A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Moon. Overall the big 3 gave us around what we should expect from them in terms of innings IMO. If I had to pick our best performing pitcher in 2012 right now it would probably be Buchholz. It obviously could be any of the big 3 but Buchholz has possibly the best stuff and he should be strong after taking half the year off in 2011. Studies have shown ( as you probably well know ) that the year after pitchers put up a lot of innings usually result in lowered performance and when a guy in Buchholz's situation ( veteran pitcher in 100 innings or less ) comes back it usually is an uptick. He should be fresh and strong. 
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Lincecum started making well over $10 mil didn't he his 2nd year of arb. if I remember correctly he signed a 2 year deal for around $22 mil or $23 mil. Ellsbury had a similar 2nd year. I'm not saying Ellsbury will net $10 mil and yes I do remember that Lincecum was a super 2 but Ellsbury could easily approach the $8-$12 mil range I would think. I'm just guessing on this but the guy had a tremendous year in 2011.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    I think Ells will get $8-10M, but that won't put us over the limit. We will probably make some deals before this winter is over. We have too many players with no options left. Some will be gone. We may also start out over the limit by a bit, but then trade someone midseason and get below.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from titletownfan. Show titletownfan's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Moon, Sweeney has already agreed to a contract worth $1.75m.  I think we can afford to trade Scutaro, provided we use the money for another pitcher.  Aviles looked good last year, and we were the best offense in the league last year.  A little drop off in offense will not harm our chances of contending, provided we use the money to upgrade our pitching.  Also, what do people think about Magglio Ordonez as our RH OF.  He's been injured, but if we just play him against Lefties, it may work out.  It shouldn't cost more than $2m.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from UticaClub. Show UticaClub's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I : Floyd would help a lot. Alex Wilson is not a 3 mustketeer but we can't count on more than we got last year from Wieland from him. He's almost defintely a future pen guy. I think Bedard was a quality option. We are not going to improve on what we got from him from those guys we have now. These guys make the aging Penny and Smoltz options look like superstars at this point. I do like Doubront as depth but we need more. I'm not saying we are in the tank and can't contend but I don't disagree with our power ratings of #7 or so either. On paper, we are no longer option A. The Yanks beat us pretty badly last year and they just got significantly better IMO. Another year of development under the belt of their 2 top pitching prospects. Adding Kuroda and Pineda. They should be better. Do we think we are going to be better without Bedard, Papelbon, Reddick, Lowrie etc...while adding Melancon, Bailey, Sweeney and a bunch of near nobodies? A bunch of almost "replacement" level guys? I agree that Theo messed up big time with the Crawford deal. Unbelievably bad contract and even a bad fit IMO. He was going to profile as a super defender in our LF? Was Theo watching the same games I saw? Crawford always had trouble with the wall. He was not worth anywhere near $140 mil.  I can't believe we are now in such an intractable position where we can't respond to FA opportunities at all any more. We lost Drew's $14 mil plus Papelbon's $10 mil plus and had an opportunity to lose Ortiz's projected $14 mil and now look where we are...we can't add even a Kuroda on a $10 mil, 1 year deal?   We had an opportunity to add Lavarnway's bat to the mix and save a ton of money but we misread Ortiz's intentions. I'd rather have Kuroda at $10 mil, rather than Ortiz at near $14 mil. Ortiz is a major wild card. He may be worthless next year. It's only a matter of time before he tanks completely. I'm not willing to risk that. Not at a $14 mil cost. And he seems to me to be a guy who mainly fattens up his numbers now from mediocre pitching. He's not the same guy he was 4 years ago. He probably puts up good numbers but at a cost of twice what any other DH is paid and he is the most likely guy to fade next year . I don't like our short term direction. We messed up.
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom


    Good aricle here on Alex Wilson

    http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/red-sox/content/Red_Sox_Alex_Wilson_01-13-12_RJSKJTP_v2.1702b5b.html
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Thanks for the update on Sweeney, I missed his signing. This was in today's Globe...

    Matt Swartz, who figures arbitration raises on mlbtraderumors.com, projects Ellsbury to jump to about $7.9 million. Estimates on other Red Sox players: Andrew Bailey, $3.5 million; Alfredo Aceves, $1.7 million; and Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Bard, $1.6 million.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from titletownfan. Show titletownfan's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Moon, do you view Magglio Ordonez as a good pickup in RF.  He was pretty good vs. Lefties last year, and mauled them the two years before.  Obviouly he wouldn't start, but I was wondering if you were still high on him as you were last year.  This is provided he is healthy, of course.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    I don't trust Maggs in RF. I had mentioned him as a choice for LF last year on a 1 year deal.

