Maybe the Red Sox are good?

chawson

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Some observations:

- The question of JDM’s rebound really dictated how our season would go. I admit to some doubt that his lack of access to in-game video replay was the sole reason for his struggles, but he’s clearly back. That changes the season outlook considerably, and we’d almost surely be instant sellers without him.

- Franchy Cordero’s overall numbers look decent (he’s had a few fall in), but I’m impressed by some really good at-bats early on. He definitely seems to be using a different approach, going the other way a bit more. I think the key is to keep him healthy and focused for a couple months until the spotlight dims and he’ll unleash his true talent midsummer.

- The bullpen looks excellent (with the exception of Taylor). Whitlock in particular is pure gold — super useful in the role we have him in and easily projecting to next year’s rotation. The idea that we could snatch a plus starter from the Yankees for free is thrilling. Valdez and Andriese are both thriving in their roles as soft-contact lords. I could see us needing another LHP deliver down the line, one with fewer command issues than Darwinzon, but that’s easy to solve.

- The results aren’t there yet, but Kiké has been mostly great so far. A little more swing-happy than I’d like to see from a leadoff guy (he swung at some bad pitches in hitters’ counts early on, weakly tapping to short) but I figure that’ll settle down. He’s been smashing the ball and really unlucky — in many ballparks he’d have 4 home runs by now.

- Arroyo seems like the kind of player who’d be a solid regular in the 1980s. Most of today’s low-power infielders have an exceptional skill, like contact rate or defense (Arraez, Fletcher, Iglesias), but I don’t see anywhere Arroyo stands out. He’s been useful and seems well liked, but I have to think he’s flipped to a second-division team at some point while he’s still a cheap regular.

- Barnes is incredible again. He leads a short list of players it may make sense to flip regardless of where we are in the standings, which will help our next contention cycle but revive the tired narratives that we’re becoming the Rays.

- I’ll be interested to track the combined numbers of Kluber + Taillon vs. Pivetta + Richards all season. None of those guys look great right now, though Pivetta and Taillon both have encouraging signs. I’m mostly relieved that the hours of disappointment I felt after the Kluber Decision a few months ago was misplaced.
 

JimD

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5. Bad managing. There I said it.

I was in disbelief when several folks on this board were talking negatively about the Cora rehire. Cora is clearly a difference maker. He's a very good in game manager. He delegates well. And most importantly the players love him and respond to his ever present positivity. When you stick with guys through performance issues (within limits) they will run through walls for you. Cora knows this well and practices it. Devers is like a different player as is Martinez.

There really is no comparison to the manager situation last year. Quite frankly, I think the Red Sox made it clear to Cora when he went out and was let go due to the suspension, it was his job to take once his suspension ended.

I hope he is changing some of the doubting minds present at the time he was rehired.

Point of note. The Red Sox are three games ahead in the loss column of all the other East Division teams. They have the fewest losses in the AL. I know. It's early, SSS, etc., etc. But it sure is a nice surprise after the opening series sweep.

I'm in.
To add one more thing to this - I think that the dose of humility that Alex Cora almost certainly experienced after 2019's faceplant and being banished from the game in 2020 (with no promise of a return to managing) will prove to be incredibly valuable to his career in the long run. He could do no wrong in 2018 and there was a sense of him and his staff thinking they were the smartest guys in the room with their plans to reinvent spring training entering the 2019 season. Reality hit back pretty hard. I'm not sure that I agree that the job was his to lose when his suspension ended, at least in Bloom's mind, and they publicly made it clear that he was by no means the favorite. In any event, I'm guessing that Cora is relishing his time right now being back in the game he loves, being back in the Sox manager's chair and both him and his team having something to prove all over again. He is the right guy for this team as it begins its ascent to the top of the mountain and I am incredibly excited about the coming Bloom-Cora renaissance for Red Sox baseball.
 

