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Wade Geraci
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Red Sox - what do we expect for the rest of the season?

05/23/2014 2:08pm
last edited:05/24/2014 6:02pm
Replayed from AlphaGo
Wade Geraci

Here's a look, position by position, to see if the Sox have been playing above, at, or below the projected level coming into the season. Toward the bottom, I look at what to expect for the rest of the season. All projections and WAR figures from BP. Would like to hear your thoughts:

C - Below: The combo of A.J. and Ross was expected to produce at or above a league average level. They haven't.

1st - Above: Napoli was suppose to be above average but is playing at a borderline all-star level thanks to his .400 OBP.

2nd - At: Believe it or not, Pedroia is on pace for just under 4 WAR (all-star) and that's exactly what BP projected.

3rd - At: Brock Holt, thanks to his .382 BABIP in limited playing time, has already contributed about 1/2 win but he's clearly not the answer following the Drew signing. So in a weird way, despite WMB's terrible season and injury, the Sox have actually received what they were expecting from third so far.

SS - Above: Anyone remotely disappointed with Xander's rookie season has no clue. This 21 year old is on pace to surpass 4 WAR in a completely sustainable way and has arguably been their best player without the benefit of hitting in a good lineup slot. And, despite the temporary (I believe this) move to third, at least one defensive metric (fangraphs) grades him out as above average. The strikeouts (on pace for 150ish) are somewhat alarming but it's coming in part because of his patient approach (.378 OBP).

LF - Below: Nava and Gomes were expected to provide a league-average platoon but thanks to Nava's horrible start (I love him but it was bad) the Sox haven't got much out of LF.

CF - Below: Jackie Bradley Jr. and Sizemore haven't contributed anything so far and JBJ was actually projected to be a league-average starter. I have a little faith that Sizemore and his .253 BABIP (.285 during his "hurt" seasons) will come around, although the defense hasn't been good. JBJ is another story.

Pedroia has a career line drive % of 20.5 and Z-Contact% (making contact when swinging at pitches inside the strike zone) of 93.3. Ellsbury is 20.6 and 87.7. Stephen Drew is 21 and 89.7 JBJ  is 15.3 and 73 in his 250 MLB at bats. At this time, he is over-matched by MLB pitching. Good news is that he still has some time to grow as a player. Bad news is he has a long way to go.

RF - Below: Victorino's injury combined with the bench's inability to provide enough value (like it did last year) has led to no production from this position.

DH - Above: Almost no 38 year old players are projected to produce 4 WAR (often because of expected injuries) and Ortiz is on pace for that. I have no idea if he'll keep hitting, stay healthy, etc.

SP - At: Lester has been great, Lackey has been really good, Buchholz somehow has a FIP and FIPx below 5.00 meaning he's technically accumulated some WAR while Peavy and Doubront have been replacement level.

RP - Above: Koji, Andrew Miller, Capuano and Tazawa have all been outstanding. Badenhop and Breslow have been solid. Only Mujica has been disappointing. It will be hard to keep up this level of productivity but we all know they have several arms in AAA who could be called upon if anyone loses it or gets hurt.


"Below" positions - C, LF, CF and RF (OF has killed them). C may just be what it is, two old players who don't have good seasons. Vazquez is in AAA but not hitting much. Victorino's return almost guarantees more from RF. Not sure we can expect more from LF unless Nava completely returns to form (oh, and Boston). CF can be better, but as a group, the OF isn't going to be what we wanted.

"At" positions - 2nd, 3rd and the SP. I guess 2nd could be a little better. Sox could get a little more out of the SP's if one of the under-performing guys is replaced with a hot AAA arm.

"Above" positions - 1st, SS, DH and the RP. Napoli can hold his value with a better defensive end to the season. Ortiz is a coin flip in my eyes. The RP's could easily come down to earth but they've been pretty damn good for a while now and there are arms waiting in AAA.

SS and 3rd - Hard to say that they'll definitely receive more value even after adding Drew. However, moving WMB into a role where he only plays a few games a week against LH SPs makes this a really deep group capable of producing every night.


The Sox are 20-26 right now. BP projects them to finish the season at 80 and 82, so BP sees some improvement but not enough to make the playoffs. The good news is BP projects the Blue Jays to win the AL East with 84 wins. Coming into the year, I believed the Sox were a mid-to-high 80's win team. What can they do to greatly improve their chances? Much better production from starters where possible, add a difference-maker to the roster (OF?), get a huge, unexpected 2nd half from someone (although every team has this possibility)? Anything else?

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