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   1. Foster Posted: May 30, 2007 at 10:41 PM (#2384911)
Kerry Robinson would be good in a 5th OF/pinch-runner role. You don't have to worry about stunting his development, as you would with one of the prospects.
   2. Darren Posted: May 30, 2007 at 10:45 PM (#2384915)
I was thinking Murphy but he may not be fast enough.
   3. Foster Posted: May 30, 2007 at 10:52 PM (#2384918)
Ellsbury would be a hoot, but he needs more at bats than he'd get that far down on the bench. Maybe McEwing? You don't need anyone who can hit.
   4. JB H Posted: May 30, 2007 at 10:58 PM (#2384922)
Ellsbury is pretty much a lock for a playoff roster spot I would think.

The Sox are pretty much at the point where the only consideration for roster and day to day decisions should be making the team stronger for October and beyond. There's not really anything they could do to keep the team out of the playoffs, altho they could cost themselves ALCS homefield I guess.
   5. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:05 PM (#2384928)
Screw JC Romero, find a real bullpen pitcher instead.

Ellsbury should not come anywhere near a MLB lineup until at least September 2008. If they want to have another position player in the lineup, call up David Murphy
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:08 PM (#2384933)
So, the candidates are: Murphy, Robinson, Romero

Here's a way of articulating my position that tempts the almighty gods of the jinx in a way I would never dare to:

-the Red Sox are something like 95% to make the playoffs already, following BPro. Value in the present should be balanced against value in October. What the Sox need to do for October is keep their arms healthy, and carrying an extra reliever will lighten the load for everyone else. You're looking at, at the very most, a half of a win from calling up Murphy. Does that really matter that much?

Here's my preferred articulation of my position:

-Papelbon is clearly being babied for a reason - his arm slot is all over the place, which suggests he's trying to adjust to possible problems in his shoulder. More pitchers means more rest for the guys we need to keep healthy. Further, some injuries are inevitable, and using the 12th pitcher slot as a place for trying out minor leaguers who might help out later makes a lot of sense to me. Romero has been a reasonably good loogy until 2007 - should we cut a guy who can probably still do the loogy job, and who has a lot of big game experience just for a pinch runner / defensive replacement?
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:10 PM (#2384940)
There's not really anything they could do to keep the team out of the playoffs, altho they could cost themselves ALCS homefield I guess.
They're 95%, not 100%. There are surely quite a lot of scenarios in that Monte Carlo in which hte Red Sox end up sweating every marginal win. I don't think that the fight should be over the 25th roster slot, but things ain't that guaranteed, even from a pure stat perspective.
   8. Foster Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:14 PM (#2384944)
And I wouldn't mind seeing the regulars, Manny especially, out of there late in games already won.
   9. Foster Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:14 PM (#2384946)
That said, this is a fun conversation to be having, sitting here in an office, surrounded by Yankees fans.
   10. JB H Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:21 PM (#2384969)
Well sure.

But let's say that putting Lester in the rotation hurts the team in the short term (which might or might not be the case), but will make Lester a better pitcher for the future/playoffs. If The Sox, Yankees, Indians, Tigers and Twins were all about tied and fighting for two spots, then going with Lester might cost the team .05 playoff berths in the long run. But right now, that cost might be in the .005 range. Papelbon's usage is another spot where they can forget about the short-term a little bit.
   11. Darren Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:28 PM (#2384993)
I've never liked Romero from the beginning and he's been supplanted in the Loogy role, so I say, come June 15, trade him and bring up Breslow. If he can't hack it, then go to Delcarmen, etc.

