Strong Minor League System Makes The Astros The Team To Beat For Year’s To Come

With the 2018 MLB  spring training officially underway. since coming off their first world series in club history the Astros are a club well stocked for the future. In this post, we’ll cover the Astros as a whole and minor league system.                                                                                                                                                                                Strong Management;                                                                                           Team manager AJ Hich guided the Astros first world series title ever. Hinch has still basically the same team as last year look for the Astros to return to the 2018 World Series.  General manager Jeff Luhnow should get the executive of the year award. Luhnow pulled off on the slickest moves ever last year by prying away Tiger ace Justin Verlander. Verlander was the main force in last year’s postseason run to the World Series. Verlander, Colin McHugh, and Dallas Kuehle.                                                                                                                                                                              Minor League System; Currently, the Astros rank second behind the Atlanta Braves.and the New York Yankees third. According to Baseball America, the Astros have ten players in the top 100. Youngsters Frances Marte, David Paulino, AJ REED and Franklin Perez, are all grade A  prospect. By being a grade A prospect that usually means that the player depending on injuries has a good chance of being a  star player. This means that if other teams are sellers at the trade deadline, the Astros have a considerable amount of bargaining chips.

Strong Nucleus; The nucleus of Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Carlos Correa remains intact for many years to come. During the offseason, the Astros added relievers Joe Smith and Hector Rondon to bolster the relieving group. Every team in any sport has to battle injuries, with a deep minor league system there no reason that the Astros shouldn’t repeat as world champions in 2018.                                                                                                                                                                              For year’s Houston fans have not much to cheer about as the Astros were constant cellar dwellers. Other than Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell Houston was a team struggling just to get out of the gate. With the tragedy of hurricane, Harvey  Astro fans now have a team they can be proud of

Leadership Is The Main Focus For The 2018 Red Sox Spring Training

An error occured for when trying to retrieve feeds! Check the URL's provided as feed sources.It’s safe to say that baseball is literally in the air.  Major league teams have   officially begun workouts for both position players and pitchers.  In Fort Myers The Red Sox main theme for this year is leadership. Rhe club is coming off a successful 2017 campaign in which they clinched the AL East for the second year in a row. For a team loaded with talent, they still lack the most important  characteristic of all. And that characteristic is leadership. In this post, we’ll cover three areas the club needs to focus on plus other issues going forward in 2018.                                                          Locker Room chemistry;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 For a team coming off a successful 2017 season the average baseball fan would never know it. The Sox were a team with basically no identity.  Over the course of 162 games and playoffs,  it was the blind leading the blind. Several distractions kept occurring. Incidents such as Dustin Pedroia fighting with Oriole third baseman Manny Machado.   In another incident, Red Sox pitcher David Price insulted Hall of Fame broadcaster Dennis Eckersley. And of course, there was the ongoing saga firing manager John Farrell. If the club can elect a  capable team captain then within the time they can put the drama behind them and focus on winning.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lack Of Home Run Power;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Since the retirement of favorite David Ortiz finding a replacement has not yet been accomplished. For the first time in a long time, the club had a  realatively quiet offseason.  The free agent market consisted of Mitch Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Jose Bautista and JD Martinez. Martinez’s name has been popping up all winter. But has spring training has gotten underway Martinez still remains a free agent. Only Mitch Moreland and Eduardo Nunez are the only free agent signees. If the club can find ways to manufacture runs like last season they could be serious playoff contenders.                                                                                                                                            Fresh Approach;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                After a disappointing playoff elimination for the second straight year Red Sox general manager decided it was time for a managerial change. Just hours after losing to Houston the Sox said terminated to four- year manager John Farrell. In return the team.  In return, the club thought it was best to hire a younger manager to lead a  fairly young team.  As for Cora’s resume, he has an impressive,  backround that includes two world series rings. Cora to his credit was a member of the 2004 champion Red Sox  If Cora can send a message early enough the end result.will be worth it.                                                                          ,

Being a big league manager is not an easy task for a first_ year manager. The key for Cora is to send the message early and when needed. If the  team  expects to get back to the world series then finding leadership is a step in  the right direction.

