2010: The Year in Review


I’ll spare you the same comments again about the team’s overall performance here, but let’s go and examine each phase of the game and each player in detail.

Offense

We predicted the offense to be capable of scoring upwards of 832 runs this season, and the 2010 team scored 818 runs (still good for second in the AL), which is understandable given the injury situation. So offensively, things went more or less as planned, or even better. There were a number of big surprises from individual players.

Projected Actual
Name AB BA OBP SLG AB BA OBP SLG
Jed Lowrie 275 0.260 0.334 0.391 171 0.287 0.381 0.526
Adrian Beltre 581 0.277 0.326 0.444 589 0.321 0.365 0.553
Bill Hall 337 0.230 0.293 0.396 344 0.247 0.316 0.456
Kevin Youkilis 517 0.292 0.393 0.514 362 0.307 0.411 0.564
Jason Varitek 196 0.222 0.328 0.380 112 0.232 0.293 0.473
David Ortiz 514 0.258 0.358 0.483 518 0.270 0.370 0.529
Dustin Pedroia 630 0.300 0.369 0.451 302 0.288 0.367 0.493
Victor Martinez 499 0.298 0.374 0.480 493 0.302 0.351 0.493
Marco Scutaro 540 0.285 0.369 0.404 632 0.275 0.333 0.388
Mike Cameron 477 0.254 0.337 0.458 162 0.259 0.328 0.401
J.D. Drew 437 0.273 0.386 0.487 478 0.255 0.341 0.452
Mike Lowell 463 0.285 0.343 0.461 218 0.239 0.307 0.367
Jeremy Hermida 226 0.255 0.338 0.402 158 0.203 0.257 0.348
Josh Reddick 92 0.252 0.312 0.429 62 0.194 0.206 0.323
Jacoby Ellsbury 541 0.290 0.347 0.410 78 0.192 0.241 0.244

At the top of the table, you see those players who outperformed their predicted OPS by the greatest margin, and at the bottom are the laggards. Although he wasn’t the biggest plus on a pure OPS scale, playing time meant that Adrian Beltre was this season’s offensive MVP. Jed Lowrie was a big boost at the end of the season, and performed surprisingly well at the dish after finally recovering from mononucleosis.

Injuries were critical, but I think they hurt us more on defense than anything else, since players like Beltre and Bill Hall overperformed and we got some very decent performance from our callups. I didn’t even bother to project players like Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava, since we had plenty of outfielders (or so I thought).

Defense

As a team, the defensive efficiency ratio was .694, which ranked 12th in baseball and 7th in the AL. That means it was basically average. And if you look at team UZR, it had us at -8.9 runs on the year, squarely well below average. Still an improvement over 2009, but we learned this year that you can’t play a whole season without a legitimate center fielder. Outfield and middle infield defense combined to drag an otherwise excellent defense down to league average. That’s saying something.

Looking at the individual numbers, the infield was more or less fine, but the outfield was atrocious.

LF CF RF
Name UZR /150 UZR /150 UZR /150
Ellsbury 1.4 21.3
Kalish -1.2 -5.3
McDonald 1.0 14.3 -5.7 -19.3 -1.3 -7.8
Cameron -8.9 -28.3
Hermida -2.7 -8.6
Nava -3.6 -13.3
Hall -4.1 -14.7
Drew 4.8 6.3

Let’s just say that Hall should not be playing any more outfield any time soon. McDonald was good in left, but below average in right and downright awful in centerfield. And if you think HE was bad, you should take a look at Jeremy Hermida and Nava (God love him) in left. After Mike Cameron came up lame and Jacoby Ellsbury broken, CF was a massacre most of the year until Ryan Kalish came in and stabilized things.

Pitching

Alas, our pitching was nowhere near where I (and most everyone) thought it would be. I had them pegged for 704 runs given up, but the actual number was 744 (which is roughly four losses worth). I projected the rotation to be strong (4.02 ERA) and the bullpen to be pretty good (4.04 ERA), but the reality was much uglier (4.17 for the rotation and 4.24 for the bullpen). Jon Lester clearly emerged as the ace of the staff, and Clay Buchholz worked some ERA magic, despite a much higher FIP and xFIP. Some of this can be attributed to the defense, but there were some major disappointments as well.

Proj Actual
Name IP ERA IP ERA FIP xFIP
Lackey 197.1 4.09 215.0 4.40 3.85 4.32
Lester 184.2 3.48 208.0 3.25 3.13 3.29
Buchholz 151.1 4.53 173.2 2.33 3.61 4.20
Matsuzaka 155.0 4.27 153.2 4.69 4.05 4.73
Wakefield 122.0 4.41 140.0 5.34 4.52 4.93
Beckett 199.1 3.66 127.2 5.78 4.54 4.01
Bard 59.0 3.75 74.2 1.93 3.37 3.59
Papelbon 67.0 2.82 67.0 3.90 3.51 3.72
Atchison 30.1 4.14 60.0 4.50 4.66 4.49
Okajima 62.1 3.54 46.0 4.50 4.64 4.85
Delcarmen 61.1 3.87 44.0 4.70 5.67 5.15
Ramirez 70.0 3.59 42.1 4.46 4.59 4.65
Nelson 44.2 4.17 8.1 9.72 6.20 5.70
Bonser 52.1 4.57 2.0 18.00 6.08 7.44
various 120.0 5.50

What happened to Josh Beckett and John Lackey? Well, looking at the FIP numbers, Beckett got hurt and Lackey just underperformed, and not by a huge amount. I think people looked at Lackey’s numbers in Anaheim and automatically expected that to translate over here. Nuh-uh, not in a division like the AL Beast and at a park like Fenway. And Daisuke Matsuzaka was his usual frustrating self. Not good, but not bad enough to cut.

The bullpen was overutilized early, and that’s when Hideki Okajima was struggling with injuries. Okajima, Ramon Ramirez and Manny Delcarmen were all unexpectedly ineffective, which left us in a real bind. With only Daniel Bard to lean on, things got ugly quickly. I happen to like the guy, but when you’ve got Scott Atchison pitching 60 innings for your team, there’s problems.

Anyway, that’s 2010 for you. Lessons learned and all that. Let’s get cracking on next year!

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2 Responses to 2010: The Year in Review

  1. Pat says:

    Firstly, you got the V-Mart projections on the nose, kudos for that.

    It’s a SSS, but it looks like Kalish is an average center fielder, and that’s pretty awesome. Ellsbury had a down year defensively in center in 2009 (at least as far as UZR is concerned). It will be interesting to see if those numbers bounce back if he’s given a chance next year, and if he’s much better than Kalish (I’m not so sure).

    Either way, Kalish has an arm, and I figure him to cover Fenway’s massive right field in 2012.

    • redsoxtalk says:

      I think the spread in projected versus actual performance is a testament to how hard it is to actually predict anything in baseball. Still, we see that had our regulars stayed healthy and contributed maybe 15-20 more runs, and had our defense been one of the best in baseball as we thought it would be, and had the pitching staff been able to save about 40 more runs, we’d have finished with about 94-95 wins, and had a very decent shot at the postseason.

      I also like Kalish a lot, and it does seem like he’s going to fit in best in right field eventually. I think he’ll play at Pawtucket until JD gets hurt, leaves or retires. I’ve heard that the Sox have given up the turn Ellsbury into Carl Crawford experiment, and he will play CF next season, and that’s fine with me. Cameron doesn’t look like he will heal up enough to return to his former greatness in CF.

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