Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Sox Therapy > Discussion
Sox Therapy
— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Unacceptable

We can bicker about this that and the other thing but the simple reality is that the Boston Red Sox are not performing anywhere near where they should be and are in a position that on May 8th they are already in a world of hurt.  Trying to figure out why this is happening is beyond my skillset.  The talent on this roster is sufficient to be considerably better than they are.  Even if we accept that they overachieved last year, and no one would really argue that, they are not a 70 win team either.  How does it get fixed? Simple, from within.  They need to start playing better.

One thing that jumps at me is how bad this team is at situational hitting.  Saturday, winning run at third and Dalbec gets called out on strikes.  Sunday, tie run at second with no outs in the ninth, the runner never advances.  They have played 7 extra innings in their 6 extra inning losses (without a win) and in those seven innings they have scored in just two of them.  One of them gave them a lead (Opening Day in the Bronx) and the other run came when they were down by a touchdown against the Angels.  In five games they have come to bat in extra innings with a chance to take a lead by scoring the zombie runner and only one of those four situations have they scored.

I dunno guys.  I just don’t know right now. I still think this gets better at some point but the Sox are digging a huge hole.  The old saying you can’t win anything in April but you can lose it and the Sox are doing just that.  Some other notes:

- Was the biggest decision of the off-season to part ways with hitting coach Tim Hyers?

- Red Sox games are averaging 7 minutes a game faster than last year.  So at least they are sucking quickly.

- Seriously, I got nothing.  I’m thinking of Jay Johnstone who said in one of his books that in situations like this he would have the whole team get together in someone’s hotel room and get hammered.  Right now that makes as much sense as anything else.

Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 08, 2022 at 03:02 PM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Related News:

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 08, 2022 at 06:53 PM (#6075810)
I think the biggest off-season errors made thus far were:

1) Not strengthening the outfield. I fully supported trading high on Renfroe. I fully support the idea of "buying" prospects through trades (like the Ottavino trade last year, to get Frank German, who is looking like a legit short-inning prospect in AA), and the two guys they got from Milwaukee are solid prospects. I don't even necessarily mind picking up JBJ for a year as a backup outfielder (who has the 5th-most WAR among positional players thus far, BTW, because he already has almost half-a-win of defensive WAR). But to do all of these things in one trade...and then think JBJ is going to be your right fielder? That was a very questionable plan, and a lot of people in the fan base (and this website) were calling that out at the time.

2) Thinking Dalbec could play first base this year. I have been more down on Dalbec than many on this site, going back to more than a year ago. I think he simply doesn't make enough contact to be a starting player, and his defense isn't good enough to be a useful utility guy. He had a super-hot month last year, which made his 2021 look passable...but he was generally pretty awful last year, and I couldn't believe they went into 2022 thinking he could hold the fort down until Casas was ready. He is helpless at the plate.

3) Not defining bullpen roles - at all. Look, I'm not some old-school "your closer has special superpowers" guy - saves are an overrated stat, blah, blah, blah. But I do think there is truth when you hear players say they like to know what their role is, so they can prepare before and during games for what they are likely to be asked to do...and when. Right now, this bullpen is such a mess, which a bunch of guys who I think could be more successful if put into more defined roles. I think I'd put Strahm in the closer role, Diekmann, Robles, Danish, etc in setup roles, and take Whitlock and Houck and put them in the piggy back role for these starters - who are generally pitching well, but unable to excel beyond 4-5 innings per start. Put Seabold or Winckowski in the back of the rotation, move Whitlock and Houck in defined piggyback roles, and the rest of the bullpen to help finish innings to give the piggybacks clean starts to innings, etc. Then let Strahm close, something like that. Define the pitching staff, and let them try to succeed at these roles.

I think this team is capable of winning 85 games - they are not as good as last year unless they figure out 1B and RF quickly, Story starts hitting a little bit, and they get the bullpen defined. But as Bill Parcells said, when it comes to your record, you are what you are - they are 10-19, and to win 85 games, they will have to go 75-58 the rest of the way, which is .564 ball starting tomorrow (that's a 91-win paced season, FWIW). That's tough, with the number of games they have against TOR, NYY, and TB, and if they are struggling along these lines at the end of this month - and the rest of the division continues to excel - then you pull the plug on 2022, and trade the many assets in their final contract season, and get ready for 2023.
   2. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 08, 2022 at 07:04 PM (#6075812)
1) Not strengthening the outfield. I fully supported trading high on Renfroe. I fully support the idea of "buying" prospects through trades (like the Ottavino trade last year, to get Frank German, who is looking like a legit short-inning prospect in AA), and the two guys they got from Milwaukee are solid prospects. I don't even necessarily mind picking up JBJ for a year as a backup outfielder (who has the 5th-most WAR among positional players thus far, BTW, because he already has almost half-a-win of defensive WAR). But to do all of these things in one trade...and then think JBJ is going to be your right fielder? That was a very questionable plan, and a lot of people in the fan base (and this website) were calling that out at the time.


