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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Monday, June 27, 2022

Hey Now

All-star voting has begun, and various Red Sox players have various vote totals*. Let’s take a few minutes to consider the case for them by position.

*I was trying to come up with an evergreen statement on the vote status. This might have gone too far. I could be talking about Brayan Bello, or Walt Dropo, for all you can tell.

Catcher: Christian Vazquez. Deserve? No.

This whole exercise germinated in my head from hearing Dave O’Brien say the other day that Christian Vazquez needs to be seriously considered as a starter for the AL All-Star team. Look, I know not to take seriously the local team broadcasters’ opinions on ASG starter viability, and I certainly know not to take the evaluation of O’Brien seriously. But hey, Vazquez has been hitting well lately, and catcher is not much of an offensive powerhouse position to begin with, so let’s check it out.

When I do that… Well, Vazquez is no better than the 3rd best catcher in 2022 in the AL East alone. Alejandro Kirk is combining Salvy Perez-ish defense with 10 HR and 10 doubles in his first full season in MLB, at age 23. Jose Trevino is the classic “didn’t do much elsewhere, mashing in his first year with the Yankees” candidate, carrying a 122 OPS+ and defending well. And the Adley Rutschman Era in Baltimore has started well enough – though due to a late start he’s only played about a month’s worth of games. Vazquez would slot in above Rutschman in All-Star worthiness, but this might be the last season in which that’s true. Looking outside the division the Mariners’ Cal Raleigh, the Rangers’ Jonah Heim, and KC’s Perez are the best of the bunch, and all arguably doing better than Vazquez this year.

First Base: Bobby Dalbec. Deserve? HEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NO

We all know Vlad Jr. will win the starting role, but does he deserve it? Well, yeah, of course he does; he’s already a legend. You can absolutely make the case instead for the AL Central duo of Luis Arraez, who’s not strictly a 1B but has been handling it often enough to merit consideration there, and Jose Abreu who is absolutely a 1B. You can make a stronger case for Ty France, who has 24 XBH and a yes-this-is-a-skill 14 HBP to date. And you can make a “reputation + team” case for Anthony Rizzo, who would have Vlad Jr. status if he weren’t in the same league as Vlad Jr. Honorable mention goes to Ji-Man Choi, who is mashing the ball at Rizzo/Abreu levels. When Boston faces Tampa in the next few weeks he’s the batter I worry about more than you’d probably think I should, but I’m right to think that way.

I realize I’ve been avoiding mentioning Dalbec in this writeup. He doesn’t even deserve mention. He is probably the least qualified potential All-Star among Boston’s regulars. Franchy Cordero deserves an All-Star berth at 1B more than Dalbec, and Franchy might only deserve to go to the All-Star Game with a ticket. If Dalbec has a ticket he deserves to have it taken away.

Second Base: Trevor Story. Deserve? Maybe

Story had a dreadful start to the season but has been making up for lost opportunity since then. Maybe he’ll be the most deserving candidate by the time voting closes. But there are three reasons he doesn’t deserve it right now. Those reasons are Gleyber Torres, Jose Altuve, and Andres Gimenez. Altuve is the better hitter with the better hitting reputation, and though his defense is slipping a bit (at 32 he is an old man for 2B now) the ASG is not a defensive game. Torres continues to get Jon Sterling to say whatever it is he says when he thinks Torres has hit a home run, but definitely in the same tier on offense AND with great defense is Gimenez. Like, whatever we think Story is supposed to be, in 2022 Gimenez has already been. The answer for Story right now is no, but it’s not out of the question that he’d earn the spot soon.

Third Base: Rafael Devers. Deserve? YES

He’s basically been 2022 Mike Trout but at 3B. The only thing that would work against Devers is he’s in the same league as Jose Ramirez. Everyone else is as far back of these two as any other AL team is back of the Yankees right now. They will both make the team, and they will both deserve it.

Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts. Deserve? YES

Again, I’ll say it: the ASG is a hitter’s event, not a fielder’s event. You have to be otherworldly at defense to merit ASG selection, at a premium non-catcher defensive position. And I’ll be willing to admit that many SS have had good defensive seasons, Jorge Mateo in Baltimore being a great example. And someone from Baltimore has to make the team. But nobody from Baltimore is required to be the starter.
If you look at the hitters, you have a bunch of SS all hitting around the same: Corey Seager for the Rangers, Tim Anderson of the White Sox, Carlos Correa of the Twins, J.P. Crawford from Seattle, and the Astros’ Jeremy Pena. There’s one shortstop who is clearly out-hitting all of them: Bogaerts. If he doesn’t start, meh, there are a lot of good candidates at the position. If he doesn’t make the team it’s a travesty. (Note: he is not currently in the top 2 in voting. He’s behind at least Anderson and he-of-the-726-OPS Bo Bichette.)

Left Field: Alex Verdugo. Deserve? No

First of all, just no. Like, you can make a stronger case for Joey Gallo, and Joey Gallo does not deserve to be on the team. So let’s just set them aside and focus on the players who deserve it. And, really, there’s one left fielder who deserves it: Austin Hays. There is your Designated Baltimore Oriole. A strong case could be made for backup roles with old friend Andrew Benintendi, who at age 27 is finally returning to the form we’d hoped from him a few years ago. The Guardians’ Steven Kwan would be another fine choice, and honorable mention goes to… y’know what? No honorable mentions. The rest of the outfield reserve roles will likely go to CF and RF, and they’ll deserve it more. But if we were to give honorable mentions there’d still be like a dozen people to name before we get to Verdugo.

Center Field: Kike Hernandez. Deserve? NO

Y’all are aware of Mike Trout. He still exists. But here’s a wrinkle: Aaron Judge has played more games (36) and more defensive innings (311) in CF than he has RF (35 and 226.2, respectively) this year. If we’re going to decide who’s in what position based on where they’ve played the most, Judge is a CF. And Judge is the only other outfielder in the AL who is hitting like Trout. The ballot does not distinguish among outfield positions anyway (which might mean trouble for Austin Hays after all) but if we’re going to make the artificial distinction of merit by position, both Trout and Judge absolutely deserve it. Byron Buxton will be one of those guys who deserves a slot over your various left fielders, and he might not even make it – George Springer is currently 3rd in outfield voting, and he’s hitting around the same as Hays, with many other outfielders hitting better.

Hernandez deserves mention, but not for an All-Star role. Give me a minute, and maybe I’ll come up with something**.

**I didn’t come up with anything. Jarren Duran is worth mentioning. That’s all I have.

Right Field: Jackie Bradley, Jr. Deserve? HAHAHAHAHAhaha… oh, wait, you were serious? NO

By position, this is Kyle Tucker’s spot. Remember how I’ve been saying it’s about the offense and not the defense? Well, Tucker is second to the Angels’ Taylor Ward in hitting for RF. Tucker is hitting well but Ward’s OPS is 100 points higher. But that’s, like, half a win of offense? Tucker is like a win and a half better on defense. If we were selecting based on position and needed two RF then you just take both of these guys and be done with it. But Tucker is above average at everything you want from a RF, and in a game that will be focused on hitting and pitching a solid defensive RF – considerably more solid than Ward has been – is an entertaining addition. I’d say give it to him.

The next tier down has Max Kepler and Manuel Margot, and then if you ignore defense entirely you also get Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony Santander, and Andrew Vaughn (who is on the ballot as a DH). You get a few more tiers, then 50 feet of crap, and then there’s JBJ.

Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez. Deserve? Well…

JDM is good. He’s really good. But, honestly, Yordan Alvarez has been a LOT better. From a WAR view he’s been worth two of JDM. So, yeah, Alvarez deserves the start. Except… There’s this other guy. An occasional pitcher. There’s no world in which Shohei Ohtani doesn’t deserve this spot, even if someone else does. And, like, they’re not going to carry 3 designated hitters. I think the answer on Martinez is no.

Pitcher: several. Deserve? Yes for either Pivetta or Wacha.

