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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Monday, March 20, 2006

Red Sox - Acquired Wily Mo

Boston Red Sox - Acquired OF Wily Mo Pena from the Reds for P Bronson Arroyo.  Signed OF Juan Gonzalez.

A good move for the Red Sox, though the upside of this addition is limited because of their roster construction.  Pena has intriguing power and can usually hack his way into usefulness, the Red Sox still kind of need someone who can play center and while Pena would be a good platoon partner with Trot Nixon, they’ve shown little interesting in using Nixon in a straight platoon in the past.  This was done with an eye to clearing some of the pitching excess but I’m not sure if Arroyo was the guy you wanted to skim off the top - he’s a dependably average pitcher, but there’s a lot that could go wrong with the Red Sox rotation this season.

I find this puzzling from the Reds’ perspective - the team’s offense has been the only strength and while a league-average innings eater is a huge bonus for the Reds, Arroyo is yet another fairly strong flyball pitcher in front of an outfield that will still stink defensively.  Is the upgrade to Arroyo from Gosling/Wilson worth what they lose with Scott Hatteberg and possibly even Rich Aurilia (the Reds asked him get a first baseman’s glove, after all)?  I don’t think it is - they already seem to be wanting Tony Womack to get a good deal of playing time.  Roster churning at best.  So far, I’d say the new Red management has been very disappointing - the only long-term goal they seem to have is to try and not finish last in the central division this upcoming season.

The Sox also signed Juan Gonzalez to a minor-league contract.  I think it’s doubtful he ever plays for the Red Sox - the Sox aren’t in a position where they have a free roster spot for Gonzalez, especially now that they acquired Pena.  Gonzalez probably ends up in the minors and ends up being flipped to a team that gets desperate for hitting in May.

2006 ZiPS Projection - Bronson Arroyo
———————————————————————-
W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
———————————————————————-
11   9 33 30 185 188   84 19 48 130 4.09

 

2006 ZiPS Projections
———————————————————————————————————
Player     AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————
Gonzalez   253 34   67 13 1 15 54 13 51   0 .265 .306 .502
Pena       335 56   90 16 0 23 76 23 111   3 .269 .319 .522

Dan Szymborski Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:01 PM | 68 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:27 PM (#1908631)
I find this puzzling from the Reds' perspective - the team's offense has been the only strength and while a league-average innings eater is a huge bonus for the Reds, Arroyo is yet another fairly strong flyball pitcher in front of an outfield that will still stink defensively.

There's the rub - taken on its own, the talent being exchanged is about equal, but it's hard to see how Arroyo will help the Reds more than Pena would.
   2. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:41 PM (#1908658)
That's not a bad projection for Arroyo. I thought it would look much worse in Cinncinnati.
   3. Not Marv Cook Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#1908663)
Great, now the Red Sox have TWO CFs I'd rather see on the Yankees than Johnny Damon.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:43 PM (#1908665)
This is another case of the Reds desperation for pitching. It reminds me a lot of their trading Jose Guillen for Aaron Harang, except in that case at least Guillen was going to leave anyway. From the Reds perspective, they see this as Arroyo + Denorfia/Freel is greater than Wily Mo, and I can see their point, sort of. God knows they need pitching, tho it remains to be seen whether they have any idea what a park effect is and how Arroyo might or might not be affected by them. That Arroyo has a reasonable contract is a bonus. This is a no brainer for the Sox, depth being the new black and all.
   5. chris p Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:45 PM (#1908671)
TWO CFs

willie harris? adam stern? i don't think it's accurate to call wily mo a center fielder.
   6. Spahn Insane Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:46 PM (#1908673)
Is that projection for Arroyo for Fenway, or GAB? I agree it's surprisingly good, if for the GAB.
   7. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:51 PM (#1908688)
That's not a bad projection for Arroyo. I thought it would look much worse in Cinncinnati.

