What does 2023 look like?

Ganthem

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I am failing to see why that is disconcerting. It could be that unlike some on this board Ownership still has faith in Chaim, so why do they need to be present? There will be plenty of time to give interviews later. As for your previous compliant, you are right. The offense needs work, but they should focus on fixing the offense as a whole rather then focus on how to get better against four teams.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Chaim is saying that they need to add power for next year as this year their HR was far below acceptable, particularly from the outfield. That's a start, at least. How they do that with JD likely gone and perhaps X as well, I'm not sure.
 

jezza1918

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26-50 is no anomaly. You don't bad luck into a record like that. You're fundamentally lacking in skills and matchups and talent to get your assess beaten that badly in the division. They sucked against the division all year: pre-injuries, post-injuries, and all the times in between. It was trips to Toronto that sent them into multiple skids this year, for example.

You figure it out by scouting the hell out of your own team and the divisional opponents. Do they have power pitchers that our hitters struggle with? Do they pound RHP? Do they have speed that takes advantage of our weak-throwing catchers? Etc etc etc.

There's no easy work here. It's going to take an immense amount of grinding and research and planning and work to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again in 2023. If Bloom doesn't want to do that then he shouldn't be holding this job.

What they cannot do is throw up their hands and ascribe it to bad luck. They need to acknowledge the problem and address it. It certainly wasn't random.
The two worst months record wise were April and July. Both of those months were AL East dominant schedule...from my early season recollection they couldnt come up with a timely hit, or in many cases hits at all, in April. They scored 4 or less runs in 16/22 games that month. Then in July was when they were starting the likes of Winchoswski/Seabold/(early) Bello 3 out of every 5 games. I count a record of 9-23 against the AL East in those two months. While I agree they need to play better against the AL East, I am not sure there record is significantly better in those months against other good teams. The average win total for the rest of the AL East this year was a little over 88 wins...my overall point is IMO if in those months you subbed out AL East opponents and subbed in teams like the Mariners & Padres I dont think they are much better than 9-23. I am not absolving them of the wretched play, I just happen to think it's more about how BAD they were while playing quality opponents, not necessarily quality opponents from the AL East.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Or it's a good thing because ownership is letting the front office do its job without interference. Do you want John Henry making baseball decisions?
I would like him there to talk about payroll, ownership's view of the club and the ballpark, the attendance figures. They just finished last for the 2nd time in 3 years, does Henry actually care about that? Appearances matter. The club is staring down the prospect of losing a franchise player in X, ownership should likely be talking about that.
 

bosockboy

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I haven’t read every page in the thread, but if Trout goes on the market should the Sox bet on his future health? There’s cost certainty and depressed trade value, and looked 100% down the stretch.
 

johnnywayback

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I would like him there to talk about payroll, ownership's view of the club and the ballpark, the attendance figures. They just finished last for the 2nd time in 3 years, does Henry actually care about that? Appearances matter. The club is staring down the prospect of losing a franchise player in X, ownership should likely be talking about that.
And saying what, exactly? Henry's not Steve Cohen, he isn't going to just riff off the cuff. He's going to give the exact same kind of careful, non-committal answers Bloom is giving right now, and it doesn't bother me that Bloom's the one giving them.

I do wish they would ask Bloom more specific questions like: Are you satisfied Verdugo can play RF? Is Whitlock a starter? How sure are you that Devers is with the team on Opening Day 2023?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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And saying what, exactly? Henry's not Steve Cohen, he isn't going to just riff off the cuff. He's going to give the exact same kind of careful, non-committal answers Bloom is giving right now, and it doesn't bother me that Bloom's the one giving them.

