How to get back in this thing

Philip Jeff Frye

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OK I stand corrected.

My larger point stands. They had six good weeks and then did nothing the rest of the year. If you want to stand on those six weeks and say they accomplished something that's your prerogative. I certainly disagree.

This season has been a bouillabaisse of mediocrity. A 32-15 stretch and yet here we are at 72-77. That's impressively bad, really.
Yes, I'm not sure how we can get excited enough about the 32-15 stretch to ignore the 40-62 rest of the season.
 

tims4wins

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OK I stand corrected.

My larger point stands. They had six good weeks and then did nothing the rest of the year. If you want to stand on those six weeks and say they accomplished something that's your prerogative. I certainly disagree.

This season has been a bouillabaisse of mediocrity. A 32-15 stretch and yet here we are at 72-77. That's impressively bad, really.
No one is saying that. They accomplished nothing. They did get back into it, but it was completely meaningless because they collapsed once we got close to July. The worst baseball seasons are the ones with little to root for after the all star break.
 

BaseballJones

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Well it's been

(1) REALLY awful - starting 10-19 and looking just godawful
(2) REALLY terrific - going 32-12 over a 44 game stretch, mostly against good competition
(3) Then terrible again - dropping off the face of the earth
(4) Ending in a pile of mediocrity - I mean, they're winning some, losing some, but generally aren't really fun to watch

Look at the roster right now though. Let's see if it in any way resembles what any of us imagined it would be before the season started.

C - Reese McGuire - I mean...I had never even heard of the guy
1b - Triston Casas - We all were hoping he'd be here because he'd have forced his way up from AAA, not because Dalbec sucked so badly and the team was so far out of it that they were like, well, ok, let's at least see what Casas can do in the majors
2b - Yu Chang - WHO???
3b - Rafael Devers - Yay, but the guy has been TERRIBLE since Aug 2 - .217/.290/.343/.634, 4 homers
SS - Xander Bogaerts - Yay, and doing fine
LF - Tommy Pham - Bleh. He's been "ok" but none of us ever envisioned this guy on the roster.
CF - Kiké Hernandez - Yeah, we envisioned him here, but not hitting .224/.296/.350/.646.
RF - Alex Verdugo - Yes, and doing fine.
DH - JD Martinez - Only 12 homers?????

Missing: Vazquez, Story, Dalbec, and good production out of Devers and JD.

SP
Pivetta - Yep
Wacha - I'm actually amazed he's still here and doing well.
Seabold - Uh....he should not be in the Sox' rotation at this point.
Bello - Here in an emergency, he's done well, but nobody really thought at the start of the year that this guy would be here.
Hill - Same as Wacha - didn't think he'd still be here.

Missing: Sale, Eovaldi, and Paxton - Yes, I think most people thought Paxton would be here by NOW and helping the club. Of course we all envisioned Sale being back. And Eovaldi of course.
 

Jason Bae

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It also didn't help that the rotation got decimated by injuries around June/July and went from a rotation of Eovaldi/Pivetta/Wacha/Whitlock/Hill to Pivetta/Bello/Crawford/Winckowski/Seabold with Sale making two starts before his season ended. They went from getting a 2.91 ERA over 148.1 IP (26 starts) to 7.09 over 118 IP (27 starts). So not only were they getting shelled, but they were taxing the bullpen and the bulpen went from a 3.20 ERA in 84.1 IP in June to a 5.53 ERA in 122 IP in July.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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OK I stand corrected.

My larger point stands. They had six good weeks and then did nothing the rest of the year. If you want to stand on those six weeks and say they accomplished something that's your prerogative. I certainly disagree. I dismiss that run because honestly, what did it get them? Nothing really. They didn't build on it at all.

This season has been a bouillabaisse of mediocrity. A 32-15 stretch and yet here we are at 72-77. That's impressively bad, really.
The only thing they "accomplished" was getting back in the race. Nobody - not one of us - is saying this has been a successful season. It's sucked. But it can be true both that the season has sucked AND that they played really well for a stretch to get back into the playoff race.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Well it's been

(1) REALLY awful - starting 10-19 and looking just godawful
(2) REALLY terrific - going 32-12 over a 44 game stretch, mostly against good competition
(3) Then terrible again - dropping off the face of the earth
(4) Ending in a pile of mediocrity - I mean, they're winning some, losing some, but generally aren't really fun to watch
Yeah, that's fair.

Red Sox Stats on Twitter brought up an interesting point. I don't know if he's right about this, but it does make me wonder about the strange approach at the deadline:

View: https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/1573025197195726848?s=20&t=4CskxUuHLrkRC_U0ma8HaQ
 

BaseballJones

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Yeah, that's fair.

Red Sox Stats on Twitter brought up an interesting point. I don't know if he's right about this, but it does make me wonder about the strange approach at the deadline:

View: https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/1573025197195726848?s=20&t=4CskxUuHLrkRC_U0ma8HaQ
That's a great question, and one I'd love to know the answer to. If they had gotten smoked those two games, would Bloom's approach have been different? We may never know.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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The only thing they "accomplished" was getting back in the race. Nobody - not one of us - is saying this has been a successful season. It's sucked. But it can be true both that the season has sucked AND that they played really well for a stretch to get back into the playoff race.
Yeah, it's too bad they did pretty much nothing afterwards. They had that run and then went into Toronto at 42-31 (without Houck) and lost two of three. That triggered a 6-17 run, largely against divisional opponents, and that was that.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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That's a great question, and one I'd love to know the answer to. If they had gotten smoked those two games, would Bloom's approach have been different? We may never know.
Adding vets like Hosmer and Pham would indicate they thought they still had a chance. But trading Vazquez indicated they thought they didn't? It was a weird deadline.

