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   1. ekogan Posted: June 03, 2007 at 11:08 PM (#2390675)
Ellsbury has a 716 OPS in AAA. He's not ready. If he got called up, his offensive development would suffer and his superior defensive skills while offsetting his undeveloped bat, would not make his a better overall player than WMP.
This year the replacements are WMP, Hinske or bust in that order.
Considering the big gap in defensive ability, Coco Crisp is better than WMP right now, especially since Pena is only OPSing 730 himself.
So the best OF alignment seems to be the one that is being used: Manny, Coco, Drew, with WMP as 4 OF and Hinkse as 5th OF. The only nitpick I have is that Hinske seems to play a bit too much - he's hitting terribly and is pretty bad defensively himself.

The really interesting question is what happens when Ellsbury is ready to come up next year. He goes to center - what happens to Crisp? Neither Crisp nor Ellsbury hit enough to play corner and probably don't have enough arm to play RF defensively. So next year the team must either deal Crisp to make room for Ellsbury in CF, or deal Manny to make room for Crisp in LF, probably selling low in both cases.
   2. John DiFool2 Posted: June 03, 2007 at 11:27 PM (#2390685)
Brandon Moss would be a better option for RF than Ellsbury (899 vs. .716 OPS), tho Ellsbury would give WMP a solid caddy. Moss also hits L, making a good platoon with WM, each getting about half of the ABs. Drew really should go on the DL if this injury is bothering him this badly.
   3. John DiFool2 Posted: June 03, 2007 at 11:29 PM (#2390689)
Michael Tucker is washed up (.185 avg at Pawtucket), so we'd better not see him if Drew does go on the DL.
   4. Darren Posted: June 03, 2007 at 11:36 PM (#2390696)
Moss has struck out a ton this year, which means his numbers probably don't translate all that well. Plus, there's a very good chance that he's in the middle of one of his hot streaks, and will soon return to mediocrity.

Meanwhile, MCOA points out in the other thread that Ellsbury's season stats, including AA, translate to 318/383/423. Of course, his numbers from last year are nowhere near as good, and it's unclear whether he has the arm to play right.
   5. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 03, 2007 at 11:49 PM (#2390711)
Ellsbury has a 716 OPS in AAA. He's not ready.
...
Brandon Moss would be a better option for RF than Ellsbury (899 vs. .716 OPS),
Why do people ignore his AA time? Ellsbury's total this year is a 900 OPS, MLE 800 OPS, split between Portland and Pawtucket. I have seen nothing about Ellsbury's approach at the plate that suggests he'll struggle to adjust ot higher level pitching, and I haven't heard anything contemporaneous to suggest current struggles. If you're going to cite his AAA OPS absent other statistics, you need to make a case for why you're leaving out his numbers from a month ago.

The statistical case against Ellsbury is that he wasn't very good in 2006. I'm willing to give a lot of slack for year-to-year improvements by real prospects, and so I don't worry as much about the A-ball numbers as one could based on statistical models. I am deeply unconvinced that Ellsbury's AAA numbers along amount to much of a case against him.

I agree Moss should be in the conversation, too, if we're talking about RF, but I agree with Darren that the Red Sox need to either play Wily Mo while Drew is out or give up on Pena outright, and that's unlikely. Murphy makes more sense than Moss or Ellsbury to come up as the backup when Drew gets DL'ed because he'll a better CF than Moss and a less important prospect than Ellsbury.

What's interesting are the down-the-line questions - if neither Coco nor Wily Mo picks it up, when does Ellsbury get a shot? Would Murphy or Moss get a shot in RF?

