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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: May 27, 2006 at 05:26 PM (#2039802)
Youks absolutely has to hit 2nd. The times Papi/Manny would get to hit with runners on would skyrocket (or rather be about the same as it is now), Loretta's hot streak or
not.
   2. Joel W Posted: May 27, 2006 at 05:44 PM (#2039827)
Darren,

With Coco back, how much does this team really rely on a strong middle of the order? I see only 1 or 2 weak links in Gonzalez and for right now at least, Varitek. Is this really that much different than last year's lineup?
   3. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: May 27, 2006 at 06:03 PM (#2039852)
Although when playing the Yankees, I think they should bat Loretta first, second, and fifth.

Personally, I like dropping Crisp, maybe even to the nine spot if Francona likes the "circular lineup" thing. I disagree with Darren's assertion that Coco is "one of the better hitters on the team" - I think he's average-ish for a good offensive team like Boston.
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:01 PM (#2040018)
With Coco back, how much does this team really rely on a strong middle of the order? I see only 1 or 2 weak links in Gonzalez and for right now at least, Varitek. Is this really that much different than last year's lineup?
Last year's lineup relied heavily on a strong middle of the order. Papi and Manny were both at ~1000 OPS, while everyone else slotted in between 700-850.

It's not that Mueller, Wily Mo, Varitek and Nixon are weak links, per se, but that they're just not nearly as good as Manny and Papi. The difference in the quality of hte hitters in what makes lineup construction important, not the overall quality of hte players. (insofar as lineup construction is "important")

I guess one question that comes up here is - how good is Youks, really? Right now, he's either the 2nd or 3rd best 1B in the league (depending on Giambi's position.) Youkilis has an atypically high BABIP (.380), but he's done a really nice job of cutting down on strikeouts while still drawing walks and making good contact, which has allowed him to remain way above expectations even as the BABIP has regressed.

If Youks is actually a 420/480 hitter, dropping him in the lineup is a bad idea. If he's really a 370/430 guy, as was more his preseason expectation, it's not a particularly big deal. Somewhere in between, I don't know.

It all depends on the run value of lineup construction, and it seems like no one non-Pujols player can make a difference more than maybe 5-7 runs over a season. So I guess, like Darren said, it's not a huge deal. But if Youks is really this good, it seems dumb to even give away those couple runs.
   5. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:13 PM (#2040055)
Mueller?
   6. Toby Posted: May 27, 2006 at 08:43 PM (#2040126)
"And although batting order generally means very little, wouldn’t it be most important on a team that relies so heavily on a strong middle of the order?"

Isn't this somewhat cyclical?
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 27, 2006 at 09:08 PM (#2040163)
Mueller?
He was on the 2005 team I was saying relied on Manny and Papi.
"And although batting order generally means very little, wouldn’t it be most important on a team that relies so heavily on a strong middle of the order?"

Isn't this somewhat cyclical?
I don't think so. The point is that if you have particularly strong hitters in hte middle of the order, compared to the rest of your lineup, it matters more how good your 1-2 hitters are. He wasn't talking about where to bat Manny and Papi, he was talking about who should bat in front of Manny and Papi.
   8. Darren Posted: May 28, 2006 at 03:16 AM (#2040668)
But if Youks is really this good, it seems dumb to even give away those couple runs.

On this point, I would say that there is some chance that Youks really is this good, and at worst, he's probably a wash with Loretta. Keeping him 2nd can either make a big positive difference or no difference. Dropping him to, say, 8th would either make a big negative difference or no difference.

MCoA has explained my reasoning about being dependent on a strong middle of the order. Those guys are great, much better than the rest of the lineup, even if the rest of the lineup's good.

Do people think that Lowell is anywhere near for real? I can't believe this guy is the albatross the Sox had to take in order to get Beckett. It's amazing.
   9. Darren Posted: May 28, 2006 at 03:40 AM (#2040676)
I disagree with Darren's assertion that Coco is "one of the better hitters on the team"

Maybe I went too far. I should have said that his hitting was "one of the many good hitters on the team..." Same point overall, though. Putting him at leadoff isn't likely to have a big downside.
   10. JB H Posted: May 28, 2006 at 08:42 AM (#2040783)
Crisp really should be batting either behind Nixon or Lowell. Despite being a speedy outfielder, he's better at driving in runs than he is at scoring them. His speed is also more valuable when he's batting in front of the bottom/top of the order than when he's batting in front of the middle of it.

