Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

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

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

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

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 
   1. OCD SS Posted: April 11, 2009 at 02:17 PM (#3134222)
I've been wondering how much Papi's preferences play into the lineup construction. I've been wondering if Ellsbury at leadoff is geared towards forcing the other team to take the shift off. The sad fact is that Papi just doesn't look like Papi, and that's a bigger problem than Ellsbury.

Sidenote: Umps hate Jed Lowrie. Hate him.


The "rookie strike zone" phenomena is horse sh!t. The automated strike zone can't come fast enough for me.
   2. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 11, 2009 at 02:21 PM (#3134224)
Is there a sense among Sox fans that Ellsbury has plateaued? He might be the 7th best hitter in the line-up based on previous seasons but I assume he still has growing to do.
   3. Darren Posted: April 11, 2009 at 02:39 PM (#3134227)
7th best based on projection, although he and Lowell are probably close.
   4. John DiFool2 Posted: April 11, 2009 at 02:45 PM (#3134229)
Half the lineup is in the throes of terrible slumps right now. And yes Jake is young enough to develop into the leadoff guy we all hope he can be.
   5. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3134234)
And yes Jake is young enough to develop into the leadoff guy we all hope he can be.
This is true, beyond any doubt, but I think whether or not he should be developing in the lead-off spot is a fair question for a team hoping to contend this year.
   6. PJ Martinez Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:04 PM (#3134236)
Is it possible to be in a "terrible slump" four games into the season? I say no.

Edit: To clarify, a terrible slump could have begun, but after only four games, it is not yet "terrible."
   7. Swedish Chef Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:10 PM (#3134238)
Is it possible to be in a "terrible slump" four games into the season? I say no.

In that case, Cody Ransom is doing the impossible.
   8. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:11 PM (#3134239)
Ellsbury's pitch recognition is still terrible. I am convinced he simply can't see the ball; he lets tons of fatsballs right down the middle go by, then swings at crap. I know he wears contacts and was reported to be having trouble with them last year; he should spring for the Lasik ASAP.

His swing itself is pretty ugly. While that's not necessarily a deal-breaker (no one had an uglier swing than Damon), it appears that Ellsbury doesn't really have much of a plan up there. His feet are bouncing all over the place in the batter's box.

And Ellsbury's not exactly a teenager. He's 2 months younger than Pedroia. At some point very soon I'm going to be leaning towards the "what we see with him is what he'll be" school of thought. He excited everyone with his hot start in 2007, but sensible people knew he couldn't keep that up, and he hasn't. But his production levels since then have been mediocre and disappointing; his OBP in the leadoff spot was 324, which simply isn't good enough.

The frustrating thing with Ellsbury is that if he got on base a bit more he'd be a real force at the top of the lineup because he steals so many bases and has such good speed he scores almost 1/2 the time he gets on base. The Sox could get immense benefits from just a bit of an improvement from the guy. But he hasn't improved yet. And I am wondering if/when that will ever happen.

As for Lowrie, I think that's Ceasar Crespo in his uniform so far this season. He looks completely lost, and as others have noted he's getting called strikes 4 inches off the outside part of the plate. I never thought I'd say this but I'm anxiously awaiting Lugo's return to health. Lowrie looks very frustrated so far.
   9. Lassus Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3134246)
The line about Bay confuses me. Is there some proof of this, or reason?
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:30 PM (#3134247)
I'm not all that concerned about Ellsbury. He projects to a 350ish OBP with lots of speed and not much power. (The difference between Lowell and Ellsbury in aggregate projections is pretty negligible, with Lowell having more slugging but less obp and much worse baserunning.) You could get a 20 point OBP upgrade with Drew or Pedroia, but you'd lose speed and minimize the impact their power. It always feels to me that the worries about Ellsbury are not based on the numbers - where he looks like a very solid player and perfectly acceptable leadoff man - but based on watching Ellsbury struggle. He definitely looks bad when he struggles. But I think he pretty clearly has the tools to make necessary adjustments.

One issue I have is Justin Masterson, setup man. Is he really going to be restricted to relief? It's not just that he has obvious potential to be a middle of the rotation starter on a playoff club (say, a Jered Weaver), but further that he's just not that great in relief, because he's not going to be 8th-inning effective against LHB until he refines his changeup and his sinker command, which I don't see him doing while being matched up mostly against RHB in a major league bullpen. I'd much rather see him starting in Pawtucket with Ramon Ramirez (love him!) pitching the 8th, and an actual long reliever taking Masterson's slot.
   11. Curse of the Andino Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:31 PM (#3134248)
The "rookie strike zone" phenomena is horse sh!t. The automated strike zone can't come fast enough for me.


