2024 Red Sox Spring Training

The Gray Eagle

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IMO, going into spring training, there were probably 5 guys that didn't play full healthy seasons last year that the Red Sox are desperately counting on to be healthy and good this year: Story, Giolito, O'Neill, Grissom, and Houck.

So anytime another one of them has ANY injury issues, I am going to be paranoid about it.

It makes complete sense to go easy on all of them and to sit them out if they have any issues whatsoever. Of course.
Still paranoid about it though, especially after Giolito.
 

nvalvo

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Story is the one guy they don't want to push, if they do he'd likely get dengue fever or something.
It is so weird to me that this board thinks Story is injury prone. He got hit by a pitch in 2022 after 94 games at a high level (2.5 WAR in 94 games isn't shabby); broken wrist, it happens. Then he needed surgery to repair his elbow. THAT'S IT, basically for his career, but because both things happened in Boston, now he's injury prone.

In Colorado, he averaged 124 games/year in six seasons — one of which was only 60 games long!
 

BaseballJones

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Man... I'm 52 years old and play tennis full fucking blast 4 days a week for two hours. I know I know I know it's not the same damn thing but I can't help but feel like these guys are super fragile. Again... I know it's not the same thing but they're all pretty young and in supposed peak health. It's just frustrating to hear/read about every little small injury sidelining these guys. And I'm VERY far from a "just play through it/suck it up!!!" tough guy type.
Haha in hear you. I’m 54 and play 2-3 hours of basketball a week with students at UConn. Feel the same way.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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It is so weird to me that this board thinks Story is injury prone. He got hit by a pitch in 2022 after 94 games at a high level (2.5 WAR in 94 games isn't shabby); broken wrist, it happens. Then he needed surgery to repair his elbow. THAT'S IT, basically for his career, but because both things happened in Boston, now he's injury prone.

In Colorado, he averaged 124 games/year in six seasons — one of which was only 60 games long!
He's 31 years old and has played in only 137 out of a possible 324 games since the beginning of the 2022 season.

Of course he's now injury prone. It would be silly to not consider him injury prone. Players age and their careers change.

Let's see if he can play more than, say 110 games first before we scoff at the injury-prone label.
 

nvalvo

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He's 31 years old and has played in only 137 out of a possible 324 games since the beginning of the 2022 season.

Of course he's now injury prone. It would be silly to not consider him injury prone. Players age and their careers change.

Let's see if he can play more than, say 110 games first before we scoff at the injury-prone label.
You mean, "let's see if he can play more than 110 games for the fifth time."
 

Fishy1

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You mean, "let's see if he can play more than 110 games for the fifth time."
Don't waste your time on this. A bad UCL and getting hit by a pitch in two seasons doesn't make you "injury prone," whatever the fuck that means, and the vast majority of the board agrees with you.

There are discussions worth having with reasonable people who can listen to other's arguments and adjust their reasoning.

It is reasonable to be concerned about Story's performance, nonetheless, and as a guy over 30, injuries become more likely. But I'm more worried about the elevated K rate last season and the drop in BB rate than I am his UCL at this point.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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There are discussions worth having with reasonable people who can listen to other's arguments and adjust their reasoning.
Apparently that reasoning does not extend to seeing a player miss the vast majority of two straight seasons and not start to worry about his ability to be healthy.

But whatever. My original point was that I'm actually not all that concerned that the Sox are easing a lot of players, Story included, into spring training games right now. There's nothing to be gained from pushing them.
 

Fishy1

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Apparently that reasoning does not extend to seeing a player miss the vast majority of two straight seasons and not start to worry about his ability to be healthy.

But whatever. My original point was that I'm actually not all that concerned that the Sox are easing a lot of players, Story included, into spring training games right now.
If I got struck by a ball in the wrist and it broke, and people started calling me injury prone, I would think that was bullshit. If I had to have elbow surgery once, and people called me injury prone, I would think that was bullshit. Story had bad luck and a bad elbow. That's it.

