What does 2023 look like?

chawson

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I honestly would rather move on from Arroyo (and Hernandez). I think Valdez' bat outweighs Arroyo's glove. Chang is more useful defensively. Arroyo may be worth a lottery ticket.
Same here. Valdez is pretty interesting, and Chang has most of Arroyo’s strengths and another year of control.

I don’t like dinging guys for bad injury luck but Arroyo never seems like he has the time to hold his gains together.
 

JM3

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As a leading Valdez apologist who has been trying to get him in the strong side of a 2B platoon since January... I'll allow it.
 

iddoc

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I’m concerned that the nature of Chang’s injury will sap his lone offensive asset (power) for the rest of the year. I have similar concerns about Duvall and am surprised to hear that he will be starting a rehab assignment soon.
 

joe dokes

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I’m concerned that the nature of Chang’s injury will sap his lone offensive asset (power) for the rest of the year. I have similar concerns about Duvall and am surprised to hear that he will be starting a rehab assignment soon.
1st game, so no idea it if portends anything for the future, but this is the Glob report of his rehab start:
Chang served as DH for Double A Portland, going 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts. Afterward, he acknowledged discomfort when he swung.

“In my second at-bat I swung at a low slider and I felt it getting worse,” Chang told TVBS, a Taiwanese network. “So I tried a third at-bat and swung at a cutter. I feel like I might need more time. It’s all good in batting practice but I felt soreness swinging at low pitches.”
 

LogansDad

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Yeah, let him take his time if it still hurts. Love his defense, but he isn't a big enough upgrade to need to rush him back if he isn't 100%.
 

YTF

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Yeah, let him take his time if it still hurts. Love his defense, but he isn't a big enough upgrade to need to rush him back if he isn't 100%.
Agreed. Although there's more than a few guys on the IL that have the ability to make a real impact (offensively and defensively) I see no real reason to rush any of these guys back. IF the starting pitching continues moving in a positive direction and if the likes of Reyes, Valdez, RFsnyder, Duran, Tapia can continue to fill in as they have I think the team can continue to to play above .500 baseball. Let Duvall, Story and Mondesi take the time that they need to return as healthy contributors moving forward.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Let Duvall, Story and Mondesi take the time that they need to return as healthy contributors moving forward.
Whither Mondesi? I want to see some gaudy SB numbers (and + defense)...

edit: oops, I guess I leave it for the SoSH record?
edit2: not funny enough to leave
 
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chrisfont9

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Whither Mondesi? I want to see some gaudy SB numbers (and + defense)...

edit: oops, I guess I leave it for the SoSH record?
edit2: not funny enough to leave
It's a little weird that it's taking Mondesi so long, but he probably uses his legs/speed more than most players and anyway everyone's knee recovery is different. My personal experience is that you can be fine in a year but you won't stop feeling it for close to two. In any event, the Sox are covered for now.

Chang's issue sounds completely normal.

Sorry I missed the typo.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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I note that Nick Yorke is back up over a .400 OBP in AA with 6 HRs (one every 23 ABs). I don't have insights on his defense - I know that's what people are concerned about, though.

You can maybe figure out where I'm going with this. Given that Story is expected to play SS upon his return, and given that Arroyo and Hernandez have each struggled a bit this year, I'm starting to wonder if there's a chance that he'll get some significant MLB playing time later this year - "significant" meaning more than just a September cameo.

Either way, it's pretty exciting. Can't believe some doofus on here was trying to trade him for Tim Anderson a couple of weeks ago.
 

grimshaw

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I note that Nick Yorke is back up over a .400 OBP in AA with 6 HRs (one every 23 ABs). I don't have insights on his defense - I know that's what people are concerned about, though.

You can maybe figure out where I'm going with this. Given that Story is expected to play SS upon his return, and given that Arroyo and Hernandez have each struggled a bit this year, I'm starting to wonder if there's a chance that he'll get some significant MLB playing time later this year - "significant" meaning more than just a September cameo.

Either way, it's pretty exciting. Can't believe some doofus on here was trying to trade him for Tim Anderson a couple of weeks ago.
If everyone is healthy, they'd have Story, Mondesi, Hernandez, Arroyo, and Chang on major league deals as up the middle guys who all bat right-handed. They also will have to move on from Reyes and figure out where Valdez will be. It'd be one thing if he was already a polished defender filling a position where everyone was unplayable, but that is something he needs to work on. His bat would have to be so obviously superior too which is tough to project given the gap in AAA to the majors now.

