Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I
posted at 3/8/2012 8:56 AM EST
Moon, it seems a little slow here so early in the season, so I want to toss out the following: what do you see as the questions that need to be answered in ST?
It is slow. I tyhink the SS, 5th starter and bullpen allignment are the 3 biggest questions.
1) What will happen at SS? Will Iggy be the starter on Day1? So
far Iggy seems to be holding his own. They have him doing some
bunting and everyone talks great about his D. I'd like to see him
start, but my hunch is they'll send him to AAA for a while.
I have been a strong advocate of Iggy being our FT starter from day 1. Nothing has changed. I'd say the odds are about 50-50 right now.
2) Starting Pitching. I think Bard is a starter, hell or high water.
They've crossed that bridge. I'm hoping Doubie, Cook, or
Miller lands the job and Aceves goes back to the pen. You never
wanted him as a starter and I've changed my mind. He is really
valuable in his former role and BV might be setting that up.
Yesterday BV said, "I can see he's got a great feel for both but
it's about what's best for the club..." or something close to that.
With Paps and Bard gone from the pen, Aceves needs to start in the pen. Maybe as bard needs some rest later in the season, Aceves can get a few starts.
3) Bullpen. I'm feeling good about this. If Aceves goes back I think
our pen can be as strong top to bottom as last year, maybe not
as strong at the end but maybe stronger throughout. Actually I
think our pen was pretty good last year until it started wearing
down because of problems with the starters. Moon, I think you
spoke to this last year. I think BV once again might be
a little more adept, hand on the wheel, quicker to make changes,
use the whole staff, encourage roles for young pitchers, etc.
improves our pen as the year moves along. Just a hunch.
I think Bailey and Melancon and a full season from Morales & tazawa can and will make up for the loss of Papelbon. It's the loss of Bard and papelbon that worries me. I like Morales and taz to step it up, so I think we will be OK in the pen. The problem is, our pen was fantastic last year. It's a step down. Hopefully, the starters will more than make up for it. (Also many of our relief pitchers did much much better with VTek behind the plate. I hope they can adjust.)
4) How is Bi-Valve going to mesh with the team, make his imprint.
This question is being answered very satisfactorily even as we
speak in any number of ways. I'm going to make one comment
that sums it up for me. Each day when I go read about what
happened in ST, the articles say the players are rushing from
field to field and station to station and they ALL SAY "players
left the field dripping in sweat." Ha.
I think Bobby V will be a great manager for 2012. However, I am not sure he can hold that luster for more than a season.
5) Honestly, I'm worried about two players, CC and Youk. As Boom
has pointed out, CC may have hurt his wrist last year more than
we know. I think we have the people to adequately replace him
but in this case it's more about our HUGE investment which we
have all discussed here. Regardless of our views, it would be
great if he could come back and earn some of that, but will he?
I don't think it looks good now. Also, and I don't want to put a
curse on my favorite player and I know it's VERY early, but Youk
still doesn't seem right to me. He played two innings today and
got no hits and made one error. He never looked like himself
all last year and he hasn't found his stride yet. The young kids
do look good at third. I'm hoping Youk finds himself and
solidifies the lineup.
I agree with your take here, but look at it this way: we got little from these two guys last year and have better back-ups this year. Anything more we get from them this year will be a huge plus, otherwise, we stay even in LF and 3B from 2011. Not a terrible thing as long as others improve.
Other than general health, are there other issues?
RF: As everyone know, I have been a big supporter of getting Cody Ross, but I realize he has slumped badly the last 2 years. The platoon of Ross & Sweeney (assuming Ross is not in LF most of the year) promises to improve our RF OPS by over 100 points, but, it is all conjecture. On paper, it looks good, but the game is played on the field.
C: I still have huge doubts about Salty. I'd like to see Lava get his shot this year, but I doubt it happens until June or July.
Bard as a starter: a huge gamble. Needless in my opinion had Ben had the foresight to not offer Papi arb and used the money saved to trade for a quality 4th starter. (He probably still could have outbid the highest bidder for Papi as well.)