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   1. Toby Posted: July 03, 2006 at 06:35 PM (#2086113)
One thing's for sure, we probably can't count on any contribution from Keith Foulke.

Did you know he is going through a divorce right now? I didn't. I suspect stress off the field (such as going through a divorce) can really affect a player's production on the field, and I wish we had better access to information about it. Certainly it would be interesting to see a study of how going through a divorce affects production.
   2. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: July 03, 2006 at 06:42 PM (#2086123)
Did you know he is going through a divorce right now? I didn't. I suspect stress off the field (such as going through a divorce) can really affect a player's production on the field, and I wish we had better access to information about it. Certainly it would be interesting to see a study of how going through a divorce affects production.

Frank Thomas' worst two non-injured years happened at the same time he was going through an ugly divorce.

How are you guys enjoying Lopez? Riske's doing an alright job for us, though he hasn't been fire-tested yet.
   3. PJ Martinez Posted: July 03, 2006 at 06:58 PM (#2086140)
Lopez has been fine, and Tito has used him reasonably well, I think (for instance, not bringing him in to face a lefty with the bases loaded, given his control issues).

Tito has used Tavarez for multiple innings, sometimes in low-leverage situations, but not always.

Will it be a seven-man pen or six? Delcarmen may have earned the number 3 spot with his last outing; Hansen's position seems less secure, though I imagine the Sox want to keep him up, in which case Seanez may eventually be jettisoned, if they go to a six-man pen, or move someone in there as a long-man (Jason Johnson, I would guess, when Clement comes back).

They may not have a long-man till they figure out the back-end of the rotation. I think Lester will stay put, unless he has a string of bad outings. In which case Clement will likely re-claim the 5th spot, with Johnson going to the pen and Seanez elsewhere? On the other hand, Clement's done better this year his first time through the order... might he move to the pen, with Johnson staying in the fifth spot? Obviously, he's have to pitch better that he did his first time out. Or maybe Snyder could return.
   4. Ozzie's gay friend Posted: July 03, 2006 at 07:05 PM (#2086154)
Any chance Clement gets traded?

if the sox would pick up some of the $, you have to think there are going to be a number of interested NL teams. Considering what little pitching will be avalible at the deadline this year.
   5. chris p Posted: July 03, 2006 at 07:07 PM (#2086158)
tavarez as the long man is fine with me.
   6. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: July 03, 2006 at 07:44 PM (#2086213)
Seanez’s numbers have not been terrible, but it does seem like he manages to do something horrible anytime he pitches.


Seanez has been awful against the first batter he faces (16 for 29, around that). He's fine otherwise. If he's used he needs to be used to start a new inning and not to be brought in in the middle of the inning with men on base. Used in such a way I think he'd be OK.
   7. PJ Martinez Posted: July 03, 2006 at 08:05 PM (#2086248)
I agree with Ozzie's gay friend that NL teams might be interested in a subsidized Clement. Cincinnati, for instance, and maybe the Mets, or one of the California teams. It might be best for all involved.
   8. Darren Posted: July 03, 2006 at 11:17 PM (#2086356)
#6 sounds kind of flukey to me.

I don't think you're getting much of anything even if you eat a bunch of Clement's cost.
   9. PJ Martinez Posted: July 04, 2006 at 12:11 AM (#2086437)
I agree Clement wouldn't bring much. The question is simply would he bring more than he is currently worth to the Red Sox. And the answer to that obviously depends on whether you think he can succeed with the Red Sox again. I wouldn't rule that out completely, but I have my doubts. I think he could be pretty effective in the NL, though.
   10. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 04, 2006 at 01:48 AM (#2086638)
I agree Clement wouldn't bring much. The question is simply would he bring more than he is currently worth to the Red Sox. And the answer to that obviously depends on whether you think he can succeed with the Red Sox again. I wouldn't rule that out completely, but I have my doubts. I think he could be pretty effective in the NL, though.
How do the Red Sox gain, then? If they have to pay lots of money and don't receive anything in return, why do it? I assume the best-case scenario is a marginal upgrade without much upside. That seems like a bad idea.

