Tagged: Darnell McDonald

Make This Trade For David DeJesus

Dear Theo Epstein,

As I’m sure you know, the Red Sox outfield is in a sorry state of affairs right now.  With Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeremy Hermida, and J.D. Drew all out with injuries and Mike Cameron hobbled to the point where he cannot play in back to back games, we have been forced to throw out replacements such as Darnell McDonald, Daniel Nava, Josh Reddick, and Bill Hall.  They have performed admirably for the most part, but we all know that this is not a long-term solution.  With Dustin Pedroia breaking his foot, Bill Hall won’t even be available to help out in the outfield every day as he will be playing second base.  Amazingly, your team has chosen this injury-riddled stretch to begin winning games- and they find themselves just two games behind the Yankees for the AL East and the best record in baseball.  This trade will help them make that playoff push.  Here’s how it will break down: 
BOS receives: 
(Photo Cred: operationsports.com)
KC receives:
(Photo Cred: zimbio.com)
(Photo Cred: mlb.com)
The case for Boston:
DeJesus is making $4.7M this year and has a club option for next year at $6M ($0.5M buyout).  At 30 years old, he is well on his way to his best season, currently hitting .326 with an OPS of .872.  He is yet to make an error in the outfield and has recorded 4 assists.  DeJesus could provide the spark that pushes this team to the top of the standings.  You gain outfield depth and some great hitting and you lose a couple of prospects, one of whom (Anderson) has been disappointing thus far.  Gibson is good, but you get to keep your real gem- Jose Iglesias.  
Mike Cameron and J.D. Drew are both signed through 2011 and Ellsbury is arbitration eligible through 2013.  Cameron and Drew are both pretty high risk in terms of injury and Ellsbury has hardly played at all this year, so having a guy like DeJesus around next year would be great security.  If there is one thing I’ve learned about baseball over the years it is that you can never have too much talent.  Everything always works itself out and everyone gets enough playing time.  Except Mike Lowell.
The case for Kansas City:
You are 10.5 games behind the worst division leader in baseball, the Minnesota Twins.  So I hope I’m not the first one to break it to you, because that would just be awkward, but you’re not going to make the playoffs this year.  Initiate selling mode.  You lose an outfielder for the remainder of the year (and maybe next) and you get two prospects.  Lars Ander
is one who is close to Major League ready.  Entering 2009 he was rated as the 17th best prospect in baseball by Baseball America before turning in a stinker of a year for AA Portland.  He has shown some signs of improvement this year, but if he ever returns to his .934 OPS of 2008, then this is a steal for you, Kansas City.
Because of the uncertainty there, you also get prospect Derrik Gibson.  He is a few years removed from being big league ready, but he has great raw talent.  Scouts admire his speed and his fielding ability, and I admire his numbers with A-level Lowell last season: .290 average with 28 steals in 67 games.  I know, I know, you love Jose Iglesias, but so do we.  Consider Gibson a consolation prize, and a pretty good one at that.  
We already know we will be buyers at the trade deadline- so why not make this deal now and secure an extra month of DeJesus’s services?  It’s not like the Royals are waiting to see if they can contend this year.  Don’t be shy.  Make this trade.
The 26th Man

Close Calls & DMac

Before tonight’s 2-0 victory over Toronto, check out the last time the Red Sox won by more than 1 run:

Gm# Date Tm Opp R RA W-L GB Win Loss Save
8 Wednesday, Apr 14 boxscore BOS MIN W 6 3 4-4 1.5 Lackey Slowey Papelbon
9 Thursday, Apr 15 boxscore BOS MIN L 0 8 4-5 2.5 Liriano Wakefield
10 Friday, Apr 16 boxscore BOS TBR L 1 3 4-6 3.0 Cormier Delcarmen Soriano
11 Saturday, Apr 17 boxscore BOS TBR L 5 6 4-7 4.0 Shields Buchholz Soriano
12 Sunday, Apr 18 boxscore BOS TBR L 1 7 4-8 5.0 Garza Lester
13 Monday, Apr 19 boxscore BOS TBR L 2 8 4-9 6.0 Niemann Lackey
14 Tuesday, Apr 20 boxscore BOS TEX W 7 6 5-9 5.5 Papelbon Francisco
15 Wednesday, Apr 21 boxscore BOS TEX W 8 7 6-9 5.5 Okajima Nippert
16 Thursday, Apr 22 boxscore BOS TEX L 0 3 6-10 6.0 Wilson Buchholz Oliver
17 Friday, Apr 23 boxscore BOS BAL W 4 3 7-10 5.0 Delcarmen Albers Papelbon
18 Saturday, Apr 24 boxscore BOS BAL W 7 6 8-10 5.0 Lackey Albers Papelbon
19 Sunday, Apr 25 boxscore BOS BAL L 6 7 8-11 6.0 Johnson Atchison Meredith
20 Monday, Apr 26 boxscore BOS TOR W 13 12 9-11 5.5 Schoeneweis Camp Papelbon
21 Tuesday, Apr 27 boxscore BOS TOR W 2 1 10-11 5.5 Buchholz Downs Ramirez
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2010.

