Maybe the Red Sox are good?

chawson

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It’s still too early, but if the team keeps this up then we may be ahead of our projected contention window, especially if Whitlock can keep his gains in the ‘22 staff. It seems likely that Arroyo and Potts will be traded, along with one of Casas or Dalbec and one of Jimenez or Duran too. Downs may not be untouchable either depending how our infield shakes out.

About that infield, we have a bit more clarity there. Devers’ conditioning has been impressive and he’s been a Top-10 hitter in baseball so far. It’s a long season and his numbers will fluctuate, but I think he’s answered the bigger questions that surfaced last year. He’s not a plus third baseman, but he’s making a convincing bid to hang there for awhile. Xander on the other hand is -4 DRS in 10 games — last in MLB excepting Cincinnati’s Suarez experiment. Rather than slide over to third, Xander’s seems likelier to me to move to second base. I don’t know how he’d feel about it, but he’s already positioned there for 1/3 of PAs because of the shift. If the Sox are realistic about his defensive liabilities and also want him to not opt out, it might be good to see if he wants to spend a season at second so he knows the long-term plan firsthand before he makes that decision.

Which leads me back to Colorado. I think there’ll be a play this summer to trade for both Marquez and Story, extending the latter. Waiting until this winter to sign Story would allow the Yankees to be a bigger factor in the bidding, since they’ll have reset their tax. I think they’ll want him if Gleyber doesn’t rebound, and his friend LeMahieu could be a strong lobby. (Dodgers will too, though I expect they keep Seager.) It could be smart if Bloom proposed the Rockies a sort of midseason bailout package if that’s the direction he wants to go. I have a hard time seeing a better opportunity to acquire such a young impact player to help us contend by 2023, which is Devers last arb year and Sale’s age-34 season, but I’m sure Bloom has plenty of ideas.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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It’s still too early, but if the team keeps this up then we may be ahead of our projected contention window, especially if Whitlock can keep his gains in the ‘22 staff. It seems likely that Arroyo and Potts will be traded, along with one of Casas or Dalbec and one of Jimenez or Duran too. Downs may not be untouchable either depending how our infield shakes out.

About that infield, we have a bit more clarity there. Devers’ conditioning has been impressive and he’s been a Top-10 hitter in baseball so far. It’s a long season and his numbers will fluctuate, but I think he’s answered the bigger questions that surfaced last year. He’s not a plus third baseman, but he’s making a convincing bid to hang there for awhile. Xander on the other hand is -4 DRS in 10 games — last in MLB excepting Cincinnati’s Suarez experiment. Rather than slide over to third, Xander’s seems likelier to me to move to second base. I don’t know how he’d feel about it, but he’s already positioned there for 1/3 of PAs because of the shift. If the Sox are realistic about his defensive liabilities and also want him to not opt out, it might be good to see if he wants to spend a season at second so he knows the long-term plan firsthand before he makes that decision.

Which leads me back to Colorado. I think there’ll be a play this summer to trade for both Marquez and Story, extending the latter. Waiting until this winter to sign Story would allow the Yankees to be a bigger factor in the bidding, since they’ll have reset their tax. I think they’ll want him if Gleyber doesn’t rebound, and his friend LeMahieu could be a strong lobby. (Dodgers will too, though I expect they keep Seager.) It could be smart if Bloom proposed the Rockies a sort of midseason bailout package if that’s the direction he wants to go. I have a hard time seeing a better opportunity to acquire such a young impact player to help us contend by 2023, which is Devers last arb year and Sale’s age-34 season, but I’m sure Bloom has plenty of ideas.
Using DRS this early in the season is pretty meaningless. DRS always hates X, and UZR always thinks he's slightly above average. I'm inclined to believe UZR, A) because I love him and I'm an optimist, B) because using the eye test it just doesn't seem plausible to me that he's the worst defensive shortstop in baseball. I don't know how long he sticks at shortstop for, but I'd be surprised if the team tried to move him off of his position anytime soon

Edit: If they have the opportunity to bring in another start shortstop, it's a different story (ha)
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If the Red Sox try to move Bogaerts off SS in order to bring in a high priced free agent or trade acquisition, he's a lock to opt out after 2022. That seems...sub-optimal.
 