I will say, since the season has gone to hell anyway, trading Vaz and picking up McGuire and seeing what the latter has done since getting here has been a positive. He's been pretty good.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Yeah, it's too bad they did pretty much nothing afterwards. They had that run and then went into Toronto at 42-31 (without Houck) and lost two of three. That triggered a 6-17 run, largely against divisional opponents, and that was that.
Yep, their record against the AL East has just been catastrophic.

vs. NYY: 6-10
vs. Bal: 7-8
vs. TB: 4-12
vs. Tor: 3-13

That's 20-43 (.317).

OUCH.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Yep, their record against the AL East has just been catastrophic.

vs. NYY: 6-10
vs. Bal: 7-8
vs. TB: 4-12
vs. Tor: 3-13

That's 20-43 (.317).

OUCH.
Woof. And as much as I'd like to blame the idiots who couldn't play in Toronto, it's a lot more than that at work here. It's inexcusable to have such a poor inter-division record. That indicates a gap in scouting or self-scouting to me. I know the division is tough but it's not THAT tough.
 

Archer1979

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Adding vets like Hosmer and Pham would indicate they thought they still had a chance. But trading Vazquez indicated they thought they didn't? It was a weird deadline.

I will say, since the season has gone to hell anyway, trading Vaz and picking up McGuire and seeing what the latter has done since getting here has been a positive. He's been pretty good.
Bloom probably assessed that in trading for McGuire knowing, that 1) Vaz was not coming back in 2023 and 2)Maybe McGuire might be better than Vaz.

It was a gamble, but that aspect looks promising.

I think I said this earlier in the season, this team was not 1, 2, or even 3 players away from making a serious run. I can't really fault his moves at the trading deadline as nothing would have been enough to overcome the off-season make-up of this roster.
 

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Adding vets like Hosmer and Pham would indicate they thought they still had a chance. But trading Vazquez indicated they thought they didn't? It was a weird deadline.

I will say, since the season has gone to hell anyway, trading Vaz and picking up McGuire and seeing what the latter has done since getting here has been a positive. He's been pretty good.
Maybe they wouldn't have traded Vazquez if they weren't able to get McGuire. They were seemingly done with Vaz after this season, so get someone who is likely as good this year and can potentially be in their future plans.
 

tims4wins

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Woof. And as much as I'd like to blame the idiots who couldn't play in Toronto, it's a lot more than that at work here. It's inexcusable to have such a poor inter-division record. That indicates a gap in scouting or self-scouting to me. I know the division is tough but it's not THAT tough.
Man, if they managed to simply play .450 ball against the division - the equivalent of a 73-89 team - they'd be at 80-69 today. Still not in the playoffs, but they'd at least have a shot.

.317 is so ridiculously bad it is hard to comprehend.

They are 52-34 against all other teams, which is the equivalent of s 98 win team. And a 51 win team vs. the AL East.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Bloom probably assessed that in trading for McGuire knowing, that 1) Vaz was not coming back in 2023 and 2)Maybe McGuire might be better than Vaz.

It was a gamble, but that aspect looks promising.

I think I said this earlier in the season, this team was not 1, 2, or even 3 players away from making a serious run. I can't really fault his moves at the trading deadline as nothing would have been enough to overcome the off-season make-up of this roster.
True, but if they were more than 3 players away, why even bother picking up Pham and Hosmer? I know the cost was minimal and it's not a big deal but in retrospect it seems very much like trying to have one's cake and eat it too.

If they knew they were this far away I would have expected more vets to be moved out, and to get under the tax threshold.
 

Archer1979

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True, but if they were more than 3 players away, why even bother picking up Pham and Hosmer? I know the cost was minimal and it's not a big deal but in retrospect it seems very much like trying to have one's cake and eat it too.

If they knew they were this far away I would have expected more vets to be moved out, and to get under the tax threshold.
I kind of switched rails in my post. My thinking was that perhaps Bloom thought that adding those players would have made a difference with McGuire being a lateral move/upgrade over Vaz.

My thoughts at the trade deadline were that he was trying to put a band-aid on the Elephant Man.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Woof. And as much as I'd like to blame the idiots who couldn't play in Toronto, it's a lot more than that at work here. It's inexcusable to have such a poor inter-division record. That indicates a gap in scouting or self-scouting to me. I know the division is tough but it's not THAT tough.
I have no explanation for this because you and T4W are right - it just shouldn't be this bad, no matter what. .317 is incomprehensibly bad.

Man, if they managed to simply play .450 ball against the division - the equivalent of a 73-89 team - they'd be at 80-69 today. Still not in the playoffs, but they'd at least have a shot.

.317 is so ridiculously bad it is hard to comprehend.

They are 52-34 against all other teams, which is the equivalent of s 98 win team. And a 51 win team vs. the AL East.
Yep. Unreal. It's so statistically bad that I *almost* have to chalk it up as a bizarre anomaly.
 

Max Power

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I kind of switched rails in my post. My thinking was that perhaps Bloom thought that adding those players would have made a difference with McGuire being a lateral move/upgrade over Vaz.

