Second Guesser's Club - Boston at Baltimore (The Defense Begins)

URI

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Game 1: March 31 - 3:05pm Lester vs. Tillman
Game 2: April 2 - 7:05pm Lackey vs. Jimenez
Game 3: April 3 - 7:05pm Doubront vs. Chen

Leading into the first game of the year, Victorino has been DL'ed and Bradley called up.

Follow @sonsofsamhorn on the Twitter machine, for I will try and live tweet the first game of the season.
 

nattysez

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Carp in LF and Nava in RF when JBJ is available makes me unhappy.  Is the offensive upgrade of Carp worth the risk that he butchers a play or two in LF before being replaced by JBJ in the later innings (especially in a game where runs could be at a premium)?  
 
Separately, but relatedly, if Sizemore stays healthy, JBJ will be back down in a couple of weeks.  Hopefully today's lineup does not mean that JBJ will be largely on the bench until Shane Vic returns -- give the kid some starts, please.
 

Drek717

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JBJ up but on the bench is rather surprising.  Maybe because Vic is a rather late scratch and JBJ isn't prepared for some weird reason?
 
That, or Farrell just wants some offensive pop for opening day and has a lot of faith in Carp to deliver.  The guy was a monster against RHP last year and wasn't used as much as he probably should have been.
 
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Could also be a case of Farrell rewarding a veteran who was with the team all last year with the Opening Day honors. 
 

Plympton91

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Right field in Baltimore is fairly small, so unless they were going to put Sizemore or JBJ in LF then it's not directly Carp for Bradley on Defense. It's the difference between Carp and Nava in LF plus the difference between Nava and Bradley in RF. Because of the asymmetry of the park, you can't just sum the differences. I bet if they were home, Bradley might be in there.
 

TheoShmeo

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JBJ could be on a bit of an emotional roller coaster right now.
 
"You're in the minors."
 
"No, you made the team."
 
It strikes me as a good thing for him to not get the start today and rather be in the line-up on Wednesday.
 
Not that it would be a huge blunder to play him today.  And not that he's an emotional noodle and couldn't handle it.  Still, I think giving him a day to take it all in isn't a bad idea.    
 

LahoudOrBillyC

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It might be as simple as Farrell not wanting to go to Mike Carp and tell him that, no, he actually is NOT starting on opening day after all.  Nava and Carp are fine players and I am sure their teammates are happy to go to war with them.  I would expect that Nava, Carp, Sizemore, Gomes and Bradley will share the three spots in the next few weeks.
 

mabrowndog

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I assume having Lester on the mound mitigates some of Farrell's concerns over the need for Gold Glovers everywhere.
 
I also believe the manager is giving a well-earned vote of confidence to Carp, both for his stud-like work last year and because of all the trade rumors this spring. Starting JBJ today would be telling Carp, "Yeah, we have no plans for you, and will not provide any opportunities to build value either for this club or for your pending free agency."
 
Not every managerial decision boils down to numbers. 
 

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mabrowndog said:
I assume having Lester on the mound mitigates some of Farrell's concerns over the need for Gold Glovers everywhere.
 
I also believe the manager is giving a well-earned vote of confidence to Carp, both for his stud-like work last year and because of all the trade rumors this spring. Starting JBJ today would be telling Carp, "Yeah, we have no plans for you, and will not provide any opportunities to build value either for this club or for your pending free agency."
 
Not every managerial decision boils down to numbers. 
 
I think it could also potentially mess with Bradley's psyche to send a signal that he's just a hair's breadth from being a starter by leapfrogging him over guys who already made the roster. Probably not so great for the psyche of the guy who would be leapfrogged either.
 
I mean, we know that position matters, but like Plympton said, they're not playing in Fenway. Farrell is strong analytically and smart as hell about baseball, but part of being smart about baseball is knowing that he's managing players who are people and he's great at it. Signalling that JBJ is effectively the #4 outfielder is probably not a good idea seeing as that's not the roster decision they made.
 

