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Friday, May 12, 2023

Lining Up The Minors

With the big club both playing well and actually being interesting the minors have been under the Walter O’Reilly (IYKYK) a bit.  But as with the big club the early returns are relatively positive down on the farm.  Let’s take a moment to look at the state of things there.

1B - Niko Kavadas - AA - .220/.404/.317 - As stat lines go that is definitely one.  In 109 PA Kavadas has got 64 TTO events; 38K, 24BB and 2 homers.  The K:BB rate is good but to find success the long ball is going to have to be part of Kavadas’ game.  Last year it was, this year it has not been.

2B - Nick Yorke - AA - .273./.405/.485 - So far so good with a revamped swing for the highly touted Yorke.  He has improved across the board flashing considerably more power with his ISO trending; .104—.133—.212 and improved his plate discipline considerably.  I think he is firmly reestablishing himself as a legitimate prospect who may be in the infield mix come 2024.

3B - Blaze Jordan - Hi A - .301/.360/.534 - The selection of Yorke in the first round was seen by many as a means to buy out Jordan with the third round pick.  Jordan is very much a high ceiling/low floor type.  So far the youngster (he doesn’t turn 21 until a week before Christmas) has been very good.  He’s not a guy who generates huge K rates despite his power profile but he hasn’t really translated the power into games prior to this season.  However with 5 homers already this year and 9 in 51 games at Hi A he is starting to find it.

SS - David Hamilton - AAA - .292/.372/.533
- OK so here’s the thing.  I’m assuming that if you are reading this you are already at least conversent in what Marcelo Mayer is doing (tl;dr - hitting the bejeezus out of the baseball).  With that in mind I figured I’d look at a guy who in my opinion probably belongs in Boston sooner than later.  Hamilton isn’t a particularly young, hotshot type prospect (he turns 26 in late September) but he is producing offensively including 7 homers and his speed remains a potent weapon with 20 steals in 24 attempts over 31 games.  His defense is a question mark and with Jarren Duran raking I don’t think the Sox need to push him into the lineup but at some point I’d rather carry a guy who can do a lot of things like Hamilton rather than a guy like Bobby Dalbec who on his best days is a bit limited.

OF - Miguel Bleis - Lo A - .259/.315/.370 - Quite possibly the highest ceiling prospect the Sox currently have and so far he is doing well in his first full season league.  There are warts to be worked out notably the power has yet to come to Salem, VA but the speed has arrived with 11 steals.  What he’s doing right now is continuing to progress and build on the 2022 season that landed him on most people’s top 100 lists.

OF - Ceddanne Rafaela - AA - .236/.263/.327 - Nope, still can’t spell it without checking (forgot an “N”).  Anyway, unlike Bleis he has not yet built on his outstanding 2022 season.  AA is often a spot where the men and the boys separate and it seems that Rafaela’s plate discipline is being exposed.  He has played a bit of shortstop (4 starts) to go with his time in center and it is likely that his profile works better as a utility player.

OF - Roman Anthony - Lo A - .234/.380/.299 - SoxProspects calls the 2022 second rounder an “intriguing power prospect” but so far he has not tapped into that.  To put his age into perspective two days after he was born Kevin Youkilis hit his first MLB home run so he’s definitely a project.

C - Nathan Hickey - AA - .303/.407/.566 - Most of his performance this year has been Hi A based with his AA call up just happening on Tuesday.  He’s a slugging catcher with a questionable defensive portrait.  I guess the dream is kind of a Mickey Tettleton type.  He slugged 16 homers in 328 PA last year and has 4 in 82 this year so he’s bringing the pop.  If he stays behind the plate he’s probably got a future.  Probably won’t hit enough to be a corner infielder.

RHP - Bryan Mata - AAA - So far Mata has had a tough time with more BB than K (27-26) and a 5.61 ERA.  He left his start on Wednesday with a sore shoulder and is expected to miss a few weeks.

LHP - Shane Drohan - AA - The 2020 5th rounder has been tearing it up in Portland so far.  In six starts he has 36 K to just 9 walks and a 1.32 ERA all of which is just flat out stupid.  He has put himself on the fast track.


- Noah Song still has not pitched for the Phillies at any level and news about him is impossible to find.

- 2023 first rounder Mikey Romero is rehabbing in Fort Myers and has yet to see game action.

