How Good Are The Sox Now?

Rasputin

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THIS IS NOT A PLACE TO DISCUSS THE TRADE.

With the addition of Drew Pomeranz, the Sox have clearly upgraded the rotation. How much is a bit of a question, but if Pomeranz has really turned a corner, and if Price pitches more like his ace-like self, and if Kimbrel comes back healthy, the Sox are not a team you want to face in a short post-season series.

Price and Pomeranz would match up well with anyone, especially when backed by the best offense in baseball and a solid back end of the rotation.

On the other hand, out fifth starter is currently Eduardo Rodriguez whose pitching mechanics are only slightly more effective than mine, and all the other options to replace him a terribad or worse.

Offensive help could conceivably come from Benintendi and/or Moncada. I wonder if Kopech might be a late season bullpen addition.

We obviously don't know what trades the other AL contenders might make, but it looks like the Sox could very well be one of the top four or five teams in MLB. Or, you know, crash and burn is always an option.
 

Ale Xander

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[QUOTE="Rasputin, post: 1786703, member: 166]

Price and Pomeranz would match up well with anyone.[/QUOTE]
I don't buy this premise. Price had a famously poor playoff record and Pomeranz has none. And they would going into the high leverage fire known as Red Sox Playoffs.

Pomeranz will also likely be coming off the highest usage regular season of his career


Hopefully we can outslug everyone
 

DeadlySplitter

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We're replacing a sub-replacement production at one position with hopefully an All-Star quality (or a cut below) production for 75 games, or close to half the season. Hopefully that is +2-3 WAR which could be +2-3 games that could decide the division.

The actual range of expected increase of WAR is probably more like 0-3.
 

LahoudOrBillyC

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Dombrowski has improved the team tremendously in the past week, adding Ziegler, Hill, and Pomeranz without losing anyone who was going to help the 2016 team. No other team in baseball has not as much. Whatever you felt about the team a week ago you should feel much better right now.

Their rotation is one of the better ones in the league. Their bullpen is also above average. Having a bad fifth starter is a flaw, but its not like not having a shortstop. I believe the back of the rotation would have improved because I don't believe that all of those guys are going to have a 7.00 ERA. Hopefully its Rodriguez who holds the job.
 

JBJ_HOF

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before the trade per fangraphs
89.8 expected wins, 77% playoff odds

after the trade
90.7 expected wins, 82% playoff odds
 

amarshal2

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Well, hopefully their projection of pomeranz as only 2 WAR / year better than the (negative WAR) guys he replaced is extremely pessimistic.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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Well, hopefully their projection of pomeranz as only 2 WAR / year better than the (negative WAR) guys he replaced is extremely pessimistic.
2 WAR for the remainder of the season, which is actually a bit pessimistic or at least adjusted for league change factors, considering he already has accumulated 2.5 this season (3 per BRef). If he maintains his performance, he's on pace for close to 5 fWAR.
 

simplicio

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I worry about the bullpen still, and I think we need to see another move. Taz and Kimbrel are injured, and both (along with Koji) are way too unreliable this year, Buchholz and Kelly are major question marks, and Layne and Hembree are a matched OOGY set disguised as regular relievers. Flexibility is an issue though; I don't know who gets sent down if you take on another body. Maybe Koji could take a DL and go on walkabout to find his lost splitter?
 

Rasputin

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[QUOTE="Rasputin, post: 1786703, member: 166]

Price and Pomeranz would match up well with anyone.
I don't buy this premise. Price had a famously poor playoff record and Pomeranz has none. And they would going into the high leverage fire known as Red Sox Playoffs.

Pomeranz will also likely be coming off the highest usage regular season of his career


Hopefully we can outslug everyone[/QUOTE]

Why do people continue to think playoff record is relevant to anything?

Also, he's made fourteen post season starts and allowed three runs or fewer in ten of them.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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I don't buy this premise. Price had a famously poor playoff record and Pomeranz has none. And they would going into the high leverage fire known as Red Sox Playoffs.

Pomeranz will also likely be coming off the highest usage regular season of his career


Hopefully we can outslug everyone
Why do people continue to think playoff record is relevant to anything?

Also, he's made fourteen post season starts and allowed three runs or fewer in ten of them.[/QUOTE]

Because wins and stuff and narrative and clutchiness.
 

