Let's talk about this ballclub.

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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This team is the worst Sox team I think I’ve ever seen. Not a hot take. That’s the reality.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

writes the Semi-Fin
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We need a second humidor,
So as to dry our balls some more.
We need them arid, crisp, and cool
So our castoff junkballers can fool
The mighty, slugging, Devil Rays,
A team we used to like to play,
Back when they were run so sadly,
But now we call them all our daddies.
 

rlsb

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Aug 2, 2010
1,373
16-42 to end 2012 is the record to "aspire". No Red Sox team in history had a worse winning percentage over the final 58 games of any season.
 

Sox Puppet

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Today, Mookie just tied the all-time record for 3-HR games, getting there 1000+ games faster than the other two who've done it as many times as he has.

Jose Peraza almost got his kneecap busted by the first batter he pitched to in a 17-8 loss. Kevin Plawecki came in to relieve him.

2019 vs 2020 in a nutshell
 

nattysez

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I found out today that tanking isn't even guaranteed a high pick this year.


This could all turn out very, very badly.
Pittsburgh appears determined to stay in the cellar and lock the door, so I think it'll be hard for the Sox to qualify for the first overall pick no matter what. And their run differential is third-worst behind Seattle and SF -- there are plenty of really bad teams thus far.
 

Rovin Romine

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Today, Mookie just tied the all-time record for 3-HR games, getting there 1000+ games faster than the other two who've done it as many times as he has.

Jose Peraza almost got his kneecap busted by the first batter he pitched to in a 17-8 loss. Kevin Plawecki came in to relieve him.

2019 vs 2020 in a nutshell
No. Sale and Erod and Price are the difference. Stick Mookie in today, and we lose, 17-13.
 

Rovin Romine

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16-42 to end 2012 is the record to "aspire". No Red Sox team in history had a worse winning percentage over the final 58 games of any season.
There we go. I figured the close of 2012 was close to the bottom of the barrel. Is there an easy way to isolate the pitching/batting numbers?
 

Archer1979

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Yeah, because obviously this is a manager issue. :rolleyes:

It's been a few years since we had a "fire the manager" thread. Maybe you should start it.
No. Not only is not a manager issue, but does anyone realistically think anyone else available could do better?

That said, I never thought of Roenicke as anything more than a one-year placeholder while the Red Sox braintrust tried to figure out who would lead the team long-term after the Houston Astros' cheating scandal blew up in everyone's faces.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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What the hell is up with Devers? I know... SSS..... fucked up year.... but what's up? Sort of banking on him being the future and he's looking lost.
I know Benintendi is injured, but the two of them (10D not as much) turning into consistent All Stars is necessary for this team to be anything at all over the next 5 seasons. If Benintendi continues his downward collapse and Devers is a one year wonder, there' s no way to turn things around any time soon
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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May 20, 2003
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What the hell is up with Devers? I know... SSS..... fucked up year.... but what's up? Sort of banking on him being the future and he's looking lost.
I know Benintendi is injured, but the two of them (10D not as much) turning into consistent All Stars is necessary for this team to be anything at all over the next 5 seasons. If Benintendi continues his downward collapse and Devers is a one year wonder, there' s no way to turn things around any time soon
Devers seems out of shape and completely uninterested. Frankly, it's not a surprise that some of the young players don't seem to have their hearts into it given the team was neutured before the season began with the Mookie trade. These guys aren't robots; you can't expect them to pretend everything is going to be OK when the core of the team is traded for very little return, and for financial reasons only.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I mean, right now the Sox have the worst record in the AL and the second worst record in the MLB, and are getting absolutely blasted every single night out there, and meanwhile their supposed to be franchise player that they traded because they didn't want to pay him blasted 3 HR last night and has an OPS over 1000 and is showing that he's every single bit the superstar for LA we all hoped we would be in BOS.

If you're a BOS player, that has to have a huge demeaning effect on your enthusiasm. The Sox are being nationally mocked because of this idiocy, and at a certain point these guys were bound to check out.

All part of the plan, though.
 

bluefenderstrat

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Give me a break. You're approaching Plympton levels of self-pity and repetition.

Edit: These guys might be looking at a hopeless season, but baseball is inherently the most selfish sport there is, and they've got to play for their stats if nothing else.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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No. Fuck no. Fuck that noise. I will say what I like.

The Red Sox are national laughingstocks. Hell, the lead story on the sports news in Sydney, Australia was Mookie hitting 3 HRs in 3 consecutive ABs.

