How do you feel now about this team, as opposed to earlier in the off-season?

How has your feelings about the team changed in the last couple months?

  • Feel much better about their chances

  • Feel a bit better about their chances

  • Feel about the same regarding their chances

  • Feel a bit more pessimistic about their chances

  • Feel much more pessimistic about their chances


Results are only viewable after voting.

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
This is what a team looks like in the middle of a rebuild - some exciting prospects, some solid veterans, and then a bunch of flotsam mixed in.

It’s not a bad strategy - Bloom has all the good players locked up long term, more or less, and can basically just see which of the other players hit and which we can let go or trade without much financial harm.

They still need to bring in some more high-end talent, particularly on the pitching side of things, but theoretically you can see this team in the mix and competing for the second or third wild card (there is no way they compete for the division, IMO). But that’s where I thought they’d be at the end of last year, so I voted about the same.
This last part is why they do one year deals for Kluber and whatnot. I think this is exactly their plan. We just aren't at the final phase.
 

chrisfont9

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I don't think the Red Sox will be very good this year unless the starting pitching performs at the highest end of projections and the defense is better than it looks like it could be on paper.

Given all that, I expect it is all but certain that the bullpen won't blow as many leads as last year. The bullpen looks stronger. And maybe there won't be quite so many leads to blow.
They did win 78 games last year with 31 starts from Seabold, Crawford and Winckowski, which in turn taxed the already strained bullpen to its breaking point. I guess this topic is mostly about '23 Sox vs projections, not last year, but the grossly underperforming version of this team was still just one good week below .500.
 

Kliq

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Mar 31, 2013
21,631
I think a season like last year where they have some hope for a good portion of the season and then fade away is my reasonable expectation. I do feel better about the team than I did earlier in the offseason, where they hadn't done a ton, had a ton of holes and felt destined to lose Xander. They've done a few things to improve the team (most notably the bullpen) but there are still question marks all over the place and even the absolute best case scenario feels like maybe 90 wins, and that might have them finishing fourth in the division.

They lost Bogaerts and JD and we will see what happens with Story. But this was a lineup anchored by the heart of the order and that is missing. You still have Raffy, which is good. Yoshida has potential which is good but obviously unproven. Justin Turner is in and he's a high-floor/low-ceiling guy, as long as he doesn't fall off a cliff at Age 38.

The rest of the lineup is pretty uninspiring. Verdugo is a spectacularly average player, which is fine and useful, but it's hard to envision him being significantly better than he was last year. Kike had a career year in 2021 and then crashed back to earth as a hitter in 2022, he's probably not going to be quite as terrible, but he's not going to be 2021 Kike at the plate. 1B to me isn't really solved until we see Casas hit at the major league level, his potential offers for more optimism than Dalbec/Franchy/Hosmer, but it's hard for me to get that excited for this season until we see him start mashing a bit. Mondesi's career history tells us he is likely to be extremely bad and then get hurt.

I think losing JD does hurt. Not necessarily in that they should have kept him, but from a downgrade from last year. He stunk in the second half of last season, but he had an .849 OPS in the first half and was very good for this team when they still had some hope. I suppose Turner could be more consistent than JD, but hot JD carried this team for portions of last season and I'm not sure if Turner has that ceiling, but they will need him to especially with Story out and X no longer in town.

One guy I think could breakout this year is Reese McGuire, who quietly hit .337 after being traded to Boston. He could have a very good season at the plate and that would be a big boost. Duvall is also old and inconsistent but at least offers a significantly higher upside at the plate than Jackie did.

Pitching is just full of suspects. Sale and Paxton are major health risks. Whitlock has talent, but we've never seen him be a consistent starter for a full season so it's hard to pencil him in as a rock in the rotation. Pivetta seems durable, which stands out in this rotation, but is a very mediocre pitcher. Kluber showed last year he could pitch a full season's worth innings, but is four years removed from his last actually good season (which was a great season, of course) but it's hard to rely on him. A lot feels like it is riding on Bello's FIP numbers being the real deal, because having an exciting, young pitcher that is healthy would go a long way in terms of optimism. But there isn't a sure thing among the six starters outside of maybe Pivetta, but he's simply not very good.

The bullpen should be much improved; the underlying stats on Kenley Jansen have suggested he is about to totally implode for a number of years as his velocity declines, but he always seems to make it work. Chris Martin was very good last season, I do wonder about the jump from Dodger Stadium to Fenway though. I wish they kept Barnes over some of the other riff-raff, but this should be a better unit. If they got decent health (massive IF) from the starters, it would go a long way in aiding the bullpen as that was part of the issue last year.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
11,542
I think losing JD does hurt. Not necessarily in that they should have kept him, but from a downgrade from last year. He stunk in the second half of last season, but he had an .849 OPS in the first half and was very good for this team when they still had some hope. I suppose Turner could be more consistent than JD, but hot JD carried this team for portions of last season and I'm not sure if Turner has that ceiling, but they will need him to especially with Story out and X no longer in town.
I disagree with this paragraph, but it's a better conversation for the Turner thread, so moving my response there.

Overall I don't really disagree with the rest of your post, though.
 
Last edited:

canderson

Mr. Brightside
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Jul 16, 2005
37,893
Harrisburg, Pa.
They won 78 last year. I’ll be shocked if they sniff 75 this season. I expect them to be pretty dreadful with minimal offense and beleaguered pitching. They still to me seem to have no direction.
 

Coachster

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Jul 3, 2009
8,776
New Hampshire
I think they'll be more interesting to watch, but that doesn't change their overall perspective as a 5th place team. I like Turner and Kluber and to a lesser degree Duvall, but I liked them ten years ago too. That's not a good sign, but it'll be fun to see if they are fully baked or only half cooked this year.

My worry is the starting staff. IMHO, we won't get 100 innings combined from Sale and Paxton, which means more starts from Crawford, Winchowski et al, and that's not a good thing. Like a lot of other 2023 things, watching Bello will be interesting. Will he be turning into a #2 starter, or is this just Henry Owens redux?

I'm a big fan of the Mondesi trade, and he could actually be a difference maker (pushing Kike back to CF and Duvall back to sitting with Cora) but when will he be available and how long will he last till the next injury? (Just like Sale and Paxton, I guess....)

