# A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Let's compare the top 5 contenders:

Red is top 2 and Orange is #3

BOS   DET  TEX  NYY  OAK

.771  .755   .748  .809  .836

.781  .792   .579  .797  .674

.811  1.108  .736  .738  .687

1.009  .847  .841  .640  .766

.739   .630   .818  .584  .839

.772   .759   .744  .710  .785

.809   .753   .833  .619  .794

.695   .674   .668  .605  .621

9 .728   .704   .755  .594  .553

H      A (OPS)     H      A (Runs/gm)

BOS   .828   .759           5.27  5.03

DET   .822    .731          5.55  4.37

TX     .776   .722           4.54  4.19

NYY   .694   .668           3.66  4.11

Oak   .722  .738            4.44  4.86

How about vs lefty and righty?

vs L  vs R (OPS)    vs L  vs R (Runs/gm vs starter)

BOS  .710  .833              4.52  5.43

DET   .799   .772             5.50  4.86

TX     .715   .760             4.84  4.13

NYY   .642   .700             3.12  4.22

Oak   .744   .724             4.38  4.81

Let's look at the median numbers (2nd number is closest to next number):

Scored      Allowed

BOS     5 (4)           4 (3)

DET      4/5 (tie)     3 (4)

TX        4 (3)           4 (3)

NYY     4 (3)           3 (4)

OAK    4 (5)           3/4 (tie)

Sox4ever

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

In response to maxbialystock's comment:

Thanks for the numbers, moonslav.  Interesting Napoli is better against righties than lefties.  So is Carp, a lot better.

Napoli usually does pretty evenly well ve LHPs and RHPs:

Career:

vs RHPs  .842  (2012: .861 / 2011: 1.044)

vs LHPs  .889  (2012: .706 / 2011: 1.049)

___________________________________________

As for Carp:

Career:

vs RHPs: .788

vs LHPs: .789

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Tough loss today. Taz finally showed he was human.

Top of the order has done well recently.

Sox4ever

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Top 5 AL contenders on offense:

Red is top 2 and Orange is #3

OPS by batting order slot:

BOS   DET  TEX  NYY  OAK

.771  .755   .748  .809  .836

.781  .792   .579  .797  .674

.811  1.108  .736  .738  .687

1.009  .847  .841  .640  .766

.739   .630   .818  .584  .839

.772   .759   .744  .710  .785

.809   .753   .833  .619  .794

.695   .674   .668  .605  .621

9 .728   .704   .755  .594  .553

H      A (OPS)       H      A (Runs/gm)

BOS   .828   .759           5.27  5.03

DET   .822    .731          5.55  4.37

TX     .776   .722           4.54  4.19

NYY   .694   .668           3.66  4.11

Oak   .722  .738            4.44  4.86

How about vs lefty and righty?

vs L  vs R (OPS)    vs L  vs R (Runs/gm vs starter)

BOS  .710  .833              4.52  5.43

DET   .799   .772             5.50  4.86

TX     .715   .760             4.84  4.13

NYY   .642   .700             3.12  4.22

Oak   .744   .724             4.38  4.81

Let's look at the median numbers (2nd number is closest to next number):

Scored      Allowed

BOS     5 (4)           4 (3)

DET      4/5 (tie)     3 (4)

TX        4 (3)           4 (3)

NYY     4 (3)           3 (4)

OAK    4 (5)           3/4 (tie)

Sox4ever

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Midseason review & comparison to Spring Training predictions…

Starting Pitching… I said in the spring that this would be one of the strengths of the team and it has been. Lackey has been very solid and Doubront has been better than I expected. Dempster has been a solid workhorse, as advertised. Aceves has been more than adequate as a spot starter and Webster has shown flashes of future brilliance. But the two “aces” have been the enigmas. I said in ST that Buchholz could challenge for the Cy Young and he may yet; but his inability to stay healthy is a problem. And Lester has been the most frustrating starter, alternately showing no-hit stuff and minor-league stuff. His concentration, rather than anything physical, seems to be the problem. Overall the starters earn a B+, a huge improvement over 2012.

Bullpen…. As a group there have been more successes than failures. The two Japanese pitchers have been great but also overworked. Miller and Breslow and Wilson have all been more good than bad.  But Bailey and Hanrahan have been huge disappointments as has Morales. I know injuries have been a factor, but based strictly on results the group as a whole has somewhat underperformed and could use an acquisition or two to keep the team in contention. Overall grade C+.