RedOctober3829

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Maybe people can realize now that Chaim Bloom's reshaping of the Red Sox is taking place and it's well on it's way to good things. Everyone wanted to criticize him for the Betts trade. Well, Verdugo is looking like a very nice return from that trade. The Workman trade seemingly was a steal with Pivetta pitching well and he's not even the pitcher considered a good get from that deal. The little moves of Kike Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, and Christian Arroyo are already paying dividends. Everyone wanted to trade Vazquez and Eovaldi and he stuck with them. Wait until he actually has some money to spend and see where this goes.
 

allmanbro

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Going in, I figured this was an 82-85 win team. They are already 3 games ahead of that pace. Those wins in the bank, so even if they play at that expected level going forward, the new range is 85-88. That might put them at the fringe of WC competition. But I also think it's reasonable to tack on an expected win or two based on improvements like JDM's return, and the strength of the bullpen. Fangraphs now projects them for 89 wins, and I think they had them at 86 before the season started (I think it was). That seems to me to be on the optimistic side, but reasonable.

There will be bumps. The rotation depth, especially, will be tested. Richards, Rodriguez, and Eovaldi remain big injury risks, and even if none of them get genuinely hurt, Richards and Rodriguez at least will get some down time at some point to manage innings. Sale will not be back full strength even in the best case. It's been a good ride, though, and there is reason to be optimistic.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Maybe people can realize now that Chaim Bloom's reshaping of the Red Sox is taking place and it's well on it's way to good things. Everyone wanted to criticize him for the Betts trade. Well, Verdugo is looking like a very nice return from that trade. The Workman trade seemingly was a steal with Pivetta pitching well and he's not even the pitcher considered a good get from that deal. The little moves of Kike Hernandez, Hunter Renfroe, and Christian Arroyo are already paying dividends. Everyone wanted to trade Vazquez and Eovaldi and he stuck with them. Wait until he actually has some money to spend and see where this goes.
We're going to see a world of difference when it comes to the fringes of the roster + 40 man with Bloom in charge. In barely a season+ we have seen a ton of savvy little moves. Will every Yairo Munoz and Ronaldo Hernandez pan out? No, certainly not, but I feel quite good about Chaim's ability to keep upgrading the roster in cost-effective ways that will help pave the way for future big money deals or trades. Yes, being bad last year did provide the "luxury" of allowing for lots of roster churn and digging for diamonds, but you still have to do the scouting work.

I feel really good about the way the FO is building a flexible and deep roster. We'll see how the farm grows under Bloom and how we do in the draft/international FA market, but I feel confident that no stone will be left unturned. Don't necessarily have major blue chip guys right now but the depth has grown quite a bit in a short time, and it is looking like the MLB roster is in a place where our top guys (Casas, Downs, Duran) are not blocked but also that we don't need to rush them. And we will be adding a stud prospect to the mix this summer.

It's still very early this season and maybe this review is too glowing, but it's hard not to feel optimistic given where things were last season.
 

brandonchristensen

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One thing I like is we are doing well which gives Dalbec time to adjust. They don’t have to rush a decision there to try and compete.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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- Barnes is incredible again. He leads a short list of players it may make sense to flip regardless of where we are in the standings, which will help our next contention cycle but revive the tired narratives that we’re becoming the Rays.
Wait... what? I would definitely get behind dealing Barnes if the Sox are struggling to stay at .500 or within 7-8 games of a WC berth... but to say "regardless....." is crazy talk to me! He's an exclamation mark at the end of the bullpen right now and with starters averaging 5 IP... he's more valuable than ever to this team winning in the playoffs. I can't imagine a Yankee fan EVER saying that they should deal Mariano sometime in '99 because they could get a good return (even if Mariano would be a FA after the season it would have been insanity).
 

