Second Guesser's Club - The Birds

absintheofmalaise

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Game 1: 4/18 7:05pm Tillman RHP vs. Lackey RHP MLBN
Game 2: 4/19 1:35pm Norris RHP vs. Doubront LHP
Game 3: 4/20 7:05pm Jimenez RHP vs. Peavy RHP ESPN
Game 4: 4/21 11:05am Chen LHP vs. Buchholz RHP MLBN
 

Saints Rest

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Have the Sox fielded the same lineup twice all year?  Not twice in a row, but just twice?  Seems like Farrell is doing a lot of tinkering -- some injury-driven, some platoon-driven -- but it seems to suggest he isn't yet comfortable with his core people.
 
I'd like to see him lock in a lineup and just let the guys go out there and do their thing.  
 

radsoxfan

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Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat said:
I might be reading too much into it, but that outfield would seem to indicate that JBJ is now the centerfielder on this team.
 
He's the center fielder of this version of the team that has Sizemore, JBJ, and no Victorino.  I think this has been the case for awhile, though I suppose maybe not at Fenway yet.
 
The question still remains after Victorino comes back, how does it shake out?  I think JBJ needs to stay in CF (and not get sent down), since I doubt Grady can play a capable CF 5-6 times a week, and they don't seem to want Victorino in center.  
 

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radsoxfan said:
 
He's the center fielder of this version of the team that has Sizemore, JBJ, and no Victorino.  I think this has been the case for awhile, though I suppose maybe not at Fenway yet.
 
The question still remains after Victorino comes back, how does it shake out?  I think JBJ needs to stay in CF (and not get sent down), since I doubt Grady can play a capable CF 5-6 times a week, and they don't seem to want Victorino in center.  
Well, that was my point.  The last time they were in Fenway, JBJ was in right and Sizemore in center.
 

radsoxfan

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Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat said:
Well, that was my point.  The last time they were in Fenway, JBJ was in right and Sizemore in center.
 
My impression was that the switch from Sizemore to JBJ in center was mostly related to the fact that Grady looked terrible out there, and not the fact that Yankee Stadium and U.S cellular field were both somehow more conducive to this setup.
 
I would have been very surprised to see both JBJ and Sizemore in the lineup, with Sizemore in center tonight. But I suppose this is confirmation this will be the strategy going forward, at least pre-Victorino.
 

absintheofmalaise

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Alex Speier @alexspeier

Farrell acknowledges Sizemore has little familiarity playing the Wall in LF at Fenway, and there isn't time for a full crash course today
 
Speier followed up with another tweet with a picture of Sizemore doing some early work in LF. I hope he learns quickly.
 

 
 

ivanvamp

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absintheofmalaise said:
Sox line up:
 
Sizemore LF
Nava RF
Pedroia 2B
Napoli DH
Carp 1B
Bogaerts SS
Pierzynski C
Bradley CF
Holt 3B
Lackey RHP
 
Napoli is a much better fielder than Carp is.  If you're going to play the two of them at 1b and DH, why have the weaker fielder at 1b?  Why not have Carp be the DH and Napoli at first?
 

Byrdbrain

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ivanvamp said:
 
Napoli is a much better fielder than Carp is.  If you're going to play the two of them at 1b and DH, why have the weaker fielder at 1b?  Why not have Carp be the DH and Napoli at first?
Could be as simple as giving Napoli a semi-day off along with resting Ortiz, can't hurt to not have his sore finger get hit every time he catches a ball(pretty sure the bum finger is on his glove hand).
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Saints Rest said:
Have the Sox fielded the same lineup twice all year?  Not twice in a row, but just twice?  Seems like Farrell is doing a lot of tinkering -- some injury-driven, some platoon-driven -- but it seems to suggest he isn't yet comfortable with his core people.
 
I'd like to see him lock in a lineup and just let the guys go out there and do their thing.  
http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/2014-batting-orders.shtml
 
They've posted the following 2 lineups twice each:
 

2 Games

2 Games
 

JMDurron

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ivanvamp said:
 
Napoli is a much better fielder than Carp is.  If you're going to play the two of them at 1b and DH, why have the weaker fielder at 1b?  Why not have Carp be the DH and Napoli at first?
 
