The Red Sox ARE good. So now what?

chawson

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Don’t bite my head off, but this prospect surplus may interest the cellar-dwelling team with the worst minor league system in baseball, who currently employ a 3-time Cy Young winner who’ll soon be looking for a smart organization to finish his Hall of Fame career.
 

LoweTek

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I would think the 40 man would be opened up by not resigning several of the guys on one year deals. They are not exactly lighting it up out there. Hard to believe Downs for example, is not at least as serviceable defensively as the players sent out there this year.
 

grimshaw

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May as well do a more thorough list of potential Sox fits that wouldn't cost much in prospects. It's not a ridiculous sellers market for relievers for once. There are several other teams out of it but don't obviously match up.

Tigers
Robbie Grossman is a nice player as a switch hitting outfielder with a career .350 obp. He could fit as a platoon guy/leadoff hitter.

Royals
Not technically out of it yet,(8% playoff odds per Fangraphs) but likely to be.

Carlos Santana as mentioned above. They have no reason to keep 35 year old veterans other than pretending to compete.

Twins

Max Kepler isn't tearing it up right now but has a good track record. He could play anywhere in the OF. Nice contract though.

Taylor Rogers is a dominant lefty reliever they could use as a fireman.

Angels

The Angels are kind of stuck, but Raisel Iglesias makes all the sense in the world to move as a free agent to be.

Phillies They're not technically out of it yet, but it's not looking good once the Mets get healthy and the Braves play to their talent level.

Hector Neris. Another high leverage reliever who will be a free agent.

Marlins

Jesus Aguilar
as mentioned in this thread would be a good 1b upgrade they wouldn't have to sell the farm for.

Nats

Daniel Hudson
. See above with Neris and others.

Pirates

Adam Frazier
might cost a little more than others since he has a year and a half before free agency. He is the more attractive bridge guy since he can play 2b and outfield.

D-Backs

Eduardo Escobar
- Yet another 2b much better than what we have. He's a switch hitter with an expiring contract too.

David Peralta. He's having an off year but would be a good partner for Renfroe.

Rockies

Daniel Bard
would be more of a great story, but he'd still be helpful.






.
 

pokey_reese

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Arroyo should be playing more at 2B and leading off.
Arroyo has a 3% walk rate and almost .400 BABIP despite a nearly 60% GB rate. We can be happy to have been the beneficiaries of his lucky streak, but there is nothing to indicate that it will last, or that he has made any actual improvements. He has below average plate discipline, and should not be leading off, though I guess if it is him vs. Marwin or Kiké... The good news about this team that Chaim put together is that the defensive versatility means that he can target any of three different positions for an upgrade, rather than focusing on just one.
 

billy ashley

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Yeah, there is almost no reason to be optimistic about Arroyo. Just about everything in his profile suggests he's been a terrible hitter this season. He's been worse in almost way than last year, but somehow has at the same time had results 18% better than league average.

He's been a great plug in find from Bloom, but at some point he's going to revert back to being an 80 WRC+ guy. The team talks a lot about how much they value his defense and that could very well be true, but he shouldn't be starting for a playoff bound team.

The best thing that could happen for this team would be for one of Duran or Cordero to stick in the OF so that they can move Hernandez to 2B and slide Arroyo to the bench.
 

YTF

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I'd keep an eye on on Asdrubal Cabrera. Professional hitter in the last year of a cheap contract. Can play 1B. And the DBacks are fading badly in a tough division.
Watching the Houston series it was interesting comparing the performance of the Houston lineup overall to the Sox lineup. Of course this is all small sample size, but year to date Houston's lineup is much deeper, but the top performers are far below what the Sox feature. It really made me wonder what kind of damage the Sox would do with one or two more respectable bats -- I'm sure most of you have wondered the same. The Sox already have solid power, so IF there is going to be an acquisition it probably makes the most sense to look for a cheaper high OBP low SLG target. A quick search of the top OBP players with relatively low SLG, less pre-arb players returned the following names:

