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   1. Jittery McFrog Posted: August 08, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4203775)
Apropos of nothing, here are some 2012 Red Sox anagrams:

Matthew James Albers: The ambler was jetsam
Daniel Paul Bard: Rue bad plan laid
Vincente de la Cruz Padilla: El Crazed Villian acted up
Nicholas Paul Punto: Nails pop-out launch
Carl Demonte Crawford: Redraft Comrade Clown
Dustin Luis Pedroia: I raised up loud snit
Joshua Patrick Beckett: Repeat buttock hijacks
Brent Stuart Lillibridge: Big Bald returns littler I
Alfredo Aceves: Redo fecal save
Andrew Scott Bailey: Clown trade bites ya

That's all I've got.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: August 08, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4203786)
Vincente de la Cruz Padilla: El Crazed Villian acted up
Dustin Luis Pedroia: I raised up loud snit
Brent Stuart Lillibridge: Big Bald returns littler I
Andrew Scott Bailey: Clown trade bites ya
These are all quite amazingly appropriate. (For extra points, note the recent article about Josh Reddick the "prop comic".)
   3. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 08, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4203796)
Bobby Valentine: Benny B. Bloviate
   4. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 08, 2012 at 07:36 PM (#4203797)
I’ve pretty much de-cathected from this club. Living and dying with results that won’t matter in October seems pointless. About 20% of the guys in uniform I kind of can’t stand.

I guess Bud won't be stealing any talking points from you when he's telling us in a couple of months what an unbelievable success the addition of the second wild card has been.
   5. Swedish Chef Posted: August 08, 2012 at 07:41 PM (#4203806)
I tried Kevin Edmund (Edmund????) Youkilis and was barraged with gibberish containing one or two promising words like nude, dude and yodel. But the only one I felt was poetic enough was "Lousy emu divined kink".
   6. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: August 08, 2012 at 08:09 PM (#4203833)
Robert John Valentine: Invent jet blare honor
   7. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 08, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4203838)
I tried Kevin Edmund (Edmund????) Youkilis and was barraged with gibberish containing one or two promising words like nude, dude and yodel. But the only one I felt was poetic enough was "Lousy emu divined kink".
Clearly that anagram is telling us something about Phil, but I can't imagine what.
   8. Dale Sams Posted: August 08, 2012 at 08:28 PM (#4203851)
At least Crawford has gone from, "Swinging at everything and making good contact with mistakes" to..."Hey! I actually saw him take some good pitchs today."

edit: and more like 40% chance to win a play-in game with no 'ace' or even quasi-ace. Buch is closest i guess.
   9. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: August 08, 2012 at 08:32 PM (#4203854)
Ted Williams - I am still wed.
   10. The District Attorney Posted: August 08, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4203859)
Bobby Valentine: Benny B. Bloviate
If the team were named after Valentine like Nap Lajoie and the Cleveland Naps, that would be a good mascot.

Ted Williams - I am still wed.
They froze his wife's head too??
   11. Darren Posted: August 08, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4203911)
So a couple things.

I was hoping Tito's slow hook would leave with him, but alas, it didn't. Letting Beckett give up 8 runs and then sending Mortenson out for a 4th inning seemed like very bad ideas today, for example. It's like he's determined to even out his pythag. record.

Was there any truth to the Gonzo to LA rumors or was that all Shaughnessy? Because before I ever heard about it, I thought that would be a place he might be sent. The Sox could reasonably BS that he was still a good player, coming out of a slump, and was really just a west coast guy. And unloading that contract, on a guy who is scaring the hell out of me with his lack of power and lack of patience, would be a good thing. If they still had Youk around, all the better.
   12. Answer Guy Posted: August 08, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4203918)
I’ve pretty much de-cathected from this club.  Living and dying with results that won’t matter in October seems pointless. 


Did this weeks ago. It's finally sticking.
   13. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 08, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4203931)
Darren, I think that trading Gonzalez today is the ultimate in selling low. I remain really confident that he will be worth the money.
   14. Jittery McFrog Posted: August 08, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4203941)
Robert John Valentine: Irrelevant, Then No Job
   15. Mattbert Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:08 PM (#4203952)
Andrew Scott Bailey: Clown trade bites ya

That. Is. Brilliant.
   16. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:09 PM (#4203954)
Robert John Valentine: Irrelevant, Then No Job
This is simply too good to be true. But I checked it and it seems to work.

[golf claps]
   17. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4203958)
Edmund


I knew he was a bastard.
   18. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4203964)
   19. Dale Sams Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4203967)
Adrian Gonzalez second half: .398/.436/.614.

That guy has no patience or power. Trade him for Juan Pierre so we can use the money saved, build a time machine and go back to sign that stalwart Roy Oswalt.

Edit: That line is without todays 3 doubles. fyi.
   20. Dan Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4203968)
He's walking less than Jarrod Saltalamacchia is. The power has been better.
   21. Dale Sams Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:36 PM (#4203970)
Lol. Are you really complaining about HOW that .436 OBP comes about?
   22. Dan Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:38 PM (#4203971)
I was just commenting that he's walked in 6.0% of his PA compared to 7.3% for noted patient hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia. And 6.2% for Salty last year.

Gonzalez walk rates since 2008: 10.6%, 17.5%, 13.4%, 10.3% (first year in Boston), 6.0%

That's not encouraging.
   23. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:40 PM (#4203972)
Carl Demonte Crawford: The millionaire sucked

Joshua Patrick Beckett: Bat Seek Pitch, Track...Ouj!


