Projecting the 2007 Red Sox

[Editor’s note: By request, I’m featuring this at the top for easy access until I do a companion Yankees piece. I’ll try to tackle that this weekend, though I warn you it will be painful, and I probably will return from the experience a bitter, shaken man. Oh, and from now on, please refer to me as "this dude." Thanks.]

Perhaps the only thing more fun for baseball fans (and by “baseball fans,” I mean “dorks”) than actually seeing baseball start in April is predicting how baseball will go after it starts in April. Here’s a fairly comprehensive look at the Red Sox, how they did in 2006, and how that compares to what the well-respected Baseball Prospectus/PECOTA and Bill James/Baseball Info Solutions projections say they’ll do in 2007.

First, the Red Sox’ starting nine in 2006 were pretty disappointing, compared to the monster offenses put out from 2003-05:

Youkilis — .279/.381/.429 13 HR, 159 H, 100 R
Loretta  — .285/.345/.361 5 HR, 181 H, 75 R
Ortiz    — .287/.413/.636 54 HR, 137 RBI, 29 2B, 119 BB
Ramirez  — .321/.439/.619 35 HR, 102 RBI, 27 2B, 100 BB
Varitek  — .238/.325/.400 12 HR, 55 RBI
Nixon    — .268/.373/.394 8 HR, 52 RBI, 24 2B
Lowell   — .284/.339/.475 20 HR, 80 RBI, 47 2B
Crisp    — .264/.317/.385 8 HR, 36 RBI, 22 2B, 22 SB
Gonzalez — .255/.299/.397 9 HR, 50 RBI, 24 2B

Figuring out a typical lineup is pretty difficult, thanks to significant injuries to Varitek, Nixon and Crisp, as well as the lineup switching between Youkilis and Crisp, plus the significant playing time given to Cora and Pena. Anyway, that’s somewhat typical – and not very good. It’s a wonder Ramirez got any pitches to hit, considering the gap between him and Lowell.

Based on Cyril Morning;s and Ken Arneson’s  Lineup Analysis tool, as posted on Baseball Musings, that lineup should have scored 5.58 runs per game. The best lineup involving those nine players (Youk-Ramirez-Nixon-Ortiz-Lowell-Gonzo-Tek-Crisp-Loretta) would have scored 5.80. The Sox actually scored 5.06 RPG, a testament to their injuries and the amazingly horrific lineup Terry Francona was forced to field at times. That amounts to 83 lost runs – or roughly eight wins. The underperformance of Varitek, Crisp and Nixon – when they were actually “healthy” – didn’t help either. Was this lineup good enough to win the AL East? No. But clearly the Red Sox would have been a playoff contender well into September without their bad luck.

So what about the 2007 Red Sox lineup?

The Bill James Handbook projects the Sox this way (caveats being that the new players were not projected for Fenway Park, which suppressed home runs and enhances doubles, both to severe extents, last season; adjust accordingly. I also added some counting stats because those are more interesting than percentages):

Lugo     — .277/.343/.399 11 HR, 156 H, 85 R, 26 SB
Youkilis — .283/.395/.433 14 HR, 165 H, 101 R
Ortiz    — .285/.391/.592 47 HR, 138 RBI, 42 2B, 103 BB
Ramirez  — .305/.414/.590 37 HR, 118 RBI, 33 2B, 90 BB
Drew     — .283/.398/.493 24 HR, 82 RBI, 27 2B
Varitek  — .259/.343/.434 17 HR, 69 RBI
Lowell   — .273/.341/.452 18 HR, 77 RBI, 36 2B
Crisp    — .284/.337/.419 11 HR, 54 RBI, 30 2B, 23 SB
Pedroia  — .284/.355/.418 10 HR, 72 RBI, 47 2B, 67 BB, 43 K

This strikes me as very conservative – slight rebounds from Crisp and Varitek, a slight decline from Lowell, and a solid (47-double) debut by Pedroia. If Drew puts up those numbers over his projected 138 games, I’ll be quite pleases.

As you’d expect, these numbers produce a much better result – 5.93 runs per game, or 961 total runs – 60 more than they should have scored with the 2006 lineup and about 150 more than they did score in 2006. So, based on the BIS projections, the Sox added between six and 15 wins with their lineup changes – adding Lugo and Drew in place of Gonzalez and Nixon, and allowing Pedroia to replace Loretta. The Varitek and Crisp improvements seem to be a wash with the slight regressions from Ortiz and Lowell.

