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Fifth starter


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#1 KillerBs

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:55 AM

Assuming that Oswalt to the Sox is indeed dead, and with it the winter long fruitless wait for the Sox to obtain a legit big league starting pitcher, that leaves us with a confusing battle for the 5th starter spot, pre DiceK's return.

The initial question is re Aceves, of course. I would like to see if we could get 180 innings out of AA in the rotation, but I can certainly see the logic of wanting to keep him in the pen to shore up its potential serious weakness. Perhaps Jenks' health is key to this decision? What is the latest on Jenks' anticipated return to work date?

After Aceves, there is the growing list of retreads to sift through. I rank them in this order: Padilla, Cook, Germano, Maine, Silva and Ohlendorf, though it is hard to even acknowledge the latter 3 as serious options. I suppose the best most reasonable hope is Padilla coming off neck injury and being passable. He was certainly pitching well late in 2010 before he shot himself. It is worth noting that Padilla was pitching out of the bullpen last year (before the neck surgery) so I suppose he could end up there too. Cook has sucked for 2 years straight, without the excuse of major injuries, but may have McClure in his corner. He is the guy I would bet on breaking camp as the 5th starter. Germano is a dark horse who looks to me to be the best pitcher of this bunch.

That leaves the younger candidates: which I order Doubront, Tazawa, Mortenson and Miller. If I have it right Felix and Miller are both out of options. I would rather see them give Doubront the 5th starter spot in April, then Padilla or Cook simply because I think he offers a better chance to be of real value. Is there any chance Tazawa could win the 5th starter spot of of camp? Miller is not a reasonable option to start in my view. I could see him making the team as the 2nd lefty in the pen if Doubront is traded or starts, but nothing more. I wonder if he could be traded for a real LOOGY, which unless/until Hill returns, we don't really have.

In any event, here's a staff I could live with come April, even if it has only one lefty in the pen:

Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, Bard, Doubront

Bailey, Melcancon, Aceves, Morales, Atchison, Albers, Bowden

Jenks and Hill to the DL

? Pawtucket ?: Padilla, Cook, Germano, Silva, Maine, Ohlendorf, Tazawa, Mortenson, Miller

#2 TOleary25

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:37 AM

I think they are gonna give Aceves a chance to be a starter at the beginning of the season and then eventually move him/Bard back to the bullpen if Dice K returns. The bullpen situation could be pretty interesting. Outside of Bailey and Melancon, I could see the bullpen shaping up in a number of different ways. It'll also be interesting to see how Hill and Jenks recover, although I find myself more optimistic in Hill returning than Jenks.

I could see Padilla or Tazawa being a viable option in the Aceves role. This is how I see the bullpen shaping up:

Bailey, Melancon, Padilla, Tazawa, Doubrount, Albers, Morales

#3 Trotsky

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:18 PM

Bowden will be placed on waivers. I think Tazawa will be given the 5th starter spot to start the season because he's out of options IIRC. Padilla will start the season in AAA along with the other competition. Aceves will be given the Wakefield role. Bard the 4th starter.
We'll see how things shake down and out from there. Fun.

#4 KillerBs

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:30 PM

Pretty sure Tazawa is not out of options. Bowden and Miller yes. Bowden's minor league stats certainly suggest he could be a decent to good big league reliever. I would like to see us give him that chance but agree the Sox do not seem to like him for some reason. On the other hand, it looks like the Cherington regime is less than fixated on strikeout totals in assessing pitchers so maybe this bodes well for him.

#5 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:02 PM

Aceves I would put money on becoming the 5th starter...but one of the dreck options they signed in the offseason would be the long man. I think they feel confident in Aceves and that is why they didn't sign any starters to a major league contract during the offseason. They want those as a fall back incase if Aceves or Bard get drilled in Spring Training.

