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   1. PJ Martinez Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:12 AM (#2340094)
Is anyone on this team overperforming right now offensively?

Maybe Ortiz, but if so, only slightly. Hinske and Mirabelli and Cora, but in very limited (albeit occasionally very significant) at-bats. Drew's about where you'd expect him to be, so are Lowell and Lugo. Youkilis has underperformed. Manny has dramatically underperformed. Varitek and Pedroia and Crisp, even if you are deeply pessimistic about all three, have underperformed. (They will not collectively have OPS's less near or under 500.)

In short, things will get better. Probably soon.

Which doesn't mean it will be a great lineup.
   2. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2340105)
Are Red Sox fans beginning to get worried about Pedroia? I know his "peripherals" indicate that he should be better, but he's got a .264 career slugging percentage in 125 AB. He doesn't look like a guy who is going to hit for power although his minor league record suggests that he should. Is he going to become a poor man's David Eckstein or soemthing better?
   3. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:25 AM (#2340108)
"--Lugo looks about right so far, a little light on the power."

Uh, maybe you missed the memo, but AL East middle infielders not named BJ are not allowed to hit for power this year.
   4. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:27 AM (#2340109)
I'm calling it right now, Pedroia is going to absolutely kill the Yankees this series, and kevin will be absolutely insufferable about it for the six weeks thereafter.

Seriously, I don't really know what I expected out of him this year but I can't imagine even his biggest detractors thought he would be sub-replacement level this late in April
   5. PJ Martinez Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:32 AM (#2340115)
Haven't Jeter and A-Rod been "sub-replacement level this late in April" within the last few years? Maybe I'm overstating things somewhat, I can't remember their exact numbers. But they have both had very bad Aprils, as have numerous other players.

I've no idea what to expect from Pedroia, but I know one thing: it's still early.
   6. PJ Martinez Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:37 AM (#2340118)
"swing at any pitch that looks like a strike"

Isn't that a pretty sound strategy?
   7. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:38 AM (#2340119)
Haven't Jeter and A-Rod been "sub-replacement level this late in April" within the last few years?

That may be true but those guys have/had more of a resume than Pedroia.
   8. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:38 AM (#2340120)
"Haven't Jeter and A-Rod been "sub-replacement level this late in April" within the last few years?"

Jeter was. I don't think A-rod has been close to sub replacement ever since he became a Yankee or probably ever. Jeter also had to hit 10 HRs in a month to get back to respectability. Dustin got that in him?

I see Manny having a very big series. I just can't imagine him not hitting .500 against the Yanks.
   9. Count Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:40 AM (#2340121)
The offense has been bad, but hasn't offense been down a lot across the board so far this year? I don't have the stats but that's the impression I get.
   10. Darren Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:41 AM (#2340122)

Crisp I'm very pessimistic about, mainly because he doesn't seem to have an idea up there. His approach seems to always be the same-swing at any pitch that looks like a strike.


He should try being 'Mr. Swings at Everything." That seems to have worked out well for at least one guy.
   11. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:43 AM (#2340123)
"The offense has been bad, but hasn't offense been down a lot across the board so far this year?"

I don't know, I haven't seen the numbers and my perception is way off because I see A-rod hit a HR in every game I watch (seriously).
   12. Xander Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:45 AM (#2340124)
Chris Young- .424 OPS
Alex Gordon- .448 OPS
Chris Ianetta- .418 OPS
Troy Tulowitzki- .528 OPS
Stephen Drew- .594 OPS
   13. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:47 AM (#2340126)
"swing at any pitch that looks like a strike"

Isn't that a pretty sound strategy?


I think that's a sound two-strike strategy. Ahead in the count, it's a lousy strategy, because it means hacking at pitches that you think will be called strikes, even if you can't hit them hard. If it looks like a strike that you can't do much with, you should let it go and wait for a better one, unless it'll strike you out.
   14. PJ Martinez Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:51 AM (#2340127)
I see Manny having a big series, too. And, no, I don't think Pedroia will hit 10 HRs in a month at any point in his major league career.

And those are fair points, rlr.
   15. bibigon Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:52 AM (#2340128)
I probably shouldn't let it influence me much, but it's hard for me to get frustrated with Pedroia when he's so consistently putting the ball in play at least. The lack of strikeouts, plus the fact that Crisp has been so much worse, is really saving him.

