The PRICE is Right!

Well maybe…

Sifting through my morning briefs, following all the teams in spring training. Everyone exudes confidence this time of year. Even the most forlorn stubbornly believe this could be their year. In San Francisco, fans are expecting a bounce back year. The Gigantes will reclaim their rightful position as NL Champs, in Seattle, Mariner fans are thinking this is the year they ride King Felix all the way to the crown. In Fort Myers, it has been, well, a tumultuous ride indeed. We have gone from having the best rotation in the history of the franchise to losing our ace to oops, false alarm—We are fine again.

So, which is it? Once you dust yourself off from the initial shocking headlines, you are left with this; David Price is probably fine. I don’t say that because the John Henry entourage wrote it, I say this because he is already talking about getting back into his throwing routine and seems genuinely optimistic. Maybe his confidence was bolstered by a cortisone injection? Maybe it was routine swelling from too much, too soon? Red Sox fans learn early on that after the sensation seeking headlines, there always seems follow a “Nothing to see here folks” cover up from Henry’s faithful scribes.  The reality is we are probably somewhere in between. At this point, it seems optimistic to think Price will log his usual 200+ innings this year. Maybe that is enough? We do have depth and we do have talent to pull off another blockbuster trade. For now, I am ratcheting back my expectations on David Price. He is past the point of being an ace, this injury will only confirm that but having him in the number 2 or 3 slot doesn’t exactly disadvantage us. Like Ortiz before him, he will do well with the occasional day off. Living next to Fenway Park for four years drove home that it really is a long season. We tend to view it through the prism of those 1-2 games we trek from all over New England to go see in person or the 8-10 games we will catch on NESN. These guys are there 162 times a year. Some get to the ballpark for a 7:00 PM game as early as noon! There is nothing wrong with resting when needed especially for the over 30 guys.

Shifting gears a bit, I am on a mission to see the Sox give Swihart a look at 1B. He hits and runs too well to not be in the show. I would be fine with a platoon of Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez at catcher with Swihart providing depth. Hanley Ramirez did a fine job of transitioning to 1B last year while we arguably set Swihart back by playing him in the OF. Besides, with super subs Brock Holt and Chris Young on the roster, we have the OF covered. Why block Swihart’s path to the majors? He will continue to be our third catcher any way you play the scenarios out. Who would you rather see at 1B Mitch Moreland or Blake Swihart? Spring training is the time to try new things out and this one is worth a try.

Random thoughts…

Is anyone else wondering how Anderson Espinoza and flame throwing Michael Kopech are doing this spring? Here is hoping Carson Smith makes it all the way-back from his surgery and that Craig Kimbrel and Matt Barnes can give us a full year’s contribution.  Drew Pomeranz? Don’t even get me started. If Dombrowski knew about his health issues and MLB gave him a free pass on rescinding that trade, why in the world didn’t he pull Espinoza back?  The jury is still out on the Dave Drombrowski era.

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