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Would you move Ellsbury out of the leadoff spot?


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Poll: Would you move Ellsbury out of the leadoff spot? (183 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you move Ellsbury out of the leadoff spot?

  1. No (107 votes [62.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 62.21%

  2. Yes (33 votes [19.19%])

    Percentage of vote: 19.19%

  3. It depends on if he continues to show power (27 votes [15.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.70%

  4. Other (5 votes [2.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.91%

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#151 Plympton91


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Posted 24 February 2012 - 11:14 PM

I'd agree with that if Crawford was a .330 OBP guy like his career number, but more recently he's a .355 guy and you want to make him comfortable as possible. It might not be perfect, but that was problem from day 1 with our other players. Offsetting perfection, with good fits and comfort will be the compromise come April 5th I bet.


What is your definition of recently? He was under 300 in 2011 and about .320 in 2008. To me, he seems like an inconsistent player who tops out around .350 or so.

#152 SoxScout


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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:07 AM

What is your definition of recently? He was under 300 in 2011 and about .320 in 2008. To me, he seems like an inconsistent player who tops out around .350 or so.


In the last 3 seasons that he got over 600 PA and didn't miss a month of the season on the DL he has hit:

.307 / .356 / .495
.305 / .364 / .452
.315 / .355 / .466

#153 rembrat


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Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:57 AM

I was actually going to say he seems pretty consistent when he isnt hurt. Using 08' to prove anything is silly given he was injured that year.

History also says his OBP skills have a shot at getting better with every passing year.

#154 C4CRVT

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 08:49 AM

In the last 3 seasons that he got over 600 PA and didn't miss a month of the season on the DL he has hit:

.307 / .356 / .495
.305 / .364 / .452
.315 / .355 / .466


It seems like you're trying to say that if he's healthy his projection is .308/358/.470 ish.

Youkilis, Ortiz and Gonzalez at their projection are all better hitters with better OBP and better SLG. Pedroia is also better with higher OBP and similar SLG. With Ellsbury, it depends on whether or not he can reproduce his 2010. The line you're suggesting for CC is essentially the projection for Ellsbury. So IF Ellsbury's 2010 was a mirage and IF CC regains his form, he and Ellsbury are interchangeable in the lineup. If CC rebounds to what you're suggesting and Ells reproduces his 2010 (or even close), CC's still the 6th best hitter on the team.

It's also worth noting that when platooned, the RF tandem of Ross versus LHP (last 3 years) (.272/.342/.521) and Sweeney versus RHP (.299/.354/.402) might produce an aggregate of .285/.350/.430 ish. More or less a flat foot tie with Crawford's projected hitting value IMO.

Crawford and Sweeney are both beyond putrid against LHP. So much so that I think it's debatable whether or not it makes sense to put Aviles in LF so that Punto's bat can replace CC's bat. CC has him in SLG by 30-40 points but Punto has him by 50-60 in OBP. If Crawford's defense or baserunning were as advertised, it wouldn't be a question but considering his value there has been negligible...

#155 SoxScout


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Posted 25 February 2012 - 09:10 AM

It seems like you're trying to say that if he's healthy his projection is .308/358/.470 ish.

Youkilis, Ortiz and Gonzalez at their projection are all better hitters with better OBP and better SLG. Pedroia is also better with higher OBP and similar SLG. With Ellsbury, it depends on whether or not he can reproduce his 2010. The line you're suggesting for CC is essentially the projection for Ellsbury. So IF Ellsbury's 2010 was a mirage and IF CC regains his form, he and Ellsbury are interchangeable in the lineup. If CC rebounds to what you're suggesting and Ells reproduces his 2010 (or even close), CC's still the 6th best hitter on the team.

It's also worth noting that when platooned, the RF tandem of Ross versus LHP (last 3 years) (.272/.342/.521) and Sweeney versus RHP (.299/.354/.402) might produce an aggregate of .285/.350/.430 ish. More or less a flat foot tie with Crawford's projected hitting value IMO.

