Keeping the Sky Up. What is going right?

EllisTheRimMan

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projections are too reactionary to recent play. they're just now starting to balance out.
Team projected talent (e.g. WAR etc.) figures in from the beginning and throughout the first half of the season. These act as buffers for freaky records early. For example TB’s projection vs the Sox despite the early season disparity in records.

The algorithm(s) lean heavily on projected talent level early and record is secondary. This gradually moves toward record > projected talent as the season progresses and real data (“True Positives”) are generated.

I find theses projections fun and they have a reasonable degree of fidelity.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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If the season ended today, the Sox would be in the playoffs. That's pretty remarkable given where they have come from.

I will also note that there are only 5 teams in the AL that have positive run differentials. LAA's run differential is currently 0.
 

BaseballJones

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Starting lineup ops and ops+ numbers after last night's action:

C - Vazquez: .838, 120
1b - Moreland: .893, 130
2b - Chavis: .986, 158
3b - Devers: .852, 127
SS - Bogaerts: .834, 120
LF - Benintendi: .803, 112
CF - Bradley: .444, 22
RF - Betts: .895, 137
DH - Martinez: .940, 147

One of these things is not like the others.

But overall...right now, that's a kick-ass lineup.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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I expected Barnes to be very good this season. He's been otherworldly so far.
I'm very pleasantly surprised to see Workman and Walden doing very well also.
Vasquez has been a shockingly positive surprised so far.

So far that's it..... going for the unexpected positives right now. There's still a lot of negatives, some expected.. somewhat expected and some somewhat unexpected. Won't go into the negatives right now. Just really happy so far with Workman, Barnes and Walden and Vaz.
 

oumbi

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Jun 15, 2006
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Yes, Chavis does qualify.

Another positive, if not unexpected, is Moreland with 12 HRs and an OPS of .878 thus far. I would be happy if he continues to hit like this for the season.
 

bosox79

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Vazquez has a career high 7 HRs in just 156 PA. Following this year, he's still signed for 3 years, 17.45 million total. Right now he's looking like one of the best contracts in baseball. Funny how that works.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I have no faith that this team can beat the MFY or the Astros.

At the deadline, trade Mookie & Porcello to help replenish the farm.
Why stop at Mookie and Porcello? See what they can get for Sale and ERod and Benintendi and Devers too. I mean, if we're going to punt the season, let's really fucking punt the season.

I seem to recall that people didn't think the Sox could beat the MFY or the Astros last year despite winning 108 regular season games. That worked out okay. This team is good enough to get to the post-season. Anything can happen once they get there, including beating these vaunted foes that seem so unbeatable.
 

effectivelywild

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Why stop at Mookie and Porcello? See what they can get for Sale and ERod and Benintendi and Devers too. I mean, if we're going to punt the season, let's really fucking punt the season.

I seem to recall that people didn't think the Sox could beat the MFY or the Astros last year despite winning 108 regular season games. That worked out okay. This team is good enough to get to the post-season. Anything can happen once they get there, including beating these vaunted foes that seem so unbeatable.
I suppose this could be a link to the original thread purpose---"We have a number of players that have at least some trade value, so as to help our farm system achieve the loftiest of all baseball goals, the revered spot on top 5 farm systems list."
 

DeadlySplitter

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not exactly the right thread, but the AL WC standings:

TB 35-20
OAK 29-27, playing right now
TEX 28-27, 0.5 GB
BOS 29-28, 0.5 GB
CWS 28-29, 1.5 GB
CLE 28-29, 1.5 GB
LAA 27-29, 2.0 GB, playing right now

then it's the clear sellers afterwards with the Tigers, Mariners, etc.

this is not last year's standings where the A's were the 2nd WC at 97 wins. as mediocre as we have been, I cannot imagine a scenario where any of these teams beat us for the 2nd WC, at the worst. 88-90 wins might get it done here.

-the A's had a 10 game winning streak just to get to .500. they are pesky and could stay around, but they aren't as good as last year and you have to think they aren't going to have another huge winning streak again. but baseball, who knows?
-the Rangers are rebuilding. this will not last. Mike Minor will probably be a deadline seller chip.
-I have no idea how the White Sox are suddenly right here. their pitching is horrific and this will definitely not last.
-the Indians we just saw and talked about a lot. they could turn it around, but will it be enough to surpass the Red Sox?
-Angels have very little talent outside of Trout and Ohtani, this will not last.