  • Carlos Santana (KCR, rental +1 @ 8.8m AAV): .393 OBP/.423 SLG
  • Anthony Rizzo (CHC, rental @ 16.5m AAV): .362 OBP/.434 SLG
  • Robbie Grossman (DET, rental +1 @ 5m AAV): .352 OBP/.387 SLG
  • Kolten Wong (MIL, rental + option @ 9m AAV): .343 OBP/.441 SLG
  • Corey Dickerson (MIA, rental @ 8.8m AAV): .342 OBP/ .391 SLG
Of these options Rizzo seems the least likely -- he has the most expensive contract and Chicago is leading their division.

Wong and Santana both belong to wildcard contenders, but if either team drops out they could maybe be available although with both divisions being weak and both players having an extra year of control it might be a long shot.

Miami is in the basement, but their run differential isn't as bad as their position in the standings. They are still likely to be sellers. Detroit is definitely a seller.

Disregarding the likelihood of being traded, Santana seems like the best fit for the team followed by Wong. Having a nearly .400 OBP guy hitting in front of JDM, X, and Devers would be amazing. Wong could potentially slot in either in front of or behind the big three to lengthen the lineup a bit in either direction. I don't know what kind of price these guys would command though, should they become available.

Dickerson and Grossman are both potentially decent upgrades that should be cheap to acquire and are likely to be available. I can't imagine Dickerson would command much of a return at all.

EDIT: @bsj Asdrubal Cabrera probably belongs on this list as well as you mentioned.

SECOND EDIT: Looking at BABIPs Grossman, Wong, Dickerson, and Santana all seem to be operating at around their recent career norms (although Santana's is still really low). Cabrera is a bit above his recent marks, for what it's worth.
May as well do a more thorough list of potential Sox fits that wouldn't cost much in prospects. It's not a ridiculous sellers market for relievers for once. There are several other teams out of it but don't obviously match up.

Tigers
Robbie Grossman is a nice player as a switch hitting outfielder with a career .350 obp. He could fit as a platoon guy/leadoff hitter.

Royals
Not technically out of it yet,(8% playoff odds per Fangraphs) but likely to be.

Carlos Santana as mentioned above. They have no reason to keep 35 year old veterans other than pretending to compete.

Twins

Max Kepler isn't tearing it up right now but has a good track record. He could play anywhere in the OF. Nice contract though.

Taylor Rogers is a dominant lefty reliever they could use as a fireman.

Angels

The Angels are kind of stuck, but Raisel Iglesias makes all the sense in the world to move as a free agent to be.

Phillies They're not technically out of it yet, but it's not looking good once the Mets get healthy and the Braves play to their talent level.

Hector Neris. Another high leverage reliever who will be a free agent.

Marlins

Jesus Aguilar
as mentioned in this thread would be a good 1b upgrade they wouldn't have to sell the farm for.

Nats

Daniel Hudson
. See above with Neris and others.

Pirates

Adam Frazier
might cost a little more than others since he has a year and a half before free agency. He is the more attractive bridge guy since he can play 2b and outfield.

D-Backs

Eduardo Escobar
- Yet another 2b much better than what we have. He's a switch hitter with an expiring contract too.

David Peralta. He's having an off year but would be a good partner for Renfroe.

Rockies

Daniel Bard
would be more of a great story, but he'd still be helpful.
OK so we're three weeks from the season being half over. I think most of us would agree that the Sox have been a pleasant surprise so far, but most of us see the same glaring needs for this team and there are more than just one or two. This lineup can't continue to thrive while only 5 guys are contributing on the offensive end on a regular basis and while the pitching has out preformed most expectations, there's room for another bullpen arm or two. The return of Chris Sale may help that situation, but that's not a given and do we really know when that return will be? Of the names mentioned in the quoted posts, Asdrubal Cabrerra and Starling Marte intrigue me. I realize that there are internal options to be considered as well, but my question is how long does Chaim wait before addressing a couple of these needs? I honestly think this division is going to tighten up more and a third place finish in the AL east might not be enough to snag a wild card slot. Cap space and trade chips all factor into this, especially when you're trying to replenish the farm. Might Bloom be better of doing something sooner than later? With the changes in the trade deadline a couple of years ago, the some of the potential "sellers" can wait a few more weeks to decide if they truly are "sellers". Likewise, the "buyers" market may get more competitive with teams thinking they still have Wild Card hopes. Factor into all of this the limited call ups in September and those dragging their feet may be forced to accept the team that they have. Might we be ready for a trade deadline thread?
 

