Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fixing the BoSox...or Not

I picked the Boston Red Sox to win the American League East, I also picked the Rangers to finish second to the Angels in the American League West. I'm glad we're only two weeks in.

While I may have been one of the more optimistic prognosticators when it came to the Red Sox, I simply can't understand the crazies who think there needs to be major changes in Boston in order for this team to turn things around.

Here's the thing, the Red Sox pitching has been atrocious, unbearably bad. As of this post, they own a team ERA of 6.27, their starters, a hefty 5.63. You know how you fix this team? Give them a couple weeks to watch the ERA's of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and Josh Beckett's respective numbers to fall dramatically.

Unless of course you believe that what those pitchers are doing is for real.

If not, then there is no need to worry. There is especially no need to make any ridiculous changes as ex-GM Jim Bowden proposes. These changes, in order of idiocracy begin with moving Kevin Youkilis and replacing him with Wil Middlebrooks. It continues with swapping the Red Sox RF platoon, a platoon that has the highest OPS among team rightfield numbers in the league (.955 OPS) with the underachieving Dominic Brown (acquired in the Youk trade). And finally it suggests the Arizona Diamondbacks would trade their top of the line catcher for three Red Sox catchers.

How do these moves make the Red Sox better?

There is no one who would argue that Middlebrooks would outperform Youkilis. Yes, Middlebrooks is off to an incredible start, and Youkilis is off to a horrible start, but the difference between triple A and the majors is akin to the difference between being in China and being in a Chinese restaurant at the mall.

We're looking at a substantial loss here for the Red Sox, probably close to two wins on the season.

Then the idea of bringing in Brown. Brown who certainly deserves a chance, should be traded out of Philadelphia. Actually, Brown should be starting for Philadelphia, bet he's not. But the problem with the Red Sox isn't in the outfield, specifically, it doesn't exist in right field where the combination of Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross will easily outperform whatever Brown's ceiling may be.

Again, we're looking at a team loss here, probably only worth a win, but enough to make the last day of the season not very exciting.

Finally the addition of Miguel Montero. An excellent idea. Who wouldn't love to add this guy? Even the Twins who are playing a catcher in right field could use his services.

But does Bowden really believe that the Diamondbacks would trade him for not one, not two, but three catchers? Granted Blake Swihart has a decent ceiling. Ryan Lavarnway should put together a nice major league career once he figures out what to do defensively. And Jarrod Saltalammachia is an okay place filler, there is no way the Diamondbacks make this deal, at least not now. Possibly they come around to it in the middle of July if they are out of the playoff hunt, but right now, what a joke!

A gain here, but an impossible gain that can't be counted on.

The main thing to understand here isn't that the Red Sox need fixing, they need time. They have had a terrible start to a season which saw them opening up against five teams which were all projected to be well above .500. But between now and May 9th they go on a stretch against some terrible teams (Minnesota, Oakland, Baltimore, and Kansas City) which could see them going on a 12-4 run which would easily get them above .500 an make everyone forget about lynching Youkilis.

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