2023 Starting Rotation

Max Power

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I’m in agreement. It’s a theoretical discussion only. Pitching management has to be super flexible and can’t deny that pitchers can occasionally get locked in and those “x-time through a lineup” weaknesses have to be taken with a grain of salt (please…. Don’t ignore though!!!). If PitccherX is in the zone, let him go but manage it- be ready to get the hook out.
An inversely occasionally pitchers just don’t have a feel and need to be yanked early. Immediately a “system” breaks down on this.
I like having a framework…. Not a system.
And despite some problems, the existing 5-man is very good.
Right. Having a system where you always take out a guy after 4 innings even if he's dealing breaks down as soon as he gets his lunch handed to him in the next start and you have to pull him after 1.

The game is already suffering from too many strikeouts and a lack of action. Coming up with a 20 man pitching staff to maximize those results seems like a weird thought exercise.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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@JM3 they were not. I was actually thinking of adding in the pitchers fWAR from the most recent season with enough stats to tabulate as I assume that is what BB Savant is doing to get their similarity score (ie I assume Sale's pitch and batted ball data is from 2021) but since I don't know that for certain, I didn't put that in.

Where someone else thought of it too, I'll go ahead and say it's a good idea to tweak in there, and I'll do that:

Makes my over / under lines as follows:

Pivetta 3.3 fWAR
Whitlock 3.1 fWAR
Kluber 2.69 fWAR
Bello 2.1 fWAR
Sale 1.82 fWAR (*assume 2021 data)
Paxton 1.42 fWAR (*assume 2020 data)
Houck 1.28 fWAR

Personally, I'm taking:

Under on Pivetta
About right on Whitlock.
About right on Kluber.
Over on Bello
Under on Sale (but it's close)
Under on Paxton (I think he's done)
Way over on Houck the starter; about right on Houck the reliever.
 
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walt in maryland

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Opening Day rotation (barring injuries) ought to be:

Sale, Paxton, Kluber, Pivetta, Bello. Whitlock and Houck start the year in the bullpen. I agree with @LogansDad - Bello is ready. He probably can only throw about 160-170 innings max, and I don't want them wasting those innings in AAA. He's good enough for the majors. Yes there may be some bumps. Oh well.

Now, what to expect from these guys?

Sale
* Best-case scenario: He's healthy all year and gives the Sox 175 innings of an ERA in the high 2's or low 3's, with more than 10 k/9.
* Worse-case scenario: He gets hurt again and gives them about 30 innings of an ERA in the 4's.
* What I think will happen: He gives the Sox about 140 innings of an ERA in the mid 3's, which would be just dandy.

Paxton
* Best-case scenario: He's healthy all year and gives the Sox about 160 innings of an ERA in the mid 3's.
* Worst-case scenario: He gets hurt again and literally gives them nothing.
* What I think will happen: He gives the Sox about 120 innings of an ERA in the high 3's, which would also be just dandy.

Kluber
* Best-case scenario: He has one more good year in him and befuddles AL hitters to the tune of an ERA in the high 3's, giving the Sox about 175 innings.
* Worst-case scenario: He struggles as his velocity dips even more and his control suffers, and he gets absolutely lit up to the tune of a high 5's ERA.
* What I think will happen: He gives the Sox about 140 innings of mediocre results, with an ERA in the mid 4's, having some good moments but a bunch of bad ones too.

Pivetta
* Best-case scenario: He puts it all together and gives the Sox 200+ innings of low 3's ERA ball and is the backbone of the rotation.
* Worst-case scenario: He actually has to deal with some injuries and struggles, giving the Sox about 140 innings of low 5's ERA.
* What I think will happen: He is solid all year long. Not great, but not bad, and is pretty healthy. Write him down for 175 innings and an ERA in the low 4's.

Bello
* Best-case scenario: He emerges as one of the bright young pitching stars in the game and stays healthy. 165 innings at a low 3's ERA.
* Worst-case scenario: He has to start in AAA or struggles in MLB early and gets demoted. Can't stop walking people. Gives the Sox about 75 innings at an ERA around 5.
* What I think will happen: He starts the year in AAA but dominates there and by May the Sox have him up for good. He gives them about 130 innings in the high 3's and we are seeing the beginning of a tremendous career.

