Let's Talk about the manager -- The John Farrell Thread

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radsoxfan

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Seems like it'll be mostly an "intangibles" decision if Gomes in fact ends up getting the start.
 
http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2013/10/14/red-sox-lineup-will-feature-mike-napoli-possibly-jonny-gomes-and-no-daniel-nava-against-justin-verlander/
 
I'd like to think there are some super secret stats that the Red Sox and Farrell have that we aren't privy to. But based on that article, it might not be the case, at least for this particular decision.
 
I think this probably could tangent into another thread altogether, but I'll just say I'm more of a stats guy than an intangibles guy (at least when it comes to baseball).  At some point the "intangibles" should manifest themselves on the stat sheet. Plus, I'd like to think that whatever dugout presence Gomes has would still be there even if he isn't starting. I also don't like going against what made you successful all year (we're going to have two .900 OPS hitters vs. righties on the bench for Game 3).
 
Like I said, I have less of an issue with this move than not starting Nava against Scherzer.  Hopefully this one works out better.
 

Al Zarilla

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KillerBs said:
Surely Cherington and the big brains upstairs won't allow for this?
Farrell's the manager. GMs don't try to do manager's jobs for them, aka cutting their b*lls off. Farrell has plenty of coaches with whom to consult if he needs another opinion.
 

PedroKsBambino

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EV used to post statistics against similar pitchers as a way to illuminate another, more granular criteria than just the straight platoon split.  I have not seen that anywhere recently (someone else may well know where to find such info) but it is not hard to imagine that there is some data involved here, too.   
 
In the absence of any such info, I would prefer Nava as well.  But I'm quite open to the possiblity that these guys are looking at a bunch of things (statistical and otherwise) that we have no real insight into.
 

rembrat

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Here is something tangible: Jonny Gomes plays a better OF than Daniel Nava. 
 

KillerBs

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Nava has the better career UZR/150 tho the difference is likely meaningless.

Why did Farrell play Nava against RHPers for all of September if Gomes is a better player? Intangibles matter more in October I guess.

I also see P Abraham is tweeting that Ross will start too!

If so that's, shall we say, gutsy.
 

radsoxfan

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Ross and Gomes?  Maybe it was a season long beard growing competition for the October ABs.
 
In that case, we'll be sitting 3 players with season OPS vs. righties of .904, .894, and .873 for 3 players at .816, .745, and .544.
 
Defense, intangibles, and secret stats shall lead us (I hope).
 
FWIW, Carp looked pretty out of sorts during his start, is bad on D, and Nap still hits righties pretty well.  The solid SSS numbers for Nap vs. Verlander is a nice bonus I suppose.  That's the one of the 3 that makes the most sense to me.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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MYRTLE BEACH!!!!
Code:
                                                                                                 
                         PA  AB  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
David Ortiz              30  27 10  4  0  2   4  3  8 .370 .433 .741 1.174  0  0   1   0         0
Mike Napoli              28  23  7  0  0  1   3  5  5 .304 .429 .435  .863  0  0   0   0         0
Jacoby Ellsbury          26  22  5  2  0  0   3  2  1 .227 .269 .318  .587  0  2   0   0         0
Dustin Pedroia           19  18  1  0  0  0   0  1  3 .056 .105 .056  .161  0  0   0   0         1
Stephen Drew             16  15  3  1  0  0   0  1 10 .200 .250 .267  .517  0  0   0   0         0
Jarrod Saltalamacchia    15  15  2  0  0  0   0  0  8 .133 .133 .133  .267  0  0   0   0         0
Jonny Gomes              13   9  0  0  0  0   1  3  3 .000 .231 .000  .231  0  1   0   0         0
Mike Carp                 6   5  0  0  0  0   0  1  1 .000 .167 .000  .167  0  0   0   0         1
Shane Victorino           6   6  0  0  0  0   1  0  2 .000 .000 .000  .000  0  0   0   0         0
Daniel Nava               4   3  1  1  0  0   3  1  1 .333 .500 .667 1.167  0  0   0   0         0
Will Middlebrooks         2   2  1  0  0  0   0  0  1 .500 .500 .500 1.000  0  0   0   0         0
Total                   165 145 30  8  0  3  15 17 43 .207 .285 .324  .609  0  3   1   0         2
This is the Verlander chart of the players on the roster that have faced him.
 

lexrageorge

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Gomes vs. Nava.  My assumption is that Farrell is valuing defense in Comerica Park, especially when facing a Verlander where a low scoring game should be expected.  Hard to believe we'd be talking up Gomes defense, but when the competition is Nava, so be it.  
 
