All this talk about 2015... What about 2014?

budcrew08

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So most of the dust has settled on trade day, we lost a bunch of the 2013 25(TM) but we also gained good talent back so we can contend in 2015.

But for the rest of this year? How do the Sox manage and will it be a fun team to watch despite the record and last place spot in the East?
 

Brianish

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I'm actually more excited to watch this team that I have been for a couple of months. We're gonna get to see a lot of the kids. 
 

MakMan44

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We just added a ton of MLB players. That's probably fun to watch. The pitching might suck, as pitching prospects are wont to do, but you can't really argue they didn't make offensive improvements. 
 

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budcrew08 said:
So most of the dust has settled on trade day, we lost a bunch of the 2013 25(TM) but we also gained good talent back so we can contend in 2015.

But for the rest of this year? How do the Sox manage and will it be a fun team to watch despite the record and last place spot in the East?
It will be interesting and informative, if not always fun (which it will be sometimes).  I would imagine Farrell and company will keep preaching what they always have, which is game preparation and hard work, probably with more of an instructional component than usual.
 
Juan Nieves is going to be a very busy man.
 

tomdeplonty

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If Ortiz, Napoli, Bogaerts, Middlebrooks, and Cespedes are all hitting reasonably well, that could be lots of fun to watch.
 
The stakes for the team are very low, the trade deadline is past, and a bunch of young players (especially pitchers) will be auditioning for 2015. That could be fun to watch too, especially if they can settle down and play better baseball than we've seen in the last couple of weeks.
 
True, if it's gotta be a pennant race every year for you to enjoy it, you're better off spending the time some other way.
 

Tharkin

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I'm going to enjoy a nice no-stress couple of months watching the kids and the new guys.  I won't root for losses because winning is fun, but I certainly won't be upset if we lose a bunch and end up with a protected pick either.
 

Rasputin

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I only have the vaguest clue how many of the new guys are on the 40 man, but I kinda want to take all the guys who are on there and get them all some starts.
 
I also want to see more of Betts, and definitely some Marrero in September even if it's just a few games.
 
I'm half inclined to tell Buchholz and Vic to just chill with the Hellenic Flu until February.
 
I wanna see Cespedes in right as I have qualms on that score. 
 

Plympton91

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The offense could definitely be better, but the pitching is much worse, and the bullpen now has only 1 reliable set up reliever.  It's going to be painful I think, though there's an outside shot of everything coming together and them having a big time tease of a run the way 1996 team did. 
 
I think Cherington is right that they rebuilt the offense, especially if they're willing to demote Bradley to defensive replacement once Craig and Victorino are healthy.  They could have a really good offense in that case.
 
I actually wish they'd just keep Holt at 3B and leave Middlebrooks in Pawtucket.  I don't see what Middlebrooks has done to earn a call up, and in all likelihood that's at least in part because he's still hurt.  I just don't see how it's fair to Middlebrooks to say, "O.k. kid, here's your last chance to stick; ignore the fact that you still can't really hold a bat correctly because of your busted hand."
 

Rasputin

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This is a pretty monumentally important time for Middlebrooks. He pretty much has to cement himself as the third baseman or the team takes the offseason to move Bogaerts to third permanently in favor of Marrero.
 

snowmanny

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Rasputin said:
This is a pretty monumentally important time for Middlebrooks. He pretty much has to cement himself as the third baseman or the team takes the offseason to move Bogaerts to third permanently in favor of Marrero.
 
This is part of the problem
 

Plympton91

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snowmanny said:
 
This is part of the problem
 
That's funny.
 
But, while I agree with Ras that this could be a key time for Middlebrooks, unless he's healthy, you're not actually getting a good read on him anyway.  It's setting the experiment up for failure, and instead they could be keeping Holt in the lineup everyday and seeing how he finishes the season, which is almost equally important information.
 

Rasputin

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Plympton91 said:
That's funny.
 
But, while I agree with Ras that this could be a key time for Middlebrooks, unless he's healthy, you're not actually getting a good read on him anyway.  It's setting the experiment up for failure, and instead they could be keeping Holt in the lineup everyday and seeing how he finishes the season, which is almost equally important information.
But it isn't remotely as important a piece of information.

If Holt were to finish the season and play well at third, he would come into 2015 as a supersub because there is no way in hell Holt comes close to displaying the kind of power that Middlebrooks has.

If Holt were to finish the season at third and play terribly out even just kinda meh, he'd come into 2015 as a supersub because there is no way in hell he'll display the kind of power Middlebrooks has.

