Bradley: Deal with It.

nvalvo

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While Bradley added .133 to his season OPS (.426->.559) on Sunday, I'm not sure he really has the bat to carry LF. 
 
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Trotsky said:
If he's not in CF, RF makes more sense to me with Castillo in LF.  JBJ has the gun and range for Fenway's RF
 
Castillo learning how to play RF in Fenway is more important than optimizing the OF alignment right now.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The X Man Cometh said:
 
Castillo learning how to play RF in Fenway is more important than optimizing the OF alignment right now.
 
They're in Miami tonight.
 

shaggydog2000

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HillysLastWalk said:
 
What is Project Shutdown mode?  And why would Hanley be entering it?
 
The article states that he is hurt - do you not believe him?
 
Hanley's been accused of being a dog before. Not saying I buy that narrative as being true yet. 3 games off after fouling a ball off yourself isn't hockey player level grit, but it's not outrageous either.  Maybe we can figure out if that rep is deserved or not over the rest of this season.  Not that we or the Sox can do anything with the info at this point.  Except try not to be out of playoff races with two months left in the future.  And really, if he sits a few extra games the rest of this year, and we get more looks at Bradley and Castillo, is that hurting anyone?  
 

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As much as I'd like to see JBJ in CF long-term the only way you can plan for that and disrupt Mookie's acclimation to CF and Rusney settling into RF is if JBJ forces the issue with his bat. He should get starts across all 3 OF spots in the vacant spots until he shows he's more than a 4th OF/ defensive replacement.
 

grimshaw

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This kind of sounds like a non-issue since it's probably only one game.  Not sure why this is thread-worthy.
 

geoduck no quahog

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What comes to my mind is they've decided Betts and Castillo are CF-RF of the near future and that JBJ will fill in without disrupting the progress of others.

That makes me a little sad.
 

alwyn96

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HillysLastWalk said:
 
What is Project Shutdown mode?  And why would Hanley be entering it?
 
The article states that he is hurt - do you not believe him?
 
It might be a reference to Operation Shutdown, and the original Operation Shutdown is one of my favorite things in baseball. The original Operation Shutdown happened when Derrek Bell, obnoxious OF for the Pirates, was told he would have to compete for a starting job. He was furious that he would have endure the indignity of competing, and said he was going into "Operation Shutdown" to protest this unfair treatment, and that he wouldn't compete for a starting job. 
 
Bell is still in Operation Shutdown to this day. 
 
The circumstances aren't very similar to this, but I still find Operation Shutdown totally hilarious. 
 

nothumb

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OCD SS said:
As much as I'd like to see JBJ in CF long-term the only way you can plan for that and disrupt Mookie's acclimation to CF and Rusney settling into RF is if JBJ forces the issue with his bat. He should get starts across all 3 OF spots in the vacant spots until he shows he's more than a 4th OF/ defensive replacement.
 
yup. i'd like to see him get ~4 starts a week spelling all 3 spots and also pushing hanley to DH occasionally against lefties. it's not everyday ABs for him, but it's about as fair to everyone as you could hope for, at least until hanley goes on the DL with a strained dreadlock.
 

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JBJ should play as much as possible to see if he can hit--it doesn't matter which field he plays this lost season because he's a frickin' prodigy and can do anything in the OF. As such, fielding assignments should be based on the potential for developing the fielding skills in the other OFs.
 
Yes, watching JBJ in the hardest position is more fun, but it has less value in terms of developing the long-term potential of the team.
 

shaggydog2000

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There is no Rev said:
JBJ should play as much as possible to see if he can hit--it doesn't matter which field he plays this lost season because he's a frickin' prodigy and can do anything in the OF. As such, fielding assignments should be based on the potential for developing the fielding skills in the other OFs.
 
Yes, watching JBJ in the hardest position is more fun, but it has less value in terms of developing the long-term potential of the team.
That's how I feel.  You don't learn anything about Bradley if he plays center, we know he can field that position incredibly well. And optimizing defensive lineups isn't important when wins don't matter as much as player development. The question is the bat, and we can find out about that no matter what position he plays, as long as he gets to play.  Until he shows he has a decent shot of sticking as a starter, you shouldn't move your currently very good starter in Betts out of the position, especially since Betts is still developing defensively at a new position.  And Castillo also seems much more likely to stick as a starter given his numbers last year combined with his performance this year since his latest recall.  
 
