Red Sox Rumors - Just Kidding

Jimbodandy

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Well the (admittedly limited) data we do have says his velocity was in line with his prime seasons.
https://www.fangraphs.com/players/chris-sale/10603/stats?position=P

We heard about his pitches popping in the lead up to his being activated too. This would support the idea that he is recovered, so we are left to just worry that he will get hurt again. The worry about his delivery would lead to another UCL injury, which is a thing, but the new UCL should be stronger than the old one was for a while -- ligament replacements are very successful in this simple respect. It's also super important to rebuild surrounding tissues, but I have to think they did that carefully enough. I would say his UCL reinjury risk starts low but rises over time. As to any other injury risk, he's like everyone else and maybe even due for some good luck? We will see.
FWIW, I'm somewhat bullish on Sale, but there is some case history of TJ guys having command problems. Seems velocity generally returns ok, often better, but guys can have issues with command. There a decent piece in Baseball Prospectus on it. https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/31054/cold-takes-command-control-and-tommy-john-surgery/#:~:text=For athletes who have microtears,do give up more runs.

There's also some case history of very tall, lanky guys, particularly lefties, getting out of whack due to the number of moving parts and longer levers.

If I were a team looking to trade for Sale, it wouldn't be velocity or reinjury that worried me. It would be whether he can throw strikes and stay out of the middle of the plate.
 

PedroKsBambino

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He made 9 starts with an era+ of 149 in 2021 after the TJ surgery. While that isn't CHRIS SALE that's still a really good pitcher and if that's as far back to form as he gets it's still perfectly fine.
….and then he stopped being useful and was awful in playoffs. Not saying he’s done—but you are cherry-picking. Sometimes people want to make everything black or white around here…this is a case where there’s some reason to have optimism and some to wonder. Note, the earlier point was there’s questions about durability, so only being able to go 9 starts is not exactly proof he is perfectly fine as a frontline starter.
 
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scottyno

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….and then he stopped being useful and was awful in playoffs. Not saying he’s done—but you are cherry-picking. Sometimes people want to make everything black or white around here…this is a case where there’s some reason to have optimism and some to wonder. Note, the earlier point was there’s questions about durability, so only being able to go 9 starts is not exactly proof he is perfectly fine as a frontline starter.
He wasn't "only able to go 9 starts", he went 9 starts because the season ended after that.
 

jon abbey

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He wasn't "only able to go 9 starts", he went 9 starts because the season ended after that.
No, the regular season ended as Pedro said. Sale got three starts in that postseason and only managed 9 innings total, 8 ERs allowed.
 

scottyno

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No, the regular season ended as Pedro said. Sale got three starts in that postseason and only managed 9 innings total, 8 ERs allowed.
Fine, he went 12 starts then. And his time missed in 2022 had nothing to do with the TJ. There's no reason to think that the TJ he had in 2020 will have any impact on his 2023 season.
 

Rovin Romine

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No, the regular season ended as Pedro said. Sale got three starts in that postseason and only managed 9 innings total, 8 ERs allowed.
Which indicates what?

It does not indicate that the elbow was injured, since we know he didn't experience pain and was able to throw in a) the spring of 2022 before he injured his rib, and b) in the summer of 2022 after his rib healed.

Does it indicate he's only going to average 3 innings and 3 runs a start going forward? Like Steve Avery 2.0? Or that he somehow sucked beyond normal in the 2022 post season?

Well, perhaps people feel that way, but we can look at the actual games:

Oct 8 -
Game 2 of the ALDS - he gets lit up by the Rays for 5 runs in the first inning. ERA of 45.
https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-red-sox/2021/10/08/chris-sale-red-sox-rays-alds-game-2-start-stats-jordan-luplow-grand-slam/
https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TBA/TBA202110080.shtml
Nifty Visual - scroll down it. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/player-scroll/game?gamePk=660932&player_id=519242#pitch_swinging

All pitchers can have crappy starts, and this was one of them. Cora pulled him after 1, given that Houck was ready and Sale had already thrown 30 pitches. If there's a command issue, it's not apparent to my eye looking at the pitch spread. And if there's an injury issue, it didn't prevent them from starting Sale the next available game:

***
Oct 15 -
Game 1 of the ALCS - he goes 2.2 innings against the Astros and gives up 1 run. 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 Ks.
https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU202110150.shtml
Nifty Visual - scroll down it. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/player-scroll/game?gamePk=660896&player_id=519242

Here we see more pitches in the zone, a wild pitch leading to a sac fly.

Sale goes 61 pitches and is lifted with two on, two out, for Ottavino.

***
Oct 20 -
Game 5 of the ALCS - he goes 5.1 innings and gives up 4 runs (2 earned). 87 pitches, 3 hits, 2 walks, 7Ks.
Apart from a solo homerun, he basically had trouble in the 6th: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS202110200.shtml
Visual- https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/player-scroll/game?gamePk=660900&player_id=519242#power_sets



So I think the next question we have to ask is how unusual is Sale's performance? Let's look at that post season to see if Cora ran the starters long or pulled them short. And we'll contrast that against the Rays and Astros, to see just how abysmal our SP was, compared to those elite hurlers from those squads of primo-paid billionaires where the owners care about the winnings, probably because they feels them so muchly. . .oh wait, this is an analysis-post since people aren't just throwing rhetorical hot-takes onto the board anymore. Old habits and all that.

