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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

(Just About) 48 Hours to Go

It’s almost go time for the local nine, the carmine hose, the old towne team, that’s right, the Boston Red Sox get back at it at 1PM in the Bronx on Thursday.  A few scattered thoughts between now and then;

THE ROSTER (assuming no injuries or trades);

Infield: Bobby Dalbec, Travis Shaw, Trevor Story, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Jonathan Arauz, Christian Arroyo
Outfield: Kiké Hernandez, Alex Verdugo, Jackie Bradley Jr.
Catcher: Christian Vazquez, Kevin Plawecki
DH: JD Martinez
Rotation: Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck, Michael Wacha, Rich HIll
Bullpen: Austin Davis, Matt Strahm, Jake Diekman, Kutter Crawford, Garrett Whitlock, Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Hirokazu Sawamura, Phillips Valdez, Tyler Danish

- Good for Danish on getting his chance.  He’s pitched a few games in the bigs for the Bad Sox in 2016-2018.  Kutter Crawford pitched very well in the Dominican this winter, look for him to emerge as a key component out there. 

- The lineup looks like it could be fantastic.  The one concern is a long term injury to an outfielder gets a bit tricky to fill.  Jarren Duran becomes important if that happens.  A few days of JDM or Christian Arroyo running around trying not to take a fly ball off the noodle is fine but 6 weeks or something…pass.

- Chris Sale is on the 60 day DL.  This is disappointing but doesn’t really change what we knew.  It maybe pushes his return a bit further out than we anticipated but it is still a late May/early June return date.

- Chris Hatfield of SoxProspects made the point earlier this winter that Darwinzon Hernandez kind of thrust himself to the Majors in 2020 without much time in the advanced minors (less than 75 innings at AA and AAA combined).  For a guy who can have struggles with the strike zone some time down there early in the season might allow him to address his mechanics.

- Listened a bit to O’Brien and Tony Massarotti over the weekend.  I can’t stand Mazz as a rule but I have to admit he was pretty good.  Haven’t heard Youk yet.

- Can’t overstate this, I am outrageously high on Rafael Devers this year.  I think he is in for a massive season.

LET’S GO!!!

Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 05, 2022 at 11:20 AM | 112 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Jay Seaver Posted: April 05, 2022 at 12:18 PM (#6070402)
I caught a game Youk did with Mike Monaco early on in Spring Training, and it was pretty fun, although what struck me was that having two fairly young guys calling a game was a very different vibe than usual, even if it was hard to put my finger on why. Maybe their style is more podcast-influenced versus radio, and they never had to deal with SDTV where the picture was messy enough that you had to be more precise in describing it?

Anyway... Man, that outfield is thin. I am hoping for the best from JBJ, especially since I've got seats in the RF bleachers and am looking forward to a great show up close, but I wouldn't be surprised if Justin Upton is signed roughly four minutes after he officially passes through waivers. After all, we all know that Christian Arroyo will run into a wall and be out for five weeks the first time he plays out there; that's just what happens with him, and neither Shaw nor Arauz has any big-league experience either.

Also, I haven't watched much spring training this year, but I'd sort of been under the impression that Wacha was the guy they were hoping would arrive mid-season and be useful, because I haven't seen or heard anything about him at all (apparently that's Paxton, whom I'd completely forgotten). I feel like I'm starting from way behind.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: April 05, 2022 at 12:42 PM (#6070408)
I don't think Travis Shaw should be in the majors.
   3. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 05, 2022 at 01:12 PM (#6070411)
Jay - Yeah when I saw Upton had been released my immediate thought was he was a perfect fit. I think you are wrong about Arroyo running into a wall. He'll tear a hamstring before he gets to the wall.

Nate - Shaw probably isn't great but he's the 28th man. He'll get a few games between now and April 30 or whenever rosters go back down. In a perfect world Duran or Downs probably would make more sense but I think both guys are better off playing every day in Worcester. I suspect Shaw is being seen as a "clubhouse guy." Frankly I'd rather have carried Yolmer Sanchez for his glove but it's not like there are a lot of great options here.
   4. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 05, 2022 at 01:41 PM (#6070416)
Jay - Yeah when I saw Upton had been released my immediate thought was he was a perfect fit.


In two of the last three seasons Justin Upton has been equivalent to Hanley Ramirez in 2015. In 20' he may very well have matched his defensive ineptitude of the other two seasons but was 'saved' by the short season. Who knows, maybe the Sox get a dead cat bounce half season out of him, but if they do it means JBJ sucked so bad at the plate that he was released or someone got injured long term.

I am very, very underwhelmed by the OF.
   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 05, 2022 at 01:41 PM (#6070417)
I'm very excited for the season, and think the team is good enough to at least stick around in the expanded WC chase into the final weeks. And it is sunny and in the mid-50s outside, the grass is turning green, and the calendar says April. So how can one not be excited about this time of year?

That said:
1) The outfield is, as Jay says, very, very thin. If Duran has a good first few weeks in Worcester, I don't know how they don't give him a full chance to take a job in the OF. Consider this: According to the outstanding guys at SoxProspects.com, Duran is the only OF prospect above high-A ball in their...Top 60 Prospects list! There is absolutely nobody in a position internally to address the OF lack of depth before 2024 except for Duran.

2) It is easy to assume that last year's surprise playoff team was/is the baseline for the 2022 team's expectations - but an awful lot went really best-case scenario for the team in 2021:
- The starting rotation was historically healthy. Pivetta, Eovaldi, Richards, ERod, and Perez missed a combined two starts due to injury the whole season.
- Whitlock was virtually unhittable for long stretches of the season. I think he is legitimately very good...but he could be less effective in 2022, while still being very good.
- The OF in 2021 was sneaky-good: They had one of the higher combined OF WARs in baseball, due to two things. First, they had three guys (Verdugo, Hernandez, and Renfroe) who all contributed - they were all a little above average, and that lack of a liability out there was a big part of their success. Second, Hernandez's defense was calculated as very valuable, which is what made him a 5-WAR player. If Renfroe is replaced with a 2021 JBJ bat, then you need elite defense just to get back to 2021 WAR in RF. Also, it would not surprise me to see Hernandez revert back a little bit. There really is not a lot of margin for error out there.

3) What are people's expectations for Story? How much more value do you think he will provide at 2B than the combined value of Arroyo (51 games at 2B), Hernandez (47), Gonzalez (37), Chavis (22), Iglesias (18), and a handful of others?
   6. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 05, 2022 at 02:05 PM (#6070422)
Hmmmm...

Upton has hit lefties pretty well the last couple of years. I'm not looking for 500 AB, just someone to do a Chris Young/Jonny Gomes/Cody Ross kinda thing. He's probably as good a bet as anyone out there. I'm not committed to Upton but I think someone in that role would be good.

The rotation...yeah that's a concern. I think they have some options there beyond the nominal starters. Sale and Paxton will both make some starts, Crawford can give them some games, Seabold, Hart, maybe Wincowski and even Whitlock can give them some gmaes.