(The first one is totally fake, but the second one works.)

   24. Dan Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4203974)
And even now, when he's apparently seeing the ball better and hitting for power again, he's still not really walking.
   25. Dan Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4203975)
What the hell does "Ouj" mean?
   26. Dale Sams Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:42 PM (#4203976)
Dan, you do know why AGon walked more in Sd then here, yes?
   27. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:49 PM (#4203979)
Based on the context of #23, I'm going to say "Ouj" is the sound of a line drive leaving the bat of another Red Sox opponent.
   28. Dan Posted: August 08, 2012 at 11:52 PM (#4203980)
Because he didn't used to chase pitches out of the zone. I understand that you're getting at better protection in Boston, but the reality is that the number of strikes he's been seeing didn't change much at all until he stopped hitting for power this year and pitchers just stopped being afraid to challenge him. In 2011 he saw 43.9% of pitches in the zone, according to Pitch F/X, compared to 44.9% for his overall career and 42.6% in 2010 and 43.3% in 2009. On the other hand, his O-swing rate went from 24.8% in 2009 to 30.6% to 33.3% last year to 34.9% this year.
   29. Dale Sams Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4203986)
I would rather, and I'm sure AGon would too, that pitchers continue to 'not be afraid to challenge him" He has a 1.050 OPS (greater actually, when his 3 doubles today are calculated) in the second half. And I feel like I'm talking crazy pills having to defend him over his walk rate.
   30. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4203990)
As we go to bed this evening, the Red Sox are 55-57.

A year ago tonight, as we went to bed, the Red Sox had just won at Minnesota to move the Sox to 71-43!

It is almost impossible to believe that this was only one year ago.

The End of the Innocence, by the way, was probably August 27th, 2011, when the Red Sox swept the A's at Fenway in a last-minute Saturday doubleheader. That was the day a huge rain storm was violently rolling in, and the teams agreed to move Sunday's game to Saturday, shorten the time between the two games that day, and try to squeeze them in. The Red Sox won that nightcap 4-0, then took the next two nights off...and then they went 8-21 the rest of the way.

Since that doubleheader sweep, the team has gone 63-78. What a bad team.
   31. Dan Posted: August 09, 2012 at 06:15 AM (#4204055)
His OBP won't be so great once he cools off a bit and/or stops having fortunate results in balls in play if he doesn't start walking again. 40% of his balls in play wont keep going for hits. And once pitchers realize he's not grounding everything to second anymore, he's going to see fewer strikes again and he needs to stop chasing so many bad pitches and making weak contact on them. To be the player that was worth Rizzo, Kelly, and a $154M contract he needs to get back to the patient approach that made him one of the best hitters in baseball.
   32. Dan Posted: August 09, 2012 at 06:28 AM (#4204057)
Am I allowed to be concerned about Crawford's walk rate cratering in Boston as well or is he also immune to criticism or concerns? He presently has a higher OPS+ than Gonzalez does, despite sharing Gonzalez's downward trend in walk rate. So far he's somehow walking even less than he did last year, just like Gonzalez.

In fact the lack of walks has largely become a team wide issue, and it's contributing to the feast-or-famine nature of this year's offense. Last year the Red Sox were second in the league in walks. This season they have plummeted to 10th. The last time they were below THIRD in the AL was a 6th place ranking in 2002! What a coincidence, that's the year before they started a decade long run of offensive and overall success.
   33. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:20 AM (#4204061)
In fact the lack of walks has largely become a team wide issue, and it's contributing to the feast-or-famine nature of this year's offense. Last year the Red Sox were second in the league in walks. This season they have plummeted to 10th. The last time they were below THIRD in the AL was a 6th place ranking in 2002! What a coincidence, that's the year before they started a decade long run of offensive and overall success.


This is the larger point I think. I get the sense that the Sox are doing something systematically that is wrong. I don't think it's as obviously stupid as "swing more!" but this gets back to my belief (hardly a unique one) that the management of this team is causing problems. I don't know what they are doing but I really feel that pretty much everyone below the level of owner and above the level of player on the org chart needs to go. Firing Tito was fine but they needed to bring in someone similar, putting Valentine into this mess was like giving a hyperactive 5 year old a box of pixie sticks and telling him to have at it.

For whatever reason the Sox are not fixing problems, they are just dragging them out. The walk rates, Beckett's first inning troubles, Lester's nightmare of a season, Buchholz' eternal issues with useless pick off throws. It feels like solutions should exist to these things but the staff responsible for fixing them are either incapable of identifying solutions or incapable of communicating those solutions to the players in an effective manner.

The alternative is that an entire team of players is dramatically worse than everyone thought. Tools guys, numbers guys, stat guys, whatever.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:21 AM (#4204062)
In fact the lack of walks has largely become a team wide issue, and it's contributing to the feast-or-famine nature of this year's offense.
I don't think there's any evidence that teams with low walk rates tend to underplay Pyth. The problem with the Red Sox offense isn't a "feast or famine" nature so much as it's a "not very good" nature. The Sox are 7th in the AL in OPS+. Since 2003, they were 3rd or better in OPS+ every year except 2006 (6th). That's the big problem the lack of walks are contributing to.

