A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    southpaw, Remember, one has to be careful about using the word "hate" as a synonym for disagreement. And remember, one who doesn't agree with "civil unions" and "gay marriage" is not scared of or hates those who publicly profess homosexual relationships.  "Hate" and "Homophobe" are childish bugaboo words that are part of the ad hom smear campaign of the Democrat Party. Obviously, I don't have extreme hostility towards Lowrie. I've said he needs to remain in the role that has been working, platoon v. LHP SS and backup 3B, 2B and 1B, where he'll get over 100 starts. Given Suctaro's quicker feet, stronger arm and quicker release and better career avg. v. RHP, and given Lowrie's fragile history, why on earth would you want Lowrie as the everyday SS when his 2010 and 2011 role has been working?  Even assuming Lowrie lastest v. RHP sample size is a better gauge than his career sample, all the factors, defense, injury history, etc. do not warrant changing him from a role that has worked well. Lowrie is still under the radar. He played about a half a season in 2008, went down twice in 2009 and missed most of the season, and then came in for the last couple of months on a 2010 that was already out of realistic contention because of all of the injuries and the terrible pitching from Lackey and Beckett and the rest of the starters outside of Lester and Buch. Lowrie is still under the radar on Red Sox fan expectations, with one major exception, and he's under the radar on the opponents expectations. Other teams haven't really seen a lot of Lowrie. As the scouting reports fill out, Lowrie's numbers will decline. His numbers v. LHP should end up quite good, but his numbers v. LHP have benefited recently from bloop hits and poor team scouting reports on how to pitch him and where to position the outfielders for his hitting chart.   But, let's just assume that Lowrie's v. LHP numbers will end up solid. Once the physical demands of playing everyday SS and the fan and opponent expectations rise, do you really think that Lowrie is this AS SS who is just waiting for a full season of everday SS to blossom?     If he is going to start over 100 games in the role he's been in, do you really think it's worth it to change that 2011 role? Frankly, Tito saying he's been "terrific" wasn't qualified and wasn't a good idea as far as the important fan expectation levels are concerned. Either way, if Lowrie does become the everyday SS, I'm going to find out where he end up during dog days. I believe SS offensive and defensive and Lowrie and Scutaro preform best if Lowrie platooning v. LHP and playing some 3rd, 2nd and 1st continues. If Lowrie plays everyday, I believe the SS range declines significantly, and I believe that Lowrie's offensive numbers will plumet way more than they would if he were kept in the role he's in. Whenever Lowrie does sit, isn't he a much better close game pinch hitter option than Scuatro?  Unless Lowrie is truly an everday SS 140 plus dirt dog that maintains the high slugging and offensive numbers for a full season, he should not be changed from the team role he fits much better than Scutaro. It's not like Scutaro is going to be the everyday SS, himself. He'll be splitting enough time to where he plays close to the same number of games as Lowrie. If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Lowrie's 2010 and 2011 role has been a lot of rest and split time, the notion that he's this Peter Abraham "rising star" who just  needs to be left in as an everday SS is simply overstated. And Peter, I know you read my comments, so you need to point out how Lowrie has excelled offensively in a role that is not an everday season SS role. You might want to put a caveat in for passing that test before calling Lowrie "a rising star". Might be premature, there, Peter.
    Posted by BaseballGM