My thoughts at the trade deadline were that he was trying to put a band-aid on the Elephant Man.
You have to field a major league team every day. Pham didn't cost anything and is one of the three best outfielders in the organization right now. It would be nice to be able to trade some of the pitching prospects for some who can play the field.
 

Ganthem

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OK I stand corrected.

My larger point stands. They had six good weeks and then did nothing the rest of the year. If you want to stand on those six weeks and say they accomplished something that's your prerogative. I certainly disagree. I dismiss that run because honestly, what did it get them? Nothing really. They didn't build on it at all.

This season has been a bouillabaisse of mediocrity. A 32-15 stretch and yet here we are at 72-77. That's impressively bad, really.
Do you think there is another team that could have withstood the injuries that piled up on the Red Sox after that amazing June? Do you think that Bloom and company should have somehow had a magic eight ball and predicted that those players would get injured?
 

Rovin Romine

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I'm sorry that people taking issue with the low quality of the team offends you so much.
Yeah, well, my post was my own irritation at 2022 speaking as well.

FWIW, I'm with you on the team sucking in 2022 part. I just prefer a bit more of an inquisitive approach to the why of that suck. I mean, if there's a problem, it should by all means be addressed.

That said, I don't think we can blithely discount injuries, the lockout, injuries, twice-through to protect starter's arms, injuries, new baseball sapping offense, injuries, etc. Oh, and injuries. Some of those were stupidity but some of those weren't forseeable; I mean, but for three moving baseballs, we'd have a totally different team:

-Sale's finger.
-Story's fractured wrist.
-Strahm's mashed hand.

Throw in a real hitting coach or two for some rookies and you've got a contender. Especially if you get career norm/average recent performance out of Brasier, Barnes and Robles. Or less injury time for Wacha, Houck, Eovaldi, Crawford, etc.

Our problem looks like the bullpen, but it's not really. It's the fact that the pitching staff overall was drained by injuries to starters and to other relief pitchers. We used 12 starting pitchers this year, two of which were supposed to be in the bullpen (Whitlock and Crawford) and one of which was supposed to transition there or be traded (Hill).

To consider that a bit more, 162/5 gets us 32. Granted, there are going to be some double-header starters and the like, and you can skip the #5 slot now and then, but go with that rough 32 starts per slot.

We've got (so far) 14 starts from Winckowski, 12 from Crawford, 9 from Bello, 4 from Seabold, 3 from Davis. None of those guys were supposed to be anything but emergency starter backups. Injuries =s 42 starts. That's your entire number 5 slot starts for a year and part of your #4. Whitlock and Houck have another 13 starts between them - but 9 of those were an emergency Whitlock transition. . .where he wasn't that great. So call that 51 "pressed into service" starts. That's 31% of the season's starts, and that'll grow higher by the end.

Conversely, we've played 149 games. How many players have started 100 or more games? Just 4. Verdugo, Boegarts, Martinez, Devers. If the next highest active player started the remaining 12 games? Enrique Hernandez would have clawed up to 91 starts out of 162 games - that's 56%. Story, currently shut down, stands at 92 starts.

I don't think it's a matter of the team willfully failing, it's more of a perfect storm of suck. That yes, they absolutely could have taken some steps to avoid or mitigate.


****
Consider a team where, but for a week or so, we have a healthy Sale, Eovaldi, Wacha, Pivetta, Hill/Paxton rotation. (Your backup is Crawford or Houck). The bullpen is headed by (good) Barnes, Schreiber, Houck, Whitlock, Strahm, Taylor, and (good) Brasier.

Meanwhile you get a consistent plus core-offense consisting of: these 4 Devers, Xander, (first half) JD, Story. Augmented by a table-setting Hernandez, Verdugo, Arroyo, Vazquez, Refsnyder. Your weak spots are JBJ and a coin-toss Dalbec, with a healthy Casas ready by mid-season.

That's a good team.

Not the one we got, but a good team.
 
Last edited:

Daniel_Son

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True, but if they were more than 3 players away, why even bother picking up Pham and Hosmer? I know the cost was minimal and it's not a big deal but in retrospect it seems very much like trying to have one's cake and eat it too.

If they knew they were this far away I would have expected more vets to be moved out, and to get under the tax threshold.
In a vacuum, the trades make sense. Getting a league average 1B and a competent outfielder/leadoff hitter were obvious fixes. With a couple rotation pieces coming back strong and healthy, and assuming that JD, Devers, and Xander didn't turn into the complete black holes they did in August, I can see why Bloom thought the team had a shot. They were sitting at .500 and a few games out of a wildcard on August 1.
 

Coachster

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True, but if they were more than 3 players away, why even bother picking up Pham and Hosmer? I know the cost was minimal and it's not a big deal but in retrospect it seems very much like trying to have one's cake and eat it too.

If they knew they were this far away I would have expected more vets to be moved out, and to get under the tax threshold.
Pham has spared us having to watch Jarren Duran for the last two months; a blessing because I can't think of anybody else with the dual qualities of being unlikeable and untalented.

Hosmer was free. You take a flyer that he has something in the tank. (remember, it was pretty obvious that Dalbec's tank was way past empty.)

McGuire was a good pickup.

I thought Bloom would move guys out too, but he had to field a major league team. There was nothing in Worcester, so at the deadline he brought in some major league baseball players to fill the void.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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True, but if they were more than 3 players away, why even bother picking up Pham and Hosmer? I know the cost was minimal and it's not a big deal but in retrospect it seems very much like trying to have one's cake and eat it too.