On the other hand, if Middlebrooks finished the year at third and is terrible, there's a decent chance they cut bait on Middlebrooks entirely and Holt gets to hold form third or short until Marrero pushes him out.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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snowmanny said:
100 wins is still technically possible.
Watching Brian Roberts getting his ring and standing there with AJP, Lackey, and Ed Mujica is going to be awesome.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Rasputin said:
 
I'm half inclined to tell Buchholz and Vic to just chill with the Hellenic Flu until February.
 
Pedroia, Koji, Ortiz and Craig should all be used sparingly and rested extensively the rest of the way. Victorino should go on the DL until he is completely 100%. healthy and then used sparingly. Buchholz needs to keep pitching to try to get himself fixed.
 

Sampo Gida

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budcrew08 said:
So most of the dust has settled on trade day, we lost a bunch of the 2013 25(TM) but we also gained good talent back so we can contend in 2015.

But for the rest of this year? How do the Sox manage and will it be a fun team to watch despite the record and last place spot in the East?
 
Well maybe this time they can do better than a #10 pick,   The  2012 team was 5 games better at this point and lost 93.  Maybe they can shoot for 100 and go for gold.
 
Seriously though, watching Cespedes and the kids is enough.  In fact, the offense has actually been strengthened by the sell off which should be more entertaining.  More runs per game on both sides.
 

Rasputin

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Sampo Gida said:
 
Well maybe this time they can do better than a #10 pick,   The  2012 team was 5 games better at this point and lost 93.  Maybe they can shoot for 100 and go for gold.
 
Seriously though, watching Cespedes and the kids is enough.  In fact, the offense has actually been strengthened by the sell off which should be more entertaining.  More runs per game on both sides.
 
This team is not allowed to lose a hundred games before it wins a hundred games.
 

Rasputin

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maxotaur said:
And 100 losses is more probable.
 
Not allowed.
 
Seriously, in my lifetime, we have won the division, we have won the world series, I've seen no hitters, players hit for the cycle, I saw Scott Cooper hit a triple, I've seen our guys win MVPs, gold gloves, Cy Youngs. I saw Scott Hatteberg hit into a triple play and hit a grand slam in the same game. I saw Bill Mueller hit two grand slams in a game. I saw Roger Clemens trike out 20, I've seen our guys be the MVP of the all star game and world series. I've seen insane comebacks in games, I've seen the greatest comeback in the history of baseball. I saw my dad's favorite guy ever get into the Hall. Next Summer, I'll see my favorite guy get into the Hall. Hidden ball tricks, unassisted triple plays, weird shit, great shit, terrrible shit, Tom Brunansky, Trot Nixon off Roger Clemens, Trot Nixon against Oakland, Oakland not knowing the rules and giving us outs that cost them runs. Postseason heroics out the yimyam.
 
You know what I haven't seen?
 
I haven't seen the Sox win a hundred games and I haven't seen the Sox lose a hundred games.
 
I am adamant that the hundred win season come first. With a little bit of luck, that can happen in 2015.
 

Gunfighter 09

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I don't want them to lose 100 games either, but I do want them to have one of the ten worst records in baseball. I don't want them to lose a pick when they re-sign Lester. 
 

buzzard21

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Gunfighter 09 said:
I don't want them to lose 100 games either, but I do want them to have one of the ten worst records in baseball. I don't want them to lose a pick when they re-sign Lester. 
Of course Lester wont be tied to a pick as he can't be offered a QO so your safe on that front. As far as Lester re-signing, I will believe it when there is a press conference..
 

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Gunfighter 09 said:
I don't want them to lose 100 games either, but I do want them to have one of the ten worst records in baseball. I don't want them to lose a pick when they re-sign Lester. 
 
As Buzzard points out, Lester isn't going to cost anyone a pick.  He can't be tendered a QO.
 
But that doesn't take away the utility of a protected pick when signing free agents.  The other pitchers out there probably will cost a pick...Scherzer and Shields in particular.
 

Super Nomario

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Rasputin said:
On the other hand, if Middlebrooks finished the year at third and is terrible, there's a decent chance they cut bait on Middlebrooks entirely and Holt gets to hold form third or short until Marrero pushes him out.
It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to put a ton of stock in 150-200 AB between now and the end of the year, especially when we're not sure Middlebrooks is 100% healthy. And you don't have to cut bait anyway; he's still got an option left, per soxprospects.com.
 

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Whether we would take stock of Will after 200 PAs is not really the issue. Ras is right: the FO will, in part because they've seen much more of him, for longer, than 200 PAs in 2014; and potential trade partners also will, for the very same reason.

