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The 2013 Bullpen


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#201 someoneanywhere

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:31 AM

I'm not reading this as snarky at all. I like to discuss the Red Sox. Lets.

We've established that Aceves isn't a closer but can have a role in a good bullpen. Why penalize him for being misused last season?

Hanrahan hasn't been much different than *insert middle reliever here*; he just happens to pitch for a bad team which allowed him to close, he accumulated saves in one great season and a couple average seasons, and now his value is sky high as a result.

The Red Sox are going to be paying the premium for a relief pitcher whose value is where it is on the trade market because he has saves, a statistic that should be irrelevant when evaluating a player.

Also, please clarify, what does a certified closer mean exactly? Did Bailey fall into this category last year?

I'm not ready to write off Sands. I understand that he wasn't in the plans, so I'm okay with him being the center piece of this deal for the reasons you state. But how is he not Rizzo? It's actually the perfect comparison if you've followed these two kids. Success in the PCL, eaten up by Dodger Stadium and Petco respectively, then traded for peanuts.


I mean certified in two ways: one, performance -- the numbers, all of which appear here and elsewhere on the board; but, mainly, as "commodity." That is, whatever one might think of the label, or even the practice, of closer and closing, that is his role. That is how he is identified, and how he is paid. Aceves, to use your example, has no role per se. Some see him as a starter (as I do); some, the rubber-armed long relief guy; Valentine -- partly, I think, as a sop -- tried to make a closer out of him. Hanrahan may close in Boston; he may set-up; they may try some system of alternating that role between him and Bailey.

Whatever they do, his "role" is valuable as a commodity: more valuable than any of the individual parts going back. For all of the headscratching and naysaying, this is a nice hedge move by Cherington. If he pitches well and the team does well, you ride him into August and September and see if you can't steal a playoff spot. If he pitches well and the team bombs, you move him in July or August -- very likely for a piece with higher upside than the pieces you moved for him. Of course the team could play well and he could suck, or both the team and the pitcher could suck -- but if those things happen, again IMO, you didn't give up anything earth-shattering to get him anyway. I still believe Pimentel has a shot to click, he more than Sands. And of course so does Pittsburgh. But those are risks inherent to the whole idea of a trade that isn't a salary dump.

The last thing I would worry about is whether this is a "good" deal. We are talking bullpen arms and replacement parts here, which are by their nature volatile.

Between this and the other active threads, there is in my view a lot of worrying about the trees and very little forest-gazing. I am prepared to see 2013 as a competitive year -- but I don't worry whether Joel Hanrahan or Shane Victorino or Mike Napoli is going to lead us to the promised land in 2013. I worry about 2015: by then I want to see a contending team, made up of core group of young talent, playing the game the way I like to see it played, in an organization that is still committed to developing deep depth throughout the system so that I can reasonably expect the playoffs 6 or 7 years out of every ten. That to me is "success."

So the question for me this offseason is: "Has Cherington put the Red Sox on the path to that forest?" The answer to me is a resounding yes. Rudy calls this Kool-Aid. Fine. I would rather drink it than be so worried about this or that move, or even 2013, than be drowning in the constant plop-pop-fizz-fizz of what those folks are drinking.

Edited by someoneanywhere, 23 December 2012 - 10:34 AM.


#202 Rasputin


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:59 PM

So the question for me this offseason is: "Has Cherington put the Red Sox on the path to that forest?" The answer to me is a resounding yes. Rudy calls this Kool-Aid. Fine. I would rather drink it than be so worried about this or that move, or even 2013, than be drowning in the constant plop-pop-fizz-fizz of what those folks are drinking.


Yeah this.

Also, one of the things that separates teams from the pack is a good bullpen. The Sox should have a good, deep, bullpen.

Bailey, Hanrahan, Tazawa, Uehara. On any given day you'd be pretty comfortable having any of them close. With four of them, we're going to be able to make a lot of games six innings.

My question, though, is who gets bumped? We could go with Morales, Breslow, and Aceves and have the two lefties plus two guys who can make spot starts but that means there's no place for Bard at all. If Bard does get his head on straight, you'd want him, do you just dump Aceves? Bailey, Hanrahan, Tazawa, Uehara, Bard, Morales, Breslow.

#203 Sprowl


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:30 PM

Because it is only 45 innings. Given the volatility of relievers counting on a guy who was excellent in what basically amounts to his first 45 IP in the bigs is an awful big risk. I think Tazawa could well be nearly as good this year, but Hanrahan has a long history of being better than league average, so you have to take that reliability into account when projecting your bullpen. Hanrahan is a much safer bet.
I doubt Tazawa keeps the BB/9 at or under 1, or that he repeats a 0.2 HR/9 rate.


