ALDS 2021: Red Sox vs. Rays General Discussion Thread

TFisNEXT

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
11,639
I see Whitlock as the de facto closer but with more flexibility to come into games earlier if the situation calls for it, which isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Not having first-half 2021 Barnes is unquestionably a blow, but one softened by Robles’ emergence as a somewhat dependable late-inning reliever.
Yeah I get the feeling that Cora is viewing the closer situation as:

1. Whitlock unless he needs to pitch the 8th (tougher batters due or putting out a fire)
2. Hansel Robles closes if Whitlock was already used.
 

brandonchristensen

bad at game threads
SoSH Member
Feb 4, 2012
33,543
He’s more versatile - he can play infield and outfield, whereas Duran can only play outfield. I think that’s more or less the sole reason for choosing one over the other.
Yeah. I just miss the Duran excitement, even though he underperformed the flashes were awesome.
 

TFisNEXT

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
11,639
By the way I am still absolutely terrified every time Robles comes in. But Sox management, at least, seems to trust him.
His walk rate doesn’t inspire confidence and makes all of us crap our pants when he comes into a tight game.

But he’s been on a pretty awesome run since the end of August which is partly why he’s moving up in the hierarchy. He’s had 15 consecutive scoreless appearances with a 17/5 K/BB over that span. Hopefully he’s found his mechanical groove and stays in it for the playoffs.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
28,842
Hingham, MA
Not having a closer is so wild. Alex has a massive handicap.
I would argue the exact opposite. It gives him the freedom to put guys in when he thinks they should go in, instead of being tied to a traditional closer role.

I don’t really want to re-litigate Closer by Committee (and for the record please don’t anyone call it Bullpen by Committee - that’s more or less the modern standard usage / definition of a bullpen - e.g., you have your closer, set-up man, 7th inning guy, long man, LOOGY, etc.), but it didn’t fail because it was a bad idea. With the right personnel you put your most effective relievers in at the most crucial times, inning be damned.
 

shaggydog2000

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2007
8,929
I’m not sure when TOS became well known as a pitching death sentence, but I think it must have not happened till after Bard, because most people seem to think it was solely yips that did him in (until his resurrection)
They didn't diagnose him until years later, like it says in the article, so everyone was left to speculate and it's not like a sports writer would guess "maybe thoracic outlet syndrome is a thing that exists and caused this!" They went with what they knew and understood, hence "mind issues", and then it sticks.
 

Al Zarilla

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
54,289
San Andreas Fault
By the way I am still absolutely terrified every time Robles comes in. But Sox management, at least, seems to trust him.
Red Sox world series closers this century: Foulke, Papelbon, Uehara, Kimbrel. Well, one of them invoked terror in some Sox fans, but at least he was a long time mostly successful closer. Looking at Robles' WHIP this year:

1.8 in July
2.0 in August
.7 in Sept./Oct.

We better get the good Robles.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
22,205
I hope I eat these words, but I hate Perez getting the nod over Wong and Santana over Arauz or Duran
I think Santana is just because he can play IF and OF (and I think he can run, although not like Duran obviously). Perez may be just in case a starter shits the bed?
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
73,292
Oregon
Rays roster. Luplow in to face Sox lefties. Phillips out. Wacha makes it on for mop-up/low-leverage innings eating, Yarbrough out. Anderson not ready, left off. 13 pitchers. No room for Walls' defense.
What's your best-guess on starter innings, particularly with the rookies?
 

mfried

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 23, 2005
1,661
Surprised on Sawamura, who was being used in high leverage spots less than week ago. Is it injury related, any explanation?
Even though Richards can eat a few innings, I prefer Sawamura: true strikeout stuff, esp. his splitter, and double-play pitches. Sawamura gets over-excited and can lose control, but Richards is more prone to the long ball and other offensive bludgeoning.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
22,205
For me it’s anyone other than Whitlock at this point that gives me the terrors.
I hadn't really been paying close enough attention to the numbers, but Cora said that he used Robles when he did on Tuesday because he's effective against LHH's. With that in mind, we might see Robles in the 9th if that situation presents itself.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
3,688
Red Sox world series closers this century: Foulke, Papelbon, Uehara, Kimbrel. Well, one of them invoked terror in some Sox fans, but at least he was a long time mostly successful closer. Looking at Robles' WHIP this year:

1.8 in July
2.0 in August
.7 in Sept./Oct.

