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   1. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 07, 2011 at 06:32 PM (#3765373)
I can't imagine the Sox pulling a healthy Daisuke out of the rotation. That 88 ERA+ is not good but the Sox are not likely to improve upon that without a trade. I am not optimistic about Wake and Aceves seems more reliever than starter. The one guy I think is a decent bet to be better than that is Doubront but I think he is still shutdown for another week or two and probably is June at best.

I posted in the minor league thread from last month but Westmoreland was taking BP this morning at the minor league camp.
   2. Pingu Posted: March 07, 2011 at 07:27 PM (#3765429)
Doubront and Aceves begin the year starting in AAA. Its really not much of a decision to be made. Although I can imagine a scenario where Aceves makes the club as reliever. I also think Matsuzaka is either in the rotation or on the DL, nowhere else. He'd have to be excruciatingly bad before getting sent to the pen. I would expect a salary-dump style trade sooner than I'd expect him on the team but not being the 5th starter.

Its actually one of the biggest weaknesses of this team. (If you could call it a weakness, which its not, since it directly stems from depth, which is a strength) Lester, Buchholz, Lackey, Beckett, Matsuzaka will be your 5 starters barring a DL trip, so theoretically a few of them could be really ineffective (like last year?), yet suck up innings with more capable arms relegated to the pen. The top 5 are pretty much locked in, no wiggle room.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 07, 2011 at 08:15 PM (#3765495)
Jose and DM - fair point. The distinction I make between the first and second paragraphs doesn't really hold up because Matsuzaka is unlikely to be straight-out demoted to the bullpen.

I do think, though, that there are a number of semi-demotion options. Basically, I don't think a healthy Matsuzaka is a bad pitcher. He's not a hundred million dollar pitcher, but he's a respectable mid-rotation guy. The bad pitcher we've seen in the last two seasons has been a significantly banged-up Matsuzaka, and a dead-arm period Matuszaka. If he's pitching in the range that he's pitched in 2009 and 2010, odds are very high that there's something physically wrong. This opens up the possibility of (a) DL'ing Matsuzaka with an injury he could conceivably pitch through, because the team has better replacement options than a still-injured DiceK and (b) having him "work his way back" in the minors or in the bullpen such that he isn't taking a starting role until he's really 95% or 100% healthy.

That all is to say, I do think that Francona will have a short-ish leash on DiceK. If a couple guys from the Wake/Aceves/Doubront/Miller class are pitching well, and if the rest of the rotation is intact, the Sox should be ready to sideline Matsuzaka for the sort of injuries that he's pitched through in the past.
   4. Darren Posted: March 08, 2011 at 12:33 AM (#3765673)
For some reason, I feel like Dice will put it all together soon. I don't think he's on a short leash really, and I don't think it'd be wise to replace him with Wake. I could see Aceves or a healthy Doubront giving him a run.
   5. Darren Posted: March 08, 2011 at 12:43 AM (#3765683)
Matsuzaka is still surprisingly young – just 30 this year – and will have every opportunity to make the Sox look somewhat less silly for that 51.111111 million dollar bid.


I don't know if you realize this, MC, but that $51 million doesn't count when you evaluate the Dice-K signing. In fact, if you do count it, you're some sort of idiot. I learned that on SOSH.
   6. tfbg9 Posted: March 08, 2011 at 01:30 AM (#3765715)
5-you post on SOSH? Or merely lurk?
   7. Dan Posted: March 08, 2011 at 02:03 AM (#3765735)
From how Miller has been throwing, I've been expecting him to make the ML team as a short reliever. He's had a mid to high 90s fastball paired with a decent but not great breaking ball. He's basically looked like a left-handed Daniel Bard, minus 2-3 MPH on the 4-seamer. Even with the poison pill on the contract, are teams going to pass up claiming a lefty who's been hitting 96-99 MPH on the gun in ST? I don't think that's a risk the Red Sox will take. Miller seems like a good complement to the power righty arms in the bullpen.

I could be way off though, and maybe he'll go to Pawtucket and work on refining his secondary offerings to come back to the Red Sox as a starter later in the year or in 2012.
   8. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: March 08, 2011 at 07:51 AM (#3765910)
Miller's signed to a minor league deal, so he doesn't have to pass through waivers to go to Pawtucket out of spring training. The poison pill comes into play if the Sox add him to the 25 man roster then send him back down. With the way Miller's been throwing, he's not going to have to show much for another team to take a $2M flyer on him.

