Friday, February 25, 2005

The new shortstop in town

I already mentioned what I think about the Red Sox thirdbase situation. I don't believe Bill Mueller will last the whole season, healthwise, but Kevin Youkilis will build on his solid rookie season and give us one of the best number nine hitters in the game. Third base should be a position that the Sox get a slight increase in production from last year, but what about shortstop?

Last year we used three full time shortstops; Nomar, Pokey, and O-Cab. Reese, as we all witnessed, is one of the worst hitters in the game. He was pretty much an automatic out every time the ninth hole in the batting order came up. With all the negative thoughts people have about Nomar and his 2004 season, he put up a very respectable .321/.367/.500 while in Boston. He was just begining to get hot when he was shipped out. Once he got to Chicago he only managed a .297 avg, which is something Cubs fans are going to have to get used to now that Nomar isn't playing 81 games in Fenway, but that is neither here nor there. Cabrera put up a nifty little .294/.320/.465 line while playing for the Sox and that's right around what I'd expect to see from our new main man, Edgar Renteria. Few people actually believe that Renteria will match his eye popping career high totals that he hit in 2003, but .300 isn't out of his reach and he'll be knocking doubles off the green monster all year long. Overall, the production that we can expect from Renteria is about even with the average of the trio that held the position last year. The Sox are a little bit short in the depth department, relying on Ramon Vazquez, but in general the Sox will break even.

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