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Bullpen 2011


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#1 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 09:59 AM

So I've gotten some things off my chest about this year's pen in various threads - which can basically be boiled down to "they stunk." Last March, I felt comfortable with the Sox going into 2010 with Papelbon, Bard, Okajima, Delcarmen, and Ramirez for the 7-8-9 innings. Primarily because there wasn't anybody a lock to be better except Mike Gonzalez (who I wanted Theo to sign) and Rafael Soriano (who I thought was too expensive for the marginal upgrade).

But really, the lack of investment in either bringing in quality MLB bullpen arms at the deadline OR developing quality bullpen arms in the minors was the fatal flaw of this season.

The Sox had the #2 offense (by OPS) and the #3 starting pitching (by OPS) in the AL this season, even with all the injuries and ineffectiveness. But the bullpen was #10 in the AL (by OPS) -- coincidentally, the top four teams by reliever OPS are all playoff-bound.

To turn the page, things are different for 2011. Very different, with only Papelbon and Bard locks to make next season's pen: Atchison has mediocre stuff; Okajima wants to go back to Japan; Wakefield is old; Bowden is young; Richardson is ineffective. But relievers are volatile, so what should the front office do? Sign Scott Downs and call it a day? Hope for a rebound? Pray?

I say no - I think there needs to be a significant emphasis at both the MLB level and the minors to get 5 really good bullpen arms. I know, Tito carries 7 relievers. But so far this year the Sox averaged 2.7 relievers per game. Doubling that to account for rest on every other day or so, it's a minimum of five reliable arms needed. that should get a manager through the 7-8-9 innings comfortably. If the last two arms are mediocre, that's where you keep looking for the lightning in a bottle.

So for all of you wondering where I was getting my hope for Theo to sign three Type A/B free agents, there it is. Here's what I'd like to see for a bullpen on April 1, 2011:

Bard
Papelbon
(Fuentes/Sherrill)
(Wood/Putz)
(Sherrill/Okajima)
(Atchison/Rauch)
Wakefield

None of these guys are expected to be Type A free agents, so aside from money, there's no additional loss to the Sox. Which is important, since this years' looks to be quite a deep draft.

But that's not all. Because every one of these guys are at risk for sucking/injury, I think the organization should deliberately staff the AAA pen with these guys, and see who excels - Bowden, Richardson, Tazawa, Weiland, Miller, Johnson, and Fife. None of them profiles as anything other than a AAAA starter, so I think they may as well see who can make a Bard-like leap.

I know this strategy would create some holes for starters at Portland and Pawtucket, but I think keeping Wakefield, and leaving Doubront and Mills as AAA starters, there are enough options in case of injury -- especially if one of Pimentel or Kelly or Ranaudo can find success at Portland.

#2 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 11:36 AM

I wrote this about Putz in another thread, but it's more appropriate here.

Putz is a little more interesting, but take a look at his splits based on how much rest he had..

0-1 G: 18 2/3 IP, 4 HR, 6 BB, 17 K, 7.23 ERA
2 G+: 32 2/3 IP, 0 HR, 7 BB, 36 K, 0.55 ERA


That scares the shit out of me. Given his injury history, is he a guy you can count to be a durable 7th inning reliever?

Fuentes worries me a bit too, he's going to be 35 and a BB rate over 4 / 9 will drive you nuts. If you can get him for a 1 year, $4M deal, sure...but won't some team give him closer years and money? Or is he past that point?

Rauch is pretty interesting; perhaps he's the kind of guy you can get for a decent price since he "lost his job". Doesn't walk many (or strike out that many) but he's been successful in a lot of different roles. Could close, but doesn't have to.

#3 yecul


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 11:48 AM

Is there a reason no one mentions Crain? I don't get to watch Twins games, but he's young for a FA reliever (29) and put up a strong year. Something I am missing?

#4 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:41 PM

Is there a reason no one mentions Crain? I don't get to watch Twins games, but he's young for a FA reliever (29) and put up a strong year. Something I am missing?


I just figured he'll likely go for much more money + years than the others, regardless of the fact that he was never "the closer".

I'd love to have Crain as a 7th inning guy, but wouldn't he be looking for a 3-4 yr deal? 1+option should be enough to get most of the older/more injured guys, but I figured Crain would be the most likely Type B guy to pull down a Scot Shields or Justin Speier level of contract.

Not saying that would necessarily be a bad thing, I was just focusing on spreading the risk by signing more guys on shorter contracts.

#5 Bowlerman9


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:56 PM

I just figured he'll likely go for much more money + years than the others, regardless of the fact that he was never "the closer".

