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Ask Nick: Should Gonzalez switch to outfield?

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff  May 22, 2012 08:26 AM

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Watching the Red Sox' entire pitching staff, it appears that they are all afraid of every batter they face. They all seem to think it's better to give up walks rather than allow the batter to hit the ball. Walks get the batter on 100 percent of the time, letting the batter hit gets the batter on about 30 percent of the time!
Bill, Jacksonville, Fla
Walks are bad, no doubt. They pay for them. I will say this, the staff looks a lot better the past 10 days than it has all season. So if they stay like this, I think Valentine would take that.

The retirement of Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield has been given a lot of attention. However, we may have forgotten that another prominent former Red Sox has retired this year, Pedro Martinez. How many players could be so well known that just their first name is enough? Isn't there a chance the Red Sox brass also give him his day at Fenway, sign him to a minor league deal like Nomar so he will retire as a Red Sox?
Lloyd, Philippines
Sure, they could and I'm sure they're thinking about that. Pedro hasn't officially retired yet, so that could be one of the issues. He joked when he was in Boston that he could be ready to pitch in about 20 days. But I'll bet 'ya they're thinking about something like that.

Can the Red Sox recoup some of the money they have lost with injuries to Lackey, Dice-K, and others who are out for he season. I thought the Astros did something similar with Jeff Bagwell.
Scott, Bangor, Maine
Well, Dice-K's deal runs out at the end of the season, but they're pretty much stuck with Lackey and Carl Crawford's enormous sums. They would have to eat part or most of Crawford's contract if they were to move him unless they were able to exchange a contract like Jayson Werth's in Washington. Can't do anything until he gets back on the field.

I know the Red Sox have at least 9 million reasons to keep Youk in the starting nine. But what about converting him to a super-utility role? One other note: thank god Bobby has been thrown out. Sure looks like with the extraordinary amount of bad/close calls going against the Sox, the umps were challenging him.
Mel, Southington, Conn.
I prefer to call a new role for Youk the Michael Young Role. I think he could do it for the rest of the year. Don't know if the Red Sox think that way, though. I was glad Bobby got thrown out as well. He was being way too mellow there. Though I'm not big on arguing with umpires on balls and strikes. It usually backfires.

It seems the Sox are going to continue to have roster management problems as players come off of injuries because they have so many 4A players who are out of options. The Aaron Cooks of the world can't really be dealt for anything, but might be needed again if the injury march continues. This seems like another consequence of the farm system atrophy or mistakes in managing the 40 man roster. Thoughts?
Chris, Tolland, Conn.
Not really mistakes in managing the 40-man. The problem is maybe not enough 40-man guys are ready for the majors. That happens everywhere. There are always little gaps in producing major league ready players. They do have Iglesias and Lavarnway, who could play right now, which is good at those positions. But you're right. They can buy some time with Cook because he needs to go on a rehab assignment before they have to do anything.

Why don't we try Dustin Pedroia at the leadoff spot and put Ryan Sweeney back to No. 2, or will that create the possibility of too many lefties in a row?
Shawn, Framingham, Mass.
Don't think that's an issue with this team because David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez hit lefties so well.

What is the real story with Beckett not pitching, as I've heard conflicting reports even from the Globe? Story one is Beckett wanted to pitch even with the lat strain, but management decided to pass over him. Story two is Beckett asked not to pitch. Huge difference on how to judge his golf adventure on whether Josh declared himself available or not.
Dave Frary, Upton, Mass.
The story I think is that he wanted to pitch and they overruled him. That's what Bobby V said. Don't think either has a bearing on golf adventure. If the team holds you out to rest your lat muscle, you shouldn't be playing golf.

Do the Sox have any options left with Clay Bucholz? If they do, does Clay go to Pawtucket when Dice-K comes back to the rotation? If they don't, do you think they should put Buchholz on the DL with a phantom injury to make room for Dice-K? In my opinion Buchholz is the weakest link right now. With Doubront and Bard putting up quality starts behind him, it seems like neither of them deserve to lose their spot when Dice-K is ready to make his comeback.
Jessica, Somerville, Mass.
The Sox do have options on Buchholz, but he's turning the corner so he won't be moved out of the rotation. Dice-K, as I wrote before, is probably at least couple of weeks away from returning after having an injection in his neck. He's going to sit out for a week and then go back on rehab.

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