On the pitching side I think you could make the argument for both Pivetta and Wacha. There are 13 pitchers with 2+ WAR so far (including Ohtani, just on pitching alone) and they both clear that bar. However, they will draw a few actual relievers onto the team, and Clay Holmes and Jorge Lopez are the only relievers among those 13. I think at best one of the two Boston starters makes the team. Schreiber is the Boston reliever with the best argument, but there are so many relievers out there having a year at least that good that it’s hard to argue his selection.

villageidiom Posted: June 27, 2022 at 08:52 PM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John DiFool2 Posted: June 28, 2022 at 09:35 AM (#6084243)
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me?
   2. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 28, 2022 at 10:01 AM (#6084245)
Third Base: Rafael Devers. Deserve? YES

He’s basically been 2022 Mike Trout but at 3B. The only thing that would work against Devers is he’s in the same league as Jose Ramirez. Everyone else is as far back of these two as any other AL team is back of the Yankees right now. They will both make the team, and they will both deserve it.


This is very difficult rooting interest for me.
   3. villageidiom Posted: June 28, 2022 at 11:11 AM (#6084263)
I wanted to mention this in the writeup but I'll put it here. The Baltimore Orioles have a good roster. It's definitely the 5th best in the AL East, but they actually have the foundation for a great team. Looking at performance by WAA on BB-Ref these are the rankings of Baltimore's players among the rest of the AL:

C 5th (-0.1)
1B 5th (+0.2)
2B 9th (-0.9)
3B 11th(-0.4)
SS 8th (+0.5)
LF 2nd (+0.8)
CF 3rd (+1.2)
RF 3rd (+0.7)
DH 6th (+0.5)
SP 15th(-3.2)
RP 1st (+4.6)

Last year they had a dreadful team and were in the bottom third of the American League in WAA at every position except LF (7th) and CF (1st). Now it's just third base (where they have had injuries) and starting pitching. I know, "just starting pitching" is not something that gets solved overnight, and it's incredibly important. But they're 31-31 this season against all non-Yankees opponents. (Yes, they've played the Yankees 13 times already.) They are not far from putting together a team that would be a contender in any other division.
   4. The Mighty Quintana Posted: June 28, 2022 at 11:30 AM (#6084265)
Yes, and it seems like Detroit is finally putting a team together...back to 1984 power structure. Here's hoping that kicks off a decade long drought for the Yankees.
   5. villageidiom Posted: June 28, 2022 at 08:58 PM (#6084375)
Hey now, hey now now, sing This Corrosion to me?
I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed.
   6. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: June 28, 2022 at 10:32 PM (#6084399)
I wanted to mention this in the writeup but I'll put it here. The Baltimore Orioles have a good roster. It's definitely the 5th best in the AL East, but they actually have the foundation for a great team. Looking at performance by WAA on BB-Ref these are the rankings of Baltimore's players among the rest of the AL:

C 5th (-0.1)
1B 5th (+0.2)
2B 9th (-0.9)
3B 11th(-0.4)
SS 8th (+0.5)
LF 2nd (+0.8)
CF 3rd (+1.2)
RF 3rd (+0.7)
DH 6th (+0.5)
SP 15th(-3.2)
RP 1st (+4.6)

Last year they had a dreadful team and were in the bottom third of the American League in WAA at every position except LF (7th) and CF (1st). Now it's just third base (where they have had injuries) and starting pitching. I know, "just starting pitching" is not something that gets solved overnight, and it's incredibly important. But they're 31-31 this season against all non-Yankees opponents. (Yes, they've played the Yankees 13 times already.) They are not far from putting together a team that would be a contender in any other division.


And they've got some very intriguing prospects on the cusp of getting called up, Grayson Rodriguez and Gunnar Henderson in particular.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: June 29, 2022 at 10:01 AM (#6084445)
Hansel Robles is the grim reaper of slim leads.
   8. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 29, 2022 at 10:06 AM (#6084447)
To be fair Robles didn't get rocked. He came into a bad spot and got two ground balls that found holes. I really wanted Strahm in there last night. I get that the Jays are right-handed but Strahm is the best available reliever.

That was the story of the game last night. The Jays were finding holes, they hit 16 ground balls and got 9 hits.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: June 29, 2022 at 10:22 AM (#6084451)
To be fair Robles didn't get rocked. He came into a bad spot and got two ground balls that found holes.
That's how his grim reaper-ing has worked this year. He is not usually completely terrible by himself, but often tag-teams with another reliever (frequently Diekman). Or he gets some bad luck on batted balls. Or it's the ghost runner in extra innings. Or his defense makes an error.

