Kyle Shwarber: First Baseman

On Friday night in Cleveland, Kyle Schwarber made his first start at first base for the Red Sox. Schwarber looked a little clunky and maybe a little nervous to play the position, but the first game went off without a hitch. Throughout his career with the Cubs and earlier this year with the Nationals he was an outfielder. It will be interesting to see moving forward how much time he will get at first base, and how quickly he can adapt to his new role.

Kyle the On Base Machine

Since being traded to Boston from the Nationals, Schwarber has played mostly a mix of left field and designated hitter. After returning from his stint on the injured list (IL) Schwarber hasn’t missed a beat offensively. He was always known as a power hitter, but people always wonder what you’re going to get out of a guy who is returning from the IL.

Schwarber’s ability to work the count and get on base has mostly been on display so far. However, he’s still clubbed a few timely home runs to remind everyone why the Sox traded for him. In 14 games with the Red Sox, he has a .326 batting average with an on base percentage of .483 and has already drawn 14 walks. His two home runs and only three runs batted in might be disappointing so far for some. However, his lack of RBI’s is offset by his nine runs scored. The power will come, but right now he is still producing by making pitchers work, getting on base, and scoring runs. This is something this team has lacked for the past month.

In the Field

Who plays everyday and what will be huge down the stretch if this team not only wants to make the playoffs but make it far in the playoffs? Ideally, you’d like the Sox to have Verdugo, Hernandez, and Renfroe be the everyday outfielders. They have played great defense all year and all have made significant contributions with the stick this season. Ideally, you’d like to have J.D. Martinez be the everyday DH. Not a good fielder, but the type of guy you need in the lineup everyday if you want to make the playoffs. If Schwarber can make the right adjustment and learn first base and become a serviceable everyday first baseman then that is huge for the push to October.

The Playoff Race

We’ll just have to wait and see how Schwarber, and this team does down the stretch. The Red Sox currently hold the second wild card spot 2 games behind the Yankees and 2 games ahead of the Athletics. The offense needs to turn it around in September for the playoff race, and Schwarber will be a big contributor to that. It’s just a question of can he learn first base well enough in time, so we don’t have to play musical chair with all the position players.

Should the Red Sox Trade for Anthony Rizzo?

With the Trade Deadline this Friday many rumors are beginning to swirl for teams across baseball. The Red Sox currently find themselves in a position to possibly build at the deadline rather than sell for the future, which is a pleasant surprise to say the least given the teams last place finish in the division last season. Fans and media were looking for a bounce back season, but it’s safe to say that almost no one saw this performance coming. The team has been rumored to be interested in several players, both pitchers and offensive players including Chicago Cubs star first-baseman Anthony Rizzo. However, should the Red Sox trade for Rizzo, or should they look elsewhere? Or nowhere at all?

Buy or Sell?

Coming into today the Red Sox are tied with the Houston Astros for best record in the American League. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the Chicago Cubs currently sitting in 4th place in the National League Central. The team sits nine games out of first and trending downward. The Cubs posted a record of 18-28 since June 1st that includes an 11-game losing streak. The Cubs already dealt outfielder Joc Pederson, and are expected to sell players like Craig Kimbrel, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. This makes the Cubs and the Red Sox strong possible trade partners come this Friday.

The Pitching Staff

Many people point to the pitching staff as the team’s weak point. They feel the starting rotation is subpar and lack a true ace right now. The Sox have a team Earned Run Average (ERA) of 4.06, which ranks 7th in the American League. Not great, but not terrible either. Red Sox pitchers are ranked 3rd in the AL in strikeouts and 1st in home runs aloud so they can get it done and keep the offense in the game. Plus, Chris Sale and Ryan Brasier are expected to return from the Injured List at some point this season. Don’t expect Sale to start this season but he could definitely help the bullpen down the stretch. With the team also calling up young pitching prospect Tanner Houck to start, I do not expect this team to add any pitching at the deadline, nor do I think they should.

