Nathan Eovaldi to close

YTF

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If the bullpen is the spot for him, the closer role is probably the best use for him. If he's used in the traditional closer role he'll only be used in save situations (at least at first) and more likely to be used 3 times a week rather than perhaps 5 times. They need someone to help bolster the pen and if they are not going to bring in someone for the outside, this might be the best short term solution. Nothing says that he can't transition back in to being a starter, but this could be a short term fix to address the bullpen needs while bringing Eovaldi back slowly. Ultimately I would like to see him back in the rotation as there is a real need there as well, but is there any real harm in bringing him along slowly in this type of controlled atmosphere? As for the money, yeah 17 million for a closer is a lot, especially for one who is unproven in the role, but that is not how there intended to spend the money and the payroll is what it is so it's pretty much a moot point. You put the players on the roster where you feel they have the best opportunity to contribute to the team. The team payroll is 246 million, that's not going away so the question is do you let a certain player's salary prevent you from using him where you feel he's needed the most/where he might slot in the best coming off an injury? How much were they paying Hanley when they DFAed him? And why was he DFAed? Because that where he was needed the most.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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It's funny everyone here forgets Jonathan Papelpon and his injuries. Pitching in the bullpen can actually be better for your heatlh.
Papelbon CHOSE to pitch in the bullpen. After his shoulder sublixation in 2006 (which occurred at the end of a year as a closer), they wanted to move him to the rotation in part to better protect his shoulder. He said he preferred to close, so they worked around his issue and babied him a bit at the start of 2007. Clearly his shoulder injury wasn't lingering or detrimental, but I don't think we have any evidence that he benefited from closing rather than starting.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Papelbon CHOSE to pitch in the bullpen. After his shoulder sublixation in 2006 (which occurred at the end of a year as a closer), they wanted to move him to the rotation in part to better protect his shoulder. He said he preferred to close, so they worked around his issue and babied him a bit at the start of 2007. Clearly his shoulder injury wasn't lingering or detrimental, but I don't think we have any evidence that he benefited from closing rather than starting.
Is there any evidence suggesting bullpen arms are more likely to be injured than starters? Or vice versa? A quick google search just tells me bullpens are the "in thing."
 

johnnywayback

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This actually strikes me as a bit of a punt on the season. It takes the immediate pressure off to trade for a reliever, which makes sense only if you don't think you're ever going to be buying -- i.e., if you thought this was a playoff team, you would make a move right now instead of waiting for July 31. And it has the effect of minimizing Eovaldi's innings -- again, if you thought this was a playoff team, you'd want him pitching as many innings as his arm could handle, which would mean putting him in the rotation.
 

BaseballJones

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Let's be perfectly honest: none of us has any inside info on what's really going on with Cora, DD, or Eovaldi. None of us knows about Eovaldi's health, or what's the best move for him going forward. None of us knows...anything. It's easy to say this is a good or bad move (upthread I offered my own opinion, so I'm not exempt), but none of us knows a damned thing about really what the deal is or why they're making this decision.
 

Al Zarilla

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Both sides of the argument have been expressed here, mostly negative. Henry is apparently standing firm on the luxury tax thing. Hey, he’s the boss, and we had no World Series titles in forever until he bought the team. There’ve been four, infinitely better. I’m not going to pick at his decisions, like I wouldn’t pick at Bob Kraft’s. Well, one with Kraft but it wasn’t team related.

I will pick at the author Caron though. it’s not bullpen by committee in the context of the article, it’s closer by committee. Yeesh.
 

Harry Hooper

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This actually strikes me as a bit of a punt on the season. It takes the immediate pressure off to trade for a reliever, which makes sense only if you don't think you're ever going to be buying -- i.e., if you thought this was a playoff team, you would make a move right now instead of waiting for July 31. And it has the effect of minimizing Eovaldi's innings -- again, if you thought this was a playoff team, you'd want him pitching as many innings as his arm could handle, which would mean putting him in the rotation.
If the Sox were punting on the season, Eovaldi would be doing a full rehab and coming back as a starter.

Given so many teams on the "tanking" track this season, there's a very good chance relief arms will be quite available near the deadline. Teams going nowhere can lop off salary $ by shedding relievers without demanding huge return in trade. The marketplace may not actually develop that way, but it's a decent bet. There's only one trade deadline for the first time.

