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   1. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 01, 2006 at 07:41 AM (#1998501)
One more thing: Choi is due back on 5/3. Should make things interesting for the 1B/3B gang.

Hopefully 'interesting' means "J.T. Snow gets put out to pasture", though I doubt it.
   2. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: May 01, 2006 at 08:18 AM (#1998504)
I want to see Choi in this team real bad.
   3. ericr Posted: May 01, 2006 at 11:52 AM (#1998525)
I wouldn't mind Choi on the team, but he doesn't play second or short, so I can't say I got it "real bad" for him.
   4. Josh Posted: May 01, 2006 at 12:31 PM (#1998532)
I'm not sure that Choi won't be optioned at that point, assuming he has/will cleared waivers. What happens when Coco comes back, though? I imagine Mohr is demoted? Harris may not have much value as a regular, but as a 2B/CFer with some speed (and a little OB ability), I'd rather have him than Mohr (esp. if they will play Wily Mo in CF).

Youkilis, though, has done a really good job so far - puting up numbers as expected. Good OBP, not so great SLG.

But, there are harbingers of a drop off for the future:

1) He SOs a bit too much. While 20% of his PAs ending in a SO isn't that bad, it appears (to my untrained eyes) to be b/c he is a little late with his swing (or it is a little slow). He often hits the ball to RF on a good fastball. So, it isn't the fact that he SOs which is bad. It is what the SOs tell us.

2) I fear for his power. 4% of his FBs are HRs? SSS, I know, and (despite the same #s last year) he did better in 2004. (I discount his AAA a good deal b/c I think McCoy really inflates HR/FB). But, 4% is a middle IFer. If he gets that closer to a reasonable 8-10% number all fears go away, but I think some of this is related to the types of FBs he hits - see #1.

3) His BABIP is a robust 410 right now. Put that closer to 320 (random #; slightly better than avg and about his career # before this year), and he is a closer to a 260/380/380 hitter.

I think this season has thus far confirmed that Youkilis is a solid player capable of a ML career - esp if he is a good defensive player (I love the exageratted stretches, but I think he has the vertical ability of me, another slightly chubby, late twenties Jewish d00d with a receeding hairline). While I think Loretta will rebound (his BABIP is just horrible, despite a good LD%, as always), I'm pretty sure Youks will drop down a little.

BAH -- Seabass is likely the worse offensive (or most offensive, depending on your meaning) regular in the majors. Not really relevent, but I think I had to write that.
   5. veer bender Posted: May 01, 2006 at 01:01 PM (#1998553)
Swing the bat, this isn’t lawyerball.


I sort of grudgingly agree, in general, that Youkilis might need to expand his zone more with two strikes, at least until he's sufficiently grizzled to get a fair strike zone. But. . . . . .who here thinks, without the benefit of knowing location, and that it would be called a strike, that he should have swung at that pitch last night? The odds of getting a piece of that thing were slim.
   6. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 01, 2006 at 01:07 PM (#1998554)
I'm hearing thirdhand reports of a WEEI rumor that Doug Mirabelli is looking for flights to Boston to arrive by game time tonight. Can anyone tell me if my friend is just screwing with me?
   7. Josh Posted: May 01, 2006 at 01:07 PM (#1998555)
It was a very nice pitch last pitch. The first pitch strike was probably the best pitch to swing at, but I think expecting the pitcher to be a bit wild there makes sense (given his prior pitches to Snow).
   8. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 01, 2006 at 01:49 PM (#1998572)
I've got confirmations of my rumor from...ugh...SOSH, who attribute it to Mike Adams.
   9. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: May 01, 2006 at 01:56 PM (#1998575)
Can Bellhorn come too?
   10. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: May 01, 2006 at 02:51 PM (#1998607)
It's Belli for Seanez sayeth my 'EEI listening friend. That doesnt' seem terrible, does it? I cant' stand to watch Bard's butchery of catching the knuckler. Could this also mean that Hansen is coming up soon making Seanez expendable?
   11. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:07 PM (#1998620)
Peter Gammons was saying on BBTN that he had a bet with Mirabelli that he'd be back with the Sox by May 15th. I guess Gammo will have to pay up
   12. PJ Martinez Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:13 PM (#1998622)
Seanez for Belli would be awesome. Seanez has good stuff, and at some point maybe he'll stop giving up 2-run HRs every time out. But between Tavarez, MDC, eventually Hansen, possibly Riske... his innings can be replaced.

