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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Just Keep It Rolling

The Sox picked up a second straight walk off victory on Tuesday night.  By just about whatever measure you want to use the Sox are winning regularly; 4 out of 5, 7 out of 10 and 15 out of 22 since losing three in a row in Oakland.

What is great about this is that the whole team is contributing.  Of all the contributors though you cannot say enough about the bullpen.  I have to admit, I still feel wary of this group but they are pitching well entering the game on Tuesday they were third in bullpen ERA.  On top of that they are fourth in fewest bullpen innings which is a good sign for keeping it going.

I know I am his biggest fan but I think the above really is a big point in John Farrell’s favor.  If the bullpen was not getting the job done he would be getting roasted.  To me he is mixing and matching pretty well finding spots where guys are likely to succeed.  I have found myself wondering if new bench coach Gary Disarcina is having an impact.  Farrell seems a greatly improved game manager this year.

Some other notes;

- Hannibal Lecter Benintendi was at it again.  Every time I watch him I think of that scene in Silence of the Lambs “(h)is pulse never got above 85, even when he ate her tongue.”  That’s Benintendi, the dude is just crazy chill.  Even during the post game he just took a glance over his shoulder, casually took off his cap and let the Gatorade shower happen.  It was also in evidence on the play where he threw Kendrick out at the plate when he stayed nice and calm making the throw home.

- Two players who were on my youknowwhat list deserve a shoutout.  I complain about Pablo Sandoval as much as the next guy (and he deserves it) but let’s give him a nod.  He cannot be happy about the benching but he has come off the bench the last two nights and had the rally starting single in the eleventh yesterday then drew a pinch hit walk tonight.

The other guy is Fernando Abad.  His ERA has dipped under 3.00 and he genuinely earned the victory.  That twelve pitch battle with Maikel Franco was a base on balls waiting to happen but he just kept pounding the strike zone and while Franco hit the ball sharply it is important that he kept throwing strikes to give Pedroia and Bogaerts a chance to spin their dazzling double play.

The Sox are still looking up at New York in the standings but the club is playing very well.  A couple of walk off wins help move things forward.  The Sox are doing their job.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 13, 2017 at 11:42 PM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: June 15, 2017 at 08:21 AM (#5476412)
The Yanks are overdue for a slump I'd say.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 15, 2017 at 08:35 AM (#5476422)
That's my big thing. Just about everything has gone right for the Bombers so far and they've got a whopping two game lead in the division. They are legitimately good but I think there is regression all over that lineup (Judge, Hicks, Castro, Gregorius, Holliday) and the rotation has been very healthy. Health can be a big X factor in having "one of those years" (see 2013) but I've felt from the spring training that the Sox were going to be better in the second half than in the first half. Frankly I'm happy with where the Sox are right now.

Of course the Sox are kind of rolling through the pitching depth at a heroic rate. Beyond my selfish desire to see Brian Johnson keep going he is a kid who really deserves to be out there. He's been through a lot. I hope last night was just a twinge and he's able to pitch again soon.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: June 15, 2017 at 09:07 AM (#5476441)
and the (NY) rotation has been very healthy.
In news on that front, Sabathia has a strained hamstring.
   4. Bad Fish Posted: June 15, 2017 at 11:07 AM (#5476557)
How the Yankees do it is amazing. 4 or 5 years ago when they were rolling our lineups of expensive 35 year-olds way past their primes they still managed to regularly crap miracles to remain competitive. I am starting to grasp the concept that the point of free agency is to not buy a ceiling, but a floor, and I think MFNYY are generally pretty good at that.

That idea of buying a floor highlights the disaster that is Pablo Sandoval. Overweight athletes almost never age well, he had been on a downward trajectory and at his best was a marginal all-star...with him you could project a high-likelihood of low floor. His intractable contract hampers the entire 40 man roster and makes the 25 man inefficient, it is probably the reason we traded Shaw for a bull pen arm and it makes it difficult to solve the 3rd base problem with outside resources. I am ready for the Blake Swihart 3rd base experience.

Other than that, I like the path this team is on. Even though they are not close to firing on all cylinders and have lots of potential improvement on the roster they are beginning to get some mo-jo. If some of the nonperformance/injury issues can bend to our favor in July/August this team has the potential to be a Juggernaut over the last 1/3 of the season.
   5. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 15, 2017 at 03:17 PM (#5476870)
Tyler Thornburgh is having thoracic outlet surgery on Friday. He is expected to be ready for 2018. That trade is not working out particularly well so far.
   6. Textbook Editor Posted: June 15, 2017 at 11:23 PM (#5477225)
That trade is not working out particularly well so far.


