Bullpen '21

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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They say a walk is as good as a single, in this case we are actually talking about hits.
The phrase, though, is "a walk is as good as a hit", though they *mean* a walk is as good a single. But the phrase is "a walk is as good as a hit".

A walk isn't as good as a single, it's definitely not as good as a hit.

You can walk 3 guys before a run scores. Chances of giving up 3 hits without a run coming across are slim to none.
Agreed 100%. I'd rather have my pitchers give up a lot of walks and few hits than the other way around, for obvious reasons. Though walks sure slow the game down and can be torture to watch.
 

effectivelywild

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The phrase, though, is "a walk is as good as a hit", though they *mean* a walk is as good a single. But the phrase is "a walk is as good as a hit".

A walk isn't as good as a single, it's definitely not as good as a hit.



Agreed 100%. I'd rather have my pitchers give up a lot of walks and few hits than the other way around, for obvious reasons. Though walks sure slow the game down and can be torture to watch.
I think that phrase is mostly used in bases loaded situations, with the implication that a walk drives a guy in just like a single would (ignoring the obvious potential for a hit to drive in multiple guys). I've also heard it used for when teams are down by a lot and just need baserunners if they are going to claw their way back.

Obvioisly a walk is at least as good, if not a better outcome (in most situations) than a hit for pitchers.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think that phrase is mostly used in bases loaded situations, with the implication that a walk drives a guy in just like a single would (ignoring the obvious potential for a hit to drive in multiple guys). I've also heard it used for when teams are down by a lot and just need baserunners if they are going to claw their way back.

Obvioisly a walk is at least as good, if not a better outcome (in most situations) than a hit for pitchers.
Walk is as good as a hit is a saying from the offense's perspective in the sense that any baserunner is an opportunity to score a run.

I think the more appropriate cliche that the Sox pen is defying is "walks will kill you."
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Walk is as good as a hit is a saying from the offense's perspective in the sense that any baserunner is an opportunity to score a run.

I think the more appropriate cliche that the Sox pen is defying is "walks will kill you."
During the early 2000's (the aughts?) when OBP was like a secret that only Billy Beane knew about, the idea as I was explained it, was that on offense... a BB is actually better than a hit- considering most hits are singles... the pitcher uses less than 4 pitches to allow a guy to put the ball in play.... once the ball is in play there's more than a 60% chance it's going to be an out. So for pitching, I'd guess the inverse is/was true?
 

Cesar Crespo

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During the early 2000's (the aughts?) when OBP was like a secret that only Billy Beane knew about, the idea as I was explained it, was that on offense... a BB is actually better than a hit- considering most hits are singles... the pitcher uses less than 4 pitches to allow a guy to put the ball in play.... once the ball is in play there's more than a 60% chance it's going to be an out. So for pitching, I'd guess the inverse is/was true?
I'd guess in the steroid era a walk was closer to the value of a single than it is right now.
 

billy ashley

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I don't think anyone ever really thought a BB was the same as a single. From a strictly run expectancy standpoint, a single has always been worth more than a BB on the whole. The value may be roughly the same with no one on base, but overall... a single has always been worth a BB.

The whole Beane thing was that baseball in the early part of the century didn't properly value BBs relative to singles. That the market would pay $1.00 for a single, and $.50 for a walk when a BB is much closer to a buck than 50 cents.

It was about exploring walks being undervalued relative to singles, not that BBs were better than singles.
 

cantor44

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I don't think anyone ever really thought a BB was the same as a single. From a strictly run expectancy standpoint, a single has always been worth more than a BB on the whole. The value may be roughly the same with no one on base, but overall... a single has always been worth a BB.

The whole Beane thing was that baseball in the early part of the century didn't properly value BBs relative to singles. That the market would pay $1.00 for a single, and $.50 for a walk when a BB is much closer to a buck than 50 cents.

It was about exploring walks being undervalued relative to singles, not that BBs were better than singles.
Well, with no one on base, isn't the value exactly the same?

