Boston came to terms with three players to avoid arbitration. Jonathan Papelbon was signed for $9.35 million for this upcoming year. Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen have also agreed to terms with Boston.
Is Papelbon worth that much to the Red Sox? After all, he is the man who blew a save in game three of the ALDS last year.
Since Papelbon has been a closer with the Red Sox since 2006, he has blown 17 saves out of 168
opportunities. He has had at least 35 saves in each of the last four years and his ERA went over 2.00 only once, which was in 2008.
In 298 innings pitched, Papelbon has recorded 346 strikeouts. When he first came to the Red Sox, he opened eyes as one of the best closers in the game. About four years later now, fans have a little different approach to him.
He isn’t perfect anymore, as he had a 0.92 ERA in 2006. There was no way he was going to keep those numbers that low. Now, it seems like more and more people are starting to dislike the Boston closer.
Papelbon’s numbers have still been good, but should he be earning $9.35 million?
Hitting: Will there be enough of it?
Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and David Ortiz have all been in Boston for a couple years. I believe if these four can get on base and produce runs, the Red Sox should have no problem scoring.
Boston also has Victor Martinez, who hit .303 last season. He will be backed up by Jason Varitek, who will remain the team’s captain. That leaves the rest of the batting order a little unsure of itself.
Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan believes that he will have enough to offensive power as the Sox have had in the past few years, at least close to it. Magadan is going to have to rely on many Boston newcomers to start hitting.
Jeremy Hermida, who has still not agreed to terms yet, is one of those hitters. Along with him are Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron, and Marco Scutaro. If Magadan is able to have these players getting on base, Boston’s hitting will be very legit.
Red Sox fans are hoping for a bounce-back season from David Ortiz, who hit a career low .238 batting average with the Sox. He may be out of his prime, but Ortiz should still be able to put up great numbers for Boston. He was just short of reaching 100 RBI’s last season, and has not done it since 2007.
Here is an interesting statistic from the Boston Globe: David Ortiz led the Sox with 996 games as designated hitter. Dante Bichette was second in that category, with 137.