How to get back in this thing

scottyno

late Bloomer
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Dec 7, 2008
10,128
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.
How exactly did he bet that those 3 pitchers would be healthy? Everyone on the planet knew that Paxton wasn't healthy when he signed, and the other 2 were signed to be bridges until Sale (and hopefully Paxton) returned.

Also between the 3 of them he got better production than he probably would have gotten if he instead spent that money on a single guy, and had he done that they still would have needed to fill another spot in the rotation with someone.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
17,244
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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.
I guess the question is who was available that Bloom could have signed that would have been healthy and effective all season long?

Just looking at the list of FA pitchers signed last winter (in descending order by total contract value):

Max Scherzer, 60 days on IL
Robbie Ray, 0 days on IL
Kevin Gausman, 0 days on IL
Eduardo Rodriguez, 27 days on IL, 68 days on restricted list
Marcus Stroman, 42 days on IL
Jon Gray, 64 days on IL
Justin Verlander, 18 days on IL
Carlos Rodon, 0 days on IL
Steven Matz, 112 days on IL
Anthony Desclafani, 146 days on IL and counting (60-day IL, out for year)
Nick Martinez, 0 days on IL
Alex Wood, 5 days on IL and counting (out for season)
Noah Syndergaard, 0 days on IL
Alex Cobb, 26 days on IL
Clayton Kershaw, 56 days on IL
Zack Greinke, 44 days on IL
James Paxton, all year on IL
Andrew Heaney, 95 days on IL
Tyler Anderson, 0 days on IL
Corey Kluber, 0 days on IL
Jordan Lyles, 0 days on IL
Michael Wacha, 54 days on IL
Michael Lorenzen, 68 days on IL
Michael Pineda, 88 days on IL, released on 9/7
Garrett Richards, 10 days on IL
Drew Smyly, 41 days on IL
Matt Boyd, 151 days on IL
Dylan Bundy, 13 days on IL (COVID)
Rich Hill, 40 days on IL
Zach Davies, 37 days on IL
Martin Perez, 0 days on IL
Chris Archer, 25 days on IL and counting (likely out for season)
Johnny Cueto, 0 days on IL
Danny Duffy, all year on IL
Chad Kuhl, 22 days on IL
Matt Moore, 0 days on IL
Jose Quintana, 0 days on IL
Steven Brault, 45 days on IL and counting
Jhoulys Chacin, 25 days on IL

Not many that have been healthy all season, were expected to be healthy (i.e. no question marks), would have been desirable or an improvement, and would have been reasonably priced. And that's not even getting into whether they'd have wanted to sign.

It's a crap shoot. Injuries are always a crap shoot.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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How exactly did he bet that those 3 pitchers would be healthy? Everyone on the planet knew that Paxton wasn't healthy when he signed, and the other 2 were signed to be bridges until Sale (and hopefully Paxton) returned.

Also between the 3 of them he got better production than he probably would have gotten if he instead spent that money on a single guy, and had he done that they still would have needed to fill another spot in the rotation with someone.
Just want to gently push back here. Wacha and Hill were not signed to be bridges to Sale and Paxton. They were signed before the lock-out and therefore before it was known that Sale was injured and would miss the start of the season. I don't think the expectation was that they'd each make 32 starts and throw 160-180 innings, but their signings certainly had little to do with Sale and his health.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
4,392
Wacha, to me, was EdRo’s replacement. Hill was the In Case Of Injury guy.

Pre rib break-
Sale
Eovaldi
Wacha
Pivetta
Houck

was the expected rotation. Hill filled in quite admirably for Sale while the rib injury kept him out.
Houck took himself out of the rotation.
Pivetta started the year terribly.
Eovaldi and Wacha were solid.

The shit really fell apart when everyone and their cousin hit the DL at the exact same time in which no FA signing was going to hold that together. Crawford, Bello Winckowski all pitched better than expected (in aggregate) but not good enough to keep it together.

The biggest problem was garbage at RF, 1B and a collapse by the cornerstone of the lineup when all the injuries hit.
 

dhappy42

Straw Man
Oct 27, 2013
13,929
Michigan
I guess the question is who was available that Bloom could have signed that would have been healthy and effective all season long?

