Thank God I stayed.”
Congratulations Portland Sea Dogs
The Portland Sea Dogs were named Baseball America’s 2014 Minor League Team of the Year today. Finishing 88-54, the Sea Dogs won the Eastern Division of the Eastern League, but went on to lose to the Binghamton Mets 3-2 in the best of five first round playoff series. The last time the Sea Dogs won their division was 2005, and the only other time a Red Sox affiliate has won this award was in 1999 when the Trenton Thunder took home the award. Trenton was the Red Sox Double-A Affiliate from 1995 to 2002.
To read the full article by weei.com’s Alex Speier, click here: http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/minor-league-team-year-betts-leads-talented-sea-dogs/
Thanks for reading!
Because sometimes, you just have to laugh.
Oh David Ross. He is a gem and, truly, one of the nicest people in the game. Pretty funny too.
Is it February yet?!
And a BIG congratulations go out to pitcher Alex Wilson and his wife Kristin on the arrival of their brand new baby Rosie born today!
Happy Tuesday indeed!
A truly uplifting story of how Red Sox Prospect Matt Barnes spent his weekend uniting baseball players and helping kids in Connecticut.
From Tim Healey, associate reporter for MLB.com.
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The elementary school-aged ballplayer was still rubbing the sleep out of his eyes on Sunday morning when he walked into the Newtown Youth Academy. He couldn’t quite believe that this familiar face was standing right in front of him.
“Do you play for the Giants?” the youngster asked, not quite ready to believe his gut, but astutely noting the man’s black-and-orange sweatshirt.
“Yes, I do,” Joe Panik said.
Then came the follow-up.
“Are you … Joe Panik?” the boy asked.
“Yes, I am,” Panik said.
Smiles ensued, and that was only the beginning. The Giants second baseman was in town with a handful of other Major and Minor Leaguers to assist with a free kids baseball clinic, hosted by Red Sox pitching prospect Matt Barnes, for about 200 7- to 15-year-olds.
It was the second year in a row Barnes put together the clinic following the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. Barnes grew up in Bethel — which neighbors Newtown in southwestern Connecticut — playing against Newtown teams, on Newtown fields.
When unimaginable tragedy struck, Barnes’ greater social conscience kicked in. He wanted to help the community heal.
“I knew I wanted to do something,” said Barnes, who is ranked as Boston’s No. 11 prospect, according to MLB.com. “What better way for me to do it than through baseball?”
And so Barnes used his connections to make it happen. He enlisted the help of USA Baseball, whose collegiate team he played with before going pro. He called up one of his college buddies, Astros outfielder George Springer, himself a native of nearby New Britain, Conn., who was immediately down to join. This year, Panik, who is from not-too-far-away Hopewell Junction, N.Y., entered the fold.
Also helping out on the instruction end was A’s pitcher Evan Scribner, plus Minor Leaguers Troy Scribner (Astros), Conor Bierfeldt (Orioles), Alex McKeon (Red Sox), Zach Albin (Orioles) and about a dozen collegiate players. All of the athletes have local ties.
Free-agent lefty Craig Breslow, a Yale product from the area, also made an appearance.
“It’s good to be a part of it and have some fun with these kids,” Springer said. “Because of the events that led into [Barnes’ idea to give back], it’s a sad day, but just to help and be a part of this and give back to the state, and the town, is obviously great.”
Barnes’ clinic this year coincided with the halfway mark of the “26 Days of Kindness,” a stretch during which folks are encouraged to engage in charitable endeavors in honor of the 26 Sandy Hook victims.
For about four hours on Sunday, Barnes and the others presented a segment of the community an opportunity to escape any feelings that might be brought up by the approaching second anniversary of the shooting.
In one corner, Springer helped his attentive pupils practice their drop-step on outfield routes. In another, Barnes went over basic pitching mechanics. Later, Panik examined some kids’ double-play turns before taking a moment to realize, hey, it was only about a decade ago he was in their shoes, a young kid just happy to play ball.
“It’s something special that [Barnes is] doing, and obviously, you want to be a part of something like this,” Panik said. “To be doing something for these kids, it’s something that anybody should want to do. That’s why I’m happy Matt asked me to do this.”