The pen gets Eovaldi, just returned Wright, and a soon returning Hembree to muddle through for a few weeks. Getting more out of the starting rotation' (including a viable 5th starter) is the bigger pitching staff challenge right now.
 
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BaseballJones

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Well, Wright could be the 5th starter if he gets ramped up. Probably wouldn't take him long. Sale, Price, Porcello, ERod, Wright? With a bullpen of Barnes, Eovaldi, Hembree, Workman, Brasier, Brewer, and Walden? Eh...I'd still like another dynamic bullpen arm but that *ought* to be sufficient.
 

DanoooME

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If the bullpen is the spot for him, the closer role is probably the best use for him. If he's used in the traditional closer role he'll only be used in save situations (at least at first) and more likely to be used 3 times a week rather than perhaps 5 times. They need someone to help bolster the pen and if they are not going to bring in someone for the outside, this might be the best short term solution. Nothing says that he can't transition back in to being a starter, but this could be a short term fix to address the bullpen needs while bringing Eovaldi back slowly. Ultimately I would like to see him back in the rotation as there is a real need there as well, but is there any real harm in bringing him along slowly in this type of controlled atmosphere? As for the money, yeah 17 million for a closer is a lot, especially for one who is unproven in the role, but that is not how there intended to spend the money and the payroll is what it is so it's pretty much a moot point. You put the players on the roster where you feel they have the best opportunity to contribute to the team. The team payroll is 246 million, that's not going away so the question is do you let a certain player's salary prevent you from using him where you feel he's needed the most/where he might slot in the best coming off an injury? How much were they paying Hanley when they DFAed him? And why was he DFAed? Because that where he was needed the most.
The problem becomes that if you wanted to put him back in the rotation, how does he get stretched out to do so as a closer? They'd almost have to put him back in middle relief for extended outings and stretch him that way, but then he can't close. He could also be put on the IL with Hellenic Flu or an arm owie, but then you lose him for 10 days AND a 2-3 start build up in Pawtucket.

If he's going to close, it's going to be for the rest of this season unless they completely fall out of the race.
 

Mystic Merlin

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This doesn’t make sense unless you’re betting on John Q 5th starter and a bullpen with Eovaldi as closer to provide more value than Eovaldi as the 5th starter. I’m having trouble getting there absent an ownership mandate not to add more payroll.
 

Danny_Darwin

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Well, Wright could be the 5th starter if he gets ramped up. Probably wouldn't take him long. Sale, Price, Porcello, ERod, Wright? With a bullpen of Barnes, Eovaldi, Hembree, Workman, Brasier, Brewer, and Walden? Eh...I'd still like another dynamic bullpen arm but that *ought* to be sufficient.
I dunno, the idea that Wright is somehow more reliable in terms of health than Eovaldi (or, let's be honest, anyone) seems like a stretch at best.
 

BaseballJones

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This doesn’t make sense unless you’re betting on John Q 5th starter and a bullpen with Eovaldi as closer to provide more value than Eovaldi as the 5th starter. I’m having trouble getting there absent an ownership mandate not to add more payroll.
Well, maybe it's as simple as that. Maybe they are under strict budget constraints, and this is what they collectively came up with as the best strategy going forward given those constraints.
 

Ale Xander

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Well, Wright could be the 5th starter if he gets ramped up. Probably wouldn't take him long. Sale, Price, Porcello, ERod, Wright? With a bullpen of Barnes, Eovaldi, Hembree, Workman, Brasier, Brewer, and Walden? Eh...I'd still like another dynamic bullpen arm but that *ought* to be sufficient.
That makes a lot of sense since you don't need 5 starters in the playoffs. (Wright's suspension).

Frankly, I think Henry talking about the luxury tax is just posturing/negotiating.

We'll know more in 30 days.
 

j44thor

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Don't see much upside to this move and a tremendous amount of downside. Eovaldi was on record saying many teams reached out to him in FA to become a closer but he viewed himself as a starter and also felt that is what was best for his body.

Now they are going to put him into an unfamiliar role he doesn't want to be in why? Because he throws hard?
A lot of failed starters turned relievers have success because they get a significant uptick in FB velocity in 1 inning vs 6-7. That isn't the case with Eovaldi, he throws nearly as fast pitch 90 as he does pitch 1. He also is unlikely to see any uptick in velo since he already throws high 90s consistently. If he does throw any harder thoughts and prayers to his elbow.
 

