Monday, October 3, 2011

2011 Season Wrap-Up Pt. 3

Today I will be looking at the position players who were on the bench, or only played a partial season.

Lars Anderson will probably be traded this offseason. He was almost traded at the deadline in July to Oakland for Rich Harden, but Boston was concerned about Harden's medical status and withdrew from the trade. Anderson has nothing left to prove in the minors, and with Adrian Gonzalez locked up in Boston for the next seven years, it is time to move him. Anderson simply did not develop into a legitimate Major Leaguer in time.

I was confused by this trade when it happened, but Aviles definitely prove to be worth it. Aviles hit .317/.340/.436 with two home runs and four stolen bases since arriving in Boston. Even more valuable was his versatility as he played five positions for the Red Sox. Aviles will be back next season as a super utility man.

Cameron was injured and ineffective for the Red Sox who did not get their money's worth on his contract. Cameron was traded to Florida early in the season and only played 33 games for Boston with an atrocious batting line of .149/.212/.266. He had a nice career, but his time with Boston was not a highlight.

Gathright only made it into seven games for Boston, mostly as a pinch hitter. He was one for two in stolen base attempts and likely will not be back next year.

We did not see much of Iglesias, which surprised me. His bat is not ready yet for the Majors, but his glove certainly is. It is a shame we have not seen him in the field much yet. He could make an impact next year.

An injured knee limited Conor Jackson since being acquired from Oakland. He made it into only 12 games with the Red Sox and did not do much other than some sparkling defensive plays when he played. He will likely not be back next year as he is a free agent.

It may be time to put Lavarnway in the Majors full time. He could play at catcher and designated hitter. His bat is definitely ready as he proved on the next to last game of the season when he hit two home runs. His defensive skills have also improved.

Time is running out on Lowrie. Every time it seems he has locked up the shortstop position, he goes down with an injury. Since coming back from that injury, he did not hit well. He could still be a valuable utility infielder, but with Mike Aviles around, does Boston really need two? Who knows. Lowrie could be a better offensive shortstop than Marco Scutaro, but his defense needs work.

McDonald started very slowly, but started picking up towards the end of the season. He finished with a batting line of .236/.303/.401, not the best numbers, but they seem worse because of his dreadful start. McDonald is a versatile outfielder with power and speed, so he could stick as the fourth outfielder next year.

Navarro was being groomed to be a utility infielder until he was dealt to Kansas City in the Aviles trade. He is expected to be a similar type of player.

Overall, Reddick had a nice season. He struggled down the stretch but ended up with a nice line of .280/.327/.457. He should compete with Ryan Kalish for the full time right field job next season. But Kalish has more potential, so we will see what happens.

Not much to say about Spears, he made it into three games and did not produce a hit. He is 26, pretty old to just now be breaking into the Majors. If he makes it back, it will not be as more than a role player.

Sutton was actually fairly impressive in short work as a utility infielder. His line was .315/.362/.444. I am not sure why he did not stick at the Major League level. He may not be back next year with Lowrie and Aviles around.

The Captain will be 40 next year and he still wants to play. He was somewhat valuable this year, as he did hit 11 home runs as a backup catcher. But his defensive skills have continued to decline. It is getting hard to justify keeping him around, especially with Lavarnway ready to step in, but it will be just as hard to let him go, as much as he has done for the organization. It will be an interesting decision-making process.

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