2024 Rotation and Bullpen

Rovin Romine

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So let's talk innings from starters.

Per fangraphs:

168 Giolito
143 Bello
138 Pivetta (but in a dedicated starting role two years ago, went 180. . .so say 170.)
112 Sale (LHP)
104 Houck (but that's likely higher for a full year starting, so say 120.)

Total is 713 innings out of 1458 innings total. Or the equivalent of 4.4 innings per start.
 

simplicio

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Yeah there's a huge need to trade from that group, they just don't all fit.

My best guess is Crawford to the rotation over Houck, as things stand.
 

simplicio

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YR is not a starter, at least not next year. He last threw 7 innings in the WBC and then sat out the season.

Crawford is projected for 137 IP by Fangraphs fwiw, which helps a bit. I do think he brings more as a starter than Houck, but admittedly that's more gut feeling than anything and likely wrong.
 

chawson

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Top 10 projected MLB starting rotations (FanGraphs)

1. Phillies
2. Dodgers
3. Braves
4. Marlins
5. Blue Jays
6. Astros
7. Twins
8. Mariners
9. Brewers
10. Red Sox
 

LogansDad

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So let's talk innings from starters.

Per fangraphs:

168 Giolito
143 Bello
138 Pivetta (but in a dedicated starting role two years ago, went 180. . .so say 170.)
112 Sale (LHP)
104 Houck (but that's likely higher for a full year starting, so say 120.)

Total is 713 innings out of 1458 innings total. Or the equivalent of 4.4 innings per start.
If this is all the innings they get, I doubt they got a full 162 games out of the 5 of them, so I don't really think it translates to 4.4 innings per start. If what Pivetta found at the mid-point of last year is for real (I know, fool me once), then that's an okay rotation. Not great, but far superior than last year, I think.

Kutter Crawford will get some as well (maybe more than Houck, TBH).
 
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Rovin Romine

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Gentlemen,

In this thread please just focus on what we have and how it may or may not work.

So yes, innings/role discussion it 100% germane to this thread. As is pointing out our optimal skill-depth does not align with our options for keeping players on the ML roster. Hence, trades or releases, or FA signings for innings. Or pros and cons of any particular pitcher.

If that suggests something to you re: specific players who are not in the organization, take your ideas to one of the speculation threads.
 

burstnbloom

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Per Fangraphs for the top 5 starters:

75825

I think the projection system underrates a number of guys (Cole and Crawford massively stand out). The Red Sox problem continues to be one of missing a top end guy and somewhat unreliable innings. To significantly impact the rotation, they would need to add a 3.5-4 win starter type and there aren't a lot of those guys.

For the guys that are here, I see the top 5 as Bello, Sale, Giolito, Pivetta and Crawford. Houck and Whitlock are depth. I see significant upside in Bello, Giolito and Crawford and a lot of question marks in the other two. At worst, I expect an improvement in stuff across the board given the organizations commitment to that. We saw the benefits of pitch shaping with Pivetta last year where he became a demon once he shaped his sweeper. There has never been a more volatile pitcher, so you can't be sure he will continue to be that guy in 2024 but there's a chance.
 

Sox in the sticks

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So let's talk innings from starters.

Per fangraphs:

168 Giolito
143 Bello
138 Pivetta (but in a dedicated starting role two years ago, went 180. . .so say 170.)
112 Sale (LHP)
104 Houck (but that's likely higher for a full year starting, so say 120.)

Total is 713 innings out of 1458 innings total. Or the equivalent of 4.4 innings per start.
This is why I think Crawford gets the nod over Houck in the rotation. His stats were better in almost every area, and he pitched 129 innings last season. If the question is "Who's more likely to give you 175-200 innings," and be reasonably effective, Crawford seems like the answer.
 

Rovin Romine

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There's an interesting question as to who should be the nominal 5th starter at this point: Crawford, Houck, or Whitlock.

I don't think a third year of bobbling them between roles would be advantageous to anyone.

I'd guess they're going with Houck.
 

