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   1. Pingu Posted: April 18, 2011 at 07:37 PM (#3801261)
I mean, Lowrie made an out today. So thats one thing working in Scutaro's favor.

Look, I'm probablly the most pessimistic of anyone here on Lowrie's future potential, but at this point it would be unconscionable not to have him in the lineup.

In other news....who is this Matsuzaka guy? Anybody have a scouting report on him?
   2. konaforever Posted: April 18, 2011 at 07:41 PM (#3801267)
I'm one of those who thought Lowrie should have started at shortstop to begin the season. When healthy, he's always hit well.
   3. Dan Posted: April 18, 2011 at 08:08 PM (#3801292)
Yeah I'm definitely a Lowrie lover, so I'm glad he started out so hot and forced his way into the lineup. But yeah, there's still room for Scutaro to play about twice a week, between some rest for Youk, Ortiz, and Pedroia and some rest for Lowrie himself. I do think that either Lowrie or Scutaro should also probably get some time in RF since Cameron hasn't been hitting, but I don't think we'll be seeing that. I like players who can play anywhere on the field.
   4. villageidiom Posted: April 18, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3801306)
I'm one of those who thought Lowrie should have started at shortstop to begin the season. When healthy, he's always hit well.
Besides his health issues, the other thing that bothered me for a long time about Lowrie - not him per se, but you'll get what I mean - is that he rarely would get the benefit of the doubt from the ump on any close pitch. Now, I want the ump to call a strike a strike and a ball a ball all the time... but it seemed to me that the strike zone always got a lot larger for him than it did for other hitters. If Ortiz is "surprised" on a called 3rd strike I'm generally not; but I seemed to always share Lowrie's surprise when he would take "strike three" looking.

This season, I haven't seen it - well, not yet, at least. He took a called third strike against the Yankees, but IIRC it was a good pitch. I don't know if he's getting more respect from the ump, or if he's being less selective, or what. Either way, me likey.

My only other real reservation with Lowrie is his health, not just "is he healthy enough to play?" but "will he break down if he plays regularly?" I have no reason to believe the latter - but it's not entirely refutable, either. I'd just skip that one, note that he's healthy today, and find a way to get him in the game.
   5. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 18, 2011 at 08:18 PM (#3801307)
I'm one of those skeptical of Lowrie and I remain so though obviously he is cooking right now and if nothing else the lack of difference between he and Scutaro makes "the hot hand" as useful a decision maker as anything. A couple of items I think worth noting in this discussion;

1. There is some self-fulfilling prophecy at work here. If you play Lowrie against lefties since he is better against them than Scutaro you put Scutaro in a position where he loses at bats with the platoon advantage. This is going to make Lowrie look better than Scutaro by a degree that is inaccurate.

2. I'm not sold on his defense. I don't think Lowrie is a poor defensive player but rather a limited one. I don't like his range at all, I think Scutaro at the very least should be used in a defensive replacement role.

3. Not to revisit a lot of shouting matches but until Lowrie stays healthy for six months and gets 500+ Plate Appearances I think the expectation should be that he can't. That doesn't mean he doesn't deserve the shot but I think a couple of days off a week is not the worst idea and Sctuaro is a pretty good player.

Just or what it's worth the numbers since 2008;

Scutaro - .274/.350/.383
Lowrie - .263/.344/.436

Advantage Lowrie but not to a dramatic degree. The question is how much faith are we willing to put in recent performance. I think there are some valid reasons to believe Lowrie's post-2009 performances are more in line with his ability than his pre-2010 performances. I think he deserves to be the guy but this feels a bit like Ellsbury/Crisp in 2008 where Ellsbury clearly had the job early on but the natural adjustments of a young player playing everyday for the first time will likely create a spell where the veteran is the way to go.

This rambled a lot more than I meant it to.
   6. bfan Posted: April 18, 2011 at 08:24 PM (#3801318)
I don't suppose one could play LF, could they?
   7. Dan Posted: April 18, 2011 at 08:28 PM (#3801321)
Just or what it's worth the numbers since 2008;

Scutaro - .274/.350/.383
Lowrie - .263/.344/.436


I don't think it's worth very much when it includes a bunch of PAs of Lowrie playing with a broken wrist and also Scutaro's career year.
   8. Dale Sams Posted: April 18, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3801343)
I've always had a hard time with the flawed injury reasoning on any player. Unless he has a mitochondrial disorder or is Mr. Glass or is J.D. Drew....why would you assume someone is injury prone based on a broken wrist and getting Mono? That's like calling someone injury prone because got hit with a baseball and caught a cold.
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 18, 2011 at 08:58 PM (#3801355)
As I noted, I think there is reason to believe the last 10 months of Jed Lowrie are more in line with what we can expect going forward but there seems to be a rush to anoint him the Chosen One based on a number of plate appearances that would more often than not be viewed as a small sample size.

Lowrie of course had a minor league career before his Major League career and 2008 ZIPS projected him as .253/.326/.406 as a 24 year old. ZIPS isn't perfect but that's almost exactly what he put up (.258/.339/.400).
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: April 18, 2011 at 09:08 PM (#3801362)
why would you assume someone is injury prone based on a broken wrist and getting Mono? That's like calling someone injury prone because got hit with a baseball and caught a cold.


If you don't include those types, than no one is injury prone except those pitchers whose elbows or shoulders keep giving way.
   11. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 18, 2011 at 09:13 PM (#3801367)
why would you assume someone is injury prone based on a broken wrist and getting Mono


I don't think anyone is calling Lowrie injury prone but until the guy can play six months of baseball without actually missing a chunk of time it seems like a fair question to ask.

I don't think it's worth very much when it includes a bunch of PAs of Lowrie playing with a broken wrist and also Scutaro's career year.


