Alex Cora-- what do we have here? Perhaps the best manager in baseball.

YTF

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Story would work also. I asked in some thread a few days ago for a good reason why Arroyo and Refsnyder should be lead off hitters. Thus far I have not received an answer. Even if there is a good answer lets talk about the pitching. He is concerned how the starters are going to fair in September, while the team is completely imploding in April. If that were the case why not mitigate one of the weaknesses of the team. In other words stop pulling starters after 50 pitches. Not allowing pitchers to go through the order a third time seems to be the trendy things and boy was Cora going to hop on that train no matter how deep into hell it lead.
The lack of a traditional lead off type hitting ahead of Raffy, X, and JD has been frustrating, especially when they were the only 3 guys in the lineup who were hitting. Story may be a good candidate ATM, but during his tear in the month of May he was perfect where he was. Seriously I would consider Vazquez or JBJ until they cool off, but I've a feeling we'll be seeing Duran on this homestand, so he's likely to slip into the slot short term.
 

Ganthem

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Are you going to ignore that he's been letting the starters go much deeper over the last month or so? Or just blame him for pulling guys early in April after a short spring when the rotation included a 42 year old, a reclamation project, and a guy with limited major league experience going deep in games?

Since they're currently in playoff position apparently a month of that didn't lead them too deep into hell.
Cora has said that he didn't let guys go deep because he wanted to save them for September. You are right. Cora seemed to have learned his lesson, but in my opinion he should have learn that lesson a few weeks into the season, not a month and a half.
 

soxhop411

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Cora has said that he didn't let guys go deep because he wanted to save them for September. You are right. Cora seemed to have learned his lesson, but in my opinion he should have learn that lesson a few weeks into the season, not a month and a half.
Did you also forget that the “lockout” killed a good portion of Spring training? So players were not as stretched out as they normally would be.
https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/after-shortened-spring-training-mlb-players-rush-to-be-ready-for-regular-season/

He said the above, as to not use the shortened ST As an excuse. Even though its a 10000% valid reason.
The 99-day lockout delayed the spring training reporting date this year by nearly a month and resulted in the cancellation of 10-12 games from each team’s spring training schedule. Even though Major League Baseball delayed Opening Day from March 31 to April 7 to give players more time to get ready, players will still open the regular season at what would normally be half to two-thirds of the way through their usual ramp-up process.
 

scottyno

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Cora has said that he didn't let guys go deep because he wanted to save them for September. You are right. Cora seemed to have learned his lesson, but in my opinion he should have learn that lesson a few weeks into the season, not a month and a half.
So as of right now he has succeeded in both having them in a playoff position, and also saving some bullets in their arms for september and hopefully beyond
 

BaseballJones

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So as of right now he has succeeded in both having them in a playoff position, and also saving some bullets in their arms for september and hopefully beyond
Just remember that they need 9 innings out of their staff every night (obviously except for when they're away and they lose and the other team doesn't have to bat in the 9th, or when it goes extras....). Every "bullet" they save their starters by having them only go 4-5 innings is a "bullet" they need their relievers to use by having them go an extra inning or two. And those bullpen arms get just as tired as the starting arms and are just as prone to injury and fatigue.

You save Michael Wacha's arm by forcing Strahm and Diekman and Schreiber throw more...okay...but is that actually a good thing come September?

I'm generally pro-Cora but they gotta get innings from somewhere and every inning not pitched by a starter means an inning pitched by a reliever, and they get worn down too, which limits their effectiveness later in the season.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I think they think they have more "bullets" ( must we use that word?) at AAA for the bullpen last this year than they do for starters. Or if Sale and Paxton come back, more innings available from the guys who leave the rotation.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Just remember that they need 9 innings out of their staff every night (obviously except for when they're away and they lose and the other team doesn't have to bat in the 9th, or when it goes extras....). Every "bullet" they save their starters by having them only go 4-5 innings is a "bullet" they need their relievers to use by having them go an extra inning or two. And those bullpen arms get just as tired as the starting arms and are just as prone to injury and fatigue.

You save Michael Wacha's arm by forcing Strahm and Diekman and Schreiber throw more...okay...but is that actually a good thing come September?

