Halfway Point - Grading the Sox (48-33)

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Dirty Water
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Halfway Point - Grading the Sox (48-33) 

Post#1 » by Dirty Water » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:48 pm

This is without a shadow of a doubt the best possible scenario that could have happened. We knew there was 90 win potential... but on pace for 96? I'll take that.

Starting Pitching: B-
Lester has to be better, and Buchholz has to be healthier. We knew that going into the season. Both of them dominating is how we got off to a great start. Since Lester has been inconsistent and Buchholz has been hurt, the team is at .500 ball. If Lackey can continue to pick up and be a solid #3 we have the potential possibly make some noise in the playoffs. Doubront has made progress so far from how bad he started and Dempster is abotu all you can ask for out of a #5.

Bullpen: C
They have a lot of arms out there but the whole Bailey/Hanrahan debacle is why the grade is so low. Tazawa and Uehara have been excellent as well as Miller and Breslow have been solid lefties. Alex Wilson and Clayton Mortenson kind fo came otu of nowhere to be decent long men.

Hitting: A-
Sox pretty much have the best offense in baseball and that's without Ellsbury's power and Middlebrooks being sent to AAA. Jose. Freaking. Iglesias. If you were to tell me he'd be starting at third base and hitting .425 on July 1 I'd think you're crazy. That's the kind of thing that happens when you simulate a season in a video game. Papi and Pedroia having monster seasons and guys like Napoli, Victorino have found roles. Even guys like Nava and Carp have been beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

Defense: B+
Hard to judgde based on stats but I like what I've seen from Drew, Iglesias and Napoli has been serviceable. Pedroia is an always will be gold glove. Ellsbury has been meh and Nava has been improved. Sox are decently strong in this area. Extra points for Iglesias who flawlessly learned a new position.

Overall: A-. Not sure aut how deep they can go in the playoffs but this team is headed for a playoff spot. Again, all comes down to pitching. It's got to be healthier and more consistent.
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Re: Halfway Point - Grading the Sox (48-33) 

Post#2 » by thesack12 » Thu Aug 1, 2013 4:10 pm

Sox are a better squad than I thought they would have been. IMO that is more attributed to Farrell, and being able to stay much healthier this year as opposed to last. The offseason additions (sans Farrell) certainly haven't been big linchpins.

Dempster is ok for a #4/5, but he's being paid like a #2, borderline #1 for most teams. I can't even call him solid. He always allows too many baserunners, (7th worst WHIP and 4th most walks allowed in baseball) and gives up too many HR's (9th most in baseball). There is a reason why his career winning % is < .500. Thats even with the vast majority of his career being in the national league. He is overmatched in the american league.

Victorino has been solid. He has been pretty steady in about every regard. That signing/contract still has high potential to turn bad in the near future for a couple different reasons. But in the meantime, we can only hope Shane stays solid.

Napoli started off pretty well, but he has faded to mediocrity after about the first 1.5 months of the season or so. He is not providing much power, and for a 1B he is hitting for piss poor power. On the plus side he has been driving in a decent amount of runs, and been semi-solid defensively. Still think a long term upgrade is needed at 1B, especially with Napoli's hip condition is reportedly degenerative.

Ross I guess gets an incomplete thus far. He has been out forever with concussion issues. When he was playing he was pretty bad at the plate. Even when he is healthy, he is an above average backup catcher. Not much of an asset.

Drew has been pretty bad. He has been horrible at the plate. He predictably had a several week DL stint with a hamstring issue. However, his defense has been solid. Again, I question the reason for this one year stopgap signing. Also, not sure why Middlebrooks was demoted, where Drew has been equally as bad. Yes I realize Drew can't be optioned to Pawtucket, but he could have been benched in favor or Middlebrooks, Iggy, et all.

Gomes hasn't been very good either. He isn't providing much power, which is what he was brought in to do. He was truly terrible for the first couple months of the season. He began to wake up a couple weeks ago, but he is still extremely spotty. On the positive side he has been ok in the field, and draws a decent amount of walks. Still though, he hasn't been a worthwhile addition at this point. Carp has been running circles around him.

Hanrahan was wretched before he went down for the count. Seems to just be yet another national league pitcher not being able to make the transition. Wonder when Cherington will realize that Boston needs a LEGIT closer for the AL east. There has to be a certain makeup and fabric to those guys.

Uehara, has been solid. Can't ask for anything more from him. However, he is showing signs of wearing down. Especially since he is being misused as the de facto closer. But thats not his fault.

