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Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trade Deadline Thread

Well, it’s that time of year again and the Red Sox are showing their usual midseason malaise. A very uninspring 61-47 record (2 games off their pythag) has them on pace for 91.5 wins, which is, pretty mediocre for a team of their resources. Today’s showing against the seemingly magical Angels did not do much to improve my view of them. Nor did losing 2 of 3 to the Yankees over the weekend.

But what do you do to improve the team at the trading deadline? The talent seems to be there at just ...

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Darren Posted: July 30, 2008 at 03:36 AM | 414 comment(s)
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Friday, July 25, 2008

Minor League Thread: Almanzar Living Up to the Hype

I always have a tough time getting excited about the signing of 16-year-old Dominican players because, even if they’re great, you’re not likely to see them in the Majors for 6-7 years. That’s why Carlos

Michael Almanzar’s signing last year did little for me. But he’s certainly making a big impression this year. Almanzar’s .348/.414/.472 line in the GCL was apparently impressive enough for the Sox to skip him to Class A Greenville. There, he’s gone 5/16 with a triple. Good contact so far, but ...

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Darren Posted: July 25, 2008 at 02:36 AM | 10 comment(s)
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Here Come the Yankees!

Boy, the first 2/3 of 2008 sure is different from years in the past, isn’t it? The Red Sox start off strong, the Yankees look like they’re dead and buried. But low and behold, the Red Sox have cooled off a bit and the Yankees have gotten crazy hot and they’re back in the thick of things. And lo and behold, we’re going to have a big series between these two rivals in late July. I’ve never seen anything like it, except for every year for the past decade or so.

This weekend will be fun, but ...

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Darren Posted: July 25, 2008 at 02:32 AM | 162 comment(s)
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Friday, July 04, 2008

Jon Lester: Red Sox Staff Ace?

What Jon Lester’s been doing has been far beyond my expectations or even hopes. 9th in the league in ERA. 6th in PRC. 4th in IP. And even 10th in groundball percentage. And since late April, he’s been pretty unstoppable.

And Lester really came through last night with the Red Sox desperate for a win after their embarrassment in Tampa Bay. A night after the Red Sox looked downright pathetic, they looked like a completely different team.

It makes me think that all the talk that Farrell thinks ...

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Darren Posted: July 04, 2008 at 11:23 AM | 38 comment(s)
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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What to Do with Masterson and Buchholz

Justin Masterson had a nice little run when he first came up, and he’s certainly shown a fair amount of poise for a rookie. But looking at his numbers, he just hasn’t pitched that well overall as a Major Leaguer:

48 IP, 37 K, 24 BB, 8 HR.

He’s got a very nice 51.5% groundball percentage and that’s helped to keep his ERA down to 3.75. But those 8 HRs are not the sign of a guy who’s keeping the ball down consistently. His xFIP of 4.34 and his actual FIP is 5.46.

Meanwhile, there’s the ...

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Darren Posted: July 02, 2008 at 12:02 AM | 50 comment(s)
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Minor League Thread: Zink in the Pink

Charlie Zink—what a story. He pitched for Luis Tiant at the Savannah College of Art and Design before signing with Boston as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He’s been up and down as over the past 6 years, but seems to really have put things together in 08. In AAA Pawtucket, he’s got 60 K, 29 BB, and 4 HR allowed in 96.2 IP. His 2.33 ERA and 69 hit allowed are also impressive. Unlike many other knuckleballers, Zink can throw other pitches that resemble major league stuff. According to Sox ...

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Darren Posted: June 25, 2008 at 03:04 AM | 85 comment(s)
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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Jacoby Ellsbury, Kenny Lofton, and Steals

I’ve mentioned several times in this space my belief that Kenny Lofton represents a good upside comparison for Jacoby Ellsbury. As the 2008 season approaches the midway mark, that comparison is looking very good, especially in stolen bases, where Ellsbury is taking a run at Lofton’s AL rookie record. Based on Ellsbury’s current stats, here’s how his projection for the season compares to Kenny Lofton’s rookie season (Lofton was a year older):


Ellsbury: 143 g, 498 AB, 109 R, 17 2b, 6 3b, 11 ...