We better get the good Robles.
Foulke was terrifying but exhilarating. I just like the power closers but man he's one of my favorites of all time for that performance.
 

azsoxpatsfan

Does not enjoy the go
SoSH Member
May 23, 2014
2,873
Houck's been great as of late, I've got a lot of trust in him.
I definitely trust Houck and Whitlock, and even Robles if he comes in with no one on. Brasier has only given up a run in two of his 13 appearances this season, but I’m still clenched when he’s in
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
6,897
New York City
I definitely trust Houck and Whitlock, and even Robles if he comes in with no one on. Brasier has only given up a run in two of his 13 appearances this season, but I’m still clenched when he’s in
Yeah Brasier is terrifying. His xWOBACon (expected wOBA of opposing hitters based on strength of contact) is almost a full .100 points higher than his actual wOBA, and his expected ERA is 3.81 to his actual ERA of 1.50. He's also striking out way fewer batters than he has in previous years.

Pretty small sample size this year so hard to draw too many firm conclusions but I can't help feel like he's a disaster in waiting.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
32,415
AZ
Man, what’s the actual deal with Barnes? Seems like it could be any number of things, from mechanics, sticky stuff restrictions, lingering COVID stuff, psychological issues, who knows. Being left off the postseason roster is a long way to fall for a guy who was given a $19m extension for being arguably the best closer in baseball over the first half of the season.
I think it has to be that there's something not right with him and that he's had trouble coming back. He had control problems the first two starts back after the long period off but then he was good enough (not great) for his last four appearances. No BB and only 1 ER. He didn't look great doing it but he looked good enough to have a spot in the bullpen.

In the last week of the season it also felt like there were some spots where he could have been used. He must not be right.
 

VORP Speed

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
5,825
Ground Zero
What's your best-guess on starter innings, particularly with the rookies?
2 times thru the order, if they're absolutely cruising then they may get to start a third time with an extremely short leash

And if they get in trouble they'll get pulled early
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
2,493
View: https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays/status/1446126372712108057?s=20


Rays roster. Luplow in to face Sox lefties. Phillips out. Wacha makes it on for mop-up/low-leverage innings eating, Yarbrough out. Anderson not ready, left off. 13 pitchers. No room for Walls' defense.
Good lord, every single one of those pitchers is a nightmare.

I think Fleming, who we hung 10 runs on this summer, is their version of Pérez, but just about every other arm in that pen is terrifying. My hope is that McClanahan may be wearing down and we get to him early. I have no idea how we’re gonna deal with Baz.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,353
Rogers Park
I just keep thinking about how April's Durham Bulls could have beaten some major league teams in a 5-game series.
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
30,507
McAdam has a great piece up at BSJ that features 9 takeaways from a veteran scout on this series. One of particular note:

5. Play fundamentally sound.

"The Rays won't beat themselves and you can't make your own mistakes because they'll pounce. Even over the course of the season, (the Rays) are out there working on fundamentals -- every day. When do you see teams working on PFP (pitcher's fielding practice) during the summer? And I've seen (Kevin) Kiermaier out there, 10 o'clock Sunday morning, taking line drives, live, off a bat. They've got a coach hitting line drives from a flip drill, giving you everything possible -- line drive, fly ball, hard ground ball -- for their fielders to work on. They do those kinds of things every single day.''
 

cantor44

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2020
1,292
Chicago, IL
ALDS position player line up just what I thought it might be - Santana last man on bench to pinch run, and serve as positional insurance all over the diamond.
But relief core is surprising: Barnes doesn't make it. That's bold, and makes sense given how he's been. Wonder about Sawamura. It seems to me he can still be effective in spots, particularly when you need a ground ball ...
 

VORP Speed

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 23, 2010
5,825
Ground Zero
McAdam has a great piece up at BSJ that features 9 takeaways from a veteran scout on this series. One of particular note:
An under appreciated part of the Rays model is it's easier to take this kind of approach with a bunch of young up and comers than with a clubhouse full of $20m+ prima donnas
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
30,507
An under appreciated part of the Rays model is it's easier to take this kind of approach with a bunch of young up and comers than with a clubhouse full of $20m+ prima donnas
Yes, the Twins under Kelly and then Gardenhire operated similarly with younger. cheaper talent.
 

