2024 Rotation and Bullpen

rodderick

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Yeah, I was feeling pretty bullish on the pitching staff going into the season but this is more than I could have guessed. Bailey is a wizard, and good on the pitchers for being humble enough to work with him and make the adjustments. What's even wilder is we had three guys go 6 innings all while staying under 85 pitches. In another era they would've squeezed another inning out of all three of them if they could.
I think it's fair to say they would have all gone at least one extra inning if it were, say, mid May.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I was clearly not bullish on the pitching staff going into the season, and this has been fun to watch for the first time through for sure.

To be a little bit of a wet blanket, let's not pretend we're talking about facing the Braves and Rangers here (Seattle was 12th in runs scored last year; Oakland was 30th) and there is a wide range of park effect differences between Seattle and Oakland to Fenway Park and the rest of the AL East. For comparison, multi year park effects have Fenway at 106/106 (as we all know drastically favoring hitters) and Seattle's is 95/94 (drastically favoring pitchers).

As a stat I'm sure we all had an idea of, Crawford had a 2.49 ERA on the road and a 6.00 ERA at Fenway Park, so it will be interesting to see how the approaches change (or don't) in some of the smaller parks back here on the East Coast.

All that said, I'm of course encouraged by what we've seen first time through - no doubt at all. Especially with the drastic reduction in walks (and watching the games, the starters are attacking the zone a heck of a lot more than they did, which is nice to see as opposed to the nibble, nibble, nibble we've grown accustomed to). I like to think we can "bank" on this as being something that we'll see from the staff as it's something that Breslow has a bit of a track record as preaching (and I believe Bailey does too), case in point with the Cubbies rotation last year of Steele, Taillon and Hendricks whom all limit walks and seem(ed) alright with pitching to soft contact and not trying to make every single at bat into a walk or a strikeout.

Obviously a very encouraging first time through the rotation, and hope it holds up as we get into the meat grinder that is the AL East schedule.
 

bosockboy

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I’m sad we didn’t get to see Bailey’s version of Giolito now. But it’s comforting knowing we have him waiting in the wings for 2025.
 

Rovin Romine

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To be a little bit of a wet blanket, let's not pretend we're talking about facing the Braves and Rangers here (Seattle was 12th in runs scored last year; Oakland was 30th) and there is a wide range of park effect differences between Seattle and Oakland to Fenway Park and the rest of the AL East.
I don't think this is being a wet blanket at all. For example, on the offensive side (just bumped that thread) we're probably going to get a numbers boost v. Oakland, and we'd be wise to take SSS of all kinds with some salt.

As you went on to say though, the pitching seems to be a different approach from what we saw last year, and it's in keeping with Bailey's track-record. So I think some of these changes will stick.
 

Gene Conleys Plane Ticket

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Very interesting article in The Athletic this morning about why the Red Sox are (so far) relying more heavily on the breaking pitches.

I think it's behind a paywall, but for some reason I was able to see it.

Why the Red Sox seem to be throwing fewer fastballs early in the season

In Bailey’s mind, limiting fastball usage, or relying less on it in general, makes the pitch that much more effective when thrown in the right sequence.

“We speak a lot about the fastball in general being a jab and equating that to boxing,” he said. “If you’re going 12 rounds or eight rounds, you’re not going to win by throwing jabs the whole time. The damage is done by throwing your haymakers in your best sequences. Jabs need to be located supremely to do any damage. So when you look at that through a baseball lens, it’s knowing where and when to use your fastballs and leveraging your best off-speed weapons to do the most damage against the hitter.

“I think the history of baseball suggests that when you’re in disadvantaged counts, your best strike pitch is a fastball from an ability standpoint and I don’t think that’s true,” he added. “I think pitchers are able to leverage off-speed weapons, if not similarly or slightly above, with some certain pitch types and depending on feel and all that, that can be a learned skill. So as long as strike-throwing is in line and our process stats are in line, our ability to leverage our best pitches in and around the zone is vital to the success of our pitching staff.”
 

SouthernBoSox

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Very interesting article in The Athletic this morning about why the Red Sox are (so far) relying more heavily on the breaking pitches.