- 2022 fourth rounder Chase Meidroth has just been promoted to Portland.  It will be interesting to see how the Seadogs manage both he and Yorke.  The first couple of games have seen Meidroth at third base.


Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: May 12, 2023 at 02:20 PM | 44 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 12, 2023 at 06:13 PM (#6128058)
Yorke and Drohan getting off to great starts are probably the most important developments in the farm system in 2023.

Yorke has a real chance of being an above-average regular, which is extremely valuable.

Drohan has a chance of being an average to above-average starting pitcher. That may be even more valuable, if he ends up being durable.

There are a few guys who are so early in their development that it is almost pure projection right now (Blais being the most exciting example). But for just about everybody else on this list, their value increasingly appears to be as a bench/utility/platoon piece - which is very valuable, as well:

- With Rafaela, I've generally always been skeptical of the hype, because there just isn't a lot of evidence that he can hit enough to play everyday, no matter how good his defense is. In my lifetime, possibly the best example of a ceiling for a guy like Rafaela is Gary Pettis. He had no power, struck out a ton, and generally didn't hit for much average, either - but he walked a ton, and his defense at a premium position was generational and spectacular. A few years, he got on base enough to be a real asset (in 1989, as a 31-year-old, he hit only 1 HR, and got caught stealing enough to negate all his SBs...but he had 84 walks in 536 PAs, giving him a .375 OBP.) A glove in CF like Pettis with a .375 OBP? That's really useful! But Pettis hit .236 for his MLB career, with about a 10% walk rate, and five Gold Gloves. Rafalea is currently hitting .236 as AA...with a .263 OBP. He can be Pettis, or Willie Mays, or Andruw Jones, and the glove won't carry the bat. If he could just take a walk, he'd be an interesting reserve who could provide premium defense at SS or the OF - there is bench value in that scenario.

- Hamilton is different; the offense and high rate of SB success, with the promise of a little power, means if he can just handle his defense well enough to not be a liability, there's a Jerry Browne, poor man's Tony Phillips supersub profile for him. But the reports on his defense are pretty awful at SS, 2B, or OF.

- I think when Mata comes back from injury, they should just make him a one-inning reliever and see what happens. He has no more options after this year, and they can't use a 40-man spot on a guy who walks more than he Ks with an ERA above 5.5, and an injury history. See if he can become a high-lev setup guy, and if he can't, at least you'll have no regrets.

- What am I missing with Meidroth? It sounds like his defense (at least at 2B) is better than Yorke, Valdez, or Hamilton; he doesn't even turn 22 until July, and is now in AA; he has hit at every level, with strong command of the strike zone; he is getting promoted pretty aggressively, and it hasn't been an issue yet. Why is he not a top-10 prospect in the system? Is it because Yorke is seen as (now that he's back on track) blocking his path, and Meidroth probably doesn't have the arm to play SS or 3B?
   2. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: May 12, 2023 at 06:58 PM (#6128060)
Yeah I think Meidroth is just behind Yorke on ceiling. He’s listed at 5’9” 170 which is Pedroia like and I suspect there is some concern there too. Yorke isn’t much bigger but he is bigger which helps but I think ceiling is the big thing. Given the profile of each guy it feels like Medrioth 2B/Yorke 3B might be the more logical set up though of course the Sox are pretty well set at third for the next decade.

I agree with most of what you say about Rafaela. I can see him operating as a useful super sub role as well. As you note, he’s got to hit a bit to get there.

Honestly, the first month of the season has played out about as well as Chaim and the FO could have hoped for. The Sox are playing well, the big guns in the minors are producing and with the exception of Casas the kids who are the future in Boston have played well (and I think there are good signs with Casas). It’s early yet but it’s possible at the end of the year Mayer, Bleis and Yorke are all top 50 guys, one to three of Meidroth, Hickey and Drohan are in the top 100 and the Sox hit their draft pick (#14) with a guy at the bottom of the top 100 as well. That’s a perfect world scenario but a month into the season it at least feels possible and not just like wishcasting.
   3. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 13, 2023 at 06:12 PM (#6128166)
A brief hijack, since this is the newest thread:

80. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: February 27, 2023 at 06:57 PM (#6118926)
And I say that not because the pitching will necessarily be terrible. The rotation looks better than it did last year. I think Sale will be good. The injuries he had last year were from bad luck. His arm should be fine.