Story was a 4 win player last year, Sox 2B were a combined 2.6. I don't think that's an unreasonable starting point and I think Story is more likely to be better than worse than that (though not considerably either way).
   7. Jay Seaver Posted: April 05, 2022 at 02:14 PM (#6070424)
Who knows, maybe the Sox get a dead cat bounce half season out of him, but if they do it means JBJ sucked so bad at the plate that he was released or someone got injured long term.


I'm not exactly thinking "sign him, extend him, put his face on the front of the program" here - I figure maybe he and JBJ can be a replacement-level platoon until they're sure Duran's ready for the big leagues, at which point they let him go or maybe take advantage of a fluky April and see if he can be traded to fill someone else's hole while Bradley settles into life as a late-inning defensive replacement. Upton's the best band-aid available and maybe you can get lucky.

As for Story - I'm expecting pretty good things. I mentioned Garciaparra when they first signed him, and while he won't be Nomar (who is?), I think he could be the type of guy that a lot of doubles and maybe leads the league in triples in Fenway because of the combination of power and speed. Should be a lot of fun.
   8. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 05, 2022 at 02:20 PM (#6070425)
Two other responses and an observation;

I think the outfield could be as good as last year. JBJ will probably be a bit worse than Renfroe though not as much as maybe it seems like. Renfroe was 2.3 WAR last year, JBJ was 1.5-2.8 every year from 2017-2020. That ignores last year conveniently (how was the play Mrs. Lincoln) but I think JBJ will benefit from being in Boston. The park plays to his strengths rewarding going the other way and the Sox I think will be a bit more willing to ride out cold streaks to give him a chance to get hot. He only started 99 games last year and I think High K guys benefit from staying in there.

On the bullpen I feel good about the bullpen. I don't think the bullpen was especially good last year and I think the pieces are there to be better. Even if Whitlock regresses some (and he probably will) I think there are pieces that could be better, Barnes most notably.

The observation is that while we can pinpoint some concerns I think there are some upsides too. All of these things won't happen but I think a few will;

Dalbec hits like it's the second half all year
Pivetta takes the next step forward
Verdugo returns to 2020 form
Story returns to 2020 form
Devers takes yet another step and plays at MVP caliber
Whitlock and Barnes do a Bard/Papelbon impression (pre-September, 2011).

I said it previously, I'm thinking about 88 wins. There is definite downside but I think the upside is equally likely.
   9. villageidiom Posted: April 05, 2022 at 02:31 PM (#6070427)
On an in-game basis the OF is indeed thin. If someone goes down you need to put one of the infielders out there or JDM, which for a few innings isn't the worst thing. But if anyone goes down for an extended period then they call up Duran and he gets it done, because Duran is ready now. Yes, I'm a Duran evangelist - Durangelist! - now. Don't worry about the outfield.

3) What are people's expectations for Story?
Given he's a Red Sox second baseman, my expectation is he plays 20 games then suffers a leg or knee injury and doesn't play again until September. But those 20 games will be spectacular.

   10. Bad Fish Posted: April 05, 2022 at 03:13 PM (#6070432)
Whoever ends up signing Upton will be on the hook for league minimum, so regardless of his role the risk profile is approximately zero. Barring no better options it would be a great depth signing.
   11. Darren Posted: April 05, 2022 at 05:08 PM (#6070442)
I don't think Travis Shaw should be in the majors.


I haven't been following spring training at all, but it doesn't appear that Casas was given a shot to win a spot on the Major League roster. I'm a little surprised. I thought it might something like they have Shaw in camp and let the two battle it out, but looks like no. He'll probably benefit at least some from time in AAA, so I guess it's no big deal.

- Chris Sale is on the 60 day DL. This is disappointing but doesn’t really change what we knew. It maybe pushes his return a bit further out than we anticipated but it is still a late May/early June return date.


Again, not following as closely as you guys, but this seems like a big deal to me. The little I did read seemed to indicate he was progressing well and could be back a bit sooner. Missing two months is real bummer, and with our staff already pretty thin, it's going to hurt.


Story was a 4 win player last year, Sox 2B were a combined 2.6. I don't think that's an unreasonable starting point and I think Story is more likely to be better than worse than that (though not considerably either way).


I can't see a strong argument for being likely to be worse than that, and I see plenty of reason to believe he'll be much better. Fangraphs depth charts have story at 4.3 and the 2B position at 4.5 overall. That sounds about right to me, though anything from 3.3/4.0 to 5.5/5.8 wouldn't surprise me much.
   12. Darren Posted: April 05, 2022 at 05:10 PM (#6070443)
Given he's a Red Sox second baseman, my expectation is he plays 20 games then suffers a leg or knee injury and doesn't play again until September. But those 20 games will be spectacular.


The CFBPS has really gone downhill. :)
   13. villageidiom Posted: April 05, 2022 at 05:43 PM (#6070446)
The CFBPS has really gone downhill. :)
I'm putting all my optimism toward Duran.
I haven't been following spring training at all, but it doesn't appear that Casas was given a shot to win a spot on the Major League roster.
I think they want him playing every day, and that's not happening if he were on the MLB roster. Also...

Boston's spring training OPS leaders among non-NRIs:

1742 Devers
1086 Dalbec <--------
961 JBJ
934 Hernandez
817 Duran
814 Plawecki
774 Arroyo
762 Wong
559 Arauz
506 JDM
<500 others

He started slow last year, had a 955 OPS after the all-star break, and would be the story of 2022 spring training if Rafael Devers didn't exist.
   14. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 05, 2022 at 07:53 PM (#6070464)
The Sox have already had a successful season of course. Today’s dramatic comeback, down 6-1 early rallying to win 10-6, clinched the Commissioner’s (née Mayor’s) Cup. I can’t help but feel the ghost of Jerry Remy was with them today……
   15. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 06, 2022 at 08:34 AM (#6070497)
Add 24 hours. Weather has rescheduled the game for 1PM on Friday.
   16. Mike Webber Posted: April 06, 2022 at 12:20 PM (#6070541)
Draft pick wise, what is the cost of signing Conforto?
Also can Conforto or Verdugo realistically cover rightfield in Fenway?
   17. The Mighty Quintana Posted: April 06, 2022 at 12:49 PM (#6070544)
Can J.D. still play LF just at home? Then you can DH Arroyo and move Verdugo to right for 81 games. Seems that gives us a better chance...
   18. The Mighty Quintana Posted: April 06, 2022 at 12:51 PM (#6070546)
And then in Yankee stadium, we can play JD in right...then we only have to watch JBJ flail for 70 games.
   19. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 06, 2022 at 01:08 PM (#6070549)
Somebody I haven't thought about a lot when considering the long-term plan of Bloom and the Red Sox is Bobby Dalbec - mainly because I think he is probably not as a good as he looked for a few months later last season. And then I assume Casas will be the first baseman by late 2022 or early 2023.

