A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from summerof67. Show summerof67's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    The Angels just lost 3 to the Royals - The Royals!!! - to start the season. This is a fluke and, as moon says, a small sample size.

    Sometime during the season, the Sox will reel off 10 or 12 wins in a row, and the loss of these three games to start the season will be a distance memory.

    This will be especially true if this string turns out to be the longest losing streak of the season.

    Sit tight, people. Come back from the ledge.

    And I am not worried about Salty. Yet. 

    Note to Tito:  I will volunteer to pick up Luis Exposito in Pawtucket and drive him to Fenway free of charge.

    NO pressure, Tito. None.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Critter23. Show Critter23's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Moon, I'm envious you got to the opener even though the results weren't there.  Hope the food was good.  Anyone look good other than A-Gon?
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Tongue out
     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Crawford is in the #7 slot today...that happened pretty quick.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    Boomer, if Crawford batted second and Ellsbury lead-off, it would create lefty-lefty situation.  To take advantage of the speed tandem between the two, someone would have to hit ninth.  This way, Pedroia would remain in his comfortable number two situation.  I guess the question is whose ego would be less bruised. I beg to differ with you, but I just cannot imagine Crawford EVER being a number three hitter.  I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see it. I was impresseed with the way Gonzales fared against lefty pitching.  Not only because he hit well, but also because he didn't bail out and looked comfortable against them.  I can say the same thing about Ellsbury....not Drew.
    Posted by ampoule

    Amp!

    An interesting stat is that Carl Crawford had 62 extra base hits last year, compared to Adrian Gonzalez's 64 in 2010 and Youk's 64 in 2009 ( factoring Youk for 2010 would not be useful due to the injury ). Crawford has decent pop when you factor in his triples ( 30 doubles, 13 triples, 19 HR ) and he is a much better base runner than Youk or Gonzalez. If he is on base in front of Youk, Gonzalez and Ortiz those guys are probably going to have some holes in the infield to hit though plus see more fastballs. Youk and Gonzalez can hit and run well. It has some merit. Maybe not ideal but it does extend the lineup with 3 solid OBP guys who are good base runners ( Ellsbury, Pedroia and Crawford ) with the 3 big guns right behind them ( Youk, Gonzalez, Ortiz ). One through 6 this team has a tremendous lineup.

    I'm not thrilled with 7-9 but that can be enhanced through platoons and with a little luck maybe that group can put up decent numbers also. 

    Call me crazy but this lineup needs to win some small ball games also. Who cares if we win 10 - 5 games if we can't squeeze some 3-2 wins also. We need both. To do that we will need much better pitching than we are getting now and Crawford probably needs to hit near the top of the lineup. If we get good pitching this team and lineup could manufacture a lot of wins. 

    Adrian Gonzalez actually is a great situational hitter, as he showed many times in San Diego. A local friend once told me "If Adrian doesn't hit we do not win" and I think that was right on. ( I live in San Diego county ). He generates wins with all of his hitting ability. This guy is a professional hitter. I think he is the key this year. We need a 140 RBI season out of him. He is in the right slot for that now. Adrian is the top 5 hitter this team needs to incite fear in other teams, our current Manny Ramirez. Different styles but similar impact.

    So why not hit Adrian 3rd? I have no problem with that. I'd like to hit him 1st, 2nd and 3rd! A strong case could be made for that and I bet that might even soon emerge but if you run the Bill James type numbers, it makes more sense to to me to get the maximum numbers of guys on base before Adrian comes up considering all factors. Let's say the game leads off and 38% of batters get on from that first 5 batters ( for example .36 + .38 + .38 + .40 ). There is a pretty good chance that more than one guy gets on out of that first 4 batters and that Adrian is going to get up quite a bit in that first inning. Adrian is then positioned well to drive them in. And Ortiz is also. This should be a big year for Youk, Adrian and Ortiz in terms of RBI with this lineup.

    This lineup could be made up many ways and at some point people will be moved around if they are not hitting. To me, the current lineup is kind of optimized for both small ball and big inning potential. I have no problem with it overall. But we better start getting much better pitching!

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

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Amp, I like your ideas tonight and especially on Salty.  If we play fifty games and he's hitting below the Mendoza line, then ok, take a look at it.  But as far as handling the game, he needs time to hone his craft.  No need to jerk him out after three games.  Moon, you've been a clarion for two years on the use of our bench facing lefties.  This year it seems there's been a lot of talk in the press about it, even after just three games.  It would seem that this would be seeping through to Tito.  I don't know how things work in the organization; I would think that at some point Theo would have a chat with him.  I think you've made the argument that the right use of those who hit lefties well (Tek, etc.) would result in significant wins.  I think BBGM is Softy; he can't say anything good about Ells, even if Ells hit four homers in a row, signed his bat and gave it to Softy with a check for 10 grand.  I for one will not be addressing any of his posts; last year at times it was unpleasant for me to come to this site because of him.  Too much invective.  Not pleasant or fun which is why I come here.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    This one is for Softy, ahem...BaseballGM. The key phrase for me was "Narcissists score up the Wazoo in Entitlement"!


