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   1. philly Posted: May 11, 2006 at 11:43 AM (#2014375)
Pedroia went 3-6 with a walk and a couple 2B in last nights DH. Maybe he's going to heat up.

Alvarez is still pitching very effectively (great era, mediocre K rate).

Choi apparently has been in a big slump though. He's down to 268/427/393. That's a Millar-esque SLG.

Stern is at 217/308/333 so both of the older position player prospects with MLB time are really struggling.

Portland has been getting good starts from the unheralded trio of Pauley, Cris Smith and Kabbard. I always liked Gabbard a little, but presumably he's going to break down any minute now.

Wilmington and Greenville are pretty bleak outside of the two injuted hitters in Wilm and the two pitchers in Greenville. Luis Soto is still hurt right?
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 11, 2006 at 12:55 PM (#2014399)
Luis Soto is still hurt right?


Right.

-- MWE
   3. jim in providence Posted: May 11, 2006 at 06:40 PM (#2014832)
In the interest of maybe cheering people up ...

Driving home from work this afternoon, I was listening to the Pawsox/Skychiefs game. Lester had a pretty consistent mid-90s fastball, and touched 98 on occasion.*

[*all caveats regarding stadium radar readings apply]
   4. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 11, 2006 at 06:48 PM (#2014847)
5 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 6 K

He's coming back around again.
   5. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 11, 2006 at 07:38 PM (#2014916)
Wilmington and Greenville are pretty bleak outside of the two injuted hitters in Wilm and the two pitchers in Greenville.


Dobies and Hottovy have been pitching pretty well, although it's hard to tell how much of that is Wilmington park effect. Looking at Jeff Sackmann's split data, actually, Hottovy has been lights-out on the road, where Dobies has what I would think is a more typical split for a pitcher at Frawley (but still pretty darned good on the road).

I like Dobies, probably a lot more than I should. He's not particularly fast, surviving mostly by changing speeds (he has a dynamite changeup), throwing strikes, and keeping the hitters off-balance. Hottovy has more stuff but not quite as much command of it, although you have to like that he has yet to allow a homer in 40 IP this year.

-- MWE
   6. Mattbert Posted: May 11, 2006 at 07:46 PM (#2014930)
He's coming back around again.
Asked after the game if he'd made any adjustments before posting his strongest outing of the year, Lester declined to discuss his start in detail, saying only, "This was for the people of the sun."
   7. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: May 12, 2006 at 10:27 AM (#2016399)
Who are the people of the sun??
   8. Mattbert Posted: May 12, 2006 at 02:22 PM (#2016489)
Nobody. I was just getting my Repoz on.
   9. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 12, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#2016538)
For a minute I thought Lester was a Rage Against the Machine fan.
   10. chris p Posted: May 12, 2006 at 04:20 PM (#2016610)
Who are the people of the sun??

the mayans.
   11. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 12, 2006 at 04:30 PM (#2016621)
Jon Lester actually is Subcommandante Marcos. There's a very complex set of reasons why this is the case.

I believe the reason for Lester's slow start is that his radical rejection of global capitalism in favor of a Marxist recognition of indigenous rights has preoccupied him when he should be refining his cut fastball.
   12. chris p Posted: May 12, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2016630)
I believe the reason for Lester's slow start is that his radical rejection of global capitalism in favor of a Marxist recognition of indigenous rights has preoccupied him when he should be refining his cut fastball.

that should make for some interesting contract negotiations.
   13. chris p Posted: May 13, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#2018020)
yeah me too kevin. we really suck at hitting prospects.
   14. tfbg9 Posted: May 13, 2006 at 04:42 PM (#2018047)
Grow pitchers, buy hitters, the hitters have Fenway-aided big years, lose them to free agency, recieve draft picks, use the higher ones mostly on pitchers, grow pitchers...?

Matt Clement is a humongo f*cking disaster right now, BTW.
   15. Darren Posted: May 13, 2006 at 07:28 PM (#2018271)
Grow pitchers, buy hitters,

No, wrong way around. Grow the hitters, they're a lot more predictable. In fact, as MGL advocates, it makes a lot of sense to grow/get all the great hitters/fielders you can get, and then skimp on the pitching if need be.

