…continuing on. Skipping the bullpen for now because I don’t want to be sick to my stomach. Actually, it works better on the word count for each column related to the roster projection, but I prefer to ignore that fact here. The bullpen is truly wretched. And should (WILL?!) make many fans sick this upcoming season.
Unquestioned starter: Christian Vazquez
Bench: Kevin Plawecki
Actual prospects that may contribute this season: None
Additional flotsam possibly seeing major league time this season: Jonathan Lucroy
Comments: Speaking of players unlikely to duplicate their 2019 performance…here comes Vasky!! 10 homers in parts of 4 major league seasons prior to last, then he hits 23. .246 career batting average, then .276 in 2019. Etc.
Actually, I like Vazquez and certainly wanted him playing over Sandy Leon last season at all costs. Just don’t expect any kind of repeat in 2020.
Plawecki. Leon, Lucroy…what’s the difference? I guess if Vazquez is going to catch 85-90% of the games, there is none.
Unquestioned starters: Xander Bogaerts (SS), Rafael Devers (3B)
Questioned starters: Mitch Moreland (1B), Jose Peraza (2B)
Bench: Michael Chavis (1B/2B/3B), Tzu-Wei Lin (2B/SS/3B/OF), Jonathan Arauz (2B/SS/3B)
DL: Dustin Pedroia (2B)
Actual prospects that may contribute this season: Bobby Dalbec (#3, 3B/1B), C.J. Chatham (#13, SS/2B)
Additional flotsam possibly seeing major league time this season: Marco Hernandez, Yairo Munoz
Comments: Devers had a breakout season last year at age 22. 54 doubles, 32 dingers, 201 hits, led the MAJORS in total bases and perhaps more surprisingly, had a .311 batting average (.254 in his first two years). Wow. Is that an early peak, or can we expect more big things going forward?
I think we would all be happy with simply a duplicate season. Devers has always been regarded as a great talent. But to even expect a duplicate season may still be a stretch.
That being said, let’s also see where his head is at, seeing that the Sox brass decided to reward him for last season by renewing his contract for less than 700k. No one asked the Sox to give him a fat long term extension. But to lowball him like that cannot be good. Just ask Mookie Betts how he liked it when the team did it to him.
I’d say Bogaerts had a breakout season as well. But he seemed to be trending that way after his very good 2018.
No question though that he took another giant leap forward. Then he actually signed a pretty team friendly long term extension himself. Surprising, but maybe that was pretty good foresight if he wants to settle here, what with the state of the organization…and the world…these days.
Even if they come back to Earth a bit, I don’t think we will have to worry too much about X and Raffy. Though the additional burden of trying to carry this team could pull them down a bit. Make no mistake, these guys will be expected to be the big producers. What about J.D. helping ease some of that burden, you ask? More on that later.
There seems to be some feel good stories about Peraza coming out now. I am not sure I care. As long as he can play a little defense, I should be good with anyone at that position. Well, except Pedroia, who still doesn’t know when it is time to retire. My feelings on Pedey are well known. So let’s move on…
Moreland was re-signed…and…I am actually ok with it. I can’t believe I just wrote this either. But for 2.5 mil and a 3 mil club option, really not a bad deal. Especially now, with the shortened season likely. He’s useful against right handed pitching, plays good defense, seems to be a good team/clubhouse guy and all that.
We don’t know what to expect from Chavis over a full season yet. Chavis is probably going to spend some time at second and perhaps third base as well. Dalbec is not likely ready this year, if ever. We are at least a couple of years away from Triston Casas (#2 Sox prospect). One more year of Mitch ain’t gonna kill anyone.
Lin makes the team because he is out of options and Arauz because he was a Rule V pick who needs to stay on the roster for the full season or be offered back to the club he was claimed from for half of the purchase price. You really don’t need both, so the expanded rosters at the start of the season, plus some injuries should give the team enough time to decide on which one to keep. Lin has been dabbling in the outfield the past year or so, so this may make him even more useful at the beginning of the season.
Hernandez has gotten some major league time and there is actually something about him I like. No idea why. But he was designated for assignment over the winter himself. No team in the majors appeared to like him as much as I did, so he will be toiling in Pawtucket for the time being. As will Munoz, a late spring signee after being dumped by the Cards. Can’t blame the Cards for dumping him actually. Yairo apparently felt that he wasn’t going to make the team (the first week of March he felt this) and just decided to fly back home to the Dominican Republic…without notifying anyone in the St. Louis organization. That’s a pretty solid way for a fungible reserve to get released, I would say.
I’d say that based on the circumstances, we will not see any of #1 prospect and the supposed jewel of the Mookie trade, Jeter Downs, this season. I am not sure we would have seen him anyway if this was a normal season.
And if you were hoping that Chad de la Guerra or Jantzen Witte were finally going to make it to the bigs, I’d say you’re bound to be disappointed as well. Sorry for this news.
Next: The conclusion…
Tying up the rest of the loose ends:
*Boston Bruins. So the NHL trade deadline is rapidly approaching. Some trades have already happened. But things should head toward fast and furious in the coming days.
What will the Bruins do?
Last season, GM Don Sweeney went out and got Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson, which admittedly was more than I thought he would do. I mean, it wasn’t like getting Jon Michael Liles and Lee Stempniak, like he did one year. You can argue the merits of handing Coyle a 6 year extension for huge bucks this season. But the moves from last year worked out pretty well, I think we can say.
Unfortunately for Donnie Hockey, that hole on the right wing of David Krejci (and Jake DeBrusk) still exists. Seems like it has existed for years. And I guess it has…other than the Johansson stint.
