4-25-2011: Some props for the gloves
April 25, 2011 3 Comments
Wow, does it ever feel good to get the standings back into whack (for the most part). The Sox have now won 8 of their last 9 games, and looked really good doing it. Everything seems to be falling into place; even Carl Crawford is getting it started at the plate. The rotation suddenly looks like the collection of four aces I was effusing about before the season, and we are getting innings from them, making the bullpen look very strong recently.
The rotation is getting all the accolades for their recent domination, but don’t forget that a lot of this recent run is thanks to some pretty good defense. The Red Sox rank 5th in baseball with a .734 DER, just behind the Tampa Bay Rays, who we know can really pick it. Though it hasn’t had much time to really stabilize and be reliable, Ultimate Zone Rating likes the Red Sox at +6.6 runs on the year, 7th best in MLB. John Dewan’s Plus/Minus system has the Sox at -5 on the year, but we know that there were some pretty blatant gaffes early that probably contributed to that.
The early standouts include Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, J.D. Drew and Marco Scutaro. I’m really impressed with Gonzalez, because unless your name is Daric Barton, it’s really hard to generate positive defensive value at first base. Scutaro has also been very good in limited and irregular playing time.
A couple of nit-picks
It has been getting better, it seems, but I’m still slightly concerned with the catching situation here, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a couple of lame duck throws back to the mound this week. To their credit, though they were tested early and often, Red Sox catchers have thrown out their fair share of would-be basestealers, though they have allowed 23 SB total.
Who would have thought that a team featuring both Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury would have stolen only 13 bases up to this point? Well, my problem’s not so much with that; Crawford hasn’t really been on base all that much. But what is up with the 7 caught stealings? Not good, you guys.