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some notes before sox fans panic


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#1 soxhop411


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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:06 PM

One: offseason is NOT won on paper, as sox fans we should know this (last offseason ring a bell)

two: the yankees needed a #2, the sox need a #5
three lester, beckett, clay= or is close to= to NYY 1-3
four. we get a #5 starter we will be fine, we didn't need a #2
five- our BP is a lot better then it was last year
six: offseason is not over yet
agree or disagree with these points?

Edited by soxhop411, 13 January 2012 - 10:18 PM.


#2 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:20 PM

One: offseason is NOT won on paper, as sox fans we should know this (last offseason ring a bell)

two: the yankees needed a #2, the sox need a #5
three lester, beckett, clay= or is close to= to NYY 1-3
four. we get a #5 starter we will be fine, we didn't need a #2
five- our BP is a lot better then it was last year
six: offseason is not over yet
agree or disagree with these points?


I agree, all will be fine. The Sox really underperformed in the last month of the season which skews the true ability of this team

#3 Puffy

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:21 PM

One: offseason is NOT won on paper, as sox fans we should know this (last offseason ring a bell)

two: the yankees needed a #2, the sox need a #5
three lester, beckett, clay= or is close to= to NYY 1-3
four. we get a #5 starter we will be fine, we didn't need a #2
five- our BP is a lot better then it was last year
six: offseason is not over yet
agree or disagree with these points?


What is the difference between point two and point four? Or two, three, and four, for that matter. And point one and six?

#4 pdub

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:20 AM

I have to disagree with the bullpen comment. I'm sure it will be fine but how can we say absolutely say its better? Papelbon was one of the best closers for a while, we had some good consistency at the closer position. We did at least get younger, though.

#5 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:25 AM

I have to disagree with the bullpen comment. I'm sure it will be fine but how can we say absolutely say its better? Papelbon was one of the best closers for a while, we had some good consistency at the closer position. We did at least get younger, though.


It's a much deeper pen than I've seen here in a while, Bailey isn't a bad option by any means to close out ballgames.

#6 ivanvamp


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Posted 14 January 2012 - 11:42 AM

It's a much deeper pen than I've seen here in a while, Bailey isn't a bad option by any means to close out ballgames.


I'm not sure how the bullpen is either deeper or better. If Aceves and Bard are in the rotation, then the Sox lost their top 3 pitchers from last year's bullpen. By "lost" I simply mean they're not in the bullpen any more. Paps is gone, and Aceves and Bard are in the rotation.

The overall quality of the bullpen is diminished, and the depth is diminished as well. That doesn't mean it can't be a good bullpen. Melancon is pretty good and Bailey is excellent. If he can be healthy, they're ok.

#7 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:26 PM

I'm not sure how the bullpen is either deeper or better. If Aceves and Bard are in the rotation, then the Sox lost their top 3 pitchers from last year's bullpen. By "lost" I simply mean they're not in the bullpen any more. Paps is gone, and Aceves and Bard are in the rotation.

The overall quality of the bullpen is diminished, and the depth is diminished as well. That doesn't mean it can't be a good bullpen. Melancon is pretty good and Bailey is excellent. If he can be healthy, they're ok.


Well Aceves will be returning to his role as I don't see how the Sox will gamble on Bard and him in the rotation. If Durabont comes into camp in shape then we have a very good pen.

#8 ivanvamp


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Posted 14 January 2012 - 01:08 PM

Well Aceves will be returning to his role as I don't see how the Sox will gamble on Bard and him in the rotation. If Durabont comes into camp in shape then we have a very good pen.


If this team makes the playoffs, b/c of the innings limit Aceves and Bard will almost surely have, what I see is that, come playoff time, the Sox' rotation will likely be Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, and Matsuzaka, with Aceves, Bard, Melancon, Morales, and Bailey in the bullpen. Now *that* is a really good and deep pen. But they gotta get there first.

#9 BeantownIdaho

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 01:17 PM

The sox have been meeting with David Ortiz's agent this weekend (providence Journal)... it would not surprise me if they are trying to work out something in deferred money or another option that will allow them to sign another starter (i.e. Oswalt). It was noted that the Sox could not land Kuroda without moving some money. GIven the signing/trade of the Spanks I would guess they are trying to find a way to land him or Jackson. If that were to happen then...
Becket, Lester, Buch, Oswalt, Doubront/Silva/Cook - Bard in the pen - good rotation - excellent pen
OR
Becket, Lester, Buch, Oswalt, Bard - Excellent starting 5 - with Cook and Silva in pen or waiting out their time for spot starts and end of the season starts (Bard's innings).
Either way a signing of Oswalt gives the Sox many options and much depth.

#10 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 15 January 2012 - 05:06 PM

If this team makes the playoffs, b/c of the innings limit Aceves and Bard will almost surely have, what I see is that, come playoff time, the Sox' rotation will likely be Beckett, Lester, Buchholz, and Matsuzaka, with Aceves, Bard, Melancon, Morales, and Bailey in the bullpen. Now *that* is a really good and deep pen. But they gotta get there first.


