84-78. I may be living in crazy land, but that will be the record the Sox finish with in 2012. To me, it is a freakin’ joke that some pundits have predicted 95 losses for the Sox.
The Sox are set at every position, not without question marks, but set nonetheless.
The closer is still undecided as of late Thursday, but I, for one, think it will be Hector Santiago. Santiago throws the one pitch that most hitters have never seen, and that’s the screwball.
By August at the latest, Addison Reed will be the closer. I say this based on how the guys were used in the spring. Reed has electric stuff, as does Santiago, but Reed throws a much better fastball.
What about Matt Thornton? Thornton’s best spot is as the the 7th, 8th inning guy. With Chris Sale now in the rotation, Thornton is the best guy to get the team to the closer.
Now that I have said that, Thornton will close, while Santiago and Reed will be set-up guys all year. haha
John Danks will win 16 this year.
Jake Peavy 14.
Gavin Floyd 12. Phil Humber 9 and Chris Sale 13. Don’t think for a moment that if Peavy is pitching well and the team is playing just over, or under, .500 baseball that he won’t be wearing a different uniform come August. The Sox know, even at 30, he is not part of the future, so they will hopefully peddle him for some prospects. Toronto anyone.
Same could be said for Gavin Floyd. Floyd is very tradable, with the Blue Jays being a perfect fit. How about Travis Snider for Floyd? I say Toronto because it appears that the Sox love trading with those guys, and those guys only, so I’d figure I’d just jump on the bandwagon.
Offensively, expect another fine season from Paul Konerko, but that’s obvious.
Adam Dunn will hit .215, but hit 32 bombs. Alex Rios will struggle all year, putting the Sox in a tough position, contractually wise.
Gordon Beckham will tap out at around .275, but he will win his first of many Gold Gloves. Brent Morel will lock down the 3rd base position for the next few years. Expect 20+ home runs from the guy. Alexei Ramirez will continue to make great plays, but bounce the routine ones. He’s solid.
A.J. Pierzynski will be replaced by Tyler Flowers mid-season when Pierzynski is traded for a minor league prospect, or two.
Brent Lillibridge will split time with Alejandro De Aza, and Rios to the point where it appears he is a starter.
Dayan Viciedo is the wild card. He could blast he way to a spot on the all-star team, or he could find himself working out his problems in Charlotte.
All in all, this will be a successful season for the Sox, as they work their way back to playoff spot in 2013.
Mind you, I am almost always wrong, so place your bets at your own risk.