March/April: Red Sox discussion, observations and trend tracking...AKA It's not all about the Benjamins

Merkle's Boner

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When I went to sleep Wong had looked horrible in his two ABs and I was thinking about an early call up of Teel. Happily surprised to see he finished 2 for 4. Still not confident in his abilities at the plate but I guess if he handles the staff we can live with it.
 

joe dokes

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I just think what Duran did was above and beyond necessary for the situation. There's a reason we generally don't see base runners do that, even those with his speed. His run wasn't crucial with a two run lead in the ninth. Helpful as insurance, sure, but not crucial to winning the game. He can score on a base hit or a passed ball just as easily if he's only 30 feet off the bag instead of 2/3 of the way down the line. And I'd rather he take no risks of causing Casas a distraction, especially when his intended target, the pitcher, is unlikely be distracted by him anyway.
To play Devil's Advocate on Duran's behalf.......They have drilled into runners' heads that their lead down the 3rd baseline should be about equal to the distance the 3rd baseman is from the bag. Duran's just following instructions. Don't think, Meat.

I was at a Mets Cubs game in '88(?) when Don Zimmer called a hit and run with the bases loaded. I think I could see the whites of the runner's eyes from the upper deck as he headed for home on the swing
 
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jmcc5400

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Guys, what are we doing talking baseball when we could be talking about contracts and luxury tax thresholds?

(It's really refreshing)
 
I agree with the general sentiment here, and I hope that those of you who are feeling excited for the youth movement will keep that perspective if and when some of these guys go through rough stretches. There are likely going to be times where these guys are hard to watch, but if we want to see them develop to their potential then some patience is going to be necessary.
 

EyeBob

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The best part about that game last night was that they caught the ball and made all of the plays defensively that MLB players usually make. There were very few games last year where they did that.
First thing I did this Moe was look at the box score, scanning for Es committed. I feel like that, and Story’s performance with the bat are the two most impactful improvements that can happen this season. For me at least.
 

joe dokes

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I agree with the general sentiment here, and I hope that those of you who are feeling excited for the youth movement will keep that perspective if and when some of these guys go through rough stretches. There are likely going to be times where these guys are hard to watch, but if we want to see them develop to their potential then some patience is going to be necessary.
C'mon. You can't spell "patience" without S-o-S . . . .

. . . . never mind.
 

Cassvt2023

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Those with NESN, was this discussed with Cora or anybody else today?
NESN talked about the Duran down the 3b line thing early in their pre game show. It showed him, Casas and Story all talking about it between innings on the field right after it happened. Seems like they were all simply getting on the same page. Cora wasn’t involved in the conversation. Casas looked mildly annoyed, Duran seemed to be listening and Story seemed to be showing the veteran leadership that we’ve heard a ton about this offseason. All seems ok
 

nighthob

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What happened? Did he try the carp tossing at one of the Seattle fish markets today?
Actually what happened is that he got into an argument at the fish market and fish slapped a vendor with Chilean sea bass, resulting in a first degree sprain of the fourth lumbrical muscle.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Last night was a classic case of if you don't get to an ace early you're giving them a chance to settle in. After the first, Kirby was dominant. Pivetta was excellent as well and nearly matched him except for the Crawford HR. Winckowski looked dominant for an inning but kinda lost it once he got close to 30 pitches. Managed his way through the second inning without giving up a run though.

All in all it was an excellent pitcher's duel for March.
 

Fishy1

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I hope they get Abreu in there more, somehow. He had a rough spring but could break out at any time, and I think they'll need his bat and patience with Devers out. But short of moving Rafaela to 2B and Valdez out of the lineup, I don't see a great way of doing that.

They could also bump O'Neill or Rafaela against RHP. O'Neill has a fairly neutral split for his career -- a wrc+ of 108 against RHP is pretty good -- but I think we should see Abreu in there against RHP some in his and Rafaela's stead.
 

Cassvt2023

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With all the talk of the Devers injury and the diminished lineup, I don't think we can overlook just how good Pivetta was last night. 10 K's (should've been 11) 3 hits and zero walks, with 1 pitch that wasn't even that bad, Crawford just put a great swing on it. He went toe to toe with one of the best pitchers in the AL and gave his team everything you could've asked for. The guy is a gamer.
 

