A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

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

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    The Red Sox pitching staff has a  poor 4.42 ERA, only 0.24 ahead of the Orioles pitching staff, whose 4.64 ERA is last in the American League. But the pitching may not be the greatest of the Red Sox problems.  The Red Sox have scored just 4.09 runs/game, far less than they scored last year when half their starting position players were injured.  The Red Sox have played 20% of their schedule and and even though Jacoby Ellsbury has gone 19 for 52, raising his batting average from 190 to .277 in 12 games, the Red Sox nevertheless have five regulars hitting under .240:
    Youkilis is hitting .237
    Pedroia is hitting .235 with 10 RBi and a .667 OPS. Pedroia is batting .105, 6 for 57, over the Red Sox last 14 games.
    Drew is hitting .226 with a .701 OPS
    Crawford is batting .200 with a .519 OPS 
    Saltalamachiia is hitting .200 with a .523 OPS.

    The Red Sox also have part-time regular shortstop, Marco Scutaro, batting .215 with a .594 OPS, 14 for 65 and back-up catcher, Jason Varitek, batting .140 with a .431 OPS, 6 for 43. 


    For those of you who do not remember the pre-DH days, welcome to the era of low batting averages.

    The American League has 14 teams.  Of the 96 batters who have enough PA to qualify for the batting list, the 26th highest batting average is Jacoby Ellsbury's .277.  Each American League team has an average of almost 7 players with enough PA to qualify for the batting list, but they don't even average two players hitting .277 or higher.

    Every team in the AL but KC and TB have at least one player who qualifies for the batting list, batting .225 or under.  Seattle has five such players while the Yankees, White Sox, and Orioles have three such players. 

    If you drop the PA to 50, 51 more than a third of the players in the AL, 51 of 147, are batting .225 or below.  Seattle has 8 players with at least 50 PA who are batting .225 or less. Minnesota has five such players, Detroit, Boston, and the Chicago White Sox each have four players with at least 50 PA who are batting .225 or below and every team has at least two such players, with the Royals, Angels, and Indians being the only teams with as few as two such players.

    The AL is batting .248, the NL .250.  Batting averages haven't gotten higher in the last seven days, if anything they have gotten lower.  In the last seven days, the AL is batting .249, the NL .238. So, while batting averages may get higher as the weather warms, so far, there is no such trend.

    I'm not sure that any of you who started following baseball any time in the 1950s ever adjusted to .240 being an above average batting average, which it was in 1967 (.236), 1968 (.230), and 1972 (.239), because from 1951 to 1962 the average AL batting average was .257, with a low of .253 and a high of .262.  Then, from 1963 to 1972, the AL batting average averaged .242 with a low of .230 and a high of .250.  I suspect that those of you who started following baseball from 1994 on, when league batting averages were almost 15 points higher than they were in the 1950s, are going to have an even more difficult time adjusting to .250 being an above average batting average, which will be the case if batting averages in the AL remain where they are through 20% of the season.   From 1994 to 1999, the AL batting average averaged .273, with a low of .270 and a high of .277.  From 2000 to .2009, the AL batting average averaged 269, with a low of  .264 and a high of .276.  In 2002, the AL batting average of .264 is the only time in the 16 years from 1994 to 2009 that the AL batting average was under .266.  In 2010, the AL batting average dipped to .260 and this year, so far, it is .248.  

     

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

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Is Moon supposed to whine like you two because Wake didn't duplicate his last start when he out-pitched the reigning CY Young winner? How many starters in the last 15 years have been asked to pitch three times in 6 days?

    Take you bozo act elsewhere. This thread isn't the children's hour.

    I'm taking your advice harness. I'm avoiding the circus clown.

    Yes, Wake pitched poorly, but I'm not blamng his inbetween relief game for it. He looked bad. He had a bad game. I never bash people on one game, no do normally praise them on small sample sizes either. His good start was too small of a sample size to count for the absurd clown, but now this last one start is suddenly a large enough sample size to judge by.

    That's why have almost entirely avoided the game threads. Knee-jerk reactions by clowns are not my thing.

    When I posted my 14 day numbers, I qualified it with the "small sample size" staement, but used 14 dayd to show that a few players are trending upwards and that is something to be encouraged by during this rough stretch.

    I still have faith in our team and ourplayers- all of our players, from Wake to Aceves, from Oki to Jenks, from Dice-K to Wheeler, from VTek to Salty, Jed to Jake, Scutty to Cam...and on and on...