That's a pretty optimistic projection, all things considered. I'd be surprised if he matched it.
   8. 1k5v3L Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:53 PM (#1908691)
A stupid stupid trade for the Reds. Of course now they are going to keep Dunn in LF to make room for Mr. Gamer Scott Hatteberg at 1B, and god knows that Arroyo is the saviour they've been lacking all these years. Instead of having a great hitting outfield of Kearns-Griffey-Pena with Denofria and Freel getting time there as well, the Reds are now going to delude themselves into thinking that Arroyo will save the runs that Pena would've created. Dumb dumb dumb.
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:54 PM (#1908694)
I'm surprised by the projection, too. I don't think ZiPS fully comprehends just how bad the Red outfield is defensively. I'd expect something more in the 4.50 range.
   10. AROM Posted: March 20, 2006 at 06:56 PM (#1908697)
I know Zips doesn't project playing time and all that, but still, the Gonzalez projection looks to be about 252 at bats on the optimistic side.
   11. nickm Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:01 PM (#1908702)
I am no expert, but does not this makes Manny-for-Tejada a possibility from the Red Sox perspective?
   12. Allard "I've left the cupboard" Baird (winzey) Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#1908706)
Plus, there's no way Juan Gone gets a triple.
   13. DEF: #attentionwhore Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:08 PM (#1908711)
The other shoe that may drop: Soriano to Boston for Pena. Bowden loves tools goofs like Pena, and has a situation on his hands because his big name acquisition doesn't want to play the OF. The red Sox could probably use Soriano more than Pena - they've got good options throughout the OF and DH, but not so good as SS.
   14. DEF: #attentionwhore Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#1908712)
Doh! "not so good at 2B", that should read. Not that Soriano is a good 2B, but he's believed to be good.
   15. RobertMachemer Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#1908727)
the Red Sox still kind of need someone who can play center
Is this meant as a subtle comment against Crisp or Stern? (Or both?)
   16. Sexy Lizard Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:23 PM (#1908732)
Doh! "not so good at 2B", that should read. Not that Soriano is a good 2B, but he's believed to be good.

They have Loretta as a starter, Graffanino (for now), Pedroia in Pawtucket, and Willie Harris in emergencies. 2B is fine.
   17. Tonight's special is maggot-infested carcass Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:24 PM (#1908733)
Not that Soriano is a good 2B, but he's believed to be good.

No he's not.
   18. RP Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#1908737)
I don't understand this trade from either team's perspective. For the Red Sox, they just traded a 29 year old league average starter for Pena, when they already had an above average RF, the average age of three of their other starters is ~40, and one of the non-ancient starters is injury prone. Yes, Pena has a lot of power, but the chances of him becoming a consistently above average player seem pretty remote to me. I think they were better off with Arroyo. YMMV.
   19. RobertMachemer Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:26 PM (#1908738)
The red Sox could probably use Soriano more than Pena
Are you forgetting Loretta? Loretta was roughly twice the hitter Soriano was in 2004 and comparable (though not as good) in 2003. Why would the Sox trade Pena (who has a role as Nixon's platoon partner) for Soriano (who, with defense included, may not be as good as Loretta)?
   20. RP Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:27 PM (#1908739)
Oh, and an OF of Ramirez, Crisp, and Pena could be really, really bad defensively.
   21. RP Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:28 PM (#1908740)
The Red Sox better not trade for Soriano...I just drafted Loretta.
   22. Dizzypaco Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:31 PM (#1908747)
I think the possibility of trading Pena for Soriano is a good one, assuming of course that they fire Theo Epstein tomorrow and replace him with a guy who doesn't have a clue on how to run a baseball team. Otherwise, it ain't gonna happen.
   23. RobertMachemer Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:36 PM (#1908754)
I don't understand this trade from either team's perspective.


Wily Mo Penaagainst lefties
2003.204 AVG.283 OBP.352 SLG  (in 54 AB
2004.302 AVG.388 OBP.651 SLG  (in 86 AB
2005.291 AVG.345 OBP.536 SLG  (in 110 AB


Arroyo is roughly their 7th starter behind at least Schilling, Beckett, Wakefield, Wells, Clement, and Papelbon... and that's not to mention Lester and DiNardo, both of whom may be better than Arroyo as well. Not that Arroyo doesn't have value, but the Sox have TONS of mediocre pitching, most of it with larger upsides than Arroyo. And Arroyo is coming off a season in which his k-rate dropped precipitously.

