Thursday, June 28, 2007

No more Paps

No Papelbon is hurt, he is just changing his name. He would like to go by "Cinco Ocho", the reverse of Chad Johnson's nickname. "Cinco Ocho" is Spanish for 58, Papelbon's numbers. Personally I love it, and will in brass this new name.

2008 Free Agents (hitters)

Being an off-day, I'll take a look at the future. Who are the players that the Red Sox and the rest of the league will be bidding on this summer. Here are a list of the hitters that will be reaching free agency this winter. I plan on doing this for pitchers and players with club/player options.

Name/age/career OPS+

Jorge Posada - 36 - 123
Paul Lo Duca - 36 - 102
Michael Barrett - 31 - 90
Jason Kendall - 34 - 102

1st Baseman

2nd Baseman
Luis Castillo - 32 - 93
Tadahito Iguchi - 33 - 97

David Eckstein - 33 - 89
Omar Vizquel - 41 - 84

3rd Baseman
Mike Lowell - 34 - 110
Mike Lamb - 32 - 95
Pedro Feliz - 33 - 86

Right Fielder
Jermaine Dye - 34 - 109
Milton Bradley - 30 - 106
Trot Nixon - 34 - 115
Eric Hinske - 30 - 100

Center Fielder
Ichiro Suzuki - 34 -121
Andruw Jones - 31 - 116
Torii Hunter - 32 - 104
Eric Byrnes - 32 - 102
Corey Patterson - 28 - 82
Aaron Rowand - 30 - 103
Mike Cameron - 35 - 107
Kenny Lofton - 41 - 107

Left Fielder
Luis Gonzalez - 40 - 121
Barry Bonds - 43 - 183
Brad Wilkerson - 31 - 107

Shea Hillenbrand - 32 - 97
Mike Piazza - 39 - 144
Mike Sweeney - 34 - 118
Sammy Sosa - 39 - 128

When you look at this list, you will see a lot of players that may be traded at the deadline. With dying contracts, teams will try to get what they can for these players. Up next, pitchers.

Schilling out

The Red Sox plan on sitting Schilling till after the All-Star break. With his spot in the rotation coming up two more times, the question must be asked who will pitch them? Gabbard seems to be the guy for the first start. As long as he doesn't completely bomb i think they will throw him out there for that last start. Schilling should be well rested after the break and we will get to see a little bit of what Gabbard really has, in turns of potential. I like this move all the way around.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nick Hagadone close to signing

Nick Hagadone, the 55th pick in this years draft, claims that the Red Sox and him are close to signing a contract. He also said that he is planning on going to Lowell after signing and pitching 2-3 innings and outing. Personally, i am extremely excited. Going to Lowell and living so close, i hope to see him at least once or twice.

Hagadone is a 6'5" 230 lbs. lefty with very good stuff. His fastball tops at around 93 MPH with good movement. He throws the typical power slider into lefties. It is probably his best pitch and is almost impossible to lefties to hit. His change-up is developing, but is still not where it needs to be. On the bright side, he has great command of all pitching, including the change, which makes him look like a great pick.

It is unclear how Hagadone fits into the future of the Sox. He has the ability to start, but i think he is much better suited in the pen. He was a closer at college so my guess is that's the route he goes in. There are no health concerns to mention. From what i hear, he is also a very confident pitcher that shows leadership potential. Sounds like a closer to me. First thing's first, lets get him signed and pitching in Lowell.

Lugo is the new Coco

The past month has marked the turning point in the Red Sox organization. No longer is Coco Crisp the whipping boy or the man everyone blames for loses. The new man is Julio Lugo, and it is hard to not understand why. Lugo currently has a VORP of -10.5 an EqA of .198 and a Rate-2 102. His glove is basically average and everything else is below average. What separates Crisp and Lugo is that when Crisp struggles he brought a great glove (a 122 Rate-2) and good speed. Lugo has good speed and nothing much after that.

