Re: March 28, 2013--reasons for optimism
posted at 3/28/2013 8:45 AM EDT
In response to M1A2's comment:
It sure ain't the hitting, yet, because the Sox team OPS in ST is barely above .700 with the fewest dingers in MLB.
But the team ERA is still the best/lowest in MLB in ST, and all five starters have had good springs and the bullpen looks to be OK.
If Bradley, Ellsbury, and Victorino start in the OF, the Sox will have a pretty good defense out there to back up the pitchers. Middlebrooks, Iglesias, and Pedroia are about as good as any one team can have for 3B, SS, and 2B, and Abraham says Napoli is better at 1B than we think. Salty behind the plate, granted, not so great. But overall, not too shabby.
Even before Ortiz and Drew return, the Sox could have 7 or 8 .800 OPS hitters in the lineup--Bradley, Ellsbury, Gomes, Middlebrooks, Pedroia, Napoli, and Saltalamacchia, plus an outside chance (he's done it before) with Victorino, who so far hasn't hit a lick. Like everyone else, I'd rather keep Iglesias at SS even if his OPS is in the .600 range. No question Ortiz will DH when he returns, which I think will make Gomes expendable because he plays LF like a DH.
Id be comfortable with an OPS between .650-.700 for Iggy. basically about a 310 OBP and a 350 SLG
Unless JBJ is tearing it up, he will be send back down when Papi gets back (If he breaks camp with the team). If not, its going to be interesting to see what they do. Like they always say, things tend to work themselves out in this game.