With the regular season set to start soon, Sports of Boston’s Mike has you covered, with previews of Red Sox players (by position) who should impact the major league roster during the 2009 season.
The starting rotation is pretty set, but there will be a number of guys vying for the final rotation spot and some new faces who will provide insurance policies on the key guys. [Read article for more]
The Red Sox bullpen figures to play a huge role in how far this team can go. In the 2007 Championship season, the relievers were dominant in front of the elite Jonathan Papelbon. Hideki Okajima was an All-Star and Manny Delcarmen, Mike Timlin, and the rest of the pen set him up nearly perfectly.
This was not the case in 2008 as the bullpen got off to a rough start, particularly in setting up Papelbon, who was still dominant. Okajima allowed inherited runners to score and Timlin had a forgettable season. Justin Masterson finished the season as Papelbon’s primary set up man, a role that seemed to fit Masterson and the Red Sox well. Which bullpen shows up this season will figure greatly into how far the Red Sox can go. [Read article for more]
The Red Sox 2009 Opening Day outfield will be very different than the one that opened 2008. Jacoby Ellsbury will be the lone holdover from the group starting both openers. Last year’s left fielder Manny Ramirez left at mid season amid the contract drama and Brandon Moss started the 2008 opener and was also a part of the Manny deal, which brought Jason Bay to Boston. Coco Crisp also got out of the time share in a deal with Kansas City this offseason. [Read article for more]
The Red Sox infield is where the offensive prowess lies, headlined by reigning American League Most Valuable Player Dustin Pedroia. Kevin Youkilis, another MVP candidate, helps to anchor the right side of the infield while the rest might not solidify until after the season begins.
Mike Lowell battled a hip injury to close out the 2008 season and David Ortiz (included here because he is a first baseman when he is not a designated hitter) is trying to rebound from a subpar season due to his bad wrist. Julio Lugo will return from injury and try to displace Jed Lowrie at shortstop. After a contentious offseason, Jason Varitek will be back with the Red Sox for at least one more season. [Read article for more]
For a different perspective on Major League Baseball, visit Blueworkhorse.com. Shotgun and his staff worked extremely hard on MLB season previews for all teams, including our beloved Red Sox. SoB’s KC contributed to that preview, which can be seen here: 2009 Boston Red Sox Preview