All seem like good moves for the Red Sox although I would have liked to see them give Hill a contract. Before hitting the DL for Tommy John surgery this past season, Hill was a solid reliever for the team with a zero ERA in eight innings.
Albers was solid in 2011 for the team and is a welcome addition to the 2012 roster that has some holes in the bullpen. Melancon will definitely help out a bullpen that could be losing Daniel Bard. New manager Bobby Valentine even said Melancon could very well be the teams closer in 2012.
Shoppach is underwhelming but should be a solid backup for Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Punto will be the utility man that Lowrie was without the injury issues.
Even though they had a busy week, the Red Sox still have a lot more to do this offseason. They still have a couple holes in the starting rotation to fill as well as a right handed bat in the outfield.
Overall, the team looks like they are headed in a nice direction and moving past the debacle that was the 2011 season.
This past week has seen ups and downs for the Red Sox. One day you think they are back on track and winning, as they should, and the next they are losing 14 inning marathons and getting blown out 11-0 the next day.
The week began on Sunday with a walk-off by Carl Crawford against Seattle. Things have since looked up for Crawford, as he is 6-16 at the plate since. The Sox then continued their domination of the Angels winning the first two games of the series but lost a heart breaker in 13 innings and got absolutely blown out of the water, 11-0, in the series finale.
My concerns, once again, lay with John Lackey. He got absolutely shelled in the series finale and the issues he had at the beginning of the season arose again. He was walking and hitting batters left and right. The good news is, the rest of the staff looks good, even Tim Wakefield, who will pitch tonight against the Twins.
The bullpen is also a huge concern with the only effective pitchers being Bard, Papelbon and Albers. Dan Wheeler and Bobby Jenks have been thrown on the DL because they are “hurt” or because they just suck. Hopefully things turn around.
As of now, I have no concerns with the offense as everyone is really coming around as of late with Crawford’s recent surge. Everyone who should be hitting is hitting, except for Pedroia but he is Pedroia and will snap out of it.
Despite the 14-17 record, I am still expecting big things out of this team. Look for them to head north of the Mendoza line by the end of May and continue to rise in the standings. If we still have a losing record by the end of May, Terry Francona may have the check the heat on his manager’s seat.
One last thought, which game are you more pissed to go to, a Lackey start or a Matsuzaka start? I’d go with Lackey.
Okay, this is something new I am going to do. Every week I will do a State of the Nation post about my thoughts on the Red Sox at the current moment whether they be positive or negative. Stay tuned, first State of the Nation coming tomorrow.
Sox fans are there through the good times and the bad. Whether its Aaron Boone squashing the dreams of Sox fans everywhere in 2003 or Big Papi and the Idiots Reversing the Curse in 2004, Sox fans are there to support their team.
Screw Philadelphia, screw New York. Red Sox Nation is the best.
Side note: I would like to point out that the New York Mets tied the Washington Nationals at 23rd on this list.
Including todays 1:05PM start against the Phillies, the Red Sox will have played seven Spring Training games without a single one being broadcast on TV. This makes about zero sense to me.
With all the hype of the new faces coming to Boston this season, I want to be able to see their first at-bats in a Sox uniform without having to book a trip to Fort Meyer’s, Florida. Come on NESN. This is Red Sox Nation, people will skip work to watch the first Spring Training game on TV but instead I have to wait until the eighth game of Spring Training to see any live baseball.
According to a tweet by Sports Illuststrated, the Red Sox plan to pick up manager Terry Francona’s $9-million option which would extend Francona’s contract through the 2013 season. Francona has said he hasn’t heard anything about his contract from team management.
“I have an option that the ballclub has the right to pick up or not pick up at the end of the year,” he said on WEEI’s Dale and Holley Show. “I’m real comfortable with that. … I’m sure the story will keep getting on. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. That never stops something from having legs.”
If this proves to be true it is a great move by Theo and the Red Sox front office. Francona is arguably the best manager in Red Sox history with two World Series titles under his belt. In his duration with the Sox Francona has averaged 93.4 wins only failing to meet the 90 win benchmark twice (86 wins in 2006 and 89 wins in 2010). It’s hard to ask much more of a manager. Francona is the real deal, it doesn’t get much better.
“It felt good,” he said of his brief tee session. “The shoulder is healthy, so it’s just like normal. The only thing I had a concern with was the first couple of swings to see how it would respond. Once the first two swings felt great, I felt like taking 18 more swings.”
The fact that Gonzo is swinging is great news for the Red Sox. This guy has the potential to be an absolute monster playing in Fenway Park. With the short wall in left field, he has the potential to hit many more home runs then he would have in the pitcher friendly Pet Co Park in San Diego.
I am projecting Gonzalez to hit 39 home runs this season if he can stay healthy.
What are your thoughts on my projection? Leave your comments below and vote in the pole…