Re: A total rebuild was the better long-term option
posted at 12/16/2012 8:46 AM EST
OK Hfx here is my take on 14th article.
THE SOX ARE BETTING THAT THEIR CORE STILL IS VERY GOOD AND MERELY NEEDS THE RIGHT COMPLEMENTARY PIECES IN 2013
((((( I'd say it is a bet not worth making)))))))
Still, if healthy, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Ortiz and Will Middlebrooks give the team four players capable of delivering considerable impact. Pedroiaâs been an MVP, both Ortiz and Ellsbury have been runners-up in MVP voting and Middlebrooks showed All-Star, middle-of-the-order potential in his rookie season. Thatâs a formidable quartet, if healthy.
(((((((( If is the operative word))))))))))))))))))
Thatâs a considerable if, given that all four missed significant time in 2012 due to injury. Even so, the likelihood that all four will simultaneously be lost at the same time again is remote, particularly given that the injuries suffered by Ellsbury, Middlebrooks and Pedroia were of the traumatic rather than chronic variety.
(((((((( fair point, but would you bet Ells and Ped play 155 games))))))))))
If the Sox can complement those four players with a series of players capable of delivering average to above-average offense, then the team has the potential to have one of the top offenses in theAmerican League.
(((((((( While Victorino and Napoli are likely to be at least average, I don't want average players during their decline phases on the Sox. I worry the poor 2012s of SV and MN portend a future like other good players in their 20s who age poorly (see V. Wells, and J.Bay). Why didn't the Phillies or Texas lock them up?))))))))))
The rotation is a bit more of a question mark. Still, while Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz suffered down years, the team is banking on a rebound for those two, continued improvement from what was a very promising debut year in the rotation for Felix Doubront and the hope that John Lackey and Ryan Dempster can offer a considerable upgrade over the deeply flawed back of the rotation from a year ago.
(((( Who would bet their own money that all the "if rebounds" and "hope" come together?)))))
The Sox are under no illusions that Dempster is a top-of-the-rotation savior. But after a year spent searching unsuccessfully for reliable innings, thereâs a great deal to be said for a pitcher whoâs averaged 199 innings a season for the last five years, with sub-4.00 ERAs in four of those years, and whose ERA in that span compares favorably to that of other pitchers (like Kyle Lohse, James Shields, Mark Buehrle, Edwin Jackson and Anibal Sanchez) available via trade or free agency this offseason.
(((( Adding an innings eater is welcome but I worry hoping Lester, Lackey, and Buch will live up to past glory is unlikely. I hope I am wrong and baseball throws up great surprises, but I'd rather they traded Lester, Ells (take the Papi pick) and enjoy watch the prospects play hard. The rise of a young team is more fun to watch than the slow fade of overpaid former stars, IMO))))