Maybe the Red Sox are good?

greek_gawd_of_walks

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Are the Sox actually good? I don't know.

But they truly believe they are, and it shows, especially as contests reach the later innings. And I love that about them already. Are they able to keep the faith in themselves when they hit the skids during the marathon? Who knows. But right now, they believe they're going to beat whoever is in the opposite dugout. It starts with Cora IMO.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Are the Sox actually good? I don't know.

But they truly believe they are, and it shows, especially as contests reach the later innings. And I love that about them already. Are they able to keep the faith in themselves when they hit the skids during the marathon? Who knows. But right now, they believe they're going to beat whoever is in the opposite dugout. It starts with Cora IMO.
Yep. I loved Cora after 2018 but that’s because I loved everything about that season. I wasn’t sure whether he was a great manager or he just managed an historically great team. This year already has made me really believe he’s just a fantastic leader
 

Rasputin

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The fun thing is, it may be both
I think it is.

With the possible exception of Bobby Dalbec, we don't have any offensive scrubs and with the possible exception of Josh Taylor, that's probably true on the pitching side as well. Everybody's got weaknesses, but they've got strengths and they've got teammates whose strength covers their weakness. This strikes me as one of those teams where every spot in the rotation has a chance at a 100 ERA+ and every spot in the lineup has a chance at a 100 OPS+. They won't all make it, of course, but barring injuries, there's no black hole in the lineup, the rotation, or the bullpen.

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.
And one of these days it will be. We're gonna lose as many as 61 games this year, but we're gonna win a bunch, too. And right now, this team has to feel like there's no deficit they can't overcome and if that lasts through the season, we're gonna have a lot of fun.
 

voidfunkt

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It feels hard to believe this Sox team is this good, but maybe? We'll know more in two weeks.

I know I'm enjoying seeing the Sox on the top and the Yankees at the bottom of the standings for now.
 

grimshaw

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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.
Ya, I'm not so sure about Pivetta and Richards giving any sort of length against the Blue Jays and Yankees lineups, but Whitlock and Andriese seem like they can pick up some slack and Houck and/or Seabold are a short drive away. I was expecting a beastly lineup, but it has been that and more.
 

CaptainLaddie

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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.
Can't it be both?

The trade is looking like it isn't a totally devastating loss because Verdugo seems be pretty decent, and you can also think ownership decided to avoid paying the best player this franchise has developed since Yaz. I didn't blame Bloom for the trade, but it still sucked to move Mookie, and it's okay to grumble about that.

I'll also admit Bloom's other significant moves have worked out pretty well!
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I think it is.

With the possible exception of Bobby Dalbec, we don't have any offensive scrubs and with the possible exception of Josh Taylor, that's probably true on the pitching side as well. +



we're gonna have a lot of fun.
I’m a big Austin Brice guy, but he has shown nothing, and Garrett Richards isn’t impressing many folks, either, but I agree about the Fun.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I have to say I'm impressed with Arroyo... defensively he seems to be at least average as far as range goes, but has made some impressive plays and turns on the double play. Even though he has a SLG heavy OPS, he's getting it done. I have a hard time committing to him (because of that low BB%) but so far he has really made Bloom look good.

fake edit- eh.... I mean a .350 OBP with one BB and a .407 BABiP seems a candidate for regression. How much?
 

YTF

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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.
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 largely agree with both of you. Any contributions from Sale this season cannot come at the risk of unrealistic expectations. His return to the majors will likely be treated as an extension of his rehab, Initially he should be slotted into situations that will see him getting some sort of regular, but limited work. I think they will try to work him on some sort of regular schedule similar to what he might expect as a starter, get him into his customary, every five day routine. Depending on where the team is the last two months of the year as well as the status of the rest of the rotation, Sale could serve as either an opener or guy following the opener. This option might work well in a double header where the team can add an extra arm for one game or during a period where a scheduled day off might be lost due to having to play a makeup game. It might also be a nice option for stretching the rotation and getting other starters an extra day off between starts heading down the stretch if the roster can afford them that option.
 

Al Zarilla

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It feels hard to believe this Sox team is this good, but maybe? We'll know more in two weeks.

I know I'm enjoying seeing the Sox on the top and the Yankees at the bottom of the standings for now.
Yankees got booed off the field today when the clock struck three outs in the bottom of the ninth. And it was pretty loud.
 

