Royal Rooters: Poll: Outfield options for 2011 - Royal Rooters

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Poll: Outfield options for 2011
What do you prefer?

Poll: Outfield Options For 2011 (25 member(s) have cast votes)

What do you prefer?

  1. Add Carl Crawford (14 votes [56.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 56.00%

  2. Add Jayson Werth (8 votes [32.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 32.00%

  3. Add a 'second tier' OF free agent - please specify in post (1 votes [4.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

  4. Explore the trade market - please specify in post (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. Stand pat with with Drew, Ellsbury, Cameron - please provide plan for 2012 in post (1 votes [4.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

  6. Too soon? (1 votes [4.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

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Mike LansWho 

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:42 AM

Pretty self-explanatory. Just want to have a specific discussion about the OF situation without bringing Beltre, Martinez or Varitek into the conversation.

This post has been edited by Mike LansWho: 06 December 2010 - 03:21 PM

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Manny's PS2 

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:55 AM

It's not my money, Add Carl Crawford, Cameron becomes versatile 4th, with Kalish waiting to step into Drews spot in 2012, or an add before then.
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BigSlick 

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 09:58 AM

I'd like to add Werth. I think the team is more in need of pop in the middle of the lineup than speed more speed at the top of it. If they lose out on Werth I'd certainly be happy to add Crawford to the team though.
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Mike LansWho 

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 10:26 AM

I was on the fence between "Add Jayson Werth" and "Too soon?". I think it is very important to make a move for OF this offseason. They'll have a 38 year old Mike Cameron coming off of an injury plagued season. There's Jacoby Ellsbury who apparently has glass bones (I know, harsh criticism since his injuries were of the freak variety). Then there's JD Drew who has been remarkably healthy for the majority of his time in Boston. Perhaps a little too remarkably healthy, don't you think?? What I'm getting at is that while Cameron, Ellsbury and Drew make up a great OF corp, I just think that the combination of all three are too fragile to rely on for a full season. Does it scare anybody that 2/3 of this corp haven't swung a bat since mid-summer?? I keep hearing that both are track to be ready for the 2011 season, but I have to believe that they're big question marks going into opening day.

Then, of course, there is the issue of Cameron and Drew being gone after 2011. That been said, looking at the names available this offseason and next offseason, Jayson Werth seems to be the best fit. A 5-tool player with good plate discipline, above average power and great defensive skills. He can play all OF positions. Mike Cameron could easily slot in as the 4th OF. He could get some AB's versus lefties or as Ellsbury and Drew need rest. Assuming that Ellsbury and/or Kalish don't get traded, it would set up an OF consisting of Werth, Ellsbury and Kalish.

I think Crawford could be a decent fit too, but in 2012 that could mean three outfielders with lefty bats. Not the worst thing in the world, but certainly not ideal.
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MrNewEngland 

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 10:33 AM

I think Jason Werth makes the most sense, but only if he comes reasonable in both years and dollars. Both Cameron & Ellsbury make me nervous in terms of health/production so I see one of them in center with Werth in LF for a year until Drew leaves. Gives Kalish/Reddick time to get plenty of AB in AAA, and they can come up if needed.

But if he's getting Holliday money I say sit tight.
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Kid T 

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 02:08 PM

Crawford is younger than Werth, with demonstrated ability competing in the spotlight of the AL East (not that Philly is an easy place to play). With Werth, we would have to concern ourselves about how well he ages, whether his hitting prowess translates from NL to AL, and why despite his ability and performance, doesn't bat in the 3rd in that Philly line-up to break up the left-handedness (great read on this in Tom Verducci's column).

Quote

Whatever team signs Werth will be happy to add a multi-talented player with the kind of body and athleticism that should help him age well. One warning, though: that team will be paying middle-of-the-order money for a guy who has not been a middle-of-the-order hitter...For his career, he has batted third or fourth just 47 times. Why is that? Werth does not perform well in run-scoring opportunities.


To paraphrase the supporting statistics, Verducci shows that Victorino's batting average with RISP and RISP w/ 2 outs is major league average. Not something that you would or should be willing to pony up the big bucks for.
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Mike LansWho 

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 04:34 PM

View PostKid T, on 12 November 2010 - 02:08 PM, said:

To paraphrase the supporting statistics, Verducci shows that Victorino's batting average with RISP and RISP w/ 2 outs is major league average. Not something that you would or should be willing to pony up the big bucks for.


