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Bobby V. is not too concerned about shortstop

Jan 31, 2012, 11:04 AM EDT

bobby valentine reuters

Red Sox fans don’t seem to be terribly pleased with the team’s current shortstop options: Mike Aviles and Nick Punto.  But Bobby Valentine is kind of cool with it:

“I’ve never seen any of the guys play except for Punto a little on television. We’ve got seven weeks together, we’ll practice together, we’ll play together, that will all work itself out,” Valentine said. “I think it’s always good for guys to get a chance to work and think they have a chance to make the team so they work a little harder.”

And maybe he should be. As Alex Speier of WEEI points out in a great column today, there is no reason to assume that a team can’t win a world championship with veterans, castoffs and glorified utility guys playing at short. Happens all the time, in fact.

If I had to guess I’d say that the Sox are going to keep close tabs on any shortstop who may become available as the season progresses. But really, there are worse things that can happen to be somewhat unsettled there.  Like, you know, having a lot of question marks in the rotation.

  1. rollinghighwayblues - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    “there is no reason to assume that a team can’t win a world championship with veterans, castoffs and glorified utility guys playing at short.”

    But it’s not like the Red Sox got rid of some scrub, castoff, or utility guy that once played SS for the Sox. They lost a damn good SS in Scutaro while picking up a mid-rate pitcher.

    • bigharold - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      They didn’t lose much losing Scutaro. He was essentially a utility infielder not a SS. Defensively he was no big loss at all and offensively he hit about 30 points over his lifetime average last year. At 36 was that likely to go up or down? I’d think the latter.

      • rollinghighwayblues - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:30 PM

        Defensively, he was par for the course, (Craig, don’t axe me for using a golf term on here) but you can’t ignore the fact that while he played in a Red Sox uniform, he was the one of the top three hitting shortstops in the AL.

      • bigharold - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:48 PM

        Last year he had a decent year average-wise but it was also a career year in that he hit almost 30 points over his lifetime average. In 2010 he hit a very pedestrian 275. Again, at 36 do yoiu think that’s not goinbg down?

        The RS did not lose a lot giving up a 36 year old untilty infielder coming off the one season in ten where he flirted with 300.

      • rollinghighwayblues - Jan 31, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        2010

        OBP 4th
        AVG 2nd
        SLG 5th
        wOBA 3rd
        wRC+ 5th
        XBH T-1st

        2011

        OBP 2nd
        AVG 2nd
        SLG 5th
        wOBA 4th
        wRC+ 5th

        Cut it up any way you want, something tells me that the Red Sox aren’t going to find the production they had in Scutaro with what they have to replace him, depsite Scutaro going into his late 30’s.

      • bigharold - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        Cut it up any way you want it but Scutaro is average at best defensively and I doubt that at 36 Scutaro isn’t likely to have another career year.

      • rollinghighwayblues - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:27 PM

        Why not? It’s not like he just signed a contract to go play 81 games in the Astrodome? He’s going to an even more hitter friendly ballpark than Fenway and he’s going to see Natioal League Pitching.

      • bigharold - Jan 31, 2012 at 5:56 PM

        “Why not?”

        Because 26 year olds that see their average jump 30 points can expect themselves to repeat or improve that performance, .. 36 year olds, .. not so much. It’s called reality, .. or more specifically the natural progression of the aging process in conjunction with the inverse correlation of deteriorating motor skills and reflexes.

        Rationalize it any way you want. Scuatro is NOT like to hit as nearly as well this year than last. And, the RS didn’t give away much trading him.

  2. uyf1950 - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    As a Yankees fan I love it. Bobby V isn’t to concerned about the SS situation. He isn’t overly worried about the starting pitching situation. In spite of the fact as it stands now the 3 pitchers the Sox anticipate occuping spots #’s 3, 4 and 5 are:

    Clay Buchholz – who over the last 3 seasons has pitched: 92 ; 173 ; 82 innings pitched respectively.

    Daniel Bard (closer) – who over the last 3 seasons has pitched: 49 ; 74 ; 73 innings pitched respectively.

    Alfredo Aceves (mostly relief work) – last 3 seasons has pitched: 84 ; 12 ; 114 innings pitched respectively. His 2010 season was injury riddled.

    Please forgive me but only a deaf, dumb and blind person wouldn’t be concerned if they had to go into the 2012 season with slots 3, 4 and 5 counting on that rotation based on their previous innings pitched.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      “Please forgive me but only a deaf, dumb and blind person wouldn’t be concerned if they had to go into the 2012 season with slots 3, 4 and 5 counting on that rotation based on their previous innings pitched.”

      Or someone who looks at more than innings pitched. For instance, the fact that relieving is actually harder on the arm than starting. Or the fact that many relievers have become good starters recently.

      Or someone who realizes that Aceves is slated for the bullpen, and the 5th starter is likely one of the Cook/Silva/Padilla troika.

      Or someone who realizes that the back of most contenders’ rotations are filled with guys like this.

      P.S. This article was about shortstop.

      • bobdira - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:59 AM

        So, you’re comfortable with that rotation. Hope you enjoy the postseason outside the new england area.

        I see this hire as a mirror to the Tampa Bay Lightning hiring of Barry Melrose. What a moronic move that was. I put this hire right up there next to it.

        bobby V will be doing tv analysis before the end of his second season.

        Who needs a shortstop anyway?