Feels like they were anticipating to sign Suzuki and didn't really have a backup plan.
   3. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 08, 2022 at 08:46 PM (#6075823)
Hypothetically if you have Whitlock's 22IP at the end of games they were leading, the team would be .500 or better.

Now I understand having him start and getting more outs just makes more sense, but the pen has blown 6-7 games already and he's been lights out and can easily do multiply innings multiple times a week.

Oh, and this may have been mentioned elsewhere, only a few guys are hitting, the rest of the "line-up" doesn't really belong on a MLB diamond.
   4. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 08, 2022 at 09:34 PM (#6075828)
The problem with that hypothetical is that you have to replace the innings that Whitlock actually threw. And would the Sox have a pitcher able to come remotely close to replicating his results?

Don't get me wrong, the bullpen sucks. But how much can you fault them for blowing games where the offense has scored 0-3 runs?
   5. Textbook Editor Posted: May 09, 2022 at 01:39 PM (#6075882)
As I said in the other post, my main curiosity at the moment is the timeframe for Bloom to waive the white flag and go into sell mode. I'm sure there is a calculation in play, and I suspect we're getting pretty close to it. Given where they are in 2023/2024, going into sell mode early may have a real tangible benefit (in terms of the return on their assets they're selling) that waiting until the trade deadline wouldn't confer.

I suspect one of the reasons why the team *didn't* go after Schwarber is that they do not want $20+ million tied up in the DH spot going forward (as there is now with JD). Wacha/Hill were filler and if things broke right perfectly serviceable guys. Story I suppose they signed mainly because they strongly suspect Xander is leaving and thought they got a good price (though that may not prove to be true).

I guess what I'm saying is that the team didn't spend the off-season coming off an ALCS in a "doubling down" mode--they made some hedged bets, etc. and now that it hasn't worked out, I do wonder if they'll go tank job much sooner (i.e., by end of May) than they might have in the past.

I suppose they're just an 9-game win streak away from making me eat all of the above but... this team doesn't look capable of hitting for 9 innings in a row, let alone 9 games in a row.
   6. John DiFool2 Posted: May 09, 2022 at 04:37 PM (#6075922)
I miss the Manny and Papi Show:

2007:

0-2 runs scored in 7 games
3-5 runs scored in 9 games
6+ runs scored in 13 games

2022:

[Dillon Gee Escape Plan:]

0-2 runs scored in 14 games
3-5 runs scored in 12 games
6+ runs scored in 3 games


   7. villageidiom Posted: May 09, 2022 at 05:51 PM (#6075941)
In 2007 they were in the middle of an 8-year run where their record at home was FAR better than their record on the road. After that, they've gone 12 seasons - counting 2022; in half of those seasons their home record is either the same as or worse than their road record.

How common is it for a team to have a worse winning percentage at home than on the road? Worse hitting stats, sure, depending on the stadium. Worse pitching stats, same thing. But winning percentage? I'd assumed every team has at least a slight home field advantage, and maybe yeah, occasionally the gods of random variation push that to nothing or negative. I wouldn't expect 6 of the last 12 years.
   8. Gch Posted: May 09, 2022 at 08:44 PM (#6075955)
How common is it for a team to have a worse winning percentage at home than on the road?


Eyeballed from baseball-reference, typographical and/or vision errors possible or even likely:

Road record > Home record, past 10 seasons:

2021

Milwaukee   
(50-3145-36 at home)
Atlanta     (46-3542-38 at home)


2020 (was going to skipbut whatever)

LA Dodgers  (22-8,   21-9 at home)
Miami       (20-1411-15 at home)
Boston      (13-1611-20 at home)
Baltimore   (12-1513-20 at home)

2019

Minnesota   
(55-2646-34 at home)
Boston      (46-3538-43 at home)
SF Giants   (42-3935-46 at home)
Baltimore   (29-5225-56 at home)
Detroit     (25-5522-59 at home)

2018

Houston     
(57-2446-35 at home)
LA Dodgers  (47-3445-37 at home)
Atlanta     (47-3443-48 at home)
St Louis    (45-3643-38 at home)
Arizona     (42-3940-41 at home)
NY Mets     (40-4137-44 at home)
San Diego   (35-4631-50 at home)
CHI Sox     (32-4930-51 at home)

