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

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Darren Posted: March 10, 2008 at 12:26 AM | 65 comment(s)
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Sunday, February 17, 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 ...

Darren Posted: February 17, 2008 at 11:09 PM | 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 ...

Darren Posted: February 05, 2008 at 01:00 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 ...

Darren Posted: January 30, 2008 at 02:53 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 ...

Darren Posted: January 19, 2008 at 03:31 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 ...

Darren Posted: January 14, 2008 at 01:26 AM | 21 comment(s)
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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Rethinking the Usage of the Japanese Pitchers

Looking forward to the 2008 season, I am wondering how usage patterns for Hideki Okajima and Daisuke Matsuzaka might change from last year. In 2007, both pitchers were used quite heavily early in the season.

In a recent interview, Okajima even said that there were times when he dreaded getting the call to come into the game because he was so tired. That’s not surprising, given that he threw 62.1 IP before September started, after not topping 56 IP over the previous 5 years in Japan. I’d look ...

Darren Posted: January 01, 2008 at 11:37 PM | 29 comment(s)
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Friday, December 28, 2007

A Look Back on JD Drew

Sorry for the lack of entries lately. I’ve been working on some other projects lately, and frankly, there’s just not a whole lot going on with the Red Sox that interests me. No relievers signed, no backup catcher action, no ridding of Tavarez, and no big trade for Johan. To quote Lou Reed, “there’s nothing goin’ on here at all.”

One thing that I find pretty interesting this year is how J.D. Drew turned out to be exactly the opposite of what conventional wisdom said he would be. Remember what ...

Darren Posted: December 28, 2007 at 09:55 PM | 21 comment(s)
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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Minor League Thread: Sickels Likes Sox Prospects, Not Sox Fans

Sickels has put out his top 20 list for the Red Sox. A couple highlights:

1 Clay Buchholz, RHP, Grade A
2 Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Grade A-
3 Jed Lowrie, SS, Grade A- (too high? I think he’s an A- as a shortstop, but a B+ as a second baseman. Will he stick at short?)
5 Michael Bowden, RHP, Grade B
7 Nick Hagadone, LHP, Grade B
8 Ryan Kalish, OF, Grade B
16 Reid Engel, OF, Grade C+
20 Bubba Bell, OF, Grade C

I’m a little surprised to hear John trash two big segments of his fan base:

I will ...

Darren Posted: December 15, 2007 at 10:21 PM | 44 comment(s)
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Who’s More Expendable: Lester or Lowrie+Masterson+?

Not much else to talk about here except the possible Johan trade. Consider these possible packages:


The first is reportedly Boston’s best offer and the second is what they simply will not do. But I suspect that the Red Sox would be better off parting with the second package. The first package means that the Sox will be sending 2 of Wake/Lester/Buc to the pen, which is really overkill. Meanwhile, they will have no middle-infield depth in the upper ...

Darren Posted: December 13, 2007 at 12:27 AM | 64 comment(s)
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Friday, November 30, 2007

Finally, Something to Obsess Over: The Johan Question

This offseason was shaping up as one of the most relaxing in recent history. The Red Sox were coming off of a World Championship, and unlike 2004, there weren’t a bunch of players ready to depart via free agency. The only loose ends, Curt Schilling and Mike Lowell, were quickly re-signed to reasonable deals, and the team was pretty much ready for another run in 2008. Sure, there was the question of what to do with our extra CF and adding another good arm in the pen would probably be wise, but ...

Darren Posted: November 30, 2007 at 04:17 AM | 243 comment(s)
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Rule 5 and the Red Sox: Bring on the Loadstone

Did you notice that the 2007 Red Sox featured no rule 5 guys on the roster? Didn’t managing the roster just seem a lot easier than in the Stern or Lenny Dinardo days? There are some interesting names our there but I hope the Red Sox don’t waste a roster spot on a guy who cannot contribute to this year’s team. I don’t see them losing anyone as none of their eligible guys seem all that interesting.

Darren Posted: November 30, 2007 at 04:14 AM | 3 comment(s)
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Trade Target Cabrera: How Fat Is Fat?

The Red Sox are among the teams that are at least considering acquiring Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins. The biggest question mark about Cabrera is, of course, his weight. Everyone seems to agree that he can hit and that he’s not a very good fielder at 3B (except Bill Lajoie who thinks he’s good there). His weight, everyone says, is the big problem.

But how big is he? I’ve looked around a little bit to see if I can find a picture of Cabrera that would show him to be really heavy. But so far, ...

Darren Posted: November 19, 2007 at 03:44 AM | 87 comment(s)
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Offseason Minor League Thread

Philly has done a very nice review of the Theo-Era Red Sox first three years of drafting over at SOSH:

I put the Sox second partly because they’ve already banked three good seasons and have very good depth. If the Sox drop off from this lofty ranking it will be because their elite talent doesn’t quite match some other teams. Papelbon is great in his role, but it’s not unreasonable to question whether a 60 IP/year pitcher can be a “real” star. Buchholz has the requisite talent to be ...

Darren Posted: November 19, 2007 at 03:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

ARod to the Yanks: Not a Good Day for Sox Fans

I have to say that I am totally stunned that ARod has decided to go crawling back to the Yankees. I really thought that he would have been turned off by being booed and blamed despite playing at an all-time great level. But in the end, that seems to be what he did (although for someone crawling back he somehow managed to get a big boost to his contract). Is it about money—was no one else willing to pay that much? Is it about his family wanting to stay in NY and the Mets not making a legit ...

Darren Posted: November 15, 2007 at 03:14 AM | 121 comment(s)
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Lessons Learned: Why the Red Sox Will not Give Up on Lugo

If you could have changed anything about the Red Sox in 2007, it probably would be to go with a different shortstop than Julio Lugo, right? Sure, JD Drew was a disappointment, but in the end he put up an OPS of ~800, so he wasn’t THAT bad. And yes, Pineiro and Wily Mo flopped (although neither was given much of a chance), but those guys were cheap and playing small parts. Lugo was basically a replacement-level player who is signed for 4-5 years and placed at the top of the lineup. With that in ...

Darren Posted: November 10, 2007 at 03:33 PM | 74 comment(s)
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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

That Other Big Question: Coco to Go?

By a show of hands, who didn’t fall in love with Jacoby Ellsbury during his brief times in the Major Leagues? Okay, yes ladies, calm down, that’s not exactly what I meant. Settle down, now. Please stop throwing your undergarments! And do I see any hands raised? Just one, who is that? Some guy wearing a “Duquette Rules, bring back Darren Lewis T-shirt”? Magnus, quit goofing around!

The emergence of Ellsbury puts the Red Sox in the rather nice position of having an extra starting-quality CF. And ...

Darren Posted: November 07, 2007 at 03:42 PM | 80 comment(s)
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