I'm generally pro-Cora but they gotta get innings from somewhere and every inning not pitched by a starter means an inning pitched by a reliever, and they get worn down too, which limits their effectiveness later in the season.
Bullpen arms are easier to replace than a starter. And hasn't the drum beat since spring training been that they don't have much to get excited about in terms of relievers? Basically what I'm saying is that expending "bullets" like Robles and Brasier in April and May is less concerning if there are fewer expectations that those are bullets they'll need in September. Just as a for instance, last year saw a bunch of innings handled by Matt Andriese in the first half (26 appearances through July 9). Then he was DFA and they got 27 appearances from Hansel Robles in the second half. As rough as it's been this year for Robles, he was a key part of the pen in September and October. Ideally, they'll have a new and hopefully better "bullet" than Robles come the end of the season.

These "bullets" have varying value and cost. They're rationing the ones that are harder to get and cost a bit more to replace/replenish.
 

BringBackMo

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Just remember that they need 9 innings out of their staff every night (obviously except for when they're away and they lose and the other team doesn't have to bat in the 9th, or when it goes extras....). Every "bullet" they save their starters by having them only go 4-5 innings is a "bullet" they need their relievers to use by having them go an extra inning or two. And those bullpen arms get just as tired as the starting arms and are just as prone to injury and fatigue.

You save Michael Wacha's arm by forcing Strahm and Diekman and Schreiber throw more...okay...but is that actually a good thing come September?

I'm generally pro-Cora but they gotta get innings from somewhere and every inning not pitched by a starter means an inning pitched by a reliever, and they get worn down too, which limits their effectiveness later in the season.
Do people actually believe Cora is just sitting there making all of these decisions by himself? This isn’t 1982. This isn’t the movie version of Moneyball, with the GM and the manager butting heads over strategy and usage. Organizations like the Red Sox employ managers who understand and support the front office’s approach. Starter pitch counts/times through the lineup; bullpen usage; lineup construction, including who hits lead off—all of it is part of a larger plan that is set by the front office. Does Cora agree with the plan? Almost certainly. Not because he‘s “told to” or a yes man but because that’s why he was hired for the job in the first place.

Do people here think Kevin Cash pulled Blake Snell as some kind of “felt it in his gut, rolling the dice“ kind of move? Of course he didn’t. That was how the Rays operated, it was their organizational plan, and Cash was simply following the plan. Has Cora now “learned his lesson?” I dont think that‘s the correct take away at all. Expanding pitch counts for starters as the season progressed after the truncated spring training was likely the plan all along—one established by Bloom and co not by Cora.

As to the specifics of pitching usage for this team in this season, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that at least some of the arms that are in the bullpen now won’t be during the second half. First, the Sox have a number of quality pitching prospects in Worcester that could help out over the next four to six weeks. Next, Sale and Paxton are making progress and if either can contribute that could add arms in one form or another to the pen. Finally, it is much easier to find bullpen help at the deadline than it is starters. Bloom made a couple of decent low-cost bullpen acquisitions last year and could likely do so this year as well.
 

Van Everyman

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While I appreciate what Cora has done to preserve the rotation, we should also note that a few of those guys—Whitlock and Eovaldi—currently have hip injuries so it’s not clear how many “bullets” have been saved. Of course, it also might mean that they would be gone down even sooner had Cora ridden his starters the way some posters think he should’ve earlier in the season.
 

tims4wins

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Just remember that they need 9 innings out of their staff every night (obviously except for when they're away and they lose and the other team doesn't have to bat in the 9th, or when it goes extras....). Every "bullet" they save their starters by having them only go 4-5 innings is a "bullet" they need their relievers to use by having them go an extra inning or two. And those bullpen arms get just as tired as the starting arms and are just as prone to injury and fatigue.

You save Michael Wacha's arm by forcing Strahm and Diekman and Schreiber throw more...okay...but is that actually a good thing come September?