However, the contract might actually have the reverse effect of what you're describing, where unless the Sox are sure he's ready to help them out of the gate, they'll keep him stashed at AAA for more seasoning or to get stretched out as a starter.
   9. Dan Posted: March 08, 2011 at 12:09 PM (#3765929)
Yeah I forgot that it was a minor league deal. For some reason I was thinking he was on the 40 man roster. And yeah, you're absolutely right. With even what he's shown so far, I think the poison pill clause is basically pointless as someone will absolutely claim him if the Sox bring him up and then try to slip him through waivers, so he won't be on the Sox unless he's there to stay.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2011 at 01:19 PM (#3765938)
If you can command a fastball in the mid-to-high 90s from the left side, and you have the stamina to keep that velocity for six innings, you can be a solid MLB starter as long as you have even passable secondary stuff. That's the great thing about being lefthanded. I expect Miller will be starting in Pawtucket, not relieving in the majors.

Or, perhaps better, I hope Miller will be starting in Pawtucket because that would mean the Sox have a starting pitching prospect who's a lefty with a mid-to-high 90s fastball.
   11. tfbg9 Posted: March 08, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#3765978)
Miller is a 6' 7" lefty prospect with a mid 90's four seamer.
Don't forget the height.

BTW...Wakefield was certainly no asset to the Red Sox in 2010. He was friggin' brutal.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2011 at 03:02 PM (#3765984)
Teddy - is that response in regard to, "an effective, pre-2010 version of Wakefield is an asset to any ballclub"? Because, well, yeah.
   13. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: March 08, 2011 at 03:22 PM (#3765998)
Is Miller really throwing that hard? His average fastball velocity last year was only 91.
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 08, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3766015)
That's been consistently the story this spring. Velocity of 95 topping out at 99. Miller worked in the mid-90s in college, so it's not crazy that he could find his fast again.
   15. tfbg9 Posted: March 08, 2011 at 04:01 PM (#3766036)
12-yeah I guess I scanned the, um, 'graph in question a bit too speedily. Missed the key "pre-2010 part". Doy!

But he killed us last year. But what do you expect from a 63 year old gimmick pitcher with a career support-neutral winning % of like .493 or something?

/runs off, ducking
   16. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: March 08, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#3766135)
Re: Miller's long term role -- wasn't his delivery changed out of college because of injury concerns? Going back to that across the body delivery seems to have given him his old velocity back, but I wonder if it also makes him better suited to shorter outings. Pawtucket's a good place to figure these things out though, and the Sox should let him start until he proves he can't.

It's exciting having him in the organization, warts and all, since guys with his combination of age and stuff are almost never available to the Sox -- they're off the board by the time they draft, and I can't even remember the last top starter who hit free agency in his mid-20s. Dice-K I guess? We all saw how the Sox valued that.
   17. karlmagnus Posted: March 08, 2011 at 07:57 PM (#3766308)
Personally I'd trade either Dice-K or Lackey -- possibly both if Aceves is really good -- and put Wake back in the rotation. Wake was messed around in 2010, which is why he was less effective (he was by no means "friggin brutal" -- the bullpen consistently let him down) -- he doesn't react well to it, which is why we missed three prime Wake years in 1999-2001.
   18. tfbg9 Posted: March 08, 2011 at 09:30 PM (#3766398)
he was by no means "friggin brutal"


2010: 4-10, 5.91 RA, 6-13 in GS, 7-25(!) in G.


Le Pew.
   19. ptodd Posted: March 09, 2011 at 08:14 AM (#3766960)
# 5 you wrote "but that $51 million doesn't count when you evaluate the Dice-K signing. In fact, if you do count it, you're some sort of idiot. I learned that on SOSH."

LOL. As someone who was 133% banned for counting stuff like that I must say that although it does not count for salary tax purposes, it put a serious dent in NESV/Red Sox wallet, and certainly showed up on their 2006 financials.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 09, 2011 at 01:48 PM (#3766994)
What's the deal on SoSH and DiceK's contract? This is new to me. (I basically go there for news aggregation, minor league stuff, and any posts by philly, and avoid the discussion threads.)

