The Red Sox have acquired sidearm RHP Wes Littleton from the Texas Rangers for two players to be named later or cash, and have placed him on their 40 man roster. In 102.3 major league innings over 80 appearances Littleton (26) has shown an aptitude for inducing ground balls, 196 ground outs to 78 fly outs (78 percent) and has held right handed batters to a .236 BAA. Littleton spent the bulk of the 2008 season with AAA Oklahoma City, going 7-1 with six saves in 58.3 innings pitched over 44 appearances, allowing 26 earned runs (4.01 ERA) on 55 hits (.248 BAA), and striking out 58 while walking 25. In 18 innings with Texas over 12 appearances in 2008 he allowed 12 earned runs (6.00 ERA) on 18 hits, striking out 14 and walking eight. Littleton was a fourth round pick out of Cal State-Fullerton in 2003 and made his major league debut in 2006. He was designated for assignment by Texas on November 20, and is out of options.
The Red Sox have filled the opening on their coaching staff by naming Tim Bogar first base coach. Bogar spent 2008 as an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Rays, with duties including infield and base running instruction, but additionally working with the front office and scouting department on advance series preparation and scouting. In this role he was not a uniformed member of Manager Joe Maddon's staff, but sat in the stands observing as would a scout. Bogar, a nine-year former major leaguer, managed in the Indians and Astros organizations, leading his teams to the post season three out of four seasons, and was twice named Manager of the Year (Appalachian League, 2004; Eastern League, 2006).
Per SoxProspects.com sources, the Red Sox have signed Billy Traber to a minor league deal for the 2009 season. Traber, 29, pitched in the Yankees system in 2008, splitting time between New York and AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre. He struggled to the tune of a 7.02 ERA in 16.2 major league innings. In terms of stuff, Traber is a lefty reliever that induces a lot of ground ball outs. He makes use of a high-80s fastball, a 78 mph circle change, a low-70s curve, and a decent splitter. He has dominated lefties over the course of his career, but in 2008 worked about equal against right and left handed batters. Traber previously spent a brief stint in the Red Sox organization four years ago, when he was claimed off waivers from Cleveland in November 2004 and then non-tendered in December 2004, never putting on a Sox uniform. This time around, he should get a shot at making Boston's bullpen in 2009, but will likely also see some time in Pawtucket.
Boston has also re-signed Marcus McBeth and Gil Velazquez to minor league deals. McBeth was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati in August, and thereafter went 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and an 11/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 7 innings with the PawSox. Velazquez should be penciled in as Pawtucket's starting shortstop, and will provide versatility and insurance to the organization, much as he did in his brief cup-of-coffee with Boston in September.
In other news, last week the Sox reinstatedZach Borowiak from the inactive list. The 27-year-old shortstop will apparently take another shot at playing pro ball in 2009 after "retiring" prior to the 2008 season.
11/21 Cup of Coffee: Josh Reddick's homer in the top of the tenth inning provided the winning margin in Scottsdale's 10-9 win over Mesa. The win in their final game gave the Scorpions a 14- 22 record in the Arizona Fall League which left them in last place in the American Division. His homer was his only hit in 5 at bats in the game. He finished the fall schedule with a .189 batting average with 5 home runs. He had a .210 on base percentage and an OPS of .599. Mark Wagner went 1 for 5 with a home run in the game. He ended the fall season with a .288 batting average, 4 homers, a .373 on base percentage and a .916 OPS. TJ Large threw 1 inning in the game and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits. He had 2 strikeouts. He finished the fall season with a 0-2 record and a 6.00 ERA. In 18 innings he allowed 6 walks while striking out 15. Other Sox prospects final statistics for the Arizona fall season include Aaron Bates who hit .200 in 25 at bats with 1 home run. He had an on base percentage was .310 and an OPS of .670. Clay Buchholz finished with a 1-2 record and a 3.86 ERA. In 21 innings, he allowed 18 hits and 6 walks while striking out 17. Beau Vaughan had a 1-2 record with a 3.52 ERA. He allowed 18 hits in 15.1 innings. HE gave up 1 walk while fanning 18. Ryne Lawson had a 0-3 record with a 6.43 ERA. In 14 innings, he allowed 24 hits and 11 walks. He had 6 strikeouts. Eammon Portice finished with a 0-1 record and a 6.14 ERA. In 7.1 innings, he allowed 6 hits and 5 base on balls. He had 8 strikeouts.