.And then if we're hot, anything can happen in the playoffs, we know this team can play with anyone when they're right.

(losing the series to the Indians at home could really put the nail in the coffin if they recover.)
 

sean1562

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Devers with an .896 OPS in June is fantastic. I always told my yanks friends that his development is key to the future of this team. Him turning into a legit offensive force bodes well for our future. Now here is to hoping Groome can come back and be a real prospect and this team can compete with anybody over the next five years
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Bogaerts currently leads all shortstops in fWAR and is 5th among position players.
Amusingly (or not?), the gap between his DRS and UZR continues unabated. Last year there was a 20-run difference between them, this year, after a third of a season, it's 6.4. If there's ever a sabermetric summit devoted specifically to the task of improving defensive metrics, it should be dubbed Xanderfest.

Anyway, yeah, he's turned out to be every bit of the player we hoped for 5-6 years ago: a dominant offensive shortstop with acceptable-at-worst defense. It just took a little time.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Speier in the Glob: we didn't completely crater in a tough stretch!
"On one hand, an 18-15 record (.545) for a 33-game stretch hardly seems like cause for celebration. The 2019 Red Sox have far grander ambitions over a stretch that encompasses roughly one-fifth of the schedule.
Yet when considering the degree of difficulty of the period leading into Thursday’s off-day, the perspective on that 33-game run altered. The Sox forged that mark during what will quite possibly be their most demanding stretch of the season.
Those 33 contests came in 34 days, with just one scheduled off-day and (due to a rainout) two actual days without games. Four extra-inning games totaling 15 extra innings took place during that time, with the result that the Sox pitched a total of 306 innings — roughly nine more than any team — during the 34-day stretch. Of the 33 games, 23 came against AL playoff contenders with records of .500 or better. Finally, the team played 17 contests the final 16 days, going 11-6."

Relievers have been pitching despite being in "the red zone":
"The Red Sox keep a color-coded chart identifying recent player workloads based not only on appearances, innings, and pitches in games, but also warmup work in the bullpen and physical activity before and after games. Toward the end of the trip, the Sox saw what pitching coach Dana LeVangie described as “way too much” red among its bullpen members — the product of extra innings, doubleheaders, and short starts.
“We’ve been fighting the schedule. It is what it is,” LeVangie said on Wednesday. “At times, we’re asking guys to pitch who are in the red. We really don’t want to. At some point, we have to find a way to get these guys some rest. That’s an important part of our team. We can’t win without a bullpen. We can’t achieve our goal without the bullpen.”"
 

sean1562

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is this the "holy shit christian vazquez is a good player" thread? after last year i wanted to release the guy. is he about to turn into the varitek of the early 2020s?
 
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nvalvo

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Tied for fifth in fWAR among catchers in both leagues.

Grandal 2.7 fWAR
Realmuto 2.5 fWAR
Contreras 2.1 fWAR
Sanchez 2.1 fWAR
McCann 1.9 fWAR
Vazquez 1.9 fWAR

That said, bWAR has him at an even 1.0 (and Sanchez at 2.7). But I am inclined more to the Fangraphs numbers on this: I have trouble understanding how a catcher with positive defensive value and an OPS over .800 could only be worth 1 win above replacement over 61 games.

The average catcher offensive line is .719.
 

Al Zarilla

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Tied for fifth in fWAR among catchers in both leagues.

Grandal 2.7 fWAR
Realmuto 2.5 fWAR
Contreras 2.1 fWAR
Sanchez 2.1 fWAR
McCann 1.9 fWAR
Vazquez 1.9 fWAR

That said, bWAR has him at an even 1.0 (and Sanchez at 2.7). But I am inclined more to the Fangraphs numbers on this: I have trouble understanding how a catcher with positive defensive value and an OPS over .800 could only be worth 1 win above replacement over 61 games.