I don't really care too much though. Not having Wily Mo in center or Mohr and Harris at the plate is what matters
   11. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: May 28, 2006 at 09:23 AM (#2040789)
Not having Wily Mo in center or Mohr and Harris at the plate is what matters


FWIW, Pena hasn't been that bad in center. His ZR has been respectable but below average while his RF has been good. BPro has him as 2 runs above average for whatever that's worth. Sample sizes aren't anywhere close to meaningful, of course.
   12. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 28, 2006 at 12:48 PM (#2040804)
Coco Crisp will most likely have a lower OBP but a higher SLG than Mark Loretta right?

And Tek is just STONE COLD lately. It seems like Mike Lowell is constantly leading off innings.

Here's my lineup btw:

Youkilis
Nixon
Ramirez
Ortiz
Crisp
Lowell
Varitek (WAKE UP!!!!)
Loretta
Cora

Bench:
Wily Mo
Choi
Pena
Stern
Seabass

Against LHP

Youkilis
Loretta
Ortiz
Ramirez
Crisp
Lowell
Wily Mo
Tek
Seabass

bench:
Trot
Choi
Stern
Cora
   13. John DiFool2 Posted: May 28, 2006 at 01:06 PM (#2040809)
Youks' career OBP just hit .400 last night, which covers about a season's worth of PAs. So even if he
regresses a little in BABIP, that is still 2nd best on this team...
   14. Buster Olney the Lonely Posted: May 28, 2006 at 03:44 PM (#2040835)
<a href="http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060528&c>Coco's in the lineup today</a>
   15. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 28, 2006 at 04:09 PM (#2040848)
Makes sense. If Wily Mo's not healthy, then even Coco at 80%, still getting his rhythm back, will be better at the plate than Willie Harris. (how disappointing has Harris been? He seems to be incapable of making good contact on a mediocre fastball. I thought we were getting a guy who could hit enough singles and triples that his glove and legs would make him a solid bench contributor, but he looks like a pure defensive replacement / pinch-runner instead.)

It'll be interesting to see if Coco leads off. I doubt he's at full strength yet, so this might present an opportunity to bat him lower in the order for a bit.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 28, 2006 at 04:13 PM (#2040850)
Scratch that. Herald says Coco's leading off.
   17. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 28, 2006 at 04:38 PM (#2040862)
FREE ADAM STERN
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 28, 2006 at 04:43 PM (#2040865)
WHY?
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: May 28, 2006 at 04:57 PM (#2040874)
There are a couple of things that need to be addressed.

First, Mark Loretta will be able to hit line drives and get on base for several more years. Nobody notices but the man is a career .300 hitter, has been good to very good just about every year of his career, and if not for injury would likely have made a LOT more money in this business. That and being on the Brewers at their absolute nadir. I'm glad he was able to escape and not have the stain of that organization end his career prematurely.

The problem, if you want to call it that, with Loretta is that he looks so plain out there. Hits line drives, plainly. Draws walks, plainly. Turn the double play, plainly. Just quietly effective. If the Bosox have the sense to leave him in the number 2 spot in the lineup in front of Ortiz/Ramirez/etc. he could score 100 runs just by being Mark Loretta.

The Wily Mo Can't Play Defense thing is the result of image versus results. Wily Mo Pena certainly does not LOOK like a centerfielder. And every so often he does something that looks awkward if not really dumb. But the fact is the guy is better then ok out there. I know folks won't believe me. How can a 250 pound man play centerfield? Well I'm telling you he can no matter what Marty B. (Reds announcer) or the idiots on ESPN may state. And along with solid range he has an excellent arm and is willing to challenge any wall. In fact, in a collision between Wily Mo and an outfield fence my money's on Wily.

I think folks are falling into the trap of preconceived notions. 'Cause Wily Mo Pena is a MUCH better player then folks in Boston have even begun to imagine. If somebody can ever find the time to give him 500 at bats in a season and be patient through the slumps the payoff will be quite handsome. As in 40 homers plus handsome.......
   20. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 28, 2006 at 05:24 PM (#2040936)
WHY?

