BOS bullpen 2018

joe dokes

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Cora said something like "we're checking things out and trying to win."

Wright was this week's subject,to IMO. he was worked hard this week, seems healthy and has been effective.

I think Thornburg is the next guy into the test box.
 

nvalvo

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When the Sox got Eovaldi they envisioned him in the pen in the playoffs. Haven't heard much since then. Obviously he's not a top-four starter, but if he has something to offer in relief, I wonder when the Sox are going to transition him to that? I guess he's pitched out of the pen enough so that it would only take a couple appearances and he'd be comfortable there again? Or maybe none, just have him stay stretched out and move him for the ALDS? That sounds a bit risky to me.
Tomorrow, when he’s slated to piggyback Sale?
 

joe dokes

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Tomorrow, when he’s slated to piggyback Sale?
Yeah, I think we'll see Cora evaluate Eovaldi's bullpen ability over the last weeks. Maybe two turns of piggy-backing Sale's intentionally short starts followed by a couple of back to back "regular" relief stints over the last 10 games or so. Or maybe Cora shortens one of he piggy-backs so that Eovaldi is available for an inning before the next one.
 

uk_sox_fan

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Here are IP by the starting pitcher, going back in time from yesterday to the first game of the Rays series:
5.2, 3.1, 6.1, 4.0, 5.0, 3.1, 1.1, 5.2, 2.0, 5.0, 3.0, 4.1, 4.0, 5.0, 2.2.

15 games, exactly one time where the starter made it through the 6th, and only six where the starter completed the 5th. Of those six times, four were Porcello, one was Price, and one was EdRo.

I doubt there has ever been a bullpen that looked good when it had to cover this many innings. It's natural to complain about the bullpen because a reliever has been on the mound when many of the bad things have happened, but the reason why the relievers are overexposed is that the starting pitchers haven't been able to get enough outs.

At least in the playoffs, pitchers like Eovaldi, Johnson, and Velazquez, who started during the last 15 games but collectively failed to go 5 every single time, shouldn't be starting anymore.

If starters are getting pulled in the fifth or earlier in the majority of playoff games, there won't be very many playoff games. I'm not even confident if the bullpen needs to cover 4 innings per game during October, but that's more on the starters than on the bullpen.
And I predict you can add a 7.0 after tonight (just a hunch). I don't have time to do it but I would bet that despite this run of short starts, the usage numbers aren't that much different from earlier this year when the starters went much further into games for each of the individual relievers since the majority of that run has been since rosters expanded and because the plethora of days off.
 

geoduck no quahog

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Red Sox don't have a situational LHR.

Best I can tell, here's the ranking of potential middle relievers against LHH (best to worst)

Poyner (SSS) - not sure it's meaningful
Kelly (.194 BAA)
Workman (.196)
Hembree (.203)
Barnes (.224)

Brasier is down there at .240

With 3 left-handed starters, most teams will be stacked RHH to start the game, so handedness is not a big thing first guy out of the pen.

Then managers will start selectively throwing LHH's against the Red Sox, and will continue that way through the end of the game.

How would you handle the pen in that predictable situation?

(Aside: They have 3 RP's below .240 against RHH): Braiser, Barnes and Wright)

I'm thinking Poyner beats out Pomeranz for a spot and comes in for one or two outs with men on base. Oh boy.

Then it's Kelly, Barnes and Kimbrel.

Are Brasier's splits real? (.240 vs LHH and .154 vs RHH)? If so - how would you use him in a game?
 

Al Zarilla

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Red Sox don't have a situational LHR.

Best I can tell, here's the ranking of potential middle relievers against LHH (best to worst)

Poyner (SSS) - not sure it's meaningful
Kelly (.194 BAA)
Workman (.196)
Hembree (.203)
Barnes (.224)

Brasier is down there at .240

With 3 left-handed starters, most teams will be stacked RHH to start the game, so handedness is not a big thing first guy out of the pen.

Then managers will start selectively throwing LHH's against the Red Sox, and will continue that way through the end of the game.

How would you handle the pen in that predictable situation?

(Aside: They have 3 RP's below .240 against RHH): Braiser, Barnes and Wright)

I'm thinking Poyner beats out Pomeranz for a spot and comes in for one or two outs with men on base. Oh boy.

Then it's Kelly, Barnes and Kimbrel.