I always thought that it was fair, when calculating the Sox payroll, to distribute some of the cost of the bid over the course Matsuzaka's contract. If you don't, it appears the Sox cut payroll by a huge amount in 2007, which is misleading. But to say the bid doesn't matter or the money wasn't a cost, that's just bizarre.
   21. Josh Posted: March 09, 2011 at 04:48 PM (#3767099)
What's the deal on SoSH and DiceK's contract?
There is one poster who (1) insists that the posting fee only has to do with the cost to brand the Red Sox in Asia, and therefore shouldn't be considered the same way as a typical salary, and (2) is not a particularly nice person when he enters discussions. He likes to make personal insults to those who disagree and just makes the place less readable. There are plenty of people who disagree, but it isn't a fun experience to do so with him in the thread so, for example, I just ignore those discussions (which if enough people do, may make it appear that there less disagreement than there is - silence does not equal consent).

But to say that this one poster is "SoSH" is like saying that I learned that Wakefield was dissed by the Red Sox at Primer. With no offense to the lot of you, I don't really think I deserve to be lumped in with either Tom Ricardo at SoSH or karlmagnus here.

That isn't really why ptodd was banned, iirc, so I'd take that with a giant grain of salt.
   22. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 09, 2011 at 05:03 PM (#3767115)
I got the impression Darren was just being a wiseass with #5.

That $51 million counts, but it just isn't part of the luxury tax calculation. For purposes of following the evolution of the Sox payroll you want to lump it all in 2007 or spread it over six years there is an argument for both.
   23. Darren Posted: March 10, 2011 at 05:35 AM (#3767775)
I wouldn't read too much into it--my favorite poster here was a SOSHy. And I'd be just as likely to say that I learned that Smoltz and Penny were brilliant signings at Sox Therapy or some such. That said, that sort of certainty seems sort of common there.
   24. villageidiom Posted: March 10, 2011 at 02:43 PM (#3767862)
That $51 million counts, but it just isn't part of the luxury tax calculation. For purposes of following the evolution of the Sox payroll you want to lump it all in 2007 or spread it over six years there is an argument for both.
Or if you're trying to point out the Red Sox are a high-payroll team in a given year, then you throw the entire $51 million into that year. Very tricksy, that $51 million is.
   25. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 10, 2011 at 03:30 PM (#3767885)
Or if you're trying to point out the Red Sox are a high-payroll team in a given year, then you throw the entire $51 million into that year. Very tricksy, that $51 million is.


Yes, this maneuver was particularly popular by folks advancing the Sox=Yankees claim. Darren doesn't like that.
   26. Darren Posted: March 17, 2011 at 02:13 AM (#3772146)
Even if you like Francona, you have to admit this is a weird way to decide your opening day starter:

Why Lester?

"I think he has that stature in the game now where other teams view him as No. 1. It's a big honor. Once we start, that (No. 1 in rotation) goes by the wayside," Francona said.



???
   27. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 17, 2011 at 02:24 AM (#3772152)
You don't think that's really how he made his decision, do you?

I mean, isn't is pretty clear that whatever he actually says, he's just acknowledging that Lester is their best starter?
   28. Darren Posted: March 17, 2011 at 02:37 AM (#3772163)
Wouldn't it make sense for him to say that, if that was the case? Not "He is better than Beckett" but "He's proven himself to his teammates..." Invoking what other teams think is kind of weird.
   29. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: March 17, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3772176)
Francona is basically trying to not take a dump on Josh Beckett in the process of promoting Lester. You can't promote one guy, without demoting another. Perfectly normal...

Edit: shoulda refreshed... if you say "He's proven himself to his teammates..." the implicit assumption is there, that Beckett hasn't. There really isn't a good way to handle this, so whatever, I wouldn't try and read too much into it
   30. tfbg9 Posted: March 18, 2011 at 12:51 PM (#3773152)
Lester, Lackey, Bucholz, Beckett, and Matsuzaka.
   31. villageidiom Posted: March 21, 2011 at 04:14 AM (#3774707)
After tweaking his off-day throwing schedule, Matsuzaka has immediately turned in two good spring training outings, combining for 10.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 0 HR. He has been efficient with his pitches, today throwing 50 of 79 for strikes. Heck, he was just under 14 pitches per IP today, which if he can keep that up would put him around 7-8 IP per game.

I'm not totally buying in to the idea that Matsuzaka *has* turned it around. But if spring training is all about the hope that small sample sizes bring, then I'm totally loving this.
   32. Dr. Vaux Posted: March 21, 2011 at 08:03 AM (#3774768)
And if it's about the lack of hope that small sample sizes bring, then Beckett is really toast. 9 runs in fewer than 9 innings in his last two starts . . . against the Pirates.

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