Wednesday, February 20, 2008
In general, PECOTA has few Sox surprises offensively. Lowell comes back to earth going 285/345/437. Lugo also hits closer to his career norm of 275/337/384. Tek, Youk, DP, Manny, Drew and Coco (here’s my take on the centerfield situation) are forecast to have similar lines as last year. Yeah, no “comeback” year for the 32 year-old right fielder. The only forecast that is questionable is Ortiz’s SLG at 541 and an isolated SLG (SLG-BA) of 259.
PECOTA foresees a drop in power after Big Papi only put up an iSLG of 289 in 2007. It could be common that relatively large, slugging 1B/DH types see their power numbers decline after a down year in their 30’s. But the 60 point drop in iSLG from 2006 to 2007 could be mostly a function of his knee injury. A healthy knee allowing Big Papi to get in his full crouch at the plate could bring back an iSLG closer to his 2007 and 2006.
In total, the forecasting system has the local nine scoring 840 runs in 2008, which is down 27 from last year. As side from a return of Big Papi’s big time power, Manny stepping into the batter’s box more than the projected 581 times is a key factor for the Sox. If these two occur, the Olde Towne Team has a good shot at putting up more runs in 2008 than in last year’s championship season.
BTW - On Comcast SportsNet, Larry Lucchino thinks the Sox can stay in Fenway for "at least a few more decades"!