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

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

another New Englander on board

The Sox really seem to like the New Englanders. They entertained the idea of hiring Bowden and Beattie, and now they’ve brought in New Hampshire native Allard Baird to be a special assignment scout.

The Kansas City Star explains that Baird grew up a Red Sox fan in Rochester, NH:

Baird will perform various scouting tasks for Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein, including the evaluation of possible trade targets and free-agent acquisitions.

“Basically,” Baird said, “I’ll be doing ...

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Toby Posted: July 11, 2006 at 06:31 PM | 13 comment(s)
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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: David Murphy, prospect or suspect?

Murphy’s stats are a little deceiving because it’s tempting to just look at his AAA line. But here’s what his numbers look like when you add them up:

.293 .356 .485, 328 AB, 32 BB, 59 K, 34 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR.

That’s a 24-year-old, in AA/AAA. The doubles are great, and may portend future power (though time’s running out). The K/BB is just okay at best, I think. To me, these numbers, combined with a strong finish to last year, push Murphy into the C+/B- range. Ie, he’s a prospect of some sort, ...

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Darren Posted: July 09, 2006 at 03:45 PM | 44 comment(s)
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Midseason in Review: Expectations vs. Reality

With the traditional halfway point of the All-Star Break approaching, I thought it would be a good time too look back at what’s happened so far vs. what we expected or worried about in the preseason.

Starting Pitching: There were three very big question marks in the rotation as the season began: Schilling’s health, Beckett’s adjustment to the AL, and which Clement we would see. Schilling has passed every test so far, and even though his stuff doesn’t look as dominant as it did a few years ...

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Darren Posted: July 09, 2006 at 02:46 PM | 77 comment(s)
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Monday, July 03, 2006

The shaping of the bullpen

As usual, the Red Sox bullpen is in a state of flux this year. Pap is the closer, Timlin’s the primary setup man, Lopez is the Loogy, and after that, it’s just a big crap shoot. As MCoA points out, Francona seems to be holding auditions for remaining spots, with few pitchers seeming up to the task. Delcarmen seems to have had the most success recently and may actually emerge as the #3 man (7th inning guy?). He’s got 17 K, 7 BB, and 1 HR in 19.1 IP. Keeping the walks in check is a new ...

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Darren Posted: July 03, 2006 at 03:09 PM | 37 comment(s)
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Weekly Minor League Thread: Red Sox International Signings

The big news is the signing of Engel Beltre for $600K. Scouts say he’s a strong hitter and CF, while linguists project him as a cross between Adrian Beltre and Englebert from the Bad News Bears.

Thanks to Temple for pointing this out, and hopefully he’ll enlighten us further in this thread.

Darren Posted: July 03, 2006 at 03:03 PM | 19 comment(s)
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Thursday, June 29, 2006

This one goes to 11!

First off, I think an apology is in order for the comments I made the other day. Jamie Moyer, if you’re reading this, I am sorry that I compared your fastball to Pedro’s. The Sox really teed off on Martinez, which of course, was no surprise to me. I suspect we would see a lot more of this type of performance if Pedro were still in the AL, but that’s just conjecture.

For now, let’s just enjoy what’s been an incredible run the Red Sox are on. And let’s hope that somewhere Gammo is too. ...Read More...

Darren Posted: June 29, 2006 at 02:24 AM | 84 comment(s)
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: Yay Yahmed Yema

Yema was a 2005 7th round pick out of FIU, where he put up some pretty nice numbers. In his debut in Lowell, he batted .301 and put up a very nice 17/21 BB/K ratio, and accumulated 17 2B in 219 ABs. He started slowly this year in Greenville but has turned it on and pulled his numbers up to .292/.342/.487, but a lousy 14/40 BB/K rate. He’s lost some 2Bs (14) but has boosted his HR and 3B (6 each). Looking at splits over at Brew Crew Ball, he had 0 BB and 16 Ks in his first month this season, and ...

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Darren Posted: June 28, 2006 at 02:33 AM | 35 comment(s)
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Monday, June 26, 2006

Bangin’ on all cylinders

The Red Sox have won 8 in a row, outscoring their opponents 60-25 in that span. Their starters have been pitching well, the pen has been decent, Papelbon remains virtually perfect (Pap!), and the offense is humming right along (Papi!). The Sox are leading the AL East by 2 games and are on pace for about 99 wins, a bit better than I was expecting. Let’s hope it stays that way, because it looks like this is the year that the Wild Card will come from the central.