That’s right, not since April 14th, 2 weeks ago. The BoSox may have gotten back to .500 with tonight’s win, which is always good to see, but the fact of the matter is they still have a lot of work left to do if they want to contend this season. I am encouraged by the way Clay Buchholz has been pitching and by Jon Lester‘s last two starts. If John Lackey and Josh Beckett can pick it up, then the rotation will be in good shape even if #5 remains a mystery with Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Don’t look now, but Lester hasn’t allowed a run in his last 13.1 innings.

One of the more interesting and surprising bright spots for the Sox thus far has been Darnell McDonald. Carrying a .286 average and 2 home runs through just 25 plate appearances into tonight’s contest, many fans are wondering where the heck this guy came from. That’s where I come in.

McDonald is 31 years old and in his fourth major league season. He made his major league debut back in 2004 at the tender age of 25 with the Baltimore Orioles, who selected him with the 26th overall pick in the 1997 amateur draft. Since then he’s been all over the majors and the minors, logging just 147 big league at-bats coming into this season. During that time he posted a below average slash line of .231/.276/.333.

So where is this new found success coming from? Your guess is as good as mine, but I can tell you one thing. He’s not the young prospect that some interpret him as, and for this reason he doesn’t have a legitimate chance of staying with the team long term. He may be a fan favorite already, but something’s gotta give when both Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury (remember them?) return from the DL. The team can’t afford to carry more than four outfielders at a time, and there’s just no way that McDonald can play himself ahead of Ellsbury, Cameron, J.D. Drew, or Jeremy Hermida. Thanks for the memories DMac, but I’m afraid your time is almost up.

Where Were You on May 1st, 1920?

Since I’m fed up with the Red Sox (except for Darnell McDonald who just clubbed his 2nd homerun in as many games), I’ll do a post on baseball at Boston University.  I’m pretty obsessed with varsity athletics here on campus, whether it be men’s or women’s basketball or hockey or anything else they put out on the field/ice/court.  It’s a little disappointing that there is currently no varsity baseball team on campus, but it wasn’t always that way.  I’ll do a post like this whenever I’m in the mood because writing about BU baseball is like combining my two biggest passions- BU sports and baseball (I realize this is sad).

BU’s Nickerson Field, which still stands today, is home to a fair amount of baseball lore.  It was called Braves Field from 1915-1952 while the Boston Braves, who later became the Atlanta Braves, called it home.  In addition to hosting 3 World Series (including Red Sox victories in 1915 and 1916), it also hosted the 1936 all-star game.  But perhaps most interestingly, baseball history was made there on May 1st, 1920.  The Brooklyn Robins, who would eventually become the LA Dodgers, tied the Braves 1-1 in a 26 inning battle.  With the games 90th anniversary just a couple weeks away, it remains the longest game ever played in baseball history.  
Baseball Reference lists the attendance at 4,500 and the duration of the game at 3 hours, 50 minutes.  Imagine how long such a game would take today?  And I wonder how many of those 4,500 were there for the final pitch.  There are a number of noteworthy stats in this game, which was the epitome of a pitcher’s duel.  Both teams used exactly one pitcher.  Brooklyn’s Leon Cadore faced 96 batters and allowed 15 hits while Boston’s Joe Oeschger faced 90 batters and allowed just 9 hits.  Oeschger even collected a hit of his own hitting from the 9th spot.  The most pathetic hitting performance was turned in by Boston’s 2B Charlie Pick, who finished 0-11 with a strikeout.  He saw his season batting average drop from .324 to .250 in under four hours.  Brooklyn’s lineup featured slugger and future hall of famer Zack Wheat, who escaped the game with a .385 season batting average despite a 2-9 showing.  There was no offense to speak of after the 6th inning, when Tony Boeckel tied the game at 1 for the Braves.
But this game is just the beginning of the real story.  For Brooklyn, it was day 3 amidst a 5 day stretch during which they had a game each day.  After this marathon, they traveled back to Brooklyn and lost to the Philadelphia Phillies the next day, 4-3 – in 13 innings.  Then they traveled back to Boston for a rematch with the Braves on May 3rd and lost 2-1 – in 19 innings.  They played a remarkable 58 innings of baseball over 3 games in 3 days.  And they had nothing but a 0-2-1 record to show for it.  Burleigh Grimes pitched all 13 innings in Brooklyn, and Sherry Smith got through 18.1 against the Braves before allowing a walk-off single in the 19th inning.  But don’t feel too bad for the Robins, who would win the NL pennant that year before dropping the World Series to the Cleveland Indians.  
Both starting pitchers entered May 1st with two wins on the season.  Leon Cadore would wait 20 days after the record setting game before recording his third win of the season, and wrapped up the season with 254.1 innings pitched.  Boston starter Joe Oeschger didn’t record another win for 30 days after the marathon game, and finished the season with 299 innings pitched. Starting pitchers just aint what they used to be.
When I began writing this post, I intended to write about BU alums in the big leagues, but this was too interesting to pass up.  But if that interests you, then be on the lookout for a post like that in the near future.