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   1. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 18, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4390459)
I think that's exactly right. (Hey, you idiot...)

Carp, Nava, and Gomes rotate through LF/DH - I'd expect Gomes will play mostly DH, with Nava and Carp playing the field more often. I'd still probably rather see Bradley out there - and according to John Farrell, Bradley still has a shot. If Bradley makes the roster, he most likely just replaces Nava, and Carp and Gomes share the DH job. Ryan Sweeney would be entirely superfluous to that roster, but I figure the Sox don't want to let him go, and it's not like Daniel Nava would add much either.

I don't see much of any purpose to Lyle Overbay - if you put him at 1B to upgrade the defense, you either have to downgrade the offense by resting Napoli or hurt the defense even more by playing Gomes in the field. I guess he could play the occasional game with Gomes on the bench and Carp in the outfield, but I'm not really seeing what he brings to this club.

I don't have any problem with Bard proving himself against AAA competition first, and if Tazawa keeps pitching like he did in the fall, he won't be on the shuttle. I think it's more likely that if the Sox had to make a move, they'll have a DL option or they'll try to slip Mortenson through waivers.

I agree about Aceves and a possible trade, though it sure seems that there just isn't a real market for his particular brand of above average pitching combined with bugnuts lunacy.
   2. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 18, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4390471)
1B – Mike Napoli
2B – Dustin Pedroia
3B – Will Middlebrooks
SS – Jose Iglesias
LF – Jonny Gomes
CF – Jacoby Ellsbury
RF – Shane Victorino
C – Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B – Mike Carp
UTIL – Pedro Ciriaco
OF – Ryan Sweeney
OF – Daniel Nava
C – David Ross


Uch. Unless there are big strides forward by youngsters, this lineup needs Ortiz in a bad way.
   3. booond Posted: March 18, 2013 at 03:22 PM (#4390648)
Hopefully Victorino and Ellsbury get above a 350 obp or almost no one is on base outside of Napoli, Pederoia and Gomes (against lhp).
   4. jmurph Posted: March 18, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4390659)
I'll try to wash away the negativity and be optimistic about the season after this point, but I just want to note that it would be very difficult for me to be less excited about that collection of outfielders (obviously the one way to make it less exciting would be to remove Ellsbury).
   5. booond Posted: March 18, 2013 at 03:55 PM (#4390669)
BTW, thanks, Jose, for the article.

The outfield will be fine IF Ellsbury and Victorino catch a good portion of their 2011 stats and Gomes sits often against RHP. I still hope Sweeney can be a decent platoon partner.
   6. Darren Posted: March 18, 2013 at 09:19 PM (#4390820)
What about Gomez? What are the chances that they give him at shot at DH to start the year? He's hit well in the minors and was okay in the Majors last year.

Over on SOSH, a smart guy named Div School Something is making a good case for Bradley. He points out that good, contending teams try to win when they have the chance--they don't worry about the theoretical possibility that a player might cost a bit more in six years. So if Bradley is the best option, he should be up playing in Boston in April at least.
   7. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:05 PM (#4390855)
Gomez hasn't really hit this spring and has options. I think if the Sox are going to keep a player who has options at the expense of Carp et al it's going to be Bradley.
   8. Darren Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:16 PM (#4390860)
I was thinking in place of Nava or Sweeney, but he's probably not making it anyway
   9. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:25 PM (#4390869)
Gomez makes more sense than Nava, doesn't he? You can platoon Gomez and Carp, with Jonny Gomes moving between LF and DH. I think getting Gomez' bat against LHP over Carp's or Nava's more than balances out the defensive downgrade.

Nava has options, too, so Gomez v Nava is an even fight on that front.
   10. Darren Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:36 PM (#4390877)
What about Nava v. Sweeney?
   11. Dan Posted: March 18, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4390886)
I've said it in other threads, and I'll say it here: if Farrell and the coaches think JBJ is ready, then the FO should put him on the 25 man roster. The Red Sox shouldn't be worried about an extra arb year an they can send him down for a few weeks when Ortiz is back to get the extra year before free agency. Let the Rays be the cheap team that sends major league ready prospects to AAA instead of playing them; the Red Sox have enough money to not play those games.

Again that's IF they truly think he's ready. If not then obviously he should be in AAA. Personally I think he's worth a shot, unless he starts getting overpowered by major league pitchers in the last few weeks of camp.
   12. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 19, 2013 at 08:11 AM (#4391007)
Re JBJ - I tend to think this is more Nava's last chance than it is JBJ's first chance. If Nava proves capable platooning in LF then he can stay and JBJ can continue to improve in the minors. With the upside of JBJ (or his hype at least) he seems to me more of a player that once they make the big club they stay there. That appears to be what the old management team did, with Ellsbury, Pedroia, Middlebrooks, once they were up, they were up. Reddick didn't really follow that pattern, and Lowrie was hurt so much it's hard to say.
   13. Darren Posted: March 19, 2013 at 08:19 AM (#4391012)
Ellsbury was also up and down in his first year, IIRC.
   14. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 19, 2013 at 08:20 AM (#4391013)
Has Bradley played any left field this spring? I didn't see him out there and while it's not a huge change from being in center it seems like he (or Ellsbury) should play a few games over there sometime soon if the Sox are going to seriously consider having Bradley on the Opening Day roster. "Congratulations, you've made the club. Now go play a position you've never played and we've never seen you play before" seems less than ideal.

