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   1. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: June 10, 2006 at 05:01 AM (#2058917)
Lester's numbers are especially troubling given the relatively pitcher-friendly nature of the IL so far this year (league ERA ~3.60), but this could be a good team for him to debut against. They aren't terribly patient and, at times, can be almost hacktastic.

The surprising thing at the moment is how well Murphy is doing in his first two weeks of AAA. He's now hitting .327/.426/.577 in 61 International League PAs. He has 9 BB's against 7 K's in AAA. This comes immediately after hitting .273/.315/.436 in 183 Eastern League PAs to start the season. It's not like the last 14 games have been in some abberant run environment, either -- While Murphy has been at AAA the PawSox and their opponents have scored a combined 7.36 runs per game, in line with the league average for the season. (A very rough measure, I know). At 24, it's possible that things have "clicked." At the very least he may be turning into an attractive trade deadline commodity. If he can keep up that pace for 2 or 3 months he may end up in right field next year at Fenway.

At LoA, Buchholz turned in another good start (5IP, 1H, 1R, 2BB, 8K) but his G/F remained about the same (3 GO, 3 FO). If Bowden/Buchholz are going to get some longer starts this year, I imagine it will happen soon.
   2. Darren Posted: June 10, 2006 at 05:04 AM (#2058919)
Murphy strikes me as a pretty streaky player. I think that's the most plausible explanation for his current run.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 10, 2006 at 01:02 PM (#2059033)
I think Hansen looked pretty good last night. He seemed to be able to command and sink the fastball around 94-96, and he used the slider to get Teixeira to pop out. He got a little unlucky with the groundballs he induced - Gonzalez would have made the play on Mathews up the middle, for one.

Lester's numbers aren't good, that's pretty clear. However, lotsa guys have 40 good or bad innings without it really affecting their projection. If the Red Sox are as confident in Lester as it seems - based on the Edes interview I saw where he thought the Sox were expecting/hoping Lester to be up for good - that suggests they're happy with Lester's progress even if it isn't clear in the small sample of stats. That makes me more optimistic for this start than I would be otherwise.
At the very least he may be turning into an attractive trade deadline commodity. If he can keep up that pace for 2 or 3 months he may end up in right field next year at Fenway.
I'm definitely with you on the first one. Another 50 AB like this and Murphy might interest someone. (That got me thinking, though, what do the Sox want to acquire in trade? They could use an average starter to shore up the rotation, but they'd only make that move if they were ready to move Clement to long relief or if Lester doesn't pan out. So I assume there won't be any moves too soon. Trade speculation might make an interesting new thread, though.)

On the second, well, it could happen. I'd be shocked and amazed, and I tend to agree with Darren that the dude's just streaky, but who knows. Maybe it was really the 2003 draft that was epic.
   4. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: June 10, 2006 at 03:34 PM (#2059080)
Trot Nixon's minor league track record gives all underachieving first round corner outfielders hope.
   5. Dave Cyprian Posted: June 10, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2059284)
Why did they do it?

Darren my first instinct is to suppose that they are simply searching for answers at the #5 rotation position. They saw what they got with Pauley, they want to give Lester an audition before the season goes on too long. Despite his struggles in AAA, I bet that Lester can hold down the job for a stint if he shows the all-important "poise" and keeps the Sox in most games he pitches. If he fails, he will be sent down and a trade will go through.

Or... the nefarious Skip Bayless-esque theory is that Theo wants to showcase Lester on Fox for possible trades before his stock drops too far in AAA.

On another note... these rain-outs are piling up for the Sox. Plus I want to go outside and shoot some hoops!
   6. Darren Posted: June 11, 2006 at 02:38 AM (#2059604)
My prediction: 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
Actual reality: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K

What do I win?

A little odd letting him reach his highest pitch total of the season in his first-ever big league start. Also strange trying to get more than 2 IP out of Tavarez.
   7. jimmybob Posted: June 11, 2006 at 02:42 AM (#2059607)
It was only 2 ER, not 3.
   8. jimmybob Posted: June 11, 2006 at 02:43 AM (#2059608)
nvm, looks like they changed it again.

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