I also think that we could get frustrating, but competent Clement back later. He was pitching injured for at least a month, probably all season. While I don't doubt that there are mental issues for Clement, I don't want to let the Sox medical/coaching staff off the hook when they've had so many blunders in the recent past. I tend to think that mental issues are a big part of what makes Clement mediocre all the time, rather than that he's dealing with a whole new pile of mental issues this year, which just happened to be comorbid with his getting psysically injured.
Seanez has been awful against the first batter he faces (16 for 29, around that). He's fine otherwise. If he's used he needs to be used to start a new inning and not to be brought in in the middle of the inning with men on base. Used in such a way I think he'd be OK.
The question, of course, is whether he's a mediocre pitcher who is bad in his first couple pitches, or just a bad pitcher who has happened to arrange his badness in a peculiar way. I tend toward the second explanation, both due to my rigid stathead orthodoxy, and because I just don't like Seanez' combination of stuff and command. His fastball is way too hittable, and he has no idea where it's going - it's just a bad combination.
   11. Darren Posted: July 04, 2006 at 02:03 AM (#2086657)
I tend to think that mental issues are a big part of what makes Clement mediocre all the time, rather than that he's dealing with a whole new pile of mental issues this year,

Mediocre all the time? From 02-04, Clement had an ERA+ of about 110, with a low of 103. Even with his disastrous 2nd half last year, he was at 96 ERA+ and a FIP of 4.04. It sounds to me like you've formulated an opnion of the FO office and, absent evidence, are trying to make Clement's case fit that opinion.

The question, of course, is whether he's a mediocre pitcher who is bad in his first couple pitches, or just a bad pitcher who has happened to arrange his badness in a peculiar way. I tend toward the second explanation,

Well, of course you do, because that also fits the 'Red Sox FO signs crappy pitchers' meme. Maybe your rigid stathead orthodoxy should have looked at Seanez's pitching the past 2 years or his ZIPS projection (4.22) in determining whether he was a bad pitcher.

I'm sure this is sounding rather grumpy, and I'm as confused as you are about why so many seemingly decent pitchers signed by the Red Sox turn to crap. But it just seems to me like people here are willing to just assume that any poor pitcher signing by Boston means that that particular signing was a case of poor decision-making by the Red Sox. I can see not giving them the benefit of the doubt and even being especially skeptical. But just as I wouldn't assume that Ortiz turning out to be GREAT or Mueller winning a batting title proves the Red Sox are infallable in signing hitters, I wouldn't allow the shortterm crapitude of Clement/Seanez/etc. to convince me that they are perfectly horrible in signing pitchers.
   12. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: July 04, 2006 at 02:21 AM (#2086671)
Did you know he is going through a divorce right now? I didn't. I suspect stress off the field (such as going through a divorce) can really affect a player's production on the field, and I wish we had better access to information about it. Certainly it would be interesting to see a study of how going through a divorce affects production.


I seem to recall Troy O'Leary going through a divorce in 2000. Of course, he also turned 30. I'm pretty sure that Foulke's marital troubles were known up here in the northeast since last year, but, IIRC, you're part of the RSN diaspora, Toby.

So, I go see Bad Kazmir in Dolphin Stadium the other nite and Good Kazmir decides to show up tonite. WTF?
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 04, 2006 at 03:01 AM (#2086703)
Mediocre all the time? From 02-04, Clement had an ERA+ of about 110, with a low of 103. Even with his disastrous 2nd half last year, he was at 96 ERA+ and a FIP of 4.04. It sounds to me like you've formulated an opnion of the FO office and, absent evidence, are trying to make Clement's case fit that opinion.

...

Well, of course you do, because that also fits the 'Red Sox FO signs crappy pitchers' meme. Maybe your rigid stathead orthodoxy should have looked at Seanez's pitching the past 2 years or his ZIPS projection (4.22) in determining whether he was a bad pitcher.
I didn't say anything at all about the front office, I don't think. I think the front office is pretty awesome. I think they made a mistake about Pedro, but that hardly overrides the rest of the good stuff.

Clement seems like a guy who was above average, then lost a few miles off his fastball for some reason when the Sox signed him, and now isn't above average. The Boston Red Sox badly need a mediocre starting pitcher, and I'm arguing that I think Clement will be that - I was arguing that Clement is better than PJM was saying, and that the Sox should keep him. If I was saying anything about the front office, I was saying their signing of Clement was better than PJM implicitly claimed.

