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   1. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 13, 2011 at 12:25 PM (#3795445)
Saltalamacchia was out of the lineup last night due in part to the birth of his child. Given the way the rest of the lineup was structured I think he likely would have sat anyway.

The problem with this team isn't that it isn't any good, it's that they are digging themselves a hole. 11 games is just 11 games, but when you lose THIS often it becomes a difficult hole to climb out of.
   2. OlePerfesser Posted: April 13, 2011 at 01:51 PM (#3795477)
Howdy, suffering Therapudlians. Just want to stop in to wish y'all well and encourage us all to hang in there.

The thing I wonder about with this club is whether it's just highly volatile -- or, in real baseball jargon, streaky. This goes back to discussion on these pages some years ago that went along the lines of "it's all about the variance."

Clearly there are some MLB players who are high-variance, and there are some that are consistent as hell. Teams that accumulate a bunch of the former, it seems to me, are likely to blow really hot and cold unless their volatile players happen to time their booms/busts so they're offsetting, which would be quite a coincidence.

Obviously, Daisuke is high-variance, but I have no idea how this roster compares to others in this regard (and am far too lazy to actually, you know, get off my duff and dig up numbers).

Anyway, MCoA's thoughts and numbers on platooning are very interesting. Kudos. In fact, as a way of rating managers some enterprising sabermetrician should post MLB platoon %s from time to time.
   3. toratoratora Posted: April 13, 2011 at 01:56 PM (#3795480)
They're 5 games back with 150 to go. Not ideal, but far from panic time. Heck, if they are within 3 at the break, I'll still see them as the favorite in the division, injuries excepted of course.

I like the points about the platoon advantages. I also see platooning help to keep a club that's not exactly young stay fresher through the season-it would be great to see Lowrie develop into some kind of super sub (Ala Jose Oquendo)and pick up at bats all over the place. After last night I am more convinced than ever that he needs to get a serious shot at some AB's this year. Maybe it's just my Jed fanboyism speaking, but I think this is the year to find out how good he is.

And The Skippy/Salty platoon at catcher worries me-pitchers can't pitch (Which may or may not have squat to do with the catchers), runners take off with gleeful abandon, and the pair combine to be a black hole of suck on offense.
   4. Dale Sams Posted: April 13, 2011 at 02:05 PM (#3795487)
any particularly good reasons to think this team actually isn’t any good


Crawford: Had one really great season in front of an average of some 20,000 fans and now is the highest paid OFer in history in one of the hardest baseball towns.
Ellsbury: An above average CFer at the plate and has yet to shake his SABR defensive liabilitys
Drew/Cameron: Old
Scutaro: meh. while my binky who is hitting over .400 sits behind him because Tito can't afford to get his 'super-sub' hurt...so..give the super-sub less ABs in favor of the less talented guys in front of him, yeah that makes sense.
Ortiz: Old.
AGon: Paid like Manny, hits like Boggs. (for now)I just like saying that. He shouldn't be on this list.
Catcher: A black effing hole.

Beckett: Proved he CAN be the Beckett of old at least.
Lackey: An "Inning-eater" a "Horse"...blah blah blah. He's not supposed to be a 4.50-5.00 pitcher and anything else is just excuse making for the slack-jawed pile of ####.
Dice-K: He's Dice-K
Buchholz: We all knew he'd regress some.

The BP will be average at best outside of Paps and Bard. And man, Wake and Wheeler sure are doing their best to skew any analysis.

That's a lot of reasons and opposed to that we have two months last year where 'this team' (If you assume Crawford/AGOn replicate VMart/Beltre's production)knocked the #### out of the ball. But what about the two months before that?

This team was never a 100 game winner. Ok, doom and gloom rant over. Tora Cubed is right. They're 5 games back.
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 13, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3795497)
I don't think there is anyone in the lineup to worry about other than the catcher spot. Even if Ellsbury produces at his 2008 level that's useful. Drew is possibly a problem but I think a platoon of he and Cameron/McDonald will produce just fine.

