Boston Red Sox: A Look at 6 Players out of Boston Since Last Season's Collapse
After a disastrous September, Boston missed the postseason for the second straight season. We saw a major upheaval of the organization and the roster.
Theo Epstein and Terry Francona left.
Ben Cherington and Bobby Valentine are here.
The front office made several moves during the offseason to try and revamp the team with hopes of making a postseason run in 2012. This included letting players walk during free agency as well as trading players to try and give the team a new feel.
Here are six players that didn't return to Boston after their epic collapse last season and have made strides to help their new teams.
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Where Is He? Pittsburgh Pirates
How Did He Get There? Free Agency (1 year, $4.5 million)
After Boston traded for Erik Bedard at the trade deadline last season and didn't pitch as well as expected, they decided not to bring him back. Instead, Bedard signed a deal to pitch in the middle of the rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Through seven starts with the Pirates, he's 2-4 with a 2.57 ERA with 37 strikeouts and 14 walks in 35 innings. The win-loss record is deceiving because all of his losses have come in games where the offense couldn't produce more than two runs. In games where they score more than two runs, he's 2-0.
With Boston's current struggles with their rotation, maybe it would've been a decent idea to bring Bedard back. He only made eight starts with the Red Sox and didn't make a huge impact. His recent success with the Pirates could just be a result of switching to the National League though.
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Where Is He? Houston Astros
How Did He Get There? Traded w/ Kyle Weiland for Mark Melancon
Jed Lowrie split time in the Red Sox infield over the last few seasons while juggling multiple injuries. With Mike Aviles already on the major league roster and having prospect Jose Iglesias in waiting, Boston shipped Lowrie, along with Kyle Weiland, to Houston.
Since then, he's really made the most of his time with the Astros. Lowrie has been hitting in the middle of the Houston lineup and has excelled in that spot thus far. He's hitting .299/.382/.474 with four home runs and 12 RBI in 25 games. He also has the second highest OPS of any National League shortstop at .856.
Boston's Mike Aviles has done a nice job this season at shortstop, sharing some time with Nick Punto, and hasn't really missed Lowrie that much. They could've, however, used him when Kevin Youkilis got injured at third base, negating the current controversy between Youkilis and Will Middlebrooks.
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Where Is He? Houston Astros
How Did He Get There? Traded w/ Jed Lowrie for Mark Melancon
Kyle Weiland never got a true chance pitching in Boston. He really struggled in seven games last season for the Red Sox and was somewhat rushed through the minor league system, making it to the majors after less than four professional seasons.
Weiland wasn't the major piece in the trade with the Houston Astros, just another add-in to complete the deal. He didn't have a spot in the rotation with the Red Sox, which is part of the reason he was dealt. He's currently on the 15-day disabled list but will surely miss more time after arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder.
In three starts with Houston, Weiland hasn't been impressive at all. He's lost all three starts and allowed at least three earned runs in each. Weiland has had a tough time keeping hitters off balance as they're hitting .333 against him with 24 hits in 17.2 innings as well as five home runs.
Boston could've kept him for the depth that they now lack, but as it turned out, he just would've been another name on their injury report.
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Where Is He? Colorado Rockies
How Did He Get There? Traded for Clayton Mortenson
I was definitely one that scratched my head when Boston traded Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies. It did make sense to dump his salary since they didn't have much payroll left to add pitching help, but he still contributed nicely for them in two seasons.
It didn't make much sense since they also decided to trade Lowrie and solely depend on Mike Aviles and Jose Iglesias.
Now, Scutaro is Colorado's every day second baseman after primarily playing shortstop in his career. He's kind of slumped in 29 games offensively for the Rockies, hitting .262/.313/.320 with 18 runs and only one RBI. Defensively he's been above average, only committing two errors at second base in 153 chances and one error at shortstop in 11 chances.
Since Aviles has played well for Boston thus far, Boston was smart to move Scutaro. It kept their payroll manageable and they also got rid of an aging middle infielder.
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Where Is He? Oakland Athletics
How Did He Get There? Traded with Miles Head and Raul Alcantara for Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney
This trade has probably hurt Boston the most this season since Andrew Bailey had to undergo thumb surgery and won't be back until around the All-Star break. Reddick had seen limited time in the majors in 2009 and 2010, and really started to put it together in 2011 when he played in 87 games and hit .280.
Reddick has been hitting in the heart of the Oakland lineup this season and is having a spectacular season at the plate. He's hitting .292/.343/.554 with eight home runs, 19 RBI and 23 runs. He's only committed two errors and has four outfield assists in 30 games playing both center and right field.
If Ryan Sweeney wasn't one of Boston's best players at the moment, this trade would look even more horrendous than it already does with Bailey hurt. As of now, Reddick for Sweeney doesn't seem like that bad of a move for the Red Sox. It's also nice to see Reddick getting the time he deserves with the Athletics.
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Where Is He? Philadelphia Phillies
How Did He Get There? Free Agency (4 years, $50 million)
Here's the missed opportunity that probably hurt Boston the most this season. After seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox, the front office let Jonathan Papelbon walk during free agency. The Philadelphia Phillies wasted no time in locking up Papelbon on a huge four year, $50 million deal.
In 12 games for the Phillies this year, Papelbon has nine saves with a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings with 13 strikeouts and only four walks. He's yet to blow a save this season. His only falter thus far has been a bad outing against the New York Mets recently where he came into a tie game and let up a three-run home run that ultimately lost the Phillies the game.
Yes, Papelbon got an enormous contract that he might not have deserved, but with all the drama and instability in the Boston bullpen this season, should they have done a better job at trying to bring him back? There would be less pressure for Daniel Bard to pitch well in the rotation and Alfredo Aceves wouldn't have to worry about saving games.
Maybe Papelbon will show Boston what they missed out on when his former team comes to Citizens Bank Park next weekend.