Tazawa's command of his fastball and splitter is not a fluke; it was predicted for him when he was first signed. The only real surprise is that he was regularly hitting 94 and touching 96. Depending on the situations in which Farrell calls on him, I think he could repeat that level of control. Valentine used Tazawa in lots of trailing situations where his job was to go after hitters, which he did. If Farrell increases his leverage, then we should expect to see him be more cautious, but I would still expect his command to be excellent, even if it is reflected in different indicators.

Ed: Hanrahan evaluation moved to the other thread.

#204 Cellar-Door

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:16 PM

Tazawa's command of his fastball and splitter is not a fluke; it was predicted for him when he was first signed. The only real surprise is that he was regularly hitting 94 and touching 96. Depending on the situations in which Farrell calls on him, I think he could repeat that level of control. Valentine used Tazawa in lots of trailing situations where his job was to go after hitters, which he did. If Farrell increases his leverage, then we should expect to see him be more cautious, but I would still expect his command to be excellent, even if it is reflected in different indicators.

Ed: Hanrahan evaluation moved to the other thread.

I never said his command was a fluke. What likely is a fluke is a BB/9 of 1.02, that was the best in the majors, in fact only one other relief pitcher was below 1.55, No player who played after 1890 has a career number that low, and It is also half of Rivera's career rate of 2.04 which is the lowest among qualified active RP.
Nor do I think a 0.2 HR/9 is sustainable since fangraphs doesn't have a single modern era player I could find with a career number that low.
Tazawa could well be nearly as good in terms of overall performance this year, but a 44IP sample which shows at least one and probably two rates that are almost certainly unsustainable should be taken with a grain of salt.

#205 bombdiggz

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 05:27 PM

Yeah this.

Also, one of the things that separates teams from the pack is a good bullpen. The Sox should have a good, deep, bullpen.

Bailey, Hanrahan, Tazawa, Uehara. On any given day you'd be pretty comfortable having any of them close. With four of them, we're going to be able to make a lot of games six innings.

My question, though, is who gets bumped? We could go with Morales, Breslow, and Aceves and have the two lefties plus two guys who can make spot starts but that means there's no place for Bard at all. If Bard does get his head on straight, you'd want him, do you just dump Aceves? Bailey, Hanrahan, Tazawa, Uehara, Bard, Morales, Breslow.


Tazawa looks to be one of the better relievers on the team for sure, but given that he has an option, how certain are we that he will open the season on the 25 man? Is it worth giving up on another pitcher with value (Aceves, Miller) to assemble the optimal pen on Opening Day? I could certainly envision Tazawa alleviating the numbers crunch by opening in Pawtucket and being part of the Lucky's deep depth.

#206 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:10 PM

I sure hope that a team with all the financial muscle of the Red Sox doesn't keep better players in the minors in order to save a few bucks. I doubt that they will. Unless Tazawa's hurt or bizarrely out of sorts in spring training, I'd bet he opens with the major league team in 2013.

#207 bombdiggz

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:17 PM

I sure hope that a team with all the financial muscle of the Red Sox doesn't keep better players in the minors in order to save a few bucks. I doubt that they will. Unless Tazawa's hurt or bizarrely out of sorts in spring training, I'd bet he opens with the major league team in 2013.


Just to be clear, If he ends up in the minors, I don't think saving cash would be the teams motivation, but rather it would be to hang on to someone like Miller and maximize the amount of quality arms available to contribute to the bullpen in 2012.

Edited by bombdiggz, 23 December 2012 - 09:50 PM.


#208 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:32 PM

Yeah. I kind of misread your comment. I was just thinking about the Rays and how they explicitly do just that to themselves and I wrongly transposed my thinking about that to what you said.

#209 Rasputin


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:59 PM

Tazawa looks to be one of the better relievers on the team for sure, but given that he has an option, how certain are we that he will open the season on the 25 man? Is it worth giving up on another pitcher with value (Aceves, Miller) to assemble the optimal pen on Opening Day? I could certainly envision Tazawa alleviating the numbers crunch by opening in Pawtucket and being part of the Lucky's deep depth.


I will be pissed to no end. The first two weeks of the season all the games are against teams that could win the divison (plus the Orioles.)

It's not like there are a bunch of guys who are roughly comparable so you send the one that might be slightly better down so you can keep them all. Tazawa could be the best reliever we have. Certainly he's better than Aceves or Miller.

