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  1. Only 5.5 games out of first place

    Comment by DonChrysler — May 22, 2012 @ 9:04 am

  2. Strike Sweeney for a while, too… failed a concussion test this weekend.

    Comment by Mario Mendoza of commenters — May 22, 2012 @ 9:05 am

  3. Further caveat:

    Two of the three teams in the AL East ahead of them are not expected to stay ahead of them. Considering the Rays are the only team ahead of them likely to stick it out past the ASB, they’re only 3.5 back on their strongest competition. Plus, with the new WC system, they’re only actually two back in the loss column on a playoff spot.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  4. Jays have the second best run differential in the AL, and trade chips absolutely spilling out of their pockets, keep your head in the sand I guess.

    Comment by Dougal — May 22, 2012 @ 9:19 am

  5. Has any team ever been better served by injuries than these red sox?

    Doubront, middlebrooks, nava, etc…..guys who would mever have gotten a chance to play ahead of the high-priced “stars”…are now the guys leading the team out of the hole all those pricey players dug for them.

    seems to me the red sox should be thankful for many of the injuries, not upset.

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 9:26 am

  6. “With Ross now injured, the team will have to get by with some combination of Ryan Sweeney, Daniel Nava, Marlon Byrd and Che-Hsuan Lin in the outfield.”

    Sweeney is going on the 7 day DL with a concussion.

    The trade they’re regretting isn’t Lowrie (although I regret that one), its trading Reddick.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 9:27 am

  7. Yes looks like Sweeney is hitting the 7-day DL

    Comment by Jimmy Hammond — May 22, 2012 @ 9:27 am

  8. Run differential is pretty much meaningless 1/4 of the way into the season.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 9:28 am

  9. Do you honestly think this team wouldn’t be better with a healthy Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, and John Lackey?

    The prospects are playing pretty well, but they’re still all downgrades on the guys they replaced.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 9:30 am

  10. @Dougal, aside from the aforementioned note with regards to how completely useless run differential is this early (There’s, for example, is by and large attributed to the fact they’re blowing out multiple teams but losing a lot of close games, they’re 7-3 in blowouts and 3-7 in one run games, that accounts for nearly half of their games to date).

    Beyond that, their offense is performing to par for the Jays the last few years, but their pitching has been performing WAY over their heads. The only guy in their rotation who isn’t grossly outperforming his peripherals is Hutchison. Once their pitchers regress to mean, the team itself is likely to face a major downturn.

    You accuse me of keeping my head in the sand, yet you ignore the fact the Blue Jays have been doing the start off hot and then fade midseason act since like 2006. Their offense is great as usual, but their pitching is still a major work in progress. They’re making steady improvements year to year, but they’re still not a probably playoff contender yet.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 9:37 am

  11. Not that either was a massive upgrade over the guys they’re playing now, but it’s worth mentioning that Jason Repko and Darnell McDonald are on the DL as well. A combined outfield depth chart would look something like this:
    Ellsbury (DL)
    Crawford (DL)
    Ross (DL)
    Kalish (DL)
    Sweeney (injured)
    Repko (DL)
    McDonald (DL)
    Byrd
    Nava
    Lin
    Manny Ramirez’s 9-year-old son
    Ted Williams’s head

    Comment by Bryan — May 22, 2012 @ 9:42 am

  12. People said the same thing in 2010 when guys like McDonald and Nava were playing way over their heads.

    These are replacement level players having a cup of coffee who haven’t really faced any pitchers twice on the season. Once the scouting report is out, they’re going to come down to earth.

    As a Sox fan, I like that they’re playing over their heads, but every single one of these guys, with the exception of maybe Middlebrooks, is definitively a downgrade for the injured player they’re replacing. If the team continues dealing with freak injuries and players don’t start coming back (And of course, the first one on target to return is the one guy who may be a downgrade compared to his replacement), it is going to sink them once these guys regress to mean.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 9:47 am

  13. I feel like there should be a similar article about the Yankees. Lost Gardner, Robertson, Rivera, Pineda, Joba. And some severe underperformance (compared to what was expected) by Kuroda, Hughes, Nova, Freddy Garcia, Teixeira, Arod, Martin, Swisher (suddenly decided he no longer likes walks, but still likes hitting .250), Nunez (sent to AAA), and Soriano’s ERA should explode once all his walks catch up to him. And they now have a fascination with stranding baserunners, which one would expect to even out, but I’ve seen a few too many bases loaded none out rallies end without scoring a run to be comfortable with that. And I must admit to some trepidation about Andy being able to hold the rotation (non-CC division) together. I would not be surprised (although upset) if neither the Red Sox nor Yankees made the postseason. They’re still in it, and will probably be buyers to fill some holes, but right now, neither team looks like a true playoff team.

