J.D. Martinez: Hips Don't Lie

HriniakPosterChild

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Some teams may not get to 85% at all.

Scott Servais ‘concerned’ that Mariners won’t meet MLB threshold after COVID-19 vaccine offered to players, staff
In the midst of the conversation there was a noticeable change in Servais’ tone and voice. It wavered a few times as he talked about the importance of receiving the vaccine for overall health but also how it could possibly affect the team if a player tested positive for COVID-19.

There also was more than a strong tinge of hopelessness in his voice, perhaps knowing that the Mariners likely won’t get to the 85% threshold of full vaccination of people in Tier 1 where COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines might be relaxed.
“I think the last I heard there are 10 teams that at 85%,” Servais said. “And there’s some others that are creeping closer to that.”

While the Major League Baseball Players Association is pushing for players to get vaccinated, it is hyper aware of teams trying push vaccines on players who are resistant to receiving it.

Servais has been more vocal and frank about the situation than most managers who don’t want to come close to that line. He’s stressed that it’s an individual decision for each player.
 

joe dokes

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JD has left plenty of bread crumbs about his views since he has joined the Red Sox. As @shaggydog2000 says, for Sox fans it is best to enjoy his skill as a baseball player and not even think about anything else.
I'm reminded of what Earl Weaver (I think) said about his team when asked about (?)Jim Palmer(?) not liking him: "There's about 24 guys; 8 hate me, 8 like me, and 8 dont give a shit. The key is keeping the ones who hate me away from the ones who dont give a shit about me."
I hope that JD only spreads the gospel of hitting.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s against it, but it’s not obvious that it’s himself he’s talking about. He says “it’d be nice to have [the 85%] advantages, but to each his own” or something like that. Sounds like some other Sox don’t want it and he just doesn’t wanna say something critical
 

RIrooter09

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It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s against it, but it’s not obvious that it’s himself he’s talking about. He says “it’d be nice to have [the 85%] advantages, but to each his own” or something like that. Sounds like some other Sox don’t want it and he just doesn’t wanna say something critical
Dude posted a Hitler meme on Instagram in support of the second amendment. This is who he is.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Found this JDM discussion laying around and wanted to reanimate after some game thread comments last night. What's the general take on him, not just here... but around Sox fandom? As in what's the sports talk radio's take on him too? He seems pretty generally disliked by SoSH despite still being a great very good hitter. He's no longer in his prime but he's still a dangerous bat. He's been in a shitty slump (along with Devers) that has really hurt the team but his bat (along with Devers) really carried the team the first half of the season. I don't think there's a way to separate his politics and his performance here in how he's viewed. I personally can't stand his politics but still like him as a player. He's not the beast in the middle of the lineup that I was expecting but he's still damn good and am expecting him to get out of his slump any day now. Sox have had plenty of other right wing nut jobs that I couldn't stand but was happy they were on the Sox (yeah I despised Schilling joining the Sox and his entire time here but was happy to have his performance... along with Papelbon and Beckett and others). But JDM's politics are during the time of Twitter and social media so it makes him more obvious.
But is he still worth the contract he signed? What do you think he'll do at the end of the season? Is the opt-out mutual? In many ways, I wouldn't mind it all if the Sox were able to lock up Schwarber but let JDM go and just try another year with Dalbec at 1st until Casas is ready. There's definitely too many DH's on the club right now and while I still think Devers is solid defensively at 3B and can stay there at least another 5 years (yeah, he makes a lot of boneheaded plays but his range is impressive) so I'm not worried about him crowding the DH/1B cluster in the future if both JDM and Schwarber are here in '22.
 

Max Power

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I don't think the lack of JD love is from anything personal about him. It's more that he has a shocking number of uncompetitive at bats in big situations for a guy who is generally a good hitter. This year he's put up a .738 OPS in close and late situations and .466!! when a runner's at third with less than 2 out. There's nothing more frustrating as a fan than seeing a runner at third left there by the middle of the lineup and he's been doing it more consistently than anyone.
 

mfried

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I don't think the lack of JD love is from anything personal about him. It's more that he has a shocking number of uncompetitive at bats in big situations for a guy who is generally a good hitter. This year he's put up a .738 OPS in close and late situations and .466!! when a runner's at third with less than 2 out. There's nothing more frustrating as a fan than seeing a runner at third left there by the middle of the lineup and he's been doing it more consistently than anyone.
JD looks terrible on the majority of outside breaking pitches from RHanders. The comparison with Schwarber and the desirability of replacement of JD by KS are very obvious.
 