I also like the Jorge Alfaro deal, as I think he'll be interesting and maddening to watch, if they decide he's better than Wong to back up McGuire.

I also like the move to low-walk bullpen guys. Nothing was more infuriating last year than having Darwinzon or Sawamura or Barnes or Diekmann or Hansel or Davis come in and immediately start walking guys.

Lots to be positive about as entertainment, but as a competitive team? Nah.
 

pedro1999mvp

lurker
Dec 9, 2022
46
I llike some of the moves they have made recently, and if it wasn't for the Story injury, I probably would have voted for "feeling a bit better" but because of the injury, I voted "about the same".

My biggest worry is if the middle of the order will be productive enough for teams to pitch to Devers. Turner isn't the slugger he used to be, but could still put up decent numbers, but is he really a cleanup hitter? Casas has great power, but will he be productive and consistent enough as a rookie to hit in the 5 spot? What type of hitter is Verdugo? Can he be a middle of the order RBI guy? Where is the power (other than Devers) coming from?

Would have felt much better about the "length" of the lineup and the power potential with Story in there somewhere.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
5,897
I'm pretty much pessimistic about everything in the world but continue to be unabashadly optimistic about the Sox every off-season since I was a kid and will continue to be no matter. I've had a few "what the fucks" over the years (when I understood team roster construction more)- Duquette neglecting to ever bring in a good compliment to Pedro, signing Edgar Renteria, signing Crawford, Panda, Hanley and most recently the JBJ trade. I've been way more understanding of some other controversial decisions- saying bye to Pedro (and Lowe), dealing Nomar, letting Lester go, trading Mookie, letting X walk away.
I'm bullish on just about every player the Sox picked up this year to function in one way or another. I still think the directive that Bloom has been given is one of the hardest in all MLB and the roster he constructed is pretty damned good considering what was available via FA and trade. They're competitive. Things break right and I can really see them getting into a WC spot. Othewise, there's lots of parts that are likely (right now) to be sellable (although I would have figured heading into '22 that JDM, X and Eovaldi would have brought signficant returns- and I completely get why they didn't).
So.... I'm picking 87 stinkin' wins and a goddamned MF'in WC spot!
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Nov 24, 2007
1,023
Pittsboro NC
I was never down on the team anyway, but I like the recent moves Bloom has made. So I voted "a bit more optimistic." And I'm very happy he didn't deal Houck or Rafaela, as so many here were calling for (I'd be fine giving away Duran and Dalbec). I think they will be competitive this year, and I'm looking forward to integrating the youngsters, later this year, and the next couple of years.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Jul 23, 2005
11,398
They won 78 last year. I’ll be shocked if they sniff 75 this season. I expect them to be pretty dreadful with minimal offense and beleaguered pitching. They still to me seem to have no direction.
Why do you feel the pitching is going to be worse then 2022? Because they lost Eovaldi who was worth 1.5 WAR? Wacha?

Sale, Bello, Whitlock, Paxton, Kluber, Jansen, Martin, Bleier, Rodriguez is a pretty significant influx of talent and experience. Would we feel better with another proven starter, sure, but injury free pitchers don't really exist.

I truly can't imagine thinking the pitching staff would be worse than last year. On the offensive side, the additions of Yoshida, Casas, and Duvall should more than make up for the loss of Bogaerts. The Red Sox were horrific offensively at CF and 1B last season.

Add to this, the thing everyone forgets, we have a balanced schedule this year. It will be much easier path to wins than 2022.

It all comes down to health. If they stay, relatively healthy, there is very little question in my mind they were surpass 80 wins easily.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
23,679
Why do you feel the pitching is going to be worse then 2022? Because they lost Eovaldi who was worth 1.5 WAR? Wacha?
I'm not going to answer for canderson, but three of the top starters in terms of WAR are gone (Eovaldi, Wacha and Hill). And the starters who have replaced them have either been injured (Kluber, Sale and Paxton) or don't have a ton of experience (Houck, Whitlock and Bello). Which could be really good, but it could also mean really bad. It's the same thing for the hitters the three of the top four (WAR again) are gone (Bogaerts, Story and Vazquez) and the people who replaced them don't seem quite as good or are older. Again, could be good or could be bad.

There's a ton of volatility on this team and a lot has to go right for them to just contend. I don't think that gets a lot of people excited.
 

ookami7m

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Lifetime Member
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Jul 15, 2005
5,580
Mobile, AL
I have the same outlook on their ultimate chances of success - slim in a stacked ALE with an up and coming Orioles making it really the group of death - but it does look like it should be at least a fun team to watch.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Jul 23, 2005
11,398
I'm not going to answer for canderson, but three of the top starters in terms of WAR are gone (Eovaldi, Wacha and Hill). And the starters who have replaced them have either been injured (Kluber, Sale and Paxton) or don't have a ton of experience (Houck, Whitlock and Bello). Which could be really good, but it could also mean really bad. It's the same thing for the hitters the three of the top four (WAR again) are gone (Bogaerts, Story and Vazquez) and the people who replaced them don't seem quite as good or are older. Again, could be good or could be bad.

There's a ton of volatility on this team and a lot has to go right for them to just contend. I don't think that gets a lot of people excited.
See I feel like this is actually kind of my point. The fact that .9 WAR Rich Hill was a top 3 starter is a demonstration of how the 2022 starting staff performed... it wasn't great. When you look at it as Sale, Paxton, Bello, Whitlock, Kluber vs. those three and I have a hard time seeing how one would pick the former.

It all comes down to health. Like always.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
23,679
See I feel like this is actually kind of my point. The fact that .9 WAR Rich Hill was a top 3 starter is a demonstration of how the 2022 starting staff performed... it wasn't great. When you look at it as Sale, Paxton, Bello, Whitlock, Kluber vs. those three and I have a hard time seeing how one would pick the former.