Rasputin

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I’m a big Austin Brice guy, but he has shown nothing, and Garrett Richards isn’t impressing many folks, either, but I agree about the Fun.
I had forgotten that Austin Brice existed and I'd like to request the ability to go back to that particular ignorance.
 

jose melendez

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Can't it be both?

The trade is looking like it isn't a totally devastating loss because Verdugo seems be pretty decent, and you can also think ownership decided to avoid paying the best player this franchise has developed since Yaz. I didn't blame Bloom for the trade, but it still sucked to move Mookie, and it's okay to grumble about that.

I'll also admit Bloom's other significant moves have worked out pretty well!
I will fully judge it when they open the vault for a player--which they will in the next five years or so, and he's a lot more Bryce Harper than Mookie Betts.
 

voidfunkt

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Okay, I really do not like the 7 inning double header games. I can buy into a lot of the rule changes at some level, but what is the rationale for this one?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Okay, I really do not like the 7 inning double header games. I can buy into a lot of the rule changes at some level, but what is the rationale for this one?
Saving wear and tear on pitchers. They expected more need for double headers than usual due to potential COVID related postponements (just like last year). Covering 14 innings in one day is easier than 18, and does less to disrupt rosters and strain depth.

This should not last past this season.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Saving wear and tear on pitchers. They expected more need for double headers than usual due to potential COVID related postponements (just like last year). Covering 14 innings in one day is easier than 18, and does less to disrupt rosters and strain depth.

This should not last past this season.
I hope not.

they added the 26th roster spot for saving pitchers, and I think every team added a pitcher
you get a 27th for doubleheaders
teams can send guys down and activate guys from the alternative site in between games,

they don’t HAVE to shorten the games, too.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I hope not.

they added the 26th roster spot for saving pitchers, and I think every team added a pitcher
you get a 27th for doubleheaders
teams can send guys down and activate guys from the alternative site in between games,

they don’t HAVE to shorten the games, too.
Agreed. I think unless they plan to intentionally schedule more double headers going forward, the 7 inning games will certainly be done away with after this season. All those measures you mention are fine for the occasional double header prompted by a weather postponement. That happens, what, 2-3 times a season on average? COVID causing teams to postpone multiple games in a row (Nats and Twins already this season) shouldn't be a thing in 2022 and beyond. Therefore neither should 7 inning games.
 

bosockboy

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If they stay competitive into early summer they will have to look at acquiring a starter. In Perez, Pivetta, and Richards they have essentially 3 #5 starters. Expecting all 3 to get you to the finish line seems like wishful thinking.

Sale will help with a few of the innings but a solid #2 or #3 type starter should top the priority list.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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If they stay competitive into early summer they will have to look at acquiring a starter. In Perez, Pivetta, and Richards they have essentially 3 #5 starters. Expecting all 3 to get you to the finish line seems like wishful thinking.

Sale will help with a few of the innings but a solid #2 or #3 type starter should top the priority list.
I think it's a little too soon to start calling any of those guys "#5's".
Pivetta had a rough game but otherwise has been quite good. Richards had a horrible first game and has been decent since. Perez has been fine...
I don't know if ERod and Eovaldi would be enough to carry a team through the playoffs. But adding Sale (and I'm confident in assuming he'll be able to build up to 5 innings by playoff time) and Pivetta as a "no. 4" in the playoffs... along with a deep bullpen and I think it could do okay.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think it's a little too soon to start calling any of those guys "#5's".
Pivetta had a rough game but otherwise has been quite good. Richards had a horrible first game and has been decent since. Perez has been fine...
I don't know if ERod and Eovaldi would be enough to carry a team through the playoffs. But adding Sale (and I'm confident in assuming he'll be able to build up to 5 innings by playoff time) and Pivetta as a "no. 4" in the playoffs... along with a deep bullpen and I think it could do okay.
Then there are those youngsters in Worcester who have looked promising.

