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Red Sox 08 roster shaping up and looking solid...

Discussion in 'Red Sox Fan Forum' started by BradyManny, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    ...and is shaping up to be pretty much the same as the team that just won the World Series, and I'm A-OK with that. Time to take a quick inventory of what we'll see in 08, because I see a few UPGRADES, in some case, without even making a change in personnel:

    CF - Ellsbury was such a spark plug. Coco's defense is great, but Jacoby has better speed and a better arm. Offensively, Ellsbury looks a lot like Damon, slapping and slicing hits away, hooking them down the line, and reaching on any remotely slow rolling infield ball. He's going to be a HUUUUUGE upgrade over Coco, who if they keep, will be a really great 4th outfielder for this team.

    LF - That's right, Manny's an upgrade over Manny :D He had an "off" season this year and admitted himself he never felt right. Has time caught up with him? Maybe, but if you take away his April (slow start) and his August (injuries), he's the same old Manny. So if healthy, he'll be back to being Manny.

    RF - Drew brokeout in the playoffs and that's going to take a lot of pressure off of him. Obviously, this guy can be a great player, and even his absurd $15 million per year salary will slowly look less absurd as other players get increasingly absurd deals. So, money aside, I expect Drew to have a much better regular season and be a much better hitter in the 5 hole or the 6 spot (if Lowell does return)

    SS - See above. Lugo broke out much earlier than just the playoffs, he was a .280 hitter after the AS Break, his OSB was still paltry, but if he can get back to his career averages, his speed on the base path will be a weapon and he will be an above average player in the 9 spot.

    PITCHING:

    #2 STARTER: DICE-K - An upgrade over Schill (or himself, depending upon how you view it) He should improve, and hopefully we more consistently see the pitcher we saw in the middle of the summer (June & July) who was pretty dominant.

    #3 STARTER: BUCCHOLZ - By all accounts, has ace potential. Call me crazy, but I think we'll see a more consistent pitcher in Buccholz next year than we did in Dice-K this past season.

    #4 STARTER: SCHILL - Schill quietly had a sub 4 ERA in 150 IP this season, not too shabby. His BAA went from .288 down to .252 after the AS break (and his little vacay). Likewise, his ERA was 3.34 after his stint on the DL.

    #5 STARTER: LESTER
    - Sorry Wake, prepare to get moved to the pen. I love Wake, we all do, but his health and his inconsistency prevent me from believing for a second that the Sox could be reserving a spot in the rotation for him. He had a 5.25 ERA post AS break and has missed a lot of time the last two years. Lester gets his spot, end of story.

    So, looking at Lester, what should we expect? In his MLB career to this point, he's 11-2 with a 4.68 ERA. Not too shabby a start, particularly when you consider in 06 his body was being attacked by a vicious disease and in 07 his body was just recovering from it. Towards the end of the season and into the playoffs, we began to see him recover some of the velocity he had lost and show the signs of being the potential #1 or #2 pitcher the organization once envisioned him as. At worst, he's a solid 5 for you next season. At best, he probably is a good 3, who grinds out wins and gives you a low 4s ERA. On top of that, he's a great story, truly inspiring and you are reminded of it every time he takes the mound. I can't describe how electric it was watching this guy pass a few feet in front of me at the parade last week.

    EDIT: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071106&content_id=2294391&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

    Potentially a 6-man rotation? I was calling for that last season, I'd be completely for it again this year. It benefits 5 out of the 6 guys(Wake, Schill for age, Dice-K for effectiveness on days rest, Buccholz and Lester for IP/youth), with only Beckett being the one guy who you'd feel like it was unnecessary for.

    THE PEN - This is the spot that needs the most work...Delcarmen has settled into a role, he's been steady. Oki's playoff performance shows that the season was no fluke. The wild card is Craig Hansen. If they can undo whatever they did to F this kid up and he develops into the flame throwing kid with a nasty slider they drafted him as, the bullpen would be tough to beat.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2007
  2. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    How about 3rd base?? My vote is for Lowell, but there may be a more creative solution.

