Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Youkilis’
Good game today – especially nice to see Jon Lester turn in a strong pitching performance. With a solid bullpen effort from Andrew Bailey, Craig Breslow and Alfredo Aceves. And what about Pedro “Four Hits” Ciriaco.
So at six games back in the wildcard hunt (as this post is written) – does Boston still have a chance?
Take a look at the numbers.
The Red Sox are playing .488 ball with 59 wins for the season.
Say they play .600 percentage baseball the rest of the season. The team would end with 84 wins.
Here are the top three teams in the wildcard race:
- Tampa Bay has 65 wins (.546 winning percentage) with 43 games remaining.
- Baltimore and Detroit both have 64 wins (.538 percentage) with also with 43 games left.
Note: All three teams still are playing today.
Any of the three top contending teams can outpace Boston by hitting 85 wins without even playing .500 for the rest of the season.
And there are two other teams ahead of the Red Sox (Oakland and Los Angeles).
So while capturing a wildcard spot is a mathematical possibility for the Red Sox, to actually achieve it requires Boston to play significantly better than they have all season.
And for Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Detroit to each probably play below .500 baseball for the rest of the year (assuming Boston plays .600).
The moral of the story: Keep trying to win – but look for opportunities to play the kids like Ciriaco and Ryan Lavarnway – to see what you got for next year.
Trade Lesson Learned
Also, in prepping for next year – start the introspection process – to learn from this year’s mistakes.
For instance, don’t trade – actually, don’t give away – player assets just because the player is unhappy.
This blog was a proponent for trading Kevin Youkilis – but I have changed my mind.
Trade recap – Youkilis loses his job to Will Middlebrooks – and to create a clear path for the rookie, move Youkilis for not much talent in return and paying most of Youk’s salary.
Boston has seen injuries to Middlebrooks (two times – one season ending), Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz – all where have Youkilis would have helped.
A playoff-focused team tells Youkilis – go to the bench and be ready when we need you.
While Youkilis probably would not have been a big contributor – when you get nothing much in return, hold onto to an asset.
Congrats to the Yalies
Love it – Breslow and Lavarnway became the first pitcher-catcher battery with both players from Yale since 1883.
Today is a former Red Sox notes edition.
Oakland OF Josh Reddick as Spider-Man – check out: http://bit.ly/Qrylnq. Boston could use some players with that type of enthusiasm (beyond Nick Punto). And a guy who has hit 23 homers so far would be good too.
Speaking of the A’s – it’s time to officially state: Curt Young was not the reason the Red Sox pitching staff stunk last season. Look at the job Oakland’s pitching staff is doing this year – it’s in line with what Young did before he came to Boston. Note to Red Sox GM Ben Cherington for the off-season: It’s the pitchers, not the coach.
Kevin Youkilis has a .246 AVG for the White Sox – but is trending downwards, 5 for 32, .132 AVG in his last ten games. Still a good grab for Chicago. They gave up nothing and are paying him little. And he is an improvement over what the White Sox previously had at third-base. But Youk isn’t helping himself for a 2013 contract. Look for a one-year, make-good deal as the best he can get.
The Indians are fading fast – and shedding former Red Sox. Johnny Damon was cut 231 hits shy of the 3000 mark he will probably never make. Looks like the end of the line for Damon. Also gone is Derek Lowe. Despite pitching poorly recently, expect Lowe to land somewhere – because teams are always looking for arms. The Red Sox should pass. They need to quit pretending they are a contender and use the last two months of the season thinking about how to sort out things for next year – with Chris Carpenter and Alex Wilson getting shots instead of Lowe.
It’s nice to see Kevin Youkilis return to Boston, getting a grand ovation from the Fenway faithful.
And Youk was smart enough not to take the bait from the media about Bobby Valentine.
Bobby V kicked things off, spouting off about Youkilis to the media when the Red Sox were at Tampa Bay.
Of course, Valentine should know better – but his mouth got in front of his brain. I don’t think that was a first.