nvalvo

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If the Red Sox try to move Bogaerts off SS in order to bring in a high priced free agent or trade acquisition, he's a lock to opt out after 2022. That seems...sub-optimal.
Maybe. If they spring it on him, sure. But if they talk it through with him, and get him on board (perhaps by picking up his option for 2026 or something), and argue that a version of the team with Devers DHing and a Bogaerts-Seager-Downs-Casas infield is one that should contend through his prime seasons, I doubt he's running for the exits.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Maybe. If they spring it on him, sure. But if they talk it through with him, and get him on board (perhaps by picking up his option for 2026 or something), and argue that a version of the team with Devers DHing and a Bogaerts-Seager-Downs-Casas infield is one that should contend through his prime seasons, I doubt he's running for the exits.
So they pick up his option. That means not opting out after '22 would mean he's getting 4/80 through age 33 as a third baseman. Meanwhile, Lindor (just one year younger) will have 9/307 left on the deal he just signed, and presumably Seager (2 years younger) and Story (two months younger) will have similar contracts. I don't think that option is going to be enough to convince him to give up being a regular SS.
 

Rovin Romine

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It’s still too early, but if the team keeps this up then we may be ahead of our projected contention window, especially if Whitlock can keep his gains in the ‘22 staff. It seems likely that Arroyo and Potts will be traded, along with one of Casas or Dalbec and one of Jimenez or Duran too. Downs may not be untouchable either depending how our infield shakes out.

About that infield, we have a bit more clarity there. Devers’ conditioning has been impressive and he’s been a Top-10 hitter in baseball so far. It’s a long season and his numbers will fluctuate, but I think he’s answered the bigger questions that surfaced last year. He’s not a plus third baseman, but he’s making a convincing bid to hang there for awhile. Xander on the other hand is -4 DRS in 10 games — last in MLB excepting Cincinnati’s Suarez experiment. Rather than slide over to third, Xander’s seems likelier to me to move to second base. I don’t know how he’d feel about it, but he’s already positioned there for 1/3 of PAs because of the shift. If the Sox are realistic about his defensive liabilities and also want him to not opt out, it might be good to see if he wants to spend a season at second so he knows the long-term plan firsthand before he makes that decision.

Which leads me back to Colorado. I think there’ll be a play this summer to trade for both Marquez and Story, extending the latter. Waiting until this winter to sign Story would allow the Yankees to be a bigger factor in the bidding, since they’ll have reset their tax. I think they’ll want him if Gleyber doesn’t rebound, and his friend LeMahieu could be a strong lobby. (Dodgers will too, though I expect they keep Seager.) It could be smart if Bloom proposed the Rockies a sort of midseason bailout package if that’s the direction he wants to go. I have a hard time seeing a better opportunity to acquire such a young impact player to help us contend by 2023, which is Devers last arb year and Sale’s age-34 season, but I’m sure Bloom has plenty of ideas.
As mentioned in the other thread, our projected contention window may be now, more or less as is, with maybe a promotion from the minors.
 
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azsoxpatsfan

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As of today, the Sox offense is first in batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS, wRC+, WAR, and runs

The pitching staff is 4th in FIP and WAR

SSS, of course, but how long until the "maybe" gets taken out of the thread title?
 

joe dokes

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As of today, the Sox offense is first in batting average, OBP, SLG, OPS, wRC+, WAR, and runs

The pitching staff is 4th in FIP and WAR

SSS, of course, but how long until the "maybe" gets taken out of the thread title?
For me, it's still "too early" if one great or lousy series can cause a significant drop or increase of a player's averages.we're still in "one game can do that" territory. Marwin is hitting 213. If he goes 4-4, his BA goes up 60 points. Too early.
 

bosockboy

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My unscientific first measuring stick is at the 27 game mark, exactly 1/6 of season. I call it The First Divisible. See where we are at in 9 more.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dalbec appears to be an excellent fielder at first base. He's rangy and has soft hands and has already made some remarkable plays. We all want to see him hit, but his glove seems to be enough to give him extra leeway in terms of getting things figured out at the plate. We know he has prodigious power.
His range seems a function of his height, if that makes any sense. He should be a pretty good 1b though. He's probably a marginally better 3b than Devers (not enough to bother).
 

azsoxpatsfan

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My unscientific first measuring stick is at the 27 game mark, exactly 1/6 of season. I call it The First Divisible. See where we are at in 9 more.
That’s what I feel as well. That’s also the end of April I’m pretty sure and that’s my measuring stick
 

Sausage in Section 17

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My unscientific first measuring stick is at the 27 game mark, exactly 1/6 of season. I call it The First Divisible. See where we are at in 9 more.
I think it was Theo who said (I paraphrase), "You spend the first 2 months of the season seeing what you have, the next 2 seeing if you can fix it, and the last 2 hoping for the best."

