While neither pitcher toed the rubber in tonight’s tilt, Nationals reliever Aaron Barrett and veteran Phillies starter Aaron Harang played an interesting role in the action by squaring off in a notable pre-game National Anthem stand-off. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post provides a nice account of the duel, which lasted until after the first pitch was thrown and ultimately mirrored the game itself in producing a tightly-fought victory for Washington.
Here are the latest notes from the eastern seaboard:
- The Mets continue to fall back in the standings, but have at least received solid initial returns on prized righty Noah Syndergaard, who was something of a tough-luck loser tonight but owns a 3.63 ERA with 16 strikeouts and five walks in 17 1/3 innings. As Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports, the team intends to keep Syndergaard on the active roster when righty Dillon Gee is activated this weekend. In fact, the club may utilize a six-man rotation of some kind for a stretch. That’s good news for Syndergaard, who profiles as a likely Super Two qualifier if he can stick in the big leagues the rest of the way.
- One of the few bright spots for the Mets on the offensive side of the equation is first baseman Lucas Duda, as Craig Edwards of Fangraphs explains. Duda’s big numbers last year came in spite of struggles against left-handed pitching, but Edwards writes that his overall body of work in that area, including excellent early numbers this year, show promise that he can be a strong everyday option at first.
- Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo told reporters before today’s game that he does not expect to be a savior for the scuffling club, as John Tomase of WEEI.com reports. “Obviously, I’m very excited, but right now it’s just important to keep in mind the job at hand and try to keep the same momentum I had at Triple-A,” said Castillo. His first appearance in 2015 was not a memorable one for him or his team, but Castillo does look like he could be an important piece as Boston tries to work a turnaround.
- While the Red Sox outfield logjam perhaps no longer holds quite the promise of abundance it once did, managing the roster remains a challenge — and a story to watch as the trade market begins to take form. As Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com reports on Twitter, manager John Farrell says that he plans to rotate Castillo in at both center and right in some kind of time share with Mookie Betts and Shane Victorino. All three hit right-handed, as does left fielder Hanley Ramirez, seemingly leaving at least some role for the switch-hitting Daniel Nava, particularly with Ramirez and Victorino nursing injuries.
Vandals Took The Handles
I said it before and will say it again…. that Red Sox roster looks like it was put together by committee. Henry, Lucciano and Cheringtron all look like they got some people they wanted on it. Unfortunately, the pieces don’t fit.
To start, if you go up against the luxury tax line – have a couple of solid starting pitchers at the top of the rotation along with a closer. Most veteran position players can hit well playing half their games at Fenway – you don’t have to overdo it. If you’re committed to young players, then play them. Pedroia and Ortiz can set the tone and provide the leadership.
The only hope is that the young guys will get their feet wet some this year, then maybe some salary can be cleared and the Red Sox will acquire a real ace pitcher for 2016. Sure it’s early in the season and anything can happen……but not with that roster.
I liked your synopsis of this years Sox team makeup. It might be interesting to name names as far as who of the management team contributed what.
It appears BenC did the rotation along with Pablo and Hanley. To me BOTH Pablo and Hanley represented overkill–when they needed a rotation stopper after they let Lester walk. Thanks.
I still think the Red Sox loaded up on hitting this year knowing that Napoli, Victorino, Masterson, and others are all going to come off the payroll next year. With a deep pitching Free Agency in 2016 and a Top 5 farm system, the Red Sox have what they need to splurge and/or trade for pitching.
I can’t agree with you. It is still early and their roster is still built to win. They are very much capable of staying in the thick of the AL East. Their team has no more holes than the rest of them. They are one of the few teams struggling right now that are capable of rebounding from that.
I think the Red Sox have focused on accumulating talent and value without considering fits on the team. Panda and Hanley were both considered value signings but are redundant to a certain extent.
I also think that the team tried to replicate theO’s approach of a great lineup, good defense, and average rotation but forgot the excellent bullpen,
However, I do think they are still built to make the playoffs this year. They have gotten a lot of career worst performances that are bound to rebound and the weak division gives them a great chance.
They had the makings of that pen at Pawtucket, or possibility at least if the team has chosen to break camp with Barnes, then given longer looks at Hinjosa, maybe hembree to see if one of them can be used in the middle innings rather than using roster spots after ST on Ross and Breslow.
I do think Layne has a purpose as the sole lefty worth a roster spot. He’s the ONLY one they have who can get LH hitters out. Have seen some articles from NE writers questioning his validity. They should pay some attention to his LH/RH splits. LH hitters cannot hit him. Think of him as a Javiar Lopez making league minimum.
I’ll agree with the young players. Giving Victorino AB’s still is a waste. He just has no trade value, with Castillo collecting his 7/72m and should be in the OF with Betts/Ramirez, it made no sense to begin the season even with Craig/Vic on the roster, or part of the organisation.
The team took too long to cut ties with failures Mujica, trying to establish any trade value that had -0- hope of materializing and the same can still be said of breslow and Masterson. Barnes should have been a member of the BP since ST broke camp.
The team is not wanting to admit failures and it is wasting time. Rookies can do no worse than these bad salaries and it’s not like John Henry can’t afford to absorb the loss.
It’s time to see what Wright/ Hembree and others can do on an extended basis.
Incidentally, Syndergaard’s ERA should be even lower. The scorer at PNC was a huge homer last night, charging an error on Harrison but giving a base hit on a ball hit past Lucas Duda. Syndergaard was charged for 3 ER yesterday but should have only been on the hook for 1.
A local blogger here in Baltimore suggested a Victorino for Bud Norris swap. Seems like a decent idea, both guys struggling this season, both with good track records, and both free agents at end of year. Solves outfield logjam for Sox and they can move him to bullpen. Shane can leadoff for Os putting Machado down to 2 spot and replaces awful corner outfield play.