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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Early Spring Overreactions

The AL East champion Red Sox are back at it and of course spring training is a time to hear a story and wildly extrapolate nonsense from it.  And when you need nonsense, you need your man Jose to step in and fill the breach.  Thus the breach shall be filled.

Sam Travis - Great Hitter or Greatest Hitter - The righty has picked up where he left off before getting injured last season and has already slugged a couple of homers.  Admittedly one of them (against Northeastern) doesn’t count in “official” spring stats but I’m not going to let that get me down.  This year is an important one for Travis and the organization.  If he can establish himself as a bona fide MLB ready player then the Sox may not have to go into the coming off-season with any concerns about filling a 1st base/DH hole (assuming Mitch Moreland is one and done).

Hanley Ramirez’ Shoulder is DOOOOOOOOMMMMMED - It is hard not to view this as a bit troubling.  Ramirez is on a delayed throwing program due to some shoulder soreness.  For a guy who saw his 2015 season effectively wiped out by a shoulder injury this is concerning.  It is early in the spring and Hanley is playing so there does not seem to a lot of concern but Hanley is a big factor in the “we won’t miss David Ortiz too much” sweepstakes.  If Hanley misses extended time or reverts to his 2015 status that is a considerable loss.

Blake Swihart = Bob Boone - OK, maybe that is a bit of a stretch but after some alarming news early in camp about Swihart’s throwing there has not been a recurrence of the yips.  Swihart has only played a few innings behind the plate but for a story that was the biggest story in camp for about 24 hours it is encouraging to see it shifted to “non-issue” so decisively. 

No News is Good News on the Mound - This early in camp there is virtually nothing to be learned about the pitchers.  The biggest news is that so far* there has been no indication of any injury or players being meaningfully behind where they would be expected to be.  Yeah it would be nice if Tyler Thornburg or Matt Barnes had pitched well in his debut but the reality is just being out there, taking the ball and being ready to take it again is the most important thing.  The more of the preferred 12 man staff that is ready to go on April 3rd the better life is for everyone.

* - yes I knocked on all manner of wood surfaces.

Palace Intrigue for the 25th Spot - Everyone loves a little roster duel and the back of the 25 man roster may be shaping up to have one happening.  Guys who presumably are on the 25th man list are off to solid starts.  Marco Hernandez (2 for 6), Brian Bogusevic (2 for 7) and Deven Marrero (4 for 8) have all made the most of their early opportunities.  According to Sox Prospects all of these guys have options so the Sox do not have to worry about losing them if they send them to Pawtucket so that spot should be merit based.  The one guy who is noticeably struggling (Bryce Brentz, 0 for 7 including his first at bat against Baltimore today) is also the guy without options.  He may be on borrowed time.

Most importantly, as of this writing my flight leaves in 9 days, 5 hours and 58 minutes (give or take).

Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 01, 2017 at 01:42 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:25 AM (#5411312)
1. Great to hear Swihart is OK. I still expect him to start the season in Pawtucket, because options.

2. I expect Hanley to be on the DL to start the season, and Travis to take his place.

3. I am very much looking forward to your spring training reports on the new Sox pitchers.
   2. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:46 AM (#5411319)
2. I expect Hanley to be on the DL to start the season, and Travis to take his place.


Ortiz & Hanley to Moreland and Travis...YAY!
   3. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:49 AM (#5411323)
1. Great to hear Swihart is OK. I still expect him to start the season in Pawtucket, because options.


Agreed.

2. I expect Hanley to be on the DL to start the season, and Travis to take his place.


Ugh. I hope this is not accurate. Having said that I think one of the mistakes they made in 2015 is not disabling him as soon as he ran into the wall. I'd rather see him get 2-3 weeks off and come back full speed than play through it poorly like he did in 2015.

3. I am very much looking forward to your spring training reports on the new Sox pitchers.


I'm modestly hopeful. I've got 4 games with three days between games so I'm hoping I'll get a good mix of pitchers.
   4. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 02, 2017 at 09:56 AM (#5411325)
Ortiz & Hanley to Moreland and Travis...YAY!