I have no doubt that he can do it, but I still think it's a good idea to have him do it before the season starts. As I type this out I feel like that might be the sign that the Sox are seriously considering going down this road.

EDIT: According to RedSox.com Bradley has only played CF this Spring
   15. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 19, 2013 at 08:27 AM (#4391016)
Ellsbury was also up and down in his first year, IIRC.


Yup. His path was a bit similar to JBJ. Ellsbury had 225 PA at AA in 2006 as a 22 year old (Bradley had 271 last year also as a 22 year old). In 2007 Ellsbury started at AA, tore it up, got promoted to AAA then made his debut June 30 and played for about a week. He came up for one day in August (the day of Buchholz' MLB debut) then returned for good on September 1. I thought he had played more than he actually did pre-September but he actually had just 20 PA prior to September 1.

It's probably worth noting that Ellsbury is an "old" player with a September birthday while Bradley is a "young" player with an April birthday so apples to apples he's 7 months younger than Ellsbury.
   16. Dan Posted: March 19, 2013 at 08:37 AM (#4391021)
Bradley has played in RF several times this spring, though I don't think he's played LF. It's possible that in a Victorino Ellsbury Bradley OF that they play Victorino in LF I guess? I'm not sure why Red Sox.com has him only in CF because he has definitely played RF.
   17. Dan Posted: March 19, 2013 at 08:42 AM (#4391023)
According to BB-Ref Bradley has played 15 games in CF and 3 in RF. How cool is it that they have ST stats now?
   18. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 19, 2013 at 09:26 AM (#4391049)
Ellsbury was also up and down in his first year, IIRC.


Ellsbury came up for a week, then a day, then the end of 2007, and was then penciled in as the starter in CF for 2008. Not really the same as Nava.

Nice work on the ZIPS projections:

BA OBP SLG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS
.297 .349 .392 134 549 87 163 34 3 4 58 37 72 43 6
.280 .336 .394 145 554 98 155 22 7 9 47 41 80 50 11


Sorta coke to Jose
   19. Mike Webber Posted: March 19, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4391054)
How cool is it that they have ST stats now?

Extremely!
   20. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 19, 2013 at 09:54 AM (#4391072)

Shoulda mentioned those are Ells's 2008 ZIPS and actual stats
   21. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4391317)
Listened to a bit of the Sox Prospects podcast at lunch and the topic was Jackie Bradley and whether he should start in the Majors or not. In simple terms they were pretty certain he should not. The argument, and it made some sense, was that as good as JBJ has looked in Ft. Myers let's remember it's Spring Training and 40 or so at bats. Bradley faded at Portland last summer (.628 OPS in August and September).

Not convinced they are right but it was an interesting view from guys who follow Bradley as closely as anyone does.
   22. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: March 19, 2013 at 08:41 PM (#4391947)
The argument, and it made some sense, was that as good as JBJ has looked in Ft. Myers let's remember it's Spring Training and 40 or so at bats.


That's not an argument: it goes without saying! How can you not be convinced they are right? If Bradley weren't an anointed prospect, if he were say Derek Bell, no one would think he deserved a spot on the roster from 40 AB, no matter how good his BA. Small samples are small samples, and around here, in big samples we trust. Why promote a kid from AA who hasn't even sniffed AAA yet? He has 61 games in AA! This is exactly the definition of a half-baked idea and exactly the thing that mediots love to cook up to give themselves something to write about.

He looks great so far, but he still has much to prove.
   23. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 20, 2013 at 01:31 PM (#4392570)
He does have much to prove but he's also not Derek Bell. The idea that he's a young player bursting onto the scene is hardly a big leap, he's a top 50 prospect so there is talent there. It seems to me that there are three possibilities;

1. He starts the year with the big club, struggles a bit and is sent down. This is not a catastrophe. If he can't rebound from this then he's probably not an MLB player in 1, 2, 3 or 10 years.

