Earlier today Red Sox insider Sean McAdam took some time to field questions from Red Sox Nation. Everything from Clay Buchholz's trip to Foxwoods fresh off a three-day stay at Mass. General, he had you covered. Let's jump right into it.
Good morning, all. Thanks for joining us. Let's get right to your questions!
Comment From Frank N. Stein
Do you think Salty will make the All-Star team?
Right now, I'd say he has a good chance, since he leads A.L. catchers in homers and RBI. Remember, though, it's a complicated process these days -- there's fan voting, players' voting -- and that all has to be weighed. But I would think Salty would find his way onto the roster.
Comment From tom d.
Do you think everyone is blowing this Buchholz story out of proportion? The doctors said he could go...so what's the big deal?
This is obviously non-baseball related, but it's serious nonetheless. He had difficulty eating, maintaining strength. Seems like they're doing the right thing giving him time to recover from something that could have been a pretty serious health complication
Comment From Tim
Large contract players aside, which Red Sox player will get you the most value in a trade?
I think there are a handful of players on short-term deals who would have real value at the deadline -- Kelly Shoppach is one, since teams are always looking for capable and experienced backup catchers. Also, guys like Albers and perhaps Atchison, since bullpen help is second only to starting pitching on most teams' lists.
Comment From Fat guy in bleachers
I'm standing up now.. Now I'm sitting...OK...now I'm up again...
Comment From Patrick
Hey Sean, is there any specific timetable for how long Crawford(and eventually Ellsbury) will spend at each minor league level during their rehab stints?
In general, teams like to see rehabbing players get around 50 plate appearances - health permittiing, of course. It's a little differen for Crawford, since he didn't have the benefit of a full spring training the way Ellsbury did. But I would think you're looking at about two weeks or so for each.
Comment From Doug
What do you think about the David Ortiz rant and do you think he should get more leeway from the media and fans?
I didn't quite understand the "rant.'' It came a day after a rousing comeback win that found Ortiz in a good mood. It began with a question about his contract status, and perhaps thinking of that put him in a bad mood. It's clear that he's very frustrated that managementownership sees no need to give him a mulit-year deal, and, frankly, I understand that. AS for the media giving him more leeway, I think Ortiz has had very positive media coverage here for almost his entire career.
Comment From Roger
Sox minor league system seems to have some strong prospects esp. lower levels. Who are you anxious to see in the next few years..
Agreed. After something of a down period for a year or two, there's an injection of top prospects in the system now. Most intriguing: OF Jackie Bradley Jr.; RHP
Comment From MAXRI
Sean what is your take on Jackie Bradley in Portland. also miss you at the PRJO
Matt Barnes and SS Xander Bogaerts
Sorry, that answer got clipped in half.
Comment From Leary
On Beckett being traded, there have been two arguments..1) What are you going to replace him with? (most of the beat guys) and 2) Is it that big of a deal to trade a guy with a 4 ERA the last 3 years that is fragile (Felger). Where do you stand?
Haven't seen Bradley in person yet, but looking forward to it. Very athletic, lots of tools.
More closely to the former, I would say. I Think Beckett still have value -- when he takes the ball. There have been disappointments (last September, most obviously), but he still is a pretty effective pitcher when healthy and I think given his contract, they wouldn't get anything near full value for him in a trade right now unless they took back some of the money.
Comment From Red Sox Maineiacs
Who does Andrew Bailey replace in the bullpen when he returns? Albers? Does Bailey become the closer or a setup guy?
I would expect that Bailey becomes the closer when he returns. Aceves has so much versatility that you could use him virtually anywhere -- set-up, start or anywhere in-between.
Comment From BradleyBaskir
Have you seen a pronounced change in the clubhouse atmosphere since Youkilis was traded? Perhaps, more at ease, less tension?