I'm generally pro-Cora but they gotta get innings from somewhere and every inning not pitched by a starter means an inning pitched by a reliever, and they get worn down too, which limits their effectiveness later in the season.
I think one aspect you are kind of missing is the risk of injury. A starter throwing an extra 20 pitches or whatever in April isn't necessarily just about getting him another 20 pitches in September. It's avoiding injury risk coming out of shortened spring training. Whereas with relievers, if they're going to throw the same 60-70 innings regardless, it doesn't really matter if you have to use one extra reliever per game in April for one inning, since you have more of those guys you can cycle through throughout the year. Not sure I articulated that well, let me know if you don't get my point.
 

BaseballJones

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Bullpen arms are easier to replace than a starter. And hasn't the drum beat since spring training been that they don't have much to get excited about in terms of relievers? Basically what I'm saying is that expending "bullets" like Robles and Brasier in April and May is less concerning if there are fewer expectations that those are bullets they'll need in September. Just as a for instance, last year saw a bunch of innings handled by Matt Andriese in the first half (26 appearances through July 9). Then he was DFA and they got 27 appearances from Hansel Robles in the second half. As rough as it's been this year for Robles, he was a key part of the pen in September and October. Ideally, they'll have a new and hopefully better "bullet" than Robles come the end of the season.

These "bullets" have varying value and cost. They're rationing the ones that are harder to get and cost a bit more to replace/replenish.
Going into the season (which is when Cora had to make this call), did you think it was more important to save bullets like Brasier (career era of 3.49 going into this season) or Robles (3.60 era for Boston last year) or save bullets for Wacha (last two years' era: 6.62, 5.05)?
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Going into the season (which is when Cora had to make this call), did you think it was more important to save bullets like Brasier (career era of 3.49 going into this season) or Robles (3.60 era for Boston last year) or save bullets for Wacha (last two years' era: 6.62, 5.05)?
Did you read the other replies?
Bullpen arms are much more fungible and replaceable than starters.

And can we call it innings instead of bullets? Please???
 

BaseballJones

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I think one aspect you are kind of missing is the risk of injury. A starter throwing an extra 20 pitches or whatever in April isn't necessarily just about getting him another 20 pitches in September. It's avoiding injury risk coming out of shortened spring training. Whereas with relievers, if they're going to throw the same 60-70 innings regardless, it doesn't really matter if you have to use one extra reliever per game in April for one inning, since you have more of those guys you can cycle through throughout the year. Not sure I articulated that well, let me know if you don't get my point.
The shortened spring training is one thing I can get behind as rationale. The "saving bullets" thing doesn't work for me so much. I mean...it's not just about innings. For pitchers, bullets are *pitches thrown*.

- Eovaldi threw 101 pitches in his second start, and 95 his third. No bullets being saved there.
- Pivetta threw 95 pitches in his third start, and 98 in his fourth. No bullets being saved there.
- Wacha threw 92 pitches in his fourth start (2nd most he's thrown all season).

I'll grant that he saved some of Rich Hill's bullets. But here's the thing about Hill: I don't think the plan was for Hill to still be in the rotation come the second half of the season. I'm pretty sure that Boston was figuring on either Sale or Paxton being back, and Hill was likely the odd man out. So saving Rich Hill's bullets really didn't make a ton of sense if that's what they were figuring.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Going into the season (which is when Cora had to make this call), did you think it was more important to save bullets like Brasier (career era of 3.49 going into this season) or Robles (3.60 era for Boston last year) or save bullets for Wacha (last two years' era: 6.62, 5.05)?
Starters. Always starters. Whether it's Wacha or not, you are going to be more conservative in how you ramp up and use your starters over the course of 162 games than you are relievers. If for no other reason than your relievers are going to be "season ready" sooner than the starters. Even with the hyper-short spring training. And then there's the fungibility of relievers. They're more expendable. You can shut a reliever down for 2-3 weeks and get a reasonable facsimile in his place. Tougher to replace a starter, as we're about to find out with two on the IL presently.
 

BaseballJones

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Did you read the other replies?
Bullpen arms are much more fungible and replaceable than starters.

And can we call it innings instead of bullets? Please???
Actually, as I just posted, "bullets" are pitches, not innings. And I don't know that good bullpen arms are more fungible and replaceable than Michael Wacha and Rich Hill. Bad bullpen arms might be, but not good ones.