Seanez looks like he sucks. He's wicked old and injured all the time, and he's a reliever. ZIPSing a reliever still gives you crazy error bars. The Sox have made a good bullpen, because Papelbon and Timlin are significantly outperforming expectations. Some relievers are underperforming, too, but I think the variance is more than evened out by the top two. (And maybe Manny D, maybe?)
   14. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 04, 2006 at 03:08 AM (#2086715)
Was it this line that set you off?
While I don't doubt that there are mental issues for Clement, I don't want to let the Sox medical/coaching staff off the hook when they've had so many blunders in the recent past.
Because that's the only piece of my post I can guess you got the "FO suXors" meme from. What I meant, at least, was that I wanted to bring up the fact that Clement was injured and has been pitching injured for at least a month. I was referring to the disastrous handling of Schilling, Foulke and Wells in 05/06, and that if Clement is pitching poorly because he's pitching injured, it would hardly be the first time that the Sox had screwed up on that front. I wasn't saying anything about whether it was a good idea to sign these pitchers - if anything, I was arguing that the FO signings were better than they appear, because the pitchers' numbers were inflated by poor medical advice or poor implementation of that advice.

Or maybe it was a general undercurrent to the post. Though I acknowledge the death of the author, I will say I didn't intend for such an undercurrent.
   15. Darren Posted: July 04, 2006 at 03:22 AM (#2086725)
I dunno what set me off. I just think it's too easy an answer to say 'they're dummies with pitching.' In the same way, it was too easy, when Mabry outhit Giambi, to say 'see, Billy Beane is supersmart, so he must have known that Mabry was secretly better in some way.' I'd follow that line of think only so far as giving the benefit of the doubt. Ie, I'd say 'Beane's smart, so maybe he knew something we didn't about Mabry/Giambi.' And 'the Red Sox have just sucked at getting good relievers (and starters!) so it wouldn't surprise me if the failure of Seanez/Tavarez is just another sign of their ineptitued.'

Clement seems like a guy who was above average, then lost a few miles off his fastball for some reason when the Sox signed him, and now isn't above average.

I'm very confused by this. First, it doesn't jibe with 'mediocre all the time.' Second, the timeline's off. Clement was very good after the Sox signed him, then stunk it up later. Overall, for the first season, he almost exactly what he'd been in the past, an above average pitcher prone to streakiness. I'm not sure about his MPH readings, though.

I guess I've misread what you're saying though. So, uh, hm.
   16. esturminator_CT Posted: July 05, 2006 at 02:39 AM (#2087683)
There is definately too much streakiness overall in the Sox pen. Before Timlin and Li'l Paps of course. Li'l Paps has been better than I even imagined, and I think Timlin has been a real key to the Sox success over the past 4 years. I'd like to see MDC get more experience, because I think he'll be solid long term if he keeps the walks down. Lopez has not been horrible which, considering the lack of lefties to trot out to the hill, suggests he is worth hanging onto and continuing to give innings to. I know both Tavarez and Seanez can look very good on occasion, but the occasion is rare enough that they scare me every time they enter the game. I never want to see them in a close game. I'd like Hansen to get more time than these two, because I believe the upside is much better. I like the idea of giving Clement a shot in the bullpen, both as a way to ease him back after the time off on the DL with arm troubles as well as a trial as a short reliever. I've always thought Clement had great stuff when he can control it - good enough to potentially be a closer if he can adjust to that role. It just seems that if he stays in the game a long time, sooner or later he is going to have an inning where his control leaves him. I'd love to see him try short relief and potentially enable the Sox to move Li'l Paps to the starting rotation in 2007. Barring that, either Snyder or Johnson could be looked at as a possible long reliever. We need a decent lefthander, and Johnson's ability to effectively throw groundballs is potentially a nice thing out of the pen.

Regarding the moves by the front office . . . I was thrilled when I heard the Sox had obtained Clement. I also love the Beckett acquisition. In addition, the pitching obtained in drafts and brought up through the organization looks like there is lots of potential. Reacquiring Javier Lopez seems like a good move so far. There just is not a ton of quality pitching waiting out there to be acquired. I never expected alot out of Tavarez or Seanez, other than chewing up some innings when needed. Anyhow, how many big pitching acquisitions have turned out great around the league over the past two or three years? It seems not many. Mostly, if they are available there's a reason. Contreras has worked out great for the White Sox, but the Sox FO wanted this guy at one point as well.

