Right on time, per usual. Here is my National League team. Based on the 34 man rosters (21 position players, 13 pitchers). Every team represented. No liberties here. (S-starter…probably quite obvious…)
C: Molina (S), Posey, LuCroy
Notes: Looks like 3 C’s again. It’s close, but Molina gets the start over Posey. D.
1B: Goldschmidt (S), Votto, Craig, Freeman
Notes: Numbers are fairly similar, Goldy has more RBI’s, Votto takes more walks. Tiebreaker must be that Goldy actually has 10 SB’s. OK, that wasn’t the tiebreaker, but you could go either way here too. 4 1B, Craig can play some OF if necessary. Or 3B. Not well, but he could.
2B: Carpenter (S), Phillips
Notes: Ouch. Weak position. Phillips has a ton of RBI, but last I looked his OPS is lower than guys like Aoki, Garrett Jones, Valbuena and Uggla. Need someone to back up though. And it won’t be Valbuena.
3B: Wright (S), Alvarez
Notes: Opposite of AL here, this is a weak one for the NL too. Alvarez kind of makes it by default, though if you take away April the numbers are pretty good. But no wonder why Scutaro made the real team this year. Of course having his manager pick him in real life helped too.
SS: Tulowitzki (S), Segura, E. Cabrera
Notes: Still gotta go with Tulo here, despite him missing time. Wanted to take Desmond over Cabrera, but he is the Padres rep. No one else even close on that team. Jason Marquis? Please. So much for Chase Headley too.
OF: C. Gonzalez (S), C. Gomez (S), Beltran (S). Left to Right. Reserves: McCutchen, D. Brown, Cuddyer, Choo
Notes: CarGo in LF. Though I hate to still put all these Colorado players in. Cuddyer is all of a sudden an All-Star? Fowler was in the conversation? Denver. You could make an argument for McCutchen over Beltran. Maybe even Brown. But tried to keep true to actual positions as much as possible. Choo’s having an underrated year. Someone check Marlon Byrd for PEDs please. He was somehow up for consideration.
SP: Kershaw (S), Harvey, Wainwright, J. Fernandez, Lee, G. Gonzalez, Corbin, Zimmerman, Bumgarner, Wood
Notes: Harvey probably rightfully started in his home park, but Kershaw should have really gotten the call. Lot of quality candidates left off too. Couldn’t take Locke over the rest…actually would have taken him over Wood, but he is clearly the Cubs rep. Miller, Minor, Strasburg, maybe even AJ Burnett had cases. Leake is having a good year too. Only so many spots though. Fernandez gets a spot as the Marlins rep, but it is deserved. No one is talking about Gio this year (besides the Biogenesis stuff…oops), but the numbers are there.
Notes: Still can’t here. Especially after the catastrophe Melancon was in Boston last year. Now he’s back in the lesser league and dominating in middle relief and he is supposed to be an All-Star? Nope. Brothers, Clippard doing well, as is some guy I’ve never heard of on Atlanta, Luis Avilan. But I’m good here.
CP: Kimbrel (S), Grilli, Mujica
Notes: Grilli may be the popular pick based on his road to the game at age 36. But Kimbrel is the man. Was only going with 2 closers and was going to add another starter. But then I realized Mujica had only walked 2 guys in 44 appearances so far. Pretty remarkable. Some other guys decent…Chapman, Romo, Pap for the most part. But went with starters for good reason.
Kind of hard to follow/write about sports after the events of the last week about a half hour away from this address. My heart goes out to all the victims of the Marathon tragedy, as well as the families of the victims and anyone else that it may have had an effect on. I think all of us (at least locally) have been affected in some small way (emphasis on “small”, as it is a fraction of what the actual victims and their families have gone through). But hopefully people can get back to living normal lives now that these suspects have been captured/killed, whatever normal means nowadays. Anyway, the above is kind of deep for me, and probably not very well “spoken”, so I guess I should get back to the task at hand.
What follows is the remaining projections for the Sox season. Way late, I know. But note that these are guys who were not in the Opening Day lineup. So technically these aren’t all “bench” guys, but they are people who started out there, one way or the other.
*Bogaerts–Looking at a “cup of coffee” in September. May not get it because of 40-man roster space, but here’s hoping he does, whether it is successful or not.
*Carp–Thought he may play more, but has played sparingly so far. Thought he would get some games in at 1B while Napoli DH’s and get some at-bats late as a defensive replacement. Not so much. But he still could. Long season. And Nava should cool off, as he always does.
*Ciriaco–Playing time really depends on Drew’s health. Will see some time at 3B, but not much at 2B, unless Pedroia gets hurt. Comes down to SS. But any long-term injury will probably bring Iglesias back. Most likely won’t have the success that he enjoyed when he blasted on the scene last year.
*Drew–Rough start for him so far in Boston. But a horrendous signing regardless on whether he heats up or not. Did we really need to spend 9.5 mil on him? Couldn’t get him for 3.5? I know it’s not my money, but there wasn’t a cheaper stopgap for this “bridge” year until Iglesias/Bogaerts came up for good? I could have lived with Ciriaco/Holt until then. He’ll get every chance in the world though. And I expect him to get hurt again…runs in the family.
*Holt–May have been a little aggressive with the 34 games, but expect him to get some time during the year. Probably mostly in September though.
*Kalish–Think I was way aggressive here on games and at-bats as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if he missed the entire year. Talent is supposedly there, but we may never see it. Just hasn’t been able to stay on the field.
*Lavarnway–Salty may be in play at the trade deadline, so he could come up and catch with Ross after that. Hope he finds that power again this year. Realistically may be looking at 2014 for a real shot at the everyday catching job.
*Nava–Great story, no doubt. Always seems to start out hot and this year is no exception. Expect him to cool down. Expect them to try to get Gomes more at-bats to “get him going” at some point too. So his PT will probably wane a little bit. But an easy guy to root for.
*Ortiz–Still think he can get the job done, but the question remains how long his heel will hold up. I see him getting many days of rest to try to keep that thing healthy. But I also see another DL stint in his future, sad to say. I’m ok with the contract however. ‘Roids or no ‘roids, he did a lot more for this franchise than some of the stiffs that were paid much more money than him over the years. This contract is kind of like a “parting gift”. Who cares? The Sox have the money. But I still wouldn’t have given anything to Drew.
*Ross–Probably will get more AB’s than your normal backup. Should be ok. Counted on more for his defense, but should hit a few bombs and not be horrid at the plate. What else can you ask for from your backup catcher?
*Sutton–Just have a gut feeling we will see this guy again. Not a bad 25th guy if it comes down to it. Though I’d rather go younger, especially if you have to open up a 40-man roster spot somehow.