I think there is a pretty high likelihood that the last year of baseball is a "career year" for Lowrie unless you think he is a true talent .930 OPS guy which I think even his mom would agree is unlikely. Scutaro's 2010 season was not appreciably worse than his 2008/2009 combined seasons so I think, unless Scutaro has declined which is possible, it's a pretty good estimate of what he'll do.
   12. chris p Posted: April 18, 2011 at 09:20 PM (#3801376)
before today, this was still an open question. after today, it's jed's job to lose.
   13. Mattbert Posted: April 18, 2011 at 09:32 PM (#3801386)
I think there is a pretty high likelihood that the last year of baseball is a "career year" for Lowrie unless you think he is a true talent .930 OPS guy which I think even his mom would agree is unlikely.

I'm not his mom, but I agree with that. On the other hand, if I squint a bit he sure looks a lot like an .800+ OPS-ish hitter who's peaking. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think Scutaro--a .725 OPS-ish hitter most likely on the gentle decline--is the kind of guy who should prevent you from finding out. I like Scoots a lot; he's solid. But his ceiling can't be anywhere near Lowrie's at this stage.
   14. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 18, 2011 at 10:32 PM (#3801425)
I'm in the Jed camp - was before the season, was at the start of the season and am now more than ever.

Let's see if he stays healthy, they can afford to rest Scutaro or use him against Lefties - or maybe trade him later in the season to a team that could really use him - there will be heaps. Jed is killing it right now - it's the only highlight of the season so far.
   15. John DiFool2 Posted: April 18, 2011 at 11:54 PM (#3801473)
In the slightly larger sample covering both last and this season, his K/W is 1:1. Not very many people approach that figure, and those that do tend to be stars (c.f. his double-play partner).

And as far as the glove goes, I just did a quick check of several defensive metrics, and over his career they all agree that he's been above average. He also had that long errorless streak in '08, FWIW.
   16. villageidiom Posted: April 19, 2011 at 12:00 AM (#3801479)
why would you assume someone is injury prone based on a broken wrist and getting Mono
He signed in 2005.

His 2006 season was described, at the time, as "injury-plagued".

In 2007 he came on strong and was promoted quickly. He went to the AFL after the season, where he missed time due to a hand injury.

In 2008 he played most of the season with a wrist injury he'd suffered in May.

In 2009 he was on the DL twice, from 4/13 to 7/8, and again from 8/8 to 9/6.

In 2010 he was on the DL from 3/26 to 7/21.

Sure, if you dismiss his TWO stints on the 60-day DL in five professional seasons, plus the near-full season he played hurt, plus the month he missed in between the DL stints, he's the image of perfect health. Except for his injury-plagued 2006. And the hand injury in 2007.
   17. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: April 19, 2011 at 12:06 AM (#3801484)
Jed is killing it right now - it's the only highlight of the season so far.

*gets plunked i the ribs with a fastball from Josh Beckett*
   18. chris p Posted: April 19, 2011 at 12:23 AM (#3801495)
it seems like the only argument against lowrie at this point is that he's injury prone. that's fine, i can't argue with that. but he's healthy now, so you have to start him. just don't sign him to any long term deals.
   19. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 19, 2011 at 12:27 AM (#3801498)
Scutaro is old and wasn't hitting. Lowrie is young and is hitting. It's a no brainer. Scutaro becomes the utility guy, which is a perfectly good role for him at this stage of his career. And, it's Lowrie's time to start.
   20. Darren Posted: April 19, 2011 at 12:32 AM (#3801500)
His 2006 season was described, at the time, as "injury-plagued".

In 2007 he came on strong and was promoted quickly. He went to the AFL after the season, where he missed time due to a hand injury.

In 2008 he played most of the season with a wrist injury he'd suffered in May.

In 2009 he was on the DL twice, from 4/13 to 7/8, and again from 8/8 to 9/6.

In 2010 he was on the DL from 3/26 to 7/21.


Yeah, but BESIDES THAT...
   21. Textbook Editor Posted: April 19, 2011 at 12:41 AM (#3801503)
I do think that either Lowrie or Scutaro should also probably get some time in RF since Cameron hasn't been hitting, but I don't think we'll be seeing that. I like players who can play anywhere on the field.


I would have loved to have seen Lowrie take some OF reps in ST, even just so he could play there in an emergency (who is the emergency OF, BTW?), but at this point there's no way either Lowrie or Scutaro is going to be put in the OF unless there's some kind of ejection/injury black hole game... What happened with Youkilis in LF that day at Yankee Stadium has, I think, permanently affected how Francona would handle situations like that, no matter how much someone was raking at the plate.
   22. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 19, 2011 at 12:51 AM (#3801506)
The emergency OF is Youk.
   23. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 19, 2011 at 02:28 AM (#3801563)
Whether Lowrie is Injury Prone or not is an important discussion and one I'm sure the Red Sox are having internally. I happen to think 10 months of good health and the fluke-ish nature of his ailments point to an everyday player going forward, but there's a reasonable argument against.

It doesn't have anything to do with who should be playing shortstop right now, though. There's lots of evidence that Lowrie's better than Scutaro and basically no evidence that Scutaro is better than Lowrie.
Just or what it's worth the numbers since 2008;

Scutaro - .274/.350/.383
Lowrie - .263/.344/.436

Advantage Lowrie but not to a dramatic degree.
After today, Lowrie's up to .268/.348/.445. In my book, that's a dramatic difference, especially when one guy's 27 and the other's 35.
   24. John DiFool2 Posted: April 19, 2011 at 03:26 AM (#3801601)
I'll note that most (if not all) of the DL stints in '08/'09 were from that one injury, and the mono thing was just a shot in the dark. Unless you think the latter means he'll get a bad case of scrofula next, followed by beri-beri fever, I don't think it has any predictive value going forward.
   25. Joel W Posted: April 19, 2011 at 03:34 AM (#3801608)
If a guy is injury prone and hits well when he's healthy, why not play him when he's healthy? He's exactly the sort of person that it's really nice to have a caddy for but that should play. Maybe he can DH some against lefties.
   26. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2011 at 04:37 AM (#3801647)
he's the image of perfect health.