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from playball01. Show playball01's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Moon, your continued faith and commitment to our 2011 team is nothing short of commendable. Although I share the same thoughts I must state that the frustration level is reaching new levels. I know that there have been shining moments thus far, giving us that glimmer of hope that keeps us coming back for more, but in all aspects of the game this team just appears to be very flat and beyond much rationality.

    I can't pin poor performances on any one player, especially based on small sample sizes, but the overall team chemistry doesn't appear to be there. Any thoughts? In my opinion, until a player or players come forward and show some spark and take control of this team, be it through calling out the team collectively during a team meeting or coming out enraged in the media, we are in for a long and boring season.

    Unfortunately, I don't see a player or players outperforming any other that could come out as a true leader-spark plug and pull the rest of the cast of characters into the mix. I guess team chemistry and an appearance of lack of passion and commitment is my largest concern at this juncture. I don't see a cohesive team.

    Am I seeing something different than you all?
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    The Red Sox pitching staff has a  poor 4.42 ERA, only 0.24 ahead of the Orioles pitching staff, whose 4.64 ERA is last in the American League. But the pitching may not be the greatest of the Red Sox problems.  The Red Sox have scored just 4.09 runs/game, far less than they scored last year when half their starting position players were injured.  The Red Sox have played 20% of their schedule and and even though Jacoby Ellsbury has gone 19 for 52, raising his batting average from 190 to .277 in 12 games, the Red Sox nevertheless have five regulars hitting under .240:
    Youkilis is hitting .237
    Pedroia is hitting .235 with 10 RBi and a .667 OPS. Pedroia is batting .105, 6 for 57, over the Red Sox last 14 games.
    Drew is hitting .226 with a .701 OPS
    Crawford is batting .200 with a .519 OPS 
    Saltalamachiia is hitting .200 with a .523 OPS.

    The Red Sox also have part-time regular shortstop, Marco Scutaro, batting .215 with a .594 OPS, 14 for 65 and back-up catcher, Jason Varitek, batting .140 with a .431 OPS, 6 for 43. 


    For those of you who do not remember the pre-DH days, welcome to the era of low batting averages.

    The American League has 14 teams.  Of the 96 batters who have enough PA to qualify for the batting list, the 26th highest batting average is Jacoby Ellsbury's .277.  Each American League team has an average of almost 7 players with enough PA to qualify for the batting list, but they don't even average two players hitting .277 or higher.

    Every team in the AL but KC and TB have at least one player who qualifies for the batting list, batting .225 or under.  Seattle has five such players while the Yankees, White Sox, and Orioles have three such players. 

    If you drop the PA to 50, 51 more than a third of the players in the AL, 51 of 147, are batting .225 or below.  Seattle has 8 players with at least 50 PA who are batting .225 or less. Minnesota has five such players, Detroit, Boston, and the Chicago White Sox each have four players with at least 50 PA who are batting .225 or below and every team has at least two such players, with the Royals, Angels, and Indians being the only teams with as few as two such players.

    The AL is batting .248, the NL .250.  Batting averages haven't gotten higher in the last seven days, if anything they have gotten lower.  In the last seven days, the AL is batting .249, the NL .238. So, while batting averages may get higher as the weather warms, so far, there is no such trend.

    I'm not sure that any of you who started following baseball any time in the 1950s ever adjusted to .240 being an above average batting average, which it was in 1967 (.236), 1968 (.230), and 1972 (.239), because from 1951 to 1962 the average AL batting average was .257, with a low of .253 and a high of .262.  Then, from 1963 to 1972, the AL batting average averaged .242 with a low of .230 and a high of .250.  I suspect that those of you who started following baseball from 1994 on, when league batting averages were almost 15 points higher than they were in the 1950s, are going to have an even more difficult time adjusting to .250 being an above average batting average, which will be the case if batting averages in the AL remain where they are through 20% of the season.   From 1994 to 1999, the AL batting average averaged .273, with a low of .270 and a high of .277.  From 2000 to .2009, the AL batting average averaged 269, with a low of  .264 and a high of .276.  In 2002, the AL batting average of .264 is the only time in the 16 years from 1994 to 2009 that the AL batting average was under .266.  In 2010, the AL batting average dipped to .260 and this year, so far, it is .248.  

    Great numbers. It's hard to imagine the season finishing at .248. Some say it is because of the amount of goodyung pitchers coming up of late or the demise of PEDS, bu PED shouldn't effect BA that much.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from playball01. Show playball01's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Moon,

    Great stats with regards to batting average. It only goes to prove that with such paltry batting average numbers as a team it only serves to further support the argument that our terrible RISP numbers are having a huge negative impact on wins versus losses and highlights the importance of making every baserunner count, hence, maybe the reason for Scutaro trying for home and being thrown out and some of the other baserunning mistakes that may appear boneheaded to the average fans. This team is pressing too hard in numerous categories and the latest is trying anything to get runners across the plate. Getting back to the fundamentals such as bunting and hit and runs may be the direction that this team needs to take. Waiting for the big bopper hits simply isn't working.