    He'll be 38 soon.

    He wasn't that great vs LHPs last year in 139 PAs: .716 OPS.
    In 2010, he was awesome:  1.171 OPS in 81 PAs.
    2009:  .937 in 160 PAs.
    2008:  .866 in 155 PAs.

    I think we can do better: fielding and hitting.

    I'd say no.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Does anyone know for sure what the player benefits payment (counts against the luxury tax limit) will be for 2012?
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    2012 Salary Numbers (based on average annual salary + bonuses of player/years)

      (ARBs to go in Red)

    Papi           $_____ ($12.5M in '11/ accepted arb offer for '12)

    Salty          $2.5M

    Shopp        $1.35M 

    AGon         $22M

    Pedroia       $6.7M

    Scutaro      $6M 

     

    Aviles        $____  ($640K/ 1st Arb  out of  3 years)

    Youkilis     $10.3M

    Crawford   $20.3M

    Ellsbury     $ _____ ($2.4M in ‘11/2nd Arb. year out of 3)

    Sweeney   $1.75M 

    Iglesias     $2.1M

     
     

    Punto     $ 1.5M 

     

    D.Mac      $____  ($470K/ 1st Arb out of 3 years) 

    Kalish      $____  ($417K/no arb)

    Lavarn.    $_____  ($   )

    Anderson $____  ($415K/ no arb)

    Exposito   $____  ($414K/no arb)

    Tejada      $____  ($414K/no arb)

    __________________________________ 

    Beckett   $17M

    Lester       $6M

    Buch         $8.5M

    Lackey    $16.5M

    Dice-K       $8.7M

    Miller        $1.04M (Nonguaranteed)

    Doubront $____  ($417K/no arb)

    Tazawa    $_____  ($1.1M in '11 / pre-arb '12, then 4 (?) arb yrs)

    Pimental  $_____  ($414K/no arb) 

    Bard          $____  ($505K/ 1st Arb out of 3 years)

    Aceves      $____  ($650K/ 1st Arb of 3 years)

    Jenks         $6M

    Bailey       $____ ($465K in '11/1st of 3 arbs)

    Melancon $_____($421M in '11/ pre-arb '12, then pre-arb or 1 of 3/4 arbs)

    Albers       $1.075M

    Atchison   $_____ ($454K, then prearb and 3 arb years)

    Bowden    $____  ($417K / no arb)

    Morales    $ 850K 

     

    Total Signed (Avg Annual salary including bonus): $131.6M (19 players)

    Plus 7 more arb players (in red)

    Plus 14 nonarb players ($14 x ~$450K= $6.3M) 

    New Total: $137M

    Now the 8 Arbs left to sign: (I admit I am not an expert on predicting arbs)

    Papi ($12.5M) to  $10M-$14M depending on length of deal

    Ellsb ($2.4M)  to  $8-10M (2nd of 3 arbs)

    Bailey  ($465K) to $1.5M-3M (1st of 3 arbs)

    Aceves ($650K) to $2-4M)   (1st of 3)

    Bard    ($505K) to  $2-4M    (1st of 3)

    Aviles   ($640) to   $1-1.25M  (1st of 3)

    DMac   ($470) to    $750K-1M (1st of 3)

    Total arb cost: $23M to 37M (I'll go with about $30M)

    Luxury Tax Payroll Budget Total: ~$167 (before player benefit payment).

    Now, add the player benefits. I have heard $2M and $9M. I'm not sure which one it is. 

     

    TOTAL:  ~$169M if the benefits payment is $2M.


                    ~$176M if it is $9M.


    That means we will probably have between $2 and 9M to spend beyond our arb players. That number could come down if Lackey's deal is altered due to the injury clause. His AVV could go from $16.5 to $13.8M. (Subtract about $2.7M from our payroll budget for tax purposes). 

     

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Critter23. Show Critter23's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Moon, somebody's SS always gets hurt in ST--unfortunately.  Or somebody's young shortstop proves unready after the first month or so.  I would trade Scut immediately and throw Iggy into the breach and see what he can do--it's not like we really need a whole lot of offense from him.  If he can't hit the Mendozza line then we put Aviles in there.  Iggy might surprise everybody.