You think the guys on the team like this? I don't know what Devers was doing out there yesterday, but concentrating wasn't one of them.
 

jon abbey

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Jul 15, 2005
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You think the guys on the team like this? I don't know what Devers was doing out there yesterday, but concentrating wasn't one of them.
I think that was probably 99 percent because he is not hitting, Gleyber had the same problem on Tuesday (has been in a terrible slump and then had an uncharacteristically awful game in the field) and his team is doing fine.
 

Rovin Romine

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No. Fuck no. Fuck that noise. I will say what I like.

The Red Sox are national laughingstocks. Hell, the lead story on the sports news in Sydney, Australia was Mookie hitting 3 HRs in 3 consecutive ABs.

You think the guys on the team like this? I don't know what Devers was doing out there yesterday, but concentrating wasn't one of them.
Devers threw away a ball because he was in mourning for Mookie Betts?
 

gryoung

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Devers seems out of shape and completely uninterested. Frankly, it's not a surprise that some of the young players don't seem to have their hearts into it given the team was neutured before the season began with the Mookie trade. These guys aren't robots; you can't expect them to pretend everything is going to be OK when the core of the team is traded for very little return, and for financial reasons only.
Wow. I sure hope the young players on this team don’t have that attitude. If they do, the Sox are in serious trouble For the foreseeable future.
 

InsideTheParker

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Devers seems out of shape and completely uninterested. Frankly, it's not a surprise that some of the young players don't seem to have their hearts into it given the team was neutured before the season began with the Mookie trade. These guys aren't robots; you can't expect them to pretend everything is going to be OK when the core of the team is traded for very little return, and for financial reasons only.
"Seems out of shape?" The guy came into camp obviously fat. He may miss Cora. Whatever, but he's a grownup, and he didn't take care of his instrument.
 

rlsb

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Aug 2, 2010
1,373
There we go. I figured the close of 2012 was close to the bottom of the barrel. Is there an easy way to isolate the pitching/batting numbers?
Hitting numbers games 105-162 in 2012:
486/1990 = .244/.284/.358/.642 734 total bases avg WPA was -.113 132 BB 421 Ks
I'll work on pitching later today.
 

Twilight

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Nov 17, 2006
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Another 4 game sweep at Fenway, with the visitors scoring 42 runs. What a massacre.

At least the Sox had the decency to score 22 of their own to make it a little less eerie.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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His head's not in the game because he knew the team punted the season before it even began. These guys are only human.

His errors are not those of physical limitations. They're from total lack of concentration.
You said, "it's not a surprise that some of the young players don't seem to have their hearts into it given the team was neutured before the season began with the Mookie trade." Ergo, Devers' mistakes are due to him being depressed (or something) about the team trading Mookie.

If that's how he's going to be, he's absolutely NOT the guy you want to spend huge dollars on.

But I agree that they aren't robots. It does have to be hard playing under these circumstances. But why is Bogaerts playing well? His slash line is better right now than it was in their championship season of 2018. Why isn't Bogaerts depressed?

Maybe they'd all be less depressed if they'd start playing better. It's not like guys like Devers are not capable of it.
 

Salem's Lot

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Jul 15, 2005
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His head's not in the game because he knew the team punted the season before it even began. These guys are only human.

His errors are not those of physical limitations. They're from total lack of concentration.
It does speak to the overall lack of leadership on this team. On teams with good leadership, when a business decision is made, no matter how bad or unpopular, good leaders in a clubhouse will do their best to steer young players in the right direction and demand accountability. There is none of that with the Red Sox currently.

While I don’t think the Devers’ struggles are the result of him being personally depressed that Betts was traded, I do believe that a tone was set that competing for a championship wasn’t the most important thing to management this season.

When you have a player like Devers, who is extremely talented but struggles to maintain and improve his athleticism and conditioning anyway, this situation where he is on a non-competitive team with zero leadership and 3+ months away from the organization because of a pandemic is a recipe for disaster.