 

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Why The Red Sox Need A Lot More Than A New Manager

https://www.sports-reference.com/blog/category/baseball-reference-com/Red Sox General Manager Dave Dombrowsi officially named https://www.sports-reference.com/blog/category/baseball-reference-com/https://www.sports-reference.com/blog/category/baseball-reference-com/Astros bench coach Alex Cora as the team’s new manager. Cora will take over for the fired John Farrell next season. Cora is also the fourth manager for the  Red Sox in six years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Although Farrell did enjoy some success in Boston a world title in 2013 plus two consecutive division titles he was often criticized for the way he handled his players. Enter Alex Cora, Cora spent the past season as the Astros bench coach and winning the world series. It marks his second world series championship including his time as a player in Boston in 2004.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In Cora, the  Red Sox get a younger manager with a fresh new approach. He is relatively the same age as the core of his team. The current nucleus of Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogarts is still very young.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The main problem with the Red Sox last year was the clubhouse. One player in particular David Price was the bad apple amongst the group. In an incident on the team plane Price had an argument with Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley. The incident did not sit well with the Red Sox media and fans. This incident is one of the main reasons Farrell was fired.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Veteran second baseman Dustin Pedroia also had an incident with Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. Pedroia apparently went back and forth with Machado and embarrassing his teammates.                                                                                                                                                                                Behavior like this is what sets the Red Sox apart from winning and losing. Their playoff record the past two seasons is 1-6 at the hands of the Houston Astros.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In order for Cora to gain the respect of his players, he’ll need to put his foot down early. Distractions such as these need to be addressed n spring training if the manager is to gain any credibility.                                                                                                                                                                                           Being a first_ year manager is not an easy task for anyone young or old. Being a manager in Boston can be even more difficult The Red Sox not only need a new manager but strong character players to bring another championship to Boston.

The Merry Go Round Continues On Yawkey Way

Last weeks firing of Red Sox manager John Farrell makes him the third manager to be fired in six years. Farrell, however, did take the Red Sox to their third World title in three years. Farrell also has two consecutive Eastern division titles two his credit, only to lose two years in a row to Houston.  The merry go round continues.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Last season however, their were several distractions that led to his firing. Unprofessional conduct from his players that resulted in upper management apologizing to the victim, certainly did not help.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Now that Farrell is gone general manager Dave Dombrowski has already been interviewing several candidates. The past week Dombrowski has interviewed Astros bench coach Alex Cora. Tigers fired manager Brad Ausmus, and has since gotten permission to interview Diamondbacks, bench coach Ron Gardenhire.                                                                                                                                                                                            Ausmus on the other hand also has managerial experience with Detroit. . At the time Dombrowski was hired   John Farrell was already the manager. The new manager will strictly be under Dombrowski’s control.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Overall, the Red Sox have a solid group of core players. The next manager has to be strict, and have fresh new ideas. The Red Sox are also a fairly young team,  with the right manage they could return to the World Series within a year or two.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Lack of power was the main issue with this years  Red Sox. With the retirement of David Ortiz the Red Sox just could not find that big bat in the middle of the lineup. With a big bat and a strict manager, Boston may not be that far away.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          With the firing of John Farrell the Red Sox have gone through three managers in  six years. Terry Francona was let go after a disappointing 2011 season in which the Sox blew a large lead in September.   And who could forget the immortal Bobby Valentine. Valentine had one of the worst records in the history of Red Sox managers with a record of 69-93 in 2012                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It’s clear that the Red Sox need a tough no non sense manager  at the helm. Talent wise the Red Sox are not to far behind Houston. If the Red Sox can get the right man for the job 2018 should be a very exciting season. If not the merry go round will continue in Boston.                                                                                                                                                               .

