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Welcome CARL CRAWFORD!
Yes!

#41 User is online  
rominer 

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 08:01 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 09 December 2010 - 08:00 PM, said:

My work here is just about done.



A quick look at his career splits shows that there are only two parks that he steals more bases in than Fenway (Tropicana and Rogers Centre being the other two). Of course, that's probably more a product of the pitching and catching tandems than it is of the park dimensions.


Toronto uses the metric system, so it's probably easier to steal bases with those infield dimensions.
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Posted 09 December 2010 - 08:05 PM

View Postrominer, on 09 December 2010 - 08:01 PM, said:

Toronto uses the metric system, so it's probably easier to steal bases with those infield dimensions.

Rogers Centre also has field turf between the bases making Mr Crawford just a tick quicker.
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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:04 PM

View Postcoloradojack, on 09 December 2010 - 08:05 PM, said:

Rogers Centre also has field turf between the bases making Mr Crawford just a tick quicker.


Really? I thought that would slow one down.

/Also, I hate the look of that; looks like a 70's Astroturf infield.
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Posted 09 December 2010 - 10:55 PM

View Postrominer, on 09 December 2010 - 07:57 PM, said:

I'm using career splits for Salty and Lowrie, and 2009 splits for Varitek, Ellsbury and Cameron. 2010 splits for everyone else. Numbers are OPS against righties / OPS against lefties.

Righties
Youkilis .863 / 1.311
Pedroia .910 / .700 (2009: .839 / .765)
Scutaro .711 / .743
Cameron .748 / .954 (2010: .588 / 1.128)

Lefties
Gonzalez .887 / .937
Drew .875 / .611
Ellsbury .763 / .785
Crawford .930 / .696
Ortiz 1.059 / .599

Switch hitters
Lowrie .667 / .944
Saltalamacchia .765 / .592
Varitek .666 / .807 (2010: .733 / .868)

League average OPS in 2010 was .740 vs. righties, .719 vs. lefties.

Half your projected starting lineup is below league average vs. lefties. Only one projected starter is below league average against righties. I don't think it's strictly nitpicking to be concerned about lineup balance.

The good news is that the backup catcher and 4th OF have done very well against lefties, and could work in a platoon. The matching bad news is that those two players will be 38 and 39 next season, and neither was healthy in 2010.

Lowrie crushes lefties, to the point that maybe Pedroia and his weird reverse split get a day off every once in awhile, and certainly to the point that Scutaro (despite being better against lefties than righties) probably sits a lot. What you'd really want here is a righty OF/DH type, though.

If there's a missing piece offensively, that's it.


I don't think we can presume what the starting line-ups will be. Regardless, you are using a league average as the dividing line. I submit that Pedroia, Scutaro, and Crawford are close enough to be considered "league average" (what's the standard deviation anyway?). Using that logic, 4 players are above average, 3 about average, and the remaining 2 are below average (excluding the possibility of a platoon situation).

On the ESPN Boston Red Sox blog, Dan Szymborski plugs in the expected slash lines using the ZiPS projection system and plugs it into lineupsimulator.com, to determine that the Red Sox will score an average of 5.43 runs - which would put them first in the league (Yankees led with 5.3 runs/game). Add to that the improved defense in the OF - not just from Crawford, but with Cameron and Ellsbury replacing MacDonald and Nava in the OF last year.

Nits I tell ya....NITS!!!!!
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#45 User is online  
rominer 

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 03:01 AM

View PostKid T, on 09 December 2010 - 10:55 PM, said:

Nits I tell ya....NITS!!!!!


Naturally there's a degree of nitpicking when you're worrying about a lineup that seems likely to be one of the top 2 or 3 in baseball.

But I think to get away from league average or any other specific number as the chosen dividing line, the general point is that everybody has splits that are...split. But more guys have splits that favor matchups against righties AND those splits are more extreme than the ones that favor lefties.

I have no problem with Youkilis against righties. I do have a problem with Drew and Ortiz against lefties.

They'll still score runs. Lots and lots of runs. I wouldn't argue with that.
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Posted 10 December 2010 - 05:51 AM

View PostSox Sweep Again, on 09 December 2010 - 10:04 PM, said:

Really? I thought that would slow one down.

/Also, I hate the look of that; looks like a 70's Astroturf infield.

At our rate of speed Jim it is hard to notice.

And you're right, astro or field turf just isn't right for baseball.
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The Love Below 

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 10:03 AM

View Postrominer, on 09 December 2010 - 07:10 PM, said:

Still a good player, and his contract isn't going to hurt the team in the short term with the money coming off the books this year and next. More reason to be excited than not. When the Yankees fail to get Cliff Lee, Andy Pettitte quits the HGH, and CC Sabathia puts on another 75lbs., this is really going to be a devastating lineup when the Sox visit New York and that 184 foot right field fence.