(For what it’s worth, the most productive lineup theoretically would be: Youk-Manny-Pedroia-Ortiz-Drew-Lowell-Tek-Crisp-Lugo, which would produce 6.04 runs per game.)

Anything could happen, of course. Assuming that last year was a once-in-a-generation fluke and the Sox don’t underperform their statistics by 83 runs, a significant offensive boost seems likely. Does PECOTA agree?

Lugo     — .284/.347/.406 8 HR, 134 H, 74 R, 19 SB
Youkilis — .271/.376/.456 18 HR, 142 H, 90 R
Ortiz    — .289/.406/.577 41 HR, 130 RBI, 37 2B, 109 BB
Ramirez  — .297/.400/.567 33 HR, 105 RBI, 32 2B, 84 BB
Drew     — .285/.392/.476 15 HR, 61 RBI, 27 2B
Varitek  — .274/.357/.453 14 HR, 55 RBI
Lowell   — .273/.333/.441 15 HR, 74 RBI, 33 2B
Crisp    — .310/.361/.452 13 HR, 63 RBI, 27 2B, 21 SB
Pedroia  — .294/.360/.431 9 HR, 60 RBI, 36 2B, 47 BB, 39 K

Striking similarities: Both give Mike Lowell and essentially the same projection. The same with David Ortiz and, to a lesser extent, Julio Lugo and Kevin Youkilis. Both like Pedroia a lot – BIS likes his power; PECOTA likes his patience. Both project him to be a high-doubles, low-K, high-contact player, and both say he’ll be better than Loretta.

Interesting differences: PECOTA sees a significant dropoff from Ramirez, as well as a disappointing season for Drew. That’s been discussed here before [LINK]. It sees Crisp rebounding to a major extent, and Varitek coming back nicely. BIS seems more willing to project bigger home run numbers for the middle of the lineup. PECOTA seems to be giving a lot of weight to Fenway’s home run suppression.

The PECOTA projections would give the Sox an even better lineup than the BIS projections – 5.95 runs per game (as opposed to 5.93), or 964 runs – a whopping thee runs better. So, despite the differences in some of the players, both systems essentially have the Sox scoring the same next season and, by extension, improving their offensive output significantly.

That’s only half of the equation, of course. Pitching counts, too.

Let’s use the same system for pitchers. Those who made at least 10 starts for the Sox in 2006:

Schilling — .276/.303/.459 15-7, 3.97 ERA, 8.07 K/BB
Beckett   — .245/.317/.450 16-11, 5.01 ERA, 2.14 K/BB
Wakefield — .248/.322/.413 7-11, 4.63 ERA, 5.79 K/BB
Lester    — .294/.381/.434 7-2, 4.76 ERA, 1.40 K/BB
Clement   — .291/.392/.438 5-5, 6.61 ERA, 1.13 K/BB
Snyder    — .314/.366/.518 4-5, 6.56 ERA, 2.85 K/BB

Ugly. The top four arms in the bullpen:

Papelbon  — .167/.211/.254 4-2, 0.92 ERA, 5.77 K/BB
Foulke    — .271/.298/.490 3-1, 4.35 ERA, 5.14 K/BB
Timlin    — .305/.349/.449 6-6, 4.36 ERA, 1.88 K/BB
Tavarez   — .293/.374/.451 5-4, 4.47 ERA, 1.27 K/BB

The Red Sox gave up 773 ER in 1,441 innings last year for an ERA of 4.83.

How do the same positions stack up under our two projection systems?

BIS (with a qualifier that James doesn’t belive in projecting pitching performances and a qualifier from me that it picked only two pitchers to win as many as 18 games next season — Santana, 20, and Carpenter, 19):

Schilling — 12-8, 3.50 ERA, 5.9 K/BB
Beckett — 13-10, 3.68 ERA, 2.55 K/BB
Matsuzaka* —  15-10, 3.55 ERA
Wakefield — 8-8, 4.14 ERA, 1.96 K/BB
Papelbon — 14-6, 2.98 ERA, 3.77 K/BB
Lester — 4-5, 4.38 ERA, 1.80 K/BB

* Matsuzaka was not projcted by BIS, so I used an average of various projections compiled here.

