In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

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    In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    By John Tomase/Boston Herald

    PITTSBURGH — Now is not the time to write off J.D. Drew [stats]. He’s hitting .232. He’s exhibited almost no power. He ranks at the bottom of virtually every category among full-time outfielders. He’s got youngster Josh Reddick breathing down his neck.

    It doesn’t matter. As eager as many have been to crate him up aboard the first steamer to Siberia since he arrived in 2007, Drew actually has been a productive player for the bulk of his tenure. And he has shown signs recently of being that player again.

    He deserves one more chance to regain that form, because he makes the Red Sox [team stats] a better team.


    Now it doesn’t help that he left yesterday’s 4-2 win over the Pirates in the second inning while battling the after-effects of a ball he fouled off his left eye during batting practice.

    But that setback aside, Drew has actually swung the bat better recently. Two of his outs on Saturday were rockets to the fence. He laced a pinch single off a left-hander Friday. During a two-hit game against the Brewers last week, he was robbed with a diving catch in a right and also lined out to deep center.

    He entered yesterday’s game batting .316 in his previous six outings. A modest streak to be sure, but a sign nonetheless of improved at-bats.

    “Anytime you struggle, it’s nothing you want to go through,” said Drew before yesterday’s game. “This has been kind of a head-scratcher, trying to find a rhythm and get that swing you’re looking for. But it’s there.”

    Drew describes most of his struggles this season as mental. He was swinging the bat well out of Fort Myers and as late as April 27 found himself hitting .285 with an .800 OPS.

    Then Drew fell off a cliff. He hit just .179 over his next 26 games with production that barely showed up under a scanning electron microscope — two homers, two doubles, five RBI.

    “I got in some bad habits early on,” Drew said. “Sooner or later it will come around. Sometimes you over think the situation and try to change things, and I think I found myself doing that. I’ve tried to get back to what I’ve done throughout my career here and even before I got here, and that’s to keep it simple and be short and quick to the ball.”

    Drew has spent a lot of time with hitting coach Dave Magadan in an attempt to simplify his approach and the results have been there, even if they haven’t as far as his stats are concerned.

    “It would be nice to get some of those hits to fall,” he said. “In the two-hit game the other day, I hit two bullets that go for a diving catch and a line drive to center. For the most part, I think the at-bats over the last four or five days have been better. Hopefully can get that rhythm rolling and keep it going, but it would be surely nice to find some of those holes out there.”

    Drew is never going to be popular with Red Sox fans, who shriek like banshees at the mention of his name. They’ve believed him overpaid since the day he signed for five years and $70 million.

    But for all the heat general manager Theo Epstein has rightfully taken over free agent signings like John Lackey, Matt Clement and Julio Lugo [stats], Drew doesn’t belong in their class. He’s been a tough out, an exceptional right fielder and a clutch postseason performer. He’s no superstar, but he’s a valuable piece of a winning team.

    He can still be that piece. Drew just needs a little more time. The Red Sox should give it to him.

     
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    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]By John Tomase/Boston Herald P ITTSBURGH — Now is not the time to write off J.D. Drew [ stats ] . He’s hitting .232. He’s exhibited almost no power. He ranks at the bottom of virtually every category among full-time outfielders. He’s got youngster Josh Reddick breathing down his neck. It doesn’t matter. As eager as many have been to crate him up aboard the first steamer to Siberia since he arrived in 2007, Drew actually has been a productive player for the bulk of his tenure. And he has shown signs recently of being that player again. He deserves one more chance to regain that form, because he makes the Red Sox [ team stats ] a better team. Now it doesn’t help that he left yesterday’s 4-2 win over the Pirates in the second inning while battling the after-effects of a ball he fouled off his left eye during batting practice. But that setback aside, Drew has actually swung the bat better recently. Two of his outs on Saturday were rockets to the fence. He laced a pinch single off a left-hander Friday. During a two-hit game against the Brewers last week, he was robbed with a diving catch in a right and also lined out to deep center. He entered yesterday’s game batting .316 in his previous six outings. A modest streak to be sure, but a sign nonetheless of improved at-bats. “Anytime you struggle, it’s nothing you want to go through,” said Drew before yesterday’s game. “This has been kind of a head-scratcher, trying to find a rhythm and get that swing you’re looking for. But it’s there.” Drew describes most of his struggles this season as mental. He was swinging the bat well out of Fort Myers and as late as April 27 found himself hitting .285 with an .800 OPS. Then Drew fell off a cliff. He hit just .179 over his next 26 games with production that barely showed up under a scanning electron microscope — two homers, two doubles, five RBI. “I got in some bad habits early on,” Drew said. “Sooner or later it will come around. Sometimes you over think the situation and try to change things, and I think I found myself doing that. I’ve tried to get back to what I’ve done throughout my career here and even before I got here, and that’s to keep it simple and be short and quick to the ball.” Drew has spent a lot of time with hitting coach Dave Magadan in an attempt to simplify his approach and the results have been there, even if they haven’t as far as his stats are concerned. “It would be nice to get some of those hits to fall,” he said. “In the two-hit game the other day, I hit two bullets that go for a diving catch and a line drive to center. For the most part, I think the at-bats over the last four or five days have been better. Hopefully can get that rhythm rolling and keep it going, but it would be surely nice to find some of those holes out there.” Drew is never going to be popular with Red Sox fans, who shriek like banshees at the mention of his name. They’ve believed him overpaid since the day he signed for five years and $70 million. But for all the heat general manager Theo Epstein has rightfully taken over free agent signings like John Lackey, Matt Clement and Julio Lugo [ stats ] , Drew doesn’t belong in their class. He’s been a tough out, an exceptional right fielder and a clutch postseason performer. He’s no superstar, but he’s a valuable piece of a winning team. He can still be that piece. Drew just needs a little more time. The Red Sox should give it to him.
    Posted by fir.eballer58[/QUOTE]