For such a SABR-minded crowd the term 'injury-prone' sure is used a lot. Think. It means nothing! Again...unless the guy is Rocco Baldelli, or has "Something" wrong with him like Mauer (Have they even done an MRI yet?) or has weak leg-ligaments like I did (Took me some 25 years to discover it was related to an MS-like disorder), then saying Jed is 'injury-prone' is the same as saying he's 'unlucky'.

But hey...maybe the FO knows something we don't. Maybe he does have weak ligaments.

Youk has played some 3 more games than JD Drew has over the course of JD's Red Sox career. Is there any hesitation in playing Youk?

Personally, I think Jed is a robot like in the Twilight Zone. He always has that goofy grin. I haven't heard peep one about his playing time or his 'injury-proneishnessishness" I know if I were in his shoes I'd have a hard time Shutting TFU.
   27. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: April 19, 2011 at 05:58 AM (#3801669)
Scutaro becomes the utility guy, which is a perfectly good role for him at this stage of his career.

Scutaro IS a utility player. If it weren't for his one big (unrepeatable) season in Toronto, and the fact that the Sox needed a shortstop so badly last year, he'd have never been seen as anything more.
   28. OCD SS Posted: April 19, 2011 at 11:09 AM (#3801703)
As a point of order to the thread title, is it really a "dilemma" at this point?

Whatever Lowrie's eventual upside is compared to Scutaro, does anyone want Marco starting at SS tonight?
   29. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 19, 2011 at 11:25 AM (#3801704)
For such a SABR-minded crowd the term 'injury-prone' sure is used a lot. Think. It means nothing! Again...unless the guy is Rocco Baldelli, or has "Something" wrong with him like Mauer (Have they even done an MRI yet?) or has weak leg-ligaments like I did (Took me some 25 years to discover it was related to an MS-like disorder), then saying Jed is 'injury-prone' is the same as saying he's 'unlucky'.


Some people ARE 'unlucky' when it comes to injuries. I get sick once every other year - I consider that pretty lucky - whereas a co-worker of mine would always have some random illness/stomach issue/head problem/etc. She doesn't do anything to be unhealthy, if you compared the two of us she has the healthier diet and doesn't really drink, she just has a propensity to illness. Similar thing with a buddy I had growing up, the guy is a fitness freak but would always find a way to injure himself - broken bones, dislocated fingers, frost-bite from icing, constant sprained ankles, black eyes from teammates' elbows, concussions. If you look at the illnesses or injuries separately there isn't much to link them, but take a step back and look at the whole picture (as vi did in #16) and you do notice a trend of fluky, unlucky injuries.
   30. villageidiom Posted: April 19, 2011 at 12:14 PM (#3801714)
Whether Lowrie is Injury Prone or not is an important discussion and one I'm sure the Red Sox are having internally. I happen to think 10 months of good health and the fluke-ish nature of his ailments point to an everyday player going forward, but there's a reasonable argument against.

It doesn't have anything to do with who should be playing shortstop right now, though.
And, AFAICT, nobody is making the case that Lowrie shouldn't be starting in general. It has been mentioned in this thread that given his injury history it wouldn't be a bad idea to give him a rest every now and then, but that's different from saying Scutaro should still be the starter or that Lowrie should be encased in bubble wrap.

FWIW, probably the best thing they did to preserve Lowrie's health was to let Beltre go. Dude would've steamrolled Lowrie by now. ;-)
   31. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM (#3801722)
I think injury prone and unlucky are one in the same. I grew up with a kid who got hit in the nuts and upside the head all the time by errant throws, foul tips, soccer balls, hockey sticks, frisbees, you name it. He was a popular kid, its not like he was getting hit accidentally on purpose. Some people are just magnets for that kind of thing.
   32. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 19, 2011 at 12:55 PM (#3801730)
. . . the term 'injury-prone' sure is used a lot. Think. It means nothing!

Nick Johnson wishes that were true. Of course, Nick was doubly cursed, also being a "slow healer".
   33. Russ Posted: April 19, 2011 at 01:33 PM (#3801746)
For such a SABR-minded crowd the term 'injury-prone' sure is used a lot. Think. It means nothing


I think the Treder experiment (now several years ago) proved that it does not mean nothing. It may not be extremely predictive, but at the extremes there is information there.
   34. Nasty Nate Posted: April 19, 2011 at 01:52 PM (#3801761)
and the mono thing was just a shot in the dark. Unless you think the latter means he'll get a bad case of scrofula next, followed by beri-beri fever, I don't think it has any predictive value going forward.


Maybe the predictive part is that the mono caused him to miss so many months, instead of weeks.

I know I helped derail this thread, but let's get back to how awesome he has been, and back to hoping his PT increases a ton. I, for one, welcome our new snaggly-toothed shortstop overlord!
   35. Pingu Posted: April 19, 2011 at 02:00 PM (#3801768)
Yeah, some people really are injury prone. In much the same way your mother will break her hip if she falls down but you wont.....some bodies are better suited to the demands of athletic activity.

Like any label (defensive rep, good/bad clubhouse guy, hard worker, etc) it probablly gets tossed around too often and onto people who may not deserve it, but to think that some people arent more prone to injuries is pretty naive.

Now on Lowrie, wrist/hand injuries are always pretty dicy, but he sure showed what appeared to be lingering effects, lengthy recoveries, and reinjury for a significant portion of his career so far. I dont think its enough to say that Lowrie will always be injury prone but its certainly not a good sign.