Just looking at the list of FA pitchers signed last winter (in descending order by total contract value):

Max Scherzer, 60 days on IL
Robbie Ray, 0 days on IL
Kevin Gausman, 0 days on IL
Eduardo Rodriguez, 27 days on IL, 68 days on restricted list
Marcus Stroman, 42 days on IL
Jon Gray, 64 days on IL
Justin Verlander, 18 days on IL
Carlos Rodon, 0 days on IL
Steven Matz, 112 days on IL
Anthony Desclafani, 146 days on IL and counting (60-day IL, out for year)
Nick Martinez, 0 days on IL
Alex Wood, 5 days on IL and counting (out for season)
Noah Syndergaard, 0 days on IL
Alex Cobb, 26 days on IL
Clayton Kershaw, 56 days on IL
Zack Greinke, 44 days on IL
James Paxton, all year on IL
Andrew Heaney, 95 days on IL
Tyler Anderson, 0 days on IL
Corey Kluber, 0 days on IL
Jordan Lyles, 0 days on IL
Michael Wacha, 54 days on IL
Michael Lorenzen, 68 days on IL
Michael Pineda, 88 days on IL, released on 9/7
Garrett Richards, 10 days on IL
Drew Smyly, 41 days on IL
Matt Boyd, 151 days on IL
Dylan Bundy, 13 days on IL (COVID)
Rich Hill, 40 days on IL
Zach Davies, 37 days on IL
Martin Perez, 0 days on IL
Chris Archer, 25 days on IL and counting (likely out for season)
Johnny Cueto, 0 days on IL
Danny Duffy, all year on IL
Chad Kuhl, 22 days on IL
Matt Moore, 0 days on IL
Jose Quintana, 0 days on IL
Steven Brault, 45 days on IL and counting
Jhoulys Chacin, 25 days on IL

Not many that have been healthy all season, were expected to be healthy (i.e. no question marks), would have been desirable or an improvement, and would have been reasonably priced. And that's not even getting into whether they'd have wanted to sign.

It's a crap shoot. Injuries are always a crap shoot.
Wow, that's a lot of injury days for starting pitchers. Almost makes you want to rethink the way starting pitchers are used.
 

Rovin Romine

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Just want to gently push back here. Wacha and Hill were not signed to be bridges to Sale and Paxton. They were signed before the lock-out and therefore before it was known that Sale was injured and would miss the start of the season. I don't think the expectation was that they'd each make 32 starts and throw 160-180 innings, but their signings certainly had little to do with Sale and his health.
Nov. 27: Wacha signed.
Dec. 1: Hill, Paxton signed.
Dec. 2: Lockout begins.
Feb. 24: Sale injured. 6-8 weeks expected recovery, then ramping up.
March 1: Lockout ends.
April 8: Opening Day
Early reporting said they expected Sale back in May, and Paxton in July.

So I think we might say Hill was signed knowing Paxton might be available in the final few months.

Sale, Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Hill (Paxton - July).
became
Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Hill, Houck, (Sale - May) (Paxton -July).
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
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Wow, that's a lot of injury days for starting pitchers. Almost makes you want to rethink the way starting pitchers are used.
Maybe. I didn't take notes of what the injuries were while I compiled the list, but I would wager that a lot of them weren't related to or preventable by usage at all. They were just fluky injuries that could have happened if the pitcher were working in relief or on extra rest or not pitching at all. For example, Rich Hill tweaked his knee on a single pitch. The other time he missed was due to a COVID infection. Changing how he was used probably doesn't prevent either of those things from happening.
 

Daniel_Son

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May 25, 2021
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Nov. 27: Wacha signed.
Dec. 1: Hill, Paxton signed.
Dec. 2: Lockout begins.
Feb. 24: Sale injured. 6-8 weeks expected recovery, then ramping up.
March 1: Lockout ends.
April 8: Opening Day
Early reporting said they expected Sale back in May, and Paxton in July.