I love this deal short term and I think they'll be leveraged nicely with youth to mitigate any issues with the latter part of that contract. But really, he'll be 36 at that point and if he's truly an elite player he will still be performing at a decent level at that point. The more I think about this deal the better I feel about it, and I had few reservations to begin with.
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Mike LansWho 

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 10:15 AM

View PostThe Love Below, on 10 December 2010 - 10:03 AM, said:

But really, he'll be 36 at that point and if he's truly an elite player he will still be performing at a decent level at that point. The more I think about this deal the better I feel about it, and I had few reservations to begin with.


This is something I kind of missed a few weeks ago when I was hoping that the Red Sox would sign Werth instead of Crawford. Werth will be 39 at the end of his contract while Crawford will be 36-37. I never imagined that anyone would be crazy enough to give Werth 7 years, which would make it easier for the Red Sox to give him 4-5 years. Personally, I think I still stand by the preference of having Werth for 4-5 years versus Crawford for 7. But in a world where a team will give a 32 year old outfielder a 7 year contract I'd much rather have the other guy. This deal makes a ton more sense for the Red Sox than the Werth deal makes for the Nationals, obvy.
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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:59 PM

View PostMike LansWho, on 10 December 2010 - 10:15 AM, said:

snip


Or to put it another way: at the end of Crawford's 7 year contract, he will be the same age Werth would have been if we gave him only a 4 year deal.

This post has been edited by Kid T: 10 December 2010 - 09:00 PM

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 04:59 AM

View PostKid T, on 10 December 2010 - 08:59 PM, said:

Or to put it another way: at the end of Crawford's 7 year contract, he will be the same age Werth would have been if we gave him only a 4 year deal.


Precisely why this is a very good deal.

And I'd bet Carl Crawford is going to be electrifying.

Folks, we have A-Gon and the best left-fielder on our team.

Go from there.
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JayhawkBill 

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 06:12 PM

Theo made a comment that their models showed that Crawford would be an impact player for exactly seven years. I agree with that. He won't be the best left fielder in MLB for that long, but he'll be a good one.

The Red Sox went out and signed the single best free agent position player and they traded for the best hitter available by trade. I like it when Boston wins; I'm happy that they did that.
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Posted 11 December 2010 - 06:41 PM

A JHB sighting!!!!

Welcome back!
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Posted 12 December 2010 - 04:47 AM

View PostJayhawkBill, on 11 December 2010 - 06:12 PM, said:

Theo made a comment that their models showed that Crawford would be an impact player for exactly seven years. I agree with that. He won't be the best left fielder in MLB for that long, but he'll be a good one.

The Red Sox went out and signed the single best free agent position player and they traded for the best hitter available by trade. I like it when Boston wins; I'm happy that they did that.


Me too.

/This should be a fun season.
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Posted 12 December 2010 - 04:59 AM

View Postroidrage, on 11 December 2010 - 06:41 PM, said:

A JHB sighting!!!!

Welcome back!


That too.

Not enough "o's" in "cooooooooooool".
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Posted 12 December 2010 - 08:18 AM

View PostSox Sweep Again, on 12 December 2010 - 04:59 AM, said:

That too.

Not enough "o's" in "cooooooooooool".


Well now that some of our long last brothers have made cameo appearances, how about you visit more often? Do you think it's fair that those left on this board are subjected to an inordinate percentage of posts from me and MannysPS2?

Don't make us send you all emails asking you to return. They may include nude pictures (of us) or pictures of bowel movements. Just come back willingly. It will be better for everyone.

This post has been edited by The Ghost of Ned Martin: 12 December 2010 - 02:06 PM

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 10:35 AM

View PostThe Ghost of Ned Martin, on 12 December 2010 - 08:18 AM, said:

Well know that some of our long last brothers have made cameo appearances, how about you visit more often?
Don't make us send you all emails asking you to return. They may include nude pictures (of us) or pictures of bowel movements. Just come back willingly. It will be better for everyone.


I'll post!!! I'll post!!!

OK, the subject is Carl Crawford...hmmm...

