Roche: 2011 Sox Line-up?
Boston Red Sox
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BOSTON (CBS) — It’s certainly an interesting time over on Yawkey Way for the Boston Red Sox. They hit this off-season fresh off a year where they won 89 games, were crushed by injuries, and played a lot of people. Prior to the 2010 season, Theo Epstein talked about “bridge years” to get to a bunch of talent that needed time to develop in the Sox farm system.
Shortly after that the Sox went out and signed John Lackey to a 5-year deal. It appeared the Sox were also worried about PR and the people that pay a lot of money to watch 81 games a season at Fenway.
While Tom Werner, John Henry, and Larry Lucchino promise the Sox will continue to pour money into the payroll (something they have done each year since buying the team), Theo Epstein continues to implement his plan to give his kids a shot.
Interesting quote from Theo, coutesy Mike Silverman’s piece in the Boston Herald:
“When our club’s fully formed, we’re going to look at it – you guys will certainly look it – and will realize we’ve had to take educated risks in certain areas,” Epstein said. “This is not one of those years where we’re going to be able to cover all our bases and have contingency plans for everything. You don’t like to take those bets with starting pitching, but you don’t know who your eighth or ninth starter is on Opening Day. You like the rest of your club, so be it. Ideally you’d line up your guys now. We’ll see if we can accomplish that.”
I wonder if Theo continues to work on making a deal that would eventually bring Adrian Gonzalez or Justin Upton here, would Sox fans be ok with “letting the kids play”?
We’ve seen Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Jonathan Papelbon and others develop in the bigs. Why not let Ryan Kalish, Jed Lowrie, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia grow in Boston?
In other words, what if Theo’s opening day line-up looked like this?
Ellsbury, CF…Pedroia, 2b…Youkilis, 1b…Ortiz, DH…..Drew, RF….Lowrie, 3b….Saltalamacchia, C….Kalish, LF…and Scutaro, SS
Would that fly here? Probably not, but I think it would be interesting to see how successful it could be. You’d add Mike Cameron, a veteran catcher, as well as veteran back-ups at third, first, the outfield and more.
You’d hear…”well, they can’t compete with the Yankees!!!”. True, but last time I checked they didn’t win the World Series. A team that had players like Juan Uribe and Aubrey Huff did.
You’d save all the money you would have spent on Crawford, Werth, Beltre, and Victor Martinez. Use that to sign a player like Gonzalez if you could acquire him.
Do I think it will happen? Nope. I think the Sox will pay big money for a free agent or a player acquired via trade.
I do think it would be fun to try it though…….