If they knew they were this far away I would have expected more vets to be moved out, and to get under the tax threshold.
I don't know, maybe the front office got as sick of watching Bradley and Dalbec continue to flail at pitch after pitch after pitch. Like I've said, I'm a huge JBJ guy but I couldn't stand watching him at bat any more. Same thing with Dalbec. The one thing that both of these acquisitions did was really cement the fact that they blew it in the office season.

The Sox are coming up on an offseason where there's going to be even more holes to fill (outfielder better than Pham, potential SS, DH, at least one above-average starter and bullpen help), my hope is that they learned their lesson from last winter.
 

nvalvo

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In a vacuum, the trades make sense. Getting a league average 1B and a competent outfielder/leadoff hitter were obvious fixes. With a couple rotation pieces coming back strong and healthy, and assuming that JD, Devers, and Xander didn't turn into the complete black holes they did in August, I can see why Bloom thought the team had a shot. They were sitting at .500 and a few games out of a wildcard on August 1.
Yes.

I wanted to sell at the deadline and I think in retrospect it's clear that they should have. But Bloom and the FO didn't have the benefit of hindsight, obviously, and it was hardly a slam dunk decision. They weren't far out of the wildcard; they reasonably believed they had pitching reinforcements coming from the IL — new injuries to Sale and Paxton derailed that; at that point, they had clear holes that it looked like they could shore up with replacement level performance, and they had had that one tantalizing 20-6 month where they were the best team in the league. If they could get back even close to that kind of play, they would be a threat. Obviously, that's a big if.

We also don't know what kinds of trade returns were available. I would have imagined that, say, the Mets would want JD Martinez, but instead they went with Dan Vogelbach. I might have imagined that the Dodgers would be in the market for a Rich Hill reunion or that an affordable, healthy and effective Michael Wacha might have brought back a legitimate return from a contender — like, say, the Twins or Brewers. Maybe there just weren't any worthwhile offers out there for those guys!

As Daniel_Son says, I think the trades we made were pretty good, considered individually.
  • Vazquez brought us a couple of B prospects, and then promptly completely collapsed in Houston (.500ish OPS). I like that trade.
  • Relatedly, McGuire looks to have been an absolute steal. Three years of control over a catcher in exchange for a year and a half of the corpse of Jake Diekman and, well, I can't remember who the PTBNL/cash ended up being. In Boston, McGuire's looked pretty good defensively and posted a .954 OPS, which obviously won't continue. But he looks like a good backup/mediocre starter at the position, and given how little we have in the system at the position — Wong, who's okay, and... a bunch of guys with acute defensive questions? — that's a pretty big addition.
  • And, well, Pham cost us Nick Northcut — less of a prospect IMO than either of the guys returned in the Vazquez trade. He's been a 100 OPS+ LF, which, well, isn't exactly good, but he's been above replacement level.
  • Hosmer cost us literally nothing — he was the moving part as we helped the Padres with their 26-man roster crunch and they helped us with our 40-man crunch. Of course, then he was absolutely terrible — like, worse than "the black hole at first" he was supposed to shore up — and immediately got hurt.
I would have tried to do four or five Vazquez-type trades, with an eye to stocking up prospect currency to make a big trade or two in the offseason. But were those kinds of trades actually out there? And we weren't so far out of it that giving up, I dunno, a 15% chance of making the postseason was worth taking bad deals.
 

Max Power

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  • Relatedly, McGuire looks to have been an absolute steal. Three years of control over a catcher in exchange for a year and a half of the corpse of Jake Diekman and, well, I can't remember who the PTBNL/cash ended up being.
It's even better than that. The Red Sox got the PTBNL and he's a guy named Taylor Broadway. I don't know the first thing about him, but his name alone is great. So Bloom actually got two guys for Diekman.
 

ookami7m

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You have to field a major league team every day. Pham didn't cost anything and is one of the three best outfielders in the organization right now. It would be nice to be able to trade some of the pitching prospects for some who can play the field.
Do you think there is another team that could have withstood the injuries that piled up on the Red Sox after that amazing June? Do you think that Bloom and company should have somehow had a magic eight ball and predicted that those players would get injured?
Ganthem hits exactly where I come down on this season. After the hot stretch coming into July there was an entire 5 man MLB starting rotation on the IL while we got to watch the WooSox rotation basically for a month. No front office in the world can pile up enough pitching depth to cover that.

Should they have had a better plan than JBJ for the OF? Probably but he was meant to be the fourth OF, Kike missing half the year changed the calculus on that. Dalbec is a complete whiff (no pun intended) but honestly with the amount if injury pile-up this season the Sox never had a chance.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Ganthem hits exactly where I come down on this season. After the hot stretch coming into July there was an entire 5 man MLB starting rotation on the IL while we got to watch the WooSox rotation basically for a month. No front office in the world can pile up enough pitching depth to cover that.
I get that and empathize with the front office. But if you acquire three pitchers that have long injury histories/are old, do you get to bemoan those injuries when they become reality?

For all my kvetching on this board, I don't think it's a bad idea to pick up a starter that has a history of arm problems for two reasons: 1. most MLB pitchers have been injured and 2. there's a possibility that maybe they don't get injured this year. But when your three big pitcher acquisition are all injury-prone (Paxton wasn't going to be able to pitch until August if everything broke right) then you sorta lose the right to cry "Injuries!" and you're relying on very low odds that these guys won't get hurt or won't end up on the IL at the same time. Also that's not even including Chris Sale in the equation, who I argue is a sentient IL list stay turned human, but if you were more optimistic on him than me, we can agree to disagree on that. Perosnally, I would've been happy with 20 league average starts.

