In response to BMav's comment:
Catcher---You make an excellent point about the platoon splits. Still believe Ross>Shopach. But thats me.
It could be, but my expectations were very high for our catcher offense last March. I was worried about Salty's defense, so it's pretty close this year.
I am happy with our catchers.
SS---I and most had serious questions about Aviles defense going into last year. Drew>Aviles.
Drew is a huge question mark. His health has been a mess. His fielding is among the worst in the last deacde, and now he has a pin in his ankle.
He has the potential to be better than Mike can ever be, but I do not think any higher of Drew than I did about Aviles last year.
LF----It sure seems to me like the Sox are going to go with JBJ by June at the latest. We will see.
Then, I will change my call, but unless Papi stays hurt, Gomes will be in LF.
Buch-Back----I had a serious back injury about 15 years ago. My back is much better then it was a couple of years after the injury. One thing is I have learned how to treat it and what it can handle. Plus, stress fractures in most bones heal and are 100% down the line. I have more confidence in Buch's health now then in 2012 spring training.
Based on what? His 4.56 ERA? His 1.326 WHIP?
As compared to 3.48/ 1.294 after 2011? It's not even close here. People were calling Buch our ace last March.
SP----Agree with SP being the key to success in baseball. However, I like our staff every bit as much as I did in March 2012. Not much more. But at least as much and maybe a bit more. Maybe I am putting some stock in Spring training stats and that is a mistake on my part. We will see.
There is no way anyone can honestly say they did not have higher expectations for our rotation last March than now. Our pen looks a lot better, but not enough to outweigh the SP'ers.
Last March, people were rejoicing in the fact that Lackey was not pitching, now they are praising him.
Dempster is no Beckett.
Doubront is a wild card.
Lester and Buch were coming off much better seasons in 2011 than 2012. It's a joke to pretend they have higher expectations now than then.
People were gah gah over Bard or Aceves as starters last March.
Our pen was highly suspect with the loss of Papelbon, but come on, out total staff outlook was much higher last March. This isn't even close.