I am an injury prone person. I have a mechanical heart valve and am on blood thinners and worst of all, I have bad ankles, so every time I step on the basketball court I'm a bleeding risk and a walking ankle sprain. I can't go six weeks without hurting myself. That's what I'd call injury prone.

More importantly, you and I have had this discussion before. I find you to be pretty much impossible to discourse with. If you want to talk about why, I'd be happy to take it to PM.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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If I got struck by a ball in the wrist and it broke, and people started calling me injury prone, I would think that was bullshit. If I had to have elbow surgery once, and people called me injury prone, I would think that was bullshit. Story had bad luck and a bad elbow. That's it.

I am an injury prone person. I have a mechanical heart valve and am on blood thinners and worst of all, I have bad ankles, so every time I step on the basketball court I'm a bleeding risk and a walking ankle sprain. I can't go six weeks without hurting myself. That's what I'd call injury prone.

More importantly, you and I have had this discussion before. I find you to be pretty much impossible to discourse with. If you want to talk about why, I'd be happy to take it to PM.
Story also had a torn UCL in his thumb his rookie year which ended his season. Even I don't think that has much to do with this year since 2016 was a long time ago, but it probably bears mentioning.

In baseball, a broken wrist and a bad elbow are considered BIG DEALS. Also, injury-prone in real life (and I am sorry to hear you have to face those physical challenges, they sound awful), and injury prone in professional sports are naturally different things.

My point, as always, is that Story has on the IL for a vast majority of his time since signing with the Sox. It's likely prudent to consider him a huge risk and question mark until the point he can show he can be durable like he was for most of his career in Colorado. Until he gets to that point, his durability is most reasonably not to be trusted.

Getting into game shape slowly this year is a prudent decision. I joke about it but a sore neck isn't a big deal and given his time off it's to be expected. He'll get a couple of days and be back out there.
 

Sprowl

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Especially for guys who are returning, or not far off of returning, from previous injuries. JFC, guys. They literally said Story will be back this weekend.
That's their Story and they're sticking to it.

I think we're all suffering from PTSD after the Giolito signing blew up in our faces so early in his contract.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Some of these ailments might just be convenient excuses to not have to make the trip to the Dominican this weekend. I mean, isn't the hardest some of the vets work all spring during the drills/contests in which the winning squad gets to skip the long bus rides to Tampa (Yankees) and Clearwater (Phillies) and Bradenton (Pirates)?
 

dynomite

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This was awesome. Mike F would be proud. :)

Speaking of Mike F, your story reminded me of being at Hammond Stadium with him for a game with the twins about 20 years ago, and a guy stood in front of us in the aisle, blocking our view for a minute. The guy was right in front of Mike, maybe 20 feet away, and he screamed out "down in front!", and the guy looked around, and immediately tried to move out of the way.

That guy? Theo Epstein. :)

Man I miss Mike.
Thanks so much @CR67dream, @jmcc5400, @bernie carb 33, @Cassvt2023 and everyone else for the kind words!

I was thinking of Mike F as I typed that up, actually, and I'm tickled pink by the comparison! There are worse role models to have as I enter my (gasp) 40s. I was there for my birthday weekend with my some of my HS friends, who fortunately aren't quite as obsessive about the Sox as I am but happily agreed to take in some of the spring games.

Here's a few pictures from the weekend, including the view of the complex at takeoff from the left side of the plane. After both Saturday and Sunday they let fans come on the field -- to play catch in the outfield Saturday, and to run the bases Sunday. Mostly I was terrified on Sunday to run over the 5-year-old ahead of me... although I did do a jump and both feet plant on home plate because you can take the kid out of high school, but you can't.... y'know.

