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

Thursday, July 19, 2007

20-23 over the last 43

Say what you want to about the Yankees getting breaks or being red hot, it wouldn’t matter if the Sox had not gone on a horrible run for the past quarter of the season. On May 29, this team was 36-15. Since that time, they have gone 20-23, including 6-10 in 1-run games. The bats have gone absolutely dead in the clutch. While Coco and Lugo are digging their ways out of their slumps, Drew is back into his and Youkilis is a shell of what he was earlier this year. Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Tavarez have ...

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Darren Posted: July 19, 2007 at 02:43 AM | 62 comment(s)
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Player Pairs Part 1: Youks and Pedroia

I asked in the game chatter today for topics of discussion and MCOA suggested a few that I thought were pretty good. They all seemed to involve pairs of players, so I decided to do a brief series of threads about pairs of players who are in similar situations. The first one is about Pedroia and Youkilis.

Both of these guys are righthanded hitters with patient approaches and limited power at the plate, both have achieved new levels of production this year, and both are now falling back to ...

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Darren Posted: July 15, 2007 at 09:25 PM | 31 comment(s)
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Weekly Minor League Thread: Jimmy James, Macho Business Donkey Wrestler

Jimmy James put up a 20/1 K/BB ratio in Lowell and was recently promoted to Greenville. The 20-year-old Dominican pitcher said this about his trials and tribulations in the low minors:

Jimmy has fear? A thousand times no. I never doubted myself for a minute for I knew that my monkey strong bowels were girded with strength like the loins of a dragon ribboned with fat and the opulence of buffalo dung. Glorious sunset of my heart was fading. Soon the super karate monkey death car would park in ...

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Darren Posted: July 15, 2007 at 03:17 PM | 8 comment(s)
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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Where are the runs?

Hey, how about that Tigers series! As Glenn Geffner kept pointing out during the 14-inning torture test, “What a fun night of baseball!” Except it wasn’t just 1 fun night, it was 3!

One interesting thing about the series is that it really captured the most (only?) frustrating aspect of this year’s team: they are hitting well but are not scoring the runs that you would expect. I decided to take a look at just how inefficient the team has been at plating its baserunners, and the results were ...

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Darren Posted: July 10, 2007 at 11:48 PM | 35 comment(s)
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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: Boston signs Michael Almanzar

Per Soxprospects.com, the Red Sox have signed 16-year-old Dominican SS-3B Michael Almanzar for $1.5 mil. Almanzar is the son of a former Major League pitcher, Carlos Almanzar. As his bonus indicates, he’s well thought of.

Darren Posted: July 03, 2007 at 08:57 PM | 47 comment(s)
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Halfway Home

Today’s game marked the halfway point in the season and the Red Sox are now on pace to go 100-62. Although that’s a disappointing pace when compared to how they looked at 36-15, in the big picture, it’s a nice place to be, especially with a 10-game lead. Biggest concern at this point has to be health. Coco, Ortiz, Schilling, and Lowell all have some health issues that could have serious impacts on the team’s second-half run. If those guys are sound, I like Boston’s chances to go a long way. ...Read More...

Darren Posted: July 03, 2007 at 02:34 AM | 42 comment(s)
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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ellsbury Called Up

Red Sox have called up Jacoby Ellsbury and moved Joel Pineiro to the DL.


According to the article, he’ll bat ninth and play center tonight. That’s exciting, but it doesn’t look good for Coco’s injured hand.

Darren Posted: June 30, 2007 at 08:24 PM | 46 comment(s)
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Weekly Minor League Thread: Promotions?

Following some of the Red Sox prospects has been fun this year, as several of them have put up very nice numbers. But as these guys continue to do well at their current levels, it seems odd to me that at least some of them have not been promoted. Here are a few guys who I’m wondering about (feel free to add your own):

AAA

Craig Breslow: 40.2 IP, 30 H, 48 K, 10 BB, 3 HR, 1.55 ERA. Breslow has been pitching very well at AAA for a couple years and hasn’t embarrassed himself in the majors. What ...

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Darren Posted: June 30, 2007 at 01:03 PM | 34 comment(s)
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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Is it time for Lugo to go?