    Comment by phoenix2042 — May 22, 2012 @ 9:53 am

  14. I prefer Doubront to Lackey at this point but other than that, I certainly agree.

    Comment by oldschoolways — May 22, 2012 @ 9:53 am

  15. Sweeney does have a concussion but their is no 7 day disabled list. If he goes on DL it would have to be for at least 15 days.

    Comment by Soxy — May 22, 2012 @ 9:55 am

  16. Have there been an abnormally high number of injuries this season, or is it just me?

    The Red Sox injury woes are well documented here.

    The Nationals have lost 12 players to the DL this season (accounting for over 600 lost games).

    The Padres have had 13 players on the DL.

    The Cardinals have been battling injuries to key players all season (Carpenter, Berkman, Jay) and currently have 6 guys on the DL.

    The Phillies are in the same situation, with Howard, Utley, Worley, Thome and Nix missing significant amounts of time.

    And those are just a couple teams off the top of my head.

    Given that we’ve only just passed the quarter-season mark, this can’t be normal, can it??

    Comment by Will — May 22, 2012 @ 9:57 am

  17. “With Ross now injured, the team will have to get by with some combination of Ryan Sweeney, Daniel Nava, Marlon Byrd and Che-Hsuan Lin in the outfield”.

    Or they’ll put Youk or Adrian Gonzalez in the outfield like they usually do in interleague when Ortiz plays first base. You put Gonzalez in the outfield at right and put Youk at 1B and keep Middlebrooks at 3B. This keeps all three players in the regular lineup. Manny Ramirez could handle left field for the Sox so that’s another possibility as well.

    Comment by Joey — May 22, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  18. There’s a 7-day DL specifically for concussions.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=6270514

    Comment by Ian — May 22, 2012 @ 9:59 am

  19. It looks like they are going to recall Youkilis keep Middlebrooks at third base for the time being giving Gonzalez some more time in Right field. It was cute in that band box in Philly but AGON in right field at Fenway could be disastrous. That’s one guy who could pick up some of the slack offensively as he has been kinda of underperforming offensively.

    Comment by Soxy — May 22, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  20. Rays have 10 guys on the DL and their AAA squad has 2

    Comment by diegosanchez — May 22, 2012 @ 10:04 am

  21. My guess is AGON will play Left in Fenway, and Lin, who has a cannon of an arm, will play right.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 10:04 am

  22. Compared to Lackey’s 2011, obviously. Compared to Lackey’s career? There’s little chance hes as good (and I don’t like Lackey at all, either).

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  23. There was a new 7 day disabled list for concussion cases added last year.

    Comment by Rod — May 22, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  24. “Many of the players they acquired — Ross, Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon — have disappointed this year.”

    I can only assume that the disappointment in Ross is that he got injured? Bc he’s been great otherwise. Still not sure I’d label him a “disappointment.”

    Comment by KJ — May 22, 2012 @ 10:08 am

  25. Would have been nice to ger LaHair from Theo as the infamous Player To Be Named Later.

    Comment by KJ — May 22, 2012 @ 10:17 am

  26. @oldschoolways: Mind you, Lackey’s numbers were trending upwards until his apparent injury. His second half numbers in 2010 were a marked improvement over first half (He pitched to the tune of a #3 starter, not exactly the third ace some expected, but a well above average pitcher) and after a rough pair of starts against the Rangers and Yankees to start the season, he rattled off three good starts before just imploding (Which coincides with the alleged timeframe of the injury first becoming prevalent).

    I hate to defend Lackey on a personal level, but on a professional level, a bad first half of 2010 and an injury that he and the team should not have left unattended for so long severely cloud peoples’ judgment of his talent level.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 10:20 am

  27. There is also always the possibility that it takes much longer than 7 days to recover from a concussion.

    Comment by Judy — May 22, 2012 @ 10:22 am

  28. The Yankees have had massive injury issues (Not quite as severe as the Sox, but insanely bad, especially Rivera and Pineda), but a lot of the underperformance was predictable.

    Kuroda is up there in age and transitioning from about the easiest division to pitch in to the hardest. Honestly, I think he’s going to settle down, he won’t touch his NL West numbers, but he’ll be a more than viable piece.

