Friday, December 11, 2009

2010 Red Sox

I know many Red Sox fans are not happy with the lack of activity by the Red Sox front office during the recent Winter Meetings. I'm comforted by the thought that the team they will put on the field for Opening Day 2010 is bound to be better than its 2009 counterpart. Follow me here through a position by position comparison and see if you don't agree.

Catcher - 2009 Jason Varitek / 2010 Victor Martinez - big edge 2010
1st - 2009 Kevin Youkilis / 2010 Casey Kotchman - big edge 2009
2nd - 2009 & 2010 Dustin Pedroia - push
SS - 2009 Potpourri of Players / 2010 Marco Scuturo - edge 2010
3rd - 2009 Mike Lowell / 2010 Kevin Youkilis - big edge 2010
LF - 2009 Jason Bay / 2010 I'm assuming either Jason Bay or Matt Holliday will be signed and call it a push
CF - 2009 & 2010 Jacoby Ellsbury - push
RF - 2009 & 2010 JD Drew - push
DH - 2009 & 2010 David Ortiz - push

Starting rotation - 2009 Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Brad Penny, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield / 2010 Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Clay Buchholz and Wakefield - edge 2010

Bullpen - 2009 Jon Papelbon, Hideki Okijima, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen, Takashi Saito / 2010 Papelbon, Okijima, Ramirez, Delcarmen, Boof Bonser - push

I think it's clear that if Bay or Holliday are added to the mix then the Red Sox will field a superior team to what started the season last year. A couple quick notes:

* Marco Scutaro is no great shakes but he's a solid glove and a tough out plus he should provide a consistency that was completely absent last year at short
* I think Casey Kotchman could equal the offense of Mike Lowell and surpass his defensive contributions
* David Ortiz is a year older but when you consider the awful start he had last year and the fact that this is a contract year for Big Papi - I wouldn't be surprised if the 2010 DH was better than its 2009 counterpart even though it is the same player
* No Brad Penny - this cannot be stressed enough (24 starts and a 5.61 ERA in 2009)
* Dan Shaughnessey can suck it

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