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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The First Big Test

The 2021 Red Sox were in many ways a bully team.  They had their way with lesser opponents finishing with the third best record in the league against sub-.500 teams but the 7th best against teams over .500.  They also led the league in games played against teams over .500 (94) courtesy of their division.  Not much is changing schedule-wise in 2022 with the AL East being a grind so if the Sox want to ascend to last year’s success they will need to beat the best.  After a relatively mild early schedule things get challenging for the next three days as the Toronto Blue Jays come to town.  It’s not a stretch to say that the Blue Jays very well could be the be the best of the American League so the Sox will need to be at their best.  The challenge will be interesting with the Sox having their top three starters; Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta and Tanner Houck set to go against the Jays’ righty heavy lineup.

I think the first week and a half of the season has gone somewhat predictably for the good guys.  5-5 isn’t anything special but it’s fine.  I’ve probably been irrevocably scarred by 2011 and 2012 so just stay afloat and figure it out early in the season is fine.  So far there aren’t any massive outliers in terms of performance.  Some guys slumping (hey Kiké) and some guys off to quick start (DOOGS!) but I think the offense has more to give.  Free agent signing Trevor Story is off to a rough start and thinking about it that’s not surprising.  He signed late, missed some time for the birth of a child then got food poisoning the first week.

If you are looking for causes for concern I’d direct you to first base where Bobby Dalbec has returned to first half 2021 form.  In completely unrelated news Triston Casas is hitting .282/.420/.564 at Worcester with 9Ks and 9BBs.  It is worth noting that Casas struggled in the WooSox’ series in Jacksonville and has raked in the series in Worcester which was hitter friendly a year ago.  The other mild cause for concern is JD Martinez who after a fast start last year was fairly ordinary the second half last year.  However while the fast start (.984 OPS through May 31) made the numbers look a bit purtier for much of 2021 he still had a .265/.322/.484 line from June 1 forward.  I’d expect that to be a pretty good expectation for JD in 2022.and sample size warnings and all that but his K rate and BB rate are consistent with past seasons so he doesn’t appear unusually overmatched.

On the mound I think Alex Cora has done a pretty good job leveraging people.  He has quickly identified Jake Diekman as a crucial arm.  I get a Takashi Saito vibe from how Cora is going to use him with Diekman being a trusted reliever who can pitch as early as the sixth or be used as a conventional closer as the season goes on.  Obviously the bullpen star has been Garrett Whitlock and I’m curious to see if Cora arranges things to have Whitlock take Houck’s start in Toronto next week which Houck will have to miss due to Canada’s rule about vaccinations.  One guy whose numbers actually look better than I’d expected is Ryan Brasier.  He hasn’t filled me with confidence so far allowing 5 of 7 inherited runners to score.  This has not been a strong suit of his over the course of his career (40% compared to league average of 32%).  Any time you are dealing with relievers the sample sizes get hairy but if I were Cora after shaving the beard I’d be reconsidering using Brasier mid-inning.

Meeting Plawecki’s family the other day was a lot more interesting before I found out he had COVID.  I could have done without the home test yesterday but hey it was negative so I’m not dying.  I mean I am, we all are, but it shouldn’t be too immediate so that’s nice.

Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 19, 2022 at 08:17 AM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: April 19, 2022 at 05:50 PM (#6072604)
Ending your post with musings on the fleeting nature of our existence definitely has a 2011/2012 vibe.

10 games in is 10 games in. If the sample size is too small to believe for JDM and Story and Bogaerts and Hernandez then it's certainly too small to believe for Dalbec. If he improves, great, and if not he'll play his way out of the starting job. I'm OK with either outcome, although the former might be better if he ultimately goes the Benintendi route. It also helps for, like, winning games.

So far I am loving the Jake Diekman experience.

   2. villageidiom Posted: April 20, 2022 at 07:17 AM (#6072656)
Game 1 in the Big Test goes to Boston. The bullpen got it done. Boston's offense had 2 runs on 3 hits, and you won't get too many wins against the Jays doing that.