    There were a lot of questions going into the season about whether Hughes could handle the rotation full time.

    Nova was considered a big time regression candidate as he was way above projections last year.

    Garcia, well, the Yanks should consider themselves lucky the horsehoe they stuck up his backside worked as long as it did. No surprises here.

    Teixeira, well, he’s been regressing year to year, though admittedly no one expected him to regress this badly.

    A-Rod’s coming off a lot of injury troubles, he’s getting older and he’s an admitted PED user. All these things point to a high likelihood of him simply being on the tail end of his career.

    Martin has had one good offensive season in the last three, as I recall. This is, again, no surprise. People were nuts to look at him as a long term solution.

    Swisher’s an aberration. My guess is he’s pressing since he’s the odd man out long term and he probably wants to pull his BA up to try to get more money in free agency.

    Nunez has never been a phenomenal player.

    The Yankees went with a high risk, high reward approach this season (Their rotation had a high probability of feast or famine akin to the strategy the Sox had in 2009). There’s still plenty of time for guys like Pettitte and Kuroda to pay dividends, but there’s actually some downward mobility left for them (They haven’t even come close to rock bottom potential for this roster).

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 10:31 am

  29. Longterm, probably, but in the shortterm, no I don’t think that the Sox would be getting Nava’s 1.022ops, Middlebrook’s .906ops, or Doubront’s 4.09era from a healthy Ellsbury, Youkilis, and Lackey right now.

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  30. I don’t think Gonzalez in right field is any kind of a solution. I think Gonzalez hitting the ball is a more probable fix. The team shouldn’t have to be counting on a Cody Ross so much when they have Adrian Gonzalez on the roster, supposedly healthy for the first time in a couple of seasons, playing in the first year of his 7 year extension.

    Maybe stick Youkilis back in the OF where he has some experience, as ugly as the result may be. It would disrupt the balance less than moving Gonzalez away from 1b. I understand they are both gold glove corner infielders, but Youk is not in the long term plans here. Unless they plan on trading him before the ASB, there’s no reason he should man a corner IF spot. And that said, being the foolish Sox fan that I am, I drafted Youk in the 6th round of my fantasy baseball league. If it weren’t for injuries, there wouldn’t be a place for Youkilis upon his return from the DL.

    Comment by Sam — May 22, 2012 @ 10:56 am

  31. Same with the O’s…

    Reimold, Reynolds, Roberts, Britton, Lindstrom, Wada, Teagarden

    Every team deals with injury problems so let’s not make excuses.

    Comment by Casey — May 22, 2012 @ 10:59 am

  32. As an aside on this, it is mildly amusing that when the idea of playing Gonzalez in RF came up last year, Red Sox nation was terrified that he would suffer compound fractures to both legs jogging after a few balls and tear his UCL throwing to the infield. This year… not so much. I guess the importance of “protecting an investment” fluctuates with BABIP.

    Comment by mcbrown — May 22, 2012 @ 11:06 am

  33. The lone bright spot to all of this is the prospect of Lin-sanity in Boston.

    Comment by mcbrown — May 22, 2012 @ 11:07 am

  34. The geriatric AL East (Yankees and the BoSox) are going to finally be overtaken by the AL East youth movement (Rays and Jays). Cool.

    Comment by Oliver — May 22, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  35. You’re failing to acknowledge that in terms of the Jays’ offense, not only were they clearly improved on paper over the past couple of years, but they’re matching recent team offensive statistics even with the 2nd worst babip in MLB at .266 – which is holding their team AVG down at .241, even while the Jays are top-5 in the AL in both BB% and ISO. As the BABIP levels off at a more reasonable level, the raise in average along with those BB and power rates will likely result in one of the better offensive teams in the league. Overall the offense has likely underperformed so far.