They have 11 one-run losses and he's been involved in 8 of them.
   10. The Mighty Quintana Posted: June 29, 2022 at 12:32 PM (#6084484)
Get the jab, boys. Robles and Arroyo do not belong in a pennant chase. Hey, I'm old and decrepit, but I just got my 4th shot and played hoops the next day.
   11. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 29, 2022 at 07:54 PM (#6084619)
He is not usually completely terrible by himself


His FIP is nearly 5. He stinks.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: July 01, 2022 at 05:14 PM (#6085257)
Hansel Robles is the grim reaper of slim leads.
   13. Textbook Editor Posted: July 01, 2022 at 05:45 PM (#6085264)
DFA Robles. His 2022 salary is pocket change and the roster spot is worth more.

They have 11 one-run losses and he's been involved in 8 of them.


On the cusp of 12 with him being involved in 9 of them.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: July 01, 2022 at 08:25 PM (#6085309)
DFA Robles
yeah gotta be DFA or fenway flu IL in the next 48 hours.
   15. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: July 01, 2022 at 09:06 PM (#6085314)
As the resident Robles fan….yeah he can’t be out there any more. The reality is this team needs a few relievers. I have a hunch that one (if not both) of Whitlock and/or Sale is going to be one of those at some point. Despite getting knocked around Seabold missed a bunch of bats the other night, it might be worth seeing if his stuff plays up in a short role (e.g. Houck). I wouldn’t hate maybe taking a flyer on one of the big arms in the minors (Bello, Walter, even Mata if he’s healthy) and seeing if there is lightning in a bottle there. Right now no lead is safe with this team.
   16. The Mighty Quintana Posted: July 02, 2022 at 12:44 PM (#6085348)
Winnable game against a crappy team. Houck should've been well rested for a 2+ inning stint. Cora can't baby him anymore.
   17. pikepredator Posted: July 03, 2022 at 10:04 AM (#6085433)
I have a hunch that one (if not both) of Whitlock and/or Sale is going to be one of those at some point.


your hunch came to fruition pretty quickly.

Couple of rough losses to the lesser Sox, here's to hoping they get right back on track today.
   18. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 03, 2022 at 02:12 PM (#6085448)
You mean to the Cubs, right? The White Sox will end up with more wins than the Red Sox this year, because they get to play Detroit and KC a lot, while the Red Sox play a lot of games against 3 better teams and a slightly improved Baltimore team.
   19. The Mighty Quintana Posted: July 04, 2022 at 11:38 AM (#6085495)
I like this Seabold guy, he was alternately dismissive and disdainful of batters. You don't see that type of mound presence much these days. The stuff was OK, but the command was beautiful.
   20. The Mighty Quintana Posted: July 04, 2022 at 11:40 AM (#6085496)
Wow, and Winckowski was competent the other day, too. This is like the opposite of 2020...every starter we throw out there is decent.
   21. pikepredator Posted: July 04, 2022 at 11:42 AM (#6085497)
Yep I had a brain fart there, Cap.

5-4 is fine for a nine gone road trip. Felt worse because of a couple rough series but losses were close and playing .555 ball on the road gets the job done.

But the hard work is ahead of the team now. .555 or so over the next 14 (8-6, let’s say) would be just fine with me.
   22. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 04, 2022 at 04:23 PM (#6085517)
I agree. They're getting breaks, from Tampa, which is nice.

Josh Bell is on my wish list. If they stay in the race this month, they should dump Dalbec and get Bell. He looks gettable. 10M pro-rated, try to sign him for 4 or 5 years, give up a lot to get him.

Unless they plan on moving Devers to first in the future and they focus on adding talent elsewhere. Who knows what Chaim may be up to?

Casas is enormous...6'4", 250.
   23. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: July 04, 2022 at 05:53 PM (#6085521)
Looks like Bello is going Wednesday if Wacha can’t.
   24. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 04, 2022 at 05:59 PM (#6085522)
Josh Bell is on my wish list. If they stay in the race this month, they should dump Dalbec and get Bell. He looks gettable. 10M pro-rated, try to sign him for 4 or 5 years, give up a lot to get him.
Given the season he’s having (.319/.401/.517), Bell should be in demand at the deadline, although since he’s only 29, one can argue that Nationals should keep him around for their future contending teams. However, since they haven’t extended him yet, it looks like he may be headed toward free agency. I suspect it would take a fair bit to acquire him in trade, and a lot of $$ to sign him to an extension without testing free agency. He’s a solid citizen, good locker room type, and smart enough to know that this is his only guaranteed opportunity for a big pay day.
   25. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 04, 2022 at 07:51 PM (#6085530)
Looks like Bello is going Wednesday if Wacha can’t.


