Nathan Eovaldi to close

uilnslcoap

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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.
Sure, but what prospects, what money, and what closer? The luxury tax threshold, as others have pointed out, is relevant for drafting, and on a related note, the cupboard is fucking bare. Lose prospects to get a temp closer, lose prospects blowing past the tax threshold, either way it likely cripples the team further in future years.

I'm sure they WANT Eovaldi to start. But if you believe the organization is not utterly incompetent, then this must be the best thing for his health and/or the team.

And getting Kimbrel when? Last week?
 
Jul 5, 2018
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Four years for an injury prone starter with a career 96 ERA+? Kimbrel may only pitch 60-65 innings a year, but you know that those will be elite innings from a pitcher with zero injuries in his career.
I'm not defending the Eovaldi contract and I wish Kimbrel had taken the QO, but 6/100 would have been above market:

 

bosox79

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Four years for an injury prone starter with a career 96 ERA+? Kimbrel may only pitch 60-65 innings a year, but you know that those will be elite innings from a pitcher with zero injuries in his career.
He wasn't even elite for 2 of his 3 years here. Plus they will be his age 31-36 seasons. They shouldn't have signed either and saved the money for midseason acquisitions, though they don't really have the chips anyway.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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He wasn't even elite for 2 of his 3 years here. Plus they will be his age 31-36 seasons. They shouldn't have signed either and saved the money for midseason acquisitions, though they don't really have the chips anyway.
Guess again. From 2016-18, these were the top four closers:
Jansen - 2.07 ERA, 126 saves, 195 ERA+, 0.805 WHIP, 12.7 k/9
Kimbrel - 2.44 ERA, 108 saves, 185 ERA+, 0.906 WHIP, 14.9 k/9
Chapman - 2.37 ERA, 90 saves, 185 ERA+, 1.008 WHIP, 14.2 k/9
Davis - 2.90 ERA, 102 saves, 155 ERA+, 1.106 WHIP, 11.0 k/9
Of those four, only Kimbrel put up those numbers entirely in the AL. Only Jansen had a better three year stretch, at least with raw numbers. If the second best closer in baseball isn't elite, then what is?
 

bosox79

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Guess again. From 2016-18, these were the top four closers:
Jansen - 2.07 ERA, 126 saves, 195 ERA+, 0.805 WHIP, 12.7 k/9
Kimbrel - 2.44 ERA, 108 saves, 185 ERA+, 0.906 WHIP, 14.9 k/9
Chapman - 2.37 ERA, 90 saves, 185 ERA+, 1.008 WHIP, 14.2 k/9
Davis - 2.90 ERA, 102 saves, 155 ERA+, 1.106 WHIP, 11.0 k/9
Of those four, only Kimbrel put up those numbers entirely in the AL. Only Jansen had a better three year stretch, at least with raw numbers. If the second best closer in baseball isn't elite, then what is?
That's great, but that's not what I said. Maybe that's a better way of looking at it as a whole given variance/sample size, but in 2016 and 2018, he was not elite. He was just really good. But they were his 2 worst seasons ever. 2017 he was pretty much a god. I'd guess he's a pitcher in decline given his age.

His FIP those 3 years are 2.92, 1.42, 3.13. (3 year average of 2.43, crazy given his ERA is 2.44) His BB%: 13.6%, 5.5%, 12.6%. His K%: 37.7%, 49.6%, 38.9%.
 

Soxfan in Fla

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A predictable and stupid move. So now when Barnes or Braiser blow the lead in the 7th or 8th, what good will “the closer” be? And don’t even get me started on the idiocy of putting a pitcher with a history of arm trouble in a spot where you are going to ask him to pitch 3 out 4 days some times.

Pay the luxury tax and get a real bullpen. It’s not as if this organization cannot afford it.
True. He will still have gas cans in front of him.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Four years for an injury prone starter with a career 96 ERA+? Kimbrel may only pitch 60-65 innings a year, but you know that those will be elite innings from a pitcher with zero injuries in his career.
SSS and all, but would you have given 6 years to Kimbrel after his performance at the end of the year?