Salty vs. Ross:  Not sure what's up there, but we haven't seen the official lineup yet.  In any event, I'd love to see the following exchange:
 
"John, why is Nava not in the lineup against Verlander?"
 
"Because we decided to play other players"
 
"But why not Nava?"
 
"Because he was inactive"
 

DJnVa

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I'd probably go with Nava as well, but then again, I also think:
 
1--there's not a single stat or bit of info posted here that Farrell is not aware of.
2--there's a good chance Farrell has better info than we have.
 
So, given that, MANAGER'S DECISION!!!
 

Harry Hooper

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Where is this Gomes defensive superiority meme coming from? Nava has played both RF and LF for Farrell this season (actually more games in RF than LF), but Gomes has been limited almost exclusively to LF His statement refers to intangibles for playing Gomes. It's definitely odd.
 
Nava may have less of a chance against a plus-plus fastball than Gomes, but Nava has an XBH off Verlander and Gomes doesn't. Nava provides more late game infield/outfield flexibility for the manager, so maybe that's why Farrell wants him available for the later innings.
 

Frank Castillo

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PedroKsBambino said:
EV used to post statistics against similar pitchers as a way to illuminate another, more granular criteria than just the straight platoon split.  I have not seen that anywhere recently (someone else may well know where to find such info) but it is not hard to imagine that there is some data involved here, too.
 
Per BRef: Against power pitchers, Gomes has .714 OPS this year, whereas Nava is at .637.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Where is this Gomes defensive superiority meme coming from?


I second this question. I seem to recall Nava dealing with a wrist/thumb issue that was rendering his bat useless earlier in the year, but he started three straight games with it in Detroit to keep his glove in LF. I remember after jamming it at the plate, he came out the next inning with it heavily taped and they kept showing him flexing it and shaking it out like he was very uncomfortable. Yet he stayed in the game anyway so as to not have to use Gomes or Carp in Comerica's cavernous outfield.
 

radsoxfan

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I definitely don't think Farrell is unaware of the numbers posted, and I'm sure has plenty of others as well.  While Verlander doesn't have a career platoon split, it is interesting to see this year's. Maybe the "power pitcher" thing has something to do with it too (though I would throw out any of those ABs Nava was hitting righty since he is awful from that side).  I'd still probably go Nava, but glad to see some non-intanglible reasons to go with Gomes as well.
 
As I mentioned upthread, I'm curious how they view the Nava/Gomes defensive debate. They have replaced Nava with Gomes defensively this season at times, and to my eye Nava is pretty awful when forced to play anything other than the tight confines of Fenway's LF. So it wouldn't surprise me at all if they see Gomes as a slight upgrade there. 
 
As far as Ross, maybe he doesn't think Salty can play 3 straight games, so this one is as good as any to get Ross a start? Or maybe Salty is battling an injury? 
 

Saints Rest

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radsoxfan said:
I definitely don't think Farrell is unaware of the numbers posted, and I'm sure has plenty of others as well.  While Verlander doesn't have a career platoon split, it is interesting to see this year's. Maybe the "power pitcher" thing has something to do with it too (though I would throw out any of those ABs Nava was hitting righty since he is awful from that side).  I'd still probably go Nava, but glad to see some non-intanglible reasons to go with Gomes as well.
 
As I mentioned upthread, I'm curious how they view the Nava/Gomes defensive debate. They have replaced Nava with Gomes defensively this season at times, and to my eye Nava is pretty awful when forced to play anything other than the tight confines of Fenway's LF. So it wouldn't surprise me at all if they see Gomes as a slight upgrade there. 
 
As far as Ross, maybe he doesn't think Salty can play 3 straight games, so this one is as good as any to get Ross a start? Or maybe Salty is battling an injury? 
ANy chance Nava is battling an injury?  One that Farrell knows about and isn't interested in sharing (for obvious reasons)?  Maybe an injury that limits his effectiveness against power pitchers?  All I got.
 

smastroyin

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I think Gomes is a decent move.  Under the assumption that he was going to get one of the three starts in Detroit, this is the best one.  Nava kills Fister and also was the only guy who looked decent against Sanchez in game 1.
 