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Farrell doesn't like to toy around with his players as if they are just names in a fantasy lineup. Carp was probably told to get ready to start a few days ago and JBJ wasn't. Similar scenarios happened last year.
 

Fishy1

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mabrowndog said:
I assume having Lester on the mound mitigates some of Farrell's concerns over the need for Gold Glovers everywhere.
 
I also believe the manager is giving a well-earned vote of confidence to Carp, both for his stud-like work last year and because of all the trade rumors this spring. Starting JBJ today would be telling Carp, "Yeah, we have no plans for you, and will not provide any opportunities to build value either for this club or for your pending free agency."
 
Not every managerial decision boils down to numbers. 
 Especially not those managerial decisions that are marginal.
 

lexrageorge

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Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat said:
Two on, two out in the 8th seemed to be a great opportunity to pinch hit Gomes against the lefty reliever.  Didn't happen, and AJ grounded out to the pitcher.
The classic "When do you pinch hit for the catcher" debate.  
 

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Sure hated having JBJ at the plate at the end.

If you really feel you need to run for Nap (and you've still got Gomes on the bench having failed to put him in for AJP when you should have), why not put him in LF so you've got a better bat in that slot - or let him him for JBJ in the 9th?
 

URI

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Moved some posts in here to the Game Thread. 
 

nattysez

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ToeKneeArmAss said:
Sure hated having JBJ at the plate at the end.

If you really feel you need to run for Nap (and you've still got Gomes on the bench having failed to put him in for AJP when you should have), why not put him in LF so you've got a better bat in that slot - or let him him for JBJ in the 9th?
 
https://twitter.com/brianmacp/status/450766464908537856
 
I can kind of see his logic if the hitters at issue were close, but low-confidence JBJ v. Napoli isn't off-set by handedness.  Did he think he was being asked why Gomes wasn't the pinch-runner?  Or maybe he intentionally misunderstood the question?
 
https://twitter.com/brianmacp/status/450766958112559104
 
So in his first answer, handedness was a huge factor.  In this answer, handedness doesn't matter.  Yuck.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Buck had a chance to use his challenge in the second inning on the weird double play.   Basically, Wieters was erased at second base for the second out of the inning, and from replay it looked like the tag was missed.  
 
There are a number of possibilities why he didn't challenge.  He might not have seen the play, nor did Wieters say anything when getting back to the dug out.  His video review guys -- if he has them -- were not very quick or thought it was too close or had a better angle showing out.  Or he might have decided at that point in the game not use the challenge.  If the last, I think it was a mistake.
 
The difference in win expectancy between nobody on and two out, and second base and one out, is .049, from .664 to .713.  The difference in run expectancy for the inning was about 20 percent higher for 1 run, about 7 percent higher for two runs, and about 4 percent higher for 3 or more runs.  I think a nearly five percent added chance of winning is worth a challenge in the second inning.   There is also, I think, some added incremental benefit for later games of a multi-game series when you hang some extra pitches on a starter and thus get to the bullpen potentially quicker in game 1.
 
What's the cut off for a challenge?  Is there ever an advantage that is so modest that the risk of the losing the challenge would cause you not to use one in the first few innings if you think the challenge has a decent shot?
 

LahoudOrBillyC

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Yeah, I am not a big fan of pinch-running in that spot unless you need a stolen base.  I seriously wonder (the Red Sox might know) what the difference in run expectation is with JBJ on first base rather than Napoli.  Whatever it is, does that offset the downgrade on defense and offense?
 

radsoxfan

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Rudy Pemberton said:
Why PR for Napoli at all? It ultimately weakens the defense at 1b, removes a huge power bat from the lineup, and is JBJ even a good base runner? He's certainly an inexperienced one so I'm not really sure what you gain, and then you're giving the biggest at bat of the game to him? Not PHing Gomes, who was heralded as great clutch hitter all last year?

Welcome back, baseball :)
 
Bradley is no burner, but I'm willing to bet he is a solid upgrade on the bases compared to Nap.  Also, any weakening of 1B defense is more than made up for by replacing Carp's glove with JBJ in the outfield.
 
