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

joe dokes

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Yeah, Grissom hasn't had a ton of super hard hit balls that 100% should go for hits that he's been robbed of, but a series of line drives etc. that have had like a thirty to fifty percent chance of a hit lately, and it seems like almost all of those have gone for outs.

As for Abreu... yeah, he is, so far, absolutely only up to facing right-handed pitching, but to be fair to him, Duran wasn't a guy who could face anybody in the big leagues when he was 25. At Abreu's age, Duran put up a -0.1 WAR. Maybe Abreu will improve against LHP.

Regardless, what what I love about both of these guys is they play both sides of the ball. Duran was iffy defensively until this year, but he's been great out there this year, and so has Abreu. Wilyer is probably due for some regression with his batting average, but I also expect him to clean up the strikeouts some and start walking more as he adjusts to the big leagues. They both could regularly be 3-4 win players even if Abreu regresses some offensively.
I think of Trot Nixon, who despite never really being all that god against LHP, remained quite valuable. (To be clear, Nixon managed a 600-650 OPS vs. LHP, which Wilyer hasnt approached yet.)
 

nvalvo

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I think of Trot Nixon, who despite never really being all that god against LHP, remained quite valuable. (To be clear, Nixon managed a 600-650 OPS vs. LHP, which Wilyer hasnt approached yet.)
As I noted in the other thread, Wilyer hasn't approached that in the Majors... in 35 PA across two seasons.

Here are all of minor league samples of useful size (he barely faced any lefties below High-A):

2021 (High-A Asheville):
244 PA vs RHP: .262/.348/.514
87 PA vs LHP: .288/.402/.438

2022 (Double-A Corpus Christi and Portland):
445 PA vs RHP: .251/.409/.444
134 PA vs LHP: .236/.366/.409

2023 (Triple-A Worcester and AL):
363 PA vs RHP: .291/.408/.552
85 PA vs LHP: .250/.318/.421

Even this is a small sample: that's ~300 PA against lefties. But it doesn't really suggest that we should be writing him off as a platoon-only bat. Cora likes to break in young players that way, which makes some sense: let a player adapt to a new league in a limited role before introducing more responsibility.
 

simplicio

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I'm more cynical about it; I see a player whose splits have gotten more pronounced at every level.

A+: .020 difference in OPS
AA: .078
AAA: .180
MLB: .497

I don't think his true talent is quite so bad vs MLB lefties as that (and as you note, small sample), but I also have no expectation that he's ever going to be good against them.
 

nvalvo

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I'm more cynical about it; I see a player whose splits have gotten more pronounced at every level.

A+: .020 difference in OPS
AA: .078
AAA: .180
MLB: .497

I don't think his true talent is quite so bad vs MLB lefties as that (and as you note, small sample), but I also have no expectation that he's ever going to be good against them.
Well, in that case the reverse splits in tiny samples in low A and rookie ball may be of interest.
 

Sin Duda

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In other news, Connor Wong's K rate continues to trend downward. Just 17.6% now. That's down from 33% last year. Crazy stuff.
I believe Connor said he changed his front leg lift to a toe step to reduce fatigue on himself given he's a catcher.

But it doesn't seem the hitting coaches manage the hitting with a similar approach to Bailey's for the pitching. Bailey seems muchore hands on. Did Fatse advise Duran to increase his leg lift to improve his power? What is he telling Rafaela? Is he responsible for Abreau's good start and Wong's big turnaround?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Let's give some more deserved recognition to Rob Refsnyder. What a fantastic signing. And on the subjective side, he is so easy to root for everyday.

