Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Reviewing the New York Giants Draft

With the NFL Draft completed, we no longer have to listen to the whole ESPN "Todd McShay vs Mel Kiper" 'feud' in which they are frenemies. Or Mike Mayock being Mike Mayock, though I'd take him and Rich Eisen's hilarity over Boomer, Jon Gruden, Kiper and McShay being annoying as all hell. At least enjoy Mike Mayock's dancing. Let's recap how the Giants did. Reportedly, co-owner John Mara wanted the Giants to address the offensive and defensive lines, and GM Jerry Reese listened. Reese adhered to his "best value pick" philosophy, notably in the 3rd and 4th round picks. Here is Florio Facts' recap and analysis:

Round One: OT Justin Pugh, Syracuse
Jokingly, the Giants said he won his draft selection with his response to the question, "Who is the most prominent Syracuse alum that you know?" by answering with Coach Tom Coughlin. Surely Coughlin has had discussions with former Syracuse and current Bills HC Doug Marrone about Pugh and another Giants draft pick in the 4th round. I did not care for the pick at first because it was not a glaring need, but upon second thought, it made sense. Pugh played all 5 OL positions at 'Cuse, according to Mayock, which will help the Giants this year until he likely secures LG with Kevin Boothe's impending free agency. His ceiling? A better, younger, Dave Diehl, who he could replace at RT.

Round Two: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
Ohio State picks always seem to be boom or bust (Boom: James Laurinatis, Nick Mangold/Bust: Anthony Gonzalez, Troy Smith). Let's hope it is a boom. I also questioned this pick, with 6 DT's on the Giants roster already but here's what won me: he's a run-stuffer. The Giants, finishing 31st in run defense last year, and with sub-par linebackers, need help here. If he stays in shape (a problem at OSU), he should be a fine yang to pass-rushing Cullen Jenkins' ying.

Round Three: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Here's one of the biggest steals of the draft. On some boards as a late first rounder, and 33 overall on Mayock's, the Giants took him at 81. He has first round talent, and is younger than me at 20 years old. Moore has the potential to start as soon as next year with Justin Tuck's impending free agency and looking much slower in 2012. Moore fell as a result of poor combine times and questions surround his work ethic. Coughlin should be able to keep his head on straight and be the most valuable contributor for the Giants 2013 draft class this season.

Round Four: QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
This pick threw nearly every commentator. Particularly so because Reese traded up for Nassib. He was projected to go as early as #8 overall to Marrone's Bills but fell all the way to round 4. Nassib is a smart thrower with solid awareness, a good arm and will stand in the pocket and take a hit. If the Giants can correct his flawed mechanics (particularly his footwork), he's a developmental project which they can spin for draft picks later or down the line replace Eli Manning. Nassib safeguards themselves against a long-term Manning injury (Kirk Cousins looked good for Washington last year, right?).

Round Five: S Cooper Taylor, Richmond
Mayock compared a lot of safeties to Seattle's SS Kam Chancellor, a steal in the 5th round 3 years ago, Taylor is another. Taylor is a big dude, towering at 6'4". Marc Ross, Giants' college scouting director said of Taylor, "We think we got a hidden gem there.This guy is big, fast, smart, plays the game the right way. He does a lot of things for Richmond. They line him up at multiple positions. You’ll see him in the box; you’ll see him back deep. He covers the slot. Productive there...The kid is really smart. Loves football, so we think he has a ton of upside." I would love him to move to OLB because the Giants can't cover to save their lives.

Round Seven: RB Michael Cox, Massachusetts
Nearly Mr. Irrelevant, Reese believes that there is some upside to him. "“You don’t see a lot of production but if you look closely at this guy, we are excited about him. He is big, powerful, elusive guy with speed. He has got a lot of things that we like about him.” It can't hurt to have more running backs, though, I wish the Giants pulled the trigger on a LB here.

So, how did the Giants do? If you believe in the old adage of "You win games in the trenches" you'll probably like this draft. Reese had an eye on 2014 with this draft and free agencies coming. I'll give it a B+ with the potential to hit an A.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Roster Changes the Yankees Should Consider

My delays in blog posts are getting shorter, but my schedule is picking up. Nonetheless, the Yankees have slipped a little in the last few games, going down to 11-8 overall, but since they had a brutal start, they are still in better shape than they were 2 weeks ago. The Yankees have struggled against lefties and the bullpen has been a little taxed at points. Fortunately, Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira are not too far away and Granderson should be back within the next three weeks if all goes well. In the mean time, the Yankees should consider some reinforcements with Kevin Youkilis' back acting up and more right handed bench/platoon prowess. (Also check out Joe Pawlikowski's post over at River Ave Blues).