Which is in part the reason for this post. (Besides trying to make an Operation Shutdown joke that only one person seems to have gotten, because I loved that non-event endlessly) To me his start in LF tonight seems to suggest the Sox agree that Betts and Castillo are the more likely combo for CF-RF next year, and are fitting in Bradley where they can to see if his bat has come around.  Or maybe I'm just projecting my hopes and dreams.  
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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adam42381 said:
Many of us share the same dream.
 
I think everyone shares in the dream that JBJ hits well enough to force his way into the center every night. He just has a ways to go to get there and in the mean time, they have another really promising young player doing quite well out there.
 

Andrew

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grimshaw said:
This kind of sounds like a non-issue since it's probably only one game.  Not sure why this is thread-worthy.
 
Well, I'm interested because I had been wondering what would happen in the (magical christmas-land) scenario that JBJ and Mookie are both good enough to be every day players. JBJ is a stud CF defensively but Mookie isn't bad. If you could assume they both will have lengthy careers you'd want JBJ in CF and Mookie in the corner, but if you don't think JBJ will ever find his way in the majors you'd rather just keep Mookie stuck in CF so he can improve.
 

jscola85

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If Betts and JBJ play together, is there and argument at least for home games that JBJ should play RF given his much stronger arm and the massive amount of room to cover in Fenway's right field? I can understand on the road that may not be the best allocation of talent but for 81 games a year the D might be better with JBJ in right.
 

Drek717

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Another great catch tonight from his time in LF.  It doesn't matter where you play him in the OF, Bradley will find a way to steal a hit from somebody.  Betts is settling into CF nicely at this time, Castillo needs to focus on getting into a groove with as little distraction as possible.  If Bradley's bat keeps pushing the issue we revisit who plays where next year, right now just get all three of them as many ABs as possible so 2016 starts on the right foot unlike 2014 and 2015.
 
Another 2 hit night with a big triple and scoring twice.  That against a LH starter when even this year in AAA he has struggled with LHPs.  Bradley is starting to look like the confident, talented player who showed up for spring training 2013.  Real nice to see and I hope it keeps going.  Obviously it would be hugely beneficial for the Sox, that aside it's also just plain nice to see a young guy with so much talent get rewarded.  Who knows how long the summer of Bradley will last but baseball is a better game when he has nights like tonight.
 

Reverend

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canderson said:
I dream of an outfield in JBJ in CF, Mookie in RF and Castillo in LF.
Doesn't Castillo have a better arm or am I mistaken?
 

Plympton91

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canderson said:
I dream of an outfield in JBJ in CF, Mookie in RF and Castillo in LF.
 
Mookie has by far the weakest and least accurate arm of the 3.  If that's a dream outfield, it's got Betts in LF.  My dream outfield would project to hit more than 45 or so HR's combined, but to each his own.
 

Lowrielicious

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Plympton91 said:
 
Mookie has by far the weakest and least accurate arm of the 3.  If that's a dream outfield, it's got Betts in LF.  My dream outfield would project to hit more than 45 or so HR's combined, but to each his own.
My dream outfield would have 45 or so HRs each.
 
 
the combined yearly HR output of both teams in the world series for the last few years. 2014: 76, 2013: 130, 2012: 77.
 

Drek717

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Plympton91 said:
 
Mookie has by far the weakest and least accurate arm of the 3.  If that's a dream outfield, it's got Betts in LF.  My dream outfield would project to hit more than 45 or so HR's combined, but to each his own.
Depends very much on what they all settle into being.
 
If Mookie is a roughly .800 OPS guy with 15-20 HR power and 15-20 steals at a >75% success rate, Castillo is a .750 guy with 15-20 HR power and 15-20 SBs at a >75% success rate, and Jackie Bradley is a .700 OPS guy with ~10 HRs with roughly 10 SBs with a >75% success rate you're talking about an outfield with 40-50 HRs and probably a shit ton of doubles and singles turned into doubles from base stealing.  They're also all real threats to get home from second on a single, and would arguably be the best defensive OF in all of baseball.
 
I think it's something you could win some games with.  Not if you're counting on Clay Buchholz and Rick Porcello to anchor your pitching staff, but if you had a couple legitimate starters to front end the rotation.  
 
