ERod to Tigers: 5 years/$77 million, opt out after Y2

gryoung

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You must have been watching a different pitcher than I was. Rodriguez was 37th in Fangraphs WAR since 2015, when he came into the league, and 41st in innings pitched over that span. Over that span, he threw more innings at a better FIP than (just to pull a few names off the leaderboard) Adam Wainwright, Jonny Cueto, and José Berrios.

I'm not saying he's irreplaceable, but I would have been tempted to match this offer.
Nope. Watched the same guy. Apparently so did Bloom.
 

BaseballJones

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The value of starting pitchers has never been lower, IMO. The game is moving away from them - I mean there will always be people "starting" games, but I'm talking about the traditional starter, expected to go 6 innings or more. Just think about this.

Nathan Eovaldi is starting. He's a frigging horse. He was the Sox' top starter this year and seems like he could just throw all day long. Season stats: 3.75 era, 1.19 whip. Here are his numbers facing the lineup the first, second, and third time:

1st time: .239/.271/.377/.648
2nd time: .244/.290/.380/.670
3rd time: .281/.324/.456/.780

Now let's look at Cora's options. Let's just consider Adam Ottavino, who at times was excellent but at times was not very good. I'd say he was towards the middle of Boston's bullpen when it all shook out. Not a bad reliever. Not a great reliever. I mean he finished 5th on the team among relievers with a 4.21 era, and 4th among relievers with a 1.45 whip.

Here are Ottavino's numbers facing a lineup the first time:

1st time: .240/.355/.376/.731

So when Cora is looking at his options in, say, the 6th inning, as the opposing lineup comes up for the third time, his options are:

Eovaldi: 3rd time: .281/.324/.456/.780
Ottavino: 1st time: .240/.355/.376/.731

Mathematically, it makes sense to go with Ottavino there. I like this strategy in the postseason but over 162 games, wear and tear is a factor and I want the starter to go longer, and I've been critical of Cora for pulling starters too early when they're pitching well. But the fact is, the math supports the idea of going to even mediocre relievers over quality starters when the starter is facing a lineup for the third time. So I get it.

And the thing is, this is how MLB is trending. Which means that the value of starters is dropping. You just don't need to pay a guy as much if you're only expecting 4-5 innings out of him, rather than 6-7 like you used to.
 

Diamond Don Aase

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Nope. Watched the same guy. Apparently so did Bloom.
Bloom’s best free-agent pitcher signings to-date have been Hirokazu Sawamura followed closely by a ham sandwich, so perhaps rather than appealing to that particular authority you could put some thought into illustrating why signing a 28-year-old pitcher with a 3.32 FIP to a below-market contract would have been such an awful outcome.
 
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chawson

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The value of starting pitchers has never been lower, IMO. The game is moving away from them - I mean there will always be people "starting" games, but I'm talking about the traditional starter, expected to go 6 innings or more. Just think about this.

Nathan Eovaldi is starting. He's a frigging horse. He was the Sox' top starter this year and seems like he could just throw all day long. Season stats: 3.75 era, 1.19 whip. Here are his numbers facing the lineup the first, second, and third time:

1st time: .239/.271/.377/.648
2nd time: .244/.290/.380/.670
3rd time: .281/.324/.456/.780

Now let's look at Cora's options. Let's just consider Adam Ottavino, who at times was excellent but at times was not very good. I'd say he was towards the middle of Boston's bullpen when it all shook out. Not a bad reliever. Not a great reliever. I mean he finished 5th on the team among relievers with a 4.21 era, and 4th among relievers with a 1.45 whip.

Here are Ottavino's numbers facing a lineup the first time:

1st time: .240/.355/.376/.731

So when Cora is looking at his options in, say, the 6th inning, as the opposing lineup comes up for the third time, his options are:

Eovaldi: 3rd time: .281/.324/.456/.780
Ottavino: 1st time: .240/.355/.376/.731

Mathematically, it makes sense to go with Ottavino there. I like this strategy in the postseason but over 162 games, wear and tear is a factor and I want the starter to go longer, and I've been critical of Cora for pulling starters too early when they're pitching well. But the fact is, the math supports the idea of going to even mediocre relievers over quality starters when the starter is facing a lineup for the third time. So I get it.

