What does 2023 look like?

Petagine in a Bottle

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I disagree with Chawson on Verdugo. That's a much harder skillset to replace. They absolutely have a ton of depth. How much of it is quality depth is what remains to be seen.

But the thought of starting Bello in AAA to let Pivetta start games basically breaks my brain.
Agree on Bello, but I don’t think that will happen. They have a lot of bodies, how many of them are guys we really want to start- I’m not sure. The Murphy’s and Walter’s seem different than the Brian Johnson’s and Darwinzon’s and Henry Owens types at least I part, I think, because we have the hindsight of knowing those guys stunk.

Hopefully they make the leap and are ready to help but I certainly wouldn’t dump Pivetta now to find out. The quantity of major league healthy starters on this roster seems pretty fragile.
 

JM3

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Agree on Bello, but I don’t think that will happen. They have a lot of bodies, how many of them are guys we really want to start- I’m not sure. The Murphy’s and Walter’s seem different than the Brian Johnson’s and Darwinzon’s and Henry Owens types at least I part, I think, because we have the hindsight of knowing those guys stunk.

Hopefully they make the leap and are ready to help but I certainly wouldn’t dump Pivetta now to find out. The quantity of major league healthy starters on this roster seems pretty fragile.
Yeah, my issue is that I think the Red Sox have 6 starters right now who are clearly better starters than Pivetta, who, based on reports, are all healthy (for now).

In rough order of expectations for this season if they stay healthy & were in the rotation:

Sale
Bello
Whitlock
Houck
Paxton
Kluber

Obviously they will need depth through the season, but I would like all 6 of those guys stretched out & ready to go if healthy. I think the most efficient way to do that is to piggyback Paxton/Houck for the time being & let them basically pitch all 9 innings between them if they're pitching well.

If we start Pivetta, what's the other shoe to drop? Whitlock is the only one who would really be a value add to the bullpen (besides Houck who already isn't starting in this scenario), but I would much rather see him start games than Pivetta.

Could you maybe staple Sale/Whitlock together? I guess, kinda, but that doesn't seem that efficient.

So I would rather move Pivetta for future value & hope that some combo of the depth can provide similar results as Pivetta would if called upon rather than weaken the team from the jump by putting him in the rotation over the pitchers I think are better.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I guess I’m not 100% confident that any of those guys is definitely better than Pivetta for a variety of reasons- there’s questions about each and every one. They probably all have higher ceilings but I feel like we are more confident in what Pivetta will actually provide.

The Sox pitching was lousy last year, and we’ve lost the teams three best starters in Wacha, Eovaldi, and Hill. I don’t think it’s possible to have too much pitching. These things will sort themselves out.
 

chawson

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Yeah, my issue is that I think the Red Sox have 6 starters right now who are clearly better starters than Pivetta, who, based on reports, are all healthy (for now).

In rough order of expectations for this season if they stay healthy:

Sale
Bello
Whitlock
Paxton
Houck
Kluber

Obviously they will need depth through the season, but I would like all 6 of those guys stretched out & ready to go if healthy. I think the most efficient way to do that is to piggyback Paxton/Houck for the time being & let them basically pitch all 9 innings between them if they're pitching well.

If we start Pivetta, what's the other shoe to drop? Whitlock is the only one who would really be a value add to the bullpen (besides Houck who already isn't starting in this scenario), but I would much rather see him start games than Pivetta.

Could you maybe staple Sale/Whitlock together? I guess, kinda, but that doesn't seem that efficient.

So I would rather move Pivetta for future value & hope that some combo of the depth can provide similar results as Pivetta would if called upon rather than weaken the team from the jump by putting him in the rotation over the pitchers I think are better.
Totally agree here. One of the major themes of the offseason is plate discipline. We've added several hitters who take a lot of walks (Yoshida, Turner, Abreu, Valdez, Casas if you count him) and pitchers who don't walk batters (Kluber, Martin).

