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Friday, October 24, 2014

Curt Schilling not hiding his scars - ESPN Boston

None of us are invincible.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 24, 2014 at 01:38 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: curt schilling, diamondbacks, phillies, red sox, sad

Friday, October 17, 2014

Is Jason Heyward the Red Sox’ biggest trade target? - Over the Monster

Heyward is a great defensive rightfielder. Although he hit OK vs. LHP in 2013, for his career he’s been a much better hitter against RHP (.281/.374/.466) than LHP (.221/.301/.349). He would definitely fit the line-up which is getting far too right-handed dominant. 

What makes it that much more impressive is that Jason Heyward turned 25 in August. As it stands, Heyward is a fine player, just maybe not the best fit for a Red Sox team with Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo lined up to play the more challenging defensive positions in the outfield. It’s not hard to draw parallels between Heyward and the ghost of outfields past in Carl Crawford. Crawford brought a track record of good-not-great offense and top-flight defense where the Red Sox didn’t really need it to the table, and much the same can be said for Heyward.

But with Crawford, that was the finished product. His potential for improvement from his age 28 to his age 30 season (a concept which, in retrospect, is both hilarious and depressing) was certainly not going to offset the decline as he reached the second half of his contract in Boston. But for Heyward…For Heyward the All-Star level play he’s shown thus far is the foundation to build on.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2014 at 08:45 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, red sox

Thursday, October 16, 2014

red sox - In defense of Royalty: Why Red Sox may want to follow Kansas City’s run prevention model - WEEI | Alex Speier

They already are.

The Red Sox already have the makings of an excellent defense in 2015. Napoli is a good defender at first. Pedroia is fantastic at second. Xander Bogaerts will probably never be much better than average (which is OK considering his offensive potential). Middlebrooks’ defense looks OK at times but seems to be regressing rather than improving. Christian Vazquez is a beast behind the plate. (Their longterm catcher Blake Swihart gets good marks too.) Their outfield already has the potential to be well-above-average (with a bunch of different parts). So, overall, their defense looks to be really good in 2015. 

That only really leaves third as a place for improvement. I’ve been a believer in Will Middlebrooks. His inability to stay healthy and his decision to forgo winter ball, despite the team’s desire to have him get the extra ABs, makes me question that belief. Nevertheless, I’d like to see the team give him one more opportunity to win the job as the power he possesses isn’t easy to come by

All of this is relevant in the context of how the Red Sox might want to spend their money this offseason. The team has a considerable budget to upgrade its roster, and adding front-line pitching represents a priority. Yet rather than, say, concentrating the team’s financial muscle and prospects on two high-end starters, the team might find it more efficient (and more in keeping with its preference to limit exposure to long-term deals) to pursue two solid pitchers and then build a better defense behind them.
How to do that? The Sox already got a jump on the process by signing Rusney Castillo, though, of course, Castillo won’t match the defensive impact of Jackie Bradley Jr. An outfield of, say, Castillo, Mookie Betts and Shane Victorino, however, could offer tremendous coverage that would help an entire pitching staff, a notion that may dampen the eagerness to explore the sell-low trade market for Victorino, even with the outfield surplus that includes those three plus Jackie Bradley Jr., Yoenis Cespedes, Daniel Nava and Allen Craig. Christian Vazquez’s ability to steal strikes and add outs behind the plate also could have an impact in transforming the team’s run prevention.

The team’s pursuit of a third baseman likewise has a chance to have a considerable impact. The two top options on the free agent market—Chase Headley and Pablo Sandoval—both have ranked as above-average in terms of their ability to prevent runs with their gloves. (Sandoval, notably, turned in some spectacular plays to help key the Giants’ win over the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLCS on Wednesday night.) That would stand in marked contrast to what the Sox endured at third in 2014, when the trio of Xander Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks and Brock Holt combined to make 24 fewer plays than a league-average third baseman would have (according to John Dewan’s plus/minus ratings).

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2014 at 08:56 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, sabermetrics

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mike Napoli to undergo facial surgery

The procedure, called bimaxillary advancement surgery, separates the front portions of the lower and upper jaw and moves them forward to allow for more room behind the tongue, reducing the chances of obstruction.

