Wednesday, December 05, 2012

And Now....Victorino

Are the Red Sox done with their lineup?  Will there be other moves?  One's answer to these questions would need to be based on which opinion you hold: 1. Is this a bridge/rebuilding year or 2. Are they trying to win now?

The Sox just completed a 3-year deal for Shane Victorino.  That's the third multi-year contract they've handed out this off-season.  Why do all these multi-year deals if you have younger guys ready to go?  Why go from Cody Ross to Shane Victorino, especially with other teams driving the latter's price up?

Put me in the camp of the Sox think they can make a run with this new look team.  So, to me, they aren't done wheeling and dealing.  As of now here is their opening day lineup:

CF  Ellsbury
2B  Pedroia
DH  Ortiz
1B Napoli
3B  Middlebrooks
RF  Victorino
C  Saltalamachhia/David Ross
LF  Gomes
SS  Iglesias/Ciriaco

That's a pretty deep lineup, a little weak at the bottom, but they are not done.  They are in a position to deal Salty and have Ross teach Lavarnway how to call a game.  They could trade Ellsbury.  There are still outfielders to be had.  And let's not forget the Victorino is a natural CF.  Swisher and Hamilton may still be in play.

The school of thought out there is that they need another starter.  But what if Lackey's woes were because of his injury?  Would a 1-2-3 of Lester, Buchholz, and Lackey be horrible?  The answer is no, but it wouldn't be enough against the pitching depth of the Yankees and Rays in the AL East, not to mention the other Wild Card competitors.  So they need another top of the rotation guy. They obviously have major league talent to trade for it. Ellsbury could bring you that.  And, heck, Greinke is still out there as a FA.

Put me in the column of "The Sox have a plan".  They have a lot of flexibility, and signing all of these guys to 3-year deals makes it seem like they aren't mailing it in for one year to wait for the youngsters...


  1. I hate this team.

    I will pull my inner Grieve and say, okay, that's a lineup. Not a good one though. And I know I'm rigging the system a little bit here, but let's just line that up against, say the reigning fourth place team in their division.

    CF Ellsbury (if he is even here) vs SS Jose Reyes - small wash here. If Jacoby was healthy obviously its a different story. But Reyes had a WAR of 2.8 last year versus .8 for Number 2. And Reyese didnt sit out half the year with vaginitis

    2B Pedroia/ LF Melky. WAR of 4.8 vs 4.7. Call it a wash. Who knows how much the roids helped. Maybe slight edge SOX.

    DH Ortiz - RF Bautista Edge Toronto
    1B Napoli - DH encanarcion edge Totonto
    3B Middlebrooks 3B Bret Lawrie - we'll see how Middlebrooks year two is. He needs to improve. Edge Toronto.

    RF Victorino - CF Colby Rasmus - Probably a wash. Rasmus has way more power and can hit righties. The Hawaiian a better fielder and more versatile.

    C Saltalamachhia/David Ross - Arencibia. About a wash. Both had 1.1 WAR last year.

    LF Gomes - Adam Lind. Slight edge Red Sox.

    SS Iglesias/Ciriaco - Macier Iztarus - they all pretty much suck. Pretty much a wash.

    So that's the lineup. At best we have one position where we can say (optimisticly) we are better. And that's just cause we love Pedey.


    Still a work in Progress.

    "Would a 1-2-3 of Lester, Buchholz, and Lackey be horrible? The answer is no" I think the answer is actually not no but "Maybe."

    Lester 4.82
    Buch 4.56
    Lackey (giving the benefit of the doubt his first season with sox he had a 4.4 ERA
    Dubront 4.86

    The league ERA was 4.40 last year. That's not one better than average pitcher in the rotation. I don't care if we get Felix Hernandez, that's not a good rotation.


    Josh Johnson 3.81
    Brandon Morrow 2.96
    Buerhle 3.74
    Romero - okay, he sucked at 5.77 but is only one year removed from 2.92.

