Ok, there's a tough road ahead. Our next few series break down like this...
3 in Philly
3 (at home) against Toronto
3 in Texas
4 in Balt
4 (Fenway) against the Yankees...Will Schilling open the second half???
3 (Fenway) D-Rays...relief...
4 in Chicago (White Sox)
Except for the D-Rays there is no room to breathe easy. The upside??? We can take over the division. We could put in, at least, some cushion in the Wild Card. The downside??? We could find ourselves looking up at some of these teams.
Speaking of the wild card, we are now in the lead. That's right. If the season ended today, we'd be in the playoffs. We face all the serious contenders by the end of July. Yankees, Texas, Minnesota, Cleveland, Toronto...
Ok...now other stuff...Schilling is coming back soon. That is great news. Who goes to the pen? I know the consensus is Arroyo, but I think Wakefield is the better choice. Wakefield could throw many more innings out there the Bronson. He could pitch 5 innings on a Sunday in long relief, and be available for 2 innings on Monday. Arroyo...not so much. One thing is fairly certain. Halama is the odd-man out. Embree's velocity is back up, and his location is much better. The is way more of an upside to Embree than Halama. We do not need 3 lefties and Myers has been great.
Sox needs? If Schilling comes back healthy, we get another great arm in the pen in Arroyo or Wake. With Foulke throwing well again, Timlin having an All-Star season, and Myers, we probably need only another arm. If Embree can prove what I have stated above, we should be fine.
We need a speed/utility guy...Vazquez is supposed to be our speed guy, but his injuries have hindered him. We should replace him. Any AA or AAA guys that we have??? What about Pedroia?
Apparently Kapler is now fighting to get out of his Japan contract. Would he have to go through waivers or something if he tried to return to MLB? Has there been a precedent for this?