Friday, April 30, 2010

Is Lars Anderson Being Bumped to Pawtucket Too Soon?

Lars Anderson speaks with Matty on Media day(Jeff Schools CMSB Photo)

Lars Anderson, who 2 years ago was the top prospect in the Red Sox organization, has parlayed a super hot start at the plate into a promotion to Pawtucket. In 17 games so for this season, he has 5 homeruns, a .355 BA and an OPS of 1.086. His attitude was different coming into camp, and it showed in his start to the season. The question is, is he being sent to Pawtucket too soon?

On the surface, this move seems premature. Anderson struggled for most of 2009, and if they didn't send him to Salem or Lowell 17 games into last season, I don't quite understand the logic here. Is he going to start every day at Pawtucket? Aaron Bates has been playing first for the PawSox all season, and although he is far from crushing the ball (.250 BA, .760 OPS, 2 HR's), he was called up to the big club last season and did alright. I'm all for rewarding prospects with promotions when they do well, but I worry that the groove Lars has found in Pawtucket is going to be undone if he ends up splitting playing time with Bates, or if he starts to slump after the promotion.

With the memories of Craig Hansen dancing in our heads, Red Sox Nation has a right to look at this move with trepidation. Perhaps the organization thinks Lars has finally figured it out, and wants to get him back on track to play in Boston if need be. Maybe they want to see how he handles hitting at the next level and deals with possible frustration in a new place. No matter the scenario, I hope Lars succeeds. He's a good kid who came into Portland this year with a brand new attitude, and it's always good to see good people do well. I just hope he doesn't end up back in Portland if he has a bad stretch of 17 games in Pawtucket.

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