Rovin Romine

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This is why I think Crawford gets the nod over Houck in the rotation. His stats were better in almost every area, and he pitched 129 innings last season. If the question is "Who's more likely to give you 175-200 innings," and be reasonably effective, Crawford seems like the answer.
At this point I think it's really who can go deepest into games? The idea of a piggy-back middle-innings arm sort of makes sense for one lights-out guy. . .but why even pair that arm with someone like Houck if someone else can get you into the 5th and 6th? I'd have to look at the numbers, but it seems inefficient.

But I think Houck's problem is more psychological/pitch sequencing than it is physiological. Breslow tends to want to revamp pitchers and (IIRC) has a "play to your strengths" philosophy. Would that work to make Houck more relevant as a starter? Or might the new top-brass think another revampable pitcher is more suited to start?

The new Breslow/Bailey factor really prevents me from having a strong opinion on what *ought* to happen. But I'm guessing Houck fits the bill.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think Houck vs. Crawford is a close call. Crawford was objectively better last year but Houck may have more upside if we can ever unlock his true potential. I also think this situation may get resolved via a trade but we’ll see.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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This is why I think Crawford gets the nod over Houck in the rotation. His stats were better in almost every area, and he pitched 129 innings last season. If the question is "Who's more likely to give you 175-200 innings," and be reasonably effective, Crawford seems like the answer.
The only reason Crawford accumulated more innings than Houck last year was because Houck got drilled in the face by a line drive. That's hardly an indictment of Houck's capabilities.

FWIW, Steamer projections suggest Houck will throw more innings than Crawford (127 to 115). Obviously those may change with Giolito now in the mix, but I have to think that Houck will continue to have the edge. My guess is they both go into spring training as starters and Cora will choose the hot hand entering the season with the other being in the bullpen.
 

RS2004foreever

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With respect to Tampa - fangraphs projects the following
(FIP/WAR)
Efflin 3.64, 3.7
Civali 4.18, 1.9
Littel 4.75 .7
Pepiot 4.61 .9
Bradley 4.18 1.5
This is unlikely to be the Rays rotation for much of the season.
Shane Baz (3.64/1.8) will return and is better than either Littel or Pepiot
In June/July the Rays get back Rasmussen and Springs.

I will compare us to each of the other clubs. Honestly, though we do look better than the Orioles at first glance. Toronto was one of the few teams that had 3 starters pitch more than 179 innings. Fangraphs thinks Rodon will be good next year giving the Yankees two front line starters. They need starting pitching and will be in the conversation I would think for Montgomery/Snell.
 

chawson

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Houck seems to have a similar repertoire to some of the SF Giants pitchers Bailey’s had success with. Logan Webb’s two-seamer and slider have similar shapes to Houck’s (by horizontal and vertical movement), and Alex Cobb’s is pretty close too.

The problem is that Webb has a great change and Cobb a devastating splitter (aka “The Thing”). Houck’s splitter isn’t on par with those guys’ offspeed pitches, but it’s not terrible. He mostly throws it to LHB, but not very often, and one of the problems last year was that our porous defense.

Houck’s splitter 2023
Arm-side movement: 14.2 inches
Downward movement: 34.6 inches
Velo: 87.6 mph | Spin rate: 1689 rpm
198 pitches (11.4%), 2 barrels, 86.7 EV, 4.7 LA(*)
.336 wOBA vs .293 expected wOBA

Cobb’s splitter 2023
Arm-side movement: 13.1 inches
Downward movement: 32.2 inches
Velo: 89.5 mph | Spin rate: 1565 rpm
970 pitches (38.7%), 14 barrels, 90.3 EV, .3 LA(*)
.280 wOBA vs .316 expected wOBA

Webb’s changeup 2023
Arm-side movement: 11.3 inches
Downward movement 40.0 inches
Velo: 87.5 mph | Spin rate: 1476 rpm
1322 pitches (33.6%), 12 barrels, 90.0 EV, minus-4.8 LA(*)
.245 wOBA vs. .255 expected wOBA

I’m not an expert, but looking at this, it seems like Houck’s third pitch (the one he needs against lefties) is close. He may need to add a bit of velo, and make it heavier by dropping the spin rate. He also doesn’t throw it a lot, for whatever reason.