There is a reasonable chance he is done, and that is a huge deal to have to carry for 6 years if so. So far his results this year support their decision. Two rough outings. Super SSS, but trends are trends.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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SSS and all, but would you have given 6 years to Kimbrel after his performance at the end of the year?

There is a reasonable chance he is done, and that is a huge deal to have to carry for 6 years if so. So far his results this year support their decision. Two rough outings. Super SSS, but trends are trends.
What reasonable chance is that? How is he "done" at age 31? Are you referring to the 10.2 inning sample size in the postseason when you say "end of the year"? So those innings plus two innings in 2019 qualify as a "trend"?
Those two innings this year consist of a mopup inning where the team gave up 18 runs and another where the "rally" consisted of a windblown Wrigley double. I'm not sure what you can possibly read into those.
 

shaggydog2000

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I'm sure they WANT Eovaldi to start. But if you believe the organization is not utterly incompetent, then this must be the best thing for his health and/or the team.
I think it's more about the time it would take to ramp him back up to throwing 100 pitches in a game. You don't come off the injured list and go right into the rotation. They want to get some use out of him this year, even if its not the role they prefer him in. And the money is already a sunk cost. You either get use out of him as a closer, or no/very little use out of him as a closer/reliever. Next year when they look at the cost of players available, I'm sure they would prefer to slot him back into the rotation than use him in relief, just because finding competent relievers is cheaper.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think it's more about the time it would take to ramp him back up to throwing 100 pitches in a game. You don't come off the injured list and go right into the rotation. They want to get some use out of him this year, even if its not the role they prefer him in. And the money is already a sunk cost. You either get use out of him as a closer, or no/very little use out of him as a closer/reliever. Next year when they look at the cost of players available, I'm sure they would prefer to slot him back into the rotation than use him in relief, just because finding competent relievers is cheaper.
Yeah, but as of July 1 (when the news broke), there were still 78 games left in the season...roughly 13-14 times through a rotation. If he starts his rehab assignment now, he can be up to 100 pitches per outing by the end of the month (that's why they give pitchers up to 30 days of rehab). And if not 100, certainly 70-80. Which is enough to insert him into the rotation and get 4-5 innings from him. Even a few starts of that as he builds himself up to 100 pitches has to be better than the "opener" style strategy they've been employing to replace him for most of the season...Velazquez, Weber, etc. Conservatively, call it 9-10 starts he could be making. is 45-60 innings as a starter more helpful than 25-30 in relief?

Now if he's still a month away from even beginning to throw in game situations, the argument is stronger for using him in the bullpen because there isn't enough season left to ramp him up properly and effectively. We saw that with Price two years ago. I think that's the variable we're lacking in the equation. When exactly is Eovaldi expected to be activated or at least begin throwing in game situations (rehab or otherwise)?
 

shaggydog2000

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Yeah, but as of July 1 (when the news broke), there were still 78 games left in the season...roughly 13-14 times through a rotation. If he starts his rehab assignment now, he can be up to 100 pitches per outing by the end of the month (that's why they give pitchers up to 30 days of rehab). And if not 100, certainly 70-80. Which is enough to insert him into the rotation and get 4-5 innings from him. Even a few starts of that as he builds himself up to 100 pitches has to be better than the "opener" style strategy they've been employing to replace him for most of the season...Velazquez, Weber, etc. Conservatively, call it 9-10 starts he could be making. is 45-60 innings as a starter more helpful than 25-30 in relief?

Now if he's still a month away from even beginning to throw in game situations, the argument is stronger for using him in the bullpen because there isn't enough season left to ramp him up properly and effectively. We saw that with Price two years ago. I think that's the variable we're lacking in the equation. When exactly is Eovaldi expected to be activated or at least begin throwing in game situations (rehab or otherwise)?
In that article I didn't see a date for him starting a rehab stint, so that was part of my thinking. Doesn't seem like he'll be back soon. But without dates, who knows?
 

dhappy42

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Leaving his contract out of it, (sunk cost,) I think this is a great idea, especially if he can eventually be a two- three-inning old-school type closer.
 

