Saturday, March 26, 2011

Red Sox 2011 preview

General Manager Theo Epstein doesn’t talk about win numbers or expectations for the team. The Red Sox maintain expectations to avoid disappointments, but secretly hopes must be high this year. They are a legitimate contender to win 100 games in the toughest division in baseball and go on to the World Series.
Catcher Victor Martinez and third baseman Adrian Beltre are the biggest departures from the 2010 team, but Epstein added left fielder Carl Crawford and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Jarrod Saltalamacchia will take over the starting catcher duties and outfielder Mike Cameron moves to the bench.

All five starting pitchers are returning as well as reliever/starter Tim Wakefield. If healthy the starting rotation could be one of the best in baseball. More on the starting pitchers, click here. The bullpen was revamped with additions of Bobby Jenks and Dan Wheeler. More on the bullpen, click here. The pitchers will need to become acquainted with the new pitching coach, Curt Young, and the new catcher.

The two key additions:

1) Crawford earned his first Louisville Silver Slugger Award in 2010. He set career highs for home runs, RBI and OPS. Crawford finished seventh in the MVP voting. Since the departure of Manny Ramirez, the Red Sox left field position has been in flux. Crawford now has chance to solidify the position and add his name to the list of great left fielders. More on Crawford, click here.

2) Red Sox fans followed Gonzalez closely and many expected the trade to be just a matter of time. In December they got him. The three-time NL All-Star should get a boost in his production numbers by playing in Fenway Park. More on Gonzalez, click here. With his addition, Kevin Youkilis will move to his natural position of third base.

My projected starting lineup and stat predictions:

CF: Jacoby Ellsbury 60 stolen bases, 100 runs
LF: Carl Crawford 43 stolen bases, 15 triples
2B: Dustin Pedroia 20 home runs, .315 AVG
3B: Kevin Youkilis 155 hits, 100 RBI
1B: Adrian Gonzalez 40 home runs, 125 RBI
DH: David Ortiz 80 BB, .510 SLG
RF: J.D. Drew 880 OPS, 130 hits
SS: Marco Scutaro 32 doubles, 160 hits
C: Jarrod Saltalamacchia .250 AVG, .315 OBP
Ace SP: Jon Lester 22 wins, 230 Ks
Closer: Jonathan Papelbon 35 saves, 2.85 ERA

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By Brian Rabuffetti


Anonymous said...

Red Sox should take the pennant. But the Wild Card will belong to the Rays. Mark my words, hombres.

Anonymous said...

Your words have been marked. You forgot about the Yanks, though. How are you feeling today?

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