     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from RSNorthAK. Show RSNorthAK's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    I did mention, prior to o-day, when most were exhalting the Phillies/Sox series, that everyone best look out for Baltimore. I said they would finish 2nd if the Red Sox weren't occupying that seat. I pick the Yanks for #3 spot ... IF ... not #1.

    The O's remind me of the spit and grit of the Rays start-ups. Just saying. Wouldn't come as a surprise to this old codger.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ampoule. Show ampoule's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Boomer, if Crawford batted second and Ellsbury lead-off, it would create lefty-lefty situation.  To take advantage of the speed tandem between the two, someone would have to hit ninth.  This way, Pedroia would remain in his comfortable number two situation.  I guess the question is whose ego would be less bruised.

    I beg to differ with you, but I just cannot imagine Crawford EVER being a number three hitter.  I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see it.

    I was impresseed with the way Gonzales fared against lefty pitching.  Not only because he hit well, but also because he didn't bail out and looked comfortable against them.  I can say the same thing about Ellsbury....not Drew.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    http://proxy.espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/8449/worry-arrives-early-in-red-sox-nation
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Boom: Think Tampa Bay Rays a few years back.
    The O's have a pitching staff that's maturing. They use their fielders more than the Rays hurlers, which is why the O's went out and improved themselves defensively.
    They now have likely HOF'er Vlad, who hasn't begun to hit yet despite the team's 4-0 start. They added Reynolds, who hit 32 dingers last year. Gold glover Derrick Lee man's first. Hardy is at SS.

    Roberts/Markakis are as good as any table setters in the game. Wieters, Scott, Jones and Markakis finally have something to play for, and it will elevate their game. The pen is unproven, but Showalter has brought his motivation, experience, pitching coach and bench coach with him.
    He gave up a cushy job at ESPN because he believes the organization is now doing things right.

    And I'll bet they will make some interesting moves before the trade deadline. They have $$$ to spend. Any team taking them lightly is in for a surprise.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from RSNorthAK. Show RSNorthAK's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Kinsler.  What a one man wrecking crew. Hell of a way to break out of the gate. He is living right for the moment. Maybe a barn-burner when all is said and done?
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    Boomer, if Crawford batted second and Ellsbury lead-off, it would create lefty-lefty situation.  To take advantage of the speed tandem between the two, someone would have to hit ninth.  This way, Pedroia would remain in his comfortable number two situation.  I guess the question is whose ego would be less bruised. I beg to differ with you, but I just cannot imagine Crawford EVER being a number three hitter.  I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't see it. I was impresseed with the way Gonzales fared against lefty pitching.  Not only because he hit well, but also because he didn't bail out and looked comfortable against them.  I can say the same thing about Ellsbury....not Drew.
    Posted by ampoule

    Since Pedroia appears to have more pop in his bat now having him hit 3rd is not all that bad either, with Ellsbury 1 and Crawford 2. We are going to have 2 guys in a row hitting left handed no matter what we do generally. We have lots of great lineup options.

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

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II


    Harness, my friend, with the ineptness of the offense, I don't think it mattered who was catching.

     
  15. 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:
    I did mention, prior to o-day, when most were exhalting the Phillies/Sox series, that everyone best look out for Baltimore. I said they would finish 2nd if the Red Sox weren't occupying that seat. I pick the Yanks for #3 spot ... IF ... not #1. The O's remind me of the spit and grit of the Rays start-ups. Just saying. Wouldn't come as a surprise to this old codger.
    Posted by RSNorthAK



    Well, you me and Youuuk all agree with this projection. We are the only three on this board that has said as much.
    The O's are for real. They came into the season ready to play./ Buck S. saw to that. Tito can learn that running a lax camp equates to a slow start.
    Teams aren't gonna roll over and play dead because of Boston's winter acquisitions.
    They are gonna want to beat us all the more.

    The RedSox must seek a higher level if they want to be taken seriously.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ampoule. Show ampoule's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II : Well, they did plate 10 in the first two games...enough to take a series if the pitching staff is firing. As I posted earlier, the O's scored one more run in their road series...and swept.
    Posted by harness


    True, Harness.  But, I think the Sox are just snake-bitten by the Rangers..like the Orioles against the Sox a few years back.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoxPatsCelts1988. Show SoxPatsCelts1988's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    I have a multi-part question:

    How long is the leash on Salty? (from either a defensive or offensive standpoint).