Coachster

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Only possible upside (and it's a small one) is three of our four top bullpen guys average 6.3, 6.1 and 4.7 walks per 9. (Hembree was at 3.8) Eovaldi was at 1.6 BB9 last season. The possibility of the closer not putting guys on base for nothing isn't a terrible concept.
 

Humphrey

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I think the biggest issue with a reliever is warming up and sitting down, not coming in, then having to come in, that sort of thing. With a closer on the road, you either pitch the bottom of the last inning when you are ahead or you don't. At home, it's the top of the 9th or maybe in a tie, the top of some other inning; but either way it's also planned out.

Of course, this all goes down the chute if Eovaldi turns out to be one of those guys that takes a long time to warm up.
 

Delicious Sponge

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Separate from what they should have done in the offseason - and I agree with the prior posts on how they could have spent $17M - if what they need is 2 or more new strong bullpen arms, putting Eovaldi out there helps a lot. They can now trade for someone who doesn’t need to step in and think he needs to be the bullpen savior. With Wright out there adding depth it will also take the workload off the other guys.

Under the circumstances this seems like a smart move even if it’s not how you’d have wanted it to be back in March.
 

donutogre

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Separate from what they should have done in the offseason - and I agree with the prior posts on how they could have spent $17M - if what they need is 2 or more new strong bullpen arms, putting Eovaldi out there helps a lot. They can now trade for someone who doesn’t need to step in and think he needs to be the bullpen savior. With Wright out there adding depth it will also take the workload off the other guys.

Under the circumstances this seems like a smart move even if it’s not how you’d have wanted it to be back in March.
That's where I'm at. While Eovaldi being the closer doesn't mean that the Sox won't blow saves in the 7th / 8th necessarily, it does lengthen the pen and eat up some innings. Maybe everyone else doesn't have to pitch quite as many high-leverage innings as they have. Wright also makes that easier. It's not a stretch to say that adding another good arm to the pen makes things easier for everyone else.

Of course, that all hinges upon Eovaldi being healthy and up to the task, which still remains to be seen. But the Sox obviously know more about his health than we do, and I think that if this was going to be harmful or detrimental, they'd want to protect their investment and not do it.
 

YTF

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Another thing that the Sox brass might be thinking is that in certain situations you might be able to kill two birds with one stone and bring Eovaldi into the game in a high leverage situation in the eighth inning and get five or six outs from him where you might not want to do that with a more traditional closer.
 

scottyno

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Is there a reason everyone seems to think not going over the luxury tax is about being cheap and not about the draft penalties that would hurt an already very weak farm system? They need every chance at new young talent in the system going forward they can get and they've shown no issues with eating large amounts of dead money when it doesn't hurt the product on the field (castillo, craig)
 

E5 Yaz

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Is there a reason everyone seems to think not going over the luxury tax is about being cheap and not about the draft penalties that would hurt an already very weak farm system?
Because "being cheap" is the easy, knee jerk reaction that dominates these threads, while the draft considerations take ... you know ... time spent thinking
 

JimD

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I'm not about to suggest that this is all posturing to improve DD's leverage in upcoming trade negotiations, but it is certainly a nice side benefit.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Is there any evidence suggesting bullpen arms are more likely to be injured than starters? Or vice versa? A quick google search just tells me bullpens are the "in thing."
I wasn't trying to say that bullpen arms are more likely to get injured. Only that relieving can be more stressful on the arm than the routine of starting. And that if a pitcher needs a day or two to recover from an outing, I'd rather it be a starter taking 3-4 days off recovering from throwing 80-100 pitches than a reliever being unavailable for a day or two after throwing less than 30 pitches.

If this were mid/late August or September and the choice was take 2-3 weeks to ramp up Eovaldi to starter pitch counts or give him less than a week of rehab so he could jump into the bullpen, the bullpen might be the obvious choice (See David Price in 2017). But it's July 2. There's enough time to ramp him up to starters' pitch counts and get two months of starts out of him. Two months of him starting will eat more innings and take more stress off the bullpen than having him close 2-3 days a week. If they don't feel he's up to throwing starter's pitch counts because of his elbow, that doesn't make me confident he's going to hold up in the bullpen, even if they're selective in how he's used.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Is there a reason everyone seems to think not going over the luxury tax is about being cheap and not about the draft penalties that would hurt an already very weak farm system? They need every chance at new young talent in the system going forward they can get and they've shown no issues with eating large amounts of dead money when it doesn't hurt the product on the field (castillo, craig)
Is there a reason to believe even if they were ready and willing to blow by the luxury tax, that they have the pieces to trade for an impact arm, given how very weak it already is?