bosockboy

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Marte is really a great target. He’s not an ideal lead off guy but he’s getting on base at a .429 clip this year. If we can start getting guys on in front of Verdugo/X/JDM/Devers this offense really explodes.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I don't think Marte will be a Sox trade target, unless they are willing to trade Downs or Duran - who play the same positions he does - in a package for him. That seems very unlikely.

It's more likely Chaim goes the 2007/2013 route, hoping that Duran can play the Ellsbury/X role. And/or the 2018 approach of filling in with veteran role players (Pearce replacing Hanley and the RH Eovaldi to go against righty heavy line-ups in NY and HOU - two underrated DD moves). I think we'll get a late inning BP arm, someone who gives Cora more reliability and match-up flexibility. And a platoon mate or replacement for Dalbec.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I don't think Marte will be a Sox trade target, unless they are willing to trade Downs or Duran - who play the same positions he does - in a package for him. That seems very unlikely.

It's more likely Chaim goes the 2007/2013 route, hoping that Duran can play the Ellsbury/X role. And/or the 2018 approach of filling in with veteran role players (Pearce replacing Hanley and the RH Eovaldi to go against righty heavy line-ups in NY and HOU - two underrated DD moves). I think we'll get a late inning BP arm, someone who gives Cora more reliability and match-up flexibility. And a platoon mate or replacement for Dalbec.
Are you worried about Marte blocking them or do you think the price would be Downs or Duran? Marte would be a rental so the former isn't a problem. The latter seems like an expensive price for a rental.
 

YTF

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Others here are better versed in these things than I am, but if the Sox assume all of Marte's contract (roughly $8 M at this point) and offer Franchy (not FA eligible until '24) , Gonzalez (expiring contract) and Iow ranked prospect is that a fair swap that doesn't impact the the farm? The added $$$ minus Gonzales' contract seems doable and it also frees up a few roster spots.
 
@YTF yeah, I think Bloom should be looking to add sooner rather than later. I don't think the Sox should give up any major prospects though. I'm much more in favor of adding some good value targets that should be cheap. If they can get a Santana, Marte, or Cabrera without giving up anyone noteworthy then that'd be great, but I don't think trading any of our top prospects for a rental is a good idea. That might mean going after some of the more humble targets (such as the ones I mentioned in my post) which shouldn't command much of a return at all.
 

YTF

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@YTF yeah, I think Bloom should be looking to add sooner rather than later. I don't think the Sox should give up any major prospects though. I'm much more in favor of adding some good value targets that should be cheap. If they can get a Santana, Marte, or Cabrera without giving up anyone noteworthy then that'd be great, but I don't think trading any of our top prospects for a rental is a good idea. That might mean going after some of the more humble targets (such as the ones I mentioned in my post) which shouldn't command much of a return at all.
Yeah, I fully expect Bloom to take this approach. I think that this season to date has been a pleasant surprise, but not a reason to kick into full on GFIN mode when there appears to be good young talent on the cusp of being able to contribute in the coming years. One more productive bat helps to stretch out that lineup a bit and might allow one of Kike', Vazquez, Santana and Dalbec to be sprinkled into that mix to avoid a black hole at the bottom of the order.
 

bosockboy

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I don't think Marte will be a Sox trade target, unless they are willing to trade Downs or Duran - who play the same positions he does - in a package for him. That seems very unlikely.