Fishy1

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With all the talk of the Devers injury and the diminished lineup, I don't think we can overlook just how good Pivetta was last night. 10 K's (should've been 11) 3 hits and zero walks, with 1 pitch that wasn't even that bad, Crawford just put a great swing on it. He went toe to toe with one of the best pitchers in the AL and gave his team everything you could've asked for. The guy is a gamer.
The sweeper is a wipe-out pitch. I counted 7 strikeouts with the sweeper last night, 2 with the cutter, and one with the fastball (which was looking, and a gift to old friend Urias).

Feels like it's pretty rare for a guy to add a great pitch like that at this point in his career, but Pivetta has done it, and it's making guys look silly. Look at this, from last year:

80186

A whiff percentage of 44% is, uh, good.
 

YTF

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To avoid a season long megathread it's been suggested by a couple of well respected dopes that we try breaking this into monthly segments for current discussion, observations and tracking trends. The thread title with be changed to reflect this and again I ask that talk about anything to do with finances be let to the multiple other threads that are entertaining those discussions.
 

Martin and Woods

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In the 9th last night, Munoz pitching to Casas, Wilyer Abreu had a helmet on and a bat in his hand in the dugout, so I figured he'd hit for Rafaela or Reyes. He did not, and both of those guys struck out. Does anyone know if Cora was asked in the postgame why Abreu did not pinch hit? I've checked a couple of my usual places but didn't see any comment about it.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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In the 9th last night, Munoz pitching to Casas, Wilyer Abreu had a helmet on and a bat in his hand in the dugout, so I figured he'd hit for Rafaela or Reyes. He did not, and both of those guys struck out. Does anyone know if Cora was asked in the postgame why Abreu did not pinch hit? I've checked a couple of my usual places but didn't see any comment about it.
I assume Abreu was readying himself to pinch hit if Casas got on. Once he didn't, they let Rafaela hit. Maybe if Rafaela had reached, Abreu might have hit for Reyes. Though I feel a bit more confident in Reyes than Abreu at the moment, so sticking with Reyes didn't really bother me.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
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In the 9th last night, Munoz pitching to Casas, Wilyer Abreu had a helmet on and a bat in his hand in the dugout, so I figured he'd hit for Rafaela or Reyes. He did not, and both of those guys struck out. Does anyone know if Cora was asked in the postgame why Abreu did not pinch hit? I've checked a couple of my usual places but didn't see any comment about it.
I think he was going to hit for Dalbec, who was on deck. If they tied, Reyes would go to third, Rafaela to second, Duran to center, and Abreu to left.
 

YTF

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There are a lot of miles yet to travel, but you can't ask for much better than 3 earned runs in 17 innings from the starters in these first 3 games. Also, a great diving catch and a couple of hits by Rafaela as he continues to earn that CF slot.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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There are a lot of miles yet to travel, but you can't ask for much better than 3 earned runs in 17 innings from the starters in these first 3 games. Also, a great diving catch and a couple of hits by Rafaela as he continues to earn that CF slot.
Agreed on the starting pitching. I know it's Seattle and their top 3 are really really good, I just hope this isn't the sign of a trend where the pitching is great but gets no run support. One run (without the aid of the Manfred man) over 18 innings isn't all that encouraging. I'm looking forward to the team getting to Oakland and the bats getting into a groove against that staff (allowing nearly 9 a game so far).
 

YTF

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Agreed on the starting pitching. I know it's Seattle and their top 3 are really really good, I just hope this isn't the sign of a trend where the pitching is great but gets no run support. One run (without the aid of the Manfred man) over 18 innings isn't all that encouraging. I'm looking forward to the team getting to Oakland and the bats getting into a groove against that staff (allowing nearly 9 a game so far).
And on to the Angels after that. Their staff has looked pretty bad so far, but Baltimore....
 

joe dokes

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There are a lot of miles yet to travel, but you can't ask for much better than 3 earned runs in 17 innings from the starters in these first 3 games. Also, a great diving catch and a couple of hits by Rafaela as he continues to earn that CF slot.
And soon it will be gyroball time:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/03/30/sports/red-sox-garrett-whitlock/
As an aside, based on the comments so far from Bellow and Whitlock, it seems that Bailey is making some kind of connection.