It all comes down to health. Like always.
I get it, I think that we're saying the same thing about health. And I'm not even really counting Hill too much because he's 44 and I think that Kluber is probably the like-for-like replacement for him here. Also, this staff wasn't great to begin with either, so letting Eovaldi and Wacha go isn't a huge deal (they're not getting rid of 1999 Pedro and 1986 Clemens), but the problem is that the people that they're replacing them with aren't sure things. I think that's what this team needs, a sure thing at the head of the rotation. If things break right, Sale, Paxton or Kluber could be that sure thing. Maybe Whitlock, Houck or Bello take the reins. I don't know, I wouldn't bet my house on it. And I think that's what Bloom is doing here, he's taking a lot of the Red Sox money and betting it on Papa's Moustache in the sixth at Aquaduct.

Which is the opposite of what he did with the bullpen. He went out and got some interesting arms, but he also spent on a legit closer which means that the roles of the bullpen are just about defined. There will be some tinkering, of course, but Jansen is going to close and the rest of the staff will fall in line.

As far as the hitters go, it's a crapshoot. Devers is Devers, I'm not worried about him. Yoshida could be awesome, he could be bad, he could be in the middle. Kike is an okay player but I'm not sure how he became the de facto face of the franchise. Turner is 38 and we may be able to squeeze a last good year out of him. Vedugo is average. Casas is a rookie, I worry about putting too much on his shoulders. That tends to lead to burnout and pressing. Mondesi is always hurt, Arroyo isn't much better. And the catching? In a SSS McGuire looked good but will that hold up all year? Same with Wong.

This team is walking a razor thin wire to contention in a very difficult division, any prolonged slump or slate of injuries could doom this team. I don't think that Bloom has done a very good job to mitigate that--and in fact, I think that with the loss of Bogaerts, the team is definitively worse. I don't think that ownership cares too much TBH, so he's probably going to have at least two more seasons to figure things out. I've already accepted that. :)
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Dec 7, 2022
528
I voted "about the same" but I'm not sure if the question is geared toward a) big picture or b) the 2023 team, and also I'm not sure at what time frame we're talking about (end of the season, January 1st, etc).

If the question is "big picture" the answer would change to "I feel much better about their chances" and that all has to do with the Devers extension and literally nothing else. I didn't think Bloom would commit that kind of capital necessary to land (retain) elite talent before the Devers extension. At least now he's shown that he will.

If the question is just for 2023 (2024), I feel worse than I did at the start of the off-season. We spent a ton of money, but I don't think we spent it in the right places (I'm not calling them cheap, I'm talking about not liking the way we've allocated the money, and there is a difference). For 2023, I thought we were looking at 5th place in the division as of the start of November, and I feel we're looking at 5th place in the division as of the start of February.

Last year even BEFORE the rash of injuries, we were 4th (or 5th) in the division. For 2023, I think our "elite talent" has decreased, though our variance has also increased (could be good or bad). I don't like banking on so many question marks going in favor, and I think the other teams in the division (whom were better than we were last year) have either done more to improve this year (New York, Toronto) or have better / closer MLB ready prospects (Baltimore). Tampa Bay has done pretty much zilch this off-season, to be fair, but I'm betting on their ability to pitch more than our ability to pitch.

So, in summary. I feel much better about 2025-2030 now than I did starting the off-season, but I feel worse about 2023 and 2024, thus, averaging out to about the same.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Jul 23, 2005
11,398

JM3

Member
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Dec 14, 2019
11,542
Last year even BEFORE the rash of injuries, we were 4th (or 5th) in the division.
This part isn't really true...

Here are the standings on July 10th, 86 games into the season when they were 2nd in the AL East & 3rd in the American League, & were also t3 in Pythag...

AL East

Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
NYY
61​
25​
0.709​
--
450​
273​
0.714​
BOS
47​
39​
0.547​
14​
410​
359​
0.56​
TBR
45​
40​
0.529​
15.5​
350​
332​
0.524​
TOR
45​
42​
0.517​
16.5​
397​
388​
0.51​
BAL
43​
44​
0.494​
18.5​
360​
374​
0.483​


AL

Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
NYY
61​
25​
0.709​
--
450​
273​
0.714​
HOU
56​
29​
0.659​
4.5​
384​
282​
0.638​
BOS
47​
39​
0.547​
14​
410​
359​
0.56​
MIN
48​
40​
0.545​
14​
404​
354​
0.56​
TBR
45​
40​
0.529​
15.5​
350​
332​
0.524​
TOR
45​
42​
0.517​
16.5​
397​
388​
0.51​
SEA
45​
42​
0.517​
16.5​
354​
332​
0.529​
BAL
43​
44​
0.494​
18.5​
360​
374​
0.483​
CLE
41​
42​
0.494​
18.5​
358​
367​
0.489​
CHW
41​
43​
0.488​
19​
360​
397​
0.455​
TEX
39​
44​
0.47​
20.5​
372​
360​
0.515​
LAA
38​
49​
0.437​
23.5​
347​
367​
0.474​
DET
36​
49​
0.424​
24.5​
270​
360​
0.371​
KCR
32​
52​
0.381​
28​
328​
437​
0.372​
OAK
29​
58​
0.333​
32.5​
273​
393​
0.339​


https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?date=2022-07-10
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
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Jan 13, 2021
10,243
Sure, how many games had they played against good teams at that point, though? They had barely played within the division at that point. Even before the rash of injuries, it was known that the schedule was going to get a lot more difficult.
 

jbupstate

Member
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Dec 1, 2022
318
New York, USA
They did win 78 games last year with 31 starts from Seabold, Crawford and Winckowski, which in turn taxed the already strained bullpen to its breaking point. I guess this topic is mostly about '23 Sox vs projections, not last year, but the grossly underperforming version of this team was still just one good week below .500.
I’m going with better and a WC race where Bloom can smartly buy at the deadline.

Close to 1,100 plate appearances by Dalbec, JBJ, Cordero and Plawecki that are going to be replaced by a combination of Yoshida, Casas and Turner. The team is more exciting.

Injury luck can’t be as bad or as condensed this year.
 

JM3

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
11,542
Sure, how many games had they played against good teams at that point, though? They had barely played within the division at that point. Even before the rash of injuries, it was known that the schedule was going to get a lot more difficult.
That seems like a pretty blatant goalpost shift from Mango's post stating that they were in 4th or 5th prior to injuries.

Buuut after that...