Cora started the game last night in place of Lugo. I wonder if this is a sign to come. Lugo has to play, probably about 2/3's of the time at a minimum. The Sox have too much money invested in him to let him rot on the bench, but they have too much invested in this team not give Cora more ABs. This is a situation that will test Tito and his abilities as a manager. Finding the medium between Cora and Lugo may decide this teams future.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dice-K's a music genious

"Music from the Mound", the Dice-K compilation, is the long awaited "greatest hits" CD in the eyes of Dice-K. When I am thinking about buying a CD i think to myslef "would Dice-K like this?" Now i have the answer. You can pre-order or wait till July 17th for what appears to be the best CD in years at You wouldn't want to miss Jerry Remy's "Gyro Ball." It is sure to own the charts in weeks to come.

Pen help

It is getting more clear that the Red Sox bullpen is not as good as one would believe looking at the raw numbers. Players like Okajima and Snyder are playing above their head. Donnelly is currently on the DL and is getting up their in age. Finally, Timlin is a bum. I hate to say that but he brings nothing to this team. Mop up duty is not what we need from Timlin. The bullpen isn't deep enough for a pitcher to solely pitch in blowouts. So that marks the question, who can replace them. There are several in house and out of house options that should be explored.

In House:

  1. Craig Breslow - He is a lefty that has been almost unhittable at Pawtucket. He has posted a WHIP under 1 and an ERA under 1.75. His K/BB rate (43/8) is great. He has had some time at the major league level, and has succeeded in his short time.
  2. Devern Hansack - While he didn't look great in the start he got earlier this year, he does have Major League success. How fast we forget about the no-hitter he threw to end the season last year. His AAA numbers are great, but he spent all his time as a starter. He has a 3.19 ERA and WHIP of 1.09, to go along with his 71/16 K/BB rate. He has a great slider/fastball combo that could be great if used in the 7th inning.
  3. Travis Hughes - I know, who is this guy? He is the 29 year old closer down at Pawtucket. He is having a career year and maybe it would be a good idea to see if he can help out while he is hot. He is sporting a great ERA and WHIP of 1.32 and 1.00. He doesn't have the command as the other options, but he has still been great.
Out of House:
  1. Chad Cordero - This guy comes with a lot of baggage, mainly because of where he is coming from. Washington has been known to be awful trading partners. They are notorious for asking for way to much and not budging. A deal that would have landed Wily Mo Pena in Washington and Cordero in Boston almost happened in the off-season. I don't think it's crazy to think that deal my be revisited.
  2. Brian Fuentes - My favorite guy of them all. He has done nothing but pitch well since joining the Rockies. The 31 year old lefty is in his 3rd year as the Rockies closer and has a nice ERA of 2.36. Imagine what this guy could do if he gets out of Coors Field. He is also under control for another year, so he wouldn't be a rental.
  3. Scott Linebrink - He has been rumored to be coming to Boston for what appears to be years. One of the best set-up men of the past 5 years, he is a hard throwing righty. The offensively deprived Padres may be enticed my Wily Mo or Brandon Moss. I think the asking price may be high for Linebrink, but everyone is going to be at a high price.
Because everyone is going to cost more than they are worth, I would advise fixing internally. The Sox have some good arms in AAA that aren't too far removed from the alternatives. I think the pen is an easy fix, but will the FO pull the trigger. The allegiance they have to veteran players may finally come back and bite them in the ass.

How great have the Starters been?

A little while ago, Jeff Sackmann of the Hardball Times, wrote an article examining the ERA of pitchers and their position, #1 or #2 and so on. Here is what he found from 2006.

Al averages
#1 - 3.70
#2 - 4.24
#3 - 4.58
#4 - 5.09
#5 - 6.22

Boston 2006
#1 - 3.84
#2 - 4.54
#3 - 4.92
#4 - 5.15
#5 - 6.95

Boston 2007
Beckett - 3.07
Dice-K - 4.01
Schilling - 4.20
Wakefield - 4.52
Tavarez - 4.60

To sum up those numbers, Boston is CRUSHING them. At every spot they are fair exceeding last years performance and the league averages. If they can keep these numbers up, it will be nearly impossible for any team to catch they, including the Yankees. That type of consistency is extremely hard to overcome.

