Don’t look now, but even amidst the bullpen woes, injuries, and batting order craziness there are several Red Sox who are compiling impressive accomplishments, some quiet, some not so. Credit is due to:
- Alex Gonzalez – now batting .250, with an OPS of .644. Having hit .270 in May, A-Gone is batting at a .325 clip in June. His glove remains unimpeachable, only one error on the year, though his range factor leaves something to be desired, better than only one other AL shortstop, who shall remain nameless. Chalk that one up to stellar positioning, of course. Which leads us to:
- DeMarlo Hale: where have you gone,
Wendell KimDale Sveum? Has anyone even asked about DeMarlo this year? Surely that’s a sign that he’s been a tremendous third base coach, sending guys at the right time, holding guys when necessary. If he inherited Sveum’s role in positioning the defense than there’s been seamless transition on that front. While player acquisitions are (rightfully) the best way to gauge a GM’s talent, coaching hires can also tell us a good deal. Theo and company deserve credit for bringing Hale on board.
- Rudy Seanez: OK, we’re going to catch heat for this one, but our eyes may be lyin’. Rudy’s appeared in 17 games since May 4th. In those 17 games he’s lowered his ERA from 9.58 to 4.34, giving up 6 earned runs over 18.2 innings (a 2.90 ERA for that span). And though Sunday’s tailing 86mph fastball that neither tailed nor was fast is fresh in our memories, we have to be fair: Rudy’s been pretty decent for the last 6 weeks and his innings are important to the Sox: they simply will not find an experienced arm who will give them this kind of performance on the cheap. Prepare to see Rudy for a while longer, especially if he keeps this up.
- Kevin Youkilis: Can we say it enough how much we love this guy? Way above expectation defense, incredible plate discipline, slightly more power than we expected, just a phenomenal player in his first full season as an everyday guy. This too might bring me some criticism, but Youk might just be the most important position player on the Sox right now.