This move has already cost the Sox a run, at the very least tonight.  I'm hoping that the finger was enough of an issue to justify the DH slot for Napoli, as twisted as that sounds.  A pitcher on the mound that lets balls get put into play right now with a Fenway LF novice in LF, a guy with LF range in RF, a DH at 1B, and whatever Bogaerts is right now at SS can't feel terribly confident about those balls turning into outs.  
 

MakMan44

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Yeah, Lackey pitched pretty well tonight. Too many walks but his FIP was a shade over 3 for the game. 
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Lackey was the victim of at least two plays-not-made tonight. Holt didn't get an out on an infield ground ball to 3rd (which I hoped off the bat would start a DP), and Carp let a ball get past his backhand glove. Lackey couldn't pitch around the misplays.
 
1B defense is something that you only miss when you don't have it. Napoli is not Mientkiewicz, but I really believe he would have gotten an out on the play that Carp butchered.
 
I don't know who to blame when the cutoff between Nava and Carp wasn't fielded cleanly and a run scored on that play. 
 
Is it bad positioning or X's lack of range that let those 2 hits go through the 5.5 hole tonight? I don't want to be this decade's "Pokey Woulda Had It!" guy; surely Drew let a few hits go through the 5.5 hole. Right? Right?
 

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HriniakPosterChild said:
 
Lackey was the victim of at least two plays-not-made tonight. Holt didn't get an out on an infield ground ball to 3rd (which I hoped off the bat would start a DP), and Carp let a ball get past his backhand glove. Lackey couldn't pitch around the misplays.
 
1B defense is something that you only miss when you don't have it. Napoli is not Mientkiewicz, but I really believe he would have gotten an out on the play that Carp butchered.
 
I don't know who to blame when the cutoff between Nava and Carp wasn't fielded cleanly and a run scored on that play. 
 
Is it bad positioning or X's lack of range that let those 2 hits go through the 5.5 hole tonight? I don't want to be this decade's "Pokey Woulda Had It!" guy; surely Drew let a few hits go through the 5.5 hole. Right? Right?
 
 
Regarding Xander, it wouldn't be so bad visually if he wasn't always going into that "Pasta Diving..." slide that he never seems to field the ball on after it is already too far past him for a play to be made.  I think it's happened 4 times in the past week or so, and it makes him look even worse than just the ball getting through otherwise would.
 
I'm hoping it's some rookie SS defensive jitters, because I seriously doubt that the team would have considered him to be a viable option at SS if his fielding so far in 2014 was indicative of what he had shown in the minor leagues as he developed.  Can anyone who saw him often in the minors confirm this?  I'm hoping he's just in a defensive slump of some kind and will eventually improve.  
 

Chainsaw318

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I am the layman-est of laymen here, but while Xander seemed a step away from a few balls in the hole tonight, I was wondering if some of it was positioning, rather than range.

I was at the game and it seems like he was positioned up the middle more, although that could have been a function of base runners being on first and second all night.

How can we tease positioning (both X's own and coaches) out of so small a number of games?
 

InsideTheParker

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JMDurron said:
 
Regarding Xander, it wouldn't be so bad visually if he wasn't always going into that "Pasta Diving..." slide that he never seems to field the ball on after it is already too far past him for a play to be made.  I think it's happened 4 times in the past week or so, and it makes him look even worse than just the ball getting through otherwise would.
 
I'm hoping it's some rookie SS defensive jitters, because I seriously doubt that the team would have considered him to be a viable option at SS if his fielding so far in 2014 was indicative of what he had shown in the minor leagues as he developed.  Can anyone who saw him often in the minors confirm this?  I'm hoping he's just in a defensive slump of some kind and will eventually improve.  
Comments from Di Sarcina in '13 are mixed :
 
 
 
Much time and energy has been spent speculation when Bogaerts, the Red Sox’ top prospect, will be called up to the big leagues. While DiSarcina has been quite impressed with the 20-year-old shortstop training at third base, he did say Bogaerts “needs to marinate a bit more, he needs to have some seasoning.”