View attachment View from Behind Home Plate.jpgView On Instructional Field.jpg
7918479185
 

iddoc

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Nov 17, 2006
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Some of these ailments might just be convenient excuses to not have to make the trip to the Dominican this weekend. I mean, isn't the hardest some of the vets work all spring during the drills/contests in which the winning squad gets to skip the long bus rides to Tampa (Yankees) and Clearwater (Phillies) and Bradenton (Pirates)?
That could be. The joke above about Story and dengue fever…maybe not so much of a joke after all.
 

pk1627

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This was awesome. Mike F would be proud. :)

Speaking of Mike F, your story reminded me of being at Hammond Stadium with him for a game with the twins about 20 years ago, and a guy stood in front of us in the aisle, blocking our view for a minute. The guy was right in front of Mike, maybe 20 feet away, and he screamed out "down in front!", and the guy looked around, and immediately tried to move out of the way.

That guy? Theo Epstein. :)

Man I miss Mike.
I spent 3 innings with Mike F at a ST game and came out a better person. I think it was right before the 2004 season. This is a great story.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Looking forward to the two games against the Devil Rays in the DR this weekend. Is anyone here going? I've been to games in Central America but never in the Dominican- it is on the to do list for sometime in the coming years.
 

zenax

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My point, as always, is that Story has on the IL for a vast majority of his time since signing with the Sox.
Story only averaged 124 games played per season with Colorado. If you toss out the 97 games he played from the start of the 2016 season (his first), the average goes up to 130 GP/season. In his final 5 seasons with the Rockies, he played 145, 157. 145, 59, 142. So it looks like he has had some problems throughout his career. His two seasons with Boston has dragged his games/season down to 110.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Story only averaged 124 games played per season with Colorado. If you toss out the 97 games he played from the start of the 2016 season (his first), the average goes up to 130 GP/season. In his final 5 seasons with the Rockies, he played 145, 157. 145, 59, 142. So it looks like he has had some problems throughout his career. His two seasons with Boston has dragged his games/season down to 110.
That 59 was in a 60 game season, so that messes up your math right there. In his last five seasons with the Rockies, he played in ~91% of their games. That's an average of 148 per 162. That's not really a problem.
 

Cassvt2023

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Today's lineup in the DR:

Duran LF
Devers 3B
Story SS
Casas 1B
Yoshida DH
Rafaela CF
Abreu RF
Valdez 2B
Wong C
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Jeez, injuries could turn the bullpen, considered a strength, into a weakness really quickly. Is there a point at which adding a free agent starter is too late to impact the start of the season? Like, how late could a free agent sign and still be able to crack the rotation?
 

Cassvt2023

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Sub Grissom for Valdez and it’s what I was basically hoping for the official starting lineup
Agreed. I'd probably slide Grissom in the 6 hole, likely better plate discipline, have Wong 8th and Rafaela in the 9 spot. Him and Duran back to back on the bases could be fun.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jeez, injuries could turn the bullpen, considered a strength, into a weakness really quickly. Is there a point at which adding a free agent starter is too late to impact the start of the season? Like, how late could a free agent sign and still be able to crack the rotation?
There are 18 days until Opening Day for the Sox. Not counting tomorrow (can't imagine a new signee would rush to the D.R. to get some work), they have 15 days with exhibition games left. I think they're past the point in which a new addition will be ready for the rotation on Opening Day. Not unless whoever they get is able to get into Monday's game to start the ramp-up process, which would mean whatever they're doing on their own is on par with what they'd be doing in camp. If that were to happen, maybe they can break camp in the rotation and be on a lower pitch count than the rest for the first couple turns.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Have to wonder what a guy like Lorenzen is waiting for. At some point, seems like he should be a $7M-$9M signing for someone, would love it to be the Sox.
 

jon abbey

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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I wish that Spring Training results for pitching (and ONLY pitching!!) were predictive- the presumptive starting rotation of Bello, Pivetta, Houck, Crawford and Whitlock (or Winckowski) at least results wise has looked quite good.
I’m still bullish on Montgomery so if the last spot comes down to Houck, Whitlock or Winchowski…. This might seem crazy but I’m seriously thinking Winchowski. Houck and Whitlock still feel more like bullpen weapons rather than starters.

