Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Sox Therapy > Discussion
Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. dave h Posted: January 30, 2010 at 09:52 PM (#3450772)
On the one hand, any scenario that moves Youkilis back to 3B is likely to have a big head start on value. It also seems to make less sense to go all out on both pitching and defense, since getting better at one presumably makes the other less important. However, I don't think you can neglect the lengths of the deals, especially with a big FA class coming up.
   2. Sonic Youk Posted: January 30, 2010 at 10:08 PM (#3450787)
Its a shame that they havent been able to find a full time first baseman during Youkilis' prime. Hes a terrific player, but at third base his bat would be such a huge asset. By the time the next crop of FA first basemen crop up, would it still make sense to put him there? He isn't that young anymore.

What is this team going to do with Lowell? I like him getting 450 ABs as the backup corner IF and DH, but I'm pretty sure I heard Tito say that he isn't considered an option for first, which would make it seem that he doesn't have a useful role on this team.
   3. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 30, 2010 at 10:22 PM (#3450795)
And you have Matt Holliday on your team in years five, six, and seven of that stinker of a contract.

I'll take the short commitments that still improve the team, all told.
   4. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: January 30, 2010 at 11:14 PM (#3450805)
all your free agents are belong to us?
   5. karlmagnus Posted: January 30, 2010 at 11:21 PM (#3450806)
The Lackey/Holliday alternative you postulate is what Dan Duquette would have done, given his track record.

Just saying...
   6. Famous Original Joe C Posted: January 30, 2010 at 11:42 PM (#3450819)
I'll take the short commitments that still improve the team, all told.

I agree, I don't like all that long term risk with Holliday. He's just not an all in guy to me. You go all in on future Hall of Famers, or guys who can play at that level. Maybe that's Matt Holliday, but he doesn't look like it to me.

km, I disagree that Holliday is the kind of player Duquette would have given seven years to. Not as elite as the ones he went after.
   7. Darren Posted: January 31, 2010 at 12:14 AM (#3450842)
Duquette would have signed one of those guys for 10/200 and then added Jason Marquis for 4/40.
   8. Scott Kazmir's breaking balls Posted: January 31, 2010 at 12:57 AM (#3450863)
What is this team going to do with Lowell?

Right now it looks like a Papi/Lowell platoon at DH.
   9. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: January 31, 2010 at 02:38 AM (#3450930)
I'm not a big fan of Youk at 3B. And I HATE Youkilis in LF.
   10. Darren Posted: January 31, 2010 at 02:55 AM (#3450940)
Youk at 3b--good. Youk in LF--no good.
   11. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 31, 2010 at 03:21 AM (#3450951)
The thing that struck me about the way the Sox approached the off-season is that Theo realized he had to do something. I really go the sense that his first preference would have been a Bay or Holliday move but neither player was biting early in the process so rather than be stuck without a chair when the music stopped he struck quickly. I think given the relative similarity in value of the players in question it was the right move.

I agree that Holliday/Harden looks a bit better than Lackey/Cameron but holding out for Holliday/Harden might have left the Sox with Damon/Garland.
   12. Darren Posted: January 31, 2010 at 03:39 AM (#3450963)
Harden got locked up early and cheap. So might have Holliday if the Sox came in with 7/120. (Then again, maybe they offered him something in that neighborhood before they got Lackey.) All in all, they could have found out pretty early whether these 2 guys were gettable at those prices, then moved on to plans b and c.
   13. veer bender Posted: January 31, 2010 at 04:34 PM (#3451100)
I have a feeling (and it admittedly no more than that) that it would have taken a lot more than 18M per to sign Holliday, because with the Red Sox involved the Yankees would have gotten involved.

Despite the conventional wisdom that the Red Sox spend to keep up with the Yankees (which was true until recently), I think that today the opposite is at least as true. Especially with the new stadium, Yankee revenues are high enough to support a payroll much greater than 200M. While most (competitive) teams set a budget for payroll based on a simple balance between winning and making a profit, I think the Yankees budget considerations also include projecting a little better than the Red Sox and minimizing the appearance that they greatly outspend everyone.
   14. chris p Posted: January 31, 2010 at 04:53 PM (#3451103)
with the benefit of hindsight ... if you can get beltre at 1 year 10 mil, you find a way to fit that into your offseason plans.
   15. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: February 01, 2010 at 01:53 AM (#3451305)
Are the Red Sox keen on defence this year?? I had no idea - are there any articles that might help me catch up??
   16. Darren Posted: February 01, 2010 at 02:26 AM (#3451319)

with the benefit of hindsight ... if you can get beltre at 1 year 10 mil, you find a way to fit that into your offseason plans.