Dave Cyprian requested that we have a new Sox Therapy thread on Julio Lugo and just what the heck to do about him. It’s a good topic, and one that I’ve been avoiding simply because I didn’t want to think about it. A few weeks ago I was a lot more worried about Coco Crisp than Lugo. Coco looked completely lost at the plate while Lugo simply looked lousy—I was pretty sure he was going to break out of it soon. Now Coco’s got a new stance and here’s what Lugo’s done in the last 28 days to reward my ...

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Darren Posted: June 28, 2007 at 10:33 PM | 75 comment(s)
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Red Sox the Leading Contender on Buehrle?

According to this Chicago Sun-Times article, the Red Sox are the favorite to land Mark Buehrle:

While Williams wouldn’t acknowledge that Saturday, he didn’t have to. Allard Baird, the Red Sox’ assistant to the general manager, was in town Friday to watch the White Sox’ loss to the Cubs—in which Buehrle started—and reportedly was to be sent out on assignment only when things were about to get serious.

They’re getting serious.

Although this team’s strength thus far has been starting ...

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Darren Posted: June 24, 2007 at 02:34 PM | 145 comment(s)
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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: Short Season Ball Begins

Lowell and the GCL Sox kicked off their seasons yesterday, and tonight the Sox got their first look at 2006 first-rounder, Caleb Clay. Clay pitched for Lowell and went 5 IP, allowing 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, and striking out 1. He was relieved by recent UNCC Adam Mills, who led division I in ERA this year. In tonight’s game, the crafty 8th rounder—or I like to call him, the next Tim Hudson—went two innings, striking out 1 and allowing no hits, walks, or runs.

Darren Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:54 AM | 26 comment(s)
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Bring Up Buc!

Curt Schilling is headed to the DL and there are reasonable arguments to made for bringing up any of Devern Hansack, Jon Lester, or Clay Buchholz. Hansack has been doing a very nice job in AAA, and consistently pitching well since I made fun of people for going gaga over him. Lester is preventing runs in AAA, but he’s not striking anyone out since returning. Buchholz, IMHO, is in a class by himself. After another nice outing tonight, his current line in AA is:

74 IP, 49 H, 4 HR, 18 BB, 100 K, ...

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Darren Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:41 AM | 44 comment(s)
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Coco Crisp: Alive?

I know, I know. It sounds weird to say it but, Coco Crisp may actually have a pulse. Earlier in the year, I cautioned against writing him off before mid-May. But mid-May came and went and Coco seemed to be sinking deeper and deeper into lousiness at the plate. Until a few days ago, it seemed like he was almost certainly going to end up as an albatross contract to be disposed of after the season, if not sooner.

A few days ago, though, things changed. As chronicled in this SOSH thread, Coco and ...

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Darren Posted: June 19, 2007 at 03:31 AM | 35 comment(s)
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Monday, June 18, 2007

The Mirabelli Equation

Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Sounds like something that Matt Damon would solve in Good Will Hunting 2: Back to the Blackboard. It’s actually just a way of saying that now that we’ve had some time to observe the results, let’s see what good bringing back Doug Mirabelli has done for this team. If you recall, the big impetus for getting Mirabelli back was Josh Bard’s inability to catch the knuckler. Here’s what Bard did stacked up side by side with what Mirabelli has done since his return ...

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Darren Posted: June 18, 2007 at 01:01 AM | 14 comment(s)
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: Josh Reddick

Josh Reddick was taken in the 17th round of the 2006 draft. The rightfielder got his first taste of minor league ball this year in Greenville. In his first 20 games, Reddick has put up some very interesting numbers. In 79 ABs, he’s hitting .329/.357/.481. That includes only 4 BBs but also only 4 Ks. After having 1 BB and 2 Ks in his first 10 games, Reddick has since put up 3 BBs and 2 Ks in his last 10. At just 20 years old, he may yet grow into an interesting prospect.

Darren Posted: June 13, 2007 at 02:32 AM | 75 comment(s)
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Does Anyone want to talk about the lineup?

Lineups, in the grand scheme of things, generally don’t make a big difference. However, the current setup of the Boston lineup is so dysfunctional that it may warrant some discussion. Terry Francona has stuck with Julio Lugo since the beginning of the season, which makes sense. The team acquired him to be their lead-off hitter, the front office seems to view him this way, and Lugo (as shown by village idiom in another thread) tends to start out poorly in the first 2 months and heat up later. I ...

