Sox Prospect Development Philosophy: how wet do those toes get?

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
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Jul 14, 2005
15,999
Miami (oh, Miami!)
We have some AA/AAA prospects who are expected to be more or less regular contributors someday. Casas, Downs, Duran?
We have some AAA lottery tickets with potential upside: Cordero (on a 1 year deal). Arauz?
We have some low minor guys who are legit prospects, but far off: Mayer, Yorke, Jordan.

What we don't have (at this point) is the expanded Sept. roster to get these guys MLB experience. And it's notable that in 2021, we had pretty much nothing but suck from the AA/AAA crowd (with the exception of Wong who was rarely played.) We had our best emergency contributions from the likes of Iglesias and Shaw.

Oddly, our 2022 roster may likely have need for speed (Duran), a 4th OF (Duran/Cordero), a 2B/IF utility guy (Downs/Arauz), and, depending on how hitty/slumpy some are, power off the bench (Casas/Cordero). Especially if Dalbec slumps.

So, the question is, if you're Bloom, do you start keeping guys in AAA till they're absolutely ready for sure (ready to bite the bullet if there are significant MLB adjustment pains), or do you start burning options and trying to fit them in as role players and injury replacements? If the second, do you try to load up the opening-day roster with Rule 5 guys and utility players?

I may not have phrased the questions well, but essentially, how do you start getting these guys exposed to ML pitching?

Or at least more ready to deal with it when they arrive?
 

Diamond Don Aase

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Jan 16, 2001
735
Merrimack Valley
So, the question is, if you're Bloom, do you start keeping guys in AAA till they're absolutely ready for sure (ready to bite the bullet if there are significant MLB adjustment pains), or do you start burning options and trying to fit them in as role players and injury replacements? If the second, do you try to load up the opening-day roster with Rule 5 guys and utility players?
This is a great question and an important lens for viewing off-season transactions but options should be a minor consideration for most of the mentioned players that could play a major-league role this season. Options are burned when a player on the 40-man roster is sent to the minor leagues (and spends 20 consecutive days on assignment there), not when a player is brought to the major leagues.

If injury or prolonged ineffectiveness compelled the Red Sox to promote Casas and therefore add him to the 40-man roster, then returning Casas to the minors would burn an option that otherwise would have been unused this season. For players like Bello and Downs that already are on the 40-man roster, though, they will very likely burn an option this season regardless of whether they spend a day on the 26-man roster.
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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Jan 13, 2021
2,710
I think they need to upgrade the 40-man and have players who can be called up and actually help. Last year they needed a 1b and OF a few times and had nobody on the 40-man to fill the role. In an alternate universe, it could have cost them a playoff spot.

They are currently wasting, IMO, 40-man roster spots on guys like Jeisson Rosario and Hudson Potts who aren’t ready to help now and don’t have much upside. I’d expect this to change after the rule 5 but I’d focus on trying to have more AAAA-types, major league ready depth at positions where the big league club isn’t strong or deep.
 

NDame616

will bailey
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Jul 31, 2006
1,833
While this is an interesting topic to dive into, keep in mind in about 3 days everything we know about options/arbitration/team control could be completely changed