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   1. jim in providence Posted: June 20, 2006 at 02:23 PM (#2069580)
Loretta has played a bit of third throughout his career, and so might be passable in an emergency. Though he might be better suited to shifting to first, with Youklis (the guy with the better arm, I presume) playing third. Yes, the bench looks a bit thin right now. I wouldn't be surprised to see Wily Mo getting his feet wet at 1B when he comes back.
   2. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 20, 2006 at 02:49 PM (#2069595)
I really wonder how much of Wily Mo we'll get this year. Even if he comes back in 3 or 4 weeks, it's going to take him some time to regain strength and get his timing back. Having a bone removed from your hand isn't nothing - it could take him some getting used to.
   3. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 20, 2006 at 03:00 PM (#2069600)
Also, Choi is hitting 222/370/394 in AAA, so I'm guessing he stays down there a little while longer until he and Pedroia decide to start tearing up the league any day now.
   4. Furious George Posted: June 20, 2006 at 03:03 PM (#2069603)
So I was at the game last night.

Man, do Sox fans love Gabe Kapler. He got a huuge ovation for making an awkward-looking catch in RF in the 5th or 6th inning.
   5. Darren Posted: June 20, 2006 at 03:06 PM (#2069605)
Every time Loretta's name get mentioned lately, I think of how wacky it is for him to be hitting 2nd. The Red Sox move Nixon to 2nd, Manny to 3rd, and have thereby have three .420+ OBPs in front of Ortiz. It'd be pretty sick.

I am also reminded of Mark Bellhorn. Loretta's been putting up these numbers for 1.5 years now, and he's still batting 2nd. Bellhorn did it for 1/2 a year and got released.
   6. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 20, 2006 at 03:14 PM (#2069612)
Mark Loretta would have no problem at third base. He wouldn't be anything special, but he could handle it without issue.

Darren's point is well taken. I am a Mark Loretta fan, but he really needs to start hitting outside of Fenway.
   7. Darren Posted: June 20, 2006 at 03:19 PM (#2069619)
Like for another team? Ba-dum-dum!

One obvious problem with my comparison is that the Sox had Graffanino playing well when the DFA'ed Bellhorn. The current Sox don't have that. That's why I'd say it makes sense for them to keep Loretta, even though they dumped Bellhorn, but they should drop him down.
   8. PJ Martinez Posted: June 20, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#2069797)
Well, Loretta's 340/373 is better than Bellhorn's 2005 324/357, though not by that much. Perhaps if Crisp rounds into form, and Loretta doesn't, then Crisp will move up to 1 or 2, with Loretta moving down.

I wonder if Harris will get cut when Wily Mo comes back, with Kapler still on the team. That doesn't seem like the best move baseball-wise, given Harris's greater speed and versatility, but, for PR reasons, I don't see how Kapler gets cut instead of Harris. Kapler is basically the Sox mascot, it seems-- or, more charitably, their uniformed PR-man.
   9. PJ Martinez Posted: June 20, 2006 at 07:08 PM (#2069798)
Also, a quick OBP/SLG isn't really adequate here. Of course, a closer look might favor Bellhorn-- who, I supsect, grounded into fewer DPs (that's just a guess, though). Other situational measures might favor Loretta. Just anecdotally, I couldn't imagine Bellhorn dropping down a bunt for a hit to get on in front of Ortiz, for example. And how many successful hit-and-runs have the Sox run with Loretta (doesn't seem like many)? But it's possible looking at those things, too, would bring up Loretta's value a bit. And while his range doesn't seem better than Bellhorn's, he might turn the DP slightly better.
   10. Darren Posted: June 20, 2006 at 07:43 PM (#2069820)
I thought it was the players' opinion of Kapler that kept him on the team, not the fans' opinion. Regardless, your general point is correct, I think: he'll stay with the team.