Now, if the worst-case scenarios happen, this team is obviously screwed. If the best-case scenario happens, they'll absolutely go to the playoffs. Neither of those will likely happen in full. I expect at least one of these guys to get their best-case scenario, and one of them to get their worst-case scenario. But if that happens, and the average is in the range of my "what I think will happen" scenarios, then the rotation should be pretty decent. Not great, not anywhere near elite, but pretty decent. Good enough to keep them in the playoff race if the offense shows up.
Excellent analysis, but where's Whitlock? And before you say "the bullpen," that is not the plan right now.
 

walt in maryland

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But that's exactly what TB has tried, shuffling guys up and down to AAA (typically almost all of their pitchers have options), and it has ended in many injuries.

One thing we do know from experience: even the very best SPs in the game almost all struggle on 3 days rest. Nestor Cortes did it in game 5 of the ALDS this year in a do-or-die emergency game and did a great job at it (admittedly against a weak CLE lineup), and then got hurt his next start early in the game. This also happened to rubber-armed David Wells after the apocalyptic 2003 ALCS, Torre brought him back on 3 days rest for game 1 of the WS and he was fine, but then he had to leave his next start early on because he was hurt. SPs almost all need 4 days rest between starts whether they throw 80 pitches or 110.
TB also regularly ranks top 3 in the AL in fewest runs allowed
 

JM3

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Right. Having a system where you always take out a guy after 4 innings even if he's dealing breaks down as soon as he gets his lunch handed to him in the next start and you have to pull him after 1.

The game is already suffering from too many strikeouts and a lack of action. Coming up with a 20 man pitching staff to maximize those results seems like a weird thought exercise.
Those were average outting lengths, not rigid caps (except the openers). But yeah, that's why the rules aren't designed to optimize pitching further.
 

simplicio

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I'd say it's more that I believe recent past performance IS indicative of future performance. One can argue that in and of itself is speculative, I suppose. But when you're talking about individuals that are such a specialized skill set that the most minute tweak can have huge implications, I think assuming anything with mean reversion or looking for trends and applying them to an individual - which I believe most projections do - is also lets say heavily conjectured. You're trying to surmise why something happened, right?



Discussion of legal and mathematical jargon and theory aside, generally speaking, when I'm deciding on taking the over / under, I look to Marcel's projections on BB-Ref and a reason I really like them are the relative simplicity of over-weighting the last 3 years of data (what actually happened) vs 4 years and putting more emphasis on further analysis and trends, especially for veteran players. I understand that even the folks at BB-Ref say they've lost faith in those projections and a) that's fine and b) it's what someone SHOULD say if they want to show they have a better way and want to get paid for it. Anyone with a fair amount of time and basic understanding of percentages could go a 3 - 2 - 1 weight and figure out a projection, so if you want to be relevant for someone to subscribe to your belief, you need to provide more, right?

Then I have my own personal speculation (which I totally admit) and tends to be a) the improvement young players can make from their first seasons of exposure to the big leagues with the more experience they get; b) a player's prime is roughly 26-32, though I think this is still pretty widely accepted, no?, and; c) a player declines from about 33 - the end of their career.

I also understand there are specific things about a player that could throw off projections (such as moving from the 'pen to the rotation, change in swing mechanics, learning a new pitch, etc, etc).

Also, there are always exceptions to these rules (Jackie Bradley Jr got WORSE in his prime, Max Scherzer is probably a robot, David Ortiz was imbued with special powers from whatever deity one choose to believe in - or believes Ortiz himself was the deity, etc) and that a 3 year look back basically must get thrown out the window when you're talking about young players and there really aren't 3 seasons of data to point toward.

FWIW, here are those Marcel projections from each players BB-Ref pages and how I think they'll end up in terms of value (I THINK the Red Sox will line them up Sale, Kluber, Whitlock, Pivetta, Bello with Houck in the 'pen):

Whitlock - 77ip; 3.27ERA; 1.117WHIP (again, he's young and moving to the rotation; the 3.31 fWAR baseline is about what I'd expect for a full season in the rotation, I think he's very good.