As for Youks and two strikes, here's what I posted on another thread:

"On the subject of Youkilis: he's looked great, but he needs to protect the inside on 2-strike counts. How many times has he struck out looking this year on inside pitches? I haven't counted, but I'd say at least five, maybe more. Some of them may have been slightly generous, but he's a young guy and he can't count on getting those calls. And most of them, like the one he struck out on today, have been pretty good pitches. His strike recognition is great, but with two strikes, you can't be quite so picky."

As to Josh's point no. 1, I'm not sure I agree, since so many of his SO's have been looking (I think). This seems like an utterly correctable problem: Papa Jack should just tell him to protect the plate more with two strikes, and perhaps he can practice defensive swings (would that be a good thing?) in batting practice. Right? I just don't see why a guy with great pitch-recognition and decent bat control needs to strike out looking so much.
   13. Josh Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:14 PM (#1998623)
Seanez can't be traded without his consent until June 15th, though, right?
   14. Dave Cyprian Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:18 PM (#1998625)
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! Buster Olney of ESPN (via Cold Pizza) is reporting that the The Red Sox have traded for Doug Mirabelli, who will be catching Tim Wakefield in Fenway tonight!

Epstein is possibly the best GM in baseball, and this is heavy evidence for that. Not afraid to make a mistake, and then correct it.
   15. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:20 PM (#1998629)
You heard it here first!
   16. karlmagnus Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:29 PM (#1998638)
It wasn't Epstein's mistake; he was out of the loop when the Mirabelli/Loretta deal was done. Duquette would never have traded Mirabelli without mmaking sure a competent replacement was in place. Seanez is worthless, he just blocks younger better pitchers, so I'm in favor of this if it happens.
   17. PJ Martinez Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:33 PM (#1998644)
If it is Seanez/Mirabelli, then the Sox paid 2m for the rights to Mark Loretta. That's a pretty solid move.

Of course, it could be Seanez+Bard, or any number of other things. It's a fun storyline for tonight, at the very, very least.
   18. PJ Martinez Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:35 PM (#1998645)
Actually, they paid even less than that, because they're not even on the hook for Seanez's money... I'm very curious what the terms of this deal were.
   19. The Artist Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:36 PM (#1998646)
Mirabelli is on a charter flight right now - or so the stories are going. It certainly seems like a done deal. I didn't realize it was for Seanez however- I have to believe the Sox are throwing in a live arm.
   20. The Artist Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:38 PM (#1998648)
ESPN is now reporting the its for Bard, Clay Merdith, and cash (Why would they send cash ? Mirabelli makes more than those 2).
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:38 PM (#1998649)
Sweeet. We got the hookup. Fly 1, SoSH 0.

I like Bard alright, but Mirabelli is much better than he is. I am happy to have him back, and happy to have Seanez gone. Does this mean a callup for Van Buren or Hansen? My guess is Van Buren for now, and plan on Hansen joining the roster before June 1.

The Sox were also horribly lacking in depth at C, as they don't have any passable major league catchers anywhere in the system. (This move might also presage a DL stint for Varitek, as the Sox probably weren't ready to accept Ken Huckaby, backup C.)
   22. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:40 PM (#1998652)
Huh, sending Bard along kinda makes my last paragraph there pretty meaningless... ummmm, I guess trading Bard is a good sign that they don't expect to have to DL Varitek? nah, SD just needed a backup catcher. I'll let it go.

And I guess this would mean the Seanez remains on the roster, which is, well, sucky. But Mirabelli > Bard.
   23. karlmagnus Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:42 PM (#1998653)
If it's Bard/Meredith I'm a lot less happy. We still have the useless Seanez, and they've added about another year to the average age of the roster. meredith had a decent chance of becoming a good ML pitcher; we can't keep losing those guys.
   24. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:42 PM (#1998654)
Can Bellhorn come too?

I agree!
   25. tfbg9 Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:45 PM (#1998660)
I just that 'Belli will catch Wake tonight, unless his flight(s?) get screwed up.
   26. Dave Cyprian Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:53 PM (#1998664)
ESPN Story attributed to Buster Olney

The Boston Red Sox have finalized a trade to obtain catcher Doug Mirabelli from the San Diego Padres in exchange for catcher Josh Bard, minor-league pitcher Clay Meredith and cash, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney is reporting.

The Yankees also tried to obtain Mirabelli to keep him from returning to the Red Sox.


