Even though I am a die-hard Yankees fan, I have a lot of respect for the Sox. I love the rivalry and how our games are always dramatic. That being said I really don't understand what Theo was thinking this off-season. In my opinion this Red Sox lineup will be their worst/least productive in over 15 years. Lets look at their projected lineup:
1) LF - Jacoby Ellsbury - Solid leadoff hitter, great steals potential, raised .OBP to acceptable levels last season but still a little low for a leadoff guy, but in the speed department you can't do much better
2) 2B - Dustin Pedroia - Good #2 hitter, great production from 2nd baseman, solid power & OBP
3) C - Victor Martinez - When healthy provides great offensive production, but coming off of injury 2 seasons ago, can he pull another full season at catcher's roll? What about mixing in Varitek, where do you play Martinez without losing Ortiz, Youk, or Beltre?
4) 1B - Kevin Youkilis - My favorite hitter in this lineup, Youk is an OBP monster and his patience at the plate constantly creates favorable hitting counts. I'd even take him over Tex if I had to choose between the two.
5) DH - Big Papi - Mark my words: David Ortiz is the next Jason Giambi. His strikeouts are WAY WAY up and his average/OBP is WAY WAY down. Maybe he can park a few big HRs but besides that he is a glorified lefty pinch hitter. He will lose a ton of ABs this season to Martinez.
6) RF - J.D. Drew - Always hated this guy, he has never been an everyday, every game player. Always posts a nice OBP, but K's a lot, his power production has gone down, and he doesn't score a lot of runs. To top it off he is the Red Sox's highest paid player, nice.
7) 3B - Adrian Beltre - What a bum. His OBP is TERRIBLE, his run production is lousy, and his power has gone nothing but down. There is no doubt in my mind that his 2004 miracle season (which he still gets paid off from today) is a product of steroids. How else do you explain a guy that exceeds his career averages by triple in one season?
8) CF - Mike Cameron - Another big strikeout head with a terrible OBP. With this guy it is feast or famine, not what you want from your everyday CF. He does add his glove to the mix which is undeniably good, but you gotta be kidding that this is the guy you are making Ellisbury move over for.
9) SS - Marco Scutaro - Last year Marco had a career year and made great strides in areas he needed to: OBP & run scoring. If he can keep that up he will be a good #9 hitter, but if his career averages have anything to say, he probably will not. His numbers will likely be 2/3 lower than last season.
Love the Top 4 in the lineup, but the bottom 5 is Horrific. Low OBP and strikeouts will kill this offense.