    Our hitters in the past were known for showing great patience at the plate and building high pitch counts for opposing pitchers by making them work for every out. Such has not been the case thus far. Even Pedroia and Youk have recently been swinging at almost everything that appears to be anywhere near the vicinity of the plate. The philosophy is no longer to wait for the pitcher to throw strikes. Some of the at bats have been ugly to watch.

    Something needs to change soon and we need to play small ball and get back to the fundamental basics, regardless of ego, past performances or payroll.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    I think the league might have told umps to speed up the game. They are calling things anywhere near the plate strikes. That should be helping guys like Lackey but so far it's not.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from fivekatz. Show fivekatz's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    The last two starts by Wakefield together do in a way define Tim Wakefield's career and what he brings to the table. When he is good, he can be very good and when he is bad, it gets away in a hurry.

    The start on Sunday is why folks who like him, like him. Last night is why those who don't, don't.

    Metaphorically in his RS career 52% of the time he is the guy who pitched Sunday and 48% of the time he is the guy who pitched last night. Of course in that 52% WPCT, there is more texture than that but the point is Wakefield is a guy who will win a tad more than he loses and more so than many pitchers when he is on or off the difference is dramatic.

    I must say there are a lot of fringe issues on the board when the team loses. Wakefield appears to be one of those. So much has been written about his having a roster spot on BDC.

    I happen to understand both sides. I do believe if both players had options that Aceves at this point is the better pitcher, even for the role the RS have assigned to Wakefield. But I happen to also understand that Wake does not have options and given what pitching is in MLB and how affordable his contract is that he would never clear waivers if he was designated for assignment.

    But the team is not under .500 in early May because Wakefield is on the roster. And they aren't in this position because Salty calls bad games because the more Tek catches the more we can see the pitchers do well with him and other nights not so well and the same for Salty. And it isn't Lowrie's range at SS or Ellsbury getting doubled up while on a multi-game hitting streak where his hits are turning into runs over 50% of the time.

    It is because baseball can be a humbling game. The additions that were going to make this bullpen better both ended up on the DL and as is usually the case pitched badly before the players and the team surrendered to those injuries and put them on the DL. They are where they are because the starting pitchers don't seem to get run support often enough when they are pitching good games. The RS too often can't get the hits they need with RISP.

    One can only hope that some of these things will correct themselves soon or we will all find out if we are front runners or RS fans. But the silver bullet is not removing Tim Wakefield from the 40 man roster any more than it was having the 39 year old catcher catch 60% of the games IMO.

    Today starts the first day of the rest of the season, GO SOX.

    Just my takes


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

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Let's attempt some math:   the Red Sox must go 81-49 (.623)  from this day forward in order to win 95 games - the supposed threshold for reaching the playoffs and determining whether the season was successful. Heck, at this point, 95 games may take the division.

    Do-able, but difficult.

    But if baseball were easy, anyone could play. 

    All seasons come with reality checks built-in. We are enduring our own as we speak.

    Hello, reality.  Take your shoes off and set a spell.

    That said, it is still too early to follow the pink hats as they head for the exits, or to take the bait from the trolls-du-jour as they work out those pesky passive-aggressive attitudes that they inherited from their parents.  

    End of May would be the time to re-assess. This will be a panic-free zone until then. And after.

    I found myself wishing today that Youk and Pedey could be given a day off to ponder their respective predicaments.  But then realized that they could not take off the same day - unless DMac can play the infield, which is something I would rather not contemplate.  Wishing Bill Hall were still around, actually.

    But I digress.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Moon,

    Great stats with regards to batting average. It only goes to prove that with such paltry batting average numbers as a team it only serves to further support the argument that our terrible RISP numbers are having a huge negative impact on wins versus losses and highlights the importance of making every baserunner count, hence, maybe the reason for Scutaro trying for home and being thrown out and some of the other baserunning mistakes that may appear boneheaded to the average fans. This team is pressing too hard in numerous categories and the latest is trying anything to get runners across the plate. Getting back to the fundamentals such as bunting and hit and runs may be the direction that this team needs to take. Waiting for the big bopper hits simply isn't working.

    I agree 100%, but would add tht it is a smal sample size that is nearing a larg enough sample size to become concerned. The whole league is batting lower, so it is all relative.