Anyway, Sox starters first, regardless of where the game was played:

ALDS 1
Erod - 1.2 IP, 41 pitches, 2 runs
McClanahan - 5 IP, 82, 0 runs

ALDS 2
Sale - 1 IP, 30 p, 5 runs
Baz - 2.1 IP, 47p, 3 runs

ALDS 3
Eovaldi - 5 IP, 85p, 2 runs
Rasmussen - 2 IP, 33p, 3 runs

ALDS 4
Erod - 5 IP, 78p, 2 runs
McHugh - 2 IP, 18p, 0 runs
____

ALCS 1
Sale - 2.2 IP, 61p, 1 run
Valdez - 2.2 IP, 64p, 3 runs

ALCS 2
Eovaldi - 5.1 IP, 81p, 3 runs
Garcia - 1 IP, 33p, 5 runs

ALCS 3
Erod - 6 IP, 97p, 3 runs
Urquidy - 1.2 IP, 57p, 6 runs

ALCS 4
Pivetta - 5 IP, 65p, 1 run
Greinke - 1.1 IP, 37p, 2 runs

ALCS 5
Sale - 5.1 IP, 87p, 4 runs (2 ER)
Valdez - 8 IP, 93p, 1 run

ALCS 6
Eovaldi - 4.1 IP, 63p, 1 run
Garcia - 5.2 IP, 76p, 0 runs


Hmm. I doubt that will change anyone's feelings about Sale, but it seems that:
only managed 9 innings total, 8 ERs allowed.
Shouldn't be thought of as a serious point in this context.
 
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PedroKsBambino

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Which indicates what?

It does not indicate that the elbow was injured, since we know he didn't experience pain and was able to throw in a) the spring of 2022 before he injured his rib, and b) in the summer of 2022 after his rib healed.

Does it indicate he's only going to average 3 runs a start going forward? Or that he somehow sucked beyond normal in the 2022 post season?

Well, perhaps people feel that way, but we can look at the actual games:

Oct 8 -
Game 2 of the ALDS - he gets lit up by the Rays for 5 runs in the first inning. ERA of 45.
https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-red-sox/2021/10/08/chris-sale-red-sox-rays-alds-game-2-start-stats-jordan-luplow-grand-slam/
https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TBA/TBA202110080.shtml
Nifty Visual - scroll down it. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/player-scroll/game?gamePk=660932&player_id=519242#pitch_swinging

All pitchers can have crappy starts, and this was one of them. Cora pulled him after 1, given that Houck was ready and Sale had already thrown 30 pitches. If there's a command issue, it's not apparent to my eye looking at the pitch spread. And if there's an injury issue, it didn't prevent them from starting Sale the next available game:

***
Oct 15 -
Game 1 of the ALCS - he goes 2.2 innings against the Astros and gives up 1 run. 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 Ks.
https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU202110150.shtml
Nifty Visual - scroll down it. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/player-scroll/game?gamePk=660896&player_id=519242

Here we see more pitches in the zone, a wild pitch leading to a sac fly.

Sale goes 61 pitches and is lifted with two on, two out, for Ottavino.

***
Oct 20 -
Game 5 of the ALCS - he goes 5.1 innings and gives up 4 runs (2 earned). 87 pitches, 3 hits, 2 walks, 7Ks.
Apart from a solo homerun, he basically had trouble in the 6th: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS202110200.shtml
Visual- https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/player-scroll/game?gamePk=660900&player_id=519242#power_sets



So I think the next question we have to ask is how unusual is Sale's performance? Let's look at that post season to see if Cora ran the starters long or pulled them short. And we'll contrast that against the Rays and Astros, to see just how abysmal our SP was, compared to those elite hurlers from those squads of primo-paid billionaires where the owners care about the winnings, probably because they feels them so muchly. . .oh wait, this is an analysis-post since people aren't just throwing rhetorical hot-takes onto the board anymore. Old habits and all that.

Anyway, Sox starters first, regardless of where the game was played:

ALDS 1
Erod - 1.2 IP, 41 pitches, 2 runs
McClanahan - 5 IP, 82, 0 runs

ALDS 2
Sale - 1 IP, 30 p, 5 runs
Baz - 2.1 IP, 47p, 3 runs

ALDS 3
Eovaldi - 5 IP, 85p, 2 runs
Rasmussen - 2 IP, 33p, 3 runs

ALDS 4
Erod - 5 IP, 78p, 2 runs
McHugh - 2 IP, 18p, 0 runs
____

ALCS 1
Sale - 2.2 IP, 61p, 1 run
Valdez - 2.2 IP, 64p, 3 runs

ALCS 2
Eovaldi - 5.1 IP, 81p, 3 runs
Garcia - 1 IP, 33p, 5 runs

ALCS 3
Erod - 6 IP, 97p, 3 runs
Urquidy - 1.2 IP, 57p, 6 runs

ALCS 4
Pivetta - 5 IP, 65p, 1 run
Greinke - 1.1 IP, 37p, 2 runs

ALCS 5
Sale - 5.1 IP, 87p, 4 runs (2 ER)
Valdez - 8 IP, 93p, 1 run

ALCS 6
Eovaldi - 4.1 IP, 63p, 1 run
Garcia - 5.2 IP, 76p, 0 runs


Hmm. I doubt that will change anyone's feelings about Sale, but it seems that:


Shouldn't be thought of as a serious point in this context.
There is no question the bad end of 2021 could be random variance---nor has anyone suggested otherwise that I have read. It also is analytically suspect to throw out 20% of the data in a small sample because you want it to be random variance. It might be---but it also might not be. The reality is that none of us have any idea what Chris Sale is at this point---the guy has made 14 mlb starts in the last three years. Pretending we have the data to have much confidence in either extreme is not credible (or supportable). That's the point a few of us are making---we simply don't have enough data to really know what he will be. I hope you guys are right that he's all the way back to being CHRIS SALE and that is certainly possible....but analytically, that is not something we should have great confidence in either.