Dump Ben Francisco

He has played a handful of innings in the outfield, so why keep a guy who is hitting .091 with his 2 hits being singles? You don't. DFA him and hopefully some team will want to trade some organizational pitching depth (Hell, the Yankees got Shawn Kelley for Abe Almonte, they can manage this). I propose calling up OF Thomas Neal, who is raking in AAA.

Bring up Ronnie Mustelier when healthy

He would be perfect for the Yankees roster right now. He does not have a clear position because he's not all that great, but, he's a solid right handed bat who has mashed at every level of the minors. At 28, he's not a prospect but he offers some versatility as a bench bat who can hit his way into the lineup.

Bring up Vidal Nuno and Send down David Phelps, Adam Warren or Ivan Nova

The Yankees have 3 #5/long-man types. They only need 2. Warren hasn't pitched much and the Yankees need another lefty. Vidal Nuno's stuff as a starter does not translate to the majors, but his K rate and his minuscule walk rate (only 2 in 23+ innings!) could make him a dominant lefty out of the pen.

Play Boesch everyday

Ichiro is not hitting. He's grounding everything to the left side of the infield. I want to see Boesch in everyday at-bats until Wells eventually gets them with Grandy coming back. He can hold his own against lefties, too.

Acquire a UTIL/SS

Pretty self-explanatory, right?

Let's see what happens. Debate me on Twitter @JMFlorio

Thursday, April 18, 2013

All Aboard the Zoilo Almonte Train: A look at the Yankees AAA Outfield

Outside of Brett Gardner, the Yankees haven't had a homegrown, regular starting OF since Melky Cabrera, a long-term one since Bernie Williams (unless you wanna count Hideki Matsui, but I'm not going to).  Needless to say, the Yankees could have a potential OF of all homegrown players down the line. Three of the top 5 NYY prospects are OF's Mason Williams, Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin. They are a little further down the road, though, with Williams in A ball and Heathcott and Austin at AA Trenton.

With that being said, the Yankees have an outfield of possible MLB contributors at AAA Scranton: Melky Mesa, Thomas Neal and Zoilo Almonte. These three players have their fair share of supporters and detractors. Needless to say, on one of them, I am a detractor. One of them I believe can be a solid MLB contributor and one could be in the Yankees OF starting sooner than later. The article's title does give it away slightly, but we'll deal with that as it comes. Let's explore these three players.

Melky Mesa
Mesa has slowly worked his way through the system, and at 25, needs a breakthrough soon. Mesa's also got some intriguing qualities which have enticed their fair share of fans. He's developed some decent power, averaging 18 home runs a year since 2009 and 22 stolen bases a year as well. Mesa also has good range in the OF and a very good arm. So: power, speed, defense, arm - why is he my least favorite of the three? There are a few trends heading in the wrong direction. His batting average sits lower than his ability because of a high strikeout rate (33.4/28.9/33.4/25.7 2009-2012) and a declining walk rate which is already low (51 walks in 2009 - 44 - 39 - 36 in 2012).

If the Yankees wanted Drew Stubbs (literally the best MLB comparison), they could have traded for him themselves. Mesa is organizational depth and a great candidate in a package to clear 40-man roster depth.

Thomas Neal
Not familiar with Neal? Don't blame yourself. Neal was picked up after the Indians released him, rather surprisingly. If I had to place Neal as a hitter for an MLB comparison, it would be Martin Prado. Neal does not a standout in any one area, but does a little bit of everything well, which is why I'm surprised he did not get favored as the back-up OF over Ezequiel Carrera last year. And they could use him now, with Bourn out. A Prado comparison is not a negative connotation: he's hit for solid averages in all levels, he's got a little pop in his bat, but will be closer to a 12-15 HR a year guy, good plate discipline, no platoon split and can steal a few bags. His defensive prowess leaves a little to be desired, but his arm is solid.