This move probably comes down to just how much of a downgrade you think a possible JBJ plate appearance is compared to Napoli vs. a right handed pitcher. I generally am anti pinch running in most cases, but this one I didn't mind. Down 1 in the 8th is about as good a time as any. 
 

dbn

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mabrowndog said:
I assume having Lester on the mound mitigates some of Farrell's concerns over the need for Gold Glovers everywhere.
 
I also believe the manager is giving a well-earned vote of confidence to Carp, both for his stud-like work last year and because of all the trade rumors this spring. Starting JBJ today would be telling Carp, "Yeah, we have no plans for you, and will not provide any opportunities to build value either for this club or for your pending free agency."
 
Not every managerial decision boils down to numbers. 
 
The longer I watch baseball the more I believe the bolded.
 
LahoudOrBillyC said:
Yeah, I am not a big fan of pinch-running in that spot unless you need a stolen base.  I seriously wonder (the Red Sox might know) what the difference in run expectation is with JBJ on first base rather than Napoli.  Whatever it is, does that offset the downgrade on defense and offense?
 
I mostly agree, except in situations where the chance of the person being pinch-ran for is unlikely to bat again (which wasn't the case today).
 
edit: maybe that is exactly what you meant by "in that spot".
 

soxhop411

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It seems that JF is not the type of manager who will PH for his catcher late in the game… Looking at Salty's 2013 game log, of the game's that he started, he completed all but SIX games, 
 
Of the six these were the games he was PH for
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL201309270.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS201308270.shtml
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BAL/BAL201309290.shtml
 
Two of these were in Sept, with the expanded roster.
 
Ross started but did not finish 9 games, though im not sure how much of that was due to his lingering health issues last season
 

Plympton91

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I was not a fan of PRing for Napoli at all; as the O's announcers pointed out, there would be a lot of scenarios where you wouldn't send the runner anyway against Markakis, Jones, and Cruz.
 
I was apoplectic that Gomes didn't hit for Pierczynski.  If you were ever going to pinch hit for anyone ever that was a spot to do it.  Gomes crushes lefties, our new starting catcher flails against them, the O's announcers pointed out that Matusz still struggles with lefties, which was why they moved him to the bullpen.  And, as we were told all last fall, Gomes is Mr. Clutch!   Plus, one reason why managers are sometimes reluctant to PH for the starting catcher is not to break up the chemistry between the starting pitcher and the catcher, but Tazawa came in anyway and Lester was likely done no matter what.  So, only the irrational fear of an injury in the final two innings prevented it.  Farrell and the Red Sox are supposed to act rationally.
 
Similarly, despite Hanson's R/L split, I wanted Gomes to hit for Bradley too.  Bradley is just not comfortable up there right now, and should be treated as the 25th man on the roster.
 
Another point is that Lester was really careless in the at bat to Cruz.  With the way Cruz kills him, he's got to stay out of the zone even if it leads to a walk (as it had harmlessly earlier in the game).  That mistake is also on Pierczynski, who needs to be the one to call the pitches away from Cruz's hot spots, especially given that they played together for the 2/3rds of the season that Cruz wasn't suspended for being a cheating cheat.     
 

Eddie Jurak

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I could not believe how poorly - and inconsistently - Farrell managed the top of the 8th.
 
With one out and Napoli on second, he pinch ran Bradley.  That's a defensible move, although leaving Napoli in would also have been defensible.  It was only the 8th inning, and there was the possibility that Napoli's spot in the order might come around again, but if Farrell wanted to go "all-in" for the tying run, pinch-running for Napoli was the obvious move.
 
Sizemore is retired and then Bogaerts walks, so that the situation is runners on first and second with AJ Pierzynski coming up.  The Orioles bring in lefty-killer Brian Matusz to pitch to the lefthanded Pierzynski...
 
Matusz vs. Pierzynski is a great matchup for the Orioles.  
 
Except that Matusz is bad against righthanded batters , and Farrell had Johnny Gomes (and David Ross) on the bench.  It's an obvious move to turn the tables on Showalter, Farrell passed it up, and Pierzynski (predictably) tapped weakly back to the pitcher.  
 