There are a ton of moving and moveable parts between now and 2015. Some of these pieces are outbound for pitching, perhaps also for different profiles among the hitters. And Will is one of the key elements. What they do with him is interconnected to what they do across the organization. He is not the only guy in this spot, but he is a key one.
 

joe dokes

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Plympton91 said:
 
I actually wish they'd just keep Holt at 3B and leave Middlebrooks in Pawtucket.  I don't see what Middlebrooks has done to earn a call up, and in all likelihood that's at least in part because he's still hurt.  I just don't see how it's fair to Middlebrooks to say, "O.k. kid, here's your last chance to stick; ignore the fact that you still can't really hold a bat correctly because of your busted hand."
 
How do we know this?
 
EDIT:
So the Globe reports that Will Middlebrooks is dealing with a lingering injury to his right index finger,
 
 
Obviously I missed this . . . .
 
Doesn't do anyone any good to play him then. If they want to move bogaerts back to SS (makes sense to me), then play Holt at 3B
 

TheoShmeo

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So the Globe reports that Will Middlebrooks is dealing with a lingering injury to his right index finger, went 0-4 last night for the PawSox and is hitting .229 in 48 at bats with 4 RBIs and 12 Ks.  That's a small sample but there's a larger sample over the last few years that looks remarkably the same.
 
Right handed power is a rare commodity but this guy has had several chances to show that he belongs and just hasn't done it.  I hope they give him an extended look for the rest of the way.  If he again is mediocre, some will likely say it was the finger injury, but at some point they need to cut bait on him if he doesn't show more.
 
One of the benefits of the suck spiral that lead to the trading spree is extended time for him at 3B and Boegarts at SS.
 
As to Bogie, I will be very curious to see how he fares defensively at SS.  I have my doubts.  I would like to see them erased or minimized.  
 

Savin Hillbilly

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TheoShmeo said:
So the Globe reports that Will Middlebrooks is dealing with a lingering injury to his right index finger, went 0-4 last night for the PawSox and is hitting .229 in 48 at bats with 4 RBIs and 12 Ks.  That's a small sample but there's a larger sample over the last few years that looks remarkably the same.
 
Right handed power is a rare commodity but this guy has had several chances to show that he belongs and just hasn't done it.  I hope they give him an extended look for the rest of the way.  If he again is mediocre, some will likely say it was the finger injury, but at some point they need to cut bait on him if he doesn't show more.
 
This doesn't add up. If the injury is really hampering him, then they won't get any good, useful information from that. If he's not reasonably close to 100% they should shut him down for the rest of the year, hand the job to Betts and/or Holt for now, and give WMB one more shot in ST.
 

TheoShmeo

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Savin Hillbilly said:
 
This doesn't add up. If the injury is really hampering him, then they won't get any good, useful information from that. If he's not reasonably close to 100% they should shut him down for the rest of the year, hand the job to Betts and/or Holt for now, and give WMB one more shot in ST.
If the injury is truly hampering him, then yes, you are right.
 
The Globe story didn't contain enough information with which to evaluate that.
 
I remain hopeful that it's not and that he gets a legitimate chance to show whether he should remain in the mix.
 

Harry Hooper

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Gammons has related that BenC is just about the strongest advocate for Middlebrooks in the organization.
 

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The priority for 2014 is to evaluate and showcase as much young talent as possible. If Boston doesn't know who they want to keep -- I assume they do -- then they need to figure that out. Either way, having some ML track record will help bolster trade value so long as they are competent. 
 
With these trades they have positioned the 2015 team to be competitive, but have left the starting rotation vulnerable. I expect them to address that this offseason starting with bringing Lester back. While they may go all out for another top tier guy like Scherzer I think they more likely route is a second tier guy like Shields who, presumably, comes shorter/cheaper. However... a trade for someone like Hamels along with signing Lester also makes sense. Showcasing talent to include in such a deal is wise.
 
If he's healthy you absolutely make Middlebrooks the starter going forward. Betts should be in AA getting as much non-2B experience as possible.
 

TomRicardo

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Right now?
 
Holt 3B
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Cespedes RF
Craig LF
Bogaerts SS
Bradley CF
Vasquez C
 
Bench 
David Ross C
Carp 1B/OF/DH against RHP
Nava OF against RHP (and the occassional LHP when Bradley needs a spell and moves Cespedes to CF)
Kelly Johnson IF (plays third as the wonderful Brock Holt moves around)
 
Nava could be sent down if Victorino is healthy.
 
I except Kelly and Carp will eventually be traded during the waiver wire.  Middlebrooks will return.
 
Buchholz
Kelly
De La Rosa
Workman
Webster
 
Uehara
Tazawa
Badenhop
Breslow
Mujica
I would guess Tommy Layne would get the last bullpen spot when things settle.  Britton has been a trainwreck.
 

Stan Papi Was Framed

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TomRicardo said:
Right now?
 
