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Thread: 2012 Spring training

  1. #21
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    I don't think Cook will crack the opening day rotation. There were some health issues early in ST and Cook has only pitched 5.1 innings yet this spring. For better or worse, I think the Red Sox are committed to give Bard a legitimate shot at starting. Fot the 5th spot, my guess is it's between Aceves, Doubront and Padilla.
    At this point, I'd say:

    Beckett
    Lester
    Buchholz
    Bard
    Doubront

    Bailey
    Melancon
    Aceves
    Bowden
    Miller/Padilla
    Morales
    Albers

    But it's still 18 days to go. A lot can happen in 18 days...
    Watching Derek Jeter make 40 defensive plays and then watching Adam Everett make 40 defensive plays at the same position is sort of like watching video of Barbara Bush dancing at the White House, and then watching Demi Moore dancing in Striptease. (Bill James)

    Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power. If he can continue to hit .260 or so, he'll be useful, and he probably has a future as a backup infielder. (Keith Law)

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Boxer View Post
    It is "clear" to me that he has found the fountain of youth.
    You think he'll once again be the "cream" of the crop?
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  3. #23
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    The Sox have released Carlos Silva, knocking one more name out of the competition for the #5 spot in the rotation.

    If I had to guess, I'd say Bard 4th and Doubront 5th to start the season, with Cook inserting himself into the discussion after starting the season with Pawtucket to continue building up arm strength.
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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike D. View Post
    You think he'll once again be the "cream" of the crop?
    I think he will "inject" some maturity into the rotation. He will give the staff a real "shot in the arm".

  5. #25
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    I watched Bard's start yesterday and the good news is that even in the fifth his FB was still consistently in the mid 90's, touching 96. The bad is that he continues to walk batters at a worrisome rate this spring and that a couple of his pitches have been rather wild. It's only spring training though so that might be just a pitcher trying to find his mechanics.

    I'm still convinced he will be given a spot in the rotation (at least until about June).
    Last edited by Therwil Flyer; 03-21-2012 at 09:25 AM.
    Watching Derek Jeter make 40 defensive plays and then watching Adam Everett make 40 defensive plays at the same position is sort of like watching video of Barbara Bush dancing at the White House, and then watching Demi Moore dancing in Striptease. (Bill James)

    Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power. If he can continue to hit .260 or so, he'll be useful, and he probably has a future as a backup infielder. (Keith Law)

  6. #26
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    DMac is really playing well this spring...he should see some time before Crawford returns.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Boxer View Post
    what about Doubront and Cook as the #4 and #5 guys in the rotation and Bard/Aceves back in the pen?

    Beckett
    Lester
    Buchholz
    Doubront
    Cook

    Bailey
    Bard
    Aceves
    Melancon
    Bowden
    ???
    ???
    I still think it should be #4 Doubront and either #5 Cook or Padilla. the bull pen needs Bard and Aceves in it.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston Boxer View Post
    I still think it should be #4 Doubront and either #5 Cook or Padilla. the bull pen needs Bard and Aceves in it.
    Valentine doesn't seem all that into the "Bard in the rotation" thing, although I'd love to see if he can do it. Hell, give him a month or so to try, while Cook builds up his arm in the minors. If it doesn't work, move Bard to the pen and give Cook/Padilla his spot in the rotation. Seems crazy not to try though, since Bard could be an above average starter and is young, cheap, and under team control.
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  9. #29
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    It seems at least once a week, if not daily Nick Cafardo and others, but particularly Cafardo states Iglesias should be the starting SS.

    In another RS forum someone suggested that Valentine is feeding Nicky this info and he’s drinking the kool aid. I’m not sure if Valentine is feeding Nicky but Valentine does appear to like Iglesias, and some suggest that Valentine compares him to Rey Ordenez, Valentines SS with the Mets, who played great defense but couldn't hit.

    Although it would be exciting to watch Iglesias make great defensive plays at SS, it may be depressing to watch him be an almost automatic out at the plate.

    I believe that with such a current weak bat, the best thing for Iglesias is to at least start the season in Pawtucket and work on his hitting. I think it might hurt his development as a hitter to rush him to the big club too soon, and why be hasty in doing that when we have who appears to be a decent SS in Aviles?

