We're halfway through the season

Dec 8, 2017
40
Fangraphs is now projecting Astros and Yankees at 103 wins, Sox at 102.

CBS Sports is now projecting Sox at 104.8 wins and Yankees at 104.5. I believe this is the first time this season they have projected the Sox to win the division.

There's a LOT of baseball to play yet. They will still lose a few that they should've won, and steal a few from the jaws of defeat, but hopefully this continues to be one of the most enjoyable summers the Sox have ever had. Enjoy the ride folks.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Anyway, since 2011, I kind of hate the “if we win x games and lose y” projections. Showalter is finally at the bottom though.
The 2011 comp kind of reinforces the point, though. After 88 games in 2011, we were 53-35. We're 6 games better than that pace right now, which means that even if our record the rest of the way is the same as that team's--including the September swoon--we'll win 96 games.

Obviously none of this means we win the division, since the Yankees are matching us blow for blow. The point of the W-L projections is just that this team has put itself in a position where it won't have to play particularly well in the second half to be one of the best Sox teams of all time in terms of regular-season record. Of course it could be all that and still get knocked out in the wild card game, or even miss the playoffs entirely (though that seems increasingly unlikely).
 

glasspusher

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No, commenting. All words that begin with co aren’t alike. I’m in an essentially baseball-less continent right now. Eerie.

Anyway, since 2011, I kind of hate the “if we win x games and lose y” projections. Showalter is finally at the bottom though.
Didn't mean to make imply a projection- merely comparing years at this stage of the season. I cut my teeth on 1978, I don't want to be a Cassandra.
 

Rasputin

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First team to ten wins

First team to twenty wins

First team to thirty wins

First team to forty wins

Second team to fifty wins

First team to sixty wins

If we don't cut this out, we're gonna be facing the Yankees in the Division Series.
 

nvalvo

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Steve Pearce had a big game today.

He's now gotten into six games with the Red Sox, starting 3, and he's 7/18 with 4 2b, 3 R, and 2 RBI. That's a .388/.388/.611 slash line.

Seems like a much better fit for a bench 1B/COF spot than Hanley would have been.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Steve Pearce had a big game today.

He's now gotten into six games with the Red Sox, starting 3, and he's 7/18 with 4 2b, 3 R, and 2 RBI. That's a .388/.388/.611 slash line.

Seems like a much better fit for a bench 1B/COF spot than Hanley would have been.
In his time with the Redsox, Pearce has 5 less total bases than Blake Swihart does. Kind of remarkable.
 

bigq

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In his time with the Redsox, Pearce has 5 less total bases than Blake Swihart does. Kind of remarkable.
Wonder if Swihart will get his wish and get traded as part of a package at the deadline. He is not likely to get regular ABs in the foreseeable future unless there is an injury. His trade value must be pretty low.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If no other team bites.... he needs to just be released. This is stupid
Unless there's a specific need for his roster spot, he's not going anywhere. He's the third of three catchers on the 40-man roster. That's all the depth they have at the spot and they aren't about to just give that up without a good reason. It's not as though his presence has hurt the team in any way so far either so what is the rush to get rid of him?
 

nvalvo

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Swihart had a hit last night, too, FWIW, on a sharply hit ground ball up the middle, and looked good scoring from first on a double.
 

bosockboy

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Swihart’s day of reckoning is when and if Pedroia is back. That’s when the bench is Pearce/Nunez/Holt/Leon and there aren’t any seats left for him.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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Unless there's a specific need for his roster spot, he's not going anywhere. He's the third of three catchers on the 40-man roster. That's all the depth they have at the spot and they aren't about to just give that up without a good reason. It's not as though his presence has hurt the team in any way so far either so what is the rush to get rid of him?
Do you believe the team has any obligation to either play him or trade him? He was once a prospect, but with the current situation he has no chance to improve which negatively affects his ability to get a good contract someday.
 
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Sep 13, 2006
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If no other team bites.... he needs to just be released. This is stupid
Your last sentence perfectly summarizes everything that precedes it. I'll give you points for that! ;)

Snark aside, right now, who would you give Swihart's roster spot to?
 

Cesar Crespo

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Your last sentence perfectly summarizes everything that precedes it. I'll give you points for that! ;)

Snark aside, right now, who would you give Swihart's roster spot to?
Tzu Wei Lin, even if he does hit from the wrong side. Swihart has no right wasting a roster spot. He's not a major league player. This is a guy who has had all of one season with an ISO over .130. He is a noodle bat with no real position.

edit: Is Mike Ohlman that terrible with the glove? Or that much worse than Swihart? I doubt it.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Do you believe the team has any obligation to either play him or trade him? He was once a prospect, but with the current situation he has no chance to improve which negatively affects his ability to get a good contract someday.
The team has zero obligation to play him or to trade him. They don't nor should they give a shit about his ability to get a good contract someday. Their only obligation to him is that his paycheck clears every week (or two weeks or however often they do it).
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Tzu Wei Lin, even if he does hit from the wrong side. Swihart has no right wasting a roster spot. He's not a major league player. This is a guy who has had all of one season with an ISO over .130. He is a noodle bat with no real position.

edit: Is Mike Ohlman that terrible with the glove? Or that much worse than Swihart? I doubt it.
Here's the thing...how often would Lin be playing if he were the 25th man instead of Swihart? More often than Swihart does? Less? What sort of impact would that have had to date and going forward for the next seven weeks? One more team win? Two?