    As for the pitching, the starters have been a pleasant surprise but the bullpen has been a large dissappointment. Romero has scuffled a bit with his command. but his era is still around where expected, and his peripherals will likely improve rather than the era rising to match it. Morrow’s peripherals are normal but for the first time ever his era is matching or bettering them. The three kids at the bottom of the rotation are extremely interesting youngsters, all with very good stuff and upside, but all with very different profiles. Alvarez’ lack of Ks is disturbing, Drabek’s high walk totals are as well. It’s even odds at this point whether the era rises to match the fip, or whether the peripherals drop to match the era – these two can both ratchet it up to 98mph on the gun, and both feature some wicked offspeed pitches as well. We’ll see how they go but they both have electric arms and are as likely to improve going forward as they are to fall back. Meanwhile, Hutchison is the youngest starter in MLB, and has been quite impressive. His ERA is actually well higher than his FIP, though I’m not so certain it will necessarily drop to match his peripherals. He doesn’t quite have the electric stuff that Alvarez and Drabek do, and he looks more hittable in general, even though he has an obvious natural feel for pitching. The starting staff is clearly the big question mark on the Jays, but with Morrow’s big step up this year to get his ERA closer to his always great peripherals, and with the bottom of the rotation filled with 3 very young high-upside arms, there’s plenty of reason to think that it might turn out all right.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a safe bet to improve significantly, with not one of the relievers pitching above expectations and with 3-4 pitching well below expectations (Santos, Cordero, Villanueva, Janssen). Like the hitting, the bullpen is also most likely going to continue to improve over the course of the year.

    For the Jays, the SP have overachieved, and the offense and RP have underachieved. Not sure if it exactly balances out but it’s probably pretty close. And while that SP has overachieved, the talent in the rotation from top to bottom is fairly impressive, if young and unproven, and may be able to balance out a regression of ERA towards FIP with an actual improvement in the peripherals themselves.

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 11:19 am

  36. Every team deals with injury problems, but one also has to account for severity of injuries and quality of the players with injuries. You’re not exactly listing an All Star team worth of players with regards to the Orioles’ injuries. There are some viable Major League starters in there, but nearly half of those guys have yet to even produce much of anything at the MLB level yet (Britton, Wada, Teagarden) and the others are above average players, but not really consistent year-to-year contributors outside of Roberts a few years ago. You could field a team that could compete in some divisions with some of the guys the Sox have on the DL currently.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  37. @everdiso, this whole thing ignores the fact that the chief component to the Jays’ success so far has been massive overperformance on the part of their pitching. Their offense is great, but it has been for years. Guys like Bautista and Lawrie are going to improve, but likewise Encarnacion is going to regress (His SLG is over .100 points better than his career average).

    Their hitting simply isn’t underperforming their peripherals as much as their pitching is overperforming theirs. Barring something extraordinary and unlikely, they will regress to a .500 pythag-ish team.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 11:30 am

  38. There are two major differences with the yankees:
    1. their injuries are more spread out
    2. Joba, Pineda and Rivera aren’t coming back this season; compared to only lackey for the red sox

    Comment by Matt — May 22, 2012 @ 11:36 am

  39. The Red Sox are, on average, only half a year older than the Rays and Blue Jays and their oldest player is only 36 (David Ortiz, who’s having a pretty decent season). The Jays actually have three players older than the oldest Sox player right now (Vizquel, Oliver and Cordero).

    The age of the Red Sox is vastly exaggerated.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 11:37 am

  40. Middlebrooks is the best or second best prospect in a solid farm system while Doubront was always expected to be a back end starter on a top tier team. Not the same thing

    Comment by Matt — May 22, 2012 @ 11:38 am

  41. It should be noted that Lackeys shoulder was a concern prior to signing with the red sox. Hence the pre existing injury clause in his contract

    Comment by Matt — May 22, 2012 @ 11:40 am

  42. Youkilis is an uglier OFer than Gonzalez, and the pun is only partly intended. It at least appears that Gonzalez can be trusted to just do what he can without trying anything risky. He’ll just wander over toward the ball he knew he wasn’t going to catch and calmly throw it back to the IF, while Youkilis would more likely break something attempting to dive for it.

    Comment by Judy — May 22, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  43. Average age of the 25 man roster? Sure, approximately the same. Average age of their core players? Hah!

    Comment by Oliver — May 22, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  44. Doubront wasn’t “expected” to be a back end starter on a top tier team. He was considered to have the upside to be as much, but that always came with the caveat of “if he can learn some control.” He’s still having control issues and he needs a bigger sample size before we consider him a full blown upgrade.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  45. The Orioles have Matt Wieters, so keep your head in the sand.

    Comment by Bill — May 22, 2012 @ 12:06 pm

  46. By saying they should be happy for long-term injuries thanks to some short-term success by the replacements is faulty logic. Nava isn’t going to continue to show an OPS over 1.000. Middlebrooks is due for some regression, and even if he continues to play at a major-league level (which I have faith he will be able to do), it’s unlikely he outproduces what Youk can give us for the rest of the year. Doubront vs. Lackey I’m not as sure on, but generally your statement makes very little sense. What you might mean to say would be that they are thankful to have replacements able to step up after these injuries and help carry the team. Ellsbury/Crawford are leagues above any of their replacements, regardless of how those players are playing in the short-term.

