VAfan Posted March 27 Share Posted March 27 I've gone from Mr. Optimism when this board was all negative, to Mr. Pessimism last year when I thought the team was unwatchable. It wasn't just Tony LaRussa either. None of the everyday hitters except Jose Abreu actually came to work everyday and played above average. Not a single one. But it's a new year, with a new manager and some new coaches, some new players, and no more Leury Garcia to whine about. I'm not going to sit here and project anything for the team. I have no idea if they will 1. Stay healthy 2. Play good defense 3. Stop chasing bad pitches 4. Become a HR team again (like 2020) 5. Pitch well But they might. I think the team has enough talent to win if they stay healthy and perform like they are capable of. They could also continue to get hurt too easily and too often, fall into bad habits, and lose. Here are the things I've liked this offseason. 1. Pedro Grifol as manager. Who had heard of him? Seems to say all the right things. We'll see how it plays out. 2. Benintendi addition. I think he will hit more HRs for the Sox than he has recently. Lefty. Good outfielder. On base guy. Maybe that will rub off on some others. 3. Yoan Moncada looking good at WBC. This guy was once the #1 prospect in baseball. Imagine the 2019 version of Moncada and what that could do for this offense. 4. Jose Castro as hitting coach. The Sox somehow morphed from the team that led the AL in HRs in the short covid season 2020 to a bottom dwelling singles hitting team last year. The Sox have plenty of players who can mash if they stay healthy. They need to do it. Grifol also has a role here. 5. Yasmani Grandal being healthy, and not facing the shift. Grandal went from the Sox best hitter in 2021 to one of its worst hitters in 2022. He's in a walk year on his contract. He should be motivated and ready to mash again. 6. Cutting Leury Garcia. Sends the right message. The team is better offensively and defensively without him. 7. Oscar Colas. Who knows how quickly he'll produce and fix his inevitable mistakes. But the Sox finally have a legitimate right fielder offensively and defensively, who is also a lefty. 8. Andrew Vaughn at 1B, not the OF. Should help him offensively, keep him healthier, and will vastly improve the Sox' outfield defense without him out there. He's not likely to ever be peak Abreu, but he might have years above Abreu's 134 OPS+ average. 9. Another reset for Lucas Giolito. As the middle guy in the Sox' rotation, the Sox need him to be his best version, not his worst. He ought to be motivated for contract reasons to do well. He's looked good so far. We'll see if it holds up. 10. Reynaldo Lopez out of the pen. I think Lopez will get a lot of closing opportunities with Hendriks out. And I think he will do well. 11. Garrett Crochet and Liam Hendriks should be back during the year. When they are, the pen might be great. 12. Lance Lynn healthy. He was a workhorse for several years before coming to the Sox. As the #2 guy, the Sox need him to stay solild. 13. Luis Robert healthy. He shouldn't be this far down the list. He is the best player the Sox have. He needs to play like it. There's my lucky 13. It will be interesting how the new bags and the lack of the shift will affect the Sox. In the past, we would expect other teams to take advantage of these changes more than the Sox. But Grifol and the way he thinks might change that. The Sox certainly have players who can steal. And they have some lefties who should benefit from the lack of a shift. They also have two shortstops on the infield to give them range. The pitch clock might also be interesting. Eloy always steps out and adjusts his gloves. We'll have to see how the new rules affect him and others. I hope the Sox win me back this year. I'm going to give them a chance. 5 3 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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