The average catcher offensive line is .719.
Yes, it’s nice to have one of our catchers not on Fangraph’s last page for a change. Be nice if Vaz can keep it up, realizing he’s going to have some slumps along the way.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
That said, bWAR has him at an even 1.0 (and Sanchez at 2.7). But I am inclined more to the Fangraphs numbers on this: I have trouble understanding how a catcher with positive defensive value and an OPS over .800 could only be worth 1 win above replacement over 61 games.
The answer is that BBref doesn't think he has positive defensive value. He gets a round goose egg in the Rfield column. And remember, we're back in a bat-happy era, so an .800 OPS ain't what it was 3-4 years ago. He has an OPS+ of 109 (wRC+ of 107); nothing wrong with that, but in non-everyday duty it doesn't amount to a ton of offensive value (1 run, to be exact, which is neatly cancelled out by his -1 in the baserunning column). By BBref's reckoning, essentially all his value is in the Rpos and Rrep columns, i.e., being a catcher and showing up.
 

brandonchristensen

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We are right in the thick of the wild card race. The Yankees are playing so well that it would be hard even with the shitty start to be up with them.

Wild card isn’t ideal but the Sox ain’t sellers.
 

bosox79

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Christian Vazquez
First 291 Games: 999 PA, 10 HR.
62 games this year: 220 PA, 10 HR.

Not surprised he's hitting for contact given his minor league progression before all the injuries but the power is completely unexpected. He did hit .283/.353/.505 with 18 HRs in 444 PA as a 20 year old in Greenville but never approached that again.
 

streeter88

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I can't decide whether it's glass half full or half empty right now. Really enjoying Bogaerts, JBJ, Vazquez, Devers... OTOH, really not enjoying the squanders, bullpen implosions, and anti-clutch performances as described in the other thread.

But, just for fun I thought I would check the numbers posted by @BaseballJones on 16th of May:

Starting lineup ops and ops+ numbers after last night's action (16th May vs. 22nd June):

RF - Betts: .895, 137 | Betts: .852, 123
LF - Benintendi: .803, 112 | Benintendi: .791, 107
SS - Bogaerts: .834, 120 | Bogaerts: .910, 136
DH - Martinez: .940, 147 | Martinez: .890, 130
3b - Devers: .852, 127 | Devers: .864, 124
2b - Chavis: .986, 158 | Holt: .762, 105
1b - Moreland: .893, 130 | Chavis: .780, 102
CF - Bradley: .444, 22 | Bradley: . 691, 81
C - Vazquez: .838, 120 | Vazquez: .820, 111

Hot streaks by Bogaerts and JBJ in particular negated by cooling off by Betts and JD, and Chavis.
 

bosockboy

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One of the biggest differences between this year and last is Mookie Betts. This year he's been a very good major league baseball player: 12 hr, .267/.388/.463/.852, 123 ops+, 3.2 bWAR.

Last year he was otherworldly: 32 hr, .346/.438/.640/1.078, 186 ops+, 10.9 bWAR

His regression from otherworldly to very good has been precipitous, and a major factor in the Sox' offense dropping from #1 in runs and ops in 2018 down to 7th in runs and ops in 2019.
Which in turn is causing closer games, and adding to the bullpen stress.
 

EricFeczko

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Looking at the red sox in 2020 (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mVYyinHlYUI0gE98AgFFb5tDFIoEatCfqEo2xDfv1NI/pubhtml) , it seems like DD did a fantastic job avoiding the need for a rebuild.

As it stands, Tyler Thornburg is the only bullpen FA and Porcello is the only starter FA to leave

Position players leaving:
moreland/pearce (1B)
Nunez (sucks at every position)
Holt (IF)

Total Payroll: 159 Million. Even with arbitration (it's beni's first year, though his payout looks like it will be less than we all thought), we'll still have a payroll less than 180 Million next year. We could easily have 50-55 million/year to spend on FAs in 2020, assuming 15-20 million for arbitration and other costs. I expect DD to splurge on a starter (e.g. Cole for 7/210) , and go cheap on the IF spots (Marco replaces Nunez, so you're really just replacing 15M in salary here) and get a solid reliever if one exists (i.e. leave 10M to explore this, but this probably folds back into the IF spots), holt is our biggest loss of the bunch. If JDM opts out, I see DD going after Rendon (if he ends up on the market).

So for 2020-21, we could have this rotation feasibly:

Sale (currently 3rd in fWAR, min 70 PA)
Cole (currently 8th in fWAR, min 70 PA)
Price (24th in fWAR, min 70 PA)
ERod (56th in fWAR, min 70 PA)
Eovaldi (...)

