Are the sox a better team this year?

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

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    Pretty optimistic outlook there space. Let me give you my perpective on your observations:


    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.

    Agree that Youk should have a much better year offensively, but he is 33 and a step slower and he is still somewhat a liability at 3rd. Offensive wasn't the problem last year.

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

    Yes, we should see much more power from Agon, but more HRs usually equates to a lower BA. I don't believe there is any way he hits anywhere near .340.
    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.

    Salty started only 60% of the games last year; I would hardly call that a grind. And he is a terrible defensive catcher (way too many PBs and CWPs). I would really like to see Lavarway behind the plate.

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

    IMO, Crawford is the key to the 2012 season. I agree that he played well below his ability and I think he was just out of his comfort zone. Hopefully, he is the pleyer we know he can be.

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

    Defensively we don't get any better here, but I think offensively, we should see a big improvement, but the power is only going to come from Ross, so we'll see.

    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.

    This one has got me worried. Back problems tend to be chronic, and if Buch has the slightest discomfort, he will not be effective. I look for him to be on and off the DL.

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

    Totally agree here. Always thought this guy was special but the friction between what he wanted to do and what management wanted from him created a less than effective pitcher. BV should help tremendously here.

    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.

    Never like Pap, thought he was an arrogant, pompous guy. But he could get the job done when he decided to dial it up. We really don't know what we are getting here. Bailey seems to have the numbers, but like CC, he is now pitching with the big boys.
    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.

    Scutaro is not a good defensive SS but his offense was good enough to keep him there. Frankly, the offensive is not the problem, it's the defense and I think Iglesias should be handed the Keys....the hitting will come.

    More or less stays the same:

    Ells
    Pedey
    Ortiz
    Aceves

    Agree except for Ells, he will not have the power numbers this year because if pitchers are smart, he won't see a lot of pitches middle-in. If that happens, hopefully he adjusts and hits more balls the other way. His average will be over .300, and the OBP should improve, but the HRs and RBIs will be down.

    Fun question marks:

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

    Just don't see it. Going from 67 inning to 200 innings is not as much a problem as stamina and leg strength. He will have to brought along gradually, or his carreer could be over.

    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).

    This is the crux of the problem and I think we are heading to 2012 with too many questions marks here. We are not going to get Dice back until June at the earliest. Aceves would be the better choice to start since he has done it, albeit without a lot of success, so he should be #5. which means we still need a 4th guy so out of Padilla, Cook, Silva, or Maine, well.................


    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.

    Offensively, we are slightly better. Defense and pitching (which wins games) is slightly worse, IMO.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    Pretty optimistic outlook there space. Let me give you my perpective on your observations:


    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.

    Agree that Youk should have a much better year offensively, but he is 33 and a step slower and he is still somewhat a liability at 3rd. Offensive wasn't the problem last year.

    It would have been nice to have Youk DH most games this year, and have Iggy at SS and Aviles/Punto/Middlebrooks at 3B, but that was not to be.

    I'm hoping Youk's fielding improves with health. I think his hitting will be close to his 2009 season as his curve inches downwards in a more uniform manner.

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

    Yes, we should see much more power from Agon, but more HRs usually equates to a lower BA. I don't believe there is any way he hits anywhere near .340.

    I agree, but my hope is he approaches 130-140 RBIs.

    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.

    Salty started only 60% of the games last year; I would hardly call that a grind. And he is a terrible defensive catcher (way too many PBs and CWPs). I would really like to see Lavarway behind the plate.

    I agree 100%. Salty is old enough and experienced enough to be able to catch 75% of the games, but couldn't manage even 60%. While he is now thae age VTek was when he became a FT catcher, I have lost confidence in his skillset. I'd love to see Lava and Iggy as out FT C and SS. Trade Salty. Save the money and cash in on his over-hyped 2011 season.

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

    IMO, Crawford is the key to the 2012 season. I agree that he played well below his ability and I think he was just out of his comfort zone. Hopefully, he is the pleyer we know he can be.

    If he can just play to his career norms, it would be a huge gain, but he could even approach his 2008-2010 numbers and that would give us a huge boost.

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

    Defensively we don't get any better here, but I think offensively, we should see a big improvement, but the power is only going to come from Ross, so we'll see.

    No, we don't get better defensively here, but remember, Drew played hurt if at all last year, Reddick is a good fielder but had many lapses last year, and DMac was, well, DMac out there in 2011, so I do not think the drop off is as big as it looks on paper (from 2011 play).

