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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: April 30, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2349776)
Defense hasn't been so good in terms of errors, but in terms of outs on balls in play, they are doing much better
than previous Sox teams, at a .734 DER, tho I get conflicting numbers depending on the web site I visit-that's from
the MLB site. BBRef has them at .708, which I think is the more accurate one; either way they are about 4th in the
league. I'll trade a few errors for 3x as many outs.

Ignore Dice-K's ERA, and focus on his 38/10 K/W ratio.
   2. John DiFool2 Posted: April 30, 2007 at 04:32 AM (#2349779)
MTA: I can't think of anything which will affect the huge OBP edge this team has right now. That alone will make them a strong contender.
   3. PJ Martinez Posted: April 30, 2007 at 05:07 AM (#2349788)
Some mention should be made of Mike Lowell's fantastic April-- well, except for the errors. Obviously, he can't keep up his 148 OPS+ (his career-best for a year is 132), but it's come in handy in the early-going. Hopefully Manny will pick up the slack when Lowell cools off.
   4. PJ Martinez Posted: April 30, 2007 at 05:10 AM (#2349790)
Not Sox-related, but given the thread title: Alex Rodriguez, despite his incredible month, did not break the April HR or RBI records, which remain with Albert Pujols and Juan Gonzalez, respectively.

That said, the Yankees only played 23 games. I'm not sure how many the Cards and Rangers played when those other guys set those records.
   5. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 30, 2007 at 05:54 AM (#2349798)
Pedroia has been just awful. Timlin has not looked good and has results to match. Tavarez is not looking like an ace #5… at all.


1) If Pedroia can get his avg to like .235-.245, he's be a good player
2) Timlin is done
3) What were you expecting out of Tavarez?
4) We did well in April despite Manny doing nothing.
   6. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 30, 2007 at 10:16 AM (#2349827)
MTA: I can't think of anything which will affect the huge OBP edge this team has right now.

Our ability to strand runners is unsurpassed.
   7. tjm1 Posted: April 30, 2007 at 11:02 AM (#2349829)
Is Coco’s recent surge a reason for optimism?


It absolutely is. He'll end the month with a batting average around .235. He hit .211 and .253 in Cleveland in 2004 and 2005 respectively, and then ended those seasons at .297 and .300, respectively. Small number statistics, to be sure, but I can't help but think that a guy who grew up in LA and doesn't wear batting gloves is going to have trouble hitting in cold weather. Coco's heated up with the weather so far this year (and also hit well in the Skydome series).
   8. villageidiom Posted: April 30, 2007 at 02:19 PM (#2349879)
Things to feel bad about: Pedroia has been just awful.

Pedroia's BABIP:
2006 .188
2007 .204

Red Sox, 2007: .285

Pedroia's line for his career so far is 188/278/278/556. With a .285 BABIP it would be in the neighborhood of 275/355/410/765. That's not out of line the MLEs of his minor-league performance.

Timlin has not looked good and has results to match.

Timlin has had 8 outings so far, with effectively no spring training. We know he was a disaster in his first outing against Seattle (in garbage time). Since then he has faced the Angels (once), the Blue Jays (thrice), and the Yankees (thrice), all above-average offenses, the latter two being the top two offenses in the AL to date.

I do agree that he has not looked good - but his results are actually better than he has looked. For those seven games, DIPS ERA is over 7.00, actual ERA is 4.05. Though dERA is more stable, at this point it's like saying Britney Spears is more stable than Pacman Jones. Given the opposition he's faced and the fact that he's been close to a month behind the other pitchers, I'd cut him some slack. On the plus side, the bullpen hasn't exactly needed him yet.

Tavarez is not looking like an ace #5… at all.

I'm not entirely sure what an "ace #5" is supposed to look like.

Pitcher              IP   BFP  ERA   dERA 
Arroyo
April 2004   18.2  87  5.79  5.27
Tavarez
April 2007  19.0  87  7.58  5.96 


He hasn't looked like what we saw out of Jon Lester last year, if that's what you mean. But generally I think what we saw out of Lester last year is better than what we should expect out of the #5 spot.
   9. plim Posted: April 30, 2007 at 02:27 PM (#2349883)
4. PJ Martinez Posted: April 30, 2007 at 01:10 AM (#2349790)

Not Sox-related, but given the thread title: Alex Rodriguez, despite his incredible month, did not break the April HR or RBI records, which remain with Albert Pujols and Juan Gonzalez, respectively.

That said, the Yankees only played 23 games. I'm not sure how many the Cards and Rangers played when those other guys set those records.


