Evaluators analyze prospects coming to Boston

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Evaluators analyze prospects coming to Boston

Around baseball, most talent evaluators see the block-buster deal between the Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers as a clear win for the Sox -- if only because of the salary relief (nearly 260 million) the Sox are realizing.

"I'm like...wow!'' said one veteran scout when told how little the Sox were paying on the money due to Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto.

But there's another component, too: five players will eventually head to the Red Sox from the Dodgers. Three -- first baseman James Loney; pitcher Allen Webster; and infielder Ivan DeJesus -- were identified.

Two more will be transferred once the season ends, since waivers couldn't be obtained on them.

We asked around baseball for some observations on the four minor leaguers. Here are their thoughts:

1BOF Jerry Sands.

Evaluator No. 1: "He has big-time raw power, but he hasn't been able to put it together.''

Evaluator No. 2: "He's a pretty good sized guy, but not a great athlete. He's a fringe guy at best. Even thought he's righthanded, he reminds me of a lefthanded-type hitter -- a low-ball hitter. He could use a change of scenery.''

Evaluator No. 3: "He's got pretty good power from the right side, but he doesn't have a position to play. He doesn't run well. I see him as a marginal guy. Maybe he could be a platoon guy, but he's inconsistent. The (Triple A) numbers are skewed -- he has too many holes and major league pitchers will find those if you pitch him correctly.

INFIELDER Ivan DeJesus

Evaluator No. 1: "He can played second and short OK, and maybe a little third. I think second is probably his best position.''

Evaluator No. 2: "I'm sure (the Red Sox) see him as an insurance guy. If you have injuries, you can bring him up and he won't hurt you. I don't see him as a regular, but he's not a bad guy to have around.''

Evaluator No. 3: "I remember seeing him at shortstop and he was OK. But he had (a leg injury) and he's never run well since. He's a marginal guy, an extra guy at the big league level. He has a little thump with the bat, but something's missing. He's not an everyday guy.''

RHP Rubby De La Rosa

Evaluator No. 1: "I saw him when he was healthy (before undergoing Tommy John surgery). His fastball, even when hitters knew it was coming, they couldn't catch up. He's a real power arm. Whether he's a starter or not I don't know, but he could definitely be a tail-end reliever. The fastball is his key pitch and for a guy throwing as hard as he was, his command was pretty good. There's no reason he shouldn't help the club.

Evaluator No. 2: "I like him a lot. There's a lot there. The key will be how is he coming off surgery. Sometimes you have to take a chance on those guys, and he's one of those guys.''

Evalautor No. 3: "I saw him starting, but I have him projected as a bullpen guy. He's a legit power guy. The ball gets on the hitter real quick. He can come in and throw the ball by you for an inning with no trouble.''

RHP Allen Webster

Evaluator No. 1: "I haven't seen much of him, but I know the Dodgers loved him. I'm a little surprised. (Our club) tried to make a deal for him earlier and were told they wouldn't let him go''

Evaluator No. 2: "He's the best guy in the deal for me - a power arm. He's mostly fastball and changeup. I think he's had some command issues, but that's not unusual at this stage (Double A). I've seen him throw 96 mph.''

Evaluator No. 3: "I like his mechanics. I saw him in April and he was pretty consistently 95 mph. I really like him. For a guy with his stuff, his record isn't very good. He's got better stuff than his numbers. But he's got a chance to be a top-of-the-rotation guy, probably a No. 2. And there's not many of those guys around.''

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?