      • uyf1950 - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:04 PM

        Is that what the article is about. There for a minute I thought it was about Bobby V and him sticking his head in the sand. Thank you for clarifying that for me.

        As for the 3 pitchers you mentioned I couldn’t help but notice they haven’t logged a lot of innings over the past 3 years either.

        BTW, I have no problem with fans that look at more than how many innings a pitcher has logged. But to ignore it or not give it due consideration in evaluating a possible pitchers performance as a starter seems foolish to me.

        Just so as not to be accused of disregarding the topic of the article. I think Scurato the Red Sox previous starting SS will be missed in the line up.

        P.S.: About your comment that Aceves is slated for the bullpen. You might want to check out this link particularly this part where it says: “Right-handers Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves will come to spring training as starters, along with Felix Doubront, Vicente Padilla, Aaron Cook and Carlos Silva.”

        Anyway here is the link:

        http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/16151/bobby-valentine-lukewarm-on-adding-a-pitcher

    • Ari Collins - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      The 2011 Yankees went with these guys:

      Phil Hughes 34 86 176 IP
      Bartolo Colon 39 62 0 IP
      Freddy Garcia 15 56 157 IP

      Yankees were 3rd in pitcher WAR.

      Despite their lack of pitching depth (much improved now, thanks!), Boston was 7th in pitcher WAR.

      So yeah. Not concerned.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        …and find me one Yankees fans that wasn’t scared chitless when the 2011 season started.

        BTW, Hughes was virtually usless the entire 2011 season and Colon and Garcia pretty much ran out of gas and struggled the months of Aug and Sept. So tell me again how you shouldn’t be or aren’t concerned about the looks of the Sox starting rotation as it stands today.

        Yey, but like my original post here stated. “As a Yankees fan I love it.”

      • Mark - Jan 31, 2012 at 12:21 PM

        The Red Sox were 15th in WAR by SP’s though. Which I would think is a concern. The reason they did so well in overall WAR was the pen made up for that. And a big reason for their success via WAR as Papelbon, who led their relievers with 3. Bard had 1.8 as a RP, and nobody else had over 1.

        I get the Sox added Bailey (0.9 WAR) and Melancon (0.8 WAR) to help the bullpen. But I wouldn’t claim that just because their pitching WAR was 7th overall as a sign not to be worried.

        Especially when their best two relievers are either gone (Papelbon) or moved to the rotation where he has never had success in the major or minor league level (Bard). And if he does well, on a limited innings count, he may not do much better than the 1.8 WAR the Sox got from him last year. Maybe within a win or so, which is still a fairly good season for ~150 innings. I wouldn’t expect the swingmen or replacement innings for Bard out of the rotation to be much better than replacement level though.

        I’ll be the first to admit I dislike using pitching WAR to discuss these things, but claiming the Sox were 7th in WAR is somewhat misleading with regards to the rotation, and how they will do next year.

        It is kind of crazy to think that 2 of the top 4 Sox pitchers via WAR were Bard & Papelbon. Had Buchholz thrown 200 innings he would have still ranked behind Papelbon at 2.6, but would have been ahead of Bard. So even getting a full healthy season out of him wouldn’t have added as much as I would have originally expected.

        I realize this isn’t the time or place for it, as the Sox SS issue is the post and it’s something I would be very worried about if I was a Sox fan. But I wouldn’t just dismiss the claims that the pitching isn’t an issue, because it most definitely is.

    • hep3 - Jan 31, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      Shouldn’t the Yankees be concerned about their SS situation? Just sayin’

  3. kiwicricket - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    “I’ve never seen any of the guys play except for Punto a little on television”
    That’s because they suck, and don’t play very much Bobby.

  4. SmackSaw - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Bobby V is an idiot. This is going to be a disaster.

  5. Ari Collins - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    They lost a 2-win player (perhaps less if you want to regress for his increasing injuries and age) and replaced him with a 1-win platoon. Not an even trade, but not a big loss either.

  6. deathmonkey41 - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    “I’ve never seen any of the guys play except for Punto a little on television”

    Probably because he was too busy talking about himself to pay attention to the games when he was up in the ESPN booth.

    • yankeesfanlen - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      Agree with you and Smacksaw. The only thing Bobby V. is concerned with is Bobby V. Why would team results matter? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, from my perspective.

      • bigharold - Jan 31, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        “The only thing Bobby V. is concerned with is Bobby V. ”

        I think you’re being a little hard on the guy that invented the wrap.

        Leave Bobby V ALONE!

  7. shaggylocks - Jan 31, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    What do you expect? You can’t really expect a new manager to go on the record saying: “Yeah, my options at SS totally suck. I hope I can replace them at some point during the season.” He’s got to play the game with the players he’s got, and it’s not going to do him or the team any good if he’s out there bad mouthing his guys in the media. The headline makes it sound like Bobby V was flippant in his comments, but what he said is pretty much what I’d expect a manager with Aviles and Punto on the roster to say. “We’ll play, we’ll get to know each other, it’ll work out one way or another.”

    • crisisjunky - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      Stick to the company line Bobby, or you’ll end up a coach for the K.C. T-Bones.

  8. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 31, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    They haven’t had a good SS since Nomar, another year of the same can’t hurt.

  9. detroitcityryda - Feb 1, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    Boston ain’t going no where this year Detroit will sweep them at Fenway ,its our time !

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