That Lin has options means he is best served playing regularly in Pawtucket rather than wasting away on the bench in Boston. Especially if he's, at best, #3 on the depth chart for every position he could fill on the big league team.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Here's the thing...how often would Lin be playing if he were the 25th man instead of Swihart? More often than Swihart does? Less? What sort of impact would that have had to date and going forward for the next seven weeks? One more team win? Two?

That Lin has options means he is best served playing regularly in Pawtucket rather than wasting away on the bench in Boston. Especially if he's, at best, #3 on the depth chart for every position he could fill on the big league team.
If you think Lin should be getting consistent at bats, that's a fair argument. The thing is, even a mop up pitcher would give the Redsox more value than Blake Swihart. He offers nothing at best, negative value at worst. He is just wasting a roster spot. Go with 13 pitchers and call up Buttrey or Scott. Anything is better than Swihart. And now that Pearce is on the team, Swihart is even more useless.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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How much value is the 25th man on the roster supposed to offer? Almost by definition, he's going to get the least playing time and by default the least value. If he were netting positive value for the team either he'd be playing more or it would be a damn good sign that the rest of the roster was doing so well that he couldn't earn more playing time.

I get that it's frustrating he hasn't hit better than he has, but his presence on the roster has not really been a detriment to the team overall. They possess the best record in the game and have been in that position (or nearly) since pretty much day one of the season. I just don't see why he needs to go until there is a clear and more necessary player for his spot.
 

joe dokes

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Do you believe the team has any obligation to either play him or trade him? He was once a prospect, but with the current situation he has no chance to improve which negatively affects his ability to get a good contract someday.
None.
His value to the team is the 3rd catcher in the organization.
I suspect, because I don't think they're assholes, that they'd like to do right by him. But it won't be at the expense of leaving the team short.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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Yeah, I did some googling regarding the historical response to "Play me or trade me" requests and it has generally been "Ef him". I guess insurance for an injury to Vasquez or Leon keeps Swihart on the roster.
 

Cesar Crespo

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To pile on some more, Blake Swihart has gone 68 games and 177 PA since he hit his last major league HR. In his last 82 minor league games and 334 PA, he has hit 10 doubles, 1 triple and 5 HRs. Combined, since the beginning of 2016, Swihart has had 540 PA between AAA and Boston and slashed .206/.292/.284. In 540 PA, he had a total of 23 extra base hits. Hell, Swihart's minor league career numbers are .269/.328/.398 which is very comparable to Christian's .266/.340/.390 line, and they were the at the same age and level.

Their major league performance isn't all that much different with Vaz at .249/.297/.342 and Swihart at .253/.314/.349. If it weren't for Swihart's 2014, no one would care about the guy and that's the only time he's ever showed any type of power. I also remember PhillySoxfan doing a research on "old high school" picks and they did not fair well at all. Swihart falls in that category, being drafted at 19.

Long story short, Swihart has a career ISO of .130. Considering the rest of his game, he'd have to hit about .300 to be useful.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I’m never going to make any judgement on his skill considering his last 3 seasons haven’t existed in any way to make a real judgement.
When he was playing regularly he was good.
But right now, I’d rather his spot go to a LOOGY.
 

chawson

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We’ve made it two-thirds of the way to the point of the season when rosters expand. On September 1, it will no longer be necessary to gripe about better uses of the 25th roster spot.

If they keep him on the roster another seven weeks of baseball, the Sox have effectively bought another year with Swihart. We’ll have all winter to debate this, but to me it seems very likely Swihart gets handed the backup gig next year over León in his third year of arbitration. Given the Sox payroll crunch and the sunstantial downturn in catchers’ offense leaguewide, it makes very little sense to pay León $3 million.

AL catchers this year are hitting a combined .223/.291/.365. Last year, they hit .242/.310/.406. The difference between Blake and Sandy’s projections to hit that new mark isn’t worth $2-3 million.
 
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grimshaw

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If they keep him on the roster another seven weeks of baseball, the Sox have effectively bought another year with Swihart. We’ll have all winter to debate this, but to me it seems very likely Swihart gets handed the backup gig next year over León in his third year of arbitration. Given the Sox payroll crunch and the sunstantial downturn in catchers’ offense leaguewide, it makes very little sense to pay León $3 million.

AL catchers this year are hitting a combined .223/.291/.365. Last year, they hit .242/.310/.406. The difference between Blake and Sandy’s projections to hit that new mark isn’t worth $2-3 million.
Leon is their best organizational catcher right now for better or worse. Swihart has started one game there this year. If he was a better defensive catcher or pitchers liked throwing to him, we would see him more often. It's not as simple as looking at offense. He would need to be better than Leon at other things too and it's not clear he has any better defensive skills.

