I can’t believe it…

…the Red Sox really gave Travis Shaw the 3B job today?!  Guess I was wrong in my rant last week.  Oh well, wasn’t the first time and sure as hell won’t be the last.  But I am in shock.  Regardless of what was being said publicly on the third base “competition”, I didn’t believe a word of it.  Why would I?  How often have the Red Sox under John Henry & Co. actually been honest?  Is ownership now turning over a new leaf?  I would find that hard to believe as well…even if Larry Lucchino isn’t supposedly involved much anymore.

But I guess that is the way it is now.  Fat Panda and his 17.6 mil is on the bench this year.  So is Rusney Castillo and his 11.271 mil.  Rick “20.125 mil” Porcello is your FOURTH starter.  So far, Hanley Ramirez and his 22.750 mil is in the lineup, but I suppose he will get hurt soon enough anyway and that will take care of that.

This is definitely not how the Red Sox historically do things.  Well, for that matter, most teams don’t do this either.  You play the guys who are getting paid, right or wrong.  On one hand, I applaud the Sox for kind of “taking a stand” and changing the way they do things…for the start of the season anyway.  On the other hand…I think the Fat Panda move is a mistake…and the Castillo decision is also one…although to a lesser degree.

Why is the Panda move a mistake?  Well, I outlined that pretty much last week.  Shaw is not likely an impact player, certainly not an All-Star.  Any trade value Panda has currently changes to zero while he’s on the bench.  Does anyone expect the benching to motivate Panda to get in shape in order to fight for his job back?  What happens if Shaw comes out of the gate hitting .175 and you have to go back with your tail between your legs to a (possibly) pissed off Pablo?  Yada, yada, yada…it’s nice to see “on paper” that the Sox went with the younger, hotter (at least based on Spring Training), more motivated player.  But I think this has a very good chance to backfire.

Though in case you missed Panda’s response:  “It is best for the team for Shaw to get the job…he had a good spring…”.  Paraphrasing it here, but that was the gist.  WHAT?!!  How about being angry that you lost the job?  A little disconcerting, if you ask me.  Maybe he really doesn’t care?  This is ugly either way.  I have to tell you, if we are at this point, I wonder if the best move is just releasing him outright?  If you can’t trade him for pennies on the dollar (which presumably they have tried to do), what’s the difference?  It’ll never happen.  But this has the potential to get worse.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

As for the Castillo benching, as if anyone cares, maybe it is not technically a “mistake”.  By all indications, he played poorly in the spring.  He has done nothing to distinguish himself in his brief major league career.  Certainly not to the tune of 11 million plus.  But the end result of the move is what I refer to as the mistake.

Brock Holt and Chris Young will platoon in left field.  Young, fine.  I think everyone figured he would play against lefties anyway.  Assumed for Jackie Bradley Jr., but it’s all good with Young.  But Holt against righties?  That means he will essentially play every day.  That may work for a few months.  But if the last two seasons are any indication, the more you play him, the more he wears down and contributes little as the season moves into its latter months.  Holt’s true value is playing multiple positions a few times a week.  Now he is essentially the every day left fielder.  Great for him, I do like the player a great deal.  I just don’t think it serves the team well sticking him in left most of the time.

I’m not saying I would play Castillo every day there either.  That’s not the issue.  The issue is the fact that they are keeping him as a seldom-used FIFTH outfielder.  Why bother?  The story goes that he basically didn’t play for a couple of years in Cuba.  He has not played a whole ton since he came to the States.  What purpose does it serve by keeping him on the bench here?  Barring injury, how much does a fifth OF play?  He should be playing every day in Pawtucket.  To see if anything at all can be salvaged with this signing.  And your last OF/last position player spot should go to a guy like…David Murphy.  Which is why I guessed he would be here.  I don’t love Murphs.  But pick anyone of that ilk.  Good enough.  Just no sense in having Rusney here at all…and that’s the real point.

I’m even less confident in the Sox this year than I was last week.  Maybe cuz this rotation looks scarier by the day.  Unfortunately, until Eduardo Rodriguez comes back, or some sort of trade is made, we are stuck with what is there.  Not many options.  Roenis Elias?  Henry Owens?  Brian Johnson?  Ugh.  Truth be told, I’m not counting on Eddy coming back any time soon.  Interesting how the team has been kind of vague on his status…and timetables keep moving as well.  Not encouraging to me.  Bucky went a solid 4 today…shouldn’t starters be going like 6-7 by now?  Maybe not.

Cross your fingers we have meaningful baseball in Boston this summer.  The schedule out of the gate appears tough.  John Farrell is still the manager.  The rotation is putrid.  Drama could evolve from the above.  All of that.

If not, at least we have Big Papi’s farewell tour.  Actually, don’t get me started on that…






About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on March 31, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. There are a lot of questions about this team as the season approaches.
    That rumor of the Padres scouting Panda might help. I don’t expect another out of the blue Dodger type trade from years past.
    The rotation is ok but that will not cut it in the AL East.
    This month of April is a real challenge. 7 games against Toronto! Throw in the other AL East games this is a tough month. Consider only two days off after next Monday! Then May has some tough stretches including three on the road against the White Sox and later the Royals.
    Think by Memorial Day if they are 10 games under .500 Farrell will be gone.
    The salary issues will haunt this team for at least three maybe five years.
    But you never know.

    • I hope Farrell is gone sooner. He should’ve been canned last year…before he got cancer of course. The rotation stinks…and it still remains to be seen how Price adapts to Boston too. Agreed on a “Dodger-type” deal coming out of nowhere. Won’t happen again. But the salaries will never kill them I don’t believe. The team has the money. And also, if they change their philosophy and bench highly paid players, then money won’t bother them there either. We are going to see how they come out of the gate. Schedule could be tough. I’m not optimistic…

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