Personally, I think the Sox should copy the Yankees formula. Get hitters who look lousy in the minors and then become great in the majors. The Sox had a good candidate in Hanley, apparently, but let him go. (I'm bitter.)
   16. Darren Posted: May 13, 2006 at 07:29 PM (#2018274)
Portland has been one giant disappointment this year.

Every freaking part of the minors has been one big disappointment. I would love to just have one prospect who's dominating at a level appropriate for his age.
   17. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 13, 2006 at 08:04 PM (#2018314)
Every freaking part of the minors has been one big disappointment. I would love to just have one prospect who's dominating at a level appropriate for his age.
Dominating may be a bit strong, but Clay Buchholz and Mike Bowden at Greenville have been the brightest spots in the system so far.

There's still some sort of chance that Tommy Hottovy could be having a breakout year in Wilmington, though he's pushing the age limits there.

And in some ways, the system looks worse than it really is because of the injuries to Ellsbury, Lowrie and Soto. But it hasn't been a good year, regardless.
No, wrong way around. Grow the hitters, they're a lot more predictable. In fact, as MGL advocates, it makes a lot of sense to grow/get all the great hitters/fielders you can get, and then skimp on the pitching if need be.
In general, MGL may be right, but the Red Sox under Epstein have shown a pronounced ability to identify and acquire underpriced hitters, while they have been average at the very best with free agent pitchers. Given that specific skill set, growing pitchers makes some sense. Though we'd all like it if they could just get good at buying pitchers, too. Matt Clement sucks so bad.
   18. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 13, 2006 at 11:14 PM (#2018445)
Hansen's been mildly disappointing to me, actually. He's got 11 walks to 17 Ks in his 19 innings. The walk rate has gone up a ton in Pawtucket, and is probably a consequence of Hansen working on his changeup in longer outings, but it's hard for me to point to Hansen and say he's a big success so far. I woulda liked to see him be able to shut down AA/AAA lineups for 2-3 inning stints, and it's proved a bit tough.
   19. tfbg9 Posted: May 14, 2006 at 01:06 AM (#2018776)
"No, wrong way around. Grow the hitters, they're a lot more predictable. In fact, as MGL advocates, it makes a lot of sense to grow/get all the great hitters/fielders you can get, and then skimp on the pitching if need be."

Like the 1976 Reds? I know which was its supposed to go, Captain Condescendo...
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2006 at 01:42 AM (#2018878)
The real reason mgl advocates it is because he has trouble projecting minor league pitchers so just discounts the importance they have, rather than admit his spreadsheet and nerdrule doesn't work for him there.
MGL's not saying pitchers aren't important - that's a pretty serious misreading, IMO.

He's saying that, purely statistically, pitchers are harder to project. The issue is that spreadsheets and nerdrules are very useful things. Hitters tend to do what nerdrules say, at least to a greater degree than pitchers do. And nerdrules are amazingly easy to figure out and implement - so it's a big plus when you can have a general idea of what someone will do based on such simple analysis.

I am very skeptical, given their mediocre-at-best track record with pitchers, that the Red Sox have figured out a good way of evaluating pitchers that goes notably beyond their nerdrules. Fans of a team that spends $27M on Matt Clement should probably lay off arguments that imply their team knows a whole bunch more about pitching.

I suggested above that because the Sox seem barely competent with major league pitching, they should focus a bit more on developing minor league pitching, and that argument still makes sense to me.
   21. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 14, 2006 at 03:07 AM (#2019055)
He's saying that, purely statistically, pitchers are harder to project.


They may be harder to project statistically, but that doesn't mean that it's harder to recognize a good pitching prospect than it is to recognize a good hitting prospect.

The #1 problem with pitching prospects is injury - both the fact that injuries occur and the fact that you can't figure out what (if anything) pitchers will lose as a result of injury. But even given that, you can still look at several indicators - K rate, K/BB ratio, and BABIP (yes, BABIP) - and get a feel for what the pitcher's chances are.

