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

Monday, May 25, 2009

Minor League Thread: The Red Sox Vaunted Pitching Depth

Did the Red Sox go too far in signing reclamation projects for their rotation this year. Here’s what their current rotation looks like:

Beckett, 5.01 ERA
Lester, 5.91 ERA
Matsuzaka, 10.32 ERA
Wakefield, 3.99 ERA
Penny, 5.96 ERA

Aside from just being brutally awful, is it possible that the Sox should have passed on Penny (or Smoltz) and left a slot open for one of the following guys (ERAs are at AAA):

Buchholz, 1.30 ERA
Bowden, 1.64 ERA

This question popped into my head as Buc was ...

Darren Posted: May 25, 2009 at 11:16 PM | 108 comment(s)
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Delcarmen for Johnson: Where Do I Sign?

It really boggles my mind that the Red Sox—a team that is so obsessed with depth—has reportedly turned down a chance to trade from their tremendous bullpen depth to sure up the infield corners. In case you didn’t know, according the Peter Gammons and WEEI, the Sox turned down a Manny Delcarmen/Nick Johnson swap. I just can’t fathom how they didn’t jump at that opportunity. First off, Delcarmen has generally ceded his setup role to Ramon Ramirez. His gmLI (the leverage of the situations that ...

Darren Posted: May 24, 2009 at 02:32 PM | 21 comment(s)
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Papelbon: All Stuff and No Command

A rare Sox Therapy post just to say, I don’t like what’s going on with Jonathan Papelbon. There have been stories in the press that Papelbon has altered his delivery so that he puts less strain on his arm and can throw more pitches. So far, the result has been that he has far worse control and ends up throwing way more pitches per appearance. This finally caught up to him tonight when he walked Gary Sheffield by missing badly repeatedly, and then missed his location often on the batters that ...

Darren Posted: May 24, 2009 at 02:50 AM | 71 comment(s)
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Monday, April 27, 2009

Ellsburying the Yanks

Well, I guess the Sox are stuck with this guy at leadoff. You haters will just have to deal with it.

Great series for Ellsbury—he created a run by scoring from 2nd on the wild pitch and then, my favorite play in baseball, the straight steal of home. I went back and looked at the video and Pettitte definitely quick-pitched there (he skipped the 2nd half of his delivery and threw the ball while standing straight up), but they still couldn’t stop Ellsbury. Will he steal 100? 135? Probably, yes. ...

Darren Posted: April 27, 2009 at 03:42 AM | 48 comment(s)
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jacoby Ellsbury: Stuck in the Leadoff Role

Batting orders don’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, but they do decide who gets the most plate appearances in a season. The Red Sox are currently giving the most ABs to their 7th best hitter (by both what his history and observation would suggestion). In doing so, they are transferring approximately 125 PAs from Pedroia/Papi/Youk/Drew/Bay/Lowell to him. I could see two sensible courses of action that would have both made sense. First, they could have batted Ellsbury 9th this ...

Darren Posted: April 11, 2009 at 01:45 PM | 112 comment(s)
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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Minor League Thread—Spring 09 Edition

Junichi Tazawa apparently has really impressed the Red Sox before being sent down the other day. According to this very nice Globe article:

Tazawa walked one and struck out 10. He threw his curveball with precision and got batters to swing and miss it. His 1.1-second delivery to the plate from the stretch is the fastest among all Red Sox pitchers. “You’ve got to get a bunch of hits to score off him,” Francona said. “You can’t steal on him, and he doesn’t walk anybody.” The only ...

Darren Posted: March 22, 2009 at 08:39 PM | 41 comment(s)
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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Lester Locked Up for 5/$30 mil.

According to Yahoo, the Red Sox have signed Lester to a 5 year-$30 mil deal. There’s also a $13 mil. option. This buys out his last year of complete club control, his 3 years of arbitration, and 1-2 years of free agency.