7/11 L @ Rays - Bello started, did poorly, game blown by Diekman
7/12 L @ Rays - Sale pitched 5 scoreless, game blown by Brasier/Strahm
7/13 L @ Rays - Winckowski
7/14 L @ Rays - Crawford
7/15 W @ Yankees - Eo
7/16 L @ Yankees - Pivetta. Starting lineup this game included Duran leading off, Franchy, JBJ & Downs
7/17 L @ Yankees - Sale injured in the 1st inning
7/22 L v. Blue Jays - Eo. This was the 28-5 game where Ort allowed 8 runs in 2/3 of an inning, ruining his stats for the year & making it so people don't think he can pitch
7/23 L v. Blue Jays - Crawford. Starting lineup this game included Duran leading off, Franchy, Dalbec, Yolmer, JBJ, Downs...& Plawecki as a pinch hitter.
7/24 L v. Blue Jays - Bello. Same 6 guys starting as the day before.
7/25 W v. Indians - Pivetta. Same 6 guys...let me recap this lineup...Duran/Refsnyder/Verdugo/X/Vaz/Franchy/Dalbec/JBJ/Yolmer
7/26 L v. Indians - Winckowski. JD is back (3 strikeouts in 3 ABs). Vaz at 1st, Plawecki C, Jaylin Davis in CF, Yolmer at 2B, Dalbec at 3B
7/27 L v. Indians - Eo. Dalbec actually had 2 homers & 5 RBIs...still lost 7-6

Anyway, it goes on, but that 2-11 stretch where Winckowski & Crawford are in the rotation & their lineup is a straight up disaster due to injuries & lack of depth, does not seem particularly likely to be repeated this season.
 

JM3

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 14, 2019
11,542
Ok, through July 10th, the Red Sox had played the following teams:

Blue Jays 10
Orioles 8
Yankees 7
Mariners 7
Angels 7
Rays 6
Tigers 6
White Sox 6
A's 6
Twins 4
Rangers 3
Astros 3
Cards 3
Guardians 3
Cubs 3
Braves 2
Reds 2

Cross multiplying that against the W/L % as of July 10th yields a result of a 50.2% winning percentage for those opponents, despite being 8 games under .500 against the Red Sox.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Sure, how many games had they played against good teams at that point, though? They had barely played within the division at that point. Even before the rash of injuries, it was known that the schedule was going to get a lot more difficult.
I mean, you can count them. I have 49 games against "good" teams -- Seattle, Cleveland, STL, all ALEast teams, and Houston. Notably, they swept Cleveland on the road, 2/3 vs Houston, 6/7 vs Seattle, split with ATL, 2/3 over StL. Not good in division though. But still, they were looking like a continuation of 2021 (albeit in an improved division) before the health roof fell in.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2022
528
This part isn't really true...

Here are the standings on July 10th, 86 games into the season when they were 2nd in the AL East & 3rd in the American League, & were also t3 in Pythag...

AL East

Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
NYY
61​
25​
0.709​
--
450​
273​
0.714​
BOS
47​
39​
0.547​
14​
410​
359​
0.56​
TBR
45​
40​
0.529​
15.5​
350​
332​
0.524​
TOR
45​
42​
0.517​
16.5​
397​
388​
0.51​
BAL
43​
44​
0.494​
18.5​
360​
374​
0.483​


AL

Tm W L W-L% GB RS RA pythW-L%
NYY
61​
25​
0.709​
--
450​
273​
0.714​
HOU
56​
29​
0.659​
4.5​
384​
282​
0.638​
BOS
47​
39​
0.547​
14​
410​
359​
0.56​
MIN
48​
40​
0.545​
14​
404​
354​
0.56​
TBR
45​
40​
0.529​
15.5​
350​
332​
0.524​
TOR
45​
42​
0.517​
16.5​
397​
388​
0.51​
SEA
45​
42​
0.517​
16.5​
354​
332​
0.529​
BAL
43​
44​
0.494​
18.5​
360​
374​
0.483​
CLE
41​
42​
0.494​
18.5​
358​
367​
0.489​
CHW
41​
43​
0.488​
19​
360​
397​
0.455​
TEX
39​
44​
0.47​
20.5​
372​
360​
0.515​
LAA
38​
49​
0.437​
23.5​
347​
367​
0.474​
DET
36​
49​
0.424​
24.5​
270​
360​
0.371​
KCR
32​
52​
0.381​
28​
328​
437​
0.372​
OAK
29​
58​
0.333​
32.5​
273​
393​
0.339​


https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?date=2022-07-10
Why did you choose that date - just curious, seems a bit arbitrary of a date, no?

For major injuries (off hand), Hill got hurt following his 7/1 start, Wacha got hurt following his 6/28 start, Eovaldi got hurt after 6/8 and was back on 7/15, Story got hurt on 7/12.

Anyway, as of the end of April they were 4th in the division and 10th in the AL.

End of May was 4th and 10th.

End of June was 2nd and 3rd (July 10th were in fact the numbers you mentioned) - though through some scheduling they didn’t play a single division game between 5/30 (lost 3 of 5 to Baltimore) until 6/28 when they lost 2 of 3 to Toronto.

July 17th (All Star Break) they were 4th and 7th.

End of July they were 5th and 10th.

They were 4th or 5th at almost all traditional “landmarks” of the season, and had one heck of a month when they went (I believe I counted correctly) 19-5 in the 24 games where they didn’t have to face their own division.

Once they went back to playing their own division, they predictably reverted to whom they were in April and May, going 6-17 against divisional opponents (minus a 1-2 record against the Cubs).

So at 4 of 5 “traditional” landmarks they were 4th or 5th in their division. At 1 of 5 they were 2nd - again, after almost a full month avoiding their own division. You’re of course welcome to call end of months arbitrary, but I wanted to give multiple dates to look at to suppport my argument that we were generally 4th or 5th in the division, aside from a month where we didn’t play the division.


This year, we will get the benefit of losing the unbalanced schedule, and should be able to make hay against other divisions. Of course, NY, Tor, TB and Baltimore will get the same benefit.
 