And the thing is, this is how MLB is trending. Which means that the value of starters is dropping. You just don't need to pay a guy as much if you're only expecting 4-5 innings out of him, rather than 6-7 like you used to.
This is a good breakdown and I support your conclusions. But there may be a little wrinkle here.

The first three hitters that Eovaldi or any starter face the third time through the lineup are necessarily another team’s best hitters (or at least their 1-3 lineup slots). That’s not necessarily true about the first three hitters that relievers like Ottavino face when they’re brought in.

Put another way, Eovaldi holding another team’s top half of the lineup to a .780 OPS maybe be “better,” relatively speaking, than Ottavino holding another team’s total lineup to a .731 OPS.

Again, I agree with your point. But it may be that the league is moving away from the starter model because there are very few who can fit the bill — and the ones who do (like Eovaldi 2021) are exceptionally valuable, because they keep you from relying on an increasingly overtaxed bullpen tasked with picking up the slack for all the other starters who can’t go three times through the order.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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This is a good breakdown and I support your conclusions. But there may be a little wrinkle here.

The first three hitters that Eovaldi or any starter face the third time through the lineup are necessarily another team’s best hitters (or at least their 1-3 lineup slots). That’s not necessarily true about the first three hitters that relievers like Ottavino face when they’re brought in.

Put another way, Eovaldi holding another team’s top half of the lineup to a .780 OPS maybe be “better,” relatively speaking, than Ottavino holding another team’s total lineup to a .731 OPS.

Again, I agree with your point. But it may be that the league is moving away from the starter model because there are very few who can fit the bill — and the ones who do (like Eovaldi 2021) are exceptionally valuable, because they keep you from relying on an increasingly overtaxed bullpen tasked with picking up the slack for all the other starters who can’t go three times through the order.
You're right that they're necessarily the team's first three hitters in the lineup, but it's not at all clear that those represent the best three hitters on a team.

By OPS+, here are the Sox' rankings in their normal lineup late last year:

CF Hernandez - 107 ops+ (6th)
1b Schwarber - 154 ops+ (1st)
3b Devers - 132 ops+ (2nd)
SS Bogaerts - 127 ops+ (3rd)
LF Verdugo - 106 ops+ (7th)
DH Martinez - 126 ops+ (4th)
RF Renfroe - 112 ops+ (5th)
C Vazquez - 75 ops+ (10th)
2b Arroyo - 102 ops+ (9th)
*Dalbec was 8th at 105 ops+

Kiké was great in the postseason and solid during the year but he was not remotely one of their best three hitters during the season.

But yes, I get your larger point and don't disagree. (this was just a fun little exercise for me...)
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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A reliever’s first time through the order stats are likely going to be equal to their overall stats since they are very rarely going to face a hitter twice in the same game. Has there ever been any work done looking at a relievers effectiveness against individual batters based on how many times they’ve seen them in the course of a series, or season?

So, Ottavino instead of Eovaldi against Judge in the 7th inning makes sense….but does it matter if Judge faced him the day prior? Or if it’s the 10th time this year? How much of the ineffectiveness the third time+ through is based on pitcher fatigue and how much is familiarity / lack of diversity in stuff?

Can pitchers work around the third time through the order by mixing up their stuff more? Approaching hitters differently based on how many times faced in the game. Not that they aren’t doing this but will be interesting to see how the game evolves in this regard.

In a perfect world, would you want a new pitcher each time through the order?
 

