Olney’s Latest: Smoak, Davis, Ripken, Mathis, Lowell

In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider required and recommended), Buster Olney writes that Rangers' first base prospect Justin Smoak is off to a strong start in Triple-A and could push Chris Davis either out the door or onto the bench. Smoak is hitting .300/.475/.567 with two homers in 40 plate appearances so far this year, while Davis is off to a .194/.265/.290 start with 10 strikeouts in 34 plate appearances.

Here's the rest of Olney's rumors…

  • A possible reason why Orioles owner Peter Angelos declined to hire Cal Ripken Jr. is because of "concern about whether the addition of the legend would lead to office politics and ugly fallout." 
  • With the Angels carrying three catchers, Olney speculates that Boston could be a trade match for Jeff Mathis, and wonders if the talks could be expanded to include Mike Lowell given the Halos' troubles at the hot corner. Red Sox catchers have thrown out just one of 17 base stealers this season, and Mathis has thrown out 23% of would-be base stealers in his career.


29 Responses to Olney’s Latest: Smoak, Davis, Ripken, Mathis, Lowell Leave a Reply

  1. Zack23 5 years ago

    Mike Scioscia starts Mathis, why would he trade him? He loves him. And Lowell has proved he can play/hit after 8 ABs?

    • redsox4120 5 years ago

      It wasn’t his bat scout were concerned about, it was his mobility and health of the hip and Lowell looked pretty good at third in the Kansas City series. Lowell can still hit, there’s no doubt about that.

      • johnsilver 5 years ago

        That KC series was only a cpl game sample though he was in as well, no idea how he will handle up if he has to play 3rd base on a continual basis, which scouts would probably love to see on like a couple week period and then you might get a better read.

        Why Boston would want to help Anaheim with a problem position by obtaining Mathis, a defensive specialist/non hitting catcher and give them a good bat at 3rd is beyond me. Boston could just call up mark Wagner, even Dusty Borwn from Pawtucket if they wanted a guy who could play excellent defense and have a cannon for an arm and not be able to get on base.

        • Yankees420 5 years ago

          Mathis isn’t some fantastic defensive catcher so I agree that Boston shouldn’t want him, but Lowell isn’t some great 3rd baseman either, due to the fact that you agreed with in that there is a very good possibility that Lowell can’t stay at 3B for very long, and as a DH his bat is less impressive.

        • Yankees420 5 years ago

          Mathis isn’t some fantastic defensive catcher so I agree that Boston shouldn’t want him, but Lowell isn’t some great 3rd baseman either, due to the fact that you agreed with in that there is a very good possibility that Lowell can’t stay at 3B for very long, and as a DH his bat is less impressive.

  2. As an Angels fan I too have speculated about trading Mathis – as opposed to the common perception that Napoli or Wilson would be the one eventually traded. To me, Mathis is the best trade candidate, for a couple of big reasons. First, supposedly Wilson is better defensively AND offensively. I KNOW Napoli is far superior offensively – in spite of the current disparity in their respective stats, which is an anomoly predicated on Napoli’s lack of ABs, so far this year.
    Second, Mathis’ trade value will probably never be higher than it is right now. Third, with their present contracts Jeff is less expensive to acquire than Mike – although, obviously Bobby is the cheapest of the 3.
    I could see Wilson being Napoli’s backup in one out of 3 or 4 games, and both of them also have 1B experience, if a rest of Morales became needed.
    As for alleged troubles at 3B, that is NOT an issue, as Brandon Wood will be solid in that position for a long time to come. In spite of his current slow start he is still batting higher than Teixeira.

    • Zack23 5 years ago

      “Brandon Wood will be solid in that position for a long time to come. In spite of his current slow start he is still batting higher than Teixeira.”

      Uh… Teixeira has 8 years of stats to show he can hit ML pitching.

      • rallie 5 years ago

        Uh, last year at this time Aybar had a lower BA than Wood presently has. Scioscia gave him a long leash, which is the same he should do for Brandon. ( Instead of bringing in fragile Izturis, who SHOULD simply be a backup player/late inning PH.)

        • Zack23 5 years ago

          Ok, what does that have to do with Teixeira?
          Should Wood be given the chance to stay? Absolutely, but that hasnt to do with having a higher BA than Teixeira on April 18th.

    • And David Ortiz has a higher batting average than Wood.

  3. icedrake523 5 years ago

    I wouldn’t call Mike Lowell a solution to the Angels’ 3B troubles. I’m sure he can hit reasonably well but fielding is another thing.

    • xTheHalosx 5 years ago

      I’m not sure what the troubles at 3B are myself, but I agree Lowell wouldn’t be a solution. This is Wood’s first time being in the line up, he probably needs more than a weeks worth of AB’s to say theres a problem (offensively speaking, I think he has 1 error on defense). Also Maicer is there to back up 3rd and so is Quinlan.

      If a trader were made I think it would involve a bull pen arm, since no one in the Angels bull pen has been consistent (Rodney has for the last 3 times he’s came in, but he’s known for making it interesting).