    So they have three above average starters compare to our four below average starters.

    So I will finish where I started.

    I hate this team.

  2. I think basing your pitching comparisons on just last year is a bit unfair. Lester has been consistently good (over 200 IP, a ton of Ks, ERAs under 4, etc...). Buchholz is also under 4 for his career.

    Also, put me in the camp that injuries devastated Toronto last year.

    I will also add that Middlebrooks put up better numbers that Bret Lawrie is 50 less games.

    Reyes was not on the Jays last year and will make them better.

    I get it, though. You hate this team. I think one good starter (I liked Schilling's Ellsbury for Cliff Lee idea), and this team is a viable team in the East.

    1. I don't think Baltimore comes close to what they were last year.

    2. The Rays lack of offense (and they LOST Upton to boot) will keep them about where they were.

    3. The Yankees are aging. They expect Pettitte to go the whole year, this year. A-Rod is done. Jeter is going to have a tough time playing short after that injury + his age. He is amazing at the plate, but he was already limited in range at SS and I can't see this injury speeding him up. The Yankees are also trying not to get to the 50% luxury tax and so most likely won't spend like crazy.

    4. Toronto will be much better than they were last year unless the injury bug strikes again.

    I just don't see why this Sox lineup (better than the Rays) with one more starter couldn't compete in the East.

  3. Great work on getting this started again Grieve. You weren't the rookie of the year for nothing!

    X... you've been out of Boston for 10 years but you're still as whiny as ever!

    I think Napoli, when all said and done will be a better $/production move than Gonzalez. (I guess that might not be too hard to do because Yo-Adrian's contract was huge). Anyway, I think he will be a good fit and some insurance against a fading Papi.

    Victorino gives you some options to move Elsbury if needed but otherwise is a solid defensive addition. Plus he seems like a solid clubhouse type.

    My big concern is pitching. I think Lester is basically done. I don't believe in the idea that Farrell is going to magically make things better. Bucholz will be what he is and Lackey is a total wild card. Essentially, we're looking at not assurances that our pitching will be any where close to competitive. I wish I had some ideas here, but this isn't the NFL... I don't think a purely outscore the other team strategy will work.

  4. Its good to be back boys. And I'm especially impressed with Dino posting literally within days of - well actually not really doing anything - but you get the point.

    I know I was stirring up some shit with my comment. But that's the fun of it.

    I DO hate this team. But I could be moved back to caring if a few things break the Sox way.

    All valid points. I totally rigged the game in favor of my argument that we had to pass the 4th place team from last year given that they have improved vastly. And I agree Baltimore would seem like to regress (though we waited for it all last year and it never happened.) And the Yanks will/should regress as they age.

    I did cherry pick a few seasons. And I do think the addition of Napoli, the return to health of Papi/Pedey and hopefully a massive contract year by Julie Elsbury and now all of a sudden we have some guys that can grind out at bats like the winning Sox of old did. Last year too many quikc ABs and outs. Even Aidrian becam quick triggered and swung at too many pitches.

    I will caution everyone (hope to be wrong) on Middlebrooks. His discipline really worries me and he had trouble with the breaking ball. I think every GM in baseball would take Lawrie over Will. What Lawrie did in 2011 at age 21 was pretty special - he's still a year younger than MiddleB. I like Wills power but the high K rate and low walk scare me. I hope he's not the next Shea Hillenbrand.

    One more starter is key. Hell even the return to excellence for Bucholz and Lester of their 2010 form and they should be able to compete. They were both awesome that year.

    It could be an interesting year. They could compete. Or they could suck again. I just don't know. And until I know for sure. I hate them.

  5. On your hating this team X, I should be clear, I certainly don't love them. There isn't anything "special" about these Sox. Granted they haven't had any time to gel as a team and form an identity, but based on last year I am concerned. They seem to be a collection of random ball players rather than a team. Yes, I said BALL PLAYERS.