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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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   1. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 10, 2013 at 08:47 PM (#4385925)
Thanks, Jose. Really appreciate the rundown and insights.
   2. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 10, 2013 at 10:18 PM (#4385968)
se Iglesias - Iggy looks like he’s added some speed. He’s not Jacoby Ellsbury or anything but he seems to be considerably quicker than he was last year and he still hits the ball hard when he makes contact. He’s not a Punch and Judy hitter


Speed is good. Will be interested in seeing him "hit". Previous incarnations of Jose are ones that have seen him have trouble getting the ball out of the infield. Your assessment of him hitting the ball hard has me wishcasting for Edgar Martinez gap power....
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 11, 2013 at 08:29 AM (#4386077)
Great stuff, Jose.

I am growing a little bit optimistic about Jose Iglesias. Your point about speed is a good one - he just looks like a better athlete, stronger and faster. That home run he hit in the first NESN game came off just a good swing with a good weight shift, not some load-up-and-close-your-eyes kind of deal. If he can start to hit doubles without striking out all the time, he can be a major leaguer.

Have you gotten to watch Tazawa? He looks, if anything, even better than he did last summer. He's added this dirty little slow curve.

And if Doubront is as big a disaster as this sounds, what's the plan? I guess either Morales or Aceves, but Doubront doesn't have any options remaining. Would he take one of the precious bullpen spots? Or would he be assigned a semi-phantom injury?

My favorite piece here:
My first thought upon seeing Margot was a young Ron Gant.
Now that is a baseball nerd. well done. (Margot put up solid XBH numbers for a kid so young, and I am hopeful that there's more power in his bat than the initial scouting returns seemed to suggest.)
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 11, 2013 at 08:53 AM (#4386094)
Oof, just saw Xander Bogaerts bat in the WBC. Cuban junkballer Norberto Gonzalez embarrassed him with a progression of slider variations in under his hands. That's a kid with a good bit still to learn about hitting.
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 11, 2013 at 09:02 AM (#4386104)
Yeah, that Bogaerts at bar was ugly.

I can't imagine Doubront would just get punted, if would be a pretty firm indictment of him if be was. I would assume he'd go on the DL first but he showed enough last year that the Sox aren't going to just lose him. He will get every chance to pitch himself out of the job.

I saw Tazawa once and he was unremarkable. It was the ninth inning against Pittsburgh so no names abounded and he threw strikes. Nothing really great or awful to say.
   6. Chip Posted: March 11, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4386152)
How does Doubront look compared to last spring? Is he just one of those guys who has mediocre, even poor STs in general?
   7. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 11, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4386202)
I don't remember him either way from last Spring. What strikes me is the Sox haven't exactly quieted the talk that he's out of shape and his first start got pushed back.

To be clear I think the second start was fairly positive. He improved noticeably from the first to the second. If he can add some off speed command in his third start I think there is cause to feel good.
   8. Dan Posted: March 11, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4386336)
Have you gotten to watch Tazawa? He looks, if anything, even better than he did last summer. He's added this dirty little slow curve.


Tazawa has always featured that curve. It was the main offspeed pitch he was throwing when he came up, and last year out of the bullpen he'd flash it occasionally though the splitter/changeup/whatever was his main second pitch as a short reliever. He certainly has the varied repertoire to be a starter, but I think the question has always been his stamina/durability.
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 12, 2013 at 07:39 PM (#4387258)
Went to the game today. A few quick things;

1. Buchholz looked excellent. He was pounding the ball down low and all his pitches looked pretty sharp.

2. I think I'm in love with Allen Webster so we may as well book his Tommy John surgery now. I don't know if it's two fundamentally different versions of the fastball or he just changes where he throws it but he was effective both up and down in the zone. The change up was the real "wow" pitch though. That thing gets about 40 feet to the plate then just disappears on the hitter.

3. It's a stupid little thing but it's the kind of thing I enjoy seeing. Frank Montas (hard throwing Dominican kid) was someone I would have expected to be coasting by on pure talent. I watched him in a simple warm up group with about 20 other pitchers and he was the most diligent and attentive to doing the warm up right. If you're looking for a concern he's already going Rich Garces and by the time he's old enough to be on the 40 man he's going to weigh 250.

4. Mike Napoli still looks out of sorts at first base to me.

5. I can't stress enough how much I enjoy Brian Butterfield at 3B. I know I mentioned it originally but he gets way down the line and very wide to give himself a great view of the field and time to make a decision on whether or not to send the runner.

6. Jackie Bradley committed an error (dropped a sinking liner) after misplaying a flyball on Friday. Not the end of the world or anything, just nice to see the kid is human.
   10. The District Attorney Posted: March 13, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4387774)
Bill James in a recent mailbag:
I hope I'm not revealing anything I shouldn't reveal, but there is discussion in the Red Sox community about exactly how well Pedro Ciriaco can play shortstop, if he has to play shortstop. But just watching this one game, one could be pretty well convinced that he can play shortstop. There was a line drive toward the third baseman that your thought was that "I hope the third baseman can get that." The third baseman didn't get it--but Ciriaco did. He had set up about 15 feet deeper than the third baseman, and he caught a line drive that was way out of his zone. Then later there was a play at second; the catcher tried to pick a runner off of second and the throw was off-line toward third base. Ciriaco had to dive over the runner (on the ground) and snare the throw, which otherwise would have gone into center. He caught the throw. Just watching that one game, you would be pretty convinced that this guy has some unusual athleticism which is useful at shortstop.
   11. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 14, 2013 at 10:31 AM (#4388202)
The play on the pick off throw was amazing. Not only did Ciriaco have to leap over the runner but he was breaking to the bag so he actually had to change directions then leap over the runner because the throw was to the third base side of the bag.

