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   1. Hugh Jorgan Posted: July 06, 2011 at 04:42 AM (#3869760)
So in the theme of Spahn and Sain and pray for rain, our rotation is now Aceves and Beckett then I say feckit! Sure it's weak, but these are trying times...

Call me an ignorant man, but what the f*ck have been doing with Buchholz these past two weeks? What after two weeks of sitting in the dugout with a sore back, NOW they decide to send him to a back specialist. Why wasn't anyone thinking that maybe the first day he was out that they should have their $50million commodity looked at by the specialist then?

Will they do the same with Lester? Oh, John, it's just a strain, just rest it and in two weeks if it's not right, THEN we'll send you to see someone.

Sorry, I'm trying not to picture this 2011 going down the toilet right now.
   2. ptodd Posted: July 06, 2011 at 08:40 AM (#3869832)
I remember the first time Jon was out with back pain, back in 2006. Hopefully this is just a strain. Lester has averaged 114 pitches a game his last 6 starts which included a 127 pitch start and 120 pitches in his last start.

I remember Becketts back pain that cost him 2 months, with nary a word about a MRI, and he did not exactly come back very strong. In fact, he has never recovered his velocity. This year, two starts after throwing 126 pitches Beckett came out of a game early with neck pain. Since the 126 pitch game, Beckett has averaged 97 pitches per start over the last 12 starts, and missed 10 games due to the "flu". Beckett did not finish 2008 or 2009 very strong, so him being counted on down the stretch as the only healthy SP'er is a concern.

Anyone hear the magic 3 letters (MRI)used in Buchholz case? Now he is seeing a specialist? Buchholz developed back problems shortly after being allowed to throw 127 pitches in a game and had not thrown more than 100 pitches over his last 6 starts before going on the DL.

Daisuke was allowed to make several starts after being pulled early one game with his velocity down to 87, where it stayed. An MRI finally showed he needed TJ surgery, although it did not convince the Red Sox docs until Daisuke saw Dr Yoccum.

Lackey of course has known problems with his elbow, so it's just a matter of when he and Red Sox docs will be convinced to get TJ surgery. That clause in his contract that commits him to 1 years slavery if he has it may make Lackey a bit reluctant to go the surgery route.


You can never have too much pitching. We have 44 yo Wake, Marlin reject Miller who has dominated some weak NL teams, and injury prone Yankee reject Aceves. Doubront got hammered in his last start in Triple A, but we have Millwood, and some kid named Weiland. No worries.
   3. cardsfanboy Posted: July 06, 2011 at 08:47 AM (#3869837)
I remember the first time Jon was out with back pain, back in 2006. Hopefully this is just a strain. Lester has averaged 114 pitches a game his last 6 starts which included a 127 pitch start and 120 pitches in his last start.


Your manager needs to call TLR and tell him how to give Chris Carpenter this light workload.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2011 at 10:59 AM (#3869849)
Lester has averaged 114 pitches a game his last 6 starts which included a 127 pitch start and 120 pitches in his last start.
There's just no evidence anywhere that this sort of workload leads to injuries.

I honestly hadn't considered the case that the Red Sox have been overworking their starters. If the case is that a few times their pitchers threw 120 pitches, I don't think there's a case there.
   5. tfbg9 Posted: July 06, 2011 at 12:48 PM (#3869890)
Im not convinced their medical staff walks like a duck...but I'm getting there.
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 06, 2011 at 12:53 PM (#3869894)
Maybe I'm being a wild eyed optimist but I'm not especially worried about Lester. The way both he and Francona were talking last night it sounded more like a cramp than anything else.

Beyond that the Sox are in decent shape. They have a four game lead in the Wild Card and I'm confident that Aceves can step in and pitch well enough. Peter Gammons was pimping Weiland for the start on Sunday during the post-game show last night. I think Buchholz is the bigger concern. If he's out for an extended period that becomes problematic. There is a very real possibility that the Sox hit the end of the month with Crawford, Lester and Buchholz all coming back healthy. Even with Matsuzaka's suck/injury and Lackey's suck they are on a 96 win pace.

