…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…
The Major League Baseball trade deadline is a little more than 24 hours away. What are the Boston Red Sox going to do? Anything?
Or was Andrew Cashner their big (and only) move?
Welp, I really don’t know what they are going to do. Does anyone? Furthermore, would you believe that I am on the fence about actually doing ANYTHING?!
I know, I know, 28 days ago, I was clearly not on the fence. I wanted to sell. And you know what? Part of me still wants to sell. Even with the Sox a mere one game out of the wild card race.
I just don’t feel that this team has “it” this year. Inconsistency all year long, can I ever really buy in?
That 5-2 mark on the first half of a killer stint against the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees was nice, real nice (although sweeping the Yanks would have been even nicer…thanks Chris Sale!).
But who is to say they don’t go 2-5 on the last half of that? I mean, before the 5-2 run, they lost 2 of 3 against Baltimore, the worst team in the majors at the time (they are still bad, just second worst now).
I am not sold. Truth be told, I am not sure I ever will be.,
Not unlike the 2013 Boston Red Sox. I was NEVER sold on them, and then they went out and won the World Series.
The big difference? This 2019 Sox team has more talent top to bottom. I mean, is it even close? Not really. Besides the bullpen maybe…and DEFINITELY the 2013 closer, Koji Uehara, who was unhittable that year, as opposed to all the flotsam closing games for the Sox in 2019.
So we all really SHOULD have some confidence in this team, despite its ups and downs this season. But again, I am not there yet.
But if President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski goes out and adds a closer and maybe another late inning bullpen arm?
Then you may get me on board.
But I may be back on the ship.
Publicly, Dombrowski says they aren’t actively looking for help. They don’t want to go over the luxury tax, blah, blah, blah…
But privately, one would have to believe that he is doing his job. He HAS to be, no?
The most popular name connected to the Sox now is closer Edwin Diaz of the New York Mets.
How do I feel about Diaz? Welp, he was very good for the Seattle Mariners his first three years in the majors, including being lights out in 2018. But he has apparently been just a little bit better than atrocious for the Mets this season. Harsh analysis probably, yeah. But the numbers aren’t very good.
One thought that doesn’t escape my mind is that he was pitching in relative anonymity in Seattle. Now he is pitching in the big city (yeah, albeit the Mets, not Yanks…but still…The Big Apple) and not pitching well. In the relatively average National League East division.
Is there more to that story?
Not sure, but worth thinking about. If Diaz is not going to hold up in the pressure cooker that is Boston, well, it would be good to know before the Sox overpay for him. And if they get him, they no doubt will have to overpay. Specifically, because he is cheap and under team control for several more years.
What does “overpay” mean? Just saw something earlier that the Mets may ask for Andrew Benintendi because they want Major League guys in return. Yikes! Benny may never develop into an All-Star, but he should be a pretty good outfielder for years to come. If it’s Benny for Diaz and others? I suppose I wouldn’t rule that out. There should be plenty of offense for the Sox to survive without Benny…even if Jackie Bradley Jr. plays every day and Sandy Leon plays more than he should.
Prospects? All…Day…Long. Prospects for “proven” Major League Players should be done 98% of the time. Especially when the organization may not have any “no-doubters” as prospects. Bobby Dalbec, a third baseman by trade with pop, is currently rated the Sox’ #2 prospect. But he is 24 years old, this is his 6th year in the minors, is hitting .230 at AA Portland…and of course would be blocked by the blossoming Rafael Devers at third by the team that plays at Fenway Park.
Dalbec is one of the popular names being talked about, but would the Mets even want him? Not so sure. And he is the teams’ number TWO prospect!
Give them any pitching prospects…most I have never heard of. But also they seem to get hurt anyway (see: Kopech, Michael; Kelly, Casey; Espinoza, Anderson; Groome, Jay, etc.).
Tristan Casas seems to be an interesting name. He is listed as the #1 prospect. But who really knows about him?
Michael Chavis? On the fence. Once again. Part of me thinks the same as what I was told by some jamoke yesterday (“I’d drive Chavis to wherever he gets traded to. Once he gets popped for PEDs again, he’s done…” I am paraphrasing, of course). The PED thing is certainly real. And he wasn’t good the first several years in the minors, has a breakout year, then gets popped for juicing. Certainly curious. But perhaps he “figured things out” and “grew into his body more”…and all that nonsense? Can’t rule it out. Wouldn’t be the first player ever to do that.