Are Brasier's splits real? (.240 vs LHH and .154 vs RHH)? If so - how would you use him in a game?
Yes real. .240 isn’t horrible, is it? .154 is excellent.
 

gedman211

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If Barnes can come back rested and healthy, then he can potentially provide an enormous lift.
A high-lev combination of Kimbrel, Brasier, Barnes, Wright with Poyner serving as LOOGY may be enough to bring us home.
This pushes Kelly, Hembree and Workman into lower-lev roles, Velazquez, Eovaldi and Thornburg on the bubble...and turns Pomeranz into an unsigned spring training invitee for some NL also-ran
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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If Barnes can come back rested and healthy, then he can potentially provide an enormous lift.
A high-lev combination of Kimbrel, Brasier, Barnes, Wright with Poyner serving as LOOGY may be enough to bring us home.
This pushes Kelly, Hembree and Workman into lower-lev roles, Velazquez, Eovaldi and Thornburg on the bubble...and turns Pomeranz into an unsigned spring training invitee for some NL also-ran
In theory, I'd agree with you... but I think it'll have (hopefully) a lot to do with who has the hot hand. Over the last month, Kelly has been significantly better than Barnes so if that trend continues after (if) Barnes returns, then the inverse in your post is what I'd be hoping for
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Joe Kelly today, throwing 15 pitches, had nearly as many that hit a batter (2) as hit the strike zone (3).
After that amazing start, he has a 5.86 ERA since June 1. He should be demoted to 6th inning/mopup duty at least until they clinch home field. If he gets hot again, maybe he makes the playoff roster. If not, that might be all she wrote. I really can't picture the team competing for his services in 2019.
 

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After that amazing start, he has a 5.86 ERA since June 1. He should be demoted to 6th inning/mopup duty at least until they clinch home field. If he gets hot again, maybe he makes the playoff roster. If not, that might be all she wrote. I really can't picture the team competing for his services in 2019.
Remember early in the season when people were proposing that the Sox let Kimbrel walk and sign Kelly to close going forward? I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that even if A happens, B seems..unlikely.
 

joe dokes

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Methinks Workman has moved ahead of Kelly in the leverage line, as have Brasier and probably Wright.
 

geoduck no quahog

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I want to know what broke on Kelly. Haven't found any speculation.

Guesses:
  • Doesn't Hide the Ball
  • Fastball Too Straight
  • Lack of Control (obviously...but why?)
  • Can't Pitch in Cool Weather
  • Drunk
I wish I knew what the pitching coaches were saying. I wish I knew why the Cardinals gave up on him and why this kid has never met his potential (particularly as a starter).
 

bosockboy

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I want to know what broke on Kelly. Haven't found any speculation.

Guesses:
  • Doesn't Hide the Ball
  • Fastball Too Straight
  • Lack of Control (obviously...but why?)
  • Can't Pitch in Cool Weather
  • Drunk
I wish I knew what the pitching coaches were saying. I wish I knew why the Cardinals gave up on him and why this kid has never met his potential (particularly as a starter).
He’s Kyle Farnsworth. No logical explanation.
 

Monbo Jumbo

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In his 13 appearances this year that were not followed by an immediate move to the DL, Steven Wright has allowed 5 runs total in 41 2/3 innings for an ERA of 1.08 and a WHIP of 1.11.

Unless there are considerations that his knee benefits from shorter stints, I think he should be #4 starter.
 

joe dokes

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In his 13 appearances this year that were not followed by an immediate move to the DL, Steven Wright has allowed 5 runs total in 41 2/3 innings for an ERA of 1.08 and a WHIP of 1.11.

Unless there are considerations that his knee benefits from shorter stints, I think he should be #4 starter.
I think Wright himself said that it was when he began starting - after 6 relief appearances -- that his knee started acting up (he fell apart in start #4.) Maybe he's all better now so that doesn't matter, but I still think the bullpen needs more of a boost that the top 4 starters do.
 

uncannymanny

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I want to know what broke on Kelly. Haven't found any speculation.

Guesses:
  • Doesn't Hide the Ball
  • Fastball Too Straight
  • Lack of Control (obviously...but why?)
  • Can't Pitch in Cool Weather
  • Drunk
I wish I knew what the pitching coaches were saying. I wish I knew why the Cardinals gave up on him and why this kid has never met his potential (particularly as a starter).
The interview this past week when he revealed he doesn’t have a warm up routine seems like a strong signal for a guy that has always struggled with consistency.
 

bosockboy

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Barnes is the key. If he’s healthy and effective then sliding Brasier/Workman/Eovaldi/Wright down a notch makes it much deeper. Barnes might be the key to our postseason in general.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Is there anything Poyner could do the rest of the way to get a spot in the playoffs? He's one of the very few MRs they have that don't walk the ballpark. Probably not enough time left in the season to get a real feel on what Poyner offers, never mind the crunch that already exists. I think I'd prefer Poyner over Workman though. Workman seems like smoke and mirrors.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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In his 13 appearances this year that were not followed by an immediate move to the DL, Steven Wright has allowed 5 runs total in 41 2/3 innings for an ERA of 1.08 and a WHIP of 1.11.