I think it's behind a paywall, but for some reason I was able to see it.

Why the Red Sox seem to be throwing fewer fastballs early in the season
This is what I have found most interesting. They are being AGGRESIVE with eliminating the four seam and throwing first pitcher strikes.

So much so that the league is going to adjust. This is like facing a top prospect the first time. A completely different animal. It's clear that Breslow and Bailey believe that even if you might get jumped a few times on first pitch strikes, the risk reward over a complete season is obvious, just make the first pitch a strike.

It's fascinating to watch.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I don't think this is being a wet blanket at all. For example, on the offensive side (just bumped that thread) we're probably going to get a numbers boost v. Oakland, and we'd be wise to take SSS of all kinds with some salt.

As you went on to say though, the pitching seems to be a different approach from what we saw last year, and it's in keeping with Bailey's track-record. So I think some of these changes will stick.
Absolutely, and I think that while the early results are obviously nice, this is of much greater importance.

Bello is the really interesting case study here, for me at least. Honestly, I'm astounded that there were people in here that were able to identify the issues with the 4 seam fastball back to last season, and no real adjustment was made in 2023 by the organization. Was that a lack of awareness (I can't imagine), was it a philosophical mindset of "must strike batters out", was Bush simply not able to convey a message. Did Bloom not want him to? We have no idea - and probably never will - but it's just interesting to see such a massive change, and it's odd to see that such an obvious adjustment didn't happen previously.

I always hesitate to bring in "talk radio" viewpoints, but I did think there was an interesting juxtaposition on that here in Boston after Bello's first start. The folks on WEEI complaining about how Bello couldn't possibly be a top half of the rotation starter and the "ace" of the staff if he didn't use the 4 seam and get more Ks. Mazz talking about basically "who gives a damn" when his best pitch is the 2 seamer, he's a ground ball pitcher and how strike outs are boring and fascist besides (ok, the last part was Costner), you go to that.

I will forever wonder (and have brought this up several times) about how if the prior regime was a product of "analysis paralysis" in that they became so focused on the three true outcomes of a pitching staff that they refused to allow the possibility that soft contact and good defensive players might still have a place in the game / understanding that by and large giving up two solo home runs while keeping runners of the bases are going to destroy your FIP but also win a lot of ballgames (sorry Pivetta). The changes in approach to attack the zone and allow pitching to soft contact, at least once through, were not only glaring but quite frankly incredibly enjoyable to watch.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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The pitching has been dominant, though, that’s what has been so encouraging - it’s not like they’ve been lucky. They are aggressively throwing strikes and controlling the strike zone. Having that mindset and buy in from the entire staff is kind of a beautiful thing to see. Of course, things will get more challenging but this is pretty eye opening.
 

Rovin Romine

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This is what I have found most interesting. They are being AGGRESIVE with eliminating the four seam and throwing first pitcher strikes.

So much so that the league is going to adjust. This is like facing a top prospect the first time. A completely different animal. It's clear that Breslow and Bailey believe that even if you might get jumped a few times on first pitch strikes, the risk reward over a complete season is obvious, just make the first pitch a strike.

It's fascinating to watch.
There has been some thought that the four-seamer was eliminated very much for SEA's lineup (I think by you yourself, IIRC). So I'm sure the FB mix will change as the year goes on.

Houck's tricky - his four seamer got lit up last year, but Savant (for example) does not sort results by inning, so we don't know if this is one of his pitches that looked good early and got shelled late.

I also suspect -and this is just me speculating- that while Bush also preached first pitch strikes, Bailey is preaching intelligent/innovative first pitch strikes. We'll see how the sequencing goes.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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There has been some thought that the four-seamer was eliminated very much for SEA's lineup (I think by you yourself, IIRC). So I'm sure the FB mix will change as the year goes on.

Houck's tricky - his four seamer got lit up last year, but Savant (for example) does not sort results by inning, so we don't know if this is one of his pitches that looked good early and got shelled late.

I also suspect -and this is just me speculating- that while Bush also preached first pitch strikes, Bailey is preaching intelligent/innovative first pitch strikes. We'll see how the sequencing goes.
Edit: I misread your post, sorry!

