|Playing pepper at Fenway Park (courtesy pepperbaseball.com)
As in previous years, other bloggers also particiapted including fellow Baseball Bloggers Alliance members Christine from Boston Red Thoughts, John at The Mighty Quinn Media Machine, Tyler from Monstah Mash as well as Michael from The Big Mike Blog and Mike from Seamheads.
To see how these Red Sox bloggers answered these questions, take a look at the Red Sox "Playing Pepper" page at C70 at the bat.
Below are the questions with the answers that I provided. As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts:
1 - What are your thoughts on the team’s offseason? Did they do what they needed to do?
The Red Sox’ main needs heading into the offseason were to improve the pitching staff and figure out what to do about 1st and 3rd base. They signed David Price and Chris Young as free agents and traded for Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith and Roenis Elias. Other than a few of Mr. Henry’s greenbacks, the acquisition price of all these was just prospects Manuel Margo and Javier Guerra and starter Wade Miley. Someone was going to be bumped out of the rotation to make room for Price, so Miley was a small piece to give up, and more importantly Boston still has a lot of top prospects in their system. Price will certainly improve the rotation and Elias will give them some extra depth. Kimbrel was brought in to close which will lessen the load on Koji, who together with Carson Smith and the retuning Junichi Tazawa will give the bullpen a formidable set up crew. Chris Young will be a 4th/platoon outfielder and insurance against Jackie Bradley Jr or Rusney Castillo extended slumps or injuries. Since the “Hanley Ramirez as a left-fielder” plan did not work out last year, they are hoping he can play a passable first base. Third base will be manned by Pablo Sandoval again. He had a subpar season last year on both sides of the ball, and his age and physique make a lot of people worry that his skills will continue to diminish. But realistically, he’ll be given a chance to show he can perform before the Red Sox see him as a sunk cost. If his struggles continue, or Hanley can’t handle first base, then they’ll need to use some of their aforementioned prospects to upgrade those areas. Overall, very happy with the offseason, but not convinced they did everything they needed to do.