#210 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:03 PM

My question, though, is who gets bumped? We could go with Morales, Breslow, and Aceves and have the two lefties plus two guys who can make spot starts but that means there's no place for Bard at all. If Bard does get his head on straight, you'd want him, do you just dump Aceves? Bailey, Hanrahan, Tazawa, Uehara, Bard, Morales, Breslow.


If Bard returns to the Bard of 2010 and most of 2011, then yes, you DFA Aceves and if he gets claimed, you let him go. I think Aceves is probably the most redundant piece in the pen to start the year. Morales is a better options for long relief and spot starting, plus he's a better option if you need to get a left handed hitter out in a tough spot earlier in the game. There are four guys on in the pen who are all clearly better options for setup or closer work. Miller might even better for long relief and spot starting, to be honest. Aceves is a nice piece to have at the very back of the pen, and he's probably better than what a lot of teams have in that role, but if Bard somehow turns it back on, you don't even blink before DFAing Aceves.

If Bard turns it around, the Sox could actually end up with the best pen in the game.

#211 Rasputin


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:23 PM

If Bard turns it around, the Sox could actually end up with the best pen in the game.


A hundred holds, bitches.

#212 bosockboy


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Posted 23 December 2012 - 10:49 PM

9 arms for presumably 7 slots. Hanrahan, Bailey, Uehara, Tazawa, Breslow and Morales I'd consider locks. Last slot between Bard, Miller and Aceves. If Bard is fixed he's a no brainer....Aceves and Miller could easily be moved in the spring.

#213 Rasputin


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:15 AM

9 arms for presumably 7 slots. Hanrahan, Bailey, Uehara, Tazawa, Breslow and Morales I'd consider locks. Last slot between Bard, Miller and Aceves. If Bard is fixed he's a no brainer....Aceves and Miller could easily be moved in the spring.


I think you're right, and I think that, for an offseason that began with so many holes in the lineup, we're going to have a spring training with very few actual battles.

#214 jacklamabe65


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:37 AM

Potentially, this is the strongest Red Sox bullpen in our lifetimes. An NFL analogy would be special teams play. There are very few teams in football that are nt at least fairly competitive who have great special teams on their side. This development is the most interesting of all from this off season IMM.

#215 someoneanywhere

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 08:55 AM

I agree with you that he attention to the pen is he most interesting thing about the offseason. On the surface it doesn't make sense -- the Uhera signing in particular makes no sense -- that a team marginally competitive would sink such assets into the most volatile part of any roster. But I think the attention tells us a lot about how they want to play in 2013 and compete. They'll ask starters for innings but won't count on them. Meanwhile they hope the renewed emphasis on plate discipline and OBP will wear down the opponent's starter. At which point they'll turn games into pen battles and hope their arms are the better ones over the long haul.

I still think we're looking at 84-win club. But a good ten-day run here, a break there, and most of all avoiding the long losing streak there, and you're in 88-win territory. And suddenly things get interesting.

#216 Clears Cleaver


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:01 AM

I'm not sure how you can possibly think Bard is going to be pitching in the majors next year. Especially pitching effectively. Unless they think being with Farrell full time will solve his issues, he is going to start in the minors. and if he starts in the majors, I bet he will be a phantom DL candidate

#217 Rasputin


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:21 AM

I'm not sure how you can possibly think Bard is going to be pitching in the majors next year. Especially pitching effectively. Unless they think being with Farrell full time will solve his issues, he is going to start in the minors. and if he starts in the majors, I bet he will be a phantom DL candidate


Why do you think it is impossible for someone who has had success in the majors, isn't too old, and isn't injured, to have success again?

Why do you think one bad season makes someone irretrievably broken?

#218 OttoC


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:51 AM

Why do you think it is impossible for someone who has had success in the majors, isn't too old, and isn't injured, to have success again?

Why do you think one bad season makes someone irretrievably broken?


Steve Blass?

#219 j44thor

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

Potentially, this is the strongest Red Sox bullpen in our lifetimes. An NFL analogy would be special teams play. There are very few teams in football that are nt at least fairly competitive who have great special teams on their side. This development is the most interesting of all from this off season IMM.


I hope this is some serious hyperbole if not I'd like some of what you are having. The BP looks like it could be a strength but lets not get carried away. Right now there are a lot more questions than answers.

Uehara might have the best stuff in the pen but he will be 38 come opening day and threw just 36 innings last year. Hardly someone we can expect 50+ meaningful innings from.

