May 27, 2009

News On Ortiz, Smoltz, Lester

David Ortiz, on batting 6th:
Look, let me make something clear so you guys don't ask me the whole time about me hitting sixth. I started hitting third here a little bit after I got here. If you're hitting third, you must be swinging the bat good. The manager moved me to sixth because we got guys swinging the bat good, right? Now, I've got to work my way up, right? That's about it. I'm an employee. I follow orders.
Jason Bay:
Ultimately, you only hit in a certain spot in the lineup once and then you're hitting in different situations. I think it's a good idea to just try something different. You're taking the same approach whether you're hitting second or ninth, but sometimes you're just looking for that magical something to turn things around.
Francona explained the move:
When we came back from Seattle, because David had sat for three days, I wanted him to get back in there and see if we could get him hot. Then when it didn't look like it was going real well last week, I just didn't think it was in his best interests to do it at home against the Mets -- to me, that's not helping, that's almost placing blame on somebody. ... I wanted to wait until I got on the road.
Tito added that he hopes Ortiz "doesn't feel like he's got to carry the team."

Sean McAdam of the Herald writes that the Red Sox
have unwittingly boxed themselves into a corner ... [It's] hard to shake the feeling yesterday that the Sox and Ortiz both moved themselves uncomfortably close to the cliff.
But what choice did the team have? They have handled this issue fairly conservatively, treating Ortiz with the respect he has earned since 2003. They kept him in the third spot. They gave him a weekend off. Now he's hitting 6th -- that should stay the same with Mike Lowell in the lineup, with Lowell-Varitek-SS batting 7-8-9.

I'm assuming that "the cliff" McAdam is talking about is cutting ties with Ortiz -- and we are nowhere near that now. If Ortiz keeps hitting under .200, the next step would be playing him only three or four times a week. But with him hitting in the lower half of the lineup, he should have plenty of time to work out his troubles.

A record crowd of 8,903 watched John Smoltz pitch against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats last night. Smoltz (3.1-3-1-0-2, 60):
I was really pleased with my split and my changeup, a little displeased with my slider. That's my No. 1 pitch. We'll work on that this week. Another rung in the ladder.
Smoltz will pitch five innings/75 pitches for Greenville (A) on Sunday. And then? Perhaps two starts with Pawtucket and on to the big club.

Amalie Benjamin, Globe:
[Jon] Lester now has allowed at least five earned runs in five of his starts this season, bringing his ERA to 6.07. He gave up that many runs in just four starts over 33 games in all of 2008. ...
Lester:
I gave up five runs. What else is there to say about it? Made one pitch. One pitch cost me three runs. ...

I think it's just not executing pitches. Tonight it was a 1-0 fastball in. If he takes it, it ends up being a ball. I don't know what to tell you guys. I don't really have any answers for you. Five days I get the ball again. That's where I go.

26 comments:

tcp said...

Let's just assume that moving Ortiz down in the order and cutting his playing time doesn't work, and at the trade deadline he is still hitting sub-200.

Do the Sox trade him then? There would surely be plenty of options for hitting from teams that are out of it (like Matt Holliday) by then.

I am in no way saying that I WANT the Sox to trade Ortiz (hell, he's been a God-send for the Sox), but if the A's dangle Holliday for prospects (which would most likely include Laptop or Bowden, possibly both) and Ortiz can be sent to a 3rd team to make the deal work, because the A's probably wouldn't want a struggling hitter in their already anemic offense...should the Sox take the deal?

9casey said...

Anybody have any idea what FY puts in his helmet after he gets on base?

L-girl said...

"[It's] hard to shake the feeling yesterday that the Sox and Ortiz both moved themselves uncomfortably close to the cliff."

Then work harder to shake it, McAdam. This is just stupid.

James said...

Screw Matt Holliday. I want Adrian Gonzalez!

tcp said...

Gonzalez works too. I was just using Holliday as an example.

redsock said...