In return for a pitcher who was essentially just a long-man in their bullpen and emergency starter at this point, the Red Sox got a good platoon partner for Nixon. Note also that besides hitting better against lefties, Pena also draws a decent number of walks against lefties.

The Sox traded a pitcher with an unimportant role for a player with a much more important role (platoon partner and spot outfield-starter), who is also young enough to still be improving.

The trade could still work out poorly for the Sox (if Arroyo returns to his 2004 levels), but for now, it looks like a good trade for the Sox. They got rid of surplus mediocrity and got a useful part and one with the potential to be better than merely useful.
   24. RP Posted: March 20, 2006 at 07:49 PM (#1908787)
An inexpensive, 29 year old, league average starter is not a mediocrity. And trading one for a lefty masher platoon partner seems nuts to me.
   25. Mister High Standards Posted: March 20, 2006 at 08:01 PM (#1908813)
RP - Pena will be more than that for the Sox. He will likely platoon with Trot pick up a couple games a week in versus RHP, either with papi moving to tofirst or to rest manny.

It also gives the sox another OF'er for the future if they have to move Manny at some point and when Trot leaves.

It makes perfect sense.
   26. Danny Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:02 PM (#1908858)
Arroyo is roughly their 7th starter behind at least Schilling, Beckett, Wakefield, Wells, Clement, and Papelbon... and that's not to mention Lester and DiNardo, both of whom may be better than Arroyo as well.

I think that's stretching it. Arroyo is a league average starter, which is more than should be expected out of Lester and DiNardo at this point--and arguably Papelbon as well.
   27. RP Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:06 PM (#1908868)
It also gives the sox another OF'er for the future if they have to move Manny at some point and when Trot leaves.

To me, this is the far more compelling argument for making the trade. AFAIK, the Red Sox don't have any great young OF prospects, so Pena could be a long term solution there. Still, I'm not sure it was worth giving up Arroyo for him.

When you get right down to it, we're really just arguing about Pena's breakout potential. I'm not that high on him, but if the Red Sox think he'll improve and be their RF of the future I guess it makes sense.
   28. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:09 PM (#1908874)
An inexpensive, 29 year old, league average starter is not a mediocrity. And trading one for a lefty masher platoon partner seems nuts to me.
This is a trade for the future as much as for the present. The point of Wily Mo is not what he can do now (mash lefties), but what he may be able to do in the future given his prodigious tools (mash everyone).

Arroyo's a solid pitcher and I like him to be somewhat above average and solidly rubber-armed. The issue is not his value in a neutral context, but that his replacement on the roster is one of Wells/Papelbon/Wakefield, depending on how you rank the other starters. Arroyo's good, but for the present, the Red Sox have lots of Arroyos.

And for the future, the upside difference is just huge.

And, why does everyone keep bringing up Soriano? The Red Sox have too many second basemen, not too few.
   29. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:12 PM (#1908875)
I'd guess the plan for the Sox is to have Pena get some PT in RF this year and allow Nixon to walk at the end of 2006. Pena would then become the full-time RFer as he's under the Sox' contractual control through 2008.
   30. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: March 20, 2006 at 10:18 PM (#1908887)
I don't understand why this is so bad for the Reds. As Tamer detailed in the 2006 preview, the Reds rotation is awful and has major injury question marks. This upgrades the OF defense as Dunn is a better defender than Pena (damning with faint praise) and Icon Griffey is not moving out of CF (the reality of things) until he goes on the DL again. OF defense is of course important to the Reds with their flyball-oriented staff, so this makes all of their other pitchers better. Arroyo might legitimately be their #1 starter now, which is sad, but it still improves the team, dealing the worst of their stockpile of OFs for an area of need.
   31. DosRafaels Posted: March 20, 2006 at 11:19 PM (#1908976)
I hope I'm not late to the party, but someone mentioned Pedroia as an option as the starting SS. I was reading Gammons, and could it be true that Pedroia came in to camp at 260. That's ridiculous. Whose the nutrioninst with the Red Sox, El Guapo?
   32. PooNani Posted: March 20, 2006 at 11:23 PM (#1908983)
Great, now the Red Sox have TWO CFs I'd rather see on the Yankees than Johnny Damon.


