Links: Anticipating Opening Day

The Sox roster looks to be set, with Nick Green filling the role of utility infielder in the absence of Julio Lugo and Chris Carter being the left-handed 1B/LF off the bench until Mark Kotsay returns. I hope Carter hits a ton and wins the job outright, but that’s me.

Terry Francona revealed this week that he would like to bat J.D. Drew 5th behind Kevin Youkilis in order to preserve the righty-lefty pattern in the order. It’s a little strange to put Jason Bay’s 30 HR either 6th or 7th in the order, but I have no problems with batting a high-OBP guy like Drew higher up.

The Red Sox will go with a rotation of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield to begin the season. If all goes well with Brad Penny, he’ll join the rotation mid-April, otherwise the contingency plan looks to be Justin Masterson, who is currently assigned to the bullpen. If Masterson is needed there, then the Sox will go with Clay Buchholz.

Lester will try to build on his success last season by working in a new changeup. If he can locate that pitch away to righthanded hitters, maybe it will result in a few more swings and misses; it could be a potent weapon for him (RHB have hit .274/.350/.394 against Lester lifetime, and those walks hurt).

The Sox have been on Matsuzaka to pick up his pace out there on the mound since over a year ago, but now it looks like he’s actually doing it. John Farrell thinks that Dice-K takes too much time between pitches and it hurts his rhythm.

More great quotables from Dustin Pedroia, including calling A-Rod a “big dork”. Fun read.

Whatever happened to 2006 1st round pick Jason Place? After poor performance and nagging injuries hindered his first full pro season, he moved up to Lancaster and is building his stock once again. It’s hard to remember that he’s just 20 years old, so just be patient!


One Response to Links: Anticipating Opening Day

  1. Pat says:

    That Pedroia story was quality reporting. Not just the same gibberish we’ve heard so many times before.

    I like the idea of Carter forcing Kotsay out. I hadn’t considered that, but now that you mention it, I’m sure Theo has. I wonder how long he will have to prove himself, and how many at bats that will amount to.

    Probably not enough.

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