It took 2.5 years before Nick Markakis started getting pitches called properly, at least against teams other than Boston/NY. Actually drove him into a slump last May, 'cuz he had to swing at pitches he wouldn't otherwise have swung at.

/This year's looking better, so far.
   12. AROM Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:33 PM (#3134249)
I didn't think that last pitch to Lowrie was going to be called a strike, but he gets no sympathy from me. When he was called out, I just figured he was getting the same strike zone Figgins got in the first.
   13. Darren Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3134250)
Lassus,

Bay batted 4th 52 times for Pitt last year then 0 times for Boston, despite the fact that he was the perfect fit for the position. He often hit 5th or 6th behind inferior hitters. My guess last year was that they didn't want him to feel the pressure to replace Manny, but I don't know what their deal is this year (could be they just think Youk is better).

You could get a 20 point OBP upgrade with Drew or Pedroia, but you'd lose speed and minimize the impact their power.


I'd hate to see Drew in the leadoff spot. He struggled in that situation last year and I think it's because he became too passive. I'd put Pedroia there, move Youk or Bay to #2 and be done with it. I'm not sure you're wasting much of Pedroia's power, as it's mostly in the form of doubles.
   14. Lassus Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:46 PM (#3134255)
Ah, I misread that as a statement on Bay, as opposed to the Sox management and their decisions on the matter. Thanks.
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:48 PM (#3134256)
I'd certainly be ok with Pedroia batting leadoff. But I think that Ellsbury's projections are being undersold - he's projected, for instance, to be a better offensive contributor than Mike Lowell.
   16. TomH Posted: April 11, 2009 at 03:55 PM (#3134257)
The leadoff spot is overrated anyway. Put your best hitters 2 thru 5. The typical #1 batter comes to the plate with almost 30% fewer men on base than most other spots in the order; hence, SLG is far less "leveraged" than for anyone else. If J.E. can get a 350 OBP, he'll be fine there. I'd actually prefer to drop him to #9 vs LH starters tho.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 11, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3134258)
I'd actually prefer to drop him to #9 vs LH starters tho.
This I agree with. Ellsbury's not going to put up an acceptable OBP against lefties.
   18. Dan Posted: April 11, 2009 at 04:10 PM (#3134265)
In a vacuum I agree that you'd want to bat Ellsbury 9th vs LH starters, but I think that might be one of the cases where it just isn't worth shaking up the lineup as much as you'd need to. I think lineup rigidity in cases like batting Baldelli 5th ahead of Bay when he plays RF for Drew is ridiculous, but having some measure of lineup consistency is probably helpful for players. If you move Ellsbury to 9th vs LHP, then Pedroia moves from 2nd to 1st, and who moves to 2nd? Youkilis, with Bay moving to 4th? It just seems like it jumbles up the lineup more than it's worth doing for the marginal gain of swapping one Ellsbury PA vs the SP for a PA by Bay or Youkilis or Baldelli or whomever.
   19. Darren Posted: April 11, 2009 at 05:01 PM (#3134286)
How about moving him to PR vs. lefties? Slot in Baldelli and there's no need to switch up the lineup.

Also, I know it didn't end up mattering, but why didn't they PR for Ortiz in the 9th the other night?
   20. veer bender Posted: April 11, 2009 at 05:05 PM (#3134289)
Well, one solution to the problem of shaking up the lineup vs. LHP would be to play Baldelli and just stick him at leadoff. Sure, he's a better SLG than OBP guy, but the OPB is still going to be much better than Ellsbury vs. lefties. But this is where the problem becomes cyclical: the status conferred by being the leadoff guy means that Ellsbury can't be strictly platooned.
   21. veer bender Posted: April 11, 2009 at 05:06 PM (#3134291)
Four minutes late? That's just terrible!
   22. calhounite Posted: April 11, 2009 at 05:06 PM (#3134293)
Ellsbury's a leadoff hitter. speed, hitting ability, and enough power and plate discipline to command a pitcher's respect -that gets walks above the automatic 1-2 % get with a dummy standing there. 290-350-450 with 60 steals is fine for a developing player -can win with that. And does all right against lefties.
   23. Darren Posted: April 11, 2009 at 05:09 PM (#3134295)
290-350-450 with 60 steals is fine for a developing player -can win with that. And does all right against lefties.


Yes, that's a very nice player. Who is he?
   24. Darren Posted: April 11, 2009 at 05:10 PM (#3134297)
You know who's good? That Coco guy. The Red Sox should get him.
   25. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 11, 2009 at 05:12 PM (#3134298)
.290/.350/.450 seems really optimistic for Ellsbury, especially in the power department. His highest full-season slugging percentage is .432 in Lowell when he was 21. I think at this point you'd have to reasonable conclude that's his peak for slugging.