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from canetime. Show canetime's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    southpaw, Remember, one has to be careful about using the word "hate" as a synonym for disagreement. And remember, one who doesn't agree with "civil unions" and "gay marriage" is not scared of or hates those who publicly profess homosexual relationships.  "Hate" and "Homophobe" are childish bugaboo words that are part of the ad hom smear campaign of the Democrat Party. Obviously, I don't have extreme hostility towards Lowrie. I've said he needs to remain in the role that has been working, platoon v. LHP SS and backup 3B, 2B and 1B, where he'll get over 100 starts. Given Suctaro's quicker feet, stronger arm and quicker release and better career avg. v. RHP, and given Lowrie's fragile history, why on earth would you want Lowrie as the everyday SS when his 2010 and 2011 role has been working?  Even assuming Lowrie lastest v. RHP sample size is a better gauge than his career sample, all the factors, defense, injury history, etc. do not warrant changing him from a role that has worked well. Lowrie is still under the radar. He played about a half a season in 2008, went down twice in 2009 and missed most of the season, and then came in for the last couple of months on a 2010 that was already out of realistic contention because of all of the injuries and the terrible pitching from Lackey and Beckett and the rest of the starters outside of Lester and Buch. Lowrie is still under the radar on Red Sox fan expectations, with one major exception, and he's under the radar on the opponents expectations. Other teams haven't really seen a lot of Lowrie. As the scouting reports fill out, Lowrie's numbers will decline. His numbers v. LHP should end up quite good, but his numbers v. LHP have benefited recently from bloop hits and poor team scouting reports on how to pitch him and where to position the outfielders for his hitting chart.   But, let's just assume that Lowrie's v. LHP numbers will end up solid. Once the physical demands of playing everyday SS and the fan and opponent expectations rise, do you really think that Lowrie is this AS SS who is just waiting for a full season of everday SS to blossom?     If he is going to start over 100 games in the role he's been in, do you really think it's worth it to change that 2011 role? Frankly, Tito saying he's been "terrific" wasn't qualified and wasn't a good idea as far as the important fan expectation levels are concerned. Either way, if Lowrie does become the everyday SS, I'm going to find out where he end up during dog days. I believe SS offensive and defensive and Lowrie and Scutaro preform best if Lowrie platooning v. LHP and playing some 3rd, 2nd and 1st continues. If Lowrie plays everyday, I believe the SS range declines significantly, and I believe that Lowrie's offensive numbers will plumet way more than they would if he were kept in the role he's in. Whenever Lowrie does sit, isn't he a much better close game pinch hitter option than Scuatro?  Unless Lowrie is truly an everday SS 140 plus dirt dog that maintains the high slugging and offensive numbers for a full season, he should not be changed from the team role he fits much better than Scutaro. It's not like Scutaro is going to be the everyday SS, himself. He'll be splitting enough time to where he plays close to the same number of games as Lowrie. If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Lowrie's 2010 and 2011 role has been a lot of rest and split time, the notion that he's this Peter Abraham "rising star" who just  needs to be left in as an everday SS is simply overstated. And Peter, I know you read my comments, so you need to point out how Lowrie has excelled offensively in a role that is not an everday season SS role. You might want to put a caveat in for passing that test before calling Lowrie "a rising star". Might be premature, there, Peter.
    Posted by BaseballGM

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Lowrie will be an All-Star this year if he plays:

    1. The competition is poor.
     
    2. Hitting is over-valued in A-S selection.

    3. A hot start gets more attention than 3 above avg months.

    4. A.L. fans pick 9 players, one back-up player for each position are elected by the players, coaches, and managers.

    Jed's gotta get and keep his name on the leader boards until the voting stops to have a chance. He needs more PAs, but should get them if he keeps up at this pace.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from BurritoT. Show BurritoT's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    I don't know how many have posted on this but Tampa (who started out as poorly as Boston) is now a .500 team with Johnny Damon leading the team in ribbies. Shields has been quite good too.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from BurritoT. Show BurritoT's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Elles/Crawford 9 sb's and 5 cs's.  Obviously early but this must be a concern these guys are running into outs more than they should.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    I don't know how many have posted on this but Tampa (who started out as poorly as Boston) is now a .500 team with Johnny Damon leading the team in ribbies. Shields has been quite good too.

    Like I've said all along, TB ain't goin away!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoxPatsCelts1988. Show SoxPatsCelts1988's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    I don't know how many have posted on this but Tampa (who started out as poorly as Boston) is now a .500 team with Johnny Damon leading the team in ribbies. Shields has been quite good too. Like I've said all along, TB ain't goin away!
    Posted by moonslav59


    Don't forget Sam Fuld.  That guy literally came out of nowhere.

    I do believe that Tampa's offense will ultimately keep them just short of 90 wins.  I see them at around 87-88.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    White Sox beat Yankees 2-0.  Winning pitcher Phil Humber throws a 7-inning 1-hitter.

    Humber was the 3rd overall pick in the 2004 draft, by the Mets.  He was traded by the Mets to the Twins in the Santana deal.  He went from the Twins to the Royals to the A's to the White Sox.  Tonight he 1-hits the NYY for 7 in the Stadium.

