The Bronx Bombers Come To Fenway

After a road trip that saw the Red Sox go 3-3 against the Orioles and Rays, they come back to Fenway to face the Yankees. The Bronx Bombers are still sitting in first place in the American League East with a record of 66-35. Last time we saw the Yankees was during the 2 game weekend series in London last month.

Right now, the Red Sox are 11 games behind the Yankees, and 1 game behind Tampa Bay after dropping yesterday’s game in Florida. With this 4 game set against the Yankees,

Red Sox vs Yankees Series

Red Sox vs Yankees Series

and the trade deadline around the corner, one can only wonder how this weekend will play out.

The Invasion of the Bronx Bombers

There is a reason why they are called the Bronx Bombers, and have been for many years. For as long as the Yankees have existed, their line up has consisted of hard hitting batters. From Mickey Mantle to Aaron Judge, there is no way to completely stop the bats of the Yankees. That’s the goal in this series for the Red Sox, and let’s hope that they succeed.

The Yankees seem to have everything clicking for them. From their lineup to their rotation, nothing seems to go wrong for them. When the Yankees come to town, they will be without catcher Gary Sanchez. The backstop was put on the injury list on the 24th. Prior to being played on the injury list, he was batting .229 with 24 home runs and 58 RBI’s.

With the trade deadline looming, the Yankees have a wish list as well. For them, it’s starting pitching. Granted, they traded for James Paxton and kept J.A. Happ this off season, but they still need a little bit of help. One name that they have been linked to is Toronto starter and New York native, Marcus Stroman. It will be interesting to see what the Bronx Bombers do before the deadline to try and increase their success. For now, the Red Sox need to keep them away from doing damage in Boston.

The Match-ups…

Game one has Masahiro Tanaka vs Rick Porcello. The last time Porcello faced the Yankees was the first game of the London series, where he went 0.1 innings, allowing 5 hits and 6 earned runs. The same goes for Tanaka, who also started that game, going 0.2 innings, allowing 4 hits and 6 runs. This time, both pitchers have a very important job to do. For Tanaka, it’s continuing his success on the mound this season. For Porcello, it’s to keep his team in the game, and improve his record to 9-7.

Game two has James Paxton vs Andrew Cashner. For Cashner, he will be facing the Yankees for the first time in a Red Sox uniform. Last time Cashner pitched against the Yankees was back on May 20th as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. He went 6 innings in the game, allowing 5 hits and 3 runs. Paxton last faced the Red Sox on April 16th. He went 8 innings in that game, only allowing 2 hits. Cashner looks to get his first win as a member of the Red Sox, while Paxton looks to continue his success against the Red Sox.

Game three has CC Sabathia vs Eduardo Rodriguez.The retiring Sabathia last pitched against Boston on June 2nd. He went 6 innings, allowing 7 hits and 3 runs as well as the loss. Eduardo Rodriguez was the game 2 starter in the London series against the Yankees, going 5.1 innings, allowing 4 hits and 2 runs. Sabathia is looking to grab win number 6 on the season on Saturday. Rodriguez is looking to continue his remarkable season by going 13-4.

Game four has Domingo German vs Chris Sale. The last time German pitched against Boston was on June 1st. He went 3.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and 3 runs. As for Sale, last time out against the Yankees was May 31st. He went 6 innings, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits. German is looking to grab his 13th win of the 2019 season on Sunday in Boston. Chris Sale is looking to continue his hot streak and get his 6th win of the season.

The Red Sox Need To Send A Message

Boston is currently sitting on a 56-47 record, which is kind of keep them afloat in the American League Wild Card race. There is still many games left to play, and for the Red Sox, a bulk of those games are going to be played at Fenway. That sounds great, right? Well, prior to this game, the Red Sox are 24-25 at home this season. That’s not good, but it’s not bad either.

This team needs to send a message to the American League, and to their fan base that they can win games, and be competitive. Yes, it’s tough to repeat as champions. Yes, injuries are a thing that exists. However, when your home record looks like that, and easy to win games aren’t won, people start to worry.

The trade deadline is approaching, and if the Red Sox want to keep climbing this uphill battle, they’re going to need some help. This series, and the next one against Tampa Bay are really important to this team as we roll into August. For right now, the Red Sox need to keep their focus on defeating the Bronx Bombers any way that they can.

Red Sox trade targets to look out for

A seemingly taxed bullpen and what’s been a thin starting rotation for a while now are problems forcing the Red Sox into considering outside options for their pitching staff. With Alex Cora confirming that Nathan Eovaldi will assume the closer role upon returning from the Injured List, a spot will remain open in the rotation. Red Sox trade targets have generally been bullpen arms the last few years, but that tune might be changing in 2019.

With a largely competitive field of teams still vying for wild card contention, the market is aRed Sox trade targets bit thinner than it has been in recent seasons. That being said, there are indeed arms that are reportedly being shopped, as sellers like the Mets, Blue Jays, and others will be looking to unload and rebuild.

If the plan for the Sox is to add a man in the rotation, there are some options on the market that might come a bit cheaper than relievers with multiple years before free agency. Let’s take a look at who some of these Red Sox trade targets might be.

RHP Zack Wheeler, New York Mets

Ken Rosenthal recently reported that the Red Sox were spotted scouting a recent start of Wheeler’s (and Matthew Boyd’s). With the Mets coming undone in another lost season, a move would make sense. While the ERA is an unimpressive 4.69, Wheeler has been able to eat up innings in New York. He has managed to work 6.0+ IP in 15 of his 19 starts, including 7.0+ IP in 9 of those starts. He has worked fewer than five innings just a pair of times, going 4.2 in each. For a Red Sox team starved for an innings eater, a low-cost soon-to-be free agent represents an excellent fit.

