Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II
posted at 2/17/2013 1:30 PM EST
Some things I will be looking for at ST...
First it was very obvious from day one last year that the players did not respect Bobby V. I hope it's equally obvious this year that they DO respect Farrell.
The rumblings about Doubront's conditioning are disturbing. I'm anxious to see first hand just how true they are. If it is true and it's not the first time in his young career, you have to wonder what, if anything is going on inside his left-handed brain. As an old catcher, there was never a ton of respect for pitchers' smarts, especially the lefties. With the exception of you, Amp!
Just how long and to what extent are Ortiz and Napoli going to be pampered.
Can Victorino and Drew turn the clock back a few years to when they were both very productive players. This lineup gets a HUGE boost if they can come close to their better years. Fenway has a way of making all hitters better.
Farrell and Nieves are going to have to use "B" games to get all the arms enough reps to decide who to keep. I doubt it will happen, but I'd like to see them bring the best pitchers north, not just the ones who are out of options. A trade could help eliminate the logjam, but too often after you make one of those trades an injury or two occurs that makes you wish you didn't make the deal.
I think the Ross addition to the catching crew can be a huge addition. I don't want to rekindle the old CERA debate, but I am a strong believer in it. But I also believe that the huge disparities should not exist on a team where everybody is working towards a common goal. If Ross has an idea and he's not in the lineup, it should be pretty easy to get that idea to Salty and the pitcher.
This team should be much stronger defensively than last year's model. A healthy Ellsbury and Pedroia, Ross behind the plate, and to some degree Drew over Aviles should really upgrade the "up the middle" defense. Victorino is a big upgrade in right (I thought Cody Ross was vastly overrated defensively) and if Napoli and Gomes don't perform like butchers the overall defense will be better, and that can only help the pitching staff.
And that brings me to the final thing to look for...can these guys pitch?? There are a lot of "if's", in fact every projected starter comes with at least one. But IF they can all come close to career averages then this can be a quality staff. If they look more like the 2012 versions of themselves then we should be ready for Webster, De La Rosa, Wright and others to see lots of action in the second half.