    The easy knock on Drew is the fact he has been injury prone and another OF that we have had to platoon.  I like J.D. and his defense has always been strong but he has also been inconsistent offensively.

    This doesn't warrant the money J.D. makes when you consider a guy like Pence "now 28 I believe" only makes 6.9mil being one of the best all round RF in baseball.

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

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    Theo's working the phones again to call up the puff pieces.

    Thankfully this is the last year we have to hear people trying to convince us how great he is.

     
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    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]In Response to In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better : The easy knock on Drew is the fact he has been injury prone and another OF that we have had to platoon.  I like J.D. and his defense has always been strong but he has also been inconsistent offensively. This doesn't warrant the money J.D. makes when you consider a guy like Pence "now 28 I believe" only makes 6.9mil being one of the best all round RF in baseball.
    Posted by craze4sox[/QUOTE]

    I don't get the comparison.  Yes, players who don't have enough service time to become FA's are paid less than players who hit the FA market.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Pence approach (if not surpass) Drew's $14M in his final arb season.  Pence could be looking at about $20M a year when he hits FA if he keeps up his production and isn't extended before then.
     
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    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better : I don't get the comparison.  Yes, players who don't have enough service time to become FA's are paid less than players who hit the FA market.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Pence approach (if not surpass) Drew's $14M in his final arb season.  Pence could be looking at about $20M a year when he hits FA if he keeps up his production and isn't extended before then.
    Posted by JB-3[/QUOTE]

    Pence may get J.D. or Crawford money but probably not anywhere close to 20mil.  The difference between J.D. and Hunter is talent.  J.D. needs to sit against certain pitchers and Hunter doesn't.  Any player that can't hold his own against both R and LH pitching to the tune of at least 250/260 from his worst side of the plate and hit 280/300 consistently overall doesn't deserve a J.D. type salary.

    Thats just my opinion JB
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    John Tamase is wrong.  Drew had his spurt back in April when his OPS was .768.  In May it was .595 and this month so far .596.  That's very consistent, but not the right kind of consistency.   Several games ago when the Sox were scoring big at Fenway, Drew went 2 for 5 and then 1 for 1.  Since then, he's been his usual self--2 for 11 (.182). 

    That said, I hope Tamase is right and I'm wrong because Drew contributing is much better than the current situation.   I think Francona will still try to get him into the lineup, but that will be harder when Crawford returns and Reddick, who is hitting the ball well, is available to play RF.   
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from NUSoxFan. Show NUSoxFan's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]Theo's working the phones again to call up the puff pieces. Thankfully this is the last year we have to hear people trying to convince us how great he is.
    Posted by Ergoetal[/QUOTE]
    Theo has much better things to do than worry about his image.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better : Pence may get J.D. or Crawford money but probably not anywhere close to 20mil.  The difference between J.D. and Hunter is talent.  J.D. needs to sit against certain pitchers and Hunter doesn't.  Any player that can't hold his own against both R and LH pitching to the tune of at least 250/260 from his worst side of the plate and hit 280/300 consistently overall doesn't deserve a J.D. type salary. Thats just my opinion JB
    Posted by craze4sox[/QUOTE]

    I'm not arguing talent, I'm saying that it's flawed reasoning to say that JD should only make $6.9M because that's what Pence makes.  Drew was overpaid for by about a year, but that's the price of long term FA deals.  That's something that you don't see in Pence right now because he hasn't hit the FA market.

