How to get back in this thing

scottyno

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Dec 7, 2008
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Right. But Paxton pitched zero innings this year. It was a complete waste of money.

This was a gamble that Bloom didn’t have to take. People keep saying that these signings added depth but I think that these signing took away depth. One is okay, two is pushing it and three is just folly.

Wacha turned out to be good. Hill not so much. And Paxton was a complete nonfactor. I completely understand Bloom’s thinking here but I think it wasn’t really that great.

Bloom bet that these three pitchers were going to be healthy and effective. Of the three only one was consistently effective and none of them were healthy. IDK, I feel like you could see this coming a mile away.
How exactly did he bet that those 3 pitchers would be healthy? Everyone on the planet knew that Paxton wasn't healthy when he signed, and the other 2 were signed to be bridges until Sale (and hopefully Paxton) returned.

Also between the 3 of them he got better production than he probably would have gotten if he instead spent that money on a single guy, and had he done that they still would have needed to fill another spot in the rotation with someone.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Right. But Paxton pitched zero innings this year. It was a complete waste of money.

This was a gamble that Bloom didn’t have to take. People keep saying that these signings added depth but I think that these signing took away depth. One is okay, two is pushing it and three is just folly.

Wacha turned out to be good. Hill not so much. And Paxton was a complete nonfactor. I completely understand Bloom’s thinking here but I think it wasn’t really that great.

Bloom bet that these three pitchers were going to be healthy and effective. Of the three only one was consistently effective and none of them were healthy. IDK, I feel like you could see this coming a mile away.
I guess the question is who was available that Bloom could have signed that would have been healthy and effective all season long?

Just looking at the list of FA pitchers signed last winter (in descending order by total contract value):

Max Scherzer, 60 days on IL
Robbie Ray, 0 days on IL
Kevin Gausman, 0 days on IL
Eduardo Rodriguez, 27 days on IL, 68 days on restricted list
Marcus Stroman, 42 days on IL
Jon Gray, 64 days on IL
Justin Verlander, 18 days on IL
Carlos Rodon, 0 days on IL
Steven Matz, 112 days on IL
Anthony Desclafani, 146 days on IL and counting (60-day IL, out for year)
Nick Martinez, 0 days on IL
Alex Wood, 5 days on IL and counting (out for season)
Noah Syndergaard, 0 days on IL
Alex Cobb, 26 days on IL
Clayton Kershaw, 56 days on IL
Zack Greinke, 44 days on IL
James Paxton, all year on IL
Andrew Heaney, 95 days on IL
Tyler Anderson, 0 days on IL
Corey Kluber, 0 days on IL
Jordan Lyles, 0 days on IL
Michael Wacha, 54 days on IL
Michael Lorenzen, 68 days on IL
Michael Pineda, 88 days on IL, released on 9/7
Garrett Richards, 10 days on IL
Drew Smyly, 41 days on IL
Matt Boyd, 151 days on IL
Dylan Bundy, 13 days on IL (COVID)
Rich Hill, 40 days on IL
Zach Davies, 37 days on IL
Martin Perez, 0 days on IL
Chris Archer, 25 days on IL and counting (likely out for season)
Johnny Cueto, 0 days on IL
Danny Duffy, all year on IL
Chad Kuhl, 22 days on IL
Matt Moore, 0 days on IL
Jose Quintana, 0 days on IL
Steven Brault, 45 days on IL and counting
Jhoulys Chacin, 25 days on IL

Not many that have been healthy all season, were expected to be healthy (i.e. no question marks), would have been desirable or an improvement, and would have been reasonably priced. And that's not even getting into whether they'd have wanted to sign.

It's a crap shoot. Injuries are always a crap shoot.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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How exactly did he bet that those 3 pitchers would be healthy? Everyone on the planet knew that Paxton wasn't healthy when he signed, and the other 2 were signed to be bridges until Sale (and hopefully Paxton) returned.

Also between the 3 of them he got better production than he probably would have gotten if he instead spent that money on a single guy, and had he done that they still would have needed to fill another spot in the rotation with someone.
Just want to gently push back here. Wacha and Hill were not signed to be bridges to Sale and Paxton. They were signed before the lock-out and therefore before it was known that Sale was injured and would miss the start of the season. I don't think the expectation was that they'd each make 32 starts and throw 160-180 innings, but their signings certainly had little to do with Sale and his health.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Wacha, to me, was EdRo’s replacement. Hill was the In Case Of Injury guy.