sean1562

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The guy still has a .891 OPS and has been having a pretty solid August. A key member of the 2018 team that we all loved so much but I think it may be time to say goodbye if he opts out at the end of the season. $20 million for an aging DH is probably not what this team needs to spend its money on.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I think it’s a no brainer that he opts out, at his age he should be looking for total contract value over AAV, and he can certainly do better than 1 year / $19m coming off a ~900 OPS season. Add in the potential of universal DH and / or a work stoppage and there’s no reason for him to opt in. Sox would be best served moving on too, IMO.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I don't think the lack of JD love is from anything personal about him. It's more that he has a shocking number of uncompetitive at bats in big situations for a guy who is generally a good hitter. This year he's put up a .738 OPS in close and late situations and .466!! when a runner's at third with less than 2 out. There's nothing more frustrating as a fan than seeing a runner at third left there by the middle of the lineup and he's been doing it more consistently than anyone.
I think this is untrue.

In fact, I can not cite examples, but plenty of people on these boards know exactly what I'm referencing.

Probably a good barometer that an athletes personal life does, in fact, play into the way hes viewed. Subconscious or not.
 

CR67dream

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I think this is untrue.

In fact, I can not cite examples, but plenty of people on these boards know exactly what I'm referencing.

Probably a good barometer that an athletes personal life does, in fact, play into the way hes viewed. Subconscious or not.
If this conversation angle is going to happen, someone take it to V&N. Seriously, it could be interesting. I'll make my argument there.

Another reminder to all (honestly not singling you out, Kenny) that we've laid out the line regarding politics outside of V&N pretty clearly. We've now just about run out of reminders.

All I'll say here that is absent egregious (Schilling for example) behavior, this crowd is pretty much results driven. There certainly seems to be enough evidence that it is entirely reasonable to be quite frustrated with Martinez for overall performance issues without considering personal stuff. It's also reasonable that others may disagree and be happy, or at least satisfied, with JD's performance. Plenty to argue about in this forum without taking it off the field.
 

cantor44

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I think it’s a no brainer that he opts out, at his age he should be looking for total contract value over AAV, and he can certainly do better than 1 year / $19m coming off a ~900 OPS season. Add in the potential of universal DH and / or a work stoppage and there’s no reason for him to opt in. Sox would be best served moving on too, IMO.
I think his performance the rest of the season may influence if he opts out. He has surged a bit lately, but if slumping continues and his next six weeks look like his July slump or 2020 season, he may well stick around. Not the worse thing in the world if he does, to have him around for what may be his last somewhat productive year. But if he opts out, yes, best the Red Sox move on to a guy like Schwarber ....
 

grimshaw

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JD looks terrible on the majority of outside breaking pitches from RHanders. The comparison with Schwarber and the desirability of replacement of JD by KS are very obvious.
This seems like the case of Schwarber being a shiny new toy. I like him and all, and hope he sticks around, but his bat has been nowhere near JD's prime other than this season in 325 PA. He's a solidly above average player having a career year at the perfect time, and he's going to have plenty of suitors.

JDM's contract is absolutely fine and benign for this roster. Dombrowski priced him perfectly. If they moved on, I'm not sure Schwarber would be better bang for the buck, but maybe they think he'll fit their parameters.

I've always just wanted a rotating spot at DH and to reallocate that money to pitching. With how atrocious the defense has been, I want them more athletic and rested. It wouldn't kill the team if Bogaerts or Devers DH'd once every 8-10 games or so.

We also have no idea about opt-outs for players in this environment. The PA vs owner battle is going to be epic this winter. The free agent market is going to be a slow trickle so some guys may just go with stability.

Bryant is still the guy I want whether they move on from JDM or not.
 
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moretsyndrome

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When the team goes south like this, the guys with the sort of even-keel, poker-face demeanor of JD (Martinez, or Drew for that matter) tend to attract an outsized amount of criticism. Even more sophisticated fans throw things in the living room during the type of horrible baseball we've been witnessing lately, and seem to get more frustrated with guys who refuse to give in to that type of impulse on camera.

Of course, he's nowhere near someone like JD Drew's class as an outfielder, which makes it more puzzling that the team has painted itself into a corner and has to trot him out there more than it should. That's not technically his fault, though.
 
So far this season JD has been consistently hovering around .800 OPS with the exception of a crazy good April. I did a deep dive into the numbers to try to figure out what's up.