I think the break is coming at the exact right time. Besides getting some time for the guys I've mentioned Youkilis looks like a guy who can use the rest too. Unlike last year I think this team is poised to make a second half run. I also am skeptical that the Yankees can keep this up. Maybe Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia are going to give them 60 starts with a 3.00 ERA but even this far into the season I'm not buying it.
   7. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 06, 2011 at 12:56 PM (#3869898)
Off-topic here, but I saw the highlight of the game-ending play last night and I was really impressed with Varitek's technique at blocking the plate in that situation.
   8. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 06, 2011 at 01:07 PM (#3869903)
Off-topic here, but I saw the highlight of the game-ending play last night and I was really impressed with Varitek's technique at blocking the plate in that situation.


He's done that a lot in his career. I'm biased by both fandom and seeing him regularly but he's the best I've seen since Scioscia. If he gets that left leg planted, forget it.
   9. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: July 06, 2011 at 01:09 PM (#3869904)
Good throw by Mickey D as well. I wonder if Cameron were still on this team if the OF alignment in that inning might have been different.
   10. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 06, 2011 at 01:18 PM (#3869911)
Sox had a similar game in '06/'07 when Willie Harris threw out Joey Gathright at the plate (think it was Harris). Same type of play where he had time to gear up and make an accurate throw rather than having to rush the play. It was not a difficult play but I think McDonald deserves credit for keeping his composure. Reddick for example has a much stronger arm but sometimes those guys with the big arms get a little too eager to show off the strength.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2011 at 01:32 PM (#3869930)
It was a really nice play by both McDonald and Varitek. The replay, though, looks pretty conclusive that Encarnacion was safe. You can see his right foot scrape across the plate before Varitek puts the tag down.

It was a really nice slide by Encarnacion, too.
   12. Dale Sams Posted: July 06, 2011 at 01:38 PM (#3869938)
Reddick for example has a much stronger arm but sometimes those guys with the big arms get a little too eager to show off the strength.


I also was thinking that the visiting announcers may have received a surprise souvenir if Reddick had been in there.

As for the rotation:

Beckett-Ace
Miller-Perfectly fine back of the rotation pitcher
Wakefield-Explosive
Aceves-Explosive pinhead (though I really hoped he wouldn't be)
Lackey-Explosive pinhead.
   13. toratoratora Posted: July 06, 2011 at 01:46 PM (#3869941)
There’s been a kind of groupthink in major league baseball that you need a rotation with more than one pitcher in it, but perhaps that’s a box the Red Sox can think outside of.


This is sheer beauty. Thanks for the morning chuckle.
   14. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 06, 2011 at 01:58 PM (#3869957)
Aceves-Explosive pinhead (though I really hoped he wouldn't be)
Perhaps I'm misreading the comment, but I'm surprised to see Aceves characterizes as a pinhead. I always thought of him as a pretty smart pitcher, or at least someone's whose ability to think with the hitter was a decent sized part of his success. He's probably stretched as a starter--I think his best role is the Ramiro Mendoza Memorial Bullpen Spot--but I imagine the Red Sox could do much worse.
   15. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 06, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3869965)
One edge I think the Sox have is they can shorten games pretty well, especially if Jenks gets right. With Jenks/Albers/Wheeler the Sox have the ability to navigate the 6th/7th innings and turn it over to Bard and Papelbon. Paps has been good this year with a couple of ugly outings but he's blown just one save (plus one non-save against Oakland). That gives them a bit of wiggle room when starting a guy like Aceves who probably isn't going 7 on any night.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 06, 2011 at 02:03 PM (#3869969)
I don't really see any evidence of pinheadedness of Aceves or Lackey. Lackey, to me, is almost certainly injured and needs surgery. Aceves looks like an averageish reliever and a below average starter who's incredibly useful to have on your baseball team, even though you don't want him handling high-leverage innings.
   17. Dale Sams Posted: July 06, 2011 at 02:11 PM (#3869978)
I wouldn't let Jenks house-sit my goldfish. And I don't have a goldfish.

