Tagged: Kevin Youkilis

Total Bases Mailbag: 1

Hello Total Bases veiwers, and welcome to the first and much anticapted Total Bases mailbag!

Q: Is this the last year that Garnet, Peirce and Ray Allen stay together? It seems that age is starting to take it’s toll on the team. Also, Where would you rather have Victor: first or at catcher?
– Indians

A: Hello Indains, thank you for your questions! Yes, I would expect this is the last year of the big three. Allen was in trade rumors this deadline, and with his money coming of the books with players like Wade and Bosh avaliable. The Celtics do look very old as of late. I think Rasheed Wallace is a huge problem for this team, and I never wanted him here.

I would rather have Victor at catcher, mostly beacuse the Sox have Youkilis at first. He could play third, but that would mean they would have Varitek as a starter. Having Beltre in the lineup much improves the team compared to V-Tek. I also don’t think Victor’s defense is that terrible. He can catch Wake’s knuckleball, and has helped Buchholz a lot with his development.

Q: Does it worry you that the Celtics split with the Cavs, got swept by the Hawks, and lost the season series to the Magic this year? And also, how old do you think Mike Lowell will be when he retires? The guy is a horse.

-Ted

A: It worries me a lot. The Hawks are a great team, and I can easily see them go all the way. The Celtics are an old team at this point. They are still one of the best teams in the NBA, but they could struggle with a team like Miami or Charlote in the playoffs. Hell, they lost to the Nets yesterday!

Mike Lowell is 36 right now. I can see him play two or three more years, maybe more. I still think he is a productive player, and I would love to see a Lowell/Ortiz platoon for DH. I don’t think his defense is that bad right now either. He has lost a little range, and that hip is a concern, but he can still get to most balls.

Thank you everybody who answered questions! The next mailbag will be Sunday, and you can submit questions on this post or on the BestBostonSports.com Message Boards. On Wednesday I will have a live post for the NHL trading deadline, and anyone is welcome to add their imut there as well. Thanks again, everybody!

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Evaluation

This is a full evaluation of the 2010 Red Sox roster as it stands now. I will look at the lineup, defense, pitching, bench, bullpen, and minor leagues, and try to prove to you complainers that this is a good team.

Lineup: I really like the lineup. I’m not trying to be an optimist, I really like the lineup. I love the combination of speed and power. The bottom of the lineup impresses me with Drew-Cameron-Scutaro. I feel speed is going to come from Jacoby Ellsbury (duh) and Scutaro. Cameron can steal a few as can Pedroia. Don’t even say Drew, I believe he was 2-for-8 in the SB catagory.

On the power side, you got Ortiz, Youk, Beltre, Cameron, Drew, and Victor. Each one of them will hit from 15-30 HRs, maybe more for Beltre or Cameron at Fenway. I feel a big year coming from Youk, I really do.He was hurt a lot of last year, and I think it really affected him. The suspension did not help either.

I also liked the way the lineup is built. I thought last year Pedroia struggled leadoff beacuse he missed the presence of Jacoby Ellsbury. Since he is a base stealer, pitchers are going to throw more fastballs to the next batter in an attempt to pick him off. A fastball gets to the plate fatser, and the catcher can gun it down to second faster. I hope Francona keeps Ellsbury in the lead-off spot, that is where he is supposed to be.

More about the lineup, I would like to see JD Drew bat eighth and Cameron bat seventh. Mostly beacuse it strenghens the bottom of the lineup. Here is the lineup I would like to see:

Ellsbury

Pedroia

Victor

Youk

Ortiz

Beltre

Cameron

Drew

Scutaro.

