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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: September 02, 2007 at 04:46 AM (#2508359)
Let the Kids play. Yeah they'll make their share of rookie mistakes, but a bunch of hustling youngsters may very well jar some of the underperforming vets into waking out of their respective funks. Either that or take their jobs. Now if Jed is up on Monday I'll be perfectly happy.
   2. Answer Guy Posted: September 02, 2007 at 04:49 AM (#2508362)
Agreed. Plus, regarding the pitchers, opposing scouts have less of a book on them.
   3. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 02, 2007 at 08:48 AM (#2508428)
One of the most enjoyable games of the season given the context.


Tell me about it, I was in a filthy mood when I woke up before the Clay game. Times change!
   4. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 02, 2007 at 11:11 AM (#2508438)
Can we bury the corpses of Timlin and Hinske now? Thanks.
   5. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: September 02, 2007 at 04:15 PM (#2508516)
Can we bury the corpses of Timlin and Hinske now? Thanks.

But who is tito going to go to when he wants a close game to get out of hand? Nothing like having your fourth best bullpen arm throwing in a one run game with two on and no outs.

I may have mixed this up, but WEEI has Moss and Elsbury starting today.
   6. Darren Posted: September 02, 2007 at 04:50 PM (#2508537)
Timlin's been pretty good for the past couple months.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 02, 2007 at 05:11 PM (#2508551)
-what a great game. i'm not gonna be around for a couple weeks - moving, travelling - and I've missed a bunch of games. So glad I caught yesterday's game. Picked up in the fifth just as Buccholz walked his second batter, and in watching him get out of the inning, I had no idea anything was happening, because that seemed like the only inning he didn't have his good command. (And the amazing thing was that Buccholz's command was merely good last night. If he addz an extra tick of command, christ will he be incredible.)

-can we have a happy thread without wok ranting against perfectly good players? Thanks.
   8. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: September 02, 2007 at 05:14 PM (#2508553)
He's their fourth best arm and Tito kept him out there when they needed a K. Plus, Timlin's g/f for the last two seasons is less than 1, so you cannot count on the double play.
   9. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 02, 2007 at 05:20 PM (#2508563)
I may have mixed this up, but WEEI has Moss and Elsbury starting today.

YES. I hope Hinske disappears like [I can't think of something obscene right now, I'll fill this in later]

-can we have a happy thread without wok ranting against perfectly good players? Thanks.


Two months of smoke and mirrors from some con-man wizard with a 87 mph fastball is not going to convince me that Mike Timlin isn't toast.
   10. Mattbert Posted: September 02, 2007 at 09:24 PM (#2509153)
Two months of smoke and mirrors from some con-man wizard with a 87 mph fastball is not going to convince me that Mike Timlin isn't toast.

What does Andy Pettitte have to do with Mike Timlin being toast or not?
   11. Rough Carrigan Posted: September 02, 2007 at 11:33 PM (#2509237)
Let the Kids play. Yeah they'll make their share of rookie mistakes, but a bunch of hustling youngsters may very well jar some of the underperforming vets into waking out of their respective funks.


I've been defending him all season but I think Ellsbury and Moss could join George Clinton and the ghost of Rick James in a search party deep into the heart of the land of funk and still not rescue J.D. Drew
   12. Darren Posted: September 03, 2007 at 12:40 AM (#2509268)
MCOA,

If you're still around, where are you moving to? Did you finish school?

Good times today for the Red Sox. Their lineup certainly indicated to me, once again, that they feel that winning games is not a high priority right now. But the kids played well and won this one for them.

A couple questions for the gang:

--Can anyone figure out how the heck Ellsbury is slugging .380 in AAA? The guy has hit the ball very solidly in his time in the bigs. He looks amazing out there.

--What do we make of Gagne's absence from today's game?
   13. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 03, 2007 at 12:49 AM (#2509269)
What do we make of Gagne's absence from today's game?


I heard he was sore in the shoulder, can't remember where I read it.

Can anyone figure out how the heck Ellsbury is slugging .380 in AAA? The guy has hit the ball very solidly in his time in the bigs. He looks amazing out there.


I liked his double off the wall yesterday even though I wanted the inning to end so Clay could get back out for his no hitter
   14. Chip Posted: September 03, 2007 at 01:10 AM (#2509274)
Gagne indeed has a sore shoulder and is unavailable for several days, according to Tito. Of course, like Manny, they're not bothering to DL him. Means more Manny D., it appears.
   15. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 03, 2007 at 01:19 AM (#2509278)
rOTOWORLD...

