A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Flapjack07. Show Flapjack07's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    20th pick overall in 2010.  

    A reminder that not all top picks make it.

     

    2010 Red Sox first-rounder Kolbrin Vitek has retired, reports Alex Speier of WEEI.com. Injuries slowed the toolsy player, who never managed to translate his raw abilities into production. As Speier notes, however, several other players taken in that draft have panned out quite nicely

    [/QUOTE]


    2010 still looks like a good year nonetheless (Ranaudo, Workman, Cecchini + Brentz? Coyle? Ramos?), and 2005 and 2011 were obviously superb.

    In between, despite the reputation of the Theo era as a player development machine, we actually whiffed on quite a few top picks. Jason Place, Kris Johnson, Caleb Clay, Nick Hagadone, Ryan Dent, Bryan Price.....Casey Kelly and Rey Fuentes may still have a chance, but otherwise those years look pretty darn barren.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedsoxProspects. Show RedsoxProspects's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    I liked Theo but a lot of our success in the draft was simply overslot signings, something we will not have much of in the future. Cherington's task ahead is so much harder but he has a fantastic foundation to work with. Some of Theo's picks looked good but it's always a numbers game. That year they took what were supposed to be 2 of the best college bats in the draft and both of them were potentially duds ( Vitek and Brentz ). 

    I like bat speed as a determinant but give me intelligence and make up as well. Can a guy actually hit a curveball? Or even recognize one well in college? Those would seem to still be underconsidered factors.

    I understand Remy's situation as a parent but look at how many times his disaster kid got off essentially scott free in the legal system. It looks like his Mom was the biggest enabler. He will always be her baby, even if he is a complete psycho jerk. What was it,, over 20 legal infractions by the time he was 25 years old and REPEATED abuse of women. At some point even a parent has to report this sort of situation. and for me it would have been a LONG time ago. I mean look at the list. An incredible series of events.

    I'm on record at least 3 times now that the Redsox win the division. I really don't think anyone else in the division is as well positioned. As long as Papi is Papi and the starting pitching staff stays at least somewhat healthy, I think we probably win it. Losing Papi's production is certainly possible and he is still the prime driver. And every team needs quality starting pitching to compete but we have depth everywhere to withstand just about any other issue.

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    On a timetable again today so I'll be brief. The key to last night's game was John Lackey! He pitched to a regular Twins lineup and mixed his pitches and hit his spots and got outs. I wrote the last time he pitched that at one point he threw about 15 straight fastballs, clearly he was just getting his work in and stretching himself out. I also wrote that his last start before heading north would be more significant and much better, and it was. I write this not to do a Softy pat on the back but to point out how meaningless almost all the numbers the team has generated this spring really are. There's a good chance of rain down here tomorrow so today's game could be the Spring Training finale. Tons of pressure to nail down the newly named "county commissioner's trophy". This team is ready and I'll post my more detailed forecast that I know you are all dying to read after tomorrow night's game.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from jcri. Show jcri's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    On G.Size topic earlier, this is a coup to have him starting.  A gamble that looked so-so before ST, but what great possibilities for RS.  I also like the character there, a great model for young players.  Even early on he was moving fluidly, effortlessly, and from what Jid has said, that stayed true through ST.  I feel so good about the outcome here, and ecstatic about the gamble at 750 thous vs. 154 mil?  I know we'll miss Ells, but a good year from Size. would erase most of the memory.

    Jid, I have a question.  Several weeks ago I saw a report on ST by one of the Globe writers.  (Can't remember who...)  He said Owens looked lethargic, bored, unmotivated when pitching.  He's been sent down now, but did you get to watch him and did you see any of that.  Hard for me to imagine, but also I think young guys are "learning how to act, approach the game, and their work."  Even in FM I was amazed at all the fanfare, fans, media, even for ST.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Crit, only saw Owens once or twice earlier in ST and he was not impressive. I read the same thing you read but can't speak to his effort or attitude. I met him last year after his super game against A-ballers and I couldn't believe how skinny he was. I read that he's added ten pounds of muscle but he must have left it in his locker on the day/days I saw him pitch. For what it's worth, I think the writer said he looked bored during fielding drills, not when he was pitching, although I could be wrong.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Breathing a huge sigh of relief as the county commissioners cup seems all but assured now!!