I'd love to have Crain as a 7th inning guy, but wouldn't he be looking for a 3-4 yr deal? 1+option should be enough to get most of the older/more injured guys, but I figured Crain would be the most likely Type B guy to pull down a Scot Shields or Justin Speier level of contract.

Not saying that would necessarily be a bad thing, I was just focusing on spreading the risk by signing more guys on shorter contracts.


It just seems like in this economy, not many middle relievers will get 3-4 years like they did pre-2009.

#6 yecul


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:00 PM

Besides, it's about risk mitigation. Guys like Putz and Fuentes are harder to project with their injury and age risks compared to Crain.

Downs and Crain or something similar would be my targets. I'd have to pour through the whole list and consider who might be available by trade before locking into my preferences. But it's hard to go wrong with a R-L punch like that to flesh out the pen.

#7 Toe Nash

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:01 PM

Besides, it's about risk mitigation. Guys like Putz and Fuentes are harder to project with their injury and age risks compared to Crain.

Downs and Crain or something similar would be my targets. I'd have to pour through the whole list and consider who might be available by trade before locking into my preferences. But it's hard to go wrong with a R-L punch like that to flesh out the pen.

Downs is likely to be a Type A, so I would avoid him (assuming he's offered arb) unless the Sox were already chasing another Type A free agent.

#8 yecul


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:05 PM

That all depends as it's interconnected.

If they let a number of guys go who net them picks then that gives them flexibility to give up their picks. If they stack compensation players (Werth is a popular guy to list) then that mitigates the losses. Etc.

I totally agree that they don't sign a single Type A reliever and no other Type A players.

#9 RedOctober3829


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:21 PM

Get Rafael Soriano. You can trade Papelbon for the best possible package you can get and still have Bard setting up. Also target Scott Downs as the lefty. I know it's risky to spend money in the pen, but if we saw anything this year it's that you need to be rock-solid back there. No more scrap heap guys and hoping that they pan out. Spend the cash necessary to have a great pen.

Just sign a bunch of Type A's this offseason to mitigate the draft pick impact.

#10 Toe Nash

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:38 PM

Get Rafael Soriano. You can trade Papelbon for the best possible package you can get and still have Bard setting up. Also target Scott Downs as the lefty. I know it's risky to spend money in the pen, but if we saw anything this year it's that you need to be rock-solid back there. No more scrap heap guys and hoping that they pan out. Spend the cash necessary to have a great pen.

Just sign a bunch of Type A's this offseason to mitigate the draft pick impact.

Why would you get Soriano (which assumes the Rays don't re-sign him) to replace Papelbon? I know Papelbon's had an off year, but look:
Soriano from 2006-10: 2.56 ERA, 165 ERA+, 9.8 K/9, 3.64 K/BB
Papelbon: 2.15 ERA, 217 ERA+, 10.5 K/9, 4.55 K/BB

And the biggest difference is that Papelbon has pitched at least 59 games (plus playoffs) every year without (to my memory and a quick google search) ever going on the DL. Soriano missed almost all of 2008 with elbow and shoulder injuries, and also had TJ surgery in 2004. Papelbon's going to make a lot of money in his last year of arbitration, but Soriano will too coming off 70+ saves the last two years.

At best this seems like a horizontal move. And if someone offers you a huge package for Papelbon (which is unlikely) then Bard can step in as the closer.

#11 RedOctober3829


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:52 PM

Why would you get Soriano (which assumes the Rays don't re-sign him) to replace Papelbon? I know Papelbon's had an off year, but look:
Soriano from 2006-10: 2.56 ERA, 165 ERA+, 9.8 K/9, 3.64 K/BB
Papelbon: 2.15 ERA, 217 ERA+, 10.5 K/9, 4.55 K/BB

And the biggest difference is that Papelbon has pitched at least 59 games (plus playoffs) every year without (to my memory and a quick google search) ever going on the DL. Soriano missed almost all of 2008 with elbow and shoulder injuries, and also had TJ surgery in 2004. Papelbon's going to make a lot of money in his last year of arbitration, but Soriano will too coming off 70+ saves the last two years.

At best this seems like a horizontal move. And if someone offers you a huge package for Papelbon (which is unlikely) then Bard can step in as the closer.


Unless you are prying Broxton out of LA, a horizontal move from Paps to Soriano is a good thing. I think Soriano is going to come cheaper than Papelbon. If you just let Paps go and slide Bard into that role, then you lose your primary righty setup man who was among the best in baseball. Signing another top-flight flamethrower allows you to keep the 1-2 punch. If you don't want to sign Soriano, then keep Paps and let him walk. But, you're risking the downfall of the back end of the pen after next year. Signing Soriano gives the team insurance on Papelbon leaving after next year.