Obviously that's a downgrade but I'm getting a bit excited about Moreland. If the BABIP bounces back some he can be a useful hitter. .270 with 20 homers and Gold Glove defense is not bad at all.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: March 02, 2017 at 10:13 AM (#5411335)
No News is Good News on the Mound
Hold the phone...
   6. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 02, 2017 at 10:16 AM (#5411336)
yes I knocked on all manner of wood surfaces.


Not enough of them, apparently.
   7. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 02, 2017 at 10:17 AM (#5411338)
Well ####.
   8. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 02, 2017 at 10:36 AM (#5411348)
More news; Hanley withdraws from WBC. I suspect this is probably a bad sign for his shoulder but a good sign for the fact that the Sox can control his rehab a bit more.
   9. villageidiom Posted: March 02, 2017 at 10:45 AM (#5411358)
No News is Good News on the Mound

Hold the phone...

The Jose Jinx™ is a powerful thing.
   10. Textbook Editor Posted: March 02, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5411578)
Cross-posted from other thread...

I think this means Kyle Kendrick has a very real shot at the #5 slot coming out of ST, assuming he doesn't #### the bed. Everyone else on the depth chart I can see them wanting to hold back on, or start in AAA to build up arm strength, or something else...

And, of course, this injury to Price makes me strongly suspect something was going on last season and he didn't say anything to staff because, you know, can't show weakness in that first year in Boston, etc., etc., etc.... At this point it's almost like a joke. I just hope the contract doesn't wind up completely sunk and we have a Zito-in-SF-type situation 3-4 years from now.

Ugh. This all sucks. And of course, damnit, this actually made me wish we still had Clay Buchholz this afternoon, and I hate myself for even having that thought...
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: March 02, 2017 at 01:14 PM (#5411587)
I think this means Kyle Kendrick has a very real shot at the #5 slot coming out of ST, assuming he doesn't #### the bed.
That's also assuming someone else in addition to Price isn't ready by April 12th.
   12. villageidiom Posted: March 02, 2017 at 02:42 PM (#5411691)
And, of course, this injury to Price makes me strongly suspect something was going on last season and he didn't say anything to staff because, you know, can't show weakness in that first year in Boston, etc., etc., etc.... At this point it's almost like a joke.
From July 5 to September 12 he had a 2.77 ERA. That's pretty hard to do when pitching through an elbow injury.
   13. Textbook Editor Posted: March 02, 2017 at 03:13 PM (#5411745)
That's also assuming someone else in addition to Price isn't ready by April 12th.


This was posted in the other thread:

So their starting pitching options if Price is gone:

1. Chris Sale
2. Rick Porcello
3. Drew Pomeranz
4. Steven Wright
5. Eduardo Rodriguez
6. Roenis Elias
7. Henry Owens
8. Brian Johnson
9. Joe Kelly
10. Kyle Kendrick!


As I wrote in the other thread, you get to Kendrick as your #5 because:
(1) Wright and Rodriguez won't be ready due to injury
(2) Kelly is a full-time reliever now
(3) Johnson is still less than a year removed from his anxiety issues, and they probably want a lower-key start than to have him be the #5 starter in MLB
(4) Elias and Owens I can see them wanting to build up arm strength/get steady reps at AAA (because early on the #5 slot can get skipped due to extra off days in April)
(5) Kendrick costs nothing and prevents nothing. If he's good, then great! If he stinks, you release him and go to plan B.

I'm no fan of Kendrick, but if you're going to screw a guy over in April as the #5 starter, I'd much rather they mess with Kendrick's head than any of the other guys on that list. If he's throwing garbage, of course, you don't start him, but if he's half decent in ST I think it makes some sense to take a flier on him, at least for the first month.

From July 5 to September 12 he had a 2.77 ERA. That's pretty hard to do when pitching through an elbow injury.