“This kid has so much going for him,” DiSarcina said, comparing him to Angels star Mike Trout more than once. “He’s such a great asset, a personality on the club. If you walked into this clubhouse and you told him, ‘Hey, Xander, we’re going to go play baseball on the moon today,’ he’s the first one on the ship.”

DiSarcina did, however, echo the sentiment John Farrell has of late: Bogaerts remains a work in progress, particularly with his defense. He needs to know where to be for relay throws, when a hit is a sure double and other fundamentals. The best thing for him at this point is more reps.

One of the questions surround Bogaerts is whether or not he, at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, will stick at shortstop. To that, DiSarcina compared the situation to two other big-bodied shortstops, Cal Ripken Jr. and Derek Jeter.

“It’s more than just hitting. He has to work on his baserunning, he has to work on his defensive stuff, his angles to baseballs, his decision-making. You can’t replicate that stuff in practice or in early work or those types of things. He has to play. He has to be in games. He has to be in situations.

“He’s been impressive, and for me watching him defensively, he’s a lot further along than I thought he was coming up from Portland. He’s just inconsistent in some of his decisions, but over the last 10 days he has gotten better.”
These are the remarks that led me to think a left-side of X and Drew would be superior to one of WMB and X; The article ( http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2013/08/01/pawsox-manager-gary-disarcina-on-dc-xander-bogaerts-needs-more-marinating-but-has-similarities-to-angels-star-mike-trout/)
 
The team seems to have decided to let X "marinate" in major-league games.
 

luckysox

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X is the shortstop this season, and we're going to have to watch him suck out there some nights. He'll either improve this year and be ok for the next few years, or they'll have some serious decisions to make regarding the left side after this season is over. But I think the decision has been made for 2014, period. It is what it is, because Drew was never walking through the door for this season. Next season it'll be some decision between WMB, Marrero, X and Cecchini. But 2 of those guys aren't ready to be in that conversation for this season. So you get what you get, and you don't get upset.  Or you do and you kick your dog. 
 
The problem right now is that it's tough to have a left side that's struggling at the same time 2 of the 3 outfield spots are struggling (also known as bad) and when Napoli is giving way to The Butcher at 1st. Honestly, once Victorino gets back and Nap's finger is 100%, the defense shores up nicely. Just having ONE of Nava/Carp/Gomes/Sizemore on the field at a time will help things immensely.  Their bats are nice, their defense is collectively BAD.  I mean, thank GOD JBJ is holding his own offensively.  Imagine how bad it'd be out there without him every single night.
 
It's early and assuming the Sox get healthy soon, things will turn. Getting WMB and Victorino back should help the line-up consistency. The pitching has been good enough to win if the offense was anything like last season's...and it should be eventually. It's just a tough team to watch right now.
 

Harry Hooper

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InsideTheParker said:
Comments from Di Sarcina in '13 are mixed :
 
These are the remarks that led me to think a left-side of X and Drew would be superior to one of WMB and X; The article ( http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2013/08/01/pawsox-manager-gary-disarcina-on-dc-xander-bogaerts-needs-more-marinating-but-has-similarities-to-angels-star-mike-trout/)
 
The team seems to have decided to let X "marinate" in major-league games.
 
Those comments were from August 2013. DiSarcina followed them up in January 2014:

 
Though Bogaerts ultimately made his impact as a third baseman in the playoffs, going forward, DiSarcina suggested that he views the Red Sox’ top prospect as a capable defensive shortstop.
 
