The Starting Rotation's Start

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reggiecleveland

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I understand this place is often 'think positive' central, but ignoring the opponents is not statistically valid The Rays performance vs Yankees starters was, almost identical. Perhaps the Rays are historically bad at hitting starters.

It is probably both good pitching and bad hitting but as the season unfolds, we may see which is closer to the truth, the Sox' pitching or the Rays' hitting
 

DeweyWins

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Time will tell. To take the late, great Dennis Green out of context, but to put the Rays/Marlins offenses in context - they are who we thought they were, but, with the exception of the 8th on OD, we didn't let them off the hook.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Someone should tell Carson Smith how bad the Rays hitters are. He didn't get the memo.

Meanwhile, that makes 7 straight starts with one run or less from the starters, and David Price has now not allowed a run in 29 1/3 innings dating back to last year.
 

Al Zarilla

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Someone should tell Carson Smith how bad the Rays hitters are. He didn't get the memo.

Meanwhile, that makes 7 straight starts with one run or less from the starters, and David Price has now not allowed a run in 29 1/3 innings dating back to last year.
Halfway to Orel Hershiser’s streak, although that was in one season.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Can't be much different than our slash line
JBJ, Benintendi, Vaz and JDM have been the biggest drags so far. Devers has been okay.
I definitely expect JDM and Devers to pick it up.... I worry about Benintendi, Vaz and JBJ though. Out of those three I'd expect Benintendi to get it together.... But all in all this team should be great regardless of strength of opposition so far
 

joe dokes

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The Sox are .240/.310/.373 Of course that's pretty mediocre but it's a hell of a lot better than .199/.248/.258
Sox 683 is 10th in AL . League average is only 703.

I dont think any of this matters until the point in the season where one game can't significantly increase or decrease a player's or team's numbers.
 

sean1562

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JDM isn't going to turn into a below average hitter over night. They will come around
 

uk_sox_fan

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I'm really excited to see what he can do. I thought he was going to have his breakout season last year but with the injury it just never happened. He's got the stuff that you can see dominating once it all starts clicking - here's hoping this is the year that it happens.

Helps that he's ready to go just in time to still take on the Rays!
 

Deathofthebambino

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Sox 683 is 10th in AL . League average is only 703.

I dont think any of this matters until the point in the season where one game can't significantly increase or decrease a player's or team's numbers.
I agree with that completely. I thought historically, pitching is usually ahead of the hitting at this point, league wide. Not only are there small sample size issues at play, but I can't really get too excited about our hitters who have played one game at home, and that game was a smooth 35 degrees with a 20 MPH wind. Nobody wants to hit in that shit. It ain't fun hitting a 95 mph baseball off the end of the bat when your fingers are freezing. Games getting snowed out, rained out, played in freezing cold temps.

I'll start getting concerned when these guys have a couple dozen games under their belt in reasonable 'baseball weather', and they're still struggling.
 

Niastri

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It's an age-old debate (or actually one that keeps cropping up in the last few years only) but with Velazquez and Johnson showing competency and ERod, Pomeranz and Wright all returning sometime this month is it time to debate the merits of a 6-man rotation again? The club is determined to keep its front-line starters fresh for October baseball and it seems like having depth of 8 quality starters would give a good chance of being able to maintain a 6-man for most, if not all, of the season.
I liked the Pedro plan better. Let him pitch every five days, but always have a 15 day dl refresher during the season to keep him dominant through the whole season.

Each starter missing a start just to stay fresh once in a while doesn't hurt the team much and could pay serious dividends further down the road... Most of our starters has health issues that rest could help mitigate (most everybody) or (in Pomeranz and Sale's case) a very clear pattern of pitching worse at the end of the season.

Only Porcello doesn't obviously fit either category.
 

Spelunker

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I agree with that completely. I thought historically, pitching is usually ahead of the hitting at this point, league wide. Not only are there small sample size issues at play, but I can't really get too excited about our hitters who have played one game at home, and that game was a smooth 35 degrees with a 20 MPH wind. Nobody wants to hit in that shit. It ain't fun hitting a 95 mph baseball off the end of the bat when your fingers are freezing. Games getting snowed out, rained out, played in freezing cold temps.

I'll start getting concerned when these guys have a couple dozen games under their belt in reasonable 'baseball weather', and they're still struggling.
That's always been the assumption that the media repeats and takes for granted that it's true, but I've seen a few articles over the last couple of years that indicate otherwise (or at least it's a small enough effect to just be noise).

E.g. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2013296-do-hitters-or-pitchers-have-the-upper-hand-early-in-the-mlb-season
 

Deathofthebambino

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That's always been the assumption that the media repeats and takes for granted that it's true, but I've seen a few articles over the last couple of years that indicate otherwise (or at least it's a small enough effect to just be noise).