  4. ronny9 5 years ago

    if the sox grab mathis that would be huge. they won’t though. but to get ortiz out of the dam lineup at this point would be incredible.

    everyday lineup

    ellsbury lf
    pedroia 2b
    martizez dh
    youkilis 1b
    drew rf
    beltre 3b
    mathis c
    cameron cf
    scutaro ss

    at this point in his career ortiz is absolutely not a full time dh or a full time anything. he had trouble hitting a 89 mph fastball the other night, and last night he had NO chance against 96. He got lucky and hit a double down the line on an off speed pitch.

  5. ronny9 5 years ago

    sorry i meant Napoli; and i think olney did too at least lets hope so, cuz i don’t think the angels are going to trade the catcher that has started 8 of the first 11 games.

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      There’s no need for the Sox to trade for an offensive-minded catcher, they need someone who can throw out runners, (Mathis isn’t any better, so I don’t think the Angels and Sox match up on C) and if they want Ortiz out of the lineup then bench him and put Lowell at DH. They can trade for or find a platoon partner for Lowell at DH if necessary.

    • Yankees420 5 years ago

      There’s no need for the Sox to trade for an offensive-minded catcher, they need someone who can throw out runners, (Mathis isn’t any better, so I don’t think the Angels and Sox match up on C) and if they want Ortiz out of the lineup then bench him and put Lowell at DH. They can trade for or find a platoon partner for Lowell at DH if necessary.

  6. bjsguess 5 years ago

    It’s quite obvious that the Angels prefer defense over offense. I can’t see how trading for Lowell would help in that department. He might end up being a better hitter than Wood, but I really doubt that when you factor in fielding and contract cost that Lowell represents an upgrade.

  7. andrewyf 5 years ago

    So wait, the Red Sox would go from abysmally bad to well-below average at throwing out base-stealers (23 is not a good CS%). What’s the point of that move?

    • Yankee_Baal 5 years ago

      23% caught base stealers is actually along the lines of an average catcher. Remember that the responsability of a stolen base is actually shared between the catcher and the pitcher, and the best overall catchers (Ivan Rodríguez on his finest seasons, and that’s talking waaaaay above average) only reach around 40% caught base stealers.

  8. Mathis? See i always thought Napoli was a better fit for the RED SOX with how they build their teams. I mean, the RED SOX actually tried to negotiate a trade for Napoli before the start of the 2009 season. They have a catcher in AAA that is the ilk of Mathis by the name of Mark Wagner they could call up if they chose that route.
    Olney is a really good reporter and usually is spot on so there must be something to it…but as he said he is “speculating”.

    • alxn 5 years ago

      Agreed. I can’t imagine them going out of their way to acquire an all-glove catcher. They can get a guy like that for practically nothing.

    • alxn 5 years ago

      Agreed. I can’t imagine them going out of their way to acquire an all-glove catcher. They can get a guy like that for practically nothing.

  9. TimotheusATL 5 years ago

    I must say that I’m mildly surprised that an ESPN writer would suggest a trade that would pretty much only benefit the Red Sox…this is my shocked face!

    • jb226 5 years ago

      I understand the point you’re making and I tend to agree it’s valid overall, but without knowing what would come back the Angels’ way in a hypothetical Mathis trade* it’s hard to say it would only benefit the Red Sox.

      * Was it stated in the article? I don’t have Insider access.

      • TimotheusATL 5 years ago

        I don’t have insider access either, but the notes made mention of wondering how to possibly work out a Mathis Lowell related deal. I just don’t see a deal involving Lowell as the centerpiece making any sense at all for the Halos, especially when it involves giving up Scoscia’s preferred catcher.

        • The article, as printed here, said pretty clearly “expanded” to include Mike Lowell. That implys more than Mathis & Lowell would be involved in this hypothetical deal.

      • TimotheusATL 5 years ago

        I don’t have insider access either, but the notes made mention of wondering how to possibly work out a Mathis Lowell related deal. I just don’t see a deal involving Lowell as the centerpiece making any sense at all for the Halos, especially when it involves giving up Scoscia’s preferred catcher.

    • jb226 5 years ago

      I understand the point you’re making and I tend to agree it’s valid overall, but without knowing what would come back the Angels’ way in a hypothetical Mathis trade* it’s hard to say it would only benefit the Red Sox.

      * Was it stated in the article? I don’t have Insider access.

  10. markjsunz 5 years ago

    Cal Ripken jr. is not hired because the lunaitic owner is afraid of office politics and employees taking sides? What a joke. This knuklehead has destoyed a once proud franchise who have had great teams in the past but under his leadership the penny pinching mooch was given a new stadium and plenty of profits but has kept the team in the cellar as he has screwed over the Baltimore fan base. I could see cal speaking about about this but more likely he preceives Cal ripken being part of the orginization as a threat to his enormous ego. Do not worry there are 29 other teams that would love to have Cal working for them.

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