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Monday, June 24, 2019

Buy or sell? This might be time for makeover of underperforming Red Sox - The Boston Globe

Maybe they are playing with the same flair and sense of purpose but just aren’t playing as well.

Their bullpen is not deep enough and several important players — Mookie Betts and J.D Martinez in particular — are not playing with the same flair and sense of purpose they showed a year ago. Even fiery Chris Sale has been meandering along.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 24, 2019 at 09:47 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: red sox

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Hank Gillette Posted: June 24, 2019 at 12:14 PM (#5855334)
So, Betts and Martinez are at fault for not having career years again? Trade them!
   2. Astroenteritis Posted: June 24, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5855340)
"flair and sense of purpose" sounds like authentic frontier gibberish. Sure, let's rip up a perfectly good defending champion team in June.

   3. Rough Carrigan Posted: June 24, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5855345)
Maybe Mookie and JD should watch Office Space for tips on having more flair.
   4. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: June 24, 2019 at 01:59 PM (#5855384)
They should be adding, not subtracting. A SP and a closer. Stroman and Smith.
   5. BrianBrianson Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5855388)
Boston is one game back of the Wild Card slot with barely more than half a season to go. It's hopeless.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5855395)
It's weird, Boston has only one regular with an OPS+ below 100, yet the team average is only 104. Their bench has just been brutal.
   7. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:37 PM (#5855400)
Seriously this is idiocy. I knew before clicking the link that this would be a Peter Abraham piece. He’s terrible.

I still expect the Sox to finish between 90-95 wins. The bullpen is legitimately terrible but they are a very good team. As Bivens said they should add not subtract.
   8. rconn23 Posted: June 24, 2019 at 02:41 PM (#5855401)
Abraham writes like a fan, which is not a good thing. When he was covering the Yankees he was more cogent because he didn't like the Yankees or their fanbase.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5855422)
I still expect the Sox to finish between 90-95 wins. The bullpen is legitimately terrible but they are a very good team.
I have to say, your sour opinion of the relievers is getting a little strange. If you want to see legitimately terrible relief pitching on would-be contenders, check out the Nationals or Phillies. And for other worse-performing bullpens than the Sox (again only counting possible contenders), there is also the Twins, A's, Rockies, and Rangers.
   10. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:10 PM (#5855424)
The bullpen is legitimately terrible

random Red Sox reliever ERA+ and IP

137, 31.1
180, 41.1
267, 35.2
124, 33.0
188, 28.2

9th in overall bullpen ERA, 7th in batting average allowed:
http://www.espn.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/pitching/split/128
   11. SandyRiver Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:15 PM (#5855426)
Nice ERA+, less nice situational work - 15 blown saves in 31 opportunities, which is closer to 15th than to 9th. Seems like most of the pen has caught the Jekyll-Hyde syndrome - lights out one night, lit up the next - that Barnes had for the 1st half of 2018. One hopes they can pull out of it as nicely as Matt did last year.
Just checked stats - Boston pen is 29th in MLB for converting saves with 51.61%. Only the Mets (17/35, 51.43%) are lower.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:42 PM (#5855436)
Just checked stats - Boston pen is 29th in MLB for converting saves with 51.61%. Only the Mets (17/35, 51.43%) are lower.
How is that calculated? Because I don't think either the Mets or Sox are blowing half of their 1-to-3 run 9th inning leads.
   13. Itchy Row Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5855438)
Through 80 games, the 2004 Red Sox were 43-37, 7.5 games behind the Yankees and 2.5 games out of the only wild card spot.

If they win today, the 2019 Red Sox will be 43-37, 7 or 8 games behind the Yankees, 3 games behind the #1 WC and tied for or 1 game out of the 2nd WC.

If history holds, there will be a 30 for 30 about this year's Yankees-Red Sox postseason series.

   14. bobm Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5855441)
2019 MLB relief

                     
Tm        IR   IS IS%
BAL      146   63 43%
WSN      113   47 42%
LAD       85   34 40%
PIT       91   36 40%
SEA      125   46 37%
DET      101   35 35%
NYM       94   33 35%
PHI       79   28 35%
SDP      113   40 35%
KCR      132   45 34%
LAA      112   38 34%
CHW      137   45 33%
COL      119   39 33%
HOU       67   22 33%
MIL      117   37 32%
OAK      124   40 32%
LgAvg    111   35 32%
ATL      132   41 31%
CHC      128   40 31%
CIN      122   38 31%
SFG      107   33 31%
TBR      118   36 31%
MIN      105   31 30%
TEX      111   33 30%
NYY       94   26 28%
TOR      120   33 28%
BOS       92   24 26%
CLE      120   30 25%
MIA       87   22 25%
STL      130   33 25%
ARI      103   16 16%


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/24/2019.