I think Game 2 has Angel Hernandez behind the plate, so anything can happen.
   3. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 20, 2022 at 01:03 PM (#6072706)
Any further update on guys out of the Toronto series due to vax issues (not that it really matters, more out of curiosity). Was Vazquez on the bench last night, or is he not available?
   4. Jay Seaver Posted: April 20, 2022 at 01:22 PM (#6072713)
I believe he wasn't available, but they were in Boston and he was put on the IL because of a positive test, not the lack of a vaccine.

Next week is when we find out who hasn't gotten their shots.
   5. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 20, 2022 at 01:24 PM (#6072714)
Houck definitely doesn't have it. I think I read that Bogaerts who was unvaccinated last year got it. Don't know about anyone else.
   6. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 20, 2022 at 01:50 PM (#6072719)
but they were in Boston


I'm an idiot. Figured with the early news re: Houk being unavailable their next series was in Toronto, just never checked to confirm.
   7. villageidiom Posted: April 20, 2022 at 02:32 PM (#6072729)
They're at home vs. Toronto, then on the road in Tampa, then in Toronto. The latter Toronto series is 4 games.

I look at those 10 games, not just the first 3, as the first big test.
   8. Jay Seaver Posted: April 20, 2022 at 03:26 PM (#6072750)
Apparently the Sox made Story getting vaccinated a condition of signing here, and The Athletic's Red Sox beat reporter tweeted that JD has always been vaccinated but apparently gave coy little "personal information" answers for whatever reason.

There are moments when I suspect a lot of people in the clubhouse may be genuinely frustrated by the holdouts. Cora always seems willing to go right up to the line where he'd be calling someone out and I kind of suspected Eduardo Rodriguez was gone at some point last year when he was giving a press conference masked and just had this "what can I saw" look when someone asked about unvaccinated teammates.
   9. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 20, 2022 at 05:25 PM (#6072777)
JD is vaccinated? Good for him and the team...but what a dink.
   10. Jay Seaver Posted: April 20, 2022 at 06:06 PM (#6072789)
That was the claim. I gather it's not exactly an uncommon scenario for people to get vaccinated but worry about being seen as giving in to pressure to the extent that they don't admit it until they have to - like, by knowing that the truth is going to come out when you do or don't get on a plane for Toronto in late April - especially within tight-knit communities that are lined up against it. Dunno if that's what's going through Martinez's head.

Obviously we'll know for sure next week.
   11. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 20, 2022 at 10:59 PM (#6072861)
At what point are we officially on a Dalbec/Casas Watch?

After tonight's loss to Toronto, Dalbec is at .139/.225/.250.

After tonight's doubleheader against Syracuse today, Casas (who had a pretty bad day) is at .239/.379/.478.

I'm not saying Casas should be up yet (he shouldn't be), but he *is* walking a lot, and hitting for power. I read somewhere that his offense thus far is almost entirely in Worcester, which appears to be quite the hitter's park. Regardless, if Dalbec is struggling like this in May, and if Casas gets that average up, there's going to be a lot of pressure to make that change. (For the record, I have never been a Dalbec guy, and think that stretch last summer where he was on fire in August was largely a fluke.)
   12. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 21, 2022 at 08:16 AM (#6072879)
11 - I think Dalbec has until Memorial Day give or take. I don't think they'll rush Casas but if Dalbec doesn't hit he's going to get his chance.
   13. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 21, 2022 at 08:48 AM (#6072887)
Jose,
That makes a lot of sense. The team certainly seems committed to giving Dalbec every chance to be successful on the field, and let's face it - there is not an obviously better option quite yet available.

Also, under "just noting this": Jarren Duran is, I think most agree, in the "make or break" mode of his career. He's 25, and is either going to stick in the big leagues or not shortly. With fears that JBJ would be a disaster offensively, I thought there was a very good chance Duran would get another crack at being an every day player pretty early if/when Bradley struggled at the plate.

Well, Duran (in a very small sample size) has started off hot...but Bradley has actually been fine offensively (better than Hunter Renfroe, FWIW), so there is little noise about getting Duran in, or JBJ out. The prospects Bloom got in that deal have also started off very well, with David Hamilton, in particular, looking very good. It wouldn't surprise me to see Hamilton get to Boston in an Arroyo-type role quickly if the team suffers a few injuries along the way.
   14. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: April 21, 2022 at 09:36 AM (#6072891)
Not often do you see the Red Sox near the bottom of the league in OBP (.285 OBP ranks 25th). Also have the third fewest walks.
   15. Rough Carrigan Posted: April 21, 2022 at 11:16 AM (#6072910)
Pivetta's curveball was crap last night.
   16. Darren Posted: April 21, 2022 at 03:54 PM (#6072982)
I feel like it's the Dalbec/Casas/Shaw/Cordero/?? watch.

