Monday, July 10, 2006

Thoughts on the First Half

Beckett has 11 wins, but give up many long balls. However, most of them are solo shots which could result from him challenging hitters when no one is on. Hard to tell. He'll need to cut down on those in the second half, but looks solid as #2.

Schilling has been very good, as well. Is he the dominant '04 Schill? No, but he's definitely a #1 at this point. Of course, a line drive to the elbow might change all that.

Wake is Wake. Dependable, and getting no run support then a ton of run support. The Sox are fine here.

Lester has been great. Can't say too much except that his location is a little erratic which doesn't allow him to pitch deep into games. We'll have to see how the league does against him the second time through.

No fifth starter...Concern?

Papelbon? Great.

Timlin...Once again his numbers don't reflect (somehow) the amounts of times he gets knocked around. He's not lights out, that's for sure, but not a cause for concern. I'd say use him as little as possible to keep his arm live down the stretch.

The kids? Delcarmen and Hansen. Doing their jobs and doing them well. As I've said before use them more in pressure situations because the pressure is going to grow now.

Tavarez? Definitely coming around.

Seanez? Trade him...

Lopez? Haven't seen enough of him. Doesn't look that great, though. It doesn't really seem like there is a need as much for a left-handed specialist this year. The Thome strike out was huge, but I am not sure if the lefty-lefty thing had much to do with that.

Youk...A candidate for best leadoff hitter in the AL? Absolutely.
Loretta...An All-Star.
Manny...also ridiculous
Nixon...lots of line drives and his power is gone. This is a guy that could get traded for a power hitting right fielder. But probably won't go anywhere.
Tek...well, he can catch.
Lowell...WAY better than any of us thought he'd be. Great addition to the lineup.
Coco...That injury really did a number on him...The Sox are going to need him to hit in the second half.
Gonzalez...Re-sign him.

The Sox need a guy that can come off the bench and ignite this offense. There is a tendency for them to go to sleep (see the D-Rays series and everything following the 11th last night). Wily Mo should help when he returns, but I think that the bench is something that needs to be addressed.

Overall one has to be pleased. There is definitely a need for another starter, and not just a number 5. Theo, aim for a 2 or 3 if there are any out there for the taking, but don't sacrifice too much of the future. A power hitting outfielder would help, even if a rental...

And, one last thing...As for the Central being dominant...I am tired of hearing about it. So far the top two in the East have fared well against the top two in the Central. Not sure what that has to do with Red Sox analysis, but I just had to throw that in there.


  1. All star post. But my Trot thoughts. He had a bad day, but he has had a terrific first half offensely. And if he is traded before his free agency, I do want to point out how damn unbelievable his defense in right field is, was, and WILL be. When he is healthy, like he is right now, Fenway's Dewey territory is in good hands. And it is one of the toughest right fields to patrol in all of baseball. So I say, right now, that we should sign him for 2 years, with an option year. He is the heart and soul, the original "dirt dog" of the club. He would take a bullet while others would duck.

  2. Peter, I happen to agree with you. Trot is one of my favorite Red Sox players. However, the Sox have Lowell for another year (at least), and Youk at 1B for a few. Not much power at the corners.

    Coco in CF is not going to provide enough pop, and they are not going to trade him after all they went through to get him.

    Tek MIGHT get you 15-20 going forward, and he is the team captain.

    Manny is your LF and a power monster. Ortiz is entrenched at DH. If you need another power bat (and Tejada seems to be an abnormality) it is going to be tough to get a power guy in Boston without moving Trot.

    Where else could you put someone?

    Again, Trot's average is high in the first half, but he has no power left. His defense is great and he throws himself around out there like noone else. No one could argue with that. But, the Sox probably will add another bat, and Trot seems to be the only logical guy to go...

  3. By mentioning Tejada as the abnormality, I meant to say that SS and 2B are traditionally not the power positions...

  4. Yeah, Timlin's weird, and he's certainly not the pitcher he was his first 3 seasons with the Sox. Two things about his stats:

    - 6 of his 11 runs (4 of 9 earned) have come in July, in just 4.1 IP. Hopefully that's just a blip.

    - His stats get masked by the fact that he's just no good when he inherits runners. He's lights out when coming in to start the inning - BAA of .154, OPSA of .377. After that, not so good.

  5. ...also: if he retires at the end of the year, I think he should pull a Zidane and headbutt someone. Maybe Ozzie Guillen. Or AJ Pierzynski. Or Joe Morgan. (But only after, and not during, his final game.)