    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.

    This one has got me worried. Back problems tend to be chronic, and if Buch has the slightest discomfort, he will not be effective. I look for him to be on and off the DL.

    It worries me too, as does Bailey and his injury history.

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

    Totally agree here. Always thought this guy was special but the friction between what he wanted to do and what management wanted from him created a less than effective pitcher. BV should help tremendously here.

    Not sure if Bobby V will make that much of a difference, but I do think Dice-K will have a nice half season as he looks to cash in next year.

    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.

    Never like Pap, thought he was an arrogant, pompous guy. But he could get the job done when he decided to dial it up. We really don't know what we are getting here. Bailey seems to have the numbers, but like CC, he is now pitching with the big boys.

    My hope is Bard remains in the pen as a couple projects shine brightly this spring, but it looks like it's all but a done deal. If we could keep Bard and Aceves in the pen, I think we'd be about equal to last year's pen. Without Bard, we will be worse.

    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.

    Scutaro is not a good defensive SS but his offense was good enough to keep him there. Frankly, the offensive is not the problem, it's the defense and I think Iglesias should be handed the Keys....the hitting will come.

    I think Scotty might have been in the bottom 3 defensive SSs last year due mainly to his lack of range. His .299 BA and timely hitting will be missed, but it was unlikely he'd have repeated his 2011 offense again this year anyways (at age 36). Aviles is not a great fielding SS, but he's better than Scoot. Punto: the same. Iggy is way better, but lacks offense. Together, I see an improvement over Scoot overall, but it's close. 

    More or less stays the same:

    Ells
    Pedey
    Ortiz
    Aceves

    Agree except for Ells, he will not have the power numbers this year because if pitchers are smart, he won't see a lot of pitches middle-in. If that happens, hopefully he adjusts and hits more balls the other way. His average will be over .300, and the OBP should improve, but the HRs and RBIs will be down.

    Bringing his OBP to near .400 is worth losing 10 HRs or more.

    Fun question marks:

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

    Just don't see it. Going from 67 inning to 200 innings is not as much a problem as stamina and leg strength. He will have to brought along gradually, or his carreer could be over.

    He's not going to 200 IP. Even Lester and Beckett didn't get there last year. I see him getting 140-160, and he may even go back to the pen to lessen the load.

    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).

    This is the crux of the problem and I think we are heading to 2012 with too many questions marks here. We are not going to get Dice back until June at the earliest. Aceves would be the better choice to start since he has done it, albeit without a lot of success, so he should be #5. which means we still need a 4th guy so out of Padilla, Cook, Silva, or Maine, well.................

    Yes, but compare these guys to Weiland, Miller, lackey and others. It's hard to imagine anything worse.

    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.

    Offensively, we are slightly better. Defense and pitching (which wins games) is slightly worse, IMO.

    I see defense as better:
    Ross/Sweeney < Drew/Redd/DMac
    Aviles/Iggy > Scoot
    Punto >>> Lowrie
    Shopp > Vtek
    '12 Youk > "11 Youk
    '12 CC > '11 CC

    If we can get a solid 4th starter either by signing, trade or a project works out like Colon & garcia did for the Yanks last year, I think our pitching will be better.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    m
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from jasko2248. Show jasko2248's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    If this team remains reasonably healthy, I think they could meet the expectations of last year's team. They are loaded with talent and they brought in a lot of guys who are "gamers," to compliment the stars. They'll score plenty of runs, they'll be fine defensively and they have enough quality arms if they avoid major injuries. If Bailey stays healthy, he can be as good as Papelbon (he has better stuff), and we have the resources to get a starter if necessary. Middle relief is always a crapshoot, but they have lots of talented arms, and again, the resources to adjust if necessary...
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from SpacemanEephus. Show SpacemanEephus's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    The notion that the rotation, as is, is somehow the same, or worse, than 2011 eludes me.

    After Beckett and Lester, the Sox had an absoultely useless, rag-armed John lackey and then ... um ... pick your BP fodder all year until Beckett tweaked his ankle and then the Sox had one real starter.

    Even if Bard doesn't work out and Matsuzaka doesn't come back strong, Doubront doesn't pan out, and there is a mix and match re-tread fest in the 4 and 5 this year, the re-insertion of a healthy Clay Buchholz alone makes this rotation automatically much sounder than last year.
     