This sounds a hair on the high side (if the projections are to believed), but to really evaluate the costs, I would have a small clue what’s going to happen with the economy. The Sox have locked up a young, promising, homegrown pitcher. That’s pretty good news. ...Read More...

Darren Posted: March 08, 2009 at 08:21 PM | 22 comment(s)
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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Projection vs. Observation: Jason Varitek and Luis Castillo

There’s been a lot of discussion among Red Sox fans over how Varitek will perform this year. The Mets fans are having a similar discussion about Luis Castillo. A large contingent of such fans are arguing that these players are toast. Looking at their projections, the argument goes, is a waste of time. Observing them play over the past season has made it clear that these guys will not contribute going forward.

I disagree with this and I would guess that these players are just as likely as ...

Darren Posted: February 28, 2009 at 01:03 AM | 71 comment(s)
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Friday, December 26, 2008

Forget 1B, Let’s Find a Catcher!

Now that the Red Sox have kept Lars Anderson’s path to the Majors clear, it seems that the best use for the cash that they saved would be in filling the starting catcher position. What if they could acquire one of these players in a trade, without giving up the farm:

—A durable 26-year-old who’s projected to hit about 290/380/440, who makes ~$50 mil over the next 3 years.
—A 25-year-old projected to hit 250/330/430, who will make $33 mil over the next 3 years.
—A 25-year-old projected at ...

Darren Posted: December 26, 2008 at 09:01 PM | 117 comment(s)
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Teixeira’s Potential Impact on the Red Sox

I’ve already stated my support for the Red Sox going after Mark Teixeira based mainly on the fact that Boston has a bunch payroll room and he’s one of the top players on the market. But with Mike Lowell, Kevin Youkilis, and David Ortiz already on the team, it’s hard to figure how Teixeira will make sense financially. With that question in mind, I took a quick and dirty look at one possible scenario (the most likely one in my mind)—Teixeira is being brought in to replace Mike Lowell. Here’s what ...

Darren Posted: December 18, 2008 at 04:00 PM | 145 comment(s)
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

General Managers Meetings

We are a couple days into this years general managers meeting and news is starting to break.  K-Rod and C.C. have ended up in Queens and the Bronx respectively, while things 200 miles north things are a little slow. 

John Smoltz is apparently considering Boston, Detroit and the Mets.  I think this would be a terrific move, potentially the best move available to the Sox this off season.  Smoltz on a short deal would be a perfect fit for the team as it now stands.  Especially, with Atlanta’s ...

Mister High Standards Posted: December 10, 2008 at 10:51 PM | 61 comment(s)
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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Locking up the Li’l Guy

It was just a couple years ago when I was disappointed that the Red Sox picked Pedroia, a seemingly very low ceiling player, in the 2nd round of the 04 draft. And I was just looking back at some of the posts about the early drafts, including 04, which focused on polished college guys, and how that might make the team miss out on some superstars. And here we are, a few years later, and I’m really happy that they got him to sign away his next 6 years for $40.5 mil. (It might be fun if anyone can ...

Darren Posted: December 04, 2008 at 02:37 AM | 16 comment(s)
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Let’s Get Kerry Wood

Kerry Wood—66.3 IP, 54 H, 84 K, 18 BB, 3 HR, 3.26 ERA. He’s a big injury risk but when he’s healthy he’s got top-of-the-rotation quality stuff coming out of the bullpen. See if he’ll bite on a short deal to set up for Papelbon. He would be an excellent risk.

Darren Posted: November 15, 2008 at 01:01 AM | 60 comment(s)
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Monday, October 20, 2008

ALCS Game 7: It’s All Over

A great comeback that falls just short. The Red Sox just couldn’t push across some runs when they needed to in this game. It was bound to happen one of these years.

Darren Posted: October 20, 2008 at 03:41 AM | 132 comment(s)
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

ALCS Game 6: Beckett Bounces Back

Josh Beckett met the challenge of throwing a good game without his best stuff. 5 IP, 2 R is more than I expected of him. The pen then held the line while we got a surprising boost from Varitek. A great game and now let’s look forward to another exciting game 7.