(This also seems like a piece of evidence for the injuries-killin'-us files. The main reason the offense has been poor is that the Sox have had to play lots of mediocre to poor players in lineup slots that were projected to be taken by stars.)
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:30 AM (#4204064)
His OBP won't be so great once he cools off a bit and/or stops having fortunate results in balls in play if he doesn't start walking again.
I don't see why we should be so doubtful about Gonzalez returning to career norms in good things (homers and walks), but so certain of Gonzalez returning to career norms in bad things (strikeouts, singles, and doubles).

If Gonzalez had a .330 BABIP over since July 1st, he'd be hitting 330/360/500 in that split. That's a weirdly low walk rate, but it's a very solid batting line. What he's doing is weird, but it's not merely a BABIP fluke - when you make contact all the time, and you're a good hitter, you can do a lot of damage even with a low walk rate and a low HR rate.

I also think that an Adrian Gonzalez in Fenway who's determined to be a high-average hitter can probably maintain a pretty high BABIP. .330 is just his career rate since he learned how to hit in SD. If you give him a .350 BABIP, his post-July split is 345/375/520.
   36. Dale Sams Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4204169)
Also Carl Crawford has a history of not particularly good plate discipline* and a baseball IQ of 12. Adrian Gonzalez history is that he's a God** and as far as I've seen, can do any damn thing he wants to at the plate***

*This season Carl has been...Carl. Then Lucky. Then Lucky with power. And now he's being a little selective, lucky and with power. I'd be satisfied if he were just average or a tad over.

**And I'm not an AGon synchophant.

***In San Diego he was a power hitter. He came here and became Wade Boggs with power (and Ichiro! for one ab). Then I have no idea what happened in the first half of 2012, but right now it looks like he's back to doing almost anything he wants.
   37. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:25 AM (#4204186)
and Ichiro! for one ab


If Gonzalez never does anything else in his Red Sox career that will still be worth the trade. One of my favorite moments the last several years.
   38. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:33 AM (#4204198)
One name I haven't heard mentioned a lot is Brad Mills. The Sox have had a ton of things go wrong; injuries, clubhouse issues, etc...since 2010 which was also the first year Mills was not part of Terry Francona's staff. I don't know what impact that had but it's one thing I notice is a constant during this stretch. I wonder if there was more of a Zimmer/Torre thing with those guys than we realized.
   39. jmurph Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:40 AM (#4204213)
I think I come here too frequently. I just saw this headline: "Can MOCA Survive Without Billionaire Eli Broad's Support?" and immediately thought of Matt Clement of Alexandria (MCoA).
   40. jmurph Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4204214)
Now, on the subject at hand, you guys should totally move to the DC area so that, when you are forced to give up on the Red Sox, you have a nice secondary Nats fandom to slide into. It's been nice.

EDIT: On the other hand, it's been over eleventy chillion degrees all summer, so don't make the move without considering that.
   41. SoSH U at work Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4204227)
(This also seems like a piece of evidence for the injuries-killin'-us files. The main reason the offense has been poor is that the Sox have had to play lots of mediocre to poor players in lineup slots that were projected to be taken by stars.)


What stars? They've had one guy hit like a star all season. Yes, he went down a while ago, but you were singing the injuries is killing us tune long before that (and they've been pretty much the exact same underwhelming unit since then as they were before).

The great players haven't been very good. The thoroughly healthy (well, not counting the worthless guys who were out before the season started) starting staff has been uniformly crappy. The Ellsbury injury hurt, no doubt. Papi's does now. But the reason this team has sucked is because they've earned it. Injuries have been a minor thing, in part because they generally got good play from the outfielders they plugged into the corners (not expected to be a team strength anyway), and Middlebrooks has been a pleasant surprise and probably isn't far off what a healthy Youks could have been expected to give us.


   42. Dan Posted: August 09, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4204716)
I don't think there's any evidence that teams with low walk rates tend to underplay Pyth. The problem with the Red Sox offense isn't a "feast or famine" nature so much as it's a "not very good" nature. The Sox are 7th in the AL in OPS+. Since 2003, they were 3rd or better in OPS+ every year except 2006 (6th). That's the big problem the lack of walks are contributing to.


The feast-or-famine part comes in the fact that despite the 7th OPS+, the team is 2nd in runs per game in the AL. So the hacktastic offense is scoring a lot of runs off of bad pitching, which makes the offense not seem like an issue to people who just look at the overall runs scored instead of looking at the actual components underlying that offensive performance. A casual fan or mainstream sports journalist would see the team as second in the AL in run scoring and say "well there's nothing wrong with the offense, it's just the pitching dragging this team down", when in reality the offense has been an issue as well.
   43. Vin Middle Posted: August 09, 2012 at 06:21 PM (#4204752)
Today is my daughters birthday. She turns 8. On aug 9 2004 the sox were 60-50 and out of the playoffs. Then the Curse Breaker was born. They went 38-14 the rest of the way and then, well.

A lot can still happen this season

I have hope for this team the rest of the way. I also have no hope at the same time
   44. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4204760)
Vin - have you thought about having another kid? :-)

And happy birthday to your daughter.
   45. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:26 PM (#4204806)
A year ago tonight, as we went to bed, the Red Sox had just won at Minnesota to move the Sox to 71-43!

And look how that turned out! Clearly, they are not going to make that mistake again.
   46. Dale Sams Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4204821)
I agree about the theory that the offense is somehow not as good as it looks. (Though they looked good against the Rangers yesterday) A combination of beating up bad pitchers and getting shut down by good ones, but I still don't think AGon has anything to do with it lately.

