Bullpen ‘22

Mr Jums

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 26, 2009
488
Somerville
Questioning why Houck wasn’t used in the 9th there…
Didn’t watch the game though
Cora after the game

“We decided he (Houck) wasn’t available before the game, so that’s why you didn’t see him,” Cora said. “We talked about it, and obviously, the decision, it’s not only me. It’s the whole group. He hasn’t pitched back-to-back — that’s something that we have to get him ready for, just to push him that way doesn’t make sense.”
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
4,252
Cora after the game

“We decided he (Houck) wasn’t available before the game, so that’s why you didn’t see him,” Cora said. “We talked about it, and obviously, the decision, it’s not only me. It’s the whole group. He hasn’t pitched back-to-back — that’s something that we have to get him ready for, just to push him that way doesn’t make sense.”
So…. If it’s in the plans to eventually get him back to back games…. When will that be happening and why then and not now?
 

soxhop411

news aggravator
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2009
41,635
So…. If it’s in the plans to eventually get him back to back games…. When will that be happening and why then and not now?
He threw 20+ high stress pitches the night before. And Wacha only went 4.1 innings yesterday. I dont blame cora for staying away from him yesterday
 

streeter88

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 2, 2006
1,352
Melbourne, Australia
So we can’t use Houck back to back, but it’s Ok to use Robles back-to-back-to-back? Because that was his third game in a row… and the Herald is reporting he was just off the IL as well.

“Robles was out two weeks with back spasms, then returned to the Sox in Anaheim and pitched an inning Thursday against the Angels, an inning Friday against the Mariners and then the ninth inning on Saturday.”

https://www.bostonherald.com/2022/06/12/red-sox-walked-off-by-mariners-for-7-6-loss-after-hansel-robles-blows-the-save/amp/

Edit: Somebody smarter than me will have a pithy comment about less than perfect bullpen management.
 
Last edited:

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,253
Houck is a healthy 25 year old, he can’t go back to back? Why wasn’t he pitching in back to back games in spring training, to be prepared for this? Feels like there’s low urgency in a lot of games, and it’s concerning when a playoff spot could come down to a game or two.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
62,240
Houck is a healthy 25 year old, he can’t go back to back? Why wasn’t he pitching in back to back games in spring training, to be prepared for this?
He was preparing as a SP, which is how he started the season.

Back to back games isn’t always easy for a converted SP, Jonathan Loaisiga has still only done it nine times and has an over 12 ERA in those games.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,253
Yeah, fair, but I’m still a little puzzled with how they have handled Houck and Whitlock this year. Houck had never even pitched on one days rest this year. If they are going to use him as a short reliever yet still give him several days of rest between outings, well, I’m skeptical as to how well that can work.
 
Last edited:

Lose Remerswaal

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Yeah, fair, but I’m still a little puzzled with how they have handled Houck and Whitlock this year. Houck had never even pitched on one days rest this year. If they are going to use him as a short reliever yet still give him several fuss of rest between outings, well, I’m skeptical as to how well that can work.
Several what of rest? If fuss = days, and they don’t have him pitch in consecutive days when he hasn’t even done a two in three yet, is that out of line? Did you hear that Whitlock got hurt? Is Houck a rental in your mind, ok to throw him without concern for his future?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,253
Sorry, yes fuss = days. I know your mantra is that every decision the org makes is the right or only one, but if they’ve concluded that Houck is not going to pitch without several days rest- I think he should either be starting or going multiple innings in an outing. Using him as a one inning guy if he’s going to need two days rest isn’t ideal, IMO. How do you think he should be used?
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
62,240
Sorry, yes fuss = days. I know your mantra is that every decision the org makes is the right or only one, but if they’ve concluded that Houck is not going to pitch without several days rest- I think he should either be starting or going multiple innings in an outing. Using him as a one inning guy if he’s going to need two days rest isn’t ideal, IMO. How do you think he should be used?
It’s not a conclusion, it’s a conversion and it’s not instantaneous.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,253
It’s not a conclusion, it’s a conversion and it’s not instantaneous.
What exactly is the process? Legit question, not trying to be snarky. Papelbon is a guy who pretty much immediately was able to pitch on short rest when converted to a reliever. Derek Lowe’s another. Obviously every pitcher is different, of course.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
17,890
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Yeah, fair, but I’m still a little puzzled with how they have handled Houck and Whitlock this year. Houck had never even pitched on one days rest this year. If they are going to use him as a short reliever yet still give him several fuss of rest between outings, well, I’m skeptical as to how well that can work.
It's worth remembering that Sale was injured after they signed Hill and Wacha. So Houck and Whitlock weren't perhaps in the mix as starters unless there was a injury or someone face-planted. So there must have been a plan to use them in relief.