As for Aceves being a pinhead, I meant in terms of throwing the ball up around people's heads and not seeming to give a ####. He's got 6 hbp in some 50 innings, then there was the whole balk thing. Pinhead.

edit: As for Lackey...anyone else notice in Lackey's last start, that everytime a fielder made a less than stellar play they would run a slow-motion replay of Lackey during said play? Somebody in the booth sure likes to give Don and Jerry something else to talk about besides their bobbleheads, how long it took them to get to the park, Jerry's Red Sox career....
   18. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 06, 2011 at 02:15 PM (#3869986)
I'm with Dale on this one. I like Aceves but he reminds me of Julian Tavarez in a lot of ways including his apparent penchant for doing what he wants when he wants. I don't know if "pinhead" is quite the right word, it's a bit mroe negative than I feel is appropriate but it conveys the message.
   19. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 06, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3869987)
There are two pinheads in the Red Sox rotation, and Josh Beckett isn't one of them?
   20. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 06, 2011 at 02:26 PM (#3869999)
I'm with Dale on this one. I like Aceves but he reminds me of Julian Tavarez in a lot of ways including his apparent penchant for doing what he wants when he wants. I don't know if "pinhead" is quite the right word, it's a bit mroe negative than I feel is appropriate but it conveys the message.
Interesting, I don't really remember getting the impression from his Yankee days--which isn't to say you're wrong. Oddly, his control has been much worse in Boston on the whole, he has the same number of HBP there he did in NY in considerably fewer innings and his BB numbers are up a bunch too.

Of course, we're dealing with such small samples here that it's probably more of a "who knows?" situation.
   21. cminsf Posted: July 06, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#3870005)
Back to ptodd's point, even if there were evidence that too many pitches lead to injuries, the Sox pitchers are not pushed very hard by league standards. For both Buchholz and Lackey, at least half their starts have been 100 pitches or less. Beckett has one start of more than 122 pitches -- which is pretty typical for major league starters according to BPro -- and the vast majority of his starts have been under 110 pitches. Lester has been pushed the hardest with two games over 120 pitches and is number 13 on Prospectus's pitcher abuse points.

The medical staff, on the other hand ...
   22. John DiFool2 Posted: July 06, 2011 at 02:59 PM (#3870026)
...and some kid named Weiland.


Who has been absolutely lights out in his last 2 starts: 18 K 0 BB. I'd give him Sunday's start just to see what they've got in him-they say his stuff is as good as anybody in the organization.
   23. Joel W Posted: July 06, 2011 at 06:11 PM (#3870227)
Looking at Weiland's #s overall, I say give him a shot he has the upside of being totally serviceable!

If he actually has great stuff to go w/ the numbers, all the better.
   24. Swedish Chef Posted: July 06, 2011 at 06:27 PM (#3870248)
Anyone hear the magic 3 letters (MRI)used in Buchholz case?

The scariest pitcher headline is "...seeing Dr Andrews".
   25. Nasty Nate Posted: July 06, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3870379)
Yahoo sports' lineup has no Adrian Gonzalez. Seems like a regular day off, which leads to the further puzzlement as to why his day off didn't happen one of those times they were in an NL park very recently and were trying to fit Ortiz in the lineup.
   26. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 06, 2011 at 09:06 PM (#3870383)
Call me an ignorant man, but what the f*ck have been doing with Buchholz these past two weeks? What after two weeks of sitting in the dugout with a sore back, NOW they decide to send him to a back specialist. Why wasn't anyone thinking that maybe the first day he was out that they should have their $50million commodity looked at by the specialist then?


I've been saying this since last year. The medical and training staff needs a serious overhaul, if not in the personnel then in how they do things. Guys are getting hurt left and right, backwards and forwards for a long time now. That's not even counting the traumatic injuries (e.g. Beltre trucking people). You've got repeated misdiagnoses of Ellsbury's ribs. You've got Daisuke butting heads with the staff, getting injured, then needing TJ. You've got Buchholz going on the DL every year and the team taking forever to diagnose the problem. Pedroia coming back early. Beckett. Lester. Possibly Lackey.

