2024 Red Sox Spring Training

BaseballJones

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If ticket sales are weak, expect all sorts of reunions and special events and bobbleheads, etc.
There should be all that anyway, no matter how the season is playing out. 2004 was the most important season in franchise history and should be celebrated as much as possible.

And yes, that includes Schilling.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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There should be all that anyway, no matter how the season is playing out. 2004 was the most important season in franchise history and should be celebrated as much as possible.

And yes, that includes Schilling.
Yup.

They could celebrate a different aspect of the 2004 season literally every single home game of every single season, every single year and it STILL wouldn't be enough to properly capture what that team meant (and still means).

Go one further and have them suit up if they want. Heck, at 52, 52 and 48 Pedro, Manny and Papi would still probably be in the top 10 of the team WAR if they played this year.
 

Cassvt2023

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Just read that Julian McWilliams of the Globe reporting Bobby Dalbec is working out with the OF's in early spring and hasn't been seen working at 1B yet. They believe he made strides there last year in AAA and his arm definitely plays. Also, looks like Xander is now a 2nd baseman.
 

jon abbey

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We have long known Weissert has insane stuff, the issue is that it moves so much he usually can't keep it in the strike zone.
 

Niastri

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While I'd love to see him develop successfully in Boston, I don't see how they're making room unless there's a Duran trade.

And regardless, they get an extra year of control keeping him in Worcester until May 16th, hard to believe they'd pass up on that.
Rafaela meets the requirements for a rookie to earn his team a PPI draft pick if he wins the Rookie of the Year. I wonder if the Red Sox will use that in their calculus. An extra draft pick is pretty great if they think he has that kind of talent...

A GG quality center fielder who can hit for a flashy average with some power might have a shot at winning the award.

Is an outside shot at Rafaela winning the team an additional pick worth the sure thing of an extra year of control?
 

simplicio

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Rafaela meets the requirements for a rookie to earn his team a PPI draft pick if he wins the Rookie of the Year. I wonder if the Red Sox will use that in their calculus. An extra draft pick is pretty great if they think he has that kind of talent...

A GG quality center fielder who can hit for a flashy average with some power might have a shot at winning the award.

Is an outside shot at Rafaela winning the team an additional pick worth the sure thing of an extra year of control?
This was discussed on the last page. Let's just say Rafaela's chances are remote:

Not sure if the conversation has moved way past this, but ROY odds per FanDuel:

Carter +280
Holliday +400
Langford +750
Keithe +1,000
Caminero +1,000
Schanuel +1,300
Manzardo +1,800
Meadows +2,000
Hancock +2,000
Kjerstad +2,500
Mead +2,500
Cowser +3,500
4 guys at +5,000
Rafaela and 4 other guys at +7,500
Mayer +10,000
4 guys at +20,000
 

Niastri

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This was discussed on the last page. Let's just say Rafaela's chances are remote:
I wrote my post before reading that portion of the thread... I was pretty sure it works be covered since I was a day late to the thread.

But I wanted to ask opinions about the relative values of taking a shot at Rookie of the Year since the draft pick and pool money are so valuable. Is even a 10% chance with giving up a year further into his career?

I feel like the Sox can hopefully have a top rookie coming in every year to take their swing at winning the extra pick.

Is there anybody else that even qualifies this year?
 

6-5 Sadler

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I feel like the Sox can hopefully have a top rookie coming in every year to take their swing at winning the extra pick.

Is there anybody else that even qualifies this year?
Wilyer is at +1500 on DraftKings.

EDIT: He wouldn’t qualify for the draft compensation though as he’s not on any top 100 list. That is an incredibly dumb rule.
 