Daniel_Son

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May 25, 2021
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I think an important piece of this is that especially with pitchers the risk is in the later years and other than Scherzer (who we’d all agree is a legit apex star) those deals haven’t hit the riskiest points yet. Several that have—Price for example—are clearly negative deals as the market treated him as a salary dump. Greinke earned it but lost it last year; Strasberg is clearly under water right now, sale is riskier than when signed etc.
Exactly - while Cole for example, has provided positive value so far, the data indicates that he won't outperform his contract. Even Scherzer - who I think we can all agree has been one of the better FA signings so far - slightly underperformed his contract. Maybe this is a function of WAR=value - maybe a more in-depth analysis using some of his comparative stats would show that he was X amount better than the rest of the league, therefore worth it?

But overall, I think this echoes what Pedroia's Itchy Nose is saying (fantastic analayis, btw) - chasing high end free agent pitchers is not a great strategy. Which seemed to be the Sox MO when they let Lester go - but then they signed Price, so who knows.
 

Manramsclan

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But overall, I think this echoes what Pedroia's Itchy Nose is saying (fantastic analayis, btw) - chasing high end free agent pitchers is not a great strategy. Which seemed to be the Sox MO when they let Lester go - but then they signed Price, so who knows.
This is more evidence of the Red Sox bipolar organizational philosophy rather than an indication of there being a consistent thread between the two that could be parsed out.

If there is one criticism to be had about this ownership group is that they have not allowed a consistent developmental philosophy to be developed at all and instead have been yanking the steering wheel back and forth between two poles to maintain a steady course.
 

gryoung

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Bloom’s best free-agent pitcher signings to-date have been Hirokazu Sawamura followed closely by a ham sandwich, so perhaps rather than appealing to that particular authority you could put some thought into refuting why signing a pitcher with a 3.32 FIP to a below-market contract would have been such an awful outcome.
Folks can lament his departure and that’s fine. I never enjoyed his pitching profile and didn’t have much faith in his starts.

Bloom’s performance so far has been pretty good, albeit a SSS. He’s brought on some solid pitching talent through several channels - trade/Rule 5/free agent signing. I’m inclined to support his approach and believe the net net will be better than 5 years of Erod.

We’re all Sox fans here (well, the vast majority anyway) and want the team to succeed. Determining whether the Sox erred in their approach to Erod will come out over the next few seasons.
 

YTF

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Sorry, I meant the general prospect.
If that's the case, don't you look at every pitcher that way? And if so, how do you sign anyone? I can see if there is a history of elbow issues, but as far as I can remember that hasn't been the case here other than the dead arm issue that sidelined him at the start of the season. I can buy concern over long term covid issues, but elbows and shoulders moving in unnatural ways seem to be an understood risk that every team takes with every pitcher.
 
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A Bad Man

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If that's the case, don't you look at every pitcher that way? And if so, how do you sign anyone? I can see if there is a history of elbow issues, but as far as I can remember that hasn't been the case here other than the dead arm issue that sidelined him at the start of the season. I can buy concern over long term covid issues, but elbows and shoulders moving in unnatural ways seem to be an understood risk that every team takes with every pitcher.
Just the simple idea of ERod having pitched a good amount of innings and never having had TJ. Certainly a large percentage of available pitchers, but an unfavorable category nonetheless.

As a side note, ERod had one brief IL stint at the beginning of the season with elbow inflammation.
 

Adirondack jack

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The value of starting pitchers has never been lower, IMO. The game is moving away from them - I mean there will always be people "starting" games, but I'm talking about the traditional starter, expected to go 6 innings or more. Just think about this.

Nathan Eovaldi is starting. He's a frigging horse. He was the Sox' top starter this year and seems like he could just throw all day long. Season stats: 3.75 era, 1.19 whip. Here are his numbers facing the lineup the first, second, and third time:

1st time: .239/.271/.377/.648
2nd time: .244/.290/.380/.670
3rd time: .281/.324/.456/.780

Now let's look at Cora's options. Let's just consider Adam Ottavino, who at times was excellent but at times was not very good. I'd say he was towards the middle of Boston's bullpen when it all shook out. Not a bad reliever. Not a great reliever. I mean he finished 5th on the team among relievers with a 4.21 era, and 4th among relievers with a 1.45 whip.