In fact, if Ellsbury put up those numbers, he'd have only the 40th season in MLB history of an OPS over .800, a BA over .290 and 60 or more steals.
   26. veer bender Posted: April 11, 2009 at 05:13 PM (#3134299)
290-350-450 with 60 steals is fine for a developing player


It sure is. Is there anybody that both sees this as a median projection for Ellsbury and thinks there is any kind of problem here?
   27. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 11, 2009 at 05:16 PM (#3134302)
Complete List of those seasons, for the curious. Ellsbury ain't joining that club this year, and probably not ever.
   28. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 11, 2009 at 05:20 PM (#3134303)
Yes, that's a very nice player. Who is he?

Nevermind, RB did it WAY better.
   29. Darren Posted: April 11, 2009 at 06:12 PM (#3134326)
How is RB's better? Mine is hilarious and timely. You see, I start out all agreeing like "Yeah, you're right." But then I turn the tables and totally go the other way. And he's got to be all like "What, I thought we were on the same side!!" But that's when I just wink coyly at my clever trick.
   30. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 11, 2009 at 06:18 PM (#3134330)
How is RB's better?

Oh, his response was better than the one I had originally posted in #28. I originally posted your question and answered "Kenny Lofton in 1995", because he hit roughly .350/.450 and stole like 54 bases, wasn't dead on, but it was relatively close. But then I saw that RB had posted that huge ass list of players who did that and thought it was a superior response, so I didn't want to leave the post up and be so clearly outshined one post sooner. I should have taken down your quote when I removed my response because now that I look at it again, it is kind of confusing.
   31. Darren Posted: April 11, 2009 at 06:21 PM (#3134331)
So we agree that I'm very clever, right?
   32. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 11, 2009 at 06:39 PM (#3134341)
So we agree that I'm very clever, right?

Absolutely.
   33. 1k5v3L Posted: April 11, 2009 at 06:42 PM (#3134344)
Complete List of those seasons, for the curious. Ellsbury ain't joining that club this year, and probably not ever.
That's not important. The real question here is simple: is Ellsbury just better than Sizemore, or infinitely better than Sizemore?
   34. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 11, 2009 at 06:48 PM (#3134348)
That's not important. The real question here is simple: is Ellsbury just better than Sizemore, or infinitely better than Sizemore?


I'm kind of surprised it took this long to bring up that particular bit of lunacy.
   35. 1k5v3L Posted: April 11, 2009 at 06:49 PM (#3134350)
I was too busy checking in on my Pedroia vs. Callaspo scoreboard until now.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: April 11, 2009 at 07:11 PM (#3134360)
What possible reason is there for Baldelli to hit before Bay against lefties, like today?

Arrrghh.
   37. veer bender Posted: April 11, 2009 at 07:19 PM (#3134362)
So Baldelli is in for Drew rather than Ellsbury again, reinforcing my belief that Ellsbury's status as official leadoff man has the added harm of keeping him in the lineup over Drew in most cases. Now we're not talking about the small effects of batting order but the much bigger effect of not starting your best players.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 11, 2009 at 07:26 PM (#3134369)
While we can't know what's in Theo's or Tito's mind - and broad playing time decisions like this are surely jointly made between manager and front office - this is defensible. JD Drew has a long history of being hurt a lot, so you'd like to get him more rest days than a typical ballplayer. He's a lefty, and you've signed a good righty 4th outfielder, so you give Drew his extra days off on those days when you can sub in an equivalent or better ballplayer, anyway. The choice, under this thinking, is unrelated to Ellsbury.
   39. veer bender Posted: April 11, 2009 at 07:27 PM (#3134370)
As to this:
What possible reason is there for Baldelli to hit before Bay against lefties, like today?