If they don’t get Montgomery I’m not sure which of those 2 I’d prefer as a starter. Leaning Houck…


is this the right forum for this?
 

Cassvt2023

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I wish that Spring Training results for pitching (and ONLY pitching!!) were predictive- the presumptive starting rotation of Bello, Pivetta, Houck, Crawford and Whitlock (or Winckowski) at least results wise has looked quite good.
I’m still bullish on Montgomery so if the last spot comes down to Houck, Whitlock or Winchowski…. This might seem crazy but I’m seriously thinking Winchowski. Houck and Whitlock still feel more like bullpen weapons rather than starters.

If they don’t get Montgomery I’m not sure which of those 2 I’d prefer as a starter. Leaning Houck…


is this the right forum for this?
I have no problem whatsoever about talking battles for rotation spots based on ST performance in the Spring Training thread!
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I have no problem whatsoever about talking battles for rotation spots based on ST performance in the Spring Training thread!
I know (x10) that it’s all SSSST but Whitlock is confirming he’s a 2 inning guy.

if no Monty-
Bello, Pivetta, Crawford, Winckowski, Houck
If they add Monty-
Him(duh!), Bello, Pivetta, Crawford, then Im50/50 on Wink or Houck
 

Yo La Tengo

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Slaten looked impressive today and has good stats thus far. Rule 5 so he has to be on the pro roster and is looking ready to be a positive contributor. High 90s and an impressive curve ball.

EDIT and Heineman’s hustle into 2B in the 6th inning was impressive. Allowed Dalbec to come to bat and hit a grand slam. That kind of hustle play is catnip for a manager (and is great for the team vibe).
 
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RS2004foreever

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Haha in hear you. I’m 54 and play 2-3 hours of basketball a week with students at UConn. Feel the same way.
I have run and played basketball all my life.
In incremements I noticed changes at 33, 42, and 51. I just turned 60 and am starting to feel another decline.
But there was a big difference between 28 and 33.
 

RS2004foreever

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I know (x10) that it’s all SSSST but Whitlock is confirming he’s a 2 inning guy.

if no Monty-
Bello, Pivetta, Crawford, Winckowski, Houck
If they add Monty-
Him(duh!), Bello, Pivetta, Crawford, then Im50/50 on Wink or Houck
Bello, Pivetta, Crawford, Winckowski, Houck
Oh man that rotation could be a complete disaster (outside of Bello). It isn't competitive really.
 

Marty’s Beret

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Admittedly not adding much value to the discussion here, as I've only been able to see a few of the televised games this spring training, but (1) those games in the DR were quite fun to watch and (2) I'm actually kind of excited to see what this team can do. The lineup is shaping up to be a fun one to watch with a good mix of power and speed, the defense hopefully will be improved enough to at least not lose games (assuming Trevor stays healthy and Ceddanne makes the team out of camp). Starting pitching is certainly walking on a tightrope, but even just a couple steps forward from Whitlock, Houck and Crawford, Bello staying on track and Pivetta continuing to find what he had the 2nd half of last year could make things interesting. Maybe its one of those years when the Sox are the team of mostly youngsters that no one saw coming.
 

BaseballJones

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I have run and played basketball all my life.
In incremements I noticed changes at 33, 42, and 51. I just turned 60 and am starting to feel another decline.
But there was a big difference between 28 and 33.
I totally feel you on that. Until about age 35 I could totally stay with any of the college kids I guarded. At age 35 suddenly I had to put in max effort to stay with them. I could still do it but it took total focus and commitment on the defensive end. Then I hit 45 and - poof - now I can’t stay with any of them. I can still guard slower bigs but man they hunt me on pick and rolls. It’s depressing. Thankfully I can still score on them but playing D is extraordinarily difficult now.