In a nutshell, a team that does this all season:

1-5
2-6
10-1

Will still be a 54-108 team with a 54+ run differential. Yes, I know this would never happen..and my math may be shoddy.
   47. villageidiom Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:21 PM (#4204847)
Jed Lowrie: 2.1 WAR (+1.9 offense, -0.1 defense, +0.3 position*)
Mike Aviles: 1.8 WAR (+0.1 offense, +1.1 defense, +0.6 position*)
Marco Scutaro: 0.4 WAR (+0.7 offense, -0.5 defense, +0.2 position*)

I was going to post this in the "Crap Trade" thread that is now closed, but are we still saying the Scutaro trade was a crap trade? (If we've moved to full-retrospect on the Youkilis trade, surely we can do that with Scutaro.) That thread mentioned the dumber-than-Marcels projection:

+3 Bat +1 Run +19 Rep +6 Pos -1 Def = +28 RAR = $14m player

The BB-Ref summary to date:

-9 Bat +4 Run +14 Rep +3 Pos -6 Def = +6 RAR = $3m player

...for the price of $4.5 million to date, and Clay Mortensen. It looks more like a crap trade from the other side now.


* BB-Ref WAR. They mention you can't add oWAR and dWAR, because it would double-count position adjustment. So I simply figured the position adjustment as oWAR + dWAR - WAR, then stripped the position adjustment out of both oWAR and dWAR, which both include it. It doesn't make sense to me that Aviles' position adjustment would be double Lowrie's, given they've played the same position but Aviles has logged not quite 50% more innings there. But that's what's there. Maybe it is really a rounding thing, like 0.34 for Lowrie vs. 0.55 for Aviles. Regardless, quibbling about the precision of the first decimal is probably pointless, never mind the second decimal.

- - - - -

On the subject of Lowrie, whose numbers I put above... Well, every day Aviles plays and produces something net positive while Lowrie is hurt is another day the Red Sox aren't missing Lowrie. I'm assuming Aviles will wear down as the season progresses, but I'm also assuming Lowrie will soon experience a setback in his recovery. This is a slightly interesting horse race, one that I didn't expect to be this close - but admittedly, I'd expected Lowrie to be on the sidelines more than he's been, which is really the only way it could have ever been close.

The issue with the Lowrie trade isn't as much that he'd be leagues more valuable than Aviles (or Scutaro), but that they only got Melancon in return**. I'm not going to try to defend Melancon despite his cherry-picked six-week run of 1.05 ERA, because he has been bad on occasion, and when Melancon is bad he makes 2012 Beckett look like an ace by comparison. For much of this season Melancon has been filling out low-leverage innings - late and down by 4 or ahead by 9 - so it's pretty easy to discount even his successes. Time*** will tell if he can be trusted with higher leverage, but right now he can't be, and he's replaceable.

In a separate thread I commented earlier today that I think Cherington would rather sell off lottery tickets than hold them. Although I brought up the lottery ticket analogy regarding Youkilis, and also thought of Scutaro, Lowrie might fit the analogy better. The perception of Lowrie at the time of the trade was that he wouldn't stay healthy long enough to deliver the value he was clearly skilled enough to produce. Rather than take his chances, Cherington would rather make it someone else's problem. Maybe that's what happened with Lowrie.

Regardless, I think if you're liberal enough with it you can describe any player as a lottery ticket. There are no guarantees. However, with Youkilis and Lowrie the lottery was (I think) based largely on health. With Scutaro it was age - which I suppose you could classify as health, but in a different way. So it's not just any uncertainty he's willing to walk away from. OTOH, it's not like the team has a shortage of health-related lottery tickets.

**This appears to be a recurring theme. It might warrant its own thread, but let's wait until the offseason.

***Free agent in 2017. We have a lot of time here.

- - - - -

Yes, I recognize "The Long Nothing" could be the theme of this post.
   48. Dan Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4204853)
The thing that I don't understand about dumping Lowrie due to considering him undependable and only expecting him to give you 80-100 games in a good year is that Cherington then turned around and paid a huge price for a closer who is constantly hurt and only pitches around 40 innings per year.

And I feel like a team with a guy like Aviles on the roster seems like a perfect team to use Lowrie as a starting SS, since Aviles can step in when Lowrie inevitably loses some time to injury.
   49. Dale Sams Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:35 PM (#4204860)
I'm surprised that even a SS with a 79 OPS+ (and one who appears to have been C+/B- on defense) could accumulate that much WAR.
   50. Darren Posted: August 09, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4204878)
I also think that an Adrian Gonzalez in Fenway who's determined to be a high-average hitter can probably maintain a pretty high BABIP. .330 is just his career rate since he learned how to hit in SD. If you give him a .350 BABIP, his post-July split is 345/375/520.


After he learned to hit and before his shoulder injury in early 2010, he was well below 330 BABIP. Since then, I think he's adjusted and seen it rise. I don't think it's sustainable. I don't see how a slow, lumbering guy who was a power hitter and doesn't walk can keep up a 330 BABIP. Even if he could it would make his line considerably worse than the superstar he's being paid like.

I don't see Gonzalez being worth his deal unless he regains his power and patience.
   51. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4204945)
Look. I respect that you guys have seen him a lot more than me, and I respect your analysis of the situation.

But look at the OPS+ numbers on this page. He had a .957 OPS last year for this team.

