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February 12, 2007

Sox '07 Hope: Two Star Bats & Pray For Pitching?

Note these 2006 A.L. Team RCAA Totals, via the Complete Baseball Encyclopedia:

ALRCAA2006.jpg

See the Red Sox with 25 "team" RCAA? Now, consider that Manny Ramirez had 60 RCAA in 2006 and David Ortiz had 68. This means that the rest of the Sox, sans Manny and Papi, had -103 RCAA as a unit. Yes, negative one-oh-three.

Now, Mark Loretta and Alex Gonzalez were good for -30 RCAA combined last year - and Beantown is replacing them in 2007 with Dustin Pedroia and Julio Lugo. This is an improvement for Boston. However, Pedroia and Lugo are no Jeter and Cano when it comes to providing offense. Therefore, it's not a huge improvement.

And, of course, Boston has replaced Trot Nixon with J.D. Drew this season - and that should be good for a positive swing of around 20 RCAA in the trade (assuming that Drew - the Carl Pavano of position players - stays off the D.L. this year).

Still, it's pretty clear, when it comes to the Boston Red Sox, it's all about Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz - in terms of who can hurt you with the stick - and no one else.

Coming into 2007, Ramirez has a lifetime 1.002 OPS against the Yankees. And, Ortiz' career OPS against New York is .980 (to date).

Since the Yankees have never figured out how to pitch these two, the plan this season, when facing the Red Sox, should be to pitch around Manny and Papi as much as possible and take their chances with Youkilis, Drew, Lowell and Varitek.

Comparing the offensive attacks of New York and Boston, the Yankees have an edge in that they have eight batters, when healthy, who provide some good production in the line-up - and not just two mega-stars.

If Boston's pitching this season does not end up as the Sox' brass hopes that it does, the Red Sox in 2007 might just end up where the 2006 Sox did - done long before the end of the season.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at February 12, 2007 07:45 PM

Comments

See the Red Sox with 25 "team" RCAA? Now, consider that Manny Ramirez had 60 RCAA in 2006 and David Ortiz had 68. This means that the rest of the Sox, sans Manny and Papi, had -103 RCAA as a unit. Yes, negative one-oh-three.
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Here's the breakdown, if anyone cares...

REDSOX
David Ortiz 68
Manny Ramirez 60
Kevin Youkilis 12
Wily Mo Pena 4
Josh Bard 0
Trot Nixon 0
Carlos Pena 0
Eric Hinske -1
Ken Huckaby -1
Mike Lowell -1
Corky Miller -1
David Murphy -1
Adam Stern -2
J.T. Snow -3
Dustan Mohr -4
Willie Harris -5
Gabe Kapler -5
Dustin Pedroia -8
Javy Lopez -9
Coco Crisp -10
Doug Mirabelli -12
Jason Varitek -12
Alex Cora -14
Alex Gonzalez -15
Mark Loretta -15

They'll improve next year, but not enough to catch the Yanks.

Looking at the pitching,

REDSOX
Jonathan Papelbon 28
Curt Schilling 15
Javier Lopez 4
Kason Gabbard 3
Keith Foulke 2
Devern Hansack 2
Julian Tavarez 2
Mike Timlin 2
Craig Breslow 1
David Riske 1
Mike Burns 0
Bryan Corey 0
Kevin Jarvis 0
Tim Wakefield 0
Jon Lester -1
Rudy Seanez -1
Abe Alvarez -2
Manny Delcarmen -2
Mike Holtz -2
David Wells -2
David Pauley -6
Josh Beckett -8
Craig Hansen -8
Jason Johnson -9
Kyle Snyder -9
Jermaine Van Buren -10
Matt Clement -14
Lenny DiNardo -14

I don't see Dice-K making that much of an impact, even if he turns out to be Pedro, it puts the Sox in the middle of the pack.

2007 will be an interesting year for both clubs.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 12, 2007 09:50 PM