To combat sleep apnea.  This sounds deeply unpleasent.  And I certainly hope it does a little better than ‘reducing the chances’ for him continuing to have the issue.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 14, 2014 at 03:57 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: mike napoli, ouch, red sox

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The complicated case of the next Red Sox ace - Over the Monster

I hate the idea that the Red Sox will pay one of these guys the going rate in free agency. I know big pickups help sell tickets in the short run but I’d much rather see them work out a deal from their prospect surplus than get locked into a big money deal for guys on the wrong side of thirty.

But ideally the Red Sox will simply be looking at this from a slightly more dynamic perspective. Where a high price point isn’t just a high price point that shouldn’t be met, but is taken in the context of the market that’s forming for the other pitchers available. The Red Sox certainly can’t go into 2015 with their rotation as bad as it is right now—there’s no way to sell that bunch to this fanbase after 2014. And it really does them no good to reminisce about the 2013 season and its many fantastic free agent signings in a market filled with top-quality, top-price arms when it’s so clear that the team needs one of them. If that means ponying up six years to Lester or Scherzer, or even five to Shields, then so be it.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2014 at 09:23 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: free agents, red sox

Friday, October 10, 2014

IG eyes Red Sox land deal | Boston Herald

The public always gets screwed.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2014 at 09:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: business, red sox

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Josh Beckett Says He’s Retiring After 14 Seasons In Major Leagues | MLB | NESN.com

The prickly right-handed pitcher is walking away from baseball, as he announced his retirement Tuesday night after the Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Division Series.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 08, 2014 at 06:51 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, josh beckett, marlins, red sox, retirements

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Yoenis Cespedes unsure about long-term extension

Unlike earlier this year, the Red Sox have a lot of good outfield options going into the off-season.

Asked about the possibility of a long-term future in Boston, Cespedes for his part said he hadn’t thought much about it yet.
“I’m still not sure if I want to sign an extension or if I want to be a free agent,” Cespedes said through interpreter Adrian Lorenzo. “It’s still too soon.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 28, 2014 at 08:44 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, yoenis cespedes

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Old Cuban stars don’t begrudge ballplayers who defect - The Boston Globe

Speaking of power, Chavez laughed when he describing playing with Cuba’s Maximum Leader.

“Fidel was a good pitcher,” he said. “He threw the ball in different styles. A fastball, screwball, everything.

“It was funny because when we were younger, the Cuban national team sometimes played with Fidel. They’d mix the team up and play together. But it was difficult because if Fidel was losing the game, the game wasn’t ended.

“Fidel would say, ‘We have to continue playing.’ We had to play until his team got ahead or at least was tied.’’

Chavez said he once doubled off Castro, but he tried not to hit the ball up the middle against him.

“That was sometimes dangerous,” he said. “It was not good to hurt Fidel, OK?”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 23, 2014 at 09:34 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cuban baseball, red sox

Monday, September 08, 2014

David Ortiz—I’ll know when to quit - ESPN Boston

“What Derek Jeter is doing is fine because he’s Derek Jeter. What Mariano did is fine because it’s Mariano,” he said. “But I don’t know if I’m going to go through all that. I’m not going to wake up and be like, ‘I’m going to play this year and then not anymore.’ To me, it’s going to be how things go through the season and how I feel, and then I’m going to be like, ‘Mama, it’s over.’ I’m going to let her know.”

“The game is getting crazy. It’s getting tougher for a guy like myself. When you get older you think things are going to get easier—not in this game. You have to stay strong physically and mentally, so you can be successful.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 08, 2014 at 08:56 AM | 60 comment(s)
  Beats: david ortiz, red sox

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Young fan’s nice gesture

The kid has skills.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 06, 2014 at 10:54 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, video

Friday, September 05, 2014

Speier: Middlebrooks on winter ball decision: ‘It’s not like I’m going against [the Red Sox]‘

I think the brass legitimately still thinks Middlebrooks has the most to offer the team at 3B of the available options. I disagree.

