How to get back in this thing

Cesar Crespo

79
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Dec 22, 2002
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RIck Porcello threw a CG SO with no BB or Ks in 2014. Last time it happened before that was 1989.

edit: No strike outs/CGs has been done 7 times since 2000 if I'm doing it right. 1875 total times in the history of baseball. Shows you how much the game has changed. This is as of 2014. If anyone did it after Porcello, I do not know. Porcello was also more "rare" due to no BB.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
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Apr 12, 2001
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If backups were sure things they would not be backups. Unless a team has a premium prospect in the minors almost ready to go then the backup is generally guys like Franchy. I think part of the problem around these parts is that posters have unrealistic expectations of what a backup looks like. Dalbec more then earned a chance to be the starting first baseman this year. There is very few teams that would not have gone with Dalbec at first. As for JBJ prior to 2021 he put a 1.6 WAR in 2020 a 1.8 in 2019 and a 3.6 in 2018. Explain to me how that is coming off of multiple bad seasons? Going into the season, prior to Sale's injury, the expectations for the rotation was Evoldi, Sale, PIvetta, and two of the Houck, Wacha, HIll crowd. I will admit that I am not sure why they were not in on Gausman. Even if Sale and Paxton came back, it would be no problems to throw two of the Houck, Wacha, HIll group into the pen. But the fact the Sox have not engaged in contract discussions with Evoldi does not indicate his talent level. That is a pretty asinine argument. As for the bullpen look at the number of teams that have spent big on bullpen arms. Sometimes it works, but often it doesn't. There isn't a definitive way to build a bullpen. Lastly if Martinez and Bogey slump then yeah you got Devers, Story, Verdugo and Kike around to pick up the team. However if everyone is slumping, no team would be able to survive that unscathed. To argue otherwise is dishonest at best. What about Verdugo, Kike, Devers or Story's performance last year indicated they would play as poorly as they did in April? The answer is nothing. Unless Bloom had a crystal ball there was not much else he could have done about the April slump
You're completely missing my point. When the Sox broke Spring Training this year, who was their fourth (backup) outfielder? It was Christian Arroyo, a middle infielder who's never played in the outfield regularly and doesn't have the strongest bat in the world. Kike was fine last year, Verdugo was about average and JBJ was a train wreck (BTW, this is where WAR might not be the Swiss Army stat tool that you think it is, most of his positive WAR was due to his fielding. He slashed 234/314/403 in 2018, 225/317/421 in 2019 and 283/364/450 in 2020--but he didn't play a lot that year. I can't recall why though). Anyway, those aren't great offensive numbers, which is why most people on this board were convinced that JBJ would have been a tremendous choice for a fourth outfielder and were waiting for a move that never happened. For our current back-up outfielder, certainly you can see that there was a need to have someone on the bench who played outfield for more than, let me check my notes here, ZERO innings prior to the 2022 season.

"Dalbec more than earned a chance to be a starter this year"? Based on six strong weeks at the plate? Maybe. But do you recall just how awful he was until the end of last July? I'm not going to list them again, but they were bad. Bloom should have prepared for a slide back to his shitty 2021 by finding someone who could back up first base better than Travis Shaw and the gigantic fork sticking out his back.

"Unless Bloom had a crystal ball there was not much else he could have done about the April slump" I really wish that people on this board would move on from thinking that Chaim Bloom is some sort of naif who wandered into the front office and was bestowed the title of Head of Baseball Ops. He graduated from Yale and has been in the front office of a Major League Team since 2005. If he didn't know that he needed a fourth outfielder or first base insurance or that he needs to quit looking through the recycling bin for relief pitchers, the Red Sox are fucked because he's dumb. And for the reasons I stated above, I don't think that he's dumb. Dude knows more about baseball than pretty much the combined intelligence of this entire board put together. But most of us saw that the outfield depth, lack of a Plan B at first base and a shoddily constructed bullpen was going to screw this team back in March. And we're right. And also, guess what, we don't have a crystal ball either. Why didn't Bloom see what 95% of us saw? That's troubling. That's worrying to me.

This place shouldn't be smarter than the guy who--for real--picks out the roster. This is his third season with the club, it's okay to criticize him. He's a big boy, he can handle it. And if he cries himself to sleep every night, maybe the crap ton of money he makes running one of MLB's premier team can dry his eyes.

And BTW, if "everyone is slumping at the same time", YOU DID A PISS POOR JOB OF CREATING A ROSTER. That's it. That's a major part of your job that you can't just blame on "bad luck" unless the team flight slammed into a mountain. JFC. I don't get it with people like you. I really don't. Stop wishcasting.
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
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Apr 7, 2022
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You're completely missing my point. When the Sox broke Spring Training this year, who was their fourth (backup) outfielder? It was Christian Arroyo, a middle infielder who's never played in the outfield regularly and doesn't have the strongest bat in the world. Kike was fine last year, Verdugo was about average and JBJ was a train wreck (BTW, this is where WAR might not be the Swiss Army stat tool that you think it is, most of his positive WAR was due to his fielding. He slashed 234/314/403 in 2018, 225/317/421 in 2019 and 283/364/450 in 2020--but he didn't play a lot that year. I can't recall why though). Anyway, those aren't great offensive numbers, which is why most people on this board were convinced that JBJ would have been a tremendous choice for a fourth outfielder and were waiting for a move that never happened. For our current back-up outfielder, certainly you can see that there was a need to have someone on the bench who played outfield for more than, let me check my notes here, ZERO innings prior to the 2022 season.