I'm more pessimistic because I dont think he can play good enough D to stick at SS. And theres really no other place for him on this roster this year. So really you've got a super sub that wont embarrass you at SS, and wont embarrass you with the bat when he has to fill in at the other IF spots. Its a nice piece, but not one to get really excited about. I mean maybe if he hits well enough, he can slot in at 3B and send Youk to DH, but his bat doesnt really get me excited at 3B.
   36. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 19, 2011 at 02:06 PM (#3801775)
Lowrie will be playing tonight against a lefty correct?
   37. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 19, 2011 at 02:18 PM (#3801792)
I wouldn't be shocked if Ortiz gets the night off for Lowrie. My recollection is that Anderson has made Ortiz his ##### the couple of times we've faced him.
   38. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2011 at 02:36 PM (#3801807)
but his bat doesnt really get me excited at 3B.


Discounting his stats this year completly (why I dont know), and going off just last year, he would have been about the third best 3B in MLB over the course of a year offensively.

What's a N**** gotta do round here?
   39. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 19, 2011 at 03:26 PM (#3801856)
Include the stats from this year, and Lowrie's up to .322/.404/.564 in his last 230 PAs, with 27 BB and 28 K. I think the only question now is what to do with Scutaro. He won't bring much in trade and saving $5M isn't a huge deal for the Sox, so there's no urgent reason to move him. There's some depth at Pawtucket with Navarro off to a .357/.460/.524 start, though his prospects of making the team in a backup role are something of a Catch-22, where the better he hits, the more you want him playing everyday. Nate Spears is off to a slow start, but was good last year and looked for all the world like a born utility player in ST. The question with him is whether he's passable at short, or more of a 2B/3B/OF guy.

There's every reason to be cautious and none to rush, so I think the Sox will wait a couple months -- see how Lowrie holds up, what develops on the farm, what Scutaro's got left and if they can safely flip him for a live arm in July, go for it.
   40. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 19, 2011 at 03:36 PM (#3801868)
What's a N**** gotta do round here?


Put up numbers over something greater than a third of a season. Do you really think he's a true .900 OPS guy? If so that's great but that seems pretty unlikely to me.
   41. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2011 at 03:46 PM (#3801878)
Do you really think he's a true .900 OPS guy?


Hanley put up an .853 last year. Stephen Drew in third place put up an .810....so does it really matter if he's a true .900?
   42. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 19, 2011 at 03:49 PM (#3801882)
I think there are two questions that Lowrie needs to answer going forward;

1. Can he hit righties? He has hit them well so far this year and last year. If the last year is a true reflection of his ability then that is good news indeed.

2. Can he field shortstop sufficiently? I think his career line of a .793 OPS is about in line with what can be expected of him. If he is even modestly competent defensively then that becomes quite good. If he has to move off shortstop his bat at that level becomes pretty mediocre anywhere else he might play.

Obviously he should get the lion's share of the starts right now but I think there should be some skepticism around him. This is not a proven player by any stretch of the imagination.
   43. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 19, 2011 at 03:53 PM (#3801889)
Hanley put up an .853 last year. Stephen Drew in third place put up an .810....so does it really matter if he's a true .900?


You're a smart guy but this is a stupid argument (at least Hanley is). Do you honestly think he is remotely comparable to Hanley Ramirez? Ramirez is much faster and is a considerably better hitter.

What do you think Lowrie is? You seem content to dismiss the first two years (shortened that they were) and his minor league track record. Maybe he has become a superior player to what he was but that seems a bit fanboyish.
   44. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2011 at 03:54 PM (#3801892)
The point is it doesn't matter if he's .900 OPS...an .800 OPS for a SS still puts him among the best
   45. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 19, 2011 at 03:55 PM (#3801894)
ZiPS thinks he's an 800 OPS guy, which is pretty damn good for a SS, even if he's -10 with the glove. That's less valuable at third, but there's reason to believe he'll outperform that projection -- we know he was playing through a broken wrist and ZiPS doesn't. Now it's possible he suffers another traumatic injury, plays through it and has his numbers dragged down, but I don't think those second half '08-'09 numbers tell us a lot about what a healthy Jed Lowrie can do.
   46. Nasty Nate Posted: April 19, 2011 at 03:57 PM (#3801895)
I think the Sox will wait a couple months -- see how Lowrie holds up, what develops on the farm, what Scutaro's got left and if they can safely flip him for a live arm in July, go for it.


Unless they have some glaring hole at that point or are 15 games out of the playoffs, why would they trade Scutaro in July? He seems like a perfect backup for this team if contending. Trading him would make no sense to me.
   47. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 19, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3801902)
2009-2011, 2b/ss, 300+ PAs by OPS:
Rk    Player    OPS    BA    OBP    SLG    PA
1    Troy Tulowitzki    .956    .307    .384    .572    1230
2    Hanley Ramirez    .896    .319    .393    .503    1324
3    Robinson Cano    .895    .319    .365    .531    1429
4    Chase Utley    .874    .279    .393    .481    1198
5    Jed Lowrie    .845    .278    .356    .489    306
6    Dustin Pedroia    .836    .294    .372    .464    1131
7    Rickie Weeks    .835    .269    .360    .475    990
8    Dan Uggla    .834    .262    .355    .479    1410
9    Ben Zobrist    .812    .262    .369    .443    1317
10    Ian Kinsler    .809    .263    .350    .459    1170
11    Martin Prado    .803    .303    .348    .456    1228
12    Neil Walker    .800    .288    .348    .452    580
13    Brian Roberts    .789    .281    .351    .437    1044
14    Kelly Johnson    .788    .257    .341    .448    1081
15    Starlin Castro    .786    .315    .358    .429    580
16    Stephen Drew    .783    .271    .338    .445    1270
17    Derek Jeter    .780    .299    .370    .410    1516
18    Maicer Izturis    .774    .293    .351    .422    741
19    Brandon Phillips    .772    .278    .333    .439    1386
20    Ryan Roberts    .768    .271    .350    .418    457
21    Jason Bartlett    .766    .284    .354    .412    1150
22    Jeff Baker    .764    .285    .337    .427    499 