In 2021, We get another 13 million freed in payroll, so extending Mookie is feasible*

*He's already at 20 million AAV, so even if we end up paying 35 AAV, we only need 15 million in payroll to do so. Assuming that's even needed at this point...
 

AB in DC

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Total Payroll: 159 Million. Even with arbitration (it's beni's first year, though his payout looks like it will be less than we all thought), we'll still have a payroll less than 180 Million next year.
You're counting $21m for arbitration-eligible players, but just Mookie alone will probably be more than that.
 

staz

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The cradle of the game.
Through the games of July 1, 2018, the eventual NL champs were in 2nd place at 44-39, and the Sox weren't in first place either.

Then stuff happened.
 

oumbi

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More rightness to keep the sky up. In his last 10 games, Devers is batting .525.
 

BaseballJones

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Through the games of July 1, 2018, the eventual NL champs were in 2nd place at 44-39, and the Sox weren't in first place either.

Then stuff happened.
True, but the Dodgers didn't have the Yankees in their division playing at a 105-win pace. They only needed 92 wins to take the division. Don't quite think that's gonna be enough for the Red Sox, unfortunately.

Maybe this post should be in the other thread.
 

oumbi

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True, but the Dodgers didn't have the Yankees in their division playing at a 105-win pace. They only needed 92 wins to take the division. Don't quite think that's gonna be enough for the Red Sox, unfortunately. And the Boston Red Sox are going to win the World Series for sure.

Maybe this post should be in the other thread.
Tut, tut, tut....this is the "going right" thread. So I spruced up your post a little bit.
 

Plympton91

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Even including his injury-riddled disastrous start, Brock Holt is again putting up a 350+ OBP an 750+ OPS with solid defense at multiple positions. He’s a free agent next year, but not one who seems likely to get a big payday in the new market of the past 2 offseasons. Hopefully they can work something out.
 

chawson

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Even including his injury-riddled disastrous start, Brock Holt is again putting up a 350+ OBP an 750+ OPS with solid defense at multiple positions. He’s a free agent next year, but not one who seems likely to get a big payday in the new market of the past 2 offseasons. Hopefully they can work something out.
I agree, Holt’s a lesser god in Boston and pretty valuable to us even while Pedroia was healthy. I figure he’d want to work something out too.
 

Al Zarilla

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I agree, Holt’s a lesser god in Boston and pretty valuable to us even while Pedroia was healthy. I figure he’d want to work something out too.
I keep trying to read in your post that Holt is a lesser god (probably not a god at all) anywhere else and that he’d therefore settle for something very reasonable with us. I think you do mean he’s a tier or two down on the Sox from Mookie, X or (getting to be) Devers.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I keep trying to read in your post that Holt is a lesser god (probably not a god at all) anywhere else and that he’d therefore settle for something very reasonable with us. I think you do mean he’s a tier or two down on the Sox from Mookie, X or (getting to be) Devers.
I think what he's saying is that Holt is going to be appreciated more here than he will elsewhere, and the Sox will do right by him even if it might be a touch above market value (but still not back-breaking or unrealistic). I think I've said it before, but I think Holt is to the current organization what Wakefield was in the 2000s...not a superstar, not a scrub, but beloved, popular, and effective enough to hang on to even if there's a slightly cheaper alternative.
 

chawson

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I keep trying to read in your post that Holt is a lesser god (probably not a god at all) anywhere else and that he’d therefore settle for something very reasonable with us. I think you do mean he’s a tier or two down on the Sox from Mookie, X or (getting to be) Devers.
Yeah, I meant lesser god like minor deity. He’s obviously several tiers down from those guys, but he’s kind of a cult hero, and something likea 2/$10 million deal to keep him around is probably worth it. He hits well (even better the last couple years), is a plus defender virtually everywhere, is a reported clubhouse plus.
 

Al Zarilla

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I think what he's saying is that Holt is going to be appreciated more here than he will elsewhere, and the Sox will do right by him even if it might be a touch above market value (but still not back-breaking or unrealistic). I think I've said it before, but I think Holt is to the current organization what Wakefield was in the 2000s...not a superstar, not a scrub, but beloved, popular, and effective enough to hang on to even if there's a slightly cheaper alternative.
Yeah, keep Brock. Quick scan, he’s a 7.1 WAR guy with Boston. What is WAR good for? About $8 million each, they say. He’s made about $10 million for us, so he’s been a huge bargain.