2. He starts the year with the big club and cements his place in the lineup. Obviously this is wonderful.

3. He starts the year in Pawtucket.

This isn't a guy who is going to follow the Roger LaFrancois path. If he's on the roster he's going to be playing and I don't see a downside to taking a shot. If he busts, hey, by May 1st he's playing at Pawtucket. Dustin Pedroia was a disaster for his first two months in the bigs, Mike Trout was overmatched in 2011 and I'm sure I could spend time and come up with a host of other guys who had a bad month at the start of their careers.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 20, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4392611)
That's not an argument: it goes without saying! How can you not be convinced they are right?
Young players often improve in qualitative ways. That's what development is - we count on it happening. It's certainly true that Bradley spring training statistics can't serve as useful evidence of such improvement, but if the Sox' coaches and other evaluators think Bradley has improved, then that's indeed useful evidence that Bradley will play better than projected.

All players are individuals. Most players will develop better with more time in the high minors, but not all of them. The Sox have to both treat Bradley as a statistic (probably he hasn't improved that much) and as an individual (whatever the coaches and scouts are saying. They should certainly err on the side of treating Bradley like a statistic, but you have to be open to seeing the individual doing something unexpected - you don't want to miss out on a significant improvement to your MLB team.
   25. Dan Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:02 PM (#4392621)
FWIW, qualitative evaluations of progression aside, Bradley already projects as a 2.2 WAR player per ZiPS if he only plays 118 games. There's an argument to be made that even WITHOUT a big jump beyond what his numbers suggest that he's a worthy ML starter. And he certainly looks like he may have progressed more than the typical player with his statistical profile.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:05 PM (#4392624)
Also, Bradley doesn't need to be all that good to be a projected asset to the Red Sox while Ortiz is out.

ZiPS wOBA for Red Sox LF/DH:

.330 - Gomes
.311 - Gomez
.309 - Nava
.308 - Bradley
.305 - Carp

Given defense and baserunning, he might already be the best option. Obviously there's the issue of what will maximize Bradley's development and all that, but there's a good case by the stats for giving the job to Bradley.

EDIT: Coke to Dan.
   27. Sonic Youk Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:24 PM (#4392644)
No harm in starting him in the minors, though. Middlebrooks hit the snot out of the ball for 100 abs in Pawtucket last year, and then was permanently handed 3rd. And Gomes is no Youk.

If Bradley is a 3 or 4 WAR player then

A. It's going to be really obvious really quickly
B. it won't even cost the major league team a win to keep him on the farm for a month.
   28. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 20, 2013 at 02:29 PM (#4392651)
No harm in starting him in the minors, though. Middlebrooks hit the snot out of the ball for 100 abs in Pawtucket last year, and then was permanently handed 3rd. And Gomes is no Youk.


The difference is that the injury vacancy didn't exist at the start of the year last year, it exists now for Bradley. I don't think anyone here is really anticipating 6 months and 500 PA for Jackie Bradley at the MLB level. What is more likely is he starts the year in Boston, then goes down when Ortiz comes back to play every day and wait for performances (either his or Gomes) or injury to create an opening.

Frankly, if Jackie Bradley spends the entire season in MLB I think that's a very very good thing because it's only going to happen if he sparkles right out of the gate.
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 21, 2013 at 08:54 AM (#4393381)
So Peter Abraham lays out the details of service time for Bradley in his piece today (Bradford has one too). In simple terms;

If Bradley spends the first 11 days of the season in the minors he's not a free agent until after 2019
If Bradley spends any 20 days of the season in the minors he's not a free agent until after 2019

Like I said I think this makes it a pretty easy decision to keep him to start the year. He's playing well, he's talented and there is a need. Unless he's hitting .320 when Ortiz comes back he goes to Pawtucket for three weeks, no harm, no foul. The "worst" case scenario is he proves he's an MLB regular right now and if that's the case the Sox get a boost and in 2018 they can write him a great big check.
   30. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 21, 2013 at 02:37 PM (#4393677)
From Extra Bases this is the lineup for tonight's game. Given the left-handed starter (Hamels tonight, Sabathia on Opening Day) this certainly looks like an Opening Day lineup to me. I don't think it suggests anything re: Bradley as I doubt he'd be in there against CC;

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Mike Napoli 1B
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Jonny Gomes LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Daniel Nava DH
Jose Iglesias SS
   31. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 21, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4393705)
Jonny Gomes LF

Daniel Nava DH

Isn't Nava a better fielder than Gomes? Is this just to get Gomes more practice time in LF?
   32. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 21, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4393755)
Yeah, that's a bit of an odd one. It may be temporary or it may be a function that they don't want to yo-yo Gomes. Although as I think about it if they take Bradley then presumably Bradley would be in LF on days he played then Gomes would be DH. I can't imagine they are planning a straight Bradley/Gomes platoon with Nava as the nominal starter.
   33. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 21, 2013 at 04:01 PM (#4393779)
Speier is reporting that Drew has been cleared to play but will not play in any Spring Training games so the Sox will have the option of backdating his DL stint.
   34. booond Posted: March 21, 2013 at 04:19 PM (#4393784)
Pretty tough lineup against lhp, well the top-6.
   35. Dale Sams Posted: March 21, 2013 at 08:32 PM (#4393928)
I've been thinking...if Ellsbury has a perfectly possible 110 OPS+, 30 steal season....there's no way he's getting a 20mill a year contract. From anyone. BJ Upton got 5/75 and that's about what you can expect from Upton. Someone is going to give Ells 20 mill a year *hoping* he'll repeat 2011?