Independent of trying to label pitchers as #2s or #4s or #5s, whether the Sox add a starting pitcher later on in the season (assuming they're in contention and therefore buyers at the deadline) will come down to who is available and the asking price. I don't imagine they're going to break the bank acquiring anyone short of an ace-level guy with a couple years of team control left (a unicorn, really). If they can get someone who can give them reliable quality starts for a prospect package that doesn't include anyone in their top 15-20, I bet Bloom pulls the trigger. I'm anticipating more of a Paul Byrd type pick-up than a Jake Peavy or Nate Eovaldi type pick-up.
 

chawson

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If they stay competitive into early summer they will have to look at acquiring a starter. In Perez, Pivetta, and Richards they have essentially 3 #5 starters. Expecting all 3 to get you to the finish line seems like wishful thinking.

Sale will help with a few of the innings but a solid #2 or #3 type starter should top the priority list.
I think you’re right, though I also don’t see Bloom spending trade assets on a rental. I’m expecting a strong sellers’ market for arms this summer with everyone’s innings limits being so weird, especially if a would-be seller or two (like SEA, KC, CIN...or us) sneaks into contention.

Colorado should already be on speed dial for their obvious targets, but if I’m trying to reverse-engineer a deal, I’d look at pitchers on teams who’d be most likely to appreciate Christian Arroyo.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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I think it's a little too soon to start calling any of those guys "#5's".
Pivetta had a rough game but otherwise has been quite good. Richards had a horrible first game and has been decent since. Perez has been fine...
I don't know if ERod and Eovaldi would be enough to carry a team through the playoffs. But adding Sale (and I'm confident in assuming he'll be able to build up to 5 innings by playoff time) and Pivetta as a "no. 4" in the playoffs... along with a deep bullpen and I think it could do okay.
Pivetta has 11 walks in 14 innings. That's quite good? And those walks were spaced out across his three starts, not just in one rough outing. He was very lucky that Saturday didn't turn into "a rough game."
 

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Pivetta has 11 walks in 14 innings. That's quite good? And those walks were spaced out across his three starts, not just in one rough outing. He was very lucky that Saturday didn't turn into "a rough game."
It's reasonable to assume that he won't continue walking hitters at that pace all year. That's 6.8 BB/9 when he's a career 3.5 (3.2 in the minors). He's done a good job working around them for the most part. There's more to be optimistic about with him than not.
 

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I love the fact they that are (currently) playing highly competitive baseball, and they've been really fun to watch. But in terms of acquiring someone like Rizzo this summer, I would hate to be in that in-between stage of "maybe good enough to go for it" at the trade deadline. I wouldn't want to effectively pause the rebuild by trading prospects for the kind of playoff run where you're just as likely to get bounced in the first round. Yes, I know, once you're in October anything can happen. This is all a very nice conversation to have, especially because few serious fans were considering this team a playoff contender and had been planning on Boom cleaning out useful individual pieces in July for additional prospect restocking.
 

bosockboy

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I love the fact they that are (currently) playing highly competitive baseball, and they've been really fun to watch. But in terms of acquiring someone like Rizzo this summer, I would hate to be in that in-between stage of "maybe good enough to go for it" at the trade deadline. I wouldn't want to effectively pause the rebuild by trading prospects for the kind of playoff run where you're just as likely to get bounced in the first round. Yes, I know, once you're in October anything can happen. This is all a very nice conversation to have, especially because few serious fans were considering this team a playoff contender and had been planning on Boom cleaning out useful individual pieces in July for additional prospect restocking.
I agree, but wouldn’t think Rizzo trade would necessarily break the prospect bank for 2-3 months of him.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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This team sort of reminds me of 2013, in a sense that I expected nothing and so far they have been very entertaining to watch and have actually played well and are winning games against tough teams.

Not saying they are a WS contender - but you never know especially if Sale comes back healthy this summer and they can add another piece.
 

jmcc5400

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I was watching an interview with Cora the other day, and he was talking about the additions. "Hunter, he played in a World Series last year. Kike too. Marwin won in Houston. . ."

Then, obviously, you've got Vazquez, Devers, JD, and X as holdovers from 2018.

Even Verdugo played for very good Dodger teams in 2018 and 2019, though he didn't play in the postseason.

These guys have been in winning environments. They are used to winning. They expect to win. Cora expects to win too. Confidence and attitude are really important in a sport that can sow doubt like no other.
 

chawson

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I agree, but wouldn’t think Rizzo trade would necessarily break the prospect bank for 2-3 months of him.
A Rizzo deal would be fun, but he (and Brandon Belt) would be cash-expensive. Unless there’s several guys on our roster involved, a July 31 deal for Rizzo probably doesn’t keep us under the luxury tax threshold if the Cubs don’t chip money in.