Ultimately, Will Middlebrooks and the Red Sox want the same thing. Both the player and his team want to see the soon-to-be-26-year-old put in the best possible position to succeed on the field in 2015. Both parties want Middlebrooks to shed the desperate struggles that, after Thursday’s 0-for-3 performance that included a pair of strikeouts, see the third baseman hitting .180 with a .247 OBP and .263 slugging mark…

Middlebrooks is somewhat hesitant about the team’s stated desire (articulated in recent days by manager John Farrell, GM Ben Cherington and assistant GM Mike Hazen) for him to play in winter ball… “It’s not like I’m going against them. It’s not like a butting of heads. It’s not like that at all,” said Middlebrooks. “They understand where I’m coming from and I understand where they’re coming from. … There hasn’t been a whole lot of conversation about it yet, because we’re still playing ball. We’re still doing this daily. We haven’t really had a chance to sit down and talk about it. There will be more discussions about it.

“It’s tough. I do understand the organizational side of it and what they need to feel or see, but then there’s my side of it — I want to go get healthy, I want to go get stronger, I want to get fresh, turn the page and get ready for next year. It’s a tough decision,” he continued. “I just feel like, do I take the time and go get healthy and let some of these things go away, not swing a bat for a while, or do I get the consistent at-bats in games for a couple months and then have the healing pushed back and take more time for everything?

“It’s a tough decision. I don’t know. That decision hasn’t been made yet. There’s going to be discussions we have this month. Ultimately, I think my health is my biggest necessity for my career. I understand what they need to do for next year. I do get that, and I respect that. I’ve been here since I was 18 years old. They’ve done a lot for me.”

Asked if winter ball and getting healthy for the coming year had to represent an either/or, whether the two might not be mutually exclusive, Middlebrooks said that he was trying to figure out precisely that matter.

“That’s the part I don’t know. That’s the part I’m just not sure of. I don’t know,” he said. “That’s something that time will tell. I don’t have an answer for you.”

The District Attorney Posted: September 05, 2014 at 11:32 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, will middlebrooks

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Jackie Bradley’s ‘stubbornness’ got him sent back to minors

They’re throwing Bradley under the bus in Boston. Must mean he’s on his way out for Giancarlo Stanton.

According to two league sources, there was a growing sense of frustration within the Red Sox clubhouse—both coaches and players—with Bradley due to his perceived “stubbornness with the coaching staff.” One source added that Bradley was unwilling to work with coaches to fix his swing. Both sources said Bradley’s attitude was one of the main reasons he was sent to the minors.

Manager John Farrell did not give Bradley the greatest of reviews prior to Tuesday’s game against the Yankees when asked about the outfielder’s progress in the minor leagues.

“Jackie was well aware when we sat down and described what needs to be the focal point. I don’€™t know that has necessarily needs to be repeated right now. The reports have been mixed,” Farrell told reporters in New York. “There have been days as he’€™s executed between the lines as he’€™s been working on but it’€™s still a work in progress.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 03, 2014 at 12:52 PM | 82 comment(s)
  Beats: jackie bradley jr., john farrell, red sox

Speier: Two’s a crowd: Can Red Sox find room for Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo?

And Jackie Bradley Jr. is "stubborn". Don’t they need to trade him before starting with that stuff?

At a time when the Red Sox are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to see Rusney Castillo in games to figure out what, exactly, they have in their newly wealthy outfielder, they are enjoying a dazzling display from Mookie Betts in the very position that Castillo is expected to occupy next year… In 15 games since taking over everyday center field duties from Jackie Bradley Jr., Betts is hitting .315 with a .413 OBP and .556 slugging mark. He’s slammed three homers and walked more times (9) than he’s struck out (8) while stealing three bases. His center field defense remains a work in progress, yet the progress is evident from his prior stints in the big leagues…  Betts and Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson are the only two players in all of professional baseball to smack 15 or more homers and steal 30 or more bases in each of the last two years…

Until Memorial Day weekend, [Betts had] spent his entire career playing second base (a position that would appear to be occupied for the foreseeable future in Boston), and he’s also played a bit of right this year. It’s not hard to imagine that he could also learn to play left, and he’s taken ground balls on the left side of the infield as well. There are ways to permit Betts to fit into a roster, just as has been the case this year with Brock Holt.

