Let's look at some of Pedroia's peripherals though. In point of fact, his low numbers can at least partially be attributed to simple bad luck. His BABIP (BPA), or Batting Average on Balls In Play, is just .119. Average is around .290. To some degree this can be explained by his not hitting the ball hard in some at bats - Wily Mo's BABIP is .410 for example, because even his grounders get through the infield in a hurry - but in many cases it's just bad luck, and some spectacular defensive plays. We all remember the Anaheim series.
Pedroia is only striking out once every 11 ABs, which at 9% ties him for best on the team. This is a key indicator. He's not walking as much as expected but once he settles down from this tough beginning he'll start taking more pitches and getting on base, and I think we'll all be satisfied with having him on the team. He has nothing left to prove in AAA, that much is certain.
This brings up the next question, which is what do we do with Loretta next year? Defensively he turns the double-play well but his range is atrocious. Still, he's far from the worst available. Offensively you know what you're going to get, but you'll probably get it with DP, and maybe a bit more. Loretta would really just be a back-up player next year, IMO, but would that be acceptable to him? There are probably 6-10 teams that would benefit more from having him start over their incumbent. He's a better bat than Cora, although Cora is better defensively, and they're both smart baseball guys who are great to have in the clubhouse. We'll see how it plays out.
Portland Game Three
At 6pm ET today Portland plays game three of their playoff series against Akron. The Sea Dogs lead 2-0 in the series and coule clinch the Eastern League title with a win today. Supposedly you can listen free from WBAE here.
Andrew Dobies gets the start for Portland. He was a 3rd round draft pick back in 2004 out of UVa. He's a work in progress who has a tendency to give up the big innings, but reports are he's recently added a cut fastball that has helped him mitigate this.
Sox Head Into Bronx
There isn't much to say about this mismatch. Really, the only game we should even have a chance at winning is the Tavarez start (I have stopped referring to him as the Anti-Christ after he told me it hurt his feelings and he couldn't face his kids - also after he stopped sucking). Tonight's "Tee-Ball By Beckett" start could be nigh on unwatchable. But I'll still watch it, because we repealed the Prohibition Act.
So, in absence of a win, here are a list of things you can still root for in the Sox-Spanks series:
- Wily Mo Pena hits a 600-foot home run into the parking lot which strikes a Yankee fan in the head, thereby stopping an in-progress mugging.
- Bobby Abreu's gigantic ass attacks and consumes Randy Johnson before it can be stopped.
- ARod strikes out 5 times in a single game and is mauled by angry Yankee fans on his way out of the stadium. He placates them with free haircare products.
- Kyle Snyder performs the Wizard of Oz number "If I Only Had A Brain" in between innings.
- During a bench-clearing melee Don Zimmer appears from nowhere and attacks Julian Tavarez - you know how this ends.
- Manny is called upon to pinch-hit and play an inning in left, and urinates against the left-field fence.
- Jason Giambi spontaneously explodes into a massive liquid spray of equal parts HGH, grease, sweat, and guilt.
- Derek Jeter comes out of the closet before the first game, saying "Some of you may think less of me now that you know I'm gay, but look at it this way - at least I don't throw like Damon."