Here are Ottavino's numbers facing a lineup the first time:

1st time: .240/.355/.376/.731

So when Cora is looking at his options in, say, the 6th inning, as the opposing lineup comes up for the third time, his options are:

Eovaldi: 3rd time: .281/.324/.456/.780
Ottavino: 1st time: .240/.355/.376/.731

Mathematically, it makes sense to go with Ottavino there. I like this strategy in the postseason but over 162 games, wear and tear is a factor and I want the starter to go longer, and I've been critical of Cora for pulling starters too early when they're pitching well. But the fact is, the math supports the idea of going to even mediocre relievers over quality starters when the starter is facing a lineup for the third time. So I get it.

And the thing is, this is how MLB is trending. Which means that the value of starters is dropping. You just don't need to pay a guy as much if you're only expecting 4-5 innings out of him, rather than 6-7 like you used to.
Ultimately I think your general statement is correct. A middling reliever is better then a pretty good starter after their third time through. I am okay with assuming this, as well as the diminishing value for starters on the whole, in today's terms and market value.

Obviously, the Sandy Koufax's of the world are still paid handsomely (whether they toss complete games or six or seven strong innings consistently etc). The devils will be in the details of what the market rate of the rest of the pack will be appropriately assessed at. It'll be interesting to see how the market looks at Eddies deal going forward in this changing climate.

Regardless of these changes, innings are still innings and teams still need about 1500 of them to get through a season. Its one thing to be on the forefront of a dynamic game and another in getting cute. Times are changing indeed but Chaim is getting the stable ready for a few new horses, if I had a guess.
 

Sprowl

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Just the simple idea of ERod having pitched a good amount of innings and never having had TJ. Certainly a large percentage of available pitchers, but an unfavorable category nonetheless.

As a side note, ERod had one brief IL stint at the beginning of the season with elbow inflammation.
He also had knee surgery twice on his right knee (his landing leg), in 2017 and 2020, so he hasn't been a paragon of health.
 

OilcanDroid

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Nov 16, 2021
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This is more evidence of the Red Sox bipolar organizational philosophy rather than an indication of there being a consistent thread between the two that could be parsed out.

If there is one criticism to be had about this ownership group is that they have not allowed a consistent developmental philosophy to be developed at all and instead have been yanking the steering wheel back and forth between two poles to maintain a steady course.
First, Emerson: "The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks."

Second, I'm no mathematician, but for a few years, but I've been thinking about this in terms of what game theory people call the Parrondo effect: basically, two long-term-losing strategies, when alternated, can have winning results.

The test will be if ownership stays the course with neo-moneyball or if they punctuate it with another round of Dombrowski style burning down the house in a few seasons.
 

joe dokes

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Bloom’s best free-agent pitcher signings to-date have been Hirokazu Sawamura followed closely by a ham sandwich, so perhaps rather than appealing to that particular authority you could put some thought into refuting why signing a 28-year-old pitcher with a 3.32 FIP to a below-market contract would have been such an awful outcome.
If we start from the idea that Bloom isn't an idiot and try to reverse engineer....
The consensus around here is that ERod 3.22 FIP is indicative of being wrecked by shitty defense (more than any other Sox starter). Maybe Bloom doesn't expect the defense to improve *that* much so that ERod is the wrong guy for the team he is going to field over the next few years?
Or his generally diminishing velocity is an indication that things will soon turn sour.
Other than that, I'm surprised, but I trust the GM here.
 

effectivelywild

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Just the simple idea of ERod having pitched a good amount of innings and never having had TJ. Certainly a large percentage of available pitchers, but an unfavorable category nonetheless.

As a side note, ERod had one brief IL stint at the beginning of the season with elbow inflammation.
Out of curiosity, then, what would be your "desirable" category? Guys who have already had TJ? That's usually a red flag, not a point in their favor. Erod has pitched six seasons in the majors and has 2 years where he has pitched more than 150 innings---2019 (203.1) and 2021 (157.2). Generally we look for pitchers with a track record of durability, which he only recently seems to be working toward. So do you prefer guys who have pitched fewer innings? I'd say if anything, his history of having many seasons where he was limited to ~130 innings would be more of a concern, even if none of the injuries were UCL.
 

