2024 Team and Player Projections (Mostly Players We Have.)

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
23,184
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Spinning this up from a suggestion in the "Offseason Rumors" thread.

The idea would be to discuss what we have, and what the reasonable projections are for individual players and the team as a whole.

I'm a little busy today so no time to break out, but there are some good thoughts in here on what the actual team looks like right now, and what the biggest holes are, but they're scattered in with rumor/opinion.

Just a thought, but I'd love it if someone started a thread like "What do we have on the field here, really?". I feel that some feel things are better than they are, and some that they are worse. I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts about it to be honest. I know we have threads for certain aspects, but not really a big picture one.
We already have one for the bats: https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/2024-lineup-what-we-actually-have-no-trade-speculation.41313/ And a second for pitching: https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/2024-rotation-and-bullpen-what-we-actually-have-no-trade-speculation.41289/

I thought it made the most sense to separate them instead of combining - you can see the pressure on the bullpen vis-a-vis the 40-man for example, and it makes tradeoffs easier to think about.

But. . .to combine:

40-man (putting Grissom in for the moment), with the 13 likely 26 man players bolded:

Catchers:
McGuire LHH
Wong

Infielders:
Triston Casas LHH
Rafael Devers LHH
Trevor Story
Vaughn Grissom
Pablo Reyes
Enmanuel Valdez LHH​
David Hamilton LHH​
Bobby Dalbec​

Outfielders:
Masataka Yoshida LHH
Tyler O'Neill
Wilyer Abreu LHH
Jarren Duran LHH
Rob Refsnyder
Ceddanne Rafaela

Minors (not on 40 man)
Nick Yorke ?​
Roberto Perez (NRI)​
Jamie Westbrook (NRI)​


From that, I think we have the following right now:

Starters
C Wong​
1B Casas LHH​
2B Grissom​
3B Devers LHH​
SS Story​
LF O'Neill​
CF Duran LHH​
RF Abreu LHH​
DH Masataka Yoshida LHH​

Bench
C McGuire LHH​
OF Refsnyder​
CF/SS Rafela​
UT Reyes​

Minors?
Dalbec, Hamilton, Yorke.​

There's a 13 pitcher max for the 26 man roster. 5 starters, a max of 8 relievers.

Starting Rotation as of today:

1 Lucas Giolito (lock)​
2 Bello (lock)​
3 Pivetta (lockish)​
4 one of Houck, Crawford, Whitlock or Winckowski.​
5 same​

Depth: two of Houck/Crawford/Whitlock/Winckowski, plus Murphy, Walter.

Bullpen as of today: This is the 40 man, with * indicating options (per fangraphs). Players are listed by lack of options, and hence a requirement to be on the ML staff, not skill:

1 Jansen​
2 Martin​
3 Justin Slaten (Rule 5)​
4 Bryan Mata​
leaving 4 spots for:​
5 one of Houck*, Crawford*, Whitlock* or Winckowski.*​
6 one of Houck*, Crawford*, Whitlock* or Winckowski.*​
7 Isaiah Campbell* (traded from SEA)​
8 Schreiber*​
9 Bernardino (LHP)*​
10 Max Castillio*​

Also on the 40-man:

Brandon Walter (LHP)*​
Zack Weiss*​
Greg Weissert*​
Chris Murphy (LHP)*​
Cooper Criswell*​
Joe Jacques (LHP)*​
Zack Kelly*​
 
Last edited:

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
23,184
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Tom suggested an excellent reference for projecting how effective players will be:

https://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=ALL&teamid=3

The Red Sox current projections have them in 80-84 win range with Vegas more pessimistic at 80. Picking up a Snell or Montgomery would put them around gains you about 2-3 wins in the projection which leaves you a little behind the Orioles for 5th in the division again. You wouldn't be in the WC conversation projection wise unless you grabbed another 4-5 WAR player, even there you would be on the outside looking in.
And with that, my work is done for the moment, except to note that maybe trade or acquisition speculation makes more sense here, in the big picture thread.

It will be up to everyone here, but please keep in mind we already have a lot of other threads to kick the tires on personal trades, such as the interesting: https://sonsofsamhorn.net/index.php?threads/moves-id-make.41325/
 

CR67dream

blue devils forevah!
Dope
SoSH Member
Oct 4, 2001
6,962
I'm going home
Thanks, RR. I've seen some great thoughts about our actual assets scattered all over the rumors thread, but was having a hard time keeping track. There's a lot of "they're better than you think"/"they're worse than you think" disagreement, and I would be very interested to see people's thoughts on the big picture and where we are really starting from. I especially would like to see that without emotions about ownership's role taking center stage.

As a wise man once said: It is what it is.

So what is it?

If the thread dies on the vine, no harm no foul. :)
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
23,184
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Thanks, RR. I've seen some great thoughts about our actual assets scattered all over the rumors thread, but was having a hard time keeping track. There's a lot of "they're better than you think"/"they're worse than you think" disagreement, and I would be very interested to see people's thoughts on the big picture and where we are really starting from. I especially would like to see that without emotions about ownership's role taking center stage.

As a wise man once said: It is what it is.

So what is it?