Looking at the Youkilis Trade
Chicago has been the big winner in the Youkilis deal – giving up practically nothing and having Boston pay most of Youk’s salary. How could they lose?
The big losers were the general managers of other teams – like the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Athletics – who could have used a righty bat who can play first and third.
It has to pain them to recall how Youkilis was out there for nothing.
I get Youkilis was not hitting when Boston was trying to trade him. But the cost was virtually nothing. Give him a try – and if it didn’t work, release him.
As for the Red Sox, the trade served its purpose – opening a spot for Will Middlebrooks at third base.
Brent Lillibridge – who came over from ChiSox in the Youkilis – may have already played his last game as a Red Sox – being designated for assignment.
And the other player acquired – Zach Stewart – is down in Pawtucket and may or may not make it to Boston.
In dealing Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox, the Red Sox did what a baseball superpower is supposed to do – they ate a big chunk of salary to get a better return in the trade.
Boston didn’t get a blue chip prospect – but P Zach Stewart has a shot at being a big-league starter.
And for a 33 year old with a .225 average and big contract – that’s a pretty good return.
Alex Speier took a look at the players the Red Sox picked up – Stewart and utilityman Brent Lillibridge (on Lillibridge – think Nick Punto – versatility and no bat, but more speed than Punto).
Stewart has been traded twice before – because teams see something there.
The key for Stewart – can he get his sinkerball going consistently? That’s something he will be searching for in Pawtucket.
The Red Sox need starters and getting an arm who may contribute – maybe even this season – is a good get.
As for Lillibridge – he may be a short-timer as Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury come off the disabled list.
Will Youk help the White Sox?
Richard Justice writes yes – Chicago got a head start on its playoff contender competition with this move.
Youkilis should be better than Brent Morel and Orlando Hudson. But that’s not asking much.
Let’s hope the change in scenery revitalizes Youk. He gave his all to Boston – it would be nice to see him get it going again.
And we will get to see it first hand – July 16-19 when Youkilis returns to Fenway Park in a White Sox uniform.
Beckett Woes. Josh Beckett hit the disabled list with a bum shoulder. Bad news on multiple fronts. The move weakens a Red Sox rotation that is already performing below expectations. It also serves as a reminder that Boston has the 32 year old Beckett under contract at big bucks ($15.750 million per year) through the 2014 season. Alex Speier charted the history of Beckett’s shoulder woes and called the injury “a matter worthy of significant attention.” The team needs a healthy Beckett – this year and beyond. And – with or without Beckett – Boston needs another top starter. Put Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza of the Cubs at the top of the list.
DBacks Talking Youk. Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports the Red Sox asked the Arizona Diamondbacks for reserve OF Gerardo Parra as part of a deal for 3B Kevin Youkilis. And Arizona said no. Shows GM Ben Cherington is out there trying to trade Youk – despite what he says. And – more importantly – it’s going to be a tough market to move Youk, as noted in a recent post. Don’t expect the Red Sox to get a lot of value for Youkilis in any trade – meaning, no everyday starter or pitcher who is a difference maker. And what Boston gets back may greatly depend on how much of Youk’s salary they are willing to eat.
Crawford Throwing. Manager Bobby Valentine reported OF Carl Crawford threw the ball well before today’s game. Sorry, can’t get excited this “news.” First, no date has been set for Crawford to start playing games. Second, even when Crawford plays, not sure his contributions will make much difference. Best case scenario: Crawford gets healthy, plays well, and the Red Sox eat a lot of salary and move him to another team. Great match: Miami Marlins – they need an outfielder and demonstrated a willingness to spend in the off-season.
Be Glad You Are Not A Phillies Fan. Frustrated supporting the Red Sox? Be happy you are not a Phillies fan. Their season is more disappointing than the Red Sox performance. Another team dealing with a bunch of injuries. But the Phillies are older and also have a bunch of expensive long-term contracts. Key difference: the Red Sox have a much stronger farm system than the Phillies – so Boston’s help is on the way.
