Well I’m just going to come out
and say it, this season sucked. But their's hope for next year, a lot of it. One
key thing will be getting healthy. Players like Pedroia, Papi, Napoli, Craig,
etc. were all players with nagging injuries that caused them to perform worse
than expected. Another reason for hope is free agency. The Sox have a lot of
money to spend and they need to upgrade their pitching staff with one or two
big names. Although I wouldn’t expect two big names you know because were the
Red Sox. We don’t spend money on pitchers over 30 anymore. I also wouldn’t
expect any blockbuster trades. It doesn’t make sense to shop guys like Xander,
Mookie, Swihart, etc. with all the potential those guys have. This team has
enough depth that a blockbuster trade is not required. This doesn’t mean they
won’t make any trades, but you won’t see guys like Stanton, Sale or Hamels here in
Boston. So lets take a look at the my Red Sox 2015 Opening Day projected
2015 Opening Day Lineup
RF Mookie Betts – The third time Betts has been called up he
has impressed. I think Farrell has seen enough to hang on to him and is already
eyeing him to bat leadoff.
Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America
2B Dustin Pedroia – No surprise here as Pedroia has been the
2 hitter here for years. Don’t expect it to change now. The main question with
Pedroia is if he can rediscover his power.
DH David Ortiz – This could be the last rodeo for Ortiz, but
he has shown no signs of slowing down and will be counted on by the Sox for his
power in the 3 spot.
LF Yoenis Cespedes – After the blockbuster deal with the A’s
brought him here Cespedes hasn’t disappointed. Cespedes has been an RBI machine
and is everything and maybe more that Boston wished for.
1B Mike Napoli – With a healthy Allen Craig behind him and
nagging injuries all throughout the year, Napoli will be a possible trade
candidate. But with his power and plate discipline is something the Sox need in
their lineup. He also brings a great glove and veteran presence in a young
CF Rusney Castillo – The big story of the second half of the
season was the signing of Cuban prospect. There will be plenty of expectations
for Rusney so getting off to a strong start will be very important.
3B Trevor Plouffe – The Red Sox need a new third basemen.
After an awful year by Will Middlebrooks the Sox cant give him the job. A
potential deal will land Plouffe in Boston from Minnesota. Poluffe will be a
valuable addition to the Red Sox lineup.
SS Xander Bogaerts – After some struggles by Xander he has
found his bat again. He has also been playing better defense recently. He will
be counted on to have a big sophomore season.
C Christian Vazquez – Vazquez’s strong play this year locks
him up in this spot. His ability to call quality games for his pitchers and
superb arm will keep runners honest on the basepaths.
2015 Opening Day Bench:
C David Ross – Ross is getting old and the Sox would rather
have a bat-first backup for Vazquez. With a weak free agent class Ross could be
brought back to help mentor Vazquez.
IF Brock Holt – Holt suffered a disappointing second half of
the year but his versatility makes him a lock for the Opening Day roster.
IF/OF Allen Craig – Craig will put up far better numbers
than he did in 2014. Once he takes the offseason to heal his foot he could
return to his old self that got him a 6-year 33 million-dollar extension with
the Cardinals. Craig will be a valuable backup that could become a starter if a
young guy does not meet expectations.
OF Jackie Bradley Jr. – This team could use a backup center
fielder to avoid moving Betts out of right. Bradley struggled at the plate this
year but that can be turned around. His defense is the reason he will end up on
2015 Opening Day Rotation
Leon Halip – Getty Images Sport
SP James Shields – Boston needs some experienced pitchers
for 2015 and James Shields makes perfect sense. The righty is 33 entering the
2015 season and will only require a 4-year deal, which is right up the Red Sox
alley. Shields is proven in the AL East after spending seven years with Tampa.
He’s worth the pickup and getting the Opening Day start. I see Shields signing
a 4-year, 64 million-dollar deal.
SP Brandon McCarthy – The Red Sox need several new starters
and McCarthy is a smart piece for the club. McCarthy is only 30 and could sign
a two-year deal, which is the perfect length for the Sox with all their young
pitching. McCarthy has been a completely new pitcher with New York this year
posting a 2.80 ERA in 10 starts. McCarthy could start 30 games for the first
time in his career and he has Red Sox written all over him. I see McCarthy
signing a 2-year, 25 million-dollar deal.
SP Clay Buchholz – After last years 1.74 ERA Clay has really
slowed down. With a 5.19 ERA in 25 appearances Clay has not been the same. But
in his last 6 appearances he’s looked much better having 3 wins with a 3.14
ERA. Clay could be a very important piece for this team if he can continue to
SP Joe Kelly – After giving up John Lackey for him, Kelly
has been strong here in Boston. Throughout the year he has been nagged by injuries
but is healthy and pitching well. He generates ground balls and induces outs,
which makes him a solid fourth starter. Plus don’t forget about his 10-5 record
with a 2.69 ERA last year when he was fully healthy.
SP Rubby De La Rosa – Rubby has pitched his way into the
2015 rotation with a 3.89
ERA through 15 starts. He does need to work on his walk and
strikeout rate but he has the ability to become a front-of-the-rotation talent.
2015 Opening Day Bullpen
CL Koji Uehara – Koji has ran out of gas this year but his
credentials since taking the job over last year should give him another go at
it. I see Uehara resigning on a 1 year, 10 million-dollar deal.
Source: Winslow Townson/Getty Images North America
RP Tyler Clippard – A Shane Victorino trade brings a needed setup
man to the Red Sox. Clippard pitched well for the Nationals this year with a
2.12 ERA in 68 appearances. He’s a piece that the Red Sox need.
RP Junichi Tazawa – Tazawa’s only 28 years old and has
emerged as a superb reliever who can take the mound in the late innings.
RP Andrew Miller – The team needs a lefty in the bullpen and
resigning Andrew Miller makes perfect sense. He pitched very well for the Sox
this year and last year before they shipped him off to Baltimore at the
deadline. Miller has hinted at a possible return and his presence would be a
RP Brandon Workman – One thing we learned in this tough year
was that Brandon Workman is not a starter. With depth in the starting rotation
Workman transitions back to the bullpen where he pitched great in last years
playoffs. Workman will strive after being back in the pen.
RP Edward Mujica – After a hideous start with the Red Sox,
Mujica has turned things around as of late and will continue to provide value
in the middle of the pen.
RP Tommy Layne – Hasn’t pitched well lately with his stint
with the Sox but he should come into 2015 on the inside job as a left-handed
This is one possible way the 2015 Opening Day Red Sox could
look. This club will have a very interesting offseason because of their deep
pockets and depth at many positions. If the club ends up with this team, they
will be in immediate contention to win the AL East in 2015, and maybe even a
World Series run (if everyone stays healthy). With these acquisitions and the depth this team has, the Red Sox will be a team in the running for many years.