    I have a feeling about Lava.

    I know I sound like a broken record but I have a feeling about BV too and I believe he's going to be skillful and crafty at the ends of games with his personnel.  Have I read that a good manager wins about (5) games a year for a team?  Well if that is actually true then he's going to win (10).  I think Tito's skill was "handling men" and his "social skills" and his "touch" and handling veterans.  For a long time this all worked well and I applaud all he did.  But many on this board discussed his sometimes stubborn adherence to guys in set places in the lineup, not playing the percentages, etc.  I'm not sure he was always adept at the younger player.  I am probably too optimistic that BV will light some fires and find the key to younger players, especially the pitchers.  I'm not sure that any team in the AL has a more cerebral coach than we do.  Of course, there is another side to him--whcih I don't want to mention right now. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    When it all shakes down we have really no money to spend. If they thought Ortiz was going to take arb they should have let him go.

    Now problems with Crawford. This does not look like a championship year. This lineup does not instill fear in opposing pitchers any more:

    Ellsbury
    Pedroia
    Adrian
    Youk
    Papi
    ? ( was Crawford )
    Sweeney
    Salty
    Scutaro

    What a difference. If we add Lavarnway in a couple months we are looking a lot better offensively.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Critter23. Show Critter23's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Boom, I'm in a mood that looks to go with some kids, Lava and Iggy.  Do we have to stick with Papi or can we still let him go if we don't agree on arb?  I'm wondering now if CC had this wrist problem last year.  I wish we had another quality starter but I think it's early to get too pessimistic--each team has some problems that it has to overcome.  Look at CWS and VMart--I am so sorry to hear about any athlete ripping up his knee but especially him as he seemed to be a great guy and team mate.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Crit...you are a patient man! Unfortunately it doesn't look like we are going with any of the kids to start the year and we have guys like Shoppach to watch instead. Maybe Silva and Cook. God help us! 

    Agreed on Crawford. It could well have been an issue all year. It would have been nice to discover it sooner, but maybe he was thinking it would heal itself. Or maybe he injured it working out. We can only speculate. I know where I think those probabilities are. It could have been a noble effort. Or it could have been an extreme reluctance to get the operation. Maybe the team thought it would maybe heal and they held out as long as they could. No matter what, it is not good news. What do they do in LF now? 

    I would consider a Hassan or Aviles to start the year but both options stink IMO.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasko2248. Show jasko2248's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    In response to "Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I":
    Boom, I'm in a mood that looks to go with some kids, Lava and Iggy.  Do we have to stick with Papi or can we still let him go if we don't agree on arb?  I'm wondering now if CC had this wrist problem last year.  I wish we had another quality starter but I think it's early to get too pessimistic--each team has some problems that it has to overcome.  Look at CWS and VMart--I am so sorry to hear about any athlete ripping up his knee but especially him as he seemed to be a great guy and team mate. Posted by Critter23
    Critter, I'm as anxious as you are to see Iglesias and Lavarnway in Boston, but I'd like to see them develop a little more first. Salty showed enough to warrant a second look and Shoppach should be a solid back up. Lavarnway is raw defensively and needs to catch full time. You could argue that Scutaro is similar to a Jeter at this point in their careers and he won't kill us at SS. I'd love to see them both go crazy in spring training and win the respective jobs, but I wouldn't want to force anything...Lavarnway is going to "Tuck school" before spring training, which is definitely a good sign, though....
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ampoule. Show ampoule's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I


    We're not going anywhere next year.

    I say screw it and start Lavarnway and Iggy.  What more is there to lose?
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I:
    We're not going anywhere next year. I say screw it and start Lavarnway and Iggy.  What more is there to lose?
    Posted by ampoule

    I sometimes feel this way too. Look at 2013 and hope for the best in 2012.

    Then, I think about 2011 and how we had such a great team from Mid April to the start of September. That same team is basically back in 2012 without Paps, Lackey, Drew, Weiland, Lowrie and Reddick. Yeah, Paps is hard to cover, but most of the others should be addition by subtractions.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Moon, somebody's SS always gets hurt in ST--unfortunately.  Or somebody's young shortstop proves unready after the first month or so.  I would trade Scut immediately and throw Iggy into the breach and see what he can do--it's not like we really need a whole lot of offense from him.  If he can't hit the Mendozza line then we put Aviles in there.  Iggy might surprise everybody.