Hanrahan has never pitched in the AL and has a career BB/9 above 4. Safe to say jury is still out on him.

Bailey is coming off a lost season and has not exactly answered the critics about his durability issues.

Tazawa has potential to be the best of the bunch which says as much about the pen as it does Tazawa himself.

Breslow useful piece but worth noting that he is 1yr removed from putting up a 1.52 WHIP in 60IP. I like him but have some reservations.

Miller started out on fire but in typical Miller fashion had some very rough stretches including walking 13 over his final 14 IP from Aug on. Don't think he can counted on in high lev but as a 2nd LHP out of the pen you can do worse. That is of course assuming the end of year was a blip and not Miller reverting back to form.

Nevermind our lifetime, I'd be hard pressed to take this BP over the 2008 BP that featured a lights out Papelbon combined with Oki and Manny Del Carmen who each pitched over 60 innings and all posted a WHIP below 1.15, H/9 no worse than 7.5, BB/9 of 3.4 or better and K/9 of 8.7 or better. They also had Masterson who was the perfect swing man.

I'll give the 2013 BP the edge in depth since the 2008 version did still use Javier Lopez and the corpse of Mike Timlin for 50 IP+ but don't see where they will get close to the top end production.

#220 someoneanywhere

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:40 AM

Steve Blass?


People say that, and I get it. But there is one big difference: Bard has been here before. If there's anything going for him, it's that he knows he can get it back because he's already lost and found it once. And bear in mind that when he did find it -- I can actually lay claim to seeing it, because I was in the park in Greenville the night he sent the scout section atwitter with an overpowering arsenal -- he came on real quick.

I'm not predicting anything. I think you still have to consider him a question mark. But to write him off now is, I think, desperately premature.

#221 Rasputin


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:46 AM

I hope this is some serious hyperbole if not I'd like some of what you are having. The BP looks like it could be a strength but lets not get carried away. Right now there are a lot more questions than answers.

Uehara might have the best stuff in the pen but he will be 38 come opening day and threw just 36 innings last year. Hardly someone we can expect 50+ meaningful innings from.

Hanrahan has never pitched in the AL and has a career BB/9 above 4. Safe to say jury is still out on him.

Bailey is coming off a lost season and has not exactly answered the critics about his durability issues.

Tazawa has potential to be the best of the bunch which says as much about the pen as it does Tazawa himself.

Breslow useful piece but worth noting that he is 1yr removed from putting up a 1.52 WHIP in 60IP. I like him but have some reservations.

Miller started out on fire but in typical Miller fashion had some very rough stretches including walking 13 over his final 14 IP from Aug on. Don't think he can counted on in high lev but as a 2nd LHP out of the pen you can do worse. That is of course assuming the end of year was a blip and not Miller reverting back to form.

Nevermind our lifetime, I'd be hard pressed to take this BP over the 2008 BP that featured a lights out Papelbon combined with Oki and Manny Del Carmen who each pitched over 60 innings and all posted a WHIP below 1.15, H/9 no worse than 7.5, BB/9 of 3.4 or better and K/9 of 8.7 or better. They also had Masterson who was the perfect swing man.

I'll give the 2013 BP the edge in depth since the 2008 version did still use Javier Lopez and the corpse of Mike Timlin for 50 IP+ but don't see where they will get close to the top end production.


You can sit there and make up questions about anyone.

Uehara has been in the states for four seasons and except for the first one, they've all been very good. Yeah, he could get hurt, maybe he even has a higher probability of getting hurt. Big fucking deal, everyone can get hurt. When he's on the roster, he's been very good.

Hanrahan: No, it's not safe to say the jury is still out on him. He's been pitching short relief since 2008. Yeah he walks too many guys but he has still been very effective.

Bailey: You basically just said he doesn't count because he might get hurt. Everyone might get hurt, nobody counts, whaa, where did baseball go? Seriously. Bailey has been very good.

Tazawa: Did you forget that Tazawa has been hurt in the past? No, the fact that Tazawa could be the best of the lot doesn't say more about the rest than it does about him. What it says about him is that he's been really fucking good.

Breslow you have some reservations about? Really? The sixth guy in the bullpen you're knocking because you have reservations about?

Gimme a fucking break with this shit. We can't talk about how we have a bullpen stocked with a lot of really good arms because sometimes they've been hurt. Whaa, sometimes pitchers get hurt, we can't count on anything, whaaa.

#222 Savin Hillbilly


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:57 AM

Uehara has been in the states for four seasons and except for the first one, they've all been very good. Yeah, he could get hurt, maybe he even has a higher probability of getting hurt. Big fucking deal, everyone can get hurt. When he's on the roster, he's been very good.


