Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Five Swings: Extension School

The Red Sox face the Yankees in Game 2 of the season and look for their first 'quality start' of the season.

1. Defensive misplays and errors (DME). Jacoby Ellsbury scored the first Sox run after reaching on a looper that was up forever (Marcus Thames?) and went to third on a stolen base and throwing error (Jorge Posada). In other words, he reached on questionable defense and advanced and scored on poor defense. Time will tell whether it impacts the outcome. Conversely, a three hopper almost to the hole gets turned into a DP by Scutaro, Pedroia, and Posada, who runs...like a catcher.

2. Beckett extension. Josh Beckett took a "hometown discount" on his extension? Beckett's a terrific talent and we're delighted the Sox extended his contract. But as for the 'discount', fuggedaboutit. Sure, we could have hyperinflation with the credit circus calliope playing 24/7, but with the uncertainty of pitchers' health, players should be kissing the mound they walk on to get lengthy deals.

3. Sign of the times. The Jordan's Furniture "hit the baseball" promo starting this summer looks like a pretty safe bet for the furniture mavens. How many homers do you see to the right of the 420 mark that clear the bullpen? Not a lot, and almost never from right-handed hitters. Victor Martinez just crushed one, and it wasn't even in the neighborhood.

4. Lowell Connector. Not that we've seen all that much of Adrian Beltre, but so far, he looks pretty good. The most important (and difficult) problem for Mike Lowell isn't swallowing his pride, but STAYING READY. Lowell can pick up at bats filling in at first, third, DH, and the occasional pinch hit.

5. To Victor go the spoils? With the pitchers taken care of, will Victor Martinez get some "spare change"? He's an offensive force, particular relative to MOST catchers, ostensibly a quality guy, and we're told that he wants to stay in Boston. Nobody is saying he's Joe Mauer, but he ain't chopped liver either. In nine seasons, according to Baseball-reference.com, Martinez has 718 games behind the plate. Usually, by the time the backstops get to 1200, it's all downhill, but Martinez has first base and DH options on the table as well.

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