I was thinking about shortstop today. Drew is still out with the concussion and I'm wondering how long he will need after coming back to get the at bats he needs to be season ready. Are we approaching the point where Iglesias or Ciriaco will be our opening day shortstop?
   12. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4388274)
because the throw was to the third base side of the bag.


Was it Salty making the throw?
   13. Nasty Nate Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4388285)
I was thinking about shortstop today. Drew is still out with the concussion and I'm wondering how long he will need after coming back to get the at bats he needs to be season ready. Are we approaching the point where Iglesias or Ciriaco will be our opening day shortstop?


~What's the big deal with concussions, you get like 6 freebies~
   14. villageidiom Posted: March 14, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4388296)
If by "the Red Sox community" Bill James means "some guy villageidiom, on BTF, in 2012", then he's not revealing anything.
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 16, 2013 at 06:15 PM (#4389584)
Ciriaco can't hit, so it would be disappointing to see him at SS. I don't care about his "athleticism." Playing shortstop is about more than just acrobatics, anyway; it's about converting batted balls into outs. Making plays at second base is necessary, but from from the entire story. I really want Drew to be there.
   16. Dan Posted: March 17, 2013 at 04:13 PM (#4390003)
Canards framed the Bradley situation as a "tug of war between Farrell and the front office". If that's at all true, the FO should let Farrell give Bradley a shot. Let the Rays nickel and dime their major league ready prospects; the Red Sox shouldn't make decisions based on Super 2 eligibility. Yeah, you want to delay FA by a year but that will happen if you option him back for a while when Ortiz is back anyway. And If he's playing so well that he'd never see the minors again then lock him up long term through those years anyway.
   17. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 18, 2013 at 04:26 PM (#4390679)
Was it Salty making the throw?


I'll be interested to see if the Red Sox catcher defense looks much better this year. Ross has a pretty good defensive reputation, and is supposedly one of the better catchers in the league at pitch framing. This article mentions that Salty also has excelled in pitch framing, which I haven't really noticed, since Salty's defense often looks pretty shaky at best.
   18. Mattbert Posted: March 20, 2013 at 11:45 PM (#4393277)
Wifebert's colleague had tickets to the game at Steinbrenner Field today that he couldn't use. We were happy to relieve him of the burden of unused tickets. I'm glad they were gratis because there weren't very many good baseball players playing baseball out there today. I guess the silver lining is that it allowed me to focus on a handful of guys and just watch them because I didn't give a crap about the other assorted scrubs and fringe roster filler types. Here are some disorganized observations from today's game.

This was my first time watching Jackie Bradley Jr play. The book on him seems perfectly accurate to me. Great defensive instincts. Typically, the first thing I notice about excellent defensive outfielders is that they'll already be running at full pelt by the time my eyes find them after a ball is hit over their head or into the gap or anywhere else where they've got to get on their horse and run it down. Bradley is like that. He's often in motion before actual contact off the bat; he appears to start his read just based on where the ball is pitched and how the batter is shaping to put a swing on it. At the plate, he looks calm and methodical. Surprisingly strong for a smallish guy, too (I think his listed 5'10" on bb-ref is generous). He has seriously beefy forearms, and he was able to inside-out the ball to left field with some authority when Nuno tried to jam him inside. I think the hype is justified. Kid can really play.

I was also impressed with Brock Holt. Another guy who looked like he had a plan at the plate each time he went up. Nice compact swing. He wasn't particularly tested defensively, but he handled his chances fine.

I agree with Jose's opening comments about Iglesias. He didn't have a great day with the bat, but he wasn't overmatched or anything. A bit hacktastic in approach still, but not a total pushover.

David Ross has a ridiculously quick release.

Felix Doubront had a very good fastball, but he had to throw it too much because his command of the offspeed stuff was pretty iffy. When the Yankee hitters were able to sit on the heater in a fastball count, they made good contact. He bounced back reasonably well from a difficult 2nd inning, so that was a plus I suppose. Also, the guys who looked the worst against him were Gardner and Youkilis, two of the three or maybe four bona fide major leaguers in the NY lineup. I don't know what that means. I do know Doubront ate Youk alive. I think about seven of Doubront's five punchouts were against Youk and the official scorer just took a few away at the end because they shouldn't count when a guy looks that bad.

The Red Sox are probably going to have one of the best bullpens around.
   19. Dale Sams Posted: March 21, 2013 at 01:10 AM (#4393319)
Typically, the first thing I notice about excellent defensive outfielders is that they'll already be running at full pelt by the time my eyes find them after a ball is hit over their head or into the gap or anywhere else where they've got to get on their horse and run it down.


Gardner also. He just seems to go from 0 to 60 in a second and makes catchs look easy. Whereas, aside from a couple of brilliant catchs, Ellsbury seems to make plays look hard, and I think Crawford is all but done as a speedster. He runs like someone who can only run as fast as he can without pulling a hammy.

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