Maybe someone will trade DD a Brad Ziegler clone for CJ Chatham.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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If they want to use him as a Radatz-style closer, going out there for 3 innings, I think it's probably a good way to get him back into starting shape.

If they're going to have him come in and throw 15 pitches in a game night after night, I don't think it's a good idea.

You have to have a lead in the 9th to earn the save anyway, so how often will he really be coming into a save situation with this bullpen? I suspect he'll be trying to hold the line to force extras after Brasier, Barnes, Workman, Walden, Brewer, or whomever coughs up the lead in the 7th or 8th.

This entire season has been Keystone Kops so why not one more questionable decision with a high risk of blowing up in their face?
 

AB in DC

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How long would it take in rehab to get him ready to be a starter? If the debate is 3 months as closer vs. 2 months as starter, then the move makes a lot of sense. But if he'd otherwise be ready to start shortly after the ASB, that's different.


I'm not about to suggest that this is all posturing to improve DD's leverage in upcoming trade negotiations, but it is certainly a nice side benefit.
Another side benefit is being able to see just what you can get out of Eovaldi before the trade deadline.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If they want to use him as a Radatz-style closer, going out there for 3 innings, I think it's probably a good way to get him back into starting shape.

If they're going to have him come in and throw 15 pitches in a game night after night, I don't think it's a good idea.

You have to have a lead in the 9th to earn the save anyway, so how often will he really be coming into a save situation with this bullpen? I suspect he'll be trying to hold the line to force extras after Brasier, Barnes, Workman, Walden, Brewer, or whomever coughs up the lead in the 7th or 8th.

This entire season has been Keystone Kops so why not one more questionable decision with a high risk of blowing up in their face?
If he could throw 3 innings at a go as soon as he came off the IL, all it would take is one more rehab start and he'd be at 5 innings and he'd be ready for the rotation. Shit, if he could throw three innings at a go, they'd just put him in the rotation and treat him as an "opener" the same way they've already deployed lesser talent like Velazquez and Weber. I don't think there's a chance in hell they're envisioning a "Radatz-style" closer role here. If they're calling him the closer, it's in the modern traditional sense like they used Kimbrel last year.
 

nvalvo

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I'm not about to suggest that this is all posturing to improve DD's leverage in upcoming trade negotiations, but it is certainly a nice side benefit.
This is what I'm hoping, because this move suggests panic. You don't want to be talking to Farhan Zaidi while everyone knows you desperately need relief help.

I don't blame DD too much, though. At some point you have to take your guys who have succeeded in the minors and see what you have. Unfortunately, only Walden really seems useful from that group.
 

Max Power

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If they want to use him as a Radatz-style closer, going out there for 3 innings, I think it's probably a good way to get him back into starting shape.

If they're going to have him come in and throw 15 pitches in a game night after night, I don't think it's a good idea.

You have to have a lead in the 9th to earn the save anyway, so how often will he really be coming into a save situation with this bullpen? I suspect he'll be trying to hold the line to force extras after Brasier, Barnes, Workman, Walden, Brewer, or whomever coughs up the lead in the 7th or 8th.

This entire season has been Keystone Kops so why not one more questionable decision with a high risk of blowing up in their face?
Exactly. This would work better if he were being used as a finisher rather than a closer. He can start out by coming into three games a week to pitch the last inning, then transitions to every three days for the last two innings, then twice a week for the last three innings, all regardless of the score. You get someone helping the pen and stretching out to be a starter at the same time. Using him as a traditional closer and bringing him every time there's a lead to be protected in the 9th is a recipe for another trip to the DL.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Did he mean trading him? There's a benefit to seeing what Eovaldi has before the trade deadline. If he looks good, it's 1 less arm they'd have to acquire.
If he looks good, wouldn't they rather be getting 6-10 innings per week out of him in a starting role than 3-4 per week as a closer?

