Monday, February 13, 2006

Yankees vs. Red Sox - Position by Position

Even as New York is covered in snow, I can't ignore the fact that spring training is right around the corner. And with the Red Sox done retooling for the winter, time for a position-by-position comparison:

1B: Giambi vs. Youkilis/Snow - If Giambi picks up where he left off last year, the Yanks will be in good shape. His turnaround was a huge, huge factor in the Yanks' second-half run. Defensively, the guy's a wreck, though. Youkilis has potential to be a Nick Johnson type at 1B - not much power, but a very high OBP. Yeah, and unlike Johnson, he better be able to stay off the DL for more than a week at a time. Ex-Yankee farmhand Snow (traded for Jim Abbott before the '93 season) is good for D; maybe his offense will pick up out of Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T park.
EDGE: Yanks

2B: Loretta vs. Cano - Mark Loretta has been one of the NL's best-kept secrets over the past few years. He's got a .301 career average, and a solid .365 career OBP. Cano had a pretty good rookie year, but has no track record. I would watch out for the sophomore jinx here.
EDGE: Red Sox

3B: Lowell vs. A-Rod - I hate A-Rod, I think Lowell will have a big comeback year, but this one honestly isn't even close.
EDGE: Yanks

SS: Gonzalez vs. Jeter - Gonzalez defensively is excellent, and his hitting should improve out of Florida, but Jeter's offensive numbers are much better. And those intangibles....
EDGE: Yanks

LF: Manny vs. Matsui - Shemp can hold his own, but not against one of baseball's best offensive machines. It makes up for all those times he's taking a whizz in the Green Monster. And late last year, Matsui's defense became quite erratic. Is the streak taking its toll on him?
EDGE: Red Sox

CF: Crisp vs. Damon - Yankee fans were horny and Red Sox fans pissed after Damon left town, but Crisp is just as good, if not better. His offensive numbers are comparable (.810 OPS to Damon's .805), he's also fast, he's got a better throwing arm, and most importantly, he's six years younger.
EDGE: Red Sox

RF: Sheff vs. Nixon - When Trot Nixon is healthy, he's very, very good. He's also better in the clutch than Sheff - remember game 3 of the 2003 ALDS? But over the course of a season, Sheffield has much better numbers, and has been much more reliable than the injury-prone Nixon. I'm just hoping this is the year that Sheff's age finally catches up to him.
EDGE: Yanks

C: Posada vs. Varitek - Posada had been rapidly declining over the past few years. '06 will probably be his last year in pinstripes. Varitek might be the best all-around catcher in the AL.
EDGE: Red Sox

DH: Bernie vs. Ortiz - (I'm simply not going to bother with this one)
EDGE: Red Sox

SP: Schilling, Beckett,Wakefield, Clement, Wells, Arroyo, Papelbon vs. Johnson, Moose, Pavano, Wright, Wang, Small, Chacon -- both teams have their fair share of questions here, but the Red Sox have more sure deals and a higher upside - you know that Wakefield, Clement, and Arroyo will be decent, and if both Schilling and Beckett are healthy, they'll give the Red Sox a formidable presence at the top of the rotation. As for the Yanks, even if Johnson is healthy, he'll never be the Big Unit of old. Mussina has very little left in the tank, and everyone else is just a question mark. Will Wright and Pavano ever succeed in New York? Will Wang stay healthy? Were Small and Chacon just one-year wonders?
EDGE: Red Sox

RP: Foulke, Timlin, Tavarez, Riske, Seanez vs. Rivera, Farnworth, Myers, Sturtze, Dotel, Villone -- Red Sox have more depth here, much more. While you can't discount having the excellent Rivera at the end rather than a questionable Foulke, the Yanks will really miss Gordon. Farnsworth will probably be another Jaret Wright, Myers is good for lefties, and Villone is better off with the Pirates or Mariners. And who knows how Dotel will be after surgery? He could be another Jon Lieber, or he could be another Sterling Hitchcock. As for the Red Sox, even if Foulke stinks it up, they've got enough depth to cover for him, and still have adequate relief for the 7th and 8th.

And at 36, Rivera is bound to lose it at some point. One thing's for sure: he won't be doing as many two-inning saves as he did in '01, although Farnsworth and Co. might make that necessary.
EDGE: Red Sox


Alex said...

i'll agree with most of your assessments...although i think it would have been better if you included the word "slight" in some categories.

Also, your pitcher analysis is out of control. Sure Beckett has upside. And so does Papelbon. But Papelbon has no track record. And Beckett's track record says hes going to pitch about 150 innings and injure his thumb every month.

Small and Chacon's lack of track records count against them but Beck and Papel's dont? And don't assume Rivera is going to break down all of a sudden at age 36. He was nasty last year.

Also, remember having a track record also means you're kinda old. Lorretta's best years are clearly behind him and he was steaky last year. And has been playing in the worst division in baseball. Can he handle the pressure of playing for a contender? (And please don't say the Pads were contenders.)

Also, in response to your Giambi comment (about how he sees the most pitches)...remember that even when he was batting .224, he had an OBP of .395. He's always been among the league leaders in taking pitches...not just taking pitches, but taking BALLS.

IHaveTedsHeadHAHA said...

You are a piece of shit. How can you possibly think that the sux's starting and/or relief pitching is even in the same ballpark with the Yanks? I know why, because you are a dumb-shit sux fan who knows nothing about baseball. Oh, and nice profile. So when did the Yankee payroll get too out of control for you? Let me guess 2004? Yeah, and Lowell is going to have a comeback year huh? What, you mean he's going to hit 10 homers and bat .265. Go blow smoke up someone else's ass you little fengay fagget.

grunherz said...

There's the Yankee fan we all know and love.

Manny Ortiz said...

Hey Alex, I did say that Beckett was a question mark. I just think that in terms of upside, put it this way: if both the Yankees and Red Sox' rotations are 100% healthy, the Red Sox rotation is clearly better.

And Papelbon is at best a #5 starter. Maybe a reliever. He's a rich man's Aaron Heilman (sorry pizzabagel). I barely even mentioned him.

-- As for Loretta, last year the guy was injured for a while. Even so, his numbers were still pretty good. Besides, according to your logic, why do you assume that Loretta will break down and not Rivera?

And on that note, I never ASSUMED Rivera would break down. I mentioned it as a possibility, one which I think is somewhat reasonable considering the guy is 36 and there were reports that his arm was hurting last year. And that possibility of Rivera losing it is furthered by the fact that the Yanks' middle relief, as it stands, is simply awful. That situation did not help Rivera in '01, and it won't help him in '06.

Alex said...

I still disagree. I think if the Sox rotation were 100% healthy AND all the youngsters played to their max potential, they would be better.

Oh and keep in mind, Papelbon has started 3 games. I'll be interested in seeing how he handles a whole season.