One other note: Not sure when ...

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Darren Posted: June 26, 2006 at 02:11 AM | 76 comment(s)
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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Graduation Day

Delcarmen, Hansen, Lester, and Lopez (which one of these things is not like the others?) were called into Francona’s office yesterday and were told by Tito that the team plans to keep them in Boston. No more Pawtucket shuttle.

Lester will stick in the rotation, while the other three will join Timlin as the bridge to Papelbon. Seanez and Tavarez are going to get the garbage time, apparently.

“I talked to all of them today because I think we’re getting to the point where we’d like to keep ...

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Toby Posted: June 21, 2006 at 01:45 PM | 12 comment(s)
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Welcome Back Kapler… See you later JT.

Some roster moves - Snow has been taken off the roster and it looks like he will be traded.  Kapler is back.  Van Buren is down, Hansen is up.  Mohr and Holtz DFA’d.

Lots of activity their.  I’m glad to see Kapler back.  He isn’t much of a hitter, and who knows how is glove work will respond after surgery - but as one of the 25 it’s nice to have him.  Plus by all accounts the guy is something special in the clubhouse, and while Mohr may or may not be a better player Tito just wasn’t going to ...

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Mister High Standards Posted: June 20, 2006 at 12:44 PM | 19 comment(s)
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Monday, June 19, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: The GCL and NYPL start their season

The short season teams will be starting their seasons on Tuesday. I know nothing about the people on these teams, so maybe some of our minor league gurus will chime in. (Temple, I’m looking at you.)

Darren Posted: June 19, 2006 at 10:57 PM | 12 comment(s)
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The Kyle Snyder era has begun

I don’t really have anything to say about Snyder, but I do like the juxtaposition of having him start against Tony “traded-for-Pedro” Armas in the rotation spot of Matt “signed with Pedro’s dollars” Clement.

The more time passes, the more I question the moves the front office has made since the 2004 championship. (But it could be worse, we could have Jim Bowden.)

Despite what the Nats did to New York, they aren’t any good, and the Sox should roll over them, Snyder notwithstanding.

I don’t ...

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Toby Posted: June 19, 2006 at 07:38 PM | 79 comment(s)
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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Beckett: Waiting for Good Throws

I’ve heard a bunch of theories about why Beckett is doing so poorly this year. Here are a few, feel free to add your own:

—He is tipping his pitches. I have to say, when he was getting absolutely pounded by Toronto, it certainly looked to me like the Jays knew what was coming. At the time, I had thought they might be stealing signs, as they often seem to look like they know what’s coming against the Sox. Tipping pitches seems to be a a catchall explanation for any string of bad outings by a ...

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Darren Posted: June 10, 2006 at 04:12 AM | 57 comment(s)
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The Wild and the Young: Lester and Hansen up to the Bigs!

Hansen was called up yesterday and Lester is expected to pitch in the Doubleheader tomorrow. I know that the Sox are struggling a bit, but these guys both have pretty lousy numbers so far this year. In AAA, Lester has 25 BB and 43 K in 46 IP. His 5 HR and 43 H aren’t too hot either. I suspect he will contribute a Pauley-esque 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K performance tomorrow.

Hansen, I feel a bit better about. His numbers at AAA have been scary—23 IP 17 BB, 18 K!—but he’s been pitching 3-4 ...

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Darren Posted: June 10, 2006 at 04:05 AM | 8 comment(s)
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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Unanswered questions of the world

-Who killed JFK?
-What’s the deal with Stonehenge?
-Whither Jimmy Hoffa?
-Why do people care about Paris Hilton?

-Why is Kevin Youkilis batting eighth?

This last one is particularly upsetting to me because if it goes on for any length of time, it’ll ruin my summa! The man has a .434 OBP. I only coach girls softball but even I can figure out that the best hitters should get more at-bats. Strengthen the bottom of the order? Hellooooo…how about the top of the order?

The Original Gary Posted: June 07, 2006 at 05:34 PM | 46 comment(s)
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where is the intensity?

Ugh. We are more than two months into the season and I don’t get a sense from this team—indeed, from this organization—that they are playing with any sort of intensity. Criminy, the reporters who cover the team don’t seem to have any sense of urgency either.