Pitching: No one can deny this staff. Even if I am wrong and the lineup does suck, the pitching will keep you in games. Defense wins(Look how far the Jets got!). Offense is nice, but defense and pitching is more important(Unless you have Teixeira. And A-rod. And Jeter. And Granderson…..). This is no doubt about it the best staff in the game. You can say Seattle with Cliff Lee and King Felix, and I’ll give you that as the top 1-2 punch in baseball. But Lester. Beckett. Lackey. Dice-k. Buchholz. Wake. They have so much depth! I know this happened last year, and everyone got hurt to the point we needed Paul Byrd, and at least two or three of those guys are going to have to stay healthy. Ok, Lackey, out a month. Fine, Lester and Beckett. Lester out a few weeks? That’s ok, Dice-k/Wake/Buchholz might be pitching good, and Lackey might be back soon. Just theories here.

And either way, I expect some sort of reclamation/Theo Epstein projects like an Erik Bedard or Ben Sheets coming.(John Smoltz!)

Every game we are going to get a six-to-seven inning perfomrance or a quality start. Yes, Lackey has had injury problems. So has Beckett, and Dice-k, and every other pitcher in baseball. You learn to deal with it.

Defense: Joe Maddon called Adrain Beltre the best defensive player he has ever seen, and Maddon knows a damn lot about baseball. He took that team to the world series, and I think we all know who that team is. I don’t get to watch Beltre often, as he played for Seattle, but I’ll take Joe’s word for it. So on the right side of your infeild you got “The best defensive player ever” (I thought that was Darrelle Revis?) and Marco Scutaro, who should have gotten the AL gold glove for shortstop. Then on the left side you have two gold glove winners in Pedroia and Youk. In the outfield is Ellsbury, Cameron, and Drew. Pretty sick. Tell me a better defensive outfield? I think the only team that is in the same class is KC(Gasp!) with Ankeil, Posednik, and DeJesus. Fast outfield. Anyways, we have a good defense basicly beacuse Theo could not find another excuse to have a lackluster offense.

Bench: Solid bench. You got Jeremy Hermida, Bill Hall, V-Tek, and either a guy like Josh Reddick, Angel Sanchez, Gil Velezquez, or Aaron Bates. That is, unless another Nick Green type magicaly appears again. Hermida is a decent offensive player. He has some wheels and could be a good pinch running guy. He has a little pop. He was a Marlins top prospect for a while but has not really panned ouy yet. Theo was just taking a chance on some player with potential. Hall is what he is. Good defensivly(Shocker) with no bat. You all know about V-Tek. Can’t hit in the second half. look for V-Tek to have a somewhat of a bounce-back year in a limited role. He has hit well in the first half the last two years. And he may have to be Beckett’s personal catcher.

Bullpen: Who is in this bullpen? Papelbon, Bard, Oki, Delcarmen, Rameriz, the other Rameriz, Shouse, Atchison, Dustin Richardson, Fernando Cabrera, Boof. Meh. I like the top three. That’s about it. I wanted to see the Sox go out and sign either Darren Oliver or Mike Gonzalez, but that never happened. I kinda like Richardson. He dominated the AFL this season. Strikeout lefty. Casey Kelly could be up this year, but I doubt he would be ready to contribute. Shouse is no good. I have no clue who Atchison is. Rameriz is what he is. Delcarmen sucks. I never thought Boof was anything. So yeah, maybe improve the pen a bit. And when I say improve I do not mean Mike Timlin, who is looking for a major league job still.