That would be rather exciting. He's been striking out over 12 batters per 9 IP over the last two seasons and he's still dominating in AAA.
   26. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 04, 2022 at 09:10 PM (#6085534)
With the team saying that Whitlock will be heading back to the bullpen when he returns, and Houck seemingly staying there for the season, too...it sounds like we may be heading to something like this soon:

Eovaldi
Pivetta
Sale
Winckowski
Seabold/Wacha/Hill/whoever is healthy

Houck
Whitlock
Schreiber
Bello
Strahm
Diekmann
Davis
Crawford
Sawamura/Brasier/Danish

It is a remarkable turnaround for less than two years ago, when the Red Sox lack of quality and depth in their pitching was by far the worst I'd ever seen in 40 years of being a Red Sox fan. It was remarkable how lousy the farm system was, combined with the abject lack of quality pitching on the big league roster.

2021 was patching together several average big league arms who ended up being really durable, and then Eovaldi was a stud, and Whitlock was a revelation. But the 2021 pitching staff was not deep, and only had a few guys (Whitlock, Houck) who were legit young arms for the future.

This year? The amount of pitching depth and quality young prospects is remarkable. Seabold, Crawford, Bello, Winckowski, Whitlock, and Houck are all 26 or younger. Pivetta has been ace-quality, and is only 29. A back of the bullpen that has Houck closing; Whitlock as the two-inning set up guy; Bello, Schreiber, and Seabold getting you an inning; and Crawford as a bulk innings guy; is both very good and very young. It takes guys like Strahm, Diekmann, and Davis and puts them in lower-lev innings; and it takes guys like Robles, Valdez, Danish, Brasier, and Sawamura out of most situations, period!

Now, we need a legit first baseman. Casas' injury has really prevented another young guy from upgrading the team during a competitive season.
   27. Nasty Nate Posted: July 06, 2022 at 08:53 AM (#6085715)
DFA Robles

yeah gotta be DFA or fenway flu IL in the next 48 hours.
Well it took a little more than 48 hours but he didn't pitch in the interim.
   28. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: July 06, 2022 at 09:17 AM (#6085718)
Alas, dude did a job for us last year.

The cavalry is coming, Whitlock makes the pen look a lot different when he gets back. Halfway through the season the Sox are on a 90 win pace. Got to find a way to start beating the AL East teams though. Can't argue with the first half, slightly better (by a game) than my highly scientific predictions of ridiculousness. Even a .500 second half gets us to 85 wins and in the new world that's a playoff possibility. Obviously Sox should be aiming higher.
   29. The Mighty Quintana Posted: July 06, 2022 at 11:30 AM (#6085727)
He'll go down with my least favorite "closer" acquisitions of the last two decades: Hanrahan and Jenks.
   30. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: July 06, 2022 at 11:38 AM (#6085729)
Joel Hanrahan...World Series champion.
   31. Nasty Nate Posted: July 06, 2022 at 11:43 AM (#6085731)
Joel Hanrahan...World Series champion.
So is Bobby Jenks! He got the final out, in fact.
   32. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 06, 2022 at 07:49 PM (#6085823)
Tyler Thornburg, Carson Smith and Andrew Bailey also have rings. Reliever acquisitions flaming out are clearly a harbinger of good luck.
   33. villageidiom Posted: July 06, 2022 at 08:23 PM (#6085828)
Tyler Thornburg, Carson Smith and Andrew Bailey also have rings.
So does Eric Gagne.
   34. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 07, 2022 at 07:30 AM (#6085866)
Even a .500 second half gets us to 85 wins and in the new world that's a playoff possibility. Obviously Sox should be aiming higher.