Bello - 83ip; 4.20ERA; 1.422WHIP (generally I tend to be more bullish on young players than old players, this is certainly true of Bello specifically. He had the 2.3 fWAR baseline and I'm taking the over).

Kluber - 150ip; 4.20ERA; 1.273WHIP (again, seems about right and that looks like something around a 2.65 fWAR)

Pivetta - 165ip; 4.36ERA; 1.327WHIP (this is about what I expect from him and makes me take the "under" from the 3.52 mean fWAR I posted above as the baseline).

Houck - 73ip; 3.45ERA; 1.178WHIP (my guess - and my fear - is he's ticketed to the bullpen. Yes, he's gotten shelled his 3rd time through the order, but that is based on a career sample size of 30 PA against, I'd like to get a larger sample than that before saying "he can't do it and never will be able to."

Sale - 67ip; 3.76ERA; 1.284WHIP (this is closer to what I expect from Sale than the Steamer / ZiPS numbers, and thus taking the under on the 2.15 fWAR)



Paxton - 60ip; 4.20ERA; 1.300WHIP (closer to what I expect from Paxton).



The 6 man rotation is because a) I accept that Sale will be in the rotation; b) as of today Pivetta is on the team - I hope he remains on the team because I think we need his (and Kluber's) reliability and c) I don't want the opportunity cost associated with not truly seeing if those young pitchers can be part of the core in 2025 and beyond, so I'm putting them all in there - but admit the more likely thing for the Red Sox to do is send one to the bullpen, which I personally disagree with.


I truly do accept and understand people whom hate the Marcel projections. I'm only making the argument that I'm basing my analysis not on some random idea of "this guy sucks" / "this guy is awesome" but based on a) statcast data; b similarity scores; c) what actually happened in those "similar" seasons; and d) a projection system that despite it's limitations is still published on Baseball-Reference and heavily weights actual factual data of what did transpire the past 3 seasons.
Assigning any weight at all to a projection that's clearly wrong doesn't do you any good. Those things aren't hand adjusted based on circumstances. Sale's injuries last year weren't in any way predictive, and there's similarly no reason to assume Paxton hasn't recovered from his lat strain. Bello pitched more innings than that just in the minors this year, before making 11 starts for Boston.
 

AB in DC

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Too lazy to quote & trim that post on my phone Papi, but correct me if I'm wrong - your similarity calcs didn't actually include the pitcher's own past results did it?

& the 6 man rotation is another thing that's fine theoretically if you have an unlimited size bullpen.
It could also work if the extra day rest means you could squeeze an extra 3-4 outs out of each start:

6IP per start /5 team games = 1.2 IP/team game
7IP per start /6 team games = 1.17 IP/team game

But that kinda defeats the purpose of a six man rotation I'd think.
 

BaseballJones

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Excellent analysis, but where's Whitlock? And before you say "the bullpen," that is not the plan right now.
So if Whitlock is in the rotation, either they're going with a six-man rotation or Bello is starting in the minors. No other real options.

Which do you think happens?
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Assigning any weight at all to a projection that's clearly wrong doesn't do you any good. Those things aren't hand adjusted based on circumstances. Sale's injuries last year weren't in any way predictive, and there's similarly no reason to assume Paxton hasn't recovered from his lat strain. Bello pitched more innings than that just in the minors this year, before making 11 starts for Boston.
We don't know it's clearly wrong yet. We also don't know it's clearly right (I'm not arguing it is). I'm simply arguing that it's another projection system, published on what I think we all accept as a reputable baseball site (BBRef), based on data points I like more.

I truly respect and like the idea of asking people to find data and information to back up their perspective on what to expect, and I'm posting those data points, where I found them and what that leads me to expect.

Sale
2021 ZiPS projected him for 20 starts, 121ip; a 3.35ERA and a 3.1 (assume) fWAR. He put up 9 starts, 42.2ip, a 3.16ERA and a .8 fWAR.
2022 ZiPS projected 18 starts, 91.2ip; a 3.53ERA and a 2.1 fWAR. He put up 2 starts, 5.2ip, a 3.18ERA and a .2 fWAR

Paxton
2022 ZiPS 17 starts, 86.2ip, a 4.47ERA and a 1.4 fWAR. He didn't pitch an inning in the majors.

