Far too often in the early days of the season, you can head over to your favorite baseball blogsite and read the fateful words “small sample size but” in many different forms. It isn’t exactly high treason to base a blogpost on less than stable information but, especially among true stat folks (read: not me) it goes against the entire nature of the beast.
In the early days of the season, it is usually more telling and more informative to look for dynamic differences rather than statistical differences. Things that stand out as changes in process, rather than result.
Ryan Dempster is doing things slightly differently in 2013 but his results are vastly different from previous years. A result of this tinkering and adapting? Perhaps. The product of good fortune in key moments? Absolutely.
The first place Boston Red Sox have activated right-hander Joel Hanrahan from the 15-day disabled list.
Hanrahan, who was placed on the DL back on April 16th with a sore right hamstring, was expected to regain his role as the team’s closer from Andrew Bailey, who pitched well in his absence, but those plans may have changed.
Manager John Farrell:
“He’s active today. Before announcing what his role is, when he comes to the ballpark we’ll have a chance to sit down. … The one thing Joel is, he’s honest with himself, and he understands what’s going on here.”
On the season, the former Pittsburgh Pirate reliever appeared in six games for the Red Sox, recording a 11.57 ERA, 12.85 FIP, 7.46 xFIP with three saves.
David Ortiz has hit the ball incredibly well since returning to the Red Sox lineup. On top of his strong play, he also cemented his place in local lore during the emotionally charged return to baseball after the Patriots Day bomb incident.
David Oritz was hitting the ball well but hadn’t yet hit a home run in 2013. Then the Astros came to town. Now David Ortiz has a home run in 2013! It’s really that simple.
Alfredo Aceves and the Boston Red Sox put on quite a performance of incompetence in the third inning of Tuesday’s 13-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Aceves, who walked three in the inning and was called for two balks, can’t be held responsible for all of the blame for the six runs against in the frame, but he sure did his part to make it easy on the A’s.
The right-hander piled up some excuses in speaking with the media following the seven inning contest, via the Boston Herald:
“It’s hard to explain to you guys,” Aceves said. “You guys just see the errors, the runs, the hits, whatever. It’s really hard to — how can I explain? — to get through that plate. For whatever reason, the strike zone got small. Obviously you guys don’t see it that way. You see the runs. As a pitcher, man, it’s not easy. Also, the weather, whatever weather it is, we should be able to play. Also it don’t matter what score it is. We’ve got to have our backs, not because it’s 10 or 13, I’m going to sit back and relax for the next game. No, there’s no second game. We’ve got to have our backs. Pretty much that.”
Oh, there’s more:
“Also, we got our hacks. Why don’t we hit?”
Yeah, that’s probably not going to go over so well in the clubhouse. Enjoy the above display of inadequate defense, as we may have seen the last of Alfredo Aceves on the mound for the Red Sox.