I'm penciling in Aceves for 6th and 7th inning duty, Jenks will eventually be ready so whatever they get out of him is solid. This is how I look at it.

LR-Aceves
MR-Wilson (I think he'll break camp)
MR-Jenks (starting year on DL) - Germano until hes ready.
LOOGY-Durabont (Until Hill is ready)
MR-Morales
SU-Melancon
CL-Bailey

5th Starter will be someone of the Cook/Silva ilk, I would like to see them go after Harden off the scrap heap but I think hes out of Boston's price range as of right now. Also Dice-K coming back as the 5th starter isn't a given, he could very easily wind up in the pen as is the case with a lot of TJ recoveries.

#11 MikeM

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 08:35 PM

I'm not sure how the bullpen is either deeper or better. If Aceves and Bard are in the rotation, then the Sox lost their top 3 pitchers from last year's bullpen. By "lost" I simply mean they're not in the bullpen any more. Paps is gone, and Aceves and Bard are in the rotation.


I really can't envision a scenario where we leave ST with both Aceves and Bard in the rotation. I mean invested optimism aside, what would honestly be the the over/under right now on the amount of combined/projected innings we'll see out of Buchholz and one of those guys? 300?

2 simultaneos conversion projects in the rotation right now is just too extreme. I'm with TB there, in that the 5th starter is coming out of the Cook/Silva/ect pool. Also in general agreement that the people already penciling in Dice-K as a Date_X rotation solution waiting to happen are getting wayyyy ahead of themselves there.

#12 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:04 PM

I really can't envision a scenario where we leave ST with both Aceves and Bard in the rotation. I mean invested optimism aside, what would honestly be the the over/under right now on the amount of combined/projected innings we'll see out of Buchholz and one of those guys? 300?

2 simultaneos conversion projects in the rotation right now is just too extreme. I'm with TB there, in that the 5th starter is coming out of the Cook/Silva/ect pool. Also in general agreement that the people already penciling in Dice-K as a Date_X rotation solution waiting to happen are getting wayyyy ahead of themselves there.


They can't gamble 40% of their rotation with converted relievers, that type of stuff happens with teams expecting to win 70-80 games...not a team expected to contend for the series. Although I would be pleasantly surprised if some how the Sox ended up with Roy Oswalt, it probably won't happen. I say regardless the Sox should invest in Harden, worst case throw him in the pen. I think he could be a dangerous reliever.

Edited by Tyrone Biggums, 15 January 2012 - 09:11 PM.


#13 pdub

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:19 PM

Yeah, here's how I see it...

(2012 Bullpen)
Subtract: Papelbon (A-grade reliever), Bard/Aceves
Add: Bailey, Melancon

Papelbon v. Bailey is a net loss, unless Bailey reaches his potential and puts up near-elite numbers. Bard/Aceves is a net loss by default because we're taking them out of the pen. Let's assume Melancon will match the production of Aceves, yes? That makes it a wash. I'm gonna have a look at WAR and see what we're dealing with, but the reality is we lost a very good reliever in Papelbon. Couple that with Ortiz and Youkilis only getting older and I can't say I think we improved. Also, how much will Ellsbury regress - or will he remain elite? I think much of our improvement will depend on Carl Crawford. This is going to be a very important year for him.

WAR 2011:
Papelbon: 2.0
Bard: 1.6
Aceves: 2.9

Total: 6.5+

Melancon: 1.2
Bailey: 0.9

Total: 2.1+

Assuming we lose both Bard and Aceves to the 'pen, we stand to lose 4.4 wins. Now, this estimation is pessimistic because it assumes we will lose both players to the rotation. It also fails to account for the wins we may gain by replacing the Lackey-Wakefield combo with supposedly superior pitching in Bard/Aceves/Cook/Padilla. Based on our recent signings, I assume we'll be looking to keep both Bard and Aceves in the bullpen while using Cook and whoever in the rotation. Then again, what can we reliably expect out of Cook, Padilla, and whoever? Ah well, spring training is almost here...

Edited by pdub, 15 January 2012 - 11:32 PM.


#14 BeantownIdaho

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 11:50 PM

Can someone please tell me why the Sox agreed to a contract with salty for 2. 5 million when he was projected to make 1.6 in arbitration (Scott Lauber Boston Herald tweet)?
"Matt Swartz of MLBTR projected Salty would earn $1.6MM in 2012 through arbitration, so the reported $2.5MM is favorable for the Munsey Sports Management client based on that projection."
So much for trying to clear space for another pitcher...nice business move Sox.

#15 MikeM

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:47 AM

Can someone please tell me why the Sox agreed to a contract with salty for 2. 5 million when he was projected to make 1.6 in arbitration (Scott Lauber Boston Herald tweet)?
"Matt Swartz of MLBTR projected Salty would earn $1.6MM in 2012 through arbitration, so the reported $2.5MM is favorable for the Munsey Sports Management client based on that projection."
So much for trying to clear space for another pitcher...nice business move Sox.


