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   1. Darren Posted: September 20, 2008 at 07:08 PM (#2948656)
Well, I put it up, MC. Where are you?
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2008 at 07:11 PM (#2948661)
Darren rocks!
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 20, 2008 at 07:28 PM (#2948673)
So, with the postseason schedule set such that the AL Wild Card team will have only two off-days in the Divisional round, the Red Sox should plan on needing four starters. Given that the Red Sox have continued to protect Varitek from the knuckler, I expect the Red Sox to give game four to Wakefield and place Byrd in the pen as the long man.

Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield
Papelbon, Okajima, Delcarmen, Masterson, Lopez, Byrd, Timlin/other/hitter

On the batting side, the big question is Drew's health. If he's definitely healthy, there should be no Kotsay, and if he's definitely hurt, Kotsay replaces him on the roster. The problem is that it seems like there's a good chance that Drew's health will be an unknown when the playoffs roll around, and the Sox might need to carry a fifth outfielder. I guess Youkilis could fill the emergency OF role, but it's suboptimal.

Varitek, Cash
Youkilis, Pedroia, Lowrie, Lowell, Ortiz, Casey, Cora
Bay, Crisp, Drew, Ellsbury

Who would you pinch-hit for on this roster? Varitek against RHP, Cash against anyHP, Ellsbury against LHP. Casey fills the LH bat role, which should be good for a pinch-hitter in most close games. Then, if the Sox carry 11 pitchers, there would be room for only one more hitter, so you'd either take Kotsay as a backup OF, Bailey as RH pinch-hitter (for Ellsbury or Cash), or Ross/Kottaras as backup catcher. None of those are particularly useful.

What I think the Sox should do is take only 10 pitchers, and carry both a third catcher and either Kotsay or Bailey. That way, Tito could be prepared to pinch-hit for his catcher in every important situation, and even to do so twice in a game if necessary. I don't see much reason to take Kottaras over Ross - Ross' projection is better, and Kottaras' defense is a question that you don't want to be asking in the late innings of a playoff game. Bailey looks like a somewhat more useful hitter, but Kotsay's ability to fill in for Drew might take precedence. So, my roster (presuming health from Drew and Lowell):

Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Wakefield
Papelbon, Okajima, Delcarmen, Masterson, Lopez, Byrd

Varitek, Cash, Ross
Youkilis, Pedroia, Lowrie, Lowell, Ortiz, Casey, Cora, Bailey
Bay, Crisp, Drew, Ellsbury
   4. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 20, 2008 at 07:54 PM (#2948692)
I vote not Timlin.
   5. walt williams bobblehead Posted: September 21, 2008 at 12:05 AM (#2948941)
I blame today's loss on you starting this thread.
   6. konaforever Posted: September 21, 2008 at 12:17 AM (#2948954)
I hate JD Drew and his back.
   7. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 21, 2008 at 12:35 AM (#2948973)
I'm not sold on Wakefield - he has only had one good start since he came back - and that was in pouring rain
   8. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: September 21, 2008 at 01:42 AM (#2949023)
Only take healthy players
   9. tfbg9 Posted: September 21, 2008 at 02:19 AM (#2949040)
Giving Wake a postseason is ill-advised. If you wan to win that game.
He ought to get the long man role.

Varitek needs to catch all the time in the playoffs. The pitchers trust him.
That's important. Plus he's clearly been sandbaging dopey pitch calls all
season to be able to spring the smart ones onthe hitters now, so we'd be wasting all
that aggravation of 10 consecutive 1-2 oustside fastballs to Johny Damon business for
nothing.
   10. alskor Posted: September 21, 2008 at 03:21 AM (#2949070)
I have to say Im a little surprised by these answers... I think its a virtual lock that Drew is off the ALDS roster.
   11. plink Posted: September 21, 2008 at 06:01 AM (#2949118)
I agree with MCA's conclusion, pretty much all the way through. 10 pitchers is the way to go. Though I might take Kotsay over Bailey if Drew is ok. Otherwise, take both.

Tito better be ready to pinch-hit for Cora in the playoffs.
   12. ericr Posted: September 21, 2008 at 06:09 AM (#2949122)
Doesn't two off days mean you can go with a three man rotation?
   13. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 21, 2008 at 06:35 AM (#2949133)
Doesn't two off days mean you can go with a three man rotation?


