The Red Sox have been having a very interesting season, they (like us) have had more than their share of injuries. Add in some club house intrigue and the trade of a long time Boston fan favorite, they have had tons to talk about. And, after trading Ugly, they are a whole bunch less unlikable. Fortunately Bobby Valentine is still there, he make them easy to hate all by himself.
Anyway, I sent off some questions to Marc Normandin, manager of Over the Monster. Here are his answers:
Have to ask, what do you think about the Youkilis trade?
It was a tough situation. If Kevin Youkilis had much in the way of trade value, Boston wouldn't have been looking to move him. But, with his declining health over the last few seasons, struggles since last August, and Will Middlebrooks continuing to hit, it was time to deal him, and sooner than later, in case he ends up hurt once again. Zach Stewart and Brent Lillibridge (along with slight salary relief) aren't the greatest return for the player that Youkilis has been, but that's the real question: is he that guy anymore, or is he a shadow of his former self at this point? Given the market that popped up around him in the last month, the league seems to think it's the latter. Boston's done a good job of getting stuff out of pitchers like Stewart as of late -- arms with more in the way of stuff than results -- so maybe this is a deal that will look better once their pitching coaches get a hold of him, too.
What do you guys think of Will Middlebrooks?
I've been a huge Middlebrooks proponent for a while now, even before he was putting up the numbers in Double-A last year. That being said, even I'm surprised he hit the ground running this well after such a short time at Triple-A Pawtucket. He seemed to take his time adjusting to each level, and improved bit-by-bit each year, but it's been two-straight seasons with offensive explosions for him now, and that's a great sign given the levels (Double- and Triple-A, as well as the majors).