Are the sox a better team this year?

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  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    Tough to imagine less production from RF and LF.  Some of that improvement will be offset by some regression by Papi, but the bullpen looks close to last years.  the rotation should also be improved over last season, simply by subtracting Lackey's terrible performance.  Beckett should also regress a little though.

    Overall, I'd say the team should be as good as last year.  Which was good enough to be the best team in baseball for about 4 months.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from NunciRom. Show NunciRom's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    Hey pison Jackbu, Friday night at George's place. Bring your own wine this time.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Chilliwings. Show Chilliwings's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    We should see big improvements in LF, RF & 3B, and roughly similar performance at the other 6 positions.

    If the pitching is healthy we're laughing.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from SpacemanEephus. Show SpacemanEephus's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    Yup.  My thinking goes - 

    Probable improvements:

    Offensively, Youk makes this line-up tick.  His injuries downgraded the offense from Juggernaut to Pretty Darn Good last year.  With him healthy back in the middle of the line-up, scaaaaaaary stuff.

    Gonzo is fully recovered from shoulder surgery.  Expect more power to go with his hitting mastery.

    Salty came into his own by midsummer, then crashed due to the unexperienced grind of a full season of duty.  I expect him to build on 2011 both offensively and defensively.

    Crawford, who knows, but logic says he HAS to be better than last year, I think.

    Ross/Sweeney - way better than out-to-pasture Drew and still-not-ready-for-prime-time Reddick.

    Buchholz - one of the biggest reasons last year fell apart.  They were relying on him to do his thing.  he got hurt.  If he is healthy, gotta figure he is going to be a hoss.

    Matsuzaka - When he comes back, contract year playing for a Japanese manager.  i expect big things

    Potential drop-offs:  

    Losing Papelbon and Bard at the back end.  But, getting Melancon and Bailey is hardly a drop-off, and could turn out to be even better when all is said and done.

    Losing Scutaro.  He is a leader by example.  Hard to replace a pro's pro.  But Aviles is probably equal offensively, and, if Iggy makes it up, huge D upgrade.

    More or less stays the same:

    Ells
    Pedey
    Ortiz
    Aceves

    Fun question marks:

    Bard - Who knows?  Could be a disaster, could be a seriously good fourth starter

    Back end of rotation as a whole - sure, who knows how 4 and 5 will shake out.  But at best, Bard and matsuzaka (when he returns) could be darn good.  At worst, hey, its gotta be better than Lackey and (fill in the 2011 blank).

    So, on the whole, I can foresee many upgrades from 2011 and not many dropoffs.  In my thinking, the ledger is tilted towards better, even with the guys that were on the club last year.













     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from J-BAY. Show J-BAY's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year?:
    [QUOTE]Yup.  My thinking goes -  Probable improvements: Offensively, Youk makes this line-up tick.  His injuries downgraded the offense from Juggernaut to Pretty Darn Good last year.  With him healthy back in the middle of the line-up, scaaaaaaary stuff. Gonzo is fully recovered from shoulder surgery.  Expect more power to go with his hitting mastery. Salty came into his own by midsummer, then crashed due to the unexperienced grind of a full season of duty.  I expect him to build on 2011 both offensively and defensively. Crawford, who knows, but logic says he HAS to be better than last year, I think. Ross/Sweeney - way better than out-to-pasture Drew and still-not-ready-for-prime-time Reddick. Buchholz - one of the biggest reasons last year fell apart.  They were relying on him to do his thing.  he got hurt.  If he is healthy, gotta figure he is going to be a hoss. Matsuzaka - When he comes back, contract year playing for a Japanese manager.  i expect big things Potential drop-offs:   Losing Papelbon and Bard at the back end.  But, getting Melancon and Bailey is hardly a drop-off, and could turn out to be even better when all is said and done. Losing Scutaro.  He is a leader by example.  Hard to replace a pro's pro.  But Aviles is probably equal offensively, and, if Iggy makes it up, huge D upgrade. More or less stays the same: Ells Pedey Ortiz Aceves Fun question marks: Bard - Who knows?  Could be a disaster, could be a seriously good fourth starter Back end of rotation as a whole - sure, who knows how 4 and 5 will shake out.  But at best, Bard and matsuzaka (when he returns) could be darn good.  At worst, hey, its gotta be better than Lackey and (fill in the 2011 blank). So, on the whole, I can foresee many upgrades from 2011 and not many dropoffs.  In my thinking, the ledger is tilted towards better, even with the guys that were on the club last year.
    Posted by SpacemanEephus[/QUOTE]