(What's the problem with "bullets", btw? We're talking about a common baseball term, not crime in the streets of Chicago. I think everyone gets the difference.)
 

BaseballJones

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Starters. Always starters. Whether it's Wacha or not, you are going to be more conservative in how you ramp up and use your starters over the course of 162 games than you are relievers. If for no other reason than your relievers are going to be "season ready" sooner than the starters. Even with the hyper-short spring training. And then there's the fungibility of relievers. They're more expendable. You can shut a reliever down for 2-3 weeks and get a reasonable facsimile in his place. Tougher to replace a starter, as we're about to find out with two on the IL presently.
I totally get what you're saying. But then....why are we hearing all this whining about how much the Sox need a shut down reliever? I mean yeah, crappy relievers are fungible. But good ones are not. So if the plan is to save starters' arms by having crappy pitchers throw a lot of pitches and innings, I mean, ok. If the plan is to save mediocre starters' arms by having good relievers throw a lot more pitches and innings....might not be the best plan.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I'll grant that he saved some of Rich Hill's bullets. But here's the thing about Hill: I don't think the plan was for Hill to still be in the rotation come the second half of the season. I'm pretty sure that Boston was figuring on either Sale or Paxton being back, and Hill was likely the odd man out. So saving Rich Hill's bullets really didn't make a ton of sense if that's what they were figuring.
Can we concede that some of the conservative approach with Hill is that he's 156 years old and has never really had a history of durability? For him, the "saving" is about maximizing his effectiveness. Keeping his pitch counts lower is about keeping him effective as long as possible because while he may be the obvious one to replace with a Sale or Paxton, their arrival has never been a fixed date. It wouldn't be good to use up Hill by mid June and not have either of those guys available until July or later (which has clearly been the expectation since the season began).
 

BaseballJones

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Can we concede that some of the conservative approach with Hill is that he's 156 years old and has never really had a history of durability? For him, the "saving" is about maximizing his effectiveness. Keeping his pitch counts lower is about keeping him effective as long as possible because while he may be the obvious one to replace with a Sale or Paxton, their arrival has never been a fixed date. It wouldn't be good to use up Hill by mid June and not have either of those guys available until July or later (which has clearly been the expectation since the season began).
That's fair. But can we also concede that Cora really didn't "save bullets" of Pivetta or Eovaldi (his best returning starters), given that they both threw some of the highest number of pitches in some of their earliest starts?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I totally get what you're saying. But then....why are we hearing all this whining about how much the Sox need a shut down reliever? I mean yeah, crappy relievers are fungible. But good ones are not. So if the plan is to save starters' arms by having crappy pitchers throw a lot of pitches and innings, I mean, ok. If the plan is to save mediocre starters' arms by having good relievers throw a lot more pitches and innings....might not be the best plan.
Thing is, even if you've got the shut down reliever, you're going to pace him more than your fungible middle relief guys. He's still only going to throw 65-75 innings in total, and he's not the one who is going to throw more innings because the starters are throwing fewer. The innings the starters aren't throwing in April and May are going to be picked up by the middle relievers who are a dime a dozen. Ultimately the calculation comes down to whether the 5th and 6th and 7th innings of games in April are better covered by starters pushing beyond their limits (physical limits, not management imposed) or by fresh but decidedly mediocre arms. Is fresh and rested Tyler Danish a better bet in the 6th inning than a tiring Michael Wacha or Nick Pivetta? When guys aren't conditioned to throw 100 pitches an outing yet, the scale might tip toward the fresh arm. Or at least that's the management's approach, which in truth is an approach not unique to the Red Sox.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Then call it pitches. If you don't understand what bullets means in current times, and I am trying not to get political here, then I don't know what to say. It doesn't make your arguments stronger or pithyer or more appealing to your audience.
 

BaseballJones

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Then call it pitches. If you don't understand what bullets means in current times, and I am trying not to get political here, then I don't know what to say. It doesn't make your arguments stronger or pithyer or more appealing to your audience.
I wasn't the one who started using the term in this thread. That was @scottyno in post #704.