Pivetta is a useful pitcher, but he sure walks a lot of guys. His walk rate over the last two years is pushing 10 percent of batters, in the lowest decile of MLB starters, and he led the AL in stolen bases allowed last year. He also benefited from fielders deploying the shift in 72% of his PAs against lefties, who already hit him quite well.

I agree with @Petagine in a Bottle that there's no guarantee that Crawford, Walter, Murphy, Winckowski are better, but I think it's worth it to see who those guys are. More worth it than seeing who Pivetta is in his penultimate year of team control. And I don't think the risk of trading him is that off-putting. In the occasion that we trade Pivetta and one of Sale/Bello/Whitlock/Paxton/Houck goes down and all those young guys are unplayable and we're in contention, then it shouldn't be that hard to trade for a Zach Davies, Vince Velasquez, Joe Ross or Brad Keller-type to give us the mediocre innings that Pivetta would.
 

bosockboy

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Totally agree here. One of the major themes of the offseason is plate discipline. We've added several hitters who take a lot of walks (Yoshida, Turner, Abreu, Valdez, Casas if you count him) and pitchers who don't walk batters (Kluber, Martin).

Pivetta is a useful pitcher, but he sure walks a lot of guys. His walk rate over the last two years is pushing 10 percent of batters, in the lowest decile of MLB starters, and he led the AL in stolen bases allowed last year. He also benefited from fielders deploying the shift in 72% of his PAs against lefties, who already hit him quite well.

I agree with @Petagine in a Bottle that there's no guarantee that Crawford, Walter, Murphy, Winckowski are better, but I think it's worth it to see who those guys are. More worth it than seeing who Pivetta is in his penultimate year of team control. And I don't think the risk of trading him is that off-putting. In the occasion that we trade Pivetta and one of Sale/Bello/Whitlock/Paxton/Houck goes down and all those young guys are unplayable and we're in contention, then it shouldn't be that hard to trade for a Zach Davies, Vince Velasquez, Joe Ross or Brad Keller-type to give us the mediocre innings that Pivetta would.
Or could sign Matt Moore now to replace him. Lefty reliever who can serve as SP depth as a 3-4 inning opener.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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I'm going to pull this conversation from the bullpen thread & put it here because it's more of a philosophical question that would impact the upcoming season more than a bullpen one.

I do not think the ability to make 30 starts in and of itself is valuable to the Red Sox as currently constituted unless he is actually going to pitch WELL in those starts.

Assuming health, the Sox can have a rotation of Sale/Paxton/Bello/Whitlock/Kluber with depth options including Houck/Mata/Murphy/Walter/Winckowski.

If Pivetta isn't going to pitch better than those guys, he's not providing value simply by pitching innings.

Pivetta led the league last year in pitches per inning & pitched about 5.4 innings per start. He's not adding value by simply existing & taking the ball every 5 days unless he pitches better than whoever else would be taking the ball that day.

If they filled Pivetta's 33 starts with 11 starts each from Mata/Murphy/Walter & those starts were cumulatively better than Pivetta's would have been, starting Pivetta 33 times would take value away, not add to it.

I'm fine if someone wants to project Pivetta being a better pitcher than he was last year (although I disagree), but I absolutely don't see it as being enough to simply exist & not having gotten injured, yet, for a team with as many starting pitchers on the 40-man as the Red Sox have.
The problem isn't Pivetta so much as what he's surrounded with. He has a 99 ERA+ in his Sox career. If he gives you 30 league average starts and he's your #4 starter, there's a lot of value there. If you're depending on him to be your ace, then that's a failure of how the team is constructed rather than Pivetta himself. Jeff Suppan parlayed being thoroughly average for 30 starts a season into a 17 year career. There is a demand for guys like that.
 

JM3

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The problem isn't Pivetta so much as what he's surrounded with. He has a 99 ERA+ in his Sox career. If he gives you 30 league average starts and he's your #4 starter, there's a lot of value there. If you're depending on him to be your ace, then that's a failure of how the team is constructed rather than Pivetta himself. Jeff Suppan parlayed being thoroughly average for 30 starts a season into a 17 year career. There is a demand for guys like that.
My contention is that Pivetta is currently their 7th best starter.