    I think the Red Sox FO believe that Aviles will give them about the same defense/offense as Scutaro did, which is decent.

    Aviles career stats are .288/.318/.419 with an OPS of .737. However playing in Fenway where he’ll play half his games this year, Aviles career offense is .326/.356/.453 and
    I believe playing half his games in Fenway that Aviles could hit better then his career numbers.

    But as an example, or a loose comparison; In 2009 Scutaro hit .282/.379/.409 with an OPS of .789 which a little better then Aviles career OPS but possibly close to what Aviles might hit this year playing half his games in Fenway.

    And in 2009 Scutaro had an UZR/150 at SS of -10.5 with 1252.2 innings giving him a FG WAR of 4.5.

    Aviles career UZR/150 at SS with 1212 innings is + 12.4 but lets assume for this example he plays defense and hits about that same as Scutaro in 2009.

    Now as another loose comparison for example, let’s say Iglesias is as good defensively as Omar Vizquel was in 2007 when he had an UZR/150 of + 23.2, saving over 23 runs and hit
    .246/.305/.316 (better then Iglesias hit in AAA last year) giving Vizquel a FG WAR of 2.4

    Now my comparisons are admittedly loose but I think potentially could be pretty close. I think it’s possible Aviles may get to a 4.5 WAR which is better then a possible 2.4 WAR that Iglesias may get playing for the big club while possibly hindering his hitting development.

    So even though Iglesias defense would be better the Aviles, potentially Aviles could possibly give us 2 wins above replacement more then Iglesias. Though of course I could be wrong, maybe Iglesias hits well on the big club, but I'd like to see him prove his hitting in AAA first. So to me it makes sense to send Iglesias down to develop and keep Aviles as our starting SS.
    Last edited by Dogdaze; 03-25-2012 at 01:02 PM.

  10. #30
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    With Aviles not falling on his face so far, and Iglesias still not hitting (and still so young), I can't imagine they don't at least start the season with Iglesias in AAA and Aviles starting in the bigs. It's kinda like Bard situation, where I say "start him in the rotation and see how he does". I just don't see the downside to doing it.
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike D. View Post
    With Aviles not falling on his face so far, and Iglesias still not hitting (and still so young), I can't imagine they don't at least start the season with Iglesias in AAA and Aviles starting in the bigs. It's kinda like Bard situation, where I say "start him in the rotation and see how he does". I just don't see the downside to doing it.
    I am not a very big fan of Valentine, but i have to agree with him on this one, Bard isn't a starting type pitcher, he could be very good for a inning, maybe two but not more than that, he should go back to be a set up, also with Aceves could help the Red Sox more as a reliever. Doubront as the fourth starter and Padilla the fifth one they should be acceptable. Aviles has hit some in Spring training, but a left side of infield with Youkilis and Aviles isn't very good and the Sox's pitchers needs help there. While Lavarnway is far from a polish receiver i will take my chances with him than i will do with shoppach who hasn't look good at all this Spring.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogdaze View Post
    It seems at least once a week, if not daily Nick Cafardo and others, but particularly Cafardo states Iglesias should be the starting SS.

    In another RS forum someone suggested that Valentine is feeding Nicky this info and he’s drinking the kool aid. I’m not sure if Valentine is feeding Nicky but Valentine does appear to like Iglesias, and some suggest that Valentine compares him to Rey Ordenez, Valentines SS with the Mets, who played great defense but couldn't hit.
    Cafardo has been a Valentine fanboy since the first day Lucky brought up his name. Valentine has been known to feed writers who write what he thinks with more info than others. I believe that is no different in Cafardo's case.
    Watching Derek Jeter make 40 defensive plays and then watching Adam Everett make 40 defensive plays at the same position is sort of like watching video of Barbara Bush dancing at the White House, and then watching Demi Moore dancing in Striptease. (Bill James)

    Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power. If he can continue to hit .260 or so, he'll be useful, and he probably has a future as a backup infielder. (Keith Law)

  13. #33
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    Regarding Aviles/Iglesias:
    Mike Aviles will and should be the Red Sox opening day starter. It won't be the prettiest left side of the infield defensively but it will be acceptable. Iglesias needs to start the season in the minors and develop as a hitter! Aviles will be one of the big surprises for the 2012 Red Sox.
    It would be shortsighted to hand the starting ss position to Iglesias just yet.

