Monday, April 9, 2007

Boston vs. Seattle (3 game series)

So the Red Sox enter there first home series of the year at 3-3. The starting pitching has looked great but, besides that, everything else has been lacking. There have been bad baserunning, bad fielding, bad relief, and bad hitting. That's a lot of bad. I think this is a great series to turn things around. Seattle is 2-1, and has been fighting the weather in Cleveland of late. This team is not a strong team in any facet of the game. The Mariners can be beat, now lets go out there and do it.

Pitching Matchups:
Beckett (1-0, 1.80) vs. Weaver (0-0, 0.00)
Matsuzaka (1-0, 1.29) vs. Hernandez (1-0, .00)
Wakefield (0-1, 1.50) vs. Washburn (0-0. 3.00)

Projected Lineups:

1. J. Lugo, SS
2. K.Youkillis, 1b
3. D. Ortiz, DH
4. M. Ramirez, Lf
5. J. Drew, Rf
6. M. Lowell, 3b
7. J. Varitek, C
8. C. Crisp, Cf
9. D. Pedrioa, 2b

1. I. Suzuki, Cf
2. A. Beltre, 3b
3. J. Vidro, DH
4. R. Ibanez, Lf
5. R. Sexson, 1b
6. J. Guillen, Rf
7. K. Johjima, C
8. Y. Betancourt, SS
9. J. Lopez, 2b

Player to Watch:
I am going to watch intently when the King, Felix Hernandez, takes the mound on Wednesday. He looked amazing in his first start and many believe this will be his year. He has dominant stuff, people are just waiting for him to show consistency. He will also be in the most exciting game of the young season. It will be Dice-K's first home start and against Ichiro none the less. Look for that to be a great pitching matchup and a great game.

The Shano Collins Award: This series winner has to be Jason Varitek. He has had an extremely rough go at it so far. Right not he has an OBP of .211 and is slugging .188. These numbers are brutal, to say the least. More to the point, over the past 3 years Tek has actually hit better away from Fenway. He adds .034 to his OPS on the road verse at home. Also, he has struggled against Seattle over the last 3 years. He loses .143 from his total OPS when playing against Seattle. Look for him to struggle against this less than impressive Mariners pitching.

GM for the Day

If i could take Theo's job for the day I would...

  1. I would make Crisp bat second. I understand that he has been stinking up the joint and that Youks is great for batting second, but Crisp is ideal for batting second. If he was to bat in front of Papi i feel like there will be an immediate improvement of all his stats. Being the dead fastball hitter, he will thrive in that role. He also give more speed to the top of the order, which never hurts. Moving Youks back in the order will only strengthen the back end that looks extremely weak right now. I am also in favor of benching Crisp, but I feel like this would be a more practical idea.
  2. I would find a team that is willing to take Taverez. He is not a starter and he is not a strong arm in the pen. He is literally insane, mind you (this doesn't make him bad but you know). I would put Gabbard or Pauley in that 5th starters role. They will be able to put up similar if not better numbers, but do it at a fraction of the price. Another upside would be giving these guys auditions for the future. They looked like your typical AAAA pitchers that have no real hope at being mainstays on rosters. But maybe they can shocked the world a small bit and become trade bait for teams desperate for pitching.
  3. I would cut Romero and Piniero. I would replace them with Hansack and Breslow. Both have the potential to be above average bullpen arms for now and the next couple years. These guys have done nothing but perform every chance they get but still get very little respect. It is time that we stop with these washed up bullpen arms with little upside and give younger less proven guys a shot. I really see no way the perform worse than the combo i have being cut.
Those are the 3 things that I, personally, feel like are ways to immediately improve the team. All are completely practical and able to be done. Why they are not done? Well if you have a good answer i would love to hear it. I just don't understand a lot of what has been going on with personnel decisions of late.

Game 6

The Sox win an exciting game to salvage the series in Texas.