A while ago I compared him to pitchers on competitive teams last year & he mostly was about equivalent to their 5th best starter & every one of them had at least 4 better starters.

I'm not saying there isn't a place in the league for him. I just think he has more value to other teams than he should have for us because I believe putting him in the rotation over any of the other 6 makes the rotation actively worse.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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My contention is that Pivetta is currently their 7th best starter.

A while ago I compared him to pitchers on competitive teams last year & he mostly was about equivalent to their 5th best starter & every one of them had at least 4 better starters.

I'm not saying there isn't a place in the league for him. I just think he has more value to other teams than he should have for us because I believe putting him in the rotation over any of the other 6 makes the rotation actively worse.
Which is why I'm more bullish about the '23 season than others are. If Pivetta is your seventh best option as a starting pitcher, that's a good place to be.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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That’s pretty subjective, though. I think he probably has among the lowest ceilings but the highest floor. How confident are we in projecting what we will actually get from Sale, Paxton, Kluber, Bello, Whitlock, and Houck; never mind the deep depth guys.

I’m also skeptical of what people think we could get in return for Pivetta in a world where a guy like Wacha is still available. Although I guess they could always just DFA him :)
 

JM3

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That’s pretty subjective, though. I think he probably has among the lowest ceilings but the highest floor. How confident are we in projecting what we will actually get from Sale, Paxton, Kluber, Bello, Whitlock, and Houck; never mind the deep depth guys.
If they're guaranteed healthy? I think the only people in that 6 who could potentially be worse are Paxton or Kluber, but both have been significantly better than Pivetta in the past. Paxton has the injury concerns & the fact he hasn't really done much in a few years, but in terms of stuff, it's not close. & Kluber has the age thing, but he was much better than Pivetta last year.

But of course it's subjective. I think I've tried to explain in a # of objective ways why I have this subjective opinion, but it's absolutely an opinion. If the Red Sox have the same subjective opinion as me, I think they will absolutely trade Pivetta. If they do not share my opinion, they will do something different.

Maybe they wait until spring training & see what they have & if they don't think Pivetta has earned a rotation spot, trade him then.
 

YTF

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Cross posting this from the Barnes thread...

I would love to see Houck in something like the multi-inning Derek Lowe setup role (i.e., about 70 appearances for 95 IP). Such usage also reduces the need for multiple late-inning LHP in the pen.
Given the Tampa model, I wouldn't be surprised to see Houck in a long/bulk relief role where he's still throwing every fifth day, yet avoiding the third time through the lineup issue. Maybe piggybacking of Paxton starts.
 

JM3

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Potential starters by xFIP in their last "real" season, or career in starts for Whitlock/Houck...

Sale 2.93 ('19)
Houck 3.39 (career as starter)
Whitlock 3.64 (career as starter)
Bello 3.80
Kluber 3.92
Paxton 4.03 ('19)
Pivetta 4.26
Crawford 4.33
Winckowski 4.61

Mata/Murphy/Walter N/A
 

chawson

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I’m also skeptical of what people think we could get in return for Pivetta in a world where a guy like Wacha is still available.
I'm skeptical of this too. Sounds like Wacha might want something closer to Tyler Anderson money. The Athletic wrote about him yesterday with a kind of speculative tone:

The offers to Wacha are not known. Nor are his desires. If he wants say, two years, $35 million, or three years, $50 million, it would explain his lingering unemployment.

Even if Wacha (4.37 projected FIP in 2023) is holding out for say, Stripling or Manaea money (2/$25) and a team doesn't trust his health and/or want to pay him that, then Pivetta (4.45 projected FIP) at 2/$13 or so could be a nice alternative.
 

JM3

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Minor League xFIPs obviously aren't worth much but for full information in '22...