Even with roster expansion there isn't really room for a non catching one position guy. I don't think we'll see him until some time next year.

To me, he is someone I would consider moving in the future to fill a different need.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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If everyone is healthy, they'd have Story, Mondesi, Hernandez, Arroyo, and Chang on major league deals as up the middle guys who all bat right-handed. They also will have to move on from Reyes and figure out where Valdez will be. It'd be one thing if he was already a polished defender filling a position where everyone was unplayable, but that is something he needs to work on. His bat would have to be so obviously superior too which is tough to project given the gap in AAA to the majors now.

Even with roster expansion there isn't really room for a non catching one position guy. I don't think we'll see him until some time next year.

To me, he is someone I would consider moving in the future to fill a different need.
I suspect he’s also traded but he’ll need another full season of continued success like he’s having to maximize his value. His stock plummeted last season and he’ll need more time to wipe away that cloud.
There’s a lot of 2B talent in the mL’s and the Sox are pretty set at every infield position for a while- with hopefully Cedanne as an everyday super utility guy. Yorke is a guy you leverage to get some pitching talent
 

Rovin Romine

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I suspect he’s also traded but he’ll need another full season of continued success like he’s having to maximize his value. His stock plummeted last season and he’ll need more time to wipe away that cloud.
There’s a lot of 2B talent in the mL’s and the Sox are pretty set at every infield position for a while- with hopefully Cedanne as an everyday super utility guy. Yorke is a guy you leverage to get some pitching talent
I'm not sure the system is as stable/stacked as all that. Ideally, Story comes back as a SS, moving to 2B over the next 5 years. Devers will remain at 3B. Casas at 1B, hopefully.

But after this year we have:
Story.
Chang who is under control through 2025 and is in his arb years. Good SS glove, bad stick.
Arroyo for 2024. Very average 2B.
Valdez. Meh to passable 2B glove, perhaps a good stick.

That's it.

In the minors for 2024, there's Hamilton at 2B/SS (who may be a flash in the pan), Rafaela (who is not hitting), and Yorke.

Sure, they might be able to resign some current ML players for 2024+. Or Hamilton/someone may jump and stick. But I doubt they trade Yorke before there's more clarity among the infield.

The ultimate plan would be Mayer SS and Story 2B, but I think this year is illustrative in that a Justin Turner type has shown to be quite valuable in terms of fit. So perhaps they're looking at the possible spread with someone like that in mind.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'm not sure the system is as stable/stacked as all that. Ideally, Story comes back as a SS, moving to 2B over the next 5 years. Devers will remain at 3B. Casas at 1B, hopefully.

But after this year we have:
Story.
Chang who is under control through 2025 and is in his arb years. Good SS glove, bad stick.
Arroyo for 2024. Very average 2B.
Valdez. Meh to passable 2B glove, perhaps a good stick.

That's it.

In the minors for 2024, there's Hamilton at 2B/SS (who may be a flash in the pan), Rafaela (who is not hitting), and Yorke.

Sure, they might be able to resign some current ML players for 2024+. Or Hamilton/someone may jump and stick. But I doubt they trade Yorke before there's more clarity among the infield.

The ultimate plan would be Mayer SS and Story 2B, but I think this year is illustrative in that a Justin Turner type has shown to be quite valuable in terms of fit. So perhaps they're looking at the possible spread with someone like that in mind.
Mikey Romero and Lugo both seem able to be projectable potential average to above average 2B guys though. Yorke or Romero likely have the most value and adding those two into the 2b mix really creates a logjam. Bloom has to use excess value there where it’s lacking (pitching).
 

Archer1979

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Not sure where to put this, but how is their no Red Sox game today? Seems like this happens a lot in recent years.
I think it's more a Labor Day thing in recent memory, but that said, MLB kind of screws up in scheduling with this in that each of the summer holidays should have a full slate. Given the recent schedule though with the West Coast swing, it would have been grueling for the Sox to play today unless the next series was still on the West Coast.

Guess we'll just have to make do with the Celtics. :)
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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I think it's more a Labor Day thing in recent memory, but that said, MLB kind of screws up in scheduling with this in that each of the summer holidays should have a full slate. Given the recent schedule though with the West Coast swing, it would have been grueling for the Sox to play today unless the next series was still on the West Coast.