Last edited:

JM3

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Ok, through July 10th, the Red Sox had played the following teams:

Blue Jays 10
Orioles 8
Yankees 7
Mariners 7
Angels 7
Rays 6
Tigers 6
White Sox 6
A's 6
Twins 4
Rangers 3
Astros 3
Cards 3
Guardians 3
Cubs 3
Braves 2
Reds 2

Cross multiplying that against the W/L % as of July 10th yields a result of a 50.2% winning percentage for those opponents, despite being 8 games under .500 against the Red Sox.
After July 10th...

Rays 13
Yankees 12
Orioles 11
Blue Jays 9
Royals 7
Guardians 4
Rangers 4
Astros 3
Twins 3
Brewers 3
Pirates 3
Braves 2
Reds 2

Which when crossed with their season long records yields a winning % of 52.5%. So slightly better, but not a huge departure from the 50.2%.

1st sample:
86 games - 47-39 against .502 opponents

2nd sample:
76 games - 31-45 against .525 opponents
 

JM3

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Why did you choose that date - just curious, seems a bit arbitrary of a date, no?
Because that's when they were doing just fine. & then they weren't. It seems a lot more sensible to blame injuries including...

For major injuries (off hand), Hill got hurt following his 7/1 start, Wacha got hurt following his 6/28 start, Eovaldi got hurt after 6/8 and was back on 7/15, Story got hurt on 7/12.
But also Devers, JD, & Hernandez were out around this time, which makes for a critical mass of injuries for a team that is not that deep to begin with.

Arroyo was also out between 7/8 & 7/30.

Anyway, as of the end of April they were 4th in the division and 10th in the AL.

End of May was 4th and 10th.

End of June was 2nd and 3rd (July 10th were in fact the numbers you mentioned) - though through some scheduling they didn’t play a single division game between 5/30 (lost 3 of 5 to Baltimore) until 6/28 when they lost 2 of 3 to Toronto.

July 17th (All Star Break) they were 4th and 7th.

End of July they were 5th and 10th.

Looks to me like a team that was 4th or 5th at almost all traditional “landmarks” of the season, and had one heck of a month when they went (I believe I counted correctly) 19-5 in the 24 games where they didn’t have to face their own division.

Once they went back to playing their own division, they predictably reverted to whom they were in April and May, going 6-17 against divisional opponents (minus a 1-2 record against the Cubs).

So at 4 of 5 “traditional” landmarks they were 4th or 5th in their division. At 1 of 5 they were 2nd - again, after almost a full month avoiding their own division. You’re of course welcome to call end of months arbitrary, but I wanted to give multiple dates to look at to suppport my argument that we were generally 4th or 5th in the division, aside from a month where we didn’t play the division.


This year, we will get the benefit of losing the unbalanced schedule, and should be able to make hay against other divisions. Of course, NY, Tor, TB and Baltimore will get the same benefit.
I think you're vastly overstating scheduling effects & vastly underestimating health effects.

For example, in '21 they were 41-35 against the AL East. Admittedly, they beat up on the Orioles, but overall the non-Red Sox AL East teams had a .517 win % in '21, .555 in '22. Removing the Orioles, they were 28-29 against the other 3 teams, & the other 3 teams actually combined for 6 more wins in '21 than they did in '22 (.582 winning percentage).

There's no reason to think that the Red Sox suddenly can't hang with the teams in their division, but do fine against other good teams who aren't in their division.

Let me requote this lineup they were running out against their division opponents during this stretch...

7/23 L v. Blue Jays - Crawford. Starting lineup this game included Duran leading off, Franchy, Dalbec, Yolmer, JBJ, Downs...& Plawecki as a pinch hitter.
So there's obviously not a clear line as to when injuries did or did not happen...but without Devers/JD/Story/Hernandez/Casas in the lineup, & without Wacha/Hill/Sale/Paxton...it's kind of yikes.
 

grimshaw

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See I feel like this is actually kind of my point. The fact that .9 WAR Rich Hill was a top 3 starter is a demonstration of how the 2022 starting staff performed... it wasn't great. When you look at it as Sale, Paxton, Bello, Whitlock, Kluber vs. those three and I have a hard time seeing how one would pick the former.

It all comes down to health. Like always.
FWIW - Steamer and fangraphs both project Sale and Eovaldi the same next year in 145-ish innings at 2.5 fWAR and both better than Paxton. And the low WAR was in part due to only throwing 109 innings from last season.

I think it was a bad decision not to bring him back at the bridgey numbers the Rangers paid (2/34) if that's what it would have taken.
 

JM3

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Hernandez: out between 6/7 & 8/16
Arroyo: out between 7/8 & 7/30
Devers: out between 7/22 & 8/2
Story: out between 7/12 & 8/27
JD: out between 7/17 & 7/26
Casas: out (AAA) from 5/17 to 7/22 (called up 9/4)

Hill: out between 7/1 & 8/3
Wacha: out between 6/28 & 8/14
Sale: 7/12 grand opening...7/17 grand closing
Paxton: no
Houck: out 8/2 to end of season
Whitlock: out 6/7 to 7/15
Barnes: out 5/30 to 8/4
Eovaldi: out 6/8 to 7/15 & 8/12 to 9/29
Strahm: out 7/12 to 8/29
 

Delicious Sponge

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I over-reacted, negatively, to an unfinished piece of work. It looked to me like there was no plan, but that was because I didn’t know what the plan was.

You can have an interesting conversation on whether this plan will work or not - but I was wrong to think there wasn’t one. Given that, I have much more faith in this season than I did earlier!

These are really smart people who have won 4 championships and while past performance is no guarantee of future returns, these guys deserve a tremendous benefit of the doubt.

I think they could have done a better job communicating with the public. They cost themselves some ill-will from the fans that they’ll have to earn back. That was probably avoidable, but I suspect they think all that matters is the product on the field, and they are probably right — success is all that matters.

So LFG!
 

canderson

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Why do you feel the pitching is going to be worse then 2022? Because they lost Eovaldi who was worth 1.5 WAR? Wacha?

Sale, Bello, Whitlock, Paxton, Kluber, Jansen, Martin, Bleier, Rodriguez is a pretty significant influx of talent and experience. Would we feel better with another proven starter, sure, but injury free pitchers don't really exist.

