Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Sox Therapy > Discussion
Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. esturminator_CT Posted: December 15, 2010 at 03:28 PM (#3711219)
Couldn't the Red Sox solve the majority of the line-up issue by orchestrating a trade of JD Drew to LAA for Mike Napoli and using a combination of the young outfielders to play RF?

You could then envision

Crawford
Pedroia
Gonzalez
Youkilis
Ortiz
Napoli
Kalish/Reddick/McDonald/Nava/etc.
Scutaro/Lowrie
Ellsbury

That would allow Tito to stick mostly LRL and still give you a pretty good design of the line-up according to Tango etc.

I realize you might have to sell Crawford on batting #1, but in this line-up and with Ellsbury at #9 he can have a real impact there and still get his RBI's or use his speed as he sees fit with the game situation.

It seems, having missed out on Crawford and not having signed Beltre yet, that the Angels might have a use for Drew for his bat and the OF defense and they don't necessarily have a huge need for Napoli.

Also, I'm sort of tired of watching stone faced Drew play for the Sox. Does he even care that he is there or how the team is doing? It is hard to tell. He is not exciting to watch. I am thankful for what he has given this team over the years, but I wouldn't mind seeing him leave to succeed elsewhere and to help this club by bringing a needed RH bat. And I wouldn't mind trying to get one or two of the promising young OF a chance to show they can help at the mlb level. This line-up could permit such development opportunity.
   2. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 15, 2010 at 03:41 PM (#3711230)
Couldn't the Red Sox solve the majority of the line-up issue by orchestrating a trade of JD Drew to LAA for Mike Napoli and using a combination of the young outfielders to play RF?


Perhaps, in a world where the Angels would trade Mike Napoli for JD Drew. I don't think that that world is this world, though. Drew's perceived value is very low, and he's not a Scioscia-style player.
   3. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 15, 2010 at 03:43 PM (#3711234)
I hope any of your suggestions come to pass but I expect to see Ellsbury leading off regularly for this team. I don't think it's the right call but I think we're looking at;

Ellsbury-Pedroia-Crawford-Youkilis-Gonzalez-Ortiz-Drew-Shortstop-Catcher

Maybe switch Gonzalez/Youkilis just to go 2-1-2 L-R-L rather than 1-1-3. Lowrie seizing the job at short and hitting well enough to move ahead of Drew would be nice but I don't think the Sox are willing to be creative enough to bat Scutaro 6th or 7th ahead of Drew.

My recollection is that the Sox don't like leading off Pedroia where he has (in a small sample) not hit especially well. Crawford was less than convincing in his press conference when saying he'd hit anywhere in the lineup. Another thought I have is;

Ellsbury-Pedroia-Gonzalez-Youkilis-Crawford-Ortiz-Drew-Shortstop-Catcher

Again sticking with my perceived reality that Ellsbury will lead off I like this set up. It boosts the two best hitters one spot up and I like Crawford in front of Ortiz/Drew. If he is on base, teams have to be somewhat less committed to the shift or Crawford will be standing on third base in short order.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 15, 2010 at 03:59 PM (#3711248)
I don't think the Sox are willing to be creative enough to bat Scutaro 6th or 7th ahead of Drew
Tito mentioned specifically in his comments about Crawford and the lineup that he wanted to avoid having a run of four lefties in five spots. I think he's right that that's a bigger issue that batting two lefties back-to-back. What could kill this offense is being shut down by the Phil Cokes of the world in the 7th and 8th innings. Really the only way to get away from a four lefties in five spots situation is to bat Drew 7th, or get very creative elsewhere. The Sox have hit Drew everywhere in the lineup but 9th over his tenure with the club. I don't think batting him 7th is all that inconceivable.

The reasons I have Ellsbury at the bottom of the lineup are (1) that's the right place to put him and (2) I don't see how Gonzalez and Youkilis don't bat 3-4, and I don't see how Crawford and Pedroia don't bat at the top of the order, so that drops Ellsbury to 9th. Batting one of your two best hitters 5th is perhaps defensible (per The Book), but the Sox under Theo and Tito have never done it.
   5. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: December 15, 2010 at 04:01 PM (#3711250)
Assuming no further trades, and that Crawford can be convinced to hit leadoff, I like:

Crawford-Pedroia-Gonzalez-Youk-Ortiz-SaltyTek-Drew-ScutaJed-Ellsbury

That would by and large honor Tito's L-R-L-R preference other than #9/#1. The biggest drawback is the catchers in the 6-hole, which unless they surprise us probably can't stand.

