Mike Aviles

Red Sox acquire infielder Mike Aviles from Royals

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Worried about their infield depth with Jed Lowrie absent, the Red Sox acquired utilityman Mike Aviles from the Royals for infielder Yamaico Navarro and right-hander Kendal Volz on Saturday.

Aviles, who opened the season as the Royals’ primary third baseman, has hit .286/.317/.417 in 1,148 at-bats over the last four seasons.  He’s capable of playing shortstop in addition to second and third, though he’s not really an asset there.  What he does do is pummel lefties: he’s hit .296/.343/.464 against them in his career.

To bring in the insurance policy, the Red Sox surrendered Navarro, a 23-year-old who took a big step forward last year to turn himself into a candidate to start in the majors.  He had spent some time on Boston’s bench this year, hitting .216/.275/.351 in 37 at-bats.  Much more encouraging is his .265/.356/.486 line in 181 Triple-A at-bats the last two seasons.

Still, Navarro wasn’t ever likely to crack Boston’s lineup as a starter.  He may have more luck in Kansas City someday, though he will be behind Alcides Escobar at short and Mike Moustakas at third.  Having picked up some outfield time this year, he may prove to be a great fit in a super-utility role.

Volz didn’t rank among Boston’s better pitching prospects.  The 2009 ninth-round pick was moved to the pen at high-A Salem this year and had a 3.33 ERA and a 56/12 K/BB ratio in 51 1/3 innings.

Aviles will be arbitration eligible for the first time this winter.  The Red Sox will control his rights through 2014, so not only can he help out this year, but he can step in for free-agent-to-be Marco Scutaro next year.

Someone stole Jose Fernandez’s high school jersey after a vigil

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09:  Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Marlins Park on July 9, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.

That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”

The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.

 

What Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher would you ask to pitch today?

Mike Mussina
Associated Press
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In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?

The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.

My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.

If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.

Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.

So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?