.347/.437/.547

I will again suggest that we chip in to buy him a 1B glove for the offseason. He has a ton of experience in the infield and could become our ultimate bench player to pair with Casas along with all the lefties in the outfield.
Totally vindicating Bloom's decision to extend him last year when he really didn't have to. Ref was going to be under team control this year anyway, but now they've got him for next year too when he otherwise would have been a free agent. Having a solid professional who embraces a limited back-up role (no bellyaching or pouting when he's not playing everyday) and assumes a leadership role in the clubhouse, that's a boon for a team with a young roster of players transitioning into the big leagues. I think it's an under-rated thing and in the long run, his presence will probably make better players out of guys like Duran, Abreu, Rafaela, etc.
 

absintheofmalaise

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I believe Connor said he changed his front leg lift to a toe step to reduce fatigue on himself given he's a catcher.

But it doesn't seem the hitting coaches manage the hitting with a similar approach to Bailey's for the pitching. Bailey seems muchore hands on. Did Fatse advise Duran to increase his leg lift to improve his power? What is he telling Rafaela? Is he responsible for Abreau's good start and Wong's big turnaround?
From the interview I saw with Duran he said that he used the leg lift in drills and Fatse encouraged him to use it in games to see how it translated to live pitching.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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Injuries aside, it’s the same old story with this team. Just can’t compete with good teams.
What do you mean by "same old story"? Last year they had winning records against the Diamondbacks, Braves, Yankees, Blue Jays, Twins, Brewers, and Phillies. They held their own against the Orioles, Dodgers, Rangers, and Mariners (two games below .500 total). Their only significant eggs were against the Astros and Rays.
The "can't beat good teams" trend seems to apply to this year's team in a two month sample size. I'm not sure it's particularly insightful.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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What do you mean by "same old story"? Last year they had winning records against the Diamondbacks, Braves, Yankees, Blue Jays, Twins, Brewers, and Phillies. They held their own against the Orioles, Dodgers, Rangers, and Mariners (two games below .500 total). Their only significant eggs were against the Astros and Rays.
The "can't beat good teams" trend seems to apply to this year's team in a two month sample size. I'm not sure it's particularly insightful.
I'd also add that you can't really dismiss the injuries either. Do we really think that the team wouldn't be having a better showing against good teams if some or all of Story, Casas, O'Neill, and Yoshida were healthy and playing regularly? Not many teams can lose a third of their expected starting lineup for a good chunk of the season and not miss a beat. It's a factor in what's been happening no matter how much we don't want to use injuries as an excuse.
 

joe dokes

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I'm OK with them going 1-2 against the really good teams. As long as they go 2-1 or 3-0 against the rest. It's easy to mock "just dont get swept," but for this team this year, that's probably the recipe against the top teams to stay in WC contention. Getting swept too many times by the Orioles of the world or losing series to teams "below" the Sox will do the opposite.
 

RedOctober3829

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What do you mean by "same old story"? Last year they had winning records against the Diamondbacks, Braves, Yankees, Blue Jays, Twins, Brewers, and Phillies. They held their own against the Orioles, Dodgers, Rangers, and Mariners (two games below .500 total). Their only significant eggs were against the Astros and Rays.
The "can't beat good teams" trend seems to apply to this year's team in a two month sample size. I'm not sure it's particularly insightful.
In 2022 they were 3-16 vs Toronto, 6-13 vs Yankees, and 7-12 vs Tampa. It’s definitely a trend.
 

Yo La Tengo

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I'm trying to put this post on the most relevant thread possible, hoping that most of the regular posters will see it.

I must fall on my sword when it comes to Rob Refsnyder. I was very, very hard on RR in the offseason and ST on here. He has totally proven me wrong. He has been everything that they could've asked for and more, both as a calming veteran presence on a young team, and as a versatile bat who has hit both LH and RH pitching. I'll own it, I was wrong. Thanks.
You're setting a high bar for accountability around here... do I need to admit that I STILL feel like Franchy Cordero is going to become an all star if he could just find the right opportunity?
 