Statistical projection is not the be-all and end-all of prospect evaluation.

-- MWE
   22. Darren Posted: May 14, 2006 at 04:07 AM (#2019088)
Like the 1976 Reds? I know which was its supposed to go, Captain Condescendo...

Sorry, didn't mean to sound condescending. Only meant to disagree.

I don't think the pitcher/hitter thing has anything to do with nerdrulers specifically. The problem is that, with all the tools availabe, both nerdy and scouty, pitchers are just tougher to project. Injury is one reason but they are also flukier beyond obvious injury problems (maybe these are hidden injuries). A good hitting prospect is just quite a bit more likely to work out and stay good than a good pitching prospect.

Well, if mgl advocates it, it must make sense.

Yes, I agree.
   23. Darren Posted: May 14, 2006 at 04:19 AM (#2019099)
No wonder nobody takes him seriously in the Cardinals organization.

Yes, this is made evident by their team resembling a UZR All-Star team.
   24. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: May 14, 2006 at 04:38 AM (#2019102)
kevin, do you have some kind of personal grudge against mgl?
   25. Psychedelic Red Pants Posted: May 14, 2006 at 04:48 AM (#2019106)
Incidentally, Ramirez has't been as good as it seems. His defense has been very poor.


You care to back that up with anything at all? His numbers are a bit below average, but he's performed as well as or better than many well-regarded defensive shortstops.
   26. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2006 at 11:54 AM (#2019169)
They may be harder to project statistically, but that doesn't mean that it's harder to recognize a good pitching prospect than it is to recognize a good hitting prospect.
Oh, certainly. That's why I said, "purely statistically."

I was arguing that the Red Sox, at the major league level, have shown little ability to recognize good pitching. Not that it can't be done - I'm totally certain it can - but the Red Sox specifically don't seem to be using observational tools to add significant value to their pitcher evaluations.

Amateur evaluation is an interesting piece to add in here, because stats are useless in high school and only become particularly meaningful - though not wildly so - in A-ball. Given that no one's using stats much in drafting players, it's quite possible that pitchers are as easy to evaluate as hitters through observational methods. Given that, it might actually make sense to focus on pitchers in the draft and try to acquire hitters at the major league level.

Again, though, I don't want to attribute to the Red Sox abilities that they haven't shown. I don't think this front office is all that good at determining what a quality pitcher looks like.
   27. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 14, 2006 at 04:33 PM (#2019247)
For a minute I thought Lester was a Rage Against the Machine fan.

I'm a huge RATM fan btw.
   28. chris p Posted: May 14, 2006 at 04:47 PM (#2019263)
I just think he's full of #### 80% of the time. He's one of these dorks who never takes into consideration the human element in anything. In fact, he consistently insists the human element is irrelevant in evaluating or projecting a player and that's just a fatuous position to adopt.

you have to take him with a grain of salt. ... kinda like a certain "union" member.

i mean ... sure, he's 100% certain that his statistics tell the whole story, completely accurately. but when you account for his bad points, he still has alot of value to add to the conversation. just don't expect him to give you subjective analysis of pitching prospects. what i do is just to sort of filter things he says ... if he says that the human element is "irrelevant" what he means is that he doesn't factor the human element into his evaluations. if he says that pitching prospects are crap or whatever, he means that he doesn't have confidence in his ability to project them. it's not like he's going to admit he's wrong (sound familiar, kevin?)
   29. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: May 14, 2006 at 05:12 PM (#2019286)
i mean ... sure, he's 100% certain that his statistics tell the whole story, completely accurately. but when you account for his bad points, he still has alot of value to add to the conversation.


If MGL's stats don't tell the whole story, then one wonders what percentage of the story they do tell. Compare MGL to someone like Sickels. Sickels gives a letter grade to a prospect and tells us what statistical and observational data justifies the grade. Sickels gives reasons for that grade. MGL doesn't tell us what indicators he's looking at. He doesn't say, "Look at the K/BB rate, contact rate, PF, etc." Instead we get statistical output and blanket judgments about players.

