Re: A Realistic look at 2012: Part I
posted at 2/5/2012 4:30 PM EST
Great post, boom. I'd like to respond to this portion...
I can't look at the way forward being nearly as successful for the Sox, as it has been recently. I like what is on the farm right now and we probably stay in the running for 3-4 years but we need to really hit the lottery with a few guys like Cechinni, Barnes, Lavarnway and Bogaerts ...etc to stay in the running. We can't really do overslot signings any more without severe penalties. There is more revenue sharing cash for the secondary market teams which will enable them to be much more competitive ( Now that is class warfare if there ever was ) and we are already saddled with big contracts which will limit our flexibility for years.
While I agree things will get more difficult, we still had a deep draft last year that will take years to manefest itself. We also get extra picks this year.
I'm not sure the revenue sharing will be spent on payroll salary, just as the luxury tax distributions was not.
We lost big contracts like Papelbon's and Drew's and couldn't do squat this off season.
boom, the money lost on Paps and Drew was effectively spent on AGon and Buch's extensions and forced by pending arb raises. Also, I wouldn't say picking up Bailey, Melancon, Ross, Sweeney, Shoppach, Punto, and others was "squat". It certainly has not equally met last actual winter's moves, but having AGon and Buch locked up is not small feat.
We are going into 2012 with the biggest holes in the lineup I've seen since 2002.
boom, we have the same line-up as last year minus Scoot (who only played about 80% of the season). Last spring, we had no idea about Jacoby's pending breakout season. I have to think our expectation of his 2012 season is higher than what we had last winter. Yes, Papi and Youk may decline with age or injury, but I expect a 100-200 point OPS gain in RF, AGon to explode, and CC to greatly improve. I also do not see a big offensive drop off, if at all, at the SS position if Aviles starts. I see Bobby V using more of a L-R catcher platoon than Tito, thereby giving us more offense from the C slot.
Last year, I expected our offense to be as good or slightly better than 2010's, and although the league's overall offense declined, ours did not. I haven't done my anual position by position breakdown yet, but I fully expect that our offense will be as good as 2011, if not better. Yes, we still have the hole that was left by Manny's departure, but AGon will have some awesome seasons in the near future. A good, full and healthy season by Youk could make a huge difference as well.
I share your deep concerns. I know the bottom of our order is not as nice as a couple other MLB teams, but I do not think it will be as bad as last year's. Let's take a closer look. My guess is our line-up may look like this:
Last year our 1-6 was about the same, but although CC had the most PAs in the 6 slot (196), we syill got this from others:
49 Redd, 41 Salty, 34 DMac, 30 Cam, and 83 by others.
Give CC a full season in this slot and I have to believe we'll see at least a 100 point OPS gain from the .695 OPS of 2011.
7 Slot: Last season was .778
141 CC, 105 Salty, 94 Jed, 74 Redd, 69 Scoot, 36 VTek, 34 Cam, 27 Sutton, 54 others.
I'm counting on a Ross/Sweeney combination to end up between .800 and .850: a considerable gain from .778.
8 Slot: .629 mostly from Salty, CC and Vtek with some from Redd, Scoot & Cam.
This year Salty and Shopp platooning could have an overall OPS of about .725-.750: another big gain.
9 Slot: .757 mostly from Scutty and Salty and Vtek.
This year Aviles could match .757, but we might see a slight loss from this slot.
I think we will be more balanced, and better than all but 2-3 teams top to bottom.