    Comment by Sam — May 22, 2012 @ 12:08 pm

  47. The current “core” of the Red Sox is probably Pedroia (28), Gonzalez (30), Lester (28), Crawford (30), Bard (27), Buchholz (27), Beckett (32) and Lackey (33). These are the only guys they have locked up past 2013. One could make arguments for Ortiz (36, but performing well and not an obligation for the team), Ellsbury (28, under contract through next season and decent odds to be kept), Middlebrooks and Lavarnway (23/24 High upside prospects under extensive team control).

    Going with just the first group, you’ve got 29.38, including the “maybes” you get 28.33. In either case, the Sox aren’t really all that old.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  48. @Bill, not sure if you’re serious, but just in case you are: one player doesn’t make a team completely 180 unless his name is Evan Longoria. And even then, you probably need Joe Maddon to do it.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

  49. @Jonathan

    I still think you’re failing to consider that over this small a sample, it’s fairly even odds whether fip regresses to era or vice versa, and I think you’re ignoring that for the majority of the Jays pitchers, their poor peripherals this year are much more of an outlier than their primary stats are so far. You’re also ignoring that they have had some significant bad luck from their pitching staff as well – most specifically their MLB worst 14.1hr/fb%, a number that will most definitely come down signficantly – so their pitching hasn’t only received “good” luck so far.

    Unsurprisingly to me at least, May has seen the Jays’ FIP regress towards their ERA, rather than their ERA regress towards their FIP – because from looking at the pitchers’ previous performances, their FIP seemed like a much bigger outlier than their ERA did.

    Jays’ Pitching:

    APR: 3.79era, 5.02fip, 4.08xfip (.244babip, 18.7hr/fb%)
    MAY: 3.44era, 3.77fip, 4.04xfip (.268babip, 8.1hr/fb%)

    Their babip has risen to a more reasonable level, while the HR/FB% has stabilized at a closer to league average level.

    I would guess that the team FIP continues to come down more than the team ERA rises, though I do agree that the team ERA will rise – just not nearly as much as you might think.

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

  50. Most all of the Red Sox current injury list is made up of players with significant previous injury histories that were well known going into this season, to be honest.

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 12:20 pm

  51. should you really be disqualifying the team’s best hitter just because he’s old when arguing that the team isn’t “really all that old”?

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  52. Compare that to Zobrist (31), Jennings (25), BJ Upton (27), Longoria (26), Price (27), Hellickson (25), Matt Moore (23).
    That makes 26.28, so two full years younger, and an actual farm system to boot, whereas the Red Sox basically have no one down on the farm.

    Comment by Oliver — May 22, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

  53. “Most all of the Red Sox current injury list is made up of players with significant previous injury histories that were well known going into this season, to be honest.”

    Two. Two of them are to people with lingering injury histories that were anything but freak accidents. Lackey and Youkilis, that’s it.

    A guy ran over Ellsbury’s shoulder on the basepaths.
    Ross broke his foot.
    Bailey jammed his thumb on a play.
    Crawford had elbow trouble following wrist surgery.
    Sweeney got a concussion.
    Repko separated his shoulder.
    Cook got spiked.
    McDonald hurt his oblique, but he doesn’t have a particularly lengthy injury history.
    Matsuzaka is recovering from TJ surgery with no prior history of elbow injury (And as we’ve all learned this year, TJ can come out of nowhere).

    None of these are lingering injuries. The Red Sox DL looks more like a terrible reimagining of And Then There Were None than any kind of legitimate trend. Your statement isn’t even remotely accurate.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

  54. As soon as I saw this headline, I said “And countdown to everdiso’s post, 1…2…3…”

    Comment by Tim — May 22, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  55. He’s right though, Daniel Nava putting up a 1000 OPS over the course of like 5 games means the Red Sox haven’t been hurt by injuries.

    Comment by Tim — May 22, 2012 @ 12:50 pm

  56. You ignored Pena and Shields, who probably count if one counts a guy like Ortiz. That brings them up to 27.66, 2/3 of a year. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill, chief.