“I’m a firm believer that you play yourself off the position, that you let the player play himself off the position. For me, Xander has not played himself off the position yet. For me, Xander has not played himself off the position yet. I did not see any indications for the two solid months of playing shortstop,” said DiSarcina. “The one thing I really looked at with Xander was the ability to play the game in the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth innings defensively. What I loved about him is he stayed calm in the field, he made the plays. He’s a little unconventional — he’s a narrow-based infielder, he’s tall, he’s going to be a big kid, he’s still growing. He’s got a great arm, he’s got great hand-eye coordination. He turned two double plays with a one-run lead in the ninth inning where he stayed calm and collected. Those are the little things I looked for with Xander. To me, he’s going to have Brian Butterfield all spring training. I like to consider myself a good infield instructor, but Butter, he takes it to a different level. He’s a great infield instructor. I’m excited for Xander to have that resource around for all of spring training. I think leave him out there until he plays himself off the position, and I see no indication of that.”
 
 

Plympton91

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absintheofmalaise said:
Sizemore RF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Napoli 1B
Carp LF
Ross C
Holt 3B
Herrera SS
Bradley Jr. CF
Doubront LHP
 
It looks like XB is getting the day off today.
Ugh. That's a late March spring training lineup.
 

YTF

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Perhaps not the original intention of this thread, but is it OK to question the wisdom of MLB scheduling today's Sox-O's game with a 7:05PM start time given tomorrow's Patriot's Day 11:05 start? 
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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InsideTheParker said:
The team seems to have decided to let X "marinate" in major-league games.
I think that's exactly what they're doing. I'm okay with it. My tolerance for mistakes from the likes of X and JBJ, even Holt, is far higher than for those from the Roberts of the league.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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YTF said:
Perhaps not the original intention of this thread, but is it OK to question the wisdom of MLB scheduling today's Sox-O's game with a 7:05PM start time given tomorrow's Patriot's Day 11:05 start? 
And the Sox had to petition to get it moved from an 8p start.
 

YTF

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Have to wonder if the marathon weekend angle is what is driving this. Call me cynical but ESPN just had Sox-Yanks last Sunday night, why the need for Sox-O's this week? Not a ton of marquis matchups this weekend, but Angels-Tigers certainly would have been thought of as a decent game when the schedule was made as would have Dodgers-D'backs, Yankees-Rays and even perhaps Pirates-Brewers.
 

Harry Hooper

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YTF said:
Have to wonder if the marathon weekend angle is what is driving this. Call me cynical but ESPN just had Sox-Yanks last Sunday night, why the need for Sox-O's this week? Not a ton of marquis matchups this weekend, but Angels-Tigers certainly would have been thought of as a decent game when the schedule was made as would have Dodgers-D'backs, Yankees-Rays and even perhaps Pirates-Brewers.
 
 
Oh, I think that's definitely it. ESPN wanted to be here for that. Whether their motivation was a heartfelt gesture of support or seizing a commercial opportunity is not really known.
 

YTF

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Harry Hooper said:
 
 
Oh, I think that's definitely it. ESPN wanted to be here for that. Whether their motivation was a heartfelt gesture of support or seizing a commercial opportunity is not really known.
 
I would guess the latter of the two, probably working in concert with MLB. They're anchored out of Bristol, being a part of New England they fully understand what Marathon Monday is to the City of Boston, this year more than ever. Why else would you schedule THIS team on THIS particular Sunday night? Sox-O's is likely a bigger ratings grab tonight than it might be next week or the week after.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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YTF said:
 
I would guess the latter of the two, probably working in concert with MLB. They're anchored out of Bristol, being a part of New England they fully understand what Marathon Monday is to the City of Boston, this year more than ever. Why else would you schedule THIS team on THIS particular Sunday night? Sox-O's is likely a bigger ratings grab tonight than it might be next week or the week after.
 
When did people stop calling it "Patriot's Day?" (I moved west in 1992.)
 

Rudy's Curve

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I don't like giving JBJ a day off with Peavy (career 40.2 GB% and trending downward) on the mound - he needs the optimal OF defense more than anyone in the rotation. Why not just wait until tomorrow with Buchholz (career 49.2 GB%, highest on the staff) going?
 