give me what you're smoking
   33. Danny Posted: March 20, 2006 at 11:23 PM (#1908984)
Rookie shortstop Dustin Pedroia showed up in spring training heavy, and did not fare well in conditioning tests. One of the team's top minor league pitching prospects gained 30 pounds to 260, and his body fat increased by an astounding 4 percent.
   34. this space for rent Posted: March 20, 2006 at 11:37 PM (#1909001)
From the Reds perspective, they see this as Arroyo + Denorfia/Freel is greater than Wily Mo, and I can see their point, sort of.

Of course, assuming Freel is the replacement for Wily Mo in the outfield, this ensures that Womack will be the Reds' starting 2B on Opening Day. Oh, the humanity!
   35. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 20, 2006 at 11:57 PM (#1909018)
Rookie shortstop Dustin Pedroia showed up in spring training heavy, and did not fare well in conditioning tests. One of the team's top minor league pitching prospects gained 30 pounds to 260, and his body fat increased by an astounding 4 percent.

How the hell can Pedroia be 260? He's listed at 5-9, 180 and when I saw him last year, I thought both numbers were a stretch. I haven't seen Pedroia this spring, but I would imagine that if he now had the approximate body shape of Louie Anderson, there would have been a mention of it before this.
   36. Danny Posted: March 20, 2006 at 11:59 PM (#1909022)
Um, pitching prospect. Not Pedroia.
   37. icebaseball16 Posted: March 21, 2006 at 12:28 AM (#1909042)
Commenting on the idea of the Red Sox trading to get Soriano. I do not see any reason on earth they would want to do something of the sort because Soriano is a guy that is of the opposite mold than what the Red Sox team is built of. He has a low OBP he dosent walk, and on the flip side he is a horrible defensive player. Lorretta is a better hitter and defensive 2nd baseman than Soriano by far.
   38. the guy Posted: March 21, 2006 at 01:57 AM (#1909174)
Speaking as a Jays fan, it seems like Boston really has made a solid deal here. Not that I'm saying in any way that this only has to do with the "Jays threat", but if you believe what you read about the east being a 3-team race for once, there will be a lot of key (and I use the term loosely) ABs against Chacin, Lilly, Downs and BJ Ryan. As far as I can tell, we really didn't need the Sox picking up another weapon to use against those lefties, especially when all they lose is Arroyo, who we seem to agree is consistent, but very replaceable. Of course, if Boston isn't done here, that's entirely moot.
   39. erghammer Posted: March 21, 2006 at 03:59 AM (#1909476)
I am speaking here as a big fan of both teams... grew up in Cinci watching the Big Red Machine, then went to school in Boston and joined the Nation.

I love Bronson Arroyo, crazy-ass cornrows and all, and I'm sad to see one of the 25 go. And God help him pitching in the GAB in front of that crappy OF defense.

It's hard to be a Reds fan now, since the organization has been suffering a huge brain cramp since about the late 90s. So if the Reds are going to get fleeced, I'm glad the Sox are the ones to do it. At worst Wily Mo is the perfect 4th OF for the Sox - mashes lefties and can fake all 3 OF positions. But he could be the next Sammy Sosa. The dude is only 24. He has hit 45 HRs in the last 2 years when most of his contemporaries are in the minors. The Reds are completely addle-brained to give this up for a league-average starter with declining peripherals who can't get LHHs out.
   40. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: March 21, 2006 at 04:34 AM (#1909588)
I cannot highlight and copy, but here goes. This claim is a cross post from the original thread.