But Sale was also put on the 60 day IL, which meant that going into the season the club had to know that 1 of the 2 would be in the rotation. They also had to know about Houck's personal decision to be unavailable in Toronto away-games.

Perhaps they were hoping from something more from Houck but didn't get it. If so, they end up swapping Houck and Whitlock. But then they keep Houck stretched out, just in case? Until they convert him to a short-stint BP arm. . .while the AAA stopgaps are injured or unready. . .when they need a spot-starter. . .

The overall effect comes off as penny-wise, pound-foolish.
 

Lose Remerswaal

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
What exactly is the process? Legit question, not trying to be snarky. Papelbon is a guy who pretty much immediately was able to pitch on short rest when converted to a reliever. Derek Lowe’s another. Obviously every pitcher is different, of course.
The process? Simple:
pitch on 2 days rest
Pitch on 1 days rest
Pitch back to back

In that order. He has got the 2 day rest program done, now he can pitch/rest/pitch

Once he does that and his arm feels good he can do back to back.

That is the process anytime you are trying to ramp up usage in terms of repeating days work.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
9,840
What exactly is the process? Legit question, not trying to be snarky. Papelbon is a guy who pretty much immediately was able to pitch on short rest when converted to a reliever. Derek Lowe’s another. Obviously every pitcher is different, of course.
Papelbon pitched on 0 days rest once his rookie year and his first appearance was 6 pitches.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,253
Papelbon pitched on 0 days rest once his rookie year and his first appearance was 6 pitches.
Sure, he also pitched on one days rest six times; something Houck has yet to do. In his second year, he pitched on 0 days rest 17 times.

Nevertheless, perhaps a moot point. With all the injuries, Houck should probably be starting.

(Or it’s moot because he pitches on one day rest and nails down the save. Giddy up!).
 
Last edited:

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
9,840
For all the complaining about the bullpen costing them the game yesterday, they gave up 9 runs in 33 innings during the west coast trip, good for a 2.46 era. And since almost every game was close, almost all of those innings were high leverage.
 

Lose Remerswaal

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Sure, he also pitched on one days rest six times; something Houck has yet to do. In his second year, he pitched on 0 days rest 17 times.

Nevertheless, perhaps a moot point. With all the injuries, Houck should probably be starting.

(Or it’s moot because he pitches on one day rest and nails down the save. Giddy up!).
So, this is what we talked about yesterday. It is a process to build an arm up for more frequent use. Today is an off day. Tomorrow they will run him through tests, could be as simple as “How do you feel?”, that decides if he can go Tuesday or not. Do that a few times, THEN you might see him in back to backs.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
17,036
Maine
How does Sawamura have an ERA < 3.00????
He hasn't really put a lot of runners on base to be charged with (23 in 21.1 innings). However, he leads the team in inherited runs allowed (10 of 22 have scored). Basically, he's not been good at preventing runners already on base from scoring (which always looks bad) but his own runners allowed aren't scoring as often (perhaps a credit to his bullpen mates).
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
24,588
He hasn't really put a lot of runners on base to be charged with (23 in 21.1 innings). However, he leads the team in inherited runs allowed (10 of 22 have scored). Basically, he's not been good at preventing runners already on base from scoring (which always looks bad) but his own runners allowed aren't scoring as often (perhaps a credit to his bullpen mates).
Which, IIRC, is the opposite of last season.
 

