Kalish, McDonald ready for anything


Kalish, McDonald ready for anything

By Phil Perry

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."

Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists


Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists

Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, Mookie Betts in right and Dustin Pedroia at second base are the Red Sox' finalists for the American League Gold Glove awards.

The Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar and the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier are the other A.L. center field finalists. The White Sox’ Adam Eaton and Astros’ George Springer are A.L. right field finalists. Joining Pedroia as second base finalists are the Mariners’ Robinson Cano and Tigers’ Ian Kinsler.

Peoria has won four Gold Gloves. Bradley and Betts have yet to win one.

The full list of finalists is here.  The awards will be presented on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on ESPN

The Red Sox sent out a series of tweets backing each player’s candidacy.

Betts is also a front-runner for the American League Most Valuable Player.


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League

CLEVELAND -- David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.

The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.

The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.

The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.

The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.