You do ultimately realize that's only some guy's unofficial estimate, right?

Don't worry though man, even had we played hardball with Salty and saved ourselves the hypothetical 900k, that Oswalt signing still wasn't likely to go down ;)

#16 BeantownIdaho

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 01:07 AM

He made 750k last year...1.6 is more than double his salary for hitting .235 last year...I would say his projection was a little on the high side even. So the Sox gave him more than 3x his salary...I will maintain my criticism.
By the way: Jon Morosi...#RedSox are maintaining active dialogue with free agent Roy Oswalt, sources said Sunday.

#17 keyalyn

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 04:22 AM

He made 750k last year...1.6 is more than double his salary for hitting .235 last year...I would say his projection was a little on the high side even. So the Sox gave him more than 3x his salary...I will maintain my criticism.
By the way: Jon Morosi...#RedSox are maintaining active dialogue with free agent Roy Oswalt, sources said Sunday.


That is fairly expected for a player entering his arb years. Kurt Suzuki went from 600K in 2010 to 3.4M in 2011. Geovany Soto: 575K in 2010, 3M in 2011. Carlos Ruiz: 475K in 2009 to 1.9M in 2010. Mike Napoli: 425K in 2008, 2M in 2009. Kelly Shoppach: 404K in 2008, 1.95M in 2009. Seeing players get 3 times or 4 times their previous years salary isn't that uncommon. Swartz was dead wrong with his projection.

#18 Towney007

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:46 AM

So looks like the Roy Oswalt stuff is done. Red Sox would have to shed payroll to fit him.

Edited by Towney007, 16 January 2012 - 11:46 AM.


#19 TOleary25

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 12:09 PM

So looks like the Roy Oswalt stuff is done. Red Sox would have to shed payroll to fit him.


The Punto, Shoppach, Miller, and Cook signings add up to around $5.7 mil, which would put us $2.3 mil away from his asking price. With Lavarnway and Aviles already in house, Punto and Shoppach seem rather redundant if it blocks you from obtaining a quality starter. Either Cherington used what available money he had poorly, or they're trying to squeeze as much as they can from Oswalt.

Edited by TOleary25, 16 January 2012 - 12:09 PM.


#20 MikeM

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:08 PM

The Punto, Shoppach, Miller, and Cook signings add up to around $5.7 mil, which would put us $2.3 mil away from his asking price. With Lavarnway and Aviles already in house, Punto and Shoppach seem rather redundant if it blocks you from obtaining a quality starter. Either Cherington used what available money he had poorly, or they're trying to squeeze as much as they can from Oswalt.


Generally speaking, that's the wrong way to evaluate those moves, and leaves you barking up the wrong trees at that. Cook has to actually make the 25 man roster to get his money, and Shoppach's $1.35m/Punto's $1.5 are not breaking any backs or preventing any moves here (ok, maybe Mancrush Miller was a complete waste of money, but that $1m in itself only takes you so far).

If anything was done poorly here, it was in the decision to offer Ortiz arby. Although most of the criticism/blame is coming from the hindsight knowledge that Ortiz was going to accept.

If we were looking to dump salary, i think the main board is on the right track zeroing in on Youk or Scutaro. I don't have the utmost faith in either player atm, although losing the upside value on Youk potentially scares me a lot more then losing an almost-sure-to-disappoint Scutaro. If dropping his $6m freed us up to sign Oswalt, i could live with Punto as our starting SS.

But as Towney has been pointing out all along, that all is only half the battle. Oswalt still has to be willing to come here more so then he's willing to go elsewhere, and i realistically don't see that playing out to be the case.

#21 Towney007

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:29 PM

I see no point in moving guys around to squeeze Oswalt onto the roster when there's little to no indication outside of 'ongoing dialogue' that he wants to come here. If it came down to us and say - the Cards - I'd see him choosing the Cardinals without having to think about it hardly at all. And that's not even counting some teams on the periphery of contending - like say Cleveland - who might say to themselves 'sure, we might be a year away, but Oswalt gives us a shot this year on the cheap'. Worst that can happen is that he explodes into a shit storm of injuries, but likely scenario is that he pitches well. If he pitches well... even if they don't compete, they can swallow $4 million for half a season and ship him off for 1 or 2 decent prospects. So there might be some players on this guy that you wouldn't expect.

So I dunno, I just think it's wishful thinking. He's a fit. He's a good pitcher. But if the Red Sox aren't willing to pay and if there are better options out there for him (which there are), I'd put him down as a long shot at this point to come here. I mean I've said it all along - if they can nab him - more power to them. I hope they do. I just don't know how feasible it is. I've been mostly settled in on the fact that besides the spare parts in the minors, that the most the Sox likely do is a Jeff Francis type.

I just don't see the Red Sox moving an injury-risk, aging 3B with some upside to make room for an injury-risk, aging starting pitcher with some upside.

Edited by Towney007, 16 January 2012 - 02:31 PM.