I think Neal could be a solid starter if he gets the chance, but he deserves a shot as the #4/RH bench bat. At least his career is not dead in the water like Ben Francisco's.

Zoilo Almonte
I'm a little higher on Zoilo than others, so place me on the Zoilo bandwagon. He's been a spring training star the last few seasons, which is one reason why the Yankees front office might really dig him. At least Joe Girardi and staff have gotten a good look at him the last few years. GM Brian Cashman projects him as an everyday RF, and Zoilo had put a really nice 2012 to promote him to AAA this year: .277/21 HR/70 RBI/15 SB. What appeals to me about Zoilo is not only his awesome name (at least you can't confuse him with that other Zoilo), but he is a switch hitter. He's better from the left side, ironically, against righties and unlike other switch-hitters, but it keeps him in the lineup everyday.

Defensively, Zoilo's arm is his best quality. He can play all 3 positions, but I think he's best in RF at Yankee Stadium. Almonte's biggest downside is his plate discipline is weak: his walk rate and K's were heading in the right direction but dipped in 2012, i.e. more K's, less BB's. But....so far in 2013, he has a whopping 13 BB's (he had 25 ALL LAST YEAR) and if he keeps his K rate steady, over 450 at bats, its a solid 85 K's. Not too bad. I was trying to think of an MLB comparison, and I think Nick Swisher is probably the best: but with a little more speed and a little less power. If he develops that plate discipline, he'll have a fine career, hopefully in pinstripes.

Debate me on Twitter @JMFlorio

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Profar for Taveras: Could it happen?

Of course it could happen, but the real question is whether it should happen. This is where I find myself disagreeing with both Justin and Donny on this subject. For the record, I never said the trade wouldn't make some sort of sense. St. Louis has some need for a MI and Texas has some need for an OF. Why not just swap uber-prospect Profar, a shortstop, for uber-prospect Taveras, a corner outfielder?

Both Justin and Donny pointed out that Texas has no opening for Profar (blocked by Andrus) and St. Louis has no opening for Taveras (blocked by Beltran) currently. St. Louis has some need for a SS and Texas has some need for an OF. The thought is that by trading Profar for Taveras, St. Louis solves its SS situation and uses its roster flexibility (mainly, moving Allen Craig to RF and putting Matt Adams at 1st assuming Carlos Beltran is gone after this year) to fill out the rest of their starting lineup. On the other hand, Texas ships out a player that they have no current room for and acquire a corner OF  in Taveras who can replace someone in the Rangers outfield.

One problem I have with the trade is that both teams don't have a dire need and have enough roster flexibility to overcome any weakness. The idea that Texas needs an OF and St. Louis needs a SS is being hyped up too much. Right now, Texas is in fine shape at outfield with Cruz, Martin, Murphy and Gentry. St. Louis has an OK middle infield with Carpenter, Kozma and Descalso all playing 2B or SS and also have 2B prospect Wong. Kozma and Descalso are good fielders with suspect bats, while Carpenter is turning into a pretty decent player. All 3 have under 800 MLB at-bats, so I think it may be a little early to give up on any of them. But if the Cardinals had Profar, he would be the starting SS over all 3. If Taveras was on the Rangers, he wouldn't have an opening due to Texas having a solid OF. As Justin noted,  Murphy is a FA at the end of the year, so Taveras could potentially fill in if Murphy did leave. But we don't know what the Rangers future plans are. They could resign Murphy and keep their OF in tact for a few more years or they could sign another OF, look internally for an OF or in this case, trade for another OF.

Another problem I have is that in a couple of years, St. Louis could find themselves needing outfielders and Texas could have a need for infielders. For the Cardinals, Holliday is 33 and Beltran is 35. Soon, they are going to need new corner outfielders. Craig can play one of the spots while Adams plays 1B but still leaves them an outfielder short. Again, they can do a number of things to fill that spot, but if they keep Taveras, they would have a really good outfield in Taveras, Jay and Craig. For the Rangers, Andrus is 24 and Moreland is 27 but Beltre is 34 and Kinsler 30. It is nothing to panic about but keeping Profar allows for a good amount of potential flexibility if things ever go bad. Beltre only has a few more good years left and could play 3B or DH.  Kinsler, if needed, could switch positions and be a 1B, potentially prolonging his career. Profar could play both MI spots and perhaps 3B if he grows a little more. Andrus can play both MI spots.