He was hurt for a while last year -- and came back to pitch unbelievable, lights-out baseball for the last month of the season, with 21 Ks/1 BB and a 1.23 ERA in 14-plus innings. So whatever was wrong, he appears to have fixed it. Of course, at his age especially, something could go wrong again, but that's why Ben is trying to assemble a bullpen that's seven deep in quality, high-leverage-worthy pitchers.

No, the fact that Tazawa could be the best of the lot doesn't say more about the rest than it does about him. What it says about him is that he's been really fucking good.


In fact, if there's anything that "says something about the pen" with regard to Tazawa, it's that the guy who was second in the AL in FIP and xFIP last year among relievers with 40+ innings may turn out to be the fourth or fifth man on the depth chart.

Gimme a fucking break with this shit. We can't talk about how we have a bullpen stocked with a lot of really good arms because sometimes they've been hurt. Whaa, sometimes pitchers get hurt, we can't count on anything, whaaa.


Our ability to make lemons from lemonade around here is world-class, you have to admit.

#223 Snodgrass'Muff


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:12 PM

Our ability to make lemons from lemonade around here is world-class, you have to admit.


To be fair, there are a fair amount of us who are pretty good at making lemonade out if lemons, as well. It cuts both ways and both sides of the positive/negative spectrum often start from a mostly logical premise. That's what makes talking about baseball so interesting, though. There is plenty of room for interpretation and disgreement in many cases. Except for Dogman. He's always wrong.

Happy holidays, SoSH. :)

#224 j44thor

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:33 PM

To be fair, there are a fair amount of us who are pretty good at making lemonade out if lemons, as well. It cuts both ways and both sides of the positive/negative spectrum often start from a mostly logical premise. That's what makes talking about baseball so interesting, though. There is plenty of room for interpretation and disgreement in many cases. Except for Dogman. He's always wrong.

Happy holidays, SoSH. :)


Exactly, do we have to re-hash the preseason "Sox are a 100 win team on paper" thread from last year.

I admitted that the Sox pen could be a strength but going so far as to say it could be the "greatest bullpen in our lifetime" is exactly the type of Glasses so red you can't see out of them thinking that tends to permeate in the pre-season.

There is a collection of parts with upside, not one of which who comes without a question mark. If everything breaks right they could perhaps even be dominant, just like the 2011 Red Sox. I'd feel a lot better about the BP if they had a #1 consensus relief ace around which everything else could fall.

#225 Rasputin


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

I'd feel a lot better about the BP if they had a #1 consensus relief ace around which everything else could fall.


You just said that having four guys who are really good is worse than having one guy who is really good and three more guys who are not.

The whole fucking point is that any of Bailey, Hanrahan, Uehara, or Tazawa can be relied upon to close.

#226 Red(s)HawksFan

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

You just said that having four guys who are really good is worse than having one guy who is really good and three more guys who are not.

The whole fucking point is that any of Bailey, Hanrahan, Uehara, or Tazawa can be relied upon to close.


In general, I'm with you Ras, but I think you're reading too much into his post. I don't think j44thor was saying he wants one guy who is really good and three more who are not. I think he was saying that he wants one of them to be a clear cut #1...a great amongst the good rather than good amongst not so good.

#227 Rasputin


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:13 PM

In general, I'm with you Ras, but I think you're reading too much into his post. I don't think j44thor was saying he wants one guy who is really good and three more who are not. I think he was saying that he wants one of them to be a clear cut #1...a great amongst the good rather than good amongst not so good.


Of course he doesn't think that but it's the logical conclusion to draw from looking at the present situation and wishing you had a clear cut number one.

#228 j44thor

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:17 PM

In general, I'm with you Ras, but I think you're reading too much into his post. I don't think j44thor was saying he wants one guy who is really good and three more who are not. I think he was saying that he wants one of them to be a clear cut #1...a great amongst the good rather than good amongst not so good.


Yes exactly, having 4-5 very good options is not a bad position to be in but I would feel a lot better if they had one legit relief ace. Perhaps Bailey, Uehara, Tazawa or Hanrahan will be that guy but going into the season that remains a big question mark.

#229 Sprowl


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:21 PM

Potentially, this is the strongest Red Sox bullpen in our lifetimes. An NFL analogy would be special teams play. There are very few teams in football that are nt at least fairly competitive who have great special teams on their side. This development is the most interesting of all from this off season IMM.