In my opinion, that’s almost the only move to make. The “Perfection Line” of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak is all set. Wait, I still need to know where that moniker came from. No one but people on the NHL Network seems to call them that. I don’t ever remember hearing that nickname until the playoffs last spring. Mostly out of Doc Emrick’s mouth. Annoying…but whatever…
The gaggle of third and fourth liners the Bs have would probably suffice. Coyle/Anders Bjork is a fine start to the third line. Sean Kuraly/Par Lindholm/Chris Wagner/Joakim Nordstrom/Anyone is certainly acceptable as a fourth line.
Karson Kuhlman may very well be an NHL player. But I am beginning to think that isn’t this year. And I am totally done with the Danton Heinen Experiment. On any line.
If you added some beef to the bottom six and a somewhat of a scoring RW to the second line, I think we are good.
Wait…defense anyone? I am not sure they need it. Well, no one will stop any kind of upgrade attempt of course. But I think the 2nd line guy is more important. The 9-10 guys in the mix now on D would seem to work. Perhaps Jeremy Lauzon is the real deal. Or perhaps he is being showcased for a trade. He did just sign a cheap extension after all. And you ain’t getting rid of that John Moore contract.
But if they stood pat on D, I actually wouldn’t mind.
Who to give up? Anyone! Maybe Sweens can soak someone into taking Heinen. Or even better, “The Player Formerly Known As David Backes”.
Ummmmm…yeah, I know those ain’t happening.
But the time is now to make another run. Patrice, Marchy, Z, Krejci, Tuuks, etc aren’t getting any younger. As much as I would like to hang on to guys like Bjork, Kuhlman and Jack Studnicka and hope they develop, if the package is right, Donnie has to consider dealing those guys.
After all, guys like JFK, Peter Cehlarik, Trent Frederic, Zach Senyshyn, Jakob Zboril, Anton Blidh, etc. have or will ever make it. And those are “kids” that Sweeney had high hopes for. Among many others. So who is to say the likes of Kuhlman will either?
*Tom Brady. Everyone sick of this talk yet? Still a month away from free agency. It will be an absolutely fascinating process once things start going down. But I’m a little exhausted from it all at this point.
How much more can we talk about it? Hasn’t every angle been covered thus far?
Is there really any NEW news? Or just idiots like me speculating? I say it’s the latter.
Wake me up on this one in a few weeks…
*Dustin Pedroia. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: PLEASE GO AWAY!!
The guy was a good player for a long time for the Boston Red Sox. But he seems to be the only one that doesn’t realize that his career is over. We keep hearing he has setback after setback. And how he needs to “regroup and consider his options”. We hear it seemingly hear it every day. And will through Spring Training, most assuredly.
I appreciate his zeal to get back and play the game. But that ship has sailed.
If it’s all about getting the 25 mil plus left on his deal, well that is all guaranteed, so he’s going to get it anyway.
Step aside Dustin. It’s long past time.
*Kobe. His death was certainly tragic. As was his daughters’. But so were the deaths of the other seven on board that helicopter. I think the general public loses sight of that waaaaaaaaay too many times when it comes to celebrities. But I am never going to win that fight, ssssssooooo…
As my man Colby recently posted, along with most assuredly several others, a little bit of a cloud still kind of hung over him as his career went on. Yes, the rape accusations were 17 years ago. But it’s funny how that all played out. Charges dropped, case dismissed, civil suit being settled, Kobe buying his wife like a 4 million dollar ring while this was all going on…and everything else…how soon we all forget.
Listen. There’s no argument about Kobe’s basketball ability and the fact he was one of the greatest of all time. He also may have remade himself into a quality person as he got older. Maybe he was a quality person all along but made at least that one mistake. I don’t know. I never knew the guy personally.
But that’s my problem with putting all these athletes and celebrities on a pedestal. No one knows “how great a guy” that any of these people are. Am I supposed to take other athletes’ or performers’ words for it? Who knows about those people either?
Recognize his greatness in the sport. But let’s not get carried away with some of the nonsense that has been spilling out about him “in tribute”.
That’s all I am saying.
*XFL. There’s been a request to comment on this. So here goes:
I have watched very little of the first two weeks. But what I have seen is a lot of disorganization across the board. Officials, coaches, players, etc. And I haven’t exactly seen great football either.
That’s not much of an analysis. And since I’ve only seen a fraction, it may be totally erroneous.
One thing is for sure though: If teams are already firing coaches and team captains after the first week of games, that has to raise a red flag. ONE GAME? A little hard to believe.
Maybe Vince McMahon sent down the orders. That’s a little scary to think about, no?
In any event, despite the Blowhards’ love for the game of football, we really haven’t been inspired to watch much of it. That seems like a problem for the league if we aren’t the only ones.
I could probably sum up the lack of desire in two words: “Matt McGloin”.
*Super Bowl. As we all know by now, the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl and Jimmy Garoppolo peed his pants in the 4th quarter of the game. Does that mean that Jimmy Football now sucks and that he isn’t considered a franchise quarterback anymore? I don’t have the answer to that as of yet.
What I do know is that if your coach does not trust you to with plenty of time left to move down the field at the end of the first half, then that could be a problem.
So maybe the jury is still out on Jimmy G?
No need to comment further as the game was over two weeks ago and I suppose we are all on to the XFL. And…I passed on watching the halftime show and most of the commercials. So I don’t have any intelligent analysis there.
I really just needed a few words on the game to wrap up the picks portion of the season. As poor as they were, we still have to recap, right?
Week (against the spread): 1-0
Week (straight up): 1-0
Lock Of The Week (season, ATS): 10-7
Season (against the spread): 136-131
Season (straight up): 171-96