Boston Red Sox: Ranking Boston's Latest Acquisitions
As we all know, the Boston Red Sox went through one of the toughest months in franchise history last September and thus followed with a complete revamping of the organization.
Theo Epstein: Gone. Ben Cherington: Here.
Terry Francona: Out. Bobby Valentine: In.
Throughout the offseason, the Red Sox tried to piece together a team capable of winning a World Series through several signings and trades. Boston has also already made moves during this 2012 season in order to try and fill voids left by injuries, poor performances, etc.
Here is a look at who Boston has acquired since last season and where they rank on how they've been playing.
T-12. Andrew Bailey
2012 Statistics: None (Currently on 60-Day DL)
Andrew Bailey injuring his thumb before the season started has really opened up a can of worms for the Red Sox. They've had instability throughout the entire bullpen and also had a lot of closer-related questions arise.
Alfredo Aceves has done a decent job filling in for Bailey as closer, but the need for him is still very apparent. Bailey will really need to prove himself to the fans once he returns to the bullpen sometime during the season.
The closer was acquired via trade over the offseason, along with Ryan Sweeney, in exchange for Josh Reddick and two minor leaguers.
T-12. Chris Carpenter
2012 Statistics: None (Currently on 60-Day DL)
Many of you who haven't heard of this guy, let me fill you in. He was the compensation in the Theo Epstein deal with the Chicago Cubs. He's currently rehabbing from elbow surgery and could be back around midseason.
Even though Carpenter isn't a big name, he will definitely be a big contributor once he makes it back. He appeared in 10 games for the Cubs last season, posting a 2.79 ERA in 9.2 innings of work.
The overall compensation seems like a complete fail for the Red Sox at the moment. Hopefully that will change when Carpenter is healthy again.
10. Mark Melancon
2012 Statistics: 0-2 (4 Games), 49.50 ERA, 2.0 IP, 1 K (Currently in Triple-A Pawtucket)
What a disaster this turned out to be. Boston acquired Melancon over the offseason in exchange for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland.
Melancon couldn't have been any worse in his first four games in a Red Sox uniform. He somehow managed to allow 11 earned runs in just two innings of work. He's also allowed five home runs. Astonishing numbers for someone who was supposed to be the setup man this season.
Now, he's in Triple-A trying to figure it all out. He's actually been pitching well down there, as I wrote here.
9. Justin Thomas
2012 Statistics: 0-0 (7 Games), 7.71 ERA, 4.2 IP, 4 K (Currently in Triple-A Pawtucket)
Boston signed this left-handed reliever over the offseason with hopes that he'd be a good fit between Triple-A Pawtucket and the majors. He was mainly filling in for Andrew Miller, who started the season on the disabled list.
In the seven games he appeared, he wasn't too bad, but wasn't too good either. He struggled with control and got hit hard on several occasions. He still needs some time to further develop, but he will definitely be making another stint in Boston sometime this season.
8. Aaron Cook
2012 Statistics: 0-1 (1 Game), 20.25 ERA, 2.2 IP, 0 K (Currently on 15-Day DL)
What was thought to be a good idea failed miserably. Aaron Cook was signed over the offseason to a minor league deal and was an insurance plan if something went wrong early. He dominated in the minor leagues and was called up to make a spot start in place of the ailing Josh Beckett.
Cook struggled and while covering home plate on a passed ball, he got his knee lacerated. He got the laceration patched up and returned to the game, but ultimately started to get rocked on the mound, allowing six runs on eight hits in just 2.2 innings.
The Red Sox put Cook on the 15-day disabled list and replaced him with Andrew Miller. Once his knee heals, it will be interesting to see what Boston does with him. It seems likely that he'll just be a reliever out of the bullpen, much like Vicente Padilla.
7. Clayton Mortensen
2012 Statistics: 0-0 (2 Games), 1.42 ERA, 6.1 IP, 11 K
Clayton Mortensen was acquired via trade in exchange for Marco Scutaro over the winter. He started the season in Triple-A Pawtucket, where he pitched rather well in six games. In 10 innings of work, Mortensen only allowed one run while striking out 10.
He was recently called up to Boston to aid the bullpen and has appeared twice since. He was brilliant against Oakland earlier in the week, striking out six over three innings. He was also very good against Baltimore the other day, going 3.1 innings and allowing one run while striking out five.
Mortensen will definitely be a huge help if he can keep up these numbers, especially since the starters have failed to deep into games so far this season. He ability to go multiple innings is a huge benefit to the bullpen.
