Corey Kluber moving to the Bullpen on Friday

LogansDad

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Love it. Give him a few weeks to see how it works out, and if he doesn't turn it around it is time to find a way to offload him. I like the decisiveness here.

I was a fan of this signing, and I was wrong (so far).
 

JM3

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Having all of Crawford/Pivetta/Winck/Kluber in the bullpen at the same time as right-handed long relievers seems a bit unsustainable, but we'll see how it plays out.
 

joe dokes

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Having all of Crawford/Pivetta/Winck/Kluber in the bullpen at the same time as right-handed long relievers seems a bit unsustainable, but we'll see how it plays out.
It does free up one or both of Crawford/Winckowski (both of whom have been doing well) for higher-leverage spots in situations other than when the starter shits the bed.
 

mauidano

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The Opening Day starter is now pitching out of the bullpen. Pretty sad actually. Baseball can be a cruel game.
 

JM3

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It does free up one or both of Crawford/Winckowski (both of whom have been doing well) for higher-leverage spots in situations other than when the starter shits the bed.
Yeahhh... but neither of them are really elite stuff guys who you would necessarily want to rely on in 1 high leverage inning.

Winck isn't a strikeout pitcher (6.75/9) & seems to be running well above expectations so far this year (for example 2.15 ERA & 3.86 xFIP). He would be over-exposed in a high leverage set-up role.

The staff is lacking those guys beyond Martin & Jansen, especially with Schreiber hurt. It's a bit concerning, & we'll see if they can churn out some more complementary pieces, but with Houck & Whitlock appearing to be 2 of their 5 best starter options, it's a harder path.

Wyatt Mills is one guy who might be that guy, but his rehab just got delayed because he's still sore, so relying on him seems unwise.

Of the 4 LRs, I think Pivetta is the only one who really has high leverage inning potential, but he hasn't really shown anything in his career that would make me think he could harness that right now.
 

LogansDad

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Yeahhh... but neither of them are really elite stuff guys who you would necessarily want to rely on in 1 high leverage inning.

Winck isn't a strikeout pitcher (6.75/9) & seems to be running well above expectations so far this year (for example 2.15 ERA & 3.86 xFIP). He would be over-exposed in a high leverage set-up role.

The staff is lacking those guys beyond Martin & Jansen, especially with Schreiber hurt. It's a bit concerning, & we'll see if they can churn out some more complementary pieces, but with Houck & Whitlock appearing to be 2 of their 5 best starter options, it's a harder path.

Wyatt Mills is one guy who might be that guy, but his rehab just got delayed because he's still sore, so relying on him seems unwise.

Of the 4 LRs, I think Pivetta is the only one who really has high leverage inning potential, but he hasn't really shown anything in his career that would make me think he could harness that right now.
Agreed on all counts. If Pivetta or Kluber could put up even close to 5 innings of something remotely resembling league average pitching, I think that one of Houck/Whitlock in the pen would have been the perfect scenario. Sadly, the two of them have been among the worst pitchers I have ever had to suffer through watching for two months, so here we are. I don't know whether they are all in on this season yet or not, but they have a chance to compete and I wouldn't be opposed to them moving some of the medium end prospect depth for a solid LH RP. Bleier being a Home Run derby machine has certainly complicated things, as well.
 

JM3

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Agreed on all counts. If Pivetta or Kluber could put up even close to 5 innings of something remotely resembling league average pitching, I think that one of Houck/Whitlock in the pen would have been the perfect scenario. Sadly, the two of them have been among the worst pitchers I have ever had to suffer through watching for two months, so here we are. I don't know whether they are all in on this season yet or not, but they have a chance to compete and I wouldn't be opposed to them moving some of the medium end prospect depth for a solid LH RP. Bleier being a Home Run derby machine has certainly complicated things, as well.
I don't think this is, or should be, an all in season. This is the tax reset year. They do have a bit of wiggle room under the tax, but it only really makes much sense to go out & make bigger acquisitions if at least 4 of Sale/Paxton/Bello/Whitlock/Houck are pitching really well 2 months from now. Which is possible, but I think it's premature to rely on & make moves based on.

