Second Guesser's Club - The A's

rembrat

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The A's come in 18-10 with a pythagorean win-loss of 20-8 so this should be a great indicator of where the Sox are at. You know, if you needed more proof.
 

absintheofmalaise

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The gran facenda
Line ups:
 
Sox
Pedroia 4
Victorino 9
Ortiz DH
Napoli 3
Sizemore 7
Bogaerts 6
Pierzynski 2
Middlebrooks 5
Bradley Jr. 8
Buchholz RHP
 
A's
Crisp 8
Lowrie 6
Donaldson 5
Moss 3
Cespedes 7
Callaspo DH
Reddick 9
Jaso 2
Sogard 4
Straily RHP
 

absintheofmalaise

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Sox line up. 
 
Pedroia 2B
Bogaerts SS
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Gomes LF
Sizemore CF
Middlebrooks 3B
Bradley Jr. RF
Ross C
Lester LHP
 
A's
 
Crisp CF
Lowrie SS
Donaldson 3B
Cespedes DH
Norris C
Callaspo 1B
Gentry LF
Reddick RF
Punto 2B
Milone LHP
 

absintheofmalaise

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The non-Napoli line up:
 
Pedroia 2B
Victorino RF
Ortiz DH
Carp 1B
Pierzynski C
Bogaerts SS
Sizemore LF
Middlebrooks 3B
Bradley Jr. CF
Lackey RHP
 
A's
 
Crisp CF
Lowrie SS
Donaldson 3B
Moss 1B
Cespedes LF
Jaso DH
Norris C
Reddick RF
Sogard 2B
Gray RHP
 

Byrdbrain

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A very lefty heavy middle of the order today. Looking at this splits for this year(SSS warning) no one is hitting him for crap but righties are actually doing slightly better. Last year it was the opposite.
 
 
              AB  R  H  2B 3B HR RBI  BB HBP SO SB CS AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS
vs. Left   137 12 31 7   0    2   12    15   0      36  1   1   .226   .301  .321  .622
vs. Right 101 10 20 1   0    2    9     5     0      31  0   0  .198    .231  .267  .499
 

Plympton91

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Good to see Victorino right back in there. I guess yesterday was just precautionary. Sucks that he missed the day against the lefty and gets back in against a righty though.
 

TheoShmeo

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I mentioned this in the game thread but this is for second guesses.
 
Why rest Napoli today?
 
Possible answers are that Gray is really tough and tomorrow is an off day, and players like two in a row off.  And I know that JF (and Tito before him) does this as part of the regular routine -- gets guys rest and keeps the whole roster involved.
 
Counter-arguments:
 
- this line-up hasn't exactly been relentless so derpriving it of one of the best all around hitters in such a tough match-up is questionable.
 
- Does Napoli really need two days off?  It's early May. Unless he's hurting, one would think that Monday would be sufficient.
 
- Mike Carp hasn't been particularly effective this year.  Inserting him in the 4-hole seems like a good way to kill some rallies.
 
- Carp's defense at first is a good deal inferior to Napoli's. This isn't like inserting Eye-Chart into the 9 hole and at least getting some great defense in the exchange.
 
Is this the biggest of deals?  No.  But it strikes me as the wrong decision.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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TheoShmeo said:
I mentioned this in the game thread but this is for second guesses.
 
Why rest Napoli today?
 
Possible answers are that Gray is really tough and tomorrow is an off day, and players like two in a row off.  And I know that JF (and Tito before him) does this as part of the regular routine -- gets guys rest and keeps the whole roster involved.
 
Counter-arguments:
 
- this line-up hasn't exactly been relentless so derpriving it of one of the best all around hitters in such a tough match-up is questionable.
 
- Does Napoli really need two days off?  It's early May. Unless he's hurting, one would think that Monday would be sufficient.
 
- Mike Carp hasn't been particularly effective this year.  Inserting him in the 4-hole seems like a good way to kill some rallies.
 
- Carp's defense at first is a good deal inferior to Napoli's. This isn't like inserting Eye-Chart into the 9 hole and at least getting some great defense in the exchange.
 
Is this the biggest of deals?  No.  But it strikes me as the wrong decision.
 
Farrell says he's still dealing with soreness in his dislocated finger.  Maybe two consecutive days off will help.  He's only sat for one game since returning from the initial injury.
 
https://twitter.com/brianmacp/status/462968236594565120
 

Tangled Up In Red

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I missed yesterday, but why Sizemore in CF and JBJ in right? Is that the preferred option when Victorino isn't playing?
 

Darnell's Son

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Tangled Up In Red said:
I missed yesterday, but why Sizemore in CF and JBJ in right? Is that the preferred option when Victorino isn't playing?
 
I assume it's because they feel more comfortable with JBJ in right due to the size of Fenway's right field coupled with his arm strength.
 

TheoShmeo

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
Farrell says he's still dealing with soreness in his dislocated finger.  Maybe two consecutive days off will help.  He's only sat for one game since returning from the initial injury.
 
https://twitter.com/brianmacp/status/462968236594565120
Thanks for that.  Makes much more sense now.  And come to think of it, I recall him grabbing his hand at some point duirng yesterday's game.
 

richgedman'sghost

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TheoShmeo said:
I mentioned this in the game thread but this is for second guesses.
 