It's a good thing that we're not interested in him. :tongue

It's funny how guys tell you that batting doesn't mean anything, but it's used quite frequently to prove certain points. Werth may have an average batting average with RISP w 2 outs, but he does have a career OBP of .400 in the same situation. World champion clutch hitter/run producing master David Ortiz has a career .409 OBP with RISP w 2 outs. David Ortiz has had the added advantage of not having fat-ass Ryan Howard as one of those RISP.

Regardless, looking at Werth's splits, he has excelled out of the 5th spot. I'm assuming that either Ortiz or Youkilis would bat 3rd. Perhaps even Martinez or Beltre, if either decide to return. I wasn't really counting on Werth to hit 3rd or 4th.
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JMDurron 

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 08:55 AM

I actually wussed out and said "Too Soon", because I think the team's interest in Werth is related to Beltre. If Beltre returns, I think the team sticks with Ellsbury-Cameron-Drew-Kalish (Kalish basically platooning with Cameron to keep Cameron healthy and to avoid stunting Kalish's development, plus Kalish plays when Drew needs a day off), because there will be no lack of right-handed offensive capability on a team with Beltre, Youkilis, and Pedroia. If Beltre goes West, I think that Werth becomes a priority, with either Cameron becoming the 4th OFer, or Ellsbury becoming trade bait. I'd prefer the former, as it would leave only one hole to fill in 2012, as opposed to two. I don't see Crawford signing here. His range in LF is his greatest asset, and that asset's value is depreciated by Fenway's unique dimensions.
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Hail Cesar 

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 01:43 PM

Werth seems to make the most sense given the Red Sox's offensive philosophy. I mean, I like what Kalish showed in his time with the big club, but something tells me that he needs a full season at AAA before making the complete jump (could just be the voices in my head telling me this, but that's as good advice as any).

If Ellsbury is traded, however, then I would probably rather see them go after Crawford to fill in the lead-off void.
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rominer 

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 03:13 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 12 November 2010 - 04:34 PM, said:

It's funny how guys tell you that batting doesn't mean anything, but it's used quite frequently to prove certain points.


It's not completely useless with regards to lineup construction...at least to the extent that lineup construction is even relevant, given all the fancy math that shows that batting orders have a negligible effect on a lineup's productivity.

OBP is cool and all, but it's the batting average component of OBP that drives in almost all of the runs. "Keep the line moving" is great, but in a sport where the next guy in line is going to fail 60-plus % of the time, you'd rather capitalize on those opportunities when you have them then simply pass them on to the next guy.

In a world where all your scoring comes by way of driving in Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, Werth is probably better suited to some other spot in the lineup than 3-4-5. That world only exists in comic books, so I'm not sure how much it really ends up mattering. A good hitter in a lineup surrounded by other good hitters sounds more or less like a good combination to me. There are some concerns with Werth – in his breakout seasons the last two years, his numbers outside of the Little League park in Philly are a lot more "very good" and a lot less "great," for example – but his performance with runners in scoring position probably isn't at the top of that list.

View PostHail Cesar, on 15 November 2010 - 01:43 PM, said:

If Ellsbury is traded, however, then I would probably rather see them go after Crawford to fill in the lead-off void.


I don't really understand the automatic assumption that Ellsbury is gone the first day he hits free agency – which in turn seems in part to lead to the assumption that Ellsbury will be on the trading block.

If it makes any sense to be shopping Ellsbury, it's because of what they'll get in return, not because of what they're giving up. Selling low after Ellsbury's non-season in 2010 doesn't seem likely to me.