It's more likely Chaim goes the 2007/2013 route, hoping that Duran can play the Ellsbury/X role. And/or the 2018 approach of filling in with veteran role players (Pearce replacing Hanley and the RH Eovaldi to go against righty heavy line-ups in NY and HOU - two underrated DD moves). I think we'll get a late inning BP arm, someone who gives Cora more reliability and match-up flexibility. And a platoon mate or replacement for Dalbec.
He’d be a salary dump. Think Franchy plus maybe Feltman.
 

grimshaw

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I'm a little more wary of Marte and Cabrera because of how much they are lapping career norms at their respective ages.

Marte's walk rate is almost triple his career high, .obp over 90 points higher, slugging over 100, and wRC+ over 50.
Cabrera's is also significantly higher. I doubt he has found it at age 35.

Of the available guys listed, I'd think the most realistic to be high OBP guys since the bottom 4 in the lineup are wretched and whose cost in prospects is lowest. I think Grossman and Santana fit that mold the most. 1b is also not a huge need for most contenders other than Milwaukee and NY.

A power arm would be wonderful - especially Taylor Rogers - but the competition will be high.

I don't think Marte will be a Sox trade target, unless they are willing to trade Downs or Duran - who play the same positions he does - in a package for him. That seems very unlikely.
As mentioned, rentals, especially for non superstar bats don't fetch anything close to top prospects. Scherzer may be somewhat of an exception this season but he's a Hall of Fame talent and a difference maker in a short series. Marte is an above average regular in his 30's with a history of PED use.
 
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Minneapolis Millers

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He’d be a salary dump. Think Franchy plus maybe Feltman.
Uff da. I saw some of the later references to Marte and thought Ketel Marte, not Starling! Sorry for the sidetrack. I agree, Starling would be easier and more sensible (given lower cost) to acquire. Whether they try depends on what they think of Duran in the short term….
 

Cesar Crespo

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Uff da. I saw some of the later references to Marte and thought Ketel Marte, not Starling! Sorry for the sidetrack. I agree, Starling would be easier and more sensible (given lower cost) to acquire. Whether they try depends on what they think of Duran in the short term….
Why would you think it's unlikely the sox would give up Downs or Duran for Ketel? I'd gladly trade Duran or Downs for Ketel Marte. Probably both. He's signed until the end of 2024 for a total of $26.4 million and 2 of the years are very team friendly options.

It seems extremely unlikely that Arizona would want to do that.
 

nvalvo

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Why would you think it's unlikely the sox would give up Downs or Duran for Ketel? I'd gladly trade Duran or Downs for Ketel Marte. Probably both. He's signed until the end of 2024 for a total of $26.4 million and 2 of the years are very team friendly options.

It seems extremely unlikely that Arizona would want to do that.
Yeah, people are floating some fantasyland trades around Ketel Marte. Arizona's bad right now, sure, but there's a ton of talent on that roster (and a ton of pitching on the IL). The NL West is murder, but I don't think they're so far away from contention that it would make sense for them to trade a great player they control through 2024 for anything short of an absolute haul.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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Question tangentially related to the thread: does Worcester’s league still use the old (juiced) ball, or do they use this year’s current MLB ball? I’ve read that the gap between AAA and MLB has widened because of the ball and also because a lot of teams’ pitching is so thin that most of the MLB-quality guys are up in the majors already - hence what’s happening with Franchy Cordero. Possibly something to consider while we wonder how much Duran can contribute later this year.

EDIT: Did my own legwork and confirmed that, yes, it is the old MLB ball throughout AAA.
 
