Assuming Beckham avoids that whole April-June thing that happened last year, he’s an ideal No. 2 hitter. He has plus on-base skills and good power-exactly why he should hit second. Hopefully, he won’t have the bat taken out of his hands too often to bunt-after all, isn’t one of Pierre’s greatest assets his base-stealing ability? If Beckham is allowed to swing away, the Sox lineup will have a lot more success.
Overall, these five players combined for 62% of the relief innings in 2010, but the damage done by other pitchers getting significant action was hard to overcome. Henry Rodriguez (4.55 ERA in 27 2/3 innings), Boof Bonser (5.09, 23), Tyson Ross (5.12, 31.2) and Chad Gaudin (8.83, 17.1) accounted for 23% of the relief innings last season, and when almost a quarter of your bullpen innings are that bad, it makes it hard for a team to stay in games when the offense isn’t playing well.
Really, though, whatever quibbles I have with this lineup construction are very, very minor. It’s at least close to optimal, and that is certainly a good thing for future run production.
Sergio Santos emerged as the closer with set up help from Matt Thorton and Jesse Crain. sale jerseys and Brian Bruney have also been reliable arms in the bullpen.
Detroit’s offense is significantly more potent so far thus season, scoring 41 runs, second in the majors. Chicago has put up just 24 runs, but still remains only a half game back of the Tigers.
Hiroki Kuroda gave a valiant effort on the mound, but once again still was not quite as good as the Yankees would have liked for him to be. He worked out of multiple jams, but still gave up four runs on seven hits and a pair of walks over 6 1/3 innings and did not factor into the decision.
Most run production will come from the 1-5 spots in the lineup. Sure, Juan Pierre could have better on-base skills, but for the team’s roster, he’s the ideal leadoff hitter. If Pierre can replicate his .341 OBP from 2010, he’ll at least be acceptable.
The first thing to watch for regarding Peavy is pretty obvious: Will he make an appearance in a spring training game? Given Peavy recently threw off a mound, I’d say that’s likely-but until he actually throws in live action this spring (be it an an or a b game), this is a question mark.