Time for Red Sox to Move On
Let’s hope the Red Sox use Will Middlebrooks’ unfortunate injury as a signal that they should end the fiction they are playoff contenders.
Boston has five teams in front of them in the wildcard hunt – and remember: only to get into a one game playoff series. Not sure that qualifies for meeting the playoff expectations the team had in mind back in the spring.
So what does packing it in for the season look like?
Pete Abraham provided a good blueprint which was basically:
- Try to trade any veterans who probably won’t be back (Kelly Shoppach, Aaron Cook, more). And try to sign the keepers like Cody Ross – and if you get nowhere, move them.
- Play the kids (Ryan Lavarnway, more).
- Shut down Felix Doubront – he has pitched a ton more innings this season than ever before – nothing to be gained by potentially pushing him beyond his physical limit.
- Decide what you are doing with manager Bobby Valentine for next season.
- Establish a structure for veteran leadership to play a bigger role – as a buffer between the players and the manager and management – and to get some more self-accountability on the players’ side.
Some additional thoughts:
- Move Mike Aviles to third and bring up Jose Iglesias to play shortstop. Don’t wait until September for Iglesias when rosters are expanded and the competition watered down some. What value will playing ex-Twin Danny Valencia bring to the team?
- Actually, play Aviles and Pedro Ciriaco – as super-utilitymen, getting them in the outfield to see if they can bring some versatility to the bench next season.
- Figure the return on trading Boston’s undesirables will be low – with the possible exception of Ross, so make exploring a contract or deal with him a priority.
- Keep Franklin Morales in the rotation – but keep an eye on a potential shutdown like Doubront.
- If Carl Crawford needs Tommy John surgery – get it done now, so he is ready day one in Spring Training.
- Bring up Chris Carpenter and maybe Alex Wilson now. The bullpen looks spent. Same reasoning as with Iglesias – bringing them up now gets a bigger, more competitive work sample from them.
Do you agree with these proposed moves? What would you do?