Yo La Tengo

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Totally vindicating Bloom's decision to extend him last year when he really didn't have to. Ref was going to be under team control this year anyway, but now they've got him for next year too when he otherwise would have been a free agent. Having a solid professional who embraces a limited back-up role (no bellyaching or pouting when he's not playing everyday) and assumes a leadership role in the clubhouse, that's a boon for a team with a young roster of players transitioning into the big leagues. I think it's an under-rated thing and in the long run, his presence will probably make better players out of guys like Duran, Abreu, Rafaela, etc.
Did you happen to see the interview Refsnyder gave after signing his first guaranteed contract? He talked about his family and how much he appreciated the newfound stability. He also mentioned how he felt loyal to the Red Sox because of how much they help families find housing, etc. He came across as sincerely grateful for the opportunity to play baseball in Boston. I became a big fan and am thrilled that he has found some amount of success. (Now he should go sign a $25 million dollar deal with the Rockies in order to set himself up for the future.)
 

joe dokes

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In 2022 they were 3-16 vs Toronto, 6-13 vs Yankees, and 7-12 vs Tampa. It’s definitely a trend.
My hope is that both TB and Tor are a bit down this year, so they can pick up a few wins relative to last year. The way NYY is going, I'll settle for 6-13. Same with Orioles.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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4 games at home against the Tigers who have come back to earth, Sox should have at least 2 easy wins there, the Pivetta game tonight is a 50/50.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I was very doubtful about Duran. I wanted to see if it was just luck and his offensive numbers would crater once his BABIP came down to a sustainable level, and his defense was rough. But every season his K% has come down and his BB% has gone up. He has shown plus batting average and power. And he actually looks like a decent MLB center fielder. I have no complaints this year. He's not going to be a superstar (I don't think) but he looks like a legit starting center fielder on a good team.

Beyond that we have a Devers and Casas as building block offensive players, Wong chipping as a hitter from catcher, and three other outfielders with an OPS above .840. Yes, the middle infield is rough, but maybe Grissom develops. Rafaela might be able to put things together too, although I believe that less every week.

The team didn't go into this season expecting to win a title. The pitching is ahead of schedule, and who knows maybe they can upset somebody in the playoffs just on that strength. But the position players are far from a black hole, and it's worth seeing who they can develop on the roster they have. I'm happier seeing Grissom and Rafaela play than I ever was seeing Dalbec out there. And yes, they do have some exciting young players coming up, but we know they won't all work out. The front office knows this too, and I'm sure there plan is not to just wait until those guys show up and save the team.


Thanks for that - so possibly more that you WERE very skeptical on Duran as opposed to STILL ARE. Agree with your point about his projections going forward - not going to be a superstar (agree) but he could be a legit starting OF on a good team (and is currently the best starting OF on a "meh" team).

Not for nothing but I totally agree regarding being far happier seeing the kids play than other one year stop gap options that have no chance of being here for the next great Red Sox team, whenever that might be. There is no realistic reason (injury aside) that Rafaela, Duran, Abreu and Grissom should get anything less than 550 plate appearances this year.
 

RS2004foreever

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Didn't watch last night so what I know is from the box score - but this is the second straight start Crawford has been less than dominant in. He appeared to settle in after giving up 5 in the second, but we all knew that the starting pitching was unsustainable and it is regressing some (with the notable exception of Houck). The offense will need to step it up.
Good to see Grissom go 1-3 with a walk. I still think the guy will hit.
 
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Fishy1

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Thanks for that - so possibly more that you WERE very skeptical on Duran as opposed to STILL ARE. Agree with your point about his projections going forward - not going to be a superstar (agree) but he could be a legit starting OF on a good team (and is currently the best starting OF on a "meh" team).

Not for nothing but I totally agree regarding being far happier seeing the kids play than other one year stop gap options that have no chance of being here for the next great Red Sox team, whenever that might be. There is no realistic reason (injury aside) that Rafaela, Duran, Abreu and Grissom should get anything less than 550 plate appearances this year.
I must quibble... Definitely not a superstar, but as long as the athleticism and defense holds up, he's not just legit, he'd be one of the best players on almost any team.