I have a theory - It was touchy enough for Francona to bump Bay up past Lowell from a clubhouse / ego management standpoint. You can't put Baldelli between them because that would invalidate the whole argument that they're approximately equal in standing. However, in reality, Baldelli might be enough better than Lowell that Bay-Lowell-Baldelli is not obviously better than Baldelli-Bay-Lowell. So, if those are the only two options, there's no point worrying about it. I'm inclined to go with whatever solution results in Lowell, and his proclivity for double plays, batting last among the legitimate hitters.
   40. veer bender Posted: April 11, 2009 at 07:30 PM (#3134372)
I absolutely agree that resting Drew against LHP is beneficial. However, the choice is related to Ellsbury insofar as we only have one Baldelli. If we had two, I'd platoon Drew and Ellsbury.
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 11, 2009 at 07:34 PM (#3134374)
However, the choice is related to Ellsbury insofar as we only have one Baldelli. If we had two, I'd platoon Drew and Ellsbury.
Where would you get the extra roster slot? We can't give up a pitcher unless we profoundly reshape the bullpen - it's all one inning guys right now. And all of Carter, Green, and Kottaras are necessary backups. Running two platoons in the outfield is extremely tough given modern bullpen construction.
   42. veer bender Posted: April 11, 2009 at 07:42 PM (#3134378)
Sorry, the comment about two Baldellis was meant to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Ideally, yeah, I'd do what you suggest complete with dropping a pitcher and getting another RH outfielder. But I know that's not realistic. My point is that, given that we only have one Baldelli, platooning Drew prevents platooning Ellsbury. I'd be perfectly happy if Drew and Ellsbury lost equal starts to Baldelli, and I'm just afraid that won't come close to happening.
   43. Darren Posted: April 11, 2009 at 08:11 PM (#3134397)
So Drew is going to be rested 40 times this year, meaning that he'll play 120 games minus whatever he misses for injury? I don't think that's advisable. I use him for about as often as possible, within reason, until he breaks down.
   44. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 11, 2009 at 08:15 PM (#3134405)
Forget injuries - Rocco Baldelli projects to be a better hitter against lefties than JD Drew.

EDIT: And on injuries, I think it makes sense enough that if you lighten JD Drew's workload, he'll stand a better chance of staying healthy.
   45. Darren Posted: April 11, 2009 at 08:39 PM (#3134423)
I don't see playing in the game as being all that stressful to the body. When Drew is able to do it, he should, again with reasonable rest--say 15 games off a year. And if we're talking about who's a better hitter, then isn't the question whether Drew or Ellsbury is better vs. lefties?
   46. veer bender Posted: April 11, 2009 at 09:00 PM (#3134444)
then isn't the question whether Drew or Ellsbury is better vs. lefties?


Well, Baldelli clearly gives you more of a boost on offense when replacing Ellsbury, but you give some of the difference back on defense (not that Baldelli is obviously worse than Ellsbury, but he's at least a little better than Drew in right). That, and the reasonable argument that Drew may need more rest than Ellsbury makes me ok with splitting up the platooning 50/50.

I just can't see the rest argument as being strong enough to take all the starts from Drew, especially since Ellsbury is the type of player that needs to be perfectly (leg) healthy to have any value at all.
   47. ekogan Posted: April 11, 2009 at 10:45 PM (#3134495)
Forget about the lineup. The really interesting question is what do the Red Sox do if Wakefield and/or Matsuzaka keep struggling. Do they replace one of them with Smoltz? Do they bring up Buchholz? Do they stick with the starters they started with? Finding playing time for all of the starting pitchers is going to be difficult.
   48. calhounite Posted: April 11, 2009 at 11:36 PM (#3134547)
ellsbury 280 336 394 50. first year parttimer - what was it, the 10 steals. ok. not going to slug 450, point is Ellsbury is a fast lefty batter who can hit and can walk. that's the freakin job description. Not best hitter - best bet to get to first, second or some base.

Who else. Ped's a bat control freak, needed for 2nd. The best hitters, like, for instance, Lowell, are run producers. Lowell's got a good eye, but your basic hacker approach, commonly known as first pitch, fast ball. Doesn't put the onus on the pitcher, more concerned doesn't let a cheap strike get by. Walks your basic 5%, essentially when the pitcher gets behind the count to start with.

Putting the onus on the pitcher throughout the count,ie, zone hitting, is critical to get the walks up to 8-10% which in turn is critical for obp- leadoff. Yea, looks bad sometimes when let a pitch (zone, type) get by, but that's the deal with this type approach.

Ellsbury's a freak - one of the few speed guys who CAN hit and whose OBP should move significantly upward as he develops into better than an average hitter.
   49. Marcel Posted: April 12, 2009 at 07:09 AM (#3134892)
point is Ellsbury is a fast lefty batter who can hit and can walk.


You're right, that is the job description. But that is also not what he's doing. His walk rate dropped off the table as the season progressed last year and he's not shown any better patience thus far this season (SSS alert.) He projects to have the 7th lowest OBP in the everyday lineup. He has the potential to be a very good leadoff hitter, but the Sox shouldn't be giving away at-bats to potential when they can just as easily let him develop at the bottom of the lineup.

And can anyone explain to me why MDC has been buried in the bullpen?
   50. Mattbert Posted: April 12, 2009 at 08:03 AM (#3134896)
The really interesting question is what do the Red Sox do if Wakefield and/or Matsuzaka keep struggling.