E.g. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2013296-do-hitters-or-pitchers-have-the-upper-hand-early-in-the-mlb-season
Hadn't seen that, but I was never sure if it was true. Has anyone ever done any studies on weather, and it's effect on pitching/hitting? I'd be curious to see what the numbers look like in games played in say, sub 50 degree weather, etc. Obviously, it's easy enough to find day/night splits, but I'm not sure I've ever seen anything weather based.

I have a feeling the idea that the pitchers were ahead of the hitters probably dates back to when almost every team was north of the Mason Dixon line. It wasn't until what, the 1950's, that there was a team south of maybe St. Louis, if I'm not mistaken? Back then, the vast majority of games played in the majors in April were in cold weather, and I don't think it's unfair to say that most hitters would prefer warm to cold weather.
 

shaggydog2000

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That's always been the assumption that the media repeats and takes for granted that it's true, but I've seen a few articles over the last couple of years that indicate otherwise (or at least it's a small enough effect to just be noise).

E.g. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2013296-do-hitters-or-pitchers-have-the-upper-hand-early-in-the-mlb-season
Here is the offensive data from 2008 to 2017 totaled by month and ranked in order of ISO:

MonthAVGBB%K%BB/KOBPSLGOPSISOBABIPw RCw RAAw OBAwRC+
Mar/Apr0.2520.0870.1940.4540.3230.4010.7230.1490.2941584-28.420.31795.30
Sept/Oct0.2550.0830.2020.4150.3220.4040.7260.1490.3001852-24.660.31795.69
May0.2560.0830.1930.4340.3230.4060.7290.1500.2971850-10.690.31896.41
Jul0.2580.0800.1950.4110.3220.4090.7310.1520.3001680-2.190.31996.85
Jun0.2580.0800.1940.4160.3220.4100.7320.1520.2991770-0.890.31996.97
Aug0.2590.0800.1950.4110.3240.4140.7380.1550.300188529.520.32198.47


You can see that the coldest months have the lowest ISO, and August has the highest. It's not a huge difference, but with that much data, I'd have to say it is statistically significant. Batting average also goes up, and walks go down. So It's probably more weather related than time of year related (in terms of who gets in a groove first), and the difference isn't huge, with OPS going up by less than 2% and ISO increasing by about 4%. Maybe this is more exaggerated in cold climates like Boston, but we started the year in Florida, so that's not really an excuse this year.
 
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Rasputin

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Here is the offensive data from 2008 to 2017 totaled by month and ranked in order of ISO:

MonthAVGBB%K%BB/KOBPSLGOPSISOBABIPw RCw RAAw OBAwRC+
Mar/Apr0.2520.0870.1940.4540.3230.4010.7230.1490.2941584-28.420.31795.30
Sept/Oct0.2550.0830.2020.4150.3220.4040.7260.1490.3001852-24.660.31795.69
May0.2560.0830.1930.4340.3230.4060.7290.1500.2971850-10.690.31896.41
Jul0.2580.0800.1950.4110.3220.4090.7310.1520.3001680-2.190.31996.85
Jun0.2580.0800.1940.4160.3220.4100.7320.1520.2991770-0.890.31996.97
Aug0.2590.0800.1950.4110.3240.4140.7380.1550.300188529.520.32198.47


You can see that the coldest months have the lowest ISO, and August has the highest. It's not a huge difference, but with that much data, I'd have to say it is statistically significant. Batting average also goes up, and walks go down. So It's probably more weather related than time of year related (in terms of who gets in a groove first), and the difference isn't huge, with OPS going up by less than 2% and ISO increasing by about 4%. Maybe this is more exaggerated in cold climates like Boston, but we started the year in Florida, so that's not really an excuse this year.
Six points of ISO is six extra bases per 1000 at bats. 13 points of SLG is 13 bases per 1000 at bats. At 4.5 at bats a game times nine positions, 30 teams, and 25 games, that's. 182 extra bases of ISO spread over all of MLB over the entire month of August. So every team gets one extra base every four games or so.

I don't think that's a thing humans can observe so I'm gonna go with Death's weather hypothesis.
 

brandonchristensen

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I’m very curious about EdRo’s knee. That “clicking in and out” as he landed on it would absolutely fuck with your mind as you pitched.

He has shown so much promise when he’s on, it would be awesome if he could not worry about that and just focus on making quality pitches. I’m excited for tomorrow.
 

shaggydog2000

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Six points of ISO is six extra bases per 1000 at bats. 13 points of SLG is 13 bases per 1000 at bats. At 4.5 at bats a game times nine positions, 30 teams, and 25 games, that's. 182 extra bases of ISO spread over all of MLB over the entire month of August. So every team gets one extra base every four games or so.