Edit2: To add some content, Savant only shows three hard hit balls, all of which were grounders. 2 off the splitter, 1 off the cutter. Those appear to be Butler's two groundouts to Valdez in the 3rd and the 5th innings (98 & 107 mph) and Bleday's leadoff double in the 4th (106 mph).
 
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rodderick

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Absolutely, and I think that while the early results are obviously nice, this is of much greater importance.

Bello is the really interesting case study here, for me at least. Honestly, I'm astounded that there were people in here that were able to identify the issues with the 4 seam fastball back to last season, and no real adjustment was made in 2023 by the organization. Was that a lack of awareness (I can't imagine), was it a philosophical mindset of "must strike batters out", was Bush simply not able to convey a message. Did Bloom not want him to? We have no idea - and probably never will - but it's just interesting to see such a massive change, and it's odd to see that such an obvious adjustment didn't happen previously.

I always hesitate to bring in "talk radio" viewpoints, but I did think there was an interesting juxtaposition on that here in Boston after Bello's first start. The folks on WEEI complaining about how Bello couldn't possibly be a top half of the rotation starter and the "ace" of the staff if he didn't use the 4 seam and get more Ks. Mazz talking about basically "who gives a damn" when his best pitch is the 2 seamer, he's a ground ball pitcher and how strike outs are boring and fascist besides (ok, the last part was Costner), you go to that.

I will forever wonder (and have brought this up several times) about how if the prior regime was a product of "analysis paralysis" in that they became so focused on the three true outcomes of a pitching staff that they refused to allow the possibility that soft contact and good defensive players might still have a place in the game / understanding that by and large giving up two solo home runs while keeping runners of the bases are going to destroy your FIP but also win a lot of ballgames (sorry Pivetta). The changes in approach to attack the zone and allow pitching to soft contact, at least once through, were not only glaring but quite frankly incredibly enjoyable to watch.
This might be true regarding Bello, who's always going to be a pitch to weak contact type based on profile, but the other starters are striking out a ton of people, they're attacking the zone and then going off speed to get whiffs.
 

Rovin Romine

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Absolutely, and I think that while the early results are obviously nice, this is of much greater importance.

Bello is the really interesting case study here, for me at least. Honestly, I'm astounded that there were people in here that were able to identify the issues with the 4 seam fastball back to last season, and no real adjustment was made in 2023 by the organization. Was that a lack of awareness (I can't imagine), was it a philosophical mindset of "must strike batters out", was Bush simply not able to convey a message. Did Bloom not want him to? We have no idea - and probably never will - but it's just interesting to see such a massive change, and it's odd to see that such an obvious adjustment didn't happen previously.

I always hesitate to bring in "talk radio" viewpoints, but I did think there was an interesting juxtaposition on that here in Boston after Bello's first start. The folks on WEEI complaining about how Bello couldn't possibly be a top half of the rotation starter and the "ace" of the staff if he didn't use the 4 seam and get more Ks. Mazz talking about basically "who gives a damn" when his best pitch is the 2 seamer, he's a ground ball pitcher and how strike outs are boring and fascist besides (ok, the last part was Costner), you go to that.

I will forever wonder (and have brought this up several times) about how if the prior regime was a product of "analysis paralysis" in that they became so focused on the three true outcomes of a pitching staff that they refused to allow the possibility that soft contact and good defensive players might still have a place in the game / understanding that by and large giving up two solo home runs while keeping runners of the bases are going to destroy your FIP but also win a lot of ballgames (sorry Pivetta). The changes in approach to attack the zone and allow pitching to soft contact, at least once through, were not only glaring but quite frankly incredibly enjoyable to watch.
Yeah. . .there are lots of incredibly gifted people and groups who confuse tactics with strategy, or focus replicating the best individual outcomes on average while ignoring synergistic effects or situational in-context decisions. (Gah - I hate that corporate-speak has ruined synergy as a concept by not understanding it.)