Like, a guy who gives you a wrc+ of around 110-120, good-great defense in the outfield, and around 20-25 stolen bases and speed on the basepaths... that's a 4-5 win player. No, he's not giving us a wrc+ of 130 or 140, but who cares? The extra bases he earns and the bases he takes away in the outfield make up for it.

Fangraphs has him at 1.8 WAR so far this year, b-ref 2.6. That'd make him the third or fourth best player on the Yankees by that measure after Judge, Soto, and tied with Volpe. He'd be second on the Orioles. The Sox didn't have ANYBODY in the field who was a 4-5 win player over the course of a full season in 2023, but that's exactly what he's been in his last 600 plate appearances.

And for what it's worth, statcast thinks he'd underperforming his batting average and slugging percentage.

I was Duran-skeptical this offseason and even advocated for trading him, if I remember correctly. I feel like a dumbass now. He'll be worth his arbitration years. He's the best position player on the team, and would be a star on almost any team. We lamented the fact that we haven't had many two-way players, and now we've got two of them in Wilyer and Duran, and we could include Wong if he would clean up his framing and the passed balls.
 

Rovin Romine

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I was Duran-skeptical this offseason and even advocated for trading him, if I remember correctly. I feel like a dumbass now. He'll be worth his arbitration years. He's the best position player on the team, and would be a star on almost any team. We lamented the fact that we haven't had many two-way players, and now we've got two of them in Wilyer and Duran, and we could include Wong if he would clean up his framing and the passed balls.
Some of this really goes to learning skills - to coachability and coaching.

I don't think anyone wanted the defensive version of Duran when he first came up to be a long-standing feature in our OF. The question was whether his offense was sustainable and whether he could improve defensively. The reporting on both was (IIRC) that both were legitimate possibilities, but not sure things. And weren't sure things. There absolutely is an alternate-world version of Duran that does not get help (and a handle on) his mental health issues, and so implodes and is out of baseball.

Or take Houck - common wisdom was that he's a lights-out 4 inning man, tops. There, we had a longer track-record, but Houck existed in the same pitching environment (so to speak). He was changing his pitches, trying to enhance his craft, but it took Bailey to make that final change, going with his strengths to bring out this (possibly best?) version of Houck.

So, I don't think @Cassvt2023 was nuts or anything to be skeptical of Refsnyder and his role on the team; there's a legitimate question as to whether or not he'd regress or continue. Personally, I think Ref's a bit stickier of an example than the players above - less likely to move far from his baseline.

I guess my take-away from all this is that talent can sometimes be actualized, but some skills are much harder to teach/learn (pitch control/swing judgment). When we're considering betting on players we need to keep that in mind.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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I must quibble... Definitely not a superstar, but as long as the athleticism and defense holds up, he's not just legit, he'd be one of the best players on almost any team.

Like, a guy who gives you a wrc+ of around 110-120, good-great defense in the outfield, and around 20-25 stolen bases and speed on the basepaths... that's a 4-5 win player. No, he's not giving us a wrc+ of 130 or 140, but who cares? The extra bases he earns and the bases he takes away in the outfield make up for it.

Fangraphs has him at 1.8 WAR so far this year, b-ref 2.6. That'd make him the third or fourth best player on the Yankees by that measure after Judge, Soto, and tied with Volpe. He'd be second on the Orioles. The Sox didn't have ANYBODY in the field who was a 4-5 win player over the course of a full season in 2023, but that's exactly what he's been in his last 600 plate appearances.

And for what it's worth, statcast thinks he'd underperforming his batting average and slugging percentage.

I was Duran-skeptical this offseason and even advocated for trading him, if I remember correctly. I feel like a dumbass now. He'll be worth his arbitration years. He's the best position player on the team, and would be a star on almost any team. We lamented the fact that we haven't had many two-way players, and now we've got two of them in Wilyer and Duran, and we could include Wong if he would clean up his framing and the passed balls.

