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   101. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4130844)
Your regressed, injuries-included number for 2012 is 7-9 wins worse than the regressed, injuries-included 2011 number.
Yes.

First, the "regression" isn't the same. The regression done before the 2011 season is different from that done before the 2012 season. They don't even out. Second, there's another year of aging. See the RLYW projection blowout - the ~5 win drop is precisely what systems like ZiPS projected.

Third, the injuries that the 2012 Sox have suffered are way, way worse than what the 2011 Sox suffered. The 2011 Sox lost, what, a couple starts from Beckett and a season of DiceK? And all of their regulars were healthy all season, except Youkilis, who's Youkilis. They really didn't have bad injury luck overall, the worst of it just happened to be concentrated in the worst month.

And regression plus aging really did cut a bunch of wins out of the projections.
   102. Jittery McFrog Posted: May 13, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4130851)
See the RLYW projection blowout - the ~5 win drop is precisely what systems like ZiPS projected.


The RLYW projection for 2011 Red Sox was 94.4 wins. The RLYW projection for the 2012 Red Sox is 91 wins.

3.4 is a long way from 7-9.



   103. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 13, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4130852)
I think RLYW was a little low on the '11 Sox.

91 is exactly what I said - a preseason 90-92 win club that has been hit terribly hard by injuries, dropping them about four wins in expectation.
   104. villageidiom Posted: May 13, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4130854)
And of course we fans were our usual horrible stuff to the players that left the club;

Lowe got a nice ovation from the crowd when they showed him on the video board.

Same thing happened today, but with Damon. (The video montage / ovation, not the lost ring.)
   105. villageidiom Posted: May 13, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4130860)
Neutralized stats for 2012 through Saturday:

Reddick: .296/.345/.548/.893
Sweeney: .340/.372/.481/.853

Meanwhile, there's this:
Aviles: .269/.303/.448/.751
Lowrie: .304/.383/.471/.853
Scutaro: .242/.293/.298/.592
   106. Jittery McFrog Posted: May 14, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4130869)
First, the "regression" isn't the same. The regression done before the 2011 season is different from that done before the 2012 season.


OK. But,

1) for holdover players, which is most of them, an extra year of data should mean that performances get regressed *less*. For above average players (which is most of the starters) that's a boon.

and

2) Your prior post suggested that the 95-win number was unregressed, and that (since 95 wins is well above average) the '12 club would losing a fair bit based on regression alone. Or at least that's how I interpreted

"The 2011 team was a 95-win team because of a concentration of unexpectedly good performance from guys like Ellsbury, Pedroia, Ortiz, Beckett, and the rest. The issue for the 2012 Red Sox is that regression to the mean ate a big chunk out of the club's projection"

If the 95 number is a regressed value which adjusts for the "unexpectedness" of the '11 performances of Ellsbury et al., then it doesn't necessarily follow that regression would eat a big chunk out of it. If anything, per point 1, it should be eating a bit less.

Third, the injuries that the 2012 Sox have suffered are way, way worse than what the 2011 Sox suffered. The 2011 Sox lost, what, a couple starts from Beckett and a season of DiceK? And all of their regulars were healthy all season, except Youkilis, who's Youkilis. They really didn't have bad injury luck overall, the worst of it just happened to be concentrated in the worst month.


Then I guess this is a substantial source of disagreement. The 2012 Sox lost a lot of time from Buchholz and Dice-K, and their replacements were bad. That's a lot of value there.

Apart from Ellsbury I don't think the '12 team has been particularly unfortunate on injuries, at least not yet. Bailey's always been fragile, and he's a short reliever, there really aren't a lot of projected innings to lose there there (53 according to ZiPS, 54 according to Fangraphs fan projections).

You cite Crawford, but yeesh, I don't see much there. Crawford projects as a 102 OPS+ by ZiPS. He was replacement level last year, and he looked every bit of it. I'm not sure how much the team is losing with Ross/etc. instead of Crawford for half a season. If we "credit" the '12 team for lost Crawford time, you'd probably have to "credit" the '11 for time lost to JD Drew, since he too projected as above replacement prior to '11, and he too missed about half a season. I don't see the '12 team making up much ground here.

I fully grant that the Ellsbury injury is legit bit of #### luck. But 8 weeks of Ellsbury does not a season make. Even if he were fully the ~8-win (per B-Ref) player he played like last year, 8 weeks of that is less than 3 wins, and less than half the '11-to-'12 talent shortfall you suggest. If we regress our expectations of him (e.g. with your dumber than marcel method) I estimate that's no more than 2 wins. That still leaves at minimum 5-7 wins in the shortfall.