The set of players who have made that few starts in a three-year period at his age and come back as good as before is not large. Bret Saberhagen made 15 starts in a three-year period 1995-1997 and then reeled off 175 innings at a 119 ERA+ in 1998 and was even better in 1999---though as a very different type of pitcher than he was before. Mike Soroka didn't have arm injuries and has made only 3 starts combined in 2020-2021-2022...how should we be projecting him? Mark Prior got hurt in 2005, tried to pitch in 2006 in nine starts and never saw the majors again---but was still trying through 2013, so that's a case of "never made it back". Bob Feller missed three full seasons and returned to form---but there was no injury, just military service (and at age 23). There's probably a BP or Fangraphs article on this topic, and that would be interesting input. We can build the list here too.

For me, part of this is "what did Sale show" which is of course highly relevant---and Rovin Romero has done a great job posting that data. A part is also "how probable or improbable is it that he can come back for 165 innings and sustain a very high level of performance" which is different than coming back for a few starts. That's about stamina, durability, and command not just stuff. The end of 2021 is concerning on that front (though not at all dispositive) and the 2022 data is so limited (and in my eyes mixed) and the limited historical comps are also concerning there. He is unique, and history may not predict his performance (both because of his uniqueness and medical progress) but failing to acknowledge all those questions and uncertainty is, to me, also unrealistic.
 
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jon abbey

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Shouldn't be thought of as a serious point in this context.
Any chance you could tone down the condescension by about 98 percent? I speak for many of us when I say thanks in advance.

My 'serious point' if you need one is that Chris Sale has not been CHRIS SALE since 2018. He had a 4.40 ERA in 25 starts/147 innings in 2019, and we all know about his last three years. My point in bringing up the 2021 postseason is that if you look solely at his 9 regular season starts in 2021, the numbers look promising but if you also include the three postseason starts right after those, less promising.

Does that mean he won't be awesome in 2023? It's certainly possible, just saying we haven't seen that version of him in quite some time, well before his injuries. Is he more likely to get hurt than other SPs? I don't think any of us knows enough to have an intelligent opinion on that, some guys seem to get hurt a lot more than others.
 

jon abbey

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The set of players who have made that few starts in a three-year period at his age and come back as good as before is not large. Bret Saberhagen made 15 starts in a three-year period 1995-1997 and then reeled off 175 innings at a 119 ERA+ in 1998 and was even better in 1999---though as a very different type of pitcher than he was before. Mike Soroka didn't have arm injuries and has made only 3 starts combined in 2020-2021-2022...how should we be projecting him? Mark Prior got hurt in 2005, tried to pitch in 2006 in nine starts and never saw the majors again---but was still trying through 2013, so that's a case of "never made it back". There's probably a BP or Fangraphs article on this topic, and that would be interesting input.
Luis Severino is five years younger so possibly not perfectly relevant, but he did come back strong last year after only pitching 18 innings between 2019-2021.
 

Max Power

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There is no question the bad end of 2021 could be random variance---nor has anyone suggested otherwise that I have read. It also is analytically suspect to throw out 20% of the data in a small sample because you want it to be random variance. It might be---but it also might not be. The reality is that none of us have any idea what Chris Sale is at this point---the guy has made 14 mlb starts in the last three years. Pretending we have the data to have much confidence in either extreme is not credible (or supportable). That's the point a few of us are making---we simply don't have enough data to really know what he will be. I hope you guys are right that he's all the way back to being CHRIS SALE and that is certainly possible....but analytically, that is not something we should have great confidence in either.
RR isn't claiming Sale is still the performer he was at his peak. He was pointing out that Sale isn't a particularly large injury risk, regardless of performance. He didn't leave those playoff games early because he got hurt, he just got shelled in the first and was meh in the others. A lot of people are claiming there's no way he can be counted on to be a regular starter in the rotation, but as long as he can avoid bizarre broken bones, he should be out there as much as any non-Pivetta starter.
 

Rovin Romine

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There is no question the bad end of 2021 could be random variance---nor has anyone suggested otherwise that I have read. It also is analytically suspect to throw out 20% of the data in a small sample because you want it to be random variance. It might be---but it also might not be. The reality is that none of us have any idea what Chris Sale is at this point---the guy has made 14 mlb starts in the last three years. Pretending we have the data to have much confidence in either extreme is not credible (or supportable). That's the point a few of us are making---we simply don't have enough data to really know what he will be. I hope you guys are right that he's all the way back to being CHRIS SALE and that is certainly possible....but analytically, that is not something we should have great confidence in either.