MLEs:
315/380/417, 17 SB, 4 CS - Ellsbury
261/337/378, 3 SB, 2 CS - Murphy
237/336/404, 0 SB, 1 CS - Moss
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 03, 2007 at 11:53 PM (#2390715)
Oops, I always forget that Ellsbury has below-average arm strength. So he's not in the mix for RF regardless. And given Coco's pop gun, that means that chances for Ellsbury pretty much require a major demotion for Crisp - whom the Sox are on the hook for to the tune of $11M between 08 and 09.
   7. b-ball23 Posted: June 04, 2007 at 01:13 AM (#2390892)
Those saying Ellsbury isn't ready offensively because of his AAA OPS so far are just stupid. Don't you realize that one year offensive sample stats (albeit 100 or so PA) are not predictive at all? Ellsbury has hit every level he's played at and is a little below average in 100 or so PA's. Give the kid some time and I'm sure he'll improve "statistically."
   8. ekogan Posted: June 04, 2007 at 01:23 AM (#2390926)
The default assumption for a kid who has just been promoted to a new level ought to be that he isn't ready to be promoted again immediately. The prospect ought to demonstrate his readiness for the next promotion with superior production. So yes, 100 PA sample is not very significant, so we go with null hypothesis - Elssbury is not ready.
   9. John DiFool2 Posted: June 04, 2007 at 01:40 AM (#2390991)
My oversight vis-a-vis Ellsbury's AA stats was not intentional.
   10. Jason Robar Posted: June 04, 2007 at 02:31 AM (#2391239)
Why do people ignore his AA time?


I suspect the answer lies in this statement:

The statistical case against Ellsbury is that he wasn't very good in 2006.


It's a lot easier to buy that Ellsbury has improved, but is still not ready for the majors than to believe that Ellsbury's 73 ABs in AA is a better indicator of his major league readiness than his 113 AAA at bats.
   11. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2391863)
I have seen nothing about Ellsbury's approach at the plate that suggests he'll struggle to adjust ot higher level pitching, and I haven't heard anything contemporaneous to suggest current struggles.


Well, you have heard that he hasn't been promoted to the majors, and you've often suggested that we should treat promotions or lack thereof as evidence of a player's abilities.
   12. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: June 04, 2007 at 08:42 AM (#2391909)
Drew is back in the line up vs. Oakland
   13. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 04, 2007 at 03:08 PM (#2392016)
Drew is back in the line up vs. Oakland

Put him on the 15 day DL for fraks sake.
   14. chris p Posted: June 04, 2007 at 03:15 PM (#2392021)
the red sox want a guy to master a level before promoting him. this is how we knew that hanley ramirez would never amount to anything: he never mastered AA.

j/k ... sort of ...
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 04, 2007 at 03:56 PM (#2392045)
Well, you have heard that he hasn't been promoted to the majors, and you've often suggested that we should treat promotions or lack thereof as evidence of a player's abilities.
Good point.
Drew is back in the line up vs. Oakland
Ugh. There is no damn way he's healthy. He's swinging at half-speed. If he doesn't pick it up soon, the Sox need to force him to the DL.

(I completely forget, and I don't feel like looking it up - could this be related to Drew's contract? Do the Sox have injury opt-out clauses or anything that might put perverse incentives on Drew, and on the Sox?)
   16. Darren Posted: June 04, 2007 at 04:43 PM (#2392068)
Yes, the Sox have clauses based on how many games he misses, but I believe it's specifically tied to his back.
   17. PJ Martinez Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:17 PM (#2392112)
Ortiz could conceivably see DL time in the near-future, opening up the DH spot and a place on the 25-man and thus affecting the decisions on playing time between Manny, Drew, Pena and the minor leaguers.
   18. chris p Posted: June 04, 2007 at 05:18 PM (#2392115)
Yes, the Sox have clauses based on how many games he misses, but I believe it's specifically tied to his back.

he's playing like he has an anvil tied to his back.
   19. ekogan Posted: June 04, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2392271)
Yes, the Sox have clauses based on how many games he misses, but I believe it's specifically tied to his back.

You mean shoulder
   20. chris p Posted: June 04, 2007 at 08:32 PM (#2392309)
You mean shoulder

sure. same effect.
   21. chris p Posted: June 05, 2007 at 03:52 AM (#2392904)
i've had enough wily mo in center. he is horrible.
   22. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: June 05, 2007 at 06:44 AM (#2393413)
Why is Wily Mo on this team?

