My last entry was July 11! That’s absurd. A fresh start as we head into the hot stove league!
Adam Dunn was signed yesterday, as was A.J. Put Paulie’s name on a new three year deal and all will be right with the offensive/fielding components of the Sox heading into 2011. Ozzie & Kenny both know how strong the Twinkies are and see the Tigers doing anything but standing pat. Glad to see that they are making a strong move to compete this coming season.
One caveat on that comment, Adam must, I repeat MUST leave his glove in D.C. Dude’s a very good left handed bat, but he’s a butcher in the field.
With Morel taking over for Teahen at third and Dayan waiting in the wings behind Paulie, as well as Jared Mitchell and Jordan Danks in the OF things are looking good right about now.
Next thing up is the bullpen. Gotta put together almost an entirely new crew for 2011. Thornton, Pena, and perhaps Sale are all we have available to us right now that I have any confidence in. Still wondering whether we will let Sale start the season in Charlotte and allow him to stretch into a starter.
Still and all with Adam and A.J. in the fold its a strong start to the offseason.
It’s not over yet, but let me say this…….
Overall team speed looks very good.
Good outing from Carlos Torres. Great ABs from Carlos Quentin. Tyler Flowers looked good on the basepaths, but his defense still needs work, lots of work! Dayan Viciedo made a nice play at third. The kid shows an obscenely quick bat, but not much discipline.
On-field preparations for the 2009 season begin in earnest tomorrow for the Sox.
Three major position battles are tee’d up to take place this spring in center, at second, and at the end of the pitching rotation.
At second the battle will between Sox farmhand Chris Getz, and offseason acquisitions Brent Lillibridge and Jayson Nix. I expect that the slot will go to the guy who shows the greatest aptitude at the plate, as that man may, by default, end up as our leadoff hitter. I am betting on Lillibridge here.
At the end of the rotation Sox farmhands Clay Richard, and Aaron Poreda will compete with new acquisition, Jeff Marquez. Richard has the most experience at the big league lever. Poreda, by all accounts has the best stuff (although he probably needs to improve his second and third pitches to have success as a major league starter), and Marquez has a good sinker (which KW loves). I suspect that the spot will go to Richard with Poreda in the pen, and Marquez down in Charlotte (although options could alter that decision).
Finally, the black hole at center will be filled by Brian Anderson, Jerry Owens, or Dewayne Wise. The relative deficiencies of these players are well documented. Anderson is a defensive standout, who struggles mightily at the plate. Owens has extraordinary speed, but does little else very well. Wise, is a gritty veteran who stand out in no particular area.
If Lillibridge grabs hold of the leadoff spot, I am hopeful that center will be filled by Anderson. If none of the second basemen seize the lead off spot, we could see Owens in center. Here’s to hoping that doesn’t have to happen.
All of that said, the most exciting thing that will occur in Glendale, Az. this spring is the arrival of Dayan Viciedo. He is a big, 19 year old third basemen who comes to the Sox from Cuba. As with A.Ram. last year, reports regarding Dayan’s talent are amazing, but overall he is something of a mystery to Sox fans. But we do hope that KW has caught lightning in a bottle for the second year in a row.