I truly can't imagine thinking the pitching staff would be worse than last year. On the offensive side, the additions of Yoshida, Casas, and Duvall should more than make up for the loss of Bogaerts. The Red Sox were horrific offensively at CF and 1B last season.

Add to this, the thing everyone forgets, we have a balanced schedule this year. It will be much easier path to wins than 2022.

It all comes down to health. If they stay, relatively healthy, there is very little question in my mind they were surpass 80 wins easily.
Sorry just saw this but @John Marzano Olympic Hero summed it up. I don’t trust Sake or Hill to throw 10 innings. The depth lacks, so when they inevitable are hurt it just shortens the thin rotation. Without a shutdown ace I think it’s a big issue.
 

JM3

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FWIW - Steamer and fangraphs both project Sale and Eovaldi the same next year in 145-ish innings at 2.5 fWAR and both better than Paxton. And the low WAR was in part due to only throwing 109 innings from last season.

I think it was a bad decision not to bring him back at the bridgey numbers the Rangers paid (2/34) if that's what it would have taken.
Meh. Eo has started more than 22 games in a season 3 times in his 12 year career. There's also a $20m vesting option for '25...but it triggers at 300 innings & the last time Eo hit that mark over 2 seasons were the '14 & '15 seasons.

I'd rather take the pick & stay under the threshold & pick up someone impactful next year.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Hernandez: out between 6/7 & 8/16
Arroyo: out between 7/8 & 7/30
Devers: out between 7/22 & 8/2
Story: out between 7/12 & 8/27
JD: out between 7/17 & 7/26
Casas: out (AAA) from 5/17 to 7/22 (called up 9/4)

Hill: out between 7/1 & 8/3
Wacha: out between 6/28 & 8/14
Sale: 7/12 grand opening...7/17 grand closing
Paxton: no
Houck: out 8/2 to end of season
Whitlock: out 6/7 to 7/15
Barnes: out 5/30 to 8/4
Eovaldi: out 6/8 to 7/15 & 8/12 to 9/29
Strahm: out 7/12 to 8/29
So as of the first major injuries you mentioned (Hernandez, Whitlock and Eovaldi) the Sox were in 4th place in their division at 28-27 and already 3.5 games behind Toronto and 4.5 behind Tampa Bay following the 6/6 games. The Red Sox were in 4th place in their division when (I‘m assuming, based on your list) everyone was healthy.

While I may be undervaluing the injuries, I think people are glossing over the fact that they were 4th in their division prior to the injuries starting, and glossing over that the teams in our division are really well run right now. I totally accept we might have gone something like 82-80 if there were no injuries. But I don’t think last year’s team would have been any more than that.

We’ll see how this year pans out. I’m not discounting that everything could go right and we have a similar situation like 2021, but I think it’s going to look a lot more like the “before the injuries” version of the 2022 team. Right around .500 and 4th or 5th in our division.

*FWIW, put this exact roster in the AL West and I think we finish 2nd or 3rd, in the AL Central 1st or 2nd, but 4th or 5th in the AL East.
 

grimshaw

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Meh. Eo has started more than 22 games in a season 3 times in his 12 year career. There's also a $20m vesting option for '25...but it triggers at 300 innings & the last time Eo hit that mark over 2 seasons were the '14 & '15 seasons.

I'd rather take the pick & stay under the threshold & pick up someone impactful next year.
I would have kept him instead of signing Kluber and Jansen.
 

JM3

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So as of the first major injuries you mentioned (Hernandez, Whitlock and Eovaldi) the Sox were in 4th place in their division at 28-27 and already 3.5 games behind Toronto and 4.5 behind Tampa Bay following the 6/6 games. The Red Sox were in 4th place in their division when (I‘m assuming, based on your list) everyone was healthy.

While I may be undervaluing the injuries, I think people are glossing over the fact that they were 4th in their division prior to the injuries starting, and glossing over that the teams in our division are really well run right now. I totally accept we might have gone something like 82-80 if there were no injuries. But I don’t think last year’s team would have been any more than that.

We’ll see how this year pans out. I’m not discounting that everything could go right and we have a similar situation like 2021, but I think it’s going to look a lot more like the “before the injuries” version of the 2022 team. Right around .500 and 4th or 5th in our division.

*FWIW, put this exact roster in the AL West and I think we finish 2nd or 3rd, in the AL Central 1st or 2nd, but 4th or 5th in the AL East.
My point was that basically all those people were missing during that July 11th & onward period & they were running out minor league pitchers & 6 minor league hitters for a while? & at some point you cannot overcome the sheer mass of injuries, even if you can overcome a few of them.

& my point was that despite running not great on injuries in the beginning of the year, they were still well-positioned before EVERYONE got injured. & they got in that position while facing teams that were collectively above .500, so it can't just have been smoke & mirrors. The problem was lack of depth because they have had almost no players graduating from their minors for years.

This year their depth looks much, much better & they should have far fewer disaster innings pitched & far few disaster at bats, both because they should not be as injured this year, but also because they have more players potentially ready to play replacement level baseball if they do.

It's a silly argument, though, as I don't think they're particularly great this year, anyway, especially with the Story injury, but the baseline, assuming average health/progression, should probably be about 85 wins.
 

JM3

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I would have kept him instead of signing Kluber and Jansen.
Honestly I probably would have chosen neither of those paths & have worked harder to get more young, interesting pitching talent, but Kluber was comparably as good as Eo last year when playing, & healthier. & they have a team option for next year which is valuable in several ways. & Jansen will either have value to the team if they're good & in a trade if they're not. Other than the pandemic year, he hasn't pitched less than 50 innings in a season since 2010.

So for the middle path the Red Sox have chosen to take, I think that combo makes more sense than bringing back Eo.

Eo is a velocity 1st pitcher, but his velocity is diminishing year-over-year & he doesn't have the craft & control Kluber does to necessarily overcome this.