A much better rotation, for sure, with all five starters outperforming their previous output or the previous output of their slot, and four of the five (including Schilling himself) posting ERAs lower than Schilling’s 2006 staff best. BIS is extremely conservative with its victory totals. If Papelbon does post an amazing sub-3 ERA, which is improbable, is there any way he wins only 14 games? Highly doubtful.

The BIS bullpen:

Timlin — 72 G, 3.86 ERA, 2.56 K/BB
Donnelly — 62 G, 3.41 ERA, 2.67 K/BB
Tavarez — 62 G, 4.56 ERA, 1.39 K/BB
Delcarmen — 53 G, 3.88 ERA, 2.19 K/BB
Romero — 62 G, 4.40 ERA, 1.5 K/BB

Because it goes to press so soon after the end of the season, the Bill James Handnook failed to catch any of the significant bullpen changes, except Papelbon’s move to starter. As a result, the Sox have no projected closer. It does project Joel Pineiro as a reliever/spot starter, but if he starts 14 games for the Red Sox as is projected, 2007 will be a horrible season indeed. Based on these numbers, I’d give the closer’s job to Brendan Donnelly.

Projecting the runs and innings pitched from these 11 pitchers to last year’s 1,441 IP gives us 587 runs allowed — just a ridiculous number fewer than last year. It amounts to roughly a 3.70 ERA, which would have blown away Detroit’s MLB-best 4.17 ERA this year. While I think the Red Sox have created one of the best — if not the best — starting staff in the AL, that would be a best-case scenario, obviously unlikely, considering the combination of the 19 pitching wins with the minimum six offense wins combines to 25 additional wins (111-51? I could live with that).

Perhaps PECOTA will be more instructive:

Schilling — 13-9, 4.02 ERA, 4.24 K/BB
Beckett — 11-10, 4.47 ERA, 2.27 K/BB
Matsuzaka — 12-9, 4.01 ERA, 3.18 K/BB
Wakefield — 9-9, 4.77 ERA, 1.69 K/BB
Papelbon — 9-7, 4.28 ERA, 2.82 K/BB
Lester — 6-7, 5.20 ERA, 1.64 K/BB

Talk about your two extremes. In PECOTA’s scenario, every pitcher, including Matsuzaka, underperforms Schilling’s team-best 2006 season. PECOTA and BIS share one similarity — they both trend very conservatively when predicting wins and strikeouts/walks. I consider Schilling and Matsuzaka putting up K/BB ratios that low just as improbable as Papelbon posting a sub-3 ERA. I also view a 4.77 ERA from Wakefield as unlikely, though the rest seems realistic if a bit conservative.


Timlin — 36 G, 4.24 ERA, 2.30 K/BB
Donnelly — 46 G, 4.36 ERA, 2.15 K/BB
Tavarez — 43 G, 5.05 ERA, 1.22 K/BB
Delcarmen — 47 G, 4.29 ERA, 2.23 K/BB
Romero — 51 G, 4.65 ERA, 1.44 K/BB

This is very ugly indeed. PECOTA also conservatively projects games played, Romero leading the team and Timlin apparently suffering an injury. None of these sets of numbers is impressive, and PECOTA doesn’t project saves at all. It projects Pineiro also as a part-time starter. Lord, I hope not.

Under these projections, and adjusting for IP, the Red Sox would allow 710 ER, or a 4.43 ERA — still an improvement of 73 runs, or seven wins. Based on PECOTA’s projections, the Sox have improved a total of at least 13 wins over last season, projecting to a 99-63 record — ignoring for a moment that the Sox have, um, absolutely no one in the closer’s role at the moment.

Using James’ Pythagorean theorum and PECOTA’s seemingly more realistic projections, 964 runs scored and 710 runs allowed would project roughly (I used the power of two instead of the power of 1.83) to a 105-57 record. Um, wow.

This is all in fun, of course. They play the games for a reason. My math may be off, so those of you more numbers-inclined, feel free to drop me an email and let me know where I’m wrong, and I’ll dutifully correct it. Due credit to Baseball-Reference and for stats, as well as Baseball Musings for the lineup calculator and the idea, taken from this post.

41 comments… add one
  • Great post Paul. I’ll try to dive in later on when I’m a little more awake, but for now, those Pedroia projections look GREAT. And a little more than optimistic, I think. Although I’ve been anticipating lesser numbers all offseason.