#6 koufax37

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:04 PM

I think Aceves is worth more as a starter than a reliever, especially if the 3-4-5 spots in the rotation do better than last year. Last year Aceves was so key in bridging to Bard-Papelbon because:

-Wheeler was ineffective
-Jenks was out
-The bottom of our rotation did not pitch deep into games

The hope is that with the rotation performing better and Jenks back, that a middle relief bridge pitcher is not worth more than a starter. One wild card here is if the Red Sox will skip the #5 spot regularly to stay on four days rest and give Aceves work in the pen, or if they are more likely to give an extra day when that happens and Aceves will pitch exclusively as a starter in that situation.

Unlike Bard, who I think will translate much better than people think to being a starter, I think Aceves profiles a little better as reliever, so I am not sure what will happen with him.

I would really like to see Bard stay in the rotation all year, but I have the feeling as many do around here that Dice-K will bump Aceves to the bullpen initially, but then Bard will likely move back there as he approaches an innings limit. I know this has worked well in some specific examples, but I personally would rather see him skipped in the rotation sometimes, or kept down to 5-6 innings, and be able to stay at his innings limit from the rotation.

#7 doubrontsneighbor

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:45 PM

  • The Red Sox will not be one of the teams in attendance for Scott Kazmir's workout tomorrow, reports Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). The southpaw's audition was supposed to be today, but it was pushed back.
  • I'm alittle surprised that we aren't atleast sending a scout to see where he's at. It wasn't that long ago that he was dominate in the AL east, and is still only 28. Not saying he has anything left, but I think it would be worth checking into.


#8 KillerBs

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:00 PM

I agree I like Aceves in the rotation more than in the bull pen but his absence form the pen does leave a serious gap. The way of modern bullpen management seems to more or less limit Melancon and Bailey to the 8th and 9th. Who is the early set up man -- 7th inning guy -- in the absence of Aceves and Jenks? I could live with Atchison there but do the Sox see it that way? Maybe Doubront could fit this role well. Otherwise we could be looking at a lot of high leverage innings from Albers/Bowden/Morales.

A healthy Jenks could be huge for this team.

As for Kazmir, I am thinking we have already collected enough historically monumentally bad pitchers for one off season.

#9 koufax37

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 02:12 AM

No thanks on Kasmir. Pretty good player when he was striking out 10/9IP and throwing 94+. I will pass on the 85mph version, because there is not much Glavine/Moyer in his game. I hope to be proven wrong because I tend to root for the soft tossers, but the poor kid's arm hasn't felt good since 2008.

As for the middle relief stuff, I think we are looking a little weak in the 6th and 7th if Jenks isn't healthy and Aceves stays in the rotation, but that is one of the easiest and least crucial roles on the staff, and whoever is performing the best out of Albers, Jenks, Atchison, Doubront, Boden, Morales will be fine. Padilla could very easily emerge as the best in that role too, provided his coin comes up heads (because tails will see him released).

And as Dice-K comes back, we probably slide Aceves back there for the second half. What will be crucial to find out is how deep Buchholz, Bard, and Aceves can get in the games in the first months of the season, and how many sixths and sevenths we need from the pen due to back issues and pitch limits and overall effectiveness.

And while I think 2013 will be the year we all agree "that was a great idea to make Bard a starter", I'm definitely bullish on his 2012 upside. If he and Clay can perform well, it takes a lot of pressure off the 5th spot in the rotation and our middle relief.

#10 Eck'sSneakyCheese


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Posted 18 February 2012 - 06:22 AM

I don't see Aceves sticking in the rotation. He was great in his role last year, and would be the only non-question mark in the bullpen at this point. He was very valuable last year as an all around guy, and that's where he needs to stay.

I'm hoping one of the six "re-treads" surprises and can fill the fifth starter spot until Dice-k can return, probably one of Padilla, Cook, or Silva with whoever doesn't get the spot battling the other three for the pen and all the losers headed to AAA.

I'm confident in Bard as a starter, he's got the tools to get it done.

Going into the season I see it as Beckett, Lester, Bucholz, Bard, and one of Padilla/Cook/Silva

The pen is going to have quite a few questions going into the season, but I suppose that's no different than any other year, it's just a lot more glaring with the change in closer. Other than Paps, Bard, and Aceves last year the pen was a crapshoot and even those three had their stretches.