    Regarding Bard:
    I'm continuing to be torn on whether I want Bard in the rotation or the pen. I think the Sox (or at least the FO) will give him a chance to prove himself as a starter. The question I have is this: How long a leash will he be given. From a long term point of view, he should probably be given until about June even if the results are shaky (It is conceivable that he will need some time to adjust to the starter role). From a short term point of view if he struggles as a starter in April you want to think about putting him back in the pen - where he was one of the best last year - way earlier than June.
    I wish the Sox had signed Kuroda or Oswalt for the 4th starter role. Then they could hand the 5th starter spot to Doubront and have Aceves and Bard in the pen.

    Regarding Lavarnway:
    He should start in Pawtucket and improve his catching skills. I think handing him the backup catcher position now will hurt his value long term. But if he is added to the MLB team, I'm ok with that.
    Last edited by Therwil Flyer; 03-25-2012 at 05:44 PM.
    Watching Derek Jeter make 40 defensive plays and then watching Adam Everett make 40 defensive plays at the same position is sort of like watching video of Barbara Bush dancing at the White House, and then watching Demi Moore dancing in Striptease. (Bill James)

    Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power. If he can continue to hit .260 or so, he'll be useful, and he probably has a future as a backup infielder. (Keith Law)

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by scaffolds View Post
    I am not a very big fan of Valentine, but i have to agree with him on this one, Bard isn't a starting type pitcher, he could be very good for a inning, maybe two but not more than that, he should go back to be a set up, also with Aceves could help the Red Sox more as a reliever. Doubront as the fourth starter and Padilla the fifth one they should be acceptable. Aviles has hit some in Spring training, but a left side of infield with Youkilis and Aviles isn't very good and the Sox's pitchers needs help there. While Lavarnway is far from a polish receiver i will take my chances with him than i will do with shoppach who hasn't look good at all this Spring.
    I agree Doubront should be in the rotation...beyond that...

    I guess I just can't see why you wouldn't try Bard in the rotation to start things off. He's pitched as well as Aceves or Padilla this spring, and has a lot more upside. Bard could be an above average starter...do we think that of Padilla or Aceves? I'd say probably not.

    Plus, from a "these guys aren't robots" perspective...do you really strip Bard of the starting spot without giving him a chance and give the job to a shorter-term/less-talented pitcher? I think after all winter and spring preparing to be a starter, he needs to be given a chance to fail. If he pitches well, great...you have a low-cost starter who's very talented and under team control for a long time. If he doesn't, you send him to the pen and slide Cook/Padilla/Aceves into that spot in the rotation. I just can't see an arguement for NOT doing it this way.

    The Aviles thing...it's the same thing, to a degree. Why not give him a chance...it's not like Iglesias is tearing up the place with his bat (quite the opposite). If Iglesias hits in AAA and Aviles doesn't hit/field in the bigs, you make the move.

    In both situations, it comes down to "try for upside, and if it doesn't work, you go to Plan B". If you start Iglesias at SS and move Bard to the pen and the situtation doesn't work out...what's the "Plan B"?

    If Lavarnway's two options are "backup catcher" or "AAA", you gotta go with AAA. Why stunt his development to have him rot on the bench 40% of the time? Now, if he could win the STARTING catcher job or we didn't have Ortiz to DH, it'd be a different story.
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike D. View Post
    I agree Doubront should be in the rotation...beyond that...

    I guess I just can't see why you wouldn't try Bard in the rotation to start things off. He's pitched as well as Aceves or Padilla this spring, and has a lot more upside. Bard could be an above average starter...do we think that of Padilla or Aceves? I'd say probably not.

    Plus, from a "these guys aren't robots" perspective...do you really strip Bard of the starting spot without giving him a chance and give the job to a shorter-term/less-talented pitcher? I think after all winter and spring preparing to be a starter, he needs to be given a chance to fail. If he pitches well, great...you have a low-cost starter who's very talented and under team control for a long time. If he doesn't, you send him to the pen and slide Cook/Padilla/Aceves into that spot in the rotation. I just can't see an arguement for NOT doing it this way.