InsideTheParker

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"Gapes like a chasm"? I'm having trouble taking anyone who writes like that seriously.
I'm not suggesting for a moment that the writing is good, but doesn't he clearly mean "gaps" and the "e" was a typo? When I quoted him, I didn't edit that, b/c I don't think I should do that to a quote from a newspaper.
 

simplicio

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I'm not suggesting for a moment that the writing is good, but doesn't he clearly mean "gaps" and the "e" was a typo? When I quoted him, I didn't edit that, b/c I don't think I should do that to a quote from a newspaper.
Nope, the clubhouse leadership void is our subject there and the gaping is the action it's taking.
 

JimD

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Tomase is a Shaughnessy-wannabe hack who does not deserve the clicks, never mind any contemplating about what he might have meant in his writing. Taking shots at a highly-paid dark-skinned athlete who doesn't speak English very well is just so easy for lazy writers like him.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Tomase is a Shaughnessy-wannabe hack who does not deserve the clicks, never mind any contemplating about what he might have meant in his writing. Taking shots at a highly-paid dark-skinned athlete who doesn't speak English very well is just so easy for lazy writers like him.
So tell us how you really feel.

JK - I agree with you 100%. Tomase long ago was added to my "do not read" list, of which CHB is the founding member.
 

LogansDad

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CHB can at least write competently on occasion, which makes his schtick extra infuriating because if he could find it in his ugly, black heart to write about sports with any semblance of joy, he could still be really good.

Tomase just sucks in every way.
 

joe dokes

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I'm not suggesting for a moment that the writing is good, but doesn't he clearly mean "gaps" and the "e" was a typo? When I quoted him, I didn't edit that, b/c I don't think I should do that to a quote from a newspaper.
I think its just plain old redundant. Aren't all chasms "gaping"?
 

Cassvt2023

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Let’s get back on track here, after all this is the Spring Training 2024 thread. No one wants to read these nonsensical comments. Thanks.
 

Norm loves Vera

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Re that Weissert video, this was just a pitching exercise here right? The batter is just standing in there with zero intention of swinging I hope, because I can't imagine getting a good look at the ball coming in with 6 dudes moving and staring in within my line of sight. Sorry, I have never been to a spring training practice since HS.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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@absintheofmalaise

Re that Weissert video, this was just a pitching exercise here right? The batter is just standing in there with zero intention of swinging I hope, because I can't imagine getting a good look at the ball coming in with 6 dudes moving and staring in within my line of sight. Sorry, I have never been to a spring training practice since HS.
Considering the observers are behind a screen, I think the batter has the green light to swing during this session, at least at some of the pitches. But primarily, it's a pitching exercise. The main benefit for the pitcher is throwing with a batter in the box as opposed to just throwing to a catcher like you would in the bullpen. The benefit for the hitter is to see live pitching and dial his eye in. Swinging is secondary but not disallowed.
 

absintheofmalaise

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@absintheofmalaise

Re that Weissert video, this was just a pitching exercise here right? The batter is just standing in there with zero intention of swinging I hope, because I can't imagine getting a good look at the ball coming in with 6 dudes moving and staring in within my line of sight. Sorry, I have never been to a spring training practice since HS.
I vote for exercise and it looks like they are tracking the pitch with the device behind the plate to see what the spin rate is and to track the break on the pitches. They can use that to evaluate the pitch and see what might need to done to make the pitch more effective.
 

The Gray Eagle

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The Glob has some spring training reports on the rotation. As always, everyone is bigger, stronger and faster, and more motivated than ever!
But there are some interesting developments.

