Sunday, March 11, 2012

Boston Red Sox Preview/Prediction

Now that we got the division predictions done it is time to dig a little bit deeper.  Between now and the opener in Japan each team will get their own prediction/preview.  I am going to go in alphabetical order.

Our next post takes us to Beantown, where a lot of changes took place after the worst collapse in Major League Baseball History.  Will the Red Sox bounce back? Let's find out.

Infield: Jared Saltalamacchia at catcher, Adrian Gonzales at first base, Dustin Pedroia at second base, Nick Punto at shortstop and Kevin Youkilis at third base.

With the merciful retirement of Jason Veritek behind the plate the whole onus is now in Saltalamacchia.  Salty is a decent catcher but I think the Red Sox need to find someone else to succeed, because he can't hit a curve ball and he can't stay healthy.  Adrian Gonzales is one of the more steady players in the baseball, and that will continue.  Pedroia is a feisty little guy at second and has something that you don't see in a lot of Major League Players.  He is one of the few guys that actually gives a shit every single play of every single game.  Nick Punto is a throwback all glove no hit guy who knows his limitations.  Youkilis if healthy is one of the best hitters in the American League, and without a doubt the most patient hitter in baseball.

Who will have the best season of these guys? Adrian Gonzales.  He will be the starter for the American League in the all star game, will bat over .300 and have 100 runs batted in and 100 runs scored.  He is one of the best hitters in all of baseball.

Outfield: Carl Crawford in left field, Jacoby Ellsbury in center field, and Cody Ross in right field.

I think Crawford is going to have a monster year this year.  He is going to prove to everyone that last year was a fluke will go back to being the pain in the ass on base machine he was for the Rays.  Ellsbury will continue to wreak havoc in the leadoff spot and have another solid season.  Cody Ross is new to the team and I don't think he will last the entire year as the starting right fielder.  The Red Sox will make a trade for a better outfielder before the deadline.

Who will have the best season of these guys? Carl Crawford.  Crawford will score more than 100 runs steal 50 bases and will be the person the Red Sox were expecting, just a year late!

Starting Pitching: Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard, and John Lackey.

Three of these pitchers are the reason why Theo Epstein and Terry Francona are no longer with the team.  Lester, Beckett, and Lackey eating fried chicken and drinking beer during games in September when your team is having the worst collapse is just awful, especially since Lackey is a terrible pitcher.  When he signed that contract a couple years ago I thought it was bad, and now it is even worse.  He hasn't performed at all and he still thinks he is a front of the rotation starter.  It is almost comical.  Lester and Beckett are still the top two pitchers on this team.  Lester is the staff ace and Beckett still has great make-up, even if he takes about 45 second in between pitches.  Buchholz has great talent, but he can't stay healthy.  He actually reminds me of a young Beckett when Beckett was a Marlin.  Daniel Bard is switching from the bullpen to the rotation and that is never easy.

Who will have the best season of these guys?  Lackey.  Hahaha no I kid I can't even say that with a straight face. The best starter will be Lester.  He will win 17 games and have 200 strikeouts and will be an all-star.  Lester is a nasty lefty with great secondary pitches and live fastball.

Bullpen: Andrew Bailey, Mark Melancon, Alfredo Aceves, and Andrew Miller.

Now that Papelbon is gone, former Oakland Athletic closer Andrew Bailey is the man.  He is a good reliever and a two-time all star and he will continue to excel in the closer role.  Melancon and Aceves are two guys who could pitch every day, and they are serviceable relievers.  They will both finish in the top 10 in appearances in the American League.  Andrew Miller is the mail lefty coming out of the bullpen and he will be perfectly average.

Who will have the best season of these guys?  Andrew Bailey will be an all-star again for Boston.  He will save 40 games this year but it will not be enough because: 

Record Prediction: 86-76 4th in the American League East

Next up:  Chicago Cubs

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