    Yes, "small ball" comes more into play in close games, but I do think we have speed, and some good base runners on this team, but it jus hasn't worked out too well of late.


    Our hitters in the past were known for showing great patience at the plate and building high pitch counts for opposing pitchers by making them work for every out. Such has not been the case thus far. Even Pedroia and Youk have recently been swinging at almost everything that appears to be anywhere near the vicinity of the plate. The philosophy is no longer to wait for the pitcher to throw strikes. Some of the at bats have been ugly to watch.

    I think the umps were instructed to call mo stirkes n speed up the game, and that hurts a team like the Sox more than the free-swinging teams.

    Something needs to change soon and we need to play small ball and get back to the fundamental basics, regardless of ego, past performances or payroll.

    As long as I have ever been a Sox fan (1970), this teamhas never been above average on "the fundamentals". I thought this team woul be one of the better Sox teams in that area, but so far, we hven't seen much.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    The last two starts by Wakefield together do in a way define Tim Wakefield's career and what he brings to the table. When he is good, he can be very good and when he is bad, it gets away in a hurry.

    I respectfully disagree. Wake's career has not been close to a one good game-one bad game ratio. Since coming to the Sox, I rate his seasons as such:
    95: great
    96: poor 
    97: good
    98: good
    99: poor (but just a 99 ERA+)
    00: poor
    01: good
    02: great
    03: good
    04: avg.
    05: good
    06: avg+
    07: good
    08: great
    09: great
    10: poor

    Total:
    great: 4
    good:  6
    avg:    2
    poor:  4

    The start on Sunday is why folks who like him, like him. Last night is why those who don't, don't.

    Metaphorically in his RS career 52% of the time he is the guy who pitched Sunday and 48% of the time he is the guy who pitched last night. Of course in that 52% WPCT, there is more texture than that but the point is Wakefield is a guy who will win a tad more than he loses and more so than many pitchers when he is on or off the difference is dramatic.

    Actually it's 52.7% winning, so closer to 53%, but his WHIP over most o his career, especially after 2000 has been motly way above average.
    Most teams would kill to hae a 5th/6th tarter with a 53% wnning percent. Comparing Waketo aces is why so mny dislike him. Tht and the fact that when watching him, it looks like he is just lobbing the ball in there, and it bothers people.

    Every pitcer, even fats ball pitches have games where they get rocked hard. You could say the same thing about almost all pitchers: "when tey look ood they are good, but when they gt rocked hard, they really get rocked." Wake has een no different from most 4-6 starters in MLB since his injury in 2009. He was way better before that. Will he regain the consistency? Who knows. It might be made a little more difficult by not getting regular work and not knowing until the day before if he will start or sit. As bad as his numbers (ERA) look since his injury, he still has pitched good in about 2/3rds of his games: not 50%, not 52%.

    I must say there are a lot of fringe issues on the board when the team loses. Wakefield appears to be one of those. So much has been written about his having a roster spot on BDC.

    I happen to understand both sides. I do believe if both players had options that Aceves at this point is the better pitcher, even for the role the RS have assigned to Wakefield. But I happen to also understand that Wake does not have options and given what pitching is in MLB and how affordable his contract is that he would never clear waivers if he was designated for assignment.

    I agree, and said at the start, I thought Aceves was probably better. We have already used 17 pitchers and it's not just between Wakeand Aceve. There are many more pitchers who are or should be on the bubble besides Wake.

    But the team is not under .500 in early May because Wakefield is on the roster. And they aren't in this position because Salty calls bad games because the more Tek catches the more we can see the pitchers do well with him and other nights not so well and the same for Salty. And it isn't Lowrie's range at SS or Ellsbury getting doubled up while on a multi-game hitting streak where his hits are turning into runs over 50% of the time.

    Alotof it has to do with BA with RISP, but that stat usually evens out over a full season.

    It is because baseball can be a humbling game. The additions that were going to make this bullpen better both ended up on the DL and as is usually the case pitched badly before the players and the team surrendered to those injuries and put them on the DL. They are where they are because the starting pitchers don't seem to get run support often enough when they are pitching good games. The RS too often can't get the hits they need with RISP.

    One can only hope that some of these things will correct themselves soon or we will all find out if we are front runners or RS fans. But the silver bullet is not removing Tim Wakefield from the 40 man roster any more than it was having the 39 year old catcher catch 60% of the games IMO.

    Well said, and the fact that those two issues have dominated the discussion on this board says a lot about the chronic complainers and bashers.