"Dalbec more than earned a chance to be a starter this year"? Based on six strong weeks at the plate? Maybe. But do you recall just how awful he was until the end of last July? I'm not going to list them again, but they were bad. Bloom should have prepared for a slide back to his shitty 2021 by finding someone who could back up first base better than Travis Shaw and the gigantic fork sticking out his back.

"Unless Bloom had a crystal ball there was not much else he could have done about the April slump" I really wish that people on this board would move on from thinking that Chaim Bloom is some sort of naif who wandered into the front office and was bestowed the title of Head of Baseball Ops. He graduated from Yale and has been in the front office of a Major League Team since 2005. If he didn't know that he needed a fourth outfielder or first base insurance or that he needs to quit looking through the recycling bin for relief pitchers, the Red Sox are fucked because he's dumb. And for the reasons I stated above, I don't think that he's dumb. Dude knows more about baseball than pretty much the combined intelligence of this entire board put together. But most of us saw that the outfield depth, lack of a Plan B at first base and a shoddily constructed bullpen was going to screw this team back in March. And we're right. And also, guess what, we don't have a crystal ball either. Why didn't Bloom see what 95% of us saw? That's troubling. That's worrying to me.

This place shouldn't be smarter than the guy who--for real--picks out the roster. This is his third season with the club, it's okay to criticize him. He's a big boy, he can handle it. And if he cries himself to sleep every night, maybe the crap ton of money he makes running one of MLB's premier team can dry his eyes.

And BTW, if "everyone is slumping at the same time", YOU DID A PISS POOR JOB OF CREATING A ROSTER. That's it. That's a major part of your job that you can't just blame on "bad luck" unless the team flight slammed into a mountain. JFC. I don't get it with people like you. I really don't. Stop wishcasting.
1. The backup outfielder was JDM. That hasn't come to pass probably because of his injuries early in the year. JDM playing the outfield as a backup is not that radical of an idea. He played 39 games there last year both in right and left field.
2. Arroyo last year in 56 games played put up a 1.0 WAR and a 106 WRC+. For a backup that is really good. Based on last year it makes all the sense in the world to try to get Arroyo into the lineup as often as possible, even if that means trying him out in an unfamiliar position.
3. Verdugo was average last year, but what is your expectation for this team? Do you think that every position should be filled with above average players? That is not realistic. If you don't like WAR for JBJ lets go with WRC+. Prior to last year in 2020 he put up a 119, 2019 he put up an 89 and 2018 he put up a 90. That 89 and 90 don't look so hot unless you realize that he also gave you gold glove defense to boot. That makes him, like Verdugo, an average player. Bloom deciding to take on JBJ was not that crazy of an idea since he was just coming off of one bad season. Also as I pointed out there was Duran and Franchy waiting in the wings. FYI JBJ didn't play a lot in 2020 because there was not a lot of games due to the pandemic.
4. Maybe Shaw was not the best choice, but there was no way they were going to pull the plug on Dalbec before June. It is very rare for a major league player to come up and dominant right from the start. The fact Dalbec sucked for the first four months was not that unusual. It also wasn't a stretch to think that Casas would be ready by June or July. Once again using hindsight you can call this in question, but at the time it made sense.
5. If Bloom or any GM takes what fans think they see into their calculations, they won't be GMs for long. By rummaging in the junk heap, he got us Pivetta, Whitlock and Franchy. He should not depend on the junk heap exclusively, but I think that what Bloom has found has pointed favorably to his baseball IQ.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The fact Dalbec sucked for the first four months was not that unusual.
I agree with a lot of what you posted. Just want to gently push back a little on this. Dalbec wasn't outright terrible during the first four months. He had good and bad stretches. As one would expect with Dalbec, his OPS is slugging heavy, but his month by month splits last season were .619/.672/.781/.541/1.205/.928. That July number is the only one that really portends what he's done so far this season. I think if he were sitting on a .646 OPS (his OPS on June 1 last year) right now, we might not be ecstatic about it, but we might not be moaning quite so much. Especially with his improved defense at first.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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1. JD Martinez is not a guy you want in the outfield for a substantial amount of time (both because he's an iron glove and he could injure himself, thus removing his bat from the lineup) and I'd bet that if you looked at the game logs, a majority of his 39 games were played in National League parks.

2. No. A 1.0 WAR is not "really good". It's fine. It's replaceable. It's not someone that you should be counting on.

3. Listen, if you want to think that JBJ was a good hitter in the last five years; I don't know what to tell you. Keep reaching for the stars, I guess. In 2021 Durran and Franchy were garbage players.

JBJ didn't play a lot in 2020 because there was not a lot of games due to the pandemic.
HOLD THE GOD DAMN PHONE. What pandemic are you talking about? Did anyone else know about this?