BABIP is no excuse

The few remaining Lugo fans are scrapping to find excuses for why he is not succeeding. Most will point out his .210 BABIP. Normally, his BABIP is in the range of .320-.330. The supporters of this will say that he is just getting unlucky and his BA will naturally increase. But that isn't necessarily right. When looking at BABIP you need to look at his LD% and GB%. That will tell you if he is hitting the ball well or hitting weak grounders. When you look at those numbers you see his LD% is down (14%) and GB% is up (53.8). Since Lugo is a gap hitters and needs to be slapping the ball to all parts of the park and he isn't doing that, he isn't naturally going to improve. Something bigger than luck is preventing him from succeeding. Personally, I think he is a head case and is pressing too much. Hopefully he will turn it around, because there are no other options.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Can someone please explain what i am looking at? This might be the dumbest thing ESPN has ever put together. According to this, the Sox have no one in the "Best line-up" for the AL, "Best Rotation" for the AL, or "All-Star starter." How the best team in baseball doesn't have one representative just baffles me. People should just stop trying to make the uber-stat. WARP-3, VORP, EqA, ERA/OPS+, Win Shares, and Runs Created are all needed when evaluating a player.

Kevin Goldstein Chat

Kevin is always a great chat. He is the man when it comes to anything and everything below the majors. He went extremely long today, so a bunch of Sox questions were asked.

yamanin (Seoul, Korea): Are you ready to change your tune on Dustin PedroiaChase Utley and B.J. Upton are clearly outhitting him, and if the season ended today he'd probably win the AL ROY. Time to rename the Pedroia/Clippard award.
yet? Among major league second basemen, only

Kevin Goldstein: Hello Seoul!

I think Pedroia is better than 06 and not this good, his career line is now .278/.354/.402 and I think that's about right. I still could be wrong.

calcar (Boston): What are your thoughts on Jed Lowrie and Jeff Corsaletti?

Kevin Goldstein: I'd like Lowrie much more if his defensive reviews were better, but I'm not convinced he can play on the left side every day, so that makes him an offensive 2B. Corsaletti is a corner OF in the end who has some on-base skills but little else -- I have a hard time seeing him as anything more than a bench outfielder.

Matt (Burbs of Chicago): Buehrle is on his way out in Chicago. With that being the case, would you make this deal if you were Kenny Williams Clay Buchholz and Jacoby Ellsbury for your soon-to-be FA LH SP? How about the BoSox -- does the deal make sense from their end?

Kevin Goldstein: The Red Sox would NEVER NEVER EVER do that.

Kanstey (Boston, MA): Bucholz or Joba? Bowden or Kennedy? Bard or Betances?

Kevin Goldstein: Bucholz, Bowden, Betances

pmoc81 (Orlando): After posting an .833 ops thus far in June, Delmon Young will raise his average to _____ by the end of the season, hitting _____ home runs and finishing _____ in the AL ROY voting, but losing to _____, an overrated player from New England.

Kevin Goldstein: .290/.330/.461; 21; 2nd; Dice-K

thegame92797 (NYC)
: Any reason to still think Craig Hansen is the future closer of the Red Sox?

Kevin Goldstein: None that I can think of.

jtsports01 (Boston): Buchholz's upside is _______

Kevin Goldstein: Ace. Pure number one starter.

Dave (NJ)
: = A poor man's David Cone Brett Gardner = Jason Kevin - What do you think of these comparisons: MatsuzakaTyner

Kevin Goldstein: I actually think I kind of like both.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Buehrle to the Sox?

Apparently the Red Sox are now the strongest suitor for Mark Buehrle. This comes as a surprise to myself, as i see starting pitching as their biggest asset. For starting pitching options, not only do we have Schilling, Wakefield, Dice-K, Beckett, and Tavarez, but we also have Gabbard, Hansack, Lester, Pauley, and Buchholz that all could hold their own on the major league stage. But with Wakefield struggling, Schilling on the DL, and both those pitchers contracts up at the end of the year it shouldn't come as a huge surprise the Sox would look for a veteran pitcher.