That's putting it mildly.

If I'm reading Cot's right... we'll have 2 more years of control after this year? One of which may well be a lost year as he regains form? So basically we traded all that away for maybe 1.5 seasons of Thornburgh. Maybe. Assuming this all works.

I mean, at the end of the day, Shaw is no Superman. But holy hell he's better than Sandoval. I told TE Jr. weeks ago Sandoval would be DFA'd 8/1 if he's not moved at the deadline with significant salary eating... I'll stick with the prediction.
   7. Dan Posted: June 16, 2017 at 09:01 AM (#5477294)
If Sandoval lasts past the ASB something is seriously wrong with the decision making of this team.

There's really no reason not to release him today.
   8. Dan Posted: June 16, 2017 at 09:01 AM (#5477295)
Oh hey, a timely article.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 16, 2017 at 09:41 AM (#5477328)
There's really no reason not to release him today.


The only argument against that is it's not like the Sox are blessed with great options. Rutledge and Marrero are both better but neither guy (nor Trevor Plouffe) is necessarily a huge upgrade. Just from an enjoyment standpoint I'd love to see Sandoval released so I don't have to watch him waddle around the field.

What they need to do is promote Devers to Pawtucket, give him a month there and then after the ASB call him up if he's shown he's ready. I'd love to see him get a couple of weeks before the deadline at MLB so the Sox can decide either yeah he's ready now or no he's not and make a trade for a Todd Frazier or sign Plouffe or whatever.
   10. villageidiom Posted: June 16, 2017 at 10:24 AM (#5477383)
What they need to do is promote Devers to Pawtucket,
Yes.
give him a month there and then after the ASB call him up if he's shown he's ready.
No.
I'd love to see him get a couple of weeks before the deadline at MLB so the Sox can decide
NooooooOOOOOOO.

The Red Sox don't need a month of Devers at Pawtucket plus a couple of weeks of him at MLB to determine if they need to acquire someone else. If that's the trigger on whether to make an acquisition then they should already be working to make that acquisition. I mean, what could possibly be done by Devers in those six weeks that would make anyone say, yep, that'll hold up the final 2-3 months, no need to seek something better? Pretty much nothing.

For Devers' further development he should be promoted to Pawtucket. Bogaerts is fine now but his development suffered from being rushed. Same for Bradley, arguably. I don't want to rush Devers. Wasn't it like a month ago that we were saying he clearly wasn't ready? I don't care if Devers is marginally better than the alternatives. I'd rather see them train Mookie to handle 3B and call up Rusney Castillo than to see Devers rushed.
   11. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 16, 2017 at 10:37 AM (#5477396)
Bogaerts is fine now but his development suffered from being rushed.


I disagree with this. I think his bad 2014 was a function of an undisclosed wrist injury. But you're general point is a good one. And believe me, I'm not advocating rushing Devers. If he goes to Pawtucket and rakes then I think you call him up.

I'd really like to see them get Plouffe in here like yesterday. The options are;

Sandoval - Sucks
Moustakos - Too expensive probably
Frazier - Not necessarily better than Plouffe and comes at the cost of a player
Marrero/Rutledge - Worse than Plouffe
Devers - Not yet certainly.
   12. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 16, 2017 at 11:40 AM (#5477492)
I'd really like to see them get Plouffe in here like yesterday


In your mind, what's it worth to get Plouffe for free or minimal $? Or were you assuming the Sox would wait until/if he clears waivers?
   13. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 16, 2017 at 02:30 PM (#5477665)
In your mind, what's it worth to get Plouffe for free or minimal $? Or were you assuming the Sox would wait until/if he clears waivers?


Yeah I'd think he will clear waivers. I wouldn't give up more than a non-entity as far as a prospect for him. I'm not viewing him as the savior or anything I just think he can surpass the truly low bar our third basemen have established this year.
   14. SandyRiver Posted: June 16, 2017 at 03:13 PM (#5477704)
I disagree with this. I think his bad 2014 was a function of an undisclosed wrist injury.


