The Red Sox haven't gone the cheap route trying to compensate, going long with John Lackey and deep in negotiations with Josh Beckett. The Boston Globe today suggested that they are a dark horse in the Joe Mauer sweepstakes if he doesn't sign with the Twins. Frankly, he belongs with the Twins.
ESPN Boston had a terrific article with Mike Andrews about his website, Soxprospects.com and the strength of the Sox farm system. Andrews had the general consensus on Casey Kelly, and plenty of good information about the depth the Sox have accumulated at multiple levels.
The Sox continued their battle for the Polk County championship today with a win over the Twins, although Twins' starter Kevin Slowey shut them down early.
The Sox reassigned numerous players to the minor league camp, including shortstop in waiting Jose Iglesias.
What's the Opening Day lineup likely to be? Here's some speculation.
- Jacoby Ellsbury (LF)
- Dustin Pedroia (2B)
- Victor Martinez (C)
- Kevin Youkilis (1B)
- David Ortiz (DH)
- J.D. Drew (RF)
- Mike Cameron (CF)
- Marco Scutaro (SS)
- Adrian Beltre (3B)
- Josh Beckett (P)
Of course, we can argue about Markov Chain analysis, and I suspect the Red Sox do ascribe to this type of formula, easily explaining why J.D. Drew should be a productive leadoff hitter, and Jacoby Ellsbury might work out in the six hole. The big question mark in the lineup now is neither Cameron or Beltre, but perhaps David Ortiz. Older players dropoff can occur relatively abruptly and with little warning. Is another glacial start in order for Big Papi? Let's hope not.