That said, the Sox are mindful of wanting to avoid putting too much on the 21-year-old’s plate. He won’t be playing infield for the duration of this year, and as of now, the likelihood is that he’ll report to spring training next February being asked to build upon this year’s crash course in center field, with that as his primary position moving forward, at least while with the Sox… Longer term, the idea of pairing Castillo and Betts—assuming both emerge as dynamic players who can impact the game at the plate, in the field and on the bases—offers an echo of some of the most successful outfield pairings in the recent Red Sox past… General manager Ben Cherington noted at the time that Castillo was introduced that the team maintains its belief in the need to have two center fielders in the lineup: one in center and one in right.

The District Attorney Posted: September 03, 2014 at 12:32 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: jackie bradley jr., mookie betts, red sox, rusney castillo

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Orioles Acquire Kelly Johnson

Needs to go to Tampa and Toronto and complete the circuit. By the end of the day tomorrow, I mean. He’s played for them already.

The Orioles have announced that they’ve acquired infielders Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar from the Red Sox for infielders Jemile Weeks and Ivan De Jesus…

Johnson… [has] hit .212/.290/.354 for the season. With the Orioles, he’ll likely play mostly at third base in the wake of the team’s loss of Manny Machado for the rest of the season.

The Orioles selected Almanzar from the Red Sox in the Rule 5 Draft last offseason, but returned him in early July. Since then, he’s hit .280/.360/.427 in 186 plate appearances for Double-A Portland.

The District Attorney Posted: August 30, 2014 at 10:36 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: kelly johnson, orioles, red sox, trades, transactions

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fenway Park: How many (bleeping) dents are in The Wall?

Random Frequent Flyer Dents!

Ask any Red Sox player past or present how many dents there are in The Wall and the numbers vary wildly from 850 (Jonny Gomes) to 10 million (Dustin Pedroia).

Nobody knows. Nobody has tried to accurately count the dents — until now.

While the team was on the road, The Globe rented a two-man telescopic boom lift and attempted to hand-count the entire 231-foot-long wall.

The Globe also shot a series of photos and sent them to ImageGraphicsVideo, a Silicon Valley company that uses imaging software designed by Dynamic Ventures Inc…

Maybe the groundskeeper knows how many dents there are in The Wall? Dave Mellor winces at the question.

“Those are called dimples, they’re not called dents because of Bucky Effin’ Dent,” said Mellor…

Dynamic Ventures counted 164,630 dents using multiple algorithms to detect density, radius, size, and depth of the dimples. Some spots had been hit at least six times, they said.

“That is conservative,” said Vlad Avanu, software development project manager “It cannot be 100% accurate for sure.”

The Globe’s low-tech estimate is 211,044, which comes from hand counting 33 of the 116 2-foot-wide panels, and estimating the rest.

The District Attorney Posted: August 25, 2014 at 06:49 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: fenway park, red sox

Boston Herald: Stanton not only choice

Gammo said they’re not trading the guy anyway. Then again, it was in the middle of claiming Loria was great for baseball in Florida, so.

[Giancarlo] Stanton… isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season. With ace Jose Fernandez due to return next year from elbow surgery and an emerging group of young hitters, including outfielders Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich, it makes more sense for the Marlins to take one shot at the division crown in a winnable NL East before unloading Stanton.

The Braves probably won’t wait so long before moving [Jason] Heyward, who can become a free agent after next season. And they already have tipped their hand that they don’t plan to keep him long term. In February, they locked up first baseman Freddie Freeman to an eight-year, $135 million extension one day after signing Heyward for only two years and $13.3 million…

Heyward can still be a middle-of-the-order force, assuming he’s able to fix the holes that exist in his unorthodox swing. He just turned 25 and hasn’t even entered his prime… Heyward would be the left-handed bat the Sox need to balance out an offense that suddenly has a decidedly right-handed lean thanks to the additions of Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig and new Cuban center fielder Rusney Castillo… And Heyward plays Gold Glove-caliber defense, making him a safe bet to handle Fenway Park’s tricky right field as well as Shane Victorino did last season.