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from javaukti1. Show javaukti1's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Who will the O's starters be?

    [/QUOTE]

    I saw Tillman was named OD starter

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from RigatoniT. Show RigatoniT's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

     

     

    SB Nation's 2014 MLB season preview

     

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from javaukti1. Show javaukti1's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    In response to RigatoniT's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

     

    SB Nation's 2014 MLB season preview

      

    [/QUOTE]

    Thanks.  Definitely a "Realistic View at 2014" as RS are underdogs to the Rays. But they make their points. 

    A lot of good stuff. 

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    SI has the Rays with the best record in the AL.

    Best rotation in baseball.

    Myers for a full season.

     

    I still like our chances better.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Tampa Bat does look like a playoff team but I still give the Redsox a clear edge in depth and ability to spend at the halfway point if needed to cover a key injury. Most teams lose at least one starter and usually 2 during the course of a year. Oridozzi is not as good as the guys who have been coming up in the rotation for them and why Cobb gets so many strike calls when the ball is barely 6 inches above the ground when it comes in is beyond me. It's time for that guy to stop getting that call constantly. His ball doesn't drop that much ( it would appear ). Even when guys don't swing at it he still gets the call.

    The impact of the new drug rules will probably effect more teams than we think, including maybe ours. It's no surprise that Cabrera took that deal just before the new rules. Of course, who wouldn't take that deal? At some point at least some of the mega sluggers are going to take a big fall. With some of these other worldly guys like Cabrera, Davis, Buatista, Cano and possibly Ortiz at least some of these guys are going to implode possibly this year. 

    Ortiz made it through last year so let's presume he is clean, and the other guys are also, but they put in more stringent rules for a reason. Regular players must think guys are still cheating. Or they wouldn't subject themselves to another ramp up of more frequent testing and stricter rules.

    I'm all for it. I want to know the game is clean. I'll take my lumps but it is important to me that it be a level playing field.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from 808soxfan. Show 808soxfan's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Victorino has a right hamstring pull and is on his way to Boston for an MRI.

    JBJ to be called up already??? What would be your lineup for Opening Day?

     

    LF - Nava

    2nd - Pedey

    DH - Papi

    1st - Napoli

    SS - Bogey

    CF - Sizemore

    3rd - WMB

    Catcher - AJP

    RF - JBJ

    Hate to put too much pressure on Sizemore right out of the box, but I would consider him lead-off as well.

    No guarantees that Victorino won't make it for Opening Day but he will take a ride through Boston first to get checked out.

     

     

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Usually I project by position, but this year I will go player by player and assume reasonable health…

    My 2013 Red Sox Offensive Projections (P As)  BA  HR  RBI   OBP/SLG/OPS:

    Catcher

    AJ Pierzynski:  They guy is 37, but he has over 497 PAs for 11 straight seasons and 128+ games in 12 straight! Not only that, he has been within 0.50 of his career .750 OPS in in all but 3 of those 12 seasons (.824 in 2003, .688 in 2010 and his career high of .827 just 2 years ago in 2012). He had his career high in HRs (27) at 35 and his 3rd highest (17) last year. I’m not projecting great offense from AJ, but he should come pretty close to what Salty gave us last year (.804 OPS). I’m going with…

    (500)  .275  18  80  .315/.435/.750

    David Ross: Ross is also 37, but does not have the normal wear and tear of a full time career catcher as he has been a back-up all but maybe one season. Some of you may not know that he once posted a .932 OPS with 21 HRs in 247 Abs (2006). He had 38 HRs in 644 Pas from 2006 to 2007. His career OPS of .764 is very good for a catcher, but his health issues last year helped cause his worst OPS (.681) since 2007. I’m going with a relatively healthy season and…

    (150)  .230  7  20  .320/.420/.740

     

