By: Matt McGrath

Cecchini, the Red Sox 4th round pick in 2010, is the top selection from that draft who has still yet to make his professional debut. He signed with the Sox at the deadline for a $1.3M bonus. Cecchini tore his ACL during his senior year in high school, an injury that likely slipped his stock out from the first round. Following his junior year, Cecchini was a cornerstone of the U18 national team that won the Pan-Am Championships along with Royals’ shortstop Manny Machado. Cecchini is slated to begin with short-season Lowell. Cecchini has actually seen extensive time throughout the infield in his amateur career, but it is believed the Sox will start his out at third base due to his size and physical projectability at 6’3 and 215 lb.

Cecchini has an advanced approach at the plate that will help his development greatly. He has a terrific swing, good mechanics at the plate and while he doesn’t possess a lot of present power, his expected physical development, along with his great plate approach projects him as an above average power hitter down the line. Cecchini is likely to follow a similar path to that of current Portland third baseman Will Middlebrooks; both were above slot draftees and raw athletic high school third basemen. Cecchini, obviously like any prospect, is likely to progress through the system at his own pace, but with his upside, the Sox are likely to be cautious with promotions, and it is unlikely that he sees a promotion to Greenville before the end of Lowell’s season. Regardless, Cecchini is considered one of the gems of an exceptional 2010 draft, and despite not having made his debut yet, many prospect fanatics are already projecting great things from Cecchini as a ballplayer.

 

RED SOX (30-23)
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Crawford LF
Sutton SS
Drew RF
Saltalamacchia C

Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (7-1, 3.36)

WHITE SOX (24-31)
Pierre LF
Ramirez SS
Quentin DH
Konerko 1B
Pierzynski C
Rios CF
Lillibridge RF
Beckham 2B
Morel 3B

 

It’s time for the pitchers to be graded.

Pitchers:

Rotation:

Jon Lester: A He hasn’t been amazing, but he’s been Jon Lester and what we expected of him. He avoided his April funk which is a great sign. I expect him to pitch better as the season goes on, but that’s not to say he hasn’t been good. He boasts a great 7-1 record with a 3.36 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. He’s been the horse of the staff, averaging just under 7 innings per start.

Clay Buchholz: A I’m glad we held onto this guy. With many sportswriters declaring 2010 a fluke for Buchholz, Buchholz still had a lot to prove going into this year. Buchholz has proven himself. Now that his peripherals are back around normal, he’s not putting up an eye-popping ERA, but he’s still been a stellar pitcher. He’s 4-3 with a 3.30 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He’s no workhorse, but he’s a great pitcher and Red Sox fans should be thrilled to have him on the hill for years to come.

John Lackey: F Yuck is all I have to say about Lackey this year. He was our #2 starter, but now with his stats he couldn’t be the #5 starter on the Pirates. He has a terrible 8.01 ERA with a 1.81 WHIP and a 2-5 record. Opponents are hitting .317 against him and he’s just been all around terrible. The Red Sox desperately need him to pitch better, and nobody expects him to keep up this performance.

 

Bill Simmons trademarked the Derek Lowe face, I'm trademarking the John Lackey face.

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RED SOX (30-22)
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Crawford LF
Sutton SS
Drew RF
Varitek C

Pitching: RHP Josh Beckett (4-1, 1.69)

TIGERS (25-26)
Jackson CF
Dirks LF
Boesch RF
Cabrera 1B
Martinez DH
Kelly 3B
Avila C
Santiago SS
Worth 2B

Pitching: RHP Justin Verlander (4-3, 3.42)

Game will be on NESN, yes!

RED SOX (29-22)
Ellbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis DH
Lowrie SS
Crawford LF
Sutton 3B
Cameron RF
Saltalamacchia C

Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (4-3, 3.30)

TIGERS (25-25)
Jackson CF
Dirks LF
Boesch DH
Cabrera 1B
Martinez C
Peralta SS
Kelly RF
Raburn 2B
Inge 3B

Pitching: LHP Andy Oliver (season debut)

Let’s do this again. And let’s pray that Verlander vs. Beckett is televised.

 

RED SOX (29-22)
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Lowrie SS
Crawford LF
Cameron RF
Saltalamacchia C

Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (4-3, 3.30)

TIGERS (25-25)
Jackson CF
Dirks LF
Boesch RF
Cabrera 1B
Martinez DH
Peralta SS
Avila C
Raburn 2B
Inge 3B

Pitching: LHP Andy Oliver (season debut)

Why is Cameron in the lineup? I’d much rather see more Reddick.

Tom Garcia, the author of "The 2004 Red Sox: The Curse is Broken"

Don’t worry Red Sox fans, this isn’t just another book about the 2004 Red Sox! We thought that all of you fathers out there reading BloodySox would love an opportunity to engross your children in the Red Sox if they already aren’t.

Break the curse of boring children’s books this Father’s Day! Daddy’s Heroes children’s books are inspired from memorable moments in sports history that fathers love. Our mission is writing books that will not only inspire fathers to read to their children but also strengthen the bonds between them. The third installment in the series The 2004 Red Sox: The Curse is Broken will be available June 1st at Amazon.com and at www.daddysheroes.com.

 

 

May 27, 1939-The next time you look up at the retired number #1, 4, and 9, think about this. Doerr, Cronin, and Williams all hit homers in the third inning of the game played on this day back in 1939.

Debuts this day:
Tim Wakefield-1995

The Red Sox are 50 games into the season, and the chicken littles have faded at least until the next Red Sox bullpen meltdown. All is serene in Red Sox Nation right now. Things are going great for the team, but the same cannot be said for every player. It’s time to assess how the  players on the greatest Red Sox team ever are doing 50 games in.

Batters:

Jarrod Saltalamacchia: B Had these grades been done a few weeks ago, he would have gotten a D or an F. In April Salty posted a .548 OPS with no home runs and only 3 extra base hits. All of that has changed in May. In May he has a stellar .892 OPS with 4 home runs and 3 doubles. His average and OBP still leaves a lot to be desired, but he’s been slugging very well. He’s finally showing the pop the Red Sox front office knew he had.

Jason Varitek: C Going into the season we didn’t expect much from the grizzled veteran. In this point of his career he’s a team leader who can call games well and is comfortable with the staff. Recently he’s been showcasing his bat, too. In May he has a .793 OPS with a .372 OBP. He’s been having solid at bats and recently threw out 2 base runners in a game. (No that’s not a typo)

The Sultan of Swat

 

Adrian Gonzalez: A+ He’s been all we wanted and more. He’s been more than incredible this year. After a “slow” April, by his standards, he’s been nothing short of amazing. He’s hitting at a .337/.385/.553 slash line with 9 home runs, 44 RBIs, and 16 doubles. Add that to his amazing fielding (8.3 UZR/150) and he’s a great MVP candidate. Anything below an A+ would be too low of a grade.

Dustin Pedroia: B- Where has the laser show been this year? Pedroia hasn’t been able to get anything going at the plate this season. And yet, he still has a higher OBP than Robinson Cano. Pedroia would have gotten a lower grade if it weren’t for his amazing defense so far. He boasts an amazing 14.5 UZR/150  this season.

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RED SOX (28-22)
Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Crawford LF
Lowrie SS
Reddick RF
Saltalamacchia C

Pitching: RHP Tim Wakefield (1-1, 4.50).

TIGERS (25-24)
Jackson CF
Santiago 2B
Raburn LF
Cabrera DH
Martinez 1B
Peralta SS
Avila C
Wells RF
Inge 3B

Pitching: RHP Rick Porcello (4-2, 3.08)

 

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