BostonFanInCanesLand

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 16, 2011
935
Not having a closer is so wild. Alex has a massive handicap.
Durbin Feltman is still waiting for his 40 man roster spot.

The psychology around fixed roles vs. relief aces is so interesting. Cora successfully used Barnes as a relief ace in the past but it seems clear that Barnes now , for whatever reason, needs that fixed role (But is currently unable to succeed there). I hope they can rebuild him.

I really like the idea of having 2 relief aces on the staff - who can come in for the meat of the order or to close out the game.

For this series (as others have mentioned) it appears that Whitlock and Houck are the stoppers and Robles could be the closer. If Taylor is healthy that foursome should be enough. We’ll see.
 

Archer1979

shazowies
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
5,371
Right Here
2 times thru the order, if they're absolutely cruising then they may get to start a third time with an extremely short leash

And if they get in trouble they'll get pulled early
That's my thinking as well.

We all know that Cora manages differently in the playoffs in the way that the uses starters coming out of the bullpen. It won't surprise me if Eovaldi gets an inning in either of the games down in Tampa if the games are close. His reasoning is sound in that a starter should be able to get three outs, which shortens that game by an inning. Get the starter to give you five/six good innings; then bring on any combination of a "normal" starter" and the rest of the bull pen for the last three/four depending on the matchup at the time.
 

canderson

Mr. Brightside
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
31,437
Harrisburg, Pa.
Good lord, every single one of those pitchers is a nightmare.

I think Fleming, who we hung 10 runs on this summer, is their version of Pérez, but just about every other arm in that pen is terrifying. My hope is that McClanahan may be wearing down and we get to him early. I have no idea how we’re gonna deal with Baz.
My hope is all the innings they've thrown (most in MLB) bite them. Pipe dream I'm sure, but a man has to have hope.
 

Archer1979

shazowies
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
5,371
Right Here
My hope is all the innings they've thrown (most in MLB) bite them. Pipe dream I'm sure, but a man has to have hope.
Young players, and teams, get streaky. Bruise their confidence, get them to taste a hint of failure, and you have a much better chance to beat them.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
These moves are actually pretty simple. Valdez and Santana haven't been re-instated from the COVID IL yet. Removing Munoz and Iglesias from the 40-man gives them the space to activate those guys if necessary. Not saying they will be, but they're eligible if they find a need (and certainly Iglesias is not).

Outrighting Iglesias rather than just releasing him probably allows him to stay in the dugout/clubhouse as team personnel, which is apparently something everyone wants.
Might also be a way to say to him that they want him around for next year.
 

grimshaw

Member
SoSH Member
May 16, 2007
3,764
Portland
In late game this isn't an Embree in the 7th, Timlin in the 8th type team. They have to do matchups.

When to bring in Houck seems to be most important to me. I would think he'd be the first guy out of the pen if the game was within 2 runs either way to try and get two+ innings. Then maybe you bring him back the next night for a couple batters. Robles, Whitlock, Brazier and maybe Taylor if he's feeling it are interchangeable. Default closing is irrelevant.

My opinion, Perez or Richards you just abuse unless you need to use a starter like Pivetta in extras. Then maybe one of them gets a short leash start.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
This question has been asked and answered at least a half dozen times already, and the basic facts of the situation have not changed. The only thing that matters is this: Was he a member of the organization as of September 1?

if the answer is “No” then there is no way he can be on the post season roster.
With Goodwin out is there any chance that Dustin Pedroia can coach first base and if so would that affect the Sox payroll going into next year?
 

TapeAndPosts

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2006
415
With Goodwin out is there any chance that Dustin Pedroia can coach first base and if so would that affect the Sox payroll going into next year?
I can state for a fact that Pedey was in the organization before Sep 1. If we pay him Iglesias's salary, I'm pretty sure we can start Schwarber at first base.
 

brandonchristensen

bad at game threads
SoSH Member
Feb 4, 2012
33,543
Durbin Feltman is still waiting for his 40 man roster spot.