So I think we might say Hill was signed knowing Paxton might be available in the final few months.

Sale, Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Hill (Paxton - July).
became
Eovaldi, Pivetta, Wacha, Hill, Houck, (Sale - May) (Paxton -July).
Thanks for posting the timeline. Wacha as an ERod replacement makes more sense. But I think Wacha/Hill also make sense if Bloom was thinking they'd need SP reinforcements in the (likely) event that Sale missed some time during the season. He just didn't expect it to happen before spring training even started. So sort of a combination of the two?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
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Thanks for posting the timeline. Wacha as an ERod replacement makes more sense. But I think Wacha/Hill also make sense if Bloom was thinking they'd need SP reinforcements in the (likely) event that Sale missed some time during the season. He just didn't expect it to happen before spring training even started. So sort of a combination of the two?
I can totally believe that Wacha and Hill (and Paxton) were signed with the idea that someone would end up on the IL at some point, perhaps multiple guys over the course of 162 games. Rotations/seasons like the 2004 Red Sox (original 5 making 157 total starts) just don't happen that often. It didn't even have to be Sale he had in mind. Injuries are an expected part of the game, but it's not possible to predict when they'll come or who will be impacted.
 

Rovin Romine

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Thanks for posting the timeline. Wacha as an ERod replacement makes more sense. But I think Wacha/Hill also make sense if Bloom was thinking they'd need SP reinforcements in the (likely) event that Sale missed some time during the season. He just didn't expect it to happen before spring training even started. So sort of a combination of the two?
I remember some chatter about Hill having bullpen experience, and talk of "flexibility" with him and Wacha, but I don't know if that was just SoSH speculation or from the Sox.

But when Sale went down they were both locks for the rotation. Hill's done nothing but start since 2015. Likewise the vast majority of Wacha's career was starting.
 

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,635
Clearly, the answer was to sign Martin Perez, Tyler Anderson, and Johnny Cueto. As we all said at the time.

Kidding, of course. But it does highlight, like R(S)HF says, how tough to predict it all can be.
 

AB in DC

OG Football Writing
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Jul 10, 2002
10,148
Springfield, VA
I think people are overthinking this. When your four best potential starters entering the year (Sale/Eovaldi/Houck/Whitlock) combine for 33 starts and 161 IP in those starts, you're not going to win many games.

Wacha was a great find, but Pivetta isn't any better than a SP4 and Hill is the dictionary definition of "journeyman". That's what we got.
 

nvalvo

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Jul 16, 2005
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Wacha was a great find, but Pivetta isn't any better than a SP4 and Hill is the dictionary definition of "journeyman". That's what we got.
Pivetta's IP totals make him much more than an SP4. He's 39th in baseball by fWAR and 46th in rWAR among qualified SP. He's not an ace, but that's not a number 4.

This characterization seems off to me, but your broader point is exactly right.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
3,085
Wacha was a great find, but Pivetta isn't any better than a SP4 and Hill is the dictionary definition of "journeyman". That's what we got.
Pivetta's IP totals make him much more than an SP4. He's 39th in baseball by fWAR and 46th in rWAR among qualified SP. He's not an ace, but that's not a number 4.

This characterization seems off to me, but your broader point is exactly right.
Pivetta seems roughly as valuable as Porcello was at the same age. Here are their age 28-29 seasons:

Pivetta ‘21-22: 320.2 IP, 4.43 ERA, 103 ERA-, 24.5 K%, 9.4 BB%, 1.32 HR/9, 4.25 FIP
Porcello ‘17-18: 394.2 IP, 4.47 ERA, 99 ERA-, 21.9 K%, 5.7 BB%, 1.48 HR/9, 4.32 FIP

Of course, we’re not paying Pivetta $20 million a year.

I’ve wondered what we might have gotten back for Porcello had we traded him after his Cy-winning 2016. Pivetta doesn’t have that kind of luster and he’s become a plenty valuable innings-eater. But like with Porcello, I do wonder if it’s time to cut bait.
 
