2023 Starting Rotation

nvalvo

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The latest timetable for the injured guys:
https://theathletic.com/4347035/2023/03/26/red-sox-garrett-whitlock-brayan-bello-james-paxton/


Whitlock's plan:


Bello:


Paxton:


The early schedule should be favorable, (though the Orioles are pretty good and not an easy matchup) hopefully they turn those favorable matchups into actual wins. The plan is to be aggressive with the bullpen early:


Good thing there are lots of depth options for the bullpen, since you can't expect to use them all aggressively for the entire season. We probably will to need to use a couple of the AAA starters as relievers in Boston as the season goes along.

For now, there aren't any actual decisions to be made about the rotation-- the current healthy starters will be the rotation at least until Whitlock is back:
After the favorable early schedule, it gets really tough for several weeks. It would be highly desirable to be at something like full strength with the pitching staff by May. There are, however, tons of off days in the tough stretch.

Something like this, if — huge if — all goes as planned weather and healthwise:

T March 30 Kluber vs. Baltimore
F March 31 Off Day
S April 1 Sale vs. Baltimore
S April 2 Houck vs. Baltimore
M April 3 Crawford vs. Pittburgh
T April 4 Pivetta vs. Pittsburgh (option Crawford to AAA; bring up an optionable 40-man reliever... Winckowski?)
W April 5 Kluber vs. Pittsburgh

T April 6 Sale @ Detroit
F April 7 Off Day — last off day in some time.
S April 8 Houck @ Detroit
S April 9 Pivetta @ Detroit
M April 10 Kluber @ Tampa Bay
T April 11 Sale @ Tampa Bay
W April 12 Whitlock @Tampa Bay (option the optionable reliever; Whitlock has taken Crawford's spot)
T April 13 Houck @ Tampa Bay
F April 14 Pivetta vs. Los Angeles of Anaheim
S April 15 Kluber vs. Los Angeles of Anaheim
S April 16 Sale vs. Los Angeles of Anaheim
M April 17 Whitlock vs. Los Angeles of Anaheim
T April 18 Bello vs. Minnesota (Houck to bullpen; option Zack Kelly)
W April 19 Pivetta vs. Minnesota
T April 20 Kluber vs. Minnesota

F April 21 Sale @ Milwaukee
S April 22 Whitlock @ Milwaukee
S April 23 Bello @ Milwaukee
M April 24 Pivetta @ Baltimore
T April 25 Paxton @ Baltimore (Pivetta to bullpen; DFA Ort, I guess? Maybe Brasier?)
W April 26 Kluber @ Baltimore
T April 27 Off Day
F April 28 Sale vs. Cleveland
S April 29 Whitlock vs. Cleveland
S April 30 Bello vs. Cleveland
M May 1 Paxton vs. Toronto
T May 2 Kluber vs. Toronto
W May 3 Sale vs. Toronto
T May 4 Whitlock vs. Toronto

F May 5 Bello @ Philadelphia
S May 6 Paxton @ Philadelphia
S May 7 Kluber @ Philadelphia
M May 8 Off Day
T May 9 Sale @ Atlanta
W May 10 Whitlock @ Atlanta
T May 11 Off Day — weird schedule: potential to skip a starter if needed.
F May 12 Bello vs. St. Louis
S May 13 Paxton vs. St. Louis
S May 14 Kluber vs. St. Louis
M May 15 Sale vs. Seattle
T May 16 Whitlock vs. Seattle
W May 17 Bello vs. Seattle

T May 18 Off Day
F May 19 Paxton @ San Diego
S May 20 Kluber @ San Diego
S May 21 Sale @ San Diego
M May 22 Whitlock @ Los Angeles of Anaheim
T May 23 Bello @ Los Angeles of Anaheim
W May 24 Paxton @ Los Angeles of Anaheim
T May 25 Off Day
F May 26 Kluber @ Arizona
S May 27 Sale @ Arizona
S May 28 Whitlock @ Arizona
M May 29 Off Day — So many off days!
T May 30 Bello vs. Cincinnati
W May 31 Paxton vs. Cincinnati


Now, obviously we aren't going to have perfect pitching health for the the first two months. But it would be really good to not be leaning too hard on guys like Crawford and Pivetta when the time comes to face Cleveland, Toronto, Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Seattle and San Diego all in a row. That's seven likely playoff teams, including two or three who might be our competition for wildcard spots.
 