shaggydog2000

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Leaving his contract out of it, (sunk cost,) I think this is a great idea, especially if he can eventually be a two- three-inning old-school type closer.
His contract is really only a sunk cost in terms of deciding on a role for this year. If they have a choice between using him as a starter or reliever next year, and filling the other role with a free agent, the contract matters again. Making him a starter and getting a top reliever is in total cheaper than converting him to a closer and signing an equivalent starter, correct?
 

dhappy42

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His contract is really only a sunk cost in terms of deciding on a role for this year. If they have a choice between using him as a starter or reliever next year, and filling the other role with a free agent, the contract matters again. Making him a starter and getting a top reliever is in total cheaper than converting him to a closer and signing an equivalent starter, correct?
Unless they trade him to a team that picks up his salary, it’s a sunk cost either way.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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In that article I didn't see a date for him starting a rehab stint, so that was part of my thinking. Doesn't seem like he'll be back soon. But without dates, who knows?
I know he was on a track to get back to pitching (throwing bullpen sessions) but had a setback before he actually took the mound in a rehab game. That news was back in early June. Next mention of him in terms of coming back was this story about him closing. I made the assumption that if they're talking about role, he must be getting close. Seems silly to be publicly discussing his role if he's still 6 weeks away from taking a mound in any capacity.
 

bosockboy

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I know he was on a track to get back to pitching (throwing bullpen sessions) but had a setback before he actually took the mound in a rehab game. That news was back in early June. Next mention of him in terms of coming back was this story about him closing. I made the assumption that if they're talking about role, he must be getting close. Seems silly to be publicly discussing his role if he's still 6 weeks away from taking a mound in any capacity.
I saw a blurb out being with the club after the AS Break.
 

PudgeFIST

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What reasonable chance is that? How is he "done" at age 31? Are you referring to the 10.2 inning sample size in the postseason when you say "end of the year"? So those innings plus two innings in 2019 qualify as a "trend"?
Those two innings this year consist of a mopup inning where the team gave up 18 runs and another where the "rally" consisted of a windblown Wrigley double. I'm not sure what you can possibly read into those.
We get it, you are carrying the torch for Kimbrel here. Awesome.
It sure seems like you are bemoaning the fact that we didn't sign Kimbrel <at the contract the Cubs signed him at>.
I don't think had the Sox pursued him in the offseason that a 3/45ish was getting the job done.
Kimbrel settled for that as opposed to being unemployed.

I might have signed him for 3/45, but i don't think anyone here was going 100M+, if that was ever true, or even 5/75,
which might have been a more realistic ask(if no draft pick was attached)

You can talk all day about "wind aided". What, you don't think weather "aids" balls in other parks, everyday?
And talk about SSS, but to those of us who watch just about every game, his discombobulation in last years playoffs
was disconcerting. We'd never seem him get THAT out of whack.
It was common for him to jerk balls across the plate and walk guys
when he was coming off a longer than usual rest,
and was apparently "too strong", but he always figured it out. This just looked and seemed different.
 

Sampo Gida

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Mixed feelings. Its hard to know how guys perform in this role until they do it. I’d like to see him work his way into the spot starting with lower lev situations.

The announcement could be to give them more leverage in negotiations for a proven closer. I hope so.
 
Jul 5, 2018
126
Mixed feelings. Its hard to know how guys perform in this role until they do it. I’d like to see him work his way into the spot starting with lower lev situations.

The announcement could be to give them more leverage in negotiations for a proven closer. I hope so.
I don't see how that gives them leverage. Other teams will want the best deal they can get and the Sox will still have to make the best offer.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I don't see how that gives them leverage. Other teams will want the best deal they can get and the Sox will still have to make the best offer.
Yeah, unless they're bidding against themselves, market rate will dictate the trade cost of whomever they seek to acquire. At most, what having a nominal closer (or plan for a nominal closer) does is maybe provide cover so that their rivals in the standings can't get a line on what they're doing. In other words, having Eovaldi as the "closer" doesn't affect negotiations with, say, the Giants for Will Smith. But it might impact how hard the Yankees or Rays or Astros try to get involved in talks about Smith in order to raise the price or snipe the deal.
 