Maybe you have a very steep aging curve? A love of Scutaro?

I think RLYW was a little low on the '11 Sox.

91 is exactly what I said - a preseason 90-92 win club that has been hit terribly hard by injuries, dropping them about four wins in expectation.


What, in your view, was RLYW underappreciating about the '11 team? At bottom, my objection/confusion has been that the '12 roster isn't that different than the '11. If RLYW underrated the '11 team but not the '12 team, where, in your view, did that talent go?
   107. Jittery McFrog Posted: May 14, 2012 at 01:59 AM (#4130878)
91 is exactly what I said - a preseason 90-92 win club that has been hit terribly hard by injuries, dropping them about four wins in expectation.


Also, I'm not sure how you're factoring in injuries but: the RLYW 91-win projection is based on projected playing time. It wouldn't be correct* to simply subtract off a player's full (value/time)*(injury time) from 91, since the 91-win number already projects a certain amount of lost time.

(*Not necessarily saying you're getting this wrong, BTW. I'm arguing that adjusting from 91 to 86 based on injury is bigger than it first seems.)

For example, 8 weeks of lost Ellsbury would deduct (say) ~2 wins from a team projection that assumes he plays ~162. But as long as RLYW is implementing playing time projections reasonably**, it should be projecting him well below ~162 games played. ZiPS, for example, projects him to play 128 games. If you were to deduct the full ~2 wins from 91 you'd be double-counting some injury time. If he ends up playing X games, you would only subtract from 91 the value lost from him missing (128-X) games (well, replace 128 with whatever RLYW used).

**(I haven't parsed their stuff all the way through yet, I'm tired. Sorry.)

More generally, for your 86-88 number to work with the RLYW 91-win number you'd have to claim that the '11 club has already lost (or is already expected to lose) 3-5 wins to injury beyond their projected wins lost to injury. And that's a net loss beyond projection -- i.e. if you "debit" as bad luck injury time in excess of projections, you'd also have to be "crediting" as good luck playing time in excess of projections.

And there are a lot of guys on pace to beat their PT projections. For example, if the starting rotation stays mostly healthy*** the way they have so far, everyone on the staff other than Lester will be blowing away their ZiPS playing time projections. That's a lot of PT to offset. Sure, it's early yet, there's plenty of time to get hurt. But a 3-5 adjustment on top of a PT-adjusted projection seems rather large, and I don't see it as justified at this point. I'll read through the RLYW projection stuff and think about it some more, but I remain highly skeptical.

(***as in not on the DL. "Sucking" doesn't count as unhealthy in this context.)
   108. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4130920)
If he ends up playing X games, you would only subtract from 91 the value lost from him missing (128-X) games (well, replace 128 with whatever RLYW used).
This presumes Ellsbury remains healthy for all the other games, which is a bad assumption.

Eight weeks is really optimistic - the expected return is more like 10-12 weeks, and that's an ~2 win downgrade. Ellsbury projected as an ~4 win player, and he's missing most of the season, to be replaced by below-average players. I'm subtracting from his projection, not from a presumption of him playing 162 games. Add a one-win downgrade for both Crawford (remember the chaining effects of making Ross and Sweeney everyday players and putting Byrd/McDonald/Nava into heavy rotation) and a one-win downgrade for Bailey, and there we are.

On 2011 to 2012, if you're willing to accept the 94.5 wins down to 91 wins, I don't see why 96 wins down to 91 wins is so difficult. Say that I'm wrong on the 2011 squad being a little better than their projections - and I haven't gone back over it, but I think I might be - we're quibbling over a difference that is very much within the margin of error on such things.
   109. Jittery McFrog Posted: May 15, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4131967)
I thought I posted a longer reply last night, but it didn't show up (my connection is lousy) so I'll be brief and then let it go:

This presumes Ellsbury remains healthy for all the other games, which is a bad assumption.


I wasn't trying to make that assumption; X is whatever we expect from Ellsbury, which is why I called it X. If you're estimating ~2 wins then you're pegging X at about 60 games, which I'm fine with. Anything in that ballpark will produce ~2.

Add a one-win downgrade for both Crawford ... and a one-win downgrade for Bailey, and there we are.