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jmcc5400

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Yeah, people are floating some fantasyland trades around Ketel Marte. Arizona's bad right now, sure, but there's a ton of talent on that roster (and a ton of pitching on the IL). The NL West is murder, but I don't think they're so far away from contention that it would make sense for them to trade a great player they control through 2024 for anything short of an absolute haul.
The trade proposals are for Starling Marte, who has about $8,000,000 left on his expiring contract with Florida, which is going nowhere. No one is giving up a top 100 prospect for a 34 year-old rental who is outperforming his (pretty good) baseline, but he is definitely the type of guy that could be an outfield/lineup upgrade who should be available at or before the deadline.
 

johnnywayback

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Betts and Bogaerts were top 5-10 prospects in all of baseball, so Duran is a notch below. He doesn't have their track record and has more question marks. He's closer to Swihart, JBJ, WMB as a prospect.

Hope for an all-star and settle for a 4th OF. Probably somewhere between the two. It all depends on the power, really.
And the defense. Adding the power to his speed raises his ceiling considerably, but in order to reach it he'll have to stick in CF. I think he's a dynamic enough offensive player to be worth playing in LF, but it's not remotely the same value proposition.
 

joe dokes

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Question tangentially related to the thread: does Worcester’s league still use the old (juiced) ball, or do they use this year’s current MLB ball? I’ve read that the gap between AAA and MLB has widened because of the ball and also because a lot of teams’ pitching is so thin that most of the MLB-quality guys are up in the majors already - hence what’s happening with Franchy Cordero. Possibly something to consider while we wonder how much Duran can contribute later this year.

EDIT: Did my own legwork and confirmed that, yes, it is the old MLB ball throughout AAA.
Dont know about the ball, but Worcester is beginning to give me Lancaster (Bubba Bell and his 800 million OPS) vibes.
 

nvalvo

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The trade proposals are for Starling Marte, who has about $8,000,000 left on his expiring contract with Florida, which is going nowhere. No one is giving up a top 100 prospect for a 34 year-old rental who is outperforming his (pretty good) baseline, but he is definitely the type of guy that could be an outfield/lineup upgrade who should be available at or before the deadline.
My bad: I wasn't clear. I didn't mean in this thread, which I had actually been reading. I meant in the broader baseball media, where there is lots of deeply questionable chatter about the Yankees, Mets, White Sox, etc. acquiring Ketel Marte, which I just don't get why Arizona would do given the roster/contract situation. It would be like Boston trading Bogaerts in 2015 because they were out of it at the trade deadline.

I completely agree with you that Starling Marte should be available. I imagine the package necessary will depend on who all is interested.
 

JimD

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I don't think there's a Bagwell in these PTBNL's.
The real Jeff Bagwell wasn't hard to notice, it's just that we had a GM who was more worried about where he was going for lunch that day than listening to his minor-league staff.
 

thurin68

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And of course the whole PED issue with him still leaves a bit of uncertainty as to what his career trajectory might truly have been.
 

joe dokes

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And of course the whole PED issue with him still leaves a bit of uncertainty as to what his career trajectory might truly have been.
I dont want to detour us all down memory lane, and Andersen was valuable in 1990, but Bagwell put up an 880 OPS in New Britain in 1990 in league whose average OPS was 660. Gorman (or someone) didn't like him because he only hit 4 HRs. For a team that only hit 31 in 139 games. Lou (or whomever) apparently didn't realize that BeeHive Field played like the Astrodome.
 

JimD

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I dont want to detour us all down memory lane, and Andersen was valuable in 1990, but Bagwell put up an 880 OPS in New Britain in 1990 in league whose average OPS was 660. Gorman (or someone) didn't like him because he only hit 4 HRs. For a team that only hit 31 in 139 games. Lou (or whomever) apparently didn't realize that BeeHive Field played like the Astrodome.
I remember reading that one of the Sox minor league staff (Butch Hobson maybe, as he was New Britain's manager) was furious that Gorman traded Bagwell.

IIRC, at least one writer has suggested that supposedly Houston shot for the moon by asking for Bagwell but would have accepted Scott Cooper, and were surprised that the Sox agreed to their ask.
 

pdub

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OP - I'm with you on the Robbie Grossman suggestion. He's on a very modest 2yr/$10M contract and could fit in as a corner OF and leadoff guy. I think it would be a solid depth move.
 