Hawk68

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I don't see how that gives them leverage. Other teams will want the best deal they can get and the Sox will still have to make the best offer.
Consider a hypothetical: Assume the Red Sox have the best offer on the table for a given trade. If the negotiating partner is aware of Red Sox urgency, that may impact the final closing cost.
 
Jul 5, 2018
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Consider a hypothetical: Assume the Red Sox have the best offer on the table for a given trade. If the negotiating partner is aware of Red Sox urgency, that may impact the final closing cost.
Well, that would require a one seller market. Regardless of how the Sox want to present their situation, other teams can look at the Sox roster to make their own estimation of how badly they need a closer. If other teams are asking for an overpay then that will make the decision to use Eovaldi as the closer and look for a starter instead, a better one.
 

Benni

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Jun 14, 2019
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This whole problem started when you bring back guys like Pierce and Eavoldi instead of resigning your solid as a rock closer for the past three season. That should have been the priority. Having a go to closer makes the bullpen easier to manage. You can mix and match in the 6,7, 8 inning to get to the ninth. It shortens the game and gives the manager more flexibility. I remember this bullpen by committee thing years ago. It didn’t work then and it certainly isn’t working now. It is depressing to watch this team play now all because we didn’t sign Kimbrel. You can disagree but the proof is in the whole teams play. And to add insult to injury the Sox didnt even get a draft pick to compensate for their poor management decision.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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This whole problem started when you bring back guys like Pierce and Eavoldi instead of resigning your solid as a rock closer for the past three season. That should have been the priority. Having a go to closer makes the bullpen easier to manage. You can mix and match in the 6,7, 8 inning to get to the ninth. It shortens the game and gives the manager more flexibility. I remember this bullpen by committee thing years ago. It didn’t work then and it certainly isn’t working now. It is depressing to watch this team play now all because we didn’t sign Kimbrel. You can disagree but the proof is in the whole teams play. And to add insult to injury the Sox didnt even get a draft pick to compensate for their poor management decision.
Well that would have left them without a 5th starter.....
Assuming the budget they had (roughly $20M) to work with in the offseason (not figuring in arbitration raises)... they had the need for a platoon for Moreland, (and Pearce seemed to fit this need perfectly).... a need for at least one major bullpen piece.... and to address a hole in the rotation. I don't think that using all that to sign a closer that was approaching an expected age related decline.. had shown some serious signs of decline.... along with a lack of being able to pitch in "big games"*, I don't think blowing all that on a long term contract for Kimbrell made sense.
I also don't really think blowing it all on Eovaldi and Pearce made much sense either. I'm on record here as advocating for a one year deal for Pomeranz and for a 4 year deal for Ottavino. Pom has been pretty crappy.... but at least he's pitched ( sort of....) so that wouldn't have worked, but it would have only been for a season, and he was likely cheap enough ($4M is, I think... what I advocated for) that it wouldn't have hurt neither short nor long term. Ottavino would have been great. But maybe he doesn't agree to a $48M/4 year deal even if offered a "closing" role. Anyhow... Sox still need a 5th starter if this plan is legit.
 

jon abbey

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Ottavino really wanted to play for the Yankees, Boston could have signed David Robertson if they wanted but that isn't working out too well either.

From my perspective as a NY fan, I think Dombrowski basically had no real choices (assuming he was capped at $246M which is obviously the case) and made the right moves this winter. The 2018 team, as you guys well know, was not just a WS-winning team, but they were almost certainly the best Sox team ever. It's easy to say don't bring back Eovaldi or Pearce but it would have been at least as bad if those guys had signed elsewhere, played as well as they did last year, and then looked like the missing pieces from afar. Don't forget that BOS's competition for Eovaldi this winter was the Astros, and no one seems to know pitching as well as them the last few seasons.