Kutter Crawford is working on a splitter, which if he can throw it for strikes would be a big new weapon for him:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/02/17/sports/red-sox-kutter-crawford/

Crawford has to show the Sox more. To that end, he’s working on a split-finger fastball, a pitch that would be an ideal complement to his four-seam fastball, cut fastball, sweeper, and curveball.
“If I get it consistently moving the way I want it, if I get the shape the way I want it, it’s going to open up the arm side of the plate,” Crawford said. “All my stuff is moving glove side, away from righties and into lefties. The splitter would open up the other side of the plate.”
He's also gained some strength:
At 6 feet 1 inch, Crawford looks short compared to the small forwards who populate the clubhouse. But he’s gained strength in the hope of adding some pop to a fastball that averaged 93.6 m.p.h. last season.
In other rotation news, Pivetta started training earlier to try to hit the ground running:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/02/18/sports/nick-pivetta-red-sox/

“I was trying to push the limits with getting ready earlier — facing hitters, getting my body ready earlier,” Pivetta said. “Usually it’s a more gradual buildup. This year, it was hit the ground running, go 100 percent the whole entire time [in spring training], and act like every pitch is your last — this is gonna be the last time playing, every single outing. I think having that intensity and carrying that throughout the whole entire year is what I’m focused on.”
Pivetta has spent much of his career chasing the notion of elite potential established by standout pitch quality (according to the increasingly popular Stuff+ metric, Pivetta’s raw stuff surpasses that of 2023 Cy Young winners Gerrit Cole and Blake Snell). His performance has never matched such visions, a source at times of considerable frustration...

...In 97⅓ innings over the final four months, he had a 3.05 ERA, held hitters to a .179 average and .591 OPS, and posted a standout 35 percent strikeout rate and reasonable 8 percent walk rate.
With that stretch, Pivetta ended the year with a career-best 4.04 ERA in 2023 and the fifth-highest strikeout rate (31 percent) of any pitcher with at least 120 innings in the big leagues. The arrow clearly pointed up, in a way that led the Sox to pen him into their rotation plans for 2024.
Cora likes what he sees so far from Pivetta:
“Nick right now is the best I’ve seen him as far as motivation,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “He’s locked in mentally. His pitches are where they’re supposed to be.”
Bello also got stronger to try to avoid fatigue:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/02/15/sports/red-sox-righthander-brayan-bellos-offseason-plan-included-getting-stronger-seeking-out-pedro-martinez-some-tips/

Bello registered a 3.04 ERA in 14 starts before the All-Star break, showcasing a sinker that imposed its will on hitters, along with his other go-to pitch, a changeup. However, after the Midsummer Classic, Bello’s season took a sharp turn.
Fatigue and heavy legs began to set in. His slider didn’t quite have the sharp break to deter hitters from his two dominant pitches. His four-seam fastball played more as a show-me pitch, but Bello had difficulty locating it above the zone where opponents couldn’t do damage.
His final 14 starts were forgettable, as the righthander compiled a 5.49 ERA, surrendering 16 home runs, compared with eight before the break.

So Bello got stronger in the offseason, and his legs were noticeably bigger when he showed up at spring training.
He also worked with Pedro on his slider:
Bello sought guidance from Pedro Martinez to improve his slider, visiting the Hall of Famer’s home for throwing sessions.
“When I got there my slider wasn’t in the best of shape,” said Bello, who worked with Martinez three or four times. “So he gave me a few tips and that same day I was able to get a good grip on it. I was throwing it consistently, and eventually over the next few days I was getting more confidence in that. It was a very good time that I spent with Pedro on helping me to get my slider where it needs to be.”
 

jon abbey

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Totally OT, but how on earth did that get to be a compliment?
No idea how accurate this is but a quick Google finds:

"According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first documented use of "the shit" to refer to something excellent, as opposed to the more common use of "shit" to refer to something of poor quality, was in a 1987 unpublished typescript manuscript of "campus slang" at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The first documented appearance of "the shit" with positive connotations in a published source, according to the OED, was in a 1991 issue of Source Magazine, a hip-hop magazine. According to the OED entry, this particular usage of "the shit" first started out as more common among African-Americans, probably starting out in the South. Hip hop also probably played a role in popularizing this usage of "the shit" in the 1990s. If I recall correctly, this gibes with my memory of reading statements like "X was the shit" in the Beastie Boys zine, Grand Royal, back in the early 1990s."

That doesn't really answer your question.
 