I don't see it.
   36. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 21, 2013 at 08:43 PM (#4393934)
I've been thinking...if Ellsbury has a perfectly possible 110 OPS+, 30 steal season....there's no way he's getting a 20mill a year contract. From anyone. BJ Upton got 5/75 and that's about what you can expect from Upton. Someone is going to give Ells 20 mill a year *hoping* he'll repeat 2011?


That's the thing though isn't it? We'd all love to see a 140 OPS+, 6+ WAR season from him this year, but if that happens, his value will skyrocket and your hopes of signing him for 5/75 are gone. Now if he puts together a rather tasty 120 OPS+, 4+ WAR season, and much of that WAR value is based on fielding and baserunning, then he'll still be had for a decent price. If he posts a 4+ WAR season and the value is mostly accrued on hitting, then he'll be expensive.
   37. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:32 PM (#4393993)
Another factor in bringing JBJ up is that they'd deny themselves the opportunity to give Carp/Nava/Sweeney/whatever some playing time and see what they have there. Obviously there's the counterargument that those guys wouldn't help the team as much as Bradley, but that's no certainty and besides, I'm not expecting much from the team this year so perhaps I'm more inclined to take the first couple months to muck around looking for a hidden gem.

In addition, rushing JBJ denies the opportunity to see how he handles AAA; [24] is true and well spoken regarding players' individuality (see guys like Hanley that didn't really bother putting it together until the show), but all the same I think a stepped development path has value in most cases. Based on JBJ's career so far, I don't see why he'd be an exception.

It would definitely be fun to have him up, and maybe even break out, but it seems like it being really fun (and maybe slightly better than the other options) is the main reason we're discussing it. Not that I'm opposed to fun! Maybe I'm being a bit... conservative; I'm picturing Dana Carvey's HW Bush: "Wouldn't be prudent."
   38. Jittery McFrog Posted: March 21, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4394001)
Someone is going to give Ells 20 mill a year *hoping* he'll repeat 2011?

I don't see it.

Ellsbury's biggest liability has been health. I can imagine some other team looking at him, then looking at the Red Sox medical staff, then thinking "opportunity".

(Depending on how he looks this year, obviously.)
   39. Dale Sams Posted: March 21, 2013 at 11:56 PM (#4394035)
Also after seeing Iglesias in the first inning tonight, I've firmly got my back on the 'he'll never make it and we should trade him before he proves to everyone he's a career 80 OPS+ guy" camp. And lean towards the 'enh...why not?' guys.
   40. Dan Posted: March 22, 2013 at 03:38 AM (#4394060)
In addition, rushing JBJ denies the opportunity to see how he handles AAA; [24] is true and well spoken regarding players' individuality (see guys like Hanley that didn't really bother putting it together until the show), but all the same I think a stepped development path has value in most cases. Based on JBJ's career so far, I don't see why he'd be an exception.


Bradley is a polished college player with an advanced approach. In addition, he was a consensus top 10 or so pick before his Junior year, and fell to the Sox with a supplemental pick because his Jr. year was underwhelming due to the busted wrist. But he's shown literally zero signs of the wrist being any kind of issue, and has looked 100% the guy that he was supposed to be when he was being talked about in the top 10. A talent like that, drafted out of college, is exactly the type of player who can make the jump from AA to the majors.

Beyond that, he's a plus glove and a plus baserunner, meaning that even if he hits into poor luck or goes cold starting April 1st, he's still likely to produce value for the team in the other phases of the game. And they can send him down for at least the 20 days they need to delay FA until after 2019 when Ortiz comes back. No one is going to question the Sox saying "Ortiz needs his starting spot back and we want Bradley to get every day ABs so we're sending him to Pawtucket".
   41. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:24 AM (#4394063)
Bradley is a polished college player with an advanced approach.


Pedroia and Ellsbury were similarly polished college players with advanced approaches, and spending time in AAA didn't seem to hurt them much. I'd like to see Bradley have a little more success in some games that matter at a higher level, and that's traditionally been the Red Sox way as well. All the recent position prospects have spent at least some time in AAA. Bradley did well in AA, but it's not like he was destroying the league in his 61 games there. It just seems like too small a sample of games that mean too little to make a sound judgment about, and I'd wait to call him up until it's clear that he's superior to the in-house guys.