I'll buy the posturing for the sake of trade negotiations, but I would think healthy Eovaldi helps that no matter what role he's in. If he's starting and the best deal they can make is for another starter, shifting him to the bullpen then isn't as difficult as him relieving and needing to move him back to the rotation because their best trade acquisition is a reliever. If it's a matter of seeing "what he has" I'd rather see if he has anything in the most impactful role possible first, and that is as a starter.
 

Cesar Crespo

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If he looks good, wouldn't they rather be getting 6-10 innings per week out of him in a starting role than 3-4 per week as a closer?

I'll buy the posturing for the sake of trade negotiations, but I would think healthy Eovaldi helps that no matter what role he's in. If he's starting and the best deal they can make is for another starter, shifting him to the bullpen then isn't as difficult as him relieving and needing to move him back to the rotation because their best trade acquisition is a reliever. If it's a matter of seeing "what he has" I'd rather see if he has anything in the most impactful role possible first, and that is as a starter.
Sure, I just meant that seeing him pitch at all is actually beneficial. That's why I said arm and not starter or reliever.

edit: I don't like the move but I didn't like the signing either.
 

mfried

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Well, Wright could be the 5th starter if he gets ramped up. Probably wouldn't take him long. Sale, Price, Porcello, ERod, Wright? With a bullpen of Barnes, Eovaldi, Hembree, Workman, Brasier, Brewer, and Walden? Eh...I'd still like another dynamic bullpen arm but that *ought* to be sufficient.
Wright is the elephant in the room. He could play any starting or relief role. The key is strain on his knee - same situation as Pedey. Whatever role endangers his knee least is the right one. I would pick him and Workman as the two bullpen people I would most enjoy watching.
 

JBJ_HOF

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The Red Sox already said that Wright's knee does not allow him to start
 
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I've been a baseball fan for a long time and have heard, "Bullpen by committee" several times and it never seems to work out. Logically, an inning is an inning and I don't believe there is such a thing as clutch hitting, but some talented pitchers really seem to crater in the 9th. Here is an analysis by Bill James about the importance if having a good closer for WS winners:


As for Eovaldi, I don't believe there is much to lose by using him as a closer. Over his career, he has lost signicant time to injury and really hasn't been all that effective as he has a career total WAR of 9.5 for 152 starts.

I couldn't find any analysis comparing likelihood of injuries between starters and relievers, but the current IL list includes 74 RPs and 65 SPs. Assuming 5 SPs and 8 RPs per team, the percentage for SPs is 39% higher.
 

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Well, he certainly won't need to close when the 5th starter comes up in the rotation. The way things are going, perhaps not even for 3 & 4. They may end up pitching him in the ninth once or twice a week.
 

LesterFan

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Alex Speier @alexspeier7m
Dombrowski says Eovaldi decision reflects ‘urgency’ and longer-than-expected timetable to return. ‘It doesn’t preclude us ... from lengthening him out’ as starter at some point.

Alex Speier @alexspeier7s
Dombrowski: Sox view Eovaldi as a reliever moving forward for the rest of the year - though that’s subject to change. Still, that view is significant for trade deadline planning, given team’s candor that the fifth starter spot is an ongoing concern.
 

AB in DC

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Sure, I just meant that seeing him pitch at all is actually beneficial. That's why I said arm and not starter or reliever.
Right, and if you're waiting until he's stretched out from rehab, then you don't know what you're getting until after July 31. At least as a closer you'll have four weeks of data to take into consideration before then.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I don't think this is a desperation move. I think it's a continuation of a very deliberate decision they made to start the year with respect to the bullpen.

Here's the very harsh reality: Panda, Castillo and Pedroia are nearly $50 million right down the drain for nothing. They overcame it last year because they had tremendous cost control for some of their best players. Mookie was making half what he's making now and Sale was a huge bargain.

Virtually everyone is more expensive this year than last. The only relief they got was losing Pomeranz's relatively small salary.

They locked up Sale and avoided arbitration with Mookie. That left them with very little to spend. They chose Eovaldi at $17 million a year for 4 years which at the time seemed like the smart move and when the cost of Joe Kelly alone is 3/25, it was the right move.

They rested this season on a hope, because they had no choice unless they wanted to blow way past the tax cutoff. The hope was that the bullpen would shake out using existing assets. It failed. It was a gamble. It was always going to be a gamble but there was no way around that at all. The time to pay the piper on Sandoval, Castillo and Pedroia meant hard choices would have to be made somewhere. They had a championship in their back pocket to make gambling tolerable.