My original goal was to be able to be competitive when my own kids were playing in high school and college. Mission accomplished. Now my goal is to be competitive when my grandkids (and I don’t have any yet) are playing in high school.

Eh…… I don’t think that’s happening. But it’s still what I’m aiming for. We’ll see how it goes.
 

simplicio

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Anyone know what the deal with CJ Cron is? I don't think he's actually played in a game yet.

Admittedly not adding much value to the discussion here, as I've only been able to see a few of the televised games this spring training, but (1) those games in the DR were quite fun to watch and (2) I'm actually kind of excited to see what this team can do. The lineup is shaping up to be a fun one to watch with a good mix of power and speed, the defense hopefully will be improved enough to at least not lose games (assuming Trevor stays healthy and Ceddanne makes the team out of camp). Starting pitching is certainly walking on a tightrope, but even just a couple steps forward from Whitlock, Houck and Crawford, Bello staying on track and Pivetta continuing to find what he had the 2nd half of last year could make things interesting. Maybe its one of those years when the Sox are the team of mostly youngsters that no one saw coming.
Yeah, I'm pretty well sold on the potential of our position players to be good. I just think it's really unlikely our current rotation can make it through the year without needing significant garbage fire innings from guys like Walter.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Bello, Pivetta, Crawford, Winckowski, Houck
Oh man that rotation could be a complete disaster (outside of Bello). It isn't competitive really.
It definitely COULD be and has a higher likelihood of being that than a lot of other rotations- especially ones that have designs on being in the playoffs.... but as noted, I'm an optimist-
Bello has shown he can be a top of a rotation starter on any team. Pivetta has shown flashes of Pedro-esque dominance but will turn into a pumpkin for far too long. He showed some changes in his pitches last season and finished the year showing he could be at the top of any rotation too. Lots of people here are higher on Crawford here with good reason than Bello. The danger to me is the Houck/Whitlock/Winckowski trio vying for the final spot. Out of the three I think it's beyond clear that Whitlock really can't be a starter. He's great for two innings and can be what he was in '21 hopefully again. That basically leaves Houck- who I think can be a dominant one inning guy... basically Papelbon, and the team has a need for that guy for the future- and Winckowski, as the last guy standing who is basically an unknown as a starter and also had success in the pen so while it definitely looks scary I'm feeling good about Winckowski as a starter. A number 5 mind you with potential. Add in Montgomery and I think it has the potential to be a playoff team (Houck in the pen). Without him I could see things breaking reasonably well and ending up around 85 wins with this group (Houck in the rotation).
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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It definitely COULD be and has a higher likelihood of being that than a lot of other rotations- especially ones that have designs on being in the playoffs.... but as noted, I'm an optimist-
Bello has shown he can be a top of a rotation starter on any team. Pivetta has shown flashes of Pedro-esque dominance but will turn into a pumpkin for far too long. He showed some changes in his pitches last season and finished the year showing he could be at the top of any rotation too. Lots of people here are higher on Crawford here with good reason than Bello. The danger to me is the Houck/Whitlock/Winckowski trio vying for the final spot. Out of the three I think it's beyond clear that Whitlock really can't be a starter. He's great for two innings and can be what he was in '21 hopefully again. That basically leaves Houck- who I think can be a dominant one inning guy... basically Papelbon, and the team has a need for that guy for the future- and Winckowski, as the last guy standing who is basically an unknown as a starter and also had success in the pen so while it definitely looks scary I'm feeling good about Winckowski as a starter. A number 5 mind you with potential. Add in Montgomery and I think it has the potential to be a playoff team (Houck in the pen). Without him I could see things breaking reasonably well and ending up around 85 wins with this group (Houck in the rotation).
Final two spots now, no?