Holt 3B
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Cespedes RF
Craig LF
Bogaerts SS
Bradley CF
Vasquez C
 
Bench 
David Ross C
Carp 1B/OF/DH against RHP
Nava OF against RHP (and the occassional LHP when Bradley needs a spell and moves Cespedes to CF)
Kelly Johnson IF (plays third as the wonderful Brock Holt moves around)
 
Nava could be sent down if Victorino is healthy.
 
I except Kelly and Carp will eventually be traded during the waiver wire.  Middlebrooks will return.
 
Buchholz
Kelly
De La Rosa
Workman
Webster
 
Uehara
Tazawa
Badenhop
Breslow
Mujica
I would guess Tommy Layne would get the last bullpen spot when things settle.  Britton has been a trainwreck.
I think you have one pitching slot open--which is filled by Ranaudo, for now.  It would also be nice to see someone else get a shot in place of Breslow.
 

TomRicardo

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Lavarnway will be coming back soon as well.
 
I would imagine he will given playing time when September roles around.  
 

TheoShmeo

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Redkluzu said:
Who's the back-up catcher for Vasquez now or did I miss something when AJ became dearly departed?
Is this a serious question?
 
Vazquez and Ross have been splitting the catching duties and there's no indication that will not continue.
 
Damn, Corsi'd.
 

kieckeredinthehead

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Can somebody point me to the quote (I think from Cherington?) where the Red Sox said that they consider AAA to be a holding pen for major league talent? It was something to the effect of the big jump being between AA and AAA, and any player who played well in AAA was probably ready for the majors. 
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

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kieckeredinthehead said:
Can somebody point me to the quote (I think from Cherington?) where the Red Sox said that they consider AAA to be a holding pen for major league talent? It was something to the effect of the big jump being between AA and AAA, and any player who played well in AAA was probably ready for the majors. 
http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/28481/gm-bogaerts-to-bigs-not-out-of-question?src=mobile&rand=ref~%7B%22ref%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fwww.talksox.com%2Fforum%2Fthreads%2F16438-Xander-Bogaerts%2Fpage6%22%7D  
 
"You know, I've always kind of felt like there's no such thing as a prospect in Triple-A," Cherington said. "Once you get to Triple-A, you're either ready to help the big league team or you're not. And us, we're finding out about the guys at Triple-A now, who's ready and who isn't. 

"We felt like Xander had done enough in Double-A to warrant a promotion. He spent some time there last year and went back this year and really improved in areas he needed to. He certainly improved in strike zone management this year. He's played a consistent shortstop. We know he's a threat with the bat. We just felt like it was time for him to face Triple-A pitching, guys that do different things. 

"So he'll get some at bats there, we'll see where we are. Once you get to Triple-A it's sort of an extension of the big league team and you're no longer a prospect. You're either at Triple-A or ready to help us in the big leagues." 
 

kieckeredinthehead

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BostonFanInCanesLand said:
http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/28481/gm-bogaerts-to-bigs-not-out-of-question?src=mobile&rand=ref~%7B%22ref%22%3A%22http%3A%2F%2Fwww.talksox.com%2Fforum%2Fthreads%2F16438-Xander-Bogaerts%2Fpage6%22%7D
 
"You know, I've always kind of felt like there's no such thing as a prospect in Triple-A," Cherington said. "Once you get to Triple-A, you're either ready to help the big league team or you're not. And us, we're finding out about the guys at Triple-A now, who's ready and who isn't. 

"We felt like Xander had done enough in Double-A to warrant a promotion. He spent some time there last year and went back this year and really improved in areas he needed to. He certainly improved in strike zone management this year. He's played a consistent shortstop. We know he's a threat with the bat. We just felt like it was time for him to face Triple-A pitching, guys that do different things. 

"So he'll get some at bats there, we'll see where we are. Once you get to Triple-A it's sort of an extension of the big league team and you're no longer a prospect. You're either at Triple-A or ready to help us in the big leagues." 
 
Thanks. I'd love if some reporter would follow up on this quote to see if Ben's learned anything this year about that philosophy. If there's been a major shift in "the plan," it's got to be that getting prospects adjusted to the big leagues is a lot harder than it seems.
 

Harry Hooper

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What's it all about, Farrell? I really don't understand what he's trying to accomplish with the remainder of the season. He's pushing Tazawa hard, and wouldn't consider batting Ortiz for Vazquez in the 9th in St. Louis {Instead, he batted for Nava and was intentionally walked.}. Then last night abusing Hembree and calling Workman in for emergency duty in extras, when he could have thrown in the towel innings earlier. The manager seems to be possessed by the ghost of Billy Martin when wins aren't critical at this point. It all seems very odd.