Beyond that, he's a plus glove and a plus baserunner, meaning that even if he hits into poor luck or goes cold starting April 1st, he's still likely to produce value for the team in the other phases of the game. And they can send him down for at least the 20 days they need to delay FA until after 2019 when Ortiz comes back. No one is going to question the Sox saying "Ortiz needs his starting spot back and we want Bradley to get every day ABs so we're sending him to Pawtucket".


All that said, I wouldn't be opposed to bringing him up at the beginning of the season, as long as he can get his at-bats. People would absolutely question it if Bradley was hitting well when Ortiz came back, though. It would be a huge debate.
   42. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 22, 2013 at 07:09 AM (#4394067)
All that said, I wouldn't be opposed to bringing him up at the beginning of the season, as long as he can get his at-bats. People would absolutely question it if Bradley was hitting well when Ortiz came back, though. It would be a huge debate.


But this is a good thing. If Bradley is playing so well that we don't want to send him down that's good for the Boston Red Sox, not bad.

The only bad result here is that if Bradley doesn't play well, doesn't get at bats, but remains on the big league roster all season. The Sox need to send him down for 20 days at some point during the season to lock in 2019. They should have plenty of opportunities to do that.
   43. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 08:54 AM (#4394090)

But this is a good thing. If Bradley is playing so well that we don't want to send him down that's good for the Boston Red Sox, not bad.

The only bad result here is that if Bradley doesn't play well, doesn't get at bats, but remains on the big league roster all season. The Sox need to send him down for 20 days at some point during the season to lock in 2019. They should have plenty of opportunities to do that.


If Bradley plays well at the start of the season and then remains on the team when Ortiz comes back it means someone else doesn't remain with the team - Sweeney, Carp, or Nava either go back to the minors or have to get put through waivers and the Sox potentially lose them (do any of them have options left?). If Bradley starts sucking in July and the Sox want to send him down to AAA there is a very real chance that they are then left with a worse outfield because they lost their (already slim) outfield depth. That is a bad result of Bradley doing well to start the season.

Sweeney, Carp and Nava may not be good players, and none of them will probably ever be more than a 3rd outfielder at best, but watching them is at least better than seeing Scott Shitty Podsednik play in 63 games.
   44. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 22, 2013 at 09:13 AM (#4394097)
Well hopefully the Sox won't have a season where their top 6 outfielders are all on the DL at the same time. With all due respect to Mike Carp, Ryan Sweeney and Daniel Nava they aren't guys the Sox should be making personnel decisions around. They are guys that get a spot if a spot opens up, not guys you open a spot for.

Last year the Sox expected outfield was Sweeney/Ellsbury/Crawford. These three guys combined to play 168 games between them. It's one thing to plan for some injuries, it's another to plan for an absolute catstrophic fiasco. The fact is if Victorino/Ellsbury/Gomes combine for 168 games having Mike Carp or Ryan Sweeney isn't going to make a difference in the Sox being competitive in any fashion. At that point I'd rather see Bradley or Brentz or hell Alex Hassan or Jeremy Hazelbaker (the latter two having virtually no hope of being productive MLB players). Ryan Kalish will be back midseason to fill some of those lost at bats.

And again, this can't be stressed enough; having Jackie Bradley on the Opening Day roster does NOT doom him to being a free agent after 2018. The Sox simply need to have him in the minors for three weeks at some point this year. I just can't see that not happening.
   45. Pingu Posted: March 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4394146)
Another factor in bringing JBJ up is that they'd deny themselves the opportunity to give Carp/Nava/Sweeney/whatever some playing time and see what they have there. Obviously there's the counterargument that those guys wouldn't help the team as much as Bradley, but that's no certainty and besides, I'm not expecting much from the team this year so perhaps I'm more inclined to take the first couple months to muck around looking for a hidden gem.


Do we really need time to figure out what the Red Sox "have" in Carp/Nava/Sweeney?

If Bradley is better than an alternative, he plays. Simple as that.

If Bradley plays well at the start of the season and then remains on the team when Ortiz comes back it means someone else doesn't remain with the team - Sweeney, Carp, or Nava either go back to the minors or have to get put through waivers and the Sox potentially lose them (do any of them have options left?).

Sweeney, Carp and Nava may not be good players, and none of them will probably ever be more than a 3rd outfielder at best, but watching them is at least better than seeing Scott Shitty Podsednik play in 63 games.


Hasnt Nava cleared waivers a couple times in the past? Carp might get claimed, oh shucks. Sweeney? Really. These are all 25th man type questions and your going to base a developmental decision on your 2nd best prospect because you're afraid of the onerous task of replacing either Nava, Sweeney, or Carp? Hell Linares might be as good or better than any of them right now.