Is Lowrie a .900 OPS hitter?
Is he really a.845 OPS hitter?
What about Scutaro, 2009-2011 he's at .748: .276/.354/.394
Lowrie for his MLB career is at .793, Scutaro at .719

Scutaro is 35, Lowrie is 27, frankly the idea that Scutaro should play over Lowrie is nuts- not that I'd get rid of Scutaro, Lowrie seems fragile to me, it seems to me that whenever someone claims that some one's injury history is flukish - bad luck and has no predictive value- they're usually wrong- I remember years ago one primate kept insisting that JD Drew was not injury prone, that the time he'd missed in Stl was due to LaRussa, that his injuries in 2003 & 2005 were unrelated... yada yada yada.

Some guys just break and tear easier than others, some guys heal more slowly, not everyone has the same immune system. One guy gets hit by a bad bounce in the finger and his finger swells up and he can't grip a bat properly for days (or weeks) - another guy- the same hop has no effect on performance
   48. konaforever Posted: April 19, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3801903)
What do you think Lowrie is? You seem content to dismiss the first two years (shortened that they were) and his minor league track record. Maybe he has become a superior player to what he was but that seems a bit fanboyish.


His minor league track record is fragmented, but was quite good. I think his minor league stats are comparable to Pedroia. John Sickels gave Jed Lowrie a A- as a prospect, which he got flack on at the time. I think his major league hitting in the long run will be similar to Pedroia.
   49. konaforever Posted: April 19, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3801908)
John Sickels on Jed Lowrie.
   50. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 19, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#3801913)
Unless they have some glaring hole at that point or are 15 games out of the playoffs, why would they trade Scutaro in July? He seems like a perfect backup for this team if contending. Trading him would make no sense to me.
If Scutaro were a free agent right now would you sign him for $5M (plus a $1.5M buyout) to be your backup infielder? Or would you look around for someone cheaper and younger? I'm not saying they should trade him NOW, but they've got time to figure out if there's someone (or a couple of someones) in the organization who can OPS 725 and play competent middle infield for 1/16th the cost. If so, send him on his way and grab a lottery ticket.
   51. Nasty Nate Posted: April 19, 2011 at 04:28 PM (#3801936)
I'm not saying they should trade him NOW, but they've got time to figure out if there's someone (or a couple of someones) in the organization who can OPS 725 and play competent middle infield for 1/16th the cost. If so, send him on his way and grab a lottery ticket.


A team with playoff aspirations should not be getting worse and more inexperienced just to save a couple million (even at a backup spot). I guess if they had a guy who could play as well, and play 2B and 3B and SS, and for whom inexperience wouldn't manifest itself, they should look at trade options. But I would much rather Scutaro for depth down the stretch and in the playoffs than the Eric Pattersons of the world, even if he is overpaid for a few months.
   52. tfbg9 Posted: April 19, 2011 at 04:54 PM (#3801975)
51-absolutely. And btw, how much of a chance is there that if given all the starts most are advocating here that he hits the proverbial mid-August "wall"? Is there not some evidence this can happen to a guy not used to 600 PA's, the travel, eating at odd hours, etc.?
   53. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 19, 2011 at 05:21 PM (#3802003)
But I would much rather Scutaro for depth down the stretch and in the playoffs than the Eric Pattersons of the world, even if he is overpaid for a few months.
What's so bad about Eric Patterson? ZiPS has him pegged for a .318 wOBA, Scutaro a .322.
   54. Pingu Posted: April 19, 2011 at 05:22 PM (#3802007)
2. Can he field shortstop sufficiently? I think his career line of a .793 OPS is about in line with what can be expected of him. If he is even modestly competent defensively then that becomes quite good. If he has to move off shortstop his bat at that level becomes pretty mediocre anywhere else he might play.

Obviously he should get the lion's share of the starts right now but I think there should be some skepticism around him. This is not a proven player by any stretch of the imagination.


i'm right in line with this. From my limited vantage point, I'm not impressed with him as a defensive SS.

I love the idea of Lowrie as an occasional starter at SS and a backup for all other IFs. I'm just scared that his defense will drag if he's left to be your every day SS. Obviously if he hits anywhere north of an .800 OPS it would be dumb not to find out what you've got defensively.
   55. Dale Sams Posted: April 19, 2011 at 05:23 PM (#3802009)
Talking about Jed Lowrie makes me feel like this.
   56. SoSH U at work Posted: April 19, 2011 at 05:24 PM (#3802011)
And btw, how much of a chance is there that if given all the starts most are advocating here that he hits the proverbial mid-August "wall"?


Or, given much of the source of debate in the thread, he hits an actual wall.
   57. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: April 19, 2011 at 05:29 PM (#3802016)
What's funny about Eric Patterson is that he's never had a shot at everyday playing time. His minor-league numbers suggest a perfectly capable starter at 2B. If he's terrible at 2B, that probably kills his shot to start anywhere, since he apparently can't play short. But it's weird that nobody's tried him as a starter.
   58. Nasty Nate Posted: April 19, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#3802040)
What's so bad about Eric Patterson? ZiPS has him pegged for a .318 wOBA, Scutaro a .322.


I don't really know how the scale works for wOBA, but that seems like Scutaro projects to be a slightly better hitter. And I know he's just an example, but Patterson's infield experience is only at 2B. Therefore Scutaro is a much better fit in the field given the health issues of Youkilis and Lowrie.
   59. Mattbert Posted: April 19, 2011 at 06:54 PM (#3802124)
A lot of people (including me) wrote off this guy as a hopeless perpetual injury case when he was about Jed's age.