Why rest Napoli today?
 
Possible answers are that Gray is really tough and tomorrow is an off day, and players like two in a row off.  And I know that JF (and Tito before him) does this as part of the regular routine -- gets guys rest and keeps the whole roster involved.
 
Counter-arguments:
 
- this line-up hasn't exactly been relentless so derpriving it of one of the best all around hitters in such a tough match-up is questionable.
 
- Does Napoli really need two days off?  It's early May. Unless he's hurting, one would think that Monday would be sufficient.
 
- Mike Carp hasn't been particularly effective this year.  Inserting him in the 4-hole seems like a good way to kill some rallies.
 
- Carp's defense at first is a good deal inferior to Napoli's. This isn't like inserting Eye-Chart into the 9 hole and at least getting some great defense in the exchange.
 
Is this the biggest of deals?  No.  But it strikes me as the wrong decision.
Hey Carp has a leadoff hit and has scored the team's only run so far so it has worked out.
 

canderson

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Bottom 7th, tie game, runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out, JBJ at bat. He bunts. Not a squeeze, just a straight bunt.

IMO, that's an inexcusable play.
 

radsoxfan

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canderson said:
Bottom 7th, tie game, runners on 2nd and 3rd, 1 out, JBJ at bat. He bunts. Not a squeeze, just a straight bunt.

IMO, that's an inexcusable play.
 
With the infield in.  After squaring on the 3 previous pitches. In a 2-1 count.
 
I think I'd rather have Bradley close his eyes and swing than call for a non suicide squeeze there. 
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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A safety squeeze isn't a terrible play IF (and only if) he puts the bunt down where he's supposed to...up the 3rd line forcing Donaldson to field it.  Instead it was a terrible bunt on top of a terrible call.
 
That said, there's little chance of a double play there so why not let him swing away?  Safety squeeze is playing for one run, which you don't do in the seventh inning with the top of the order coming around.  Dumb call.
 

radsoxfan

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
A safety squeeze isn't a terrible play IF (and only if) he puts the bunt down where he's supposed to...up the 3rd line forcing Donaldson to field it.  Instead it was a terrible bunt on top of a terrible call.
 
 
Bad bunt, but it really needed to be perfect to work.  No margin for error. Unless he deadens it exactly right, a bunt to the 3B probably still ends up with Xander out at home. 
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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radsoxfan said:
 
Bad bunt, but it really needed to be perfect to work.  No margin for error. Unless he deadens it exactly right, a bunt to the 3B probably still ends up with Xander out at home. 
 
The theory on a safety squeeze is to bunt it at the third baseman, ideally making him charge to field the ball.  The runner at third then comes down the line a step or two behind the 3B.  As soon as the 3B makes the throw to first, the runner breaks for home.  It takes good but not necessarily perfect execution, but it has to start with making the 3B field the ball. 
 
The key for the hitter is to give the runner at third a chance to get at least a third of the way down the line before he breaks for home, meaning he only has to cover 50-60 feet in the time it takes for the ball to get to first then get relayed back to the plate.  Bunting it right back at the pitcher means the 3B easily can retreat to cover the bag, the runner has to retreat as well, and there's no chance to make a break for home.
 
It really isn't something they should have been doing with one out in the seventh inning, though.
 

radsoxfan

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
 
The theory on a safety squeeze is to bunt it at the third baseman, ideally making him charge to field the ball.  The runner at third then comes down the line a step or two behind the 3B.  As soon as the 3B makes the throw to first, the runner breaks for home.  It takes good but not necessarily perfect execution, but it has to start with making the 3B field the ball. 
 
 
That is one (uncommon) way a runner on third can score on a safety squeeze.  It's not the entire point of the play. The runner on third is just waiting for the bunt to be down in a place he thinks he can get home in time. If he thinks he can score, he goes.  Beating the throw from the first baseman after an out is made isn't the way you are typically trying to get the run in. 
 

Rudy's Curve

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Between the seventh inning fiasco and what happened in the 10th, it was not Farrell's best day.
 
1) Why not bring in Badenhop to face Donaldson with a runner on second and two out? Donaldson is good but Badenhop has held RHH to a .647 career OPS and I rarely like IBBing unless one run loses the game. One run was likely to lose it and it did, but don't increase the potential for a multirun inning when you can have a pretty decent matchup.
 
2) Why not bring in Badenhop to face Callaspo after he IBBd Donaldson? Badenhop has allowed a .278/.368/.430 career line to LHH, but Callaspo is a better hitter from the right side (.762 vs. .698 career OPS and .763 vs. .672 last year) and Capuano has allowed a career .276/.335/.471 line to RHH. Badenhop seems like the lesser of two evils there.
 
3) Why waste two strikes having JBJ bunt in the 10th? Johnson is a heavy groundball pitcher who doesn't strike LHH out very often (15.4% career). The odds are JBJ's going to be able to hit a GB to the right side (which he did) with the potential that it sneaks through for a hit. If he had been swinging from the start he may not have had such a defensive approach on 1-2.
 