AA xFIPs
Walter 2.26
Bello 2.43
Mata 3.56
Murphy 3.97

AAA xFIPs
Bello 2.65
Winckowski 3.76
Mata 3.90
Crawford 4.25
Walter 4.50 (7.2 innings)
Murphy 5.64
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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That all makes sense. I think I agree that I can see Pivetta as potentially expendable, but if the return is likely low at this point- isn’t it best to keep him for now and then see how the pitching shakes out? As teams have injuries, isn’t it possible that the value of Pivetta (or another starter seen as expendable) increases? And also that the Sox potential needs would be more clear, too?
 

JM3

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That all makes sense. I think I agree that I can see Pivetta as potentially expendable, but if the return is likely low at this point- isn’t it best to keep him for now and then see how the pitching shakes out? As teams have injuries, isn’t it possible that the value of Pivetta (or another starter seen as expendable) increases? And also that the Sox potential needs would be more clear, too?
Yeah. If I'm them, & I feel comfortable in my guys' health, I have Pivetta on the table & see if the offers are significant enough to be worth it - either in a Pivetta for non-40 talent way, or as a piece of a bigger package for an impact player. If they aren't, you can wait for further health confirmation or teams to up their offers. The only problem is the 40-man roster.
 

chawson

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Yeah. If I'm them, & I feel comfortable in my guys' health, I have Pivetta on the table & see if the offers are significant enough to be worth it - either in a Pivetta for non-40 talent way, or as a piece of a bigger package for an impact player. If they aren't, you can wait for further health confirmation or teams to up their offers. The only problem is the 40-man roster.
I wonder if this isn’t part of a stalemate with the Padres. By my quick research, San Diego looks primed to be exceeding the luxury tax threshold for the third year in a row (please correct me if I’m wrong, and I’m not sure if the Tatis suspension counts against the tax).

Do they care? I don’t know. They’re very much going for it. But in my view, their whole project could be easily undone with a couple rotation injuries, and they’re asking a lot of their 4 and 5, Martinez and Lugo, in terms of innings. If things don’t break right, I could see them needing in another 175 league-average innings pretty badly, and I could also see them not wanting to pay Wacha at his asking price.

They also have an infield surplus, and a guy we want! If I’m Bloom, I might be guessing that they’d eventually settle for Pivetta and Dalbec (and maybe another prospect) in exchange for Kim.
 

simplicio

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They also have an infield surplus, and a guy we want! If I’m Bloom, I might be guessing that they’d eventually settle for Pivetta and Dalbec (and maybe another prospect) in exchange for Kim.
Unless you left a name out here, I'm guessing there are 28 other teams that would beat this package for Kim.
 

chawson

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Unless you left a name out here, I'm guessing there are 28 other teams that would beat this package for Kim.
Wasn’t an attempt at a full deal. Maybe the Padres try to offload Pomeranz (1/$10M) or something or maybe Verdugo or Lugo are in the mix. But Pivetta as the pitcher going the other way, not Houck.

But if the Padres specifically want 175 innings of league average-ish FIP and only want to pay $5M for it, there may not be a ton of teams that have specifically that to offer and a place to put Kim.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I wonder if this isn’t part of a stalemate with the Padres. By my quick research, San Diego looks primed to be exceeding the luxury tax threshold for the third year in a row (please correct me if I’m wrong, and I’m not sure if the Tatis suspension counts against the tax).

Do they care? I don’t know. They’re very much going for it. But in my view, their whole project could be easily undone with a couple rotation injuries, and they’re asking a lot of their 4 and 5, Martinez and Lugo, in terms of innings. If things don’t break right, I could see them needing in another 175 league-average innings pretty badly, and I could also see them not wanting to pay Wacha at his asking price.