LHP Matthew Boyd, Detroit Tigers

Boyd has put together a career year, posting a very solid 3.87 ERA through 18 starts. He’s been the best pitcher on a poor Tigers team, but has done well in a division that features a number of solid teams like the juggernaut Twins, competitive Indians, and rising White Sox. There are two concerns, however: for one thing, he is still a few years away from free agency. With how much clubs value team control these days, Boyd will come at a high price. Not just that, but after being one of the AL’s best through mid-June, Boyd has regressed a bit. The southpaw has allowed 4 or 5 ER in each of his last 4 starts, after allowing more than 4 ER just twice through his first 14. Boyd would make another quality addition, but the fit might not be as strong.

RHP Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays

Red Sox fans might not jump all over this idea. But Stroman is having an excellent season, has always proven a tough out, and brings a swagger to the mound, which makes him a Red Sox trade target. A swagger that might energize the group. Stroman is one of the league’s best at producing high ground ball rates. In two starts against Boston this season, Stroman has allowed just 1 ER over 11 IP. His 3.18 ERA would automatically be the lowest among fellow Sox starting pitchers. What makes this deal difficult is that Toronto won’t trade a key player to a divisional rival for nothing. Like with Boyd, the Red Sox might be priced out of their comfort zone.

Blue Jays Starter Marcus Stroman Rehabs at McCoy Stadium

As the Red Sox focus on letting their young players get playing time down the stretch, the American League East leading Blue Jays are looking forward to getting back one of their key players for the stretch run. Starting Pitcher Marcus Stroman made a rehab appearance with the Buffalo Bisons on Monday at McCoy Stadium and said he is ready to return.

Stroman, 24, who is at the end of a crazy recovery after tearing his knee in Spring Marcus StromanTraining just fielding his position, seems to be done talking about his knee and ready to start for the Blue Jays. Stroman won 11 games for the Blue Jays last season in 20 starts and could take the rotation spot of Drew Hutchison, who has double digit wins but a very high ERA. Hutchison has already been demoted this season and would likely move to the bullpen if the Blue Jays decide Stroman is ready to return to the rotation.

If Stroman were to return to the rotation on regular rest, his first start of the season would come this Saturday against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

In 3 innings of work Stroman had a line of 8 H, 4 ER, 4 BB and 5 K. Obviously not the line you look to get in 3 innings of work against a PawSox lineup that has been ripped apart due the Red Sox struggles and injuries but Stroman seemed upbeat and even remarked that Boston affiliates have hit him well before.

Stroman tore his knee on March 10th during fielding drills in Spring Training and began a long road to recovery. Knee injuries, most expect to take a full year but some have come back sooner, Adrian Peterson comes to mind of the Minnesota Vikings. Stroman even went back to class at Duke University to finish his degree while rehabbing.

The prolific Toronto offense is what comes to mind when most think of the Blue Jays but the pitching since the acquisition of David Price is what has been of note for the Jays. With all the moves the Blue Jays made this season it looks like they are going for it and Marcus Stroman will soon be back sooner than many thought.

Matt Barnes Likely Next Man Up If Starter Goes Down

matt  barnes

This winter the Red Sox made some moves to their pitching staff that signaled they were moving onto the next wave of pitching prospects. Besides not being able to retain Jon Lester, gone are Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, and Anthony Ranaudo. De La Rosa and Webster were sent to Arizona in the Wade Milley trade, while Ranaudo was sent to Texas for Robbie Ross.

Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, and Eduardo Rodriguez are the next wave of pitching Matt Barnesprospects the Red Sox have, and are all left handed, highly valued in today’s game. We are not going to argue about who has the most potential as the Red Sox hope all three lefties pan out. The one holdover from the Pawtucket Red Sox rotation from last season is Matt Barnes.

Barnes, 6’4 210 pounds out of the University of Connecticut throws hard and has been a starter since the Red Sox drafted him in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft. There has been talk of Barnes converting to a reliever this season and even cracking the opening day roster out of the ‘pen. However with Alexei Ogando and Robbie Ross Jr. likely ahead of Barnes of the depth chart, he may start the season in AAA Pawtucket and be ready for the call if a starter should go down.

Not many teams have all five starters make 30 starts in a season. The Rangers are already experiencing problems with Yu Darvish likely missing the year because of the Tommy John Surgery. The Blue Jays will be without Marcus Stroman for the season after he torn his MCL during fielding drills. And just yesterday the against the Red Sox, Yankees starter Chris Capuano strained his quad running to cover first base. Rotation depth is something you need in baseball to make it to October.

Barnes made his major league debut last season after the minor league season ended. He appeared in 5 games for the Sox tossing 9 innings, while giving up 4 runs. So far this spring Barnes has appeared in 2 games, striking out 6 in 4 innings of work with only 2 hits allowed. The Sox could have used Barnes as a trade chip like they used Webster, De La Rosa, and Ranaudo, but they kept him– signaling he is still a part of the future.

A lot can happen in the three weeks left of spring training, but don’t be surprised if Matt Barnes does not make the team out of spring training. The value he has as a depth starter is huge and flip flopping him from starter to reliever might have an impact on him, like it did on Brandon Workman last season.