Well... sure. But then you had:
His 9/17 start: 6.0 IP 9 H 5 R 5 ER 0 BB 7 K 1 HR
His 9/22 start: 7.0 IP 6 H 3 R 3 ER 2 BB 5 K 1 HR
His disaster 9/27 start: 6.1 IP 12 H 6 R 6 ER 1 BB 2 K 3 HR
His 10/2 playoff warm-up start: 5.0 IP 4 H 1 R 1 ER 3 BB 4 K 1 HR
And then his playoff disaster start on 10/7: 3.1 IP 6 H 5 R 5 ER 2 BB 3 K 1 HR

I'll grant you the 9/22 and 10/2 starts were decent ones (even good ones). But 9/17, 9/27, and the 10/7 playoff starts were... not good. And when I see a guy who "had it" (and has a pretty consistent track record of giving you at lease non-disaster starts) suddenly alternate good starts with very bad starts... I see a guy who might well be hurt, and on some days can deal with it and on others cannot.

That 9/27 start I remember watching and it was painful to watch him--he had nothing. The playoff start wasn't much better than that. YMMV, but I see a guy who had a fair amount of mileage on his arm in 2014, 2015, and 2016 (during his age 28-30 seasons) and may well have been at the start of breaking down as a result. All pitchers are "horses" until, of course, they aren't...
   14. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 02, 2017 at 03:25 PM (#5411765)
My default assumption any time a good or great pitcher has an off year is "he's hurt." I tend to be with vi on this one, I don't think Price was so bad last year as to immediately default there. It was more of a regression away from his career years of 2014&2015;.

FWIW this is what Peter Abraham tweeted about an hour ago;
Pre-2nd opinion, my understanding is that David Price is optimistic he does not have a serious injury. Red Sox being ultra-cautious
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: March 02, 2017 at 03:29 PM (#5411771)
Pre-2nd opinion, my understanding is that David Price is optimistic he does not have a serious injury. Red Sox being ultra-cautious


Denial is a hell of a drug. No one willfully wants to wallow in a possible 12-month rehab situation.

That said, I do hope he's right. But what worries me is that they're going to reveal a "minor tear" and that he'll "try to pitch through it"... because that almost never works out well; I'd rather him just have the surgery now and hope he'd be back by June 2018 throwing free and easy in the majors. Otherwise, it's likely he winds up screwing up both his 2017 AND his 2018 seasons.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: March 02, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5411779)
As I wrote in the other thread, you get to Kendrick as your #5 because:
(1) Wright and Rodriguez won't be ready due to injury
Oh. I thought there was still a chance they could be ready.
   17. Textbook Editor Posted: March 02, 2017 at 03:39 PM (#5411788)
Oh. I thought there was still a chance they could be ready.


I think there is, but I don't think either one has faced live hitters yet, right? Until that happens and they come back, pitch again, etc. it seems unlikely they'd be ready. (In Wright's case he's out of options, I think, so "not ready" means either a DL trip or being the long man out of the pen for a few weeks, but that may have a knock-on effect for bullpen construction).

I'm not saying Kendrick is the best option--he's not; just that you can plausibly put together a scenario where he's the choice for #5, even if he doesn't light the world on fire in ST.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: March 02, 2017 at 03:43 PM (#5411794)
plausibly put together a scenario where he's the choice for #5
OK, yeah, I see it.
   19. villageidiom Posted: March 02, 2017 at 04:54 PM (#5411871)
I tend to be with vi on this one
Oh, great, now I'm jinxed.

I'll grant you the 9/22 and 10/2 starts were decent ones (even good ones). But 9/17, 9/27, and the 10/7 playoff starts were... not good. And when I see a guy who "had it" (and has a pretty consistent track record of giving you at lease non-disaster starts) suddenly alternate good starts with very bad starts... I see a guy who might well be hurt, and on some days can deal with it and on others cannot.
I'm with you there. But I thought your point was that he might have been injured throughout the 2016 season, not that he got hurt partway through September. Pitching superbly for a couple months wouldn't have fit the former hypothesis, especially for an elbow injury.