I agree with SJH and the guy. If Francona manages the situation correctly, there could be over 60 starts for WMP. There are a lot of potential LH starters in the AL East (8 out of 20 by my count based on mlb.com depth chart). Add in starts against lefties in the other 85 or so games, WMP should start around 35-40 games against lefties. If Francona works Manny's (and Crisp's?) days off around LH pitchers, WMP should pick up another 10-15 days off. Add in injuries and moving Ortiz to first and pinch hitting, WMP may pick up enough PA's to stay sharp and maybe develop, considering his contract status.
   41. Darren Posted: March 21, 2006 at 05:56 AM (#1909840)
Dan,

I think you're mistaken about the Sox willingness to platoon Trot. They did so in 04 and 05, until Kapler went down. It seemed pretty clear that Francona simply didn't trust Hyzdu as his replacement, so Trot played full-time (and hurt), which was pretty foolish. But with Mohr and Wily Mo to pick from, I'm pretty sure Nixon will be heavily platooned.

I'm worried that it will become common for opposing managers to bring in a righty against Wily Mo late in the game, so that Francona will bring in Snow to hit for him.
   42. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: March 21, 2006 at 06:28 AM (#1909946)
But with Mohr and Wily Mo to pick from

I think Mohr is gone. They need to keep Stern out of camp, and I don't see any need for a 5th OF after Stern can be sent back.
   43. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: March 21, 2006 at 10:07 AM (#1910160)
If Francona works Manny's (and Crisp's?) days off around LH pitchers, WMP should pick up another 10-15 days off.

Are you suggesting resting Manny vs lefties? If so, why?
   44. I can't believe we're playing Francoeur(KevinHess) Posted: March 21, 2006 at 10:14 AM (#1910163)
No, he's suggesting NOT resting Manny vs. lefties. Basically, Pena plays for Nixon against lefties, and occasionally for Manny against a righy when Manny is tired.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: March 21, 2006 at 10:23 AM (#1910165)
Commenting on the idea of the Red Sox trading to get Soriano. I do not see any reason on earth they would want to do something of the sort because Soriano is a guy that is of the opposite mold than what the Red Sox team is built of. He has a low OBP he dosent walk, and on the flip side he is a horrible defensive player.

I agree there's no Soriano trade coming, but you just described Wily Mo Pena too.

Wily Mo's younger than Soriano was when he first got significant time, but their career lines to date are pretty similar:

Pena 248/303/477 100 OPS+
AS 280/320/500 111 OPS+

Pena could turn into a plus hitter for a corner OF (Juan Gone was mentioned in the other thread). He could be of average value to just above like Kingman (who had some very nice years). Or he could be below average like Pete Incaviglia. Meanwhile, he's gonna be poor defensively.

Personally I don't see the Gonzalez comparison. Similar raw numbers, but at the same age, Gonzalez was posting OPS+ of 121, 134, 169 in full-time play.

In return for a pitcher who was essentially just a long-man in their bullpen and emergency starter at this point, the Red Sox got a good platoon partner for Nixon.

Which are they more likely to really need this season, an "emergency starter" or a 4th OF? Lefty mashers usually aren't that hard to find. Average starters are.

Now Pena does have that potentially bright future and they will need a new RF after this season. Of course, aren't Wells and Schilling both gone after this year. Wakefield can't hold on much longer and Clement is only there through 2007 right? Those 7 starters will be down to three soon enough.
   46. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 21, 2006 at 10:25 AM (#1910166)
I just went and looked at his stats; he is a future star if he's really the age he's listed as being. To be above-average offensively with that sort of power in the big-leagues at ages 22 and 23 is an outstanding harbinger.
   47. MM1f Posted: March 21, 2006 at 10:32 AM (#1910169)
Looking at Wily Mo comps his #1 is Jon Nunnally. Nunnally posted a 1000 OPS in 200 ABs at 25 then had a weak 150 ABs the next year and was basically a AAA guy from that point on.
Does anyone know what happened to him?
im surethe 1000 was flukey but he put up some decent numbers at 23, 24, was grrreat at 25 at done at 26. He never got more than 303 ABs in a year.
I had always known the name but didnt know his story really.
Last i saw him he was in 04 or 05 when he was with the Brewers AAA team, he was joking with a 5yo that was near the dugout. Seemed like a nice guy

I ask out of curiosity, im not trying to predict Wily Mo with some random guy on his sim list.
   48. MM1f Posted: March 21, 2006 at 10:36 AM (#1910170)
"Meanwhile, he's gonna be poor defensively."

