Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Who are they keeping for October?

Now that the Red Sox have officially made it to the playoffs for 2004, I think it is time to take a look at their roster and how it should be downsized from the current 40-man version to its playoff counterpart. I don't think any of the September callups are going to be a part of the roster, but with all of the players who have played significant roles for at least a portion of the season it makes it tougher.

I'll list by position first, make my cuts later:

C: Varitek and Mirabelli
1B: Millar, Mientkiewicz, McCarty
2b: Bellhorn and Reese
3B: Mueller and Youkilis
SS: Cabrera and Gutierrez
OF: Ramirez, Damon, Nixon, Kapler, Roberts
DH: Ortiz and Burks

That is 18 position players out of 30 spots.

SP: Martinez, Schilling, Arroyo, Wakefield, Lowe
RP: Foulke, Embree, Timlin, Williamson, Myers, Mendoza, Dinardo, Leskanic, Adams, Kim, Astacio

That is 16 pitchers; 34 roster spots total.

We have 30 spots to work with, so this should not be too hard:

Lose Astacio (33); I just don't think he has had enough work recently to make a playoff roster, unless he randomly shows himself to be lights out in the next week. Same with Kim (32), except I don't think I want him there even if he shows he can pitch, because he's too unreliable with us and avoiding any soap operas we can is a must.

Dinardo (31) loses out thanks to a large consensus I conducted between myself and Andrew, lots of work involved. It was Dinardo or Myers, and Myers wins due to experience. Plus, Dinardo has not got a lot of work lately either.

Now the pitching looks like this:

SP: Martinez, Schilling, Arroyo, Wakefield, Lowe
RP: Foulke (R), Embree (L), Timlin (R), Williamson (R), Myers (L), Mendoza (R), Leskanic (R), Adams (R).

Now one person has to be taken off the bench (I'll only mention backups):

Mirabelli stays obviously...McCarty might have to stay as a defensive replacement (Millar pinch hits for Mientkiewicz late in the game, McCarty at first to protect a lead sort of deal)...Reese better only play in Lowe's games, but I don't even want Lowe to start. Still, a defensive replacement in the 9th is a possibility...Youkilis .261/.370/.422, I sense a walk in a late close game, yay Moneyball...There is nothing positive I can say about Ricky Gutierrez from an offensive standpoint, and Reese is backing up 2B and SS already...I would love for Ellis Burks to have one triumphant playoff homerun or game-winning hit, but since his knee needs to be drained when he thinks about walking too hard (sadly) I don't think this will come to pass.

Looks like Gutierrez might make it by default. He can thank Ellis's knees for that one. Of course Ellis might be put on the roster in the hopes of a Kirk Gibson happening, in which case Ricky can kiss his chance goodbye. Everyone's favorite cast looks like they are going to be in though, so no worries this year (I hope).

Oh yeah, the rotation should go: Schilling/Martinez/Arroyo/Wakefield...

Lowe's career ERA in the Metrodome: 6.58 (yay turf + sinker ball)

Wakefield's ERA v. NYY in 2001-2004: 1.59/2.25/3.96 (2.25 in NY)/1.83
Wakefield also has an ERA of 1.17 this year against Minnesota, 1.29 in 2002 and 3.60 in 2001 (2003 was a bad year for him against Minnesota, but it seems to be the exception rather than the rule: 5.68)

I've seen Lowe get beat up a few times in NY this year, and it was not as big a deal when you could match him up with Contreras and watch the balls fly out of the park. Wakefield is the #4 in my mind.

Schilling goes first for two reasons: (1) Schilling in the playoffs makes rainbows and happiness for all of the children and (2) Bob Brenly did it in 2001, starting Schilling 3 times over eventual Cy Young winner Randy Johnson. Seemed odd, but they won didn't they (despite Brenly in most cases, but we'll give him that one.) On a related note pick up Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Lineups, that is how I remember Schilling started Game 1.

Also, any excuse to not start Pedro against the Yankees too often if we end up facing them...for the love of God Joe Torre even said I hope they don't throw Wakefield against us to start, he kills us. (Obviously not verbatum)

Finally, a non-stat laden article where you actually show you can write. I thought you were Bill Jame's son for awhile.

I like everything about your logic other than these 2 things. Millar starts and Menkie is off the bench. Millar can still come around on a fastball, Menkie is suffering in the .220's with us. Offense wins most games. I see Menkie in late innings and Millar starting. Perhaps vs. lefties Menkie gets the nod.

Guttierez on the roster. Yikes. Can we bring back Sam Horn? You really think Burks will get the roster with only 16 games behind him? I don't think so. Not sure who else is out there unless Tito carries 13 pitchers.

Anyway, good article. Try to add stats where appropriate to support your POV, but don't get 'stat heavy'. It's a reading turn-off accept to the real baseball nerds.

Nice writing style this time. I liked it. Add some of the "driedel boy's" humor if you can. Never hurts.