You see it in batting too. Putting the ball in the air consistently results in more extra-base hits over time than poking the ball through a gap. But that does not mean that "hard and in the air" is always the right approach, regardless of the context of the game. Sometimes forgoing the big inning, and so avoiding the squander while taking an actual early lead is worth it.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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This might be true regarding Bello, who's always going to be a pitch to weak contact type based on profile, but the other starters are striking out a ton of people, they're attacking the zone and then going off speed to get whiffs.
I guess I meant more in the overall approach of seemingly not being afraid to still pitch in the zone with two strikes and ahead in the count. It seemed like there was the continued nibble approach once pitchers got ahead because they were terrified of giving up contact if someone happened to make contact with two strikes and - at least once through the rotation - that didn't seem to be the case. Sure, ex Bello the rotation piled up some Ks, but by and large they weren't on wasted pitches that the hitters happened to swing at. Get ahead, continue to make good pitches and don't be afraid of someone hitting the ball with two strikes.

That could of course be a function of the park they were pitching in (Seattle and Oakland to date) but it seemed a like a marked difference from what we saw - even from the same pitchers - in previous seasons.

Yeah. . .there are lots of incredibly gifted people and groups who confuse tactics with strategy, or focus replicating the best individual outcomes on average while ignoring synergistic effects or situational in-context decisions. (Gah - I hate that corporate-speak has ruined synergy as a concept by not understanding it.)

You see it in batting too. Putting the ball in the air consistently results in more extra-base hits over time than poking the ball through a gap. But that does not mean that "hard and in the air" is always the right approach, regardless of the context of the game. Sometimes forgoing the big inning, and so avoiding the squander while taking an actual early lead is worth it.
The bolded (and it's intent, I believe) times 1,000.
 

tims4wins

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Now six consecutive starts with 5+ IP. Bello did walk a guy last night, that was something new. Ha.

Starters cumulative totals:
33 IP
43 K
2 BB
 

BaseballJones

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Bello with the first "bad" start, but the bullpen was awesome: 6.0 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 0 er, 3 bb, 8 k

So far, the team is pitching to a 1.79 era, 0.80 whip, and 11.7 k/9

Obviously they can't keep this up, but it's a really good start, and I don't care who the opposition is.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Lead the Majors in:
  1. FIP, 2.59 - second place CLE 3.23
  2. xFIP is even better, 2.36 - PHI 2.90
  3. K/9 11.7 - PHI 11.2
  4. BB/9 1.6 - DET 1.9
  5. ERA 1.79 - DET 1.89
  6. Pitchers fWAR 1.6 - LAD also 1.6 with 2 extra games. PHI 1.2.
  7. K/BB 7.2 - BAL 5.3
  8. Avg .170 - DET .173
  9. WHIP 0.80 - DET 0.82
  10. SIERRA 2.33 - BAL 2.93
 

chrisfont9

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I thought Pivetta hung a few pitches that got hit hard but tracked down, or one HR went just foul. He was OK, but not his best. Same with Bello last night.

After one series of the rotation taking over, the bullpen is now the reason we are winning. Well, that and the A's. Eventually the offense is going to have to do its part.
 

Manzivino

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The Sox have two shutouts through 7 games, last year it took them until June 30 to get their first and they only had 5 all season.
 

PapnMillsy

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I’m sad we didn’t get to see Bailey’s version of Giolito now. But it’s comforting knowing we have him waiting in the wings for 2025.
I’m sad we never got to see what Bailey could do with Chris Sale. If he’s getting this kinda production from the likes of Houck, then i bet he could have resurrected 2017 Chris Sale.
 

LogansDad

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The Sox have two shutouts through 7 games, last year it took them until June 30 to get their first and they only had 5 all season.
The also have a game they lost while giving up only 1 run.

Pitching and defense, outside of some ugly play in the late innings today, is like night and day over this time last year.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I thought Pivetta hung a few pitches that got hit hard but tracked down, or one HR went just foul. He was OK, but not his best. Same with Bello last night.

After one series of the rotation taking over, the bullpen is now the reason we are winning. Well, that and the A's. Eventually the offense is going to have to do its part.
Last season it seemed the starters would do well for a stretch and the pen would blow.
The offense would click but SP gives up 8 runs, etc…
I’ll take winning however but it’d be real nice to see starters, pen, defense and offense all producing in synch
 

TFisNEXT

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Oakland has a brutal offense but they are doing what they should against that type of lineup. Last year, we all remember those brutal losses in Oakland after the Cubs series.