If that's where you stop, then I disagree. You'd have to add in all the little bits of excess value accumulated by players who, after staying helthy so far, project to beat their PT projections a bit.

That's what you implicitly did when you adjust last year's team by 0*. Clearly some guys, like Dice-K, played less than expected. But what matters is whether the team overall gained or lost value due to PT. To do that you need to add in the contributions of everyone who played in excess of projection as well.

*Which I'm OK with, with one caveat: as I argued at the time with a silly permutation code, the '11 team had the run distribution (as in "scored X runs Y times, ... allowed Z runs W times..." ) of a 89-90 win team. They lost 4 to 5 wins due to having very broad runs and runs allowed distributions. I don't think it's right to treat that as 100% random. Having a front of the rotation that good and a back that bad *should* produce a broad distribution. So even though they may not have lost an appreciable number of net runs/runs prevented due to injury, I think they did lose some wins. I don't really have the time or know-how to follow that up any further right now, but if I were to pull a number from my hindquarters I'd say they lost at least a win to having the particular roster holes they ended up with.

On 2011 to 2012, if you're willing to accept the 94.5 wins down to 91 wins, I don't see why 96 wins down to 91 wins is so difficult.


Well, it's a few not-that-difficult things adding up to what I see as a difficult to believe conclusion. You see something like "2011:96 2012:87" and I see something like "2011:93 2012:89". Those "feel" different narratively to me -- greatness and mediocrity vs. variations on a theme -- but maybe that's me being silly.

It's funny, when the conversation started I had only estimated the difference between the '11 and '12 clubs (about 3 wins preseason talent, 4-5 injury-adjusted depending on what one thinks of the (*caveat) mentioned above), and in the back of my mind I was accepting the 96-win '11 estimate as a baseline for comparison. My point was going to be that since the '11 team was really a 96-win team, the expectations of this team should still 91-92 wins -- a division contender and likely wildcard. That's a big practical difference from expecting 87 wins, since 87 won't usually get you much, at least not in the old playoff system. Looking more closely at the numbers and at RLYW, I still think that difference is about right, but I find myself revising the '11 club down a bit, so that the resulting point -- we were a little worse than we thought last year and should be an 89-win team this year -- is less stark. Oh well.

Say that I'm wrong on the 2011 squad being a little better than their projections - and I haven't gone back over it, but I think I might be - we're quibbling over a difference that is very much within the margin of error on such things.


OK. I'm OK leaving it there.
   110. Dan Posted: May 16, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4133626)
With how the two of them are hitting, do you sit Gonzalez and play Ortiz at first base in Philly? I say 2 games of Ortiz, 1 game Gonzalez.
   111. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 16, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4133652)
I suspect you will see something on the order of;

Gonzalez 1B/Ortiz sit
Gonzalez sit/Ortiz 1B
Gonzalez RF/Ortiz 1B

like they did last year.

But yes, Ortiz clearly is the guy who should be playing 2 out of 3.
   112. Dan Posted: May 17, 2012 at 03:55 AM (#4133690)
Yeah that would make sense. You'd get 2 games out of each of them that way. On the other hand, I'm not sure Gonzalez is hitting enough right now to justify torpedoing the OF defense.
   113. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 17, 2012 at 07:15 AM (#4133705)
Gonzalez has had a couple bad games, but he's hitting 400/500 over the last two weeks. Clearly you want to find as many games for Papi as possible, but I think we should continue maximizing Gonzalez' PA as well.
   114. Dan Posted: May 17, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4133749)
Does anyone else think Buchholz saved his rotation spot with last night's game? From the 3rd inning onward, he was throwing 4 plus pitches: 4-seamer, cutter, changeup, and curve were all dancing and moving and crisp. His command was still a tick off, but it gave me tingly feelings seeing those awkward swings on his changeup again and seeing a few of his curveballs have great snap again. It's been a long time since I've been that excited by watching Clay pitch. He threw some nasty cutters too, biting with late cut and sitting around 90 MPH.

Overall, he had 12 swinging strikes out of 87 pitches, getting at least 2 whiffs with each of the 4 pitches. Obviously the balk and the early end to his night sucked, but it really seems like he might be getting on track.
   115. Mattbert Posted: May 17, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4133772)
Does anyone else think Buchholz saved his rotation spot with last night's game?

Yes. He was flashing ace-level stuff last night. The Rays aren't a murderers row, but they have some fine hitters even without Longo. Nobody was really squaring the ball up or taking many good swings against Buchholz. I'm chalking the short outing up to the fact that he ran a bunch of deep counts because he appeared to have trouble getting a handle on how nasty his stuff was and just couldn't command it reliably.