Offense…They lead the entire MLB in runs scored; that says it all. And unlike teams the last couple of years, they have not padded those stats with an occasional, meaningless offensive explosion; most of their runs have been meaningful and timely. The table-setters at the top of the order have been on base and scored runs and run the bases extremely well. Ortiz and Napoli have delivered runs in the middle. And the line-up is long because Salty, Iggy and to a lesser extent Drew have all delivered at the bottom of the order. Ortiz, Nava and Iggy have been the biggest surprises on the plus side while Drew and mostly Middlebrooks have been the biggest disappointments. Overall offensive grade A, what else for the highest scoring team in MLB!

Defense… I though in the spring that this would be one of the team’s greatest strengths, and it has been. But not from the players I thought would deliver. Drew has been much better than I expected at short and Nava has been a pleasant surprise at the corner outfield positions. Napoli has been occasionally shaky and Gomes is an adventure, but otherwise they have been solid. Salty takes a lot of heat on this board but I see a guy that is catching a first-place staff and that pitchers seem to like to throw to him. Overall defensive grade B+.

Bench… Much better than expected. I questioned Carp even making the team in ST and he has been great. Gomes has not hit for much of an average but he has gotten on base and delivered some of the biggest hits so far this year. Ross, before he got hurt was a perfect addition as a back-up catcher. Ciriaco failed but having Iggy back up has make him easily replaceable. Overall bench grade B-.

My predictions… I said in the spring that I thought Bradley Jr. would be a key and could challenge for the batting title, if not this season then some time down the road. I also thought Middlebrooks would have a huge year as he had a great ST. So I was way off the mark on those counts. But this team has exceeded my expectations, I said they’d win more than they lose, and they are a joy to watch. Overall team grade for the first have A-.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

In response to jidgef's comment:

Midseason review & comparison to Spring Training predictions…

Starting Pitching… I said in the spring that this would be one of the strengths of the team and it has been. Lackey has been very solid and Doubront has been better than I expected. Dempster has been a solid workhorse, as advertised. Aceves has been more than adequate as a spot starter and Webster has shown flashes of future brilliance. But the two “aces” have been the enigmas. I said in ST that Buchholz could challenge for the Cy Young and he may yet; but his inability to stay healthy is a problem. And Lester has been the most frustrating starter, alternately showing no-hit stuff and minor-league stuff. His concentration, rather than anything physical, seems to be the problem. Overall the starters earn a B+, a huge improvement over 2012.

Bullpen…. As a group there have been more successes than failures. The two Japanese pitchers have been great but also overworked. Miller and Breslow and Wilson have all been more good than bad.  But Bailey and Hanrahan have been huge disappointments as has Morales. I know injuries have been a factor, but based strictly on results the group as a whole has somewhat underperformed and could use an acquisition or two to keep the team in contention. Overall grade C+.

Offense…They lead the entire MLB in runs scored; that says it all. And unlike teams the last couple of years, they have not padded those stats with an occasional, meaningless offensive explosion; most of their runs have been meaningful and timely. The table-setters at the top of the order have been on base and scored runs and run the bases extremely well. Ortiz and Napoli have delivered runs in the middle. And the line-up is long because Salty, Iggy and to a lesser extent Drew have all delivered at the bottom of the order. Ortiz, Nava and Iggy have been the biggest surprises on the plus side while Drew and mostly Middlebrooks have been the biggest disappointments. Overall offensive grade A, what else for the highest scoring team in MLB!

Defense… I though in the spring that this would be one of the team’s greatest strengths, and it has been. But not from the players I thought would deliver. Drew has been much better than I expected at short and Nava has been a pleasant surprise at the corner outfield positions. Napoli has been occasionally shaky and Gomes is an adventure, but otherwise they have been solid. Salty takes a lot of heat on this board but I see a guy that is catching a first-place staff and that pitchers seem to like to throw to him. Overall defensive grade B+.

Bench… Much better than expected. I questioned Carp even making the team in ST and he has been great. Gomes has not hit for much of an average but he has gotten on base and delivered some of the biggest hits so far this year. Ross, before he got hurt was a perfect addition as a back-up catcher. Ciriaco failed but having Iggy back up has make him easily replaceable. Overall bench grade B-.

My predictions… I said in the spring that I thought Bradley Jr. would be a key and could challenge for the batting title, if not this season then some time down the road. I also thought Middlebrooks would have a huge year as he had a great ST. So I was way off the mark on those counts. But this team has exceeded my expectations, I said they’d win more than they lose, and they are a joy to watch. Overall team grade for the first have A-.

Great summary, jid. You have been pretty close on all of your projections.

My main concern was starting pitching followed by hitting vs LHPs. I stated that I did not like the odds of both Lester and Buchholz staying healthy from wire to wire AND both performing very well. I thought we needed both to even have a sliver of a chance. I did not have high hopes for Lackey, Dempster and Doubront dpoing this well.

I thought our pen was very good to great.

I thought our offense would be top 5 easily and probably top 3 with just little injury issues.