The lack of walks so far is the most encouraging. Not giving up anything for free.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Oakland has a brutal offense but they are doing what they should against that type of lineup. Last year, we all remember those brutal losses in Oakland after the Cubs series.

The lack of walks so far is the most encouraging. Not giving up anything for free.
I’m happy as hell to get the west coast trip out of the way. Growing up I could almost always count on the “close to first place” Sox head into an August west coast trip for 10 games and go 2-8, 3-7 at best and be 5-6 games out heading into the final 5 weeks.
 

loneredseat

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It's so nice being able to look forward to seeing each starter pitch. I'm feeling kinda invested in these guys.
 

ZiggySox

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I’m sad we never got to see what Bailey could do with Chris Sale. If he’s getting this kinda production from the likes of Houck, then i bet he could have resurrected 2017 Chris Sale.
I'm not sure Bailey could have done much with Sale. In my view its always been about health not stuff or approach.
 

Manuel Aristides

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I'm not sure Bailey could have done much with Sale. In my view its always been about health not stuff or approach.
I've been of the presumption that if they thought they could turn Sale around, they wouldn't have traded him at something close to the nadir of his value. The implication is they felt they could not fix whatever the problem was, and based on the early returns, I'm inclined to trust that evaluation.
 

Gash Prex

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I don't think the real question with Sale was ever his "stuff" or ability to pitch but more his total inability to stay healthy for the entire year (or a couple of months). I expect he will pitch very well until he inevitably breaks down again
 

BaseballJones

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Excellent numbers - the only truly bad start was Bello's second one. I just want to see more IP out of them. But otherwise, so far, so good.
 

YTF

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I've mentioned it elsewhere, but it might be worth repeating here. Yesterday's game is a perfect illustration of Chase Anderson's value to this team. You can bring him in in a blowout (either way) and let him go out there and save the rest of the pen. 68 pitches in three innings to close out the game allows the rest of the pen two full days off heading into the home opener against a really good Baltimore team. With the pen being as good as it's been so far, you don't have to rely on Anderson for much more than the role that he filled yesterday. As a former starter, if he can be that low leverage, multi innings guy who's capable of throwing 70 pitches if needed, he's going to be able to give the pen some much needed days off as we get deeper into the season. He's also good to have in the event of a starter needing to come out of a game. If Anderson is able to come in and give you three or four innings while keeping the team in the game he's likely to have saved the team from using at least one other arm out of the pen.
 

Rovin Romine

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Thank you all for the updates to the thread. Ideally we'll keep them going to track any significant developments, changes, etc. and so be able to look back over it as the season goes on.

What's most evident to me, 10 games in at 7-3, is that the plan for the rotation and bullpen is working thusfar. From the end of ST to today - no injuries, glitches, or cold-starts (knock-wood.)

The starters have been fantastic, with the major concern being their ability to go deep. Not that they've been going shallow by current MLB standards, but as (@YTF ?) pointed out elsewhere, getting the occasional long start helps the pen as opposed to only 5.1 innings every time out.

The bullpen has been very good. Rodriguez has been wild, but that's really about it in terms of role-failure. Jansen has started outings with low velocity but has overall be effective.

There hasn't really been a weak pitcher or a complete work in progress (excepting Rodriguez, maybe.) There is no 2024 version of Kaleb Ort. And that's good, because we want to win games early and often. AAA is for development.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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The most encouraging thing to me is that from watching, nothing seems particularly fluky or lucky so far.

They aren’t walking guys, so while there may still be some times they’re nibbling with 2 strikes or not quite putting guys away quickly, they aren’t losing them entirely in a way that can really tack on lots of pitches.

And the defense has been improved but not so dramatically that it’s covering up rockets all over the place. It’s more like, guys are (generally) getting to balls they should and making the plays they should.

A lot of it may be coaching/general game-calling and pitch composition changes because I don’t think we’re seeing the degree of “mistake” pitches we’ve seen recently.

And still certainly room for improvement and getting deeper into games when all the pitches are working.