The set of players who have made that few starts in a three-year period at his age and come back as good as before is not large. Bret Saberhagen made 15 starts in a three-year period 1995-1997 and then reeled off 175 innings at a 119 ERA+ in 1998 and was even better in 1999---though as a very different type of pitcher than he was before. Mike Soroka didn't have arm injuries and has made only 3 starts combined in 2020-2021-2022...how should we be projecting him? There's probably a BP or Fangraphs article on this topic, and that would be interesting input.
It's perfectly OK to say that because Sale hasn't pitched, we don't know what the next season will hold in terms of his performance.

It is not OK to say that a 9 start 2021 is predictive that he will only be able to make 9 starts going forward.

This is because we know: 1) he actually made more than 9 starts including rehab/ST and the post-season, and 2) the reason why he was limited to the number of starts he had. And that reason is because he was doing the slow recovery from TJS. Which was publicly reported on at great length, and while it had the normal "bumps in the road" his recovery was, overall, in the range of normal and expected.

And since then, in all of his starts and throwing and rehab, his elbow hasn't been implicated in any minor way, let along significantly. If it has, please give that info to the thread. It would change my analysis, as it should change anyone's.

Also, if Sale has any chronic injury that could affect his pitching, please give that info to the thread. It would change my analysis, as it should change anyone's.

But otherwise, the limited numbers we have show he has not lost velocity or command in any way that's obvious or apparent. And otherwise, the reported facts show he has no chronic injuries that are expected to affect his pitching. So really - those facts should impact your analysis, as it should impact anyone's.

Now, I'm not telling you what to feel. Feel whatever you want in the privacy of your own head. But if the mods won't say it, I will. Do better with your posting.
 

PedroKsBambino

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RR isn't claiming Sale is still the performer he was at his peak. He was pointing out that Sale isn't a particularly large injury risk, regardless of performance. He didn't leave those playoff games early because he got hurt, he just got shelled in the first and was meh in the others. A lot of people are claiming there's no way he can be counted on to be a regular starter in the rotation, but as long as he can avoid bizarre broken bones, he should be out there as much as any non-Pivetta starter.
Performance and injury risk are related, though: that he was awful at end of 2021 doesn't mean he was healthy and just "bad" it may well mean he wasn't fully healthy. We have little idea how healthy he is, or what his stamina is.

Severino is a good comp to think about, if one is optimistic on Sale...he's a lot younger and without the build and motion concerns, but a positive example for Sox fans for sure.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Which indicates what?

It does not indicate that the elbow was injured, since we know he didn't experience pain and was able to throw in a) the spring of 2022 before he injured his rib, and b) in the summer of 2022 after his rib healed.

Does it indicate he's only going to average 3 innings and 3 runs a start going forward? Like Steve Avery 2.0? Or that he somehow sucked beyond normal in the 2022 post season?

Well, perhaps people feel that way, but we can look at the actual games:

Oct 8 -
Game 2 of the ALDS - he gets lit up by the Rays for 5 runs in the first inning. ERA of 45.
https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-red-sox/2021/10/08/chris-sale-red-sox-rays-alds-game-2-start-stats-jordan-luplow-grand-slam/
https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/TBA/TBA202110080.shtml
Nifty Visual - scroll down it. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/player-scroll/game?gamePk=660932&player_id=519242#pitch_swinging

All pitchers can have crappy starts, and this was one of them. Cora pulled him after 1, given that Houck was ready and Sale had already thrown 30 pitches. If there's a command issue, it's not apparent to my eye looking at the pitch spread. And if there's an injury issue, it didn't prevent them from starting Sale the next available game:

***
Oct 15 -
Game 1 of the ALCS - he goes 2.2 innings against the Astros and gives up 1 run. 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 Ks.
https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU202110150.shtml
Nifty Visual - scroll down it. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/player-scroll/game?gamePk=660896&player_id=519242

Here we see more pitches in the zone, a wild pitch leading to a sac fly.

Sale goes 61 pitches and is lifted with two on, two out, for Ottavino.

***
Oct 20 -
Game 5 of the ALCS - he goes 5.1 innings and gives up 4 runs (2 earned). 87 pitches, 3 hits, 2 walks, 7Ks.
Apart from a solo homerun, he basically had trouble in the 6th: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS202110200.shtml
Visual- https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/player-scroll/game?gamePk=660900&player_id=519242#power_sets



So I think the next question we have to ask is how unusual is Sale's performance? Let's look at that post season to see if Cora ran the starters long or pulled them short. And we'll contrast that against the Rays and Astros, to see just how abysmal our SP was, compared to those elite hurlers from those squads of primo-paid billionaires where the owners care about the winnings, probably because they feels them so muchly. . .oh wait, this is an analysis-post since people aren't just throwing rhetorical hot-takes onto the board anymore. Old habits and all that.