The good news, potentially, is that Bailey has overseen both Webb and Cobb doing both. Webb has dropped the spin rate on his changeup from 1609 to 1475 rpm since 2020, while bumping velocity from 84.7 to 87.5 mph. Cobb has dropped the spin rate from 1617 to 1565 rpm since 2020, while bumping velocity from 86.9 to 89.6 mph.
 
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czar

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FWIW, here is the the career xFIP as a starter (effectively the last 2 years) for the 5-7th members of the rotation currently.

Houck: 3.76 (198.1 IP)
Crawford: 4.37 (171 IP)
Whitlock: 3.78 (90.2 IP)

I only note this because a lot of the debate is Houck v. Crawford, but I don't think it should be considered a slam dunk that Whitlock doesn't go into ST with the plan to be stretched out. I know there's 2023 recency issues, but he has the smallest L/R splits out of the above 3 and broadly, his 3-year Statcast numbers are the best of the triumvirate (although Crawford "won" last year).

The elephant in the room is obviously the injury concern, which -- other than us playing armchair orthopedist -- I assume the Sox have info on. IIRC his elbow issues last year were essentially deemed more nerve than structural. He would arguably be very valuable in his 2021 role, but if he can't go back-to-back days, I'm not sure there's a huge benefit to having him in the pen if the plan is to save him for every 3 days or so as a multi-inning fireman versus 6 IP every 5 days.
 

Sox in the sticks

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The only reason Crawford accumulated more innings than Houck last year was because Houck got drilled in the face by a line drive. That's hardly an indictment of Houck's capabilities.

FWIW, Steamer projections suggest Houck will throw more innings than Crawford (127 to 115). Obviously those may change with Giolito now in the mix, but I have to think that Houck will continue to have the edge. My guess is they both go into spring training as starters and Cora will choose the hot hand entering the season with the other being in the bullpen.
Thanks for that clarification. I had forgotten about Houck getting hit. That probably meant he had some rust when he came back, too, which would have affected his numbers.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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FWIW, here is the the career xFIP as a starter (effectively the last 2 years) for the 5-7th members of the rotation currently.

Houck: 3.76 (198.1 IP)
Crawford: 4.37 (171 IP)
Whitlock: 3.78 (90.2 IP)

I only note this because a lot of the debate is Houck v. Crawford, but I don't think it should be considered a slam dunk that Whitlock doesn't go into ST with the plan to be stretched out. I know there's 2023 recency issues, but he has the smallest L/R splits out of the above 3 and broadly, his 3-year Statcast numbers are the best of the triumvirate (although Crawford "won" last year).

The elephant in the room is obviously the injury concern, which -- other than us playing armchair orthopedist -- I assume the Sox have info on. IIRC his elbow issues last year were essentially deemed more nerve than structural. He would arguably be very valuable in his 2021 role, but if he can't go back-to-back days, I'm not sure there's a huge benefit to having him in the pen if the plan is to save him for every 3 days or so as a multi-inning fireman versus 6 IP every 5 days.
I think Cora, and maybe Breslow as well, have said that Houck, Crawford, Whitlock, and Winckowski are all going to be preparing this winter as if they'll be starting. Even if they're all destined for the pen, having them stretched out early on gives them options. Especially early on when they're not going to want to have any starter overdoing it in terms of pitch/inning counts. Having some piggy-back situations in April might be beneficial for everyone in the long run.
 

LogansDad

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Gentlemen,

In this thread please just focus on what we have and how it may or may not work.

So yes, innings/role discussion it 100% germane to this thread. As is pointing out our optimal skill-depth does not align with our options for keeping players on the ML roster. Hence, trades or releases, or FA signings for innings. Or pros and cons of any particular pitcher.

If that suggests something to you re: specific players who are not in the organization, take your ideas to one of the speculation threads.
Apologies, forgot which thread I was in.
 