    Space, you stated it as well as it could have been. I'll add that not being  crowned the World Champions, without having played a game, will help make them better...the pressure is off. Sox have as good a shot as any other team and more than most. Just play the damn games
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year? : I knew when I saw you had posted space I wouldnt have to..you said it as well as it could have been. I'll add that not being the crowned the World Champions without having played a game will help make us better...the pressure is off. Sox have as good a shot as anyone else and more than most. Just play the damn games
    Posted by J-BAY[/QUOTE]

    J-Bay - I think the pressure will be even greater just to remove the stigma from last Septemeber. I remember the Mutts blowing it a few Septembers ago and then blowing it again the following Sept when the pressure was on.

    That being said, this is a very good Sox team. Personally, I still think Paps/Bard is much better than Baily/M.M.

    I like the Sox for 95 wins - hopefully the Yanks win 96.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from J-BAY. Show J-BAY's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year? : J-Bay - I think the pressure will be even greater just to remove the stigma from last Septemeber. I remember the Mutts blowing it a few Septembers ago and then blowing it again the following Sept when the pressure was on. That being said, this is a very good Sox team. Personally, I still think Paps/Bard is much better than Baily/M.M. I like the Sox for 95 wins - hopefully the Yanks win 96.
    Posted by jesseyeric[/QUOTE]

    Could be, Jess but I don't think there's more pressure than living up to what you should be. That's where Valentine's greatest value may be and why he was ultimately hired.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Pike2. Show Pike2's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    A catalyst makes a reaction happen. In a process known as catalysis, a relatively small amount of foreign material, called a catalyst, augments the rate of a chemical reaction without being consumed in the reaction. A catalyst can make a reaction go faster and in a more selective manner. Because of its ability to speed up some reactions and not others, a catalyst enables a chemical process to work more efficiently and often with less waste. Hence, catalysts are important in industrial chemistry.

    In the BDC Forum, Jackbu is a catalyst. He is a small amount of foreign material that says something stupid that is devoid of fact or logic and BINGO - all of the molecules start circulating, bumping into each other, heating up the ingredients and like magic the reaction is on its way in full gear. What would we do with such a catalyst. On the shelf, if needed, are jars of denatured Softlaw, powdered Andrewmitch, Georom Bromide, and granulated Botox1941. What a lab.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    The Red Sox could exceed last year's 90 wins despite talent diminished with the departures of Jonathan Papelbon, Marco Scutaro and Josh Reddick (and the absences of Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey ... yes, John Lackey).

    A well-performing good team can achieve better results than a poor-performing team with more gifted personnel.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from SpacemanEephus. Show SpacemanEephus's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year? : Space, you stated it as well as it could have been. I'll add that not being the crowned the World Champions, without having played a game, will help make us better...the pressure is off. Sox have as good a shot as any other team and more than most. Just play the damn games
    Posted by J-BAY[/QUOTE]

    Agreed J.  Last year's expectations were trouble.  When even my papa, a long-suffering Sox fan before me and a man who undertsands the humbling nature of the game, was practically crowning them World Champs and saying things like "this could be the best team ever" before the season started, I felt doom in my heart.  

    I feel the opposite now.  Yes, this club has much to prove.  But, I would rather a bloodied army eager to turn the tides of war  than a court of crowned princes feeling pre-ordained for victory.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    My guess is our positional player roster is just about set, so here's my positional projections before ST.

    Preliminary Notes: It is interesting to see that the MLB third base position has fallen so low offensively. It has declined to the point where the MLB catcher position is about even with 3B. SSs & 2Bmen have equal or higher BA and OBP with 3Bmen. LF has also decline to a point where they are outslugged by CF'ers (maybe thanks in large part to Jacoby). Also, RF almost outslugged 1Bmen in 2011.