If Crisp gets on track (I think Varitek has a free-pass from fans/the press), then Pedroia could start getting booed pretty quickly.
   16. John DiFool2 Posted: April 20, 2007 at 02:59 AM (#2340133)
Hitting is down all over the majors-key stat is that the overall BABIP (DER) for all teams is well over .700 (DER),
and NO team is under .700. I'm guessing the cold often soggy weather results in (among other things) fewer home
runs which means easy yet long fly balls and resultant drop in BABIP. Once the weather warms up things likely will
be back to normal.
   17. John DiFool2 Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:00 AM (#2340135)
Correction: I checked DER a few days ago and since then some teams have dropped below .700.
   18. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:06 AM (#2340136)
Isn't that a pretty sound strategy?


Not unless there's already two strikes on him, otherwise he'll be swinging at too many pitches he can't make solid contact with.
   19. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:09 AM (#2340139)
Chris Young- .424 OPS
Alex Gordon- .448 OPS
Chris Ianetta- .418 OPS
Troy Tulowitzki- .528 OPS
Stephen Drew- .594 OPS



Those guys are all more "toolsy" than Pedroia and some of them had some success last season. You're probably about it being too early to get really worried about the guy.
   20. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 20, 2007 at 04:30 AM (#2340166)
Wily Mo Pena needs to be freed.
   21. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 20, 2007 at 04:40 AM (#2340171)
Once the weather warms up things likely will
be back to normal.


No, things are normal now. Once the weather warms up, they'll be back to being crazy.
   22. villageidiom Posted: April 20, 2007 at 11:23 AM (#2340193)
I'm not worried about Pedroia. I'm not worried about Manny. I'm not worried about Youkilis.

Coco swings like a little leaguer.

Varitek only swings if he thinks it will produce a double-play grounder.

Wily Mo needs to learn to hit the offspeed stuff, or at least lay off the stuff that hits the dirt in front of the plate. Pitchers have adjusted; he needs to adjust.

I think last year was an off year for Mirabelli, and he'll be back to reasonable levels of crap in 2007.
   23. Josh Posted: April 20, 2007 at 12:26 PM (#2340206)
I'm not that worried about Pedroia either, but after this start, I'd probably trade him for Wright.

(Sorry.)

The pitching isn't going to sustain a 2.5 ERA, or whatever it is, and the hitting won't slug under .400. Manny won't bat at a sub .600 OPS, and Papelbon won't SO 58% of the batters he faces. At this point in the year, I don't particularly care what the aggregate numbers are. FWIW, even with their sucky offensive start, their team OPS+ is at 102.

Crisp never seemed liked a particularly attractive batter - he moved around when he was with the Indians, too, iirc. (I didn't see him more than 20 times, though, so I could well be wrong.) He leaned out, slapped, turned himself over, etc. But I don't think he is substantially different from when he was productive, so I don't think our observations likely mean too much. In order for him to bat .290 for the year (600 ABs), he still only has to bat .301 for his remaining 552 ABs.

More fun with numbers: if Coco his a HR in his next AB, he'll be at .294/.392/.431. Observationally, I think he has hit a decent amount of ropes -- the power is about what I'd expect.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 20, 2007 at 01:04 PM (#2340223)
A note of Petunia optimism:

BA/BIP: .188
LD/BIP: .194

It is just slightly rare for a player to have more line drives than hits. I am, though, impressed by all the people who aren't worried at all about Pedroia - I'm definitely worried. Don't know how y'all do it. He looks like a seven-year-old, and then he hits like a seven-year-old, and you can put that out of your mind? That takes discipline.

Youks, as of midweek, was hitting for a perfectly nice 800 OPS. Certainly not worried about him. And Manny's been crushing the ball at the outfielders all year. He's Manny.

Varitek is the one that I have trouble seeing bouncing back much. He's like the anti-Wily Mo - the ball seems to die coming off his bat. And, further, there's no backup plan. Mirabelli's not going to play regularly, and Kottaras isn't very good, and besides there's no way that Varitek gets shuffled to the bench. The Sox need to figure out the rest of the offense, because Brad Ausmus North will be eating outs for the foreseeable future, I think.
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 20, 2007 at 01:11 PM (#2340225)
FWIW, even with their sucky offensive start, their team OPS+ is at 102.
Here's why - these are the collective stats of the Red Sox bench:

40 AB, 325/417/700, 12 R, 8 RBI.
   26. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 20, 2007 at 01:26 PM (#2340238)
When was the last time Varitek threw out a runner without needing the ump to blow the call?
   27. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 20, 2007 at 01:31 PM (#2340240)
I'm definitely worried. Don't know how y'all do it. He looks like a seven-year-old, and then he hits like a seven-year-old, and you can put that out of your mind? That takes discipline.