If the thread dies on the vine, no harm no foul. :)
It'll be interesting to see if people on a dedicated Red Sox board want to discuss the pros and cons players on the team.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,928
Warwick, RI
I'll get the ball rolling with a thought I had in the other thread: barring a trade, I don't really see a spot for Refsynder on the 26, particularly if Rafaela is on it. As Tom's link shows, there is nobody backing up 1B and 3B unless we think that this is the year Dalbec figures it out. (Narrator: we don't) Bringing back Turner, or another RH hitting corner infielder/DH seems to make way more sense for that roster spot than a guy who at best is your sixth outfielder.

Otherwise, I think that it will be interesting to see how that line up develops. How good can Casas be? Can Story bounce back? Which of the kid outfielders is for real? The results may not always be great, but the past two years have been pretty dreary to watch because outside of Casas last year there haven't been any young hitters to watch develop and get excited about. I can see this team as being entertaining if not a playoff contender.

Or, you know, by Memorial Day we see we got a couple of Franchy's out there and we're taking numbers to jump off the Tobin.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2022
1,101
So I'll give it a shot.

First off - a few big picture thoughts. The division around the Red Sox (New York) has improved. Also, while I think some of our young players will improve, you have to assume the same for other clubs, starting with a higher baseline and similar aged players. Ie - do I think Casas will be better - yes. Do I think Vald Jr will too - yes. Could Crawford be even better - why not. But if we assume he will be, we have to assume the same for Kyle Bradish, etc, etc, at least if one wants to try to be consistent.

1) I don't think the team as constructed is likely to be good; HOWEVER b) I like the way it's constructed far better than last year; c) I think it's better positioned for 2026+, which is important because I've believed they've been in a rebuild for a looooong time and have refused to say it and d) I think there is a higher likelihood of this team surprising than there was of last year's team.



Here's how I'd set the line up, regardless of handedness of the pitcher.

Duran (L) - LF; Grissom (R) - RF; Devers (L) - 3b; Casas (L) - 1b; Story (R) - SS; Yoshida (L) - DH; Abreu (L) - RF; Wong (R) - C; Rafaela (R) - CF
Bench O'Neill, Refsnyder, Reyes, McGuire

*I know that Refnsyder or O'Neill are better bets against LHP if the goal is to win. However, I don't think the team is good enough for the marginal upgrade they'd be to warrant playing them at the expense of the future. (Or if you're going to win 75 games, who cares if you win 77).

**I don't think that Rafaela (or Grissom, or Duran, or Abreu) are going to be challenged by AAA pitchers. It's time to see what they can do. Example of Rafaela - will his approach work at the MLB level - probably not. But AAA pitchers aren't good enough to make him adjust, so having him in AAA is worthless.

Bello, Giolito, Crawford, Pivetta, Houck
Jansen, Martin, Whitlock, Slaten, whatever else, the rest are mostly interchangable, so pick whomever someone likes the best for the remaining spots.
*I'm not pretending to know that Slaten is good, just that there's a high likelihood he's going to be on the roster, so that kind of makes him a lock.

Most likely scenario for this team, in my opinion, is something ~75 wins (so I'll call it 75-87; maybe it'll be 80 wins, maybe it'll be 70, but I think it's a large gap between this team and Baltimore, Tampa, Toronto, New York, Houston, Texas and Seattle so finishing 6 games out of the playoffs or 12 is irrelevant to me).

The good news is, while I thought that last years team would go 79-83, I felt the realistic ceiling for them was only around 81-81 (and I think their floor was about 77-85). The floor is certainly lower this year as well, but I think the upside is also much higher if they play the kids full time. Because who knows. Is it "likely" Rafaela and Grissom are 140 wRC+ and 135 wRC+ players like they were in AAA - of course not - but I think there is a higher likelihood of 23 year old kids that demolished AAA being 115 wRC+ players than of Rob Refsnyder suddenly becoming really good or Tyler O'Neill suddenly becoming very durable.

@Brohamer of the Gods - just as an aside, Refsnyder has about 40 games of experience at 1b over the course of his career. He's technically capable. I agree that all that he (and O'Neill) are really providing is opportunity cost in taking time away from players that might impact a (future) winning team in 2026 or something and don't make much sense on a bad team, but the player in question has at least technically played 1b before.










*If you're going to start the year with anything resembling that rotation, I think there are a handful of pieces that should be sold long before breaking camp, but that's another thread.
 
Last edited:

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
267
I think that Refsnyder is completely redundant now that O'Neil is here, and I like the defensive versatility and speed/pop potential of Rafaela much more. Yes, I know he hits LHP, but that's not enough for me to have him take up one of the 13 position player roster spots. He was a Chaim guy, O'Neil is a Breslow guy with better D and more pop if he can stay healthy.
 

Margo McCready

New Member
Dec 23, 2008
156
If the roster as of today is what we roll with this April, Yoshida is my DH. I’d be looking to give Duran, Rafaela, Abreu and O’Neil all roughly equal playing time. Two LH and two RH bats let you play matchups and use the bench liberally. There’d be opportunities to optimize defense with close, late leads. If any of these four break out, then by all means reward their production with increased playing time.

