2020 Rotation

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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Let Darwinzen be an opener until he gains some arm strength
With the intentions of stretching him out to be a starter? I think the ship on him being a starter has all but sailed. If they go with the opener, I do like the idea of it being Darwinzon though. He walks/strikes out far too many guys to get deep into ball games. He's not exactly efficient with the pitch count.
 

YTF

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As currently constructed and given the remaining FA's on the market, this pitching staff seems a prime candidate for the opener/bulk reliever scenario. Maybe McHugh could be useful in either of those rolls and can be had for around $5 million or less. 32 years old with elbow issues so he's a gamble but basically everyone available at this point is. He made 5.8 last season and 5 the previous season. Who knows maybe there's still something there.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
With the intentions of stretching him out to be a starter? I think the ship on him being a starter has all but sailed. If they go with the opener, I do like the idea of it being Darwinzon though. He walks/strikes out far too many guys to get deep into ball games. He's not exactly efficient with the pitch count.
Also, it's early days, but so far he seems to have a pretty pronounced platoon tendency. Of course with the three-batter rule there's really no such thing as a LOOGY anymore, but if he's a reliever, at least a manager can exercise some strategic control over which part of a lineup he faces.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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Also, it's early days, but so far he seems to have a pretty pronounced platoon tendency. Of course with the three-batter rule there's really no such thing as a LOOGY anymore, but if he's a reliever, at least a manager can exercise some strategic control over which part of a lineup he faces.
He didn't have much of a split in the minors but as we know, that's a different beast. If that is an issue, he won't have a very long major league career anyway. I'm not even convinced he'll be able to overcome the walks but he strikes out so many batters and doesn't give up HRs.

Since we are already dissecting small sample sizes: Against 97 batters at Fenway, Darwinzon gave up 10 doubles and 1 HR. On the road vs 50 batters, he gave up 1 double and 0 HRs.

Anyone remember the wall being an issue?
 

joe dokes

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Also, it's early days, but so far he seems to have a pretty pronounced platoon tendency. Of course with the three-batter rule there's really no such thing as a LOOGY anymore, but if he's a reliever, at least a manager can exercise some strategic control over which part of a lineup he faces.
When facing an opener, do teams construct a lineup with platoons in mind against the first guy? Using someone as an opener may not give the opener's manager maximum strategic control, but it does take away some of the other manager's strategic control.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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When facing an opener, do teams construct a lineup with platoons in mind against the first guy? Using someone as an opener may not give the opener's manager maximum strategic control, but it does take away some of the other manager's strategic control.
I imagine teams would treat an opener the same way they do a reliever. I was thinking someone like Darwinzon could probably be used one time through the order, which for him means 2 innings. I think teams would still treat him as a MR.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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When facing an opener, do teams construct a lineup with platoons in mind against the first guy? Using someone as an opener may not give the opener's manager maximum strategic control, but it does take away some of the other manager's strategic control.
It’s a good question. IIRC some Rays opponents in 2018 stubbornly trotted out the same lineup, maybe because they didn’t take it seriously, but the Rays really were onto something.

A corresponding question might be how long does a team have before they release the announcement of their starting pitcher.
 

Devizier

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Thinking outside the box, and I hate to say this because how many beloved players can I stand to lose in one year: but if the Sox are in contention at the deadline but struggling with the rotation, and Dalbec seems clearly ready, what about trading Devers for a really good (i.e. #2 or better), cost-controlled starter? We have an emerging surplus at 3B and a shortage in the rotation--so far we're talking about addressing this at the bottom of the depth chart, but there's no particular reason we couldn't do it at the top instead.
According to the trade values website (thanks for clarifying this for me, everyone), Devers is the 8th most valuable player in baseball. Jack Flaherty is the only pitcher of comparable value. I take these numbers with a grain of salt (just look at the ranges in projected value), but it follows the eye test. Generally speaking, position players are going to be worth more on account of their reliability.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Chris Archer might be another trade option. New GM, Ben Cherington, has indicated that the Pirates are going to build (not re-build) the program. I would be surprised if that meant Archer was a big part of their plan down the road. Archer was a 200ip horse for a few years although it has been tempered recently knee surgery and shoulder inflammation. Recent reports are that he is fully healthy. At $9M (2020) and a $11M club option in 2021, he is a bit more pricey than Stripling or some of the options above, but would still fit under the 2020 CBT if projections are correct. Would someone like Duran or Jimenez get it done?
Something to keep in mind when trying to forecast signings/trades to bolster the rotation is that while the Betts/Price trade bought the team some room under the CBT limit, it's only about $19M. Obviously they can afford a contract like Archer's under those circumstances, but it eats up a fair amount of their cushion. If the team intends to be competitive for a playoff spot (and they should be), they may want to keep some powder dry in order to make a mid-season acquisition without screwing up their quest to stay under the CBT cap. For that reason, I don't see this newly gained cap space as an invitation to go right out and spend it, particularly on yet another pitcher with health question marks.
 