4. You're getting very close. Dalbec should have been on a short leash because he didn't have a good season last year. He had six good weeks of hitting, and the rest was pretty much trash. And his defense wasn't really good either. They needed a veteran to come in, maybe platoon with Dalbec, or at the very least provide a fail safe in case he didn't hit again. Which he didn't. So now, the Sox have a hole at first and they have three outfielders who can't hit. If you can't objectively understand that the Bobby Dalbec isn't very good, then again, you're just hoping that he's going to be good soon. And I do too. It sucks watching a guy strikeout all the time. It's not fun. I liked when Dalbec was hitting dingers in August. But he's awful and Bloom should have done a better job covering the Sox' ass on this.

Also, like I wrote yesterday, Casas has played about 200 professional games so yeah, it's kind of a stretch to think that he would crush AAA pitching so much that he'd be up in Boston in two months. He's good. He isn't that good. Slow down.

5.
If Bloom or any GM takes what fans think they see into their calculations, they won't be GMs for long.
If have no idea what this means. But it's a cliche and I recognize it. It's definitely a good one.

Franchy wasn't a junk heap find, he was traded for Benintendi. Pivetta was acquired for Workman and Hembree. The way that those two guys found their way to Fenway is much different than Whitlock. The Pivetta deal was good, mostly because the guys he shipped out sucked so bad. I'm still not sure how good Franchy is, I know that you're ready to get him into Cooperstown, but he has a 0.0 WAR this year (look! It's your stat!) which is less than fine. Whitlock is an obvious home run.

Like I said Bloom isn't dumb. But the moves he made (or didn't make) this past off season were pretty awful.
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
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Dec 7, 2008
11,197
1. JD Martinez is not a guy you want in the outfield for a substantial amount of time (both because he's an iron glove and he could injure himself, thus removing his bat from the lineup) and I'd bet that if you looked at the game logs, a majority of his 39 games were played in National League parks.

2. No. A 1.0 WAR is not "really good". It's fine. It's replaceable. It's not someone that you should be counting on.
Who said anything about him playing the outfield for a "substantial amount of time"? Do teams start 4 outfielders now?

Also, 1 war in 57 games is in fact really good and nowhere near easily replaceable, especially for a guy making the minimum, but I like how you ignored the 57 games part to try and make it look worse.

3 outfielders that can't hit is also an interesting way to describe 3 guys who have all been above average hitters for multiple weeks now.
 

Ganthem

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Apr 7, 2022
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Who said anything about him playing the outfield for a "substantial amount of time"? Do teams start 4 outfielders now?

Also, 1 war in 57 games is in fact really good and nowhere near easily replaceable, especially for a guy making the minimum, but I like how you ignored the 57 games part to try and make it look worse.

3 outfielders that can't hit is also an interesting way to describe 3 guys who have all been above average hitters for multiple weeks now.
Beat me to the punch. Thank you. I will add that not penciling in Dalbec after his hot stretch last year would have been a head scratcher. People who are aware of development of prospects know that prospects very rarely take off. Go red Red Hawks post for more detail.
 

Rovin Romine

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Would it be too much to ask for you to do that all season? I enjoyed the series... It kind of locked me back in after I got disinterested due to all the FUD going on around here.
I can do another 10 game block. It actually lines up well since there's a 10 game road trip.

In the first iteration of this, I was hoping for the Sox to run off a string of games in the easy stretch and lower the WP required for the rest of the year. It's easier to be optimistic about a team that has a reachable target with a few tweaks, instead of one that requires a radical change of fortune.

So, here goes:

As of June 2, the Sox stand at 24-27 (.470 WP). The next 10 games are a west coast trip, traditionally dreaded by Sox fans. 3@OAK, 4@LAA, 3@SEA. However, this year OAK and SEA are far from powerhouses. LAA is a very credible club, but is currently suffering through a 6 game losing streak.

While going .500 on a west coast trip would normally be an acceptable cost of doing business, it would push the required remaining play up a notch.
-If they go .500, to hit 90 games the Sox would have to then play .604 ball the rest of the way (a 98 win pace or the 2004 club).​
-To hit 87, .574 ball the rest of the way (a 93 win pace or the 2017 club).​

Please keep in mind this is all back of the envelope stuff. Historical teams added and lost players and went through streaks where they get hotter than their yearly WP average. . .but there's a reasonable limit to how likely that will be for the 2022 club.

6-4 or better would be great. 7-3 means they return to Fenway a .500 team.