*I could not find historical projections on either Steamer or Marcel, hence using ZiPS because that's something I could find on FanGraphs.
 
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AB in DC

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Assigning any weight at all to a projection that's clearly wrong doesn't do you any good. Those things aren't hand adjusted based on circumstances. Sale's injuries last year weren't in any way predictive, and there's similarly no reason to assume Paxton hasn't recovered from his lat strain. Bello pitched more innings than that just in the minors this year, before making 11 starts for Boston.
There certainly is. The fact that Paxton picked up his $4 million player option suggests he doesn't think he'd be healthy enough to get a bigger deal in FA.

IMHO, penciling him as anything but an occasional spot starter is folly.
 

JM3

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It could also work if the extra day rest means you could squeeze an extra 3-4 outs out of each start:

6IP per start /5 team games = 1.2 IP/team game
7IP per start /6 team games = 1.17 IP/team game

But that kinda defeats the purpose of a six man rotation I'd think.
Plus there's the issue that most of our pitchers are worse 2nd time through the lineup & bad 3rd time through.
 

simplicio

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Sure, I'll buy Paxton's option as a potential data point (but he could also just want to make good on their investment in him after working with the org for a year, we have no idea).
We don't know it's clearly wrong yet. We also don't know it's clearly right and I'm not arguing it is. I'm simply saying it's another projection system, published on what I think we all accept as a reputable baseball site (BBRef), based on data I like more.

Sale
2021 ZiPS projected him for 20 starts, 121ip; a 3.35ERA and a 3.1 (assume) fWAR. He put up 9 starts, 42.2ip, a 3.16ERA and a .8 fWAR.
2022 ZiPS projected 18 starts, 91.2ip; a 3.53ERA and a 2.1 fWAR. He put up 2 starts, 5.2ip, a 3.18ERA and a .2 fWAR

Paxton
2022 ZiPS 17 starts, 86.2ip, a 4.47ERA and a 1.4 fWAR. He didn't pitch an inning in the majors.

Sometimes players being plagued by injuries that aren't predictive is a thing. I recall plenty of really smart people on this site saying we should have paid for Ellsbury because his injuries weren't predictive. I recall plenty others saying, in essence, "Enjoy New York, Jake" because he was injury prone.

Sometimes "non predictive" injuries don't end up harming a player (Judge seems to have gotten over the injury issue).

Stanton seems to have been plagued by injuries his whole career. Correa has maybe gotten over them (maybe not).

Plenty of examples on each side, those are just off the top of my head. We don't know which side Sale will come down on (I HOPE he throws 32 starts at a 2.50ERA for the next three years and leads us to a World Series title, but I'm not betting on it).


*I could not find historical projections on either Steamer or Marcel, hence using ZiPS because that's something I could find on FanGraphs.
I'm not saying just Marcel is bad, every projection system is flawed and sometimes it's immediately obvious. Certainly nobody expected 17 starts from Paxton this year, he was going to be arriving fall or late summer at best. I believe the same is true of Sale's 2021.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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There certainly is. The fact that Paxton picked up his $4 million player option suggests he doesn't think he'd be healthy enough to get a bigger deal in FA.

IMHO, penciling him as anything but an occasional spot starter is folly.
I don't think that's the only possibility it suggests. He could have taken the option because he liked working with the Sox staff and didn't want to risk a different one. It could be that he's perfectly healthy but has no way to prove that to other teams over the winter. The Sox have access to his medical information and have followed his rehab/recovery from both the TJS and the lat strain. If they didn't think he could pitch at all, $4M wouldn't stop them from cutting him right now and signing someone else. As long as he's on the roster, the assumption has to be he will be healthy enough to pitch.
 

joe dokes

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There certainly is. The fact that Paxton picked up his $4 million player option suggests he doesn't think he'd be healthy enough to get a bigger deal in FA.
Or that *other teams* wouldn't think he's healthy enough to take a flier on him.
 

