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

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Red Sox Top 20 Prospects Part 1

It’s the middle of winter and there’s not much going on in the baseball world, so I thought it would be a good time to try something new on Sox Therapy. I’ve asked our very own Temple to compile his list of the Red Sox top 20 prospects. Temple, as many of you already know, is sort of our go to guy here on the state of the Red Sox minor league system, so it seemed like a good fit. I have enjoyed reading these, and I hope you do too. Part 1 is below, with three more installments to come over the ...

Darren Posted: January 11, 2007 at 11:16 PM | 23 comment(s)
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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Closer to Closing in on a Closer?

As we ring in 2007, the Red Sox find themselves in a very similar situation to the one they faced at the outset of 2006. They have constructed a team that seems poised to compete in 2006, albeit with a large, glaring hole. In early 06, it was a CF; in 07, it’s a dominant reliever. Last year, they eventually made a deal for Coco Crisp. What will happen this year? It’s hard to say but there are a few possibilities that jump out:

1. Go with what they’ve got. This one seems unlikely. They have ...

Darren Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:33 PM | 64 comment(s)
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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Minor league signings

According to Horrigan in the Herald, the Sox unveiled eight minor-league signings: Joe McEwing, Kerry Robinson, Alberto Castillo, Travis Hughes, Jeff Bailey, Luis Jimenez, Ed Rogers, Bobby Scales. They get invites to spring training with the big club.

Not sure what to say here. More detail on these guys in this article. Travis Hughes actually looks pretty interesting to me. Maybe he’s the new closer! ;-)

Toby Posted: December 21, 2006 at 08:29 PM | 7 comment(s)
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Friday, December 15, 2006

Our New Revamped Bullpen

In the last few minutes, it seems, the Red Sox have added two arms to their beleaguered bullpen: Donnelly and Romero (per SOSH). I don’t love either of these guys. Donnelly looks like Timlin lite (or heavy) and Romero’s always had pretty cruddy peripherals. Both have gone down hill in recent years. Neither of these guys look to me like the closer that the Sox need. I would much rather have seen them use this money to get Speier, for example.

Let’s hope another big move is on the horizon ...

Darren Posted: December 15, 2006 at 09:46 PM | 55 comment(s)
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Now what?

Is it just me, or does it feel kinda like Christmas after the presents have been opened?

I for one am happy with the new toys. I guess we don’t need to spend 2007 rebuilding after all. :-) Having said that, I suspect the Drew and Lugo deals are not going to pan out in the long run, but they will be fun to have for a while at least. Matsuzaka I think will be one of the favorite toys for years to come.

All in all, I would be happy going into spring training with this team, as is. I know we ...

Toby Posted: December 15, 2006 at 02:34 AM | 83 comment(s)
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Offseason Minor League Thread

Since it’s been a while since I put up a Minor League thread, and since I’m on a bit of a roll tonight, here’s Sickels’ Minor League Ball Red Sox Top 20 Prospects. A couple of thoughts:

—The system looks pretty good, but there are a lot of young fellas in the highest spots and no A prospects.
—Someday we will view Buchholz and Bowden as differently as we now view Brian Rose and Carl Pavano.
—Pedroia seems low at #7, considering he will win the triple crown this year.
—Who is Carlos ...

Darren Posted: December 12, 2006 at 03:36 AM | 14 comment(s)
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The Drew/Gagne Disconnect

According to this Globe article, the Sox have dropped out of the bidding for Eric Gagne. Reportedly, the Red Sox did not want to risk the $6 mil in guaranteed money that Cleveland or Texas was offering. What strikes me as odd is that they are leery about this small risk, but not about giving JD Drew, whose health is also in question, 5 years/$60-something million guaranteed. Certainly, Drew’s had the better recent health history, but is it $60 million better? Gagne, if even somewhat healthy, is ...

Darren Posted: December 12, 2006 at 01:45 AM | 26 comment(s)
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Which 5’8” 2B? (Non-Tender deadline)

While we’re waiting for the conclusion of the Matsuzaka soap opera, I thought it would be interesting to discuss the Red Sox non-tender situation. Particularly interesting to me is the rumor that Marcus Giles will not be offered a contract. Before the Lugo signing, I was hoping that the Sox might shift Pedroia back to SS and pickup Giles on the cheap, thus creating quite a short middle IF. It also would have freed up money for a reliever or two. But since that won’t happen, what do Sox fans ...