This #### needs to be fixed.
   27. Mayor Blomberg Posted: July 06, 2011 at 09:51 PM (#3870423)
if it turns out to be joint inflammation/degeneration, I can totally sympathize, having just gone through it again and it taken me two weeks to figure it out. It feels like muscle, at least for a while, and keep thinking that ice, muscle relaxants, and chiropractor/p.t. will take care of it. But it doesn't.
   28. Textbook Editor Posted: July 07, 2011 at 12:41 AM (#3870543)
If Bartolo Colon can pitch like an ace for half a season, why doesn't Milwood make the same pact with the devil and pitch like an ace for us?
   29. Mattbert Posted: July 07, 2011 at 01:28 AM (#3870604)
Somebody get Millwood some, uh, some velocity stem cells...STAT!
   30. Darren Posted: July 07, 2011 at 03:03 AM (#3870673)
25 is a very good point.

Regarding the medical staff, I've heard the same complaints from fans of other teams: "Our medical staff stinks! These injuries are always worse than they think at first!" Injuries and treating them are not an exact science, as much as we want them to be. And still... it does seem like we get a ton of them and too many guys come back and play hurt or go out for a seemingly small thing and never come back.
   31. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: July 07, 2011 at 06:06 AM (#3870774)
AG reported he was slightly sore this morning as well - probably why he was rested today and not inter league
   32. OCD SS Posted: July 07, 2011 at 11:07 AM (#3870814)
There are two pinheads in the Red Sox rotation, and Josh Beckett isn't one of them?


When you're pitching like an ace, you're "eccentric," when you aren't you're a "pinhead."
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 07, 2011 at 11:21 AM (#3870817)
Pete Abraham has lots of updates in his Red Sox notebook in the Globe:

-Aceves will start Sunday, with Atchison called up to be the long man for the week
-Buchholz' back specialist thinks he'll get better with just rehab, no timetable
-Lester's MRI was "good news" and he should only miss two or three starts
-Crawford expected back shortly after the All-Star break
   34. Chip Posted: July 07, 2011 at 12:02 PM (#3870824)
If the Lester news (or the Buchholz news, or any starter injury news) actually were bad, and Theo felt he had to go shopping for another starter in the trade market, wouldn't it benefit him to pretend his guy was only going to miss a brief time/not need surgery? If the word is, "won't be back this season" he's just going to face unreasonable demands from any potential trade partner.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 07, 2011 at 12:42 PM (#3870839)
I think that overstates the case. If either of Lester of Buchholz needed surgery - and surgery is very common in "actually bad news" cases - they wouldn't wait three and a half weeks to have the procedure done, just to game the trade market. I can see the case that Theo wouldn't admit that, say, Buchholz' rehab may take the rest of the year, but we can rule out a bunch of possibilities (or at least say that these possible conditions haven't been diagnosed) by the fact that neither of these guys are undergoing surgery.
   36. Dan Posted: July 07, 2011 at 05:47 PM (#3871086)
I wonder if we'll see Weiland get a shot on Sunday. Aceves is being listed as the probable starter most places, but as far as I know the Red Sox haven't officially said that he'll be starting on Sunday. I could see the Sox holding off on announcing that it'll be Weiland until they absolutely have to in order to give the Orioles less time to prepare for facing him.

He's been on fire in Pawtucket and it seems like a great chance to see him in the majors with Lester out for a few starts, especially since he might be an option to replace Lackey for the last few months if Lackey can't turn things around. I think they should give Lackey and Weiland each 2-3 starts until Lester is back, and at that point you can determine who to keep in the rotation going forward. I'm hoping that Weiland gets a chance and establishes himself, thus forcing the Sox to sit Lackey.

I think a rotation of Lester/Beckett/Buchholz/Miller/Weiland would be pretty solid for August and September, with Wake and Aceves available for spot start duty.
   37. Dan Posted: July 08, 2011 at 01:11 AM (#3871431)
I wonder if we'll see Weiland get a shot on Sunday. Aceves is being listed as the probable starter most places, but as far as I know the Red Sox haven't officially said that he'll be starting on Sunday. I could see the Sox holding off on announcing that it'll be Weiland until they absolutely have to in order to give the Orioles less time to prepare for facing him.



