Thursday, June 14, 2007

Missing: Red Sox Offense

Last seen firing on all cylinders 2003/2004.
Formerly answered to, Cowboy Up, and, We're just Idiots.

So, where o' where has the once mighty Red Sox offense gone? Obviously this wasn't the main issue last night, but it was a big one. Some timely hitting might have motivated our pitching staff just enough to keep the game within reach. However, they never came through with the clutch hit, which seems to be way too big of a theme this year. Eeking out 1-0 or 2-1 wins is scary. Even worse, losing games 2-0, or 3-2 (all of which happened in the last two weeks).

I remember in '03/'04 you'd look up and down the lineup and 1-9 and just about anyone could come up big, and we were a damn scary team to face.

This year our offense has some enormous holes, and we could even get blanked on any given night. The main culprits go by the names of Drew, Crisp, and Lugo. Out of those three, I don't know what it is, but I think Lugo has the best chance of rebounding. JD Drew, I fear is going to be the $70m mistake people thought he might be…and Coco. I just can't seem to get a read on him. I keep thinking he's going to turn it around, but game after game he doesn't come up with the key hit…and that stance looks so freakin' awkward it's hard to imagine hitting consistently like that.

On top of that, you've got Mirabelli every 5th day. Our best bat off the bench is Cora, and he isn't exactly the Mr Clutch he was in April/May (though I'm still a huge fan). Hinske and Pena are downright miserable, and you can only hope for the occasional 500 foot home run from Pena. Other than that you just wait for him to strike out on the next breaking ball.

Papi is hitting, but not hitting the ball out of the park at his usual rate. Manny is bringing the average back, but same thing. Varitek is actually coming through occasionally, but then he'll look like the Varitek from the end of last year with horrible swings where he looks like he's actually falling away from the plate.

So basically you've got Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell carrying the offense at this point. My bet is that they can't carry it all year. Oh, and Pedroia has turned into a pleasant surprise after his scary start.

This is all leading up to the point, that I think something has to be done. You need to make a move soon to bolster this offense. One big bat might even be enough to spark the rest of the lineup.

As I said before. Drew is immovable due to his contract. Likely Lugo too (and you just have to hope that those two are eventually going to live up to their contracts). I think you really need to consider a Crisp/Pena combo to a team that's willing to take on relatively small salaries for some potential upside. The Rooster mentioned trying to nab Lofton or Hatteberg. Both sound intriguing.

Whatever it is, I think it's safe to say that you're not going to win another championship if the offense doesn't pick it up. While good options are down on the farm for the outfield, I think we're going to need at least one big trade to make this team complete.

One last thought to consider: Julian Tavarez, batting 1.000.



Anonymous said...

By god you are smart - whoever you are

Junior Gong said...

I can't see how you get any team to bite on a package of Crisp & Pena. If the Sox are going to go after a bat then they will have to give up top prospects.

It seems to me like they need a center fielder with an arm and a leadoff hitter who works the count and gets on base. I'm pretty sure that is the exact profile of Jacoby Ellsbury. Bringing up a rookie to be your centerfielder and leadoff guy is obviously a risky move, especially in Boston but I think there is a lot less risk rushing a position player than a pitcher. Plus I believe this kid is the next Grady Sizemore.

JS said...

Junior, I totally agree with that move. However, you got to think that Coco eventually has to get back close to where he was with cleveland (average and power wise) and you'd think that Wily Mo, if he played every day, would get more consistent at the plate. For a small market team that's not in the chase, I'd think that sounds like a pretty appealing package. Pretty low risk with a lot of potential upside. BTW, I'd like to thank my lovely wife, who not only is a great wife, and great mother to our child, but also great at posting smart ass comments anonymously...thanks hon.

Junior Gong said...

Coco makes $5.2 a year and Wily Mo makes $1.8...not a lot for the Sox but a pretty good chunk of change for a small market team (payroll say of $60M or less). I'd love to move them but I just don't see it as realistic.

Anonymous said...

np sweetie - not only is he wicked smaht, he's a absolute dynamo in the BR...