Thursday, March 19, 2009
Locking it down
In what is easily the least exciting position battle...ever...it looks like the Sox have their lineup penciled in. First off, the rotation:
No real surprises here. The only other real contenders for the 5th spot are Marquez (see: Nick Massett), and Poreda (going to the minors...for now). Should "Colon shitty" remain a headline, look for Richard to fill the 5th spot while Colon rehabs or switches to a relief role to build arm strength (SOMEthing).
Colon/Richard (Long Relief)
The only real surprises here are MacDougal (who has thrown the ball well since last year, and should be given the ML time not only for his lack of options, but for showcasing), and any Carrasco issues. I personally don't think Carrasco is the answer, but Poreda (why waste a good year on the contract?) and Broadway (unproven) aren't great answers either. Expect a lot of flip-flopping between Carrasco's spot and MacDougal's spot depending on who sucks first.
1. Ramirez (SS)
2. Pierzynski (C)
3. Quentin (LF)
4. Konerko (1B)
5. Thome (DH)
6. Dye (RF)
7. Fields (3B)
8. Getz (2B)
9. Wise/Anderson (CF)
Again, nothing too shocking. Getz has the job at 2B locked up (barring an injury or a huge resurgence from Lillibridge), and has shown he can hit ML pitching...in Spring Training. If he can keep up the bat action, he could see himself being shoehorned into a leadoff spot because lord knows Alexei doesn't belong there (and for a guy who doesn't walk, it makes even less sense. Even so, it's coming).
2-7 is pretty predictable. AJ resumes being shoehorned in as a #2 hitter (he did a pretty good job there last year, so no complaints), and 3-6 stays the same as always. Expect Dye to move up to the t#3 spot if/when Thome's back goes out.
I penciled Wise/Anderson in at 9. Anderson is a lock to make the team as a reserve outfielder (at minimum), but there's also a chance he could nab the starting CF job. Owens is as good as dead right now. Seeing as Wise and Anderson are hardly leadoff candidates, I stuffed them at the back end. Expect Getz to start in the 9 spot and gradually move up.
Depending on how Ozzie decides to arrange his roster, Owens may or may not make the cut as a pinch runner. Frankly, with Anderson and Wise making the team, it seems unlikely Owens comes along. The backup catcher position is still wide open, with Lucy and Stewart both showing signs of life with hitting (Lucy) and arm strength (Stewart). This one is more of an "Ozzie call," as the Sox may just sign someone for the hell of it. The infield gets rounded out by Nix (if healthy), but if he isn't ready to go, the position will go to Lillibridge.