What Does Cabrera Have To Do?

On Tuesday morning, the Red Sox added five players to their active roster.


On Tuesday afternoon, the International League announced its 2009 All-Star team.


And PawSox closer Fernando Cabrera wasn’t on either list.


Can somebody please explain why?


Cabrera re.jpg 

(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)


Let’s start with IL All-Star recognition.  The voters chose Gwinnett’s Luis Valdez as the league’s top relief pitcher for the simple reason that he leads the league with 26 saves.  But with all due respect to Valdez, Cabrera has been vastly superior.


Yes, Valdez has 5 more saves, but he also has 10 blown saves.  Cabrera is a perfect 21-for-21 in save opportunities.


Furthermore, Valdez has a 3.33 ERA and opponents are batting .240 against him.


Cabrera has a 1.80 ERA and the league is batting .204 against him.


Valdez has been good.  Fernando has looked marvelous.


As for the lack of a September promotion to Boston, it could still happen, but Cabrera was taken off of the Red Sox 40-man roster on August 21st.  In order for Fernando to get called-up, somebody else would have to be designated for assignment.


I was shocked when Cabrera made it through waivers and returned to Pawtucket – you mean to tell me that teams like the Pirates, Royals, or Nationals couldn’t use him?.  He’s 27 years old, consistently throws 93 miles an hour, and has dominated Triple-A hitters all year.  He also did pretty well in his four outings for Boston, allowing 2 runs in 4 innings while striking out 7.


Let’s hope that Fernando eventually gets the recognition that he deserves.


* * * * *


While the PawSox haven’t exactly been playing scintillating baseball in recent weeks, there has been one obvious bright spot – relief pitcher Dustin Richardson.



Richardson 2 re.jpg 

The 25-year-old lefty threw two perfect innings with 3 strikeouts in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss at Lehigh Valley and has not allowed a run in his first five Triple-A outings.


Richardson has retired the last 17 batters he’s faced (with 9 strikeouts), and IL hitters are just 1-for-21 against him so far.


Dustin and Daniel Bard could form a pretty formidable lefty-righty combo in the Red Sox bullpen for years to come.


* * * * *


Travis Denker is only 24-years-old, but he’s been a pro athlete for a very long time.


Would you believe 20 years?


Denker 2B re.jpg 

When Travis was four, he was riding his skateboard one day when he was spotted by someone who worked for Vans Tennis Shoes.  The company sponsored a traveling skateboard team and Travis was recruited to be part of it – he was even paid (making him a pro athlete, right?).


His grandmother Annette and his aunt Cynthia were kind enough to send along these photos (and thanks to Travis for giving me the OK to post them on the blog).


Denker skateboard re.jpg 




Denker ;poster re.jpgPretty cool huh?


By the way, in case you’re wondering what a 4-year-old skateboarder gets paid; Travis was compensated in savings bonds that he was able to redeem when he reached high school.


I think he told me they were worth about $550.


* * * * *


The PawSox open their final homestand on the year on Wednesday night at McCoy Stadium.  I hope you’ll join us for the radio call beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.



  1. sittingstill

    Given the frustrating season that the PawSox have had, the fact that Cabrera hasn’t blown a save is astounding. And I share your surprise that he wasn’t snagged by another team. He really seems to be bringing something to his game right now that perhaps he didn’t have in his earlier experience in the majors.

    And those photos of Travis are adorable. Four years old, and look at that expression! (Are you inspired to get Sam ready for his pro career now?)

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