Isnt Wily Mo similar on O and D? That is raw but with potential? So he could (if im not wrong on the scouting reports) becomea plus RF defensively too if he ever learns to, well, stop screwing up
   49. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: March 21, 2006 at 11:26 AM (#1910173)
Looking at Wily Mo comps his #1 is Jon Nunnally.

What a misleading use of comps. You're comparing Pena's career-to-date stats to Nunnally's career totals w/o adjusting for age.

B-R's age-based comps are better, and PECOTA's are even better than that. And both systems have some great comps for Wily Mo (especially PECOTA, which is why that system projects him so well).
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 21, 2006 at 01:11 PM (#1910190)
Which are they more likely to really need this season, an "emergency starter" or a 4th OF? Lefty mashers usually aren't that hard to find. Average starters are.
Maybe, but the Red Sox already have emergency starters. First, one of Papelbon/Wells/Wakefield will begin the season out of the rotation. Second, they have Lenny Dinardo and Jon Lester in AAA.

On the other hand, why won't the Sox need a 4th outfielder? Trot Nixon has proved almost laughably brittle in recent years. Further, Wily Mo now backs up both LF and DH, should anything (god forbid) go wrong there.
   51. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 21, 2006 at 01:38 PM (#1910201)
"Plus, there's no way Juan Gone gets a triple."

I could see it, if he gets called out for missing home plate on a HR.
   52. PJ Martinez Posted: March 21, 2006 at 02:10 PM (#1910241)
"I just went and looked at his stats; he is a future star if he's really the age he's listed as being."

Given that he was illegally signed twice (and both teams got caught), I would guess they have his age right by now. He's been in major league paperwork for a decade.

Anyone who doesn't think the Sox need a 4th OF has not been watching them the last few years. And I love Arroyo, I'm very sad to see him go, but you can't judge this trade in a vacuum: Arroyo was going to start the season in the bullpen.
   53. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 21, 2006 at 02:20 PM (#1910255)
Right, and between Nixon and Ortiz (who's body-type means he'll start spending lots of time on the DL soon), Pena will get plenty of ABs.
   54. esturminator_CT Posted: March 21, 2006 at 03:00 PM (#1910286)
I like the trade on the surface, despite being a fan of Bronson Arroyo (I'd much rather have seen Wells or possibly even Schilling go in the deal in favor of the younger Arroyo). I think Pena's value as a RH power stick against the LHP's in the AL East will be key and his upside is very nice. Having said that, I share some of the other concerns expressed - another low OBP high K hitter to join Alex Gonzalez in the line-up - hopefully they can teach him some plate discipline. I just pray it also doesn't mean the Red Sox are more seriously considering trading Manny unless it's for someone like Tejada (which could leave Pena in LF, Crisp/Stern in CF, and Trot/Mohr in RF). OF defense is also a concern - but the Sox have never seemed to worry alot about that because of the freindly confines of Fenway.

Still lots of questions regarding the 25 man roster and line-up. Trading Arroyo helps with the pitching logjam, but there are still too many pieces positionally. Assuming 11 pitchers breaking camp with the club, Papi at DH, 2 catchers ('Tek and Bard), 2 1B (Youkilis and Snow)that only leaves 9 roster spots for 2B, SS, 3B, and OF. Since Stern needs to stay for at least 17 more games, that leaves 8. Assuming Lowell plays 3B, and Loretta, Gonzalez, and Cora cover the middle infield - they're left with 4 OF spots - Crisp, Manny, Nixon, and Pena. Therefore, Mohr (who's had a very nice ST), Harris, Machado, Juan Gonzalez, and Graffanino all must get sent down. That's unfortunate given Tony Graff's 2005 performance and his utility (as well as speed and utility of Harris and Machado).

