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   1. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 08, 2007 at 05:37 PM (#2329095)
i think the tavarez experiment is dead, or at least i hope it is. this guy stinks from top to bottom. i never understood keeping him last year, and i don't understand it this year. call up someone from the minors to stink it up. the experience to them will be invaluable. the experience of watching tavarez is excruciating and pointless.
   2. PJ Martinez Posted: April 08, 2007 at 05:39 PM (#2329102)
Well, maybe yesterday will help sour Francona on Romero, or commit to using him only as a situational lefty. That strikes me as the only really glaring mistake he's made so far, though perhaps I just haven't been paying close enough attention.
   3. JB H Posted: April 08, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2329112)
The Sox have me so frustrated and we're only 5 games in :(

This team's pitching staff is a joke. There's some great pitchers on it so they might be okay overall, but all the holes were filled with such little care and sense. How could a smart team possibly have thought Tavarez deserved a spot in any rotation? He's not even a good reliever. Romero and Lopez are obviously overmatched as big leaguers, which anyone could have told you in Janurary. And why exactly was Okajima signed? He wasn't even good in Japan.

It's like this team sees that about one out of every four shitty relievers has a huge Jorge Sosa-in-2005 type season and so they think that if you sign enough shitty relievers then one of them will magically turn into a stud. When in reality what happens is if you give enough shitty relievers 65 innings, one of them will somehow manage to only give up two and a half runs for every nine innings.
   4. Margo Adams FC Posted: April 08, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2329122)
Okajima has pitched well so far, and will be fine. It's Romero's million that's been flushed down the drain. But it's not like even Francona will be allowed to let Eddie keep hurting us into June or anything...
   5. PJ Martinez Posted: April 08, 2007 at 06:09 PM (#2329123)
I'm actually more concerned about the hitting than the pitching. I don't know if that's premature or myopic or both.

I think Piniero and Donnelly might do okay setting up Papelbon with the lefties facing lefties and Delcarmen and/or Hansen possibly helping out later on.

It might be worth noting that the Sox of recent vintage (I'm not sure about last year actually) have a fairly pronounced home/road split and are, once again, opening up the season on the road.

On the other hand, they really need to take advantage of this relatively weak early schedule when everyone (knock on wood) is healthy.

So, yeah, I'm frustrated, too.
   6. lincarnate Posted: April 08, 2007 at 06:15 PM (#2329127)
What I said during the game yesterday:

I'm a Rangers fan, and Francona's bullpen use almost makes <u>me</u> want to throw up.

So, no, not too early to complain.
   7. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: April 08, 2007 at 06:16 PM (#2329130)
What happened to the people defending the Tavarez to the rotation decision from the Papelbon to the bullpen topics? I told you so!
   8. Darren Posted: April 08, 2007 at 07:06 PM (#2329190)
Geez, Piehole, why so negative?

One bad start for Tavarez is not going to get him removed. He still has a chance to be decent. Romero, on the other hand....
   9. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 08, 2007 at 07:39 PM (#2329251)
IT'S BEEN FIVE GAMES! The answer is a big emphatic yes. Too early by far.
   10. Darren Posted: April 09, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2329547)
Tito did well on opening day. I think I even complimented him. He wanted to get everybody's feet wet early and he did. I also liked him in the 2nd game. In both cases, I thought he got the starters out right when he should have, which was probably tough.
   11. The George Sherrill Selection Posted: April 09, 2007 at 02:29 AM (#2329560)
As a Sox fan, I have to say that Francona is an idiot for bringing in Pineiro up by 2. Hell, I wouldn't bring him in up by 15!
   12. Darren Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:12 AM (#2329622)
I don't have a big problem with him brining Pineiro there. I'd prefer Papelbon for 6 outs because he was throwing 3 IP at a clip in ST even after they announced he was the closer. But if they were determined to only use Pap for 1 IP, Pineiro has looked pretty good and may well be their best bet for a set-up man. They didn't pay him $4 mil+ to pitch mop-up.

What defies all logic was going to Vazquez to face Catalanatto, who just almost never faces lefties. You know the result is going to be Vazquez against a righty, which is a lousy and avoidable situation.

Very lucky for Francona that Pap was perfect there.
   13. Margo Adams FC Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:19 AM (#2329627)
I wish we had Javier Vazquez to pitch the eighth...
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:34 AM (#2329632)
What defies all logic was going to Vazquez to face Catalanatto, who just almost never faces lefties. You know the result is going to be Vazquez against a righty, which is a lousy and avoidable situation.


i was only 'watching' the game on Yahoo gametracker, so I'm not sure who was warming up at the time. But i think Nelson Cruz vs a Lefty is way way way way more desirable than Catalanatto vs Pineiro for the Sox. right? can i assume that Papelbon wasnt warmed up fully at that point? maybe its because it seems like Catalanatto absolutely kills the sox, but isnt it a good move to get the rangers to sub-in an inferior hitter? what was the alternative, let Pineiro stay in, bring donnelly in to face Cat? I think i take my chances with Cruz
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:36 AM (#2329634)
those questions arent rhetorical, i wasnt watching so i couldnt get a sense of the inning
   16. Darren Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:41 AM (#2329636)
Right, Lopez. Oops.

