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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cherington: Sox ‘going to get better’

I have complete confidence in my own decisions too.

Walt Davis Posted: June 10, 2014 at 10:16 PM | 58 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox, wishes are fishes

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   1. valuearbitrageur Posted: June 11, 2014 at 12:09 AM (#4723047)
Obviously the fault of the 1-17 guy who has played 4 games.
   2. Dale Sams Posted: June 11, 2014 at 08:20 AM (#4723121)
[Sarcasm] The worst thing that happened to the 2014 Sox was winning the 2013 World Series.[/Sarcasm]
   3. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: June 11, 2014 at 08:31 AM (#4723125)
It's a little better all the time (It can't get no worse).
   4. Publius Publicola Posted: June 11, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4723132)
The outfield seems to be the key. I'm glad they're being patient with Bradley. It's possible Sizemore is done, and those comments by Cherington can't be too encouraging for him.
   5. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4723137)
Sizemore was done years ago. It's kind of embarrassing that Cherington saw fit to waste 200 PAs on a chalk outline.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4723141)
Sizemore was done years ago. It's kind of embarrassing that Cherington saw fit to waste 200 PAs on a chalk outline.

It is a little perplexing. I mean, the last time the guy was an above average hitter was 2009, and he missed the last 2 seasons.

You'd think he'd have a very short leash.
   7. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 11, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4723145)
Who else do they have to plug in out there? Bradley, Nava, Holt, an injured Victorino, Gomes, Sizemore. That's weak.

How much do you give up to add a decent OF bat?
   8. bookbook Posted: June 11, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4723148)
Repeat after me:

Mookie
   9. Dale Sams Posted: June 11, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4723149)
I'm also perplexed by the shift from (within a week) "Gomes is the starting Left Fielder" to Gomes is going to sit out 75% of all games.* I want Nava to bat against RH pitchers, but I don't know that I want Gomes sitting out all games against RHers when Bradley and Sizemore are doing about as poorly as Gomes does against RHers.

*A direct order from above?
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 09:20 AM (#4723152)
Who else do they have to plug in out there? Bradley, Nava, Holt, an injured Victorino, Gomes, Sizemore. That's weak.

Perhaps the plan that included Grady Sizemore as your opening day CF was sub-optimal.
   11. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 11, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4723155)
Bradley is a source of deep concern. An average fastball makes him look like Raul Ibanez. He has a .180 BA/.196 SLG on pitches of 92+ MPH. He's talked about his swing getting long. I can't think of a single young player who had comparable trouble with fastballs who ended up amounting to anything.

I'm not sure if there's any precedent for a hitter to get the early Roy Halladay treatment to overhaul his swing mechanics, but it looks like Bradley needs it.

   12. Nasty Nate Posted: June 11, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4723156)
It is a little perplexing. I mean, the last time the guy was an above average hitter was 2009, and he missed the last 2 seasons.

You'd think he'd have a very short leash.


I think the leash would have been shorter if Victorino hadn't been on this latest DL stint. I think the leash is getting shorter by the day.

And if a successful comeback was going to happen, you don't want to miss out on it because of a small sample. I think that sentiment plus the overall Sox OF situation explains why he's still on the team.
   13. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: June 11, 2014 at 10:15 AM (#4723196)
Wild assed guess: Sizemore gets DFA'd once Victorino comes back.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 11, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4723203)
The outfield has been a perfect storm of suck this year. Victorino's injury is a problem but it's no big deal if Nava hits even remotely close to what he did last year. Instead Nava hit .130 in April and spent some time in AAA. Sizemore's value in part is his ability to play center. He's not particularly good but he's better than any other non-Bradley option. Add to that a guy who possibly could have helped, Bryce Brentz at AAA, got hurt so he wasn't an option.


I'm not sure if there's any precedent for a hitter to get the early Roy Halladay treatment to overhaul his swing mechanics, but it looks like Bradley needs it.


Farrell talked yesterday about making some adjustments with JBJ's hands and he has sat out two straight games. The sitting out looks to me like a guy getting some pretty intensive work on his swing.