What do you think – who’s is better for this season and the long term: Boston or Philadelphia?
When discussing 3B Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has said he is “not close to dealing the infielder — or even fielding any calls.”
Of course, what else is Cherington supposed to say?
Yeah, I am trying to move Youk but have found no takers.
Then Youkilis drops into even a deeper funk.
Teams know Youkilis is available – no need to drum up a market.
In writing about an interview with Red Sox CEO Larry Lucchino, Gordon Edes reports, “ownership expects soon some resolution at third base” between Youkilis and rookie Will Middlebrooks.
Here’s the question: Does Youkilis have any trade value?
Let’s look at three key factors:
- Performance. The 33 year-old Youkilis is hitting .212 AVG and .295 OBP (where did the Greek God of Walks go?). And the trends are not looking good. Last ten games: Youk is 3 for 33 – batting .091 AVG.
- Salary. Youkilis is a big money player – $12 million this season with a $1 million buy-out for next season. With the money involved, the Red Sox either need to focus exclusively on big market teams or figure they need to eat money (maybe big money) in any deal.
- Competition. Most likely, Youkilis won’t be the only 3B out on the market. Ken Rosenthal positions Padres 3B Chase Headley as a better bargain than Youk. And there may be others, say like Edwin Encarnacion if the Blue Jays decide they are out of the playoff hunt after all their pitching injuries.
If – when? – the Red Sox move Youkilis don’t expect much coming back to Boston.
I don’t see Boston getting a player in return that contributes in 2012. Maybe a decent prospect – if the Red Sox are willing to eat a lot of cash.
The potential return raises two questions.
One, should Boston just say Middlebrooks is the starter, Youk: you are on the bench. And figure, can Youkilis provide injury insurance (the Red Sox as a team certainly have had injury issues during the last couple of years) and maybe contribute somewhere down the line?
Two, if keeping Youkilis on the roster is just unworkable and Youk’s low production/high cost makes him untradeable, would it be possible that the Red Sox release Youkilis?
What would you do with Kevin Youkilis if you were the Red Sox? Which teams may want him?
Jon Heyman weighs in on potential Red Sox trading partners in a Kevin Youkilis trade. Increasingly, it is looking like a Youk deal is a matter of “when” not “if.” Of interest: What will be the Red Sox asking price? Are we looking at player (or players) that will impact this season’s roster – or prospects? The Red Sox – even with all their injuries – have plenty of offense, so pitching should be the any short-term trading priority. Does Youkilis have enough trade value to bring a quality pitcher in return? This will be a good test on Boston GM Ben Cherington’s deal-making abilities. His previous trades (notably, Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon) have not worked out so well for the Sox.
If Jon Lester could just pitch as well as Felix Doubront then the Red Sox rotation would be something. With yesterday’s victory, Doubront leads Boston’s pitching staff – and is the only starter with an ERA under 4 (ouch). This has been an unexpected plus says manager Bobby Valentine, “When you talk about a guy winning six games by June 2 when he hadn’t been in a rotation before, I can’t say that’s what I expected.” While two months doesn’t make a season, all signs indicate Doubront is a keeper and will be a key part in Boston’s drive for a playoff spot this season.
Atchison = All Star?
You got to like Scott Atchison. He consistently does his job – whatever the manager asks. And so far, Atchison’s season is shaping up to be All Star caliber. Talk radio callers frequently cite the Red Sox as not a particularly likeable team – but the 2012 Scott Atchison story is compelling and he is a player people can easily get behind. Hope he makes it to Kansas City for the All Star Game.
The baseball draft will be held this coming week – and triggers Brian MacPherson to look at how the Red Sox did last year. And the answer (so far) is pretty darn well. P Matt Barnes and OF Jackie Bradley are tearing it up in the minors. Plus it looks like the Red Sox may have landed some other keepers. But remember – working through the minors is a long haul. The player closest to The Show – Barnes – is probably at least a couple of years ahead. So a lot can happen – good and not so good.