RedOctober3829

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Wait... what? I would definitely get behind dealing Barnes if the Sox are struggling to stay at .500 or within 7-8 games of a WC berth... but to say "regardless....." is crazy talk to me! He's an exclamation mark at the end of the bullpen right now and with starters averaging 5 IP... he's more valuable than ever to this team winning in the playoffs. I can't imagine a Yankee fan EVER saying that they should deal Mariano sometime in '99 because they could get a good return (even if Mariano would be a FA after the season it would have been insanity).
Yeah I mean if he's pitching like this why wouldn't you want to keep him long-term?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Wait... what? I would definitely get behind dealing Barnes if the Sox are struggling to stay at .500 or within 7-8 games of a WC berth... but to say "regardless....." is crazy talk to me! He's an exclamation mark at the end of the bullpen right now and with starters averaging 5 IP... he's more valuable than ever to this team winning in the playoffs. I can't imagine a Yankee fan EVER saying that they should deal Mariano sometime in '99 because they could get a good return (even if Mariano would be a FA after the season it would have been insanity).
Yeah, if they're contending in July (as in within 2-3 games of the WC or better), it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to deal Barnes. The only way I see that is if the rest of the pen is looking really good, like say Darwinzon and Whitlock and Sawamura are all shut down guys and Barnes' loss would hardly be felt, then maybe you pull the trigger. But even then, it would only be if a team came asking for him and offering a significant return and Bloom just couldn't say no (hell, that argument holds for every single guy on the roster). You're not shopping him around though.
 

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Wait... what? I would definitely get behind dealing Barnes if the Sox are struggling to stay at .500 or within 7-8 games of a WC berth... but to say "regardless....." is crazy talk to me! He's an exclamation mark at the end of the bullpen right now and with starters averaging 5 IP... he's more valuable than ever to this team winning in the playoffs. I can't imagine a Yankee fan EVER saying that they should deal Mariano sometime in '99 because they could get a good return (even if Mariano would be a FA after the season it would have been insanity).
Come on now. Barnes sure as shit isn't Mariano. And we have 6 seasons of history to remind us that he isn't Papelbon, Koji, or Foulke either. Maybe he's suddenly figured it all out at age 30, or maybe he's riding a nice 6 game hot streak. But I'm of the opinion that selling very high on Barnes, getting a haul, and then plugging in one or more of the other power arms to close makes this organization better. Remember when Brandon Workman figured it out as our closer in 2019 and put up ridiculous numbers? Bloom did a great job leveraging that for a killer trade.
 

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I can't imagine a Yankee fan EVER saying that they should deal Mariano sometime in '99 because they could get a good return (even if Mariano would be a FA after the season it would have been insanity).
Not in '99, but I definitely recommended trading Mariano the year before his retirement when NY was out of contention anyway.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Not in '99, but I definitely recommended trading Mariano the year before his retirement when NY was out of contention anyway.
Yeah... of course. But Barnes of course isn't vintage Mariano but he is THIS SEASON so far- even better- and dealing him even if suddenly 3 other guys are looking to be close to as good as he is pitching currently would still be a horrible call. Especially when the playoffs roll around and having a deep pen becomes a difference maker.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Come on now. Barnes sure as shit isn't Mariano. And we have 6 seasons of history to remind us that he isn't Papelbon, Koji, or Foulke either. Maybe he's suddenly figured it all out at age 30, or maybe he's riding a nice 6 game hot streak. But I'm of the opinion that selling very high on Barnes, getting a haul, and then plugging in one or more of the other power arms to close makes this organization better. Remember when Brandon Workman figured it out as our closer in 2019 and put up ridiculous numbers? Bloom did a great job leveraging that for a killer trade.
Koji wasn’t good in MLB till 35 (admittedly his first year was his age 34 season), so it’s not out of the question for a reliever to turn great at 30. And koji was 38 in 2013 when he really became koji (holy shit I’d forgotten how insane his stats were. 1.09 era, 0.565 whip, 11.22 k/bb in 74.1 ip! And not an all star!)
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Koji wasn’t good in MLB till 35 (admittedly his first year was his age 34 season), so it’s not out of the question for a reliever to turn great at 30. And koji was 38 in 2013 when he really became koji (holy shit I’d forgotten how insane his stats were. 1.09 era, 0.565 whip, 11.22 k/bb in 74.1 ip! And not an all star!)
Not even the first choice to close. Or the second. Or the third. His first four appearances of that season were in the 6th and 7th inning. Then he was the primary 8th inning guy for the better part of two months before finally getting the regular closer gig on June 26.