I’m interested to see what Danny Santana can do, and expect we’ll see him in Boston soon. He can opt out of his contract April 30.
 

bosockboy

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A Rizzo deal would be fun, but he (and Brandon Belt) would be cash-expensive. Unless there’s several guys on our roster involved, a July 31 deal for Rizzo probably doesn’t keep us under the luxury tax threshold if the Cubs don’t chip money in.

I’m interested to see what Danny Santana can do, and expect we’ll see him in Boston soon. He can opt out of his contract April 30.
All good points. Regarding the tax, if we have a legit team in July and very capable of a deep playoff run, I think Henry would go over.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Something really encouraging is that they’re playing extremely well without any obvious candidates to regress in a huge way. These are the indivisible OPS numbers:

Kiké .76
Dugie .882
JD 1.239
Devers .905
Vazquez .826
Marwin .643
Renfroe .522
Franchy .666
Dalbec .592
X .927
Arroyo .824
Plawecki .586

Other than JD, I don’t see anyone who I expect to fall too far. I doubt the Christians will keep up their performance, but I don’t expect them to fall below .750 or anything. And it’s easy to see how Marwin, Hunter, Franchy, and Bobby are candidates to improve pretty significantly.

it’s the same for the rotation. Here’s the ERAs

Eovaldi 3.04
Perez 5.93
Pivetta 3.68
Richards 6.00
Edro 3.60
Houck 4.35

None of them have been insanely dominant. Probably we don’t expect Eovaldi to post a 3.04 for the season, but it’s not like they’ve been winning because of him putting up a sub-2 ERA. And I’d expect Perez and Richards to do better, even if they won’t be amazing.

Maybe I’m wrong and others here expect lots more regression, but from what I can tell the team is 11-6 and there’s no reason to think they’ve been outperforming their true talent level
 

azsoxpatsfan

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I would think the high road BABIP (https://www.teamrankings.com/mlb/stat/batting-average-on-balls-in-play?date=2021-04-19), 6-1 road record, and small sample size would be pretty good evidence to suggest there will be regression.
The Sox have the highest BABIP, but it’s not a crazy number, it’s .333. They also haven’t finished out of the top 3 in BABIP since 2017. Good offenses are typically going to have higher BABIPs, so I don’t think there’s reason to expect lots of regression, and I also don’t think home vs road BABIP is a meaningful difference. Small sample size is a reason to expect regression if a guy is batting .400, but there’s no reason to expect normal numbers (like a team average of .277) to regress just because it’s a small sample. As for the 6-1 road record, sure they won’t play that well on the road all year, but they prob will also play better than .500 at home (5-5 currently)
 

JimD

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Given that the Sox have played 11 out of their 17 games this far against (what should be) three contending clubs in Tampa, Minnesota and Chicago, I'd have probably expected an 8-9 record right now, 9-8 at best. I'm thrilled that they are actually 11-6 and have banked 2 to 3 extra wins.

I expected them to be in wild-card contention into September and I'm sticking with that - I need to see them keep this up into the summer before I'll dream of a division title. The Yankees and Rays aren't going away this easily.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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They're probably going to need a Steve Pearce or Moreland type if Dalbec and/or Chavis continue to flail.
In the big picture, Dalbec hasn't been hurting the team. I don't know what his future is, but he needs more time to play, more time to see ML quality pitchers that know his weaknesses and more time on the field. If he can adjust, he should be a plus defensive 1B (since he supposedly has a good defensive pedigree at 3B) with a chance to at least put up a SLG'ing heavy .800OPS.
I suspect he'll get there, but the Sox are in a good position right now to move forward patiently with him.
As far as becoming a playoff contender that could go deep though... yeah. There's an issue there if he doesn't start showing improvement by mid July to be counted on to at least work a BB in a tight close and crucial game in September.
 

BaseballJones

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Dalbec appears to be an excellent fielder at first base. He's rangy and has soft hands and has already made some remarkable plays. We all want to see him hit, but his glove seems to be enough to give him extra leeway in terms of getting things figured out at the plate. We know he has prodigious power.
 

