Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What Should the Sox Really Do?

Ok, so we're a half-game out of first place. Not too bad. But look at who we are trailing, and with Earl in mind, and his post on predictions, we can look at how many times we have said the Yankees pitching is a mess...One thing to keep in mind is that we were far back in the standings, too, and we were able to catch Baltimore.

Well, there's no doubt about that. Last night they gave up 10 runs AND WON...Meanwhile, we gave up 3 AND LOST.

One has to think that in the course of a season that we'd be better off, but it doesn't seem to be playing out that way. Maybe the Sox will get hot and run off a string of wins, but I'd like to look at some trends, and then we can all yell at each other about them...

1. Manny being Manny. We were down 3 or 4 runs the other night when Manny hits the blast against Gordon. He drops the bat, stands there and admires it. Last night, he hits a pop-fly down the first base line and NEVER leaves the batter's box. Now, the guy is an offensive monster (he hits a lot, not the he's an offensive person), no doubt about that. But run it out...Too much leeway?

2. Starting pitching. Clement last year was great before the break. He then came apart at the seams. Now, I don't think Tek will let that happen, but the guy hasn't thrown strikes in 3 games. Wade Miller last night looked good. I did notice one thing. He is back to throwing across his body, which, of course, led to his arm falling off. His first two outings as a Red Sox, it looked like they had corrected that problem. I hope this isn't the case. Arroyo's achilles heel has been located. Load the lineup with lefties and wait for him to throw the breaking ball. Bronson should spend every off day throwing about 1,000 change-ups and nothing else. That's the pitch he has to get under his belt to overcome this problem. Who would have thought we'd be looking to Wells as the main guy? Wakefield has been Wakefield. Solid, dependable, and giving up some bombs. That's par for the course with him. That is why he is a number 4. We need another starter. Someone big. Take a shot with Jason Schmidt...

3. Bullpen. Finally, last night, Francona let's Embree pitch in the fitting situation. They needed the big out, and he got it. Then, HE DIDN"T BRING HIM OUT TO START THE NEXT INNING. (insert applause here). Then Bradford, Myers, Timlin, and Schilling...and no runs. The pen pitched very well against the Yankees, as well. If Schilling is going to stay in the pen, then we must look back to issue #2. Starting pitching. It also looks like Hansen is on board.

4. The Bench...Who do we have? Youk is back and that is good news. Mirabelli? Um, Stern? Yikes. That is terrible. Look for Kapler's return soon and the giving back of Stern to Atlanta (?).

I still think that we are in good shape and that we have just hit a rough spot. I think that another starter would be great, but who would the Sox move to the pen? I say Arroyo as a right-handed specialist. Of course, I am also now thinking that Arroyo will be dealt with Shoppach and someone else for a good starter...

I do think that we will still win this division. The Yankees are not going to be able to score 10 runs/game, and they still only have Gordon and Rivera and their bullpen. And I think that the O's pitching will not hold up through these next two months.

Let the discussion begin...


  1. I totally agree about Manny. You always need to be ready to be on at least 1st in case the flyball is dropped.

    And another starter would be great too; I agree that's perhaps more important that the improving the bullpen. If we have to give away Arroyo to get Burnett, I'm okay with that. Abe Alvarez I could also part with.

    As for the bench, you forgot about Olerud. (That seems to be going around these days.) Not sure if Youk will be much of a bench player -- I think he might be our new 2B. Or else we call up Hanley and send Stern down.

    For that matter, let's also call up Petagine (who's doing well at AAA) and send Millar down. Or whatever.

  2. we just traded for tony graffanino (El Nino)...He's having a pretty good year, so that might be it for Bellhorn. Or, when Bellhorn comes back then Cora gets designated for assignment...

    In a very odd move we also traded some prospects to San Diego for Adam Hyzdu. What???

    So, in Theo we trust...Let's check out some deals...We gave up Freddie Sanchez (top 3b prospect)...We got Suppan (bust), Saeurbach (bust). We trade Dave Roberts (crowd and clubhouse favorite) for Jay Payton (gone already) and Vazquez (also gone).

    For Vazquez we get Cora and then go out and trade prospects for Graffanino...

    So we end up with outfield...Nixon, Damon, Ramirez, Hyzdu, and Stern...Nice...

    Infield. Millar, Cora/Graffanino, Renteria, and Mueller...

    IF the Mueller trade rumors are true then our infield is Millar/Olerud, Cora/Graff, Renteria, Youkilis.