And I like Carp, would want to see if his power plays in Fenway, but I wouldnt be sad to see him go.
   46. Dale Sams Posted: March 22, 2013 at 10:50 AM (#4394186)
This roster leaves me feeling curiously pain-free. There arn't the expectations of 2011. The crushing inevitablity of 2012, and the feeling that the immature children were still on the team spoiling it for everyone. So far every SP and reliever looks like they can actually play well. In fact, the BP looks like it may not have room for Bard, who I would like to stay up as a sign of faith for him.

I don't think Victorino or Drew will play anywhere near the money being paid them, and that Hanrahan will have soul-crushing Aceves moments and eventually be supplanted...but what can ya do. After the first game in 2011, I knew the team would be swept. Knew they would lose the third game in Detroit in 2012. This team strikes me as the kind that actually can reset the clock from game to game.

I will say that our constant turnover is kind of a joke though...I mea...who are these guys? I've been saying this for years and there's no end in sight.
   47. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4394321)
This from PeteAbe today;

Kalish, if he is fortunate, will get in some minor league games by the end of the season. He is recovering from surgery


Was I the only one not aware that Kalish was this badly injured? I had the sense he was looking at a June-ish return. This is pessimistic to the point of being time to officially throw in the towel on "Ryan Kalish - MLB Player."

I will say that our constant turnover is kind of a joke though...I mea...who are these guys? I've been saying this for years and there's no end in sight.


Do the Sox have appreciably more turnover than other teams? Pedroia, Ellsbury, Ortiz, Lester and Buchholz all date back to 2007 and earlier. This years team is dramatically different from last year's but that's a function of the Punto trade and frankly about what you'd want from a 69-93 team. I mean if you go 69-93 I don't think "hey, let's bring 'em all back!" is exactly the right mindset.
   48. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 22, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4394448)
If Bradley is better than an alternative, he plays. Simple as that.


I think we're having this whole conversation because it's not so simple. Or, it's not simple to judge whether Bradley is meaningfully better than the alternatives with much certainty. No one was putting Bradley forward as a starting candidate in 2013 before Spring Training, and I'm kind of surprised that people here would be putting so much emphasis on 3 weeks of stats that aren't particularly predictive of regular-season performance. Player quality is highly variable, pitchers are still tuning up and aren't really attacking hitters using scouting reports yet.
   49. Sonic Youk Posted: March 22, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4394463)
I wonder if the team told Gomes that he would end up as a backup when they signed him, because he would actually suit their needs pretty well. The cool thing about a Bradley-Ellsbury-Victorino outfield is that Gomes could back up all three positions, even though he can only play left, if that makes any sense.
   50. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 22, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4394466)
There are a couple of things at work though;

1. The Sox have suffered some injuries. Ortiz' is the most high profile but Ryan Kalish should be taking the spot that Bradley is now fighting for and even a guy like Bryce Brentz could potentially have been in line for a short term stint if he hadn't shot himself.

2. Bradley has played great. As MCoA noted upthread this isn't some random guy having a few good weeks, this is one of the top 50 prospects in baseball possibly making a leap.

3. The alternatives really are pretty unimpressive. The odd man out here is probably going to be Lyle Overbay who had an OPS+ of 88 and 93 the last two years.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: March 22, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4394478)
3. The alternatives really are pretty unimpressive.


When I first heard about Ortiz starting the year on the DL, I immediately thought that meant Mauro Gomez would have a spot. I would think that an open DL spot is the perfect chance to see how a minor league slugger could handle big-league pitching. (I am not disputing that the case for Bradley is sound.)
   52. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 22, 2013 at 03:18 PM (#4394479)
Bradley shifted to left field for the last couple of innings of today's game.
   53. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 22, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4394482)
I keep forgetting about Gomez for some reason.
   54. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 22, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4394502)
The cool thing about a Bradley-Ellsbury-Victorino outfield is that Gomes could back up all three positions, even though he can only play left, if that makes any sense.


Having 2 1/2 center fielders helps when finding a 4th outfielder to back them up.
   55. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 22, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4394503)
2. Bradley has played great. As MCoA noted upthread this isn't some random guy having a few good weeks, this is one of the top 50 prospects in baseball possibly making a leap.


He's played great, but even Darnell McDonald can play great (.427/.512/.816) in a small sample that has even less predictive value than actual minor league stats. I don't think tiny, high variation samples become more predictive just because a player has good pedigree. There are good reasons why we don't really pay attention to ST stats when evaluating a player at any other time of year.
   56. Dan Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4394519)
I keep forgetting about Gomez for some reason.


Because he's a completely forgettable AAA slugger with no real value. That's the reason.
   57. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4394520)
The issue though is that the Sox have a roster opening right now. Jackie Bradley - Defensive Wizard, is probably a better fit than Nava/Carp/Sweeney for a two week stint. The fact that he's hitting is a sign that at the very least he's not completely incompetent. I don't think anyone is suggesting that he's going to hit .350 to start the year but I think there is a better chance that a Jackie Bradley who goes 5 for 25 with Gold Glove defense (and yes,he's that good) is more valuable than a Daniel Nava who goes 8 for 28 with OK defense.

