May 24, 2009

Ongoing Problems: Ortiz, Shortstop

The Globe's Adam Kilgore reports that when Dave Magadan was asked after today's 12-5 win if David Ortiz -- 2-for-18 since hitting his first home run of the year -- might be moved down from the #3 spot in the batting order when the Red Sox play tomorrow afternoon on Minnesota, the hitting coach said:
I think that's something we're going to discuss. We'll probably talk about it on the flight. We want to do what's best not only for David, but what's best for the team.
Meanwhile, we'll see if anything comes out of tonight's WHDH interview.

The team's shortstop problems got significant play in Sunday's papers, magnified by Julio Lugo's flat-footed attempt to turn a double play on Friday night. Terry Francona was fairly pointed in his comments:
We all thought we should have had a better shot to turn that.
Francona also hinted at some friction between manager and shortstop:
The hard thing is, sometimes Loogie and I go back and forth. He wants me to have his back, which I think I'm supposed to do, but at the same time, if I have something to say to someone, I have to say it. We've gone back and forth where it's not always real comfortable. You're always trying to help, walking that fine line where you're helping and not hindering.
And:
Evaluating our shortstops in May, for public consumption - I don't know [how that] helps our cause. I watch the games. But it's our responsibility - if it's not good enough, then make it good enough.
There are no solutions within the organization and it's doubtful the club would make a trade for an everyday shortstop since Jed Lowrie is expected back from wrist surgery in mid-July. We may have to grin and bear it for seven more weeks. At least Green is helping with the stick (102 OPS+).

Magadan notes that he has spoken to Jason Varitek about the importance of hitting in the cage every day. It turns out that Tek was taking some days off from hitting.
He took a couple days off early [in April], that's when I spoke to him about it. ... he's got to find a way to go in that cage and take some swings, even if it's 10 swings, at least get ready for the game. To his credit, he jumped right on it, said, "You know what, you're right." Because there are a lot of times he wouldn't do anything, day game after a night game.

7 comments:

andy said...

Lugo is now dead to me. When players get all uppity the Sox don't take long to dump them. There will be blood. Coach is now openly saying lugo saying you gotta back him up. That's the last straw since publicly making that known is far from having his back. He is turning lugo over to the media wolves. I love it!

9casey said...

A lot of laundty on display there....not so common with this team....


In reply to someones comment about Green getting picked off......I think if that ball doesn't get cutoffed the run may not score, Georgie might have been toast at the plate, I actually think he did it on purpose...and Lowell points to Green telling how great a play it was...

wardo said...

I am no longer surprised to find that if we've lost a game that there is usually some kind of Lugo shenanigans in the mix. He's got speed, but he can't catch the damn ball. Give us Lowrie or Green; our defense will overcome anything Papi can't bring.

Kevin said...

Not only Lugo has been such a bust ever since we got him, but he's gotten worse each season. In 2007 he was awful at the plate, but at least he gave us both league-average fielding and 33 stolen bases. In 2008 his fielding fell off a cliff and he lost the ability to hit for any sort of power, but he maintained a minimum standard of viability by at least getting on base at a semi-decent rate. This year he's given us shitty fielding, shitty on-base ability, and only one stolen base through 19 games. Add in the injuries from last year and this year, and he's turned into a $9,000,000 per year void.

While Green's been error-prone in the field as well, I'm thinking he'll probably get better as the season goes on and he gets more experience at the position. I hadn't realized this, but before 2009 he had only started 10 games at shortstop, and that was all in 2006. He's been getting on hitting quite decently as well, although he's not exactly great on the basepaths. But I don't mind overlooking those faults since he's only making $550,000 this year. With that salary, he's not exactly expected to play like Honus Wagner.

I'm really starting to think we should have made the trade with the Tigers for Willis.

James said...

I don't see Nick Green as any more viable than Lugo. He's looked pretty miserable in the field (equal to Lugo, and a little better than CI) and while I've been happy with his bat so far, there's not much in his history that suggests he'll keep it up.

Send Buchholz to Florida. Let's get Hanley!

9casey said...

James said...


Send Buchholz to Florida. Let's get Hanley!




I like that , but it may take a little more than that..

andy said...

Florida thinks they are on a playoff run this year still.