Joe Kelly (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

When the Red Sox decided to shut Joe Kelly down for the remainder of 2015, it ended a roller coaster year for the hard-throwing right-hander. This season has included a lot of failure, and a decent amount of success for Kelly, especially recently. Kelly’s past eight starts have been encouraging, and provide some hope for success going into 2016. Whether or not Kelly will still have a shot at a rotation spot is debatable, but there is success to build off of. The most important factor of Kelly’s recent stretch of success is consistency, which he has generally lacked for most of his Red Sox career. Since Kelly will not be taking the mound again in 2015, we can take a look at his season as a whole, and the results might be somewhat surprising. I like to hear bad news first so I’m going to start there.

The Bad

Basically the first four months of the 2015 season. Kelly’s first 17 starts left him with a 6.11 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, and .284 Average Against. It essentially seemed like every time Kelly pitched, he ended up with as many earned runs allowed as innings pitched, almost always leaving his team trailing. While Kelly maintained decent strikeout (7.54 K/9) and walk (3.36 BB/9) rates, his run prevention was awful at best. Part of that problem was a near-complete lack of command from Kelly. That issue does not really show up in the walk rate, but it was apparent in watching Kelly pitch; he would miss with the first few pitches to fall behind in the count, then leave a pitch over the middle of the plate to get crushed. This kind of performance leads to a high pitch count, exits in the early innings, and a huge burden on the bullpen to finish the game. Kelly would probably like to forget the first two-thirds of the season as much as the Red Sox as a whole.

Continue reading The Good, The Bad, The Joe Kelly »

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Jean Machi (Andy Marlin, USA Today Sports)

Believe it or not this is a serious question: why on the good, green Earth do the Red Sox continually put “Mean” Jean Machi into games in key situations? When Koji Uehara was lost for the season the team tried having Machi replace him in the closer role, which we can say was a resounding failure. Dare one say, it might have even brought back memories of Alfredo Aceves. But even after his demotion, Machi still seems to find himself on the mound in key situations, which might actually be worse for the team than having him start a clean inning in the ninth. It is clear that the Red Sox bullpen as a whole is an unreliable mess, but Machi is basically the figurehead of that inconsistency and should no longer be trusted to pitch any kind of meaningful innings in 2015.

Continue reading Why Do the Red Sox Still Trust Jean Machi? »

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Tom Brady came out firing with four touchdowns three of which to Rob Gronkowski (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Football has returned and our defending champion New England Patriots came out with fire on banner night. Tom Brady came out to an incredible ovation as was expected after the way he was treated for the past eight months. The “Where is Roger” chants were perfect and I was happy they showed up towards the end of the game when the Patriots already had control.

I had the privilege of attending the game (always pays to know a guy) and the fans were genuinely into taking it to the Steelers all night. Roger was an afterthought and that’s exactly how it should have been. Continue reading Notes and Observations Week 1: Brady Nearly Perfect as Patriots Beat Steelers on Banner Night »

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Wade Miley (Bob DiChiara/USA Today Sports)

When the Red Sox acquired Wade Miley in the offseason, they did not expect him to carry the starting rotation. The team was looking for a pretty good/not great innings eater who could be counted on for a quality start virtually every time out. For much of 2015 Miley had underperformed those expectations. Miley has been much better in the second half, and has looked more like the mid-rotation horse the Red Sox were looking for.

It is hard to say what the main reasons were for Miley’s underwhelming first half in Boston. There certainly could have been an adjustment period for a new team, new catcher, and a new league that he had not really pitched to before. Whatever the cause, Miley’s first half line was entirely unimpressive: 6.48 K/9, 3.29 BB/9, .269 AVG against, 4.80 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 4.42 xFIP. The peripheral stats are mediocre, and the estimators suggest that Miley might not have been too awful, but the entire picture is still uninspiring. There is no stat in that line that brings value to the team, making Miley essentially replacement level.

Continue reading The Red Sox Can Now Count on Wade Miley »

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Don Orsillo (Gail Oskin/Getty Images)

Does anyone working at NESN have any idea what they are doing? Do the network’s decision makers put any thought into their actions, or do they just throw things against wall and hope they stick? We have reached the point where something needs to change in the hierarchy at NESN because the Red Sox’ flagship network is quickly becoming a complete joke among the fan base, which will do absolutely no good for their precious ratings.

Continue reading NESN Continues to Disrespect Don Orsillo »

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ramirez masslive

When you spend $88 million on a player he better be worth every red cent. Hanley Ramirez is not worth the high-priced contract he signed with the Red Sox.

Hanley Ramirez reminds me of a movie from the 1980s starring a young Tom Hanks, called The Money Pit. A newlywed couple buys what they think is their dream house, only to find that it is littered with bad wiring, poor construction, and a renovation that goes south before it even begins. Ramirez has not lived up to all the hype. Last winter Red Sox Nation hoped that 2015 would be the season of our dreams, only to find it had a lost, injury-prone left fielder that cannot seem to hit over .300.

Continue reading The Hanley Ramirez Experiment, In General, Must End »

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Hanley attempting to play the outfield (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

There is a noticeable difference between a disappointment and a disaster. Dustin Pedroia missing almost half of a season’s worth of games due to injury is a disappointment; Hanley Ramirez playing Left Field is a disaster. In fact, Hanley playing just about any position is a disaster, and he is effectively a Designated Hitter at this point in his career. The Red Sox are locked into David Ortiz at that spot for 2016, so there is a logjam in the immediate future. It is clear that keeping Ramirez in the Outfield is no longer an option going forward, so it was encouraging to learn earlier this week that the Red Sox will be moving him to First Base going forward. The move sets up the team well both in the near and long term, and eliminates one of the biggest issues with the 2015 Red Sox.

Continue reading Hanley Moving to First! Red Sox Defense is Saved! »

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