This year I've got Bailey, Melancon, Aceves, Albers, Morales, and the last two spots are anybody's guess. I'm guessing two of Doubront, Miller, and Bowden seeing how they're all out of options.

I'd like Tazawa to make the club but he's a starter not a reliever and would benefit more from pitching in AAA.

Can't freaking wait for ST to see how it plays out.

Edited by Eck'sSneakyCheese, 18 February 2012 - 03:14 PM.


#11 SpruceTrap

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:02 AM

I think it would be shocking of Daisuke pitched more than 50 innings next year. He'll be at the point in his rehab where he'll be able to pitch, but that doesn't mean he'll be at all effective. It usually takes a year and a half for a pitcher to regain their old form after Tommy John and for Daisuke that old form wasn't very good to start with. We're talking about a 4.5+ ERA pitcher.

#12 Stanley Steamer

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 11:09 AM

I think it would be shocking of Daisuke pitched more than 50 innings next year. He'll be at the point in his rehab where he'll be able to pitch, but that doesn't mean he'll be at all effective. It usually takes a year and a half for a pitcher to regain their old form after Tommy John and for Daisuke that old form wasn't very good to start with. We're talking about a 4.5+ ERA pitcher.

I'm of the opposite opinion. Though it would be foolish to count on Dice this year, I think a number of variables point to an effective return. He appears to be ahead of schedule on his rehab. He prides himself on preparation. He'll be working for Valentine-san. He has something to prove. He's pitching for a new contract. I would not be surprised to see half a season's worth of above average pitching. But I will keep a salt shaker handy when I have to eat my words later.

#13 SpruceTrap

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 03:16 PM

I'm of the opposite opinion. Though it would be foolish to count on Dice this year, I think a number of variables point to an effective return. He appears to be ahead of schedule on his rehab. He prides himself on preparation. He'll be working for Valentine-san. He has something to prove. He's pitching for a new contract. I would not be surprised to see half a season's worth of above average pitching. But I will keep a salt shaker handy when I have to eat my words later.


Being physically able to pitch is one thing. Being able to be an effective pitcher (which Daisuke struggled mightely with even when he was healthy) is another. Most elite pitchers struggle the year after TJS, I don't see why there's any reason to expect a 5th/6th starter type to do well in the same situation.

#14 MikeM

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 04:36 PM

Being physically able to pitch is one thing. Being able to be an effective pitcher (which Daisuke struggled mightely with even when he was healthy) is another. Most elite pitchers struggle the year after TJS, I don't see why there's any reason to expect a 5th/6th starter type to do well in the same situation.


Ding ding.

As tempting as it may be atm to view this TJS as a re-do on a guy's career, one really needs to keep things in it's specific context. Dice-K's ability to prepare for consist MLB success was already in general question for years now, before piling on this latest (and quite substantial at that) piece to the equation there. To such an extent that he was already becoming one of the poorer bets in the league to go out and pitch to his "potential" before he went down. Being out of action for over a year+ shouldn't be reseting any reality expectations there. As far as i'm concerned, it essentially just shifts an already sketchy future into the worst-case-scenario-for-that-guy gear imo.

I mean let's be blunt here. The $10m he's still owed in 2012 is, by far i might add, the driving force behind any optimism there. In the event there was a buyout option involved in that commitment, is there really any doubt on whether we'd even be having a "what to expect out of Dice-K in 2012" conversation atm?

On that note, you might want to add more then a simple container of salt to that equation Stanley Steamer. Because as we all know and should be familiar with by now, Dice-K suckage tends to be pretty on par with Lackey as one of the worst tasting dishes when it's being served up cold.

#15 keyalyn

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 08:47 AM

Being physically able to pitch is one thing. Being able to be an effective pitcher (which Daisuke struggled mightely with even when he was healthy) is another. Most elite pitchers struggle the year after TJS, I don't see why there's any reason to expect a 5th/6th starter type to do well in the same situation.