A Bad Man

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Out of curiosity, then, what would be your "desirable" category? Guys who have already had TJ? That's usually a red flag, not a point in their favor. Erod has pitched six seasons in the majors and has 2 years where he has pitched more than 150 innings---2019 (203.1) and 2021 (157.2). Generally we look for pitchers with a track record of durability, which he only recently seems to be working toward. So do you prefer guys who have pitched fewer innings? I'd say if anything, his history of having many seasons where he was limited to ~130 innings would be more of a concern, even if none of the injuries were UCL.
To be honest, I haven't done the work to properly evaluate this. My sense is that TJ surgery and recovery has gotten much, much better, and because it is much better and pitchers are throwing much harder, it is much more likely to occur. My understanding is that the highest correlation for TJ is total pitches thrown, but that could be wrong.

Throwing in the TJ piece alongside the long COVID factor was admittedly lazy on my part. I will do better next time.
 

Daniel_Son

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May 25, 2021
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To be honest, I haven't done the work to properly evaluate this. My sense is that TJ surgery and recovery has gotten much, much better, and because it is much better and pitchers are throwing much harder, it is much more likely to occur. My understanding is that the highest correlation for TJ is total pitches thrown, but that could be wrong.

Throwing in the TJ piece alongside the long COVID factor was admittedly lazy on my part. I will do better next time.
Some good articles here and here - general consensus seems to be that while most return to the MLB, they're at a higher risk of repeated injury. The first article touches on an important point that ties into the number of pitches thrown:

"In addition, the better a pitcher is, the more likely it is he will be asked to throw more innings. Fatigue can be a factor in UCL damage. Perhaps in response, MLB teams are relying less on starting pitching and more on relief pitching. In 2010, the league had 44 starting pitchers throw 200 innings or more. Only 12 starters reached that mark in 2018."
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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In 2010, the league had 44 starting pitchers throw 200 innings or more. Only 12 starters reached that mark in 2018."

This is almost mind-blowing to me and raises so many questions; what's the change in offense from 2010 to 18? Has it improved to the point that starting pitching just doesn't "seem" as good as it was then? Is there any correlation between the reduction in innings and a reduction in TJ surgery during that time? If not, then does that mean that the 5 inning starter is just going full bore during those 160 innings and still injure themselves?
Peak Pedro always seemed so fragile to me- I know he had some arm injuries, but never TJS. How?!!?!? Those offenses he was going up against during the height of the Steroid era would put to shame most of the lineups these days...
 
@effectivelywild , @A Bad Man

I think there is a case to be made that the injury risk profile for pitchers makes larger contracts inadvisable. A bit upthread I posted some information about patterns in free agent contracts relative to WAR, and although the data has a smaller sample than I'd like there are some noteworthy trends. For position players, high tier free agents tend to be pretty reliable while lower tier free agents have a better chance of providing exceptional bang for buck but also have a better chance of flaming out.

With pitchers, the chance of flaming out is pretty high across the board. I don't know if this is entirely due to injury risk or if pitching as a skill is more volatile in the age range close to free agency. Maybe there is a "great filter" type effect where it's much more likely that pitchers will suddenly lose effectiveness regardless of initial skill level. Regardless of the cause, there appears to be a much greater risk associated with taking on larger contracts for pitchers relative to position players.

In this case, the alternate strategy would be to sign lower tier but competent pitchers to relatively short term deals and see what sticks. Instead of flipping a coin on a Max Scherzer/Steven Strasburg you flip a few coins and try to find Lance Lynn.

I'm not saying this is the right strategy, but I think it's perhaps the logical conclusion of the argument that @A Bad Man is making.
 
How?!!?!? Those offenses he was going up against during the height of the Steroid era would put to shame most of the lineups these days...
It would be interesting to know if there was as pronounced of a 3rd/4th time through the order effect in that era. I'm sure there was at least some effect, but it might be more extreme now for a variety of reasons.