Sure, mostly semantics there. But overall we agree I think. If he's able to stay on the field consistently - and I hope he can - he's like a slightly less valuable version overall of Johnny Damon (and I mean that in a great way) or if one wants to go with "better" he's like a slightly more valuable version of JD Drew. Damon was probably more of a "star" but that had to do more with his personality / cult following and how that was the absolute peak of the Red Sox v Yankees rivalry and all that entailed.

If the Red Sox win a World Series with Duran here at any point, he's probably going to be like the 5th most impactful player on the team with said 4ish bWAR (for instance Damon was on average 5th on the team in bWAR during his tenure in '02-'05). He's a good player and I'm pleased to have him. You probably need 3 or 4 better players to seriously contend for titles (or of course for Duran to be more like a 5/6 bWAR player) and to have multiple players behind him in the 4/5 bWAR area.


*In both instances, I'm clearly referring to the Red Sox tenures of both Damon and Drew. Just since I started looking at it, for as fondly as he's remember here of course, Damon had a pretty underrated career. Started 140+ games every single year from his age 22 season through his age 37 season, and he averaged a 3.4 bWAR over that time frame.
 
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chrisfont9

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Injuries aside, it’s the same old story with this team. Just can’t compete with good teams.
I've seen a few takes along these lines, and if people want to just react to the record, that's fine. But this team looks nothing like the last two. injuries aside (for now), they are young at almost every position on the field, young across the rotation, young in the bullpen. That may not be a blessing in the short term, but it's clearly the start of something longer term. So I really don't get people giving the "here we go again" takes.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I've seen a few takes along these lines, and if people want to just react to the record, that's fine. But this team looks nothing like the last two. injuries aside (for now), they are young at almost every position on the field, young across the rotation, young in the bullpen. That may not be a blessing in the short term, but it's clearly the start of something longer term. So I really don't get people giving the "here we go again" takes.
I think last year at this time the '23 Sox had a better record but whatever stats someone can throw out.... it's beyond clear that this season's team is better now, and better positioned for the future. There's not one part of the whole package that I'd take the '22-'23 versions of over this team- not figuring in things like Casas was on the '23 team and isn't on the '24 club so far, etc....
Maybe Turner as a DH over Yoshida but that's it.
 

nvalvo

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Didn't watch last night so what I know is from the box score - but this is the second straight start Crawford has been less than dominant in. He appeared to settle in after giving up 5 in the second, but we all knew that the starting pitching was unsustainable and it is regressing some (with the notable exception of Houck). The offense will need to step it up.
Good to see Grissom go 1-3 with a walk. I still think the guy will hit.
Crawford’s run of actually allowing ER has brought his ERA into precise alignment with his FIP. Given that they both sit at 3.29 after 70 IP, I wouldn’t get too down on him. His HR rate wasn’t going to stay at zero forever.

April: 33 IP, 34 K, 11 BB, 26 hits, 57 fly balls, 0 HR.
May: 35 IP, 32 K, 11 BB, 33 hits, 71 fly balls, 5 HR.

Really, the sole difference here is a few more fly balls, and some of them actually snuck over the wall — sometimes, like last night, with men on. He’s getting hit a touch harder, but I don’t have enough familiarity with these newfangled numbers to separate that from things like weather.

April avg exit velo: 84.8, max 110.7; May avg exit velo: 87.5, max 111.8.

Looks like leaguewide EV in April was 88.0 (max 119.2) up to 89.0 in May (max 121.5).
 

RS2004foreever

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I must quibble... Definitely not a superstar, but as long as the athleticism and defense holds up, he's not just legit, he'd be one of the best players on almost any team.

Like, a guy who gives you a wrc+ of around 110-120, good-great defense in the outfield, and around 20-25 stolen bases and speed on the basepaths... that's a 4-5 win player. No, he's not giving us a wrc+ of 130 or 140, but who cares? The extra bases he earns and the bases he takes away in the outfield make up for it.