The pitching staff is where I'm wary. It's just two starts but Lackey has been horrendous. I don't have data to back it up but guys who have low K rates seem to have a short trip from "disappointing" to "disaster." If Lackey truly has gone over the edge that is very very bad. I'm more confident in Daisuke right now than Lackey (though admittedly I'm more of a fan of Daisuke than most). Buchholz also scares me a bit. I don't think he'll be terrible but I think while all of us mentally expected a regression there is a difference between 3.75 and 4.50. if he's the latter, that becomes a problem.

I think Dale was remiss in excluding Jenks from his bullpen strengths. He is very good and has looked excellent so far. Wheeler worries me. To me he is the guy that triggers this bullpen. If he is good this becomes a very deep bullpen similar to 2009.

That Wakefield has gotten hammered I don't care about. He could have given up 75 runs the other night and it wouldn't matter and I suspect that over the course of the season his usage will be such that that will continue to be true.
   6. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 13, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3795536)
Hey good news everyone, I won Sox tickets for Sunday's game on the Big JAB radio call in show yesterday. Sports talk radio isn't worthless after all! The only thing that stinks is that I hvae to get to Boston. They should give you train tickets too or something...
   7. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 13, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3795553)
Coming from NYC WJ? Drive up, it's not a bad ride and with the 1PM start you still get home around 10PM even if you hang around the city for dinner after the game.
   8. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 13, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3795610)
Nope, coming from Maine...it was a Maine sports talk show. I'm thinking perhaps the downeaster train, but my wife and are trying to decide if we pony up for a hotel or just head back. The afternoon game makes both options viable, but the next day is patriot's day and the colleges we both work at have Spring Break that week anyway.

But, of course, marathon weekend, the prices are INSANE!
   9. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: April 13, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3795611)
In the bad way, not the good Crazy Eddie way.
   10. Pingu Posted: April 13, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3795786)
Career vs LHP
Crawford .268/.314/.379
Ellsbury .305/.357/.392 (438 PA)
Drew .256/.358/.422
Ortiz .259/.331/.467

Lowrie .320/.397/.539 (205 PA)
Cameron .268/.371/.492
McDonald .293/.352/.448 (267 PA)

Why is Crawford not a platoon candidate? Oh ya, its the $20M, forgot. At the very least EVERY day off he gets should be against a lefty.
Ellsbury doesnt appear to have any platoon split yet, but his career has been too erratic to judge (where can you get minor league splits?)

I dont care which of the four LHBs sits. But at least three should be sitting vs all LHPs until:
Lowrie proves thats a small sample size.
Cameron shows that these 11 ABs represent the actual true life awfulness he has aged into.
McDonald has "the league catch up with him"

Making Drew a full time platoon player doesnt seem to make all that much sense, but I'm ok giving him only 1/3 of the starts vs LHP.
   11. Pingu Posted: April 13, 2011 at 07:07 PM (#3795793)
The pitching staff is where I'm wary. It's just two starts but Lackey has been horrendous. I don't have data to back it up but guys who have low K rates seem to have a short trip from "disappointing" to "disaster."


I guess I never thought of Lackey as a "low K rate" pitcher. He's been pretty consistently at 7 K/9, which isnt great, but I woudl assume above the average starter.
   12. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 13, 2011 at 07:17 PM (#3795813)
I guess I never thought of Lackey as a "low K rate" pitcher. He's been pretty consistently at 7 K/9, which isnt great, but I woudl assume above the average starter.


He declined to 6.5 last year, his fifth consecutive declining season. Small declines admittedly but a decline nonetheless.

More importantly, his K rate dropped to under 17%. Even a modest decline from those numbers gets a bit iffy.
   13. Swedish Chef Posted: April 13, 2011 at 09:07 PM (#3795993)
Great result for Lackey and the Red Sox today.
   14. Dale Sams Posted: April 13, 2011 at 09:23 PM (#3796019)
Great result for Lackey and the Red Sox today.


Mark this date down. Turning point of the season.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: April 13, 2011 at 09:39 PM (#3796059)
Why is Crawford not a platoon candidate? Oh ya, its the $20M, forgot.