Easy. I'm not a scout, and neither are you, so what he "looks like" makes no difference to me. That, and the fact that he's had, what, 35 or 40 PA this year, and his documented history of struggling at a new level. You only need to looks as far as Manny's numbers to realize just how meaningless the small sample of at bats we have to this point in the year are.
   28. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 20, 2007 at 01:32 PM (#2340241)
Dammit I want Wily Mo to start at CF at home and Drew at RF.

Also, more Hinske, less Coco would be nice too.
   29. Josh Posted: April 20, 2007 at 01:39 PM (#2340246)
That is fun with numbers, Josh. Fun as in "let's come up with something completely off-the-wall" fun. Let's try it again using 5th grade arithmatic.
:-D I meant Lugo. I was responding to Darren's point about Lugo's slight lack of power.

I'm really bad at this typing while thinking thing. You should see my briefs. (That has multiple connotations, fwiw.)
   30. tfbg9 Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:02 PM (#2340316)
I don't wanna say nothin', but Nossie looked pretty nasty yesterday at times (I taped the game off EE), and hit 94 once or twice--his pitches have a lot of movement. Maybe Bivens is on to something when he refers to him as the "best #5 in the AL."
   31. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:14 PM (#2340326)
Look at the rotations around the league. Most teams aren't even 3 deep in decent starters.
   32. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:25 PM (#2340334)
FWIW, even with their sucky offensive start, their team OPS+ is at 102.


It's early and there's plenty of time to improve, but I don't think the anything close to the current level of offense will be adequate for a playoff contender in the AL East over the full season. The Red Sox are currently last in the AL East in hits, runs, HRs, total bases, RBI, batting average, slugging and OPS(by 20 points). That's a lot for a pitching staff to overcome.
   33. John DiFool2 Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:50 PM (#2340347)
They also have the fewest PAs (thanks to a few rainouts) by a rather substantial margin. They are 4th in runs per game.
Only Tampa Bay & the Yankees are significantly outhitting them, and when the friggin' Devil Rays and 2nd in the league
in runs/game I think that says all you need to know about small sample sizes.
   34. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:55 PM (#2340350)
It's early and there's plenty of time to improve, but I don't think the anything close to the current level of offense will be adequate for a playoff contender in the AL East over the full season. The Red Sox are currently last in the AL East in hits, runs, HRs, total bases, RBI, batting average, slugging and OPS(by 20 points). That's a lot for a pitching staff to overcome.

Yawn.
   35. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 20, 2007 at 03:55 PM (#2340354)
The Red Sox have 3 guys that aren't hitting at all, and may not hit all year: Varitek, Pedroia and Crisp. Manny isn't hitting right now,but he will. Lowell and Youkilis are what they are. Lugo, Papi and Drew are off to decent starts. 6 out of 9 will hit, but they'll have a lot of pressure on them if the other 3 don't pick it up even a little bit.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: April 20, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2340369)
from boston.com:

The Sox acquired lefthanded pitcher Daniel Haigwood from the Rangers for Double A Portland righthander Scott Shoemaker and cash considerations. Haigwood has been assigned to the Sea Dogs; the Sox' big league roster is now filled at 40

thoughts?
   37. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 20, 2007 at 04:26 PM (#2340377)
They also have the fewest PAs (thanks to a few rainouts) by a rather substantial margin.

Yes, but the rate stats aren't favorable, either. Boston is last in the AL East in BA & SLG, and holds just a 1 point edge on Baltimore for the 4th spot in on-base %. As I said before, it's early and there's time to improve. Just about everyone is expecting Manny to improve. However, there's room for doubt about Varitek, Crisp & Pedroia. They also had problems in 2006. To paraphrase Bivens, it'd be a lot to overcome if 3 regulars aren't within hailing distance of league average production.
   38. PJ Martinez Posted: April 20, 2007 at 05:12 PM (#2340421)
"Just about everyone is expecting Manny to improve."

Just about everyone? Is there a human being on the planet who has ever heard of baseball who thinks Manny just might carry a 590 OPS throughout the season?

As I said above, no hitter is dramatically overperforming, and about half the lineup are fairly dramatically underperforming. Even if you're pessimistic about this lineup-- and I am-- they're not hitting nearly where they're capable of right now.