No. Unless you're talking about bringing guys back on short rest. The only way two off days would allow that would be if they were scheduled between games 2 and 3 and 3 and 4.

As for the Sox going with a three-man rotation, it depends on which schedule the team gets. If it's the ALDS B schedule, with a Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday slate (three off-days, which is ridiculous), then they could go with a three-man rotation with their first two starters on normal rest.

But if it's the A schedule (Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday), then the Game 1 starter would have to pitch on short rest, which the team did not show a willingness to do last year.

And I'll still insist what I did in the AL East thread yesterday, and hell in Spring Training: the Red Sox need to let Varitek catch Wakefield before the season ends. If there's any chance Timmy might be used out of the pen at any point in the playoffs, and since it's the playoffs you have to assume that's definitely a possibility, then you don't want to have to lift your starting catcher to accompany it. And even if the offensive difference between the starter and backup isn't what it once was, you'd like to be able to lift either guy for a pinch-hitter, not simply to accomodate a pitching change.
   14. cfrtb Posted: September 21, 2008 at 11:20 AM (#2949167)
If both Byrd and Wakefield are on the roster, then couldn't both go to the pen, with a contingency plan of one of them starting if Boston is 2-0 or 1-1, otherwise short rest for the game 1 starter.

I know that they were reluctant to use guys on short rest last year, but BOS lineup (if no Drew, possibly a very hurt lowell, ortiz ailing, etc...) isn't as good as it was last year.
   15. Darren Posted: September 21, 2008 at 01:14 PM (#2949176)
Sox were down 3-1 last year and could have gone to Beckett on short rest, allowing them to get another start out of him. They didn't do it then so I don't think they'll do it now.

Wish the Yankees would lose and put an end to this. I really don't want that last series to mean anything.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 21, 2008 at 01:28 PM (#2949184)
Josh Beckett has showed that he can pitch well on short rest, but I would definitely not want Jon Lester out there on three days rest in Game 5. For the ALDS, you would need to bump up two pitchers, and that isn't a good idea.

What you need is a series where you can sub in a short-rest Beckett start for a Wakefield/Byrd start. If you're also getting a short-rest Lester/DiceK start, or subbing short-rest Beckett for a Lester/DiceK start, I don't think there's much value in it. A three-man rotation would be possible in the ALCS this year, but, oddly, not in the World Series. (2008 postseason schedule.) This only works if the Sox win the DS and have time to set their rotation, and as long as Beckett is, like, pitching good, but Beckett could then pitch Game 4 on short rest and have a full five days rest before Game 7. Both the second and third starters would get full rest for their starts. The calculus would be precisely trading a Wakefield start for a short-rest Beckett start, and that seems like a no-brainer to me.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 21, 2008 at 01:32 PM (#2949186)
Sox were down 3-1 last year and could have gone to Beckett on short rest, allowing them to get another start out of him. They didn't do it then so I don't think they'll do it now.
I had forgotten this, actually. The 2007 ALCS schedule was exactly the same as it is this year - that seems like pretty good evidence they won't go to a three-man at any point in this postseason. I still think they should, though, if it becomes an option. (I guess the decision is based on factors we don't and can't know about, the health of the pitchers, etc. And we don't know for sure that Beckett can pitch on short rest so effectively, even though he did it in 2003. Still seems like a good risk, though.)
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 21, 2008 at 06:29 PM (#2949319)
I have to say Im a little surprised by these answers... I think its a virtual lock that Drew is off the ALDS roster.
Yeah, I think you're right. Benjamin's article in the Globe today barely stops short of reading his eugoogoly. Don and Jerry were saying during the game today that they don't expect Drew on the roster.

One little question that arises then, is Kotsay's platoon differential. For most of his career, he's shown almost no platoon split - sort of a Johnny Damon thing - but in his recent decline years, he's been really, really terrible against lefties. Watching him over the last few weeks, I don't like the idea of Kotsay taking any important ABs against a lefty in the playoffs. If that's the case, it's important to get Bailey on the roster as a RH bat.
   19. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: September 21, 2008 at 06:37 PM (#2949324)
C'mon, lose today (I realize they are up 3-0 in the 5th). Get swept by Cleveland. Have the Yanks/Sox series at the end of the year mean something . . .
   20. Dan Posted: September 21, 2008 at 06:49 PM (#2949338)
Don't hold your breath.
   21. Darren Posted: September 21, 2008 at 08:36 PM (#2949486)
On the pregame today, Merloni was noting that using Dice 2nd and Lester 3rd would allow them to pitch where they have performed better:

Dice on the road: 76 IP, 48 H, 40 BB, 71 K, 5 HR, 2.37 ERA.
Lester at home: 109.2 IP, 101 H, 34 BB, 82 K, 8 HR, 2.54 ERA.