Eric Gagne, who hasn't pitched in a week, is battling some shoulder tightness.
The Red Sox believe Gagne overdid it in side sessions as he attempts to return to form. He's pitched scoreless innings in his last four appearances for Boston.
   16. Textbook Editor Posted: September 03, 2007 at 01:46 AM (#2509289)
Manny hasn't played since 8/31, right? So--in theory--they could DL Manny retro to before 8/31 and wouldn't that then free up a "K-Rod loophole" post-season roster spot for someone? This could be why they're being vague about his injury--they may want to retro-DL him in order to gain the flexibility of an additional possible roster slot for Ellsbury (or someone else) depending on what the next 2 weeks brings. Right now they have 2 "loophole" slots open because of Clement and Donnelly being on the DL on 8/31, but having a 3rd could help with flexibility and if they're concerned about some of these nagging injuries.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 03, 2007 at 01:58 AM (#2509292)
Manny hasn't played since 8/31, right? So--in theory--they could DL Manny retro to before 8/31 and wouldn't that then free up a "K-Rod loophole" post-season roster spot for someone?
That would mean no Manny in the postseason. Have there been any reports to suggest the back issues are that serious? And in the case where they are that serious, that just blows regardless of whether it gets Ellsbury a roster slot.
If you're still around, where are you moving to? Did you finish school?
Just moving within Boston, but we're traveling in the time around the move, so it's a bit condensed and crazy.

In keeping with the thread title, I'm loving the way they're integrating the young players. Buccholz and Ellsbury are doing everything they can to earn more playing time, you've got Youks homering and Pedroia fielding and Papelbon closing. That's just fun.

I assume the Sox must be planning to demote Lester, and I don't quite know how that's gonna happen. I figure he'll understand that the dude who threw the no-hitter needs to be in the rotation.
   18. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 03, 2007 at 02:52 AM (#2509320)
Anyone think the Sox should set the rotation to line up Clay a start vs. the Yankees??

I'd love to see him face them
   19. Textbook Editor Posted: September 03, 2007 at 02:59 AM (#2509324)
D'oh. I was thinking wed activate Manny from the DL before the playoffs and he'd both play and we'd get roster spot flexibility, but of course Matt is right. More coffee, less staring at page proofs is required...
   20. Darren Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:14 AM (#2509327)
OMG MCA! You spelled Buchholz wrong!!!111one You'll be banned from SOSH for sure!

Boy, the Gagne trade is turning into a real mess. It's getting to the point where they're better off if he's type B because teams are not going to want to surrender their first rounder for him. Who knows, the Sox might not even want to offer arb.

Buccholz and Ellsbury are doing everything they can to earn more playing time, you've got Youks homering and Pedroia fielding and Papelbon closing. That's just fun.


Hey, hey, hey. Another 2 hits today brought Pedroia back up to .324.

Another couple questions:

--Would the Sox have been better of with Buc pitching 7 IP 2 H 12 K 0 BB, 100 pitches? More dominating, less wear and tear, further from his IP cap, etc.

--What is Tito's goal when constructing a lineup? Is he aiming to maximize how much he switches up everyone but Manny and Ortiz?
   21. PJ Martinez Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:17 AM (#2509332)
Is there any reason why the Red Sox used a six-man rotation this week? They did, didn't they? Matsuzaka, Beckett, and Schilling against the Yankees, then Tavarez, Buchholz and Lester against the Orioles. There were no days off, but no doubleheaders, either. And I haven't seen anybody mention this.
   22. Darren Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:23 AM (#2509340)
I noticed that as well PJ. It rankled me that they sent out Lester today, when they could have gone back to the top of the rotation. But it seems like Matsuzaka and Schilling both benefit from extra rest, so maybe that went into their thinking.

Kevin Cash, OTOH, I have no explanation for.
   23. rr Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:26 AM (#2509342)
Is there any reason why the Red Sox used a six-man rotation this week?


Well, they have six pretty good starters, it appears--and I think a little time off would be a boon to Schilling heading to post-season.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:30 AM (#2509345)
Is there any reason why the Red Sox used a six-man rotation this week? They did, didn't they? Matsuzaka, Beckett, and Schilling against the Yankees, then Tavarez, Buchholz and Lester against the Orioles. There were no days off, but no doubleheaders, either. And I haven't seen anybody mention this.
Agreed. Every time they can slip it under the radar, the Red Sox seem to be resting up their players for the postseason. It may be the right move overall, but it's hard to accept it as a fan in the moment. This goes double for the fact that Bucholz was apparently a late addition to the rotation.

