- With tonight's start by Brad Penny, I thought I'd weigh in on the upcoming Penny-Smoltz-Buchholz situation. Basically, Smoltz will be major league ready on Tuesday (Penny's next go around in the rotation) and we're not paying him to strike out Toledo Mud Hens. Buchholz has looked like every bit of a budding ace this year and waits patiently. The best case is the Penny is traded (he can't be traded until next week because he was signed as a free agent), Smoltz steps in, and Buchholz gets whatever spot starts are surely to come up the rest of the season. The problem is that desperation isn't good for trade negotiations. My guess is the Sox will send Penny to any team that will pay his salary. Don't expect a starting shortstop in return.
- Pedroia is batting .219 with a .329 on base percentage since moving to the lead off spot. I vote for the return of Ellsbury (.299/.332 from leadoff) to the top of the order. Either he or JD Drew.
- Anyone else remember Bobby Scales impressing everyone (me and one other person i know) in the outfield in spring training a few years ago? Journeyman infielder just not good enough to make the majors, but boy does he play hard. Well, he's a Cub now and seeming to play pretty well.
- Speaking of the minors, firstbasemen, corner outfield prospect Aaron Bates was just called up to Pawtucket. He had sort of stalled in Portland the last few years. But this year, with some slight adjustments, he appears to be a real prospect again. This might make for some healthy firstbaseman of the future competition with The Lars.
- I think Dice-K is close. He's been wild and unhittable. He has pounded the strike zone and been pounded. His stuff is very good and I think he can find the happy medium soon and be very good again.
- ESPN color guy Rick Sutcliffe was a good pitcher, but he is a horrible commentator. It pained me last night to listen to him. He said Pedroia was struggling because he's swinging too hard. Aparently he's never seen Peddy swing before. He thought the Yankees would pitch around Youk to face Bay with the bases loaded because Bay had struck out three times. He failed to mention the Bay had an RBI single also and is leading the league in RBI's - Dave O'Brien did mention those. My point is the Sut stinks.
- Call me a sucker, but I'm happy that the Sox drafted Yaz's grandson.
- Am I the only Sox fan who didn't know that Jason Varitek and NESN sideline reporter Heidi Watney are an item?
- The return on Jed Lowrie in a week or two might spell the unceremonious end to Julio Lugo as a Red Sox. I see no reason the Sox would not dump him. He's going to cry about sitting at the end of the bench, if he can't run because of his leg he is pretty much worthless, and Nick Green has shown he's more than capable of serving as the utility guy.
CHRIS SALE TRADE: The Sox just got ace lefty Chris Sale for America's top prospect Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, another Basabe, and Victor Diaz. That's a true ace for a potential superstar who clearly needs more seasoning, a golden arm who seemed to be a possible headcase, and two lottery tickets. This is a very good trade for the Sox. While the Sox would have found room to play Moncada once he was ready, he didn't exactly fill a void with Peddy blocking him at second, Panda getting another shot at 3B this year, and 3B prospects Rafael Devers and Bobby Dalbec - and maybe Michael Chavis - not too far off possibly. Moncada might not be the biggest pain felt here. After trading Anderson Espinoza for Drew Pomeranz - a trade that is looking worse these days - the trade of Kopech leaves very little high-end pitching talent in the system right now. There is now a very large drop off after Jason Groome. Also, the loss of Basabe, Diaz, Dubon and Pennington today just really d…