Hey, everyone. Thanks for joining me. The Sox, after being away for 20 of their last 27 games, are back in town for awhile, with a 9-game homestand against the Angels, Jays and Mariners. On with the questions.
Gordon, when the season is over I think that Boston fans will have to look back at the San Francisco series as the turning point in the season. We lost pedroia, martinez and buchholz in that three game stretch and have been a .500 team ever since. Don't you think if all those guys remain healthy we would be ahead of the rays and very close to the yankees at this moment?
Colin, there's no question that weekend has had a huge impact on the team. The Sox are 23-21 since then. Can we say with certainty that they would be ahead of the Rsys? No. The Rays have played very good baseball, and as we speak are tied with the Yanks. And there are other factors to consider? How about the fact that Josh Beckett has won 3 games all season? A normal year from him, and you could make the same argument.
Hey Gordon, did the Sox manage to sign all the draft picks they wanted? Which player did they not come to terms with that would've been a great addition to their system?
Steve, here are the 3 guys the Sox didn't sign, as outlined by Mike Andrews of Soxprospects.com and an ESPNBoston.com contributor: 9th rounder Tyler Barnette, 16th rounder Adam Duke, and 19th rounder Eric Jaffe. Barnette, a right-hander out of Hickory High School in North Carolina, opted early on to honor his commitment to pitch for UNC-Charlotte rather than turning pro this summer. Prep pitchers Duke and Jaffe, both generally considered top 100 players in the draft, slipped due to strong college commitments to Oregon State and California, respectively. Boston opted not to offer Duke a large bonus because of an apparent arm issue, while there are no indications that the Sox came close to signing Jaffe. All three are names that could return to the draft pool in the higher rounds in 2013. Otherwise, the Sox had an extremely successful draft, by all accounts, especially in coming to terms with 6-foot-7 pitcher Anthony Ranaudo. Read more here: http://admin.espn.go.com/sportsnation/admin/moderate?eventId=33972&lang=EN#top
what are the odds of Felix Doubront (sp?) becoming the go-to guy in the 7th inning? or is he relegate to LOOGy status?
Myles, Terry Francona has specifically asserted that Doubront is not just a lefty specialist. The way he closed out Saturday's game certainly supports the possibility that the Sox will increasingly rely on him.
Gordon, if the trading deadline was moved to July 1st as compred to the 31st do you believe the major trades which happened would have happened?
I'm not sure if you're referring to a specific deal, Bill. If anything, I would make the trade deadline later, not earlier. Too many teams still think they're in contention at the 31st, and that number would be even greater on July 1.
At Colin - How can you be ahead of the Rays and close to the Yankees if they have the same record? That would be a neat trick
Yeah, Bryan, I suspect Colin hadn't looked at the standings since the Rays beat Cliff Lee last night and the Yanks fell to the Tigers, dropping them into a tie. I looked at the greater point that I think he was trying to make, that in his view the Yanks are a stronger team than the Rays.
Is Ryan Kalish the answer in centerfield if the sox move Ellsbury?
Jack, I think the Sox will definitely take a long look at Kalish in center with Ellsbury out, but what's wrong with an OF with both of those guys going forward? An OF of Kalish, Ellsbury and Drew next season, with Mike Cameron the 4th OF or platooning with Kalish/Ellsbury, looks pretty good to me.
How big of an impact do you truly see Pedroia having? Everyone around here is talking like he is going to be the savior, and secure us a spot in October. I'm not saying that we won't provide a spark, but the offense hasn't been the problem lately. Its the pen.
Kyle, it's impossible to predict what impact Pedroia's return will have on the W-L record. What we do know for sure is that they will be a better team with him, both offensively and defensively, and his energy and enthusiasm tend to be contagious.
Why do the Redsox have a never ending flow of generic minor leaguers that are always called up?
JJ, because they put a big emphasis on scouting and player development and look for certain types of players, i.e., good plate discipline for offensive players, strike-throwers for pitchers.
Is it jsut me or can Victor martinez no longer be trusted with a rally? The guy is hitting .224 with RISP this season and it seems like since the break, he was been a giant bucket of cold water. Do you think free agency may be wieghing on him?
Don,the one thing I was told is that Victor is a streak hitter, and when he gets hot he can carry a club for weeks at time. I think you have to cut him some slack because of the thumb injury, but I would not be surprised to see him go off on this homestand
How quickly do the Sox expect Ranaudo to move through the minors?