Make no mistake, if the Red Sox land Diaz (or any closer worth his salt), they WILL overpay.
Are there other options besides Diaz? I suppose. Two of the most popular names on the trade market in its entirety are Ken Giles and Kirby Yates.
Giles?? No thanks. Wildly inconsistent in his career and now has a bum elbow. For the price the Jays will want, absolutely not.
Yates?? Also, no thanks. He was a journeyman for years, had a good 2017, a very good 2018 (both primarily in middle relief) and is lights out this year as a closer. But…all in San Diego. Talk about no pressure. And the haul of players for him could be astronomical, based on the circumstances. All things considered, I wouldn’t love the move. My guess is that he would come to Boston and the clock would strike midnight. My opinion anyway.
I’m sure there are other bullpen guys out there that we don’t know about…Will Smith from the Giants is another that would come at a cost. Last I saw though San Francisco was thinking about not moving him. But there will be others. Less effective for sure. But less costly. And probably better options than some of the guys out in the Sox bullpen right now? Goes without saying they should be able to get someone better than Ryan Weber or Mike Shawaryn or Josh A. Smith. But if they buy, I’d like them to get a closer AND a guy better than Heath Hembree or Marcus Walden.
Too much to ask? Probably. The Sox may not have the assets to do so anyway. And of course they will be crying about the luxury tax too. Boo-hoo.
But if they want me back on board, this is what they need to do, at a minimum. Nathan Eovaldi is not the answer in the ‘pen, though when he gets back on track he can’t hurt. Keep him in the mix with the Matt Barnes’ and Brandon Workmans’ and maybe again the Ryan Brasiers’ (Brasier hasn’t been great this year, but he hasn’t been awful. His demotion seemed a bit rash. As a 6th/7th inning guy you could do a lot worse).
Because. let’s face it, there is no chance in hell the Boston Red Sox are going to sell. As much as I was kind of hoping for it a month ago.
Your move Dave…
More random jibber-jabber, in no particular order:
*CELTICS?!! Who saw that smokeshow over the Bucks in Game 1? How about…NO ONE?
I think we should all take the first round pounding of the Indiana Pacers with a huge grain of salt. The Pacers really weren’t any kind of playoff team.
But that game against the Bucks Sunday? Where the heck did that come from?
The Celtic players have told us all year to “not worry about us, we will be fine come playoff time”, blah, blah, blah. But did any of us actually believe that nonsense?
But let’s pull back the reins a bit. It was a nice game. But there is plenty of series left.
The Celtics shot 54% and the Bucks 35%. The “Greek Freak” shot 7 for 21 himself. The C’s are perfectly capable of firing up their share of bricks. And the Bucks at home are bound to be better. This alone should give everyone pause.
So even though Paul Pierce actually said: “this series is over”. Let’s not let the rest of us get carried away…yet anyway.
*The Boston Bruins actually got by the Toronto Maple Leafs in their first-round series. We weren’t that confident about that when we last wrote about the team.
Now they are facing a battle with a hot Columbus Blue Jacket team. You know, the one that dumped the President’s Trophy winners the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round?
The series is currently tied 1-1, as of course, we all know. But that double OT loss was a bad one for the Bruins. Are they tired? Maybe. Are they banged up? Maybe.
But some really stupid decisions in that game. Patrice Bergeron’s essentially game-ending penalty. Charlie Coyle’s dumb pass. Jake DeBrusk going in alone on the goalie and dropping a pass back to a covered Bruin. The list goes on.
The power play has disappeared. So really has David Pastrnak. Pasta, Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Torey Krug, among others, need to play like they are capable of (Krug at least offensively). I’m not sure what to do about Zdeno Chara. At times it has been ugly with him. But you can’t exactly bench him…not that I’m suggesting that is the solution. Completely anyway.
So if the mental mistakes of Game Two continue, it will be a short series.
But the more important thing is having some of the teams’ best players actually start showing up.
*Patriots draft. Good or bad?
Who the hell knows?!
Can’t ever tell with these things until a few years down the road…at least.
But a snap judgment?
Who the hell knows?!
In all seriousness, it appears that the Pats did ok. Based on what the “experts” say. Ok, let’s not really pay attention to the experts. Cuz they don’t know everything either.