I don't know how you make the leap that he is "very likely" to return when there is no evidence.
 

chawson

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Leon is their best organizational catcher right now for better or worse. Swihart has started one game there this year. If he was a better defensive catcher or pitchers liked throwing to him, we would see him more often. It's not as simple as looking at offense. He would need to be better than Leon at other things too and it's not clear he has any better defensive skills.

I don't know how you make the leap that he is "very likely" to return when there is no evidence.
You’re right, “very likely” is intense. I have no idea what they’ll do. I’m mostly observing that the task of having to “hide” Swihart on the 25-man is nearly done. The reward, meager though it may be, is that he’s a cheap option with upside for next year’s team. He’s certainly no more a trade candidate than he was last winter.

The reasons that makes sense to me are as follows:

• I’ll say it: the Sox have basically secured a playoff spot. A different 25th man would need to be demonstrably more useful to us the division race (which still matters a lot) than Swihart is. I don’t see Pedroia back before Sep 1, and I don’t see anyone in the organization who’ll make more of a difference in that roster spot over the next 45 games than Swihart. Some have suggested a LOOGY, but a healthy Thornburg puts up better numbers vs. LHH than anyone available.
• You’re right about Leon’s defense. However, the team has more holes to fill this offseason and he’s going to cost more. There’s also reason to think replacement-level catchers are cheaper because of the diminished offense.
• Swihart still has upside, and the Sox are thirsty for it.

Honestly, I think the plan was to extend Vazquez, watch him put up a 3-win year and trade him this winter, leaving a cheap Swihart/León platoon for 2019. Not sure that’s gonna work now.
 
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Reverend

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Unless there's a specific need for his roster spot, he's not going anywhere. He's the third of three catchers on the 40-man roster. That's all the depth they have at the spot and they aren't about to just give that up without a good reason. It's not as though his presence has hurt the team in any way so far either so what is the rush to get rid of him?
 

richgedman'sghost

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Looks like we we get to see the wisdom of keeping Blake on the roster since with Christian's injury, Blake is now the back up catcher. Good thing we did not release him or we would really be up the creek without a paddle.
 

Reverend

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Looks like we we get to see the wisdom of keeping Blake on the roster since with Christian's injury, Blake is now the back up catcher. Good thing we did not release him or we would really be up the creek without a paddle.
I like the way @Red(s)HawksFan said it.

Again.

At 11:33am this morning, well before the game.
 

67WasBest

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Sorry if posted elsewhere. The Sox have a great post ASG schedule. Other than a three game trip to Chicago, every game is in the Eastern time zone.
 

Rasputin

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Sorry if posted elsewhere. The Sox have a great post ASG schedule. Other than a three game trip to Chicago, every game is in the Eastern time zone.
September is going to be brutal though, with series against Atlanta, Houston, and Cleveland as well as two against the Yanks.
 

dcmissle

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Four games ahead, on this date, of the pace set by our guys during that momentous season 40 years ago.

I have not done the history. I have not checked 1946, for example, much less seasons of dominance 100 years ago. But if someone were to tell me this is as good as it ever was on July 9, I would not be surprised.
 

patoaflac

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My favorite team will always be the 78 team. I thought I will never see another Sox team that by mid July would be so dominant. Today they started 62-29 as in 78. With today's win they are one game better, cause in 78 Eck lost 9-0 to the Royals. Sorry MFYs you don’t have the pitching depth and many .200-.270 hitters. Houston could be our problem, not any other AL or NL team.
 

Rasputin

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They had a pretty brutal September schedule in 2013, and that worked out okay.
Iirc correctly, the Sox basically won that division in about a week and a half off sweeping AL East teams that September.

This year it's six of the last twelve against nyy and three of those twelve against Cleveland.

But honestly, this team is ridiculously good.
 

JimD

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I could not think of a better way to cap off the winningest season in Red Sox history than by finishing strong in September and holding their own against the Yankees, thereby forcing NY into the play-in game.
 

The Gray Eagle

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The table shows how great the pitching has been so far, just amazing.

Also, Grady Fucking Littlebrain was so horrible. He was actually worse in 2002 than in 2003, but nobody remembers it because he had a very good team basically out of the wild card chase by early September.
 

Al Zarilla

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Hate to be a negative Nellie, but we haven’t won anything yet. Look at the 2003 Giants, or of course, the 1986 or the 2003 Red Sox. 1978 and 1949 Red Sox too.
 

tims4wins

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Hate to be a negative Nellie, but we haven’t won anything yet. Look at the 2003 Giants, or of course, the 1986 or the 2003 Red Sox. 1978 and 1949 Red Sox too.
The Sox have an 11.5 game lead over the A's for the 2nd WC spot. It's pretty much a lock.
 

phenweigh

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Hate to be a negative Nellie, but we haven’t won anything yet. Look at the 2003 Giants, or of course, the 1986 or the 2003 Red Sox. 1978 and 1949 Red Sox too.
Of course, nothing is guaranteed regardless of how good a team is doing at this point in the season. I'm just enjoying the ride.