The Sox lost a tough game last night to the Yankees and the big stories in the Herald are Pauley pitched really well and Seanez didn’t give in to Giambi (apparently walking in the go-ahead run is not giving in). The Globe has similar fare ...

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Toby Posted: June 07, 2006 at 02:47 PM | 24 comment(s)
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Friday, June 02, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: Natale moves up!

Natale was promoted to hi-A Wilmington today after crushing Greenville for 300ish PAs. He promptly homered in his first AB. Hopefully, this move means his glove has improved a bit.

I have for a while been planning to introduce a nickname for Natale, and now seems like a good time. He shall be known as GadzYouki. Just as Gadzuki was a smaller, less-menacing, comic relief for Godzilla, GadzYouki is to Youkilis. Youks went to Cinci, not a baseball powerhouse, while GadzYouki went to a DIVISION ...

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Darren Posted: June 02, 2006 at 02:57 AM | 108 comment(s)
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Monday, May 29, 2006

Revving up for the draft with Philly

The draft is just around the corner on June 6, and the Red Sox hold the 27th, 28th, 40th and 44th picks. What can they expect to get in those slots? Over at SOSH, Philly has been posting draft summaries for the years of 1987-1994, in preparation for the latest revision of his draft study. Here are the links:

1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994

For my money, Philly’s work on this subject is the most fascinating around. This year, he’s even improved it by also considering the performance ...

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Darren Posted: May 29, 2006 at 04:05 AM | 86 comment(s)
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Saturday, May 27, 2006

The (not so) Great Batting Order Debate

According to the Globe, Coco will return to the lineup on Monday. And according to previous Globe articles, he will be leading off with Loretta batting 2nd and Youkilis dropping in the order.

Now, it’s pretty widely accepted in sabermetric circles that batting order means very little, but it still seems to generate a lot of debate. Maybe it’s because some decisions seem so blatantly obvious?

This seems like one of those decisions to me. I am fine with putting Coco back in the leadoff spot ...

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Darren Posted: May 27, 2006 at 04:10 PM | 60 comment(s)
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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: Ellsbury’s triumphant return

With the big club making me want to throw up, I figure it’s a good time to focus on any good news I can find about the minors. Here’s a little from each level.

Pawtucket:
—Pedroia had a couple of nice games before going 0-3 today. This must mean that his spring training is over (unless he continues to suck, in which case it’s not.)
—We have a number of interesting relievers on this team: Breslow, Van Buren, and Delcarmen, and Holtz have all put up some nice numbers. Ginter got whacked tonight ...

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Darren Posted: May 25, 2006 at 02:51 AM | 28 comment(s)
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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

42 Down - 120 Left: Season to date

The Sox are plugging along on pace for a 100 wins, two and a half up on the Yankees with 2 more games to play heads up this week.  The runs scored/runs allowed isn’t indicative of a 100 win team, but we will leave the Pythagorean World Series to the A’s fans. 

From the batters box we have had a couple of unexpected surprises at the corners - Youkilis and Lowell have been among the best players at their position in the AL.  Papi and Manny have been the beasts that they always are. Nixon and ...

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Mister High Standards Posted: May 23, 2006 at 03:50 PM | 62 comment(s)
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Friday, May 19, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: Lester heats up

Lester has put up 3-4 good starts in a row, enough to make his line for the year quite respectable: 32.1 IP, 30 H, 4 HR, 13 BB, 34 K. That’s a really nice K rate, a decent BB rate and hit rate, and a borderline HR rate, depending on who’s park factors you believe. Whatever the case, it’s good enough that it doesn’t make you doubt him as a good prospect.

Couple of other points of interest:

—Injuries: Anybody know what happened to Ellsbury and Lowrie? Soto is out til late June, according to ...

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Darren Posted: May 19, 2006 at 12:00 AM | 14 comment(s)
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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lineup Shakeup; J.T. Wants Out

The Sox go into interleague play at Philadelphia tomorrow and that means no DH. According to this article in the Herald (via the MetroWest Daily News), the Sox will rotate Ortiz, Youks, and Lowell among 1b and 3b over the three games, with each sitting for one game.

Not in that rotation? J.T. Snow, who has requested a trade, says the Hartford Courant.