Let's just assume that moving Ortiz down in the order and cutting his playing time doesn't work, and at the trade deadline he is still hitting sub-200. Do the Sox trade him then?

I'll be sitting here with my fingers in my ears going nah-nah-nah-nah ...

***

No, they do not.

A Conformer said...

Well, first of all, where do you trade him to? I don't think you can find any GMs that just didn't follow baseball for the first half of the season and assume they're getting 2007 Papi. Or 2008, for that matter.
And besides (maybe this should be the "first of all"), no, I don't think they would trade him even if they had an option to. A long DL stint and a "maybe later, even next year" seem more likely to me.

L-girl said...

I completely agree with Ofer.

The Red Sox could end up looking as stupid as the Twins did.

I can't see giving up on Ortiz at the break or anytime this season.

Ish said...

I'm with Ofer on this one as well. With how patiently they're handling Ortiz and how patient they've been with guys in the past (FY, etc.) - if you were the ask me if he'll get traded by NEXT year's deadline, I'd still be skeptical.

Benjamin said...

I think it's just not executing pitches. Tonight it was a 1-0 fastball in. If he takes it, it ends up being a ball. I don't know what to tell you guys.

It was a shitty pitch. It wasn't even supposed to be a strike. I don't know what to tell you guys.

9casey said...

Holliday is hitting .267 with 6 hr's .......is that tempting enough to trade a possible front line starter for?

tcp said...

Papi's hitting .197 with 1 HR, and he's 5 years older than Holliday.

So, yeah it is at least a little tempting.

mattymatty said...

The other thing about Holliday is that he's a free agent after this season and Boras is his agent, so you're going to have to pony up the dough if you want him beyond this season whether you trade two good young starting pitchers for three months of his services or not.

As for trading Papi, I don't even think it's an option. Who would want him? What other team wants to take on $20M in payroll to add a guy who can't play defense, but that's OK because he can't hit either?

(I'm all about Big Papi, so I don't want him going anywhere, just to be clear.)

L-girl said...

"Papi's hitting .197 with 1 HR, and he's 5 years older than Holliday."

As if that's all Ortiz is. No other history, no other glimmer that he might actually be a better hitter than that. Comparing them straight up based on only those current stats is a bit ridiculous.

tcp said...

That is all Ortiz is right now.

I'm not saying that he hasn't been great ... he has been.

But what Papi did 3-5 years ago won't help the Red Sox win the World Series this season ... it's about what he's doing this year, which as of yet isn't much.

I truly hope he turns it around and hits 30 HR's and knocks in 100 RBI ... but I don't know if he can turn it around because right now he doesn't look like himself.

Benjamin said...

Papi's hitting .197 with 1 HR, and he's 5 years older than Holliday.

Not accounting for the margin of error in Caribbean players' ages.

For better or worse, Papi's our DH for the foreseeable future. So hopefully he turns it around.

tcp said...

Good point ... Ortiz could be 30, or he could be 37 ... we don't really know.

I do hope he turns it around ... I do like Papi ... I would hate to see it come down to him getting dealt.

9casey said...

Anybody know the answer to the Pedroia question?

9casey said...

tcp said...
Papi's hitting .197 with 1 HR, and he's 5 years older than Holliday.

So, yeah it is at least a little tempting.



Shit, leave Papi out of it , I am not trading Clay and Bowden for Holliday..

tcp said...

It doesn't have to be Holliday, but would you trade one (or both) of them for a quality hitter?

redsock said...

What Pedroia question?

9casey said...

tcp said...
It doesn't have to be Holliday, but would you trade one (or both) of them for a quality hitter?


Hanley , and I would throw in Lugo

9casey said...

redsock said...
What Pedroia question?

9casey said...
Anybody have any idea what FY puts in his helmet after he gets on base?

andy said...

Im gonna be watching for Pedroia's helmet stuffing

andy said...

I'm gonna watch youk's homer fly into the seats

andy said...

I should say I'm gonna watch youk hi-five the team this inning.