Rovin Romine

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That doesn't seem plausible but I'll take it.
I think this really goes to depth. There's been some chatter in other threads about us having a lot of #3 type starters - but to the extent that kind of analysis holds true, it means you're matching those guys up against #4s and #5s an awful lot of the time.

I think Cora, and maybe Breslow as well, have said that Houck, Crawford, Whitlock, and Winckowski are all going to be preparing this winter as if they'll be starting. Even if they're all destined for the pen, having them stretched out early on gives them options. Especially early on when they're not going to want to have any starter overdoing it in terms of pitch/inning counts. Having some piggy-back situations in April might be beneficial for everyone in the long run.
That sounds sensible, and Winckowski never got a go as a starter with his revamped portfolio.

As to piggy-backing, while some things default to the mentality of a given pitcher, I'm not a fan of them yoinking guys between roles, even if there's an obvious temptation to plug the successful guy into a rotation hole instead of the less successful one. Some of that's just going to be driven by injury though.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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As to piggy-backing, while some things default to the mentality of a given pitcher, I'm not a fan of them yoinking guys between roles, even if there's an obvious temptation to plug the successful guy into a rotation hole instead of the less successful one. Some of that's just going to be driven by injury though.
When I said piggy-backing, I didn't mean to imply assigning specific pairs or having guys changing roles. I was more talking about there being more of a need for true middle relievers in April when starters aren't fully ramped up. If you've got starters in the rotation that are topping out at ~80 pitches and four innings or so, having relievers stretched out to cover 2-3 innings at a time would be beneficial. Basically they can have two guys do what Winckowski did last season with a lot of multi-inning appearances in the first couple months (10 appearances of 2+ innings before Memorial Day) and then settling into a more traditional set-up role as the season went along.

Obviously there's an added benefit if there's injuries in the rotation that someone could replicate the Crawford trajectory, but that's a fall back rather than a primary plan. We don't need to see a redux of the Whitlock/Houck flip-flop of 2022.
 

Rovin Romine

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When I said piggy-backing, I didn't mean to imply assigning specific pairs or having guys changing roles. I was more talking about there being more of a need for true middle relievers in April when starters aren't fully ramped up. If you've got starters in the rotation that are topping out at ~80 pitches and four innings or so, having relievers stretched out to cover 2-3 innings at a time would be beneficial. Basically they can have two guys do what Winckowski did last season with a lot of multi-inning appearances in the first couple months (10 appearances of 2+ innings before Memorial Day) and then settling into a more traditional set-up role as the season went along.

Obviously there's an added benefit if there's injuries in the rotation that someone could replicate the Crawford trajectory, but that's a fall back rather than a primary plan. We don't need to see a redux of the Whitlock/Houck flip-flop of 2022.
That makes sense, but I do worry that there will be a reactionary role-flip if someone is struggling early (a la Kluber/Pivetta). Hopefully that will be less of an issue with Bailey at the helm.

But it wasn't just April last year - by late May Crawford, Winckowski, and Pivetta were throwing 2 and 3 inning games to "cover" Kluber, Sale, and Houck. Also an issue I hope Bailey can help with.
 

Rovin Romine

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A reminder to please keep trade speculation and "how I would run the club in the long term" posts to the many other threads we have for that.

Major update: Chris Sale is traded to ATL, so everything gets bumped back up a notch.

There's a 13 pitcher max for the 26 man roster. 5 starters, a max of 8 relievers.

Starting Rotation as of today:

1 Lucas Giolito (lock)​
2 Bello (lock)​
3 Pivetta (lockish)​
4 one of Houck, Crawford, Whitlock or Winckowski.​
5 same​
Depth: two of Houck/Crawford/Whitlock/Winckowski, plus Murphy, Walter.​

Bullpen as of today: This is the 40 man, with * indicating options (per fangraphs). Players are listed by lack of options, and hence a requirement to be on the ML staff, not skill:

1 Jansen​
2 Martin​
3 Maurico Llovera​
4 Justin Slaten (Rule 5)​
5 Bryan Mata​
leaving 3 spots for:​
6 one of Houck*, Crawford*, Whitlock* or Winckowski.*​
7 one of Houck*, Crawford*, Whitlock* or Winckowski.*​
8 Isaiah Campbell* (traded from SEA)​
9 Schreiber*​
10 Bernardino (LHP)*​
Also on the 40-man:​
Brandon Walter (LHP)*​
Zack Weiss*​
Greg Weissert*​
Chris Murphy (LHP)*​
Cooper Criswell*​
Joe Jacques (LHP)*​
Zack Kelly*​
 

OCD SS

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When I said piggy-backing, I didn't mean to imply assigning specific pairs or having guys changing roles. I was more talking about there being more of a need for true middle relievers in April when starters aren't fully ramped up. If you've got starters in the rotation that are topping out at ~80 pitches and four innings or so, having relievers stretched out to cover 2-3 innings at a time would be beneficial. Basically they can have two guys do what Winckowski did last season with a lot of multi-inning appearances in the first couple months (10 appearances of 2+ innings before Memorial Day) and then settling into a more traditional set-up role as the season went along.

Obviously there's an added benefit if there's injuries in the rotation that someone could replicate the Crawford trajectory, but that's a fall back rather than a primary plan. We don't need to see a redux of the Whitlock/Houck flip-flop of 2022.
I've actually been thinking that a piggy-back is a workable solution for the Houck, Crawford, Whitlock, Winckowski group. Something where they're set up in complementary pairs where one starts and the other follows up, so each one can go 2+ times through the batting order with a set role. It seems like a way to manage to the staff we have in more of a hybrid design that deals with the current workloads pitchers can handle.
 

Rovin Romine

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Minor move but fills up the 40 man roster with Giolito still not official...

View: https://twitter.com/redsox/status/1742261231078015288
Max Castillo brings the beef: he's listed at 6'2", 280 pounds.
For comparison, El Guapo was listed at 6'0", 250 pounds.

Per MLBTR, he's got an option remaining. So if he makes it to April, you'd guess it'd be in Worcester.
There's a 13 pitcher max for the 26 man roster. 5 starters, a max of 8 relievers.

Starting Rotation as of today:

1 Lucas Giolito (lock)​
2 Bello (lock)​
3 Pivetta (lockish)​
4 one of Houck, Crawford, Whitlock or Winckowski.​
5 same​

Depth: two of Houck/Crawford/Whitlock/Winckowski, plus Murphy, Walter.

Bullpen as of today: This is the 40 man, with * indicating options (per fangraphs). Players are listed by lack of options, and hence a requirement to be on the ML staff, not skill:

1 Jansen​
2 Martin​
3 Maurico Llovera​
4 Justin Slaten (Rule 5)​
5 Bryan Mata​
leaving 3 spots for:​
6 one of Houck*, Crawford*, Whitlock* or Winckowski.*​
7 one of Houck*, Crawford*, Whitlock* or Winckowski.*​
8 Isaiah Campbell* (traded from SEA)​
9 Schreiber*​
10 Bernardino (LHP)*​
11 Max Castillio​

Also on the 40-man:

Brandon Walter (LHP)*​
Zack Weiss*​
Greg Weissert*​
Chris Murphy (LHP)*​
Cooper Criswell*​
Joe Jacques (LHP)*​
Zack Kelly*​
 
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Bread of Yaz

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There's a 13 pitcher max for the 26 man roster. 5 starters, a max of 8 relievers.

Starting Rotation as of today:

1 Lucas Giolito (lock)​
2 Sale (LHP) (lock)
3 Bello (lock)​
4 Pivetta (lockish)​
5 Houck​
Depth: Crawford, Whitlock, Winckowski, Murphy, Walter.​

Bullpen as of today: This is the 40 man, with * indicating options (per fangraphs). Players are listed by lack of options, and hence a requirement to be on the ML staff, not skill:

1 Jansen​
2 Martin​
3 Maurico Llovera​
4 Justin Slaten (Rule 5)​
5 Bryan Mata​
leaving 3 spots for:​
6 Whitlock*​
7 Crawford*​
8 Winckowski*​
9 Isaiah Campbell* (traded from SEA)​
10 Schreiber*​
11 Bernardino (LHP)*​
12 Max Castillio​
Also on the 40-man:​
Brandon Walter (LHP)*​
Zack Weiss*​
Greg Weissert*​
Chris Murphy (LHP)*​
Cooper Criswell*​
Joe Jacques (LHP)*​
Zack Kelly*​
The trade, the trade!
 

chawson

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Above-average release extension continues to be something a lot of Sox pitching acquisitions share.

