Tuesday, February 11, 2020

COMC Order Featuring Christian Vazquez

I bought a bunch of singles off of COMC a couple weeks back, which started off with me trying to grab some Christian Vazquez cards I still needed, and it kind of ballooned from there.
Most of these are not terribly exciting, though the Independence Day parallel is pretty cool.  I also grabbed some singles from the 2017 Topps Now postseason set.  And not just Vazquez either.  I don't know why I did not buy this set when it came out.  I grabbed some of the lesser players, the kind I like to try to get as much as possible.  In this scan there is Drew Pomeranz and Mitch Moreland.
And in this scan we have Eduardo Nunez.  I also grabbed a couple of the Topps Now London Series cards, including Brock Holt.  I prefer to forget about this series personally.  And then there are a bunch of other Vazquez cards.

Monday, February 10, 2020

My New Favorite Player?

I mean, I don't see why not.  Devers broke out in a huge way last season, hitting .311/.361/.555 with 32 home runs, 115 RBIs, and leading the league with 54 doubles.  And he is a year younger than Mookie's replacement Alex Verdugo who has yet to play a full season.  Devers seems like the kind of talent the team should now build around, along with Xander Bogaerts.  If he keeps this up, he can be the kind of special talent that Boston traded away when Mookie was sent to LA. 

This is my first 2020 card by the way.  This is from the Topps Throwback Thursday line, using the 2020 insert design from 2010 Topps.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

The Cuban Mystery Man

This card has been on my Top 10 Most Wanted list forever it seems like.  I finally found one for an acceptable price tag and pulled the trigger.  With Mookie and David Price gone, and now all three starting outfielders being lefties, I wonder if Boston will give Rusney a chance to play off the bench.  Somehow I still doubt it.  He is making too much money and Boston does not want that money to count toward their payroll.  Meanwhile, he is hitting the cover off the ball in the minors. 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Elephant in the Room

I have been avoiding talking about this on the blog and in real life.  I am absolutely crushed that Boston traded Mookie Betts.  I knew it was coming, but I still felt unprepared when it happened.  And with the somewhat unexciting return it was even worse.  Alex Verdugo is a fine player, but he's no Mookie. 

Oh well, I survived when Wade Boggs signed with the Yankees.  I survived when Roger Clemens signed with the Blue Jays.  I survived when Mo Vaughn signed with the Angels.  I survived when Nomar Garciaparra was traded to the Cubs.  I will survive this.  Time to pick a new favorite player.

By the way, this card was sent randomly by the Zippy-zapper himself.  Thanks Kenny.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Minor Lin Additions

I picked up a couple of Tzu-Wei Lin cards from his Pawtucket days recently.  Pawtucket is of course no longer the Red Sox' AAA team.  So if Lin is going to start the year in the minors, it will be as a member of the Worcester Red Sox (WooSox).  Lin is still on the 40 man roster and now that Marco Hernandez was DFA'd, Lin has a better shot of making the team out of Spring Training.  Of course he still has to contend with multi-position players like Michael Chavis and Jose Peraza, but a strong spring might help.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Topps 150 Years of Baseball

I bought one of these online-only cards recently.  These have been popping up a few at a time and there have not been too many that have really made want to pull the trigger.  But then this one popped up:
It is not every day we see new Mo Vaughn cards, so I figured I would jump on it.  I have to say that these cards are not real impressive in person, certainly not enough for the price tag.  The stock is very thin and it just feels kind of cheap.  I thought there would be a little more substance to them and they would be somewhat high-end.  That is absolutely not the case.  It is unlikely I will pick up any others unless the player is someone I must have, though most of my favorites are unlikely to appear in such a set (Varitek, Lin, Sandy Alomar Jr.).  I am happy I bought the Mo Vaughn though.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Underrated Player of the Year: 2019

In this series, I look at one player per year from 1991-the present who came out of nowhere or had a great year that no one really noticed or expected.
This one was close.  I strongly considered going with Christian Vazquez.  He quickly became one of my favorite players of the year with his out-of-nowhere 23 home runs.  But Vazquez had a very good season in 2017.  Brandon Workman on the other hand shocked everyone.

Workman was a second-round draft pick by the Red Sox in the 2010 draft.  He kind of went unnoticed for much of his minor league career, never really achieving any sort of top prospect status but he had some solid numbers.  He made the jump to the Majors in 2013 and put together a decent season.  He even pitched in the postseason, appearing in seven games (including three in the World Series) without giving up a single run.  It was anticipated that he would be a big part of the 2014 staff.

Things did not work out for Workman in 2014 though.  He was in the starting rotation, but went just 1-10 with an unsightly 5.17 ERA.  His strikeout rate collapsed.  Then he was injured for the entire 2015 season.  Not much was expected from Workman from that point on, but he made it back to the Majors in the bullpen in 2017, becoming a reliable arm again.  2018 was more of the same, but no one could have predicted the year he would have in 2019.

The Red Sox did not do much to improve their bullpen prior to the 2019 season, even though the team lost both Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel to free agency.  Workman quickly became the most reliable arm in the bullpen and eventually worked his way into the closer role.  He only saved 16 games, but he did two rare things for a reliever: he won ten games without starting a single one and he struck out over 100 batters.  His final numbers were surprisingly great, one of the better relief seasons for the team in recent years.  Workman finished the year 10-1 with a 1.88 ERA and 104 strikeouts compared to 45 walks in 71.2 innings.  He will start the 2020 season as the favorite to be the team's closer.