I'll start with the sad: Yooooukkkkk. If what I'm hearing is true, then his days as a 3rd basemen might be ending, thus his time on the Sox might be ending. This is the saddest thing I've had to experience as a Boston sports fan in a while. It's partially due to the shock of it happening so soon. I still don't think it has. To me Youk's bat is nearly as reliable as Pujols'. But now that this seems possible and we might have to trade him by July, I have concerns about the offense I didn't have before. We'll have to bring up Middlebrooks I assume, and there's no way he's gonna hit that well right away. It's almost like we'd have to rebuild on the fly while trying to get to the playoffs and win.
With 6 games completed we know a little more than we did before the season started. Many of my positions have been altered slightly in that time. Some of this is good news, I would say. Some of it is not.
The rest of the offensive problem is with the bottom of the order. I know Salty has to get his chance but I'm hoping on Lavarnway to do some hitting this year. I only like Ross and Sweeney as a platoon. We should be on the hunt for a SS by trade. If Crawford does anything good this year we'll all be smiling a lot more.
So since pitching was the main concern going into the year, the offense having a scare should be enough to make me panic and think we're gonna win 80 games (god we're spoiled :D). But I actually feel way better about our starting pitching after what we've seen 1 and 1/5 times thru. Padilla's 4 shutout innings was an amazingly good sign to me. That just shows he's ready to get on a roll as a starter. I really like the youth and upside in Bard and Doubront. I think one or both of them will be in the front three by the end of the year. I hear some people raving about Cook and his groundball rate, and we haven't even seen him yet. And there's the upside of Clay Buchholz, who won't be a horse or a mainstay but will help a lot when healthy, no doubt. Beckett may be terrible this year, but I feel like there's some exciting options for the rotation nonetheless. Of course Lester is the best we've got, and I really like what we've seen so far.
Coming into the year, I was counting on the Youk-inhabited offense mashing its way to the playoffs with just enough pitching. Now I'm sad about Youk and am hoping on this pile of pitching that is either young and unproven or old and recently injured to carry the weight behind Lester. And yet, part of me feels better about the Red Sox than it did a week ago. Is that weird?