Don't know if any of you guys read Pete Abraham from Boston.com, but here is some stuff he put out today. A lot of good stuff, especially concerning Aviles/Iglesies, Lavarnway and Buchholz, definitely agree with that.
A few more random thoughts from spring training:
* It's wholly unfair to Alfredo Aceves, who deserves a chance to start. But I can't picture how the Red Sox bullpen is good enough without him in it.
* Andrew Bailey will be just fine and perhaps Daniel Bard will evolve into a suitable starting pitcher. But the straight line to success in 2012 would have been to make Bard the closer, a role he had been groomed for and would be excellent at, and use the trade chips to land a No. 4 starter type.
Bard is going to have issues with his pitch count because he gives up a ton of foul balls, an issue that dogged him at times last season. Once a hitter sees him 2-3 times, it could get worse. He needs to find a pitch, probably his two-seam fastball, that can reliably create contract.
Bard is a smart guy and will figure it out. The question is how long that will take.
* That a player is out of options should not necessarily make him a better candidate for the roster. So guys like Andrew Miller, Matt Albers, Felix Doubront and Michael Bowden are so wonderful that it would be preferable to give them a spot they may not deserve rather than expose them to waivers?
The idea is to win games, not stockpile marginal talent. You want players who kick down the door, not sneak in through the back.
That said, Doubront and Bowden do look better and even the confounding Miller showed flashes of perhaps being a helpful reliever. But make them earn it.
* Marco Scutaro is 3 for 23 in Rockies camp. Spring training statistics are meaningless, but it speaks to the bigger picture that far too much was made of the Red Sox giving away a 36-year-old shortstop.
But there is the matter of the $4 million saved in that deal as yet spent. Hopefully that is earmarked for mid-season improvement, not the vault.
* By the time the season is done, bet you Mike Aviles has started 20 games in right field. If Jose Iglesias can't crack the lineup by the All-Star break, they have to start questioning the $8 million they dropped on him. Here's thinking he does and Aviles plays a lot of right.
* Is there some compelling reason Kelly Shoppach is the backup catcher instead of Ryan Lavarnway? Perhaps Lavarnway needs a little polish, but he's a serviceable catcher and a very dangerous hitter.
* Clay Buchholz is the key to the season. If he gives the Sox 180-plus solid innings, they can get away with three good starters and whatever else happens. If he can't, they could be an 85-win team. Buchholz is every bit as talented as Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, maybe more so.
* Bobby Valentine's track record suggests he finds value in players who have been previously overlooked. It'll be interesting to see who those players are. One guess is Jason Repko.