Pujols and Gonzalez both played in all 25 april games their team played. gotta love baseball-reference game logs.

and let it be known that arod took the last week of april off: .167/.250/.167, 0 hr/rbi in the last 5 games =)
   10. PJ Martinez Posted: April 30, 2007 at 02:46 PM (#2349896)
Thanks for the info, plim.
   11. John DiFool2 Posted: April 30, 2007 at 02:58 PM (#2349902)
Our ability to strand runners is unsurpassed.

Sox are actually doing better with RISP than overall: .270/.379/.450. A team which puts lots of guys on
in the first place will strand more too-that is to be expected. On the pitching side of things so far
the opposition doesn't get much when they get people in scoring position: .209/.294/.298.
   12. PJ Martinez Posted: April 30, 2007 at 03:02 PM (#2349904)
In the category of "things that went right ridiculously well in April," here are the combined numbers for Papelbon, Okajima and Donnelly, via SoSH:

IP H ER BB K ERA Whip H/9 BR/9 K/9
28 9 1 10 36 0.32 0.68 2.89 6.11 11.57

The only earned run given up by the three of them was the HR on the first pitch Okajima threw-- which, as many noted at the time, was likely due in part to really lame pitch-calling.
   13. plim Posted: April 30, 2007 at 04:33 PM (#2349963)
I don't know if anyone else has touched on it, but the yankees are 9-14, inspite of arod's historic april. that said, if he was anywhere near normal, the yankees could easily be two or three more games behind the red sox.

anyone know the last time the yankees were 10 games out of 1st place?

is this their worst april start since 1996?
   14. Toby Posted: April 30, 2007 at 04:55 PM (#2349988)
I have been away all of April, and Darren is doing a great job and the Sox are doing a great job. I suppose I should just stay away ... don't want to jinx anything. ;-)

I only have one regret at this point in the season: I wish we could make more time for Wily Mo. He's had 29 at bats in 24 games. That's maybe 200 for the season. This kid turned 25 in January, we should be getting him at least twice that many opportunities, to give him the chance to develop.

Other than that, it's all good-to-great.
   15. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 30, 2007 at 05:04 PM (#2350000)
That Grand Slam Wily Mo hit gave me an orgasm.
   16. plim Posted: April 30, 2007 at 05:14 PM (#2350014)
15. C-Wok Does Not Own Firearms Posted: April 30, 2007 at 01:04 PM (#2350000)

That Grand Slam Wily Mo hit gave me an orgasm.


Then do I want to know what happened when the sox won the ws in 04?
   17. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 30, 2007 at 05:19 PM (#2350015)
I had to see an urologist
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 30, 2007 at 05:52 PM (#2350043)
In the category of "things that went right ridiculously well in April," here are the combined numbers for Papelbon, Okajima and Donnelly, via SoSH:
Minor thing, but I don't think it makes sense to include Donnelly here. He seems to me to be pretty clearly locked in a competition with Timlin for the #3 slot in the bullpen. They even have the same LI - .77 and .75. Donnelly's winning the competition, but I don't see a lot of reason to include him and not Timlin.

And, anyway, it's not Donnelly that makes the numbers impressive. Li'l Papi and Okajima have combined to allow one run in 22 innings, striking out 32. They've been the bullpen, and they've been awesome.

I'm not as worried about Timlin as others. He looks like a perfectly fine #4 reliever, he's still throwing strikes, he's still putting the ball in play. He's no longer the pitcher he was for most of his Sox tenure, but he'll get the job done so long as he's spotted correctly. What's interesting to me is Romero - he's useless. He doesn't get anyone out, and he looks bad doing it. How soon will Tito and Farrell make a move on a guy with a guaranteed contract? Craig Breslow's starting another nice year in AAA.

Really hope Pedroia turns it around soon. He was supposed to be a batting average guy, and he still has the statistical profile, but you know, results would be nice. It's interesting to see that the problem is basically BABIP, but that's still a real skill that varies among MLB players, and a weird little player like Pedroia does seem to run a higher risk of being an outlier somewhere.
   19. PJ Martinez Posted: April 30, 2007 at 06:09 PM (#2350049)
"is this their worst april start since 1996?"

The Yankees were 11-19 in 2005. That includes part of May, I think, so I don't know what the April record was, but that seems to me neither here nor there, so far as measuring the relative badness of their start.

