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   1. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 17, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3731272)
The more I think about this the more I think McDonald's presence suggests a lack of confidence that Cameron is fully healthy. With Drew and Ellsbury the Sox can't afford to have an unknown as fourth outfielder.

I was at the show the other night, Theo seemed pretty smashed.
   2. Darren Posted: January 17, 2011 at 03:41 PM (#3731276)
Someone should have asked him if he was really involved in the Beckett and Crisp deals.
   3. Jon T. Posted: January 17, 2011 at 10:56 PM (#3731543)
I feel like going with McDanald means Papi will be the DH against LH hitters and that does seem like a waste.
   4. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: January 17, 2011 at 11:58 PM (#3731583)
Salty is in the best shape of his life!
   5. Valentine Posted: January 18, 2011 at 01:56 AM (#3731657)
The Lowrie/Scutaro situation reminds me a lot of Ellsbury/Crisp. As I remember, that one ended up with both playing essentially full time (though Crisp was the "starting CF" while Ellsbury roamed).

Salty had better be in the best shape of his life, because to date he hasn't made it through more than half a season without injury.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2011 at 06:18 AM (#3731768)
I feel like going with McDanald means Papi will be the DH against LH hitters and that does seem like a waste.
Another possible reading is that the Sox are not planning for Mike Cameron to be healthy enough to play CF regularly (or don't want to risk Cameron's health by playing him at CF regularly) and instead expect him to get a good number of his PA as a platoon DH, so they need a 25th man who can cover CF.

I really have no clue what's going to happen with Papi and the platoon. This is in part a function of my not knowing what's going to happen with Papi. It's certainly possible he'll be a good enough hitter than we won't need to platoon. That's not one of the more likely scenarios, but it's possible, and Tito will need to be thinking and rethinking his possible platoons through the season.
   7. Dan Posted: January 18, 2011 at 09:45 AM (#3731795)
so they need a 25th man who can cover CF.

If last year is any indication, McDonald isn't a good fit for this role either then. His defense in CF was brutal.
   8. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: January 18, 2011 at 10:35 AM (#3731800)
I'm excited at the possibility if Jed playing a full season (and hitting like he did last year) . But everything I get excited about does not seem to work out lately
   9. Cat Named Manny Posted: January 18, 2011 at 03:48 PM (#3731855)
Looks like Marcus Thames is about to sign with the Dodgers, so I think McDonald as the fifth outfielder/LHP pinch hitter is going to happen.
   10. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 18, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3731860)
Aprorpos of...something, Evan Dreilich is a HS friend of mine. Bastard missed my Housewarming party to go to Boston and get this interview with Theo, so I hope you all discuss the hell out of it.
   11. Mister High Standards Posted: January 18, 2011 at 05:07 PM (#3731906)
I missed your housewarming because I was stuck in NJ having meetings until late into the night. Evan wins.
   12. Jon T. Posted: January 18, 2011 at 06:50 PM (#3731986)
well, Papi had a 599 OPS last year and 674 ops over the last three year so I don't think there is any reason to think he will be adequate next season.
   13. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 18, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3732007)
I missed your housewarming because I was stuck in NJ having meetings until late into the night. Evan wins.
So he does. No worries, glad I didn't miss you at the bar as I did with Shooty.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2011 at 07:39 PM (#3732034)
well, Papi had a 599 OPS last year and 674 ops over the last three year so I don't think there is any reason to think he will be adequate next season.
The issue here is sample size. Ortiz only bats against lefties ~200 times a year. A lot of weird stuff can happen in 200 PA. His platoon split needs to be heavily regressed - CAIRO projects Ortiz to a .335 wOBA against lefties, equivalent to an OPS in the range of 770 or so.

One way of seeing there might be a problem with taking Papi's platoon splits entirely at face value is to look at his numbers against RHP last year, and during his peak:

313/404/654 (2003)
326/411/671 (2004)
298/413/641 (2005)
292/434/649 (2006)
343/470/700 (2007)
297/416/643 (2010)

Taking Ortiz's terrible 200 PA split against LHP as indicative of his real ability seems to imply in turn, that Ortiz is actually just as good against RHP as he was when he was one of the two or three best hitters in the world. I think it's much more likely that Ortiz' hitting skills have declined more broadly, and that happened to show up most strongly last year in that 200 PA split against lefties.

Ortiz's platoon split projects to be larger than average, but he does not project to be a bad hitter against lefties, just as he does not project to be as good against righties as he was at his peak.
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2011 at 07:53 PM (#3732043)
If last year is any indication, McDonald isn't a good fit for this role either then. His defense in CF was brutal.
Was it? I mean, I'm not saying it definitely wasn't. McDonald's numbers were terrible. But with defensive numbers in 85 games or so, you've got again a sampling issue, combined with the possible problems in the data source.

I thought McDonald looked passable out there in CF. The Fans Scouting Report numbers seem to agree - he's rated as a somewhat below average CF, not a terrible one.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 18, 2011 at 07:56 PM (#3732049)
(I was trying to edit down the tone in #14, thought it came across ######. Wanted something more like, "one way of showing the levels of random variation in platoon split numbers is to look..." but I ran out of time.)
   17. Cat Named Manny Posted: January 18, 2011 at 11:40 PM (#3732242)
It doesn't seem to me that McDonald in center field is something we'll see much, given even a modicum of health in the outfield. Ellsbury, Cameron, Drew and Crawford could all play there if the Sox were really pinched and truly had zero confidence in his ability to handle it, and beyond that they have Kalish (who is probably ahead of Drew and Crawford on the CF depth chart anyway). In a worst-case scenario where Ellsbury and Cameron went down simultaneously (again), the Sox could slide Drew over short-term (no more than a game or two, which was done as recently as 2008) and use McDonald in right, or they could simply call Kalish up in a DL situation.
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 19, 2011 at 12:17 AM (#3732262)
Why would McDonald be the 25th man, though, if the Sox didn't want another bench player who con cover CF? If he's the guy, I figure it's got to be his ability to play CF that sets him apart from other possible contenders.

So, from there, I was thinking that the Sox might want to platoon two lineup spots - two of RF, CF, and DH. When McDonald and Cameron are covering two outfield spots, in Fenway, you really kind of want two CF quality guys, and when Papi is resting, it will probably make sense to occasionally dH Cameron for health reasons.
   19. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 20, 2011 at 01:24 PM (#3733193)
Maybe the Sox just don't have a better option than McDonald right now and would rather not lose him on a waiver claim. There is a long time to go before the season starts.
   20. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 20, 2011 at 09:04 PM (#3733511)
I think you have to keep McDonald around until you are 100% certain of Cameron's health. 38 year olds coming off major injuries aren't exactly in the "sure thing" category.

For what it's worth I'm with MCoA on McDonald's defense, not Gold Glove or anything but he looked good enough to me.

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