All of a Sudden the Red Sox Are Enjoying A Power Surge

With seven weeks left of the 2017 MLB, the Red Sox find themselves in first place in the  AL East. They/ve done this with a combination of hitting and excellent pitching.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Red Sox are doing it with timely hitting and solid pitching. At the trade deadline, the Red Sox acquired Giants utility man Eduardo Nunez.  In addition, the Red Sox also picked up Mets reliever Addison Reed and recalled Pawtucket third base man Rafael Devers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Both Devers and Nunez have been a shot in the arm for the weak hitting Red Sox. Devers and Nunez have combined for 8 home-runs while Reed has been a plus in the bullpen.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Every game seems to bring out a different hero. Lately the Red Sox have been doing with late season dramatics. Currently, the Red Sox are enjoying an eight game winning streak. The Yankees have fallen four games back while the Devil Rays are in third five games back.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Christian Vazquez, Mitch Moreland, Eduardo Nunez and Devers have all contributed with game winning hits. Nunez especially has been important on both defense and offense.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           If the Red Sox want to remain in first place and have any type of success in the post season they’ll need with both pitching and timely hitting.  October is about pitching. Thus far the pitching has been the best in the American League.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 With a league best 3-64 ERA  most of the success is due to Chris Sale. Thus far this season Sale leads the league in both wins and strikeouts.The Sox have also been getting solid performances from Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez. Craig Kimbrell has been super coming out of the bullpen and saving twenty- five games.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pitching is what separates the serious contenders from the pretenders.For the first time in a long time, the Red Sox are last in the league in home-runs/116. Big Papi is no longer delivering big home-runs. What they have is good enough to win. Even if they lack power I’ll take pitching, defense and base stealing any day.

Leadership Seems To Be The Biggest Need For 2017 Red Sox

With forty eight hours left for major league baseball teams to make a deal the biggest need  for the 2017 Red Sox is leadership. Since David Ortiz retired last season no player has taken the role as team leader.                                                                                                                                                                                                                This years Red Sox are a team surrounded by turmoil. The center of the turmoil is starter David Price. Price has fallen out of favor with the fans and media. Price has had two verbal incidents with Sox color man Dennis Eckersley and also a Red Sox beat writer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Price has since then gone on the ten day DL for shoulder stiffness. Price don’t forget missed all of spring training and the first two months of the season due to shoulder issues.                                                                                                                                                          Incidents like these have sparked outrage from Boston fans who want Price shipped out of town as soon as possible. Price’s behavior has caused controversy in the Red Sox clubhouse.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     With the trade dealine Monday Prices name has come up in several trade talks. Price is in his second year of a three year deal where hev has an option to opt out after three years.                                                                                                                                                    Many Red Sox insiders feel that this is the route Price is taking. He’s on his second stint on the DL and many speculate that he his preparing to opt out after next year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 In another gray area for the Red Sox this year has been manager John Farrell. Since the Price incident Farrell has not addressed  the issue. He has let the tension escalate which as resulted in the Red Sox falling out of first place.                                                                                                                                                                           With two months left the Red Sox desperately need leadership. Veteran Red Sox infielder Dustin Pedroia has volunteered to take over the role . Pedroia is the Red Sox elder statesman with eleven years of service.                                                                                                                                                                                          With the Yankees and Devil Rays red hot the Red Sox need to find ways to keep winning. Earlier in the month the Red Sox released free agent bust Pablo Sandoval.                                                                                                                                                                                      No matter what happens between now and October leadership is the main need this year n