Bad move, particularly given his decision to run for Napoli earlier in the inning.  If scoring the typing run in the 8th is so important that running for your cleanup hitter is justified, then scoring that run is also important enough to turn a terrible matchup into a good one.
 
Hopefully, it is not an indication that Pierzynski will be allowed to hit versus lefties in key situations going forward.
 
Of course, hindsight tells us that Bradley (and not Napoli) ended up hitting in another key situation with the game on the line.  That's obviouly not knowable ahead of time, though.  
 
I would be inclined to give Farrell a pass if he had run Bradley and hit Gomes in the 8th, or if had left Napoli and Pierzynski in the game.  But what he did was start out playing for the run in the 8th and then give up on it before the inning was even over.  
 
Disappointing.
 

jtn46

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Not hitting for AJP was really strange. I imagine it was either a big picture, show confidence in your starting catcher in game 1 kind of move or Farrell wanted to hit and run and felt AJP was the better man for that than Gomes (which would also explain running for Napoli).
 

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jtn46 said:
Not hitting for AJP was really strange. I imagine it was either a big picture, show confidence in your starting catcher in game 1 kind of move or Farrell wanted to hit and run and felt AJP was the better man for that than Gomes (which would also explain running for Napoli).
 
It has to be this. 
 
(I was watching, and I don't remember any runners going on any of his foul balls. 
 

Sampo Gida

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Gomes is a FB hitter and even though its righty on righty I would have preferred seeing him up instead of JBJ.
 
I am ok with not PH for AJP since most managers don't do this much in the regular season.
 
I also wonder at Lester facing Cruz in the 7th with his PC at 92.  Lester only thrown more than 100 pitches in his first start 1 other time in his career, and that was with Bobby V.  Cruz had a 1409 OPS against Lester in 24 PA.   Bit of hindsight there though, he certainly finished strong after the HR 
 

Rovin Romine

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jtn46 said:
Not hitting for AJP was really strange. I imagine it was either a big picture, show confidence in your starting catcher in game 1 kind of move or Farrell wanted to hit and run and felt AJP was the better man for that than Gomes (which would also explain running for Napoli).
Nothing like putting a guy in a position to fail and contribute to losing the game. I imagine AJP feels totally awesome right now. Confidence was shown!
 

derekson

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I'm pretty much 100% in agreement with Eddie Jurak's take. Running for Napoli is a fine move if you're going all in on scoring the tying run in the 8th inning. And if that's what you're doing, then you pinch hit for Pierzynski with Gomes, or if you are concerned about blowing through your entire bench then you could just go to Ross instead of burning two players. In either case you're getting a great chance to give a righty a leveraged at bat against a left-handed specialist.
 
The other issue here is that if sox hop can look at the numbers and see that Farrell basically never hits for his catcher then you can be damned sure Buck Showalter knows that too, and it explains why Showalter wasn't worried about bringing in Matusz in that situation. If Farrell wasn't so predictable then Showalter would at least have to consider the chance that he's just set himself up for a bad matchup with a lefty masher facing Matusz. Leaving aside the straight numbers given by the specific match ups, game theory dictates that you shouldn't be 100% predictable. If you are all but certain to make the same move in that situation every time, you invite intelligent managers to consistently take advantage of that fact.
 
This game isn't the first time that I've noticed managers taking advantage of Farrell's predictable reluctance to pinch hit either. Joe Maddon almost stole a game in the ALDS last year by building a game strategy entirely around the premise of Farrell not pinch hitting for his platoon guys. The Red Sox ended up winning only because Farrell finally came to his senses the 3rd time through the order after Maddon had consistently used Farrell's predictability to get the platoon advantage in a vast majority of plate appearances for the first 6 innings of the game. But Maddon started Hellickson with the goal of getting the Red Sox RHSP lineup out there, and after 2 innings he was trotting out lefties who mowed down guys like Drew, Nava, and Salty fully knowing that Farrell would be slow to pull the trigger on his pinch hitters.
 