YTF

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I imagine teams would treat an opener the same way they do a reliever. I was thinking someone like Darwinzon could probably be used one time through the order, which for him means 2 innings. I think teams would still treat him as a MR.
Similar, but I think it depends on the pitcher. Tampa had a couple of guys last season who served in both the opener role (one or two innings mostly) and other times the same guy might be used as a bulk reliever in other games (3 plus innings sometimes more) and others that took on either one role or the other. So yes you're right I guess, treated like a reliever but for most with a defined role much like a set up guy or closer might know his role.
 

JimD

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Something to keep in mind when trying to forecast signings/trades to bolster the rotation is that while the Betts/Price trade bought the team some room under the CBT limit, it's only about $19M. Obviously they can afford a contract like Archer's under those circumstances, but it eats up a fair amount of their cushion. If the team intends to be competitive for a playoff spot (and they should be), they may want to keep some powder dry in order to make a mid-season acquisition without screwing up their quest to stay under the CBT cap. For that reason, I don't see this newly gained cap space as an invitation to go right out and spend it, particularly on yet another pitcher with health question marks.
No doubt - I think any deals this spring are low-money and/or make-good deals from Chaim's Tampa playbook.

It's also worth pointing out that any spending in June or July gets a bigger bang for the buck, since you are only paying for two or three months worth of salary instead of a full year.
 

chawson

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Something to keep in mind when trying to forecast signings/trades to bolster the rotation is that while the Betts/Price trade bought the team some room under the CBT limit, it's only about $19M. Obviously they can afford a contract like Archer's under those circumstances, but it eats up a fair amount of their cushion. If the team intends to be competitive for a playoff spot (and they should be), they may want to keep some powder dry in order to make a mid-season acquisition without screwing up their quest to stay under the CBT cap. For that reason, I don't see this newly gained cap space as an invitation to go right out and spend it, particularly on yet another pitcher with health question marks.
If the Sox were projected to be one of the top 2-3 teams in the league, then your plan sounds good. But I’m seeing it a different way.

As it stands, they’re on the Wild Card bubble, and very unlikely to contend for the AL East. To me, that incentivizes signing someone with upside now rather than midstream, for three reasons:

1. They are more likely to compete for a playoff spot if they have a strong start
2. Trading for someone at the deadline means giving up prospect capital, and they need to keep that.
3. They can pivot to being sellers if they fall out of it, and have more to sell.
 

Teachdad46

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Sure, and I’d consider that deal if it were real. But at that level of value a 1-for-1 trade seems too disruptive to teams’ plans, and I don’t think it makes sense to trade Devers for multiple less valuable parts.

I can’t remember the last time two cost-controlled franchise players on perennially contending teams — a/k/a two of the top 15 or so most valuable players in baseball — were traded straight up for one another.
Kuenn/Colavito?
That was only 60 years ago and I remember it like yesterday..
 

SydneySox

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The obvious issue with many of the 'trade Barnes and/or Workman' scenarios is that they're based on our potential lack of success this season, only.

With a strong young, still cheap for the short term core and free from the worsening financial shackles of the tax, I expect the Red Sox see this year as a bump-reset. In two seasons' time we need Barnes and Workmans in the bullpen. Blowing it all up now just pushes the Sox window out further into the Bogaerts opt out/ Devers arb years for little reason.