Rasputin

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Those numbers definitely make the trading of the Sox best pitching prospect a worthwhile endeavor [sarcasm]
Two wins over half a season is a lot. Your sarcasm makes you look like a fool. Dislike the trade all you want, but dismissing the upside is silly and wrong.
 

dbn

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(I wish I had a way to rediscover what the first 9 words of this thread were.)

... but anyhow:

I really like their chances if they get to the ALDS.

The offense is slug-their-way-to-a-trophy-once-they-get-to-the-playoffs good, as long as they have at least 2 very-good or 3 rather-good starters and a serviceable pen. I'm worried about the division. Toronto is good. Baltimore can hit and are winning more games than I thought they would. Sure, Boston could win the playoff wild-card and then go from there, but the wild-card route lowers their chances by ~50% compared to winning the division.
 

Rasputin

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(I wish I had a way to rediscover what the first 9 words of this thread were.)

... but anyhow:

I really like their chances if they get to the ALDS.

The offense is slug-their-way-to-a-trophy-once-they-get-to-the-playoffs good, as long as they have at least 2 very-good or 3 rather-good starters and a serviceable pen. I'm worried about the division. Toronto is good. Baltimore can hit and are winning more games than I thought they would. Sure, Boston could win the playoff wild-card and then go from there, but the wild-card route lowers their chances by ~50% compared to winning the division.
This team is winning the division. Book it.
How the hell did we both forget intangibles? There will be no gift bag offered by the captain.
For God's sake, don't get grit in with the intangibles. That way lies chafing.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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There are an awful lot of "if's" in this thread. I've seen basically the entire pitching staff listed as an if, and it is. I think Price will be fine. Pomeranz is an if because he will blow by his top inning mark. Porcello and Wright are small if's. Wright with the knuckler and Porcello with consistency. The pen is a HUGE if right now and not even close to a strength. Kimbrel and Taz are both on the DL, Koji is 41 going on 82 some days and Barnes and Hembree are not known commodities yet. Ziegler is the only thing giving me warm fuzzies at the moment.

I think the rotation will end up being fine but that pen scares the heck out of me. If Kimbrell and Taz come back fine from injury the pen should be ok. That's a big if though at the moment.
 

j44thor

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Asking Pomeranz to go at least 50IP over his career high is a big risk but we aren't talking about a 21yo 185lb kid. He is a grown man at 6'5" 240lbs so hopefully that lessens the injury risk.

I'd still like to see one more arm added to the pen ideally an upgrade over Layne that can get out LHB and be serviceable against RHB. Of course we don't have much left in the prospect cupboard so perhaps this is it.
 

luckysox

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If, schmif. The Sox are better, and it feels like it's by a lot. Even if Kimbrel doesn't get back, DD brought in another proven closer, and has Koji as well. Barnes is pitching well. We have a good lefty if Ross. If all the worst things happen with the bullpen, then yes, DD will need a bullpen arm. But I don't expect Taz AND Kimbrel out forever AND Koji sucks, AND Barnes regresses AND Hembree falls off a cliff AND Joe Kelly is terrible in relief AND Buchholz blows out an elbow. I mean, the bullpen isn't perfect, but it's far from the worst one around. IF all the "ifs" do fall the way of the Sox, then the bullpen is one of the BEST around.

Aaron Hill adds useful platoon help at 3B. He shored up a shaky part of the roster with Shaw insurance and general infield help. The guy is a great folder and a damn competent hitter. And if we had a game vs. the Padres where Pomeranz was pitching against (Pick Any One): Buchholz, O'Sullivan, EdRo (2016 version), Owens, Kelly, or Elias, we'd all be assuming the worst and typing in "Reverse Lock" to half the posts in the game thread. He's a good pitcher. Sure, he's got things to worry about, but all pitchers do, and mostly it's because as fans, we like to worry about the worst case scenario. But Price, Wright, Pomeranz, Porcello is a fine top 4. Damn fine, in fact. Dealing with crap flung at walls for one rotation spot is one thing, but doing it for two spots is not a way to make the playoffs.
 

amarshal2

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2 WAR for the remainder of the season, which is actually a bit pessimistic or at least adjusted for league change factors, considering he already has accumulated 2.5 this season (3 per BRef). If he maintains his performance, he's on pace for close to 5 fWAR.
If he adds 1 win over half a year, that means he's approximately 2 wins better over the course of a full season. And if the guy he's replacing is below replacement level, a reasonable thought in this case, then his WAR might even be lower than 2. That was my point. It seems exceedingly pessimistic.
 

heavyde050

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Two wins over half a season is a lot. Your sarcasm makes you look like a fool. Dislike the trade all you want, but dismissing the upside is silly and wrong.
No need to name call. And if you are going to criticize a post made tongue in check please get the math right.