    QuoSF January 17, 2007, 12:35 am
  • Fantastic and fascinating stuff, Paul. I don’t give much weight to projections, especially for pitching, but it’s still fun to look at. And dream.
    Either way, it’s very hard to see the Red Sox being as unlucky as they were in 2006 all over again. Although I’m of the mildly paranoid camp, so I won’t rule it out either. [Shudder]

    mouse - SF January 17, 2007, 3:44 am
  • interesting stuff paul….thanks for taking the time to put it together…my tiny brain tends to try to boil things down to their simplest form…for example, forget all the number crunching models, do we expect beckett to have a better year, yep…and so on…sometimes our guts are more accurate…just curious, all of the individual numbers are fun to look over, but it doesn’t give me the most important detail: who’s gonna win the ws?…

    dc January 17, 2007, 8:35 am
  • I not just saying this ’cause I’m a Yankee fan, but those Pedroia projections seem a tad optimistic, don’t you think?

    Rob (Middletown, CT) January 17, 2007, 8:52 am
  • To me those Pedroia numbers are not to be expected. I think any of us SFs would be happy if the kid hit .265, with an OBP just shy or touching .350.

    SF January 17, 2007, 9:20 am
  • A couple things about Pedroia.
    I agree those numbers are best-case scenario, and really the numbers I’d expect out of him come his second or third year in the bigs. That said, the fact that both metrics project those optimistic numbers, and the fact is certainly interesting. They’re not projecting something wildly unrealistic (20 HR or anything). But yes, it’s certainly a ROY-caliber season if those predictions were to come true, and it seems a bit tenuous to go predicting ROY-caliber seasons for players not named Matsuzaka.

    Paul SF January 17, 2007, 10:38 am
  • The numbers for DP aren’t far off from what I have also. I have less HR’s (8) and less RBI’s (54) but basically right on base.
    Uggh I certainly hope not as a Yankees fan.

    Triskaidekaphobia January 17, 2007, 10:43 am
  • I’m sure that if the pieces fall where they are projected to, both the Red Sox and the Yankees are going to be tough to keep under 90 wins.

    Brad January 17, 2007, 11:18 am
  • I’d say 90 wins would be a disappointment from the Yankee roster… and I think the same is probably true of the Sox.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) January 17, 2007, 11:22 am
  • Great post, Paul – that must have taken quite a chunk of time to get together.

    Andrews January 17, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • It actually took less than I thought. I started it last night, just figuring I’d get started and finish it up over the weekend, but I ended up being done by bedtime. The longest was the pitchers because the projections didn’t include ratios beyond ERA or earned runs. Had to do all the math for those myself :-P

    Paul SF January 17, 2007, 12:47 pm
  • Thanks for the compliments, all. It was a lot of fun to do. I’ve had a request to do a Yankee one as well. I’ll see what I can do. Since we’ve established PECOTA as the better system, I might just use them. Unless any YFs here want to take it on…

    Paul SF January 17, 2007, 1:00 pm
  • I’d say 90 wins would be a disappointment from the Yankee roster.
    Yes, but pitching is where the truth lies.

    Brad January 17, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • I think this is a brilliant post, Paul. Thanks for the work. I would note that the projections are based on the production of the starting lineups and ideal roster over the course of 162 games, and the truth is that some large percentage of that production will actually filled by backups/replacements of lesser value.

    YF January 17, 2007, 4:40 pm
  • Of course this is true, but there’s only so far you can go before your eyes start bleeding.

    Paul SF January 17, 2007, 4:42 pm
  • Ignore that pervious comment. I’m wrong. But I do wonder how the performance of the rest of the roster will affect things.

    YF January 17, 2007, 4:42 pm
  • You can’t just round 1.83 up to 2 when using the pythagorean therum. Done correctly, the result is 93 wins, which is much more realistic.

    Robb January 17, 2007, 4:44 pm
  • I dont know Robb, I just did it with 1.83 and I got 103, which seems more correct as such a small change in exponent shouldnt have that much of an effect.

    Kyle January 17, 2007, 7:02 pm
  • If I had any kind of a decent calculator, I would have done it with the 1.83. The Pythagorean theorum (in baseball of course) was originally done to the power of two, and the1.83 later was determined to be slightly more accurate. If the power of two was missing by 12 wins per team, the theorum would never have gotten off the ground. So I’m comfortable with the slightly more inaccurate 105-win season, using those numbers. I don’t think the Sox will do that well anyhow, but it’s fun to see.