One scary thing: Papelbon does not look like his normal dominant self. He faked it pretty well but I’m concerned.

Darren Posted: October 19, 2008 at 04:17 AM | 29 comment(s)
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Friday, October 17, 2008

ALCS Game 5: Well, it’s all ov… OH MY GOD!

I was ready to give up on this one in about the 5th. It was just starting to look too much like a repeat of earlier games from this series. Papi’s HR seemed to open the flood gates and Tampa Bay’s defense chipped in did their part. Two big hits from Drew as well.

I’m tired so I don’t have much else to say. You guys fill in the thread with interesting quips and whatnot. w00t! as the kids say.

Darren Posted: October 17, 2008 at 05:08 AM | 30 comment(s)
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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ALCS Game 4: Tampa Bay Crushes

There’s not too much to say about this game. Wakefield did not have it and the Rays really took advantage. One interesting contrast between these two teams that was illustrated tonight: health. Crawford and Longoria returned from injuries and were just awesome tonight. The Red Sox injured players are either out (Lowell) or don’t look themselves (Ortiz, Drew, and Beckett). Part of this is just lousy timing but another part is probably due to the Red Sox being older and generally more injury ...

Darren Posted: October 15, 2008 at 03:17 AM | 81 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ALCS Game 3: We’ve Got Them Right Where We Want Them!

Here we go again, another ALCS, another deficit. Today’s game was pretty bad but not nearly as tough to deal with as last night’s. It was just a good old fashioned butt kicking. It was disappointing that they didn’t bother to pinch hit for Cora or Varitek late in the game, and it was a real bummer that Cora didn’t move up to 2nd the poor throw Baldelli. But they were already down 5-1, so why bother trying to come back.

One of these years, falling behind in the ALCS is going to burn the Red ...

Darren Posted: October 14, 2008 at 12:22 AM | 56 comment(s)
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Saturday, October 11, 2008

ALCS Game 1: Dice Rolls

After a rocky start, Daisuke Matsuzaka pulled himself together and dominated through the 7th inning. His performance was huge, not only for this game, but because he didn’t burn out the pen, which may well be needed to pick up for Josh Beckett tomorrow. Bringing him out for the 8th after a long layoff and a tight 7th and 107 pitches didn’t seem like such a hot idea. But it worked out. Also, the offense couldn’t seem to quite get on track in this game, but luckily they didn’t have to. ...Read More...

Darren Posted: October 11, 2008 at 04:10 AM | 28 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Sox Headed to ALCS to Face Tampa!

This was a much better series than the previous Angels/Red Sox ALDS’s. A very exciting ending after a hard-fought game.

Darren Posted: October 07, 2008 at 03:32 AM | 90 comment(s)
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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Boston Heads Home Up 2-0

Wow, that was an exciting game. Although the Red Sox should have been happy with a split, it would have been pretty awful to have lost this one after leading 5-1 earlier. I thought that Dice pitched well and got a little bad luck. I really didn’t like Francona’s handling of the pen tonight at all. He left Masterson in when you could tell he had awful control. He probably should have been pulled in the 7th, but apparently Delcarmen is never to be trusted ever again. When Masterson came out for ...

Darren Posted: October 04, 2008 at 05:36 AM | 46 comment(s)
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ALDS Preview: Boston vs. LA

I could go into a great deal of detail on this, but I don’t think it’s all that necessary. These are two very good teams with the Angels winning five more games than the Red Sox and the Red Sox putting up a more impressive run differential. Both have strong rotations, good pens (edge to the Angels), and good lineups (edge Boston). Overall, a fairly even matchup. There are two factors in LA’s favor, though. The first is homefield advantage. The Angels were 50-31 at home and the same on the road ...

Darren Posted: September 30, 2008 at 11:57 PM | 64 comment(s)
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Monday, September 29, 2008

No Beckett for ALDS?

Per this SOSH thread, Steve Buckley said on NESN that Beckett has an oblique injury and might not be available for the ALDS. I’m not sure what the proper response to this news is, but I think “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” might cover it.