See, I was right about one thing!

I like this team. They're easy to root for.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: May 13, 2023 at 06:43 PM (#6128177)
wtf is going on w Jansen?
   5. Darren Posted: May 13, 2023 at 08:12 PM (#6128192)
Rafaela got on base 4 times today and stole 6 need (initially 7, but one got changed to defensive indifference).
   6. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: May 13, 2023 at 09:42 PM (#6128209)
Nate - I suspect it’s just a couple of rough nights. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a lot of intensity leading to 400 and having reached it he had a bit of a lull.
   7. Darren Posted: May 14, 2023 at 12:46 PM (#6128260)
Results of this game aside, the pitch clock rules need some adjustment. The pitcher and the umpire both separately have to determine if the batter is ready. The pitcher has to then hope that his assessment is the same as the umpire's, keeping an eye on both the batter's face and his feet. He then has 8 seconds to come set, check runners, and deliver a pitch. It's too much. The umpire is already making a determination of whether the batter is ready. Have him signal the pitcher that he can pitch.
   8. Darren Posted: May 14, 2023 at 12:49 PM (#6128261)
Aside from the rules needing to be adjusted, why do the Red Sox seem to be the ones constantly losing pitches/outs/bases due to the new rules? The season opened with the Orioles running all over a stunned Red Sox team. Devers and Turner have struck out in key situations due to not being ready to hit. And now this debacle. Why aren't the Red Sox the ones figuring out how to exploit the new rules or at least not be hurt by them?
   9. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 14, 2023 at 01:07 PM (#6128262)
Maybe they didn't pay attention in rules class.

If they didn't have a rules class, they should, huh?

I agree with the umpiring suggestion.
   10. Darren Posted: May 14, 2023 at 01:10 PM (#6128263)
- What am I missing with Meidroth? It sounds like his defense (at least at 2B) is better than Yorke, Valdez, or Hamilton; he doesn't even turn 22 until July, and is now in AA; he has hit at every level, with strong command of the strike zone; he is getting promoted pretty aggressively, and it hasn't been an issue yet. Why is he not a top-10 prospect in the system? Is it because Yorke is seen as (now that he's back on track) blocking his path, and Meidroth probably doesn't have the arm to play SS or 3B?

I don't think you're missing anything--I think he has a freakish combination of eye/contact skills. I'm guessing he's not ranked more highly because:
--He had very limited experience in college, playing only one full year at San Diego.
--He was drafted in the 4th round in 2022, receiving below slot money. BA had him as #258 and PG had him as #350.
--He only has a few months of pro ball experience.
--He's a year older than Yorke.

Soxprospects recently moved him up from #30 to #22, which was before his promotion. MLB has him at #20. FG has him as #45 (35+) in their 2022 updated rankings. I assume that all of these will change again in their next set of rankings.

I'm with you, though, he belongs in the top 10. His .495 OBP led the SAL before he was promoted. With his strong start at AA, he's now hitting .356/.504/.467 on the year. Apparently they will be working him in at 3B some to get him in the lineup at the same time as Yorke. If he can keep anything like this up at AA, he's a legit prospect even if he is limited to 2B.
   11. Darren Posted: May 19, 2023 at 02:05 PM (#6129086)
Jose Ramirez continues to perform well for Salem: 29.2, IP, 16 H, 0 HR, 11 BB, 24 K, 1.21 ERA. The only knock on him is his age. Most sources list him as 22 but it seems like he's been around a lot longer than that. I'd guess he might actually be pushing 50.
   12. Darren Posted: May 26, 2023 at 10:17 AM (#6130209)
Mayer seems to be back on track with another homer last night. His line is now: .299/.370/.547.

The team's most promising pitching prospects seem to be getting brutalized a lot lately, even including Drohan since his bump to AAA. A bright spot last night: Isaac Coffey threw his second straight 6 ip/0 ER/11 K game for Greenville. Drafted in the 10th round in 2022, he's not listed as a prospect on FG and has only a brief writeup on SoxProspects. Despite that, he's now got a 2.89 ERA, 61 K, and 7 BB in 43.2 IP this year. Unfortunately, he's also given up a frightening 10 HR.