  • Schilling was able to bounce back after his rough first start. Over 7.1 innings he scatters 4 hits and 1 earned run. His command was on, striking out 6 and only walking 1.
  • The hitting woes continue. The team only was able to amass 6 hits and 3 runs. Varitek and Crisp really need to start coming around. Both are hitting under the Mendoza line, and it's not like they have shown signs its just a phase. Crisp is slapping the ball a great deal and just doesn't look confident. Tek and his big looping swing just doesn't have the speed it use to. Maybe he just needs some time to get it going.
  • Papi was the offense last night. Prior to last night, Ortiz look pedestrian, but last night he hit 2 towering homeruns and was responsible for all 3 Red Sox runs. Keep it up Papi, if the bottom of our lineup keeps this trend up you are going to be HEAVILY relied upon.
  • Papelbon looked amazing. I am shocked the Red Sox had him in there for over 1 innings. I thought that they would do as the Padres do with Hoffman and only bring him in for 1 inning saves. Apparently I am wrong, and the health risks are not as bad as I assumed. He used only 15 pitches and struck out 3.
  • While Lopez did his job (1 pitch, 1 out), Pineiro continues to struggle. I hate to say "I told you so." He currently has 7.71 ERA and just doesn't look good. He was unable to get an out after facing 3 batter. He walked 2 of those batters before he was pulled. The $4 million dollar man is looking more like the 4 cents man that many thought he was.
  • The SCA winner, Crisp, finished the theory with 2 hits. I believe we can say he deserved that honor.
  • The Sox end up winning 1 game of the 3 game set in Texas. Considering the pitching Wake put up, it easily should have been 2.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Down on the Farm

I talked about Pawtucket yesterday so here is a heads up on the lower levels of the Minors and what players you should be paying attention to.

Portland: The Sea Dogs are the Red Sox AA affiliate. There are several players on the squad that has a chance to be on the big club in the next 2 years. They have yet to play a game due to weather, but they will try again on Monday.

  • Leading the list of players that will have an impact is Jacoby Ellsbury. This 23 year old Centerfielder was the fastest growing star last season. While he has very little power, he has a great ability to get on base and the speed to steal once on. According to BA, he is the Red Sox top prospect and might be on the team by the end of summer. He is often considered a Damon-lite. Ellsbury will probably never he a stud in the Majors, but he has the potential to be an everyday player for the Red Sox.
  • The two pitchers to watch at Portland are Clay Buchholz and Bryson Cox. Buchholz is the Sox number 1 pitching prospect and has the potential to be a solid #2 in the Majors. He posted a sub 2.5 ERA in his first season of professional ball. Cox is a name that is very fast rising. He is a 6' 4" beast of a pitcher. He is only 22 but he has already replaced Hansen, in many peoples eyes, as the closer to be.
Lancaster: The Jethawks are a team with very little in big league potential. In the young season, they are 1-2 after the first 3 games with there series against Bakersfield.
  • A personal favorite of mine is a member of the Jethawks, Justin Masterson. He recently turned 22 and, to say the least, he is a man child. Standing 6'6" 250 lbs, he is an intimidating right handed pitcher. Last season while in Low A, he pitched 31.2 innings posting a 0.85 ERA and walked only 2 while striking out 33. Give him another year to develop and he could be a great reliever for the Red Sox. This season, he will be pitching as a starter even though his future is as a reliever. This is a common practice among players like Masterson. Expect big things from him this season.
  • The only other player worth note is Daniel Bard. Bard, the UNC product, has a lot of big league potential. He is a typical Texan fire baller. It will be interesting to see how this kid develops. He is full of talent, but it is raw and undeveloped.
Greenville: The Drive are 0-3 so far. They don't have many pitchers worth noting, but they have several interesting hitters to look at. Josh Papelbon is on the team, but he is not his brother. They are the Single A affiliate, so they are young and hard to judge talent.
  • Jason Place is a nice young outfielder. He is only 18 years old, and has very little professional baseball experience but he should have a good year. He has a ton of power and is extremely fast. The problem is his plate discipline. He strikes out at very high rates, but so do a great deal of power hitters. He was the Red Sox 1st round draft pick last year, so they have high hopes for this kid straight out of High School.
  • If I was asked to describe Lars Anderson in one word, it would be beast. This 19 year old first baseman has the potential to be prototypical power hitting 1st baseman. He was an 18th round draft pick last season. The only reason for this was his high bonus demands. Many thought he could go as early as the 1st round. Lars was able to slug over 1.000 in his Senior year at Jesuit High (CA). The Red Sox hope he could be a 40 HR guy sometime in the majors.