Offensive Prowess

Offensively the team is gritty and effective. The middle of the lineup with Xander Bogaerts (SS), Rafael Devers (3B), and J.D. Martinez (DH) is one of the best three through five slots in baseball. With Players like Alex Verdugo (LF), Christian Vazquez (C), and Hunter Renfroe (RF) performing well offensively for their respected positions, while also performing well in the field, it’s hard to find a week spot on the team. Kike Hernandez has been a good find as well this season with his ability to play almost anywhere in the field. Although he leaves a bit to be desired as the teams’ lead-off hitter with only a .244 batting average so far this season. His clutch hitting and electric play in the field and on the base path has been worth every penny so far.

Problems Beneath the Surface

This team looks solid on the surface. Dig a little deeper however and you can see where the cracks really are. The lineup is good, but if falls off a bit towards the end. The lack of left-handed hitting has been apparent. Devers, and Verdugo have been the only lefties in the lineup for most of the season. Marwin Gonzalez and Danny Santana can switch hit but both are injured for the foreseeable future right now. Left-handed hitting Jarren Duran was recently called up for AAA, but it will be a bit to see how he adjusts to major league pitching. The team also lacks a true first-basemen. According to Fangraphs.com, the Red Sox rank last in the AL in defense at 1B. Anthony Rizzo can help to fix all these problems. He is a four-time Gold Glove winning first-baseman. He batted lead-off for the Cubs for years. Rizzo has struggled a bit at the plate this season. His average is .244 and his power number has dropped a bit, clubbing only 12 homeruns this season so far. Bobby Dalbec is the Sox everyday first-basemen right now but is only batting .218 with 10 homeruns. Dalbec is only 26, while Rizzo is going to turn 32 on August 8th. It could do Bobby some good to maybe watch and learn from a veteran player for the rest of the season, rather then having to face is struggles at the dish every day.

A Good Fit

Rizzo fits the needs of the Red Sox right now to make a playoff run, but what will it cost? Rizzo is set to make $16.5 million this season, the final of his current contract. Teams will be looking for a guy like Rizzo to be a rental as they try to win the World Series this year. This can bring cost down a bit, but the Cubs aren’t going to part with a guy like Rizzo for cheap. They’ll probably be looking to score a couple prospects, including a team’s top ten prospect. Would you be willing to trade prospects like a Blaze Jordan, Jarren Duran or even a Jeter Downs for a rental like Anthony Rizzo? Do you give up some of your future for increasing you chance of success right now? Oh, to be a baseball GM in late July.

Did Dave Dombrowski Make The Right Move?

The trade deadline came and went yesterday. As the clock struck 4pm on July 31st, Red Sox Nation learned that Boston didn’t participate in the trade deadline. While teams like Tampa Bay and Houston were dealing, Boston was silent. The question is, did Dave Dombrowski make the right move?

While the Red Sox were tied to many trade rumors, none of them panned out. As thedombrowski make clock ran down, it was obvious that many top performers were heading to other teams. For example, pitchers like Shane Greene and Mike Leake were traded to contending teams. Some of the players that Boston had on their radar stayed with their current teams. The Mets and Blue Jays held onto closers, Edwin Diaz and Ken Giles yesterday.

Did Dave Dombrowski Make The Right Move at the Deadline?

At 4:01pm, when it was evident that the Red Sox weren’t participating in the trade deadline, President Dave Dombroski held a press conference. “We had an opportunity to make a lot of trades, if we wanted to,” Dombrowski stated to reporters on Wednesday prior to the Red Sox game against the Rays. However, the question of did Dave Dombrowski make the right move by not trading anyone is still something that needs to be answered.

The players that Dombrowski offered weren’t enough, and teams wanted more for their better players. Some of these names included Andrew Benintendi and Michael Chavis. Yet, Boston stayed put.

