The 2008 Red Sox So Far

I’m really amazed at how intact the 2007 Red Sox are so far with less than 2 months to spring training. Not a single key player is left to sign and only a couple that got regular playing time in 2007 have been let go.

I took the 25-man World Series roster and added a few key players that were left off (Tavarez and Wakefield) to see how we’re doing.

Here’s how it stacks up as of today:

Position 2007 2008
Catcher Jason Varitek/Doug Mirabelli Jason Varitek/Doug Mirabelli
1st Base Kevin Youkilis/Eric Hinske Kevin Youkilis/Sean Casey
2nd Base Dustin Pedroia Dustin Pedroia
Shortstop Julio Lugo/Alex Cora Julio Lugo/Alex Cora
3rd Base Mike Lowell Mike Lowell
Left Field Manny Ramirez Manny Ramirez
Center Field Coco Crisp/Jacoby Ellsbury Coco Crisp/Jacoby Ellsbury
Right Field J. D. Drew/Bobby Kielty J. D. Drew/Bobby Kielty/Jonathan Van Every
DH David Ortiz David Ortiz
Starting Pitcher Josh Beckett Josh Beckett
Starting Pitcher Curt Schilling Curt Schilling
Starting Pitcher Tim Wakefield Tim Wakefield
Starting Pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka Daisuke Matsuzaka
Starting Pitcher Jon Lester Jon Lester
Relief Pitcher Eric Gagne (Hooray!)
Relief Pitcher Manny Delcarmen Manny Delcarmen
Relief Pitcher Julian Tavarez Julian Tavarez
Relief Pitcher Brendan Donnelly
Relief Pitcher Javier Lopez Javier Lopez
Relief Pitcher Mike Timlin Mike Timlin
Relief Pitcher Hideki Okajima Hideki Okajima
Relief Pitcher Kyle Snyder Kyle Snyder
Closer Jonathan Papelbon Jonathan Papelbon

Amazing. At the start of the 2007 season, it was said that, on paper, this appeared to be a championship team. It turns out they were right. Wouldn’t that mean that essentially the same team would look the same in 2008?

Some players will likely not come back as strong. I think Schilling will continue his aging decline, but Dice-K should be even more effective after seeing the league once. Hopefully Ortiz will come back strong and we won’t suffer the kinds of injuries as the last half of the 2006 season.

In any case, I’m optimistic.

Update 1/11/2008: Mirabelli is back!
Update 1/19/2008: Lopez re-signed. Youk and Snyder still in salary arbitration.
Update 2/2/2008: Youkilis and Snyder re-signed. Sean Casey added at 1st base.

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