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Monday, July 24, 2017

What Can We Expect?

The Red Sox have made the highly anticipated and hoped for move of calling up hot prospect Rafael Devers to try and address the issues at third base.  The good news is that Devers is almost certainly going to be an upgrade over the .228/.280/.320 line our third basemen have mustered in 2017.  According to FanGraphs his rest of season forecast is .270/.310/.436.  By way of comparison Brock Holt projects as .269/.332/.367 and the two players both are roughly the same in terms of WAR (0.0 for Devers, 0.1 for Holt) so do with that what you will.  I wanted to take a quick look at the BBRef pages for a few notable call ups by the Sox in recent years to see what they did on their first run through;

Andrew Benintendi - 2016 - .295/.359/.476
Yoan Moncada - 2016 - .211/.250/.263

Benintendi arrived and made a major impact almost right from the jump.  We saw some minor flaws in his game, notably on the base running front, but on the whole he showed up as a finished product.  Moncada by contrast looked woefully out of his depth after a couple of decent games, completely overmatched by breaking balls and struggling on the bases as well. Portland manager Carlos Febles noted that Devers resembles Benintendi more than Moncada in terms of development at this stage.  It’s worth noting that Moncada had not played any AAA games prior to his call up while Devers has spent a couple of weeks there.  Near-MLB off-speed stuff tends to be the biggest thing a player can get at AAA so hopefully that limited time can help.

Xander Bogaerts - 2013 - .250/.320/.364

Bogaerts played a lot of third base in that 2013 call up but his real impact came during a .296/.412/.481 post season.  Interestingly Bogaerts wasn’t regularly featured by John Farrell due to defensive concerns.  My guess is that Farrell is in a position where he is willing to overlook some defensive lapses if Devers can make an impact with the bat that this team needs.

Ryan Lavarnway - 2011 - .231/.302/.436

Lavarnway found himself thrust into an increasingly desperate situation in 2011 as the club circled the drain.  On the whole Lavarnway’s performance was very good including a two homer day in the penultimate game.  However, he struggled on the fateful final day as the Orioles refused to pitch to Adrian Gonzalez ahead of him.  Lavarnway is probably a decent analogue of what to expect, a player capable of very good things but also able to be exposed in key moments.


Jacoby Ellsbury - 2007 - .353/.394/.509

Obviously this would be the best case scenario.  Ellsbury arrived at sparkled on both sides of the ball giving the Sox a genuine option behind then struggling Coco Crisp.  Ellsbury was three years older than Devers at this stage though so it may be worth some caution in hoping for this kind of impact.

Looking over this group I think Bogaerts is a reasonable target.  Even that pedestrian regular season performance by Bogaerts would represent an upgrade for the Sox.  However, if the Sox really want to get rolling they need the current regulars to deliver.  For all the talk about the third base woes on this club it is the regular starting lineup that is underperforming almost top to bottom.  Fortunately, it is a mature enough lineup to expect a rebound from the following numbers (all since July 1);

Benintendi - .709 OPS/.781 ZiPS Rest of Season
Bogaerts - .484/.774
Bradley - .583/.779
Moreland - .424/.729
Travis - .710/.745

I included Travis at the end there to note that the Sox have a genuine option behind Moreland if they don’t believe he can bounce back.  To me this is a club that is slumping, nothing more.  When this group of hitters returns to its expected performance level the Sox will be playing better regardless of what Devers/Holt/Malzone does.

Oh, and I will say asking the kid to make his MLB debut against Felix Herandnez seems a bit cruel.

Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 24, 2017 at 09:05 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: July 24, 2017 at 10:32 AM (#5498725)
Oh, and I will say asking the kid to make his MLB debut against Felix Herandnez seems a bit cruel.


...to Felix Hernandez.