Guess we'll just have to make do with the Celtics. :)
Not to mention the minor leagues don't play on Mondays at all any more with the 6-game sets from Tuesday through Sunday. A lot of potential baseball gate revenue left on the table.
 

fenwaypaul

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I'll never get used to the idea that there is no longer a full slate of doubleheaders on Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Labor Day.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Not to mention the minor leagues don't play on Mondays at all any more with the 6-game sets from Tuesday through Sunday. A lot of potential baseball gate revenue left on the table.
I absolutely hate the minor league schedule. Memorial Day and Labor Day were always big crowds every time I went and now when July 4th lands on a Monday, they'll have an entire season with no holiday games. I've usually gone to at least a couple of games by this point of the season, but I've been too busy this year and today would have been a great time to go. I also had a weeklong staycation back in April, but the 3 teams within a 2-hour drive of me were all on the road. They're in 3 different leagues, so I know that's going to happen from time to time, but in the past, it would have meant that maybe all 3 were on the road on Wednesday, but by Friday one or two would be home. Now if they aren't home it means you can cross off the entire week.
 

Rovin Romine

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Mikey Romero and Lugo both seem able to be projectable potential average to above average 2B guys though. Yorke or Romero likely have the most value and adding those two into the 2b mix really creates a logjam. Bloom has to use excess value there where it’s lacking (pitching).
If you get a steal of a trade to shore up a weak area, you do it. But I don't think you go shopping with the idea that you must get rid of potentially redundant prospects who are 1 or 2 or 3 years out - especially if there's a) no guarantee of health/development, b) some of those prospects might be able to lateral into other roles (3B/1B/OF).

I suspect, if the Sox are loading up on SS types, they're well aware they can have some future redundancy. But I also think that they're likely to try to creatively solve a problem than to "rebalance" their draft picks by trading them early for MiL talent to set up a pipeline.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Mikey Romero and Lugo both seem able to be projectable potential average to above average 2B guys though. Yorke or Romero likely have the most value and adding those two into the 2b mix really creates a logjam. Bloom has to use excess value there where it’s lacking (pitching).
Lugo is going to be rule 5 eligible this winter. Yorke is eligible in 2024. Mayer in 2025. Romero isn't eligible until 2026. Those are the real "deadlines" in terms of whether these guys are truly part of a logjam in the organization. Until then, there's no real rush to move them at anything but their own pace.

So I guess if any of them are potential trade bait in the immediate future, it's Lugo. But even that's only if they don't think he's going to viably compete for a big league spot by the end of 2024.
 

curly2

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I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think Lugo is a prospect. Double-A is where hitters with bad approaches get exposed, and that's what seems to be happening with Lugo. He has a 250/274/410.684 line in 26 games, with 24 strikeouts against just three walks.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think Lugo is a prospect. Double-A is where hitters with bad approaches get exposed, and that's what seems to be happening with Lugo. He has a 250/274/410.684 line in 26 games, with 24 strikeouts against just three walks.
Never going to judge any player based on 29 games (counting his 3-game cup of coffee with the Sea Dogs last year) at any level. There's always a period of adjustment when moving up a level. They've also been playing him in LF of late (it's a crowded infield in Portland, especially with Mayer arriving). Could be his attention isn't fully on improving at the plate.
 

JM3

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Lugo also just turned 22 like 3 weeks ago so probably a bit early to write him off. Definitely think he's both lower ceiling & floor than some of the other guys, though.
 

chrisfont9

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If you get a steal of a trade to shore up a weak area, you do it. But I don't think you go shopping with the idea that you must get rid of potentially redundant prospects who are 1 or 2 or 3 years out - especially if there's a) no guarantee of health/development, b) some of those prospects might be able to lateral into other roles (3B/1B/OF).

I suspect, if the Sox are loading up on SS types, they're well aware they can have some future redundancy. But I also think that they're likely to try to creatively solve a problem than to "rebalance" their draft picks by trading them early for MiL talent to set up a pipeline.
Remember when we had too many 3B prospects and traded Bagwell instead of Scott Cooper? [This is, of course, a rhetorical question.] You don't have a logjam until they all reach the majors, IMO, and even then things might sort themselves out. I'm pretty sure the Sox think this way because they weren't worried about a re-signed Bogaerts blocking Mayer.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Remember when we had too many 3B prospects and traded Bagwell instead of Scott Cooper? [This is, of course, a rhetorical question.] You don't have a logjam until they all reach the majors, IMO, and even then things might sort themselves out. I'm pretty sure the Sox think this way because they weren't worried about a re-signed Bogaerts blocking Mayer.
Amen. I don't want the Sox to trade away another HOF player as a prospect, however slim the chances of that happening are. Here I trust Bloom and the rest of the FO to make better choices than some here at SOSH propose.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Remember when we had too many 3B prospects and traded Bagwell instead of Scott Cooper? [This is, of course, a rhetorical question.] You don't have a logjam until they all reach the majors, IMO, and even then things might sort themselves out. I'm pretty sure the Sox think this way because they weren't worried about a re-signed Bogaerts blocking Mayer.
Huh? Clearly they did sometime after getting Mayer the Sox basically didn’t look to extend him past his recent expired contract despite a likely 1-2 year downturn at SS that they were willing to fill with Kiké and a guy who barely plays or a guy who I doubt was ever considered a SS when the Sox signed him due to shoulder problems.
 