JM3

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Wickowski is already in the bullpen & Ort is hopefully already gone...& I also have not been informed of the exact rotation from June 1st on... but I like it.
 

nvalvo

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Yeah, I was just trying to piece together what this would look like. I think Pivetta might get traded in May if everyone's healthy at that point, especially if the AAA depth is throwing well.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Wickowski is already in the bullpen & Ort is hopefully already gone...& I also have not been informed of the exact rotation from June 1st on... but I like it.
Wait…. Where did you see this? Has Winchowski officially been put in the bullpen on the 26? If so the absolutely goodbye and sayonara Ort
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Wait…. Where did you see this? Has Winchowski officially been put in the bullpen on the 26? If so the absolutely goodbye and sayonara Ort
With the injuries starting to pile up (5 pitchers on the 40-man are opening the season on the IL), Winckowski starting the year in the bullpen feels like a given. He'd be the long man/sixth starter until some guys start returning and that role shifts to Crawford or Houck.
 

JM3

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Let's link to an actual journalist rather than an anonymous twitter account with no verification (even if they happened to get this right).

https://www.masslive.com/redsox/2023/03/kutter-crawford-makes-red-sox-opening-day-rotation-josh-winckowski-on-team-as-long-reliever.html
There's literally a blue check ✔ lol Elon. But yeah, it wasn't new news so I was less diligent than usual in sourcing it.

View: https://mobile.twitter.com/alexspeier/status/1638990218618458144
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Martin, Jansen, Schreiber all have spring training ERA’s over 7.

Remember last year when Rich Hill had a 9.35 ERA in spring, and Wacha was at 6.60?

I don’t think it means anything .
 

Rovin Romine

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Martin, Jansen, Schreiber all have spring training ERA’s over 7.

Remember last year when Rich Hill had a 9.35 ERA in spring, and Wacha was at 6.60?

I don’t think it means anything .
Houck shows a significant difference in effectiveness at the ML level between starting and relieving. If he's not part of the long-term plan to be part of the starting rotation this year, I'm not sure why you plug him in there when he's still showing the role isn't something he takes to.
 

JM3

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Houck shows a significant difference in effectiveness at the ML level between starting and relieving. If he's not part of the long-term plan to be part of the starting rotation this year, I'm not sure why you plug him in there when he's still showing the role isn't something he takes to.
This isn't really true. Houck has a 3.22 career ERA in 92.1 innings as a starter (3.39 xFIP) & a 2.68 ERA in 53.2 innings as a reliever (3.58 xFIP). If you get rid of the 6.1 innings of 3rd time through the lineup stats, Houck's ERA as a starter is 2.41. As a twice through the lineup guy, he has been extremely effective.

He has been awful over a pretty decent sample size this Spring Training, which is somewhat concerning, but there's no real reason to think he forgot how to pitch if healthy.
 

JM3

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For a little more context on why Houck's xFIP is lower when starting (& FIP, 2.85 to 3.12), but the ERA is higher, Houck has better strikeout rates as a starter (28.5% to 25.9%), better walk rates (8.3% to 9.5%), & a tiny bit better HR/9 (0.49 to 0.50), but his BABIP is .300 as a starter & .274 as a reliever.
 

Rovin Romine

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If you get rid of the 6.1 innings of 3rd time through the lineup stats, Houck's ERA as a starter is 2.41. As a twice through the lineup guy, he has been extremely effective.
Which is the profile of a reliever, not a starter.

18 batters does not mean going deep into games. How many times has he completed the 5th inning out of all his starts?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Which is the profile of a reliever, not a starter.

18 batters does not mean going deep into games. How many times has he completed the 5th inning out of all his starts?
Neither Houck or Whitlock has been great when facing batters for the 2nd or 3rd time through the order. But they are young and have relatively little experience trying to do so, if the org wants to develop starters prob going to need to let them take some lumps. While both guys would probably be better out of the pen, that’s likely true of everyone.
 