If (I refuse to say when) the team falls out of playoff contention, prioritize playing time for whoever is looking like a productive part of the future, whether that be the three cost-controlled guys or an O’Neil that hypothetically proves to be a great fit at Fenway and becomes an extension candidate. The reality is that injuries are likely to dictate playing time for stretches regardless of how you draw it up.
 

Yo La Tengo

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
839
Imagine if Breslow could pull off a trade for a 27 year old pitcher who put up these stats in his first extended stretch at the pro level over 130 innings:

76570

We'd be thrilled! As I'm sure you guessed, that is Kutter Crawford's player sheet. He had a bad first start last year in which he gave up 7 earned runs and then he was really solid the rest of the season.

I was reading his Razzball review: Crawford's fastball averages 93.6 MPH but batters only put up a .164 BAA against that pitch. That fastball had a 36.7% K%, which was 4th in baseball, just behind Felix Bautista and his BAA was 2nd in the league behind also Felix.

I am looking forward to Bailey making some tweaks, hopefully improving his breaking/off-speed stuff, and seeing what he looks like over ~150 innings this year. My optimistic projection is 12-14 wins, ERA around 3.90, low WHIP of near 1.10, and more than a strikeout an inning. So, in other words, a really great second season.
 
Last edited:

RS2004foreever

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 15, 2022
304
I think I have this right, but the SP last year produced 9.1 WAR, with 4.68 ERA, a 4.51 FIP and an xFIP of 4.08. The issue, of course, was that it was 27th in the majors in innings pitched.
Big picture fangraphs expects regression from Crawford, does not see Whitlock starting and sees pretty good things from Houck.
If Crawford were to match last year AND Giolito matched 2021 you would add 2.5 War to the current projection for Boston (35.8), bringing Boston to a total of 38.2. That would make the AL look like this:
Yankees 48.3
Astros 47.3
Blue Jays 43.4
Twins 42
Rays 40.9
Mariners 40.4
Orioles 39.9
Rangers 39.8
Boston 38.2

So even with all the negativity floating around the team, if 2 things happen which are well within the realm of possibility Boston IS in the fight for a wild card, though they are not the favorites. Obviously adding Snell (4.1 War) to this group nets you at least 2 War, basically makes Boston even with the Orioles/Rangers/Mariners/Rays.

Bello 4.24/4.54/4.02 1.6 War --> 4.28 ERA 4.11 FIP, War 2.5 War +.9
Sale 4.39/3.9/3.72 2.1 War --> Giolito 4.58/4.57 WAR 2.4 War War +.3
Note: Giolito produced 4.1 War in 2021, if he were to replicate that the Red Sox would a full 2 War over what Sale delivered

Crawford 4.51/3.8/4.31 2.2 WAR -->4.66/4.57 War 1.7, War -.5
Houck 5.01/4.3/4.43 1.2 War--> 4.27/4.14/ War 1.8, War +.6
Paxton 4.5/3.82/3.72 1 War 1--> ?
Pivetta 4.66/4.4/3.76 1 war --> 4.43/4.28 War 2 (War +1, makes up for loss of Paxton)
Whitlock 5.23/4.47/3.88 .6 war -> War 0
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2022
1,101
Certainly on board with Crawford in the rotation, and I agree it’d be wonderful to get another of him (if for no other reason than it increases the likelihood of one sticking long term), but a few things on him.

His overall statline is greatly improved by his relief outings. He had a 1.66ERA in about 20 innings as a reliever and a 4.51ERA in about 105ip as a starter, curiously enough he had roughly a 4.30xFIP in both roles.

I‘m glad to have him, and also am excited about Bailey and Breslow working with him but 1) if they can shave lets say 1/3 of a run off his line that would be a massive success, and 2) would still only make him a 4.20ERA starter. That would make him valuable for sure, but more as a bottom half of the rotation starter. Which would be great because the 2025+ team has one top half of a rotation starter (Bello), one bottom half (Crawford) and nothing else.

I think a lot of us already are projecting those improvements from B&B (self included) but I do think it’s important to keep in mind the baseline they’re starting from (as a starting pitcher) and what the resulting improvements would look like. Could he have Steele like improvement - I suppose - but Steele had a significantly better high minors stat line than Crawford and was two years younger, and kept the ball on the ground a heck of a lot more.

Again, I like Crawford, and am glad he’s in the rotation. But even if he makes significant improvement, he’s still more a SP 3/4. Though since the Sox don’t have any other SPs for 2025+ besides Crawford and Bello, to the point, I would of course be thrilled for Breslow to add another two or three Crawford types to the mix (ie Edward Cabrera or similar).
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
23,184
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Big picture fangraphs expects regression from Crawford, does not see Whitlock starting and sees pretty good things from Houck.
As a kind of broader point - fangraphs et al. are better than just throwing darts at the wall, but I'd be curious to see how accurate their prior predictions are. I suspect they're best when there's kind of a steady state player with an incremental gain or loss - say Devers batting. I'm less sanguine with them re: pitching, because pitching can be more volatile (although there can be steady-state pitchers as well.) I do think that projecting a reasonable innings-total is something that the models can do, but we also ought to look at what's happened in the real world - Winckowski, for example, was a starter up to last year. He could be stretched out again if that's warranted, and I wouldn't worry about his IP totals. So whatever the models say. . .you have to take them with a large grain of salt.