Darren Posted: December 12, 2006 at 01:28 AM | 47 comment(s)
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Friday, December 08, 2006

I don’t get it

Whatever the Red Sox plan here is, I don’t get it. They appear to be about $10 mil shy of the luxury tax threshold, which is probably their spending limit. Let’s assume, charitably, that they get this Matsuzaka deal done and it puts them at their limit. There’s no closer. There’s no reliable setup man. There’s no backup catcher (unless you think Kotteras is ready).

Despite all of these holes, they decided to go out and sign a 4th outfielder for $14 mil. An excellent one, of course, and one ...

Darren Posted: December 08, 2006 at 02:13 AM | 102 comment(s)
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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The “Artificially Imposed Deadline to Trade Manny” thread

By Wednesday midnight, the Red Sox will stop actively shopping Manny, though they will consider offers after that time. So says Theo, as reported by McAdam in the Projo and Silverman in the Herald, among other places.

Let’s hope they stick to the deadline. Last time I checked, we still had a lot of other fish to fry than creating another vacancy:

bullpen help: Turnbow? Dotel?

Epstein and Sox management have decided, much like their 2003 bullpen philosophy, to piece together a pen of young, ...

Toby Posted: December 05, 2006 at 03:11 PM | 74 comment(s)
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Friday, December 01, 2006

Should we tender Loretta? What about Trot?

The header says it all, mostly. The deadline to offer arbitration to the free agents is Friday midnight. According to the Globe, Theo says Boston will not make any final decisions on arb offers till close to the deadline.

Loretta is a type A free agent, Trot is a type B. Both of those guys would bring draft-pick compensation if we offered arbitration to them and they signed elsewhere.

Foulke, Kapler, and Mirabelli are type C, no compensation. Alex Gonzalez was a type B and signed elsewhere, I ...

Toby Posted: December 01, 2006 at 03:05 AM | 54 comment(s)
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Friday, November 24, 2006

Who are the real comps for Matsuzaka?

Ever since the Red Sox bid the seemingly outlandish sum of $51 million on Daisuke Matsuzaka, several people have tried to pin down whether the Red Sox could ever get their money’s worth on such a deal. I think that question is just too big—and involves too many factors that are unknown to us outsiders—for us to really tackle with any authority. But in trying to answer that larger question, many people have started by answering a smaller one: what is the value of of Matsuzaka as a baseball ...

Darren Posted: November 24, 2006 at 02:04 AM | 86 comment(s)
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Sox “expected” to sign Drew, 2 yrs, $30M

From Tracy Ringolsby:

Outfielder J.D. Drew, who opted out of the remaining three years and $33 million on his Dodgers contract, is expected to sign a two-year, $30 million deal with Boston.

And so I ask again ... what does this mean for Manny/Coco/WilyMo? And what does this mean about what’s left in our budget for shortstop and Matsuzaka and closer and everything else?

Two years at 15M per seems like a really, really good deal to me. This offseason has been fun so far.


Toby Posted: November 17, 2006 at 05:49 PM | 126 comment(s)
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Monday, November 13, 2006

What to do in Naples, besides the Great Matsuzaka Holding of Breath

Granted, the general managers’ meetings this week in Naples are more about laying groundwork for deals and less about finalizing them. But what direction are the Sox taking, and what direction should they take?

I have seen reports that the Sox are shopping to fill holes at 2b, ss, rf, sp, and closer, and also some backup positions (c, of). It’s been said they have expressed interest to outfielders Carlos Lee and J.D. Drew, infielder Rich Aurilia, starter Mark Mulder and reliever LaTroy ...

Toby Posted: November 13, 2006 at 08:04 PM | 170 comment(s)
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Monday, November 06, 2006

Sox Lock Up Cora

Per Rotoworld the Sox have locked up Cora to a 2 year deal. Not a terrible idea, especially if not expensive. ZIPS says he’ll hit .250 .333 .344, making him one of the best 2 middle infielders Boston has under contract right now. Plus he’s so smart, I keep hearing.