2017

Cleveland   
(53-2849-32 at home)
Houston     (53-2848-33 at home)
Washington  (50-3147-34 at home)
Minnesota   (44-3741-40 at home)

2016

Pittsburgh  
(40-4138-42 at home)
StLouis   (48-3338-43 at home)
Oakland     (35-4634-47 at home)
Arizona     (36-4533-48 at home)
Atlanta     (37-4331-50 at home)

2015

Texas       
(45-3643-38 at home)
Cleveland   (42-3939-41 at home)
Arizona     (40-4139-42 at home)
Seattle     (40-4136-45 at home)

2014

LA Dodgers  
(49-3245-36 at home)
KC Royals   (47-3442-39 at home)
Seattle     (46-3541-40 at home)
Tampa       (41-4036-45 at home)
Boston      (37-4434-47 at home)
Texas       (34-4733-38 at home)

2013

NY Mets     
(41-4033-48 at home)
Minnesota   (34-4732-49 at home)
CHI Cubs    (35-4631-50 at home)
Houston     (27-5424-57 at home)

2012

NY Mets     
(38-4336-45 at home)
Boston      (35-4634-47 at home)
Minnesota   (35-4631-50 at home)


Most seasons :

Boston      4
Minnesota   4
Atlanta     3
LA Dodgers  3
Houston     3
Arizona     3
NY Mets     3 

Baltimore, St. Louis, Cleveland, Texas, and Seattle have done it twice
Milwaukee, Miami, San Francisco, Detroit, San Diego, both Chicago teams, Washington, Pittsburgh, Oakland, Kansas City, and Tampa have done it once.

NY Yankees, Toronto, LA Angels, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Colorado didn't do it.
   9. villageidiom Posted: May 09, 2022 at 11:24 PM (#6076008)
Thanks! So in those 10 "complete" seasons it happened 45 times, meaning it happens for 4-5 teams per season, putting it at 15% probability for a given team all other things being equal. If we want to be extra nerdy and assume binomial distribution we'd expect 95% of teams to have it happen between 0 and 3 times in 10 years, and that's roughly where we are. That's a long way of saying this distribution - including Boston and Minnesota - is what we'd expect with 15% probability per team per season, with typical randomness.

If it were not typical randomness, then the next question would be whether there's some other factor about the team that causes them to do this more often. I suppose we can still ask the question, but since it's in the realm of typical randomness that's really nothing more than an exercise in creating narratives.
   10. pikepredator Posted: May 10, 2022 at 02:32 PM (#6076089)
I'd offer "Brutal" as an alternative to unacceptable. Most of theses losses are close enough to being wins that they all sting. And I'm not close to throwing in the towel.

But man, they play just poorly enough to lose, regardless of the competition.

SBPT, I agree. I'm glad I'm not the only person who can't guess who will get up in the bullpen next. Hell most of the time I'm not even sure who I WANT to see up throwing.
   11. Darren Posted: May 11, 2022 at 03:09 PM (#6076297)
Brutal is, indeed, a better description.

I think I commented somewhere here that I was happy with the Story signing in part because I was pretty sure that Bloom was signing him for the right reasons. Based on his history, I believed he would not bow to pressure to "do something" or just sign a guy because he was what was left out there. That is likely still true, but I don't think I really considered how odd of a fit Story is for the 2022 team. They created a large hole in the OF and then never filled it. Meanwhile, they also had a really questionable starting 1B and no backup plan beyond Travis Shaw. So they signed a Story, a SS, late in the offseason, to quickly learn 2B, where they already had a pretty decent incumbent in Arroyo. And now they have Arroyo playing out of position on a fairly regular basis. Story also had an elbow problem, which I assumed was something that they would make sure was fully healed.

So maybe they grabbed this square peg for the round hole in their roster or maybe they were more concerned about filling the SS hole in 2023. But whatever the case, it looks like they've left some rather big holes in their current roster, which have been exacerbated by their other players just stinking it up.
   12. Textbook Editor Posted: May 11, 2022 at 10:38 PM (#6076393)
On the plus side: Not an extra inning loss tonight!
   13. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 11, 2022 at 10:53 PM (#6076396)
I've never been a supporter of the "closer" role and the myths that come with it, but geez, this team really could use a good closer.
   14. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 12, 2022 at 08:27 AM (#6076422)
Those two games made me feel a lot better. The blueprint was more on display and getting Story going with the home run is a positive. I'm hopeful/optimistic that he is going to get hot here. All this goes out the window when they are down 7-2 in the 4th tomorrow night in Texas.