& I would rather they throw Sherriff/Dermody/Mosqueda/Nail/whoever &/or see if Joely can get it back together to try to solve the LHRP problem before trying to throw future assets at the problem.
 

LogansDad

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I don't think this is, or should be, an all in season. This is the tax reset year. They do have a bit of wiggle room under the tax, but it only really makes much sense to go out & make bigger acquisitions if at least 4 of Sale/Paxton/Bello/Whitlock/Houck are pitching really well 2 months from now. Which is possible, but I think it's premature to rely on & make moves based on.

& I would rather they throw Sherriff/Dermody/Mosqueda/Nail/whoever &/or see if Joely can get it back together to try to solve the LHRP problem before trying to throw future assets at the problem.
I agree with you, and wasn't necessarily advocating for an all in move. But I also don't want them to piss away a good season in June because they keep throwing Pivetta, Kluber and Bleier's corpse on the mound.
 

richgedman'sghost

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I agree with you, and wasn't necessarily advocating for an all in move. But I also don't want them to piss away a good season in June because they keep throwing Pivetta, Kluber and Bleier's corpse on the mound.
Just a clarification.. isn't Bleier on the Injured List at the moment which prevents Cora from giving into any temptation to use him?
 

JM3

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I agree with you, and wasn't necessarily advocating for an all in move. But I also don't want them to piss away a good season in June because they keep throwing Pivetta, Kluber and Bleier's corpse on the mound.
Yeah, it's definitely getting close to time to cut bait on the non-performing veterans.

Bleier is throwing 2 mph slower than last year on basically every pitch which is simply not sustainable for a guy who pitches the way he does. Maybe some time on the DL will help?

Kluber is down about 1 mph which seems to have made him hit his breaking point, too, causing him to try to nibble too much.

Pivetta doesn't have a speed of pitch issue... he has an inability to put the ball where he wants to so people hit tf out of the ball and/or he walks them issue.
 

shaggydog2000

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Yeah, it's definitely getting close to time to cut bait on the non-performing veterans.

Bleier is throwing 2 mph slower than last year on basically every pitch which is simply not sustainable for a guy who pitches the way he does. Maybe some time on the DL will help?

Kluber is down about 1 mph which seems to have made him hit his breaking point, too, causing him to try to nibble too much.

Pivetta doesn't have a speed of pitch issue... he has an inability to put the ball where he wants to so people hit tf out of the ball and/or he walks them issue.
But that is why there are here, right? If they have a great year, awesome ride that out. If not, they don't have long contracts that block the developing starters. Paxton was similar but he's worked out so far, and Sale seems to have bounced back. In the short term Houck and Bello have been among the team's best 4 starting pitchers, and Whitlock was a good starter last year before his injury. The rotation could be decent for the rest of the year, with the normal developing pitcher stumbles and injuries. But you don't want to completely jettison the non-performing vets because when injuries or underperformance hit, they might be better options than finding dudes off the street in July.
 

trekfan55

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The Opening Day starter is now pitching out of the bullpen. Pretty sad actually. Baseball can be a cruel game.
Well, Sale was not ready, Bello was injured, Paxton was not close to ready. And so on. Kluber has a decent Spring Training but there is a reason he was annoited opening day starter.
 

JM3

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But that is why there are here, right? If they have a great year, awesome ride that out. If not, they don't have long contracts that block the developing starters. Paxton was similar but he's worked out so far, and Sale seems to have bounced back. In the short term Houck and Bello have been among the team's best 4 starting pitchers, and Whitlock was a good starter last year before his injury. The rotation could be decent for the rest of the year, with the normal developing pitcher stumbles and injuries. But you don't want to completely jettison the non-performing vets because when injuries or underperformance hit, they might be better options than finding dudes off the street in July.
They were here to hopefully be competent pitchers like Kluber/Bleier were last year & like Pivetta kinda was 2 years ago.