    I disagree with the Millar thing. In all those key situations he has worked lead-off walks (long at-bats). He's been moving the ball the other way. Also, in June his batting average was .377 and his OBP this month is .426.

    Embree has also been designated for assignment...This is probably to make room for Graff...or Hyzdu...

    None of these moves thrill me...

  3. I'm happy with Graff-el-Nino. So we'll see if Mueller stays or not...but yeah, I think you're right, Bellhorn's done.

    I certainly don't understand the Hyzdu thing. Backup OF: Hyzdu, Stern, AND Kapler. I can only assume they won't all stay in Boston for long. Preumably Theo has more planned?

    You left out Bradford -- the trade was really Dave Roberts for Cora and Bradford, which is not a bad deal really. Another speed guy, plus a bullpen arm. I'm fine with that.

    Sanchez for Suppan was bad luck -- Suppan was really, really good the following year. Not as good in 2005, but still be better than most of our current starters.

    Maybe I'm too harsh on Millar. He had a great June, and while it looked like July would be not-so-good, he's been fantastic the last week or so. Still, 4 HR for a 1B is pretty pathetic.

  4. Still, I'd rather see Millar go in a trade for Romero than Mueller.

  5. yeah, but the Twins have a young 1b...that's why they let Mientadfknq go...They need a 3b...

    Now, I am hearing the Graff-el-nino thing is not done, yet. I've had it with ESPN...

  6. Yeee haaaa!!!!

    Embree is gone. Thank god.

    Other thoughts, in no particular order.

    The Yanks pen is better than the Sox right now. Mo is money and Sturtze has actually pitched well. Timlin is about the only one we have that is $$. His numbers are largely distorted by the spot start he got on July 4.

    Manny is not the problem on this team.

    I still stick to my thought that we could bring up one of the kids in the next week and see how the fresh arm does against MLB players.

    Schmidt is a huge risk. I see/hear a lot out here and his velocity is down. He had a couple of decent starts last month, but the last few have been bad. And could have been worse if not for the fact that he pitches in PacBell and road starts in SD and LA.

    My gut feeling is that they will not make a trade with Meuller. Seems to me like just noise. Sure Minn IF is terrible but their pen is their strength.

    And our bench is weakish, but Mirabelli and Olerud/Millar should be OK, especially if/once Kapler comes back. Last year we had Roberts and Mientk, etc, neither of whom could hit. And basically the same guys.

    the guy we gave up for Hydzu was not a prospect. And prospects are generally overrated. What has Sanchez done lately. I think at this point they are just shuffling parts, hoping.

    Oh, hey Manny just hit a HR. Yeah ha!!!

  7. The Hyzdu move looks like it was mostly due to the Graffanino trade - we sent Chip Ambres to KC for him, so that OF spot has to be filled.

    I think people will be pleasantly surprised by Grafanino.

  8. X -- I don't think anyone said Manny was "a problem". But his dogging it is not cool, and could cost a game sometime.

    Yeah, I'm quite happy with Oninaffarg.

  9. Millar was pulled from right in the 7th inning for Stern. No reason r this I can think of other thn a trade; Millar ddn't get hurt, and it as tooearly for a strict defesive replacement (and wasn't played like one either, with Nixon and then Hyzdu switched in in the 8th and 9th). Millar could be gone.

  10. I cancelled my DSL at home. I tell you it makes it hard to keep up with all the chatter.

    That being said, I'd like to point out a couple of things.

    1. Manny did hussle down the line on a ball that was eventually foul last night. Let's just say Manny is not the brightest. I think some times wires get crossed in his head and it takes him a while to take the next step. All that being said, more often than not he crushes the ball which affords him a step or two to get the signals straight. Here is my take on what is happening in Manny's brain: Hmmmmmmmm fastball.... Manny Swing bat.... Manny crush ball..... Manny is huge!!!! Oh, Manny not crush ball..... hmmmm... where did ball go? Oh, ball is dropping for a bloop hit... hmmm.... oh, Manny need run NOW....

    2. I still believe in Millar as well. He had a nice 10 pitch at bat last night and worked a walk. I don't think he'll turn his season around to anything remotely positive, but I think replacing him at this point may be more damaging than good. Let's NOT forget that he's an important piece in the fabric of this team. He continues to keep guys loose, which is critical.

    3. I wish Cora could hit, because did you see those plays he made last night?