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The OOTP12 Boston Red Sox (2011- ???)

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Posted 06-26-2011 at 11:02 AM by Stirner
Updated 06-26-2011 at 11:04 AM by Stirner

Starting Rotation

SP Jon Lester
Age: 27 Throws: L Velocity: 92-94
2010 Stats: 19-9, 3.13 FIP, 83 BBs, 225 Ks (Boston)
Contract: $37,640,000/4 Years
Thoughts: Lester is a strong, dominant lefty with a great pitching frame. His arsenal features a three plus pitches: a fastball, cutter, and changeup and an additional plus-plus curveball that he goes to strikeouts. Already locked up long-term, Lester is expected to be Boston's ace now and for the foreseeable future.

SP John Lackey
Age: 32 Throws: R Velocity: 90-92
2010 Stats: 14-11, 3.85 FIP, 72 BBs, 156 Ks (Boston)
Contract: $61,000,000/4 Years
Thoughts: Lackey is the former ace of the Los Angeles Angels. Lackey has an advanced feel for pitching, featuring five average to above average pitches. Lackey is the definition of a workhorse. He goes to the mound and eats innings to save his bullpen for another day.

SP Josh Beckett
Age: 30 Throws: R Velocity: 93-95
2010 Stats: 6-6, 4.54 FIP, 45 BBs, 116 Ks (Boston)
Contract: $75,000,000/5 Years
Thoughts: Despite having a down year last year, Beckett is arguably Boston's second best starting pitcher. While the rotation does not reflect that fact, Beckett is still expected to perform like an ace, or at worst, a number two starter. Beckett has a plus-plus curve that makes even the best batters look foolish, and has a plus fastball and change to back it up.

SP Clay Buchholz
Age: 27 Throws: R Velocity: 92-94
2010 Stats: 17-7, 3.61 FIP, 67 BBs, 120 Ks (Boston)
Contract: $443,000 (Auto Renew)
Thoughts: Buchholz is not a great pitcher nor is he a bad one. He's simply average. He features four plus breaking pitches, but an average fastball and poor command keep him from improving and posting better results. Buchholz may get lucky at times throughout the season and flash signs of greatness, but they will be just that: flashes.

SP Daisuke Matsuzaka
Age: 30 Throws: R Velocity: 91-93
2010 Stats: 9-6, 4.05 FIP, 74 BBs, 133 Ks
Contract: $20,000,000/2 Years
Thoughts: Matsuzaka is a fifth starter. He struggles to throw strikes and keep the ball down in the zone. He does not eat innings either, so he is on a very, very short leash to begin the 2011 season.

Farm System

After trading Casey Kelly to San Diego in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, Boston lacks strong, top tier pitching talent. SP Anthony Ranaudo, a first-round draft pick a year ago, is the top pitching prospect in the system. Unfortunately for the twenty-one year old, I do not have much faith in him "panning out". While he has three plus pitches and a great frame, he lacks control and movement. He is still young and could prove me wrong -- I hope he does -- but he'll be at Single-A Greenville to start the year. As previously stated, there is not much to the system after Ranaudo. However, the Red Sox do have one LHP Drake Britton with terrific secondary offerings and a mid nineties fastball. Britton is extremely injury prone, however, and will likely never have a career as a starter. He will join Anthony Ranaudo in Single-A Greenville to begin the year.

Best Tools (Pitchers)*

Best Fastball: Madison Younginer
Best Change: Stolmy Pimentel
Best Curveball: Drake Britton
Best Slider: Madison Younginer
Best Stuff: Drake Britton
Best Movement: Anthony Ranaudo
Best Control: Chris Balcom-Miller

*I only included Starting Pitchers in this exercise.

The Bullpen

Age: 33 Throws: R Velocity: 87-89
2010 Stats: 2-4, 3.35 ERA, 16 BBs, 46 Ks (Tampa Bay)
Contract: $6,000,000/2 Years
Thoughts: Wheeler is the primary go-to-guy out of the pen. He has a history of success in baseball's toughest division, proving himself to be the type of guy that every bullpen he needs. His ability to effectively locate his fastball, work out of jams, and mentality to challenge hitters all make him one of the best bullpen pitchers in the game.

