2007 Boston Red Sox Baseball Preview
The Boston Red Sox (86- 76), after finishing out of the money last season, made an effort to upgrade and win the division. The AL East has been in the hands of the New York Yankees for years, but with improved pitching on the part of the Sox that may be changing.
The question marks do not concern the rotation; they are relegated to the bullpen. Jonathan Papelbon (4- 2, 0.92 ERA, 35 SV) was the clubs’ closer last season, but as planned, he’ll become the team’s number two starter. Curt Schilling (15 -7, 3.97 ERA) had a fine 2006 season and returns healthy. The big news in Beantown is, of course, Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was 15- 7 with a 2.13 ERA and 200 strikeouts last season in Japan. Josh Beckett and Tim Wakefield round out the rotation. Overall, the bullpen is solid but worrisome due to the fact that a closer has not been determined.
Hitters are plentiful on this team, including the duo of David Ortiz (.287 AVG, 137 RBI, 54 HR) and Manny Ramirez (.321 AVG, 102 RBI, 35 HR). Julio Lugo (.308 AVG, 27 RBI, 12 HR) comes from Tampa Bay and Willy Mo Pena (301 AVG, 43 RBI, 11 HR) offers some fine power. In right field, J.D. Drew (.283 AVG, 100 RBI, 20 HR) is a welcome addition. Coco Crisp (.264 AVG, 36 RBI, 8 HR) should prove to be an important force if he can stay healthy. Mike Lowell (.284 AVG, 80 RBI, 20 HR) has contributed more than expected.
The defense is good, especially at the corners with Lowell at third and Kevin Youkilis at first. The outfield is sound with Crisp in center and a constantly improving Ramirez in left. Behind the plate, Jason Varitek is one of the best.
Terry Francona is a solid players’ manager who understands what GM Theo Epstein expects from him. Epstein, after being estranged from the organization through part of 2006, has put together a fine rotation and line-up.
The Boston Red Sox look like they are in position to win the AL East. They have one of the best rotations in the American League and a whole lot of hitting.
For more info on the Red Sox check out the MLB official page for Boston baseball.