But sure.
 

Bergs

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Then call it pitches. If you don't understand what bullets means in current times, and I am trying not to get political here, then I don't know what to say. It doesn't make your arguments stronger or pithyer or more appealing to your audience.
While I appreciate these are sensitive times, metaphor policing is taking things in the wrong direction, imo, especially considering how prevelant they are:

"Take aim"
"Shot into center field"
"JBJ files a bullet to Vasquesz"
"Keeping their powder dry"
"Rifled a throw to the cut off man"
"He fires one in there"
"On target"

One could certainly have a discussion about why such metaphors are so common, but I don't think a baseball discussion warrants it, nor necessitates trying to suppress people's use of language.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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While I appreciate these are sensitive times, metaphor policing is taking things in the wrong direction, imo, especially considering how prevelant they are:

"Take aim"
"Shot into center field"
"JBJ files a bullet to Vasquesz"
"Keeping their powder dry"
"Rifled a throw to the cut off man"
"He fires one in there"
"On target"

One could certainly have a discussion about why such metaphors are so common, but I don't think a baseball discussion warrants it, nor necessitates trying to suppress people's use of language.
"That's a bomb to deep center"
"An absolute rocket into the gap"
"JBJ has a gun for an arm"
"Vazquez guns him out at second"
"He shoots one into the gap"

I mean...we're talking about baseball. Everyone understands that.

I think.
 

Farty Barrett

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Nov 4, 2012
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Can we concede that some of the conservative approach with Hill is…
Could we PLeAsE keep the conservative vs. liberal stuff off the main board.

Also, I could see a faux IL stint for Hill once one of our IL arms (pitching arms, not artillery) returns. Couple week Staycation.

Half of Hill’s pitches this year have been breaking balls, and a split finger instead of a change-up. Fastball under 40%(Per fangraphs)
Maybe pitch type and usage will be a factor in how Cora handles Hill this season. More splitters, sliders and curves equals more stress and shorter stints
 

effectivelywild

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Could we PLeAsE keep the conservative vs. liberal stuff off the main board.

Also, I could see a faux IL stint for Hill once one of our IL arms (pitching arms, not artillery) returns. Couple week Staycation.

Half of Hill’s pitches this year have been breaking balls, and a split finger instead of a change-up. Fastball under 40%(Per fangraphs)
Maybe pitch type and usage will be a factor in how Cora handles Hill this season. More splitters, sliders and curves equals more stress and shorter stints
Yeah, though Hill has been a breaking ball heavy pitcher for years now. Since 2010 his FB% has only cracked 55% of his pitches once (2018) and that 3 year Dodgers stint is the only time in that timeframe that he has been above 50% fastballs. If anyone can handle this kind of usage peak, it's Hill.
 

nvalvo

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This is the kind of tactical question that is difficult to evaluate mid-season. Clearly, Cora wanted to preserve a gradual ramp-up of the SP arms through April, especially given the weird COVID/lockout disruptions of the seasonal rhythms of the last few years. The idea seemed to be that this would help our thin rotation go the distance until reinforcements could arrive from the IL and the minors — Kutter Crawford was dealing yesterday, huh?

And because of this, we leaned pretty hard on the bullpen in April, and, well, they couldn't carry that burden and it cost us a few games. The slow start from the offense meant that every slipup and bad outing was magnified, because we were in a ton of close games; thus our bullpen turned okay statistics (15/30 in bullpen bWAR) into the league lead in blown saves. If Diekman allows a few walks in the seventh inning of a 9-2 game, no one cares. If he does it in a 2-2 game... But I'd note that the pen has been pretty great lately, even notwithstanding Robles' meltdown in Seattle. The starters going deeper has really helped a few of these guys regain their footing.