As for Manny, some nice tidbits from Rosenthal (via SoSH):

"Ramirez, in his past 27 games against the Yankees, has batted .506 with 13 homers and 36 RBI in 89 at-bats, according to STATS Inc. His on-base/slugging percentage in that time: A tidy 1.616. Ramirez's .556 batting average in last year's season series was the second-highest single-season mark against the Yankees in the past 50 years (minimum 40 plate appearances). The highest? Rod Carew's .595 mark in 1975."

I don't know if Rosenthal points this out or not, but that must have been in far fewer ABs (given the advent of the unbalanced schedule).

Somehow I think Manny will come around.
   39. tfbg9 Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:05 PM (#2340486)
thoughts?


He's a bit too BB happy?
   40. villageidiom Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:07 PM (#2340488)
I don't know if Rosenthal points this out or not, but that must have been in far fewer ABs (given the advent of the unbalanced schedule).

Carew played in 9 games (42 PA) against the Yankees in 1975. The schedule was unbalanced back then, too, with ~18 games against each divisional opponent, and ~12 games against other teams. But Minnesota and NY were in separate divisions, and Carew didn't play in 3 of the games vs. NY.
   41. PJ Martinez Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:11 PM (#2340494)
Thanks, vi. Do you know how many PAs Manny had against the Yankees last year?
   42. villageidiom Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:19 PM (#2340498)
No, but BB-Ref knows he had 63 PA against NYY last year.
   43. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:26 PM (#2340501)
Manny was the only guy who hit worth a damn for the Sox in during the 5-game sweep last year. He's terrifying.
   44. Cowboy Popup Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:39 PM (#2340509)
"Only Tampa Bay & the Yankees are significantly outhitting them, and when the friggin' Devil Rays and 2nd in the league
in runs/game I think that says all you need to know about small sample sizes."

The D-rays will have a good offense this year, and I would only be somewhat surprised if it were better then the Sox, given the potential upside in that lineup.
   45. bibigon Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2340520)
It's early and there's plenty of time to improve, but I don't think the anything close to the current level of offense will be adequate for a playoff contender in the AL East over the full season. The Red Sox are currently last in the AL East in hits, runs, HRs, total bases, RBI, batting average, slugging and OPS(by 20 points). That's a lot for a pitching staff to overcome.


I mean, if we're going to base stuff off of early season numbers, the Red Sox are also currently first in baseball in just about every pitching category. I don't know why the pitching numbers are less "real" than the hitting numbers. To be clear, I don't think either set of numbers is "real", but I don't see why the pitching is less representative than the hitting. The pitching will get worse, the hitting will get better.

The Red Sox' record is 9-5. Their pythagorean record is 11-3, and with Papelbon back there, they don't strike me as a team likely to systematically underperform their pythagorean record due to lots of blown saves either.
   46. chris p Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:55 PM (#2340527)
A note of Petunia optimism:

BA/BIP: .188
LD/BIP: .194


that's amazing. i was starting to get a bit concerned, but those numbers give me much more confidence.

as i've mentioned in the past, i think coco will hit fine--his swing isn't pretty, but he's gotten results in the past. however, his defense is crap ... i'd like to see some ellsbury sooner than later.

as for tek? maybe he's toast ... but dougie's going deep, so it's cool.
   47. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: April 20, 2007 at 06:55 PM (#2340528)
Is he going to become a poor man's David Eckstein or soemthing better?

I wish everybody would give up the Pedroia-Eckstein comparisons. Pedroia has better career minor league numbers (40 points of OPS, although Eck's OBP was 20 points higher) and when you compare their ages at each level, Pedroia was even better. Pedroia is 23 this season. Eckstein was in High A when he was 23.
   48. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: April 20, 2007 at 07:15 PM (#2340544)
He looks like a seven-year-old, and then he hits like a seven-year-old, and you can put that out of your mind? That takes discipline.

I am going to put my faith in his 1000 minor league AB's over his 125 ML ab's. I agree, he looks terrible. He waits for pitches and then when he swings he chops it to third or pops it up. Like others have said, he always struggles moving up a level.
   49. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: April 21, 2007 at 12:14 PM (#2341333)
The Red Sox have 3 guys that aren't hitting at all, and may not hit all year: Varitek, Pedroia and Crisp.

And sure enough, 2 out of three of them chip in to win last night's game. TDIET.

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