This last turn through the rotation for the nominal Big Three has been the most encouraging sign we've seen all year, I think. If those guys can just be decent (and all three were a lot better than decent this week), this team has a shot to turn the season around.
   116. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4133791)
Based on the comments about Matsuzaka it sounds like Buchholz was safe barring a complete destruction. If they didn't demote him to make room for Cook after his first few starts, I don't think he was on the precipice last night. It doesn't sound like a Daisuke return is particularly imminent which at the moment appears to be no big deal but if a starter goes down it's a problem.

It was an encouraging start but also a bit disappointing. As good as he looked he got 5 innings deep and got lifted. For a guy who has Ace level stuff when he's on his game it would be a big disappointment if this was the high end of his starts.
   117. Dale Sams Posted: May 17, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4133827)
to justify torpedoing the OF defense.


OF Defense:

Ross D to C
Byrd D to C+
Sweeney C+ to B
DMac C to B

Nava Supposed to be bad, but hasn't shown it yet?

On the flip side, Ortiz and Agon need a break.
   118. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4133833)

Ross D to C
Byrd D to C+
Sweeney C+ to B
DMac C to B


Gonzalez would be an F- on that scale. He's going to be appreciably worse than anyone else they might put out there and that probably is true if you include Mike Aviles.

I agree on the rest but as I said before I think both guys will get a day off this weekend and they have an off day Thursday.
   119. Dale Sams Posted: May 17, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4133847)
Gonzalez would be an F- on that scale.


I don't know that that's true. Youk was F-.

We didn't see enough of Gonzo. I think it takes a special kind of athlete to have the Maus-like acceleration of Youk in the outfield. Youk was worse than 250 pound beer league softball players. Surely Gonzo in RF couldn't be that bad. And it would be going form 1B to RF, so he is sort of seeing the same angle, if you know what I mean.

But again, the Sox sucking (which means Ortiz and AGon have played every day) renders this discussion moot for now.
   120. Dan Posted: May 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4133854)
Gonzalez could be the best flyball tracker in history and with his foot speed he'd still be a miserable RF.
   121. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4133859)
One aspect of potential disaster for Gonzalez is right is the impact of a bad right fielder is greater than a bad left fielder. If Gonzo butchers one or just can't reach one that goes to the wall in left it's a double, in right it's a triple.
   122. Dale Sams Posted: May 17, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4134012)
Cant we just pretend that Nava is Crawford and just let the guy with the neck tattoo go?
   123. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4134040)
What do we do when Nava turns into a pumpkin? He's a fun story but let's not go overboard on the 29 year old, nearly career minor leaguer with no speed or defensive ability. Ride him as long as it lasts but being prepared for it to end is probably the way to go.
   124. Dale Sams Posted: May 17, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4134064)
An article came out today where the Sox were praising his improved defense. (But of course they will say that). I've missed most of the games he's in, but game threads seem to line up with that assesment.

I don't think it's a great impossibility that he's better than Ross at all aspects of the game.

Here's a crazy aspect of baseball. Let's say that, somehow, Nava is a perfectly fine 110 OPS+ player. At 29, he will never even see the money that Ross makes, not to mention others who get paid more.

Now making a living playing baseball for 400K a year is fine living, but it ain't 3-5 million a year.

I want to change the angle of this convo a little:

I just looked at his minor league stats, is he an undrafted walk-on? He's excelled at all levels of the minors with just a slight hiccup. His cup of coffee in 2010 was a lot better than guys we've had to stick out there the last few years. If he is a walk-on and based on the fact he's excelled at every minor league level...I don't see why he can't be a real MLB player.*

*I know that line Annie has in Bull Durham about "Undiscovered...blossomed flowers...whatever" is more bullshit than not..but there have to be a few guys who fell through the cracks.

Ha! I just sent him a FB message!...doubt he keeps up with the account.
   125. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4134100)

I just looked at his minor league stats, is he an undrafted walk-on? He's excelled at all levels of the minors with just a slight hiccup. His cup of coffee in 2010 was a lot better than guys we've had to stick out there the last few years. If he is a walk-on and based on the fact he's exclled at every minor league level...I don't se why he can't be a real MLB player.*


It's not impossible but I think for all our ######## about the stupidity of MLB GMs, they generally know the game. Guys get missed but the generalizations that get made (he's too small, too slow, etc...) usually prove to be accurate in the long haul.