It's mostly the fielding ability I would guess.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 13, 2011 at 10:21 PM (#3796128)
Players with significant value in areas other than batting are less viable for platoons. Crawford's defense is gold glove quality no matter the opponent's pitcher.

There are two main problems with using career platoon split numbers. First, they overrate players who used to be much better hitters (Drew) while underrating players who used to be much worse hitters (Crawford). Second, the numbers need to be regressed significantly, especially for young players. But that's why we have projection systems - here are projected vs. LHP wOBA for relevant Red Sox based on an average of ZiPS and CAIRO:

.349 - Cameron
.342 - Crawford
.339 - Drew
.335 - Ortiz
.335 - Lowrie
.331 - McDonald
.326 - Varitek
.310 - Ellsbury
.297 - Saltalamacchia

-Crawford is by far the worst option for a platoon of this group, given his defense and baserunning.
-The guy who should be platooned more, unless he's turned into a gold glove defender, is Ellsbury. There is, I guess, a case to be made for giving him reps against major league LHP as part of his development, but he shouldn't be starting every day against lefties.
-Lowrie projects as a better hitter from the right side - I did not know that - which makes a Lowrie/Ortiz platoon very appealing. They project as similar hitters, Lowrie's a better baserunner, you upgrade the defense by putting a shortstop at third base, and you rest one of your two best hitters with a day at the DH.
-You gotsta platoon at catcher, unless the numbers are way, way off. And I don't think they are.
   17. Darren Posted: April 13, 2011 at 11:57 PM (#3796284)
The thing about Ells is that he doesn't project to be much of a hitter in general, does he? If you think he's a good player in general, it's because you don't believe those projections. The picture that you get from that list is that Francona seems most interested in platooning the guy who needs it least. Meanwhile, Salty needs to be platooned more than anyone and has not been. There may be some good reasons for this stuff, but nothing in what he's done so far has made me think Francona has done a particularly good job with the platoon issue. If anything, it looks like he takes the path of least resistance by platooning the quiet and easy-going Drew rather than other players who might not react as well.
   18. Textbook Editor Posted: April 14, 2011 at 12:25 AM (#3796331)
W/r/t Wheeler, he is a DFA waiting to happen. I've pegged 6/6 as the end date there. We'd be on the hook for the remainder of his $3 million salary, but someone will pick him up at a prorated ML minimum, which will take a bit of the sting out of that. The guy is toast, has been toast, and I hated the signing the day we made it. Waste of space. I'd rather see Dubront struggle and try to get righties out on a regular basis than watch Wheeler.

Is Dice-K tradeable? At some point DL'ing the guy to get him out of the rotation won't be worth as much as just shedding the contract.
   19. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 14, 2011 at 02:12 AM (#3796490)
I don't think Ellsbury needs to be platooned. He's got a career .305/.357/.362 line against lefties which is not very exciting but it is far from bad. It is 8th out of the 9 hitters listed because he is simply a worse hitter than everyone but Saltalamacchia. I'm not quite sure how his defense in 2011 compares with Cameron or McDonald. A few years ago Cameron would be the obvious call but I just don't have a sense where he stands at this point.

My guess is that with his speed Ellsbury is probably close enough to Cameron/McDonald as an all around player against LHP that development makes it worthwhile to make him the guy regularly. I'm not knowledgable on wOBA so I don't know if SB/Base running comes into the calculation. If those differences include base running then I'd say Cameron has to be the guy.

Ellsbury is a funny guy. He was severely overrated in the general fandom when he first came up to the point that it got silly. I think a lot of people have gone overboard in their criticism of him. His 2008/2009 combined line was .291/.346/.405 and he rated about average, perhaps slightly below, as a defensive outfielder. That is not an all star but for a guy who is the 8th best player on a contender he is just fine.

As for Saltalamacchia I thinkt he Sox are pretty clearly trying to develop him in the way they developed Pedroia. Hand him the job and let him have at it. Assuming that plan not platooning him makes perfect sense.