If he got injured down the stretch, pitched anyway, and then did nothing about it in the offseason, then both he and the team are damned fools. I'm not going that route yet.
   20. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 03, 2017 at 04:31 PM (#5412433)
Aaaaaannd unclench;


Pete Abraham‏Verified account @PeteAbe

Breaking: No surgery for #RedSox LHP David Price. Rest and medication. Farrell calls it best case scenario. 7-10 days off for him.

   21. jmurph Posted: March 03, 2017 at 04:33 PM (#5412434)
Pete Abraham‏Verified account @PeteAbe

Breaking: No surgery for #RedSox LHP David Price. Rest and medication. Farrell calls it best case scenario. 7-10 days off for him.

7-10 days off sounds like a very odd recovery time for something that required the opinion of two surgeons to evaluate.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: March 03, 2017 at 04:38 PM (#5412436)
I'm guessing 7-10 days until he throws and is re-evaluated.
   23. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 03, 2017 at 04:46 PM (#5412441)
Was it Pedroia who visited Andrews a couple years ago basically because he was freaking out, got a clean bill of health and came back and hit about .430 for a month?
   24. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 05, 2017 at 01:09 PM (#5412884)
Great throw by Vazquez for the caught stealing. None of that tail at the end that was there last year.
   25. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 06, 2017 at 02:02 PM (#5413361)
Slamming Sammy Travis has homered again.
   26. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 08, 2017 at 03:22 PM (#5414524)
Did anyone see this? Am I wrong that the WEEI writer is severely overreading some pretty benign statements from Price?
   27. jmurph Posted: March 08, 2017 at 03:50 PM (#5414536)
Did anyone see this? Am I wrong that the WEEI writer is severely overreading some pretty benign statements from Price?

Agree that the article is way over the top- "rantings of a crazy person" is just intentionally over the top trolling.

But Price doesn't exactly sound... thrilled with his situation? I don't know, that worries me a bit, as a fan of his and the team's. If I were involved with the team I'd probably make a little more effort to make sure he's more comfortable this year.
   28. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 09, 2017 at 08:48 AM (#5414705)
I think Price is a guy who tends to the Eeyore a bit. Not necessarily in a bad way, just in a "here's stuff I'm not happy about" way. Kind of like the brouhaha with Ortiz after the homers in the ALDS. I don't think he was particularly annoyed but he is a guy who shares his opinions and stuff like that gets picked up on.
   29. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 09, 2017 at 01:29 PM (#5414931)
Jerry Remy in the radio booth with Tim Neverett and John Tomase. He sounds great.
   30. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 09, 2017 at 02:46 PM (#5415020)
John Tomase is very unimpressed with Sandoval's defense today. He says anything on the backhand has been a problem and described a play that just went for a hit as "a play an MLB third baseman should make."
   31. villageidiom Posted: March 11, 2017 at 11:22 PM (#5416191)
I have a spring training overreaction for you.

.300/.440/.550

That is the avg/obp/slg of which player? I'll give a hint... He's a 1B. Sam Travis? Close, but not quite. Hanley? Again, close but not quite. No, that line belongs to Allen Craig.
   32. Textbook Editor Posted: March 12, 2017 at 05:50 PM (#5416369)
#31--For the luxury tax hit alone, there is zero--ZERO--chance that Craig plays for the Red Sox this year. In the sense that this spring's performance (followed by a hot month or two in Pawtucket) might allow the Sox to not have to eat ALL of his remaining contract... then this is good news, I guess.

Craig's albatross contract was always the "cost" of getting Kelly's 4-5 cost controlled years for 1 cheap year of Lackey. That deal could still work out, I guess, but it's becoming less likely it will.
   33. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 12, 2017 at 08:20 PM (#5416407)
Did anyone see the game today? It seems like EdRod has been pretty good this spring so far.
   34. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 12, 2017 at 11:18 PM (#5416475)
Did anyone see the game today? It seems like EdRod has been pretty good this spring so far


I've got May 10th in our pool as the date of injury occurring.....
   35. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 13, 2017 at 07:03 PM (#5416861)
Steven Wright with two perfect innings today!

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