             
Tm        aLI
OAK     1.064
NYM     1.029
BOS     1.021
PIT     1.020
SDP     1.020
ATL     1.019
LAD     1.003
MIL     1.003
TBR     1.000
CHC      .997
WSN      .997
COL      .991
CIN      .981
MIN      .981
LgAvg    .966
ARI      .961
PHI      .958
TEX      .958
DET      .957
MIA      .955
NYY      .950
STL      .949
KCR      .946
SFG      .938
HOU      .929
LAA      .914
CLE      .906
TOR      .899
BAL      .887
CHW      .879
SEA      .876


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/24/2019.

IR -- Inherited Runners
Number of runners on base when pitcher entered the game.

IS -- Inherited Score
Number or percentage of runners on base when pitcher entered the game who subsequently scored.
These runners show up in the previous pitcher’s ERA.

IS% -- Inherited Score Percentage
Percentage of runners on base when pitcher entered the game who subsequently scored.
These runners show up in the previous pitcher’s ERA.

aLI -- Average Leverage Index
The average pressure the pitcher or batter saw in this game or season.
1.0 is average pressure, below 1.0 is low pressure and above 1.0 is high pressure.
   15. Itchy Row Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5855442)
How is that calculated? Because I don't think either the Mets or Sox are blowing half of their 1-to-3 run 9th inning leads.
This page shows the Red Sox at 52% and the Mets at 51%, but Boston is only fifth-worst, ahead of Colorado, the Mets, Oakland, and Kansas City.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: June 24, 2019 at 03:54 PM (#5855445)
Right, but I was wondering what counts as a blown saves in those stats. Is it any lead given up by a reliever? Does it have to be after a certain inning? How does it count if one reliever blows the save in the 9th but then a different reliever gets the save in the 11th? etc..

Either way, the Sox bullpen has not been good protecting leads.
   17. Itchy Row Posted: June 24, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5855448)
It looks like it's any lead given up by a reliever who had entered in a save situation, even if another got the save later. A team could get multiple blown saves in one game, and the stat ignores pitchers who held the lead but were replaced. I don't think it has much value for measuring the quality of a bullpen.
   18. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 24, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5855450)
Any lead given up during Save opportunity. If a reliever enters the 6th inning up 2-1, and gives up a run, that is a blown save. One problem with the Blown Save stat is that it can be assigned to guys who never ever get a chance for an actual Save.

One other important caveat: Boston is 7th in the MLB in runs scored. The more runs you score, the more leads you give your bullpen, the more leads they can blow.

The Red Sox bullpen has had some difficulties. Calling them "legitimately terrible" is incorrect.
   19. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: June 24, 2019 at 04:18 PM (#5855451)
Nate - Yeah a blown save in those stats counts as any blown save, not just the 9th inning. As you say, they have not been good at protecting leads which really is about the only thing that matters with relievers (an oversimplification of course).

267, 35.2


I knew without looking that was Workman. What a strange year he's had. In those 35 innings he's allowed just 11 hits but 26 walks while striking out 50. Watching him is just brutal and I've been a fan of his for a long time. He's kind of this bullpen in a nutshell. As good as the numbers can be made to look he's just not someone who inspires a hint of confidence.
   20. Itchy Row Posted: June 24, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5855453)
Ken Burkhart got a blown save in this 1945 game that he'd entered in the second inning. He also got the win.
   21. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 24, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5855465)
They should be adding, not subtracting. A SP and a closer. Stroman and Smith.

1) What's left in the Boston prospect bag?
2) It would KILL the NESN crew if Stroman landed in Boston after they just lost their #### yesterday.
   22. Greg Pope Posted: June 24, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5855472)
A team could get multiple blown saves in one game, and the stat ignores pitchers who held the lead but were replaced. I don't think it has much value for measuring the quality of a bullpen.

As BLB pointed out, it's bad stat for individual relievers. At least since it's named a blown save. If it was called a "blown hold or save" and the numerator was "hold or save", then it might show something. But a great 7th inning guy might go through the year with 4 blown saves and only 1 save and have a terrible percentage of blown saves. Even if he has 41 holds.