They also have an infield surplus, and a guy we want! If I’m Bloom, I might be guessing that they’d eventually settle for Pivetta and Dalbec (and maybe another prospect) in exchange for Kim.
It's strange... but one of the guys that works for me (on a construction crew) somehow knows the Padres owner and occasionally does a little work for him on the side. I guess their families are connected from a ways back or something? But after the X signing, I asked him about it and he said that the Padres are absolutely flush with cash from merchandise and they see a potential to expand into a major team (on par with the Giants, Cubs, Cardinals, Sox and Yankees as far as brand recognition goes) so they are really pushing for that. I don't think they care.... they're going to try and resign Soto but likely let Machado leave. I don't think they're letting Kim go for a reasonable deal.

edit- adding to this is that I suspect that Henry has done a lot of research and has concluded that the Sox brand is at a saturation point- that spending X amount over Y isn't going to bring back a return worth it, so they're basically at a point where they've reach maximum earnings while the Padres are trying to get to that point and see a World Series victory as the thing that will bring them up to that point where they then can start to draw back on spending.
 

Daniel_Son

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It's strange... but one of the guys that works for me (on a construction crew) somehow knows the Padres owner and occasionally does a little work for him on the side. I guess their families are connected from a ways back or something? But after the X signing, I asked him about it and he said that the Padres are absolutely flush with cash from merchandise and they see a potential to expand into a major team (on par with the Giants, Cubs, Cardinals, Sox and Yankees as far as brand recognition goes) so they are really pushing for that. I don't think they care.... they're going to try and resign Soto but likely let Machado leave. I don't think they're letting Kim go for a reasonable deal.

edit- adding to this is that I suspect that Henry has done a lot of research and has concluded that the Sox brand is at a saturation point- that spending X amount over Y isn't going to bring back a return worth it, so they're basically at a point where they've reach maximum earnings while the Padres are trying to get to that point and see a World Series victory as the thing that will bring them up to that point where they then can start to draw back on spending.
This tracks with Seidler's public comments on spending:

"I kind of like spending money,” Seidler said with a grin. “You can’t take it with you."
...
“There’s a difference,” Seidler said. “This city hasn’t had a championship team. … And so getting over the belief hump is meaningful. I think our fans incrementally believed. But then last year we fell off a cliff. The year before, we got swept ultimately by L.A. after beating St. Louis (in the postseason), which was meaningful. But I think this year we showed by (winning) … there’s real belief in this city now.”

Seidler and others in the organization have spoken of the potential lifelong fans the Padres gained just from the experience of the four home playoff games and the responsibility the team has because of that.
“We’re seeding great fans for life,” Seidler said. “And now from our standpoint, we’ve always had an obligation, and it’s at a higher level now. That’s good.”
San Diego is hungry for a championship and they're going to spend whatever it takes to get there. And with the Dodgers seemingly committed to cutting salary, a full year of Tatis, and Machado leaving next year, I can't see them getting rid of a key player that can help in 2023 for anything less than a haul. Why would they? This is their best shot at winning it all.
 

Auger34

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It's strange... but one of the guys that works for me (on a construction crew) somehow knows the Padres owner and occasionally does a little work for him on the side. I guess their families are connected from a ways back or something? But after the X signing, I asked him about it and he said that the Padres are absolutely flush with cash from merchandise and they see a potential to expand into a major team (on par with the Giants, Cubs, Cardinals, Sox and Yankees as far as brand recognition goes) so they are really pushing for that. I don't think they care.... they're going to try and resign Soto but likely let Machado leave. I don't think they're letting Kim go for a reasonable deal.

edit- adding to this is that I suspect that Henry has done a lot of research and has concluded that the Sox brand is at a saturation point- that spending X amount over Y isn't going to bring back a return worth it, so they're basically at a point where they've reach maximum earnings while the Padres are trying to get to that point and see a World Series victory as the thing that will bring them up to that point where they then can start to draw back on spending.
Any reason why you expect them to let Machado leave? Kind of seems like they just might try to bring everyone back (within reason obviously and maybe Machado gets blown away with an offer in FA)
 

scottyno

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Any reason why you expect them to let Machado leave? Kind of seems like they just might try to bring everyone back (within reason obviously and maybe Machado gets blown away with an offer in FA)
Are they going to carry 4 mega position player contracts at the same time? I think that's the reason to expect one of Machado or Soto to leave.
 

nighthob

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Are they going to carry 4 mega position player contracts at the same time? I think that's the reason to expect one of Machado or Soto to leave.
I can’t see them letting Machado leave unless Soto’s already signed to an extension. I’d bet on Machado being there in 2024.
 