I think that Breslow and Bailey are going to rewrite Varitek and Cora's script re: pitch strategy and how batters are approached. Ideally, they will also tweak individual pitchers to maximize or add pitch types.

I'm not certain that results in any change whatsoever, but there's a very good chance that it may.
 

Yo La Tengo

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
839
Certainly on board with Crawford in the rotation, and I agree it’d be wonderful to get another of him (if for no other reason than it increases the likelihood of one sticking long term), but a few things on him.

His overall statline is greatly improved by his relief outings. He had a 1.66ERA in about 20 innings as a reliever and a 4.51ERA in about 105ip as a starter, curiously enough he had roughly a 4.30xFIP in both roles.
Digging in a bit, all of his relief appearances were in April and May. He had a bit of a bumpy June and then was really good for the rest of the season. Post all-star break: 3.97 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 77 Ks in 68 innings.
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2006
20,537
Row 14
As Tom's link shows, there is nobody backing up 1B and 3B unless we think that this is the year Dalbec figures it out. (Narrator: we don't) Bringing back Turner, or another RH hitting corner infielder/DH seems to make way more sense for that roster spot than a guy who at best is your sixth outfielder.
You know you could do a lot worse than Dalbec as a RHB bench bat. That said right now Refsnyder looks like the corner IF/OF RHB bench bat. He has played some infield in the minors as limited in the majors. That said I would have Dalbec, Yorke, Refsnyder, Blaze Jordan, and Sogard taking reps at the corners during Spring Training. Dalbec and Refsnyder are the only two on the 40 but Refsnyder is on a walk year. For Blaze and Sogard this is the only way I see them getting a role on the Sox.

The team isn't great but that doesn't mean they can't take this year to actually plan what they want to do in the future besides the throwing spaghetti at the wall and buying lotto ticket approach of Bloom.

You know your infield right now locked in for the next five years unless something terrible (or in Story's case wonderful) happens. Devers - Story - Grissom - Casas. Grissom may be the weak link but I am pretty bullish on him staying at second. That means you are going to have a need for a RHB corner IF or if the worse comes to Grissom, starting 2B. For guys like Blaze Jordan and Nick Sogard that presents an opportunity, shit maybe Matt Lugo has a chance (most likely not). You will probably keep Yorke at second this year but it wouldn't hurt to give him reps at the corners during Spring Training if you give him a NRI which I assume they will.

OF right now they have Yoshida (who will DH except against Lefties and maybe the odd game in Fenway) and Duran. Most likely you are going with O'Neill, Duran, Abreu with Refsnyder however it looks like they are still interested in another OF bat. I think Duvall is the best RHB available for that but he may not want to come back. I really hate the idea of Soler especially on anything more than 2 years. I rather eat Garcia from Marlins. Rafaela is probably in the mix versus Abreu and Rafaela gives you extra flexibility with your infield. You would hope if he went to AAA he would get some middle infield reps as well as during spring.

Catchers are McGuire and Wong unless one of them gets injured I don't see anyone besides Teel changing that any time soon.

Pitching - Well If what you have is what you are going with, You would Giolito - Bello - Crawford - Houck - Pivetta. With Pivetta and Gioiito on potential walk years, maybe you get Kike Hernandez 2021 out of one of them. Who knows. That rotation can be any where from above average to below average but mostly on the average line. The main thing is do not screw around with Houck and Whitlock. Whitlock is better out of the bullpen and Houck is better starting. We have seen it pleases stop screwing around because that is when both are at their worst.

Bullpen - Jansen closing and Martin is your main set up guy. Whitlock is your ace reliever. Bernardino and Chris Murphy can battle for the lefty spot.

You have three more spots with one most likely going to Mata unless he is awful in the Spring as your long reliever/mop up man. Schreiber lacks options so you hope he has a bit more control this season. The last spot will go to Slaten. There will be movement and I am sure with where the team is, Isaiah Campbell will come up to pitch on some sort of Portuguese Pride Day in an effort to sell tickets (to a sold out stadium no doubt). They are off June 10th so lets see when that happens.

There are a ton of live arms in Pawtucket in both the starting and relieving spots so there is depth. I think what would be interesting is to see where Perales and Wikelman Gonzalez are come July and September. I also think Noah Song could interesting coming off his naval deployment. Hopefully Bello-Houck-Crawford can copntinue growing into the heart of MLB rotation which is not unrealistic and unless the Sox are really lucky, they are able to trade Giolito and Pivetta for some prospects.

If you walk away with an idea of Bello - Houck - Crawford, figure out your OF, settle Grissom in, get pieces for Jansen, Murphy, Giolito, and Pivetta, and have positive growth from your top three prospects, you consider that a good season. Then you take everything you can to trade away Story outside of Mayer, Teel, and Anthony and look to see if someone will take Yoshida (I am looking at you Seattle).