I am not really sure that this is the case, actually. Hairps on the main board looked at the pitchers who had TJ surgery since 2007, and this wasn't the case at all. Most pitchers had better stuff and k/bb in the season immediately after having the surgery, with a few even gaining fastball velocity. Most of those who did lose FB velocity lost around 0.3MPH, which is a fairly normal fluctuation from year to year anyway.

No one is expecting a dominant, amazing Matsuzaka in 2012, but 10-13 decent starts at the end of the season is not an insane possibility.

#16 Stanley Steamer

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 02:13 AM

On that note, you might want to add more then a simple container of salt to that equation Stanley Steamer. Because as we all know and should be familiar with by now, Dice-K suckage tends to be pretty on par with Lackey as one of the worst tasting dishes when it's being served up cold.


It'll probably take a wee bit of alcohol too. The thing about Dice K is that, in between his moments of, shall we say, self-doubt, he has had a history of throwing 8IP, 3H, 9K games (ok, I won't presume how many BBs). He has been so erratic that few can take it any longer. But we have him for one more season, and I'm hoping, and even suspecting that he might have another trick up his sleeve. Now Lackey was special-- his consistent suck makes his trip to the DL one of the blessings of the season ahead.

#17 SpruceTrap

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:56 PM

I am not really sure that this is the case, actually. Hairps on the main board looked at the pitchers who had TJ surgery since 2007, and this wasn't the case at all. Most pitchers had better stuff and k/bb in the season immediately after having the surgery, with a few even gaining fastball velocity. Most of those who did lose FB velocity lost around 0.3MPH, which is a fairly normal fluctuation from year to year anyway.

No one is expecting a dominant, amazing Matsuzaka in 2012, but 10-13 decent starts at the end of the season is not an insane possibility.


Could you provide a link?

#18 SpruceTrap

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:26 PM

I'm not sure how comrpehensive this list is, but here's a list of starting pitchers I'm aware of who have had Tommy John and the amount of innings they were able to pitch the following season.


burnett - 120
johnson - 87.1
volquez - 62.2
litsch - 46.2
hudson - 42.1
zimmerman - 31
strasburg - 24.0
dempster - 20.2
carpenter - 15
liriano - 0
capuano - 0
marcum - 0
milton - 0

average - 34.5 innings

If those pitchers are an indication, he's more likely to pitch 0 innings in the majors next year than he is to top the 50 inning mark.

Edited by SpruceTrap, 21 February 2012 - 06:26 PM.


#19 MikeM

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:35 PM

It'll probably take a wee bit of alcohol too. The thing about Dice K is that, in between his moments of, shall we say, self-doubt, he has had a history of throwing 8IP, 3H, 9K games (ok, I won't presume how many BBs). He has been so erratic that few can take it any longer. But we have him for one more season, and I'm hoping, and even suspecting that he might have another trick up his sleeve. Now Lackey was special-- his consistent suck makes his trip to the DL one of the blessings of the season ahead.


As maddening as Dice-K has been for me these last few years, i'm in general agreement there that the glimpses of his upside potential was always intriging. But as Spruce just hit on above, even best case scenario there's realistically just not enough time left on that clock anymore imo.

If/when Dice-K finally manages to put it back together (which again, he was already struggling to do before he went down) and continue on to have a successful career, it's not going to be here. In fact, and assuming the whole "he can't pitch out of the bullpen because it takes him too long to warm up" talk over the years rings true, his presence mid-season could end up being more of a distraction then anything else (or at least i'm actually hoping so, because that means we likely got some sticky action going on with the shit getting thrown at the wall).

#20 keyalyn

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:41 PM

Could you provide a link?


http://sonsofsamhorn...ost__p__3960359

I'm not sure how comrpehensive this list is, but here's a list of starting pitchers I'm aware of who have had Tommy John and the amount of innings they were able to pitch the following season.


burnett - 120
johnson - 87.1
volquez - 62.2
litsch - 46.2
hudson - 42.1
zimmerman - 31
strasburg - 24.0
dempster - 20.2
carpenter - 15
liriano - 0
capuano - 0
marcum - 0
milton - 0

average - 34.5 innings

If those pitchers are an indication, he's more likely to pitch 0 innings in the majors next year than he is to top the 50 inning mark.