If Kluber/Bleier are legit done, they aren't a better option than basically anyone, & keeping them in the bullpen in lieu of someone who would hopefully be better at that job is a bit rough. Bleier being on the DL & getting a chance to hopefully find those 2 mph he lost is a good opportunity. & it's not like the Red Sox have a ton of healthy high leverage relievers Kluber is blocking right now.

It's a bit of a jigsaw puzzle that doesn't quite fit at the moment. But if they can make it through like this for a while, it will sort itself out.
 

moondog80

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If you don't know when to walk away, sure
I would not have walked away from the $$ the Red Sox offered, especially after the season he just had.
This is why the Sox like short term deals to fill in holes left by the farm system.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Well, Sale was not ready, Bello was injured, Paxton was not close to ready. And so on. Kluber has a decent Spring Training but there is a reason he was annoited opening day starter.
FWIW, Sale was ready. It was a deliberate choice to not have him start Opening Day. Kluber got the nod because of his age/veteran status. A case could be made that Pivetta deserved the honor. But ultimately, who starts Opening Day really doesn't matter at all.
 

Manramsclan

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My first reaction to Kluber moving to the bullpen is, "To do what?"

He's now a mop-up guy who makes the kind of mess that needs to be mopped up when he starts. There is no chance that his stuff plays up in a bullpen role like Pivetta. Pivetta, for all his faults, is likely better suited to that mop-up, long-relief role than Kluber is.

This is a tough spot for the Red Sox. To DFA him and eat the salary for nothing is not wise (especially since the current rotation has high injury risk). He probably has no trade value, and there really isn't a role for him in the pen or in the rotation. To me the signing itself seems like the problem. Redundancy in the rotation is a good idea when the pitchers are either cheap, or effective. Kluber is niether.
 

iddoc

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With the track record of our current 5 starters, and the lack of anyone close to ready in the minors (I don’t see them rushing Drohan), the likelihood of an injury pushing Kluber back to the rotation in the next couple months is fairly high. Keeping him stretched out may be problematic, however.
 

shaggydog2000

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They were here to hopefully be competent pitchers like Kluber/Bleier were last year & like Pivetta kinda was 2 years ago.

If Kluber/Bleier are legit done, they aren't a better option than basically anyone, & keeping them in the bullpen in lieu of someone who would hopefully be better at that job is a bit rough. Bleier being on the DL & getting a chance to hopefully find those 2 mph he lost is a good opportunity. & it's not like the Red Sox have a ton of healthy high leverage relievers Kluber is blocking right now.

It's a bit of a jigsaw puzzle that doesn't quite fit at the moment. But if they can make it through like this for a while, it will sort itself out.
I would agree that any player that is "legit done" should be off of a team. The thing with MLB players is that it is pretty hard to tell when one is legit done, and the guys you would get off the streets right about now would have a similar recent track record, right?
 

joe dokes

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With the track record of our current 5 starters, and the lack of anyone close to ready in the minors (I don’t see them rushing Drohan), the likelihood of an injury pushing Kluber back to the rotation in the next couple months is fairly high. Keeping him stretched out may be problematic, however.
I think it's pretty obvious that that's why they're trying to keep him around. The potential fragility of the best 5 starters (who havent yet gone even once through a rotation together), combined with their hesitancy to rush any minor leaguers. But, yeah, it's hard to see how he gets more than a few innings a week. OTOH--Maybe the extended down time gives him a chance to do more side work in the hopes of regaining some command.The bright side is that, at the moment, they aren't counting on him.
 

JM3

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I would agree that any player that is "legit done" should be off of a team. The thing with MLB players is that it is pretty hard to tell when one is legit done, and the guys you would get off the streets right about now would have a similar recent track record, right?
Well, there's not much of a potential redemption arc for older control pitchers who go from somewhat effectively pounding the zone throwing fairly slow to losing some speed & getting crushed other than getting their mph back up. If it's health-related, throwing them on the DL & hoping it gets better is a legitimate thing to try. But if that's just as hard as Kluber & Bleier can throw now, it's hard to see much upside.