I'm also not completely convinced that the steroid era offenses would put current era offenses to shame. It's possible that they would, but it's also possible that those offenses put up better numbers because pitcher usage was less efficient. I remember paying close attention to pitch count in those days and really enjoyed watching the Sox grind down the opposing starter. Pushing the starter out in the 6th inning or earlier usually resulted in the offense getting looks against really crappy middle relief, and the Red Sox certainly made a ton of hay against those kinds of pitchers. A lot of teams don't even have middle relievers anymore, just a parade of guys throwing 98+. If the steroid era offenses had to face that kind of pitching day in and day out they might well have put up less impressive numbers.
 

nvalvo

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This is almost mind-blowing to me and raises so many questions; what's the change in offense from 2010 to 18? Has it improved to the point that starting pitching just doesn't "seem" as good as it was then? Is there any correlation between the reduction in innings and a reduction in TJ surgery during that time? If not, then does that mean that the 5 inning starter is just going full bore during those 160 innings and still injure themselves?
Peak Pedro always seemed so fragile to me- I know he had some arm injuries, but never TJS. How?!!?!? Those offenses he was going up against during the height of the Steroid era would put to shame most of the lineups these days...
One factor is the swing changes. Looking through the 200 IP guys from 2010 on B-R, a healthy chunk of them are ground ball pitchers: Roy Halladay, Chris Carpenter, Ubaldo Jimenez... guys like that. Guys who worked quickly, had short plate appearances, induced a ton of ground balls, quick outs, and double plays.

The new swing path stuff that allows guys to get on-plane with two-seamers, so this profile is less attractive now.

A few of the stats bear this out.

League OBP since 2010: .325 .321 .319 .318 .314 .317 .322 .324 .318 .323 .322 .317
GB% since 2010: 44.3 44.4 45.1 44.5 44.8 45.3 44.7 44.2 43.2 42.9 42.7 42.9
GIDP since 2010: 3725, 3525, 3620, 3739, 3613, 3740, 3721, 3804, 3457, 3463, 1237 (2020), 3330.
 

effectivelywild

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@effectivelywild , @A Bad Man

I think there is a case to be made that the injury risk profile for pitchers makes larger contracts inadvisable. A bit upthread I posted some information about patterns in free agent contracts relative to WAR, and although the data has a smaller sample than I'd like there are some noteworthy trends. For position players, high tier free agents tend to be pretty reliable while lower tier free agents have a better chance of providing exceptional bang for buck but also have a better chance of flaming out.

With pitchers, the chance of flaming out is pretty high across the board. I don't know if this is entirely due to injury risk or if pitching as a skill is more volatile in the age range close to free agency. Maybe there is a "great filter" type effect where it's much more likely that pitchers will suddenly lose effectiveness regardless of initial skill level. Regardless of the cause, there appears to be a much greater risk associated with taking on larger contracts for pitchers relative to position players.

In this case, the alternate strategy would be to sign lower tier but competent pitchers to relatively short term deals and see what sticks. Instead of flipping a coin on a Max Scherzer/Steven Strasburg you flip a few coins and try to find Lance Lynn.

I'm not saying this is the right strategy, but I think it's perhaps the logical conclusion of the argument that @A Bad Man is making.
Yeah I thought your post upthread was interesting---at some point I remember posting that it would be interesting to look at contract value based on contract type but I was too lazy to do it---and then you did it! Your conclusions seem pretty solid. I think a lot of people are on board with the idea that long-term contracts for pitchers are inherently risky, moreso than position players, but I think teams like the Sox may be stuck with them anyway. I remember going into the season a lot of people were concerned about relying on guys Perez and Richards...but those are the guys available for short contracts that aren't too much money. The best value are gonna be bounce back guys but as they are in the "lower tier" of guys, there's a lot of flameout risk---and the most talented ones are pursued by many teams. Honestly, investing resources in our pitching coaching and development department is probably the best use of resources, especially to try to lure over guys on pillow contracts. But otherwise I think you're left either a. accumulating a bunch of guys in the hopes that some of them work out or b. hoping your bigger contract pitchers pan out. Maybe that's part of the reason why teams like the Rays are moving towards the bullpen---it seems like it's a little easier to handle injury/ineffectiveness from your bullpen guys simply because you potentially have a larger pool of guys to choose from. Whereas if a starter goes down, you're banking on having prospects able to take their spot competently, which is a luxury the Sox often haven't had.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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It would be interesting to know if there was as pronounced of a 3rd/4th time through the order effect in that era. I'm sure there was at least some effect, but it might be more extreme now for a variety of reasons.