Just sayin...
   60. Dan Posted: April 19, 2011 at 07:11 PM (#3802137)
Does Lowrie remind anyone else of John Valentin?
   61. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 19, 2011 at 07:22 PM (#3802152)
Does Lowrie remind anyone else of John Valentin?


He does now. Similar looking upper cut swing, good power for a middle infielder, iffy defensively. I can see it.
   62. RobertMachemer Posted: April 19, 2011 at 09:46 PM (#3802324)
Does Lowrie remind anyone else of John Valentin?

He does now. Similar looking upper cut swing, good power for a middle infielder, iffy defensively. I can see it.
I don't know if subsequent evaluations have contradicted this, but back in the 90s, some of the stathead defensive evaluations suggested that Valentin (like Ripken) was actually an excellent defender, despite his appearance of immobility.
   63. Dan Posted: April 19, 2011 at 10:41 PM (#3802367)
Weird lineup tonight:

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

I don't get why McDonald is in CF with Cameron in RF. McDonald is not a CFer; Cameron has been a gold glove caliber CF in the recent past and has looked decent out there this year (unlike last season). Also not too happy to see Salty starting against a LHP, but I guess Francona felt he needed to get him some action, esp if he's now not going to catch either Daisuke or Beckett.
   64. Dan Posted: April 19, 2011 at 11:00 PM (#3802381)
For what it's worth (not a whole lot), Ortiz and Saltalamacchia are 0-17 combined against Anderson. Seems like it would've been a good day to DH Youk or Gonzalez and get Scutaro in.
   65. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 20, 2011 at 12:34 AM (#3802460)
That line up is a joke
   66. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 20, 2011 at 01:43 AM (#3802563)
I don't get why McDonald is in CF with Cameron in RF. McDonald is not a CFer; Cameron has been a gold glove caliber CF in the recent past and has looked decent out there this year (unlike last season).


My guess would be arm strength. Cameron doesn't exactly have a cannon, but I think his is a little better than McDonald's. There's a lot of extra foul territory to cover in Oakland, and with Crawford and Cameron in the corners, CF defense isn't as critical.
   67. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 20, 2011 at 06:29 AM (#3802804)
Cameron and McDonald should not be playing together - hell I don't even see why Mike Cameron is playing at all. I'd rather Drew or Ellsbury in there. They are surely going to put better at bats up there and play a little smarter baseball than this freaking relic.

Mike Cameron is easily at the top of my "He's giving me the shits list"
   68. Darren Posted: April 20, 2011 at 01:23 PM (#3802878)
Scutaro IS a utility player. If it weren't for his one big (unrepeatable) season in Toronto, and the fact that the Sox needed a shortstop so badly last year, he'd have never been seen as anything more.


That's not really fair to Scutaro. From 2005 to 2010, he was essentially an average or better player. The fact that he didn't get to play fulltime in those years shouldn't be held against him. That was the great thing about his Sox contract. They were getting at least an average player for cheap and he was finally getting paid.

I'd still make Lowrie the starter mainly, but there's no reason you couldn't get also get Scutaro 80+ starts.
   69. Darren Posted: April 20, 2011 at 01:28 PM (#3802882)
Not sure where to put this, but apparently the call on the Cameron strikEout last night was NOT INTERFERENCE. They actually called Ellsbury out stealing. That is just a shockingly awful call. Between that, the balk, and the terrible offense.
   70. Textbook Editor Posted: April 20, 2011 at 01:45 PM (#3802895)
This quote--which I will grant is free of context--seems just horsebleep to me:

Lackey, who threw 93 pitches, wanted to go back out for the seventh inning.

"I just work here," he said.


Dear John,

Until last night you have sucked, sucked, sucked so far this season. Your manager was trying to get you to have some confidence in yourself and to prevent you from going to your John Lackey Face, so he took you out on a high note. Please shut your pie hole and pitch better and you'll get the longer leash. Right now, you're lucky you're not in the bullpen.

Sincerely,
Textbook Editor
   71. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 20, 2011 at 01:46 PM (#3802897)
I saw that this morning Darren. I was asleep when it all went down but the replay, man was he safe.

Did NESN have a better replay angle on the balk than the A's broadcast did? That's the one they used for the MLB.com highlights and it was either a centerfield angle or a home plate angle, neither one providing any clarity.
   72. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 20, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#3802915)
His minor league track record is fragmented, but was quite good. I think his minor league stats are comparable to Pedroia. John Sickels gave Jed Lowrie a A- as a prospect, which he got flack on at the time. I think his major league hitting in the long run will be similar to Pedroia.


Don't see it.
Lowrie is only 8 months younger than Pedrioia.
at age 21 he hit .328/.429/.448- in the NY Penn League (short season lo-a)
at age 22 he hit .262/.352/.374 in the Carolina League
at age 23 he hit .298/.393/.503 between AA and AAA (mostly AAA)
at age 24 he hit .268/.359/.434 in a 1/3 of a year at AAA
his career Minor league numbers are .284/.380/.445, he's at .268/.350/.458 in about a full year in AAA

Pedroia at 20, hit .357/.435/.535 between the Sallie League and the FSL (only 42 games)- think about that- the Sox started Pedroia out at 20 in a higher league than they did Lowrie at 21: who did they regard more highly at th time they drafted them?
At 21 Pedroia hit .293/.385/.452 between AA and AAA- at the same age Lowrie was in the NYPenn League
At 22 Pedroia hit .305/.384/.426 in the IL- same age Lowrie was scuffling in the Carolina League.
At 23 Pedroia was hitting .317/.380/.442 in the Show- Lowrie was doing well- in AA
Pedroia's career minor league numbers are .307/.392/.452- superficially close to Lowrie- but Pedroia did it at younger ages and in tougher leagues- he had 50% more PAs at AAA than Lowrie, Lowrie had some 290 PAs in the NYPEnn League- lower then any league Pedroia played in.