Now, their are two questions that have to be asked. What are we getting? and What do we need to give up? The first one is the simple one. We are getting a 28 year old pitcher on the last year of his contract. It is believed that if the Sox did acquire him they would give him a 5 year contract extension. Personally, i wish is was in the 3-year range, but i don't believe Buehrle would go for that. Buehrle has seen his fair share of batters, pitching 200+ innings in 6 straight years. That scares me because he is bound to eventually get hurt. Only one time has he had an ERA+ below league average, but sadly that was last season. He has bounced back great this ear, posting a WHIP of 1.05 and a 60/17 K/BB rate.

What are we going to give up? Depends on what the White Sox are looking for. They have strong needs in the minors as well as the majors. They are a team is complete disarray. Very little talent at the AAA and AA level. If they plan on building at those level the likely names you'll hear are Buchholz, Bowden, Ellsbury, Lowrie, and Moss. They have a bad bullpen so you might hear names like Delcarmen, Hansen, Hansack, Gabbard or Pineiro. They could also use some major league ready talent like Murphy, Pena, Hinske, or Crisp.

That is a lot of possibilities to choose from. Since Jermaine Dye is on his way out and Pods has no right in the MLB i think they ask for an outfielder. My guess is they ask for Pena/Ellsbury. I really don't mind either being traded. I think Ellsbury has been overrated by Red Sox fans and Pena has no chance playing for the Sox anytime soon. They will probably want a starting pitcher to replace Buehrle. They will most likely ask for Buccholz, but he should be untouchable. So than they might ask for 2 out of Bowden, Gabbard, and Hansack. I am not opposed to that at all. If it does end up being Bowden, i don't think a second player will be needs.

Final trade, Red Sox get Buehrle and White Sox get Pena/Bowden. I like that trade. It looks fair and appears to be exactly what both teams need. I really don't like the idea of this trade, however. I think the Red Sox should be looking for relief help. Keeping a pitcher away from the Yankees is hardly a reason to trade for someone.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dumbest experts ever

Sport Illustrated has a poll in their most recent magazine regarding building a team. 14 experts were polled and asked who each would pick has the player he/she would want to start their team with. It is an extremely interesting question and almost impossible to get it wrong, but they did. #1 was easy, Jose Reyes, but #2 was a complete surprise, Jonathan Papelbon. I am a Sox fan, but not even the most hard core would think he is the second best player in any respect. He isn't even the player i would pick off the Sox to start a team with. I would take both Dice-K and Beckett over Paps. Paps is a closer, an until he becomes a start is not special. I love him but come on, #2.

He looked GREAT last night, though.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sox Zone Ratings

Earlier this week The Hardball Times came out with their first Zone Rating stats of the year. Their version of ZR is different from ESPN's because plays outside a players zone is secluded. Personally, i think this is a much more efficient way at looking at the stat and it is probably the best defensive stat out there (FRAA is in the discussion).

The Red Sox have some strong showings and some weak showings. Here are the players rank by position.

Kevin Youkilis - 1st (.860)
Dustin Pedroia - 7th (.862)
Julio Lugo - 24th (.794)
Mike Lowell - 5th (.738)
Manny Ramirez - 19th (.701)
Coco Crisp - 5th (.921)
J.D. Drew - 17th (.847)

Overall, it could be worse. Our infield defensive has been strong, Crisp has been amazing, and Manny is hurt because it is impossible to quantify how well he plays the Monster. I am not saying he is a good defender, but he has mastered left field like few others. Lugo has just plain stunk. This is pretty much were is career ZR is, as well. What makes him an alright defender is how large his range is and the strong arm he possesses. Pedroia has been a pleasant surprise, i really hope this is a sign of things to come. Not just for Pedroia but most of the Sox.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Replacing Schilling

With Schilling going on the DL, the Sox are faced with an issue, who replaces Schilling. Luckily for the Red Sox their are many different options, and all bring good resumes. Basically, the options come down the 3 righties, Pauley/Hansack/Buccholz, and 2 lefties, Gabbard/Lester. Out of those pitchers, all have has major league experience and some relative success except Buccholz. What he has going for him is his incredible potential. Widely regarded as the best pitching prospect left in the minors, Buchholz has all the making of a star. The question for him is whether he is ready or not. He has yet to make the leap to AAA, but that is not always a death sentence. Lets look at the raw stats;