I do wish they would ask Bloom more specific questions like: Are you satisfied Verdugo can play RF? Is Whitlock a starter? How sure are you that Devers is with the team on Opening Day 2023?
IIRC Bloom has heavily hinted already that Whitlock will be in the rotation. Regardless of the wisdom of that decision, I believe that is their plan for next year. Good questions on the other issues.
 

joe dokes

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And saying what, exactly? Henry's not Steve Cohen, he isn't going to just riff off the cuff. He's going to give the exact same kind of careful, non-committal answers Bloom is giving right now, and it doesn't bother me that Bloom's the one giving them.

I do wish they would ask Bloom more specific questions like: Are you satisfied Verdugo can play RF? Is Whitlock a starter? How sure are you that Devers is with the team on Opening Day 2023?
The bolded is the problem. The questions that *should* be asked are ones that the owner should *not* be answering, but that the baseball ops people should.
 

moondog80

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The bolded is the problem. The questions that *should* be asked are ones that the owner should *not* be answering, but that the baseball ops people should.
There is nothing to gain by answering those kind of questions with any kind of specificity a month before the offseason begins. The best you would get is "we are looking forward to sitting down with Raffy's representatives to try and work something out".
 

soxhop411

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There is nothing to gain by answering those kind of questions with any kind of specificity a month before the offseason begins. The best you would get is "we are looking forward to sitting down with Raffy's representatives to try and work something out".
Also they cant talk about any pending FA's from other teams, since they would then be accused of tampering no?
 

johnnywayback

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There is nothing to gain by answering those kind of questions with any kind of specificity a month before the offseason begins. The best you would get is "we are looking forward to sitting down with Raffy's representatives to try and work something out".
Cora just said he feels like Story could handle SS, so there's at least one small nugget to file away.
 

moondog80

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Also they cant talk about any pending FA's from other teams, since they would then be accused of tampering no?
Of course. It's like expecting Belichick to say "I think Mac Jones will be back for the Chicago game". As much as I'd love to know what he thinks, not showing your cards more than you need to is they way to go.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Cora just said he feels like Story could handle SS, so there's at least one small nugget to file away.
Handling SS isn't really a question. Of course he can handle it having done it for years and years. The question is whether he's the best option to play SS, and if he is, I'm going to assume something went wrong this winter.
 

moondog80

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Handling SS isn't really a question. Of course he can handle it having done it for years and years. The question is whether he's the best option to play SS, and if he is, I'm going to assume something went wrong this winter.
Yeah, I'm not reading much into that statement, not yet anyway. He's not going to throw his guy under the bus and say "no, he doesn't have the arm for that anymore".
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Yeah, I'm not reading much into that statement, not yet anyway. He's not going to throw his guy under the bus and say "no, he doesn't have the arm for that anymore".
I took it in the same sense I'd take a manager saying "sure, David Ortiz can handle first base". It means he believes he can play the position competently. It's not the same as saying "I think he can be our everyday starter there".
 

Cesar Crespo

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I took it in the same sense I'd take a manager saying "sure, David Ortiz can handle first base". It means he believes he can play the position competently. It's not the same as saying "I think he can be our everyday starter there".
It's also a bargaining stance, though in the case of Story in particular, it's hard to see how. The team probably isn't in the running for a long term SS this off season.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Makes sense to leave options open for adding to the rotation or the bullpen
Makes practical sense too. Why commit to either one of them in the rotation? If if doesn't go as planned in ST, you've already verbally committed to using both out of the rotation. Maybe Whitlock and Houck would be fine going from rotation to bullpen but why risk it by committing when you don't have to?
 

moondog80

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The team probably isn't in the running for a long term SS this off season.
Really? I don't know how it will all play out but given their situation and the number of SS on the market, I'd say ending up with a long term SS is a pretty likely outcome.
 