After a lost season, will they really just automatically reinstall Ellsbury at the top spot? I hope not.
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 15, 2010 at 04:06 PM (#3711258)
I agree with pretty much everything in 4&5, I'm just expecting the Sox to put Ellsbury in the top spot. Switch SS and C in #5 and I'd be on board with that in a big way.
   7. Jon T. Posted: December 15, 2010 at 04:18 PM (#3711272)
isn't Marcus Thames the perfect guy to be the corner outfielder to platoon with Papi?
   8. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 15, 2010 at 04:20 PM (#3711276)
Well, you'd like to have the corner guy be able to play 1B as well. Otherwise the club only has one backup infielder.

EDIT: oh hey Marcus Thames plays 1B. 30 games in 2007, several other games in other seasons. All Thames has to be is an emergency 1B so that Papi isn't the emergency 1B. He can do that. Sign Marcus Thames!
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: December 15, 2010 at 04:28 PM (#3711288)
Pedroia-Crawford-Youkilis-Gonzalez-Ortiz-Lowrie-Drew-Saltalamacchia-Ellsbury


I like this basic lineup the best of the likely ones, but I would very surprised if Scutaro was not the opening day SS.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 15, 2010 at 04:34 PM (#3711296)
We'll see. I think if Lowrie comes into spring healthy, and plays good ball, he gets the shortstop job.
   11. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: December 15, 2010 at 04:47 PM (#3711308)
Crawford/Youkilis/Gonzalez/Pedroia/Papi/JD/JedScut/SaltyVag/Jacoby

Mike Cameron starts against all lefties, platoons either JD Drew or Jacoby Ellsbury.
Marco Scutaro unless he commands a ridiculous return should not be traded. Between Scuts and Cameron they have all the positions covered. I would like one more right handed bat on the bench, and I think the lineup is fine.

bullpen needs a LOT of work.

Edit: Mike Napoli would be nice. A catcher, AND a 1B, AND RHB, AND Power.
   12. TomH Posted: December 15, 2010 at 05:02 PM (#3711319)
Ellsbury: higher career OBP than Crawford. Maybe park effects would make projeciton for 2011 about even.
But basically, NEITHER one should be in top 5 of lineup when a southpaw takes the mound! A .300 OBP from the leadoff man for 45 games? Pitiful.
   13. OCD SS Posted: December 15, 2010 at 05:04 PM (#3711324)
1. Crawford
2. Pedroia
3. AGon
4. Youks
5. Ortiz
6. Lowrie
7. Drew
8. Catcher
9. Ellsbury
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 15, 2010 at 05:10 PM (#3711328)
Ellsbury: higher career OBP than Crawford.
Why is Crawford's age 21 season relevant to his current projection? ZiPS has Crawford projected to a ~350 OBP in Tampa. That's perfectly good at the top of the lineup.

I agree that the platoon issues are relevant, and Crawford at the top of the lineup against lefties is both a foregone conclusion and less than optimal lineup construction.
   15. John DiFool2 Posted: December 15, 2010 at 05:34 PM (#3711350)
I think Jed should bat 6th, with Drew 7th; Jed's going to surprise a few people (in a good way). Recall that against southpaw starters, one of our 5 lefties will likely get a day off, with Crawford and/or Mr. Mystery RH Slugger Who Hasn't Been Signed Yet replacing them.
   16. dave h Posted: December 15, 2010 at 05:40 PM (#3711358)
Seems like the priorities in roster construction for the Sox should be:

1) The correct 9. I don't have much concern there - I think they'll make the right decisions regarding the catchers and the shortstops. I don't know what that is, and I doubt they know for sure either, but they've shown the ability to make good decisions there.

2) Avoiding strings of lefties. Batting someone lower in the order isn't going to cost them that many plate appearances over the course of the season. Allowing one reliever to neutralize two or three batters in very high leverage situations at little cost is a much bigger deal.

3) Good hitters higher up, OBP at the top, etc.

Given all that, I like #13 (whoever the SS is). Let Ellsbury and Crawford use their speed a little since they're not batting directly in front Gonzalez, Youkilis, and Drew. Stay L-R-L where it matters. If Ellsbury must bat first (and I don't think he will initially, but maybe he earns his way back up there) then either you just slide everyone down one and go L-L at the top, Crawford drops down a bunch, or you end up with things like Ortiz batting below the SS and Drew batting 9th.
   17. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: December 15, 2010 at 05:42 PM (#3711362)
#13, that's basically my proposal with the C and SS switched as #6 suggests. As the primary lineup vs a righty starter, I like it a lot and think it's something we could actually see.
   18. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: December 15, 2010 at 05:58 PM (#3711388)
I think it's very unlikely we'll see any arrangement that doesn't bat Gonzalez and Youk in the 3-4 slots, in one order or the other. It might be fun to bat Youk-Crawford-Gonzalez 2-3-4, but the odds you see it happen are all but nil.
   19. OlePerfesser Posted: December 15, 2010 at 08:18 PM (#3711547)
If I'm Tito, I tell Crawford he's not in that impoverished backwater anymore, and we want to get him as many ABs as possible and rattle the brains of the SP from his very first pitch, so he's lead-off, case closed. Much rather give him the extra ABs than Ellsbury.