That's my take, too. After the game of June 3, 2014, Bogaerts was batting .304 with OPS .859. He'd been hit in that game and got plunked again on June4, riding home on Papi's hr but failing to get the ball out of the infield his last 3 trips. From that day (6/4) through late August he batted a wonderful .147 and his BB rate dropped from 11% of PA to less than 5%. He then batted .320 from there to the end, but with exactly 2 BB in 100+ PA. I think one of those HBP caused a "play through" injury that would better have been a 15-day DL at least.
   15. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 16, 2017 at 08:23 PM (#5477924)
Yup. And if you look at that stretch at the end of the year it came after he missed about a week with some concussion symptoms. Not the ideal way to get some rest but a week of rest would presumably do some good. He also had a bit of a hot streak after the ASB.
   16. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 16, 2017 at 08:31 PM (#5477927)
Slightly random; is it me or does Mitch Moreland not do a good job of stretching for throws at first base?
   17. villageidiom Posted: June 16, 2017 at 10:47 PM (#5477973)
Slightly random; is it me or does Mitch Moreland not do a good job of stretching for throws at first base?
It is not just you. But it might be just you and me.
   18. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 16, 2017 at 11:05 PM (#5477980)
That does not speak well for your mental health.
   19. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 17, 2017 at 12:11 AM (#5477992)
On the bad side Carson Smith's planned appearance Sunday has been scrapped. He's been shut down for 4-5 days.
   20. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 19, 2017 at 08:55 AM (#5478490)
That was a very enjoyable weekend. First place.
   21. villageidiom Posted: June 19, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5478565)
Tied for first, one back in the loss column, taking 2 of 3 from Houston on the road has me feeling good.

What has me feeling not as good is that I see 5.5 games separating first from last. The entire AL East fits between 1st and 2nd in the NL East, or (worse) between 3rd and 4th in the NL West. This will be a grind, all year long.

Since the conclusion of that horrible series out in Oakland, Boston has gone 17-9. They've done this with David Price not being David Price, with Rick Porcello being 2015 Rick Porcello, with Pablo Sandoval being 2015 Pablo Sandoval, and with Chris Sale losing to the Phillies I MEAN COME ON TEAM HOW CAN YOU LET THAT HAPPEN OMFGWILHELMUSREMMERSWAAL. Yea, the Yankees have imploded in the last week, but setting that aside Boston is playing over .650 ball, a 106-win pace across a full season. This will ease up, and some other team will play over their heads for a few weeks, and suddenly they'll be in first instead. And it could be any one of these teams.
   22. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 19, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5478568)
Between now and the Break;

@KCR (3)
LAA (3)
MIN (4)
@TOR (3)
@TEX (3)
@TBR (4)

Then after the break it's the Yanks and Jays both for 4.
   23. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 19, 2017 at 11:10 PM (#5478971)
And just like that, Jackie Bradley's 2017 line (.261/.351/.478, 113 wRC+) is in line with last year (.267/.329/.486, 118 wRC+).
   24. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 19, 2017 at 11:43 PM (#5478981)
Second place, we suck. Season over.
   25. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 20, 2017 at 12:01 AM (#5478986)
Second place, we suck. Season over.


I look forward to the Astros-Rockies World Series.
   26. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 25, 2017 at 11:42 PM (#5482594)
The Yanks are overdue for a slump I'd say.


Good timing.
   27. villageidiom Posted: June 26, 2017 at 05:14 PM (#5483131)
Second place, we suck. Season over.


Since that post they've gone 2-3 and gained a half-game.
   28. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 28, 2017 at 04:08 PM (#5484804)
3-3, game and a half.

Miguel Montero played 4 games in Single A ball back in 2002. He's got an OPS of .805 and was just DFAd for being a bit of a dick. Gotta think he'd be an upgrade over Sandoval.
   29. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 29, 2017 at 11:26 AM (#5485201)
The Red Sox have one hitter in the top 60 in wRC+, and that's Mitch Moreland (59th).
   30. villageidiom Posted: June 29, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5485297)
The Red Sox have one hitter in the top 60 in wRC+, and that's Mitch Moreland (59th).


Or to use selective endpoints in a different way, they have 4 hitters in the top 75.

That just means the Boston offense isn't as heavily reliant on one slugger. In theory with 30 teams (true) and equal distribution of talent (not true) every team should have 1 in the top 30. Red Sox have 0. Every team should have two in the top 60; Red Sox have one. Every team should have 3 in the top 90; Red Sox have four, and only two teams have more. But play this exercise with the Orioles, and you'll see they have 1 player in the top 90.