As fun as UZR and SLwts output can be, it's rare that MGL tells us what the specific strengths and weaknesses of players are. (Yes, I know there are baserunning and arm components to SLwts, they make up a very small percentage of a player's value, though.) I'd much prefer a scouting report on a player because they're at least falsifiable. I can watch a player myself and determine whether he has a good slider, a strong arm, a quick bat or trouble going to his right. A scouting report is much easier to confirm or refute than a "-42."
   30. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 14, 2006 at 06:19 PM (#2019450)
You might expect the errors because he's a young guy but the fact he isn't making a lot of plays would worry me if I were the Marlins GM. Usually, young players have range to burn but screw up a lot by making errors.


This isn't quite the case. Usually, young players have a lot of adjustments to make to the major league environment. The sight lines are different, the visual cues and the audio cues are different, and quite often, what you see is young players not only making errors but also reacting more slowly to balls and making fewer plays as well. Most young players start near the bottom in all defensive metrics, and improve over time.

-- MWE
   31. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 14, 2006 at 06:23 PM (#2019465)
As fun as UZR and SLwts output can be, it's rare that MGL tells us what the specific strengths and weaknesses of players are.


Pure statistical analysis can't do that; it tells you *what* but not *why*. You need other analytical methods to evaluate the *why*.

-- MWE
   32. Xander Posted: May 14, 2006 at 07:09 PM (#2019623)
Darren:
Every freaking part of the minors has been one big disappointment. I would love to just have one prospect who's dominating at a level appropriate for his age.

Bowden and Buchholz are doing extremely well.

Kevin:
Incidentally, Ramirez has't been as good as it seems. His defense has been very poor.

His defense has been adequate. He'll make a few errors here and there, but he is young. His hitting and baserunning has been outstanding. 14th in the MLV in VORP isn't anything to sneer at 6 weeks into the season. Obviously VORP doesn't account for defense, but I think you are overstating that effect.

MCoA:
Hansen's been mildly disappointing to me, actually. He's got 11 walks to 17 Ks in his 19 innings. The walk rate has gone up a ton in Pawtucket, and is probably a consequence of Hansen working on his changeup in longer outings, but it's hard for me to point to Hansen and say he's a big success so far. I woulda liked to see him be able to shut down AA/AAA lineups for 2-3 inning stints, and it's proved a bit tough.

I don't think it's fair to solely look at the stats w/r/t Hansen, specifically for the reason you mentioned. He is throwing a structured program, that has him mixing in a pitch that he only began using this year. If he was going 1 inning stints, using only his fastball and slider, i'm sure he could put up great numbers, but he wouldn't be improving much. I think you have to listen to some of the comments from the Portland and Pawtucket coaches and players. To them, Hansen has been throwing great. Mark Deschenes says he is as good as advertised and his changeup improves with each outing. I believe Todd Claus said he was the best arm he has seen in 20 years. Cherington and Theo have been very pleased with his progress. I don't think there is anything there to worry about.
   33. philly Posted: May 14, 2006 at 07:55 PM (#2019775)
With all due respect, I disagree.

Just curious how many Florida games have you seen? Or is that based mostly on his defensive rankings?
   34. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2006 at 08:25 PM (#2019855)
Bowden and Buchholz are doing extremely well.
Bowden's given up a bunch of hits and homers. He's done extremely well at times, and at other times, not so much.

Buchholz' 19 innings are the best we got.
   35. Xander Posted: May 14, 2006 at 08:49 PM (#2019919)
Bowden has a DIPS ERA at ~2.57. I don't know how you can complain about that. He has had 1 bad outing, 1 1-inning outing which was cut-short due to rain, and every outing since those two have been good.