League avg. release extension:
2015-19: 6’0”
2020-22: 6’3”
2023: 6’4”

Seemed like the whole league caught on in 2020 and coached their pitchers into taking longer strides. Boston’s pitching staff also appeared to take a leap forward in the Bloom era.

BOS pitchers avg. release extension MLB rank:
2015: 9th of 30
2016: 27th
2017: 21st
2018: 28th
2019: 11th
2020: 15th
2021: 6th
2022: 4th
2023: 9th

Certainly not all Sox pitchers have above average extension, but it seems like more than a coincidence, including among Breslow’s acquisitions.

Current BOS pitchers (2023)
Whitlock 7’3” (#3 in MLB)
Kelly 6’9”
Castillo, Criswell, Giolito, Jansen, Pivetta 6’8”
Schreiber 6’7”
Walter, Winckowski 6’6”
Martin 6’5”
~Campbell, Houck, Jacques, Murphy 6’4”~
Bello, Weissert 6’3”
Crawford, Llovera, Weiss 6’2”
Bernardino 5’8”
(Sox Prospects lists Fitts having “good extension,” can’t find anything on Slaten)

This could all be just an interesting data point. I don’t know if it tells us anything about their pitching targets going forward, but a lot of the guys we’re discussing as targets have well above average extensions. Gavin Williams and Logan Gilbert (7’4”), Freddy Peralta, Blake Snell and Bryan Woo (6’9”), Shane Bieber and James Paxton (6’8”), Brandon Woodruff (6’7”), Corbin Burnes, Dustin May, and Jordan Montgomery (6’6”), and Mitch Keller (6’5”).

Guys like Marcus Stroman (5’9”), Jesus Luzardo and Framber Valdez (5’8”) don’t. Does this mean they are less likely to be targets? I don’t know. Because this kind of thing also seems coachable. As a point of comparison, Sean Manaea’s release point was one of the closest to hitters last year, at 7’1” from the mound. That’s not how he threw the ball early in his career.

Sean Manaea’s avg. release extension
2017-19: 6’5”
2020-22: 7’2”
2023: 7’1”

That almost seems like a glitch in the data. Manaea added nine inches to his stride from one year to the next.
 

moondog80

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What do we think Pivetta would get if he were a FA? 3/30?
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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What do we think Pivetta would get if he were a FA? 3/30?
A bit more than Lugo. He's been worth more (9.9 fWAR vs 9.2 fWAR) in less time (7 yrs vs 8 yrs) and is a few years younger.

Of course, teams almost always display extreme recency bias (ie the past season factoring in more than an entire career) in FA spending so it could be a bit less since there are a lot of dumb teams, but I think using Lugo as a baseline is pretty reasonable.
 

chawson

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What do we think Pivetta would get if he were a FA? 3/30?
If he were entering free agency this year, I'd expect something more like 4/$56-60M, kinda like the Jon Gray contract. If he'd have been a free agent last winter then yeah, 3/$30 (or mediocre innings eater Kyle Gibson's deal with Texas a few years ago) makes sense.

Obviously depends a lot how this year goes. I think the Sox would happily sign extend him for 3/$30 right now if he felt that was his value.
 

simplicio

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Obviously depends on what the new crew thinks about his arm, but I wouldn't be remotely surprised to see a modest Pivetta extension before spring training.
 

TomRicardo

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If he were entering free agency this year, I'd expect something more like 4/$56-60M, kinda like the Jon Gray contract. If he'd have been a free agent last winter then yeah, 3/$30 (or mediocre innings eater Kyle Gibson's deal with Texas a few years ago) makes sense.