If that's the standard, they still could have done it after getting Holliday/Lackey/Scutaro.
   17. chris p Posted: February 01, 2010 at 03:04 AM (#3451335)
If that's the standard, they still could have done it after getting Holliday/Lackey/Scutaro.

sure. i'm not so into holliday, but that's obviously, true. i'm just saying i'd get beltre and keep youk at first before i messed around with branyon, kotchman, or nick johnson, and i don't laroche would have considered coming back to boston.
   18. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: February 01, 2010 at 03:43 AM (#3451348)
Not meaning to antogonize at all, but would any of you have wanted the sox to go the yankee route and pursue trades for either vazquez or granderson? What's interesting is that both clubs basically added two of the same positions but in very different ways. Which team was smartest about it?
   19. Darren Posted: February 01, 2010 at 04:08 AM (#3451352)
Okay, I see what you're saying, Chris. I don't think LaRoche would have hard feelings. They dealt him rather than put him on the bench, which allowed him to demonstrate his value.


Not meaning to antogonize at all, but would any of you have wanted the sox to go the yankee route and pursue trades for either vazquez or granderson? What's interesting is that both clubs basically added two of the same positions but in very different ways. Which team was smartest about it?


Those were some very nice moves. I like Lackey better than Vazquez but I like Vazquez's deal better. Granderson seems like a better bet than Cameron but, of course, he cost more. I could see either side of those two debates.


The Red Sox could have gone for Lee as well.
   20. chris p Posted: February 01, 2010 at 05:02 AM (#3451369)
The Red Sox could have gone for Lee as well.

i wonder what would it have taken for the red sox to get lee? that's a guy i would have considered over lackey, depending on how the money played out.
   21. Joel W Posted: February 01, 2010 at 07:28 AM (#3451394)
One issue with the Red Sox in terms of making trades is that they have two prospects who are thought of quite highly right now (Kelly/Westmoreland) and a bunch of others of a much more middling status. I feel like the ownership would be unwilling to give up the top two, and the others are not that worthy tradebait.
   22. tjm1 Posted: February 01, 2010 at 09:26 AM (#3451403)
I'm not a big fan of Youk at 3B. And I HATE Youkilis in LF.


It's a moot point now that the Sox have Hermida and Hall, but I think if Youkilis had a spring training to focus on learning to play left field, he'd be fine. I agree that up until now, whenever he's been out there, he's been terrible, but I'll still give him credit for not worrying too much about being embarrassed out there if that's the least bad option for the team.
   23. Cat Named Manny Posted: February 01, 2010 at 04:47 PM (#3451555)
However, I don't think you can neglect the lengths of the deals, especially with a big FA class coming up.


This. If the Red Sox end up with Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera with a bunch of money coming off the books the next two offseasons, this totally changes the calculations. Given the short-term nature of the deals, we're really not yet looking with hindsight until we see who the replacements for Beltre/Scutaro/Cameron are.

Essentially, the analysis ignores the value of the flexibility the Red Sox have, both at the trade deadline and in the 2010-11 offseasons, and that is a real value. Given how close the strict monetary and on-field value is in all three scenarios, I don't see much reason to say either of the other two is a better option.
   24. Darren Posted: February 02, 2010 at 04:30 AM (#3452338)
This. If the Red Sox end up with Prince Fielder or Miguel Cabrera with a bunch of money coming off the books the next two offseasons, this totally changes the calculations.


You want to stay away from a longterm deal for Holliday so that you can possibly give it Prince Fielder or use the money on Cabrera?

This is a bird-in-hand situation, in my book, which leads me to...

Essentially, the analysis ignores the value of the flexibility the Red Sox have, both at the trade deadline and in the 2010-11 offseasons, and that is a real value.


Having a great player in place is better than having flexibility, generally. It's at least arguably better.
   25. Bug Selig Posted: February 03, 2010 at 11:10 PM (#3453646)
They could have signed Holliday instead of Lackey (same salary), replaced Cameron with Rich Harden and spent the same amount of money for a little more projection and a bit less risk.


I didn't think I'd ever see "Rich Harden" and "less risk" correlated in a positive way. Let's shoot for "Derek Jeter" and "Gold Glove".