Do all that and you are looking at 2024 offseason with buckets of money. There is no one really to after besides Buehler, Burnes, and Bieber but that is a problem for next year!
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
4,525
You know you could do a lot worse than Dalbec as a RHB bench bat. That said right now Refsnyder looks like the corner IF/OF RHB bench bat. He has played some infield in the minors as limited in the majors. That said I would have Dalbec, Yorke, Refsnyder, Blaze Jordan, and Sogard taking reps at the corners during Spring Training. Dalbec and Refsnyder are the only two on the 40 but Refsnyder is on a walk year. For Blaze and Sogard this is the only way I see them getting a role on the Sox.
I'm with you. I don't know why people are always so down on Dalbec. Having a RHH that can hit LHP and can play both corner infield spots, spots currently manned by LHH, seems like a really useful bench player to me.

I think if people just forget about him being an everyday regular, and just take him for what he is as a good bench option, he'd be just fine on this team.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
4,287
Mostly because he's looked worse every time he's come back to Boston, but also he's a strict platoon bat that neither Casas nor Devers need.

Our bench is currently:
McGuire
Reyes
Refsnyder
Rafaela?

Having a DH that could cover the corners (Turner) would still be ideal. I think Rafaela should really be in AAA still getting everyday ABs, and maybe get Solano as another general infield sub, especially if we're doing something like Soler as a dedicated DH without a position.
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
4,525
Mostly because he's looked worse every time he's come back to Boston, but also he's a strict platoon bat that neither Casas nor Devers need.

Our bench is currently:
McGuire
Reyes
Refsnyder
Rafaela?

Having a DH that could cover the corners (Turner) would still be ideal. I think Rafaela should really be in AAA still getting everyday ABs, and maybe get Solano as another general infield sub, especially if we're doing something like Soler as a dedicated DH without a position.
Casas and Devers don't need a platoon bat, but they'll have a backup, no?

Why wouldn't that backup be a guy that hits from the opposite side of them?

Already having a guy that can do that in your system, that makes no money so you can spend that savings elsewhere, sure makes a lot of sense to me.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
20,414
Maine
Casas and Devers don't need a platoon bat, but they'll have a backup, no?

Why wouldn't that backup be a guy that hits from the opposite side of them?

Already having a guy that can do that in your system, that makes no money so you can spend that savings elsewhere, sure makes a lot of sense to me.
Exactly. No one is proposing a platoon. Just a guy who can spell each corner infielder once every 8-10 games. If they can line that up with a LHP on the opposing mound, all the better. That's not a reflection on Casas or Devers, it's maximizing the potential of the lineup when they have to get a night off. Heck, giving Dalbec a start at 1B or 3B could coincide with Casas or Devers getting a night at DH as often as it is for them to sit out the game entirely.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
4,287
Reyes can back up third and Refsnyder does have some experience at first, and both have demonstrated that they're currently capable of being decent MLB players. Don't know if anyone advocating for Dalbec's return saw him in action in September, but he looked terrible, like someone who should only be in Boston in a dire emergency.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,928
Warwick, RI
If we are going to do tryouts for backup corner infielder during the spring, I'd prefer seeing if Valdez can handle the defense rather than giving Bobby his 4th or 5th shot.
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
4,525
Reyes can back up third and Refsnyder does have some experience at first, and both have demonstrated that they're currently capable of being decent MLB players. Don't know if anyone advocating for Dalbec's return saw him in action in September, but he looked terrible, like someone who should only be in Boston in a dire emergency.
And yet you know what he did in that tiny September sample where you thought he looked terrible?

He hit lefties, which would be his job.
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
16,599
I wonder if the Red Sox internal evaluation of the current roster is just higher than that of people on the outside.

Seems like they might not think that, say, Montgomery would be that much better than Houck, Pivetta, or Crawford-- he's likely to be better, likely to pitch more innings, but they think the difference isn't enough to justify the commitment that Montgomery is looking for. I would disagree, especially about the innings (and also the fact that we will need reliable starting pitchers beyond this season.) I just hope they have a much better idea of what they have than we on the outside do.

ZIPS projects the 3rd AL Wild Card team to win about 86 games, but only projects the Red Sox, as currently constructed, to win about 79 games.

I could see the Sox front office believing that what we have now is good enough to have a shot to win 87 or so games. That would take relatively good health, continued development by the young guys, and strong bounce-back seasons from Story, O'Neil, and Giolito. And all of that could happen-- it just seems too optimistic to be likely to happen.

But here's the optimistic case for what we have now.

Depth Chart projections show a good offense:
https://www.fangraphs.com/teams/red-sox/depth-chart
And if the Red Sox have confidence that Story will hit better than 237/307/415, so much the better.

The Depth Chart pitching projections are not as good, but they predict these innings totals and FIP for the current expected starters:
Giolito 176 IP 4.37 FIP
Bello 164 IP 4.08 FIP
Pivetta 169 IP 4.38 FIP
Crawford 153 IP 4.37 FIP
Houck 134 IP 4.23 FIP (Possible depth starters: Whitlock 87 IP 3.62 FIP, Winckowski 76 IP 4.12 FIP.)

That is about 800 IP by the top 5 with a FIP of about 4.25.
That would be about 200 more IP than last year's top 5 starters, with a slightly better FIP. (Last year, all starters combined, not just the top 5, pitched 774 innings.)

