Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part III
posted at 6/30/2011 10:39 PM EDT
Realistically when Crawford returns, they can platoon Drew (primary), Reddick (secondary) and MacDonald (tertiary). Barring a trade for Reyes which is not an impossibility what you see is what you have. Orlando Cabrera is not walking through that door. Thank God! That door could be any player's wife's bedroom door.
Catchers have improved offensively, but continue to be unable to throw out base runners. 23% is not that bad.
Expect more of the same. Starting rotation is adequate and has sufficient depth as currently consituted. Lester will be very solid, Beckett will decline from his current level which will be offset by a corresponding improvement by Lackey, Buchholz is the middle of the rotation guy and Wakefield and Miller are competing for the 5th spot. You own a crystal ball?
The bullpen is solid at the back end and suspect in the middle (Albers, Jenks and Wheeler are hardly a strong troika). It's been a revolving door which will likely continue in the second half and it is the team's most glaring, but under the radar weakness. Almost every team has a weak back-end pen.
The Sox GM will have to do "something" this year at the trade deadline just for the sake of PR, but do not expect a whole lot. They spent their wad on CC and AGon.
His record is like most GM's a "mixed bag" with modest success on moves borne of necessity (Garciaparra and Ramirez) and modest failures (e.g., Jeff Suppan for Freddy Sanchez and Mike Gonzalez and Eric Gagne for David Murphy and Kason Gabbard). Other than signing Ortiz as a free agent which has turned out to be his greatest success, drafting and developing a group of quality youngsters in Ellsbury, Pedroia, Buchholz, Papelbon and Bard, one might view his overall grade in the job as a C or C-. He has failed much more often than he has succeeded.
Mueller, Millar, Roberts, and AGon?
Letting Pedro, Damon, JBay and other go "just in time".