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This WAR pie struck me as by turns satisfying and shocking. First, satisfying because it reveals the contributions of Jon Lester — who, earlier this season, was subjected to an embarrassing debate amongst fans over whether he was even a decent No. 3. But even so, it may be a shocking pill to swallow for Sox fans that Lester has contributed more to the team’s performance than Josh Beckett.

That big slices of pie have been gobbled up by Beckett, Kevin Youkilis, and Dustin Pedroia will not surprise observers of the team. But seeing JD Drew so high will come as a surprise to many, I fear; his playing seems to have been very underrated by Red Sox fans.

What shocks me, however, is seeing Brad Penny right behind Tim Wakefield. This is the guy Boston just released? For nothing in return? Oof. And Mike Lowell’s recent hot streak had left me assuming he’d take up more of the pie; same for Jason Bay. But their defense has eroded so much that they give up almost as many runs with their gloves as the produce with their bats. (Much to the chagrin of the aforementioned Mr. Penny.)

What should not come as a surprise, from the nice distribution of position players and pitchers above, is the even split between Boston’s hurlers and hitters in their overall pie:

Clearly, Boston can kill you on both sides of the ball. So why are they stuck 6 games behind New York and clinging to a tenuous Wild Card lead? I blame that crappy, crappy defense. Oh well.

8 Responses to “Red Sox WAR Pie”

  1. I think Bay should have signed that contract extension when he was hitting like an MVP, because now that he’s cooled off at the plate I suspect he’ll find other teams have cooled on him. His defense is just too horrible to justify anything less than elite hitting.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    Coley, I think you’re mistaken. He’s heated and cooled a few times this season, and as long as he ends with decent seasons stats — and especially if he ends the year on a hot streak — he’ll command a lot of money from a team that doesn’t pay attention to defense in left field, which most teams don’t. But I do wonder if his crappy defense is the reason Boston seems to have lost interest in re-signing him, because they’re smarter than the average bear and not about to overpay for someone who has been costing their pitchers wins.

  3. Their defense is what seperated them from the pack in 2007 and the second half of 2004. And its what has put the pack in front of them this year. Picking up Gonzalez has helped that terrible left side of the IF, but i’m not sure its enough.

  4. In 2009, Jason Bay has been, by a large margin, the worst defensive LF in the major leagues. If the other 29 teams don’t value that, then that’s sad. But I think they will value it. I think Bobby Abreu’s poor defense is the reason he failed to make the big bucks last winter. And I think Bay’s poor fielding will prevent him from landing a huge deal this winter.

  5. Sarah Green says:

    Okay Coley. It’s on! Loser buys the winner a prickly pear margarita.

    Bill D., yes. Adding Gonzalez was a good move. Adding Kotchman, too. And Rocco’s return will help more. In fact, Boston’s defense does seem slightly improved this month, post-trade deadline. So we’ll see. Still, giving away Penny and Smoltz — for nothing — kinda burns.

  6. J.D. Drew? seriously??? no really…seriously??? this pie’s gotta be cooked – I don’t believe that he has contributed in any way this season and DEFINITELY not above Bay and Wake. you’re ruining my “J.D. Drew is as useful as a dining room table in that lineup” argument, Sarah!

  7. and how did Jacoby come in BELOW Varitek???

  8. Nick Kapur says:

    Despite the big difference in averages, Ellsbury and Tek aren’t that far apart as hitters – Ellsbury leads in OPS only .762 to .747

    Meanwhile, Ellsbury’s defense in center field has been significantly below average this year.

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