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Darren Posted: June 22, 2008 at 03:30 PM | 14 comment(s)
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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Minor League Thread: Draft Time

The draft is coming up on June 5 and the Red Sox will likely draft a whole bunch of players who either go on to the Majors or don’t. They will be picking 30th in each round, with bonus picks at 45th (as compensation for “losing” Eric Gagne), and at 85th (for failing to sign 2nd rounder Hunter Morris last year).

That’s about the extent of the analysis that I can offer on this subject. Let’s hope that Philly and Temple stop by soon and give us their takes.

Darren Posted: June 03, 2008 at 10:51 PM | 58 comment(s)
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Ortiz out “at least a month”

I didn’t quite get what the exact injury is—I’m away from my Tivo—but NESN is reporting David Ortiz has a partial tear of a wrist tendon and will be out “at least a month.” This isn’t good news for the Sox. Main beneficiaries should be Coco and Casey.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 03, 2008 at 02:30 AM | 101 comment(s)
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Monday, June 02, 2008

Yin and Yang and All That Junk

It seems like just a couple weeks ago (because it was) that all the talk in baseball was that the Red Sox’ young starters were outshining and embarassing their Yankee counterparts. Buchholz was putting up nice numbers and Lester, after a shaky start, had rebounded and threw a thrilling no hitter. Meanwhile, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy were both winless and struggling mightily to get out of the 4th inning. Fast forward a bit and Buc is in AAA after getting hurt and having a couple lousy rehab ...

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Darren Posted: June 02, 2008 at 12:32 AM | 14 comment(s)
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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Minor League Thread: Adam Mills Still Thinks He’s a Prospect

After dominating college hitting in 07 with a 1.01 ERA, Adam Mills had to wait until the 8th round to hear his name called in the Major League draft. He quickly signed and pitched about as well as you could for Lowell in the Penn League to finish out the year, although 3 HR in 35 IP was a bit poor. That seemingly did little to improve opinions of him, as at the start of 08, the Red Sox sent him to the pitching Siberia known as Lancaster. Not to worry, though, because after a rough start, Mills ...

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Darren Posted: May 27, 2008 at 03:56 AM | 77 comment(s)
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Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Future of Manny

Manny Ramirez got off to a torrid start, and it appeared that his intense offseason work had helped him return to his former greatness. But even while he was hitting well, Manny was striking out more and walking less than he had in the past. Now, those problems seem to have caught up to him. Manny’s now back around the decreased level he was at last year:

07: .296 .388 .493
08: .280 .364 .489

That’s an awfully pedestrian line in his last ~800 PA. The good news is that Manny’s defense ...

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Darren Posted: May 24, 2008 at 09:56 PM | 110 comment(s)
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Minor League Thread: That Other B Guy

So, when are we going to start talking about Michael Bowden as a top pitching prospect? As a 20-year-old last year, he dominated high-A before moving to AA, where he held his own. This year, he seems to have adjusted quite well to his new surroundings. 47.2 IP, 35 H, 2 HR, 14 BB, 48 K, 2.83 ERA. All this at the young age of 21. Word is that is stuff isn’t all that impressive, but the results sort of speak for themselves.

Other interesting players at AA:

—Jeff Corsaletti has always had a ...

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Darren Posted: May 21, 2008 at 01:49 AM | 44 comment(s)
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Try to Enjoy This

It’s easy to forget now, but things didn’t always go this well for the Red Sox. Seems like just a few short years ago, the Red Sox weren’t coming back from 0-3 holes, winning World Series, throwing no-hitters, and seeing numerous exciting young players come up to the big league team. Jon Lester’s no-hitter tonight is just one of many moments over the past few years that we Red Sox fans should feel thankful for. It’s probably a good time to take a step back and just enjoy it.

Of course, his ...

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Darren Posted: May 20, 2008 at 01:51 AM | 65 comment(s)
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Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Disincentive for the Red Sox to Lock Up Their Young Players

In the past month or so, some of baseball’s most prominent young players have been locked up to longterm deals. The Rays lsigned Evan Longoria shortly after his Major League debut. A few days ago, they extended Scott Kazmir for a very tidy little sum of 3 years/$28 mil (ensuring many more frustrating games for the Red Sox). There was also a 6 year/$70 mil deal for Hanley Ramirez. And today, the Brewers announced an eight-year deal with last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, Ryan Braun.

Hey, the ...