But, yeah. If for some reason they do decide to move Ellsbury, then it makes sense to replace him with a nearly identical player both offensively and defensively (albeit with a lazy eye, a bit more power, and a complete inability to do anything at all – including steal bases in those rare instances when he actually manages to get on base – against lefties). Ellsbury and Crawford in the same lineup is intriguing, though. Not sure how I would feel about that outfield defensively...lots of speed going to waste in LF at Fenway, lots of weak arms being exposed in the deepest parts of the park, lots of so-so reads in CF bailed out by that speed. I don't know. They'd be undefeated against the Yankees for as long as Jorge Posada has a job, though.
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Mike LansWho 

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 04:03 PM

View Postrominer, on 15 November 2010 - 03:13 PM, said:

OBP is cool and all, but it's the batting average component of OBP that drives in almost all of the runs.


This is very true and it's a point that I hoped would go unchecked. Thanks, douchebag.

Regardless, something just doesn't sit right with me about Verducci's criticism of Werth. Sure, the numbers in black and white for Werth in those RISP and RISP w/ 2 outs situations aren't that great, but it's certainly not due to his ineffectiveness as a #3 hitter. Since Werth's breakthrough season in 2008 he has only been given about a dozen starts out of the #3 slot per year. Doesn't seem like they ever really gave him a chance. Perhaps if he had more starts under his belt at #3 he could have grown into a better run producer in those situations. I don't know, but I guess the numbers don't lie. It really seems like Werth is more like JD Drew than I thought. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, he'll be looking for a walk. Not the worst thing in the world, but I guess it is for a #3 hitter.
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rominer 

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 04:53 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 15 November 2010 - 04:03 PM, said:

With runners on 2nd and 3rd, he'll be looking for a walk. Not the worst thing in the world, but I guess it is for a #3 hitter.


It's still not the worst thing in the world...but it's not the ideal.

It should be less important, though, in a deep lineup (which the Red Sox will presumably have).

The biggest challenge for a hitter is just finding that balance between trying to fulfill the traditional responsibilities of a particular spot in the order and still maintaining the approach that makes them a successful hitter. I think it probably works itself out in the long haul, but if you're just thrusting a guy into a different role a few times a year, then of course they might struggle – by worrying too much about the new job description and not enough about what works for them, or maybe in some instances by not making any adjustments at all in their approach.

I'm not too worried about finding the perfect batting order position for a guy like Drew or Werth. Look at the job Youkilis has done as a cleanup hitter. They're well-rounded hitters. I think if you let those guys do their thing, they'll be fine. Finding a role is more important for guys with more limited skills – an OBP guy but without the power, or a speed or power guy without the OBP skills, or whatever type of hitter who runs like Mike Lowell or David Ortiz. Those guys can help you in the right spot, kill you in the wrong spot. I'm pretty sure a lineup of Drews and Werths would do ok without an "ideal" leadoff hitter or #3 hitter or whatever.

And I could prove it if only human cloning was legal.
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BigSlick 

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 06:11 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 15 November 2010 - 04:03 PM, said:

With runners on 2nd and 3rd, he'll be looking for a walk. Not the worst thing in the world, but I guess it is for a #3 hitter.


It all depends on how he goes about looking, or not looking, for a walk.

Is he letting a fat pitch that he could drive someplace go by because he's up 2-0 in the count? If so, that's bad.

Does he want a hit so bad that when he's ahead in the count 3-1 he swings at a pitch 8 inches outside and weakly grounds out because he wants a hit, not a walk? That's even worse.

This post has been edited by BigSlick: 15 November 2010 - 06:16 PM

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vicocala 

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 12:05 AM

Carl gets my vote, not only has he done some Ty Cobb type stuff as he has moved thru his 20's, but his speed, Character, etc would only be positives. He is the fasted guy I have ever seen (live). He has power and speed that the Red Sox can take advantage of. With him and Ells they would have the two fastest guys in the outfield (in tandem) in MLB.

When Crawford finally starts to slow down, I see a nice frame that could fill out and he could be a monster, lefty hitter that could rival soe of the big names in power the Sox have had in the past.

All that speed will not be wasted as the Red Sox need to be a better road team and I think Crawford would make us a better team in the circumstances.

BTW, glad to be back and still so many of the old guard still adding their dime to the conversation. :)
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Posted 16 November 2010 - 08:44 AM

While I'd be happy to add Crawford, I voted for Werth, mainly for his power (but also, just a bit, out of nostalgia for having a caveman type in the Fenway outfield). His OBP is enough to compensate for his pedestrian RISP et. al. numbers. And he's not THAT old yet. The problem, of course, is Boras and what he'll demand for Jayson. I don't think the situation is so desperate that the Sox HAVE to sign any outfielders at all. Cameron/Kalish should see us through the year.