It is what it is and now they are well back in the division and more than one arm from appearing to be a championship contending team. So, they are sticking with the theory -- see if they can shore up the bullpen with an existing asset. And it's just as much of a hope as they were making to start the year but at least it's a philosophy, they lose no assets in the process, and they retain some luxury tax discipline that should serve us well in future years.
 

scottyno

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While I agree with most of the above, Castillo is in AAA not counting against the tax so I don't think he's relevant. If they could have done the same thing they did to him with Sandoval they'd have gone ahead and spent that extra $19m on the bullpen in the offseason.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'm a little confused over who will be the 5th starter going forward.... I guess it'll be a continuing patchwork of Brian Johnson, Valazquez and Wright. I guess if you can get the best 2-3 innings out of those 3 it'll work.
I'm not bragging.... but I did advocate for a one year deal for Pomeranz for $5M and getting Ottavino for 4/$12M per season. I was okay with the Eo signing but it obviously left zero room for a bullpen addition.

I'm also suddenly having a funny feeling that DD has plans for some unexpected move for a cost controlled starting pitcher that we might not like...
 

Cesar Crespo

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I'm a little confused over who will be the 5th starter going forward.... I guess it'll be a continuing patchwork of Brian Johnson, Valazquez and Wright. I guess if you can get the best 2-3 innings out of those 3 it'll work.
I'm not bragging.... but I did advocate for a one year deal for Pomeranz for $5M and getting Ottavino for 4/$12M per season. I was okay with the Eo signing but it obviously left zero room for a bullpen addition.

I'm also suddenly having a funny feeling that DD has plans for some unexpected move for a cost controlled starting pitcher that we might not like...
Two darkhorse candidates:
Kyle Hart, but he's not on the 40 man.
Denyi Reyes, in AA, who is on the 40 man and has regained some of the control that put him in the spotlight last year.

Denyi Reyes
First 8 games: 5.49 era, 41.0 ip, 19bb/32k, .264/.339/.417 against, .310 BAbip.
Last 7 games: 3.89 era, 44.0 ip, 9bb/38k, .221/.264/.405 against, .256 BAbip.

He also only made 6 starts in Salem last year. They were really aggressive with assigning him to Portland to start this season. He also goes i deep into ball games, he's very pitch efficient.
Those last 7 games
6.0 ip, 93 pitches
6.0 ip, 66 pitches
6.0 ip, 99 pitches
6.0 ip, 88 pitches
6.0 ip, 87 pitches
6.0 ip, 104 pitches
8.0 ip, 97 pitches

If they go internally, the only other option I see is Tanner Houck who they said they may use in the bullpen.
 

Jinhocho

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Durham, NC
I dont really understand this.

If you do not want Eovaldi to start, why do you sign him to that big deal? A guy with significant injury issues and coming off the DL is now going to step in as a closer, despite a lack of experience in that role and a stated desire not to be a closer? It strikes me as an unwise use of a major free agent signing. They could have let him walk and kept Kimbrel. I know hindsight is 20 20 and that this might work out, but but but it has a far higher chance of not working out and failing spectacularly. Trade some prospects, spend some money, and get a legit closer in here.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

Found no thrill on Blueberry Hill
SoSH Member
Sep 9, 2008
27,565
AZ
While I agree with most of the above, Castillo is in AAA not counting against the tax so I don't think he's relevant. If they could have done the same thing they did to him with Sandoval they'd have gone ahead and spent that extra $19m on the bullpen in the offseason.
Ah, ok, this is important. Thanks. Still, they weren't working with a ton of money and you can sort of see why when guys like Kelly can command 3/25 that the opportunity to sign Eovaldi to the deal they did was seen as a good use of money. Between Eovaldi and Sale they spent the wad on starters.


I dont really understand this.

If you do not want Eovaldi to start, why do you sign him to that big deal? A guy with significant injury issues and coming off the DL is now going to step in as a closer, despite a lack of experience in that role and a stated desire not to be a closer? It strikes me as an unwise use of a major free agent signing. They could have let him walk and kept Kimbrel. I know hindsight is 20 20 and that this might work out, but but but it has a far higher chance of not working out and failing spectacularly. Trade some prospects, spend some money, and get a legit closer in here.
None of this was on the gameplan, though, right? They are just trying to move the pieces they have and deal with the situation in which they find themselves.