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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Friday, May 21, 2021

Questions Being Answered

In English soccer the mark of the elite is the ability to get it done “on a cold rainy Wednesday in Stoke.”  I don’t know if a “warm windy Thursday in Dunedin” is quite the same but last night’s game had a bit of a feel to it.  I still firmly believe the Sox are a .500 team but they are answering questions at every turn.  One of the marks of the Francona Era was the ability of the club to rebound from disappointment.  Obviously some of that was the talent in place but the ability to put it together and avoid the debilitating slumps was a big reason the Sox were so successful for so long (until 2011).  Under Cora the Sox never really even seemed to get close to this point in 2018 then in 2019 it did seem they had some stretches where they couldn’t arrest a slide.

So far in 2021 they’ve done a good job of not letting crisis happen. They’ve been on the cusp a few times.  Hell things could have collapsed right away when they got swept by Baltimore but they then swept the reigning AL champs.  After losing two in a row to the White Sox in their first true test of the season they came back to win three in a row from Chicago (1) and highly touted Toronto (2).  There is something of the 2013 team here.  Maybe not the most talented team but a good team that is regularly getting good starting pitching and maybe more importantly spreading out that good starting pitching so while they don’t necessarily get a whole bunch of great starts in a row they get good starts often enough that the potent offense can do it’s thing.

As much as the 2013 team is one to consider the team that maybe is a bit more apropos is 1999.  Losing Mo Vaughn two years after losing Roger Clemens was a kick in the teeth and expectations were low.  That team of course had a pretty good Ace in Pedro Martinez but behind him was a dicey but effective rotation.  Bret Saberhagen was the Garrett Richards of that team.  A bit frightening with an arm held together by scotch tape and dreams but the former World Series MVP was very good.  Behind him were Pat Rapp having a quietly solid season and maybe the most unusual season of Tim Wakefield’s unusual career; 140 innings, 17 starts and a team high 15 saves.  Sure why not.  I can see a scenario where Garrett Whitlock or Matt Andriese does something similar this year in terms of splitting time in the bullpen and rotation (but not the saves as long as Matt Barnes keeps doing his Dick Radatz impression).

Health is the huge factor for this team right now.  While they have put together a strong first quarter how many starts they can get from the rotation remains an open question.  There is greater depth than a year ago but the fact remains the Sox need starts from their preferred rotation.  So far Rodriguez/Eovaldi/Richards/Perez/Pivetta have given the Sox 43 of their 45 starts.  All bets are off if that keeps up but if you could tell me with any certainty that 120 combined starts from those five was happening I’d definitely want to up that .500 prediction.

Some quick random thoughts;

- I don’t know quite what to do with the bullpen.  Hirokazu Sawamura has a good ERA (3.18) but seems to give up a lot of good contact.  If I were Alex Cora I’d start trying to squeeze more and more high leverage out of Whitlock and Phillips Valdez.  Darwinzon Hernandez is frustrating but I still want him more often.  I would prefer the Sox would have him start clean innings though.  Accept that the walks are coming but so are the strikeouts and the BB-BB-K-K-BB-K inning may be a bit unnerving but it ends the right way with a goose egg on the board.

- I am a Michael Chavis skeptic but he is giving me Brock Holt vibes right now.  Bit of a different player obviously but he is one of those guys who seems to be in the middle of things when he plays, can move around a bit and is a useful utility guy.

- What do you say about JD Martinez?  It’s a measure of what he’s done that I felt really good as he came to the plate last night.  He is just having a phenomenal and dare I say Ortiz-like season.  Not only are the numbers huge but the timing has been exquisite.

- That game last night was a great example of what makes this team so enjoyable.  Even had Martinez whiffed they stayed in the game to the end and got a star hitter to the plate with the tie run 90 feet away.  Last year Pivetta’s start would have blown up and they would have been out of the game by the fourth and then the ninth inning would have been a 1-2-3 affair.

45 games down and so far they are a hell of a lot of fun.

Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 21, 2021 at 11:02 AM | 40 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Darren Posted: May 21, 2021 at 03:46 PM (#6020113)
Great post. I was sure we had lost last night and was fine with it. Coming back was awesome.


To answer your queries:

--I think they're doing things about right with the bullpen. Sawamura's okay, Whitlock's good, and Barnes is great. Use the time until the deadline to figure out if you can trust Hernandez or need to add another arm.

