Mixed Results

Spring Training has been a mixed bag for the Red Sox.

The good:
– Adrian Gonzalez is healthy and hit his first home run of the spring on Saturday.

– The overall health of the team including guys like Jacoby Ellsbury and Josh Beckett.

– No major controversies.

The Bad:
– Although healthy, Beckett has been terrible. Dreadful. He has posted a 6.64 era but claims to feel terrific. Terrific if he is going to be a batting practice pitcher.

– Jonathan Papelbon has been equally dreadful. His 10.50 era is disturbing but if you look at the results, he has been either lights out or bad. Nothing in between. In addition, he has pitched some minor league games this spring and I’m not sure if those are factored into his 10.50 era or not.

– Many of the regulars have hit poorly in the spring. Kevin Youkilis, Carl Crawford, David Ortiz and JD Drew have paltry slugging percentages this spring. The team as a whole seemed to lack power.

Spring stats don’t mean much usually, but they do cause concern, at least to the psyche.

We are really close to opening day and the only puzzle pieces left are the middle relievers. It is coming down to Matt Albers, Dennys Reyes, Hideki Okajima and Alfredo Aceves. I think Aceves and Okajima have options left, so you might seen them get demoted and either Albers or Reyes get dealt with the other making the team.

Pitching will be the key this year, as always, but if Beckett struggles this could be a hugely disappointing season.