I think some of that first wave of analytics revealed, perhaps obviously, that the worst thing you can do when you are hitting is make an out. And to avoid an out, however you do it, even with a BB, is the most important thing. That is, the thing that has the biggest effect on the probability of scoring in an inning, next to a home run of course, is making an out. So, don't make an out. "Keep the line moving."

But of course, with men on base, a single is more valuable.

I have a busy day so can't look up right now, but wonder how a BB and a single are calculated differently in RC/27 ...
 
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OurF'ingCity

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I think at least for the past couple of years - basically during Cora's tenure - it's been pretty clear that the Sox don't value walks all that highly overall, which is why you not only see a lot of nibbling from relievers (and starters to some extent) but also fairly aggressive approaches from most Sox hitters.

Which makes sense in a "three true outcomes" era, and particularly when playing a team like the Yankees that is basically HR-or-bust. If the risk of throwing anything cleanly over the plate is so high, it makes sense to take that risk off the table in favor of increasing the risk of a negative, but less negative, outcome like a walk. When breaking down Game 2 of the just-ended Yankees series Jomboy made this point from the Yankees perspective - he was saying that counterintuitively Stanton should have been hacking at some of those out-of-zone pitches in the 9th because the Sox were relatively clearly pitching around him with the understanding that putting another guy on base via walk wasn't that bad all things considered.
 

shaggydog2000

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I don't think anyone ever really thought a BB was the same as a single. From a strictly run expectancy standpoint, a single has always been worth more than a BB on the whole. The value may be roughly the same with no one on base, but overall... a single has always been worth a BB.

The whole Beane thing was that baseball in the early part of the century didn't properly value BBs relative to singles. That the market would pay $1.00 for a single, and $.50 for a walk when a BB is much closer to a buck than 50 cents.

It was about exploring walks being undervalued relative to singles, not that BBs were better than singles.
I think it was a simplified version of what the Sabermetrics people were thinking during that era, the one that they could repeat to players and reporters without having to get into expected values and complicated math. Some players (and reporters) are Curt Schilling and want the nerd version. Most just want the basics. And then reporters, players, and commentators repeat that little bit of wisdom endlessly until it is divorced from it's original context and no longer has meaning. I think it was meant to encourage the concept of getting on base (and OBP) being more important than just getting hits (and batting average), not that walks and hits have equivalent expected value.
 

cantor44

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I think at least for the past couple of years - basically during Cora's tenure - it's been pretty clear that the Sox don't value walks all that highly overall, which is why you not only see a lot of nibbling from relievers (and starters to some extent) but also fairly aggressive approaches from most Sox hitters.

Which makes sense in a "three true outcomes" era, and particularly when playing a team like the Yankees that is basically HR-or-bust. If the risk of throwing anything cleanly over the plate is so high, it makes sense to take that risk off the table in favor of increasing the risk of a negative, but less negative, outcome like a walk. When breaking down Game 2 of the just-ended Yankees series Jomboy made this point from the Yankees perspective - he was saying that counterintuitively Stanton should have been hacking at some of those out-of-zone pitches in the 9th because the Sox were relatively clearly pitching around him with the understanding that putting another guy on base via walk wasn't that bad all things considered.
I think this is basically right and a good insight, with the caveat that I don't think Sox relievers walking the bases loaded the last two games resulted from a particular approach. They were just performing badly, and Cora got Sawamura and Hernandez out of there ASAP .... Pitch to the corners, yes. The last two games, though, maybe not the best examples of any kind of approach ..
 

Minneapolis Millers

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This is a funny discussion. Maybe there has been an announcer or two along the way to say, “Hey, you know, a walk’s as good as a hit here!” Certainly it’s been analyzed to debunk it. But I honestly think that “saying” has been used 1000x more frequently by parents of little leaguers who KNOW the kid at the plate isn’t going to hit the ball, so they’re just hoping out loud that s/he gets walked, and are shouting this as encouragement.
 

joe dokes

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This is a funny discussion. Maybe there has been an announcer or two along the way to say, “Hey, you know, a walk’s as good as a hit here!” Certainly it’s been analyzed to debunk it. But I honestly think that “saying” has been used 1000x more frequently by parents of little leaguers who KNOW the kid at the plate isn’t going to hit the ball, so they’re just hoping out loud that s/he gets walked, and are shouting this as encouragement.
Thanks, Dad.
 