--Cordero has hit well in AAA since last year and he's 27. He's probably going to get another shot at some point.
--Shaw hasn't really hit in a long time. They are likely to cut bait on him fairly soon.
--I agree with Jose that Dalbec has about a month before he moves to the short end of a platoon.
--If Casas doesn't look ready by early May, I'd think Cordero might get the call.
--If not Cordero or Casas, they could go another direction. Ryan Fitzgerald looked like a good utility/backup before crushing ST and AAA this year. Maybe he gets a shot?
   17. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 21, 2022 at 04:43 PM (#6072987)
I won't be surprised if Fitzgerald gets a shot if/when Arroyo sprains his eyelid or something. I can't imagine the Sox saying "yeah you're our guy at first base" for any length of time greater than one game. I'm with you on Cordero, at some point you gotta eithere give him a shot or trade him. If he's going to rake in AAA leaving him there makes no sense if you have a need.
   18. Darren Posted: April 21, 2022 at 04:49 PM (#6072990)
Offense looks like it could use a boost.
   19. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 22, 2022 at 01:22 PM (#6073087)
Yeah, not sure what to make of the offense. I'm inclined to be positive, the pitching staff is going well and I feel confident the offense will come around. One thing about this team is the depth is not performing so far. Their non-starters are a combined 7 for 58 with one walk and no XBH. In other words they are basically Bobby Dalbec with an extra 0 for 18 tacked on. That's kinda rough.
   20. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 22, 2022 at 10:34 PM (#6073180)
That game there is where Trevor Story makes such a huge difference. Forget about the bat. His glove was the difference in that game. He made 3 or 4 truly great plays.
   21. Darren Posted: April 23, 2022 at 11:02 PM (#6073359)
Ouch
   22. The Mighty Quintana Posted: April 24, 2022 at 12:24 PM (#6073403)
Repeat after me...Hansel Robles is NOT a closer.
   23. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 24, 2022 at 01:18 PM (#6073406)
Why not? He's pitched pretty well in that role and the fact is if Story makes a better throw he would have worked a 1-2-3 tenth last night. And it's not like the bullpen is teeming with options.
   24. Darren Posted: April 24, 2022 at 02:09 PM (#6073420)
Not a good throw by Story but wow, that was a really terrible play by Dalbec. He's falling over backwards away from the ball.
   25. Darren Posted: April 24, 2022 at 02:10 PM (#6073421)
On the bright side, Whitlock looks amazing.
   26. Darren Posted: April 24, 2022 at 02:15 PM (#6073423)
Do the TV announcers think it's their job to save the job of guys who are starting for the team? They just about lost their minds last night when Dalbec actually got a hit and are constantly going on and on about how great his defense is and how much he improved.
   27. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 24, 2022 at 04:09 PM (#6073447)
Whitlock has as many innings as the SPs, and if they keep up that pace he's gonna get hurt, unless they put him in the rotation.

Pivetta and Hill have not been good. The other 3 have. They can't afford 2 gas cans in the starting rotation.
   28. Darren Posted: April 24, 2022 at 05:11 PM (#6073468)
It's very frustrating to watch this team score early then shut down for the rest of the game. I wonder if there's something about the lineup that makes that the case or if it's just a coincidence.
   29. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 24, 2022 at 11:48 PM (#6073529)
terrible play by Dalbec. He's falling over backwards away from the ball.


Mitch Moreland, a Red Sox nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Moreland would've definitely scooped up that throw, no worries! And right now, I think Mitch would be hitting better also...
   30. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: April 25, 2022 at 08:05 AM (#6073544)
Dalbec/Casas Watch Update:

Dalbec: .154/.214/.269

Casas: .262/.395/.508

   31. villageidiom Posted: April 25, 2022 at 09:10 AM (#6073550)
On the road
Dalbec: .161/.235/.355
Casas: .195/.320/.390
   32. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 25, 2022 at 09:43 AM (#6073555)
The bats need to get going. Obviously not having JD isn't the entire reason they've lost 4 of 5 but the fact that he's missed those games is not a coincidence. The bottom of the order needs to give more.