chrisfont9

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Huh? Clearly they did sometime after getting Mayer the Sox basically didn’t look to extend him past his recent expired contract despite a likely 1-2 year downturn at SS that they were willing to fill with Kiké and a guy who barely plays or a guy who I doubt was ever considered a SS when the Sox signed him due to shoulder problems.
By all accounts they offered Bogaerts 6/$162, so while you may be right about how they felt in 2021, they appear to have moved past that.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/12/08/sports/xander-bogaerts-padres-red-sox/
 

Van Everyman

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So, with their recent swoon, I am wondering if we are witnessing a repeat of last year, where the Red Sox came into the season with a roster that kind of relied on health and guys having career years to be competitive.

2021 was the blueprint. They got great pitching performances out of everybody but Sale and career years out of guys like Hernandez and Renfroe. Most important of all they stayed healthy. And they almost pulled it off.

Last season, they more or less tried to run it back and after stumbling at the start, looked great until the injuries kicked in and fell apart around July.

This season, they seemed to be firing on all cylinders until you had sort of a perfect storm of Jansen blowing two saves, the horrible West Coast road trip where the offense dried up and Sale going down.

My issue with this approach is that they are relying on guys to stay healthy and play to their ceiling, not their mean (or average or whatever it is). Obviously that opens the door for the Shaughnessy‘s of the world to argue that they are just being cheap or trying to outsmart everyone.But that’s just noise. More importantly, it’s hard to sustain in a division where all four competitors are putting real lineups on the field.

I also wonder whether psychologically that opens them up for long dips in the quality of their play because all the guys start playing a little tight, knowing that they have to play at their best for the team just to keep up.

It’s a little bit of a bummer as a fan, because I actually like this collection of players and can appreciate the desire not just to sign everybody at the biggest dollar figure. But it seems hard to compete consistently.
 
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JM3

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It's always going to be hard to compete consistently until you have an influx of cheap talent. The cheap talent is coming/here, the bad contracts are off the books & they reset the tax this year. There's no reason for them not to have a playoff team next year & an even better team in '25.

The whole bridge lifestyle can be frustrating but it's a process. They could probably add about $90m AAV this off season to a returning core of...

SP Sale/Bello/Whitlock/Houck/Crawford
RP Jansen/Martin/Schreiber/Winck
C Wong/McGuire
1B Casas
2B Valdez/Arroyo
SS Story
3B Devers
OF Yoshida/Verdugo/Duran/Refsnyder

With other guys like Abreu/Yorke/Mayer/Drohan/Rafaela close.
 

Rovin Romine

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So, with their recent swoon, I am wondering if we are witnessing a repeat of last year, where the Red Sox came into the season with a roster that kind of relied on health and guys having career years to be competitive.

2021 was the blueprint. They got great pitching performances out of everybody but Sale and career years out of guys like Hernandez and Renfroe. Most important of all they stayed healthy. And they almost pulled it off.

Last season, they more or less tried to run it back and after stumbling at the start, looked great until the injuries kicked in and fell apart around July.

This season, they seemed to be firing on all cylinders until you had sort of a perfect storm of Jansen blowing two saves, the horrible West Coast road trip where the offense dried up and Sale going down.

My issue with this approach is that they are relying on guys to stay healthy and play to their ceiling, not their mean (or average or whatever it is). Obviously that opens the door for the Shaughnessy‘s of the world to argue that they are just being cheap or trying to outsmart everyone.But that’s just noise. More importantly, it’s hard to sustain in a division where all four competitors are putting real lineups on the field.

I also wonder whether psychologically that opens them up for long dips in the quality of their play because all the guys start playing a little tight, knowing that they have to play at their best for the team just to keep up.