AbbyNoho

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"A walk right here's just as good as a homerun" - Tim McCarver, ALCS Game 6, 2004 Hideki Matsui up with the bases empty, Yankees trailing by 2 in the 9th. He meant they needed two base runners to tie but like, double plays exist
 
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pjheff

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https://www.masslive.com/redsox/2021/07/matt-andriese-gives-up-3-runs-in-boston-red-sox-loss-now-has-799-era-since-may-1-were-not-going-to-give-up-on-him-alex-cora-says.html?outputType=amp

Despite Cora's vote of confidence, the Sox have to be considering DFAing Andriese, don't they? Two months of terrible pitching seems patient enough.
Who‘s he blocking? With a 14-man staff, there should be room to carry a mop-up man such as Andriese while not allowing him anywhere near the field in a high leverage situation like yesterday’s game.
 

jmcc5400

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Kaleb Ort is sporting a 1.50 ERA pitching in the Worcester launching pad and has fanned 33 in 24 innings. He's 29 and most likely a 13th or 14th man on the staff, but I'd just as soon see him.

Edit: I'd also rather see Valdez now and any of Houck, Seabold or Bazardo when they are healthy. If it were up to me, I'd DFA Andriese, call up Valdez and move Duran to the 40 man.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Kaleb Ort is sporting a 1.50 ERA pitching in the Worcester launching pad and has fanned 33 in 24 innings. He's 29 and most likely a 13th or 14th man on the staff, but I'd just as soon see him.

Edit: I'd also rather see Valdez now and any of Houck, Seabold or Bazardo when they are healthy. If it were up to me, I'd DFA Andriese, call up Valdez and move Duran to the 40 man.
You absolutely positively DO NOT move Duran to the 40-man roster until the day they decide to bring him up to the big club, or the last possible day before he's Rule 5 eligible. Whichever comes first. There's no reason whatsoever to burn an option on him unnecessarily, which is exactly what would happen if they added him to the 40 man without a call-up.
 

BaseballJones

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Look at these bullpen ERAs:

Barnes: 2.68
Ottavino: 2.75
Sawamura: 2.65
Taylor: 2.70
Hernandez: 2.67

Incredible consistency.

And then the outliers:

Whitlock: 1.54
Andriese: 5.70
 

simplicio

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Are there any realistic trade targets in particular to upgrade the Andriese slot?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Are there any realistic trade targets in particular to upgrade the Andriese slot?
Probably. There are also some internal options if it comes to it.

Frankly, though, upgrading that spot isn't really a high priority. Every pen needs a mop-up guy, and the 14th pitcher on the staff is rarely all that impactful.
 

greek_gawd_of_walks

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At some point Ort has to be up. He's balling this year for Worcester. And his minor league body of work is phenomenal previous to this year. At 29, there's no service time issue.

Between Sale, Houck, Ort and potentially Braiser-- depending on when he's ok to resume-- you have four internal arms that may be available and could be varying degrees of awesome to useful.

I might be in the minority, but I like Houck in the pen and having two out of every three games where he or Whitlock could give you two innings. That could make the rotation play a little bit longer and save key middle relievers some innings. Obviously, Houck has to show he's good in that role, but if he is, that could really put the bullpen over the top.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Cora's hinted the All-Star break will be when they reconfigure the roster. They're 22 over .500 with 5 games to go to the break, all against fringy .500 teams... they're not going to do anything else before the ASB. (Now watch randomly Andriese DFA'd tonight lol)

Houck will be up, as Red Sox Stats pointed out, the first 14 games after the break are against Yankees and Blue Jays, both very RHH lineups. You want Houck as an option 100%.
 

YTF

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Richards isn’t going to like that.
No worries it's likely temporary. If they bring both Sale and Houck up they're going to need that roster spot.