Aceves pitching in relief tonight, so it looks like it'll probably be Weiland on Sunday. Cool.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 08, 2011 at 01:24 AM (#3871442)
Good catch on the Aceves thing - I somehow misread that paragraph, and no actual word has been given.

Millwood started on the 3rd and Weiland on the 4th. The Red Sox could call on either of them for Sunday.
   39. Joel W Posted: July 08, 2011 at 04:12 AM (#3871601)
I'll make up some Weiland for 5th Starter tees and send them around.

Sox are 50-25 since the 2-10 start. Oh and on the season they are 19-12 in games started by Lester and Buchholz. They're 32-23 in all other games.
   40. Textbook Editor Posted: July 08, 2011 at 06:03 AM (#3871686)
Fun fact: Weiland is listed as a LHB... I can't recall the last time I saw a RHP bat LH...

Milwood had a bad start two starts ago, but he hasn't been awful-awful (i.e., he's not been Lackey-bad). While I hope it's Weiland, I wonder if they'll go the safe route and see what Milwood has left.
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 08, 2011 at 11:21 AM (#3871744)
Millwood is the announced starter for tonight's game in Pawtucket.

It's still possible that they treat last night as Aceves' throwing day and give him the start, but it looks like Weiland is the most likely.

Also, I didn't watch the game last night. Was Miller bad? Why no Ks? Was it bad luck, a bad night, or has he been coasting against terrible offenses?
   42. tfbg9 Posted: July 08, 2011 at 02:23 PM (#3871837)
He didn't look all that great to my eyes; he was falling behind guys, and tossing get-me-overs that got fielded.

I didn't see a guy who was really "letting the ball go".
He's been pretty lucky so far. It makes me wince to think how he'll look vs. a real buzzsaw lineup. We have that to look forward to.
   43. tfbg9 Posted: July 08, 2011 at 02:30 PM (#3871847)
I think on Sunday, they oughta give the first 5 innings/80 pitches to Aceves, he's sorta earned it, and use the pen a little more than usual. I think if you consider everything that might happen, he gives the team the best shot at a win.

Of course Lackey's set to pitch Saturday, which will tax the pen.
   44. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 08, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3871852)
Fun fact: Weiland is listed as a LHB... I can't recall the last time I saw a RHP bat LH...
Not quite the same, but I know Randy Johnson used to bat righty.
   45. Famous Original Joe C Posted: July 08, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3871857)
Fun fact: Weiland is listed as a LHB... I can't recall the last time I saw a RHP bat LH...
Not quite the same, but I know Randy Johnson used to bat righty.


I am a bat left, throw right.
   46. SG Posted: July 08, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3871867)
David Cone was a BL/TR guy, and he got two PA with Boston in 2001.
   47. Dan Posted: July 08, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#3871908)
Weiland is not only a more interesting option to pitch Sunday, but he has more upside, and he can also be returned to the minors. The other issue with Millwood is that if you bring him up to the majors you can't option him back down.


Also, I didn't watch the game last night. Was Miller bad? Why no Ks? Was it bad luck, a bad night, or has he been coasting against terrible offenses?


I think there were 3 factors here. The first was the jump in the quality of the offense he faced. The second thing is that he was facing a lineup with 7 righties, 1 switch hitter, and 1 lefty. A guy like Miller is going to look worse when he only gets to face a lefty in 3 of the plate appearances of the night. And that lefty (Markakis) is a guy with virtually no platoon split anyway. So Miller had platoon splits working against him all night. And his third issue was that his offspeed stuff just wasn't really working for him last night. His fastball started off flat in the first couple of innings too, but eventually he got up to 92-94 with the fastball and it looked okay. But the slider and the change up really weren't effective pitches for him last night like they were against the Padres. I don't know if it's due to inconsistency with his mechanics or what, but I think there's still upside here against AL teams for him on a night where he can get all 3 pitches working. As we saw against the Padres in particular, when he has all 3 pitches his fastball is the worst pitch of the 3, and last night the fastball was really the only thing that WAS working for him, yet he got through 5 innings without blowing up like John Lackey or anything.
   48. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: July 08, 2011 at 08:27 PM (#3872196)
Miller's velocity was up a little from his previous start, but still a couple ticks below his first two starts. I'm starting to wonder if he wouldn't be better used out of the pen, pumping 95-96 for short stints. Would that we had that luxury.