NoXInNixon

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Right. Having a system where you always take out a guy after 4 innings even if he's dealing breaks down as soon as he gets his lunch handed to him in the next start and you have to pull him after 1.

The game is already suffering from too many strikeouts and a lack of action. Coming up with a 20 man pitching staff to maximize those results seems like a weird thought exercise.
If starters are pitching fewer innings per start, why can't they pitch more frequently? If someone only goes 1 inning, you bring him back on one day's rest to be the first guy out of the bullpen.
 

chawson

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There certainly is. The fact that Paxton picked up his $4 million player option suggests he doesn't think he'd be healthy enough to get a bigger deal in FA.

IMHO, penciling him as anything but an occasional spot starter is folly.
Or that *other teams* wouldn't think he's healthy enough to take a flier on him.
Possible, but Paxton said that his comfort with the Red Sox training staff outweighed his desire to maximize value on the market. And Boras said that "the consideration really wasn't economic. Sometimes it's better to take the six-pack than it is to search for the champagne."
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Sure, I'll buy Paxton's option as a potential data point (but he could also just want to make good on their investment in him after working with the org for a year, we have no idea).

I'm not saying just Marcel is bad, every projection system is flawed and sometimes it's immediately obvious. Certainly nobody expected 17 starts from Paxton this year, he was going to be arriving fall or late summer at best. I believe the same is true of Sale's 2021.
So (and I'm asking this genuinely), we're accepting Steamer as an adequate projection system to cite, are we not. I've seen it referenced dozens of times. Does anyone know of how to go look back at their historic projections to see how close they were, I can't find them.

Also, what is the etiquette on accepted projection systems vs those with immediate flaws. Is there a list somewhere as to what is fine and what should be disregarded, or is it just what an individual poster happens to like, with an acceptance that all systems have some flaws, but asking people to cite where they're getting their information so we aren't discussing something someone had just conjured out of thin air.

I mean these as legitimate questions (tone is difficult to ascertain in text, which is why I say this), because I think it relates to painting reasonable expectations in a thread where I love the idea to stick with facts (what has happened), data points (what has happened) and projections based on data, which is obviously going to be open to interpretation (ie how much Park Effects are going to come into play, the weather Boston in April and May, etc, etc), but at least having the basis for what you expect and why.
 
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Rovin Romine

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Or that *other teams* wouldn't think he's healthy enough to take a flier on him.
On Paxton, I think it bears noting that he tore his UCL on April 6, 2021. So a late season return for him last year was on the normal timeline for such things. He actually rehabbed and there seemed (AFAIK) to be no red flags on the elbow itself, given that "Speier reported earlier this month Paxton reached 95 mph with his fastball and "threw his entire pitch mix" during a sim game in Fort Myers, Fla."
https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/red-sox/mlb-rumors-red-sox-lhp-james-paxton-begin-rehab-assignment-thursday?b

Then he had the lat injury and was pulled from his first rehab start. So, he was ready to go - he just got injured his first time against live batters.

I still think the way the situation panned out is an oddity. His arm had nominally recovered, so if the Sox thought he'd be healthy over the next 2 years, the two-year, $26 million club option seems fairly attractive. If they had concerns he'd go the distance, they could decline, which they did.

Paxton then used his $4m option. He's 34 and at the time he had earned $39M. He may just be more comfortable rehabbing in Boston, but you think he could have found a 1 year $6M "show me" contract at the least.

But if he's down and out for good, why keep him on the 40 man? Why not release him now?

So it suggests they think they'll get something out of him. And if it's even a half year's worth of starts at $4M. . .that's kind of a great deal.

The signals point all over the place.
 

AB in DC

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But if he's down and out for good, why keep him on the 40 man? Why not release him now?

So it suggests they think they'll get something out of him. And if it's even a half year's worth of starts at $4M. . .that's kind of a great deal.

The signals point all over the place.
Which is why I basically look at him as the Rich Hill of 2023. Not likely to be in the starting five, available to fill in if (when) someone gets hurt, but not someone you expect to last all year.