Game 5

The Sox lose again, and the bats still aren't alive. If something doesn't change, this could be an extremely long season.

  • Taverez was awful. How does someone that walks five over 4 innings still have a job. This is not knee jerk either, he has stunk and will continue to stink until we get rid of him.
  • Romero was awful. How does someone allowed 5 hits and 3 runs without recording an out. This guy is a bum and we need to get rid of him.
  • On the bright side, Okajima, Pinerio, and Donnelly pitched well. I hope they continue this because we will need them with the other 2 guys on this team.
  • Drew is still the only player hitting. He picked up 2 hits and an RBI.
  • Crisp is continuing to be the only player completely not hitting. Another solid 0-4 day. It might be time to start giving Pena some ABs and play Center.
  • There was another base running error (Manny) and a big fielding error (Drew). It is one thing to be bad, its another thing to be stupid. Lets get our heads on straight and start playing smart.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Down on the Farm

Pawtucket started there season a couple of days ago and some interesting this have happened during the ensuing two games.

  • Hansack looked great in his first start. He pitched 5 innings allowing four hits and one run. He was able strike out ten and only walk 1.
  • Hansen (2 IP) Breslow (1.1 IP) Corey (1 IP) and Timlin (1 IP) have all not allowed a run so far. Hansen has also struck four over those two innings.
  • So far, Brandon Moss is the most not worthy of the hitters. In 9 ABs and has 4 hits, 2 doubles, 1 home run, and four RBIs. Maybe this will be the season that Moss meets his true potential. He was able to post a .900+ OPS in 2004. While he has little chance of ever playing for the Red Sox, maybe he will become trade bait.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Game 4

No need for bullets to discuss this game. The pitching was great, the hitting stunk. There was only one extra base hit, Crisp's double, and the hitters showed very little patience. Wakefield pitched well after a shaky start to the game. The pen pitched 2 scoreless innings to contribute, but it was all for not. Lets hope the bats wake up for tomorrow. If the Sox couldn't hit Tejeda I'm scared to think whats going to happen against Millwood.

Lester Returns

While Lester is still probably a month away from his return to the majors, he is still making headlines for his quick and amazing recovery from lymphoma back in August. Yesterday, Lester took the mound for the first time since the diagnosis, pitching for the Red Sox single A affiliate Greenville. He is scheduled to make two more starts there, than make a start in Pawtucket. Assuming all goes well, he should be with the Sox soon after that.

From all accounts he looked strong. He topped out at 96 on the radar gun. Over four innings, he allowed two hits, a walk, and zero runs, while striking out five. This may be just the first step in a long recovery, it is still really great to see. No matter how Lesters season/career ends up, all of baseball should be rooting for him. He is a tremendous talent, as well as a inspiration to countless people. Hopefully, we all will be watching him in Fenway by June.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Crisp to Wear 42

In a tribute to Jackie Robinson, Coco Crisp will wear the number 42 on April the 15th. The 15th will mark the 60th anniversary of Jackie breaking the color barrier. It is a great gesture by Major League Baseball. Crisp will be join that day by players like, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey, Jr, and the entire Dodgers team among many others. All teams are being given this opportunity and all will take MLB up on it. I love this idea. Robinson not only changed the history of baseball, but had a great impact on America itself. So, kudos to MLB and all of the players that will wear 42 with honor.

Boston @ Texas (3 game series)

The Red Sox continue their road trip with a 3 games series in Texas. Texas is coming off a sweep at the hands of the Angels.

Pitching Matchups
Wakefield (0-0, 0.00) vs. Tejeda (0-0, 0.00)
Taverez (0-0, 0.00)* vs. Wright (0-0, 0.00)
Schilling (0-1, 11.25) vs. Millwood (0-1, 5.40)
*Taverez might be skipped in the rotation, meaning Schilling will pitch Game 2 and Beckett will pitch Game 3.