Pre rib break-
Sale
Eovaldi
Wacha
Pivetta
Houck

was the expected rotation. Hill filled in quite admirably for Sale while the rib injury kept him out.
Houck took himself out of the rotation.
Pivetta started the year terribly.
Eovaldi and Wacha were solid.

The shit really fell apart when everyone and their cousin hit the DL at the exact same time in which no FA signing was going to hold that together. Crawford, Bello Winckowski all pitched better than expected (in aggregate) but not good enough to keep it together.

The biggest problem was garbage at RF, 1B and a collapse by the cornerstone of the lineup when all the injuries hit.
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
15,797
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I guess the question is who was available that Bloom could have signed that would have been healthy and effective all season long?

Just looking at the list of FA pitchers signed last winter (in descending order by total contract value):

Max Scherzer, 60 days on IL
Robbie Ray, 0 days on IL
Kevin Gausman, 0 days on IL
Eduardo Rodriguez, 27 days on IL, 68 days on restricted list
Marcus Stroman, 42 days on IL
Jon Gray, 64 days on IL
Justin Verlander, 18 days on IL
Carlos Rodon, 0 days on IL
Steven Matz, 112 days on IL
Anthony Desclafani, 146 days on IL and counting (60-day IL, out for year)
Nick Martinez, 0 days on IL
Alex Wood, 5 days on IL and counting (out for season)
Noah Syndergaard, 0 days on IL
Alex Cobb, 26 days on IL
Clayton Kershaw, 56 days on IL
Zack Greinke, 44 days on IL
James Paxton, all year on IL
Andrew Heaney, 95 days on IL
Tyler Anderson, 0 days on IL
Corey Kluber, 0 days on IL
Jordan Lyles, 0 days on IL
Michael Wacha, 54 days on IL
Michael Lorenzen, 68 days on IL
Michael Pineda, 88 days on IL, released on 9/7
Garrett Richards, 10 days on IL
Drew Smyly, 41 days on IL
Matt Boyd, 151 days on IL
Dylan Bundy, 13 days on IL (COVID)
Rich Hill, 40 days on IL
Zach Davies, 37 days on IL
Martin Perez, 0 days on IL
Chris Archer, 25 days on IL and counting (likely out for season)
Johnny Cueto, 0 days on IL
Danny Duffy, all year on IL
Chad Kuhl, 22 days on IL
Matt Moore, 0 days on IL
Jose Quintana, 0 days on IL
Steven Brault, 45 days on IL and counting
Jhoulys Chacin, 25 days on IL

Not many that have been healthy all season, were expected to be healthy (i.e. no question marks), would have been desirable or an improvement, and would have been reasonably priced. And that's not even getting into whether they'd have wanted to sign.

It's a crap shoot. Injuries are always a crap shoot.
Wow, that's a lot of injury days for starting pitchers. Almost makes you want to rethink the way starting pitchers are used.
 

Rovin Romine

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Just want to gently push back here. Wacha and Hill were not signed to be bridges to Sale and Paxton. They were signed before the lock-out and therefore before it was known that Sale was injured and would miss the start of the season. I don't think the expectation was that they'd each make 32 starts and throw 160-180 innings, but their signings certainly had little to do with Sale and his health.
Nov. 27: Wacha signed.
Dec. 1: Hill, Paxton signed.
Dec. 2: Lockout begins.
Feb. 24: Sale injured. 6-8 weeks expected recovery, then ramping up.
March 1: Lockout ends.
April 8: Opening Day
Early reporting said they expected Sale back in May, and Paxton in July.

So I think we might say Hill was signed knowing Paxton might be available in the final few months.

Sale, Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Hill (Paxton - July).
became
Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Hill, Houck, (Sale - May) (Paxton -July).
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Wow, that's a lot of injury days for starting pitchers. Almost makes you want to rethink the way starting pitchers are used.
Maybe. I didn't take notes of what the injuries were while I compiled the list, but I would wager that a lot of them weren't related to or preventable by usage at all. They were just fluky injuries that could have happened if the pitcher were working in relief or on extra rest or not pitching at all. For example, Rich Hill tweaked his knee on a single pitch. The other time he missed was due to a COVID infection. Changing how he was used probably doesn't prevent either of those things from happening.
 

