Thursday, August 10, 2006

Not good

I won't say to stick a fork in them yet, but I think the Red Sox may have lost one too many players to injury this season to win. As tough a time as the Yankees had without Sheffield and Matsui, and as inconsistent as Johnson has been, they still have had a generally solid rotation and bullpen. The Sox, on the other hand, have had 60% of their projected starting rotation on the DL (Wells, Clement, and Wakefield), and they've lost 4 of their position players for extended periods (Crisp, Peña, Nixon, and Varitek). And both Foulke and Timlin have spent time on the DL - two people who are bullpen mainstays. I think that's just too many. Jonathan Papelbon has been lights-out as a closer (despite blowing his last two saves), but he was expected to be a part of the rotation.

Remember, during spring training the Sox had so much starting pitching available that they shipped Arroyo to Cincinnati to get Wily Mo Peña in the first place. They had no idea there would be this many injuries, of course. Nobody did.

The bright side is that they've managed to develop 4 players who were not figured to be significant factors this year - all of whom are good young pitchers: Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen, Craig Hansen, and Jon Lester. That helps a lot, and there are some position players in the pipeline for next year as well.

They still have a chance - if they can stay close for the next week or two, they get some players back soon (Wakefield and Nixon are hopefully going to be back in about 2 weeks, and a couple more project to return soon), which helps. But right now they've lost 4 in a row for what I think is the first time this year (and to Tampa and KC, of all teams!). This has to get fixed first.

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