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Boston Red Sox Catching Job Up For Grabs With Sandy Leon Struggling

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Boston Red Sox Catching Job Up For Grabs With Sandy Leon Struggling

Since Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek retired in 2011 Boston has struggled to find an everyday catching option. They have seen the likes of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and A.J. Pierzynski, but everything they have tried just hasn’t panned out with no true everyday catching option revealing itself.

For the last several seasons the catching role in Boston has been a platoon position with players such as Sandy Leon, Blake Swihart, Ryan Hanigan, and Christian Vazquez getting time behind the plate.

Going into this season the Red Sox had three candidates for their main catching job with Vasquez, Leon, and Swihart all vying for the position. With Vasquez, you had the recovery from Tommy John and the unknown on offense, with Swihart you had the bat but not the glove, with Leon you supposedly had something in-between after he broke out offensively last season.

No Candidate Is Made Equally Or Perfect

All three have their liabilities and going into the season the Boston Red Sox went with Leon and Vasquez on te 25-man-roster and Swihart down in AAA-Pawtucket. Swihart has had mixed success so far in Pawtucket with a .200 batting average, but he has two home runs and 11 RBIs in just 45 at bats. But with his defensive skills still not ideal the chances of him being the every starter right now is slim, the best he can hope for is getting called up to be the back-up or change his position again.

Sandy Leon who has been the primary catcher of sorts for Boston has started to struggle mightily at the plate and in 50 plate appearances, he is batting .180. Leon is fine defensively but on offense, he is a career .247 hitter and that is including him hitting .310 last season for Boston. Leon according to many projections is a .235-.240 hitter and nothing more than that, and for that reason, Boston will likely transition the primary catching duties over to Vasquez.

Vasquez has had a hot start to his season by playing superb defense along with an elite offensive production with 13 hits in just 27 at-bats giving him a .481 Avg. While his offensive production right now is way above his capabilities, it is not unreasonable for the career .251 hitter to exceed expectations. Realistically he could finish the year in the .255-.265 range given the fact that he has yet to show his true offensive potential.

Who should “The Guy” be?

The question for Boston is whether or not they are fine with that average out of the catcher position. Normally one would say yes, but with the offensive production below normal this season the idea of a Swihart who has a high offensive output is a tempting one. For now, Vasquez is the guy that should be getting the starting role in Boston, but the backup role should be given to Swihart once he heats up in Pawtucket.

Having Vasquez as the defensive catcher with a so-so hitting ability and Swihart as the pinch hitter/backup role offers Farrel more versatility and pop when he needs it the most. Leon and Vasquez are just too similar in terms of positives to make sense for the long-term outlook.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

Boston Red Sox

David Price Pitches In A Different Fenway Park

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David Price

David Ortiz steps to the plate, flies out to right field, and what happens? Vicious boos? Well in the world of David Price, yes.

Price had a tell-all with out of touch baseball writer Bob Nightengale in USA Today with the Red Sox pitcher continuing to show why he isn’t made to pitch in any type of baseball market, big or small.

“It is tough here,’’ Price tells USA TODAY. “There’s just so much more negativity. I’ve never been one for negative stuff. I like surrounding myself by positive people. Even if my wife starts talking negatively, I let her know. I just can’t stand it.

Price claims there is an incredible amount of negativity surrounding Boston. Well, maybe just negativity surrounding him. The 217 million dollar man has been the target of much criticism but all of it is justified and has absolutely nothing to do with his price tag. Fans could care less about how much money a player makes since it is not actually their money. Price getting bashed by fans and members of the media also has nothing to do with his performance on the field. It all stems from him being a big baby and blowing up on Dennis Eckersley on the team plane last year. If Price hadn’t done that no one would care, because lets’ face it, Boston is no longer a tough baseball town.

But hey maybe we are all experiencing a different Boston, a different Fenway Park. A Fenway park where David Ortiz gets booed.

“Oh, yeah, he’ll get booed,’’ Price laughs. “I told J.D. he will love the guys here in this clubhouse but also told him he’ll get booed. He’s a quiet, soft-spoken guy, but he’ll handle it. Besides, everyone gets booed. I heard Big Papi (David Ortiz) get booed many times in Fenway.”

Yes, that is a real quote. That statement alone deserves vicious boos from the Fenway Faithful. When was Ortiz ever booed “many times” at Fenway Park during Prices time in baseball? Even when Terry Francona almost benched the slugger fans were still chanting Papi, Papi.

No shot in hell.

Price making that comment to Nightengale is just a shameful attempt to garner national support for him as he attempts to pitch his way out of a contract he should have never signed. Price blames Boston and the fans instead of himself. He signed the contract, no one forced him to do so. Instead, he has taken shots at the city, the fan base, and the organization. Funny thing is if Price goes out and pitches halfway decent there is no shot he gets booed at Fenway Park this season.

Most of the fans that visit Fenway have no idea who half of the players are and will cheer for anything that walks up to the plate. Boston is no longer a tough baseball town, but don’t tell that to Nightengale.