I've got to think there is another move or two by the RS in the near future. But it likely won't be for Soriano who really doesn't fit any RS needs positionally, would be yet another undisciplined free-swinger high K guy, and is currently demonstrating very loudly his "me first, team second (or lower)" attitude.
   55. RP Posted: March 21, 2006 at 03:01 PM (#1910287)
What a misleading use of comps. You're comparing Pena's career-to-date stats to Nunnally's career totals w/o adjusting for age.

I don't think you read his entire post.
   56. sublime Posted: March 21, 2006 at 06:02 PM (#1910608)
but the chances of him becoming a consistently above average player seem pretty remote to me.


thankfully PECOTA loves him :)
   57. 1k5v3L Posted: March 21, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#1910619)
"Plus, there's no way Juan Gone gets a triple."

I could see it, if he gets called out for missing home plate on a HR.


I think it's more likely that he'll tear up his leg muscles rounding up third base on a home run. Likely his first home run of the year.
   58. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 21, 2006 at 06:41 PM (#1910695)
I just pray it also doesn't mean the Red Sox are more seriously considering trading Manny

One more time!!! Big Contract + 10/5 guy + Being on the Record about Where He Won't Go= Manny Stays Put.
   59. MM1f Posted: March 21, 2006 at 06:47 PM (#1910707)
"Looking at Wily Mo comps his #1 is Jon Nunnally.

What a misleading use of comps. You're comparing Pena's career-to-date stats to Nunnally's career totals w/o adjusting for age.

B-R's age-based comps are better, and PECOTA's are even better than that. And both systems have some great comps for Wily Mo (especially PECOTA, which is why that system projects him so well). "


No no, i just meant that thats how i saw Nunnallys BR page. I dont think they are esp. comparable and i wasnt using it to project Wily Mo (all of which i said). I was just wondering if anyone knew Nunnallys story bc it seems like he had an odd career path.
   60. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: March 21, 2006 at 07:19 PM (#1910778)
and Graffanino all must get sent down

Graf cannot be sent down without clearling waivers. Maybe something will get worked out with the Mets.
   61. Balkroth Posted: March 22, 2006 at 04:50 AM (#1911682)
I'm thinking with the poor play and injured shoulder of Spivey, the Sox and Cardinals might end up making a trade with Graffanino coming to STL.
   62. Walt Davis Posted: March 22, 2006 at 09:27 AM (#1911818)
I just went and looked at his stats; he is a future star if he's really the age he's listed as being. To be above-average offensively with that sort of power in the big-leagues at ages 22 and 23 is an outstanding harbinger.

Ummm...he's not above-average offensively (yet). His career OPS+ is 100. His OPS+ last season was 100. He was 121 in 2004. His career EQA is 263. Last year it was 267. In 2004 it was 279 which I think was about average for a corner OF. His PAs are mildly skewed towards vs. LH so in full-time play he'd probably be a bit worse.

To date, he Ks once per 2.9 AB. That is simply unsustainable ... I believe Rob Deer is the only guy to have a substantial career with that kind of K rate and he added a ton of walks (and decent defense I think) and still added up to just an average corner hitter.

I mentioned Pete Incaviglia. Through age 23 he had about 250 more PA and an OPS+ of 113. Kingman had about 200 fewer PA but an OPS+ of 121. Through age 24, Tony Batista had about the same number of PA and an OPS+ of 95. Through age 23, Juan Encarnacion had about 150 fewer PA and an OPS+ of 95. Through age 23, Andre Dawson had about 400 more PA and an OPS+ of 107.

Those are all low-walk, high-power hitters. I don't know who his PECOTA comps are, but I had a hard time thinking of (or finding) many fairly recent hitters like this with substantial playing time through age 23. There are some average to very good hitters in that list ... and they all posted better overall numbers than Pena through age 23. There are a couple not-so-good hitters there in Batista and Encarnacion and they both hit about the same as Pena (perhaps especially if we corrected for L/R splits). Batista, Encarnacion and Dawson brought defense (or at least the reputation) and speed to the game. OK, Batista's not a base-stealer.