Mookie


I'm probably too conservative but I think we need to tap the brakes on Mookie the Savior. Bogaerts, who was a superior prospect, came up and hit .250/.320/.364 last year. I don't think there is a need to rush him. If he's ready then yeah, go get him, but I'd be surprised if he is. If the Sox fall out of the race I'd hate to slow his development. At the same time if the Sox do hang around then maybe by the ASB he's ready to be a contributor.
   15. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4723213)
If they're willing to tolerate a .618 OPS, I have to imagine the Red Sox could have found a better CF glove than Sizemore on the cheap.
   16. Dale Sams Posted: June 11, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4723254)
Sox 'get better' by signing Marlon Byrd-2012 V.2: Andres Torres.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4723267)
Sox 'get better' by signing Marlon Byrd-2012 V.2: Andres Torres.

Another guy who hasn't hit since last decade.
   18. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: June 11, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4723287)
Is Alfonso Soriano available?
   19. Textbook Editor Posted: June 11, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4723437)
If Sizemore is DFA'd what are the odds the Phillies pick him up?
   20. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 11, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4723440)
If Sizemore is DFA'd what are the odds the Phillies pick him up?


He's too young for Ruben.
   21. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 11, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4723452)
I like the Torres signing. He and Sizemore can form a useful platoon:

Sizemore vs R: .246/.314/.365
Torres vs L (2013): .291/.342/.376

EDIT: That would be something like a 95 OPS+ with average defense.
   22. Dale Sams Posted: June 11, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4723466)
So the Sox are going to carry six OFers? Nava, Gomes, Bradley, Shane, Sizemore, Torres...and then there's Holt and Carp in there somewhere.

As for Sizemore being picked up...you'd think he was an improvement over Giambi or Ibanez.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: June 11, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4723475)
I like the Torres signing. He and Sizemore can form a useful platoon:

Sizemore vs R: .246/.314/.365
Torres vs L (2013): .291/.342/.376

EDIT: That would be something like a 95 OPS+ with average defense.


Man, I thought this post was a joke until I saw the edit. Unless there are more injuries, I doubt Torres and Sizemore would ever be on the MLB roster at the same time.
   24. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 11, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4723476)
I think the Sox are close to demoting Bradley. They might have signed Torres to platoon him with Sizemore until Victorino returns. At that point, one of them slides into a 5th OF/defensive replacement role (probably Torres) with the other getting demoted/DFA'd.
Torres' base stealing also frees the Sox to get rid of Herrera in the event of a roster crunch.

Also, I think Torres provides some insurance in case Betts doesn't become an option in CF.
   25. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 11, 2014 at 02:46 PM (#4723479)
No joke: that is probably worth at least 1 WAR more than Bradley over the rest of the season.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: June 11, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4723481)
I think the Sox are close to demoting Bradley. They might have signed Torres to platoon him with Sizemore until Victorino returns.


I see what you mean, and it's possible. I think it's more likely that they get Sizemore off of the roster.
   27. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 11, 2014 at 03:19 PM (#4723513)
Sizemore can still be useful. It seems he's at the Eric Chavez/Andruw Jones stage of his career where he's just poopy against same-handed pitching.
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: June 11, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4723541)
Sizemore can still be useful. It seems he's at the Eric Chavez/Andruw Jones stage of his career where he's just poopy against same-handed pitching.


He's been bad against both if we look at him as a corner outfielder (which I think we should).
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 11, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4723552)
I'm with Nate, I think Sizemore is the guy who is on his way out. The Sox want Bradley to be the guy out there so they are going to give him every chance. His defense is good enough that he doesn't have to hit a lot to be useful. I think it's more likely that he'll hit enough to carry the glove than it is that Sizemore will improve in various areas to be productive as the season goes on. Also with Betts the Sox may feel that they don't need to carry Sizemore because Betts could be a part of the puzzle in the second half.
   30. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 11, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4723564)
I think the important thing to note is that Grady Sizemore sucks. Just because he used to not suck is not a good enough reason to keep him on the roster.

You keep Bradley playing every day, the defense is awesome, he costs nothing, and everything in his minor-league record suggests he'll hit better than this. Take the long view...
   31. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: June 11, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4723569)
I agree that Bradley does not have to hit a lot. With his secondary skills, he just needs to get to .250 to be an acceptable starting CF. I just think it's less likely for him to become a .250 hitter this year than it is for Sizemore to be useful against RHP.