What, you want to see more of Willy Harris?
   21. PJ Martinez Posted: May 28, 2006 at 06:50 PM (#2041153)
From SoSH: "Per Don Orsillo, the original line-up had Coco batting 6th, but it was changed around due to Manny being out."
   22. Redlegs & Red Sox Posted: May 28, 2006 at 07:40 PM (#2041354)
I think HW is onto something here. WMP is an everyday caliber player. When Coco was out, and they let WMP play, we were starting to see the dividends of WMP's increased plate appearances, and his defense was very good.

When WMP returns from the DL, I would like to see him start 3 or 4 out of 5 games. 1 at CF, 1 or 2 at RF and 1 at LF for the aging Manny.

Actually, I would like to see WMP in CF for all of those games and let Coco move around. According to BPro, WMP's rate is 111 over 22 AdjGames...that is markedly better than Coco's 89 rate for all of last year in CF. I know small sample size applies, but WMP's career in CF is 109. Again much better than Coco.

The odd man out, really should be Nixon. He is a solid player, but with much less upside than either Coco or WMP.

That said, what a nice position to be in...Boston has too many good players to give them all enough playing time. Give Theo credit for building a very deep team.
   23. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 28, 2006 at 10:26 PM (#2041654)
Please, no "WMP". You'll make me angry. Wily Mo is one of the best names in baseball. It's not difficult to type. WMP is not a nickname.

In terms of the analysis, I do not trust BP's defensive stats at all - nor any other non-PBP metric, for that matter. Based on ZR, UZR, and Dewan's plus/minus, Coco and Nixon are above average fielders, and Pena is below average. It's possible that Coco is better in left than in center, and Wily Mo definitely appears better in center than in right, but even with that acknowledged Crisp would be the superior defensive CF.

I agree that the Sox will need to find time for Wily Mo when he returns from the DL, but I would not sit any of the current OF in favor of Wily Mo right now. Hopefully he can get a couple starts a week, vs. lefties for Nixon and occasionally for Coco in CF. More likely than not, someone will get injured again and it'll be moot.

Pena's value lies in his future more than his present, and so the Sox need to get him in the game for his development more than for his production. I think they can do that.
   24. PJ Martinez Posted: May 29, 2006 at 08:40 PM (#2042579)
R Youkilis
R Loretta
R Ramirez
L Ortiz
R Lowell
S Crisp
L Nixon
S Varitek
R Gonzalez

Is it possible that Crisp's switch-hitting ability is keeping him atop the order? Handedness aside, that order is pretty much what I'd like to see, but that's a lot of righties at the top. (Of course, that's partly because I switched Ramirez and Ortiz, since Manny seems the better on-base bet at this point.) Does that matter at all? It seems like less of an issue than a bunch of lefties in a row, since I would imagine (incorrectly?) that there are fewer ROOGYs than LOOGYs out there.
   25. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: May 29, 2006 at 09:35 PM (#2042614)
The Lineup Analysis Machine sez (using the 58/04 model and the 06 O/S lines for everybody but Crisp. Crisp gets his 05/06 lines combined)

Best Lineup (which would score 6.077 runs per game)

Trot Nixon, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkillis, Mike Lowell, Jason Varitek, Mark Loretta, Coco Crisp, Alex Gonzalez

The Worst Lineup (5.613 runs per game)

Crisp, Gonzalez, Nixon, Varitek, Loretta, Ramirez, Ortiz, Youkillis, Lowell

The 98/02 model produces a lineup with would 'produce 6.2 runs a game', which is Nixon, Ramirez, Varitek, Lowell, Youkillis, Ortiz, Crisp, Gonzalez, Loretta.

Yeah..

I don't think that will happen.
   26. villageidiom Posted: May 30, 2006 at 12:58 PM (#2043696)
And although batting order generally means very little, wouldn’t it be most important on a team that relies so heavily on a strong middle of the order?

How many teams don't rely heavily on a strong middle of the order?
   27. Redlegs & Red Sox Posted: May 30, 2006 at 04:58 PM (#2043873)
Ok, I'll drop the WMP in favor of Wily Mo Pena or at least Wily Mo.