Obviously depends a lot how this year goes. I think the Sox would happily sign extend him for 3/$30 right now if he felt that was his value.
Absolutely, you would jump at that if you could.

Top 10 projected MLB starting rotations (FanGraphs)

1. Phillies
2. Dodgers
3. Braves
4. Marlins
5. Blue Jays
6. Astros
7. Twins
8. Mariners
9. Brewers
10. Red Sox
Not sure what changed in the last five days but they are 18th right now between the Rays and Padres. That said it is super bullish on Gioloto
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Not sure what changed in the last five days but they are 18th right now between the Rays and Padres. That said it is super bullish on Gioloto
(small nitpick but they're 17th...."Free Agents" top the list and probably shouldn't be counted)

I imagine the Sale trade is the difference. I believe he was projected around 2 WAR which if added to the current projection would bump them into the 10ish range.
 

Rovin Romine

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OK - latest update. Giolito is on the 40 man and Llovera is DFA'd. It's an interesting choice as they're still holding onto Slaten and Mata as bullpen pitchers who must make the team or be returned (Slaten) or DFA'd (Mata.)

The same internal pressures remain re: the pen.

***
There's a 13 pitcher max for the 26 man roster. 5 starters, a max of 8 relievers.

Starting Rotation as of today:

1 Lucas Giolito (lock)​
2 Bello (lock)​
3 Pivetta (lockish)​
4 one of Houck, Crawford, Whitlock or Winckowski.​
5 same​

Depth: two of Houck/Crawford/Whitlock/Winckowski, plus Murphy, Walter.

Bullpen as of today: This is the 40 man, with * indicating options (per fangraphs). Players are listed by lack of options, and hence a requirement to be on the ML staff, not skill:

1 Jansen​
2 Martin​
3 Justin Slaten (Rule 5)​
4 Bryan Mata​
leaving 4 spots for:​
5 one of Houck*, Crawford*, Whitlock* or Winckowski.*​
6 one of Houck*, Crawford*, Whitlock* or Winckowski.*​
7 Isaiah Campbell* (traded from SEA)​
8 Schreiber*​
9 Bernardino (LHP)*​
10 Max Castillio*​

Also on the 40-man:

Brandon Walter (LHP)*​
Zack Weiss*​
Greg Weissert*​
Chris Murphy (LHP)*​
Cooper Criswell*​
Joe Jacques (LHP)*​
Zack Kelly*​
 

Cassvt2023

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Jan 17, 2023
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When you look at the construction of the Sox pitching staff as it currently stands, it is extremely right handed. I like the idea of 2 of the 5 rotation pieces being lefties. In a perfect world, they sign Imanaga (i believe it will happen in the coming days, have a good feeling about it) and trade for Jesus Lazardo even if it means putting everyone except Bello, Casas, Teel and Anthony on the table, and giving the Marlins some financial relief by taking on some bad contract. If they can't pry him away, go the short term FA route and focus on Paxton (Sox know him), Manaea (Bailey knows him) or Ryu (AL East experience, 3.46 era, 1.29 whip in limited starts after injury last year) whichever of the three Breslow (a lefty!) feels he can get the most out of. On the 40 man right now, it's only Bernadino in the bullpen who's a LHP, with Murphy and Walter as depth SP/swing guys and Jacques as a fringe guy.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
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When you look at the construction of the Sox pitching staff as it currently stands, it is extremely right handed. I like the idea of 2 of the 5 rotation pieces being lefties. In a perfect world, they sign Imanaga (i believe it will happen in the coming days, have a good feeling about it) and trade for Jesus Lazardo even if it means putting everyone except Bello, Casas, Teel and Anthony on the table, and giving the Marlins some financial relief by taking on some bad contract. If they can't pry him away, go the short term FA route and focus on Paxton (Sox know him), Manaea (Bailey knows him) or Ryu (AL East experience, 3.46 era, 1.29 whip in limited starts after injury last year) whichever of the three Breslow (a lefty!) feels he can get the most out of. On the 40 man right now, it's only Bernadino in the bullpen who's a LHP, with Murphy and Walter as depth SP/swing guys and Jacques as a fringe guy.
Hello Cassvt2023,

This is a thread is for what we have in hand, not for speculating on what any individual poster personally wants the Sox to acquire. We might spot an obvious strength or weakness in the staff or something, and it's fair game to identify that, or which pitcher might be the lowest on the totem pole. But brainstorming solutions, beyond the categorical, are not our concern here; we have more than a few active threads for that.