Ross I don't understand.  Maybe it is a similar thing, but he can start game 5 and you continue to play the Lester-Ross combo since Lester was so good in game 1.  I can see playing that hunch again, so then you are looking at a situation where David Ross is starting 3 of 5 games in an ALCS against a righty dominated pitching staff.  That seems...well...Not good.
 
I'm sure they have some numbers on defense that he is leveraging, good enough, but then I'm just going to say it, don't bother signing Salty if your manager doesn't trust him to start playoff games.
 
I guess we'll see what the lineup card actually says, though.  
 

Paul M

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I have to confess I am no longer intimately familiar with the day-to-day decisions of the Sox. Is Farrell known to have his favorites and less confidence in certain guys? Seems like some of the moves are not optimal from a pure empircal perspective and was wondering what the folks that have seen Farrell from Day One can offer. I realize neither Nava nor Gomes are true everyday players, but just don't get the Gomes thing. I'm sure it's possible I'm missing something but I am not a big fan of the speculative play at this stage.
 

mfried

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rembrat said:
Here is something tangible: Jonny Gomes plays a better OF than Daniel Nava. 
Is this the SOSH consensus?  Please answer via observation not (defective) fielding stats. I think that Nava is a decent fielder.
 

TheoShmeo

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Seems like JF is playing hunches and relying on his gut a bit more than the regular season.
 
To wit:
 
With days off liberally sprinkled in, is there any real reason to not play Salty every game?  Yes, Ross caught Lester's terrific game one start, but isn't Salty the more logical choice all things considered if he's fully rested?
 
Unless Carp was hurt, why did Napoli pinch hit against a righty in the 8th?  Was JF playing a hunch that Napoli would come through there?
 
This Nava move.  With a more expansive LF, one would think that Nava would be better than Gomes as a defender and Nava has been in left most of the season against righties.  
 
None of these moves strike me as earth shattering and Farrell has the pulse of the team, hopefully.  I just find it curious that he's seemingly managing more on feel now than he did during the season.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Frank Castillo said:
 
Per BRef: Against power pitchers, Gomes has .714 OPS this year, whereas Nava is at .637.
 
Thanks---had not seen their new (or maybe 'newer' just to me!) split data.
 
Looking at same, Gomes is also better against FB pitchers such as Verlander than Nava is; Nava basically gets better as GB become more prevalent.
 
The interplay of 'handedness' splits and these other pitcher splits (power vs finesse, gb/fb, etc) seems like the kind of thing teams would have done deep study on by this point.  How much signal vs noise they find I have no idea given sample size and other issues, but a good reminder there's a lot of data out there and we can be pretty confident (imo) that Sox and Farrell have access to it, and also that Farrell is not necessarily going to share with us all of it.
 
As to fielding, 30-odd voters in Tango's fan scouting report had Nava as the superior fielder: http://www.tangotiger.net/scout/index4.php?teamid=111&team=Boston%20Red%20Sox   It's data, and I think he'd be the first to say it is just one input in the assessment, too.
 

mfried

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RedOctober3829 said:
Verlander's splits this season most likely played a big part into Farrell's thinking.

vs RHB: .275/.327/.412/.739 114 OPS+ (379 PA)
vs LHB: .237/.307/.357/.658 78 OPS+ (546 PA)
Finally a response that makes sense, though Salty is just plain better vs. RH pitching.  Is he intangibly better at receiving Lackey?
 

smastroyin

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I don't think there is a big enough difference in fielding between the two for it to be a reason to make the decision.  I actually think Gomes is a little better in Fenway than Nava (despite the increased experience, I feel Nava still doesn't quite "get" all of the angles of the monster).  In a neutral field, I would probably take Nava.  I think the Red Sox probably agree - when Vic was out, Nava went to RF, not Gomes.
 
I don't think that this was the difference maker.  I think Farrell is trying to play some momentum coming out of game 2.  
 
Paul, I do think Farrell has a bit of an "everyone plays" mentality, which is great when you have platoon guys and a mix of starting pitchers.  It's less ideal when you face a staff like Detroit's.  On top of the platoon advantages, you lose the ability to force Leyland to burn his one useful lefty to get a key out - a perfect example of this was Sunday night when Smyly had to face Ellsbury but then Leyland didn't want him facing Victorino and Pedroia...and then his only choices to face David Ortiz were Phil Coke or Benoit.  If your lineup is full of righties, you have to pinch hit to force that exchange.  It's worked well for the team overall, obviously, it's just a bit harder to fathom in the microcosm of the playoffs - not like you have to work to keep these guys engaged during the postseason, and there are plenty of PH opportunities.
 