At some point Ort has to be up. He's balling this year for Worcester. And his minor league body of work is phenomenal previous to this year. At 29, there's no service time issue.

Between Sale, Houck, Ort and potentially Braiser-- depending on when he's ok to resume-- you have four internal arms that may be available and could be varying degrees of awesome to useful.

I might be in the minority, but I like Houck in the pen and having two out of every three games where he or Whitlock could give you two innings. That could make the rotation play a little bit longer and save key middle relievers some innings. Obviously, Houck has to show he's good in that role, but if he is, that could really put the bullpen over the top.
Cora was very clear earlier in the season that if Houck was up he would not be in the pen, but things could change. The rotation and staff as a whole is also yet to be bitten hard by the injury bug. As the cliche goes, it will be a nice problem to have.
 

YTF

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Cora's hinted the All-Star break will be when they reconfigure the roster. They're 22 over .500 with 5 games to go to the break, all against fringy .500 teams... they're not going to do anything else before the ASB. (Now watch randomly Andriese DFA'd tonight lol)

Houck will be up, as Red Sox Stats pointed out, the first 14 games after the break are against Yankees and Blue Jays, both very RHH lineups. You want Houck as an option 100%.
If you want to extend that out just a bit further, it's 18 games in 18 days coming off the break with Tampa Bay added in there at the end. I'm no mathematician, but 18 is divisible by 6 if you smell what I'm cookin'.
 

phenweigh

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If you want to extend that out just a bit further, it's 18 games in 18 days coming off the break with Tampa Bay added in there at the end. I'm no mathematician, but 18 is divisible by 6 if you smell what I'm cookin'.
With a 26 man roster, a 6 man rotation seems like a less bad idea than previous seasons. It still would remove a bullpen arm from what seems like a group whose innings are getting tricky to manage.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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With a 26 man roster, a 6 man rotation seems like a less bad idea than previous seasons. It still would remove a bullpen arm from what seems like a group whose innings are getting tricky to manage.
This year definitely feels like the one year where a 6 man rotation really might work. There's not one standout "ace" and not one real stinker. The problem in theory with the 6 man rotation has always been removing innings from your best pitcher and giving innings to your worst pitcher, but in this situation, it seems that that difference would be minimized
 

Harry Hooper

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How dare you. Fine, what about Noah Song then, huh?
OK, the SecDef just approved Cameron Kinley playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Any hope for Song to get similar treatment? I don't know the intricacies of deferred service or switching to Reserve duty (a la Joe Cardona).
 

YTF

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This year definitely feels like the one year where a 6 man rotation really might work. There's not one standout "ace" and not one real stinker. The problem in theory with the 6 man rotation has always been removing innings from your best pitcher and giving innings to your worst pitcher, but in this situation, it seems that that difference would be minimized
This also doesn't have to be a permanent thing moving forward, but rather a possible way to ease Sale and/or Houck into the rotation while easing the load on the other guys, especially when faced with long stretches of consecutive games.
 

grimshaw

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My guess is Valdez. His demotion was only because he had options and they needed an arm.

Edit: Though it is Houck's spot in Wor tonight.
 

TapeAndPosts

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Well, to be fair, he has left the bullpen hamstrung
Giving this the recognition it deserves.

Actually glad they waited a few days after the extra inning debacle to get him off the roster, for his mental state if nothing else. But also glad to give someone else a shot. Rooting for Ort but will settle for Valdez.
 

Harry Hooper

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I see. Hmmm . . . I wonder why they would delay making the announcement.
Maybe they are deliberating over bringing up another position player for the games before the break. Could Plawecki get activated?
 
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bosockboy

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Maybe they are deliberating over bringing up another position player for the games before the break. Could Plawecki get activated?
Can’t see the upside of activating Plawecki for 2 games when he could have an extra week to rest. Guessing Houck since he was bumped last night.
 

joe dokes

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Can’t see the upside of activating Plawecki for 2 games when he could have an extra week to rest. Guessing Houck since he was bumped last night.
Plawecki has been activated. Wong sent down. Santana to IL, Chavis back up