But, not the debate about how often he should start. You are right that someone (read Trot Nixon) will probably get hurt and make this point moot, but I think Wily Mo as a total player is probably a better bet than Nixon.

The defensive stats (no matter whose you use) suggest, at a minimum that Crisp, Nixon and Wily Mo are not that far apart in defensive ability. Notwithstanding the UZR (I thought he stopped doing this after 2004?), BPro and the probablistic model of range both say Crisp is a below avg. CF while Wily Mo is above average.

All three are also very good hitters, but Nixon loses because as a 32 year old, he has much less upside.
   28. cal Posted: May 30, 2006 at 11:15 PM (#2044362)
Dave Pauley is starting on Wewdnesday. Umm, I would not have picked that one. Link Here
   29. Darren Posted: May 31, 2006 at 02:34 AM (#2045025)
So it seems that Francona's decision on the batting order question is not to actually decide on the batting order. To wit: his initial announcement was that Coco would bat leadoff immediately, which he did... for one game. The next day he dropped him to 8th, saying that he wanted to get him some ABs (12+) to get his feet wet. And a whole one day later, Coco was back in the leadoff spot. Pretty much any choice would have been defensible, but when you strat contradicting yourself on a daily basis, you look stupid.

(cal, you should submit that news item the "submit a link" feature." That way it can get its own thread, which it deserves.)
   30. Xander Posted: May 31, 2006 at 02:56 AM (#2045087)
We can lead whoever off for all I care.

Just get ####### Vernon Wells out.
   31. chris p Posted: May 31, 2006 at 03:08 AM (#2045122)
darren he hit leadoff today b/c loretta was out.
   32. Darren Posted: May 31, 2006 at 03:15 AM (#2045148)
So Tito didn't know Loretta was going to be out today? And since Loretta was out, that meant that Coco didn't need those 12 ABs to get back into the swing of things? Loretta being out also doesn't explain why Tito would bat Coco 1st for 1 day then decide to drop him, only to reinstate him.
   33. veer bender Posted: May 31, 2006 at 02:29 PM (#2045381)
I think the shuffling of Crisp over the past 3 games suggests that Francona isn't exactly telling the truth regarding his reasoning - and I'm optimistic that this is a good thing. We've speculated here that reintroducing Crisp into the lineup lower in the order might have the added benefit of allowing the manager to use the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" argument to keep Crisp at 5 or 6 and Youkilis at 1. I'm cautiously optimistic that this is Francona's plan all along (probably coming from upstairs) and he's created this whole "get his feet wet" business to smooth over egos, and not put more pressure on Youks by naming him the leadoff hitter.

If we accept that Francona thinks Crisp is the second best choice for leadoff after Youk (or the third best choice for the first two slots, after Loretta and Youk), then each lineup for the past 3 days makes sense given the players available.
   34. Hungry Hungry Hipolito Pichardo Posted: May 31, 2006 at 09:27 PM (#2045847)
Cross-posted from Chatter -- Coco/Loretta 1/2 vs. the lefty Lilly tonight. Youks is 5th between Manny and Lowell. From the boston.com Sox blog:

Coco Crisp will be back atop the order against the Blue Jays, a spot in the lineup Francona hope the center fielder can stay. "I don't know (how long). I hope so, I hope so,'' he said.


boston.com
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 01, 2006 at 11:51 AM (#2046945)
Tito's basically used the injuries and recoveries to be a lot more flexible in building his lineup, shifting guys up and down the order. It's kinda cool.

On the other hand, Youkilis was 1-2 last night with 3 walks. And he only scored one run. I like seeing Youks batting in higher spots in the order, like 5th, but are they going to get the full value of his OBP there?
   36. Mister High Standards Posted: June 01, 2006 at 01:14 PM (#2046984)
I like: If Youks is going to slug 450+ I want him hitting 5th. Thats the key data point for me - Youks slugging. If he is going to slug enough to get sloth like Ortiz and Manny around the basis that is his best spot.

