Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Biggest Perk of Watching a Bad Team

By September first, if you're watching a bad team, the bad team is out of contention. Therefore, instead of seeing your pseudo-major leaguers (keep your eyes open for a post this weekend, by the way) light up minor league pitching while trying to capture a playoff spot, you can see your real minor leaguers perform against good teams. It does suck to know that the Red Sox' season is over in 23 days and I have to listen to nothing but football and hockey talk on the radio until Detox by Dre comes out.

In the meantime, I get to see a lot of the players that I haven't seen for a little while. I guess I'm in a bit of a unique situation because I was in the ticket office while some of these guys were playing at AA. I consider Rusty Masterson, Bard, Reddick, Richardson, and Lars Anderson to be my boys. So unless Scott Boras has a client opt out during the World Series and one of these guys decides to be the first one, these guys are going to have an especially-long leash. Dustin Richardson has struggled mightily this year, but opposing batters have been much harsher on him than HYD has been.

We also get to see guys who have shot through the system and come out of nowhere like Ryan Kalish and to a certain extent guys like Felix Doubront. If these guys play well on the major league level, even if it is against many other minor leaguers in September, it's at least something worth watching. If you've actually been watching any Red Sox baseball, you should be as excited about Kalish (or perhaps even moreso because he's more than a one-tool player) as you were about 46.

He plays hard, he crashes into people on multiple occasions instead of knowing his role as a minor leaguer, and he can hit for power and average. He can also steal bases, but as he rarely walks, Theo Epstein will probably trade him for a 36-year-old post-TJ surgery third starter. He also seems to be the kind of player who would play with sore ribs. I'd rather see him than see 46 play another game in a Red Sox uniform, especially if next year, as expected, is another "bridge" year. He's probably a more skilled major leaguer than 46, and he's five years younger.

As far as Doubront goes, he's also impressed as of late. He does not have the kind of stuff that players like AJ Burnett have (can't write a post without a knock like that), and he's not yet 23 either. He would prefer to be a starter, understandably so, but he also recently said he's okay with a permanent relief role. With Okajima very conceivably being non-tendered, he could be the lefty guy. But he could also fill a Ramiro Mendoza role if Wakefield decides to hang them up or if they do end up trading Matsuzaka.

The players with the most to prove this month are Lars Anderson and Josh Reddick. They both reached the Kalish-level velocity going through the minor league systems, but for some reason got stuck due to lack of adjustments at higher levels. Anderson had a better '10 than '09, but if he can really tear things up in the majors for the next 23 days, that would be a good way to at least bump him back up on the Baseball America charts. And Reddick should probably change his uniform number immediately.

Not that I'm complaining about watching the Vikings' quarterback fail to score a touchdown thus far - or about watching Jersey Shore - but for the remaining 16 days I'm in the United States, I'm looking forward to maximizing my time watching the Red Sox prospects make a difference.

I'm posting Saturday morning. Check out Baseball Reference to figure out why.

1 comment:

jason said...

Id just like to point out that the now defensive minded red sox have stunk it up defensively all year... I don't know that this is largely due to the injuries (losing youk for any period of time hurts) or just the fact that some of their defensive upgrades just werent so much better then what the sox had the year before... thoughts?