I don't even need a closer at this point. Just a reliever who is reliable.
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: May 12, 2022 at 01:11 PM (#6076439)
Just a reliever who is reliable.


Isn't one of the Ten Commandments of Sabermetrics that a reliable reliever does not exist year-to-year with the exception of Mariano Rivera?

;)
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 12, 2022 at 01:46 PM (#6076440)
I was getting into it a little bit before the game last night through Twitter with some Red Sox fans who disagreed with my "hot take": That the Red Sox are not a very good team, are playing in a division with three really good teams, and that the way the team should deal with its bullpen problems is by deploying their organizational strength right now...back end starting pitchers.

There are a few guys in AA who look like might be legit short-inning bullpen arms (Walter, German, maybe Wallace), but they are not ready. They also have a few guys who could end up being very good starters if things go right (Bello, Gonzalez), but they are a ways away.

But what the team does have right now are a lot of starting pitchers who could be good 4/5's:

Wacha
Hill
Seabold
Winckowski

I think the team should consider addressing its bullpen problem by using its strength. Put Seabold and Winckowski in the 4/5 slots in the rotation; move Houck and Whitlock to the bullpen, and make them piggyback starters. Nobody except Eovaldi is more than a 5-inning guy (and let's be honest: neither Whitlock nor Houck have even been 5-inning guys yet!), so let's be aggressive, because we have nothing to lose in terms of 2022 competitiveness.

And as last night's loss to Atlanta (again) shows, even when you get a 6+ inning quality start, if the bullpen is a hot mess, with a bunch of guys you can't depend on for a clean inning, then how does this get better with the other starters, who are unable to give you more than five innings.

Here are the starts of more than 5 innings this year, out of 31 total:
Eovaldi: 3 (7 IP, 2 ER; 7 IP, 0 ER; 6.1 IP, 3 ER)
Pivetta: 2 (5.1 IP, 4 ER; and 6 IP, 0 ER)
Wacha: 2 (6 IP, 1 ER; and 5.2 IP, 0 ER)
Houck: 1 (5.2 IP, 1 ER)
Hill: None
Whitlock: None

So 8 of the 31 games this year have had a starter get an out beyond the 5th inning; 3 of the 31 games had the starter get an out beyond the 6th inning, and they are all Eovaldi.

I get the whole Spring Training thing, early season thing, etc. But it is not like the team appears to have a set plan where Rich Hill is going to pitch four innings tonight, and then they'll go to Houck for three innings, and then use their best short relievers from there depending on the score of the game after 7. I am saying that they should go all-in with the piggyback structure:

Eovaldi: You pitch as long as you are effective
Wacha/Hill/Seabold/Winckowski: You are all assigned to get 9-12 outs every 5th day. If you are cruising through 4 IP, we'll talk about the 5th inning.

Short guys (beyond Strahm, I genuinely am not sure who the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th best short guys are right now): A few of you will be coming in to complete innings the starters can't finish, so that Houck come in for clean innings. A few of you will be there to finish games, depending on the score.

Houck/Whitlock: You are pitching 2-3 innings 2-3X per week. It will very rare you pitch two days in a row.

Pivetta and maybe Crawford: You will be pitching 3-4 innings a few times a week, largely in games where the score in not close. You help keep Houck, Whitlock, and the short guys on schedule.

It's a 13-man pitching staff. If and when Sale comes back, he may well start off as one of the 9-12 out guys that starts games, but rarely goes beyond 4 innings.

I think one thing we are finding about pitchers is that there are many pitchers who, when scheduled, can go through a lineup once and be quite effective. This team is flailing. Let's just own what our strengths are, and go all-in.

   17. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 12, 2022 at 01:58 PM (#6076443)
As much as I want Pivetta to be a good pitcher, he just isn't. Look at his #'s with the Phillies. Look at his #'s with the Red Sox. That is who he is. I don't care how good he looks for a start or 2 here or there. He always becomes the Nick Pivetta that he always has been: The guy that the Phillies gave up on. So let's remove him from the discussion, unless the discussion is about how the Red Sox aren't going to win many games as long as he's in the rotation.
   18. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 12, 2022 at 02:11 PM (#6076446)
There's an article in today's Athletic by Jim Bowden where he says the Red Sox trade Bogaerts to the Cards for a 22 yo prospect named Gorman. He's a 2b/3b, and the Cards are using him as a 2b, but he's not a good defender at 2b, and he won't be playing 3b there, with Arenado blocking him, so, the article says get him here and use him at 2b. ??? Why? Get him here and use him at 3b, and move Devers to 1b. Story at SS if you must, and put Arroyo back at 2b. Enough with the bullshit!


