Boston Globe baseball writer Gordon Edes check in every Thursday or Friday with his take on the Red Sox. Ask your question now, and come back next week to see if it was answered.
Do you think the Sox are really trying to get Jason Schmidt or is that just a rumor?
A: Nick, they asked about him, but I think they were just doing due diligence in case Schilling can't come back. Schmidt would cost the Sox their best prospects; I may be wrong, but I can't see Theo doing that.
Why is no one discussing the issue with Mark Bellhorn at second base. Yes, he has a high OBP, but constantly is striking out and not doing those intangibles like moving runners over or getting sacrifice flies. What are the Sox' options this year and at year end to upgrade?
Danny, New York City
A: Danny, the Sox are not ignoring the situation at second base, which is one reason they promoted Dustin Pedroia this week from Double-A Portland to Triple-A Pawtucket. Bellhorn showed signs of coming out of his slump in May, when he had an OBP of .378, but he's struggling again this month, hitting .188 in June with an OBP of .293 entering play in Philadelphia this weekend. The most startling aspect of Bellhorn's performance is his severe dropoff at Fenway; at home, he's hitting .162 with an OBP of .239 with a slugging percentage of .267, all shocking numbers. On the road, he's .284, .413, .440. It makes you think that he's placing great pressure to deliver in front of the home folks, and can't get out of his funk. Ramon Vazquez has not helped, so I suspect the Sox are in the market for a backup infielder.
I have had the fun of watching Boston the last two nights in Cleveland. By all appearances Manny Ramirez is starting to come out of his early season slump and Curt Schilling is on his way back. Any help for the relief corps available in the minors? I don't see a lot of relief talent available to be acquired via trade.
Todd, Canton, Ohio
A: Todd, you saw the Sox at their best this week, and yes, talk of Manny's slump has officially been retired. Manny was hitting .229 on May 21; since then, he's hitting .327 with 6 home runs and 21 RBIs in 26 games. During that time, he's had 10 multi-hit games, including one four-hit game and three three-hit games. The Sox are actively searching for bullpen help, and Jon Papelbon, who almost certainly will be promoted to Pawtucket soon, is one possibility of a guy who can help from within.
Hey Gordon!! Looks like my question 3 weeks ago about not making any moves proved true. The team is now 10 games over 500 and the guys that needed to perform have got it going. Question now is more about housecleaning ... how does the Adam Stern/Curt Schilling situation pan out? Stern either needs a roster spot, offered back to Atlanta, or a deal worked out. Schilling needs a roster spot. Does someone go on the DL? Vazquez maybe? Seems like Johnny Damon needs to rest that shoulder, better safe than sorry no? Thanks Gordon!
A: Emil, who's Adam Stern? He's become this year's mystery man, as his latest injury, a hamstring, has kept him on the shelf for the last three weeks. I don't see where Stern fits on the big-league roster this season; I think the Sox will try to work something out with the Braves that would allow them to keep him in the minors this season. As for what the Sox do when Schilling comes back, I suspect they may elect to go with 12 pitchers for a time, since Schilling will need another starter to back him up for a while until he gets stretched out. Kevin Youkilis looks like the odd man out. And yes, I think Damon's situation has to be closely monitored; he's gritting it out now.
Gordon ... do you see the Sox trading for a lefty to take Alan Embree's place? Although he is currently on the DL, I think that Tampa's Trever Miller or Toronto's Scott Shoeneweis would both be upgrades over Embree, would come cheaply, and in the long run have lesser salaries than Embree. What do you think about the Sox dumping/trading Embree and picking up a different lefty? This would certainly be the case if we didn't have Mike Myers already, a trade would have been made by now.
A: Jim, I think the Sox are going to give Embree the next few weeks to get back on track, and there have been some encouraging signs. Those are two pretty good names you're throwing out there -- Brian Fuentes of the Rockies is another -- but I think the Sox still think Embree could wind up being better than anything else out there.
Roberto Petagine is tearing it up with the PawSox, why don't we give him a shot? He is batting .336 with 12 hrs and 32 RBIs in only 37 games. He is our answer at first base, is he not? He is supposedly a great fielder.
Marc, New York City
A: Marc, who do you want to bump? Millar? He's hitting .389 this month. Olerud? He's a proven big-league bat with a terrific glove. Don't be misled by Petagine's performance in Pawtucket. Yes, he's played well, but his track record suggests that he's a guy who hasn't convinced anyone, despite some great slugging feats in Japan, that he could produce on a big-league level. He's a 34-year-old guy who hasn't been in the bigs since '98; don't get too carried away.
Has there been any progress on the Craig Hansen (Red Sox draftee) front? Any chance he gets signed this summer?
A: Nathan, negotiations were just starting this week. He told me he'd like to get signed quickly, but I think it's going to take some time. But yes, I think he could sign this summer.
I am a huge Sox fan but I also casually follow the Tigers. I must say I was a bit surprised to find out that Jeremy Bonderman is sitting at 9-4 right now, although he's always had good stuff. Is he a free agent at the end of this season or next? If so, any chance the Sox can pry him loose from Detroit at the deadline? They just might have the prospects the Tigers crave.
Kyle, Fairfield, Conn.
A: Kyle, Bonderman is only 22 and in his third big-league season, so he's a long way away from free agency. He's a big building block to the Tigers' future. Dave Dombrowski isn't letting him go anywhere.
How's old friend Nomar doing?
Paul, Bangor, Maine
A: Paul, It's shrouded in a bit of mystery. When we were in Chicago, Cubs officials cautiously expressed hope that he'd play by the end of the season, but Nomar was making no predictions. He pulled the muscle right off the bone, a serious injury.