KillerBs

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Gomes vs "Power" pitchers for his career: 190/305/353
Gomes v "finesse" pitchers, career: 282/356/518.
 
Verlander is almost perfectly dead even for his career vs. righties and lefties, which itself is a type of a reverse split, but he has shown an even more significant reverse split this year.
 
Scherzer on the other hand has been devastating against RHBers all year.
 
No I don't think Gomes is a markedly better defensive OF then Nava. 
 

PedroKsBambino

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smastroyin said:
I don't think there is a big enough difference in fielding between the two for it to be a reason to make the decision.  I actually think Gomes is a little better in Fenway than Nava (despite the increased experience, I feel Nava still doesn't quite "get" all of the angles of the monster).  In a neutral field, I would probably take Nava.  I think the Red Sox probably agree - when Vic was out, Nava went to RF, not Gomes.
 
I don't think that this was the difference maker.  I think Farrell is trying to play some momentum coming out of game 2.  
 
Paul, I do think Farrell has a bit of an "everyone plays" mentality, which is great when you have platoon guys and a mix of starting pitchers.  It's less ideal when you face a staff like Detroit's.  On top of the platoon advantages, you lose the ability to force Leyland to burn his one useful lefty to get a key out - a perfect example of this was Sunday night when Smyly had to face Ellsbury but then Leyland didn't want him facing Victorino and Pedroia...and then his only choices to face David Ortiz were Phil Coke or Benoit.  If your lineup is full of righties, you have to pinch hit to force that exchange.  It's worked well for the team overall, obviously, it's just a bit harder to fathom in the microcosm of the playoffs - not like you have to work to keep these guys engaged during the postseason, and there are plenty of PH opportunities.
 
Thinking very tacticaly though- meaning, a single key AB in 7th 8th or 9th-  I think you'd prefer to have Nava available off the bench to Gomes.   The Tigers really just have one lefty, and he's likely to be used for Ellsbury/Ortiz; that means in innings 6.7.8 you likely prefer Nava to PH for the weaker bats against (likely) Albuquerque, since the chances you end up with Nava vs a lefty are relatively low (and have the upside that you know you'll then have platoon advantage going forward).   The only scenario you really want Gomes available off the bench is if Smyly is brought in to face Nava, isn't it?   That's not an especially likely scenario though it could occur.   A partial response is that Carp is available for this as well, of course.
 
That's a small piece of the larger decision---there's more value in 3-4 PAs than the single possible hi-lev AB--but it is another implication to consider of Gomes starting.
 

joe dokes

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There are lots of small data points, but one we agree on (I think) is that Nava seems to have exhibited the worst baserunning instincts on the team. And many seem to think that Gomes has among the best. So at least in that category there's a marked difference. In a low-scoring environment like the one that most anticipate, that has more-than-zero relevance.
 
 
Of course, all this hand-wringing means that Gomes will whiff 3 times and get thrown out in a baserunning blunder, and Nava will hit a HR vs a lefty, steal a big base and make a great defensive play. Baseball.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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Uehara seems comfortable getting four outs, but not more. From Sunday's Glob:
 
"Some 20 minutes after the win, which lifted the Sox to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five American League Division Series, a pensive-looking Uehara teased a laugh out of a group of Japanese-speaking journalists in the Red Sox clubhouse. Later, through a translator, the vivacious righthander explained that the Asian reporters suggested that he could have pitched the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, an unheard-of workload in today’s game of bullpen artistes.
“I told them not the seventh,’’ a smiling Uehara said flatly, which was what summoned the laugh.
 
To which an English-speaking reporter then asked if that meant he was up to taking the ball for the eighth and ninth. And with head tilted ever so slightly, and grin breaking out, the Mighty Koji said, “Four outs.’’
 
This makes me recall one of the ballsiest, Tito-iest moves Tito ever made: bringing Foulke in to start the 7th inning in ALCS Game 4.  Sure, he threw 50 pitches that night and ended up wrecking his elbow, knee and career in the weeks and months that followed... but in that moment, it was the move that defined Playoff Tito - and for me, still does.  I hope, should it come to it, that Farrell has the stones to hand the ball to Uehara as early as necessary and say "it's your game until you can't go any more".
 
dwainw said:
In this whole Gomes v. Berry baserunning debate, why is everyone completely overlooking the possible collision-at-the-plate scenario? 