Projected Lineups:

1. K. Lofton, Cf
2. F. Catalanotto, DH
3. M. Young, SS
4. M. Teixeira, 1b
5. S. Sosa, Rf
6. H. Blalock, 3b
7. B. Wilkerson, Lf
8. G. Laird, C
9. I. Kinsler, 2b

Red Sox
1. J. Lugo, SS
2. K. Youkilis, 1b
3. D. Ortiz, DH
4. M. Ramirez, Lf
5. J. Drew, Rf
6. M. Lowell, 3b
7. J. Varitek, C
8. C. Crisp, Cf
9. D. Pedroia, 2b

Key Injuries

Eric Gagne

Mike Timlin

Player to Watch: Akinori Otsuka is the player i am going to be watching. He is the current closer for Texas and is coming off a great season. Last year he has 32 saves and a 2.11 ERA. Why am i watching him? Because if Gagne comes back healthy, we might see him pitching out of the Red Sox pen come July. If Texas drops out of the race, Otsuka will become a very valuable trading chip, that the Red Sox would love to control.
TSCA: Coco Crisp is the winner this series. He has been looking extremely bad this season. I would be surprised if Pena starts getting some of his ABs. That being said, Crisp hasn't had a good history hitting Texas either. Over the last 3 season Crisp has a .648 OPS against the Rangers over 82 ABs. Look for Crisp to struggle this season, and possibly for the rest of the season.

Game 3

The Red Sox win 4-1. Here are some highlight:

  • Dice-K looked...good...great...not so great. I don't know exactly how i feel. He did exactly what was asked of him, minimize runs and get Ks, but outside that he didn't look amazing. He was a little wild, that's the only concern I have. He got a lot of Ks and the only run was scored off a home run, plus only allowed one walk. All in all, for his first game in the majors I'll give him an A. For a game against the lowly Royals, I'll give him a B.
  • A lot of runners were left on base, 22. I hope this doesn't become a trend because it will seriously hurt their offense (no kidding).
  • Ortiz struck out 4 times, yes 4 times.
  • It's really a shame that Greinke is such a headcase, because he has talent coming out of his ears.
  • Our bullpen did a great job again. It was great to see Paps out there for the first time, and Romero looked solid for the 3rd day in a row. Its about time he faces a real lineup so we can draw better conclusions.
  • Crisp is struggling big time. I know its just one series, but he hasn't looked good at all. He looks lost and i don't know if the Sox will give him the time he needs to find his swing. Bring on Ellsbury.
  • Sox win, Dice-K strikes out 10, Manny gets a couple of hits, I'll take that any day of the week.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Game 2

  • What was Teahan doing swinging at the 3-0 count? That was a real inning killer.
  • Lowell making 2 errors, you don't see that very often.
  • It is really good to see Beckett hitting 97 MPH even in the frigid temperatures. Besides that fact, he doesn't look at great. 5 innings, 1 earned run, 5 K's, and 4 BBs. Not great, but only one scored so its hard to complain.
  • Youks hits the first home run of the season, good for him.
  • Bullpen did great, pitching 4 scoreless innings and only allowing 1 hit.
  • Knee jerk reaction of the night; Pinerio looked great, maybe he can actually pitch.
  • Sox drew 8 walks, keep that up and there will and a lot of tired pitchers and a lot of runs.
  • SCA watch: 1-4 2b and 2 RBIs. He also had 2 LOBs and 3 Errors. Could have been a better night.
  • Alright enough of this crap, bring on Dice-K.

Red Sox Radio

So, this really isn't very big news and I'm sure I heard about it but I completely forgot. While listening to the game on Monday I noticed that my favorite play by play man was not in the booth. Joe Castiglione is back but sadly Jerry Trupiano is not. I am so use to hearing those two, I hope Dave O'Brien can matchup. Well, hear is a belated thanks Trups it has been real.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Game 1

Here are some highlights for the Sox lost to the Royals on Opening Day.

