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soxtalker
01-15-2003, 11:26 PM
OK, we've improved our pitching significantly. (Well, this is at least true on paper -- we do have to play the games.)

But how about our defense? It has been terrible over the past few years. I don't think that we've made any additions via trade or FA, but we may have improved things by subtraction.

Randar68
01-16-2003, 12:01 AM
Originally posted by soxtalker
OK, we've improved our pitching significantly. (Well, this is at least true on paper -- we do have to play the games.)

But how about our defense? It has been terrible over the past few years. I don't think that we've made any additions via trade or FA, but we may have improved things by subtraction.

Maggs is above average in RF and Lee has turned himself into an average LF'er (despite his apparent clumbsieness (sp?)) We still don't have a true CF'er, we still have Jose at short, and we still may be forced to wath Josh Paul at catcher (term used only because it is the name of the position, not because he can).

We have a pretty solid defense except up the middle, which as many say, is the most important part.

fuzzy_patters
01-16-2003, 12:40 AM
Valentin makes up for his mistakes by creating extra outs through leadership, range, and quick hands. I wouldn't worry about shortstop too much.

Also, the most underestimated defensive upgrade for the Sox this year will be at utility outfielder. Rios, unlike Liefer, knows how to judge a fly ball. In fact, I believe he plays sans roller skates. That's definitely an upgrade.

Isn't Alomar supposed to be mentoring Olivo next year? If so, Josh Paul may find his ass in Charlotte where it belongs.

Finally, centerfield is the one real question mark. With Spring Training over 1.5 months away, let us give Kenny time to sort things out. I think he has earned a little patience this spring. He seems to finally be turning the corner as a GM.

cornball
01-16-2003, 08:12 AM
Originally posted by fuzzy_patters
Valentin makes up for his mistakes by creating extra outs through leadership, range, and quick hands. I wouldn't worry about shortstop too much.

Also, the most underestimated defensive upgrade for the Sox this year will be at utility outfielder. Rios, unlike Liefer, knows how to judge a fly ball. In fact, I believe he plays sans roller skates. That's definitely an upgrade.

Isn't Alomar supposed to be mentoring Olivo next year? If so, Josh Paul may find his ass in Charlotte where it belongs.

Finally, centerfield is the one real question mark. With Spring Training over 1.5 months away, let us give Kenny time to sort things out. I think he has earned a little patience this spring. He seems to finally be turning the corner as a GM.

I worry about Valentin because he makes the tough play....the spectacular play.... but sometimes struggles on the routine play.

If you allow more than 3 outs an inning on a consistent basis, you will get burned.

I dont think Paul is as bad as many of you think, I dont think he is the second coming of Johnny Bench, but serviceable as a backup.

Brian26
01-16-2003, 08:18 AM
Our defense is set. Rowand will most likely get the full-time job in center until Borchard is ready. I-Rod would be a heck of a pickup with Sandy and Olivo on the bench. Let's not mess up anything else. Last time we heard the "let's improve defense" line, we were signing Royce, moving Valentine to third, and had Julio Ramirez in center...and the season went down the toilet just as quickly.

soxtalker
01-16-2003, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by Brian26
Our defense is set. Rowand will most likely get the full-time job in center until Borchard is ready. I-Rod would be a heck of a pickup with Sandy and Olivo on the bench. Let's not mess up anything else. Last time we heard the "let's improve defense" line, we were signing Royce, moving Valentine to third, and had Julio Ramirez in center...and the season went down the toilet just as quickly.

I am concerned about Valentine's defense. I think that the arguments about his leadership value, as well as Cornball's description of which plays he struggles and excels at, have been discussed in numerous threads over the last year or two. But you raise a good point that we don't want to improve the defense by making another Clayton mistake. I'd like to think that there are other alternatives. KW had two major failures in his pitching acquisitions over the past two years; hopefully, he's learned from his mistakes in the latest moves.

On the catching front, I get the impression that they are hoping that Olivo is ready sooner rather than later. If not, that could be a big cause for concern.

PANFIRECRACKER
01-16-2003, 11:23 AM
This may sound crazy but it seems a guy who makes the great play and blows the routine play lacks concentration. Clearly there will be pressure to win this spring/year. Maybe Manuel should press Valentin ala Durham a few years ago. I mean defining his role and staying on him about it, and stay in his face telling him they will only win with a great year from him. It may be true and he may respond.

voodoochile
01-16-2003, 11:33 AM
The infield is going to have more range than at any time I can remember the Sox having. Crede is going to cover the hole so well that Valentin will be able to shift to a position more up the middle. Jimenez mores much better than Ray to both his left and to his right. There are also stronger arms all around the infield which is never a bad thing.

Outfield is pretty average defensively, but unless they go out and acquire a true CF, it won't get better, so we make do until JoeB is ready...

fuzzy_patters
01-16-2003, 12:07 PM
Just for comparison's sake, Jose Valenin has 194 E in 950 GP at short for an average of 33E in 162 GP in his career when playing shortstop. Nomar Garciaparra has 110 E in 763 GP at short for an average of 23 E per 162 GP in his career when playing shortstop. So, Jose Valentin commits an average of 10 more errors per season compared to a reputably good shortstop, or one error every 16 games.

Now, let's look at double plays. Jose Valentin has 648 career shortstop DP in 950 GP at that position. Garciaparra has 434 DP in his 763 GP. So, we find that Valentin averages 111 DP/162 games compared to Garciaparra's average of 92. Valentin collects 19 extra outs per 162 games in his career compared to a good shortstop, which more than cancels the 10 per game error totals.

The purpose of this exorcise is to show that 33 errors might sound like a lot on paper, but no shortstop makes 0 errors in a season. So, Jose's numbers should be compared to the numbers a good shortstop should achieve. This proves that he only hurts us roughly once every 2 weeks, and he more than makes up for that with double plays.

soxruleEP
01-16-2003, 03:40 PM
Fuzzy Patters has hit it. Just as Bill James demonstrated a few years ago that Ozzie Smith really didn't make that much difference over the average shortstop, Valentine's defensive "problems" are a matter of perception.

I would much rather have him trying to make a play than watch The Choice loaf after something so he can avoid an error.

Valentine helps the Sox much more than he hurts them.

voodoochile
01-16-2003, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by soxruleEP
Fuzzy Patters has hit it. Just as Bill James demonstrated a few years ago that Ozzie Smith really didn't make that much difference over the average shortstop, Valentine's defensive "problems" are a matter of perception.

I would much rather have him trying to make a play than watch The Choice loaf after something so he can avoid an error.

Valentine helps the Sox much more than he hurts them.

Welcome aboard :D:

Check old articles on this site you will find a great breakdown of this exact point...