I hope "Clay Meredith" is in fact a local Newton drunk recently put through an NBA-stye sign and trade on account of his similar name to a Pawtucket ballplayer. Also, interesting tid-bit about the Yankees. I wonder if they were going to let him catch Randy or something.
   27. PJ Martinez Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:53 PM (#1998666)
This is an ok deal. San Diego comes out pretty well, too-- probably better than Boston. I hope Mirabelli's back is ok. It's nice to have him back.
   28. Josh Posted: May 01, 2006 at 03:59 PM (#1998670)
Nice pick up for SD. Bard + Meredith + Cash for Loretta is much closer to fair, anyway.

The loss for the Sox is only in depth. Meredith was what -- #4 on the on-call list from AAA? Marebelli > Bard, but not by a ton, but now the Sox have no C depth whatsoever. Corky Miller, emergency C. I suppose that is normal, anyway. Most teams #3 catcher is pretty bad.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 01, 2006 at 04:00 PM (#1998672)
Meredith/Bard for Mirabelli is not a slam-dunk statistically. Bard's not too much worse than Belli, and Meredith has a chance to be a legitimate MLB reliever, though I don't think his chance is too great. (He has yet to pitch well in a full season above single-A) I think you could make the case it's approximately a wash.

However, there are three other factors that could change things, and they're probably what this deal was based upon-

1) Can Bard catch the knuckler? So far, he's been terrible. If the Sox decided this wasn't a fluke and wasn't likely to improve, they needed to acquire a new backup C who can handle the flutterball.
2) What does Mirabelli add to the clubhouse? Dunno.
2) How healthy is Mirabelli? He's been struggling, and there are reports of a bad back. If his decline so far is real, then this could be a very nice little deal for the Padres.

I figure (1) is the big issue, and here are the defensive stats, just to compare:

53 innings, 10 PB, 12 SB, 1 CS - Bard, '06
1450 innings, 45 PB, 143 SB, 43 CS - Mirabelli, 02-05

So, by rates, Bard averaged 1.7 PB/game, and Mirabelli 0.3. Bard averaged 2.0 steals allowed per game, at a 92% success rate, while Mirabelli allowed 0.9 steals at a 75% rate.

Obviously the sample size for Bard is beyond tiny, and Mirabelli's numbers are somewhat inflated by catching more non-Wakefield innings, on average. But I think the gap is obvious, and if even some of that gap were likely to continue, the Sox needed to make a change.
   30. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: May 01, 2006 at 04:07 PM (#1998678)
Phewwww, I read Meredith as Hansen.

My brain is still in weekend mode.
   31. Dizzypaco Posted: May 01, 2006 at 04:16 PM (#1998685)
Meredith/Bard for Mirabelli is not a slam-dunk statistically. Bard's not too much worse than Belli, and Meredith has a chance to be a legitimate MLB reliever, though I don't think his chance is too great. (He has yet to pitch well in a full season above single-A) I think you could make the case it's approximately a wash.

Its a wash, as neither team involved is the Boston Red Sox. If one of the teams involved is the Boston Red Sox, its an absolute no-brainer. The main reason is that Mirabelli is very, very good at catching a knuckle ball, and Bard is very, very bad at catching a knuckleball. Its really not that complicated.

Of course the deal might be good for San Diego as well, given that they have no knuckelballers on the staff. But I'm astonished that anyone would think this isn't an obvious move from the Red Sox standpoint.
   32. Dizzypaco Posted: May 01, 2006 at 04:17 PM (#1998686)
Its a wash, as neither team involved is the Boston Red Sox

That should read if, not as.
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 01, 2006 at 04:19 PM (#1998689)
Well, once you accept this premise,
Mirabelli is very, very good at catching a knuckle ball, and Bard is very, very bad at catching a knuckleball.
the conclusion follows immediately,
I'm astonished that anyone would think this isn't an obvious move from the Red Sox standpoint.
The issue here is the premise. If you just state it and then act astonished that people disagree, you probably aren't going to convince the naysayers.
   34. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 01, 2006 at 04:48 PM (#1998720)
Should I make a "Dougie Is Going Deep Tonight" sign to take with me to the game, tonight? I've never been a sign person. Heck, I HATE sign people. But I also have an irrational love of Doug Mirabelli. And that was an enjoyable bit of internet literature.
   35. chris p Posted: May 01, 2006 at 04:56 PM (#1998734)
But I also have an irrational love of Doug Mirabelli. And that was an enjoyable bit of internet literature.