Player - Lvl - age - IP - ERA - WHIP - K - BB
Kason Gabbard - AAA - 25 - 69 - 3.26 - 1.22 - 58 - 23
David Pauley - AAA - 24 - 75.1 - 3.35 - 1.21 - 54 - 20
Devern Hansack - AAA - 29 - 65.1 - 3.44 - 1.18 - 64 - 16
Jon Lester - AAA - 23 - 56.1 - 2.40 - 1.16 - 28 - 16
Clay Buchholz - AA - 22 - 74 - 1.82 - 0.91 - 100 - 18

Gabbard looks good because of his solid numbers, the fact he is a lefty, and he had some success already in the majors. Pauley did not have the same success as Gabbard, but has put up equal numbers to him all season. He is also a year younger, which might mean he has more room for growth than Gabbard. Hansack looked awful in his stint with the big club. I love his numbers at Pawtucket, but he is better used as a reliever with that deadly fastball slider combo he has. Lester would be the natural choice, but he isn't striking out anyone. That is a major issue and it leads me to believe he doesn't have is stuff back quite yet. Buchholz is the future, not the present. He is the best of all these pitcher, i can't deny, but he needs some action in AAA prior to the majors.

Verdict: Gabbard wins the job. It is only going to work out to 2 starts, so it's not like this is a long term opportunity. Let Gabbard come up, get some experience, and bridge the gap to Schilling. I don't see any of these pitchers making an impact this season, so we should focus our attention on getting Schilling healthy not developing talent.

Keith Law/Will Carroll Chat Recap

Jake (Salt Lake): Do you think Lester is ready to be called up during Schilling's DL stint? Is he striking out enough batters? Thanks.

SportsNation Keith Law: (2:10 PM ET ) His stuff isn't all the way back, which is why his K rate is down, but I'm more concerned about how well he'll hold up deeper into the summer. Fatigue is the big factor for him in 2007.

Jim: (Irvine, CA):: Rank the following...Lincecum, Bailey, Hughes, Buchholz, Gallardo. Keep up the good work...

SportsNation Keith Law: (2:11 PM ET ) Hm, good question. As starters, probably Hughes, Gallardo, Buchholz, Lincecum, Bailey. But if he becomes a reliever, Lincecum rules them all.

Bob Winthrop: Hi Keith. We read alot about Bucholz and Bowden. I was just wondering if you liked Kris Johnson or Justin Masterson? As always thank you.

SportsNation Keith Law: (2:13 PM ET ) I like Masterson quite a bit, but as a reliever - a true sinker/slider guy, not a "sinker/slider guy" who doesn't sink the fastball. Never seen Johnson, but I should see him whenever he gets to AA.

Ryan (Vancouver): What is wrong with Julio Lugo? Seriously, is there something we can do to help? He looks lost.

SportsNation Keith Law: (2:27 PM ET ) If you happen to find his bat lying around somewhere, I'm pretty sure the Red Sox would accept it COD.

Khalid (Boston): Dustin Pedroia 2007 ROY, thoughts?

SportsNation Keith Law: (2:32 PM ET ) I'd probably go Guthrie, Willits, Pedroia. Maybe flip the last two. Pedroia could easily win it if the season ended today - high batting average on a prominent team.

Kevin (Boston): Dice-K and Okajiema have no place in the AL ROY discussion?

SportsNation Keith Law: (2:43 PM ET ) 4th and 5th, respectively - but I believe the ballot (which I don't get anyway!) only has three spots.

Paul (Atlanta): Keith, love the chats. What kind of player does Jed Lowrie project to be? Love his OBP.

SportsNation Keith Law: (3:05 PM ET ) Slap-hitting guy who'll take a walk, was pretty rough at 2b in college (which was the last time I saw him - team USA, in Keene, as a matter of fact). Needs to hit for average to be an everyday player in the big leagues, because I don't see any power in that swing.

Jay (West Dover, VT): Keith, I know Beckett has been outstanding, but is Theo regretting trading Hanley at all? With Julio Lugo batting .201, Theo HAS to think "what if" with Hanley Ramirez emerging has one of the best short stops in the game.