MR Dennys Reyes
Age: 33 Throws: L Velocity: 89-90
2010 Stats: 3-1, 3.55 ERA, 21 BBs, 25 Ks (St Louis)
Contract: $3,000,000/2 Years
Thoughts: My first thought about Dennys Reyes? He is in major need of a diet. Can a team get sued if a player has a heart attack while pitching? On a more serious note, Reyes is an average bullpen arm. He isn't good nor is he bad. He's the perfect LOOGY ... meaning he's able to shutdown the worst left-handed batters and go after average right-handed batters. He's not my first choice for a LOOGY, but he is the best possible candidate for the job in the organization.

MR Tim Wakefield
Age: 44 Throws: R Velocity: 75-80
2010 Stats: 4-10, 5.34 ERA, 36 BBs, 84 Ks (Boston)
Contract: $5,000,000/2 Years
Thoughts: Tim Wakefield has been a valuable contributor to the Boston Red Sox since 1995 when he first joined the organization. Having bounced around between the bullpen and the starting rotation in previous years, Wakefield finds himself in limbo this year. He's the spot starter for the team, favorite to take Matsuzaka's spot should there be struggles, and the only long-relief pitcher. His control is inconsistent (thank you knuckler!), but his movement is great and his stuff makes hitter's look foolish at times.

MR Daniel Bard
Age: 25 Throws: R Velocity: 96-98
2010 Stats: 1-2, 1.93 ERA, 30 BBs, 76 Ks (Boston)
Contract: $415,500 (Auto Renew)
Thoughts: Bard had a dominant 2010 campaign. Unfortunately, he won't be closing this year. However, he will be bridging the gap between starters and the rest of the bullpen to Papelbon this year. From what I have seen, he has filthy stuff. He was throwing batting practice in spring training the other day and managed to make Youkilis and Gonzalez look like minor leaguers. Unfortunately, his control is an issue. If he can keep the ball around the plate this year (and next), expect him to rack up huge strikeout totals.

MR Bobby Jenks
Age: 30 Throws: R Velocity: 93-95
2010 Stats: 1-3, 4.44 ERA, 18 BBs, 61 Ks (Chicago White Sox)
Contract: $12,000,000/2 Years
Thoughts: Jenks is a former closer for the Chicago White Sox. He's a great asset to have at the back of our bullpen. With his plus-plus ability and confidence, Jenks can do it all -- set-up for the closer, relieve a starter, or even close himself when everyone else needs a break. He's a bit pricey though and while I think others could do his job for less, he is worth keeping around if not for anything more than his skill level and versatility.

CL Jonathan Papelbon
Age: 30 Throws: R Velocity: 94-96
2010 Stats: 5-7, 37 SVs, 3.90 ERA, 28 BBs, 76 Ks (Boston)
Contract: $12,000,000 (Free Agent)
Thoughts: Papelbon has been our closer since 2006. He's a trusted, reliable arm... on most nights. While there are some concerns over his consistency, he does get to be the one to close out because of his proven track record. The hope is that he returns to his 2007 form and walks -- giving the team a top draft pick.

On the Farm

The farm system doesn't offer much in the way of a future closer (sans Britton) or a quality set-up guy, but it possess a few, potential quality middle relief arms. In Double-A, there is MR Alex Wilson; a twenty-four year old, mid-nineties fastball/slider combo pitcher. He doesn't have great control or movement on his pitches, but he does have average stuff which should translate to a K/9 around 5.33. There is also a twenty-five year old, groundball specialist in Double-A by the name of Jeremiah Bayer. Bayer, like his teammate Wilson, possesses a two-pitch arsenal: a sinker and a slider. Unlike Wilson, however, Bayer's stuff actually has movement and it can be controlled. If I had to foster a guess, I'd say Bayer would be good for an ERA of 4 with under ten home runs given up in any given year.
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