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

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Can Winning Be a Priority Now? Please?

Watching tonight’s “game” and seeing the lead in the East shrink to 5 reminded of how low ‘winning games’ seems to have sunk on the Red Sox list of priorities. Lester/Gabbard/Tavarez spend time in the rotation while Buchholz toils in AAA. The Red Sox underbid the Yanks by about 30-40 percent on Clemens. Schilling pitches 7 scorelss IP in AAA while Tavarez pitches for the big club, and Schilling is then given a week of rest before returning to the Majors, and looks awfully rusty in his comeback. ...

Darren Posted: August 08, 2007 at 04:31 AM | 250 comment(s)
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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Timlin for a 2nd IP? Really? Seriously?

I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what the purpose of having Mike Timlin pitch 2 IP last night in a tie game was. I can understand if Tito thinks that Timlin has been pitching better and that he is a good choice in a tie game, especially when you’ve got 4 IP to fill. But what I don’t get is why he thought there was any way Timlin would be effective for a 2nd inning. Since his arrival with the Red Sox, one thing has been pretty consistent about Timlin: he can pitch well for 1 IP ...

Darren Posted: August 04, 2007 at 07:05 PM | 20 comment(s)
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Weekly Minor League Thread: Bowden Adjusting to AA

With Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy skyrocketing through the Yankees system, Michael Bowden’s accomplishments seem modest by comparison. But let’s take a moment and see what he’s done this year—it’s pretty impressive. He started the year in Lancaster and was young for the league. In an extreme hitting environment, he put up a 1.37 ERA, 46 Ks, 8 BBs, 35 H, and only 1 HR in 46 IP. This earned him a promotion to Portland, making him the youngest pitcher in AA.

AA seemed to provide Bowden with ...

Darren Posted: August 04, 2007 at 02:56 PM | 72 comment(s)
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Friday, August 03, 2007

Pairs of Sox, Part 3: Wily Mo and Hinske

Our right- and left-handed bats off the bench, Wily Mo Pena and Eric Hinske are the subject of the latest ‘Pair of Sox’ post. In a way, they’re very different players. Hinske has earned his spot in the majors by showing an ability to get on base while hitting for decent power. After his excellent rookie year at the plate, the Jays locked him up longterm, a decision that doesn’t look so hot in retrospect. As a bench player, though, he’s in the upper echelon.

Wily Mo has never been known for ...

Darren Posted: August 03, 2007 at 12:14 AM | 61 comment(s)
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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Trade Deadline Wrap-up

So the trade deadline has come and gone and the Red Sox have made two deals. One sent Pineiro to the Cardinals for a PTBNL. Good luck to him—he hardly got a chance in Boston.

The other trade, obviously, was the big one. The Red Sox getting Eric Gagne was a good move, but I wouldn’t call it a steal. Kason Gabbard is no Barry Zito, but he’s not filler either. He’s a guy who has been a decent to pretty good in the past 2 years after a few years of injury problems. He’ll be a nice addition to ...

Darren Posted: August 01, 2007 at 03:03 AM | 21 comment(s)
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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: Interesting Developments in Pawtucket

A few pretty interesting things are going on at Pawtucket right now. First, Brandon Moss is expected to be used at first base soon, which could mean any number of things. Perhaps they think that his bat is for real and want to prepare to give him at shot at winning that job next year. Or maybe they consider him a bench player who could take over the role that Eric Hinske currently handles. Another possibility is that another team has shown interest in him as a 1B.

The next item is Jed Lowrie’s ...

Darren Posted: July 28, 2007 at 12:47 PM | 28 comment(s)
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Friday, July 27, 2007

Schilling’s Road to Recovery

Curt Schilling pitched a rehab start for AAA Pawtucket tonight and by all accounts was dominating: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 66 pitches. According to NESN reports, he hit 93 on the gun as well. To an outsider to me, that looks like he’s ready to go. Yet NESN reports that he will have another rehab outing on the 7/31 before returning to the rotation.

Why bother? He’s likely going to throw in the 80+ pitch range, so you might as well have him doing it in the majors so that we can avoid another ...

Darren Posted: July 27, 2007 at 03:12 AM | 15 comment(s)
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Red Sox Trade Deadline Thread

The deadline is less than a week away and the rumors are flying: they’re trading for Teixiera, they’re trying to get Oswalt, they’re going to get the great Kietly. One thing is certain, there will be no shortage of possible deals discussed between now and July 31. One transaction that does seem very likely is Wily Mo Pena being dealt. He doesn’t have much of a role as a 4th OF who can’t play the OF. What they will get in return is an open question, but I can’t imagine it will be a whole lot. ...

Darren Posted: July 25, 2007 at 10:32 PM | 171 comment(s)
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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lester up, Pineiro DFA’ed

I don’t have much to say about this except:

—DFA’ing Pineiro a few months after committing $4 mil to him makes the front office look awfully foolish, unless they have a good trade lined up involving Pineiro.

—Buchholz and Lobsterman appear to be better options than Lester.

—Do Snyder and Lopez really have more value than Pineiro? Particularly when the latter can be sent to the minors?

Darren Posted: July 22, 2007 at 10:02 PM | 112 comment(s)
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: Masterson—Groundball Machine

Justin Masterson, like many pitchers, initially struggled in the launching pad that is Lancaster. But he quickly learned to cope in that environment, and in 95 high-A innings, allowed only 4 HR while walking 22 and striking out 56. He also posted a 4.33 ERA and an impressive 2.09 GO/AO ratio, which probably explains his low HR and his high number of hits allowed (103).

The Red Sox decided that after a strong June, Masterson was ready to make the move to Portland. But instead of struggling ...

Darren Posted: July 21, 2007 at 02:58 AM | 56 comment(s)
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Pairs of Sox, Part 2: Coco and Lugo

Continuing with our player pairs, albeit under a much cheesier title, we move now to the speedy portion of the lineup. Both Coco Crisp and Julio Lugo started off this season horribly. Both now appear to be on the road to recovery, however. Crisp struggled badly until he and hitting coach Dave Magadan reworked his swing around June 15. His new upright stance seems to have made a bit of a difference:

Before June 15: 223/280/295
Since June 15: 356/416/624

Lugo also stunk it up, but for much ...

Darren Posted: July 21, 2007 at 02:31 AM | 3 comment(s)
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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, 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):


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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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


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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