I don't understand Venable/Cora yesterday. Hill was great but they want to make the move in the fifth inning. Fine, it's a new world whatever. You've got Houck out there who is legitimately a starter. You bring him and let him go twice through the order like you do with Whitlock. I love Phillips Valdez but man, Houck is the choice there. Saving Houck to be the closer which is what Venable said afterwards just is the wrong move.

I feel strangely good about a pitching staff that is 8th in the league in R/G allowed. The starters have been good other than Pivetta and I'm confident he will be better and I'm liking what I'm seeing from the bullpen. Part of that is I trust Cora to get it right and part of it is they have been pretty good. I think Diekman, Strahm, Robles, Whitlock, Barnes is a strong base. As good as Whitlock was Saturday it's hard not to think he's going to get more starts though.

I will say it's becoming clear quickly that Bloom did drop the ball on building the bench. They need to have more there. Maybe he's putting his faith in guys like Casas and Downs and I think Arroyo will be better. Still, they need to be better.
   33. Darren Posted: April 25, 2022 at 12:09 PM (#6073565)
On the road
Dalbec: .161/.235/.355
Casas: .195/.320/.390


I would say these splits are in too small of sample to mean anything, but then again, so are the overall stats I guess?

FWIW, here are Steamer's ROS projections:

Casas .251 .353 .450
Dalbec .228 .305 .457
Shaw .208 .306 .367
(I usually prefer ZIPS but it doesn't do a ROS projection for Casas.)
   34. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 25, 2022 at 01:28 PM (#6073576)
In other news JD Martinez is with the team in Toronto so obviously vaccinated. Not sure if he's playing or not. Kutter Crawford evidently is one of the people not with the team due to vaccination issues. Someone (maybe Heyman) said the Sox would have all their key hitters with them so sounds like Bogaerts, Devers, Verdugo all vaccinated.
   35. villageidiom Posted: April 25, 2022 at 02:23 PM (#6073586)
I don't understand Venable/Cora yesterday. Hill was great but they want to make the move in the fifth inning. Fine, it's a new world whatever. You've got Houck out there who is legitimately a starter. You bring him and let him go twice through the order like you do with Whitlock. I love Phillips Valdez but man, Houck is the choice there. Saving Houck to be the closer which is what Venable said afterwards just is the wrong move.
Especially when Houck will be sitting out the next few games due to lack of vaccination. Saving Houck for nearly *any* reason makes no sense.

I would say these splits are in too small of sample to mean anything, but then again, so are the overall stats I guess?
Yeah, they're all too small. My post was somewhat baited to get someone to complain about sample size, but I was hoping to catch someone less rational than you.

The Steamer ROS and ZiPS preseason both seem to say Casas and Dalbec will contribute around the same to wins from an offensive perspective, with Casas having a slight margin better than Dalbec. Dalbec is considered the better defender - again the difference is slight, but it's just large enough to offset the win-value difference in offense.

Replacing Dalbec with Casas is a rearranging-the-deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic move. Hernandez, Story, Vazquez, and Dalbec as a group need to hit better, and the backup options need to hit better as well. A couple weeks ago we were saying Bogaerts needs to hit better, and now he leads the team in OPS.

I still maintain that replacing Dalbec with Casas after 2022 is a great move. Casas still has much of the age/development curve working in his favor, while Dalbec does not.
   36. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 25, 2022 at 02:36 PM (#6073588)
Replacing Dalbec with Casas is a rearranging-the-deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic move. Hernandez, Story, Vazquez, and Dalbec as a group need to hit better, and the backup options need to hit better as well. A couple weeks ago we were saying Bogaerts needs to hit better, and now he leads the team in OPS.


