Monday, July 31, 2006

Good Non-Moves

Theo obviously reads my blog because shortly after my letter to him and my post about how much Kip Wells sucks, he apparently changed his mind about making some deals. I take full credit for it. I'm happy Theo didn't make any of the proposed moves. I would have liked a middle reliever, but the price was way too steep. Plus, Seanez hasn't given up a run in 6 innings! His ERA is below 4! Hi WHIP is only 1.00 in those 6 innings! Test this guy for steroids!

How much is Wily Mo impressing everyone? He's been a stud. I have not been impressed with Trot Nixon since 2003, so I've been arguing all year to keep Wily Mo and use him to replace Trot. Then he goes and plants a broken bat line drive off the wall followed by a HUGE home run the next night. And he does the little things by backing up an errant throw into right field. Had he not been backing that up, the runner would have reached third base. I'm thrilled with Wily Mo.

On a side note, has anyone noticed the "Free Renteria Jersey" ads that pop up with Red Sox ads? You might see it above this post. I find it hilarious that some company is still paying to have people directed to buy an "Authentic" home Renteria Sox jersey. Are people still buying these? Did anyone buy them after May of 2005?

Trade Imminent, Other Rumors

ESPN.com reports that the Sox are on the verge of a deal with the Pirates for Kip Wells. I hope all they're giving up for him is Craig Grebeck. God, this guy is bad. Here are his ERAs the past 4 years: 3.28, 4.55, 5.09, 6.69. And those are in the NL! In case you (like me) think that ERAs are partially affected by luck, here are some other stats:
K/9 the past 3 years: 7.55, 6.53, 3.96.
K/BB: 1.93, 1.76, 1.33, 0.89.
BAA: .233, .270, .266, .319.
OPSA: .680, .753, .796, .870.

One bright spot is that he gives up nearly 2 groundballs for every flyball, which might be good with this Sox infield defense.

ESPN.com also reported that the Sox and Braves were close to a trade that would send Coco and Hansen for Andruw Jones, but the Braves then demanded Lester as well. If this happens, I'm swearing off the Sox.

Open Letter to Theo Epstein

Dear Mr. Epstein,

I appreciate everything you've done since becoming the GM of the Red Sox. Okay, most of what you've done (see: the bullpen). I am now hearing the trade deadline rumors and everything points to a "big deal." I'm worried that you're just trying to make the fans happy. That you're going to mortgage the farm for this year. Do you listen to sports talk radio? We're happy with where the team is heading! We love our prospects! We haven't had prospects since the mid-'90s! Please, please don't trade them.

The rumor I hear now is that you're going to trade Mike Lowell and prospects for Julio Lugo and Scott Linebrink. Haven't you learned anything from your Tavarez/Seanez mistake? These mediocre, aging NL guys can't hack it in the superior AL. And Linebrink pitches in a gigantic, pitcher-friendly park. He is destined to fail in Fenway and the AL. And where would we play Lugo? Certainly not at SS, considering we have the best SS we've had during my lifetime. How about 2B? Why not trade Loretta for some better bullpen help and bring up Dustin Pedroia?

I'd like to make an offer to you. You hire me, pay me $75,000 per year, and I can be there to bounce these ideas off of. My primary job would be to simply yell at you, "He's mediocre IN THE NL!!! He'll SUCK here!!" or "Don't trade him! We have a mancrush on him!" I think this can be very beneficial to both of us. I have a way to directly vent my anger, along with Red Sox Nation's, to the Red Sox front office. And you get the point of view of the fans that you're trying so hard to please.

Mike Lowell has been way better than expected. I understand that you want to get some value for him while you can. But his defense is a stabilizing force in the best infield defense in baseball.

If you leave the team relatively alone, Red Sox Nation will remain happy. We do want to get rid of Tavarez, though. Hell, I'd trade David Murphy for a decent middle reliever to replace him. But he's the best prospect that I'm willing to trade for a middle reliever. If we're trading top-line prospects, we should be getting back more than a crappy, aging NL middle reliever.

Theo, trust me. I am the voice of The Nation.

Sincerely,
Red Sox Stats Guy

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Red Sox Complete Trade!

The Sox picked up Bryan Corey from the Rangers for a crappy minor leaguer today. In limited time, Corey has been pretty decent for Texas, posting 13 strikeouts in 17.1 innings and a 2.60 ERA. His WHIP is a little high (1.33) to expect an ERA that low, but this is still a good pickup. Corey's OPSA is .645, which is great, but his K/BB ratio is a little low at 1.63/1. Strangely, Corey has 2 career decisions (1-1), and they've both come at Fenway Park.

The Sox traded AA Portland pitcher Luis Mendoza, who had struggled in AA with a 1-5 record and 6.38 ERA in 9 starts.

I say any time you can trade a guy who's struggling at AA for a guy who has proven success in the majors, you do it. Well, most of the time anyway.
Red Sox fan ventures though Yankee Stadium Bleachers

Planning on going to Yankee Stadium clad in your Sox gear? Maybe this video will change your mind...

The Ineffectiveness of Seanez

Rudy Seanez's ineffectiveness is of mythical proportions. He is the 4th-worst reliever in Major League Baseball in preventing inherited runners from scoring. The worst? Ray King, the guy he was going to be traded for. Julian Tavarez is 7th-worst in the AL. Want to know something interesting about those batters Seanez is facing? The OPS of the batters he faces is the worst among regular Red Sox pitchers, at .758. Mike Timlin's are the best, at an even .800. Papelbon's and Beckett's are the 2nd best, at .788.
2004 Red Sox Music Video

This is a very cool video compilation of the 2004 Red Sox season set to music. If you know of other cool Sox videos on YouTube, let me know. E-mail the links to me at questions@redsoxstatsguy.com.