If the Sox become miraculously red-hot (e.g., "Story - The Sequel") and go 10-0, they'll stand at 34-27, and a 90 win target (likely a solid postseason chance) in the remaining 101 games would require 56 wins (.554):
10-0 - .554​
9-1 - .564​
8-2 - .574​
7-3 - .584​
6-4 - .594​
5-5 - .604​
4-6 - .614​
3-7 - .624​
2-8 - .634​
1-9 - .644​
0-10 - .654​

This is the set for the more modest 87 win target, which is maybe? a 50% chance of making the postseason. Hard to factor as more teams will be trying to win late in the season:
10-0 - .525​
9-1 - .535​
8-2 - .545​
7-3 - .555​
6-4 - .564​
5-5 - .574​
4-6 - .584​
3-7 - .594​
2-8 - .604​
1-9 - .614​
0-10 - .624​
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
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Dec 7, 2008
11,197
Beat me to the punch. Thank you. I will add that not penciling in Dalbec after his hot stretch last year would have been a head scratcher. People who are aware of development of prospects know that prospects very rarely take off. Go red Red Hawks post for more detail.
Yeah, he was always going to start the year at 1st base, and he should have unless they wanted to try to sell high on him. You can maybe knock Bloom a little for not having a better veteran option behind him than Shaw, but you need to consider the context, not only did whoever took that job know that they were starting as the backup, but they also knew that Casas was waiting in the wings as well, so they might not even be the backup for long.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
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Apr 12, 2001
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Beat me to the punch. Thank you. I will add that not penciling in Dalbec after his hot stretch last year would have been a head scratcher. People who are aware of development of prospects know that prospects very rarely take off. Go red Red Hawks post for more detail.
Who said I was dumping Dalbec? All I said is that having a better back up plan that Travis Shaw is something that Chaim Bloom should have done in case that Dalbec sucked. And guess what? He does suck!

But no, Chaim Bloom did everything perfectly this winter. It's that darn bad luck!
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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JD as backup OF and Kiki as backup 2B are fine in theory but don’t really work when both guys are starting at other positions. If JD is playing the OF, who is the DH? They went into the season with no backup OF that wasn’t already starting elsewhere, Travis Shaw as the only legit backup at 1B, and Arroyo and Plawecki. Not a great bench especially when there were at least two starters (Dalbec and Bradley) with legit concerns. I guess a three man bench because everyone else was doing it and because they didn’t know which of their relievers were good?

They also didn’t really have a closer or any sense of a bullpen hierarchy. I know the argument is that because Bloom made those decisions, than those were the best decisions that could be made, but the same people questioning them know we’re questioning them then. The off-season approach didn’t seem to place much of a priority on the 2022 season. Maybe that’s the right thing, too, time will tell.
 

Max Power

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Who said I was dumping Dalbec? All I said is that having a better back up plan that Travis Shaw is something that Chaim Bloom should have done in case that Dalbec sucked. And guess what? He does suck!

But no, Chaim Bloom did everything perfectly this winter. It's that darn bad luck!
There's a third option. The players simply weren't available. You can't just will a "Mitch Moreland type" into existence. The free agent class was moved on quickly with the lockout and there might not have been any trading partners available. Chaim probably rolled the dice at that point and figured one of Dalbec, Shaw, or Franchy would be acceptable out there. Early returns point to Franchy being the acceptable one, you just had to waste major league at bats on the others trying to figure it out.

Right field may have been a miss, depending on what you think you'd pay for Suzuki, but he's been slumping, too.
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
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Apr 7, 2022
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JD as backup OF and Kiki as backup 2B are fine in theory but don’t really work when both guys are starting at other positions. If JD is playing the OF, who is the DH? They went into the season with no backup OF that wasn’t already starting elsewhere, Travis Shaw as the only legit backup at 1B, and Arroyo and Plawecki. Not a great bench especially when there were at least two starters (Dalbec and Bradley) with legit concerns. I guess a three man bench because everyone else was doing it and because they didn’t know which of their relievers were good?

They also didn’t really have a closer or any sense of a bullpen hierarchy. I know the argument is that because Bloom made those decisions, than those were the best decisions that could be made, but the same people questioning them know we’re questioning them then. The off-season approach didn’t seem to place much of a priority on the 2022 season. Maybe that’s the right thing, too, time will tell.
I doubt the idea was for JDM to get much time in the outfield. When he does start in the outfield you then figure out who is a little banged up and give them a semi breather by DHing them or you stick Arroyo in there. I am really not getting the griping over the backup outfielder. I am also not sure how a backup outfielder would have prevented eight out of nine players from collectively slumping. Has there been any studies on the best way to acquire relievers? I am not sure how to properly phrase it or even conduct it, but it seems most people feel that relievers are notoriously unreliable. One year they are great the next they are a pumpkin etc. Has there been any longitudinal study done comparing bullpens that were primarily constructed through homegrown players vs ones primarily constructed via trade/free agency? Is it even possible to conduct such a study, since most bullpens tend to be a mish mash of different acquisition types?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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A backup OF who could at least platoon with Bradley and Verdugo, who can’t hit lefties, would have helped. A backup 1B who can make contact against power righties could have helped. Incremental improvements are worth being made even if they wouldn’t have completely changed the teams performance in hindsight - especially when it seemed like they had money to spend, as opposed to last year when they were right up against the cap.

Regardless, what’s done is done. But it seems quite possible that the teams playoff chances could come down to a small number of games, so every little improvement helps.
 
