Now that 18 is in the bag, and summer is on, what to think about The Sox?

dhellers

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What with the Celts occupying my (and probably other) attention, especially with the mediocrity of the sox -- I haven't been paying serious attention to the Sox.
But now with 18 in the bag, and summer is on... and seeing an athletic Sox team take a series from the MFYs, it is time to pay attention!

So what to think about this Red Sox team? Any chance they make some real noise?
 

DeadlySplitter

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Slight chance at a wild card run - they are close to surviving this Casas-less stretch.

Still have a feeling they will end up selling at the deadline.
 

lexrageorge

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As I noted in another thread, they seem to be turning into a team that's a real pain in the ass to play against. That makes them fun to watch.
 

mauf

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What with the Celts occupying my (and probably other) attention, especially with the mediocrity of the sox -- I haven't been paying serious attention to the Sox.
But now with 18 in the bag, and summer is on... and seeing an athletic Sox team take a series from the MFYs, it is time to pay attention!

So what to think about this Red Sox team? Any chance they make some real noise?
Sox have underperformed their Pythagorean record and dealt with a flurry of injuries yet are just 2.5 games out of the third wild card spot. And three teams from the AL Central would make the playoffs in the season ended today; I don’t think that’s going to hold. Even without any improvement, it’s easy to see the Sox winning 86-87 games, and I think that’s going to be good enough to get into the play-in this year. Plus, as others have said, they’re a fun team to watch.
 

HfxBob

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A major question is, if they're let's say 1 game out of the last Wild Card spot at deadline time, what lane does Breslow pick?
 

joe dokes

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Sox have underperformed their Pythagorean record and dealt with a flurry of injuries yet are just 2.5 games out of the third wild card spot. And three teams from the AL Central would make the playoffs in the season ended today; I don’t think that’s going to hold. Even without any improvement, it’s easy to see the Sox winning 86-87 games, and I think that’s going to be good enough to get into the play-in this year. Plus, as others have said, they’re a fun team to watch.
I generally agree. The only issue is that the White Sox are in the Central and there is no equivalent doormat in the East. (Of course, as the RedSox recently found out, doormat-ness is no guarantee of winning, and facing the iron can work out just fine). Similarly, the West has the Angels and A's. Only the AL East and NL Central are doormat-free.
High-variance mediocrity is much more fun than consistent mediocrity.

A major question is, if they're let's say 1 game out of the last Wild Card spot at deadline time, what lane does Breslow pick?
I think the whole idea of a "lane" in this context is a useless, mostly media-driven construct that takes the place of actual analysis of actual moves. (Were they "Buyers" or "Sellers" when they traded Vazquez? I don't know and I don't care. It seems like it was a solid trade.) The biggest thing for me is that Breslow accurately gauge the team's post-deadline chances. If he thinks they have a shot at the playoffs and they finish 1 game short, that suggests his assessment was good. If, like his predecessor, he thinks they have a shot and they fall off a cliff, that's a problem. Of course, if he thinks they have no realistic shot and they move move-able vets and/or fringe 40-man guys that have to be moved or protected, we'll never know how it *would* have turned out.
 

HfxBob

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I think the whole idea of a "lane" in this context is a useless, mostly media-driven construct that takes the place of actual analysis of actual moves. (Were they "Buyers" or "Sellers" when they traded Vazquez? I don't know and I don't care. It seems like it was a solid trade.) The biggest thing for me is that Breslow accurately gauge the team's post-deadline chances. If he thinks they have a shot at the playoffs and they finish 1 game short, that suggests his assessment was good. If, like his predecessor, he thinks they have a shot and they fall off a cliff, that's a problem. Of course, if he thinks they have no realistic shot and they move move-able vets and/or fringe 40-man guys that have to be moved or protected, we'll never know how it *would* have turned out.
Craig put it right out there, though: “I think the trade deadline is this inflection point where we have to pick a lane”
 

YTF

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A framework of an actual competitive team with functional ownership?
My post was in response to the questions posed at the end of the OP. If wre looking to compare team building ideas and ownership competency perhaps we can frame the thread title and OP in a more specific way so that we're not spilling the same thoughts over into yet another thread.
 

mauf

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Not to be a dick, but is there anything to be contributed here that can't be posted in one of the other threads?
New threads are good. Also, there’s value in pulling up from the weeds just before the season’s midpoint and assessing the big picture, which I think was the OP’s intent.
 