The Slidey Dog

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Maybe this doesn't belong here, but to me the main reason "the Red Sox are good, now what" is the surprising success of the pitching. I am old, so I don't know how to embed links or even what the rules are in doing so, but ESPN has a great article this afternoon about clamping on down on foreign substance use by pitchers. Pivetta, Richards and Perez have significantly outperformed expectations. Eovaldi to a lesser extent and Barnes has gone from good to great. My gut/eye tells me their success has more to do with philosophy of trust your stuff, throw strikes than increased spin rate. Of course I have no idea how to show my work, work I don't even know how to do. This site is full of folks that perform great analysis, I am hoping one, or many, of you would know if the pitchers on the Sox staff have shown a significant increase in spin rate this year vs. the career norms. The reason I ask is I would like to know what to root for in a potential clampdown. If our guys are not showing a suspect increase in RPM, I am going to root hard for a serious MLB league wide clampdown and enjoy watching some staffs implode the rest of the year. If that is the case, maybe "the Red Sox are great, now what?"
 

ookami7m

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Talking baseball at work today between car deals and my GM (who is a big Rays fan) was talking about how strong the AL East is and so I did some quick math to compare:

Division Wins Loss %
ALE 165 149 .525
ALC 153 158 .492
ALW 160 162 .497
NLE 144 156 .480
NLC 157 155 .503
NLW 159 160 .498


So by far the division has the toughest competition and then you factor in the fact that the Sox are 16-6 within the division.

I don't know how predictive that is but it does look nice on paper.
 

nvalvo

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So, uhh, our starting pitching is in free fall. As I'm typing, Pivetta just allowed his fourth HR against Toronto.

This 5 IP, 6 ER performance comes on the heels of a pretty grim turn through the rotation.

Pivetta 5 IP, 6 ER
Richards 5.1 IP, 4 ER
Rodriguez, 4.2 IP, 6 ER
Eovaldi, 5.2 IP, 5 ER
Perez 2.0, 6 ER

Some of this, I'm sure, is just a product of facing Toronto and Houston, teams with deep, powerful lineups. But it feels uncannily like watching the 2020 team, and it's only through some very impressive comebacks by the offense and all-hands-on-deck bullpen performances that we're even 2-2 in that span (and down by six at the moment).
 

bosockboy

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So, uhh, our starting pitching is in free fall. As I'm typing, Pivetta just allowed his fourth HR against Toronto.

This 5 IP, 6 ER performance comes on the heels of a pretty grim turn through the rotation.

Pivetta 5 IP, 6 ER
Richards 5.1 IP, 4 ER
Rodriguez, 4.2 IP, 6 ER
Eovaldi, 5.2 IP, 5 ER
Perez 2.0, 6 ER

Some of this, I'm sure, is just a product of facing Toronto and Houston, teams with deep, powerful lineups. But it feels uncannily like watching the 2020 team, and it's only through some very impressive comebacks by the offense and all-hands-on-deck bullpen performances that we're even 2-2 in that span (and down by six at the moment).
Extremely fortunate to get 2 wins out of that. Possible a couple of them might be going through a dead arm phase.
 

sean1562

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ERod is losing himself millions of dollars right now. He needs a pretty monumental turnaround to even hope for the kind of contract we were worried about having to pay out.
 

Clears Cleaver

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This downturn is a SSS and includes Houston, toronto...and MLB warning about new regulations around foreign substances. Lot of high spin, breaking pitch pitchers were added, right?
 

grimshaw

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This downturn is a SSS and includes Houston, toronto...and MLB warning about new regulations around foreign substances. Lot of high spin, breaking pitch pitchers were added, right?
Perusing Baseball Savant and looking at our full rotation, there is very little to glean from their past few starts. All have had starts with both higher and lower spin rate earlier in the season.

41888
Perez is down a bit but I don't know if 50 makes a huge difference. It's entirely possible he just didn't have good stuff.

41889

This is Pivetta's career as it doesn't have his most recent start yet. Very little difference on fastball/slider, and not much to discern with his other stuff.

