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Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Let’s Get It On

The defending world champion Boston Red Sox hit the field just a bit over 24 hours from now.  A few stray thoughts, bad predictions and general hopes for the coming 7 months;

Breakout Star - Eduardo Rodriguez - People seem to forget that the soon to be 26 year old is already a good Major League pitcher with a career ERA+ of 107.  Reports out of Fort Myers have been overwhelmingly positive and I feel like there is some growing confidence on his part that he genuinely belongs. 

Disappointing Season - Alex Cora - I don’t think Cora is suddenly going to get stupid but I think he is going to be faced with challenges that he didn’t have to deal with in 2018.  Some of the lack of challenges are a tribute to the job he did but things are unlikely to come as easily as they did a year ago and dealing with that adversity is going to be important.  I think Cora will still be an excellent manager but I also think he will not be as universally loved as he is right now.

X Factor - Heath Hembree - To me Hembree is the guy in the bullpen who is going to determine if the Sox’ gambles out there pay off or not.  I am confident in Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier but the Sox need that seventh inning guy and Hembree is the dude who needs to step into that role in my opinion.

Secret Weapon - Brandon Workman - OK, so if Hembree can’t do it who can?  How about Brandon Workman?  I love Workman to a nearly Swihartian degree and I think he is a guy I would rely on if I was Alex Cora.  If Hembree is the guy who can make the bullpen whole then Workman is the guy who can take the bullpen that next step from “good enough” to “a legitimate force.”

Most Starts: 2B Edition - Brock Holt - I want to believe in Dustin Pedroia, we all do.  But c’mon.  The little dude has taken a beating in recent years and it’s not like second basemen have this great history of aging well anyway.  I think Holt will outplay Eduardo Nunez to be the regular choice when Pedey is unavailable.

The Closer In September and October Will Be - Sean Doolittle - Obviously a bit of a WAG here.  I don’t think Kimbrel is coming back at this point and Doolittle, in the final year of his deal on an uncertain Washington club, is the kind of guy I can see Dave Dombrowski going out to add to solidify the bullpen at the deadline.  Doolittle is the guess here but I think a more general answer of “Guy Notinorganizationnow” is correct.

Minor Leaguer Likely to Make Impact - Travis Lakins - The RHP reliever hasn’t gotten the notice that big southpaw Darwinzon Hernandez or hot prospect Durbin Feltman have gotten but he has impressed at every level with the ability to miss bats and throw strikes.

Breakout Minor League Player - CJ Chatham - The 2016 second round pick battled injuries his first couple of years and was fairly ordinary last year.  He spent a lot of time in Fort Myers with the big club and looks the part in every way.  I think he is a player who is going to take a big step forward this year though he remains a couple years away from big league readiness.

Some Random Over/Unders;

David Price wins: 14.5
Matt Barnes saves: 18.5
Jackie Bradley Jr. HR: 23.5
Blake Swihart Starts at Catcher: 52.5
Mookie Betts WAR: 8.0
Xander Bogaerts Stolen Bases: 16.5
Andrew Benintendi HR: 19.5
Chris Sale starts after ASB: 9.5
Chairs Joe Castiglione Falls Out Of: 0.5

Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: March 27, 2019 at 02:15 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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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. villageidiom Posted: March 27, 2019 at 03:37 PM (#5825822)
over, over, under, under, over, over, under, over, under
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: March 27, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5825828)
David Price wins: 14.5 OVER
Matt Barnes saves: 18.5 UNDER
Jackie Bradley Jr. HR: 23.5 UNDER
Blake Swihart Starts at Catcher: 52.5 UNDER
Mookie Betts WAR: 8.0 UNDER
Xander Bogaerts Stolen Bases: 16.5 UNDER
Andrew Benintendi HR: 19.5 OVER
Chris Sale starts after ASB: 9.5 OVER
Chairs Joe Castiglione Falls Out Of: 0.5 WAY OVER!
   3. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: March 27, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5825847)
David Price wins: 14.5 OVER
Matt Barnes saves: 18.5 OVER
Jackie Bradley Jr. HR: 23.5 UNDER
Blake Swihart Starts at Catcher: 52.5 UNDER
Mookie Betts WAR: 8.0 OVER
Xander Bogaerts Stolen Bases: 16.5 UNDER
Andrew Benintendi HR: 19.5 OVER
Chris Sale starts after ASB: 9.5 UNDER
Chairs Joe Castiglione Falls Out Of: 0.5 OVER (Can you believe it?)
   4. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 27, 2019 at 07:04 PM (#5825915)
David Price wins: 14.5 OVER
Matt Barnes saves: 18.5 OVER
Jackie Bradley Jr. HR: 23.5 UNDER... his career high is 26, no other season over 17. I'm optimistic, but not crazy.
Blake Swihart Starts at Catcher: 52.5 OVER
Mookie Betts WAR: 8.0 UNDER That's just a huge number.
Xander Bogaerts Stolen Bases: 16.5 UNDER these really are random. That would be a career high.
Andrew Benintendi HR: 19.5 OVER but not by much.
Chris Sale starts after ASB: 9.5 Let's see. This year's schedule has 91 games before leaving 71 games after the ASB. OVER.