Daniel_Son

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Nov. 27: Wacha signed.
Dec. 1: Hill, Paxton signed.
Dec. 2: Lockout begins.
Feb. 24: Sale injured. 6-8 weeks expected recovery, then ramping up.
March 1: Lockout ends.
April 8: Opening Day
Early reporting said they expected Sale back in May, and Paxton in July.

So I think we might say Hill was signed knowing Paxton might be available in the final few months.

Sale, Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Hill (Paxton - July).
became
Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Hill, Houck, (Sale - May) (Paxton -July).
Thanks for posting the timeline. Wacha as an ERod replacement makes more sense. But I think Wacha/Hill also make sense if Bloom was thinking they'd need SP reinforcements in the (likely) event that Sale missed some time during the season. He just didn't expect it to happen before spring training even started. So sort of a combination of the two?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Thanks for posting the timeline. Wacha as an ERod replacement makes more sense. But I think Wacha/Hill also make sense if Bloom was thinking they'd need SP reinforcements in the (likely) event that Sale missed some time during the season. He just didn't expect it to happen before spring training even started. So sort of a combination of the two?
I can totally believe that Wacha and Hill (and Paxton) were signed with the idea that someone would end up on the IL at some point, perhaps multiple guys over the course of 162 games. Rotations/seasons like the 2004 Red Sox (original 5 making 157 total starts) just don't happen that often. It didn't even have to be Sale he had in mind. Injuries are an expected part of the game, but it's not possible to predict when they'll come or who will be impacted.
 

Rovin Romine

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Thanks for posting the timeline. Wacha as an ERod replacement makes more sense. But I think Wacha/Hill also make sense if Bloom was thinking they'd need SP reinforcements in the (likely) event that Sale missed some time during the season. He just didn't expect it to happen before spring training even started. So sort of a combination of the two?
I remember some chatter about Hill having bullpen experience, and talk of "flexibility" with him and Wacha, but I don't know if that was just SoSH speculation or from the Sox.

But when Sale went down they were both locks for the rotation. Hill's done nothing but start since 2015. Likewise the vast majority of Wacha's career was starting.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Clearly, the answer was to sign Martin Perez, Tyler Anderson, and Johnny Cueto. As we all said at the time.

Kidding, of course. But it does highlight, like R(S)HF says, how tough to predict it all can be.
 

AB in DC

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I think people are overthinking this. When your four best potential starters entering the year (Sale/Eovaldi/Houck/Whitlock) combine for 33 starts and 161 IP in those starts, you're not going to win many games.

Wacha was a great find, but Pivetta isn't any better than a SP4 and Hill is the dictionary definition of "journeyman". That's what we got.
 

nvalvo

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Wacha was a great find, but Pivetta isn't any better than a SP4 and Hill is the dictionary definition of "journeyman". That's what we got.
Pivetta's IP totals make him much more than an SP4. He's 39th in baseball by fWAR and 46th in rWAR among qualified SP. He's not an ace, but that's not a number 4.

This characterization seems off to me, but your broader point is exactly right.
 

chawson

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Wacha was a great find, but Pivetta isn't any better than a SP4 and Hill is the dictionary definition of "journeyman". That's what we got.
Pivetta's IP totals make him much more than an SP4. He's 39th in baseball by fWAR and 46th in rWAR among qualified SP. He's not an ace, but that's not a number 4.

This characterization seems off to me, but your broader point is exactly right.
Pivetta seems roughly as valuable as Porcello was at the same age. Here are their age 28-29 seasons:

Pivetta ‘21-22: 320.2 IP, 4.43 ERA, 103 ERA-, 24.5 K%, 9.4 BB%, 1.32 HR/9, 4.25 FIP
Porcello ‘17-18: 394.2 IP, 4.47 ERA, 99 ERA-, 21.9 K%, 5.7 BB%, 1.48 HR/9, 4.32 FIP

Of course, we’re not paying Pivetta $20 million a year.

I’ve wondered what we might have gotten back for Porcello had we traded him after his Cy-winning 2016. Pivetta doesn’t have that kind of luster and he’s become a plenty valuable innings-eater. But like with Porcello, I do wonder if it’s time to cut bait.
 