April/rest of season/2015-present

  • OSwing 37.9/37.5/34
  • ZSwing 81.6/78.6/77
  • Swing 54.7/54.3/51.3
  • OContact 52.2/62/58.3
  • ZContact 79.8/82.8/84.1
  • Contact 68.1/74.4/73.9
  • Swstr 17.3/13.9/13.4
  • BABIP .387/.329/.342
  • LD% 12.7/24.7/22.3
  • GB% 40.8/32.5/39.9
  • FB% 46.5/42.8/37.8
  • IFFB% 3.9/7.2/3.6
  • HR/FB 27.3/12/21
  • Pull/Center/Oppo 39.4/32.4/28.2 32.9/37/30.1 37.8/33.8/28.4
  • Soft/Medium/Hard 14.1/52.1/33.8 9.6/50.7/39.7 10.6/46.9/42.5
And a bit of Statcast Data, 2021 vs. average of 2015-2018

  • Barrel % 12.1/16.75
  • LA 17.4/13.95
  • EV 91.9/91.7
Comparing April stats to the rest of the season shows a few interesting trends. Although his swing rate is down slightly, his contact rate is up and unfortunately up the most against pitches out of the zone. He has traded a big chunk of his soft contact and a little medium contact for more hard contact, but he's hitting the ball to center and oppo more and pulling the ball less. He is hitting a lot more line drives, but he's also popping the ball up more and his HR/FB is WAY down. His BABIP is also down, but interestingly his wOBA and xWOBA are pretty even over the season.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of all this. Some of the story makes sense, but some of it doesn't. He's making contact outside the zone more but his hard contact is actually up. He's hitting more line drives, but his BABIP is down. I kinda suspect that a huge part of the problem is the popups and decrease in HR/FB (which are probably connected). His launch angle this year is the highest since 2015 and his barrel rate is down (and has been down from 2019 on). His exit velocity is right around the average from his most successful years.

So what gives? Is JD's problem this year one of launch angle? I really wish I could get statcast splits by month, as I'd love to see what JD's April launch angles looked like compared to the rest of the season. His April looked like vintage 2015-18 JD, perhaps a bit enhanced by some BABIP luck. The rest of the season looks like a possible new normal of ~.800 OPS which isn't great for a full time DH.
 

Eagle3

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JD is off the hook now that the Sox beat the Yankees and the Rays. He got off easy as far as criticism goes for the epic dumb ass self inflicted injury. Obviously he had some big hits in the 3 games he played so that minimized it, but missing the 2 games could have cost them more than it did, not to mention the injury prevented him from scoring on Renfroe's double in the 3rd inning yesterday. Should have been 6 - 0 instead of 5.
 

Van Everyman

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Seems like a bit of a negative take. It was a freak injury not carelessness. Besides, he’s hitting the ball really well right now – Frank Thomas mentioned on the postgame after game 2 I think that the ankle may have actually stabilized his swing mechanics a bit.
 

Rovin Romine

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Seems like a bit of a negative take. It was a freak injury not carelessness. Besides, he’s hitting the ball really well right now – Frank Thomas mentioned on the postgame after game 2 I think that the ankle may have actually stabilized his swing mechanics a bit.
If so, and he does not opt out, the Sox should hire an intern, give them a box full of banana peels, and tell them to stake out the staircases JD uses during spring training.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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If so, and he does not opt out, the Sox should hire an intern, give them a box full of banana peels, and tell them to stake out the staircases JD uses during spring training.
The new CBA might alleviate your concerns. If the NL adopts the DH next season, I think chances are good that JD opts out.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The new CBA might alleviate your concerns. If the NL adopts the DH next season, I think chances are good that JD opts out.
This point gets brought up a bunch, but the current CBA expires a month after JD's opt-out has to be exercised. It seems unlikely that the new CBA will be ironed out before the old one expires, let alone a month early, so JD's not going to know with any certainty whether the DH is going to happen in the NL before he makes his decision.

I feel like the "NL will adopt the DH" thing has been predicted as a foregone conclusion for about 25 years and it's yet to happen. I'm not going to believe it until the CBA is finalized, and I'm guessing neither will JD.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Or, even if he doesn't opt out, suddenly he has considerable positive trade value with 1/$22m remaining, if Boston decides they have too many DHs on the roster.
I suspect this will be the more likely route. When he was signed by the Sox, wasn't there some language in the contract about potential trades- as in, he had 5 teams (or something like that) that he could be traded to and that was it?
 

nvalvo

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I suspect this will be the more likely route. When he was signed by the Sox, wasn't there some language in the contract about potential trades- as in, he had 5 teams (or something like that) that he could be traded to and that was it?
Per Cots contracts (which we already learned had his complicated option situation subtly wrong):
  • limited no-trade protection (may block deals to 3 clubs annually)
    [*]
But I don't expect that to be a huge an issue, as the teams that should be interested in acquiring him would probably be teams he'd be pretty happy to join.