He'd be an alright dh/LF, but he seems to dtruggle when not playing everyday.
The fact is his Ks and off-the becnh coldness make him a lousy 4th OF, an dhi sdefense looks BAD.

Could you get anythig of value for him now?
   23. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: June 05, 2007 at 09:25 AM (#2393423)
I have a new theory on Wily Mo...

I think the Sox are holding him because he is a DH. Other clubs need a DH as good as WMo , but The Sox won't let go cause he'll come back to hurt us. They figure, "screw it, we don't have to let him go, so we won't"

Half Joke/Half Serious
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 05, 2007 at 01:41 PM (#2393501)
i've had enough wily mo in center. he is horrible.
Yeah, the Sox are in a difficult position here.

In 13 games in the outfield, Wily Mo cost the Sox 6 runs against average, according to UZR. That Giambi-quality number comports with my evaluation, and I think with that of everyone here. The Red Sox can't afford his glove in the outfield unless he hits like the good Giambi, and he's not particularly close to that.

The Sox have a tough decision to make. If they wait around to see if Wily Mo picks it up defensively, they may have to wait until he's cost the team quite a few runs. On the other hand, Dave Murphy and Brandon Moss are hardly breaking down the door - they're putting up AAAA numbers, hitting well enough to be a star in the minors but not well enough to be a regular in the majors.

(Statistically, quadruple-A players exist - an 880 OPS from an offense-first position often translates to a a well below average major league equivalency.)

Given that Drew seems obviously hurt (his massive decline in ZR and UZR suggests he's not only hurting the team at hte plate by gutting through the injury, but in the field as well), the Sox are going to need an everyday right fielder soon. I don't see one in the organization. I think Wily Mo will probably get the call, despite the risks, because Moss and Murphy aren't good enough right now to justify giving up on Pena.
   25. chris p Posted: June 05, 2007 at 01:48 PM (#2393505)
I think Wily Mo will probably get the call, despite the risks, because Moss and Murphy aren't good enough right now to justify giving up on Pena.

yeah. moss's numbers look OK, but he strikes out way too much for those numbers to translate to the major leagues. i think if drew goes on the DL, murphy will get the call and he will get some spot starts and defensive replacement duty. that's probably about right for murphy anyway--he's very much a 4th outfielder type.
   26. villageidiom Posted: June 05, 2007 at 02:45 PM (#2393561)
Y'all have heard me complain about Coco's approach at the plate a few times. He doesn't shift his weight at all in his swing; other than a little stutter-step during the delivery his feet stay still when he swings. It's all upper-body movement. I'd been wondering for a while whether Coco had been doing the same thing in Cleveland.

After googling "Crisp video Cleveland" I got to some Indians highlight archive footage on MLB.com from 2004 and 2005. And, yes, it's the same swing.

For what it's worth, here's what BB-ref has for Coco in the last 3.3 seasons:

year  ops  babip
2004  790  .320
2005  810  .323
2006  702  .299
2007  622  .272 


I'm not sure how much of a change in OPS we should see with that much variation in BABIP, but that seems like a bit much.

Interesting, that .272 for this season. Here's BB-ref's clutch stats:

Situation       babip
2 outs
RISP    .353 
Late 
Close    .321   
Tie Game        .371
Within 1 R      .297
Within 2 R      .298
Within 3 R      .293
Within 4 R      .290
Margin 
4 R    .185 


To be honest, I don't know how to interpret variations in BABIP for a hitter, nor whether we should expect variations among these particular categories. But I found the pattern to be interesting: Coco's BABIP is up when it matters most, and down when it matters least.

That led me to another thought: does BABIP reflect hitter effort or lack thereof? The first case I thought of to test out the theory was Kevin Millar; it has been suggested by a few around here that Millar hit best when he was competing for playing time. Here's his BABIP by month with Boston.

