Thursday, June 26, 2008

Catching up with the Red Sox

We are now at the official half-way point of the Red Sox season. They stand at 49-32, which puts them one game ahead of the Rays for first in the East (five and a half games ahead of the Yankees) and percentage points behind the Angels for the best record in the American League. A lot of people are talking them up as one of the elite teams in baseball and rightfully so, they are possibly the most complete team in the bigs. However, there are still some questions that remain about this club so let's go over what we know and what we don't know about the 2008 Red Sox.

What we know...

-The Red Sox have a lot of starting pitchers. Boston has had eight different pitchers start games for them so far this year (Lester (17), Wakefield (16), Beckett (14), Dice-K (12), Buchholz (8), Masterson (7), Colon (6), Pauley (1)). The starters are dealing with some injuries right now, Dice-K, Colon, and Buchholz are all not pitching in the bigs because of health issues. However I think the depth is a major strength for the Red Sox but at the same time they should be weary of dealing any of their starters, like the ill-fated Arroyo-for-Wily Mo trade. When healthy I say the rotation should go: Beckett, Dice-K, Lester, Colon, Buchholz/Masterson. For the playoffs I bet it's just Beckett, Dice-K, and Lester.

-Youk is a dick.

-Maybe JD Drew was worth that contract. Ever since he hit that grand slam in game 6 of the ALCS I haven't been able to objectively view Drew, but now I can objectively say that he is pulling his weight. He's been arguably the AL player of the month and has carried the load with Ortiz out of the lineup. I think this is a testament to what hitting in front of Manny can do for a player.

-The Red Sox bullpen is hilarious. When they aren't performing in the Manny Delcarmen Band, they're acting like they're pirates (seriously), when they aren't doing any of that they are making hilarious music videos to entertain the fans.

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What we don't know...

Can anyone other than Papelbon be relied upon? Javier Lopez is having a good year and Okajima is decent but I think they probably need another arm out there (Brian Fuentes of Colorado is probably the biggest name on the market). However they should be weary of making bad trades like they did for Scott Sauerbeck in 2003 and Eric Gagne last year.

-Will the Spankee's continue to flounder? I really hope so but they still scare me.

-How effective will Papi be once he returns?

-Will Coco Crisp be dealt?

Regardless of these questions, I feel pretty good about the Red Sox in the long run. As long as they get to the postseason and Beckett is healthy then they have as good a chance as anyone to win it all. Also they better pick up Manny's option for next year or there is going to be a riot.

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