Eddie Jurak

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geoduck no quahog said:
2013 AJ against RHP: .269
2013 AJ against LHP: .279
 
Lifetime: .290 vs. .261
That's only part of the story, though.
 
AJP Lifetime:
vs RHP: .290/.331/.442/.773
vs LHP: .261/.291/.384/.675
 
AJP 2013:
vs RHP: .269/.286/.438/.724
vs LHP: .279/.318/.400/.718
 
Last year's split is a wash, but one year batter splits against LHP aren't that indicative of anything.
 
You also need to consider:
 
1. The pitcher:
 
Matusz Lifetime:
vs RHB: .305/.370/.490/.860
vs LHB: .208/.264/.354/.618
 
AJP 2013:
vs RHB: .302/.375/.372/.747
vs LHB: .168/.225/.277/.502
 
Just for perspective... in 2013, Ryan Dempster had an OPS against of .774 and Clay Buchholz had an OPS against of .546.  That's a huge gap...
 
2. You also need to consider the alternative:
 
Gomes Lifetime:
vs RHP: .225/.310/.423/.733
vs LHP: .279/.377/.502/.879
 
Gomes 2013:
vs RHP: .258/.341/.404/.745
vs LHP: .236/.347/.447/.795
 
It was just a terrible move any way you look at it, especially after removing Napoli.
 

Adrian's Dome

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https://twitter.com/brianmacp/status/450766958112559104
 
I hope that's Farrell just BSing the media, because "AJ" and "good at bat" don't belong in the same sentence. Ever. The guy goes up there against his biggest weakness at the biggest spot in the game and absolutely flails at the first three pitches, none of them good to hit, and weakly grounds out to the pitcher. I could understand perhaps not using Gomes in that spot if you don't want to burn two bench spots with one move (don't like the logic, but can at least see it,) but leaving Ross on the pine is catastrophically bad.
 

lexrageorge

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AL pinch hitters batted 0.208 league wide in 2013 (and 0.206 in 2012).  And if AJP and "good at bat" never belong in the same sentence, that's Cherington's fault, not Farrell's.  I personally disagree that a guy with a career 0.750 OPS never has good at bats, but that's a bit of a diversion from the pinch hitting issue.  Always take the quotes from any MLB manager with a grain of salt; I'd much rather Farrell's quote than the Valentine-like "Yeah, AJ is a terrible hitter against lefties, but he needs to have a good at bat there".  
 
Also, Francona seldom pinch hit for the catcher, even when Doug Mirabelli had long outlived his usefulness. Farrell did work for a number years under Tito, so I'm not totally surprised that Farrell takes a similar approach. 
 
Not defending the move per se; just pointing out that there's a lot that goes into the pinch hitting decision, and the numbers do indicate that pinch hitting is not always as fruitful as it may appear just by looking at the bench player's platoon splits.  
 

Plympton91

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lexrageorge said:
AL pinch hitters batted 0.208 league wide in 2013 (and 0.206 in 2012).  And if AJP and "good at bat" never belong in the same sentence, that's Cherington's fault, not Farrell's.  I personally disagree that a guy with a career 0.750 OPS never has good at bats, but that's a bit of a diversion from the pinch hitting issue.  Always take the quotes from any MLB manager with a grain of salt; I'd much rather Farrell's quote than the Valentine-like "Yeah, AJ is a terrible hitter against lefties, but he needs to have a good at bat there".  
 
Also, Francona seldom pinch hit for the catcher, even when Doug Mirabelli had long outlived his usefulness. Farrell did work for a number years under Tito, so I'm not totally surprised that Farrell takes a similar approach. 
 
Not defending the move per se; just pointing out that there's a lot that goes into the pinch hitting decision, and the numbers do indicate that pinch hitting is not always as fruitful as it may appear just by looking at the bench player's platoon splits.  
 