FIP would say that there isn't much difference in those h/r splits, so take it for what it's worth.
   22. Darren Posted: September 21, 2008 at 08:37 PM (#2949490)
Wanted to add that the Sox clinched some sort of postseason today. Magic number to make sure they get into the ALDS is down to one.
   23. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: September 22, 2008 at 09:39 PM (#2950349)
I've been crying for a RH bench bat all year, a Kielty type pickup. I guess Bailey will have to do

I look at Wakefield as a regular season sideshow freak and would have no problem carrying Timlin and Ross instead of the knuckleball tagteam but I don't think they'll do that after Wake's solid season
   24. alskor Posted: September 23, 2008 at 04:31 AM (#2950864)
I've been crying for a RH bench bat all year, a Kielty type pickup. I guess Bailey will have to do

I look at Wakefield as a regular season sideshow freak and would have no problem carrying Timlin and Ross instead of the knuckleball tagteam but I don't think they'll do that after Wake's solid season


Im in favor of ANY postseason roster arrangement that keeps Mike Timlin OFF the roster. If we have to carry Wake, Byrd, Colon, El Guapo, whoever to do that then so be it.

I also really dont see the difference between Cash and Ross as anything significant enough to influence other roster decisions...
   25. tfbg9 Posted: September 28, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#2959156)
I saw a report that Papi was gonna be at 1B for the first Yankee game, but that was switched off after the rain delay--something like that. I suppose that means the might try Lowell at DH in the LAAoA series, to make the lineup one hitter stronger, subbing in Lowell for Cora? Something like this:

C Varitek
1B Ortiz
3B Youks
SS Lowrie
2B Pedroia
LF Bay
CF Coco
RF Elsbury
DH Lowell
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: September 28, 2008 at 11:11 PM (#2959308)
On the pregame today, Merloni was noting that using Dice 2nd and Lester 3rd would allow them to pitch where they have performed better:

Dice on the road: 76 IP, 48 H, 40 BB, 71 K, 5 HR, 2.37 ERA.
Lester at home: 109.2 IP, 101 H, 34 BB, 82 K, 8 HR, 2.54 ERA.


Plus with an off day after game 2, you dont mind if Dizzy gives his usual 5 ip 1 run, because you can use all your bullpen guys knowing they can rest on the travel day.

that being said, I would be very surprised if it wasnt Beckett-Lester-Matsuzaka, and Beckett and Lester in 4 and 5 if necessary.
   27. Dan Posted: September 29, 2008 at 02:17 AM (#2959518)
   28. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 29, 2008 at 02:38 AM (#2959539)
Just read Dan - #### me sideways.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2008 at 04:11 PM (#2961150)
Tons of roster questions, still no news.

Benjamin reported yesterday that Lowell and Drew both had good batting practice sessions, but nothing has been determined, and Lowell's real problem is the quick reactions and start/stops of playing third base. It sounds like both will make the roster, but the bench will likely be determined by which players Tito needs to back them up in case they can't play. (teddy's prospective lineup is a fascinating little thing, it'd be very cool if Tito were willing to make that move.)

Likewise with Beckett and the pitchers.

There's a huge risk involved in all of this - if the Red Sox make the wrong judgment on Lowell, Drew, or Beckett, and send a ballplayer out there in the playoffs who simply isn't physically ready to go, that's a mistake that could cost a game in itself. (See Ben Sheets on Saturday, eg.) The math, it seems to me, calls for quite conservative decisions, because the downside risk is greater than the upside.
   30. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 30, 2008 at 04:25 PM (#2961171)
Bodyquickness has always been a problem for Mike Lowell.

Question about playoff rosters: if they keep Lowell and it turns out he can't play out there, can they put him on the D.L. and call up someone else? I imagine they can't, but if someone gets really hurt in a playoff game, does that mean the team has to play with a 24-man roster for the rest of the series?
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 30, 2008 at 04:29 PM (#2961174)
I believe the rule is that that's allowed, but the DL'd player is then unavailable for the next series as well (ALCS, theoretically.)

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