4) I would have brought Tazawa out for the ninth after a 13-pitch eighth. He's probably as good a bet to have a scoreless inning as Uehara and then you'd have Uehara for the 10th instead of Capuano.
 

Darnell's Son

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Rudy's Curve said:
Between the seventh inning fiasco and what happened in the 10th, it was not Farrell's best day.
 
1) Why not bring in Badenhop to face Donaldson with a runner on second and two out? Donaldson is good but Badenhop has held RHH to a .647 career OPS and I rarely like IBBing unless one run loses the game. One run was likely to lose it and it did, but don't increase the potential for a multirun inning when you can have a pretty decent matchup.
 
2) Why not bring in Badenhop to face Callaspo after he IBBd Donaldson? Badenhop has allowed a .278/.368/.430 career line to LHH, but Callaspo is a better hitter from the right side (.762 vs. .698 career OPS and .763 vs. .672 last year) and Capuano has allowed a career .276/.335/.471 line to RHH. Badenhop seems like the lesser of two evils there.
 
3) Why waste two strikes having JBJ bunt in the 10th? Johnson is a heavy groundball pitcher who doesn't strike LHH out very often (15.4% career). The odds are JBJ's going to be able to hit a GB to the right side (which he did) with the potential that it sneaks through for a hit. If he had been swinging from the start he may not have had such a defensive approach on 1-2.
 
4) I would have brought Tazawa out for the ninth after a 13-pitch eighth. He's probably as good a bet to have a scoreless inning as Uehara and then you'd have Uehara for the 10th instead of Capuano.
 
I don't mind second guessing, but we don't know what the front office's metrics are on his usage. I think it's safe to bet that Tazawa pitched what he could for the day, even with tomorrow off. I also think it's safe to treat our important relievers with kid gloves this early in the season. There's really no need to risk one of our best reliever's arm this early in the year.
 

bosockboy

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The signs of stress are showing in the pen.

A lot is due to Mujica not being reliable, and they also only have 5 victories of more than 3 runs. The poor offense thus far has resulted in heavy bullpen usage in tight games.
 

Plympton91

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Red(s)HawksFan said:
A safety squeeze isn't a terrible play IF (and only if) he puts the bunt down where he's supposed to...up the 3rd line forcing Donaldson to field it.  Instead it was a terrible bunt on top of a terrible call.
 
That said, there's little chance of a double play there so why not let him swing away?  Safety squeeze is playing for one run, which you don't do in the seventh inning with the top of the order coming around.  Dumb call.
 
There's a post in a thread somewhere pointing out that JBJ is one of the worst contact hitters in the league, and he's slumping right now.  So, the bunts actually make a good bit of sense.  It is inexcusable that a player like JBJ can't get a good bunt down with regularity.  I hope he's in the cage for some early bunting practice over the next few days.  This isn't college or the minor leagues where he was a star not asked to bunt; he needs to be able to do the little things whether he's hitting 8th or 9th this year, or hopefully growing into a leadoff or #2 hitter in years to come. 
 

bosockboy

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Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat said:
I don't see how much is due to Mujica at all.  He's simply moved down on the depth chart and Badenhop has moved up.  Someone is always going to be the last man in the 'pen.
Mujica was ostensibly signed to give some relief to Koji and Tazawa in high leverage spots. That really hasn't happened. When the game is in peril they are being used as much or more so than last season.
 

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bosockboy said:
Mujica was ostensibly signed to give some relief to Koji and Tazawa in high leverage spots. That really hasn't happened. When the game is in peril they are being used as much or more so than last season.
How do you know this?  He could just as well have been signed to take some pressure off of Breslow, or the role that Breslow had at the end of last season.
 
 
EDIT--and this probably isn't the thread for this anyway
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I think everybody should be able to bunt well and "do the little things," but JBJ is more in the mold of Gomes and Napoli at the plate, just without the power. He's up there to see pitches, get walks, and hit mistakes. He had five doubles in the 8 games prior to today and had 14 walks against 31 Ks (Nap - 20BB, 33K * Gomes - 10BB, 23K).
 
If you wouldn't have a guy like Napoli or Gomes bunting, you shouldn't have JBJ bunting. He's not a speed or finesse guy, even though he plays great defense. His defense is all built on read and reaction time and technique. 
 

bosockboy

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Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat said:
How do you know this?  He could just as well have been signed to take some pressure off of Breslow, or the role that Breslow had at the end of last season.
 
 
EDIT--and this probably isn't the thread for this anyway
 
 
And for roughly the same money with which Cherington signed Uehara last winter, the Red Sox have a closer in waiting should anything befall Uehara, who turns 39 on April 3 and threw 88 innings last season, his heaviest workload since 2008, his last season in Japan. Losing Joel Hanrahan andAndrew Bailey to season-ending injuries last season no doubt persuaded the Sox that having another closer on hand is never a bad thing.
http://espn.go.com/boston/mlb/story/_/id/10499753/edward-mujica-gives-boston-red-sox-another-bullpen-weapon