We expect the Sox to push for Mookie again for 2021 and they'll have money to spend.
 

Plympton91

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Oct 19, 2008
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The obvious issue with many of the 'trade Barnes and/or Workman' scenarios is that they're based on our potential lack of success this season, only.

With a strong young, still cheap for the short term core and free from the worsening financial shackles of the tax, I expect the Red Sox see this year as a bump-reset. In two seasons' time we need Barnes and Workmans in the bullpen. Blowing it all up now just pushes the Sox window out further into the Bogaerts opt out/ Devers arb years for little reason.

We expect the Sox to push for Mookie again for 2021 and they'll have money to spend.
Workman is a free agent after this season, is on the wrong side of 30, and has already had TJ once. There are 2 scenarios:

1) He’s as good as he was last season, racking up another high intensity, high usage year on his arm. He will then want a long term contract at relief ace money. Exactly the type of contract the RedSox have been avoiding like the plague. Thus, he’s unlikely to be resigned and leaves for nothing.

2) He's not as good as he was last year, and therefore he has less value at the deadline than he does now.

Clear Conclusion:
Trade him now.
 

Salem's Lot

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Workman is a free agent after this season, is on the wrong side of 30, and has already had TJ once. There are 2 scenarios:

1) He’s as good as he was last season, racking up another high intensity, high usage year on his arm. He will then want a long term contract at relief ace money. Exactly the type of contract the RedSox have been avoiding like the plague. Thus, he’s unlikely to be resigned and leaves for nothing.

2) He's not as good as he was last year, and therefore he has less value at the deadline than he does now.

Clear Conclusion:
Trade him now.
Overall I agree with your point, I would look to move him if I were Boston. But if I were the GM of another club I would probably go with one of my younger guys with upside and a minimum contract vs. spending assets on a guy like Workman with all of the issues that you detailed. He may be a guy that after gauging offers from around the league, Bloom may be better off waiting until the deadline and betting on his value increasing.
 

simplicio

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However good he's been, he's still a reliever. Nobody's going to project him to be worth a QO next winter, and you get nothing extra beyond pro-rated value for trading him now. Seems a stronger move to see how things pan out towards the deadline and take the value spike then if applicable.

Plympton leaves out the possibility that he's good and the rest of the team isn't and they get a haul for him this summer.
 

Danny_Darwin

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Jul 19, 2005
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To me, the logical thing to do would be to trade one of Chavis or Dalbec, since they seem kind of redundant with each other. But where? The rental market is pretty dire. Samardzjia you could probably get now, but he makes a lot of money. Zimmermann you could probably get now but he is not very good any more. Archer was discussed above. The rest of them, best as I can tell, are playing for teams who are Going For It, at least as of now. You could maybe wait out, say, Texas, but that's risky. I'm not seeing many exciting names on the rebuilding teams either.
 

high cheese

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On candidates to replace Price in the rotation, Bloom says Sox 'have a lot of time to figure that out.' @alexspeir


Say what? How about Porcello's innings?
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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#5 guy will be whoever pitches the best in spring who is out of options or who we made a significant investment in

1. Sale L
2. Eovaldi R
3. Erod L (deserves to be #2, but my guess is no)
4. Perez L (ugggh)
 

Jimbodandy

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around the way
#5 guy will be whoever pitches the best in spring who is out of options or who we made a significant investment in

1. Sale L
2. Eovaldi R
3. Erod L (deserves to be #2, but my guess is no)
4. Perez L (ugggh)
They have a crapload of innings to eat, even if Sale and Eovaldi are healthy. They probably need to acquire more depth than one starter.
 

BeantownIdaho

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Dec 5, 2005
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No harm in signing one or two of those guys to minor league deals if you can get them, but it makes more sense to me to throw money at Puig for a pillow deal now and then trade an outfielder from strength, maybe Puig himself, at the deadline.

My thoughts as well...some intriguing projects have already signed to minor league deals with some still remaining. No harm in brining in a few of these guys and see if it jumps start their career.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Jul 10, 2007
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The wrong side of the bridge....
However good he's been, he's still a reliever. Nobody's going to project him to be worth a QO next winter, and you get nothing extra beyond pro-rated value for trading him now. Seems a stronger move to see how things pan out towards the deadline and take the value spike then if applicable.