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moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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There's a third option. The players simply weren't available.
Weren't available and/or were not in the budget. According to Cot's they are 11 million over the threshold, 4th highest in the game. There were too many holes to address in free agency, they had to get creative. Why? Here's what soxprospects.com has as their top 20 prospects at the end of 2017:

October 15, 2017
1 Jay Groome
2 Michael Chavis
3 Bryan Mata
4 Tanner Houck
5 Daniel Flores
6 Sam Travis
7 Josh Ockimey
8 Cole Brannen
9 Mike Shawaryn
10 Alex Scherff
11 Jalen Beeks
12 Brian Johnson
13 CJ Chatham
14 Bobby Dalbec
15 Darwinzon Hernandez
16 Roniel Raudes
17 Jake Thompson
18 Danny Diaz
19 Tzu-Wei Lin
20 Travis Lakins
https://soxprospects.com/history.htm


It's damn near impossible to win without young, cost-controlled talent. Since Benintendi was called up at the start of 2017, the system has produced virtually nothing -- Dalbec and Tanner Houck. That's it, over a 5 year period. It would be a lot worse without the pickups of Pivetta and Whitlock, but they are not enough to make up for a 5 year drought. Meanwhile, the guys they had became older and more expensive. Throw in a swing and miss like Chris Sale and the dead money for David Price -- you'd better hit on most of your short term FA if you want to win. Last year they did. This year, not as much.
 

LynnRice75

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Sometimes when I’m looking at scores for the day, it almost feels good to see the Jays and Rays and Yankees all win if it knocks other teams closer to 500. With the expanded playoffs, the Sox can get in along with alongside all three of them.

It’ll be tough, schedule wise, but four AL East teams in the playoffs is a legit possibility. Feels weird to smile at a win by a division rival, but if it moves us closer to the third WC spot, it works for me.
 

Rovin Romine

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Sometimes when I’m looking at scores for the day, it almost feels good to see the Jays and Rays and Yankees all win if it knocks other teams closer to 500. With the expanded playoffs, the Sox can get in along with alongside all three of them.

It’ll be tough, schedule wise, but four AL East teams in the playoffs is a legit possibility. Feels weird to smile at a win by a division rival, but if it moves us closer to the third WC spot, it works for me.
There is right in this world and there is wrong.
 

VORP Speed

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The Sox aren’t in the AL East anymore, they’re in the 6th spot division, 2.5 behind LAAAA and basically tied with CWS, CLE and TEX. Not such an incredibly daunting task to make up 2.5 games over 110 and beat out that crowd.
 

Rovin Romine

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The Sox aren’t in the AL East anymore, they’re in the 6th spot division, 2.5 behind LAAAA and basically tied with CWS, CLE and TEX. Not such an incredibly daunting task to make up 2.5 games over 110 and beat out that crowd.
Unfortunately they play a lot of AL East teams with the unbalanced schedule.
 

EricFeczko

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Weren't available and/or were not in the budget. According to Cot's they are 11 million over the threshold, 4th highest in the game. There were too many holes to address in free agency, they had to get creative. Why? Here's what soxprospects.com has as their top 20 prospects at the end of 2017:

October 15, 2017
1 Jay Groome
2 Michael Chavis
3 Bryan Mata
4 Tanner Houck
5 Daniel Flores
6 Sam Travis
7 Josh Ockimey
8 Cole Brannen
9 Mike Shawaryn
10 Alex Scherff
11 Jalen Beeks
12 Brian Johnson
13 CJ Chatham
14 Bobby Dalbec
15 Darwinzon Hernandez
16 Roniel Raudes
17 Jake Thompson
18 Danny Diaz
19 Tzu-Wei Lin
20 Travis Lakins
https://soxprospects.com/history.htm


It's damn near impossible to win without young, cost-controlled talent. Since Benintendi was called up at the start of 2017, the system has produced virtually nothing -- Dalbec and Tanner Houck. That's it, over a 5 year period. It would be a lot worse without the pickups of Pivetta and Whitlock, but they are not enough to make up for a 5 year drought. Meanwhile, the guys they had became older and more expensive. Throw in a swing and miss like Chris Sale and the dead money for David Price -- you'd better hit on most of your short term FA if you want to win. Last year they did. This year, not as much.
Indeed, and given Dombrowski (the signer of price and sale and ruiner of farm systems) -- Bloom was coming in with a limited hand.

I'm not surprised that 2017 marks the time when we started producing nothing. The red sox packaging scandal (among his other blunderings) prevented us from signing international agents in 2016-2017 and drop the five we signed post-Moncada.

Of course, signing Moncada itself led to the cap...
 

jon abbey

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The Sox aren’t in the AL East anymore, they’re in the 6th spot division, 2.5 behind LAAAA and basically tied with CWS, CLE and TEX. Not such an incredibly daunting task to make up 2.5 games over 110 and beat out that crowd.
Also worth keeping in mind that under this system, the 6th seed is a better draw than the 5th and maybe the 4th (they do get home games in the 4/5 series). #6 has to play the whole best of 3 against #3 on the road but the worst division winner is almost always going to be easier than the top wild card. If the playoffs started today (they do not):

NYY (1) plays winner of TOR (4) / TB (5)
HOU (2) plays winner of MIN (3) / LAA (6) (they have lost 8 in a row though and most of their cushion)

HOU is good but if I get to pick my draw there between the 4/5/6 slots, of course I would go to MIN over the AL East gauntlet.
 

moondog80

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Indeed, and given Dombrowski (the signer of price and sale and ruiner of farm systems) -- Bloom was coming in with a limited hand.