If we can get Rich Hill 2022 numbers out of James Paxton 2023 I'll be pretty happy.
 

simplicio

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So (and I'm asking this genuinely), we're accepting Steamer as an adequate projection system to cite, are we not. I've seen it referenced dozens of times. Does anyone know of how to go look back at their historic projections to see how close they were, I can't find them.

Also, what is the etiquette on accepted projection systems vs those with immediate flaws. Is there a list somewhere as to what is fine and what should be disregarded, or is it just what an individual poster happens to like, with an acceptance that all systems have some flaws, but asking people to cite where they're getting their information so we aren't discussing something someone had just conjured out of thin air.

I mean these as legitimate questions (tone is difficult to ascertain in text, which is why I say this), because I think it relates to painting reasonable expectations in a thread where I love the idea to stick with facts (what has happened), data points (what has happened) and projections based on data, which is obviously going to be open to interpretation (ie how much Park Effects are going to come into play, the weather Boston in April and May, etc, etc), but at least having the basis for what you expect and why.
I think the fangraphs projections are generally the most respected, but all of them are just algorithms that completely miss on critical aspects of the game, especially wrt injuries and rookies. Even fangraphs only sees Bello as pitching 98 innings this year, when anyone who follows the Sox would tell you that only happens if he gets injured (nobody who actually watched him play this year would project a performance drop-off so severe as to land him back in the minors for a third of the season, and the Sox very obviously want him starting, not in the pen). But his algorithm probably has a bunch of bad data from up and down rookies in their early career that just doesn't apply to him.
 
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Max Power

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If starters are pitching fewer innings per start, why can't they pitch more frequently? If someone only goes 1 inning, you bring him back on one day's rest to be the first guy out of the bullpen.
Then you're pitching him on short rest the next time it's his turn to "start" again. A rigid system with artificial innings limits doesn't work unless you have a large supply of backup relief pitchers to fill in the gaps. And then you're never going to hit the innings pitched total that you're looking for with those "starters."

The way to keep pitchers healthier is to have them throw with less than max effort on every pitch. Every time baseball expands rosters to limit innings pitched, it just results in pitchers using more effort on every pitch and a parade of UCL injuries. It doesn't help at all to keep them healthier.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I think the fangraphs projections are generally the most respected, but all of them are just algorithms that completely miss on critical aspects of the game, especially wrt injuries and rookies. Even fangraphs only sees Bello as pitching 98 innings this year, when anyone who follows the Sox would tell you that only happens if he gets injured (nobody who actually watched him play this year would project a performance drop-off so severe as to land him back in the minors for a third of the season, and the Sox very obviously want him starting, not in the pen).
Thank you. I didn't know of anything, but I wanted to ask. I've missed plenty of things in the past and will assuredly in the future as well, so figured it best to check.

FWIW, In 2021 Steamer projected Sale for 14 or 15 starts (14.6), 84ip, a 3.48ERA and a 2.13 fWAR (I assume fWAR since they're on FanGraphs). Doesn't look like they've uploaded 2022 pre season projections to their site yet, and you need to log in to their site to get historical data.

http://www.steamerprojections.com/index.php/projections/pre-season-projections
 
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chawson

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Which is why I basically look at him as the Rich Hill of 2023. Not likely to be in the starting five, available to fill in if (when) someone gets hurt, but not someone you expect to last all year.

If we can get Rich Hill 2022 numbers out of James Paxton 2023 I'll be pretty happy.
As far as the numbers go, sure. But I'd suspect Paxton would have more grievance than Hill if he weren't used as a full-time starter, if healthy. No one is going to give Hill a multi-year deal at age 42, but Paxton could conceivably get a multi-year deal in next year's offseason, just as rehabilitated thirtysomethings like Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly, Chris Bassitt and others have.
 

AB in DC

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He's on a 1/$4m deal. People on a 1/$4m deal don't get to have grievances like that.

Sure, if he lights it up in spring training and earns his way into the rotation, great. But I'm not holding my breath. (And I expect the Sox brass to be rather cautious given his injury history)
 

chawson

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He's on a 1/$4m deal. People on a 1/$4m deal don't get to have grievances like that.