#22 TOleary25

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 03:24 PM

I would think Oswalt would be more interested in joining the Sox than the Indians. I can certainly see Oswalt wanting to stay in the NL on a contending team, but so far the Phillies and Cards haven't shown anything of interest. I'm shocked no team has already signed him given the relatively low cost and the potential he brings. I think every team should be interested in him at that price since he could net a pretty good haul if he has a good first half.

Generally speaking, that's the wrong way to evaluate those moves, and leaves you barking up the wrong trees at that. Cook has to actually make the 25 man roster to get his money, and Shoppach's $1.35m/Punto's $1.5 are not breaking any backs or preventing any moves here (ok, maybe Mancrush Miller was a complete waste of money, but that $1m in itself only takes you so far).


Why is it wrong to evaluate these moves like this? If Cherington knew he had a limited budget to sign a closer, dh, and starter then why waste any money on signing questionable upgrades at backup positions?

At this point, one of Cook, Silva, Padilla etc. is our fifth starter or will make the roster in some way. I included Cook because I thought he had the best shot, but I'm guessing they're all around the same money.

#23 MikeM

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:41 PM

Why is it wrong to evaluate these moves like this? If Cherington knew he had a limited budget to sign a closer, dh, and starter then why waste any money on signing questionable upgrades at backup positions?


Because the alternative of not spending any money (and a minor amount i might add) on Punto/Shoppach doesen't add up to zero. We'd still need somebody to backup catch, and a guy who's actually capable of adequately filling in at SS. Which is before even factoring in what one is potentially giving up development'wise, by choosing to have Lavarnway ride the pine at the MLb level, all in the same of saving a few 100k.

And Punto? I get seeing the second year being handed out in that contract was irritating, but otherwise i just don't get all the hate there. Punto makes $1.5m, which is perfectly legit given his skillset/role. He isn't the problem here. People want to hate on somebody in that capacity, look no further then the pretend-a-prospect we're paying even MORE then Punto to flail away at a 235/.285/.269 rate against AAA pitching. THAT is the dead weight money we currently have chipping in to the budget (the next 2 years as well), and more deserving to be singled out here atm.

#24 TOleary25

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:03 PM

Because the alternative of not spending any money (and a minor amount i might add) on Punto/Shoppach doesen't add up to zero. We'd still need somebody to backup catch, and a guy who's actually capable of adequately filling in at SS. Which is before even factoring in what one is potentially giving up development'wise, by choosing to have Lavarnway ride the pine at the MLb level, all in the same of saving a few 100k.


I know it doesn't add up to zero but Lavarnway and Aviles were already on the payroll. So they spent almost $3 mil additionally to positions that could already be filled by pretty decent backups. And if Lavarnway was up I'm sure he'd see plenty of at-bats with a possible platoon with Salty against lefties and giving Papi a break from time to time. He has nothing left to prove in the minors hitting wise but still needs work defensively (although he looked pretty good in stints).

I liked the Punto signing, I just don't like the idea that all these small redundant deals could add up into possibly blocking us from pursuing a pitcher with a potential 3-4 WAR. The point could be moot if they really aren't willing to add any more payroll, but if they had an extra $4 mil (Punto, Shoppach, Insert $1 mil 5th starter) they could probably afford Oswalt.

Edited by TOleary25, 16 January 2012 - 07:04 PM.


#25 untilthebombs

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:18 PM

Lavarnway is at Triple-A so that he can catch everyday. It's still highly questionable if he has the ability to be a major league catcher defensively.

#26 untilthebombs

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 08:21 PM

I said it in another thread, but Oswalt at $8MM equals $11.2MM with the luxury tax. Good luck adding up important depth moves to get to that number.

Doesn't the fact that Oswalt is still out there maybe indicate that there are concerns about his back? Not just by the Red Sox, but by other teams as well?

#27 mcpickl

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:24 PM

I know it doesn't add up to zero but Lavarnway and Aviles were already on the payroll. So they spent almost $3 mil additionally to positions that could already be filled by pretty decent backups. And if Lavarnway was up I'm sure he'd see plenty of at-bats with a possible platoon with Salty against lefties and giving Papi a break from time to time. He has nothing left to prove in the minors hitting wise but still needs work defensively (although he looked pretty good in stints).

I liked the Punto signing, I just don't like the idea that all these small redundant deals could add up into possibly blocking us from pursuing a pitcher with a potential 3-4 WAR. The point could be moot if they really aren't willing to add any more payroll, but if they had an extra $4 mil (Punto, Shoppach, Insert $1 mil 5th starter) they could probably afford Oswalt.


Punto isn't redundant. Sox will carry two backup IF as always. Aviles and Punto are both projected to make the team. So if you don't have Punto, you still need another IF backup.

#28 Sampo Gida

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 01:29 AM

I would think Oswalt would be more interested in joining the Sox than the Indians. I can certainly see Oswalt wanting to stay in the NL on a contending team, but so far the Phillies and Cards haven't shown anything of interest. I'm shocked no team has already signed him given the relatively low cost and the potential he brings. I think every team should be interested in him at that price since he could net a pretty good haul if he has a good first half.