Never mind.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 07, 2010 at 06:02 PM (#3455697)
I think it's pretty likely that neither the Sox nor the Yankees thought Holliday was as good as his projections and his defensive statistics. I don't see any reason for us to assume that they were right - though they surely have more information than we do - but it makes it a bit tough to evaluate the moves.

I would certainly rather have Holliday right now than a shot at Cabrera/Fielder, as Darren says, but if you think Holliday is actually not a top-fifteen talent, then you might think differently. And I think the Red Sox think differently.
   27. Darren Posted: February 07, 2010 at 06:30 PM (#3455708)
I think you're missing a "don't" in there.
   28. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 08, 2010 at 07:29 PM (#3456160)
And I think the Red Sox think differently.


They think correctly, as far as I'm concerned. The Matt Holliday fixation is something I fail to grasp.
   29. tfbg9 Posted: February 09, 2010 at 12:25 AM (#3456458)
28-agree. We'll see how he performs this year.
   30. Mike Webber Posted: February 11, 2010 at 03:18 PM (#3458574)
Who is the likely second lefty in the pen, Richardson, Dubront, Fabio Castro, or is anyone expecting another move? I guess Takahashi is still a possibility, though I don't see much in the reports that wows me. Brian Shouse is a NRI, maybe he is the front runner? He held LHB to a .620 OPS last year, so in a loogy role I guess that is pretty good. Righties though hit .356 off him.
   31. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 11, 2010 at 03:26 PM (#3458585)
They think correctly, as far as I'm concerned. The Matt Holliday fixation is something I fail to grasp.
I really don't think the argument could be any simpler. Matt Holliday projects as one of the 10 or 15 best players in baseball. He would make the Red Sox much better because he projects as one of the 10 or 15 best players in baseball. I want him to be a Red Sox because he projects as one of the 10 or 15 best players in baseball.

I've never been really clear on your counter-argument. Sometimes it seems like you don't think Matt Holliday is as good as his projections, and sometimes it seems like you think that players as good as Matt Holliday don't deserve the contracts they typically receive. I guess it would be perfectly reasonable to think both of those things, so maybe it's not a confusion, but I'd be interested in seeing your work.

EDIT: To clarify, I don't think there's anything wrong with believing a player is better or worse than his projections. Projections are of course the start of a conversation, not its end. But I think Matt Holliday's just as good as his projections, from what I've seen, and if he is that good, the Cardinals got a very solid value on his contract.
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 11, 2010 at 03:31 PM (#3458589)
Who is the likely second lefty in the pen, Richardson, Dubront, Fabio Castro, or is anyone expecting another move?
The Sox have been moving away from the second-lefty fixation since the bad old days of Javier Lopez. I don't think we should presume the one open spot in the pen goes to a lefty.

Papelbon, Bard, Okajima, Ramirez, Delcarmen, 6th reliever, Wakefield/Bonser/7th reliever

Given that Bard and Okajima project to be really really good pitchers, there's extremely little value in upgrading the 6th reliever slot. There just aren't enough leveraged innings to make it worthwhile to spend on improving that slot.

I would like to see what Mike Bowden can do as a reliever. With his deceptive motion and solid second pitch, I think he might well be a very good major league reliever.
   33. philly Posted: February 11, 2010 at 03:48 PM (#3458612)
Given that Bard and Okajima project to be really really good pitchers, there's extremely little value in upgrading the 6th reliever slot.


Does Bard project to be really good?

PECTOA: 4.66 ERA, 5.6 VORP
ZiPS: 4.24 ERA, 111 ERA+
Bill James: 3.06 ERA
CHONE: 3.48 ERA
Marcel: 3.96 ERA
FANS: 3.10 ERA

Well good thing I went over to Fan Graphs as the last set of 4 from there are much better than the first two. A reasonable projection range might be 3.75-4.25. That's decent enough, but not "really, really good" for a reliever.

He's going to have to take a decent step forward in his skills in order to meet expectations which are probably too heavily based on his initial stretch of brilliant pitching when he came up.
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 11, 2010 at 04:01 PM (#3458621)
I shouldn't have used the word "project", particularly after the Holliday post.

Bard is going to be very, very good. Barring injury, I have no doubt of that. His fastball sits 98 mph and he controls it well. His slider is still mostly a show-me pitch, but it's good enough to make him a solidly above average reliever.