I don't think that's a thing humans can observe so I'm gonna go with Death's weather hypothesis.
I agree that it is completely imperceptible to the players and fans. It's a few percent here and there. But it is most likely more temperature related than player readiness, because of how it tracks with the time of year.
 

Harry Hooper

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They used to call August "the hitters' month," and this was attributed to the ball carrying better in the hot, humid weather but also the fact that in August the pitching staffs (awaiting September 1 reinforcements) are at their lowest ebb. YMMV
 

AB in DC

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I agree that it is completely imperceptible to the players and fans. It's a few percent here and there. But it is most likely more temperature related than player readiness, because of how it tracks with the time of year.
Though, I wonder how much the Sept/Oct numbers are affected by late-season callups with roster expansion. If there's a way to re-run the analysis excluding PAs where either the hitter or pitcher have no stats before Sept/Oct, I'd be interested in seeing it.
 

shaggydog2000

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Though, I wonder how much the Sept/Oct numbers are affected by late-season callups with roster expansion. If there's a way to re-run the analysis excluding PAs where either the hitter or pitcher have no stats before Sept/Oct, I'd be interested in seeing it.
I don't have that sort of granularity. I just pulled monthly numbers from Fangraphs. But since the trend is there in literally every other month, I doubt expansion has anything to do with it. And I would think the presence of expansion level pitchers and hitters would offset each other.
 

Sale4CY

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I liked the Pedro plan better. Let him pitch every five days, but always have a 15 day dl refresher during the season to keep him dominant through the whole season.

Each starter missing a start just to stay fresh once in a while doesn't hurt the team much and could pay serious dividends further down the road... Most of our starters has health issues that rest could help mitigate (most everybody) or (in Pomeranz and Sale's case) a very clear pattern of pitching worse at the end of the season.

Only Porcello doesn't obviously fit either category.
You can only skip Sale if you have the luxury of doing so, and despite the fast start, I’m not fooling myself into thinking this won’t be a dogfight of a division race all year long.

I’m more in the camp that Sale and the team need to come with up a training program that keeps him strong throughout the year, without significantly reducing his innings or starts workload. He pitched 214 innings last year in 32 starts. Quite frankly, that’s what I expect out of an ace pitcher. Less of Sale is not a good thing for us.
 

timlinin8th

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Quite frankly, that’s what I expect out of an ace pitcher. Less of Sale is not a good thing for us.
Less of “good Sale” is a bad thing for the team. Beating him up so he’s that guy that shows up in the playoffs last season is not so good.

Just because a guy is an “ace” doesn’t mean every guy is built to pitch 200+ innings. Sale is a pretty slight guy and comes with a low almost sidearm slot; thats gonna beat the hell out of him a lot more than a bigger guy who is an over-the-top downhill thrower. If there’s a strengthening program that can help, great, but I’m fairly certain as a professional athlete he’s probably already done that.
 

Sale4CY

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Less of “good Sale” is a bad thing for the team. Beating him up so he’s that guy that shows up in the playoffs last season is not so good.

Just because a guy is an “ace” doesn’t mean every guy is built to pitch 200+ innings. Sale is a pretty slight guy and comes with a low almost sidearm slot; thats gonna beat the hell out of him a lot more than a bigger guy who is an over-the-top downhill thrower. If there’s a strengthening program that can help, great, but I’m fairly certain as a professional athlete he’s probably already done that.
I think it’s also important to remember that Sale was still throwing shutouts every other start at the end of last year, it’s not like he completely lost his effectiveness. In fact most of his scoreless outings (7/10) came in the second half of the season. And his velocity was still hitting into the upper 90s. To me there was most likely an issue with his mechanics that can be fixed and Cora is certainly looking at that. It’s also worth noting that two of his bad outings came against Cleveland, who has had his number throughout his career. I know it’s been said before, but if you take those two outings away, Sale wins the cy Young last year (probably fairly easily) and no one is talking about his late season issues, at least not to nearly the same degree.

The division race was really close last year. Skipping Sale a couple times and giving those starts to someone worse than Sale could be the difference between winning the division and playing in the wild card round. I don’t think it’s worth it, I want no part of that wild card game.
 

judyb

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I'm not sure running away with the division is the only scenario that gives them that luxury, David Price being healthy and the pitcher we expect him to be for a full season, getting something closer to 2016 Porcello than the 2017 version, Pomeranz gets healthy and pitches like last season, E-Rod has that breakout season we're waiting for, and Brian Johnson, Steven Wright, or Hector Velazquez becomes the long reliever who helps reduce everyone's workload. The Yankees played the WC game last season, and they forced a game 7 against the Champs, while the Red Sox couldn't even manage to force a game 5.
 

