Pinch hitting rooks, Ortiz and Ramirez, WMP chatter
July 1st, 2007 by czar

In today’s game, Terry Francona elected to let Jacoby Ellsbury hit in the 9th inning, with the Sox trailing the Texas Rangers. Honestly, I thought at least WMP or Lowell should have PH for the kid. It’s really not fair to put a kid who started the season at AA, hit .277 at AAA, had 7 major league AB, with only a couple reaching the outfield, bat against Eric Gagne in the bottom of the ninth at Fenway Park down by a run.

Must show some confidence on the kid. Also he is the guy you want running in case he gets on base.

The idea of “showing confidence” goes out the window with a rookie who hasn’t looked great in his (albeit very brief) stint in the majors up in the bottom of the 9th inning down by a run. Also, you could PR with Lugo if you want.

I mean, I’m not calling Terry out, but personally, I would have liked to see have seen a vet up there. Remember, Ellsbury was only hitting .277 in Pawtucket– I’d have rather taken my shot with Lowell or even WMP who could have tied it with one swing.

I dont think Ortiz and Ramirez are very different in 2007. I think the big difference this year is that teams just refuse to give these guys anything to hit. They’re being pitched differently than in the past. Ortiz gets nothing but soft stuff away. Manny gets breaking balls low and away. Teams don’t mind walking them at all. Ortiz and Ramirez are still having very good seasons.

I beg to differ, especially when talking about Ramirez who, if you looked at his stats, is on pace (if you want to play the walks card) to have the second lowest OBP of his career.

Manny especially is not on pace to have a good Manny season, but its far from a bad season. Lots of teams would like this performance from their corner OF.

But Manny is the #4 hitter on a World Series caliber team, rendering this “he’s having the 15th best season among AL outfielders” moot, because we can’t just drop him to the 7th spot and say “Look, he’s above average!”

The argument isn’t whether Manny is hitting like Lugo; it’s that he’s hitting well below expected Manny production, which is really killing the cleanup spot in the lineup, especially late in games and with runners on base.

Incidentally, Papi sucks worse than Manny this season. That is all.


Define your terms. Papi has provided us with a single RBI in 33 at-bats “close and late,” Coco Crisp has seven, J.D. Drew has two, even Julio Lugo has two. Papi has one. Of his 13 homeruns, 8 have been with the bases empty, and none have come late in a close game. Manny and Papi are OPS-ing about the same (.960-.980). Manny at least has two “close and late” homers and 4 “close and late” RBI. Papi? Zero and One.

Well, the fact that Ortiz is hitting .364 with RISP while Manny is chillin’ 100 pts lower at .260 is one thing.

And you should know better to provide RBI stats for a player in close and late since that’s all a function of who is on in front of him.

If you want to use the “Close and Late” stat, go with individual peripherals (ie not RBI or R or anything like that) and Ortiz is hitting .286 to Manny’s .250. Again, over 20ish at bats for either, so you’re teetering on SSS there. Seventh inning on, Ortiz is beating Ramirez .314 to .288 in average and .557 to .548 in slugging.

Of course, Ortiz’s overall line of .318/.433/.566/.999 is still far and away better than .286/.385/.468/.853.

But it’s cool, because Julio Lugo got lucky in said situations and subsequently has more RBI in close and late, so Ortiz must really blow…

Oh, and you are incorrect regarding OPS. Manny is .853 while Ortiz is .999. So no, they aren’t OPSing about the same.

Disclaimer: This is not to say Ortiz is having a GREAT season by any stretch– just that he is having a better one than Ramirez.

WMP is a better major-league hitter than Ellsbury is at AAA. WMP can only get at-bats in the majors; Ellsbury can get them at Pawtucket. But yet when the at-bats open up in the majors, we give them to Ellsbury. I am absolutely, positively livid. For crying out loud, when WMP was Jacoby’s age he was putting up his second straight .800 OPS in the majors!

Would you please stop acting like the reason Ellsbury got the nod over WMP is purely hitting based. Everyone on this board knows it’s not.

Discuss fielding metrics as well as how WMP projects to snap out of this .220 funk he’s in is far more productive and stop striking out once every 2 and change at bats instead. If you can make a legit argument you have a legit case, and we’ll discuss.

But honestly, they didn’t call up Ellsbury because they were too stupid to look at WMP’s offensive stats from 04-06.

Fine, addressing your points regarding WMP:

1. Fielding: He’s at exactly 0 FRAA in CF this year. His worst season he was -2. His best, +10. He’s an average fielder by these metrics.
2. Slump: I dunno, give him some at bats?
3. Strikeouts: Who cares?

Better. As for fielding, I’m going to assume most of his stats from this year are around league average because they are of a SSS. I don’t think anyone disagrees that his time in the OF (however limited it may be), he has been sub-par.

As for the slump, I don’t know what you can do about it. He clearly doesn’t play well sporadically, but he’s playing so bad right now he’d have to make an incredible jump to get back to his career norms at some point in ’07. His BABIP was almost flukishly high last year, so projecting him up around .300 is a liability.

As for strikeouts, aside from the fact that they are completely unproductive outs, imply lack of pitch selection and solid contact on the ball. Not a huge deal, since we know when WMP hits one, he really hits one, but to strike out at the rate he is is epically bad. If he were to continue this ratio into a full-time role, it would not be good.

But again, the FO either feels WMP doesn’t have the range in CF, or can’t be worked out of whatever slump he is in without serious work (or more than 3-5 days worth of at bats– which is hopefully all that Ellsbury is getting with this cup of coffee). As alskor pointed out, the main reason they are likely keeping him around is as a full-time replacement if a corner goes down.

Maybe WMP will play better if we *gasp* give him constant flipping AB! As for K’s, at least he doesn’t GIDP.

Everyone needs to stop this “he’ll suddenly become a masher if he gets AB” thing. What is this, some kind of guarantee– WMP typically does better on days after playing the day before, but he’s never hit this bad in limited time before. A .040 bump (reasonable expectation when you look at his stats from 05 and 06 when he was coming off the bench and starting) in BA only brings him up to .260. I think if he was hitting .260-.270 in limited PT they might have considered giving him more AB in a row, but there is no question he has looked terrible at the plate, sporadic PT or not.

Look, I was all for the WMP trade, and I’m all for keeping him around in case Drew or Manny go down. But can we please stop with this “Theo and Terry are idiots because they don’t play WMP every day because us fans who know more about this team just KNOW he’s due for a HR every 6 AB and he’ll start hitting .300 once he plays every day!!!” crap?

And please tell me “at least he doesn’t GIDP” is sarcasm. I’m going to assume it is.

Posted in Message Board Ramblings

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  • Traversing the land that is known as Red Sox Nation, The Czar Who Wears Red Sox is an attempt at compiling a repertoire of my ever-so-sexy forum posts (when I'm too lazy to write my own damn entry) and other random baseball thoughts that strike. For those whose posts serve as the inspiration of my epiphanies and rants, do not be angry, but merely, be honored that you have achieved such status. Names will never be revealed. Feedback appreciated, as this is a work in progress.

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