My guess is that those batting averages for pinch hitters need additional context.  You're usually pinch hitting late in close games against top of the line relief pitchers who probably have BAA's in the low 2's to start with, and if a pinch hitter were actually a good hitter, he wouldn't be on the bench very often available to pinch hit.  So, the .208 batting average after adjusting for who is hitting and who is pitching may be just about what you'd expect given the actual matchups and splits in isolation.  It doesn't necessarily mean that good hitters hit worse as pinch hitters than they'd hit otherwise.
 

PrometheusWakefield

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I was stoked for the Gomes vs Mastusz AB as soon as I saw Showalter walking to the mound to pick up Meek.

And I really don't buy the argument that starts with "if we get to extra innings and if Ross gets hurt..." We're talking about an AB that could easily swing the chance of victory by 50%. Considering what happens in a <1% scenario shouldn't really enter into it. Worst comes to worst one of these guys must have played some C in college. It might not be pretty but these are professional athletes here, I'm sure somebody could manage for a few innings.
 

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PrometheusWakefield said:
I was stoked for the Gomes vs Mastusz AB as soon as I saw Showalter walking to the mound to pick up Meek.

And I really don't buy the argument that starts with "if we get to extra innings and if Ross gets hurt..." We're talking about an AB that could easily swing the chance of victory by 50%. Considering what happens in a <1% scenario shouldn't really enter into it. Worst comes to worst one of these guys must have played some C in college. It might not be pretty but these are professional athletes here, I'm sure somebody could manage for a few innings.
I disagree. A guy not used to catching might not know how to protect his throwing hand from foul tips and get it broken. Or he could get a foul tip or two off the mask and get concussed. Pedey's been the third guy in some other years (but not this year), how about if one of those happened to him? For one game? One AB? Then there's the whole knowing what to call and knowing how pitchers' pitches break so you don't get a bunch of passed balls (Tek catching Wake in the '04 ALCS). That's almost like saying anybody, like a fullback or a tight end, could play center in an NFL game for a half or so.
 

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I think those of us who live and die with every game sometimes forget the bigger picture, and what the message to AJP would be if he gets pinch hit for in that situation. I know I'm stating the obvious, but the point stands. The manager doesn't need to pull extraordinary measures in a 1-run game on the road - first game of the long season.
 
A side note, how many of those solid RS blasts off of Tillman turn into hits on another day? They looked pretty good yesterday - offense and pitching (against a scary lineup).
 

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geoduck no quahog said:
I think those of us who live and die with every game sometimes forget the bigger picture, and what the message to AJP would be if he gets pinch hit for in that situation.
 
 
That he's a declining, veteran, platoon catcher lucky to have a job on a contender and he should keep his head down and mouth shut while doing what's best for the team as often as necessary during this year in which we hope he doesn't suck so badly that he makes them regret not matching the Marlins offer to Saltalamacchia while waiting for Vazquez to get adequate seasoning in AAA?
 
Oh yeah, you can't tell multimillionaire athletes the truth.  I forgot.
 

lexrageorge

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Plympton91 said:
 
 
That he's a declining, veteran, platoon catcher lucky to have a job on a contender and he should keep his head down and mouth shut while doing what's best for the team as often as necessary during this year in which we hope he doesn't suck so badly that he makes them regret not matching the Marlins offer to Saltalamacchia while waiting for Vazquez to get adequate seasoning in AAA?
 
Oh yeah, you can't tell multimillionaire athletes the truth.  I forgot.
That's why you're not the manager.  
 
Seriously, in baseball, managers don't manage each and every inning of each and every game as if it's the last game of the World Series.  That's true across baseball, even for the immortal Joe Maddon.  
 

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Do these moves, in combination, seal once and for all the notion that Farrell doesn't see Napoli as an emergency catcher? I had thought I read somewhere that he had been seen catching some side sessions or something in spring training, but I may be mistaken. Anyway, it seems that if Farrell thought of Napoli as even a possible catching option, it would make sense not to pull him for a pinch runner when it may be wise to pinch hit for AJP; that he did pull him suggests Farrell doesn't consider that an option.
 

