Starting Rotation '21

Bertha

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Was it Remy and Eck recently saying the umps no longer do the mud rub pre-game? They outsource to the clubhouse staff. Seems ironic the umpire union will fight the threat of robo umps, but have delegated this job that they apparently are “specifically trained” to do.
 

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Was it Remy and Eck recently saying the umps no longer do the mud rub pre-game? They outsource to the clubhouse staff. Seems ironic the umpire union will fight the threat of robo umps, but have delegated this job that they apparently are “specifically trained” to do.
Joe Castig said that the umpires haven’t done it for 15 years, fwiw
 

YTF

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OK, so this is probably, mostly rhetorical, but for decades MLB has been applying this magical mud elixir on their smooth, slick balls out of necessity for others to get a firm grip on said balls. With all of their experimental, fucking around with the ball in an attempt to influence the game they never had any interest in the preparation of the hide used for making the balls pertaining to a finished product that is easier to grip?
 

Apisith

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Any idea on velocity? That’s something I’m still worried about given his diminished velocity in 2019. It’s not like he was prime Sale before surgery.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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No word here about Rodriguez yesterday? He wasn't great but he did pitch an old fashioned quality start, picked up a W against our rivals and was better than the MFY's $30million man.
If he can keep doing just that 6 innings, two runs allowed, limited BB's allowed that's a giant step forward.
 

burstnbloom

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No word here about Rodriguez yesterday? He wasn't great but he did pitch an old fashioned quality start, picked up a W against our rivals and was better than the MFY's $30million man.
If he can keep doing just that 6 innings, two runs allowed, limited BB's allowed that's a giant step forward.
He was pretty good. @redsoxstats on twitter had an interesting tweet before the start about how unlucky Eddie has been and then posted an excruciating video of dribblers getting through the infield over his bad stretch. I expect more results like yesterday going forward.

View: https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/1409130873069387781?s=20


In Eduardo Rodriguez's last 8 starts he has a 7.94 ERA with a .363 FIP and 3.62 xFIP. Batters have a .436 BABIP and only 53% of base runners have been stranded on base. League average is .293 and 72% This year he has a career high strikeout rate and career low walk rate.

He follows up with a thread of evidence backing up that he's been the unluckiest starter in baseball.
 

donutogre

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I am definitely pleased with Eduardo's last start... it wasn't perfect, but it was a big step in the right direction. Maybe it wasn't the prettiest, but the results were definitely there. Nate also looked great this turn.
 

soxhop411

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So yah. Give Richards a “IL” stint to get his shit figured out. Just call it a dead arm or something.

Clearly something is not right.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Whats not right is the loss of sticky stuff killed his spin rate. He needs some time to figure it out in the minors.
He's almost afraid of throwing the ball at this point for lack of grip.

The ideal scenario was for the rotation to be good enough to get through June before Houck was brought up. His IL stint has kept his workload even lighter, but he's now two starts into his return. Time to bring him up and give him a few turns.
 

Apisith

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Richards is a real DFA candidate now. You can’t let him take turns in the rotation while learning how to pitch on the fly. We’re in a tight division race. Send him down with a phantom injury and if he doesn’t figure it out, he has to go. He’s not the pitcher that was signed, not the pitcher that he’s been his whole career.
 

cantor44

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Richards is a real DFA candidate now. You can’t let him take turns in the rotation while learning how to pitch on the fly. We’re in a tight division race. Send him down with a phantom injury and if he doesn’t figure it out, he has to go. He’s not the pitcher that was signed, not the pitcher that he’s been his whole career.
Cora showed real restraint not pulling him in the second inning. I think he was ready to give the game to save the bullpen some wear and tear and that may indeed have been wise. Not sure how he didn't react out of sheer rage after the third home run in less than 2 innings. But Richards pulled it together. Though, yeah, something ain't right with him (just the sticky stuff?) ....
 

Niastri

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After Merrifield homered in the second, Richards faced 17 batters, gave up 4 singles and got 14 outs, including the double play. Only 6 balls left the infield... including some groundball singles.

He went from a batting practice pitcher to a dominant one during an inning!

Whatever he did, the Royals couldn't figure him out, and just pounded his pitches into the dirt.

Really weird, probably not repeatable, outing.
 