Cassvt2023

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Cross posting this from the Barnes thread...


Given the Tampa model, I wouldn't be surprised to see Houck in a long/bulk relief role where he's still throwing every fifth day, yet avoiding the third time through the lineup issue. Maybe piggybacking of Paxton starts.
I believe i said something to this effect in an earlier post when it was mentioned that Houck was expendable in a trade. If you have Sale as your #1 and Paxton as your #4 in the rotation, I could see Houck piggybacking both and being able to go multiple innings. His stuff is nasty against RH hitters, which the lineups would likely be stacked with on the days those lefties start. If the combo of these three could get you into the 7th/8th inning twice a week, the rest of the pen is that much more rested. Houck is a key part of this bullpen IMO.
 

nvalvo

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Here's a breakdown of that list down in a way that makes more sense to me.

SP in: Kluber; out: Wacha, Hill, Eovaldi

RP in: Jansen, Martin, Rodríguez; out: Strahm, Barnes

OF in: Yoshida, Duvall; out: Pham, Martínez

IF in: Turner, Mondesi; out: Bogaerts, Hosmer
 

Rich Garces Belly

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Paxton and hopefully a healthy Sale should be in the “SP in section.” Overall it looks like a significantly better bullpen and more starting pitching depth while also improving the outfield. Huge step down in the infield.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I could 100% see 23 Devers being an improvement on 22 Devers.
Agreed. There's also a possibility that Casas is enough of an improvement at 1B to balance out the loss of offensive production at SS. The SS brigade being slightly better than last year's 1B brigade is a fairly low bar to clear, after all. All of which just highlights how much of a blow Story's injury is.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Agreed. There's also a possibility that Casas is enough of an improvement at 1B to balance out the loss of offensive production at SS. The SS brigade being slightly better than last year's 1B brigade is a fairly low bar to clear, after all. All of which just highlights how much of a blow Story's injury is.
Defensively, sure. But offensively, Story was pretty meh and didn’t play much anyways. Story and Arroyo were separated by 1 point in OPS (and deep depth like Downs and Sanchez were miserable) , so it seems possible that the replacement 2B should at least be able to come close to if not exceed Story’s offensive output from 22.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Agreed. There's also a possibility that Casas is enough of an improvement at 1B to balance out the loss of offensive production at SS. The SS brigade being slightly better than last year's 1B brigade is a fairly low bar to clear, after all. All of which just highlights how much of a blow Story's injury is.
I’d very much borderline love the team if Story was healthy. Crushing blow.

On the starting pitching front, one would need to include Bello, Whitlock, Sale, and Paxton.

This floor-ceiling gap of the starting staff might be the largest I can ever remember. The ceiling is front of the line stuff and production. The downside is that everyone has injury history or no resume. It’s really intriguing, exciting, and scary.

On the position side of things, one would need to add Casas as well. And that’s not a small deal either, Red Sox first base production was near bottom of the league.

2023 will be a great little case study on the importance of having waves of in place talent replacing production vs. free agents.

Much of the success will depend on Bello, Whitlock, Houck, and Casas.

And after that, they’ll most like see if Mata, Valdez, Rafaela, Walter are real sometime within the season as well.

It’s an incredibly exciting transition year to a new core in my opinion. I’m much more exited to analyze the production from the new core vs. actual wins and losses.
 

Yo La Tengo

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The Sox put up the following OPS last year by position in the infield:

1B: .683
2B: .724
SS: .816
3B: .856

Can they match that .770 OPS this year? I would have said yes with Story at 2B but a couple of big "ifs" will have to break right to get to that number this season.

But, as a team, the improvements in the outfield puts this lineup in position to meet/exceed last year's offensive production.

