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

Thursday, June 21, 2007

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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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Darren Posted: May 11, 2007 at 02:08 AM | 35 comment(s)
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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Pedroia Power!

There’s been a lot of talk about what Pedroia’s brutal start has meant. Is he really not cut out for the Majors? Is his K/BB ratio an indication that he’ll turn it around?

The jury is far from in on how he’ll do for the long run, but Pedroia’s recent hot streak has brought him up to a very respectable .254 .361 .380. Those numbers do not invite comparisons to Rod Carew, but they’re good enough to make me feel even better about his future. In fact, if he can keep improving, I would love to see ...

Darren Posted: May 09, 2007 at 02:54 AM | 30 comment(s)
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Monday, May 07, 2007

Make No Mistake, It’s Definitely Sour Grapes

You may have heard that a certain pitcher signed with a certain team. I’ve got to admit, this one hurts a lot. As many of you know, I have been a big Clemens fan for a long time, and that during his time with the Yankees, I would root for him to pitch well, but for the team not to win. It was incredibly tough, but it was my favorite player and one of the all time greats, who was doing amazing things year after year. When he moved on to Houston, it made rooting for him a whole lot easier.

In ...

Darren Posted: May 07, 2007 at 01:21 AM | 93 comment(s)
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Friday, May 04, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: Brandon Moss

Just what do the Red Sox have in Brandon Moss? After a tremendous year in 04, where he ripped apart A ball, Moss spent the past 2 seasons putting up mediocre numbers at AA. This year, at the tender age of 23, Moss his crushing AAA to the tune of .310/.410/.605, with 6 HR and 7 2B.  The bad news is that although he’s got a very nice BB to K ratio of 13/22, those 22 Ks have come in just 86 ABs. That’s just high enough to seem fairly unsustainable. The other bit of bad news is that Moss is a ...

Darren Posted: May 04, 2007 at 01:10 AM | 36 comment(s)
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Monday, April 30, 2007

April is the Coolest Month

Well, the first month of the season is in the books and with all due respect to the 84 Tigers, it’s hard to imagine how things could have gone much better. The team has scored 125 runs and allowed 84, meaning that their actual winning percentage (.667) is very close to what’s been expected (.689). The team has not scored quite as much as I thought they would so far and the defense has been a tad shaky. But the pitching in both the rotation and the pen has been great.

Things to feel good ...

Darren Posted: April 30, 2007 at 03:40 AM | 56 comment(s)
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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Torre in All of His Glory

Phew! For just a minute there I was starting to think Joe Torre had lost his magic touch. But once again, he has, through no fault of his own, to stumble onto a way to win. No sooner does he decide that Igawa, after only a few starts, is not suitable material for the starting rotation, and that he should be replaced by 14+ ERA Karstens, than Karstens gets knocked from the game. So Torre has to go to Igawa, who not only pitches fine, but pitched out of a 2 on, no out jam, and then shuts out the ...

Darren Posted: April 29, 2007 at 01:28 AM | 29 comment(s)
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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Checking out Dice-K with Peripheral Vision

Diasuke Matsuzaka has only pitched 5 games in the Major Leagues, so we really don’t know all that much about him. But in what we’ve seen so far, a very strange pattern has developed. Matsuzaka has dominated when it comes to peripherals, placing third in the league in FIP at 2.82. And lest you think he’s getting lucky on flyballs, he’s 7th in xFIP at 3.41. He’s done this by putting up an excellent HR rate (10th with .56 HR/G), a good BB rate (2.8 BB/G), and an excellent strikeout rate of 10.6 ...

Darren Posted: April 28, 2007 at 11:58 AM | 74 comment(s)
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Friday, April 27, 2007

Boston Globe Soxcast

Longtime Primate Jason Tuohey is a producer at The Boston Globe’s website. They recently launched a podcast with the Globe’s sports department called “Soxcast”. He says, it’s “a weekly, short Q&A with the Globe’s baseball writers on the latest Red Sox developments.” He asks for some feedback on the feature.


Jim Furtado Posted: April 27, 2007 at 11:23 AM | 7 comment(s)
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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Papelbon Usage Manual

Chris Wok has asked me to post a ‘Papelbon Usage Manual’ thread. In it, I think he had envisioned the opportunity to define exactly when Papelbon should be used, and then chronicle whether that actually matches what Francona is doing. I’ll let him stop by and take it from here.

As for me, I’m pretty darn happy with the usage of Papelbon so far.

Darren Posted: April 26, 2007 at 01:31 AM | 95 comment(s)
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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Weekly Minor League Thread: Haigwood Special

The Red Sox recent trade for Daniel Haigwood generally flew under the radar, but the more I look at it, the more it seems like a steal. As recently as prior to the 2006 season, Sickels ranked Haigwood a B prospect. In his midseason, prospect review, he said that Haigwood was “[p]itching just as well as [Gio] Gonzalez,” and made no negative comments. Yet, come this spring, Haigwood was listed only in the “Others of Note” section for the Rangers, meaning his grade is now likely in the C range. He ...

Darren Posted: April 25, 2007 at 01:26 AM | 47 comment(s)
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Monday, April 23, 2007

Red Sox Sweep Yanks

There were just was a million great stories in this game and this series:

—The Yankees touched all three of Boston’s vaunted starters for at least 5 R each. Schilling earned his bad results but Dice K and Beckett both seemed to have decent to good peripherals and generally pitched pretty well against a tough lineup.

—Torre managed this series like it was the World Series. He uses Rivera in the 8th after swearing up and down he wouldn’t. In game 3, he again goes to Pettitte in relief (for ...

Darren Posted: April 23, 2007 at 04:07 AM | 112 comment(s)
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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Enjoy it

It just doesn’t get a lot better than tonight. The whole night seemed destined for craptitude. Schilling looked bad. Pettitte looked decent, and seemed to get a DP or other out whenever he needed. The bats looked lost. ARod looked unstoppable.

But then in came Vizcaino who seemed to have nothing (is this how he normally looks?). Then Rivera, who Torre has sworn up and down he wouldn’t use in the 8th, comes in in the 8th. Then Coco and Cora. Okajima to finish it out was pretty tense, ...

Darren Posted: April 21, 2007 at 03:03 AM | 51 comment(s)
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