Ultimately, I think the trade is unlikely. Both Texas and St. Louis are great teams and win-now ball clubs. The Cardinals have at least 86 wins each of the past 5 years and a WS title while Texas has won 87 games or more 4 straight years and have been to 2 WS in the same time frame  A more likely scenario is one that involves trading either prospect for a proven commodity, not for each other. One hot rumor going around that I think has a good shot at happening is a trade between the Rangers and Marlins involving Profar and Giancarlo Stanton. That deal nets Texas a proven masher, although it would leave them with little MI depth. But at the same time they would have a great outfield. The Marlins are terrible, so netting a stud like Profar is much needed and cheap as Stanton will demand a large contract soon. Another potential deal that could happen is either the Cards or Rangers dealing their prospects for Rays pitcher David Price. Both would lose their top prospect but in return get an ace that instantly would give St. Louis one of the best staffs in baseball and would give Texas a fierce 1-2 in Darvish and Price.

By all means, a Profar/Taveras deal would be a blockbuster, an interesting trade that everyone wants to see. But it realistically doesn't make sense for each team to just ship their top guy out for another organizations top guy based solely on positional needs. I have to believe the GMs would be more inclined to keep their prospect, that they know more about,  than another teams prospect. If either were to be traded, it would need to be for a current MLB guy like Stanton or Price, someone who instantly impacts the ball club and needs no adjustment period.

Feel free to comment and let me know what you think. Check out Justin's and Donny's blogs as well.

follow me on twitter: @jaym12391

Why a Jurickson Profar/Oscar Taveras Trade Makes Total Sense

This is a bi-product of a Twitter war last night, but it's the hottest baseball internet rumor: Top prospects Jurickson Profar of the Texas Rangers and Oscar Taveras in a one-for-one trade deal. Now, Mr. Donny Finkle examined a possibility of adding some more players in our earlier post if you'll just scroll below. But, I'm going to address the one for one deal. Now, Mr. Jay Mongillo, a contributor here at Florio Facts disagrees with me on this trade. I say it makes sense, he says no. While Jay knows his baseball inside and out, he's clearly wrong here. And you can tell him so on Twitter @jaym12391. I'm here to prove him wrong and why I'm right. Let's start with some background info:

  • Profar is the Rangers' top prospect, a shortstop. He was named the #1 prospect in baseball by Baseball America for this year. He is a potential superstar, as is Taveras.
  • Taveras is the top prospect in the Cardinals organization.  He's the #3 prospect according to Baseball America. You can see the list here: Baseball America Top 100. These are arguably the top 2 organizations for player development, i.e. they have the best systems/players overall. So, why does a trade work perfectly for both teams? Let's explore
Why it works for the Texas Rangers

We know that the Rangers consistently have an excellent offense each year, and they have locked up a number of their key players, mostly in their starting staff, but particularly Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus. The Rangers also have an incredible farm system, with Leonys Martin playing CF this year and 3B/1B Mike Olt just around the corner. This is also why they need to make this trade. Profar's blocked at the MLB level by the guys with two long-term contracts: Kinsler and Andrus, with Andrus Extended for 8.  Playing Profar at 2nd moves Kinsler to first base and blocks Mike Olt's easiest path to the majors, since he is blocked by Adrian Beltre. Trading Profar for Taveras keeps first base open for Olt and if Berkman leaves as a free agent, Mitch Moreland at DH. What about the OF? Martin and Nelson Cruz have 2 spots locked down. David Murphy (a Florio Favorite) is a free agent at the end of 2013. Replace him with Taveras and spend the money on much needed starting pitching! Look at this lineup in 2014:
  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  2. Elvis Andrus, SS
  3. Adrian Beltre, 3B
  4. Nelson Cruz, RF
  5. Mike Olt, 1B
  6. Mitch Moreland, DH
  7. Oscar Taveras, LF
  8. AJ Pierzynski (if he's brought back), C
  9. Leonys Martin, CF
Nice. Younger and better.