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themactavish

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Pivetta seems roughly as valuable as Porcello was at the same age. Here are their age 28-29 seasons:

Pivetta ‘21-22: 320.2 IP, 4.43 ERA, 103 ERA-, 24.5 K%, 9.4 BB/9, 1.32 HR/9, 4.25 FIP
Porcello ‘17-18: 394.2 IP, 4.47 ERA, 99 ERA-, 21.9 K%, 5.7 BB/9, 1.48 HR/9, 4.32 FIP

Of course, we’re not paying Pivetta $20 million a year.

I’ve wondered what we might have gotten back for Porcello had we traded him after his Cy-winning 2016. Pivetta doesn’t have that kind of luster and he’s become a plenty valuable innings-eater. But like with Porcello, I do wonder if it’s time to cut bait.
Oops. That 9.4 BB/9 must be a mistake. He walks too many hitters, but he's only walked 67 in 170.2 innings, and 65 in 155 last year, so about 3.65 per 9 innings (unless I misunderstand here).
 

chawson

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Oops. That 9.4 BB/9 must be a mistake. He walks too many hitters, but he's only walked 67 in 170.2 innings, and 65 in 155 last year, so about 3.65 per 9 innings (unless I misunderstand here).
Whoops, thanks. I meant BB%, not BB/9.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Pivetta seems roughly as valuable as Porcello was at the same age. Here are their age 28-29 seasons:

Pivetta ‘21-22: 320.2 IP, 4.43 ERA, 103 ERA-, 24.5 K%, 9.4 BB%, 1.32 HR/9, 4.25 FIP
Porcello ‘17-18: 394.2 IP, 4.47 ERA, 99 ERA-, 21.9 K%, 5.7 BB%, 1.48 HR/9, 4.32 FIP

Of course, we’re not paying Pivetta $20 million a year.

I’ve wondered what we might have gotten back for Porcello had we traded him after his Cy-winning 2016. Pivetta doesn’t have that kind of luster and he’s become a plenty valuable innings-eater. But like with Porcello, I do wonder if it’s time to cut bait.
After his shitty first 5 games he’s had an ERA of 3.85. He’s a good pitcher. A solid affordable mid-rotation guy that doesn’t get injured. He’s had incredibly good stretches and incredibly shitty stretches. But he’s one of the few starters on this team you can almost count on to give you a quality start every fifth game.
You keep that guy!!! WTF?!?!?
 

jon abbey

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After his shitty first 5 games he’s had an ERA of 3.85. He’s a good pitcher. A solid affordable mid-rotation guy that doesn’t get injured. He’s had incredibly good stretches and incredibly shitty stretches. But he’s one of the few starters on this team you can almost count on to give you a quality start every fifth game.
You keep that guy!!! WTF?!?!?
BOS is a hard to believe 20-45 in the AL East and one of the reasons is Pivetta:

View: https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/1573746921856008195?s=46&t=Ygjto4tBbYmVaJTsfQSVJg
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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soxin6

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DeadlySplitter

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Going to answer this thread unironically: we win out, Seattle loses out, Baltimore and Twins also lose enough.

That's it folks, the elimination number is 1.
 

jon abbey

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The Sox automatically improve next year just by playing their division leas.
This is a good point I actually forgot, teams will play 52 division games down from 76, so indeed less of a factor.
 

scottyno

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The Sox automatically improve next year just by playing their division leas. In all seriousness, Pivetta is a reliable fifth starter and that is about it. This rotation needs a lot of help and I am not confident that Chris Sale will be all that much help next year.
How is a guy that now has a nearly 2 year sample size of being a league average starter a 5th starter?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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How is a guy that now has a nearly 2 year sample size of being a league average starter a 5th starter?
In an ideal Red Sox fan-world where no injuries occur, it’d be fantastic to have Pivetta as a “5” in the rotation but on any other team in the league he’s a solid mid rotation guy. For his cost and ability to not go on the DL (taking in his full season) he’s that.
Eric-Vanning it and taking out his first 5 starts of ‘21 and he’s a 2 on most teams.
But the Sox should have aces up and down who don’t get injured and cost less than $10M per season!
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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"In retrospect we should have kept Perez". The guy who in '21 had a 6.47 ERA and 6.19 FIP after June 3 and got shelled in the postseason? No GM on earth would have offered him a chance to return. The "Bloom is cheap" naysayers would have screamed all offseason.
 

chawson

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No doubt he’s been shitty against the ALE. Would you bet he improves in ‘23 against them or gets even worse? I’d definitely go with “better”. He was balls against the Rays in ‘21 playoffs and very good against Houston.
I’d put my money on a general improvement for ‘23
I’d bet another pitcher we control longer — Crawford, maybe? — could put up the same overall numbers and use the opportunity to show they can stick.

