Lucas Giolito has an elbow issue.

AlNipper49

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From the ST thread:

View: https://twitter.com/TJStats/status/1763644416365899899?ref_url=


Throwing your slider three MPH faster in your first two IP of spring training feels aggressive when the rhythm of spring training always seems to be that pitchers ramp up over time.

There's also a tweet in the ST thread about K Crawford(and Houck) showing a large velo bump:

View: https://twitter.com/tylermilliken_/status/1764443118449877013?ref_url=


In the Breslow thread he signaled a new approach to ST:



So, did Breslow and Bailey identify a goal for LG to throw his slider harder and now two innings pitched later- perhaps coincidentally- Giolito's elbow blew up? Three pitchers, three marked jumps in velocity at the very beginning of ST, and now one (potential) Tommy John surgery. Hmm.
for the movement that Houck has on his off speed stuff if he is adding velo…..he could be more fun than he already is to watch.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Gonna call "bullshit" on this one buddy. But a friendly kind of bullshit, since yeah, they (like all pitchers) could all get injured or faceplant. But the case for them is this:

Houck was doing pretty well as a starter in 2023 before the comebacker that hospitalized him. He was uneven in his return, but I'm comfortable chalking that up to the trauma of the event and the recovery. He can still go deeper though, as he has the third time through problem - which is kind of mysterious as it does not seem to be tied to any noticeable fatigue or loss of stuff or location. (From looking at Savant.) I am hoping Bailey is the fix.

Whitlock has been hamstrung by injury. Hipstrung actually. When he came back from his second injury last year he wasn't stretched out and so they yo-yo'd him into the bullpen. But he actually seems more likely, with health and coaching, to be a more viable starter than Houck. Again, fingers crossed for Bailey.

Winckowski is interesting. He lost a year to covid in 2020, and had 1 year of decent AA/AAA starting experience in 21. He was called up as an emergency starter in 2022 and was not great. But he was probably a bit rushed as far as development goes - a year off, then 1 season in the high minors. Over the 2022-3 off-season he revamped almost all his pitches. In 2023 he was put in the pen due to an abundance (heh) of starting arms, and was never quite yo-yo'd into the rotation despite all the comings and goings. He was exceptional as multi-inning reliever early on, then as a single inning reliever later into the season. He's one of those guys who has better stuff now than he did in the minors. It's really again a coaching question in terms of transitioning him to the rotation from the pen. Again, Bailey will have an impact here, but perhaps not the Houck-whispering or the Whitlock-conditioning. So he may be the easiest at the end of the day.

These are not bad arms. They're not even bad pitchers, even though they are not sure things.

What they all have in common is they've never gotten a true, uninjured, full season of starting (except for Winckowski's emergency call up). But that does not mean they can't do it. And we only need 2 of the 3 of them to rise to the occasion. Would I be more comfortable if it were only 1? Sure - absolutely. Would I have preferred healthy 2021 Giolitto in the rotation? Again, yes - absolutely. But this is not yet an abject disaster.

***

Murphy I'm agnostic on, and Walter I'm less sanguine about. But I think that out of the Fitts/Criswell/Murphy/Walter group, there might be a ML arm. Even if it's only Murphy as an effective multi-inning lefty out of the pen, like he was in the beginning of '23.
You called "bullshit" on my post and then proceeded to essentially agree with every synopsis given.
 

uncannymanny

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OK, well then circling back to the start of this thread, I asserted that their 2024 performance wasn't set in stone, and given the age of the players involved, plus the rash of injuries that almost certainly won't recur (e.g. Story's elbow), there's reason not to just write off the season because last year sucked. That's all. It doesn't really come down to who else has an average age of whatever. I'm simply saying that last year looks a lot closer to this team's floor than its ceiling.
Why’s that? Two guys we were ostensibly counting on are already hurt and the season hasn’t started.
 

cornwalls@6

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Well, this is wonderful news. As bad and uninspired as the FOs approach to roster building has been the last couple of years, they have been absolutely snake-bit on the injury front. I really thought adding Snell or Montgomery to the staff as it existed before this news would only get them to borderline WC status. They're going to need major over-performance from a couple of internal guys for this to not be yet another lost summer.
 
