Monday, July 07, 2008


The Red Sox sent Justin Masterson down to AAA Pawtucket, and will eventually replace him in the rotation with Clay Buchholz. Masterson will spend his time in Rhode Island learning the ropes of relief pitching. First baseman Jeff Bailey will be filling in the roster spot until Buchholz is recalled.

I'm not a fan of this move. As desperate as the Sox are for middle-relief, I don't like the idea of sending a prospect like Masterson to AAA in order to convert him into a reliever. He isn't even a fully fledged Major League starter yet. I don't mind giving Buchholz (2-3, 5.53 ERA) another shot at starting, but what if he picks up where he left off? At that point, you don't have much choice but to go back to Masterson. Which means retraining him back into being a starter.

Short term, this is a good move. The Sox NEED help in the bullpen. But they also need starters to go 7 innings consistently. The team can get a good inning out of Delcarmen, or even Okajima. It's when they need to get 2 or 3 innings from the middle-relief that the trouble starts.

To me, the potential damage to Masterson's development is too much of a risk in order to get a new reliever who might not even be a good bullpen pitcher. Long term, this is a bad move.

Associated Press


Seven Red Sox were named to the AL All-Star team, four as starters.

AL Starters:
C: Joe Mauer, Twins
1B: Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
2B: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

SS: Derek Jeter, Yankees
3B: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
OF: Josh Hamilton, Rangers
OF: Manny Ramirez, Red Sox
OF: Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox

Obviously David Ortiz will be replaced. Manny doesn't deserve to be there, in my opinion, and neither does Jeter. Then again, it is the All-STAR game, and is seemingly meant for star players having down years.

AL Pitchers:
Scott Kazmir, Rays
George Sherrill, Orioles
Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
Mariano Rivera, Yankees
Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox
Justin Duchscherer, Athletics
Joe Nathan, Twins
Joakim Soria, Royals
Cliff Lee, Indians
Francisco Rodriguez, Angels
Ervin Santana, Angels
Joe Saunders, Angels

Jon Lester got a bit of a snub, but nowhere near the snub that 11 game winner Mike Mussina got. With the game in Yankee Stadium, Mussina had an inside track to starting the ASG. Now he'll have front row seats to watch it.

AL Reserves:
J.D. Drew, Red Sox
Jason Varitek, Red Sox

Joe Crede, White Sox
Carlos Quentin, White Sox
Grady Sizemore, Indians
Carlos Guillen, Tigers
Justin Morneau, Twins
Milton Bradley, Rangers
Ian Kinsler, Rangers
Michael Young, Rangers
Dioner Navarro, Rays

Jason Varitek was voted in by the players. He might be having the weakest All-Star season in the history of the game. Either that, or calling pitches is more important in an All-Star game than it appears.

The National League hasn't won an All-Star Game since 1996. But this year they have a pretty good shot, and I think they'll win. Here's their team:

NL Starters:
C: Geovany Soto, Cubs
1B: Lance Berkman, Astros
2B: Chase Utley, Phillies
SS: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
3B: Chipper Jones, Braves
OF: Kosuke Fukudome, Cubs
OF: Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
OF: Ryan Braun, Brewers

NL Pitchers:
Tim Lincecum, Giants
Aaron Cook, Rockies
Dan Haren, Diamondbacks
Ben Sheets, Brewers
Carlos Zambrano, Cubs
Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
Ryan Dempster, Cubs
Brian Wilson, Giants
Edinson Volquez, Reds
Kerry Wood, Cubs
Brad Lidge, Phillies
Billy Wagner, Mets

NL Reserves:
Brian McCann, Braves
Aramis Ramirez, Cubs
Matt Holliday, Rockies
Dan Uggla, Marlins
Miguel Tejada, Astros
Russell Martin, Dodgers
Nate McLouth, Pirates
Albert Pujols, Cardinals
Ryan Ludwick, Cardinals
Adrian Gonzalez, Padres
Cristian Guzman, Nationals

Prediction: NL 8, AL 6

Sources:'s Extra Bases
Baseball Almanac