Let's kick off the weekend and clean up shop around here at the same time.
The Red Sox are in town for a three game set, and man are they reeling. They've lost 4 in a row, and more importantly, most of their starting lineup and rotation. The Boston RX, if you will, leaving a couple letters out.
The current list of walking wounded looks like this:
SP: Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz
RP: Manny Delcarmen
INF: Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek, Victor Martinez
OF: Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeremy Hermida
Meanwhile Jed Lowrie is still on a rehab assignment, Kevin Youkilis still has a sore ankle, Adrian Beltre has 3 hits in the last week and Kevin Cash is probably going to be the starting catcher tonight (and their backup is a 4th catching Molina Brother, Gustavo (not actually related to the 3 current Molina catchers as far as I can tell.) The Sox lineup should look something like this tonight:
M. Scutaro, SS
D. McDonald, RF
D. Ortiz, DH
K. Youkilis, 1B
A. Beltre, 3B
B. Hall, 2B
D. Nava, LF
M. Cameron, CF
K. Cash, C
Jon Lester gets the start against Ricky Romero tonight; he's been very good this year. Saturday lines up as John Lackey vs. Brandon Morrow, and the rubber match Sunday is Dice-K vs. Jesse Litsch in the last game before the All-Star Break.
Elsewhere: the Phillies are apparently interested in Scott Downs... the Yankees are close to cementing the 2010 World Series by trading for Cliff Lee... Joey Votto made the All-Star Game (huzzah!) along with Nick Swisher.
The Jays are also apparently going to sign 5th round pick Dickie Thon Jr, as well as a couple of prospects out of Latin America for $2.8 million and $700,000 respectively (write ups thanks to Sister for the H/T. they are from the Real GM board. )
3. ADONIS CARDONA, RHP
B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-4 Wt.: 180
The top pitcher in Venezuela is Cardona, a powerful righthander with a projectable body and an excellent fastball. Cardona, 16, has a quick arm that delivers fastballs at 88-91 mph, touching 93. He should have at least a plus fastball when he's done filling out and should be able to hit the mid-90s down the road. He also shows some feel for a changeup. Cardona's curveball shows good depth at times, though several scouts have expressed concerns about it and have called it a present below-average pitch. Cardona is still refining his feel for pitching, and his mechanics also give some scouts reservations. Cardona has strong ties to the Blue Jays, who are expected to sign him on Friday for around $2.8 million, which would break Padres righthander Adys Portillo's $2 million record for a Venezuelan pitcher set two years ago.
14. GABRIEL CENAS, 3B
B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 175
Ceņas, a 16-year-old from Maracaibo, trains with Carlos Rios, who had previously served as the Yankees international scouting director. Ceņas' calling card is his bat, as he shows good feel for putting the barrel to the baseball, though he's still growing into his power. He is a fringe-average runner with a plus arm who has been linked to the Blue Jays for a bonus of around $700,000.
Should be quite a weekend!