    What's plan B?  Do the Sox increase Varitek's playing time?  Do they go out and try to acquire a veteren catcher?  Do they consider looking internally if there's a catcher that's MLB ready?  Lavarnway?  Exposito?
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    OK, I am standing on the bridge

    Don't jump. This team is too good to let 3 games worry anyone. 

    Think of it this way: we just got rid of one of the hardest away series of the year.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    It's not going to be a cakewalk for anybody. There are a lot of good teams around... many in our own division.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from SpacemanEephus. Show SpacemanEephus's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II : I have to be honest here and just say that I haven't researched Baltimore all that much. I was aware that they have lots of good young pitching emerging but it's hard to believe that it will remain solid after they are seen around the league a few times. It's unusual to go from last to 1st or 2nd in a year. Those of us from 67 vintage know it can be done but it is unusual. 
    Posted by Boomerangsdotcom

     
    Boom, the thing is, its not like they are coming out of the blue.  Since Buck took over on August 3rd, the O's are 30-15.  Thats not a small sample size.  They were the best in the AL East by 3.5 games after August 3rd last year.  So, this fast start is really just picking up where they left off last year.  While i don't expect them to dominate, there is no reason why they shouldn't remain highly competitive.  
     
  21. 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:
    OK, I am standing on the bridge.  But before I go I want Moon to have my "Babe Ruth" glove which I got at a yard sale--no webbing, individual fingers, looks about 1927 vintage.  Boom, you get the napkin that Ted Williams left on the table about 1963 when I waited on him at the Lobster House in Trenton, Maine. Amp, you get my little league uniform which looks like an old RS uniform but it says "Trenton Tigers" on it.  If fit pretty well in 1960, about the time Frank Malzone was playing 3rd and Dick "Strangleglove" Stuart was playing first.  I think that was his name.  Harness, you get my Carlton Willey baseball card because you're all over pitching--sorry, he didn't play for the RS but he was a good pitcher from Cherryfield, Maine.  Because you and Moon are also all over defensive catching, I'm going to let you two fight for my baseball program from the college world series won by the University of Maine and signed by Stump Merrill--a great catcher who unfortunately fell in with the NYY.  Goodbye my friends, I'm thinking of you at the end, but I don't think I can take a whole year with pitching like this...you guys gave me a lot of pleasure...so long...
    Posted by Critter23


    Carlton Willey.
    Hmmmmm.
    I always wanted a Carlton Willey baseball card...
    Undecided

    No.  No.  No!!!!


    Don't jump, Crit!!!

    Don't do it!!!!

    Frown
    Is Salty with you?
     
  22. 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:
    Harness, my friend, with the ineptness of the offense, I don't think it mattered who was catching.
    Posted by ampoule



    Well, they did plate 10 in the first two games...enough to take a series if the pitching staff is firing. As I posted earlier, the O's scored one more run in their road series...and swept.
     
  23. 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:
    Some year and 3 days and spring training ssessments after a weekend embarrassment: 1. Lackey is a bust in year 2 of a 5 year ball and chain contract 2. Salty is a Ranger castoff for a reason 3. Despite the solo shots, Buch looked good in the high winds 4. Papelbon is still a very good relief pitcher, even if he isn't 2007 dominant 5. Lester started slow but will still have another solid year 6. 2011 Jacked-up opening series Rangers are inferior to 2010 Rangers 7. Pedroia looks fully recovered 8. Youk isn't fully recovered but is on the road to full recovery 9. Ortiz looks confident, even against commercial lefthanded pitching 10.Reyes has decent lefty specialty stuff 11.Aceves should replace Wakefield 12.Crawford has no business hitting 3rd and shoud leadoff and just get on base 13.Scutaro and Lowrie are 2nd basemen, Iglesias should start by the summer 14.Wheeler is going to do a good job in the middle of the pen 15.Ellsbury is a weak defensive CF'er who can't run with a quiet upper body 16.Cameron looks very smooth in the OF 17.Cameron should start when Drew sits against Lefties, Not Mac 18.Mac, Scutaro or Lowrie should pinch late for catcher in minus 1-3 R 19.Trade for or call-up a veteran but fit decent overall catcher to replace Salty 20.Either Dicek or Beckett's pitching well will be the key to the season 21.Ellsbury should hit 9th to turn the lineup over better & Ped Youk & AGon 2-4 22.Ellsbury has an ugly reverse pivot swing and needs to slap hit under the gun 23.AGon isn't fully recovered but is a natural hitter with a terrific swing 24.Team will have no problem scoring enough runs to win the division 25.The team needed a solid catcher combination and better pitching and Crawford didn't address a single 2011 team need 26.Luchino needs to shorten the leash on Epstein and make some immediate adjustments
    Posted by BaseballGM


    Interesting post.
    On #1, I think it's too early to call Lackey a "bust". But the tenure of his contract is a concern.