Farrell Needs To Learn To Control Team Better

With the 2017 major league All Star game nearly three weeks away theBoston Red Sox find themslves in second place in the AL East 1.5 games behind the Yankees.                                                                                                                                                                                          With a respectable 40-32 record most fans would be more than happy with that record. But being the Red Sox their are several distractions facing the club this summer.                                                                                                                                                                        One major distraction is how manager John  Farrell handles his players. One particular example has been David Price. Price who missed all of spring training with an injury has returned but has nothing great to show for it.                                                                                                                                                                                                         Price is in his second year of a 217,000 million dollar salary. Price won 17 games a year ago but isin’t even close to where he should be this year. Price rently got into a shouting match with a Boston writer. Farrell as usual walked away and didn’t take any resposibilityfor it. The whole incident was unprofessional on both Farrell and Price.                                                                                                                                                                                        The second prolem is Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval went on the 10 day DL with an inner ear infection. Not to mention he’s not even half way through his 95 million dollar contract. This is his  second stint on the DL this year. Another blunder by Farrell he sat Sandoval down due to the speed in KC and started Josh Rutledge all three games.   Poor judgement on Farrells part                                                                                                                                                   The third issue has been DH Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez is dictating to Farrell and the Red Sox he just wants to be a    DH. Ramirez who had great numbers last 30-111 and a 286 BA once again Farrell lets his players control him. Not to mention Ramirez makes 22,000,000 million per season.                                                                                                                                                                          The last point is how Farrell handles his pitching. Close Craig Kimbrell is having an All Star season. Farrell has him coming in the eight inning facing four batters instead of three. Also he’s been pulling out his tarters to early in one instance it cost the Sox a win in KC.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Obviously Farrell is overmanaging and is afraid of his job. Where ever the Sox finish this yea these foolish decisions he makes may or may not cost him his job.

What The Red Sox In Order To Stay In The Hunt For 2017

With a quarter of the 2017 MLB season in the books the Boston Red Sox find themselves in third place in the AL East 23-21- 512 and 4.5 games out of first. For a lot of clubs that would be encouraging but not for Red Sox nation who won the AL East last year.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The first order of business is to get starter David Price back healthy. Price is currently on a rehab assignment in Pawtucket and should be back in a week to ten days.                                                                                                                                                                                      Secondly the Sox and their fans need to get over the retirement of David Ortiz. Naturally  production has fallen way off the Sox have a league low 38 homers and 166 runs batted in.but have a respectable team batting average of 266.                                                                                                                                                         First baseman Hanley Ramirez has filled in and has done a respectable job with 5 homers and 17 runs batted in. If the Sox are going to make a run outfielder Jackie Bradley needs to get going. Bradley had a great year last year but is hitting just over 200 with 4 homers and 11 runs batted in.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               So far the pitching has been fair. Newly acquired Chris Sale has been sensational. Sale is going for his ninth straight games with ten strikeouts or more. Sale recently tied a club record of eight straight games held by Pedro Martinez.                                                                                                                                                                             Relief wise the bullpen has been sub par .Relievers Robby Scott, Heath  Hembree , Matt Barnes and Fernando Abad been criticized by the fans for being overused by manager John Farrell. Closer Craig Kimbrell has been brilliant. Kimbrell has a nifty ERA of 0.96 a 4-2 record with 12 saves .                                                                                                                                                                             The last area of concern has been third base. Opening day 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval has gone down with an injury. Sandoval out most of last year had a fantastic spring and earned his job back. Sandoval should be back within in week. Since his injury third base has been a committee. Utility men Josh Rutledge, Marco Hernandez and Deven Marrero. Out of the three Marrero has shined playing solid defense.                                                                                                                                                                 If the Sox are going to be serious contenders they need to make a move now. Other than Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez the Sox need quality starts from the fourth and fifth spots .Starter Steven Wright has gone down with an injury. Fifth starter Drew Pomeranz has been awful.                                                                                                                                                                                If the Sox start falling farther and farther back  then manager John Farrell’s job could  be in jeopardy in the off season. The Sox may need to thick about trading for another starter or arm to survive the summer The only problem is GM  Dave Dombrowski  has already traded away most of the organizations top prospects. Only time will tell.