Thursday, March 17, 2005

Schilling looking good, Damon looking bad

Curt Schilling felt good and looked good in his 60 pitch simulated game yesterday. While his availability for opening day is highly doubtful, it sounds like Schilling will be reaedy soon after. The good news is that he was happy with the way he threw. His velocity was there and his splitter was looking good.

There is a little bit of bad news around Sox camp, however. Johnny Damon is suffering from a case of cellulitis. Apparently it's a bacterial infection that is causing baseball sized lumps to pop up on his ankle and groin. He's responding to the antibiotics that he's being given, but remains day to day after missing his third straight game yesterday. It will likely be a few more games before he sees any action again. I've heard the term cellulitis before, but never actually knew what it was. A baseball sized lump on the groin??? Yikes.

In other injury news the same article about Damon talks about Rule 5 draft pick Adam Stern is suffering from a broken thumb and will likely be sidelined until the third week in April. Stern was fighting for the honor of being the 25th man on the team, but has had a injury-ridden spring and has only managed two at bats so ar. That leaves a few options for the Sox. Adamn Hyzdu, Kevin Youkilis, and David McCarty are fighting for the last two bench spots. Hyzdu was impressive in yesterday's win over the Cardinals. Youkilis has had a decent spring, sporting a .320 AVG and has made it clear that he'd rather be in Boston. Youk says that he learned more on the bench with the big league club last year then he could ever learn in Pawtucket. McCarty is, as always, all-around unimpressive. If it were up to me I'd keep Youkilis and Hyzdu on the team and send McCarty down to Pawtucket to pitch batting practice and be the third base coach. Hyzdu hasn't wow'ed us in his previous tours of duty in the majors (his best year coming in 2002 with the Pirates when he hit 11 homers in 155 AB, but hit only .232), but he's a patient hitter who can draw a walk and has a little bit of pop. Plus, as a fifth legitimate outfielder, he insures that we wouldn't see Millar in right. Some say that Youkilis would benifit more from playing every day in Pawtucket, but he is right. At 26 years old, he's no longer a prospect, and his game is refined to the point where he can hang in the bigs, even if it's on the bench. He'd be able to get enough playing time giving Mueller and Millar a break once in a while. And if Francona wants to sit Ortiz against a tough lefty, Youk would do fine as a DH once in a while. But, according to the Herald, McCarty is looking like he'll make the team, partly because his versatility as a 12th pitcher. That bit was pretty amusing in spring training last year and I'll admit that I wanted to see him pitch during the season. That's over with now. That guy should not take the mound and he should not make the team. He is starting to line up behind Jose Awfulman and Caesar Crespo as one of my least favorite Red Sox players in recent history. It's a shame, really, because he's probably not all that bad a guy. He isn't all that good a ballplayer though.

I'll tell you where Schilling looked good co-chair of a committee investigating steroids in baseball...who saw that coming?

Youkilis needs to stay in the majors...I love Billy Mueller but his time is coming to a close, and the age of the Greek God of Walks shall begin...I hope.
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