Carp has been sensational. He has been superb at the plate, hitting for power and average. He also provides great versatility as a corner outfielder/1B. He is doing all this despite being a part time player. Its pretty tough to maintain a good groove being a part time player. Carp is far and away the best pickup by Cherington before the season. He got him for basically nothing (ptbnl).

Ok now that thats out of the way on to the incumbents....

Pedroia. What can you say, other than he is Dustin Pedroia. Great player, who brings it every damn game. Very happy to see him get rewarded and know he is locked up for pretty much the rest of his career.

Ortiz, has been flat out great. Heart and soul of the team, and still a top hitter in baseball. Losing him last season was a crushing blow.

Ellsbury has been really good. He started off kind of slow, but turned it up after about a month and stayed there. He is not having the MVP caliber season he had in 2011, but he is still a REALLY good player. He has also started to pick his power back up in recent weeks. We all know he is a straight up terror on the basepads.

Salty has been really solid. His power is down compared to last season, but his average is way up. He is still striking out too much, but his plate discipline seems to be trending in the right direction. He has also shown good strides with managing the pitching staff/ and individual game situations. That is an excellent development.

Middlebrooks was pretty bad for his entire time in Boston. Poor plate discipline, and too many unforced defensive errors. He deserved his demotion to AAA. Might not be the long term 3B, many though he was. Still time for him to right the ship though.

Nava is pretty much on the same path as Napoli, started off very well but currently on a prolonged fade.

Bucholz, started out like a house of fire. Yet he predictably got what seems to be a minor ailment and has been out for months. I'm about done with this guy. Every time this dude gets hurt, it just lingers and lingers and lingers. He has started 20+ games only twice in his career, and never has logged 200 innings in a season. If I'm Cherington I float Buch's name around the winter meetings, and see what kind of offers that elicits.

Lester, started great then got pretty bad for about 12 starts. His late couple he has picked it up though. Hopefully that arrow continues to point up.

Lackey is not great by any means, but he has had a nice bounceback season off tommy john. He is one of those guys that will keep you in about every game he pitches, and will throw in a real gem every now and again. He is also pretty battle tested in big game situations, which is a plus. He is still grossly overpaid, but the good news is next season he will be a MONUMENTAL bargain at the league minimum.

Losing Miller out of the pen was a pretty big blow. He was rock solid up until he got hurt. Losing Bailey was really not that big of deal, because he isn't any good. Tazawa and Breslow have been pretty solid. Breslow has to be the main lefty now with Miller out. Already talked about Uehara.

To summarize, this team is better than I personally expected. I think they are a playoff team at this point (perhaps win the AL east) but I don't think they are contenders to win the series. That said with the Peavy addition now in play, if the team can stay healthy they might have a chance.
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Re: Halfway Point - Grading the Sox (48-33) 

Post#3 » by sunshinekids99 » Fri Aug 2, 2013 4:58 pm

Figured I would get into the grading of the players the Sox have used so far this year.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia-B. I thought he took great strides last year as being one of the leaders of this team. He has improved he god awful OBP from last year while keeping his slugging pretty much the same. Needs to cut down on the k’s and would like to see more home runs from him.

David Ross- C. Injuries have really killed this season for him and it’s hard to judge a guy on 60 something atbats. I thought in his brief time with the Sox he handles the staff very well.

Ryan Lavarnway- C. He looks more comfortable behind the plate this year and has had some big hits in very limited at bats. Hard for him to keep much consistency when you play once a week.

Mike Napoli- C. He’s a lot better at first than I thought he would be there and he’s done a nice job in his first full season. He needs more pop though; nice season but nothing special. I do think he’s a big part of the culture change with this team too.

Dustin Pedroia- B+. I wish everybody could play the game like he does; it really is a joy to watch. I still expect him to go on one of his crazy streaks where he can carry a team for 2 plus weeks.

Stephen Drew-C-. Drew has been good in the field. But he needs to be a better hitter, far too often he’s watching good pitches go by. I expect this will be his one and only year with the Sox.

Jose Inglesias- B+. The guy is a wizard with the glove and for a while he really had his hitting going. In the end he did revert to his .220 hitting self and the sox did a good job of selling high on him.

Brock Holt- C+. Holt is a solid reserve that will bounce from AAA to the big club. He’s done his job.

Brandon Snyder- C+. Same as Holt, he’s gotten the job done for what he is as a player. Showed a bit a pop too.

Will Middlebrooks- F. This season started off bad for Will and has only gotten worse. He’s yet to figure it out in AAA too. I think he’s got some confidence and maturity issues he needs to overcome before he can help this team.