And with another strong outing for Salem last night, Jose Ramirez now sports a 1.30 ERA. Just goes to show you, the best thing about baseball is guys named Jose Ramirez.
   13. Darren Posted: May 26, 2023 at 11:49 AM (#6130221)
I think the Red Sox should file a grievance against themselves regarding Noah Song. The Red Sox likely knew that Song, having been away from baseball for so long, would be very likely to experience tightness if he was thrust into pitching in a competitive environment. However, they still accepted the $100,000 fee from the Phillies to draft him in the Rule 5 draft. They should suggest that the transaction be voided, Song should be returned, and that they (the Red Sox) should pay a $100,000 fine. Seems only fair.
   14. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: May 27, 2023 at 10:28 AM (#6130342)
That last sentence of #12, that's the smartest thing ever written on this website.
   15. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 29, 2023 at 09:52 AM (#6130545)
Well, it is officially time to head to Portland to watch the AA Sea Dogs: Marcelo Mayer has been called up.

There's suddenly a lot of intrigue on the Sea Dogs roster:

- Especially considering the weakness at SS of the parent club right now, it is easy to dream of Mayer rushing up to save the day...but with every level he moves up at such a young age, it starts getting a little easier to project a potential arrival date in Boston. I presume he'll spend the rest of this year in Portland, and probably the beginning of 2024, as well. If he handles AA well, though, he will be at AAA by mid-2024, which makes a late 2024, Opening Day 2025 debut increasingly realistic. In fact, if Mayer were to have a strong rest of 2023 in AA, I think it starts impacting how the Red Sox look at addressing the position for 2024 - it really starts becoming a one-year stopgap. We'll see - but this is very exciting. Mayer doesn't even turn 21 until December.

- Nick Yorke is next to him at 2B in AA, and he seems to have largely bounced back from a terrible 2022. His May has been weaker than his April, and his home stats in Portland are pretty awful, but he's showing the power and patience again, and I think the defense is good enough to stick at 2B. Ideally, I'd love to see this as our double-play combo by some point in 2025, but Mayer (despite being younger) appears to be on the faster track.

- Any experimenting with Ceddanne Rafaela as a SS is probably largely over now that Mayer has arrived. Rafaela is young, too (22), but he still can't hit enough to be a major-league regular. I think he will end up being a unique bench guy - can play high-level defense in the outfield or shortstop, can run like the wind, and if he gets a hold of one, can go yard. He just lacks command of the strike zone, so although he doesn't strike out as much as you'd expect, he makes a lot of weak contact. Still, he will be fun to watch play CF this summer.

- I'm intrigued by Chase Meidroth. It looks like the team is seeing if he can stick at 3B, which allows Meidroth, Mayer, and Yorke to all play every day. Meidroth is also young (turns 22 in late July), and it looks like he can hit, and has outstanding control of the strike zone.

- Nathan Hickey at catcher is sort of interesting. He turns 24 in November, and nobody is saying he'll be an impact player in the bigs - but he gets on base, and has some power. It sounds like he's played some 1B and 3B, as well. If the defense can be passable at catcher (that's an "if"), then I think he can be a big leaguer. (I have a bias for catchers who can take a walk and hit enough HRs to make a difference. In a world where it seems so many backup catchers are just complete zeros at the plate, having a guy on your roster who can actually add offensive value and give you a little flexibility as a reserve corner infielder is pretty valuable.)

- The closer is Luis Guerrero. I don't know how far he can go, but he throws really hard and has a splitter that might work out. On a roster with very few pitchers with much upside, Guerrero stands out.

Anyway, this is probably the most interested I've been in a specific Red Sox minor-league team since the days of driving to Portland to see Bogaerts, JBJ and others play together around 2012. For the rest of 2023, I just want to the Red Sox to be competitive while playing as many younger players as possible, and not getting sucked into the "We could win the last WC slot, so let's go for it!" thing. There is no evidence that Bloom is susceptible to that. I want to see these guys continue to progress in the minors, and look forward to a 2025 team with an infield of Casas, Yorke, Mayer and Devers; an outfield that includes Yoshida with Bleis knocking on the door to the bigs; and a rotation that includes an established Bello, Houck, and Whitlock.
   16. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 29, 2023 at 03:02 PM (#6130582)
It's not unprecedented for players to be promoted from AA to the majors. They need a SS. Badly.
   17. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 30, 2023 at 08:01 AM (#6130715)
To #16's point, Bogaerts is the closest comp the Red Sox have had to Mayer in a long time. (Betts obviously became an elite prospects, but did not enter the system with buzz.)