People forget about 2009 pretty quickly. Papelbon, Bard, Okajima, Masterson, Saito, Ramirez, Delcarmen and Wagner was a great bullpen.

2013? We'll see, but right now the team has an inferior closer, an inferior setup man (unless Bard returns to form), and plenty of depth.

#230 j44thor

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

Of course he doesn't think that but it's the logical conclusion to draw from looking at the present situation and wishing you had a clear cut number one.


So I take it you have issues with reading comprehension. It isn't difficult to figure out based on my comparison to the 2008 bullpen that I would prefer the Sox have one ace reliever and 2-3 very good additional relievers that can secure a lead from the 7th inning on as opposed to having no clear cut ace and 6-7 very good relievers because odds are relievers in the 5-7 spot are going to pitch in a lot of games that the outcome has already been determined.

Right now you can't pencil in one reliever for 60+ IP, a WHIP below 1.18, K/9 around 9 and a BB/9 below 3.5. The 2008 Bullpen had 3 pitchers accomplish that.

#231 Red(s)HawksFan

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:50 PM

Right now you can't pencil in one reliever for 60+ IP, a WHIP below 1.18, K/9 around 9 and a BB/9 below 3.5. The 2008 Bullpen had 3 pitchers accomplish that.


Twenty-for relievers in all of baseball got that combo in 2012 (60+ IP, WHIP under 1.18, K/9 over 8.5, BB/9 under 3.5). Craig Breslow was one of the 24.

In 2011, there were only 18 pitchers that fit the criteria. Among them were Daniel Bard and Koji Uehara.

In 2010, there were also only 18 pitchers that fit the criteria. Breslow appears on that list as well.

Of those three years, only two guys accomplished the combo all three times: Joaquin Benoit and Sean Marshall.

The following accomplished the combo twice in the last three years:
Mike Adams (2010, 2011)
Grant Balfour (2011, 2012)
Rafael Betancourt (2010, 2011)
Craig Breslow (2010, 2012)
Luke Gregerson (2010, 2012)
Jonathan Papelbon (2011, 2012)
Vinnie Pestano (2011, 2012)

I think the point is that it is extremely difficult to project ANY reliever to hit those marks with any certainty. Nine guys have even done it more than once in the last three years, one of whom is in the Sox bullpen for 2013. I think you're asking a whole hell of a lot to expect the Red Sox, or any team for that matter, to have a guy they can pencil in for that combo.

#232 j44thor

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:57 PM

i'm not expecting anyone from the 2013 Sox bullpen to put up those #'s. My whole point in this discussion is that the 2013 Sox bullpen probably won't be the "greatest Sox bullpen of our lifetime". That is it. I think when it is all said and done they will not be as good as the 2008 pen.

They appear on paper to be a very good bullpen. They don't appear on paper to be an all-world bullpen.

#233 JimBoSox9


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:01 PM

Right now you can't pencil in one reliever for 60+ IP, a WHIP below 1.18, K/9 around 9 and a BB/9 below 3.5. The 2008 Bullpen had 3 pitchers accomplish that.


But isn't the point that before the 2008 season, each of those guys that contributed to the pen you so admire had question marks you could have written about in a manner very similar to what you just did with the 2012 squad?

Okajima:
Has a fastball that can't break a pane of glass. Japanese veteran who relies on a deceptive delivery, and only 1 year of success in MLB. In 2007, his ERA in August was 5.06 and over 8 in September - looks like the league has already started to figure him out!

Delcarmen:
Followed up a bad 2006 with a good 2007 - again not a large sample of success. That 2007 included a good dose of luck in the form of a .218 BABIP. As that normalizes, we can expect a decent bit of regression from Manny in 2008.

I'll grant you that anything negative written about Papelbon at that time would have to be a bit of a stretch, but everyone else in 2008 (and 09 for that matter) had possible red flags.

Relievers are volatile, relievers have question marks. That's why you stockpile quality arms and hope for a bit of luck. They've gotten guys with a real track record of success - that's a good thing. Myself, I think you over-reached a fair bit reacting to the GOAT post. I agree talking GOAT is bit premature - to get on that level would require a nice dollop more of luck than average. I do think, though, that the variance range is more like "GOAT --------- Average" than "Strength ------- Terrible".

#234 j44thor

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:05 PM

The difference between the 2008 Pen and the 2013 Pen is exactly that a Jonathan Papelbon type.
Put a Papelbon on the 2013 Sox and you very well could have an all world bullpen.

#235 Rasputin


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:32 PM

So I take it you have issues with reading comprehension.


Not really, no.