Daisuke is not going anywhere. Unless he pitches better no one is going to take on his contract nor give you a player in return. The Sox only choice with him is going to be to let him work it out and if he doesn't release him. The guy had a 4.69 ERA last year, it's not like he is coming off a season with a 15.00 ERA so as annoying as he is to watch pitch he is far from horrible though Monday was pretty horrible.

I liked the Wheeler signing but right now he looks like toast that's for sure. Anything that gets Doubront in there is OK in my book.
   20. Darren Posted: April 14, 2011 at 02:40 AM (#3796503)
With Ellsbury, I worry more about his defense. He looks to take lousy routes sometimes.
   21. RollingWave Posted: April 14, 2011 at 02:56 AM (#3796519)
Dice-K is tradable if the sox eat the majority of the salary, a team that isn't going anywhere might as well take a chance on him if he's almost free. but the sox isn't likely to do that... or are they?
   22. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 14, 2011 at 03:03 AM (#3796522)
Wheeler will be DFA'd and #### off the NL and win a ####### World Series ring - it makes me ####### sick. He's junk - Theo loves signing guys who fluke a good effort vs. the Sox. Lackey in Game one of the 2009 ALDS is a good example here.

Oh #### me sideways - I'm just rambling now - never thought I'd get the shitts in April
   23. Dale Sams Posted: April 14, 2011 at 03:11 AM (#3796528)
My name is Ramon Ramirez, and I approve of this message.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: April 14, 2011 at 03:24 AM (#3796538)
JC Romero's ears are burning!
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 14, 2011 at 03:25 AM (#3796539)
Ellsbury's career .300 batting average against lefties is driven by a .350 BABIP. He has a .305 BABIP against righties. That's an obvious fluke, and it's why ZiPS and CAIRO project Ellsbury to have a perfectly normal platoon split, rather than the slight reverse split seen in his career numbers. If he's an averageish hitter, then a normal platoon split makes him quite poor against lefties - significantly worse than Cameron or McDonald.

In terms of use, as I look it over, I think the problem is that McDonald isn't all that great. Is it better to start Crawford/Ellsbury/Cameron in the outfield agaisnt a lefty or Crawford/Cameron/McDonald? The defense in the first alignment is a lot better than the defense in the second, and McDonald isn't that much better with the bat, even with the platoon advantage, than Ellsbury - and Ellsbury's a better baserunner. There should definitely be a solid number of nights where the outfield goes Crawford/Cameron/Drew against a lefty, but I can see the case for using Ellsbury against a good number of lefties given the bench. If the Sox place more of a priority on resting Drew than resting Ellsbury, then it makes a good bit of sense.

I don't think Saltalamacchia is or should be on the Pedroia development plan. Pedroia projected as an above average 2B at age 23. Jarrod Saltalamacchia projects as a below average C at age 26, and he projects to have a massive platoon split. If Saltalamacchia develops into a pretty good platoon catcher, the Sox should be very pleased with that outcome.

The Sox face lefties both Friday and Saturday against Toronto. What lineups do y'all want to see?
   26. Dale Sams Posted: April 14, 2011 at 03:36 AM (#3796547)
What lineups do y'all want to see?


SS Lowrie
2B Pedroia
1B Gonzalez
3B Youkilis
DH Ortiz
RF Cameron
LF Crawford
CF Ellsbury
C Varitek
   27. Textbook Editor Posted: April 14, 2011 at 04:45 AM (#3796605)
JC Romero's ears are burning!


What's funny about this is that Mike Timlin was basically gifted from the Phillies to the Red Sox in the aftermath of the Scott Rolen deal and won a WS ring in 2004, much in the same way that Romero was basically gifted to the Phillies from the Red Sox and won a WS ring.
   28. Hugh Jorgan Posted: April 14, 2011 at 06:08 AM (#3796627)
When does the pants pissing start? I don't want to be late for that.
   29. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 14, 2011 at 06:23 AM (#3796630)
The line up in 26 is nice.

When does the pants pissing start? I don't want to be late for that.