YTF

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This is the SoSH equivalent of "I'm not a racist, but..."
Except that it's not. We've all misconstrued things because the written word doesn't always translate as well as the spoken word. The lack of vocal tone, inflection, cadence, etc... as well as the inability to respond or question what has been written in that moment for clarification is sometimes better served with with some sort of disclaimer.
 

Merkle's Boner

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I think the buyer vs seller paradigm is different this year, because their best assets are in the minor leagues, and there are too many of them to hold on to. So Breslow and team’s biggest responsibility is identifying, outside of the Big Three, which assets are worth holding on to and which they can flip for some needed pieces. So they can be sellers from the farm and still help the big club.

I’m thinking about guys in the Meidroth, Yorke, Lugo, Mikey Romero, Cutter Coffey, Nazzan Zanetello category. Kristian Campbell is in my mind rapidly playing himself into the A group, as is Cespedes. These guys are all fungible middle infielder/corner outfielder types. A few of them will have legit careers but unlikely they all hit.

edit: Noticed that my point is being discussed in the Roster Construction thread.
 
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Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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What with the Celts occupying my (and probably other) attention, especially with the mediocrity of the sox -- I haven't been paying serious attention to the Sox.
But now with 18 in the bag, and summer is on... and seeing an athletic Sox team take a series from the MFYs, it is time to pay attention!

So what to think about this Red Sox team? Any chance they make some real noise?
My attention will be on the quest for Banner 19, probably until the Royals series/ASG. Summer solstice isn't for another 2 days anyway.
 

Archer1979

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We're in the post-coital after-glow of the Celtics winning. Good time as any to re-assess, while letting some of the mega-threads fall by the wayside.

My two cents... They're treading water while a sizable chunk of the roster is on the IL. They could have sunk to the bottom during the six games against the number one teams in both the AL and NL. Instead... they went 4 -2. Even at full strength, I don't think they have enough to sustain a run if they make it to October, but...

A front-line shutdown ace starter would look really nice.

Getting a DH who can thump or a solid MLB-level third baseman and moving Devers to DH full-time could give the Sox another solid bat in the line-up.

I still don't think that will be enough this year, but it would give them a solid foundation if the youth on the roster matures well.
 

Max Power

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We're in the post-coital after-glow of the Celtics winning. Good time as any to re-assess, while letting some of the mega-threads fall by the wayside.

My two cents... They're treading water while a sizable chunk of the roster is on the IL. They could have sunk to the bottom during the six games against the number one teams in both the AL and NL. Instead... they went 4 -2. Even at full strength, I don't think they have enough to sustain a run if they make it to October, but...

A front-line shutdown ace starter would look really nice.
You mean like a guy who's top 10 in baseball in innings pitched, ERA, and WHIP?
 

Bergs

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Except that it's not. We've all misconstrued things because the written word doesn't always translate as well as the spoken word. The lack of vocal tone, inflection, cadence, etc... as well as the inability to respond or question what has been written in that moment for clarification is sometimes better served with with some sort of disclaimer.
I was joking.
 

mauf

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I generally agree. The only issue is that the White Sox are in the Central and there is no equivalent doormat in the East. (Of course, as the RedSox recently found out, doormat-ness is no guarantee of winning, and facing the iron can work out just fine). Similarly, the West has the Angels and A's. Only the AL East and NL Central are doormat-free.
High-variance mediocrity is much more fun than consistent mediocrity.
No doubt. Playing 14 games against the White Sox instead of a garden-variety last place team is probably worth 2-3 extra wins. That could make the difference. But the Twins have a flat run differential on the season, and the Royals have cooled off after a torrid start, playing roughly .500 ball since mid-May. I think it’s more likely than not that one of those two teams plays .500 ball or worse the rest of the way, finishing with 85 wins or less.

Looking at the teams behind us, Houston has dug a deep enough hole that they would have to win 60% of their remaining games just to reach 87 wins. That could happen, but the odds are certainly against it. I don’t see any other team behind us with more than a snowball’s change of getting north of 85 wins.

Sorry for dwelling on this, but one of the main reasons I’m optimistic about the Sox’ chances is because I think the postseason cutoff is going to fall on the low side this season. We’re unlikely to win 90 games, but imo that’s unlikely to be necessary.