Barnes said he’ll come back next year, and the Newtown Youth Academy certainly welcomes that idea. Why not, especially with the deep and talented supporting cast willing to lend a few hours?
“Not only does it show how good friends they are,” Barnes said, “but it really shows how much they care about giving back to the community as well, wanting to come out and help the kids have a fun day.
“I’m very fortunate to have guys like that.”
Each of the two sessions concluded with giveaways — baseballs, photos and bats signed by the ballplayers-turned-teachers. A set of Yankees tickets incited more hushed excitement from the kids than the Red Sox ones did, drawing a bit of playful ire from Barnes.
But that’s OK by him. It was, after all, about the kids. They left with a greater understanding of some fundamentals, perhaps, and a long-lasting memory for sure.
“It’ll give them,” Panik said, “something to smile at.”
Feeling a little full today? Me too…
But that didn’t stop me from having my traditional piece of pie for breakfast this morning.
Let the fasting begin!
I do hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with your families.
A lot has taken place in the last few days.
Pablo and Hanley are obviously official. The media has coined the two plus David Ortiz as the new “Three Amigos”. What do you think? And, do you think there will be an influx of Pandas in the Boston area? Will the Red Sox vendors sell those Panda hats that became so immensely popular in San Francisco over the last 7 years. Would you wear one?
Officially, welcome Pablo and Co.
To make room for Sandoval and Ramirez on the roster, the Red Sox designated the newly acquired Juan Francisco and longtime PawSox catcher Ryan Lavarnway for assignment.
Who likes homers? EVERYONE! How about the longest homers of the season by the Red Sox?
I found this to be an interesting read. I have no knowledge of the situation, but it’s intriguing. http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/11/27/some-red-sox-owners-poised-purchase-pawsox/Tj3YDozeBmap2p8bEO6qGM/story.html
PawSox Holiday Party Next Friday
And don’t forget that one week from today is the PawSox Holiday Party at McCoy Stadium. Join us December 5th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm for the PawSox Holiday Party. Food and games will all be in store for those who attend. Meet PawSox catcher Blake Swihart, pitcher Drake Britton and the PawSox holiday mascot Santa Paws.
Please enter McCoy through the main entry tower in left-field for this FREE event and help us celebrate the holidays PawSox style. The 2014 PawSox Holiday Party will be held inside the hallowed confines of the McCoy Clubhouse, batting tunnels, and team store. No RSVP is necessary and please feel free to bring family and friends.
The first 300 fans who make a $5 donation to the Pawtucket Red Sox Charitable Foundation will receive a photo snowglobe with Paws and the Governors’ Cup trophy.
Fans in attendance will have the chance to purchase tickets for the 2015 season as the Box Office will be open for walk-up business starting at 5:00pm. Food and drink will be served, baseball talk will fill the air, and the latest in PawSox merchandise will be available. We hope you will be able to join us with this traditional celebration.
Again, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Enjoy the weekend.
Pablo Sandoval AND Hanley Ramirez? It looks closer to being a done deal than not.
It was reported late last night that free agent 3B Pablo Sandoval was nearing a five-year deal with the Red Sox. BUT, a bit surprisingly, Hanley Ramirez entered into the mix as well.
While neither have been officially reported by the Red Sox, numerous sources have received confirmation of both signings.
According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Ramirez deal is a four-year, $88MM contract with a $22MM vesting option for a fifth season.
Ramirez, who hit .283 with 13 homers for the Dodgers last season and owns a .300 average for his career. In order to help his free agent case, Ramirez said he was open to switching positions, though his signing with the Sox opens up a number of possibilities on that front. He was a third baseman with the Miami Marlins once Jose Reyes came to town in 2012. Now, he might even play left field, leading to more speculation that the Sox could deal Yoenis Cespedes for a front line starter.
Even with the reported signings, Ramirez would join Yoenis Cespedes, Rusney Castillo, Shane Victorino, Allen Craig, Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts and Daniel Nava in a potentially VERY crowded outfield.
The other alternative for Boston would be to install Ramirez at shortstop, Sandoval at 3B and then look to deal Bogaerts, whose star-caliber ceiling would make him a major chip in any trade. Even if Bogaerts was dealt, the Red Sox wouldn’t have to deal with Ramirez’s shortstop glove for too long as prospect Deven Marrero could eventually take over, shifting Ramirez or Sandoval to DH (the other would play third) once David Ortiz retires. Ortiz’s contract is only guaranteed for the 2015 season, though the 39-year-old slugger has a pair of team/vesting options for 2016 and 2017.