On a team level it might have some more value. Because it indicates how many leads your bullpen is coughing up. But the numerator should still have both holds and saves.
   23. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:35 PM (#5855487)
b-r does track this (not sure how long they've been tracking it). Go to a team page then under "pitching" tab go to "detailed stats" then down to "team relief pitching." There you will see both "save opportunities" (some of which really weren't) and "save situations." The Red Sox have 76 "save situations" -- in 79 games that's probably not actually a good thing but I have no idea what is standard. Out of that they have 43 holds, 16 saves, 15 blown saves (and 2 leftover which, if I recall correctly, are instances where a pitcher enters and leaves with a lead but didn't get an out ... i.e. a bad LOOGy outing... so no hold awarded).

Vieweed that way, 76 times the Red Sox bullpen has entered with a lead of 3 or less (or tying run on-deck) and 59 times they've held that lead when leaving the game.

The Red Sox also seems a classic example of the modern bullpen. Barnes leads with 20 save situation, Workman 17, Brasier 15 and the next highest is Walden with 9. So those 4 guys are 61 of their 76 save situations. Between them, Thornburg and Velazquez (both on the IL) had 35 appearances and just one save situation. After the top 4-5 guys, the pen is just there to eat innings.

This is also available on the league pages under the pitching tab/relief pitching. The Yanks lead the way with 93 save situations, with 55 holds and 27 saves and 11 blown "saves." The Sox 59 for 76 does look pretty bad ... Oakland 62 for 78 is similar. Bad teams seem fairly competent at this and it may help explain how the Rangers (52 for 61) are hanging in there -- not getting a lot of late leads but not giving them up when they do.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:47 PM (#5855491)
On the broader buy/sell ... obviously they only sell if they play badly betwen now and the deadline but ... who do they have to trade? They just extended X, Sale and vazquez. Bradley has no value. Moreland (when healthy) and Porcello have value and I suppose you have the conversation with JDM on the option. ERod has two more years of control after this one but obviously you'd listen to offers on him. There are of course the relievers but none are names or have much of a track record so I don't think they'll bring much.

If they can't extend Mookie then this time next year or next offseason, they will have to decide what their 2021-23 plan is.
   25. Belfry Bob Posted: June 25, 2019 at 09:50 AM (#5855619)
Can we see a tag-team match, with Aura and Mystique vs. Flair and Purpose?
   26. Scott Ross Posted: June 25, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5855625)
They've been playing at a 98-win pace since the 6-13 start, not sure what more Abraham wants.
   27. SandyRiver Posted: June 25, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5855630)
This page (linked in #15) shows the Red Sox at 52% and the Mets at 51%, but Boston is only fifth-worst, ahead of Colorado, the Mets, Oakland, and Kansas City.

From the BBRef link (my #11 came from ESPN yesterday morning):
NYM: 18/35, 51.43%
Oak: 17/33, 51.52%
BOS: 16/31, 51.61%
Col: 14/27, 51.85%
KC: 13/25, 52.00%
Since they all have one more save than blown saves, it's pretty much a 5-way tie at the bottom despite the fractional differences in percentage. At the moment, as that may change with today's games.
Edit: And may have changed with last night's games.
   28. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: June 25, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5855652)
The Red Sox recent bullpen issues seem to be due to being overworked. If their starters go on a run of 7 inning outings I think you'll see things calm down.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: June 25, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5855839)
The Red Sox recent bullpen issues seem to be due to being overworked. If their starters go on a run of 7 inning outings

What year do you think this is, 1908 or something? Starters going 7 innings? Might as well hope unicorns take the mound! :-)
   30. Joe Bivens, Slack Rumped Rutabaga Head Posted: June 25, 2019 at 07:29 PM (#5855857)
OK, so, 6 and a third?
   31. Walt Davis Posted: June 26, 2019 at 12:00 AM (#5855934)
They've been playing at a 98-win pace since the 6-13 start, not sure what more Abraham wants.

The "problem" being the Yanks are on a pace over 104 wins. To catch the Yanks (probably all Abraham cares about) on a 98-win pace from here, the Yanks would have to fall to 42-41 -- unpossible! Catching the Rays obviously would be easy-peasy (nearly there already).

BTW, Red Sox hit the exact halfway point today. Ms already there, Dodgers and DBacks get there today too. The Tigers sit on just 74 games so they're bad and gonna get tired playing nearly everyday in July/Aug.
   32. Blastin Posted: June 26, 2019 at 08:48 AM (#5855951)
When he was covering the Yankees he was more cogent because he didn't like the Yankees or their fanbase.


Yeah I remember the lohud days. Right before I discovered RAB. And now I guess it's 314.

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