2013 Red Sox: "Significantly Improved Team" - Hunter Golden, Fire Brand of the Americal League

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    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    In response to Ben Cheringtom's comment:

    more drivel



    Trolling again?

     
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    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    moon, are you reading?  This says what I have been trying to convey in the "rethinking 2013" thread.

     
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    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    .500 is not bad given the record last year, and the ALE competition

     
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    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    In response to parhunter55's comment:

    moon, are you reading?  This says what I have been trying to convey in the "rethinking 2013" thread.



    Where is the priority to improve our biggest 2 weaknesses?

    Slot 1/2 starting pitcher

    Solid 3/4 slot hitter

     

    Or, the priority to add a single player that rates to significantly help us in 2014 or 2015.

     

    It's shocking to me that these were not even listed as priorities, or they were intentionally left off the list to make it appear as if Ben has met all or most of the priorities and guidlines to his winter plan.

     
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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from JimfromFlorida. Show JimfromFlorida's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    I like the list IMO it is what they had to do. Many times last year this forum complained about the attitude of the team and that has absolutely been fixed. I also like the fact that they can 

    build the mminor stake their time with prospects and if the year goes south get more prospects/draft choices with some of the guys they signed. 

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Helloitsmeagain. Show Helloitsmeagain's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    Red Sox haven't improved rotation enough January, 5, 2013 JAN 5 1:35 PM ET By Bill Baer | ESPN.com The  Boston Red Sox were baseball's most disappointing team in 2012, with the  Miami Marlins finishing a close second. After finishing at 90-72 in 2011, the Sox added  Kelly ShoppachNick PuntoMark MelanconAndrew BaileyRyan Sweeney and  Cody Ross before the season. They also added  Marlon Byrd in April. However, with a 60-66 record on Aug. 25, they folded, sending  Josh BeckettAdrian GonzalezCarl Crawford and Punto to the  Los Angeles Dodgers in the biggest salary dump baseball had ever seen -- a tacit admission that they had made some poor decisions. 

    This offseason has seen the Sox sign a few hitters:  David RossJonny Gomes and  Shane Victorino (and, potentially still,  Mike Napoli). Their only addition to 2012's third-worst starting rotation in the American League -- in terms of ERA -- was  Ryan Dempster, while  Koji Uehara and  Joel Hanrahan were added to the bullpen. 

    [+] Enlarge 
    Jon Lester
    Kelvin Kuo/US PresswireJon Lester had a 3.33 ERA from 2008 through 2011, but that ballooned to 4.82 in 2012. The 2013 rotation will include  Jon Lester (4.82 ERA in 2012), Dempster (3.38; 5.09 in the American League with the Rangers),  Clay Buchholz(4.56),  Felix Doubront (4.86), and  John Lackey (injured). They need help, and they need it badly, whether it's from adding a new arm via free agency or trade (at this point in the offseason, not much is left out there), or from improvement from the other four over last season. 

    For Sox fans, there may be good news: Lester and Doubront are expected to enjoy 2013 a lot more according to ERA estimators. ERA estimators such as xFIP (expected fielding independent pitching) and SIERA (skill interactive earned run average) consider the factors a pitcher controls most -- strikeouts, walks and ground/fly balls -- to tell you what a pitcher's ERA should have been, which removes noise such as abnormal luck and extremely good or bad defense. 

    Lester's xFIP was 3.82 in 2012, exactly a full run lower than his ERA. I looked at pitchers who underperformed their xFIP by at least a full run going back to 2009. Twelve such pitchers were found; only three were worse the next year, while five improved by more than a full run. We would expect Lester to improve, but that doesn't mean there aren't concerns. 

    PitcherTeamYearERAxFIPNext yearERA-xFIPChange in ERA James Shields Rays 2010 5.20 3.54 2.82 1.66 +2.38 Brandon Morrow Blue Jays 2011 4.72 3.53 2.96 1.19 +1.76 A.J. Burnett Yankees 2011 5.16 3.86 3.51 1.30 +1.65 Ryan Dempster Cubs 2011 4.80 3.70 3.38 1.10 +1.42 Carl Pavano Twins 2009 5.10 3.89 3.75 1.21 +1.35 Ricky Nolasco Marlins 2009 5.06 3.23 4.51 1.83 +0.55 Zack Greinke Brewers 2011 3.83 2.56 3.48 1.27 +0.35 Ricky Nolasco Marlins 2011 4.67 3.55 4.48 1.12 +0.19 Jason Hammel Rockies 2010 4.81 3.66 4.76 1.15 +0.05 Derek Lowe Braves 2011 5.05 3.65 5.11 1.40 -0.06 Chris Volstad Marlins 2011 4.89 3.64 6.31 1.25 -1.42 Roberto Hernandez Indians 2011 5.25 4.17 7.53 1.08 -2.28
    The lefty's strikeout rate has been in a three-year decline, from 27 percent in 2009 to 19 percent last year. More balls in play means more chances for hits and defensive miscues. To illustrate the difference, let's consider that last season, Lester faced 876 batters. The eight percent difference means 70 more balls put in play, and assuming his career average .301 BABIP, leads to 21 more hits. While ERA predictors take a pitcher's strikeout rate into account, Lester's decrease itself could signify a deeper issue. 

