Building a Bullpen, 2019 edition

chrisfont9

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Sox need a cost controlled starter to replace Porcello, assuming they want to pay Xander. Finding one within the org sure seems to make sense to me so I would try everyone at SP in the minors and maybe Hernandez will be the Fittest choice to Survive.
Hard to imagine Hernandez being ready next year but maybe. More realistic could be elevating Johnson and/or Wright but grooming Hernandez for 6th starter, which becomes an actual rotation spot by 2021?
 

Savin Hillbilly

loves the secret sauce
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Jul 10, 2007
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The wrong side of the bridge....
Hard to imagine Hernandez being ready next year but maybe. More realistic could be elevating Johnson and/or Wright but grooming Hernandez for 6th starter, which becomes an actual rotation spot by 2021?
Hernandez will, on Opening Day 2020, be at least 8 months older than any of the Sox' current rotation were when they reached the majors, and will be coming off either a year-plus in AA or a half-year in AAA. I don't see anything particularly hard to imagine about a very talented young pitcher making the Opening Day roster in that situation. It would be an aggressive promotion, but not unusually so.
 

chrisfont9

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Hernandez will, on Opening Day 2020, be at least 8 months older than any of the Sox' current rotation were when they reached the majors, and will be coming off either a year-plus in AA or a half-year in AAA. I don't see anything particularly hard to imagine about a very talented young pitcher making the Opening Day roster in that situation. It would be an aggressive promotion, but not unusually so.
Well his first 352 innings were spent almost entirely in A ball and he has rung up a bb/9 north of 5, so personally I do see that as hard to imagine. I'm not a pitching coach, but if a guy has control issues, it probably doesn't do him well to rush his development. That's a guy you take your time with, trying to refine his delivery. If suddenly, as of this spring, he is straight up mowing pricks down, as we like to say, then great, but I see a spring training stat of 8 walks and 3 HBP in 11 innings, so I really don't see him as ready.
 

Sam Ray Not

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The incomparable Heath Hembree with the rare 0.0IP, 0H, 3ER, 2BB, 0 K line today in Mesa, AZ.

Now rocking a 17.18 ERA this spring with 10 baserunners allowed in 3.2 innings.

(Scorekeeping question: how exactly does one get three earned runs with two walks and no hits allowed?)
 

geoduck no quahog

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When Cora says it's all about matchups, does anyone know what strategy that means? For example:

- Bring in a specific reliever because he matches up well with the current batter and the guys coming up, or
- Bring in a specific reliever due to the game situation (best available arm in the highest leverage situation, regardless of who's at bat)

I guess most will say, "both"...but he's got to manage the bullpen so that innings 8 and 9 in a close game aren't handed over to dregs. In other words, "matchups" is the political answer to, "there will be no set roles in the bullpen...we'll see how each game plays out"

That puts a lot of stress on the coaching staff. It makes every reliever a little uncertain about what's ahead of him each game. I think that sucks.

I'm putting my hope on door #2 (best available arm that day in the highest leverage situation) and keeping my fingers crossed that talent will reveal itself and rise in the first 6 weeks so that roles can become more predictable. It's conceivable that someone like Barnes can prove he's the closer-in-waiting.
 

joe dokes

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I guess most will say, "both"...but he's got to manage the bullpen so that innings 8 and 9 in a close game aren't handed over to dregs. In other words, "matchups" is the political answer to, "there will be no set roles in the bullpen...we'll see how each game plays out"

That puts a lot of stress on the coaching staff. It makes every reliever a little uncertain about what's ahead of him each game. I think that sucks.

I'm putting my hope on door #2 (best available arm that day in the highest leverage situation) and keeping my fingers crossed that talent will reveal itself and rise in the first 6 weeks so that roles can become more predictable. It's conceivable that someone like Barnes can prove he's the closer-in-waiting.
Given the communicative track record, I think the relievers will know from day to day what might be ahead. "You've got the middle of the order after the 6th . . ." or some such.

As for the dregs (I know what you mean), if 7,8 and 9 coming are up, we might see a pitcher that we'd rather not see once in a while.