    Stat Notes: I got my stats from fangraphs and baseball reference. Although I weigh OPS as the most important stat, I recognize that OBP is more important to generating runs than Slg%. My numbers are based on no injuries and no call-ups. I am assuming Iggy and Lava are in AAA. I know they will probably get some PAs in MLB this year, but I am keeping it simple here.

    Catcher: 
    MLB '11: .245/.314/.390/.704
    Sox '11: .229/.291/.446/.737

    Salty (384) .236  16  56  (.289/.452/.741)
    VTek (250)  .221  11  36 (.300/.423/.723)

    Although the Sox placed 10th in catcher OPS, we were 24th in OBP (5th in Slg%). Our catchers hit 29 HRs (1 away from 2nd place) and had 100 RBIs (2nd in MLB). A pretty productive season overall, even though there was a sharp dip in September.
    With the departure of VTek (who actually had a higher OBP than Salty), one might expect a decline in overall offense from the catcher position this year.  However, Tito never used a L-R catcher platoon last year, but instead used the personal caddy method. I expect that Bobby V will give Salty the chance to catch everyone and stick more to the L-R methodology. If he does this, we will see better numbers from Salty, since he hits RHPs much better (2011: .247/.304/.481/.786), and better numbers vs LHPs, since Shoppach hits LHPs very well: 
    (Career: .274/.373/.536/.909).

    2012 Projections:
    Salty (450) .250  20  75  (.310/.490/.800)
    Shop (200) .250  10  25  (.350/.450/.800)
    Sox:  (650) .250  30  100 (.325/.475/.800)  +.094

    First Base:
    MLB '11: .263/.338/.439/.778
    Sox '11: .329/.402/.541/.944

    AGon (715) .338  27  117 (.410/.548/.957)

    AGon had a great season, but I expect this year to be even better. We placed 4th in 1B OPS last season. I expect less BA, but more power at 1B this year. I know AGon will not get all the PAs at 1B, but for easier calculations, I will set it up this way. Here' my 2012 projection:

    AGon/Sox: (720) .300  45  140  (.410/.590/1.000) +.056

    Second base:
    MLB '11: .255/.316/.378/.694
    Sox '11: .308/.388/.474/.862

    Pedroia (731) .307  21  91 (.387/.474/.861)

    We had the best OPS in MLB at 2B last year. I expect the same in 2012. Go Pedey, Go!

    Pedey/Sox: (740) .300  20  100  (.395/.475/.870) +.008

    Third Base:
    MLB '11: .254/.314/.391/.705
    Sox '11: .270/.362/.449/.812

    Youk (517) .258/.373/.459/.833
    Lowrie (133 @ 3B) .275/.326/.433/.759

    This is a tough position to call this year. Since I am assuming 100% health, I am going to project a big improvemnet here, but I will not give Youk all the PAs. Youk had seen his OPS improve every season of his career until last year's steep decling. I will put him closer to his 2010 numbers than 2011's:

    Youk:   (600) .300  20  100  (.400/.540/.940)
    Punto: (100) .250     0    15  (.325/.325/.650)
    Sox:     (700) .290  20  115  (.390/.510/.900) +.088

    Short Stop:
    MLB '11: .258/.314/.370/.684
    Sox '11: .279/.330/.401/.730

    Scutaro: (445) .299  7  54  (.358/.423/.781)
    Lowrie (@SS): (187) .238/.278/.360/.639

    With the departure of Scooty, this is a tough call. Personally, I'd like to see Iggy as the FT SS, and we'd see a huge drop in SS OPs if we did, but I am going to give Aviles the nod at SS this year with help from Punto (I won't count Iggy). Here are my 2012 SS projections:

    Aviles: (550) .290  10  60 (.325/.415/.740)
    Punto: (100)  .250  0  15 (.325/.325/.650)  
    Sox: (650) .290  10  75  (.330/.400/.710) -.020

    Left Field:
    MLB '11: .256/.320/.409/.729
    Sox '11: .258/.304/.419/.723

    Crawford: (538) .255  11  56  (.289/.405/.694)
    Reddick (63) & DMac (50): .260  4  13  (.330/.490/.820)