    As for Doubront, his first full season in 2012 featured some of the typical problems you'd expect of a player in his mid-20s in his inaugural run through the majors: too many walks and too many home runs. Among pitchers with at least 150 innings in 2012, Doubront's home run rate on a per-fly ball basis was the fifth-highest in baseball at nearly 16 percent (the league average is under 12 percent). His walk rate was the ninth-highest at 10 percent. Nevertheless, xFIP was more optimistic about his performance due to his prodigious ability to miss bats -- his 23 percent whiff rate ranked 21st out of 118 qualified starters. 

    While Lester and Doubront might regress towards their mean in a good way, and the addition of Dempster should help, the Sox shouldn't expect much from Buchholz and Lackey. Once viewed as a potential ace, Buchholz's profile leaves him as a bit of a  Kyle Kendricktype: someone who is average in almost every possible way. And average isn't bad at the back of a rotation, but when you are praying for regression, you need more upside than one finds with Buchholz. Put another way, when you've just lost a big hand at poker and you're looking to win your money back, you're hoping for pocket kings, not pocket sixes. 

    As for Lackey, the veteran has had a tumultuous tenure with the Red Sox and will be entering 2013 recovering from Tommy John surgery. While there is a track record of pitchers having success after TJ surgery, there are no guarantees, particularly for a 34-year-old such as Lackey. In 2011, his last full season, he posted a career-low strikeout rate (14.5 percent) and finished with a strikeout-to-walk ratio under two for the first time in his 10-year career. To expect anything better than replacement-level pitching from Lackey would be a fool's errand. 

    When you look at the Red Sox rotation in its entirety, you have two pitchers who you're hoping were only bitten by bad luck in 2012, a free agent who has only been slightly above-average in recent years, a youngster who may have already hit his ceiling, and a veteran surrounded by a thousand question marks. The Red Sox, who last year won fewer than 70 games for the first time since 1965 (excluding strike-shortened seasons), don't appear to have done enough to upgrade what was one of the worst starting rotations in the league. 

    Few choices remain in free agency, with most best categorized as veteran retreads, but there are a few that should catch Ben Cherington's eye:  Shaun MarcumKyle Lohse and  Jeff Karstens. Marcum is a bit of an injury risk as he suffered from elbow problems last year with the  Milwaukee Brewers, but the upside is that he would fit in well around Lester at the top of the rotation. Lohse is a proven veteran who appears to have taken big strides in his last two seasons with the  St. Louis Cardinals, becoming incredibly stingy allowing walks. Karstens is an underrated right-hander, similar in many ways to Lohse, but would come at a much cheaper price. 

    If the Red Sox are done adding to their rotation between now and the start of the regular season, it doesn't appear like they will have nearly enough to compete with the restocked Toronto Blue Jays and the rest of the hyper-competitive AL East.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Helloitsmeagain. Show Helloitsmeagain's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    .

     
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    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    In response to moonslav59's comment:

    In response to parhunter55's comment:

    moon, are you reading?  This says what I have been trying to convey in the "rethinking 2013" thread.



    Where is the priority to improve our biggest 2 weaknesses?

    Slot 1/2 starting pitcher

    Solid 3/4 slot hitter

     

    Or, the priority to add a single player that rates to significantly help us in 2014 or 2015.

     

    It's shocking to me that these were not even listed as priorities, or they were intentionally left off the list to make it appear as if Ben has met all or most of the priorities and guidlines to his winter plan.




    The players they will add in 2014 and 2015 are named Bogaerts, Bradley, Barnes, Brentz, Owens, Webster and maybe their top draft pick from the upcoming first year player draft, and the FA signings that fit the team's needs then, not what they think they will be now.  Why do you not understand that they did not need to add players to help in 2014 and 2015 THIS off-season?  They needed to add players to help in 2013 and do so in a way that would not hinder additions and roster moves in preparation for 2014 and 2015.  Talk about impatient.