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TonyPenaNeverJuiced

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Boston Red Sox’s Garrett Richards reinvents pitch mix in real time with changeup he learned between starts, slow curveball: ‘I’m trying to make the best of it’
The Article I Just Linked To said:
The righty threw 26 changeups -- a pitch he said he learned in the days since his last start Wednesday against the Rays -- and introduced a slow, looping curveball that averaged 69.7 mph -- 9.9 mph fewer than he had averaged with the pitch all season. The shape of that pitch even surprised Richards, who said throwing it that slowly was not part of his pre-start plan.

...

“Just trying to figure out how to pitch again, man,” Richards said. “Stay in the zone, be competitive and give us a chance to win. That’s the only thing I care about.
 

Van Everyman

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Some of the quotes from Speier’s piece on Richards’ outing are pretty interesting:

He grabbed the rosin bag and squeezed it so hard it seemed he wanted to turn it back from dust into solid rock. In the dugout between innings, he jammed his arm into a bucket of ice.

“Your arm stops sweating for a short period of time,” Richards said of the ice. “I need to stop sweating. If I can stop sweating, everything will be fine.”
On the mound, Richards likewise sought something — anything — different, better. He expanded and reinvented his typical arsenal – mid-90s four-seam fastball, high-80s slider, high-70s curveball — by integrating high-80s changeups, a pitch that relies on diminishing rather than amplifying spin.

“A pitch I learned literally four days ago,” he joylessly revealed.
“Just trying to figure out how to pitch again,” he said. “I’ve never had to make this kind of change in my whole career. I’m just trying to make the best of it.”
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/06/28/sports/garrett-richardss-mid-game-adjustments-help-red-sox-top-royals/

I know he’s been a mess and some people are seeing him as a poster boy for What’s Wrong With the Game but I kind of find Richards’ candor about how hard it is to pitch without this stuff refreshing. Certainly compared with a guy like Gerrit Cole who was a completely unaccountable weasel when he was asked about it a few weeks ago.
 

YTF

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My nonprofessional take on Richards is that this grip thing is so deep in his head now that it's more mental than the loss of the use of foreign substance. There's no doubt the loss of this has real affect on pitchers, perhaps some more than others, but Richards is starting to act like a junkie going through withdrawal.
 

uk_sox_fan

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Any idea on velocity? That’s something I’m still worried about given his diminished velocity in 2019. It’s not like he was prime Sale before surgery.
168 I heard. He's a pitcher, part yogi and part recluse. Impressively liberated from our opulent life-style, Sale's deciding about yoga—and his future in baseball.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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My nonprofessional take on Richards is that this grip thing is so deep in his head now that it's more mental than the loss of the use of foreign substance. There's no doubt the loss of this has real affect on pitchers, perhaps some more than others, but Richards is starting to act like a junkie going through withdrawal.
I agree. Unless he has a weird combination of slick smooth skin and excessive sweat, he should be able to get a reasonably strong grip on the ball with rosin. Most every other pitcher does. Pedro was on MLB Network demonstrating how he used rosin to help him grip and said the key was mixing it with sweat, not trying to get dry.

Honestly, I think Richards may have stumbled into a solution with the ice bath between innings. Not necessarily for the cooling effect, but because the water cleans up the greasy sweat that builds up. Combine that with the rosin and he might find a comfort level. He just has to get his brain to recognize that it's working and proceed normally.
 

JimD

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I'm not sure a phantom IL stint would do him any good - he'd likely get tattooed in AAA.
 

Niastri

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I think he already got upon the solution: invent new pitches between every start. They can't scout you that way... Instant advantage!

Crazy how lost he sounds. I rarely feel bad for a professional in any sport, but this wasn't random luck or collapse of skills, it was an arbitrary in season rule "enforcement" change that made it harder on him.
 

BaseballJones

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Some of the quotes from Speier’s piece on Richards’ outing are pretty interesting:





https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/06/28/sports/garrett-richardss-mid-game-adjustments-help-red-sox-top-royals/

I know he’s been a mess and some people are seeing him as a poster boy for What’s Wrong With the Game but I kind of find Richards’ candor about how hard it is to pitch without this stuff refreshing. Certainly compared with a guy like Gerrit Cole who was a completely unaccountable weasel when he was asked about it a few weeks ago.
So he struggled in the cold because he'd never pitched in the cold before ("I didn't even bring a jacket with me"), and now he struggles in the heat because he sweats too much. Sounds like there's a small window there that's perfect for him, and everything else throws him off.

But still...if he managed to figure something out last night, that's good.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Definitely impressed that he was able to push through and had almost 4 dominant innings after those first two shitshow innings. If he figured something out after the 2nd and can bring it to his next outing.... fantastic. Obviously quite worrisome if this is what he is- even in the overall line at less than 6 innings and 5 runs for an average.
Would he be able to go to the bullpen or would he at least be able to displace Andriese as an overpaid mop-up guy?
 