So that's the cost of Cora's strategy in conjunction with the April offense. But if it means that we are in a strong position pitching-wise for one of these three game wildcard series we have now, it will have paid off. If we don't make the playoffs, or it fails to keep enough pitchers healthy — Whitlock and Eovaldi are on the IL, but at least it isn't for arm-related issues...; but Sale threw 96 off a mound in Fort Myers today — that will be the time to second guess him IMO. But where we stand now, with the eighth-best rotation, third-best offense since May 1, and a middling bullpen that we have the resources to improve, makes me feel like it could work.
 

joe dokes

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This is the kind of tactical question that is difficult to evaluate mid-season. Clearly, Cora wanted to preserve a gradual ramp-up of the SP arms through April, especially given the weird COVID/lockout disruptions of the seasonal rhythms of the last few years. The idea seemed to be that this would help our thin rotation go the distance until reinforcements could arrive from the IL and the minors — Kutter Crawford was dealing yesterday, huh?

And because of this, we leaned pretty hard on the bullpen in April, and, well, they couldn't carry that burden and it cost us a few games. The slow start from the offense meant that every slipup and bad outing was magnified, because we were in a ton of close games; thus our bullpen turned okay statistics (15/30 in bullpen bWAR) into the league lead in blown saves. If Diekman allows a few walks in the seventh inning of a 9-2 game, no one cares. If he does it in a 2-2 game... But I'd note that the pen has been pretty great lately, even notwithstanding Robles' meltdown in Seattle. The starters going deeper has really helped a few of these guys regain their footing.

So that's the cost of Cora's strategy in conjunction with the April offense. But if it means that we are in a strong position pitching-wise for one of these three game wildcard series we have now, it will have paid off. If we don't make the playoffs, or it fails to keep enough pitchers healthy — Whitlock and Eovaldi are on the IL, but at least it isn't for arm-related issues...; but Sale threw 96 off a mound in Fort Myers today — that will be the time to second guess him IMO. But where we stand now, with the eighth-best rotation, third-best offense since May 1, and a middling bullpen that we have the resources to improve, makes me feel like it could work.
I think this is a good point. If they think they have a top-flight offense, they can wait for the pitching to come around.
The flipside of the treatment of the starters is that it gave the team some insight into which of the annual crapshoot-of-relievers might be trustworthy.
 

scottyno

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Just remember that they need 9 innings out of their staff every night (obviously except for when they're away and they lose and the other team doesn't have to bat in the 9th, or when it goes extras....). Every "bullet" they save their starters by having them only go 4-5 innings is a "bullet" they need their relievers to use by having them go an extra inning or two. And those bullpen arms get just as tired as the starting arms and are just as prone to injury and fatigue.

You save Michael Wacha's arm by forcing Strahm and Diekman and Schreiber throw more...okay...but is that actually a good thing come September?

I'm generally pro-Cora but they gotta get innings from somewhere and every inning not pitched by a starter means an inning pitched by a reliever, and they get worn down too, which limits their effectiveness later in the season.
I don't think they were worried about saving Wacha's arm, I think they were worried about the fact that he hasn't had a good full season in 7 years and was terrible the last few years. Getting 5 innings and 1 run a start was found money.

Hill has been a 5 inning pitcher for years, Pivetta sucked in April, Eovaldi was good, but was throwing a lot of pitches each game, even when he wasn't making it past 5.

Houck is the one guy they maybe could have pushed a bit further, but they still don't seem very willing to let him face a lineup a third time, and it's also possible they had a preseason innings limit for him in mind, given that he only threw 90 last year and 17 in 2020.

I also doubt they were too worried about using any of the non Whitlock bullpen arms too much in April, because at the time they had no idea which were going to be any good. Pretty sure no one saw Schreiber having a 0.98 era in mid June back in April, for example.

They did use Whitlock a lot in April, probably more than they'd intended, and now he's hurt, who knows if there's any connection.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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I think this is a good point. If they think they have a top-flight offense, they can wait for the pitching to come around.
The flipside of the treatment of the starters is that it gave the team some insight into which of the annual crapshoot-of-relievers might be trustworthy.
The Sox have lost nine games so far this season in which they allowed 3 or fewer runs. That's nine games in which just matching league average offense (4.33 runs/game) would win the game. Six of those came in the first 29 games of the season (10-19 record). So really, the offense didn't do the pitching staff any favors over the first few weeks as they were ramping up their starters and sorting out the "crapshoot of relievers", even when those pitchers did their jobs well.
 