    Additionally, you’re vastly underrating the Sox farm system. They’ve got a ton of upside and some breakout candidates this year with Bogaerts, Barnes, Jacobs, Bradley (Who is just absolutely on fire) and Cecchini all looking good. Plus, there’s high upside guys like Vinicio, Owens and even Iglesias is looking up. They’re not a top five system or anything, but they’re plenty deep enough to maintain a steady stream of quality players.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  57. Who thinks Jonathan’s can write 10,000 words in this comment section before 2:00 PM ET? Take the over on that bet! I kid, I kid. :-)

    Comment by BookWorm — May 22, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

  58. “That makes 26.28, so two full years younger, and an actual farm system to boot, whereas the Red Sox basically have no one down on the farm.”

    BA ranked the Rays 8th and the Red Sox 9th. I think Sickels was 7/11. Try again.

    Comment by Hoof — May 22, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  59. “The geriatric AL East (Yankees and the BoSox) are going to finally be overtaken by the AL East youth movement (Rays and Jays). Cool.”

    Then you woke up.

    Comment by Hoof — May 22, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

  60. Btw, the Rays have won the division twice in the past 4 years. I’d say they’ve already caught up.

    Comment by Hoof — May 22, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  61. That’s a tiny, insubstantial sample size. One could easily argue that the Sox have been immensely hurt by injuries in other areas when accounting for the fact one could easily argue that the Bailey injury may have cost us three or more games over the first month of the season. Or noting that if Lackey or Matsuzaka or Cook were healthy, Buchholz may have been DL’ed by now (He’s only actually had one decent start that we lost, the other three losing efforts he pitched in were all games he took them out of).

    So, the simple analysis is that the injuries to pitching have hurt the team greatly, but they’ve managed injuries to the offense due mostly to massive amounts of positional depth.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

  62. I’d take the over. I can get so much worse.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

  63. If only Lin could hit his weight.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  64. “whereas the Red Sox basically have no one down on the farm.”

    Its funny, every year the Red Sox farm system has nobody in the upper levels, and yet, every year they seem to find above average major leaguers down there.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

  65. well, lackey, matsuzaka, bailey, youkilis, crawford were all obvious major injury risks entering this year, and their injuries are no surprise. that’s 5 of the major ones.

    Ellsbury is a guy who missed a whole year with bruised ribs, so his frailty is also not a shocker.

    I believe Sweeney also has had injury issues the past few years though it’s hard to tell due to him sitting much of the time due to general suckage.

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

  66. @RC: Lin weighs in at a 6’0″, 180 lbs. He’s a career .257 hitter. Hitting his weight would be a marked downward trend for him.

    Never quite got the fondness for this expression. Most players have no trouble hitting their weights.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  67. Getting injured =/= related to injury history in all cases. I sincerely doubt a prior history of injury contributed to Bailey getting his thumb jammed or Matsuzaka blowing out his elbow. Crawford’s never been one to go down with injury, hitting the DL for one extended period EVER before having two unrelated injuries this past year. Ellsbury being considered frail is an epic joke considering his only two injuries EVER were the direct result of being run over by people (Which I’m reasonably sure is not a viable consideration for a chronic medical condition).

    Lackey and Youkilis are the only two guys currently down with injuries that were remotely predictable.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  68. Can Sweeney really be put into the “shrewd move” category for this offseason? With Bailey on the DL, that trade so far has been Sweeney for Reddick, and Reddick has been significantly better this season. I don’t think there is much doubt that, for this season at least, the Sox would have been better off not doing that trade.

    Comment by JayT — May 22, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

  69. Sox Postional Splits:

    Above healthy expectations:

    DH: 1.018ops
    RF .903ops
    C: .875ops
    SS: .782ops
    RP1: 1.13era
    RP2: 1.47era
    RP3: 2.08era

    Around healthy expectations

    2B: .835ops
    LF: .742ops
    SP1: 3.95era
    SP2: 4.09era
    SP3: 4.38era
    SP4: 4.93era
    RP4: 4.43era
    RP5: 4.50era
    RP6: 5.40era
    RP7/8/+: 5.14era

    Below healthy expectations

    1B .759ops
    3B: .731ops
    CF: .609ops
    SP5: 7.84era

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  70. Judging a trade in hindsight only two months into the season is ripe with issues. Let’s see how Reddick looks at the end of the season. If Bailey comes back performing to his career norms and Reddick performs the same disappearing act he pulled last year after a brief period of mashing, this trade swings right back in favor of the Red Sox.

