Monday, February 11, 2013

2013 Preview: Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox

2012: 69-93 Last Place Al East
2013: FC Prediction: Last Place AL East

The departure of Terry Francona and Theo Esptein seemed to hurt the Red Sox in 2012, as manager Bobby Valentine didn't seem to have any clue what he was doing.     Changes are coming in 2013 for the Red Sox, but we at The Full Count don't see anything changing record-wise for the Red Sox this upcoming season. 

The Red Sox hired John Farrell as their new manager during the off-season and no one is sad 
to see Bobby Valentine gone.  Mike Napoli was also signed as a power bat.  One major concern is Napoli's health as it took a while for him to pass his physical.  Heading into Spring Training, he seems ready to go.  Napoli will most likely man first base with David Ross and Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be the back stops.  The acquisition of Joel Hanrahan could be a huge piece of the puzzle if the Red Sox are going to compete in 2013.

Lineup: The acquisition of Shane Victorino, Jhonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, David Ross and Stephen Drew will have the line up looking very unfamiliar to a lot of Red Sox fans, but I honestly don't think they improved very much.  Victorino will man the lead off spot and will play great defense in right field, but I'm not sure he is the answer.  A healthy Jacoby Ellsbury should give the Red Sox a consistent hitter in the line up, and the aging David Ortiz will add some pop. 

Mike Napoli has injury concerns and I don;t seem him being productive in 201. (For all you fantasy players, I would draft him because at the end of the year he will have 40 HRs and 120 RBIs just because I said he won't produce.)  Is there a better second basemen than Dustin Pedroia? Yes, Robinson Cano, but Pedroia is a beast and will be awesome.  One interesting piece to the puzzle will be third basemen Will Middlebrooks.  Last year, Middlebrooks started off hot and tapered off towards the end of the season.  It will be interesting to see how Middlebrooks is for a full year. 

Pitchers: The Red Sox didn't do much to improve the staff in 2013, but Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholtz, and Felix Doubront will be back and the addition of Ryan Dempster will round out the rotation.  Dempster is a descent addition to the staff, but struggled in the American League late last season and I don't seem him being any better in 2013.   As previously mentioned, the addition of Joel Hanrahan will sure up the back end of the bullpen with former closer Andrew Bailey falling into the set up role.

Prognosis: Overall, I think the rebuilding process is going to take some time for Ben Cherington and Beantowners, but hey baseball is a weird game and anything can happen.  It is going to take the new revamped lineup to hit to win, as the pitching staff doesn't impress at all.  The starting rotations leaves a lot to be desired and I just don't think the line up and pitching staff is good enough to compete in the American League East.  

The American League East isn't what it used to be, but Baltimore, and Toronto are the two teams to beat in my opinion leaving the Yankees, Red Sox and Tampa Bay to chase.