I don't really know how a computer could get at much of anything from Bard's record. Three years ago he was one of the world professional baseball players in the world. Since then he's thrown a total of 143 innings. It's just not really workable - that's how you end up with such impressive levels of variance between projection systems.
   35. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 11, 2010 at 04:11 PM (#3458628)
It's mostly this:

Sometimes it seems like you don't think Matt Holliday is as good as his projections


But it's also a little of this:

and sometimes it seems like you think that players as good as Matt Holliday don't deserve the contracts they typically receive.


To try to make what I believe clear:

1. Matt Holliday projects as "one of the 10-15 best players in baseball" is simply something I don't believe. I don't even really believe it for next season, though I'll grant that it's possible. His bat is good, but he's a LF, and it seems to me that a lot of his being rated that high involves putting a lot of faith in stats like WAR, which in turn puts a lot of faith in UZR or some similar defensive statistic, and I just don't trust those any farther than I can throw them (not far at all, as they have no corporeal being). To me, Holliday a player who makes his living with his bat, whose bat is good but not great.

2. Matt Holliday will be 30 years old next season, and was signed by the Cardinals through his age-36 season. This is a problem for reasons that I think everybody here understands, but let me be as clear as I can be about this: I just don't think he's so good that when his skills inevitably begin to erode he'll remain worth the money. Bare-eye evaluations of his defense lead me to believe that it's something less than spectacular, and he's already on the far left end of the defensive spectrum -- the only place to go after this is first base. A cursory glance at his statistics might lead one to believe that he's one of those "more athletic" players who generally age better than heavy sluggers, and while he's certainly no David Ortiz, he's not actually some kind of speedy burner on the basepaths, and frankly I don't see any reason to expect him to defy aging curves. Almost every player gets worse after the age of 30. Matt Holliday could be the exception to that rule, but I don't know why one would expect that to be the case.

3. Related to point 2: One has to take a long-form view of this kind of thing. To get Matt Holliday next year and the year after, you have to agree to keep him for five more beyond that. Even if he is one of the 15 best players in baseball next season -- which I don't grant to be the likely case, but just supposing -- he will not be remotely close in years 5, 6, and 7 of this contract, and could turn into something less than what he is much sooner than that. It's nice that he improves the team for next year, but I think, on a 7-year contract, he hurts the team in the long run, and it is possible to acquire other good players on shorter-term commitments who also improve the team next year -- as the Red Sox demonstrated this off-season.

4. Matt Holliday isn't the kind of player one should give out a contract this long to. To me, there are basically two types of player who should get 7-year deals: A) Very young players -- either your own guys being extended in their mid- or late-20s, or guys who hit the market abnormally early; and B) real superstars -- not of the Matt Holliday variety, but of the Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez variety, the kind whose skills can erode (as both of those men's skills ave) and still remain stars, so that at the end of it you're not paying $18 million to a guy who shouldn't be starting. It doesn't really matter if $18 million in 2014 is less money, in relative terms, than it is in 2007, if the guy you're giving it to stinks. I think there's a strong possibility that Matt Holliday will stink before this contract is over.

Basically, I don't think Matt Holliday is even remotely all he's cracked up to be.
   36. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 11, 2010 at 04:18 PM (#3458632)
Who is the likely second lefty in the pen, Richardson, Dubront, Fabio Castro, or is anyone expecting another move? I guess Takahashi is still a possibility, though I don't see much in the reports that wows me. Brian Shouse is a NRI, maybe he is the front runner? He held LHB to a .620 OPS last year, so in a loogy role I guess that is pretty good. Righties though hit .356 off him.


I think the job is Shouse's to lose. He's pretty limited at this point but if you are going to carry a LOOGY he makes some sense. Richardson intrigues me a lot in that role. He's a tall kid, 6'6" I think and pretty lanky so if they adapt his motion to drop him down a bit he could be really difficult to hit for lefties.
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 11, 2010 at 04:30 PM (#3458643)
real superstars -- not of the Matt Holliday variety, but of the Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez variety, the kind whose skills can erode (as both of those men's skills ave) and still remain stars, so that at the end of it you're not paying $18 million to a guy who shouldn't be starting. It doesn't really matter if $18 million in 2014 is less money, in relative terms, than it is in 2007, if the guy you're giving it to stinks.
Just to point out one thing here - you're not going to be paying a Manny Ramirez / Alex Rodriguez level superstar $18M in year seven. You're going to be paying him $27M in year ten.

To phrase the above as a general question. Do you believe that (a) Matt Holliday quality players are particularly overpaid within a free agent system in which typical $$/win numbers are within reasonable bounds or (b) $$/win numbers in the free agent system are generally unreasonable, and the sorts of contracts that superstars should command are also going to be too high?