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Sometimes numbers aren't numbers. Give us a link.

Otherwise we're left wondering if the "age" of the team is weighted to account for the players who will actually play the most? Or is a 26 year old Devers cancelled out by a 33 year old Ryan Sherriff or Kyle Barraclough appearing for a game or two as emergency call-ups? If so, I doubt the average age says anything remotely useful about the core players.
Yes, age of the team is weighted for playing time. Do you really think the people at Baseball Reference wouldn't have thought of that? https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/majors/2023-misc.shtml
 

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You called "bullshit" on my post and then proceeded to essentially agree with every synopsis given.
Whelp, let me be clearer then:

Houck may not be a viable starter.
Disagree.

Whitlock probably isn't a viable starter.
Disagree.

Winkowski most likely isn't a viable starter.
Disagree.

Fitts maybe a viable stater/QUOTE]Agree.

Murphy and Walter are not viable starters.
Disagree, but not strongly.

/QUOTE]Disagree.It's a staff that was on a razors edge BEFORE the Giolito injury. They have to, at the bare minimum, bring in another arm and really they need two.
Disagree.
 

TheYellowDart5

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Assuming that Breslow is serious about leaning on internal options and using a six-man rotation, what does that look like?

Bello
Pivetta
Crawford
Houck
Whitlock
Criswell/Murphy/Walter ... uh ... Mata? Winckowski? Weissert? Fitts?

There are just so many problems with that setup. You can't realistically expect Houck or Whitlock to give you more than five innings an outing given their injury and performance history. This roster doesn't have the Triple A depth or flexibility to keep three long relievers all season long or replace them when they go down with injury or struggle, to say nothing of option limits. But if you Johnny Wholestaff every sixth game, you're going to slag the bullpen by July.

The FO was playing with fire coming into the spring with this little MLB-caliber pitching depth and it's already burned them.
 

chrisfont9

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Why’s that? Two guys we were ostensibly counting on are already hurt and the season hasn’t started.
Are you not counting on Grissom returning? He has a minor muscle injury and he might or might not make opening day. Anyway, if you want to understand the evolution of the thread, scroll up.

Look, it's a shitty day, nobody here is in a good mood. Let's just at least agree on that. We needed Giolitio, now we need someone else.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Re: Bailey's pitching overhaul adding velocity to guys - I would rather go for the payoff of better stuff = better outings with the occasional elbow blow-up, if that is what happened. Giolito might have needed this bump to go from a 4.80 ERA guy back to 3.80 - that risk/reward seems to me like you take the chance every time.

I'm not sure velocity and Tommy John even correlate that well (I've probably read studies I've forgotten about, so excuse me if this is stupid). Did Aroldis Chapman ever have one, I don't think so. But I guess that is a reliever vs. a starter.

I think pitcher elbows in general are a lottery. Masahiro Tanaka somehow went through a partially torn UCL (twice?) and never needed TJ.

An aside: would really make bank in the sports medicine field, sometime in the distant future, is someone figuring out how to heal TJ (fully, not just the internal brace half-measure) in 3-4 months vs. the 12+ it is now. I don't know how feasible that is in my lifetime, but the demand must be very high to find a solution for it, since pretty much every big arm seems to go through it in a baseball career now. (RIP DRS)
 

AlNipper49

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1. It is extremely unlikely the Sox will win the World Series this year
2. Gio was a short term lottery ticket (a bodega lottery ticket at that) to make the season a little more fun, no long term commitment, using the room under the ‘cap’
3. With pitching gurus in place I’ll have more fun watching long term pieces develop, even if they are kinda shitty. (Hopefully not)

him getting hurt has all the impact of farting in church.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Whelp, let me be clearer then:

Disagree.

Disagree.

Disagree.

Disagree.
Tanner Houck 2023 starter - 5.01 ERA | wOBA .323 | BB/9 3.48 | K/9 8.41

Garrett Whitlock 2023 starter - 5.23 ERA | wOBA .356 | BB/1.22 | K/9 8.19

Josh Winkowski (his only start in '23 was opener) 2022 starter - 5.75 ERA | wOBA .363 | BB/9 1.58 | K/9 5.48

These pitchers are ages 27, 27, and 25 respectively. You can disagree with me but just know it has everything to do on wishing on an Andrew Bailey star and nothing to do with actual current reality.

