What’s Wong With The 2010 Boston Red Sox?
- Updated: August 30, 2010
Please excuse my lack of commenting on our beloved Red Sox this season, but running a site while trying to be the content director of over 20 or so writers (bloggers) can be time consuming at times.
Aside from the plethora of injuries and re-injuries (see Jacoby Ellsbury’s three DL stints) the 2010 Red Sox have seen their share of the good and the bad. Let’s look at each, one at a time…
Injuries to the following players (not in any order) have resulted in stints on the DL: Boof Bonser, Junichi Tazawa (AAA), Dice-K, Tim Wakefield, Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek, Kevin Cash, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia (2 times and might have surgery and would then be out for the year), Mike Lowell, Jeremy Hermida, Jed Lowrie, Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, Mike Cameron (2 times and is out for the year), Jacoby Ellsbury (3 times and is probably out for the year), Eric Patterson, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kevin Youkilis (who is also out for the year). Did I miss anyone? That’s 19 players for 22 DL stints and one (Tazawa) still hasn’t played this season. Of these players, four (maybe five if Pedroia joins them) are out for the year if you include Ellsbury and three of those four are opening day starters.
Even with all of these injuries the Red Sox are still within striking distance at 6½ games out of the Wild Card as of today with six more games against the Yankees (the last three closing out the 2010 regular season at home in Fenway Park) and three more against the Rays (who just took 2 out of 3 from them this past weekend in mostly close games).
First you had the odd man out senario of Mike Lowell coming out of spring training still on the Red Sox roster despite the team trying to trade him. A trade to Texas fell apart after it was found out that Lowell needed surgery to repair an injury to his thumb (if I remember correctly). Then came the heroics of OF Darnell McDonald, a journeyman minor leaguer (for the most part) who was called up due to the initial injuries to both Cameron and Ellsbury. Then there was the Daniel Nava grand slam on the first major league pitch he ever saw! Throughout, we’ve witnessed a slight resurgence of the Bill Hall from 2005 who has played everywhere except pitcher, catcher and I think 1B. More recently we’ve seen the return of Jed Lowrie from mono & hit a game winning HR in Toronto and playing a lot of time at 2B. OF Ryan Kalish has also stepped up and shown us a glimse into the future. Heck, even top prospect OF Ryan Westmoreland, recovering from brain surgury (to remove a cavernous malformation), is starting to resume baseball activities and may be ready to play in winter ball.
Personally, I have finally thrown in the towel on this season even though mathematically they are not out of it. Realistically speaking though, if they did, it could get ugly! The simply have too many injuries to overcome in order to make a serious run. Their only hope would be for the pitching staff to put up a 2005 White Sox type of display that would carry the patchwork offense/deffense.
In The Off Season
They might try to unload Dice-K while they still can. This would allow them to make a pitch for Cliff Lee if he doesn’t resign with the Rangers (which might depend upon how they do in the playoffs). They will need either a first or third baseman if they cannot resign Adrian Beltre (which I don’t think Scott Boras will allow unless they overpay for him). They need to seriously retool the bullpen which might lead to the trading away of closer Johnathan Papelbon (paving the way for Bard) while his stock is still high. The following link to the article, “Give and Take: Jonathan Papelbon” by Marc Normandin and Jay Jaffe of Baseball Prospectus (dated 8/17/10) clearly shows his steady decline over the past few years (if you go there you can also check out my comment I made there which further bolsters my point here), but maybe someone like Duncan (in St. Louis) can fix his mechanics and revive his 2006/2007 status. Otherwise, it could get even uglier in 2011 for umpire Jerry West’s favorite closer (sarcasim)!
The kids will take over in the OF with Ellsbury in CF and a platoon between Camerson (due to his contract) and Kalish in LF or either of them in RF for the times when Drew cannot play. The fifth outfielder may just be Nava or McDonald, but I would bet on McDonald with Nava being sent to AAA to work on his defense.
Did I miss anything?