Point Gomes.
 
Quick, get this guy on the roster...
 
joe dokes said:
The problem is that a rational discussion needs two things: complete information (or more than we have, anyway); and an assumption that the manager knows what he's doing -- which some people here are unwilling to start with.  He gets the benefit of the doubt with me. Maybe that doesn't fit with "rational," but that's the best I can do.
 
Obviously, I would have to admit that there is a more-than-zero percent chance that he is wilfully sticking his head up his ass on this and other decisions, but unless you send pictures, I'll go with "he's probably got a reason, and if I was more than a fan who watches on a nice TV from my couch, I might be able to guess what it is."
 
Look, that's always an easy argument to make, but the problem is that it forestalls all discussion of a manager or GM's moves.  It happens every offseason, too, where a conversation will go:
 
A: Why did Theo/Ben/whoever sign that guy?  That move makes no sense!
B: I'm sure our GM knows plenty of things we don't.  He undoubtedly has a reason, and inside knowledge.
A: OK, but given everything we know, this was crazy because...
B: Stop.  Just stop.  We don't know what they know, therefore we shouldn't discuss it.
 
It becomes the Cult of the Authority Figure, and no less so with game-to-game managerial moves.  The fact of the matter is, while Farrell can't be called an idiot like some of his predecessors, we've got plenty of information on which to discuss and even judge his decisions.  And if we need complete, insider-level knowledge of what's in the manager's head before we can make those judgments, we'll have precious little to talk about on a baseball board.  So comments like these, while sensible-sounding, have the practical impact of breaking up or preventing what can be an interesting, even enlightening, discussion.
 

Ed Hillel

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I think we are going about it the wrong way trying to find statistics that we think Farrell may be using to justify Gomes over Nava. When Farrell specifically brings up "the intangibles Gomes brings", that seems like a concession that it would not be a statisical decision. Put me on record thinking it's a bad move not to start Nava all 3 games in Detroit, but I am no longer surprised. Ditto with Ross over Salty, if that's the case. I would favor offense over defense here, and Lackey has been around long enough where I trust he would basically be in charge of calling his own game. If Ross puts the ball in play more than once against Verlander, I will be surprised.
 

rembrat

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mfried said:
Is this the SOSH consensus?  Please answer via observation not (defective) fielding stats. I think that Nava is a decent fielder.
 
I don't speak for the rest of SoSH. It's my opinion based off watching 130+ games this year. Nava was never fleet of foot but for whatever reason he has been a statue this year both in the OF and on the base paths. I don't think Gomes is a gold glover by any stretch of the imagination but I believe he has enough foot speed that once he gets going he can get to spots Nava can't. His lack of a first step but eventual acceleration leads to him making a lot of routine plays look difficult but I believe Nava doesn't make these plays.
 
EDIT: I'll say that Nava MUST start against Fister because he owns him. I know that some people think 15PA are meaningless but I just don't agree with that assertion. He has to start against Fister.
 

joe dokes

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
It becomes the Cult of the Authority Figure, and no less so with game-to-game managerial moves.  The fact of the matter is, while Farrell can't be called an idiot like some of his predecessors, we've got plenty of information on which to discuss and even judge his decisions.  And if we need complete, insider-level knowledge of what's in the manager's head before we can make those judgments, we'll have precious little to talk about on a baseball board.  So comments like these, while sensible-sounding, have the practical impact of breaking up or preventing what can be an interesting, even enlightening, discussion.
 
I realize that this might be the logical extension of what I said.  And I dont intend it prevent what usually is enlightening discussion. The best I can say is that in these issues there's *always* some variable we don't know. I tend to start from the position that its large enough to tip the balance in favor of the manager's decision, but there  are times (Villareal is the obvious example), that the existence of a large enough "unknown" is pretty improbable.
Here (and obviously YMMV), I see enough of both sides in the Gomes/Nava decsion that it doesn't counter-balance the benefit of the doubt that I give to Farrell.
 
Its funny about baseball, do intelligent football fans as commited to the Patriots as the posters here are to the Sox debate how Belichick maneuvers the 45-53rd roster spots?
 