Yo La Tengo

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He was pretty good. @redsoxstats on twitter had an interesting tweet before the start about how unlucky Eddie has been and then posted an excruciating video of dribblers getting through the infield over his bad stretch. I expect more results like yesterday going forward.

View: https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/1409130873069387781?s=20


In Eduardo Rodriguez's last 8 starts he has a 7.94 ERA with a .363 FIP and 3.62 xFIP. Batters have a .436 BABIP and only 53% of base runners have been stranded on base. League average is .293 and 72% This year he has a career high strikeout rate and career low walk rate.

He follows up with a thread of evidence backing up that he's been the unluckiest starter in baseball.
These stats are amazing. Here is the follow-up from that twitter thread:

He has a .297 BA allowed and .233 expected, the biggest difference among 180 pitchers.
He has a .491 SLG allowed and .372 expected, the biggest difference among 180 pitchers.
He has a 6.07 ERA and 3.31 expected, the biggest difference among 180 pitchers.
 

shaggydog2000

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These stats are amazing. Here is the follow-up from that twitter thread:

He has a .297 BA allowed and .233 expected, the biggest difference among 180 pitchers.
He has a .491 SLG allowed and .372 expected, the biggest difference among 180 pitchers.
He has a 6.07 ERA and 3.31 expected, the biggest difference among 180 pitchers.
If it wasn't for bad luck, he'd have no luck at all.
 

jtn46

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I agree. Unless he has a weird combination of slick smooth skin and excessive sweat, he should be able to get a reasonably strong grip on the ball with rosin. Most every other pitcher does. Pedro was on MLB Network demonstrating how he used rosin to help him grip and said the key was mixing it with sweat, not trying to get dry.

Honestly, I think Richards may have stumbled into a solution with the ice bath between innings. Not necessarily for the cooling effect, but because the water cleans up the greasy sweat that builds up. Combine that with the rosin and he might find a comfort level. He just has to get his brain to recognize that it's working and proceed normally.
Bauer talks a lot about how for some players sweat and rosin does this but not for others. Seems for Richards it doesn’t.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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If only there was a large tarp of some kind...

When the new enforcement was announced, Richards expounded on the rosin bag:

“As soon as I get to the field, I put sunscreen on,” Richards said. “Well, now I can’t do that. On top of that, the only thing that’s provided is the rosin bag on the back of the mound, which, to be honest with you, is completely useless. It does nothing. It barely even dries up sweat. It might as well not even be there. I can’t even think of how many times over the entire course of my career that I’ve gone to the back of the rosin bag.

“It, by itself, doesn’t do anything,” he continued. “I don’t know anybody that just uses rosin. If we can somehow get a rosin bag that actually worked, I think that’s something that should definitely be looked into. I don’t think anybody’s looking for anything over the top. I think we’re just trying to find something that will allow us to throw more strikes and be able to compete.”
Of course, since the rosin bag is there as an absorbent, it would not replace the function of Spider Tack or even a gob of sunscreen. This article points out that rosin + sunscreen was a useful concoction. Rosin by itself? Not so much at least as far as Richards is concerned.
 

bosockboy

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Pivetta has a 1993 Schilling vibe of a guy about to really break out after some early struggles. 2 of last 3 starts almost unhittable.
 

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Pivetta has a 1993 Schilling vibe of a guy about to really break out after some early struggles. 2 of last 3 starts almost unhittable.
Of course, in that third start he was throwing batting practice to the Royals. It's all about command for him, and hopefully he's starting to learn how to be more consistent.
 

grimshaw

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There aren't many things that deGrom isn't the best at this season, but Eovaldi is #1 in the majors ahead of Jacob in HR/9. He's also 7th in BB/9.

That's a big reason why Eovaldi is 3rd(!) in bWAR among active pitchers this season and 13th since 2020. Whether he keeps it up or not remains to be seen, but this is reminding me of Porcellos' Cy Young season where a solid average guy without a very good k rate has somehow been great.
 

bosockboy

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It's not often that you can assess a trade this early on, but my God did Bloom kill it with this one. Pivetta's not a FA until '25 and we still have Seabold working his way up the ranks.
Yep we’ve won no matter what happens from here forward. Workman and Hembree did zilch for Philly, Workman is back with us as a mop-up, and Hembree the same for Cincinnati.