However things break down, it’s clear that the Red Sox are looking to add as many top bats as possible in the increasingly pitching-dominated league. The Sox have been hesitant about signing free agents to long contracts given how several of their recent major signings (i.e. Carl Crawford, J.D. Drew, John Lackey, Adrian Gonzalez) provided minimal. On paper, Ramirez doesn’t fit the model of the safe signing that Boston would prefer given his age (he’ll be 31 on Opening Day), injury history and defensive issues, though given how little payroll space the Sox have tied up in future commitments, the club had plenty of flexibility. But, we was once a prized possession of the Sox before dealing him to the Marlins for Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett.
For Sandoval, he is a career .294 hitter with 106 home runs. He has been especially good in the postseason hitting .344 in 39 games and driving in 20 runs. And that’s with playing just 1 game in the 2010 World Series against the Rangers.
“Kung Fu Panda’s” contract is a five-year deal worth nearly $100 million reports CBS Sports’s Jon Heyman.
How about this potential lineup –
Rusney Castillo, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz DH
Yoenis Cespedes RF
Hanley Ramirez LF
Pablo Sandoval 3B
Mike Napoli 1B
Xanders Bogaerts SS
Christian Vazquez c
If Cespedes is dealt, Mookie Betts in RF?
Hot Stove…you bet! And the Red Sox aren’t done yet! Time to load up on arms.
Thanks for reading,
The Boston Red Sox reached their maximum amount of players on their 40-man roster yesterday as they added a quartet of talented prospects.
Catcher Blake Swihart, lefty Eduardo Rodriguez and infielders Travis Shaw and Sean Coyle are now protected from the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. All but Coyle saw time in Pawtucket this past season.
Swihart by a number of people as the catcher of the future for the Red Sox. He played the majority of the 2014 season with Portland, but spent the last month plus the playoffs with Pawtucket. Swihart’s hit .293 with 26 doubles, 4 triples, 13 homers and 64 RBIs. Swihart threw out 45.6 percent of attempted basestealers. He saved the PawSox season in the bottom of the 10th inning in Game of the Governors’ Cup Finals against Durham scooping up a throw from left field and tagging out the potentially series clinching run at the plate…all with a severely bruised left thumb which he sustained in the 1st inning.
Rodriguez is player the Red Sox acquired for lefty reliever Andrew Miller on July 31.
The 21-year-old Rodriguez split 2014 between Double-A affiliates Bowie (Orioles) and Portland, going 6-8 with a 3.60 ERA over 22 starts. He was at his best with Portland, allowing just four runs in six regular-season starts, posting a 0.96 ERA. He made one start with the PawSox in the postseason, the aforementioned Game 4 vs. Durham (7IP, 2 ER, 6 k, 2 BB in a no decision)
Shaw has some of the best power in Boston’s system. He slugged 29 doubles, 2 triples, 21 homers, 78 RBIs and scored 78 runs scored for Portland and Pawtucket. Against righties, Shaw was at his best, producing a .926 OPS. Over the last three seasons, the left-handed-hitting Shaw has belted 56 homers, the most of any Boston Minor Leaguer. He made just 1 error in 81 games at first base in Triple-A.
The 22-year-old Coyle spent all of 2014 with Portland, and he was named an Eastern League Midseason All-Star. He hit .295 with 23 doubles, a triple, 16 homers and 61 RBIs. He spent the fall in the Arizona Fall League.
Here is the breakdown of Boston’s 40-man roster.
Pitchers (17): Matt Barnes, Drake Britton, Clay Buchholz, Rubby De La Rosa, Edwin Escobar, Heath Hembree, Joe Kelly, Tommy Layne, Edward Mujica, Anthony Ranaudo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, Allen Webster, Alex Wilson, Brandon Workman, Steven Wright.
Catcher (4): Dan Butler, Ryan Lavarnway, Blake Swihart, Christian Vazquez.
Infielders (10): Xander Bogaerts, Garin Cecchini, Sean Coyle, Juan Francisco, Brock Holt, Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Travis Shaw, Jemile Weeks.