But the allocation of ABs among those guys isn't what worries me - what makes me twitch a little is the various combinations of SS and C that have been mentioned, and whether Drew and Papi have much in the tank. There is some downside risk in this lineup, however ordered.

Anyway, happy holidays to all the Therapudlians...
   20. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: December 15, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3711566)
While he has the smallest sample to draw from, Ellsbury doesn't have much of a platoon split in his career. It's hard to say if that's for real, but he seems to hit lefties a little better than Crawford, so you might as well pair him up with another lefty somewhere.

I imagine we'll see a lot of lineups this year as guys get hurt and tired, and depending on how good other teams' lefty specialists are. Ellsbury and Drew aren't exactly iron men.
   21. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: December 15, 2010 at 10:21 PM (#3711684)
Darnell McDonald's career line against LHs is .296/.354/.442 in 250+ PAs, there should be a spot on this team for him
   22. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: December 15, 2010 at 10:28 PM (#3711690)
Drew's perceived value is very low, and he's not a Scioscia-style player.


Napoli is at least the latter, and possibly the former (to the Angels, at least).
   23. Mattbert Posted: December 15, 2010 at 10:56 PM (#3711718)
I think I prefer Crawford-Gonzalez as the inevitable L-L pair over Gonzalez-Ortiz.

Disconcur. Crawford's a .700 OPS hitter against LHP. Gonzalez is an .800 OPS hitter against LHP. If you're going to "encourage" the opposing manager to bring in a LOOGY, I think you want said LOOGY coming in to face Gonzo. And then you pinch-hit for Ortiz if you have the minerals.

1. Crawford or Pedroia, whomever has less sand in his vagina about hitting leadoff
2. Crawford or Pedroia, depending on outcome of above
3. Gonzalez or Youkilis, to go either L-R-L or R-L-R depending on 1 and 2
4. Gonzalez or Youkilis, whomever isn't hitting third
5. Ortiz
6. Lowrutaro
7. Drew
8. Saltalatekkia
9. Ellsbury, unless he hits .600 in a full slate of spring training games

Against LH starting pitchers, Cameron spells Drew or Ellsbury and hits 6th behind Ortiz.
   24. Boxkutter Posted: December 15, 2010 at 11:29 PM (#3711737)
Is it just me, or are the Lowrie/Scutaro and Varitek/Saltalamacchia name combos that everyone in this thread is using the best part of this thread?

We have Lowrutaro, Saltatekkia, SaltyTek, ScutaJed, JedScut, and my personal favorite.... SaltyVag.
   25. Hugh Jorgan Posted: December 15, 2010 at 11:31 PM (#3711739)
Crazy lineup because I like Drew's OBP.

Against righties lineup...

Drew
Pedroia
Crawford
Youk
Gonzo
Papi
SS
C
Ellsbury

Against lefties--Cameron slots in behind Papi followed by SS or C, depending on who's playing.
   26. Darren Posted: December 15, 2010 at 11:51 PM (#3711761)
For platoon purposes, I think what you want is a left you don't mind hitting for batting in front of another lefty. That way, if a Loogy is brought in, you can put in your lefty masher and there's nothing the other manager can do about it. With that in mind, and keeping in mind the realities of the situation, you might choose to go:

Ellsbury-Crawford-Pedroia-Gonzalez-Youk-Ortiz-Lowrie-Drew-Catcher

The minute they bring in the Loogy to face Ellsbury, you bring in Cameron. This lineup also gets the speed at the top, which seems like it would fit with what Theo/Tito like to do.

I don't think there's any chance Pedroia hits leadoff and I doubt Crawford will either. With that in mind, here's another option:

Ellsbury-Pedroia-Gonzalez-Youk-Crawford-Lowrie-Ortiz-Drew-Catcher

It does seem unlikely that Crawford bats 5th, so maybe he and Gonzalez get flipped. Even that's probably not going to happen either. But here you still have the 2 lefties starting with Ortiz, who can be hit for when necessary.