Nava's entire raison d'etre is his ability to get on base. He's never going to steal bases, he's not going to hit for power, he's not going to be a glove man (though I'll agree he has looked improved), all he can do is get on base. That's not a bad skill, in fact if you have one skill it's a pretty good one to have but it's pretty rough to be anything more than a part time player like that. If he had the 30s of John Vanderwal or Jim Dwyer or someone like that, I wouldn't be shocked but anything more than that seems optimistic.

Just to put some numbers on this I ran a Play Index search based on what I think would be a realistic/optimistic view of Daniel Nava;

OBP >.375
OPS+ 105-120
SB <= 10
90% of games in outfield

Since 1901 only three players have had a season that met that criteria with over 4.0 WAR and only 16 have been over 3.0 WAR and that list includes guys like Yaz, Ashburn, Flood and Dom Dimaggio who were getting a lot more value from their defense than Nava would. The problem for Nava such that there is one is that there is no projection for him. We kind of know what he is. There is nothing wrong with the type of player he is, but his best case is useful 4th outfielder/pinch hitter extraordinaire.
   126. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2012 at 03:18 PM (#4134117)
Just one more set of numbers because you got me thinking with this comment;

His cup of coffee in 2010 was a lot better than guys we've had to stick out there the last few years.


Of the 36 players with at least 25 games in the outfield for the Sox since the start of 2005 Nava's 2010 ranks 29th in WAR and 24th in OPS+. The search isn't picking up 2012 so Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney push him down a bit while Marlon Byrd is five games away from being below him.

Sadly, the guys below him on the lists are for the most part not players he would be compared to but guys we were counting on; a couple of version of Coco, JD Drew last year, Carl Crawford, Jacoby in 2008. The most relevant comps below him seem to be Hermida, Baldelli and Kapler.
   127. Dale Sams Posted: May 17, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4134163)
The only thing tht really sticks out, is that I think you're underestimating his power. No he isn't going to hit over 15 HRs in a full season (probably..look what happened to Jacoby), but he's not hitting bloops and seeing eye singles either.

Again, it's the narrative of "Guy that no one expects to succeed but does" vs those guys like Hermida and Baldelli. Guys who EVERYONE thought would succeed but didn't so they gave them tons of chances. Well here is a guy really hasn't failed yet, so let's give him every chance to do so.*

*There is something to be said about your "GMs arn't dumb comment"...why the hell isn't Beane on the phone about this guy? He's the perfect Moneyball player. In the real sense "X (this being top independent league prospect) is the new market inefficiency" and the percieved one: OBP. Why isn't Theo? Of course Beane's OF is a little crowded right now.
   128. Dale Sams Posted: May 17, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4134168)
OBP >.375
OPS+ 105-120
SB <= 10
90% of games in outfield


Well, that's better than Ross isn't it? And he's younger and cheaper. Cut Byrd, to make room for another BP arm when Melancon or Bailey are ready. Trade Ross.
   129. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4134184)
That's better than Ross IF he can achieve the .375 OBP. Ross is .252/.326/.472 right now for a 114 OPS+. A .375 OBP would be very good in the current offensive landscape (Zobrist is .375 right now, 14th in the AL among qualifiers). I think it's optimistic to see Nava reaching that height for any extended period.


The only thing tht really sticks out, is that I think you're underestimating his power. No he isn't going to hit over 15 HRs in a full season (probably..look what happened to Jacoby), but he's not hitting bloops and seeing eye singles either.


He's hitting the ball hard right now but he's hot right now too. Even in the minors Nava was not any kind of slugger, his career ISO is .179 and it's .189 this year. I don't know how to get the translations right but I'll guesstimate that is roughly a .150 ISO in the majors, fairly generic (AL right now - .154).

You reference Jacoby a bit in passing. The thing is Nava is 29, he's a finished product. The likelihood of any substantial improvement is terribly low. Outliers are outliers so you can't predict what they'll do, but predicting anyone to be an outlier is a fool's errand. They are outliers because they CAN'T be predicted.