The point of a 1 year contract is to put up good numbers and try again next year. Pitching at Fenway and in the AL East does not sound like a sound move.

I wonder if the Mariners will have interest in Oswalt on 1 year deal to fill the hole left by Pineda. That would be an attractive destination for Oswalt; good park and decent defense should help his numbers.

As mentioned by mcpickl, maybe his back issues are scaring teams off.

#29 MikeM

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:30 PM

Doesn't the fact that Oswalt is still out there maybe indicate that there are concerns about his back? Not just by the Red Sox, but by other teams as well?


Maybe, although to me it seems more indictive of a fairly severe shift in the market mentality this winter.

Maybe my pov is just colored due to the Red Sox being regulated to out-of-commission status atm, but the general restriant being shown out of the owners as a whole this winter seems to be pretty staggering. Like Boras' worst nightmare come true.

#30 WrenHorn

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:55 PM

Lots of interesting thoughts in this thread. I think what the Red Sox ultimately need to do is position themselves to get to the trade deadline within striking distance of the playoffs. Personally, I think Cherington has done a fantastic job ... this thread isn't unlike the threads that I figure the Yankees made last year (when we traded for Gonzalez, signed Crawford, etc.), and I think the Red Sox need to operate based on their own blueprint and not react to what any other teams have done.

There are a lot of options in the bullpen and I think there are plenty that could work out and yield above average results. I was extremely impressed with Morales last year, Aceves will be back in the pen, we've added Melancon and Bailey, we'll get Bobby Jenks back, we may get first-half 2011 version of Matt Albers for a bit, and we may see a step forward from Felix Doubront. There are less-heralded options as well (Atchison, Hill, etc.). The starting rotation boasts an excellent front three, a real wildcard in Daniel Bard (I could see some Brandon Morrow like performances from him) and a decent competition between Miller, Cook and Padilla for the #5. I actually think Padilla could be a bullpen asset (excellent stuff) if he doesn't win the 5th SP job. My preference might actually be to have Cook win that #5 spot so that we can utilize Padilla in the pen.

The lineup should have a healthier Youkilis, and the positions they have real questions at (LF, RF) are the same positions they had questionable performances at last year. We might expect some regression from Saltalamacchia, Ortiz and Ellsbury, but we should see equivalent improvements from Crawford (when and if healthy). I see RF as an obvious area to upgrade at mid-season, but I think Sweeney is a guy that can help us get there for now.

The important thing to remember is that all that really matters is Runs Scored and Runs Allowed; last year, the Red Sox scored 875 runs and allowed 737 runs, which had a phythagoreon record of 94-68. If the Red Sox go 94-68 again, they should win the wildcard or come awfully close, and I don't see any reason to think they'll produce WORSE than that number this year, and I see some opportunity for them to actually increase the difference between that number (for example, Bard and Cook could represent a significant upgrade on Lackey and drek from last year, upgrading from Ryan Sweeney to a RF at mid-season could yield more runs than JD Drew did last year, Bobby Jenks could return to pre-2011 form and really increase the depth of our bullpen, and guys like Ryan Kalish [RF], Alex Wilson [#5 SP/Bullpen], Felix Doubront [Bullpen] and Ryan Lavarnway [C/DH] could really make a significant difference in that run differential).

The important thing to remember is really that we cannot worry about what the Yankees are doing ... all we need to worry about is making sure that we're doing our best to keep/improve upon our run differential from last season.

#31 Towney007

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 01:16 PM

To me, September has clouded perception, but in the short term - that's a good thing. This team won't have the focus and hysteria surrounding it heading into this year. Obviously, there's almost no way you can turn September into a positive, but that's going to end up being one of them. Second, there's not much upgrading needed from this team. While I'd *like* to see them add another low cost starter, they don't necessarily *need* one. They're kind of striking me as this year's version of the Tigers of last year - who went into the season with something resembling the back end of a rotation and hung onto mainly depth moves in the offseason. At the deadline, they identified their guy and wasted no time going and getting him. Like I said if they could add a Francis or even a Harden at this point - I'd feel better, but as the offseason has worn on, I've become more comfortable about them going to ST with Bard and a bag of spare parts at the back end of the rotation.

#32 doctorogres

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:04 AM

After a career high in MLB games started and offensive production (I'm looking at wRC+), I'm hoping Salty will find his groove and remember his pedigree. Dude mashed in the minor leagues, and hopefully he'll get comfortable and the production will come with it. He has shown the ability to be more selective at the plate (in the minors). Shoppach is a great signing because he won't block Lavarnway should he force the issue.

Look at what most thought of the Yankee's rotation going into last year, and the value they ended up getting out of dumpster diving to fill out their rotation. Then compare Lester/Beckett/Buchholz to what they went into 2011 with: CC / Burnett? / Hughes? Nova? Garcia? Colon? Which of those was even a number 2, let alone a 3? There's huge value in combing the starting pitcher scrap heap, and I'm glad to see trying to exploit it, especially when someone like Padilla can be flipped quite easily to the bullpen if he fails and hopefully be quite effective.

