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   1. tfbg9 Posted: March 25, 2007 at 07:28 PM (#2317586)
"intangibles such as player comfort and health concerns could easily overwhelm the statistical differences."

Bingo. Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to put this whole thing together? No snark intended...
   2. Darren Posted: March 25, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2317592)
20 minutes maybe. Most of the work was already done by DSG and Dan.
   3. tfbg9 Posted: March 25, 2007 at 10:56 PM (#2317673)
Ah. Thus, quick and dirty. You must type fast, though.
   4. Toby Posted: March 26, 2007 at 01:02 AM (#2317713)
intangibles such as player comfort

Criminy. Another case of Tito not being able to manage the clubhouse. Telling Papelbon and Tavarez what they want to hear. This is incredibly risky with very little upside.

;-)

But seriously, thanks Darren for putting this together. It is interesting, I would have thought the Paps-as-starter numbers would be better by a much wider margin.
   5. Mister High Standards Posted: March 26, 2007 at 02:29 AM (#2317734)
Based on this it seems pretty clear that moving Paps to the pen was the right move.
   6. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: March 26, 2007 at 02:48 AM (#2317739)
It costs the Red Sox 24.4 runs in the rotation, while saving them 18.9 runs in the pen--a net loss of 5.5 runs.


Assuming that this is true, how can you convert this into wins? I'm assuming it translates to roughly -2.4 wins in the rotation [Which strikes me as a little high. Has anyone else besides Smoltz (who was a starter during four presidential administrations) been stretched out in one season from a short reliever to starter? I thought that Johann Santana might be an example based on his large player liberation movement, but I guess that he was a spot starter before the Twins gave him a fulltime gig,] , but how many extra wins will this net the front of the rotation guys? BTW, I'm glad that you posted this, Darren. I was hoping that someone here would do something like this.
   7. Darren Posted: March 26, 2007 at 03:05 AM (#2317747)
I noticed an error in Donnelly's innings, so now it's "It costs the Red Sox 24.4 runs in the rotation, while saving them 16.9 runs in the pen--a net loss of 7.5 runs." I used the rule of thumb that 10 runs ~= 1 win. The 7.5 runs `= .75 wins.

Besides Smoltz, Derek Lowe was sort of stretched out to starting over just one season. Vicente Padilla threw
   8. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 26, 2007 at 11:22 AM (#2317815)
Heck, I think 3.44 RA is optimistic.

Same as I've felt with the recent "Jose Reyes = Jesus" threads, while 2006 was great for both players, I want to see them do it again next year. Can I say "this year" yet?

I think Darren was comically hit by a train in mid-post last night.
   9. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: March 26, 2007 at 11:59 AM (#2317823)
I think Darren was comically hit by a train in mid-post last night.


I do







too.
   10. Josh Posted: March 26, 2007 at 12:59 PM (#2317836)
I do
Fantastic - that must be what, 4 years ago by now?

Darren: great way of looking at it. I think this is right. 3.44 is a fine number to assume for a bullpen pitcher who had a sub-1 ERA last year and 1 WHIP/4:1 BB/SO ratio/good stuff in his prior 2 years in the minors (2004/2005).

My only real disagreement is that 3/4 of a win isn't a small thing - it is the expected difference b/w Timlin and Hansen. 3/4s of a win at a time is the normal way to build a team. However, this essentially assumes a replacement level 5th starter, if the 5th starter is greater than replacement level it becomes either a wash or the possibility for a net positive. That, of course, assumes that Pap can only go 60 innings - for each extra inning, this tilts further in that direction.

That all said, this is all only b/c the expected RA for each of the other bullpen pieces is so horrible. If Pineiro (or whoever) was a 4, instead of a 5, then this changes dramatically. In other words, this may be a defensibly good move in the short term, but only b/c it follows the heals of other less defensible bad moves.

(OTOH, if you assume that the other moves [i.e., building the bullpen] aren't that bad, then you have to change the chaining RAs.)
   11. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 26, 2007 at 01:11 PM (#2317841)
Josh, do you really think that Pineiro is more likely to be a 4 than a 5 RA than Papelbon is to get worse than 3.44?