Meanwhile the whole bullpen oozes competence right now. Slaten/Weissert/Campbell look like A+ additions so far.
 

YTF

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There hasn't really been a weak pitcher or a complete work in progress (excepting Rodriguez, maybe.) There is no 2024 version of Kaleb Ort. And that's good, because we want to win games early and often. AAA is for development.
And to build from this...While luck and timing are rarely predictable they can be good allies. IF the rotation can get through the first couple of months of the season in relatively good health it will go a long way toward giving AAA pitchers an opportunity to adapt to whatever program that Breslow and Bailey has implemented. In turn, that affords B&B the opportunity to see how these guys have responded and how to best use them. That's useful information to have prior to having to insert someone into a situation that they might not be best suited for.
 

Rovin Romine

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And to build from this...While luck and timing are rarely predictable they can be good allies. IF the rotation can get through the first couple of months of the season in relatively good health it will go a long way toward giving AAA pitchers an opportunity to adapt to whatever program that Breslow and Bailey has implemented. In turn, that affords B&B the opportunity to see how these guys have responded and how to best use them. That's useful information to have prior to having to insert someone into a situation that they might not be best suited for.
So far in AAA, Criswell has had two good starts, with maybe Guerrero and Benetiz being most impressive in relief. So we have, perhaps, some instant depth available as well. Not a ton yet, but while the lower minors are percolating, the upper minors only really need to be able to plug any holes.
 

YTF

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So far in AAA, Criswell has had two good starts, with maybe Guerrero and Benetiz being most impressive in relief. So we have, perhaps, some instant depth available as well. Not a ton yet, but while the lower minors are percolating, the upper minors only really need to be able to plug any holes.
Good to know that Criswell has done well so far as he seemed most likely to be the next starter up heading into the season.
 

Rovin Romine

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Well, on 4/9 we have our first significant move in response to some shitty news:

The #RedSox today placed RHP Nick Pivetta on the 15-Day Injured List, retroactive to April 6, with a right elbow flexor strain. To fill Pivetta’s spot on the active roster, the club recalled LHP Brennan Bernardino from Triple-A Worcester.

Pivetta will be out until April 21 at least. He last started on 4/3 and was follow Bello in the rotation. So his 5 day progression (with off-days) would have been:
4/10, 4/15, 4/20, 4/26, 5/2.

So he'll miss 3 starts min, and of course, anything involving the throwing elbow is a major concern.

His rotation replacement?

Criswell might be the replacement starter. He pitched last on 4/7, throwing 82 pitches. So maybe he's good to go on 4/12, and they'll change the rotation accordingly and send Bernardino down?​
Anderson is currently stretched out, but last threw on 4/7 as well, 68 pitches. So he'd have the same 4/12 active date as Criswell.​
It's also possible they'll stretch out Winckowski who has thrown: 3/29 - 41 pitches, 4/2 - 15 pitches, 4/5, 25 pitches. (If they do, maybe we see some role-switching with him and Anderson?)​
Uwasawa is in extended spring training. Seems a long shot at this point to segue in.​

The other 40-man pitchers are: Wikelman (yet to start in AA), Perales (hammered in his only start in Greenville), Zack Kelly (not sure what's up with him but no MiL appearances so far) and Bernardino.​

What we've got at the moment:

Bernardino appears to be the only guy outside of Criswell ready to be called up. (If they put Brandon Walter, Trevor Story, or Pivetta on the 60 day IL, they could add Benetiz or another live bullpen arm.)​
We can hope for early 2023 Bernardino. . .but his AAA results have been mixed this year. (SSS!) https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=bernar000bre&type=pgl&year=2024
He also last pitched on 4/7, so should be rested and good to go.​



***

I would remind everyone this is not a thread for venting personal frustrations, revisiting the off-season, shadow-GMing, or trade speculation. There are 2 or 3 currently active ones for that.

It's a thread to figure out what's actually in-house at the moment and what might reasonably happen.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Simplest solution would be pushing Crawford and Whitlock and maybe even Houck up a day since the off-day yesterday allows them to stay on normal rest. That puts off the decision of who becomes the fifth starter until Friday or Saturday when presumably all possible candidates for the spot can be on full rest (Criswell, Anderson, even Winckowski).
 