    First Base

    Mike Napoli: Mike’s health was a big issue this time last year, but the doctors now say the hip degeneration has been halted. Mike was as streaky as ever, but as usual, he ended up with very decent numbers. I’m not a fan that bashed guys for being streaky. Many times a hot streaky hitter can carry a team almost single-handedly. Mike is not only streaky within a season, he has also been known to yo-yo from one season to the next. An interesting career trend has developed: every third season, Mike has a big year, and guess what? This is year three! ( .815> .794> .960>  .842  .784> 1.046>  .812>  .842) I’m not into superstitions, but I am projecting a better season for Napoli…

      (600)  .275  28  110  .370/.490/.860

     

    Mike Carp: Mike gave us some great numbers off the bench last year, but I’m not even sure he will still be on this team for the full season. Injuries may play a role, but if he stays here, I’m going with…

    (250)  .280  8  40  .340/.440/.780

     

    Second Base

    Dustin Pedroia: Dustin is now two full seasons removed from back-to-back .860+ OPS years and hasn’t even cracked .800 since 2011. Injuries have played a role in his power drop, but it was nice to see him return to his OBP norm last year after his career .347 low in 2012. I’m expecting a better year from Pedey as he turns 31 in August… 

    .300  15  90  .380/.445/.825

     

    Third Base

    Will Middlebrooks: Certainly, Middy is the hardest Sox player to project. I’m going to guess he comes out somewhere between the 2012 numbers and 2013 numbers. Here it goes…

    (500)  .245  23  85  .285/.465/.750.

    Jonathan Herrera: I’m liking him a whole lot better than I did Ciriaco, but on offense I’m not expecting much…

    (250)  .270  2  25  .330/.350/.675  

    (Note: I do expect to see Cecchini this year, but I am assuming overall good health for these proections.)

     

    Short Stop

    Xander Bogaerts: I’m expecting better offense from Bogey than Drew gave us but am not going to go all Freddie Lynn on you guys…

    (600)  .285  15  80   .375/.445/.820

     

    Left Field

    Daniel Nava: Last year I projected very good numbers from our LF platoon, assuming nava would start vs almost all RHPs and Gomes would continue doing great vs the LH’d starters, but with the injuries, Carp and others played a lot of LF. I’m hoping that Nava can continue his strong 2013 numbers, but I’m projecting a slight downturn…

    (475)  .290  12  70  .380/.440/.820

    Jonny Gomes: I expect Gomes to return to greatness vs LHPs. He had been one of the leagues best hitters vs lefties until 2013. Here it goes… 

    (375)  .275  15  65  .350/.450/.800

     

    Center Field

    Grady Sizemore: Okay, maybe he’s harder to project than Middy, but here it goes…(Actually a higher OPS than Jacoby’s 2013 OPS)

     

    (400)  .260  5  55  .350/.440/.790 

    Jackie Bradley Jr.: I think JBJ learned a lot. He still has adjustments to make, but I have faith he will someday be a plus offensive player, but for 2014, I expect…

    (350)  .250  7  35  .335/.390/..725

     

     Right Field

    Shane Victorino: It’s all about health with Shane. He’s 33 this year. He proved me wrong last year, but I’m giving him the benefit of doubt this year…

    (550) .285  15  65  .345/.445/.790

     

    Designated Hitter

    David Ortiz: The ageless wonder keeps going  strong. If you count the playoffs last year, Papi hit 35 HRs and knocked in 116 runs in 586 Pas!  I’m expecting a slight drop-off and hoping he stays well enough to play nearly every game. Papi in 2014.…

    (600)  27  100  .390/.530/.920

     

    Overall: The Red Sox led the league in runs scored last year by 57 runs. I would not be surprised, if we do it again, but it won’t be by 50. I’m guessing top 3 at worst. Yes, the loss of Jacoby will hurt, and we may not even break even with Salty and Drew’s lost offense, but I think Bogey, Middy and Pedey will give us a boost, and Gomes and Napoli have better seasons as well.

     

     

    I’m willing to take some slack this October, as I am sure to be wrong often here, but if you are going to bash me hard, then at least post your numbers before day 1.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Pitching and Fielding coming on Sunday...

