5-22-2011: Farm report for Portland

The Portland Sea Dogs stand at just 12-26 on the season, sitting in the basement of their division of the Eastern League.

Offense

As a team, there’s a lot to like about this year’s Sea Dogs. They’ve averaged 4.5 runs per game, good for 5th in the Eastern League, but their team line of .270/.348/.399 shows that they have a dynamic offense that gets on base plenty. In fact, most of their regulars show up as being league average or better:

Name PA BB% K% AVG OBP SLG OPS BABIP wOBA wRC+
Alex Hassan 166 16.1% 12.5% 0.359 0.472 0.531 1.003 0.384 0.458 194
Jonathan Hee 85 9.9% 25.0% 0.309 0.413 0.441 0.854 0.400 0.400 155
Will Middlebrooks 145 5.0% 24.6% 0.299 0.333 0.500 0.833 0.365 0.376 138
Che-Hsuan Lin 161 12.4% 10.1% 0.268 0.373 0.333 0.706 0.298 0.344 117
Tim Federowicz 156 9.3% 17.8% 0.267 0.331 0.400 0.731 0.300 0.332 109
Mitch Dening 74 8.1% 25.4% 0.238 0.333 0.381 0.714 0.289 0.324 103
Ryan Lavarnway 158 9.2% 21.3% 0.235 0.307 0.404 0.712 0.245 0.323 103
Oscar Tejeda 140 8.8% 18.9% 0.262 0.331 0.361 0.692 0.313 0.323 103
Chih-Hsien Chiang 97 6.5% 21.8% 0.241 0.290 0.425 0.716 0.277 0.322 102
Jorge Padron 148 9.7% 10.1% 0.271 0.340 0.341 0.681 0.293 0.317 98
Ryan Dent 64 7.8% 19.0% 0.224 0.281 0.276 0.557 0.271 0.281 74

The lineup has been paced by LF Alex Hassan, who at age 23 continues to put up very good offensive numbers, despite lacking the HR totals you want to see in a legitimate prospect. He lacks the pure athleticism the Red Sox usually like in their outfielders, but he has always hit well and he can play in right field, so he has some flexibility. His minor league career has been limited by some injuries, but Hassan has always produced, and he does smack quite a few doubles, which means he could still become a pretty decent Major Leaguer.

Che-Hsuan Lin, recently promoted to Pawtucket, is a very good defensive centerfielder, and he handles himself well at the dish. Not much power to speak of, but a high OBP and low K rate are nice to have in a speedy slap hitter. Still just 22 years old, I could see him being a 4th outfielder type as early as next season.

Solid performances from both Tim Federowicz and Ryan Lavarnway, which means that our catching depth will be quite a bit better next year than it is this year.

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Links 12-7-2010: State of the Sox, bullpen, right-handed bat, Gonzalez, Miller, depth signings

Theo Epstein delivered his yearly “State of the Sox” address yesterday, and noted the need for relief pitching and possibly adding a right-handed bat. He didn’t mention catcher, though I’m sure he’ll pick one up if the right opportunity presents itself.

I still think Scott Downs is the top option available, primarily because he’s pitched successfully in the AL East for a long time. He’s also a solid lefty who can get righties out as well, a la Hideki Okajima, ca 2008. Other names that have been mentioned include Koji Uehara, Brian Fuentes, Matt Guerrier, and Ron Mahay. Notice there are a lot of lefties named here. I think two quality lefty relievers is a must in this division.

The Red Sox are indeed showing interest in both Magglio Ordonez and Josh Willingham, right-handed hitting outfielders who could handle left field and fill in for J.D. Drew when he is out.

As we surmised, it seems the Sox have an agreement in place with newly-acquired 1B Adrian Gonzalez which would extend him for 7 years and $154M. For those of you who just can’t get enough Gonzalez Kool-Aid, here’s an interesting post featuring Katron.org’s batted ball park projector.

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Links 4-26-2010: Sox add Van Every, sign Ibarra, pitching staff shakeup

The Red Sox apparently really wanted to send Josh Reddick back to Triple-A pretty badly, because they traded a PTBNL to reacquire Jonathan Van Every from the Pirates. It makes sense that they’d want to keep Reddick starting every day and limit his exposure at the Major League level. It controls his service time and retains his value as a trade chip. Recently claimed RHP Santo Luis was designated in order to make room on the 40-man roster. Both Mike Cameron and Jacoby Ellsbury will travel with the team on this next trip, meaning they could step back in at any time. Good news.

Boston has apparently signed a Major League deal with Cuban catcher Adalberto Ibarra worth a reported $4.3M. That means he’ll go right onto the 40-man roster, and one of the upper-tier catchers (Dusty Brown?) may have to be designated.

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Links 4-15-2010: Lackey rolls, Ortiz vs Hermida, Sox claim Luis, Bonser hurt?

After another solid outing in Minnesota, John Lackey has gotten off to a great start in 2010. Expected to be a solid 3rd starter, the 6-6 righty has been the strongest arm in the rotation thus far, posting two quality starts with a sparkling 1.42 ERA. The peripherals are nothing too special (3.91 FIP, 5.53 xFIP) but he’s using all his pitches effectively and induced almost 50% ground balls and let the defense work for him. Don’t expect this kind of pitching all season from Lackey, but it’s certainly nice while it lasts. This is the strength of a team with a quality front three – it will be VERY hard to get us to lose more than a few games in a row.

Manager Terry Francona is predictably still standing behind Papi, but the Sox are smart and they won’t stick with him for too much longer if he doesn’t show signs of improvement. The thing about it is, we have another productive left-handed hitter on the roster right now in Jeremy Hermida. With the opportunity afforded him by Jacoby Ellsbury’s injury, Hermida has shown that he can play in this league; if Ortiz continues to struggle, he could easily step in as a lefty DH. Again, there’s that great team depth I’ve been praising.

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