I think the whole idea of a "lane" in this context is a useless, mostly media-driven construct that takes the place of actual analysis of actual moves. (Were they "Buyers" or "Sellers" when they traded Vazquez? I don't know and I don't care. It seems like it was a solid trade.) The biggest thing for me is that Breslow accurately gauge the team's post-deadline chances. If he thinks they have a shot at the playoffs and they finish 1 game short, that suggests his assessment was good. If, like his predecessor, he thinks they have a shot and they fall off a cliff, that's a problem. Of course, if he thinks they have no realistic shot and they move move-able vets and/or fringe 40-man guys that have to be moved or protected, we'll never know how it *would* have turned out.
I agree. Breslow may have accepted the construct rather than pushing back on it, but I’m sure he considers standing pat to be a viable option. And if our place in the standings a month from now is comparable to what it is today, I think that’s what he’ll do, unless he has an opportunity to do something that will also help the 2025 club.
 

moondog80

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I think the whole idea of a "lane" in this context is a useless, mostly media-driven construct that takes the place of actual analysis of actual moves. (Were they "Buyers" or "Sellers" when they traded Vazquez? I don't know and I don't care. It seems like it was a solid trade.) The biggest thing for me is that Breslow accurately gauge the team's post-deadline chances. If he thinks they have a shot at the playoffs and they finish 1 game short, that suggests his assessment was good. If, like his predecessor, he thinks they have a shot and they fall off a cliff, that's a problem. Of course, if he thinks they have no realistic shot and they move move-able vets and/or fringe 40-man guys that have to be moved or protected, we'll never know how it *would* have turned out.
It is the single dumbest idea to enter Red Sox Nation chatter in the Henry era.

Every team ever balances the present and the future. Even if they needed an OF and bullpen arm, the first place Yankees aren't going to trade two of their top 5 prospects for 3 months of Tyler O'Neil and Chris Martin . The 29-43 Angels aren't going to trade Mike Trout for some guy in A ball who is his organization's 17th best prospect. You consider all factors (what you are trading, what you have to replace what you are trading, what you are getting back, the team's chances to win this year and over time, etc.), weigh them against one another and make a decision. Sometimes the answer will be shade of grey and you have to make a judgement call.
 

mauf

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It is the single dumbest idea to enter Red Sox Nation chatter in the Henry era.

Every team ever balances the present and the future. Even if they needed an OF and bullpen arm, the first place Yankees aren't going to trade two of their top 5 prospects for 3 months of Tyler O'Neil and Chris Martin . The 29-43 Angels aren't going to trade Mike Trout for some guy in A ball who is his organization's 17th best prospect. You consider all factors (what you are trading, what you have to replace what you are trading, what you are getting back, the team's chances to win this year and over time, etc.), weigh them against one another and make a decision. Sometimes the answer will be shade of grey and you have to make a judgement call.
The idea is a product of the expanded playoff format. Teams that are at or slightly over .500 at the All-Star Break are neither good enough to fortify the roster for a playoff run nor bad enough to sell pieces without triggering a fan backlash. Standing pat under these circumstances is generally the right choice but is virtually guaranteed to look bad in hindsight — if the team plays well down the stretch, the GM is pilloried for not adding talent; if they play poorly, he’s castigated for letting veterans walk after the season for nothing.
 

dynomite

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The idea is a product of the expanded playoff format. Teams that are at or slightly over .500 at the All-Star Break are neither good enough to fortify the roster for a playoff run nor bad enough to sell pieces without triggering a fan backlash. Standing pat under these circumstances is generally the right choice but is virtually guaranteed to look bad in hindsight — if the team plays well down the stretch, the GM is pilloried for not adding talent; if they play poorly, he’s castigated for letting veterans walk after the season for nothing.
Very good point. And the Red Sox are the poster child for this phenomenon because they have been the .500 kings (or thereabouts) the past three seasons at the deadline:

On 7/31/22, they were 52-53.
On 7/31/23, they were 56-50.
On 6/18/24, they are 38-35.

It has been a marked contrast to deadlines in 2021 (when they were 20 games above .500) and 2020 (when they were already 10+ games below .500 even in the COVID shortened season).
 

RS2004foreever

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I think a lot will depend on Bello. At this point Houck is a Cy Young candidate, Crawford is very good and Pivetta is as Pivetta does. If Bello returns to his performance of last year the Red Sox are a real threat for the playoffs.
 

moondog80

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Very good point. And the Red Sox are the poster child for this phenomenon because they have been the .500 kings (or thereabouts) the past three seasons at the deadline:

On 7/31/22, they were 52-53.
On 7/31/23, they were 56-50.
On 6/18/24, they are 38-35.

