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.