He's only been gone for three games, and I wasn't at the ballpark Tuesday or yesterday, since I flew out to Seattle. I wouldn't expect there to be much of a change. EVen if he wasn't close to a lot of players, it wasn't like he was disruption. I think at times, he was just quietly unhappy.
Comment From Sammy
Would the Red Sox ever considering trading Ellsbury. Clearly he is one of the most talented players in the league, but he is spending way too much time hurt. These huge chunks of time he has been missing have really hurt the team. I know he's still young, but hes become somewhat unreliable
Sammy. I agree that durability is an issue here. And I also think there's only a small chance that Ellsbury re-signs when he reaches free agency. Still, I don't think they'll move him. FOr one thing, teams know that he's represented by Scott Boras and his clients almost never sign extensions that buy out free agency, so any team obtaining him wouldn't be guranteed of having him past the end of 2013. Also, these Red Sox (since 2002, that is) almost never deal off a pending FA in fear that he may walk.
Comment From sean mac
Noticed Pedroia went clean-shaven to turn his luck around at the plate. What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen a guy do to break a slump or stay hot?
It's generally that sort of thing - changing habits or routines, little everyday things. Baseball players aren't nearly as superstitious as, say, hockey players, who are in a whole other world in that regard.
Comment From Sean
If the Red Sox are able to make the playoffs, who would you expect to see the top 3 starters with Beckett and Buchholz struggling and banged up?
Well, if they get to the playoffs -- more than three months away -- I'm assuming that Buchholz and Beckett would be healthy by then. In that case, I believe you'd see the starting rotation line up with Lester, Beckett, Buchholz. If one of those guys is scuffling, then Doubront would move up in the rotation.
Comment From Patrick
With EllsburyCrawford returning(hopefully) and Kalish called up, do you think there's any temptation for Front Office to sell high on someone like Ross who isn't in long term plans but could bring a nice return in trade??
Possibly. I could see either Ross or Ryan Sweeney dealt next month. Ross has higher value because of his righthanded power, but Sweeney is an excellent defensive OF and could help a lot of teams.
Comment From Topher
Hi Sean. Is there any appetite in the front office to dangle Jon Lester on the trade market? I know that he has a very team-friendly contract and there is still hope that he is going to blossom into a Cy-Young contender but I think it's very possible that the Jon Lester that we have seen in the last 3 years is what Jon Lester will be. Will other teams bite on the "potential" and offer up a decent package? I'm not naive enough to beleive that a LesterB level prospect deal could net the Sox a Felix or Greinke, but I have to imagine the return could be pretty substantial. Thanks very much, Topher.
Topher, I don't see it happening. I know that Lester has frustrated some because he can't seem to crack that next level -- the elite ace level, putting him in the same class with Verlander and others. But he's still a very good pitcher, capable of 200 innings and most years, 15 or more wins. This has been a disappointing season for him, but I think there's still too much value there for them to move him.
Comment From toby curran
It was cool to see Youk get a good send-off from the fans. Can you remember another player on his way out get such a nice ovation at Fenway?
Off-hand, no, I can't. It seems that a lot of the veterans who have left in the last 10 years or so have left via free agency -- Pedro, Damon -- or off-season retirement -- Wakefield, Varitek. The two biggest guys dealt away were Garcaiaparra and Ramirez. The first one came out of nowhere and the second one, people were kind of sick of the act by then. I guess the closest would be 2005 or 2006, when Manny WASN'T dealt and he came up in a pinch-hitting role late in the game and people applauded that he was still there.
Comment From Suzanne H. - Charlestown
Why did we see Franklin Morales make the spot starts for the Sox when they have Padilla in the bullpen who has more of a history as a starter?
Mostly because Valentine really lliked what he saw in Morales and thought he would be able to make the transition. As it turned out, he's been right -- through two starts, anyway. Padilla has been more valuable in the 8th inning role and the Sox didn't want to disturb that.
Comment From Sox
If the Red Sox miss the playoffs this year, what do you think this ownership team will do about Bobby Valentine? Do you think they will look into hiring John Farrell?