A Bad Man

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Cora was being a bit managerial in his comments, I think; that is to say, while there probably is some sort of early-season strategy with the starters, it's also a crafty way to allow your starters to believe that Cora trusted them to go longer.
 

YTF

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They did use Whitlock a lot in April, probably more than they'd intended, and now he's hurt, who knows if there's any connection.
I know that the word was that they were going to monitor his innings, but he made 6 appearances in April throwing 16 2/3 innings. He started 2 games with a total of 7 IP and made 4 relief appearances with 9 2/3 IP which doesn't seem like a whole lot. By comparison, 5 games in May (all starts) for 22 innings and 2 games in June for 10 innings. In his 48 2/3 innings pitched he's thrown 764 pitches averaging 15.69 per inning.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I know that the word was that they were going to monitor his innings, but he made 6 appearances in April throwing 16 2/3 innings. He started 2 games with a total of 7 IP and made 4 relief appearances with 9 2/3 IP which doesn't seem like a whole lot. By comparison, 5 games in May (all starts) for 22 innings and 2 games in June for 10 innings. In his 48 2/3 innings pitched he's thrown 764 pitches averaging 15.69 per inning.
Yeah, I don't think his April usage was that out of line with their intent, and certainly not with past usage.

2022 April: 6 appearances, 16.2 IP, 228 pitches (13.68 P/IP)
2021 April: 6 appearances, 13.1 IP, 191 pitches (14.33 P/IP)

Noteworthy is his highest pitch count in one outing this April was his last, 61 pitches in a 3 inning start. His highest pitch count in one outing in April 2021 was 59 pitches across 3.1 innings in his first appearance of the season.

I really doubt there's a connection between his April outings and a hip issue cropping up a month later.
 

scottyno

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Dec 7, 2008
10,377
I know that the word was that they were going to monitor his innings, but he made 6 appearances in April throwing 16 2/3 innings. He started 2 games with a total of 7 IP and made 4 relief appearances with 9 2/3 IP which doesn't seem like a whole lot. By comparison, 5 games in May (all starts) for 22 innings and 2 games in June for 10 innings. In his 48 2/3 innings pitched he's thrown 764 pitches averaging 15.69 per inning.
Keep in mind April wasn't a full month. They didn't start until the 8th and only played 22 games in 23 days, compared to 28 over 31 days in May. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd be pretty surprised if coming into the year their plan was for him to throw 123 innings, plus the playoffs, though it seems like that plan may have changed when they decided to put him in the rotation.

It probably doesn't have anything to do with his current injury, but it's still a lot of work for a guy that only threw 81 2/3rds last year including the postseason.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Keep in mind April wasn't a full month. They didn't start until the 8th and only played 22 games in 23 days, compared to 28 over 31 days in May. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd be pretty surprised if coming into the year their plan was for him to throw 123 innings, plus the playoffs, though it seems like that plan may have changed when they decided to put him in the rotation.

It probably doesn't have anything to do with his current injury, but it's still a lot of work for a guy that only threw 81 2/3rds last year including the postseason.
Not sure why it's a surprise that the plan would be for him to throw 120ish innings (+ playoffs). Cora said just before Opening Day he wanted more than 70 innings out of Whitlock this season. A roughly 50 inning bump isn't really outside the norm when it comes to increasing a young starter's workload. As an example, the Astros bumped Framber Valdez from his career high of 70.2 innings in 2020 to 134.2 last year. Whitlock has thrown 120+ innings in a season before. In 2018, he had a combined 120.2 minor league innings, so it's not entirely unfamiliar territory for him.

View: https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/1510974872717037571
 

jon abbey

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The idea of innings increases from year to year being a major worry for injury basically stems from the 2006 Tom Verducci article, in which he posited that pitchers under 25 should be held to a 30 inning increase from year to year (called from then on 'The Verducci Effect').

Not only have many studies since then shown that there is little if any connection between innings totals as a professional and pitcher injuries, but Whitlock turned 26 this weekend. Personally I don't know what any of this means as far as how it applies to usage of guys in 2022, but I am quite certain that the front offices are on top of it in a much more nuanced and individually specific way.
 