Triple A: The Pawsox may have better players than last year, where they where awful. The Pawsox finished in fourth in their divison and offered no real MLB ready players. That should change this year, as a lot of prospects shoukd be ready for triple A. Here are some: Micheal Bowdon, Angel Sanchez, Gil Velezquez, Josh Reddick, Travis Denker, Josh Reddick, Lars Anderson, Aaron Bates, Ramon A. Rameriz, Bubba Bell, Darnelle MacDonald, Jeff Natle, Mark Wagner, Zach Daeges, Randor Beird, TJ Large, Kason Gabbard. Decent triple A roster. Bowdon has seen the big leagues, I honestly don’t think he is anything special. Sanchez is a terrific defensive player. Velezquez is the last minute, desprate, there is absolutly no one else in the world who can help, utility player. I like Reddick, but he’s not major league ready. Denker is a career minor leaguer. Lars is the second most overrated prospect in the system to Bowdon. I have a stupid man-crush on Aaron Bates although he hit around the medoza line in triple A last year. I don’t know anything about the other Rameriz, Bubba Bell did well in triple A last year. MacDonald can run, but that’s it. Natle is a 1B-DH type. Wagner is a catcher who should be on the MLB roster beacuse he can throw out base runners. The only thing I know about Daeges is he killed the ball in Spring Training and I never heard of him again. We got Beird for David Pauly, enough said there. TJ Large had an ERA over 6.00 last year, and Gabbard saved us from trading Lester to Texas for Eric Gagne.

Lower-leval prospects: You probally know most of the names. Jose Iglesias, Casey Kelly, Alex Wilson, Reymond Fuentes, Ryan Westmorland, Ryan Kalish, and Dustin Richardson. Some of these guys may be September callups, the most likley being Kalish. I feel these are the players to watch in the minor leagues next year. Alex Wilson is not really known like Kelly or Kalish, but I feel he has a bright future in the majors. He is a righty, and was the Red sox second round pick last year. He is often compared to AL rookie of the eyar Andrew Bailey. His one down swing, he had tommy John surgery two years ago. Has a hard fastball and his out-pitch is his slider. He spent last year with Lowell and I would be surprised to see him with Salem or Greenville next year.

 

This Lineup is Good

Look at the lineup in-dapth. It is not that terrible. It does not compare to the Yankees, I understand that. Maybe not even to other teams. But this lineup can win 95 games, I think. Take a look.

CF Jacoby Ellsbury: 70 base stealer, entering the prime of his career. He can hit .300, maybe more. He causes havic on the bases and helps hitters behind him. I don’t think Dustin pedroia would be as good without him, as he sees more fastballs with Ellsbury on base due the threat of a steal.

2B Dustin Pedroia: An MVP and .300 hitter, he will drive in from 70-80 runs and have an OBP around .370.

C Victor Martinez: .300 hitter that will give you 20-30 HRs and drive in 80-100 runs as well as a good OBP.

1B Kevin Youkilis: 20-30 HRs and .280-.320 hitter. Good for 100 RBIs and an OBP aroun .400.

DH David Ortiz: Can hit the ball out of the park at any time.

3B Mike Lowell: 20-25 HRs and will hit aroun .290. Will drive in about 80 runs and get the clutch hits.

RF JD Drew: About 20 HRs and maybe a .280 BAA. Will drive in some runs and will take the walk and get on base often, as well as getting a few clutch hits.

LF Mike Cameron: Line drive hitter that will hit 20-30 HRs and hit around .260. Won’t drive in too many runs but can steal a few bases and score quite a bit.

SS Marco Scutaro: Good OBP guy and can hit it out of the park once and a while. Cna steal bases and score runs.

Dscussion of the Week- What will the Red Sox lineup look like in 2010?

 Here is the Red Sox Opening Day lineup:

CF Jacoby Ellsbury  

2B Dustin Pedroia

 DH David Ortiz

1B Kevin Youkilis

LF Jason Bay

RF JD Drew

3B Mike Lowell

SS Jed Lowrie

C Jason Varitek

P Josh Beckett

Here is the lineup on the last game of the season, the last game of the ALDS.

CF Ellsbury

2B Pedroia

C Victor Martinez

1B Youkilis

DH Ortiz

LF Bay

3B Lowell

RF Drew

SS Alex Gonzalez

P Jon Lester

Slight difference, eh? Teams change over the course of a season, and boy did the Red Sox! I was wondering what you Total Bases readers think the Red Sox roster will look like at the begenning of 2010. Wiil Bay be the starting LF? Who will be SS? Who will be the opening day pitcher, Beckett or Lester? You guys tell me.