|Connelly’s Top Ten: Less Than a Week to Opening Day!||Why 2014 Should Make Red Sox Fans Smile||Former Bruins Player Carol Vadnais Dies||John Farrell’s Second Season Unlike his First|
About a month ago, ESPN put up an article about the grade of all the moves and different positions that the Boston Red Sox, and every other MLB team, made, and the Red Sox received a B. That’s it a straight-out B.
I may be an optimist with this team, but I think this type of grade is exactly what the Red Sox deserved. They have usually been pictured as one of the beasts of the American League and this year they will be the underdog. This is the team’s chance to be motivated enough to put up some gaudy numbers in the AL East.
From the signings of Shane Victorino, Ryan Dempster and Jonny Gomes to the trade that acquired Joel Hanrahan for minimal talent, the Red Sox ownership has done everything in its power to make this team a likable team after the horrible 2012 season.
The moves bolstered the starting rotation, added some pop and speed to the lineup and helped make it easier on Andrew Bailey and the end of the bullpen. All these additions may not be A guys, but they deserve at least a B or B+ for their efforts.
The starting five all starts with the success of Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. Both pitchers need to post seasons with 15 or more wins in order for the Sox to be real contenders in the AL. John Lackey and Ryan Dempster need to put up above .500 seasons with 10-13 wins each. Felix Doubront will likely be the odd man out and have about eight wins. The Sox staff is definitely at a B or B- range.
The starting lineup looks pretty solid, even without David Ortiz, to start the season. With Jacoby Ellsbury leading the way, the Red Sox should be in the top five teams with stolen bases with the likes of Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia and even Will Middlebrooks getting in on the mix.
The big bats of Mike Napoli, Will Middlebrooks and David Ortiz will put up at least 25 homers each and those numbers will help lead the Sox lineup to some real close wins in the later innings.
My overall grade for the Sox’s offense is B or B+, depending on the health of Big Papi.