    As it stands, this trade being a downturn for the Sox was predicated on a massive amount of “everything that can go wrong going wrong.” Even with the Bailey injury happening, it was a wash since Reddick wouldn’t have been a starter had Crawford rehabbed as expected and even barring that, there’s a good chance Sweeney would’ve started ahead of Reddick since I believe Reddick had an option left.

    Sure, having Reddick would look nice now that we have seven outfielders on the DL, but nobody in their right mind would manage a roster expecting something like that to happen considering only two of those seven were on the DL to start spring training.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  71. I dunno, general injury history should be taken into consideration when coming up with your expectations going into the season, IMO. This Red Sox team should always have been expected to have significant injury problems this season.

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  72. (IMHO)

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

  73. “With Ross now on the disabled list, all three of the Red Sox projected starters in the outfield are currently injured.” Really, though, the starting RF this year was supposed to be Kalish — Ross was himself a substitute for an injured player.

    The Red Sox, who already have an aging-to-old core and a weakened farm system, depend on several injury-prone players (Youk, Ellsbury, Buchholz) and then keep going out and signing more guys who are already injured. This pretty clearly doesn’t work, and often makes no sense at all — I’ve never heard a half-way-plausible explanation of the Bedard move last year.

    Comment by Mr Punch — May 22, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

  74. You clearly glossed over the part where literally every single thing you just said was shot to spit in this thread.

    The average age of the Sox (The roster as a whole and their core) is under 30. The Sox actually have a probable top ten farm system. Ellsbury is not injury prone, he’s getting run over by people prone which isn’t really a viable and predictable trend. Youk is injury prone at this point, but the Sox weren’t exactly expected to rely on him since Middlebrooks was considered a possibility as a post-ASB callup anyway. Ross, Sweeney and Melancon all had relatively clean records when we got them.

    The only thing not covered is the Bedard signing which, frankly, wasn’t a bad move since nobody of import to the organization was given up and he pitched adequately.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 2:46 pm

  75. Oh, I don’t disagree with the thinking behind the trade, and I think it could still work out fine for the Sox. I’m just saying that at this point in the season you can’t point to that trade as a shrewd move that his helping the Sox stay afloat, since at this point the trade has been bad for the team.

    Comment by JayT — May 22, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

  76. “Ellsbury is a guy who missed a whole year with bruised ribs, so his frailty is also not a shocker”

    No, he didn’t. Ellsbury is a guy who BROKE his ribs in a freak collision with Adrian Beltre. Thats a freak accident, not a sign of a guy being injury prone.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

  77. He’s a career .257 hitter, with 450 ABs at AAA (and a .235 BA there).
    His MLE’s are probably right around .180 at this point.

    So yeah, it wouldn’t be unexpected to see him not hit his weight. As a hitter, hes not ready for AAA. He’s definitely not ready for MLB.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  78. SP1: 3.95era
    SP2: 4.09era

    The last 3 years:

    SP1:3.35 ERA
    SP2: 3.97 ERA

    If a SS hitting .007 above his SLG last year, is playing “above expectations”, these two are clearly below.

    Also, Pedroia’s OPS is .30 below the previous two years, so hes clearly below expectations also.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  79. By SLG I mean OPS for Aviles.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

  80. Bedard comes down to this:

    He was healthy AT THE TIME.
    He was essentially free.
    He was the only player available cheaply that could perform well enough to make a difference.

    It didn’t work out. That doesn’t mean it was a bad move.

    Comment by RC — May 22, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  81. I’m in agreement that it is unfair to label Ellsbury “injury-prone”, but the bigger concern as they move forward is that he hasn’t been able to overcome either of his injuries within the initial recovery timeframe. The initial diagnosis for the shoulder subluxation was 4-6 weeks, and now just yesterday Cherington stated “sometime in early July”, which is 10-12 weeks. Similarly in 2010 there were multiple incidences of the team moving the recovery timetable.

    He’s clearly a dynamic player when healthy, but investing long-term in a player who has established an inability to recover within medically standard timeframes is a highly risky proposition. While not defined as a contact sport, baseball is physical, and the likelihood that Ellsbury will be involved with a collision involving a wall, another player on the bases, diving for a ball on the turf in Tampa, etc is high, which generates significant concern that he will face re-injury, and lengthy recovery.

    I love the guy, but I’m definitely concerned about his ability to stay in the lineup long term.