Well the coffee pot has been emptied for the 2008 season, see you all in the spring.
According to a report in the Providence Journal, Red Sox 2008 5th round draft pick Ryan Westmoreland had surgery today on his right shoulder. He is expected to miss some time in the spring, but the Red Sox are hopeful that he will be ready to start next season with Lowell in June 2009.
As previously anticipated, the Red Sox added three players to their 40-Man Roster this afternoon: LHPs Hunter Jones and Felix Doubront and catcher Mark Wagner. All three would have been eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, scheduled to take place on December 11. It was speculated that the Sox might have also considered protecting RHP Beau Vaughanand OF Bubba Bell, but faced with several potential off-season acquisitions, the Sox apparently opted to take the risk of exposing those players to the Rule 5 Draft to ensure the extra roster space.
In other news, Boston signed OF Paul McAnulty to a minor league deal. McAnulty has excelled in San Diego's minor league system since 2002, but has failed ti impress in three stints with the Padres. He should vie for the 4th outfielder spot, and will likely provide more depth in Pawtucket in early 2009. In addition to Vaughan and Bell, McAnulty will also be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft in December.
11/20 Cup of Coffee: The Peoria Javelinas blanked Scottsdale 5-0 on Wednesday behind a dominating performance by Yankee prospect Phil Hughes who pitched 5 scoreless 2 hit innings. He had 10 strikeouts. Sox prospect Eammon Portice threw 3 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed just 1 hit and a base on balls. He had 3 strikeouts. Josh Reddick went o for 4 and fanned 3 times. He did have an outfield assist throwing out a runner at third base. The Scorpions play their final game of the fall season this afternoon.
Look for Boston to make a few roster moves on Thursday to protect some players from the 2008 Rule 5 Draft. Eligible players must be added to their teams’ respective 40-man rosters by close-of-business on November 20 in order to remain protected from selection in the draft, which is scheduled to take place on December 11. In the Red Sox organization, the following players will be eligible to be selected if they are not added to Boston’s 40-Man Roster on or before November 20:
Juan Apodaca, Bubba Bell, Jose Capellan, Robert Coello, Jeff Corsalettii, Sean Danielson, Andrew Dobies, Felix Doubront, Zak Farkes, Roberto Feliz, Kyle Fernandes, Felipe Garcia, Javier Garcia, Rafael Gil, Matt Goodson, Joseph Guerra, Mickey Hall, Tommy Hottovy, Jimmy James, Mike James, Jay Johnson, Chris Jones, Hunter Jones, TJ Large, Will Latimer, Blake Maxwell, Jeff Natale, John Otness, Bryan Pritz, Jorge Rodriguez, Luis Segovia, Iggy Suarez, Jose Vaquedano, Beau Vaughan, Mark Wagner, Yahmed Yema, Armando Zerpa
The Red Sox 40-Man is presently at thirty-four, leaving six open roster spots. But don't expect all those spots to get filled - Boston always leaves a lot of breathing room for upcoming off-season acquisitions. However, I still expect that two to four players will be added tommorow. The primary candidates are Hunter Jones (pictured), Mark Wagner, Beau Vaughan,Bubba Bell, and Felix Doubront. With the exception of Doubront, each of these players contributed at AA or above in 2008, and each could vie for playing time with the big league club in the near future. Doubront, the 24th-ranked prospect in the organization (perSoxProspects.com), spent most of the 2008 season at Low-A Greenville, but is eligible for selection as a result of signing his first pro contract with the Red Sox at the age of sixteen in 2004. In 2008, he went 12-8 with a 3.64 ERA, 118 strikeouts, and 24 walks for Greenville, and 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in three late-season starts for High-A Lancaster. While its less-than-likely that he could stick on a major league club for the entire 2009 season, the Sox may not want to take the chance of losing this promising young lefty. Otheerwise, its unlikely that any of the other players will be protected – but you never know, as it was somewhat of a surprise to see Argenis Diaz added in 2007, which became somewhat of a necessity after his impressive performance in Hawaii Winter Baseball that off-season.
