Prospects for the finish
Can Clay Buchholz pitch out of the bullpen on a short-term basis? Let’s see, bases loaded, nobody out, tie game, sixth inning, nerves running through him. He gets out of it with no runs. I think the kid can handle it.
This is one of the more interesting stretch runs in recent Red Sox memory because of the youth factor. What role will Buchholz play in the postseason? I think for exactly what he did last night. Come in during a tie or tight game and fire two or three innings. Of course, there is the innings dilemma. He’s now at about 143, which gives him 12 to 15 left during the season. Can that be extended a little during the postseason? That is the big question.
Then there is the case of Ellsbury. Manny will probably be back in the lineup in a week or so. Who sits? Ellsbury or Drew? There’s going to be a large public outcry for Ellsbury to get the bulk of the at-bats, we all know that. But that could have ramifications beyond this season. Burying Drew in year one of a five-year contract? Not sure where the Red Sox would be able to go from there. Also, Ellsbury barely has any experience in right field, not that he couldn’t make that adjustment. As I was typing all this, Drew belted a double to left.
Maybe by the time Manny comes back, Drew will be hot again and Ellsbury will have cooled off. These are tough choices for a manager to make. Then again, they are good types of decisions.
It’s interesting that Brandon Moss is going to play first base in the Dominican this winter. Manny, Coco, Drew and Ellsbury fill out the outfield. By going to first, perhaps Moss creates a way to make the team next year. Could he be next year’s Eric Hinske with more at-bats? I suppose a lot of that depends on what happens with Lowell this winter. Would the Red Sox consider going with Moss at first and Youkilis at third?
I’m just throwing it all out there. That’s all.