4-seam fastball speeds:
'16 - 97.8
'18 - 97.2
'19 - 97.5
'20 - 97.3
'21 - 96.8
'22 - 95.7

Cutters:
'16 - 93.4
'18 - 92.7
'19 - 93.2
'20 - 91.3
'21 - 92.5
'22 - 90.6
 

Seels

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Sale, Bello, Whitlock, Paxton, Kluber, Jansen, Martin, Bleier, Rodriguez is a pretty significant influx of talent and experience. Would we feel better with another proven starter, sure, but injury free pitchers don't really exist.
Injured, yet to pitch more than 110 innings, was here last year, will have 10 starts if he's lucky, sucks, good but old, good but old, old and can't strike anyone out, and who?

The only way this pitching staff is league average is if Bello is very good, and Sale and Paxton combine for 300 innings at least. Their relief is improved. But who cares when there's 0 starters in their rotation that have decent odds to have more than 140 innings.
 

chrisfont9

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I over-reacted, negatively, to an unfinished piece of work. It looked to me like there was no plan, but that was because I didn’t know what the plan was.

You can have an interesting conversation on whether this plan will work or not - but I was wrong to think there wasn’t one. Given that, I have much more faith in this season than I did earlier!

These are really smart people who have won 4 championships and while past performance is no guarantee of future returns, these guys deserve a tremendous benefit of the doubt.

I think they could have done a better job communicating with the public. They cost themselves some ill-will from the fans that they’ll have to earn back. That was probably avoidable, but I suspect they think all that matters is the product on the field, and they are probably right — success is all that matters.

So LFG!
Like it! As for communicating, I just don't know if they can afford to tell us what the real plan is. Not to get Belichickean about it, but if you say you're halfway through a retooling and prioritizing the future, do teams try to play you in trades? They clearly want short-term commitments so that when the kids are all in place in a couple years, they'll have relatively few large commitments and can really go for it. I don't think Chaim can say any of that out loud, just to make people feel better.
 

JM3

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Injured, yet to pitch more than 110 innings, was here last year, will have 10 starts if he's lucky, sucks, good but old, good but old, old and can't strike anyone out, and who?

The only way this pitching staff is league average is if Bello is very good, and Sale and Paxton combine for 300 innings at least. Their relief is improved. But who cares when there's 0 starters in their rotation that have decent odds to have more than 140 innings.
Currently healthy
Pitched 153.1 innings last year
Only started 9 games last year due to injury
10 starts is probably about average luck, but maybe
3 fWAR literally last season - sucks is a weird descriptor (for reference purposes, Rich Hill led Red Sox pitchers last year with 1.8 fWAR)
Fair
Fair - although I don't think is particularly relevant
Fair
JOELY!
 

JM3

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The Red Sox pitching list of fWAR last year is crazy...

Hill 1.8 (gone)
Schreiber 1.7
Wacha 1.5 (prob gone)
Pivetta 1.5
Whitlock 1.4
Bello 1.3
Eovaldi 1.0 (gone)
Houck 0.7
Brasier 0.5
Crawford 0.5
Strahm 0.3 (gone)
Davis 0.3 (gone)
Sale 0.2
Barnes 0.1 (gone)
Sawamura 0.0 (gone)
Winckowski 0.0
Feliz -0.1 (gone?)
Familia -0.1 (gone)
Ort -0.1
German -0.2 (prob gone)
Bazardo -0.2 (gone)
Seabold -0.2 (gone)
Danish -0.4 (gone)
Darwinzon -0.5 (gone)
Diekman -0.5 (gone)
Robles -0.7 (gone)

So to be approximately as bad as last year (6th worst in the Majors), they would only need to replace 2.1 fWAR. That seems like an incredibly low bar.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Injured, yet to pitch more than 110 innings, was here last year, will have 10 starts if he's lucky, sucks, good but old, good but old, old and can't strike anyone out, and who?

The only way this pitching staff is league average is if Bello is very good, and Sale and Paxton combine for 300 innings at least. Their relief is improved. But who cares when there's 0 starters in their rotation that have decent odds to have more than 140 innings.
Kluber threw more innings than Eovaldi, Wacha or Hill in 2022.

29 AL pitchers threw more then 150 innings last year. Saying they need both Paxton and Sale to hit that mark to be league average is a misunderstanding of pitching roles in todays game.

The Rays were 3rd in the league in era. They had 2 guys throw over 150 innings last year. One of those dudes was named Corey Kluber.
 

JM3

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The Red Sox pitching list of fWAR last year is crazy...

Hill 1.8 (gone)
Schreiber 1.7
Wacha 1.5 (prob gone)
Pivetta 1.5
Whitlock 1.4
Bello 1.3
Eovaldi 1.0 (gone)
Houck 0.7
Brasier 0.5
Crawford 0.5
Strahm 0.3 (gone)
Davis 0.3 (gone)
Sale 0.2
Barnes 0.1 (gone)
Sawamura 0.0 (gone)
Winckowski 0.0
Feliz -0.1 (gone?)
Familia -0.1 (gone)
Ort -0.1
German -0.2 (prob gone)
Bazardo -0.2 (gone)
Seabold -0.2 (gone)
Danish -0.4 (gone)
Darwinzon -0.5 (gone)
Diekman -0.5 (gone)
Robles -0.7 (gone)

So to be approximately as bad as last year (6th worst in the Majors), they would only need to replace 2.1 fWAR. That seems like an incredibly low bar.
Zips projections for old guys (fwiw I disagree pretty strongly with several of these)...
Schreiber 0.6 (-1.1)
Pivetta 1.3 (-0.2)
Whitlock 1.6 (+0.2)
Bello 2.1 (+0.8)
Houck 0.6 (-0.1)
Brasier 0.1 (-0.4)
Crawford 0.7 (+0.2)
Sale 1.4 (+1.2)
Winckowski 0.4 (+0.4)
Kelly 0.3 (+0.3...missed him from the 0.0 crew from last year in previous post)
Ort 0.2 (+0.3)
Net Gain 1.6 fWAR

Zips projections for new guys:
Paxton 1.7
Kluber 1.6
Kenley 0.5
Martin 0.4
Bleier 0.3
Joely 0.5
Mills 0.2
Sherriff 0.0
Dermody 0.3
Mata 0.3
Murphy 0.4 (seems optimistic)
Walter 0.8 (seems optimistic)
Gain 7.0 fWAR

fWAR in: 8.6
fWAR out: 2.1

It's obviously not that simple. I wouldn't expect none of those guys to have a negative fWAR this upcoming season...but I would also expect higher ones from Whitlock/Bello/Houck.
 