Rasputin

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No idea how accurate this is but a quick Google finds:

"According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first documented use of "the shit" to refer to something excellent, as opposed to the more common use of "shit" to refer to something of poor quality, was in a 1987 unpublished typescript manuscript of "campus slang" at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The first documented appearance of "the shit" with positive connotations in a published source, according to the OED, was in a 1991 issue of Source Magazine, a hip-hop magazine. According to the OED entry, this particular usage of "the shit" first started out as more common among African-Americans, probably starting out in the South. Hip hop also probably played a role in popularizing this usage of "the shit" in the 1990s. If I recall correctly, this gibes with my memory of reading statements like "X was the shit" in the Beastie Boys zine, Grand Royal, back in the early 1990s."

That doesn't really answer your question.
The 80s were a deeply weird time in ways I don't think we really understood at the time.
 
Feb 26, 2002
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The spring training schedule starts this weekend.

I'm vacationing in Palm Beach at the end of this week and plan to attend the Sox at Nationals --- next Wednesday the 28th of February.

If anyone wishes to have a meet-up --- please DM me.

Dopes - sorry to turn this into a 'bash forum' thread.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Nice article in the Athletic about our new "Run Prevention Unit" and what they are doing differently this spring:
https://theathletic.com/5291591/2024/02/22/red-sox-andrew-bailey-run-prevention-unit

There is a Run Prevention Unit group text:
Shortly after the Red Sox hired Justin Willard as director of pitching in early December, a group text formed.
The participants included Willard, new pitching coach Andrew Bailey, who’d been hired just weeks before, bullpen coach Kevin Walker, game-planning coordinator Jason Varitek and analysts Dave Miller and Devin Rose.
Some of what they are doing so far:
What does it look like to overhaul a pitching program?
From the outside, it’s pitchers throwing live batting practices on the second day of camp, more than a week earlier compared to previous years. It’s music blasting on the backfields to simulate game action. It’s creating games within the game to enhance the level of competition from the get-go and break up the monotony of spring training drills. Points, prizes, glory, it’s all on the line. A series of leaderboards printed out and tacked to a bulletin board inside the front door of the Red Sox clubhouse show some of the early frontrunners.

From the inside, on a more granular, analytical level, it’s honing in on exactly what the pitchers needed to change. Perhaps overhaul is too strong a word; the basics have been here, but Bailey and his group have reined in the focus.
Walker estimates the group spent hundreds of hours this winter not only formulating plans for each pitcher on the 40-man roster — 22 in total — but also for 11 non-roster invitees. The planning process was lengthy and detailed. It was an enormous process that began with going under the hood to understand each pitcher’s profile, Bailey said.
No more "mindless bullpens":
Bailey instituted a three-pitch bullpen sequence as one way to hone the focus. Instead of just aiming to “throw strikes,” the drill creates competition. Bailey’s group tracks the number of strikes to avoid “mindless” bullpens, as he put it. It’s led to more efficient results. A pitcher wins an at-bat if he gets ahead 0-3 or 1-2 and loses the sequence if he falls behind 2-1 or 3-0. Right-hander Josh Winckowski is a fan of the drill.
“I’ve found sometimes you get done with a bullpen and have a certain feeling you located the ball, but it was just a feeling,” he said. “Now it’s like, ‘OK I had 5 out of 6 today or 3 for 3. You can compare your feelings to the numbers now.”
Every bullpen and live BP has a purpose. It’s not just about building up arm strength. One day might be working on pitch shapes, another on delivery, another on attacking the zone.