Jimmy, I haven't had that discussion with their development people, but I think because of his arm problems this past year they will proceed with some caution. But I think it's entirely realistic to expect to see him on the big-league radar within three years, possibly sooner.
any thoughts on what's wrong with Beckett? And do you think the Sox are concerned long-term after just giving him a new deal?
To me, that's one of the biggest issues of this homestand: Beckett is scheduled to pitch Thursday, and he's coming off two hrellacious starts: a combined 21 H, 13 ER and 4 HR in just 9 2/3 IP. When a proven performer is struggling that badly, you always suspect physical issues, but he insists he's healthy. Maybe we have to take that with a grain of salt, and that there are back and shoulder issues still at play. It could also be that he's trying to win five games in every start, to make up for lost time. Perhaps we'll have a better idea after Thursday.
if you had to make a prediction today, yes or no on Sox in playoffs?
Today, I would say no. 5 1/2 games behind two very good teams is tough to make up. But do I think they could make the playoffs? Absolutely
Whats the mood in the city for Pedroia's return tonite? Living down south its hard to keep up with it sometimes
Sam, I'm sure you will see a huge ovation. He got a big hand when he rehabbed in Pawtucket last weekend. But overall, I think folks are pessimistic about the Sox chances, especially with Youkilis out for the season and Ellsbury going down again.
Does this entire K-Rod fiasco seriously hurt Rodriguez's hall of fame chances if he does infact save over 500 games in his career and challenges Trevor Hoffman's All-Time Record? Would you expect him to still be inducted despite his now tarnished reputation?
Man, Rick, he's only at 268. He's got a long ways to go before he gets to Hoffman territory. I don't think too many Mets fans are focused on whether K-Rod gets to the Hall; they're more concerned with whether the Mets can get rid of him.
Gordon, will Sox fans appreciate how good a player JD Drew is after he is gone, or will they always hate him?
Very good question, Steve. He will never be beloved, that's for certain. A grudging respect may be the best you can hope for.
Do you think Ryan Kalish has ensured himself a long-term starting spot on this team? What do you think his future holds as a big leaguer?
No, Ryan isn't assured of anything at this point, but I think he will be given every chance to win a job.
Do the Sox pick up Beltre's option for next year and is Iglesias the opening day starter at SS?
Base, The option is Beltre's to exercise, not the team's, so that won't happen. Beltre will command top dollar on the open market, and I could see plenty of teams making a run at him. Sox have a lot of movable parts. If I had to bet, I'd say no, but I could be dead wrong. As for Iglesias, he had a finger injury that caused him to miss a lot of time, so I think it's more likely he opens next season in Pawtucket.
It seems evryone overlooks Darnell McDonald. Hasn't he done enough at the plate and in the field to warrant consideration for a starting spot?
Charlie, Darnell has obviously made some contributions, but I think he comes up short as an everyday player on a contender both offensively and defensively.
I know he eats up a lot of innings, but it's hard to describe John Lackey's season as anything but a disappointment. Do the Sox have any explanations for why Lackey has been so hittable this year?
I think the contract is the issue. The Red Sox are paying Lackey like an ace. He's not. He's a reliable guy who will give you a chance to win most every time he goes out there, but he's going to get hit.If you think of him as the No. 4 guy in your rotation, you'd be pretty happy. But that's not the way the Sox are paying him.
Do the Sox expect Youkilis to be back to 100 percent by spring training?
Yes. That is my understanding, that Youkilis will be fully recovered by spring. But thumb injuries can be a tricky thing.
Do you think we'll see Ellsbury again this season? And do you think we're in for an offseason of Ellsbury trade rumors?
Harvey, I'm thinking we may learn more about Ellsbury's timetable when we get to the ballpark today, but count me as pessimistic that he'll be playing much the rest of the way. Yes, I think we'll be hearing plenty of Ellsbury rumors, but I don't think they necessarily move him.
Gordon, if the Sox get out of this current homestand within 3.5 games of the wild card, then they are in it. To that end, if at that point one Manny Ramirez surfaces on the waiver wire does Theo put in a claim knowing 1) Manny on a contract run could be a difference maker for the Sox and 2) Manny on a contract run could be a difference maker for the Rays.
There has been speculation about that. I can't conceive of the Red Sox open to taking Manny back? The Rays'part of the scenario gives one pause, but that's where you count on Kenny Williams making that claim before the Sox ever have to worry about it.
Hey thanks everyone for chatting. Gotta get ready to head to the ballpark. We'll do it again next week