Valentine likes what he sees from Sox pitchers


Valentine likes what he sees from Sox pitchers

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Bobby Valentine got his first look at Red Sox pitchers throwing batting practice Thursday and came away impressed with what he saw.

"BP to hitters is always fun,'' said Valentine. "You know there's a little extra adrenaline for all the guys who get up on the bump. You get to see pitchers outside of a bullpen and that's a step in the right direction.''

Valentine offered his thoughts on the following pitchers:

Jon Lester - "I thought that Lester had really nice downward plane. I thought he was keeping the ball down well. He had pretty good control of his throwing-side of the plate.''

Daniel Bard - "Daniel Bard showed that changeup a few times, showed the breaking ball a few times. He had his two-seamer going well. He looked very healthy, throwing the ball nicely.''

Alfredo Aceves - "Aceves was in complete control of most of his pitches, I was enjoying his stuff as he went out.''

Andrew Bailey - "Seeing Andrew Bailey, first time in the middle of the diamond in a Red Sox uniform was great to see. I thought his curveball and his cutter were just where he wants to be this time of the spring.''

Additionally, Valentine watched as Daisuke Matsuzaka, recovering from Tommy John surgery and not yet ready to throw BP, had a bullpen session.

"That's the best bullpen session he's had,'' said Valentine. "He and pitching instructor Randy Niemann have done video work, they've done a little talking. Dice is trying to be himself.

"He had good finish to his pitches and his delivery. It was pretty good, actually, for a guy who's supposedly as far behind from returning as he is, he had a pretty good pen. I'd say I was surprised at his velocity.''

Tuesday, Oct. 25: Carlo for Calder?


Tuesday, Oct. 25: Carlo for Calder?

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while having watched the Curious George Halloween special about eight times over the last three or four days thanks to my three-year-old son.

*Bob McKenzie with a great story in former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore talking a shift as an Uber driver as his hockey work has dried up.

*Alex Radulov is earning some early respect for his play from his Habs teammates and the fickle Canadiens fans, but let’s see how the whole season plays out for the notoriously combustible Russian winger.

*Zach Werenski has taken an early lead among his NHL rookie peers for the Calder Trophy, but it looks like it’s going to be a crowded field this year. Just a couple of weeks in, Brandon Carlo certainly looks like he could be in the conversation as well.

*Pioneering female goaltender Shannon Szabados has been cut from the Peoria team in the Southern Pro League.

*The Chicago Blackhawks have plenty of advice for the Chicago Cubs about playing in the big games as the Cubbies get ready for their World Series close-up.

*A more mature David Perron is having greater success the second time around with the St. Louis Blues while contributing in many different areas.

*For something completely different: a really fun story of a Hollywood Reporter contributor recording the reactions of her 7-year-old son watching Empire Strikes Back for the first time. I was around the same age when Empire came out, so I’m sure my reactions were pretty similar to his at different points in the movie.

Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona


Red Sox exec Amiel Sawdaye follows Hazen to Arizona

The Red Sox lost another key member of their front office Monday, when vice-president of amateur and international scouting Amiel Sawdaye followed former general manager Mike Hazen to Arizona.

Sawdaye will be the Diamondbacks' assistant GM. As stated by Rotoworld, he had been instrumental in building up the Red Sox' young big league talent and farm system.

The Boston Globe reported today that the Red Sox may not fill the GM vacancy created when Hazen left, instead using "other staffers to take on Hazen’s administrative duties". President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski handles many of the duties traditionally associated with the general manager's position, leaving the actual GM's job in Boston as "essentially an assistant [position] with a lofty title but little power".

The Red Sox have also lost two other front-office members this offseason: Senior baseball analyst Tom Tippett, who had been with the organization for eight years, and director of sports medicine services Dan Dyrek, who had been with the Sox for five years.