    They also need a backup catcher, Mirabelli is a liability and Varitek needs some rest for the marathon.

    There is also Justin Masterson, who is supposedly as good as Bucholz, awaiting in the wings.. .nice thing is apparently they do not need to rush him.
  3. STFarmy

    STFarmy Rookie

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    Lowell, Lowell, Lowell. I can't say it enough. He's been just awesome the last two years. If they get rid of him and think of signing A-Rod, I would seriously reconsider being a Sox fan.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2007
  4. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat Rookie

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    Lowell was awesome this year. He was pretty average in '06. If the Sox had a good reason to think they'd be getting '03, '04, and '07 Lowell bringing him back would be a no-brainer. I don't expect Lowell to have another year as good as '07, where his second half slide was prevented in large part due to an unsustainably high babip.
  5. Omega Supreme

    Omega Supreme Rookie

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    Lowell has been quite solid in his two years with the Red Sox, but we won't see the same BA and RBI hitter that we saw this year if we resign him. However, even 06 was a solid year. I hope he does resign.
  6. alexthered

    alexthered Rookie

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    The Sox are almost set...They just need some depth and to get Lowell back. He is the kind of player you want on this team.
  7. patriotspride

    patriotspride Banned

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    a true sox fan would never under any circumstances reconsider being a sox fan.:rolleyes:
  8. scout

    scout Rookie

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    #15 Jersey

    An article in today's Herald mentioned a possible six man rotation, which would give certain pitchers a rest. Sounds good, it definitely helped this year, Beckett liked the idea. Wake has the ability to eat up innings, hope he's healthy.
  9. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I'm getting the very strong feeling they haven't made him what he'd consider a serious offer.

    If they want him for 3 years only they are going to have to pay more than $12 mil a season.

    The rumors are that the Yankess are willing to go 4 years $60 million. If you think there's even a possiblity that out there and you're Lowell there's no way you accept $36 mil instead of $60 mil.

    If that's their offer it seems like the sox are just going through the motions and are prepared to go in another direction... though I think the front office is split on committing $27-$30 mil a year to A-Rod.
  10. alexthered

    alexthered Rookie

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    Can't go 4/60 for Lowell, let the Yanks have him for that. He's like Damon, if he will take 2/3 years than keep him.
  11. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Well I guess the team management agrees with you... I fully expect someone will offer him 4 years though....

    I do lament that we didn't force the Yankees hand to have to trade some of their farm talent to bring in a 3rd baseman by signing Lowell.

    Shilling couldn't talk enough this morning on EEI about what a difference Lowell made in the clubhouse for this team.

    Putting the Yanks in a position where they couldn't get Lowell, wouldn't get A-Rod and would use up and coming players to say, bring in Cabrerra would have a multiplier effect that would help us for years to come - and would be worth the $15 million we'd potentially eat in year 4

    It would probably also take away the players they'd need to trade for Santana, keeping them somewhat weak in the rotation.

    Everyone says we "can't" factor the Yankees into our contract offer decisions but that's exactly what this team has done on occasion, most recently with Dice-K.
  12. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I know this would be beyond weird, but how 'bout a pseudo-5 man rotation? Assuming it's 1 Beckett-2 Matsuzaka-3 Buchholz-4 Schilling-5 Wakefield-6 Lester, something like:

    1 2 3 4 5 1 6 2 3 4 1 5 6 2 3 1 4 5 6 2 1 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 . . .

    Thus you get Beckett every five games, and every other pitcher every 6ish games.
  13. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    ooooh - I think I like that!
  14. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat Rookie

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    I can only assume this works itself out, but the way the Sox go will probably be a 5 man rotation with a swingman and extra rest for everyone.

    To start the season either Wake or Buchholz starts in the bullpen. I'd prefer they jerk around Wake but they might want to give the veteran a regular spot. Using Buchholz out of the bullpen will limit his innings early on.