Fangraphs has him at 1.8 WAR so far this year, b-ref 2.6. That'd make him the third or fourth best player on the Yankees by that measure after Judge, Soto, and tied with Volpe. He'd be second on the Orioles. The Sox didn't have ANYBODY in the field who was a 4-5 win player over the course of a full season in 2023, but that's exactly what he's been in his last 600 plate appearances.

And for what it's worth, statcast thinks he'd underperforming his batting average and slugging percentage.

I was Duran-skeptical this offseason and even advocated for trading him, if I remember correctly. I feel like a dumbass now. He'll be worth his arbitration years. He's the best position player on the team, and would be a star on almost any team. We lamented the fact that we haven't had many two-way players, and now we've got two of them in Wilyer and Duran, and we could include Wong if he would clean up his framing and the passed balls.
Baltimore has two players higher according to Fangraphs - Hendrickson and Westburg. Cowser and Rutschman trail Duran by .1.
 

Fishy1

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Some of this really goes to learning skills - to coachability and coaching.

I don't think anyone wanted the defensive version of Duran when he first came up to be a long-standing feature in our OF. The question was whether his offense was sustainable and whether he could improve defensively. The reporting on both was (IIRC) that both were legitimate possibilities, but not sure things. And weren't sure things. There absolutely is an alternate-world version of Duran that does not get help (and a handle on) his mental health issues, and so implodes and is out of baseball.

Or take Houck - common wisdom was that he's a lights-out 4 inning man, tops. There, we had a longer track-record, but Houck existed in the same pitching environment (so to speak). He was changing his pitches, trying to enhance his craft, but it took Bailey to make that final change, going with his strengths to bring out this (possibly best?) version of Houck.

So, I don't think @Cassvt2023 was nuts or anything to be skeptical of Refsnyder and his role on the team; there's a legitimate question as to whether or not he'd regress or continue. Personally, I think Ref's a bit stickier of an example than the players above - less likely to move far from his baseline.

I guess my take-away from all this is that talent can sometimes be actualized, but some skills are much harder to teach/learn (pitch control/swing judgment). When we're considering betting on players we need to keep that in mind.
Yeah, this is definitely something I've been turning over in my head. The two guys who've had the smoothest adjustment to the big leagues so far, in my eyes, are Wilyer and Casas, and both of them had exceptional eyes in the minors and in the bigs.

Duran, Wong, Rafaela, and Valdez had more checkered pasts with regard to plate discipline (with Valdez and Duran being much more likely to take a walk but still with long stretches of being overly aggressive) and all four of those guys have had more or less difficult adjustments to the big leagues.

That's kind of a surface-level analysis, there's a lot more to think about there, but it does square.

In other words... promote Kavadas!
 

Rovin Romine

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Yeah, this is definitely something I've been turning over in my head. The two guys who've had the smoothest adjustment to the big leagues so far, in my eyes, are Wilyer and Casas, and both of them had exceptional eyes in the minors and in the bigs.

Duran, Wong, Rafaela, and Valdez had more checkered pasts with regard to plate discipline (with Valdez and Duran being much more likely to take a walk but still with long stretches of being overly aggressive) and all four of those guys have had more or less difficult adjustments to the big leagues.

That's kind of a surface-level analysis, there's a lot more to think about there, but it does square.

In other words... promote Kavadas!
Kavadas is an interesting dilemma. . .LHH 1B OPSing .985 in AAA (robot ump) with 53 Ks, 33 BBs, and 10 HRs. Not yet on the 40 man.

Maybe coming back within 3/4 weeks are Casas and Yoshida. (Thusfar neither Smith or Cooper look to slide to DH.)

I think the odds Kavadas hits immediately are. . .low. We've seen that AAA transition be a problem, for whatever reason, for this particular organization. But he might. And he might hit better than Smith or Cooper. And 3 to 4 weeks are a lot of games. So maybe he's worth promoting now.