I know Koji is KOJI, but he was signed to be and started out in the role that Barnes has filled pretty well for the last 3-4 years. I think saying that Barnes isn't at that level is a bit unfair to Barnes. He's not really been given the opportunity to be Foulke or Papelbon or Koji until now.
 

JimD

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If this team is in the wild-card hunt, never mind the AL East division race, and Barnes is still pitching well, there is no way they are trading him. We might all appreciate the rationale here (and it might even be the right move in the long run), but the optics would be terrible to the average fan and sports radio would vilify the owners and Bloom for it on the heels of sending off Betts, Price, JBJ, Benintendi, etc.
 

chawson

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Barnes had negligible value two months ago and it’s not like we’d be extending him a QO.

Say he’s the clear-cut best reliever on the market in July. Preller in San Diego is willing to give up Campusano, who’s now blocked by recent trades for two cost-controlled catchers. Should Bloom hang up?

It obviously depends on the standings and the return but it’s an interesting question. There aren’t a lot of great bullpen arms on non-contending teams slated to be free agents in 2022, which suggests the market for a rental relief ace like Barnes (and Ottavino) could be robust. What if it’s less like trading Rivera and more like trading Chapman to the Cubs?
 
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If this team is in the wild-card hunt, never mind the AL East division race, and Barnes is still pitching well, there is no way they are trading him. We might all appreciate the rationale here (and it might even be the right move in the long run), but the optics would be terrible to the average fan and sports radio would vilify the owners and Bloom for it on the heels of sending off Betts, Price, JBJ, Benintendi, etc.
I think you're way overstating the "average fan's" attachment to Matt Barnes. And I'm pretty sure that the owners and Bloom don't operate based on what sports radio says(see Betts, Price, JBJ, Benintendi, etc). Let's say that Sawamura/Whitlock/Ottavino are absolutely lighting it up in the 7th and 8th innings on a regular basis. Slide one of them to the 9th, get a haul for Barnes, and the vitriol is gone in a week. It's Matt freaking Barnes.
I'm not saying that it's likely, but I also think that just dismissing it outright is short-sided. Hell, it's probably just as likely as his continuing to pitch a this level
 

sean1562

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Barnes has always been a really streaky pitcher. He will look dominant for stretches and then not be able to throw it over the plate for a few weeks. 2019 in March-May he had 21.2 innings, 5 ERs, 39 Ks, and 8 walks. Then proceeded to get shelled for the entire month of June, 13 IP, 14 ER, 10 BBs, and 23 Ks. He is dominant when he is on but he goes through stretches every year where his control falls apart.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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We are 12 games in. Not even 10% of the season in. The "What Ifs" are ridiculous.
Isn't half this entire board filled up with "what if" posts? I imagine the entire Sox FO has been asking "what ifs" since Day One of Spring Training if not earlier. I realize we're not them, but most of definitely think we should be.
 

BornToRun

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Wait... what? I would definitely get behind dealing Barnes if the Sox are struggling to stay at .500 or within 7-8 games of a WC berth... but to say "regardless....." is crazy talk to me! He's an exclamation mark at the end of the bullpen right now and with starters averaging 5 IP... he's more valuable than ever to this team winning in the playoffs. I can't imagine a Yankee fan EVER saying that they should deal Mariano sometime in '99 because they could get a good return (even if Mariano would be a FA after the season it would have been insanity).
Yeah, screw trading our top reliever if we’re in the thick of the playoff hunt. Chaim might have cut his teeth in Tampa but this ain’t Tampa. You saddle up and go for it.
 

nattysez

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One way that teams taking the Bloom approach to team-building surprise is when guys are given some playing time and suddenly "figure it out."

Christian Arroyo was on some top 100 prospects in baseball lists not that long ago, but he's never been able to get into a groove in the bigs. In 8 games played this year, he's played very good D and has only taken an 0-fer once. If he's a late bloomer, he could be a real find.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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One way that teams taking the Bloom approach to team-building surprise is when guys are given some playing time and suddenly "figure it out."

