Despite last night's offensive explosion, the Sox could still use a consistent power bat in the middle of the lineup. Mike Lowell played well in a platoon with David Ortiz, but neither player will hit more than 25 homers this year and neither will be on the roster in 2010.
If the Red Sox find a way to climb back into playoff contention, they may look to trade for a big bat before the break, but if this truly is a "bridge year," Theo would be trading away the prospects we are supposed to bridging to.
Example: Should the Sox attempt to make a deal for San Diego's Adrian Gonzalez, Padres GM Jed Hoyer is going to ask for some key prospects in return. Clay Buchholz' has always been part of these discussions and Lars Anderson has the talent to be a serviceable replacement for A-Gon at 1B.
After last night's mediocre outing, Buchholz is 3-2 with a team-best 2.79 ERA. He might benefit from using his curveball more (just 9% this year), but his early success in 2010 gives him a 7-3 record and a 2.91 ERA through 68 innings dating back to Sept 1, 2009 (minus the one bad start in October). The Padres, and plenty of other teams, could use a guy like that... no?
As for Lars... he had a lost seasonin Double A Portland after tearing it up for two years in Single A ball. But Anderson got found his groove again this season thanks to a more relaxed approach at the plate and earned a quick promotion to Triple A Pawtucket last week:
Anderson, 22, was hitting .355/.408/.677/1.086 in 17 games for Portland this season. He ranked third in the Eastern League in batting and was tied for second in both homers (5) and RBI (16). He also led the league with a .677 slugging pct. and was tied for second in total bases with 42.
The left-handed swinging Anderson, who struggled throughout the 2009 season in Double-A, was described as once again driving the ball to all fields in 2010 after becoming pull-heavy in his approach at times last year. Members of the Red Sox organization suggested that he was taking a more relaxed approach to the game this year, something that helped his on-field play.
Bottom Line: Boston sports fans have no patience for a bridge year, but the Sox may choose to ride this season out with the guys they have and start selling us on the idea of a better 2001 in September. But if the Sox catch up to the Yankees and Rays before July, Red Sox Nation will want them to make the necessary moves to be competitive in October... the question is: Are you prepared to sell the future for success in 2010?
Are guys like high level youngsters like Buchholz, Anderson, RP Daniel Bard, OF Josh Reddick and C Mark Wagner expendable with younger prospects like SP Casey Kelly, SS Jose Inglesias, C Anthony Rizzo, OF Ryan Kalish, SP Felix Doubront and SP Junichi Tazawa coming up behind them?
What about major league ready players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Jonathan Papelbon for that matter?
Discuss in the comments!