Scouting the Red Sox

Updated: October 5, 2004, 12:13 AM ET
By Buck Martinez | ESPN Insider

Division Series Breakdowns
American League
  • Minnesota Twins
  • New York Yankees
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Anaheim Angels
    National League
  • Los Angeles Dodgers
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • Houston Astros
  • Atlanta Braves

    The Red Sox have one of the best lineups in baseball. They scored more runs than any club in the majors and have two MVP-caliber players in the heart of the order, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.

    The mid-season trade to acquire Orlando Cabrera at SS solidified the infield defense. At the same time they added Doug Mientkiewicz, Dave Roberts and Mike Myers.

    This may be the best 1-2 starter punch they have had in the postseason with Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez. The balanced lineup leans heavily on Ramirez and Ortiz, but there are good hitters up and down the order who can win games on their own.

    Position players

    Johnny Damon
    Center Field
    Boston Red Sox
    150 20 94 123 19 .304
    Johnny Damon: Fastball hitter inner half and down. … Handles the average fastball ball in the middle of the plate and up but will chase good fastball up out of the zone with two strikes. … Right-handers can use the slider and cutter on his hands and higher, and he will chase. … His power is down on the inner half. … Breaking ball strikes are not good to him as he sees the ball coming in very well. … If you throw the breaking balls, throw curve balls at the back foot. … You can throw back door breaking balls early in the count; not a good idea with two strikes. … Good change-up will have him out front in fastball counts. … He will run; hold the ball, make him wait and he will get anxious. … He will drag bunt occasionally. … In the outfield covers a lot of ground. … Below average arm.
    Buck Martinez re-joined ESPN in 2002, following a one-year stint as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, and currently serves as analyst on ESPN's Wednesday night national telecasts of Major League Baseball.