But i think Nelson Cruz vs a Lefty is way way way way more desirable than Catalanatto vs Pineiro for the Sox. right? can i assume that Papelbon wasnt warmed up fully at that point?


He was supposedly warming alongside Lopez. But if he wasn't ready, then that's poor planning. Even if you don't think that's poor planning, they could have stalled by going to the mound while Pineiro was struggling.

Pineiro vs. Catalanatto or Lopez vs. a righty? I pick Pineiro, but I don't think those are your only two choices. You could also go to Donnelly there, and of course you could have gone straight to Pap.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:49 AM (#2329638)
well i disagree but i wasnt watching so i couldnt see how Pineiro was throwing.
i have to assume papelbon wasnt ready until after Lopez came in, warmed up on the mound, and then faced Cruz. maybe it was poor planning.
   18. Darren Posted: April 09, 2007 at 04:12 AM (#2329646)
It sort of doesn't matter though. Either way, Francona felt Lopez was a better fit there. He either didn't bother to get Pap ready or chose not to use him despite his being ready.

Over on SOSH, someone pointed out that Vazquez could have been brought in to face Lofton. They still almost certainly bunt and the Red Sox could then have lifted Vazquez if they hit for Catalanatto.
   19. Xander Posted: April 09, 2007 at 04:14 AM (#2329648)
Stop saying Vazquez.
   20. Darren Posted: April 09, 2007 at 04:15 AM (#2329649)
Vazquez! Meme!
   21. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: April 09, 2007 at 04:32 AM (#2329657)
and are, once again, opening up the season on the road.

Don't act so surprised. The Sox will always open on the road as long as they request to host a Patriots Day game.
   22. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: April 09, 2007 at 04:34 AM (#2329659)
Geez, Piehole, why so negative?


i can't help it. i see nothing but cloudy skies with this front office.

but i hated tavarez last year, to the point of screaming at the television when i watched him pitch. this year is just bringing back all of that. at least his (somehow) worse doppleganger seanez is gone. god i hated him.

also, he's ugly.
   23. Darren Posted: April 09, 2007 at 04:34 AM (#2329661)
Opening on the road is good, especially when they try to put you in somewhat warmer climates. It's when they send teams to Detroit that it becomes idiotic.
   24. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 01:03 PM (#2329709)
But then why is Kyle Snyder, theoretically the long man, lifted after only 2 batters?


Double to Hairston, warning-track flyout to Young?

Personally I would have stayed with Snyder. You need four more innings out of the bullpen, and using for only two batters the one guy who can give you (and is expected to give you) multiple innings of quality relief doesn't make sense. Given the early results I mentioned above, I guess the move was defensible on one level. But losing patience with Snyder led Francona to move to his third reliever with (potentially) 11 outs to go, putting himself into the position that he pretty much had to stick with Romero. And as we saw that didn't work well.

But to be honest, given how he'd done to that point they might very well have had the same result had they stayed with Snyder.

Looking at the big picture, why does Romero seem to be Francona’s favorite pitcher?


Because you cringe more when he's brought in than you do for any other pitcher. Really.

Here's the breakdown of when each reliever has been summoned to date. I've put them in descending order of the level to which Francona appears (to me) to trust them. It's a small sample, and one in which 33% of the games featured a starter who didn't make it out of the 5th, so take it for what it's worth.

Date/Inning/Outs/RunnersOnBase/ScoreDifferential/RelieverBroughtIn

4/5 9th 0 --- +3 Papelbon
4/8 8th 1 1-3 +1 Papelbon

One comfy save situation to get some work, and one high-leverage appearance. Duh.

4/4 6th 2 1-- +2 Snyder
4/6 8th 1 --- -2 Snyder
4/7 6th 0 --- -1 Snyder

Twice in the middle innings, but thrice in a close game.

4/2 5th 0 --- -4 Lopez
4/4 6th 0 --- +2 Lopez
4/7 5th 0 --- -2 Lopez
4/8 8th 0 123 +2 Lopez

Four outings, thrice early, thrice in a close game, once in high-leverage (likely intended to induce a double play).

4/2 8th 1 --3 -6 Romero
4/4 8th 0 --- +6 Romero
4/5 8th 0 --- +3 Romero
4/7 6th 1 --3 -1 Romero

Four times, twice when the game outcome had effectively been determined. Only once in high-leverage, and one borderline hold situation.

4/2 8th 0 --- -5 Pineiro
4/4 9th 0 --- +6 Pineiro
4/7 8th 0 --- -4 Pineiro
4/8 8th 0 --- +2 Pineiro

Four times, thrice when the game outcome had effectively been determined. Only once in anything remotely resembling high-leverage.

4/2 6th 0 --- -4 Okajima
4/6 7th 0 --- -2 Okajima
4/7 7th 0 --- -4 Okajima

Never with a lead, never in the middle of an inning.

4/2 7th 2 -2- -5 Donnelly
4/7 6th 1 1-3 -5 Donnelly

This has got to be embarrassing. Only twice, and 5-run deficits both times.