Darren Posted: November 06, 2006 at 10:36 PM | 19 comment(s)
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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Manny Question… Again

Welcome to the new fall season of “Trading Manny,” (Manny Swap? Super-Manny?) the hit reality show that’s now entering its fourth season!

Once again, when it comes to considering trading Manny, it’s hard to judge any deal unless you can pin down Manny’s defensive value. To that end…

As some of you have probably already noticed, there is some interesting stuff going on over at Dialed In, where Chris has linked to a Rally Monkey’s list of park factors for ZR. There, Rallymonkey finds that ...

Darren Posted: November 01, 2006 at 02:19 AM | 67 comment(s)
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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Let the offseason bull(pen) talk begin

It’s officially the offseason now, so it’s time to start talking about what the Red Sox should be doing. Let’s kick this mother off with a discussion of the pitching needs. MCoA recently wrote that the Sox either need a starter and a reliever or two starters. My feeling is that they need to add something like a #1 starter and two top relievers. In the rotation, I’m a lot more comfortable assuming Schilling’s a #2, Beckett’s a #3, etc. In the pen, I don’t think there’s anyone there that you can ...

Darren Posted: October 28, 2006 at 04:48 PM | 107 comment(s)
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Friday, October 20, 2006

My Awards Ballot: What Would a Reasonable Therapudlian Do?

I had the privilege of casting a ballot for BBTF’s postseason awards. On a mailing list I’ve discussed my overall ballot, but here, in Sox Therapy, I thought I would explain the Red Sox who made, and didn’t make, my ballot and why, so you can all lambaste me for failing to do you proud.

For AL MVP we voted for 10 candidates. I had Papi #1 and Lil Papi #10. I left Manny off the ballot. If the MVP were a “best player” award, I would have filled out the ballot differently, but to me the MVP is ...

Toby Posted: October 20, 2006 at 02:59 PM | 35 comment(s)
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Monday, October 16, 2006

Red Sox Welcome Two Mystery Coaches into the Fold

As already noted in a news thread, the Red Sox are ‘close’ to hiring John Farrell to be there pitching coach. There is also a report in the Globe that they have inked Dave Magadan as some sort of coach, although no one seems sure what yet.

I have virtually no opinion on these two moves. The only thing that sticks out is that one guy (Farrell) seems to be a Francona guy while the other (Magadan) isn’t. I think that indicates that the FO is using his input, but not giving him free reign. ...Read More...

Darren Posted: October 16, 2006 at 01:35 AM | 16 comment(s)
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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Philly’s Big Study of Pitcher Durability

Over on SOSH, our pal Philly has posted a very illuminating study of durability among FA pitchers. He starts with Derek Lowe and then moves into a discussion of other guys who have been signed to multi-year deals in recent years. There’s also a section on pitchers that will be available this coming offseason.

I’m not sure what conclusion to draw from the work. One think I think it shows is that Clement was a very reasonable signing at the time. And Philly’s point, that durability may be a bit ...

Darren Posted: October 12, 2006 at 02:09 AM | 4 comment(s)
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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kill (Okay, fire) ‘em All, Let God Sort Them Out!

According to several articles, like this MLB one, the Red Sox have gotten rid of both hitting coach Ron Jackson and pitching coach Dave Wallace.

As outsiders, it’s very hard for us to determine if these are good moves. Was Jackson really a big help to Ortiz, or would Ortiz have done well without him? Even if he helped Ortiz, did most players find him helpful as well? Was Wallace a good pitching coach saddled with a bunch of guys who were poised for collapse? Or was his health a major hurdle? ...

Darren Posted: October 03, 2006 at 09:36 PM | 39 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Amazing Year of David Ortiz

Big Papi hit his 54th HR tonight, which is just an amazing feat for a lefthanded dead pull hitter who plays half his games in Fenway. He currently has 32 HR in 77 road games vs. only 22 in 70 home games. His splits were 20/27 in 05 and 17/24 in 04.