Keep struggling? They've had one start apiece, and neither was what I'd call a disaster.
   51. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 12, 2009 at 09:40 AM (#3134899)
5 games in. 5! I love you guys.
   52. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2009 at 10:28 AM (#3134900)
He projects to have the 7th lowest OBP in the everyday lineup.
Don't know where you're getting this. The only system I can find that has Ellsbury posting a lower OBP than Lowrie is the Bill James handbook numbers, which were the big outliers this offseason. And no one has Lowell or Varitek higher.
   53. Darren Posted: April 12, 2009 at 11:13 AM (#3134903)
But isn't James an outlier in its overall optimism, not in its favoing one player over another?
   54. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2009 at 11:22 AM (#3134904)
I'm pretty sure that James is also running some overly generous MLEs. But, yes, there is one system that like Lowrie to get on base more than Ellsbury (though if Ellsbury can put up the 360/425 that James projects, no one will be complaining about his leadoff role).
   55. Darren Posted: April 12, 2009 at 11:46 AM (#3134905)
How'd the dinner turn out, MC?
   56. Gregg Posted: April 12, 2009 at 11:47 AM (#3134906)
Leadoff should be all about obp, not speed. Stolen bases are most valuable when there are two outs, least valuable with none out. I believe in the guy, but he should be batting ninth.
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2009 at 11:50 AM (#3134907)
Wicked good, thanks. started making our own stock this winter, and that really makes a huge difference.
   58. calhounite Posted: April 12, 2009 at 11:51 AM (#3134908)
Leadoff ratings
| OBP comprised of.. | SPEED
hitting ability obp mentality slugging component speed
N N Y Y gomez
N Y N Y taveras
N Y N Y bourne
Y Y Y N k johnson
Y Y N Y pierre
Y Y Y Y sizemore
Y Y Y Y ellsbury
Y Y Y Y? jeter

can go on, but only 2 (sizemore, ellsbury) are definite 4 checkers, and a N in any category makes a player a non-viable/poor/mediocre leadoff candidate (speed being least important)

and yea, ellsbury is patently inferior to sizemore across the board (excepting speed, where lower obp, more steals, gives ellsbury the edge).

ellsbury had a walk swoon middle of last year. Still overall good mlb obp, so give the guy a chance.
   59. Darren Posted: April 12, 2009 at 11:52 AM (#3134909)
What was it again?
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 12, 2009 at 12:10 PM (#3134911)
French onion soup. The two keys are using your own stock, and absolutely covering it in gruyere before broiling.
   61. PJ Martinez Posted: April 12, 2009 at 01:57 PM (#3134931)
From the Globe:

Rocco Baldelli played right in place of J.D. Drew because Saunders started. Because Jacoby Ellsbury began to swing well Friday night (two hits), Francona decided to keep him in the lineup yesterday. He was rewarded immediately when Ellsbury led off the game with a line single, then stole second before being caught trying to steal third . . . Francona emphasized that Baldelli and Drew would not be platooning in right. When Baldelli replaces Ellsbury in the lineup, it's likely Baldelli will bat leadoff.
   62. OCD SS Posted: April 12, 2009 at 02:20 PM (#3134935)
Francona emphasized that Baldelli and Drew would not be platooning in right. When Baldelli replaces Ellsbury in the lineup, it's likely Baldelli will bat leadoff.


That seems to fit with Tito's MO of not shuffling the lineup around a sub starting. With the lineup Platonicly not mattering that much, I can see the point of letting most guys stay comfortable.

I'll say it again: if there's a problem with the lineup, it's going to be Papi, who looks a little too close to last year's ALCS version for my taste...
   63. Marcel Posted: April 12, 2009 at 10:41 PM (#3135418)
Don't know where you're getting this.


The ZiPS spreadsheet. He's tied with Lowell at .345.
   64. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: April 13, 2009 at 12:52 AM (#3135541)
And can anyone explain to me why MDC has been buried in the bullpen?

Whom is he better than?
   65. Worm7886 Posted: April 13, 2009 at 07:48 AM (#3135850)
Ellsbury's a leadoff hitter. speed, hitting ability, and enough power and plate discipline to command a pitcher's respect -that gets walks above the automatic 1-2 % get with a dummy standing there.


Walks your basic 5%, essentially when the pitcher gets behind the count to start with.


Where is any of this from? The average hitter walks 8-9% of the time.
   66. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 13, 2009 at 02:06 PM (#3135941)
5 games in. 5! I love you guys.

My sentiments exactly, Phil.
   67. ekogan Posted: April 15, 2009 at 11:50 AM (#3138793)
Matsuzaka kept struggling. Buchholz or Masterson to take his spot? I'd go with Masterson.
   68. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 15, 2009 at 05:07 PM (#3139212)
Certainly Dice-K shouldn't lose his spot on account of two poor starts.