Considering Heyward is a year closer to free agency than Stanton, the Braves’ expected return figures to be less… If the Sox are able to execute a trade-and-sign of Heyward for a package of three or four players, including a top prospect or two, it presumably leaves them with enough assets in both the big leagues and the minors to still make a deal for one of the starting pitchers they will need to rearm the top of the rotation.

The District Attorney Posted: August 25, 2014 at 06:11 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, giancarlo stanton, jason heyward, marlins, red sox

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to sign with the Red Sox for $72 million

And he’s eligible for the playoff roster!

We’ve been following the derby to sign Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo. Now it looks like the Red Sox have won the derby:

Jesse Sanchez     @JesseSanchezMLB

Source: Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo on track for record-setting 6-year, $72 million deal with #RedSox. Check MLB.com

That’s a lot more than Yasiel Puig got ($42 million), and Puig was considered Castillo’s closest comp… Castillo, 27, is said to have plus speed and should be ready to debut with the Red Sox early next season.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lester return to Boston a long shot; Cubs, Yankees are likely players

A report out that a free agent won’t automatically sign with one team? Why, what possible motive could he have for drumming up more interest in other teams?

Still, it’s quite a leap from loving his stay in Boston to being likely to return there this winter as a free agent. The reality is, it’s probably the opposite. The strong belief around the game is that Lester is likely to sign somewhere other than the Red Sox.

Most folks around baseball would be surprised if Lester and the Red Sox could agree on a contract at a time other teams will be bidding hard for him. After all, the two sides couldn’t come close to doing it when they had a clear shot at contract. A return by Lester to Boston was dubbed a “long shot” by league officials who have familiarity with the situation.

The Cubs and rival Yankees, among others, look like much more likely landing spots for Lester at this time, in fact. The Yankees have admired Lester’s guts and clutch pitching for years (and especially that career 0.43 World Series ERA) and would surely make a play for the former Red Sox ace. Meanwhile, folks around the game suggest Lester’s old friends Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, who picked Lester for Boston and are now running the Cubs, are extremely likely to be in there pitching, as well. Epstein and Hoyer “absolutely love” Lester, is the word from one official who knows Chicago’s top execs well.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 20, 2014 at 03:41 PM | 37 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, free agents, jon lester, red sox, yankees

Curt Schilling Reveals He Was Diagnosed With Mouth Cancer in February, Believes Chewing Tobacco Was the Cause

Get better Curt.

Curt Schilling, the former Red Sox pitcher and ESPN analyst, announced today during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon that he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma—which is cancer in the mouth—in February….

“I didn’t talk about it for two reasons. No. 1, I didn’t want to get into the chewing tobacco debate, which I knew was going to come about, which to me, I’ll go to my grave believing that was why I got what I got… absolutely, no question in my mind about that. And the second thing was I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me. I didn’t want the pity or any of that stuff because early on… I ended up spending about six months in the hospital because I had a bad reaction. I had a staph infection. I had what’s called C. diff. I had a couple different problems and there was a week there, there’s a week of my life I don’t remember while I was in the hospital going through this.

“The second or third day—I got chemo and radiation for seven weeks—and I came back to the room and my family was sitting there and I thought, ‘You know what, this could be so much worse. It could be one of my kids, it’s not. I’m the one guy in my family that can handle this,’ and so from that perspective it never, ever said ‘Why me? And I never will. I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably that chewing is what gave me cancer and I’m not going to sit up here from the pedestal and preach about chewing. I will say this: I did for about 30 years. It was an addictive habit. I can think of so many times in my life when it was so relaxing to just sit back and have a dip and do whatever, and I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part. I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff. None of it was enough to ever make me quit. The pain that I was in going through this treatment, the second or third day it was the only thing in my life that had that I wish I could go back and never have dipped. Not once. It was so painful.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 20, 2014 at 03:12 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: cancer, curt schilling, red sox

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rusney Castillo rumors: Decision imminent for Cuban outfielder

With concerns about calcium, shouldn’t he think about heading to Milwaukee?