It has been a marked contrast to deadlines in 2021 (when they were 20 games above .500) and 2020 (when they were already 10+ games below .500 even in the COVID shortened season).
It's 4th and 17 from the other team's 41 yard line. Go for it? FG? Punt? There's no obvious move.
 

Archer1979

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You mean like a guy who's top 10 in baseball in innings pitched, ERA, and WHIP?
Yes. Houck's been good this year, but is he really the ace that can carry a team through the post-season? If he is, then, having another solid starter wouldn't be the worst idea in the world. That said, I'm not sure if there would be such a player on the trade market.
 

joe dokes

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It is the single dumbest idea to enter Red Sox Nation chatter in the Henry era.

Every team ever balances the present and the future. Even if they needed an OF and bullpen arm, the first place Yankees aren't going to trade two of their top 5 prospects for 3 months of Tyler O'Neil and Chris Martin . The 29-43 Angels aren't going to trade Mike Trout for some guy in A ball who is his organization's 17th best prospect. You consider all factors (what you are trading, what you have to replace what you are trading, what you are getting back, the team's chances to win this year and over time, etc.), weigh them against one another and make a decision. Sometimes the answer will be shade of grey and you have to make a judgement call.
I think the only exception is the straight salary dump to "reset" a franchise's course. But I suppose even that is done with an eye towards some far off future. I *think* the Sox are beyond that this season.
 

dhellers

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Not to be a dick, but is there anything to be contributed here that can't be posted in one of the other threads?
We're in the post-coital after-glow of the Celtics winning. Good time as any to re-assess, while letting some of the mega-threads fall by the wayside.
For me (and perhaps not me alone) a summary of where we are at is especially useful -- even if not as detailed as what is found in other threads.
IOW: thanks for insights!
 

moondog80

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I think the only exception is the straight salary dump to "reset" a franchise's course. But I suppose even that is done with an eye towards some far off future. I *think* the Sox are beyond that this season.
Most likely they are. But in the words of Ted DiBiase, everybody's got a price. The inclination at the moment, I'd guess, is to keep O'Neil and Martin. But if the Padres or Astros or Yankees or whoever decides that *this* is the year, future be dammed, and are willing to vastly overpay for them with a price that the C's value highly, a deal there may be.

I'm not looking to sell my house. But if someone knocks on my door and offers me 150% of market value...
 

Benj4ever

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If absolutely everything goes right for this team they could still use another very good bullpen arm and better depth. If most everything goes wrong, you guys have already spilled enough ink on the subject of players to sell. I don't think there's much need to do anything serious otherwise.
 

joe dokes

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Most likely they are. But in the words of Ted DiBiase, everybody's got a price. The inclination at the moment, I'd guess, is to keep O'Neil and Martin. But if the Padres or Astros or Yankees or whoever decides that *this* is the year, future be dammed, and are willing to vastly overpay for them with a price that the C's value highly, a deal there may be.

I'm not looking to sell my house. But if someone knocks on my door and offers me 150% of market value...
No doubt. I think Martin and Jansen are the two most likely to draw door-knockers like that; and I would be willing to move both for that type of price. I *think* that teams that see themselves as "that close" will see a reliable veteran late-inning reliever as more likely to put a team over the top than a hitter. (Doesn't mean they're right; or that I am.).
 

Fishy1

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If absolutely everything goes right for this team they could still use another very good bullpen arm and better depth. If most everything goes wrong, you guys have already spilled enough ink on the subject of players to sell. I don't think there's much need to do anything serious otherwise.
Hendriks should be coming back around the all-star break. He's got a fantastic track record, but we'll see how he rebounds. I think, honestly, even if he's not great, that the bullpen is one of the last places they need help.

84390

Add to this you've got Campbell looking great in AAA and Chris Martin coming back shortly, and that's a bullpen with 3 guys in the top 100 in terms of FG's power ranking (which is just a neat measure, not perfect). Bernardino is not in the top 100 presumably because of his peripherals, but he's top ten in ERA.

The place that they stand the most to improve is DH, I think. Yoshida could rebound, I guess, but you want to slot a guy in there with a wrc+ of 120 or more, I would think. But maybe with Abreu back they just give that spot to O'Neill permanently to protect his knees. That would make those most sense.

