Ladies and gentleman, the Boston Red Sox have less than 20 games left on their ‘spring training 2014’ schedule. With the start of the regular season right around the corner, here are my thoughts from the halfway point of spring training.
The Resurrection of Grady Sizemore
We have no idea if Sizemore’s body can withstand the grind of the everyday season, but it’s just great to see him back on the field. Sizemore is hitting over .300 this spring and has a lot of the same speed he did prior to his injuries. Depending on how he finishes the spring, Sizemore could end up on the Red Sox roster come Opening Day.
Who’s the Odd Man in the Outfield?
Boston can’t keep six outfielders to start the season. You would imagine that the team would keep Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes because they like to play them both depending on pitching match ups. Obviously the Red Sox are not going to get rid of their gold-glove outfield, Shane Victornio. So that leaves Sizemore, Jackie Bradley Jr. or Mike Carp as the odd man out. Carp has been a subject of trade rumors this spring, but I don’t know if the Sox want to lose his ability to play multiple positions.
Felix Doubront Looking to Have a Breakout Season
The 26-year-old Doubront came to spring training in the best shape of his career. The left-hander worked this winter with Red Sox pitching Coach Juan Nieves to improve his delivery and command. The Red Sox will depend more on Doubront this season since he will be the third or fourth starter in the rotation.
The Bullpen Could Be Even Scarier in 2014
With Andrew Miller healthy and the addition of Edward Mujica, the Red Sox bullpen is even deeper than it was last season. So far in camp, closer Koji Uehara looks like the same dominant pitcher he was last season. If he and Junichi Tazawa pitch similar to the way they did in 2013, then the Red Sox’s bullpen will be tough to beat in the later innings.
A.J. Pierzynski Has Fit in Well
Sorry to disappoint you Pierzynski haters, but he hasn’t been a problem throughout camp. The 37-year-old catcher has quietly blended in well with his teammates. Pierzynski’s power and good defense should come in handy at Fenway Park this season.
Xander Bogaerts Has Yet to Show His Potential
Bogaerts has hit just .167 in the spring thus far, but he has the potential to be one of the best shortstops in baseball. The second ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, has the power to hit 25-to-30 home runs a season and could become a .300 hitter. Bogaerts’ defense may not be his strength, but he certainly isn’t a liability at shortstop.