In 2012, as an almost-20-year-old, Bogaerts was promoted to AA Portland and played very well (.326/.351/.598 in 97 PAs).

In 2013, he started in AA, continued to play well (.311/.407/.502 in 259 PAs - his plate discipline was markedly better than in late 2012). He gets sent to AAA, plays well (.284/.369/.453 in 253 PAs), and sneaks onto the postseason roster as a newly-minted 21-year-old.

Things to note, as they relate to Mayer:
- That 2013 team was not expected to contend, much less win the whole thing. Once it became clear they could make a run, they needed help at 3B, and Bogaerts was the best option they had. He settled the position down, and was what they needed - but if they hadn't been in such a position, he might not have been called up in late 2013.

- Those AA stats for Bogaerts in early 2013 are pretty crazy. Mayer looks really, really good, but that is a high bar to match. He could be successful in AA and not quite be Bogaerts good - I think a lot of fans are going to see him as the next MLB superstar, and he is not even 20 1/2 yet.

- Working in Mayer's favor, though? The Red Sox really need a SS. It is costing them games, and there is a scenario (not likely, but not crazy) where Casas continues to warm up; Duvall comes back and is a legit improvement on the reverting-back-to-eh Duran; Devers warms up; and a rotation centered around Sale and the young guys is effective; where the team is legitimately good. Bloom is still wisely not going to want to pay a lot for a rental, but if Mayer is tearing it up in the minors, it would be a defensive upgrade at SS, and probably an offensive upgrade, too. Story comes back later this summer to play 2B...I'm just saying.
   18. Darren Posted: May 30, 2023 at 03:10 PM (#6130792)
Cora has recently indicated that they're preparing to use Story at SS when he returns. The time frame is still uncertain but I've heard mid-July. They also have Arroyo, Chang, and Mondesi (ha) working their way back as well. Unless he really excels and forces their hand, I don't see Mayer being promoted to fill this hole.
   19. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 30, 2023 at 03:57 PM (#6130797)
if Mayer is tearing it up in the minors, it would be a defensive upgrade at SS, and probably an offensive upgrade, too. Story comes back later this summer to play 2B...I'm just saying.

I'm with you. The moon and stars have to align just right for this to come about, but even Haley's comet returns once a century (or whatever), so it isn't unpossible. But (Jose's favorite word, and becoming one of mine) if they're still in legit contention for a WC spot in late July, I think they have to go for it.
   20. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 31, 2023 at 07:30 AM (#6130873)
Last night's 9-8 loss to the Reds is a microcosm of Bloom's 2023 worst-case scenario, all playing out at once:

- The lack of a shortstop just continues to hurt this team. Hernandez has two more errors last night, including one that led to an unearned run. This is increasingly reminding me of the whole right field debacle last season, where it seemed Bloom had no plan for RF once he traded Renfroe for JBJ. Did Boston genuinely believe they were going to re-sign Bogaerts? Did they think Mondesi would be healthy a lot sooner? Were they overconfident in Enrique's ability to play an everyday SS?

- When the team spent some pretty good money on the back end of the bullpen (mainly Martin and Jansen), many criticized the move as an odd match with where the rebuild was. To me, it was like installing leather seats on your 200,000-mile Honda. But you could argue that at least Bloom was addressing one of the true weaknesses of the 2022 team, and that the bullpen was now a strength.

Except that it really isn't. Last night, Bello threw a ton of pitches early, and despite only giving up one earned run, was done after 4. It was a tight ballgame. Cora brings in Garza - just picked up off waivers. Then, he puts in Rodriguez, a low-impact FA pickup from Pittsburgh. Then, after Joely gets lit up, he brings in Ryan Sherriff, a 33-year-old cast off who last pitched in 2021 for Tampa with an ERA of 5.52.

One of the problems the team has right now is that it is using a number of 40-man spots on pitchers who have 0% chance of helping the major-league team this year...or probably any year. Chris Murphy, Brandon Walter, Bryan Mata - all getting torched in AAA. The 40-man also includes relievers like Bleier, Bernardino, Garza, Sherriff, and Ort. These are all fungible guys - if you put them on waivers, they are probably going to clear. I know there are injuries to better relievers, but if Garza, Rodriguez, and Sherriff and our answer to a 1-0 game in the 5th inning, then we aren't ready to compete yet.

