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

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Preview Thread I: The Rotation

First in a multi-part series, inspired by villageidiom, in which Therapudlians and others attempt to make objective sense of the 07 Red Sox. Part I, the rotation. This is not about our hopes and dreams or irrational exuberance, but an attempt to be realistic.

Let’s start with the rotation. I am going to throw out some numbers and then tell you where they came from, and you can tell me how wrong I am.

Matsuzaka: 14-8, 3.32 ERA, 176 K, 66 BB in 192 IP
Schilling: 4-7, 6.50 ERA, 50 K, 19 BB in 73 ...

Toby Posted: March 08, 2007 at 02:52 PM | 75 comment(s)
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Curt Schilling’s new blog, 38 Pitches

It’s called “38 pitches”. He plans to cover baseball, media, family, electronic gaming, you name it.

Aside to Curt: A lot of people here (Sox Therapy, and BTF-wide) don’t seem to care for you much, but I haven’t figured out why. Keep on doing what you’re doing.

Some of the baseball-related tidbits so far:

The AL Central will be a knock-down-drag-out fight similar to last year ... Daisuke Matsuzaka is legit. ... Josh [Beckett] is getting better each time I see him ... The best part of Jon ...

Toby Posted: March 07, 2007 at 10:07 PM | 8 comment(s)
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Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Josh Beckett Storyline

There are a lot of story lines being covered with the Red Sox this year, but one that seems to be getting very little attention is the fate of Josh Beckett in 2007. One article I did find on it was this Beradino piece in the Mercury News. It’s fairly positive and suggests that Beckett will try to cut down on his HR totals by using more breaking stuff. (BTW, when did Julian Tavarez become the voice of the Red Sox?)

But this is a very important question for the fate of the team. If Beckett’s the ...

Darren Posted: March 01, 2007 at 01:22 AM | 6 comment(s)
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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Irrationally Exuberant Therapudlian

Drew is healthy. Crisp is mostly healthy. Manny is in camp. Lowell has emerged as a leader. Lugo should be fine. Pedroia should be ready. Youks is Youks. Papi is Papi. Tek—and this, I am not so exuberant about—is Tek. Cora and Hinske and Pena are the core of a real solid bench. Belli, or whoever else will catch Wake, I am not so exuberant about.

Schilling is referring to CHB as CHB. Beckett is rediscovering his change and curve. Dice-K is for real. Wake is Wake. Papelbon is healthy, and easily ...

Toby Posted: February 27, 2007 at 03:48 PM | 38 comment(s)
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bookmarking the Red Sox

How are you going to keep up with the Sox this year?

Besides here, of course.

And besides the standard places—Globe, Herald, Projo, Courant, SoSH ....

Me, I don’t have a lot of free time, so I scan Bruce Allen’s, and his Red Sox news mashup, to get a rundown of the major stories of the day in the major New England papers.

For a broader picture, I scan Google News: a simple “red sox” search.

For example, I just learned from a Google News search that Rob Bradford of the ...

Toby Posted: February 14, 2007 at 03:34 PM | 27 comment(s)
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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Truck Day is Feb. 12

According to a recent story in the Herald, the Red Sox equipment van will pack up and leave Feb. 12. That’s just around the corner.

According to the spring training Q&A at

Feb 16—pitchers and catchers report
Feb 20—position players report
Feb 22—first full squad workout
Feb 28—host Twins in first Grapefruit game
Mar 30-31—at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, final preseason games
Apr 2—season opener at Kansas City
Apr 10—Fenway opener vs Seattle

Key dates not yet firmed up:

Feb ...

Toby Posted: February 08, 2007 at 04:13 PM | 36 comment(s)
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Monday, January 29, 2007

The Lowell down on the Helton trade

There’s been a lot of talk about the Helton trade, and I think there is a key point that a lot of people are missing. Mike Lowell is being discussed as if he is dead weight, just another $9 mil of salary to offset Helton, but is he? Lowell racked up 6.3 WARP1 last year, and will probably be projected in the 5-6 range for 07. On a one-year, $9-mil deal, he’s a bargain. Meanwhile, they are trading him for a guy who’s probably projected to be a win or two better, but is signed for 6 years. ...

Darren Posted: January 29, 2007 at 12:34 AM | 52 comment(s)
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Friday, January 26, 2007

Red Sox Top 20 Prospects Part 4

The grand finale! Thanks again to Temple for his great work:

5. Jason Place (OF); b. 10/8/88: Place endeared himself enough to Boston’s amateur scouting department that the Sox made him the first high school hitter they have taken in the 1st round (27th overall) since Theo has become the GM of the team. He put on a power show in a private workout in Greenville that gave the Sox hope that he could instill some much-needed pop into a light-hitting system. His mature demeanor and dogged work ...

Darren Posted: January 26, 2007 at 12:22 AM | 28 comment(s)
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Monday, January 22, 2007

Red Sox Top 20 Prospects Part 3

We’re starting to get into the really interesting youngsters now. A lot of fresh faces here. Prospects #6-10 from Temple:

10. Lars Anderson (1B); b. 9/25/87: Despite never having registered a PA for the Sox organization, nor being recognizable to even the most ardent prospect follower, Lars has developed himself quite a following in a very short time. As he was gaining helium in the scouting community leading up to the draft, he was seeing an equal gain in the online community—prior to the ...

Darren Posted: January 22, 2007 at 01:52 AM | 62 comment(s)
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Monday, January 15, 2007

Red Sox Top 20 Prospects Part 2

Prospects #11-15 from Temple:

15. Chad Spann (3B); b. 10/25/83: This year, Spann transformed himself from a relatively innocuous Sox prospect to an innocuous prospect with upside. Spann hit well in the very pitcher-friendly Eastern League, though his playing time was limited because of nagging injuries. In 2007, he will need to control the strike zone better and improve his defensive footwork to turn himself into a potential solid regular. As a 23-year old who might play in triple-A, he is ...

Darren Posted: January 15, 2007 at 02:37 PM | 18 comment(s)
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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Depth Charge

The Red Sox have once again, as has been their habit under this front office, stockpiled quite a bit of depth on their bench. Solid veteran Eric Hinske backs up 1b/3b and OF, there are 4 starting quality OFs, and Alex Cora is probably as good of a utility player as any team has. But when I look at these players, I wonder if they are worth the cost.

The Red Sox will pay Hinske $3 mil in 07, and Cora will likely make a similar amount. The newest OF appears to be making $14 mil and the cheapest ...

Darren Posted: January 13, 2007 at 09:54 PM | 34 comment(s)
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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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