I'm not saying punt the guy to the curb. He's done a great job so far (and let's remember it's just 7 games) but I think the likelihood that Daniel Nava is a better player than Carl Crawford is close to nil and I think it's highly unlikely he is better than Cody Ross.
   130. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4134187)
FWIW I agree 100% that the Sox should be keeping him over Byrd. I haven't seen much from him to make me think he needs to stay on this roster.
   131. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 17, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4134200)
*There is something to be said about your "GMs arn't dumb comment"...why the hell isn't Beane on the phone about this guy? He's the perfect Moneyball player. In the real sense "X (this being top independent league prospect) is the new market inefficiency" and the percieved one: OBP. Why isn't Theo? Of course Beane's OF is a little crowded right now.


I can't speak to the specifics of Beane or Theo though I suspect both would prefer to find a 23 year old kid who might have more to offer long term. I think the idea of finding those top indy leaguers is a pretty good one. I seem to recall the Yankees found Edwar Ramirez simply through his numbers, they'd never seen him pitch before they signed him (cheap) and he gave them a pretty good 2008 season but that's probably about what you are getting.

Just looking quickly at the 2011 Frontier League season Ryan Khoury was 4th in OPS. Khoury was a 12th round pick of the Sox and kicked around the system for awhile before finally getting the boot (or leaving on his own, not sure what happened). A guy named Jose Vargas is the youngest player I could find in the league with an OPS over .800 (.809). He's a 22nd round White Sox draft pick who had problems with plate discipline in the Chicago system. He was better in the FL and had decent power.

I'm sure there are guys in these leagues who can play but I think the likelihood of finding anything above a 1 WAR type is probably pretty remote.
   132. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 17, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4134250)
FWIW I agree 100% that the Sox should be keeping him over Byrd. I haven't seen much from him to make me think he needs to stay on this roster.
Byrd is needed because Ross can't play center and Sweeney can't hit lefties. McDonald was needed for the same reason. I think Byrd is a better RHB backup OF / platoon CF than McDonald. The Sox only need one of them, so I figure when McDonald's healthy, they'll try to stash him in AAA. Nava is a corner outfield bat who's better from the left side, and the Sox don't have any others of those, so he should stay up.

Crawford and Ellsbury are months away at this point, so the only thing that can send Nava down is Nava. As long as he doesn't crap the bed, he should get a solid 50-game tryout.
   133. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 17, 2012 at 06:08 PM (#4134264)
There is something to be said about your "GMs arn't dumb comment"...why the hell isn't Beane on the phone about this guy? He's the perfect Moneyball player. In the real sense "X (this being top independent league prospect) is the new market inefficiency" and the percieved one: OBP. Why isn't Theo? Of course Beane's OF is a little crowded right now.
Why would the Red Sox trade Nava? He's their everyday LF through July. I think every GM in the game is smart enough to know that the Red Sox have no interested in selling outfielders right now.

If you were asking why no one was asking about Nava before, this is a guy who was DFA'd and slipped through waivers last summer. He was an organizational player based on his performance and based on his tools.

Nava put up about an 800 OPS in two years at AAA. Other guys who hit about that well in AAA 2010/2011: Justin Maxwell, Scott Moore, Justin Ruggiano, Jordan Brown, and old friend Brandon Moss.

An 800 OPS in AAA translates to maybe 700ish in the majors. If your only skill is your bat, you won't even be able to secure a bench job hitting like that. Guys like Nava have value to a major league club if and only if they take a big step forward as hitters. Most guys don't do that. I hope Nava has, I hope your observations are on target. He was a lottery ticket at best coming into the season. It'd be nice to have the Sox win one of those.

EDITED: Reworked my argument.
   134. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 17, 2012 at 06:22 PM (#4134274)
OBP >.375
OPS+ 105-120
SB <= 10
90% of games in outfield
These are corner outfielders with OBP .360-.390 between 2010 and 2012:

Ryan Braun, Nick Swisher, Matt Holliday, Josh Willingham, Jayson Werth, Carlos Beltran, Andre Ethier, Shin-Soo Choo, Brett Gardner

If you can hit for a .375 OBP and play a corner outfield position, you are at worst a league average regular, and you're probably a star. That's no kind of baseline performance for Nava. If he can manage an OBP above .340, he can probably make himself a major league career.
   135. Dan Posted: May 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4134864)
It's been 122 PA since Adrian Gonzalez hit a home run. During those PA he's hit .255/.344/.368.
   136. Darren Posted: May 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM (#4134908)
Yeah, but what about Reddick? ;)
   137. Dan Posted: May 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4134979)
Reddick hit his 10th home run yesterday.
   138. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 18, 2012 at 04:16 PM (#4135240)
   139. Dan Posted: May 19, 2012 at 01:09 AM (#4135582)
Bard looked TERRIBLE tonight. Velocity down, no command or control of his pitches. Should we be worried that he has a shoulder issue or something, or is he just a bit fatigued maybe? In any case, I think skipping his turn in the rotation while he works on some stuff in bullpen sessions and regains some strength would probably be a good idea for the team right now, but I don't know who you'd spot start at the moment.