OH YEEEEEEAAH! DEVERS WHOSE NAME WILL BE MISPRONOUNCED AS "DEVENS" BY IDIOT BOSTONIANS WHO STILL SAY "TERRY FRANCONIA" BUT CAN SOMEHOW PRONOUNCE "SCITUATE" CORRECTLY WILL GET AN EXTRA BASE HIT IN EVERY TIME AT BAT AND WILL ADVANCE TWO BASES ON EVERY WALK BECAUSE HE'S THAT AWESOME. FELIX HERNANDEZ WILL FOREVER REMEMBER WHERE HE WAS WHEN DEVERS MADE HIS DEBUT BECAUSE THAT'S WHEN KING FELIX WILL BE DETHRONED, DEFEATED, AND DEFENESTRATED AT THE WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY DEVERS HAS HERE. BOOOOOOOOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE. HALLELUJIAH, HOLY ####, WHERE'S THE TYLENOL?
   2. Mike Webber Posted: July 24, 2017 at 02:11 PM (#5498945)
Jose did you get an email through the site from me this weekend? If not shoot me an email, I've got a Sox Therapy idea for you.
   3. Paul d mobile Posted: July 24, 2017 at 02:15 PM (#5498947)
Asking as a Jays fan... would you trade Devers for Josh Donaldson?
   4. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 24, 2017 at 02:21 PM (#5498953)
Asking as a Jays fan... would you trade Devers for Josh Donaldson?


Honestly I've given this a lot of thought and I go back and forth but I'd be awfully tempted. The Sox have a championship team here and putting Donaldson in the middle of the lineup is a genuine impact move. He's not a true rental because you get this year and next with him and maybe you can sign him next year. The Sox have a couple of other interesting third basemen in the system (Chavis, Dalbec) that are further away and lesser prospects than Devers but at least it's not like there isn't a potential replacement long term.
   5. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 24, 2017 at 02:26 PM (#5498954)
Mike - No I didn't get anything. I just primermailed you though and included my direct email address.
   6. Paul d mobile Posted: July 24, 2017 at 03:56 PM (#5499009)
Whoops, wrong thread, sorry.
   7. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 24, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5499041)
OH YEEEEEEAAH! DEVERS WHOSE NAME WILL BE MISPRONOUNCED AS "DEVENS" BY IDIOT BOSTONIANS WHO STILL SAY "TERRY FRANCONIA" BUT CAN SOMEHOW PRONOUNCE "SCITUATE" CORRECTLY

I always get mocked for not saying "sitchooate" and "sitchooation". Maybe I should move to Boston, except up there they can't pronounce "Johnny Damon" as "True Yankee".
   8. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 24, 2017 at 04:42 PM (#5499049)
"Johnny Damon" as "One of the 25".
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 24, 2017 at 05:40 PM (#5499093)
"Johnny Damon" as "One of the 25".

Yeah, and he's certainly a True Sawxer, too, if that's the word for it. But tell that to the guy who designed this shirt.**

** Which I have to admit still cracks me up.
   10. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 25, 2017 at 07:45 AM (#5499276)
0-1 in the Rafael Devers era, he sucks.
   11. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 25, 2017 at 01:38 PM (#5499469)
2017:

55-46, 2 Games Ahead
6th in runs scored
2nd in runs allowed

2016:

56-45, 1.5 Games Behind
1st in runs scored
11th in runs allowed

I don't know if this actually means anything. My very uneducated opinion is that when Red Sox teams succeed via a method other than "score zillions of runs" it feels off to us fans because it is unusual. I think part of what caused the "pants pissing" fears in 2007 is that that team, while good offensively, had its strength on the mound and that is just a bit unusual for Red Sox teams.

This doesn't really mean anything. I just was checking last year and surprised at where we are now relative to last year. Just generally I don't know what it is about last year but if you told me the Sox were still in second place as late as September 6th I'd have been shocked. I really thought the Sox picked up first place in early August and while it was close they were in control. Here's a thought...if we lose 5 in a row and New York wins 5 in a row we will be 2 1/2 back, half a game BETTER than last year through the same number of games.

Just observing.
   12. villageidiom Posted: July 25, 2017 at 01:47 PM (#5499475)
I always get mocked for not saying "sitchooate" and "sitchooation".