But then you think a little more:
- If an outfielder goes down early with a legit injury, and Duran doesn't take advantage of (what I presume would be) his opportunity, then what does the team do? At home, maybe you put JD in left...Dalbec at DH, and Casas at 1B?
- If JD gets hurt, or becomes very ineffective (which I think is very possible), then Dalbec goes to DH most of the time, and Casas plays 1st.

I mean, I have more confidence in Dalbec right now than I do in Duran - and there are multiple scenarios where that sort of becomes the choice, especially if Casas shows in the first few months that he is ready for the promotion.

I still have 100% confidence that Bloom has a thoughtful plan in place as the season begins, and one of the fascinating things about this season as a Red Sox fan is trying to figure out what it is...and then see if it is panning out.
   20. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 06, 2022 at 01:28 PM (#6070556)
Draft pick wise, what is the cost of signing Conforto?


I believe it would cost the Sox their compensation pick between the 2nd and 3rd round (79th overall for EdRod). They have lost one second round pick for Story, gained one for not signing Jud Fabian last year.

Also can Conforto or Verdugo realistically cover rightfield in Fenway?


I think Verdugo looked better in RF than he has in CF or LF with the Sox.
   21. Darren Posted: April 06, 2022 at 01:34 PM (#6070557)
Well, the Guardians and Jose Ramirez* have set the market for the value of elite third basemen who are 2 years from free agency: 7 years, $150 million. Now, Devers isn't as good as JRam but he's quite a bit younger so let's call it a wash and sign him for 7/$150M. Done and done.

(*This contract confirms my belief that Jose Ramirezes are highly undervalued.)
   22. Gch Posted: April 06, 2022 at 01:42 PM (#6070559)
ZiPS projected standings are out:

Team/Projected wins/% division win/% playoffs

TOR 88/26.2/58.9
TBR 88
/25.5/57.9
NYY 88
/25.1/57.5
BOS 88
/23.2/54.9
BAL 64
/0.0/0.0 


Should be a fun year.
   23. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 06, 2022 at 01:45 PM (#6070560)
Team/Projected wins/% division win/% playoffs

TOR 88/26.2/58.9
TBR 88/25.5/57.9
NYY 88/25.1/57.5
BOS 88/23.2/54.9
BAL 64/0.0/0.0


Should be a fun year.


Tell me you're not an Orioles fan without telling me you're not an Orioles fan.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: April 06, 2022 at 01:48 PM (#6070562)
the ATC projections system spits out:

Blue Jays 92 70
Yankees 88 74
Rays 86 76
Red Sox 86 76
Orioles 65 97
   25. villageidiom Posted: April 06, 2022 at 01:54 PM (#6070565)
one of the fascinating things about this season as a Red Sox fan is trying to figure out what it is...and then see if it is panning out
I think Bloom's plan is creative redundancy. Like, we all saw the value of Brock Holt! being able to hit competently and play pretty much any position. That alleviates key person dependency to a degree because he was a viable (i.e. above replacement level) sub at multiple position. BUT! What happens if two people go down? Worse, what happens if one of them is Holt?

Right now Bloom has a lot of positional redundancy within the roster. In Hernandez, JBJ, Story, and Dalbec, they have starters who can actually sub *upward* in the defensive spectrum. (I guess JDM, too, to the extent that you trust him playing in the field.) This changes their needs for backups and allows them to adapt better to adversity.
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 06, 2022 at 02:36 PM (#6070573)
Team/Projected wins/% division win/% playoffs

TOR 88/26.2/58.9
TBR 88/25.5/57.9
NYY 88/25.1/57.5
BOS 88/23.2/54.9
BAL 64/0.0/0.0
Too early to review the tie-breaking rules?
   27. villageidiom Posted: April 06, 2022 at 03:45 PM (#6070588)
the ATC projections system spits out:

Blue Jays 92 70
Yankees 88 74
Rays 86 76
Red Sox 86 76
Orioles 65 97
To repeat myself from the over/under thread:
I'm pegging them at 86 wins. They are a good team, but too many other teams have made more significant improvements this year. 86 wins might still be good enough for 3rd place in this division.
   28. Mike Webber Posted: April 06, 2022 at 03:51 PM (#6070591)
Tell me you're not an Orioles fan without telling me you're not an Orioles fan.


But Zips creator Dan Szymborski is(was?) an Orioles fan....
   29. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 06, 2022 at 03:53 PM (#6070592)
I was referring more to the "should be a fun year" comment.
   30. Mike Webber Posted: April 06, 2022 at 04:18 PM (#6070597)
I was referring more to the "should be a fun year" comment.


Ah, yes. That makes more sense.

I think based on losing a compensation pick for ERod, that a one year deal for Conforto should be explored. It probably has.
   31. Gch Posted: April 06, 2022 at 05:10 PM (#6070607)
Tell me you're not an Orioles fan without telling me you're not an Orioles fan.


I’ve been following the Nippon-Ham Fighters since the BIGBOSS signing. I’ve watched all of their games except one win, and they’re currently 2-9 and have scored 22 runs in those 11 games. If they finished with the equivalent of the Orioles’ projected record, I would fly to Sapporo, walk into the Fighters’ team store while dressed in full BIGBOSS regalia and point to the BIGBOSS section of merchandise and say “give me one of everything”.

At least they managed to have the most hilarious walkoff win I’ve seen in a while today. To bring this full-circle, the player who started the rally was Renato Núñez, who fittingly spent parts of three seasons with the Orioles.

But Zips creator Dan Szymborski is(was?) an Orioles fan....


Szym’s Orioles blurb in the season projections article is:

And then there’s the Orioles. I’m looking forward to Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, Cedric Mullins, and quickly changing the subject to the American League Central lest I have to think too much about this team. At least it’s steamed crab season!


so I guess on some level Dan is still a fan.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: April 06, 2022 at 06:08 PM (#6070611)
To repeat myself from the over/under thread:
I'm pegging them at 86 wins. They are a good team, but too many other teams have made more significant improvements this year. 86 wins might still be good enough for 3rd place in this division.
The professional bookmakers seem to agree you.
   33. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 06, 2022 at 06:19 PM (#6070612)
Team/Projected wins/% division win/% playoffs

TOR 88/26.2/58.9
TBR 88/25.5/57.9
NYY 88/25.1/57.5
BOS 88/23.2/54.9
BAL 64/0.0/0.0


As the season progresses, it is worth keeping in mind that when you have four teams who appear so similarly talented, on the whole, as this, the factors that will likely determine who finishes 1st through 4th are:

1) Luck
2) Injuries
3) Results in one-run games
4) Deadline acquisitions
5) Quality farm system call-ups

This should be fun!
   34. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 06, 2022 at 07:35 PM (#6070620)
The rotation blows, especially on the back end. The OF is weak. They're a .500 team, at best. They'll be fighting the Yankees for 3rd place. Tampa and Toronto are a toss up to win the division, well in front of Bos/NY.
   35. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 06, 2022 at 08:46 PM (#6070630)
The rotation blows, especially on the back end. The OF is weak. They're a .500 team, at best.


