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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

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   1. dave h Posted: February 10, 2011 at 08:45 PM (#3747808)
I haven't seen any team projections, but I think the Orioles and Jays have nearly zero chance to make the playoffs. Assuming the wildcard is very likely to come out of the East, that leaves about 1.8 playoff spots for 3 teams. If they were all about equal, that's a 60% chance for each of them. The Sox are the best of the lot, so I'd say the chances are higher. Even if you give the O's and Jays a shot it has to be a very small effect. Of course all things considered 60% is already pretty good, so their chances can't be that much higher, but I'd give up 2:1 odds on the Sox making it in a heartbeat.
   2. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 10, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3747820)
The Jays and Orioles both project in the high 70s for wins, which means they've each got a small chance. Further, the AL East is by far the most likely division to get the Wild Card, but two of the good clubs from the Central or West putting up 93-plus win seasons is hardly out of the question. The numbers from SG's latest:

This is wins, then chance at division, then chance at wild card-

96, 46%, 18% - Red Sox
92, 29%, 19% - Yankees
88, 17%, 15% - Rays
77, 4%, 5% - Jays
77, 4%, 5% - Orioles
   3. Cowboy Popup Posted: February 10, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3747821)
Yankees had their poorest offseason in recent memory

Not worse than 04-05!
   4. villageidiom Posted: February 10, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3747833)
Concur.

Because the offseason was so successful (on paper, of course), we don't enter spring training with any big wish-list stuff. Viable options exist at every position. Still, we hope that the great team on paper translates into an actually great (or better) team.

To me, that hope rests mostly on Saltalamacchia. Sure, I hope last year's injured players are healthy. And sure, I hope Papelbon has a stereotypical walk year. But, ya know, if Pedroia is hurt a Lowrie/Scutaro duo isn't too bad; if Papelbon stinks we have Bard and Jenks; if Ellsbury breaks his ribs while sneezing, Kalish slides in. With Salty, however, our backup plan is Varitek - and that's not too much of a backup plan.

Don't get me wrong... If Saltalamacchia stinks, the lineup as it currently appears will still likely be a great one. This team can withstand a steaming turdpile behind the plate (and in front of the umpire) and still do very well. But my hope is centered around Salty. I hope he plays to potential and mashes at the plate, handles the game-calling duties as well as one can handle them, and that all this propels the Sox to a 15-game division lead by season's end.

I'm going all OlePerfesser on y'all. What's the focus of your optimism for this team? Where does your hope rest?
   5. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 10, 2011 at 09:10 PM (#3747846)
The things I'm really worried about are whether Youk or Pedey are healthy. Boston.com may be reading a lack of swagger into Pedroia's comments about his injury, but they're worried, too.
   6. tfbg9 Posted: February 10, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3747856)
All the IF's are off injuries. And who knows what Lowrie will hit? I'd be real happy with .800 and a full year on the active roster.

The OF is a little balky. Only sure thing is Crawford, really. I mean I like Ells, and Kalish and Drew and Cameron, I'm kinda meh on D. McD...I can see any and all of them having a real possiblilty of dissapointing seasons for one reason or another.

The OF defense might be a blast to witness for a full 162 however.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 10, 2011 at 09:17 PM (#3747857)
I haven't finished updating the CFBPS for 2011 - once complete, it will have a new steam-powered ooga-chooga and the ability to read classical Persian for possible ancient prophecies dealing with the catcher platoon - but I think my hopes right now rest mostly in two guys who project to be good, but could be great.

-Adrian Gonzalez. His road stats are Hall of Fame quality numbers, and it's not crazy to think that an all-fields power hitter might be hurt more by playing in Petco than the park factor suggests.
-Clay Buchholz. The other, lesser projection systems all expect an ERA increase in the range of 1.5, but I still think there's a disconnect between Clay's stuff and his K numbers, and I think he'll maintain All-Star level production by increasing his strikeouts even while his BABIP returns to more normal levels.
   8. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 10, 2011 at 09:21 PM (#3747861)
Honestly, I'm mostly worried about starting pitching. It's hard to envision a scenario, where the offense isn't at least very good.
   9. dave h Posted: February 10, 2011 at 09:27 PM (#3747871)
I can't even imagine how the CFBPS will come out. Can the playoff chance be greater than 100%? Perhaps they'll win more than one division title.