    Gotta love this game. 

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Critter23. Show Critter23's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Can anyone here tell me what the pitchers are doing since the win streak began?  No games here on West Coast, so I'm going on news accounts.  Sounds like the pitchers are pounding the strike zone, not pecking, picking up the pace,
     primarily posing the fastball, passing on the breaking stuff until the blazer is established (trying to have some fun here...)  Is that indeed what's going on?  Whatever they're doing , they are getting into the later innings which is helping the bullpen.  I would love for them to roll through the rotation again with this success just to establish the habits they seem to be displaying.

    I think the Lowrie/Scut team is great for the Sox and great for each other if you consider where each is in his career.

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

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    Then, explain why you keep saying "I said _____" about things that happened months before you came to this board? I've never said anything of the kind. Any comment I've made have that predated this board were from reading other comments from other posters who referred to older dated comments. Harness, in that long nonsense post, you made the hysterical comment about Varitek's 2010 loss as the reason why the Red Sox lost any chance. You know that is nonsense. You then go on and on about Varitek and the pitching staff for this year. Did he catch Lackey's terrible startsor Lackey's last two starts? No, he did not. The CERA thing is a foolish notion you hung your hat on because it's post hoc rationalization for Varitek's free falling decline. The team would be fine without Varitek, Harness, and will be fine when he's forced out the door. I didn't see you gush over the superior last Buch start with Salty, over Varitek's next start with Buch. I also didn't see you gush over Salty's last shutout. You need to move on with Varitek, or call him and get a room.
    Posted by BaseballGM


    How does catching Lackey's starts support your argument?
    Here's a quote that supports mine:

    "I've got to give Jarrod a lot of credit. I thought we were on the same page, the best we've been since the start of the season. - - - The rhythm of the game was the best it's been this year".         John Lackey

    Now, continue with your empty opinion that a catcher has nothing to do with pitching. That's it's solely on the pitcher.

    Nothing definitive can be made of Salty's affect on the pitching staff this early.
    With Tek, conclusions can clearly be drawn after over 12 years.
    Did Tek catch Lackey this year? no.
    Did Tek catch Buch last year? Gee. Ya think that might have affected Tek's numbers?

    When Salty or VMART caught the same pitchers Tek is/was allowed to catch, the run differential is 1.5 to 2 runs. That affects win-loss records. Period. Fact.
    Tek has never caught a staff as deep as this 2010/2011 SR. Never.
    The team plays .700 ball when he catches this pitching staff. And that includes scarcely catching Buch/Lester. This goes back to when they first signed Lackey, who has a 3.29 ERA when Tek catches him (41 IP).

    The team went 15-15 last year in Sept./Oct. Playing .700 ball would have put them in the playoffs. The team played appx. .500 ball when VMART caught the same pitchers Tek did.

    I told you last year Tek was gonna bury you. And he would have if Tito had played him. And if you think it's a coincidence that this same staff is playing .700 ball again with Tek catching, you are delusional. They are 2-9 without him.

    Salty began this season as the FT catcher. If you recall, when posters alluded to Tek last year as a back-up, I always posted "back-up" in quotes, because I never saw him in that capacity. He gets too much out of a pitching staff to be regulated as "back-up".

    Well, after starting 5 of the first 6 games, Salty is no longer the FT catcher. That's a distinction he will have to earn. Tek has caught the bulk of the games since.
    Tito is now deploying a catching tandem.

    So, before you retire Tek, look at the facts, clown.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Crit: IMO, the pitching has improved because:
    1) They shook off the initial rust and have made the necessary adjustments.
    2) Tito started deploying a catching tandem. Tek has obviously had a calming affect. The staff spots a 2.12 ERA with him catching.
    3) Both Lackey & Dice were heavily motivated.

    The pitchers are still missing their spots on several occasions, but not having to face Texas or NY has played a big part of it. Also, playing in larger venues allows for greater margin for error.

    In addition, the defense has looked really good after a shaky start.
    The BP is still a bit erratic. But Paps has been terrific. And I believe that will filter down throughout the BP corps.