Now it’s J.D. Martinez’s turn to experience baseball’s toughest environment, where perfection is demanded, nothing less than a World Series championship is good enough and, as Price can attest, where things can get awfully ugly in a hurry.

Welcome to Boston.

You’ve been warned. -Nightengale

Baseball’s toughest environment?

I think not.

The biggest newspaper in town, the Boston Globe, is in John Henry‘s garage. And then one of the biggest sports tv stations is also under team ownership.

Tough?

I think not, more like soft as butter.

Now a direct message to J.D. Martinez: Just don’t be an a-hole like Price and you will be fine. Hit .240 or .320, it literally doesn’t matter in Boston.

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Boston Red Sox Spring Training TV And Radio Broadcast Information

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Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox announced on Tuesday their 2018 Spring Training broadcast schedule.

Of the Red Sox’ 35 exhibition games this spring, 14 will be televised by NESN in the Boston TV market on either the main channel or their NESNplus feed.

In addition to the 14 NESN games, a partnership between them and Boston 25 will bring an additional six games to be broadcasted on Boston 25 in the City of Boston and on NESN throughout the rest of New England.

In terms of radio, the Red Sox Radio network continues to be WEEI which will carry 31 spring training games. There will be three national games on the Spring Training schedule with MLB Network carrying the March 2nd game and ESPN carrying both the March 23rd game and the March 27th game.

Below is the full Boston Red Sox spring training broadcast schedule for 2018

2018 BOSTON RED SOX SPRING TRAINING SCHEDULE
(All Times Eastern and Subject to Change)

Thurs., February 22: Northeastern Univ. in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (NESN/WFXT*)
Thurs., February 22: Boston College in JetBlue Park (NESN/WFXT*)
Fri., February 23: Minnesota in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Sat., February 24: Tampa Bay in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN)
Sun., February 25: Baltimore in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 93.7 FM / NESN)

Mon., February 26: Pittsburgh in Bradenton at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Tues., February 27: St. Louis in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Tues., February 27: Minnesota in Hammond Stadium at 6:05 p.m. (NESN+)
Wed., February 28: Pittsburgh in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Thurs., March 1: Houston in West Palm Beach at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN/WFXT*)
Fri., March 2: St. Louis in Jupiter at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM at MLBN)
Sat., March 3: NY Yankees in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 93.7 FM at NESN)
Sun., March 4: Baltimore in Sarasota at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN)
Tues., March 6: Tampa Bay in Port Charlotte at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Wed., March 7: Minnesota in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Wed., March 7: Philadelphia in Clearwater at 1:05 p.m.
Thurs., March 8: at Tampa Bay in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN/WFXT*)
Fri., March 9: Miami in Jupiter at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Sat., March 10: Minnesota in Hammond Stadium at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN+)
Sun., March 11: Baltimore (SS) in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 93.7 FM / NESN)
Mon., March 12: Toronto in Dunedin at 1:07 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Wed., March 14: Minnesota in Hammond Stadium at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Thurs., March 15: Toronto in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN/WFXT*)
Fri., March 16: Minnesota (SS) in JetBlue Park at 6:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN)
Sat., March 17: Tampa Bay in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN)

Sun., March 18: Pittsburgh (SS) in Bradenton at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN)
Mon., March 19: Philadelphia in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Tues., March 20: Pittsburgh in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)

Wed., March 21: Tampa Bay in Port Charlotte at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM)
Thurs., March 22: Baltimore in Sarasota at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN/WFXT*)
Fri., March 23: NY Yankees in Tampa at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / ESPN)
Sat., March 24: Houston in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN)
Sun., March 25: Minnesota in Hammond Stadium at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN)
Mon., March 26: Chicago Cubs in JetBlue Park at 6:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN)
Tues., March 27: Chicago Cubs in JetBlue Park at 1:05 p.m. (WEEI 850 AM / NESN/ESPN)

(SS) – Split Squad
Home Games are played at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Lee County, Florida
* Games broadcast on WFXT in Boston DMA and on NESN through the rest of New England

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Red Sox Trade Bryce Brentz To The Pittsburgh Pirates

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Bryce Brentz

Red Sox Trade OF Bryce Brentz To The Pittsburgh Pirates

The Red Sox have announced that they have traded outfielder Bryce Brentz to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations. This creates a spot for newly signed JD Martinez on the 40 man roster, and ultimately the opening day 25 man roster.


Last season for the Pawtucket Red Sox, Bryce Brentz hit .271 with 31 home runs and 85 RBI’s. Those 31 home runs was the most out of any player in the Red Sox organization. However his fielding was okay at best.

This season, Bryce Brentz was on track to be the number 4 outfielder for the Boston Red Sox. But with the acquisition of JD Martinez, this would force Bryce Brentz off the opening day roster. Since Bryce Brentz no longer has anymore options, this trade makes sure that the Red Sox get something out of getting rid of him. Otherwise the Red Sox would have just designated him for assignment.

Bryce Brentz Highlights

Here are some of the highlights from last season for Bryce Brentz.



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