Anything is possible, and that includes the O's or the Jays making the playoffs. My gut says both of those are far below 10% though. In the end all we're talking about is the difference between the Sox being 60% to make it and maybe 75% tops. I guess the fact that no one is a lock to make the playoffs is a good thing to keep in mind, but that's just not my mindset right now. Baseball season is almost upon us and the Sox are probably going to be really good - as 5 and 6 point out, the big question is how well people bounce back from injuries.
   10. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 10, 2011 at 09:38 PM (#3747887)
Optimistic - John Lackey - The more I look at last year the more I think he is going to rebound with a strong year. Not Cy Young or anything but improved over last year.

Optimistic - Jacoby Ellsbury - Ellsbury seems to have gone from wildly overrated to wildly underrated. He's a solid player and I think he'll bounce back and be the player he was in 2009 hopefully with better defense.

Pessimistic - Adrian Gonzalez - The combination of a guy who has never had to come back from an injury and some truly out of this world expectations and I can see him being good but disappointing in a Giambi circa 2002 kind of way, great, but not obscenely so. For a guy who has been a pretty steady 160 game a year guy I wouldn't be surprised to see 140 games be the number this year.
   11. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 10, 2011 at 10:02 PM (#3747905)
-Adrian Gonzalez. His road stats are Hall of Fame quality numbers, and it's not crazy to think that an all-fields power hitter might be hurt more by playing in Petco than the park factor suggests.


PECOTA has him projected for an .880 OPS. Even with last year's diminished league offense, this is way too low.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 10, 2011 at 10:10 PM (#3747914)
Wow, that is low. Way out of line with the other published projections, too.

CAIRO: 305/399/555
ZiPS: 306/417/569
   13. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 10, 2011 at 10:29 PM (#3747941)
Just as an aside. Any Sox Therapians (Sox Therapudians?) headed down to Ft. Myers? I can't be the only one. I'm there from the 4th to the 14th and I'm probably going to see 4 games while I'm there. With luck I won't make any proclaimations quite as stupid as last year's "wow, Ramon Ramirez looks great!"
   14. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 10, 2011 at 10:39 PM (#3747954)
Ramon Ramirez

That's "World Champion Ramon Ramirez" to you.

Won't be in Ft. Myers, unfortunately - but would love to catch a game, either in person or in bar, with STdians sometim in the spring.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: February 10, 2011 at 10:39 PM (#3747955)
PECOTA has him projected for an .880 OPS. Even with last year's diminished league offense, this is way too low.


Was that projection from before the trade (i.e. for Petco)?
   16. dave h Posted: February 10, 2011 at 10:40 PM (#3747958)
Man I wish - Florida sounds really nice right now. Is it as much of a zoo now as it was a couple years ago, when I had to scalp tickets for a Sox spring training road game?
   17. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 10, 2011 at 11:41 PM (#3748009)

Was that projection from before the trade (i.e. for Petco)?


Nope. The spreadsheet has him on Boston. Though, it could be that they simply forgot to change the park effect.

They also have Reymond Fuentes as still on BOS.
   18. tfbg9 Posted: February 10, 2011 at 11:52 PM (#3748019)
Does anybody have a non-spreadsheet type link for 2011 Sox ZIPS? You know, one where I can just look at a list
of ballplayers and their projections, as opposed to a compressed file?
   19. a bebop a rebop Posted: February 11, 2011 at 12:53 AM (#3748048)
I'm sure this was mentioned at the time of the signing, but it seems like Crawford will provide a nice data point for nailing down the Monster Effect. What might we expect those ~10+ UZRs/TZs to translate into at Fenway?
   20. Hugh Jorgan Posted: February 11, 2011 at 01:43 AM (#3748071)
I'm mostly worried about starting pitching

Me too. Lester is, well Lester, no worries there. Buccholz wasn't quite as good as he looked. xFIP of 4.21, a low BABIP of .261 is not sustainable, so we'll see. Lackey could be league average but suffered a .319 BABIP last year, so could be better? Beckett...who knows really? And Dice-K could see me being splattered in Sydney with what is left of Phil Coorey's exploding head.
The good news is that if just some of the pen signings work out, they really only need 5+ good innings out of most of the starters to win most games.