If he's going through a dead-arm period and needs to miss a start - or has more significant shoulder problems and needs to go on the DL - then either Bowden or Buchholz should take his place. I'd probably go with Bowden, and wait to call up Buchholz until he's put together some good outings in AAA, and until his call-up is less than temporary. (My reasons, there, are entirely based on my read of the psychological situation of Buchholz and Bowden, and it'd be very hard for me, from this distance, to criticize whichever choice the Sox made.)

I guess it would depend also on who in the minors is on a schedule close enough to Dice-K's that they could start on the necessary day. And to be clear, this is all entirely a hypothetical exercise until the Red Sox report that Dice-K needs to miss a start. Dumping him out the rotation just because of two bad starts, again, oughtn't and won't happen.

Masterson would be a good option if he were stretched out, but he's nearly a year removed from a starter's workload, and I would be surprised if the Red Sox threw him back into that role at a moment's notice. (This is another reason why, for what it's worth, I still think Masterson should be starting at AAA rather than relieving in the majors.)
   69. ekogan Posted: April 15, 2009 at 11:09 PM (#3139956)
Masterson would be a good option if he were stretched out, but he's nearly a year removed from a starter's workload

He did throw 4 innings yesterday - just 1.5 IP less than a typical Dice-K start.
Just how much more stretching does he need?
   70. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 16, 2009 at 03:26 PM (#3140721)
So, the Red Sox haven't said who will take Matsuzaka's place, but according to the Globe, Masterson is a "prime candidate". Sounds like ekogan's read on him was about right.

If the Red Sox have such faith in Masterson's arm that they think he can jump between short relief and starting with only one, unplanned long relief stint in between, that says a lot about his arm (at least as evaluated by the Sox), and gives us some clearer understanding of why Masterson's in the bullpen - the Sox think he can just go out there and do whatever job they ask of him. Pretty cool. That sort of durability and flexibility is a very valuable thing. He'd be like a better Julian Tavarez - give Masterson's face some acne scars, and you've definitely got living dead potential there.

Also, howsabout that clutch outing from Wakefield - the bullpen desperately needed a rest, and he gave 'em nine innings.

EDIT: and by the way, it appears that there definitely was something qualitative to be observed in Lowrie's terrible start: he was hitting with only one wrist. And this is the same wrist he injured last year, so that's not a good thing. The report above says that the Sox haven't yet figured out what's wrong with Lowrie. None of Nick Green, Gil Velazquez, or Travis Denker are natural shortstops, but if they can give the Sox something in the 300/400 range with the bat, that should be good enough, as long as they're not carrying a full-season workload.
   71. SoSH U at work Posted: April 16, 2009 at 03:32 PM (#3140728)
Also, howsabout that clutch outing from Wakefield - the bullpen desperately needed a rest, and he gave 'em nine innings.


Sure, but it wasn't a big game. Teddy and Phil have assured us that he can't win those.
   72. tfbg9 Posted: April 16, 2009 at 03:43 PM (#3140735)
Teddy and Phil have assured us that he can't win those.



It was semi-big. He did good.
   73. ekogan Posted: April 16, 2009 at 05:17 PM (#3140909)
Red Sox have such faith in Masterson's arm that they think he can jump between short relief and starting

I recall reading an article saying that sinkerballers get a little bit better as they get more tired, unlike every other type of pitcher. The explanation offered was that even as their FB velocity drops, it also starts sinking more, and so remains effective.

Lowrie's terrible start: he was hitting with only one wrist. And this is the same wrist he injured last year

In 2006 it was an ankle. In 2008 it was a wrist. I really hope he's not going to turn out as fragile as JD Drew
   74. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 18, 2009 at 02:53 PM (#3143508)
Thought: Ramon Ramirez is everything we hoped Manny Delcarmen would turn into - a three pitch reliever with good command of two plus pitches most every night. At the same time, Manny Delcarmen may be starting to turn into Ramon Ramirez. Our bullpen is good.
   75. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: April 18, 2009 at 03:02 PM (#3143510)
If Tito keeps MDC in the 6th-7th inning role and lets RR take over the 8th and late innings role, I'd be a happy man. Both were obviously terrific last night, but I believe that the usage of MDC, coming into the middle innings of a game that's not real close, is the best position for him to be successful.

Ramon Ramirez has been utterly terrific. I admit to having little idea about the guy at the time of the trade. I am very impressed.
   76. Darren Posted: April 18, 2009 at 04:24 PM (#3143555)
MDC has been an excellent reliever the past couple years, plying his trade in a setup role. I think it was someone on SOSH who said that if you're not happy with MDC's performance in that role, you want someone perfect there.

