Friday, April 11, 2008

Developing Trends...

10 games down and the Red Sox are at a somewhat disappointing 5-5 record and we can see some early trends developing.


JD Drew
JD has picked up where he left off last year in the playoffs and appears to have found his comfort zone here and earning some of that big money he's getting paid. In 7 games he's 11 for 25, hitting .440, has two homeruns and second on the team for RBI's with 7 and has drawn 3 walks. Let's hope he can keep up the pace.

Sean Casey
The seemingly redundant off season acquisition has already proven to be a worthwile asset. He's 5 for 14, hitting .357 with two doubles. With Mike Lowell's recent minor thumb injury keeping him on the DL for a bit we may be seeing more of Sean Casey at first and Kevin Youkilis moving to third to cover.

Kevin Youkilis
Youk has been money in the bank thus far this year. Youk has played all but one game despite having an excellent backup in Sean Casey which attests to the strength of his performance this thus far. Youkilis is 11 for 34, hitting .324 with 3 doubles and 2 triples and posted six walks. With that said, Youkilis always starts off red hot and cools off after the all-star break.

Coco Crisp
Many people, including myself, felt it would be beneficial for all parties if the Red Sox traded Coco even if it meant getting less value for him. Coco clearly is good enough to be a starter in the majors and it seemed like he would be riding the pine based on Jacoby Ellsbury's strong performance last year that got Coco benched for the World Series. Tito has done a fairly good job of splitting time between Jacoby and Coco with Coco getting 23 at bats to Jacoby's 17. In the first ten games Coco has made more productive use of those at bats going 7 for 23, hitting .304 and drawing two walks. Coco does have every reason to be playing hard, he might be able to earn back the top spot or possibly bump up his trade value and make him easier to move when the trade deadline rolls around.

Julio Lugo
Much like JD Drew, Julio was a constant disappointment last year that seemed to do a little better come playoff time, but this year Julio seems to be off to a good start. Julio is 10 for 33, hitting .303. Julio's fielding has been a problem with 4 errors in 9 games.

I combine these two because it's basically the same story. Both of them have been well rested thanks to blowouts in either direction and have great ERA's, picking up right where they left off last year.


David Ortiz
This has been a big part of what's wrong with the Red Sox offense, Big Papi has hit a serious slump going 3 for 36, that's .083, in 10 games this season. Two of his 3 hits came in the 5-0 win against Oakland on April 2nd and is hitless in 8 of 10 games this season. Big Papi still knows how to work counts and commands respect with his bat, as evidenced by the 9 walks he has drawn thus far this season, tied for most in the AL. There is some suggestion that this might be a slow bounce-back from offseason knee surgery, I don't personally believe this is the case, but I'm not a doctor. I think with some time Big Papi will find his swing.

Jacoby Ellsbury
We got a taste of Jacoby's potential last year, but he seems to be having some trouble adjusting to the idea of being a permanent starter and has been splitting time with Coco Crisp in center field. Jacoby is 3 for 17, hitting .176 including a homerun and drawing 3 walks. This seems somewhat reminiscent of Dustin Pedroia last year. Dustin had some trouble adjusting to the big leagues, but by season's end he was a Rookie of the Year candidate.


The Starting Rotation
It's a little too early to say anything about the starting rotation just yet. Bucholz and Beckett both have only one start each. Beckett's ERA is inflated from Manny Delcarmen giving up a grand slam that scored 3 inherited runners with 2 outs in the inning, which accounts for 3 of the 5 earned runs on the books for Beckett.

Dustin Pedroia
Dustin is one of 3 players to start all 10 games so far this season. In that time he's posted a respectable 11 for 40, hitting .275 including 2 doubles and 5 walks. A comfortable pace, but nothing to get excited about.

Manny Ramirez
Manny is alot like Dustin, he's also started all 10 games and posted 11 for 40, .275 but with only 3 walks and a team high 12 strikeouts. Manny currently leads the team in RBI's with 8. Manny has hit a number of extra base hits with 5 doubles, 1 triple and a homerun; but this is nothing special for Manny. I think this is a little disappointing given that Manny is in a contract year and the strong start he had to this season.

Mike Lowell
Last year's World Series MVP is off to a slow start 6 for 30, hitting .200 and 3 walks. Mike recently injured his thumb while fielding a ball and will be on the DL for a while.

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