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ice-Cream. Show Ice-Cream's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    So far, it looks like the Rangers have won the DL (disabled list) division.   LOL

     

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from javaukti1. Show javaukti1's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    In response to Ice-Cream's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    So far, it looks like the Rangers have won the DL (disabled list) division.   LOL

     [/QUOTE]


    and we play two early season series against them

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from garyhow. Show garyhow's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    In response to moonslav59's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Usually I project by position, but this year I will go player by player and assume reasonable health…

    My 2013 Red Sox Offensive Projections (P As)  BA  HR  RBI   OBP/SLG/OPS:

    Catcher

    AJ Pierzynski:  They guy is 37, but he has over 497 PAs for 11 straight seasons and 128+ games in 12 straight! Not only that, he has been within 0.50 of his career .750 OPS in in all but 3 of those 12 seasons (.824 in 2003, .688 in 2010 and his career high of .827 just 2 years ago in 2012). He had his career high in HRs (27) at 35 and his 3rd highest (17) last year. I’m not projecting great offense from AJ, but he should come pretty close to what Salty gave us last year (.804 OPS). I’m going with…

    (500)  .275  18  80  .315/.435/.750

    David Ross: Ross is also 37, but does not have the normal wear and tear of a full time career catcher as he has been a back-up all but maybe one season. Some of you may not know that he once posted a .932 OPS with 21 HRs in 247 Abs (2006). He had 38 HRs in 644 Pas from 2006 to 2007. His career OPS of .764 is very good for a catcher, but his health issues last year helped cause his worst OPS (.681) since 2007. I’m going with a relatively healthy season and…

    (150)  .230  7  20  .320/.420/.740

     

    First Base

    Mike Napoli: Mike’s health was a big issue this time last year, but the doctors now say the hip degeneration has been halted. Mike was as streaky as ever, but as usual, he ended up with very decent numbers. I’m not a fan that bashed guys for being streaky. Many times a hot streaky hitter can carry a team almost single-handedly. Mike is not only streaky within a season, he has also been known to yo-yo from one season to the next. An interesting career trend has developed: every third season, Mike has a big year, and guess what? This is year three! ( .815> .794> .960>  .842  .784> 1.046>  .812>  .842) I’m not into superstitions, but I am projecting a better season for Napoli…

      (600)  .275  28  110  .370/.490/.860

     

    Mike Carp: Mike gave us some great numbers off the bench last year, but I’m not even sure he will still be on this team for the full season. Injuries may play a role, but if he stays here, I’m going with…

    (250)  .280  8  40  .340/.440/.780

     

    Second Base

    Dustin Pedroia: Dustin is now two full seasons removed from back-to-back .860+ OPS years and hasn’t even cracked .800 since 2011. Injuries have played a role in his power drop, but it was nice to see him return to his OBP norm last year after his career .347 low in 2012. I’m expecting a better year from Pedey as he turns 31 in August… 

    .300  15  90  .380/.445/.825

     

    Third Base

    Will Middlebrooks: Certainly, Middy is the hardest Sox player to project. I’m going to guess he comes out somewhere between the 2012 numbers and 2013 numbers. Here it goes…

    (500)  .245  23  85  .285/.465/.750.

    Jonathan Herrera: I’m liking him a whole lot better than I did Ciriaco, but on offense I’m not expecting much…

    (250)  .270  2  25  .330/.350/.675  

    (Note: I do expect to see Cecchini this year, but I am assuming overall good health for these proections.)

     

    Short Stop

    Xander Bogaerts: I’m expecting better offense from Bogey than Drew gave us but am not going to go all Freddie Lynn on you guys…

    (600)  .285  15  80   .375/.445/.820

     

    Left Field

    Daniel Nava: Last year I projected very good numbers from our LF platoon, assuming nava would start vs almost all RHPs and Gomes would continue doing great vs the LH’d starters, but with the injuries, Carp and others played a lot of LF. I’m hoping that Nava can continue his strong 2013 numbers, but I’m projecting a slight downturn…

    (475)  .290  12  70  .380/.440/.820

    Jonny Gomes: I expect Gomes to return to greatness vs LHPs. He had been one of the leagues best hitters vs lefties until 2013. Here it goes… 

    (375)  .275  15  65  .350/.450/.800

     

