If the rest of the season turns out to be a formality for the Boston Red Sox, with no postseason in the cards yet again (unless somebody makes a deal with Applegate), that might not be such a bad thing. After all, the coming weeks are bound to continue what's been an exercise in futility all year long. By the time the merciful offseason comes, we'll no longer have to watch this franchise do its best impression of a turtle on its back. At least there'll be some good reason to be optimistic about next season.
This roster hasn't exactly inspired confidence, what with the disaster that is the Red Sox pitching staff. Nevertheless, on the other side of the ball, the future is far less murky than it might seem. Over the course of this year, a solid enough infield has emerged that the Red Sox FO can focus its long-term attention elsewhere, such as pitching (where it's desperately needed) or the possibility of an outfield without Jacoby Ellsbury.
Yes, unless the FO goes crazy some time between the end of this season and the beginning of next, they should be able to count on what could be as good a group of infielders as they could hope for in 2013. Considering the increasingly shaky future of Jose Iglesias, this is a blessing for Ben Cherington and company, and it should be bode well for the (continuing) rebuilding effort.
While Iglesias could turn out to be a farm system flop, we can thank the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system for Pedro Ciriaco. It should be clear by now that Ciriaco is not going to be spending much time back in AAA come 2013. Few expected that Pedro would make much impact on this team when he signed with the Sox at the beginning of the year. He'd only ever had a couple dozen appearances in the majors, and those were with Pittsburgh, not the D'Backs.
Helping to give the New York Yankees a good old fashioned beatdown ensured that the "new" Pedro endeared himself to Red Sox Nation. Hopefully, the FO feels the same way. If they go with Ciriaco as the starting SS in 2013, it gives them the breathing room to turn Jose Iglesias into a bargaining chip, getting the most that they can for him sooner rather than later.
Make no mistake that Will Middlebrooks remains solid at third. Meanwhile, Mike Aviles stays on board as the all-around backup infielder. His versatility and his comfort at SS or third gives the Red Sox a respectable level of depth in case either Middlebrooks or Ciriaco need rest. Of course, with Adrian Gonzalez at first and Dustin Pedroia at second, you can't ask for a much better group of infielders.
With the infield locked up, the focus can shift to pitching (where Iglesias enhances your ability to bargain). I'd add that the Red Sox might want to think long and hard about their investment in Jarrod Saltalamacchia as the everyday catcher, but that's a different story.
Taurus Londono has lived in Massachusetts for over ten years. He is a longtime fan of the Boston Red Sox.