This is where I throw in the reminder that it's 16 games. Memorial Day kids. Especially this year (well and future years I guess) with the expanded playoffs.
   37. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 25, 2022 at 02:48 PM (#6073593)
Kiké is not an everyday player, sadly. They need another everyday OF.

edit..and getting an everyday OF helps the bench, where Kiké can be useful.
   38. villageidiom Posted: April 25, 2022 at 02:52 PM (#6073594)
Anyway... on the "expanded" definition of the First Big Test they are now 2-4, with a couple of games they could have won if their offense had been doing anything. If we believe this is not really how their offense will fare this year, then they might be more like a 3-3 team, which to be honest is a pretty good result if you're playing good teams. Granted that's not the result they actually got, and one would expect they will fare worse north of the border. 3-7 is a realistic outcome from this batch of games, which would not be a passing grade on this test.
   39. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 26, 2022 at 08:27 AM (#6073740)
That was annoying last night. The offense was hitting rockets the first three innings but they were either going foul or to the warning track. Then as I said in the game chatter I'm not sure if it's on Cora or Venable as far as who is making the decisions but last night was sketchy. Lifting Eovaldi was bad and then going to Tyler Danish with the bases loaded was just a bad move. On top of the Houck decision a day before well some bad decisions being made.
   40. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 26, 2022 at 02:08 PM (#6073793)
I have a hard time blaming the field manager for the lack of depth on this team.
   41. Darren Posted: April 26, 2022 at 02:26 PM (#6073797)
The Steamer ROS and ZiPS preseason both seem to say Casas and Dalbec will contribute around the same to wins from an offensive perspective, with Casas having a slight margin better than Dalbec. Dalbec is considered the better defender - again the difference is slight, but it's just large enough to offset the win-value difference in offense.


I'll disagree here. This looks like a clear advantage to Casas on offense, and I don't think Dalbec is considered a better defender. I thought it was pretty much agreed upon that he's not good and that Casas is pretty solid.

I still maintain that replacing Dalbec with Casas after 2022 is a great move. Casas still has much of the age/development curve working in his favor, while Dalbec does not.


This is a bad plan because I want everything now.
   42. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 26, 2022 at 02:48 PM (#6073806)
Dalbec is a converted 3B. They say that Devers future is at 1B. I don't know why they didn't use Devers at 1B in spring training. He's not a GG 3B.
   43. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 26, 2022 at 06:15 PM (#6073865)
I don't think they tried to convert Devers for a few reasons;

1. He's a 3rd baseman. While he could probably be a pretty good first baseman (he's got good hands, his throwing seems to get him in trouble) he's a natural 3rd baseman and has the tools to be very good. He's got great range, as I said great hands and if he can get steadier on the throws he'll be above average.

2. The Sox ain't dumb and they know their long term first baseman is probably Triston Casas. Casas by all accounts would not be able to play third so moving Devers creates a logjam. Yeah you can shift one of them to DH but then you still need a third baseman.

3. I don't think they even considered doing it but if they WERE going to do it this was not the year. Instead of spending the whole off-season working on it then coming in and spending spring training on it you'd have been asking a guy to shift with about 3 weeks training. That's a big ask. Trevor Story has had some ups and downs defensively and he's actually a very good defender who was asked to switch.
   44. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 26, 2022 at 11:23 PM (#6073951)
Ok, I still feel good about this team but oh are they making it tough. As in said to some friends during the game, they are a good team, the trick is to not dig too big a hole, especially with the extra playoff team. But boy, blowing two games to division foes when you are down to the final out is not ideal.
   45. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 26, 2022 at 11:47 PM (#6073953)
The last 3 out of 4 losses were brutal. In hindsight you almost wish they'd gone down 5-0 after the 1st and closed to within a run or 2 by the 9th and made it look close. Losing in the final half stings that little bit more.

It was nice to seem them come back against both Tampa and the Jays today, but then to lose both games was tough to watch. They've got 2 more games in Toronto, hopefully can grab a win there, and maybe 2 in Baltimore and get a little run going.
   46. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 27, 2022 at 09:04 AM (#6073978)
I'm with ya' Hugh. Getting blown out is easier emotionally but these losses are probably more indicative of a team that is better than their record. The bullpen is SO unsettled right now. This has shades of 2003 doesn't it? Get the offense going (which will happen), sort out the bullpen (which might happen) and this looks like a pretty good team to me still.

