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   1. Mister High Standards Posted: March 10, 2007 at 08:19 PM (#2310000)
id guess it will be one of Lowell or Tek and Crisp 8th.

880 runs
   2. PJ Martinez Posted: March 10, 2007 at 08:22 PM (#2310001)
I think Crisp would be better at 9, since, if he gets on, Lugo is probably a good guy to have on deck. Pedroia's more of an all-or-nothing type hitter, right?

In any case, Pedroia seems destined for the 9-hole anyway, on account of his rookie status, and I think you're right that Francona will go with that 1-5 setup, even though I'm not the only one who would love to see Drew in the 2-hole.

After Drew... Lowell/Varitek/Crisp?
   3. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 10, 2007 at 08:46 PM (#2310008)
I think Pedroia set at #9 to keep the pressure off and to have a sort of second leadoff. He’s in for a good year, so he may not stay there.

Pedroia hit .191 last season, and is only at .158 this spring. Plenty of players have started fine careers with less than stellar numbers, but it's hard to see Pedroia anywhere but 9th based on performance. A bad April by Pedroia may even have the Red Sox scrambling for a plan B.
   4. Xander Posted: March 10, 2007 at 08:51 PM (#2310010)
There's a brawl in the Sox-Tigers ST game.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 10, 2007 at 08:57 PM (#2310011)
Pedroia's more of an all-or-nothing type hitter, right?
Pedroia seems like the antithesis of an all-or-nothing player. He never Ks, and hits almost no homers. He's really the perfect player to bat behind your best basestealer - unlikely to hit the homer that counterfeits a steal, and probably an excellent hit-and-run man.

900 runs? Are the stat people projecting them like that? I've been sorta projecting them as an ok-good offense, but that would put them in hte very top tier. I guess they look pretty good, but I feel a lot more hesitant with these hitters than I do with the starting pitchers.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 10, 2007 at 08:59 PM (#2310012)
There's a brawl in the Sox-Tigers ST game.
NESN is covering hockey. wha' happened?
   7. Xander Posted: March 10, 2007 at 09:01 PM (#2310013)
Beckett hits Sheff in the 1st with an inside fastball.

Magglio ducks into a Beckett curveball later on and gets hit in the head.

Todd Jones throws two pitches behind JD Drews head. Benches clear.
   8. Xander Posted: March 10, 2007 at 09:03 PM (#2310014)
Better recap from the Globe:
A little action here in Lakeland. With one out in the fifth, Tigers closer Todd Jones was tossed by home plate umpire Larry Vanover after he threw one pitch tight to J.D. Drew and the other behind him. Jones appeared to be responding to Sox starter Josh Beckett hitting both Gary Sheffield (shoulder) and Magglio Ordonez (helmet) with pitches. Ordonez had to come out of the game, though he was hit with a breaking pitch. Jim Leyland was also jawing with Vanover on the mound when he went out to call for a new pitcher. While Leyland was screaming at Vanover, Sox third base coach Demarlo Hale started screaming at Leyland. Hale and Leyland made a move toward one another when the dugouts and bullpens emptied. While there was a little pushing the scrum soon turned into a hugging session. After all, it's spring training for godsakes. Both Jones and Leyland were ejected, but no one from the Red Sox was tossed. Sheffield was hit with a fastball off the left shoulder in the first inning and didn't seem very happy. He stared out at Beckett, but took his base. Ordonez lay sprawled at home plate for a few moments before getting up. He left the game for precautionary reasons.
   9. Darren Posted: March 11, 2007 at 01:10 AM (#2310073)
A bad April by Pedroia may even have the Red Sox scrambling for a plan B.

Then they're terribly stupid. A couple months of bad results shouldn't sway your opinion about a guy who's been good for years.
   10. Darren Posted: March 11, 2007 at 01:15 AM (#2310076)
Also, Drew had an 1150 OPS last September and has a 1300 OPS this spring. If he has a good April, the Sox will be able to trade him for Pujols.
   11. PJ Martinez Posted: March 11, 2007 at 01:37 AM (#2310082)
Yeah, the Sox haven't generally "scrambled for plan B" after a position player has a bad month, especially a second baseman. Mark Bellhorn and Mark Loretta stunk for much longer than that, and neither of them are young.

I'd forgotten how rarely Pedroia strikes out. I was thinking of his seemingly all-or-nothing swing, and just imagining all-or-nothing results. Does he get a lot of singles?

Just glancing at MLB.com stats for the Sox from last year, they seem to have scored about 850 runs. (Anyone have the exact number?) They've upgraded from Alex Gonzalez to Julio Lugo, and from Trot Nixon & Co to JD Drew (& Co, no doubt). Manny might play more games than last year, and a healthy Crisp might improve. I think Varitek will improve some, too. Ortiz and Lowell might fall off somewhat. I see Youkilis providing more of the same.