I thought our defense would not be that great with Drew at SS, Naps at 1B, Gomes in LF, and Shane in untested RF at Fenway. Iggy's playing time has changed that somewhat, and Nava, Naps and Drew have played better D than I expected.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Here is a list of our staff by IP and their ERAs. I highlighted in red the pitchers who should get more IP the second half than the first half. Blue means likely less or no more IP the rest of the year. (I'm assuming Buch gets healthy soon.)

107 Lester  4.61

95   Dempster  4.15

85   Doubront   4.22

84   Buchholz    1.71

78   Lackey       2.99

37   Tazawa      2.92

36   Aceves       5.05

33   Uehara       1.91

30   Mortensen  5.34

29   Miller          2.79

25   Breslow      2.55

24   Wilson        3.38

23   Bailey         4.63

18   Webster      9.50

12   Morales       7.30

7     Hanrahan    9.82

13   Others

On offense, I think it is interesting to note that looking at our list of players by most PAs, our best 3 OPS guys are in 12th (Carp), 11th (Iggy) and 5th place (Papi). Small sample size may be part of the issue, since it likely that both Iggy and Carp will come back to earth as their sample size grows, but one might wonder where they'd be at had the been near the top in PAs.

368  Pedey    .849

363  Ellsbury .763

316  Napoli    .786

308  Nava      .814

277  Papi      1.008

262  Drew       .722

247  Salty       .781

223  Victorino .752

216  Middlebrooks .617

170  Gomes     .694

141  Iggy       1.000

125  Carp       1.028

75   Ross         .674

59   JBJ           .523

58  Ciriaco      .646

17   Lavarnway .782

Sox4ever

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

I missed last nights BSv then Walk-off game. I looked at the box score this morning and my eyes were immediately drawn to the bottom half of the order. From Nava, Lava, Iggy, Snyder, to Diaz: 6Hits, 3 runs. Tight game, no Ortiz, bottom half did their part, won on an error but that happens. No complaints here.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

In response to emp9's comment:

I missed last nights BSv then Walk-off game. I looked at the box score this morning and my eyes were immediately drawn to the bottom half of the order. From Nava, Lava, Iggy, Snyder, to Diaz: 6Hits, 3 runs. Tight game, no Ortiz, bottom half did their part, won on an error but that happens. No complaints here.

It was good to get Napoli a little rest by DH'ing him. Also, good to give Nava some time at 1B. Dempster with another good start and no decision.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Lackey is now officially "the man".

Sox4ever

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

JBJ with 2 dingers today. We have more depth than other teams. We may or may not trade for anyone but it seems to me that we are going to lose some in the rule 5 draft if we dont do at least one 2 for 1 deal. I really like our chances going forward.

Baltimore is a problem though. They have a lot of solid young talent. I'm not worried about the Yanks. Not going to happen.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

We have a lot of young relief help we could bring up and some great young starter talent. We are absolutely in a position of strength in terms of young starting pitching talent and 3rd base talent. What a valueable commodity both areas are in baseball today. A lot of teams would have already called up Webster, Rubby, Workman and Ranaudo. We may see all these guys at some point this year.

And Cechinni is playing like he is ready for mlb already. I don't see him staying in the minors more than another year. He should move fast.

It seems to me that Middlebrooks had that big 3 HR game and hasn't been the same since. At first maybe he was swinging for the fences too much. Now he seems to have just lost his confidence. Take the ball up the middle Will. You have pop enough to hit it out anywhere. Think Adrian Beltre. Even guys like Beltre still hit the ball up the middle a lot. Square it up! Hit it hard somewhere! Look what that approach has done for Iglesias.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Don't ever count the Yanks out. They have Grandy and Jete returning and will likely make a deal or two if they are still in at the end of the month.

I'd be happy if we just make a couple minor deals to clear up the rule 5 and winter roster issues. Maybe a 3 for 1 deal and a 2 for 1 deal somewhere.

I could see an acquisition of a salary dump type player that would lessen the need for parting with good prospects.

Sox4ever

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

In response to moonslav59's comment:

Don't ever count the Yanks out. They have Grandy and Jete returning and will likely make a deal or two if they are still in at the end of the month.

I'd be happy if we just make a couple minor deals to clear up the rule 5 and winter roster issues. Maybe a 3 for 1 deal and a 2 for 1 deal somewhere.

I could see an acquisition of a salary dump type player that would lessen the need for parting with good prospects.

Sox4ever

Agreed Moon. First of all, never believe them when they say they are trying to be frugal; not sure they know how to be frugal. They are getting weapons back and will make moves to improve; they always do.

