2010 MLB Season Preview: Boston Red Sox
2009 regular season record: 95-67, Second place, AL East, Clinched Wild Card
Major Offseason Acquisitions: John Lackey (LAA), Mike Cameron (MIL), Marco Scutaro (TOR), Adrian Beltre (SEA), Jeremy Hermida (FLA)
Major Offseason Losses: Jason Bay (NYM), Billy Wagner (ATL), Takashi Saito (ATL)
Projected Lineup (2009 stats):
1. LF-Jacoby Ellsbury (.301 BA, .355 OBP, 8 HR, 60 RBI, 70 SB)
2. 2B-Dustin Pedroia (.296 BA, .371 OBP, 15 HR, 72 RBI, 20 SB)
3. C-Victor Martinez (.303 BA, .381 OBP, 23 HR, 108 RBI)
4. 1B-Kevin Youkilis (.305 BA, .413 OBP, 27 HR, 94 RBI)
5. DH-David Ortiz (.238 BA, .332 OBP, 28 HR, 99 RBI)
6. CF-Mike Cameron (.250 BA, .342 OBP, 24 HR, 70 RBI)
7. RF-J.D. Drew (.279 BA, .392 OBP, 24 HR, 68 RBI)
8. 3B-Adrian Beltre (.265 BA, .304 OBP, 8 HR, 44 RBI)
9. SS-Marco Scutaro (.282 BA, .379 OBP, 12 HR, 60 RBI)
Projected Starting Rotation/Closer (2009 stats):
1. RHP Josh Beckett (17-6, 3.86 ERA, 212.1 IP)
2. LHP Jon Lester (15-8, 3.41 ERA, 203.1 IP)
3. RHP John Lackey (11-8, 3.83 ERA, 176.1 IP)
4. RHP Tim Wakefield (11-5, 4.58 ERA, 129.2 IP)
5. RHP Clay Buchholz (7-4, 4.21 ERA, 92 IP)
Closer: RHP Jonathan Papelbon (1.85 ERA, 38 saves)
2010 outlook: Despite the loss of Jason Bay, Boston's lineup headed into 2010 looks more well-rounded than it did a year ago.
Instead of relying on a stop-gap group of guys like Rocco Baldelli, Joey Gathright, Mike Lowell, and Julio Lugo, the Sox went out and spent some money to bring in guys that they feel are capable of producing at a high level all season long.
Adrian Beltre is an interesting pickup based solely on what he's done in the past.
The 30-year-old has hit at least 20 home runs in seven different seasons, and was only able to play in 111 games last season with Seattle due to injury.
Marco Scutaro should also be able to bring some stability to shortstop, which was clearly a problem position last season for the Red Sox.
The key will be the starting rotation, which also looks more sturdy with the addition of John Lackey, a veteran workhorse that has pitched at least 198 innings in five of his eight big league seasons.
When healthy, it also appears to be one of the deeper staffs in the American League.
The Red Sox have improved on paper, but have they improved enough to dethrone the Yankees?
2010 Prediction: 100-62, First place, AL East
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