As always, success will come down to the starting pitching.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Defensively, sure. But offensively, Story was pretty meh and didn’t play much anyways. Story and Arroyo were separated by 1 point in OPS (and deep depth like Downs and Sanchez were miserable) , so it seems possible that the replacement 2B should at least be able to come close to if not exceed Story’s offensive output from 22.
The aggregate 2B OPS was .723 last season which seems like something that could also be exceeded. So at this point, the general offensive outlook- on paper- may be sneakily better than '22 which was a top 5 offense in the AL.
The problem (and I honestly don't know if I have either the energy or time to confirm or deny this) was that the offense ran super hot and super cold. The first month and a half was absolutely horrific on offense. Then they had an explosive month and half where it seemed like could destroy anything in their paths... then a more up and down day by day game by game variability where they'd score 10 and then 2, then 1, then 9. Obviously no team is going to run out there and score 5 runs each and every game, but less crazy swings in production and more consistency I think should be expected this year.*

*Here's my former stoner theory- Vazquez. Cora. I don't know believe that Vazquez was a good team leader. The C is always the defacto captain or at least the floor manager of the team and he always seemed the last two seasons to be half-focused, and I think Bloom saw that and got rid of him. No way to prove this obviously.
My other feeling about the crazy inconsistency is Cora, who I at least haven't convinced myself yet is a bad manager but I don't think he's a very good one either. Maybe in the middle and he has some strengths but I can't shake the fact that he doesn't go for the kill sometimes and is an extreme "players manager".

EDIT- basically what YLT said in their post above
 

koufax32

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While we’re throwing out theories, I’ve been ruminating on this one for awhile and it seems like FO’s as well as players have been trending this way since KC’s World Series several years ago. Not all OPS’s are created equal. I’m unsure about how to test this theory but it goes something like this. An OBP heavy OPS team leads to a more consistent lineup with a higher floor but lower ceiling. A SLG heavy OPS team leads to greater offensive variability and less consistency, but lower troughs and higher crests. Nobody remembers the lows, but they do remember (or for players and agents, they market and try to sell) the highs.

Like you, I don’t know how to go about testing this, but it seems to be the overall pattern that my eyes have seen overall as well as the smaller example of BOS offense last season.

If I’m close to correct, it would seem that an emerging (already here?) market inefficiency would be higher OBP, lower SLG players.

edit: The timing of your inconsistency recollections correspond with how difficult or easy the schedule was, IIRC.

If I’m close to correct, it would seem that an emerging (already here?) market inefficiency would be higher OBP, lower SLG players.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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Here's a breakdown of that list down in a way that makes more sense to me.

SP in: Kluber; out: Wacha, Hill, Eovaldi

RP in: Jansen, Martin, Rodríguez; out: Strahm, Barnes

OF in: Yoshida, Duvall; out: Pham, Martínez

IF in: Turner, Mondesi; out: Bogaerts, Hosmer
That's a good breakdown, but I'd really put it this way:

SP:
- Out: Wacha, Hill, Eovaldi
- In: Kluber

RP:
- Out: Strahm, Barnes
- In: Jansen, Martin, Rodriguez

IF:
- Out: Hosmer, Bogaerts
- In: Mondesi

OF:
- Out: Pham
- In: Yoshida, Duvall

DH:
- Out: Martinez
- In: Turner (Turner will likely mostly DH)

C:
- Out: N/A
- In: Alfaro (though to a minor league deal so I don't know if this should count yet)
 

geoflin

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As always, success will come down to the starting pitching.
I agree but do have one concern. Success of pitching depends in great part on defense. It's unclear at this point how good the up-the-middle defense will be and we know the OF corners are likely to be passable at best. This leaves me worried that ERA's and runs allowed will not be able to match FIP's or xFIP's, leaving the results worse than the pitching itself.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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If I’m close to correct, it would seem that an emerging (already here?) market inefficiency would be higher OBP, lower SLG players.
Don't know whether that's true or not, but higher OBP does not seem to characterize most of our recent acquisitions.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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How many high OBP / low SLG players are there these days? Of the top 50 players for OBP, only 5 had a SLG below 400 (Benintendi, LaMehieu, Yelich, Rojas, Crawford). Hell, a 340 OBP cracks the top 50, so it’s pretty difficult to find high OBP players at all.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Don't know whether that's true or not, but higher OBP does not seem to characterize most of our recent acquisitions.
Guess it depends on how you want to define "higher." Safe to say the new guys can produce a higher OBP than what they're replacing.

