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Sunday, April 02, 2017

Last Minute Thoughts

So 26 hours and change is all that is left.  I have a few final thoughts about the 2017 Boston Red Sox;

- Honestly I’m a bit concerned about how this season will start.  The rotation is in flux with injuries to Price and Pomeranz, Hanley has looked good but as we’ve seen with shoulder injuries there is no sure thing.  My biggest worry is the bullpen.  As others have noted the presence of Ben Taylor, while a feel-good story, highlights the lack of depth in that area.

Beyond that I think John Farrell is going to be challenged early.  There is no Mike Timlin, no Hideki Okajima, no Junichi Tazawa right now.  The good news is I suspect that player exists but whether it is Joe Kelly or Matt Barnes or eventually a Tyler Thornburg or even Carson Smith remains to be seen.  I would not be surprised if the first six weeks feature an awful lot of frustrating moments as things sort themselves out.

- With that said I think this team is well situated to be considerably better in the second half than the first half.  To compare the championship teams this looks like a group more likely to follow the 2004 path than the 2007 or 2013 path.  Having addressed my concerns about the rotation it is worth noting that over 162 games I think the rotation is a strength.  I am not a huge Pomeranz fan but like Jake Peavy in 2013 when he is your 4th or 5th best starter that is pretty good.

- In the little I have seen of him I am extremely bullish on Eduardo Rodriguez.  He has featured a slower breaking ball this spring and I think that will help him as the year goes on as will the presence of Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez.  I think experience is something he has needed and I think we will see that this year.  I won’t be so bold as to say he will be as good as Jon Lester but I can see a leap forward similar to what Lester did in 2008 where it finally clicked.

- I am fired up for the offense.  The more I see, the more I think about, the more I like.  Xander Bogaerts is the key man in my opinion.  As good a player as he has been the last two years I think he is yet to pull it all together.  X mentioned during the WBC that he had a different feel this time around.  In 2013 he was a kid (just a AA player at the time) but now he is the experienced veteran.  Bogaerts is a smart guy and I thin sometimes overthinks things.  I think that “feeling” of being the trusted vet is important.  I think he may be a guy who in that way benefits from this no longer being David Ortiz’ team.

- Long story short I think this is a team that may struggle to make the playoffs but will be a truly terrifying team if they get there.  If the rotation can get healthy and the bullpen sorted out, both things I expect to happen, this team will be stronger in the second half than the first half.

3 Fearless and Likely Dumb Predictions:
- Todd Frazier will be our third baseman in August.
- Brandon Workman will be an important pitcher at some point.
- Xander Bogaerts will have higher WAR than Mookie Betts.

3 Things I’m Looking Forward To:
- Rafael Devers MLB debut in September.
- Joe Kelly one way or the other. I’m a skeptic but it’s poop or get off the pot time for him and it won’t be dull.
- Jackie Bradley Jr. playing centerfield.  It’s just a treat.

3 Things I’m Not Looking Forward To:
- The daily John Farrell whining.  My best friend HATES Farrell and even yesterday texted me “I hate my manager.”  God the day to day manager complaints in baseball are annoying.
- Pablo Sandoval.  Just Pablo Sandoval.
- Steve Lyons in the broadcast booth.  I hate Steve Lyons.

Win, Dance, REPEAT!

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 02, 2017 at 11:10 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: April 02, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5427442)
Beyond that I think John Farrell is going to be challenged early.  There is no Mike Timlin, no Hideki Okajima, no Junichi Tazawa right now.  The good news is I suspect that player exists but whether it is Joe Kelly or Matt Barnes or eventually a Tyler Thornburg or even Carson Smith remains to be seen. 
Ben Taylor.
   2. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 02, 2017 at 12:45 PM (#5427452)
Wouldn't that be wonderful?
   3. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 02, 2017 at 01:49 PM (#5427491)
Little bit of depth help, the Orioles have returned Aneury Tavares (Rule 5 pick) to the Sox. I won't be surprised if he gets a few big league games this year.
   4. villageidiom Posted: April 02, 2017 at 04:22 PM (#5427588)
I picture Taylor having one of those moments like Okajima earning the save against the Yankees early in the season.
   5. Phil Coorey. Posted: April 02, 2017 at 05:29 PM (#5427626)
I agree with pretty much all the above. I think Sandoval will be a disaster , bullpen is a worry , not expecting an overly hot start at all but they should be right in this.

Hope everyone has been well , I'll be surprised if I am around much this year. I stupidly decided to triple my work commitments this January .

Take care legends and hopefully no need for a #### me sideways for a while as the red sox keep it stress free.... (yeah right!)


   6. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 02, 2017 at 06:42 PM (#5427674)
Phil! More Phil is always better than less Phil. Hope the work commitments come with similar increases in income!
   7. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 02, 2017 at 08:17 PM (#5427733)
Opening Day ceremonies to begin at 1:30.. I will be there that's for damned sure!
   8. Textbook Editor Posted: April 02, 2017 at 10:44 PM (#5427859)
Happy almost-opening day Therapudians!

I picture Taylor having one of those moments like Okajima earning the save against the Yankees early in the season.


That really was one of THE key moments in that season, and frankly even felt like it at the time--I vividly recall thinking that as it was happening... "OK, if this pans out, maybe we've found the guy..."

The rotation is a concern. And to be honest I'm not buying Price will be back good as new; I suspect/fear this will be a lost season and bleed into 2018 as well. I sincerely hope I'm wrong.

I'm very much looking forward to Benintendi playing a full year.
   9. Chip Posted: April 02, 2017 at 11:02 PM (#5427872)
I shared and continue to share the skepticism about Kelly in any high leverage situation because of the lack of fastball command.
   10. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 03, 2017 at 02:34 AM (#5427931)
Xander Bogaerts will have higher WAR than Mookie Betts


Well that makes sense, I can see Xander as an 8 WAR SS.
   11. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: April 03, 2017 at 10:11 AM (#5428010)
According to the Twitter: Pedroia, Benintendi, Betts, Ramirez, Moreland, Bogaerts, Bradley, Sandoval, Leon. I don't love Moreland before Bogaerts but I suspect the benefit of breaking up the lefties probably has more benefit than the cost of having Moreland batting ahead of X.

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