Is it pants pissing or should we just change it now to "constantly having the shits?"

I'm holding out until end of May before I go Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and lose my ####
   30. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 14, 2011 at 12:57 PM (#3796686)
With Ellsbury, I worry more about his defense. He looks to take lousy routes sometimes.


Agreed. For what its worth he hsa looked better in the couple of games I've gone to this year than he did in the past. Sample sizes of course.

I don't think Saltalamacchia is or should be on the Pedroia development plan. Pedroia projected as an above average 2B at age 23. Jarrod Saltalamacchia projects as a below average C at age 26, and he projects to have a massive platoon split. If Saltalamacchia develops into a pretty good platoon catcher, the Sox should be very pleased with that outcome.


Agreed again but the Sox have made the decision to go with Saltalamacchia. It's not like he is blocking anyone so while I think Saltalamacchia is useless I have no particular problem with forcing him and seeing what happens.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 14, 2011 at 01:28 PM (#3796706)
Agreed again but the Sox have made the decision to go with Saltalamacchia. It's not like he is blocking anyone so while I think Saltalamacchia is useless I have no particular problem with forcing him and seeing what happens.
I don't see how any of this is inconsistent with a platoon where Saltalamacchia takes 70% of the playing time. That seems like a perfectly fine commitment to the guy.

With the Blue Jays series, the Sox are actually facing three lefties in four days - Brett Cecil and JoJo Reyes Friday and Saturday, then Ricky Romero in the Monday morning game. This is the playing time arrangement I'd like to see:

Gonzalez, Youkilis, Crawford, Pedroia - 4 starts
Lowrie, Cameron, Scutaro - 3 starts
Ellsbury, Drew, Ortiz, Varitek, Saltalamacchia - 2 starts
McDonald - 1 start

I think there's a good chance one or two of the front four get a day off somewhere in there which would probably open up an extra start for Lowrie or Ellsbury. I'd also be happy with Lowrie starting all four games, but you don't want to push him too hard, and I think it makes sense to try to get Scutaro starts in games where he has the platoon advantage.
   32. Pingu Posted: April 14, 2011 at 06:02 PM (#3797099)
There are two main problems with using career platoon split numbers. First, they overrate players who used to be much better hitters (Drew) while underrating players who used to be much worse hitters (Crawford). Second, the numbers need to be regressed significantly, especially for young players. But that's why we have projection systems


Well yeah, no ####. But Crawford didnt use to be a much worse hitter, unless you are comparing his entire pre-2010 career to his career year in 2010, when he still managed to hit a robust .256/.312/.384 against lefties.

The guy doesnt hit lefties well no matter how much you regress it. He's had a very consistent platoon split. Drew has done a suprisingly passable job over his career. I dont think the difference in defensive value makes Drew the obvious platoon case and puts Crawford in the lineup every day. At the very least Cameron should play against all lefties until, as I said, he proves that he's really as bad as he has looked, and McDonald should be playing vs most lefties, otherwise, why have him on the team? A defensive IF or a Dave Roberts-like speed threat would be a better 25th man in that case.
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 14, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3797110)
The guy doesnt hit lefties well no matter how much you regress it.
His projected wOBA against lefties is better than that of JD Drew, David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Darnell McDonald. It's a subjective question as to whether a .340ish wOBA in Boston is hitting "well", but on the practical question of who should be platooned, it's quite clear that when you weight and regress the numbers properly, Crawford should not be platooned.
   34. Pingu Posted: April 14, 2011 at 06:28 PM (#3797185)
Well allow me to be skeptical that someone with the following yearly wOBA lines vs lefties projects to have a .342 wOBA vs lefties in 2011. Am I missing a park factor that deserves a sanity check?

Career .305
2010 .306
2009 .313
2008 .289
2007 .360
2006 .338
2005 .276
2004 .333
2003 .260
2002 .245
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 14, 2011 at 06:44 PM (#3797219)
ZiPS projects Crawford to a .373 wOBA vs righties and a .349 wOBA vs lefties. CAIRO has is .378 vs RHP and .335 vs LHP. That's an average platoon split of 1.10. For his career, the split is .349 to .305, which is a 1.14 platoon split. There's a difference there, but it's not that big. Basically, it's partly regressed because platoon data is wonky.