    I'm expecting CC to return to about somewhere between his career norm and his most recent years in TB. My hope is that Bobby V sits CC vs tough lefties, but I doubt that happens. CC should get his normal rest vs lefties and will miss a few games at the start of the season. It's another tough call, but here it is (I am assuming almost all of DMac's PAs are vs LHPs):

    Crawford: (600) .290  12  85  (.350/.460/.810)
    Dar. Mac: (100) .275     6  15  (.340/.470/.810)
    Sox LF Total:     .285  18  100  (.345/.465/.800) +.077

    Center Field:
    MLB '11: .261/.325/.406/.731
    Sox '11: .316/.371/.548/.918

    Ellsbury: (729) .321  32  105  (.376/.552/.928)

    I am projecting that Jacoby will come close to his 2011 numbers.

    Sox: (770)  .320  30  100  (.380/.530/.910)  -.008

    Right Field:
    MLB '11: .263/.335/.429/.765
    Sox '11: .233/.299/.353/.652

    Drew (270)  .231  4  22 (.322/.316/.638)
    Redd (192) .257  3  13  (.302/.374/.676)
    DMac (86)  .256  4  14  (.314/.487/.801)
    Cam  (84)  .171   3    8  (.226/.316/.542)
     
    2011 saw a big mix of players in RF. The .652 OPS in RF was 113 points below the league average. Since RF has become one of the best hitting positions in MLb of late, this is totally unacceptable. Many will disagree with Ben on not assigning a top priority status to getting a RH'd slugger RF'er, but I think those posters will be surprised by the steep improvement in our RF production this year. Cody Ross has incredible numbers vs LHPs and not bad numbers vs RHPs as well, and Sweeney does very well vs righties. My guess is that Bobby V will play Ross vs all lefties and about half the RHPs that Ross has a good history against. I know many here do not like or are not familar with successful platoons, but I see this working out nicely for the Sox. Here are some telling numbers:
    Career:
    Ross (per 630 PA): .265  23  88  (.323/.456/.779)
    vs LHP:  .282  38  120  (.349/.563/.912)
    vs RHP:  .253  18    75  (.313/.414/.727)
    Sweeney (per 630 PAs)
    vs RHPs: .296  6  70  (.352/.402/.754) 
     
    If we can give Ross 220 PAs vs LHPs and 200 vs RHPs, and give Sweeney 220 vs RHPs and 30 vs LHPs, their overall numbers might look like this:
    C Ross (420) .270  25  90  (.335/.490/.825)
    Sween (250) .290    2  35  (.340/.390/.730)
    Total Sox: (670) .280  27  125  (.335/.440/.775) +.123

    Designated Hitter:
    MLB '11: .268/.342/.431/.773
    Sox '11: .308/.394/.531/.925

    D Ortiz: (605) .309  29  96  (.398/.554/.953)

    Papi turns 47 in November. He put up some nice numbers in 2011, although his RBI total was a bit low for a line-up like the Sox had last year. I'm going to project a drop off in 2012:

    Sox: (680)  .275  25  120  (.375/.525/.900) -.025

    Overall, it looks like we will see some big gains at some slots, and just a few positions where we stay about even of lose ground:
    RF: +.123
    C:   +.094  
    3B: +.088
    LF: +.077
    1B: +.056
    2B: +.008
    CF: -.008
    SS: -.020
    DH: -.025

    Overall: ~ + .035 in OPS

    I realize my numbers are based on some shaky ground, such as no injuries and projected platoon L-R splits, but I do feel like our offense has a strong potential to improve over 2011. RF should easily improve, while guessing that Youk and CC's improvements are a bit more speculative. Losses at SS, DH and CF might be much larger that I showed, but I find it hard to believe our overall OPS will be lower this year than 2011.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from BOSOX1941. Show BOSOX1941's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    It's very difficult for me to not mention the obvious upgrade at manager.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year?:
    [QUOTE]It's very difficult for me to not mention the obvious upgrade at manager.
    Posted by BOSOX1941[/QUOTE]