6. Nick Punto
2012 Statistics: .148/.294/.185 (13 Games), 2 R, 0 HR, 3 RBI
Nick Punto was signed over the offseason in order to possibly platoon with Mike Aviles at shortstop or at least provide his defensive skills and leadership throughout the team. His ability to play second base, shortstop and third base was very attractive to a Boston team that doesn't have a lot of infield depth.
Punto has been decent on the defensive side of the ball, but offensively he's be awful. He's 4-for-27 on the season and hasn't gotten a hit in nearly a month. Punto only has five total bases on the year and needs to get going if he wants to keep his job.
Jose Iglesias could easily be called up to do what Punto's doing and could force him out of Boston.
5. Kelly Shoppach
2012 Statistics: .242/.375/.394 (11 Games), 4 R, 0 HR, 4 RBI
Going into the season, it was assumed that Kelly Shoppach would get much less time than Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the plate, but so far, he's gotten much more time than anticipated.
He hasn't been hitting too well, but he has done a good job catching. He's a solid backup behind Salty, but has to improve his approach at the plate. In his last 10 games, he's struck out in half of his at-bats (16 Ks in 32 ABs).
Shoppach also has competition behind him as Ryan Lavarnway could be ready for a major league call-up soon. He provides more power than Shoppach can offer and is the future catcher of the team.
4. Marlon Byrd
2012 Statistics: .240/.250/.260 (13 Games w/ Boston), 5 R, 0 HR, 6 RBI
Boston traded for Marlon Byrd in a desperation move during the season after Jacoby Ellsbury went down with an injury. With Ellsbury out until around the All-Star break, it's been Byrd's job to man center field.
He's hit much better with the Red Sox—despite hitting ninth in the lineup regularly—than he did with Cubs, which is a good sign. We're still waiting for him to heat up at the plate, but as long as he doesn't get hurt, Boston should be in decent shape.
Byrd has also adjusted to Fenway Park a lot better than I think a lot of people expected. It's not an easy place to just jump in and start making all the plays, but he's done a pretty good job through 13 games with the team.
It'll be interesting to see what happens to him once Carl Crawford or Ellsbury returns.
3. Vicente Padilla
2012 Statistics: 1-0 (10 Games), 7.59 ERA, 10.2 IP, 13 K
After losing a job in the starting rotation, Vicente Padilla was placed in the bullpen to try and help out when the starters can't get through the middle innings. He's been kind of shaky at times, but overall, he's a good pickup for Boston.
He's been on and off against batters this season, whether he strikes them out of gives up a hit. He's given up runs in four of his 10 appearances this year and had a real tough time against the New York Yankees, giving up five runs while only recording one out.
Padilla still contributes when Boston needs him most and definitely has the right attitude out on the mound. With the starters also being so shaky as of late, it wouldn't be crazy for him to get a start in the next few weeks.
2. Cody Ross
2012 Statistics: .258/.308/.485 (26 Games), 16 R, 5 HR, 20 RBI
Cody Ross has been exactly what the Boston Red Sox need. He has the perfect swing for Fenway Park and has done a great job playing all three outfield positions.
Ross is homerless in his last 10 games but is bound to heat up soon. He's due. The Red Sox really need him to keep hitting, as Adrian Gonzalez has gone cold as of late and there isn't Jacoby Ellsbury atop the lineup to ignite the fire.
His ability to hit in the middle of the lineup for Boston has really been big at times, but he needs to work on his approach, striking out in one-third of his at-bats this year.
He's still scoring a lot and playing the outfield great, so overall, he's a very good pickup for the Red Sox.
1. Ryan Sweeney
2012 Statistics: .368/.398/.540 (24 Games), 8 R, 0 HR, 10 RBI
I'll be the first to admit that Ryan Sweeney was an afterthought in the Andrew Bailey trade. Boy, he has changed my opinion on him. He's been absolutely incredible in right field and at the plate this season.
He currently leads the team in doubles and batting average, and has been a good fit hitting at the top of the Boston lineup. With Ellsbury out, Sweeney has hit in the No. 2 spot on several occasions and has really flourished.
He has been the biggest addition to the team this year without a doubt. Once Crawford and Ellsbury come back from injuries, don't be surprised if Sweeney is the one who keeps his job in right field.
Bobby Valentine has limited his time against left-handed pitching, but eventually he'll realize that playing Sweeney every day is the right move going forward.