    Drew has a career .248 batting average against LHP's.  That includes his .200 mark this season, meaning that even after last years over-exposed year against LHP's, he was still within the range you gave for meriting Drew type money.

    Also, how can someone get Crawford money, but not anywhere close to $20M when Crawford's AAV is about $20.29M ($142M over 7 years)?
     
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    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better : Theo has much better things to do than worry about his image.
    Posted by NUSoxFan[/QUOTE]

    agreed..I think Theo could care less what the papers have to say..actually, I think he gets quite the laugh at some of these stories..
    With that said, JD's career is coming to a screaching hault..Thats what usually happens with long term deals an no PED's involved..t You pay for the first few years knowing the last year or 2 are the decline years..It is what it is..
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    "He deserves one more chance."

    He's out of chances.

    He's like Dubbya Bush in 2008, Richard M. Nixon in 1974 or the Titanic after hitting the iceberg.

     
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    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better : I'm not arguing talent, I'm saying that it's flawed reasoning to say that JD should only make $6.9M because that's what Pence makes.  Drew was overpaid for by about a year, but that's the price of long term FA deals.  That's something that you don't see in Pence right now because he hasn't hit the FA market. Drew has a career .248 batting average against LHP's.  That includes his .200 mark this season, meaning that even after last years over-exposed year against LHP's, he was still within the range you gave for meriting Drew type money. Also, how can someone get Crawford money, but not anywhere close to $20M when Crawford's AAV is about $20.29M ($142M over 7 years)?
    Posted by JB-3[/QUOTE]

    JB I never suggested J.D. was only worth 6.9mil and I realize Theo overpaid him out of desperation to fill our RF position after the Trot ERA.  My bad on the Crawford statement, but I do feel "like J.D." Crawford is way overpaid.  A player like Crawford in my opinion is worth about 14mil in reality.  You are correct, Hunter could get more money from a big market team but the Astros won't come close to 20mil unless they want to make another Lee type deal which I doubt.  It all comes down to whether Hunter is a Youk/Dustin type player or is looking primarily at salary over where he plays.
     
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    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    The Titanic deserved one more shot. That iceberg was a jerk.
     
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    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    ""He deserves one more chance.""

    Of course Tomase feels this way, he identifies very strongly with JD Drew because the Herald gave him one more undedeserved chance after he did the journalistic equivalent of running the Titanic into an Iceberg with his disastrously irresponsible Patriots reporting that genuinely hurt the franchise. Now he's doing shoddy work propping up has beens like JD Drew and I wouldn't read his stuff - ever- much less repost it here.
     
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    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better : JB I never suggested J.D. was only worth 6.9mil and I realize Theo overpaid him out of desperation to fill our RF position after the Trot ERA.  My bad on the Crawford statement, but I do feel "like J.D." Crawford is way overpaid.  A player like Crawford in my opinion is worth about 14mil in reality.  You are correct, Hunter could get more money from a big market team but the Astros won't come close to 20mil unless they want to make another Lee type deal which I doubt.  It all comes down to whether Hunter is a Youk/Dustin type player or is looking primarily at salary over where he plays.
    Posted by craze4sox[/QUOTE]

    I agree Crawford is overpaid as is Werth for that matter.  The common theme here is that top tier OF's are overpaid on the FA market.  Pence won't be any different.
     
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    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]In Response to In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better : The easy knock on Drew is the fact he has been injury prone and another OF that we have had to platoon.  I like J.D. and his defense has always been strong but he has also been inconsistent offensively. This doesn't warrant the money J.D. makes when you consider a guy like Pence "now 28 I believe" only makes 6.9mil being one of the best all round RF in baseball.
    Posted by craze4sox[/QUOTE]Hunter Pence 3.156 MLB experience, his current contract is a one year arbitration award. This is like comparing Jon Lester's contract to Johan Santana's.

    One was a free agent in a year when the team that signed him needed to sign a FA RF and he was best available, the other won the high end (his request) in an arbitration award. Pence would have been able to get far more the $6.9M and much longer than one year if he had been FA eligible.