Unless there are considerations that his knee benefits from shorter stints, I think he should be #4 starter.
Which one of Porcello or Rodriguez are you bumping out of the postseason rotation?
 

Hyde's Pryde

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In his 13 appearances this year that were not followed by an immediate move to the DL, Steven Wright has allowed 5 runs total in 41 2/3 innings for an ERA of 1.08 and a WHIP of 1.11.

Unless there are considerations that his knee benefits from shorter stints, I think he should be #4 starter.
It's Cora sending a message to the bullpen as well. Like, we need to figure shit out, cause I'm a little concerned about the bullpen heading into the post season.

They need to figure it out and bringing in Wright was a good message to the bullpen. And it got them out of trouble. I wouldn't bring him in with guys on base but a clean inning late in the game would work. He also brought in Poyner and Johnson in the 7th one time.

I've been backing them up all year cause they've done a great job... and I know how they feel cause things aren't going well. I've been in their shoes. The talent is there. But it being close to the post season and Cora not knowing who to go to scares me.

A little.
 
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Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
I think I'd prefer Poyner over Workman though. Workman seems like smoke and mirrors.
Poyner seems more like smoke and mirrors to me, though if so, it's a pretty well-refined smoke-and-mirrors act. Something about his presentation is seriously deceptive: it seems odd for a two-pitch guy who throws 90 mph to have a 40% O-Swing. However, he does seem to have benefited from some luck: his xBABIP and xOBA are way worse than his real numbers (in Workman's case there's almost no difference).
 

Byrdbrain

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When Workman produced in the playoffs he was sitting at 95, he now sits just over 90. He’s been pretty good this year and he will keep getting shots but I agree he seems to be smoke and mirrors.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
When Workman produced in the playoffs he was sitting at 95, he now sits just over 90.
According to the numbers at Brooks, the velocity drop isn't nearly that big. In 2013 his 4-seamer average velocity was 93.19; this year it's 91.68. Max velocity was 97.03 and now is 95.85.

The biggest difference between then and now is that he's using his secondaries (especially his curve) a lot more. In 2013 he was a fastball pitcher who threw the curve and cutter in sparingly and also featured an occasional change; now he throws a fairly even three-pitch mix (FB 40%, curve 36%, cutter 24%).
 
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Byrdbrain

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According to the numbers at Brooks, the velocity drop isn't nearly that big. In 2013 his 4-seamer average velocity was 93.19; this year it's 91.68. Max velocity was 97.03 and now is 95.85.
Interesting, I was going from memory and I sure thought it was a bigger difference than that. I also sure as hell don't recall him hitting 95 this year. Looking at the data that almost 96 was in June his top number lately is barely over 94.

In any event I hope the results stay as good as they have been because it looks like he'll have a post season role.
 

Adrian's Dome

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Interesting, I was going from memory and I sure thought it was a bigger difference than that. I also sure as hell don't recall him hitting 95 this year. Looking at the data that almost 96 was in June his top number lately is barely over 94.

In any event I hope the results stay as good as they have been because it looks like he'll have a post season role.
Well, I think we can reasonably assume at this point Thornburg won't, so that certainly helps his chances.

On the 'ol trust-o-meter, for me, Workman's coming in right around the same as Brasier, behind Kimbrel and (healthy) Barnes. I'd definitely bring him in a close game before Kelly at this point, who can be as good or as bad as anyone in the league on any given day.
 

AB in DC

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He's still got lousy peripherals, though -- 4.51 FIP for the year. He's been living off a .237 BABIP and a 95% LOB%, which may not be sustainable.
 

Adrian's Dome

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He's still got lousy peripherals, though -- 4.51 FIP for the year. He's been living off a .237 BABIP and a 95% LOB%, which may not be sustainable.
It won't be sustainable long-term...but for the rest of this season? Given the lack of other options, I'd be willing to roll the dice.
 

williams_482

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It won't be sustainable long-term...but for the rest of this season? Given the lack of other options, I'd be willing to roll the dice.
That's not how this works.

If we think he's worse than he has shown so far (and we should, his K/BB numbers are average, his batter ball numbers look pretty ordinary and he's given up more than his share of dingers) then there is no reason to expect him to continue his run of good luck, regardless of the timeframe.