I guess I would need to know more about them missing the playoffs. Did they just miss out? Or were they out of the race for most of September? What's the mood around the clubhouse? Did the players tune out Valentine completely? All those things will go into the decision. Remember, Valentine was Larry Luchhino's hire, so it's going to be difficult for him to fire Valentine after one season and more difficult for John Henry to insist that he do so.
Comment From Sammy
Sounds weird, but would the Red Sox ever considering putting Gonzo at DH and putting Ortiz at first every now and then in AL parks, just to give a break to Gonzo and get Ortiz in the field. Ortiz is not the worst first baseman and it may help Gonzo figure some things out. Just every now and then. Dont see how it could really hurt
Don't think there's any real value to this. While Ortiz is indeed better than some give him credit for at 1B, he's nowhere near as good as Gonzalez. And it seems that Gonzalez is just now starting to come around at the plate over the last week, as he settles back into the position, without worrying about playing the OF.
Comment From Kenny from SH
just to let you know I sat on the Monster for the first time Tuesday nite. I bought the tix Last Wed. When I bought them they said they had front row moster for the Wed. Marlin games. Sellout streak what a joke
Not exactly a bulletin there, SH, but, I agree. And so do most others.
Comment From steve smith
Sean what do you think about Clay going to a fundraising party at Foxwoods last night? Reports say he was given permission by team docs. Still, kind of weird, no?
Does seem a little strange, yes, even if it was for charity. But if the doctors thought he could tolerate it...
Comment From Red Sox Maineiacs
What happens to Daniel Nava and Ryan Kalish when Ellsbury and Crawford return?
Tough calls on both, I think Kalish part of the long-term picture here, but he has options and could be sent back to Pawt. until the roster settles. As for Nava, he's out of options, so that one will be tough. IT may revolve around what interest they get on Sweeney and Ross. To me, Nava has shown he can play in the big leagues, even if he's not necessarily an everyday player.
Comment From Patrick
How are the reports on Bard in AAA? Has is velocity, and more importantly, his control, improved at all? Thanks for the chat.
Not good, frankly. Velocity is OK, but the command is still very iffy. He's had some difficulty in some late inning appearances, walking too many. He's still a work in progress and won't be back right away. And thanks for joining the chat, Patrick.
Comment From drew in wellesley
Do you think Middlebrooks seems like the kind of kid who can handle being THE MAN at third? Before Youk was traded, not as much was expected.
I think he'll be fine. He came up in a tough situation - replacing an established player who was out of the lineup with an injury -- and continued to play well when he and Youkilis were forced to share playing time. That had to be tougher on him than now. This is what every good young player wants -- an opportunity. IF anything, I think Youkilis being traded was liberating for Middlebrooks.
Comment From johnboy3
I know DHs will have a hard time getting into the Hall of Fame...but does Papi belong?
At this point, Ortiz's biggest obstacle won't be the DH thing -- he's clearly the best DH in the history of the game and that should count for something. I think being a DH might hurt a borderline candidate like Edgar Martinez, but Ortiz is probably going to end up with more than 450 homers and being one of the game's premier sluggers for a period of more than 10 years. What will hurt him most is turning up on the list of players who tested positive during MLB's provisional testing. Like a lot of players in that era, he has to hope that voters forgive that.
Comment From bms_1997
Who do you think the Red Sox will look into nailing at the trade deadline?
I think they'll be interested in pitching, pitching, pitching. It would seem that their bullpen is in good shape, but they'll be looking to add some starting pitching depth -- just like 20 or so other teams. It won't be easy, and I don't see them mortgaging the future for someone like Garza, who would cost two top prospects.
Comment From WalterJ
Sean- Now that the sox have locked up Lin, they appear very deep at SS in the minors. Is this minor league system at SS really that good, and if so, should they consider moving one of them for some areas of need?