He has potential. Maybe when you bring in body type and all that stuff, he projects great. But to me, even given his age, his performance has not been so outstanding for me to think he'll become anything special and there's at the very least a real good chance he won't. He absolutely has to lower that K-rate (or blow up the walk rate) or he's toast.
   63. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: March 22, 2006 at 09:36 AM (#1911821)
No no, i just meant that thats how i saw Nunnallys BR page. I dont think they are esp. comparable and i wasnt using it to project Wily Mo (all of which i said). I was just wondering if anyone knew Nunnallys story bc it seems like he had an odd career path.

Fair enough. My apologies to jump on you for that.
   64. Walt Davis Posted: March 22, 2006 at 09:42 AM (#1911824)
No doubt Pena will get plenty of PA. But the last few years, the Red Sox have required substantial innings for Miller/Schilling (ERA+ around 83), 183 from Derek Lowe (ERA+ of 90), about 160 from Fossum/Suppan/Chen/Rupe (ERA+ around 86), 182 from Burkett (ERA+ 91), and 300+ innings from Castillo/Arrojo/Oliver (ERA+ around 90).

In today's game, 6th and 7th starters are very important roles. Almost nobody's 5-man staff makes it through the year. With pitchers aged 39, 39, and 43 (one coming off an injury) plus one who's never pitched 180 innings in a season, and sure looks to me like starting pitching depth is of utmost importance. And FA pitching value costs a lot more than FA hitting value so replacing any of those pitchers over the next 1-2 years is likely gonna cost them a lot more (per win at least) than replacing Nixon.

Arroyo's certainly no great shakes and he's no kid. This is a perfectly fine trade with an upside for the Red Sox. It's also one with a high probability of biting them in the ass. And, in my opinion, is not a good move in the short term.

From the Reds perspective, it might well be a good move in the short term but what do they care about the short term?
   65. Walt Davis Posted: March 22, 2006 at 11:21 AM (#1911845)
Here's another

Vernon Wells through 23: 277/308/441 95 OPS+ in about the same number of PA as Pena.

Thanks to his great 2003, he's now up to 108 OPS+ for his career (103, 104 the last two years) which is certainly nice for a CF but nothing special for a corner OF (with poor defense).

Shawn Green's a positive one: 274/324/460/96 through 23, was consistently above-average after that.
   66. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 22, 2006 at 01:05 PM (#1911862)
In today's game, 6th and 7th starters are very important roles. Almost nobody's 5-man staff makes it through the year. With pitchers aged 39, 39, and 43 (one coming off an injury) plus one who's never pitched 180 innings in a season, and sure looks to me like starting pitching depth is of utmost importance.
We're probably just going in circles here, but I have to argue that 6th and 7th starter are different roster slots, and 7th is less important that 6th. And Arroyo was effectively the 7th starter. And there's still Dinardo and Lester to cover #7 and #8. Arroyo would cover only a small percentage of the extra innings (~150 per year) that you cited. Is 50 good backup IP worth that much to the Sox?

Also, Wily Mo, even if he doesn't improve, provides an upgraded backup to LF, RF and DH, being an improvement over Dustan Mohr.

Some positive comps:

Jesse Barfield hit 246/323/426/97 at age 22 and 253/296/510/112 at age 23. His next three years were 123/142/147 before he fell off again.

Willie Stargell hit 243/290/428/103 at age 23. and turned into Willie Stargell.

I mention these two guys because they're Wily Mo Pena's #1 and #2 comparables in PECOTA this year. PECOTA projects him at 280/345/560.

One big problem in looking at career OPS+ is that Wily Mo's terrible contract situation forced him to play in the big leagues when he wasn't ready. He has OPS+ of 52 and 66, but he had to be on a major league roster or he'd be lost on waivers. I think looking at his '04 and '05 is much more useful than adding in those 200 PA that no player in baseball since the bonus baby era would have had to suffer through.
   67. Quinton McCracken's BFF Posted: March 23, 2006 at 02:11 AM (#1912914)
Juan is gone to Oakland, according to PUerto Rico's El Nuevo Día
   68. Vida Blew Over the Legal Limit Posted: April 12, 2006 at 02:42 AM (#1956838)
Revisiting this on a day when Bronson has more homers than Wily Mo....lovely.

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