OTOH, if they spiral out of it, I think they should consider promoting him this year. Let him adjust, then you trade him or Yoshida and you have your DH or something else. (Or just option him to AAA to begin '25.) Essentially flip the card over now so you know what you have. Perhaps there's a price to be paid re: protecting rule 5 guys this off-season.
 

joe dokes

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Kavadas is an interesting dilemma. . .LHH 1B OPSing .985 in AAA (robot ump) with 53 Ks, 33 BBs, and 10 HRs. Not yet on the 40 man.

Maybe coming back within 3/4 weeks are Casas and Yoshida. (Thusfar neither Smith or Cooper look to slide to DH.)

I think the odds Kavadas hits immediately are. . .low. We've seen that AAA transition be a problem, for whatever reason, for this particular organization. But he might. And he might hit better than Smith or Cooper. And 3 to 4 weeks are a lot of games. So maybe he's worth promoting now.

OTOH, if they spiral out of it, I think they should consider promoting him this year. Let him adjust, then you trade him or Yoshida and you have your DH or something else. (Or just option him to AAA to begin '25.) Essentially flip the card over now so you know what you have. Perhaps there's a price to be paid re: protecting rule 5 guys this off-season.
I think I read that Kavadas is hitting (estimates ahead) 400 on off speed stuff and under 100 on fastballs.
 

grimshaw

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Yeah, this is definitely something I've been turning over in my head. The two guys who've had the smoothest adjustment to the big leagues so far, in my eyes, are Wilyer and Casas, and both of them had exceptional eyes in the minors and in the bigs.

Duran, Wong, Rafaela, and Valdez had more checkered pasts with regard to plate discipline (with Valdez and Duran being much more likely to take a walk but still with long stretches of being overly aggressive) and all four of those guys have had more or less difficult adjustments to the big leagues.

That's kind of a surface-level analysis, there's a lot more to think about there, but it does square.

In other words... promote Kavadas!
Something I read somewhere the other day is that going to the opposite field has a higher impact than speed in terms of having a higher BABIP. Wong and Duran have both improved in this manner while also being fast and I'm hoping they don't start trying to sell out for power. I hope they encourage Rafaela (more since I'm sure they do) to try and do the same. I understand he doesn't lay off pitches, but maybe baby steps not trying to pull everything.

I have also mentioned before that the stadium in Worcester can produce bad habits because it is such a hitters park and I wonder if some of the difficulty in transition is hurting these home grown guys.

I don't have any faith that Kavadas would succeed up here unless they are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Those k-rates are ridiculous.
 
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Fishy1

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Yeah, I was mostly joking about Kavadas. The K rates are high, but they aren't as bad as Bobby's, and I think they're also high because he persistently gets himself into two strike counts. You don't get BB rates around 20% without high K rates. It wouldn't be impossible for him to have some success, of course, stranger things have happened. Still, very, very hard to succeed with K rates like that.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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2022: Fits your argument
2023: Doesn't fit your argument
2024: Fits your argument after two months
So that defines a "trend"?

I guess it depends on how you define “good team”. I don’t think the 82 win Yankees were particularly good last year. But even if you include them, the Sox were still pretty poor against “good teams” last year, overall, no? Then again, they were a lousy team so it’s probably not surprising that they were worse against better teams.
 
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RedOctober3829

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2022: Fits your argument
2023: Doesn't fit your argument
2024: Fits your argument after two months
So that defines a "trend"?
What argument am I losing? I said they can’t compete with good teams and that’s correct. Their overall performance since 2019 would say that backs up that claim. 2021 is the outlier in this stretch. They are a .500 team early 2019. Pretty long trend of mediocre to bad baseball.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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I guess it depends on how you define “good team”. I don’t think the 82 win Yankees were particularly good last year. But even if you include them, the Sox were still pretty poor against “good teams” last year, overall, no? Then again, they were a lousy team so it’s probably not surprising that they were worse against better teams.
No. As I stated, their only significant eggs in the AL were Houston (2-5) and Tampa Bay (2-11). They were 32-20 against all other AL teams above .500. They were 5-13 against NL teams below .500 but 14-11 against NL teams above .500. With the exception of Houston and TB, they actually acquited themselves nicely against the iron teams.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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What argument am I losing? I said they can’t compete with good teams and that’s correct. Their overall performance since 2019 would say that backs up that claim. 2021 is the outlier in this stretch. They are a .500 team early 2019. Pretty long trend of mediocre to bad baseball.
So 2021 and 2023 don't fit your argument, yet that's a "trend"?
As I stated, the daggers in last year's schedule were Houston (2-5), TB (2-11), and NL teams below .500 (5-13). They were competent if not good against the rest of the teams over .500.
 