Or it could just be that when you’re down 8-0 in the second inning every night because your pitching couldn’t get outs in the Eastern League, it’s natural to mentally check out, which makes team leadership even more important.
 

jon abbey

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Or guys sometimes slump, it’s been 60 ABs. I said it already but Gleyber Torres is another 23 year old superstar who has an even worse OPS than Devers so far and who let it affect his defense this week.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I could be wrong but I seem to remember Cora riding Devers for his mental lapses and working hard on him to keep his head in the game. As you say, Salem, if there's no strong leadership on the team then Devers may well be one of those players to struggle with the grunt work.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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Or guys sometimes slump, it’s been 60 ABs. I said it already but Gleyber Torres is another 23 year old superstar who has an even worse OPS than Devers so far and who let it affect his defense this week.
Jon Abbey, trying to be a reasonable poster...I'm sorry people aren't listening. Of course, you are correct.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Jon Abbey, trying to be a reasonable poster...I'm sorry people aren't listening. Of course, you are correct.
His OPS+ is FORTY SEVEN this year, after 132 last year. His fielding percentage is .841, with 7 errors already. .841! He has 11 hits in 17 games. This is by far the worst stretch of his career.

This isn't just a slump. This is not showing up to play this season. Between him and Benintendi, there's a troubling trend with our young core players in their development, and management should be extremely concerned. These guys may well not have the bright futures we envisioned for them back in 2018, meaning the future core may not actually exist aside from X.
 

bluefenderstrat

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Let's see..there's a global pandemic, Cora quit because of his involvement in the cheating scandal, the season was delayed by 4 months, E-Rod is gone due to CV19, Sale got TJ (which turned out to be great timing all things considered), and Mookie was traded (for whatever reasons, he's gone, he's not coming back, and we'll have to soldier on somehow). That this equals "not championship driven" after the past 20 years under this ownership is ludicrous. There have been incredible highs and very discouraging lows, but the former FAR outweigh the latter. It's about as low any of us can imagine short of Bobby V. coming back to replace Roenicke right now, but there will be better days ahead.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
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I could be wrong but I seem to remember Cora riding Devers for his mental lapses and working hard on him to keep his head in the game. As you say, Salem, if there's no strong leadership on the team then Devers may well be one of those players to struggle with the grunt work.
And we shouldn’t just single out Devers either, Benintendi is out to lunch as well. Loafing after balls to the corner the other night. He should’ve been pulled right out of that game. I don’t care how bad you’re hitting or what the score is, act like a professional.
 

jon abbey

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His OPS+ is FORTY SEVEN this year, after 132 last year. His fielding percentage is .841, with 7 errors already. .841! He has 11 hits in 17 games. This is by far the worst stretch of his career.
Actually the start of his 2019 was pretty similar, it's just he doesn't have another 144 games to go this year. First 18 games last year he had a .638 OPS with 0 HRs and 2 RBIs, 15 for 61 with 12 singles and 3 doubles.
 

LostinNJ

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Jul 19, 2005
451
We can never really know what goes on in the clubhouse, but the possibility of a leadership void sounds like a good (though only partial) explanation for signs of lackadaisical play. Missing from last year's group: Sale, Betts, Price, Porcello, Rodriguez, and (most important) Cora. That's not just a lot of talent to have to replace; it's also a lot of veteran leadership. I know it's not cool among the statistically-minded, but the personality of a team actually does matter. The 2013 team did not look like champions on paper.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Look at the positive - we will have a top 3 pick!
Which sends me down a rabbit hole of 3rd overall picks.

The best overall was Robin Yount ('73, 77.3 WAR) and Paul Molitor ('77, 75.7 WAR). There's a rapid falloff, however: Trevor Bauer is the 12th best 3rd overall pick with only 15.8 WAR. And there's a lot of Dustin Hermanson, Brader Looper, and Kyle Sleeth mixed in there.

10 of the best 11 3rd overall picks were position players, the highest ranked pitcher was Joe Coleman ('65) with 23.2 WAR.

If the Sox get the 3rd pick they better not take a pitcher.
 

brandonchristensen

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Feb 4, 2012
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I’m glad my current pandemic work performance and fitness level isn’t being discussed daily on a message board.

This season is a throwaway. This year is a throwaway. I’m sure a lot of players aren’t playing 100% because they know this season could be canceled at a moments notice, and even if you do win - will carry a big asterix on it.
 

jon abbey

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It's been posted already a few times but it's unlikely (although unknown at this point) that the 2021 draft order will be solely based on 2020 record, it's up to Manfred and probably won't be announced until after the season is done.

"What I do know is that the March agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association gave Commissioner Rob Manfred the power to modify the Draft order after consulting with the union. I'm going out on a limb here, but I believe the Commissioner's Office has much more to worry about right now than the 2021 Draft.

