|I said BOLD Kevin, not BALD....|
Instead of the usual boring forecasts that I've seen projecting a Chris Sale Cy Young, Mookie MVP, and a Benintendi Rookie of the Year on the way to the Red Sox winning the division, I have come up with a list of ten unexpected predictions for the Boston nine this year:
1. By middle of season Drew Pomeranz will be trusted as much as Porcello
2. We will get at least 10 starts from arms other than the six currently vying for rotation spots (Sale, Price, Porcello, Pomeranz, Wright, Rodriguez)(1)(2)
3. We will have a lights out bullpen by the end of summer – Kelly/Thornburg/Smith handing ball off to Kimbrel will be an opposition’s nightmare if they’re trailing in the 7th.
4. Any injury to an outfielder will expose how little organizational depth there is there
5. Betts will not get as many MVP votes as last season
6. Swihart will be a big offensive contributor by mid season
7. Brandon Workman will be on the post-season roster
8. Sandy Leon won’t
9. Mid season there will be talk about winning 100 games
10. We won’t
Check back in October to see how many of
these I got wrong. I’ll be surprised if it’s less than 8 or 9.
(1) This isn’t even close to a bold prediction. Last year our top 5 starters (in games started, not as projected on Opening Day), started 133 games. Pomeranz and Joe Kelly were 6th and 7th most used starters, and that still left ten games started by Owens, Sullivan and Elias. The previous season, after the 124 games started by Miley, Porcello, Kelly, Rodriguez and Buchholz, we needed 20 more starts between Owens and Wright, which still left another 18 for Masterson, Hill, Barnes, Breslow and Brian Johnson. Don’t get me started on 2014. And even in 2013, when everything mainly went right, we still needed 18 starts by Allen Webster, Aceves, Workman, Morales and Wright. You can never have too much pitching!
(2) I wrote the above before the Price news broke. I hate being right already about too much pitching, but I’ll stick to the general statement that we’ll need more than 10 starts from pitchers other than the six who pitch the most games, whoever they may be.