A Bad Man

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Need more PA for all of those guys (Renfroe/Cordero/Dalbec). Season is still so very young.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Regarding Dalbec, there’s an outside chance that Casas may be ready for some ML time by end of summer. They probably don’t want to give up too much for that position.
 

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Dalbec appears to be an excellent fielder at first base. He's rangy and has soft hands and has already made some remarkable plays. We all want to see him hit, but his glove seems to be enough to give him extra leeway in terms of getting things figured out at the plate. We know he has prodigious power.
His only weakness at 1st so far, at least to my eyes, is around the bag. Fielding throws, holding runners on, etc. He still looks a bit out of place doing those things. There have been a couple plays where the throws weren't great but a seasoned first baseman scoops them without trouble. He's also backed off and let a couple throws bounce up near his chest rather than stretching out and picking the ball on a short hop well out in front of his body, and those are precious milliseconds that allows runners to beat the throw.

That's stuff that can be fixed with experience and more work, so I'm not too worried about it.
 

sean1562

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I am happy that the Red Sox are playing well and we may be in contention in September. But does anyone else hope they don't trade any prospects or accelerate any top minor leaguers like Casas hoping for a deep playoff run? Sure a WS win would be amazing but I have serious doubts that this roster, even with marginal deadline improvements, can compete in a 7 game series with the Dodgers. I know the playoffs are a crapshoot but that roster is stacked.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I am happy that the Red Sox are playing well and we may be in contention in September. But does anyone else hope they don't trade any prospects or accelerate any top minor leaguers like Casas hoping for a deep playoff run? Sure a WS win would be amazing but I have serious doubts that this roster, even with marginal deadline improvements, can compete in a 7 game series with the Dodgers. I know the playoffs are a crapshoot but that roster is stacked.
No. I'm happy to trade Casas for this year's Chris Sale or to fill whatever hole there is that results in a World Series Championship.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I am happy that the Red Sox are playing well and we may be in contention in September. But does anyone else hope they don't trade any prospects or accelerate any top minor leaguers like Casas hoping for a deep playoff run? Sure a WS win would be amazing but I have serious doubts that this roster, even with marginal deadline improvements, can compete in a 7 game series with the Dodgers. I know the playoffs are a crapshoot but that roster is stacked.
I don't know if I'd call it hoping for that, but I fully expect that Bloom won't deviate from his long term plan to go for it all at the deadline this season. He won't trade or rush any of their top prospects based on how the team is doing in July or the potential in October. It would have to be a blockbuster, can't pass up on it kind of trade to move anyone in the top 10-15 in the system this year...like the Dodgers inexplicably offering Walker Bueller or Julio Urias for Seabold or something.
 

snowmanny

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I think it's a little too soon to start calling any of those guys "#5's".
Pivetta had a rough game but otherwise has been quite good. Richards had a horrible first game and has been decent since. Perez has been fine...
I don't know if ERod and Eovaldi would be enough to carry a team through the playoffs. But adding Sale (and I'm confident in assuming he'll be able to build up to 5 innings by playoff time) and Pivetta as a "no. 4" in the playoffs... along with a deep bullpen and I think it could do okay.
Historically Perez, Richards and Pivetta have ranged from not very good to not good at all. If all of them happen to figure something out this year - or if even one of them happens to figure something out this year - that’s tremendous, but your confidence is greater than mine.
 

bosockboy

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I am happy that the Red Sox are playing well and we may be in contention in September. But does anyone else hope they don't trade any prospects or accelerate any top minor leaguers like Casas hoping for a deep playoff run? Sure a WS win would be amazing but I have serious doubts that this roster, even with marginal deadline improvements, can compete in a 7 game series with the Dodgers. I know the playoffs are a crapshoot but that roster is stacked.
No realistic scenario where Casas is traded. We’d maybe deal someone in the 10-15 range if they fe we can make a deep playoff run.
 

joe dokes

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Historically Perez, Richards and Pivetta have ranged from not very good to not good at all. If all of them happen to figure something out this year - or if even one of them happens to figure something out this year - that’s tremendous, but your confidence is greater than mine.
The quick-and-dirty contention math for me is for the team to be slighty above .500 (in the aggregate, not all three) in games started by those three and more significantly over .500 in games started by ERod and Eovaldi. Its obviously not this easy, but if 3 of the 5 starters give them a chance to win each time through, the games will matter in September.