Get as many big-time arms as you can back there. Spend the cash necessary to upgrade that area properly.

#12 yecul


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:57 PM

Right, it's about '12+, not '11.

Bard + Soriano vs Bard + _____. Who would that guy be? Where are you upgrading on Soriano?

While Papelbon may not ultimately sign for what he thinks he is worth it's unlikely he'd "settle" with Boston. See KRod for a nice example of this -- basically took the same deal from the Mets that the Angels had originally offered at one point.

That said, while this might make some theoretical sense it's highly highly unlikely. And that theoretical sense will be up for debate to boot.

#13 RedOctober3829


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 02:08 PM

Right, it's about '12+, not '11.

Bard + Soriano vs Bard + _____. Who would that guy be? Where are you upgrading on Soriano?

While Papelbon may not ultimately sign for what he thinks he is worth it's unlikely he'd "settle" with Boston. See KRod for a nice example of this -- basically took the same deal from the Mets that the Angels had originally offered at one point.

That said, while this might make some theoretical sense it's highly highly unlikely. And that theoretical sense will be up for debate to boot.


My upgrade is Downs over Okajima/Richardson and hopefully Crain in the 6th/7th while keeping the 1-2 punch of Bard plus a top-flight closer.

#14 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 02:28 PM

The only thing that worries me about Crain is that his success this year has come through dramatically upping his use of the slider (from 23% to 46%)--a pitch that's known to be tough on forearms and elbows. He's already blown out a shoulder in his relatively short career. Could his elbow be next? I wouldn't necessarily be afraid to give him a shot, but I think I'd be worried about signing him to multiple years.

#15 YTF

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 03:22 PM

So for all of you wondering where I was getting my hope for Theo to sign three Type A/B free agents, there it is. Here's what I'd like to see for a bullpen on April 1, 2011:

Bard
Papelbon
(Fuentes/Sherrill)
(Wood/Putz)
(Sherrill/Okajima)
(Atchison/Rauch)
Wakefield

None of these guys are expected to be Type A free agents, so aside from money, there's no additional loss to the Sox. Which is important, since this years' looks to be quite a deep draft.



One problem I do see with trying to sign these guys as FAs is that Fuentes, Wood and Rauch would probably be looking to close somewhere. Even with a shitty team on a 1 year deal in hopes to land a bigger deal the following year.

#16 mt8thsw9th


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 04:11 PM

Why would you get Soriano (which assumes the Rays don't re-sign him) to replace Papelbon? I know Papelbon's had an off year, but look:
Soriano from 2006-10: 2.56 ERA, 165 ERA+, 9.8 K/9, 3.64 K/BB
Papelbon: 2.15 ERA, 217 ERA+, 10.5 K/9, 4.55 K/BB


The "but" is completely unnecessary. Papelbon hasn't had an "off year", he's had a steady drop-off the past few seasons. 2006-2008 are completely irrelevant to the argument for Papelbon, or most relievers for that matter. Soriano's risk is his dodgy injury history, with Papelbon it's whether it's possible that he'll be worse in 2011.

#17 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 04:20 PM

What is Soriano going to be looking for? 3 years, $24M0-30M, I'd assume?

Player A: 0.9 HR, 3.4 BB, 10.0 K
Player B: 0.6 HR, 3.5 BB, 9.0 K

Player A; Papelbon '10, Player B: Bard '10.


Here's another one...

Player A: 0.7 HR, 3.2 BB, 10.1 K, 1.85 ERA
Player B: 0.9 HR, 3.4 BB, 10.0 K, 3.86 ERA

Obviously, B is Papelbon '10, A is Papelbon '09. For all the talk of declining peripherals, it really didn't end up that way. Certainly a shitty season results wise, but was their some bad luck going on here? Seems like so many of Papelbon's outings were like the other night; where he gives up 5 hits on less than 20 pitches. Certainly too predictible and all that, but don't the #s suggest he still has the stuff?

Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 23 September 2010 - 04:20 PM.


#18 Toe Nash

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 04:45 PM

The "but" is completely unnecessary. Papelbon hasn't had an "off year", he's had a steady drop-off the past few seasons. 2006-2008 are completely irrelevant to the argument for Papelbon, or most relievers for that matter. Soriano's risk is his dodgy injury history, with Papelbon it's whether it's possible that he'll be worse in 2011.

