Categories Sox Gamers/Postmortems They’re Back (not Julio, though): Sox-Jays Gamer Post author By SF Post date July 17, 2009 30 Comments on They’re Back (not Julio, though): Sox-Jays Gamer The Sox head to Toronto to begin the second "half". Use this as your gamer for tonight's action north of the border. ← The Flip Side → Catch A Tigger: Tigers-Yanks Gamer 30 replies on “They’re Back (not Julio, though): Sox-Jays Gamer” Jim Kaat doing color on NESN tonight. Without Julio Lugo, Sox fans clearly have nothing to talk about… Not even Clay Buchholz’s 2009 debut, apparently. So far, he seems to be doing pretty good. And Ortiz with the two-run double!! Why are the RS getting shut down by SHAWN CAMP? A guy who can’t spell his own name shouldn’t be able to do that….. Besides, he’s always been a “white flag” pitcher. Sad that I had to miss this game, but thrilled with the result. Buchholz for Halladay straight up? Yeah Toronto? Heh, maybe if the Sox take Wells AND Riccardi with him. Have I mentioned before that the Sox signing Penny AND Smoltz made no sense? Then again, Phearsome Phil shouldn’t be in the Yankee bullpen either. But at least the they didn’t sign Tom Glavine to keep Hughes at AAA. Have I mentioned before that the Sox signing Penny AND Smoltz made no sense? Ah, yes, after one game. Next time we hear “small sample size” out of you I will remember this comment. Anyhow, if Buchholz continues to excel, who coul prove that his time in AAA wasn’t the reason he has grown as a pitcher? Anyhow, if Buchholz continues to excel, who coul prove that his time in AAA wasn’t the reason he has grown as a pitcher? Because he’s really not that different of a AAA pitcher than he was in 2008 (walks and hits are down, but so are Ks). The problem was getting out major league hitters, and that takes practice against major league hitters. I have little doubt that Buchholz will struggle again in the majors. That’s what young pitchers do. But it’s better that than some old, and tired, retreads. I feel the same exact way about the Yanks. Hey, no skin off my back. Buchholz is probably the third best starter in the organization. I’d much rather see Wakefield, Penny, or Smoltz in the playoffs and that’s what we’re likely to get. Of course, it would be nice to if the Yanks could beat the Sox once during the season. To be clear, that’s not to say Buchholz was outstanding last night. He’ll have to be better against better teams. But he was good enough, and certainly better than what the old retreads give them. Because he’s really not that different of a AAA pitcher than he was in 2008 (walks and hits are down, but so are Ks). By all accounts, this is not true. His confidence is better than it was when last he was in the majors, and he’s also done work on his delivery to regain command of his curveball. Byt thanks, at least, for waiting longer than the two weeks you said you would after Penny shut down the Yankees before calling for his removal from the Red Sox. But at least the they didn’t sign Tom Glavine to keep Hughes at AAA. Smoltz is a far better pitcher than Glavine… and Andy Pettitte, whom the Yankees did re-sign, and is blocking Hughes from the rotation. His confidence I know you’re facile in the stats dept. How do you measure “confidence”? Can I find that on fangraphs? Smoltz is a far better pitcher than Glavine… and Andy Pettitte, whom the Yankees did re-sign, and is blocking Hughes from the rotation. Not this year, he’s not. If you want to argue Pettitte versus Penny, that’s at least interesting – now and going forward. Smoltz should probably show something approaching league average before you harp on how good he is. Still, you’re ignoring the fact that I said Penny AND Smoltz. One was manageable given how rarely a rotation stays healthy. Two was and still is very questionable, especially as the season winds down and all of Wakefield, Penny, and Smoltz are in the rotation. Game 3 in the playoffs – this year from any of those three or Buchholz? Hard to see how anyone, seriously, claims the former. Rob, we’ve had this argument before, and every time you ignore the biggest difference: Buchholz’ biggest problem going into this season was fastball command. His command of that pitch has been mediocre, and when that happens it means batters can sit on his changeup and curve. He showed a HUGE improvement in AAA during the first month+ of the season, and his fastball command is now fantastic. You can look at strictly the numbers all you want, but his fastball command (or lack thereof) was the sole reason he was held back in AAA this year. And it has become obvious that it was the right decision. Give it a f*cking rest dude, we’re all sick of having this argument. I think you have to give Smoltz about four or five more starts before you seriously write him out of the picture. His track record (regular and post) is too incredible to leave aside based on the four starts he’s had (which is why they left Papi in the lineup, and things appear to have turned around there). It is reasonable to hope he could get stronger as he goes. If he’s going 5 while giving up 3 on a regular basis in a month or so, though, I’m with ya that HH needs to join the rotation. The trade deadline and the week or two afterward may well settle some of these issues. Why should the Red Sox worry? They have a pretty good shot (83%) at the postseason. They can afford to be careful with time and resources. I like your nickname for Buchholz, Devine. Took me a few weeks back in 2007 to correctly spell his name! And yeah, I don’t see why Rob is so quick to try to make the Red Sox organization look bad for having too much pitching. If we didn’t have enough pitching and were forced to bring up Buchholz and Bowden at the start of the season (before they were ready), he would probably be lambasting the Sox for not having enough depth. Pedroia singles, then Youk GIDP… except Pedroia does a great job of delaying the 2nd baseman, so