900 runs doesn't seem out of the question. I think they'll be close to it, at least.
   12. PJ Martinez Posted: March 11, 2007 at 01:40 AM (#2310084)
Just to be thorough, I might have mentioned production from 2B. Loretta's OPS was just barely over 700, and I think Pedroia can manage that.
   13. Darren Posted: March 11, 2007 at 02:18 AM (#2310096)
They scored 820 last year.
   14. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 11, 2007 at 02:30 AM (#2310103)
Pedroia seems like the antithesis of an all-or-nothing player. He never Ks, and hits almost no homers. He's really the perfect player to bat behind your best basestealer - unlikely to hit the homer that counterfeits a steal, and probably an excellent hit-and-run man.


Isn't this what we said about Mark Loretta?
   15. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 11, 2007 at 02:34 AM (#2310106)
P.S. Julio Lugo - Edgar REnteria II, or nay?

I mean, this guy beats his wife!
   16. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 11, 2007 at 02:35 AM (#2310107)
Not that I make it my business to defend Pedroia, but he'd have to be ten kinds of awful to worsen what the Red Sox got from second base last year. Loretta was lousy, Petunia was dog awful and Alex Cora/Wille Harris did not nothing. In 685 AB the collective line was .279/.338/.361 (.698 OPS). Pedroia might not top that average, but he'd almost certainly be better in every other facet, even if he's not very good.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 11, 2007 at 02:37 AM (#2310109)
Isn't this what we said about Mark Loretta?
I don't understand. Loretta had the perfect skill set to bat 9th behind a good basestealer in the #8 slot. The same is true of Pedroia. The problem last year was that they batted Loretta 2nd, not 9th.

There are some interesting parallels to Loretta, but as with most of the players who remind us of Petunia, he didn't really do anything in the majors until his mid-20s.
   18. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 11, 2007 at 02:45 AM (#2310111)
Alex Cora/Wille Harris did not nothing
Did not nothing. Yeeha! That be some good typing
   19. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 11, 2007 at 02:57 AM (#2310115)
Did not nothing. Yeeha! That be some good typing

Willie Harris did a lot of sucking
   20. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: March 11, 2007 at 03:09 AM (#2310151)
After Drew... Lowell/Varitek/Crisp?


My guess is Varitek/Lowell/Crisp if we go by last year. Looking at '04, did Francona flip flop Ortiz and Manny depending on the opposing pitcher's handedness?
   21. PJ Martinez Posted: March 11, 2007 at 03:19 AM (#2310157)
Wow, 820? I'm pretty bad at math.

880 sounds about right, then.
   22. toc1918 Posted: March 11, 2007 at 04:21 PM (#2310236)
The catchers, they of the 280 ops, batting 7th??? Crisp healthy will hit more HRs than the catchers combined. Maybe Tek can be used as a screen when he bats left-handed for Crisp. 8th or 9th depending on which catcher is playing would be perfect.
   23. Dave Cyprian Posted: March 11, 2007 at 04:27 PM (#2310239)
The difference between Loretta and Petunia is OBP (walks), and better defense.

However I disagree Darren, that if he has an ugly April, they probably will go to 1-year Plan B and put Petunia back in the minors.
   24. 1k5v3L Posted: March 11, 2007 at 04:54 PM (#2310250)
The catchers, they of the 280 ops, batting 7th?


Captainship, veteranness and intangibles, plus $10m/year, should really bump the catcher to the clean up spot.
   25. Darren Posted: March 11, 2007 at 04:57 PM (#2310252)
David--

How bad do you think he will have to do for that to happen? I assume that if they did give up on him after April, it would be Cora taking his place. They can't expect much more than a .650 OPS and decent defense out of him.

What I think is far more likely is that Pedroia starts the year playing 4-5 times a week, and Cora takes the rest. If Pedroia struggles, that goes up to a more even split. I think it's a lousy idea but that's what I think will happen.

The reason I think the Sox shouldn't panic after a month is twofold. First, Pedroia struggled in his first taste of AAA and then got much better. I wouldn't be surprised if his particular style (like Youks') tends to need an adjustment period. Second, as I've mentioned in other threads, you could argue that Pedroia didn't struggle much last year in the majors. From watching him, he seemed make good contact but hit the ball right at people at lot. PROPS backs this up, as it says he "should have" had an OPS of ~800.
   26. Darren Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:00 PM (#2310253)
Tek's aging, yes, but I think he'll beat a .280 OPS. Mirabelli too.
   27. 1k5v3L Posted: March 11, 2007 at 05:10 PM (#2310257)
The Red Sox would be silly to lose patience with Petunia after a month or so...

That being said, if he really struggles this year in the majors, and the Sox need a plan B, they should consider trading for Orlando Hudson next offseason; he's got one year of arbitration and will cost about $6m or so. And he'll be worth every penny of it...
   28. PJ Martinez Posted: March 12, 2007 at 03:47 AM (#2310564)
Varitek was very good for three years before collapsing last year. I realize his being a catcher means that collapse is more like to have been permanent, but still... if he wasn't the "captain" and all, I think people around here _might_ be less pessimistic. He is likely to improve.