The Red Sox today acquired right-handed reliever Ramon Ramirez from the Royals in exchange for outfielder Coco Crisp. Ramirez pitched in a setup role for Kansas City in 2008, and posted a 2.64 ERA with a 70/31 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 71 2/3 innings. It is expected that Ramirez will become a key contributor to the Boston bullpen in front of closer Jonathan Papelbon. Ramirez relies heavily on two above average pitches: his fastball sits between 92-95 mph with nice late movement, and he also makes use of an plus slider. He is cost-controlled for another four seasons, but is out of options. Crisp will be missed in Boston's outfield, but will likely get the opportunity to be the every day centerfielder for the Royals.
11/19 Cup of Coffee: Scottsdale edged Surprise 1-0 on Tuesday. Josh Reddick went hitless in 4 at bats in the game and saw his average drop to .198.He struck out twice. He was the only Sox prospect to see action in the game.
This afternoon the Baseball Writers Association of America named Dustin Pedroia the 2008 American League Most Valuable Player. Pedroia is the first AL 2B to win the award since Nellie Fox in 1959 and the first Red Sox player to take home MVP honors since Mo Vaughn in 1995. Pedroia can add the MVP trophy to his mantle, which already includes a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award in 2008, the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year, several player-of-the-month and player-of-the-week awards, and a multitude of NCAA honors from his time at Arizona State. In 2008, he led the AL in runs, hits, doubles, and multi-hit games. He received sixteen first-place votes.
Twins 1B Justin Morneau finished second in the voting, and Boston's Kevin Youkilis finished third, garnering two first place votes. Youkilis was named on all thirty ballots, while Pedroia was named on twenty-nine - one voter from the Dallas Morning News left Pedroia off his ballot.
Pedroia is the ninth Red Sox player to be named AL MVP, following in the footsteps of Jimmie Foxx (1938), Ted Williams (1946 and 1949), Jackie Jensen (1958), Carl Yastrzemski (1967), Fred Lynn (1975), Jim Rice (1978), Roger Clemens (1986), and Vaughn (1995).
11/18 Cup of Coffee: Ryne Lawson started and went 4 innings in Scottsdale's 4-3 loss to Surprise on Monday. He allowed 1 run on 3 hits and a walk. He had 1 strikeout. Mark Wagner went 1 for 4 in the game.
11/17 Cup of Coffee: With the Hawaiian League finished, it is time to review the performances of the Sox Prospects on the Honu who by the way finished with a 14 win 22 loss record. Ryan Kalish finished with a .279 batting average, a .449 on base percentage and a .368 slugging percentage. Yamaico Navarro finished with a .207 batting average, a .283 on base percentage and a .253 slugging percentage. Jonathan Hee had only 9 official at bats and had 1 hits. He did earn 4 walks. Jose Capellan finished with a 0-1 record with a 4.74 earned run average and a 1.70 WHIP. He walked 9 hitters while striking out 22. Dustin Richardson finished with a 0-2 record with a 2.41 earned run average and a 1.29 WHIP. He walked 6 hitters while fanning 26.
