Quote of the Day, Red Sox Status-Wise
Ben Kabak at Baseball Prospectus nails it (several times) but this stood out to me as a quite balanced assessment:
Over their first 23 games, the Sox clearly haven’t been a team hitting on all cylinders. With a collective .237/.329/.372 line contrary to pre-season expectations, with Carl Crawford posting a .200 on-base percentage, and with just one home run from Adrian Gonzalez, this could be a team waiting to erupt. On the other hand, it could be a team vulnerable to left-handed pitching with no offensive production from its catching spot, a weak offensive bench, and streaky pitchers.
The stuff Kaybak writes about Rafael Soriano’s struggles deserves reflection:
Soriano’s no-good, very bad month has served as a disappointing introduction to New York. He has thrown 10.1 innings with some heinous results. He has allowed 12 hits and eight walks while striking out just seven. His hits per nine innings are up to 10.5 from 5.2 last year, and although the 2011 Yanks’ defense is worse than the 2010 Rays’, that can’t account for the entirety of the difference. Soriano’s strikeout totals are exhibiting a downward trend as well. After peaking at 12.1 per nine IP in 2009, he struck out 8.2 per nine innings last year and is sitting on 6.1 this year—a full 3.4 strikeouts below his career average. After giving up 12 earned runs last year and walking just 14 batters, he’s now at nine and eight, respectively, on the season. All of this can be yours for the bargain price of $12 million a year.
The Yankees are proving why paying big for bullpen help is folly. Relief pitching is fungible (in terms of Rauch, specifically, look at this season’s Toronto Blue Jays pitching statistics), or, like running back in the NFL: find some young guys instead of paying big dollars.