The fourth Red Sox Maineiacs poll has come to a close with 12 votes over the past week. The question was which Sox player currently off to a hot start would end up having the best overall season in 2012. Mike Aviles ran away with the poll with 6 votes, Cody Ross was second with 3 votes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia came in third with 2 votes, Ryan Sweeney came in fourth place with 1 vote, and Junichi Tazawa garnered exactly zero votes. Here are some conclusions from the poll results:
- Mike Aviles ran away with the poll with 6 votes. I voted for Aviles, and it was mostly because he seems like the surest bet to get consistent at-bats throughout the season. Once Jacoby and Crawford get back, everybody else on the list will be in a platoon situation. Of course, if the Red Sox fall 15-20 games behind in the AL East, then they may want to get a look at Jose Iglesias at shortstop, so who knows? Aviles was already demoted from the leadoff spot for one game this past week, only to be replaced by the horror show that is Nick Punto. Aviles was quickly re-instated to the leadoff role, but he has been steadily regressing to the mean after starting off with an unsustainably high BABIP. On the bright side, Aviles has shown some pop and he has played a solid shortstop, so for the foreseeable future, he will remain our leadoff hitter and everyday shortstop.
- Cody Ross came in second in the poll. At the time the poll was posted, he was the team leader in home runs. Since then, he has been in a power drought and been passed by Big Papi. His average is all the way down to .258 and he has an eye-popping 32/8 K/BB ratio. How bad he has been lately has been overshadowed by the abomination of Gonzo’s season and others, but the numbers are beginning to say that the sooner Ross can be entered back into a platoon and only play against left-handed starters, the better off the Sox will be. Begrudgingly, I will add that he is still second on the team in RBI as well as HR.
- Salty Dog came in third in the poll. Either Bobby V hates Salty, loves Shoppach, Repko gave Shoppach the incriminating photos of Bobby V he had when he left, or Bobby V caught a glimpse of Salty’s right-handed swing in spring training and puked on his spikes. Whichever reason is responsible, Salty has hardly played when they are facing a left-handed starter or when Beckett is pitching. I ,for one, believe that Salty will not see a start all season long when Beckett is on the mound. Call Beckett a prima donna if you want to, but he seems to have a serious issue with Salty Dog’s game calling. Add this all up, and it has been very hard for Salty to get consistent at-bats this season. It seems like he will get a little momentum going at the plate (he does have 4 HR’s in only 68 AB), and then sit for two days in a row. Add to that his current bungle streak in the field, and we’re starting to hear some Lavarnway rumblings.
- Ryan Sweeney. One of the few bright spots that has continued to be bright for the Sox season, Sweeney is up to a .368 batting average, .938 OPS, and has 13 doubles. Simply put, he’s been swinging a hot stick. Even once Ellsbury and Crawford get back, Sweeney has earned some at-bats in right field. Can he keep up his current paces? No. Could he end up being the answer to this poll at the end of the season? Yes. Yes he could.
- Junichi Tazawa. What kind of dum-dum even put Tazawa on this poll to begin with? (Nevermind.) When I posted this poll, Tazawa had just rattled off six straight scoreless innings, and it looked like he was headed to the back of the bullpen for late-inning duty. Well, within a day or two of the poll being posted, he was back in AAA. Enough said.
Feel free to leave any questions or comments in regards to these conclusions below. A new poll will be posted shortly. It will probably be negative and mean-spirited. I can’t help it. Also, check back in to the Red Sox Maineiacs Blog tonight at 8 for a live chat while we take on the Kansas City Royals!