I under stand the 2012 argument, but you can't even rely on Bard for then. For next year Soriano and Paps are going to cost about the same (when you factor in Soriano costing a draft pick). I'd say the chance of Soriano being hurt is about the same as Papelbon being worse. Papelbon's not incredibly likely to be hurt and while I know everyone here thinks he is done forever, it's even possible that he could be better. I'd stick with Paps barring a big trade offer (and why would someone offer that when they can just sign a guy?).

#19 Eric Van


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 04:51 PM

Just a brief note -- the odds of signing a Type A reliever are probably 1 in 100. I could see then signing Soriano if and only if someone so overwhelmed them with a Papelbon trade offer that it made sense. The chance of signing a Type A setup guy (if they've been offered arb) like Downs is essentially zero (even if they were signing another Type A). There is no setup guy in existence whose marginal advantage in value over the best non-Type A alternative is worth giving up any kind of draft pick for, even a third-rounder. Compare the vastly larger marginal advantage of a guy like Beltre over Bill Hall (for some other team, of course), where it does make sense.

Edited by Eric Van, 23 September 2010 - 04:57 PM.


#20 yecul


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:40 PM

Assuming all else is equal I would hope a marginal bit of value differential for way in the future would not prevent them from acquiring the player they like best.

They have to field a team after all and they have to live in reality. Unadjusted reality.

#21 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 05:51 PM

Just a brief note -- the odds of signing a Type A reliever are probably 1 in 100. I could see then signing Soriano if and only if someone so overwhelmed them with a Papelbon trade offer that it made sense. The chance of signing a Type A setup guy (if they've been offered arb) like Downs is essentially zero (even if they were signing another Type A). There is no setup guy in existence whose marginal advantage in value over the best non-Type A alternative is worth giving up any kind of draft pick for, even a third-rounder. Compare the vastly larger marginal advantage of a guy like Beltre over Bill Hall (for some other team, of course), where it does make sense.



FWIW, I think this is the biggest factor why Crain will likely get the best contract out there after Soriano.



#22 twothousandone

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 07:20 PM

Is there no chance Bard could be in the starting rotation in 2012?

#23 Rasputin


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 10:04 PM

Is there no chance Bard could be in the starting rotation in 2012?


It's as close to zero as you can get without actually being zero.

We have Lester, Buchholz, Beckett, Lackey, and Dice K all under contract through 2012. Anything can happen but I am not sure why we'd expect anyone except maybe DiceK to be traded.

#24 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 11:23 PM

Is there no chance Bard could be in the starting rotation in 2012?

I certainly hope not, after going here and looking at his numbers through age 22, when all the appearances were starts, and then at the numbers since age 23, when all the appearances were in relief. The differences are almost comically huge, especially in the K/BB column. I know any pitcher's relief numbers will tend to be superior to his starting numbers, but not like this. This is a case where the switch from starting to relief turned a guy from Charlie Brown into Goose Gossage.

Bill James once said something like, "the numbers are often hard to interpret, so when they speak this clearly, we should listen to them." I think this is one of those times.

Edited by Savin Hillbilly, 23 September 2010 - 11:23 PM.


#25 Sprowl


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Posted 23 September 2010 - 11:45 PM

There are lots of questions for the 2011 bullpen: what have we got and what do we need? Should we sign a new free agent, and what is value-for-draft-pick calculus? If we go into 2011 with Doubardelbon for innings 7-8-9, are the Red Sox a legitimate playoff contender?

I sorted through the Fangraphs data for Red Sox relievers in 2010, and discarded any pitcher who has been traded (Delcarmen, Ramirez), failed utterly and completely (Bonser, Nelson, Schoeneweis), is merely of curiosity value (Wakefield, Hall, Van Every), or has had a few too many chances already (Cabrera). That leaves 11 holdovers who might make it into the 2011 bullpen: the closer (Papelbon), the high-leverage reliever (Bard), the convertible starter Doubront, the ROOGY Atchison, and the might-be-turning-Japanese (Okajima). Then there are six long shots, based on their relief performances to date: Bowden, Coello, Fox, Hill, Manuel and Richardson. What follows is a mix-and-match assessment of their chances (to be updated whenever one of them proves me wrong). In the following post is a table of their key data from Fangraphs, sorted by number of pitches, with key indicators in boldface.

Papelbon: he'll be back for one more high-endurance turn as closer. He will probably be going on the market after 2011, which means that the Red Sox have every incentive to work him like Cajun mule in a malarial swamp. Given the resurgence of his splitter and his looming payday, I expect a high-quality workhorse performance out Papelbon in 2011.

