Red Sox Pre-Game Notes: Bobby Valentine Giving Up On Season


Tonight’s starting lineup against the Angels tonight perfectly illustrates the inevitable fact that the Red Sox are giving up on this season. Nothing near this lineup has ever been featured and the mix of Pedro Ciriaco 3B, Dustin Pedroia 2B, Jacoby Ellsbury CF, Adrian Gonzalez 1B, Cody Ross RF, Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, Daniel Nava DH, Mike Aviles SS, and Scott Podsednik LF is hardly encouraging.

The weirdest two parts of this lineup are both within the first three batters. While I don’t disagree with Pedro Ciriaco leading off (and playing third base, also odd), I certainly don’t agree with it coming at the expense of batting Ellsbury third. Last year’s AL MVP runner-up has essentially lost of the power and five tool capability  that he possessed in 2011. After batting  .321/.376/.552 with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs last season, Ellsbury has fallen to .250/.302/.351 with just 1 home run and 11 RBIs in his injury-shortened 2012 campaign.

However, that’s certainly not the only odd point in this lineup as another strange choice is Daniel Nava DH’ing in his first game off the Disabled List. Not only has Nava fallen to .251/.373/.397 after a torrid start, he’s also played very good defense. I suppose that it makes sense to play him at DH to ease him back into baseball, but his 5.9 UZR/150 is better than Podsednik’s -3.8.

It’s good to see that the Red Sox have finally lost hope as this might mean we see some more interesting lineup combinations and see some new players. However, in a way it’s equally disheartening.