Farty Barrett

lurker
Nov 4, 2012
27
Wait, seriously? Conservative is actually a real word with real meanings that have nothing to do with politics. Which is how RHF was using it.
No, not serious one bit. Sorry. I should have marked that for sarcasm.
I was just racking my brain for a way to describe usage and pitch type without saying arsenal. That word could be a trigg… catalyst.

I will go back to lurking. Dick Mountain is fun to route for. And he’s become a real junk thrower this season which is brings me joy.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

has big, douchey shoulders
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SoSH Member
No, not serious one bit. Sorry. I should have marked that for sarcasm.
I was just racking my brain for a way to describe usage and pitch type without saying arsenal. That word could be a trigg… catalyst.

I will go back to lurking. Dick Mountain is fun to route for. And he’s become a real junk thrower this season which is brings me joy.
It's my bad, Farty. I blame Covid brain.
 

Sin Duda

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Jul 16, 2005
328
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No, not serious one bit. Sorry. I should have marked that for sarcasm.
I was just racking my brain for a way to describe usage and pitch type without saying arsenal. That word could be a trigg… catalyst.

I will go back to lurking. Dick Mountain is fun to route for. And he’s become a real junk thrower this season which is brings me joy.
I found it:
52434
 

Rovin Romine

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No, not serious one bit. Sorry. I should have marked that for sarcasm.
I was just racking my brain for a way to describe usage and pitch type without saying arsenal. That word could be a trigg… catalyst.

I will go back to lurking. Dick Mountain is fun to route for. And he’s become a real junk thrower this season which is brings me joy.
Array. Options. Group. Collection. Set. Reservoir. Fund. Gaggle. Pool. Stock. Warehouse. Hoard. Cache. Group. Stockpile. Assortment.

It's ze massively greatly thing about the Englich.
 

effectivelywild

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Jul 14, 2005
416
Array. Options. Group. Collection. Set. Reservoir. Fund. Gaggle. Pool. Stock. Warehouse. Hoard. Cache. Group. Stockpile. Assortment.

It's ze massively greatly thing about the Englich.
I do think it's interesting that Wealthy Knoll has added a skidder to his conglomeration of flings, especially given that is registering as around 13% of his pitches so far this year but it is also atypically slow, even adjusting for his velocity paucity, clocking in this year at a robust 69 (nice) mph, slower than his normal curve by 2 mph. So I'm thinking what is getting classified as a "slider" is really just a curve with a different movement profile. I think he's historically thrown multiple versions of his bendy pitches so I think the perceived bump in sliders is really just automated pitch classifying systems trying to make sense of his curve. His Baseball Savant page breaks down some of the characteristics of his sliders vs. curveballs and while you can see two populations of pitches by movement and release point, his "slider", which averages 23 inches of horizontal and 58 inches of vertical break, has much more in common with your average pitcher's curve (9 inches horizontal and 54 inches vertical break) than a slider (6 inches horizontal and 38 inches vertical).
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Nov 24, 2007
762
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I do think it's interesting that Wealthy Knoll has added a skidder to his conglomeration of flings, especially given that is registering as around 13% of his pitches so far this year but it is also atypically slow, even adjusting for his velocity paucity, clocking in this year at a robust 69 (nice) mph, slower than his normal curve by 2 mph. So I'm thinking what is getting classified as a "slider" is really just a curve with a different movement profile. I think he's historically thrown multiple versions of his bendy pitches so I think the perceived bump in sliders is really just automated pitch classifying systems trying to make sense of his curve. His Baseball Savant page breaks down some of the characteristics of his sliders vs. curveballs and while you can see two populations of pitches by movement and release point, his "slider", which averages 23 inches of horizontal and 58 inches of vertical break, has much more in common with your average pitcher's curve (9 inches horizontal and 54 inches vertical break) than a slider (6 inches horizontal and 38 inches vertical).
Doesn't he sometimes drop down to something like sidearm while throwing his curve? If so, maybe that pitch looks more like a slider to the computers.