Think about this. The highest paid player on your team doesn’t play versus left-handed pitchers. Could you imagine Albert Pujols sitting or
Manny Ramirez sitting (well, yes I can imagine him sitting, that’s not a good example) or A-Rod sitting? Or, how about Ryan Howard, Carl Crawford, or Ichiro Suzuki? However, when you are this guy:
You don’t start versus left-handed pitchers anymore. Against the first two LHP opposing starters the Red Sox have faced, Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders, manager Terry Francona has opted to start Rocco Baldelli instead of J.D. Drew. The 14 Million Dollar question is why?
I can see once in a while, to get Rocco some at bats, that he’d replace Drew, Ellsbury, or even Ortiz against some LHP. But 2 LHPs in a row Drew sits for Baldelli?
J.D. Drew is a career .260 hitter versus LHP. Last year, he hit .284 versus lefties but in 2007 he hit .224 against southpaws. In his career versus Kazmir, he was 1-7 with a triple a walk and 3 strikeouts. I can see sitting him versus Kazmir, who is notoriously tough (career .212 BA against vs LH batters) on lefties. In his career versus Saunders, he is 1-5 with a double and a walk. Not a large sample against either pitcher, but Saunders is not tougher on lefties like Kazmir is.
If you compare Drew to Ortiz, Big Papi is a career .268 hitter versus LHP. Last year, though, he hit a paltry .221 against lefties, obviously his injured wrist played a factor in this. In 2007, Ortiz hit .308 versus LHP. In the years 2003 through 2006, Ortiz hit .216, .250, .302, and .278 against LHP.
Now, I’m not saying that Ortiz should sit instead of Drew against lefties, not at all. I’m just using Ortiz as a comparison, as their numbers versus lefties aren’t far apart. However, I would have to think that it is very rare that a team’s highest paid player becomes a platoon player. In Drew’s defense, I do not think he should be sitting versus lefties, however, if his at bat versus Brian Fuentes to end Sunday’s game is any indication, maybe Francona knows what he is doing.
It was nice to see the Red Sox and Angels come together in fellowship on this Easter Day:
Should make for an interesting series when the Sox return back to Anaheim in May. Hopefully, they won’t let as many opportunities to score slip away then, like they did this week. And, hopefully they’ll be able to slow down the Angels on the basepaths. It was nice to see Varitek throw out Figgins trying to steal second, though.
Now it is onto Oakland, before returning back to Fenway for the RED HOT Orioles. I think the Sox will take 2 of 3 from Oakland in this series, but I am not looking forward to those 10 PM start times. Oh well.