Holliday's rating, for what it's worth, isn't really based on UZR. I'm looking at the CHONE data which doesn't use UZR, and has him as merely a +1 corner outfielder. Add in replacement and positional adjustments, and Holliday's projection is basically the equal of Adrian Gonzalez or Prince Fielder.
   38. philly Posted: February 11, 2010 at 04:42 PM (#3458656)
Bard is going to be very, very good. Barring injury, I have no doubt of that. His fastball sits 98 mph and he controls it well. His slider is still mostly a show-me pitch, but it's good enough to make him a solidly above average reliever.


I don't have nearly the faith in his command of his fastball that you seem to have. I think there's a pretty good chance that inconsistent command will continue to eat away at his value so that it isn't just injury that will prevent him from being very, very good.

Afterall, he was healthy and not especially good down the stretch last year. He issued 12 BB in his final 90 PA last year. I don't think that part of him ever goes away.

We'll see though.
   39. tfbg9 Posted: February 12, 2010 at 07:50 PM (#3459529)
I've never been really clear on your counter-argument.


My counter argument is largely this:


.284 .353 .454 .808

This is Holliday's lifetime road line. I would be terrified that the Sox may have had laid-out well in excess of $100 dollars for a Coors field mirage.
I am well aware that he tore it up after arriving in St. Louis last year, but that's 270 PA's. And the split above reflects his performance in almost 1800 PA's.

I know he probably will pick-up right where he left-off in St. Louis last season, but I'd be holding my breath, because he would be an awful lot of our eggs as fans in one basket.

That's it.
   40. Darren Posted: February 15, 2010 at 03:13 AM (#3460434)
My counter argument is largely this:


.284 .353 .454 .808

This is Holliday's lifetime road line.


For his career. But what he did several years ago has very little bearing on what we think of him now AND it was from an era when Coors had a more pronounced hangover effect. Here's what he's done on the road in the past 3 years:

07: .301 .374 .485
08: .308 .405 .486
09: .299 .379 .451

That's an average of about .303/.386/.472, which are perfectly normal road numbers for a 300/400/500 hitter. If 2009 suggested anything, it's that some of Holliday's success at Coors stemmed from a personal preference for home cooking.
   41. Hugh Jorgan Posted: February 15, 2010 at 04:27 AM (#3460454)
07: .301 .374 .485
08: .308 .405 .486
09: .299 .379 .451


But now you are picking the eyes out of it because these were his 27, 28 and 29 years. Surely at 30 and far beyond he'll suffer the usual decline. And as pointed out above, those top 3 years aren't what I would classify as superstar material. A decent contract may have been a 3/60 type of thing, anything beyond that is going to become an albatross.
   42. tfbg9 Posted: February 15, 2010 at 01:57 PM (#3460530)
Read my post. If we had the guy, I'd be concerned he's a Coors hitter. Concerned, not convinced.
   43. tfbg9 Posted: February 15, 2010 at 02:03 PM (#3460532)
AND it was from an era when Coors had a more pronounced hangover effect.


What are you basing this on? No snarking, just curious.
   44. Darren Posted: February 15, 2010 at 02:28 PM (#3460542)
First, I don't think I meant to capitalize "AND." So whatever tone that implied, I'd like to un-imply it. UN-imply it.


Here's what I meant by it. These are the 1-year hitter park factors from Baseball Reference:

2009: 113
2008: 105
2007: 109
2006: 107
2005: 110
2004: 119

Hm. I guess I was wrong about the Coors effect being more pronounced early in his career. Oh well. Whatever the case, Coors now plays like a hitters park similar to Fenway.

But now you are picking the eyes out of it because these were his 27, 28 and 29 years. Surely at 30 and far beyond he'll suffer the usual decline. And as pointed out above, those top 3 years aren't what I would classify as superstar material.


Yes, he's going to age (like any other free agent), but his projections account for that. The question that people have about him is whether he is really a great player. The 3 years listed above are perfectly good for a great player (top 10-15, say). A good-fielding corner OF who hits .300/.400/.500 is excellent.

Those numbers just look bad if you compare them to a line that includes both home and road numbers.

Read my post. If we had the guy, I'd be concerned he's a Coors hitter. Concerned, not convinced.