To me, it isn't necessarily super high OBP so much as OBP that isn't driven primarily by batting average. For example, I'd be okay with a full season of Casas hitting .197 with a .358 OBP (his production in limited play last year) rather than 117 games of Dalbec hitting .215 with a .283 OBP.

Yoshida is another one. .326 BA in Japan with a .419 career OBP. Even if he hits .260-.270 in MLB, he's probably still going to get on base at a .340-.360 clip. That would be a significant step up from the JBJ/Duran/Pham/Cordero contingent (none of whom topped .300 OBP last year).
 

koufax32

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Dec 8, 2006
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Don't know whether that's true or not, but higher OBP does not seem to characterize most of our recent acquisitions.
Other than Yoshida, yes. Part of that is probably a product of players swinging harder and earlier (does the data back this eye test up?) and not as fearful of striking out. That player trend, call it the launch angle revolution is you will, is presumably behind MLB’s fiddling with the ball to make last year a mini-1968. If a player sees a skill set becoming undervalued, I imagine they would try to change who they are. It would be the old “you can’t walk your way off the island” except it’s “…your way into a massive contract because chicks dig the long ball.”

I’ll be the first to admit this is all a guess built on an assumption built on data that correlates but may not cause. I’d be really curious to see how a 2007 Red Sox lineup (or similar OBP machine) would produce in this new environment.
 

nvalvo

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Martinez didn't play in the field at all last year, right?
I think that's right. If you prefer we can count him only as a DH.

Paxton and hopefully a healthy Sale should be in the “SP in section.” Overall it looks like a significantly better bullpen and more starting pitching depth while also improving the outfield. Huge step down in the infield.
They were already on the roster, so they’re not here. You’re of course correct that we’re hoping they are the replacements for Wacha and Eovaldi.
 

nvalvo

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Don't know whether that's true or not, but higher OBP does not seem to characterize most of our recent acquisitions.
Turner, Casas and Yoshida are all likely to post great OBPs.


How many high OBP / low SLG players are there these days? Of the top 50 players for OBP, only 5 had a SLG below 400 (Benintendi, LaMehieu, Yelich, Rojas, Crawford). Hell, a 340 OBP cracks the top 50, so it’s pretty difficult to find high OBP players at all.
This seems like a strange way to look at it, because you’re mixing ranks (for OBP) and an absolute number (for SLG). If a .340 OBP cracks the top 50, isn’t that a pretty high OBP? If everybody on the list has a .400 SLG, doesn’t that suggest it isn’t very high?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I don’t think I get your point. Mine was just that there don’t appear to be many high OBP / low SLG players anymore. Most of the players with high OBP also have high SLG too. Makes sense, I think, given how the game has moved to the launch angle revolution and emphasized power over getting on base, whether that could shift a bit given new roles seems likely. But seems like there are a lot more low OBP / high SLG players than vice versa.
 

EyeBob

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Dec 22, 2022
138
I can’t see them letting Machado leave unless Soto’s already signed to an extension. I’d bet on Machado being there in 2024.
Disagree, Machado will opt out and get a bigger pay day from another team. Darvish is also at the end of his contract. It is this year or nothing for the Padres.
 

BravesField

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Oct 27, 2021
265
I could 100% see 23 Devers being an improvement on 22 Devers.
I'm not so sure. This cast has a lack of power. Raffy had 27 bombs last year. Our next 3 in the lineup hit 36...combined. Turner 13, Verdugo 11, Duval 12.

Teams are going to pitch around Devers this season.