    Yes, very difficult I'm sure.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    What about the upgrade at 3B coach? Isn't that worth at least 2 wins right there?
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    It's a much better team than the team we ended up with last year.  We had one healthy starter in September.  We should start the season with at least 4.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    If you use the argument of addition by subtraction, we could easily be viewed as the front runner:

    Pitchers: (IP) ERA/WHIP
    Lackey (160) 6.41/1.619
    Wake    (155) 5.12/1.358
    Miller**  (65) 5.54/1.815
    Papelbon (64) 2.94/0.933
    Wheeler (49) 4.38/1.115
    Bedard   (38) 4.03/1.553
    Weiland (25) 7.66/1.662
    Jenks** (16) 6.32/2,234
    Oki            (8) 4.32/1.440
    RWilliams(8) 6.48/1.800
    Hottovy   (4) 6.75/1.750
    T. Miller    (2) 0.00/0.000
    D. Reyes  (2)16.20/2.400 

    ** Miller & Jenks are still on the roster, but may not see any action this year. Lackey is out all year.

    This is about 600 IP gone... most were horrible innings.

    These innings could be replaced by this:
    Buch       83> 173  (+90) 3.48/1.294
    Bard        73> 153   (+80) 3.33/0.959
    Aceves  114>154   (+40) 2.61/1.105
    Dice-K       37>77    (+40) 5.30/1.473
    Doubront  10>90   (+80) 6.10/1.935
    Morales      32>52  (+20)  3.62/1.268
    Tazawa        3>43   (+40)  6.00/1.333
    R Hill             8>28   (+20)  0.00/0.750.
    Beckett     193>203 (+10) 2.89/1.026
    Lester        192>202 (+10) 3.47/1.257
    Bailey          0 > 55
    Melancon    0> 65

    My guess is that Doubront and Dice-K will not have such bad ERAs and WHIPs this year, so the replacement of mostly horrible innings by much better pitching looks pretty good.

    Now, look at the offense (and defense) lost (PA) OPS:
    Scoot   445/.781 (Poor D)
    Lowrie 341/.585 (Poor D)
    Drew    286/.617 (Very Good D)
    Redd    278/.784 (Good D)
    VTek    250/.723 (Poor D)
    Cam    105/.477  (Good D)
    Sutt       60/.807  (Poor D)
    Navarro 40/.626 (Avg D)
    Jackson 22/.543 (Avg D)
    That's a total of about 1,800 PAs. 
    Replace these 1800 PAs with this:
    Youk 517>617 (+100) .833 OPS
    Salty 386>486 (+100) .737
    Aviles 107>507 (+500) .775
    Ross  0> 450    (+450) .779 career, but over .900 vs LHPs
    Sween 0>350  (+350) .720 career, but over .780 vs RHPs
    Punto  0> 150 (+150) .652 career
    Shopp  0>150  (+150) platoon who hits LHPs very well.

    I don't think it is being overly optimistic to think we will improve on offense, defense, and pitching by replacing some pretty bad numbers with better possible options.


     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from iamme17. Show iamme17's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    don't think the sox are a better team this year because all 4 teams in the division improved more than the sox who basically threaded water.No way Paps goes and the other 2 good closers get shifted to starters is gonna improve this team much if any
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from caseycsw. Show caseycsw's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    At least on paper, I do not think there is any way you can say they have improved.  Too many holes, including a reliable 5th starter, the outfield, the SS platoon, middle relief...Injuries to the Yanks or Rays could easily give the Red Sox the Wild Card, but I doubt seriously they will make the playoffs this year...


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

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    I'd still like to see anothr starter added. And also a better left field stopgap than Darnell McDonald....
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from TheExaminer. Show TheExaminer's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    The Boston Red Sox will go 162-0 in 2012. Count on it.
     
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    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    the bullpen looks close to last years.

    False. The bullpen will be weaker, minus Papelbon, but it is quality starter depth that determines pitching effectiveness over the course of a long season.