Darren Posted: September 29, 2008 at 02:48 AM | 40 comment(s)
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Milestone Watch

Just wanted to make a quick post about fun stats to keep an eye on as the season winds down.

—Pedroia has a couple of interesting things going on. He may still have a shot at the batting title, but it’s a slim one. He’s at .325, but as I write this Mauer is 3-3 tonight and up to .331. He’s currently got 211 hits, 4 ahead of Ichiro. He’s tops in runs at 118—10 ahead of Granderson. His 54 doubles are three more than Roberts. It’s also one of the highest totals for a 2B. Gehringer had 60, Herman ...

Darren Posted: September 26, 2008 at 01:59 AM | 25 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The Red Sox finally clinched a postseason berth with their 92nd win. It’s satisfying even if a bit short of the goal of a division title. This year more than any other has been a testament to the importance of depth. After losing major time from Schilling, Dice, Beckett, Lowell, Ortiz, and Lugo, and losing some time from many other starters, the Sox were able to remain a contender because they had players like Casey, Lowrie, Bowden, Masterson, and others ready to step in and contribute. Another ...

Darren Posted: September 24, 2008 at 01:59 AM | 58 comment(s)
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Postseason Roster

It looks like the Red Sox are going to make it to the postseason, if only as the stinking wild-card team. This brings up the question of how the post-season roster shakes out. In the first round, they’ll probably need four starters, and I think the 4th starter is the most interesting question. It comes down to Wakefield or Byrd. Based on their performance this year as well as how they’ve done over their careers, I have to take Wakefield. The only reason I could see for leaning the other way ...

Darren Posted: September 20, 2008 at 02:25 PM | 32 comment(s)
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Papelbon Problem

Once again, in today’s game against the Blue Jays, it appeared that opposing lineup was sitting on Jonathan Papelbon’s fastball. They laid off his other pitches, which were generally out of the zone and absolutely smoked his fastball. The results—2 runs—could have been worse if not for some nice defense and some good fortune. It’s become entirely too predictable for opposing teams.

In a recent Amalie Benjamin article, pitching coach John Farrell explained that Papelbon was indeed throwing ...

Darren Posted: September 14, 2008 at 11:57 PM | 40 comment(s)
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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Dustin Pedroia: A Year Ago and Today

In the course of the discussion of Dustin Pedroia’s MVP chances, there has been some debate over whether Pedroia is a true talent .330 hitter right now or a guy who’s playing over his head. The consensus seems to be that the latter is the case, which makes sense given that a) there are very few guys who are true-talent .330 hitters, and b) Pedroia’s track record doesn’t make it look like he’s one of them. But there is one interesting tidbit of information that may indicate that Pedroia is one ...

Darren Posted: September 07, 2008 at 02:47 PM | 27 comment(s)
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Sunday, August 31, 2008

What Would It Take to Make Pedroia A Legit MVP Candidate?

About a week ago, I took a look at Dustin Pedroia’s stats, the shape of his season, and the role he plays on the Red Sox. And I started thinking that he might just start getting some MVP votes. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one thinking that way. I’m not arguing that Pedroia deserves it—there are several players who are having more valuable seasons. But I can see a line within Pedroia’s reach that endear him to the writers. I’m thinking he’ll need to…

—Keep his average above .325
—Lead the ...

Darren Posted: August 31, 2008 at 03:46 AM | 83 comment(s)
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bowden Begins

A quick post so that we can discuss the first Major League start of Michael Bowden, which will happen today at 7:05 against the Chicago White Sox. Chicago is 3rd in the league in run scoring and Bowden is still only 21 and just getting the hang of AAA. I wouldn’t get my hopes up too much for great results, but it will be fun to watch him go for the first of his 300 victories. Let’s hope he can keep the Red Sox close and give the team 5-6 IP.

Darren Posted: August 30, 2008 at 03:37 PM | 17 comment(s)
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