These guys have been horrible starters.
 
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OK, well then circling back to the start of this thread, I asserted that their 2024 performance wasn't set in stone, and given the age of the players involved, plus the rash of injuries that almost certainly won't recur (e.g. Story's elbow), there's reason not to just write off the season because last year sucked. That's all. It doesn't really come down to who else has an average age of whatever. I'm simply saying that last year looks a lot closer to this team's floor than its ceiling.
Sure, players can always get better. But considering that your reason for assuming that they will get better was that the Red Sox (1) are a young team, and (2) suffered a rash of injuries last year, then it seems relevant to point out that (1) they are objectively, mathematically not a young team, and (2) they weren't even in the upper quartile of injured teams last year.
 

Rovin Romine

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Yes, age of the team is weighted for playing time. Do you really think the people at Baseball Reference wouldn't have thought of that? https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/majors/2023-misc.shtml
Pitchers are weighted by 3*GS, G, + SV. Which seems weird. Why not by innings?

Batters are by weighted by AB + GP. Which seems more logical.

But I guess the Paxton, Sale, Kluber, Turner, Duvall, Bleier, et al. ages really will be making a difference, won't they?
 

uncannymanny

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Are you not counting on Grissom returning? He has a minor muscle injury and he might or might not make opening day. Anyway, if you want to understand the evolution of the thread, scroll up.

Look, it's a shitty day, nobody here is in a good mood. Let's just at least agree on that. We needed Giolitio, now we need someone else.
I think it’s foolhardy to bank on not having injuries, especially when you’re a team buying players who have or are coming in injured because other options are too expensive. The team didn’t have any depth, as many have noted.
 

chawson

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Tanner Houck 2023 starter - 5.01 ERA | wOBA .323 | BB/9 3.48 | K/9 8.41

Garrett Whitlock 2023 starter - 5.23 ERA | wOBA .356 | BB/1.22 | K/9 8.19

Josh Winkowski (his only start in '23 was opener) 2022 starter - 5.75 ERA | wOBA .363 | BB/9 1.58 | K/9 5.48

These pitchers are ages 27, 27, and 25 respectively. You can disagree with me but just know it has everything to do on wishing on an Andrew Bailey star and nothing to do with actual current reality.

These guys have been horrible starters.
Are we back to using ERA now?
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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1. It is extremely unlikely the Sox will win the World Series this year
2. Gio was a short term lottery ticket (a bodega lottery ticket at that) to make the season a little more fun, no long term commitment, using the room under the ‘cap’
3. With pitching gurus in place I’ll have more fun watching long term pieces develop, even if they are kinda shitty. (Hopefully not)

him getting hurt has all the impact of farting in church.
While I don't disagree with the vast majority of this, him being tied up for $19m (most likely) to not pitch most of 2025 is the worst part. Well - that and of course he can't be traded in July.

Which is why I think if they can get any semblance of decent prospect for Jansen or Martin (or Pivetta if they don't plan to extend him) they should - and should have already.
 

Rovin Romine

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Tanner Houck 2023 starter - 5.01 ERA | wOBA .323 | BB/9 3.48 | K/9 8.41

Garrett Whitlock 2023 starter - 5.23 ERA | wOBA .356 | BB/1.22 | K/9 8.19

Josh Winkowski (his only start in '23 was opener) 2022 starter - 5.75 ERA | wOBA .363 | BB/9 1.58 | K/9 5.48

These pitchers are ages 27, 27, and 25 respectively. You can disagree with me but just know it has everything to do on wishing on an Andrew Bailey star and nothing to do with actual current reality.

These guys have been horrible starters.
I see. Those were all full and healthy seasons at an appropriate age of development, and are therefore relevant and predictive?

If not - perhaps you ought not to place much weight in those outcomes.
 

chawson

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What metric would you like to use that shows they are viable starters?
View: https://medium.com/@cameron.kaplinger/what-is-the-best-predictor-of-era-a2b39677bbd2

Here is a pretty well researched post about it.

ERA measures what happened, but as a stat there are plenty of external elements baked into it, so it’s not a tremendously reliable predictive metric.