I still think he should keep his spot in the rotation for at least another month or so, but if he can't get back to averaging 93-94 MPH on the 4-seamer as a starter then you probably need to pull the plug and send him back to short relief. I think that a guy who averaged 97-98 touching 99-100 in the pen should be sitting at 94-95 as a starter still if he actually has the stamina to start.
   140. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4136578)
From the annals of classic sports reporting - Robothal now has a piece up on Fox Sports about the players' meeting that took place after the first-game loss to Cleveland. It turned the team around! We just happened to find out about it now! After this event, therefore because of this event!

I make fun, and generally I put exceptionally little stock into stories like this. One of the lessons of September '11 is that dynamics between players (or between players and managers) can make a significant difference in baseball outcomes, but I think differences of any real extent are rare, and it's especially rare that today's clubhouse reporters will have the skills, stature, sources, and confidence to break such a story as it's happening. So for the most part we get these post hoc pieces, and in all likelihood the Red Sox won't continue to win games like they're taking their cue from villageidiom's series projections.

Stories like this do make me happy, as a fan. Whether or not the Sox started playing good because Papi laid down the profane smack, I do like that guys like Papi care. Cause I do too.
   141. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: May 21, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4136616)
Speaking of Papi, this is where I'll mention that I thought he looked GREAT in the field this weekend. Since the Papi 1B/Gonzalez RF interleague experiment worked so well, I'm eagerly awaiting the outcry from RSN to make that the solution to the WMB/Youk "problem" this week... But in all seriousness, he just looked really smooth out there. His work around the bag (per his rep) has always been his greatest strength, but I thought he looked good making some diving/reaction plays as well, particularly today.
   142. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 21, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4136688)
Speaking of Papi, this is where I'll mention that I thought he looked GREAT in the field this weekend. Since the Papi 1B/Gonzalez RF interleague experiment worked so well, I'm eagerly awaiting the outcry from RSN to make that the solution to the WMB/Youk "problem" this week... But in all seriousness, he just looked really smooth out there. His work around the bag (per his rep) has always been his greatest strength, but I thought he looked good making some diving/reaction plays as well, particularly today.


That was my impression as well - but he already has a negative defensive rating for the 2 games according to BB-REF. Did he miss a few balls?
   143. villageidiom Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM (#4136761)
Neutralized batting stats through yesterday:
Lowrie: 837 OPS
Aviles: 800 OPS
Scutaro: 615 OPS

dWAR:
Lowrie: +0.2, all at SS
Aviles: +1.2, all at SS
Scutaro: 0, almost exclusively at 2B

Salary:
Lowrie: $1.15 million
Aviles: $1.20 million
Scutaro: $6.00 million

(all of the above per B-R.com)

Mike Aviles is delivering Lowrie-like production on both sides of the ball*, for Lowrie-like cost. Marco Scutaro costs five times as much and is underperforming offensively. Obviously we'll have to revisit this later in the season as the numbers stabilize (and after Lowrie contracts polio, or whatever the latest malady will be). But so far Aviles is a fine solution at SS.

* A 1-WAR difference is a significant number, but there's a wide margin of error around defensive stats in general, and an even wider one around 40 games' worth of defensive stats. The numbers are in Aviles' favor but in reality they could be performing fairly consistently. If the numbers are true, then Aviles defense is trumping Lowrie's superiority on offense, to date.
   144. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4136771)
Since the Papi 1B/Gonzalez RF interleague experiment worked so well, I'm eagerly awaiting the outcry from RSN to make that the solution to the WMB/Youk "problem" this week...
Wait no longer:
When WBZ’s Jon Miller asked Gonzalez if he wouldn’t mind playing right field permanently, he said loudly, “I’ll play wherever the team needs me.’’

