7-13-2010: All-Star second-guessing, trade candidates

Congrats to David Ortiz, who took the Home Run Derby crown last night. Too bad he can’t face BP pitchers all the time. Heckuva time to ask for a contract extension, though I doubt this will factor too much into the calculation.

The All-Star rosters and starting lineups are out. Ubaldo Jimenez and David Price will get the ball first. Not terrible choices, but Jon Lester is more experienced, plays in a home park that inflates runs, and is just better. People point to the ERA gap, but our numbers suggest that Lester’s ERA should be at 2.58 (2.21 FIP) in a “neutral” AL run environment. Price would be at 2.48 (3.40 FIP); the ERA is better, but not by much at all. Price would have 89 Ks and 41 walks, while Lester would have 119 Ks and 43 walks. Not much of a contest here.

In another ballpark-unadjusted injustice, Paul Konerko was selected over Kevin Youkilis because he had “better numbers”. Not sure which numbers Joe Girardi is looking at, since Youk owns a .421 wOBA and Konerko is at .401. But if you mean the traditional stats, let’s adjust those for home park and league:

Youkilis: .292/.411/.572 with 17 HR and 54 RBI
Konerko: .298/.380/.544 with 19 HR and 56 RBI

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Links 7-8-2010: Swept in Tampa, the bullpen, Youk’s All-Star chase, Injury turnaround?

Ugh. Not a fun series to watch, as the Sox got swept away last night by the Tampa Bay Rays. We are now two games behind them and 4.5 games back of the Yankees in the AL East, and that All-Star Break can’t come quickly enough.

Game 1: I am usually a Daisuke Matsuzaka apologist, but this game was a disaster for him. He kept stepping off the rubber and delaying, so he could never get into any kind of rhythm. He just doesn’t look confident out there. Admittedly, he had some long half-inning breaks, but he just looked terrible. When the bases are full, he has no problem attacking hitters and going ahead 0-2, but the rest of the time he was nothing. Terry Francona should have pulled him earlier, yes, but who could he go to that is any better right now? A lot has been made of Dice-K’s botched bunt play, but that’s the least of his issues right now. That play shows how much he’s putting pressure on himself and not just playing the game… Eric Patterson had 3 XBH, including a double and two home runs, his first multi-HR game of his career. The first one was a fully legitimate one, but he was lucky to golf the second pitch, a low breaking ball from Andy Sonnanstine. You could just see the disgust and disbelief on Sonnanstine’s face on that one.

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