now he’s at 2nd with Ortiz at the plate. Buchholz’ biggest problem going into this season was fastball command. You say that and yet there has been little difference between his 2008 milb stats and those of 2009. Hard to see how “command” was an issue when his BB rate and K rate are almost identical. You’re entitled to your opinion. But you’re not entitled to you own facts. Unfortunately, “command” and “confidence” are meaningless concepts when we have stats. And we do. Hughes struggled mightily in the majors in 2008 and yet now is dominant. He didn’t need anymore AAA time. He needed experience facing MLB hitters. There is no preparation for that. Almost every hitter is in AAA, and MLB, for a reason. More importantly, you seem to agree Buchholz is ready. Yet why is he heading back to AAA again? See, if you agree that Buchholz has gotten all he can from AAA, then you have to agree with my conclusion. You can’t have it both ways. It can’t been the “right” decision if they’re still not promoting him if he’s “fixed”. Again, no skin off my back. Keep throwing Smoltz and Penny and even Wakefield out there. I’d much rather face them than Buchholz. And that’s been my point all along. You say that and yet there has been little difference between his 2008 milb stats and those of 2009. Hard to see how “command” was an issue when his BB rate and K rate are almost identical. You’re entitled to your opinion. But you’re not entitled to you own facts. I’m going off of what John Farrell said at the beginning of the season, and again a few weeks ago. So yeah, I trust his opinion a lot more than your biased speculation. Yeah, Farrell is unbiased. Good to know. Next time I want an honest opinion of a player, I’ll know to ask one of his coaches. I bet scouts know this secret formula. So a pitching coach is straightforward regarding a top prospect’s command of his #1 pitch, and you’re saying that’s unbiased? If a coach is going to be biased, he would be too positive about a player, as opposed to speaking frankly about the reason a player was held at AAA. And you’re confusing overall command with fastball command. If Buchholz gets behind 2-0 in the count because he missed with his fastball location, and then throws a curveball for a strike that gets crushed over the fence, that’s not going to affect his K or BB rates. His hit rates have gone way down this year (7.4 H/9 at AAA compared to 6.1), so that seems to corroborate Farrell’s assessment. It’s laughable that you think you know more than the man whose sole purpose is to determine whether or not a pitcher is ready. You’re entitled to your opinion, but yeah, I’ll trust Farrell’s assessment any day over your make-the-sox-look-bad jihad. Err, meant to say “biased” in that first sentence. Also if Smoltz is not great, at least they can stick him in the pen (out goes Saito? Masterson demotion? really depends on how things go) and expect reasonable success. Rocky Rhode Island! Yeah, I’m all about “making the Sox look bad”. And conversely, I’m a complete homer for the Yankees. You got me. As to your point(s), the pitching coach absolutely has to tell the kid he needs to work on something and that’s why he’s being sent down. Otherwise, he loses all credibility especially when the kid is in the top 3 of the organization’s major league starters. No, I don’t trust a pitching coach any more than I trust a manager. They say what they need to say and nothing more. As for the hits, you can’t look at them in isolation. The K rate is also down. That argues forcefully against improved command – fastball or otherwise. Funny how you’ve ignored my question though. If the kid is “fixed”, why is he going back down again? And why did it take so long to find a start for him? Ugh, 2nd and 3rd, none out, they don’t score. Well, at least they got one. Lowrie and Kottaras were teh suckz there. Even more irksome: after getting him up to 33 with none out in the second, the next 3 outs came on six pitches. Still, he’s been in trouble early and that’s good news. Devine, there’s a gamer up. Funny how you’ve ignored my question though. If the kid is “fixed”, why is he going back down again? And why did it take so long to find a start for him? The trade deadline is in less than two weeks. If he’s still pitching in AAA then, then I’ll agree with you. But in the mean time I’m going to trust what the pitching coach, and to a lesser extent Buchholz himself, have said (in a few interviews Buchholz has mentioned how his fastball command was improving). Betcha Toronto gets THEIR runner home from 3rd with none out. Also, hits are notoriously variable due to the defense behind him and the vagaries of BABIP. Walks and Ks are much better indicators. Those have barely changed. And got everything he needed from AAA…in 2007-2008. The time since was best spent learning in the majors. Thank goodness the Yankees didn’t make the same mistake with Hughes. And now he’ll be on their post-season roster. Will Buchholz be on the Sox’s? Yeah, so, we’re going to have little to talk about if you take the pitching coach at his word. His obligation is to the organization, not truth. I really hope to see that conflict of interest. And I really don’t care what players say. Francouer has been saying he’s hitting the ball well. If it doesn’t show up in the stats – which are nothing more than a collection of individual games – then it doesn’t exist to me. We can argue about the how well many things are measured, but “command” isn’t one of them. “I’m going to brush off H/9, despite the fact that it corroborates what the pitching coach said, and come to my own conclusions based on only two statistics, which are good indicators but still ultimately do not paint a full picture” That’s fine. Ignore the entirety of baseball history to take the pitching coach at his word (and H/9 in isolation). At least we know where your priorities lie. Buchholz is still in AAA. That makes a ton of sense. Comments are closed.