Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Few Concerns

Sadly, not much time to write about stuff, because this could definitely be three separate posts.  But here are the three concerns a Red Sox fan should be thinking about as we enter the summer with the team in first place:

1.  Matsuzaka's elbow.  Okay, we know he hasn't been effective.  He hasn't been that way for a long time.  But let's face it, this guy's going to get Tommy John surgery, and it shouldn't be a surprise for anyone.  Usually as an athlete, if you redline it for a long time, you'll end up paying for your sins.  Some people just get it worse than others.  If you're JD Drew, on the other hand, you don't get career-altering injuries, because you probably don't train that hard.  Matsuzaka did.  And he's paying for it, big time.  The real question here is, is this something the Red Sox anticipated will happen?  You know the all-time lead in pitcher abuse points that this guy developed in Japan.  You gotta think the Red Sox saw it coming.  And did the player see it coming?  Who knows.

2.  Pedroia's foot.  We're talking about the initial injury, the reaggravation last year, two small reaggravations this year, and the numbers this year.  Sorry.  This is an issue, and a big one.  Pedroia might not be 7'5" and play basketball, but he's suffering from the same injury as Yao Ming.  Yao hasn't played much lately.  While it's a different body type and a different sport, it's something that you gotta keep in the back of your mind.  The fact that he keeps reaggravating it is unsettling proof that the architecture of that foot is not strong right now.

3.  Daniel Bard's arm.  Same concept of paying for your sins, but on (hopefully) a smaller scale.  This guy got A LOT of innings last year, and Francona rightfully got a lot of flack for it.  But this season might end up being one to forget for Bard.  Either because he's paying for an inning, or he's a first-round draft pick who is becoming just a middle reliever.


Anonymous said...

What I find interesting is that three points are, although good candidates for separate posts, more or less running through the same theme of how prior abuse leads into future performance. We have three guys here who, in the order you listed, are at different points in their career: perhaps past his prime (Dice) presumably in his prime (Pedroia) and, hopefully, about to find it (Bard).

My thoughts:

1- I hope Dice can come back stronger if he gets surgery but it might just be too late. It is probably never good to be 'worst in history' for any category and PAP are no exception.

2- Bringing Yao into the discussion is really interesting because I've always felt that he was a player who should have been used more like a soccer player/starting pitcher than a traditional basketball center. That is, he should have started sometimes and not come in at all for other games. Whether this meant one HOU game per week from Nov-Dec, a max of two from Jan-Apr, and then a full slate of playoff games or not is not up to me to figure out. But, it seems Yao was always more a victim of playing too much on bad structure than anything else.

With Pedroia, it is going to be tougher as regular season baseball games are harder to skip than basketball. But, if the structure is wrong for the stress, he has to sit, whether it be 4 games and a DH a week or something like that. Making hard decisions is, well, hard, but that is what makes a good manager.

3- It is probably too early to jump to conclusions on Bard as he is the most volatile possible player- young, a reliever, and possibly injury prone. Just keep your fingers crossed that we do not mis-manage innings in any future 'bridge-years' or what have you, as losing Bard to innings in such a season would be far less justifiable than what may have happened to Foulke during a WS run.


Anonymous said...


First things first--I'm just glad this team is winning games right now (the last two aside).

On Daisuke--I don't think anybody is shocked about this injury if you're familiar with his past. As with all players, it's unfortunate when one is injured, but at this point who cares? The Sox have gotten better since he and Lackey went out and it's likely that they'll get better production from Aceves/Wakefield/random guy than they did from the Dice-Man.

Pedroia hit the ball well on Sunday and had some good ab's last night. Let's hope that's a sign of things to come.

Carl Crawford still looks lost at the plate. I'm hoping he isn't Edgar Renteria, the Second Edition. It's a lot harder to swallow seven years and $124 million than three years and $30 million.

--the Gunn

Anonymous said...

good win this weekend dv