If we take Crawford's career platoon split as his true split, with no regression, and apply it to his 2011 ZiPS and CAIRO projections, he'd project to hit about a .333 wOBA against lefties. That would make him a better candidate for a platoon, but I think the defense and baserunning differences would be more than enough to make him an everyday player.

And, of course, these things should be regressed.

EDIT: Another angle on this point. You're listing Crawford's career platoon split numbers, but his overall career wOBA is .346. ZiPS and CAIRO both project him to hit for a .366 wOBA. Imagine the numbers in your post above each with another ~.020 points added on, and they don't look so bad.
   36. Pingu Posted: April 14, 2011 at 06:47 PM (#3797225)
So its park factor adjustment. And a big one apparently.
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 14, 2011 at 07:01 PM (#3797241)
Why do you say that? A .366 wOBA doesn't seem like an unreasonable projection for Crawford. It's certainly got some Fenway air in it, but it's not exactly out of line with Crawford's recent production.
   38. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 14, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3797250)
I'm not conversent in wOBA but this;

but it's not exactly out of line with Crawford's recent production.

is out of line with this;

2010 .306
2009 .313
2008 .289
2007 .360

I tend to agree that Crawford should not be platooned for various reasons but that .366 Projected wOBA just doesn't pass any smell test I can come up with.
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 14, 2011 at 07:18 PM (#3797257)
Jose -

Those are Crawford's recent vs LHP wOBA numbers. His recent overall wOBA numbers are .378, .367, .319, and .365.

(wOBA, from Inside The Book.)
   40. Pingu Posted: April 14, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3797260)
Then I'm completely missing something, because you're telling me the regression due to platoon data only counts for roughly 4%. So the remainder of the difference between a .305 career wOBA vs LHP with poor recent history and a .342 projected wOBA vs LHP has got to come from somewhere, correct?
   41. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 14, 2011 at 07:21 PM (#3797266)
Right, but isn't the .366 his projection vs. LHP?

EDIT: Just re-read #35, I misunderstood. My Communications Consultant Emily Litella can handle the rest.
   42. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 14, 2011 at 07:25 PM (#3797272)
Then I'm completely missing something, because you're telling me the regression due to platoon data only counts for roughly 4%. So the remainder of the difference between a .305 career wOBA vs LHP with poor recent history and a .342 projected wOBA vs LHP has got to come from somewhere, correct?
So, the difference we're talking about is .342 - .305 = .037. .009 of that is regression - without regression, Crawford would project to a .333 wOBA vs LHP. About 25% of the difference is regression.

Of the remaining 75%, I'd guess about 50% is from Crawford projecting to hit much better than his career averages, and about 25% is park factor.
   43. Pingu Posted: April 14, 2011 at 07:52 PM (#3797310)
I'd guess about 50% is from Crawford projecting to hit much better than his career averages, and about 25% is park factor.


Ok, so I guess I'm not convinced about that 50% (of 75%).....rough numbers:
w/out regression, he's at .333 wOBA vs LHP
And w/out park factor, he's at .326 wOBA vs LHP (25% of the remaining 75% is .007)
But his recent history going back in time is: .306, .313, .289, .360, etc.....

Seems pretty optimistic.

I mean, I dont know if its a trend, its prob not. But Crawford has had a much larger platoon split in recent years. Couple that with having a better overall performance in recent years. Maybe thats messing something up in either my mind or the projections. But I think its pretty optimistic to think that Crawford will be the 2nd best hitter vs LHP out of the 9 you listed. If he's really ends up with a wOBA closer to .320 or something, it starts to make sense to at least consider benching Crawford vs lefties, or at least distribute the platooning (not equally of course) around the three LHB OFs.
   44. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 14, 2011 at 08:20 PM (#3797353)
If he's really ends up with a wOBA closer to .320 or something, it starts to make sense to at least consider benching Crawford vs lefties, or at least distribute the platooning (not equally of course) around the three LHB OFs.