--Chavis is what he thought he was, and you're right to be a skeptic. He's got 0 walks and 12 Ks. When is .444 Babip drops, he will have little value.

--Martinez has been great, and it looks increasingly likely that he'll opt out. I wonder how they'll handle that.

--Last night was fun.
   2. Bad Fish Posted: May 22, 2021 at 12:26 PM (#6020235)
Random thoughts....

In 8 games they will be through 33% of the season. If they go 5-3 or 4-4 I think it will be time to start considering that they are a good team who, with a little luck, have the chance to be in contention for the rest of the year.

JD is a valuable professional hitter, but I don't see him walking away from $20M going into his 34 yo year. Nelson Cruz is a pretty good comparison and he makes about $15M a year. I would like the Red Sox to try to lock him up. I wonder if a rolling contract of around $20M a year that has reasonable performance oriented vesting options would be something that could work?

I think X has the look of someone who is going to win an MVP award.

Verdugo - JD - X - Devers has to be about the scariest stretch of hitting in baseball right now.


Danny Santana has started his RS career on one side of a hitter thought experiment - who would you rather have on your team, a guy who goes 1-5 everyday but that one hit is a homerun, or a guy who gets 5 walks every game? The walker will be more valuable, per WAR, but I think almost everyone would take the homerun.

And today in BBRF- Pud Galvin. HOF pitcher, lost 20 or more games 10 times but ended up winning 50 more games than he lost. He had two consecutive years of 46 wins, finishing over 70 games and tossing over 600 innings each year. Died two months after he turned 45.
   3. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 22, 2021 at 12:33 PM (#6020237)
Behind him were Pat Rapp having a quietly solid season

I just want to show some love for my namesake and former high school classmate. OK, he was a year ahead of me. Still, close enough.
   4. Darren Posted: May 22, 2021 at 12:56 PM (#6020238)
And today in BBRF- Pud Galvin. HOF pitcher, lost 20 or more games 10 times but ended up winning 50 more games than he lost. He had two consecutive years of 46 wins, finishing over 70 games and tossing over 600 innings each year. Died two months after he turned 45.


And this is why we limit pitcher workloads now.
   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 22, 2021 at 01:28 PM (#6020242)
The health of the starting pitchers is the biggest variable. Consider:

- As noted above, 44 of the 46 starts have been made by the original starting five. (Houck has the other two.) They have all been somewhere between servicable and above-average:
Perez has an ERA+ of 124, and has average just under 5.1 IP per start
Pivetta is at 123, and averaging just under 5.3 IP per start
Richards is at 118, averaging just under 5.4 IP/start
Eovaldi is at 98, averaging 5.55 IP/start
ERod is at 94, averaging 5.5 IP/start.

There's not a lot of evidence that *any* of these guys are going to make 30 starts, much less most/all of them. The 6th and 7th options in the organization are Houck (who is on the injured list with an arm issue in Worcester), and Connor Seabold (also currently on the injured list, hasn't appeared in a game yet this season). Until they are healthy, the next two pitchers that would start for Boston (not counting a piggyback start from Whitlock or something) would be two names from the 2020 season, Kyle Hart and Ryan Weber. After that, there really is nothing. Bloom has done an awesome job accumulating depth in the organization in a short amount of time, but he is not a magician - Houck and Seabold as 6th and 7th is miles better than last year - but if the revised expectation for 2021 is fighting for a playoff spot, then Hart and Weber can't be pitching in games for Boston this year.

- In terms of the bullpen, you can tell Cora is really trying to save the two relievers he trusts the most (Barnes and Ottavino) for the games they can win, while searching for a reliable guy or two who can cover innings 6 and 7. When one of the five starters can get Cora a clean 6th inning, it is such a big difference for Cora, because that 4th-best reliever is a very dicey proposition. I am not counting Whitlock in this ordering, because Cora is generally using Whitlock for more than three outs in games they are winning to save the rest of the bullpen. But of the following five guys, who would you trust the most to consistently get the team through the 6th or 7th inning of a tight game: Andriese, Hernandez, Taylor, Sawamura, and Valdez.
   6. Jay Seaver Posted: May 23, 2021 at 08:18 PM (#6020478)
The health of the starting pitchers is the biggest variable. Consider:

...

ERod is at 94, averaging 5.5 IP/start.