Sure, if he lights it up in spring training and earns his way into the rotation, great. But I'm not holding my breath. (And I expect the Sox brass to be rather cautious given his injury history)
YMMV who "gets to have grievances," but he's a well respected 10-year MLB veteran with whom our FO took the time to negotiate a complicated contract, so I'd assume there's a matter of mutual respect and good faith between both parties.

If he's good and healthy enough to be in the rotation, I would expect that he would be. The Sox risk hurting their (already hampered) chances of signing other starting pitchers otherwise.
 

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I would expect the minor league shuttle to be necessary as usual to replace a pitcher who gets injured so would involve those relievers beginning the year in the minors and being brought up for whatever period of time they're needed to replace whoever goes on the IL, then sent back down when the major leaguer returns.
I was referring to the 13th guy in that scenario as the shuttle role - combined of course with proper DL management.

Crawford was also in the minors in that scenario. Also, players only use one option per season, so the # of options those guys have isn't really that important.

Every player with an option can be optioned up to 5 times in a season without risk.

https://www.mlb.com/glossary/transactions/minor-league-options

But yeah, I would not send our best pitchers to the minors - only the DL if necessary.
Sure, the IL scenario is a different situation. I took the bit that I quoted to mean that the "shuttle" can be utilized as a way to bring up other pitchers and in effect stretch out the 13 pitcher limit. My point was that the guys who look to be on the 26 man roster with remaining options are not the typical candidates to be moving back and forth due to the importance of their roles in Boston and the consequential mandated stay in the minors before being recalled.
 

Rovin Romine

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If anyone has time to kill, an injury history drill-down on Paxton might be useful.

For that matter, does anyone have a good injury aggregator? I usually use spotrac.com for the overview, then google to see what the reporting is. Spotrac does not capture all the "day to day" type of injuries that might sideline a player for longer bits than a sort but "official" IL stint might show.

Sure, if he lights it up in spring training and earns his way into the rotation, great.
In a sense, this applies to everyone. But I think some vets rather naturally have the expectation of being starters due to their pitches, history, and capability. I'd expect Paxton to be in that boat if he shows up to spring training with his full compliment of pitches at more or less their career velocity.

I think people generally (not you) tend forget that when Paxton is on, he's very very good. Maybe what we'd informally think of as a 1.5 instead of a true #1 or #2. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/p/paxtoja01.shtml

In fact, when you compare him with Eovaldi, it's kind of interesting: elite offerings guys who are injury prone, but capable of strings of shut-out outings.

He's relatively young - at 34 next year, and has limited arm-wear in the past 3 years. Which is both good and bad potentially. His only real knock is historical durability: https://www.spotrac.com/mlb/boston-red-sox/james-paxton-14341/injuries/

There seems to be something every year, and a bunch of it seems like random muscular injury. So, I'm a bit more bearish on him than I am on Chris Sale, but it's just a personal impression. I haven't done a drill-down of his injury history. But he seems to have historically never had the run of full seasons Sale had up to 2019 (arguably including 2019.)
 
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Rovin Romine

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Sure, the IL scenario is a different situation. I took the bit that I quoted to mean that the "shuttle" can be utilized as a way to bring up other pitchers and in effect stretch out the 13 pitcher limit. My point was that the guys who look to be on the 26 man roster with remaining options are not the typical candidates to be moving back and forth due to the importance of their roles in Boston and the consequential mandated stay in the minors before being recalled.
We've got the bullpen thread as well. But wherever we discuss it, I'm curious to know who people think the optimal bounce-up/down candidates for 2023.

For example, Mata is being groomed as a starter and his chief value is there. If he crushes AAA this year, he very well may be in the rotation in the second half or for 2024. So I think they might call him up under the right circumstances - particularly if he's doing well and someone goes down to injury, or for a perfectly aligned double-header or spot start. But I don't think you yo-yo him around.

Then you've got guys like Wincowski and Seabold, who don't scream "bullpen arm" and yet have options.

Or guys like Kelley/Darwinzon.
 

Niastri

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Possible, but Paxton said that his comfort with the Red Sox training staff outweighed his desire to maximize value on the market. And Boras said that "the consideration really wasn't economic. Sometimes it's better to take the six-pack than it is to search for the champagne."

Paxton has made $40 million before this season in just his baseball contracts...