Very true, but you also have to look at the date that they had the surgery. Many of those guys towards the end of the list had their surgery in the offseason or at the end of the year. Matsuzaka had his in early June, and thus more time to recover and rehab.

SSS does obviously apply, but there is precedent for a pitcher to come back and be useful the season following TJ surgery.

Edited by keyalyn, 21 February 2012 - 11:45 PM.


#21 Sampo Gida

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 12:53 AM

About 75% of players return to full ability after TJ surgery, so a 25% chance Daisuke is not as good as before (gulp).

http://www.scienceda...80712090831.htm

Age and adherence to the rehab protocol seem to be the most likely determinants. Not sure anyone can say what Daisuke will do when he returns. Boras is his agent and might want to hold him back some until he is 100%, have a good September and then move on to the NL West Coast in 2013. Of course, what Daisuke does will be up to him, maybe Bobby V helps in this regard.

#22 Sampo Gida

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:08 PM

Alex Wilson might be a WC, He had a very good 2011 in Portland and made 4 starts with Pawtuckett.

http://www.baseball-...id=wilson001ale

Apparantly he is a 2 pitch pitcher (FB/slider) and needs a 3rd pitch (change up not very good), so might need some more time with the Pawsox..

#23 SpruceTrap

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:32 PM

http://sonsofsamhorn...ost__p__3960359



Very true, but you also have to look at the date that they had the surgery. Many of those guys towards the end of the list had their surgery in the offseason or at the end of the year. Matsuzaka had his in early June, and thus more time to recover and rehab.

SSS does obviously apply, but there is precedent for a pitcher to come back and be useful the season following TJ surgery.


You could also throw out Burnett's results because he had his surgery in April of the previous year. I'm not saying that Daisuke can't come back and pitch effectively. There is a precedent for that - just look at Josh Johnson who returned 11 months after surgery and had an ERA in the 3's over 80 so innings. But that is an extreme case. That's the most, to my knowledge, that a pitcher has ever pitched in the season following Tommy John Surgery in May or later.

#24 keyalyn

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:44 PM

There also aren't as many cases of a pitcher who had the surgery before June. On the list you posted, Marcum, Liriano, Carpenter, Dempster, Strasburg, Zimmermann and Hudson all had the surgery at the earliest 2 months later in the year than Matsuzaka. Litch and Milton had theirs around the same time of year as Matsuzaka. Other than Capuano and Milton, the only pitchers who failed to throw around 50IP or more had the surgery much later in the year than Matsuzaka.

Zimmermann, Hudson and Strasburg threw between 24-42 innings when they had their surgery in August. Litch spent a good chunk of time in the minors, but overall threw 83 innings after his surgery. Matsuzaka throwing around 60 innings after having his surgery in early June seems reasonable. He may blow up like Milton or Capuano, or he may be amazing like Johnson, but ~60IP is a reasonable expectation.

#25 Tyrone Biggums


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:48 PM

I actually think Oswalt will hang em up for now until an injury happens to a contender close to his home. One dark horse that no one has mentioned probably because they've sucked for so long are the Royals. Its close to home and they seem on the upswing. Plus by the time they fade the Cards will be looking for another starter anyways. So you never know...as for the sox...they're done making moves.

#26 jasail

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 01:55 PM

I think the Sox end up with a rotation of:

Beckett - Lester - Buchholz - Bard - Padilla

Padilla has the highest upside of all the retreads, although I do like Cook as well, and early indications are Padilla is throwing well. If Doubront throws well in ST, I think he also has a very good chance of making the team, as he is out of options. If Padilla and Doubront look like equals, I like Doubront more in the pen because I think he best utilizes the roster in aggregate. He would be the second lefty, long man and give the Sox a swing starter. If Padilla was back there he would be more of the 7th inning type and Miller would be the second lefty and Aceves would be relied upon more in the long relief and swing starter role. While the second option doesn't look bad, I like keeping Aceves in the pen where he can be the back up closer, set up guy or inning eater.