If this isn't the bb-ref page of a $20 million dollar guy, I don't know what is.
   52. villageidiom Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:43 PM (#4204954)
The thing that I don't understand about dumping Lowrie due to considering him undependable and only expecting him to give you 80-100 games in a good year is that Cherington then turned around and paid a huge price for a closer who is constantly hurt and only pitches around 40 innings per year.
I try not to look at every deal through the lens of the Reddick/Bailey trade. It gives me the sad face.

Agreed, though. If you're trying to cut back on health issues, doubling down on the same doesn't seem wise. On one hand, he's a reliever, so he's more replaceable than a SS if he gets hurt. OTOH, if he's so replaceable, you don't give up Josh Reddick for him. And that's even if he's Josh Reddick and not JOSH REDDICK.
I'm surprised that even a SS with a 79 OPS+ (and one who appears to have been C+/B- on defense) could accumulate that much WAR.
If I understand it correctly, a 79 OPS+ is slightly below average for a SS, and average for a SS is significantly above replacement. Pretty much by virtue of going out there every day, being slightly below average for a SS with the bat, and being equivalently above average for a SS with the glove, he's returning value.

The defensive metrics are hard to put much faith in for a partial season. But what they lack in precision they're making up in consistency. They are all pointing to Aviles having a good year with the glove. I've seen him make enough plays this season on grounders to the right of 2B - and I don't mean on the shift - to think he's doing something right this year. I'm shocked every time he does it, because I wouldn't have expected it of him at all.
   53. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4204966)
Also, by OPS+, Adrian has pulled even with that guy from New York - Mark Tex-Mex or something.
   54. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4204967)
Accordin to Robothal the sox have signed Podsednik to a major league contract. Not sure there is a better way to describe the 2012 season than by saying "the Boston Red Sox have acquired Scott Podsednik...twice."
   55. Textbook Editor Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:16 AM (#4205005)

Accordin to Robothal the sox have signed Podsednik to a major league contract. Not sure there is a better way to describe the 2012 season than by saying "the Boston Red Sox have acquired Scott Podsednik...twice."


[bangs head]

[throws chair]

[shakes fist at the heavens]

Why hast thou forsaken me?
   56. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4205013)
Accordin to Robothal the sox have signed Podsednik to a major league contract. Not sure there is a better way to describe the 2012 season than by saying "the Boston Red Sox have acquired Scott Podsednik...twice."

Now I'm one of the least knowledgeable stats guys on this site, but I don't see how this can help...at all.
   57. karlmagnus Posted: August 10, 2012 at 07:58 AM (#4205062)
They have, as free agents available Derek Lowe, Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez

And their big priority is to sign Podsednik again

And send down Kalish, who's supposed to be the future of the franchise and to promote whom they already traded Josh Reddick.

Since this is Lucchino, presumably, it shows again that we desperately need new owners.

Frank McCourt, where are you now that we need you?

   58. jmurph Posted: August 10, 2012 at 08:44 AM (#4205079)
I'm surprised that even a SS with a 79 OPS+ (and one who appears to have been C+/B- on defense) could accumulate that much WAR.


I'm with you on this. I just don't buy it, and I really hope he's not penciled in as the starting SS for next season.
   59. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: August 10, 2012 at 09:06 AM (#4205088)
I'm surprised that even a SS with a 79 OPS+ (and one who appears to have been C+/B- on defense) could accumulate that much WAR.
TZ rates Mike Aviles as a gold glove quality defender (that +1.1 is +1.1 wins, or +11 runs). A gold glove shortstop with an 80 OPS+ is going to be a bit above average, a solid contributor. The issue with Aviles is that he's really not a gold glove defender, and if he isn't, then he isn't very good. The biggest need the Sox have over the offseason is a new shortstop. (Or a new management structure, but things we can measure first.)

On Scutaro, it should be noted that most of ST disagreed with me, most of y'all thought Scutaro was cooked as a defensive player, so the Sox needed to replace him. That appears to have been correct.
   60. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4205100)
Didn't the Giants play him at 3rd the other night? Not that is proof or anything.
   61. villageidiom Posted: August 10, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4205122)
Didn't the Giants play him at 3rd the other night? Not that is proof or anything.
It's proof that Sandoval is out. Scutaro went from Plan A at SS for Boston to Plan B (or C?) at 3B for the Giants.
On Scutaro, it should be noted that most of ST disagreed with me, most of y'all thought Scutaro was cooked as a defensive player, so the Sox needed to replace him. That appears to have been correct.
...You're saying this based on half a season of defensive stats?! ;-)

To be fair, the argument in support of Scutaro wasn't so much that he was defensively cooked, but that he likely wasn't so defensively cooked that it would offset his excellent bat. His demise this season is more because he's below his offensive projection, which wasn't really a big part of the counterargument.

I'm really hooked on the "how do you know when a player is done?" question, and the Scutaro trade is a good example of that. They were willing to pay him $6 million, and they were willing to trade him away, which appear to be conflicting actions. At the time a compelling argument could be made either way: that he was done, or that he was a very valuable player.

But I'll set aside that question again to resurrect something else I'd asked a few threads ago, given that the future shortstop question has come up. Who is more likely the 2013 starting shortstop for Boston: Jose Iglesias or Pedro Ciriaco?
   62. Darren Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4205142)
They were willing to pay him $6 million, and they were willing to trade him away, which appear to be conflicting actions. At the time a compelling argument could be made either way: that he was done, or that he was a very valuable player.