    Today starts the first day of the rest of the season, GO SOX.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from tom-uk. Show tom-uk's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

     We are in a Nomar situation maybe and the sooner it is corrected the better. I still like Lowrie and Scutaro as super subs but I want a better defensive starting SS and Iglesias is not the answer yet. Maybe by the all star break he will be but that is not likely.

    Mr Boom, I think you a pulling the panic button too quick. Both Scutaro and Lowrie have been terrible on D lately including today, but D slumps happen too.  As 791 shows below, with hitting down Lowrie's bat may keep him on the field.  He needs to regain his sure-handed 2008 form or he is toast.

    Chip Buck May 6th

    There’s been a lot of chatter recently regarding the shortstop controversy brewing between Jed Lowrie and Marco Scutaro.  While it’s certainly relevant to debate the merits of both players, I can’t help but wonder if we’re focusing on the wrong shortstop controversy.  What do I mean?  The 2011 shortstop situation is interesting, but the potential controversy looming between Lowrie and Jose Iglesias, the Red Sox’s top prospect and shortstop of the future, is far more interesting.

    A couple of days ago, Matt Collins of the blog Red Stockings Thoughts came to a similar conclusion.  Here’s what he had to say.

    “Jed Lowrie is an interesting case even if he does keep some semblance of his production all through 2011. Lowrie is a free agent, which you could make the case would make him more likely to keep this production in search of a big contract, and the Red Sox have prospect Jose Iglesias. The young shortstop is in AAA Pawtucket, and is projected to be ready in 2012 to make the jump to the bigs. If Lowrie has a big year, there will definitely be fans pushing to resign Jed. I don’t anticipate Lowrie being in Boston next year unless he puts up reallygood numbers. The Red Sox have been talking about Iglesias for years now, and they seem to be determined to give him a shot. They’ve had good luck with prospects in the past, and if everything we hear about this kid’s glove is true, the Red Sox could have a potential juggernaut up the middle of the field.”

    First thing that I want to note is that Lowrie won’t actually be eligible for free agency after the season.  According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, he still has all three seasons of arbitration eligibility, and won’t become a free agent until after the 2014 season.  I don’t want that point to overshadow the rest of the excerpt because Matt’s larger point remains extraordinarily relevant:  what do the Red Sox do if Lowrie continues to produce and Iglesias shows that he’s ready for the big leagues?

    That’s a tough question.  Presumably, Scutaro was brought in with the purpose of holding down the fort while Iglesias finished his two year minor league apprenticeship.  With Lowrie’s emergence as an offensive force, that potentially throws a wrench into that plan.  As we all remember, Lowrie was the team’s shortstop of the future before he fell prey to a lingering wrist injury and a case of mononucleosis.  Now that Lowrie’s on the verge of turning himself into a known quantity, is it in the Red Sox best interest to move him in favor of a lesser known, and higher risk, quantity in Iglesias?  Yes, I know.  If only all teams were so lucky to have such a problem.  Still, as nice of an issue “too much talent” is to have, it’s one that will need to be resolved.

    While it’s hard to deny Iglesias’s immense potential, I’m more than a little concerned, at least in the short-term; he won’t hit enough to justify playing every day in the majors.  Yes, I know.  His status as a top prospect is primarily based on his outstanding defense.  With a plus-arm, above average range, and outstanding instincts, a prospect who plays a premium defensive position, like Iglesias, can afford to be somewhat deficient in the department of offense.  Still, that doesn’t mean said player can produce seasons that are completely bankrupt of offensive contributions.

    Through his first season-plus of playing in professionally in America, he’s shown very little in terms of power or on-base abilities.  Last season, between short-season A and AA ball, he produced a .295/.339/.379 triple slash line in 284 plate appearances.  Considering his age (20 years old) and competition level (236 PAs in AA), that’s actually not a terrible line.  Still, for someone who’s supposed to be a year away from being a regular contributor at the big league level, you’d expect better offensive production—even out of a defense oriented whiz kid.  This season, he’s produced an underwhelming .221/.250/.221 triple slash line.  Granted, the sample size (only 81 PAs) is incredibly small, but it further solidifies my concerns about his ability to provide adequate value with the bat.  As it stands, neither power nor on-base skills are ones that are likely to improve enough in the short-term to alter his already weak 2012 statistical projections.