Anyway, Sox starters first, regardless of where the game was played:

ALDS 1
Erod - 1.2 IP, 41 pitches, 2 runs
McClanahan - 5 IP, 82, 0 runs

ALDS 2
Sale - 1 IP, 30 p, 5 runs
Baz - 2.1 IP, 47p, 3 runs

ALDS 3
Eovaldi - 5 IP, 85p, 2 runs
Rasmussen - 2 IP, 33p, 3 runs

ALDS 4
Erod - 5 IP, 78p, 2 runs
McHugh - 2 IP, 18p, 0 runs
____

ALCS 1
Sale - 2.2 IP, 61p, 1 run
Valdez - 2.2 IP, 64p, 3 runs

ALCS 2
Eovaldi - 5.1 IP, 81p, 3 runs
Garcia - 1 IP, 33p, 5 runs

ALCS 3
Erod - 6 IP, 97p, 3 runs
Urquidy - 1.2 IP, 57p, 6 runs

ALCS 4
Pivetta - 5 IP, 65p, 1 run
Greinke - 1.1 IP, 37p, 2 runs

ALCS 5
Sale - 5.1 IP, 87p, 4 runs (2 ER)
Valdez - 8 IP, 93p, 1 run

ALCS 6
Eovaldi - 4.1 IP, 63p, 1 run
Garcia - 5.2 IP, 76p, 0 runs


Hmm. I doubt that will change anyone's feelings about Sale, but it seems that:


Shouldn't be thought of as a serious point in this context.
McHugh was a reliever/opener and Grienke was battling neck injuries and only pitched 10.1 innings after Sept. 1 and was only used as a reliever in his 1 ALDS appearance. FWIW.
 

PedroKsBambino

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It's perfectly OK to say that because Sale hasn't pitched, we don't know what the next season will hold in terms of his performance.

It is not OK to say that a 9 start 2021 is predictive that he will only be able to make 9 starts going forward.
I agree---and i did not say that. Please quote where I did, or retract the above and acknowledge you're mistaken.

Now, I'm not telling you what to feel. Feel whatever you want in the privacy of your own head. But if the mods won't say it, I will. Do better with your posting.
I am not the one having problems with my posting quality and accuracy. You are in no position to comment on my posting quality, frankly.
 

Rovin Romine

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Any chance you could tone down the condescension by about 98 percent? I speak for many of us when I say thanks in advance.
Sure. But I think you understand I'm not being condescending randomly.

Serious question - why not encourage "many of you" meet "me" halfway?

By not posting half-baked takes that beg for a condescending response. I speak for many of us when I say it's just fucking exhausting to read mountains of snark that's directed at the team we're actually a fan of.
 

jon abbey

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It's also worth noting with Severino that since he basically hadn't pitched the previous three seasons, NY took the flimsiest of injury excuses to shut him down for a while down the stretch. They even put him on the 60 day IL even though he said he didn''t need anywhere near that much time, because guys can't really jump from not pitching to a full season workload and they wanted him fresh for the postseason.

I would guess, based mostly on that, Sale will pitch between 100-140 innings this year.
 

absintheofmalaise

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Now, I'm not telling you what to feel. Feel whatever you want in the privacy of your own head. But if the mods won't say it, I will. Do better with your posting.
You've been asked to dial back the condescension in both public and private. You have failed to do so. Don't post in that manner again please.
Also, we don't need more thread police here.
 

BaseballJones

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It's also worth noting with Severino that since he basically hadn't pitched the previous three seasons, NY took the flimsiest of injury excuses to shut him down for a while down the stretch. They even put him on the 60 day IL even though he said he didn''t need anywhere near that much time, because guys can't really jump from not pitching to a full season workload. I would guess Sale will pitch between 100-140 innings this year.
Since we're here and not really discussing "rumors"... I would agree with your outlook on Sale. But then from last year's rotation....

Boston lost:
- Wacha: 127.1 innings at a 3.32 era (4.14 fip)
- Hill: 124.1 innings at a 4.27 era (4.14 fip)
- Eovaldi: 109.1 innings at a 3.87 era (4.30 fip)

Boston is hopefully replacing those with:
- Paxton: didn't pitch at all last year; I'd assume he could give them ~125 innings in 2023
- Sale: pitched just 5.2 innings last year; I'd assume he could give them ~125 innings in 2023
- Bello: pitched 57.1 innings at the MLB level; I'd assume he could go 150-170 innings in 2023 (he pitched 153.1 total last year)

Now, when healthy (and we don't need to be talking about peak CHRIS SALE here), those bottom three guys are, I think, better than those top three guys. Sale, even at 85%, sure is. Paxton's track record is better than the other three. Bello doesn't, but his last six starts really showed what he can do, after adjusting to life in the majors: 31.1 ip, 2.59 era, 1.53 whip (that needs to improve a lot), 8.9 k/9. He won't put up a 2.59 era in 2023, but he certainly has the ability to be a mid-3's era kind of guy, with improvement still to come after that. The raw talent is there for sure.

But all that still would leave Boston with a gigantic hole in the rotation. Pivetta takes the other spot, but what about the 41 starts and 166 innings started by the trio of Crawford, Winckowski, and Seabold (at a combined era of 6.29!)? Who gets those? Probably some combination of people - maybe Whitlock. Maybe this same trio. Maybe someone else. Who knows. But you'd think that they'd be better than what this trio did in 2022, right?

So back to rumors: I have heard and seen nothing on this front, but I'd hope that the Sox would be pursuing another starting pitcher. Maybe bring Wacha back. Maybe make a trade. I don't know. But I'd sure like to see them add one more starter.
 

Auger34

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Apr 23, 2010
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Since we're here and not really discussing "rumors"... I would agree with your outlook on Sale. But then from last year's rotation....