Bard is a closer-in-waiting who will get the highest-leverage innings in 2011 -- either the eighth inning or the heart of the order in the 7th. He has been lucky (see the LOB% and BABIP, blessed be his name), but judging by his LD%, he earned part of that luck. He also throws the fastest fastball and the most dazzling slider, and is just entering his prime pitching years.

Doubront: his stuff is too good to send to the minors, there's no room in the starting rotation, and we need a left-handed reliever, regardless of his splits (a LHP may have a reverse split, but he can still give fits to a LHB). Doubront and Kalish are probably the best 2010 newcomers to the Olde Towne Teame. Doubront has variety, movement, and the ability to throw strikes.

Atchison's splits are huge: .856 vs. LHB, .583 vs. RHB. We may have used him as an emergency fill-in starter, an all-purpose reliever, an innings-eater, and in any number of roles, but his highest and best use appears to be as a ROOGY or an R-L-R pitcher in a medium-leverage situation. That slider is a really good pitch, except when a batter like Wigginton is looking for it.

Okajima may be going back to Japan. It's a pity, since he gave us 3 strong years, and hasn't lost his offspeed stuff. The key for him appears to be the confidence needed to throw his split-change to both RHB and LHB, and the vertical break on his curveball to LHB. He cannot get by throwing his fastball to everybody.

Bowden: his velocity is gradually improving, but his stuff SUCKS. If he can't turn the corner in spring training, send him back to Pawtucket to re-learn his old delivery. With any luck, he might become trade bait to the NL Central.

Richardson: he has absolutely no hope as an over-the-top LHP with mediocre velocity. Send him back to Pawtucket with instructions to rediscover his three-quarters delivery and the sinker that went with it.

Coello: his fastball has decent velocity and good cutting action, and bears watching. Keep your eyes open for him while the team plays out the string. His offspeed stuff looks awful so far, but the sample is miniscule.

Manuel: AAAA stuff, no deception. There's nothing worth watching here so far.

Fox: 30 pitches so far -- maybe a good cutter, but it's hard to say.

Hill: 12 pitches so far -- fastball, sinker, slurve, wait and see. He's left-handed, so there's always hope.

#26 Sprowl


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Posted 24 September 2010 - 12:06 AM

The promised table. Fastball velocity (FBv) is probably the best indicator of raw stuff. Bard has been lucky (see BABIP, LOB%, xFIP-ERA). Richardson has been unlucky, but most of that unluck has been earned -- he just doesn't miss bats, and batters don't chase his out-of-zone pitches. Bowden isn't unlucky: he's just plain bad.

Table
Name Pitches FBv GB/FB LD% GB% FB% HR/FB SwStr% K/9 BB/9 BABIP LOB% ERA xFIP
Jonathan Papelbon 1063 95 0.88 17% 39% 44% 8% 13% 10.0 3.4 0.295 69% 3.86 3.67
Daniel Bard 1043 98 1.21 15% 47% 39% 8% 10% 9.0 3.5 0.224 88% 1.79 3.62
Scott Atchison 866 91 1.07 12% 46% 43% 11% 7% 6.3 2.5 0.269 65% 3.83 4.31
Hideki Okajima 786 87 0.82 23% 35% 42% 8% 10% 6.4 3.6 0.359 77% 4.46 4.81
Dustin Richardson 277 91 1.21 18% 45% 37% 14% 7% 8.3 7.6 0.345 87% 4.15 5.48
Michael Bowden 209 91 0.48 23% 25% 53% 10% 10% 7.5 1.5 0.402 76% 5.25 4.31
Robert Manuel 188 86 0.22 13% 16% 72% 22% 6% 3.7 4.7 0.114 100% 5.59 7.06
Felix Doubront 148 92 0.83 12% 40% 48% 25% 10% 12.1 1.9 0.296 90% 4.66 3.03
Robert Coello 78 90 0.33 39% 15% 46% 0% 8% 8.3 8.3 0.327 63% 6.23 5.9
Matt Fox 30 91 0.5 25% 25% 50% 0% 7% 0.0 5.4 0.39 50% 10.8 8.17
Rich Hill 12 87 1 0% 50% 50% 0% 0% 9.0 0.0 0 100% 0 2.46


#27 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:20 AM

Great table Sprowl -- really highlights what makes Bowden so hard to figure out. The 10% swinging strike rate, 7.5 K/9, and 1.5 BB/9 suggest he could succeed, but not with a .402 BABIP on a 53% flyball rate. Or with such an astronomical OPS against (1.005).












#28 fenwaypaul

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:44 AM

The promised table.