41890

E-Rod has been all over the place. Tough to tell if it's mechanics, or injury or whatever.

41891

Garrett Richards is a freak of nature. If he's been doctoring baseballs since at least 2015, good for him for not getting caught. No recent changes either.

41892
Up a bit even. Nothing jumps out. Matches his career as well.

They're facing deep playoff caliber lineups but have at least managed a 6-6 record. It's not really a surprise to me that they are struggling compared to the competition from April through May.

Trevor Bauer OTOH you can certainly see the trend. His lowest rates by far occurred in his last start. This doesn't include getting whacked around by the crappy Rangers today either.
https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/trevor-bauer-545333?stats=statcast-r-pitching-mlb

41887
 
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nvalvo

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I don't know as much about this stuff as some others might, but isn't the unit that varies with sticky tack not RPM per se, but RPM/MPH, the so-called Bauer Unit? My understanding is that while raw RPMs bounce around a bit start to start, the main reason they do so is variance in velocity. RPM/MPH is supposed to be more stable than RPMs.

So, in other words, if Garrett Richards throws a 2600 RPM fastball at 96 MPH, that's 27.1 Bauer Units — good! League average is 24.8.

Travis Sawchick has an article in the Score where he looks into results since the announcements of last week.

We decided to investigate to see if there's been an immediate drop-off in the use of sticky stuff. It follows our hands-on experiment published last week into the effects of several popular foreign substances on spin rate. [snip...]

Statcast data shows that 327 pitchers have thrown at least 20 four-seam fastballs since the start of last season and made at least one appearance in which a fastball was thrown since MLB's crackdown announcement last Thursday. Of those pitchers, 207 (63.3%) had a reduction in their rpm/mph ratio; 112 had their rpm/mph ratio drop by half a point, and 45 had at least a drop of one full Bauer Unit. [snip...]

Without adjusting for velocity, 185 of 327 pitchers (56.5%) had spin losses over the last week, though some were just a few rpm. But 37 had losses of more than 100 rpm. Those declines raise a red flag. Yes, there can be some variance from pitch to pitch and from start to start, but a 100-rpm change is rare unless it's tied to a velocity drop.
So, as I understand it anyways, it's not quite as simple as pulling up the charts at Baseball Savant and looking for game-to-game variation. If you follow the link in the following quote, it looks like what Sawchick has been doing is extracting the pitch by pitch data from savant searches, and then calculating BUs in a spreadsheet.

Cole had the hardest-throwing game of his career Wednesday, averaging 98.2 mph with his fastball. Such velocity coupled with Cole's excellent command is tough to hit before considering spin. Although more velocity adds spin on its own, his raw spin measurements and Bauer Units dropped. His rpm/mph averaged 26.1 from the start of 2020 through May and fell to 24.8 and 25.3 in his last two outings.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Perez somehow was able to make those recent numbers even worse today. 1.3 IP, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.
This is troubling, because if the bullpen starts getting overworked, they are going to start sucking too.
 
I definitely can't speak with any sophistication about the spin rate stuff, so I don't know if what we are seeing might be due to the rotation trying to wean off of the gunk. If it is though it could be a season killer for this team. That's definitely my worry. If it's just a confluence of temporary factors and bad luck then fine, the team can totally come back from that. But if the starting rotation drifts back to 5 guys with ERAs in the 4.50-5 range then the rest of the season isn't going to be pretty.

EDIT: I'll add that a ton of these homeruns are coming on hanging breaking balls. If multiple different pitches are suddenly hanging pitch after pitch, that makes me more suspicious of a systematic problem as opposed to simple bad luck against a good hitting team.
 
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Yelling At Clouds

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Perhaps for all the talk of upgrading the bottom of the lineup, the lineup might need an upgrade more urgently? Should we start discussing (off the top of my head) Matthew Boyd, Michael Pineda, Kyle Gibson, and Jon Gray? (Scherzer left his last start with an injury, before anyone goes there.)
 