As for the players, I didn’t exactly love them taking a wide receiver in the first round. But I wasn’t opposed to it either. I know nothing about this N’Keal Harry kid. And anyone around here that says they do is lying. But WR is a huge need for the Patriots. So if this was one of the best at the position, I’m sure as hell ok with them adding him to the group.
I’m not sure why they needed another cornerback to add to the roster…at least one taken at #45 in the draft. The CB room is stacked already. But then I thought about it a little. And if this Joejuan Williams kid can actually play, then it can’t ever hurt to have another solid guy in that group. Besides, some of the other cornerbacks in the room may be a fit at safety as well. As we saw with Jonathan Jones in the Super Bowl. And that safety group is getting up there in age. So it appears they did ok here.
I am not going to go through the rest of the picks individually. You know, since I am not Mel Kiper or Todd McShay. But we HAVE to talk about the quarterback. 4th rounder? I guess. On one hand, this kid Jarrett Stidham was supposed to be a first rounder if he came out last year. So “they” say anyway. Then he sucked badly enough last season to drop to the fourth round this year.
What does that tell us? I have no idea.
Stidham has to be a better prospect than last years’ seventh-rounder, Danny Etling. He probably isn’t even much worse than the current backup, Brian Hoyer.
Either way, adding another guy to the QB room and basically taking another shot at a kid that COULD be the replacement for Tom Brady down the road is not a bad thing. And if Stidham really had first-round talent at one point and you get him in the 4th round this year…well, it’s worth it.
The rest? I never mind the Pats loading up on the line, on either end of the ball. They took 4 mid-round swings there. A punter in the fifth? Meh. But that’s about where Bill Belichick likes to take his special teamers. There’s nothing we can ever do about that.
A running back in the third? Actually, not opposed to it. They kept 4 last year and then Jeremy Hill got hurt. If this Damien Harris kid can play, he can get right in the mix there immediately. I’ve said it a million times, the team will continue to run the ball more. The more capable bodies they have there, the better. Especially when Rex Burkhead (and Sony Michel?) can’t stay healthy. And we really do not want James White running the ball a whole lot.
Lastly, the Patriots are taking some heat for not drafting a tight end. Let’s face it, they are not going to find another Rob Gronkowski. Period.
As we have said before, not sure Jared Cook would have been the answer either. So let’s roll with what they have: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ryan Izzo, Matt LaCosse, Stephen Anderson, Jacob Hollis…oops, Hollister just got traded to the Seahawks for a bag of footballs. Maybe they add some more kids and a vet or two like Benjamin Watson. What’s the difference? As long as they can block, if the team runs more, they won’t throw a ton to the TE anyway.
And again, for emphasis, they weren’t finding the next Gronk in this draft. I don’t care what they say about T.J. Hockenson. There’s been plenty of those types of guys drafted high in past years. Guess what? They weren’t Gronk either. So not taking a tight end doesn’t bother me in the least bit.
One last nugget: Gotta love the SEVEN trades pulled off by Bill. Overkill? Perhaps. But, “it is what it is”.
*The Red Sox still stink. That will likely change at some point. But this start is a joke.
We covered that a great deal last time, so we won’t delve deep this time. But we have a few things here:
*Does everyone know that Marcus Walden leads the Sox in wins with 3. Really? LIke the 15th guy on the staff has the most wins on the team 20% of the way through the season? Wow.
*Something that may only interest me: Brandon Workman has pitched 12 2/3 innings and has only given up 2 hits. Awesome, right? I’d hold off on that actually. I think we have to factor in the 12 walks he has allowed too. 12 walks in 12 2/3 innings? Seems hard to do.
*Michael Chavis is up from the minors and actually hitting the ball a bit. And walking some too. Small sample size, but worth noting. You know, since a lot of the rest of the team isn’t.
As long as Chavis is hitting, he should be in the lineup. Even when all those injured second basemen come back.
I’m sure he won’t be in the lineup though. But he may also not be hitting when the injured come back. So it may not matter. But you can’t tell me he can’t offer more than those injured 2B, Dustin Pedroia, Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt. Certainly offensively anyway.
The team will most assuredly send their top hitting prospect back down to Pawtucket for more “seasoning”. And maybe he needs it. Or will need it.
But don’t do it if he is producing. Unless he gets nailed on the juice again…