As for the Sox, I think they will be active as well but I don't think Ben will vary far from the plan, i.e., building for the long term. I think he'll make moves to shore up immediate problems like bullpen depth and even starter depth if Buch doesn't come around soon, but will not give away the farm to get it done. He would be well served dealing with teams in longer term rrebuilding mode so he can deal younger prospects who may still be three years away from Fenway but could be only a year away from Wrigley or Houston.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

In response to jidgef's comment:

In response to moonslav59's comment:

[QUOTE]

Don't ever count the Yanks out. They have Grandy and Jete returning and will likely make a deal or two if they are still in at the end of the month.

I'd be happy if we just make a couple minor deals to clear up the rule 5 and winter roster issues. Maybe a 3 for 1 deal and a 2 for 1 deal somewhere.

I could see an acquisition of a salary dump type player that would lessen the need for parting with good prospects.

Sox4ever

Agreed Moon. First of all, never believe them when they say they are trying to be frugal; not sure they know how to be frugal. They are getting weapons back and will make moves to improve; they always do.

As for the Sox, I think they will be active as well but I don't think Ben will vary far from the plan, i.e., building for the long term. I think he'll make moves to shore up immediate problems like bullpen depth and even starter depth if Buch doesn't come around soon, but will not give away the farm to get it done. He would be well served dealing with teams in longer term rrebuilding mode so he can deal younger prospects who may still be three years away from Fenway but could be only a year away from Wrigley or Houston.

[/QUOTE]

The player we get need not be a salary dump, although that would lessen the return value of prospects, but it could be a player that will become a FA after 2014, or who may be due a large arbitration soon.

I doubt anything very serious happens.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Good to see Lester settle down and pitch a good game. let's hope he can string a few together.

Sox4ever

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

The Yanks have effectively lost Texiera and Arod. Jeter cant be expected to come back strong at his age. The starting pitching is not what it was. They can go out and get anything short of Cliff Lee and it still will not matter much. They are not making the playoffs this yer with all the talent accumulated in the AL east this year. In particular Boston and Baltimore. I don't think it's likely. If anything they have been overachieving so far.

Just my opinion.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Look at the numbers Cechinni is putting up so far this year. A .473 OBP for the year? Wow.

http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=3B&sid=t414&t=p_pbp&pid=594555

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

In response to RedsoxProspects' comment:

The Yanks have effectively lost Texiera and Arod. Jeter cant be expected to come back strong at his age. The starting pitching is not what it was. They can go out and get anything short of Cliff Lee and it still will not matter much. They are not making the playoffs this yer with all the talent accumulated in the AL east this year. In particular Boston and Baltimore. I don't think it's likely. If anything they have been overachieving so far.

Just my opinion.

Don't you think adding Granderson will make a difference?

You all know my views on SS fielding and Jeter, but right now the Yankee SSs have a combined .543 OPS. I don't care how much Jete is in decline, but he should do at least 150 points better than that.

The Yankees' offense is what has kept them from being closer to the Sox than they are already. Grandy and Jete can make a big difference. They may not catch the Sox, but they are just 1.5 GB the last wild card slot held by the O's.

Do not count out the Yanks. Last I checked:

Grandy is due back soon.

Jeter is due back after the AS break.

Kuroda is due back in a week or so.

ARod after the break.

Nunez soon.

Pineda end of July.

Cervelli in August.

Youkilis early Sept.

They don't need to make a trade to get better: they just need some luck with injuries and recoveries.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

If only we had rested Papi once every week as softy begged Ben to do, we'd be 10 up by now.

Sox4ever

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

In response to moonslav59's comment:

If only we had rested Papi once every week as softy begged Ben to do, we'd be 10 up by now.

Sox4ever

I liked the way he was rested last night; it makes perfect sense against certain southpaws and leaves you with a pretty good pinch-hitter if needed. (Wilson deserved a much better fate.) But the highlights of last night's game are 1) the continued development and maturation of one Felix Doubront, now a reliable end of the rotation starter and 2) the absolutely terrible baseball being played by a Soscia team that should be much better. Not just physical errors, but mental and managerial errors as well!

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

And just like that, the Yanks have passed the O's in the standings.

If the season ended now, the Yanks are the second wild card!

Sox4ever

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

In response to moonslav59's comment:

And just like that, the Yanks have passed the O's in the standings.

If the season ended now, the Yanks are the second wild card!

Sox4ever

It's never smart to count the Yanks out....even with all of their injuries they have still found a way to compete. It makes you wonder what they put in the water at yankee stadium.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Call me a dummy then because I don't think the Yanks are as strong a team as the Redsox, Rays, Orioles or Toronto. They have been winning with smoke and mirrors all year. It's about time Babylon came crashing to the ground. They have made it this far mainly on pitching. When a staff is worked hard things can happen. And if anything, I think Arod will end up a liability.

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Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II

Never say never when it comes to the NYY.