Recent News

How the Boston Red Sox Bullpen is Shaping Up

January 28th, 2015 at 12:49 PM
By Sean Penney

While most of the attention has gone to the high priced hitters joining the lineup and the revamped starting rotation, the Boston Red Sox have quietly made a number of moves to restock their bullpen as well. While some familiar faces will remain in key roles, there are a few new additions that can help strengthen the bullpen.

Last season Red Sox relievers were just above average, finishing 6th in the AL with a collective 3.33 ERA. They also were 9th in the league in opponent's OPS allowed (.707) and 7th in K/9 rate (8.21). If you look at just about any of the metrics most commonly used to evaluate pitchers, Boston's relievers rated somewhere in the middle of the pack last season.

While a few relievers on this team are a lock to make the Opening Day 25-man roster, we're left to speculate which pitchers will fill the remaining spots in the bullpen. Based on the available options, the Red Sox could see as many as 14 hitters on the roster. After accounting for the 5 starters, that leaves only 6 reliever spots. With that in mind, let's explore who the most likely candidates are to make the roster to start the season.

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Boston Red Sox Acquire Robbie Ross for Anthony Ranaudo

January 27th, 2015 at 7:50 PM
By Sean Penney

Looking to bolster their bullpen with another left-handed option, the Boston Red Sox acquired Robbie Ross Jr. from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Anthony Ranaudo.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise, considering Ranaudo was once a highly regarding prospect that MLB.com ranked as the fourth best in Boston's farm system. Apparently the Red Sox no longer felt his ceiling was quite as high after a brief 7 game audition last season, in which Ranaudo went 4-3 with a 4.81 ERA. The team had to have been concerned that he surrendered 10 home runs in only 39.1 innings, for a 2.29 HR/9 rate that was the worst among all major league starters. Apparently the Rangers aren't as concerned, despite their homer friendly ballpark.

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Mike Napoli Considered Retirement Prior to Recent Surgery

January 27th, 2015 at 4:57 PM
By Sean Penney

Ever have one of those days where you just didn't get a good night's rest and your morning coffee isn't doing enough to help you get through the work day? Try playing professional baseball under those conditions and you'll have an idea of how Mike Napoli has felt for most of his career. The Boston Red Sox first baseman underwent successful surgery to alleviate a sleep apnea condition that has plagued him for the past eight years.

Sleep apnea has prevented Napoli from entering REM sleep, which means he was unable to dream and was constantly suffering from fatigue. When medication, a CPAP mask and energy drinks failed to work, Napoli knew he had to have the surgery or else his career would be in jeopardy.

"I couldn't do it anymore, the way I was feeling," Napoli told reporters at the Baseball Winter Weekend at Foxwoods Resort Casino. "I was like, I've got to have surgery or I'm not going to play anymore. That's how bad it was. That's why I went to go do this procedure. I came in and I was like, I need to have this surgery now."

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Rob Manfred Wants to Eliminate Defensive Shifts

January 26th, 2015 at 7:31 PM
By Sean Penney

Baseball has evolved over the years through various periods that have seen offensive production rise and fall. We've had the deadball era all the way through to the steroid era, with several peaks and valleys in between. As Major League Baseball has worked hard to try to clean up the game of juiced sluggers that have dominated the sport for the past couple decades, we have headed into an offensive decline.

Last year was the first time since the strike-shortened 1994 season that no major league team scored at least 800 runs. The league average for runs scored across the league was 4.07 runs per game, which is the lowest league average since 1981. Cracking down on PED use around the league has had an effect on the number of home runs flying out of ballparks, but that can't be the only factor accounting for this decline in offense. Teams are scoring less runs these days because their opponents are getting smarter.

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Joe Kelly Predicts He Will Win the Cy Young

January 25th, 2015 at 3:37 PM
By Sean Penney

Joe Kelly isn't weird, he's a pitcher. At least that's what the tee-shirt he wore yesterday at the Baseball Winter Weekend suggested, but he did raise some eyebrows during a radio appearance from Foxwoods Resort Casino with comments that some may consider strange. Kelly believes that he will win the American League Cy Young award this season.

That's a bold prediction from a pitcher that has never thrown more than 124 innings in a season and is coming off a year that he posted a below-average 91 ERA+ in his time split between the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. An early season hamstring injury and the mid-season trade that sent him to Boston were factors that led to a disappointing season, but Kelly is confident that he's ready to take the next step.

"I just feel like I'm getting better every year. I'm learning new stuff," explained Kelly during the Baseball Winter Weekend. "I feel comfortable with where I am right now. You could ask every pitcher, [they Cy Young's] going to be their goal. But my real goal is to be focused on every single pitch, 100 percent.

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