If this were a adjustment he'd made that other teams haven't figure out yet or something, then sure. What we have here looks a lot more like the classic "mediocre pitcher runs ridiculous BABiP and strand rate for 40 innings" story and that's not something that you should bank on continuing for any length of time.
 

Adrian's Dome

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That's not how this works.

If we think he's worse than he has shown so far (and we should, his K/BB numbers are average, his batter ball numbers look pretty ordinary and he's given up more than his share of dingers) then there is no reason to expect him to continue his run of good luck, regardless of the timeframe.

If this were a adjustment he'd made that other teams haven't figure out yet or something, then sure. What we have here looks a lot more like the classic "mediocre pitcher runs ridiculous BABiP and strand rate for 40 innings" story and that's not something that you should bank on continuing for any length of time.
You're saying riding the hot hand (especially through the playoffs) isn't a thing?

I've got Alan Embree on line 2 whenever you're ready.

Secondly, great job glossing over the "given the lack of other options" part of that post which gave everything following it the necessary context.
 

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You're saying riding the hot hand (especially through the playoffs) isn't a thing?

I've got Alan Embree on line 2 whenever you're ready.

Secondly, great job glossing over the "given the lack of other options" part of that post which gave everything following it the necessary context.
Embree had a WHIP of 1.08 in 2002, 1.18 in 2003 and 1.15 in 2004. He wasn't about riding a hot hand, he was a consistently good pitcher.
 

Adrian's Dome

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Embree had a WHIP of 1.08 in 2002, 1.18 in 2003 and 1.15 in 2004. He wasn't about riding a hot hand, he was a consistently good pitcher.
Okay, bad example. Point still stands. Sometimes guys just get it done for a season (or a large portion of one, see Velazquez, 1st half) and there's no statistical explanation for it.

Once again, if you don't trust Workman that much, who do you? Mr. Consistency Joe Kelly? Scott? Poyner? Thornburg?

It's not like we're choosing between him and '07 Okajima as primary setup guys.
 

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Okay, bad example. Point still stands. Sometimes guys just get it done for a season (or a large portion of one, see Velazquez, 1st half) and there's no statistical explanation for it.

Once again, if you don't trust Workman that much, who do you? Mr. Consistency Joe Kelly? Scott? Poyner? Thornburg?

It's not like we're choosing between him and '07 Okajima as primary setup guys.
During the regular season 2013, Workman had an ERA of 4.97 and a WHIP of 1.42. Then in the playoffs, he had an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 1.15.
During the regular season 2013, Doubront had an ERA of 4.32 and a WHIP of 1.43. Then in the playoffs, he had an ERA of 1.29 and a WHIP of 0.86.

Farrell figured out who the mediocre pitchers who turned into hot hands were in 2013. We have all sorts of options this year, and Cora needs to figure out who these guys are this year. Suffice it to say, at this point in 2013, not many were saying that Workman and Doubront would be the ideal compliments to Koji, Taj, and Breslow in the post-season.
 

Devizier

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I really appreciate what Cora has done with the bullpen down the stretch. Everybody is auditioning for their postseason role. A more conventional manager would probably have penciled in Hembree and Kelly based on their overall positive contributions this year. But I think those guys are on the bubble, whereas more marginal guys like Poyner and Workman are also getting bubble status. As much as it sucks for a reliever with 50+ decent innings to get left off the roster it really depends on what you can give at the end of the season. And ironically those 50+ innings might be a direct cause of your being unable to make it.

I can say that Pomeranz is almost certainly out, right?
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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I really appreciate what Cora has done with the bullpen down the stretch. Everybody is auditioning for their postseason role. A more conventional manager would probably have penciled in Hembree and Kelly based on their overall positive contributions this year. But I think those guys are on the bubble, whereas more marginal guys like Poyner and Workman are also getting bubble status. As much as it sucks for a reliever with 50+ decent innings to get left off the roster it really depends on what you can give at the end of the season. And ironically those 50+ innings might be a direct cause of your being unable to make it.

I can say that Pomeranz is almost certainly out, right?
It also helps when the team has basically wrapped up the division by Labor Day
 

normstalls

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Serious question: is there even one pitcher to trust to get the ball to Kimbrel in a close game? Everyone that Cora tries fails.
Very valid question. Seems like every day a new guy chokes (often after a fairly successful stretch so you kinda trust him). Cora has an impossible job of trying to figure out which mediocre pitcher can get a few outs any given night.