So far, all we can really say is, what we have is better than we thought.
 

Cesar Crespo

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My unscientific first measuring stick is at the 27 game mark, exactly 1/6 of season. I call it The First Divisible. See where we are at in 9 more.
Isn't it the 7th Divisible? 1,2,3,6,9,18,27. Ironically enough, we are exactly 1/9 of the way through the season. On pace to go 108-54.


Plus people have been using 40 games as the first measuring stick for awhile, about 1/4 of the season.
 

bosockboy

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Isn't it the 7th Divisible? 1,2,3,6,9,18,27. Ironically enough, we are exactly 1/9 of the way through the season. On pace to go 108-54.


Plus people have been using 40 games as the first measuring stick for awhile, about 1/4 of the season.
First legitimate one with any sense of a sample size, but technically, yes.
 

Rovin Romine

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First legitimate one with any sense of a sample size, but technically, yes.
Well, somethings can be assessed on a much shorter sample size, such as issues of health. We had a lot of major coin flips heading into 2021, and thusfar, nearly every one has come up in our favor. Individual player performances will improve and decrease, but we appear to have both viability and some depth in the lineup, rotation, and pen.

Maybe three key injuries wipe us out, but we appear to have options in Houck and Whitlock if, (knock on wood) Richards goes down or something.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Well, somethings can be assessed on a much shorter sample size, such as issues of health. We had a lot of major coin flips heading into 2021, and thusfar, nearly every one has come up in our favor. Individual player performances will improve and decrease, but we appear to have both viability and some depth in the lineup, rotation, and pen.

Maybe three key injuries wipe us out, but we appear to have options in Houck and Whitlock if, (knock on wood) Richards goes down or something.
Certain player performances can also be assessed pretty quickly. For example, lots of people were worried JD was washed. He won’t OPS 1.200 all season, but it’s clear he’s still a great hitter. No one was really concerned about Devers, but after a pretty bad 2020, his start to 2021 has made it pretty obvious he’s one of the best young hitters in baseball. Just having JD, Devers, and X performing well gives us a pretty good idea that the offense is going to be good all season
 

BringBackMo

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It’s still too early, but if the team keeps this up then we may be ahead of our projected contention window, especially if Whitlock can keep his gains in the ‘22 staff. It seems likely that Arroyo and Potts will be traded, along with one of Casas or Dalbec and one of Jimenez or Duran too. Downs may not be untouchable either depending how our infield shakes out.

About that infield, we have a bit more clarity there. Devers’ conditioning has been impressive and he’s been a Top-10 hitter in baseball so far. It’s a long season and his numbers will fluctuate, but I think he’s answered the bigger questions that surfaced last year. He’s not a plus third baseman, but he’s making a convincing bid to hang there for awhile. Xander on the other hand is -4 DRS in 10 games — last in MLB excepting Cincinnati’s Suarez experiment. Rather than slide over to third, Xander’s seems likelier to me to move to second base. I don’t know how he’d feel about it, but he’s already positioned there for 1/3 of PAs because of the shift. If the Sox are realistic about his defensive liabilities and also want him to not opt out, it might be good to see if he wants to spend a season at second so he knows the long-term plan firsthand before he makes that decision.

Which leads me back to Colorado. I think there’ll be a play this summer to trade for both Marquez and Story, extending the latter. Waiting until this winter to sign Story would allow the Yankees to be a bigger factor in the bidding, since they’ll have reset their tax. I think they’ll want him if Gleyber doesn’t rebound, and his friend LeMahieu could be a strong lobby. (Dodgers will too, though I expect they keep Seager.) It could be smart if Bloom proposed the Rockies a sort of midseason bailout package if that’s the direction he wants to go. I have a hard time seeing a better opportunity to acquire such a young impact player to help us contend by 2023, which is Devers last arb year and Sale’s age-34 season, but I’m sure Bloom has plenty of ideas.
Good post. One quibble:

It seems quite unlikely to me that Casas will be traded. Slugging first basemen obviously tend to be less valuable than productive hitters at premium positions, but everything we have read indicates that the Sox view Casas as a potential star. I'd be surprised if they traded a player with an apparently genuine chance to perform at that level while making peanuts.