I'm not surprised that 2017 marks the time when we started producing nothing. The red sox packaging scandal (among his other blunderings) prevented us from signing international agents in 2016-2017 and drop the five we signed post-Moncada.

Of course, signing Moncada itself led to the cap...
They won a title in 2018 so DD is good in my book. If it has to be that we are paying for it a bit now, it was worth it. Nonetheless, the situation Bloom inherited does need to be put in context. It was always going to be hoping the band aids stuck.
 

Rovin Romine

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Yeah, but those other teams, maybe with the exception of the Angels, stink
Then they'll be playing weaker opponents more often than the Sox will be. Also, our record against the "stinky" contending teams is decidedly mixed.

We're still in it, but it's not like we're somehow now exempt from playing the 3 strong teams in the AL East, plus the Birds, who we haven't exactly romped.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I don't get some of the criticism here, but some of it is absolutely legit. My major complaint is going with JBJ as a starter. That said... he's actually been good. Would be better if he was a bit better. But going into the season with Kiké and Verdugo as your other two outfielders is fine. I can't believe that posters here actually are faulting Bloom for this. Kiké was sensational after a slow start and Verdugo has been at least an above average OF that should be expected to improve after his last seasons here. Would he ever be an All Star? Possibly... .maybe for just a season if things lined up right... but I don't think anyone was expecting that. Bloom whiffed on adding a corner OF and that's totally legit. Do posters think he should just have stuck with Renfroe? It'd be nice to have his .800 OPS and 9 HR's in the lineup right now. His defense wasn't as good as Bradley's but he was notorious for dumb decisions. If not Renfroe, then who? I would have liked Schwarber personally and kept him in LF in Fenway and 1B on the road but he's a defensive liability at both spots. .744 OPS with 12 HR's so far. That'd be nice. But defense. Either way... I think this is where Bloom deserves criticism. Grade D.
Where he doesn't is assuming Kike and Verdugo would be fine. They haven't been. But I can't blame Bloom there. Grade B.
Going with Dalbec to start the season... also fine. Having Shaw as his only true backup? Partially blame Bloom here. Someone pointed out that bringing anyone in to 1B was going to be difficult with Casas standing right behind them. This is again where I think Schwarber would have been a good addition. So far it's looking like his Plan C is doing okay with Franchy though. Grade C.
Starting rotation. The Chris Sale problem isn't his. He can't bring in a great starter to replace him. He brought in Wacha who so far has performed (PERFORMED!... I don't care what his XFip or other stat says he "should" be) to a fantastic sub 3.00 ERA and a WHiP barely over 1. What the hell do people expect for "You can't go into the season expecting Chris Sale to be great!!!!" posters here think should have been done!?!?!? Grade Fucking A PLUS on Wacha.
What? You want to say that Hill was Sale's "replacement". Fine. Still give Wacha a Grade A. Hill as his replacement is at a 4.85 ERA. Yeah... not good. But again... who was going to come in with the understanding that there was a "chance" that they might not start. Sale hurt a rib. He pitched the last half of the season and was expected to start in '22. Any FA pitcher saw that. They don't think... "Well gee whiz... it's Chris Sale.. he's pretty fragile so I should assume he'll get injured and I'll be able to make 8-12 starts before he gets back". In my opinion, I'd rather just have gone with Seabold or Winckowski right out of the gate. Grade C on Hill.
Rest of the rotation? Grade A also! Eovaldi. Pivetta. Whitlock.
Bullpen. Yeah.... I'm one of the guys that thinks it's a crapshoot IF you don't have a dominant CLOSER. Who wanted to make Whitlock a closer here? Anyone.... anyone....? Pairing Whitlock with Houck (maybe he's the closer?) would have been fine but I'm all for Houck as a starter. I don't get the juggling of the two other than Houck deciding to take himself out of a starter's role with the vaccination bullshit. So Bloom had 1 sure thing in the bullpen but not a closer. Hoping Barnes would rebound isn't a good strategy but adding a bunch of random pitchers of which it seems, historically.... one of them if not more, would turn into a few good BP arms. I thought Valdez would turn the corner and throw strikes consistently. All in all I don't fault his general strategy to start the season. Grade B.

There's legit criticism and then there's histrionic entitled bullshit which is what a lot of the posts on here have been.
 

Rovin Romine

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We begin our second quasi-arbitrary block of 10, which coincides with the West Coast trip.

Any win is a good one - and these types of wins are absolutely necessary.