Did Tavarez lengthen his leash at all with yesterday's outing? He had some pretty horrendous moments, but the overall line was solid. I hope (and assume, really) that the FO is talking to other FOs to gauge interest in Romero, Snyder, and others-- granted, they're may not be any interest, but if Lester continues to pitch well in Pawtucket, I assume he'll get a shot eventually, and some such move may be necessary.
   20. RobertMachemer Posted: April 30, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2350064)
What's interesting to me is Romero - he's useless. He doesn't get anyone out, and he looks bad doing it.
Is that true?

Courtesy of bb-ref:
career vslefties:  .230 AVG.318 OBP.301 SLG
career vs
righties.281 AVG.377 OBP.450 SLG

2007 vs
lefties:  .250 AVG.278 OBP.250 SLG
2007 vs
righties.471 AVG.526 OBP.824 SLG

2006 vs
lefties:  .202 AVG.298 OBP.303 SLG
2006 vs
righties.382 AVG.455 OBP.578 SLG

2005 vs
lefties:  .198 AVG.308 OBP.267 SLG
2005 vs
righties.268 AVG.415 OBP.446 SLG

2004 vs
lefties:  .264 AVG.350 OBP.358 SLG 
2004 vs
righties.199 AVG.316 OBP.271 SLG 


From 2005-2007, he's been good at getting lefties out (and at avoiding giving up extra-base hits to them when he doesn't), and bad at getting righties out. (For some reason, in 2004, he had a reverse split, but he was still fine against lefties, albeit better against righties).

It seems to me that Romero has a use, but that use is against lefties; he can get people out, but those people are lefties. In contrast, Snyder has negligible platoon splits -- he's mediocre against everyone. With Lester due to come up (and Tavarez steteched out enough to be the long-man in the pen), it might make more sense to be rid of Snyder than Romero, depending on how important you think a LOOGY is.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 30, 2007 at 07:47 PM (#2350134)
Huh, Romero's been getting lefties out. Fair enough, I take it back. He's pitching himself out of facing righties except in very low leverage (I hope), but he hasn't screwed up loogying. That's something.
   22. villageidiom Posted: April 30, 2007 at 09:08 PM (#2350202)
Well, if you want a LOOGY, why not get rid of Romero and bring Lopez back? At least Lopez has displayed some ability to get righties out, while being equally effective against lefties.

If you can find someone else to pay for Romero, great. They have all kinds of pitchers who can get righties out, so the extra flexibility Lopez has isn't that big of an add. If they still have to pay for Romero, they might as well LOOGY him.
   23. RobertMachemer Posted: April 30, 2007 at 09:11 PM (#2350205)
Well, if you want a LOOGY, why not get rid of Romero and bring Lopez back? At least Lopez has displayed some ability to get righties out, while being equally effective against lefties.


career vslefties:  .247 AVG.328 OBP.341 SLG
career vs
righties.306 AVG.397 OBP.455 SLG

2007 vs
lefties:  .333 AVG.439 OBP.667 SLG
2007 vs
righties.000 AVG.200 OBP.000 SLG

2006 vs
lefties:  .250 AVG.385 OBP.281 SLG 
2006 vs
righties.208 AVG.333 OBP.417 SLG

2005 vs
lefties:  .278 AVG.366 OBP.444 SLG
2005 vs
righties.421 AVG.511 OBP.711 SLG

2004 vs
lefties:  .221 AVG.355 OBP.273 SLG
2004 vs
righties.350 AVG.441 OBP.475 SLG 


Both over his career and in both 2005, 2006, and 2007 (albeit in limited at bats, so make of this what you will), Romero has been better against lefties.

I agree that you'd rather Lopez face a righty than Romero, but I think both would be the last resort to face a righty in any case. And Romero has been better against lefties.

I'm not sure that I want either on the roster -- I'm not sure I like LOOGYs taking up roster-space -- but if you do think having a LOOGY is worth the space, it seems entirely possible that Romero is the better choice than Lopez. (Besides which, Lopez has options; Romero doesn't).

(Problem: none of the above numbers are park- or league-adjusted. Romero pitched in the AL, against DHs, but in nicer pitchers' parks than did Lopez. Feel free to adjust the numbers however you see fit).
   24. Tor Posted: May 01, 2007 at 03:36 AM (#2350671)
Ok, that's interesting (that Romero did well against lefties last year, despite being generally terrible).

But it really looks like he was just lucky against lefties in 2006.

2006 vslefties:     K/BB1.0   BABIP.221
Career vs
lefties:   K/BB2.3   BAPIP.291 


How common are LOOGYs who are effective despite poor peripherals against lefties?
   25. tjm1 Posted: May 01, 2007 at 07:59 AM (#2350788)
If you can find someone else to pay for Romero, great. They have all kinds of pitchers who can get righties out, so the extra flexibility Lopez has isn't that big of an add. If they still have to pay for Romero, they might as well LOOGY him.


