Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II
posted at 5/19/2011 3:39 AM EDT
Ellsbury is demonstrably the best hitter of the five Sox outfielders right now--best OPS by almost 100 points, 2d on the team in runs scored, tied for third with Ortiz in rbi's.
It's the middle of May, and Crawford is hitting like a high school player. Cameron almost never play, nor does Mac. That leaves Drew, who has a higher OBP and does not have the benefit of hitting at the top of the lineup with Pedroia and AGon behind him. Your hyperbole is just that. He has twice as many SBs as Crawford. McDonald, Cameron, and Drew can't hit much, won't steal bases, and seldom score runs or bat them in. And Crawford can't get on base. As for his outfield skills, Ellsbury has very good range thanks to great speed, a so-so arm, and great hands--he has committed 2 errors in 382 games. He's one of two Sox who have played in every game this season--for good reason.
No one, and I mean no one in their right minds would claim that Ellsbury has "a so-so arm". In baseball outfield terms, he has no arm at all.
Drews not leading off with Pedroia and AGon behind him.
Crawford is and will return to form and be the superior player to Ellsbury.
Ellsbury is a weak defensive CF'er because he has poor depth perception and runs poor routes and has a short stride with a bobbing upper body. Error totals mean very little in the OF. One could provide a list of scores of OF"ers with low error totals that are in such a tight range that the stat is almost meaningless.
Ellsbury started slowly and had to be demoted in the lineup. He was swinging for the fences by instruction from his agent, but told to change his approach or sit in the bottom of the lineup. He's played in every game this season by virtue of a promotional design. Given his splits v. LHP and marginal CF defense, there is merit to putting in a pinch/runner/hitter role for a lot of LH starting pitcher games.
Lowrie started ahead of Scutaro because he was blasting the ball and Scutaro couldn't hit spit.
The splits don't support a blanket "blasting the ball" and "couldn't hit spit" meaningless jocular phrases. The role Lowrie was put in spring training is the best role for him. His belly flop that allowed two runs two score is what you get with Lowrie at SS. Few pay any attention to a guy who gives up 30 points and scores 20 points. Now that he has cooled down, Scutaro might get to play again if he can just get off the DL. Funny you should accuse Lowrie of frailty when Scutaro's on the DL.
Nothing funny about it.
Scutaro Games Played 2008 145
Scutaro is really a 2nd baseman/UIF'er, but has the constitution to show up ready for work. Lowrie has issues showing up for work, even though Theo has been trying to launch him since 2008, virtually holding the job open for him. Iglesias should be the end of that experiment, as Theo should know by now that SS is more about top fielding than it is hitting. Lowrie is a 2nd baseman. Lowrie's lifetime (203 games) OPS is 60 points higher than Scutaro's and his OPS for 2010 and 2011 is 150 points higher.
Lowrie hasn't played enough games in a season to merit any OPS to hang a hat on. 203 games is barely one full season, yet that's been chopped up going on 4 years. Lowrie's major issue for any smart GM is that his weak side is v. RHP. If he were truly a SS it wouldn't be a problem, but he's not. His highest and best use is at 2B, and would hope that Theo understands that by now. It's taking him long enough. Scutaro has more range, but not a lot more. Navarro is on the DL, and Iglesias, who is probably a great fielder, can't hit (yet--I hope). You should be delighted that Lowrie is playing this year.
Lowrie platooning v. LHP and backing up 3B and 2B and 1B is fine, which was his role in spring training. If he truly goes through dog days and grinds out the role as the everday SS, it's highly likely he'll never survive without breaking down. As soon as Scutaro returns from the DL, Lowrie should be returned to that role. I doubt that will be the plan. We'll see.
Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II
posted at 5/18/2011 6:12 PM EDT
|Ortiz was no more "abominable" v. LHP than Bellsbury, this year. With the exception that he could still crank one and really change the game. |
2008-2010 Ortiz had 13 HR in 454 ABs v. LHP. That's one per 35 ABs. His OBP was just under .300. In comparison, in 2010 Jed "No Pop" Lowrie had 4 HR in 100 ABs v. RHP (against whom you think he should be benched) ... that's one per 25 ABs. If you were wondering, Jed's OBP was .353 v. RHP.
Sample size is too small to compare a big one to a small one that was compiled during a few months at the end of the 2010 seaosn on a team that was in extended spring training mode. Take a look at Lowrie's metrics v. RHP, this year, and compare Ortiz and Lowrie career metrics splits. Pretty silly to even be discussing this.
I'd still like a full answer from you on the benchmark question ... please provide offensive and defensive benchmarks at your earliest convenience. I understand your games played criteria, but I think 130 games is a better threshold for 2011 since he has already "missed" 7 games since he wasn't the starter. Further, it is a good bet that Scutaro will get some games at SS and Lowrie will sit v some RHP ... this will happen whether or not he is "fragile" or "tired." I have confidence in this since Tito is a good manager.
Lowrie's career averages tell me what his potential ceiling is. The fact that he didn't play much in the last 2 years should mean that missing the first 7 games should put him in prime position for a young player to play about every game from here on out. We both agree that he should not, for different reasons.
My benchmark is that he doesn't cut it as an everyday SS, even if he is in that position for the time being. I expect him to end up near the career averages he has had, but even if he exceeds them he will not measure up on the defensive end for the positon of SS. While Scutaro isn't more than a marginal SS on defense, that's a big step up from Lowrie. Sadly, Theo made the mistake of signing Scutaro instead of the one year/option deal he could have had Gonzo for. Foolishly, the OBP thing and offensive SS had him a sucker for a career season for Scutaro on OBP.
Iglesias should be, without a doubt, the everyday SS for 2012, even if he hits like Crawford is right now. It would appear that the plan is just that, but Theo's track record is quite the butcher on thinking ahead and moving decisvely on the issue. Vacillation is what ruins his approach with such a massive payroll.
It hasn't been a year, yet. His LHP splits are not good, at this early stage. I expect they'll improve to career averages, just as I expect his leadoff OBP to end up around his career averages.