    How does Iglesias project for 2012?  With so many games remaining in the 2011 season, it’s too early to  nail down an accurate, reliable projection.  After all, he could put up a monster offensive season (or a historically futile one) that could greatly change our current outlook.  Instead, I looked to the 2010 season to find a few comparable players from which I could benchmark Iglesias’s performance and value.  I’ve selected Alcides Escobar(.270 wOBA), Yuniesky Betancourt(.300 wOBA), and Elvis Andrus(.320 wOBA) as comparables due to their similarities in offensive skill sets.  For the purpose of this example, I will assume Iglesias receives 600 PAs, plays 150 games at SS, and produces an elite level UZR consistent with his scouting report during the 2012 season.  Additionally, I’ve downgraded his WAR values by 0.3 WAR to adjust for the Fenway factor.  (Fangraphs also adjusts based on park factors.)  Here’s how he fares:

     wRAAPositionReplacementUZRWAR
    .270 wOBA-21.96.920.010.01.2
    .300 wOBA-9.96.920.010.02.4
    .320 wOBA-2.96.920.010.03.1

    Assuming he hits at the “Betancourt” or “Andrus” levels; exhibits above average to elite level defense at shortstop; and remains healthy enough to play every day, Iglesias would be able to justify receiving playing time consistent with a starting position player.  Obviously, if he hits at the “Escobar” level, the Red Sox are probably better off either giving him a reduced role or giving him additional time to develop in AAA. 

    What happens if he produces a +5.0 UZR defensively, rather than a +10.0?

     wRAAPositionReplacementUZRWAR
    .270 wOBA-21.96.920.05.00.7
    .300 wOBA-9.96.920.05.01.9
    .320 wOBA-2.96.920.05.02.6

    At this point, he’s still good enough to play every day hitting at the “Andrus” level, and he’s right around the breakeven point hitting at the “Betancourt” level.  At the “Escobar” level, his production is unacceptable from a major league regular; especially one playing for a legitimate World Series contender.

    Just for the sake of comparison, I decided to run the same test for Lowrie.  For the purpose of this example, I used similar (but different) parameters.  While the games played and plate appearance parameters remained the same, I chose to use different offensive and defensive benchmarks.  Considering Lowrie’s superior offensive abilities, I chose to use wOBA benchmarks at .345, .360, and .375.  For defense, since he’s considered to be average to below average defensively, I decided to set the benchmark at -5.0 runs.  As with the Iglesias example, I downgraded his WAR values by 0.3 WAR to adjust for the Fenway factor.  Here’s how Lowrie fared:

     wRAAPositionReplacementUZRWAR
    .345 wOBA11.56.920.0-5.03.0
    .360 wOBA18.06.920.0-5.03.7
    .375 wOBA25.56.920.0-5.04.4

    With the single exception of Iglesias’s .320 wOBA/+10 UZR scenario edging out Lowrie’s .345 wOBA/-5.0 UZR scenario, Lowrie looks like a significantly better starting shortstop option in 2012.  In fact, he looks even better if his defense trends to the league average or above average levels per UZR.

    Lowrie’s re-emergence as an offensive force and legitimate every day player gives the Red Sox the opportunity to take their time and allow their top prospect to continue his development in the low pressure (at least relatively) environment of the minor leagues.  Considering both Iglesias’s age (21), and the fact the Red Sox still hold two minor league options on him (due to the fact he signed a major league contract), it would probably be wise for the Red Sox to have him to continue to develop offensively in AAA for at least the 2013 season (and maybe even part of the 2014 season).  Once he’s proven he’s ready to give a balanced contribution every day, the Red Sox should promote him, and then possibly spin Lowrie off in a trade for prospects or other valuable pieces.  It makes too much sense not to consider this plan as a viable option.  This way, the Red Sox can leverage their depth, while playing for both the present and the future.

     
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    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    When a team is not getting the job done it requires adjustments and a complete examination of any step that can be taken to correct systemic mistakes.

    To pass out the "not a silver bullet" is simply a way to dodge the issues. Whatever baby steps can be taken to improve a train off the tracks, they need to be taken. Changing the constant active roster face of Wakefield for this season is one step forward. On struggling teams with a lot of talent, team competition trajectory can be changed by even the most subtle changes. The issue never about "a silver bullet". It's about being professional about putting the team in the best position in which to try and succeed. Wakefield and a gifted active roster spot is not professional, at all. 

    I guess Ortiz is under the weather. 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from law2009a. Show law2009a's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

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

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Let's attempt some math:   the Red Sox must go 81-49 (.623)  from this day forward in order to win 95 games - the supposed threshold for reaching the playoffs and determining whether the season was successful. Heck, at this point, 95 games may take the division.