I'm also not completely convinced that the steroid era offenses would put current era offenses to shame. It's possible that they would, but it's also possible that those offenses put up better numbers because pitcher usage was less efficient. I remember paying close attention to pitch count in those days and really enjoyed watching the Sox grind down the opposing starter. Pushing the starter out in the 6th inning or earlier usually resulted in the offense getting looks against really crappy middle relief, and the Red Sox certainly made a ton of hay against those kinds of pitchers. A lot of teams don't even have middle relievers anymore, just a parade of guys throwing 98+. If the steroid era offenses had to face that kind of pitching day in and day out they might well have put up less impressive numbers.
Interesting! I guess the easiest way to determine that would be finding out what innings were scored the most. Pitchers hitting 80 pitches after 5 innings and still going…. Or poor bullpen arms coming in?
Still wouldn’t explain if there is any difference in TJS though.
I would bet my house that those late 90’s Yankees lineups/ 03-04 Sox lineup would beat the snot out of the Astros lineup in their '16-'20 prime pitching against a neutral opposing pitcher/bullpen/defense.
 

soxhop411

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View: https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/1462879816370335745

Rodriguez on his career arc in Boston: ‘I had a really good time with Boston. … But for me, I feel like now it’s time to move on.’
Rodriguez says he and the Red Sox never discussed years of a potential contract. The Tigers made the offer he wanted and he didn’t see a reason to drag out the process.
View: https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/1462880976401489927?s=20



Seems like HE (ERod) wanted to move on
 

Van Everyman

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I’m assuming it was the Sox who didn’t really want him back (or at anything of significance years- or dollars-wise). I suspect this happens a lot in sports, where a team sort of respectfully doesn’t really get into details with a player because they think it will be insulting.
 

Saints Rest

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Some good articles here and here - general consensus seems to be that while most return to the MLB, they're at a higher risk of repeated injury. The first article touches on an important point that ties into the number of pitches thrown:

"In addition, the better a pitcher is, the more likely it is he will be asked to throw more innings. Fatigue can be a factor in UCL damage. Perhaps in response, MLB teams are relying less on starting pitching and more on relief pitching. In 2010, the league had 44 starting pitchers throw 200 innings or more. Only 12 starters reached that mark in 2018."
To the final bit of your quote, I wonder if any team, in recognition of SP's being routinely pulled after two passes thru the order, will consider a return to a 4-man rotation since the pitchers are only throwing 2/3 as many pitches in a typical start.
 

Manramsclan

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Jul 14, 2005
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Really weird…the Sox claim to have made him offers, no? But the offers didn’t include a mention of how many years?!?
I also thought it weird that the quotes from him seemed to indicate that he took the Qualifying Offer as a slight.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Asked Rodriguez if he ever considered Boston’s qualifying offer at 18.4 million: <br><br>Rodriguez: &quot;I’m gonna be honest with you, would you rather 18 or 77?” <br><br>Me: 77.</p>&mdash; Julian McWilliams (@byJulianMack) <a href="View: https://twitter.com/byJulianMack/status/1462880626856628224?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
">November 22, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

From: Julian McWilliams of the Globe
Asked Rodriguez if he ever considered Boston’s qualifying offer at 18.4 million:
Rodriguez: "I’m gonna be honest with you, would you rather 18 or 77?”
Me: 77.