I guess it's possible. Let's wait until August 4th and see how they survive this stretch. They're off to a bad start.
   35. Darren Posted: July 07, 2022 at 10:56 AM (#6085884)
Lisa needs braces.
   36. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 09, 2022 at 09:51 AM (#6086071)
After watching Jackie Bradley throw the 9th inning against the Yankees, we've got to say: This 14-game stretch against Tampa and NYY, which has been circled on the calendar for a long time as the real test of whether or not the Red Sox are legit or not in 2022, has gone about as poorly as one could imagine. They've lost four of the first five, and are just don't look competitive.

The American League teams' records are so oddly distributed right now. There are nine teams within five games of each other, hugging around .500. Minnesota is the best of those nine, at 47-39; Texas is the worst record of those nine, at 38-43. I mean, Baltimore is now 41-44, only 4.5 games behind Boston.

Because of the three wild card slots, Boston is going to be in the conversation to the end, I suspect, but NY and Houston are so much better than anybody else in the AL that the regular season seems pretty academic.
   37. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 09, 2022 at 02:53 PM (#6086084)
I still say that Toronto has a chance, with that offense. If they can just get a little help pitching...

Right now, the race for the cellar is shaping up as I expected. The Red Sox could have a huge August that brings them back to the WC hunt, but the next 3 weeks look ugly.
   38. pikepredator Posted: July 10, 2022 at 12:22 PM (#6086140)
Phew. One bobble made a big difference last night. Yankees now 48-1 when leading after 7. I don't believe in make-or-break games but if I did, I would consider last night's win to be one of them.
   39. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 10, 2022 at 03:43 PM (#6086152)
The Red Sox have a lot of those coming up, starting tonight.
   40. Darren Posted: July 10, 2022 at 05:49 PM (#6086167)
Bivens has to be feeling pretty smart with this latest turn of events.
   41. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 10, 2022 at 07:48 PM (#6086174)
I feel the same as I always do. How about you?
   42. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: July 10, 2022 at 10:48 PM (#6086186)
I declare that a bananas split (see what I did there? Oh that’s gold!).
   43. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 11, 2022 at 05:41 AM (#6086196)
They have fight in them. Tonight, they play a slumping team that they've shown they're a bit better than. They have to win this series, IMO.
   44. Darren Posted: July 11, 2022 at 09:15 AM (#6086204)
I feel the same as I always do. How about you?


I go back and forth. When I wrote the above, I was feeling like you might be right after all about the pitching (and you still may!).

Last night was fun!
   45. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 11, 2022 at 09:47 AM (#6086207)
Entering this just-ended seven-game homestand, I thought:

1) The Red Sox have to raise their level of play against the good teams in the AL very quickly, or they will quickly fall out of playoff position; and
2) The thing is that most of the teams outside of the AL East (except for Houston) aren't very good, so even if and when the Red Sox slide back, they will always be in playoff contention, because the 3rd-best wild card team in the AL may not have to be very good. Even 85 wins may get you into the 3rd slot.

Well, the Red Sox really haven't played well in their last seven games, going 3-4 with a rotation of four rookies and a coming-back-to-Earth Pivetta. But they have knocked out seven of their toughest games left, and are still in the #1 wild card slot, because the other teams have sucked just as badly.

In turns out both #1 and #2 above are true - but that #2 is even more powerful a force than #1, keeping Boston afloat.

Eight teams are within four games of the wild card slots. There is a difference of only five in the loss column between the 3rd-best record in the AL (Boston) and the 11th-best record in the AL (Texas). None of these teams appear particularly good, and Houston and NY are miles better than everybody else...so maybe it will end of being the case that the Red Sox are an 85-win team and they end up with the 3rd-best record in the AL? I mean, right now there are only four teams in the AL on pace to win at least 85 games: NY, HOU, Boston (88), and Tampa (86). And Tampa, after an 18-10 start, is 27-30.

My one request for Boston right now? Please stop playing Dalbec. He seems like a nice guy, but he is awful. A look at his splits shows that he isn't hitting at home or on the road. He is hitting a little better against lefties, but with little power (SLG under .400 against lefties, which is sort of the point of even sticking with him). His defense is not a plus. I am assuming that the issue right now is:

1) Cordero is a butcher at 1B, so they don't like playing him there;
2) Bloom doesn't want to invest a whole lot in a solution at 1B, because Casas is the actual solution;
3) Casas' injury is the actual problem, Bloom would say - if he was healthy, he'd be playing first every day in Boston right now;
4) Give it a few more weeks, he'd say - if Casas isn't healthy, and if Dalbec doesn't hit a hot streak like he did around now last year, then I'll make a deal with some of our minor-league pitching depth like I did for Schwarber last year.

