Sunday Morning Read: Logan Morrison to the #RedSox Would Be Interesting.

On the same day the Chicago Cubs are making deals for aces, here I am writing about a hypothetical. The past few days have provided us with varying reports that the Red Sox have looked in on free agent first baseman Logan Morrison. Morrison, 30, has spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, and is coming off the best season of his career in which he mashed 38 home runs and drove in 85 runs. With the way things have been this winter, Morrison has gauged little to no interest until just recently, and is arguably the best first baseman available behind Eric Hosmer.

The funny thing is, what Hosmer decides to do will most likely determine what Morrison does. If Hosmer leaves the Kansas City Royals for the San Diego Padres, then Morrison will more than likely land there. The Kansas City native grew up a Royals fan, so it makes sense that he would want to play there. If Hosmer somehow resigns with the Royals, things could get interesting. The only other team that has shown some interest in Morrison just so happens to be the Boston Red Sox, a team in need of a power bat.

Adding Morrison to this current roster puts the Red Sox in an interesting predicament. JD Martinez would have to be out of the equation for this to happen, and then you’re looking at three guys who can play first as well as DH, Morrison, Mitch Moreland, and Hanley Ramirez. That’s a lot of platooning right there. From what I have read this offseason, it appears that Ramirez is going to see a drop in at bats this season for contractual reasons. I can’t imagine he is on board with taking a reduced role, but I haven’t heard him voice any concern he might have. Morrison will probably never hit more than 38 home runs again in a single season, so is it really worth it if the asking price is too high?

Like many free agents, the market for Morrison remains to be seen. The best comparison I can make right now, in terms of contracts, is Todd Frazier, who just received a 2-year/$17 million dollar deal from the New York Mets. Paying a player with 35+ home run potential seems relatively cheap, especially for the Red Sox, but things are changing in this league. Let’s not forgot, this is just a back up plan. If JD Martinez signs on that dotted line, this is all thrown out the window. Thanks for reading.

RECAP: #RedSox bullpen wastes a great start for Drew Pomeranz in 5-3 loss.

After a feel good walk-off win last night, the Red Sox got back to the way things were on Sunday, being an extremely frustrating team to watch. Drew Pomeranz was good in the 6.2 innings he pitched. At no point did Pomeranz dominate, but he was able to limit the damage. Seven hits, one earned run, one walk, and four strike outs. In relief of Pomeranz, Brandon Workman got out of the seventh inning while giving up a hit. Matt Barnes started the eighth, and the game went downhill from there. Barnes failed to record an out while allowing three hits and four runs, three of which were earned. Despite the sucky outing for Barnes, I will give him this: that inning could have gone completely different if Xander Bogaerts did not juggle that ground ball that allowed Lorenzo Cain, the first batter, to reach base. Robby Scott came in, gave up a hit, and got the first two outs of the inning, making way for Heath Hembree. Hembree finished the eighth, then went on to pitch a scoreless ninth as well. Like I said earlier today, Addison Reed could help this team. He’s not great, but he could serve as a viable eighth inning guy until Joe Kelly returns.

On the offensive side, Mitch Moreland had one of his best performances in a while. The first baseman drove in the first run of the game in the second, scoring Hanley Ramirez on an RBI single. That would be the first of Moreland’s two hits today, making it the first time since Independence Day that Moreland has recorded more than one hit in a game. The bats would go quiet until the fifth, when the rookie, Rafael Devers barely got the ball over the Green Monster for his second career home run and his first at Fenway Park. That would be it for the Red Sox in terms of runs. After the Royals took the lead in the eighth, they had the chance to win the game in the ninth. Before Mookie Betts came up with two outs, a JBJ walk, a Christian Vazquez single, and a Devers walk loaded the bases. You’d figure Mookie could at least make things interesting with a hard hit ball, but he popped up to Lorenzo Cain instead, ending the game.

Seeing a good amount of guys from the 2007 World Series team was cool, and David Ortiz was great the inning he was in the NESN booth. It’s too bad the Red Sox couldn’t have won on what was a pretty good day.

Also, shout out to Adrian Beltre for 3,000 hits. Miss that guy in a Red Sox uni.