Also, I feel like you definitely have this information, despite your interest in proving your current point. You don’t strike me as the sort of poster who looks no deeper than ERA.
 

chrisfont9

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Sure, players can always get better. But considering that your reason for assuming that they will get better was that the Red Sox (1) are a young team, and (2) suffered a rash of injuries last year, then it seems relevant to point out that (1) they are objectively, mathematically not a young team, and (2) they weren't even in the upper quartile of injured teams last year.
(1) you are talking about last year's team which subtracted... this is a waste of energy.
 

SouthernBoSox

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View: https://medium.com/@cameron.kaplinger/what-is-the-best-predictor-of-era-a2b39677bbd2

Here is a pretty well researched post about it.

ERA measures what happened, but as a stat there are plenty of external elements baked into it, so it’s not a tremendously reliable predictive metric.

Also, I feel like you definitely have this information, despite your interest in proving your current point. You don’t strike me as the sort of poster who looks no deeper than ERA.
When you split our SP/RP stats on individual Fangraphs there really isn't much there other than what I posted available
 

bernie carb 33

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You're thinking of platelet rich plasma therapy, aka PRP. Here's a medical study on its efficacy (tl;dr: it's worked rather well). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23666850/
I had a PRP injection on my gimpy knee in December, and regular cortesone in the other so-so knee. It is March, and the gimpy knee (with PT on occasion) is solid. The cortesone knee is somewhat achy. Lots of guys getting knee replacements, but the PRP is a winner for me. But I'm talking about 70 yr old seniors, not a 28 yo stud.
 

simplicio

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I see. Those were all full and healthy seasons at an appropriate age of development, and are therefore relevant and predictive?

If not - perhaps you ought not to place much weight in those outcomes.
I agree with you on Whitlock (injured) and Winck (clearly not ready in 2022 and reportedly revamped his arsenal last winter), but Houck was ostensibly healthy until mid-June and his first half numbers were still quite bad.
 

8slim

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Last year we had 8-ish starters, but a couple flopped at AAA and, of course, several got hurt.

This year it seemed like we have 6-ish starters and now one is already hurt.

You kinda have to laugh… to keep from crying.
 

AlNipper49

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While I don't disagree with the vast majority of this, him being tied up for $19m (most likely) to not pitch most of 2025 is the worst part. Well - that and of course he can't be traded in July.

Which is why I think if they can get any semblance of decent prospect for Jansen or Martin (or Pivetta if they don't plan to extend him) they should - and should have already.
It certainly does suck, but it’s not my money and Giolito is about all you can get for a rebuilding team who will not / should not be committing long term dollars to players unless they’re absolutely part of the same long term plan.

I guess Bellinger and Chapman are about the same, but they’re both extremely flawed / risky players who bought each of themselves a two year safety net. We got away with just two for Gio.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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It certainly does suck, but it’s not my money and Giolito is about all you can get for a rebuilding team who will not / should not be committing long term dollars to players unless they’re absolutely part of the same long term plan.

I guess Bellinger and Chapman are about the same, but they’re both extremely flawed / risky players who bought each of themselves a two year safety net. We got away with just two for Gio.
Totally get the "it's not my money" standpoint.

I'm one that has always believed the team has/had a budget (I believed this before this off-season too), though I always thought it was $LTT(.97) and now it looks increasingly more and more like the budget is around $225m and not necessarily simply sticking below the tax.

Having $19m tied up in someone that probably won't pitch being nearly 10% of said budget is not great. Keep in mind, I'm not blaming Breslow for this (I don't think there was any reason to assume Gio would get hurt the way I assume that Carlos Rodon will get hurt, for instance - just to remove a Red Sox). Just saying that it stinks a heck of a lot more for 2025 when I think there was a small chance the team would have been good as opposed to this year when I thought / still think (assuming no top half of the rotation starter is added) the team was always going to be pretty bad.
 

chrisfont9

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Totally get the "it's not my money" standpoint.

I'm one that has always believed the team has/had a budget (I believed this before this off-season too), though I always thought it was $LTT(.97) and now it looks increasingly more and more like the budget is around $225m and not necessarily simply sticking below the tax.