His OBP will have more value 5th, than 7th... since the players behind him are slugging heavy - at least Lowell is, and Tek when he is going well is, Pena. Assuming they are all healthy.
   37. veer bender Posted: June 01, 2006 at 01:44 PM (#2047009)
Ok, looks like the optimism expressed in #33 was unfounded. Francona really does want Crisp leading off. . . oh well.
   38. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 02, 2006 at 07:37 PM (#2048503)
If the Bosox have the sense to leave him in the number 2 spot in the lineup in front of Ortiz/Ramirez/etc. he could score 100 runs just by being Mark Loretta.

I like most of your argument, but remember that Edgar Renteria scored 100 runs last year. No one accused him of having a good season.
   39. Hungry Hungry Hipolito Pichardo Posted: June 02, 2006 at 09:34 PM (#2048597)
More on batting order from boston.com:

Red Sox
1. Coco Crisp, CF
2. Mark Loretta, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Manny Ramirez, LF
5. Jason Varitek, C
6. Mike Lowell, 3B
7. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
8. Trot Nixon, RF
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS

Youks dropped to the 7-hole behind Tek and Lowell against the lefty Rogers. SoSH is having a collective conniption. Does seem an odd spot for for a guy with a 317/437/484 line.
   40. Mattbert Posted: June 02, 2006 at 10:16 PM (#2048621)
An OPS analogy:
Varitek:Gonzalez::Nixon:Varitek

Why does Tito want to give Varitek more PAs than two guys who are hitting as well as David Ortiz? I know Varitek is better hitting right-handed, but he's really struggling this year. No way in hell should he be hitting fifth until he picks it up.

Boy, does losing Wily Mo hurt on nights like this. Harris gets chewed up by LHPs just like Nixon.
   41. Hungry Hungry Hipolito Pichardo Posted: June 02, 2006 at 10:30 PM (#2048630)
Team batting

vs Left: 259/359/436, 5th in AL by OPS (832 OPS vs 773 league avg)
vs Right: 293/375/457, 3rd in AL (795 OPS vs 770 league avg)
   42. Hungry Hungry Hipolito Pichardo Posted: June 02, 2006 at 10:31 PM (#2048631)
Sorry, flip the vs Left and vs Right in the above numbers.
   43. Hungry Hungry Hipolito Pichardo Posted: June 02, 2006 at 10:33 PM (#2048633)
Argh, I'm an idiot. Everything's right in each row except what is in parentheses, which should be reversed.

But then again, everyone but me figured that out already.
   44. Darren Posted: June 03, 2006 at 02:56 AM (#2048987)
Youks 7th? Sure, why not? It's all part of Tito's clever way of using injuries to change up the lineup!

Let me just ask, is there anything Tito could do that would make people here think he's not doing a good job at something? Or will he always get the benefit of the doubt?
   45. PJ Martinez Posted: June 03, 2006 at 03:01 AM (#2048991)
"Let me just ask, is there anything Tito could do that would make people here think he's not doing a good job at something? Or will he always get the benefit of the doubt?"

At some point, I'm sure, I would stop giving him the benefit of the doubt, but I can't say precisely when. He's made a fair number of good decisions this year, and there's always so much we don't know. But I certainly haven't agreed with every move he's made. I imagine there's some ratio of very intelligent moves to very dumb-seeming moves that needs to be maintained for me to keep faith in his general decision-making. So far he's maintained it, but maybe I haven't paid close enough attention.
   46. Darren Posted: June 03, 2006 at 03:07 AM (#2048997)
He's made a fair number of good decisions this year, and there's always so much we don't know.

Seems to me that when people agree with him, they are a lot less likely to remember that's there's a lot we don't know. But when he does something that looks foolish, that's the first line of defense. Doesn't seem quite fair. (Not you in particular, PJ.)

Here's an update on the LI for his three big pitchers:

Pap 1.52
Timlin 1.70
Foulke 0.87

All three have dropped since the last time.
   47. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: June 03, 2006 at 03:35 AM (#2049034)
Let me just ask, is there anything Tito could do that would make people here think he's not doing a good job at something? Or will he always get the benefit of the doubt?


His alleged strength, IIRC, is not in-game managing. He's supposed to be getting more out of his pplayers than other managers would. If you go buy the analysis of Chris Jaffe (hopefully soon to be released) he wasn't good at this with the Phils. I dunno. He gets along well with the media? He IS better at that than some of his predecessors. There are a couple of litmus tests that I see for Francona coming up and maybe a couple more possibilities.

