Comin' for to carry me home.
The Sox have just endured what is the worst road trip in recent memory, having just lost 5 of 6 to the two (arguably) worst franchises in the majors. The split against Cleveland, thanks to our old pal Fausto, netted the team a final record of 3-7 for the trip, and when they arrive at Fenway today they will be fortunate not to be pronounced DOA.
There is nothing left to say right now. The pitching is incredibly poor, and the offense is not producing runs unless one of the Big Three goes yard. Poor starts and execrable relief outings have engendered a vicious circle that is killing the team. In spite of the ultimate outcome last night, Schilling's (near)8-inning effort last night was the best thing to happen to these guys in a while.
I'm just repeating myself at this point, but it is what it is. We're at the point where the players play and the managers manage, and it's time for them to get to it. In Wily Mo's case this might be hard - he is batting seventh, protected in the lineup by sarcasm-inspiring white-hot bat javy Lopez. Oh, Tito, why?
On to brighter pastures...
Two high-upside high school prospects signed with the Sox, Ryan Kalish and Tyler Weeden. Both were considered longshots at the time of the draft, so this is good news, tempered by the fact that it could indicate the Sox are missing out on a couple other coveted draftees.
Ryan Kalish: 6' 1" 200lbs - L/L Kalish was a three sport athlete for Red Bank Catholic High School. The Virginia sports page had this to say:
"Kalish is ranked No. 76 by Baseball America. He's four-year starter for Red Bank Catholic having led the team in hitting the past three seasons. He owns a .466 career batting average having produced 100 hits in his first three seasons for the Red Bank Catholic. On the mound, Kalish has recorded 190 career strikeouts. He led the conference in stolen bases. Kalish has garnered all-parochial, all-conference and all-division team honors in baseball. He is a three-sport athlete (baseball, football, basketball) and has led Red Bank Catholic to its first division championship since 1989 as the starting quarterback. As a sophomore, he hit .507 and drove in 21 runs and posted a 6-1 record with a 1.60 ERA."
Moreover according to the Sox's Jason McLeod, Bosox scouts claim he didn't swing and miss at a pitch the entire season. That is pretty impressive. Kalish hasn't hit for HR power yet but had a .578 SLG in high school, and is pretty much the definition of "projectible" at this point. Comparisons are being made to Trot Nixon, and that's pretty good, although it would help if Kalish could hit lefties.
Tyler Weeden: 6' 2" 200lbs - R/R Rumor had that Weeden was a no-sign some time ago, so this came as a surprise to me, albeit a pleasant one. Tyler was also a state-level quarterback in high school. On some level I guess this makes he and Kalish annoying, since they obviously got much more tail than I ever did in high school, but whatever. Moving on.
Baseball America had this to say about Ty:
"Though Ty can throw 90-92 mph off the mound, he won't follow in his brother's footsteps as a pitcher. Scouts still talk about the batting-practice show he put on at the Area Code Games last summer, displaying tremendous power to all fields. If scouts believed he could play catcher, he'd go in the first two rounds. But they're skeptical because he doesn't have the agility or receiving skills to match his arm strength. He's probably destined for first base, where much more offense is required, because he may lack the athleticism to handle an outfield corner. Nevertheless, his righthanded power is a valuable commodity, and he'll be a decent draft pick if he's considered signable away from Arkansas."
Weeden will not play this season due to his signing a 2007 contract, but as we are learning to our disgust now, having more power in the organization never hurts. Good signs, both.