The Sox bullpen has twice bailed out horrible starting pitching performances with several scorless IP in the past week or so. It's a tremendous strength. It's too bad that they have one guy who seems unable to accomplish the role that they've picked out for him.

I hope that Tito does not got locked into the L/R thing as strictly as he looked to be last night. It caused him to leave Ram Ram in too long and it caused him to insert our worst pitcher into a close game.
   77. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 18, 2009 at 05:40 PM (#3143612)
Is Saito at full health? What is the expectation for him?
   78. JB H Posted: April 18, 2009 at 05:58 PM (#3143619)
The Lowrie injury makes me angry. My read of the situation is that he turned down offseason surgery because he thought he'd miss some spring training/real games and never get a chance to take Julio Lugo's job. Now I'd be pretty surprised if he provided any value to the Sox before 2010.
   79. ekogan Posted: April 19, 2009 at 07:13 PM (#3144703)
The Lowrie injury makes me angry.

Are we going to like you when you're angry?
   80. ekogan Posted: April 19, 2009 at 07:15 PM (#3144708)
When Lugo comes back - who would you like to play - Nick Green or Lugo?

I'm all for Green - ride the hot hand.
   81. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: April 26, 2009 at 01:27 AM (#3152972)
Every time I see Delcarmen referred to as MDC, I think of Millions of Dead Cops.
   82. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 26, 2009 at 01:29 AM (#3152974)
Same here. In fact I didn't even know it was a reference to Delcarmen, I just thought it was a meaningless inside joke, like "BPJ" for someone on the Cubs or Cardinals or whatever it is.
   83. Nasty Nate Posted: April 26, 2009 at 04:22 AM (#3153037)
I always think of the Boston parks commission, now called the DCR
   84. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 26, 2009 at 02:43 PM (#3153124)
On the topic of this thread, Ellsbury's picking up a bit. Nearly ops'ing 700. He's going to need a more extended hot streak to be the good-enough leadoff hitter I still basically think he's going to be.

One little thing for tonight - who can pitch? Masterson can't be counted on for more than six innings. After that, Saito will be the top reliever. Manny D and Papelbon are unavailable. Okajima and Ramirez have pitched back-to-back days, as well, but at least weren't worked quite as hard. Then you got Jones and Lopez. If there are high leverage situations in tonight's game, it's likely that some poor or tired pitchers will be called on to get the outs.

I kind of expect a big and boring loss tonight, anyway. Both because of illogical feelings about the last two games, and because Justin Masterson will be facing an almost entirely left-handed hitting lineup.
   85. Nasty Nate Posted: April 26, 2009 at 03:05 PM (#3153136)
I kind of expect a big and boring loss tonight . . .and because Justin Masterson will be facing an almost entirely left-handed hitting lineup.


Time for the Sox to bust out their secret weapon tonight, the secretly re-acquired Pedro Martinez, Masterson can pitch the last 4 out of the pen.
   86. Nasty Nate Posted: April 26, 2009 at 03:24 PM (#3153146)
And god bless the Patriots day homestand. The Sox just eat it up every year like chocolate pudding. This decade's W-L:
2000 5-2
2001 8-2
2002 4-3
2003 7-2
2004 5-3
2005 6-2
2006 6-4
2007 4-1
2008 5-2

Including this year, they are 58-21 on this homestand.
   87. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 26, 2009 at 03:31 PM (#3153153)
Jason Bay has 19 walks. He had 22 in his entire time with the Red Sox last season.
   88. Nasty Nate Posted: April 26, 2009 at 03:44 PM (#3153164)
Jason Bay has 19 walks.


helps explain why Lowell has 22 rbi in 16 games
   89. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 26, 2009 at 04:03 PM (#3153176)
MCoA - I think you're forecast for tonight is right on. Saito is good for an inning while Okajima and Ramirez both have thrown 33 pitches in two days so their availability is in doubt. That means at best the Sox need an inning or two out of Jones/Lopez somewhere along the line.

Not that I like the idea of having a 13 man staff I wouldn't be adverse to Van Every going down and someone from Pawtucket coming to town. If Masterson gets knocked out early Nick Green or Gil Velazquez could wind up pitching tonight.
   90. Darren Posted: May 26, 2009 at 03:00 AM (#3193233)
He's up around 340/390 now--a repeat of last year. I, for one, welcome our new Juan Pierre overlord.
   91. Darren Posted: May 31, 2009 at 10:17 PM (#3201318)
Dropped to 8th today--finally!
   92. OCD SS Posted: May 31, 2009 at 10:41 PM (#3201340)
Ellsbury: .704 OPS
Sizemore: .726 OPS

Hey, Kevin was right!
   93. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 18, 2009 at 06:42 PM (#3223712)
Now pushing 360/400. Ellsbury's strikeouts are way down this year, nearly in Pedroia territory. With that contact rate and his speed, Ellsbury should find it pretty easy to hit .300, and as long as he draws walks at a borderline-ok rate, he should have a perfectly solid OBP for the top of the order.

