As Ojakima's fastball has lost a bit of velocity, he has become more dependent on it versus RHB -- a very bad combination. In 2010, righties hit .340 and slugged .540 against Okajima. Jeemer seemed to perk up a bit in September, however, and he will likely be used far more situationally this year than in the past.
Bradford also talked to trainer Lee Fiocchi about Carl Crawford's off-season workouts:
We have a 55-yard sand pit that he was training in today and he looked as explosive as anyone on solid ground. He's the type of guy that never gets too far out of game-shape, and I'm talking about ANY game. That's how adaptable he is. ... His blend of athleticism is as pure as anybody in terms of blending speed, strength, agility and power.Crawford has also been tailoring his swing for Fenway Park, and working on streamlining his sprint to second on steal attempts.
Boston has signed Hector Luna (aka "Out Number Two of the Eighth Inning of Game Four of the 2004 World Series") to a minor-league deal. Luna, who is 30 and has played all seven infield and outfield positions, hit .138 in 27 games with the Marlins last season.
Reliever Taylor Buchholz, claimed off waivers from Toronto but then not offered a contract, has signed with the Mets. ... Jeremy Hermida signed a minor league deal with the Reds. ... The Rockies non-tendered Manny Delcarmen, making him a free agent, and the Rays are interested. After being traded to Colorado, MDC had a 6.48 ERA in nine games, allowing 16 baserunners in 8.1 innings.
Adrian Beltre has signed a 6/96 (!) deal with the Rangers.
Eighteen ESPNers filled out Hall of Fame ballots. News editor Barry Stanton was the only person to not vote for Roberto Alomar and one of four voters that stiffed Bert Blyleven. However, Stanton did cast the only votes for Don Mattingly, Tino Martinez, and B.J. Surhoff, so he's got that going for him.
Paul SF noted the recent RYLW 2011 projections and is now going back and seeing how well various AL East projections were for the last few seasons. So far, he has posted about 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Best season by a Canadian-born hitter? Click here.
SI's Joe Sheehan has ten predictions for 2011, including:
The Red Sox will win the World Series. ... The additions [of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford] help spur them to the best record in baseball and a romp through the playoffs, yielding a third World Series championship in eight seasons.