I noticed that Remy started to speculate out loud about Rodriguez on the broadcast today, wondering if it's time to start talking about the thing we seemingly don't want to consider: That he might not be the same again after his bout with Covid-19 last year. He hasn't been quite bad enough that we need to chalk it up to anything but season-to-season variation, but at some point Bloom and the team might have to adjust his ceiling downward.
   7. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 24, 2021 at 01:50 AM (#6020537)
So they've gone 7-3 over the last 10 games(which you'd take anywhere, anytime, any place) and lost ground to both the Rays and NY. That is a tough crowd.
   8. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 24, 2021 at 08:23 AM (#6020542)
I noticed that Remy started to speculate out loud about Rodriguez on the broadcast today, wondering if it's time to start talking about the thing we seemingly don't want to consider: That he might not be the same again after his bout with Covid-19 last year. He hasn't been quite bad enough that we need to chalk it up to anything but season-to-season variation, but at some point Bloom and the team might have to adjust his ceiling downward.


I didn't see the game yesterday but this is definitely a story that deserves attention. It's frankly a wider issue when it comes to COVID with major implications ("pre-existing conditions" and the like) but as far as the Sox and MLB are concerned it's something that just has zero precedent. It's definitely a tricky question.
   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 24, 2021 at 08:59 AM (#6020545)
It is interesting to see how Cora's use of the bullpen continues to evolve. Not only has the starting rotation been extremely healthy thus far, the bullpen has consisted mainly of the same group of guys. However, you can see Cora trying to find those 3rd-through-5th guys in the bullpen that he can rely upon - and it matters, given that the starters continue to rarely give him 6 innings in a start. The numbers I posted in #5, above, continued over the weekend: Eovaldi pitched 5.1 innings, and ERod couldn't get an out in the 5th (despite the fact it was his highest pitch count on a game this season).

Like in many games this year, it meant Cora is trying to figure out who can bridge to Ottavino and Barnes when they are winning, and who can keep Boston in a game without burning out Ottavino and Barnes when they are losing.

The only pitcher that has been cycled out of consideration this year is Brice, who was not very good. It seems like Cora is trying to figure out if Josh Taylor can be a reliable 5th-6th inning guy: Taylor was dreadful through April 24th, and in my head, he remains the guy who, when he comes in, it means the team has waived the white flag. However, since he took a week off after April 24th, he has been nearly untouchable in a limited role:

10 GP, 7.1 IP, 2 hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks, 0.00 ERA, slash line of .087/.192/.087.

Again, it is limited use, but Cora is starting to put him in when the game is tight, usually to get a few outs and keep the rest of the bullpen in order for clean innings.

Obviously, you'd rather have starters going an average of six innings instead of five, but one of the interesting mini-dramas of a long baseball season is watching a team try to figure out roles like this.
   10. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 24, 2021 at 09:30 AM (#6020549)
One of the things Cora did REALLY well in 2018 was find the hot hand in the bullpen. Kimbrel was the closer but it seemed like the 8th inning guy rotated between Barnes, Kelly, Brasier and Hembree. He did a really good job of getting what he could then moving on while keeping the other guys ready. I'm with SBPT, I had the impression of Taylor as being a white flag guy but as the numbers say, he's pitched really well lately.
   11. villageidiom Posted: May 24, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6020572)
Martinez has been great, and it looks increasingly likely that he'll opt out. I wonder how they'll handle that.
JDM's opt out years were 2019 and 2020. He can't opt out after 2021.

Cot's confirms this and is consistent with contemporaneous reports of his contract signing. Soxprospects says he has an opt-out this year, but previously they had it consistent with Cot's.
   12. villageidiom Posted: May 24, 2021 at 11:57 AM (#6020573)
Also: if they play .500 ball from now on, they will finish with 86 wins.
   13. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 24, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6020579)
We will hit the one-third mark of the season in the next week. Something Billy Beane said about roster-building in the modern era was something like, "You use the 1st third to figure out your best roster; the second third to figure out what improvements you need to make; and the final third to make those improvements (where possible) and see how it all turned out."