The handedness issue absolutely is a good one to note, and bringing it up here might help us make sense of future moves the club makes, or identify a problem going into spring training if they stand pat.
 
Last edited:

Cassvt2023

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Jan 17, 2023
628
Hello Cassvt2023,

This is a thread is for what we have in hand, not for speculating on what any individual poster personally wants the Sox to acquire. We might spot an obvious strength or weakness in the staff or something, and it's fair game to identify that, or which pitcher might be the lowest on the totem pole. But brainstorming solutions, beyond the categorical, are not our concern here; we have more than a few active threads for that.

The handedness issue absolutely is a good one to note, and bringing it up here might help us make sense of future moves the club makes, or identify a problem going into spring training if they stand pat.
I guess I missed that, it's much more helpful now that you've made it part of the thread name similar to 2024 lineup thread where it was already noted in (parantheses). Thanks for that. I don't want to make another thread, but i'm glad you see is an important one to be discussed. I wish more people would acknowledge it on here somewhere.
 

Rovin Romine

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I don't want to make another thread, but i'm glad you see is an important one to be discussed. I wish more people would acknowledge it on here somewhere.
This is totally the place to discuss the pros and cons of what we actually have. Maybe someone can post up some info on our pitcher splits to RHB and LHB, particularly the new acquisitions? Perhaps we'll see something interesting.
 

6-5 Sadler

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Jul 18, 2005
231
I like the idea of 2 of the 5 rotation pieces being lefties.
Honest question (not trying to be snarky) and not necessarily directed at you as others have shared similar thoughts…but why? Is there any advantage to having a mix of righties and lefties in the rotation? All else being equal from a pitcher talent standpoint (i.e. 2 pitchers with identical pitch mixes, velocity, movement, command, etc.), I would prefer the righty given the dimensions of our home park.
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
628
This is totally the place to discuss the pros and cons of what we actually have. Maybe someone can post up some info on our pitcher splits to RHB and LHB, particularly the new acquisitions? Perhaps we'll see something interesting.
I agree @Rovin Romine and I'd love to see it. Who are some of the deep dive stats guys on here that could maybe show us what the LHB/RHB splits are with the guys we currently have on the 40 man? I believe there are 21 RHP and 4 LHP as of now. The two that came to mind are @Big Papi's Mango Salsa and @chawson but I know there are many others...
 

Harry Hooper

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Honest question (not trying to be snarky) and not necessarily directed at you as others have shared similar thoughts…but why? Is there any advantage to having a mix of righties and lefties in the rotation? All else being equal from a pitcher talent standpoint (i.e. 2 pitchers with identical pitch mixes, velocity, movement, command, etc.), I would prefer the righty given the dimensions of our home park.
There are batters like Ryan Howard who go to multiple All-Star Games in their careers but facing LHP they are shadows of themselves vs. RHP.
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
628
Honest question (not trying to be snarky) and not necessarily directed at you as others have shared similar thoughts…but why? Is there any advantage to having a mix of righties and lefties in the rotation? All else being equal from a pitcher talent standpoint (i.e. 2 pitchers with identical pitch mixes, velocity, movement, command, etc.), I would prefer the righty given the dimensions of our home park.
It's a totally fair question. I think there are two reasons, one based on watching a ton of baseball and one based on the current roster construction. First, the opposing teams lineups still tend to be constructed based on the handedness of that day's starter. As much as baseball has changed over the last 10+ years, this seems to be consistent, even with guys like Cash who aren't as old school. 2nd is that once a team is into our bullpen, which seems like it will be pretty right handed unless there are significant moves, it can tend to use their bench bats earlier which can help with the other teams availability later in the game. I hope I explained my thoughts ok, thanks for asking. I'd like to hear others respond too.