Sunday, April 20, 2014
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court
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Jon Lester allows two runs over seven innings; the offense totals nine hits as well as a few smashes that might have been home runs on a summer day; and the Sox batters chase Orioles starter Chris Tillman after five innings.
All good signs, but still a 2-1 loss to Baltimore in the season opener.
Key stat was runner left on base: Boston 12, Baltimore 3
New Boston catcher A.J. Pierzynski went 1-for-4, but stranded five. Pierzynski's signing to a one-year deal signaled the need for a fill-in as the Red Sox touted catching prospects mature.
The Boston Red Sox depth, which we cited in Sunday's story, is already being used with the news that outfielder Shane Victorino is going on the disabled list with a strained hamstring muscle, and Jackie Bradley Jr. is back on the major league roster.
JBJ is not in the lineup today: Nava RF, Pedroia 2B, Ortiz DH, Napoli 1B, Carp LF, Sizemore CF, Bogaerts SS, Pierzynski C, Middlebrooks 3B (Lester P)
One note on the Orioles: They have placed Michael Almanzar on the disabled list with a sore knee. Almanzar, a former Sea Dogs infielder, was taken in the Rule V draft and must be on the major league roster (or the DL) all season for Baltimore to keep him.
As the big leaguers are getting ready to play, the Portland Sea Dogs are making their way to Maine. The Red Sox will not announce the roster until Tuesdy. soxprospects.com listed a projected roster which, interestingly, has reliever Noe Ramirez in Pawtucket. That certainly is a possibility.
The Red Sox announced this afternoon that outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has ben sent to Triple-A Pawtucket, thus awarding the major league center field job to Grady Sizemore.
And now back to our regularly-scheduled blog
Two pitchers, Henry Owens and Noe Ramirez, are coming to Portland and trying to get to the majors.
Former Portland outfielder Ryan Kalish has been to the majors, and now he's going back.
Cuts are expected today in Boston Red Sox camp, although the anticipated decision about center field will not likely be made until Friday, according to reports in Fort Myers.
Here is one guess on the roster (not a lot of surprises):
Infield: Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogaerts, Will MIddlebrooks, Jonathan Herrera.
Outfield: Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava, Grady Sizemore, Shane Victorino, Mike Carp
Grady Sizemore homered in a spring training game on Tuesday. While one blast does not guarantee a starting job in center field, it is another sign that the one-time All-Star is ready for a comeback. See Sean McAdam's story.
When Adrian Gonzalez was traded, the first base job at Fenway Park opened up. For now, Mike Napoli occupies the position. Might Travis Shaw get there someday? It did not look that way last season but he he re-discovered his ways. See the story.
Those who enjoyed the videos shot by the Press Herald's Gabe Souza last week in Florida will enjoy one more entry recently posted. How to get an autograph.
News out of the Orioles camp is that Portland's Ryan Flaherty has made the team. Not a big surprise, but still good new for his fans up north. Former Sea Dogs third baseman Michael Almanzar, trying to make the Orioles roster, has patella tendinitis and will likely go on the disabled list.