JM3

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In terms of innings that need replacing...

Wacha 127.1
Hill 124.1
Eovaldi 109.1
Davis 54.1
Sawamura 50.2
Strahm 44.2
Danish 40.1
Barnes 39.2
Diekman 38.1
Robles 24.2
Seabold 18.1
Valdez 16.1
Bazardo 16.1
Familia 10.1
Hernandez 6.2
German 4.0
Feliz 3.1
Yolmer/Plawecki/JBJ 3.0
Total Innings Lost: 732 of 1431 (51%)

Where could those come from?

Internally...
Sale - anything over 5.2
Paxton - anything over 0.0
Bello - anything over 57.1
Whitlock - anything over 78.1
Houck - anything over 60

Externally...
All those other guys.

The only 3 players who were kind of toward their expected innings limit if healthy were Pivetta (179.2), Schreiber (65.0) & Brasier (62.1).

So let's say we replace those 732 innings with these additional innings...

Kluber 130
Sale 130 (135.2 total)
Bello 100 (157.1 total)
Paxton 67
Whitlock 60 (138.1 total)
Jansen 60
Martin 60
Joely 50
Bleier 50
Houck 25 (85 total)

Would that be too crazy to ask of anyone?

That's not even including more innings potentially for Zack Kelly (13.2 last year), Crawford, Winckowski, or Ort, & it's not including any innings for Wyatt Mills, Chris Murphy, Brandon Walter, Bryan Mata, etc.
 

JM3

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The Red Sox must really think they can fix Ort.

The 10 guys from last year with the highest walk rates are gone (JBJ/Darwinzon/Diekman/German/Feliz/Familia/Robles/Sawamura/Barnes/Davis). But Ort, who is 11th, remains (11.2%).

He's also by far their worst remaining pitcher in xFIP (5.15 - Winckowski next at 4.61, then Crawford at 4.33). Actual pitchers who are gone with worse than Crawford: Darwinzon, German, Seabold, Valdez, Barnes, Robles, Bazardo, Familia, Davis, Diekman & Sawamura).

Ok, that's enough rambling for 1 day :/
 

chrisfont9

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The Red Sox must really think they can fix Ort.

The 10 guys from last year with the highest walk rates are gone (JBJ/Darwinzon/Diekman/German/Feliz/Familia/Robles/Sawamura/Barnes/Davis). But Ort, who is 11th, remains (11.2%).

He's also by far their worst remaining pitcher in xFIP (5.15 - Winckowski next at 4.61, then Crawford at 4.33). Actual pitchers who are gone with worse than Crawford: Darwinzon, German, Seabold, Valdez, Barnes, Robles, Bazardo, Familia, Davis, Diekman & Sawamura).

Ok, that's enough rambling for 1 day :/
I mean, that's for sure what they're telling us. Hope they are right.

Good interview with Barnes on the Carrabis Pod. He goes into candid detail about where he was at, what his struggles were, and why he thinks the Sox were wrong to cut bait on him.
 

cantor44

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Their entire middle infield is injury prone, and will get injured. The starting rotation is largely injury prone (or simply have been unable to pitch for years). The outfield defense will not be good. The bullpen is better. The offense is not deep enough. If a lotta things break right, they could be over .500 and compete for the last wildcard. I hope that happens. There is promise in many directions (old guys who were once all-stars who might have a few bullets left, a Japanese player who was exceptional there, young guys who may or may not be high level ML players), but also a lot of promise that might not be fulfilled. Wide range with this team, which makes me believe, odds are, will be an 82 win team.

But there are some interesting cats in town now: Yoshida, all the young arms, and Casas. I'm curious about Mondesi and his athleticism. So some things to watch even in a year they don't challenge. That's something.

I don't think the organization is expecting a deep post season run in 2023, what with the older players, and one year contracts. Are we under the luxury tax?
I see this season as pulling the sling shot back, to be fired next year, when more of the farm matures, and maybe they get more aggressive with FAs. 23 is here to set up 24. The proof of Chaim's work will likely be in the moves he makes next off season, and with the fate of the 2024 team.
 

JM3

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Without trying too hard to parse what is actually accurate... they are somewhere between $9m & $26m under the threshold.

The Sox payroll guy on Twitter has a bit over $9m, Cots has $23m & Spotrac has $26m.
 

scottyno

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struggle to see how this team wins even as many games as they won last year unless their pitching plays at the 95% percentile. Agree with Mike Ford - 75 wins tops.
If the pitching plays at the 95th percentile they're winning 90+ games and possibly the division. That would be an ace, 4 2 or 3s and a top tier bullpen.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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The Red Sox must really think they can fix Ort.

The 10 guys from last year with the highest walk rates are gone (JBJ/Darwinzon/Diekman/German/Feliz/Familia/Robles/Sawamura/Barnes/Davis). But Ort, who is 11th, remains (11.2%).

He's also by far their worst remaining pitcher in xFIP (5.15 - Winckowski next at 4.61, then Crawford at 4.33). Actual pitchers who are gone with worse than Crawford: Darwinzon, German, Seabold, Valdez, Barnes, Robles, Bazardo, Familia, Davis, Diekman & Sawamura).

Ok, that's enough rambling for 1 day :/
JBJ?
 

ookami7m

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I assume this walk rate is the real reason they cut him & not the whole inability to hit thing.

View: https://youtu.be/re7UlfPIVAI
I was at this game. JBJ may have been walking people but he did strike out DJ LeMahieu and Vaz threw the ball back to the dugout for him which was glorious. Got to 2 strikes on Judge too. The old drunk lady behind us didn't understand why he was allowed to pitch if he was the CFer.
 

pedro1999mvp

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I like the moves from an offensive standpoint better than defensive. Duvall could have a bounce back year. He has some power, and this lineup, in my opinion, is lacking power (Turner is not the HR hitter he used to be, we lost JD, Story, and Bogey). But...signing Duvall instead of a SS means Kike at SS instead of CF. An outfield defense that includes Verdugo, Duvall, and Yoshida is NOT GOOD!