Edit to add: That first lineup has a nice side effect. It puts Pedroia in the #3 slot. He fits the traditional #3 hitter mold by having some power and some average, but him being in that spot keeps Youk and Gonzalez out of it.
   27. Mister High Standards Posted: December 16, 2010 at 03:51 AM (#3711892)
I'm leaning towards:
Crawford, Dustin, Papi, Youk, Gonzalez, Drew, C, SS, CF.

If crawford really doesnt want to hit leadoff I would flip flop him and JD.
   28. Darren Posted: December 16, 2010 at 03:57 AM (#3711902)
Drew did poorly as a leadoff hitter--he really seemed to change his approach for the worse. I'd keep him out of there.
   29. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: December 16, 2010 at 08:18 AM (#3712048)
Is Bill Hall def not returning?
   30. OCD SS Posted: December 16, 2010 at 01:21 PM (#3712075)
Actually if you figure that they have to double up LHH somewhere the place to do it would be to flip Drew and Lowrie (OK, the SS) in my original line up in # 13. Drew's platoon splits are probably better than anyone else's (at least over a broad sample, I know he was worse last year). If they're serious about having Scutaro start at SS over Lowrie, then that makes a bit more sense.
   31. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: December 16, 2010 at 02:06 PM (#3712087)
Has Crawford said he does not want to lead off? I know Pedroia has said it affects his approach at the plate - he feels like he has to watch pitches and can't be as aggressive.
   32. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 16, 2010 at 05:59 PM (#3712296)
Darnell McDonald's career line against LHs is .296/.354/.442 in 250+ PAs, there should be a spot on this team for him

Should be perhaps, but isn't. We've been over it plenty of times in past threads so I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say that the Sox' roster situation does not allow the 25th man to be strictly an outfielder, and that McDonald duplicates Cameron's skill-set.

My lineup:

Ellsbury
Pedroia
Gonzalez
Youkilis
Crawford
Ortiz
Scutaro
Drew
Catcher

Jose's point above about getting Crawford on base ahead of the Ortiz over-shift as the best way to combat the LHB-LHB problem really sold me on batting Crawford 5th. If that doesn't fly, bat him 2nd, Youk 3rd, Gonzalez and then Pedroia. Like most of the rest of you, I'm fairly confident that Ellsbury is the most LIKELY leadoff batter this season, certainly against RHP, whether or not I am personally sold on the idea. One benefit it does have is making the lineup question quite a bit easier to parse out.

Is Bill Hall def not returning?

I really wish he would! I remain of the opinion that he's the perfect final addition to this roster - all it would take would be a willingness to possibly "overpay" for a utility player (you could also look at it as making the mistake of an "overpay" for past production), and being able to sell Hall on coming back as a backup with the understanding that he would get plenty of platoon starts in the OF and backup starts at 2B and 3B in addition to the inevitable inning or two of emergency catcher duty and relief pitching. I've been surprised all offseason that his name comes up so rarely, although supposedly he's in talks with the Dodgers and would become their everyday LF. He's probably more deserving of 3/$21m than Juan Uribe, so one has to wonder what the Dodgers might give him, and I don't think the Sox should compete with that. But if you could bring him back on a 2/$10m or even $12m contract I think I'd be for that. That might be unrealistic, but I'd still much rather have him than, I don't know, yet another of the Kevin Frandsens of the world.
   33. Cat Named Manny Posted: December 16, 2010 at 06:04 PM (#3712301)
Crawford and Pedroia both have poor numbers batting leadoff in small samples, but with Pedroia at least, he seemed to snap out of it the moment he was dropped back in the order. I think Jose is right; Ellsbury's going to be the guy there. I wonder if Darren's lineup isn't the one we see at the top, though I might play with it a little:

1. Ellsbury
2. Crawford
3. Youkilis
4. Gonzalez
5. Ortiz
6. Pedroia
7. Drew
8. Shortstops
9. Catchers.

The Sox seem to insist on batting Ortiz fifth, and he'd be batting behind the least LOOGY-susceptible member of the lineup, thus negating the possibility of the entire lineup being neutralized in the late innings. Also, this makes Pedroia something of a second leadoff man for the bottom half of the order, with him and Drew providing high OBP (and 60+ XBH power) in front of the catchers/shortstops. If Lowrie is the starter, that's a lot of doubles from the bottom half of the order. It's also possibly a formula for a lot of stranded baserunners, depending on how the SS-C-Ellsbury trio work out.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 16, 2010 at 06:11 PM (#3712305)
I really wish he would! I remain of the opinion that he's the perfect final addition to this roster - all it would take would be a willingness to possibly "overpay" for a utility player (you could also look at it as making the mistake of an "overpay" for past production), and being able to sell Hall on coming back as a backup with the understanding that he would get plenty of platoon starts in the OF and backup starts at 2B and 3B in addition to the inevitable inning or two of emergency catcher duty and relief pitching
I love Bill Hall, but I'm not so sure he fits this bench. Pedroia and Youkilis are both 150-160 game players when healthy, and the loser of the Scutaro / Lowrie battle will be the backup at either position if needed. The guy that fits this bench is Marcus Thames - RH pinch-hitter, platoon with Papi, emergency starter at 1B/LF. The Sox don't need Hall's versatility this year like they did last.
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: December 16, 2010 at 06:23 PM (#3712318)
I would think BBTF is last place that would ever pay heed to out-of-context stat lines of players for certain lineup spots.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: December 16, 2010 at 06:29 PM (#3712327)
...I love Bill Hall, but I'm not so sure he fits this bench. Pedroia and Youkilis are both 150-160 game players when healthy...


I'm worried that we have to now drop Youkilis out of this category. 2 straight years w/ injuries, and the last one a mysterious thumb thing makes me worried. Now, with Pedroia, we are looking at a 160-date laser show tour.
   37. Cat Named Manny Posted: December 16, 2010 at 07:10 PM (#3712377)
I would think BBTF is last place that would ever pay heed to out-of-context stat lines of players for certain lineup spots.


Small sample? Yes. Out of context? No.

Dustin Pedroia, 2009

Through May 30: .328/.419/.423//.842
Moved into the leadoff spot May 31
May 31-June 28: .214/.264/.301//.565
Dropped back to No. 2 spot June 29
Collects a hit in 14 of the next 15 games, en route to a .302/.375/.506//.881 line the rest of the season.

Sure, maybe it's a coincidence, and maybe given additional time Pedroia would have figured things out and been fine.

The only other time in his career he hit leadoff was a painfully small eight-game sample in July 2008, when he hit .229/.282/.314//.596. In the eight games previously, he had hit .412/.459/.471//.930, and in the eight games subsequently he hit ,405/.436/.595//1.030.

Again, maybe the sample truly is too small to derive anything of consequence, but placed in context, it sure seems clear that Pedroia, for whatever reason, struggles in the leadoff spot.
   38. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 16, 2010 at 07:23 PM (#3712390)
I love Bill Hall, but I'm not so sure he fits this bench. Pedroia and Youkilis are both 150-160 game players when healthy, and the loser of the Scutaro / Lowrie battle will be the backup at either position if needed. The guy that fits this bench is Marcus Thames - RH pinch-hitter, platoon with Papi, emergency starter at 1B/LF. The Sox don't need Hall's versatility this year like they did last.

I don't disagree, but why Thames over Hall? .040 SLG and 45 innings at 1B in the last 3 seasons? everything Thames does (aside from those two factors), Hall does as well or better, and adds the versatility. Also not a clank-gloved slug in the outfield. I guess Thames would be cheaper (although maybe not by a ton; he made $1.8m last year for the Yanks).

EDIT: Re [37] I think one could still argue that those numbers are 'out of context' in a sense. Here's another way of looking at it.
Things Dustin Pedroia did during June 2009
Became addicted to low-impact light Pilates TV workout shows
Watched every episode of every season of The Wire
Read Remembrance of Things Past
Learned about Near Earth Objects and worried about potential asteroid impacts
Started, then stopped wearing compression shorts one size too small under his uniform pants
Couldn't stop playing W3:DotA
Batted leadoff


One of these things negatively impacted his results at the plate that month. Which was it?
   39. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 16, 2010 at 07:27 PM (#3712394)
Pedroia has said he isn't comfortable in the leadoff spot because he feels like he has to change his game and be more patient. The reality is that if he just does what he normally does he is perfect as a leadoff man but if he can't make the mental adjustment, no reason to screw with it. I suspect that if the Sox penciled him for 160 games this year he would wind up with a season similar to what we've grown to expect but if we get the 2009 version of Jacoby Ellsbury he's not a bad option. What you lose in OBP is probably offset by the stolen bases and the general base running.

Unrelated to the lineup but Theo knows that at some point he has to actually sign a reliever, not just express interest right? There are probably overpays in the deals for Guerrier, Benoit, Downs, etc...but at some point a team with $170 million payroll probably should bite the bullet and be prepared to eat the third year of a contract in hopes of getting two solid seasons. I love Felix Doubront but I really don't want to be relying on him to be my third best reliever.
   40. OCD SS Posted: December 16, 2010 at 07:27 PM (#3712395)
IIRC Ellsbury has a very similar split with regard to leading off.