The questions related to figuring out their roster after a third of the season:

1) Will Duran be ready and good enough before the end of the summer that, if the team still needs an outfield upgrade, they are comfortable promoting Duran to do it?
2) Can the rotation stay healthy long enough that the team doesn't need to go to their 6th and 7th options (Houck and Seabold) until those two guys are healthy and pitching again? Because if neither of those guys are available, and a need arises, it will be a problem.
3) Do reliable arms for the 5th-7th innings currently exist on the roster, and if so, who are they? Cora clearly is hoping Darwinzon is one of those solutions, but it is not clear.
4) Are any of the following 26-year-olds part of the long-term future of the franchise: Cordero, Dalbec, Chavis (turns 26 during the season), Arroyo. That's a big part of what 2021 is for this team: figure out what younger talent they should be keeping, and which players they should not be building with (Benintendi was a "cut bait" example). I think Arroyo is somebody who could play everyday at 2B until Downs shows he is ready; the other three...not so much.
5) Do they try to lock Verdugo, Bogaerts, and/or Devers into long-term deals to create certainty with their best young players?
6) Finally as #12 notes, we are getting to a point where unless they really struggle this summer, they are going to win 81-86 games. With the current playoff format, that'd mean they'll be in playoff contention with two weeks to go. The big question of the season is actually not about a specific player or position, but about "the plan". If they are squarely in the hunt for the playoffs in late July, and they continue to have holes (like a 1B hitting .210, or continued crappy non-Verdugo OF options, or if starting pitcher depth becomes an issue), do they do much to address those problems? Or is this a rebuilding year, period, end of sentence?
   14. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 24, 2021 at 01:43 PM (#6020582)
6) Finally as #12 notes, we are getting to a point where unless they really struggle this summer, they are going to win 81-86 games. With the current playoff format, that'd mean they'll be in playoff contention with two weeks to go. The big question of the season is actually not about a specific player or position, but about "the plan". If they are squarely in the hunt for the playoffs in late July, and they continue to have holes (like a 1B hitting .210, or continued crappy non-Verdugo OF options, or if starting pitcher depth becomes an issue), do they do much to address those problems? Or is this a rebuilding year, period, end of sentence?


There is probably an entire post in this question alone but what would you be willing to do or unwilling to do? The problem of course is without specifics you can't get too far down the road so let's throw these five things out there for now (just off the top of my head);

Left field - Trade Gilberto Jimenez for Kris Bryant
Left field - Trade Jarren Duran and Josh Winckwoski for Nick Castellanos (may need more than this to get it done, Castellanos has two more years of control)

Pitcher - Trade Matthew Lugo for Kyle Gibson

First Base - Trade Bobby Dalbec and Eduard Bazardo for Anthony Rizzo
First Base - Trade Triston Casas for Freddie Freeman

Reliever - Trade Bryan Bello and Aldo Ramirez for Brad Hand

I'm not great at this stuff so I don't know if these get it done but just trying to put some names out there. When we talk about making moves it's good to have some ideas what we are talking about. Back when we were doing Replacement Level Red Sox I had the argument with a few people about what "blowing it up" meant in 2014.
   15. Darren Posted: May 24, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6020597)
JDM's opt out years were 2019 and 2020. He can't opt out after 2021.


Fangraphs says that he can opt out after 2021. This ESPN article agrees, but this MLB article says Cot's is right. I'm not sure who to believe.
   16. Darren Posted: May 24, 2021 at 03:54 PM (#6020599)
Left field - Trade Gilberto Jimenez for Kris Bryant
Left field - Trade Jarren Duran and Josh Winckwoski for Nick Castellanos (may need more than this to get it done, Castellanos has two more years of control)


No and no. :)

Pitcher - Trade Matthew Lugo for Kyle Gibson

First Base - Trade Bobby Dalbec and Eduard Bazardo for Anthony Rizzo
First Base - Trade Triston Casas for Freddie Freeman


Maybe, maybe, no.

Reliever - Trade Bryan Bello and Aldo Ramirez for Brad Hand


Sure, I guess?
   17. Darren Posted: May 27, 2021 at 12:31 PM (#6021109)
Cordero optioned to AAA today.
   18. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 28, 2021 at 09:13 PM (#6021418)
Am I over reading this? Ottavino came into the game in the 6th tonight, first time he’s entered a game before the 7th this year. Is Cora managing the game expecting it to be a shortened game due to the weather?
   19. Nasty Nate Posted: May 28, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6021421)
Is Cora managing the game expecting it to be a shortened game due to the weather?
Yes. Barnes started warming up once guys got on base.
   20. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 29, 2021 at 11:28 AM (#6021474)
Yeah I posted that just before Barnes started getting loose. I like the way he approached that.
   21. pikepredator Posted: May 29, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6021475)
Joe and the WEEI team were wondering why it wasn't called after 5. I was driving and they gave me the impression the field was a muddy mess in the 6th. It sounded like maybe Ottavino figured out the slow slider was easier to throw for strikes?