I'm sort of in this camp. The rotation, again, will require great health. The pen will throw between 45-50% of the innings, so if that's solid, the pitching could be ok.

The OF is...not good. Expecting Hernandez to be a 5 WAR player is not realistic. JBJ's "hitting" streaks will be shorter and much less frequent, I think he's done. Verdugo is what he is, a nice serviceable RF, but I don't ever seem him ever putting up a 5 WAR season.

Devers, Story and Xander are going to need to rake all season long for this team to be up near 85-86 wins.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: April 07, 2022 at 08:45 AM (#6070661)
The rotation blows, especially on the back end. The OF is weak. They're a .500 team, at best.

I'm sort of in this camp. The rotation, again, will require great health. The pen will throw between 45-50% of the innings, so if that's solid, the pitching could be ok.

The OF is...not good. Expecting Hernandez to be a 5 WAR player is not realistic. JBJ's "hitting" streaks will be shorter and much less frequent, I think he's done. Verdugo is what he is, a nice serviceable RF, but I don't ever seem him ever putting up a 5 WAR season.

Devers, Story and Xander are going to need to rake all season long for this team to be up near 85-86 wins.
Maybe I'm just taking things too literally, but I don't understand this viewpoint. They just won 90+ games with only 2 of those guys. It is so recent. And the fate of the team does not rest on 3 guys' hitting. To be blunt, baseball simply doesn't work that way. Furthermore, I totally respect a prediction of them being not a winning team, but to cap the best case scenario at 81 or even 85-86 wins indicates some kind of baseball amnesia. Again, apologies if I am being too literal.
   37. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 07, 2022 at 08:50 AM (#6070662)
When Michael Wacha and Rich Hill are part of your Opening Day rotation, you are planning to see a lot of Connor Seabold this year.

To #34's point, it must be noted that the 2021 Red Sox had historic levels of good health in their starting pitching. The whole season, I would hold my breath about a starter going down, because the 6th and 7th options were so poor for much of the year. Eventually, Houck and Sale got healthy, and then Seabold became available (although he was not needed much by that time). But for the first two-thirds of the season, their five Opening Day starters made all but two starts (Houck started two games early while ERod was coming back from COVID, and needed a few extra weeks to start the year). Besides those two starts, everybody made all their starts - Eovaldi, Pivetta, ERod, Richards, Perez. It was remarkable.

That is not happening again in 2022 - especially with Wacha and Hill expected to play the Richards and Perez roles.
   38. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 08:53 AM (#6070663)
To build on that Nate, a prediction where Devers, Story and Xander "need to rake all season" I mean, that should be the expectation, not the hope. Those three guys have pretty established levels. Trevor Story repeating the worst year of his career is still a big upgrade at second base.

I think the bellwethers on this team are Dalbec offensively and Pivetta on the mound. If those guys can progress a bit I think things quickly look very rosy.
   39. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 09:05 AM (#6070664)
SBPT - Their Opening Day rotation last year had Garrett Richards (4.87) and Martin Perez (4.74) in it. Rich Hill (3.93 Proj) and Michael Wacha (4.90) should be an improvement to some degree in terms of quality and I think are likely to match the 44 starts those guys combined for. Also, Houck is going to get more starts in all likelihood and frankly so will Chris Sale despite the start.

As Not So Nasty Nate said, there are definitely paths to 78-84 but they involve considerable numbers of things going wrong. I think the path to 95 wins is as likely as the path to 78.

Just kind of generally, what teams are better than the Sox right now?

Toronto
Tampa (and I'm a bit skeptical for once of the Rays but they are the Rays)
Chicago
Houston

That's the only four teams I'd confidently bet ahead of the Sox. The Yankees are probably a bit better but not by much (wanna talk about a rotation not likely to stay healthy?), Seattle look good but man 20 years of ineptitude they are the opposite of Tampa. Cleveland, Detroit and the Angels have improved but all had ground to make up. I mean the Tigers Opening Day starter had the same ERA as Martin Perez last year for the same team in the same park (OK, he'll be pretty good this year, I love the guy but we're working on facts here).

Baltimore and Oakland are terrible. Texas, Minnesota and Kansas City are competent but not there yet.
   40. villageidiom Posted: April 07, 2022 at 09:16 AM (#6070667)
When Michael Wacha and Rich Hill are part of your Opening Day rotation, you are planning to see a lot of Connor Seabold this year.

To #34's point, it must be noted that the 2021 Red Sox had historic levels of good health in their starting pitching.
Last year their #1 starter missed most of the season, and the back end of the rotation for much of the season was Garrett Richards and Martin Perez.

That said, last year they were more healthy than we should have expected. Eovaldi hasn't been a model of health in his career, and Rodriguez was coming off COVID-related issues from which we had no idea at the time of recovery potential. It worked out better than that, but, like, this wasn't exactly the mid-1990s Braves rotation last year.
   41. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 09:41 AM (#6070670)
Chris Sale is just as likely to be all done as he is to become an average starter. There's no way he dominates, ever again. He's getting hurt every other day. There's no reason (that I can see) to be optimistic about him pitching well for more than the occasional outing.

When your bullpen has to pitch 4 to 5 innings every game, they tend to break down, don't they? RPs aren't SPs for a reason. They aren't good enough to pitch 150-200 innings a year. If they were, they'd be SPs.

I know that the trend is for SPs to have shorter starts. I think it's a mistake, for the reasons mentioned above. With the dearth of quality pitchers in MLB, if every P is eventually expected to throw 100+ innings a year, it seems like that would be a recipe for disaster. I don't know if that's the future, but it may be the Red Sox immediate future. There isn't one #2 starter on the team. Eovaldi is a 3. Pivetta might be a 3. Right now he's a 4 or 5. Wacha and Hill are guys you have to hold your breath and pray that they get through 5 innings. I like Houck, which means nothing until he shows he can hold up through a full season in the rotation. If they continue to spot start him and use him in long relief, he doesn't provide what they need, which is a reliable starter.

I predict that the bullpen implodes by July.

Their only prayer to finish 3rd is if Cole and Severino get hurt.
   42. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 09:46 AM (#6070671)
I think Verdugo looked better in RF than he has in CF or LF with the Sox.


Verdugo doesn't have the arm for RF, at Fenway or anywhere else.
   43. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 10:05 AM (#6070673)
Their only prayer to finish 3rd is if Cole and Severino get hurt.


So your concern is that the Yankees are a threat because the Red Sox don't have the reliable starting pitching the Yankees have with guys like Luis Severino (18 innings the last three years combined) and Jameson Taillon (182 innings last three years combined)?