Let's just split the four games in Tampa, win one out of three in NY, and get the heck out of this first half...
   46. Textbook Editor Posted: July 11, 2022 at 10:14 AM (#6086211)
In understand all the reasons why it didn't happen, but man, Schwarber would have been a good guy to have on this team.
   47. John DiFool2 Posted: July 11, 2022 at 12:51 PM (#6086225)
Chapman looks utterly cooked.
   48. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 11, 2022 at 01:33 PM (#6086234)
Chapman looks utterly cooked.


I thought he was unlucky on the 2 pop ups that Lemayhew misplayed. Those balls could have been caught more easily by Judge and Hicks. Cone talked about how much better Chapman is with no one on base, and once that first flair was dropped, he suffered.
   49. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 11, 2022 at 01:35 PM (#6086235)
Dalbec and Bradley should be released, and replaced with IT DOESN'T MATTER!
   50. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 11, 2022 at 10:37 PM (#6086319)
JBJ, Dalbec and Diekman should be fired into the sun.
   51. John DiFool2 Posted: July 12, 2022 at 11:04 AM (#6086352)
48: It wasn't just that game; every stat line of his is massively off this year. 5.17 FIP, 15:18 BB/K ratio.
   52. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 12, 2022 at 02:25 PM (#6086368)
Oh. Well, this game, he looked ok. He topped 100. He had trouble with his control with men on base. I don't think he's too far gone. If he can come in with no men on base and throw strikes he'll be useful.
   53. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 12, 2022 at 05:35 PM (#6086395)
I'm not very hopeful about Sale's start tonight. I think it's telling that they're giving him his first start of the year on the road.


My wild stab: 3 innings, 70 pitches, 4 ER.
   54. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 12, 2022 at 07:21 PM (#6086413)
1.5 ABs in and he looks good. Yay!
   55. John DiFool2 Posted: July 12, 2022 at 08:42 PM (#6086423)
5 in the books and he looks VERY good.
   56. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 12, 2022 at 08:42 PM (#6086424)
That was nice.
   57. Textbook Editor Posted: July 13, 2022 at 12:07 AM (#6086471)
Ugh.
   58. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 13, 2022 at 09:06 AM (#6086480)
Some pretty awful defense the last couple of days. Feels like 2021 again.
   59. Textbook Editor Posted: July 14, 2022 at 10:08 PM (#6086775)
Welp, there go the good vibes from Saturday/Sunday. It would be funny to end up with 85 wins and finish 5th.
   60. Darren Posted: July 16, 2022 at 01:01 PM (#6086924)
So what would you (or maybe more to the point what wouldn't you) give up for Soto?

Edit:

I think any package probably starts with Casas or Mayer + 2 to 3 others of Bello, Duran, Yorke, Whitlock, ???? Or just Casas and Mayer?

   61. karlmagnus Posted: July 16, 2022 at 02:46 PM (#6086930)
Given Sox current management, getting Soto would almost certainly for budget reasons involve losing both Devers and Bogaerts as well as the best Sox prospects, so no thanks.
   62. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 16, 2022 at 02:50 PM (#6086931)
If they're gonna sign Devers long term, I would give up all the kids for Soto, and pay him.
   63. Darren Posted: July 16, 2022 at 04:23 PM (#6086938)
From what we've heard about the Devers negotiations, I'm guessing he wanted a $300 million+ type deal--and that was before his great 2022. I don't think they're going to want to sign both him and Soto to super-deals. I can't see Washington wanting to take the risk that they can't sign Devers so I wouldn't guess he'd be in the deal, but if the Sox don't want to/can't sign him, maybe they deal him for prospects to add to a Soto package.
   64. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: July 16, 2022 at 05:39 PM (#6086962)
They're both the type of players you sign to 10 year deals. Proven, and young enough so that you aren't paying for their senior citizen years.

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