If we assume that all of the health concerns talked about in the offseason are hooey, then there's no reason why this move would hurt the Sox. If bullpen usage leads directly to injury for Papelbon, it's a terrible move; they would have swapped a dominant closer for Joel Pineiro.
   12. bibigon Posted: March 26, 2007 at 01:23 PM (#2317849)
Josh, do you really think that Pineiro is more likely to be a 4 than a 5 RA than Papelbon is to get worse than 3.44?


I think this is far more likely, and is the main reason I do have serious concerns about this move.
   13. Josh Posted: March 26, 2007 at 01:25 PM (#2317850)
Josh, do you really think that Pineiro is more likely to be a 4 than a 5 RA than Papelbon is to get worse than 3.44?
No - which is why I said "whoever". I think Pineiro is a 4.5, not a 5, but that wasn't my point --- my point was more that Theo built a bullpen with such crap in the back that moving Papelbon back may be justifiable. But that is b/c of the crap back there, rather than any change in analysis.

In other words, if they'd have just fixed the damn bullpen to begin with, this would then be considered a bad move. But, b/c they didn't fix it, it is defensible.
   14. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: March 26, 2007 at 02:13 PM (#2317872)
And I forgot to mention Hansack, who has done nothing but impress since he was picked up by the Red Sox.


How was the lobsterman this spring? I heard that he got sent to Pawtucket over the weekend. I guess that options played a role in that decision.

BTW, has anyone done a Monte Carlo simulation or something similar comparing the Sox with Papelbon in both roles?
   15. Mister High Standards Posted: March 26, 2007 at 02:14 PM (#2317874)
In other words, if they'd have just fixed the damn bullpen to begin with, this would then be considered a bad move. But, b/c they didn't fix it, it is defensible.


So how should they have fixed based on the talent that was available?
   16. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: March 26, 2007 at 02:31 PM (#2317889)
My thought is that the superior fishing waters near Pawtucket actually played a far bigger role in the decision than did options.
   17. Josh Posted: March 26, 2007 at 03:08 PM (#2317930)
Josh, how do you know they haven't fixed it and what is your definition of "crap"?
If it isn't crap, then this move isn't defensible, imho. But, I think an expected RA of about 4.5 for the closer (or whatever pitcher throws the 1.7 LI innings) is pretty poor. A lot of ifs could change things, of course, but that goes in both directions. I'm starting with accepted projections.

So how should they have fixed based on the talent that was available?
I'm not entirely sure how to respond to this.

The bullpen wasn't well constructed - I think we should all agree on that. There were a number of good, but no very good, arms. I think it could be a fun pen, but it was a very risky pen. This now makes for a potentially very good pen, and at least a good one.

I don't think it would be a huge deal this season - I do think that they could have caught lighting from Pineiro or Cox or Hansen-learning-something (or Hansack, who I like as a starter only b/c I've no reason to think he'd be as good in the pen). But that is pretty iffy, and who really wants to hope for good luck on the chance that it just won't appear? That is like saying "I think Karstens (or Oli Perez) could be a league average pitcher." Sure - it could happen. But, I'd not want that to be my plan A.

What would I have done differently? I've no idea. I'm not the GM :-) I've no ability to analyze moves that do not exist. Pineiro could be a great move for all I know - but again, if it was a great move and Pineiro is that 3.5 RA pitcher, then Paps is better off in the starting rotation and this becomes an indefensible move. Chaining doesn't help if the pitchers Paps is replacing are actually good.
   18. Mister High Standards Posted: March 26, 2007 at 03:25 PM (#2317949)
I'm not entirely sure how to respond to this.


With a list of things they could have done... I've thought long and hard about and from the players that were traded or free agents and the players that were available their really wasn't a very good solution to the issue.

I think Kevin Gregg might have the best RP they could have scored reasonably efficiently... would you have felt good about going into the season as the closer? In other words their top two arms would have been 2 guys the angels sold on... I think I would be leary of that.