SEATTLE — In 2006, back in the days when the Red Sox were trying to win, they outbid other determined teams to sign Japanese ace Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Matsuzaka was said to throw a mysterious pitch called the gyroball, which proved to be more fantasy than fact. But he did win Game 7 of the ALCS and Game 3 of the World Series in 2007.
Now, 17 years later, the Red Sox may actually have a pitcher who throws a gyroball.
After working on it during spring training, Garrett Whitlock will use a new pitch against the Seattle Mariners when he makes his first start of the season on Sunday.
“What’s it called? You’ll have to ask Bailey,” Whitlock said, directing a curious reporter to pitching coach Andrew Bailey.
Bailey referred to the pitch as a gyro slider or a bullet slider. It’s a slider thrown with a downward break.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The concerns about Joely seem to have been correct so far. Two games so far but he’s not looking good (didn’t watch so just by stat lines) after not exactly a good Spring Training too.
Can’t imagine he’ll have a long leash
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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The concerns about Joely seem to have been correct so far. Two games so far but he’s not looking good (didn’t watch so just by stat lines) after not exactly a good Spring Training too.
Can’t imagine he’ll have a long leash
Yeah, in 8 ST innings he gave up 11 hits and 4 walks. Not sure what he did that impressed them.
 

loneredseat

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Dec 8, 2023
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The concerns about Joely seem to have been correct so far. Two games so far but he’s not looking good (didn’t watch so just by stat lines) after not exactly a good Spring Training too.
Can’t imagine he’ll have a long leash
I know he was pretty good before we got him for 2023, but he seems to have fallen off quite a bit since. I'll be glad when we finally move on from him.
 

simplicio

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Joely's outcomes have obviously been bad, but I'm not sure I'd write him off entirely yet. The damage against him last night was a broken bat bloop and a soft grounder that's an inning ending double play if Wilyer doesn't make the error.
 

nvalvo

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Joely's outcomes have obviously been bad, but I'm not sure I'd write him off entirely yet. The damage against him last night was a broken bat bloop and a soft grounder that's an inning ending double play if Wilyer doesn't make the error.
Yup. That inning’s on the defense.

But, hey. The rotation has been… excellent? Three earned runs in three games!
 

RS2004foreever

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The season has started exactly as all of us predicted, with dominant starting pitching and an offense that has been at times anemic.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The season has started exactly as all of us predicted, with dominant starting pitching and an offense that has been at times anemic.
Huh? I thought predictions were the complete opposite of that- expecting good offense and just okay pitching, no?
Am I missing sarcasm?
 

CoffeeNerdness

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Joely's outcomes have obviously been bad, but I'm not sure I'd write him off entirely yet. The damage against him last night was a broken bat bloop and a soft grounder that's an inning ending double play if Wilyer doesn't make the error.
The defense failed him, but his command and stuff were trash. He was also facing a murder's row of hitters who had a OPS of .565, .663, .715, .642 versus lefties, so it was a perfect situation for him to succeed.

80244
 
Sox starters through 4 games this year:

22 IP
14 H
4 ER
27 K
1 BB
.68 WHIP
1.64 ERA
11 K/9

Sox starters through 4 games last year:

15.1 IP
26 H
22 ER
21 K
9 BB
2.28 WHIP
12.92 ERA
12.33 K/9

Other than the strikeouts it's a night and day difference. Tiny sample size, of course, but it's clear that they've come out the gates ready this year. We couldn't have asked for a better start of the season from the rotation.

EDIT: Fixed an error.
 
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bosockboy

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Sox starters through 4 games this year:

22 IP
14 H
6 ER
27 K
1 BB
.68 WHIP
2.45 ERA
11 K/9

Sox starters through 4 games last year:

15.1 IP
26 H
22 ER
21 K
9 BB
2.28 WHIP
12.92 ERA
12.33 K/9

Other than the strikeouts it's a night and day difference. Tiny sample size, of course, but it's clear that they've come out the gates ready this year. We couldn't have asked for a better start of the season from the rotation.
Actually 4ER.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Pretty encouraging four game set. Teams with good pitching are so much more enjoyable to watch, IMO. Four really good efforts thus far!
 

pantsparty

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I don't know how many wins this team is going to end up with, but they're actually fun to watch unlike last year. They need more pitching, but I can see a coherent vision for how this roster was constructed.