Rob Bradford wrote a piece for WEEI talking about the starters not going deep enough in games. I think this is important but also not entirely accurate. He mentions they are 8th in the AL in relief innings which really isn't that bad, it's middle of the pack so that's just the nature of the way the game is played today. Beyond that I think the starters probably have had more to give. The last three games;

Sunday (Hill) - 4 IP, 0 runs, 62 pitches
Monday (Eovaldi) - 7 IP, 2 runs, 72 pitches
Tuesdsay (Pivetta) - 4.2 IP, 2 runs, 98 pitches

I can be a bit sympathetic toward lifting Pivetta when he did (2 outs, man on first, Vladito up) and even if he gets Guerrero his day is probably done but both Hill and Eovaldi probably had another inning in them.

If you haven't seen the end of the Twin-Tiger game watch that and thank Ted we aren't Tiger fans.
   47. villageidiom Posted: April 27, 2022 at 10:17 AM (#6073987)
The last 3 out of 4 losses were brutal. In hindsight you almost wish they'd gone down 5-0 after the 1st and closed to within a run or 2 by the 9th and made it look close. Losing in the final half stings that little bit more.
Whitlock was trending on Twitter last night, with people fuming that because Whitlock was used as a starter they couldn't use him as a closer and *that's* the reason they lost last night. They also blamed Whitlock's unavailability for the loss the other day, basically putting it all back on Houck not being vaccinated that they lost two games.

Twitter exists for people to put their petulance to work instantly because petulance never sleeps, so that point of view doesn't really need to be addressed. Suffice it to say that, even against as good a team as Toronto, the bullpen without Whitlock should be expected to get 3 outs before giving up 3 runs, and if they don't it's not the fault of anyone other than the people who played. And if they can't keep their opponent from getting 1 run in a tie game then their offense had damn well better not leave their team's great pitching performances stuck in tie games.

If you haven't seen the end of the Twin-Tiger game watch that and thank Ted we aren't Tiger fans.
I've seen more polished endings to games in tee-ball.
   48. Darren Posted: April 27, 2022 at 04:10 PM (#6074036)
I guess Bivens was right about everything.
   49. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 27, 2022 at 06:40 PM (#6074055)
Don't be a douche. I know it's hard for you, but, try.
   50. Darren Posted: April 28, 2022 at 10:49 PM (#6074298)
You said they weren't good and they're not good. I was saying that, so far, you've been right.
   51. villageidiom Posted: April 29, 2022 at 12:13 AM (#6074302)
3-7 is a realistic outcome from this batch of games, which would not be a passing grade on this test.
Narrator: It was very realistic.

These are, in ascending order, the final run differential for each of the 10 games: -5 -4 -3 -1 -1 -1 -1 +1 +1 +6. They could have somewhat easily gone 7-3 in this stretch, or 1-9. In those one-run losses they had given up this many runs: 1, 3, 3, 5. Most of those were winnable games if the offense were clicking.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying they're a great team that just happened to get unlucky. They are not playing like a great team at all. They are getting some great performances, but they are wasting them.
   52. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 29, 2022 at 08:17 AM (#6074311)
Yeah, the first three weeks have not been great. 8-12 isn't a terrible 20 game stretch by any means but neither is it good enough. The "performances" by the bench are really hurting the team, Bloom not getting an RHB OF is a pretty glaring omission but Arroyo (OPS+ 12), Plawecki (-14) and Travis Shaw (.000/.000/.000) are ridiculous. I wouldn't hate seeing more of Refsnyder in RF than Arroyo against LHB. Kiké and Story need to get going. If they are hitting this lineup changes fast.

I suspect it is just one of those things but 1-4 in games managed by Venable, 7-8 in games managed by Cora is a thing. Those losses in Venables games featured some pretty questionable pitching maneuvers (not using Houck until it was much too late on Sunday, lifting Eovaldi and then bringing in Danish into a mess on Monday) deserve some scrutiny. Presumably Cora had some input either before the game or via phone (not sure if he's allowed to do that in a COVID situation) so putting it all on Venables would be incredibly unfair but it's a thing that happened.
   53. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 29, 2022 at 11:42 AM (#6074331)
Goodbye to the Mayor of Ding Dong City, hello Franchy.
   54. The Mighty Quintana Posted: April 29, 2022 at 12:29 PM (#6074333)
Here's hoping Franchy is not the new Rusney!
   55. pikepredator Posted: April 29, 2022 at 01:11 PM (#6074338)
these losses are probably more indicative of a team that is better than their record


As painful as these losses feel, that's what I find myself thinking as well - every time the sting of losing another close game fades away. No doubt (as VI and others pointed out) if only the offense was doing what it is capable of doing, this would've been a different month.

