Monday, August 22, 2011
This four game series in Texas is not BIG. It is a possible October preview in name only. First off, the most obvious, the Red Sox will not be playing four in a row away from friendly Fenway in the playoffs. Second, Jon Lester should be on the bump in second season for the Sox. Third, Terry Francona is going to write Ortiz, Youkilis, and Ellsbury on his lineup card every night in October and that won’t happen over these next four games in Dallas. If the Sox and Rangers face off in the postseason, Texas will be facing a better club than the one they will see in the next four contests.
Other than making sure the team is healthy and ready for October baseball, the Sox need to make a decision on the corners in the outfield, as it is seemingly a result that is actionable (pitchers are unlikely to make it through waivers this August). Is Josh Reddick’s fifteen minutes of being an above average major league outfielder up? Aside from his home run yesterday, Carl Crawford’s timing at the plate appears to be horrid. Can he get on track in time for the playoffs? If the answer is no to either question, then Yawkey Way has to explore other options.
Internally, we know that Run DMcD is not the answer, although he can play the role of Bobby Keilty and Gabe Kapler. Unless J.D. Drew has found the Hot Tub Time Machine or had a procedure done in the Dominican, he probably is not the going to keep the line moving in October. Unlike in 2007, the organization does not have an Ellsbury to take time from Coco Crisp. Ryan Kalish could have been that player, but he must have gotten cursed like Jed Lowrie during that stop at Merlotte's. The Sox will need to trade for an outfielder. Get to work, Theo.