And there's no reasons Mirabelli (or whomever) needs to hit in the same spot as Varitek when he plays. Francona has mixed it up on occasion in the past.
   29. OCD SS Posted: March 13, 2007 at 10:52 PM (#2311575)
I'd like to see 6-8 go Crisp, Lowell Tek, but I think Lowell is slated for the 6-hole (which might be fine durring his hot first half).
   30. Toby Posted: March 14, 2007 at 02:00 PM (#2311758)
Sean McAdam in the Projo has a story this morning about the lineup.

He runs through the hitters in what seems to be a batting-order sequence:

While the majority of the damage will be done by the top five hitters in the order — Lugo, Kevin Youkilis, Ortiz, Ramirez and Drew — the Boston batting order is deep enough to ensure that pitchers can’t afford to let up at the bottom.

Mike Lowell enjoyed a bounce-back season with 20 homers and 80 RBI. Jason Varitek is expected to rebound from his worst year at the plate since becoming the Red Sox starting catcher in 1999. And Crisp, without the expectations that come from hitting leadoff and with his broken finger healed, could provide some spark from the No. 8 spot.

Only rookie Dustin Pedroia, tucked safely away in the ninth position, has yet to establish himself as a threat.
   31. Toby Posted: March 14, 2007 at 02:21 PM (#2311768)
Setting aside what the batting order is, the big questions to me are how the hitters are going to actually hit. Here are their *OPS+ numbers, career and 2006:

Lugo 92, 94
Youk 107, 108
Papi 135, 164
MRam 157, 168
Drew 133, 125
Lowl 106, 109
'Tek 105, 85
Coco 97, 80
Pedr 44, 44

also:
Wily 104, 112
Cora 75, 58
Hnsk 100, 113
Mbel 90, 53

I think we can expect 1 through 6 to stay pretty close to last year. I don't think any of us would be surprised if Lugo and Youks and Drew did somewhat better, and Papi, Manny, and Lowell did somewhat worse.

The big questions, to me, are at the bottom. Are we going to get 85-80-44 (or Cora's 58) from Tek-Crisp-Pedroia? Or are we going to get something closer to 100-100-80? That's a big difference.
   32. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: March 14, 2007 at 03:17 PM (#2311808)
I think Varitek, Lowell, and Crisp will be ok, all probably around the 100 OPS+ mark. That's below average for Lowell at 3B, but I think his defense will make him about average all-around. I see Pedroia at maybe 90-95, ok but pretty good for a young rookie.

I like the lineup this year - I think it's stronger than last year's with the addition of Drew and Lugo, and I think Pena, Hinske and Cora are decent bench. Like McAdam says, the 1-5 hitters will do the most damage, but 4-9 shouldn't have a too many holes. It's still not as strong as the Yankees lineup, though, whom I expect to be a juggernaut in 2007.
   33. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 14, 2007 at 03:34 PM (#2311826)
My back-of-the envelope predictions:

Varitek 500 PA, .260/.340/.430
Youkilis 600, .280/.380/.450
Pedroia 550, .280/.350/.400
Lowell 600, .280/.330/.460
Lugo 650, .280/.345/.410
ManRam 550, .300/.400/.575
Crisp 550, .290/.340/.430
Drew 500, .280/.380/.500
Ortiz 600, .290/.400/.580

Mirabelli 150, .220/.290/.380
Pena 350, .280/.330/.500
Hinske 200, .260/.340/.420
Cora 200, .250/.330/.340
Chaff 300, .225/.270/.320

This adds up to .276/.353/.457, and about 890 runs scored.
   34. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: March 14, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2311864)
Was anyone listening to Dale & Holley around 11:45 today? They were discussing Bill James prediction for Pedoria and they were stunned by how positive it was. I didn't get all the numbers, but I gathered that James predicted a .285 avg and 47 doubles for Pedroia
   35. Toby Posted: March 14, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2311909)
JoeC, that's a pretty fancy envelope there. ;-)
   36. Famous Original Joe C Posted: March 14, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2311932)
JoeC, that's a pretty fancy envelope there. ;-)

Ha, well, it's an envelope that has Excel. :-) The projections themselves though are just off the top of my head, and I have a little Excel tool that takes PA, AVG, OBP, and SLG and turns it into a crude runs created estimate. This is what I do at work when there isn't work to do...
   37. esturminator_CT Posted: March 15, 2007 at 04:38 PM (#2312583)
I still like Drew #1 and Youk #2 in the order ahead of Papi and Manny. Anyone else concerned over Lugo and Crisp at #24 and #31 on the team this spring in OBP? I know it's only a 10 game sampling, but .303 and .226 respectively ain't gonna cut it. No, I don't predict them to stick at these numbers all year, but I can see both of them around .330 while Youk and Drew come in closer to .390 - .400. I'd like to see those two speedy guys #8 and #7 in the order ahead of Petunia, and behind Varitek and Lowell. fwiw

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