Outfielders (8): Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Bryce Brentz, Rusney Castillo, Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Daniel Nava, Shane Victorino.
Designated hitter (1): David Ortiz.
We mentioned a couple of days ago that OF Alex Hassan was claimed off of waivers by the Oakland A’s, he has since been claimed again by Baltimore. He was a member of the A’s for just over 24 hours.
The Red Sox also claimed INF Juan Francisco off of waivers from Toronto on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old played in 106 games for Toronto last season and could add some pop to a Boston lineup. While he hit just .220 average with the Blue Jays, Francisco belted 16 home runs and drove in 43 runs, averaging an extra-base hit every 11.8 at-bats, the ninth-best rate in the American League.
While Francisco has played first and third base in the Majors, the majority of his playing time has come at third.
Francisco has also played with the Reds, Braves and Brewers during his six-year career, combining to hit .236 with 48 home runs and 152 RBIs.
Happy Friday Everyone!!
The Orioles announced the signings of nine minor league free agents Wednesday, including two Red Sox farmhands, infielder Michael Almanzar and infielder/outfielder Derrik Gibson.
Almanzar will have an invite to major league spring training, while Gibson will report to minor league camp in Sarasota.
The right-handed hitting Almanzar, who will turn 24 on Dec. 2, was an Orioles’ Rule 5 pick last year. He was given back to the Boston Red Sox and then re-acquired in an August trade with the Red Sox (Ivan De Jesus to Boston which worked out well for the PawSox). Almanzar dealt with injuries early in the season and hit just .245 in 61 minor league games last season, but the Orioles are still intrigued by his upside as a potential power-hitting corner infielder.
Gibson is the most intriguing of Baltimore’s finds. A former 2008 second-round draft pick by the Red Sox out of Seaford, Del., he will turn 25 on Dec. 5. In 2014, he had a .290/.368/.396 batting line in 106 games between Portland and Pawtucket, his first exposure to the Triple-A level.
Gibson has played six different positions in his minor league career, and even though he played mostly in the outfield last season (47 games in center field, 19 in left field), the Orioles see him primarily as a shortstop who also could give the organization depth at second base and center field.
Best of luck to both in Baltimore!
The A’s claimed outfielder Alex Hassan off waivers from the Red Sox on Monday.
Hassan, 26, holds a career .396 on-base percentage spanning six Minor League seasons, including a .378 clip with the PawSox in 2014. The right-handed hitter also finished with a .287 average and eight home runs for Pawtucket.
Hassan was called up by the Red Sox on two occasions in 2014, and he went 1-for-8 with a walk in three games. He made his big league debut on June 1, notching a hit that afternoon against Tampa Bay.
Originally selected by Boston in the 20th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Hassan is a .291 career hitter in 538 Minor League games, and he has experience in both corner outfield positions and first base.
Hassan is entering his final option year, but Oakland seemingly has the roster flexibility to carry him at the Major League level, and his right-handed bat could be a nice complementary piece to Josh Reddick (another for Red Sox) and Sam Fuld at the corners.
The A’s also recently inked another former Red Sox farmhand, signing catcher Carson Blair to a Minor League deal.
On a personal note, I’d like to wish Alex the best with Oakland. He was a great leader in the clubhouse and should compete for an opportunity to be in the big leagues. Just too many outfielders in the Red Sox system.
Thanks for reading!
Do you ever sit back and wonder what you’d do if you won the lottery? Everyone does at some point.
If you’re Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, you just hit to lottery. This is on the heels of his reported 13-year, $325 million deal that will keep him in South Beach until 2027. It’s the largest and longest contract in professional sports history and Stanton just turned 25 last week.
While the deal hasn’t yet been made official, John Heyman of CBS sports reports that a press conference should be held later this week and “there is a clear understanding the deal will be finalized.”
The question, now, is how Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria will adjust the team’s payroll going forward. The Marlins have operated on a payroll between $40 million and $60 million in four of the past five seasons, but such a number won’t be feasible if and when Stanton’s annual commitment approaches or even exceeds $30 million per season. Stanton’s extension appears to be as much a statement to the city of Miami that the Marlins intend to compete as it does a commitment to an elite player.
So much for those rumors that the Red Sox were trying to land Stanton in a trade this offseason.