Anyway, another solid win for the Sox.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: May 29, 2021 at 01:56 PM (#6021483)
Ottavino was miserable out there. Am I making this up, but was he also grumpy about pitching in the rain against the Sox with the Yankees? Or maybe his face is naturally grumpy-looking?
   23. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 29, 2021 at 04:17 PM (#6021497)
21 - Watching the game it felt like the umps wanted to do two things;

A - Give the teams a chance to take the lead
B - Give whichever team fell behind a chance to come back.

Don’t know if that’s what happened but it’s what it looked like to me. Given the forecast for the weekend I suspect they wanted to make sure a game got played this weekend (though it now looks good for this afternoon).

22 - Don’t remember Ottavino with the Yankees against the Sox but he does look naturally grouchy. He’s got whatever the male version of RBF is. It was pretty clearly affecting him yesterday.

Just generally it was absurd they were out there. It didn’t really come into play but on every pop up you saw the fielders struggling to find the ball and every ground ball was dicey. They are lucky no one got hurt out there.
   24. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 30, 2021 at 09:43 AM (#6021562)
They are lucky no one got hurt out there.


Does anyone know of a player hurt due to weather? Vince Coleman and the tarp is an obvious one, but any other examples?
   25. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 30, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6021569)
A couple that come to mind right away are Bryce Harper slipping on a wet base and injuring his ankle and Dustin Hermanson pulling his groin warming up in the rain at Fenway.
   26. villageidiom Posted: May 30, 2021 at 01:03 PM (#6021577)
If it weren't so sunny out Jeff Kent wouldn't have been washing his truck.
   27. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 30, 2021 at 05:51 PM (#6021600)
Very happy to be 12 games above .500 entering Memorial Day. Huge 17 game stretch coming up (HOU, NYY, MIA, HOU, TOR, ATL). No scheduled day off until June 17.
   28. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 30, 2021 at 08:19 PM (#6021615)
That game on Friday was completely miserable. I know it makes me a 'bad' fan, but I had tickets to that game and I bailed in the first inning because it was already so bad. If the forecast wasn't rain the entire weekend, they would have postponed that Friday game.
   29. villageidiom Posted: May 30, 2021 at 08:53 PM (#6021618)
Tomorrow begins the "challenge stretch". The month of June is almost nothing but Houston, NY, Atlanta, KC, and Toronto. July isn't much better, as they also get TB and Oakland. If they go .500 in June and July I'd consider them pretty fortunate.

In short I expect to be saying often for the next 2 months that if they play .500 ball from now on, they will finish with 87 wins.

   30. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 31, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6021664)
If I were the Red Sox, I'd be trying to stick to the rebuilding plan, while also acknowledging they've got a shot at winning 85+ games with this group. There are four things are on 2021 Red Sox wish list, at this point:

1) An additional reliever who could give then a reliable 6th or 7th inning 2-3 times a week. Right now, they have to feel good about a game when they can get it to Ottavino and Barnes. But, as the game Saturday showed, they are really trying to piece things together in the 6th and 7th - and since their starters rarely get through six innings, this is an issue even when they are winning. Brasier coming back may help with this, or they may decide to put Whitlock into this role (twice a week, he pitches the 6th and 7th), but it is a weakness of the team, at least as of now. (Mychal Givens from Colorado is a guy I'm talking about - Colorado is awful, you get him and a guy below from the Rockies in the same deal, and by taking about $3m left in contract between the two of them this year, you end up not having to give much of anything.)

2) A first baseman who will give league-average offensive production. Dalbec is not very good. For a team whose offense is so reliant on four guys (SS, 3B, DH, and Verdugo), it seems like just not being awful at 1B would actually make a real difference in the lineup. I don't think there is anybody else in the organization really in a position to address this in 2021 - is there an option available via trade for a non-Top 20 prospect or something? (A guy I'm talking about is, like, CJ Cron in Colorado. Professional hitter, on a one-year, $1m contract, hitting pretty well for Colorado, who is going nowhere. He does more for Boston than Dalbec does, and he's gone after the year.)

3) A leadoff guy. Hernandez doesn't get on base, and Cora has said he think Verdugo-Bogaerts-Martinez-Devers is best in the 2-5 slots in the order. If there was a modern-day Scott Hatteberg rattling around somewhere, you might be able to solve #2 and #3 cheap for this year, but just finding somebody with a .350 OBP to lead off would do a lot for the lineup.