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themactavish

lurker
Aug 4, 2010
48
St. Cloud, MN
Pivetta seems roughly as valuable as Porcello was at the same age. Here are their age 28-29 seasons:

Pivetta ‘21-22: 320.2 IP, 4.43 ERA, 103 ERA-, 24.5 K%, 9.4 BB/9, 1.32 HR/9, 4.25 FIP
Porcello ‘17-18: 394.2 IP, 4.47 ERA, 99 ERA-, 21.9 K%, 5.7 BB/9, 1.48 HR/9, 4.32 FIP

Of course, we’re not paying Pivetta $20 million a year.

I’ve wondered what we might have gotten back for Porcello had we traded him after his Cy-winning 2016. Pivetta doesn’t have that kind of luster and he’s become a plenty valuable innings-eater. But like with Porcello, I do wonder if it’s time to cut bait.
Oops. That 9.4 BB/9 must be a mistake. He walks too many hitters, but he's only walked 67 in 170.2 innings, and 65 in 155 last year, so about 3.65 per 9 innings (unless I misunderstand here).
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
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Mar 11, 2007
4,392
Pivetta seems roughly as valuable as Porcello was at the same age. Here are their age 28-29 seasons:

Pivetta ‘21-22: 320.2 IP, 4.43 ERA, 103 ERA-, 24.5 K%, 9.4 BB%, 1.32 HR/9, 4.25 FIP
Porcello ‘17-18: 394.2 IP, 4.47 ERA, 99 ERA-, 21.9 K%, 5.7 BB%, 1.48 HR/9, 4.32 FIP

Of course, we’re not paying Pivetta $20 million a year.

I’ve wondered what we might have gotten back for Porcello had we traded him after his Cy-winning 2016. Pivetta doesn’t have that kind of luster and he’s become a plenty valuable innings-eater. But like with Porcello, I do wonder if it’s time to cut bait.
After his shitty first 5 games he’s had an ERA of 3.85. He’s a good pitcher. A solid affordable mid-rotation guy that doesn’t get injured. He’s had incredibly good stretches and incredibly shitty stretches. But he’s one of the few starters on this team you can almost count on to give you a quality start every fifth game.
You keep that guy!!! WTF?!?!?
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
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Jul 15, 2005
63,134
After his shitty first 5 games he’s had an ERA of 3.85. He’s a good pitcher. A solid affordable mid-rotation guy that doesn’t get injured. He’s had incredibly good stretches and incredibly shitty stretches. But he’s one of the few starters on this team you can almost count on to give you a quality start every fifth game.
You keep that guy!!! WTF?!?!?
BOS is a hard to believe 20-45 in the AL East and one of the reasons is Pivetta:

View: https://twitter.com/alexspeier/status/1573746921856008195?s=46&t=Ygjto4tBbYmVaJTsfQSVJg
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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soxin6

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DeadlySplitter

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Going to answer this thread unironically: we win out, Seattle loses out, Baltimore and Twins also lose enough.

That's it folks, the elimination number is 1.
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
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Dec 7, 2008
10,128
The Sox automatically improve next year just by playing their division leas. In all seriousness, Pivetta is a reliable fifth starter and that is about it. This rotation needs a lot of help and I am not confident that Chris Sale will be all that much help next year.
How is a guy that now has a nearly 2 year sample size of being a league average starter a 5th starter?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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How is a guy that now has a nearly 2 year sample size of being a league average starter a 5th starter?
In an ideal Red Sox fan-world where no injuries occur, it’d be fantastic to have Pivetta as a “5” in the rotation but on any other team in the league he’s a solid mid rotation guy. For his cost and ability to not go on the DL (taking in his full season) he’s that.
Eric-Vanning it and taking out his first 5 starts of ‘21 and he’s a 2 on most teams.
But the Sox should have aces up and down who don’t get injured and cost less than $10M per season!
 
Jun 12, 2019
55
"In retrospect we should have kept Perez". The guy who in '21 had a 6.47 ERA and 6.19 FIP after June 3 and got shelled in the postseason? No GM on earth would have offered him a chance to return. The "Bloom is cheap" naysayers would have screamed all offseason.