- We need to get real about Jarred Duran. I know Red Sox Nation really wants him to work out, and after the first 2+ weeks replacing Duvall, it looked like he had figured things out - but he hasn't. In his last 20 games, he's at .192/.244/.288 with 4 BBs and 26 Ks in 78 PAs. Duvall is scheduled to come back sometime in June, and when he's ready, the team has to get Duran out of the lineup.

- I remain all-in on Casas, but the 0-for-5 last night with two Ks, including with the game on the line in the 9th, highlights that this continues to be a struggle. He's been better in May, but (not unlike the bullpen situation), playing Casas every day to let him figure it out is another reminder to fans that this is part of the rebuilding process, rather than a year to compete.
   21. villageidiom Posted: May 31, 2023 at 09:05 AM (#6130878)
Did Boston genuinely believe they were going to re-sign Bogaerts? Did they think Mondesi would be healthy a lot sooner? Were they overconfident in Enrique's ability to play an everyday SS?
Trevor Story playing SS in 2023 was widely speculated the moment they signed him, and it sounds like he will be playing SS in 2023 at his first available opportunity. Everything we've seen this year that isn't Story at SS is just a patch until he is.

   22. Darren Posted: May 31, 2023 at 09:43 AM (#6130883)
The bullpen usage is really weird. Early on you had the heavy usage of Brasier and Ort. Then the team shifted to really liking picking up guys off waivers or wherever and slotting them in. Garza, Sherriff, Beradino, Littell, etc.

Meanwhile, you have Jansen, Martin, Crawford, Winckowski, and perhaps Pivetta for high leverage. That should be plenty, but we keep seeing these randos in somewhat important situations.

   23. Darren Posted: May 31, 2023 at 09:54 AM (#6130886)
On SS, I agree with VI. Everything they've done from the 2021-22 offseason on has indicated that they had no interest in extending Bogaerts: signing Story, the 4/90* offer followed by nothing else until it was too late, etc. They also seemed to be caught entirely by surprise by Story's surgery and then had to scramble to fill the spot by shifting Hernandez there and acquiring Chang and Mondesi.

(*Remember the reports last offseason that the team and Bogaerts were more than $100 mil apart? I hadn't thought of it until now, but if the best offer they made him by that time was something like 4/90, I think we can guess that Bogaerts was asking for something in the $200 mil. range. That would have been nice.)
   24. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 31, 2023 at 10:30 AM (#6130890)
I guess one way to look at Story is that he can play a very good 2B, or an adequate SS, and that as Mayer and Yorke (hopefully) continue to progress up the system, Story can play whatever position in late 2024 and beyond that isn't first filled by one of the young top prospects.

In that scenario, Mayer certainly seems to be on the faster track to the bigs, which would eventually put Story at 2B by 2025. (I know Story has an opt out in his contract in a few years, but it seems really unlikely that he'll think he can get more money by dipping back into the FA market.)

I also wonder if Bloom has been a bigger fan of Arroyo than most. Last year, he thought Arroyo could be part of a RF platoon (?!), which was weird. Arroyo just can't stay healthy.
   25. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 31, 2023 at 12:47 PM (#6130910)
Then, he puts in Rodriguez, a low-impact FA pickup from Pittsburgh. Then, after Joely gets lit up,

I believe Bloom thinks Rodriguez is more than just a low-impact arm, he's getting $1.5M this year with a team option of $4.25M next year (and he pitched for the Mets last year, not Pitt). Not a big commitment at all, but Rodriguez is supposed to be a tier above Sherriff & Garza.

The 40-man also includes relievers like Bleier, Bernardino, Garza, Sherriff, and Ort.

Bleier was acquired from the Marlins in exchange for Barnes. Saves the Sox $0 this year and $2M next year by not having to pay Barnes his buyout. That trade hasn't turned out so well so far.
   26. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 31, 2023 at 07:16 PM (#6130960)
Story was a really good 2B last year. I don't know how you can run him out to SS after him coming off an elbow injury. His arm was never that good from SS to begin with. Why risk him reinjuring it making that throw? I know they need a SS, but it shouldn't be Story. They need his bat too badly to risk him getting hurt playing SS.
   27. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 01, 2023 at 11:47 AM (#6131052)
Story was a really good 2B last year. I don't know how you can run him out to SS after him coming off an elbow injury.