SportsNation Keith Law: (3:13 PM ET ) Except for the fact that Hanley is a brutal defensive shortstop. Now, put him in CF and we can talk.

Ted Fischer (Boston): Any thoughts on Schilling? The MRI was reportedly negative, but he's going on the DL anyways. Is there still cause for Concern?

Will Carroll: I think we have to see if rest cures it. On the heels of Jason Schmidt, it's right to be skittish, but Schilling is nothing if not self-aware.

patman (Tusk-a-loosa)
: What's up with Schilling? Just a case of coming down with the 40's or something more serious? Maybe Shilling will be the guy to give the currently popular Sunday Starter idea a modern day try. Seems like a perfect fit to me - he and the Red Sox front office seem to be smart enough and grasp the game well enough to understand that ~24 starts by a well rested Schilling and working off days and spot starts around him could be better than trying to get 33 starts out of a Schilling whose body doesn't recover as fast as it used to which leads to inconsistancy from start to start and you still only get 24 starts out of him anyway and have to work spot starters around stints on the DL. Schill could use the extra two days to do more Q&A on his blog and put some office time in with his video game company. He could probably make a midweek relief appearance from time to time too to contribute a few more innings to the team.

Will Carroll: Tusk-a-loosa? Is that a Big Al reference?

No answer here, but I like the discussion enough to just post this. You're right -- he's the right guy, they're the right team.

Gibson Rules (Philly)
: Where is Matt Clement?

Will Carroll: Rehabbing and being an object lesson for Jason Schmidt. Clement's injuries were a bit more serious, but you could call him the downside projection for Schmidt. Last I heard, September was iffy for a Clement return.

Ok, I cannot do a chat from my massage chair. Which sucks, because it felt great.

Crisp, The Homerun King

Crisp has had a rough go at it since coming to Boston. He struggled mightily last season, while battling injury, and this season has not been able to hit much of anything. With his future with the team in jeopardy, Crisp has responded. The last week his line has been .522/.560/.957. All those numbers are great, but the power, wow. I always thought he could hit 15-20 home runs, but 3 in one week is way above any of my expectations.

The reason's why his success appears to be more than just water leveling or something supernatural.

Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp put in some extra work before the game with hitting coach Dave Magadan. The centerfielder has been looking to eliminate unnecessary "movement" from his stance and stand taller in the batter's box, Francona said.
Lets hope this is more than just a hot week. While I love Pena and think Ellsbury can be an above-average center fielder some day, i don't believe that either are right for the job this season. Ellsbury needs a full season at Pawtucket and Pena needs to play the corner outfield positions. He is far to great of a defensive liability for center. I think whether or not he keeps this up we have to ride him for the rest of the year. He has no trade value and no great replacement. Hopefully he has turned the corner. The defense has always been there, maybe the bat has caught up.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Josh Beckett or "Ace"

Beckett has been everything and more for the Red Sox this season. The only problem i can find, his stint on the DL would have to be mentioned, doesn't appear to have lingering effects and has pitched strong since returning. His stats are even better than how he has appeared.

ERA - 3.14
FIP - 3.05
ERA+ - 145
WHIP - 1.07
K/9 - 8.2
BB/9 - 2.2
SLGA - .348
GB% - 50.6%

Looking at his stats, several things jump out. Yes, he has a great ERA, but the question is why? Better control. It is really that simple. His strikeouts are up, his walks are down, and people are hitting a lot more ground balls. It is no fluke that his stats have improved. He is making better pitches, and better locations. He has used his secondary pitches much more effectively. If he keeps this up, he will finally reach his potential.

Manny Talks

I don't know if everyone saw, but Manny broke his silence to talk about an important issue involving the Sox, hair care. Check out this important video. Hopefully next time he breaks his silence we can find out about fashion.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Remaining Shedule

The Red Sox are currently 44-25 and 8 games up on the Yankees entering tonight's game at Atlanta. Lets break down the rest of the season.