With Kevin Youkilis likely rejoining the major league team Tuesday, one wonders if the Sox might take Gonzalez up on that and do more mixing and matching in an effort to get the bats of Youkilis, Ortiz, Gonzalez, and Will Middlebrooks all in the game at the same time.
   145. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4136787)
Fangraphs has Lowrie and Aviles about even in defense and WAR, with Aviles having the edge in baserunning. Scutaro is currently somewhere between don't buy and triple sell. Shedding his salary (and the 40% tax you would have had to pay on it) alone would have been a great move; getting a cheap, quality arm in the process is gravy.
   146. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4137037)
Ross may be headed to the DL with a broken foot.

Initial x-rays were negative but a further examination revealed the possibility of a fracture according to baseball sources.


   147. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4137048)
Good timing for Nava to be hitting well, then. Lin is up, and came in for Ortiz yesterday on the double switch. Sweeney seems questionable with neck pain/possible concussion (funny line from Valentine: "I guess they have a test now that [Sweeney] says he couldn't pass before he dove for the ball, but I guess they ask you to do things and recite the months of the year backwards," Valentine said. "And that's a tough one.")... Maybe Gonzalez is going to be needed to play OF even without considering the Youk/WMB issue. Otherwise we're looking at a Nava/Byrd/Lin starting OF for the forseeable. Scary.
   148. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 21, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4137053)
Seems like it's time for me to start beating the Linares drum again. The fact that he's got a sub-.800 OPS in May at AA isn't going to stop me either!
   149. Dan Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:03 PM (#4137066)
I will admit Gonzalez looked a lot better to me in the OF this year than when they tried it last year, but I still wouldn't ever want him in Fenway's RF. But if they can try him in LF, he'd actually be less than disastrous in LF at Fenway.
   150. Dan Posted: May 21, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4137093)
Broken foot for Ross. So that's three of the top 4 OFers on the DL (plus Sweeney's possible concussion).
   151. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:36 PM (#4137146)
So, what are the options?

-Nava, Byrd, Sweeney everyday, perhaps with Lin platooning Sweeney
-Nava, B/S platoon, maybe Gonzalez/Lin offense/defense platoon, with Middlebrooks and Youk at the infield corners
-If Sweeney is hurt, then Byrd plays everyday and you go Gonzalez/Lin in RF.

That's ugly. Nava and Gonzalez in the same outfield is terrifying - maybe you could play Lin in between and see if he can cover both power alleys?

And this would be the outfield for, what, two more months? That's screaming for a trade.
   152. Darren Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4137152)
Both power alleys and the lines.
   153. Darren Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:43 PM (#4137154)
Also, too, LINARES!!!
   154. Dale Sams Posted: May 21, 2012 at 06:46 PM (#4137158)
Hilarious that the "Oh my God just get anyone in for Byrd! Get..get ####### Daniel Nava up! Is he still in the organization?" guy is now the best OFer they have starting. And that's not beacuse he's my woobie. Even by a conservative projection he would be better than Byrd, and I assume Lin.
   155. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 21, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4137439)
The Sox need Byrd and Lin for defense, and Nava for offense. There isn't much of any competition between them.
   156. toratoratora Posted: May 21, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4137473)
I spent the first part of the season knocking the FO pretty hard for not acquiring enough depth. I'd like to still hammer em around a bit, but this is ridiculous. This team has just been snake-bitten by injuries the last few years. There's just really no way any FO can be prepared for something like this-6 out of the top 7 OF out and Memorial day ain't even here yet.
And in fairness, all things considered, this might not be such an awful team, even with the injuries....though I am staggered that I am actually mourning the loss of Cody's defense in the OF.
Put Youks at first, Middlebrooks at third and the IF looks pretty tight (C'mon, you all knew that Aviles would have 2X as many HR's as Agon by this time of year). Pedroia is as good as always and Salty has flat out been a surprise.
A rotating OF of Sweeney, Nava, Byrd and AGon is kinda a nightmare defensively, but they should be able to hold their own at the plate.Toss in Ortiz going apeshit and the offense is still top of the line.
The key, as always, is the starting pitching.
Now what effect the "Adventures in Outfielding" crew has on the already shaky pitching is the thing that has me scared.
That said, the AL East is beastly tough this year, but it's also wide open. I like the way the team has been playing as of late and I can actually see this team making a run for it when they get some players back.
   157. Textbook Editor Posted: May 22, 2012 at 04:10 PM (#4137927)
Be still my heart... the grand experiment has begun... Lineup for tonight:

Aviles SS
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Gonzalez RF
Youkilis 1B
Middlebrooks 3B
Saltalamacchia C
Nava LF
Byrd CF
Pitching: LHP Felix Doubront (4-1, 4.09)
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