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JM3

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Vaz was already an impending free agent so there was no floor.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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What do we make of McGuire’s performance with the Sox, though? Feels a bit like Sandy Leon in 16. A .411 BABIP isn’t sustainable; but his hard hit and LD %s were good. Should be good defense at the position, but doesn’t seem likely that a McGuire / Wong tandem would provide much offensively, and certainly not much in the power department.
 

moondog80

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What do we make of McGuire’s performance with the Sox, though? Feels a bit like Sandy Leon in 16. A .411 BABIP isn’t sustainable; but his hard hit and LD %s were good. Should be good defense at the position, but doesn’t seem likely that a McGuire / Wong tandem would provide much offensively, and certainly not much in the power department.
McGuire in his career is 275/321/410 in 535 PA vs RH (and 188/224/275 the other way). They might have something, especially if they veer away from tying pitchers to catchers toward a classic platoon, at least a little bit -- he does have prospect pedigree (14th overall pick) and there is a history of catchers' bats being late to develop.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Really? I don't know how it will all play out but given their situation and the number of SS on the market, I'd say acquiring a long term SS is a pretty likely outcome.
Maybe with the intention of moving them off the position in a few years. Long term, this team should be looking for a power bat with good defense in RF, not infielders. The only real power OF bat in the system is Bleis and possibly Anthony. Both of them are years away and Anthony is more projection than results atm (as is the case with everyone drafted in 2022).

I can see them reupping Xander, but I don't think he'll stick at SS the entire deal. I think it's more likely they'd go with Valdez/Story in 2023 than signing a SS to a 5+ year deal with the intention of him playing SS all 5+ years. I don't think Valdez/Story is at all likely either. I'm guessing stop gap or someone willing to move off the position. There are just way too many IF prospects on this team to lock up long term money on IFs, especially with the obvious long term hole in the OF (and C if Hickey doesn't stick). Possibly Wong if any of his August is real.

I guess we'll find out.
 

joe dokes

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There is nothing to gain by answering those kind of questions with any kind of specificity a month before the offseason begins. The best you would get is "we are looking forward to sitting down with Raffy's representatives to try and work something out".
Oh, I agree with that as well. But they should be (non) answered by the baseball people, not the owners.
 

E5 Yaz

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One point they kept going back to today was making the team "more athletic." I'm not sure how they go about that. If X stays, the infield is basically intact, now that Casas has arrived. Verdugo and Kike' appear set in the outfield. A better third outfield option for RF helps, but a "more athletic" DH doesn't help much outside of being a baserunner.
 

BaseballJones

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26-50 is no anomaly. You don't bad luck into a record like that. You're fundamentally lacking in skills and matchups and talent to get your assess beaten that badly in the division. They sucked against the division all year: pre-injuries, post-injuries, and all the times in between. It was trips to Toronto that sent them into multiple skids this year, for example.
Well then how did they play so well against the three other AL playoff teams:

Houston (106-56): 4-2
Cleveland (92-70): 5-2
Seattle (90-72): 6-1

Those three teams went a combined 288-198 (.593) and the Sox beat up on them to the tune of 15-5.

You figure it out by scouting the hell out of your own team and the divisional opponents. Do they have power pitchers that our hitters struggle with? Do they pound RHP? Do they have speed that takes advantage of our weak-throwing catchers? Etc etc etc.

There's no easy work here. It's going to take an immense amount of grinding and research and planning and work to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again in 2023. If Bloom doesn't want to do that then he shouldn't be holding this job.
I mean, do you think they just happened to scout those other three top AL teams really well but fail to scout the three leading AL East teams?

What they cannot do is throw up their hands and ascribe it to bad luck. They need to acknowledge the problem and address it. It certainly wasn't random.
You sure about that?

I mean, last year compared to this year against those six teams:

Opp: 2021 / 2022
NY: 10-9 / 6-13
Tor: 10-9 / 3-16
TB: 8-11 / 7-12
Hou: 2-5 / 4-2
Sea: 4-3 / 6-1
Cle: 4-2 / 5-2

Did the Sox' scouting department do pretty well last year against NY and Tor but just decided not to show up this year? Did the Sox' scouting department do poorly last year against Houston but really stepped it up this year against them? What is Boston's secret against Seattle?

