Baseball Thinking

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ramblings from the Nation

Terry Francona confirmed that high maintenance, Baby Huey’ish southpaw David Wells will be left out of the starting rotation until mid-April. The Red Sox have a couple of off days in the early going and don’t have a need for five pitchers. Wells, of course, isn’t happy. When is this person, who is in constant need of a babysitter, ever happy? While he has been a decent pitcher, he is a pimple on the ass of progress for the Sox organization, as he’s been for every team he’s pitched for.

Tony Graffanino and Dustin Mohr has been nothing short of ultimate professionals as both are lame ducks for their positions. Tony became expendable with the signing of Mark Loretta and the same for Mohr with the signing of Wily Mo Pena. Graffanino has been placed on waivers by the Sox, but started the game on the same day. If he garners any interest from other teams, the Red Sox will pull him off waivers (revocable) and work out a trade with the interested party. According to ESPN, Philly is interested in Mohr, but he could be put on waivers as well. More athletes should act like these two professionals.

The Dodgers released Korean first baseman Hee Seop Choi and the Sox quickly picked him up. By this signing, the Sox seemed to have lost some confidence in Mike Lowell. According to several sources, Lowell’s bat speed isn’t where it should be. This could pave the way for Kevin Youkilis to move back to third base and have both Choi and JT Snow manning first. If Lowell improves, the Sox could send Choi down to Pawtucket as he does have one option remaining.

Speaking of the Dodgers and first basemen, there are whispers of concern for Nomar Garciaparra. While he has been pretty steady defensively at his new position of first base, some are concerned about his hitting. He has been below .200 most of the spring and has yet to show signs he is coming out of offensive funk.

And yet another first baseman has been released, this time by the Detroit Tigers. Slugger Carlos Pena ran out of time with the Tigers as they have decided to get younger at first. Pena, who was born in the Dominican and raised in Haverhill, MA, is a sentimental favorite in New England. Personally, I would love nothing more for the Sox to pick him up and allow him to steady the ship in Pawtucket. He still has a little upside potential and would be realitevely inexpensive for the Sox. He is steady defensively, is a pure first baseman, which is a position the Red Sox are still fuzzy on. Let’s go, Theo, sign the hometown boy and let’s see what he can do.

Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe was correct when he told me he would be surprised if Juan Gonzalez ever put on a Sox uniform. The agent for Gonzalez hasn’t heard from him and is worried about his well being. The Red Sox haven’t heard a word from Juan Gone. He was supposed to report to camp 10 days ago. Rheal Cormier is rumored to be coming back to Boston for a third stay. The Red Sox are still holding out hope that Roger Clemens will come back to Boston this year. He is currently tied with Cy Young for first all time on the Red Sox pitching victories list.

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