Crawford and Sweeney are both beyond putrid against LHP. So much so that I think it's debatable whether or not it makes sense to put Aviles in LF so that Punto's bat can replace CC's bat. CC has him in SLG by 30-40 points but Punto has him by 50-60 in OBP. If Crawford's defense or baserunning were as advertised, it wouldn't be a question but considering his value there has been negligible...


If he is healthy and doesn't have one of his monster seasons, 300/350/450 seems like reasonable guess. Yes, that slash line doesn't match up great with the rest of the lineup in the highest scoring offense in the highest scoring league of last year. However, I think, and what I think the Red Sox will do, will be just to bat him second anyways. He is not going to be a drag if he is "Carl Crawford", if he isn't, sure, move him down the lineup after 50 games. The point is I think this is the lineup that will be "most comfortable" to everyone, which might be better, or much better, than having the optimal OBP/SLG lineup but not having everyone settled into their role.

There is no way in hell Crawford is platooned. Maybe he gets some built in rest days, especially early, against elite LHP. But that's about it.

Crawford's April was just SOOO bad last year that it clouds everything. .279/.309/.447 from May 1 - the end of the season isn't great, but it's not totally miserable. If he put up that line in April too people would just chalk it up to a year of adjustments and saying he is ready to breakout. Not to mention he played while getting injections in his wrist and a bad hamstring at one point.

Edited by SoxScout, 25 February 2012 - 09:15 AM.


#156 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:02 AM

Crawford and Sweeney are both beyond putrid against LHP. So much so that I think it's debatable whether or not it makes sense to put Aviles in LF so that Punto's bat can replace CC's bat. CC has him in SLG by 30-40 points but Punto has him by 50-60 in OBP. If Crawford's defense or baserunning were as advertised, it wouldn't be a question but considering his value there has been negligible...


Career wOBA vs. LHP:
Crawford .301
Punto .292

And on top of that, you get the defensive difference between Crawford and Aviles.

At the very least, if you're going to sub for Crawford vs. LHP, do it with McDonald, who's actually an outfielder, and leave Aviles at shortstop.

#157 Al Zarilla


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Posted 25 February 2012 - 10:15 AM

C4, I hope Ellsbury doesn't repeat his 2010. :unsure: Have to find a comp to Ells going from somewhere near average hitter to MVP type. First guy to come to mind was Dwight Evans, but he did it much more gradually. So, we have two big 2011 anomaly guys and which way will they go this year? Keep Ellsbury at leadoff, but I wonder if his agent is putting a bug in his ear that #3 hitters make more money.

#158 C4CRVT

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:55 PM

C4, I hope Ellsbury doesn't repeat his 2010. :unsure: Have to find a comp to Ells going from somewhere near average hitter to MVP type. First guy to come to mind was Dwight Evans, but he did it much more gradually. So, we have two big 2011 anomaly guys and which way will they go this year? Keep Ellsbury at leadoff, but I wonder if his agent is putting a bug in his ear that #3 hitters make more money.

D'oh! 2011 of course!

If he is healthy and doesn't have one of his monster seasons, 300/350/450 seems like reasonable guess. Yes, that slash line doesn't match up great with the rest of the lineup in the highest scoring offense in the highest scoring league of last year. However, I think, and what I think the Red Sox will do, will be just to bat him second anyways. He is not going to be a drag if he is "Carl Crawford", if he isn't, sure, move him down the lineup after 50 games. The point is I think this is the lineup that will be "most comfortable" to everyone, which might be better, or much better, than having the optimal OBP/SLG lineup but not having everyone settled into their role.

There is no way in hell Crawford is platooned. Maybe he gets some built in rest days, especially early, against elite LHP. But that's about it.

Crawford's April was just SOOO bad last year that it clouds everything. .279/.309/.447 from May 1 - the end of the season isn't great, but it's not totally miserable. If he put up that line in April too people would just chalk it up to a year of adjustments and saying he is ready to breakout. Not to mention he played while getting injections in his wrist and a bad hamstring at one point.


