i just can't get over how awesome the 2014 Sox look going into the season. I mean yeah, teams coming off of a WS title often look very good the following year but i am just stunned how perfect things look right now. We have it all right now, the pitching, the offense, the depth and the farm in a more specific sense. The biggest weakness on our team? i'd probably say our offensive production from the catcher position. Which given the state of production from the position league wide isn't that bad. the amount of young players in starting roles? some want to try and call it a bad thing citing inexperience but the Cardinals run through the playoffs was largely driven by young talent. I can think of much worse things than having to rely on arguably THE top prospect in all of baseball, a 3rd year right handed slugger with a mixed resume and a potential GG OF'er who projects to have a superb P/PA.
Our offense as a whole still looks to be a powerhouse, big papi is poised to turn in another monster season and we should see a boost in production from 2nd base (healthy pedroia), 3rd base (healthy and improved middlebrooks) and possibly SS (Drew had the second highest OPS of any SS so there IS room for improvement in that regard). Leadoff is a bit fuzzy right now but if Victorino is on he can prove to be a pretty good leadoff guy (my preference would still be pedroia in that role). Nava/Gomes platoon looks to be just as good an option this year as it was last year. I do worry a bit about AJPs effect on the offense. A major part of our offense last year was the stellar P/PA we had at every position 1-9. AJP has a god awful P/PA and that can really kill us IMO but since he is splitting time his effect should be minimalized.
on the pitching front, we have Lester, Buch, Lackey, Peavy and Doobie. Lester is an outlaw, Buch is untouchable if he can stay healthy, Lackey should be getting STRONGER in his second year off of TJS, a full season from Peavy should be an upgrade over Dempster and Doobie was VERY good last year until he got tired. If he can last a full season and stay aggressive against hitters he can rank among the top 20-30 pitchers in MLB that's how good his stuff is. The bullpen looks good also, Uehara, Taz, Breslow, Miller and Mujica headline that with prospects filling the rest of the pen. We have a backup closer in Mujica in case Uehara goes down and really any one of those names mentioned above could close if they had to. maybe a surprise appearance by RDLR at some point this season to become a mainstay in the pen? Overall, the pitching is looking extremely good heading into the 2014 season.
This team has the horses to go back to back.they have so much flexibility going into the season in terms of roster construction and tradeable assets (money included) its crazy. I cant freaking wait for the damn season to start!!!