Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Red Sox v. Blue Jays (April 10, 2012)

Boston Red Sox (1-3) at Toronto Blue Jays (2-2)

SP - Daniel Bard (0-0, 0.00) v. Kyle Drabek (0-0, 0.00)

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
6. Ryan Sweeney, RF
7. Cody Ross, LF
8. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
9. Nick Punto, SS

Three Strikes:

1. There's no truth to the rumor that Ben Cherington pushed for the Red Sox to hire Lou Brown before ownership decided on Bobby Valentine but the Sox could definitely bear to hear Brown's advice tonight and tomorrow.  Things will be a lot nicer on Friday at Fenway's Opening Day if the Red Sox come home at 3-3 instead of 2-4 or, God help them, 1-5.

2. I know I wrote yesterday that I believe Daniel Bard should currently be the Red Sox closer and not their fifth starter.  I stand by that because I believe that despite some of their flaws, the Red Sox should be considered contenders to win the World Series.  However, in order to be contenders, they need an above average closer and to me Bard is the only one currently on the roster with Andrew Bailey on the disabled list.

Now, if the Red Sox want to come out and admit that they do not believe they are serious contenders in 2012 than I will accept Bard as a starter because he obviously has the potential to be a very good starting pitcher. 

Will Bard jump from being a set-up man for his first two years to being a Cy Young candidate as a starter?  I sincerely doubt it but in a year or two he could develop into a top end of the rotation starter.  By keeping him in the rotation now instead of making him the closer, the Red Sox are sending me the message that they think they have a better shot at contending in 2013 or 2014 than they do in 2012.

3. Based on his numbers against Drabek last season (3-for-5), tonight should be the night that Jacoby Ellsbury gets going.  Adrian Gonzalez (3-for-6 with 2 home runs) and David Ortiz (4-for-6 with 2 home runs) also should be in line for big nights tonight. 

Much thanks to Peter Abraham and his Boston Globe pre-game notes for those numbers.

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