The trade to the Cards was contingent upon letting the Cards negotiate an 8 year deal with Bogarts for 216M. That would make everyone happy.
   19. bfan Posted: May 12, 2022 at 02:41 PM (#6076454)
There's an article in today's Athletic by Jim Bowden where he says the Red Sox trade Bogaerts to the Cards for a 22 yo prospect named Gorman.


Gorman in Boston, for full seasons, will be a 30-35 HR guy (Unless they continue using the 2022 baseball, in which case he will be a 12-14 HR guy).
   20. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 12, 2022 at 02:50 PM (#6076457)
So, if the new baseballs render most hitters singles/doubles hitters with the occasional HR, I'll take a kid like Gorman.
   21. Darren Posted: May 12, 2022 at 03:36 PM (#6076470)
I can't see the Cards doing that. And Bogaerts probably wouldn't. And the Red Sox would probably shy away from that, PR-wise. Other than that, clever idea by Bowden.
   22. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 12, 2022 at 03:47 PM (#6076472)
The Red Sox looked real good, PR wise, lowballing Bogaerts.
   23. Textbook Editor Posted: May 13, 2022 at 12:14 PM (#6076541)
#16, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Yeah, if "traditional" ways aren't allowing you to compete, blow the whole thing up and piggyback everywhere you can on the SP staff. Go nuts. Almost all the guys in question here are on 1 year deals, or the last year of a contract, or under team control for a bit--if they're ever going to do it, now is the time. If it REALLY blows up, hey, maybe you get a top-6 draft pick and get data points on whether the approach can/should be tried again.

I say experiment & go nuts with it. Why not?
   24. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 13, 2022 at 01:17 PM (#6076552)
Here's one: If Eovaldi keeps doing what he is doing for the rest of the year and stays healthy, does the team aggressively try to keep him for another four years?

I know 2022 is not going well, but one could imagine a 2023 team that enters the season with this rotation:

A (relatively) healthy Sale
Eovaldi
Whitlock
The 4 and 5 slots going to some combination of young guys coming up (Houck, Ballo, Walter, Seabold, Winckowski) and veterans (Paxton, Wacha or Hill if they come back, Pivetta). A few of those guys will turn out to be good bullpen arms, and some won't work out, but there is a lot of depth there.

Eovaldi has become of the most durable and reliable starters in the AL, and is the only guy on the team that can remotely go deep into a game, which helps the bullpen, too. It'll probably take a 4-year deal, and he is 32 this year. I mean, whose next four years would you rather be paying for, anyway: Sale or Eovaldi?
   25. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 13, 2022 at 01:28 PM (#6076557)
I think the team should consider addressing its bullpen problem by using its strength. Put Seabold and Winckowski in the 4/5 slots in the rotation; move Houck and Whitlock to the bullpen, and make them piggyback starters
If that’s a strength, why not do it the other way? Keep Houck & Whitlock in the rotation, and audition the better minor league arms for 1 or 2 inning relief roles. Houck doesn’t seem that good (5.70 ERA), so maybe he is a better fit in a different role, but Boston seems to have stumbled on to something with Whitlock. Why mess it up?
   26. Textbook Editor Posted: May 13, 2022 at 01:53 PM (#6076565)
A (relatively) healthy Sale


Were odds available, I would $100 down on the under for Chris Sale starting 30 games in a season ever again. He may not be done-done (he may yet have some dead-cat, Bret Saberhagen-in-Boston years left), but he's done as a #1, and he's done as someone to pencil consistently into a starting rotation.

It's a shame, and we'll probably never really know all the details as to what happened to get to this point, but it's what it is.
   27. Darren Posted: May 13, 2022 at 03:26 PM (#6076577)
Maybe Sale will opt out!

   28. Darren Posted: May 13, 2022 at 03:58 PM (#6076583)
This Chris Cotillo article says that MLB execs think the Red Sox will get overwhelmed by an offer for Bogaerts, so maybe I was wrong to dismiss Bowden's idea above. It also says that they think Eovaldi will get traded before the deadline.
   29. karlmagnus Posted: May 13, 2022 at 05:59 PM (#6076596)
I have disliked this team's management ever since they fired Dan Duquette, and their recent enthusiasm for "woke" does not endear them to me. Losing Betts (which I was indifferent about) and Bogaerts (which I do very much care about) doubtless to be followed by Devers, all to pick up overpaid mediocrities like Sale and Story is typical of their management. If you want to build fan loyalty, you have to be loyal to the best players you build up over the years. Trading Nomar and Pedro was a bummer, too, and the way they treated Manny.