I understand what you're saying regarding CC's comfort level but I'm not a big believer in predictive value of the relative batting lines from the batting order slot. There is no guarantee of health for any of the players and I believe that that's what gets built into the projection systems. I think it's safe to say that he's one of the hardest players to project on this team. I understand that you're bullish on his return to form but I think there's ample reason to be very cautious in our optimism. I also believe that his platoon split has always been pretty big and that his defense and baserunning haven't lived up to my expectations in a way that would offset the lack of offensive production.

WRT platooning, here are Crawford's last three years wOBA versus LHP (a stat I haven't studied but seems to be the go-to-all-in-one for the statistically inclined).

2011-.251
2010-.308
2009-.313

D. McDonald same
2011-.349
2010-.360
2009-.405

Aviles same
2011-.390
2010-.288
2009-.245

Punto same
2011-.347
2010-.274
2009-.295

I agree with you about who I had suggested would be the most appropriate platoon partner. McDonald is clearly a better fit given his natural defensive position and his history of hitting well against LHP. However, until CC can prove he belongs in the lineup against LHP or until his baserunning and defense start to make up for the difference, I'm going to be an advocate for him to be platooned. You're probably right, it won't happen (at least not to the extent that it should) but I think it costs the team runs.

#159 rembrat


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Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:32 PM

A problem with batting Crawford 2nd is that he is not going to be joining the team until well into the season. What if the offense is performing very well with the established lineup? Do you slide Crawford into the 2nd slot because you think he'll do well there or do you slot him lower in the lineup and let him get some ABs to see how he does?


Doesn't look like it as of today but that could change of course.

Asked when Crawford looks like he might return to games, Valentine said, “Sooner than I thought originally. Hopefully, not so soon that it sets him back. We’re trying to make the time right. Of course, we’ve talked about some absolute time frames. We’re not trying to set that out as a public statement right now, but he’s doing well.

“I think [playing on Opening Day] could be realistic, but again I don’t know. I wouldn’t doubt it. Talking to Carl, I wouldn’t doubt many things. He seems very determined.”


http://fullcount.wee...felix-doubront/

#160 Plympton91


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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:58 PM

Crawford's April was just SOOO bad last year that it clouds everything. .279/.309/.447 from May 1 - the end of the season isn't great, but it's not totally miserable.


From a $20 million corner outfielder who played only average defense and despite his speed might have been a net negative on the basepaths, the only appropriate term is "pathetic." Take away 25 points of slugging and That's basically what they're expecting from Mike Aviles this season. He's only getting about $2 million.

The thing that worried me about Crawford then and still worries me now is how ill suited his offensive game is for Fenway. The difference between the distances in straightaway rightfield and the difference between the rock hard TB turf and the long grass at Fenway both seemed noticeable to me. Take away just 4 singles, 1 double, and 2 HRs because of those and even his best TB seasons aren't quite as eye catching.

I hope he can be a 300 / 350 / 470 player with +15 defense and 40 steals against 8 CS over each of the next 6 seasons. But even if he did that, they'd still have been infinitely better off signing Matt Holliday.

I'm going to be really pissed when David Ortiz gets blown off in 2013 in part because they have to pay and endure this clown for another 5 seasons

#161 redsox2020

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:13 PM

There's no defending what Crawford did last season, but I don't get the specific criticism of his "Fenway game". I thought a big part of why we picked him up was to address our weakness on the road. Those 81 games matter just as much as the 81 in Boston. As recently as 2008 & 2009, we had identical 39-42 road records despite winning 95 games each season. That was kind of a big deal at the time. I don't believe Crawford's helped much in that respect yet, but I thought that was the plan & it may yet bear fruit if he rebounds to career norms.

#162 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:12 PM

Also, if you go here: http://katron.org/pr...l/hit-location/

and look at Crawford's Fenway hits superimposed over Tropicana, you will see that he didn't hit a single fly out in Fenway last year that would have been a HR in Tropicana. He just wasn't making his usual quality contact.

