Monthly Archives: February 2010

The Lineup

My projected 2010 lineup is…

Jacoby Ellsbury
Dustin Pedroia
Victor Martinez
David Ortiz
Kevin Youkilis
JD Drew
Adrian Beltre
Mike Cameron
Marco Scutaro

Ellsbury has to lead off, at least to start the season. He earned that right with his stolen base prowess last year. I love Pedroia in the two hole. He is going to work the count, give Jacoby a chance to take a base, and hit the ball hard, allowing any runners on (Ellsbury or Scutaro) to take multiple bases.

I like Martinez in the three slot because it assures him of a plate appearance in the first inning. That way, he knows he’s up, and doesn’t have to worry about getting catchers gear on. If you move him down, he has to go to 5 or 6, and I don’t think that is as valuable.

Ortiz is an interesting one. He has had a full offseason to work, and hasn’t been hampered by surgery like he was last year. He could return to true Papi form, which would be fantastic. The whole team is better when he has a smile on his face. As for my decision to hit him 4th? Give him some credit, and let him start the year there. If he does poorly, you have to keep him on a shorter leash than last year, but he has earned the opportunity to show what he can do out of the gate. I have him 4th over 5th, because you need to have Kevin Youkilis behind Ortiz. He is the best protection option. It could be argued that Drew is decent protection, but pitchers are wising up to Youk, and he’s going to make them work harder and throw more pitches if they try to “work around him”. If a pitcher were to intentionally walk Ortiz, they could potentially throw 10 pitches to Youk, only to walk him too. 14 pitches, and two men on can do some damage to a pitcher. So I like the Ortiz/Youk combo at 4-5 instead of 5-6.

Up 6th, JD Drew. Nice to have some power behind Youk too. If you do get those 2 walks, somebody has to drive them in.

Beltre/Cameron can be mixed around. I don’t know them well enough to specifically say one should be over the other. I like the idea of Beltre first, but I think there is flexibility there.

And 9th, Scutaro, the “2nd leadoff” man. With decent OBP numbers, he could be a frequent run scorer the 2nd and 3rd times through the order.


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Baseball Baseball Baseball!

Snow is falling, and all I can think about is the upcoming baseball season.  Pitchers and catchers report tomorrow, and the likes of Youk, Papelbon, and Lester are all already at camp, and have been for a week. It already feels like the players are more focused than last year. Nobody was satisfied with 2009 and I hope that restores some of the hunger and drive to win that I personally felt was absent down the stretch last year.

Let’s start with the rotation. I am super excited. I wasn’t blown away with the Lackey signing when it happened, but I get more and more excited about it every day. With the news of Matzusaka’s sore back, I excpect he will be the odd man out to start the season. I don’t say this with the expectation that he is seroiously hurt, but more along the lines of how they handled his recovery last season. They will give him his time, let him get his strength and endurance where it needs to be and certainly wont rush anything. There is no reason to with the rest of the staff here.  That allows Clay Buchholz to get some early season starts, as he would be the other so called “odd man out”, competing with Daisuke for a spot in the rotation.

I say that, because I do not think Tim Wakefield needs to, or will, have to compete for his spot in the rotation. Moving him to the bullpen does not make much sense. The new 2 year deal ($3.5 M in 2010, $1.5 M 2011 + incentives) tells me a few things about Wakefield. Hes almost done, and he knows it. This is a pay cut from the previous $4 M per year he was making before, at his unlimited 1 year options. This tells me that two more seasons is all he wants to do. Hes got his 2 years, and then he will retire on his terms.

It is also worth noting that Wakefield is 18 wins away from the Red Sox all time win mark, held by Roger Clemens and Cy Young. He will start for 2 years (provided he is consistant with his last few years of perfomance.) He will get his 9 wins per year if he does this, and become the all time Red Sox win leader. He couldn’t be more deserving.

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