This is really a nice piece of work. I'm especially fascinated by the bolded Doubront numbers and wish we had more than 148 pitches to go on.

#29 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:44 AM

This is really a nice piece of work. I'm especially fascinated by the bolded Doubront numbers and wish we had more than 148 pitches to go on.


Doubront's numbers look much different by selectively omitting his last appearance before going on the DL for the shoulder injury. Doing so shows reliever comparable or better than Papelbon.

1 IP, 19 pitches, 1 K, 2 HR, 1-3-0 GB-FB-LD. 2/3 of his total HRs (and half all his XBH's as a reliever) was given up in that one inning.

I'm usually not a fan of cherry-picking, but where he went on the DL for the rest of the season the next day, it certainly seems warranted. I don't think the Sox should convert him into a reliever next year, though. He's got one more option year and makes a much better option than Wakefield to be a long-term replacement for one of the starting five.

#30 Sprowl


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Posted 24 September 2010 - 01:15 PM

Doubront's numbers look much different by selectively omitting his last appearance before going on the DL for the shoulder injury. Doing so shows reliever comparable or better than Papelbon.

1 IP, 19 pitches, 1 K, 2 HR, 1-3-0 GB-FB-LD. 2/3 of his total HRs (and half all his XBH's as a reliever) was given up in that one inning.

I'm usually not a fan of cherry-picking, but where he went on the DL for the rest of the season the next day, it certainly seems warranted. I don't think the Sox should convert him into a reliever next year, though. He's got one more option year and makes a much better option than Wakefield to be a long-term replacement for one of the starting five.

I agree that his last appearance was out of character -- especially in throwing belt-high pitches, two of which left the park as home runs. When Doubront was pitching well, he kept the fastball up at the letters. His fastball command may be his best asset, especially when pitching high and tight to RHB.

Doubront's long-term value is probably higher as a starter, and his 5-pitch repertoire points in the same direction. The same could be said about Bard, however -- and the team's short-term needs for 2011 are for relievers. Doubront is 6'2" 165 pounds, so he doesn't have the classic starter's build either.

#31 mt8thsw9th


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Posted 24 September 2010 - 01:34 PM

Doubront is 6'2" 165 pounds, so he doesn't have the classic starter's build either.


Doubront is likely around 190 pounds now. He's got a pretty typical starter's build.

#32 Sprowl


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Posted 24 September 2010 - 01:55 PM

Doubront is likely around 190 pounds now. He's got a pretty typical starter's build.


Why do you think this? Both baseball reference and ESPN have Doubront at 165. He looks thin and wiry -- how is that a typical starter's build?

Adding 25 extra pounds onto a 6'2 165 frame usually takes a little longer than six months. I've been working at it for 30 years, and still only made it to 185.

#33 judyb

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:02 PM

Why do you think this? Both baseball reference and ESPN have Doubront at 165. He looks thin and wiry -- how is that a typical starter's build?

Adding 25 extra pounds onto a 6'2 165 frame usually takes a little longer than six months. I've been working at it for 30 years, and still only made it to 185.

They never update those weights, they're probably from when he first signed at 16. Lester's still says 190, for goodness sake.
http://www.soxprospe...bront-felix.htm

#34 Sprowl


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Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:18 PM

They never update those weights, they're probably from when he first signed at 16. Lester's still says 190, for goodness sake.
http://www.soxprospe...bront-felix.htm


B-ref has Jon Lester at 6'4", 240 pounds. His frame has bulked up considerably since his World Series victory. I don't see that on Doubront's frame.

#35 E5 Yaz


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Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:25 PM

B-ref has Jon Lester at 6'4", 240 pounds.


That's because he's had to carry Beckett and Lackey

#36 luckysox


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Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:27 PM

That's because he's had to carry Beckett and Lackey


Bam!

#37 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 24 September 2010 - 05:14 PM

That's because he's had to carry Beckett and Lackey


And we have a winner! Zing!

#38 mt8thsw9th


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Posted 25 September 2010 - 10:19 AM

Why do you think this? Both baseball reference and ESPN have Doubront at 165. He looks thin and wiry -- how is that a typical starter's build?

Adding 25 extra pounds onto a 6'2 165 frame usually takes a little longer than six months. I've been working at it for 30 years, and still only made it to 185.


Doubront hasn't been 165 pounds for years. In fact that's all they could talk about in the radio broadcast of his first start was how outdated that figure was.

You don't think he's gained more than 5 pounds in 5 years?

http://sonsofsamhorn...felix-doubront/

This is him at 160 pounds:

Posted Image

He's put on some weight since then.