Fortunately it is just one month, and the full team is not playing up to their potential. It's not getting late early just yet and I remain hopeful!
   56. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 29, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6074343)
You said they weren't good and they're not good. I was saying that, so far, you've been right.


If I'm actually right about everything than you weren't being a douche, but that would mean that I am not right about everything, which makes your comment "douchey". Unravel that!

They didn't pay Franchy Rusney money, did they? I hope not. He could be the new Will Mo Pena. Maybe a little better than Wily Mo in that all Wily Mo ever did was hit a ball hard now and then by accident.
   57. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 29, 2022 at 03:25 PM (#6074357)
They didn't pay Franchy Rusney money, did they? I hope not. He could be the new Will Mo Pena. Maybe a little better than Wily Mo in that all Wily Mo ever did was hit a ball hard now and then by accident.


Nah, he's paid very little. He was the return (him and Winkowski) for Benintendi. Who would be a rather handy player to have on the team right now (who knows, he very well could have needed a change to get that toasted outer shell off of him).
   58. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 29, 2022 at 04:22 PM (#6074373)
I mentioned elsewhere that Bloom chose to pay JBJ 12M while Benintendi got 7.9M and Nimmo got 7 or 8. That was a swing and a miss by Chaim.
   59. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 29, 2022 at 04:33 PM (#6074376)
How was he going to get Nimmo? I don't think he was a free agent this year.

Trading Benny was a definite case of trading low. Wincowski looks like he could be useful but yeah probably wants a mulligan on that one. Jacksone raises the fair point that he may have needed a change of scenery but I don't know about that.

FWIW Renfroe isn't hitting at all either. The Renfroe/JBJ/Kids deal looks pretty good to me. Binelas and Hamilton are hitting in the minors and Renfroe for JBJ is a wash as both guys suck. The failure to get an adequate RHB OF is a perplexing miss.
   60. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 30, 2022 at 09:09 AM (#6074468)
How was he going to get Nimmo? I don't think he was a free agent this year.


I think he was. I looked up "2022 free agents", and he was on the list.

edit...they signed him to a 1 year deal, 7M. This is his 7th season.

edit...but he only had 5+ years at the time. You're right, he's a UFA next year.
   61. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: April 30, 2022 at 10:25 AM (#6074473)
And I assume you know the same is true of Benintendi but were referring to the decision to trade him which obviously has underwhelmed so far.
   62. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: April 30, 2022 at 06:01 PM (#6074547)
We didn't complain much at the time about trading Benintendi. Hindsight is pretty clear. They gave up on him, and paid for it by overpaying JBJ this year. Maybe Duran will get hot and they can get an idea whether he'll be a decent everyday player in Boston.
   63. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 01, 2022 at 12:55 PM (#6074594)
Right now, this team stinks. The offense lost that game last night (again). It never should have gone to extra innings. They wasted a good job by Eovaldi.

I thought pitching would be a big weakness, and it still may be, once all the innings catch up to the bullpen. When/if that happens, look out below.
   64. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 01, 2022 at 09:48 PM (#6074724)
FWIW Renfroe isn't hitting at all either.


128 OPS+ disagrees with you. Having his 5 homers would've been really nice down the order. The team has 12 homers and is slugging under .340.
   65. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 01, 2022 at 10:12 PM (#6074726)
5 for 9 with 3 homers in the two days since I wrote that. He had a .617 OPS on Friday morning, .764 now. Gets to my general point that we should trust water to reach its level though.
   66. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 01, 2022 at 10:55 PM (#6074734)
5 for 9 with 3 homers in the two days since I wrote that. He had a .617 OPS on Friday morning, .764 now. Gets to my general point that we should trust water to reach its level though.


I'm just messing with you mate, I knew he'd had a good couple of games so it was funny to point it out. Of course JBJ looks to be finding his level from last year...and for us, that's not good.
   67. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 02, 2022 at 08:30 AM (#6074755)
I'll allow it, but only because I'm a wonderful person.

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