Sunday, June 26, 2005

2b question - Put it to rest?

So there has been a couple of debates about Bellhorn and I can't wait for the common senitment to swing to the positive this week after Bellhorns 3/4 4 R 1 HR 3 RBI day today. I can hear the callers on EEI now, "I think this a good sign that he's turned that corner.."

The funny thing is that as Andrew pointed out it's really not Bellhorn that needed to step up but the heart of our line up.

Just compare the performances over this last road trip:
Bellhorn: 2/16 (until today so... 5/20)
Manny: 11/27 (5 HR)
Ortiz: 10/26



  1. Yeah, I think what started a lot of the debate was actually the strikouts, but still the message is the same. He really is like our 15th or 16th most important player. And now that the starting pitching is much improved and Manny is starting to crush, the team is in first place. Theo will do something to help the pen. Embree is not consistent - his day may be numbered. And they need someone a bit more reliable than Halama (Arroyo if Schilling comes back?) Mantei better start to perform as well. I can't imagine Theo worrying about cutting him - it was a $750K gamble that paid dividends for a short time.

    What was nice on this trip, is the two times the pitching struggled a bit (Monday and today), the bats were able to come through. Very impressive. And the O's are showing signs of coming back to earth. Maybe now it is the White Sox turn (losing two of three to the Cubbies).

  2. I agree, Mantei has struggled at times... but I'll also point out he's een brilliant at times too. He did not allow an earned run in May, for example. The fact is hat he's pitched so infrequently that it's hard to get a read. He walks guys a lot, but he always as, and when he's been healthy he's been a dominant reliever nonetheless. I still think that if given appropriate playing time, he could be seen as an asset; the nature of a bullpen is that it is even more in a fishbowl than normal for baseball. A bad inning and people start to worry; a couple bad outings and your ERA is 5. Mybe he sucks, maybe he doesn't, but I don't think we can say definitively after only 25 innings of work.

  3. I don't think that Mark Bellhorn is a major problem for this team, but I do think that the argument could be made that a Pedroia would be just as good there...

    I am not saying that he didn't have a good series against the Phillies, but he has been sub-par offensively the entire year.

    With RISP less than two outs- a whopping .182 average.

    RISP with two outs- .125

    Man on third with less than two outs- .167

    Thus 24 RBIs...

    Anyway, like I said, he is not a problem that needs to be solved immediately. They will obviously keep winning with him in the lineup.

    They need a little help in the pen. I want to take a second and add something here...

    Timlin's numbers are not entirely accurate. While his ERA is low, the amount of inherited runners he allows to score is unbelievable. I believe (was looking for the actual number) it is like 11 of 17...That's not good.

    Embree pitched out of a bases loaded, no out, jam the other night. Yet, he's not allowed to try to pitch himself out of a jam.

    How many errors have the Sox committed while he is on the mound? It seems just about every time out...That makes a pitcher think twice about the pitch he is going to make.

    Timlin coming in and allowing 2 runners to score (charged to Embree) is no better than letting Embree give it a shot.

    I think that Francona has to let Embree work his way out of one or two of those jams. Right now, it is the first sign of trouble and it is the hook. Can't do much for the guy's confidence knowing that (because of some recent poor fielding behind him) he has to make perfect pitches, and if he allows any baserunners, he is gone.

    Of course, I realize that giving up 3-run bombs is no good, and he had been doing that at a pretty good clip.

    One of these days, though, Francona should pull a Piniella and let Embree get out of trouble himself...

  4. Timlin has allowed 9 of 14 to score...64%...

  5. I lke the idea of Pedroia a lot, but saying he coud immediately step in at second is a big stretch. The guy didn't even have 300 AA PA's before going up to Pawtucket, he's 21, and scouts re still worried he doesn't have the tools. They may be wrong, but they may not be. They'll leave Pedroia in Pawtucket for the rest of the AAA season. Maybe he'll get a September call-up just for a look-see. But the chances of him replacing Bellhorn this year are intensely small. Hell, even next season, I'm betting the Sox will sign a veteran 2B to share time wth him at first, if he even gets the job. At 21, he could be a ways off still; very very few position prospects, and even fewer who weren't top ten picks, make it to the majors that young.

  6. I watched Pedroia the other night in a Paw Sox game. He has a very short swing that is very quick through the strike zone. He is built like David Eckstein, but plays second.

    Anyway, he worked the count in the three at-bats I saw, doubled and singled. He scored standing up on a single to center.

    I am not saying that he would be great, but I don't think he would be terrible. Look at Robinson Cano for the Yankees. You can see that he is not 100%, yet, but he's productive, and fairly solid. I think he's all of 22. I think Pedroia (protected like Bellhorn by this lineup) might not be so bad.

    I know he'll more than likely stay in AAA, but with Renteria hurting a little, and Vazquez just plain hurting, we might see him as the utility infielder.

  7. I just don't think there's any reason to rush a guy for an inconsequential position. I mean, a difference, however large, for a utility guy probably isn't worth bringing a guy like Pedroia - who could be a solid MLB 2B someday - before he forces you to. He forced his way into AAA, but I'd rater let him play out the rest ofthe year there and gain as uch confidence as possible before hitting the bigs.