For a free agent of his stature, the QO is almost perfunctory or procedural. Maybe they also usually come with overtures to the player about "we want you hear for a long time" etc. I guess it was the only offer on the table from them at the end so maybe that is why but it seemed like either there were never terms discussed or once the Tigers offer was the Red Sox just said "We wish you well."
 

trs

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To the final bit of your quote, I wonder if any team, in recognition of SP's being routinely pulled after two passes thru the order, will consider a return to a 4-man rotation since the pitchers are only throwing 2/3 as many pitches in a typical start.
My immediate reaction to this would be "yes." I also think that one of the main reasons why we just don't pitchers entirely divided by pitch count is the 5IP for a win rule.

How about this video-game type setup: If you figure that a game requires between 150-200 pitches to get through, depending on the effectiveness of your pitchers, and roster construction continues to allow teams to field 12-13 arms, I don't see a reason why you just don't have a bucket of 90-pitch pitchers, 60-pitch pitchers, 45, etc. The 80 pitch ones theoretically will be your best, but not necessarily, and could be used as starters, hoping to get through the order two times in 90 pitches, but they could also come in later in the game. Rotate the arms, consider a day off "recuperates" 20 pitches, and see who's available to fill those pitches.

Obviously this rather ridiculous setup ignores R/L setups, but MLB has legislated that strategy into being more problematic. It also would require many pitchers learning a new way to prepare to pitch, i.e. coming out of the bullpen versus starting the game. However, I just wonder if something like this might work. I also am pretty sure I would hate to watch it.

We've seen something similar with the bullpen day idea or the opener, but rather than differentiate between "starters" and "relievers," just differentiate between how many pitches under optimal conditions each pitcher provides.

An added bonus would be creating a whole new slew of names for these new roles.
 
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brs3

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May 20, 2008
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would you give his Tigers offer to him after 2019? I say probably. I happen to think his Covid battle impacted not only 2020 but also 2021, and he is likely to win the CY in the next couple of years because he's in the prime of his career. I absolutely could be and likely will be wrong, but I think E-Rod has a chance to become an elite pitcher that we'll wish stayed. Instead we're a bunch of number crunchers in a silly exercise of justifying the team's financials. I will not be surprised when future threads play the same story with X and Devers.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
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To the final bit of your quote, I wonder if any team, in recognition of SP's being routinely pulled after two passes thru the order, will consider a return to a 4-man rotation since the pitchers are only throwing 2/3 as many pitches in a typical start.
Are they though? Seems like the increased emphasis on strikeouts and trying to avoid the home run results in more pitches per at bat. A guy like Erod frequently seemed up around 100 pitches in 4 or 5 innings. Hard to have a four man rotation with him.
 
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Van Everyman

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Apr 30, 2009
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would you give his Tigers offer to him after 2019? I say probably. I happen to think his Covid battle impacted not only 2020 but also 2021, and he is likely to win the CY in the next couple of years because he's in the prime of his career. I absolutely could be and likely will be wrong, but I think E-Rod has a chance to become an elite pitcher that we'll wish stayed.
Likely to win the Cy Young? I mean, I like the guy a lot and feel for him with the COVID thing. It would be awesome if he put together a year that good. But he has had a WHIP of 1.313 for his career.
 

Saints Rest

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Are they though? Seems like the increased emphasis on strikeouts and trying to avoid the home run results in more pitches per at bat. A guy like Erod frequently seemed up around 100 pitches in 4 or 5 innings. Hard to have a four man rotation with him.
If average pitches per PA is around 4, two trips thru the lineup would mean 18 PA, thus 72 pitches.
100 pitches in 5 innings is not twice thru the order.
That’s kind of my point.
If stats show that even great SPs drop in effectiveness dramatically the third time they the order, then the manager should be looking to take him out when the lead off batter is up the third time. This means fewer pitches per start. So maybe more frequent starts would be Ok.
It would then allow an extra BP arm which would be needed if all your SPs are getting yanked during the 4th or 5th inning.