  • Meche looked like a $55M pitcher, Schilling looked...very bad.
  • Who taught these guys to run the base paths? Nice job Youks and Pedrioa.
  • Who is Tony Pena, Jr? and why is he hitting two triples against us?
  • One of my guys, Javier Lopez, was a bright spot of the game, pitching a 1,2,3 inning.
  • SHA watch: 1-4 with a double, a K and 3 man left on base.
  • Dreams of a perfect season are crushed, but 161-1 still sounds good, right?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Boston @ Kansas City (3 game series)

The Red Sox start the season off with a 3 game series against the Royals.

Pitching Matchups:
Schilling (o-o, 0.00) vs. Meche (0-0, 0.00)
Beckett (0-0, 0.00) vs. Perez (0-0, 0.00)
Matsuzaka (0-0. 0.00) vs. Greinke (0-0, 0.00)

Projected Lineups:

1. D. DeJesus, Cf
2. M. Grudzielanek, 2b
3. M. Teahen, Rf
4. M. Sweeney, DH
5. A. Gordon, 3b
6. R. Shealy, 1b
7. R. Gload, Lf
8. J. Buck, C
9. T. Pena Jr, SS

Red Sox
1. J. Lugo, SS
2. K. Youkilis, 1b
3. D. Ortiz, DH
4. M. Ramirez, Lf
5. J. Drew, Rf
6. M. Lowell, 3b
7. J. Varitek, C
8. C. Crisp, Cf
9. D. Pedroia, 2b

Injury Report

Kansas City:
Scott Elarton (Out)

Mike Timlin (15 day DL)

Player to Watch:
Alex Gordon. He is Baseball America's #2 prospect in all of baseball. Gordon is going to make an impact right away. He has been the best at every level he has played at and may some day be one of the best in the Majors. He is a serious candidate for ROY. This young third baseman will be someone to watch.

The Shano Collins Award:
This goes to the player that is most likely to suck this series. Shano Collins is best known for having the worst VORP over the span of a full season as a everyday player on the Red Sox. The first winner of this award goes to Mike Lowell. He has struggled at Kansas City the past 3 years and has not looked good this spring. You should not expect much from him this series.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Red Sox ZiPS

I finally found a way to get these on this site. Click here for 2007 Red Sox ZiPS projections.

2007 Standings

Using Pythag exp. and Win Shares, as well as a little of my opinion, i have come up with the record for teams at the end of the season. As a starting point i used Pythag records because i feel like those are more reliable than a teams actual record, it shows how well they played not how lucky they were. From there I took the Win Shares of the top 40 free agents of the off season and added those totals or subtracted those from the teams involved. After that i took all the trades that will have an immediate impact, i believe there was only 14 trades that had positive Win Shares one way or the other. With those numbers i did the same as i did with the free agents. Once that was done i had what i believe is a pretty accurate list, but i felt like it was doing an injustice to teams that are building with young developing players. Since i had no real clue how to quantify a players progression in relationship to a teams success, i guessed. No team changed more that +/- 5 games and most teams stayed neutral. So here it is, mainly objective but a little subjective.


BOS 95-67
NYY 87-75
TOR 78-84
TB 77-85
BAL 76-86

DET 90 -72
CLE 89-73
MIN 85-77
CHA 85-77
KC 76-86

LAA 92-70
TEX 77-85
SEA 76-86
OAK 72-90

PHI 91-71
NYM 90-72
ATL 82-80
FLO 77-85
WAS 61-101

MIL 85-77
HOU 83-79
CHN 82-80
STL 76-86
CIN 75-87
PIT 75-87

LAD 87-75
SF 84-78
COL 82-80
ARI 81-81
SD 72-90

I'll use the teams that my formula has making the playoffs and do projections from there.

NL wildcard
PHI over MIL (4 games) LAD over NYM (3 games)

AL wildcard
BOS over CLE (5 games) LAA over DET (3 games)

NL Champ
PHI over LAD (6 games)

AL Champ
LAA over BOS (6 games)

World Series
LAA over PHI (5 games)