It’s a little bit of a bummer as a fan, because I actually like this collection of players and can appreciate the desire not just to sign everybody at the biggest dollar figure. But it seems hard to compete consistently.
I think 2021 was a good bridge-year template: a competitive club if it all works out to a certain point. The 2021 club stayed within striking distance and traded for Schwarber/Robles/Davis in late July to address shortcomings on the club. Also, they expected Sale to come back and chip in (which he did.)

So I don't think the 2021 "relied" on health, or outlier years. In fact, they didn't really get much in the way of planned supporting performances from: Gonzalez/Cordero/Santana. Instead they got rando Covid-Replacement final flares out of Shaw and Iglesias, and Dalbec had a mostly-up season of ups and downs, while Hernandez was probably the only outlier in terms of positive performance. So a bit of bad luck, and a bit of good.


In 2022, I think there was an expectation that Sale would be part of the rotation and Paxton would be the late season entrance. That didn't happen, and so the Sox had less of a deep base to push from. However, they got some great short term value out of Wacha and Strahm, et al. Until injuries derailed even that and they had to go deep into the emergency player level, starting Crawford and Winckowski for 26 games.

I'd say the 2022 season made much better supporting talent choices to start with, but Dalbec and Hernandez (injured) regressed significantly. The one big miss was JBJ. I don't think they so much "relied" on health - but they were absolutely pole-axed by bad health outcomes. Sale had his cursed season. Paxton never came on board. Story blew out his elbow. All the starters went on the IL for a stretch. 2022 was devastated by injuries - to the point where "relying" on average health went out the window. Still, they hung in there, which resulted in a bit of lateraling at the trading deadline. Diekman for McGuire, Northcut for Pham, Vazquez for Valdez and Abreu, Groom for Hosmer/Fergeson/Roiser.

As an aside, I must note: Wacha, Strahm, Hill, Eovaldi - those guys everyone seems to think we missed out on? They all spent significant time on the IL. Wacha - 23 starts, Hill - 26, Eovaldi - 20. There was endless pissing and moaning that it was insane to sign old and often injured guys.


This year the main problem is the starting pitching has been, collectively, a disaster. I'm not sure how much of it was foreseeable, but I don't think anyone thought the Sox should have expected Houck and Whitlock to regress while Kluber and Pivetta collapsed. Meanwhile Bello's ERA is better but his FIP is much worse. I think if there were "normal trends" there, the Sox would be in the middle of the AL East scrum. (That includes just one AAA guy taking a step forward to perhaps help out the club in the bullpen.)

At the end of the day you're simply not going to get 100% of the calls on players correct. Bloom/Bush and Company have ID'd some under-appreciated pitchers in the past few years, and have been able to get some performances out of many of them. I don't know what went wrong this year, but the breadth of it is troubling.



As a final thought - in 2021 we scored the 4th most runs in the AL, in 2022 we scored the 4th most runs in the AL, and in 2023, we sit at the 3rd most as of today.
 

RS2004foreever

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"Obviously that opens the door for the Shaughnessy‘s of the world to argue that they are just being cheap "
This is why guys like Shaughnessy hate the Rays. If spending money was so important why are the Rays 46-19.
 

sezwho

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I think 2021 was a good bridge-year template: a competitive club if it all works out to a certain point. The 2021 club stayed within striking distance and traded for Schwarber/Robles/Davis in late July to address shortcomings on the club. Also, they expected Sale to come back and chip in (which he did.)

So I don't think the 2021 "relied" on health, or outlier years. In fact, they didn't really get much in the way of planned supporting performances from: Gonzalez/Cordero/Santana. Instead they got rando Covid-Replacement final flares out of Shaw and Iglesias, and Dalbec had a mostly-up season of ups and downs, while Hernandez was probably the only outlier in terms of positive performance. So a bit of bad luck, and a bit of good.

...snip

As a final thought - in 2021 we scored the 4th most runs in the AL, in 2022 we scored the 4th most runs in the AL, and in 2023, we sit at the 3rd most as of today.
Re the bolded, this seems to be Bloom's bridge year template. My initial forecast was around 500 where they mash runs but have limited run prevention and that seems to be bearing out. They did try for a proper pen this year, which was nice, but again defense is so non-valued that folks are regularly out of position to the point of being a punchline (middle infield this year RF and 1st in last couple). Maybe Harpo says runs put butts in seats but Its just ugly and weirdly demoralizing (for me, no idea what impact on players).
 