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Plympton91 said:
 
 
That he's a declining, veteran, platoon catcher lucky to have a job on a contender and he should keep his head down and mouth shut while doing what's best for the team as often as necessary during this year in which we hope he doesn't suck so badly that he makes them regret not matching the Marlins offer to Saltalamacchia while waiting for Vazquez to get adequate seasoning in AAA?
 
Oh yeah, you can't tell multimillionaire athletes the truth.  I forgot.
I would bet there is very little chance AJ's feelings were part of any decision. Aj had a history of good at bats against that pitcher, and perhaps he wanted to save Gomes for a lefty pitching to Nava JBJ. 
 

Eddie Jurak

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lexrageorge said:
My point is that if he's that bad of a hitter, then he never should have been signed to a contract in the first place.  Farrell had nothing to do with that.  Like it or not, we're stuck with AJP getting the majority of starts, and at-bats, at catcher this season.  
 
Farrell's other options involve using his backup catcher in the 8th inning of a road game; most managers prefer not to do that, especially in game 1.  
The Sox signed Pierzynski in part because he was available on a one year deal and in part because they hold their current backup catcher in high regard.

They did not sign him for his ability to hit well against LOOGYs with the game on the line.

I can see the argument for leaving him in because the Sox would have another chance to tie or win the game in the 9th. But if that was the case then Napoli should have stayed in the game.

Farrell's moves should have been aimed at giving the team the best possible chance to score in the 8th OR at giving them the best possible chance to score on the 9th.

What he actually did was neither. He have up the 8th, but not before weakening the team for the 9th.
 

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On a related note, it seems like a huge mistake to have Bogaerts batting ahead of a bad hitter who will not be pinch hit for.
 

KillerBs

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Eddie Jurak said:
On a related note, it seems like a huge mistake to have Bogaerts batting ahead of a bad hitter who will not be pinch hit for.
 
Agreed. Especially with a lefty on the mound, you would think Xandy is going to be pitched around.
 
On the PH for AJP issue, I suppose that if they committed to PHing for AJP late against lefties (and Ross late against righties) this could give rise to a concern re overwork for both of them. You would end up with both of them getting into more games then what they may be comfortable with. 
 

Plympton91

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One other possibility that hasn't been mentioned is that perhaps Gomes was sick or had a minor tweak that left him only available for emergencies? Given the Carp start in LF, while perfectly logical with the righty on the mound, might also have something to do with that.
 

nattysez

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Plympton91 said:
One other possibility that hasn't been mentioned is that perhaps Gomes was sick or had a minor tweak that left him only available for emergencies? Given the Carp start in LF, while perfectly logical with the righty on the mound, might also have something to do with that.
 
FWIW, Gomes is starting today.  I was going to complain about Gomes starting over JBJ when they're facing a righty today and a lefty tomorrow, but (1) based on SSS, Gomes loves hitting against Ubaldo -- 1.407 OPS in 14PA, (2) I'm sure Gomes is raring to go and Farrell wants to get him into a game ASAP, and (3) one could argue that JBJ's top value to the team at the moment is as a pinch runner/defensive replacement, so JBJ may not get too many starts until Sizemore's eventual injury.
 

Toe Nash

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nattysez said:
 
FWIW, Gomes is starting today.  I was going to complain about Gomes starting over JBJ when they're facing a righty today and a lefty tomorrow, but (1) based on SSS, Gomes loves hitting against Ubaldo -- 1.407 OPS in 14PA, (2) I'm sure Gomes is raring to go and Farrell wants to get him into a game ASAP, and (3) one could argue that JBJ's top value to the team at the moment is as a pinch runner/defensive replacement, so JBJ may not get too many starts until Sizemore's eventual injury.
Camden Yards also has a small outfield, which minimizes the defensive difference between JBJ and Gomes (if JBJ's not in CF).
 
Offensively, that sample size is still small and Ubaldo has been a wildly streaky pitcher over his career -- were those ABs when Ubaldo was getting lit up or during times when he was lights-out? But overall, I think it's a perfectly defensible decision. Gomes has actually been decent enough against RHP that he is probably superior to JBJ at this point offensively.