So IMO BOS made the only moves they really could this winter, Eovaldi especially IMO is crucial against NY head-to-head as he is their kryptonite and they kill Price. It hasn't worked out so far, obviously.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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This whole problem started when you bring back guys like Pierce and Eavoldi instead of resigning your solid as a rock closer for the past three season. That should have been the priority. Having a go to closer makes the bullpen easier to manage. You can mix and match in the 6,7, 8 inning to get to the ninth. It shortens the game and gives the manager more flexibility. I remember this bullpen by committee thing years ago. It didn’t work then and it certainly isn’t working now. It is depressing to watch this team play now all because we didn’t sign Kimbrel.
SSS, but have you seen Kimbrel?

Opposite of solid so far this year and his final month last year. That Kimbrel may be gone
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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There's no world in which the Red Sox pass on Eovaldi and Pearce in order to give Kimbrel what he wanted. None. And that has nothing to do with his pitching abilities or concern about him declining. It has everything to do with his asking price. Clearly it was absurdly high since NO ONE signed him this winter. If he could have been had for a reasonable contract in December, someone would have given it to him.

The closer by committee idea was working fine, and would still be working fine if they were getting better production and more innings out of their rotation. They replaced Eovaldi with openers and bullpen games. Porcello and Rodriguez and Sale have all had their share of shorter than acceptable outings putting even more stress on the pen. The problem in the pen hasn't been the back-end guys, it's been the fact that too many innings have had to be filled by the likes of Ryan Weber, Josh Smith, Josh Taylor, Mike Shawaryn and Hector Velazquez. Having Kimbrel sitting around waiting for the ninth doesn't really help much who's too often pitching the 4th and 5th and 6th innings of games.
 

twibnotes

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At what point was the closer by committee “working fine”?

I realize it’s not a great stat, but anytime blown saves is the same as saves, the approach isn’t working so well.
 

InsideTheParker

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There's no world in which the Red Sox pass on Eovaldi and Pearce in order to give Kimbrel what he wanted. None. And that has nothing to do with his pitching abilities or concern about him declining. It has everything to do with his asking price. Clearly it was absurdly high since NO ONE signed him this winter. If he could have been had for a reasonable contract in December, someone would have given it to him.

The closer by committee idea was working fine, and would still be working fine if they were getting better production and more innings out of their rotation. They replaced Eovaldi with openers and bullpen games. Porcello and Rodriguez and Sale have all had their share of shorter than acceptable outings putting even more stress on the pen. The problem in the pen hasn't been the back-end guys, it's been the fact that too many innings have had to be filled by the likes of Ryan Weber, Josh Smith, Josh Taylor, Mike Shawaryn and Hector Velazquez. Having Kimbrel sitting around waiting for the ninth doesn't really help much who's too often pitching the 4th and 5th and 6th innings of games.
This seems so true to me that I am mystified that anyone who's been watching all season doesn't agree.
 

scottyno

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At what point was the closer by committee “working fine”?

I realize it’s not a great stat, but anytime blown saves is the same as saves, the approach isn’t working so well.
After april when their 3 good relievers all had eras in the low 2s or better, or after may when 2 of the 3 of them still did? Barnes was one of the best relievers in baseball alone.
 

nvalvo

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At what point was the closer by committee “working fine”?

I realize it’s not a great stat, but anytime blown saves is the same as saves, the approach isn’t working so well.
That's also Kimbrel's record so far in Chicago, FWIW.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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At what point was the closer by committee “working fine”?

I realize it’s not a great stat, but anytime blown saves is the same as saves, the approach isn’t working so well.
Through 5/31, the bullpen had 12 saves and 25 holds against 8 blown saves. They were also credited with 12 wins, including four after recording a blown save. In that time, the Red Sox starters failed to get past the fifth inning 25 times in 56 games. That's almost half the games in which the bullpen was asked to get 12 outs or more. That's a big ask of even the most stacked of bullpens. Eventually they're going to wear down and you're forced to use less than optimal arms (either tired or inferior) to get important outs.

June (and thus far in the start of July) was a shit month for the bullpen, recording 5 saves and 24 holds against 10 blown saves in half the number of games. In the meantime, the starters aren't giving them any help, failing to pitch past the fifth in 12 of 32 games.

