In response to moonslav59's comment:
This focus on his platoon splits just does not make sense to me. Its like saying a good player isn't good because he can't hit a curveball.
If a guy can hit a curveball for the life of him, any manager would probably sit him vs a great curveball pitcher.
The problem is that SV has bad splits vs maybe half of the picthers he faces. Not every player has horrible split differentials. Not many who have horrible splits vs RHPs play FT. A team may be able to absorb a hitter who struggles vs LHPs, since it is only 30-35% of the games or PAs, but good teams rarely absord a player who stinks vs most RHPs. It just happenes to often to not deal with it.
My guess is starting SV will probably be justified for only about 50-55% of the games (all LHPs and some RHPs), unless we have nobody better vs RHPs. I happen to think Kalish is a better RF option vs most RHPs than SV. If Nava could field well enough, I'd rather have him too.
You didn't answer my question. Let me try again. Would you prefer a player that wins 4 games against lefties and 0 against righties or that has perfectly even platoon splits and wins 2 games for us against righties and 1 game against lefties? Why?
Your question is insulting. You know my answer.
I think you are missing my point. To me, SV should not even play vs most RHPs if we were to be a top 5 offense, especially if we intend to have Iggy, Salty and fill in the blank in LF. It was the same with CC. TB had nobody better than even .696 vs LHPs, so CC remained in the 1 or 3 slot everyday for the most part. When he came to Boston, the formula changed. I advocated him being benched or batting 9th vs LHPs. I called him a "glorified platoon player", because that is what he was and still is. I heard the arguments about his Gold Glove and baserunning skills back then too. Yes, he got hurt and is certainly worth more than what he gave us, but I still contend paying him $20M to hit very well vs just 65% of the pitchers was a severe overpay, and if we actually played him vs LHPs, we'd suffer negatively. I feel the same about Shane, but now it is against 55-65% of all starters not 35%.
Victorino has an OPS the last 3 years of 943 against lefties. Thats better then Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols overall numbers the last 3 years and just 4 points below Ryan Braun's. How valuable is having Albert Pujols's bat in RF with Shave Victorino's speed and defense to go along with it for 50 games? Thats what we probably will get. Its shockingly valuable isn't it? Its worth more then 10 million isn't it? Why is it the end of the world if you get a league average player to go along with it against righties?
No, I do not think doing as great as Pujols for a 50 game sample size is worth $13M. In fact, when someone had a .950 OPS over a 50 sample size, it doesn't mean he does great in all 50 games. It is my contention that even if SV is a very good RF'er, which I think he will be, but am not sure, his defense will not make up for a .715 OPS in 110 games.
Would you be better off platooning him against some righties? Sure. But so what. As I said, that just makes him MORE valuable, not less. If he sits more and has a good lefty hitter replacing him, we gain, not lose. I think he will gradually play less and less against righties as the years go on. That does not take away his value however if he wins you 4 games a year hitting against lefties. Those wins matter and won't go away even if he plays less.
It is my belief that Ben plans on SV playing SV 150+ games unless injured, maybe 140-145 by his 3rd year. If we have to pay a great hitter vs RHPs to platoon with SV to me it means we may be paying $25M for a combined .900+ OPS in RF. While in today's FA market that may not seem bad, I'd just rather have traded for Justin Upton and had a nice OPs vs LHPs and RHPs at half the financial cost, but at a significant loss of prospects and young players. (The money saved could then have gotten us an extra $12-15M/yr pitcher.)
You are focused on the negative while ignoring the off the charts positive, which makes up for the negative. It does not matter how many games you play. Only how many games you help win at the end of the day. Pedro only played 35 games a year.:)
I have been roundly criticized over many years for being overly optimistic about our winter and spring rosters. Last year, I took a lot of grief for claiming we needed an ace or at worst a solid #2 starter to have a good chance of winning the WS. I said this thinking we had a top 2-3 offense. I look at this winter and see an offense no better than last years, and a staff full of question marks and miracle wishes.
I'm not giving up on this team. I do see a chance that everyone all does well and stays healthy all year, but realistically, I'm not drinking the pink Kool-Aid again. You can get by with players who struggle vs lefties or righties at the bottom of our order, but it appears that SV will bat 1st or 2nd. As someone who makes yearly projections mostly based on the last 2-3 year numbers and recent trends, I have to say my prjections for Naps is lower than AGon's 2012. My Pedey projection will be lower, my SS offense projection will be lower, my 3B projection is a crahp shoot, my LF will be lower, my CF will be lower, and my RF will be lower offensively. My catcher will be lower, since I had Shopp doing very well vs LHPs and our catchers hitting 30+ HRs projected last March. I just see this offense as worse "on paper" than last year's preseason projected offense. Injuries and trades certainly played a big role in our team going from the best road offense to the worst, but the fact is I was being too overly optimistic on several fronts (except for my warning about our SPs and a couple other close calls).
I'm really excited about our defense. Last spring I was posting dozens of posts about thedefensive value of Iggy at SS vs what was expected of Aviles on offense. I'm looking forward to our staff ERA being significantly lower just becuase of him. A healthy Ellsbury and a SV in RF will help as well. Middlebrooks has to be better than the recent Youk on D at 3B. We will see a steep drop at 1B, and probbably better catching. Overall, I like the improved D.
I'm waiting for our improvement of our rotation (going on years now), so I will hold of final judgement until I see the final product.
While i thought CC would improve our team, I also think SV and Gomes will as well, however, I think we could have done better with the same money, namely more pitching, but as I mentioned before, I'd rather have Pagan and Ludwick than SV and JG.
BTW, although Pedro only pitched in 35 games, he faced over 850 batters. What everyday player gets 850+ PAs in a single season?
and I would rather have Hamilton than Napoli and Victorino. Who to play at 1B then? My hope was for Youk, actually. Now that he is gone...well. Napoli is going to make all of our infielders worse, especially Middlebrooks. Hopefully Ben can back out of the deal, save the money, double it and get Hamilton anyway. Hamilton, Ells and Victorino/Kalsih would have speed, power and defense in the OF to an extent we have not seen in recent years.
That all said...I am totally with you moon. It is the starting pitching that needed a fix last season. I hoped Bard would succeed. I was horribly wrong on that. I'd like to hope Lester can turn it around and Lackey can return to form, and Douby can take the next step, etc., etc., etc. I'm not drinking that koolaid any morem either. And I think that Ben has one last shot at improving the rotation in at least somewhat of a significant way without dismantling his precious future. That would be Sanchez. But I am not holding out hope for that, either.
What I am hoping for now is a team that is interesting to watch. Sign Hamilton and a Chien Ming Wang or two and I will watch. Sign only Sanchez, and I will watch guardedly, waiting for them to prove they are for real. Do nothing but more of the overpay for good character guys with holes in their game but who have swings fit for Fenway (what happens when they go on the road for half their games?), I guess I'll only watch home games, if I watch at all.
In years past I have been optimistic too. Now...not so much.