Boston lost:
- Wacha: 127.1 innings at a 3.32 era (4.14 fip)
- Hill: 124.1 innings at a 4.27 era (4.14 fip)
- Eovaldi: 109.1 innings at a 3.87 era (4.30 fip)

Boston is hopefully replacing those with:
- Paxton: didn't pitch at all last year; I'd assume he could give them ~125 innings in 2023
- Sale: pitched just 5.2 innings last year; I'd assume he could give them ~125 innings in 2023
- Bello: pitched 57.1 innings at the MLB level; I'd assume he could go 150-170 innings in 2023 (he pitched 153.1 total last year)

Now, when healthy (and we don't need to be talking about peak CHRIS SALE here), those bottom three guys are, I think, better than those top three guys. Sale, even at 85%, sure is. Paxton's track record is better than the other three. Bello doesn't, but his last six starts really showed what he can do, after adjusting to life in the majors: 31.1 ip, 2.59 era, 1.53 whip (that needs to improve a lot), 8.9 k/9. He won't put up a 2.59 era in 2023, but he certainly has the ability to be a mid-3's era kind of guy, with improvement still to come after that. The raw talent is there for sure.

But all that still would leave Boston with a gigantic hole in the rotation. Pivetta takes the other spot, but what about the 41 starts and 166 innings started by the trio of Crawford, Winckowski, and Seabold (at a combined era of 6.29!)? Who gets those? Probably some combination of people - maybe Whitlock. Maybe this same trio. Maybe someone else. Who knows. But you'd think that they'd be better than what this trio did in 2022, right?

So back to rumors: I have heard and seen nothing on this front, but I'd hope that the Sox would be pursuing another starting pitcher. Maybe bring Wacha back. Maybe make a trade. I don't know. But I'd sure like to see them add one more starter.
I am pretty sure that the plan is to have Whitlock take some of those starts (not all of them because he will have a fairly low innings cap); I wouldn’t be surprised if Houck is penciled in to make some starts as well…

No matter how you slice it up, they definitely need more depth in the starting rotation. I’m not sure what Plan A was for starters but I would bet a lot of money that this wasn’t it (I think you could say that for the line-up as well. The bullpen seems to be at least close to their optimal plan at least)
 

BaseballJones

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I just posted that I want the Sox to pick up another starter, but bleh. I guess you could do worse (well, you definitely could do worse), but he's really not that good anymore. Averaged just 5.1 innings per start last year, with a 4.34 era (though his fip was better at 3.57). Mediocre whip (1.21). Low-ish k/9 (7.6). He'd be starting his age 37 season, not that far removed from major surgery.

That being said, he would almost certainly be better than the Winckowski/Seabold/Crawford trio I mentioned above. So... yay?
 

chawson

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I just posted that I want the Sox to pick up another starter, but bleh. I guess you could do worse (well, you definitely could do worse), but he's really not that good anymore. Averaged just 5.1 innings per start last year, with a 4.34 era (though his fip was better at 3.57). Mediocre whip (1.21). Low-ish k/9 (7.6). He'd be starting his age 37 season, not that far removed from major surgery.

That being said, he would almost certainly be better than the Winckowski/Seabold/Crawford trio I mentioned above. So... yay?
Kluber's an interesting case study on the difference between fWAR and bWAR. Fangraphs has him at 3.0 wins in 2022; B-Ref has him at 0.7

My understanding is that the rule of thumb is to use bWAR for hitters and fWAR for pitchers, but I can't exactly remember why.
 

radsoxfan

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I just posted that I want the Sox to pick up another starter, but bleh. I guess you could do worse (well, you definitely could do worse), but he's really not that good anymore. Averaged just 5.1 innings per start last year, with a 4.34 era (though his fip was better at 3.57). Mediocre whip (1.21). Low-ish k/9 (7.6). He'd be starting his age 37 season, not that far removed from major surgery.

That being said, he would almost certainly be better than the Winckowski/Seabold/Crawford trio I mentioned above. So... yay?
Was a 92-93 mph guy in his prime, trending down hard. Avg fastball last season 88.9 mph. Throws a ton of cutters, thats also down from 88-89 in his prime to 86.3 mph.

Seems very likely is on the road to being toast, I'd be very unexcited by this signing.
 

walt in maryland

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The best time to trade Sale is at the trading deadline. The Red Sox will get more value. Same with Devers. Also, If they traded both now that says to Red Sox fans they are punting 2023 season. I think they think this team can make playoffs. If not than around MLB trading deadline they might trade both because they will have a higher value.
Do they REALLY think this team can make the playoffs, or are they bullshitting us? I agree on Sale, but if you're trading Devers, the time to do it is now, not two months from when he can leave as a free agent.
 

E5 Yaz

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Was a 92-93 mph guy in his prime, trending down hard. Avg fastball last season 88.9 mph. Throws a ton of cutters, thats also down from 88-89 in his prime to 86.3 mph.

Seems very likely is on the road to being toast, I'd be very unexcited by this signing.
Agreed, it has all the makings of a "last roundup" type of signing. Kluber lives in Winchester (his wife's from there), so Boston seems like a comfortable place to finish up the career.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Since we're here and not really discussing "rumors"... I would agree with your outlook on Sale. But then from last year's rotation....