To go against the spirit of the thread a bit, I still haven't seen much of anything from Jon Lester that suggests he's major league ready. His velocity is inconsistent, his best pitch is non-existent, and his command is fluctuating between bad and passable, without the stuff to cover for it. I expect to spend the winter making regular comments here defending Lester's potential and pointing out that he spent the 2006 offseason not building up his strength, not preparing for a year of pitching, but beating frickin' cancer. I don't think he should be starting for the Red Sox in 2007.
   25. Darren Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:35 AM (#2509347)
Well, they have six pretty good starters, it appears--and I think a little time off would be a boon to Schilling heading to post-season.


What exactly is good about Tavarez and Lester?

MC sums up the situation with Lester pretty well. I don't see a strong argument for him being in the rotation. And I, as my posts make clear, share his frustration. But I would say that my frustrations stem from more than just being "a fan in the moment." I want this team to win the division because a) that's one of the goals that I root for the team to acheive, and b) it would set them up quite well for the playoff run. I'm really surprised that they either don't care about the division or that they think they've locked it up.
   26. bibigon Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:38 AM (#2509350)
I think the only reason Lester is starting for us right now is because the front office, right or wrong, has a lot of confidence that they're going to make the playoffs even if they lose a couple more games because they have Lester starting instead of whoever else. They want Lester to get as much major league playing time as possible I'd guess in order to let him develop.

I think they're probably right. In spite of that ERA, the Red Sox are 6-1 in his starts so far. If we were two games up on the Yankees instead of six, it would be a different story.
   27. bibigon Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:41 AM (#2509353)
I'm really surprised that they either don't care about the division or that they think they've locked it up.


What do you peg their odds of winning the division at right now? 90% or so, right? How much do you really think those odds change we drop Lester from the rotation?
   28. Darren Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:45 AM (#2509357)

I think they're probably right. In spite of that ERA, the Red Sox are 6-1 in his starts so far. If we were two games up on the Yankees instead of six, it would be a different story.


That seems like a coincidence more than anything, and something that they certainly couldn't have predicted when giving him those starts. Lester's FIP was 5.61 and his xFIP is 5.33 coming into today, which is pretty much what you would have expected based on his minor league work this year. He's given up a line of .268 .338 .447 and an ERA of 5.67, so he's not some kind of BIP trickster either. He simply hasn't pitched well this year.
   29. Darren Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:48 AM (#2509358)
What do you peg their odds of winning the division at right now? 90% or so, right? How much do you really think those odds change we drop Lester from the rotation?


Right now, yes, 90 percent or above. But they were at ~99 percent before the Yanks series. To me, stretching the possibility of blowing the division from 1 percent to 10 percent in a few days is very bad and should be avoided.

And I should make clear, I'm not saying that Lester in the rotation, in isolation, is evidence that they don't care or aren't worried. It's the repeated usage of Cash, batting Cora 2nd, using Lopez in a tight game, etc.
   30. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 03, 2007 at 03:52 AM (#2509360)
I want this team to win the division because a) that's one of the goals that I root for the team to acheive, and b) it would set them up quite well for the playoff run. I'm really surprised that they either don't care about the division or that they think they've locked it up.
I basically agree with bibigon on the analytic point - the Red Sox care about the division and know they could lose it, but they're willing to risk it because (a) they think that the value for Lester's development outweighs the risks to the 2007 team season and (b) they still think Lester has the potential to pitch well right now, thus reducing by some factor the risk run to the 2007 team season. I think the caution with Clay comes from a similar place.

I'm not as sanguine as bibigon with regard to the wisdom of this strategy. I think one could just as easily make the case that Buchholts will learn the most from pitching well in the majors right now, while Lester could develop bad habits if he keeps going out there will such marginal stuff and command.

I think the Sox have their reasons, and I think these reasons are articulable without saying that the division race is ovahh, or worthless, but I'm likewise skeptical that the Sox are right.
   31. bibigon Posted: September 03, 2007 at 04:08 AM (#2509366)
I'm not as sanguine as bibigon with regard to the wisdom of this strategy. I think one could just as easily make the case that Buchholts will learn the most from pitching well in the majors right now, while Lester risks developing bad habits if he keeps going out there will such marginal stuff and command.