1. Romero's not making very much.
2. His salary is a sunk cost, anyways. They are going to pay him the same either way. The only extra cost involved in using Lopez would be the difference between AAA salaries and the major league minimum. Given that that kind of money is small potatoes for the Sox, the only relevant question is which guy will help them win more games. I think that it's Lopez.

I only have one regret at this point in the season: I wish we could make more time for Wily Mo. He's had 29 at bats in 24 games. That's maybe 200 for the season. This kid turned 25 in January, we should be getting him at least twice that many opportunities, to give him the chance to develop.


We hear this all the time, and it sounds like it should be true, but then you see a guy like Josh Hamilton with essentially no minor league experience and a long layoff since he last played and he's tearing up the majors. Maybe Hamilton is a freak of nature, and maybe this won't last, but it does make you wonder if experience is overrated and players get better as they age simply due to greater maturity, or subtle physical development.
   26. Dave Cyprian Posted: May 01, 2007 at 11:42 AM (#2350814)
Sox have looked great. I agree with much said here. No one mentioned their tenacity for comebacks as well. Pre-season, I was concerned that perhaps the line-up (which is more top-heavy than previous years) would have trouble starting late rallies. So far the back of the line-up has lead the way in that regard, IIRC.

That Yankees May 5, 2005 line - 11-19 - has been in the back of my mind this season. That year they had an incredible mid-season string of additions with Chacon, Small, Cano to storm back and win their 95th game, and the division, the final weekend of the year. This year my motto for BOS: "96!"
   27. Dave Cyprian Posted: May 01, 2007 at 02:35 PM (#2350903)
Good point
   28. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 01, 2007 at 02:49 PM (#2350916)
It took me a couple of days to figure out that Darren is evoking T. S. Eliot. Well done!
   29. John DiFool2 Posted: May 01, 2007 at 04:22 PM (#2350998)
While Cano has definite staying power (dunno if he will hit .342 again tho), Chacon & Small were almost pure luck, their
2005 seasons their best ones by far. I don't think I'd depend on the Yankees having that kind of serendipity again, if
I were them.
   30. Toby Posted: May 01, 2007 at 05:05 PM (#2351034)
I'll believe the Yankees are dead when the stake is through the heart and the garlic is in the mouth, or wherever the garlic is supposed to go.
   31. Sexy Lizard Posted: May 01, 2007 at 05:12 PM (#2351041)
If we can go by my coworker in the Yankees hat, the steak is in the belly and from his breath I'd say that the garlic is definitely in the mouth.
   32. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: May 02, 2007 at 06:47 AM (#2351969)
Here they come again...
   33. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: May 03, 2007 at 07:43 AM (#2353085)
Timlin looked terrible - Must be a 5 run lead minimum.

Coco's catch was amazing. Everytime he is base, I feel confident that he is going to score.
   34. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 03, 2007 at 01:23 PM (#2353141)
Everytime he is base, I feel confident that he is going to score.

Well, everytime Papi is at bat, I feel we're going to score.

I'll believe the Yankees are dead when the stake is through the heart and the garlic is in the mouth, or wherever the garlic is supposed to go.


Garlic in every oriface oughta do it.
   35. Darren Posted: May 07, 2007 at 03:06 AM (#2356748)
After today's game, Pedroia is currently outhitting Cano.

Also, team payrolls according to Cots, now stand at Yankees 207 mil, Red Sox 143 mil. So pretty much the same.
   36. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 07, 2007 at 03:52 AM (#2356791)
If I calculated correctly, Pedroia's current line is all the way up to .239/.354/.328. Clearly, he can still only continue to go up from here.
   37. Darren Posted: May 07, 2007 at 03:55 AM (#2356794)
Just think, when he gets his average up to .300 (tomorrow?), he'll be around 420 OBP and 400 SLG.

Seriously, though, his numbers have gone from horror show to a bit below average in no time.
   38. PJ Martinez Posted: May 09, 2007 at 02:57 PM (#2359333)
Since there's no Beckett thread, I'll stick this stuff here.

Lots of good comments over at SoSH regarding Beckett-- and Farrell?

"Josh Beckett has made the adjustment of no longer pitching off of the corners of the pitching rubber. He has elected to push off now from the center of the rubber so that he can more consistently locate his breaking pitches, without having to adjust from one side of the rubber to the other."