A high school friend was once asked for directions to skih-too-uh-tay. It took him a few minutes before he finally understood they were trying to pronounce Scituate.
   13. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 25, 2017 at 01:56 PM (#5499484)
I trust he was no longer a friend after that. That kind of ignorance can't be rewarded.
   14. villageidiom Posted: July 25, 2017 at 02:15 PM (#5499501)
The friend knew the correct pronunciation. He just had no idea what a skihtoouhtay was. Is it a restaurant? A street name? Multiple places slurred together? Pig Latin?
   15. TomH Posted: July 25, 2017 at 04:21 PM (#5499635)
The Sox being
a) in first place -- and
b) last in the AL in home runs

is indeed strange. I asked a few stats people if that had ever happened since Ruth left Boston. No one answered me.
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 25, 2017 at 05:07 PM (#5499678)
The four Red Sox foundational stars and their current OPS+ and WAR numbers, contrasted with their positional counterparts on the Yankees:

SS - Bogaerts (103, 1.5) vs Gregorius (114, 2.4)

LF - Benintendi (100, 1.1) vs Gardner (107, 2.5)

CF - Bradley (108, 2.9 in 83 games) vs Hicks (137, 2.8 in 60 games)

RF - Betts (117, 5.0) vs Judge (179, 5.4)

Who'd a thunk it just 4 months ago?
   17. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 26, 2017 at 08:47 AM (#5499968)
Oh Andy is back to being a Yankee fan now I guess.
   18. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 26, 2017 at 08:52 AM (#5499969)
The Sox being
a) in first place -- and
b) last in the AL in home runs

is indeed strange. I asked a few stats people if that had ever happened since Ruth left Boston. No one answered me.


2016 - 7th
2013 - 5th
2007 - 8th
1995 - 4th
1990 - 11th
1988 - 10th
1986 - 11th
1975 - 4th
1967 - 1st
1946 - 2nd

So no. There was a piece from Alex Speier the other day noting that at this point in 1986 the Sox were in fact last in home runs.
   19. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 26, 2017 at 08:59 AM (#5499972)
Did anyone stay up to see the game and have an opinion on Devers? I'm fairly impressed that the kid drew two walks in his MLB debut. He's just the sixth Red Sox to do that since 1913 according to BBRef. Jackie Bradley did it in 2013.
   20. bfan Posted: July 26, 2017 at 09:30 AM (#5499978)
Oh, and I will say asking the kid to make his MLB debut against Felix Herandnez seems a bit cruel.


maybe 10 years ago, but Felix Hernandez has not been effective for a few years now. does anyone know why basically they only pitch him at home now?
   21. villageidiom Posted: July 26, 2017 at 09:38 AM (#5499984)
Did anyone stay up to see the game and have an opinion on Devers? I'm fairly impressed that the kid drew two walks in his MLB debut. He's just the sixth Red Sox to do that since 1913 according to BBRef. Jackie Bradley did it in 2013.
I saw his first couple of PA. I was more impressed by his first AB, the flyout to LCF, than I was with the 5-pitch walk to lead off Hernandez's final inning. He let a borderline pitch go for strike 1 - "borderline" as in "perfect major league strike", not as in "questionable call" - then didn't go chasing the curveball out of the zone that followed it. He fouled off the next pitch, almost the same location as the first, then fouled off another, before flaring one out to LCF that stayed up long enough to be caught. I thought he stayed level-headed throughout.
   22. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 26, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5500254)
I think his first PA in his second game was a bit better. If he continues his HR every other game pace he will finish with 29 homers. I see no reason that won't continue.
   23. jmurph Posted: July 26, 2017 at 04:29 PM (#5500265)
I think his first PA in his second game was a bit better. If he continues his HR every other game pace he will finish with 29 homers. I see no reason that won't continue.

Figure 19 more full seasons after this one, never misses a game, we're looking at 1,500 career home runs. CONSERVATIVELY.
   24. Darren Posted: July 28, 2017 at 12:37 PM (#5501545)
Trade deadline thread needed!!! -- Here's one idea: Chavis is the best prospect we have that has any value and is also blocked sorta. So should we trade him for.....

--Jose Abreu. A much-needed bat at 1B who will be under control for a couple years.
--A reliever. No.
--As part of a package for Sonny Gray or Yu Darvish. Probably not enough and they don't really need another starter that badly.
--Some other bat.
   25. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: July 29, 2017 at 06:04 PM (#5502349)
If the White Sox would give Abreu for Chavis and something I'd do that in a heartbeat.

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