There really isn't much room for improvement on this Sox team. Unless they trade for a SP or regular OF, they can only hope for upward regression from Nava, Drew, Carp, and Peavy, and for Victorino to return to health. CF is the only position for which there is no upgrade within the organization, but even a marginal improvement over Bradley's present performance may make a difference in a playoff race.

A Sizemore/Torres platoon is probably more valuable to the Sox this season. However, if CF is in a holding pattern until they decide what to do with Betts, the difference between S/T and Bradley in the near term is probably not worth simply benching Bradley.
   32. Dale Sams Posted: June 11, 2014 at 04:29 PM (#4723570)
Torres' base stealing


His what?
   33. Dan Posted: June 11, 2014 at 09:05 PM (#4723698)
In 3 years as the Red Sox GM, Cherington has built 2 losing teams and a WS winner. All 3 years he had a budget that was basically capped at the luxury tax cap level. That's a pretty shitty overall record, unless you're willing to credit Cherington for 90% of breaks going the Red Sox's way in 2013, both in the regular season and the playoffs. While the 2013 team was a solid baseball team, I doubt they win 97 games and the WS again if you go back in time and play the games all over again; they were not really a dominant team. And then his other two teams are a disaster so bad they had one of the biggest mid-season fire sales in history and a team that only looks better than that because the 2014 Rays are even worse. Credit him as much as you like for 2013, but being handed a team with a solid core and given a luxury tax level payroll and you should be building playoff teams more than 1 year out of 3.
   34. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: June 11, 2014 at 11:20 PM (#4723750)
I'm not a huge fan of Cherington, but [33] seems a bit harsh. For one thing, I'd put a lot of the blame for 2012 on Valentine, and a lot of the blame for hiring Valentine on Lucchino rather than Cherington.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: June 12, 2014 at 02:27 AM (#4723806)
the defense is awesome

I have no personal opinion (I don't get to watch much baseball down here) but I'll note that Rfield has him at just +2 this year and -1 for his career to date. UZR essentially agrees with +3 this year and +1 career to date. Both also agree that he's been an average baserunner.

That's been part of his problem from a WAR perspective. You can't get away with the offense he's shown in CF regardless but if you add excellent defense and baserunning, you don't necessarily have to hit that much better than he has. Assuming he remains a high-K hitter, you've got to hope for Gary Pettis who provided 10-20 (and one season of 30) runs a year in running/dp/defense. Pettis was an above-average player with an 80 OPS+ and even in 1988 with a 61 and average in 87 with a 53. If Bradley was +10 in running/DP/defense over his career, he'd be nearly average.

Like I said, no personal opinion and maybe bWAR and fWAR have his defense way wrong.

Aaron Hicks of the Twins has been Bradley's statistical double, Bourjos post-2011 has been Gary Pettis and Hamilton (who's gotten the K-rate down below 20% and has a nice Rfield) falls at dead average.
   36. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 07:33 AM (#4723818)
In 3 years as the Red Sox GM, Cherington has built 2 losing teams and a WS winner.


I would much rather have this than three teams that made it to the postseason and did nothing there. And even thought the team is not very good this year, there are so many young pieces that it's hard to get to upset about it. Just enjoy Bogaerts and think about what should be done at 3rd and the outfield next year.
   37. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:40 AM (#4723833)
I'd put a lot of the blame for 2012 on Valentine,


I just don't think this holds up. Valentine was obviously a shitty manager -- so obviously that everybody knew his hiring was a bad idea the minute it happened -- but I don't think he caused the Red Sox to have massive (& somewhat predictable) injury problems, Mike Aviles playing SS*, a joke of a bullpen, Daniel Bard put in a position to fail as spectacularly as possible, and a rotation that was generally constructed as if it were 2007. The only surprising thing about that 2012 team was that so few of us saw it coming.

*Yes, Mike Aviles, who was not good enough to play full-time for the ROYALS, was the starting shortstop for your 2012 Boston Red Sox, and that was the plan

I would much rather have this than three teams that made it to the postseason and did nothing there.


Wouldn't we all, but there is in fact no way to do this kind of thing consistently. All you can do is get your team into the playoffs as often as possible.
   38. jmurph Posted: June 12, 2014 at 08:55 AM (#4723836)
All you can do is get your team into the playoffs as often as possible.