The offense will score it's 810+ runs, so no worries there.
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 11, 2011 at 01:56 AM (#3748078)
Teddy - the full team's ZiPS have't been posted yet, but Dan put the starting lineup's projections in this ESPN article:
Jacoby Ellsbury .284/.336/.397
Dustin Pedroia .300/.370/.471
Carl Crawford .309/.356/.488
Adrian Gonzalez .316/.407/.569
Kevin Youkilis .284/.386/.506
David Ortiz .259/.362/.499
J.D. Drew .260/.362/.473
Jason Varitek/others .228/.309/.399
Marco Scutaro .272/.341/.380
   22. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 11, 2011 at 02:14 AM (#3748089)
BASEBALL! SO CLOSE! 40 or so days until Red Sox Opening Day!
   23. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 11, 2011 at 02:18 AM (#3748093)
Has Crawford actually been penciled in for 3rd? God I hope not.
   24. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 11, 2011 at 02:27 AM (#3748103)
Also, Mike Cameron's third comp in PECOTA is...Jeff Bagwell. My "broken" detector just went haywire.
   25. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 11, 2011 at 02:57 AM (#3748112)
There are, of course, weak spots, but I think this is the best Sox team, at least on paper, of my life. No, it won't score as many runs as the 03-04 versions; the pitching might not be as lights-out as the 07 squad. But all-around? If things break right, this is a team that could win well more than 100 games. I'm pretty excited on the whole. I'm excited to watch Adrian Gonzalez on a daily basis, I'm excited for what I'm convinced will finally be the season that Lester's ERA drops below 3, I'm excited for the possibility of burying the Stinkees by August.

I don't mean to jinx it. Anything can happen. I know it's unlikely, but if this team matches, say, the '86 Mets, my brain won't exactly melt.
   26. Hugh Jorgan Posted: February 11, 2011 at 03:14 AM (#3748118)
#21-I'd like to see them try this lineup...

J.D. Drew .260/.362/.473
Dustin Pedroia .300/.370/.471
Adrian Gonzalez .316/.407/.569
Kevin Youkilis .284/.386/.506
Carl Crawford .309/.356/.488
David Ortiz .259/.362/.499
Marco Scutaro .272/.341/.380
Jason Varitek/others .228/.309/.399
Jacoby Ellsbury .284/.336/.397
   27. tfbg9 Posted: February 11, 2011 at 04:17 AM (#3748143)
21-thanks.
   28. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: February 11, 2011 at 04:28 AM (#3748151)
What I'm really worried about is Youkilis handling 3B full-time for the first time in his major league career at age 32. He probably won't embarrass himself there, but the infield defense will almost certainly take a hit from last year.
   29. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: February 11, 2011 at 06:11 AM (#3748177)
Yeah, the infield defense really takes a hit with Beltre leaving, and I'm pretty sure Gonzalez isn't as good as Youkilis at 1B. This team looks awesome, but some important players need to come back from injury successfully. With Gonzalez, Youkilis and Pedroia coming off surgery, the team may really need their bench players. The bench really seems good, though. Lowrie should be a good part-time SS and backup for the entire infield, and Cameron/Kalish/McDonald should do a decent job in the OF. Hard to see many glaring weaknesses this year, other than catcher, but Salty seems to be taking his new job pretty seriously, and he's still only 26. It's been said before, but Varitek didn't even start a MLB game until he was 26.

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