If the internal projections for the pitching are only a bit more positive than the outside ones, the pitching could be good enough-- keeping in mind that Fenway's park factor will probably mean few of these guys will have an ERA under 4.00 but most could still have an ERA+ over 100. (Bello, Crawford, Pivetta and Winckowski did last year.)

The defense was so horrible last year, but I am expecting it to be significantly better this year. The gaping hole in the middle of the infield would improve significantly if Story can play 130+ games and Grissom can be about average. Those 2 things happening are not at all unlikely, and alone would save a lot of runs compared to last year's disaster. Every game Rafaela plays in CF would be a big boost, and O'Neil has been a really good outfielder when he plays.

So summing up the optimistic case: Story and O'Neil play a lot and play well, the pitchers overall do a little bit better than the projections (because of the new regime? Better health? Because the younger guys get better?) and the hitters overall hit their projections.

I would disagree with the optimistic case-- it takes a lot of things going right, and all outside projections have them winning 5 or 6 games fewer than it would take to make the playoffs. I think they should add another good pitcher and a bat (and they still might.)

But even if they don't, that doesn't mean I (and all the independent projections) will be right and the optimistic case will be wrong.
We'll see what happens on the field. Maybe a lot of things will go right for us this time.
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2006
20,537
Row 14
I wonder if the Red Sox internal evaluation of the current roster is just higher than that of people on the outside.

ZIPS projects the 3rd AL Wild Card team to win about 86 games, but only projects the Red Sox, as currently constructed, to win about 79 games.

I could see the Sox front office believing that what we have now is good enough to have a shot to win 87 or so games. That would take relatively good health, continued development by the young guys, and strong bounce-back seasons from Story, O'Neil, and Giolito. And all of that could happen-- it just seems too optimistic to be likely to happen.
This is a good post but I don't think the Red Sox have a strong belief that the team is competitive. I believe the team misjudged pitching market a bit coming into the offseason (probably the trade and Yamamoto market more than anything else) and don't believe Snell or Montgomery makes enough of a difference where bridging the gap in talent in the short term enough to cover the overall declining value of signing them to their desired contracts. I don't think that is hard to argue against if that is the case. Sure you can wait to see if either of them take a short term contract to bridge but not sure if they would come to Boston.

I think they really like Roman Anthony and decided holding on to him is more valuable in the long term than getting pitching. I have a hard time seeing the Marlins say no to Anthony and pieces like Yorke and another OF for Luzardo and Garcia. But the Sox didn't offer, which is if you are high on Anthony would make a lot of sense.

Edit - The biggest crime of the offseason for the Red Sox was striking out with Yamamoto. It was grabbing the top prospect in baseball which filled your biggest hole, for a contract similar in nature to Devers. After that, it is kind of hard really blaming Breslow for not being able to do much. The Red Sox made some terrible moves over the last four years with probably the worst GM in baseball and this offseason was not the best environment to fix those issues. There is going to be some better opportunities in the trade market at the deadline and next offseason to help themselves out.
 
Last edited:

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Moderator
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
70,435
The biggest crime of the offseason for the Red Sox was striking out with Yamamoto. It was grabbing the top prospect in baseball which filled your biggest hole, for a contract similar in nature to Devers. After that, it is kind of hard really blaming Breslow for not being able to do much.
I agree with most of what you have been posting here recently, but this was literally impossible. The Yankees and Mets have both said that the Dodgers were going to match whatever they bid and Yamamoto preferred the Dodgers if possible, pretty obviously. If Breslow made any mistake with Yamamoto, it was underestimating the Dodgers' drive to get him and the fact that BOS basically had no chance from the start (short of offering something like $450M or $500M).
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2006
20,537
Row 14
I agree with most of what you have been posting here recently, but this was literally impossible. The Yankees and Mets have both said that the Dodgers were going to match whatever they bid and Yamamoto preferred the Dodgers if possible, pretty obviously. If Breslow made any mistake with Yamamoto, it was underestimating the Dodgers' drive to get him and the fact that BOS basically had no chance from the start (short of offering something like $450M or $500M).
Oh absolutely. I would argue because they weren't in the tax, any bid they made was going to cost the team less than the rest of the teams bidding. That said, I don't think the Red Sox were ready for where this bid was going. I think given retrospect they probably would have beaten what was given. That doesn't mean Dodgers wouldn't have gone harder. Also if they knew the Dodgers were going hard there was a world where you sell OFs for some pitching while the bidding is happening.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,237
Oh absolutely. I would argue because they weren't in the tax, any bid they made was going to cost the team less than the rest of the teams bidding. That said, I don't think the Red Sox were ready for where this bid was going. I think given retrospect they probably would have beaten what was given. That doesn't mean Dodgers wouldn't have gone harder. Also if they knew the Dodgers were going hard there was a world where you sell OFs for some pitching while the bidding is happening.
Maybe offering YY like a crazy amount more than the Dodgers would have done the trick but I'm pretty skeptical. Just trying to imagine the difference between $400M and $450M at a certain point doesn't really matter. If I can live like royalty where I want to live or live like even more royal than royalty a place I don't really want to live, I'll happily take the ordinary old boring royalty-like-life.
And just saying that Breslow should have sold OFs for some pitching doesn't really seem like a legit criticism to me. For one... it's highly likely he did do that but as others have pointed out, a lot of the starters that may have been available weren't moving the needle. Why send a Duran away if all you're getting back is a Winchowski?
 

loneredseat

New Member
Dec 8, 2023
51
I'm still on the fence about YY (and probably on the other side of the fence). He still has not pitched in MLB. He could be a huuuge bust! I don't think I'll ever be in favor of offering 10+ years to a pitcher. Sorry...
If Montgomery signs somewhere else for five years or less I'll be a little bummed. Other than that, I like the off season moves (and non moves).
 