David Ortiz isn't walking through that door. Neither is Travis Shaw (28th), and if you want to reopen old wounds neither are Jed Lowrie (40th) nor Josh Reddick (41st). Or if you want a dose of optimism... neither are Jose Iglesias (157th) nor Mike Napoli (153rd).
   31. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: June 29, 2017 at 01:43 PM (#5485349)
The Sox are 43-34, last year at this time they were 42-35, 4 1/2 games out. In fact they lost game 78 last year and fell to 5 1/2 games out, the furthest back they were all year.
   32. jmurph Posted: June 29, 2017 at 02:20 PM (#5485379)
Seeing so much less concern trolling lately from Yankees fans here handwringing over whether Boston should fire Farrell. I can't quite put my finger on why that might be.
   33. villageidiom Posted: June 29, 2017 at 03:25 PM (#5485439)
The Sox are 43-34, last year at this time they were 42-35, 4 1/2 games out. In fact they lost game 78 last year and fell to 5 1/2 games out, the furthest back they were all year.
They have no Ortiz and more Sandoval than last year. And they're doing about the same. Huh. It's almost as though there's some other component to the game beside position players that also has an impact on outcomes.
   34. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 30, 2017 at 10:55 AM (#5485934)

Or to use selective endpoints in a different way, they have 4 hitters in the top 75.

That just means the Boston offense isn't as heavily reliant on one slugger. In theory with 30 teams (true) and equal distribution of talent (not true) every team should have 1 in the top 30. Red Sox have 0. Every team should have two in the top 60; Red Sox have one. Every team should have 3 in the top 90; Red Sox have four, and only two teams have more. But play this exercise with the Orioles, and you'll see they have 1 player in the top 90.


Good point. I guess I'm just not used to seeing the top hitter on any Red Sox teams ranked that low in wRC+.

At least there's some reason to believe the offense can improve. A good chunk of the offense have been under-performing their projections, Betts and Hanley have BABIPs well below their career norms, though Hanley's could be attributed to his shoulders.
   35. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 01, 2017 at 11:11 PM (#5486810)
Brock Holt alert! Played in tonight's Pawtucket game, going 1-3. His first game since 5/21.










Also, Chris Sale is awesome.
   36. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: July 02, 2017 at 09:42 AM (#5486862)

Also, Chris Sale is awesome.


Watching the game last night and hearing Eck praise Sale unabashedly (deservedly) I was wondering if Price is grumpy that he's clearly not the #1. Last year with Porcello was obviously a fluke, and Price could still consider himself the 'ace' of the team. This year it is very evident that Sale is the #1 and it's not even close. He was the best pitcher on the Rays pretty much every year (other than his 2nd season in 2011) and pitched very well in 2015 for both Detroit and Toronto. Wonder how much, if at all, that is eating at him.
   37. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 03, 2017 at 10:26 AM (#5487119)
   38. villageidiom Posted: July 03, 2017 at 10:44 AM (#5487127)
This GIF of Sale's fastball and slider is really cool.
That is like the best thing ever.
   39. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: July 03, 2017 at 11:00 AM (#5487141)
That is just stupid. So he's scheduled to pitch Thursday which would line him up on regular rest for the ASG start. Just sayin'.
   40. villageidiom Posted: July 05, 2017 at 08:46 AM (#5487807)
On this rehab stint Sandoval is at a 717 OPS. Holt (through 3 games) is at 917, by virtue of a HR he hit on Saturday; it's more than half of his total bases.

In the meantime, Lin is at 949 in 10 games with Boston, and Sam Travis is 733 in 14.

This isn't an argument about who should or shouldn't be on the roster. It's just an observation that Boston isn't missing a beat right now.
   41. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: July 05, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5487812)
Lin has impressed me. Was it Dillon singing his praises earlier in the year? He's bigger than I remember him being and seems to make solid contact regularly. With his glove being good as well I'm certainly content with him filling the void for now. I really thought Lin would be a one or two day call up but he's looked good.
   42. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 05, 2017 at 09:36 AM (#5487825)
Eric Longenhagen had mentioned Lin a few weeks ago, saying he's changed his swing and he's been hitting far more fly balls this year.
   43. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 05, 2017 at 09:43 AM (#5487828)
The Red Sox have one hitter in the top 60 in wRC+, and that's Mitch Moreland (59th).


Of course after I post this, the offense explodes. 53 runs over the last 6 games and they're batting .329/.409/.500 over the last week.

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