Agreed. As bad as the Sox have been at SS they are also bad at 2B. -0.7 WAA in the AL at each position. Means Valdez really doesn't have a spot to play, but that's always been his issue.
   28. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 01, 2023 at 12:38 PM (#6131058)
I'm glad #26 and #27 noted this. Maybe I am mis-remembering, but I don't recall a lot of people looking at Story as a SS going forward, mainly because of the arm issues. Then, he was an outstanding defensive 2B last year. Then, the rules were changed to make defense at 2B even more valuable going forward. To me, Story gives you an above-average 2B, or a sort-of-average SS. WE need help at both positions. Why not make 2B a relative strength when Story comes back?
   29. Darren Posted: June 02, 2023 at 03:33 PM (#6131279)
I was just looking up Brainer Bonaci, and not just because of his cool name. He's a 20-years-old SS hitting .350/.404/.540 in A+ this year, with a respectable 21% K rate. Soxprospects had him ranked #25 in the system but he'll likely move up when their latest rankings come out next week. FG has him at a 40 despite a 55 hit tool and some very encouraging words in his write up. Looking forward to seeing how he progresses.
   30. Darren Posted: June 02, 2023 at 03:43 PM (#6131281)
Since this post went to press, Yorke has been working on allaying my fears about his batting average. Since then he's hit .321/.424/.500 with 9 BB and 16 K in 66 PA, bringing him to .300/.417/.494 on the year.
   31. villageidiom Posted: June 03, 2023 at 04:07 PM (#6131408)
I haven't had a chance to watch any games the last 2 weeks, and they went 3-7. I turned on the game this afternoon with them down 4-0, then they scored 8 runs and won. Clearly the team's issues were my fault. My bad. I'll try to do better.
   32. Darren Posted: June 06, 2023 at 01:29 PM (#6131652)
Nice job, VI. You really jinxed the team. Hey everyone, look at how VI (and only VI) jinxed the team!
   33. villageidiom Posted: June 06, 2023 at 04:07 PM (#6131676)
I didn't see the games on Sunday or Monday. Yep, it's me.
   34. Darren Posted: June 07, 2023 at 09:40 AM (#6131785)
After a nice 2-2 with a HR and two walks last night, Chase Meidroth's numbers:

2023 A+: 97 PA, .338/.495/.460, 21 BB, 20 K
2023 AA: 84 PA, .324/.475/.453, 15 BB, 12 K
Career: 277 PA, .321/.462/.484, 50 BB, 43 K

The ... German God of Walks?

   35. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: June 08, 2023 at 11:42 AM (#6132006)
Went to the Woosox game yesterday. Not a lot to report but man, Bobby Dalbec's numbers there are out of sight. If this continues the Sox gotta bring him back to have a go but I can't imagine it will go any better for him. But a 1.000+ OPS in AAA earns you a chance.
   36. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 08, 2023 at 03:14 PM (#6132044)
OK, I'm not Dalbec fan, and I want to keep Casas going at 1B all year, no matter what. He will end up being a productive hitter, and has been much, much better since early May.

But Dalbec's numbers are so outrageous at AAA, and he has been so obviously unproductive (except for about a month in summer 2021) in the bigs, that I have to ask: What weakness of Dalbec's is so exploitable by big-league pitchers, but so unexploitable by AAA pitchers? Is it consistent off-speed pitches or breaking balls? Is it pitchers' command of the strike zone? What is it? Because I don't believe Dalbec has become a fundamentally better hitter or anything.

Of note: He continues to strike out a ton in AAA, but walks a fair amount more. Maybe he just has an absurd BABIP in AAA right now? (Just checked: It's about .390.)

   37. Darren Posted: June 08, 2023 at 04:32 PM (#6132061)
Quick comp of 2023 numbers in AA:

Meidroth - 93 PA, .301/.441/.466, 16 BB, 15 K
Yorke - 214 PA, .294/.402/.489, 30 BB, 48 K

Both are 21, both are 2B. Yorke was taken in the first round out of high school, and is widely considered one of our top 5 prospects and borderline top 100. Meidroth was a 4th rounder from SD State, and is somewhere in the 20s on rankings of Red Sox prospects.

