Saturday, May 06, 2006

"Facts are such stubborn things."

---------- AVE OBP SLG OPS

Player A .311 .411 .467 .878
Player B .317 .362 .540 .902

Player C -- K/BB -- 15/6 WHIP-- 1.94 E.R.A.-- 9.58 HR --4

I'll come back to this.

After 29 games, we have a pretty good idea what this team is concerning pitching and defense (overall improved, bullpen inconsistent in the middle), and they're showing signs offensively of more production.

What does seem mildly mysterious is the lineup. Youkilis has been almost a revelation in the leadoff spot, although the 'Greek God of Walks' is also the Prince of Strikeouts. He'll do better. I'd have a low threshold to move Loretta down and Nixon into the 2 spot, although you can argue about the wisdom of back-to-back lefties with Nixon and Ortiz. Based on production, Loretta and Varitek both deserve fewer at bats and Wily Mo and Lowell more.

1B Youkilis
CF Pena
DH Ortiz
LF Ramirez
RF Nixon
3B Lowell
C Varitek
2B Loretta
SS Gonzalez (or Cora)

Maybe somebody should remind Tito that Papelbon can't pitch every day. That's just the fact, Jack.

As for Player A and Player B above, those are Nixon and Pena. Pena has been a lot more productive than anticipated, and deserves a lot more credit than he receives. Yesterday, people were calling Nitwit Radio saying he needs minor league at-bats. I'm sorry, but I think he deserves to play every day, and ultimately he's making Trot Nixon expendable, although Trot is a great character guy.

Pitcher C would be Seanez, whose propensity for the long ball and his disastrous WHIP ratio make him a real candidate to be released (the Braves can have him back). The other immediate 'fungible' player on the team is J.T. Snow, who doesn't seem to have much of a role. Hee-Seop Choi has a better stick and is nearby in Pawtucket. Willie Harris is the designated 'Dave Roberts'. No stick but can really run.

The longer term issues are whether Cora gets more time at short, and what the rotation becomes when Coco Crisp gets back in the lineup. Ultimately, playing time belongs to producers, not salary. As they say, "money can't play."

I don't expect anything from Wells, Synvisc injections or not.

And Ortiz is a wonder.

1 comment:

brian said...

Wily Mo has made a ton of progress already. He's been getting a lot of hits the other way. I'm anxious to see how he plays when he moves back to RF. This is still a big ?

The guy is definitely our future RF, and no matter how many games Arroyo wins, it was a good trade.