    Paul SF January 17, 2007, 10:29 pm
  • 105 wins is a great team that also has some luck. It’s rather unlikely. It just doesn’t happen all that often.
    Theoretically, I bet both the Yanks and Sox are ~100 win teams, provided health. But odds are neither will be entirely healthy and this will result in mid-90s win totals. I do expect it to be close.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) January 18, 2007, 11:28 am
    The Braves/Pirrsburgh deal is done. I wonder if the Braves are going to deal him or keep him as a set up guy to Wickman.

    Brad January 18, 2007, 11:30 am
  • Rob, also off the top of my head I can’t think of many seasons when two teams won over 100 games while playing in the same division.

    Nick-YF January 18, 2007, 11:37 am
  • i saw this linked via Baseball Musings; a couple of comments. i like this general approach — i have done the very same thing over at my blog to evaluate the cardinals, and it’s a good model. but i think you could improve the accuracy of your outcome if you made a couple of changes.
    first, your analysis of the offense assumes that the starting 9 players will play all 162 games for the red sox and take all the at-bats. obviously that’s not going to happen; bench players are going to take at least 20 percent of the at-bats, and that will bring the overall run-scoring output down.
    likewise, this analysis assumes the sox’s 10 or 11 best pitchers will throw every single inning; again, not a realistic premise. replacement players will throw 10 percent or so of the innings, and probably will be less effective than the guys you’ve based your projection on. that’s going to drive the runs allowed upward.
    just taking a wild-ass guess, with a more realistic distribution of playing time the sox might end up at, say, 900 runs scored and 750 runs allowed. that would still project to 96 wins, which is very optimistic.

    l boros January 18, 2007, 12:03 pm
  • I like projections when talking about players, but these season projections for the team scare the shit out of me.
    Knocking on wood…

    LocklandSF January 18, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • I for one am expecting big things from Pedroia in 2007 :)

    TJ Sox Fan January 18, 2007, 12:11 pm
  • Paul, good work. It seems like you are assuming that only the Sox top players see the field. Were PAs given to the bench and mop up relievers?

    El Guapo's Ghost January 18, 2007, 12:13 pm
  • Hey EGG, no. I recognized that when I did the analysis, but as I mentioned before, it’s something to where I chose between ease of analysis and making my head hurt. I chose the lazy way out. Presumably, of course, you hope that the Sox do not need their bench players that often. The player they’d likely use the most, considering the injury risks of their starters, would be Wily Mo Pena, whose projections IIRC (I’m at work, stats are at home) are still pretty good. Offensively, Pena and Eric Hinske remain good options who would not have significant effects on the RS portion of the equation over a combined 600-700 plate appearances or so.
    As far as pitching, I chose the pitchers who were likely in my eyes to pitch the majority of the relief innings. That the Sox have no closer, and the fact that neither projection system accounts for any Sox reliever being a closer, is to my mind a bigger drag on the pitching side of the projection than the potential replacements. There’s just no way to account for that because the projections aren’t there — because the closer is not there. In any case, if the starters are as good as projected, the Sox bullpen will be given far less of a chance to significantly affect Runs Allowed than it had in 2006. Bullpens are a crapshoot; there’s simply no way to say with certainty which pitchers will be the most used and effective by season’s end, or which pitchers will even be used by season’s end. I imagine using this method to project a W-L record will run up against the same problem with every pitching staff in the league.

    Paul SF January 18, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • This is a very interesting exercise, and I would love to see a Yankee version as well. To the person above who noted keeping things simple though, I am always leary (spelling? leery?) of statistics in general given there are lies, damn lies, and then statistics in order of accuracy; especially when it comes to projections. If these regularly held true I would not keep coming in last in my fantasy league. My questions for the Sox are the same as for the Yankees…pitching. Why is it safe to assume Wang will regress but Beckett will rebound? Why was a Randy Johnson in his forties off of back surgery destined for a 7.00 ERA but Schilling certain to bounce back at his age? Wakefield is not younger, but Mussina is most likely to add another run to his ERA…Pettite (who as a Yankee fan I personally feel will spend his season in the trainer’s room) is working with a busted wing but Papelbon with shoulder issues in short relief will have no issues as a starter…alright, well you might have me there. And Dice-K…as big a mystery as any can’t miss prospect, no different than a Phil Hughes. And you could absolutely blow up the Yankee staff with the holes they have and assert the same concerns…
    I guess my point is…when will it be April 1st, and these guys just start playing…sigh, when does the NCAA tournament start???