  6. 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]The notion that the rotation, as is, is somehow the same, or worse, than 2011 eludes me. After Beckett and Lester, the Sox had an absoultely useless, rag-armed John lackey and then ... um ... pick your BP fodder all year until Beckett tweaked his ankle and then the Sox had one real starter. Even if Bard doesn't work out and Matsuzaka doesn't come back strong, Doubront doesn't pan out, and there is a mix and match re-tread fest in the 4 and 5 this year, the re-insertion of a healthy Clay Buchholz alone makes this rotation automatically much sounder than last year.
    Posted by SpacemanEephus[/QUOTE]

    200 I.P. from a health Clay will do wonders for the Sox team. the question is, can you get that? Back injuries are not fun and linger for the rest of your life.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from beavis. Show beavis's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    3 games @ Tigers and 3 @ Blue Jays are going to be tough to open the schedule. If Sox come back to Fenway 4-2, this team is going to rock til the Break...in theory they are better with the health factor and knowing the Sox cannot have two years in a row with bad opening years...the X factors are Clay, Youk, Kalish and Bard...

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

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year?:
    [QUOTE]The notion that the rotation, as is, is somehow the same, or worse, than 2011 eludes me. After Beckett and Lester, the Sox had an absoultely useless, rag-armed John lackey and then ... um ... pick your BP fodder all year until Beckett tweaked his ankle and then the Sox had one real starter. Even if Bard doesn't work out and Matsuzaka doesn't come back strong, Doubront doesn't pan out, and there is a mix and match re-tread fest in the 4 and 5 this year, the re-insertion of a healthy Clay Buchholz alone makes this rotation automatically much sounder than last year.
    Posted by SpacemanEephus[/QUOTE]

    I agree. Even if the first 3-4 Ifs don't pan out, we could still easily be even or better than 2011's ragtag crew from the 4 slot down.

    We got these starts from these guys:
    28 Lackey  6.41
    23 Wake     5.12
    12 Miller     5.54
    8 Bedard    4.03
    5 Weiland  7.66

    How much worse can it get?
     
  9. 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? : 200 I.P. from a health Clay will do wonders for the Sox team. the question is, can you get that? Back injuries are not fun and linger for the rest of your life.
    Posted by jesseyeric[/QUOTE]

    Yes, no guarantee Jess.  My hope is that, once his back healed enough that he could do such things, he saw the light and undertook some pilates and/or yoga practice.  These are the only reliable ways to overcome the inevitability of recurrence with back issues.  Of course, even with these practices, they must be done correctly and safely.  But, I am, in general, perplexed that more professional athletes, in this day and age, making a kings ransom to play a game as long as they can stay healthy, aren't devoted practitioners.

    But, of course you and the more pessimistic set of Sox fans are on the money when you doubt his back will not be problematic.

    For my part, well, I was voted Class Optimist in 8th grade (why this was even a superlative category, I will never know.  Interestingly enough, I was runner-up for Class Pessimist.  Not sure what that says about me).
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Alibiike. Show Alibiike'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 agree. Even if the first 3-4 Ifs don't pan out, we could still easily be even or better than 2011's ragtag crew from the 4 slot down. We got these starts from these guys: 28 Lackey  6.41 23 Wake     5.12 12 Miller     5.54 8 Bedard    4.03 5 Weiland  7.66 How much worse can it get?
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    Good point. No place to go but Up, I suppose.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from notin. Show notin's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year?:
    [QUOTE]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.
    Posted by SoxFanInIL[/QUOTE]

    Well, there is some reason.  It won't be too difficult for Pitcher X to improve on Lackey, or to give us about what Wakefield did.

    Put another way, do you think Bard and, say, Cook, can give ERA's close to 5.12 and 6.41?
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from Beantowne. Show Beantowne's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    It's not how you start, rather how you finish...

    So with that said, I think the 2012 team as comprised will be in the mix once again. The question that no one not named Bobby, Ben, Larry & John have the answers too is. How aggressive will they be to address in-season injuries to key performers and under-performance (oranizational pitching depth, bullen & bench).

    If I were to rank the AL today...