Did Dave Dombrowski make the right move by not making one at all? It was pretty evident on Wednesday night, when Boston lost their third straight game, moving further down the standings. While Dombrowski made some good points at the press conference, many are still questioning his motives.

The Trade Deadline Around The League

While Dave Dombrowski was silent at the deadline, other teams were wheeling and dealing. The most notable trade was the one made by the Diamondbacks, as they traded All Star Zack Greinke to the Houston Astros. The Astros made a big splash yesterday, not only acquiring Greinke, but also getting Aaron Sanchez from Toronto, and Martin Maldonado from the Cubs.

A few former Red Sox pitchers were traded as well. Drew Pomeranz was traded from the Giants to the Brewers, while Roenis Elias went from the Mariners to the Nationals. Pomeranz was set to possibly pitch against the Red Sox in September. Now, it looks like the reunion will have to wait.

For the past few days, many teams were out trading to stack their rosters. Another notable trade was the three team deal that sent Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati and Yasiel Puig to Cleveland. San Diego was in on the trade as well, acquiring outfield prospect Taylor Trammel.

What Does This Mean For Boston?

After a surge that saw the Red Sox go 3-1 against the Yankees, nothing has gone right for Boston. Right now, they are 0-2 against the Rays, and are 2.5 games out of the wild card. At 10-5, Andrew Cashner looks to win his second straight Red Sox start tonight against Tampa Bay.

There are different ways to look into yesterday’s trade deadline. Only time can tell with this strategy. While there is only one deadline this season, it can turn in Boston’s favor down the road. Other teams, such as the Yankees and Cardinals didn’t make moves either. While the Yankees are in first place in the AL East, the Cardinals are tied for first with the Cubs.

Did Dombrowski and Company make the right move? We’ll see as the rest of the season continues on. While many would have loved to have seen a new arm in the bullpen or rotation, one can only wonder what the off season will look like.

Sunday Gossip – Trade Deadline Update

For baseball fans, a trade deadline update is important, especially if your team is in the hunt for October. In a few short days, teams will either be buyers, or sellers in the one and done trade deadline on Wednesday. It has been relatively quiet throughout Major League Baseball, as teams look to see what they need to do. For Boston, the goal is quite simple – Get into the postseason. With that in mind, what will Dombrowski do?

The other 29 teams have to be wondering the same thing. Who is on the block, and whotrade deadline update is looking to keep their star players from changing uniforms. Trade rumors can be hard to decode, especially when there is a high profile player involved. The most notable names that are being listed are Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard.

The Dream Wish List For Boston

For the Red Sox, it’s no secret that they need help in the bullpen help. That can be said for many other teams, especially the Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins. As for the rest of the teams who seem to be in, or nearing playoff contention, pitching might be the answer to their problems. It’s just a matter of who they give up to get the top pitcher to assist their team.

Right now, Boston doesn’t have a trade deadline update to give. Everything is just rumors at this point for them. The same can be said for other teams who are also looking for help. This can come in the form of pitching, or a big bat in the lineup.

The Red Sox don’t have a deep farm system. However, they do have a lot of talent both in the minors and in the majors. Players like Kirby Yates and Jake McGee won’t come cheap. The Red Sox got lucky with Andrew Cashner, in which only two minor league prospects went to Baltimore.

Trade Deadline Update Around MLB

Saturday was a big day for trades in a sense. For the trade deadline update, we look at two teams that made an impact for their clubs.

First, is the Oakland A’s, who made a trade for reliever, Jake Diekman. Oakland traded prospects Ismael Aquino and Dairon Blanco to the Kansas City Royals for Diekman. In 48 games for the Royals, he went 0-6 with a 4.75 ERA. Diekman pitched in 41.2 innings, allowing 22 earned runs, while striking out 63 batters. In 8 major league seasons, Diekman has pitched for 4 teams. The Oakland A’s will be his 5th teams.