If the Sox become miraculously red-hot (e.g., "Story - The Sequel") and go 10-0, they'll stand at 34-27, and a 90 win target (likely a solid postseason chance) in the remaining 101 games would require 56 wins (.554):
10-0 - .554​
9-1 - .564​
8-2 - .574​
7-3 - .584​
6-4 - .594​
5-5 - .604​
4-6 - .614​
3-7 - .624​
2-8 - .634​
1-9 - .644​
0-10 - .654

This is the set for the more modest 87 win target, which is maybe? a 50% chance of making the postseason. Hard to factor as more teams will be trying to win late in the season:
10-0 - .525​
9-1 - .535​
8-2 - .545​
7-3 - .555​
6-4 - .564​
5-5 - .574​
4-6 - .584​
3-7 - .594​
2-8 - .604​
1-9 - .614​
0-10 - .624
 

tims4wins

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Hingham, MA
Hot take that means zero on June 4: with the division long gone, the Sox best chances for playoff success are as the 6 seed. They'd face the Twins in the 2 out of 3 playoff while Toronto faces the Jays. Then they'd face Houston in the ALDS if they were to advance, and avoid the MFY until the ALCS.
 

amfox1

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Hot take that means zero on June 4: with the division long gone, the Sox best chances for playoff success are as the 6 seed. They'd face the Twins in the 2 out of 3 playoff while Toronto faces the Jays. Then they'd face Houston in the ALDS if they were to advance, and avoid the MFY until the ALCS.
TOR would face TB.

After 52 games, BOS is 1.5 games out of #6 (LAA), 5.5g out of #5 (TOR), 6.0g out of #4 (TB) and 12.0g out for the division (MFY).

I'd worry more about getting in and less about matchups at this point. If Sale and Paxton come back healthy, the pitching staff looks better in a best 2-of-3 series in October than it does now.

5IP starters: Sale, Eovaldi, Wacha
middle relief: Hill, Pivetta, Houck, Paxton
8th inning: Schreiber, Robles
closer: Whitlock
 

tims4wins

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TOR would face TB.

After 52 games, BOS is 1.5 games out of #6 (LAA), 5.5g out of #5 (TOR), 6.0g out of #4 (TB) and 12.0g out for the division (MFY).

I'd worry more about getting in and less about matchups at this point. If Sale and Paxton come back healthy, the pitching staff looks better in a best 2-of-3 series in October than it does now.

5IP starters: Sale, Eovaldi, Wacha
middle relief: Hill, Pivetta, Houck, Paxton
8th inning: Schreiber, Robles
closer: Whitlock
Meant Rays not Jays.
 

tims4wins

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TOR would face TB.

After 52 games, BOS is 1.5 games out of #6 (LAA), 5.5g out of #5 (TOR), 6.0g out of #4 (TB) and 12.0g out for the division (MFY).

I'd worry more about getting in and less about matchups at this point. If Sale and Paxton come back healthy, the pitching staff looks better in a best 2-of-3 series in October than it does now.

5IP starters: Sale, Eovaldi, Wacha
middle relief: Hill, Pivetta, Houck, Paxton
8th inning: Schreiber, Robles
closer: Whitlock
Dup
 

Rovin Romine

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Hot take that means zero on June 4: with the division long gone, the Sox best chances for playoff success are as the 6 seed. They'd face the Twins in the 2 out of 3 playoff while Toronto faces the Jays. Then they'd face Houston in the ALDS if they were to advance, and avoid the MFY until the ALCS.
The 10 game track is what they actually need to do the rest of the year to hit a 90 or 87 win mark. Those marks represent a good or coin-toss chance to capture the #6 spot, based on the actual finishes of previous #6 teams.

It has nothing to do with winning the division. . . .except that in a sense, you've already gone through the same analysis. You've concluded the total number of wins to vie for the division (aprox. 100?) is just beyond this team's capabilities. They're not going to play the rest of the season at the WP clip needed to get to 100 (or whatever one's reasonable guess is). I think there's pretty broad agreement on that. PS - to hit 100 wins, that'd be a .681 WP from today.

This is the same, but with a different target. Granted, that target can move a bit - I'd be very surprised if they captured the #6 spot with 80 wins. But you never know.
 
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tims4wins

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I'd be very surprised if they captured the #6 spot with 80 wins. But you never know.
It really comes down to how Cleveland and the Angels play. 538 projects Cleveland at 81 wins and the Angels at 84, meaning 85 would get the Sox in. I agree that 87-88 feels much safer, but if you played this season 1000x from this point forward, I would imagine there would be a non-immaterial amount of seasons where the WC3 team wins only 80-81 games.
 

Rovin Romine

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It really comes down to how Cleveland and the Angels play. 538 projects Cleveland at 81 wins and the Angels at 84, meaning 85 would get the Sox in. I agree that 87-88 feels much safer, but if you played this season 1000x from this point forward, I would imagine there would be a non-immaterial amount of seasons where the WC3 team wins only 80-81 games.
I'm really not sure how the #6 spot will change play.

Do the WC#3 spot scrum teams "play harder," thinking they have a chance? And by that I mean, adopt different strategies and tactics - say trading for a vet instead of breaking in a rookie? Does that cluster the scrum's final win totals? Do we see an overall greater win/loss disparity in the league where any punting team will really be driven down in the standings?
 

tims4wins

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I'm really not sure how the #6 spot will change play.