Even then it probably doesn't make sense. Crawford is a superior defender and base runner to any possible platoon candidate so he adds value in that respect that probably makes up for any difference with the available options.
   45. Pingu Posted: April 14, 2011 at 08:43 PM (#3797390)
Yeah, I get that part. But its not like Drew or Cameron would be any slouch in that side of things. (attach age=cliff asterisks where appropriate)

I just dont think its a open and shut case that Crawford should be in the lineup vs LHP over Drew, Cameron, Ellsbury, McDonald. Well, probablly Ellsbury and McDonald.
   46. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 14, 2011 at 09:24 PM (#3797466)
Part of the problem with platooning is that you don't see the pitcher 4 times a game. Now obviously you can PH Crawford for Cameron in the 7th inning if David Robertson has come into the game. The problem with this is that you shorten your bench doing that and you have fewer tactical options late in a game. You no longer have Cameron to pinch run for Saltalamacchia or Ortiz if the scenario calls for it.

This is not a major issue in the AL though the 13 man positional roster impacts that some. I think it is something to be considered. It is part of the reason why I think a platoon move should be a slam dunk in favor of the platoon if you are going to platoon from the get go.

Admittedly, I'm kind of just arguin' because I have nothing to offer in the 6 different "Barry Bonds is history's greatest monster" threads.
   47. Dan Posted: April 15, 2011 at 08:09 PM (#3798477)
Tonight's lineups:

RED SOX (2-9)
Crawford LF
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Drew RF
Saltalamacchia C
Scutaro SS
Ellsbury CF

Pitching: RHP Clay Buchholz (0-2, 7.20)

BLUE JAYS (6-6)
Escobar SS
Patterson CF
Bautista RF
Lind 1B
Hill 2B
Arencibia C
Snyder LF
Rivera DH
Nix 3B

Pitching: LHP Brett Cecil (0-1, 7.20)

So much for the platoons! I have read that Cecil has a really good changeup and is thus a candidate for what the Rays fans call "Danks Theory": using lefties in the lineup since he has really good weapons to retire right handed hitters. However his splits don't really reflect this fact, so I'm not sure what to think. Seriously though, not a single one of the "lefty mashers" are in this lineup. No Lowrie, no Varitek, no McDonald, no Cameron. No Lowrie is the one that really pisses me off. He has a killer game against Price, and his reward is riding the pine.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 15, 2011 at 08:22 PM (#3798503)
Cecil's got a pretty normal platoon split for his career. 292/358/465 vs RHB, 262/298/435 vs LHB.

I really don't like that lineup, not one little bit.
   49. Dan Posted: April 15, 2011 at 08:47 PM (#3798551)
The Lowrie part really shits me. What does this guy have to do to get into the lineup over Scutaro, exactly?
   50. Nasty Nate Posted: April 15, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3798566)
not be made of glass
   51. Dan Posted: April 15, 2011 at 08:56 PM (#3798567)
Mono means he's made of glass?

And even if he is "made of glass" shouldn't you be using him while he's healthy to take advantage of what time you get? Or is he the type of glass you just set on the bench to look pretty?
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: April 15, 2011 at 09:02 PM (#3798576)
shouldn't you be using him while he's healthy to take advantage of what time you get?
I agree with that.

Just having some fun, and I also don't share the general Lowrie optimism of Sox Therapy.
   53. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 15, 2011 at 09:10 PM (#3798590)
I think the return of the LHB to the lineup is simply a matter of "they've already had three days off, no reason to have them sitting around."
   54. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 15, 2011 at 09:12 PM (#3798593)
Scutaro's got the platoon advantage against a lefty starter. I certainly haven't given up on him after a slow start, and I think that's foolish. I'm excited about Lowrie, but he should be able to get playing time without making Scutaro sit too much against the pitchers Scutaro projects to hit the best against. (In my imagined series, Lowrie got two starts at 3B with Ortiz sitting against lefties, and started at short against the righty on Sunday.)

