On May the 20th we all learned that one more piece of the 2013 Championship puzzle had been re-signed. Like him or hate him Stephen Drew is now a part of this team, for this season.
In my opinion the Sox tried to acquire a 3rd baseman but were unable to (within their cost tolerance levels) and were basically forced to go the “cheaper” route of bringing Drew back into the fold. It was NOT their preference to move their young Shortstop Xander Bogaerts away from his intended position but given the fact they couldn’t acquire a 3rd baseman (to replace the ailing and continuously struggling Will Middlebrooks), they had no choice.
Bogey may be upset at first but ALL professional athletes must learn; 1. There will Always be someone looking to take your place and 2. A good “team” player always does what his manager or team asks him to do.
He will still get time at Short and he will still be playing everyday.
The reason for the re-signing of Drew is very evident in my mind; just take a look at the stats:
Middlebrooks: 0.0 f-WAR, Minus-0.2 b-WAR this season.
Drew was a: 3.1 b-WAR, 3.4 f-WAR player last season.
Now, is Drew the “be all and end all?” NO! But he is a step in the right direction. Does this team need a complete overhaul? NO! But it does need more than just Drew.
In my honest opinion, either Jackie Bradley Jr.needs to find his groove and start hitting at a .270 clip or they MUST trade for a short term solution in Center Field.
During the off season the Sox had shown interest in San Diego’s Chris Denorfia, a journeyman outfielder. The Padres were unwilling to trade him despite the fact he’s in the final year of his contract. Perhaps they would be more willing at this time. Regardless, the Sox need a lot more production from their outfield (See stats below).
Shane Victorino: .269AVG/.306OBP/.359SLG/.665OPS
Jonny Gomes: .256AVG/.343OBP/.444SLG/.787OPS
Mike Carp: .250AVG/.321OBP/.313SLG/.633OPS
Jackie Bradley Jr.: .206AVG/.302OBP/.305SLG/.607OPS
There is one other issue at hand that may or may not be resolved via a call-up from Pawtucket (Allen Webster…). That issue remains in the starting rotation and I’m not just talking about a possible injury to Felix Doubront.
Peavy: 4.33ERA, 1.50WHIP
Doubront: 5.12ERA, 1.55WHIP
Buchholz: 6.17ERA, 1.80WHIP
I expect Ben, if he’s paying attention, to make another move in an attempt to help his Outfield production increase.
As far as the pitcher goes, I would give Webster another opportunity to show what he’s got.
Webster’s 2014 Pawtucket stats: 2.47ERA, 1.28WHIP
Until the next time, Go Sox!