    I have a feeling about Lava.

    I know I sound like a broken record but I have a feeling about BV too and I believe he's going to be skillful and crafty at the ends of games with his personnel.  Have I read that a good manager wins about (5) games a year for a team?  Well if that is actually true then he's going to win (10).  I think Tito's skill was "handling men" and his "social skills" and his "touch" and handling veterans.  For a long time this all worked well and I applaud all he did.  But many on this board discussed his sometimes stubborn adherence to guys in set places in the lineup, not playing the percentages, etc.  I'm not sure he was always adept at the younger player.  I am probably too optimistic that BV will light some fires and find the key to younger players, especially the pitchers.  I'm not sure that any team in the AL has a more cerebral coach than we do.  Of course, there is another side to him--whcih I don't want to mention right now. 

    Well said, crit.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    When it all shakes down we have really no money to spend. 

    Most laughed at me when I pointed this out last September. Now, it is our somber reality.

    If they thought Ortiz was going to take arb they should have let him go.

    They must have known he was asking for $16M/1. They must have listened to softy... oh well.

    Now problems with Crawford. This does not look like a championship year. This lineup does not instill fear in opposing pitchers any more:

    Ellsbury
    Pedroia
    Adrian
    Youk
    Papi
    ? ( was Crawford )
    Sweeney
    Salty
    Scutaro

    What a difference. If we add Lavarnway in a couple months we are looking a lot better offensively.

    I agree. When you looked at what position we could "go light" (I started a thread titles this) it had to be DH/C or SS, since those were the slots we had kids most ready to step in, as well as capable back-ups "just in case".

    We needed a RH'd bat, and yet Lava will likely start in AAA while we overpay for Papi and are prevented from addressing several pressing needs. It's frustrating to think we could have had Iggy & Lava playing with Aviles, Punto and Salty as back-ups and maybe not lost hardly anything at these slots (SS, DH, & C). The money saved on Papi ($2.6 or $16M), Scutty $4.5 or $6M), and Shoppach ($1.5M) could have gone a long way to improve more pressing areas.  
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from dannycater. Show dannycater's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Big Papi is a luxury, not a need. Salty is at best a question mark to succeed this year. Scutaro is pretty due to have a lesser season offensively, which then dwarfs his eroding defensive skills. CC will likely not start the season and may not ever be the same player he was in Tampa. Hard for Ellsbury to match last year's production. Youkilis is a bigger question mark at 3b due to his ability to breakdown during the past few seasons with nagging injuries. If a guy ever needed the DH position to help him throughout a year, it would be Youkilis getting 40 games there, and AGON maybe 10 there, and Salty maybe 15 there, and Lavarnway 70 games there, and you get my point. You can rotate guys to DH and therefore rest them, something you can't do with Ortiz clogging the full-time DH spot. Who's in RF? Who's in LF? Who's backing up Scutaro? Can't wait for the 176 Shoppach to unseat the poor fielding Salty as regular catcher....ugh

    Finally, you have Lester back as a quality starter, and you have an injured Clay, whose back could give out permanently and the fact he has back issues at his young age is a bad sign. And you have Beckett and the fan-back lash and his own ego possibly causing potential problems with Bobby V. Then you have a question mark in Bard as a starter (not as a reliever), and Aceves as a starter (leave him as best middle man out there), and then you have the clown car of rehab projects coming to ST. In relief, you have an up-and-comer closer who may or may not completely replace the overall effectiveness of a Papelbon. And you have some set up guys, but no true lefty shutdown guy...again.

    There's my realistic look at 2012--It's up to Pedroia, AGON, Ellsbury, Lester, Bailey, Beckett to lead the team. No way this is a playoff team, even though last year's team missed by a single game. So maybe it is a playoff team if everyone else is not improving. Or maybe it's an 83-79 waiting to happen.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from LadyLake. Show LadyLake's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Sometimes the best teams in recent decades just fell into place. Fisk, Lynn, and Rice came out of nowhere.  Earlier it was Reggie Smith, Lonborg, Yaz, and Petrocelli. 1986 team had many surprises on it also.