Not that the Sox are looking for more outfielders, they have plenty on the roster at the moment, but another big fish (pardon the Marlin pun) was dealt earlier today.
The Braves and Cardinals swapped prized possessions as St. Louis sent RHP Shelby Miller and prospect RHP Tyrell Jenkins to Atlanta for outfielder Jason Heyward and set-up man Jordan Walden.
With Heyward, that’s another “potential” target for the Red Sox, a slugging left-handed batter off to another club. His offensive game hasn’t developed to the superstar level that many had expected, though he still owns a lifetime .262 batting average. His 27 homers in 2012 give an idea of the power upside that Heyward offers.
In Red Sox news, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald thinks that while Jon Lester is their desired free agent pitcher, Boston should kick the tires on Max Scherzer or potentially trade for Cole Hamels. http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/red_sox_mlb/boston_red_sox/2014/11/red_sox_need_a_shot_in_arm
It has been widely reported that free agent 3B Pablo Sandoval will make a trip to Boston Monday night and meet with club officials throughout the day on Tuesday. The “Kung-Fu Panda” is said to be between the Red Sox and Giants.
Boston Globe columnist Nick Cafardo’s Sunday column was a good one, as usual. But one note in particular…
“Getting through the hype of Red Sox pitching prospects is something a few teams have worked hard on through their own evaluations. The biggest debate concerns Henry Owens and how his 92-mile-per-hour fastball and slow curve would play in the big leagues. One belief, however, is that lefthander Brian Johnson might be the best pitcher in the Sox system. Scouts also like Eduardo Rodriguez, who was obtained from the Orioles in the Andrew Miller deal. The Orioles, however, didn’t seem to fret over losing him, even for a rental.”
Two things with regards to Cafardo’s note…
1) Owens is only 22 and has put up unreal numbers the last two seasons. He may have had a couple duds with the PawSox in August/September, but if you look deeper into the numbers, Owens was bit by the big inning. Had he allowed 1 or 2 runs in the big frames, his numbers would have been even better. Limiting damage in innings will be Owens big challenge heading into 2015.
2) We saw 1 start each from Johnson and Rodriguez in the Governors’ Cup Finals (Game’s 2 and 4 respectively). Johnson was impressive for 6 innings and showed maturity/poise on the mound, no surprise being an old’ish’ pitcher at 23 out of college. And Rodriguez dealt with the PawSox season on the line in Game 4. Two runs over 7 innings and showed flashes of unreal stuff AND just 21 years old.
All three figure to be in the PawSox rotation in 2015.
Also, Minor League Baseball announced that the Pawtucket Red Sox are the recipients of the second annual John Henry Moss Community Service Award. The award was created in 2013 by Minor League Baseball in honor of the late John Henry Moss, who founded what would become the South Atlantic League in 1959 and headed the circuit until 2007. The Pawtucket Red Sox will receive their award at the Baseball Winter Meetings Banquet on Sunday, Dec. 7, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in San Diego, California.
And finally, the PawSox were honored by Providence College Saturday night for winning the Governors’ Cup. Here’s the video of the halftime ceremony…http://www.milb.com/multimedia/vpp.jsp?content_id=36931627&sid=milb
Thanks for reading!
The Battle of the Beltway that was expected in the World Series didn’t happen. But, for the Orioles and Nationals, their respective Managers, Buck Showalter and Matt Williams, earned Manager of the Year honors.
Showalter, 58, won his third Manager of the Year Award, with the others previously coming in 1994 with the Yankees and 2004 with the Rangers. His O’s won 96 games this season in a year when many believed the Red Sox, who were the defending World Champions, and the Yankees, who spent a half-billion dollars in free agency, would be fighting for the division. Baltimore made it all the way to the ALCS before being swept by the Royals.
Williams, meanwhile, won the award in his first year at the helm in Washington. The Nationals also won 96 games this season, though their postseason journey ended in the National League Division Series at the hands of the eventual World Champion Giants.
Pittsburgh’s Clint Hurdle and San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy finished second and third, respectively, in the NL balloting. The Angels’ Mike Scioscia and the Royals’ Ned Yost were the respective second- and third-place finishers in the AL. All skippers nominated lead their teams to the postseason.