I agree with this. Teams with top 5 payrolls carry with them the expectation that they're playoff caliber year in and year out. This is the "burden" of the large market teams. Whether a large amount of luck was involved or not, 2013 was awesome and will always be awesome, and Cherington deserves a great deal of credit for that. But based on 2012, and if 2014 continues along these lines, I don't know that his leash should be any longer than 1 more year.
   39. villageidiom Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4723840)
I'm not a huge fan of Cherington, but [33] seems a bit harsh. For one thing, I'd put a lot of the blame for 2012 on Valentine, and a lot of the blame for hiring Valentine on Lucchino rather than Cherington.
For another, saying he inherited a team with a solid core, and then lambasting Cherington for that solid core having accomplished nothing in 2012 while already at the effective salary cap, is crap. The core is not as solid as you imply.

A lot of things went right in 2013, some of which had to do with Cherington assembling a team with talent and character. A lot of it had to do with how the holdovers responded to 2012, and how the entire team responded to the bombing, neither of which have anything to do with Cherington. Had 2012 not happened, and had the bombing not happened, I don't think the Red Sox catch fire in 2013.

In that sense I think it's fair to criticize Cherington, but the franchise from top to bottom when Cherington took the reins at the end of 2011 was crazy clown town. In 2012 the crazy clown town president injected Bobby V into the managerial role. Cherington had not just a lot to do, but a lot to undo. I think he has done well with the latter piece, but he's still short on the former.
   40. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:11 AM (#4723852)
I agree with this. Teams with top 5 payrolls carry with them the expectation that they're playoff caliber year in and year out. This is the "burden" of the large market teams. Whether a large amount of luck was involved or not, 2013 was awesome and will always be awesome, and Cherington deserves a great deal of credit for that. But based on 2012, and if 2014 continues along these lines, I don't know that his leash should be any longer than 1 more year.


But this team IS playoff caliber on paper. It projected as a better team than the 2013 version. That's all well and good, and it's obviously what happens on the field that is important, but some things are just out of the GM's hands. Cherington does make poor decisions regarding the bullpen (Uehara excepted), but have their been major mistakes at other positions? Napoli was a great pick up, giving Bogaerts SS certainly was the correct decision, too early to tell at C until the prospects replace Shitbag and Ross, Peavy for Iglesias is too early to tell. The outfield was smoke and mirrors last year, and only smoke this year, but what else should he have done? Does anybody think the Sox should have paid Ellsbury what the Yankees did? Should Cherington take a hit for not signing Puig or Cespedes?
   41. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4723862)
The biggest blunder Cherington made this off-season, and I said it at the time, was to have no fallback position behind Middlebrooks at third. They were awfully thin there and counting on him to be productive or they had to go to Herrera. Once WMB started the year poorly then got hurt that put a gaping hole in the lineup that was exacerbated by poor years elsewhere.

To your point I'm glad he let Ellsbury walk at that price. It's easy to say he should have pursued Tanaka but it seems like Tanaka has exceeded expectations. The problem with the Red Sox is a bunch of people not getting the job done. Bradley would be fine if the Sox had decent outfielders but Victorino has been hurt and Nava has been horrible. Carp looked like a good 5th OF/1B backup but he was awful too.

With all that said Cherington is judged on his performance. In his tenure he has given away decent players (Lowrie, Reddick - both of which were moves I supported), acquired a series of relief disasters that were entirely predictable (Melancon, Hanrahan, Bailey, Mujica) and his draft record is uninspiring albeit in early returns. I really worry that the lesson he got from 2013 was "never sign a big money player" when the Sox DO need some kind of stud right now.
   42. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:38 AM (#4723877)
It's absolutely amazing that they scored 1 run in three games against the Orioles pitching.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4723886)
In 3 years as the Red Sox GM, Cherington has built 2 losing teams and a WS winner. All 3 years he had a budget that was basically capped at the luxury tax cap level. That's a pretty shitty overall record, unless you're willing to credit Cherington for 90% of breaks going the Red Sox's way in 2013, both in the regular season and the playoffs. While the 2013 team was a solid baseball team, I doubt they win 97 games and the WS again if you go back in time and play the games all over again; they were not really a dominant team. And then his other two teams are a disaster so bad they had one of the biggest mid-season fire sales in history and a team that only looks better than that because the 2014 Rays are even worse.