Praise has been far from faint for Rusney Castillo, who is considered to be the latest in a long string of impact players imported from Cuba. The highly regarded 27-year-old outfielder seems to be nearing a decision on where he will play, as Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald and ESPNBoston.com’s Gordon Edes report that Castillo is expected to “declare his intentions any day now.”...

Castillo should be in line for an impressive payday, though it’s unlikely that he receives as much as Jose Abreu got from the White Sox last offseason. Represented by Roc Nation Sports, Castillo was said to originally be in line for a $25-$35 million deal, but it now looks like he will outdo the $42 million that Yasiel Puig got from the Dodgers a couple years ago. According to Peter Gammons, he is now looking at a deal between $40 and $70 million, while FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi pegs him as receiving something around six years and ~$50 million….

There seems to be a long line of suitors for Castillo, though the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, and Cubs seem to be leading the pack. ...

Those five clubs are far from alone in their pursuit of Castillo. The Mariners, Orioles, Giants, Astros, Blue Jays, White Sox, and Braves have also all been mentioned as potential suitors, and could wind up nabbing him when his decision is announced, likely within the next few days.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Speier: Red Sox send down Jackie Bradley Jr., call up Mookie Betts

Jackie 0-for-35…

The Red Sox announced that they have optioned Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket and called up Mookie Betts from the PawSox. Bradley has struggled to get his head above water offensively this year, hitting .216 with a .288 OBP and .290 slugging mark in 112 games… In 45 games in Pawtucket, [Betts is] hitting .335/.417/.503…

In sending Bradley down now, it’s possible that the Sox could allow him to catch his breath in Triple-A before returning to the roster in September. If that happens, then by virtue of a minor league assignment of fewer than 20 days, the team would not have used one of his two remaining options through this late-season demotion.

The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 03:17 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: jackie bradley, jr., mookie betts, red sox, transactions

Speier: Are Red Sox too dependent on David Ortiz?

Hey, go back to 1891 and get 39-year-old Papi Anson also leading the league in RBI! (Don’t call him that to his face, though.)

[David] Ortiz leads the major leagues in RBIs on a team that ranks last in the American League and 24th in the majors in runs scored. He’s driven in 91 of the team’s 475 runs (19.2 percent), the highest percentage of any team’s runs driven in by a single player in the big leagues. He’s hit 28 of the team’s 92 homers (30.4 percent), accounting for the second-highest percentage of a team’s homers…

Since 1901, there have been 47 players with 500 or more plate appearances in their age 39 season. Of those, 31 have had an OPS+ of 100 or better, topped by Barry Bonds’ 263, followed by Ted Williams’ 179; 15 of those players have had an OPS+ of 120 or better…

based on the raw numbers… the Sox face something like a 37 percent decreased likelihood that Ortiz will be able to reach 500 plate appearances next season as a 39-year-old.

But if he does remain on the field, there appears to be a superstar survival effect, where roughly two out of every three players are at least league average producers at each of these ages, and interestingly, a slightly increasing percentage of these players produce at an elite level suggested by an OPS+ of 120 or greater.

So the idea of a 39-year-old David Ortiz anchoring a lineup isn’t unprecedented. But for a Red Sox team that will be trying to dig out from the wreckage of a dismal 2014 season, knowing that there have only been 15 players in the last 114 years to deliver some semblance of the health and production that they hope for from Ortiz represents a daunting reality, at a time when the lineup has no obvious ability to support the veteran from being anything less than a force.

 

 

The District Attorney Posted: August 18, 2014 at 02:02 PM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: alex speier, david ortiz, red sox, sabermetrics

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Xander Bogaerts’ growing pains at shortstop proving costly

I guess it could be worse. He could have gangrene on his face.

Much was made after the Red Sox‘ 8-1 loss to the Astros Sunday over a single ruling at second base that proved to be a game-changer.

With two on and one out in the top of the second inning, Marwin Gonzalez hit a ground ball that was fielded by Xander Bogaerts at short for what appeared to be a routine double play.

Bogaerts ran to second [and] threw to first… Astros manager Bo Porter challenged that the ball left Bogaerts’ hand before firing to first, which the replay proved to be true, giving Houston life in the second. Two batters later Jose Altuve lifted his first-career grand slam to give the Astros a commanding 6-0 lead…

On Friday, Bogaerts went to second base too late on a grounder his way instead of making an easy throw to first. His failure to record an out allowed the game-tying run to score in an eventual Red Sox loss….