I'm also getting the feeling Drew's days with the club are numbered. The past two games they've both played in, Reddick's hit 6th and Drew 8th; Drew had always batted first previously. Reddick's also now up to 1.5 WAR, good for 6th on the team in just 20 games, while Drew's at 0.3 in 4 times as many PA. There's obviously a lot that's unsustainable about his line -- he's not gonna BABIP .409 or UZR/150 87.2 -- but he's got power and is a beast on defense. At this point, I'd rather see him in right than Drew when Crawford comes back.
   49. JJ1986 Posted: July 08, 2011 at 08:33 PM (#3872203)
Fun fact: Weiland is listed as a LHB... I can't recall the last time I saw a RHP bat LH...


Jason Marquis does it.
   50. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 08, 2011 at 09:39 PM (#3872228)
Extra Bases has Francona saying Weiland starts on Sunday.
   51. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: July 08, 2011 at 10:19 PM (#3872263)
Fun fact: Weiland is listed as a LHB... I can't recall the last time I saw a RHP bat LH...


Jason Marquis does it.
Mike Hampton did the Rickey Henderson, throwing left and batting right.
   52. Mattbert Posted: July 09, 2011 at 01:59 AM (#3872417)
James McDonald, who started a game against the Sox recently, is a BL/TR guy.

Carlos Zambrano switch hits. Dunno if that counts.
   53. Darren Posted: July 09, 2011 at 01:33 PM (#3872649)
And now Beckett....
   54. Textbook Editor Posted: July 09, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#3872659)
A stealth deal for a starter come 7/31 is certainly one possible outcome of all of this, especially once Lackey's revealed to need TJ surgery. The question is: who?

Though, really, the baseball gods owe the Red Sox one Aaron Small-type season from somebody obscure. It seems to happen every damn year for the Yankees and I can't remember the last time it did for the Red Sox.
   55. Darren Posted: July 09, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#3872665)
Are you guys serious about Lackey needing surgery? I haven't seen many of his games--what's the giveaway?
   56. Textbook Editor Posted: July 09, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3872677)
There have been some hints that his elbow isn't right and somewhere (not sure if print or on NESN) I think Gammons mentioned that Lackey would need TJ surgery by August. Apparently the medical staff's concern over the elbow when he signed the contract is what led to the 2015 team option being for the ML minimum should Lackey ever need TJ surgery. (The latter is why--you can imagine--Lackey probably is very, very reluctant to go under the knife, since it would bind him to a year of service for $400K.)

So one theory I have is that the Red Sox are sort of stuck: Lackey won't agree to get the surgery willingly (and will pitch in pain if he has to), because he doesn't want the 2015 option invoked... but the Red Sox putting him on the DL, letting him rest the elbow, etc. is just delaying the inevitable, so they'd actually prefer Lackey to just keep on pitching until the elbow finally goes in a spectacular blow-out that forces the surgery option, and then we all re-convene in February 2013 to see what we have going forward, when Lackey would effectively be on a 3-year deal for $31 million or so. (A deal which is not perhaps as onerous to trade, should Lackey have some effectiveness coming back from the surgery.)