Cameron's the guy who's really got to be in there. He's on the team entirely to start in games against lefties, and they have three different LHB in the lineup he could be starting over.
   55. Dan Posted: April 15, 2011 at 09:14 PM (#3798598)
Lowrie has a 936 OPS vs LHP in his career. Even if Scutaro projects to hit Cecil better than anyone else, I doubt he's going to hit to the tune of a 900 OPS. Now that number for Lowrie will likely come down a bit, but even so it's likely that he is a true "lefty masher". Scutaro also has a very small platoon split over his career, so it's not as if he kills LHP.
   56. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 15, 2011 at 09:19 PM (#3798608)
Lowrie has something like a 900 OPS vs LHP in his career. Even if Scutaro projects to hit Cecil better than anyone else, I doubt he's going to hit to the tune of a 900 OPS. Scutaro also has a very small platoon split over his career, so it's not as if he kills LHP.
RHB platoon split numbers are hard to draw conclusions from, and Scutaro's got a BABIP 25 points lower against lefties than righties - most likely that's a sample size fluke. I'd bet he projects to a pretty normal split.

Starting Lowrie at short against all lefties is effectively making Jed Lowrie your regular shortstop. If you want to argue for that, go ahead, but this isn't a platoon issue. It's a Lowrie/Scutaro issue.
   57. Dan Posted: April 16, 2011 at 02:54 PM (#3799227)
Hey look a reasonable lineup against a LHP:

Lowrie SS
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Cameron RF
Varitek C
McDonald LF
Ellsbury CF
   58. Dale Sams Posted: April 16, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#3799230)
What lineups do y'all want to see?


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


Hey look a reasonable lineup against a LHP:

Lowrie SS
Pedroia 2B
Gonzalez 1B
Youkilis 3B
Ortiz DH
Cameron RF
Varitek C
McDonald LF
Ellsbury CF


I hope Tito doesn't think that if this line-up fails, I'm going to STFU.
   59. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 18, 2011 at 01:25 PM (#3800885)
So, today we've got Lowrie starting to look like an everyday shortstop, and Varitek in against another lefty. However, we also have all of Drew, Ortiz, and Ellsbury in there, Drew's even leading off. What does Tito have against Mike Cameron?

I really can't believe the Red Sox played three games in four days against lefties and Mike Cameron got only one start. That's not good management.
   60. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: April 18, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#3800893)
Drew and Ortiz have owned Romero each with an OPS well north of 1.000 against him. Not saying I agree with it but I suspect that is the motivation.
   61. Pingu Posted: April 18, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3801001)
What does Tito have against Mike Cameron?


Have you seen him play recently?
   62. Nasty Nate Posted: April 18, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#3801117)
You offseason Lowrie enthusiasts are looking like geniuses!!
   63. Nasty Nate Posted: April 18, 2011 at 05:14 PM (#3801137)
.. and another base hit since I posted that
   64. John DiFool2 Posted: April 18, 2011 at 05:42 PM (#3801171)
#### that he's now 4-4 with a homer and 4 ribbies. I think the debate is over, at least in Tito's mind.
   65. Dan Posted: April 18, 2011 at 08:01 PM (#3801285)
So, today we've got Lowrie starting to look like an everyday shortstop, and Varitek in against another lefty. However, we also have all of Drew, Ortiz, and Ellsbury in there, Drew's even leading off. What does Tito have against Mike Cameron?


I'm late to this party, but Ricky Romero has a pretty intense reverse split. So this lineup looks like "Danks Theory", if you will. In his career so far (before today), he's allowed only a .678 OPS to RHB, while lefties have an .822 OPS against him. And it makes some sense since he has that killer change up. If you watch for it, you'll likely see other sabermetrically inclined teams playing a fair number of lefties against him.
   66. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 18, 2011 at 08:05 PM (#3801289)
In his career so far (before today), he's allowed only a .678 OPS to RHB, while lefties have an .822 OPS against him.
Oh. That's different. Never mind.

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