Boston lost:
- Wacha: 127.1 innings at a 3.32 era (4.14 fip)
- Hill: 124.1 innings at a 4.27 era (4.14 fip)
- Eovaldi: 109.1 innings at a 3.87 era (4.30 fip)

Boston is hopefully replacing those with:
- Paxton: didn't pitch at all last year; I'd assume he could give them ~125 innings in 2023
- Sale: pitched just 5.2 innings last year; I'd assume he could give them ~125 innings in 2023
- Bello: pitched 57.1 innings at the MLB level; I'd assume he could go 150-170 innings in 2023 (he pitched 153.1 total last year)

Now, when healthy (and we don't need to be talking about peak CHRIS SALE here), those bottom three guys are, I think, better than those top three guys. Sale, even at 85%, sure is. Paxton's track record is better than the other three. Bello doesn't, but his last six starts really showed what he can do, after adjusting to life in the majors: 31.1 ip, 2.59 era, 1.53 whip (that needs to improve a lot), 8.9 k/9. He won't put up a 2.59 era in 2023, but he certainly has the ability to be a mid-3's era kind of guy, with improvement still to come after that. The raw talent is there for sure.

But all that still would leave Boston with a gigantic hole in the rotation. Pivetta takes the other spot, but what about the 41 starts and 166 innings started by the trio of Crawford, Winckowski, and Seabold (at a combined era of 6.29!)? Who gets those? Probably some combination of people - maybe Whitlock. Maybe this same trio. Maybe someone else. Who knows. But you'd think that they'd be better than what this trio did in 2022, right?

So back to rumors: I have heard and seen nothing on this front, but I'd hope that the Sox would be pursuing another starting pitcher. Maybe bring Wacha back. Maybe make a trade. I don't know. But I'd sure like to see them add one more starter.
I wonder to what degree Bloom----borrowing from his Tampa roots---looks at this as "innings" as much as 'starters'. Houck and Whitlock are pretty interesting flexible innings guys, for example.

I tend to think they do want, and probably need, another guy who will pitch 100 or more innings. Kluber is ehh...but the goal is "add 125-150 innings" and he can do that in a non-flammable way. Wacha fits that as well. And I imagine with reliever prices going up, Bloom may well feel like adding a low-mid tier starter is more economical, but he's likely playing the market a bit here with some indifference to the profile of pitcher, if I were guessing.
 

E5 Yaz

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Speaking of Wacha, where is he? There was an early rumor that Baltimore was interested, then nothing. After what he gave the Red Sox last season, isn't he the type of guy that would fit nicely in the rotation at this point?
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Jul 19, 2005
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If you believe the reports, the Sox were interested in Kluber in each of the previous two off-seasons as well. What’s different about this year, from his perspective?
 

gehrig

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Apr 18, 2008
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Kluber's an interesting case study on the difference between fWAR and bWAR. Fangraphs has him at 3.0 wins in 2022; B-Ref has him at 0.7

My understanding is that the rule of thumb is to use bWAR for hitters and fWAR for pitchers, but I can't exactly remember why.
bWAR for pitchers only looks at runs allowed. fWAR uses FIP

I don't think there's any reason to look at bWAR for hitters other than convenience. The Statcast defensive metrics Fangraphs uses are generally considered the best, and Baseball-Reference doesn't account for catcher framing at all. Other than that they're basically the same.
 

Big Papa Smurph

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Kluber's an interesting case study on the difference between fWAR and bWAR. Fangraphs has him at 3.0 wins in 2022; B-Ref has him at 0.7

My understanding is that the rule of thumb is to use bWAR for hitters and fWAR for pitchers, but I can't exactly remember why.
bWAR is based on runs allowed. fWAR is based on FIP components (strike-outs, walks, and home runs)
Kluber's ERA last year was 4.34 (ERA+ 84) - nothing great so his bWAR does not look too great. His FIP was 3.57 (his strike out and home runs rates were nothing special, but he lead the league in walk rate) so his fWAR looks a lot better.
 

chrisfont9

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Wondering why the Sox would look at Kluber over Wacha? Of course we have no idea about contracts and such, so maybe that would explain it. But their records are pretty debatable either way. I thought Wacha was sensational last year until he got hurt... but FIP says he was worse than Kluber, presumably because his BABIP allowed was .260. But his hard hit % was way down. Maybe he just really found something with his supposedly altered pitch mix? Kluber OTOH allows a lot more fly balls (27% to 22) and fewer grounders (35%-41) so while his FIP was better and his BABIP shows a bit of bad luck... I'm not sure I'd take my chances with him in Fenway over Wacha.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Dec 7, 2022
1,261
That is really interesting on the difference between bWAR and fWAR. Thank you @chawson for bringing the difference to attention and for others outlining how the differences are arrived at. Really interesting stuff.

Wacha (unsurprisingly based on the explanations given, and again, thank you) shows the reverse "WAR" split of Wacha, with BBRef crediting him as 3.3 and Fangraphs at 1.5. I agree @chrisfont9 that I'd rather take the chance on Wacha, for me it's because of their relative ages. I'd like a bit more stability in the rotation, and I think Wacha is a pretty good bet to give 23/24 starts with an fWAR around 1.5 (his career average) for the next 3 years. The variance associated with breaking in young pitchers and how many innings are going to come from Paxton and Sale makes me like the idea of having a couple of guys in the 2/3/4 slots you know what you're going to get.

