Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The 2010 Red Sox lineup

With the signings of John Lackey and Mike Cameron, it seems likely that the Red Sox are done with their major moves this winter, barring a blockbuster deal with the Padres for Adrian Gonzalez. While I'm not a huge fan of the Lackey signing (something I'll get into at a later date), I thought I'd take a look at the projected numbers for the Red Sox. These are EXTREMELY simplistic projections, simply using three year weighted means (2010 projection = (2007 stats + 2*2008 stats + 3* 2009 stats)/6).

A bit about my lineup, and the assumptions I used, before I did into the numbers. For full time players I simply used their weighted means for average, on base percentage, and slugging for the table below. For positions that I expect to be shared I used a baseline of 550 at bats for a position total and weighted overall stats as necessary. To keep things relatively simple, I didn't include players like Lowrie, whose playing time is uncertain for 2010. The positions with multiple players are: 1B (Kotchman 450 AB, Martinez 100 AB), RF (Drew 450 AB, Hermida 100 AB), LF (Cameron 450 AB, Hermida 100 AB), and C (Martinez 450 AB, Varitek 100 AB). With those playing time splits, I give to you the offense of the 2010 Red Sox:

Youkilis 3B 0.305 0.402 0.539 0.941
Drew/Hermida RF 0.275 0.385 0.488 0.873
Ortiz DH 0.262 0.363 0.504 0.867
Pedroia 2B 0.310 0.374 0.462 0.836
Martinez/Varitek C 0.281 0.357 0.435 0.792
Cameron/Hermida LF 0.249 0.337 0.449 0.787
Ellsbury CF 0.303 0.355 0.424 0.779
Kotchman/Martinez 1B 0.278 0.345 0.413 0.758
Scutaro SS 0.273 0.359 0.383 0.742

Projected 2010
0.282 0.364 0.455 0.819
Actual 2009
0.270 0.352 0.454 0.806

As you can see, the projected 2010 offense should actually be slightly better than the 2009 offense. Of course, these estimates are likely a little high. If I could guarantee that Papi puts up an .870 OPS I'd jump at the chance. I imagine Theo would too. I also haven't included any of the marginal players that a team always plays during days off or minor injuries. Jed Lowrie would substantially weigh down a team OPS with his career .685 OPS.

According to the Baseball Musings lineup calculator, the lineup above would score 5.718 runs per game. It isn't quite right to simply lump the players together into one, but for our purposes it is good enough. A team that scores 5.718 runs per game would score 926 on the season. Interestingly, according to my very simplistic model, the offense with Kotchman would be better than it would be with Beltre, thanks to Beltre's extremely poor showing in 2009. That doesn't factor in defense though. Although this off season is being presented as a lateral move at best with regard to scoring runs, I think the fact that the Red Sox shortstops were so unbelievably bad last year makes it possible to match the offensive production even with the loss of Bay.


  1. Looks like Lowell is back in the picture now. I would guess this would affect Kotchman the most - giving up at bats to Lowell when Lowell is at third and Youkilis slides back over to first. When Martinez needs a day off from catching to play first, this also poses issues - my guess is that Lowell sits on those days.

  2. I can't imagine the Sox are ready to go into 2010 with Lowell as their starting 1B or 3B. If they're willing to eat 75% of his salary for a mid range prospect now, they'll be willing to eat that much salary in spring training as well. If he doesn't prove himself healthy in spring training they'll just stash him on the DL. From what I've read, it sounds like the Sox are very high on both Hermida and Kotchman, and are ready to give Kotchman a shot at a full time job. Part of this willingness stems from the Sox ability to take on payroll over the course of the season when most teams are looking to shed payroll dollars.