Posted Image

And yes, I'd say he's within the range of a typical build for a 6'2" starting pitcher, though I'll say I'm not arguing for it, I'm saying he has the build.

#39 OttoC


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Posted 26 September 2010 - 10:56 PM

I'd pencil in Papelbon lightly.

#40 luckysox


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Posted 26 September 2010 - 11:05 PM

I'd pencil in Papelbon lightly.


Yes. I know having him and Bard is better than just having Bard...but the ugliness of the blown saves this season and the fact that it looks and feels like he can't get Yankees out (in addition to the yucky stats) makes you wonder if a change of scenery wouldn't be a good thing. I am not advocating for it, but it would not surprise me to see him go in a package for a bigger piece.

Edited by luckysox, 26 September 2010 - 11:06 PM.


#41 Plympton91


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Posted 26 September 2010 - 11:13 PM

Tonight the Yankees went through their starter and three relievers during the first 9 innings, and they then brought in Joba Chamberlin to pitch the 10th.

Tonight the Red Sox got 8 innings out of their starter, used 1 reliever in the 9th, and then they had to bring in Hideki Okajima to pitch the 10th because everyone other than Bard is even worse and Bard had to be saved for a save situation because he'd pitch the previous two nights (and he pitched the previous two nights because nobody else could be trusted with a lead).

A better illustration of how the lack of bullpen depth from DAY ONE played a major role in the crappy outcome of this season could not be found.

Yeah, Papelbon blew the save; so did Rivera.



#42 RedOctober3829


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Posted 26 September 2010 - 11:52 PM

Get Rafael Soriano. You can trade Papelbon for the best possible package you can get and still have Bard setting up. Also target Scott Downs as the lefty. I know it's risky to spend money in the pen, but if we saw anything this year it's that you need to be rock-solid back there. No more scrap heap guys and hoping that they pan out. Spend the cash necessary to have a great pen.

Just sign a bunch of Type A's this offseason to mitigate the draft pick impact.

I present this. Go out and spend the cash Theo. Paps needs to go. Thanks for all you've done, but time to cut bait and get whatever you can now. Take care of that at the GM meetings then go into the Winter Meetings and make a splash. Downs, Soriano, and Bard for the last 3 innings. Doubront, Jason Frasor, Matt Fox, and a long man. This pen was a big reason why they aren't in it going into the last week.

#43 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 26 September 2010 - 11:56 PM

Tonight the Yankees went through their starter and three relievers during the first 9 innings, and they then brought in Joba Chamberlin to pitch the 10th.

Tonight the Red Sox got 8 innings out of their starter, used 1 reliever in the 9th, and then they had to bring in Hideki Okajima to pitch the 10th because everyone other than Bard is even worse and Bard had to be saved for a save situation because he'd pitch the previous two nights (and he pitched the previous two nights because nobody else could be trusted with a lead).

A better illustration of how the lack of bullpen depth from DAY ONE played a major role in the crappy outcome of this season could not be found.

Yeah, Papelbon blew the save; so did Rivera.


To be fair, on DAY ONE it couldn't be expected that Ramirez (166 ERA+ in 2008, 164 ERA+ in 2009) and Okajima (178 ERA+ in 2008, 138 ERA+ in 2009) would be as ineffective for the Sox as they actually were.

They weren't good this season, and so the bullpen depth suffered as a result. As I see it, the larger failing was the failure of the FO to react to the unexpected suckage of those two, and the "reasonably foreseeable" suckage of MDC, in an effort to shore up the Bullpen with BH Kim-type trades made in the first third of the season or to force the conversion of mediocre starters in AAA to relief roles. Would have been nice to jump on Thornton or Jenks or Putz before the White Sox made their mid-season run. Also would have been nice to see what Kris Johnson could do as a reliever.

#44 JimD

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 08:20 AM

Tonight the Yankees went through their starter and three relievers during the first 9 innings, and they then brought in Joba Chamberlin to pitch the 10th.

Tonight the Red Sox got 8 innings out of their starter, used 1 reliever in the 9th, and then they had to bring in Hideki Okajima to pitch the 10th because everyone other than Bard is even worse and Bard had to be saved for a save situation because he'd pitch the previous two nights (and he pitched the previous two nights because nobody else could be trusted with a lead).

A better illustration of how the lack of bullpen depth from DAY ONE played a major role in the crappy outcome of this season could not be found.


Yeah, those eight quality innings out of Dice-K sure were emblematic of the 2010 season, weren't they?