Having $19m tied up in someone that probably won't pitch being nearly 10% of said budget is not great. Keep in mind, I'm not blaming Breslow for this (I don't think there was any reason to assume Gio would get hurt the way I assume that Carlos Rodon will get hurt, for instance - just to remove a Red Sox). Just saying that it stinks a heck of a lot more for 2025 when I think there was a small chance the team would have been good as opposed to this year when I thought / still think (assuming no top half of the rotation starter is added) the team was always going to be pretty bad.
Maybe they can take a page from the Dodgers with any future contracts they do manage to let out, if somehow a decent pitcher ever agrees to take their money. At least Gio will be off the books by 2026, unless he comes back and is awesome and/or very cheap, so the next contract can start at a low number for '25 and go up from there.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Last year we had 8-ish starters, but a couple flopped at AAA and, of course, several got hurt.

This year it seemed like we have 6-ish starters and now one is already hurt.

You kinda have to laugh… to keep from crying.
Well, we couldn’t sign more players because that would have just blocked someone, or something! This is yet another example of how much depth is needed to get through a season. Already losing guys and the season is 4 weeks from starting.
 

8slim

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Well, we couldn’t sign more players because that would have just blocked someone, or something!
I’m on the record, ad nauseum, about how we’ve failed to adequately address our SP issues.

But I did think Giolito was a worthwhile acquisition. Not much you can do about a ST injury that might cost a season however. I wish we had 3 or 4 other guys who we felt OK about taking his spot. But we don’t.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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IF he’s out for the season, is there really another option other than one of these two?

1. Sign Montgomery or Snell and _____
2. Trade everyone with value, punt, and look to 2025
 

Sin Duda

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Because we love the team, even when we think they're going to suck.

Kind of like the guys playing the drums in the outfield in Major League.
I love them too and will follow from a distance if they're looking even worse than a 90-loss team. But I still have hope they can win somehow, and stay competitive, so I guess I'll stay away from here until there's better news on Giolito or the season starts, whichever comes first, because all this outrage and negativity is completely lacking in insightful observation or entertainment value to me.
 

chrisfont9

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IF he’s out for the season, is there really another option other than one of these two?

1. Sign Montgomery or Snell and _____
2. Trade everyone with value, punt, and look to 2025
3. Acquiring other SPs via trade. I should probably ask ChatGPT or something to develop a plausible list. A few names get thrown around (by me) (Dylan Cease), but that's not as likely right now as it will be when we get closer to the trade deadline.
 

TheYellowDart5

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IF he’s out for the season, is there really another option other than one of these two?

1. Sign Montgomery or Snell and _____
2. Trade everyone with value, punt, and look to 2025
3. Sign someone out of the free agent dollar bin (Lorenzen, Clevinger, Boyd, etc.) or who gets cut late in spring training with the knowledge that their innings will be largely replacement level or worse but that it'll save the rest of the staff from burning out by August. This isn't a contending team, and neither of Montgomery nor Snell will change that, but punting everything to 2025 puts the existing pitching staff at real risk of overuse and injury that would compromise any hopes of contending in 2025 and beyond. There are 1450 innings to fill, and the staff as currently constructed isn't enough to take on that responsibility.

(Option 4 would be a trade but the teams that would theoretically be selling already have nothing to offer; the Nats, Rockies, A's and White Sox barely have enough pitchers as is, and what they have is mostly garbage aside from Dylan Cease.)
 

chrisfont9

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I love them too and will follow from a distance if they're looking even worse than a 90-loss team. But I still have hope they can win somehow, and stay competitive, so I guess I'll stay away from here until there's better news on Giolito or the season starts, whichever comes first, because all this outrage and negativity is completely lacking in insightful observation or entertainment value to me.
My own focus on the team's relative youth, described above, is because, to me, that alone makes them exciting to watch. Up to a point anyway.
 

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this was really one of the all time bad signings even if he somehow put up a 4.5 era. Team can't get out of its own way.
 

simplicio

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3. Acquiring other SPs via trade. I should probably ask ChatGPT or something to develop a plausible list. A few names get thrown around (by me) (Dylan Cease), but that's not as likely right now as it will be when we get closer to the trade deadline.
Trading for someone like Cease seems like terrible EV. We're no longer close enough for him to give us a likely shot at the playoffs this year, but that's not going to diminish the astronomical ask the CWS have reportedly been demanding.
 