Breakout Star - Rafe Devers. This one's easy.

Disappointing Season - Dustin Pedroia. Also an easy, if tragic, answer.

X Factor - Brock Holt. He's healthy. He's got a well-defined role. The path to 500 PAs is clear. Can he be a consistent contributor?

Secret Weapon - Colten Brewer. To the extent that I understand what this category represents. I think Brewer's going to be awesome.

Most Starts: 2B Edition - I think it's basically a tossup. I'm taking Nunez because Holt's gonna get more run at different spots.

The Closer In September and October Will Be - I think Doolittle is as good a guess as any. I can legitimately imagine any of Barnes, Brasier Brewer, Feltman or Workman emerging as a shutdown closer this year.

Minor Leaguer Likely to Make Impact - Feltman.

Breakout Minor League Player - Chavis. I don't know.
   5. The Yankee Clapper Posted: March 27, 2019 at 07:49 PM (#5825924)
The Closer In September and October Will Be - Sean Doolittle

I will be surprised if the Nationals aren’t in the NL East Race, and more surprised if they fall out of the race early enough that Doolittle could be acquired under the new rules. Such poor performance might require a complete collapse by Doolittle himself, among others.
   6. Silas Wegg Posted: March 27, 2019 at 11:17 PM (#5825960)
Breakout Star - Devers.
Disappointing Season - Devers. If he doesn't break out, I will be disappointed.
X Factor - Pedroia. Or maybe I don't know what "X Factor" means.
Secret Weapon - Carson Smith
Most Starts: 2B Edition - o/
The Closer In September and October Will Be - Brasier
Minor Leaguer Likely to Make Impact - Carson Smith
Breakout Minor League Player - Oh, let's say Antoni Flores.

David Price wins: 14.5 UNDER
Matt Barnes saves: 18.5 OVER
Jackie Bradley Jr. HR: 23.5 UNDER
Blake Swihart Starts at Catcher: 52.5 UNDER
Mookie Betts WAR: 8.0 UNDER
Xander Bogaerts Stolen Bases: 16.5 UNDER
Andrew Benintendi HR: 19.5 UNDER
Chris Sale starts after ASB: 9.5 OVER

   7. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 28, 2019 at 08:18 AM (#5825974)
Breakout Star - Rafael Devers - He's got the talent, and while his sophmore season was rough he's only 22 years old. Also, while spring training doesn't mean that much it doesn't hurt that he absolutely MASHED. Put me down for expecting a non-CFBPS .280/.330/.500 season with 30 dingers and a whole lot of RBIs because he's hitting in the middle of an extremely potent lineup with Betts and Bogaerts setting the table for him.

Disappointing Season - Rick Porcello - I expect him to have an ERA somewhere in the mid 4s and an RA9 in the mid 5s around the ASB and everyone saying "well, he hasn't pitched THAT badly" while I continue to question why you guys don't get that this guy is a BUM OF THE FIRST ORDER.

X Factor - BROCK HOLT! - The Brockstar had probably the best season of his career last year, all while playing every position but CF and C. Having someone like Holt to adequately fill in for the regulars makes a good regular season team great, and his flexibility also hopefully means we see less of Eduardo Nunez.