So far it seems as though Francona is "favoring" Papelbon, Snyder, and Lopez, in the sense that he's going to them when the game is not out of hand. Romero and Pineiro have had few of such prime opportunities - and frankly have not done well with them. I don't know what Okajima and Donnelly have done to deserve the opportunities they've had, but then again there have only been so many good opportunities in the past week.

So, yes, I guess Romero seems to be favored when compared to Okajima and Donnelly, but based on usage to date he appears to be the 4th or 5th most trusted reliever. And did I mention it's a small sample?
   25. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 09, 2007 at 01:35 PM (#2329725)
Romero and Lopez are LOOGY. Keep it that way. Okajima has been used as a LOOGY in the NPB, but I'd like to see what he can do against righties.
   26. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 01:50 PM (#2329733)
According to the Globe, the new pitching coach is trying to see if Lopez can also be effective against righties.
   27. AROM Posted: April 09, 2007 at 02:09 PM (#2329746)
I still can't beleive the Red Sox flushed as much money down the toilet as they did signing Piniero. I can understand taking a chance on the guy, giving him a non-roster invite or something.

But no, the Red Sox spend real money on him, talk about converting him to closer, then we have to listen all winter as people try to justify the move, saying he's better suited for a relief role or something. Now we see he's just the same crappy pitcher he's been for the last 3-4 years.

I don't like the Red Sox but I like Brendan Donnelly. You should just give him the 8th inning and be done with it.
   28. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: April 09, 2007 at 02:19 PM (#2329761)
Let's all take a deep breath and celebrate the straight fastball of the Paps.
   29. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 09, 2007 at 02:20 PM (#2329764)
I don't like the Red Sox but I like Brendan Donnelly. You should just give him the 8th inning and be done with it.

We should have spent money on BJ Ryan instead of Julio Lugo. That way, we'd have one of Papelbon or Ryan available basically every game of the season.
   30. chris p Posted: April 09, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2329767)
We should have spent money on BJ Ryan instead of Julio Lugo.

we were still spending money on an ace reliever back then. his name was keith foulke.
   31. Dave Cyprian Posted: April 09, 2007 at 02:31 PM (#2329777)
Jonathon Papelbon throws fastballs for strikes.
   32. Dave Cyprian Posted: April 09, 2007 at 02:31 PM (#2329779)
Jonathan Papelbon throws fastballs for strikes.
   33. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 02:49 PM (#2329797)
It's like a mantra.
   34. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:06 PM (#2329821)
What about bringing back Dave McCarty to pitch the 8th? He did a pretty solid job.
   35. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:08 PM (#2329824)
The apparent burial of Donnelly and Okajima is very weird. It's also completely un-Francona. Would Terry Francona, right out of spring, shove his proven, expensive veterans to the back of the bullpen? I don't buy it for a second. This is either randomness, or it's John Farrell putting his own stamp on the bullpen. I think blaming Francona misses the point - if it's real, it's only Tito's fault for handing the reins to Farrell. I don't know if it's a good thing, but I like the idea that we've got a pitching coach with his own ideas and his own plans.

Goddam it's nice having Papelbon in there. I missed the weekend of baseball, being in Vegas, but I watched the Sunday night game from the lounge in the Aladdin, and that was pure awesomeness. After the first strike to Young, I was more watching to see how Papelbon would get out of the inning, than in the fear that the Rangers would come back.

The one time I saw Snyder, I was very unimpressed. He was throwing 89-91 on the fastball last year, and it was still way too hittable. He was 86-87 against KC. Was he better in his latest outing? With Snyder's shoulder history, I see an unexplained drop in velocity, and I assume the worst.
   36. Mister High Standards Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:13 PM (#2329828)
I think every move they have made from the pen has been damn close to the right move to make, and at worst defensible.

Like usually I think Darren is off his rocker.

I would have likly have started the 8th with Snyder as I think there is a legit chance he is the best non paps reliever the sox have. But giving Pinerio a guy who they like is a defensible move, though I may disagree on their evaluation of him.

I definitly go with a lefty versus Cat - the only question is what lefty and based on the limited faith they seem to have in Romero and OkieDokie then going to Lopez makes a ton of sense, especially when you need to make a roster move soon and he is the guy most likly in need of it. I would have gone to OkieDokie, but he hasn't looked great thus far.
   37. Mister High Standards Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:20 PM (#2329832)
MCoA, I don't think they are bury Donlley, and am unsure what they are doing with OkieDokie. I think they are "auditioning" for roles right now.
   38. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:23 PM (#2329835)
"The one time I saw Piniero pitch, I thought he had really good stuff, just by watching. His breaking pitches had nice, tight break on them and he displayed a nice sink on his fastball."

When Pineiro first came up with the Mariners in 00-01, I thought he was destined to be a bad-ass. He threw hard, his curveball was this bizarre, devestating weapon that no one could touch and his first name was pronounced like he was from the planet Krypton. But somewhere along the line it all went awry.
   39. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:36 PM (#2329850)
MCoA, I don't think they are bury Donlley, and am unsure what they are doing with OkieDokie. I think they are "auditioning" for roles right now.
Right, but we've watched Terry Francona manage for three years now. If he were holding auditions, he would not give first crack to Kyle Snyder and Javier Lopez. He would respect seniority, experience, statistical projections. That's what Francona does.