57 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Eduardo Nunez, Christian Vazquez, and Sandy Leon play key roles for #RedSox in 9-8 win in extras.

In a game that took just under five hours to complete, the newest addition to the Red Sox, Eduardo Nunez, drove in the winning run. Eduardo Rodriguez made his third start since coming off the disabled list, and he struggled to say the least. The pitch count was an issue, but ERod was surprisingly limiting the damage despite that. It wasn’t until the fourth when the Royals scored four times, including a cheap three-run home run off the bat of Lorenzo Cain. With ERod’s pitch count around 100 after pitching just four innings, the Red Sox bullpen would have to be relied on heavily. Fernando Abad and Blaine Boyer both gave up two runs, but that was all the Royals got the rest of the game. Robby Scott, Heath Hembree, Craig Kimbrel, and Matt Barnes combined to pitch five scoreless innings while scattering four hits and striking out five Royals in the process. Since coming back off the DL, Eduardo Rodriguez has an ERA of 6.75 and a WHIP of 1.91. Could that and David Price’s health lead to Dave Dombrowski acquiring a middle of the rotation type of starter? Perhaps. Jaime Garcia just got traded to the Yankees, but Lance Lynn is a viable option as well. Personally, I’d prefer a proven veteran reliever whose asking price isn’t too steep. On paper, the Red Sox bullpen has been great, but I find it hard to trust them in big games, that’s why I want the reliever.

Anyway, Trevor Cahill did not do much to outpitch ERod, so the Red Sox were in the game despite his struggles. As the title says, Christian Vazquez came up huge yesterday, and he drove in the first run of the game for the Red Sox in the second, scoring Jackie Bradley from third on an RBI triple. Eduardo Nunez had a big day as well, as he hit his first of two home runs in the third, a solo shot which gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead at that point. After the Royals took a 4-2 lead in their half of the fourth, that was matched with a Christian Vazquez RBI double and a Rafael Devers RBI single, tying the game. Nunez went yard again in the fifth, and Mitch Moreland drove in JBJ on a fielding error as well. In the sixth, the Royals tacked on another four runs, giving them a 8-6 lead. Jackie Bradley drove in Andrew Benintendi on a sac-fly in the seventh, and Mookie Betts tied the game in the eighth, driving in Brock Holt from third on another sac-fly. Since Holt pinch ran for Vazquez, who nearly hit for the cycle, Sandy Leon entered the game behind the plate, and he led off the tenth with a double. After Devers struck out, the Royals put on Mookie Betts intentionally with one out. A wild pitch with Nunez up allowed Leon to reach third, and he scored the game-winning run in an unusual way.

In his first two games with the Red Sox, Eduardo Nunez has done a lot. Not too many fans were thrilled when this trade happened earlier last week, but it seems to be paying off now.

Drew Pomeranz pitches today, as the Red Sox have the chance to win their first series since the All-Star break.

57 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Rick Porcello loses fourteenth decision of the season as #RedSox fall out of first place.

It was quite a day for the Red Sox and their fans on Friday. David Price, who was supposed to pitch last night, was placed on the 10-Day Disabled List because of a sore elbow prior to the game. Many suspected this was done so that Price would not have to face the Fenway crowd, as this would be his first home start since the details of his confrontation with Dennis Eckersley were revealed. Dave Dombrowksi had to go in front of the press just to say it was not done for that reason. Manager John said that Price should be throwing by next Tuesday, so the injury doesn’t appear to be too severe. And while this was happening, Dustin Pedroia announced to the media that he is the leader in the clubhouse, so Fenway Park was pretty much a circus earlier Friday.

Anyway, Rick Porcello was matched up against Royals starter Jason Vargas, who is having a bit of a renaissance while coming back from Tommy John surgery. Vargas did out pitch Porcello, and Porcello did give up four runs, but he was really not that bad last night. The righty only gave up six hits and one walk in seven innings pitched, but unfortunately, two of those hits were home runs. Salvador Perez took Porcello deep with a solo shot in the second, and Mike Moustakas took him deep with a three-run shot in the fourth. Other than those two pitches though, I have nothing to complain about when it comes to Porcello’s start. I love the fact that he has consistently ate up innings this season, despite not putting up the best numbers. The last time he failed to pitch at least six innings was back on April 14th, so he has that going for him. It’s a shame the Red Sox offense hates scoring runs for Porcello, because that guy does not deserve fourteen losses.