At the same time, I love Ellsbury down at the bottom of the order, stealing bases in front of Nick Green and George Kottaras. What we've got right now is the lineup Darren was asking for earlier in the year, and it's a good one.
   94. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 18, 2009 at 07:00 PM (#3223731)
With Ortiz starting to hit, Ellsbury improving his OBP, and Lowrie coming back soon, what's the best lineup ging to be? Perhaps:

1. Pedroia
2. Drew
3. Bay
4. Youkilis
5. Ortiz
6. Lowell
7. Varitek
8. Ellsbury
9. Lowrie

I like having Ellsbury and Lowrie back-to-back towards the bottom of the lineup, because it truly restarts the batting order at the bottom. Both can be .360 OBP guys, and if Ellsbury gets on, he and Lowrie can take advantage of Lowrie's bat control, and Ellsbury's speed.

The weakness? Assuming Ortiz is getting back on track (to whatever his new level of performance really is), Lowrie and Varitek are these two slow old guys who hit bombs, play good defense, and have goatees. They're fine for now, but you could see a lot of innings where they struggle to bridge the top and bottom of the order...

Bottom line: Red Sox have the best OBP and the 5th best SLG in the majors, with Ortiz sucking until two weeks ago, and Lowrie hurt. They're fine...
   95. Joel W Posted: June 18, 2009 at 07:11 PM (#3223750)
I'm starting to get very excited about this team. We still have the Buchholz/Dice-K/Penny/Smoltz clusterf***** to deal with, but Penny is also starting to actually look pretty good. In May and June his K/BB is 41/13 in 53 innings, and he's given up just 3 home runs in those 53 innings. I know he's the most trade-able piece of those 4, but that's really solid back-of-the-rotation pitching.
   96. Joel W Posted: June 18, 2009 at 07:13 PM (#3223751)
As for Ellsbury, why not put him 9th and Lowrie 8th. It seems better to have his speed closer to the big bats, even at the expense of some PAs?
   97. RobertMachemer Posted: June 21, 2009 at 11:08 PM (#3227191)
As for Ellsbury, why not put him 9th and Lowrie 8th. It seems better to have his speed closer to the big bats, even at the expense of some PAs?
Speaking for myself, I'd say because (1) you'd rather risk the out stealing when a lesser hitter is up, and (2) the value of having Ellsbury on second base is greater (relative to his value on first base) when Lowrie is up than when a better hitter is up (because the better hitter is more likely to be able to hit for power and score Ellsbury from first).

The guys up top can score runs without risking outs on stolen bases. The guys at the bottom of the order aren't as good at it. I'd rather risk outs on the basepaths with lesser hitters up than with good hitters up.
   98. John DiFool2 Posted: June 24, 2009 at 03:56 PM (#3231006)
I don't want to overreact to his current hot streak in the same way that people overreacted to his early struggles, but, if you think his poor performance in the leadoff spot (i.e. he's hit much worse batting there than elsewhere) is just a fluke, a guy who can fly and get on 36% of the time can leadoff for me.
   99. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 24, 2009 at 05:34 PM (#3231185)
a guy who can fly and get on 36% of the time can leadoff for me.


Yeah. This is pretty much the Johnny Damon skill set, which few Sox fans had a problem with. Ideally they'd have a guy like J.D. Drew with speed--but then, few teams have that player.
   100. Darren Posted: June 24, 2009 at 10:34 PM (#3231581)
Eric M Van posted Ellsbury's leadoff/non-leadoff splits on SOSH:


He's a career .280 / .329 / .373 in 830 career PA batting 1st, .375 / .435 / .580 in 201 PA hitting everywhere else.


Wild stuff. Probably mostly coincidence, but leadoff is the one spot where I think batting order position might have some effect. I think pitchers have it drilled into their head that the worst thing that they can do is put the leadoff hitter on base, so they tend to be overly aggressive in throwing strikes. This is what has allowed Alfonso Soriano to do so well there--pitchers do not throw as many out of the zone to him as they should. On the other end of the spectrum is Ellsbury, who just cannot seem to draw any walks in that role. (A counterpoint to this theory is Pedroia, who should benefit from seeing all those strikes but has floundered in the role.)
Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
danielj
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.5083 seconds
60 querie(s) executed