#33 WrenHorn

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 07:43 AM

After a career high in MLB games started and offensive production (I'm looking at wRC+), I'm hoping Salty will find his groove and remember his pedigree. Dude mashed in the minor leagues, and hopefully he'll get comfortable and the production will come with it. He has shown the ability to be more selective at the plate (in the minors). Shoppach is a great signing because he won't block Lavarnway should he force the issue.

Look at what most thought of the Yankee's rotation going into last year, and the value they ended up getting out of dumpster diving to fill out their rotation. Then compare Lester/Beckett/Buchholz to what they went into 2011 with: CC / Burnett? / Hughes? Nova? Garcia? Colon? Which of those was even a number 2, let alone a 3? There's huge value in combing the starting pitcher scrap heap, and I'm glad to see trying to exploit it, especially when someone like Padilla can be flipped quite easily to the bullpen if he fails and hopefully be quite effective.


I think the Red Sox need to do two things differently with regard to starting pitching: first, I really think they need to give some young pitchers a shot, even if they're not "elite" prospects, such as the Yankees did with Nova and to less extent, someone like Noesi. I think particularly of Michael Bowden, who has now languished in AAAA for four years. I'm not saying he was a gaurantee to be successful but there's no denying his use has turned him from a top 100 prospect to a C+ prospect. At best right now, I think we may be looking at a middle reliever when a few years back we may have had a competent back-end SP. I'd really consider starting him again, even if his k-rate drops to decidedly mediocre.

I think what you see is generally what you get from Saltalamacchia from an average perspective. He struck out basically 33% of the time v RHP, and I think watching him visually confirms that it's very unlikely that he'll ever hit for a high average. It would be nice to see his eye improve a bit at the plate (both from a walk rate perspective and a discipline perspective), but I think you're betting on his power v R as his calling card. An improvement to perhaps .255/.315/.500 v RHP doesn't seem entirely impossible (.019 points in slugging, .008 points in average, .014 points in OBP), and combined with Shoppach, would yield an above average catching tandem. I think the chances of a massive step forward are low, though.

#34 doctorogres

  • 61 posts

Posted 20 January 2012 - 02:32 PM

We've seen enough major league relief innings from Bowden to know what he is, and it would only be worse if he was starting. He's really a fastball/slider guy, and his changeup hasn't evolved enough to be legitimate. You're right in the general sense, though-- minor league depth like Doubront and Tazawa not being available last year was a huge blow (and unanticipated in Doubront's case). Hoping someone turns it around and is in the mix in Spring Training, and I'm thinking that's Tazawa.

#35 RochesterSamHorn

  • 104 posts

Posted 23 January 2012 - 11:42 PM

WOW! Fall in line and drink the Kool-Aid everyone. The Yankees got by last year with average starting pitching because they had a good bullpen, a deep bench, and they had a lineup that outscored everyone else. They have now greatly improved their rotation, along with much additions in the Rangers, and the Angels. The Rays and Tigers didn't make much of a splash, but still have solid teams to fare better than the Red Sox. We have a platoon for SS, a platoon for RF, a platoon for LF and a platoon for C, and they are all marginal players. We also have a shopping cart full of blue-light specials to sift through to round out our rotation. Oh-yea, we're good!

#36 doctorogres

  • 61 posts

Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:26 PM

WOW! Fall in line and drink the Kool-Aid everyone. The Yankees got by last year with average starting pitching because they had a good bullpen, a deep bench, and they had a lineup that outscored everyone else. They have now greatly improved their rotation, along with much additions in the Rangers, and the Angels. The Rays and Tigers didn't make much of a splash, but still have solid teams to fare better than the Red Sox. We have a platoon for SS, a platoon for RF, a platoon for LF and a platoon for C, and they are all marginal players. We also have a shopping cart full of blue-light specials to sift through to round out our rotation. Oh-yea, we're good!


Funny you say that because the Red Sox had a better lineup last year, and look to have a great bench this year. The platoon in RF is going to be a big upgrade over the corpse of JD Drew and a streaky Reddick, and if Crawford improves even a little on a career-worst there will be a big improvement out of LF as well. Already discussed Salty, and don't be surprised if Lavarnway forces his way in mid-year. The bullpen looks pretty great and could get better depending on how the starters shake out.

Not to mention the off-season is far from over, and it looks like waiting out the market is going to let them scoop up someone surprising for good value. Arbitrage isn't as exciting as big splashes, but I sure remember how I felt going into the 2011 season and just how well that panned out...

