This post has been edited by Mike LansWho: 06 December 2010 - 03:21 PM
Poll: Outfield options for 2011
What do you prefer?
Posted 12 November 2010 - 10:26 AM
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.
Posted 12 November 2010 - 10:33 AM
But if he's getting Holliday money I say sit tight.
Posted 12 November 2010 - 02:08 PM
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.
Posted 12 November 2010 - 04:34 PM
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.
Posted 15 November 2010 - 08:55 AM
Posted 15 November 2010 - 01:43 PM
If Ellsbury is traded, however, then I would probably rather see them go after Crawford to fill in the lead-off void.
Posted 15 November 2010 - 03:13 PM
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.
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.
Posted 15 November 2010 - 04:03 PM
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.
Posted 15 November 2010 - 04:53 PM
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.
Posted 15 November 2010 - 06:11 PM
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
Posted 16 November 2010 - 12:05 AM
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. :)
Posted 16 November 2010 - 08:44 AM
Bottom line: if I have to choose, I choose Werth. But catcher, corner infield and the bullpen are all much higher priorities.
Posted 16 November 2010 - 11:35 AM
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.
Posted 16 November 2010 - 11:59 AM
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.
Posted 16 November 2010 - 01:22 PM
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.
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.