Monday, May 01, 2006

Sox bring back Mirabelli

In what can safely be called a panic move, Buster Olney is reporting that the Red Sox re-acquired C Doug Mirabelli from the Padres today for C Josh Bard and minor league RHP Cla Merideth. Mirabelli will catch Tim Wakefield against the Yankees tonight, and he should be an upgrade both offensively and defensively over Bard. It makes sense for the Padres to move him now, since Piazza, who they signed after trading for Mirabelli, is getting most of the at-bats at catcher.

For the Padres, Bard is a younger, cheaper option who should be a lot more comfortable catching anyone other than Wakefield on the west coast. But he still doesn't hit much. Merideth blew through the Sox' system early last year, but was rushed to the majors due to injuries and gave up a game-breaking grand slam in his first inning of work. He was never the same, even after returning to Pawtucket for the rest of the season. He still could become a solid middle-inning arm.

As for the Red Sox, obviously Mirabelli will help this season, but the team never would have been in this position if they hadn't traded Kelly Shoppach in the first place. Shoppach is a great defensive catcher with more power and patience at the plate than Bard, and the Sox are paying for the near-sightedness of some of their GM-free moves over the winter.

Still, Itialian catchers with soul patches don't come along every day, so I'm glad to have him back. Although I still think the Yankees win tonight.


Ross said...

This has completely ruined my afternoon. After watching the last time Wakefield pitched to Bard (or trying to watch through all my laughing), I was completely looking forward to this.

I was figuring every Damon or Jeter hit a single it would almost be the same as hitting a triple, especially if there was nobody on base in front of them.

I don't know anything this season since opening day that I was looking more forward to watching than Bard catching Wakefield against the Yankees.

Ross said...

Sully, are you going to applaud on the first pitch when Mirabelli actually catches the ball?

Ross said...

Mirabelli had 6 pass balls last season, Bard had 10 this April.

There were 18 stolen bases off Wakefield last year, 9 already this season.

Sully said...

I did not applaud the first pitch that Mirabelli caught, but I was shocked at a few things. First of all, I'd guess that about 80% of the crowd booed Damon throughout the game. I thought the fans would be classy enough to cheer him for his first at bat at least. Silly me.

Second of all, I wasn't shocked that the first Ortiz vs. Myers at bat was as tight as it was (6 or 7 pitches, I beleive), but I was shocked that Ortiz hit that home run where he did. The wind was knocking down fly balls all night - I thought Ortiz's shot was going to die halfway into the warning track. I should be used to Papi's flair for the dramatic, but it still gets me every time.