maybe just have a chicken parm for dinner.
   36. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 01, 2006 at 05:02 PM (#1998741)
Nah. Game night is Sausage King night. The guy is sausage royalty.
   37. chris p Posted: May 01, 2006 at 05:10 PM (#1998749)
Nah. Game night is Sausage King night. The guy is sausage royalty.

for me game night is el pelon night. i still think you should make an exception for the return of the stud who hits bombs. i might, too.
   38. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 01, 2006 at 05:44 PM (#1998789)
Yeah, I do El Pelon as well. I love me some El Guapo burritos. Lucky bastard going to the game.

Don't forget to put, "STUD. BOMBS." on the back of the sign.
   39. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 01, 2006 at 05:58 PM (#1998807)
Nah. The back is going to say

No
Error
Stud
Tonight

(SportsDesk is Next!)

((HI REMDAWG!))
   40. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 01, 2006 at 05:59 PM (#1998809)
Of course, "toNight", lined up properly.
   41. The Ghost's Tryin' to Reason with Hurricane Season Posted: May 01, 2006 at 06:01 PM (#1998811)
Bellie's in the second year of a 2-year contract - $0.2M signing bonus and $1.4M/year salary.

The trade has its own thread.
   42. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: May 01, 2006 at 06:55 PM (#1998880)
BTW, I'm sorry I killed this thread with my trade rumors, but since there's no Dugout anymore, I had nowhere to put it. I figure I'll be forgiven at some point.
   43. Dave Cyprian Posted: May 01, 2006 at 08:32 PM (#1999070)
Your tip saved this thread from being "just another thread without hot trade rumors that beat out major news organizations" so I think your pretty much forgiven from the outset.
   44. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 01, 2006 at 08:36 PM (#1999075)
Corky Miller, emergency C


Corky's not a bad guy to have around if an emergency arises.

-- MWE
   45. Darren Posted: May 01, 2006 at 10:36 PM (#1999239)
Fly,

That sign is awful. And I'll look for you on TV, which is funny, because I know what you look like.
   46. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 02, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#2000711)
My Sign Idea:

"
Damon in 07: .270/.330/.390 in LF

BaseballThinkFactory

Come for the SAT scores, stay for the Sophistry!"

Btw, since we're all acquiring old teammates...

BIG STUPID SWING

He'd be the first lefty out of teh pen!
   47. PJ Martinez Posted: May 03, 2006 at 02:52 AM (#2001685)
Francona on the fan, via SoSH:

"As an aside, also said their offense was not good enough right now, but that once Crisp comes back Youks will move down to 8 and lengthen the lineup."

Not a big deal, I guess, but I hope that if Loretta doesn't show much in the next couple of weeks that Youkilis gets the 2 spot. Some people have suggested that Loretta's getting unlucky on BIP right now, and his numbers will almost certainly improve. Still, Youkilis is our best OBP guy outside (possibly) of Ortiz and Manny (maybe Nixon, too), and, apart from protecting the inside part of the plate with two strikes, he seems like a decent bat-control guy to boot. I'd like to see him up top, with Loretta moving down. I imagine Francona's thoughts are shaped in part by the veteran/young guy dynamic.
   48. Darren Posted: May 03, 2006 at 03:01 AM (#2001689)
Sounds like a pretty big deal. Youkilis is hitting .400/.400ish and is projected to keep doing the same. Loretta's .300/.300ish, and projected to hit slightly worse than Youkilis going forward. You're essentially going to take 100 PA and transferring them from the better hitter to the worse hitter. You're also un-buching your best hitters.

I imagine Francona's thoughts are shaped in part by the veteran/young guy dynamic.

Well that's a silly way to think in general. And in this specific case, Youkilis has more time with Francona and the team, so that would seem to me to balance the equation.
   49. PJ Martinez Posted: May 03, 2006 at 02:21 PM (#2001861)
It's also possible that Francona is already thinking of keeping Youkilis up there, but he wants to give Loretta every chance to earn his keep at the top of the order. If things play out at all similarly till Coco gets back, maybe at that point Francona speaks to Loretta privately (as he did with Foulke) and says, hey, I've got to keep this young guy at the top of the order.
   50. chris p Posted: May 03, 2006 at 02:30 PM (#2001869)
francona probably has no doubt in his mind that loretta will start hitting like he did from 02-04.

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