Look, if Bradley starts out and is completely overmatched he goes back to Pawtucket and the only harm is that the Sox probably lose the third guy on that list above. Are we really that worried about losing any of those three guys?

The argument against Bradley seems to be twofold;

1. Loss of Carp/Nava/Sweeney/whoever - Yes that's a risk but seriously, the Boston Red Sox 2013 season is not going to be defined by Mike Carp. If the Sox need Mike Carp to play a big role then they're kind of ######.

2. He'll be a free agent in 2018 rather than 2019 - As I've noted this only happens if Bradley wins the LF job outright and that is a good thing.

The Sox have an opening on the roster right now. There is reason to believe that Jackie Bradley is that best player at that position available, for that reason I think he should be on the club.
   58. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4394522)
Let's take this a different way. Here are six players, if all six players got 200 at bats in 2013 rank the six in order of your expected WAR for them;

Jackie Bradley
Mike Carp
Mauro Gomez
Daniel Nava
Lyle Overbay
Ryan Sweeney

My ranking;

1. Bradley
2. Nava
3. Carp
4. Sweeney
5. Gomez
6. Overbay
   59. Nasty Nate Posted: March 22, 2013 at 04:12 PM (#4394525)
I keep forgetting about Gomez for some reason.




Because he's a completely forgettable AAA slugger with no real value. That's the reason.


That didn't stop him from remembering Nava and Carp...
   60. booond Posted: March 22, 2013 at 05:30 PM (#4394582)
if all six players got 200 at bats in 2013 rank the six in order of your expected WAR for them;


If he's healthy, I'd place Sweeney second and move the others down.

   61. Dan Posted: March 24, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4395227)
Bradley is starting in LF on Sunday. It's a lineup featuring mostly regulars too:

Ellsbury CF
Victorino RF
Pedroia 2B
Napoli 1B
Middlebrooks 3B
Gomes DH
Bradley Jr. LF
Lavarnway C
Iglesias SS
   62. Darren Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:18 PM (#4395245)
And now the Sox are talking about rotating DHs, so it looks likely that Bradley would be in LF often. I think he's in.
   63. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM (#4395246)
It feels like the Sox are trying to let Bradley play himself out of the job and he's not cooperating. I think if they can get an 0 for 6 over two games they'll send him down but absent that he's going to stick.
   64. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4395277)
So the opposite field homer off Cliff Lee is probably a good thing for Bradley.
   65. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:34 PM (#4395280)
as an outsider i am telling my red sox pals to believe in 2013. not saying the team will win the division but it will be a fun year i think.

strong, strong believer in the 'bobby gone' factor. seen it so many times. players are going to enjoy going to the ballpark. and that matters.

so you should have a reason to enjoy this season as i find it very likely that if nothing else the team will try hard, be enthused and at times surprise its fan base.

that and the band wagon crowd has likely moved on so you get your team back in a way.

anyway, that's my two cents

good luck
   66. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4395284)
Thanks Harv. That frankly is one reason I want Bradley on the roster, it would be fun. I agree that the Sox have a good chance to be a lot of fun this year. The frustration of 2011, the embarrassment of last year, even 2009 and 2010 were frustrating in their own ways. I think it could be a lot of fun.

   67. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 24, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4395296)
as an outsider i am telling my red sox pals to believe in 2013. not saying the team will win the division but it will be a fun year i think.

strong, strong believer in the 'bobby gone' factor. seen it so many times. players are going to enjoy going to the ballpark. and that matters.

so you should have a reason to enjoy this season as i find it very likely that if nothing else the team will try hard, be enthused and at times surprise its fan base.

that and the band wagon crowd has likely moved on so you get your team back in a way.

anyway, that's my two cents

good luck


There's also absolutely no expectations going into the season, so any actual competitiveness is just a bonus.
   68. Mattbert Posted: March 24, 2013 at 09:53 PM (#4395554)
So the opposite field homer off Cliff Lee is probably a good thing for Bradley.

The wind was ripping out to left today, but he really nutted that ball. I was a beautiful thing to behold. I reckon he'll enjoy hitting in Fenway if he continues to display that ability to drive the ball the other way when LHP attack him on the outside half.
   69. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 25, 2013 at 09:15 AM (#4395679)
I think there is a better chance that a Jackie Bradley who goes 5 for 25 with Gold Glove defense (and yes,he's that good) is more valuable than a Daniel Nava who goes 8 for 28 with OK defense.


I don't disagree with your point that JBJ doesn't have to hit better than Nava to be worth more than him, but over a two week stretch I would think a hot hitter would be a lot more valuable than a gold glove LF. Just not enough chances for a great run-saving play, especially in Fenway, where Nava has more experience with the Monster.