    Center Field

    Grady Sizemore: Okay, maybe he’s harder to project than Middy, but here it goes…(Actually a higher OPS than Jacoby’s 2013 OPS)

     

    (400)  .260  5  55  .350/.440/.790 

    Jackie Bradley Jr.: I think JBJ learned a lot. He still has adjustments to make, but I have faith he will someday be a plus offensive player, but for 2014, I expect…

    (350)  .250  7  35  .335/.390/..725

     

     Right Field

    Shane Victorino: It’s all about health with Shane. He’s 33 this year. He proved me wrong last year, but I’m giving him the benefit of doubt this year…

    (550) .285  15  65  .345/.445/.790

     

    Designated Hitter

    David Ortiz: The ageless wonder keeps going  strong. If you count the playoffs last year, Papi hit 35 HRs and knocked in 116 runs in 586 Pas!  I’m expecting a slight drop-off and hoping he stays well enough to play nearly every game. Papi in 2014.…

    (600)  27  100  .390/.530/.920

     

    Overall: The Red Sox led the league in runs scored last year by 57 runs. I would not be surprised, if we do it again, but it won’t be by 50. I’m guessing top 3 at worst. Yes, the loss of Jacoby will hurt, and we may not even break even with Salty and Drew’s lost offense, but I think Bogey, Middy and Pedey will give us a boost, and Gomes and Napoli have better seasons as well.

     

     

    I’m willing to take some slack this October, as I am sure to be wrong often here, but if you are going to bash me hard, then at least post your numbers before day 1.

    [/QUOTE]


    Moon well done. I really can't argue with most any of your projections. I might have Grady higher assuming he stays healthy [Big ? though] 110 rbi's for Naps might be a bit high and JBJ you were very kind to and I would love to see that when he gets his time w/ RS.

    My biggest gripe is the lack of respect RS seem to be getting from national media, last year I would have expected that [only Kevin Millar was predicting a big comeback by RS]. But coming off WS win 3x in 10 yrs no less, where's the love? Heard Cliff Floyd on WFAN the other day drinking the Yankee kool-aid and actually predicting a BIG step backwards by RS, but did clarify by saying it wouldn't be 2012 bad, Gee Thx? Hope this is something that catches RS players attention and could big a big motivator to help team repeat. For me its all about health and Pitching staff. If RS staff stays healthy can be as good as anyones, and must avoid the big injuries to regular players also. But RS can do it again if they remaim motivated as they were last year and can keep players healthy!

     

     

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Moon well done. I really can't argue with most any of your projections. I might have Grady higher assuming he stays healthy [Big ? though] 110 rbi's for Naps might be a bit high and JBJ you were very kind to and I would love to see that when he gets his time w/ RS.

    My biggest gripe is the lack of respect RS seem to be getting from national media, last year I would have expected that [only Kevin Millar was predicting a big comeback by RS]. But coming off WS win 3x in 10 yrs no less, where's the love? Heard Cliff Floyd on WFAN the other day drinking the Yankee kool-aid and actually predicting a BIG step backwards by RS, but did clarify by saying it wouldn't be 2012 bad, Gee Thx? Hope this is something that catches RS players attention and could big a big motivator to help team repeat. For me its all about health and Pitching staff. If RS staff stays healthy can be as good as anyones, and must avoid the big injuries to regular players also. But RS can do it again if they remaim motivated as they were last year and can keep players healthy!

     

    If we stay healthy, we match up even or better than anyone else in my book. It's abig "if", I know, but that "if" follows every team, and I think this team is younger and less injury prone as some in recent years.

    I know losing Ellsbury is tough. Losing Salty and Drew can be overcome. I think I saw that Salty was rated the 29th best projected catcher in MLB. I honestly think our offense will score over 800 runs for a top 3 finish. Couple that with a top 3 or 4 starting rotation with decent SP depth plus a top 2 or 3 bullpen, and I can't see how anyone can disrespect this team... on paper.