Plympton leaves out the possibility that he's good and the rest of the team isn't and they get a haul for him this summer.
Yeah, the non-LT reason to trade Mookie doesn't really apply here; the difference between bupkis and what you could get for one season of Workman is not likely to be big enough to justify the sacrifice of 2020 depth.

On candidates to replace Price in the rotation, Bloom says Sox 'have a lot of time to figure that out.' @alexspeir


Say what? How about Porcello's innings?
To be fair, Bloom hasn't had a lot of sleep lately.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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These are the options, as I see them.

A) Sign a scrap heap guy. These include Cashner, McHugh, Estrada, Buchholz, Walker, Vargas, et al.

B) Try some openers and bulk combos and use the shuttle often. Brice, Hembree and Workman are out of options, but unlike last year’s group, everybody else can be sent up and down pretty freely (though Barnes obviously shouldn’t). That could lead to some interesting combos — Brice/Hall or Hildenberger/Hart could probably put together five solid innings against the Orioles and Tigers. Maybe that’s good enough?

C) Sign an infielder and trade Chavis or Dalbec. Holt is an obvious one, but Zobrist, Brad Miller and Brian Dozier are still available too. Having Downs in the system makes Chavis even harder to fit long term. Dalbec has a clearer path to playing time, but Casas is a better prospect overall, and it’s possible we could get comparable production from Moreland and other short deals in the interim. Trading one of the two could get us a #4 starter (Tyler Mahle, Elisier Hernandez, Chris Archer).

D) Sign an outfielder and trade one. Given our current all-LHH outfield and the fact that we’d need a JBJ replacement next year anyway, signing an outfielder now makes a ton of sense, almost no matter the outcome. If we fall out of it, we’d have more trade ammo at the deadline, or a possible in-house JBJ replacement (sliding Verdugo over) in 2021. It’s also possible it frees up both Benny and Chavis/Dalbec to trade as a package, which might bring back an even stronger SP (Boyd, Musgrove, Woodruff).

Of those options, I do not like A, since those pitchers are terrible and a stopgap guy would have little to no resale value at the trade deadline. B is fairly interesting to me, and I bet we’d end up alchemizing some no-name fellows into solid pitchers for one turn through a lineup. I’m very fond of D, and less so of C, since I don’t have a ton of faith that Holt can stay productive.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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I just really don't want to see Devers dealt (for anyone). I suspect that they're going to evaluate him after this season and offer him a VERY long term contract (12 years since he's so young and would be valuable at least for the first 9 years of it) around $25M per season and he'll be more valuable than Mookie long term.
I also just love the guy since I felt he was going to have a great breakout season last year when it felt like almost all of SoSH had him written off and I don't even think we've seen how good he will end up being
 

DeadlySplitter

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I love Devers but 12/300???

They’re going to try to get an ultra bargain like Acuna’s deal, maybe not as blatant but somewhere way closer to that deal than 12/300.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Of those options, I do not like A, since those pitchers are terrible
Walker's not terrible if he's healthy. He's league-average for his career in the +/- columns, and he's never had a FIP or an ERA over 5. He hasn't lived up to the hype, but he hasn't been a bad pitcher.

McHugh had a poor 2019, but it wasn't that bad. The main argument against him is that he hasn't pitched a full year as a starter since 2016.

No argument on Cashner, Estrada, Buchholz, or Vargas.
 

chawson

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You’re right, that’s fair. I was self-editing for length, but Walker is intriguing if he gets his velocity back. Reports had him topping out at 85-88, though. I also like McHugh, but he’s a better bet as a swingman than a full-time starter nowadays and anyway I think he re-ups with the Astros.
 
