I really need to get back into writing regularly, because when I don't it results in these sort of brain dump posts. I thought I'd throw out a few ideas that I've been mulling over that I haven't read much about:
- Youkilis should bat third and Papi should bat cleanup. Generally, you put your best hitter batting third and, after Peddy, Youk is that hitter. Also, Youk is generally more patient at the plate than Ortiz and ideally a first inning with a mature Ellsbury who has learned to take pitches, Pedroia, and Youk would be very tough on a pitcher even if it goes 1-2-3. This lineup would also have a nice rightly lefty rhythm of ellsbury (L), pedroia (r), youk (r), papi (L), bay (r), drew (l), lowell, (r), tek (s), lowrie (s).
- Josh Bard should be released after spring training. He seems worthless. I'd rather have a young guy learning from Tek, even if that young guy doesn't pan out long term at least there would be potential for some gain for the club after this year.
- Buchholz should be traded if he's not going to get a shot at the rotation this year. I think he'll either be in the rotation in August, or he'll be starting for another team after we trade him at the deadline. I think he could be a great pitcher but his strength as a starter is also his roadblock to easing his way onto the Sox roster: he is a 4 pitch pitcher without the one or two dominant pitches that makes for a good reliever. If he faulters as a starter he'll still have a decent career, but unlike a Papelbon or Bowden, he doesn't have the right kind of stuff to translate well into late inning pen work.
- The Sox biggest pick ups in the second half of the year will be a healthy John Smoltz and a young wild Daniel Bard who'll be called up and throw 100 mph in the Fens.
- If the Sox can, they will trade Lugo soon - since he's shown he still has skills - and start Lowrie and use Nick Green as the utility guy.
- I hope the Sox keep Jeff Bailey - or Chris Carter - as the 5th outfielder and backup firstbaseman until Kotsay returns. Like the Josh Bard theory, I see no value in Brad Wilkerson. There's a tendancy to overvalue experience and a known commodity. Unlike Wilkerson, Bailey and Carter could be valuable insurance if something happened to Youk or Papi. They are both ready to produce in the bigs, as long as they don't have to carry a glove too often.