Daniel Nava- A-. Nava has done a great job for this team. He helped carry this team early and has had some huge hits for the team this year. His defense is greatly improved as well. Just hope he can keep it up.

Jonny Gomes-B. Yes Gomes is overpaid and yes he started off this season pretty badly. He has been much better of late. I love the way he plays with reckless abandon and I feel it’s contagious to the rest of the team. He’s a leader with this team. Also has a knack for the big hit which is never bad for a guy coming off the bench.

Mike Carp-A. Every time Carp is in the lineup he does something positive. He was a great buy low guy for Ben. Carp has shown pop and I’d like to see him get a few more at bats per week.

Jacoby Ellsbury-A-. Slow start to the year for Ells but he’s picked up very nicely. He’s a very special base stealer in the league and provides very nice defense. I would like to see more pop from him.

Shane Victorino-B-. He plays the game the way it should be played. He’s a very aggressive player that benefits the Sox. Good defender as well. The grade is lower mostly due to the injuries, just hope he can get past the back and hamstring issues.

Jackie Bradley Jr- C-. JBJ got thrown into the fire to start the year and looking back it was the wrong move. I surely don’t blame the Sox for trying it though. He was a bit overmatched in Boston, but with that said I thought he handled himself very well. I still fully expect him to be an all-star cf in this league.

David Ortiz-A+. Ortiz is having yet another special season for the Boston Red Sox. I don’t know how he still does it, but I’ll sure take the results. They have to keep Papi healthy in order to have any chance this season.

Clay Buchholz-A-. He has been downright unhittable this season. Problem is he’s appears to be made of glass. Just hope they can get him back in a few weeks and he can back to being the ace of this team.

Jon Lester- B. I miss the young Jon Lester the one with promise of being an ace. I think this is the last year of Lester in Boston. He’s been solid for the team, but nothing special. Add to the fact he seems to be the one that hasn’t joined the rest of the group in this change in Boston.

John Lackey- B+. Lackey has been pretty damn good this year. He seems to be tiring a bit of late, so I wonder if he will be getting a 15 day DL maintenance visit soon enough. His teammates love him and he showed a commitment to get back to where he was before the arm issues. I give him credit for losing quite a bit a weight and being ready to go from day one. Gives up a too many homeruns though.

Ryan Dempster-D+. I hated the signing to start the season and nothing has changed that for me. The guy is a 5th starter being paid number 2 starter cash. Gives up a ton of homeruns and well hits in general. Can the Sox have a redo on this one?

Felix Doubront-B. Felix has a pretty solid season; he got out of the gates slow but right now looks like a good 3 starter in this league. He has to cut down on some of the pitches and get deeper into games.

Brandon Workman- B+. We haven’t seen a whole lot of this guy, but I love the way he pitches. He is fearless out there and I’m hoping he can give the Sox a Masterson like lift out of the pen for the rest of the season.

Joel Hanrahan-F. He came to camp out of shape and it is no surprise to me that he got hurt. While I don’t know if Melancon would have ever got it done in Boston, that trade really hurts when he might be the best reliever in baseball this year(stat wise of course)

Andrew Bailey-D. He’s brittle there is no doubt about that; another awful trade for the Red Sox here. He had a couple moments for the team, but overall what a waste of money.

Alfredo Aceves-F. I really wish I could just give this guy another player’s brain. This guy was huge for the Sox two years ago and I wish he had his head on right so they could take advantage of that rubber arm.

Koji Uehara- A+. This was a great sign from the Sox. He has done more than I expected for the team; he’s been filthy this year. Please just stay healthy.

Junichi Tazawa-B. Had a great start to the year and I really love this guy’s arm. There is some fatigue going on right now so hopefully he can get back on track for the stretch run.

Andrew Miller-B+. He is someone that I really root for in MLB. Had the major hype coming in and had to remake himself. He has turned himself into a very nice pitcher out of the pen and I look forward to him helping the sox next year.

Craig Breslow-B+. I feel he very undervalued to the Sox pen success. Since he came back from injury I though he’s gone out and gotten the job done.

Matt Thorton-B-. Thorton doesn’t have the same arm that he used to in his prime. I’d rather him just stick to lefties as well. In the right spots I think he can help this team.

Pedro Beato-C+. He might have been a little bit of a steal here for the Sox. He’s a big guy with a good arm that in limited work has gotten the job done. I look forward to seeing if he can get a bigger role.

Drake Britton-A-. I love this guy out of the pen in a very limited amount of innings. The guy is fearless and he will attack the batter. I think he may end up taking a bigger role in the pen down the stretch.

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