Bottom line: if I have to choose, I choose Werth. But catcher, corner infield and the bullpen are all much higher priorities.
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Posted 16 November 2010 - 11:35 AM

View Postvicocala, on 16 November 2010 - 12:05 AM, said:



BTW, glad to be back and still so many of the old guard still adding their dime to the conversation. :)

Welcome back. And please, these lugheads aren't bringing anything more than .02 cents to the conversation.

I have a bad feeling about Werth. Like a .227 14 HR kind of bad feeling. No reason to have this bad feeling, except he looks vaguely homeless to me. Back in the day, people called homeless people "bums". Therefore, by that logic, we should get Crawford. Plus, he will cover lots of ground, be a sound CF backup option for Paper Thin Ellsbury.
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Mike LansWho 

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 11:59 AM

View PostManny, on 16 November 2010 - 11:35 AM, said:

Plus, he will cover lots of ground, be a sound CF backup option for Paper Thin Ellsbury.


Throughout Crawford's career, he's only played CF in 409 innings. Werth has played CF 725.1 innings, including 171 innings this past season. The last time Crawford played CF was for 7 innings in 2008. Before that, 9 innings in 2006. Is he really all that sound of a backup option for CF??

And honestly, do really need to worry about a backup option for Ellsbury? I know I made reference to him being injured in a recent post and being slightly concerned that he hasn't swung a bat since August. What happened to him last season was a combination of a freak accident, possible misdiagnosis of the injury severity and perhaps a rush to get him back sooner that he was ready for. You really can't hold last season against him. The previous two seasons (his first full MLB seasons) he averaged something like 150 games. I've actually become quite optimistic that he'll be 100% by spring training and ready to bounce right back. By all accounts, he's been keeping busy all this time doing other activities that don't involve the ribs. I think the ideal line-up for the Red Sox has him batting lead-off and playing CF for years to come.
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Posted 16 November 2010 - 12:24 PM

He's so frail, I swear I can see through him.

I guess I didn't know that Homeless Werth played some CF.
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Mike LansWho 

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:07 PM

View PostManny, on 16 November 2010 - 12:24 PM, said:

I guess I didn't know that Homeless Werth played some CF.


Yes, it was back when he had a home.
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rominer 

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Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:22 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 16 November 2010 - 11:59 AM, said:

Throughout Crawford's career, he's only played CF in 409 innings. Werth has played CF 725.1 innings, including 171 innings this past season. The last time Crawford played CF was for 7 innings in 2008. Before that, 9 innings in 2006. Is he really all that sound of a backup option for CF??


To me, they're pretty similar defensively: They both obviously have the speed for CF...and the arm for LF. The difference being that Crawford has played with Rocco Baldelli and BJ Upton. Ellsbury has played with Manny Ramirez and Jason Bay. That makes him a CF.

If they were in the same outfield, then obviously you give left field to the guy who's spent most of his career in left, and CF to the guy who's spent most of his career in center. But in the short term, I think Ellsbury-Werth-Drew is probably a stronger defensive OF than Crawford-Ellsbury-Drew, and in the long run I think Ellsbury-Kalish-Werth is probably stronger than Crawford-Ellsbury-Kalish.

Quote

And honestly, do really need to worry about a backup option for Ellsbury?


If last year never happened, this would be a different discussion. Crawford had a career year, Ellsbury...yeah.

Crawford has more power, and he has matured a bit in terms of plate discipline and the all-important getting on base. But I think Ellsbury through 2009 was on track to become a better player than Carl Crawford.

I know there's the whole "But Nick Cafardo thinks that the Sox are going to trade Ellsbury, and Mazz thinks that Scott Boras would never let Ellsbury re-sign with Boston" thing, but if Crawford is on the Sox radar, I hope that the idea is to terrorize the f**k out of Jorge Posada with a Crawford/Ellsbury combo, and not just to pay more for an older version of Ellsbury so that Ellsbury can go sign with the Mariners or whatever.
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