    I think 92 may be enough to win the division or wildcard, maybe even 90 for the wildcard. I do't think it is too hard to go 78-52 or 76 and 54.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Mr Boom, I think you a pulling the panic button too quick. Both Scutaro and Lowrie have been terrible on D lately including today, but D slumps happen too.  As 791 shows below, with hitting down Lowrie's bat may keep him on the field.  He needs to regain his sure-handed 2008 form or he is toast.

    2008 may have been a fluke of sure-handedness. His range has never been great. I also have always been a big fan of top range SS's and there is an argument to be made that Cabrera's deense was a big reason for our win.

    The Yanks are in first place right now wth a SS who has a .308 OBP and a declining defense that was never stellar to begin with (forget the GGs).
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from tom-uk. Show tom-uk's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    The Yanks are in first place right now wth a SS who has a .308 OBP and a declining defense that was never stellar to begin with (forget the GGs).

    The above statement supports 791's premise. The EE have prospered with an all bat no glove SS for a decade.  Until fieldFX data  makes evaluation more scientific evaluating defensive runs saved is difficult.  791's numbers relating to SS offense/defense should not be discounted.

    Iglesias needs more seasoning, he has one XBH in AAA and Arizona combined.

    Side note: On the theme on offense being down. Youk has the 2nd highest OPS at 3rd in MLB. "Times they are a changin"
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Boomerangsdotcom. Show Boomerangsdotcom's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    A great glove at SS might well knock a 1/3 of a run off all the starting pitcher's era. The question isn't play Iglesias or Lowrie. If Iglesias does well this year and they bring him up after the all star break, Lowrie will still get a lot of playing time and even more PT than Iglesias probably, subbing in at SS, 3rd, 2nd and even 1st some time. The question is would we be a more winning team with Iglesias at SS than Lowrie. For example, if Iglesias hits .250 but is as expected defensively I think the team probably wins more games in large part because Lowrie still would get a lot of AB anyway.

    The guy who loses out in this situation is Scutaro. The original question posed in spring training assumed that it wasn't going to happen, because we are going to probably only call up Iglesias in September. They are going to let him develop as long as there is no major injury. Even if there is an injury, Navarro gets the call up right now.

    The point was would a .250 hitting SS of Iglesias's defensive ability improve the team's chances of success. I think he would. Now, everyone try to follow what I said. I'm not advocating bringing up Iglesias right now. I'm making a point of how a great fielding SS could really help this team.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from BaseballGM. Show BaseballGM's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Jeter has the gold gloves to prove he's had a great career with the glove. To compare Lowrie to that is beyond absurd.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    I'm catching up on the last page or two. I must say, the collective posts are among the finest I have ever read on this board.

    Pelo put's the lack of hitting into a different and meaningful perspective. Of course, it must be remembered that playing 81 in Fenway affects the numbers. It also skews our perception of the old town team. If the Sox played half their games in Safeco, the numbers and possibly team approach would differ.
    The A's and the M's are generally bringing up the rear in most offensive categories, and venue plays a large part of it.

    Nice to see Warden Ball return. He adds a great deal. His concern with team chemistry was echoed in a Nick Cafardo piece recently. It's an intangible that is hard to define. Does the causation begin or end with team results?

    Katz states that no one area is creating this inconsistency. I think this is especially important. In the past, Boston has been a dominant home team. They could usually rely on Fenway. And that took pressure off playing on the road, as .500 away from the Fens was acceptable. This was the over-riding factor throughout a season.

    Last year, with or without the injuries, we began to see this team evolve from a station-to-station road team to one more diversified. The cost was our home dominance. This evolution is obviously by design, as Theo's signing of Crawford pretty much states his intentions in the post-steroid era.

    We are now looking at a team that can beat anybody else in their home field. It hasn't happened with any consistency because the metamorphosis is still in play. The new pieces are floating. And it's not just Crawford or Jenks. It's also Cam and Wheeler and other BP parts. And unfortunately, we are looking at a major catching transition, which has definitely affected the team's showing to date.

    It's like rebuilding the engine in UR car. It's not a complete rebuild, but it will affect how you drive for awhile. The idea of building this team to fit the dimensions of Fenway Park are over. The transition requires a varying managerial approach. I don't think Tito has come full circle in this area. Should the team be more aggressive? That leads to base-running gaffs and the perception of poor fundamentals.

    Should they be more patient, and  wait for the big inning as in the past?
    That could lead to lost opportunities. My point is, the direction of this current squad appears to be in limbo. And until it's better defined, the only thing to do is address individual issues and hope for a collective output.

    IMO, it's not gonna happen any time soon. Nor can we expect one play or one achievement to create it. Years of a clearly defined objective must now be approached differently, and it's a work in progress that will require a great deal of patience on our part.