It isn't difficult to figure out based on my comparison to the 2008 bullpen that I would prefer the Sox have one ace reliever and 2-3 very good additional relievers that can secure a lead from the 7th inning on as opposed to having no clear cut ace and 6-7 very good relievers because odds are relievers in the 5-7 spot are going to pitch in a lot of games that the outcome has already been determined.


You said you wished they had a #1 relief ace without defining it.

Right now you can't pencil in one reliever for 60+ IP, a WHIP below 1.18, K/9 around 9 and a BB/9 below 3.5. The 2008 Bullpen had 3 pitchers accomplish that.


Tazawa has a WHIP of .955 last year, a BB/9 of 1, and 9.2 K/9 but he doesn't qualify because he was called up too late in the season to get enough innings.

Bailey has a WHIP below 1.18 three times, K/9 rates of 9.8, 7.7, 8.9, 8.2, and walk rates of less than 3/9 in every year but his last craptacular partial season but he doesn't count.

Uehara has had a WHIP below 1 three times, you could add his walk rates from the past three years and they don't get to 3, and his K rate dipped all the way to 10.8 but he doesn't qualify.

Even Hanrahan, who walks too many guys, was two baserunners away from qualifying in 2011 and 2010.

My point is that you look pretty silly wishing for one relief ace when we have at least four guys who are that good and if Bard gets his head on straight, that will be five.

#236 Edelpeddle

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:33 PM

So I take it you have issues with reading comprehension. It isn't difficult to figure out based on my comparison to the 2008 bullpen that I would prefer the Sox have one ace reliever and 2-3 very good additional relievers that can secure a lead from the 7th inning on as opposed to having no clear cut ace and 6-7 very good relievers because odds are relievers in the 5-7 spot are going to pitch in a lot of games that the outcome has already been determined.

Right now you can't pencil in one reliever for 60+ IP, a WHIP below 1.18, K/9 around 9 and a BB/9 below 3.5. The 2008 Bullpen had 3 pitchers accomplish that.


Don't you think that's a somewhat arbitrary standard? The 2007 bullpen, which had an ERA nearly a full run lower than the 2008 bullpen, only had one pitcher who fit that criteria. And that pitcher was Okajima, who no one expected it from.

#237 Rasputin


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:38 PM

Don't you think that's a somewhat arbitrary standard? The 2007 bullpen, which had an ERA nearly a full run lower than the 2008 bullpen, only had one pitcher who fit that criteria. And that pitcher was Okajima, who no one expected it from.


No, you're wrong, his standard is great :q:

#238 JimBoSox9


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:39 PM

The difference between the 2008 Pen and the 2013 Pen is exactly that a Jonathan Papelbon type.
Put a Papelbon on the 2013 Sox and you very well could have an all world bullpen.


A Papelbon replacing any of the 2013 top 3 would definitely move the needle; instead of needing a good amount of luck to be in the GOAT conversation, they'd need maybe just about average luck. But I think you're over-valuing the distribution of quality against the total quality. As has been tackled elsewhere, the value difference between very good and elite in the CL role ends up being very little because many 3-out saves are fairly straightforward. The odds would be slightly against me, but I'd lay an even-odds bet on the top 3 RP in 2012 matching the production of the top 3 in 2008.

#239 Cellar-Door

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:48 PM

The difference between the 2008 Pen and the 2013 Pen is exactly that a Jonathan Papelbon type.
Put a Papelbon on the 2013 Sox and you very well could have an all world bullpen.

What exactly is the argument that Papelbon is significantly better? Even including Bailey's lost year last year the numbers between he and Papelbon since 2009 (When Bailey hit the bigs) are pretty comparable. Papelbon has pitched more innings, and had a better K/9, but allowed more hits. Uehara also has fairly similar numbers, but also much lower BB/9.

Edit- had the wrong K/9 number of Uehara

Edited by Cellar-Door, 24 December 2012 - 02:54 PM.


#240 Edelpeddle

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 02:49 PM

No, you're wrong, his standard is great :q:


Thanks a lot, you just ruined my Festivus.

Now back to the feats of strength.

#241 czar


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:03 PM

2013? We'll see, but right now the team has an inferior closer, an inferior setup man (unless Bard returns to form), and plenty of depth.


Inferior to what? League average? Mariano Rivera circa the last 10 years?

Koji Uehara has the 5th best xFIP of all relievers with more than 100 IP the last three years. How is he "inferior?"