So I feel like my hypothesis stands. The closer by committee, match-up based deployment of the pen was working fine. Until they got overworked due to a lack-luster performance by the rotation. I'll maintain my position that the solution to the bullpen problem is better starting pitching, not a designated closer.
 

geoduck no quahog

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“Closer By Committee” is an unfortunate term. It’s not really about the “Closer”. You can have an extremely flexible pen, one that defies 7th and 8th inning roles, and still have a defined closer. It seems to me that rotating the actual closer doesn’t work very well in real life. Would it have been smart to bring Koji into high lev 7th inning situations and not use him as a traditional closer?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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“Closer By Committee” is an unfortunate term. It’s not really about the “Closer”. You can have an extremely flexible pen, one that defies 7th and 8th inning roles, and still have a defined closer. It seems to me that rotating the actual closer doesn’t work very well in real life. Would it have been smart to bring Koji into high lev 7th inning situations and not use him as a traditional closer?
Considering that was the role he was initially signed to fill, and where he excelled until three other guys failed or got hurt in the "closer" spot, I'll ask why wouldn't it be smart? If the toughest outs of the game happen to come in the 7th, why shouldn't the best pitcher be used to get them? Why are we so hung up on a stat that it's believed that saving the best pitcher for last is always the best deployment of assets?
 

BornToRun

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I’m definitely of the school that you should use your big guns out of the pen as the situation dictates and not just save them for a save situation, however, I think having that level of flexibility could provide problems from a workload standpoint.

My example for this is Mr. Barnes who I firmly believe simply ran out of gas and that’s the primary reason for his recent struggles. Having him come into every game in an incredibly high leverage situation has to be taxing and I think that Alex has kind of hinted at that before. I don’t know exactly the point I’m trying to make here, perhaps just that I think the bullpen needs to get deeper and have someone who can share that role with Matt.

I’m hoping that Evo sliding into the closer’s role, as the set 9th inning guy, might allow Workman/Walden/Barnes/whoever to split those “go get the most important outs of the game.” opportunities and lighten the load for everyone. I dont expect him to a be savior, I just hope he can handle himself well enough that it takes some of the weight off everyone else’s shoulders.
 

Plympton91

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The whole industry is moving away from giving the starters more innings, and with good reason. Starters aren’t as effective the 3rd time through the order. So, the Red Sox bullpen strategy for 2019 should have taken that into account. Instead, they put together Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, and the AAAA All-Stars.
I don’t think “overuse” can explain the inconsistency of Brasier, who was a 30-year-Old in the Japanese minor leagues for a reason — probably exactly that inconsistency. It’s also not likely the reason another 30-something career minor leaguer, Marcus Walden, is struggling to get anyone out since May. That’s more likely just beginners luck to start - despite overall lack of major league skills - and now major league teams scouting and adjustment relegating him to minor leaguer again. No one had any right to expect anything out of Thornburg, Lakins, or the rest of the mediocre and below prospects they were pimping as options in the first place.

Thankfully, Workman has blossomed to give them 3 fairly reliable arms, when you include Hembree, who when healthy remains a good 11th man on a 12 man staff Eovaldi, as another legitimate major league pitcher, will hopefully give them 4 of those for the second half. That’s the bare minimum needed to avoid burning out the other 3.

I’m holding out hope for Taylor’s newfound ability to consistently throw strikes, because he actually has above average stuff. That would be 5. And if Darwinzon Hernandez can similarly find the strike zone with the Pawtucket pitching coach, that would be 6.
 

bosox79

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The whole industry is moving away from giving the starters more innings, and with good reason. Starters aren’t as effective the 3rd time through the order. So, the Red Sox bullpen strategy for 2019 should have taken that into account. Instead, they put together Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, and the AAAA All-Stars.
I don’t think “overuse” can explain the inconsistency of Brasier, who was a 30-year-Old in the Japanese minor leagues for a reason — probably exactly that inconsistency. It’s also not likely the reason another 30-something career minor leaguer, Marcus Walden, is struggling to get anyone out since May. That’s more likely just beginners luck to start - despite overall lack of major league skills - and now major league teams scouting and adjustment relegating him to minor leaguer again. No one had any right to expect anything out of Thornburg, Lakins, or the rest of the mediocre and below prospects they were pimping as options in the first place.