    If it means taking a step or two back in order to go forward, so be it. I think Theo will be right in the long run, but I doubt many fans will understand the
    painstakingly slow process.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Scutaro is hurt now, so we may see Iglesias or Navarro as soon as tomorrow.

    From what I have seen in MLB over my liefetime, I am pretty certain that a great-ranged SS can make at least 80-120.  He may make up an average play per game over some ofthe worst starting SSs in the league.

    Yes, defensive metrics have a hard time putting a value on that ability, but looking at it simply: if a SS can save a hit every 2 games over the average SS, how much more does the average SS have to make up on offense to overcome that defensive differential?

    If you want to say he has to get a hit to make up for every hit he "gave up" by playing average defense vs the great fielding SS, then he woul need about 80 hist more over a 160 game played season. It might look something like this:

    Great fielding SS: 130/650 (BA .200)
    Avg. fielding SS:  210/650 (BA .323)

    Great fielding SS: 150.650 (BA .231)
    Avg. fielding SS:  230/650 (BA .354)

    I know this is a crude and unproven methodolgy, but I don't think it is not too far from showing the real value of a great defensive SS vs an average fielding SS who hits much better.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    It was Iglelias.
    I think Navarro was more deserving, but that's a limited opinion.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    IMO, it's not gonna happen any time soon. Nor can we expect one play or one achievement to create it. Years of a clearly defined objective must now be approached differently, and it's a work in progress that will require as great deal of patience on our part.

    harness, good post. I want to address this part. I do think the game is changing. Maybe it's a combination of umpires calling more strikes, less PED use, and more good pitchers in MLB, but perhaps a change in philosophy is or will be needed. I think we might see the free-swinging players and teams do comparatively better than before. Maybe our batters have to chang their approach to meet the "new game" that is MLB in 2011.

    Theo has stockpiled some draft picks for this year, so patience might be needed for te long run, but I still like our team for this year's run. Of course we have weaknesses. Sure I think some mistakes were made. They have been debated all winter and some debates have been going on for years (especially C, SS, 5th starter).  No team is weakness free. The weaknesses of other teams will be expose at some point this year, and they will all have some bad stretches as well. We will climb bck into the race at some point this year. We will also have some more bad streaks before the season is over: let's just hope they are few, short, and far between.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Moon, I too think the team will be in the thick of things. Each team in our division has issues. Right now, UR take on the Rays looks good. Mine doesn't.

    As for the RedSox, the signing of Crawford ushers in a new era...and a rather interesting transition. Up to now, Tito's approach to small ball in the A.L. as compared to the N.L. reflected that of the FO, IMO.
    Now that may be changing, and perhaps the direction is a bit blurry.

    For example, Boston hitters rarely had to contend with taking pitches with a speedster aboard. Now, perhaps the element of speed is altering some hitter's approach or aggressiveness. In addition, Jake or CC don't want to run a potentially big inning into the ground. This is just gonna take time for the players to get the right "feel".

    But I'm quite confident this team has enough talent to harness it.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from tom-uk. Show tom-uk's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    Jeter has the gold gloves to prove he's had a great career with the glove. To compare Lowrie to that is beyond absurd.
    Posted by BaseballGM[/QUOTE]

    Bill James in 2005 on Jeter "Giving him every possible break on the unknowns, he is still going to emerge as a below average defensive shortstop." 

    Bill Hall 2nd in MLB with a 37% K rate, -33 UZR/150, -0.7 WAR.


    Jed Lowrie: The makings of an elite-hitting shortstop


    09:00 PM EDT on Saturday, May 7, 2011

    By BRIAN MacPHERSON
    Journal Sports Writer


    http://www.projo.com/redsox/content/projo-20110508-jed-lowrie-feature.2f4e98296.html
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from harness. Show harness's posts

    Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part II

    It'll be interesting to see what happens when Jenks/Wheeler come off this "DL".
    Hill is out of options and maybe the guy who can get lefties out at critical junctures. Retaining him means Oki is likely gone.

    There's every chance Tito might entrust him in high-level situations to determine which direction would be in the team's best interest. Oki hasn't excelled in these conditions since back in 2009. But now's the time to find out if a "healthy" Oki has any of the old metal left.

    Wheeler has a longer leash, but a limited one IMO. His signing has been nothing short of awful so far. Perhaps another body goes on the DL upon his return.
    But if he continues to disappoint, the team is better served having Aceves/Wake for expansive depth.

    I imagine Aceves might get a start to see how he fares through a line-up three times in a meaningful game. I'd like to see this myself.
     

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