But Wacha, Hill and Paxton were available cheaply for a reason. Those three aren't exactly Tungsten Arm O'Doyle and while Wacha has been really good when he's been able to pitch, that last part is important.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Well Henry must have been quite aware of the tax threshold line and seems like Bloom was under a directive to both continue to "compete" (hoping that Eovaldi, Sale... maybe Paxton, etc... would get healthy enough and to sneak in and then they could maybe put together a run like they did in May and early June... while also rebuilding. I think Bloom is in a real tough situation and generally doing well. Personally I think the writing was clear- JDM is garbage now and wasn't bringing back anything worth anything and the best option was to hope he could find something and the Sox to go on a run. They weren't trading Xander or Devers (indications to me that they fully intend to try, at least, to get them back here after this season). Eovaldi I think was also still figured into their future.
Again, the only BIG issue I have with Bloom was the JBJ deal. There's absolutely no way to spin that trade in isolation. If it was that trade in itself, it was dumb AF. If it was in the context of another trade that fell apart, or with a FA signing (Suzuki...... who wouldn't have been bad, but not worth what the Cubs offered). In any light, it comes off as either bad or caught flat-footed and misreading the market.
 

BaseballJones

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I get that and empathize with the front office. But if you acquire three pitchers that have long injury histories/are old, do you get to bemoan those injuries when they become reality?

For all my kvetching on this board, I don't think it's a bad idea to pick up a starter that has a history of arm problems for two reasons: 1. most MLB pitchers have been injured and 2. there's a possibility that maybe they don't get injured this year. But when your three big pitcher acquisition are all injury-prone (Paxton wasn't going to be able to pitch until August if everything broke right) then you sorta lose the right to cry "Injuries!" and you're relying on very low odds that these guys won't get hurt or won't end up on the IL at the same time. Also that's not even including Chris Sale in the equation, who I argue is a sentient IL list stay turned human, but if you were more optimistic on him than me, we can agree to disagree on that. Perosnally, I would've been happy with 20 league average starts.

But Wacha, Hill and Paxton were available cheaply for a reason. Those three aren't exactly Tungsten Arm O'Doyle and while Wacha has been really good when he's been able to pitch, that last part is important.
It's one thing to expect guys to land on the IL. It's another to have them ALL land on the IL at the same time for a month.

You can withstand injuries happening to oft-injured guys happening scattered throughout the season. But it's not reasonable to expect or plan for them all hitting concurrently.

But you're right - they took chances on these guys because they were cheap and they hoped they'd be able to get through the season without what happened happening.
 

Daniel_Son

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I get that and empathize with the front office. But if you acquire three pitchers that have long injury histories/are old, do you get to bemoan those injuries when they become reality?

For all my kvetching on this board, I don't think it's a bad idea to pick up a starter that has a history of arm problems for two reasons: 1. most MLB pitchers have been injured and 2. there's a possibility that maybe they don't get injured this year. But when your three big pitcher acquisition are all injury-prone (Paxton wasn't going to be able to pitch until August if everything broke right) then you sorta lose the right to cry "Injuries!" and you're relying on very low odds that these guys won't get hurt or won't end up on the IL at the same time. Also that's not even including Chris Sale in the equation, who I argue is a sentient IL list stay turned human, but if you were more optimistic on him than me, we can agree to disagree on that. Perosnally, I would've been happy with 20 league average starts.

But Wacha, Hill and Paxton were available cheaply for a reason. Those three aren't exactly Tungsten Arm O'Doyle and while Wacha has been really good when he's been able to pitch, that last part is important.
I think the plan was for Wacha/Hill to hold the fort down until Sale arrived mid-season (and Paxton towards the end, although that was a longer shot). Signing a big-name pitcher to a large multi-year contract didn't make a whole lot of sense when you've got limited roster spots and you're expecting Sale to return in June/July (and we all know how much the board loves those type of signings anyway). There's a big difference between injuries due to regular pitching strains and Sale breaking his hand in literally his second start of the year. I don't know how anyone expects Bloom to prepare for that.
 

SemperFidelisSox

Member
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May 25, 2008
25,824
Boston, MA
Minnesota has had a terrible September. Baltimore is .500. Seattle and Tampa are both just one game above that. The opportunity may have been there to get back in the Wild Card race with a better month.
 

Max Power

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Sale was supposed to be ready to start the season. He didn't break his rib until spring training, at which time it was much too late to find a competent replacement on the free agent market.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
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May 20, 2003
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I think the plan was for Wacha/Hill to hold the fort down until Sale arrived mid-season (and Paxton towards the end, although that was a longer shot). Signing a big-name pitcher to a large multi-year contract didn't make a whole lot of sense when you've got limited roster spots and you're expecting Sale to return in June/July (and we all know how much the board loves those type of signings anyway). There's a big difference between injuries due to regular pitching strains and Sale breaking his hand in literally his second start of the year. I don't know how anyone expects Bloom to prepare for that.
I think where JMOH and I have the issue is that Sale isn't someone you can count on to make consistent appearances at all. I agree that the injuries this year were fluky but he only made 9 starts last year too. In the best of circumstances he still had a long ways to go before ramping up to full speed.