Christian Arroyo was on some top 100 prospects in baseball lists not that long ago, but he's never been able to get into a groove in the bigs. In 8 games played this year, he's played very good D and has only taken an 0-fer once. If he's a late bloomer, he could be a real find.
The Hernandez and Gonzalez signings seemed to be interpreted as "we need a 2B" but I've thought all along that Bloom liked Arroyo for the job and those signings were about flexibility more than the one position. Unsurprisingly, Arroyo has seen the most starts at second thus far.
 

JimD

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I think you're way overstating the "average fan's" attachment to Matt Barnes. And I'm pretty sure that the owners and Bloom don't operate based on what sports radio says(see Betts, Price, JBJ, Benintendi, etc). Let's say that Sawamura/Whitlock/Ottavino are absolutely lighting it up in the 7th and 8th innings on a regular basis. Slide one of them to the 9th, get a haul for Barnes, and the vitriol is gone in a week. It's Matt freaking Barnes.
I'm not saying that it's likely, but I also think that just dismissing it outright is short-sided. Hell, it's probably just as likely as his continuing to pitch a this level
The average fan isn't going to have an attachment to Matt Barnes, but they're sure as hell going to be reminded of his absence if the bullpen starts blowing leads after he's been traded away.

I dunno, I guess I'm having a hard time imaging that this team that was trash a year ago is going to have so much surplus value that we can afford to send away valuable assets at the trading deadline *and* maintain a serious push for postseason contention. YMMV.
 

chawson

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One way that teams taking the Bloom approach to team-building surprise is when guys are given some playing time and suddenly "figure it out."

Christian Arroyo was on some top 100 prospects in baseball lists not that long ago, but he's never been able to get into a groove in the bigs. In 8 games played this year, he's played very good D and has only taken an 0-fer once. If he's a late bloomer, he could be a real find.
Arroyo’s been decent and belongs in the majors, but it’s a little unclear what his upside is in today’s game. He doesn’t stand out in any area and would make a better superutility guy if he batted from the left side (since infielders tend not to). He shouldn’t, imo, block Downs, and I’m struggling to find a comparable regular elsewhere in MLB. Orlando Arcia maybe? Donovan Solano seems like the absolute ceiling, but even his value seems tied up in a sky-high BABIP.

The fact we kept Chavis in the fold makes me think Arroyo is less likely to stick with us into his arb years (which begin in ‘22), but he’s acquitting himself nicely to a semi-regular role. He looks like a solid second piece in a trade we’d make with the Pirates or Rockies.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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I think you're way overstating the "average fan's" attachment to Matt Barnes. And I'm pretty sure that the owners and Bloom don't operate based on what sports radio says(see Betts, Price, JBJ, Benintendi, etc). Let's say that Sawamura/Whitlock/Ottavino are absolutely lighting it up in the 7th and 8th innings on a regular basis. Slide one of them to the 9th, get a haul for Barnes, and the vitriol is gone in a week. It's Matt freaking Barnes.
I'm not saying that it's likely, but I also think that just dismissing it outright is short-sided. Hell, it's probably just as likely as his continuing to pitch a this level
The problem with the scenario of trading a productive Barnes away from a contending team isn't what the fans would think, it's what the team would think. Sure, these guys are pros and they should be used to teammates moving; the business side of the game. But if you trade the successful closer (that's the scenario) from a contending team, the clubhouse is going to freak out. Maybe they'd pull it together and soldier on, but they may just as likely fall apart. Either way, it would be gross mismanagement.
Anyway, I'll get you those TPS reports ASAP, Lumbergh.
 

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The problem with the scenario of trading a productive Barnes away from a contending team isn't what the fans would think, it's what the team would think. Sure, these guys are pros and they should be used to teammates moving; the business side of the game. But if you trade the successful closer (that's the scenario) from a contending team, the clubhouse is going to freak out. Maybe they'd pull it together and soldier on, but they may just as likely fall apart. Either way, it would be gross mismanagement.
Anyway, I'll get you those TPS reports ASAP, Lumbergh.
I've taken this tangent far enough--too far--but it's really unlikely that they'll fall apart if other relievers are pitching great and appear ready to step in to the closer role. Are JDM, X, Raffy, Verdugo, etc really going to "freak out and fall apart" if the 8th inning guy is now the 9th inning guy? I just don't see it.