BigPapiMPD34

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Below is the upcoming tentative schedule for the rotation. The Sox get their top 3 starters vs the Yankees and E-Rod gets to remind the Orioles what they could have had. Pomeranz has his 2nd rehab start this Friday, so he should return to the rotation late next week. When Pomeranz is activated, Velazquez or Poyner should head to AAA.

Everything is subject to change due to potential rain-outs and injuries, but it seems worth taking a look at for the short term.

NYY - 4/10 - Sale - 6
NYY - 4/11 - Price - 5
NYY - 4/12 - Porcello - 4
BAL - 4/13 - Rodriguez - 4 (Pomeranz rehab start)
BAL - 4/14 - Velazquez/Johnson - N/A (could potentially switch order with E-Rod)

BAL - 4/15 - Sale - 4
BAL - 4/16 - Price - 4
LAA - 4/17 - Porcello - 4
LAA - 4/18 - Rodriguez - 4
LAA - 4/19 - Pomeranz - 5
OAK - 4/20 - Sale - 4
OAK - 4/21 - Price - 4
OAK - 4/22 - Porcello - 4
Off Day
 
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Below is the upcoming tentative schedule for the rotation. The Sox get their top 3 starters vs the Yankees and E-Rod gets to remind the Orioles what they could have had. Pomeranz has his 2nd rehab start this Friday, so he should return to the rotation late next week. When Pomeranz is activated, Velazquez or Poyner should head to AAA.

Everything is subject to change due to potential rain-outs and injuries, but it seems worth taking a look at for the short term.

NYY - 4/10 - Sale - 6
NYY - 4/11 - Price - 5
NYY - 4/12 - Porcello - 4
BAL - 4/13 - Rodriguez - 4 (Pomeranz rehab start)
BAL - 4/14 - Velazquez/Johnson - N/A (could potentially switch order with E-Rod)

BAL - 4/15 - Sale - 4
BAL - 4/16 - Price - 4
LAA - 4/17 - Porcello - 4
LAA - 4/18 - Rodriguez - 4
LAA - 4/19 - Pomeranz - 5
OAK - 4/20 - Sale - 4
OAK - 4/21 - Price - 4
OAK - 4/22 - Porcello - 4
Off Day
Wonder if we get Ohtani in the Angels series?
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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I'm not sure running away with the division is the only scenario that gives them that luxury, David Price being healthy and the pitcher we expect him to be for a full season, getting something closer to 2016 Porcello than the 2017 version, Pomeranz gets healthy and pitches like last season, E-Rod has that breakout season we're waiting for, and Brian Johnson, Steven Wright, or Hector Velazquez becomes the long reliever who helps reduce everyone's workload. The Yankees played the WC game last season, and they forced a game 7 against the Champs, while the Red Sox couldn't even manage to force a game 5.
Right. Having a second wild card changes the calculus a lot. There are definite advantages to winning the division, just like there is a definite advantage to winning home-field. But those advantages don’t outweigh the need to keep the team well-rested.

And, it’s not like the inferior options to Sale give the team no chance to win.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Best part about Porcello's start is the command. 17 K to 1 BB
He's throwing a wipe out change up, which I don't think he had at any point last year. His curve has always been a sweeping get me over type, so having a go to secondary swing and miss pitch is huge.

Like I mentioned in the game thread... A heavy 2 seam & cutter, swing and miss change, occasional curve is the best version of Porcello.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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Best part about Porcello's start is the command. 17 K to 1 BB
That’s an amazing stat, which led me to do a little digging. The starting rotation — the whole unit including everyone — has a 68:15 ratio of K:BB+IBB+HBP.

That’s better than a 4.5 K/BB rate, which is absolutely sick.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Skeptics think it's to not have him pitch in Fenway
It's going to be shitty weather on Monday anyway...probably better to push him back regardless.

As far as the skeptics go, do they think they're going to avoid pitching Price at Fenway for the rest of the year? That he really needs to be protected from a few sports-radio-fueled half-wits booing him?
 

Sam Ray Not

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Sale 1.06
Porcello 1.83
Price 2.40

And oh yeah, that Pomeranz guy (17-6, 3.32 last year) due to return soon. And Ed "17.2 K/9" Ro.

Why did 99% of pundits pick them in second place, again?
 

sean1562

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Because "Judge/Stanton/Sanchez will hit 200 HRs!!". The Yanks SP won't be as bad as it has been, neither will their bullpen
 
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