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I agree with you on Whitlock (injured) and Winck (clearly not ready in 2022 and reportedly revamped his arsenal last winter), but Houck was ostensibly healthy until mid-June and his first half numbers were still quite bad.
That's entirely fair. bRef won't break down the numbers further, but mostly I'd default to the optimistic case for Houck being his seemingly inexplicable problem in getting through the order the 3rd time/inning 4 onward. That's what I'm hopeful Bailey will address. Bush was never able to.

You can look at the 13 games one by one before the injury and see the pattern. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.fcgi?id=houckta01&t=p&year=2023 He's usually good for the first 3ish innings, sometimes more, but it usually unravels in a big inning. He's not the kind of pitcher who is always living on the edge who, in the aggregate, is not very good. He's the kind of pitcher who is very effective and then hits a wall. Night and day. In our era of hyperbole, it's hard to really impress how sudden this change is.

This is the quintessential Tanner Houck start: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS202305020.shtml Very effective until the implosion.

Anyway, his ERA is high because he was always pulled after a shitty inning, be it the 5th or the 7th. Savant really does not show any remarkable difference raw stuff wise, from pre- to post-implosion, but perhaps someone with some time can figure out what's going on, because his problems through the order can't be luck at this point. It's either stuff, location, or pitch selection/batter acclimatization. Or something else, or a little bit of everything. Anyway, it's Bailey's job, and he has the time.

If that's not fixable, his utility is more marginal.

(I don't think the solution is to pull him early, either, but if there were any pitcher you wish you had a crystal ball for, it would be Houck. He'd be a monster as a 2-5 inning opener. But the temptation is always to let him get through the next inning.)
 

moondog80

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IF he’s out for the season, is there really another option other than one of these two?

1. Sign Montgomery or Snell and _____
2. Trade everyone with value, punt, and look to 2025
Even if you believe trying to win now is pointless (I do not), at this point it's probably better to wait until Memorial Day or so when teams have playoff fever and the trade market starts become more active.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Even if you believe trying to win now is pointless (I do not), at this point it's probably better to wait until Memorial Day or so when teams have playoff fever and the trade market starts become more active.
My pushback to this would be - as I'm sure it always is - dependent on what the offers are out there.

Case in point, there has been some reporting recently that the Dodgers wanted to send Manny Margot to Boston in exchange for Jansen. This would have been horrible, and if that is all you can get, I'd literally just say no as an "eff you" to the Dodgers. (Even if this isn't credible my point still stands, only trade for guys that MIGHT help in 2025 and beyond https://dodgerblue.com/dodgers-rumors-manuel-margot-kenley-jansen-trade-was-discussed-with-red-sox/2024/02/29/amp/)

On the other hand, if you can get someone like Sandlin or Fitts for Jansen (or Martin or Pivetta) now, I think you do it. Giolito himself getting injured and thus not being able to be traded in July is why I'd suggest it. For what it's worth, this isn't reactionary. I've been arguing that IF they can get a decent return such as those mentioned above they should have done it long ago (with regards to Jansen, Martin and Pivetta if not extended). I'd have argued it for Giolito too, but that isn't allowed.

(Though I'm admittedly firmly on the side of "trying to win now is pointless", but I also have been for quite a while, once it became reasonable to assume they weren't acquiring a top half of the rotation pitcher.)
 

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""The frailty of everything revealed at last."
- Cormac Mccarthy in The Road

Losing Giolito REALLY exposes how poorly constructed the team was. Now it just feels so much different, so much weaker, more than it should.
 

Mike473

New Member
Jul 31, 2006
91
Even if you believe trying to win now is pointless (I do not), at this point it's probably better to wait until Memorial Day or so when teams have playoff fever and the trade market starts become more active.
If the team gets off to a bad start, it will get ugly very quickly. At that point, ownership should cut their losses and try to get what they can for 2025 and beyond. There is nothing else to do at that point. With the manager having one foot out the door, it would be real easy for a team like this to lose belief and spiral out of control. That said, let's hope they start off hot and make it interesting for a while. Things rarely ever go as good as we hope or as bad as we fear.