By: Matt McGrath

On Thursday, the Red Sox traded Pawtucket outfielder Bubba Bell to Cleveland for cash considerations. Bell, a 39th round pick out of Nicholls State in 2005, was stuck in a logjam of outfielders between Pawtucket and Boston, and the move to the Cleveland organization is likely to give him a much better shot at reaching the Major Leagues.

Bell came out firing during his first seasons within the organization, posting a .317/.363/.457 line with the GCL team in 2005, coupled with an exceptional month in short-season Lowell in 2006, resulting in a promotion to low-A Greenville. The following season in 2007 while playing for Lancaster was when Bell really made his mark on the Red Sox’ system, hitting .370 with 22 home runs through 76 games, a streak certainly aided by the launching-pad tendencies of the JetHawks’ stadium. Bell took home some serious hardware; picking up his first all-star appearance, an all-star MVP award and eventually winning the California League MVP. Continue reading »

Pawtucket broadcaster Dan Hoard is reporting that the Red Sox have released Aaron Bates (1B) and Ryan Khoury (UT) along with Adam Mills (P).

Bates, 27, was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2006 amateur draft. In five minor league seasons he hit .277/.373/.438 with 70 home runs and 310 RBI. He had a five game cameo with the Boston in 2009, collecting 4 hits in 11 at-bats.
Khoury, 27, was originally drafted in the 12th round of the 2006 amateur draft. In five minor league seasons he hit .261/.356/.377 while being a versatile middle infielder.
Mills, 26, was originally selected in the 8th round of the 2007 amateur draft. In four minor league seasons, Mills compiled a 26-27 record with a 4.37 ERA in 91 games.
The Red Sox released more Minor Leaguers this week: Lenny DiNardo (P), Itsuki Shoda(P), Ryne Miller (P), Eric Curtis (P), Jorge Jimenez (3B) and Bryan Peterson (OF)
Jason Place, our first pick of the 2006 draft, was released (per Kevin Thomas).
There are probably more transactions are on way with the Minor League rosters getting set.
Source: all from ww.soxprospects.com

 

1. Ellsbury CF
2. Pedroia 2B
3. Crawford LF
4. Youkilis 3B
5. Gonzalez 1B
6. Ortiz DH
7. Cameron RF
8. Salty C
9. Scutaro SS

Pitcher: Jon Lester

Interesting to see Cam get the start on opening day. He has a career slash line of .269/.372/.494 so it’s a good move.

 

By: Sean Clifford

Opening day is finally here! Just not for the Red Sox… However, 12 teams will be starting their seasons today, while the Red Sox and their fans must anxiously wait one more day. Before Friday comes, take a look at the coming matchups. Boston is opening the season against the defending AL champion Texas Rangers, who will begin defense of their pennant without Cliff Lee.

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Pitching Matchups:

April 1 : Jon Lester vs. C.J. Wilson

Last season, C.J. Wilson made the transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation, and did so with great success. He notched 15 wins while posting a 3.35 ERA. Three of those wins came against the Red Sox, whom he stiffled with a 0.86 ERA. Unfortunately, newcomers Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford have had Continue reading »

By: Nick DiBattista

Okay, so maybe Beckett wasn’t that good last season. And by not that good, I mean that he was of more use to us on the disabled list (which he spent a solid couple months on) than he was pitching.  His ERA ballooned up to 5.78, although he was a bit unlucky in addition to his ineffectiveness (.338 BA on Balls in Play). Mr. Beckett also had elevated walk and home run numbers, perhaps attributed to his injury. Either way, he was not the lone sore spot in a vaunted “paper” rotation.  John Lackey started his Red Sox career off on the right foot, but struggled in and out of grooves for most of the first half.  Lackey is an innings eater, though, and he did just that down the stretch, with 10 of his final 12 starts lasting 6 or more innings.

 

All’s not bad in the Fen, however. Lester was magical again, setting a career high in wins (19) and tying his career best in K’s (225). Daniel Bard established himself as the go to guy in the 8th inning, as well as the future closer, although that picture got a little murkier with the big name additions this offseason.  Lo and behold, the Sox staff appears loaded again, and if Beckett or Lackey (or even Dice-K) can step up their game, the rotation should provide plenty of quality starts.

STARTING ROTATION

Ace: Jon Lester

2010: 19-9, 3.35 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 225 K, 5.6 WAR

2011 Bill James Projections: 14-9, 3.53 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 193 K

Not sure if I’m missing something here.  Last time I checked, opening day left handed starters in their prime didn’t grow on trees. Why then, does the infamous Bill James have him regressing this season? James’ projections are usually optimistic if anything.  I suppose the overall regression isn’t that much, as wins are a team stat, and a 30 strikeout drop would be accurate if he were to miss a start or two.  Lester’s thrown over 200 innings the last three seasons, so hopefully that is not the case. Continue reading »

By: Wessel Brocken

Red Sox Nation, meet Michael McKenry, your new triple A catcher. The Red Sox acquired him yesterday by dealing AA pitcher Daniel Turpen to Colorado. I decided to write an article on McKenry, since no Red Sox fan knows anything about him, including me.