Perhaps for all the talk of upgrading the bottom of the lineup, the lineup might need an upgrade more urgently? Should we start discussing (off the top of my head) Matthew Boyd, Michael Pineda, Kyle Gibson, and Jon Gray? (Scherzer left his last start with an injury, before anyone goes there.)
If this regression in the rotation is real and not a blip then this team shouldn't be buying at all.
 

richgedman'sghost

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I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this but please excuse my rant: to make room for Weber on the 40 man roster, Brian Brennan was DFAed. This is an incredibly bad use of resources. Brennan threw 3 shutout innings yesterday and in his brief time in the majors with Seattle and the Red Sox had shown some competency pitching. Weber today continued to show why he is a mop up man at best. The Red Sox will probably send Weber right back down after today. So you lose an interesting prospect in return for a few mop up innings. Bad bad job by Chaim.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I'm not sure if this is the right place to put this but please excuse my rant: to make room for Weber on the 40 man roster, Brian Brennan was DFAed. This is an incredibly bad use of resources. Brennan threw 3 shutout innings yesterday and in his brief time in the majors with Seattle and the Red Sox had shown some competency pitching. Weber today continued to show why he is a mop up man at best. The Red Sox will probably send Weber right back down after today. So you lose an interesting prospect in return for a few mop up innings. Bad bad job by Chaim.
He's so interesting you can't even get his name right. It's Brandon Brennan. He turns 30 in July. He's not a prospect.

edit: They probably won't lose him either.
 

richgedman'sghost

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He's so interesting you can't even get his name right. It's Brandon Brennan. He turns 30 in July. He's not a prospect.

edit: They probably won't lose him either.
Sorry guess the old BC and Browns wide receiver was on my mind.. I apologize for my mistake but that's what happens when you write in a frothy and angry mood. LOL
 

billy ashley

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There is an interesting pitching prospect named Bradley Blalock, who for whatever reason my brain swaps with Brandon Brennan each and every time I see Brennan's name.

I'd actually argue the 40 man management has been an area of strength for the organization since Bloom took over. The dreck that filled the last 5 spots of the roster during the end of the Dombrowski years hurt the big league club. Further, there were a ton of examples of Boston DFA'ing a player after putting them on the 40 man in order to cover a double header, or when the pen was spent.

Right now there are maybe only two 40 man spots that I wouldn't lose any sleep over losing (Weber and Santana). There are also two players on the 60 day IL (Sale and Braiser).

I'm sure it's been discussed elsewhere, but Boston would be well served to start making some trades. They're dealing with a roster crunch. I don't think Rosario, Potts and Wilson are ready to contribute right now, but each of them could be useful role players one day. It would be a shame to DFA any of them, I'm sure they'd get claimed. Right now after Weber and Santana, that grouping looks most likely to get cut from the 40 man roster.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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There is an interesting pitching prospect named Bradley Blalock, who for whatever reason my brain swaps with Brandon Brennan each and every time I see Brennan's name.

I'd actually argue the 40 man management has been an area of strength for the organization since Bloom took over. The dreck that filled the last 5 spots of the roster during the end of the Dombrowski years hurt the big league club. Further, there were a ton of examples of Boston DFA'ing a player after putting them on the 40 man in order to cover a double header, or when the pen was spent.

Right now there are maybe only two 40 man spots that I wouldn't lose any sleep over losing (Weber and Santana). There are also two players on the 60 day IL (Sale and Braiser).

I'm sure it's been discussed elsewhere, but Boston would be well served to start making some trades. They're dealing with a roster crunch. I don't think Rosario, Potts and Wilson are ready to contribute right now, but each of them could be useful role players one day. It would be a shame to DFA any of them, I'm sure they'd get claimed. Right now after Weber and Santana, that grouping looks most likely to get cut from the 40 man roster.
I know we've got a soft spot for Brandon Workman due to his contributions to two championships, but he would not be a big loss if they needed the roster spot.