PedroKsBambino

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Ed Hillel said:
I think we are going about it the wrong way trying to find statistics that we think Farrell may be using to justify Gomes over Nava. When Farrell specifically brings up "the intangibles Gomes brings", that seems like a concession that it would not be a statisical decision. Put me on record thinking it's a bad move not to start Nava all 3 games in Detroit, but I am no longer surprised. Ditto with Ross over Salty, if that's the case. I would favor offense over defense here, and Lackey has been around long enough where I trust he would basically be in charge of calling his own game. If Ross puts the ball in play more than once against Verlander, I will be surprised.
 
If there is one thing I am sure of having watched this team closely for 10 years under JWH it is that they are studying, statistically, the heck out of each significant decision.  So, the idea that there is not even an assessment of the stats is just unrealistic; it is not how this team operates.  Someone in the org has looked at everything in this thread, and many times deeper, and given a report to Farrell on it.
 
We don't know exactly what that report looked like, and we don't know how much he has decided to weight 'intangibles' on his own, that's certainly true.  But I think it's unlikely to the point of impossibility that Farrell hasn't seen the kinds of data (and in fact far better data) than we're discussing here.  So it is, I would suggest, nearly certainly a factor for him even if he ends up making a decision on other grounds.
 
As well, we should remember that whatever we hear from a coach is almost certainly not the totality of their thinking.   Farrell answes questions in certain ways for a whole variety of reasons (protecting egos, protecting information, misdirection, etc.) so I continue to think we do best when we look to understand the reasoning, not just assume what they are saying is the totality of the thinking.  It may really be all about 'intangibles' but I don't think it's likely that nothing else is going on analytically here.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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joe dokes said:
I see enough of both sides in the Gomes/Nava decsion that it doesn't counter-balance the benefit of the doubt that I give to Farrell.
 
Its funny about baseball, do intelligent football fans as commited to the Patriots as the posters here are to the Sox debate how Belichick maneuvers the 45-53rd roster spots?
 
Re: Gomes/Nava, fair enough.  I do think it's a reasonably close call, especially if Nava is starting Game 4 without a doubt.
 
As to baseball vs football, first off, I think the ratio of "information fans have" to "information managers/insiders have" is much more in fans' favor for baseball relative to football.  At-bats are discrete events with very measurable, countable outcomes.  Football plays have myriad things going on and interrelationships that require an insider's careful study.  Injuries both hidden and obvious make a much greater impact in a full-contact, violent sport than in "a 19th-century pastoral game".  Secondly, the answer to your question is yes - you should check out the BBTL forum here, people will debate the last few groups of reserves (particularly around the time the preseason ends and the season's starting roster is initially set).  BB making a mockery of Ross Ventrone's career a few years ago got quite a bit of attention.  But thirdly, Bill Belichick has such an incredibly deep respect from every Patriots fan that if he does something that seems completely nonsensical, an overwhelming percentage of Pats fans will give him the benefit of the doubt (whereas the same might not be true for, say, Norv Turner), and will look for angles or possible justifications that make sense of Belichick's decision.  Reason #1 helps him out there, too.
 

joe dokes

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
Re: Gomes/Nava, fair enough.  I do think it's a reasonably close call, especially if Nava is starting Game 4 without a doubt.
 
As to baseball vs football, first off, I think the ratio of "information fans have" to "information managers/insiders have" is much more in fans' favor for baseball relative to football.  At-bats are discrete events with very measurable, countable outcomes.  Football plays have myriad things going on and interrelationships that require an insider's careful study.  Injuries both hidden and obvious make a much greater impact in a full-contact, violent sport than in "a 19th-century pastoral game".  Secondly, the answer to your question is yes - you should check out the BBTL forum here, people will debate the last few groups of reserves (particularly around the time the preseason ends and the season's starting roster is initially set).  BB making a mockery of Ross Ventrone's career a few years ago got quite a bit of attention.  But thirdly, Bill Belichick has such an incredibly deep respect from every Patriots fan that if he does something that seems completely nonsensical, an overwhelming percentage of Pats fans will give him the benefit of the doubt (whereas the same might not be true for, say, Norv Turner), and will look for angles or possible justifications that make sense of Belichick's decision.  Reason #1 helps him out there, too.
 
 
You're right, of course, on the football info comparison. I think, though, that there's a danger in baseball fandom of thinking we know more than we do (or forgetting how much we don't know), even when we know a lot. 
 

williams_482

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Jul 1, 2011
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mfried said:
Is this the SOSH consensus?  Please answer via observation not (defective) fielding stats. I think that Nava is a decent fielder.
 