For my part, and speaking strictly as a fanboy, I hope they don't trade either Jimenez or Duran...though I agree that there is at least some chance of that happening. With Verdugo already excelling in the center/right slot that Fenway demands, you'd be wasting the talent of one of Jimenez or Duran (assuming they both pan out) by parking him in left. Of all the fascinating team-building subplots, what they choose to do with these two is among the most interesting to me.
 

caminante11

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If the Red Sox try to move Bogaerts off SS in order to bring in a high priced free agent or trade acquisition, he's a lock to opt out after 2022. That seems...sub-optimal.
If it makes economic sense to do so, Bogaerts will opt out. Every player does. Even if he does not want to go anywhere else.
 

bosockboy

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Well, somethings can be assessed on a much shorter sample size, such as issues of health. We had a lot of major coin flips heading into 2021, and thusfar, nearly every one has come up in our favor. Individual player performances will improve and decrease, but we appear to have both viability and some depth in the lineup, rotation, and pen.

Maybe three key injuries wipe us out, but we appear to have options in Houck and Whitlock if, (knock on wood) Richards goes down or something.
Agree the offense has passed the eye test. I’m skeptical of 60% of the rotation being Perez/Pivetta/Richards. How well those 3 hang on will determine quite a bit of our success until we can get reinforcements like Sale.
 

chawson

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Agree the offense has passed the eye test. I’m skeptical of 60% of the rotation being Perez/Pivetta/Richards. How well those 3 hang on will determine quite a bit of our success until we can get reinforcements like Sale.
We’re also in a decent position to land Scherzer, if the Nats continue to underperform.

He’s a 10-and-5 guy and can basically choose where he goes, and he’s got an extremely high AAV ($28.7M) most teams can’t afford. He’s beginning to show some cracks but is still firmly an ace. There could be an opportunity to grab him midseason, set up a rescue dog foundation in his name, and extend him for something like 2/$40M. I think his personality would fit really well here, and there are a couple young guys on our staff who could learn from him.
 
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EllisTheRimMan

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This is a killer part of the schedule. So far 12-7 is looking great. Every team except the O's were good last year and either improved or treaded water... including this weekend's foe, The M's. We really don't get a break until TX. If we're 15-10 meaning we split the next 6, I'll be pretty pleased with the start. Better than that.... it just increases my optimism for the season. Of course, how the team plays (they've been playing quite well and have been in almost every game) will dictate my view much more than W-L for April.
 

Max Power

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It's a killer with the lack of off days, too. The team looked tired last night, although Cora has done a great job giving everyone a rest and managing bullpen use. The two days off in the next 10 will be very welcome.
 

jon abbey

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If you are going to be a stickler for accuracy then you'll need to account for the 1 extra inning game they played too. You know, just to be correct.
Not being a stickler for accuracy, it's easy to forget that with the new rules a doubleheader is 14 innings, so it's like playing a game and a half in one day instead of two, which is of course the reason they put in the rule.
 

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Doesn't that simply track the team as a whole? They were great in 2018, mediocre in 2019 and awful in 2020 regardless of home or away.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Doesn't that simply track the team as a whole? They were great in 2018, mediocre in 2019 and awful in 2020 regardless of home or away.
It does track that way. However, does it imply something about this year's team? Probably too early to say either way, especially when the sample sizes are still so small.
 

jon abbey

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It doesn't really track the team as a whole, because in both 2019 and 2020 BOS was better on the road than at home. Only 4 other teams were better on the road than at home in 2020, and same in 2019, only 4 other teams.

2019: home 38-43, road 46-35
2020: home 11-20, road 13-16
 

bankshot1

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2020 was such an anomaly, with a drastically shortened schedule and only playing and generally losing to the AL & NL "East" division teams, I'm not sure drawing any conclusion, other than they sucked, is meaningful.
 