You're probably right that having a 12th pitcher makes more sense as far as keeping guys healthy.
   12. Darren Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:30 PM (#2385006)
My thoughts on Pap's arm slot are in the Pap usage thread. Basically, he's been striking out a ton of guys with this arm slot, so I'm not worried about it. I think the hits might be a result of hitters sitting on his fastball, so he just needs to adjust. Also, I don't think any one of us knows enough about arm mechanics to talk intelligently about arm slot and the like.
   13. PJ Martinez Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:39 PM (#2385030)
Whoa, aggressive baserunning by Lowell. Nice approach at the plate, too-- taking advantage of first-pitch meatball.
   14. PJ Martinez Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:40 PM (#2385031)
Heckuva slide.
   15. PJ Martinez Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:40 PM (#2385032)
Oops. Wrong thread.
   16. ekogan Posted: May 30, 2007 at 11:55 PM (#2385063)
Actually some back of the envelope calculations show that even the 12th guy in the bullpen is more valuable than a defensive 5th outfielder/pinch runner. Let's say that the best a defensive replacement can be in LF is +30 runs/150 games above average (Coco Crisp had +32 in LF in Cleveland and that convinced the Red Sox that he was a plus defensive CF). That will make him +50/150 above Manny. Now of course a defensive replacement will only play about an inning per game (1/9 of total) in games in which the Sox lead (say 50%) so that makes the gain a bit less than +3 runs/150 games. And since the Sox have played about 50 games, the best defensive replacement for Manny would only gain them around 1 run.

According to BP, the lowest VORP in Boston's bullpen belongs to Joel Pineiro - 1.2, even Romero has more. So even Joel the UnSuperman has been better than a 5th outfielder.

Similarly, research published in THT showed that the best and worst baserunners are in the range of +5/-5 runs per season on the basepaths (not counting steals/CS), so effects of a pinch runner are much less than a defensive outfielder.
   17. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: May 31, 2007 at 01:50 AM (#2385461)
Similarly, research published in THT showed that the best and worst baserunners are in the range of +5/-5 runs per season on the basepaths (not counting steals/CS), so effects of a pinch runner are much less than a defensive outfielder.

Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS showed that per season stats aren't important.
   18. villageidiom Posted: May 31, 2007 at 03:15 AM (#2385619)
Similarly, research published in THT showed that the best and worst baserunners are in the range of +5/-5 runs per season on the basepaths (not counting steals/CS), so effects of a pinch runner are much less than a defensive outfielder.

Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS showed that per season stats aren't important.
And that relates to roster composition in the playoffs, not at the end of May.

I agree with the sentiment that we should add an outfield defensive replacement. However, I think they should do so either from the trade market at the end of July or the minors at the end of August. Such a player would be suited to role with a high innings-played-to-plate-appearances ratio, for which Dave Roberts serves as a good example. At this point in the season, though, you need insurance in case Manny breaks his pinkie slamming it in the scoreboard door on a pee break. Whoever takes Manny's place will have a lot of plate appearances. For that, you want a Hinske or Pena.

You can certainly quibble over whether there are better players than those two for that kind of role. But that's the role.
   19. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: May 31, 2007 at 02:55 PM (#2385989)
And that relates to roster composition in the playoffs, not at the end of May.

My point was that baserunning is a different than defense in application. The manager can chose when to use a pinchrunner in order to maximize leverage to a much greater degree than he can maximize the use of a defensive outfielder. You replace Manny on the chance that there is a ball hit to him, that this ball is in that range that he cannot get to it but your replacement can, and that this hit/out will affect the outcome of the game. The benefits cited take incremental improvements and add them up to runs but you cannot be sure about the true effect. With a basestealer you can be much more certain about the true effect because the manager is pushing the action.
   20. chris p Posted: May 31, 2007 at 03:04 PM (#2386001)
I agree with the sentiment that we should add an outfield defensive replacement. However, I think they should do so either from the trade market at the end of July or the minors at the end of August.

ellsbury is perfect for this. as others have said, he's a shoo-in for the playoff roster at this point, and this is the reason.
   21. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 31, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2386084)
I ilke the idea of bringing up another reliever and trying to save the bullpen for maximum effectiveness in September/October. It's also great that they can let Ortiz rest for a few days, and give guys more days off to keep them fresh.

