There's always reasons to be optimistic when the team is playing well, but I see these as issues with every member of the rotation. The good performances have short track records and could just as easily be subject to regression. But OTOH the number of questions aren't really solved by pushing everyone back. And filling in the back of the rotation for Dubront/ Bard with DiceK doesn't strike me any sort of sure thing.
It's certainly not a sure thing, but he has a track record that suggests he's likely to be decent as a back of the rotation starter. I don't think it's such an awful bet. Reasonable minds can disagree, though.
2/3 (or 3/4) of the starting OF is out without a sense of when they'll be back. At this point I'm not sure I'd be that comfortable making any assumptions about the health of the Red Sox trending up. The fact that the bullpen has been "surprisingly good" kind of points to the fact that the SSS caveats go both ways, and we have to expect someone to fall back to earth. The way Bard has looked as a starter, I don't think it's safe to assume that he'll suddenly revert to the relief ace we thought he was last year just because he moves to the 'pen. Similarly I don't think Dubront can be expect to make the transition without incident, and depending on things go it might make more sense to max out his innings in the rotation and then to just shut him down.
The offense (and for the most part the defense) has kept pace, and hopefully Gonzalez gives up on his James Loney impersonation (is it worth asking if asking him to play out of position is affecting his offense?), but again, this looks good because the team is winning. My point is just that with the competitive nature of the division, I'm not sure that this team is one that looks like a solid contender where the Sox should give up an asset like Youks for a short term fix rather than getting prospects for a brighter future, especially given the new limits placed on high revenue teams with the CBA. What's nice is that the current state of the OF gives the Sox a perfect showcase of Youk at 1B (with AG in RF) and then shift him to 3B (as a "defensive replacement" for WMB). Youk is shown at both positions, with less time slotted at the typically thought of more demanding position. And it looks natural enough as a pure baseball decision given the roster. Hopefully Cherrington can use the increased wildcard competition to drive up the price. Standing pat with Youks because either WMB might not be ready or he or Adrian Gonzalez might get hurt strikes me as the worst thing to do.
We're both looking at the same variables and are drawing different conclusions, and that's fine. I happen to see this team as being about as beat up as you can reasonably expect them to get. I see Ellsbury making progress, talk of Pedroia returning this week, Bailey throwing the ball again, Melancon throwing well in AAA just waiting for an opportunity to crack the pen and Kalish hitting well in his rehab stint. I'll refrain from including reports of Crawford swinging the bat again as even supposedly healthy last year he didn't bring much, but there has been progress toward getting a healthy club out there again. That the team has weathered this injury stretch so well leaves me feeling very optimistic. No, they won't keep winning at this rate, even if healthy, but they can absolutely continue to win series on a regular basis and I don't see any reason to assume they won't keep up with the division.
As for Youk, I'd like to see them hang onto him. I don't want him moved for a Dempster type and don't want him moved for prospects unless the return is really strong. In other words, if someone is willing to overpay, take it. Five more months of Youk plus two picks when he departs is probably going to be worth more than the prospects they can trade him for. So why not keep the best team possible together to make a run at the playoffs? This team is absolutely good enough to win the World Series. They just need to be reasonably healthy come October.
Hmm. "They had me go see this psychiatrist (about) why I didn't like going to the baseball field...."
Wouldn't this psychiatrist either diagnose this condition, or refer Greinke to someone who could do so?
The following sentences mention that he is medicated, and adjusted his medication that off season, which suggests that his condition *was* diagnosed and is currently being managed.
Edited by Snodgrass'Muff, 03 June 2012 - 04:24 PM.