In what universe is Nathan Eovaldi a "3?" It's not 1978 anymore Joe. ZiPS projects Eovaldi as the 5th best starter in the AL. If you want to run around looking for disaster possibilities you can play this game with any team. Gerrit Cole sucked after his spider tack got taken away, Anthony Rizzo is washed up, Gleyber Torres hasn't hit in three years, their starting catcher is Kyle ####### Higashioka. You can do the same with the other teams in the division,the Jays lost Semien and added Matt (.210) Chapman.
   44. Nasty Nate Posted: April 07, 2022 at 10:13 AM (#6070675)
In what universe is Nathan Eovaldi a "3?"
Rain on opening day causes pants-pissing. Send out the signal for the aught-seveners!
   45. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 10:50 AM (#6070678)
Rain on opening day causes pants-pissing.



We all better stock up on Depends.


ZiPS projects Eovaldi as the 5th best starter in the AL.


AL pitching stinks.




   46. Darren Posted: April 07, 2022 at 10:53 AM (#6070679)
'.500 at best' is too pessimistic. I could see .500 as a prediction, but that's not the upper limit.

84-90 wins is about where I am. Yes, the pitching is sort of a mess, but the offense is great. Defense is meh.
   47. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 10:57 AM (#6070680)
The Red Sox O/U is 84.5 or 85.5, depending on which site you look at. I wouldn't try to middle this bet. I'll take the unders.
   48. Darren Posted: April 07, 2022 at 10:58 AM (#6070681)
Under 85 is a far cry from .500 at best though.
   49. pikepredator Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:00 AM (#6070682)
It's opening day!! Baseball is here! For a full season!! I'm stoked even though we have to wait 24 more hours for red sox baseball and to see Trevor Story become the First Big Story of April 2022.
   50. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:03 AM (#6070683)
SBPT - Their Opening Day rotation last year had Garrett Richards (4.87) and Martin Perez (4.74) in it. Rich Hill (3.93 Proj) and Michael Wacha (4.90) should be an improvement to some degree in terms of quality and I think are likely to match the 44 starts those guys combined for. Also, Houck is going to get more starts in all likelihood and frankly so will Chris Sale despite the start.


The formula for the 2021 Red Sox, which was an example of best-case scenario getting realized, was that they had a rotation that included:
Eovaldi - who was generally very good, but you always had to worry about his health
ERod - Because of COVID, you couldn't really count on his health
Pivetta - Had shown an early ability to stay healthy, but the question was effectiveness
Richards - Prior to 2021, the last time he had thrown more than 76 innings in a season was...2015
Perez - Pretty durable, but you needed things to go well to an ERA+ of 100 out of him.

Their sixth starter at the beginning of the year was Houck, who got hurt pretty early in the year. Their 7th starter was probably Kyle Hart (Seabold was hurt for a good chunk of the season), then probably Gonsalves. It was better than 2020's depth chart, but if any of Eovaldi/ERod/Pivetta/Richards/Perez got hurt or were terribly ineffective, it would get very ugly, very fast.

And then...they got incredibly lucky:

Perez made his first 22 starts on time, even had an ERA under 4 through July 5th...and then he regressed, until they had to take him out permanently due to ineffectiveness after a 1.1 inning disaster on August 5th, with his ERA now at 4.77. He never started again - but if he turned into a pumpkin a month earlier, they would have had no choice but to keep rolling him out there.

Richards made his first 22 starts, as well, even had an ERA under 4 June 6th...and then he regressed, until they had to take him out permanently due to ineffectiveness after a 9-8 loss to Toronto that put his ERA at 5.22. He never started again - but if he turned into a pumpkin a month earlier, they would have had no choice but to keep rolling him out there.

Pivetta made his first 17 starts, and after a strong performance on July 4th, his ERA was exactly 4. He generally struggled the rest of the year, however, with an ERA of 5.17 in his final 13 starts (plus that final day relief appearance in DC). He never missed a start, and gave them 30 starts of league-average performance. But after early July, it was pretty rough. If the team had available to them a stronger replacement in the final month-plus, they would have probably put him in the bullpen, the way they did with Richards...but even with Sale and Houck coming back, they had no depth to deal with a third starter turning into a pumpkin.

Between those three and ERod, it is uncanny how "best case" they collectively: 103 starts - none missed because of health, only ineffectiveness once Sale and Houck were available - 583 innings of exactly 100 ERA+ pitching.

When Rich Hill is healthy, he'll almost certainly be better than Perez or Richards. I suspect Pivetta will be healthy, and will give them similar performance overall. I'll be amazed if Sale gives the team 60 starts, total, over the last three years of his contract. I love him, but how can we count on him? Wacha, Paxton, Hill...it is pretty clear Bloom is trying to keep commitments short-term while he waits for some of the young arms to move up the system, and/or for guys like Houck and Whitlock to continue moving into bigger roles. But my point is that it took almost everything going really right in the first half of the year (up to the infamous Ottavino "s**t talk" game in Anaheim), where a bunch of pitchers were both healthy *and* quite effective. After that point, the pitchers were healthy...but ineffective, and the team's record after reflected that. We were 54-32 up to the Ottavino Incident; we were 38-38 after that, which was probably a better reflection of the quality of our rotation.

   51. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:06 AM (#6070684)
JBJ disappears for 80% of the year (offensively). Dalbec is a big ? Offense from the C position doesn't look so good. Hernandez has a career OPS+ of 100. Verdugo is the best of the 3, and he's...decent, but not in comparison to just about every other team's best OF. The bulk of the offense will come from 3/4 of the IF, and DH. That's not great.
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:10 AM (#6070685)
The bulk of the offense will come from 3/4 of the IF, and DH. That's not great.
Why not?
   53. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:14 AM (#6070686)
JBJ's OPS+ was thirty ####### four last year (in a full season!). Crise tabernack! The guy should be out of baseball. But he's the starting RF for our Boston Red Sox. If that doesn't tell you they've run up the white flag before the season started, IDK.
   54. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:15 AM (#6070687)
Why not?


Because you have 5 relatively easy outs in the lineup?
   55. Nasty Nate Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:18 AM (#6070689)
Because you have 5 relatively easy outs in the lineup?
Choi, Kiermaier, Margot, Zunino, J Lowe?
   56. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:28 AM (#6070690)
Zunino had a pretty good year last year. 138 OPS+. Choi...OPS+ 116 for his career.

OK, you're joking...J Lowe is a rookie. Margot is mediocre, Kiermaier is average. None of them are as bad as JBJ, most of them are better than Kikè.
   57. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:29 AM (#6070691)
Verdugo isn't an easy out. So, 4 relatively easy outs.
   58. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:49 AM (#6070692)
SBPT - I get what you are saying but I think that even if they do have some bad news they are better equipped this year to handle it. They have the starting five, Sale and Paxton likely to make some starts between them (call it 10-30 depending) then behind those guys they have Kyle Hart, Kutter Crawford, Connor Seabold and maybe even Josh Wincowski. There are also dream scenarios that involve a guy like Brayan Bello and the outside possibility that Whitlock starts though I suspect that is less likely.

