The Bill Chuck Files overflow each day with stats, factoids, and observations that are sometimes relevant, sometimes irrelevant, and sometimes simply intriguing. At the start of each Sox series, I will share some of these in my "Nine to Know,” and I hope you will do the same.
The July 31 trading deadline is around the corner and I’m looking forward to seeing some new faces by the time next Friday arrives. Then again, I’ve been looking for new faces on the Red Sox since the Winter Meetings.
In case you've forgotten, here’s how it works: if you are willing to let players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester go, you have to replace them...sometimes even with grown-ups. If you haven’t realized it by now: prospects are suspects until they show they can play in the Show.
The Boston obsession with acquiring draft picks and not losing draft picks has produced the inertia that leaves this team with 55 losses, the most AL losses of any team not in Texas. Starting your season with two rookies in the infield, another rookie in center field, and a catching corps that had two of three oldest receivers in the majors is nothing more than a hope you can catch lightning in a bottle (they didn't catch it).
The Sox have made two significant in-season moves to bolster their squad: adding Stephen Drew (who should have been signed during the offseason or not at all) and dropping A.J. Pierzynski (addition by subtraction).
Now is the time to admit that even though the AL East is the weakest it has been in many years, this Red Sox season is lost. Not only that, there are loads of questions already in place for 2015 and this is the week where the Sox need to start finding answers.
Let the trading AND replacing begin.
Nine to Know: Boston (47-55, 21-29 on the road, 29-39 vs. teams over .500) @ Tampa Bay (49-53, 22-28 at home, 32-37 vs. teams over .500)
1. Since June 1, Brock Holt leads the majors with 65 hits and David Ortiz leads the majors with 41 RBI. Since June 1, the Sox are 21-26.
2. Xander Bogaerts is hitting .244 on 1-1 pitches, on 2-1 pitches he’s hitting .391, but on 1-2 pitches, of which he’s had 84, the most in the majors, he’s hitting .193.
3. In the first four innings of games, the Red Sox pitchers have allowed 56 homers, only the Rangers pitchers have allowed more (60) in all of baseball.
4. Last season, the Sox had the most games in which they scored 7+ runs, playing 52 games and going 49-3. This season, they are tied for 13th in the AL, playing 16 and going 14-2.
6. Since June 1, the Sox have stolen 14 bases, the fewest in the AL. Jacoby Ellsbury has stolen 13 all by his lonesome.
7. Last season, the Red Sox were 0-7 in games in which they had three hits or less; this season they are 1-8.
8. The last time the Sox started 47-55 was in 1997 when they finished 78-84.
9. Here is an important stat to explain the Red Sox situation: It’s called Power/Speed number. This is a formula developed by Bill James (who else?) that reflects the harmonic mean of home runs and stolen bases. In other words, power and speed. Last season, the Red Sox P/S number was 145.5, the second best in baseball. The MLB average P/S Number this season is 71.0 and this season, the Sox number is 44.5, the worst in baseball.
See you Monday when the Sox return to Boston to face the Jays.