According to Tango's fans scouting report, Nava is pretty poor (22 votes, average rating of 42/100) but Gomes is awful (19 votes, average rating of 33). For reference, the scale is intended to be 0-100, with 50 being an average defensive player across all positions. Corner outfielders as a group had an average rating of 48.
 
I suspect a large proportion of the 39 people who evaluated Red Sox players got there through SOSH, so this seems like it might be a decent barometer of how the community feels. 
 

Minneapolis Millers

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joe dokes said:
That's ridiculous. Cabrera's HR was on a pitch that only Cabrera could hit an HR on. And it was after Buchholz got one out in a game where he was pitching pretty well.
 
Avila's hit came 9 pitches later. 3 of which involved an out.
 
This thread is *this* close to being overrun with "OHMYGAWD its the first inning and he gave up  hit...get all 9 guys up in the pen NOW...OR FIRE THE MANAGER!!!!!!!!"
 
Well, no, it's not ridiculous at all.  Rather, it's silly to say that only Cabrera can mash a belt-high mistake pitch.   Lots of good hitters hit that pitch.  And 9 pitches over 3 batters?  In the 6th inning of a close playoff game?  Plenty of time to have the pitching coach go out, and to get the relievers up, stretching if they haven't already, and eventually throwing.   I see that as easy and expected.  IMO, Farrell was slow to react and insufficiently planful.  But no, I'm not saying that's a reason to fire him.  That's over-the-top, no? 
 

joe dokes

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Minneapolis Millers said:
 
Well, no, it's not ridiculous at all.  Rather, it's silly to say that only Cabrera can mash a belt-high mistake pitch.   Lots of good hitters hit that pitch.  And 9 pitches over 3 batters?  In the 6th inning of a close playoff game?  Plenty of time to have the pitching coach go out, and to get the relievers up, stretching if they haven't already, and eventually throwing.   I see that as easy and expected.  IMO, Farrell was slow to react and insufficiently planful.  But no, I'm not saying that's a reason to fire him.  That's over-the-top, no? 
 
I thought Cabrera's was out of the strike zone high. The batter before Avila made an out. So you're saying he should have pulled Buchholz after retiring Peralta?  I dont fault Farrell for not doing so.
 

KillerBs

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Nov 16, 2006
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RedOctober3829 said:
Salty is starting not Ross.
Good news there. I'm certainly pulling for Gomes vindicating his manager's faith and hitting a bomb or two today. Also see that they split up Salty and Drew, which makes sense.
 
Re pen management today, Farrell is in a tough spot, I think. 3 games in 3 days means that for the first time in the play-offs he needs to be more conscious of not overworking the Big 3 today, out of concern for availability tomorrow and the next day. He should be able to get 9 IPs out of these 3 over the next 3 days, but any more than that seems to be getting iffy. Ideally you would like to be in a position to get 10-11 outs in Game 4 with the Taz/Breslow/Ue. He may need to be more cautious about pulling the plug on Lackey the 3rd time thru the order, against all the righties. Still if we are within a run of the Tigers at this stage of the game, and Lackey is showing signs of wobbling, I'd like to see him go to Tazawa quick.  Squeaking a win out of a Lackey-Verlander match up here would be massive.   
 
Maybe its a spot for Dempster in the 5th or 6th? assuming of course Lackey's not on cruise control.
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
Correct.  As I have said earlier in this thread, the pitch to Cabrera was out of the zone, as was the pitch that Fielder subsequently hit to left for a double, and Victor's as well, which he golfed for a double.  All three were examples of great hitters hitting pitches that were not strikes.  The pitch to Avila was a big mistake, but I can't really fault Clay for these three.  None were very good pitches, but none of these three were meatballs.  Just great hitters doing their thing.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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joe dokes said:
 
I thought Cabrera's was out of the strike zone high. The batter before Avila made an out. So you're saying he should have pulled Buchholz after retiring Peralta?  I dont fault Farrell for not doing so.
I would have pulled him after Martinez's double, but that's the problem.  My main criticism is that the relief pitchers were all still sitting on their collective asses when Buchholz was giving up his 3rd extra base hit of the inning.   So, the inning went flyout, homer, double, double, line out, homer, single... and then Farrell pulled Buchholz.  At that point, it wasn't about pitch count, it was about Buch losing control, getting hammered, and letting the game slip away. 
 