    Another option would be to have Buchholz pitch 3 or 4 innings in Lester's starts. Every 5th day Lester throws 5 innings and Buchholz 4. This limits both of their innings and gives the bullpen a day of rest. They could also let Lester throw up to 6 innings, have Buchholz pitch 3 innings each Lester start, and also have Buchholz scheduled to pitch 1 or 2 innings in between.

    Once the season gets rolling along if all six guys are healthy then they can work in rest. Skip a start or two. This takes away a roster spot while a guy is being rested but as long as the starters are consistently going 6+ innings that can be handled.
  15. Foley

    Foley Rookie

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    I don't think that would be beneficial to a young starter. You want to keep them in a routine, so having them start some days on 5 days rest and some days on 6 days rest probably isn't the best idea for his development, especially if they plan on starting him on 4 days rest in 2009.

    And I know some veteran starters don't like pitching on days when they're not on regular rest, and typically don't pitch well because of it. Schilling for instance had a 5.62ERA this past season on 6 days rest, a 3.96ERA on 5 days rest, and a 3.18ERA on 4 days rest.
  16. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I think what was being suggested is starting Becket every 5th day and all other pitchers every 6th day...

    This is opposed to the straightforward 6 man rotation that according to Curt Shilling is very much in consideration (for those of you who think this is never going to happen) - such a compromise gets Beckett more starts - which is a good thing and he doesn't seem to need as much rest either at this stage in his career.

    So players wouldn't be bumped around - there'd be consistency and routine.

    And as the Red Sox illustrated last season they most certainly DO feel that limiting the innings of young players is important to their development.. they even left one of their best pitchers off the playoff roster because of it.

    In practice however there's bound to be injuries (even though 5 days of rest is intended to minimize that) and I suspect they would revert back to a 5 man rotation during that period... which I don't think would be too harmful to players.

    I think that's much preferred to say, putting one of the young kids in the bullpen and then expecting him to jump back to being a starter... nor would I expect a tagteam approach that effectively has Lester or a young pitcher closing out games in their 4th inning.

    Part of pitching is the mentality involved - which is different for starters, compared to middle relief guys, and closers.

    If they are going to keep Lester and Bucholtz better to get them into the mindset of a starter and keep them there - this season a 6 man rotation works but in the future they'll be needed in a 5 man rotation, so best keep them in the starters mindset now.
  17. Foley

    Foley Rookie

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    Go look at that rotation again. Whoever starts before Beckett will get 6 days of rest, while whoever starts after Beckett will get 5 days rest. This isn't a scenario where everyone gets the same amount of rest between every start, which is important to both veterans and the kids.
  18. TomBrady'sGoat

    TomBrady'sGoat Rookie

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    Agreed. the biggest problem with a "Beckett every 5 days" 6 man rotation is that it really messes with the other guys. Someone might have 5 days rest one week and then six the next. Days off further mess with that.

    Another option is to use Buchholz exclusively out of the bullpen early on to limit his innings and if they need a spot start to let Tavarez or a AAA guy start. These other solutions just seem so much simpler than an exotic 6 man rotation.
  19. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Another thing to throw out there is the idea of "vacations" (as Farrell brought up) for given players. The two that obviously come to mind are Wake and Schill, but I might throw Dice-K in there as he was far less effective down the stretch.

    6 good starters gives them a lot of flexibility, and of course, depth if and when injuries occur.
  20. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    Yes you're right - though there's only one guy in the rotation per cycle that has a 6 day rest - so players would have a 6 days of rest once every 5 rotations if I'm not mistaken.

    Such an occurance doesn't strike me as a big big problem... we had some pretty big layoffs during the playoffs and I don't recall that any of our pitchers were any worse for "lack of wear"

    But if its that important not to have an extra day off at any time during the season as that will mess players up I'd still think a 6 man rotation could help two of our older pitchers as well as two of our younger pitchers...

    of course, getting Beckett to pitch as much as possible is something everyone can agree on - which is why I still think the pros of "messing guys up" with an extra day off every now and then would outweigh the cons.

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