Sunday, January 07, 2007


Okay, so we have settled on the Sox lineup for next year, save maybe a tweak here or there of spots 6-7 (Tek and Lowell). So I figured it might be fun to throw up some predictions. Along the line of the prior discussion on Loretta, I think the offense will be improved, despite some concerns about the bottom of the order.

But I really think the Sox are a much improved offensive team. You take Gonzalez' anemic bat and replace it with Lugo, replace Nixon WMP and Hinskie's ABs with (hopefully a healthy) Drew, you have a healthy Crisp for the whole year instead of starting Kapler in a bunch of games, and Manny should play more than 133 games. The hard part this year will be getting WMP at bats (hopefully, since everyone will be healthy). So I figure the team is good for 875 runs or about 5.5 per game. Which last year would have been second in MLB. And that is what it will be this year - second in MBL. Third at worst - maybe CLE or CHI will have their players put it all together, but barring a serious injury I think the Sox are likely to be second. How will they get there.

So in the comments I will put my guess of performance by player.


  1. Lugo .290 115 Runs 70 RBI .360 OBP .400 SLG
    Youk .280 100 runs 90 RBI .380 OBP .420 SLG
    Manny .310 105 R, 35 HR 140 RBI .400/.600
    Ortiz .290 110R, 40HR 140RBI .375/.600
    Drew .285 100R 20HR 110RBI .400/.500
    Tek .260 60R 16HR 70RBI .340/.440
    Lowell .270 75R 18HR 70RBI .340/.440
    Crisp .290 70R 12HR 75RBI .340/.450
    Pedroia .280 70R 8HR 60RBI .350.430

    So there it is - no career seasons. 1-4 looking for career averages or slightly below. A helathy Drew, slight bounce back from Tek, Lowell down ticking a bit, but still somewhat productive, Crisp playing all year and Pedroia adjusting fine to MLB - in the minors this guy hit .330 with an OBP over .400 and SLG over .500. The above should not be a stretch.

    so without really reconciling a team total, that would put the starters with 800 runs and 765 RBI with the rest come from the bench.

    So now, the it is up to the pitching to bring their 825 runs allowed down to about 750-760 and this team would win about 92 games and be in the thick of things.

  2. That would be a pretty fantastic year for Lugo. That is 13 points higher than his career average. Granted he was part of an offense without spark, but that would be quite a climb. I see Lugo coming in about .275, scoring a lot of runs. Also, he's only driven in 70 once in his career. Again, a crappy team, I get it, but I don't see enough consistency from the bottom of this lineup to justify slotting 70 for Lugo.

    Youk's number look right on...can't argue there. Maybe a little concern about the RBI (for same reasons as Lugo)

    Manny, Ortiz, and Drew. Pretty much agree.

    Tek, I agree...a bounceback, but probably not to the 22 HRs he had last year. Mirabelli in the backup role? Another crappy year...

    Lowell is hard to guess. I can't see him having a better year than last, that's for sure...

    I'd love to see that kind of year from Crisp, too. Injury free and in a less stressful spot in the order, that is attainable, although his table setters are really Tek and Lowell (and WMP...who is sucking in winter ball by the way)...75 RBI for him with the slowness of Tek and Lowell (and Crisp hitting singles) is going to be tough.

    Pedroia is all conjecture at this point. Those numbers would be in the realm of a mature Youk (with a little less HR power).

    We'll see.

    I do think that they'll score a lot of runs...I also think that they'll have times when the bottom part of the lineup as a whole will slump...

    As for runs allowed...I think that while the overall quality of pitching projects to be better, their infield defense has been drastically weakened. I can't project how much more, but they'll probably make as many error in the IF by July 1 as they did all of last year. How does that translate to runs allowed? Well, it probably means that the pen will get a workout as pitch counts for starters rise a little.

  3. and for Tek (last year meant the previous year)

  4. Sure Lugo is only a .275 career hitter, but his last season and a half in the AL EAST he was hitting .300. I discounted the LA experience since it was in a very fluid role.

    For Crips, I basically took what he did his last two years in CLE.

    And my projection on Pedroia is a bit optimistic. But he did put up some incredible numbers (especially) OBP in the minors, just like Youk.

    I did kind of consider infield defense in the estimate of allowing 750 runs. Since the Sox made an artifically low number of errors last year (and errors really only being one aspect of defense), I would like to see the team give up a half a run per game less. So while the team ERA was 4.83 last year, I would like to see it return to the levels of 2004 (4.19) and figure they will give up more a few more unearned runs along the way.

    And while the 2004 season had a great performance by Schilling, Wake and D-Lowe each pitched a lot of innings with very high ERAs (4.87 and 5.42 respectively).

    Even that Murderer's Row lineup 200 miles to the South will struggle at the bottom of their order. I guarantee Cano won't hit .340 again, Posada is our Varitek, I hope they give Mienkiewicz and/or Andy Phillips 500 ABs, and if its Abreu or Matsui hitting 6th, it probably is the same lack of power that afflicts our 6 spot.

  5. I totally agree with the assessment of 92 wins this year. I don't know if that will be enough to guarantee the playoffs, but nothing ever really does.

    It is funny...with all the talk of the lineup and starting pitching, I have to say (just as a gut feeling) that if the pen sorts it self out and a closer emerges (Pineiro, for instance), I could see this team winning 97-99 games. Maybe that is what we should be focusing on???

    Also, I'd like to see Pedroia hit eighth with Crisp hitting ninth. Gives you a lot of speed with Crisp and Lugo at the turnaround. They are followed by Youk (who will probably see more fastballs because of the threat of double-steals and Papi on deck). This might lead to more HRs for Youk...At least more fastballs to choose from...

  6. I like that - having Crisp 9th.