JM3

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Which is the profile of a reliever, not a starter.

18 batters does not mean going deep into games. How many times has he completed the 5th inning out of all his starts?
I mean, not really in 2023. Going deep into the game isn't particularly the goal. If he is going to pitch 150 innings at a 3.40 ERA as a starter or 75 innings at a 3.40 ERA as a reliever, you take those extra + innings as a starter, even if they aren't long starts.

Looks like 10 of 18.
 

JM3

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He was working on a third pitch, correct?
I wonder what the status of that is.
He already technically has 4 pitches - 4-seam fastball, sinker, slider, splitter. He hasn't thrown his splitter much in the past & my understanding is he's working on a split change. Couldn't tell you how it's going, though.

Except in his career he's allowed 9 homers in 146 IP & he's allowed 8 in 20 IP this spring so...
 

Rovin Romine

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I mean, not really in 2023. Going deep into the game isn't particularly the goal. If he is going to pitch 150 innings at a 3.40 ERA as a starter or 75 innings at a 3.40 ERA as a reliever, you take those extra + innings as a starter, even if they aren't long starts.

Looks like 10 of 18.
The conversational topic that was floated was whether Houck, given his feculent performances, should be given a couple of starts before Whitlock comes back or if Winckowski should get them.

Are you shifting the goal posts because you're defending some kind of position vis-a-vis Houck that you've previously staked out? If so, assure you I am completely ignorant of it.
 

JM3

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The conversational topic that was floated was whether Houck, given his feculent performances, should be given a couple of starts before Whitlock comes back or if Winckowski should get them.

Are you shifting the goal posts because you're defending some kind of position vis-a-vis Houck that you've previously staked out? If so, assure you I am completely ignorant of it.
I'm shifting the goalposts?

You said, "Houck shows a significant difference in effectiveness at the ML level between starting and relieving."

That's not a true statement. His effectiveness has been very similar in either role, as I backed up with stats.

I think his best role is probably "guy who pitches to 9 batters twice a week" if that's something he's up for, but who knows?

If we think Houck's 20 spring innings & Wincko's 14 are super indicative & much more relevant than past performance, ok, but Houck has much more viable MLB stuff, so I'm more comfortable having him start at this point because I think he gives us a better chance of winning. I don't have any issue with arguing it either way, though, I just think the 1st sentence of your statement was factually false.

Also, if they pitch to past results I'd much rather keep Houck in the rotation than Pivetta because 4.1 innings at 3.30 is better than 5.1 at 4.50.

But that's a ways down the road & we'll have a few starts of real games to see how things are going.
 

Rovin Romine

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That's not a true statement. His effectiveness has been very similar in either role, as I backed up with stats.
I just discounted that part of your post because it didn't match my preconceived ideas.

You didn't expect me to consider all your sentences, did you?
 

JM3

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I just discounted that part of your post because it didn't match my preconceived ideas.

You didn't expect me to consider all your sentences, did you?
I'm surprised if anyone else even reads my sentences, let alone considers their content.

Fwiw, as a starter last year, Winckowski had a 3.10 ERA the 1st time through the lineup & 8.44 the 2nd time through.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I’m pretty happy with Winchowski as a BP arm and think he’ll do well there. Crawford has better stuff and think he’s eventually going to be a full time reliever. I also prefer that way of building the pen rather than the Martins, Joelys etc… but I’m not advocating an all or nothing approach either.
 

Bread of Yaz

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The conversational topic that was floated was whether Houck, given his feculent performances, should be given a couple of starts before Whitlock comes back or if Winckowski should get them.

Are you shifting the goal posts because you're defending some kind of position vis-a-vis Houck that you've previously staked out? If so, assure you I am completely ignorant of it.
So you're saying he's worse than cromulent?
 