"Perhaps this point was made in the game thread tonight, but during the NESN broadcast, Remy showed that Beckett has substantially shortened up his wind-up and slowed down his delivery by using a side-by-side comparison to last year."

"They had mentioned the slowed delivery and played the split-screen during his last start, but today they talked about something else he changed: He no longer lifts his hands over his head going into his delivery, instead raising them only up to the letters of his uni. He barely moves them from his belt at all when pitching from the stretch. He's altered his delivery pretty drastically overall and the results have been fantastic so far. The drop in FB rate (an even 10% so far) has obviously been the result of better control over his curve, changeup and two seamer— but one has to believe this to be closely related to the changes in his delivery."

"It sounds like it's a combination of a great many things this year: a slower delivery, a more compact motion, moving to the middle of the rubber, and a change in pitch selection where he's throwing far more curves."

I haven't seen Beckett much this year, so I can't comment on any of this, and there's some talk over there about how he started to make some of these adjustments late last season. Anyway, interesting stuff. Hope he can keep it up.
   39. Chip Posted: May 09, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2359421)
Interesting that one of the claimed problems with Dice-K from the stretch is similar to what Beckett was doing last year: rushing the delivery too much.
   40. Darren Posted: May 10, 2007 at 02:39 AM (#2359914)
Actually, May might be even cooler. We'll see.
   41. PJ Martinez Posted: May 11, 2007 at 02:22 AM (#2360515)
I don't have the research chops to verify this, but a poster called Steve Brady over at SoSH says this is the best start for the Sox pitching staff, in terms of RA (110 RA in 33 games), since 1993 (109).

If that's true, I'm surprised they've overtaken (for now) the 2001 staff, which was awfully good.
   42. bibigon Posted: May 11, 2007 at 03:05 AM (#2360537)
If that's true, I'm surprised they've overtaken (for now) the 2001 staff, which was awfully good.


I think you mean the 2002 staff - the 2001 staff was fine, but the 2002 staff had three guys with sub 3 ERAs.
   43. PJ Martinez Posted: May 11, 2007 at 03:23 AM (#2360552)
Yeah, that's the one. Staff ERA of-- if I'm reading b-ref right-- 3.75.
   44. Chip Posted: May 11, 2007 at 04:39 AM (#2360591)
Whichever team it was, the unfortunate part of each of those comparisons is that the '93, '01, and '02 squads all missed the playoffs.
   45. villageidiom Posted: May 11, 2007 at 11:47 AM (#2360656)
1993
John Dopson
Roger Clemens: 1.73 ERA through 5/11, 5.78 ERA after, including a close to a month on the DL.
Manager Butch Hobson and an 89 OPS+ from the offense

2001
Tomo Ohka
Frank Castillo
Hideo Nomo
The Fumes Of David Cone

2003
John Burkett
Casey Fossum
Jeff Suppan

So far, I'm not worried. Their performance will drop down from current levels, but I think the projected standings reflect that already.
   46. villageidiom Posted: May 11, 2007 at 11:51 AM (#2360658)
Oops, I meant 2002 instead of 2003.

2002
John Burkett
Frank Castillo
Darren Oliver / Rolando Arrojo
TONY CLARK
   47. Xander Posted: May 13, 2007 at 09:29 PM (#2362861)
I've never felt so bad for the other team after my team won. You gotta feel for Guthrie though.
   48. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: May 13, 2007 at 09:58 PM (#2362875)
I had to see an urologist

Priapism?

I only have one regret at this point in the season: I wish we could make more time for Wily Mo. He's had 29 at bats in 24 games. That's maybe 200 for the season. This kid turned 25 in January, we should be getting him at least twice that many opportunities, to give him the chance to develop.

You want him to get 400 at bats this year? I don't. Not until he learns to hit a breaking ball. He'd K 200 times in 400 AB's with his current approach.
   49. Darren Posted: May 13, 2007 at 11:51 PM (#2362955)
His current approach has him hitting ~800-850 OPS as a Red Sox. It's his D that's ugly.
   50. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: May 13, 2007 at 11:57 PM (#2362959)
Darren, any pitcher who throws Pena anything but breaking stuff is a fool. His OPS may be whatever you say it is, but I haven't seen him hit anything but fastballs.
   51. Darren Posted: May 14, 2007 at 12:24 AM (#2362982)
He's hit breaking balls, but he's had a hard time laying off ones out of the zone. He's a decent to good hitter.
   52. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 14, 2007 at 10:03 AM (#2363281)
All in favour for for Beckett skippng a start?

*raises hand*

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