Do the WC#3 spot scrum teams "play harder," thinking they have a chance? And by that I mean, adopt different strategies and tactics - say trading for a vet instead of breaking in a rookie? Does that cluster the scrum's final win totals? Do we see an overall greater win/loss disparity in the league where any punting team will really be driven down in the standings?
Obviously the incentive is to try to get more teams to stay competitive longer into the season, but I'm not sure that will play out in reality. Looking at the AL standings, there is no chance any of the bottom 4 teams will buy. It looks like we'll have at least two 100 loss teams, possibly 4.

The Angels, Guardians, Red Sox, White Sox, and Rangers are all probably in a buying mode right now. They all have positive run differential despite having losing records (aside from the Angels). But as we have seen, a lot can happen in 6-8 weeks.

That only leaves one "on the fence team" in Seattle, who is 23-29 with a -14 differential. They'll probably see how the next 6-8 weeks go before deciding how to play it.

So while as many as 11 AL teams might be "in it" right now, I expect that number to dwindle by the deadline, and then the last couple months will be the same situation we've always had, where the better teams beat up even moreso than usual on the bad teams.
 

Rovin Romine

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Trending in the right direction. . .
If the Sox become miraculously red-hot (e.g., "Story - The Sequel") and go 10-0, they'll stand at 34-27, and a 90 win target (likely a solid postseason chance) in the remaining 101 games would require 56 wins (.554):
10-0 - .554
9-1 - .564
8-2 - .574
7-3 - .584
6-4 - .594
5-5 - .604
4-6 - .614
3-7 - .624
2-8 - .634
1-9 - .644
0-10 - .654


This is the set for the more modest 87 win target, which is maybe? a 50% chance of making the postseason. Hard to factor as more teams will be trying to win late in the season:
10-0 - .525
9-1 - .535
8-2 - .545
7-3 - .555
6-4 - .564
5-5 - .574
4-6 - .584
3-7 - .594
2-8 - .604
1-9 - .614
0-10 - .624
 

jon abbey

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But, baseball is kind of dumb if a .491 team is a legit playoff team, no?
Regular season baseball and postseason baseball have always been pretty different things, I point you to the 1987 season, back when there were just two divisions in each league and no wild cards, just four postseason teams total. The Twins won the seven team AL West at 85-77 despite four teams in the East having better records. Then they took out the AL East champ Tigers (!) and then faced the NL best Cardinals in the World Series. Even though STL was 10 games better in the regular season, the system at that point was for the two leagues to alternate home field advantage for the WS every year. MIN lost all three games in STL but won all four home games (with later likely allegations of cheating using the ventilation system).

Anyway, all that makes it that much more amazing when one team is clearly the best in both the regular season and the postseason, like the 2018 Red Sox or the 1998 Yankees.
 

BroodsSexton

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Regular season baseball and postseason baseball have always been pretty different things, I point you to the 1987 season, back when there were just two divisions in each league and no wild cards, just four postseason teams total. The Twins won the seven team AL West at 85-77 despite four teams in the East having better records. Then they took out the AL East champ Tigers (!) and then faced the NL best Cardinals in the World Series. Even though STL was 10 games better in the regular season, the system at that point was for the two leagues to alternate home field advantage for the WS every year. MIN lost all three games in STL but won all four home games (with later likely allegations of cheating using the ventilation system).

Anyway, all that makes it that much more amazing when one team is clearly the best in both the regular season and the postseason, like the 2018 Red Sox or the 1998 Yankees.
I mean, we can debate this forever but I would be fine with a rule that no team that wins less than 50% + 1 of its games can make the playoffs, and then adjust the format as necessary. Or, I guess let every team in and just use the season for seeding if you don’t want to make the regular season actually mean anything.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
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Regular season baseball and postseason baseball have always been pretty different things, I point you to the 1987 season, back when there were just two divisions in each league and no wild cards, just four postseason teams total. The Twins won the seven team AL West at 85-77 despite four teams in the East having better records. Then they took out the AL East champ Tigers (!) and then faced the NL best Cardinals in the World Series. Even though STL was 10 games better in the regular season, the system at that point was for the two leagues to alternate home field advantage for the WS every year. MIN lost all three games in STL but won all four home games (with later likely allegations of cheating using the ventilation system).

Anyway, all that makes it that much more amazing when one team is clearly the best in both the regular season and the postseason, like the 2018 Red Sox or the 1998 Yankees.
Cheating using the ventilation system??? Huh?
 

scottyno

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Dec 7, 2008
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But, baseball is kind of dumb if a .491 team is a legit playoff team, no?
Well they aren't a playoff team yet, but no not really. When 40% of your league makes the playoffs it seems logical that a .491 team would be in the mix 1/3rd of the way through the season. And that 40% is still the lowest of any of the 4 major leagues. It's still pretty unlikely that an 80 win team would actually make the playoffs after 162 games, but they should certainly still be in contention at this point.
 
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Once again the AL East is an incredible division.

Net run differential by division:

AL East: +121

AL Central: -148

AL West: -7

NL East: +22

NL Central: -67

NL West: +79

The AL East is absolutely crushing it at +121 runs and 93-61 against non-divisional opponents.

There's a real chance that four out of five AL East teams make the playoffs.