1. The Ortiz criticism of Beckett, That has probably been blown out of proportion, but that's the first time inrecent memory that I've seen or heard something like that.

2. If Manny wants some time off during the dog days of summer. Actually, I think that this is a good strategy for Manny (maybe some other players could benefit from this), but I'd like to see how this is handled this time around. Last year it seemed to have New England on edge.

3. The back end of the rotation. They're going tohave to address this at some point. I imagine that Wells is done and will go into the night. Maybe not quietly, but he will. Barring a trip to the DL (not an unlikelihood) how will he handle Clement? Ideally, in my mind, Timlin will get healthy and Foulke will return to his former self and they can stick Papelbom in the rotation. But this is rarely an ideal world. I've heard talk of preparing Hansen to be a starter, but from what I understand, it's just talk.

4. Seabass. Will Pedroia be ready to replace him at some point this year? Not an issue until the Sox deem him ready and call him up.

5. Choi. Unless Youkilis or Lowell get hurt, I don't see this as an issue.

Anyways, these guys fulfilled my dreams in '04. So I'm not living and dying by them as much as I used to. Perhaps someone who is can offer some thoughts.
   48. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 03, 2006 at 03:54 AM (#2049057)
My worries in the preseason were how Tito would handle the quick decisions about playing time. I think he's done a great job.

1) In the bullpen, he immediately recognized that Papelbon was his best reliever and made him the closer.

2) In the infield, he recognized within the first two weeks that Youkilis was a major league ballplayer and made him the everyday starter, relegating Snow to the deep bench.

3) In the rotation, has had basically every backup option fall apart. Schilling, whom I was quite worried about preseason, has been more than good enough to deserve his rotation slot. Hard to blame Tito for Dinardo not being a good pitcher.

The big job of a manager, in my opinion, is managing playing time. this becomes especially important in situations where playing time decisions have to be made quickly, before there can be a sufficient statistical sample. Tito faced two situations like this in April, and in both cases his decision appears to have been exactly right.

Some stuff ain't perfect, and I think I've criticized some in-game moves at different points this season. But he got the two big ones right so far, and so I'm happy.
   49. Hungry Hungry Hipolito Pichardo Posted: June 03, 2006 at 01:39 PM (#2049147)
Youks hitting 7th....in the perfect spot to set up that GW homer!

Tito's a genius!!!!!1!!!!1!1
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 03, 2006 at 01:55 PM (#2049154)
Oh, whoops, one more decision -

4) In the middle infield, Petunia has not forced Tito toward any decisions. (Though the hot streak he plans to start today should create a decision point for the Red Sox in three weeks or so.) With Gonzalez struggling badly, he slowly introduced a job-sharing arrangement with Cora taking a reasonable percentage of the starts. He stuck with Loretta even when he had a 500 OPS through the first month. Those decisions seem about right to me - Cora's not good enough to push Sea Bass out of the lineup, but he's earned a few starts.
   51. Toby Posted: June 03, 2006 at 02:47 PM (#2049170)
I think a better question might be, is there anything Tito might do that would lead Darren to believe he was doing a good job?
   52. Darren Posted: June 03, 2006 at 05:04 PM (#2049222)
Some stuff ain't perfect, and I think I've criticized some in-game moves at different points this season. But he got the two big ones right so far, and so I'm happy.

I don't have a problem with people thinking Francona's a good manager. I don't agree, of course, but he's certainly made some good moves this year (as shown by MCoA). What baffles me is that people seem to have an aversion to acknowledging the bad moves, even if they are small ones. The flip-flopping on Coco's spot, to me, defies explanation. It's really weird to hear him defended and even praised for this.

Don't LI's vary from game to game? For instance, if you play in a string of blowouts, if you are used, your LI will drop, no mwtter where and when you are used.

Of course. But the Red Sox haven't played a string of blowouts. Most of their games recently have been pretty close, just not the ones Foulke has pitched in.
   53. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 05, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#2051867)
Of course. But the Red Sox haven't played a string of blowouts. Most of their games recently have been pretty close, just not the ones Foulke has pitched in.

