News Forum Blogs Roster Players Schedule Depth chart Stats Videos Photos

Saito (shoulder) has not had his best stuff from his Dodgers closing days, but his stuff has been good enough to join what the Red Sox think is their best set-up mix in years along with Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez, Justin Masterson and Manny Delcarmen in front of Jonathan Papelbon.

Baldelli (fatigue) still might not be able to play consecutive days, but the Red Sox believe he has retained enough sock and athleticism to provide a righty-hitting caddy to the oft-injured J.D. Drew.

The young

Reliever Daniel Bard was the talk of camp. One scout said, "Unbelievable. He was consistently 96-98 (mph), touches 99-100, and he has always done it with little effort. He raised his arm slot from his college days and it has made a huge difference with his command and his slider. He could replace Papelbon at some point."

The Red Sox expect him up in 2009, and saw so many positives from Clay Buchholz and even recent Japanese import Junichi Tazawa (he will be in the Double-A rotation) that they anticipate seeing them, as well. It is illustrative of a deep system that points Boston toward 95 wins.

In the AL East, will that be enough?

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: March 29, 2009

Arizona Diamondbacks News

News » It could be all or nothing for Red Sox this year

It could be all or nothing for Red Sox this year

It could be all or nothing for Red Sox this year
Boston has so much talent — especially depth in pitching — that you see 95-plus wins. Nevertheless, the Red Sox have just enough uncertainty in nearly every realm, mainly because of health concerns, to fall out of the money in the AL East behind the Yankees and Rays.

Officials from the Big Three in the AL East will tell you privately they also believe that they are the Big Three in the majors. Of course, just two, at the most, can make the playoffs, and one AL East executive said there are legitimate scenarios in which the third-place team wins 95 games.

Each of the Big Three has immense strengths, notably the likelihood that the trio possesses the three best rotations in the Show.

Nevertheless, I do believe the Red Sox are most fluid. They have many key players who could flip one way or the other. I think the health of David Ortiz and John Smoltz can most influence the final record. If Ortiz has 550 productive plate appearances and Smoltz, indeed, returns on June 1 for four months of high-level pitching, then Boston probably will be the majors' best team.

Boston GM Theo Epstein works to build what he believes is a 95-win team and then looks for areas that can undermine his club and tries to create what he calls "redundancy." He particularly craves rotation depth because that is the most difficult area to fix during a season.

The perception inside and outside the organization is that Boston is overflowing with pitching options in the rotation and bullpen, but is not as deep in position players. Nevertheless, because of the bad economy, a team with money could cherry-pick an expensive player off of a financially troubled team. And the Red Sox actually have trimmed their payroll to about $126 million, sixth in the majors.

MLB Spring Training

  • Yanks: No Cameron deal coming
  • Mets rotation appears set
  • Osi thinks Plax will rejoin Giants
  • More from The New York Post
Arizona Diamondbacks Photos
All the latest Arizona Diamondbacks Photos Store photographs. Major League Baseball MLB.
The most recent photo
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

Copyright ©, Inc. All rights reserved 2008.