4/9- 5 IP, 0 ER, 6/1 K/BB
4/15- 5 IP, 8 ER, 3/1 K/BB (lone bad outing)
4/21 (suspended game)- 1 IP, 2 ER (both let in by another pitcher on the ensuing day)
4/26- 5 IP, 0 ER, 9/0 K/BB
5/1- 5 IP, ER, 10/1 K/BB
5/6- 5 IP, 2 ER, 4/1 K/BB
5/12- 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 6/1 K/BB
   36. chris p Posted: May 14, 2006 at 09:45 PM (#2020076)
As fun as UZR and SLwts output can be, it's rare that MGL tells us what the specific strengths and weaknesses of players are. (Yes, I know there are baserunning and arm components to SLwts, they make up a very small percentage of a player's value, though.) I'd much prefer a scouting report on a player because they're at least falsifiable. I can watch a player myself and determine whether he has a good slider, a strong arm, a quick bat or trouble going to his right. A scouting report is much easier to confirm or refute than a "-42."

fortunately we don't have to choose one or the other. we can have both!
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2006 at 09:48 PM (#2020078)
Bowden has a DIPS ERA at ~2.57. I don't know how you can complain about that.
There's no reason at all to assume DIPS "works" at the minor league level. Bowden's been hittable. He's given up runs.

Guys who dominate - Darren's original term- don't give up runs like that.
   38. Xander Posted: May 14, 2006 at 10:02 PM (#2020089)
You don't have to look at the specific number to know that Bowden has pitched far better than his ERA. The whole basis of your argument seems to lie in this subjective interpretation of the word "dominate." I don't have a problem believing that a pitcher with great rate stats is "dominating," even if he has a high ERA. His BABIP, which is around .380, is certain to be a bit fluky as well.
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 14, 2006 at 10:26 PM (#2020100)
I don't have a problem believing that a pitcher with great rate stats is "dominating," even if he has a high ERA. His BABIP, which is around .380, is certain to be a bit fluky as well.
But, a pitcher with a .380 BABIP and 3 HRs allowed in 27 IP doesn't have great rate stats. He has some great rate stats, and some bad ones. I don't see any reason to assume that his K rate is significantly less likely to be a fluke than his H and HR rates.

If we had any observational data, that would be a big deal. He might be dominating but unlucky, and someone who watched him pitch could tell us. But without the obsrvations, Bowden's stats look short of "dominating".
   40. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: May 15, 2006 at 12:00 AM (#2020131)
As fun as UZR and SLwts output can be, it's rare that MGL tells us what the specific strengths and weaknesses of players are. (Yes, I know there are baserunning and arm components to SLwts, they make up a very small percentage of a player's value, though.) I'd much prefer a scouting report on a player because they're at least falsifiable. I can watch a player myself and determine whether he has a good slider, a strong arm, a quick bat or trouble going to his right. A scouting report is much easier to confirm or refute than a "-42."

fortunately we don't have to choose one or the other. we can have both!


Well we don't actually have both anymore.

If you can't trust UZR without observation, then what does it add? How is it that for some players we can say UZR is wrong and for others we can say observational data is wrong? I'm not saying that this is any sort of intractable problem; as you suggest, the two could complement each other. Still, it's perfectly rational to disregard UZR, so long as you have reasons for coming to a contrary conclusion. And unfortunately, since there usually aren't reasons for a UZR or SLwt number, there's no basis for any back and forth. There's nothing I can look for the next time I watch Jim Edmonds play centerfield that can tip me off to what he's doing wrong.
   41. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 15, 2006 at 12:11 AM (#2020136)
His BABIP, which is around .380, is certain to be a bit fluky as well.


No, it's not "certain" to be a bit fluky. Clay Davenport's research suggests that pitchers who succeed as they move up the ladder tend to be those w/ low BABIP.

-- MWE
   42. Josh Posted: May 15, 2006 at 10:21 AM (#2020451)
While not "certain," it is certainly very likely that the 380 BABIP, in this instance, is a bit flukey as he has good "stuff" and and causes batters to miss (leading to large SO totals).

I'd say that the good bet is that his BABIP drops significantly rather than otherwise.
   43. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 16, 2006 at 12:47 PM (#2021936)
...aaaaaand Buchholz had a bad game, 3 R in 4.2, one homer allowed. This minor league season stinks.

I guess the one way of rationalizing it is to look at all the 27-and-unders on the active Red Sox roster who have been almost uniformly good.

Beckett - 26
Papelbon - 25
Youkilis - 27
Wily Mo - 24
Covelli - 26

So that's pretty cool.