I guess that the big issue with Carl Crawford is whether he's a speedster or a well-rounded hitter. Looking at the top comparables at Baseball Prospectus, one might lean to "speedster:"

1 Vince Coleman
2 Willie Wilson
3 Darryl Hamilton
4 Scott Podsednik
5 Bake McBride
6 Pat Kelly
7 Luis Polonia
8 Steve Finley
9 Juan Pierre
10 Mookie Wilson

Those comparables, though, are all on the low performance side of "comparable." BP does that, because they're looking at a phenotype and a skill set profile more than an absolute level of performance. But we're looking for true comparables: let's see what we get if we throw out anybody with a TAv ten or more points lower than Crawford's:

1 Vince Coleman
2 Willie Wilson
5 Bake McBride
11 Shane Victorino
12 Mitch Webster
21 Brett Butler
30 Rafael Furcal
34 Gene Richards
41 Steve Henderson
46 Billy North

These players have better-rounded skill sets. Brett Butler was a very effective player in his early thirties, but overall these players declined quickly. Tossing out Shane Victorino because he's the same age as Crawford, we get a median performance of .267/.340/.380 for the entire seven-year period. For one of the best defensive outfielders in MLB, and for a guy who adds value with baserunning, that's not too bad. Also, that's for the entire contract period; they were better for a few years, worse for a few years. In the latter part of the contract, Boston would have the (expensive) option of trading Crawford away and picking up the bulk of the salary, probably in a deadline trade to a contender that had lost a left fielder to injury.

But all of these players are comparable only because Carl Crawford's 2008 forms a full third of the BP performance sample. If one looks at Baseball Reference's comparable players by age, and if one throws out those who didn't play in the modern era, one gets four more comparable players:

1 Roberto Clemente
4 Cesar Cedeno
5 Tim Raines
7 Johnny Damon

The median performance for these four over ages 30-36 was much better. They hit .288/.370/.429, with 14 HR, 70 RBI, and 21 SB in 138 games per year. Clemente made the Hall of Fame; Raines deserves inclusion in the Hall of Fame. A Gold Glove-caliber outfielder who can post an .800 OPS for seven years is a very valuable player, very similar to Johnny Damon's average value while in Boston.

Overall, I'm less critical than many regarding the signing of Crawford. I expect that he'll be injured more often than some star outfielders because of his skill set, and I expect that his first year with Boston will be tough because almost all star-level free agents tend to decline after their walk year (either from too much lobster and caviar or from too few PEDs in the off-season...I'm not sure which). I think that he was the best player on the market, that unlike Werth he's a proven AL East player, and I think that the Red Sox got a better deal than the Nationals did with Werth. If we're expecting seven Johnny Damonesque years, not seven Rickey Hendersonesque years, I don't think we'll be disappointed.
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Posted 13 December 2010 - 08:44 AM

View PostJayhawkBill, on 12 December 2010 - 10:35 AM, said:

I guess that the big issue with Carl Crawford is whether he's a speedster or a well-rounded hitter. Looking at the top comparables at Baseball Prospectus, one might lean to "speedster:"


I don't think there's any question that what Crawford has been is a "speedster", the interesting question is what he will be. I think this contract is indicative of the team going "all in" on Crawford developing a power stroke as he ages, hoping that he essentially maintains his current level of production by substituting some types of production (baserunning and defensive range) for others (higher OBP and hitting for power) as time goes on.

Also, welcome back.
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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:33 PM

View PostJayhawkBill, on 12 December 2010 - 10:35 AM, said:


snip



I forget the source (Keith Law or Rob Neyer's chat on ESPN?), but the comparable that was thrown out is Tim Raines.
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Posted 13 December 2010 - 07:51 PM

View PostKid T, on 13 December 2010 - 07:33 PM, said:

I forget the source (Keith Law or Rob Neyer's chat on ESPN?), but the comparable that was thrown out is Tim Raines.


If Carl Crawford (ISOD .041) matches Tim Raines' career Isolated Discipline (ISOD .091) before he retires, still with the Red Sox, after seven or more years with the team, I will gladly bear his love child.

I would suggest the name Carl J. Hawk, although he might prefer Bill Crawford. If he gets that many walks, we'll have to talk it out.
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Posted 14 December 2010 - 01:53 AM

I've been following the offseason acquisitions like all of you: I get Adrian Gonzalez, hits to all fields, hits lefties well, moves Youkilis back to 3rd to fill the Beltre hole. Not to mention that the Red Sox management have been lusting for Adrian Gonzalez for years.

What I don't get is Carl Crawford. He's a left fielder - which is nice. But at Fenway, all that speed and talent would seem to be wasted? What is he going to do with all that speed? Catch the bounces off of the wall?

I suppose he's a good candidate to move to CF if Ellsbury is still hurt or to RF when JD Drew's contract expires. I suppose that makes sense. I suppose having all that speed will make pitchers nervous and having two speedsters gives the Red Sox a few more options. But I'll be honest - I don't quite get the Crawford signing. It's nice to be sure but did Crawford fill a need the Sox had? Like say, at SS or middle relief? And besides, as the contract ages, all that speed may decrease and become less valuable.

I get that it makes the Red Sox look great and it's an exciting team - far more than last offseason. But did the Sox really, really need to get Crawford?
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