Why it works for the St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals breed players like its nobody's business. Look at the recent starters: Jon Jay, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter, Matt Adams, David Freese, Yadier Molina...that's just the offense! Oscar Taveras and 2B Kolten Wong are right around the corner. So, why the trade? Well, shortstop is a bit of a weakness. Pete Kozma, current SS, kinda sucks. His MLB batting average is very misleading: he's a guy who hit mostly in the mid 200s, around .240/.250 in the minors. A team like the Cardinals can have excellent hitters everywhere. Sure, Carlos Beltran is an FA at the end of 2013 and Taveras can easily replace him in RF. But, the Cardinals can replace an old Beltran and a poor Kozma with a young, talented Profar and playing Matt Adams at 1B everyday. Adams, we know can crush MLB pitching: Matt Adams Stats. Moving Allen Craig to RF would make this offense better. They can also start Wong at 2B and play Carpenter as a super sub everyday or trade either of them for more younger SP's to go with Shelby Miller and eventually, Trevor Rosenthal. Look at this lineup:
  1. Jon Jay, CF
  2. Jurickson Profar, SS
  3. Matt Holliday, LF
  4. Allen Craig, RF
  5. David Freese, 3B
  6. Matt Adams, 1B
  7. Yadier Molina, C
  8. Matt Carpenter, 2B or Kolten Wong, 2B
Wow. How do you stop that lineup? Simply, you don't. 

This makes so much sense, it's ridiculous. Teams can replace top prospects in a surplus area with other top prospects in a weakness area. The teams get deeper and open up lineup spots for other talents like Mike Olt or a guy who can clearly hit MLB pitching in Matt Adams. Either way, these teams have loaded offenses and can get even better.

Debate me on Twitter @jmflorio and check out Donny and Jay's posts.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Oscar Taveras for Jurickson Profar?

ESPN's Jim Bowden recently posted about the idea of a Jurickson Profar for Oscar Taveres trade. The question is, is this a good trade for both sides? I think it is. The Cardinals are in dire need of a shortstop after losing Rafael Furcal, and we all know about the Rangers woes in the Outfield after losing Josh Hamilton. After signing Elvis Andrus to a long term deal, the Rangers literally have no room for Profar, with Beltre at third as well. Some say they should move Ian Kinsler to the outfield and put Profar at second. I disagree because you shouldn't uproot one of your stars to bring in a young prospect, no matter the hype he brings with him. Taveres is blocked in St. Louis as well, with Jay in CF and Holliday in left, and Beltran in right. Making it a match made in heaven for the two clubs.

Now the question is, if this trade is something that is possible, is it a straight up? Or a couple sweetner players like in the Michael Pineda-Jesus Montero deal. I think that both clubs would add another player or two. Maybe from Texas, Justin Grimm, or Luke Jackson, and from St.Louis, Michael Wacha or Kolten Wong. Now obviously, this is all speculation and who knows if this is even a valid trade offer. Again it makes sense for two teams competing in tough divisions, and it could be what they need to get over the hump and become teams that will not only make the playoffs, but go deep into the playoffs. And who knows maybe this trade doesn't work but maybe Mike Olt will get shipped off to the Bronx, something I would love to see personally, don't see it happening but hey I can dream can't I?

Follow me on Twitter- @TheDonnyFinkle

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Should the Yankees play Brennan Boesch at First Base?

Some brief Yankee fan ranting: what an offensive outburst last night! Holy Cow! As the late Phil Rizzuto would say...Great to see Gardner and Cano get hot: they gotta carry the offense, even if Youk, Wells, Pronk and even Cervelli do some damage through April. Frankly, anything they get out of Cervelli is bonus, as far as I'm concerned. Nunez is holding the fort down offensively and more importantly, defensively at short, but Ichiro needs to step his game up. If not, I'm playing the man this article is about: Brennan Boesch.

Lyle Overbay had a nice game last night, but he's not the 2005/2006 Lyle Overbay. So, should the Yankees play Brennan Boesch at first until Tex is back? Short answer: yes and leave this article. If you're interested in moving on, please proceed.

This whole issue piqued my curiosity (and I'm sure Yankees fans as a whole) a few weeks ago when rumors of Boesch taking fielding practice surfaced, but one tweet from Daily News writer Mark Feinsand reignited this debate:

"Looks like Joe Girardi and Mick Kelleher are working with Brennan Boesch at first base right now."