    These surprises are a tonic to the fan. It would have only been half the fun if we weren't surprised. We didn't have the internet and forums to worry and be overly concerned for 365 days per year. Ignorance was bliss one could say back then.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from ampoule. Show ampoule's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    In Response to Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I:
    Big Papi is a luxury, not a need. Salty is at best a question mark to succeed this year. Scutaro is pretty due to have a lesser season offensively, which then dwarfs his eroding defensive skills. CC will likely not start the season and may not ever be the same player he was in Tampa. Hard for Ellsbury to match last year's production. Youkilis is a bigger question mark at 3b due to his ability to breakdown during the past few seasons with nagging injuries. If a guy ever needed the DH position to help him throughout a year, it would be Youkilis getting 40 games there, and AGON maybe 10 there, and Salty maybe 15 there, and Lavarnway 70 games there, and you get my point. You can rotate guys to DH and therefore rest them, something you can't do with Ortiz clogging the full-time DH spot. Who's in RF? Who's in LF? Who's backing up Scutaro? Can't wait for the 176 Shoppach to unseat the poor fielding Salty as regular catcher....ugh Finally, you have Lester back as a quality starter, and you have an injured Clay, whose back could give out permanently and the fact he has back issues at his young age is a bad sign. And you have Beckett and the fan-back lash and his own ego possibly causing potential problems with Bobby V. Then you have a question mark in Bard as a starter (not as a reliever), and Aceves as a starter (leave him as best middle man out there), and then you have the clown car of rehab projects coming to ST. In relief, you have an up-and-comer closer who may or may not completely replace the overall effectiveness of a Papelbon. And you have some set up guys, but no true lefty shutdown guy...again. There's my realistic look at 2012--It's up to Pedroia, AGON, Ellsbury, Lester, Bailey, Beckett to lead the team. No way this is a playoff team, even though last year's team missed by a single game. So maybe it is a playoff team if everyone else is not improving. Or maybe it's an 83-79 waiting to happen.
    Posted by dannycater


    Whew...sounds tough, but possible.  It's why I say to give Iggy and Lava a shot. It would not surprise me a bit if we didn't make the playoffs.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    I'd be willing to bet we see Lavarnway before the all star break. I can't believe the plan is to go with Shoppach all year. I think Shoppach will benefit from Fenway and who knows, he might revert to near Cleveland era form, but I'm definitely not counting on that scenario. I also can't believe how much everyone coveted Salty early on in career. He may not even prove to be of starter quality for us in the next few years. I hope we can at least get some value out of him. Wouldn't it be great is he emerge as an offensive force this year!

    I think we have a good chance to make the PO but some of these guys are going to have to have great years. I think a couple of our pitchers should be able to get near 20 wins for once and Ellsbury, Pedroia and Agon should be solid. Releasing Ortiz is a fallback scenario if all goes in the tank early but I think we are probably going to be in it and possibly make the PO even with such a disastrous off season.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    2012 should be a great year if you like following the farm teams. We have some talent down near the A level which should really start emerging this year. 
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I

    Big Papi is a luxury, not a need. Salty is at best a question mark to succeed this year. Scutaro is pretty due to have a lesser season offensively, which then dwarfs his eroding defensive skills. CC will likely not start the season and may not ever be the same player he was in Tampa. Hard for Ellsbury to match last year's production. Youkilis is a bigger question mark at 3b due to his ability to breakdown during the past few seasons with nagging injuries. If a guy ever needed the DH position to help him throughout a year, it would be Youkilis getting 40 games there, and AGON maybe 10 there, and Salty maybe 15 there, and Lavarnway 70 games there, and you get my point. You can rotate guys to DH and therefore rest them, something you can't do with Ortiz clogging the full-time DH spot. Who's in RF? Who's in LF? Who's backing up Scutaro? Can't wait for the 176 Shoppach to unseat the poor fielding Salty as regular catcher....ugh

    Finally, you have Lester back as a quality starter, and you have an injured Clay, whose back could give out permanently and the fact he has back issues at his young age is a bad sign. And you have Beckett and the fan-back lash and his own ego possibly causing potential problems with Bobby V. Then you have a question mark in Bard as a starter (not as a reliever), and Aceves as a starter (leave him as best middle man out there), and then you have the clown car of rehab projects coming to ST. In relief, you have an up-and-comer closer who may or may not completely replace the overall effectiveness of a Papelbon. And you have some set up guys, but no true lefty shutdown guy...again.

    There's my realistic look at 2012--It's up to Pedroia, AGON, Ellsbury, Lester, Bailey, Beckett to lead the team. No way this is a playoff team, even though last year's team missed by a single game. So maybe it is a playoff team if everyone else is not improving. Or maybe it's an 83-79 waiting to happen.

