Jackie Bradley Jr. was named a finalist for the American League Gold Glove Award. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)Amidst an October ode to outfield defense authored by the Royals, Thursday offered a reminder. 



In a conference call introducing Chili Davis as the new Red Sox hitting coach, the former A’s instructor talked about how he viewed one of his former player’s in Oakland, Yoenis Cespedes.

Chili Davis

Chili Davis

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Three members of the Red Sox were named finalists for the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award, which recognizes one player from each league at each position.

Three members of the Red Sox were named finalists for the 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Award, which recognizes one player from each league at each position. Three-time winner Dustin Pedroia was named a finalist along with Robinson Cano of the Mariners and Ian Kinsler of the Tigers. Jackie Bradley Jr. was named a finalist in center field along with Adam Jones of the Orioles and Adam Eaton of the White Sox. And Yoenis Cespedes, acquired in midseason from the A’s, is a finalist in left field, along with Michael Brantley of the Indians and reigning winner Alex Gordon of the Royals.

Fangraphs had Pedroia as the major league leader by a considerable margin in UZR. John Dewan’s Plus/Minus system had Pedroia as second to Kinsler in both runs saved and defensive plays made above average.

Fangraphs had Bradley leading the American League, also by a significant margin, in UZR, while Dewan’s system had Bradley behind only Leonys Martin of the Rangers in runs saved (14), but placed him behind Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson of the Royals as well as Eaton in plus/minus.

Though Fangraphs had Cespedes being below average in range, his howitzer of an arm permitted him to rank second in the AL (behind only Gordon) in UZR, according to Fangraphs. Dewan’s runs saved system likewise pegged Cespedes as the second most impactful left fielder in the AL with 12 runs saved, behind only Gordon’s 27.

Arguably short-changed as a nominee for the second straight year: Mike Napoli, who according to Dewan, ranked third in the AL to a pair of Orioles (Steven Pearce and Chris Davis) in first base runs saved and led the AL with 10 plays above average. Fangraphs pegged Napoli as having the third best UZR (behind Albert Pujols and Mark Teixeira) in American League UZR.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

The Red Sox officially announced the hire of Chili Davis as their new hitting coach Thursday. In addition, the team announced that Victor Rodriguez would return for his third season as the team’s assistant hitting coach.

The Red Sox officially announced the hire of Chili Davis as their new hitting coach Thursday. In addition, the team announced that Victor Rodriguez would return for his third season as the team’s assistant hitting coach.

Davis spent the last three seasons as the hitting coach for the Athletics, who finished third in the American League in runs each of the last two season. As a player, Davis ranked seventh all-time among switch hitters in both home runs (350) and RBIs (1,372). He previously worked in the Red Sox organization in 2011, when he was the hitting coach for Triple-A Pawtucket.

“Chili’s experience and success as both a player and a coach make him a valuable addition to our staff, and we are excited to have him working with our hitters,” John Farrell said in a statement.

Rodriguez has spent the past 20 years in the Red Sox organization, serving in various roles in the minors before becoming the Red Sox’ assistant hitting coach in 2013.

“We look forward to having Victor return to the staff,” Farrell said. “In his time here, he has built strong relationships with our younger players, some of which date back to his days working in our minor league system.”

For more on Davis and his potential impact on the Red Sox, check out this column from Alex Speier.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

As time ticks toward the Red Sox having to make a decision on Craig Breslow’s contract, the reliever remains realistic.

As time ticks toward the Red Sox having to make a decision on Craig Breslow’s contract, the reliever remains realistic.

The Red Sox have until five days after the completion of the World Series to decide whether or not to exercise Breslow’s $4 million option for 2015. The 34-year-old lefty is coming off a disappointing season in which he totaled a 5.96 ERA in 54 1/3 innings over 60 appearances.

“If you were to strictly look at 2014 with blinders without what had happened previously and what you might expect to happen going forward, $4 million is probably a hefty price tag,” Breslow said by ph0ne Thursday afternoon. “But I think if he look at the body of work from 2008-13, you can better appreciation for the pitcher that I’€™ve been and the pitcher that I will.”

He added, “If they were to decline it I would be a bargain for somebody and I’€™ll pitch to the value of the contract.”

Breslow noted his representatives had been in preliminary contract discussions with the Red Sox toward the end of the ’14 season.

The reliever seemingly never recovered from the workload of pitching through the Red Sox’ ’13 World Series run. Not only did he delay his throwing program due to the 993 pitches thrown during the championship season, but upon arriving in spring training it was determined his shoulder strength was still lacking.

Breslow wouldn’t pitch at throughout the club’s stay in Fort Myers, not making his ’14 big league debut until  the 10th game of the season.

“Only having December and January to get ready becomes problematic,” he said.

From ’08-13, Breslow pitched in more games (392) than any lefty reliever, except Matt Thornton, totaling a 2.82 ERA, while limiting hitters to a .224 batting average.

The Connecticut native plans on spending the majority of his offseason working out at Mike Boyle’s training facility in Woburn.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

James Shields is amidst one of the worst postseasons ever for a starting pitcher.</p>
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