My reading of it was that they were never willing to pay him the $6 mil. ($4.5 mil, really), but felt that they could pick up the option and, at worst, unload the contract.
   63. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4205164)
But I'll set aside that question again to resurrect something else I'd asked a few threads ago, given that the future shortstop question has come up. Who is more likely the 2013 starting shortstop for Boston: Jose Iglesias or Pedro Ciriaco?


Ciriaco, because 1 is infinitly more than 0.
   64. Textbook Editor Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:34 AM (#4205171)
How bad is Ciriaco with the glove? I mean, I can deal with bad if he hits/gets on base more than Aviles. I've not seen him in the field enough to know whether or not he'd be a disaster.
   65. jmurph Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4205181)
Who is more likely the 2013 starting shortstop for Boston: Jose Iglesias or Pedro Ciriaco?


Oh my god, this question has me starting to feel hopeless about 2013, too.
   66. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4205187)
I love Siri. But I'm sure management lumps him in the category of "Hot hand now, ride it, then sayonara when it ends". For myself, I think he's better on the basepaths (last night notwithstanding), better with the glove and can't be worse offensively than Aviles.*

But you know management. They'd rather spend millions on a vet than use a cheap min-wage player. (See Reddick v. Ross)

*But if he did start in 2013??? How cool a story would that be? He would have gone from "(in spring training) Hey, who is this guy? Any chance he makes the bench or we can trade him for something? None? Well, okay. That sucks, cause he sure looks good." to "Starting SS in 2013".

Edit: I should acknowledge that Ross is crushing lefties and is a monster at home...but splits are splits and Reddick (this year at least) has no appreciable ones.
   67. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4205209)
It might be interesting if the Red Sox were to have an actual long-term solution at SS, instead of an expensive rental, a crappy veteran, or an adequate-ish scrapheap pickup.
   68. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4205217)
How bad is Ciriaco with the glove? I mean, I can deal with bad if he hits/gets on base more than Aviles. I've not seen him in the field enough to know whether or not he'd be a disaster.


His glove is considered his strong suit. The offense has been all bonus, this is a guy with a sub-.700 minor league OPS in his career. Any benefit the Sox should expect from him is entirely wrapped up in speed and defense. He's well above average defensively.
   69. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4205254)
See...this is why baseball GMs are screwed up IMO. Daniel Nava would probably be a better DH than...let's be pessimistic...three teams DHs.

MIke Aviles will end up with near 3 WAR. Given an entire season, it's not unreasonable to see Ciriaco with 4 WAR. Elvis Andrus will end up with about 4.4 WAR.

Elvis Andrus will make 11 million for the next two years and a huge part of RSN are clamoring to trade Ellsbury (gnarf) for him.

I would bet there is almost 0 interest around MLB for Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco. Maybe Ciriaco could catch on as a utility infielder (and I know a lot of people right now are saying "That's all he is!")

It's just a damn shame and terribly inefficient.
   70. Swedish Chef Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4205277)
I would bet there is almost 0 interest around MLB for Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco.

Of course, they all know just about any player can hit .340 in 87 PA.
   71. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 11:56 AM (#4205295)
Of course, they all know just about any player can hit .340 in 87 PA.


But they pay vets millions and millions to suck. If you're going to take a flyer, wouldn't it be better to pay almost nothing instead of millions. Yunel Escobar makes 5 mill. Jhonny Peralta makes 5.5 mill. Delmon Young makes 6.5 mill to provide negative WAR at DH. Pedro Ciriaco and Daniel Nava are not going to give you negative WAR.

If you were Tigers GM, you wouldn't try and save 13 mill next year by trying to trade 2 B prospects for Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco? Seems like a good idea to me.

   72. Swedish Chef Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4205304)
If you were Tigers GM, you wouldn't try and save 13 mill next year by trying to trade 2 B prospects for Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco? Seems like a good idea to me.

I would probably just try the two B prospects in the major league team.
   73. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:42 PM (#4205341)
Pedro Ciriaco and Daniel Nava are not going to give you negative WAR.

If you were Tigers GM, you wouldn't try and save 13 mill next year by trying to trade 2 B prospects for Daniel Nava and Pedro Ciriaco? Seems like a good idea to me.


I think there is a very real chance that Nava or Ciriaco would give you negative WAR. Both of these guys have fairly sizable holes in their games (Nava less so with his improved defense). Despite that I agree with the general point that a lot of teams would do well to give guys like this a shot. The problem is that a guy like Ciriaco is probably as likely to put up a .500 OPS next year as he is to perform at a level that would approach a reasonable forecast for an Aviles or Peralta.

Nava simlarly is a player who has value but could collapse. In 2010 he had an OPS of .858 pre-ASB and .568 post-ASB. This year he's .815 and .500 (assorted sample size warnings apply of course). It wouldn't shock me that we're looking at a player who can help but when playing often is eventually figured out by the league. I like him a lot but a no speed, no power, mediocre glove man on a corner outfield is not exciting to me.
   74. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4205345)
Maybe I don't watch enough games, but Aviles has looked very good defensively. Very good range coupled with a strong arm. Is this way off base? Am I missing something?

Also, Scutaro was assumed to be toast defensively at SS because of his arm. Note that the Rockies traded for him to be their 2bman.
   75. Dan Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4205350)
Given an entire season, it's not unreasonable to see Ciriaco with 4 WAR.