McKenry hit .384 with 18 homers as a high school sophomore (Farragut Highschool, Tennessee), .407 with 14 home runs as a junior and .455 with 11 jacks as a senior. He finished second all-time in Tennessee high school history in career homeruns and RBI. He was All-State each of his last three years.

As a college freshman (Middle Tennessee State University), McKenry struggled, batting .167/.267/.299. He improved as a sophomore, batting .328/.409/.617 and made All-Sun Belt Conference. His progression continued into his junior year when he hit .390/.494/.676 with 58 RBI in 55 games. (..) Continue reading »

It has been announced that the new Red Sox home for Spring Training will be named jetBlue Park. It has also been announced that jetBlue also has naming rights for the team’s academy in the Dominican Republic. Hey John Henry, looks like you have more money for FA signings now *nudge nudge*

Source: MLB Trade Rumors

8:38pm

By Peter Abraham, Globe Staff

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As expected, the Red Sox have acquired catcher Mike McKenry from Colorado for RHP Daniel Turpen. Catcher Mark Wagner was designated for assignment to make room for McKenry on the 40-man roster.

The Globe reported the teams were talking earlier this afternoon. Joel Sherman of the New York Post then reported the details of the trade.

McKenry, a solid defensive player, provides the Red Sox with major-league ready depth in the event of an injury to Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Jason Varitek. That had been lacking in the organization.

3:08pm: Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that “there is no trade.” He

said he doesn’t know if there will be a trade at some point (Twitterlink). However, Troy Renck of the Denver Post hears that the deal will happen (Twitter link).

2:08pm: The Red Sox acquired catcher Mike McKenry from the Rockies for righty reliever Daniel Turpen, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.  The Red Sox will have to make a 40-man roster move for McKenry, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.

McKenry, 26, hit .265/.328/.424 in 384 plate appearances at Triple-A Colorado Springs last year, catching 94 games.  He’s thrown out 37% of attempted thieves in his minor league career and is said to have good intangibles as a catcher.  A year ago Baseball America ranked him 13th among Rockies prospects, saying, “his best role may be as a high-energy backup.”

Turpen, 24, spent the spring in Yankees camp as a Rule 5 pick but was returned to the Red Sox.  The Sox had acquired him from the Giants in August for reliever Ramon Ramirez.  Turpen posted a 4.30 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 3.7 BB/9, and 0.5 HR/9 in 69 Double-A relief innings last year.

 

From what I’ve heard McKenry is a decent spec for the Rockies. Though this is probably more of a depth move than anything. What do you guys think about the trade? I’m just mad we didn’t trade Turpen for Tulo.

By: Sean Clifford

After a disappointing 2010 season that was marred by injuries and resulted in a third place finish in the AL East, the Red Sox have much to be excited about in 2011. Major acquisitions of 3-time All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and former Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford have created more buzz in Beantown than any offseason in recent memory. By adding these superb bats to a lineup that scored 818 runs last year, while dealing with major injuries to key contributors, the Red Sox offense has the potential to be the most explosive in all of baseball.

First Base: Adrian Gonzalez

2010: .298/.393/.511, 31 HR, 101 RBI, 5.7 oWAR, 160 GP

BJP* 2011: .312/.399/.600, 40 HR, 113 RBI, 161 GP

Ladies and gentleman, meet Adrian Gonzalez, the Red Sox new first baseman. He has been in the top 20 for NL MVP voting each of the past 4 seasons and has gone to 3 consecutive All Star games. His slash line from 2010 does not do him justice as he played his home games in arguably the worst hitters park in all of baseball, Petco Park. His line outside of Petco is nothing short of fantastic (.315/.402/.578) and he hit nearly twice as many homeruns on the road than he did at home. Fenway should give Gonzalez’ stats a huge boost and should make him an even more dominating presence at the plate than in years past. Also, Gonzalez is coming over from the Padres who never surrounded him with true offensive threats, whereas in Boston, he should benefit from the increased protection in the lineup. Don’t be surprised to see Adrian Gonzalez emerge as a candidate for the MVP award at the end of the season.

*Fun Fact: Fenway Park is one of only two active ballparks that Adrian Gonzalez has never played in, the other being new Yankee Stadium.*

Second Base: Dustin Pedroia

2010: .288/.367/.493, 12 HR, 41 RBI, 2.7 oWAR, 75 GP

BJP* 2011: .297/.372/.462, 17 HR, 77 RBI, 158 GP

Last season, Pedroia displayed more power than Red Sox fans have come to expect from him. Unfortunately, some of that power was on display when Dustin cracked a foul ball off his foot, breaking a bone and sidelining him for the season. Pedroia boasts one of the more impressive career resume’s with 3 All Star selections, an MVP award and a ROY award, all by the age of 27.  Continue reading »

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