We start yet another 3 game series against the Red Sox tonight, at Fenway this time, so I sent a handful of questions to Randy Booth from Over the Monster, SB Nation's Red Sox site. He was kind enough to answer.
At the start of the season your starting rotation looked strong and deep, but it seems like you've had some bad luck there. Who makes up the rotation behind Beckett and Lester? Can they catch you up to the Yankees?
Tim Wakefield, Clay Buchholz and Junichi Tazawa -- for now. Wakefield, after his great start after coming off the disabled list against the White Sox, is locked in, but Buchholz and Tazawa are question marks. Both have really struggled in their last starts and just have been inconsistent. At this point, it seems like the depth is lost, but the Sox won't give up on the youngsters. Michael Bowden also has a chance to make a splash if he comes in and starts. He had one horrid relief appearance against the Yankees and his stats ballooned.
I still think it's possible to catch the Yankees. The Sox just have to click to do it. And EVERYTHING has to click.
Speaking of rotation, what's going on with Daisuke Matsuzaka? Is his confidence gone or is he just not the pitcher everyone thought he would be?
I don't think it's his confidence. I think he was worn out from the World Baseball Classic and that just set a bad tone for his whole season. I expect him to make his rehab starts, come back and pitch pretty well. Maybe not as well as he did in 2008, but certainly not as bad as pre-disabled list.
Getting Victor Martinez is a great move, is he now your catcher of the future?
It seems like it. While he's not a great "catcher," he will make due, despite his problems behind the plate.. Unless the Red Sox ship off Mike Lowell this offseason and insert Big Vic at first base and move Kevin Youkilis to third, he's got his spot there.
Who is your shortstop at the moment? How about next year?
Alex Gonzalez is our new face at shortstop. Well, old face as well. He was with the Sox in 2006 and played amazing defense. He's back with defense that's good -- but not as great -- and is surprisingly hitting the ball well in his short time since being acquired.
Next year is a toss-up. Maybe Gonzo will be back. Maybe Jed Lowrie will be healthy. Maybe there will be a prospect that makes the leap. Maybe a free agent will come on board. Your guess is as good as mine at this point.
Who is your favorite Red Sox to watch?
In both the field and at the plate, it's Dustin Pedroia. He plays great defense and I just love watching his approach at the dish. He's a patient hitter, doesn't strike out a lot and never gets cheated out of a swing.
If we're talking on the mound, I love watching Daniel Bard. He just has a lot of gas (100 mph heater) and when his breaking stuff is on, it's fun to watch.
What else should Jay fans know about the Sox?
This team isn't dead yet. As much as they might look like roadkill at times, it's a solid team. The bullpen is the strong suit, while the starting pitching and offense take turns of sucking the most in any given night.