I think this team is primed to make a run, if they can just stay healthy. Getting Abreu and Casas back will make the lineup extremely deep.

84391

Greatest weaknesses there are 1b, where we're due to get Casas back, and DH, where Yoshida should be shifted to a bench role when Abreu comes back.

And it's possible to improve on the starters. Bello is locked in, so we have to hope he turns it around, but while Criswell has been solid, it's not hard to imagine them improving on his performance.

84392
 

Lukiewerle

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I assumed when he signed Hendricks was a roll of the dice for next year, anything before then would be bonus.
 

Fishy1

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Is Hendriks really that close? All star break is less than a month away.
He's been targeting July 30th to return and has been playing catch since May. Haven't heard that there have been any setbacks or anything.

Tommy John usually takes 12-14 months to recover from, so we'll see. It's possible he's out the full season.
 

YTF

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Is Hendriks really that close? All star break is less than a month away.
His surgery happened during the first few days of August of last season. If I'm not mistaken TJ recovery typically takes a little more than a year. The beginning of August might be pushing it, but I guess we'll just have to see how the arm responds when he starts to ramp up his throwing program.
 

Benj4ever

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Hendriks should be coming back around the all-star break. He's got a fantastic track record, but we'll see how he rebounds. I think, honestly, even if he's not great, that the bullpen is one of the last places they need help.

View attachment 84390

Add to this you've got Campbell looking great in AAA and Chris Martin coming back shortly, and that's a bullpen with 3 guys in the top 100 in terms of FG's power ranking (which is just a neat measure, not perfect). Bernardino is not in the top 100 presumably because of his peripherals, but he's top ten in ERA.

The place that they stand the most to improve is DH, I think. Yoshida could rebound, I guess, but you want to slot a guy in there with a wrc+ of 120 or more, I would think. But maybe with Abreu back they just give that spot to O'Neill permanently to protect his knees. That would make those most sense.

I think this team is primed to make a run, if they can just stay healthy. Getting Abreu and Casas back will make the lineup extremely deep.

View attachment 84391

Greatest weaknesses there are 1b, where we're due to get Casas back, and DH, where Yoshida should be shifted to a bench role when Abreu comes back.

And it's possible to improve on the starters. Bello is locked in, so we have to hope he turns it around, but while Criswell has been solid, it's not hard to imagine them improving on his performance.

View attachment 84392
Very thoughtful analysis, thanks. I'd like to see Winck get a chance in the rotation and I'd be happier with Hamilton at 2B and Valdez at DH, maybe with Amed Rosario as a rental at SS (but that's just me).
 

Fishy1

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Very thoughtful analysis, thanks. I'd like to see Winck get a chance in the rotation and I'd be happier with Hamilton at 2B and Valdez at DH, maybe with Amed Rosario as a rental at SS (but that's just me).
You're welcome. I think Valdez is most likely to get bumped unless this hot streak continues, because although he's got tantalizing power, he doesn't offer speed or defense. Hamilton at least can play 2B and run the basepaths well, and Romy is very versatile defensively.

Honestly, I expect them to try their hardest to move Yoshida, and then park O'Neill at DH as much as they can. He's the second-best hitter on the team, it just doesn't make any sense to play Yoshida over him, like, ever.

Getting another stopgap shortstop will be tough. Rosario might be an upgrade, but probably not. Hamilton and Rafaela have had better years than he has, and Romy would be having a better year than him if he'd played more at the same rates. Rosario has got great contact tools, but he's been in the bottom 1% of SS fielders in terms of range for two years running, and bottom 2% for BB%. Yikes. No thanks.

84445

I think they're likely to stick with a mix or Romy, Ceddanne, and Hamilton, because good shortstops are hard to find and we'd have to pay out the butt to get one, and Mayer is tearing up AA right now, and Story is due back next year. There's a massive logjam in the middle infield, and they'd likely have to ship some people off in order to make room. Doesn't mean they won't, but I'd hope they'd shoot higher than Rosario if they're gonna shoot.
 

Benj4ever

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He's been targeting July 30th to return and has been playing catch since May. Haven't heard that there have been any setbacks or anything.

Tommy John usually takes 12-14 months to recover from, so we'll see. It's possible he's out the full season.
Regardless of what happens with Hendricks, I'd like to be able to kick both Keller and Anderson to the curb.