The difference in wins posted was 90.7 vs 89.8, which is not two wins.

But you are right, the 5% increase in playoff odds is very significant.

I hope the trade works out and the Sox win it all.
 

AB in DC

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The bullpen has a lot of depth now, but no one that we can trust in the high-leverage innings.

By contrast, the rotation is top-heavy but has basically zero depth.
 

YTF

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Those numbers definitely make the trading of the Sox best pitching prospect a worthwhile endeavor [sarcasm]
I get that Espinoza is considered "the Sox best pitching prospect", but it's not like we're talking about a guy who has thus far ripped through every level of the minors and is soon to be the savior. He's now low level A ball with an astounding 15 games started credited to his ENTIRE professional career.
 

heavyde050

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I get that Espinoza is considered "the Sox best pitching prospect", but it's not like we're talking about a guy who has thus far ripped through every level of the minors and is soon to be the savior. He's now low level A ball with an astounding 15 games started credited to his ENTIRE professional career.
That makes sense. Also after thinking about the trade more since yesterday, the deal doesn't seem nearly as bad.

For an example of what can go wrong with can't miss prospects we need look no further than the Yankees and Serevino. He was supposed to help anchor their rotation this year and he got sent back down after performing very poorly.
 

amarshal2

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Why do people keep saying "two wins over half a season". The projection was 0.9 wins.
 

smastroyin

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They are better today than they were yesterday.

But, I'm not quite as sanguine as others on either Kimbrel coming back or how effective he has been (we have another thread to discuss) anyway and what effect a bum knee is going to have (let's not forget the Rodriguez example so quickly). Taz on the DL seems like an inevitable yet still unfortunate happening and maybe it's just two weeks and he comes back strong, but maybe it's something more. We all know Koji's problems and I'd add to it that Barnes feels pretty John Wasdin-ish right now, in that his effectiveness is right on the edge of the knife and could go to pumpkin status really quickly.

They would be worse without Ziegler and Pomeranz, I'm just not sure having those guys saves the season in any sense other than clinging desperately to the opportunity to get to the play-in game, and as people can probably figure out from my general tenor, I'm not a huge fan of selling out pieces of the future for that low of a bar in the present. I understand that (and even why) others (including John Henry) feel differently.
 

nothumb

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We are coming out of the ASB having just put two of our top three relievers on the DL, watched the third turn into a 90 year old man before our eyes, gone through a stack of left fielders faster than Pablo Sandoval tearing into a pancake breakfast, and having just used Sully, Clay and the guy who runs the fast pitch booth at a theme park in Worcester as our 4th and 5th starters for nearly a month... and yet a number of folks are (quite rationally) saying that maybe all we really need is one more bullpen guy. That's a minor goddamn miracle.

I would like to see the Sox manage Pomeranz carefully in hopes of having him fresh for the playoffs. I would love to see them get a little more bullpen help either from within or via trade. There is a fair bit of risk spread across the pitching staff, but it looks a lot better than it did two weeks ago, and they've likely just made a better acquisition than any of their rivals will be able to pull off going into the deadline.

The Sox have had horrible injury luck and probably a bit below average performance relative to talent for the pitching staff as a whole. If they can be merely average in both in the 2nd half, I like them to win the division by at least 3 games.
 

Devizier

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On paper, slightly better than their divisional competition. But they will have to erase that two game Oriole lead at some point.
 

smastroyin

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Isn't the Taz DL move a paper move mostly? It's retroactive to July 4th do he's eligible to come off on the 19th. He'll only miss a couple more games.
"complaining of shoulder fatigue"

Since they didn't DL him right away, I assume they were hoping he would just feel better with the rest afforded by giving him a few days off before the ASB. That they decided to DL him means they changed their opinion enough that they don't think he can pitch this weekend at least and wanted to get another guy up (Cuevas) in case they needed it. But, if he's still not feeling right, who knows how long he'll need to stay on the DL. There isn't a ton of information.
 

grimshaw

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The July schedule is light (10 vs sub .500 teams). The other 5 are at home vs the Tigers and Giants, so with the combination of the all-star break resting the pen and the added quality innings of Pomeranz this sets them up for a good run which they can hopefully ride into their west coast trips when reinforcements come back. In other words, the crappy teams should help mask their deficiencies just long enough (see recent 7-2 home stand).