The better illustration of this futile season was on display on Friday night, when ten runs wasnít enough of a cushion for Josh Beckett and Tito needed to burn through both Bard and Papelbon to get the win. Theoís bullpen construction issues during the offseason would have been far less of an issue if we didnít have three of the five spots in rotation incapable of going more than five innings on most days.

Edited by JimD, 27 September 2010 - 08:20 AM.


#45 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:21 AM

Yeah, those eight quality innings out of Dice-K sure were emblematic of the 2010 season, weren't they?

The better illustration of this futile season was on display on Friday night, when ten runs wasn't enough of a cushion for Josh Beckett and Tito needed to burn through both Bard and Papelbon to get the win. Theo's bullpen construction issues during the offseason would have been far less of an issue if we didn't have three of the five spots in rotation incapable of going more than five innings on most days.


The Sox have gone through an average of 2.7 relievers per game this season, coincidentally needing to pitch the 2.7 IP/game not covered by the starters. That is not excessive, nor is it outside the norm for the AL this season. Actually, the Sox have gotten somewhat better than average IP/game from their starters, as the AL average is only 6.1 IP/start.

The biggest problem this season was not the starters needing help for ~425 innings. It was that the bullpen had no option consistently above average, other than Bard.

[edit:] AL average for relievers this season currently is 3.93 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, .724 OPS against.


And in the interest of fairness, I should note that as a reliever Wakefield, like Bard, was also above average in all three categories. But those two are it. The others have all been mediocre, when not putrid.

Edited by Buzzkill Pauley, 27 September 2010 - 10:53 AM.


#46 Toe Nash

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:59 AM

The Sox have gone through an average of 2.7 relievers per game this season, coincidentally needing to pitch the 2.7 IP/game not covered by the starters. That is not excessive, nor is it outside the norm for the AL this season. Actually, the Sox have gotten somewhat better than average IP/game from their starters, as the AL average is only 6.1 IP/start.

The average team doesn't have a rotation of two pre-arb Cy Young contenders, two $80 million guys and a $100 million guy from Japan. It was reasonable to expect the starters to carry the load for the pitching staff this season, and they didn't.

#47 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 27 September 2010 - 11:05 AM

It really shouldn't have been a surprise that the bullpen sucked. Okajima was still decent last year, but he'd been declining steadily, though not sharply, since 2007 and there was no particular reason to think that decline wouldn't continue. Ramirez was doing it with mirrors in '09--his FIP and xFIP should have been red flags. Delcarmen was already a poor pitcher last year; we were hoping for a comeback that didn't materialize. This group was riddled with question marks and conspicuously needed reinforcing with a quality 7th-inning arm. I don't argue with that. What I do argue with is the notion that the failure to add that arm in July meant the FO had punted on the season. Just because you need something doesn't mean you can always get it at a reasonable price, especially not in midseason when the other teams know just how badly you need it. I am unhappy about how the bullpen turned out, but ecstatic that we didn't respond with a Bagwell for Andersen, Slocumb for Lowe/Varitek kind of deal.

#48 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 27 September 2010 - 11:29 AM

Just a followup about the ephemerality of relief value--anybody want to make a guess how many relief pitchers have had a WAR of 1.0 or more for each of the past four years? (For context, there were 49 ML relievers with a WAR of 1.0 or more this year.)

Edited by Savin Hillbilly, 27 September 2010 - 11:53 AM.


#49 Red(s)HawksFan


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Posted 27 September 2010 - 11:39 AM

Just a followup about the ephemerality of relief value--anybody want to make a guess how many relief pitchers have had a WAR of 1.0 or more for each of the past four years? (For context, there were 49 ML pitchers with a WAR of 1.0 or more this year.)

I don't know the exact number, but I'm betting it's a single digit number. And one of them is named Jonathan Papelbon.

#50 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 27 September 2010 - 11:42 AM

The average team doesn't have a rotation of two pre-arb Cy Young contenders, two $80 million guys and a $100 million guy from Japan. It was reasonable to expect the starters to carry the load for the pitching staff this season, and they didn't.


You are wrong. Here are the 3-year totals for the five starting pitchers (as starters):

Beckett: 89 GS, 587.33 IP
Buchholz: 34 GS, 187.67 IP
Lackey: 84 GS, 563.67 IP
Lester: 76 GS, 474.67 IP
Matsuzaka: 73 GS, 431.67 IP
Total: 356 GS, 2245 IP

As a 3-year average, that totals 6.31 IP/start. What those 5 have provided this year (133 GS, 841.33 IP) currently averages 6.32 IP/start.

The bullpen has pitched almost exactly the number of innings that it would have been reasonable to expect based on the starters. It's just that those innings have generally sucked.