I don't think Cora *wants* Barnes to be a "closer," as that role has come to be. If he's as good or better than he's been, he's too valuable to only use in the 9th, especially to protect a 3-run lead.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Given the communicative track record, I think the relievers will know from day to day what might be ahead. "You've got the middle of the order after the 6th . . ." or some such.

As for the dregs (I know what you mean), if 7,8 and 9 coming are up, we might see a pitcher that we'd rather not see once in a while.

I don't think Cora *wants* Barnes to be a "closer," as that role has come to be. If he's as good or better than he's been, he's too valuable to only use in the 9th, especially to protect a 3-run lead.
Yes.

I think we've already seen how they're going to deploy the pen because aside from not having Kimbrel locked into the 9th/closer spot, it will look a lot like last season. Barnes and Brasier will probably get the higher leverage spots, at least to start. Hembree will probably get majority RHH and be called on with runners on (he led the team with 41 runners inherited last year, stranding 68%). Everyone else will see more lower leverage situations and/or the bottom of the order as much as possible.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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Jul 21, 2005
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This is probably as good a place as any for this and hadn't heard this story before today. Seems Brasier got himself in hot water with the Texas school system.

Boston Red Sox reliever Ryan Brasier, the greatest rags-to-riches story in the Red Sox’s glorious World Series run last year, opened the envelope. He read it. Put it down. Read it again. And still couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

A congratulatory note? An autograph request?

An invitation to be honored by his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas?

Nope.

A summons from the Wichita Falls school system.

He and his wife, Shaina, were being ordered to court to explain why Kolten Brasier, their 8-year-old son, missed 21 days of school last fall.

He was in danger of being expelled.

Really.

“We get home, see the court summons,’’ Brasier told USA TODAY Sports, “and it was like, “'What the hell?' It was the dumbest thing I heard in my life. It was ridiculous. We even had to hire a lawyer. It was a debacle.

“It wasn’t like we just weren’t sending him to school. There was a reason he wasn’t in school.’’

Yes, there was a World Series to be won, and Brasier wasn’t about to deprive his son and family – including 4-year old daughter Avery – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see their dad accomplish the greatest feat in baseball.

“It’s one thing if he was in high school or even junior high,’’ Brasier said, “but he was in first grade. But they could have charged us up to $100 a day for the days missed if it went to an actual hearing.’’
 

gedman211

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If you set the over/under at 6 weeks before we acquire a setup guy, I'd take the under. They've essentially tried to replace Kelly and Kimbrel with Thornburg and Brewer. Cora has put a positive spin on the situation publicly, but I'd bet even he has doubts that these guys can protect a lead.
 

Coachster

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Jul 3, 2009
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I think you heard me, punchy.
If you set the over/under at 6 weeks before we acquire a setup guy, I'd take the under. They've essentially tried to replace Kelly and Kimbrel with Thornburg and Brewer. Cora has put a positive spin on the situation publicly, but I'd bet even he has doubts that these guys can protect a lead.
I was thinking about the over/under on weeks till Thornburg is DFA’d. It won’t be long.
 

joe dokes

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Jul 18, 2005
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The final pre-season word from Cora:

For openers, no closer
Cora said he would not name a closer before the game. The Sox will use their relief pitchers as matchups dictate.
“Stuff-wise, I’ve been saying all along in spring training and obviously I’ll be saying it throughout the season, we’ve got stuff,” Cora said. “It’s up to us to find matchups that we can exploit and they can maximize their talents.
“[Thursday] people will see what we’re going to do. I feel fine. I’m OK with it.”
Cora said he has known since November what he’s wanted to do.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Jul 23, 2005
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Brewer, Workman, Johnson, Barnes with 4 scoreless innings. Zero hits, 7 K's. Dominant outing against a team that is swinging the piss out of the ball and crucial for the comeback win.

Of note. Barnes was used in a traditional closer role tonight.
 

E5 Yaz

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Barnes looked pretty good last night. Just don’t know why Swihart called for like 5 straight off speed pitches to start the inning. Get 97-98 pumping in for strikes and work off that.
Are we sure Swihart called them? I didn't see him looking at the dugout, but it might have been a plan discussed between innings.
 