In a normal year, the Draft order is based on the reverse order of winning percentages from the previous season. With the 2020 season reduced to 60 games, a case could be made for aligning the Draft order with the combined winning percentages from 2019-20, or for doing that but maybe placing extra weight on this year's results. Perhaps we could see the first MLB Draft lottery."

 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Which sends me down a rabbit hole of 3rd overall picks.

The best overall was Robin Yount ('73, 77.3 WAR) and Paul Molitor ('77, 75.7 WAR). There's a rapid falloff, however: Trevor Bauer is the 12th best 3rd overall pick with only 15.8 WAR. And there's a lot of Dustin Hermanson, Brader Looper, and Kyle Sleeth mixed in there.

10 of the best 11 3rd overall picks were position players, the highest ranked pitcher was Joe Coleman ('65) with 23.2 WAR.

If the Sox get the 3rd pick they better not take a pitcher.
Yeah, but look at the top #2 picks of all time -

Reggie Jackson,
Justin Verlander
Will Clark
Josh Beckett
Kris Bryant
Alex Bregman
Joe Carter

Also, Machado was #3
 

Max Power

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Actually the start of his 2019 was pretty similar, it's just he doesn't have another 144 games to go this year. First 18 games last year he had a .638 OPS with 0 HRs and 2 RBIs, 15 for 61 with 12 singles and 3 doubles.
And his fielding was pretty bad, too. 5 errors in his first 17 games for a .910 fielding percentage.
 

BaseballJones

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His OPS+ is FORTY SEVEN this year, after 132 last year. His fielding percentage is .841, with 7 errors already. .841! He has 11 hits in 17 games. This is by far the worst stretch of his career.

This isn't just a slump. This is not showing up to play this season. Between him and Benintendi, there's a troubling trend with our young core players in their development, and management should be extremely concerned. These guys may well not have the bright futures we envisioned for them back in 2018, meaning the future core may not actually exist aside from X.
It's not just a slump?

Devers' first 18 games of 2019: 71 pa, 61 ab, 0 hr, 2 rbi, .246/.343/.295/.638
Devers' first 17 games of 2020: 70 pa, 65 ab, 2 hr, 4 rbi, .169/.229/.323/.552

Not a whole lot different given the small sample size. A couple of hits either way and the line looks basically the same.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I mean, right now the Sox have the worst record in the AL and the second worst record in the MLB, and are getting absolutely blasted every single night out there, and meanwhile their supposed to be franchise player that they traded because they didn't want to pay him blasted 3 HR last night and has an OPS over 1000 and is showing that he's every single bit the superstar for LA we all hoped we would be in BOS.

If you're a BOS player, that has to have a huge demeaning effect on your enthusiasm. The Sox are being nationally mocked because of this idiocy, and at a certain point these guys were bound to check out.

All part of the plan, though.
This is WEEI-caller level nonsense. You think professional players getting paid millions of dollars are playing poorly because...they're sad a teammate was traded away? I thought saying stuff like this with no actual evidence to back it up was frowned upon on this site. The team, with Mookie and with Cora, started off with literally the exact same record last year. One can acknowledge that this team sucks and is in the process of a rebuild without having to resort to unsupported suggestions that they're playing bad because they're embarrassed about the Mookie trade or whatever.

Once we put aside the hysterics, exploring the reasons for Devers' slump actually becomes pretty interesting. His LD/GB/FB numbers are almost exactly at his career averages, and he's actually hitting more hard-hit balls this year, according to FanGraphs. There are seemingly two main reasons for his slump. One is simply bad luck - his BABIP is way down despite those harder-hit balls. But more importantly his plate discipline has cratered - he's swinging at more balls out of the zone and WAY fewer balls in the strike zone, leading to an elevated strikeout rate, a reduced walk rate, and fewer balls put in play.

The other numbers that seem out of whack for his career averages are that he is seeing way more balls out of the zone overall, but way MORE first-pitch strikes. This suggests that pitchers have determined that the "book" on Devers is to pound the strike zone on him early and then throw him slop when he's down in the count. It also suggests that Devers should be more aggressive earlier in counts and a little more discerning later in counts. That's very similar to some of the plate discipline issues Mookie faced around the same time in his career. This is something that young batters deal with all the time and that Devers absolutely should be able to adjust to, not some sign that he's permanently broken.

(And as others above note, he started off 2019 with almost exactly the same numbers and ended up with by far the best year of his career.)