Two of the top prospects already in the system -- Iglesias and Bogaerts -- are both SS, so they do indeed have some depth at the position. Of course, Iglesias still needs to improve with the bat and Bogaerts has yet to play above Single A, so they need more development time.
Comment From ralph
What's Doubront's ceiling? He had a rough time out last time, but he's been pretty impressive.
I think he can be a solid No. 3 starter, maybe a good No. 2 even. He lost most of last year in development time, so that cost him. It may be that he's hit something of a wall in terms of workload and the Sox are going to try to give him some extra rest around the break. Whenever you find a lefty who can throw stirkes in the mid-90s, you have a real premium commodity.
Comment From Rob Moran
Sean- Out of the "extra" parts the Sox might have once players start getting healthy, who is the one or two guys YOU would look to move the most to get a good return if you were GM (i.e. Sweeney, Nava, Aceves, Albers, Atchison, Morales?)
I would think Ross, Shoppach and Albers would be the guys who have value and could all be repalced.
Comment From Patrick
You see the Sox going hard after a pitcher like Greinke or staying the course and hoping BeckettBuchholz can come back strong in second half?
I don't see them going after someone they can't control after this year. Greinke is set for free agency in the fall, so they wouldn't give up the prospects Milwaukee would be looking for, just for a two-month rental. Especially since, under the new CBA, you don't get those compensation draft picks back anymore. I think they'll be looking for depth options more than front-line starters.
Comment From nicky b
is trading for cole hamels as a rental a possibility?
Can't see it. Same as the Greinke situation. IT would take two really good prospects, with no assurance that you could re-sign him and no return of draft picks next June to replace what you gave up to get him.
Comment From Ryan Denaro
What's Ortiz been doing that's made him so good lately? Is it as simple as being willing to go oppo?
A few things: 1) he's in better shape this year than he has been in a while. 2) He credit Gonzalez with helping his approach vs. LHP, and yes, that includes the willingness to go the other way and take advantage of The Wall.
Comment From Suzanne H. - Charlestown
With Salty possibly making the all star team this season, do you think he has reached his full potential or could we be seeing an even better Salty in the future?
Catchers tend to develop later than most other positon players, so he could still improve. In a perfect world, he would hit better from the right side, cut down on his strikeouts and improve his throwing.
Comment From BradleyBaskir
If I'm not mistaken, the Sox have only played the Yankees in ONE series this year and it's going on July. Why is there such unbalance in the schedules sometimes?
Excellent question, for which I have no answer. The Yankees are coming into Boston next weekend, and then the Sox go to NY in both July and AUgust. It does seem strange to have only one series between the two in the first three months. I'm guessing it has to do with trying to schedule those series on weekend to give both FOX and ESPN inventory on Sat. afternoon and SUnday night, AND trying to make sure they play each other in two series in September, when races are being settled.
Comment From Marc
People are always talking about trading some of our current players, but who is out there that could really help unless we're talking about prospects?
It depends. This will be an interesting trade deadline because there are so many teams in contention with the second wildcard spot available. You may see some "old-fashioned'' baseball trades, where teams trade for need -- not for the prospects and the future. Sox could sell off some pieces (Shoppach, ALbers, etc) and still try to get pieces to help them win this year.
Comment From tom
When Crawford comes back, assuming he's healthy, would he ever be sat down in favor of someone like Kalish? Would hate to see him really struggle and take ABs away from one of the kids just because he's supposed to be the guy.
Well, Tom, they're invested big-time in Crawford, so he's not going to come back and sit. I don't think you have to worry about Kalish -- he's part of the future and I would think, by September, or, at the latest, next April, he'll pretty much be the everyday RF.
Comment From bill little
any chance we catch you behind the mic doing PA stuff at Fenway????
I've been asked this by a lot of people. My response: I love the job I have.
And with that, we'll wrap it up. THanks to all for taking part. We'll move back to Wednesday next week, and I'l be chatting from the pressbox in Oakland. Thanks again, everyone.