8slim

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I think 2021 was a good bridge-year template: a competitive club if it all works out to a certain point. ...

So I don't think the 2021 "relied" on health, or outlier years.
The bridge year model for this franchise is 2013, obviously. What we got that season was not just a very strong offense, but a solid, consistent starting rotation. Specifically, a #1 horse (Lester) who contributed a lot of quality innings and a lights-out closer (Koji), both of which enabled slotting in every other pitcher into advantageous roles.

2021 followed that blueprint to a large extent, with Eovaldi playing the Lester role, and Barnes playing the Koji role (for 4 months, anyway). It does rely on "outlier" years, to some degree. Lester had an awful 2012. Eovaldi hadn't thrown 30+ starts in 7 years prior to 2021. Koji was a revelation, as was Barnes until the wheels came off.

Needless to say, that didn't transpire in 2022, and hasn't in 2023. Honestly, the hit rate on this approach seems about right to me. Maybe once every 3 or 4 times one tries this kind of bridge year (lower cost offensive vets on short deals, hoping a SP or 2 stays healthy and good, etc.) can get you a playoff run. Most times it leads to a .500-ish season.
 

ookami7m

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Everyone forgets that Koji was the 3rd or 4th option as closer when 2013 started though. The real lesson of Koji is having the depth to find that guy as your 4th option.
 

Rovin Romine

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The bridge year model for this franchise is 2013, obviously. What we got that season was not just a very strong offense, but a solid, consistent starting rotation. Specifically, a #1 horse (Lester) who contributed a lot of quality innings and a lights-out closer (Koji), both of which enabled slotting in every other pitcher into advantageous roles.

2021 followed that blueprint to a large extent, with Eovaldi playing the Lester role, and Barnes playing the Koji role (for 4 months, anyway). It does rely on "outlier" years, to some degree. Lester had an awful 2012. Eovaldi hadn't thrown 30+ starts in 7 years prior to 2021. Koji was a revelation, as was Barnes until the wheels came off.

Needless to say, that didn't transpire in 2022, and hasn't in 2023. Honestly, the hit rate on this approach seems about right to me. Maybe once every 3 or 4 times one tries this kind of bridge year (lower cost offensive vets on short deals, hoping a SP or 2 stays healthy and good, etc.) can get you a playoff run. Most times it leads to a .500-ish season.
2013 was more of a reboot year, as many of the pieces were already cemented into the club - Ortiz, Pedrioa, Ellsbury, Lester, Lackey. The club hit the FA market for short term mature players - Victorino, Napoli, S.Drew, Koji (for depth) etc. They were designed to compliment the existing core, and everything aligned. While it's true they had prospects coming, it's not like they had a strong wave of prospects coming up: Look at September 2012. https://soxprospects.com/history.htm So I'm not really sure in the 2012 offseason the strategy was to try to bridge *to* a fundamentally different club, or a club built around different key players. Beyond the usual drift of minors guys coming onto the club, expecting some FA signings to replace current FAs aging out. Instead it seemed just as much one last squeeze for juice.
 

sezwho

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Isle of Plum
The bridge year model for this franchise is 2013, obviously. What we got that season was not just a very strong offense, but a solid, consistent starting rotation. Specifically, a #1 horse (Lester) who contributed a lot of quality innings and a lights-out closer (Koji), both of which enabled slotting in every other pitcher into advantageous roles.

2021 followed that blueprint to a large extent, with Eovaldi playing the Lester role, and Barnes playing the Koji role (for 4 months, anyway). It does rely on "outlier" years, to some degree. Lester had an awful 2012. Eovaldi hadn't thrown 30+ starts in 7 years prior to 2021. Koji was a revelation, as was Barnes until the wheels came off.

Needless to say, that didn't transpire in 2022, and hasn't in 2023. Honestly, the hit rate on this approach seems about right to me. Maybe once every 3 or 4 times one tries this kind of bridge year (lower cost offensive vets on short deals, hoping a SP or 2 stays healthy and good, etc.) can get you a playoff run. Most times it leads to a .500-ish season.
What do you mean by model and whose? I'm saying the pattern Bloom has executed against since arrival (mashers with some butchers and whatever short term pitching you can get) is the actual model they are following.
 