One interesting thing from last night. Hansen started at went four shutout innings, throwing 54 pitches. 4 K / 0 BB. Per SoSH, he sat 92-94 and touched 96. I think earlier in the season someone (PJMartinez?) was asking whether the Sox would stretch Hansen out to start, and I was very dismissive. Hansen's recent workload looks a hell of a lot like a guy being prepared for starting. I'll guess that the Sox want Hansen to be their #1 option in July to be called up to either the rotation or the bullpen (sorta like using Papelbon as a starter in spring.) Hope it works out.
   44. Joel W Posted: May 16, 2006 at 03:22 PM (#2022107)
Don't really want to ruin the Dewey thread, so I'll ask this hear:

In an admittedly VERY small sample, it seems like Beckett's struggles with Toronto and Cleveland make him just start throwing strikes? Did he talk to Curt Schilling or something? Cause in the last two games he's struck out 13, walked none, and given up two home runs in 14 innings.

Something seems different.


Seperately, I'm liking the Hansen as a starter thing. More, I like the draft relievers and make them starters thing. You can always go back to being a reliever (Papelbon), but it's good to know, it's better for learning, and also, the college relievers didn't have games where they threw 150 pitches. That's always nice.
   45. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 16, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#2022141)
I like the draft relievers and make them starters thing.

Me too. I like the idea that the pitcher's arm has fewer innings on it, but moreover I like the idea of getting pitchers who have demonstrated that they can dominate hitters, whether it's in a relief or starting role. Papelbon and Hansen both have dominant pitches, in Papelbon's case, the "straight fastball that the league will eventually catch up to," and in Hansen's the slider. I think that kind of focused dominance may translate better to big league success than a merely pretty good starting college pitcher who has maybe four pitches, none of them being particularly overpowering. This stuff is probably basic scouting 101, but the drafting of college closers higher in the draft seems novel to me, at least.

It seems like even Josh Beckett only really needs two pitches. Last night his fastball looked so electric that he could throw it by hitters in the strike zone, but once he started mixing in that awesome curve which he was also able to throw by hitters in the zone, he was nearly unhittable. I think it's not that Beckett just decided to throw more strikes, but that he realized his stuff was so good that he could throw it by hitters in the zone without them being able to hit it.
   46. tfbg9 Posted: May 16, 2006 at 04:05 PM (#2022155)
Good stuff on Hansen.

Nowhere else to put this...did Beckett's blister issue rear it's ugly little head for the first time last night? Media types are saying so today on the radio-anybody hear/read anything? I gotta get work done and can't look around.
   47. tfbg9 Posted: May 16, 2006 at 04:11 PM (#2022163)
Bad news for Sox fans-Sturtz out for the year. Unless Joe gives important innings to...Scott Erickson?
   48. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 16, 2006 at 04:49 PM (#2022202)
On Beckett's blister issue, from the Globe:

A muddy response
After the seventh inning, NESN cameras showed Josh Beckett in the dugout with pitching coach Al Nipper checking the tip of the middle finger on Beckett's pitching hand, the finger that has blistered and landed Beckett on the disabled several times.

Beckett, to that point, had thrown only 80 pitches and allowed only one run on two hits. It wasn't until Beckett went to the dugout after the bottom of the seventh than Julian Tavarez got up to warm up in the bullpen. Tavarez came in to pitch the eighth.

Asked if Beckett had a finger issue, Francona said, ''You know what he did, the one inning [the sixth] he got his spike stuck and he had a bunch of mud. That's when we went out and checked. It was just me being careful. We hadn't used much of the bullpen. We had a lead. I think he would have preferred to stay in. I just didn't see a reason to do that."

In the sixth, Francona, Nipper, and trainer Jim Rowe visited the mound to check on Beckett's body -- presumably his side, back and legs, not his finger. He pitched that inning and the seventh.

A reporter then asked a followup to be clear, asking if Beckett had a hand issue.

''He had a bunch of mud on his spikes when he was warming up [for the sixth]," Francona said, returning again to that issue instead of answering the question.
   49. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 16, 2006 at 04:51 PM (#2022205)
While not "certain," it is certainly very likely that the 380 BABIP, in this instance, is a bit flukey as he has good "stuff" and and causes batters to miss (leading to large SO totals).