I'm hoping by the time mid-August hits they'll have Kimbrel, Taz and depth guys back. The biggest way for them to improve their playoff standing(not necessarily world series) going forward is from catching and LF. LF can be stabilized when Young is back and/or if Benintendi comes up and moving Holt to his utility role (also a nice upgrade over current "talent" level. Obviously pitching is the biggest weakness, but realistically they can't do much else.

I'm lusting for Lucroy, personally but that's a different thread. A month ago it made no sense, but with Vazquez' struggles, at least this year, that would be my next move to seal the deal to win the division and possibly a one seed.
 
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MuzzyField

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Given the colossal failures of the numerous applicants to slot into the 4 and 5 spots in the rotation, this is a huge upgrade and thanks to the timing the team gets a few extra starts before the deadline.

I like the conviction DD operates with. He identifies needs/problems and attempts to fill/solve them. It's nice to have a clear idea of who's in charge of making baseball decisions for the team. He's not perfect, but

It's been a good week on the trade front for the major league roster and it's the most important roster in the organization.

Salem and/or Portland will survive 2017 without Espinoza.

The deadline additions will hopefully be the return to health of the injured and them being effective for the stretch run AND how about no more serious injuries! The division is winnable and this is makes the 2016 Red Sox better by adding a player that can be here for a few more season or become a trade chip if needed.
 

DJnVa

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He's now low level A ball with an astounding 15 games started credited to his ENTIRE professional career.
He's started 17 games this season. More last year.

Your overall point holds however.
 

glennhoffmania

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The team is clearly better than it was yesterday. But without Kimbrel and Tazawa it's worse than it was a couple of weeks ago. If they both come back quickly and effectively, this could be a good team. If they have to rely on Koji and Ziegler to close out games, along with some combination of Rodriguez, Buchholz and Kelly pitching some meaningful innings, I'm not going to be too excited.
 

BaseballJones

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The Red Sox are better and deeper, but the bullpen now is a huge concern moving forward. The Ziegler addition was significant, and would have been even without the injuries. But Smith, Tax, Koji (back from injury but inconsistent), and Kimbrel...I mean, that's a lot of hits to the bullpen.

Moving forward, the pen looks like:

Hembree (2.00 era, 1.28 whip, 8.8 k/9)
Layne (3.60 era, 1.32 whip, 8.3 k/9)
Barnes (2.93 era, 1.28 whip, 9.0 k/9)
Koji (4.81 era, 1.10 whip, 12.8 k/9)
Ross (4.71 era, 1.29 whip, 10.7 k/9)
Ziegler (2.75 era, 1.42 whip, 6.6 k/9)

And whoever they have for the 7th guy, which seems to depend on the day. So it's not a bad bullpen, but it isn't what it could have been. They will need Kimbrel to come back healthy and strong and effective, and that addition alone will turn the bullpen into a real strength. Barnes is becoming a pretty good reliever, and Hembree has been solid all year long. I like Ziegler, but Koji (sadly), Ross, and Layne, to me, are still questionable. It would be great if Tarawa was back for September, but who knows.

Offense (especially with the addition of Hill) looks terrific. Defense is solid. Depth is much better. Starting rotation is hugely improved. Bullpen needs work.
 

Euclis20

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Why do people continue to think playoff record is relevant to anything?

Also, he's made fourteen post season starts and allowed three runs or fewer in ten of them.

Because wins and stuff and narrative and clutchiness.
He's had 8 postseason starts, is 0-7 with an era of 5.26. He's allowed 3 runs or less in 4 of them. That's objectively terrible, if not predictive. Are we looking at the same guy?
 

mikeford

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Surviving til the bullpen gets healthy again is going to be a major, major challenge. The fact that Koji has the worst ERA of guys in the current incarnation of the pen is terrifying as you'd probably blindly identify him as "the best" of the bunch before you looked at the numbers.
 