Dreidel Boy's Dad
I'd rather have an extra guy in the bullpen then use Ricky Gutierrez. Gutierrez makes a good late inning replacement during meaningless regular season games, but it what situation would he be used in the playoffs? He doesn't have speed, range, or a bat. You can never have enough bullpen depth. Using Dinardo for an inning or so during a blowout could really rest your starters/bullpen for the next game of the series.
marc what is funny is that i could not have agreed any more with you on your "another twist in the race" and "a tough call" articles (wonderful job)....there is no condition where i want gutierrez, burks, or mcCarty in the line up...none of them provide any tools that francona cant utilize in the form of someone else off the bench, none of those three bring anything meaningful to the table for a manager...getting doug m. at the trade deadline made mcCarty obsolete...gutierrez was only a short term fix in the middle of the season when the roster was thin...and marc you are way too smart to be touching the sentimental cord of burks coming up big in the world series like kirk gibson, gibson was a star player and i think it is safe to say burks hasnt been a star player for a couple of years now plus you are assuming the sox will make it to the world series if you are implying that burks will pull a gibson and with the boston red sox it is a very dangerous thing to expect anything great from them...as far as the pitching staff goes there is no way that leskanic, adams, meyers, and mendoza dont make the playoff roster...terry will need the flexibility out of the bullpen williamson, kim, dinardo are no help whatsoever all they would help would be to prolong our streak of not winning the series, as far as i am concerned astacio might be a late smart choice to add on the roster...i cannot concieve any scenario where lowe could be trusted in a starters role but i am more high on bronson than i ever have i would go as far as saying he could turn out to pitch as well as pedro does this post season and yes i also heard the qoute where torre said that as far as his team was concerned, wakefield was the ace of the staff (wakefield is the yankees daddy as pedro might say) francona has been criticized by some for his late inning defensive substitions but in the playoffs where runs are sacred i would have to believe that the big bat no glove guys (millar in rightfield or in any position on the field for that matter) should and will be taken out and no it makes no sense to put out a defensive oriented lineup and then bring the bats off the bench in a late inning pinch hitting role, you get a lead and then secure it and if that takes playing david ortiz at first base in busch stadium for at least one of the three games (if it ever gets to that point)and have doug m. replace ortiz in around the 7th or later with a sox lead, i would be in full support reguardless of the outcome and i honestly believe that is how francona is willing to play it...i am the first one to admit that i had little faith in this team during the month of july citing the 2002 season where lowe and pedro both had 20 wins and manny was the batting champ and they stil somehow managed to not make the playoffs but i never blamed the teams win one lose one funk on the manager eventhough till the day i die i will vehemently believe that grady and not pedro lost game 7 last year...marc-i still love you and you can be my daddy anytime
hey marc i am finally writing on the topic of your rockies piece, for some reason i wasnt able to post anonymously off of the essay and thats just how i always go about my business which is why im just posting it on your latest work...i thought you were funny, i loved the “the starters were nothing much to write home about” line and as far as coors field is concerned (it should not be forgotten the rockies first home ballpark was at the bronco’s mile high stadium) every pitcher’s and position player’s stat should be looked at on a what did they do at home and how did they recover/falter on the road point of view…it never made sense when they signed hampton and neagle to those ridiculous contracts when colorado should not have been so concerned with overpaying to get reluctant pitchers into their rotation especially when they were unable to fair much better away from denver‘s thin air…it always seemed so obvious that a sinkerball pitcher (lowe) would pitch well in coors and i never understood why the rockies were so reluctant/naïve concerning that point but I never realized that essentially a side armed hurler would accomplish the same if not better end result…on the point of galarraga, he was their first superstar and main reason for setting the attendance records, he was a real hitter and could probably hit well on mars let alone denver, he won the batting championship in their inaugural year had little support in that rockies lineup outside of a blossoming michael young and yankee send off charlie hayes who was then replaced in the bronx by next year’s sole hall of fame class, wade boggs…joe kerrigan: without a question one of the best pitching coaches in the majors but in the same respect, the worst manager…loved the solid glass comment…you really cant argue those strong numbers, they speak for themselves…the thin air wont make contact for you but when you do make contact coors’ large outfield gaps and phenomena of the ball traveling farther will help out just a bit…like you said the truly talented players will hit no matter what uniform they wear as the lesser players may excel in colorado but then drop off following their departure…todd helton has the most hits accumulated in the major leagues in the past however many years and if you can hold it against helton that he plays at coors than you should be able to hold it against ichiro for only being a singles hitter and no they arent doubles because he always seems to be stealing second base, you cant steal first base, he hits infield singles to get on base and then he will attempt to swipe second, therefore he is a dinky punchy jabby singles hitter, the thin air in colorado doesn’t help heltons ability in the slightest to get his bat on the ball, once the bat hit’s the ball theres where the mile high influence comes into play in the form of power numbers but helton can still rack up the hits whether it be home or away…on our talk of the hall of fame i just hope that stiffs like rafeal palmero don’t make it into the hall of fame, baseball’s hall of fame is in my opinion the most exclusive in all of the four major sports (jim rice still isn’t in) and i can only hope that the crime dog mcgriff and palmero don’t cheapen the accomplishments of the games alltime greats (pete rose’s accomplishments would seem somewhat cheapened…oh wait) on a side note and i understand i am being a homer by just throwing this out there but do you think mo vaughn has any shot? well marc… not surprisingly to me at all that you did a wonderful job with an even better job of researching your topic while once again i comment without any statistical data to be found….im sorry? well you are the man and that’s why i read what you have to write, once again i am sorry for waiting to respond but the wait was well worth it, good job buddy
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