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2020 was such an anomaly, with a drastically shortened schedule and only playing and generally losing to the AL & NL "East" division teams, I'm not sure drawing any conclusion, other than they sucked, is meaningful.
I agree with this, although I would add that also it's a decent conclusion that they thought they would suck and really didn't care.
 

Rasputin

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I agree with this, although I would add that also it's a decent conclusion that they thought they would suck and really didn't care.
I think they thought they would be mediocre then Sale and Rodriguez both went down for the season and they got off to a shitty start and they realized they were just completely fucked and went with it.
 

grimshaw

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I generally don't care about unscientific power rankings like ESPN's, but Fangraphs has the Sox at #1 now. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/fangraphs-power-rankings-week-2/

They use a formula which includes team wRC+, and starting and relief pitcher FIP-, as well as luck. The Sox currently have the best overall offense which is pretty crazy considering the bottom of the lineup as well as what the Dodgers and Padres trot out there.
 
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Max Power

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The bottoms of the Dodgers and Padres lineups aren't particularly great, either. Offense is down again across baseball with the league OPS at exactly .700 and only 12 teams above that number.

Would you rather have a top four of Xander, JD, Devers, and Verdugo or Seager, Turner, Muncy and Mookie? As hitters, I'd prefer the Red Sox, although things could flip if Bellinger comes back strong from his injury.
 

BaseballJones

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Verdugo: .325/.371/.538/.908, 6 2b, 3 hr, 17 r, 13 rbi, 154 ops+
Martinez: .370/.446/.753/1.199, 10 2b, 7 hr, 19 r, 21 rbi, 233 ops+
Bogaerts: .366/.402/.573/.975, 8 2b, 3 hr, 9 r, 12 rbi, 174 ops+
Devers: .269/.356/.551/.907, 4 2b, 6 hr, 14 r, 18 rbi, 153 ops+

That's a pretty impressive top-4 batters.

On the other hand...

Cordero: .200/.265/.244/.510, 2 2b, 0 hr, 4 r, 5 rbi, 47 ops+
Renfroe: .176/.241/.255/.496, 1 2b, 1 hr, 7 r, 8 rbi, 42 ops+
Dalbec: .241/.302/.345/.646, 4 2b, 0 hr, 2 r, 4 rbi, 84 ops+

That's a pretty UNimpressive bottom-3 batters.
 

grimshaw

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The bottoms of the Dodgers and Padres lineups aren't particularly great, either. Offense is down again across baseball with the league OPS at exactly .700 and only 12 teams above that number.

Would you rather have a top four of Xander, JD, Devers, and Verdugo or Seager, Turner, Muncy and Mookie? As hitters, I'd prefer the Red Sox, although things could flip if Bellinger comes back strong from his injury.
I hadn't factored in the pitchers either. I'd prefer the Sox 4 since Turner is the oldest player and Verdugo and Devers are the two youngest. With Bellinger back, I'd definitely rather have that Dodger 4.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Verdugo: .325/.371/.538/.908, 6 2b, 3 hr, 17 r, 13 rbi, 154 ops+
Martinez: .370/.446/.753/1.199, 10 2b, 7 hr, 19 r, 21 rbi, 233 ops+
Bogaerts: .366/.402/.573/.975, 8 2b, 3 hr, 9 r, 12 rbi, 174 ops+
Devers: .269/.356/.551/.907, 4 2b, 6 hr, 14 r, 18 rbi, 153 ops+

That's a pretty impressive top-4 batters.

On the other hand...

Cordero: .200/.265/.244/.510, 2 2b, 0 hr, 4 r, 5 rbi, 47 ops+
Renfroe: .176/.241/.255/.496, 1 2b, 1 hr, 7 r, 8 rbi, 42 ops+
Dalbec: .241/.302/.345/.646, 4 2b, 0 hr, 2 r, 4 rbi, 84 ops+

That's a pretty UNimpressive bottom-3 batters.
From some other conversation regarding Dalbec, I'm cautiously optimistic that he will eventually come around. Not optimistic about Renfroe/Cordero.
I think Kiké and Arroyo are about where I was expecting/hoping. Could use Vazquez to get back in the swing of things.