Just anecdotally, I couldn't imagine Bellhorn dropping down a bunt for a hit to get on in front of Ortiz, for example. And how many successful hit-and-runs have the Sox run with Loretta (doesn't seem like many)? But it's possible looking at those things, too, would bring up Loretta's value a bit. And while his range doesn't seem better than Bellhorn's, he might turn the DP slightly better.

Bunting for a hit is about the same as getting a regular hit though, right? You might be right about hit-and-run.

As for defense, Loretta and Bellhorn looked pretty close, and the numbers favored Bellhorn. I always thought turning the DP was a plus for Bellhorn. On the bases, Bellhorn had to be faster, simply by virtue of the fact that he is not Loretta, Lowell, or Bengie Molina.
   11. Kurt Posted: June 20, 2006 at 07:51 PM (#2069827)
Well, Loretta's 340/373 is better than Bellhorn's 2005 324/357, though not by that much. Perhaps if Crisp rounds into form, and Loretta doesn't, then Crisp will move up to 1 or 2, with Loretta moving down.

Maybe, but the DC announcers made an interesting point. They thought that Crisp might be on the Corey Patterson plan - hit seventh or so and steal a bunch of bases to get into scoring position for the 8/9 hitters, rather than wasting the speed in front of Ortiz and Manny.
   12. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2006 at 03:49 AM (#2070475)
Mark Loretta for a skinny white guy is the slowest man on the frakking planet
   13. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: June 21, 2006 at 04:48 AM (#2070507)
This year's Mark Loretta reminds me of the guy I thought he was when he was with Milwaukee--a high avg. 2B but when you looked at the stats, you saw the avg. was pretty much it. Maybe his years in San Diego were due to...nah...that Petco thread couldn't have created some sort of vortex that channelled a young Charlie Gehringer into Loretta's body.
   14. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2006 at 05:22 AM (#2070514)
Mark Loretta isn't really hurting the offense right now. He was bad at the beginning of the year, but he's no worse than the average 2B
   15. MM1f Posted: June 21, 2006 at 06:29 AM (#2070525)
"Maybe his years in San Diego were due to...nah...that Petco thread couldn't have created some sort of vortex that channelled a young Charlie Gehringer into Loretta's body."

I could see Loretta, as a high avg presumably line drive (i havn't seen him enough to really know for sure) hitter, actually benefiting from Petco Park as the opposing outfielders would be streched to cover some much more ground and more singles and double could fall in for him.

On the other hand only once does he even come sort've close to his SD HR totals (13 and 16...and then 3) before San Diego when he had 7 in 350 ABs in 2000...and even that aint quite close enough
   16. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2006 at 06:37 AM (#2070528)
Roids?
   17. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 21, 2006 at 03:04 PM (#2070637)
Roids?

Well, he's also a 34 year-old 2B. Don't 2B tend to age rather quickly anyway?

He's still not that far off from his career averages. He's not walking as much, which isn't too surprising I guess, since he's hitting in front of Papi.
   18. PJ Martinez Posted: June 21, 2006 at 03:47 PM (#2070688)
I hope Kurt is right about Crisp using his speed at the bottom of the order-- Francona did say as much when he moved him down.

Bunting for a hit is the same as getting a regular hit, yes-- but I was referring to the specific game when Loretta bunted to get on and then Papi won it. Loretta saw that the 3B was playing way back and there was no lefty in the bullpen for Ortiz (as if that matters), and so he dropped one down. It was a nice piece of situational hitting. No other big examples come to mind, so I'm not sure it matters much in the end. In that situation, though, bunting (well, of course), was a much better percentage play than swinging for a "regular hit."

I guess I hadn't noticed just how slow Loretta is on the basepaths. It's Lowell's snail-like footspeed that has really impressed me.

Anyway, Darren is right about the batting order. Against righties, the top four should be Youkilis-Nixon-Manny-Ortiz.
   19. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 24, 2006 at 02:37 AM (#2074213)
I think we should trade Loretta to San Diego for Bellhorn.

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