You don't need to get starting pitchers off the street, though. Even if it takes a bit to get Winck/Crawford stretched out, they are still decent depth options & getting guys like Schreiber/Mills back would help fill in the bullpen gaps.

Also, guys like Dermody could potentially provide mediocre depth or a decent lefthanded bullpen option. & Drohan could certainly be a fun option...
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I don’t know if there’s other starters available but I do think the Sox will look to add a future rotation piece. The FA class of starters has its problems- actual problematic people, or unlikely to play in Boston. I’ve felt that a trade is more likely and with a glut of good 2B players in the mL with Story likely not moving off there anytime soon… I could see Bloom pull the trigger on a deadline deal this year with some upper tier talent moving for someone with 3-4 years left
 

JM3

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I don’t know if there’s other starters available but I do think the Sox will look to add a future rotation piece. The FA class of starters has its problems- actual problematic people, or unlikely to play in Boston. I’ve felt that a trade is more likely and with a glut of good 2B players in the mL with Story likely not moving off there anytime soon… I could see Bloom pull the trigger on a deadline deal this year with some upper tier talent moving for someone with 3-4 years left
Maybe? Hard to visualize right now who would be available at a reasonable price that would be a difference maker?

There are some semi-interesting free agent options this off season...

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2023/04/2023-24-mlb-free-agent-power-rankings.html

Paxton is our only starter who is a free agent after this season & as evidenced by him accepting the 1/$4m to stay, he's comfortable here.
 

streeter88

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Below are the 8 pitchers who have started a game for the Red Sox in 2023, ranked by FIP. Whitlock is on the 15-day-IL currently. So that leaves 7 SP.

65222

Kluber's FIP is a full run worse than any of the other six SP, and his K, BB, and HR/9 rates are far worse than any of the others. And we are not talking about an elite group of starters here. Which makes me wonder about why they'd even keep him as injury insurance.

How on earth did TBR coax 164 innings of 3.74 FIP out him last year? How to get him back the 1mph of velocity that has led to him nibbling / falling off the cliff? Is that why his BB/9 has gone up by 2.7 this year? Is this what burnt toast smells like?

If anyone has any answers, I suspect a pitching coach in the Back Bay (or Kluber himself) would be willing to pay blood or bitcoin for the answer...
 

chrisfont9

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I would not have walked away from the $$ the Red Sox offered, especially after the season he just had.
This is why the Sox like short term deals to fill in holes left by the farm system.
Agree. And Kluber's dropoff wasn't foreshadowed, so no discredit to him or the Sox for giving it another year. Just hasn't worked out, and thankfully the Sox are protected against this situation.
 

chrisfont9

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Below are the 8 pitchers who have started a game for the Red Sox in 2023, ranked by FIP. Whitlock is on the 15-day-IL currently. So that leaves 7 SP.

View attachment 65222

Kluber's FIP is a full run worse than any of the other six SP, and his K, BB, and HR/9 rates are far worse than any of the others. And we are not talking about an elite group of starters here. Which makes me wonder about why they'd even keep him as injury insurance.

How on earth did TBR coax 164 innings of 3.74 FIP out him last year? How to get him back the 1mph of velocity that has led to him nibbling / falling off the cliff? Is that why his BB/9 has gone up by 2.7 this year? Is this what burnt toast smells like?

If anyone has any answers, I suspect a pitching coach in the Back Bay (or Kluber himself) would be willing to pay blood or bitcoin for the answer...
I mean, the answer probably includes a lot of subtleties, but starts with the fact that he was able to throw strikes last year. Presumably he's trying to do that now, and the Sox have told him as much, but he can't do it? I don't think he's just completely shying away from the strike zone. If that were the case then he really should give the money back. That's not pitching.
 

JM3

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Agree. And Kluber's dropoff wasn't foreshadowed, so no discredit to him or the Sox for giving it another year. Just hasn't worked out, and thankfully the Sox are protected against this situation.
Eh...he had a 3.73 ERA 1st half last year, 5.14 2nd half & is 37. It should not come as some shock.
 

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JM3

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