Adrian's Dome

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I don't like that. Establish the fastball early in the count then throw breaking stuff when the bat is sped up.
That's not always how it works, especially if the batter may be sitting fastball early. Getting a breaking ball over for a strike early in the count makes it really difficult to predict what may be coming next.
 

RedOctober3829

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deep inside Guido territory
That's not always how it works, especially if the batter may be sitting fastball early. Getting a breaking ball over for a strike early in the count makes it really difficult to predict what may be coming next.
I get that. In some cases, it makes sense. My point about last night was that I didn't understand so many breaking balls in a row to start the first hitter.
 

BaseballJones

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Maybe we need a thread about the starting pitching? Holy smokes they’ve gotten LIT UP the first three games of the season.
 

Plympton91

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Oct 19, 2008
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Maybe we need a thread about the starting pitching? Holy smokes they’ve gotten LIT UP the first three games of the season.
They’re still effectively in the 3rd week of spring training compared with how most teams do it. So, I’m not that concerned with Edro or Eo getting roughed up, and as long as it doesn’t cost them too many more games while they get up to speed maybe the benefit will come in September.
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
5,887
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Starters ERA 13.14
Bullpen ERA 2.84
The bullpen, obviously, isn’t the problem. (Yet.)

Despite the starters getting clobbered, the Red Sox are one win away from a 2-2 road trip. No big deal. If X gets a hit instead of striking out in the 9th last night, we’d be looking forward to a 3-1 road trip.
 

effectivelywild

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Jul 14, 2005
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I know that coming into this season, one of our biggest concerns was that our bullpen seemed to be a "throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks." Obviously, in order for that to work, you have to be able to get a quick read on who is looking effective. I think its a testament to Cora's leadership that our starting pitchers have bought into the program and are pitching poorly to start the year so that the relievers pitch enough for the team to evaluate them and see if we need to shore that area up.
 

chrisfont9

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For some reason I am just now noticing that Ty Buttrey is the Angels' closer. This is both annoying (I guess we needed Kinsler) and a good data point for the team on its Kimbrel stance. There really are a lot of ways to build a bullpen, and the "get lucky within the organization" strategy fits better with their payroll limitations than the "buy high on an established guy" one.
 

Ford Frick's Asterisk

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Where have you seen that? Cody Allen and his declining fastball may not have a strong lock on the job, but I haven't seen anything to suggest he's not the Angels closer… that's why he signed there and what they've been calling him. They haven't had a save situation yet, but Allen was called on to finish out a 4-run lead, while Buttrey hasn't been used to finish a game yet.

*
 

SouthernBoSox

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His movement + velocity combination is unbelievable and his curveball is very much real.

I think going to the first base side of the rubber add some tilt to his delivery.

I've been preaching about Brewer all off season. The tools are there. He just has to throw strikes.
 
Sep 13, 2006
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His movement + velocity combination is unbelievable and his curveball is very much real.

I think going to the first base side of the rubber add some tilt to his delivery.

I've been preaching about Brewer all off season. The tools are there. He just has to throw strikes.
Tilt, Part 2?

Perhaps tilt is the new market efficiency. Here's to Brewer being this year's Brasier.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I thought it was cool that Cora knew right that away it was Tilt’s first save and he was the one calling for the ball. I mean, of course he knew because he’s been there for all his games or maybe even someone told him. Still, I like stuff like that. First of many I hope.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The BP Killer B's- 0 ER's. Barnes, Brasier, Brewer. Add in so far that I'm liking what I've read and heard (haven't seen) out of Thornburg thus far and the bullpen looks to be solid. Workman looks to be decent so far too.
 

sean1562

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Amazing performance today from the pen. We really needed that win. Barnes has looked really good to start the season and Brasier appears to be the real deal
 

Sam Ray Not

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Jul 19, 2005
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Through 11 games:

0.00 Barnes
0.00 Brasier
0.00 Walden
0.00 Workman
2.08 Brewer
3.12 Velazquez
3.38 Hembree
4.50 Thornburg

Total: 38.2 IP, 28 H, 8ER, 10 BB, 44K, 1.86 ERA

If only DD hadn't kneecapped this killer offense and historically great starting rotation with such a wreck of a bullpen.