#37 RochesterSamHorn

  • 104 posts

Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:11 PM

I am 58yrs. old and have been a Sox fan since my early teens, so I've seen the team constructed just about every way possible. What I see this year is a little disheartening. I am not advocating for the Sox to overspend on choking contracts and I can understand the need to avoid the luxury tax this year. My disappointment comes from signing marginal players hoping for the best rather than signing young players with potential. Maybe, just maybe, Ben's plan is to load up on these "investments" much the way Beane does in Oakland and then trade away the productive ones to contending teams for young prospects to strengthen our farm system. I can live with that for a year. I guess we'll find out come late June.

#38 Sampo Gida

  • 3,143 posts

Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:57 PM

Funny you say that because the Red Sox had a better lineup last year, and look to have a great bench this year. The platoon in RF is going to be a big upgrade over the corpse of JD Drew and a streaky Reddick, and if Crawford improves even a little on a career-worst there will be a big improvement out of LF as well. Already discussed Salty, and don't be surprised if Lavarnway forces his way in mid-year. The bullpen looks pretty great and could get better depending on how the starters shake out.

Not to mention the off-season is far from over, and it looks like waiting out the market is going to let them scoop up someone surprising for good value. Arbitrage isn't as exciting as big splashes, but I sure remember how I felt going into the 2011 season and just how well that panned out...


You sound like you are feeling as good as you felt going into 2011, hopefully this pans out better.

You are right about RF being a sinkhole last year, our collective RF'ers were last in MLB in wRC+.

Whoever starts in Lackeys place won't have to do much to improve on him, as he was one iof the worst MLB starters in terms of ERA.

The team does look a bit weaker at closer. Bailey has not proven he can stay healthy the past 2 years.

SS also looks to be weaker. Neither Punto or Aviles has played much SS the past 3 years and Punto has spent a bit of time on the DL the past 3 years.

I think if Crawford can regress in a positive fashion as you hope, without too much negative regression from guys like Jacoby, Papi and Pedroia, and if Youk can stay healthy, and the top 3 SP'ers stay healthy, this team can win 95+ games.

Health is really a key to any teams performance, especially when you don't have a lot of high level prospects who can fill the holes. Red Sox have been a tad unlucky the past couple of years, and maybe that changes for the better.

#39 scramer14

  • 10 posts

Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:23 PM

I mean like it's been said before, you don't win games on paper and even though the Angels have a better line-up on paper this year and the Rangers added Darvish, it doesn't mean they are in the ALCS automatically. We proved last year that a big payroll doesn't equal playoffs. I think our team, and this is just my opinion, but I think the Sox are going to come back with tons of venegeance and not take any game for granted. Bobby V won't let them and they are going to be out to shut all of the "haters" up. Hopefully I'm right and we play the the whole season like we did during the middle part of last year.

#40 Wake's knuckle

  • 454 posts

Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:39 AM

In the end, any of the top teams could end up going to the world series. It's going to depend on injuries/effectiveness rather than talent level. Over the past couple of years, we've been the ones falling into the snake pit. Maybe this year we'll be healthy (and effective down the stretch) and the Yankees will have the injury issues...

#41 scramer14

  • 10 posts

Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:29 PM

Exactly right, I mean if we knew Buchholz was going to miss 3/4th of the season, we would have probably tried to make a trade for a better pitcher earlier on in the season, but we don't know these things and either does Buster Olney who predicted us a 3rd place finish in the AL East. Hopefully, the Sox can use it as motivation and prove him and all of the WS predicitions wrong.

#42 doctorogres

  • 61 posts

Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:44 PM

You sound like you are feeling as good as you felt going into 2011, hopefully this pans out better.

You are right about RF being a sinkhole last year, our collective RF'ers were last in MLB in wRC+.

Whoever starts in Lackeys place won't have to do much to improve on him, as he was one iof the worst MLB starters in terms of ERA.

The team does look a bit weaker at closer. Bailey has not proven he can stay healthy the past 2 years.

SS also looks to be weaker. Neither Punto or Aviles has played much SS the past 3 years and Punto has spent a bit of time on the DL the past 3 years.

I think if Crawford can regress in a positive fashion as you hope, without too much negative regression from guys like Jacoby, Papi and Pedroia, and if Youk can stay healthy, and the top 3 SP'ers stay healthy, this team can win 95+ games.

Health is really a key to any teams performance, especially when you don't have a lot of high level prospects who can fill the holes. Red Sox have been a tad unlucky the past couple of years, and maybe that changes for the better.


I wouldn't go that far, because after Sept 2011 it's going to be hard to have that level of confidence again. I would say my view is pretty similar yours: I think it's realistic to expect improvements on Crawford's, Lackey's, Wakefield's, Daisuke's, and Drew's dismal 2011 performances, and that the Chicken Littles in this thread aren't realizing how big of an upgrade league average performance would be for those innings.

The bullpen is probably not as good, but it also is very up in the air depending on how the Boston's Next Starter contest goes, Rich Hill's TJ recovery, and prospects' development (Wilson, Tazawa, Doubront). I'm optimistic about catcher, both on Salty improving and Lavarnway adding a mid-season boost.

You're right that we should expect a downgrade at SS, but what I'm saying about arbitrage is that the sum total of Cody Ross and $4m in savings outweighs that, even though it's not a huge improvement.