I think it would be interesting/crazy to bring up Lester and move to a 6-man rotation, but I'm not sure what that would accomplish. It could give the starters better rest and allow them to pitch better with less injury risk, or it could just mess with them and taunt the baseball gods by deviating from the 5-man rotation orthodoxy.
   22. plim Posted: May 31, 2007 at 07:12 PM (#2386374)
I think it would be interesting/crazy to bring up Lester and move to a 6-man rotation, but I'm not sure what that would accomplish. It could give the starters better rest and allow them to pitch better with less injury risk, or it could just mess with them and taunt the baseball gods by deviating from the 5-man rotation orthodoxy.


and i wonder how that would mess around Matsuzaka. I'm sure he's had to do some training to "slim" down to 4 days rest, only to see it undone. I'm sure beckett and lester are young enough to adapt, and there's always the ideology that wakefield could pitch on any day, and tavarez can bump around whenever. it would just be on schilling who is, by definition, a creature of habit. that said, is keeping tavarez in the rotation worth all the hassle? i doubt it.

i was actually thinking about a 6 man rotation, if the sox "won" the 6-inning sweepstakes and lester came back. i'm sure roger wouldn't mind because he could spend that extra day at home =P of course, that would've driven up his $ per start =P

i, for one, will be happy to see a lefty in the rotation again, if not solely for the reason of lester's story.

oh, and as for the 25th man, i agree that 2004 (and other teams/years) shows us that having a speedster on the basepaths can be crucial. can we demote julio lugo to be that speedster and get a real shortstop? after all, he's 12/12 =)

yes, my disdain for julio lugo continues...agonz went 3-5 last night with a double and 2 rbi...up to .277/.328/.511/114. gotta love "small" sample sizes =P
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: May 31, 2007 at 07:24 PM (#2386380)
dave roberts' steal is the most overrated play.
i'm also sick of hearing about alex gonzalez's 1-year no-hit injury-plagued stint with the Sox.
   24. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 01, 2007 at 12:41 AM (#2386788)
I'm not sure who's slack is shorter right now: Lugo or Crisp.
   25. plim Posted: June 01, 2007 at 03:03 PM (#2387229)
24. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 31, 2007 at 08:41 PM (#2386788)

I'm not sure who's slack is shorter right now: Lugo or Crisp.


I'd have to say Lugo - he has a ready replacement in Cora. I don't think anyone has envisioned Drew or Pena in center for any long stint.

can scott podsednick still play center? can he be had for cheap?
   26. plim Posted: June 01, 2007 at 03:10 PM (#2387235)
oops...podsednick is still hurt =P
   27. Darren Posted: June 02, 2007 at 12:56 PM (#2388770)
If you're going to pine for other teams' players, could you aim a bit higher than Podsednik? Please?
   28. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: June 02, 2007 at 01:05 PM (#2388773)
It's gonna sound like snark, but it isn't. Darren, did I misread or has your opinion of Wily Mo fallen so far as to advocate giving his roster spot to a pinch-runner?
   29. Darren Posted: June 02, 2007 at 03:06 PM (#2388857)
Yes, you've misread it or I've miswritten it. Wily Mo doesn't have much of a role on this team, however.
   30. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 03, 2007 at 08:32 AM (#2390247)
Yes, you've misread it or I've miswritten it. Wily Mo doesn't have much of a role on this team, however.

Umm... STARTING CENTER FIELDER
   31. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: June 03, 2007 at 08:41 AM (#2390248)
Umm... STARTING CENTER FIELDER

I don't think the starting pitchers would allow it to happen.
   32. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 03, 2007 at 08:48 AM (#2390249)
And the starting pitching is happy with the amount of run support Coco Crisp is offering them.
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 03, 2007 at 02:04 PM (#2390271)
Wily Mo's 730 OPS ain't doing much more, and Coco can actually field his position. Wily Mo's strikeouts appear to be insoluble at this point, and he's never going to be a good enough hitter to carry his glove without a major drop in K rate. I'd much rather have Coco out there.

I do think a What To Do In The Outfield? thread would be interesting. Coco can't hit, Wily Mo can't play, Drew can't stay healthy, and Murphy and Ellsbury are around. It's going to be a major roster decision.
   34. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: June 04, 2007 at 12:00 AM (#2390724)
And the starting pitching is happy with the amount of run support Coco Crisp is offering them.

I am writing this as the game is about to start and WMP might hit a grand slam or two. But, you make me laugh now wok.

Wily Mo is a butcher out there in the field, a butcher. When he screws up a play and we lose a winnable game, I assume you won't be bringing out the 'panic buttons' right???

He's gonna get more at bats anyway now that Drew is hurt, so lets see him do something, OK?

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