Maybe should be looked at more closely when considering his value in the MVP race. And then again, maybe not. Maybe it should just be part of our appreciation of him as an awesome DH. I just thought it would be nice to have a thread looking back on ...

Darren Posted: September 27, 2006 at 12:27 AM | 64 comment(s)
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Monday, September 25, 2006

Francona urges changes in playoff format

I’m putting this in Sox Therapy because I don’t have the keys to put it elsewhere, but everyone’s welcome to chime in.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a Red Sox notes that includes an interesting item. It says that Terry Francona favors two changes to the playoff setup:

One would add a second wild-card team in each league. The wild-card teams would have a play-in game, giving the division winners three days to set up their pitching.

The other change would have every team playing two ...

Toby Posted: September 25, 2006 at 05:40 PM | 60 comment(s)
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Saturday, September 23, 2006


Well, according to Edes’s most recent anti-Manny tirade (RR), Manny has again asked to be traded:

...he had the audacity this week, through agent Greg Genske, to reiterate to the Red Sox his desire to be traded this winter.

Although I don’t agree with Edes here, I do think that there’s some merit to trading Manny. Take a look at the defense rankings posted on Dialed In. Manny comes in at -41 R/150 games, which Chris attributes largely to park. But even if you give him 10 runs Manny is still ...

Darren Posted: September 23, 2006 at 01:17 PM | 55 comment(s)
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Portland Wins the EL title

MCoA points out that Devern Hansack won the deciding game in the Eastern League Series to propel the Sea Dogs to the championship. The 28-year-old had a nice year for Portland and will likely get a callup (or maybe he did already?).

Darren Posted: September 19, 2006 at 03:53 AM | 10 comment(s)
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Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Coaching Question

I know this has been touched on in Toby’s thread, but that was so all-encompassing as to make all other threads pointless. Here, I just want to talk about what people think should be done with the coaching staff. Bring ‘em all back? Fire ‘em all? Something in between?

I’ve been a little kinder to Francona this year, mainly because he made two decisions (Pap as closer, Youk as fulltime starter) that I didn’t think he was capable of. But overall, I don’t think he’s a good manager. He doesn’t ...

Darren Posted: September 17, 2006 at 03:30 AM | 48 comment(s)
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Is Theo morphing into Duke?

I started pondering this question as I read through the Dear Theo thread.

The general sense from that thread, I think, is that few of us think the front office really knows what it is doing. (Perhaps they did know what they were doing at one point, but that point is in the rear-view mirror.)

I don’t want to turn this into a thread about Theo vs. Duke, but I have to say that the current regime is starting to remind me of the Duke regime. Let me explain. To me, the Duke regime followed a clear ...

Toby Posted: September 13, 2006 at 06:41 PM | 58 comment(s)
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Open Letter to Theo

Dear Theo,

over the offseason, please do the following:

[see posts below]

Yours in the struggle,
The Therapudlians

Toby Posted: September 12, 2006 at 03:40 PM | 151 comment(s)
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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Weekly Minor League Thread: The End of the mL season

I don’t have much here, just wanted to put something up for us to look back on the year in the minors. I think the brightest spot, among a fair number of good stuff, was the success of Bowden and Buccholz. Both did well in low A, the former at the age of 19. Buchholz even pitched well after his promotion to A+ and may be headed for AA next year. Very close behind them is probably Ellsbury. He has moved up very quickly, continued to make good contact, and showed good speed and defense. He may ...

Darren Posted: September 07, 2006 at 02:33 AM | 78 comment(s)
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It’s Time to Run the Table

It’s time to run the table.

Lenny Megliola of the MetroWest Daily News has a nice little column on the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ sentiment in the Red Sox clubhouse here.

We have Trot and Tek and Manny back, and should get Papi back today.

Okay, so we have no pitching whatsoever. Our third starter is Julian Tavarez and our closer is getting an MRI today. But we can dream, can’t we?

BPro odds gives us about a 1 percent chance to make the playoffs.

We’re 6 games behind the Twins (with 3 games ...

Toby Posted: September 05, 2006 at 05:13 PM | 38 comment(s)
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