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The Casey-Lowrie Samba

This 'ill be a short post as I'm on vacation, but I'd love some insights from my many, many... many! readers about a question my dad and I can not seem to find an answer to: why are the Sox routinely pulling Sean Casey in the ninth inning in order to play Cora at short, Lowrie at third, and Youk at first? I'm am very much open to opinions.

I don't like this move. Obviously, Youk is a fantastic first baseman. But when they pull Casey to bring in someone else, they lose a player for the rest of that game. In doing so, they get a better firstbase man, but they put a rookie shortstop (Lowrie) at third. Casey is a solid firstbaseman (if anyone can tell me which of these three ways I'm supposed to spell that word, you win a caramel, a real caramel). Why do you lose a player on your bench for the benefit of Youk over Casey at first while exchanging Youk for Lowrie at third? Not worth it to me.

Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Comments

Smitch said…
Well, I think that the sox clearly think they get better defensively with the swap. I think it has less to do with third base than with both first and short. You and I have had discussions about how good a shortstop Lowrie is/is considered to be, but I think the Sox think Cora is the natural, and is a definite improvement. Plus, you get Youk, who's a dynamite first baseman (the correct sp., by the way-- you can fedex that caramel to my house).

For what it's worth, based on a cursory review of fielding sabermetrics (which are admittedly imprecise) for each of these guys, Youk is by far the best fielder at his position.

Obviously, this is weighed against the downside associated with losing an extra bench player. You may be right that it's not worth the risk-- I think the Sox think that the times that even a minor step down in defensive prowess costs you a game in late innings occur far more frequently than the times not having an extra bench player costs you a game.
Doak said…
Sam's right, but I thought of all of that first, so I want the caramel.
Wally said…
Agreed, mostly. I do worry about doing this against a team with a speedster, like maybe the Anaheim Angel of California in L.A. on the West Coast's Chone Figgens. I'm not confident that Lowrie is solid enough at third to handle a tough bunt in the 9th inning of a close game from Chone. Anyway, I get your point, and I do love Cora defensively.

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