Assuming the back end of the bullpen is set, the Sox have a bunch of options to fill the last three spots after Bailey - Melancon - Aceves - Morales. My gut instinct is that Cook, Silva and Hochevar will be cut and or sent to AAA to serve as filler. Tazawa, Wilson, Pimental and Britton will likely all continue their development as starters in the minors until the Sox need a bullpen arm. Hill will begin the year on the DL and probably won't be back ready until May/June.
Realistically, that leaves Albers, Carpenter, Bowden, Doubront and Miller and 3 spots.

Albers likely gets a spot because he is a vet and he was reliable for a good part of last year.

The Sox will then carry an extra lefty in the pen. Both Doubront and Miller are out of options. Doubront is younger and at this point is likely the better major league pitcher, unless McClure's tinkering with Miller is successful (in which case he may be the best 5th starter), Doubront will be the second lefty and long reliever.

Then the final spot will be between Bowden, Carpenter or Miller. I have no doubt Bowden gets cut. He has had no success as a reliever or a start in the Show and he's just plain bad with really no redeemable upside at this point. In retrospect, it's sad the Sox never cashed in on a Bowden/Anderson trade. Carpenter isn't a strikethrower, but he has a power arm. If he shows he can put his heat over he may take that final spot. However, he can be sent down and that may be the deciding factor, as Miller's potential and lack of options make him difficult to cut out of camp. While he has not shown the ability to be a better reliever than he has a starter, is equally bad against lefties and righties and he certainly isn't the strikethrower you want in the pen, I can't help but think a 6'7 lanky lefty throwing mid-90's gas would be a good situational reliever, even if he never consistently throws strikes. If McClure thinks he's making progress with Miller's mechanics, he has the inside track to make the final spot.


So that will be a bullpen of:

Bailey - Melancon - Aceves - Morales - Albers - Miller - Doubront(LR)

Edited by jasail, 24 February 2012 - 03:31 PM.


#27 sancap14

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 12:02 PM

Padilla has indicated he has no interest in relief. If he's healthy, he'll be the 5th starter. Bard is all but a shoe in for the 4th spot unless he absolutely gets lit up in ST.

Beckett-Lester-Buchholz-Bard-Padilla

As said a million times before Aceves has been too valuable as a long man, spot starter to put in the rotation when he have the options this team has. He stays put.

Way to early to tell but if I was a betting man Carpenter gets the final spot in the pen. Doubrant has a great spring but is traded in package deal for a SS. :fonz:
Bailey-Melancon-Aceves-Morales-Albers-Miller-Carpenter

so everything u said^^^^^^^^^

#28 koufax37

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 06:09 PM

As said a million times before Aceves has been too valuable as a long man, spot starter to put in the rotation when he have the options this team has. He stays put.


While I agree that Aceves was very valuable last year, I don't think that is grounds not to move him. A 5th starter who can perform well is worth more than a long man/6th starter. He pitched in a lot of crucial multi-inning situations where the starters failed and our offense.

Times he pitched 2 or more relief innings in a Red Sox win:
5/16, 8-7 over Balt, 3.0 [Dice K]
6/4, 9-8 over Oak, 4.0 [Last 4 of 14 inning game]
6/8, 11-6 over NYY, 3.2 [Wake]
7/7, 10-4 over Balt, 2.0 [Miller]
7/10, 8-6 over Balt, 3.0 [Weiland]
7/24, 12-8 over Sea, 2.2 [Wake]
7/26, 13-9 Over KC, 3.1 [Miller]
8/19 7-1 over KC, 3.2 [Miller]
8/27 4-0 over Oak, 3.0 [Bedard]
9/13 18-6 over Tor, 2.0 [Wake]
9/27 8-7 over Bal, 3.2 [Bedard]

This is leaving out three more times where he pitched 1.2 innings in wins.

