Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The Red Sox and Royals announced earlier today that outfielder Coco Crisp will be traded for righty Ramon Ramirez. This finally brings an end to the question "When will Coco be traded?" which had been asked for the last 13 months.
Ramirez pitched 71.2 innings last season as a set-up man for closer Joakim Soria. He had 21 holds, 1 save, and 4 blown saves. He struck out 70 batters and walked 31. He had a tidy 2.64 ERA and an unremarkable 1.23 WHIP. My favorite stat is that he only allowed 2 homeruns. Opponents hit .222 off him, and he only allowed 12 of 52 inherited runners to score. Righties hit .153 against him.
But all his good numbers are from one year. His previous two seasons were spent in Colorado, where things didn't go so well. However, he should add some depth to the bullpen, and do what we all expected/hoped Manny Delcarmen would have in done in 2008.
At the same time, this move exposes Jacoby Ellsbury. There's been NO criticism of Ellsbury for the Sox post-season exit, or for their occasional offensive struggles. Ellsbury's .336 OBP is not good enough for a leadoff hitter. His stolen bases are nice, but he strikes out twice as often as he walks. He's got no power, which would be fine only if he got on base more often.
This move also exposes the Sox when JD Drew's annual injuries come along. Coco Crisp played in 118 games last year, with 361 at-bats. If Ellsbury struggles, or someone gets hurt, the Sox won't have as good of an answer to the problem now that Coco's gone.
That being said, Crisp never flourished as the kind of player the Sox had hoped. Last year, as 4th outfielder, was his best year. Like Ellsbury, he had stolen bases and fielded well, but had struggled as a leadoff hitter to get on base.
Overrall I think it's a good move that had to be done considering the shallowness of the Sox bullpen, but now a solid 4th outfielder needs to be found.
The Kansas City Star
As you've all no doubt heard by now, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia won AL MVP. He's the first Red Sox player to win the award since 1995. It's the 10th time a Red Sox has won the MVP. However, Pedro Martinez should have won it in 1999 and/or 2000.
Believe it or not, one of the voters left Pedroia completely off their ballot. Each writer picks 10 players (1st thru 10th), and apparently Dustin wasn't good enough to be even the 10th most valuable player in the League.
Pedroia didn't put up typical "MVP" numbers. He's not a power hitter with 17 HRs and a .493 slugging percentage. But he had a very good OBP of .376, contended for the batting title before finishing 2nd, won the Silver Slugger, the Gold Glove, and his red hot performance down the stretch pushed the Red Sox into the playoffs.
In his short career, Pedroia's amassed a generous amount of hardware. He won Rookie of the Year last year, as well as the World Series. He started the All-Star Game this year, won Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, and the MVP.
Pedroia's become the answer to what was once a very questionable position for the Red Sox. The Sox haven't had the same starting second baseman for more than 3 seasons since Marty Barrett in the 80's.
For anyone who thinks Pedroia didn't deserve this Award, my only question to them is: so who did?
Justin Morneau finished 2nd. He had 20 HRs, pretty much the same OPS, 0 stolen bases, and the Twins didn't make the playoffs but contended.
Kevin Youkilis put up impressive numbers for the Sox, and was consistent all year round. He would have been a good MVP with his numbers (.959 OPS), .312 average, 29 HRs. I actually think Youkilis should have won the AL MVP.
Joe Mauer edged Pedroia for the batting title, but he's even less of a power hitter with 9 homeruns.
Carlos Quentin had the homeruns, and that's about it.
Francisco Rodriguez set a save record, but saves are one of the most misinterpreted stats in baseball. He was given lots of opportunities, and blew his fair share of them.
Josh Hamilton and Alex Rodriguez were on losing teams. Carlos Pena hit .247. Everybody else that received MVP votes had good seasons, but nowhere near great.
So a nice bit of good off-season news.