#163 Laser Show

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:45 PM

FWIW, Edes was on with Roche just now on WBZ Sports Final and he said (paraphrasing) that he thought the lineup issue would be resolved "pretty quickly" and that he thinks it's going to be a Ellsbury-Crawford-Pedroia top of the order.

#164 TomRicardo


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Posted 26 February 2012 - 11:56 PM

FWIW, Edes was on with Roche just now on WBZ Sports Final and he said (paraphrasing) that he thought the lineup issue would be resolved "pretty quickly" and that he thinks it's going to be a Ellsbury-Crawford-Pedroia top of the order.


That is enough to make me start respecting SJH's view of Valentine.

Crawford - the mistake Theo ran from.

#165 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:34 AM

That is enough to make me start respecting SJH's view of Valentine.

Crawford - the mistake Theo ran from.


As to the latter, I completely agree. Perhaps Cherington can find suckers out there like Anthopoulos could, but even then there's probably two years of guaranteed contract to pay.

Which is why as to the former, I disagree. Lemons out of lemonade, or whatever. The '12 Sox will still score a bunch of runs, even without a wholly-optimized lineup. I just hope the pitching down the stretch is better.

#166 LesterFan

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:33 AM

Also, if you go here: http://katron.org/pr...l/hit-location/

and look at Crawford's Fenway hits superimposed over Tropicana, you will see that he didn't hit a single fly out in Fenway last year that would have been a HR in Tropicana. He just wasn't making his usual quality contact.


This immediately made me think about this one. Anywhere else and we make the playoffs!
http://mlb.mlb.com/v...391423&c_id=mlb

According to ESPN Stats & Info, it would have been a homer in any other park. And according to that place you linked to, he also hit another one in a similar spot that would have been a homer in Tampa.

Posted Image

Edited by LesterFan, 27 February 2012 - 02:51 AM.


#167 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 09:51 AM

Oops, my bad. I didn't see the two orange dots tucked into the "322." Middle age sucks.

#168 jose melendez


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:30 AM

Funny, I always thought it was going to be Ellsbury, Crawford, Pedroia... and you know what, I'm okay with it. I think, except for the fact that he sucks in the one hole that Crawford first makes more sense rather than having Ellsbury hit after the schlock at the bottom.

Ultimately, I think there are only two options--put CC right near the top of the lineup (1 or 2) or slide him way down and see if he can generate some offense in the dead part of the line up by getting on and then stealing.

#169 rembrat


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 11:31 AM

Funny, I always thought it was going to be Ellsbury, Crawford, Pedroia... and you know what, I'm okay with it. I think, except for the fact that he sucks in the one hole that Crawford first makes more sense rather than having Ellsbury hit after the schlock at the bottom.

Ultimately, I think there are only two options--put CC right near the top of the lineup (1 or 2) or slide him way down and see if he can generate some offense in the dead part of the line up by getting on and then stealing.


And that option, in Crawford's opinion, did not work out last year. All signs are pointing to the #2 hole.

#170 geoduck no quahog


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:04 PM

Does Crawford hit markedly better with a man on first base?

That may have something to do with eventual lineup positioning.

#171 tims4wins


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 01:10 PM

Does Crawford hit markedly better with a man on first base?

That may have something to do with eventual lineup positioning.


Career stats (against a career OPS of 773):

RUNNER ON FIRST
Man on 1st: 799 OPS
Men on 1st/2nd: 764 OPS
Men on 1st/3rd: 790 OPS
Bases loaded: 980 OPS

NO RUNNER ON FIRST
None one: 747 OPS
Man on 2nd: 843 OPS
Man on 3rd: 900 OPS
Men on 2nd/3rd: 641 OPS

You could make the argument he is slightly better with a man on first than without one, but the same argument can probably be made for every player

Edit: clarity

Edited by tims4wins, 27 February 2012 - 01:24 PM.


#172 TomRicardo


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Posted 27 February 2012 - 04:58 PM

And that option, in Crawford's opinion, did not work out last year. All signs are pointing to the #2 hole.


And Crawford's opinion is dead wrong as the stats show. He is an idiot who should shut the hell up until he actually plays like a semi decent player.