    Danny, I feel your pain, and nothing you wrote here isn't true or a genuine concern, but one could also portray a lot of the points you made and others in a positive light.

    Big Papi is a luxury, not a need. 

    Papi could repeat his 2011 numbers but with a few more timely hits.

    Salty is at best a question mark to succeed this year. 

    He's less of a question mark than spring 2011 and Shoppach should be better defensively in some ways than VTek.

    Scutaro is pretty due to have a lesser season offensively, which then dwarfs his eroding defensive skills. 

    Maybe it will force Ben/Bobby's hand to play the better SS anyway: Iggy.

    CC will likely not start the season and may not ever be the same player he was in Tampa.

    If he can just give us a .775 OPS for a couple years, it will be way better than 2011...the year we missed the playoffs by 1 game.

    Hard for Ellsbury to match last year's production. 

    Agreed, but he could do even better.

    Youkilis is a bigger question mark at 3b due to his ability to breakdown during the past few seasons with nagging injuries. 

    But, there is a chance he stays healthier than 2011 and bounces back. (We also have Punto & Aviles to back him up and maybe even Scutaro.)

    If a guy ever needed the DH position to help him throughout a year, it would be Youkilis getting 40 games there, and AGON maybe 10 there, and Salty maybe 15 there, and Lavarnway 70 games there, and you get my point. You can rotate guys to DH and therefore rest them, something you can't do with Ortiz clogging the full-time DH spot. 

    I agree.

    Who's in RF? 

    Who was in Rf last year?
    Drew  (270 PAs) .638
    Redd  (192)  .676
    DMac   (86)  .801
    Cam    (84)  .542

    Hard to imagine 2012's combination being any worse tahn .652
    (.233  14  58  OBP .299/Slg .353)

    Who's in LF? 

    Isn't anyone going to do better than this?
    .258  16  75  (.304/.419/.723)
    Not to mention the fielding of 2011.

    Who's backing up Scutaro? 

    The back-ups combined are better than Lowrie, and in my opinion, better than Scutaro.

    Can't wait for the 176 Shoppach to unseat the poor fielding Salty as regular catcher....ugh

    We can still hope for Lava.

    Finally, you have Lester back as a quality starter, and you have an injured Clay, whose back could give out permanently and the fact he has back issues at his young age is a bad sign.

    But, Buch could also give us 30 starts and 190+ IP.

    And you have Beckett and the fan-back lash and his own ego possibly causing potential problems with Bobby V. 

    I look forward to Josh's 2012 season.

    Then you have a question mark in Bard as a starter (not as a reliever)

    Maybe not.

    ... and Aceves as a starter (leave him as best middle man out there)

    Probably not.

    ...and then you have the clown car of rehab projects coming to ST. 

    Most will not be on the 25man come opening day.

    In relief, you have an up-and-comer closer who may or may not completely replace the overall effectiveness of a Papelbon. And you have some set up guys, but no true lefty shutdown guy...again.

    We didn't last year either and had one of the best pens in MLB against RHBs and LHBs.

    There's my realistic look at 2012--It's up to Pedroia, AGON, Ellsbury, Lester, Bailey, Beckett to lead the team. No way this is a playoff team, even though last year's team missed by a single game. So maybe it is a playoff team if everyone else is not improving. Or maybe it's an 83-79 waiting to happen.

    How hard is it to replace the 2011 seasons of
    Lackey
    Wake
    Miller
    Weiland
    Wheeler
    Jenks

    These are things I think are entirely possible:

    1) AGon is fully over his injury and hits 45 HRs with 140+ RBIs.
    2) Bailey and Melancon pitch over 110 innings to replace Paps/Wheeler's 114 IP pretty well.
    3) Games started: Bard, Aceves, and Doubront replace Lackey (28), Wake (23), Miller (12), Bedard (8), Weiland (5). I can't see a decline here, even if Bard and Aceves go back to the pen and we end up with Doubie, Silva, Cook, and whoever else.
    4) Buch and Dice-K go from 21 GS'd to 35-45 to make up some of the above GS'd.
    5) Salty turns the same age VTek was when he made the big step to stardom.
    6) Pedey has a year like 2011 without the slow start.
    7) Youk stays healthy and has an OPS near .900.
    8) Lava gives us 430 PAs instead of 43.
    9) Bobby V makes a difference.
    10) Our new 3B coach saves us 3 games. 
     
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