First Red Sox thoughts for 2016

Hello from the other baseball nerd, my name is Matt and my goal is going to be to do a fantasy post, overall MLB post, and of course a Red Sox post every week. First up I thought I’d give my initial thoughts for the Sox as position players are arriving to Fort Myers. First of all, before I get into how much I love Dombrowski already, I thought I’d give my thoughts on how much of a disaster I truly feel Ben Cherrington was. Ok fine, he won a World Series in his first year as General Manager of the Sox, a feat most GMs can only dream of (hell, one of the most highly regarded GMs in all of baseball Billy Beane has never won a World Series) (Moneyball was great by the way, definitely worth a read or at least watch the movie). Anyway, I think most Sox fans agree that 2013 was an anomaly; the proverbial “lightning in a bottle” as those free agent signings could have gone the other direction. I mean Jonny Gomes? $39 million for essentially one season of Victorino? I mean yes he hit 15+ home runs that year and showed up big when it mattered (Sox fans will always remember that grand slam in the ALCS), but after 2013 he turned into the player that I knew he was when we signed him: couldn’t even stay on the field and even when he did was pretty unproductive. But enough of the past, we took the trophy and we’re not giving it back. So back to Dombrowski: his first off season and he essentially took care of every major need the Sox had. Closer. Done. Ace. Done. A little bench help. Bam. Now obviously this is huge speculation because we’ve seen big names come here before and basically crap their pants (I’m talking to you Carl Crawford), but I truly feel that Kimbrel will chew up Boston pressure and spit it out, and David Price shouldn’t even be in question. He is a former Cy Young Award winner with a history in the A.L. East who stifled the big bad defending champion Red Sox in the 2008 ALCS only a year after being drafted out of college. My point: I think Price can handle the pressure and will live up to his contract (I mean relatively of course, is anyone in America worth $30 million a year??). Now as the lineup has pretty much remained in tact from last year, I do expect bigger things than what we got last year. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogearts are still incredibly young (both are 22) and getting better each and every day, Hanley is moving to first base where he should save his legs, and Sandoval has a full Boston season under his belt. That being said here is my lineup for 2016 (Take notes Farrell):

 

  1. Mookie Betts, CF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Xander Bogearts, SS
  4. David Ortiz, DH
  5. Hanley Ramirez, 1B
  6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
  7. Rusney Castillo, LF
  8. Blake Swihart, C
  9. Jackie Bradley Jr., RF

 

I’m not 100% positive what’s going on in the outfield situation. I know they were experimenting last year shuffling them around. I know JBJ is an insane defender and belongs in center, but Mookie has enough speed and plays a fine enough center field that JBJ could be of use in the tricky Fenway Right field. Also for catcher, I guess it depends on whether Farrell wants to go more defensive with Vazquez, or offensive with Swihart. And it could all come down to chemistry with individual pitchers, we will have to wait and see how spring training plays out, it is only February 22nd after all. I would put Xander 3rd with Ortiz behind him because I think this year could be his coming out party. While he may not be the prototypical number 3 hitter who mashes 30+ home runs a year,  I think we can count on 15-20 and he’s proven that he can knock runs in. Hanley should provide enough protection for Ortiz and we can only hope Sandoval becomes the guy they signed him for. As for the rotation, I’d go:

  1. David Price
  2. Rick Porcello
  3. Clay Buchholz
  4. Eduardo Rodriguez
  5. Henry Owens

Am I missing someone? I feel like they have a pretty decent influx of pitchers that 3, 4, and 5 could go either way, but I’d like to see E-Rod and Owens develop more.

 

Well thats it for me for now I’ll try to check in again soon.

 

PEACE.

 

Matt

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