Sure would be nice to have Arroyo as a 4th starter right now however. If possible, would have much rather at the time traded prospects or Boomer or even Clement to acquire Wily Mo than Arroyo - but I don't know enough about those negotiations to know whether Cincy would have gone for anyone else.
   17. NTNgod Posted: July 05, 2006 at 02:45 AM (#2087686)
Sure would be nice to have Arroyo as a 4th starter right now however. If possible, would have much rather at the time traded prospects or Boomer or even Clement to acquire Wily Mo than Arroyo

The Reds had no interest in Clement because of $$$, they wanted Arroyo.

Clement's due like $20+ mil between this year and next (the first year was the 'cheap' year).
   18. PJ Martinez Posted: July 06, 2006 at 03:55 PM (#2089274)
Someone (called Caspir) posted this on SoSH, and I almost didn't believe it (so I went and checked):

"Hansen's last three appearances:
3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 32 pitches/24 strikes"

Trupe and Castiglione sounded very impressed last night. It's only 3 innings, of course, and it's TB and FLA (not sure what hitters). Still, nice to see.
   19. Darren Posted: July 07, 2006 at 03:14 AM (#2090596)
That, and Trupiano cannot even tell an infield pop from a homerun, so I doubt he has any idea what a good pitcher looks like.
   20. Darren Posted: July 07, 2006 at 03:26 AM (#2090609)
Way to use 5 relievers tonight, Francona. That includes using your closer with a 7-run lead. Brilliant.
   21. Xander Posted: July 07, 2006 at 03:28 AM (#2090613)
Paps had thrown 30 pitches over the last 9 games coming into today. He can use the work.
   22. Darren Posted: July 07, 2006 at 03:35 AM (#2090624)
Yeah yeah yeah, use the work, whatever. I'm really more baffled by the robotic reflex to take out Delcarmen and insert Timlin because Timlin is "8th inning when we have a lead" man.
   23. chris p Posted: July 07, 2006 at 03:39 AM (#2090629)
Yeah yeah yeah, use the work, whatever. I'm really more baffled by the robotic reflex to take out Delcarmen and insert Timlin because Timlin is "8th inning when we have a lead" man.

yeah kevin and i both agreed that was a bad move.
   24. Darren Posted: July 07, 2006 at 03:43 AM (#2090636)
kevin? Who is this kevin?
   25. Xander Posted: July 07, 2006 at 03:43 AM (#2090638)
Yea, I'm not the biggest Timlin supporter either. But he is using Hansen and MDC in big spots now. Baby steps.
   26. Darren Posted: July 07, 2006 at 03:45 AM (#2090641)
I don't have a problem with Timlin. He's not great but he's reliably pretty good. The problem I have is that in a couple of days, one of the 5 guys used tonight is going to be unavaiable, in part because he was used during this game. And everyone will say Francona's hands were tied by circumstance, when in fact the situation will be his own making. That, and I fear that using each pitcher so often will lead to breakdowns sooner or later.
   27. chris p Posted: July 07, 2006 at 03:49 AM (#2090647)
right. either mdc or timlin for 1 1/3 would have been the correct move. probably timlin.
   28. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 07, 2006 at 03:57 AM (#2090653)
The problem I have is that in a couple of days, one of the 5 guys used tonight is going to be unavaiable, in part because he was used during this game.
If that guy is Papelbon or Lopez or Hansen, I won't see any problem at all.

Papelbon needed the work, Lopez is a LOOGY (though the "out" part is spotty), and Hansen threw 30 pitches. I don't have a problem with using any of them. The only criticism here is about pulling Delcarmen for Timlin. I tend to think that either Timlin could've warmed in the 7th, thus resting Manny D, or Papelbon could've warmed in the 8th if Manny struggled, thus resting Timlin.

As it happened, Timlin only threw six pitches, so with the big break coming on Monday, I think it's unlikely that it will make a difference. But I don't think the usage of Delcarmen and Timlin tonight was what I'd like.
   29. Darren Posted: July 07, 2006 at 04:02 AM (#2090659)
As it happened, Timlin only threw six pitches, so with the big break coming on Monday, I think it's unlikely that it will make a difference.

But this happens all the time. It seems that Francona's goal in any game that he is winning is to see how many pitchers he can squeeze in before his closer. It has really been ramped up since the acquisition of Loogy Lopez.

