Kalish, McDonald ready for anything

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Kalish, McDonald ready for anything

By Phil Perry
CSNNE.com

Last season, as injuries derailed their season, the Red Sox found out there were only so many things they could control.

Darnell McDonald and Ryan Kalish, who were given opportunities with the Red Sox last season because of the team's rash of outfield injuries, have adopted a similar approach as they enter the 2011 season without guaranteed spots on Boston's big-league roster.

"I've been playing so long, the biggest thing I've learned is just worry about the things you can control," said McDonald from the 72nd annual Boston Baseball Writers Awards dinner. "I've prepared for every offseason the same way. I'm looking to come into spring training ready to go and compete for a job."

McDonald, 32, has bounced around professional baseball since 2004, spending time in the Orioles, Twins and Reds systems before finding a home with the Red Sox last season. He hit .270 with 9 home runs and 34 RBI in 117 games. He also played effectively in the outfield with outfielders Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury missing most of the season injured.

Manager Terry Francona seemed optimistic that McDonald would be with the major-league club again.

"McDonald is a guy that came up in the middle of last season and really gave us an added boost," Francona said. "He's a right-handed bat along with Cameron. He gives us that fourth- or fifth-outfielder type that could really help us win games."

Kalish, 22, could be the odd man out when it comes time to determine the Red Sox' major league roster out of spring training.

In 53 games with the Red Sox last season, Kalish showed flashes of ability that had many projecting him to be an everyday outfielder in the future.

He hit .252 with 4 home runs, 24 RBI and 10 steals as a major leaguer in 2010, but he could be starting the 2011 season in the minor leagues with the Pawtucket Red Sox.

"To not hinder his development, we told him this last year, he may need more time in Triple A," Francona said. "That's not the worst thing for his development. If somebody gets hurt or something happens, we've already shown that we're comfortable with him playing here."

Kalish seemed comfortable with the idea of starting the season in the minors.

"In reality there's a lot to learn in this game," he said. "There's a lot to do and that's what I'm ready to do. I don't have any expectations. I'm just gonna go and have fun and play and learn."

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Pomeranz gives up three runs in Red Sox loss to Blue Jays

Starter Drew Pomeranz gives up three runs on five hits in four innings of work in the Red Sox' 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday.

Lou Merloni breaks down Pomeranz's start and explains why he should be in the starting rotation to begin the season.

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

Sox' lack of homegrown starters an understandable problem to Yanks' Cashman

The dearth of homegrown starting pitching for the Red Sox is talked about almost as much as every Tom Brady post on Instagram.

Red Sox fans may take some solace in knowing their team isn’t the only one dealing with this problem.

In an interview with MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman didn’t talk about his team’s pitching problems in context of the Red Sox. But the explanation the longtime Yanks boss offered should sound familiar. 

In the biggest of markets, time to develop properly is scarce.

“Yeah. It's a fact,” Cashman said when asked if criticism of their pitching development was fair. “I think part of the process has been certainly where we draft. Because we've had a lot of success, we've not been allowed to tank and go off the board and therefore get access to some of the high-end stuff that plays out to be impactful. Part of it is we can't get out of our own way because we don't have the patience to let guys finish off their development, because if you possess some unique ability that stands out above everybody else -- whether it was Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, now [Luis] Severino and before that [Bryan] Mitchell and Shane Greene -- we're pulling them up before their development is finished.

“Teams like Tampa Bay, for instance, they're going to wait until they have their four pitches down and their innings limits are all exceeded at the minor-league level; they're very disciplined in that approach as they finish off their starters. For us, if I'm looking at my owner and he says, ‘What's our best team we can take north?’ 

“Well, ‘We could take this guy; he's not necessarily 100 percent finished off, but we can stick him in our 'pen. He can be in the back end of our rotation, because he's better than some of the guys we already have,’ and then you cut corners, so I think that probably plays a role in it.”

Not everything is circumstantial, though -- or a deflection. 

“And sometimes we don't make the right decisions, either, when we're making draft selections and signings and stuff like that,” Cashman continued. “On top of it all, playing in New York is a lot different than playing anywhere else.”

We’ve heard that last part about Boston too, here and there.

Cashman was complimentary of his current Sox counterpart, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, whose team Cashman has compared to the Golden State Warriors.

On his feelings when he first heard the Sox were getting Chris Sale:

“When that trade was consummated, that was the first thing I thought about, which was, 'Wow, look at what they've done,' ” Cashman said. “I know how it's going to play out for them. Listen, Steve Kerr does a great job managing that team -- oh, I mean John Farrell. It's a lot of talent and with talent comes pressure to perform. I think Dave Dombrowski has done everything he possibly can to provide that city with a world championship team. They've got 162 games to show it.”