Pivetta to the Twins for Kepler makes a lot of sense to me. They probably don’t want to spend $7M on him when they have Larnach and Wallner (and Kirilloff and Cave) ready to go. Pivetta is cheap, durable and makes a good replacement for Bundy and Archer. We really need a right fielder, unless you want to pencil Refsnyder in there full-time.

Again, this is conditional on Wacha and Eovaldi returning, and maybe Paxton too. Making Pivetta available in a modest deal is one of the pluses of keeping both those guys around. I'd still try hard to sign one of deGrom, Kluber, Heaney, Anderson, Eflin, Quintana, Archer or Hill (or Paxton if he takes his player option), but a rotation of Sale, Eovaldi, Wacha, Bello, Whitlock and maybe someone else, with Crawford in the wings, uses our resources better and makes more sense long-term.
 
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chawson

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Why not just keep Pivetta and use the $19M that they’d spend on Wacha or Eovaldi on a RF?
Who's that?

Outfielder free agents: Benintendi, Bradley Jr., Brantley, Calhoun, Dickerson, Duvall, Gallo, Gamel, Grossman, Haniger, Jankowski, Judge, Kiermaier, Myers, Naquin, Nimmo, Pederson, Peralta, Pham, Pinder, Piscotty, Pollock, Upton.

Keep in mind that besides being a dead pull hitter with no power toward the Green Monster, Nimmo doesn't play right field.
 

Rovin Romine

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Why not just keep Pivetta and use the $19M that they’d spend on Wacha or Eovaldi on a RF?
Because the entire point is to trade a starter you've got two years of control over, for one year of a guy who has been league average in hitting just twice in his carer (including 40 something games in 2020).

It makes perfect sense if you're huffing something, I'd expect.
 

chawson

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Because the entire point is to trade a starter you've got two years of control over, for one year of a guy who has been league average in hitting just twice in his carer (including 40 something games in 2020).

It makes perfect sense if you're huffing something, I'd expect.
Are you talking about Kepler? Because you’d have him for two years, not one. He’s got a 2024 club option.

Remember that Kepler is one of the players likeliest to benefit from a banned shift as explained here. He also leads MLB right fielders with a +20 OAA over 2021-22.

What you ideally want in right field is a bridge to Miguel Bleis. He’s probably up in 2026 but you could see a path for 2025. Outside of signing Judge or rolling with Cordero, you’re gonna have to make a trade for that position, and a Kepler/Refsnyder tandem is one of the best options. (A popular-on-this-board option is signing Haniger, but he seems to have lost several steps in right field — he’s -6 OAA in ‘21-22 — and generally can’t stay healthy.)
 

Rovin Romine

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Unnecessary
Point taken - I won't judge this bold-faced prediction too quickly or harshly.

I'll put a pin in "Shift-Ban Phoenix Kepler" Outperforming Pivetta.

Because I guess that's possible. It's from the same very self-confident analytical mind that peppered the board with the inevitability of Danny Santana, Franchy Cordero hitting 35HRs out of the #5 spot, and who couldn't remind everyone enough that Enrique Hernandez is one of the top players in baseball. Due to modern statistics. E.g.,

If you think my enthusiasm for Kiké Hernández, or to a lesser extent, Cordero and Santana is arbitrarily derived, I suggest you spend some more time with modern statistics.
So, I think it's just super that we'll be getting more of this sort of thing.
 

BaseballJones

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After a wonderful sweep at the hands of the Yankees in the Bronx (every game was close), here's where they're at vs. the AL East:

vs Bal: 7-8
vs NYY: 6-13
vs TB: 4-12
vs Tor: 3-13

TOT: 20-46 (.303)

Unfathomably bad. As in, you almost have to TRY to lose in order to have this kind of winning percentage. Their record against non-AL East: 52-34 (.605) - That's a 98 win pace against non-AL East opponents. If somehow they had just managed to go .500 in the division, they'd be 85-67 right now and in the playoffs.