    Yes, guys like Napoli, Vic, Drew, Nava, Salty, Papi, Lackey and a few others had "up years", but I'm really thinking Naps will do better than 2013, Bogey will outhit Drew's 2013, Middy can't help but do better than last year, and if he does, we have Cecchini. I think Pedey will return to 2010-2011 standards, but maybe with less power. I think Gomes will revert to killing lefties. I do not think 2013 was a fluke for Nava. Most of all, I love the pitching outlook, and I have always thought baseball is almost all about pitching. Having Peavy for a full season to take over Dempsters role is huge. Doubront is ready to bust out. Buchholz just needs to stay healthy. Lester is back in the groove. Capuano, Workman, Britton, Webster and others is nice starter depth. I think our pen, on paper, is the best in MLB. Adding Mujica (37 saves with the Cards last year) and Badenhop to an already solid pen should really help. Miller is healthy, but Breslow looks sketchy, so maybe that is a push.

    A season can change on a dime, so there is certainly a potential for a big setback, especially when expectations are so high. For some reason, it seems easier to do well, when nobody expects you to.

    I'm hoping for...

    Nava and Gomes to play almost exclusively in LF as a platoon. If this happens, our LF numbers may end up with the 2nd or 3rd best positional OPS on the team.

     AJP & Ross to stay on the field.

    Pedey to be the real Pedey.

    Bogey to finish top 3 in ROY voting.

    Middy to be the 2012 early season Middy.

    Shane needs to not get ban-ged up.

    The rotation is the key.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from jcri. Show jcri's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Moon, good work.  I will only differ on one guy as I think you went conservative and I'll go liberal:  Sizemore.     .305       12.         70

    Of course there's one big caveat--he's got to stay healthy!  I think he's not unlike Victorino in that he loves to run into walls, etc.  I wish we could give him a "go easy" pill, but that is not ging to work.  JBJ, keep a small bag packed and ready...Moon, I actually wanted to go higher with my numbers, but I'm thinking he might end up in leadoff, so curbed myself.  RBI's might be a little high.  Everything's been so rosy, but I think that leadoff role is our biggest concern.  Sorry, I like Nava but can't get my head around him in that role.  And actually Vic and Size are probably too tender for that role too...

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from jidgef. Show jidgef's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Back home in Western Mass and appropriately enough, it's snowing! Good job Moon and I'll give my impressions as follows...

    I believe in this infield, offensively, and I am optimistically projecting the following for our infielders. Middlebrooks has that breakout year we all want to believe he's capable of, .285/30/100. His defense is spotty but his offense will be amongst the league's best at his position. Bogearts will make us forget Steven Drew and everyone else who's been here since Nomar with .290/18/90 and a ROY award. He will be better than expected at short, but will not be Iggy spectacular. Pedey looks ready to dominate, and with Cano banished to the great northwest, Pedey is easily the top second sacker in MLB. He will rebound to a .315/12/90 line with 115 runs scored. Napoli also looks locked in, but he will strike out way too often. But in between whiffs he'll put up .265/30/100 numbers and play a very solid first base. Jonathan Herrera is a first quality back-up infielder who can put up .265/2/20 numbers while stealing a few bags as a pinch runner and maybe acting as a defensive replacement for Middy late in games.

    Ortiz is the one player I am most uncertain about. He was awful this spring, and I know that ST numbers mean nothing, but believe me, he was awful. I don't think he'll be that bad, but I look for some regression, like .270/25/90, which isn't terrible but isn't vintage Papi either.

    The catching tandem will be a slight upgrade over last year's numbers. But age could be a factor, although having Vasquez/Butler in the wings is not so bad. I don't see Lavarnway in the mix, but what do I know? I see AJ (don't want to be typing that last name all season;) putting up .265/12/55 in about 110 games and Ross at .220/6/20 in the rest of the games, all assuming we don't need any of the youngsters. The defense will be better than last season.

    The outfield numbers are much more difficult to forecast. From left to right, I'll go with Nava at .275/12/50, Gomes at .245/12/40, Sizemore at .275/12/50, Bradley Jr. at .245/6/30, Victorino at .265/12/65, and filling in sporadically, Carp at .250/8/30. I am torn with what to do about Bradley Jr. He's too young to sit at Fenway, yet he's been outplayed by Sizemore and has not won the job. But we can't afford to have Nava, Gomes and Carp playing anywhere but left field, and Sizemore and Victorino will never be called ironmen. So I think Bradley gets more time as the season progresses because of his defense, and the more he plays the more he will hit.