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24redsox

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Nov 18, 2013
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Chris Sale to Wear Special Sleeve for Tracking to Prevent Further Injury Damage
12 Up | Feb 23
1 0


Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox are taking their concern for his health to the next level in Spring Training.
The ace southpaw was spotted wearing a black sleeve around his left elbow in camp, and apparently it has sensors in it that allow the team to monitor his throwing motion and track his elbow to avoid future injuries.
Considering his unorthodox delivery and the injuries that have plagued him over the past two years with the Red Sox, it's a brilliant move to have him wear the sleeve.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Chris Sale to Wear Special Sleeve for Tracking to Prevent Further Injury Damage
12 Up | Feb 23
1 0


Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox are taking their concern for his health to the next level in Spring Training.
The ace southpaw was spotted wearing a black sleeve around his left elbow in camp, and apparently it has sensors in it that allow the team to monitor his throwing motion and track his elbow to avoid future injuries.
Considering his unorthodox delivery and the injuries that have plagued him over the past two years with the Red Sox, it's a brilliant move to have him wear the sleeve.
Who is giving us this information?
Who is saying it's brilliant?
Context matters
 

Rich Garces Belly

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Who is giving us this information?
Who is saying it's brilliant?
Context matters
I think you’re missing it. This is the preseason, his wrap will make him pitch at his best all season with no fear of being injured, he also showed up in the best shape of his life. No Mookie? No worries, have you seen the shape that Vazquez showed up in? I don’t believe any news from training camp ever!!!
 

DJnVa

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Dec 16, 2010
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Chris Sale to Wear Special Sleeve for Tracking to Prevent Further Injury Damage
12 Up | Feb 23
1 0


Chris Sale and the Boston Red Sox are taking their concern for his health to the next level in Spring Training.
The ace southpaw was spotted wearing a black sleeve around his left elbow in camp, and apparently it has sensors in it that allow the team to monitor his throwing motion and track his elbow to avoid future injuries.
Considering his unorthodox delivery and the injuries that have plagued him over the past two years with the Red Sox, it's a brilliant move to have him wear the sleeve.
Where is this from? Source?
 

jon abbey

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Jul 15, 2005
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It's from a Jen McCaffrey story in the Athletic.
Yep, interesting, lengthy piece. Excerpt:

"While the data is mostly for the Red Sox sports science department and medical staff to decipher and interpret to the coaches, the players appreciate the feedback, too. Eovaldi had surgery to remove loose bodies in his elbow in March 2018 and then again in April 2019. When he returned to throwing, the Red Sox decided to use the sleeve on the right-hander to get a better read on his progress.

“I was kind of the guinea pig last year, and it’s just like wearing an arm sleeve,” Eovaldi said. “It’s got the chip in there that says the torque you put on your arm. For me that was interesting because there’s always been a theory, is my splitter putting too much pressure on my elbow? And things like that, so I was open to trying it. The results actually said the splitter wasn’t that stressful on my arm and that the curveball was.”

The team can then craft and adjust training programs to account for what each player’s body is experiencing.

“It’s a way to help measure the progression of guys so when guys are coming back from injuries or when they’re developing through some training, it’s about increasing the number of pitches while also their intensity,” Bush said. “The stress on ligaments is one way we can measure intensity. Obviously the higher intensity the more stress, not to a dangerous point, but just helps us measure how much effort they’re putting into it.”

When Johnson was on the injury list last year with elbow inflammation, he wore the sleeve while pitching in rehab stints for Double-Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket.

“I think it helps the training staff and you know, ‘Hey you kind of might need an extra day here’ or ‘Don’t throw as much today you need a recovery day,’” he said. “If you wear it every day, you can really judge, ‘You put a lot of torque on your arm yesterday, let’s keep it super light today throwing-wise,’ then get in the treatment room and get a lot of treatment going.”"

 

effectivelywild

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Yep, interesting, lengthy piece. Excerpt:


One of my favorite quotes from this piece, actually:
"“It’s a little bit different for me because even when it’s cold, I don’t wear sleeves,” Sale said. “Growing up in Florida, I never really pitched in sleeves and then when I got to the big leagues in Chicago I wore them a couple times and had a little inspiration not to wear them, but it is a little weird. "


Given Sale's blowup when he was with the White Sox and he cut up their throwback uniforms because they weren't comfortable and I think the sleeves were part of the issue. Glad to see he is ok with sleeves designed to help him get through the season healthy.
 