Just saying it wasn't random isn't an argument. You might be right that it's not random, but you aren't exactly convincing here. You haven't shown WHY it's not random.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Just saying it wasn't random isn't an argument. You might be right that it's not random, but you aren't exactly convincing here. You haven't shown WHY it's not random.
It's not random because they got their asses kicked by divisional opponents all year long in every situation possible. They got destroyed before injuries. They got destroyed after injuries. In April. In September. Pre-deadline. Post-deadline. On the road. At home. During the day. At night. They lost the first TWELVE series against divisional opponents this year.

If you really think they were terrible against the division all year because of random chance, then really there's nothing more to talk about. The results say otherwise. They were too consistently awful against the division to be anything other than random bad luck.

Now, what were they doing wrong to cause this? Beats me. They played well outside the division as you say. But they clearly weren't good enough against it, and it was the case all year long.

Randomness in baseball can manifest itself in small sample sizes. Over the course of an entire year, with consistent results team-wide, there's nothing random or bad luck about that.
 

BaseballJones

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It's not random because they got their asses kicked by divisional opponents all year long in every situation possible. They got destroyed before injuries. They got destroyed after injuries. In April. In September. Pre-deadline. Post-deadline. On the road. At home. During the day. At night. They lost the first TWELVE series against divisional opponents this year.

If you really think they were terrible against the division all year because of random chance, then really there's nothing more to talk about. The results say otherwise. They were too consistently awful against the division to be anything other than random bad luck.
It's not totally random because these aren't fair dice. These are people playing a sport. But it's more random than you think, because your argument falls apart when you realize that the Sox kicked ass against the other three AL playoff teams. So unless their scouting department literally just closed up shop against the AL East and then re-opened when they played Houston, Cleveland, and Seattle, you've got to think that it was somewhat random. Or much more random than you're giving credit for.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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It's not totally random because these aren't fair dice. These are people playing a sport. But it's more random than you think, because your argument falls apart when you realize that the Sox kicked ass against the other three AL playoff teams. So unless their scouting department literally just closed up shop against the AL East and then re-opened when they played Houston, Cleveland, and Seattle, you've got to think that it was somewhat random. Or much more random than you're giving credit for.
26-50 BJ. 76 games against the division. That's enough of a sample size for me to feel very comfortable in saying there's nothing random about that. You may feel differently and that's fine, but we're not going to ever agree there.

There was a total systematic failure against divisional opponents this year, that is not up for debate. I simply don't accept that it's random bad luck.
 

lexrageorge

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It's not totally random because these aren't fair dice. These are people playing a sport. But it's more random than you think, because your argument falls apart when you realize that the Sox kicked ass against the other three AL playoff teams. So unless their scouting department literally just closed up shop against the AL East and then re-opened when they played Houston, Cleveland, and Seattle, you've got to think that it was somewhat random. Or much more random than you're giving credit for.
It's certainly a mix of both randomness and talent. Replay the season 20 times with the exact same rosters, and the Sox probably end up a more even distribution between AL East and the rest of the league, although overall win total is still probably in the mid-to-high 70's.

But a big part of the team's struggles against AL East opponents is reflective of the talent. Yankees, Blue Jays, and Rays all have better substantially lineups, pitching rotations, and bullpens than the Red Sox, and in some cases the talent gap is quite large. Fix the talent gap and the AL East record would undoubtedly improve.
 

jezza1918

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26-50 BJ. 76 games against the division. That's enough of a sample size for me to feel very comfortable in saying there's nothing random about that. You may feel differently and that's fine, but we're not going to ever agree there.