Zososoxfan

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Pomeranz should also pitch more innings than the SP 4/5 abbreviations we've been treated to this year. If 4/5 starters can pitch 6 innings consistency each time through, that will make the bullpen look much better. Of course, Kimbrel and Taz coming back healthy and effective at some point will be required for this team to make a deep run, but having 4 capable starters instead of 3 is a huge difference. On another note, this team needs to make hay in July. The brutal schedule in August will not be forgiving.
 

NoXInNixon

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The Red Sox now have 4 of the top 32 pitchers in MLB by fWAR. That's pretty good. In fact, if you take the total fWAR by all teams' best 4 starting pitchers, here's the top ten:

Dodgers 10
Mets 9.9
Nationals 9.5
Giants 9.5
Red Sox 9
Cubs 8.7
Indians 8.5
Blue Jays 8
White Sox 7.6
Phillies 7.4

Given that the Red Sox offense is clearly good enough to get them into the playoffs, I'd say they're clearly the favorites to win the pennant at this point.
 

BaseballJones

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He's had 8 postseason starts, is 0-7 with an era of 5.26. He's allowed 3 runs or less in 4 of them. That's objectively terrible, if not predictive. Are we looking at the same guy?
Price's postseason game log as a starter:

Oct 6, 2010 - vs Tex - 6.2 ip, 9 h, 5 r, 4 er, 0 bb, 8 k, loss 5-1
Oct 12, 2010 - vs Tex - 6.0 ip, 8 h, 3 r, 3 er, 0 bb, 6 k, loss 5-1
Oct 3, 2011 - vs Tex - 6.2 ip, 7 h, 3 r, 3 er, 1 bb, 3 k, loss 4-3
Oct 5, 2013 - at Bos - 7.0 ip, 9 h, 7 r, 7 er, 2 bb, 5 k, loss 7-4
Oct 5, 2014 - vs Bal - 8.0 ip, 5 h, 2 r, 2 er, 2 bb, 6 k, loss 2-1
Oct 8, 2015 - vs Tex - 7.0 ip, 5 h, 5 r, 5 er, 2 bb, 5 k, loss 5-3
Oct 17, 2015 - at KC - 6.2 ip, 6 h, 5 r, 5 er, 0 bb, 8 k, loss 6-3
Oct 23, 2015 - at KC - 6.2 ip, 5 h, 3 r, 3 er, 1 bb, 8 k, loss 4-3

I'd classify three of those games (Oct 5, 2013, Oct 8, 2015, and Oct 17, 2015) as real stinkers. Two of them were ok (Oct 6, 2010, Oct 12, 2010). Two were pretty good (Oct 12, 2010, Oct 23, 2015). And one was very good (Oct 5, 2014).

You want better than that from an ace pitcher, for sure. You gotta win SOME of the games he starts. But, of course, look at the offensive production in those 8 games. 19 runs total in 8 games, for an average of 2.4 runs a game of support. In none of those 8 games did his offense give him more than 4 runs. So he was constantly pitching with serious pressure.

I mean, in that Detroit-Baltimore game on Oct 5, he only gave up 2 runs in 8 innings, but the Tigers got blanked for 6.1 innings by Bud Norris, who allowed just 2 hits. For what it's worth, that season pitching for Baltimore, Bud Norris compiled a 7.06 era and 1.64 whip. And the Tigers couldn't score a run against him.

Price hasn't gotten any luck in the postseason, that's for sure. He hasn't been very good, but he sure hasn't gotten any luck. With a modest amount of run support, he could easily have won 4 of those 8 starts. Still not what you want from an ace, but he's gotten very little help.
 

Danny_Darwin

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I am almost certainly in the minority, but I would still like to see them trade for a catcher. I don't think Hanigan and Leon will cut it the rest of the way and I'm not sure Swihart or Vazquez is the answer in 2016, either. I don't know that Lucroy would cost one of the big three or Kopech, probably could be gotten for Dubon and Chavis or something like that?
 

Pilgrim

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I am almost certainly in the minority, but I would still like to see them trade for a catcher. I don't think Hanigan and Leon will cut it the rest of the way and I'm not sure Swihart or Vazquez is the answer in 2016, either. I don't know that Lucroy would cost one of the big three or Kopech, probably could be gotten for Dubon and Chavis or something like that?
He's a top 5 catcher with a year and a half remaining. I think the Victor Martinez trade would be a decent estimate of his value.