It's possible that all we're seeing is some weirdness due to pitchers not being available in the weather, or pissing someone off in a side session, or god knows what. It's quite possible that it's nothing.

But insofar as it's something with a logic to it - and an audition has its own logic - then it's very un-Terry, and I think it's Farrell's doing. If something has changed in bullpen usage, it seems to me it makes sense to pin it on Farrell.
   40. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:41 PM (#2329857)
When Pineiro first came up with the Mariners in 00-01, I thought he was destined to be a bad-ass. He threw hard, his curveball was this bizarre, devestating weapon that no one could touch and his first name was pronounced like he was from the planet Krypton. But somewhere along the line it all went awry.
Nicely put. Probably one of the reasons I was too forgiving of the Pineiro signing is that my primary memories of him are from that first season and a half. Didn't Pineiro get out the first 40 RHB he faced in his career, or something like that?
   41. tfbg9 Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2329858)
Pinero, to me, looked scared out there. Papelbon manages to look like a pyscho.

Pinero walked the first batter, then goes 2-1 on the next guy, and 'Tek calls for a curve, which Joel has yet to locate. Predictably, he missed badly, running the count to 3-1. I hated that call, because if they are paying attention, Texas is going to take the 2-1 pitch anyway. So you might as well attack the zone and try to get to 2-2; if they swing, they're kind of doing you a favor, since he was all over the place.

It's possible that Pinero shook him off...that 'Tek called for a 2-1 fastball.
   42. tfbg9 Posted: April 09, 2007 at 03:45 PM (#2329863)
That said, I remain hopeful that Pinero will be an OK 8th inning guy.
   43. Nasty Nate Posted: April 09, 2007 at 04:03 PM (#2329880)
I remain hopeful that Pineiro will not knock over the bucket of soapy water when he is relegated to mop-up duty.
   44. Sexy Lizard Posted: April 09, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2329891)
I'll note with the "audition" idea that Timlin's return is imminent. If Francona is going to see a lot of Lopez he needs to see him now, before he goes to Pawtucket.
   45. tfbg9 Posted: April 09, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2329909)
I remain hopeful that Pineiro will not knock over the bucket of soapy water when he is relegated to mop-up duty.


I think he's beter than that.
   46. AROM Posted: April 09, 2007 at 04:37 PM (#2329913)
That said, I remain hopeful that Pinero will be an OK 8th inning guy.

In the 8th inning of a 10 run game, maybe. If the score is close, I would think you'd want your best option, and since you can't pitch Papelbon 5 outs all the time without his shoulder popping out of its socket, Donnelly should be the man.

It is as obvious to me as anything in the world that Donnelly is a better pitcher than Piniero. It is extremely confusing to me that this self evident truth is not obvious to everyone.
   47. tfbg9 Posted: April 09, 2007 at 05:05 PM (#2329944)
It is as obvious to me as anything in the world that Donnelly is a better pitcher than Piniero. It is extremely confusing to me that this self evident truth is not obvious to everyone.


Bing-bong!

Who is it?

Land Snark!
   48. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 05:29 PM (#2329982)
The apparent burial of Donnelly and Okajima is very weird. It's also completely un-Francona. Would Terry Francona, right out of spring, shove his proven, expensive veterans to the back of the bullpen? I don't buy it for a second.


1. Last year he shoved that Foulke guy aside pretty quickly.

2. If Timlin were active I think we'd see something more in line with your expectation.

3. Again, it's early. In half their games Francona has had to get 4 innings of work out of the bullpen. I don't think what he has done to date is predictive of what will come this season, because of the odd nature of this past week's games.

I think Okajima and Donnelly will be pitching plenty this year, and in more crucial situations than what they've faced so far.

But no, the Red Sox spend real money on him, talk about converting him to closer, then we have to listen all winter as people try to justify the move, saying he's better suited for a relief role or something. Now we see he's just the same crappy pitcher he's been for the last 3-4 years.


$4m/year is the going price for "mediocre free agent reliever who might be good". Not saying that they didn't have cheaper, better options in the minors... but if they're hitting the free agent market to fill the pen, $4 million is where it's at. Of course he could cost more, if they have him close, and if they choose to exercise his 2008 option. But if he doesn't realize the "might be good" potential, I wouldn't count on either.

And whether or not he remains the same crappy pitcher as he's been, I don't know. It's early.

I agree with you on Donnelly. If Timlin burns out it wouldn't surprise me to see him assume that role, unless one of the kids takes it like Papelbon did toward the end of 2005. Of the current bullpen he's the most likely... but that says more about the bullpen than it does about Donnelly.
   49. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 09, 2007 at 05:36 PM (#2329999)
It is as obvious to me as anything in the world that Donnelly is a better pitcher than Piniero. It is extremely confusing to me that this self evident truth is not obvious to everyone.