I dunno, Teddy. I tend not to get "terrified" about things if I'm only concerned about them. :)
   45. tfbg9 Posted: February 16, 2010 at 02:13 AM (#3460932)
Yeah well, what I meant is I am not convinced he's gonna be more than a 120ish OPS+ hitter.
I hope for the Cards fans sake on this board he is, but I'd at least concerned he isn't, maybe
terrified he isn't.

In other words, who knows? We'll have to see. He's not a sure thing.
   46. Mike Webber Posted: February 16, 2010 at 03:53 PM (#3461204)
Red Sox TSN Preview page 36

I haven't always had good luck linking to The Sporting News today, but the Feb 16 edition on page 36 is the Red Sox team preview. They give the bench a "C" grade. Really? How many teams have anything that compares to Varitek, Lowell, Lowrie, and Hermedia? Assuming they are healthy these guys have starting jobs on many major league teams.
   47. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 16, 2010 at 04:20 PM (#3461223)
I haven't always had good luck linking to The Sporting News today, but the Feb 16 edition on page 36 is the Red Sox team preview. They give the bench a "C" grade. Really? How many teams have anything that compares to Varitek, Lowell, Lowrie, and Hermedia? Assuming they are healthy these guys have starting jobs on many major league teams.


While he likely would start for a lot of teams I don't see Varitek as being anything more than a mediocre backup catcher at this point. Given his injury issues I think Lowell is a question mark to be productive and Lowrie has not really shown much as a big leaguer yet. More bothersome to me is that beyond those guys the Sox have little in-house impact that seems to be clearly ready. I'm not talking Ellsbury in 2007 but just productive reserve types. I'm higher on Reddick than most and maybe Wagner or Exposito can replace Varitek if the need arises but that feels like a lack of depth across the board.
   48. Mike Webber Posted: February 23, 2010 at 03:11 PM (#3465887)
Fluff Story on Ortiz submitted for your reading enjoyment.
   49. Darren Posted: February 24, 2010 at 12:01 AM (#3466537)
Tek was a bit below average as a starter last year. He's a very good backup.
   50. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: March 03, 2010 at 01:14 AM (#3471379)
But the real puzzler is Cameron. Why move Elsbury to left where his speed is wasted? And at 37, Cameron is an injury and production risk. I think they shoulda ponied up the money for Bay and coached him up or learned to live with him in LF. That's a lot of offense to lose in order to gain a speedy LF'er in the smallest LF in the majors.
   51. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: March 03, 2010 at 01:43 AM (#3471386)
Because they would have had to keep Bay for 5 years, and they probably dread his decline. And reasonably so.
   52. villageidiom Posted: March 03, 2010 at 01:59 AM (#3471390)
But the real puzzler is Cameron. Why move Elsbury to left where his speed is wasted?
Ellsbury still has plenty of room to run, to his left and to his right. The two things Ellsbury has trouble with defensively are (1) his arm, and (2) reading balls hit straight and deep. I don't think I've ever seen him in CF handle a flyball deep to straightaway CF that didn't involve him turning around 3 times, stumbling, and lunging. I've seen plenty of such hits that he didn't handle. After a while he seemed to play deeper to minimize that, but then he couldn't get to the shallow flies. Left field in Fenway minimizes his weaknesses while preserving his strengths.

Cameron is getting old for a CF, but he has a much better arm, he can easily judge the flies Ellsbury can't, and he has decent enough speed to cover a lot of territory. Still, with Ellsbury in LF Cameron might not have to cover as much territory. I suppose it could be argued that Carl Crawford is wasted in LF, too, but he seems to add a lot of defensive value there.

In another thread I posted that the combo of Bay, Lowell, Nick Green, and Varitek produced roughly the same OPS+ in 2009 as the combo of Cameron, Beltre, Scutaro, and V-Mart (with Cleveland). It was something like 100 OPS+ for the former group and 99 for the latter. You're right, Bay is a big loss for the offense, but it shows just how much of an improvement the other three are that the dropoff from Bay to Cameron (~60 points of OPS in same context) can be absorbed.
   53. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 11, 2010 at 04:09 PM (#3477342)
I was watching some MLB network this morning, and while Hazel Mae was talking about the Red Sox, they were running a minute or two of b-roll of Ellsbury and Cameron in the outfield in camp - Cameron was showing Ellsbury how he charges a ball, then Ellsbury would go through his motion, and they'd talk about it. A kid like Ellsbury, who's still quite raw in the field, could really benefit from playing alongside a veteran like Cameron.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
A triple short of the cycle
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.4571 seconds
56 querie(s) executed