M/YY   BABIP  Comment
4
/03   .333   Competing with Hillenbrand/Ortiz/Giambi for PT
5
/03   .317   Hillenbrand traded 5/29
6
/03   .377   
7
/03   .216   Giambi on DL for first half of month
8
/03   .291   Giambi on DL again, for good
9
/03   .258   
4
/04   .246   
5
/04   .373   
6
/04   .304   
7
/04   .373   Acquired Mientkiewicz 7/31
8
/04   .328   
9
/04   .324   
4
/05   .279   Mientkiewicz traded prior to season
5
/05   .247   
6
/05   .404   Added Olerud to 25-man roster 5/26
7
/05   .356   
8
/05   .265   Olerud on DL for first half of month
9
/05   .304 


To break it down to competing vs. not competing:
Competing:                                 304 317 324 328 333 356         377 404
Not competing
216 246 247 258 265 279 291 304                     373 373 

So, yeah, either there's a massive coincidence with Millar, or "effort" can manifest itself in BABIP. (Two of his three highest months of BABIP while not competing? Nixon was on the DL, and Millar was sharing PT with Kapler and McCarty for RF, and McCarty, Ortiz, and Daubach for 1B. It could be considered "competing", but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.)

Getting back to Coco... Perhaps he is putting in more effort at the plate when it's needed most. If so, I don't know what to say about him, other than that we shouldn't be so quick to get rid of him.
   27. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 05, 2007 at 04:28 PM (#2393679)
I kind of agree with Phil. If we trade him, he might become really good and hurt so, so we might as well hang on to him. It's like Chelsea ruining players.

Dammit WIly Mo is good. Stop haating.
   28. chris p Posted: June 05, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2393695)
I'm not sure how much of a change in OPS we should see with that much variation in BABIP, but that seems like a bit much.

what we need is a quicker infield... harder infield dirt and shorter infield grass. we have an excellent defensive infield and some very fast groundball hitters, so i think we can handle it.
   29. Döner Kebap Posted: June 05, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2393711)
Aren't the Red Sox committed to keeping Wily Mo because he's cheap and has tons of power? Power is expensive and everybody needs more. Even the Yankees need power. ARod has like half their home runs.
   30. TomH Posted: June 05, 2007 at 08:19 PM (#2393920)
ARod has like half their home runs

snicker comment du jour:

A-Rod has more HR than Manny and Papi combined.

If someone told you THAT would be the case on June 5th, I don't suppose you'd be envisioning the Yankees over a dozen games out :)
   31. Darren Posted: June 05, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2393961)
Anybody interested in a Sox Therapy draft thread?
   32. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 07, 2007 at 05:02 AM (#2395898)
Die Coco Crisp. I hope you get caught frakking Julio Lugo's wife and Lugo shoots you.
   33. Dan Posted: June 07, 2007 at 05:17 AM (#2395903)
I know this is a bit delayed, but MCoA said:


(Statistically, quadruple-A players exist - an 880 OPS from an offense-first position often translates to a a well below average major league equivalency.)


If a corner guy with averagish defense with an 880 OPS at Pawtucket is a AAAA player, then what's a AAA player? I was under the impression that a "AAAA player" was supposed to be someone who put up star levels of perfomance at AAA (as in 35-40+ HR a year or a .400+ OBP), then can't produce adjusted equivalent stats in the majors. I hardly think that a guy like Moss fits into that category.
   34. Dan Posted: June 07, 2007 at 05:18 AM (#2395904)
Or Murphy either, for that matter.
   35. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 08, 2007 at 01:37 AM (#2397074)
I assumed David Murphy was at least league average at CF and Brandon Moss league average at RF (defensively). Is this true?
   36. Darren Posted: June 08, 2007 at 02:46 AM (#2397172)
Lowrie is now up over .300:

301/439/486; 42 BB, 30 K.

That's simply an outstanding line for a SS or anyone else for that matter. Maybe my next minor league thread should focus on him.
   37. Dan Posted: June 08, 2007 at 06:49 AM (#2397246)
How is Lowrie defensively?
   38. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 08, 2007 at 02:10 PM (#2397353)
When is Manny going to start be Manny! again?
   39. chris p Posted: June 08, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2397365)
How is Lowrie defensively?

not known for his defense. i think the consensus is that he won't stick at shortstop, but you never know.

portland's park factors are pretty slanted towards the pitchers, right?

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