Foulke's been day-to-day with a sore back for the past few games.

Red Sox last 10 games:

vs TB
W 4-1(Foulke - 8 pitches)
vs TB
W 8-4(Foulke - 11)
vs TB
W 6-4(Foulke - 10)
vs TB
W 5-4
@ TOR
L 6-7(Foulke - 1)
@ TOR
L 5-8
@ TOR
W 8-6(Foulke - 16)
DET
W 3-2
DET
L 2-6
DET
W 8-3

Their games have been somewhat close, and Fouke has pitched in a few of them. I wonder if he is more worthy of particularly high-leverage innings than others, though. It's not like he's totally lights-out. I mean, he's been better than most of the bullpen so far save for Papelbon and Timlin, but that's not still not exactly awesome. I don't know how much better he is than Van Buren, Riske, or Seanez right now.

I don't have a problem acknowledging bad managerial moves, but I do tend to err on the side of thinking that when Francona does something inscrutable it's probably for a decent reason rather than stupidity. I guess 2004 bought him some slack from me. And like MCoA said, I think he's done pretty well so far this year with the challenges he's faced.
   54. villageidiom Posted: June 05, 2006 at 05:52 PM (#2051942)
What baffles me is that people seem to have an aversion to acknowledging the bad moves, even if they are small ones.

If his bad moves are small ones, he's a GREAT manager.
   55. Mattbert Posted: June 05, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#2052026)
I mean, he's been better than most of the bullpen so far save for Papelbon and Timlin, but that's not still not exactly awesome. I don't know how much better he is than Van Buren, Riske, or Seanez right now.
I should go through the game logs to confirm this, but I feel like Foulke has been pretty damn excellent this year, with the exception of 2 or 3 rocky outings that've inflated his overall stat line. The main difference I see between Foulke v2006 and Foulke v2004 is that his velocity isn't quite as good now (and he's still screwing around with the Chico Slider a little too often). Other than that, he looks great. The command is definitely there; I don't think he's walked a batter in weeks, and it seems like he's still striking guys out at a decent rate.

I definitely trust him more than the Tier 2 bullpen guys.
   56. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 07, 2006 at 11:54 AM (#2055047)
I was gonna complain about the bullpen usage, but it appears that Foulke might not have been available last night. It really kills me that the Sox had no options other than Rudy "3-2 curveball" Seanez. But if Timlin's out and Foulke's hurting and Riske's tired and Tavarez sucks as bad as Seanez anyway, I don't know who they shoulda called on. Tito <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060606&c>could have gone to Hansen</a>, but that would have been pretty out of character, and pretty damn dangerous.

Batting Youkilis 6th-8th really doesn't seem to be good for hte offense. Maybe it's just overreaction to one game hwere they couldn't score off frickin' Wang, but goddam that was annoying.
   57. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: June 07, 2006 at 12:48 PM (#2055062)
it appears that Foulke might not have been available last night.

I don't think he's been available for the past week or so.
   58. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 07, 2006 at 01:10 PM (#2055072)
You know how managers sometimes to matchups... especially Terry Francona where he'll put out a C lineup sometimes to rest guys? (Joe Torre does this too, it's called the "House Money" lineup."

I'm tempted to mess around with something like that, but instead putting out your krappy lineup against their bad pitcher, I say we put our krapy lineup against their GOOD pitchers.

Stack all our good players/pitchers to match up against their krappy pitchers, and put the House lineup against their good pitchers.

I'd much rather that our best lineup played all the time, but injuries and such prevent that.

Ie.

4 Game series against the Devil Rays: Match up Matt Clement and the C lineup against Scott Kazmir. We rarely beat Scott Kazmir ANYWAY, so we make sure our lineups are stacked when Mark Hendrickson is on the mound.

3 game series against the Blue Jays:
Pick your poison: Ted "Koufax" Lilly, or Roy Halladay. Put the C Lineup and and our krapyp starter against that guy, and stack our lineup the other 2 games.

Oh, corollary to the rule:

If after their good starter we can never beat comes out, and the game is still within 2 runs, it's all hands on deck. So we can't beat Scott Kazmir. We can beat... I don't even know who's in Devil Rays Bullpen right now.

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