RedOctober3829

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So 2021 and 2023 don't fit your argument, yet that's a "trend"?
As I stated, the daggers in last year's schedule were Houston (2-5), TB (2-11), and NL teams below .500 (5-13). They were competent if not good against the rest of the teams over .500.
You’re pigeon-holing yourself into this argument about their records against certain teams and ignoring their overall record. My comment saying they can’t compete with good teams did not just mean as much as their individual record against teams, but the overarching point that they just haven’t been a good team since 2019 and aren’t competing with the better teams in the league anymore. 1 playoff appearance in that span would speak to that.
 

Tony Pena's Gas Cloud

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You’re pigeon-holing yourself into this argument about their records against certain teams and ignoring their overall record. My comment saying they can’t compete with good teams did not just mean as much as their individual record against teams, but the overarching point that they just haven’t been a good team since 2019 and aren’t competing with the better teams in the league anymore. 1 playoff appearance in that span would speak to that.
If you're saying they've been a bad team, then by definition they can't compete. Period. No need to add "against better teams" because then you ARE implying that they've beat up on the bad teams but can't beat the good ones when that clearly hasn't happened. Don't quote a tweet about how THIS SEASON they've struggled against good teams (which they have), and say "same old story" as if that's been the case every year (it hasn't).
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The only positive thing to take away from yesterday’s game- Pivetta pitched pretty well. Not great on pitch count for only 5.1 innings but that loss wasn’t on him
 

HfxBob

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Nov 13, 2005
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If you're saying they've been a bad team, then by definition they can't compete. Period. No need to add "against better teams" because then you ARE implying that they've beat up on the bad teams but can't beat the good ones when that clearly hasn't happened. Don't quote a tweet about how THIS SEASON they've struggled against good teams (which they have), and say "same old story" as if that's been the case every year (it hasn't).
What they are the last 3 years is consummate masters of mediocrity. There are many different ways to get to a .500ish record, and they have been versatile at it.
 

Fishy1

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You know the team has taken a turn for the worse when people are reduced to arguing with RedOctober over whether the team is mediocre or not.
 

Rovin Romine

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What they are the last 3 years is consummate masters of mediocrity. There are many different ways to get to a .500ish record, and they have been versatile at it.
If you go back for the last 100 years, the Sox are 8085-7609. Lots of ways to get to a non-competetive .500ish record, amirite?
 

Rovin Romine

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The years 1919-1933 really put a beating on our percentage. :p
As did all the starting pitchers getting injured in '22.

Or this year, with the loss of key bats/epic and unforseen underperformance for long stretches:Story, Casas, Yoshida, Devers, O'Neill, Dalbec, Valdez, Grissom.



(And as a PS, I started in 1924 for the round 100 years. But going back even further than 1919 and grabbing those WS teams does not actually move the percentage all that much. .515 to .518 or something like that, IIRC.)
 

nattysez

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This feels like setting the foundations for a "we'll miss Alex, but we think this team could use a new voice" presser at the end of the season. Suggesting that this team as presently constructed is underperforming is wild to me.

“We need to continue to pitch the way we have and start getting guys on base and scoring more runs. But I don’t think we’ve over-performed. I think, if anything, we’ve under-performed just given the talent and the competitiveness in that clubhouse.”
https://www.boston.com/sports/boston-red-sox/2024/05/30/sam-kennedy-boston-red-sox-alex-cora-mlb-baseball/