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Playing Pepper

Ok, it's been a month. I'm sorry. I thought I'd try to come back with a little pepper:
  • The idea of trading Jacoby Ellsbury this offseason is remarkably stupid. He's injured so his value has gone down. If you were to want to trade him - a bad idea to begin with - you should trade him when he's more valuable then now. Also, broken bones heal and don't tend to be nagging injuries. Next year, he should be fully healed and tearing it up on the base paths again. There is something messed up about the "he's soft" idea. Pedroia came back and played only two games before calling it quits. Why isn't he "soft"? Ellsbury is clearly injured according to these mysterious things called x-rays and, on top of that, his game is one built largely on diving. The only legitimate complaint might be that he hasn't spent much time with the team since he went down the second time. But that is completely unrelated to the "soft" argument. The simple stupidity of the idea that he should come back because Wes Welker has makes my brain hurt. I find it so ignorant it borders on hateful. Shut up.
  • Ryan Kalish has been extremely exciting to watch and he has a ton of talent, but in a pennant race it appears that teams have figured something out with him. It might be time to go with his competition in the organization whose tearing it up in Pawtucket: Josh Reddick. It's time to ride the hot hand in center and that man would seem to be Reddick.
  • Speaking of center, Darnell McDonald has been the unsung hero of this team. While Nava has a better story, Beltre has been the best hitter, Scutaro has been more prominent in his solid play, it's McDonald from who we expected nothing and got a solid everyday major league player who can do just enough of everything to be valuable every day. I truly hope he returns next year even if he sits on the end of the bench - hopefully for the Sox sake he spends a lot of time on the bench and pinch running.
  • Speaking of surprise heroes, thought I'd let you know that last year's star stopgap, utility infielder Nick Green, has fallen back to earth this year. After playing 104 games last year and coming up with just enough hitting and athletic (albeit erratic) defense to keep us afloat in 2009, he's played 14 games for the Dodgers and Jays and has 3 hits. He's now playing for the Padres AAA team in Portland, Ore. There, he's in the same lineup as former Sox out"fielder" Wily Mo Pena, whose been in the independent league this year. That guy's still only 28 years old and built like a petite grizzly bear. I think he may have eaten Devern Hansack.
  • How do you segway off of a Wily Mo Pena bear joke?
  • I wonder if the Sox will try to resign V-Mart. He's a really good hitter but probably not good enough to be a full time DH/1B down the road if he's looking for a long-term deal. I'd be fine if they brought him back but it might be time to take a leap of faith with Salty. He's only 25 and has the talent to be V-Mart. Tek is a free agent after this year and maybe he'd come back for another year as a backup for much cheaper. He'd really get a chance to tutor with Salty. Meanwhile, Sox have a glut of good - not great - catching prospects at every level of the system.
  • Speaking of minor league catchers - oh yeah, now you're excited! - the Sox have a kid in Portland named Ryan Lavarnway. He tore up single A Salem before being called up and continues to show very good power. He's 23 years old out of Yale where he led the country in hitting. He led the Sox minors in homers last year and will probably do that again this year. He's 6'4" 225. My point? Why are they trying to teach this guy to catch when he didn't catch much until 2007? Seems like he should learn to play first and work on hitting the ball a mile. Just a thought.
  • For the record, I love Mike Lowell. I've been accused of being a Lowell basher.
  • Rosters expand on Wednesday. Looks to me like they'll call up Salty, lefty Dustin Richardson, righty Michael Bowden, Reddick, maybe righty Robert Manuel (what a great year he's had in Pawtucket) and utility speedster Eric Patterson. They might consider firstbaseman Lars Anderson or infielder Gil Valazquez, but that's getting pretty crowded and neither is on the 40 man which means I think someone else would have to be designated to make room. Not worth it. Also, Tek should be back soon. That would give us 4 catchers so it's possible they could release Kevin Cash, but probably not.
  • I was wrong about: Jeremy Hermida being worth of starting (by the way he's still in Pawtucket), Lowell being done with the Sox, and that the Sox were going to use Bowden in a significant way this year.
That's all I can think of. I hope to give you a more focused article again soon. -Wally

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