Teams - Games Remaining - (Home-Away) - Winning %

Tampa Bay - 18 (9-9) .456
Baltimore - 13 (6-7) .420
Toronto - 10 (7-3) .485
Chicago AL - 8 (4-4) .439
LA Angels - 7 (4-3) .634
Seattle - 6 (0-6) .530
NY Yankees - 6 (3-3) .522
Cleveland - 4 (0-4) .594
Minnesota - 4 (4-0) .500
Texas - 4 (4-0) .377
San Diego - 3 (0-3) .588
Detroit - 3 (0-3) .580
Kansas City - 3 (3-0) .408
Oakland - 2 (2-0) .551
Atlanta - 2 (0-2) .535

As you can see, we are very heavy in the bottom feeders of the AL East, playing 41 games out of 93 against Toronto, Baltimore, and Tampa. I think this is a huge advantage for the Red Sox. As the season goes on, Baltimore and Toronto will start to shut it down. Toronto will start to rest their stars, Halladay and Burnett, and Baltimore will probably deal away some of their talent, Patterson and Tejada. It is very likely that Tampa will bring up players like Longoria, Brignac, and Niemann. While those players are tremendous talents, they are likely to struggle in their first stint with the big club.

46 of the Red Sox finally 93 games are at home. I don't believe it's a huge issue that they have 1 more away game since their road record (21-13) is very similar to its home record (23-12). I can't lie though, their are a lot of tough road series, San Diego/Cleveland/Detroit, but if they can get through those it should be clear sailing.

Of coarse, I have to mention the Yankees. The Sox have only 6 games left and its a home and home series. It is going to be hard for the Yankees to catch up ground by their play against the Sox alone. Assuming that its going to take 95 wins to take the series, the Sox need to go 51-42 while the Yanks need to go 60-35.

Christina Kahrl BP Chat

I'm going to try to condense the chats that BP and ESPN do into information about/relate to the Red Sox. So here are the Red Sox highlights of the chat:

"ekanenh (NH): Why are Red Sox shortstops like Spinal Tap drummers?

Christina Kahrl: Because they never gave Vern Stephens his due props. Anger one of the few worthwhile Browns (talk about 'we few, we unhappy few'), and I'm sure there's some sort of curse involved."

"jmurph79 (DC): Is it time for Lester to push Tavarez to the bullpen?

Christina Kahrl: If not now, soon."

"phil44 (Boston): How much more time does Coco Crisp have? Between Pena, Ellsbury and even Brandon Moss, there's got to be a smarter arrangement/platoon in center than just automatically penciling him in there every day. Could an offense/defense platoon a la the Earl Weaver Orioles work here?

Christina Kahrl: You'd have to hope so, no? I'd like to see a job-sharing arrangement of some sort, because it certainly seems as if you'd have to be cuckoo for Coco to puff away that much playing time on an offensive millstone.

That said, Earl's offense/defense platoons worked the other way around--the glove guys like Belanger and Blair got most of the playing time, and he plugged in the bats either later in-game or as needed."

Brandon Moss = Killing It

Brandon Moss is the biggest surprise of the Red Sox farm system this year. While at Pawtucket his line is .306/.406/.555 in 245 AB's. He is 23 years old and has a lot of value with this team. Hopefully he will get a chance at the big show sooner than later.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What is wrong with Drew?

I am a huge fan of David Jonathan Drew. I think he was a great acquisition for the Sox this summer and think he will be very productive. He doesn't have the "grit" or "heart" that many baseball fans look for but he has just about everything else. Speed, Defensive, plate discipline, and bat control.

Now to whats wrong with him. For starters, where he has been batting. While he does have the ability to bat 5th, he is much better suited as a lead off hitter or in the 2/3 hole. He doesn't have the power traditionally associated with a 5th hitter. Also, his plate discipline hinders his run production that is needed in the 5th spot. He will take many walks where more traditional batter will go for the hit. Trust me, i love that about him. But with that attitude you should be batting in front of people that will hit the ball instead of behind them.

Second problem, he is a lefty. It is so hard for a left handed batter to get use to hitting in Fenway. Until he learns to take the ball to the opposite field, ala Big Papi, he is going to struggle. His numbers at home (.226/.321/.333) are significantly lower than his road stats (.255/.367/.373). If he can start using the Monster his home numbers will gain a lot of ground.