If they signed Wacha (great signing, has been wonderful out there) and Hill (not so much) as placeholders for Sale, then I'd have to take issue with that. At this point in his career Sale is the placeholder.

Sale is fragile. The liner off the finger was unfortunate, the spring training injury bizarre but he's always hurt and is coming back from TJS. It's a miracle that TV he destroyed didn't fall off the wall and break his shoulder.

Going forward I hope Bloom doesn't count on him for much of anything. If he can provide something, that's great, but don't pencil him in for 15 starts or 20 or 5. Don't count on him at all. Build accordingly.

If you go out there with Sale, Wacha, Hill, and Paxton as key parts of your team you're gonna have a bad time.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,144
Next year's starting spots:

Sale (pencil him in for 15 starts say)
Wacha (signed maybe to a QO)
Paxton (should be back and in decent health)
Bello (maybe for 125-130 innings? The most he's ever pitched in a pro season is 117.2 in 2019)
Whitlock (maybe for 125 innings?)

So that's one really expensive starter (Sale), one guy making not too much (Paxton), one guy making decent money from a QO (Wacha), and two young guys making minimum. But none of those guys can be expected to carry a full load. So they're going to need another quality starter SOMEHOW.

Here are some possibilities:

DeGrom - will make huge $$, obviously is ELITE, but also has serious injury history to worry about
Kluber - meh...injury issues over the years, not great, but could be a useful veteran
Syndergaard - don't want him
Musgrove - very good pitcher, in his age 29 season, will cost, but might be a good option for a short (but expensive) contract
Stripling - he's pretty decent, and at his age won't likely command TONS. Also would take him off a division rival (Tor)
Eovaldi - we all like him, but what would it take to keep him, and of course he also has injury issues

I mean, there's just not crazy tons of options out there. Ideally, IMO, I'd go for Musgrove. Solid veteran, has pitched very well the last three seasons. But isn't such that he would garner a monster contract. At some point guys like Bello and Whitlock need to be in the rotation (despite SJH's protests, I do think that the Sox see Whitlock ultimately as a starter). They'd be cheap and would allow the Sox to spend money elsewhere.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
17,245
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I think where JMOH and I have the issue is that Sale isn't someone you can count on to make consistent appearances at all. I agree that the injuries this year were fluky but he only made 9 starts last year too. In the best of circumstances he still had a long ways to go before ramping up to full speed.

If they signed Wacha (great signing, has been wonderful out there) and Hill (not so much) as placeholders for Sale, then I'd have to take issue with that. At this point in his career Sale is the placeholder.

Sale is fragile. The liner off the finger was unfortunate, the spring training injury bizarre but he's always hurt and is coming back from TJS. It's a miracle that TV he destroyed didn't fall off the wall and break his shoulder.

Going forward I hope Bloom doesn't count on him for much of anything. If he can provide something, that's great, but don't pencil him in for 15 starts or 20 or 5. Don't count on him at all. Build accordingly.

If you go out there with Sale, Wacha, Hill, and Paxton as key parts of your team you're gonna have a bad time.
Sale is not always hurt though. Or at least, that was not the case entering the 2022 season. He missed a season and a half for the Tommy John surgery, and a few weeks in 2018 with shoulder inflammation, but other than that, he hadn't been in the IL for anything in six years (fractured foot in 2015). He ended the 2021 season clearly recovered from the TJS and no reported problems with his shoulder. There was ZERO reason to think he'd be any more unavailable in 2022 than any other pitcher on the staff (or any other ostensibly healthy pitcher available in free agency). They were not wrong to expect a full season from him when they opened camp in March.

There is no such thing as a pitcher who is invulnerable to injury. No one they could sign or trade for in the future is immune to getting hurt. It is impossible to build a staff who is guaranteed to be at peak health for the entirety of the season. Fluke injuries happen way more often than predictable chronic injuries do.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
6,163
Boston, MA
Next year's starting spots:

Sale (pencil him in for 15 starts say)
Wacha (signed maybe to a QO)
Paxton (should be back and in decent health)
Bello (maybe for 125-130 innings? The most he's ever pitched in a pro season is 117.2 in 2019)
Whitlock (maybe for 125 innings?)

So that's one really expensive starter (Sale), one guy making not too much (Paxton), one guy making decent money from a QO (Wacha), and two young guys making minimum. But none of those guys can be expected to carry a full load. So they're going to need another quality starter SOMEHOW.

Here are some possibilities:

DeGrom - will make huge $$, obviously is ELITE, but also has serious injury history to worry about
Kluber - meh...injury issues over the years, not great, but could be a useful veteran
Syndergaard - don't want him
Musgrove - very good pitcher, in his age 29 season, will cost, but might be a good option for a short (but expensive) contract
Stripling - he's pretty decent, and at his age won't likely command TONS. Also would take him off a division rival (Tor)
Eovaldi - we all like him, but what would it take to keep him, and of course he also has injury issues

I mean, there's just not crazy tons of options out there. Ideally, IMO, I'd go for Musgrove. Solid veteran, has pitched very well the last three seasons. But isn't such that he would garner a monster contract. At some point guys like Bello and Whitlock need to be in the rotation (despite SJH's protests, I do think that the Sox see Whitlock ultimately as a starter). They'd be cheap and would allow the Sox to spend money elsewhere.
You forgot Pivetta, who is as much of a sure bet to throw a full season as any pitcher is. He's not going to be great, but you can pencil him in for 160 innings next year,
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,144
You forgot Pivetta, who is as much of a sure bet to throw a full season as any pitcher is. He's not going to be great, but you can pencil him in for 160 innings next year,
Yep, missed him. So actually they have some decent options I guess. Would REALLY help if Bello and Whitlock started and were as good as they're capable of (at least at this point in their respective careers). That would be a huge boost. I think Bello is gonna be a stud.
 

