Brian Daubach unfortunately only had 30 games with the Red Sox, and amassed 75 AB. Perhaps that’s not so bad, but his stay on the big league club was unfortunately brief. One of the fan favorites, Daubach has not had a chance to start since he left the Red Sox after bashing 20+ HRs in his first four years, something only a select few of Red Sox players have done. He went to Chicago where he had a lousy year as a backup, then returned to the Red Sox. He had a .527 slugging percentage at Pawtucket, and could start again in the majors. Daubach has always had a topnotch batting eye. He would be the quintessial Oakland Athletic, if they were not already logjammed at first (Scott Hatteberg, Erubiel Durazo, Dan Johnson). As is, Daubach is going to have to sign with another organization thin at first base and hope for the best if he ever wants to crack the starting lineup consistently again. Daubach was able to fill in for the Red Sox during his brief tenure here, hitting .227/.326/.413. Best of luck to Brian, and thanks for coming back to the Red Sox just at the right time to be part of history.
David McCarty was the Doug Mientkiewicz of the early season, coming in to field first base defensively. He also was a pitcher, throwing 3.2 IP with a 2.45 average. Give him some more innings, Tito! McCarty also hit a game-winning homerun against the Mariners in May. McCarty found himself on the DL and out of a job when Doug Mientkiewicz came over. His future with the Red Sox is uncertain and probably is zero, but could latch on to an NL team who wants a defensive first-base backup with the potential to relieve. McCarty had 151 AB for the Red Sox, hitting .258/.327/.404.
Doug Mientkiewicz was someone I advocated not getting, but this was primarily because I looked at his offensive output and negated his defensive output for we had David McCarty. But Mientkiewicz ended up being a valuable reserve and came in to quite a few games as a defensive replacement, and as we all know, caught the World Series winning out, which was fielded by Keith Foulke. No Bill Bucker/Dave Stapleton error here. Francona knew he had to play to win, not to play to emotions, and consistently threw Mientkiewicz in there to field, and boy, could he field. Millar and Mientkiewicz are under contract for next year and the probability that one of them will be traded is quite high, so keep an eye on this. Mientkiewicz had an off year. His career line rests at .272/.363/.404, but for the Red Sox, hit .215/.286/.318, which was worse than his output with the Twins. He had 107 AB with the Sox and 284 with the Twins.
Kevin Millar actually had a better season this year than last year, curious since he came under real fire in the first half for his complete lack of hitting. He was a singles hitter. I don’t recall him behind this bad in the second-half last year. A lot of people thought Millar was going to the bench when we acquired Mientkiewicz, but luckily for Millar, he had started coming out of his funk. In the first half (286 AB) he hit .280/.361/.401. That, ladies and gentlemen, is one bad SLG for a first baseman. In the second half, (226 AB) he hit .319/.408/.566. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we needed, and got. His offensive explosion can be traced to July 23rd, when he blasted three homers against the Yankees. Millar really helped out offensively in the second half and was able to pick up the slack when other people tired. I’d much rather a fast finisher than a slow finisher.
In other news, the Red Sox signed backup catcher Doug Mirabelli to a two-year contract valued at $3 million dollars. Check back for my take on the deal when the 2004 Catcher Review is released.
I was also looking back at my archives, and I noticed that in my first post ever, I said this.