    To Katz: I saw UR post regarding Dice/Farrell. And I recall how he reacted to the 2009 Dice interview. The FO and Tito were also miffed, and I'm sure took appropriate steps. Otherwise, Dice never would have apologized soon after.
    If Dice's relationship with Farrell was any different than with any other coach/mgr./owner - it's never been stated or even alluded to. At least, I've never seen it.

    "He's (Dice) sees the "trade him" commentaries in the media, and the fact is, he wants to remain with the Sox and finish his career here".

                                                                    N. Cafardo
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Wow, harness. You got it al covered.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Never fear. The clown will return with more unsubstantiated drivel.

    I do agree with you, Moon, that the team pulled the plug prematurely last year. If the price was to make a definitive decision on VMART, then so be it. But it's a shame they didn't acknowledge it when we did.

    In any event, I doubt the 2010 squad would have done much damage in October, even if  Tito had deployed certain personal properly. They were a hospital ward playing on sheer guts.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    They may have viewed it as a 50-50 choice between playing VMart at 1st and VTek at C vs VMart at C and Lowell at 1B, but chose VMart catching because they wanted to see if his "CERA related" skills improved. They did not see it happen. We lost. 

    They may have also figured VTek would be gone, or that they knew what he offered, so they didn't need to "learn anything" about VTek by playing him in September.

    If the choice ended up making them decide to let VMart walk, so we could try and find a better CERA-type catcher, then perhaps the chocie was a good one, for reasons you pointed out (we weren't going to win anyway) and to make way for a new catcher and money to spend on AGon & CC.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    One thing I was hoping the FO would do was sign Rob Johnson for "CERA" insurance if Salty didn't pan out or Tek got hurt. Now we have little back-up.

    The Padres got Johnson for a song. He may have been out of options, but I still think he'd have cleared waivers. It's just another example of what Theo does not prioritize.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from BaseballGM. Show BaseballGM's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    The Rays will go away, and will be all but mathematically eliminated by the final 2 weeks of the season.

    Harness, read my comment after your silly comment, on the "Scioscia FERA" thread. Varitek can't bury anyone, except his own BA. Pitchers pitch, catchers catch. Scioscia's take on CERA exposes it as nothing but a comfort and marriage of familiarity that works with certain combinations and doesn't work with others.

    I want to read your comments when Varitek is forced out of MLB, because he will refuse to go out gracefully as a competent throwing and blocking catcher who doesn't embarrass himself at the plate.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    The Rays will go away, and will be all but mathematically eliminated by the final 2 weeks of the season.

    Exact words by softy this past winter.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Critter23. Show Critter23's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Thanks Harness, I just read your Tek piece, so I think I see the trends.  Good to get this streak going before returning to the "smaller venues" as you say where pitching mistakes are more critical.  If this is what they can be with the starters all firing, then this is pretty good.  This type of starting has got to take pressure of the relievers, and maybe that will help them to step it up a bit.  I don't think hitting per se was so much an early problem, as timely hitting.  I think Youk is starting to re-emerge and that will help as he has always done well with the timely hits.  I just hope Tito will do more situational lineups--from what Moon suggests I think we could win 5-7 games playing the percentages...my guess, not his...
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from tom-uk. Show tom-uk's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    I found this article interesting:  Does this information change the way Theo builds a team (CC?)?  Who is commonly undervalued considering the context?

    Offense Is Down In Baseball Again This Season ... But Why?
    By Rob Neyer
    Apr 26, 2011 - SI.com's Scott Lemire on what's looking like (another) Year of the Pitcher:

    Across baseball in the first three and a half weeks of this season, scoring, home runs, walks, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging are all at their lowest per-game rates in nearly two decades, while strikeouts are at their highest rate in that span. Sequels rarely surpass the original, but if what we've already seen of 2011 is any indication, the reprise of the Year of the Pitcher is coming, well, too fast and too furious.

    The sample size remains small but is creeping toward significant, with roughly 13 percent of the 2011 season now in the books, and offense is at an alarmingly low level. On Friday morning, for instance, STATS LLC issued a release showing how runs-scoring in March and April this year is at its lowest level (8.62 per game) during the same span since 1992 (8.24). The five lowest-scoring outputs in the season's first month belong to, in order, 1992, 2011, 1993, 2008, 2007 and 2010.