Let's get a new owner, please!
   30. villageidiom Posted: May 13, 2022 at 06:29 PM (#6076600)
If that’s a strength, why not do it the other way? Keep Houck & Whitlock in the rotation, and audition the better minor league arms for 1 or 2 inning relief roles.
That was my immediate thought upon reading #16.

29. karlmagnus Posted: May 13, 2022 at 05:59 PM (#6076596)
I knew if they played badly enough that this was coming.
   31. Textbook Editor Posted: May 13, 2022 at 08:45 PM (#6076621)
Trading Nomar and Pedro was a bummer, too,


Pedro left as free agent after the 2004 season.
   32. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 14, 2022 at 08:15 AM (#6076682)
Pedro had a great 2005 and then fell apart. I'm glad he didn't get slapped around at Fenway.
   33. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 14, 2022 at 08:35 AM (#6076684)
Where would the Red Sox be without the whopping 3 WAR Nomar put up outside of Boston???
   34. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 14, 2022 at 10:16 AM (#6076696)
If that’s a strength, why not do it the other way? Keep Houck & Whitlock in the rotation, and audition the better minor league arms for 1 or 2 inning relief roles.

That was my immediate thought upon reading #16.


To be clear, if the team reversed some of the names in my suggestion, I'd support that idea, as well. My reason for suggesting it the way I did was that the two minor-leaguers in question (Seabold and Winckowski) have been starting thus far this year (generally, successfully), and both Whitlock and Houck have been used in the bullpen recently - and it is not like either of them have shown the ability (or been given the chance to show the ability) to consistently go more than five innings.

Of course, all of a sudden Pivetta shows signs of being a useful part of the rotation, and he has always shown an ability to be durable, so there's that variable to put back into the mix.

I'm espousing the concept of piggybacking more than dying on a hill for specific pitchers to open vs piggyback in these games.
   35. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 14, 2022 at 10:20 PM (#6076753)
I have disliked this team's management ever since they fired Dan Duquette.....Let's get a new owner, please!


4 WS titles, and making no effort to resign arguably the greatest pitcher ever, disagrees with you.

Sure, he put in place the 2004 team, but from 2007 the owners seem to have done a decent job. As a fan in his late 50's who waited 40 years for the first title, I'm satisfied with the way the team has been handled.
   36. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: May 14, 2022 at 10:25 PM (#6076756)
142-20 is still on the table.
   37. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 15, 2022 at 08:46 AM (#6076784)
I would love to play Texas more often.

The Pivetta and Hill starts do (at least, for now) highlight the team's strength: starting pitching depth. Bloom's two greatest strengths thus far, IMO, have been building minor-league depth quickly and starting pitching depth.

During the COVID season, I've never seen a Red Sox team with anything near that poor a starting pitching depth. Here were their starters in 2020, with the number of games they started. It is remarkable:

Martin Perez - 12
Eovaldi - 9
Zack Godley - 7
Chris Mazza - 6
Ryan Weber - 5
Colten Brewer - 4
Kyle Hart, Tanner Houck - 3
Mike Kickham, Nick Pivetta, Andrew Triggs - 2
Ryan Brasier, Austin Brice, Josh Osich, Matt Hall, Robinson Lever - 1

Robinson Lever? Josh Osich? Mike Kickham?

You won't find a bigger Red Sox fan than me, but I literally don't remember that those guys started games for the Red Sox.

You go to 2021, and the team got some veterans to help buy time for a rebuild of the system. We got really lucky: It isn't that most of them were much better than average, but they by far the most durable starting rotation in the AL last year, and they were good...enough:

Eovaldi - 32
ERod - 31
Pivetta - 30
Richards, Perez - 22
Houck - 13
Sale - 9
Brad Peacock, Connor Seabold, Kutter Crawford - 1

Pretty remarkable a difference there, huh? Basically, when Houck was deemed ready, they replaced Perez; when Sale was ready, they replaced Richards. And then there were three spot starts in the second half of the year involving two prospects and a memorable rando start with Peacock when the team was basically throwing up the white flag that day.

But the team was lucky - Those first five guys never really got hurt or missed a start - Richards and Perez simply were ineffective later in the year, and were replaced with the two better options as soon as they were healthy. It was just good enough to make the playoffs, and if we had been forced to go into the well for depth during the year, the list would have looked a lot more like 2020 quickly.