The psychology around fixed roles vs. relief aces is so interesting. Cora successfully used Barnes as a relief ace in the past but it seems clear that Barnes now , for whatever reason, needs that fixed role (But is currently unable to succeed there). I hope they can rebuild him.

I really like the idea of having 2 relief aces on the staff - who can come in for the meat of the order or to close out the game.

For this series (as others have mentioned) it appears that Whitlock and Houck are the stoppers and Robles could be the closer. If Taylor is healthy that foursome should be enough. We’ll see.
It's more the perceived shortening of the game. When you have a Kaji-like, you can plan to only use the pen for whatever innings are before that. It's a powerful position.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
15,449
Maine
It's more the perceived shortening of the game. When you have a Kaji-like, you can plan to only use the pen for whatever innings are before that. It's a powerful position.
I think it's a more powerful position to have one or two guys capable of covering anywhere from 6-12 outs than one guy looming to get the last three. I know we're never going back to this kind of usage, but Goose Gossage entering the seventh and finishing the game was a better way of "shortening" a game than Mariano Rivera coming into a clean inning to get the final three outs. I like the idea of Houck and Whitlock finishing the game, perhaps with an assist from the starter-turned-reliever du jour. At least for the playoffs.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
2,303
Is it odd that they wanted an extra lefty but went with Perez over Hernandez? Surprising after they made a big deal about Hernandez being able to get out righties and lefties. Is he not 100%?
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,353
Rogers Park
Boston had 9 balls in play with exit velocities above 100 MPH, and a couple more just under. It is very strange that they were held scoreless. Of course Tampa's four highest EV shots all went for outs.

Strange game.
 

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
15,114
As someone who’s been hyped on a Danny Santana breakout all season, I have no choice but to double down.

At the very least, he’s been a plus CF and his speed and defensive versatility are incredibly valuable. He’s put up a 1.109 OPS in Worcester in 77 PAs this year, and I’d trust him at the plate now more than I did at the beginning of the season. His bat also may be in a better place at the moment than Arroyo’s, which looks kinda broken.
Yeah, he's a "plus" at giving the other outfielders chances to make good plays after he botches them.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBuh_rKE64Q

He's played 104 innings at CF for us. Defensive stats mean very little in that tiny sample size. Just like his -128.2 UZR/150 in 2017 didn't mean anything because it was only 18 innings, and his -29.8 in 2019 didn't mean anything because it was only 191.2 innings.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
15,887
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Boston had 9 balls in play with exit velocities above 100 MPH, and a couple more just under. It is very strange that they were held scoreless. Of course Tampa's four highest EV shots all went for outs.

Strange game.
It only seems strange if one thinks that exit velocity is the only factor to determine the likelihood of hits.

Generally, it's better to hit it hard. But it's also generally better to hit it where they ain't.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
15,887
Miami (oh, Miami!)
As someone who’s been hyped on a Danny Santana breakout all season, I have no choice but to double down.

At the very least, he’s been a plus CF and his speed and defensive versatility are incredibly valuable. He’s put up a 1.109 OPS in Worcester in 77 PAs this year, and I’d trust him at the plate now more than I did at the beginning of the season. His bat also may be in a better place at the moment than Arroyo’s, which looks kinda broken.
I hope everyone on the team is successful. But unless you know something everyone else does not, Santana's actual ML performance, both with the bat and on the field, sort of speaks for itself.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 2, 2006
19,939
Philadelphia
It only seems strange if one thinks that exit velocity is the only factor to determine the likelihood of hits.

Generally, it's better to hit it hard. But it's also generally better to hit it where they ain't.
I think "strange" is being used as a substitute for unlucky here. Its unlucky because while batters have some degree of control over whether they hit a ball hard, they have relatively little control over whether that smoked line drive goes to where they ain't.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
15,887
Miami (oh, Miami!)
I think "strange" is being used as a substitute for unlucky here. Its unlucky because while batters have some degree of control over whether they hit a ball hard, they have relatively little control over whether that smoked line drive goes to where they ain't.
Generally. But there's a difference between smoking a ball into the shift, and going the other way into an enormous gap.

I'm not saying all batters can simply choose to do that. Some adjust, some don't.

But looking at the velocity numbers without considering fielding (and the ballpark in some cases) is not looking at the whole picture.