    The pitching staff is the deepest I can ever remember to start a season. The most amazing single fact about last year's team was the fact that they never lost more than three games in a row. That's a credit to the starting staff. Lester has made the leap to a legitimate stopper and I expect him to lead with numbers like 17-8 3.25. Lackey had tough luck last year and pitched better than his won-lost record indicated, I see him at 14-9 3.65. Buchholz has the best stuff of anyone and it's all about health, or more specifically his ability to pitch through the little aches and pains that occur in a 162 game season. I see Buch at 15-7 3.50, but in only 26-27 starts. Peavy looks solid and a full year of him will be a huge boost, but I don't really expect a whole year from him. I'll say 8-6 4.10. Doubie is the wild card and has looked alternately great and awful this spring. There's too much depth in the organization for him to look awful for too long, he'll get yanked if he struggles too much, so I'm going with 6-6 4.25. Any one of Capuano, Webster and Workman, or all three combined could go 10-10 4.00 as sixth, seventh and eighth starters. 

    It's virtually impossible to predict bullpen numbers, so I won't even try. But I really like the pen and think that Farrell is prepared to spot Koji enough to keep him effective, although he will never duplicate the magic of last season. Mujica, Miller and Taz will all record saves this year as well as Koji. I can see this pen collectively with 40 saves.

    Overall I see the AL EAST like this, Boston 94-68, Tampa 92-70, Baltimore 88-74, New York 86-76, and Toronto 81-81. That's right, every team in the stacked AL East can finish above .500, but only two will make the playoffs.

    It was a fun spring training, not as much fun as last year for reasons having nothing to do with baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Jet Blue. The ST results were not good, but the team looks ready to defend their crown. Repeating is extremely difficult, but barring serious injuries, this team is poised to contend again.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

     The most amazing single fact about last year's team was the fact that they never lost more than three games in a row. That's a credit to the starting staff. 

     

    We lost 3 in  a row May 3-5,  7-9 and May 11-14 (lost 6 of 7 and 9 of 11). Two times Lester broke the streak and the other Buch did. Later we lost 3 in a row in early July- a game where Webster started, but Breslow got the win. We lost 3 in a row in August with Lackey stopping the streak.

     

    It helps to have several "stoppers" in the rotation.

    Let's have a look at who pitched for the Sox after 2 losses in a row...

    Lester 3 (Tazawa got one win)

    Doubront 4 (Workman got the win in one)

    Lackey 2

    Buchholz 1

    Dempster 2

    Morales 1

     

    So, in the 18 games following losses or 2 or 3 in a row, the starting pitcher on the mound for the "stopper" win was...

    5 Lester

    4 Doubront

    3 Lackey

     2 Buch

    2 Dempster

    1 each by Morales & Webster

     

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from jcri. Show jcri's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Well some of the talking heads are already saying we could have done this or that on day one. What I see is great pitching, a fantastic start for Super-Size, and the hitters grinding in mid season form.  If we play like that every day, we'll have a great year.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    I'm encouraged by today's game. We hit the ball hard to the wrong part of the park. Lester looked sharp.

    It's a long season; I try not to get wrapped up with one game judgings by some clowns here.

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

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    Being realistic; we did not have  a good off season. Our competition improved, while we were pretty much stagnant. We did not have a good spring training. Looked nothing like a defending champ. We lost the opener, scoring just one run on a solo homer, while going hitless with RISP. A stupid bit of base running by Carp was costly. We can look all we want at the metric stats. But there are often key plays that make the difference between winning and losing. Last year, we made those plays. Will we do it again? Yes, there were bright spots, but there is a lot to be concerned about with this club. There are not too many easy games in this league. I am very interested in the four game series in New York. If we dig an early hole, it will not be easy to climb out.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part II

    In response to dgalehouse's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Being realistic; we did not have  a good off season.

    [/QUOTE]

    It takes a while to be able to judge that.  Apparently you didn't learn this last year.

    Have some patience, man.  How long have you been a baseball fan anyway?

     

     

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