Daniel_Son

Member
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May 25, 2021
792
San Diego
I think where JMOH and I have the issue is that Sale isn't someone you can count on to make consistent appearances at all. I agree that the injuries this year were fluky but he only made 9 starts last year too. In the best of circumstances he still had a long ways to go before ramping up to full speed.

If they signed Wacha (great signing, has been wonderful out there) and Hill (not so much) as placeholders for Sale, then I'd have to take issue with that. At this point in his career Sale is the placeholder.

Sale is fragile. The liner off the finger was unfortunate, the spring training injury bizarre but he's always hurt and is coming back from TJS. It's a miracle that TV he destroyed didn't fall off the wall and break his shoulder.

Going forward I hope Bloom doesn't count on him for much of anything. If he can provide something, that's great, but don't pencil him in for 15 starts or 20 or 5. Don't count on him at all. Build accordingly.

If you go out there with Sale, Wacha, Hill, and Paxton as key parts of your team you're gonna have a bad time.
I agree that Sale is incredibly fragile, and in all honesty I wish he wasn't on the team. But he is, and his contract isn't tradable, so if he's healthy you have to put him in your rotation. Signing a few guys to low-cost, low-commitment contracts to augment Sale is probably all you can do - especially when you're at a point in the development pipeline where you need to see if some of the young pitchers can stick in Boston. There are only so many spaces on the roster for starting pitchers.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
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Deep inside Muppet Labs
Yep, missed him. So actually they have some decent options I guess. Would REALLY help if Bello and Whitlock started and were as good as they're capable of (at least at this point in their respective careers). That would be a huge boost. I think Bello is gonna be a stud.
Bello needs to get the walks under control, 4.4 BB rate in his first taste of the the majors. If he can reduce that he'll be really good.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
6,163
Boston, MA
Bello needs to get the walks under control, 4.4 BB rate in his first taste of the the majors. If he can reduce that he'll be really good.
Pedro was a little younger when he made his debut, but he had a 4.8 BB/9 in his first season with the Dodgers. Bello almost certainly will not end up being the equal of the greatest pitcher of all time, but he can count him as a fan.

Pedro Martinez has insanely high praise for Red Sox rookie Brayan Bello - NBC Sports Boston
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,144
Bello needs to get the walks under control, 4.4 BB rate in his first taste of the the majors. If he can reduce that he'll be really good.
Agreed. But he's been better lately.

First 4 games with Boston: 16.1 ip, 11 bb, 6.1 bb/9
Last 7 games with Boston: 31.0 ip, 12 bb, 3.5 bb/9

Still too much, but better.

Last 4 games with Boston: 21.1 ip, 8 bb, 3.4 bb/9
Last 2 games with Boston: 10.0 ip, 3 bb, 2.7 bb/9

Obviously smaller sample sizes but at least he's trending in the right direction.
 

nvalvo

Member
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Jul 16, 2005
19,925
Rogers Park
It's even better than that. The Red Sox got the PTBNL and he's a guy named Taylor Broadway. I don't know the first thing about him, but his name alone is great. So Bloom actually got two guys for Diekman.
Even better, and that would explain why I couldn't find it!

Thanks.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,925
Rogers Park
For all my kvetching on this board, I don't think it's a bad idea to pick up a starter that has a history of arm problems for two reasons: 1. most MLB pitchers have been injured and 2. there's a possibility that maybe they don't get injured this year. But when your three big pitcher acquisition are all injury-prone (Paxton wasn't going to be able to pitch until August if everything broke right) then you sorta lose the right to cry "Injuries!" and you're relying on very low odds that these guys won't get hurt or won't end up on the IL at the same time. Also that's not even including Chris Sale in the equation, who I argue is a sentient IL list stay turned human, but if you were more optimistic on him than me, we can agree to disagree on that. Perosnally, I would've been happy with 20 league average starts.
Critics of the Paxton signing on this board never seem to mention that the entire point of the signing was that he would start the year on the 60-day IL.

The FO wanted to add pitching depth, but it was tricky given the roster situation and the playing time promises they could make guys. Sale was hopefully going to be a big part of the picture, and it wasn't clear where Houck and Whitlock would end up. So it was hard to sign surer things; they would probably be more interested in teams with clearer pathways to playing time.

You and I might look at that rotation and see a lot of injury risk — Sale is Sale, Eovaldi has already had TJS twice... — but if you're a free agent starter looking to sign a deal to rebuild value, you really don't want to end up pitching in relief. So we ended up shopping in the bottom half of that market. We got Wacha, a big question mark because of health and effectiveness, and it worked out great! The flashes he showed in the second half turned out to be predictive. We got Hill, a big question mark because of age, and it worked out pretty well, better than I expected certainly. (In retrospect, we should have kept Perez.)