So in 2022, here are the options as of mid-May:

Eovaldi
Whitlock
Houck
Pivetta
Hill
Wacha
First two in AAA: Seabold and Winckowski
Injured: Sale and Paxton
Further down: Crawford and Bello

That is a radical difference, and is probably what gives me the most hope about the season not necessarily being lost yet. Now, if he could just replicate that with outfielders...because we've got none of that in the system!

   38. pikepredator Posted: May 15, 2022 at 10:21 AM (#6076791)
They are who we thought they were!! It's fun to see that kind of top-to-bottom lineup performance.
   39. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 15, 2022 at 06:02 PM (#6076858)
35 - Yeah anyone who isn’t satisfied with the Sox’ performance since 2002 is insane.

38 - Today wasn’t so good but this is the first week this season really that felt good. 3-2 with three easy wins, the offense looking like they should and the starters going deep (Hill into the 7th!!!!). Schedule gets a bit more manageable after the Houston series so they have a chance to start getting on a roll.
   40. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 15, 2022 at 06:27 PM (#6076866)
they have a chance to start getting on a roll.


They need more then 3 guys hitting. You've got 3 guys raking and the other 6 line-up spots are...well, not good. They should let Cordero bat lead off, at least he seems to know how to work a walk occasionally.
   41. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 15, 2022 at 06:29 PM (#6076867)
Franchy has been decent. He needs to be in there.
   42. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 15, 2022 at 06:31 PM (#6076868)
Of course, all of a sudden Pivetta shows signs of being a useful part of the rotation


I guess this means you don't agree with #17.

Beware of Pivetta Pixie Dust!
   43. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 15, 2022 at 09:28 PM (#6076898)
Can somebody help me understand why the Red Sox, in need of an emergency starter for Sunday's game, decide to go Austin Davis for 2 IP, then 3 IP of Houck...but then use three of the crappy relievers they have to try to manage the rest of the game, when they could have pitched Seabold on normal rest?

Seabold instead pitches 6 innings of one-hit ball, walks one, strikes out 11, and has an ERA of under 2.50 for the season, more Ks than IP, 10 BBs in 36 innings, etc.? I mean, what is the point of having starting pitcher depth if you're not going to use it?
   44. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 16, 2022 at 06:05 AM (#6076948)
They couldn't get him a flight to TX in time?
   45. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 16, 2022 at 08:15 AM (#6076954)
From NESN:

“I think roster-wise it was going to get complicated,” Cora said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “We got the guys that we have here and then we actually, we got what we wanted, you know? Five innings and we had it set up for the rest of the day. We didn’t make pitches in that sixth inning and we weren’t able to get to the next level, to the last part of the game.”
   46. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 16, 2022 at 08:48 AM (#6076956)
The thing is, the organization pulled Seabold after a few innings specifically because they thought they might need him on Sunday. Then, they decide not to fly him down for the start, he has a great outing for Worcester, and they basically decide to use three innings of Brasier and Danish instead of Seabold.

Given the team’s strengths and weaknesses (as I’ve been begging on this site for a few weeks now!), they should use Seabold and Winckowski as “openers” for 3-4 innings, then go with Houck or Whitlock for 3 innings, and then narrow down their bullpen of short guys to the 2-3 they trust the most (Strahm for sure; then maybe Davis and Schreiber, or even Robles or Diekmann…it is mostly pretty unreliable options).

The question is whose innings are you trying to replace or upgrade. I want to lower the innings from the worst 4-5 bullpen guys, and replace them with Seabold and Winckowski innings. However we can do that, just do it!
   47. pikepredator Posted: May 17, 2022 at 01:41 PM (#6077174)
Schedule gets a bit more manageable after the Houston series so they have a chance to start getting on a roll.


And if they can roll through the Houston series, all the better. They took some body blows last night but kept coming right back. Bullpen didn't fall to pieces, Story hit a HR . . . lots of positives from that game.

Eovaldi tonight, and a buddy of mine will be there. Bodes well!
   48. villageidiom Posted: May 17, 2022 at 01:43 PM (#6077176)
Obviously starting the month 1-6 was bad. Since then they've 4 wins and 2 losses, with half of each being against the Rangers and the other half against the Braves & Astros. Further, one of the 2 losses was tied going into the bottom of the 9th with the ball in Brasier's hands. At the time he had a 2.45 ERA and a 5.5 K/BB ratio, and was one of the more reliable arms in their bullpen. I mean, they lost and deserved to lose; I'm just saying they were reasonably close to 5-1 in this span. Arguably - as evidenced by upthread posts - they could have had a shot at a win in their last game in Texas if they'd made the call to the minors, though they only scored 1 run in that game and thus would have been likely to lose either way.