Let's backtrack slightly. We know Brennan Boesch as an outfielder, mostly in right, but a corner outfielder by trade. Boesch did play some first base in high school and college, so it's not completely foreign to him, but at the professional level, not part of his m.o. But, the Yankees didn't make Boesch take ground balls or sign him to sit on the bench: he's still too young and talented to not play him. Lyle Overbay has had a nice career and surely financially set his family, but this isn't the same guy who led the league in doubles in 04.

Stat-Lines for both players since Boesch's rookie year:

  • Boesch AVG 162 Games since 2010: .259/18 HR/74 RBI (factor in correction to mechanics and minor league track record, Boesch is closest to his 2011 season)
  • Overbay AVG 162 Games since 2010: 241/16 HR/65 RBI (mostly inflated by 2010, last full season as a starter).
As you can see, Boesch is more productive at the plate, and considering his bad 2012 led to his release, a return to his 2011 form would be more productive for the Yankees, as he is only 27 and has many good years over the 36 year old Overbay.

Thoughts? Follow me on Twitter @jmflorio

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Musing about the Brewers Closers and their Problematic History

I apologize again for taking forever to write a blog post, over a week. Fortunately, the time away was well spent: I was planning and eventually hosting WJMF's Held Hostage radiothon/fundraiser. It's our 36 hour fundraiser for charity: we raised it for Colleges Against Cancer and Bryant University's Relay for Life. We raised nearly $3000 - very proud of our station and the 4 of us. I had a blast and ended up with a shaved head, but overall, one of the best experiences I've had at college. But, on to sports.

The Milwaukee Brewers have had bullpen problems lately, to say the least. With closer John Axford's recent demotion (presumably), and set-up man Jim Henderson's promotion (likely), problems have been deterring the Brewers start of the season. Before I move on, here's a fun fact: John Axford is already second to Dan Plesac in all-time saves for the Brewers. But, the Brewers luck with closers has been pretty poor, and with the switch to Jim Henderson, I believe that more is coming. So, let's examine from the mid-2000s on:

The Brewers closers, outside of a year plus of Francisco Cordero, have followed a pretty disturbing trend: a roundabout or journeyman veteran gets converted to a reliever, or gets called up in their mid-late 20s, and after a year of setting up or in the majors as a prominent set-up man, move into the closer role. After a year, of solid closing, they crash and burn. Here's my proof:
  1. Dan Kolb: Set-up/partially closed 2003 - 2004 Stats: 2.98 ERA/39 Saves - 2005 Stats: 5.93 ERA/11 Saves. Out of the league after 2007.
  2. Derrick Turnbow: set-up in 2004/2005 Stats: 1.74 ERA/39 Saves - 2006 Stats: 6.87 ERA/24 Saves.  Out of the league after 2008.
  3. Cordero replaces Turnbow through 2007.
  4. Eric Gagne: reclamation project in 2008. 2007's minor disaster:  3.81 ERA/16 Saves (6.75 ERA in Boston and a horrible David Murphy trade). 2008: 5.44 ERA/10 Saves. Out of the league after '08.
  5. Solomon Torres: journeyman replaced Gagne. 2007's Stats: 5.47 ERA/12 Saves - 2008 Stats: 3.49 ERA/28 Saves. Retired after 2008.
  6. Trevor Hoffman: Looked like Hoff in 09: 1.83 ERA/37 Saves - 2010 Stats: 5.89 ERA/10 Saves. Retired after 2010.
  7. John Axford: 2010: 2.48 ERA/24 Saves. 2011: 1.95 ERA/46 Saves. 2012's downturn: 4.67 ERA/35 Saves. 2013: 20.25 ERA.....yikes.
  8. Jim Henderson: called up to MLB at age 29....we'll see
All I can say is good luck to Jim Henderson. Seriously. Any thoughts?

Follow me on Twitter @jmflorio

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Happiest Day of the Year!! Opening Day!


Today's NYY vs. BOS Opening Lineup


  1. Brett Gardner, CF
  2. Eduardo Nunez, SS
  3. Robinson Cano, 2B
  4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
  5. Vernon Wells, LF
  6. Ben Francisco, DH (Ugh)
  7. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
  8. Jayson Nix, 3B
  9. Frankie Cervelli, C
CC Sabathia on the Hill

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Shane Victorino, RF
  3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
  7. Jonny Gomes, DH
  8. Jackie Bradley, Jr, LF (Really intrigued to see how he does)
  9. Jose Iglesias, SS
Jon Lester on the Hill