Sin Duda

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
273
(B)Austin Texas
Current 14 with IP, ERA, WHIP, WAR:
Ryan Brasier (23.1, 5.01, 1.20, -0.2)
Kutter Crawford (15.2, 5.74, 1.79, -0.2)
Tyler Danish (24, 3.00, 0.88, 0.3)
Austin Davis (24.2, 1.46, 1.26, 1.0)
Jake Diekman (23.1, 3.47, 1.50, 0.1)
Rich Hill (55, 4.42, 1.22, 0)
Tanner Houck (42.2, 3.38, 1.17, 0.8)
Nick Pivetta (74.2, 3.50, 1.08, 1.6)
Hansel Robles (20.2, 3.05, 1.11, 0.1)
Hirokazu Sawamura (21.2, 2.91, 1.06, 0.4)
John Schreiber (18.1, 0.98, 0.71, 0.8)
Matt Strahm (18, 4.00, 1.17, -0.1)
Michael Wacha (54, 2.33, 1.00, 1.6)
Josh Winckowski (8.0, 4.50, 1.75, 0.1)

Relevant IL:
Garrett Whitlock (48.2, 3.51, 1.13, 0.8)
Nathan Eovaldi (68.1, 3.16, 1.10, 1.2)
Matt Barnes (17.0, 7.98, 1.71, -1.0)
Josh Taylor (0, 0, 0)

Ryan Brasier is my choice. Diekman #2.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
17,036
Maine
Sawamura, Brasier, Danish, Schreiber, Houck, Winckowski, and Crawford can be optioned. Anyone else would have to be DFA (or put on the IL, I guess).
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
17,036
Maine
Not 100% sure on the new rule; will they also need to do this again when Whitlock/Eovaldi come back?
Well, yeah. But presumably when one of them comes back, one of the guys starting in their place (Crawford or Winckowski) would be optioned back to Worcester.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
1,869
Somehow Sawamura has one of the better WAR numbers and Strahm one of the worst and this in no way squares with my viewing experience.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
17,036
Maine
Somehow Sawamura has one of the better WAR numbers and Strahm one of the worst and this in no way squares with my viewing experience.
It might be related to something discussed the other day in that Sawamura has been very poor at allowing inherited runners to score (10 of 22) which probably doesn't get reflected in his WAR, while not having many of the baserunners he puts on coming around to score, which does show up in WAR. Also Strahm has been used in more high leverage situations (1.93 gmLI), so his poor outings are probably weighted more and thus hurt him more than Sawamura's (0.66 gmLI).

Or maybe you need to look at Fangraphs WAR instead of B-Ref. Fangraphs has Strahm at 0.8 (t3rd on the staff) versus Sawamura at 0.2 (t9th).
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
17,036
Maine
Totally understandable why Cora brought in Davis. Trying to save Houck with a 4 run lead there.
5-run lead, but yeah. Davis has also been one of the best pitchers in the pen this year. It's not like Cora was bringing in the dregs to get them some work and hoping they'd get the job done. The Cards are a good hitting team. They were bound to get to somebody at some point.
 

Mugsy's Jock

Eli apologist
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 28, 2000
14,105
UWS, NYC
My scouting report on 17-year old James Norwood:

My son played travel ball with James, and I drove him and his dad to Allentown from the city many times for weekend tournaments.

A little quirky and quiet, but a sweet boy. He could easily hit 85 as a HS junior and had a nice repeatable motion, but tended to run out of gas after 3 innings.

Oh, and since I follow James, I’ve been disappointed to see that he’s gotten lit up regularly this year for the Phillies.
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
SoSH Member
Apr 7, 2022
700
Prior to last nights game Davis had a Fip of 3.70 and an xfip of 4.36. Basically Cora was riding the hot hand knowing it would eventually backfire which it did last night. The problem is this bullpen is still an arm or two away from being decent. If a starter is not able to go six or Schrieber, Strahm or Houck need a break, then Cora needs to roll the dice on Davis, Diekman, Sawamura etc for at least one inning. The problem might be partially solved when Sale returns and a starter needs to go to the bullpen. I am thinking that Whitlock is going to the bullpen due to inning limits and Sale's return
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,253
Wonder what the corresponding roster move is to get Norwood on the 40-man? Is this just one of those guys they will take a quick flyer on and try to dfa and resign when no one is looking?