And if you assume Bailey closes and Hanrahan sets up, Hanrahan is a better-than-average setup guy by peripherals (and that's coming from me who is down on him). Flip it the other way, and Bailey becomes (at worst) a league-average setup man by peripherals, and that's mostly because his SSS last year dragged him down out of the top 30 RP over the last half decade.

I get that people still can't get over that the Sox got rid of Papelbon (and I acknowledge that they might not have a top 5 closer by peripherals) but let's not pretend the Sox bullpen is filled with a ton of middling depth and no talent.

#242 j44thor

  • 3969 posts

Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

Inferior to what? League average? Mariano Rivera circa the last 10 years?

Koji Uehara has the 5th best xFIP of all relievers with more than 100 IP the last three years. How is he "inferior?"

And if you assume Bailey closes and Hanrahan sets up, Hanrahan is a better-than-average setup guy by peripherals (and that's coming from me who is down on him). Flip it the other way, and Bailey becomes (at worst) a league-average setup man by peripherals, and that's mostly because his SSS last year dragged him down out of the top 30 RP over the last half decade.

I get that people still can't get over that the Sox got rid of Papelbon (and I acknowledge that they might not have a top 5 closer by peripherals) but let's not pretend the Sox bullpen is filled with a ton of middling depth and no talent.


This assumes that either Hanrahan or Bailey is happy in a setup role and the millions of dollars one will lose in arbitration/FA with that role.

#243 j44thor

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

Don't you think that's a somewhat arbitrary standard? The 2007 bullpen, which had an ERA nearly a full run lower than the 2008 bullpen, only had one pitcher who fit that criteria. And that pitcher was Okajima, who no one expected it from.


ERA is a terrible way to judge a bullpen.

#244 Edelpeddle

  • 273 posts

Posted 24 December 2012 - 04:01 PM

ERA is a terrible way to judge a bullpen.


I can use less lazy statistics, but the song remains the same.

Using your criteria, the 2007 bullpen had a better WHIP by 0.14 points, a worse K/9 by 0.25 points and a better BB/9 by 0.31 points. Yet, they only had one reliever who fit your criteria of "60+ IP, a WHIP below 1.18, K/9 around 9 and a BB/9 below 3.5".

#245 Sprowl


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Posted 24 December 2012 - 05:03 PM

Inferior to what? League average? Mariano Rivera circa the last 10 years?

Koji Uehara has the 5th best xFIP of all relievers with more than 100 IP the last three years. How is he "inferior?"


As a closer, Bailey is inferior to Papelbon, especially based on what we saw in 2012. Stuff, command, velocity and durability all favor Papelbon. Youth favors Bailey.

I like the Uehara signing just fine, but I expect him to end up with a line more like Saito's -- not that many innings, and occasional DL stints. He's in his late 30s now.

The 2009 bullpen was off the charts in potential and near the top of the charts in actual performance. It's not a putdown to say that this collection of pitchers can't compare to 2009. John Farrell will have lots of options to work with, and the bullpen is one of the team's stronger components.

#246 Dogman2


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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:44 PM

To be fair, there are a fair amount of us who are pretty good at making lemonade out if lemons, as well. It cuts both ways and both sides of the positive/negative spectrum often start from a mostly logical premise. That's what makes talking about baseball so interesting, though. There is plenty of room for interpretation and disgreement in many cases. Except for Dogman. He's always wrong.

Happy holidays, SoSH. :)


Edelpeddle is already a better poster than you.

I like this trade and am happy to have a lively bullpen competition in ST. There is some serious potential, yes.

Sprowl, health favors Papelbon by a mile.

#247 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:50 PM

Lively bullpen competition? Globe has Farrell as already committing to Hanrahan as his closer, with Bailey surely psyched to be in the set up role.

#248 Dogman2


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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:03 PM

Lively bullpen competition? Globe has Farrell as already committing to Hanrahan as his closer, with Bailey surely psyched to be in the set up role.


Tazawa, Bailey an Uehara all fighting for the 8th inning slot is lively.

Where has Farrell committed to Bailey as the 8th inning guy?

#249 SoxScout


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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:05 PM

bradfo: John Farrell said right now he envisions traditional Bailey in 8th, Hanrahan in 9th scenario (depending, of course, on workload)



#250 Edelpeddle

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 04:05 PM

Alright, so this leaves us with Hanrahan, Uehara, Tazawa, Breslow, Bard, Aceves and Morales. Miller, Mortensen and Carpenter risk losing a roster spot if the other relievers are healthy. I wouldn't be surprised if Carpenter is the one who's DFA'd for Napoli.

Edited by Edelpeddle, 26 December 2012 - 04:06 PM.





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