8slim

has trust issues
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
25,601
Unreal America
2013 was more of a reboot year, as many of the pieces were already cemented into the club - Ortiz, Pedrioa, Ellsbury, Lester, Lackey. The club hit the FA market for short term mature players - Victorino, Napoli, S.Drew, Koji (for depth) etc. They were designed to compliment the existing core, and everything aligned. While it's true they had prospects coming, it's not like they had a strong wave of prospects coming up: Look at September 2012. https://soxprospects.com/history.htm So I'm not really sure in the 2012 offseason the strategy was to try to bridge *to* a fundamentally different club, or a club built around different key players. Beyond the usual drift of minors guys coming onto the club, expecting some FA signings to replace current FAs aging out. Instead it seemed just as much one last squeeze for juice.
Eh, we disagree about 2013, which is fine. Lester and Lackey only had 1 more year on their deals, and there was no appetite to resign them (not that we knew that at the time). Ellsbury was on his last year and obviously the FO had a ceiling on what they'd pay him going forward.

Xander came up in 2013, while JBJ, Mookie and Vasquez were a year away. So I do think the intent was to build a lower-cost bridge to a future without the guys I mentioned, and the kids who were knocking on the MLB door.

Regardless, 2013, like 2021, needed a strong O, a horse #1, another 2-3 starters that gave us 25+ quality starts, and competent bullpen with an elite anchor to reach their full potential. It's not impossible, it's just not likely to happen more often than not. And we've seen that play out the past 2 seasons.
 

8slim

has trust issues
SoSH Member
Nov 6, 2001
25,601
Unreal America
What do you mean by model and whose? I'm saying the pattern Bloom has executed against since arrival (mashers with some butchers and whatever short term pitching you can get) is the actual model they are following.
I meant that 2013 was the peak execution of what essentially is a "one-year" strategy designed to get the franchise to future seasons with prospects taking on more prominent roles.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
25,669
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Eh, we disagree about 2013, which is fine.
It is.

I think we'd both agree that it was a short-shelf-life club. I.e., when the 2013 club took the field on opening day, nobody rationally expected those players to form a core we'd see taking the field four years later.

Xander came up in 2013, while JBJ, Mookie and Vasquez were a year away. So I do think the intent was to build a lower-cost bridge to a future without the guys I mentioned, and the kids who were knocking on the MLB door.
So Xander was a prospect, as was JBJ. But I think Mookie skews the way people consider 2013. By the end of 2012, Mookie, the 5th round pick, was a 19 year old in Lowell who had OPS'd .659 as a second baseman. I very much doubt any decision in the offseason of 2012 was taking him into account in any way.

The not-quite pedantic point is that the club's decisions have to be evaluated at the time they were made, with the knowledge they had.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
25,241
This probably should go in another thread, but I want to talk about the future of this organization.

Chaim probably is on a bit of a hot seat. At least warm.
Cora is probably in a similar situation. Ergo, the front office has to be feeling at least a little heat.

They have Devers and Story locked up for a while (Devers til 2033, Story til 2028). Whitlock is under team control til 2029, as is Bello. Cases, Houck, Crawford, Duran, Wong, Winckowski...same deal. Some of those guys will be good and/or useful; others won't be.

I can see the guys from this list that are good MLB players in, say, 2025, being:

C Wong
1b Casas
2b
3b Devers
SS Story
OF
OF
OF
SP Bello
SP Whitlock
RP Houck (I don't think he sticks as a starter)

Duran, Winckowski, Crawford....meh, who knows.

Among their prospects, the guys I think that could be solid MLB players in 2025 include (all prospect caveats must be included here):

SS Mayer - ETA mid-late 2024
CF/SS Rafaela - ETA mid-late 2024
2b Yorke - ETA mid-late 2024
RP Mata - ETA late 2023 or early 2024

So let's add those guys in just for kicks...here's what I "project" in 2025:

C Wong
1b Casas
2b Story
3b Devers
SS Mayer
OF
OF Rafaela
OF
bench: Yorke

SP Bello, Whitlock
RP Mata, Houck, Winckowski, Crawford

Obviously looking two years out is difficult, but it seems there's the potential for a fairly exciting core. Lots of spots to fill in of course.

But man...

...2025 is a long way away. :-(
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

has big, douchey shoulders
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
This probably should go in another thread, but I want to talk about the future of this organization.

Chaim probably is on a bit of a hot seat. At least warm.
Cora is probably in a similar situation. Ergo, the front office has to be feeling at least a little heat.

They have Devers and Story locked up for a while (Devers til 2033, Story til 2028). Whitlock is under team control til 2029, as is Bello. Cases, Houck, Crawford, Duran, Wong, Winckowski...same deal. Some of those guys will be good and/or useful; others won't be.

