Over the last couple of weeks many of these topics have been brought up all around the web. Melissa and I try to answer some of people’s lingering questions.
With the injury of Mark Teahen should the Sox bring up Brent Morel?
Patrick: It couldn’t hurt. This team is going no where and it is only a matter of time before these guys will be our everyday starters. Why not give them a chance to see what they can do at the Major League level. Who knows, maybe they could contribute this year?
Melissa: As much as I want to see Brent be called up, I have always been against rushing players through the minor leagues. Brent is struggling in AAA right now. He needs more time to hit. There’s no point in bringing the kid up and ruining him when he could be great for us next season.
What is the Sox biggest strength?
Patrick: I would have to go with the Bullpen. They did kind of struggle but they have been a pleasant surprise this year. Coming into the season the guy I hated the most was Tony Pena. However, Pena has really stepped up and has taken a role almost like DJ Carrasco. When the starters leave early we can count on Tony to come in and provide 2, 3 or 4 solid innings.
Melissa: Two Words: Alex Rios. This kid IS our offense and has been all season. Konerko hasn’t disappointed either. Unfortunately I can’t say “hitting, pitching, fielding, etc” because we are not doing well in either category.
What is their biggest weakness?
Patrick: I think the obvious choice would have to be hitting. Yes we have Paul Konerko who is 2nd in baseball in home runs and is approaching 50 RBI, and we have Alex Rios who is a .300 hitter and has been the most consistent player all year but they is all we have. The Savior Gordon Beckham is barely over .200. Our 3B is Mark Teahen and he is injured so we have a rotation of Nix and the 43 year old Omar Vizquel. Alexei Ramirez is what he has always been, a swing at anything hitter and that benefits nobody. 2008 should have been MVP Carlos Quentin is playing like your average Joe.
Can we consider this season a wash?
Patrick: This season can be considered all but over in my opinion. I have no reason to believe that the Sox hitters or pitching staff can pick it up and lead this team to anything. Our ace is only .500 and our other ace is 2 games under .500. Our 5th starter is the best pitcher on the team! It would benefit us all if Kenny Williams just blew this whole thing up and started over.
Melissa: This season isn’t a wash. That’s what’s beautiful about baseball. There’s 162 games a year. This is the only sport where you can be down by 4 runs with 2 hours in the bottom of the 9th and still pull out a win as a team. We’ve been playing well as of late- let’s see what the boys can do.
Are there any trade rumors you have heard about lately?
Patrick: There have been 2 players that I keep hearing rumblings about. One is Mike Lowell, with the loss of Mark Teahen I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Sox go after Mike Lowell, however the only problem could be what the Red Sox want back in return. A few weeks ago AJ said that he would love to have Mike on the team but doesn’t know if the Sox have what it takes to deal for him. Another name is A.J. Pierzynski, my sources last week told me that there was a possible 3 way deal between the Sox, Tigers and D-Backs but I have not heard anything on that going anywhere in awhile. And another one that has been made public is the possible deal with the Rangers. The Texas Rangers have a lot of interest in Pierzynski but this week Ozzie Guillen told AJ himself that he is not going any where.
Melissa: The only thing I’ve heard lately was that the Sox might want to try and get Galarraga, and a 3-way trade between the Sox, Diamondbacks, and Tigers. I heard this from a few minor leaguers in the Dbacks/Tigers organizations so don’t quote me on the validity.
General thoughts about possibly trading A.J. Pierzynski?
Patrick: As much as I love AJ and the spark he brings to this team I would love to see Kenny just blow this whole thing up! And yes that would include AJ Pierzynski. I love when he gets booed at other stadiums because I know that he likes it. He is a different player but in would be in both sides interests to move on.
Melissa: I’d personally hate to see him go and I don’t know how we would feel the void his absence would leave. Flowers isn’t ready to play at an MLB level, and Castro isn’t an every-day starter. We’d have to figure out that before trading him. However I’m sure he would probably leave if the situation was right and there was a chance he could play for a contender.
Which player is most likely to be moved before the trade deadline?
Patrick: With Ozzie saying that AJ won’t be dealt I would go with JJ Putz. Many teams passed on him this off-season because they didn’t know about his injury. JJ has shown that he is still very effective and has a very cheap contract. JJ would be very attractive to a playoff team looking for bullpen help by the trade deadline.
Melissa: If anyone, Paul Konerko will be traded, or Putz and Jenks.
What is the biggest reason behind the Sox struggles this year?
Patrick: I would honestly say team chemistry. In 2005 you could tell these guys loved being around each other just like the hawks did this year which is why they found great success. This year I don’t see that amongst the players and it looks like they are playing for themselves, not each other.
Melissa: I think we came into this year counting too much on our starting pitching and worrying too little about our offense. We hyped up the starting 5 so much and built our team around them succeeding. We took chances with the rotating DH and nothing has panned out the way it should have for us. Couple that with Beckham’s “sophomore slump,” failure to hit well on a consistent basis from Pierre, Pierzynski, Nix, Kotsay, etc., and Carlos Quentin still not living up to his performance in 08, and you have a disappointing team.