It seems pretty clear to me too. I'm not sure what's going on with bullpen roles at the moment, but it just seems like Francona/Farrell are just trying to figure out what they've got. Who knows what to expect from any of these guys? Papelbon is clearly teh awesome, and Timlin once he comes back will probably retain his position as 8th-inning setup guy. Donnelly's use so far confuses me, as he has the best and most recent track record of success and seems like the most logical choice for main setup guy, but I highly doubt he'll be in a mop up role for the rest of the season. I'm less worried about how the bullpen is being managed than about the quality of arms in the bullpen. There aren't many who inspire a lot of confidence out there.
   50. AROM Posted: April 09, 2007 at 05:59 PM (#2330053)
$4m/year is the going price for "mediocre free agent reliever who might be good".

Sure, we had to guarantee 4 years on him, but the Angels paid about 4 mil/year for a reliever who is damn good in Justin Speier.

I think there were plenty of mediocre/bad pitchers who got way less than that, but I'd have to check.
   51. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 06:02 PM (#2330056)
I'm less worried about how the bullpen is being managed than about the quality of arms in the bullpen. There aren't many who inspire a lot of confidence out there.


Their lack of quality has cost the team an additional 0 wins to date. On the night of Romero's self-immolation, the bullpen would have had to pitch at least 6 innings of scoreless relief in order to get a win. The manner in which they failed should not obscure that they almost certainly would have failed.

The bullpen might cost them some games this season, but the actual amount will be far fewer than what it will feel like. It felt like Romero lost the game on Saturday, but Tavarez deserves the blame.
   52. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 09, 2007 at 06:09 PM (#2330069)
1. Last year he shoved that Foulke guy aside pretty quickly.
Foulke was "shoved aside" to become the primary set-up man. And Papelbon was throwing 95 with movement and making the best hitters in the game look silly.

Are you really disputing that Francona doesn't give lots of leeway to established players? I thought that, like, two threads ago you were making the argument that Francona's primary tendency as a manager is his patience, and that he doesn't make quick fixes. In Bill James speak, he's an optimist rather than a problem solver. I think that's right. The Papelbon-Foulke move isn't typical of Francona. I thought you agreed about that.

Given that his tendency is to patience, why would he give more important innings to Kyle Snyder and Javier Lopez, over Brendan Donnelly and Hideki Okajima? Patience means you start with the guys with the best records and the best projections, and you work from there. If someone blows you away, you make a quicker move, but that's unusual, and surely Kyle Snyder hasn't blown anyone away since he was an amateur.
I think there were plenty of mediocre/bad pitchers who got way less than that, but I'd have to check.
Brendan Donnelly and Hideki Okajima, for two. $4M is not the going price for mediocre relievers. It's 1.5M or so. Justin Speier is a perfect case - he's about as good a setup reliever as will come on the market, and he gets 4/18.
   53. AROM Posted: April 09, 2007 at 06:18 PM (#2330092)
Its hit and miss - Danys Baez is not as good a pitcher as Speier, but he got 6 million per year (he's got the magic closer dust). Alfonseca got the league minimum. He doesn't have a good recent track record, the major difference between him and Piniero (aside from the extra fingers) is that he hasn't pitched badly in as many innings.

Russ Springer only got 1.5 million for 1 year. He's old and doesn't have any upside, but if I needed someone to trust middle innings to I'd want him over Piniero. Who knows, sometimes you sign these old guys with hopes of getting you through a year, and they stick around forever and contribute - like Mike Timlin.
   54. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 06:23 PM (#2330106)
I think there were plenty of mediocre/bad pitchers who got way less than that, but I'd have to check.


If you insist on expanding it to include "bad" then you'll surely find a bunch.

I'm basing the $4 million on the work in this thread, which is now at least one insane free agent market out of date. It's not comprehensive, but it'll do.
   55. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 09, 2007 at 06:28 PM (#2330131)
oh, donnelly was a trade pickup. Non-closer signings:

Borowski 1/4
Bradford 3/10.5
Embree, 2/5.5
Fultz, 1/1.6
Hawkins 1/3.5
Hernandez 1/3.5
Kline 2/3.5
Mesa 1/2.5
Mota 2/5
Okajima 2/2.5
Reitsma 1/2
Riske 1/2
Schoeneweis 3/11
Speier 4/18
Springer 1/1.75
Stanton 2/5.5
Walker 3/12
Weathers 2/5

$4M per season goes to (a) closers, (b) the best non-closer on the market, or (c) Jamie Walker for some reason or other.
   56. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 09, 2007 at 06:33 PM (#2330141)
vi - Your work in that thread deals with Julian Tavarez, one of the most consistent, effective setup men in baseball between 2003 and 2005. If Pineiro had Tavarez's record, I think many fewer people would be questioning the contract. He doesn't, it isn't close, so the contract looks weird.
   57. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 06:50 PM (#2330177)
Are you really disputing that Francona doesn't give lots of leeway to established players?


You amuse me. First, I think the quote above means the opposite of what you intended. Second, your reaction to what I wrote seems as though you stopped reading at the part you quoted. Beyond that I said:

- We'd see more evidence that Francona leans to the veterans if Timlin were active;
- Donnelly and Okajima will pitch in plenty of crucial situations this year;
- The past week is not predictive of usage patterns for the year.

I think that answers a lot of your concerns about what I wrote up to that point.

