Time for a Check-Up: Sox-Sox II Postmortem

Ask any Red Sox fan during spring training who the team’s impact rookies would be during the upcoming season, and your answers would not vary much: Jonathan Papelbon for sure. Maybe they would have guessed Jon Lester, assuming he’d get a midseason call-up. A likely third choice would probably have been Craig Hansen

Anyone who says they would have guessed Kason Gabbard is a liar. Yet here we are with Kason, who ha pitched quite well in two of his three starts. Small sample size? Sure. But this kid in three Paul Konerko at bats recorded a strikeout and induced two double plays.

Back in June, right before Jon Lester made his debut, I posted the numbers for the then-astounding seven rookie pitchers who had played for the Sox to that point. Needless to say, there’ve been even more now. Using the MLBPA baseball card definition of a rookie (on the 25-man roster before Sept. 1), here’s a look at the Sox rookies this year:

  • Abe Alvarez, 23: 1 G, 3 IP, 5H, 4R, 2BB, 2K
  • Craig Breslow, 26: 5 G, 5.1 IP, 4H, 3BB, 7K, .211 BAA, 3.38 ERA, 1.31 WHIP
  • Mike Burns, 28: 2 G, 2 IP, 3H, 0BB, 2K, .375 BAA, 4.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP*
  • Bryan Corey, 32: 5 G, 8.2 IP, 9H, 4BB, 7K, .409 BAA, 3.12 ERA, 1.50 WHIP**
  • Manny Delcarmen, 24: 2-0, 42 G, 46.2 IP, 53H, 14BB, 41K, .285 BAA, 3.86 ERA, 1.44 WHIP
  • Lenny DiNardo, 26: 1-2, 8 G, 28.2 IP, 42H, 16BB, 16K, .350 BAA, 6.91 ERA, 2.02 WHIP
  • Craig Hansen, 22: 1-1, 28 G, 30 IP, 39H, 9BB, 23K, .320 BAA, 6.60 ERA, 1.60 WHIP
  • Kason Gabbard, 24: 1-3, 5 G, 18.1 IP, 16H, 8BB, 5K, .268 BAA, 3.93 ERA, 1.58 WHIP
  • Jon Lester, 22: 7-2, 15 G, 81.1 IP, 91H, 43BB, 60K, .294 BAA, 4.76 ERA, 1.65 WHIP
  • Jonathan Papelbon, 25: 4-2, 59 G, 68.1 IP, 40H, 13BB, 75K, .167 BAA, 0.92 ERA, 0.78 WHIP
  • David Pauley, 23: 0-2, 3 G, 16 IP, 31H, 6BB, 10K, .419 BAA, 7.88 ERA, 2.31 WHIP
  • Jermaine Van Buren, 26: 1-0, 10 G, 13 IP, 14H, 15BB, 8K, .292 BAA, 11.77 ERA, 2.23 WHIP

* Burns also pitched in 11 games for Cincinnati before being traded to Boston in August.
**Corey also pitched in 16 games for Texas before being traded to Boston in June.

DiNardo and Burns, although rookies based on their stats (fewer than 45 IP entering this season) may not be based on service time. Dealing with such sample sizes, it’s difficult to find any kind of trnd or nugget of truth in there. The ones we thought would do well — Papelbon, Lester, Hansen, Delcarmen — haven’t done too badly. Even Hansen, the youngest and worst of the top prospects, threw strikes and didn’t walk many.

I’d say the Sox — assuming they don’t pull off a blockbuster trade — could get good contributions next year out of Papelbon (duh), Lester (if he recovers well), Delcarmen, Hansen, Breslow, DiNardo and possibly Gabbard (though a AAA start to the season would be good for him, I think). How bout it folks? Who should stay and who should go?

9 comments… add one
  • Everyone stays but Burns, Corey and Van Buren, who already has been waived.

    I'm Bill McNeal September 6, 2006, 12:48 am
  • Not sure I agree with you about Hansen, Paul. He may not have walked a lot of guys, but that’s because he only threw fastballs, so players could sit on him until one was over the plate. With a WHIP like that and not many walks, well, do the math on how many hits he’s giving up. I think Hansen needs to learn a pitch (or two) in the offseason, then deploy it/them in Spring Training and perhaps a bit more in AAA. I think he could be a real contributor down the road, but only if he expands his repertoire. He’s not nearly as useful as Delcarmen at this point, and Delcarmen is still rough around the edges as well.

    SF September 6, 2006, 6:54 am
  • Hansen still has a lot of potential, which makes him great trade bait, IMO. I’d love for him to help land us another starter. Otherwise, yeah, he probably needs a full AAA season to get to where he needs to be…

    Paul SF September 6, 2006, 11:14 am
  • Off the subject, did anyone get anything out of Shaughnessy’s column today?
    Seems to me like another round of stating the obvious wrapped around a jab at Theo and his plan.
    Does Shaughnessy ever offer any insight anymore?

    I'm Bill McNeal September 6, 2006, 12:35 pm
  • I agree with SF on Hansen. He still needs someseasoning in the minors to develop more pitches.
    We have to remember that that was the original plan until the bullpen collapsed and he was called up basically as a stop-gap middle guy.
    Remember, he’s only a year or so out of college. He still needs time to develop into a major league pitcher with 2-3-4 pitches instead of just the heater that he could blow by college batters.
    He’ll be fine. He just needs time.

    I'm Bill McNeal September 6, 2006, 12:39 pm
  • //Does Shaughnessy ever offer any insight anymore?//
    In a word: no.
    Gabbard and DiNardo could be interesting “swing man” options for next year, a lot like Bronson Arroyo used to be. I believe that was DiNardo’s assigned role this season before he had that peculiar neck injury. Being lefthanded doesn’t hurt them either. Neither of them may be anything more than AAAA starters, but those guys are good to have around as injury backup if nothing else. Better than the Jason Johnsons of the world, right?
    Delcarmen has already proven himself to be a pretty good setup man–his struggles were relatively limited this season, so I don’t think we need to worry about him much. Hansen, as others have said, seems to need more seasoning. The good slider he was supposed to have was either non-existent or very flat most days. His mechanics are kind of wonky too, which might explain his struggles; he could be having trouble repeating his delivery. But I wouldn’t write him off by any means–he’s only 22!
    Papelbon and Lester are obviously the genuine “franchise arms” of the bunch. Assuming they get (and stay) healthy, they’re going to be here a long, long time which suits me just fine.

    mouse September 6, 2006, 4:23 pm
  • What is Tavarez’s future with the Red Sox? Is he gone after this season, or what? He doesn’t seem particularly endeared with the Sox fanbase, and vice versa, but I personally never thought he was an awful pither, and he can burn up innings for the offense just about every night of the week.

    Kazz September 6, 2006, 6:20 pm
  • Tavarez is under contract for next season, with a club option for 2008 as well. So unless the Sox shop him during the offseason, he’ll be back. As a reliever, I’m sure.

    mouse September 6, 2006, 6:49 pm
  • That’s good news. I like Tavarez. And I don’t care what anybody else thinks. I like broccoli, too.

    Kazz September 7, 2006, 12:59 am

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.