11/16 Cup of Coffee: Scottsdale held a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the 9th on Saturday but gave up 3 runs to fall 5-4 to the Peoria Saguaros. TJ Large was charged with a blown save and the loss after giving up 3 runs on 5 hits in the 9th. He had 1 strikeout. Josh Reddick went 0 for 4 with a RBI.
North Shore's final game of the Hawaiian League schedule against West Oahu was cancelled.
11/14 Cup of Coffee: TJ Large threw only o.2 of an inning but was charged with a blown save and the loss in Phoenix's 15-6 win over Scottsdale. He allowed 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 base on balls. Eammon Portice threw 1.1 innings allowing 2 runs on 1 hit. He had 2 strikeouts.
The North Shore Honu game against Waikiki was cancelled.
11/13 Cup of Coffee: After completing the 11th inning of the game that was suspended on November 7, the game was still tied 6-6. It was decided to leave it at that and go on to the regularrly scheduled game between Scottsdale and Phoenix which also went 11 innings and was called with the game tied at 5. Ryne Lawson started and went 1.2 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk. Beau Vaughan threw 2 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits. He had 2 strikeouts. Josh Reddick went 1 for 5 with a home run. Mark Wagner went 1 for 3 with a home run and 2 base on balls.
In Hawaii, Waikiki defeated Honu 3-2. Dustin Richardson was charged with the loss going 1.2 innings of relief and allowing 1 run on 1 hit. He had 2 strikeouts. Yamaico Navarro went 1 for 4 with a walk.
Scottsdale downed Surprise 14-4. TJ Large went 2 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit and 0 walks. He had 1 strikeout. Eammon Portice threw a scoreless, hitless inning giving up 2 base on balls. He had 1 strikeout.
11/11 Cup of Coffee: Beau Vaughan retired the final 2 hitters to earn a save in Scottsdale's 7-5 win over Surprise on Monday. He allowed 1 hit and struck out 1. Mark Wagner went 2 for 2 in the game with a RBI. Josh Reddick went 0 for 4.
Red Sox Centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury finished third in the 2008 American League Rookie of the Year Voting, behind Alexi Ramirez of the White Sox and Evan Longoria of the Rays. Ellsbury, 25, posted a .280/.336/.394 line with nine home runs, 22 doubles and seven triples, and stole 50 bases (11 CS) in 554 at-bats over 145 games. Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia won the award in 2007.
11/10 Cup of Coffee: With teams agreeing to play only a 7 inning game to preserve their pitching staffs, the Honu rallied for 3 runs in the 7th to earn a 6-6 tie with West Oahu. This prevented them from clinching first place in the Western Division and a spot in the Hawaiian League Championship game. Jose Capellan started the game and went 4 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits. He gave up 2 base on balls while striking out 5. Ryan Kalish went 1 for 3 with a walk. He scored twice.
11/9 Cup of Coffee: Trailing 10-9 going into the 9th inning, the Scottsdale Scorpions scored 7 times and the barely held off the Peoria Saguaros in the bottom of the 9th to score a 16-15 victory on Saturday. TJ Large was charged with a blown save despite pitching 2.1 innings of 1 hit scoreless ball. He did not walk a batter and had 4 strikeouts. Mark Wagner entered the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the 9th.
In Hawaii, West Oahu blasted North Shore 13-3. Dustin Richardson went 2.1 innings and did not allow a run on 4 hits. He did not walk a hitter while recording 4 strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 2.12. Ryan Kalish went 1 for 4 with a RBI and is hitting .290. Yamaico Navarro went 1 for 3 with a base on balls. His batting average now stands at .215.
11/8 Cup of Coffee: The lights literally went out on Scottsdale last night. With the score tied 6-6 in the 11th inning, there was a power outage which forced the contest between Scottsdale and Phoenix to be suspended. Beau Vaughan went 2 scoreless, hitless innings but was still charged with a blown save. He did not allow a walk either. Mark Wagner was 1 for 4 with a home run at the time of the game's suspension. Josh Reddick was 1 for 5.
