Thursday, April 23, 2009

NL East Tour: Boston Red Sox

At a Glance
Owner: jway11 - .513 winning percentage, 8 playoffs, 0 World Series titles
Team history: jway11's 2nd season at the helm, 1 playoff appearance in franchise history (season 1), 6 straight last-place finishes
Last season: 52-110, last place in division
Top hitter: Tony Rodriguez (.307 BA, .349 OBP, .492 SLG, 17 HR, 84 RBI)
Top starting pitcher: Charles Zhang (Rule V draft pick, 14-6 with a 2.65 ERA last season in AA)
Top relief pitcher: Willis Thompson (7-4 with a 3.57 ERA and 1 save last season)

Notable Departures
Bret Gagne: Owner jway11 allowed Gagne, his team's closer from last season, to leave the Red Sox via free agency as his franchise seeks to get younger at the big league level. Gagne saved 31 games last season and has 85 saves for his career. He signed a 2-year, $3.2 million contract with the Durham Bulls, and should provide some solid innings out of the bullpen.

Victor Jacquez: Some fans were confused when jway11 traded this 23-year-old up-and-coming young pitcher for a couple of prospects. Jacquez pitched over 200 innings last season and posted a 4.69 ERA. He was the victim of poor run support, though, as he posted a 6-20 record.

Davey Espinosa: Although Espinosa has the talent to be a successful ML RP, he had fallen out of favor with Red Sox management in past seasons due to his career 5.09 ERA. Espinosa spent last season in AAA, where he compiled 10 losses and a 6.08 ERA. He's got the skill to be in the bigs, and the Houston Hope took a gamble on him when they traded two young players for Espinosa and Mike Pierre. Espinosa might be closing games for the Hope this season. The role is not foreign to him, as he has 50 career ML saves.

Mike Pierre: Pierre was included in the Espinosa trade for a couple of young talented players. Pierre was part of the Red Sox' rotation last year, as he went 8-14 with a 4.88 ERA. The Houston Hope hope he can recapture some of his season 8 magic, when he went 13-9 with a 3.78 ERA.

Notable Additions
Tony Flores: Although some fans mourn the departure of Victor Jacquez, many realize Flores could make them easily forget Jacquez. Flores was acquired in the Jacquez trade from the Oklahoma City Outlaws. He was the 4th overall pick in the season 10 draft, and he has all the tools to be an ace.

Andruw Shields: Shields was the other piece of the Jacquez trade. He's a young OF prospect with blazing speed, great baserunning instincts, a penchant for putting wood on the ball, and a fantastic batting eye. He won't hit for much pop and he probably will be limited to platooning against righties, but he should be a contributor when he makes his ML debut in a couple seasons.

Brian Dye: Dye was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Espinosa and Pierre to the Hope. Dye can do just about everything well: he's got great power and speed and an ability to make contact. He was the 11th overall pick in the draft last season, and at 23 years old already, he's likely on the fast track to the big leagues.

Ted Stone, Joaquin Santana, and J.J. Robinson: The Red Sox picked these three players off the waiver wire. None of them are stars, but each can play a role on the Red Sox this season. Stone is a 26-year-old RP who might close for the Red Sox this season, Santana is a 26-year-old OF who has a .272 career average in over 1600 AB, and Robinson is a probable platoon hitter who was discarded by the Lancers.

Charles Zhang, Luis Bonilla, Juan Jimenez, and Davey Nye: These are 4 of the 9 players selected by the Red Sox in this year's Rule V draft. Zhang is the best of the bunch. He was accidentally left unprotected by the Radioactive Reindeer and was snatched up 1st overall. He immediately takes over the role as the Red Sox' best SP. Bonilla is another SP picked in the draft. He's nothing special but should provide some important innings. Jimenez is a 24-year old offensive catcher who batted .309 at AA last season. Finally, Nye is a solid young 3B who has a career .337 BA in over 1700 minor league AB.

Prospect to Watch
Glen Waterson: Waterson is one of several very good young pitchers in the Red Sox minor league system. He was the 2nd overall pick in the season 10 draft, and projects to be a frontline starter for the Red Sox.

Season Synopsis
Expectations for the Red Sox are not high at the ML level. Jway11 says he hopes to top last season's 52 wins, and to acquire some more great young talent through the draft, the IFA market, and trades. This team will almost certainly struggle both offensively and defensively, as the lineup and pitching staff don't look to contain many (if any) All-Stars. However, jway11 is shedding contracts and acquiring talent, the right way to turn a franchise around. Season 12 prediction: 56-106

1 comment:

The Dude said...

i wish the real Red Sox would finish with 56 wins.