It’s Go Time

The Red Sox truck has arrived in Fort Myers and the players are finding their way to the clubhouse one by one.  Spring Training hasn’t formally begun yet, but it is starting to feel like baseball season.

With most Red Sox fans believing this year’s edition needs to get a big bat for the line-up, there aren’t too many worries surrounding their pitching and defense.

The storylines for this Spring Training will be Mike Lowell’s health and role on the team, whether or not Tim Wakefield begins the year in the starting rotation and what to do with Victor Martinez, this being his last year under contract.

I do not expect the Red Sox to go nuts with Martinez.  He is older than you think (31) and is a catcher.  Catchers don’t gracefully move into their 30s.  They tend to breakdown and lose effectiveness.  There are obvious exceptions to that, but for the most part, a catcher over 30 is a risk.  With Martinez expected to shoulder more of the catching load this year, I’m think he might have another season of 2 left of high performance.

I can see Boston offering a 2-year deal with a team option, but nothing more than that.  If they keep that stance, and Martinez has a good season, don’t expect him around in 2011.

Lowell and Wakefield both have to prove they are healthy.  If Clay Buchholz does well in camp, I just don’t see how Wakefield has a starting spot.  But a 5-man rotation has loads of variables and I’m sure a spot will open up for Wakefield at some point in the first 2 months.

As for Lowell, he doesn’t have a regular place to play.  If he can play some first base, then he can expect to get at bats at 3rd, 1st and DH totaling 300 PAs or so this year, but not much more.

I really don’t expect any drama from the group of players in camp, so we’ll get to focus on possible trade talk, minor leaguers and projections for the 2010 squad.  Camp opens up on Thursday with pitchers and catchers.