Edited by doctorogres, 25 January 2012 - 12:46 PM.


#43 scramer14

  • 10 posts

Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:56 PM

To many of the other Red Sox forums posters are just bashing the Sox over and over again and yet we haven't played any of the season or any game at all. I don't see why people take the media predictions so seriously and use them religiously of how the season is going to turn out.

#44 Stanley Steamer

  • 601 posts

Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:04 PM

Funny thing about the future: it ain't here yet.

#45 Towney007

  • 222 posts

Posted 26 January 2012 - 05:43 PM

Looks like the Red Sox medical team ran Dan Wheeler out of town.

#46 untilthebombs

  • 253 posts

Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:44 PM

Looks like the Red Sox medical team ran Dan Wheeler out of town.


Though maybe not malicious, "I'd like to go somewhere where I can actually help and get in there and pitch," sounds more like a shot at how the team was run under Tito last year.

#47 SpruceTrap

  • Pip
  • 758 posts

Posted 07 February 2012 - 10:27 PM

One: offseason is NOT won on paper, as sox fans we should know this (last offseason ring a bell)

two: the yankees needed a #2, the sox need a #5
three lester, beckett, clay= or is close to= to NYY 1-3
four. we get a #5 starter we will be fine, we didn't need a #2
five- our BP is a lot better then it was last year
six: offseason is not over yet
agree or disagree with these points?


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I'm not sure how much of this I agree with. Whether somone is a #2 or #3 starter is largely semantics. I think the Yankees have three or so #3 starters who will at least give them innings. I think that is what gives them an advantage in their starting rotation.

I do agree that the issue of who will be our #5 starter is overblown. I can't think of any teams that have a solid #5 starter. But we need multiple starters and while I think Bard will do a good job it's no guarantee.

I don't agree that our bullpen is better. I think Bailey has health issues and I'm not sure that we can count on Aceves duplicating the year he had last year. I do like Melancon though, I think he can give us a lot of innings with similar production to what we got from Bard last year. Bard's poor September really hurt his overall numbers.

I think we're stacked with talent and we don't have as many question marks as most teams. I think people are more down on the team than they should be because we didn't make big name free agent signings. And like usual, I think how good we are and where we'll finish in the division will come down to health. If 3/5s of our rotation didn't go on the DL last year, we probably would not have had a September collapse.

#48 shootah

  • 1 posts

Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:25 PM

Excellent article by Speier about why it might be wise under the new CBA to have a few dollars left to spend mid-season......

http://www.weei.com/...od-year-red-sox-

#49 koufax37

  • 2,257 posts

Posted 12 February 2012 - 12:47 AM

Last year we were supposed to win the WS. This year we are supposed to be third place. The team is very similar, and I think in both cases a 93-94 win team in substance (last year we underperformed with a terrible start and finish). 1-2 in the rotation should be similar, 3 is tremendously improved if Clay is more healthy than last year (doesn't have to throw 200 for that to be the case). I am hugely bullish on Bard as a starter, and think he will be impactful at #4, and Aceves for now at #5 will be fine as a #5.

Dice-K comes back healthy and pushes someone back to the pen (Aceves as the swing, or eventually Bard for inning limit), which is good, because until that happens, our bullpen is definitely worse than last year's Aceves-Bard-Papelbon. Not significantly worse in practical terms, but definitely a notch below with some things to prove. I also think Padilla will be more valuable than the parade of guys with 7+ ERAs we saw last year when injuries happened.

Remember, we aren't expecting the bottom of our rotation to win 2-1 games, and I think the group will be in great shape to win 6-4 and 7-5 games and keep them from turning into 8-6 and 9-7 losses. Our offense should be pretty similar with Ortiz and Ells down a little, Crawford and RF up a little, and more ABs from Youk. I think we give up many fewer runs than last year and win more games as a result.

#50 MikeM

  • 841 posts

Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:05 PM

Excellent article by Speier about why it might be wise under the new CBA to have a few dollars left to spend mid-season......

http://www.weei.com/...od-year-red-sox-



:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

First it was all just a matter of being conservative this winter...with big plans to spend huge on that big name starter NEXT winter. Then it was (still is infact ) round and round we go with this supposed grand design to stay under the LT this winter, as of course that's really all that is holding us back from spending that extra 2-3 million on a guy we'd otherwise want atm.

Now this. Don't worry guys, still nothing to see here. If you just ignore everything going on around you right now, and resist that overwhelming urge to ask yourself "wait a sec...if money is already this tight now, and i realistically know better then to bank on the overly-optimistic/hypothetical midseason trade scenario doing me any favors........", this rather generic application on the general importance of having mid-season financial flexibility makes perfect sense out of everything for us in the here and now.

Is the Worst and Most Pointless Mid-Season Trade Speculation Ever thread up yet?

(September, and that chance to redeem ourselves, can't come sooner for me atm)

Edited by MikeM, 12 February 2012 - 05:08 PM.