In other news (all from the Herald article), Ortiz is recovering from a bout with the flu, and Dustan Mohr is a new dad (which explains why ...

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Toby Posted: May 18, 2006 at 06:55 PM | 28 comment(s)
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Monday, May 15, 2006

Thank You, Dewey #24

A good friend of mine has some sort of connection to Dwight Evans through Evans’ sister Denise. And so a couple days ago out of the blue I got a signed 8 x 10 glossy of Evans and a baseball, both signed by Evans: “To Toby, Best Wishes, Dwight Evans #24”.

My friend relates: “According to Denise, he doesn’t sign much stuff anymore.  Apparently he was surprised anyone remembered him and would want it.”

I’m 39 years old and this is the first autographed anything I’ve ever had. I don’t think it’s ...

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Toby Posted: May 15, 2006 at 01:17 PM | 35 comment(s)
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Saturday, May 13, 2006

A New Man(ny)?

What is the deal with Manny this year? His line,  .305 .447 .500 is very nice, but it is extremely unlike his hitting in the past. He hasn’t seen anything close to that .195 ISO since 1997, and it is a reflection of his huge drop in both 2bs and HRs. Meanwhile, both is K and BB rates are off the charts—he’s on pace for 140+ of each. The walks may be partially a function of his spot in the lineup, but that wouldn’t explain the strikeouts.

Watching Manny, I haven’t seen much change in Manny’s ...

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Darren Posted: May 13, 2006 at 02:51 PM | 30 comment(s)
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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: Blah

There isn’t much good news here. In fact, it’s going pretty horribly. Pedroia’s still not hitting, Lowrie and Ellsbury are both hurt, Lester still hasn’t done much. On a brighter note, Buchholz has come off the DL and is pitching well and Bowdein is also looking good.

Darren Posted: May 11, 2006 at 09:54 AM | 62 comment(s)
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Monday, May 08, 2006

Leveraging Assets

Apparently Fangraphs is now publising contstantly updated Leverage Index for hitters, pitchers, and teams. It’s great stuff and is certainly relevant to our discussion of the Red Sox bullpen. Here’s the Red Sox Team Page. The three biggies to look at here are in the pen:

Papelbon: 1.59
Timlin: 1.84
Foulke: .96

(1.00 is neutral).

That looks to me like decent deployment of the pen, when you consider that Timlin was the most trusted arm from last year and Foulke started the year with a bunch ...

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Darren Posted: May 08, 2006 at 11:04 PM | 33 comment(s)
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Waiting for the Yankees on a Rainy Day

Well, it’s rainy here in D.C. at least.

As we await tomorrow’s series in New York, is there any dissent to the plan to skip Clement and move up Wake? I have no problem with it, myself. More and more it seems that Clement is not going to be anything more than he has been, and what he has been is a slight disappointment.

Interesting to see Trot get so much PT against lefties of late. I wonder if Tito is trying to get him more comfortable for a start tomorrow against the Unit?

Haven’t seen any ...

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Toby Posted: May 08, 2006 at 04:44 PM | 27 comment(s)
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Friday, May 05, 2006

Bullpen Concerns

Can anyone explain to me why, with a 7-1 lead, Francona went to Keith Foulke tonight? Foulke isn’t the only overworked pitcher in the pen, but he’s the leading one. 162 g pace coming into the night: 

Foulke 84 g, 108 ip
Paps 90 g, 98 ip
Timlin 78 g, 68 ip

In the 5/3 game, Francona managed to use all three of these guys to pitch 3.1 ip. Tonight, the first guy he went to with a 7-1 lead was Foulke, which would seem to indicate that he thought the game was still in doubt. But then why go to ...

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Darren Posted: May 05, 2006 at 03:20 AM | 59 comment(s)
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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Poll: Globe’s Chris Snow is best Sox beat writer

Over at Boston Sports Media Watch, Bruce Allen has been running some polls about the Boston media. Bruce is away for a few weeks on a honeymoon—tip o’ the cap to him—but still manages to have the site updated regularly with good stuff.

Today he runs the results of his poll on which Sox beat writer is best. (link, you will have to scroll down a little.) The voters went with Chris Snow of the Globe as best. Then again, on the companion poll (which Sox beat writer is worst), the voters also went ...

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Toby Posted: May 04, 2006 at 06:22 PM | 26 comment(s)
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