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Darren Posted: May 15, 2008 at 10:51 PM | 46 comment(s)
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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Minor League Thread: Josh Reddick vs. Lars Anderson

There seems to be a pretty wide consensus that Lars Anderson is a better prospect than Josh Reddick, but I wonder if it’s time for that to change. Prior to the season, Sickels had Lars as #4 in the Sox system, with a B+, and Reddick as #10, with a B-. BA had them slotted the same. Sox Prospects also had Lars #4, and only recently moved Reddick up to #7.

But let’s take a look at what each of these guys has done. Last year, both played most of the year in Greenville. Here’s how they hit:

Lars ...

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Darren Posted: May 10, 2008 at 09:15 PM | 27 comment(s)
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Coco off to a monster start!

That headline may sound like a bit of an exaggeration. His gaudy .315 average masks a pretty mediocre .722 OPS (96 OPS+). But as I documented last year around this time, Coco has always been a slow starter. Consider these OPS:


Mar/April 2004: .211 .262 .316
Mar/April 2005: .253 .302 .354
Mar/April 2006: injured
Mar/April 2007: .235 .274 .338
YTD for 2008: .315 .338 .384

If Coco follows his usual pattern of improving greatly as the weather warms up, he’ll have a pretty nice year. If you ...

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Darren Posted: May 10, 2008 at 02:12 AM | 81 comment(s)
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Farnsworth’s Suspension for Throwing Behind Manny’s Head Reduced from 3 Games to 0*

In a ridiculous decision today, an arbitrator reduced Kyle Farnsworth’s suspension from 3 games to 1 game. This was an idiotic decision on a number of levels:

First off, anyone who pays attention to baseball knows that a 1-game suspension will have almost no effect on a middle reliever. Having a reliever unavailable for one day means that he’ll be more able and ready to pitch the next day. A 3-day suspension is really the minimum suspension that has really works as a punishment for a ...

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Darren Posted: May 10, 2008 at 01:52 AM | 46 comment(s)
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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Minor League Thread: Mike Jones

Mike Jones was a draft and follow guy out of Arizona Western JC who the Sox signed in 2005. He has been putting up an unremarkable record for the past few years, while being old for the levels he’s been playing at. He had a nice looking .340 .434 .432 line at Lowell before being promoted. But at age 22, that wasn’t all that great. This year, Jones has started the year on fire, hitting .412/.470/.588 at Greenville. must be a lot of fun to watch.

But still, Jones is a 23-year-old playing in A ...

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Darren Posted: May 03, 2008 at 01:03 PM | 13 comment(s)
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Sunday, April 27, 2008

That Was Brilliant

Young pitcher has an excellent game through 7, up around 100 pitches. It’s debatable whether you leave him in to start the 8th. But once he puts the tying run on base, you have to pull him. He’s in uncharted territory, pitch-count wise. You’ve got your 2 best relievers warm and ready to go. But Francona wasn’t satisfied until the lead was gone. Even then, Buc stayed in for another batter, just in case his pitch count wasn’t high enough.

An extra-innings game followed by a 1-run game in the ...

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Darren Posted: April 27, 2008 at 02:05 AM | 60 comment(s)
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pitchers Go Down, So Pitchers Come Up

First Beckett went down. Then Dice-K. This has led to starts by David Pauley, then by Lester on 3 days rest. We also got to see a bit of Hansen, who looked reasonably promising.

The good news is that we’ll get to see Justin Masterson’s debut in tomorrow’s game. And Masterson’s certainly made a case for himself at AA: 19 IP, 14 H, 2 ER, 0 HR, 5 BB, and 23 K. Also he’s got a 3.57 GO/AO ratio. Should be fun to see this promising young player join the Sox kiddie corps. ...Read More...

Darren Posted: April 24, 2008 at 01:55 AM | 48 comment(s)
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Saturday, April 19, 2008

What to Make of Gammo’s Coco to the Cubs Rumor

According to Gammons on Baseball Tonight last night, the Cubs are interested in acquiring Coco Crisp to play center. He says the deal could get done soon and that it would be for Gallagher + another prospect. Is there any chance that this is legit? Could it bring back golden boy Matt Murton? Is Sox Therapy back?

Darren Posted: April 19, 2008 at 02:26 AM | 53 comment(s)
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Preseason Minor League Thread

Hey, how about those minor leagues! They sure are interesting this time of year. What about that guy who got sent down? He should’ve stayed up! And then there was the guy who’s still up—that guy sucks. Send him down!