We're talking about low-A ball hitters. Probably half to 2/3 of the guys playing at low-A are non-prospects; they're going to swing and miss a lot. Bowden's ability to strike those guys out means very little, compared to his inability to prevent those guys who do make contact from getting hits.

That said: it IS a small sample size, as yet (Bowden's pitched just 27 2/3 innings in 7 starts) and I'm more than happy to wait and see what happens as he's stretched out. I don't know if the Red Sox are limiting his pitch arsenal as well as his pitch count (teams do tell a guy to work on certain pitches and limit their use of others) - if they are, then the BABIP may not be indicative of what he'll be able to do if/when he's unleashed.

-- MWE
   50. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: May 16, 2006 at 06:55 PM (#2022364)
<i>"The pitching probables for tonight's games at McCoy Stadium:

Game 1: RHP Jeremy Cummings (3-1, 5.54) vs. RHP David Riske (0-0, 0.00).

Game 2: LHP Jim Crowell (0-0, 1.64) vs. RHP Craig Hansen (0-0, 3.38).

Don't read too much into that, however.

Riske, who pitched Wednesday and threw a simulated session in a batting cage Saturday, will be making his second appearance on rehab. Hansen, meanwhile, has not been converted to a starter; he simply continues to work three innings at a time on a fixed program. With the recent rainouts, the Sox simply want to make sure Hansen gets his work in, and starting him gives him the best shot to pitch, in case weather again becomes a factor."

According to Snow in the 5/15 Globe, Hansen starting was not a sign he is becoming a starter. Link
   51. Darren Posted: May 17, 2006 at 02:05 AM (#2023559)
he worked 4 ip last time, though.
   52. Norcan Posted: May 18, 2006 at 05:24 AM (#2025461)
The Red Sox farm system looks pretty barren now, nothing that would rank in the top 10. There's nearly zero positional prospects I'm really excited over. The best could be Ellsbury but a slaphitting potential gold glove centerfielder doesn't whip me up into much of a frenzy. The rest just look dreadful, none that could be good starters on good teams, maybe not even bench guys. Moss, Murphy, Hall, Corsaletti, oh please. I'm still holding out hope that Pedroia's slow numbers are a result of his shoulder still not being right and his timing being off but I don't know, maybe he just isn't good enough and the scouts will win out in the end.

At least on the pitching front, Lester's looking pretty good. I think his curveball looks to my eyes so much better this year. I've seen him throw it strikes, something he had trouble doing last year when it looked like he got under it too much. Buccholz looks pretty strong and it's great that he's a fabulous athlete in general. With Bowden, I wish his hits/9 were better. Based on his low bb rate, he's more polished than most but with the number of hits he's given up--and his line doesn't include one wiped out start where he went 1 inning and gave up 4 hits--maybe his stuff aren't good enough that even low-A hitters can make good contact against him. If he finishes up with something like 9 hits/9 but 2 bb/9, that wouldn't be too positive.
   53. MM1f Posted: May 18, 2006 at 05:35 AM (#2025462)
"That said: it IS a small sample size, as yet (Bowden's pitched just 27 2/3 innings in 7 starts) and I'm more than happy to wait and see what happens as he's stretched out. I don't know if the Red Sox are limiting his pitch arsenal as well as his pitch count (teams do tell a guy to work on certain pitches and limit their use of others) - if they are, then the BABIP may not be indicative of what he'll be able to do if/when he's unleashed."

Non-Sox related but isn't this what Danks is doing right now? Doesn't he get to throw like one curve ball an inning or one a game or something. The idea being that he works on suceeding by throwing the fastball 80% of the time and locating it to keep it deadly and developing his change by relying on it as an outpitch...which is very Mazzonian now that i think of it
   54. Josh Posted: June 30, 2006 at 10:12 AM (#2082166)
From SoxStats

Still early, of course, but Bowden's BABIP is down to about 318, and has been falling over his last four starts. (BTW: great stuff, SoxStats.)

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