Friday, November 30, 2012

Boston Red Sox Season 21 Outlook

Season 20
Won/Loss (place in division) & Playoffs: 80-82 (2nd), missed playoffs
Offense: 799 runs (6th)
Pitching:  4.68 (13th)

Major Changes
FA Departures:
  OF Oswaldo Martin, SS Albert Moreno
FA Signees:
Acquired via Trade:
SP Ivan Chace
1B Jared Campana (Sea 18 #21 overall), 3B Thomas Conner (Sea 17 #39 overall), DH Diego James (Sea 18 #89 overall),  RP Fritz Miles (Sea 16 #53 overall)

Season 21 Outlook(courtesy of GM jclarkbaker)
"My team hit like crazy last year.  I expect the same, but more power/runs with James and Campana up. I would like Henderson not to get hurt this season, and my pitching underperformed last year, so if they are at least where they should be, the Sox should be in the playoffs.

World Major League Blog comment:  Boston has a free-swinging (15th in BB's) lineup, but when they swing they hit it - the Sox had nearly 100 more hits than any other AL team, and led the entire Major Leagues with a .286 average.  They're not a big power team - just 150 homers last year.  James and a full year of Henderson should help with that.  They have an excellent running game led by 2B Carter Briggs (63 for 68 in SB's) and CF Aurelio Benavente (47 for 59).  Rookie 1B Campana has an excellent batting eye - he'll help the team OBP hitting somewhere near the top of the order.

Boston's pitching staff
needs a big-time rebound.  Of their 5 primary starters last year, only Sam Griffin (16-9, 3.80) had an ERA under 4.60.  Charley Washington and Dewey Marion were both way above their career ERA's, so there's reason to believe a turnaround is imminent.  Ivan Chace has had career stretches when he was effective, but it's been a few seasons...he's a wild card.

The bullpen is more reliable.  Closer Dan Graham has been lights-out, converting 133 of 148 save opportunities in his 7 seasons.  Fritz Miles, Albie Padilla and Bryan Gray provide quality setup innings.

I like Boston's chances.  The pitching really could be improved, and Campana and James bring 2 more quality bats to an already-good offense.

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