Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A couple of thoughts on the Peavy - Iglesias trade...

  • I don't know how much I love the Peavy acquisition, because I'm not certain that he improves the rotation all that much. But I know that I LOVE the fact that they got him for Iglesias, who I have no confidence is ever going to be a Major League hitter (other than in occasional short stretches) rather than someone of real value. Who does he replace in the rotation? Workman, presumably, right? Does Workman go back to the minors or back to the bullpen?
    And then Buchholz comes back. [And none of them out-pitches David Price in a must-win...]

  • "The Red Sox made a bold move by acquiring righthander Jake Peavy from the White Sox in a three-team, seven-player trade. The price was steep: Jose Iglesias was traded to the Tigers."

    The headline writers at the Boston Globe website have a different opinion as to what constitutes a "steep" price than I do...
  • The Red Sox, I think, got a steal, for two reasons:

    1) For about 6 weeks, Jose Iglesias hit like Ichiro Suzuki, Jr., with several well hit balls that fell in, and a bunch of infield hits. He was tremendously productive over that stretch, but the question isn't that stretch - the question is, "was that success sustainable or reproduceable?" The smart money says, "no," so the Red Sox sold high.

    2) Even with the probably-illusory offensive high point that Iglesias' has given them to work with, he's probably still not enough to get Peavy. But luckily for Boston, Detroit's about to lose their SS to a drug suspension for the rest of the year, and that makes them desperate. The Red Sox didn't have to be desperate themselves, but they were in position to take advantage of the Tigers' desperation.
  • Over the last seven weeks (small sample, etc.) Iglesias has been the least productive hitter on the team of anyone with 25 or more at-bats (as measured by RC [Runs Created]/out).
    David Ortiz (.338/.424/.574/.999, 34.04 runs created, 8.34 RC/25 outs)
    Mike Carp (.327/.415/.527/.943, 12.22 runs created, 8.04 RC/25 outs)
    Jacoby Ellsbury (.331/.382/.479/.861, 30.19 runs created, 6.56 RC/25 outs)
    Jackie Bradley, Jr. (.167/.286/.667/.952, 1.21 runs created, 6.03 RC/25 outs)
    Jonny Gomes (.268/.307/.524/.831, 12.55 runs created, 4.98 RC/25 outs)
    Mike Napoli (.256/.333/.463/.796, 17.76 runs created, 4.72 RC/25 outs)
    Shane Victorino (.280/.313/.441/.754, 20.24 runs created, 4.60 RC/25 outs)
    Stephen Drew (.222/.273/.444/.717, 10.08 runs created, 3.88 RC/25 outs)
    Brock Holt (.290/.333/.290/.624, 3.91 runs created, 3.76 RC/25 outs)
    Ryan Lavarnway (.229/.308/.343/.651, 3.92 runs created, 3.63 RC/25 outs)
    Brandon Snyder (.212/.235/.455/.690, 3.66 runs created, 3.52 RC/25 outs)
    Daniel Nava (.256/.328/.342/.670, 12.76 runs created, 3.47 RC/25 outs)
    Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.231/.311/.333/.644, 12.48 runs created, 3.39 RC/25 outs)
    Dustin Pedroia (.245/.308/.344/.651, 17.10 runs created, 3.21 RC/25 outs)
    Jose Iglesias (.263/.306/.314/.620, 12.77 runs created, 3.01 RC/25 outs)
    Yes, Pedroia is second-worst. The difference, of course, is that Pedroia has a track record of being a great hitter, so this seems to be a slump, whereas Iglesias has a track record of being a dreadful hitter, so this seems like a reversion to the mean.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barring additional injuries, I'm not sure that Peavy helps the rotation much at all for this year. Who does he replace -- Workman, who struck out 9 last game?

On the other hand, who would have thought that the Red Sox rotation (with Buchholz out) would still be as strong as it is? Peavy would have seemed a better bet than most of the pitchers in the rotation before this year, if healthy.

So maybe the Sox secretly still don't have that great a rotation, and the improvement is entirely defense. Between Drew and Iglesias, with Victorino and a healthier Ellsbury and Pedroia, the defense is likely better. Perhaps Peavy will look considerably better now that he's pitching in front of...

Oh. If the defense has been greatly improved enough to mask the mediocrity of the rotation, then it seems very possible that Iglesias was a big part of that. And he's now gone.

I'm generally with you on the trade, Lyford, but (and, understand, I've not been following the Sox nearly as closely as I was able to do in the past, so all my usual disclaimers apply even more so) the Sox's pitching this year has felt surprisingly good and when pitching is surprisingly good, I tend to quietly wonder if that surprise is due to defense.

On a related note, I think the Yankees' surprisingly good pitching this year might be related to some notable absences on the left side of their infield. (Or is that the right -- I can never remember).

--Robert Machemer

8:08 PM  
Blogger Lyford said...

Left side of the infield is in front of the left fielder. Right side of the infield is in front of the right fielder...


I'm not sure that the pitching has been "surprisingly good." People call up the sports radio stations and complain that "they need a bat!" But if you actually look at the data, they've scored more runs than anyone in baseball (ok, with Detroit's 11 last night, they're actually second.) But they're only in the middle of the pack in runs allowed.

And Drew has played far more games at SS than Iglesias (and appears to have made more plays per inning in those games, too). As good a defender as Iglesias appears to be, I'm skeptical that his presence has made a significant difference in the runs allowed number or that his loss will lead to significantly worse run prevention down the stretch.

If Workman were going to continue giving them 6 innings and 2 runs allowed every outing, and they knew that, then thay'd leave him in the rotation. But they don't. And they do think that they can use him in the bullpen, where they need shoring up.

So bringing in Peavy strengthens both the rotation and the bullpen. Even including Workman's starts, the non-Lester-Buchholz-Lackey-Doubront-Dempster starts, the 5th starter starts that are now going to Peavy, have not been very good. There have been 16 of them, and they've averaged 5 innings with a 5.63 ERA. Peavy stabilizes the rotation while Waiting For Buchholz continues its long run, and Workman strengthens the 'pen.

And Iglesias makes outs for the Tigers.


8:54 AM  

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