When asked to describe what the last three days have been like for him, Bogaerts said, “You guys have no clue. Sometimes I hide it on the outside, but inside it’s just tough.”...

While his defense was expected to be a work in progress this year, his offensive numbers (.228/.296/.342) have been well below expectations.

Offensive production aside, Bogaerts’ biggest challenge has been learning to become a major league shortstop. However, his coaches are confident in him and said they can see him progressing as an infielder.

The District Attorney Posted: August 17, 2014 at 11:02 PM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: red sox, xander bogaerts

Bill James Mailbag - 8/8/14 - 8/17/14

Could we get Elway wrestling, Eisenhower playing quarterback, and Randy Savage as Supreme Allied Commander?

Is there any systematic account available of the changes over the years in player movement and roster utilization, both team to team and majors to minors, both the rules governing this stuff and the actual practices? I know in general terms that things have changed immensely since I was a newbie baseball fan about the same time you were. The tipping point for me came in 2010 when I realized that my Giants were allowed to leave a healthy season-long rotation starter (bad as he was) off the postseason roster. To me, that kind of move, while it might make strategic sense, really subverts the idea of a baseball “team” that we’re supposed to root for. Somehow I doubt that would have happened in 1962.

I’m not aware of their being any such account, but then, I’m a poor resource for that kind of information, since I don’t really study the research the other people do. Generally. I agree that. . .well, you didn’t EXACTLY say this, but. . .I agree that more restrictive rules would be appropriate in some areas. In a perfect game, should not be able to leave somebody who has been a key part of your team all year off your post-season roster unless he’s 80% dead. And I’m CERTAIN that I’m about to hear from somebody that we left so-and-so off our roster in 2007 or something. . ..

June 26 1987 at Yankee Stadium… Schiraldi gave up a walk, a bunt and a single to lose the game in the bottom of the tenth, 12-11. Dave Henderson batted for Gedman in the top of the 10th, which meant that Marc Sullivan caught the tenth. Wonder if that was the highest leverage inning of Sullivan’s “career?”

If Sullivan didn’t have leverage, he wouldn’t have had a career.

An injured Pedro coming in to relieve Bret Saberhagen in a high-scoring game after 3, and then proceeded to mow everyone down. That was beautiful to watch. Pedro recently talked about that for a few minutes in an hour-long podcast with Jonah Keri. Maybe someone can cue it up. Pedro is fascinating to listen to.

He is. I wonder if Pedro has perhaps the highest density of memorable games to total games pitched of anybody who has a Hall of Fame career?

Hey Bill, I was thinking about Derek Jeter. If he wasn’t a Yankee I would look at him and see that he likes beautiful women and baseball. (Not sure of the order) I would like and root for him. What can I do about this? Steve

Yeah, well, I have a neighbor who’s a real nice guy, too, but I don’t feel compelled to stand beside the sidewalk and applaud every time he goes out to pick up his newspaper.

I have also thought since I became aware of Voros McCracken’s papers on pitchers non-effect on batted ballsl that you were 90% of the way there with DER . If it makes you feel better, in this area you are Henri Poincare to Voros’ Einstein.

It was my childhood ambition to someday be compared to Henri Poincare.

John Elway had pretty impressive stats in his one minor league season with the Yankees. In 1982 at age 22, he had 185 plate appearances in low A with a .318 batting average, .432 on-base percentage, .464 slugging percentage. Who is the most promising baseball player (in minors, college) who never ended up playing because he pursued another career, be it football, poetry, or whatever else?

Dwight Eisenhower?

Highest density of memorable games for a non-HOFer with significant games pitched is probably Maglie, right? He wasn’t just in the right places at the right time, but at his peak whenever opportunity arose. I read a book a few years back that showcased the most memorable games. I’m pretty sure Maglie not only had more of them than anyone, but appeared in a stretch of something like four out of five.

I’ll take your word for it. It’s that, ,or cook up a formula. .. ..


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