Friday, April 21, 2006

Red Sox - 5 Good and 5 Bad

We are about 10% into the MLB schedule and I'd like to mention the five things that are good (or in most cases very good) about the Red Sox and the five things that aren't so good.

5 Good

1. Curt Schilling - 4-0 with a 1.61 ERA. The wins are the most in baseball and the ERA is 3rd in the AL. Schilling also leads the AL in innings pitched. It was hoped that he would come back from last year's lost season and be effective but not only has he been effective - he may be the best he's ever been.
2. Josh Beckett - 3-0 and his 1.29 ERA is tied with Jose Contreras for the best mark in all of baseball. Some players wilt under the spotlight of playing in Boston but Beckett seems to be one of those players who thrive and feed off the energy of the fans. Beckett and Schilling are the best 1-2 punch in baseball this year (so far).
3. Jonathan Papelbon - 7 for 7 in save situations this year and has yet to give up a run in 8 games. His 7 saves are the best in baseball and he has turned a question mark (closer) before the season into a strength. These first three positions could actually be flipped around in any order and I wouldn't argue.
4. Kevin Youkilis - .346 batting average with a .435 OBP and a .954 OPS - KY has been everything his fans though he could be if given a starting role. He has also been a big plus with the glove so far this season (whether at 3rd or at 1st).
5. David Ortiz and Coco Crisp - they have been everything anyone could hope for. They get the combined nod for the final spot because they both signed long term deals and will be with the Red Sox for years to come.

5 Bad

1. David Wells - out of shape is no way to approach what you say is going to be your final season. One start and 7 runs in 4 innings? Take a few more starts in Pawtucket before you embarass your teammates with those types of numbers.
2. Wily Mo Pena - I supported the trade and maybe the defense will come around but I challenge anyone to find a worse fielding performance in the first 16 games than Pena's (Wiggington in Tampa Bay gets a pass because at least he is trying a new position).
3. Rudy Seanez and Julian Tavarez - combined these guys have a 8.10 ERA. They need to pick it up if they want to be part of a winning team.
4. JT Snow - in particular his batting. So far just .167. I've always liked Snow and really don't like the idea of him making the list but he does have to hit at least his weight. Like everything on this list - small sample size and things can change very quickly. The only bright spot is if Snow does continue to struggle - that means even more at bats for Kevin Youkilis.
5. The run support for Tim Wakefield - Wake is 1-3 with a very respectable 3.71 ERA (tied for 15th in AL among starters) but so far the Red Sox have scored just 9 runs total in Wakefield's 4 starts. Wakefield deserves better.

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