There is no chance in hell that Pedro Ciriaco will ever post a 4 WAR season in the major leagues. This is a ridiculous statement.
   76. Dan Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4205351)
But I'll set aside that question again to resurrect something else I'd asked a few threads ago, given that the future shortstop question has come up. Who is more likely the 2013 starting shortstop for Boston: Jose Iglesias or Pedro Ciriaco?


If either of those players are the starting SS, then it is a sign that the Red Sox aren't serious about contending in 2013.
   77. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4205356)
There is no chance in hell that Pedro Ciriaco will ever post a 4 WAR season in the major leagues. This is a ridiculous statement.


You don't think he's better with the glove, and on the basepaths and possibly equal offensively to the (at the end of the season) 3.0 WAR 79 OPS+ Aviles?

Edit: Can we at least agree that Punto should be punted and Ciriaco kept as at least the utility IF?
   78. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4205369)
God, people are still citing to defense-heavy WAR in support of anything? I LOLed.
   79. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4205376)
Ciriaco could easily be the "longest-necked player to have 3 WAR in a season", which is every boy's baseball dream.
   80. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4205392)
You don't think he's better with the glove, and on the basepaths and possibly equal offensively to the (at the end of the season) 3.0 WAR 79 OPS+ Aviles?


Over a season I bet Ciriaco would be worse defensively than Aviles is this year, marginally better on the basepaths and slightly worse at the plate.
   81. villageidiom Posted: August 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4205393)
How bad is Ciriaco with the glove? I mean, I can deal with bad if he hits/gets on base more than Aviles. I've not seen him in the field enough to know whether or not he'd be a disaster.
He is nigh-Iglesian with the glove.

EDIT: All minor-league scouting suggests what I'm asserting here; I am not basing it on what I've seen from him. The only thing that kept him from being top-rated in the league at SS is that he's now in the same org as Iglesias and got moved to 2B. (Now he's the top defensive 2B in the IL.) When he was in the Pirates' system he got Iglesian reviews on defense.
   82. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4205426)
Let's just keep Aviles and Siri, and let em fight it out in ST.

edit: So he's got Iglesias glove, Aviles bat and is better than both on the basepaths? Sounds like an MLB starter to me. Also, let's keep in mind right now Ciriacos LD rate is 31% compared to Aviles 19%. It's not like Ciriaco is beating out a bunch of bleeders.
   83. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:32 PM (#4205440)
Over a season I bet Ciriaco would be worse defensively than Aviles is this year, marginally better on the basepaths and slightly worse at the plate.
Pedro Ciriaco does not have Mike Aviles' bat, except maybe in the literal sense that he could go up to the plate with a bat made for Mike Aviles.

Aviles is no great shakes offensively, but he's a guy with a career Major League Baseball OPS of .722. The highest OPS Pedro Ciriaco has recored at any Minor League level is .686, and that was Double-A at age 23. He is having an nice little streak here, maybe (at age 26) he's matured into a better hitter than he was previously. But he is not now and never will be an acceptable Major League quality hitter.

If a team just loves his D, and is willing to run him out there on the Rey Ordonez plan, then God bless 'em. But the idea that he will deliver 4 wins of performance above replacement level is, frankly, totally insane.
   84. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:43 PM (#4205455)
He is having an nice little streak here, maybe (at age 26) he's matured into a better hitter than he was previously.

Hey, he was even having a career year in AAA (.724 OPS).

But he is not now and never will be an acceptable Major League quality hitter.

He's now got a 124 OPS+ spread out over three "seasons." Maybe the Major League teams should dig up some of those AAA scouting reports.
   85. Dan Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4205460)
Pedro Ciriaco is the definition of a replacement player. It's nice that he's had a hot streak timed with his promotion to the majors this season, but he is not going to post 4 WAR seasons. He is not going to post 3 WAR seasons. He is not the starting SS for a team with aspirations of contending for the playoffs.
   86. Dan Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4205462)
edit: So he's got Iglesias glove, Aviles bat and is better than both on the basepaths? Sounds like an MLB starter to me. Also, let's keep in mind right now Ciriacos LD rate is 31% compared to Aviles 19%. It's not like Ciriaco is beating out a bunch of bleeders.


Exactly 0 of those 3 statements are true.
   87. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4205467)
He's now got a 124 OPS+ spread out over three "seasons."


Or over 124 PA. take your pick.
   88. Dan Posted: August 10, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4205468)
EDIT: All minor-league scouting suggests what I'm asserting here; I am not basing it on what I've seen from him. The only thing that kept him from being top-rated in the league at SS is that he's now in the same org as Iglesias and got moved to 2B. (Now he's the top defensive 2B in the IL.) When he was in the Pirates' system he got Iglesian reviews on defense.


If this is true, then why did the Pirates and Diamondbacks play him frequently at 2B, even starting at high A ball in 2008? They clearly didn't believe he should only be displaced at SS by an exceptional defender. Exceptional SS defenders don't get moved off SS until or unless they're determined to be future utility players in the high minors. Guys like Iglesias, Andrus, Alcides Escobar, Rey Ordoñez, etc. who are top notch defensive talents play SS almost exclusively in the minor leagues.
   89. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4205482)
There are six shortstops hitting .676 OPS or lower. Brandon Crawford has a .626. With his nigh-elite glove, good baserunning and whatever he gives you at the plate...Pedro Ciriaco is not better than Brandon Crawford?
   90. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:13 PM (#4205496)
If this is true, then why did the Pirates and Diamondbacks


This 'appeal to authority ' argument should never be used by sentient baseball fans again. The ridiculous presumption that 'all GMs and baseball FOs are smarter than us' has been contradicted so many times by mounds of evidence, it's not even funny.