There was a total systematic failure against divisional opponents this year, that is not up for debate. I simply don't accept that it's random bad luck.
I don't want to speak for @BaseballJones, but I feel like he is trying to convey the same thing I was attempting to in my (apologies) convoluted post earlier. you seem to be making it a zero sum this or that situation. That is what most people who disagree with you are disagreeing with (I think). Just using July as an example, their worst month...when they played a lot of AL East teams and used a lot of AAA pitchers...you dont ascribe some of that TERRIBLE W/L record against the AL East teams to a combo of scheduling/bad injury luck? Do you think their record against other 90 win playoff teams in July would've been much better? I dont.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I don't want to speak for @BaseballJones, but I feel like he is trying to convey the same thing I was attempting to in my (apologies) convoluted post earlier. you seem to be making it a zero sum this or that situation. That is what most people who disagree with you are disagreeing with (I think). Just using July as an example, their worst month...when they played a lot of AL East teams and used a lot of AAA pitchers...you dont ascribe some of that TERRIBLE W/L record against the AL East teams to a combo of scheduling/bad injury luck? Do you think their record against other 90 win playoff teams in July would've been much better? I dont.
What happened in all the other months of the season?

As I noted before, the divisional results before the injuries piled up were also terrible.
5-10 in April.
2-4 in May.
1-2 in June.
4-13 in July.
6-7 in August.
5-12 in Sept.
3-2 in Oct.

So no, I do not ascribe that to injuries. It's far too consistent.
 

Cesar Crespo

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doesn’t seem likely that a McGuire / Wong tandem would provide much offensively, and certainly not much in the power department.
Probably not, but Wong had a ridiculous August. Enough to make me consider him a non zero possibility, and enough for Sox Prospects to move him to 11th in the rankings.

16 games, 73 PA/68 AB, .363/.411/.838, 4bb/21k, 14xbh/9 HR. His 17th game, he also hit a HR. That was in the MLB on 9/1.

In his last 43 PA, he's hit 3 doubles and 0 HR so there's that. Chances are, he just had a ridiculous stretch in August. At the time, it was attributed to seeing and following the ball better. He also has a career ISO of .220 in the minors, with a career line of .276/.337/.496 over 1567 PA. Whether it will translate to the majors is another thing but he's not a noodle bat.

Wong is not McGuire with the bat, or the glove. McGuire's minor league career line is .261/.325/.345 with an ISO of .084. At the MLB level, his ISO is actually .125. It's kinda unfair to lump Wong in with McGuire as a hitter.

Again, I'm not high on Wong. He's been an afterthought the minute the Sox acquired him. His August was noteworthy though, and his overall line in the minors to date is decent.

Long story short, there's a chance Wong actually provides something offensively and in the power department. His minor league track record suggests that. He could be AAAA, but that's impossible to know after 70 PA.
 

jezza1918

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What happened in all the other months of the season?

As I noted before, the divisional results before the injuries piled up were also terrible.
5-10 in April.
2-4 in May.
1-2 in June.
4-13 in July.
6-7 in August.
5-12 in Sept.
3-2 in Oct.

So no, I do not ascribe that to injuries. It's far too consistent.
So what's hilarious about this back and forth is that we all think they were terrible, but to varying degrees cant agree on what exactly caused it! Should be a fun offseason. I definitely see your point with those records...I think im coming from the POV that they were all in all a pretty bad team, and their absurdly hot june (which happened to be against a lot of non al east opponents) was a huge outlier. That's why Im not really ascribing the craptastic record against the AL East to the AL East, but rather to the red sox in 2022 just being on the whole...pretty craptastic!
 

BaseballJones

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26-50 BJ. 76 games against the division. That's enough of a sample size for me to feel very comfortable in saying there's nothing random about that. You may feel differently and that's fine, but we're not going to ever agree there.

There was a total systematic failure against divisional opponents this year, that is not up for debate. I simply don't accept that it's random bad luck.
Of course they failed against the AL East. That's not in dispute. But they kicked ass against the other top AL teams, including the best team in the AL, Houston.

It's fine if you don't accept that there's some randomness to it, but you haven't remotely demonstrated (a) why it's not more random than you think, and (b) what, if anything, the Sox can ACTUALLY do about it, other than by putting together a better team.