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Darren Posted: June 11, 2007 at 03:17 AM | 73 comment(s)
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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Romero DFA’ed and Timlin activated; the bullpen evolves

I’ve seen this coming for a while now. There were just too many guys with guaranteed deals and the Sox seem to like Lopez is doing too much to have him spend another day in the minors because a roster crunch. The nice thing about this is that Romero is a lefty with a 3.15 ERA so they will be able to get something (not much but something) in a trade for him. They probably would have gotten a bit more if they weren’t under the 10-day DFA gun, but it just didn’t work out that way. I’m looking at ...

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Darren Posted: June 09, 2007 at 01:12 PM | 31 comment(s)
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Thrilling

This recent losing jag is the first real adversity that this team has faced, and Schilling really stepped up today and helped them get through it. What a great performance, particularly keeping his focus after he gave up the hit and finishing off the victory. As much as the rest of the team did its best to get swept, Schilling was having none of it. No margin for error, no problem. Great, great win.

Darren Posted: June 07, 2007 at 09:56 PM | 13 comment(s)
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Feeling the Draft

The Draft is coming up on June 7 at 2 PM. The Red Sox will not have their #20 pick, which was the highest that they would have had since 2003 (#17, David Murphy), as compensation for Julio Lugo. Their first two picks will be #55 and #62, as compensation for losing Alex Gonzalez and Keith Foulke. Here’s some interesting reading, as always, from Philly:

SOSH Draft Forum

Hopefully, Hairps, Philly, and Temple will stop by with their thoughts.

Darren Posted: June 06, 2007 at 01:50 AM | 72 comment(s)
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Monday, June 04, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: This and that

Here are few interesting developments:

—Bowden had an encouraging start today: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 6 K. In the same game, Natale went 4-4.

—Granadillo continues to rake high-A, hitting 362 with power and patience.

—Chih-Hsien Chiang is hitting 306/315/481 at Greenville. The Taiwanese 2B is only 19. Hard to know what to make of him yet, but he seems to be able to make good contact.

—Free gift Daniel Haigwood now has 38 K and 13 BB with 3 HR in 25.2 IP at AA. That K rate is ...

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Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 04:41 AM | 56 comment(s)
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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sorting through the OF

MCOA has suggested that we have a thread discussing the possibilities for the OF, with so many spots in flux or at least in question in some way. I like the idea.

LF is a pretty clearcut one. Manny is healthy and he’s coming out of his funk. He’s the full-time starter there.

In center, Coco Crisp has been doing a very nice impression of Darren Lewis. He’s playing excellent (and fun to watch) defense while dragging a wet noodle to the plate. If he keeps up both, he’s probably somewhere ...

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Darren Posted: June 03, 2007 at 09:45 PM | 41 comment(s)
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The 25th Man: Who Should it Be?

Yes, things have been going so well that all I have to worry about is who the 25th many on this roster should be. It’s generally been my sense that the Red Sox have a strong bench, but lately I’ve been noticing that at the end of the game, there are two roles that are not filled: OF defensive replacement and pinchrunner.  Seeing Manny Ramirez or Wily Mo Pena running around in LF with the game on the line doesn’t make me very comfortable, and neither does the prospect of Mike Lowell trying to ...

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Darren Posted: May 30, 2007 at 09:59 PM | 34 comment(s)
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Sunday, May 27, 2007

The 2B Debate

With things going so well lately, it’s hard to find any point of controversy on this team. One spot that’s going to get sticky, though, is 2B. Alex Cora still has very nice numbers overall in 2007, (.319 .367 .514 ), which are far better than Dustin Pedroia’s (.279 .365 .396). Pedroia, however, has been the much better hitter in May, putting up a .375 .426 .518 to Cora’s .298 .346 .362. And Pedroia has a pedigree that suggests that he will continue to be a better player. Both have been ...

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Darren Posted: May 27, 2007 at 10:42 PM | 159 comment(s)
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Friday, May 25, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: Bubba Bell, the New Jeff Natale?

