The Boston Red Sox (29-31) are back in last place and two games below .500 again. The most recent disappointing homestand has basically ruined any good feelings that this team and it's fans had at the end of May and early June. All the work that they did to get over .500 made it seem like we had finally turned the corner only to now take two steps back. Perhaps we can take a bit of consolation in the fact that the baseball season is known for having it's ups and downs and we are surely going to have another upswing, hopefully sooner rather than later.
I can't help but shake the feeling that Ben Cherington is about to pull a trigger on a trade. Kevin Youkilis is the obvious trade bait, but I think he's working on something bigger. The Sox certainly have other players that would be attractive to teams. I think that the reason why the trade hasn't happened yet is that there is a lot of interests from other teams and Cherington is using that to get the best deal possible. What would you be looking for in return, prospects or proven big league players? Answer in the comments section. With the Sox back in last place the trend seems to be that they will look for prospects in return, but I'm not so sure.
One thing is clear to me, the unsettled lineup spots for AGon, Youk and Middlebrooks is starting to have an impact on the team and could be a reason for their poor play recently. Plus, it will only get worse now that they are on the road for interleague play and can't use a DH. This team turned things around in May when Daniel Nava solidified the OF and the line up, but now the line up seems to be in disarray again, because of the constant revolving door at corner infield and right field. Once the trigger is pulled on a trade, or once Middlebrooks is sent back to Pawtucket the team just may get hot again.
Because of the logjam mentioned in the last paragraph and no DH today's line up choices are really interesting for Bobby V. The Miami Marlins (31-29) send RHP Josh Johnson (3-4, 4.56) to the mound tonight so I look for both Ortiz and AGon to be in there and either Middlebrooks or Youk will be on the bench. Here is my best guess at what the manager will do.
Beckett SP (4-6, 4.04)
Watch for Beckett to hit a HR tonight to make up for the lack of run support he's been getting lately and there will be men on base, at least 2 maybe 3. Just remember you heard it here first. Leave your predictions for tonight's game in the comments section.