Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You Got Your Offense In My Defense! Sox Bats Defy 'Bridge Year' BS

The Red Sox are leading THE MAJORS or are right behind the leader in plethora of offensive categories  right now. Yeh, you heard me right: The entire major league.

Don't believe me? Take a look at the numbahs:
  • #1 in Hits with 689 (Number 2? The Kansas City Royals; I know, it's totally crazy)
  • #1 in Doubles with 174
  • #1 in RBI with 373
  • #1 in Runs with 390
  • #1 in Total Bases with 1158
  • #2 in Average at .278 (Number 1? The Kansas City Royals at .279)
  • #2 in Home runs with 93 (Number 1 is still the Blue Jays)
  • #2 in On-Base Percentage at .353 (A tie with the Braves of Hotlanta; That team from the Bronx leads at .359)
  • #3 in Walks with 277 (behind that team from the Bronx and the Braves of Hotlanta)
The team who plays on Yawkey Way are middle of the pack in one category: Strike Outs. They currently rank 17th which is fairly decent. At the bottom of that list are the Chicago White Sox and, once again, the Kansas City Royals.

If only the Royals had a few more decent starters... Speaking of Kansas City, they could be a team the Red Sox try to bargain with for a trade. Gordon Edes of ESPN started dropping some names recently and he mentioned Scot Podsednik as a target for Theo. He hits, he steals bases and he runs the bases well... I have some other ideas on potential targets, but more on that later.

Despite all this offense, the Red Sox have to be on the market for an impact outfielder with the injuries to Ellsbury, Cameron, Hermida and now, Drew. Drew is supposed to play tonight in Colorado, but I will not be surprised if Tito gives him more time off to let that hamstring calm down. Luckily, he did not land on the DL, but you'd be foolish to rule that out with Stephen's older, richer brother.

While the team-offensive numbers have been solid, the overall offensive contributions from outfielders are tenuous aside from Drew. Sure, there have been great rookie moments from McDonald and Nava, and some nice lefty at bats from Hermida (who is hurt), but let's be clear: We cannot expect these triple-a guys (and an inconsistent Bill Hall, who is really a back-up infielder) to go the rest of the season. In an effort to reach the playoffs, the Red Sox need another Ellsbury-type player who can get on base consistently, be a real base-stealing threat and generally be a nuisance to pitchers.

Looking at the outfield, Edes recently examined the offensive state of these players:
Relying on patchwork combinations that have featured McDonald, Jeremy Hermida and Bill Hall, with a cameo appearance by rookie Josh Reddick and now the latest import from Pawtucket, Nava, the Sox outfield collectively ranks next to last in the league in hitting (.257), 12th in OBP (.329), seventh in slugging (.421) and fifth in home runs (22).

And now I digress on Mike Cameron... I was doing a little research on contracts and still cannot believe Theo gave him over $7 million dollars. Yeh, he can play the outfield, but you had to know his age was a bit of a liability. Considering the abdominal injury and his lack of everyday status at present, perhaps now is the time to package him up with someone from the minor leagues and let him and his lousy batting average, lack of power and ZERO stolen bases go elsewhere.

[Image by therob006 via Flickr CC 3.0]