Results tagged ‘ Nick Punto ’

Boston Red Sox 2012 Offseason Recap and Preview

As much as I feel dislike towards the Red Sox as a person who grew up as a Yankee fan, I know that they are people with feelings too and I know I am causing them enough damage by just showing this picture of game 162. So I won’t add any commentary, but I have to show the picture because it *was* the story of their 2011:

Grade: B

Notable Additions:

Andrew Bailey, Aaron Cook, Mark Melancon, Clayton Mortensen, Vincente Padilla, Nick Punto, Cody Ross, Kelly Shoppach, and Ryan Sweeney.

 

Notable Subtractions:

Jonathan Papelbon, J.D. Drew, Jed Lowrie, Hideki Okajima, Josh Reddick, Marco Scutaro, Kyle Weiland, and Dan Wheeler.

 

Why?: When you actually look at the talent changing hands, the Red Sox are probably more of a C+/B- type offseason. However, the Red Sox’s owner, John Henry, also owns the English Premier Legaue Football club, Liverpool. Over the past year, Liverpool has added players totaling a dollar amount that is comparable to the Red Sox’s total payroll (when converted from pounds to dollars). Due to this spending spree with Liverpool, and the spending spree last year with the Red Sox, it is understandable that Henry didn’t want any major additions to the payroll. Given this fact, I bumped the Red Sox’s grade up to a B, because they managed to add some key pieces without spending a lot. Let me tell you, they were REALLY close to being a B+, but I didn’t want to bump them up too much.

 

As odd as it may seem, I think the Sox may have actually upgraded at the closer position. Since Andrew Bailey has been closing out games for the small-market Oakland Athletics, he really isn’t as exposed to mainstream America as most closers, but I can tell you he is one of the best in the business. Sure, he played for the A’s, which were offensively anemic, and thus gave him more save opportunities, but I remind you that he *did* win the AL ROY a few years ago and has maintained this production since.

 

I guess you can argue that Cody Ross is a good signing with the Green Monster out in Left Field, but I really can’t think of many RHBs that wouldn’t benefit from having a wall 300 feet away from them while they’re at the plate. Seriously, can you think of more than ten hitters that wouldn’t be helped by that? The only names I’m coming up with are right handed slap hitters like Derek Jeter, but I have a feeling even he would be assisted by the wall.

 

Other than this, I really have nothing else to report on the subject that could be summed up in less than 500 words. The names on the lists suggest that the Red Sox probably deserve a higher grade, but I do have my reasons behind the grade.

 

Predicted Record Range: 90-95 wins A bunch of people didn’t do as well as they could’ve. Also, I never thought I would say this, but it might be a good thing that John Lackey is out for the season.

 

Next Up:

St. Louis Cardinals 2012 Offseason Recap and Preview

What can I say? The Cardinals were World Series champions with one of the best runs for a team. Ever.

Offseason Grade: D

Notable Additions:

Carlos Beltran, and J.C. Romero.

Notable Subtractions:

Albert Pujols, Octavio Dotel, Ryan Franklin, Gerald Laird, Cory Patterson, and Nick Punto.

Why?: The most exciting things to pay attention to this offseason concerning the Cardinals were the loss of Pujols and the addition of Beltran. Looking at just these two, the Cardinals didn’t do that poorly this offseason. However, if you look at all of the names on the list, the Cardinals actually have had some bullpen trouble. I personally don’t think that either Dotel or Franklin can be compensated for by J.C. Romero, much less the loss of both of them. Also, Arthur Rhodes is on the market and common wisdom dictates that he will probably not be coming back

As far as the other “notable subtractions”, it really just takes away from the depth of the team. Now, if a Catcher, Outfielder, or Infielder goes down, the player called upon to replace his spot will be a lesser quality replacement than it otherwise would have been. Also, there are less possible pinch-hitters to be called upon to hit for the Pitcher. Of course, the depth of the team matters less this year than it would have last year as Mike Matheny is the manager and not Tony LaRussa.

There really weren’t that many moves made on the part of the Cardinals. That’s why there isn’t that much to talk about. So this is it, I guess.

Predicted Record Range: 80-85 wins.

Next up: 

Minnesota Twins Offseason Recap and Preview

As a Yankee fan they are a gift (up to this point) because of their record both in and after the season, which is somewhere between .200 and .300 in the 21st century. As an appreciator of cost efficiency, there playoff results absolutely kill me:

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Grade: D-
Notable Additions:
Minnesota+Twins+Introduce+Tsuyoshi+Nishioka+gXPYddKUVyol.jpg
Tsuyoshi Nishioka

Notable Subtractions:

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Matt Guerrier, Ron Mahay, Jesse Crain, J.J. Hardy, Brain Fuentes, Joe Crede, Orlando Hudson, Nick Punto, and Jon Rauch.
Why?: They lost what could be a bullpen in itself this Offseason in addition to what could be an infield on its own. Now I am aware of the fact that they have replacements for most of those positions and should at least come close to last year’s success. So they should have a higher grade… if the grade were for the state of the team, but it aint, it’s for what the Twins did in the Offseason which was get an infielder and lose all that listed above.

Now by talking with other baseball fans I realize that many just wondered “What? How are the Twins going to even come close to last year’s success when they lost that much talent?” First, Joe Nathan was the second best closer in baseball since he became a closer after his trade from San Francisco (still one of the worst trades in MLB history even after the hype died down). Do you not think that would make up for at least two of the reliever’s departures (Pat Neshek making up for one other)? Second, had Justin Morneau finished the season like he started, .345 AVG 36 HR 120 RBI. Now I realize this would have been pretty unlikely but that would have at least put him in the MVP discussion if not won it for him and he is typically a second half guy. Thirdly, the Twins always outplay their expectations. For example, SI predicted them to finish in last place in 2008 after they lost Johan, and Torii. What did they do? Only tied for the lead in the division and eventually lose their playoff spot to the White Sox in a one game playoff:

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I realize that there are a lot of “if”s in there but we must not forget that they did win 95 games without two of the faces of the franchise. I also remind people that they have made it to the playoffs more than anyone besides the Yankees since 2002 (they’re tied with the Angels).
Again, most of the fate of the team seemingly rests on how the injured players rebound but with the Twins they are coached in such a manner that whenever someone is injured there is always a person that steps up right behind him and temporarily. Though, if Morneau does comeback to full strength it will be the final piece that puts them over the top in the playoffs because of not only the statistical aspect he adds to the team but the protection he provides in the lineup to Joe Mauer. Also, I am not sure if it is over-looked by the common fan or not but if anyone was paying attention there was a party in support of Delmon Young as AL MVP at the end of the year.
Predicted Record Range: 91-96 this is assuming 2 out of the three injured Twins get back to true from by the all star break but if only one does then you can shift this scale down a few games.
Next Up: Chicago White Sox
I don’t know if any of you noticed but mine is the featured blog on the Mlblogs home page. So I would like to take this line to thank whoever was responsible for making that happen.
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