With all of these guys it seems like the solution is to tell them to not change their approach at all and just do what you do no matter where you're penciled in.

Maybe Francona could randomly shuffle the line up for a week or two so everyone gets used to hitting all over the place and just does their thing...
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: December 16, 2010 at 07:43 PM (#3712408)
Pedroia has said he isn't comfortable in the leadoff spot because he feels like he has to change his game and be more patient.


I'm not skeptical that he said this, but do you happen to have a link?

Crawford has much bigger sample at leadoff, but those came primarily early in his career which I think makes it more plausible that he just wasn't as good hitter at that time, rather than he improved as a hitter because he was moved out of leadoff.
   42. Nasty Nate Posted: December 16, 2010 at 07:50 PM (#3712420)
...Should we expect the aggregate stats of all players (who have batted some leadoff and some elsewhere) to be worse out of leadoff than out of other batting order spots (for various reasons)?
   43. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 16, 2010 at 08:14 PM (#3712443)
I'm not skeptical that he said this, but do you happen to have a link?


No, wish I did. Obviously I'm paraphrasing from memory but I'm confident of my recollection.

Should we expect the aggregate stats of all players (who have batted some leadoff and some elsewhere) to be worse out of leadoff than out of other batting order spots (for various reasons)?


That's an interesting question. Just looking at the AL splits from last year the first batter of the game hit .253/.311/.343. Batters hitting out of the first spot in the order hit .267/.330/.364. That certainly nods in the direction that being the first batter of a game results in lesser performance. That trend held true for 2009 and 2008 also.
   44. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 16, 2010 at 08:30 PM (#3712459)
actually sign a reliever, not just express interest right?

I actually like the approach he's taking. There are a lot of second-tier (ie. pretty damn good but not 'elite') guys still out there both FAs and through trade. Let a dozen other teams pick out their top choice and overpay him, then Theo swoops in and gets a bunch of other guys just as good. Stuff I've heard (probably mostly on MLBTR, to give credit where it's due):
Dan Wheeler. I would love this signing. Better than Guerrier.
Joe Smith, Rafael Perez or even Masterson redux (swingman-type) in trade from Cleveland
I just read that Lenny DiNardo got a minor league deal. That's awesome.
As pathetic as it sounds, trading the Mariners for Aardsma. I hate giving away something for free and then paying to get it back. Most irritating pecadilloe of Theo's IMO. I don't know that Aardsma fits this bullpen since my impression is he basically duplicates Bard's skill set only less so, but I have always liked him since his days with the Giants.
   45. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 16, 2010 at 08:47 PM (#3712486)
Wheeler, Aardsma, Masterson, any two of those will have me merrily eating my words. I'm generally inclined to give Theo the benefit of the doubt but for reasons that are obvious the bullpen is one area where I am a Theo-skeptic. Maybe karlmagnus and I can join forces and bring Duquette back as Assistant GM of Relief Pitcher Acquisition.
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: December 16, 2010 at 08:47 PM (#3712489)
I actually like the approach he's taking. There are a lot of second-tier (ie. pretty damn good but not 'elite') guys still out there both FAs and through trade. Let a dozen other teams pick out their top choice and overpay him, then Theo swoops in and gets a bunch of other guys just as good.


ehhhhh, I also like throwing a giant bag of cash at Rafael Soriano
   47. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 16, 2010 at 08:49 PM (#3712491)
Well, Olney (via MLBTR) says the Sox are about to sign Bobby Jenks, 2 years, $12 million.
   48. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 16, 2010 at 08:53 PM (#3712498)
for reasons that are obvious the bullpen is one area where I am a Theo-skeptic. Maybe karlmagnus and I can join forces and bring Duquette back as Assistant GM of Relief Pitcher Acquisition.

Totally agree.

I would also support the approach outlined in [46]

Back on lineups - funny that none of us thought to go to the source. Tito is quoted as saying "I still think our best lineup is when [Ellsbury] leads off," although with a bunch of caveats to that statement. http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101211&content_id=16306240&vkey=news_bos&c_id=bos
   49. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 16, 2010 at 09:30 PM (#3712545)
Jenks' component numbers last year were 53 IP, 3 HR, 18 BB, 61 K - he ended up with his worst ERA ever due to a .370 BABIP. I really swear I meant to mention him as a possible buy-low candidate, but I never got around to it.

Much rather have Jenks 2/12 than Guerrier or Crain 3/12.