The Gray Eagle

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Paxton and Bello will pitch in Fort Myers this week, instead of with the Woo Sox, because it's still winter in Buffalo:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/04/02/sports/tanner-houcks-wife-abby-earns-save-before-red-sox-righthanders-first-start-2023/

Paxton was scheduled to make his next rehab start Tuesday for Triple A Worcester at Buffalo with Bello set for Wednesday. But with rain in the forecast for both days, Paxton and Bello are traveling to Fort Myers, Fla., Monday and will pitch there. Paxton is tentatively scheduled to start again in Buffalo Sunday.
Not a setback or anything, but it seems like it would have been more helpful to face higher level hitters; but then again a rainout or rain delay would have been worse.
At least Paxton will face AAA hitters on Sunday-- unless the weather interferes.
Not clear what Bello's next start will be-- they wouldn't start him in the majors without facing real hitters even once, would they?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Not clear what Bello's next start will be-- they wouldn't start him in the majors without facing real hitters even once, would they?
If he's deemed to be sufficiently stretched out, I don't see why not. It's not like they have him make rehab starts because of the competition level. It's about the reps. I expect he'll probably make a start with Portland (at Manchester) or Worcester (home vs Columbus) next Tuesday though.
 

TheYellowDart5

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Not a whole lot of good to take out of Crawford's first start. A lot of rockets and hard contact, velocity was down from last year, the cutter and the fastball were far too hittable. I liked the changeups he threw, his slider got a few bad swings, and he stole strikes with the curve. Makes me think that some level of sequencing or repertoire change is in order, because he's throwing way too many non-competitive fastballs and cutters (six whiffs on 58 of them total is awful). That also makes me wonder if, barring a big velo jump, there's not really a boost for him going into relief aside from being a swingman.
 

Sin Duda

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So the starting pitching has been awful so far, but it's been quite cold (I know, both teams have to pitch in it, but the opponent's pitching has been horrible too). Through 4 games, Boston's starters are dead last in the MLB at 12.91 ERA. The relievers are middle of the pack (17 of 30) at 4.68 ERA. Remember, three of the planned rotation have not thrown a pitch yet. Keep saying to yourself, "help is on the way", help is on the way, help is on the way". At least, that's how I handle it.
 

sezwho

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So the starting pitching has been awful so far, but it's been quite cold (I know, both teams have to pitch in it, but the opponent's pitching has been horrible too). Through 4 games, Boston's starters are dead last in the MLB at 12.91 ERA. The relievers are middle of the pack (17 of 30) at 4.68 ERA. Remember, three of the planned rotation have not thrown a pitch yet. Keep saying to yourself, "help is on the way", help is on the way, help is on the way". At least, that's how I handle it.
Curious as I thought cold weather favored the pitcher with more dense air and whatnot.

Quick internet perusal showed conflicting opinions (On the internet? Are you kidding?) but this is a good look at it:

https://tht.fangraphs.com/temperature-effects/

Ks up with temperatures down but walks are up and babip down. Dunno.
 

ShaneTrot

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OK, I was going to complain about the Sox having such shitty starters because they are a high-payroll team but then I went to Spotrac and they are ranked 14th in 2023 payroll. The Sox payroll is $101,420,865 lower than the Yankees' payroll at this moment. WTF? The Sox 2023 payroll is $167,533,182, league average is $148,676,855.
 

Blizzard of 1978

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Not a whole lot of good to take out of Crawford's first start. A lot of rockets and hard contact, velocity was down from last year, the cutter and the fastball were far too hittable. I liked the changeups he threw, his slider got a few bad swings, and he stole strikes with the curve. Makes me think that some level of sequencing or repertoire change is in order, because he's throwing way too many non-competitive fastballs and cutters (six whiffs on 58 of them total is awful). That also makes me wonder if, barring a big velo jump, there's not really a boost for him going into relief aside from being a swingman.
Crawford is like a Kelly and Ort. Just a place holder until Whitlock, Bello and Paxton arrive.
 