Let me tell you how the Red Sox did at the plate last night: Seven hits and two runs, that is all. Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez both made their Fenway Park debuts, and both combined to reach base four times. Mookie Betts drove in the first run for the Red Sox in the fifth, scoring Rafael Devers on an RBI single, and Sandy Leon drove in the second run of the game for the Red Sox with an RBI ground out in the seventh, scoring Chris Young from third. They had a chance to perhaps tie things in the ninth with Andrew Benintendi singling to third with two outs, but Rafael Devers grounded out to second and that ended things.

I would have liked to see Devers be more patient, but it didn’t work out that way. This team needs a jolt, in my opinion. They’ve seemed pretty lifeless lately, and I think they’d be much worse if Chris Sale were not on the team. I’ve been pondering the idea of trading for Giancarlo Stanton, but I think I rather wait until the offseason for that. For now though, Xander Bogaerts needs some time off. He’s probably hurt, which has led to him producing next to nothing over the past few weeks.

First time in a month the Red Sox are out of first place, if the Royals sweep, they’ll have the same number of wins, which didn’t seem possible a few months ago.

56 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Drew Pomeranz surprisingly not to blame as #RedSox end road trip with 6-4 loss.

Who would have thought that the Red Sox bullpen, not Drew Pomeranz, would be who to put the blame on for another tough loss? Well, that’s what happened this afternoon. Pomeranz was not half bad, pitching into the seventh inning for the second start in a row. The only runs the Royals scored off of the southpaw were pretty cheap honestly, a GIDP that scored one in the second, and a sac fly that scored the other in the third. Five strikeouts for Pomeranz too, whose ERA is down to 4.07. The silver lining in this loss was probably Pomeranz, who needs to step up with all the injuries within the rotation. It looks like Drew will be making his next start against the Twins next Tuesday, another chance to lower that ERA.

Like the first sentence says, the bullpen was mostly awful today as they blew the lead and the game. Joe Kelly came in to relieve Pomeranz in the seventh, and despite loading the bases, he got out of the inning. Matt Barnes got the ball for the eighth, and he walked the only two batters he faced. Robby Scott came in, gave up a walk, then served up the go-ahead grand slam to Salvador Perez, who hit that ball with Miguel Cabrera’s bat.

Love that guy… Anyway, Heath Hembree would have to be thrown in the game to bail out the bullpen and stop the Royals bats, and that’s what he did in getting all three outs in the inning. Listen, I like Matt Barnes, he’s a pretty good guy to have out of the pen, but I just don’t think his purpose is to be the setup guy, the eighth inning guy. Last year, you had Koji, Tazawa, and Ziegler later on, so Barnes was really never needed in that role. Dave Dombrowski went ahead over the winter and made a trade with the Brewers for one of 2016’s best relievers, Tyler Thornburg. Well, he’s not going to play this season, and that setup man is still a question until we see what Carson Smith can be. Barnes will probably still pitch in those situations, because it seems like Manager John loves seeing him pitch there.

Offensively, the Red Sox only scored in two innings. They could have won the game with just these runs, but still. Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts mashed back to back solo home runs in the fourth, the tenth for Benny and the fifth for X. In the fifth, Christian Vazquez scored on a Mookie Betts sac fly and Deven Marrero scored from third on a failed pick-off attempt with Mitch Moreland at the plate. Not much to say about the offense today, Xander Bogaerts was the only guy in the lineup who reached more than once. Also, I know he only got one PA, but I just want to point out the fact that Hanley Ramirez’s BA has fallen to .239 and his Slugging % is only at .394, compare that to last year when he finished with a Slugging % of .505. He’s obviously not the guy to blame for the loss, but just wanted to put that information out there.