I'm not sure how Cordero/Renfroe are being deployed for platoons at this point and can't make sense of how Cora is rotating the outfield. As a backup IF, I think Gonzalez is doing okay.
 

sean1562

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Cordero and Renfroe won't be that bad over the course of the season but I do think it is time to start only using Renfroe against LHPs. I remember reading Bloom thought Renfroe could be a fulltime player but he is 29 years old. Not a terrible 4th OF that crushes LHP but thats all he will likely ever be.
 

RIrooter09

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Cordero and Renfroe won't be that bad over the course of the season but I do think it is time to start only using Renfroe against LHPs. I remember reading Bloom thought Renfroe could be a fulltime player but he is 29 years old. Not a terrible 4th OF that crushes LHP but thats all he will likely ever be.
LHH OF and SP should probably be our top deadline targets.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Verdugo: .325/.371/.538/.908, 6 2b, 3 hr, 17 r, 13 rbi, 154 ops+
Martinez: .370/.446/.753/1.199, 10 2b, 7 hr, 19 r, 21 rbi, 233 ops+
Bogaerts: .366/.402/.573/.975, 8 2b, 3 hr, 9 r, 12 rbi, 174 ops+
Devers: .269/.356/.551/.907, 4 2b, 6 hr, 14 r, 18 rbi, 153 ops+

That's a pretty impressive top-4 batters.

On the other hand...

Cordero: .200/.265/.244/.510, 2 2b, 0 hr, 4 r, 5 rbi, 47 ops+
Renfroe: .176/.241/.255/.496, 1 2b, 1 hr, 7 r, 8 rbi, 42 ops+
Dalbec: .241/.302/.345/.646, 4 2b, 0 hr, 2 r, 4 rbi, 84 ops+

That's a pretty UNimpressive bottom-3 batters.
Marwin Gonzalez hasn't set the world on fire either. He's got a 95 OPS+, but some of that is driven by a .360 OBP, which in turn is driven by 4 HBP in 75 PAs. This is twice as many as anybody else on the team and one-third of all Bosox HBPs this season. His prior career high in HBP is 6, so its not like he's Don Baylor with an unusual talent for getting hit. His slugging percentage is only .317.
 

ngruz25

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Franchy needs to play more, and more consistently. His 49 PA are second to last on the team behind Kevin Plawecki. He's only started 14 games this season, and only played the whole game in 10 of those.

It's hard to get going with that kind of usage. Obviously that's the result of facing a number of lefties, but I'd like to see Cora trying to work Franchy into the lineup more. As a contrast, Renfroe has started and finished 15 games, with 58 PAs.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Gotta give Duran a shot, don't they? He cannot be worse than Renfroe or Franchy to date.
Yea, I wonder how many abs they want to get him against minor/alternate site pitching before calling him up. His ETA on Sox Prospects is late this season, but I’m no expert on that stuff. Anyone have a guess as to when they’d be willing to give him a shot?
 

OurF'ingCity

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New York City
Marwin Gonzalez hasn't set the world on fire either. He's got a 95 OPS+, but some of that is driven by a .360 OBP, which in turn is driven by 4 HBP in 75 PAs. This is twice as many as anybody else on the team and one-third of all Bosox HBPs this season. His prior career high in HBP is 6, so its not like he's Don Baylor with an unusual talent for getting hit. His slugging percentage is only .317.
But he's also been fairly unlucky - his expected BA is 10 points above his actual BA, and his expected SLG is 20 points above his actual SLG. His wRC+ is 101, which is very close to his career average. If he can be an average MLB hitter for the Sox this year, I think that's fine and it's hard to expect him to be much better than that.
 

grimshaw

Member
SoSH Member
May 16, 2007
3,603
Portland
Franchy needs to play more, and more consistently. His 49 PA are second to last on the team behind Kevin Plawecki. He's only started 14 games this season, and only played the whole game in 10 of those.

It's hard to get going with that kind of usage. Obviously that's the result of facing a number of lefties, but I'd like to see Cora trying to work Franchy into the lineup more. As a contrast, Renfroe has started and finished 15 games, with 58 PAs.
He had a limited spring training too. I'm much less worried about him. Renfroe is a flawed player, but him playing a good right field is huge for Fenway.

Luckily the positions they need to upgrade are easily upgradeable. I think that's been part of Chaim's plan too.