Thankfully, Workman has blossomed to give them 3 fairly reliable arms, when you include Hembree, who when healthy remains a good 11th man on a 12 man staff Eovaldi, as another legitimate major league pitcher, will hopefully give them 4 of those for the second half. That’s the bare minimum needed to avoid burning out the other 3.

I’m holding out hope for Taylor’s newfound ability to consistently throw strikes, because he actually has above average stuff. That would be 5. And if Darwinzon Hernandez can similarly find the strike zone with the Pawtucket pitching coach, that would be 6.
Or Brasier and Walden (and Barnes) are like every other MR in the game and go through bad stretches that last a few weeks to a month. It just sucks when they all go to shit at the same time. It happened last year too with Kimbrel, Barnes and Kelly. The most amusing thing is Kelly and Kimbrel have been worse this year, though Kelly has been somewhat good since the start of June. 11 games, 12.1 ip, 5 runs/1er, 0.73 era. 19k/6bb. .152/.264/.196 against, .259 BAbip. Kimbrel also has the incredibly SSS thing going on. If we signed both those guys, we'd probably be in a worse spot.

Honestly, the problem with the bullpen right now is Matt Barnes. When your best MR isn't pitching well, it's going to lead to losses. In his last 17 games: 8.79 era, 14.1 ip, 16 hits, 11bb/26k, .276/.394/.379, .469 BAbip against. He allowed 2 or more runs in 5 of those games.

I'm not a big Josh Taylor fan either but on the positive side, he's only been pitching in the bullpen since 2018. His career K% is 22.6% but this year he has 57 strike outs against 172 batters, a K% of 33.1%. His career BB% was 8.7%, this year it's 8.7%. That's very encouraging. He must have changed his pitch selection a lot with the move to the bullpen. Anyone know for certain?

And in the too small a sample size to give a ****, Darwinzon Hernandez first 2 outings out of the pen: 2.1 ip, 0 hits, 0bb/2k. One can only hope the move to the pen is the cure for his command issues. I'm not very high on him, I don't know of any successful major league pitchers with BB% as high as Darwinzon.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
11,679
Considering that was the role he was initially signed to fill, and where he excelled until three other guys failed or got hurt in the "closer" spot, I'll ask why wouldn't it be smart? If the toughest outs of the game happen to come in the 7th, why shouldn't the best pitcher be used to get them? Why are we so hung up on a stat that it's believed that saving the best pitcher for last is always the best deployment of assets?
The best teams have two (or in the Yankees case, 5) “best” relievers so that they can use one in a key spot and the other to “close.” The Red Sox had 1 reliever worthy of even making the back end of the Yankee bullpen, and they predictably burned him out.

The “plan” of rotating through AAAA talents and rehabilitation long shots has been an abject failure, hidden by some luck in April and some solid low leverage performances by low leverage talents.

Putting Eovaldi at the end of the game allows them to rotate between Workman and Barnes in high leverage, and Hembree in medium leverage, with the rest of the mop up man talents matched with the mop up innings they were made for.
 

InsideTheParker

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
24,741
Pioneer Valley
I am wondering why it's taken so long from the time that Eovaldi as closer was announced to his appearance in a game. Was there a date set for him to come off the IL? He went on for 60 days April 18. Did that get extended while I wasn't looking?
Edit: I see above the info that he began his rehab on July 1 and that may take 30 days? Is that still what we're looking at?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
10,519
Maine
First I heard anything about Eovaldi's impending return was yesterday. Prior to that, last news I heard about his progress was that his previous rehab assignment was halted due to biceps soreness. That was nearly a month ago. This was yesterday pre-game...

@ByChrisMason: Dombrowski: "We are going to add Nathan Eovaldi. For some reason, people seem to, not, like, grasp on to that. He’s a big addition for us coming and we feel he’ll be ready to go within about a week to join us on a full-time basis out there."