The 2012 Boston Red Sox are truly starting to take shape.
As of today, the team has optioned shortstop Jose Iglesias and first baseman Lars Anderson to Triple-A, Pawtucket, making Mike Aviles the opening day starter at short, and well...obviously leaving Adrian Gonzalez as your first baseman.
There is still a few question marks that remain to be answered on this ball club.
I am not necessarily talking about who the fourth or fifth starter is going to be, or if a rift exists in management.
I'm talking about three very specific items that the team should be concentrating on and wishing for successful outcomes for.
Those three questions are:
1) Will Carl Crawford bounce back in 2012 and live up to his potential, earning some of that monsterous contract?
On The Dennis and Callhan radio show this morning on WEEI-FM, Red Sox chairman Tom Warner stated that Crawford's 2011 season was miserable. He wasn't wrong.
2) Can The Daniel Bard Experiment work?
The team has devoted a lot of time and effort in to the process of evolving Bard into the starters role.
3) Will Andrew Bailey be able to step right in to Jonathan Papelbon's shoes and be as dominant of a closer as the Sox fans are accustomed to?
It will certainly be no easy task. Let's have a look at how these situations can/could/should play out.