Dan, if you want to make the argument that 'everyone has a woobie, and they either get hurt or fall back to what 99% of us said they would'. That these Shane Spencers never work out. That's an argument, but "Why did X organization" makes me laugh.

IN A NUTSHELL, the heart of my argument* is the position and the depressed enviroment warrant letting Ciriaco play everyday until he proves he's worse than the available options. My eye and the scouting reports say he has a great glove. My eye says he's good on the basepaths (minor league steal rates) say Im wrong. And my eye and stats say he hits a crapload of line drives. I think he's better than Aviles overall. And certainly better than Nick ####### Punto.

*And the theory that organizations should stop spending millions on old vets that might have a little gas left, and should spend pennies on guys that at worst will give you good defense and might even have a streaky bat. Remember, the knock on Lowrie at first wasn't that he was injury-prone, it was 'we just don't think he's that good'...and then it was that he was injury-prone.
   91. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4205510)
There are six shortstops hitting .676 OPS or lower. Brandon Crawford has a .626. With his nigh-elite glove, good baserunning and whatever he gives you at the plate...Pedro Ciriaco is not better than Brandon Crawford?


That's not exactly setting the bar high. The Sox should absolutely be aiming a lot higher than Brandon Crawford as their starting shortstop.


Also, let's keep in mind right now Ciriacos LD rate is 31% compared to Aviles 19%. It's not like Ciriaco is beating out a bunch of bleeders.



It's 85 at bats, he's got a .406 BABIP and has walked once in 87 plate appearances.
   92. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4205511)
Brandon Crawford has a .626. With his nigh-elite glove, good baserunning and whatever he gives you at the plate...Pedro Ciriaco is not better than Brandon Crawford?
At the risk of being a smart-ass, did you throw out your back moving the goalposts like that? Brandon Crawford isn't a 4 WAR player either. Maybe Ciriaco is better than him, or maybe he's not. They're probably roughly interchangeable. Both are players serious contending teams should not be running out at shortstop.
   93. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:22 PM (#4205515)
I, and the rest of the universe, agree he lacks patience...but also what must be considered is the league is still in "You don't want me to challenge this guy? Are you nuts? Look at him. I'm blowing this guy off the map. Pedro Ciriaco. I don't even know who that is."...mode. Or as Ellsbury said a few years ago, "I can't walk if they keep throwing me strikes".

I respect your guys opinions. We can't agree that he should at least be the utility IF in 2013?

At the risk of being a smart-ass, did you throw out your back moving the goalposts like that? Brandon Crawford isn't a 4 WAR player either. Maybe Ciriaco is better than him, or maybe he's not. They're probably roughly interchangeable. Both are players serious contending teams should not be running out at shortstop.


My point was that there are at least a handful of players who are stinking up the position every day...for contenders. So if these guys are MLB starting players...why is 'in no way, shape or form' Ciriaco not an mlb quality starting SS?
   94. Dan Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4205521)
I would prefer them to retain Punto.
   95. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4205522)
I respect your guys opinions. We can't agree that he should at least be the utility IF in 2013?


You never argued he should be a utility IF in 2013. I love Ciriaco as a UIF next year. He's got speed and a great glove. I'll take that off the bench all year. If he's getting 500 PA over 125 games, something is very wrong though.
   96. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4205527)
If this is true, then why did the Pirates and Diamondbacks play him frequently at 2B, even starting at high A ball in 2008?


Maybe because he never hit a lick, and they figured his future was as a BUI so he'd better get used to playing 2B as well as SS?
   97. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4205533)
This 'appeal to authority ' argument should never be used by sentient baseball fans again. The ridiculous presumption that 'all GMs and baseball FOs are smarter than us' has been contradicted so many times by mounds of evidence, it's not even funny.

I totally disagree with this. When you are talking about an organization evaluating the defense of their own players, I will absolutely weigh their evaluations more significantly than a BA scouting report. Its the defensive scouting reports on minor leaguers that have been contradicted so many times by mounds of evidence that it's not even funny.
   98. Dale Sams Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4205545)
I still think there's some bias going on here. If his name was "Jose Iglesias" a substantial number of people would be perfectly satisfied with a .680 OPS or more....crowing "We get 5 more years of this!!" everytime he made a good defensive play, and amazed at the hot streak he was on.
   99. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4205548)
Dale - I think the problem, at least my problem with him, is that " I don't think he can out up a .680 OPS. I think he will be well south of that. With his speed and defense if he has a .680 OPS he is a starter. I question about it.
   100. Dan Posted: August 10, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4205550)
Ciriaco is a decent, perhaps even good SS. He is not in Iglesias's league. Ciriaco has above average range, above average arm, but he isn't very sure-handed and he doesn't make the glove to throwing hand transfer especially quickly. If you watch Iglesias field SS and watch Ciriaco field SS, the thing you need to pay attention to is how quickly Iglesias goes from getting a ball into his glove to transferring it to his throwing hand to getting off a good throw. He is far better at this than Ciriaco is, and that's why Iglesias is a top-notch defender at SS while Ciriaco is not, even though Ciriaco has good range and a good arm.
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