But back to the subject at hand...yes, this team is good. Very good.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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I've taken this tangent far enough--too far--but it's really unlikely that they'll fall apart if other relievers are pitching great and appear ready to step in to the closer role. Are JDM, X, Raffy, Verdugo, etc really going to "freak out and fall apart" if the 8th inning guy is now the 9th inning guy? I just don't see it.

But back to the subject at hand...yes, this team is good. Very good.
If you don't understand how a trade like that could torpedo team morale, I'm sure there's nothing I could say to make you understand. I'll leave it at this: these guys are human beings, not robots, not numbers in a spreadsheet. I'm not worried about Chaim Bloom understanding that.
 

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If you don't understand how a trade like that could torpedo team morale, I'm sure there's nothing I could say to make you understand. I'll leave it at this: these guys are human beings, not robots, not numbers in a spreadsheet. I'm not worried about Chaim Bloom understanding that.
Understanding it and letting that alter your decisions are different things. Bloom's previous team just came two games away from winning their first WS ever and proceeded to not pick up the $15M option on Morton and trade Snell for younger players, so there certainly is a scenario where he might trade a few months of Matt Barnes for a big price with BOS still in the thick of things, but that's still a few months away and I wouldn't worry about it either way for a while personally.
 

OurF'ingCity

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I'm just going to go on record here and say that if the Red Sox are realistically in the playoff picture come July, there is a zero percent chance they trade Barnes. Teams don't trade away key bullpen pieces when they have a realistic shot at making the playoffs. Maybe I could see the possibility of trading him if the Sox bullpen was absolutely loaded and Barnes was a luxury, but that's clearly not the case - even if he regresses somewhat he is going to be one of their top 3 bullpen guys. It's much more likely, if the Sox are in the hunt, that they trade for a bullpen arm.

The one exception to the above would be if Barnes was part of a larger trade where the Sox were getting back a good starter, or an upgrade in the lineup somewhere, or a package of players including a good bullpen guy who could essentially replicate or improve on Barnes' performance. But even then I'd be pretty skeptical of trading a key bullpen piece in the middle of a playoff run.

(Obviously, if the Sox are out of the playoff picture by then, it's an entirely different story. In that scenario, I think it would be exceedingly likely that Barnes is traded. The tricky part is going to be if the Sox are just on the cusp of being a realistic playoff contender and Bloom has to decide whether to be a seller, buyer, or some of both at the deadline.)
 
There's a ton of room for things to go wrong -- we've seen plenty of bad O's teams have a hot start and then fade quickly -- but I think it's worth noting that the Sox's performance thus far is not a luck mirage either. The Sox are exactly even with their pythagorean record (AL best, second in the majors behind the Dodgers) and with their BaseRuns record (Tied for first in AL and second in the majors with CHW).
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Understanding it and letting that alter your decisions are different things. Bloom's previous team just came two games away from winning their first WS ever and proceeded to not pick up the $15M option on Morton and trade Snell for younger players, so there certainly is a scenario where he might trade a few months of Matt Barnes for a big price with BOS still in the thick of things, but that's still a few months away and I wouldn't worry about it either way for a while personally.
Also wasn't done in the middle of the season.... Snell wasn't dealt at the deadline to acquire long term talent when they were clearly one of the best teams in the league chasing their first ever title. Even if Morton and whoever else was in their starting rotation that year were close to as good as Snell.... they were definitely not going to deal Snell. No way.
 

Sin Duda

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After the Baltimore sweep in the first series, if someone had bet us that the Sox would be 3 games clear of the entire AL East field, how many of us would have chosen 3 games behind the 4th place team vs. first place, 3 games up? I'd guess about 95%. his is one of the wonders of baseball. We'll see if they have staying power, but I'm bought in so long as they stay close to a playoff spot.
 

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For those commenting on Roenicke dealing with a bad pitching staff, obviously I would agree. However, I do believe he did not manage the bad staff very well. I can recall several head scratching decisions he made to remove or not remove pitchers who were either doing ok and had low pitch counts or were clearly gassed or ineffective.