I thought that, like, two threads ago you were making the argument that Francona's primary tendency as a manager is his patience, and that he doesn't make quick fixes.


I believe I said that Epstein makes good deals when he's patient, and horrible deals when he isn't.

Are you getting your information from Joe Morgan these days?
   58. AROM Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:02 PM (#2330210)
$4M per season goes to (a) closers, (b) the best non-closer on the market, or (c) Jamie Walker for some reason or other.

Piniero's value could have been inflated with people looking at him as a starter too. But among the bad starters, 4 million is still a little pricy:

Ohka 1.5
Ramon Ortiz ?
Russ Ortiz ?
Sidney Ponson?

I doubt Russ or the gopher brothers got 4 mil but couldn't find the amount.

There's a lot of low end starters who signed for minor league deals or something. The pitchers who got more are certainly better starters than Piniero, except for Jason Marquis getting 3/21.

Even Marquis had 2 years of average before a terrible year, Piniero's been awful 3 years in a row.
   59. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:03 PM (#2330213)
why would he give more important innings to Kyle Snyder and Javier Lopez, over Brendan Donnelly and Hideki Okajima?


Because Okajima and Donnelly had pitched days before?
Because of some cold weather related concern?
Because they're trying to decide who to send down when Timlin comes back?

I think there are better explanations for why Snyder and Lopez have seen an inning or two more over the past 5 days than we might expect than a shift in managerial temperment/philosophy (if such a temperment/philosophy does actually exist). Some patience here might be of use before we start jumping to conclusions about this year's bullpen management.

$4M for Pineiro does seem like an overpayment though, and he certainly didn't look very good last night. I hope this is a case of some scout (Baird?) involved in the signing, because it seems pretty lousy otherwise, given Pineiro's lousiness in recent years. I hope he can turn it around.
   60. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:06 PM (#2330217)
- We'd see more evidence that Francona leans to the veterans if Timlin were active;
- Donnelly and Okajima will pitch in plenty of crucial situations this year;
- The past week is not predictive of usage patterns for the year.
I read the rest of the post. In the rest of the post, you suggested that what's been going on could be non-predictive. I've been saying all thread that it could be meaningless. So I took that as an area of agreement and moved on to the rest.

The implication of the first statement you made was that Francona very well could have chosen to bump Donnelly and Okajima back to the end of the pen in favor of the young guys, because he did that with Papelbon last year. That's what it meant, right? I disagree with that, so I said so. You didn't disagree in turn with anything I said, so I have no idea what you think now.

My take on the situation is that there are two likely readings:

1) Stuff we're not aware of has led to somewhat strange usage patterns in the first week that will change in the near future
2) John Farrell wants to put unproven relievers in key roles to start the season

I think it's highly unlikely that Francona would do (2) on his own. The excerpt from the deuteronomistic history suggested that the Red Sox could be holding high-leverage tryouts for the last spots in the pen, which I guess is possible, though it seems unwise.
   61. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:12 PM (#2330236)
vi - Your work in that thread deals with Julian Tavarez, one of the most consistent, effective setup men in baseball between 2003 and 2005.


And the comparisons were to a bunch of players who were not hitting free agency at the time, and was prior to the big free agent payouts of last year. In quoting it now, I had in my head, "$4 million doesn't buy you someone of the caliber of Julian Tavarez or Rudy Seanez any more," which is how I got to "$4 million buys a mediocre reliever."

You're right; at the time Tavarez (and Seanez, somewhat) were relievers with good recent track records who were "worth" signing to $4 million deals moreso than Pineiro was in 2007. As Rallymonkey notes, it's hit and miss. There's a bit of variance around the salaries, but that doesn't mean that Boston has to be at the high end.
   62. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2330246)
I think there are better explanations for why Snyder and Lopez have seen an inning or two more over the past 5 days than we might expect than a shift in managerial temperment/philosophy (if such a temperment/philosophy does actually exist). Some patience here might be of use before we start jumping to conclusions about this year's bullpen management.
This is perfectly fair, and yours and vi's responses make me think I'm being unclear.

I certainly think that it's quite likely that this just happened and isn't predictive. It seems clear from vi's post that there is some weirdness here - everyone's #2 and #3 relievers for the week have pitched only mop-up innings. This may be explicable only as a fluke, but it's something that calls for explanation.

If we're going to give an explanation other than a one-week fluke, I think it's wrong to turn to Francona, as Darren did here. Francona's tendencies and weaknesses as a manager lie elsewhere. If this is something predictive, I think it's much more likely that Farrell's the one calling the shots.
   63. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:35 PM (#2330292)
From the Globe:

According to a league source, the Red Sox claimed pitcher J.D. Durbin from the Arizona Diamondbacks this afternoon.

From the Herald:

The Boston Herald reports Boston Red Sox RP Javier Lopez is a likely candidate to be sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket should RP Mike Timlin (oblique) be activated sometime this week.
   64. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:46 PM (#2330311)
The implication of the first statement you made was that Francona very well could have chosen to bump Donnelly and Okajima back to the end of the pen in favor of the young guys, because he did that with Papelbon last year. That's what it meant, right?


