The 2007 lineup for the Boston Red Sox looks pretty questionable thus far. Most of Boston’s outfield was down for a good deal of the season, including their newest outfielder, J. D. Drew, who is notorious for his health issues. Due to these things and more, this season will probably be pretty rough for the Red Sox.
Jason Varitek is 35 and fading fast toward retirement. His defense is dropping, and his OPS+ plummeted an entire 40 points. The injury to his knee didn’t help him over the summer either. However, Varitek should still show some resilience, even though his reign as the best offensive catcher is over.
Many people were impressed with the 91 walks that first baseman Kevin Youkilis drew last year and fans are waiting for more of the same. Though not playing at home, Fenway Park, he should still play a good game. Dustin Pedroia finally has a chance to shine this season. Though he hasn’t performed well when given his chance, some serious improvements should come from him this year. Lowell is commonly regarded as a wizard with a glove—as long as the ball is within range. Lowell catches a good amount of balls that come into his zone, but lacks in range. He also has a tendency to fall off towards the last half of the season.
Julio Lugo, Bostons’ starting shortstop for 2007, is in a really good position for this year. This is argued greatly, but here is why is perfect for the position: during his career at Fenway Park, he had a career OPS of .880; and, he can steal about 25 bases, play solid defense, and score an OPS of over .800. Hence his perfect placement as shortstop. There isn’t too much to say about the Red Sox’s designated hitter. David Ortiz is one of the best hitters in all of baseball and the Red Sox should be able to depend on him for many runs.
The pitching rotation will go as follows; Curt Schilling, Josh Becket, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jonathon Papelbon, and Tim Wakefield. Schilling is prospective for this year, as well as Wakefield is. Papelbon suffered a recent shoulder injury, and pitching 120 more innings than he did last year isn’t going to treat that injury any good.
The projected closers for this year are pretty shady looking. Last season, Donnelly made his highest ERA, and worst K/BB ratio of his career. Pinieiro has been no better in the past two years, so the bullpen could get pretty ugly this year.
The biggest thing that will affect Boston the most this year is the bullpen. It will probably cost them their shot at the division. They don’t have good closing players, and Delcarmen and Hansen are clearly not ready for the big leagues, so Boston is left pretty open ended at this point.