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Rudy's Curve said:
I don't like giving JBJ a day off with Peavy (career 40.2 GB% and trending downward) on the mound - he needs the optimal OF defense more than anyone in the rotation. Why not just wait until tomorrow with Buchholz (career 49.2 GB%, highest on the staff) going?
And they're facing a lefty tomorrow.  Would seem to make more sense.
 

JimD

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InsideTheParker said:
Comments from Di Sarcina in '13 are mixed :
 
These are the remarks that led me to think a left-side of X and Drew would be superior to one of WMB and X; The article ( http://fullcount.weei.com/sports/boston/baseball/red-sox/2013/08/01/pawsox-manager-gary-disarcina-on-dc-xander-bogaerts-needs-more-marinating-but-has-similarities-to-angels-star-mike-trout/)
 
The team seems to have decided to let X "marinate" in major-league games.
If he's not a viable major league shortstop after 375 professional games, why would they entrust him with the hot corner after a mere 19 games in his career as a third baseman?
 

radsoxfan

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Rudy's Curve said:
I don't like giving JBJ a day off with Peavy (career 40.2 GB% and trending downward) on the mound - he needs the optimal OF defense more than anyone in the rotation. Why not just wait until tomorrow with Buchholz (career 49.2 GB%, highest on the staff) going?
 
Agreed. OF defense for Peavy tonight has the potential to be brutal.  At least Carp isn't in left I suppose.
 
For a team thats having trouble scoring runs, I'd also prefer the only regular with an OBP over .400 hit higher than 7th. Not sure there is a good explanation for that one.
 

teddywingman

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JimD said:
If he's not a viable major league shortstop after 375 professional games, why would they entrust him with the hot corner after a mere 19 games in his career as a third baseman?
Because range isn't nearly as important there, and he's got the arm for it.
 

MakMan44

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I can't believe Farrell didn't wait until Young was announced as a PHer. 
 

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MakMan44 said:
I can't believe Farrell didn't wait until Young was announced as a PHer. 
 
Yes, I can't recall that happening before in a game I've watched.  It's a step above "signal for the wrong reliever using the wrong hand" by the Mariners last season, but it's still pretty boneheaded.  
 
Fortunately, Orioles fans somewhere are wondering WTF is wrong with their 3Bman who thinks "Hmmm, this throw is either offline to the catcher, or directly to me.  Interesting.  Let's see what happens when I don't touch it." in the bottom of the 9th inning.  
 

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Thing is, would you rather face Young at .333 / .856 or Lough at .135 / .396 in that situation...

I think Buck was the one that showed witlessness.
 

MakMan44

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3B Brock Holt, 2B Dustin Pedroia, DH David Ortiz, 1B Mike Napoli, LF Jonny Gomes, SS Xander Bogaerts, RF Daniel Nava, C David Ross, CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
 

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MakMan44 said:
3B Brock Holt, 2B Dustin Pedroia, DH David Ortiz, 1B Mike Napoli, LF Jonny Gomes, SS Xander Bogaerts, RF Daniel Nava, C David Ross, CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
 
Can someone explain to me why we aren't giving Nava and his lusty .056/.105/.056 against LHP a rest? To my eye, he looks completely lost at the plate and in the field.
 

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Because Carp can't play RF and they won't have Sizemore play on that quick a turn. Some lousy lineups are the price of babying Sizemore.
 

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bosockboy said:
Because Carp can't play RF and they won't have Sizemore play on that quick a turn. Some lousy lineups are the price of babying Sizemore.
 
Especially while Victorino is out.
 

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JMDurron said:
 
Yes, I can't recall that happening before in a game I've watched.  It's a step above "signal for the wrong reliever using the wrong hand" by the Mariners last season, but it's still pretty boneheaded.  
 
Fortunately, Orioles fans somewhere are wondering WTF is wrong with their 3Bman who thinks "Hmmm, this throw is either offline to the catcher, or directly to me.  Interesting.  Let's see what happens when I don't touch it." in the bottom of the 9th inning.  
Upon further review, Grady "ran a perfect route" leaving Schoop less room to throw the ball.