I was responding to this quote:

Would Terry Francona, right out of spring, shove his proven, expensive veterans to the back of the bullpen? I don't buy it for a second.


...in which it appeared to me that you couldn't fathom a scenario in which it would happen, ever. I merely suggested a real-life counterexample to suggest that Francona isn't the automaton your comment implied. I wasn't suggesting that he was or is burying Donnelly and Okajima, because I don't believe for a second that that's what's happening.

If that's not what you meant, then take what I said with a grain of salt.

Moving on... It's very hard for me to believe there's any kind of seismic shift in bullpen deployment philosophy coming from Farrell. Maybe there is, maybe there isn't, but there's nothing but the most scant and circumstantial of evidence from the first week to suggest it. Goodness, in half their games the starter didn't go past 5. That's bizarre enough to throw any general usage patterns out the window.

This is the part where I throw in the traditional backhanded gloating - you know, something along the lines of, "Sorry if I don't respond quickly, I'll be at the home opener tomorrow."
   65. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: April 09, 2007 at 07:57 PM (#2330335)
According to a league source, the Red Sox claimed pitcher J.D. Durbin from the Arizona Diamondbacks this afternoon.
Wasn't everybody all excited about Byrnes's acumen when he snagged Durbin a week ago? I assume that Byrnes would steal him back if the Sox just went to sneak Durbin through waivers again, so maybe both Snyder and Lopez are headed to Pawtucket? Or Romero?

By the way, here's Durbin's MySpace, titled "titsandassforme".
   66. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 08:02 PM (#2330344)
Snyder's out of options, IIRC. Maybe we'll soon learn about Romero's injured left quintricep or something. Maybe a partially torn rotator bleft. Or an aggravated right patellar meniscus. Or pinkeye.
   67. villageidiom Posted: April 09, 2007 at 08:19 PM (#2330395)
Actually, wouldn't Durbin still have options? AZ DFA'ed him to make room on the 40-man roster, so it wasn't that they were hoping to put him in the minors as much as they were trying to get him off the 40-man roster. If the Red Sox claimed him, then I think they only need to add him to the 40-man roster (on which they currently have room), not the 25-man.
   68. Josh Posted: April 09, 2007 at 09:04 PM (#2330460)
Durbin was added to the 40 man in Nov. 2003, and I think he was optioned in 2004, 2005, and 2006.
   69. Darren Posted: April 10, 2007 at 01:49 AM (#2330732)
It would be fun to see how things would play out of the Sox and Dbacks just kept claiming him each time the other tried to send him down.

However, even if he has no options left, if the Dbacks' 40 man roster is full, they're not a danger to claim him, right?

I was one of the ones impressed with the Dbacks picking him up, but that was more because they seemed to have been making several such pretty good moves recently.
   70. villageidiom Posted: April 10, 2007 at 02:12 AM (#2330746)
I think you're correct.

IIRC, though, he's never been outrighted to the minors, which can be done only once. He would have to pass through (revocable) waivers for it to happen, so it would seem to be a relatively low-risk move to try it.
   71. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 10, 2007 at 08:39 AM (#2330912)
The only reason why we have to try and find good relievers outside the system is because other than Papelbon we haven't had anybody decent come out of the system. Delcarmen was OK last year but he pitched his way off the team, Hansen has bene nothing of terrible, and we jsut HAD to trade [/sarcam] to trade Meredith.
   72. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 10, 2007 at 01:26 PM (#2330973)
Wait until you get a load of Bryce Cox.

I hope he brings me Manny pleasures.
   73. Darren Posted: April 10, 2007 at 09:43 PM (#2331486)
Donnelly with a 13-run lead. Can't believe his LI will actually go down!
   74. Nasty Nate Posted: April 11, 2007 at 12:55 AM (#2331688)
I'll be at ole Fenway tomorrow
pumped
!!
   75. villageidiom Posted: April 11, 2007 at 12:23 PM (#2332068)
Donnelly with a 13-run lead. Can't believe his LI will actually go down!


And then he was followed by Okajima. Sheesh.

Actually, according to the Globe Extra Bases blog, Francona was planning to get in some work for Donnelly in that game. For Donnelly to have appeared in a high-lev situation in that game, he would've had to start.

Welcome back to the AL, Jeff Weaver!
   76. AROM Posted: April 11, 2007 at 12:39 PM (#2332075)
Good to see the Mariners will be no threat again this year. Felix Hernandez is incredible, but they cancel him out by starting Jeff Weaver, the anti-Felix.
   77. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: April 11, 2007 at 03:06 PM (#2332174)
And then he was followed by Okajima. Sheesh.

Actually, according to the Globe Extra Bases blog, Francona was planning to get in some work for Donnelly in that game. For Donnelly to have appeared in a high-lev situation in that game, he would've had to start.


They coudln't have used Kyle Snyder for this game could they?

Welcome back to the AL, Jeff Weaver!

Konichiwa, motherfukkker!
   78. chris p Posted: April 11, 2007 at 06:28 PM (#2332397)
sort of bullpen usage ... but more bullpen composition. my complaint is that devern hansack isn't in it!
   79. Darren Posted: April 11, 2007 at 10:46 PM (#2332742)
Actually, according to the Globe Extra Bases blog, Francona was planning to get in some work for Donnelly in that game. For Donnelly to have appeared in a high-lev situation in that game, he would've had to start.