Better yet, Jackie has a serious split over his career AAA numbers and Castillo has sported one through both his AAA and ML samples.  The later will likely shrink if Castillo sticks as a starter (the shortened swing referenced in a recent article is likely helping in large part with his ability to hit RHP), but adding a 4th OF with some pop who can simply hold down LF and share time with the three athletes isn't a bad way to get some extra HR power, keep guys fresh, and carry some built in injury protection.
 

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From what I've seen, Rusney has awful baseball instincts. And as the Manny Ramirez era taught us, the place for a Red Sox OF with lousy instincts is LF where he can do the least harm.

I prefer Mookie in CF and JBJ in RF at least at Fenway. JBJ's arm and range make him the best candidate for RF at Fenway, which I would argue calls for your best defensive outfielder (even moreso that CF).

In fact with Mookie in center and JBJ in right you could probably spread them or shade them enough to cover even more ground and shore up Rusney's suspect defense.

(And Hanley can pound salt for all I care. He's dead to me unless he can learn to play 1st or someone Giloolies Panda and he can prove himself at 3rd.)
 

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Farrell said as much tonight in the pre-game interview.  Nonetheless, he said that he placed JBJ in left because he had at least logged a few innings there in spring training, whereas neither Mookie nor Rusnay had done so.
 

Sprowl

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grimshaw said:
This kind of sounds like a non-issue since it's probably only one game.  Not sure why this is thread-worthy.
 
It's not a one-game issue, it's a rest-of-lost-season issue, and the lost season has a long time to go.
 
Also, SoSH needs more threads, not fewer. Don't play thread police.
 
canderson said:
I dream of an outfield in JBJ in CF, Mookie in RF and Castillo in LF.
 
I wouldn't trust Mookie's arm in RF, while Castillo definitely has the arm strength. Castillo's judgment may come with time, and MLB experience in 2015 is what he'll have to make do with. Best to leave him in RF for as many games as possible, since experience is more important for him, given his late start.
 
There is no Rev said:
Doesn't Castillo have a better arm or am I mistaken?
I'd say that Bradley and Castillo have cannons, although Bradley's has a slightly higher caliber. Betts has average arm strength, but below-average accuracy, and a tendency toward the high and outside.
 

HomeRunBaker

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BCsMightyJoeYoung said:
Because the other JBJ thread was locked and it's fun to talk about him. Why else?
JBJ is arguably the most polarizing player on this team. Why would his thread ever be locked?
 

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I don't think JBJ is going to be the long term left fielder.  I'm willing to give Farrell and the ops team a lot of random potshots, but abject refusal to acknowledge the obvious isn't something I'll curse them for.
 
Mookie has had a bit of a layoff with the concussion, it probably makes the most sense for him to play CF where he is comfortable.  As well, it would be somewhat disastrous for him to run head first into a wall because he wasn't familiar enough with the angles, etc.  JBJ is a defensive savant and can most likely make the switches in position on the fly.
 

NickEsasky

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Going from CF to LF or RF probably wouldn't be that much of a difficult transition, especially for a guy like JBJ. However, going from LF to RF or vice versa is a whole different ball of wax. The ball comes off the bat very differently in LF vs. RF, and as shaky as Castillo has looked at times I'd hate to have him have to make that transition on the fly. Putting JBJ out there probably maximizes the comfort and skills for each of the three in the short term. 
 

grimshaw

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Sprowl said:
 
It's not a one-game issue, it's a rest-of-lost-season issue, and the lost season has a long time to go.
 
Also, SoSH needs more threads, not fewer. Don't play thread police.
 
 
My point was that he was in LF because Hanley was still banged up and that there isn't much of a shock that he could slide in and play LF.  Of course I want to see him the rest of the year, but I don't see it as a sign he's going to continue to start until one of the other guys rides the pine while healthy.
 

JimD

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FWIW, here is a scouting report on Rusney from a year ago:
 
 
DEFENSE
While Castillo played mostly right field with his Cuban professional team, he played center field for the national team and impressed while doing so.
His reads off the bat are considered excellent. With closing speed and efficient route running, Castillo could be an above-average center fielder. The only knock on him is his arm.
"I don’t see that as a major hitch," Badler said. "There aren’t a ton of center fielders that are really playing with above-average arms right now. You look at his speed, jumps and reads he gets off the bat, there’s going to be plenty of range for him to play center field."
 