Also, (and please correct me if my impression of Jenks is off), doesn't this give the Red Sox a second huge oaf in the bullpen? I guess Big and Dumb is the new market inefficiency.
   50. villageidiom Posted: December 16, 2010 at 10:09 PM (#3712583)
I guess Big and Dumb is the new market inefficiency.
If we could bring back Derek Lowe to the pen we could call them Fat, Drunk, and Stupid.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: December 16, 2010 at 10:43 PM (#3712610)
Gives them 3 guys on the staff who got the last out while winning a world series. They've been lacking since Timlin shuffled off.
   52. Joel W Posted: December 16, 2010 at 10:48 PM (#3712613)
Don't they do psych evaluations on their players? Maybe they thing big and dumb is the right make up for late inning relief.
   53. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: December 17, 2010 at 10:27 AM (#3712886)
"32. Petooter: 11'6" 355 lbs of scrap and grit Posted: December 16, 2010 at 11:59 AM (#3712296)

Darnell McDonald's career line against LHs is .296/.354/.442 in 250+ PAs, there should be a spot on this team for him

Should be perhaps, but isn't. We've been over it plenty of times in past threads so I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say that the Sox' roster situation does not allow the 25th man to be strictly an outfielder, and that McDonald duplicates Cameron's skill-set."

Sorry to offend your obviously superior talents. When McDonald is on the opening day roster I can only hope that you will throw me a slice of goodness from your goodness heap. I am thankful that there are people like you out there to place me in a better direction. Thank you
   54. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: December 17, 2010 at 01:24 PM (#3712905)
Here's the argument -

The Red Sox already have a RH 4th OF in Mike Cameron. Cameron is better than McDonald at every aspect of baseball other than bunting, so he should make the roster ahead of McDonald.

If the Sox kept both McDonald and Cameron - I guess to platoon two positions - they would have only one backup infielder on the entire roster. The Sox would be in a position where, if they PH for the shortstop, their DH would be their only backup infielder. I think it would make more sense to have the 25th man be able to play both corner OF and corner IF, for depth purposes. Bill Hall and Marcus Thames are the two guys whose names have come up so far.

The other issue with McDonald is that for RHB, platoon splits over a 500 PA sample are not usefully predictive of a player's real split. For projection purposes, we should use league average platoon splits rather than individual splits over a sample that small. (See studies by MGL, Tango, and Dolphin, The Book)

McDonald's CAIRO projection is 316/421. That projects to splits of about 300/400 against RHP and 325/435 against LHP. That's not bad, but it's a step worse than his career splits.
   55. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: December 17, 2010 at 04:14 PM (#3712984)
Cameron is better than McDonald at every aspect of baseball other than bunting, so he should make the roster ahead of McDonald.
Cameron HAS been better than McDonald. At 37 and coming off serious abdominal surgery, it's entirely possible McDonald is now the better player. I remain unconvinced Cameron can play a major league center field anymore, a prerequisite for the Sox' fourth OF.
   56. SG Posted: December 17, 2010 at 04:44 PM (#3713002)
The other issue with McDonald is that for RHB, platoon splits over a 500 PA sample are not usefully predictive of a player's real split. For projection purposes, we should use league average platoon splits rather than individual splits over a sample that small. (See studies by MGL, Tango, and Dolphin, The Book)


Technically, you do use the player's actual split but you have to regress them towards league average. For a RHB you regress towards 2200 PA and for a LHB you regress towards 1000.

Here is how I have McDonald and Cameron projected for 2011 using regressed platoon splits.

McDonald: .272/.328/.437 vs. LHP, .252/.303/.405 vs. RHP

Cameron: .273/.354/.490 vs. LHP, .250/.324/.449
vs. RHP

Seems to me the Sox need to keep both around, because who knows if Cameron can stay healthy or if this is the year he falls off the cliff. I'm not sure if they have the option to put McDonald in Pawtucket or if he has clear waivers and accept the assignment.

You're only talking about the difference in winning 129 games instead of 130 though.
   57. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 17, 2010 at 04:56 PM (#3713022)
You're only talking about the difference in winning 129 games instead of 130 though.


Mercy is for the weak.