    Supply and demand inflates FA contracts, arbitration tends to deflate them.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ergoetal. Show Ergoetal's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    "Theo has much better things to do than worry about his image."

    Not where Drew is concerned.  Theo has always been super-defensive about the signing.

    He was on Felger and Mazz a few years ago after Drew had had a bad game or two, but they didn't say anything about Drew -- just asked Qs about the team, series, etc.  At the end, he said, "I thought you were going to ask me about JD Drew.  Well, here's the thing..."

    Then he went into all his Drew Talking Points, which he clearly had close at hand -- RBIs are overrated, etc.  The whole thing was pretty strange.  I'd same some execs worry about their image a lot more than you realize.

     
     
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    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]" "He deserves one more chance."" Of course Tomase feels this way, he identifies very strongly with JD Drew because the Herald gave him one more undedeserved chance after he did the journalistic equivalent of running the Titanic into an Iceberg with his disastrously irresponsible Patriots reporting that genuinely hurt the franchise. Now he's doing shoddy work propping up has beens like JD Drew and I wouldn't read his stuff - ever- much less repost it here.
    Posted by BostonTrollSpanker[/QUOTE]

    Well said TrollSpanker. Tomas*e has no credibility! I remember his Mea Culpa article with the headline "How It Went Wrong" rather than manning-up and stating "How I Got it Wrong"!
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    Sooner or later it will come around.  Maybe I can use that in my next performance review. "I developed some bad habits early on, but sooner or later, it'll come around".

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

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    Any hitter ... ANY hitter ... even DMac and Cam ... will get a hot streak for awhile.  So the team is supposed to lose games waiting unitl this hot streak?   I don't know.  He has looked lost up there, not unlucky.   Timing doesn't matter much of you watch a hundred strike three calls go by either.  
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from trouts. Show trouts's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

     Right Field has a chance to be better when all 3 of these guys---Drew, Cam, and DMc aren't playing it.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from notin. Show notin's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]" Theo has much better things to do than worry about his image." Not where Drew is concerned.  Theo has always been super-defensive about the signing. He was on Felger and Mazz a few years ago after Drew had had a bad game or two, but they didn't say anything about Drew -- just asked Qs about the team, series, etc.  At the end, he said, "I thought you were going to ask me about JD Drew.  Well, here's the thing..." Then he went into all his Drew Talking Points, which he clearly had close at hand -- RBIs are overrated, etc.  The whole thing was pretty strange.  I'd same some execs worry about their image a lot more than you realize.  
    Posted by Ergoetal[/QUOTE]

    Drew's critics are not bad enough with their consistent refusal of any sort of education, but then they also have to fall back on the "Conspiracy Theo" theory as to why anyone would support the guy.  Talk about stubborn paranoia....
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from craze4sox. Show craze4sox's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]Any hitter ... ANY hitter ... even DMac and Cam ... will get a hot streak for awhile.  So the team is supposed to lose games waiting unitl this hot streak?   I don't know.  He has looked lost up there, not unlucky.   Timing doesn't matter much of you watch a hundred strike three calls go by either.  
    Posted by soxmeister[/QUOTE]

    I see the same things with Drew, even more so than last season.  He looks tentative, out of sync and rarely swings at a third strike.  I'm not sure if J.D. is hurt, may need contacts or just doesn't have his head in the game but he does look awkward. 

    Most good players won't hurt your team while slumping because these streaks are more often than not short, compared to their every day norm.  J.D. always has one good streak but that's not a good enough reason to play him anymore on a daily basis.  Some players just need a push to get a point across so maybe benching J.D. and Cam in favor of Reddick when Carl returns will motivate them more come playoff time.

    Just a thought!
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from Alibiike. Show Alibiike's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    Drew's epitaph will read, "Strike Three Called!"
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Ergoetal. Show Ergoetal's posts

    Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better

    In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: In defense of J.D. Drew, Given time, RF will make Sox better : Drew's critics are not bad enough with their consistent refusal of any sort of education, but then they also have to fall back on the "Conspiracy Theo" theory as to why anyone would support the guy.  Talk about stubborn paranoia....
    Posted by notin[/QUOTE]


    I'm not sure what this means, but it does give me an opportunity to ask again why Theo bid against himself to land this guy at $14M a year.

    Also to point out that Drew may look sleepy at the plate, but he's not sleepy in contract negotiations -- maybe is he was paid per at bat we'd see a little more hitting.
     
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