11/7 Cup of Coffee: Scottsdale fell 20-9 to the Peoria Saguaros on Thursday. Ryne Lawson started and lasted 1.2 innings. He gave up 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 1. TJ Large threw 1.1 innings and did not allow a hit or a run. He allowed 2 base on balls and had 1 strikeout. Eammon Portice went 1 inning and gave up 4 runs on 3 hits and a walk. Josh Reddick went 2 for 4 with a home run and 5 RBI.
11/6 Cup of Coffee: Ryan Kalish reached base 4 times going 1 for 2 along with 3 base on balls in North Shore's 11-1 win over Waikiki. He also scored a run and had a RBI. He is now hitting .293 in the Hawaiian League.
In Arizona, Scottsdale downed the Peoria Saguaros 7-3. Beau Vaughan threw a clean final inning of relief. Mark Wagner went 1 for 4 and scored a run. He is hitting .289 in the fall. Josh Reddick also went 1 for 4 in the game.
11/5 Cup of Coffee: Dustin Richardson tossed 2 scoreless innings of relief in North Shore's 8-6 loss to Waikiki. He allowed 1 hit and did not give up a walk. He had 3 strikeouts. His ERA is now 2.45. Ryan Kalish went 2 for 3 with 2 base on balls. He had a run scored. He is now hitting .286. Yamaico Navarro went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a RBI.
11/4 Cup of Coffee: Clay Buchholz started and lasted 3.2 innings allowing 4 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks in Scottsdale's 11-7 loss to the Peoria Saguaros. He had 5 strikeouts. Beau Vaughan threw 1 clean inning of relief with 2 strikeouts. Mark Wagner went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI. He is hitting .294 in the Fall League. Josh Reddick went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a RBI.
The Red Sox announced Saturday that they have signed a thirty year lease to keep their spring training and rookie-ball facilities in the Fort Myers area. The team will relocate the facility in 2012 from City of Palms Park in Fort Myers to a yet to be constructed facility in Lee County. The new facility will include a 10,000 seat stadium modeled after Fenway Park and six practice fields. The major and minor league facilities will also be merged into one location, unlike the present set up. The Sox ultimately opted to remain in Lee County over Sarasota, who also aggressively pursued the Red Sox to move their spring facilities an hour north. Look for the Sox to invest in the area surrounding the facility leading up to its opening in 2012. There is also some reports that the team will look to add another High-A team to compete in the Florida State League out of the new facility starting in 2012.
11/3 Cup of Coffee: Jose Capellan started the game and went 3.2 scoreless innings in North Shore's 3-1 win over Honolulu. He allowed 4 hits and 2 walks while fanning 3. Yamaico Navarro went 0 for 3 in the game and saw his batting average fall to .194.
11/2 Cup of Coffee: Eammon Portice saw his first action in the Arizona Fall League on Saturday during Surprise's 7-1 win over Scottsdale. He threw 1 inning allowing an unearned run on 1 hit and a walk. He had 2 strikeouts. TJ Large also threw an inning. He gave up an unearned run on 1 hit. He had a strikeout. The last place Scorpions saw their record fall to 7-15.
In Hawaii, Honolulu edged the North Shore 2-1 allowing the Honu just 1 hit in the game. Ryan Kalish went o for 4 in the game while Jonathan Hee went hitless in 3 at bats.
11/1 Cup of Coffee: Josh Reddick went 2 for 4 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI in Scottsdale's 16-6 win over Surprise. Ryne Lawson started and went 2 scoreless innings giving up 1 hit. He had 3 strikeouts. Beau Vaughan pitched the final inning and did not allow a run. He gave up 2 hits while striking out 2.
The North Shore Honu downed Honolulu 5-1. Dustin Richardson pitched the final frame and did not allow a run on 1 hit. He fanned 2. Yamaico Navarro went hitless in 4 at bats. He drew a walk.