Another move that was made on Saturday was done by the Minnesota Twins and Miami Marlins. The Twins acquired two players, Sergio Romo and Chris Vallimont. The Marlins received first baseman Lewin Diaz in return.

The big name in this trade is Sergio Romo, who has plenty of big game experience. The right hander was a member of the San Francisco Giants’ 3 World Series titles in 2010, 2012, and 2014. This season, Romo has pitched in 38 games, with a 2-0 record and a 3.58 ERA. He has 17 saves so far this season as well. With the trade to Minnesota, the 12 year veteran will be playing on his 5th major league team.

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.

One Week From The Highly Anticipated Trade Deadline

We are officially one week away from the highly anticipated trade deadline. Will the Red Sox be buyers, or sellers? Who will stay, and who will go to another team? Those answers will hopefully come in the next week.

Unlike in years past, Major League Baseball has decided to have one and only one tradeHighly Anticipated Trade Deadline deadline. There’s no more waiver trades like there were in the past. What happens between now and July 31st for the Red Sox is very crucial, and determines their fate in the American League.

Right now, they took 2 out of 3 from the Rays in Tampa Bay, allowing them to be one game back of the Rays. However, do they have what it takes to continue the uphill battle? Will they add a new member to the bullpen, or to the line up? Only time will tell, and the clock is ticking away.

From the Rotation to the Bullpen

On July 13th, Dave Dombrowski’s journey to help the Red Sox’s pitching problems began. Dombrowski proceeded to trade for Baltimore Orioles starter, Andrew Cashner for cash, and two minor leaguers. This seemed like a good trade at the time, as Cashner has been a consistent starting pitcher for the Orioles, with a record of 9-3. Since then, Cashner hasn’t been living up to the hype so to speak. In two starts for Boston, Cashner is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA. He has pitched 11 innings, allowing 14 hits and 10 runs. Of those, 4 have been home runs.

With one piece to the puzzle solved so to speak, it’s hard not to look at the bullpen and their struggles this season. Again, with the highly anticipated trade deadline looming in the distance, the Red Sox have been linked to some names that could hopefully save them.

One player in particular is Kirby Yates. The current San Diego Padre has also pitched for the Yankees, Rays and LA Angels. Yates was named to his first All Star game this July, and has been an effective closer for the Padres. The 32 year old righty has a 1.05 ERA in 41 games this season.

Another player that has been linked to Boston is a member of the San Francisco Giants. No, it’s not Madison Bumgarner, it’s Will Smith. Again, not the actor, the relief pitcher. In 44 games for the Giants, he has a record of 3-0, with a 2.44 ERA. Smith has also pitched for the Kansas City Royals, and Milwaukee Brewers in his career. The 30 year old lefty would be a great fit for the Boston bullpen. Smith was also named to his first All Star game this season, and won the Willie Mac Award in 2018.

The Highly Anticipated Trade Deadline Awaits Boston

The main focus for Boston this upcoming deadline is pitching, mainly the bullpen. With the addition of Andrew Cashner, and Nathan Eovaldi coming off of the injured list, the Red Sox look prepared for the next few months of the season. However, there are still a lot of unanswered questions. For instance, can the lineup stay hot enough to keep the ball rolling to October? Can the rotation kick it up a notch to win games and keep the bullpen well rested? There are so many questions and such little time.

Unfortunately for Boston, one name that they were linked to, New York Mets starting pitcher, Zack Wheeler, is on the injured list until at least Friday. the 29 year old right hander is 6-6 on the season in 19 starts. Granted, his ERA is 4.69, but Wheeler is still a promising up and comer since making his debut in 2013.

Like most trades, many prospects can be moved. For Boston in this highly anticipated trade deadline, it’ll be interesting to see who gets traded from the farm, or from the big league club itself. I doubt Dombrowski would trade away the future, especially Tristan Casas or Bobby Dalbec. If the Red Sox can find some form of consistency, then next Wednesday’s deadline will be something to look forward to.