Justin Turner* is 7 months younger than Lowrie, Turner's career minor league line is .309/.373/.443, and that includes 928 AAA PAs where he's hit .307/.368/.440

As a hitter Lowrie is somewhere in between Turner and Pedroia
   73. Dan Posted: April 20, 2011 at 04:17 PM (#3803056)
Today's lineup:

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

I'm not in love with it, but I looked at Gonzalez's career splits and he has a very minor reverse split over his career so I suppose I can live with it. And after how bad Cameron and McDonald looked last night I don't really want to see either of them again today anyway. Hopefully Buchholz has his #### together today, because I don't think the Sox are getting more than 2 or 3 runs today, if they can even muster that.
   74. Dan Posted: April 20, 2011 at 04:19 PM (#3803058)
Jed Lowrie's MLB career line is almost the same as that AAA line for Turner. That is a silly comparison.
   75. villageidiom Posted: April 20, 2011 at 04:31 PM (#3803070)
Regarding the lineups so far against Oakland... Francona definitely has a thing about trying to avoid people playing a day game after a night game. Seems it's almost in overdrive this year, or at least this month.
   76. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 20, 2011 at 04:43 PM (#3803083)
Jed Lowrie's MLB career line is almost the same as that AAA line for Turner. That is a silly comparison.


1: I was responding to someone who said that "I think his minor league stats are comparable to Pedroia." and "I think his major league hitting in the long run will be similar to Pedroia."

2: I said BETWEEN Turner and Pedroia.

You know like:

Pedroia

Lowrie

Turner

which, hey, ZiPS agrees:

Pedroia: .300/.370/.471
Lowrie: .252/.333/.422
Turner: .267/.320/.377
   77. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 20, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3803115)
That's a pre-season ZiPS you've got there for Lowrie. It's now projecting him to go .269/.348/.444 the rest of the season. Not quite Pedroia, but a lot closer to him than Turner.
   78. Danny Posted: April 20, 2011 at 05:26 PM (#3803137)
Not sure where to put this, but apparently the call on the Cameron strikEout last night was NOT INTERFERENCE. They actually called Ellsbury out stealing. That is just a shockingly awful call. Between that, the balk, and the terrible offense.

That makes no sense considering 1) Cameron took a step right in front of Suzuki that looked like clear interference, 2) the homeplate umpire looked like he called interference immediately and appeared to signal that the ball was dead, 3) the 2B umpire didn't actually make a call, instead looking back to the homeplate umpire, 4) Ellsbury was safe at 2B, and 5) the Sox coach came out to argue with the homeplate ump, who told him it was interference.
   79. Padgett Posted: April 20, 2011 at 05:40 PM (#3803155)
The interference call was certainly right. The balk -- well, I'm not as sure. The cameras didn't have a good angle on it, but since both Fosse and Kuiper in the A's booth seemed convinced that it should have been called, I'm inclined to believe them.
   80. Dan Posted: April 20, 2011 at 05:50 PM (#3803165)
That was the textbook definition of a balk. If that wasn't a balk, there is no such thing as a balk.
   81. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: April 20, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3803191)
That was the textbook definition of a balk. If that wasn't a balk, there is no such thing as a balk.
Was it that different from the move most left-handers use and get away with? The balk guidelines in the rulebook are not what umps actually call on the field, much like the high strike.
   82. Josh Posted: April 20, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3803274)
The interference call was certainly right
Yeah, agreed - it would be, but what Tim Welke said after the game is that it wasn't actually called. That doesn't really make sense given what Danny writes, but that is what Welke said. I don't remember many times that I've seen a ump argue that they didn't make the correct call in order to say that they made the incorrect one :D
   83. Darren Posted: April 20, 2011 at 07:07 PM (#3803283)
That makes no sense considering 1) Cameron took a step right in front of Suzuki that looked like clear interference, 2) the homeplate umpire looked like he called interference immediately and appeared to signal that the ball was dead, 3) the 2B umpire didn't actually make a call, instead looking back to the homeplate umpire, 4) Ellsbury was safe at 2B, and 5) the Sox coach came out to argue with the homeplate ump, who told him it was interference.


Yes, I agree with all of these things. But the crew chief explained in this Boston Globe article:

According to Francona, bench coach DeMarlo Hale was told that interference was called at first. Then he was told Ellsbury was out stealing. Francona said he wanted a clarification.

Crew chief Tim Welke said the following:

"There was no interference. Ellsbury was out sliding into the base. The call was delayed because the second base umpire was waiting to see if the batter had walked."



Was it that different from the move most left-handers use and get away with? The balk guidelines in the rulebook are not what umps actually call on the field, much like the high strike.


In as much as you could tell from the camera angle they had, it looked pretty darn different to me. He practically stopped in the middle of his motion and still stepped toward home more than first.
   84. Nasty Nate Posted: April 20, 2011 at 07:08 PM (#3803286)
3) the 2B umpire didn't actually make a call, instead looking back to the homeplate umpire


Maybe he wasn't sure if it was ball four in which case he wouldn't call the runner out. Bizarre though for him to stand there and make no call.
   85. Danny Posted: April 20, 2011 at 07:16 PM (#3803301)
Yeah, the explanation doesn't make much sense given what appeared to transpire. That said, looking at the replay it kinda looks like Ellis blocked the bag with his foot for just long enough to get the tag in (the last angle shown in the MLB.com replay is the slowest/clearest).
   86. SoSH U at work Posted: April 20, 2011 at 07:33 PM (#3803326)
I love the southpaw's balk-like move to first. I used to practice mine regularly in high school, despite the fact I wasn't a pitcher. Or a lefty.