Consider this the TempleU-requested catch-all minor league thread.

Darren Posted: March 27, 2008 at 12:38 AM | 104 comment(s)
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I love that dirty water: 1-0 First place, half a game up.

6-5 win over the A’s in 10 from Tokyo.

Woke up at 5:15. went for a run, showered up and watched the Sox. The only thing that took away from the morning, was that they couldn’t get it done in under 3 hours as I had to head to work.

Game Chat

Number 3 Star:Dice - K: Gutty but ugly performance. We saw the Dice we saw a little too much of last year, a little adversity and he starts to fold. Instead of completely folding he battled, despite not having command or mph’er on his heater. His ...

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Mister High Standards Posted: March 25, 2008 at 02:14 PM | 111 comment(s)
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Monday, March 10, 2008

It’s Alright Ma, They Were only Bleeding

I’m skeptical when I hear, after the fact, that a player only struggled because of an undisclosed injury. Players deal with nagging injuries all the time and we never hear about it. But it’s the sort of information that is often used to wipe away an off year. I have to admit that, though, I’ve had quite a different reaction to the news that both Coco Crisp and Julio Lugo have been suffering through serious ailments in their time with the Red Sox. Crisp, among other things, was hindered in his ...

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Darren Posted: March 10, 2008 at 12:26 AM | 65 comment(s)
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Are There Any Real Questions Going into Spring Training?

Well, spring has arrived in the baseball world, with pitchers and catchers reporting for duty. On most teams in most years, this means that at least one or two key positions, a rotation slot or two, and perhaps a few bullpen roles are up for grabs. But the 08 Red Sox are somewhat of an exception. They’ve brought back an almost identical team to last year, a year in which they won the World Series (in case you’ve forgotten). There are no likely changes in the infield. The rotation has a recent ...

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Darren Posted: February 18, 2008 at 12:09 AM | 86 comment(s)
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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Now That We Know the Price…

Well, we now know what it would have taken to sign Johan Santana: 7/$150 mil. With that in mind, do you think he was worth Ellsbury/Masterson/Lowrie/mystery prospect? I know the rule of thumb is that when there’s a top talent available, you get him. But for me, this was beyond the price I would be willing to pay. I could have stomached a 5-year deal by just assuming that you’d be overpaying for a year of the deal. But for 7 years at premium prices, I think you pass and see what you can do with ...

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Darren Posted: February 05, 2008 at 02:00 AM | 90 comment(s)
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Is an Ellsbury/Coco Deal on the Horizon?

With Johan Santana apparently headed for Queens, the Red Sox no longer need to hang on to both Jacoby Elllsbury and Coco Crisp. Does this mean that one of them will soon be on the way out of town? I forget who, but someone keeps mentioning the ChiSox as a possible partner, being as they need a CF and could part with Carlos Quentin. I’m kind of stumped otherwise, although maybe the Dodgers will do something foolish. I do, however, think one of these guys will be on the move before the season ...

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Darren Posted: January 30, 2008 at 03:53 AM | 121 comment(s)
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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tick, Tick, Tick…

Well, it’s Martin Luther King Day weekend, that time of the offseason when you perk up and say to yourself: “Hey, spring training is coming next month. Have the Red Sox done what they need to do to prepare for next season?” My general sense is that yes, they’ve done fine. They had no gaping holes once they re-signed Lowell and Schilling, and the team projects to be one of the top in the AL. Still, there are a few questions left unanswered:

1. Obviously Johan Santana is still up in the air. It ...

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Darren Posted: January 19, 2008 at 04:31 AM | 56 comment(s)
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Monday, January 14, 2008

In Manny’s Defense

Our old friend SG* over at RLYW kept track of zone rating numbers each day of 2007, providing us with some fascinating information on Manny Ramirez’s defense. If you recall, we left off last time with me claiming that Manny’s defense was so bad that it actually destabilized the Middle East, while others felt that it was a bit closer to average. Here’s what SG found about how Manny played in Fenway vs. on the road:


Stadium G GS Ch INN PO A E DP ZR PM Diff RS RS/162
Road 58 58 ...

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Darren Posted: January 14, 2008 at 02:26 AM | 21 comment(s)
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