Like Sox-Therapy favorite Jeff Natale, Bubba Bell attended a Div III school (Nichols States), was drafted in the late rounds (39th in 2005), and has been old for his levels. This year, at age 24, he is hitting extremely well at A+ Lancaster, in much the same way that Natale ripped apart A ball in 06 at age 23. Bell is hitting 370/467/661 with a 34/22 BB/K ratio. And lest you think he’s purely a product of a great hitting environment, his road line is 341/451/635.

I was very surprised when the ...

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Darren Posted: May 25, 2007 at 01:51 AM | 29 comment(s)
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One… and done?

Coming into the Yankees series, it certainly seemed that all the Red Sox needed to do was win one game. They were on the road against a good team and they were missing a top starter. A single win would keep them at least 9.5 ahead, preventing a slide to 7.5 ahead. And looking at the series, it appeared that they’re best shot for that win would come in the first game. Tim Wakefield had a career 3.66 ERA in Yankee Stadium, the Sox usually hit Chien-Ming Wang reasonably well (IIRC), and the other ...

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Darren Posted: May 23, 2007 at 03:02 AM | 39 comment(s)
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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: Delcarmen Revisited

Readers of this space may recall that at the beginning of the season, I was rather dubious about the Red Sox decision to send Manny Delcarmen down to AAA while keeping the likes of Snyder, Timlin, and Romero remained with the big club. Delcarmen was as good a bet as any of those guys to do well, I posited. And what’s more, he was young, cheap, and had little left to prove in the minors. Well actual reality has once again gotten in the way of my version of things coming to fruition. The bullpen ...

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Darren Posted: May 19, 2007 at 02:22 AM | 45 comment(s)
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Friday, May 18, 2007

The .700 Club

The Red Sox are now 28-12. They have a 9.5 game lead in their division. They just took three out of four from the team that had the 2nd best record in the AL. The 2nd game of tonight’s double header featured a lousy lineup, a terrible defensive OF, and a starting pitcher who seemed to have nothing. Still, Eric Hinske makes a diving catch and smashes a HR and they win 4-2. Things are going very well for this team right now, to say the least.

Darren Posted: May 18, 2007 at 02:17 AM | 127 comment(s)
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Tale of Two Pitchers

Pitcher 1: 50.3 IP, 51 H, 2 HR, 20 BB, 29 K.
Pitcher 2: 54 IP, 46 H, 4 HR, 18 BB, 52 K.

One of these guys pitches in front of a pretty suspect defense and has an ERA of 2.68. The other pitches in front of a generally good defense and has an ERA of 4.17. How the heck can one explain the widely divergent fortunes of Andy Pettitte (pitcher 1) and Dice-K (pitcher-2)?

Dice-K, we’ve discussed here and there are plenty of theories to go around about him—my newest one is that he must give up a HR ...

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Darren Posted: May 15, 2007 at 02:56 AM | 7 comment(s)
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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: The Fabulous B Boys

Michael Bowden and Clay Buchholz came into 2007 as the Red Sox most highly touted pitching prospects. The general consensus, among both scouts and stat types, was that Buchholz was a notch above Bowden, with more of a #1-2 potential than the #2-4 label that was put on Bowden. Looking at what they’ve done so far this year, it’s hard to say who has been more impressive:

Bowden, A+, 7 GS, 39 IP, 34 H, 1 HR, 7 BB, 41 K, 1.62 ERA
Buchholz, AA, 6 GS, 34 IP, 22 H, 3 HR, 4 BB, 46 K, 1.85 ERA

Those ...

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Darren Posted: May 12, 2007 at 03:15 AM | 80 comment(s)
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Friday, May 11, 2007

Underperforming—A Good Sign?

Just a quickie about the Red Sox offense. Looking through the ever-evolving and always wonderful Baseball Reference today, I noticed that the Bostonians’ recent offensive outburst had pushed their team OBP to .362 (2nd in the AL) and their SLG to .442 (1st) . These combined for an OPS of .804, tops in the league, and an OPS+ of 117 (2nd). Still, the Red Sox were only 4th in runs scored at 5.25/g.

So even though this team has been hitting the ball with the best of them, they have not been ...

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Darren Posted: May 11, 2007 at 02:08 AM | 35 comment(s)
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