It's not the craziest of theories; it does at least explain the Red Sox continued insistence on throwing him out there every 5th day... to them it's the only way the elbow issue will finally come to a head/get dealt with.
   57. Darren Posted: July 09, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#3872774)
I'd tell him, "Fine, we don't want you in 2015 anyways."
   58. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: July 10, 2011 at 02:49 PM (#3873492)
Francona hit Reddick 6th and Drew 8th again last night and he's doing it again today. Reddick's now up to 1.8 WAR while Drew's down to 0.2. I really don't see how they can send Josh down when Crawford comes back, and there's no place on this team for a lefty backup OF. I think we're seeing Drew's last week with the Red Sox.
   59. Textbook Editor Posted: July 10, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#3873506)
#58--They're not going to release Drew; I just don't see this happening. When Crawford comes back, either Navarro or Sutton will go down (McDonald is out of options, I think).

Drew probably has very little trade value come the 7/31 deadline, although if the Red Sox pick up most of the remaining salary, they probably could move him (if moving him was what they wanted to do). But, again, I just don't see this happening. He's a veteran guy who still can play RF well and draw a walk. While he might not be worth starting, you could do a lot worse that Drew as a backup OF the last 2-3 months of the season.

I suspect they'll keep 5 OF on the roster the rest of the season once Crawford gets back, and 5 IF, with either Navarro or Lowrie as the 5th IF.
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 10, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3873512)
I suspect they'll keep 5 OF on the roster the rest of the season once Crawford gets back, and 5 IF, with either Navarro or Lowrie as the 5th IF.
This is reasonable, but the problem is, how do you manage playing time? Reddick has clearly taken a qualitative step forward as a hitter,** and I think it's pretty fair to say he's a plus defensive RF as well. While he's probably not a true .490 wOBA hitter, I think he's better than JD Drew right now. But if you sit Drew for Reddick, when does Drew play? The Red Sox not only have good players at every position that JD Drew could play, they have good left-handed hitters at every position JD Drew could play. I'd guess maybe they'd split the RF starts 2:1 with Drew starting every couple days, sort of like Crisp and Ellsbury back in 2008, but I don't know.

I would want to keep Drew around for depth - there's every chance that one of Ellsbury, Crawford, Reddick, or Papi might miss two weeks here or there. Francona, though, will have to smooth things over with JD and convince his veteran to take a more limited role than he's ever played before.

**The most telling stat, I think, is Reddick's swing percentage on balls out of the zone. Between 2009 and 2010, in the majors, Reddick swung at 6% more pitches out of the zone than an average hitter, and this year he's swung at 15% fewer pitches out of the zone than an average hitter.
   61. tfbg9 Posted: July 10, 2011 at 03:39 PM (#3873519)
Reddick has all of , what?...60 AB's this year. Keep your pants on fellas.
   62. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 10, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3873521)
I think he just looks like a completely different hitter. Reddick was a complete mess at the plate, no discipline, completely at the mercy of major league pitchers. Now he looks like he has a plan and he's laying off those breaking balls out of the zone. These are things I think you can pick up on in 60 PA.

