Notes: Red Sox looking at 100 wins in 2011

191542.jpg

Notes: Red Sox looking at 100 wins in 2011

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For the past week, giddy Red Sox players have begun talking about the possibility of the 2011 team winning 100 games -- something no Red Sox team has done since 1946.

Josh Beckett was the first to raise the prospect and Mike Cameron Thursday morning echoed the sentiments.

General manager Theo Epstein was asked Thursday if some of the players weren't getting a little ahead of themselves. Epstein didn't exactly slam the brakes on the enthusiasm, but he did managed to tap them once or twice.

"I think it's nice that those players feel good about themselves and their teammates and what we have here," said Epstein. "But let's be honest. We haven't done anything yet. All we have is a bunch of guys in the clubhouse here, trying to set out to do a job.

"We've got a lot to prove. We've got to prove we're not a third-place team. We've got to prove we can stay healthy. We've got to prove we can have repeat performances, what guys have done in the past -- come out and do it again in 2011 or improve upon that. We've got to prove we can come together as a team.

"We don't have win No. 1 yet. We have a lot to prove and the work has just started. That said, I like that these guys feel good about themselves and their teammates and our chances. I don't think they're getting ahead of ourselves."

Over the offseason, even after obtaining two superstars and a 160 million payroll. Epstein said there isn't necessarily a perfect solution to every problem.

Case in point: the team's catching depth.

The Sox intend to have Jarrod Saltalamachia as their primary catcher, with Jason Varitek as his backup. But if injuries or performance issues arise, the team doesn't have much in the way of major league-caliber catching in the system.

"We have a lot of young guys who we feel pretty good about," said Epstein, "who are on the cusp of being major league-ready, so we're going to take this camp in the early part of the season and determine which of them, if any, are big league ready in case of injury."

The Sox also signed journeyman catcher Paul Hoover, 35, who has played 40 major-league games over seven seasons with Tampa Bay, Florida and Philadelphia.

"That's an area we'll monitor closely and continue to scout other camps as the need arises. We hope to first have internal answers; if not, we can always go outside the organization."

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Quotes, notes and stars: Betts belts three home runs

soxpost_053116_1280x720_696412227903.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars: Betts belts three home runs

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Orioles.

 

QUOTES

"If he has a boy, he ought to make him Mookie after tonight's outing.'' - John Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr., who left the team for a paternity leave after Mookie Betts slugged three homers.

"I know each day that I've got it. I wake up, I know I have it. I come to the field, I know I have it.'' - Xander Bogaerts on his ongoing hitting streak.

"He's probably one of the few guys, every time I see him hit, I think he's going to hit a homer. He's just that presence that he has in the batter's box.'' - Bogaerts on Betts.

"This is probably my best night; first time I've ever done that.'' - Betts, when asked where the game ranks individually for him in his career.

"I wanted to locate the heater good, not force it too much, don't try to throw hard - just try to throw strikes.'' - Eduardo Rodriguez on his season debut.

 

NOTES:

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 24 games, second-longest in baseball this season.

* Bogaerts has hit safely in 36-of-38 games at a .399 clip with 33 runs scored and 23 driven in.

* Eduardo Rodriguez two runs or fewer in each of his three career starts at Camden Yards.

* The Sox had back-to-back homers (Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia) for the first time this season.

* Mookie Betts had a three-homer game for the first time in his career.

* Betts became the first Red Sox player to homer three times in the same game since Will Middlebrooks did so on April 7, 2013.

* The last time the Sox began a game with back-to-back homers was July 27, 2011 when Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedroia did so.

* The Red Sox scored multiple runs in the first inning for the 20th time in 51 games.

* David Ortiz extended his own hit streak to eight games.

 

STARS:

1) Mookie Betts

Betts belted three homers -- one to left, one to center and one to right -- for the first time in his career and also contributed a brilliant diving catch in right in the seventh inning.

2) Eduardo Rodriguez

Rodriguez made his season debut and allowed two runs on six hits through six innings and didn't issue a single walk while fanning three.

3) Chris Young

Getting a rare start in center, Young made a spectacular catch to likely rob Manny Machado of a two-run homer, while drawing a walk and adding a single and a run scored.