I don't want to sound to down on JBJ, I'd just rather let him build momentum in the minors and break out later in the year. Better than seeing him struggle in the majors at the start of the season, go down, scuffle a bit, get hot, come up, rinse, repeat.
   70. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 25, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4395717)
over a two week stretch I would think a hot hitter would be a lot more valuable than a gold glove LF. Just not enough chances for a great run-saving play, especially in Fenway, where Nava has more experience with the Monster.


That is probably true but that's a point in Bradley's favor. He is in fact the hottest hitter on the club right now. It's not like Nava et al are seizing their opportunity.
   71. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 26, 2013 at 11:15 AM (#4396692)
Per Alex Speier on Twitter Lyle Overbay has been released.
   72. Nasty Nate Posted: March 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM (#4396709)
Per Alex Speier on Twitter Lyle Overbay has been released.


The writing was on the wall for him once they acquired Carp.
   73. Dan Posted: March 26, 2013 at 12:04 PM (#4396769)
I'll be shocked if Overbay isn't in a Yankee uniform by tomorrow afternoon. He's gotta be an upgrade on Dan Johnson as a platoon partner/ defensive replacement for Juan Rivera at first base.
   74. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 27, 2013 at 08:49 AM (#4397449)
I'll be shocked if Overbay isn't in a Yankee uniform by tomorrow afternoon.


Shock averted.
   75. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 29, 2013 at 10:37 AM (#4399061)
So, hopefully a more official note will go up later, but for now, I wanted to address the sudden lack of content in Sox Therapy.

Darren, Jose, Matt(bert) and I decided to take a shot at running our own blog. So we've moved our blogging over to the new place. It's been a while running Sox Therapy, and it's been a great time. But we all felt that we wanted to try having a place that was our own. Thanks to Jim for setting us up with the opportunity to blog here.

The new home is Replacement Level Red Sox - conceived as a sister site to the RLYW, meaning they were nice enough to let us rip off their naming convention. If you didn't see it, I put the CFBPS up there as a first post, we've got spring training reports, we'll be doing regular minor league updates and game threading - the fun of Sox Therapy, in a new, redder, differently url'd home. It's been great writing here, and it'd be great if some of y'all want to check out the new place. Come on by, if you want, maybe.
   76. Darren Posted: March 29, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4399098)
Wow, that site sounds fantastic! I bet everyone's going to want to check that out as soon as possible!
   77. Xander Posted: March 31, 2013 at 02:16 PM (#4400182)
Putting JBJ on the Opening Day roster is a panic move in early-April. Nothing better sums up the Cherington regime than that sentence.
   78. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 31, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4400256)
Really? Why not bring him up to see if he can stay hot? We could have something here. He's an interesting player, and a guy like him might make a big difference for this potentially mediocre team.
   79. Xander Posted: March 31, 2013 at 05:10 PM (#4400273)
Because it is a potentially mediocre team and if he's on the roster or not for two weeks, that's not going to change.
   80. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: March 31, 2013 at 05:40 PM (#4400283)
And they can have him on the roster for two weeks then send him down for three weeks when Ortiz comes back. This is NOT an either/or situation where the final decision is being made today. The Sox have an opening, Bradley is the best choice to fill it. If Ellsbury got hurt on April 15 and the Sox called up Bradley there would be no complaint, I'm not sure why it's a problem now.
   81. Dale Sams Posted: March 31, 2013 at 05:52 PM (#4400291)
Because it is a potentially mediocre team and if he's on the roster or not for two weeks, that's not going to change.


That's the same for the other 24 players of a mediocre team.

Right now Bradley is the best option in left.
   82. booond Posted: March 31, 2013 at 06:11 PM (#4400297)
If they believe they can make the playoffs, and with the division as tight as it seems to be that is a realistic thought, then they should put the best team on the field. That means putting JBJ on the Opening Day roster if they believe he's one of the best 25. If they are the Astros then it makes sense to hide JBJ for the year. Play to effing win.
   83. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: March 31, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4400313)
Players who make me want to watch the Red Sox this year, in no particular order:

Jackie Bradley
Will Middlebrooks
Mike Napoli
Dustin Pedroia
Jacoby Ellsbury
Jon Lester
Clay Buchholz
John Lackey (yes, I'm curious and hopeful)
Julio Iglesias

Players who make me wish I rooted for another team:

Shane Victorino
Jonny Gomes (worse than ####### Nomar, with his 15 seconds out of the box after every pitch, adjusting all of the parts of him that somehow need adjusting).

The rest...good luck to them, I hope they entertain.
   84. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 31, 2013 at 06:33 PM (#4400317)
That's the same for the other 24 players of a mediocre team.


Yeah, but they aren't prospects you can start in AAA.

I agree with Temple, but still I'm pretty excited to see Bradley.
   85. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 31, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4400326)
Wrong thread!

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