This is pretty close to saying that any good results are mostly luck, but bad results reflect skill clearly.

Cherington's been a mixed bag, the team's overall record of 206-199 under him reflects that.
   44. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4723888)
The biggest blunder Cherington made this off-season, and I said it at the time, was to have no fallback position behind Middlebrooks at third. They were awfully thin there and counting on him to be productive or they had to go to Herrera. Once WMB started the year poorly then got hurt that put a gaping hole in the lineup that was exacerbated by poor years elsewhere.


Agreed. The OF construction was pretty much the same as 2013 - throw a bunch of players out there and hopefully some work out. Injuries have been a big issue, but I also think Farrell is not very good at setting up platoons. I would like to see set rotations - Gomes playes against X, Nava plays against Y, Sizemore plays against Z...but never 3 days in a row. Seems like Farrell is a lot more scattered than that.
   45. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 12, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4723902)
Agreed. The OF construction was pretty much the same as 2013 - throw a bunch of players out there and hopefully some work out. Injuries have been a big issue, but I also think Farrell is not very good at setting up platoons. I would like to see set rotations - Gomes playes against X, Nava plays against Y, Sizemore plays against Z...but never 3 days in a row. Seems like Farrell is a lot more scattered than that.


Farrell started the year like that but guys didn't produce. Nava played everyday against righties and was a disaster. Sizemore and Carp both played in left against most righties the first few weeks and didn't hit. Right now Gomes with a 98 OPS+ is the best hitting outfielder on the roster.

Nava has been hitting better lately and the Sox have been using him pretty regularly in the way you suggest. The other place a platoon seems logical is catcher but again you've got a guy not hitting. Ross hasn't really hit (.171/.275/.400 vs. LHP). That's better than AJ by a fair amount so the straight platoon probably DOES make sense but it's not like Ross is lighting it up. I suspect that given that Ross is 37 and coming off a couple of concussions last year that the Sox are wary of playing him on back to back days.
   46. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4724000)
I got nothing really that no one else has mentioned. At this point in 2012, the team was 30-32. And if I recall there was actually a teeny point where they looked like they had a chance to claw their way back. Then I think either Ortiz or Pedroia or both got hurt, and that was that.

This team....hoo boy...so little power. So hard to watch.
   47. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 12, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4724002)
This is pretty close to saying that any good results are mostly luck, but bad results reflect skill clearly.

Known to logicians as the "Ray DiPerna fallacy".
   48. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4724016)
Also the team is fourth in all of baseball in GIDP.
   49. Swedish Chef Posted: June 12, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4724019)
It's easy to say he should have pursued Tanaka but it seems like Tanaka has exceeded expectations.

Nah, he was sold as this guy who didn't lose games, and what do you know, that was just wrong. I'm very disappointed with him.
   50. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 12, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4724058)
I got nothing really that no one else has mentioned. At this point in 2012, the team was 30-32. And if I recall there was actually a teeny point where they looked like they had a chance to claw their way back. Then I think either Ortiz or Pedroia or both got hurt, and that was that.

This team....hoo boy...so little power. So hard to watch.


Ortiz got hurt and they were poor then they made the trade that really sunk them. They were 59-65 at the time of the trade, they went 10-28 after it.

This team is fundamentally the same team that won the World Series last year and finished first in runs scored. Other than Ellsbury for Bradley (loss) and Salty for AJ (slight loss) the Sox have pretty much the main pieces from last year. Unless you think Drew won't ever hit again, Napoli won't produce, Victorino will never come back, Nava will never hit again then yeah they're ######.

It's frustrating as hell to watch no doubt about it. I came into this season thinking 86-88 wins and I still think that is what they are. They've played poorly enough (in part due to injuries) that I expect them to be in the low 80s but I don't think this is going to continue to be a 72 win team all year.
   51. Dale Sams Posted: June 12, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4724070)
I don't think Victorino will contribute anything useful but for a few spectacular catches where he hurts himself.

Also, the Sox are missing what Iglesias contributed on the field and at the plate. In a way, Holt is filling that role I suppose.
   52. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 12, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4724081)
Also, the Sox are missing what Iglesias contributed on the field and at the plate. In a way, Holt is filling that role I suppose.