Yeah, I figured it was something like that. No biggie, I just thought it was funny.

Also, Donnelly's stuff has looked pretty nasty this year. I'm feeling pretty good about him, even though I shouldn't.

I don't like the Red Sox but I like Brendan Donnelly. You should just give him the 8th inning and be done with it. 


As much as I like what I've seen, I don't agree with this. Donnelly's projected for a mid-4ish ERA. He should be trying out for the 8th inning role, not getting it handed to him. Pineiro doesn't project well either, but there is some hope that he'll be better than that as well. He does have a couple decent pitches and seemed to improve when moved to the pen. Why wouldn't he be given a fair shot to be the setup man?
   80. villageidiom Posted: April 12, 2007 at 02:06 AM (#2333098)
sort of bullpen usage ... but more bullpen composition. my complaint is that devern hansack isn't in it!


Well, if we can find a way to blame that on Terry Francona, we can discuss it in this thread. ;-)

Yeah, I figured it was something like that. No biggie, I just thought it was funny.


Oh, it was funny. At the game I was telling the guy next to me that Donnelly has now come into -5, -5, and +13 situations, all garbage time, and he thought it was an odd choice. He also gave me a look that said either, "Why on earth would you know that off the top of your head?" or, "Why would you quote villageidiom? He's a frickin' moron."

Better yet, as soon as Donnelly got tossed, I said they'd bring in Okajima because he's had almost as much garbage time as Donnelly. Sure enough...
   81. Darren Posted: April 12, 2007 at 03:34 AM (#2333135)
Oh, it was funny. At the game I was telling the guy next to me that Donnelly has now come into -5, -5, and +13 situations, all garbage time, and he thought it was an odd choice. He also gave me a look that said either, "Why on earth would you know that off the top of your head?" or, "Why would you quote villageidiom? He's a frickin' moron."


That was you? I totally didn't recognize you.
   82. 1k5v3L Posted: April 12, 2007 at 04:10 AM (#2333137)
Wasn't everybody all excited about Byrnes's acumen when he snagged Durbin a week ago? I assume that Byrnes would steal him back if the Sox just went to sneak Durbin through waivers again, so maybe both Snyder and Lopez are headed to Pawtucket? Or Romero?


Bob Melvin didn't want Durbin. This was one of the disagreements between JByrnes and Melvin. The manager didn't want him in the pen, wasn't going to use him, and the one time he brought him in a losing game, Durbin got his ass handed to him, and Melvin left him out to dry.

The Dbacks had to DFA someone to make room for Owings, so Durbin was the guy. There was a chance they would've lost him if they tried to put him on waivers to send him to AAA anyhow. And Durbin was only added because the Dbacks needed an excuse to remove Krynzel from the 40 man roster.

Actually, wouldn't Durbin still have options? AZ DFA'ed him to make room on the 40-man roster, so it wasn't that they were hoping to put him in the minors as much as they were trying to get him off the 40-man roster.


Durbin doesn't have more options. That's why the Twins lost him in the first place to Arizona. I reckon the Red Sox can give him a healthy doze of Adamsternitis and keep him on the 15 man DL for the remainder of the season tho. Maybe use his as a body part donor for JD Drew.

It would be fun to see how things would play out of the Sox and Dbacks just kept claiming him each time the other tried to send him down.

However, even if he has no options left, if the Dbacks' 40 man roster is full, they're not a danger to claim him, right?


Fat chance of that happening. Melvin can't even find work for Dustin Nippert out of the pen, and he actually is OK with Nippert. Durbin isn't coming back to AZ any time soon. Ironically, Melvin is a moron when it comes to bullpen usage. A high school kid can out-manage him.

And yes, the Dbacks 40 man roster is full, and as far as I know, there isn't anyone who HAS to be DFAed any time soon, as Hammock, Barden, Nippert, etc. (i.e., the guys likely to get sent down the Quentin, Randy and DaVanon are off the DL) can all be optioned down to AAA.


I was one of the ones impressed with the Dbacks picking him up, but that was more because they seemed to have been making several such pretty good moves recently.


Gambling on Durbin wasn't a bad move. Obviously, a few teams could use him. Heck, even the Red Sox seem to think he might help in their bullpen, and they've got 6 Mariano Riveras in there...

:)
   83. Dave Cyprian Posted: April 14, 2007 at 01:43 AM (#2334508)
What do you think of Francona now? Bring in Papelbon in the 8th, Timlin in the 9th. Beautiful.
   84. bibigon Posted: April 14, 2007 at 02:25 AM (#2334553)
What do you think of Francona now? Bring in Papelbon in the 8th, Timlin in the 9th. Beautiful.


A bit unfortunate we didn't get to see what he would have done if it wasn't for those six runs, but not that unfortunate.
   85. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: April 14, 2007 at 06:44 PM (#2334938)
Yeah, I'd say it's a bit early to complain. And also dumbassed. I think they're starting to get James' message.

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