One thing to note is that there isn't a lot of expectation that they are a 92 win team. Some of that good fortune they got last year is recognized in the fact that they improved second base significantly, didn't suffer any major losses (Renfroe to JBJ offsets Story a bit) and most of us are saying 86-89 wins.

I think your concerns are reasonable. There is definite downside but I think some of that good fortune last year is already built into what people are saying.
   59. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 11:56 AM (#6070693)
Joe ZiPS projects the Sox 5th in baseball in runs scored, Tampa 16th. Worrying that the Sox offense isn't good enough to compete with Tampa is frankly ridiculous.
   60. John DiFool2 Posted: April 07, 2022 at 12:21 PM (#6070698)
Verdugo isn't an easy out. So, 4 relatively easy outs.


This, alas, isn't 2004 with a league OBP of .336 and team of .360. League is now all the way down to .317. Their .328 from last year can definitely play.
   61. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 01:43 PM (#6070705)
Worrying that the Sox offense isn't good enough to compete with Tampa is frankly ridiculous.


I hope you're right about the offense, and about all the pitchers you listed who haven't seen much MLB action. Seabold is 25, and has 3 innings of MLB under his belt. Kyle Hart is 30 and I won't regurgitating his stats (key word: puke). Kutter Crawford is 26 and has done nothing. When you say "maybe even...Wincowski" after those guys, I won't bother to look him up.

I would like to see Whitlock start. I thought that was the plan? Like Houck? I think those 2 guys are our best bets in the rotation. I think they'd be at least as good as Eovaldi and Pivetta.


Does ZiPS have an "end of year" recap of how the projections went for any particular year?

(I just looked at Tampa's roster....yeechh, they look weak, too. I think Toronto runs away with the division, and no WC will come out of the AL East.)
   62. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 02:04 PM (#6070709)
Guys, Joe's drunk.
   63. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 02:14 PM (#6070712)
Heh, if I'm drunk, then you're high. What makes Sale and/or Paxton "likely" to contribute any meaningful innings this year?

Their pitching looks horrible, to me. Maybe I'm a morbid drunk, instead of a happy drunk. I think I'm being realistic.
   64. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 02:25 PM (#6070715)
I'm talking about your theory that there will be no WC from the AL East. I think you are looking at these teams too closely and not looking at how they compare to the rest of the league. The four professional teams in the AL East almost certainly are part of the top 7 teams in the league. Six teams will make the playoffs. At least one and likely two of the Wild Cards are going to come from the East.
   65. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 02:44 PM (#6070721)
You may be right, the league is weak, after TOR, CHI, and HOUS. In such a weak field, SOME teams other than those three have to win 85 games (or more). We'll see. I stand by my rigidity about the Red Sox.
   66. Darren Posted: April 07, 2022 at 03:26 PM (#6070727)

Heh, if I'm drunk, then you're high. What makes Sale and/or Paxton "likely" to contribute any meaningful innings this year?


They are both good pitchers whose are expected to be healthy at some point this season.
   67. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 03:46 PM (#6070732)


Paxton

"Not expected to begin rehab until mid summer" doesn't guarantee he'll be useful this year. Even if he is, they're likely to be well out of the race by the time he is.

Sale

Injured for the 4th season in a row...he has "no idea" when he'll be back.

But they're both expected to be be healthy at some point this season. OK.
   68. Bad Fish Posted: April 07, 2022 at 03:59 PM (#6070741)
I categorically disagree about the starting pitching. We are beginning the year with 6 guy who can start and all of them would be expected to be average or better, Sale and Paxton will both be back within the first third of the year. Sale has always been a good pitcher when he can pitch and Paxton has always been average or better. So, sure there is injury and performance risk but there is also redundancy built into the equation.
   69. Nasty Nate Posted: April 07, 2022 at 04:08 PM (#6070743)
I'm way more confident in Sale contributing meaningfully to the pitching staff than Paxton.
   70. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 07, 2022 at 04:35 PM (#6070751)
I agree, Jose, that we've got a better set of backup plans for starters than we did in 2021. I think we're more likely to need then in 2022 than we did in 2021, at least until Sale comes back, but we've got (I think) the following depth chart behind the projected Opening Day rotation of Eovaldi/Pivetta/Houck/Wacha/Hill:

Crawford
Seabold
Hart
Winckowski

Does that look about right, at least to start the season?
   71. Nasty Nate Posted: April 07, 2022 at 04:44 PM (#6070753)
I guess Jay Groome should be on that list?
   72. Mike Webber Posted: April 07, 2022 at 06:54 PM (#6070780)
And Whitlock is in the mix too, especially if there is a long injury to cover.
   73. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 07, 2022 at 07:13 PM (#6070783)
minor quibble, but Wacha really should be considered their #5 starter, not Hill. Wacha's got an 80 ERA+ over the last 3 years (285 ip), Hill has a 119 ERA+ over 256 innings.
   74. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 08:24 PM (#6070791)
70 - Yeah that looks right to me. Maybe Whitlock but with Houck slotting in I think they may commit to him as a reliever.

71 - I thought about Groome, I don’t know if they see him as a starter option. I think he’s setting up as a lefty reliever.

73 - Wacha/Hill are 4/5, I’m not too focused on which one starts when.
   75. Textbook Editor Posted: April 07, 2022 at 08:55 PM (#6070792)
Midseason form on Opening Day eve. Excellent thread.

This has probably been asked somewhere on here before, but has it ever been explained HOW Sale got the current injury? I don't recall seeing it anywhere...

I suppose there's a real, non-zero chance Sale's extension becomes a Mike Hampton-level disaster contract, but I suppose I fall into the camp that--while Sale may never be worth $30 million/year (or slightly less)--he won't totally flame out and will still have some value as a starter. (It does seem fairly unlikely he will opt out now, though I suppose on the plus side it also seems unlikely he'll be getting any of those performance bonuses either...)

Gonna be a soggy outfield tomorrow!
   76. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 07, 2022 at 09:04 PM (#6070793)
My 2 cents is the Sale contract is already kind of Hampton-level. He missed all of 2020, most of 2021 and is going to miss 2 months in 2022. On top of that signing him effectively meant they couldn’t/wouldn’t make a serious bid to retain Mookie. Call it Hampton-lite. Having said that he pitched reasonably well last year pre-covid and I expect him to pitch reasonably well when he comes back this year. I think CC’s last couple of years with the Yankees are a good example. Like Sabathia, Sale has great control, is pretty smart on the mound and threw so hard before that even losing 3-4 MPH still leaves him in lower mid-90s which can play.

From what I’ve read Sale (and Tatis FWIW) both would have probably been fine had they been able to meet with team doctors when they got hurt. That doesn’t exactly answer your question but you reminded me of it.
   77. Textbook Editor Posted: April 07, 2022 at 10:33 PM (#6070801)
From what I’ve read Sale (and Tatis FWIW) both would have probably been fine had they been able to meet with team doctors when they got hurt. That doesn’t exactly answer your question but you reminded me of it.