TomRicardo

rusty cohlebone
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2006
20,537
Row 14
Maybe offering YY like a crazy amount more than the Dodgers would have done the trick but I'm pretty skeptical. Just trying to imagine the difference between $400M and $450M at a certain point doesn't really matter. If I can live like royalty where I want to live or live like even more royal than royalty a place I don't really want to live, I'll happily take the ordinary old boring royalty-like-life.
And just saying that Breslow should have sold OFs for some pitching doesn't really seem like a legit criticism to me. For one... it's highly likely he did do that but as others have pointed out, a lot of the starters that may have been available weren't moving the needle. Why send a Duran away if all you're getting back is a Winchowski?
Oh we aren't arguing. I don't think the Red Sox had a solid chance at getting Yamamoto but that moment was their only real chance to right the ship without trading Anthony. That said the moment the Red Sox realized their pants were down, there was moment to talk to the Dodgers about trading OFs for one of their 7 pitchers that are injured instead of them going after Teoscar
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
20,414
Maine
Any chance you can quote some of the projections for those of us that canceled our Globe subscription?
I don't have a Globe sub but was able to read the article.

Rotation: Bello, Giolito, Crawford, Pivetta, Whitlock
Bullpen: Jansen, Martin, Schreiber, Bernardino, Winckowski, Houck, Slaten, Luetge
Catchers: Wong, McGuire
Infield: Casas, Devers, Story, Grissom, Reyes, Valdez
Outfield: Yoshida, Duran, O'Neill, Abreu, Refsnyder

Assuming no changes in the make-up of the 40-man roster (fat chance), it's not an outlandish projection. I expect Houck will more likely be in the rotation and Whitlock in the pen, but otherwise the choices all make sense given the personnel.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
4,287
I'm not clear on Valdez's role there, and we have no 1B backup unless Refsnyder does it.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,237
I don't have a Globe sub but was able to read the article.

Rotation: Bello, Giolito, Crawford, Pivetta, Whitlock
Bullpen: Jansen, Martin, Schreiber, Bernardino, Winckowski, Houck, Slaten, Luetge
Catchers: Wong, McGuire
Infield: Casas, Devers, Story, Grissom, Reyes, Valdez
Outfield: Yoshida, Duran, O'Neill, Abreu, Refsnyder

Assuming no changes in the make-up of the 40-man roster (fat chance), it's not an outlandish projection. I expect Houck will more likely be in the rotation and Whitlock in the pen, but otherwise the choices all make sense given the personnel.
Doesn’t Mata have to either be on the 26-man or be put on waivers?
He was looking great last ST before the injury.
Otherwise yesh, if no other moves I’d rather see Houck starting and Whitlock in the pen.
When they sign Montgomery…………….(chuckles)….. I’d love to see Houck in the closers role.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
23,184
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Doesn’t Mata have to either be on the 26-man or be put on waivers?
He was looking great last ST before the injury.
Otherwise yesh, if no other moves I’d rather see Houck starting and Whitlock in the pen.
When they sign Montgomery…………….(chuckles)….. I’d love to see Houck in the closers role.
Yep re Mata.

They still have a bit of a pitching glut with Campbell as well. There may be an injury or two in spring training, but it's generally an unwritten rule you don't demote someone who has had success at the ML level. And I'm not sure you trade for someone who has had ML success and then stash them in AAA. So I think a shoe or two will have to drop.

The starter's role for Houck/Whitlock/Winckowski will be interesting to see. I'm personally bearish on Winckowski over the other two, but we'll find out whatever Breslow and Bailey sees in them.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,237
Yep re Mata.

They still have a bit of a pitching glut with Campbell as well. There may be an injury or two in spring training, but it's generally an unwritten rule you don't demote someone who has had success at the ML level. And I'm not sure you trade for someone who has had ML success and then stash them in AAA. So I think a shoe or two will have to drop.

The starter's role for Houck/Whitlock/Winckowski will be interesting to see. I'm personally bearish on Winckowski over the other two, but we'll find out whatever Breslow and Bailey sees in them.
Well I'm 100% certain he'll get picked up by someone if Mata gets put on waivers. It's not like he'd even need to be on another team's 26 man roster so if he isn't added then he's likely gone. His stuff is too good to not give a serious serious look at in ST.
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
267
I've said it on other threads here but I'll reiterate it: Why in the world would you let Refsnyder clog up a roster spot on this team. A 4/5th OF whose only trait is that he hits LHP well, average D at best, absolutely no power, doesn't steal bases, isn't young and was a favorite pet of the last regime.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
23,184
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Well I'm 100% certain he'll get picked up by someone if Mata gets put on waivers. It's not like he'd even need to be on another team's 26 man roster so if he isn't added then he's likely gone. His stuff is too good to not give a serious serious look at in ST.
I'd think so as well. You can't go into spring training with the exact number of arms you expect to need on opening day. But instead of trading Mata (thusfar) they've sort of taken a sink-or-swim approach with him, and Slaten as well (Rule 5 but they traded for him.)