McDonald has to clear waivers (which he certainly wouldn't) so that's out. If he had options this conversation would be moot, Cameron would be in the bigs and McDonald at Pawtucket.
   58. RobertMachemer Posted: December 17, 2010 at 05:31 PM (#3713061)
I posted it before in a different thread, I'll post it again:

Drew
Pedroia
Gonzalez
Youkilis
Ortiz
Crawford
(who cares about the rest)

Crawford may well be a terrific player as everyone is saying he is -- I'm unconvinced, but am willing to assume that the Sox brass know more than me -- but a lot of his alleged value is in his defense and in his speed. His defense has not historically made him better at getting on base than Drew. His on-base skills are more concentrated in getting hits (whereas Drew gets on base more through walks compared to Crawford); walks require more pitches and you want leadoff hitters who force pitchers to throw more pitches; hits are more valuable when they come with runners on base, and someone hitting leadoff is going to hit less often with runners on base than someone batting after Youkilis. And Crawford's speed is of less value in front of guys who hit home runs since a stolen base has no value when it's followed by a home run. Why bat Crawford leadoff or second (or worst, third?)

That said, the argument about putting him in front of Ortiz makes some sense to me -- I suppose one could flip Crawford and Ortiz in the above lineup and it wouldn't change much lefty-righty-wise and would theoretically help convince teams not to use the over-shift against Ortiz some of the time. I suspect Ortiz will grumble about the perceived "demotion," however, so it might not be a viable move in practice, depending on how much one worries about clubhouse stuff.
   59. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 17, 2010 at 06:37 PM (#3713120)
I am thankful that there are people like you out there to place me in a better direction. Thank you

I chose between wasting everyone's time re-treading a tired (and settled) discussion, or letting you choose between reviewing past ST threads for your own edification (or, you know, counting to 25 on your own) or simply ######## and whining about my attitude. I chose the latter, and so did you!


If he had options this conversation would be moot, Cameron would be in the bigs and McDonald at Pawtucket.

Have them both to ST and evaluate Cameron's fitness/defense, holding open the possibility of Cameron coming down with a mystery injury/ailment in late March? Short of trading Cameron for a lottery ticket, which I think hurts depth too much, I don't know what answer is out there.
   60. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: December 17, 2010 at 06:49 PM (#3713130)
Have them both to ST and evaluate Cameron's fitness/defense, holding open the possibility of Cameron coming down with a mystery injury/ailment in late March? Short of trading Cameron for a lottery ticket, which I think hurts depth too much, I don't know what answer is out there.


Yeah, I think that's a safe bet. I'm sure the Sox won't just let McDonald walk until they are certain of Cameron's condition/ability. Am I remembering right that they had Graffanino in camp in 2007 and once they were sure Pedroia was going north they traded him to KC? I imagine we'll see something like that.
   61. Dan Posted: December 18, 2010 at 05:38 AM (#3713464)
I put this in the other thread, but I expect a lineup that looks something like the following:

CF Ellsbury
LF Crawford
3B Youkilis
1B Gonzalez
2B Pedroia
DH Ortiz
RF Drew
SS Lowrie
C Saltalamacchia


I think it's a bit suboptimal, but that's the lineup I expect to see. Ellsbury and Crawford bat back-to-back, but Ellsbury really hasn't had any platoon splits to speak of. Youkilis then breaks up the lefties, with he and Gonzalez hitting 3 and 4 (which I think is a given). Then Pedroia hitting 5th or 6th to break up the lefty sluggers with a right-handed bat with a little pop. With him hitting 5th you avoid having 4 lefties in 5 slots, so I think that's preferable to Francona. I guess Pedroia and Youkilis could flip spots in the order, but I really do think that Youk and Gonzalez end up 3rd and 4th in one order or the other. The rest of the order basically just falls into place. If Lowrie breaks out, maybe he bats 7th and pushes Drew down a slot. If Scutaro is playing SS he probably bats 9th and moves the catcher of the day up to 8th.
   62. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: December 18, 2010 at 07:48 PM (#3713674)
http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101218&content_id=16343076&vkey=news_bos&c_id=bos

Sox sign 1-year deal with Dan Wheeler.

This was the guy I really wanted. A bit surprised he was willing to sign with Boston to be the 4th RHP option, but cool that he did. Looking over the bullpen options it seems they'll want to go after another lefty; I just hope it's not Fuentes. I hate him.

Something like

Papelbon (R)
Bard (R)
Jenks (R)
Wheeler (R)
Atchison (R)
Doubront (L)
Bowden (R)

Miller (L)
Albers (R)
Hill (L)
Fox (R)
EDIT: DiNardo (L)
Coello (R)
Tazawa (?) (R)

Plus of course Wakefield. Certainly not bad for depth or for top-end talent.


EDIT: One year guaranteed for $3m, plus a $3m option (no buyout) for 2012 that can vest with 65 appearances. Another $250K can be earned with 75 appearances. Wheeler has passed his physical. According to MLBTR

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
TedBerg
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.7388 seconds
41 querie(s) executed