More Clutch Hitting


My regular readers know how obsessed I am with clutch hitting and the disparity between David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez in this category. ESPN defines "close and late" stats as results in the 7th inning or later with the batting team either ahead by one run, tied or with the potential tying run at least on deck. Yesterday, Ortiz had yet another game-winning hit to end the game. The Elias Sports Bureau reported this morning that it was his 11th since joining the Red Sox in 2003. That's two more than any other major league player over that span. Albert Pujols has nine walkoff hits since 2003. The last major league player to have 11 or more walkoff hits over a four-season span was current Houston manager Phil Garner. "Scrap Iron" had 11 walkoff hits for the Astros from 1982-85.

So, how does ARod's close and late performance compare to that of Big Papi? I'm glad you asked. ARod is actually improving lately (it would be hard to do otherwise), and currently stands with a .621 OPS in these situations. He has still struck out 17 times in 57 at-bats, which could mean that he's pressing a little too hard. This is a pace for nearly 200 K's over an entire season. He also posts 2 home runs and 8 RBI. David Ortiz, in the same amount of at-bats, has recorded a sick OPS of 1.076 with 13 K's, 8 HR and 19 RBI. You tell me who's the best.

Meanwhile, yesterday I posted that the Sox should offer up Coco for a 3rd starter-type. Apparently Theo was reading because he offered Coco up for Mark Buehrle, but the White Sox said no. Buehrle is an interesting case. With a 9-6 record and 4.02 ERA before the break, he is 0-3 with a 11.15 ERA since. Hitters are averaging .373 off of him and his WHIP is just about 2.00 since the break. But that's misleading. His freefall actually started before the break. Over his past 5 starts, he's thrown 26.2 innings, allowing 34 runs, for an 11.67 ERA. And he's making $8 million this year. I'm not sure this guy is better than Kyle Snyder right now.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Recommended Trade(s)


Welcome to my new location! I will still maintain the regular RedSoxStatsGuy.com for my Red Sox-related Elias Sports Bureau notes and my forum, but I've come over to the dark side of blogger.com for the simplicity and ease of frequent posting. I wasn't posting often enough on my website, so I thought I'd add this as a complement to the regular website. I can also use the regular website for more in-depth analysis that blogger doesn't support as much as I like. Anyway, on to my first blogger post....

The trade deadline is upon us and there is much discussion of what should be done to make this a juggernaut team. For those of you who are regular readers of mine or have read through my forum, you know that I don't feel like the Sox need to be a juggernaut this year. They have enough young talent that we don't need to have a World Series championship this year and can look forward to next year and the future. I don't want to sacrifice the future for a division championship (see: Anderson, Larry).

That being said, there is a deal that I'd love to see get done. Coco Crisp is finally playing well, with a 1.027 OPS over the past week and .765 since the All-Star break, up from .711 before. I would trade him for a 3rd starter-type pitcher and place Wily Mo Pena in center field. Or you can trade Trot Nixon for a 4th or 5th starter-type and put Coco in right field and Wily Mo in center. Why these placements? Wily Mo is a disaster in the corners and actually has a slightly better zone rating than Coco in CF (.852 to .847), and Coco was one of the best corner outfielders last year in zone rating, finishing 2nd in the majors in zone rating at .906. You put him in that big right field and your defense improves dramatically. And as popular as Trot Nixon is, the guy is an embarrassment in right field. The only American League right fielders who rank lower than him in zone rating are the aging and gimpy Jermaine Dye and Magglio Ordonez.

So, where does Wily Mo hit? Who bats leadoff? Good questions. While I think Wily Mo would be a serviceable leadoff guy since he gets on base a lot (more than Johnny and Coco) and he's fast, he'd be used wrong there. We've needed someone new in the 5th spot. He'd be perfect, providing some protection for Manny. Put Youk in the leadoff spot and let him get on base. When you need a pinch runner, bring in Kapler (and pray that he doesn't rupture something again).

I am firmly against trading any of the big prospects (Hansen, Delcarmen, Papelbon, Lester, Pedroia, etc) for a rental player. These guys are cheap and are under the control of the Sox for many years to come at a cheap price. It's time to build around these guys and you have a good start with Ortiz, Beckett, Manny, Wily Mo, etc. Red Sox Nation should be excited about the future.

Speaking of Red Sox Nation, in the wake of the disaster that was the "Did you see that catch Coco made?" commercials, we now have the Coco Crisp and his dad RSN commercials. Since they continued to play the catch commercial for months while Coco was on the DL, I wonder how long they'd play the new ones after he got traded, if it happens. Always awkward.

As I type this, Chone Figgins stole second, third, and made a great slide into home to score the third run for the Angels. With the way Jered Weaver pitches, that could very well be enough.

A quick aside: Red Sox fans, please stop calling WEEI and embarrassing yourselves by asking if the Sox could get Fransisco Liriano from the Twins. I'm not even going to explain why. You're morons for asking.

Back to the analysis.... I would absolutely resign Alex Gonzalez to stay at SS for the next 2 years and bring up Dustin Pedroia to be his double play partner. In fact, I'd try to trade Loretta for some speed off the bench and bring up Pedroia for the rest of the year. There are only 2 worse second basemen in the AL than Loretta in zone rating and he's killing their chances of double plays. As Bosoxwest points out this week after the game he went to see:
Mark Loretta is a statue. I cannot stress this enough. His lateral movement is that of a fully-retrofitted multi-story tower during a mild breeze. Several times we all got very excited to watch important ground-ball basehits roll up the middle on the second base side only to discover to our dismay that with Ellis at second they were routine outs. We had just been fooled because they were hits for the A's. Pedroia must be licking his chops.