I guess the "hope" is if they are good, they're worth keeping - and maybe some of the other bullpen arms will be on the DL so you don't have to unjustly demote someone to AAA.

But if they are not good (or are only mediocre) and there's generally health in the pen, you'll end up playing worse players over better ones.

I've said it on other threads here but I'll reiterate it: Why in the world would you let Refsnyder clog up a roster spot on this team. A 4/5th OF whose only trait is that he hits LHP well, average D at best, absolutely no power, doesn't steal bases, isn't young and was a favorite pet of the last regime.
Because he's a near-perfect RHH half of a platoon OF who can play anywhere in the OF in a pinch?

If you have a manager who can use that sort of player to spell other LHH OFs who have splits (like Abreu), he's pretty much the sort of player you want as a 4th OF.
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
267
I'd think so as well. You can't go into spring training with the exact number of arms you expect to need on opening day. But instead of trading Mata (thusfar) they've sort of taken a sink-or-swim approach with him, and Slaten as well (Rule 5 but they traded for him.)

I guess the "hope" is if they are good, they're worth keeping - and maybe some of the other bullpen arms will be on the DL so you don't have to unjustly demote someone to AAA.

But if they are not good (or are only mediocre) and there's generally health in the pen, you'll end up playing worse players over better ones.



Because he's a near-perfect RHH half of a platoon OF who can play anywhere in the OF in a pinch?

If you have a manager who can use that sort of player to spell other LHH OFs who have splits (like Abreu), he's pretty much the sort of player you want as a 4th OF.
Because he's a near-perfect RHH half of a platoon OF who can play anywhere in the OF in a pinch?

How is a 32 yr old journeyman with a career .244 BA, .678 OPS and 13 HR as an MLB OF near perfect in any way whatsoever. Duvall hit that many HR in a coule of torrid stretches last season alone and is just as good on the defensive side. If he hadn't fractured his wrist in a somewhat flukey play, he'd likely have hit 35 HR for this team last year. I don't want a guy with zero power in any OF spot (unless he's a perennial gold glover) as a backup 1B or taking any DH bats from guys who may need to get out of the field for a day. Sorry, he seems like a nice enough guy, but he needs to go even if you DFA him.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
4,287
I don't know exactly what Refsnyder did to you, but since coming to Boston and retooling his swing he's majorly outperformed his career line vs LHP. He's valuable in that role and with Abreu likely to start, having someone to platoon with him is a good thing. Refsnyder played too much vs RHP last year but that's hardly his fault.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
23,184
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Because he's a near-perfect RHH half of a platoon OF who can play anywhere in the OF in a pinch?

How is a 32 yr old journeyman with a career .244 BA, .678 OPS and 13 HR as an MLB OF near perfect in any way whatsoever. Duvall hit that many HR in a coule of torrid stretches last season alone and is just as good on the defensive side. If he hadn't fractured his wrist in a somewhat flukey play, he'd likely have hit 35 HR for this team last year. I don't want a guy with zero power in any OF spot (unless he's a perennial gold glover) as a backup 1B or taking any DH bats from guys who may need to get out of the field for a day. Sorry, he seems like a nice enough guy, but he needs to go even if you DFA him.
If you had looked at Refsnyder's numbers v. LHP, you'd see the following OPS marks.
2023 - .828 for a 128 OPS+​
2022 - 1.005 for a 178 OPS+​
2021- .784 for a 117 OPS+​

If you had looked, you'd have learned that last year he stole 7 bases and was caught twice and that he also hit RHP very well in 2022, his first year with the club. You'd learn that he's an average defender by most standards and can play all 3 OF positions. Lastly you'd learn that he's signed for one year at $1.8M. Which means he's an excellent OF in a platoon role.

Yes, Duvall is a better batter, but again, simply looking at BRef would show you that in the aggregate he's a notch below Refsnyder as a defensive outfielder, and is a negative-value CF at this point in his career.

You may prefer Duvall as a player qua player, and for several reasons that's a perfectly valid preference. But you asked why Refsnyder is on the roster as though it were some atrocious crime to the Boston Red Sox Fandom or something.

Now you know why he's on the roster.

He may or may not be there on opening day, but that's another matter, closer to team construction. And we have plenty of threads for that.
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
267
RR i enjoy your insights and posts and you bring a lot to this board, so I'll just agree to disagree with you on this one. If this were a team that was much better constructed and much closer to being championship caliber, Refsnyder makes a ton more sense. But when you are going younger, need to see what you have in Rafaela, and want O'Neill, assuming he stays healthy, to get pretty much every day AB's i just don't see the fit. He his a Chaim guy to boot. Just because he's cheap is not a good enough reason, IMO.