    Jrirish January 18, 2007, 1:17 pm
  • Thanks – I must have missed that caveat. EGG reading comp ability – below average.
    One other factor is reliever leverage – not all relief innings are equal, but that discussion should be a college thesis.
    Lunch break too?

    El Guapo's Ghost January 18, 2007, 1:21 pm
  • Holy mother of god we need the season to start soon or some people here are going to lose their minds.

    LocklandSF January 18, 2007, 5:25 pm
  • Jrirish – I think people say that Wang will regress while Beckett will do better because they believe in some sort of “regression to the mean”, in which Wang got lucky and Beckett got unlucky. It’s a logically fallacy at worst, and irrelevent at best – for all we know, Beckett might keep getting unlucky.
    In any case, ya, April can’t come early enough!

    Lar January 18, 2007, 5:31 pm
  • By the way, also, it’s really hard for Beckett to have another year of 5 ERA, just like it’s probably really hard for RJ to have another year of 5 ERA (had he stayed in NY anyhow) – they just have too much skill. Now, whether you consider Beckett a 4.5 ERA pitcher or a 3.0 ERA pitcher is another story..

    Lar January 18, 2007, 5:33 pm
  • No matter how good your pitching staff is, a horrible bullpen will turn those 4-1 gems into 5-4 heartbreakers more often than you’d think. When you’re running a 7.00 ERA J.C. Romero out in the 7th inning, nothing is safe. That is why these projections, I think, don’t account enough for the wretched bullpen the Sox seem to be set with.

    Andrew January 18, 2007, 10:51 pm
  • Perhaps, Andrew, but the projections do have Romero with an ERA significantly less than 7. I’m not sure I want a reliever out there with an ERA above 4, but that appears to be an unrealistic hope… *sigh*

    Paul SF January 18, 2007, 11:59 pm
  • I know, I was exaggerating. But when you have all your relievers with ERAs above 4…well yeah, you don’t want that in any kind of lead. When a dominant pitcher comes out of a game, and a bad reliever comes in, teams can pull off miracles. I’m sure we Yanks and Sox fans both know that all too well.

    Andrew January 19, 2007, 12:11 am
  • Paul, a great post. This is Peter N on a sorta white Friday morning. And I linked this so very good piece in my latest Friday post. I hope that’s OK!! Have a great weekend. 27 days until pitchers and catchers report! And soon after that, we’ll have a closer????? Thanks!

    Peter N. January 19, 2007, 10:14 am
  • Thanks, Peter.
    Let me add one thing I thought of this morning about the 105 wins. It’s gotten a lot of press, but the other projected win total is 99 — the number of wins arrived at by adding the additional runs scored and prevented based on the PECOTA projections and dividing by 10 (1 win = roughly 10 runs). This accounts for the biggest flaw, which is not taking into account plate appearances by presumably worse bench players and replacement pitchers/relievers. The Sox used plenty of those last season and wound up with 86 wins based on the starting lineup, rotation and top relievers. Just by changing the lineup, rotation and top relievers for the projections, you add 13 wins to the 86 — a total that already accounts for those second- and third-tier players.
    Hope that clears things up.

    Paul SF January 19, 2007, 10:41 am
  • Trot inks a deal with Indians to apply a subtle amount of pressure to the Red Sox to hurry up with this Drew fiasco.
    The link is on BDD.

    Brad January 19, 2007, 12:59 pm
  • Brad, a curse on your house for even mentioning Steve Scum Bag Silva’s evil god awful stie/blog crapfest on this site.

    LocklandSF January 19, 2007, 1:22 pm
  • i love this rivalry

    hola January 22, 2007, 10:50 pm
  • Hey Paul,
    Great fun post. Now that the Pats are done and the C’s are outof playoff contention time to look forward to the Sox.
    I follow BoSox prospects on this well done site: When you look at Pedroia, he tends to struggle a bit initially as he has gone up a level, but then really produced the next year. Hopefully, that trend continues and he reaches those projected numbers.
    Personally, while I think the Sox starting pitching has some questions to answer, they are potentially the best starting 5 (plus Lester in reserve) in the majors. Now about that bullpen…
    P.S. Where is Hansen in the bullpen discussion? I was hoping he would get the chance to win the closers role in Spring Training.

    Jerry B January 30, 2007, 4:26 pm

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