Sure - that's reasonable. On issues like these however (developmental issues), I tend to give the front office a relatively wide berth, since I suspect the gap between our analytical abilities and theirs is larger than it is for questions about stuff like bullpen usage.

I have much more confidence in the fact that using Papelbon in a 4 run game while using Timlin for two innings in a tie game is probably suboptimal than I do in any conjecture about how pitching at the major league level will affect Buchholz/Lester. I have theories about both, but I have a great deal more confidence in the former than the latter, and as such, I need a higher standard of evidence to doubt the team's internal thinking on these issues.

It's not that I agree with the Red Sox's thinking, it's that I'm more hesitant to criticize it here (since I know less about the subject) than I am on other subjects. Make sense?
   32. JB H Posted: September 03, 2007 at 04:18 AM (#2509369)
- I didn't watch the game today but yeah Lester sucks. When pitchers make improvements it's usually giant ones very suddenly so as a guy scouts like who is recovering from cancer he's a pretty good candidate to be a lot better next year. If he's not then I'm pretty much done with him though.

- I'm kind of happy that Manny's out for a little while. I'm pretty heavily rooting for a 2008 Drew/Crisp/Ellsbury outfield, so I'm glad to get a trial version.

- The games the rest of the way really don't matter much. Winning the division is nice but I think Cleveland is a little better than Anaheim so it all comes pretty close to evening out. The difference between the Sox and Cleveland/Anaheim is pretty massive I think, much bigger than the records indicate.

BTW, I went to Saturday's Cubs/Astros game with Nate Silver, he's a cool guy.
   33. bibigon Posted: September 03, 2007 at 04:39 AM (#2509371)
The difference between the Sox and Cleveland/Anaheim is pretty massive I think, much bigger than the records indicate.


Why do you think this?
   34. JB H Posted: September 03, 2007 at 04:42 AM (#2509372)
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/standings.php

I mean the Angels have worse pitching than us and Garrett Anderson batting cleanup (I think he is anyway). There's no way they're even close.
   35. Mister High Standards Posted: September 03, 2007 at 06:35 AM (#2509386)
--Would the Sox have been better of with Buc pitching 7 IP 2 H 12 K 0 BB, 100 pitches? More dominating, less wear and tear, further from his IP cap, etc.


No christ. Like flags, certain events are forever. The very marginal decrease in chance of injury isn't nearly worth that. Sometimes I really wonder what is wrong with you? I thought that always went without saying.

The redsox have a 6 game lead with 30 to play. The odds of them winning the div is well higher than 90%. I have no problem with John Lester starting against one of the worst teams in the game under those circumstance.
   36. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 03, 2007 at 06:40 AM (#2509389)
Red Sox odds of winning division = 100%!
   37. Dr. Vaux Posted: September 03, 2007 at 06:42 AM (#2509390)
Actually, the Indians' and Angels' offense and pitching are both almost exactly identical to each other statistically, with the Angels holding an insignificant edge in both cases. Subjectively evaluating the personnel tells me that the Angels' pitching is better and the Indians' offense is better, but that's, well, subjective. Any playoff series between them could certainly go either way, but that sort of goes without saying--a playoff series between the Red Sox and Devil Rays could go either way.
   38. PJ Martinez Posted: September 03, 2007 at 02:51 PM (#2509460)
The concern in facing both the Indians and the Angels in a short series has to be the the first and second guys in their rotation, doesn't it? I'd be worried about Escobar, Lackey, Sabathia, and Carmona shutting down the Sox lineup, and the Cleveland or Anaheim lineup scoring just enough to win.

I don't think it's a coincidence the Sox have a better record, and could even be convinced that if the teams played the season over the Sox might even expand that lead. But in the playoffs, both those teams are pretty scary.
   39. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 03, 2007 at 04:09 PM (#2509495)
The concern in facing both the Indians and the Angels in a short series has to be the the first and second guys in their rotation, doesn't it? I'd be worried about Escobar, Lackey, Sabathia, and Carmona shutting down the Sox lineup, and the Cleveland or Anaheim lineup scoring just enough to win.

We never seem to have problems with Lackey, and it's not like the pitchers we'd be putting out there are bad.
   40. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 04, 2007 at 12:33 PM (#2510924)
I propose we use Brandon Moss as the backup 1B in the playoffs over Eric Hinske.

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