    On #2, again, too early a call on Salty, although Theo's desire to go with him as the #1 is this year's biggest gamble.

    On #3, good point on Buch and the wind factor. I'd like to see him pitch a bit more aggressively.

    On #4,  I totally agree on Papelbon. His improved command of his slider and split will definitely enhance his fastball. Keeping him and resisting any trade during the winter was the right move.
    He will once again anchor the pen, and show why he's still one of the very best closers in the game.

    On #6, you may be right about the Rangers. I think they were more imposing last year. But the WS experience still has them hungry for more.

    On #11, Aceves, first has to prove he can stay healthy and pitch well in AAA before any determination on him can be made.

    I agree Scutaro should be replaced this summer, either by Iglesias or Navarro.
    Jake should lead-off unless he shows he can't cut it this year. This may disillusion you, but Ells could have a terrific season this year. I'm talking All-Star caliber.

    I'd like to know why you feel Crawford's addition wasn't necessary.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II:
    In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II : I said this in another post and I'll say it again. The Red Sox lost that series because of pitching and pitching only.  They scored enough runs to take 2 out of 3 but didn't because of an awful performance by Lester and a god awful performance by Lackey. To me, the Rangers have a bunch of guys that do nothing but swing for the fences.  That's going to work a lot of times but it will also result in streaky hitting.  If you think that the Rangers are going to hit like that all year, you are out of your mind.  Besides, I put that more in pitch execution than the Rangers bat. Also, I'm not all that impressed with the Rangers rotation.  I was rather unimpressed last year too, and that was with Lee.  I just don't think they have a true ace. I still think they win the west, but bottom line is the Rangers started off hot and the Red Sox started off cold. By the way, is anyone on my side in that they believe David Murphy is only in the big leagues because he only does well versus the Red Sox?  I can't stand this guy for that reason.
    Posted by SoxPatsCelts1988

    As I wrote here on February 17:

    Re: Ken Rosenthal/Fox Sports:"Six teams in each league that could overtake the almighty Phillies and Red Sox"Do you agree?

    posted at 2/17/2011 10:41 AM EST
    www.boston.com/community/persona.html?UID=b634e9e76cf4c7e54120e863762ba35a&plckUserId=b634e9e76cf4c7e54120e863762ba35a">
    Posts: 4010
    First: 1/14/2006
    Last: 4/4/2011
    Texas replaced four months of a 6.1 WAR* player in Cliff Lee (15 GS, 4-6 WL, 3.98 ERA) with six months of another 6.1 WAR player in Adrian Beltre. The Rangers replaced a 2.6 WAR designated hitter in Vladimir Guerrero with a 2.7 WAR designated hitter in Mike Napoli (to be fair, Napoli had positional value at catcher and first base). The Rangers replaced a 0.4 WAR catcher in Benjie Molina with a 2.4 WAR catcher in Yorvit Torrealba.

    The Rangers, who had a 5.5 game lead in the AL West when Cliff Lee was acquired, return C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis who pitched 200+ innings apiece with ERAs of 3.35 and 3.72, respectively, pitching in a hitter's ballpark. Tommy Hunter had an ERA of 3.73 in 23 games after joining the Texas rotation in June. Scott Feldman went 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 2009. Derek Holland and Matt Harrison wait in the wings, as does former Cy Young Award winner  Brandon Webb.

    The Rangers improved on a killer bullpen that posted a 3.38 ERA by adding Arthur Rhodes and Yoshinori Tateyama to the stable of Rookie of the Year closer Neftali Feliz, Darren Oliver, Mark Lowe, Darren O'Day and Alexi Ogando.

    Like the Red Sox, the Rangers were hindered by injuries that limited AL MVP Josh Hamilton to 133 games and studs Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler to 108 games and 103 games, respectively.

    The Texas roster last season had an average age of 28.3 years while the Red Sox had an average age of 31.0 years. The Rangers got younger by replacing Guerrero, Molina, Lee (and potentially 34-year-old Michael Young) with Beltre, Napoli, Torrealba and Webb. In short, Texas likely has more players entering their prime or in their prime.

    The Rangers are the team to beat until another club wrests away the crown ... their biggest challenge may come from the Oakland Athletics in the regular season.

    * 2010 Wins Above Replacement as reported at FanGraphs
     
  25. 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:
    OK, I am standing on the bridge Don't jump. This team is too good to let 3 games worry anyone.  Think of it this way: we just got rid of one of the hardest away series of the year.
    Posted by moonslav59


    They've gotten off to slow starts the past 2 years.  2009 they ended up making the playoffs and last year they would have made it with only a few last injuries.

    The Sox have played awful in Texas in recent years and as you said, it's good to get this series out of the way now.  On the down side, they have to go back in August.
     
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