How have you been, MCoA?
   30. PJ Martinez Posted: July 07, 2006 at 01:59 PM (#2090880)
Pitches count, not just outings, so throwing more of the them for fewer pitches may keep more of them available going forward, rather than burning one guy out.

Alright, that sounds idiotic, now that I see it typed. It would be a terrible principle. My main point is that I don't think the bullpen use last night was that bad. And a 6-pitch outing is not as taxing as a 30-pitch outing.

Apparently, Seanez has yet to pitch this month. Delcarmen seems to have secured the number 3 spot, and Hansen may be claiming the number 4 spot. Lopez is the LOOGY, and Tavarez seems to be the last option/long man (didn't he go 3 innings recently?).

I wonder if we'll go to a 6-man pen at some point. Is Willie Harris still on the team? Francona's gotten by with a pretty short bench lately, but I'd still like a 6-man pen, and maybe another hitter on the bench. If only Choi were hitting.
   31. Dave Cyprian Posted: July 07, 2006 at 02:39 PM (#2090921)
Ortiz has an RBI for each Red Sox game played this year (82). He is also almost slugging the team winning percentage as well (.605 vs .610). Talk about a pace-setter.
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 07, 2006 at 04:53 PM (#2091031)
But this happens all the time. It seems that Francona's goal in any game that he is winning is to see how many pitchers he can squeeze in before his closer. It has really been ramped up since the acquisition of Loogy Lopez.

How have you been, MCoA?
I been good. I got a little vacation, and now I've got a couple research projects that will take up most of my summer, which is why I've only been chattering spottily.

I don't think Francona's somewhat OCD bullpen management is going to be too much of a problem. I can't off the top of my head think of a game where a necessary pitcher was unavailable for that reason. I certainly think it could happen, and that Francona makes moves I don't like too much, but I still say he's done a hell of a job this year. The way he's broken in Manny D, and now apparently Hansen, looks really promising.
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 08, 2006 at 12:28 PM (#2091960)
This is more of a manager thread at the moment, but I wanted to note that this was the first Jon Lester start I've gotten to see more than snippets of, and I was really impressed. He has three legitimate swing-and-miss pitches between the fastball, curve and slider. (Don and Jerry kept calling it a cutter, but it's 10 mph slower than his fastball and breaks further than Rivera's cutter. That's just a slider.) The 3-2 slider to Thome for the strikeout was awesome. Certainly, Lester needs better control, and so far he's probably been lucky that he hasn't missed location much into the hitting zone, and so there's probably some regression to be expected there which would mean a few more homers. But down the line, I think Lester is a front-of-the-rotation starter, and right now he's a very solid #4 or so.

Also, has Manny D been throwing that fastball for a while? Last night, his fastball bit down and just a little in on lefties, like a two-seamer. In the past, I've worried about how straight his fastball is, but those looked anything but straight. Has he started throwing something new? I was thinking that might explain the rapid turnaround that's made Manny D the 7th inning guy, but I didn't know.
   34. Darren Posted: July 08, 2006 at 06:04 PM (#2092091)
Don and Jerry kept calling it a cutter, but it's 10 mph slower than his fastball and breaks further than Rivera's cutter. That's just a slider.

It looked a litte straight for a slider. Maybe it's somewhere in between. I agree that he's been a bit lucky so far, but like you, I'm encouraged by what I see. Also agree that he's #4 or so now.
   35. Xander Posted: July 09, 2006 at 02:06 AM (#2092431)
We've just decided to call it a slutter. Too much break for a cutter, but not as much depth as a slider.

Also, I think last night's gun was 1-2 mph slow.
   36. chris p Posted: July 10, 2006 at 02:03 PM (#2094031)
lester's cutter/splitter looks just like pettitte's.
   37. Ron Johnson Posted: July 10, 2006 at 02:24 PM (#2094051)
Frank Thomas' worst two non-injured years happened at the same time he was going through an ugly divorce.


That's true, but for the life of me I can't figure out why any personal problems caused by the divorce would only manifest themself against left-handed pitching.

From 1995-97 he'd hit .385/.507/.815 against LHP. He managed only .226/.327/.365 in 1998. Don't have 1999 handy, but the numbers against LHP were well off IIRC. (Yes, his numbers against RHP are off, but well within normal performance variation)

Not saying his play wasn't affected by his divorce, but that's sure a screwy way for the problems to manifest themselves.

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