Or are you operating under the assumption Monty is signing in Boston? I think if he were interested in coming to Boston (and if Boston were interested in signing him to a deal that he would accept to come to Boston) it would have happened a long while ago.
 

sezwho

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I have run and played basketball all my life.
In incremements I noticed changes at 33, 42, and 51. I just turned 60 and am starting to feel another decline.
But there was a big difference between 28 and 33.
Props to you and @BaseballJones both. I stayed in shape by playing hoops in my 30s, I stayed in shape to play hoops in my 40s, and now in my 50s it’s kind of out of their regular rotation.

Kind of hoping I’m having a midlife crisis if it means I’ll make it to 100!

/end sidetrack
 

BaseballJones

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Props to you and @BaseballJones both. I stayed in shape by playing hoops in my 30s, I stayed in shape to play hoops in my 40s, and now in my 50s it’s kind of out of their regular rotation.

Kind of hoping I’m having a midlife crisis if it means I’ll make it to 100!

/end sidetrack
As long as you’re doing something athletic it’s a win!!!
 

Cassvt2023

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Anyone know what the deal with CJ Cron is? I don't think he's actually played in a game yet.


Yeah, I'm pretty well sold on the potential of our position players to be good. I just think it's really unlikely our current rotation can make it through the year without needing significant garbage fire innings from guys like Walter.
C.J. Cron is in today's lineup for first time, batting 4th and playing 1st base. No regulars outside of Duran and Abreu are in lineup, most just returning from DR trip last night.
 

dynomite

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C.J. Cron is in today's lineup for first time, batting 4th and playing 1st base. No regulars outside of Duran and Abreu are in lineup, most just returning from DR trip last night.
When he was signed they targeted today as his first game:

Cron arrived ready to go, having stayed busy hitting off a pitching machine and working in the weight room.

“I didn’t really have any expectations,” he said. “I was just doing my offseason work and whatever came up, came up. Fortunately I was able to get an offer from Boston.”

The tentative plan is for Cron to play in his first game March 11. With the season starting March 28, he has time to make the team.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/03/03/sports/cj-cron-red-sox/?p1=HP_Feed_ContentQuery&p1=HP_Feed_ContentQuery
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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Trying to keep the positivity going. Yes, it's spring training and small sample size caveat, but the starters have pitched 45 innings and allowed 17 ER, good enough for a 3.40 ERA.* The staff as a whole is second in ERA and, most encouraging, is third in WHIP. They're pounding the strike zone - a refreshing change from the "throw two strikes and nibble" approach that permeated the staff during the Bush tenure. It's tough to argue with Breslow's results thus far.

*N. B. I excluded Giolito's two starts since he won't be in the rotation in '24.
 

Cassvt2023

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Today's lineup, a bit of a shuffle in the middle:

LF Duran L
3B Devers L
SS Story R
DH Masataka L
RF O'Neil R
1B Casas L
CF Rafaela R
2B Valdez L
CWong R

Bello on the mound
 

chrisfont9

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Trying to keep the positivity going. Yes, it's spring training and small sample size caveat, but the starters have pitched 45 innings and allowed 17 ER, good enough for a 3.40 ERA.* The staff as a whole is second in ERA and, most encouraging, is third in WHIP. They're pounding the strike zone - a refreshing change from the "throw two strikes and nibble" approach that permeated the staff during the Bush tenure. It's tough to argue with Breslow's results thus far.

*N. B. I excluded Giolito's two starts since he won't be in the rotation in '24.
You never know quite what to take at face value with free agents still looming, but Breslow is sounding more and more OK with just who they have.

“Over the last couple of weeks, I do think it’s become evident that there are a number of guys that we have in camp that appear ready to take a step forward,” chief baseball officer Craig Breslow said. “And I think that’s a credit to the work that they’ve done and a credit to the pitching infrastructure and the work that Andrew (Bailey) has done. We’ve also maintained that if there was an opportunity to improve the team through some external acquisition that we needed to be responsible and try to track that down as well.”

https://theathletic.com/5333754/2024/03/11/red-sox-pitcher-lucas-giolito-surgery/