A 4-4 road trip is far from awful, but you can look at some recent losses as games that got away. At this point last year, the Red Sox had the same record as they do now, 40-32. If you visit Red Sox Twitter, many think this team could be better if Torey Lovullo was at the helm with how good the DBacks have been this year. Me? I think it’s tough to compare two teams in different divisions, not to mention different leagues. This Red Sox team could have a better record now, or they could make an impressive run over the summer. No team is running away with this division, patience is key.

To conclude, let me be the first to wish you a happy David Ortiz number retirement ceremony weekend. Three at home after the off day against a Trout-less Angels team, should be easy enough to take at least two out of three.

40 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Sale dominates Royals as #RedSox even things up with 8-3 victory.

Last time out, Chris Sale was part of maybe the most devastating loss of the season, a 1-0 loss to the one of the worst teams in baseball. He threw a complete game then, and he almost threw another one last night, this time with more help from the Red Sox bats. Sale got off to a bit of a rough start, giving up two hits and one run, a home run, in the first three innings he pitched. The Royals wouldn’t get anything off of Sale again until the ninth, when they scored twice. Not the finish Sale wanted, but still a lot of positives to take away. After a little stretch of mediocre stuff, it looks like Sale has regained his dominant form, as a bad ninth last night was the only thing keeping the southpaw from two straight complete games. Almost forgot to mention he struck out 10 or more batters for the tenth time with another ten tonight. Fernando Abad would come in to relieve Sale with one out in the ninth, and he got Travis Wood (ha) to hit into a game-ending double play.

The offense was far better last night than it was in the opener on Monday. Eight runs on thirteen hits is good stuff. Every guy in the lineup except Hanley Ramirez, whose job is to hit, recorded at least one hit. Sandy Leon, Deven Marrero, Chris Young, and Xander Bogaerts all had multi-hit games. The bulk of the scoring came in the fourth and sixth innings, as seven of the eight runs came in those innings. Good to see Sandy Leon looking good at the plate, also good to see Chris Young perform well in the limited role he has had with this team. Shouts to Deven Marrero for having a good one at the plate in his first game back, and hopefully we’ll never see Pablo Sandoval on the field again.

Drew Pomeranz pitches today on this fine get away day, that should be fun. Also, the Yankees lost their seventh game in a row last night, so first place is back on!

40 down, ? to go. 

RECAP: Velazquez pitches into sixth; JBJ homers; #RedSox drop game one in KC 4-2.

After taking two out of three from a very impressive Houston Astros over the weekend, Hector Velazquez and the Red Sox looked to carry that momentum to Kansas City for a three game series against the Royals. No one was expecting the Mexican native to go more than six innings, so it was good to see him make it into the sixth. Velazquez didn’t dominate, allowing five hits and only striking out three in the 5.1 innings pitched, but he did scatter those hits for the most part. The only real mistake he made came in the bottom of the third. With two outs and a runner on, Eric Hosmer took Velazquez yard, giving the Royals a 2-0 lead. Other than that though, not bad stuff from a spot starter at the end of the rotation.

For the second night in a row, the bullpen was rather iffy. Fernando Abad came in to relieve Velazquez, but he gave up a hit and walked a batter before being removed, having failed to record a single out. Blaine Boyer would come after Abad, and he too was rather bad. After finishing off the sixth, Boyer came back out for the seventh, which was a different story. The Royals reached base three times off Boyer in the seventh, scoring twice, the first run being the go-ahead run. Things could have gone differently, as a one out triple from Drew Butera could have been a single if Jackie Bradley Jr. did not dive and miss, but he did. Robby Scott would come in to try and get out of the seventh, and that’s exactly what he did. Austin Maddox made his second career appearance out of the pen, and he pitched a scoreless eighth.

Offensively, the lineup couldn’t do much against the veteran righty Jason Hammel. Like Velazquez, the only real mistake Hammel made was a home run off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr., his ninth of the season. Speaking of JBJ, he recorded his first three hit game of the year, so it’s good to see him come into his own with the bat again. Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez also had multi-hit games, so those four accounted for 90% of Red Sox hits last night. Those two runs that came off the bat of JBJ were the only runs the Red Sox could score though, as the Royals bullpen shut them down over the last two innings.

Today is Sale Day, which is good. First place was fun while it lasted.

39 down, ? to go.