I can see the guys from this list that are good MLB players in, say, 2025, being:

C Wong
1b Casas
2b
3b Devers
SS Story
OF
OF
OF
SP Bello
SP Whitlock
RP Houck (I don't think he sticks as a starter)

Duran, Winckowski, Crawford....meh, who knows.

Among their prospects, the guys I think that could be solid MLB players in 2025 include (all prospect caveats must be included here):

SS Mayer - ETA mid-late 2024
CF/SS Rafaela - ETA mid-late 2024
2b Yorke - ETA mid-late 2024
RP Mata - ETA late 2023 or early 2024

So let's add those guys in just for kicks...here's what I "project" in 2025:

C Wong
1b Casas
2b Story
3b Devers
SS Mayer
OF
OF Rafaela
OF
bench: Yorke

SP Bello, Whitlock
RP Mata, Houck, Winckowski, Crawford

Obviously looking two years out is difficult, but it seems there's the potential for a fairly exciting core. Lots of spots to fill in of course.

But man...

...2025 is a long way away. :-(
Yoshida?
 

Philip Jeff Frye

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2001
10,392
This probably should go in another thread, but I want to talk about the future of this organization.

Chaim probably is on a bit of a hot seat. At least warm.
Cora is probably in a similar situation. Ergo, the front office has to be feeling at least a little heat.

They have Devers and Story locked up for a while (Devers til 2033, Story til 2028). Whitlock is under team control til 2029, as is Bello. Cases, Houck, Crawford, Duran, Wong, Winckowski...same deal. Some of those guys will be good and/or useful; others won't be.

I can see the guys from this list that are good MLB players in, say, 2025, being:

C Wong
1b Casas
2b
3b Devers
SS Story
OF
OF
OF
SP Bello
SP Whitlock
RP Houck (I don't think he sticks as a starter)

Duran, Winckowski, Crawford....meh, who knows.

Among their prospects, the guys I think that could be solid MLB players in 2025 include (all prospect caveats must be included here):

SS Mayer - ETA mid-late 2024
CF/SS Rafaela - ETA mid-late 2024
2b Yorke - ETA mid-late 2024
RP Mata - ETA late 2023 or early 2024

So let's add those guys in just for kicks...here's what I "project" in 2025:

C Wong
1b Casas
2b Story
3b Devers
SS Mayer
OF
OF Rafaela
OF
bench: Yorke

SP Bello, Whitlock
RP Mata, Houck, Winckowski, Crawford

Obviously looking two years out is difficult, but it seems there's the potential for a fairly exciting core. Lots of spots to fill in of course.

But man...

...2025 is a long way away. :-(
So the "What does 2023 look like?" thread is now the "What does 2025 look like?" thread?
 

dhappy42

Straw Man
Oct 27, 2013
15,797
Michigan
This probably should go in another thread, but I want to talk about the future of this organization.

Chaim probably is on a bit of a hot seat. At least warm.
Cora is probably in a similar situation. Ergo, the front office has to be feeling at least a little heat.

They have Devers and Story locked up for a while (Devers til 2033, Story til 2028). Whitlock is under team control til 2029, as is Bello. Cases, Houck, Crawford, Duran, Wong, Winckowski...same deal. Some of those guys will be good and/or useful; others won't be.

I can see the guys from this list that are good MLB players in, say, 2025, being:

C Wong
1b Casas
2b
3b Devers
SS Story
OF
OF
OF
SP Bello
SP Whitlock
RP Houck (I don't think he sticks as a starter)

Duran, Winckowski, Crawford....meh, who knows.

Among their prospects, the guys I think that could be solid MLB players in 2025 include (all prospect caveats must be included here):

SS Mayer - ETA mid-late 2024
CF/SS Rafaela - ETA mid-late 2024
2b Yorke - ETA mid-late 2024
RP Mata - ETA late 2023 or early 2024

So let's add those guys in just for kicks...here's what I "project" in 2025:

C Wong
1b Casas
2b Story
3b Devers
SS Mayer
OF
OF Rafaela
OF
bench: Yorke

SP Bello, Whitlock
RP Mata, Houck, Winckowski, Crawford

Obviously looking two years out is difficult, but it seems there's the potential for a fairly exciting core. Lots of spots to fill in of course.

But man...

...2025 is a long way away. :-(
Duran appears to have as much promise as Casas.