6-21-2011: A quick note about Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller was pretty good last night. Apart from a costly mistake to Orlando Hudson, he threw the ball quite well for a depth starter. The big youngster has all the talent in the world, but has struggled with mechanics and confidence issues. His PITCHf/x data is not up yet on FanGraphs, so we have to rely on observations for now.

Miller took it into the 6th inning and was able to go out there and stick to his delivery for the most part; Terry Francona noted that even when he slipped out of his normal motion, he was able to correct himself and avoid extended wildness. Maybe the biggest encouragement was his fastball velocity, which had declined in previous years, but was sitting at 93-94 mph last night.

Peter Gammons said that the Yankees, among other clubs, were trying to get Miller to opt out on June 15, but failed when the Sox called on him this week. Miller might be one of those reclamation projects that pays some dividends. With Daisuke Matsuzaka lost for the season, that would be a welcome development.

11-23-2010: Martinez signs with Detroit

There are widespread reports today that the Detroit Tigers are ready to sign Victor Martinez to a 4-year, $50M contract. The annual value of the deal is $12.5M, and ranks as one of the largest free agent contracts for a catcher in baseball history. Reportedly, he had competitive offers on the table from the Orioles and the White Sox, while the Red Sox maxed out their offer at 4 years and $42M. Peter Gammons was right again.

Let’s get something straight – the Red Sox weren’t outbid; they passed. Epstein could have easily matched the Tigers’ offer, but he just didn’t want Martinez as our catcher for the next four years. The Tigers are willing to live with Martinez’ defense. A very tough stance for Theo to take in this town, but kudos to him. Let’s see what happens over the next 4 seasons, and don’t forget the two compensation picks we’ll get as a result of this signing.

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Links 11-10-2010: AL Gold Gloves, corner infielders, Salty as the man?

The AL Gold Gloves were announced yesterday to kick off awards week, and it is a Yankee-fest. Robinson Cano wasn’t a standout in the field. And Derek Jeter again? Are you kidding me? It seems they’ve mixed up hitting and reputation with fielding yet again.

It looks like we will be in need of a corner infielder, for 2011 at least. The top free agent third basemen are Adrian Beltre, and then nobody we want. First basemen include Lance Berkman, Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, Carlos Pena, Derrek Lee and Adam LaRoche. Taking the guys out who figure to sign long-term deals, that leaves us with Berkman, Lee and possibly Pena. I’d be happy to add any of these guys for 1-2 years at $5-9M/year.

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Links 11-2-2010: Free agent news, AFL, Farrell farewell, Fenway changes, Fielding Bible, the pitching market

Thing are moving more quickly this offseason, with new rules in play. Three Sox are free agents already, and those with options will find out by Thursday if they are still Red Sox. With Adrian Beltre sure to become a free agent, Kevin Youkilis is doing the prudent thing and preparing to play third, just in case. Peter Gammons doesn’t see the Red Sox being able to keep Victor Martinez anymore. They squandered their chance when they offered only two years and didn’t see him catching for them beyond that timeframe. If he walks, the Sox will have to acquire a veteran catcher as well as make a big splash somewhere else in order to make up for his lost bat. Gammons believes that Boston will sign Carl Crawford, who doesn’t like being the stolen base guy atop the order. With Jacoby Ellsbury already filling that role, he won’t have to be that here. Of course, don’t forget that there are several teams with big money to spend.

The official Elias free agent rankings have been released, and Victor Martinez and Beltre are Type A free agents, as expected. David Ortiz, Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell are Type B free agents.

The other move that is percolating (probably at the next trade deadline) is the potential acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez. The Padres have all but admitted they can’t re-sign him beyond 2011, so they’ll be looking for a big return before he walks. With most of the big budget teams set at first base already and not much other competition, we could finally land the big bat we’ve coveted for so long.

Don’t look for Daisuke Matsuzaka to be dealt this offseason (barring a REALLY good offer from some team). While he hasn’t lived up to the hype, he has been more than serviceable as a middle/back-end starter.

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Links 10-15-2010: This year, next year, and prospect news

About This Season

Pitching and defenseĀ didn’t work because we didn’t pitch well and we didn’t play defense. At least not well enough. But we did still finish 6th overall according to this sabermetric ranking of teams. The Giants? Eleventh.

What exactly did the injuries cost us this season? Could we still be playing, had things gone differently? It’s a question many people are asking, including Brian MacPherson. On the other hand, putting our injuries into the context of MLB shows that while we did lose a lot of position players this year, our pitching staff actually fared quite well.

He didn’t miss much time because of it, but Marco Scutaro was playing hurt a lot this year. I was quite pleased with his performance for the most part, but the OBP was slightly disappointing.

Exactly how good was Jon Lester this year? If you look at the total of no-hit innings pitched this year by each pitcher, Lester finished second, behind Felix Hernandez. That’s pretty good company. On the other hand, we should expect a bit of regression next year from the lowest ERA on our staff.

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Links 7-2-2010: Catcher crisis, MDC to DL, Gammons, SaberCards are back

Like Deepwater Horizon, the Red Sox DL just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Jason Varitek has a broken foot and will miss 4-6 weeks. Which wouldn’t be so bad, except our other catcher, Victor Martinez, has a broken thumb. So the Red Sox went out and got Kevin Cash, trading away Angel Sanchez as a temporary stopgap. Gustavo Molina will act as the backup for now. Neither of these guys can contribute much offensively, so we just have to hope that Martinez returns quickly.

Manny Delcarmen is also going on the DL today with what is being called a forearm strain. It is thought that Michael Bowden, who has been pitching well recently, might get the call. But he’s been throwing as a starter, and we need bullpen help right away. The recently-signed Rich Hill could be called upon as well.

Peter Gammons talks about the Red Sox woes. Interestingly, he brings up Kerry Wood and his 98 mph fastball as a possible deadline acquisition.

For those of you who love the SaberCard idea (like me), there’s another update, this time featuring our own David Ortiz.

Another baseball visualization, the season TripTik. You can quickly see how hot we’ve been at home in June, and that July and August are going to be tough for the Sox, with so many games on the road.

Links 6-22-2010: Gammons on Sox, Bard, Atchison, Sox sign Ramos

Peter Gammons gives us his insight on Boston’s 2010 season. Injuries and poor performances notwithstanding, we are where we are and we should appreciate that. Great read.

R.J. Anderson notes that Daniel Bard has improved on his walk rate this year by being more aggressive with the first strike and convincing batters that he’s going to throw strikes.

It’s late June, and Scott Atchison is still around. You could tell fromt he contract he received that the Red Sox liked him as a low-cost back of the bullpen guy with some upside.

Fifth-round pick Henry Ramos has signed with the Red Sox, pending a physical and a drug test. He will see action in the Gulf Coast League once he reports.

Here’s one of those bar debates that a lot of people just can’t see eye to eye with sabermetricians on: Dwight Evans or Jim Rice? The answer is clear, according to Beyond the Boxscore.

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