Emphasis mine.
 
Not suggesting he should replace either Betts or Bradley in CF, but perhaps the defensive miscues we've seen from Castillo thus far are related to the long layoff and getting acclimated in a new environment.
 
http://www.masslive.com/redsox/index.ssf/2014/08/scouting_report_on_rusney_cast.html
 

shaggydog2000

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JimD said:
FWIW, here is a scouting report on Rusney from a year ago:
 
 
 
Emphasis mine.
 
Not suggesting he should replace either Betts or Bradley in CF, but perhaps the defensive miscues we've seen from Castillo thus far are related to the long layoff and getting acclimated in a new environment.
 
http://www.masslive.com/redsox/index.ssf/2014/08/scouting_report_on_rusney_cast.html
 
 
Also, you just don't know what weird stuff they taught him to do in Cuba.  One article I read mentioned he had been told in Cuba that he should always swing if he sees a runner in motion, no matter how good the pitch is or what the situation is.  He played a while there, it must be hard to un-learn a decade worth of bad advice.  I don't know how that would effect fielding, but they may have aligned him completely differently in the outfield and told him to do things a certain way that just isn't done in the MLB.  Who knows?
 

jscola85

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JimD said:
FWIW, here is a scouting report on Rusney from a year ago:
 
 
 
Emphasis mine.
 
Not suggesting he should replace either Betts or Bradley in CF, but perhaps the defensive miscues we've seen from Castillo thus far are related to the long layoff and getting acclimated in a new environment.
 
http://www.masslive.com/redsox/index.ssf/2014/08/scouting_report_on_rusney_cast.html
Castillo got an excellent jump last night on a ball that went deep into the RF corner.  He's been something of a mixed bag in my eyes, but he's not even remotely in the Manny territory.
 

pantsparty

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Sprowl said:
I'd say that Bradley and Castillo have cannons, although Bradley's has a slightly higher caliber.
My decisively non-definitive eye test is that they both have similar arm strength, but JBJ seems to have better accuracy. I feel like I've seen JBJ have more throws be not on-target from taking an unfortunate bounce off the pitcher's mound than from actually being poorly thrown.
 

czar

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Re: JBJ in CF and Mookie in LF -- until JBJ's bat plays up enough that he shows he can be an everyday player, I'm completely for keeping the more likely long-term everyday CF developing in CF (that being Betts). JBJ easily appears to have the skillset to move back to CF if the need should arise, and it would be a welcome problem to have (having to move Betts off CF or play JBJ out of position) if he heats up with the bat (in roughly 1.3 seasons, his career wRC+ is 53). I don't understand the consternation (here and Twitter) with a JBJ-Betts-Castillo OF, especially in "evaluation mode."
 
I will also say, the seemingly improved batting eye from JBJ (thus far in 2015) has been a very welcome sight -- especially after PeteAbe spent the entire 2013 pre-season implying he'd have a negative K%-BB%.
 

jscola85

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JBJ with another great night, collecting his first 3-hit performance since April 2014, plus making a sensational catch in RF. Seems wherever he plays, he makes one terrific play each game defensively.

Since the recall (53 PAs), he has a .790 OPS and a respectable 23% K rate / 13% BB rate. Just as importantly, he's driving the ball, with 4 XBHs and just 12% of his contact being soft.

He needs to do it over a longer time period, but the first dozen or so games have been very promising for JBJ.
 

AB in DC

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JBJ needs to play 5+ games a week to see if he's really turned the corner or not.   At this point the team should just put Hanley on the DL to give his foot some time to heal, anyway.
 

TimScribble

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Best case scenario. An outfield next year of JBJ, Mook and Castillo. I think they have to try Hanley at first this year to see if it has potential or a disaster. If he's not gonna work at 1B, someone has to be traded this offseason.
 

Super Nomario

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TimScribble said:
Best case scenario. An outfield next year of JBJ, Mook and Castillo. I think they have to try Hanley at first this year to see if it has potential or a disaster. If he's not gonna work at 1B, someone has to be traded this offseason.
I see this suggested over and over again. I get that it's awesome defensively because it's got three centerfielders, but it's likely to be weak offensively, because it's got three centerfielders.
 
And fourth OF generally play in 100 games or more. If JBJ or Castillo ends up in that role, he'll get plenty of playing time. No one has to be traded.