Also, I don't think Ottavino was the right guy in the 7th in game 2 yesterday. If available, I'd have definitely gone with Barnes (tie game on the road closer rule). It left me wondering whether Cora made the call to go to him or it was made by whoever was deciding after Cora's ejection. BTW, terrible call which should be reviewable. It was obviously not a foul ball, not even close.

I think Cora was right to spend his ejection currency on the bad call. The plate umpire will be negatively reviewed for the entire incident and deservedly.
 

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Also, I don't think Ottavino was the right guy in the 7th in game 2 yesterday. If available, I'd have definitely gone with Barnes (tie game on the road closer rule). It left me wondering whether Cora made the call to go to him or it was made by whoever was deciding after Cora's ejection. BTW, terrible call which should be reviewable. It was obviously not a foul ball, not even close.
It was the 9th inning yesterday, and I got the impression over the course of the game that there was question of whether Barnes was available at all, having pitched the previous two days. I think whether we like it or not, Ottavino is still viewed by management as their #2 reliever (behind Barnes). He probably gets the call there whether Cora is making the decision or not.
 

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To those counting on Sale the second half of the year: don’t count on him. He’s currently throwing at 120-130 ft on flat ground. Most don’t expect him back until August and it usually takes 18 months to return to form. Anything they’d get from Sale this year is a bonus. 2022 is when we could see the old Sale.
Thank you for the modicum of reality here. Sale will not be a positive contributor to the 2021 Red Sox season. It just doesn't happen with guys coming back from UCL surgery. It takes at least 6 months after getting back into game action for pitchers to begin to approach their former capabilities and that's assuming there are no setbacks along the way.
 

Apisith

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Oct 19, 2007
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Bangkok
Two good comps are Syndegaard who had surgery 4 days before Sale, and Severino who had surgery one month before Sale. Syndegaard is throwing bullpens with a planned return date of June. Severino is throwing off the mound again and is also expected back in June. I don't think it's aggressive to expect Sale to be back by August. We're taking things conservatively with Sale but he should be able to ramp up before the playoffs.
 

RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
48,620
deep inside Guido territory
Two good comps are Syndegaard who had surgery 4 days before Sale, and Severino who had surgery one month before Sale. Syndegaard is throwing bullpens with a planned return date of June. Severino is throwing off the mound again and is also expected back in June. I don't think it's aggressive to expect Sale to be back by August. We're taking things conservatively with Sale but he should be able to ramp up before the playoffs.
He may be back pitching by the end of the season, but don't expect Chris Sale. It's reasonable to expect ace-like Sale in 2022, but not this year.
 

In my lifetime

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Dec 18, 2003
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I would expect Sale to return in late August, but in a reliever role for this season. And if he is 80% of his normal self he would be a huge "deadline" move to help the bullpen.
If the RS are not in contention, there is no point to push it at all and he should just continue rehabbing at a comfortable pace.
 

BornToRun

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Jun 4, 2011
14,233
I would expect Sale to return in late August, but in a reliever role for this season. And if he is 80% of his normal self he would be a huge "deadline" move to help the bullpen.
If the RS are not in contention, there is no point to push it at all and he should just continue rehabbing at a comfortable pace.
I’m gonna go ahead and imagine Sale as a roving relief ace in the playoffs. Maybe he’ll K Machado to finish off another World Series.
 

brandonchristensen

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Feb 4, 2012
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There’s definitely a confidence that they’ll win

Last year my assumption daily was that I’d check the box score and they’d have lost.

This year I watch the games and assume they’re going to win, even when losing.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Jul 23, 2005
11,122
I think it’s more pitching. Everyone they bring out is competent and has a strength. It’s shocking how deep the staff is.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
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I think it’s more pitching. Everyone they bring out is competent and has a strength. It’s shocking how deep the staff is.
Let's not get too carried away. They were lucky to get away with Pivetta's start today. It could have easily been 5-0 in the 2nd inning. Bullpen was good though.