LOL
 

chawson

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Point taken - I won't judge this bold-faced prediction too quickly or harshly.

I'll put a pin in "Shift-Ban Phoenix Kepler" Outperforming Pivetta.

Because I guess that's possible. It's from the same very self-confident analytical mind that peppered the board with the inevitability of Danny Santana, Franchy Cordero hitting 35HRs out of the #5 spot, and who couldn't remind everyone enough that Enrique Hernandez is one of the top players in baseball. Due to modern statistics. E.g.,



So, I think it's just super that we'll be getting more of this sort of thing.
Do you think Max Kepler outperforming Nick Pivetta is especially bold? He's done so the last four seasons. Do you have another plan for right field?

Also, are we doing this bad faith bullshit again? Lemme know when you get anything firm on Alex Cora's conspiratorial preference for hitting Kiké Hernandez leadoff as a reward for the latter "worshipping him" as a kid. We should get that book out in hardcover by the holiday season. In the meantime, please keep your "traditional statistics" coming. There's nowhere else on the internet I can find how well the Sox did over their last 10 games.
 

Rovin Romine

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Do you think Max Kepler outperforming Nick Pivetta is especially bold? He's done so the last four seasons. Do you have another plan for right field?

Also, are we doing this bad faith bullshit again? Lemme know when you get anything firm on Alex Cora's conspiratorial preference for hitting Kiké Hernandez leadoff as a reward for the latter "worshipping him" as a kid. We should get that book out in hardcover by the holiday season. In the meantime, please keep your "traditional statistics" coming. There's nowhere else on the internet I can find how well the Sox did over their last 10 games.
Once we transition away from actual wins and actual losses, I'm sure your insights will be appreciated for the unheralded genius which informs them.
 

chawson

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Once we transition away from actual wins and actual losses, I'm sure your insights will be appreciated for the unheralded genius which informs them.
Who's talking about genius? I think you're the only person on this board who uses that word, typically to talk about how much smarter than Alex Cora you are.

Like everyone else here, I'm interested in discussing how the team might improve. The ideas in those discussions come from research, which I cite as well as possible -- not my own imagination. Like everyone else, I'm sometimes right and sometimes wrong. If you want to wage a perpetual ad hominem flame war on me because I liked that Bloom signed Danny Santana as a 26th man, or that I (along with some excellent company) was enthusiastic about Franchy Cordero's tools, then I'm happy to consistently remind the board that your ideas, which sometimes border on conspiracy, are typically a lot loonier.

Steering it back to the discussion, I'd be pretty interested to hear what people want to do with right field next year. There's Judge, who is a remote possibility. There's Nimmo, who I don't personally think is a good fit (for reasons I've cited). There's A.J. Pollock, a Connecticut native who I once thought fit well here but now may be too old and banged up. There's Haniger, same. There's a Cordero/Refsnyder platoon, which is passable to me but would surely elicit howls. Or there's a trade.

Seeing how the Sox FO knows they need an above-average defensive outfielder for their "second CF position," and might have a pitching surplus if they keep Wacha, Eovaldi, Paxton and Whitlock (and Bello, Crawford, Winckowski, Seabold, etc.) in next year's rotation, the idea of swapping Pivetta, a league-average starter we control for only two years, for Kepler, a plus-plus outfielder with offensive upside on a payroll-conscious team with a RF surplus. Reasonable minds can certainly dislike that idea! But it's dumb to argue that Kepler is ipso facto a bad target because why? Because I correctly noted that Kiké Hernandez, a player you don't like, had a great year in 2021?
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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12,878
The “pitching surplus” would only be created by the team if they decide to re-up with Eovaldi, Wacha, and Paxton at $50M+ combined salary for next year. Which makes the more reliable Pivetta, available at $6M, expendable? The simple solution is to keep Pivetta and use other sources (either cash, or prospect capital) to acquire a RF. Kepler was lousy his year, but is moderately interesting; I am just not sure why the Sox would move a decent starter to get him.

I would also quibble with the definition of “league average starter“ as it relates to Pivetta. A guy with a league average ERA over a lot of innings isn’t all that easy to find and is better than average, since the league average ERA includes relievers and a whole ton of guys who don’t pitch many innings. Not that I love Pivetta but I think you are underrating him.