Long may it be part of the game.
   87. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 20, 2011 at 11:07 PM (#3803723)
Jed hammered the ball again today. Were would the Sox be without him, so far?
   88. Darren Posted: April 20, 2011 at 11:55 PM (#3803781)
Clay looks more like Fausto all the time.
   89. Dan Posted: April 21, 2011 at 04:35 AM (#3804090)
Clay looks more like Fausto all the time.


Nah. He's still not quite right but he did fine today. And he wasn't even getting calls on ANYTHING. The umpire was a complete joke.

Buchholz will be fine.
   90. Darren Posted: April 21, 2011 at 12:38 PM (#3804194)
2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR in 5 IP is not doing fine, IMHO.
   91. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM (#3804201)
Buchholz doesn't throw nearly enough strikes. If that was Matsuzaka out there yesterday people would be raging that even when he pitched well he sucked. I don't mind that Buchholz doesn't strike people out but he has to pound the strike zone. I thought he walked too many people last year, to be worse than that (by a lot right now), is not going to get it done.
   92. tfbg9 Posted: April 21, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#3804628)
91-is it approach, or wildness, or a bit of both?

We don' have a Sox News Thread (we ought to, no?) So I post this Projo item here:

PAWTUCKET -- Ryan Kalish left Thursday's game with an apparent injury after he made a diving catch in center field in the second inning.

Kalish dove to his left to catch a sinking line drive off the bat of Michael Aubrey, and he appeared to jam his shoulder or wrist when he braced himself for his impact. He walked slowly off the field with a trainer holding onto his left arm.

The outfielder played in 53 games for the Red Sox last season and is widely expected to be preparing to slide into an everyday role in the major leagues in 2012. He missed the second half of the 2007 season when he broke the hamate bone in his right hand, an injury that sapped his power at the plate in 2008, too.


Hope its minor. Wrist injuries can be really really bad for development.
   93. Dan Posted: April 21, 2011 at 08:25 PM (#3804693)
Buchholz doesn't throw nearly enough strikes.


If all the balls in this plot that are IN THE ZONE were called strikes, would you still be saying this? By my count there are easily FOURTEEN pitches in the strike zone that were called balls. That is only counting pitches that are inside or touching the box denoting the zone. What the #### was Buchholz supposed to do with that umpiring? Just groove pitches right down the middle? Or throw good pitches and pray the umpire makes a call?

I'm looking forward to someone coming in and jumping on me for ######## about the umpiring once this appears on the Hot Topics sidebar, but this level of incompetence from an umpire is ridiculous. Mike DiMuro has no business behind the plate calling balls and strikes.
   94. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 21, 2011 at 08:54 PM (#3804749)
I didn't see the game yesterday but as I followed on GameDay/AtBat I assumed the charting was wrong. If those pitches were really there well, most of what Dan says applies.

It doesn't change the fact that Buchholz has rather poor control. For a guy who is a low K/groundball pitcher a walk rate that is consistently above average seems like a bad combination. I think his stuff is good enough that he is going to be a low-BABIP guy and that will make him useful on a regular basis. That's not bad but it limits his ceiling in my opinion.

is it approach, or wildness, or a bit of both?


Beats the crap out of me. I think from what I've seen that he nibbles and screws around a bit too much out there. Typical problem of a guy (particularly a young guy) with a wide array of pitches he can't come back with the same pitch twice to get people out. I don't want to see him limit his arsenal because I think it is one of his strength but too often it seems like he lets hitters back into an at bat by missing with off speed stuff when his fastball, particularly ahead in the count, seems to be a weapon that should be sufficient.
   95. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 21, 2011 at 09:05 PM (#3804768)
Buchholz should not be a low-K pitcher. At some point you bow to the data, but the kid has a 95 mph fastball, a knee buckling curve, and an excellent change up. If he isn't striking out at least 7 or 8 per nine innings, he's using his stuff wrong.

This is why I don't find thte Carmona comparison very useful. There's a limit to how effective you can be throwing just a sinker. There's no real limit on a guy with Buchholz' arsenal.
   96. Dan Posted: April 22, 2011 at 05:37 PM (#3805988)
Is there a concerted effort by the umpires to call a smaller strike zone this year? Here is the plot for balls and strikes for Beckett last night. That's pretty much as bad as it was on Wednesday. ~14 pitches that should easily have been called strikes going as balls.

It looks like Chatwood had about 10 pitches in the zone called balls as well.

Umpiring is getting to be so bad that it is actively lowering my enjoyment of watching ballgames.
   97. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 22, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#3806001)
Do we know how really accurate those plots are? I see some stuff on Gameday, like pitches basically right down the middle that are called balls, that make me think there's something weird going on there.
   98. Dan Posted: April 22, 2011 at 06:12 PM (#3806018)
The studies that I have read and seen referenced have concluded that Pitch F/X location at the plate is accurate to within half an inch. This is a link to a study I was able to find about the subject.
   99. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 22, 2011 at 06:36 PM (#3806051)
Is there a concerted effort by the umpires to call a smaller strike zone this year? Here is the plot for balls and strikes for Beckett last night. That's pretty much as bad as it was on Wednesday. ~14 pitches that should easily have been called strikes going as balls.

It looks like Chatwood had about 10 pitches in the zone called balls as well.


Chatwood's plot suggests bad umpiring, not a smaller zone - there were 10 pitches in the zone called balls and 11 outside of it called strikes. Beckett is 13 to 8 - still not too much suggesting the ump was consciously trying to tighten the k-zone.
   100. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 22, 2011 at 06:58 PM (#3806087)
I wonder how much longer Jed's BA will be higher than Crawford's OPS.
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