    Outfield:

    Drew was an outstanding defender, even in his last years. The OF will be worse, overall. Crawford was overrated, but only a few stated not to touch the guy as a FA. Crawford and Ellsbury make for poor overall defense and bad arms. Speed from point to point is not what makes a good baseball outfielder. Offensively, the RH power hole was not addressed, and don't mention Cody reject Ross. Ellsbury and Crawford clash, they do not compliment. One needs to go, and that will be Ellsbury, in the very near future. The OF production will appear to be good, in the aggregate, but will feature inconsistent production and poor defense.

    Infield: SS will be worse, which should be surprise. Defensely, it will be no better unless Iglesias is given time to develop to MLB defense. Offensively, it will be much worse. Youk has odds on his side for a healthy year and better season long production. Very limited defensively at 3rd. In baseball, the left side of the infield needs range, and that is a big zero. Pedroia had an outstanding bounceback from injury year, and AGon should be better after shoulder surgery about a year ago. Combined, even if Pedroia drops off from 2012, those 2 players will be, by far, the best Red Sox overall players on the field. Overall, the infield will be slightly less overall both sides of the ball productive.

    Catcher: Salty and Varitek were pitiful defensively. Salty displayed a strong throwing arm, which was all these two provided. Both were horrific catching the ball and displaying agility behind the plate. With modern techonology for pitch sequence in each ballpark, calling a game is overrated and used to validate catchers who are no good otherwise. Pitchers are creatures of habit and timing, and can become anal retentive when it comes to seeing a figure and target behind the plate. Salty and Varitek were terrible offensively, which is fine if they were strong defensive catchers. Of course, they were horrible defensively. Shoppach will improve the defensive production from catcher. If they split some of the catcher time with Lavarnway, the two will compliment one another which is the entire point of a 25 man roster construction. But, even with Salty, catcher is the one spot where there will be some overall improvement. 

    The offense, overall, was not balanced and was inconsistent and created extreme 2 month lows with too many less than 5 and 4 games. That will continue in 2012, unless trades are made during the season.  

    Starting Pitching: Beckett and Lester and company are now under the spotlight of accountability. That will create an environment where the starting pitching should improve. Subtracting Wakefield subtracts an horrific ceremonial distraction. Bucholz' health is still a question mark because it involves the spine. The starting pitching overall was poor in 2011. Because starting pitching is about having at least 3 quality starters for a season, the fallout from the 2011 debacle will produce better combined performances from the big contracts and has already rid the team of the cancerous Wakefield and added deeper pool of retread starter depth. Either Aceves or Bard should provide a serviceable bottom tier starter. Overall the starting pitching should be improved.

    Pen: It will be weaker in the top 3, but an improved starting pitching staff quality performance will make the pen marginally season sufficient over the full season. Overall, the pen will be a little weaker but offset by starter staff

    Overall, this team and it's nearly quarter billion a year payroll will have the parts to return to the playoffs if they benefit from poor performances from the other teams in the division, but it does not have the balanced strength in the middle of the lineup or the overall lineup to offset an overall less than outstanding pitching staff to make the team a true title contender.

    The best case scenario would be for the team to flounder in the first half so that the problem long term contract seekers and current parasitic long term contract profiles can be dealt out of town and the orgainization can take the few remaining building blocks and begin to construct a balanced active roster and better balanced farm system.  

    Nothing about the clubhouse members and character of the 2012 Red Sox players conveys a compelling message of leadership and hard teamwork.

    Valentine is best judged on a 2 year basis, as he has his work cut out for him just to reach the 2012 playoffs with the current cast of starting characters.
     
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  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoxFanInIL. Show SoxFanInIL's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    I think the team will be a bit worse.  There's no reson to expect the SP to be much better, there's holes all over the place. The hitting was drastically overrated last year when they pumped their stats in the blowouts.

    But even if the team is comparable to last year or even a little better, the rest of the AL has improved dramatically, leaving the Sox in the dust.

    This team doesn't sniff a playoff spot.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from BostonTrollSpanker. Show BostonTrollSpanker's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    So much of it comes down to Beckett/Lester/Buch. If they stay healthy and play to their potential, I think we're a better team, perhaps a significantly better team. 

    However to complete the picture, most of the AL East teams have been improved also. 

    I think overall we had a really crummy offseason, I'm hugely disappointed, but fortunatley the roster was already strong.
     
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