Even if Paxton didn't earn money anywhere else and Boras/Uncle Sam took half, he's still very rich and doesn't need to chase dollars the way a young player might. Also... $4 million isn't nothing.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If anyone has time to kill, an injury history drill-down on Paxton might be useful.

For that matter, does anyone have a good injury aggregator? I usually use spotrac.com for the overview, then google to see what the reporting is. Spotrac does not capture all the "day to day" type of injuries that might sideline a player for longer bits than a sort but "official" IL stint might show.
My usual go-to for injury stuff is thebaseballcube.com (James Paxton's page, for example). The transactions tab on any player's profile will show IL stays, rehab assignments and call up/send down dates for optionable players. Unfortunately, it doesn't track day to day type stuff. I don't think any place does. I imagine it's hard to track stuff that might only get recorded if a manager or player happens to mention it to the media.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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My usual go-to for injury stuff is thebaseballcube.com (James Paxton's page, for example). The transactions tab on any player's profile will show IL stays, rehab assignments and call up/send down dates for optionable players. Unfortunately, it doesn't track day to day type stuff. I don't think any place does. I imagine it's hard to track stuff that might only get recorded if a manager or player happens to mention it to the media.
Second the plug for BB Cube, that is my go to as well when talking about concern on a player's projections / durability in terms of contract discussions and the like, they're great on that.

FoxSports does a pretty good job on some of the day to day stuff for a really quick look. It doesn't show the transactions (if any were necessary) but quickly lists out the injury and date. If I'm really looking into something (ie before posting here), I'll cross-check the two, along with game logs to see if someone missed a start (pitchers) or any significant time (hitters). For instance here is deGrom's page from FoxSports https://www.foxsports.com/mlb/jacob-degrom-player-injuries up against his BB Cube page https://www.thebaseballcube.com/content/player/145200/tranx/
 

YTF

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We've got the bullpen thread as well. But wherever we discuss it, I'm curious to know who people think the optimal bounce-up/down candidates for 2023.

For example, Mata is being groomed as a starter and his chief value is there. If he crushes AAA this year, he very well may be in the rotation in the second half or for 2024. So I think they might call him up under the right circumstances - particularly if he's doing well and someone goes down to injury, or for a perfectly aligned double-header or spot start. But I don't think you yo-yo him around.

Then you've got guys like Wincowski and Seabold, who don't scream "bullpen arm" and yet have options.

Or guys like Kelley/Darwinzon.
Let me preface this by saying that all of us can only speculate with what is currently on the roster and there is a chance that one or more of the guys listed isn't part of the equation at the start of the season. Soooo...working with players that are currently under contract, Sale, Bello, Whitlock, Pivetta, Kluber, Paxton, Jansen, Houck, Schreiber, Barnes, Martin and Rodriquez would seem to be the favorites to occupy 12 of the 13 slots on opening day. Of those, just Whitlock, Houck and Schreiber have options, but I can't see any of those riding the shuttle unless there is a big regression in performance. Crawford has options, but I think I might rather see him start the season as a starter in Woostah and be ready to fill in when injury hits. I believe that Josh Taylor has options left. If healthy he might be a candidate for that 13th slot, especially considering that ATM Rodriguez (possibly Paxton) is the only lefty pen option mentioned above.
 

simplicio

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That they gave Taylor a $1m contract this year after a completely lost season makes me think they're planning on him being there.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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That they gave Taylor a $1m contract this year after a completely lost season makes me think they're planning on him being there.
Taylor made $1.025M last year. He has yet to sign a contract for the 2023 season. He's arbitration eligible so will probably get a slight raise even with the lost season.
 

simplicio

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Yeah, thought I remembered there being a number attached when that broke but it must have just been an arbitration projection.
 

jteders1

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Regarding Paxton. Maybe he does prefers to stick with the Sox training team and that’s why he decided to excise his 4m option. That being said, if he opts out, he probably could have gotten an 1/6m make good offer, but then he has to pass a physical. There could be concerns there. One in the hand is better than two in the bush. I think anyone counting on him for more than 5-6 starts is being optimistic.
 

Rovin Romine

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