In retrospect, the Sox should have signed BJ Ryan two years ago. But how long can you punnish a team for that?
   19. bibigon Posted: March 26, 2007 at 03:36 PM (#2317964)
Well, the most obvious thing to get them on for would seem to be failing to ink Gagne, and instead giving that money to the likes of Romero, and Pineiro.

I don't know if Gagne would have been the closer they were looking for, but he seems more likely to have been than Pineiro.
   20. chris p Posted: March 26, 2007 at 03:52 PM (#2317980)
i think the only way to build a bullpen efficiently is through the farm system ... so far, the red sox have been unable to do this. pitchers lose a bit off their fastball as they get older, but relievers are often the guys that don't have enough other stuff to be effective starters, so when they lose their fastball, they start to suck. so, good relievers are often over the hill by the time they hit free agency. the ones that aren't, are in demand.
   21. Darren Posted: March 26, 2007 at 05:25 PM (#2318040)
SG over at RLYW has done simulations, using 4 projection systems, of 250 seasons of Pap as closer and 250 with him in the rotation. The Sox came out allowing 8 less runs with Pap starting, but with the same record. I assume this is the leverage kicking in. He does, however, replace Pap in the rotation with 1/2 Tavarez and 1/2 Lester.

With a list of things they could have done... I've thought long and hard about and from the players that were traded or free agents and the players that were available their really wasn't a very good solution to the issue.


The biggest ones that stick out to me are: Dotel for 1/6, Gagne for 1/8, Strickland for 1/.55. But as Josh says, it's tough to know for sure who they could have gotten for what.

My only real disagreement is that 3/4 of a win isn't a small thing - it is the expected difference b/w Timlin and Hansen.


3/4 of win is pretty significant in one roster spot (Timlin vs Hansen and the like). But the point I was trying to make was that it is small enough to easily be overwhelmed by a) the biases of this study, and b) the comfort level/health impact on the players involved.

Josh, do you really think that Pineiro is more likely to be a 4 than a 5 RA than Papelbon is to get worse than 3.44?


FWIW, I think this little exercise underestimates Papelbon as a reliever. In the minors, he was a starter with a sub-3.00 ERA. In the majors as a reliever, he's got an ERA of ~1.3 in 90 IP (including playoffs). His ERA in 07 should be in the mid-2s, with an RA of ~3. It also, IMHO, underestimates Tavarez as a closer. He put up a ~4.00 ERA as a starter last year. I'd peg him around 4.80 ERA (5.30 RA) this year.

If these are true, I think we're at least back around even.

And as for Pineiro, replacement level seems awfully harsh for someone who's supposedly looked pretty good in relief. It's more of a WAG, but I'd say he'll be in the low-4.00s for ERA.
   22. chris p Posted: March 26, 2007 at 05:40 PM (#2318051)
He does, however, replace Pap in the rotation with 1/2 Tavarez and 1/2 Lester.

what does he get when he uses 1/4 tavarez and 3/4 clemens?
   23. Darren Posted: March 26, 2007 at 05:54 PM (#2318070)
I tried that here's what I got: a very happy feeling.

Watching a little ST right now. What's the consensus on Youks' goatee?
   24. Sexy Lizard Posted: March 26, 2007 at 06:19 PM (#2318095)
Goatees should only be for Klingons and Elizabethan sea captains. Youkilis is certainly no exception.
   25. Darren Posted: March 27, 2007 at 02:48 AM (#2318572)
So what's the plan with Papelbon's usage. At first Pap was saying that it would only be save situations and 1 IP at a time. Then Theo and Tito apparently had a talk with him and now's he's backed off that. Is there a chance that they plan to use him for slightly longer stints but less often? Can my 50-60 appearance/100-110 IP dream come true?
   26. tfbg9 Posted: March 27, 2007 at 03:09 AM (#2318583)
Uh, no.
   27. Darren Posted: March 28, 2007 at 04:55 AM (#2319360)
Strickland just got released by the Padres, according to Rototimes. ???

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