It's notable also that his walk rate in AAA this year is way above his previous career high.
   63. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: July 10, 2011 at 03:43 PM (#3873522)
But what is Drew's role on a team starting 3 lefty OFs? You don't need a defensive replacement for Crawford, Ellsbury or Reddick. Who in the lineup would he pinch hit for? Scutaro against a tough righty? That's not much of an improvement and would burn half your bench. I don't see where the playing time would come from and I'd rather the backup OF job go to someone you'd actually want to play. I could see this ending similar to Julio Lugo, where the Sox ultimately decide he's not worth the roster spot anymore, eat the contract, and ship him to the NL.
   64. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 10, 2011 at 03:47 PM (#3873523)
The idea is that you'd carry 5 OF, with McDonald as the platoon guy, and Drew taking occasional starts from Reddick, and maybe from Crawford or Ellsbury or Ortiz. Since Drew can effectively back up all of LF, RF, CF, and DH in the case of injury, I think it would be a bad idea to trade him with two months left to play. (Unless Drew refuses to take on a limited role, that is.)
   65. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: July 10, 2011 at 03:50 PM (#3873527)
Coke to MCOA for saying what I did more eloquently (and quickly). I'll also throw out the old Bill James idea of signature significance. Sure, it's a small sample, but he's been SO good the odds are low of this being a pure fluke. He won't keep hitting like Rogers Hornsby, but there's some real improvement there.
   66. Dan Posted: July 10, 2011 at 03:51 PM (#3873528)
I think the Sox will eat the money and ship Drew to an NL team like they did with Cameron. Reddick has clearly shown he deserves to play over Drew, and Drew has no real role backing up Ortiz, Crawford, Ellsbury, or Reddick since they all bat lefty like he does. It would be one thing if they had a guy in LF like Manny or Bay and they could use Drew as a defensive replacement (shifting Reddick to LF), but that's an OF with 3 CFers in it already. Keeping him on as a bench player is pointless, I'd rather have an extra infielder. And McDonald isn't great, but if he's going to at least hit lefties he's a useful fit as a backup in that outfield. If McDonald continues to struggle then the Sox probably go out and acquire a righty OFer. I still don't see how Drew can fit into the picture at all once he loses his starting job.
   67. Dan Posted: July 10, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3873530)
The idea is that you'd carry 5 OF, with McDonald as the platoon guy, and Drew taking occasional starts from Reddick, and maybe from Crawford or Ellsbury or Ortiz. Since Drew can effectively back up all of LF, RF, CF, and DH in the case of injury, I think it would be a bad idea to trade him with two months left to play. (Unless Drew refuses to take on a limited role, that is.)


I'd rather have an infielder who can play some OF as the 5th OF than Drew. Either Sutton or Navarro (though I prefer Navarro). With 2 infielders on the bench you can DH Youk against some lefties and still PH for your SS or 3B with Ortiz at some point in the game. Early this year when there were only 5 IF on the roster and Youk DHed, you couldn't PH for Scutaro or Lowrie because there was no one else on the bench who could play SS or 3B.

Once everyone is healthy I'd like to see a lineup of:

CF Ellsbury
2B Pedroia
1B Gonzalez
3B Youkilis
DH Ortiz
LF Crawford
C Saltalamacchia
RF Reddick
SS Lowrie

Then you'd have a bench of:
C Varitek
2B/SS Scutaro
IF/OF Navarro
OF McDonald

That has a lot more flexibility than it does if you take out Navarro and put Drew on the bench. I would hate to lose Drew and then have one of the OFers or Ortiz go down for an extended stretch, but I don't think that risk is worth wasting a spot on the 25 man roster with a player with no role on the team while everyone is healthy.
   68. tfbg9 Posted: July 10, 2011 at 03:59 PM (#3873531)
Bah. 58 AB's isn't enough. Its a speck. Hope its real advancement.
   69. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 10, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3873533)
Dan - what benefit is that to the Red Sox, though? In the scenario where Crawford comes back and no one else is injured, the Red Sox have six guys in the major league lineup who should play basically everyday (Gonzalez, Pedroia, Youkilis, Crawford, Ellsbury, Ortiz). They need a backup C, a backup IF who can handle short, and a platoon RF. That leaves one more roster spot. I think it makes sense to use that 25th roster spot on a backup who back up the entire outfield and DH in the case of injury.

If one of Crawford, Ellsbury, Reddick, or Ortiz gets hurt, and Drew has been traded, who would take regular PA? McDonald? Navarro? Rush Chiang or Hassan? The Sox need JD Drew in that scenario. I think that's a more valuable player to keep in the 25th roster slot than an equally redundant backup IF.
   70. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 10, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#3873535)
With 2 infielders on the bench you can DH Youk against some lefties and still PH for your SS or 3B with Ortiz at some point in the game.
Ortiz has missed only a small handful of games not played in NL parks, and basically none since April. The Sox aren't taking his bat out of the lineup.
   71. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 11, 2011 at 12:17 AM (#3873878)
I like what I've seen from Reddick but people need to step back. I'm with Teddy, it's half a season if you count his minor league time. I'd start him because he's hot and let him keep the job until he loses it but the Sox have to be prepared for the chance that he turns into a pumpkin again. The sox should play this like they did with Lowrie and let Reddick play until e proves he can't do it (if that day ever comes)

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