    95 to 100 win teams
    Angels
    Yanks

    90 to 95 win teams
    Tigers
    Rays 
    Sox   
    Rangers

    Clearly the Yanks, the Tigers and Angels on paper all have made themselves better, not convinced the Rangers got better, ditto the Rays and Sox. Baring injuries to key contributors all 6 teams should be in the mix all year...
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from jrh1194. Show jrh1194's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    The only thing that we were missing last year was healthy players. If the key players on this team can avoid injury then this team can win the AL East.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from craze4sox. Show craze4sox's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    Maybe not, but a new attitude along with some solid pitching could make a world of difference to an already good team. 
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from ctredsoxfanhugh. Show ctredsoxfanhugh's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    No they aren't better, but they aren't worse.....and without a slow start and finish the record should reflect a better team.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from futbal. Show futbal's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/18/sports/baseball/luck-and-loyalty-keep-bringing-bobby-valentine-back.html?pagewanted=3&ref=sports

    Great profile on Bobby V from today's NYT. I'll refrain from too many judgements abot the team for now, but do enjoy reading what y'all are thinking.  My bias from last year was that the lineup lacked a right handed thumper bat - Rice, Manny, TonyC. My thought about this year is that problem remains (unbalanced line up even with Youk healthy), and as for the rest, it just should be very interesting to see how they play and respond to a new manager and no Theo.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey'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 agree. Even if the first 3-4 Ifs don't pan out, we could still easily be even or better than 2011's ragtag crew from the 4 slot down. We got these starts from these guys: 28 Lackey  6.41 23 Wake     5.12 12 Miller     5.54 8 Bedard    4.03 5 Weiland  7.66 How much worse can it get?
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    That's mostly what I base my optimism on.  We can't tell about Buchholz' health, though so far, he's okay.  Nor can we figure out how well Bard will do, though there was a good article explaining why we should expect an ERA of about 4.  Those two in replacement of Lackey and Weiland could easily save us 40 runs over the course of the season.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Joebreidey. Show Joebreidey's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    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.

    I agree 100%, but weren't you the one that was disparaging the need to go after another SP?
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from dannycater. Show dannycater's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    No
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from FortMeade. Show FortMeade's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    In Response to Are the sox a better team this year?:
    [QUOTE]Does having a manager who hasn't coached in MLB in ten years, make the sox a better team? I doubt papi will do better then last year, so his recent signing does not make the sox better. The sox pretty much have stated that there will no more signings for a while. If this is the team we have on opening day, is it better then last year's team?
    Posted by jackbu[/QUOTE]

    Jackbu ferrets out the Big Papi mole once again

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from craze4sox. Show craze4sox's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    In Response to Re: Are the sox a better team this year?:
    [QUOTE]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. I agree 100%, but weren't you the one that was disparaging the need to go after another SP?
    Posted by Joebreidey[/QUOTE]

    If our starters can pitch deeper into the game "say at least 6 innings" on most nights its a huge plus.  Guys like Wake, Lackey, Miller and Weiland put a lot of strain on our pen to keep things close and the offense to catch up.  Aceves did an outstanding job last season but others fell apart when he wasn't available.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from jimedfred. Show jimedfred's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    On another post I predicted improvements of 5 % from offense, ex. Crawford comfortable, Youk healthier, Shopp or Lavarnway over Tek, Ross/Sweeney over Drew /Reddick;plus 5 % better defense from non-presence of Lackey, Wakefield, Weiland,Bedard; less use of Miller, replacement of Scutaro by Aviles or Iglesias, etc.
    90 wins plus 10 % = 98 or 99 wins.
    The horrendous impact of 76 starts by Lackey-Wakefield-Miller-Bedard-Weiland cannot be overlooked, and Bard-Doubront-Cook-Mortenson-Padilla-whoever, plus a healthier and MOTIVATED Matsuzaka for 1/2 season surely offers hope of meaningful improvement, if not the excellence we'd prefer.
    Last year I got over-excited about Reddick & Miller based on early results. This year I'm over the top optimistic about Doubront winning a starting job, Cook being healthy, and a healthy J.C. Linares beating out McDonald as early 4th outfielder / r/h bench bat and staying on after Craw's return.
    Of course mid-season additions of Lavarnway,Iglesias, and Kalish could help too.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

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

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    Better team? Not sure, maybe-maybe not. But will they win more games than last year? I say YES.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from OnDeckCircle. Show OnDeckCircle's posts

    Re: Are the sox a better team this year?

    The Sox will need to have good health throughout the year and no serious injuries.   Several players will need to have career years and above all, the 3-4-5 starting pitchers will need to give at least 150 innings otherwise the bullpen becomes overworked.
     
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