Their wins have been through at least adequate pitching and ample offense, which I think was the intended blueprint for this roster. Maybe it's a Texas-sized fluke, and maybe I'm counting our chickens against Houston long before I should. But this last week has been more of what I'd hoped to see from this team.
   49. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 17, 2022 at 07:56 PM (#6077255)
Eovaldi tonight, and a buddy of mine will be there. Bodes well!


maybe I'm counting our chickens against Houston long before I should.


Aye carumba.
   50. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 17, 2022 at 07:59 PM (#6077257)
Another start like this and Eovaldi will take himself out of contention for the AL Cy Young award.
   51. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 18, 2022 at 11:03 AM (#6077328)
After that beatdown from Houston, the Red Sox are 14-22, 13 games out of first place...but "only" 5.5 out of the playoffs (remember, six teams per league get in this year). In fact, there are only six teams in the AL above .500 right now.

But obviously things are going to have get a lot better quickly to think this is anything but a part of the rebuilding process that began after the 2019 season. The lineup has three guys hitting extremely well, and then six near-automatic outs, with few internal options to improve those six slots.

I know some fans are asking for Duran to replace JBJ in right field, but:
1) They are both left-handed hitters, so there's not a platoon opportunity there;
2) Duran's defense continues to be below-average. JBJ's defense is being measured by WAR right now as among the best in baseball (at the moment, he's added .7 WAR already just on defense, 4th in the AL). So Duran would have to hit really well, given his defensive problems, to bring as much value as Bradley is right now.

I'd like to bring Casas up as much as anybody, but he's not quite ready yet (.248/.359/.457, excellent defense) and Franchy appears to be a marginal upgrade from Dalbec for now.

Duran is the only outfielder in the system you could theoretically bring up - so we are ride-or-die with Verdugo and Hernandez until further notice.

Catcher is tough. We probably held on to Vazquez a little too long, but without a better option in the organization, what else can you do? Roberto Hernandez is overwhelmed in the minors, as is Wong, and they are taking up two of the 40-man spots.

Story is showing signs of settling in, but he'll be part of our middle infield for the next several years, so buckle up and hope he just had a rough start to his new environs.

There is a lot to be excited about in the minors - Casas is going to be a stud. Mayer is destroying low-A at 19 years old, and will be moving up soon. Bello is in AAA, and one of the most exciting pitching prospects we've had in a while...and he is no longer a projection from the low minors. He is getting close. Seabold and Winckowski are pitching very, very well, and increasingly making the case for getting a shot in Boston. Ceddanne Rafaela has quickly become a very intriguing outfield prospect. Nick Yorke is very young for high-A, and after a slow start, is now hitting like the elite prospect he is.

There's a lot to be excited about in the years to come...but most of that positional talent is at least another year away from starting to help Boston.
   52. Nasty Nate Posted: May 18, 2022 at 11:52 AM (#6077334)
I know some fans are asking for Duran to replace JBJ in right field, but:
1) They are both left-handed hitters, so there's not a platoon opportunity there;
2) Duran's defense continues to be below-average. JBJ's defense is being measured by WAR right now as among the best in baseball (at the moment, he's added .7 WAR already just on defense, 4th in the AL). So Duran would have to hit really well, given his defensive problems, to bring as much value as Bradley is right now.
There is also the option to reduce Hernandez' playing time. I know he had a nice little season last year, but I don't think he's someone who is automatically an everyday starter.
   53. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 18, 2022 at 06:52 PM (#6077387)
Bello is pitching for worcester tonight and it's on NESN+.

No Casas, though.
   54. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 18, 2022 at 09:13 PM (#6077407)
Holy cow, Pivetta!

And Bello was excellent in his AAA debut tonight - 6 innings, 6 hits, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 Ks. Fastball hit 98. 94 pitches, 64 strikes.

On the other hand, the lineup outside of the Big Three of Devers, Martinez, and Bogaerts continues to struggle:

Big 3 went 3-for-10 with a walk,a 2B, a 3B, and a HR
The rest of the lineup went 3-for-19 with 2 walks and 2 singles.
   55. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 19, 2022 at 06:40 AM (#6077453)
Bello looked very good in the 2 innings I was able to watch. He had 4K's, gave up 1 hit, 1 run. I think. His fastball moves. Miguel Andujar got the hit, a line drive single to the opposite field. He was the only name I recognized in the WB/S lineup


edit...oh yeah, Pivetta pitched a great game, especially after the 1st AB of the game. It looked like another long night. Hope he can continue going deep into games.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Harry Balsagne
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.5435 seconds
40 querie(s) executed