    That said, I wish Ben had signed a top pitcher for the rotation.  That was a need that has not been addressed yet.  And if this team is to compete in 2013 they need that #1 or #2 guy, who would then anchor the rotation for the years when the rotation transitions away from Lester and Lackey (and perhaps Buchholz).

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Helloitsmeagain. Show Helloitsmeagain's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    The players they will add in 2014 and 2015 are named Bogaerts, Bradley, Barnes, Brentz, Owens, Webster and maybe their top draft pick from the upcoming first year player draft, and the FA signings that fit the team's needs then, not what they think they will be now.  Why do you not understand that they did not need to add players to help in 2014 and 2015 THIS off-season?  They needed to add players to help in 2013 and do so in a way that would not hinder additions and roster moves in preparation for 2014 and 2015.  Talk about impatient.

    That said, I wish Ben had signed a top pitcher for the rotation.  That was a need that has not been addressed yet.  And if this team is to compete in 2013 they need that #1 or #2 guy, who would then anchor the rotation for the years when the rotation transitions away from Lester and Lackey (and perhaps Buchholz).

    [/QUOTE]


    Very rarely do all your prospects end up being major league starters.

     
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  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    In response to Ben Cheringtom's comment:

    more drivel



    Trolling again?




    Hate to agree with you Breidy, but Cheringtom has nothing to offer this board but criticism of other posters. I have no idea why he isn't banned yet.

     

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    In response to EdithBRTN's comment:

    it appears their priorities were as follows:

    1.) Field a competitive team in the short term
    2.) Don’t give up draft picks
    3.) Retain priority prospects
    4.) Maintain payroll flexibility
    5.) Be able to pivot in the event prospects don’t pan out
    6.) Create a positive atmosphere for emerging prospects to learn in once they hit the big league level

    Truth be told, I think they’ve succeeded in nearly every single one of those areas.



    I am not sure that goal #1 has been met. We will know by July.

     
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  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    How many folks here understand what plagiarism encompasses?

    http://plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiarism

    Provide a link instead of a verbatim copy-and-paste:

    http://firebrandal.com/2013/01/02/how-good-can-the-2013-red-sox-be/

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/31888/red-sox-havent-improved-rotation-enough

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from pumpsie-green. Show pumpsie-green's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    In response to EdithBRTN's comment:

    In response to pumpsie-green's comment:

    In response to Joebreidey's comment:

    In response to Ben Cheringtom's comment:

    more drivel



    Trolling again?




    Hate to agree with you Breidy, but Cheringtom has nothing to offer this board but criticism of other posters. I have no idea why he isn't banned yet.

     




    Did it take an opinion from someone of Joe Breidy's ranking in this forum for you to come to the conclusion that poster Ben Cherringtom is a complete fool, idiot, and troll? Why didn't you or anyone else come to that realization earlier?  Unbelievable?




    But I did come to that conclusion. Yesterday I put him on "manual ignore". I am finished with him

     
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  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxKimmi. Show RedSoxKimmi's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    "The players they will add in 2014 and 2015 are named Bogaerts, Bradley, Barnes, Brentz, Owens, Webster and maybe their top draft pick from the upcoming first year player draft, and the FA signings that fit the team's needs then, not what they think they will be now. Why do you not understand that they did not need to add players to help in 2014 and 2015 THIS off-season? They needed to add players to help in 2013 and do so in a way that would not hinder additions and roster moves in preparation for 2014 and 2015. Talk about impatient."

    Agreed.  This is why I like what the FO has done this offseason.  They gave us a competitive team for 2013 without sacrificing the future, which includes 2014 and 2015.  There will be enough payroll flexibility next year, not much, but enough to sign FAs to fill the team's needs at that time.

     

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from bald-predictions. Show bald-predictions's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    In response to EdithBRTN's comment:

    In response to hill55's comment:




    I gave credit to Hunter Golden on both of my posts. Those were not my words and I never intended them to be.

    Are you attacking me or troll Babe? Try to remember that this is a Red Sox forum?

    You should be celebrating the Seattle win today in the NFL playoffs.

    Babe should have started a new thread instead of trying to hijack this one. Do you agree with that? Babe has to refrain from letting Red Sox fans act like Sox fans on THEIR site. Do you agree? Why do you as a Seattle fan dislike RS fans more than Yankees fans.? Do you go to Yankee forums also?



    I appreciate your printing the article to read rather having click on it, and understood the source immediately. Don't let the seattle guy get you down EB.

     
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  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: 2013 Red Sox:

    I count at least two people who don't understand what plagiarism encompasses. Here is a link to a simple tutorial:

    http://plagiarism.org/plagiarism-101/what-is-plagiarism/

     
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