    The Aviles thing...it's the same thing, to a degree. Why not give him a chance...it's not like Iglesias is tearing up the place with his bat (quite the opposite). If Iglesias hits in AAA and Aviles doesn't hit/field in the bigs, you make the move.

    In both situations, it comes down to "try for upside, and if it doesn't work, you go to Plan B". If you start Iglesias at SS and move Bard to the pen and the situtation doesn't work out...what's the "Plan B"?

    If Lavarnway's two options are "backup catcher" or "AAA", you gotta go with AAA. Why stunt his development to have him rot on the bench 40% of the time? Now, if he could win the STARTING catcher job or we didn't have Ortiz to DH, it'd be a different story.
    Iglesias is never going to impress anyone with his bat, he lets his glove do the talking and its his glove what the Red Sox pitchers needs. As for Bard, again he is not more than a two inning pitcher, i disagree Aceves and Padilla has pitched a lot better than Bard. If Lavarnway makes the roster isn't to seat, but to hit against LHP. either as a catcher or DH.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Therwil Flyer View Post
    Regarding Aviles/Iglesias:
    Mike Aviles will and should be the Red Sox opening day starter. It won't be the prettiest left side of the infield defensively but it will be acceptable. Iglesias needs to start the season in the minors and develop as a hitter! Aviles will be one of the big surprises for the 2012 Red Sox. It would be shortsighted to hand the starting ss position to Iglesias just yet.

    Regarding Bard:
    I'm continuing to be torn on whether I want Bard in the rotation or the pen. I think the Sox (or at least the FO) will give him a chance to prove himself as a starter. The question I have is this: How long a leash will he be given. From a long term point of view, he should probably be given until about June even if the results are shaky (It is conceivable that he will need some time to adjust to the starter role). From a short term point of view if he struggles as a starter in April you want to think about putting him back in the pen - where he was one of the best last year - way earlier than June.
    I wish the Sox had signed Kuroda or Oswalt for the 4th starter role. Then they could hand the 5th starter spot to Doubront and have Aceves and Bard in the pen.

    Regarding Lavarnway:
    He should start in Pawtucket and improve his catching skills. I think handing him the backup catcher position now will hurt his value long term. But if he is added to the MLB team, I'm ok with that.
    I can't disagree with anything you wrote, well said Therwil.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike D. View Post
    I agree Doubront should be in the rotation...beyond that...

    I guess I just can't see why you wouldn't try Bard in the rotation to start things off. He's pitched as well as Aceves or Padilla this spring, and has a lot more upside. Bard could be an above average starter...do we think that of Padilla or Aceves? I'd say probably not.

    Plus, from a "these guys aren't robots" perspective...do you really strip Bard of the starting spot without giving him a chance and give the job to a shorter-term/less-talented pitcher? I think after all winter and spring preparing to be a starter, he needs to be given a chance to fail. If he pitches well, great...you have a low-cost starter who's very talented and under team control for a long time. If he doesn't, you send him to the pen and slide Cook/Padilla/Aceves into that spot in the rotation. I just can't see an arguement for NOT doing it this way.

    The Aviles thing...it's the same thing, to a degree. Why not give him a chance...it's not like Iglesias is tearing up the place with his bat (quite the opposite). If Iglesias hits in AAA and Aviles doesn't hit/field in the bigs, you make the move.

    In both situations, it comes down to "try for upside, and if it doesn't work, you go to Plan B". If you start Iglesias at SS and move Bard to the pen and the situtation doesn't work out...what's the "Plan B"?

    If Lavarnway's two options are "backup catcher" or "AAA", you gotta go with AAA. Why stunt his development to have him rot on the bench 40% of the time? Now, if he could win the STARTING catcher job or we didn't have Ortiz to DH, it'd be a different story.
    I mostly agree with everything you wrote, except Bard, who I feel has not pitched as well as Aceves or Padilla. I didn't want him in the rotation but since they've worked on making him a starter, I say give him a chance for a while and see how he works out. If he doesn't do well, then as you say go with plan B.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by scaffolds View Post
    Iglesias is never going to impress anyone with his bat, he lets his glove do the talking and its his glove what the Red Sox pitchers needs.
    We know Iglesias has a great glove but even if he saved as many runs as Vizquel did in 2007, an amazing 23.2, and hit about the same as Vizquel, his WAR would be around 2.4 which wouldn’t be as good as Aviles if he played average defense and hit around his career numbers which would give him around 4.5 WAR, two more wins above replacement.