And having signed those guys, we were out of roster spots for the rotation — we had seven pitchers (Sale, Eovaldi, Pivetta, Whitlock, Houck, Wacha, and Hill) to cover five spots and some swingman-type roles. And we also had a few depth guys on the 40-man like Winckowski and Groome, and more behind them who hadn't yet been added, I don't think. We had even more guys coming back from injury in Mata and Ward, who would hopefully be on the radar by the end of the season.

But Paxton didn't need a roster spot, because he was on the 60-man IL. So he was a way of adding depth that we could only add because of his health questions. If he didn't have those question marks, we wouldn't have had a roster spot to offer him, and he probably wouldn't have been interested in us as a destination.
 

mikcou

Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2007
552
Boston
Next year's starting spots:

Sale (pencil him in for 15 starts say)
Wacha (signed maybe to a QO)
Paxton (should be back and in decent health)
Bello (maybe for 125-130 innings? The most he's ever pitched in a pro season is 117.2 in 2019)
Whitlock (maybe for 125 innings?)

So that's one really expensive starter (Sale), one guy making not too much (Paxton), one guy making decent money from a QO (Wacha), and two young guys making minimum. But none of those guys can be expected to carry a full load. So they're going to need another quality starter SOMEHOW.

Here are some possibilities:

DeGrom - will make huge $$, obviously is ELITE, but also has serious injury history to worry about
Kluber - meh...injury issues over the years, not great, but could be a useful veteran
Syndergaard - don't want him
Musgrove - very good pitcher, in his age 29 season, will cost, but might be a good option for a short (but expensive) contract
Stripling - he's pretty decent, and at his age won't likely command TONS. Also would take him off a division rival (Tor)
Eovaldi - we all like him, but what would it take to keep him, and of course he also has injury issues

I mean, there's just not crazy tons of options out there. Ideally, IMO, I'd go for Musgrove. Solid veteran, has pitched very well the last three seasons. But isn't such that he would garner a monster contract. At some point guys like Bello and Whitlock need to be in the rotation (despite SJH's protests, I do think that the Sox see Whitlock ultimately as a starter). They'd be cheap and would allow the Sox to spend money elsewhere.
Bello will have thrown about 150 innings this year by the end of the season (so far 58 in AA, 37 in AAA, 47 in MLB so ~142 total). He should be good to be a pretty much full time pitcher next season. Perhaps a cap at 175-180 inclusive of playoffs.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
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Jul 14, 2005
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Sale is not always hurt though. Or at least, that was not the case entering the 2022 season. He missed a season and a half for the Tommy John surgery, and a few weeks in 2018 with shoulder inflammation, but other than that, he hadn't been in the IL for anything in six years (fractured foot in 2015). He ended the 2021 season clearly recovered from the TJS and no reported problems with his shoulder. There was ZERO reason to think he'd be any more unavailable in 2022 than any other pitcher on the staff (or any other ostensibly healthy pitcher available in free agency). They were not wrong to expect a full season from him when they opened camp in March.

There is no such thing as a pitcher who is invulnerable to injury. No one they could sign or trade for in the future is immune to getting hurt. It is impossible to build a staff who is guaranteed to be at peak health for the entirety of the season. Fluke injuries happen way more often than predictable chronic injuries do.
As a grace note he hurt himself while with an unofficial group of RS pitchers getting ready despite the lockout.

So you can't fault him for not doing the right thing by the club and the fans.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
Dope
Apr 12, 2001
21,991
Critics of the Paxton signing on this board never seem to mention that the entire point of the signing was that he would start the year on the 60-day IL.

The FO wanted to add pitching depth, but it was tricky given the roster situation and the playing time promises they could make guys. Sale was hopefully going to be a big part of the picture, and it wasn't clear where Houck and Whitlock would end up. So it was hard to sign surer things; they would probably be more interested in teams with clearer pathways to playing time.

You and I might look at that rotation and see a lot of injury risk — Sale is Sale, Eovaldi has already had TJS twice... — but if you're a free agent starter looking to sign a deal to rebuild value, you really don't want to end up pitching in relief. So we ended up shopping in the bottom half of that market. We got Wacha, a big question mark because of health and effectiveness, and it worked out great! The flashes he showed in the second half turned out to be predictive. We got Hill, a big question mark because of age, and it worked out pretty well, better than I expected certainly. (In retrospect, we should have kept Perez.)

And having signed those guys, we were out of roster spots for the rotation — we had seven pitchers (Sale, Eovaldi, Pivetta, Whitlock, Houck, Wacha, and Hill) to cover five spots and some swingman-type roles. And we also had a few depth guys on the 40-man like Winckowski and Groome, and more behind them who hadn't yet been added, I don't think. We had even more guys coming back from injury in Mata and Ward, who would hopefully be on the radar by the end of the season.

But Paxton didn't need a roster spot, because he was on the 60-man IL. So he was a way of adding depth that we could only add because of his health questions. If he didn't have those question marks, we wouldn't have had a roster spot to offer him, and he probably wouldn't have been interested in us as a destination.
Right. But Paxton pitched zero innings this year. It was a complete waste of money.

This was a gamble that Bloom didn’t have to take. People keep saying that these signings added depth but I think that these signing took away depth. One is okay, two is pushing it and three is just folly.

Wacha turned out to be good. Hill not so much. And Paxton was a complete nonfactor. I completely understand Bloom’s thinking here but I think it wasn’t really that great.

Bloom bet that these three pitchers were going to be healthy and effective. Of the three only one was consistently effective and none of them were healthy. IDK, I feel like you could see this coming a mile away.