Some reporters asked Dustin Pedroia if the Red Sox have transformed from a team built to score runs into a team built to prevent runs. I’ve never been a big Pedroia fan, but his response has shot my man-crush for him to dangerously high levels:
“I don’t even buy into that stuff. We have great pitching, we have
great defense, and we have good offensive players. I don’t
even know what run prevention is. I’m a baseball player. I don’t know
how to read very good; I don’t know how to write very good. We just go
play, man. That’s it. We’ll be fine.”
Pedroia is a ballplayer. He plays ball. He has no obligation to give a very obviously hungry Boston press corps. some quotes designed to serve the “do the Red Sox have enough offense?” narrative they’ve decided will dominate this spring. You can hit and play defense at the same time, and there’s every reason to think that the Red Sox will do just that. Screw the Boston press and their false, newspaper-selling dichotomies.
(thanks to Wooden U. Lykteneau for the heads up)
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.