    You should notice a pattern there, as 2011 seems simply a continuation of a trend (with the exception of 2009, which should probably be considered a mild outlier). Or maybe it's not a trend. Maybe in five months we'll look back and find that 2011 fit comfortably within the context of 2007, 2008 and 2010 (and damn that pesky '09).

    Here's the point at which we theorize. Or rather, at which Lemire theorizes, offering six possible explanations for the somewhat dramatic decline in hitting that we've seen over what's now a span of four-plus seasons ...

    1. Drug Testing
    I won't buy the notion that nobody's using drugs anymore. I will buy the notion that they're not using them as much, and that hitters were helped more than pitchers by them, in the bad old days. It just seems like too big a coincidence, that scoring began trending downward at almost exactly the same moment MLB got somewhat serious about drugs.

    2. Defense
    Seems like a stretch. One can imagine a small impact on run production, if management has become slightly more amorous about defensive talents. Maybe.

    3. Ballparks
    There might be something to this. Five new baseball palaces have opened in the last five seasons. One of them (Yankee Stadium) has played as a hitter's park, one (www.sbnation.com/mlb/teams/washington-nationals" class="sbn-auto-link">Nationals Park) has been neutral, one (Target Field) has played as a mild pitcher's park, and two (Citi Field and Busch Stadium) have played as pitcher's parks.

    4. Cut Fastballs
    I don't know. The cutter's been around for a long time. Are pitchers throwing significantly more cutters now than five years ago? More now than two years ago? As Lemire notes, "there's always a new pitch en vogue," and new pitches have always been used to explain diminished hitting stats.

    5. Talented Young Pitchers
    Lemire:

    In the time span considered, from 1992 through 2011, there have been 667 qualifying pitchers who have posted an ERA+ of at least 115, and a decreasing number of them are 30 or older. (ERA+ adjusts ERA for ballpark and the league standard, with 100 as an average score.) From the first decade to the second, fewer pitchers age 30 or older met the chosen standard, while the overall number went up. From 1992 through 2001, 42.1 percent of 309 seasons with an ERA+ of at least 115 were by pitchers of age 30 or older; from 2002 through 2011, that share fell to 30.2 percent of 358 such seasons.

    I'll be honest with you ... This one makes my head spin around with little useful effect. ERA+ is relative to the league ... If there are more pitchers with good ERA+, don't there have to be more pitchers with bad ERA+? Doesn't this all come out in the wash? There must be a way to measure young pitching talent, but I'm not sure this is it.

    6. Consistent Strike Zones
    Gee, I don't know ... I thought the inconsistent strike zones actually helped the pitchers. Those pitchers who could hit their spots, anyway. Lemire's point is that consistency allows the pitcher to attack the strike zone with consistency, not having to adjust from game to game. But couldn't the same be true for hitters? Wouldn't they also benefit from knowing what's a strike and what isn't?

    These are all interesting lines of inquiry, and might be addressed by objective analysis. Well, the steroids thing would be tough. Which makes the enterprise problematic, because the steroids thing seems to me the strongest candidate here. But with a little work, we might at least narrow the field some.

    As always, I look forward to your thoughts, and I'm sure this conversation will take us in some different directions and last some months

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    The one that makes sense to me is the drug testing. Or more precisely, the end of the steroid era. Think of it this way: during the "great" Sosa/Mcguire quest to break the HR record, how much of their production was due to steroid use? I think 25% is a fair assessment. Thus, if run production is down 25% from the steroid era, that tells us just how few were playing this game on the level.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Number 5 IMO is equally as valid. There are far more pitchers under 30 who are really good than there were from 1999-2004. Seems every team has a young pitcher who is very good, some more than one and very few are going down quickly with arm troubles like Strassburg did.

    Let's keep in mind as a percentage of the population pitchers were using at or above the levels of hitters during the steroid era.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    #7  VTek & Mathis are catching more and Posada & VMart are catching less.

    Tongue out
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Hilarious!
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    I thought you'd keel over and die on that one harness.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Fortunatly, I stay close to the ground. Better that than under it.
     
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