    The only way I can see Iglesias being more valuable then Aviles is if Aviles plays bad defense and I haven’t seen any evidence for this in ST. As previously mentioned his career UZR/150 at SS with 1212 innings is + 12.4 which is very good and in 2011 Aviles UZR/150 at SS with 91 innings was + 7.5 which is good, though a very small sample.

    But I think it’s possible rushing Iglesias to the majors could be harmful to his development as a hitter. While he may never be a great hitter, if he can improve at AAA and gain some confidence at the plate, he hopefully will hit better in MLB when he's called up and then maybe be more valuable. But at this time he’s simply not as valuable to the Sox as Aviles.

    As for Bard, again he is not more than a two inning pitcher, i disagree Aceves and Padilla has pitched a lot better than Bard.
    I don't disagree with you, but I think Mike D has a point, give him a some more time, maybe a month to 6 weeks and see how he works out, if he isn't pitching well, then go to plan B, bring Padilla, Cook or Aceves in.

    If Lavarnway makes the roster isn't to seat, but to hit against LHP. either as a catcher or DH
    I like Lavarnway and look forward to seeing him play for the big club in the future, but at this time I'd prefer Lavarnway to start at AAA and work on his defense. I think in the long run it will pay dividends as he'll become a better catcher. And we really don't need him as a DH to hit LHP since Papi in 2011 hit .329/.423/.566 against LHP, so as long as he continues to hit well I don't see a need for an additional DH.

    And defensively he's not currently better then Salty or Shoppach as a catcher.

    One of the problems the Sox have had in recent years is a catcher that can throw runners out and play good defense, Shoppach was the best in the league at throwing runners out in 2011 with 41% and plays good defense.

    Shoppachs offense isn’t great, but he does hit lefties fairly well with a career line of .274/.373/.536 and an OPS of .909 and in 2011 against LHP hit .241/.344/.444 with an OPS of .788 while Salty hit’s RHP decently for a catcher, in 2011 he hit .247/.304/.481 with an OPS of .786 against righties, so they can potentially make a decent platoon.
    Last edited by Dogdaze; 03-25-2012 at 11:04 PM.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by scaffolds View Post
    Iglesias is never going to impress anyone with his bat, he lets his glove do the talking and its his glove what the Red Sox pitchers needs. As for Bard, again he is not more than a two inning pitcher, i disagree Aceves and Padilla has pitched a lot better than Bard. If Lavarnway makes the roster isn't to seat, but to hit against LHP. either as a catcher or DH.
    I just think a little more time in AAA will help Iglesias bat in the long run. Remember, he didn't hit well at that level in '11, but he's only been in the US 1 1/2 years and was young for AAA. If he can hit .240-.260 in the majors, that'll be plenty. But right now, I think he'd be as likely to hit .200 as he would be to hit .250.

    As far as Bard being a 2-inning pitcher...the numbers don't back that up, considering he's gone 5 and 6 innings in his last two spring starts. He wasn't GREAT in those starts, but he can clearly be a 6 inning pitcher, especially if he uses his changeup better.
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  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogdaze View Post
    I mostly agree with everything you wrote, except Bard, who I feel has not pitched as well as Aceves or Padilla. I didn't want him in the rotation but since they've worked on making him a starter, I say give him a chance for a while and see how he works out. If he doesn't do well, then as you say go with plan B.
    Padilla has been pretty good, but hasn't been stretched out yet (his longest appearance has been 3 IP).

    Aceves had 3 good appearances in the early going, then got lit up last time out.

    Neither have the upside of Bard, either long or short term. Like you said, it's worth a month or 6 weeks to see how he does.

    Let's be honest...if Bard DOESN'T pitch well in the rotation, all the Aceves, Padilla, and Cook's in the world won't save this team.
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