LogansDad

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OK, I was going to complain about the Sox having such shitty starters because they are a high-payroll team but then I went to Spotrac and they are ranked 14th in 2023 payroll. The Sox payroll is $101,420,865 lower than the Yankees' payroll at this moment. WTF? The Sox 2023 payroll is $167,533,182, league average is $148,676,855.
Cot's has them at $215M 40 man payroll, not sure where the Spotrac numbers are coming from.
 

chrisfont9

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So the starting pitching has been awful so far, but it's been quite cold (I know, both teams have to pitch in it, but the opponent's pitching has been horrible too). Through 4 games, Boston's starters are dead last in the MLB at 12.91 ERA. The relievers are middle of the pack (17 of 30) at 4.68 ERA. Remember, three of the planned rotation have not thrown a pitch yet. Keep saying to yourself, "help is on the way", help is on the way, help is on the way". At least, that's how I handle it.
One bad turn through the rotation is to be expected a few times a year. Whether it's bad or putrid doesn't really matter, and if one of the turns is by a guy who won't be there for long, even less so. I'm mostly just mad the offense reneged on its plan to score exactly nine runs every game.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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OK, I was going to complain about the Sox having such shitty starters because they are a high-payroll team but then I went to Spotrac and they are ranked 14th in 2023 payroll. The Sox payroll is $101,420,865 lower than the Yankees' payroll at this moment. WTF? The Sox 2023 payroll is $167,533,182, league average is $148,676,855.
That's adjusted dollars, which in some cases I'm not sure what they're getting at. For example, they have Sale at $17.5M for this year when his actual salary is $27.5M. The more important figures are the taxable salary, which for the Sox is at ~$207M per Spotrac.

I'm not so sure about a lot of Spotrac's numbers. In their positional spending rankings for starting pitchers, they have the Sox down for ~$15M and therefore ranked 24th in MLB. It makes no sense, or it's hopeless out of date.
 

chrisfont9

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Not a whole lot of good to take out of Crawford's first start. A lot of rockets and hard contact, velocity was down from last year, the cutter and the fastball were far too hittable. I liked the changeups he threw, his slider got a few bad swings, and he stole strikes with the curve. Makes me think that some level of sequencing or repertoire change is in order, because he's throwing way too many non-competitive fastballs and cutters (six whiffs on 58 of them total is awful). That also makes me wonder if, barring a big velo jump, there's not really a boost for him going into relief aside from being a swingman.
Doesn't pretty much every hard thrower gain a few MPH on their fastball by moving to the pen and going max effort every pitch?
 

Whoop-La White

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Alex Cora thinks the wind conditions at Fenway might be different:

“This is different, man,” Cora said after a 7-6 Red Sox loss. “I’ve never seen anything like this so early in the season. The ball is flying here.”
“It was playing differently,” Cora said. “The ball that Casas hit was way foul and landed fair. That ball came back in fair territory. It’s different. It’s windy. It’s a little bit windy out there.”
There's certainly been an effect on fly balls, at least as far the eye test goes, but apart from Casas' ball, I don't think wind made a difference on the home runs. Just about all of them were rocked.
 

Fishy1

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I don't ever post but I just saw this and it's completely absurd. What would explain why our pitchers get punished for middle-middle pitches so much more than other teams? Is this something we could expect to see regress back to the mean over the course of the season?
28 pitches seems to me to be a very small sample size, so I would guess that yeah, our pitchers have had some bad luck.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't ever post but I just saw this and it's completely absurd. What would explain why our pitchers get punished for middle-middle pitches so much more than other teams? Is this something we could expect to see regress back to the mean over the course of the season?
Considering we're talking about a four game sample, I think it's safe to say that we should see some regression. We're talking about 28 pitches. That's roughly 0.1% of the total pitches the team is likely to throw this year. It's the epitome of a small sample size.
 

Al Zarilla

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Crawford is like a Kelly and Ort. Just a place holder until Whitlock, Bello and Paxton arrive.
It's called depth, e.g., it's one if the reasons both the Celtics and Bruins are strong contenders for titles in their respective sports. The Sox OTOH are showing no sign of depth at the pitching position so far. SSS of course.
 

jezza1918

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It would still obviously have all the SSS caveats, but any way to find the raw pitch #s? Just curious how the RS 28 compares to other teams. Or another way would be on a % basis...I totaled the Sox 4 starters at 317 total pitches, with the above 28 over heart of plate, just shy of 9%.