Rovin Romine

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Simplest solution would be pushing Crawford and Whitlock and maybe even Houck up a day since the off-day yesterday allows them to stay on normal rest. That puts off the decision of who becomes the fifth starter until Friday or Saturday when presumably all possible candidates for the spot can be on full rest (Criswell, Anderson, even Winckowski).
That's true. Yet I have a subjective feeling it's a low probability chance. IIRC, we didn't see Cora push any starters during the summer starter meltdown of '23, even when it favored secondary considerations, like keeping the pen fresh. But Breslow/Bailey is in the loop now instead of Bloom/Bush so who knows?

Another thought - since Criswell/Anderson align, maybe they become quasi-piggyback starters, at least until one or the other settles in? Sort of like Anderson now is with Houck.

I think Winckowski has the greatest raw talent among the options, but he's also the most problematic to transition into that role. If he's moved into the rotation, it may be time to cut bait with some guys and bring up Benetiz or the like to bolster the pen. Again, I'd normally say that wouldn't happen in prior years, but Breslow may have a different philosophy.
 

simplicio

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I think it makes most sense to keep Winck and Anderson in their current roles and pull from AAA starters.

My guess on the pecking order there:
Criswell
Alexander
Uwasawa (could be 2 when ramped up)
Fitts
 

KillerBs

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Nov 16, 2006
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Just staple Criswell to Winck for a few turns through rotation. Who starts is beside the point IMO. Have the two of them cover 8-9 IPs combined.
 

Rovin Romine

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Cross-posting the good news from the Pivetta thread:

Getting back to the actual update on Nick Pivetta's injury-- it's actually pretty good news.
UCL intact, reasonable to expect him back in around 15 days.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/04/09/sports/red-sox-pivetta-injured-list/?

Pivetta had been struggling to bounce back physically after his first two starts of the season. Based on that, the righthander was sent for an MRI that showed what chief baseball officer Craig Breslow described as a “mild” flexor strain; the ulnar collateral (Tommy John) ligament was found to be intact.
The Sox are hopeful Pivetta will be ready to come off the IL roughly when he’s eligible to do so.
“That’s a reasonable goal,” Breslow said.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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As shitty as the series against the Orioles went.... it was mostly the bullpen and defense that blew these games. The offense scored (still inconsistent) and the starters pitched well.
Bello- 89 pitches, 1 ER (5.1 innings)
Crawford- 86 pitches, 0 ER
Whitlock- 85 pitches, 1 ER
I would have liked both Crawford and Whitlock to have been brought out at least to start the 6th in both games but I'm not really faulting the decision to not for their losses at all. Just hope next time through they all (Bello too) are pushed to 95 pitches. A few too many BB's, but the rotation still is looking to be good. I'm confident in those 3 and Houck also. Hopefully Pivetta can return and maintain health (I can't believe I'm worried about his pitching health but that's the story for all starters now apparently). Third start for those 3 guys and despite the shittiness of the bullpen and defense, this actually leaves me optimistic. The Orioles are F'in good and other than a beatdown against one of the top 5 pitchers in all of MLB, they were looking like wins in 2/3 games until shittiness ensued.
I know this isn't the thread to discuss offense, but if Devers shoulder isn't a serious concern (and it's looking like it might be....) I think the offense will uncork itself. Casas has started to look better. Duran is looking like a legit hitter. O'Neill. The C duo is solid. IF YOSHIDA!!!! can knock it off with the weak ass grounders (remember JD Drew's first several months when you could write him down for a weak grounder to the right side/double play) the team will win more of the two they lost to the O's.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'm encouraged by what Justin Slaten has shown so far. I wasn't expecting a lot out of him as a rule 5 guy that they were forced to carry or give up. He's been really solid so far, and it's not as though Cora has shied away from using him in tough spots (a save and two holds already). The only hit he's given up was the walk-off single to Rodriguez in Seattle. Otherwise he's been nearly perfect (1 BB last night) in 8 innings.

He's been a bright spot in a pen that certainly had its struggles against the O's.