Three things I notice:
#1 That is 11 times the Red Sox win with him pitching 2 or more innings in relief...that is pretty amazing and I am guessing no other reliever pitched multiple relief innings in wins that much last season.
#2 only one of those games did the Red Sox fail to score 7 runs, and the vast majority were not successful pitching by our starters. He really helped our team cover up for the terrible bottom of the rotation.
#3 Almost all of the games he did that in were pitched by guys who we won't use this year. He didn't follow Lester/Beckett/Buchholz once like that.

So in that role this year, we would expect it to be less necessary, again not needing to follow those three guys, and the expectation that Daniel Bard doesn't blow up that often in the 4th slot, and Aceves can more significantly influence the 5th spot by pitching well in that spot, and not by mopping up for other failures in that slot. Additionally in the 5th slot he could be skipped and contribute in relief anyway when there are days off.

Padilla and Dice-K will still likely take some of his starts, and he will likely pitch in the bullpen, we hope as effectively as 2011. But I think it was unfortunate circumstances that made him so valuable last year, and there will not be an opportunity to contribute that way this year. Clearly I think he is a better mental fit to be a reliever than those two, so he would have to be enough better than them as the #5 to get a chance to hold on to that roster spot, and I think that isn't likely.

But he moves to the bullpen because he can't do the #5 job as well as Padilla or Dice-K, not because he is worth more to us in that role.

#29 MikeM

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 07:37 PM

But he moves to the bullpen because he can't do the #5 job as well as Padilla or Dice-K, not because he is worth more to us in that role.


If this was a team more committed to a legitimate rebuild, instead of roster that was essentially presenting us with a win-now type situation, i'd be more tempted to agree. But like i've stated from the start, in a year where we are already venturing into the relative unknown by replacing our 2 of our 3 best bullpen options, and given the fairly desperate need to claw our way back into the playoff picture, starting the year with a commitment to *2* transition projects in our starting rotation just isn't adding up at the core imo.

Better to pick the one guy you view as a better bet, reasonably plan on only having to shut the *one* project down early that first year, and hope/pray you catch lightning in a bottle with that second slot. Which given Padilla's recent comments, seems to be the direction we are heading.

#30 Towney007

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 01:18 AM

Padilla is probably the fifth starter on this team. I'm actually pretty bullish on him..

His HR/FB% has gone through the roof every year he's had an injury and his walk rate is almost up a full point on years where he's got lingering injuries. When he's healthy, he's a *very* good fifth starter. Question - like the rest of the team - is just going to be health. He's dealt with that nagging neck injury though and after getting surgery, getting back to health, it seems to have made a big difference. Likely to give him a better feel of ball in hand without that nerve agitation. Should also make it easier to repeat his delivery, much wider range of motion... He's only been around 92 on his FB in the past and if he's hitting 96 tops and 94-95mph with regularity, that's an extremely good sign. We'll see where his control is this spring, but if it's around his career norms, he'll be a massive upgrade on last year's version of Lackey.

Aceves could spot start here and there, but his reliever/starter splits are pretty substantial I heard. Legit BABIP skill as a reliever probably means they should keep him in the pen - especially considering his record in high-leverage situations. With Cook and Ohlendorf (who, btw - profiles *kind of* similar to Aceves) around they've got guys to eat those long relief innings and give Bard or Padilla a little time to ease into their starter's roles. That also means they can eat the innings Aceves had last year and they can keep Aceves active for the higher-leverage innings. I just think given the makeup of this team - Aceves is a better piece if he's in the 'pen.

#31 Trotsky

  • 791 posts

Posted 29 February 2012 - 09:57 AM

Who knows, honestly, at this point. I'd prefer they just put in the 5th spot whoever actually really deserves the spot rather than having an eye towards long term starting pitching depth. If Padilla is just pitching okay and Tazawa is tearing it up, I'd rather it be Tazawa even if it means losing Padilla. The difference between an early season W or L is pretty glaring in the light of last year, and I want the best 25 man roster out there from day one.
Felt too often that Theo would put better pitchers in AAA because they had options remaining rather than just go with the best team on the field (memory is faulty though, and I'm thinking more of the bullpen, but this season it's applying to the rotation also).