So basically the Red Sox ownership agreed to lock out the players, prevented them from medical treatment, and as a result set $10 million on fire in 2022 (i.e. 2 months of Sale). Wonderful.

You'd like to say maybe this experience would make them think twice about future stupid MF lockouts, but of course it won't, as I'm sure the owners wipe their asses with $100 bills, so what's $10 million?
   78. Nasty Nate Posted: April 08, 2022 at 08:36 AM (#6070822)
This has probably been asked somewhere on here before, but has it ever been explained HOW Sale got the current injury? I don't recall seeing it anywhere...
His official story is that he was throwing BP. I'm a little skeptical, I think broken ribs usually occur after an impact.

From what I’ve read Sale (and Tatis FWIW) both would have probably been fine had they been able to meet with team doctors when they got hurt.
Where did you read this? Doctors can't really do anything for a broken rib, so how would it have made a difference?
   79. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 08, 2022 at 08:48 AM (#6070823)
Part of the problem with Sale going forward is that even when he is healthy, it is going to be difficult to plan around his continued good health.

I mean, in the next three years, if I said the Over/Under on the number of starts Sale makes is 60.5, who here would take the over? Anybody?

I don't think Mark Buerhle is a Hall of Famer, but I have more and more respect for the uniqueness of his ability to just take the ball every five days and be above average, all the time, for 15 years. His games started from 2001 to 2015, which is his entire career except when he came up as a rookie for part of the season in 2000:

32, 34, 35, 35, 33, 32, 30, 34, 33, 33, 31, 31, 33, 32, 32

And at least 200 innings every one of those years except the last one, when he "only" pitched...198.2 innings.

I don't think the Red Sox can ever just pencil Sale in there and not worry about it again. They will always have to have a backup plan.
   80. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 08, 2022 at 08:52 AM (#6070824)
Where did you read this? Doctors can't really do anything for a broken rib, so how would it have made a difference?


I don't remember so do with that what you will. I suspect the issue is one of diagnosis. Had he been in a formal workout the Sox would have x-rayed it immediately (presumably) and gotten him resting sooner. My guess is that Sale took a couple days off, felt better, did something physical and exacerbated the problem. That's conjecture on my part though. Like I said I don't remember where I read it.

79 - As I get older I am more appreciative of the concept of just being there. There is value to that guy who is OK but OK on a regular basis (e.g. your Buehrle-Sale comp).
   81. Nasty Nate Posted: April 08, 2022 at 08:56 AM (#6070826)
Part of the problem with Sale going forward is that even when he is healthy, it is going to be difficult to plan around his continued good health.

I mean, in the next three years, if I said the Over/Under on the number of starts Sale makes is 60.5, who here would take the over? Anybody?
I agree. But on the other hand, there are surprisingly few SP's in the majors for whom I would make that bet.
   82. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 08, 2022 at 10:14 AM (#6070830)
One of my favorite quotes of all time is Bill Parcells, when asked what the most important ability to draft/scout/trade for was. He said, "The best ability is availability."

I am 48, and have run a number of marathons. The first time I ran one, I was 39. At that time, I had friends around my age who could run marathons a lot faster than me - some were able to break three hours at a consistent pace, etc. I was always around 4:00 to 4:15 hours.

Now, almost a decade later, I'm still consistently able to train for and complete long runs, including marathons. My pace is the same, but what I am most proud of is that I've never started training for a marathon and not been able to get to Race Day and complete the race. Meanwhile, some of my running friends (who are now also around 50) are still able to finish marathons a lot faster than me...when they are able to get the starting line. But they are increasingly getting injured during training, so they often have to pull out of races they planned to do.

The older I get, the more I realize being Mark Buerhle is actually pretty awesome in a lot of walks of life. Be above average, and occasionally outstanding, but above all: Be available. Be healthy. Be consistent. And take the process about as seriously as you take the result.

At the risk of overusing the metaphor, if you think you can actually win the marathon, then put the foot on the gas metal, and go for "outstanding". But if you're pulling hamstrings and quads and limping around all the time in an effort to get 3:00 instead of 3:15, then you've got to question the marginal gain vs the marginal cost. You know the two best feelings in a marathon? The moment you cross the finish line is the best - no matter what your time is. The second best feeling is when you approach the starting line, because it means you have successfully done the hard work to get to this moment.

Anyway, I guess that's my TED Talk or whatever. I don't know who is pitching today that is in the "Mark Buehrle Family" of pitchers, but I'd sure like it if the Red Sox could get/develop one or two of those!
   83. Darren Posted: April 08, 2022 at 10:42 AM (#6070832)
SBPT coming through with the personal anecdotes! Can I subscribe to your newsletter? (In case it's not clear, yes, I'm very jealous.)

On a side note, did I ever tell you that I knew Steve Balboni's aunt? It's true! She worked with my mom. As a kid, I was talking to her about him and I was saying what a great accomplishment it was to play in the Majors and how he was one of the greatest in the world at what he does. She said he would really appreciate me saying that, and I got the sense that he felt a bit self conscious about not looking like a world class athlete. And that's the end of MY Ted Talk.
   84. Darren Posted: April 08, 2022 at 10:48 AM (#6070834)
The Buehrle factor is one of a few issues that I think makes it hard to pin down replacement level for pitchers. Pitcher X starts 20 games, pitches 125 IP, and is 3.5 WAR better than replacement level in those innings, so he's worth 3.5 WAR. But how do we compare that to starter Y who throws 180 IP? Would those extra innings be at regular replacement level or worse because having a pitcher like this taxes your bullpen so deeply? And how would the equation change if it were in 25 starts?

I am a bit of a big Hall guy and would put Buehrle in, in part because of his durability.
   85. Bad Fish Posted: April 08, 2022 at 10:52 AM (#6070837)
#77 - The worst toilet paper in America is the low-bid-government-contract toilet paper found in Forest Service campground washrooms. About the only thing that sounds more miserable is actual cash money...that may explain their apparent perpetual grumpiness.

#78 - I've broken ribs twice, both times caused by somersaulting over mountain bike handlebars (called an endo) into an immovable object, football sized rock in one case and a small tree in the other, so yeah, it take a sizable force to break ribs. In my case, while I was still sore I could do athletic things within a month.

As to the frailty of Sale, it's not like he has a litany of injuries, his degrading elbow and subsequent TJS are the culprit for his earlier missed time/poor performance and the broken rib is kind of a binary event. Prior to elbow issues he was fairly durable and presumably the elbow is repaired. I expect him to be durable again.
   86. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 08, 2022 at 10:53 AM (#6070838)
Well hell, I'll share that my father met Dwight Evans down in Florida yesterday. They had a drink and shared Luis Tiant stories (for reasons I can't get too far into my father knows Luis pretty well).
   87. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 08, 2022 at 11:42 AM (#6070847)

#78 - I've broken ribs twice, both times caused by somersaulting over mountain bike handlebars (called an endo) into an immovable object, football sized rock in one case and a small tree in the other, so yeah, it take a sizable force to break ribs. In my case, while I was still sore I could do athletic things within a month.