    Comment by JMH — May 22, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  82. @JayT, well to that end you can’t really say it’s been bad for them either. Offense hasn’t been a big issue for the Sox this year, that’s kind of the point of the article. We’d probably have roughly the same record with or without Reddick this year. If nothing else, the Reddick/Bailey swap is a lateral move. However, noting that the bullpen blew quite a few games early, one can easily say that the rationale behind the trade was sound considering Bailey himself probably would’ve been the difference between a few wins.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

  83. Well, so far there’s almost a win’s difference between Sweeney and Riddick, so I don’t think it’s unfair to say that the team would have been better with Riddick. Also, even if it is just a lateral move, lateral moves are rarely “shrewd” moves.

    Comment by JayT — May 22, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  84. “Same with the O’s…

    Reimold, Reynolds, Roberts, Britton, Lindstrom, Wada, Teagarden

    Every team deals with injury problems so let’s not make excuses.”

    The total WAR for those guys in 2011 was 5.4. Ellsbury alone was 9.0. Wada has never even played in the MLB. Teagarden has a career 1.5.

    Comment by Joebrady — May 22, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

  85. @JMH, the recovery for Ellsbury had nothing to do with his constitution and everything to do with the fact the medical team completely botched the entire situation. This is indicative across multiple sources. They misdiagnosed him like three times over the course of the year. The injuries he sustained are very severe and have rotten recovery time in the best of situations, much less when they misdiagnose it and push the player to try rehabbing through it (The initial attempt).

    Meanwhile, despite losing a year to a massive injury, it didn’t slow him down even a bit, he came back better than before. That’s not indicative of a player with injury issues. With regards to the current injury, 6-8 weeks was an extremely liberal projection to begin with considering the severity. This is all on the medical staff.

    Comment by Jonathan — May 22, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

  86. “Kuroda is up there in age and transitioning from about the easiest division to pitch in to the hardest.” There it is again, love it

    Comment by DodgersKingsoftheGalaxy — May 22, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

  87. Injury risk goes into the potential for a team too though. So no, you couldn’t field a playoff team with guys the BoSox have on the DL because they’ll probably get hurt. That’s what happens when you are old.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — May 22, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

  88. well, for Lester and Pedroia it’s fair enough to call them underachieving but I think it’s by a small enough margin that even one good game would have them right back at their level (i.e. sub-3.50era for Lester, .860ish ops for Pedroia), so over this small a sample we’re talking about an extremely small underachievement. But fair enough if you want to call it that.

    But I’ll have to quibble with calling a 4.09era from a slot you say you expected a 3.97era from as an underachievement, and with not acknowledging that Aviles as your starting SS, a platoon player with a career .748ops and a .698 last year, with hardly any at bats v. RHP, that getting a .782ops from that slot in the lineup is more than what should be expected.

    Comment by everdiso — May 22, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

  89. Does the H stand for hater or homer? Both I guess?

    Comment by Hoof — May 22, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

  90. None of the guys the Red Sox have on the DL are old.

    Comment by RC — May 23, 2012 @ 8:57 am

  91. Why are you just making up numbers.

    Mike Aviles had a .775 OPS last year. He has a .782 OPS this year.

    If thats an overperform, than about 2/3 of the team is underperforming.

    Comment by RC — May 23, 2012 @ 9:00 am

  92. “He’s clearly a dynamic player when healthy, but investing long-term in a player who has established an inability to recover within medically standard timeframes is a highly risky proposition”

    I’m not sure about the shoulder issue at this point, but he took so long to recover from the injury in 2010 because the Red Sox medical staff botched the diagnosis several times.

    He had been out for months before they took an MRI, and saw that several of his ribs were fractured. Fractured ribs aren’t gonna heal when you’re swinging a bat every day.

    The same medical staff (which is now gone) had Pedroia playing on a broken foot (which he later needed surgery for)

    Comment by RC — May 23, 2012 @ 9:04 am

  93. No, you’re the one making up numbers.

    Mike Aviles’ OPS in 2011 was .698. See for yourself: http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=5986&position=2B/SS#advanced

    Comment by Will — May 23, 2012 @ 9:31 am

  94. I’m hearing fine things about Williams’ head. Tiny, tiny strike zone, although not much power there, and they usually have to pinch run after he draws a walk. Still, outstanding OBP skills, if very little speed or power.

    Comment by Jason B — May 23, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

  95. Your countdown has a definite upward trend to it…we’ll NEVER reach zero at this rate!

    Comment by Jason B — May 23, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

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