Third problem, his power is gone. His GB% is at 51%, which is about 6% higher than his career average. If he doesn't start getting the ball in the air more often than he will never get the HRs or doubles he is known for. Drew normally has a SLUG% around .500 but right now he is at .354. He needs to get that power back.

I love Drew and think he will end the season with an OPS around .900. That is very good considering he brings so many other things to the game. But we need to be patient with him. He is in a new league and a new park. An extremely odd park for lefties to hit in, i might add. He has a 5 year contract, so we aren't getting rid of him. Lets just sit back and wait for the water to find its level.

Dice-K....No Respect

Many people are under the impression that Dice-K has not lived up to his billing. While that might be true, he has not been a disappointing pitcher. If you look at his FIP you will see that he ranks 9th in the AL. He ranks ahead of guys like Pettitte, Santana, Schilling, and Lackey. While FIP isn't the best stat, it does show that he has been pitching better than his ERA shows. To go along FIP, he ranks 4th in K/9 and 9th in PRC. I expect his ERA to be below 3.80 by the end of the season based on these stats.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

5th starter

Among AL 5th starters, only five have made nine or more starts. List list includes John Danks, Jorge De La Rosa, Ervin Santana, Cha Seung Baek, and none other than Julian Taverez. Lets take a look at their stats

  • Name/IP/WHIP/FIP/(K/9)/(BB/9)/ERA+
  • Julian Taverez - 60.0/1.48/4.63/5.6/3.3/86
  • John Danks - 61.7/1.58/5.32/6.2/3.7/103
  • Jorge De La Rosa - 78.0/1.41/4.59/5.1/3.2/94
  • Ervin Santana - 77.0/1.48/5.49/6.9/3.3/81
  • Cha Seung Baek - 60.3/1.33/3.54/6.2/1.6/81
So what can we take from these numbers? Well, we can see why exactly these are #5 starters when you look at ERA+. Only 1 of these starters are above average and that is by a very small margin. Their inning totals are going to be smaller than most normal starter because these are the pitchers that will get skipped over.

There are some strong pitchers on the list. That is to be expected since if they underperformed they will be replaced. Baek has extremely impressive peripherals and Danks has been a pleasant surprise for the White Sox, in his rookie season. Santana's stats are solid, but when you look at his road/home splits you will see that he is a completely different pitcher on the road than at home. He is buillt to play in that stadium.

Now to Taverez. His FIP is very strong, 4.63, for a #5. His K/BB rates are solid. Since Taverez is such a ground ball pitcher, you shouldn't expect the K's to be very high. His WHIP is below 1.50, which is a great thing for a #5.

Getting to the gist of the matter, Taverez is going to be hard to replace. Lester defiantly has the potential but it's no done deal. Assuming Taverez can make a smooth transition to the bullpen, he is going to be an extreme asset to the pen. It will be interesting to see how the pen shakes out. For instance, Pinerio and Timlin, are they going to be here when Lester gets back. Personally, i hated Taverez prior to the season. I thought people were going to have to carry him. But after watching him, i am completely turned around, i love him and think he has value in many different ways.

Now is for the obligatory trade rumor. While i would like to see Taverez in our bullpen, he does have trade value on the open market. What makes him expendable is the strong pitching by David Pauley and Kason Gabbard. They both could make serviceable #5 starters in the short term. Of coarse, this all rest on Lester and his return. So here is the best i could come up with;

White Sox

Taverez and Crisp

Red Sox
Lance Broadway (from White Sox)
Adrian Cardenas (from Phillies)

The White Sox get Rowand, the center fielder they really need. The Phillies get another starter/reliever. They are in dyer need of another pitcher. The Red Sox get two nice prospects in Broadway, a solid pitcher prospect, and Cardenas a young 2nd base prospect that has a lot of room for improvement. This would trade would either make room for Ellsbury or Pena. My guess would Drew moves to CF and Pena takes over RF. I'm not sure any of the teams involved would like this trade, but it is one was to sell our surplus for some decent returns.