It's also possible to break your ribs coughing or sneezing, so yeah, impacts may be the most common cause, but chronic stress can definitely break them.

As to the frailty of Sale, it's not like he has a litany of injuries, his degrading elbow and subsequent TJS are the culprit for his earlier missed time/poor performance and the broken rib is kind of a binary event. Prior to elbow issues he was fairly durable and presumably the elbow is repaired. I expect him to be durable again.


Forget where the line came from, but the 'you're healthy until you aren't' adage seems to fit pitchers well. David Price is a prime example of this - always healthy, always pitched a lot of innings, gets injured in 2017, bounce back in 2018, gets hurt again in 2019, and now pretty much done.
   88. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 08, 2022 at 12:00 PM (#6070849)
my father knows Luis pretty well


I almost played golf with him.

Unrelatedly, he lived in Milton while I lived in Randolph (10 minutes away by car).
   89. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 08, 2022 at 12:04 PM (#6070851)
Bobby Dalbec is hitting ahead of JBJ today. I expect Dalbec to get pitched around.
   90. Darren Posted: April 08, 2022 at 12:54 PM (#6070855)
Paxton

"Not expected to begin rehab until mid summer" doesn't guarantee he'll be useful this year. Even if he is, they're likely to be well out of the race by the time he is.

Sale

Injured for the 4th season in a row...he has "no idea" when he'll be back.

But they're both expected to be be healthy at some point this season. OK.


Your casual use of quotation marks aside, do you think Sale was saying that he literally had no idea when he'd be back? Like, maybe next month, maybe 2023?

This more recent article says Paxton was expected to be back for the second half when they signed him and he is currently ahead of that schedule.

   91. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 08, 2022 at 01:12 PM (#6070859)
I like the little microphone with the "2" for Remy in the corner of the screen.
   92. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 08, 2022 at 01:20 PM (#6070862)
I hope JBJ is successful this year, I really do - not just for the sake of the team, but also because I like Bradley so much. He has been such an interesting player to watch over the last several years, very likable, a joy to watch in the outfield, and when he gets on one of those hot streaks, you think he'll never make an out again.

So, all that said: If he does start off struggling at the plate, I expect the fan base to be quite gentle about it, saying things like, "I love him, but I think the team is putting him in a bad position here, knowing he can't hit anymore, but not really having a Plan B," and stuff like that.

Compare this to, say, JD Drew, who outside of some playoff success and an epic hot streak I sort of remember one year, was lustily booed and hated the whole time he was in Boston. If he went 1-for-5, people would be like, "The guy is stealing money!". You'll never hear that kind of thing about JBJ.
   93. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 08, 2022 at 02:08 PM (#6070869)
do you think Sale was saying that he literally had no idea when he'd be back?

I don't like reading between the lines. There are many possibilities.


Paxton..is currently ahead of that schedule.


This might be good news, or it could mean that they're rushing him, out of panic.


We'll see how they both do. I'm not rooting against them. I'm just dubious. Dubious, pointless, and wonderful.

I just turned on today's game. The bats are ok so far.
   94. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 08, 2022 at 02:13 PM (#6070870)
Compare this to, say, JD Drew, who outside of some playoff success and an epic hot streak I sort of remember one year, was lustily booed and hated the whole time he was in Boston. If he went 1-for-5, people would be like, "The guy is stealing money!". You'll never hear that kind of thing about JBJ.


I get what you are saying, and agree that'll be the general tone, but I also feel like (*hope* at least) that the 'stealing our money' attitude from the fans is not really there any more. Is there anyone that does fit that description right now? Do Padres fans hate Hosmer? Price wasn't really booed for his contract was he?
   95. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 08, 2022 at 02:40 PM (#6070873)
I get what you are saying, and agree that'll be the general tone, but I also feel like (*hope* at least) that the 'stealing our money' attitude from the fans is not really there any more. Is there anyone that does fit that description right now? Do Padres fans hate Hosmer? Price wasn't really booed for his contract was he?


I think there is s definite swing in the players favor but there is still a pretty strong "stealing our money" mind set among a lot of fans. I know I'll be seeing some friends tomorrow who are definitely of that opinion.

Drew was a bit of a perfect storm. He didn't play well, he was replacing an extremely popular player and he didn't exactly show a ton of emotion out there. Boston sports fans love their gritty dirt dog types which Drew wasn't. I'm not saying he didn't work hard, I'm sure he did, but it wasn't a visible part of his day.
   96. Nasty Nate Posted: April 08, 2022 at 02:49 PM (#6070875)
By coincidence, I was recently thinking about the Dodgers' embarrassing public whining about JD Drew opting out of his contract after '06.

edit: And to make it doubly funny, the Dodgers instead spent the money on Juan Pierre, Luis Gonzalez, Nomar, and Jason Schmidt. I think Drew outproduced those 4 combined over the lengths of the deals, even with his abysmal 2011.
   97. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 08, 2022 at 03:03 PM (#6070878)
I loved JD Drew. Mister we could use a man like JD Drew today!
   98. Darren Posted: April 08, 2022 at 03:15 PM (#6070881)
By coincidence, I was recently thinking about the Dodgers' embarrassing public whining about JD Drew opting out of his contract after '06.

edit: And to make it doubly funny, the Dodgers instead spent the money on Juan Pierre, Luis Gonzalez, Nomar, and Jason Schmidt. I think Drew outproduced those 4 combined over the lengths of the deals, even with his abysmal 2011.


IIRC correctly, Drew was having a decent year with LA but everyone agreed that he wouldn't opt out, and I think Drew himself might have said something about not opting out. But then in the last 2 weeks he got super hot and reached 20 HR/100 RBIs exactly, and then opted out. Afterward, there was some discussion of tampering, which was silly because he was obviously valuable.
   99. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 08, 2022 at 03:25 PM (#6070884)
That he was obviously valuable doesn't mean there wasn't tampering. And of course I have no doubt teams and agents do more than a little dancing to get a feel for the market before they have to make a decision. I'm sure that if nothing else Drew's agent (Boras) saw Drew reach those numbers, saw the Sox fall apart in September of 2006 and saw Trot Nixon leave the Sox and knew that at least one team with an ability and willingness to spend would be out there in search of just that type of player.

That's not tampering of course but it wouldn't shock me if teams all over baseball have conversations of these types.
   100. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 09, 2022 at 12:27 PM (#6070958)
I loved JD Drew. Mister we could use a man like JD Drew today!


Seriously, toss 2009 Drew into RF and I'd wager on 90 wins for the Sox. JBJ as an above average defensive 4th outfielder is so, so much better than a starter.
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