5 Boston Red Sox Storylines to Follow During Spring Training
5 Boston Red Sox Storylines To Follow During Spring Training
The Boston Red Sox shocked the world in 2013 by going from worst to first in one year and winning the World Series. When you look back at this team, it is somewhat remarkable that they became World Champions. There wasn't one player who stood out that had an MVP or Cy Young type of season. Perhaps, Koji Uehara in the months that he was the closer but that would be about it. Instead, they were the true definition of a team as it always seemed to be a different player every night. When a team has a special year like the Red Sox did, that tends to happen where there's a new hero every game.
The Red Sox didn't make a lot of big moves during this offseason and managed to keep most of their core. The two biggest losses were Jacoby Ellsbury and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Outside of that, the Red Sox look very similar to last year. This season will tell as to whether or not that is going to be a good or bad thing. Each year is different and what worked in 2013 may not work in 2014. Jonny Gomes has already stated that the Red Sox will not be doing the beards thing again. Time to turn the page.
With spring training now just weeks away and the Red Sox heading back to the front page of Boston sports again, let's take a look at five Boston Red Sox storylines to follow during Spring Training. Here's the list, Spring Training style.
Can A.J. Pierzynski Fit In With The Red Sox?
A.J. Pierzynski might have been the biggest name that Boston signed this winter. He has often been a very polarizing figure during his entire career. People seem to really love him or really hate him and Pierzynski likes it that way. He has a unique personality and it bears watching to see if he is going to get out of line in Boston or if the leaders of that team can keep him in check. Perhaps he has been completely misjudged and he settles in without a problem. There could be some growing pains between Pierzynski and the pitching staff.
David Ortiz and His Contract Issues
David Ortiz has been asking for a multi-year deal. Recently, he has said that he would settle for a one-year deal. Will Boston give it to him? It seems very unlikely that Ortiz will play anywhere else and he had a fantastic year in 2013. Boston probably doesn't win the World Series without him. However, he is 38 years old. How much is left in the tank?
Jon Lester and His Contract Extension
Jon Lester has said that he wants to remain with Boston for the rest of his career. He is due to be a free agent at the end of this year. I don't see him getting Clayton Kershaw bank, but after the way Lester pitched down the stretch, it would be good to lock him down sooner rather than later. These types of situations shouldn't drag into the season.
Where Will Xander Bogaerts Play?
We all know that Xander Bogaerts is going to be in the lineup. However, one question is where? If Stephen Drew comes back, Bogaerts will be at third. If not, he will be the starting shortstop. Can he adjust to third base over the long haul? If he is at third, Will Middlebrooks is probably out. Bogaerts does look more like a third baseman than a shortstop and he is projecting that way. We will see how he handles major league pitching over the course of an entire MLB season.
Who's Going To Be The Center Fielder?
There are two candidates for this position, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Grady Sizemore. Bradley seemed to be destined to be the heir apparent to Ellsbury until the Red Sox signed Sizemore. If Sizemore is even remotely healthy, it seems as though he could very easily be the center fielder and Bradley would be back in Pawtucket. When Sizemore is healthy, he's an All-Star. Of course, him being able to be on the field at all is a very tall order. This storyline is going to be very interesting to watch.
There will be many more storylines that happen during Spring Training, but these are five that immediately come to mind. Baseball is around the corner and after this awful winter, I can't wait.