But the bullpen was so unprepared that Farrell didn't even remove Clay after he gave up his 4th extra base hit of the inning.  He had to put another guy on.  That's a sloooow hook by any definition. 
 

smastroyin

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Hopefully John Lackey doesn't cause a need to stress the bullpen.  But, if he does, and the game is close, I wouldn't mind seeing Farrell work a little bit backwards with the bullpen, using Taz or Breslow to get some high leverage outs and then turning to Workman or Dempster with fresh innings to make up for a short start.  
 
That said, any game that is winnable you have to go for the throat.  If the Sox are up 2-1 in the sixth and Lackey starts to lose it, I'm guessing Farrell will be willing to Breslow the same way he was in Game 4 against Tampa.
 
At any rate, we are 6 games into the playoffs and Jon Lester is the only starter to pitch the 7th inning.  Given the shortness of the bullpen, it's probably fair to say that to win 7 more games they are going to need some other guys to get there.  Hopefully Lackey starts that tonight.
 

DJnVa

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Dec 16, 2010
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TheoShmeo said:
 
 
Unless Carp was hurt, why did Napoli pinch hit against a righty in the 8th?  Was JF playing a hunch that Napoli would come through there?
 
Napoli was 1-4 with a HR and 2 BBs off that righty.
 

ivanvamp

captain obvious
Jul 18, 2005
6,104
smastroyin said:
Hopefully John Lackey doesn't cause a need to stress the bullpen.  But, if he does, and the game is close, I wouldn't mind seeing Farrell work a little bit backwards with the bullpen, using Taz or Breslow to get some high leverage outs and then turning to Workman or Dempster with fresh innings to make up for a short start.  
 
That said, any game that is winnable you have to go for the throat.  If the Sox are up 2-1 in the sixth and Lackey starts to lose it, I'm guessing Farrell will be willing to Breslow the same way he was in Game 4 against Tampa.
 
At any rate, we are 6 games into the playoffs and Jon Lester is the only starter to pitch the 7th inning.  Given the shortness of the bullpen, it's probably fair to say that to win 7 more games they are going to need some other guys to get there.  Hopefully Lackey starts that tonight.
 
I agree.  You play basically balls-out to win TODAY and worry about tomorrow.  It's not quite game 7, all hands on deck, but it's much closer to that than a regular season, we have to save guys' arms.  If you need Koji for two today to get the win, you do it, even if it means he's not available tomorrow.  You figure tomorrow out then.  Game 3 here is huge.  If the Sox can somehow get this win, it'll be enormous.
 

KillerBs

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Nov 16, 2006
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You could also try to squeeze an inning out of Morales against Avila/Infante/Dirks.
 
I am not fond of planning on using Dempster or Workman in the 8th of a close game. If you do pull the trigger with Tazawa or Breslow in the 5th/6th, then, depending on the game remaining close, I think you commit to sticking with the Big 3 until you get to the 27th out, subject to the Morales option noted above.   
 

smastroyin

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Minneapolis Millers said:
 
Watch the replay here: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?categoryId=2459789&id=9822525
 
It's maybe an inch, two inches above Cabrera's belt, middle of the plate, on a 1-0 pitch.  Come on, now.  That ball's most certainly crushable.
 
Do you see how high Cabrera's bat is when he starts the swing and as he follows through?
Do you see how Salty is starting to get up out of his crouch to receive the ball before the swing?
Do you think that the pitch f/x was somehow wrong?
 
Look, I get your point, but that ball is not in the hot hitting zone of most hitters.  That's a weak foul pop for most guys who swing at that pitch, unless they know it is coming.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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smastroyin said:
 
Do you see how high Cabrera's bat is when he starts the swing and as he follows through?
Do you see how Salty is starting to get up out of his crouch to receive the ball before the swing?
Do you think that the pitch f/x was somehow wrong?
 
Look, I get your point, but that ball is not in the hot hitting zone of most hitters.  That's a weak foul pop for most guys who swing at that pitch, unless they know it is coming.
Pitch fx shows a typical strike zone.  Cabrera is 6'4" and stands fairly erect, so his zone is higher.  If you're going to miss with a change-up up and out, you better not put it in the middle third of the plate, especially if you're changing off a slider that you missed with.  He just did not have Cabrera set up for that pitch.  And I don't think it took an unusually good hitter to make Clay pay for it.  But whatever.  That was just where the inning started to crumble.  There were plenty more failures after that point. 
 
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