Should be fun to see how these guys develop.
   38. Darren Posted: June 08, 2023 at 04:33 PM (#6132062)
Dalbec did start wearing glasses this year. You think that if it improved his vision that it would help more with contact. ???
   39. Darren Posted: June 08, 2023 at 11:08 PM (#6132133)
Things seem kind chaotic right now. Benching Verdugo, Dermondy, Cora going back to playing Hernandez at SS, the brutal defense. Like things are spiraling.
   40. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: June 09, 2023 at 07:54 AM (#6132139)
I think I agree with Darren in #39. There are a couple of problems that the team has admirably was able to get around for the first 35 games this season...but are now impacting wins and losses:

1) Starting pitching: On one level, you couldn't ask for much more if you were Bloom. Paxton has been very good since returning. Bello looks like a keeper. Crawford has generally been good. Sale was looking a lot like vintage Sale. But the injuries to Sale and Whitlock; the complete ineffectiveness of Pivetta and Kluber; and the unevenness of Houck; have put the team in a position of throwing out some AAA guys who certainly don't look ready to contribute. If Paxton or Bello was to get hurt right now, that'd be the final straw on trying to keep the rotation remotely together.

2) The bullpen: I am most surprised at how wobbly the bullpen has become. This is where the team spent a lot of money, and seemed to have quality depth. But a number of guys who weren't even on the team to start the season are now pitching legit innings: Justin Garza, Brennan Bernadino, Ryan Sherriff. Again, a lot of injuries, but if you told me Jansen, Martin, and Winckowski would all be generally very good, I would not have classified this as an emerging area of concern.

3) The defense: Verdugo, Yoshida, Casas, Devers - none of these guys are Gold Glovers. But the play at SS and 2B has been beyond worst-case scenario, and although Duran appears better than last year, he's not a defensive asset, either. If you're not going to have plus-defense at SS, 2B, or CF, then at least make the trade-off for offense. But these are real problems offensively, as well. I hope that Story, Duvall, and (maybe) Mondesi can address this soon. For now, it is a sinkhole on the team.

4) Turner, Casas, Devers, Verdugo: Casas continues to warm up, and will be fine - but he has been below .200 all year, and we have to call that out a little bit. Verdugo started hot, but has been underwhelming for more than a month now. That has coincided with the team's slide quite closely. I love Devers, but we have to call that what it is, too: a disappointing start. And Turner is what I guess people call a professional hitter. I did not like this signing at all, because it struck me as spending money on an aging hitter in decline who was taking PAs away from guys who we could at least check out what they can do this year (like Valdez, who shouldn't be playing 2B right now, but I think can hit). Turner is a league-average bat who can play three infield positions if you are screwed. He is not "the problem"...but he has nothing to do with solutions now, either, and the team needs to recognize it is in discovery mode.

The team is 10-18 in its last 28, and is playing the Yankees six times in the next nine games. I thought that a Sale-less 2023 Red Sox team was a slightly-below average team. We are about to find out.
   41. Darren Posted: June 09, 2023 at 10:46 AM (#6132148)
There is so much going on I forgot to include Sale's injury. What's going on with that? Last I saw he had a couple of tests done and they were still reviewing those test. They think that he'll need more tests but they are not doing those tests this week. Has there been any news?
   42. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 09, 2023 at 12:56 PM (#6132167)

There is so much going on I forgot to include Sale's injury. What's going on with that? Last I saw he had a couple of tests done and they were still reviewing those test. They think that he'll need more tests but they are not doing those tests this week. Has there been any news?

Seems like no news is typically a good thing. There's no clear cut, done for the year injury, more of a general soreness that could actually work itself out.
   43. villageidiom Posted: June 09, 2023 at 05:40 PM (#6132208)
And I thought I was the jinx. Sale was transferred to the 60-day IL. Earliest return is now August.
   44. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: June 09, 2023 at 07:16 PM (#6132212)
And I thought I was the jinx. Sale was transferred to the 60-day IL. Earliest return is now August.

Jesus. Yeah, he's done.

Over/under on remaining starts as a Red Sock - 14.5

I am taking the under.

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