Rookie of the Year
Monday, in no real surprise, the White Sox Jose Abreu was name the AL Rookie of the Year. The slugging 1st baseman bashed 36 homers, led the Majors with a .581 slugging percentage and clinched the American League award when Masahiro Tanaka partially tore his ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. Ozzie Guillen was the last White Sox player to win the ROY Award, all the way back in 1985.
Jacob deGrom paced National League rookie pitchers in almost every meaningful category. deGrom was the Mets’ ninth-round pick in the 2010 draft and was ranked as only the 10th-best prospect in the club’s system by the 2014 Baseball America Prospect Handbook. The 26-year-old opened several eyes in 2014 by posting a 2.69 ERA. This breakout campaign firmly adds deGrom’s name to a long list of young arms the Mets will be counting on as they look to return to contention. deGrom is the first Met to be named Rookie of the Year since Dwight Gooden took the honor in 1984.
The Angels’ Matt Shoemaker (40 points), the Yankees’ Dellin Betances (27), the Astros’ Collin McHugh (21) the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka (16) rounded out the top five in the AL voting. Billy Hamilton finished second in the NL balloting with 92 points, well ahead of the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong (14), the Phillies’ Ken Giles (8) and the Diamondbacks’ Ender Inciarte (4).
It’s always fun to look back…how about a look back at the last four years and who has won the Rookie of the Year award.
2013: Jose Fernandez and Wil Myers
2012: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout – The cream of the crop
2011: Jeremy Hellickson and Craig Kimbrel
2010: Neftali Feliz and Buster Posey
Impressive list of players. And Buster Posey has won three World Series rings AND an MVP (2012).
Red Sox News
The Hot Stove is literally heating up with the Red Sox. Heading into the offseason, it was no secret that Boston wanted to upgrade at third base and its starting pitching. And, as expected, they have dominated the “speculation” headlines at the General Managers meetings this week.
– An executive with another team says that Boston is “all-in” on third baseman Pablo Sandoval, reports Gordon Edes of ESPN.com. GM Ben Cherington discussed the team’s interest with reporters today. “We’ve met with several [agents], including [Vasquez], and had good constructive conversations with a lot of guys already,” he said. “All those conversations will continue. I don’t expect anything to happen this week, or maybe in the near term. This may play out. I expect many [conversations] to continue over the next few weeks.” Here’s the whole story…http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/11861086/boston-red-sox-making-big-push-sign-free-agent-pablo-sandoval
– Cherington says that the Red Sox have no hard and fast rule against giving long-term deals to slightly older starting pitchers, Edes reports. “It’s never been a hard policy,” he said. “We’ve made exceptions, and I’m sure there will be another exception. It’s a case-by-case thing.” As for Lester, specifically, Cherington said that he is “interested in having a conversation with him” and has some added comfort level given the team’s familiarity with Lester. “We need to add to our rotation,” Cherington added. “He’s obviously a known commodity, a proven guy in our market. He’s of obvious interest.” Both Cherington and fellow GM Jed Hoyer of the Cubs foresee a slow-developing market for starters. Here’s that article…http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/41087/cherington-sox-willing-to-make-exceptions
– The Sox are open to discussing a contract extension with manager John Farrell before the start of the year, reports Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. As things stand, Farrell is under contract for 2015 with the club holding an option for another year. Farrell and some of his staff are currently in Japan coaching the MLB All-Stars against the Japanese All-Stars. http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2014/11/11/source-red-sox-open-to-talking-contract-extension-with-john-farrell/
– Boston still sees Jackie Bradley Jr. as a future everyday center fielder, Cherington told Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. After a productive season in the field and sub-par campaign at the plate, the 24-year-old has perhaps lost some of his luster, though that could be in part due to expectations that raised wildly last spring. “I do think there are some teams that think of him that way — as they should,” Cherington said. “We think of him that way. We don’t know on what date that will happen, but we certainly still think of him that way — as an everyday-caliber center fielder.” JBJ was a finalist for the Gold Glove in centerfield, he lost out to Baltimore’s Adam Jones, who has won the award the last two seasons. http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/red-sox/content/20141111-cherington-red-sox-still-see-jackie-bradley-jr.-as-an-everyday-center-fielder.ece
And finally, this “Little Guy” is 6 weeks old today…WHAT!?!?!? #StopGrowingBrock
Thanks for reading!