Pivetta is one, I think Wacha would be another. The more I look into Wacha's profile, the more I'd like to have him around for the next 3 years or so, assuming you can do so with something approaching a 3/$30m deal (clearly that changes if the number is 3/$60m).
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Wondering why the Sox would look at Kluber over Wacha? Of course we have no idea about contracts and such, so maybe that would explain it. But their records are pretty debatable either way. I thought Wacha was sensational last year until he got hurt... but FIP says he was worse than Kluber, presumably because his BABIP allowed was .260. But his hard hit % was way down. Maybe he just really found something with his supposedly altered pitch mix? Kluber OTOH allows a lot more fly balls (27% to 22) and fewer grounders (35%-41) so while his FIP was better and his BABIP shows a bit of bad luck... I'm not sure I'd take my chances with him in Fenway over Wacha.
Do we know it's a matter of Kluber over Wacha? I don't think that just because Kluber is the name the rumor mill is throwing out there now, he's the only one being considered. He just happens to be the flavor of the day. Which to me only suggests that the player signing somewhere is imminent and his representation is eager to get his name out there to maybe squeeze a bit more juice out of whoever is about to sign him.

As I type this...

View: https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1608150888060784643
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Do we know it's a matter of Kluber over Wacha? I don't think that just because Kluber is the name the rumor mill is throwing out there now, he's the only one being considered. He just happens to be the flavor of the day. Which to me only suggests that the player signing somewhere is imminent and his representation is eager to get his name out there to maybe squeeze a bit more juice out of whoever is about to sign him.

As I type this...

View: https://twitter.com/JeffPassan/status/1608150888060784643
Ha! Ok then...

I was assuming the Sox would pick one from the older/proven stud/iffy future bin, and with Nate gone (getting verklempt typing that) it would be either Kluber or Wacha. But if they move Pivetta then maybe two from that bin is an option.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I just posted that I want the Sox to pick up another starter, but bleh. I guess you could do worse (well, you definitely could do worse), but he's really not that good anymore. Averaged just 5.1 innings per start last year, with a 4.34 era (though his fip was better at 3.57). Mediocre whip (1.21). Low-ish k/9 (7.6). He'd be starting his age 37 season, not that far removed from major surgery.

That being said, he would almost certainly be better than the Winckowski/Seabold/Crawford trio I mentioned above. So... yay?
It's a bit unfair to lump these guys into one unit. Crawford was actually very good and then likely either had a minor injury or a dead arm. Winckowski and Seabold (currently) as pitchers 8 and 9 up for a rotation spot seems like quality depth.
1. Sale
2. Bello
3. Paxton
4. Whitlock
5. Pivetta
6. Houck
7. Crawford
8. Seabold
9. Winckowksi

Who at depth 8, 9 have better pitchers lined up? And there's a very good chance that they're even further down, depending on where Mata, Murphy and Murphy are in AAA.
I'm one of the few people who are okay with the rotation and think it'll surprise everyone. There's still one very big hole on the team and I don't see how they fix it enough to be a serious contender... but there's a few fixes available without gutting the top talent to be in a WC fight.


EDIT- Things have happened....
 

geoflin

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If you believe the reports, the Sox were interested in Kluber in each of the previous two off-seasons as well. What’s different about this year, from his perspective?
If it's correct that last year's contract with Tampa was 1 year $8 M, evidently the Red Sox didn't offer that much. This year they offered more.
 

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
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If it's correct that last year's contract with Tampa was 1 year $8 M, evidently the Red Sox didn't offer that much. This year they offered more.
Yeah, Kluber was over 200 innings each year from 2013 to 2018, then he went...

'19 - 35.2 innings
'20 - 1.0 innings
'21 - 80.0 innings

Kind of makes sense his market would increase after a competent/healthy 164 inning season. Although depending on the value of the team option, this isn't necessarily a raise.
 

Rovin Romine

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Kluber is going to get rocked. It won’t be pretty.
He pitched well in his two starts at Fenway last year, so perhaps they think he'll pair well with the park's dimensions.

Oddly, he's only made 7 starts in his entire career in Fenway. . .feels like there should be more.
https://www.baseball-reference.com/tools/split_stats.cgi?full=1&params=site|BOS07|klubeco01|pitch|AB|

There's nothing alarming there - but in 2015 he pitched a game where Ortiz and Shaw went back to back. The next time through the lineup, he struck Ortiz and Shaw out, only to have JBJ and Hanigan go back to back just afterwards.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Yeah, Kluber was over 200 innings each year from 2013 to 2018, then he went...

'19 - 35.2 innings
'20 - 1.0 innings
'21 - 80.0 innings

Kind of makes sense his market would increase after a competent/healthy 164 inning season. Although depending on the value of the team option, this isn't necessarily a raise.
Maybe throwing 164 innings is a sign that he's due for another breakdown. Especially given that he's about to turn 37.
 

simplicio

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Statcast has Fenway suppressing a couple of his HR this year (and something like 20% up until 2019). And his control/weak contact profile seems like it supports that.
He pitched well in his two starts at Fenway last year, so perhaps they think he'll pair well with the park's dimensions.

Oddly, he's only made 7 starts in his entire career in Fenway. . .feels like there should be more.
https://www.baseball-reference.com/tools/split_stats.cgi?full=1&params=site|BOS07|klubeco01|pitch|AB|

There's nothing alarming there - but in 2015 he pitched a game where Ortiz and Shaw went back to back. The next time through the lineup, he struck Ortiz and Shaw out, only to have JBJ and Hanigan go back to back just afterwards.