And Bogaerts. Both at third and short the Sox have a lower OPS in 2014 than they had in 2013 and with Bogaerts improving (though he's slumping) and the eventual return of Drew I think those numbers will only go up.

EDIT: Sorry, got it backwards. In both cases they are slightly lower by about 30 points of OPS. I stand by the initial statement that those numbers will improve and they will end the year better than last year at both positions.
   53. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 01:47 PM (#4724096)
This team is fundamentally the same team that won the World Series last year and finished first in runs scored. Other than Ellsbury for Bradley (loss) and Salty for AJ (slight loss) the Sox have pretty much the main pieces from last year. Unless you think Drew won't ever hit again, Napoli won't produce, Victorino will never come back, Nava will never hit again then yeah they're ######.

Except Victorino had a career year, Ellsbury had a near career year, Ortiz had a prime-age season (at 37) and Pedroia had one of his best seasons.

Those 4 guys put up 23 WAR (out of 39 total WAR from the hitters). Even bringing back all 4, you would have expected massive regression there.

With the loss of Ellsbury, best case you were probably going to drop 10 WAR from those 4 spots, with a lot more downside due to Ortiz's age, Bradley's inexperience, and Victorino's inconsistency.
   54. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 12, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4724112)
I agree that some regression was in order but not this much. Right now I would bet the Sox will improve over their first 65 games at about five positions; all three outfield spots, shortstop and third base with a decent chance they improve at first base as well. There is nowhere that I look and think they are going to decline meaningfully.

As I noted earlier; I was starting from a baseline of about 87 wins, not 97, for this team. I still think that is a good estimate of their talent level, not the 72 win pace they are currently on. The problem from a 2014 perspective is that if they play at an 87 win pace the rest of the way that only puts them at 81 wins which obviously gets them nowhere.
   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 12, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4724192)
I agree that some regression was in order but not this much.

Well, ZiPs had Pedroia, Victorino, Ortiz and Bradley projected for a cumulative 13.3 WAR, almost exactly my 10 WAR guess for regression.

The main problem is there weren't a lot of places that projected to be a real upgrade. They had mid-80's win talent, and have gotten unlucky with injuries.
   56. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: June 12, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4724221)
The biggest blunder Cherington made this off-season, and I said it at the time, was to have no fallback position behind Middlebrooks at third.
Wasn't bringing Drew back essentially the fallback?

In his tenure he has given away decent players (Lowrie, Reddick - both of which were moves I supported), acquired a series of relief disasters that were entirely predictable (Melancon, Hanrahan, Bailey, Mujica) and his draft record is uninspiring albeit in early returns. I really worry that the lesson he got from 2013 was "never sign a big money player" when the Sox DO need some kind of stud right now.
The track record on trades/talent assessment is what really worries me (I get that big money teams 'should' always be playoff caliber, but I also get that baseball is hella random and they won last year so it's easier to take the long view right now; ymmv).

By all accounts the Sox have a huge pile of talent coming up the system, and figuring out who slots in where, who's surplus to requirements, etc... is gonna be absolutely crucial. Despite Bradley's plate suckage I like the aggressiveness they've shown so far in promoting players, getting some of them cups of coffee here and there, etc..., but the trade history doesn't provide a huge amount of confidence that he'll be able to make the right call on Swihart vs Vazquez or the impending logjam of infielders--or that he'll get good value for the ones he trades.
   57. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: June 12, 2014 at 03:21 PM (#4724226)
Also, the Sox are missing what Iglesias contributed on the field and at the plate.
So are the Tigers! Pretty sure I saw somewhere that the Sox were at least somewhat aware of Iglesias' health issues; I'm not saying Cherington pulled a Dombrowski, and in any case the aforementioned impending logjam of infielders was probably the main factor, but I wonder if foot concerns made him more expendable.
   58. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: June 12, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4724227)
Wasn't bringing Drew back essentially the fallback?


If the plan was to do it this way I think that was a mistake. As Drew is showing now you don't just sign a guy in June and have him jump into the lineup and start producing. These guys usually play for a month in spring training to get ready for the season. I think by July 1 Drew will be the Stephen Drew he has always been but the Sox have given a lot of at bats to guys who are lousy (Roberts, Herrera) in part because they didn't have Drew or some other reasonable fall back available.

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