“We want to face 10 hitters and how many first-pitch strikes can you get on 10 hitters?” Walker said as an example. “How many hitters can you face when we get to 0-2 or 1-2? With our structure, we’re trying to really nail down, we want to be the best club at throwing strikes. And that’s been a constant theme. We want to dominate first-pitch strikes. We want to dominate being ahead and be a really good club at that. When we start to practice that way and talk about it, it becomes kind of a culture here and we’re off to a really good start.”
Here is what they are looking for and trying to build:
After hiring Bailey and Willard, Breslow met with them to lay out a general vision about the areas of focus for Red Sox pitchers. Velocity, pitch shapes, strikes in the zone, first-pitch strikes, and platoon neutrality became the core tenets everything was built around.
Bailey and Willard created the initial plans, Breslow critiqued and helped simplify some messages and from there Breslow stepped back and let them carry out the process.
 

Yaz4Ever

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The spring training schedule starts this weekend.

I'm vacationing in Palm Beach at the end of this week and plan to attend the Sox at Nationals --- next Wednesday the 28th of February.

If anyone wishes to have a meet-up --- please DM me.

Dopes - sorry to turn this into a 'bash forum' thread.
Barring any setbacks with my mom, I plan to be there as well.
 

joe dokes

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This bit about defense was in the Glob yesterday
Noisy flights
The Sox added some variations to their popup drills. Crowd noise was pumped into the stadium, forcing the players to loudly call for the ball.
Outfield coach Kyle Hudson also made it tougher for his charges by having two or three balls sent skyward at a time and having two or three players jockey for position. They started the drill with their backs turned to the field.
The Sox have added several twists to their defensive work in reaction to the team’s poor fundamental performance last year.
 

InsideTheParker

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By the way, some Soxers play Northeastern tomorrow at 1 pm. Broadcast on NESN.
https://www.mlb.com/news/press-release-red-sox-announce-2024-spring-training-broadcast-schedule

  • Feb 23 Friday Northeastern at Red Sox 1:05
  • Feb 24 Saturday Red Sox at Orioles 1:05
  • Feb 25 Sunday Twins at Red Sox 1:05
  • Feb 25 Sunday Red Sox at Braves 1:05
  • Feb 26 Monday Phillies at Red Sox 1:05
  • Feb 27 Tuesday Red Sox at Cardinals 1:05
  • Feb 28 Wednesday Red Sox at Nationals 1:05
  • Feb 29 Thursday Tigers at Red Sox 1:05
  • Mar 1 Friday Red Sox at Twins 1:05
  • Mar 2 Saturday Nationals at Red Sox 1:05
  • Mar 2 Saturday Red Sox at Rays TBA
  • Mar 3 Sunday Blue Jays at Red Sox 1:05
  • Mar 4 Monday Red Sox at Tigers 1:05
  • Mar 5 Tuesday Rays at Red Sox 1:05
  • Mar 6 Wednesday Red Sox at Twins 1:05
  • Mar 7 Thursday Braves at Red Sox 1:05
  • Mar 11 Monday Pirates at Red Sox 1:05
  • Mar 12 Tuesday Cardinals at Red Sox 1:05
  • Mar 13 Wednesday Red Sox at Yankees 1:05
  • Mar 14 Thursday Red Sox at Phillies 1:05
  • Mar 15 Friday Twins at Red Sox 6:05
  • Mar 16 Saturday Red Sox at Orioles 1:05
  • Mar 17 Sunday Yankees at Red Sox 1:05
  • Mar 17 Sunday Red Sox at Braves 1:05
  • Mar 18 Monday Red Sox at Twins 1:05
  • Mar 19 Tuesday Rays at Red Sox 1:05
  • Mar 21 Thursday Orioles at Red Sox 6:05
  • Mar 22 Friday Red Sox at Blue Jays 1:07
  • Mar 23 Saturday Red Sox at Pirates 1:05
  • Mar 23 Saturday Twins at Red Sox 6:05
  • Mar 24 Sunday Braves at Red Sox 1:05
 

joe dokes

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Most games during the week will be on WEEI- AM, whose signal reaches as about far as a Johnny Damon throw. Probably streamable (directly and Sirius-ly). Springtime Joe Castig is pretty entertaining.