But once again, the more balls he puts in play, the more chances of blowing a save. But he was just overpowering last year.
Can you give me a little bit of a breakdown of this year’s Red Sox. A lot of people said they were going to be down this season and they started out playing pretty well.
It’s a totally different club. They’ve got some speed – they’ve got [Shane] Victorino and [Jacoby] Ellsbury at the top. It’s just a different way of scoring runs.
But what I think is the key for the Red Sox is their rotation. If [Jon] Lester and [Clay] Buchholz can come back and be what they were, and you add [Ryan] Dempster, and the big question mark obviously is [John] Lackey.
But the bullpen may be one of the best. You’re talking about four guys at the end: [Joel] Hanrahan and [Andrew] Bailey and [Junichi] Tazawa and [Koji] Uehara. And they’ve got a kid [Andrew] Miller that throws hard. They’ve got a nice bullpen. I really believe they can surprise some people.
Tell me a little bit about [22-year-old left fielder] Jackie Bradley Jr.? He sounds like he’s the new star coming up.
Yeah, a kid like that, he knows the strike zone. The kid plays a great outfield, has great instincts.
He’s what the Red Sox needed – to focus on some young players. But he’s not somebody who’s going to hit 20 home runs and drive in 100. He’s just sort of an all-around type player. He gets on base. He’s a new-age moneyball player, you know?
Do you think it’s easier these days for teams to call up the younger guys? The Orioles did it in the middle of the season last year with Machado, who’s only 20. Do you think it’s different from 10-15 years ago when maybe teams were reluctant to call up a guy that young.
They made a big deal about [whether they should] wait 9 or 10 days to call up Bradley. It’s a big deal nowadays so the [service time] clock doesn’t start. I think a team like the Red Sox can’t be acting like, “Well, we need to be in good shape with the contract status of some player.” We’ve got to put the best team on the field.
I think that’s the way it should be anyway. You shouldn’t be concerned about somebody’s free agency or their arbitration before they even get there.