4) Local media suggest Chris Sale is on track to return to the bigs late this summer. Even getting 5 good innings from him regularly in the final six weeks would be quite a boost. But unless Houck and Seabold come back to good health soon, the upcoming brutal schedule threatens to expose what is arguably the Red Sox' biggest liability - a lack of starting pitcher depth. It's Andriese or Kyle Hart up next, at the moment, and that will just more pressure on an already vulnerable bullpen. So figuring out a plausible solution for another starting candidate if and when there is an injury would be very helpful. This may be the toughest part to find in the trade market without giving something of value back.
   31. villageidiom Posted: May 31, 2021 at 06:34 PM (#6021688)
Sale coming back would potentially help the bullpen. One of Eovaldi, Rodriguez, Pivetta, Perez, and Richards would need to shift to the pen.
   32. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 31, 2021 at 07:29 PM (#6021697)
Not a good start to Idiom's "challenge stretch" Unfortunately I don't think it's really going to matter as the Rays are going to go 112-50 this season to easily take the East.
   33. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 31, 2021 at 07:50 PM (#6021700)
Bryce Harper slipping on a wet base and injuring his ankle


That's right, forgot about him, and Kris Bryant did it around the same time as well.
   34. Darren Posted: June 01, 2021 at 11:27 AM (#6021795)
With Cordero in AAA, it seems another black hole in the lineup need to be addressed: Bobby Dalbec. He's hitting a .207/.260/.386 and his defense, both by the numbers and to my eye, is pretty poor. All of this has added up -1.0 WAR already. How long before they decide that he just doesn't make enough contact to stay on the Major League roster?

I guess the big question would be who to replace him with. Marwin is not exactly tearing it up either. Santana may be worth a shot, though he's hitting under .150 in limited ABs since 2020. If the Sox are looking at upgrading at or before the deadline, this may be the position to upgrade. And although I very much doubt they'd do this, it's tempting to wonder what Casas could do if he continues to play well at AA.
   35. Bad Fish Posted: June 01, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6021801)
If it isn't, RBF should be gender neutral, if anything it works even better on dudes.
   36. Darren Posted: June 01, 2021 at 12:53 PM (#6021823)
It's a gendered term and one that I think we'd be better off avoiding.
   37. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 01, 2021 at 01:12 PM (#6021828)
Dalbec is still underperforming his expected stats according to statcast numbers. Not as dramatically as earlier in the year but still by a fair amount. It's not like the internal options are better in any way at the moment (Marwin is nearly 100 points worse on OPS). Anecdotally Dalbec doesn't look overwhelmed the way Franchy did. I think he's pretty good on scoops but the fielding the position aspect is a little off. Let him gain some experience, remember he played 35 games at first in college and 26 in the minors before coming up. He's got less than a season's worth of playing time at first base since leaving high school.

This is the tricky part of this team. In "go for it" mode of course the Sox do something here. Personally I'd be willing to ride Dalbec and give him the year to figure it out. If he does that's a win, if he doesn't you know what you have and you move on. Santana has looked good so far but yeah, he's Danny Santana. Still this is what Tito did so well with Cora and Pedroia. He rode Cora's April, 2007 and balanced it with Pedroia until Pedroia got going.

Casas has been smoking to start the year for Portland. He had a quiet game one in the olympic qualifiers last night (Duran was 3 for 6 with an assist). I think he's probably a September call up or would be under the old rules. That's not an option any more right?
   38. Darren Posted: June 01, 2021 at 01:56 PM (#6021838)
What changed with September call-ups?
   39. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: June 01, 2021 at 02:01 PM (#6021841)
I believe they can only add three players to the roster, not everyone on the 40 man roster.
   40. Bad Fish Posted: June 04, 2021 at 10:40 PM (#6022654)
On BBRF today they had Kevin Brown, who should be in the HOF, and Jim McCormick who managed both 76 WAR and NOT an entry into the HOF. He won 30 or more games 4 times, including two 40+ win seasons, and lost 30 or more 3 times including one 40 loss season. He had a WHIP season of 0.786, but only tossed 210 innings that year. He had 5 years of over 500 innings, including one of well over 600, and another of nearly 600. He died at 61, in 1918.

I'm pretty convinced that in 1885 if you were a reasonably competent athlete, like maybe the best male white athlete in your 25 person graduating high school class who wasn't going to college, and wanted to play professional baseball, you probably could.

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