Secret Weapon - Blake Swihart - I think he's able to put together a solid season at the plate, finally, and his versatility along with Holt's will give the Sox a lot of mix and match options when they need to give the starters a rest or someone gets a nagging injury.

Most Starts: 2B Edition - Dustin Pedroia - I have faith! Not that I think Pedroia will top 120 games, but I think 100 is certainly achievable. C'mon Laser Show, they're all doubting you! Doesn't that make you mad? Doesn't that make you want to get out there and show those nerds in their moms basements why they're wrong?

The Closer In September and October Will Be - Raisel Iglesias - "Guy Notinorganizationnow" is probably the correct answer for this, for the reasons that Jose says.

Minor Leaguer Likely to Make Impact - Darwinzon Hernandez

Breakout Minor League Player - Darwinzon Hernandez.

Some Random Over/Unders;

David Price wins: 14.5 - OVER - I think he puts up another 4+ WAR season and gets 18ish wins
Matt Barnes saves: 18.5 - UNDER - The Sox are starting with a closer by committee, and probably will trade for a closer midseason
Jackie Bradley Jr. HR: 23.5 - UNDER, but not by much
Blake Swihart Starts at Catcher: 52.5 - UNDER
Mookie Betts WAR: 8.0 - OVER, comfortably, but probably still behind Trout
Xander Bogaerts Stolen Bases: 16.5 - UNDER
Andrew Benintendi HR: 19.5 - OVER by 5-10
Chris Sale starts after ASB: 9.5 - OVER (hopefully)
Chairs Joe Castiglione Falls Out Of: 0.5 UNDER

Selected CFBPS (tm) Slash Lines:
Mookie Betts - .373/.488/.701
Xander Bogaerts - .342/.407/.511
Andrew Benintendi - .319/.388/.547
Rafael Devers - .311/.363/.666
Chris Sale - 1.11 ERA, 14.2 K/9, .9 BB/9, .4 HR/9,, 211 IP.
David Price - 2.24 ERA, 10.6 K/9, 1.2 BB/9, .6 HR/9, 260.1 IP

(e: The crazy thing about the Betts projection is that it's adding only about .050 to his OBP last year, since he was at .346/.438/.640(!!!) last year)
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: March 28, 2019 at 09:49 AM (#5826006)
Lineup for tonight:

Benintendi
Betts
Devers
JD Martinez
Bogaerts
Moreland
Nunez
Bradley
Vazquez
   9. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 28, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5826052)
Man that's a top heavy lineup. Hopefully JBJ can hit like he did from late June onwards, that'd make things look much better.
   10. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: March 28, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5826082)
There are worse things in the world of sports than following a team that just won the WS, has a potential CY pitcher leading the rotation, and has one of the most likeable homegrown MVP players in the game.
   11. jmurph Posted: March 28, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5826136)
I love this team and want them all signed forever even as they fade. Give JBJ 8 years and Betts 19 years and Benintendi 8 years and Xander 11. All of em! I promise not to turn on them in 2026 when it all goes to hell.
   12. Lassus Posted: March 28, 2019 at 12:35 PM (#5826139)
BTF, I submitted an OMNICHATTER like 3 hours ago. Maybe Jim comes by here.
   13. SandyRiver Posted: March 28, 2019 at 12:51 PM (#5826152)
#7: Optimistic a bit? Betts' .373 would be the highest for a RHB since - the 40s? Devers hitting .311 and SLG .666 would need to include about 50 dingers. Looks a bit like Jose's 2019 "preview" from several weeks back. Probably written in similar vein, too.
   14. villageidiom Posted: March 28, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5826243)
#7: Optimistic a bit?
For CFBPS, that's actually a bit on the pessimistic side. I'm guessing someone tempered the parameters in the most recent renoobulation, what with the WS victory and such.
   15. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: March 28, 2019 at 04:21 PM (#5826365)
Considering that CFBPS stands for Crazy Fan-Boy Projection System, I think if anything they're pessimistic.
   16. Jose is an Absurd Kahuna Posted: March 29, 2019 at 09:05 AM (#5826573)
Well it's over. It was a nice run, maybe they can get something for Mookie at the deadline.

Kidding aside the thing that struck me yesterday was how good Eduardo Nunez looked. Dude was a different player out there.

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