The Raccoon

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With Sale missing (at least) a couple days of the start of the season, who will be the starter for Opening Day?
Gotta be EdRo, right?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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With Sale missing (at least) a couple days of the start of the season, who will be the starter for Opening Day?
Gotta be EdRo, right?
Given the reason for Sale not being that guy, it probably means we need to watch the other starters to see who gets six starts in spring training. Rodriguez was already scratched from a scheduled start this week after tripping in the bullpen (didn't he do that once before?). He's supposed to start tomorrow though. That might still line him up for six turns before Opening Day.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Jul 10, 2007
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The wrong side of the bridge....
Opening Day will be on the road, and ridiculously early, and I suspect they'll treat that whole first road trip, not quite as extended spring training (the games do count) but as a chance to get the loose ends tightened up and try a few things before they hit the Opening Day that matters more from an optics POV, which is April 2. That's the 8th game of the season, so if they want Edro to pitch that day they'll want him to start game 3, Saturday the 28th in Toronto. That leaves Perez, Eovaldi or an opener/committee start for game 1.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Perez or an opener on Opening Day would be... disappointing. I still hold out a bit of hope that there’s enough talent here and if everything goes right, they can compete. I’d like that hope to make it to April at least.
 

YTF

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Opening Day will be on the road, and ridiculously early, and I suspect they'll treat that whole first road trip, not quite as extended spring training (the games do count) but as a chance to get the loose ends tightened up and try a few things before they hit the Opening Day that matters more from an optics POV, which is April 2. That's the 8th game of the season, so if they want Edro to pitch that day they'll want him to start game 3, Saturday the 28th in Toronto. That leaves Perez, Eovaldi or an opener/committee start for game 1.
I hope you're wrong. Games count, opening day matters. Four games in Toronto and that improved offense can't be overlooked and 3 out of 3 in Baltimore keeps them out of an early hole.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Jul 10, 2007
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The wrong side of the bridge....
Games count, opening day matters.
I think you're batting .500 here. Games absolutely count, but opening day only matters in terms of optics. From an optics point of view, I'd rather have my stud who missed winning 20 games by a hair last year on the mound for the first Fenway game, rather than a March game under the dome in Toronto. And as far as the games counting -- if they're going to have to use an opener for one or more games in that first series, does it really matter which ones? An Opening Day loss is no different from any other loss. (Factoid: the Sox have won their Opening Day game in only one of their four championship years--but they won their opening series in three of them, and split the fourth.)
 

YTF

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I think you're batting .500 here. Games absolutely count, but opening day only matters in terms of optics. From an optics point of view, I'd rather have my stud who missed winning 20 games by a hair last year on the mound for the first Fenway game, rather than a March game under the dome in Toronto. And as far as the games counting -- if they're going to have to use an opener for one or more games in that first series, does it really matter which ones? An Opening Day loss is no different from any other loss. (Factoid: the Sox have won their Opening Day game in only one of their four championship years--but they won their opening series in three of them, and split the fourth.)
My point being the first week of the season, no matter how early, shouldn't be treated as a chance to tie up "loose ends". Yes it's a long season and many adjustments will be made during the course of it, but I'm not fond of using the first seven games of the season to work the kinks out before the home opener.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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Jul 10, 2007
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The wrong side of the bridge....
My point being the first week of the season, no matter how early, shouldn't be treated as a chance to tie up "loose ends". Yes it's a long season and many adjustments will be made during the course of it, but I'm not fond of using the first seven games of the season to work the kinks out before the home opener.
I think you do what you need to do. A reluctance to acknowledge that they weren't quite ready for the regular season, and make the necessary adjustments out of the gate, may well have contributed to their SP woes last year. If Bloom is the kind of smart, reality-based executive I'm hoping he is, he won't be spooked by the words "Opening Day" into repeating that mistake. The fact that they're holding Sale back is a good sign on this front.

In the case of using openers, it's a strategy the team has never tried before, even if their GM has. They may learn some things from the first few times they use it (yes, in theory that's what ST is for, but we all know real games are different). I think my point is that if anything, a road series to open the season is the ideal scenario for that kind of strategic beta-testing.