Red Sox ‘22 offense: offensively offensive

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I need a citation on my opinion? It's clearly my evaluation of Jarren Duran. I'd be glad to be wrong.

You also mentioned his 17 HR in AAA. 15 of those came in the first 37 games, 180 PA. Over this last 162 PA at the level, he has 2 HR. Look at the rest of his career, too. Completely devoid of any power. But yeah. We shall see.
I asked for a citation because I wanted to know the basis of your opinion. Was it because his HRs were cheap shots over short porches, or came against crappy AAA teams, or that his swing is long, or something. You made an assertion without providing a basis for it and I was asking for the reasons.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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It seemed like the Sox off-season was mostly sniffing around and trying to find good deals. So they ended up with a few starters willing to sign one year deals, a couple of lefty relievers, and a guy in Story who isn’t a perfect fit right now, but may be down the right. And they were left without real good fits at 1b/rf because of this approach. The good news is they aren’t locked into any bad deals long term; the bad news is they aren’t locked into any deals at all long term so they are going to have to do a lot in the next off-season.
 

BigSoxFan

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"They" as in the Red Sox front office or "they" as in Suzuki's representatives? Because I think it's short-sighted to assume that he signed with the Cubs because the Red Sox didn't make enough effort. They may have made plenty of effort and he still preferred to sign with Chicago.
Wasn’t the Cubs’ offer materially more than the Sox offer? Sounds like Cubs put on the full court press and the Sox did 3/4. But I haven’t seen confirmation of what our offer was.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I asked for a citation because I wanted to know the basis of your opinion. Was it because his HRs were cheap shots over short porches, or came against crappy AAA teams, or that his swing is long, or something. You made an assertion without providing a basis for it and I was asking for the reasons.
His HRs are not cheap, fwiw. I think (at times) he tries to hit HRs and the rest of his game suffers for it. The problem is, when he's not hitting for any type of power, the rest of his game isn't good enough to be anything more than a 4th or 5th OF. If he could find a middle ground, he'd be a fringe all star. I am not a buyer though. Clearly.
 

moondog80

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"They" as in the Red Sox front office or "they" as in Suzuki's representatives? Because I think it's short-sighted to assume that he signed with the Cubs because the Red Sox didn't make enough effort. They may have made plenty of effort and he still preferred to sign with Chicago.
I was referring to the Sox, but you are right. We don't know.
 

Rovin Romine

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I vehemently disagree that Travis Shaw should be considered a backup plan. And it's not based on his performance this year, Shaw has't had a decent year since 2018 when he hit 32 home runs. The last three years he's batted:

.157/.281/.270
.239/.306/.411
.200/.286/.373 (and he had some big hits for us last year)

I'm trying to find the logic here in Bloom's thinking. Shaw hasn't hit well since 2018, did he think that he's going to revert back to that production at age 32? I mean, these numbers over the last three seasons are pretty bad. I don't understand what Bloom was thinking here.
I'm not saying it turned out well - I'm saying he was the backup plan. I mean, you don't think he was signed to be the starting 1B player? Ergo, he was signed (and used) as a Dalbec backup.

I have to say that I'm not really impressed with the scouting and evaulations I've seen so far. Bloom goes through a lot of churn - and the same mind that brought us Shaw also signed Danny Santana. This is also the same staff that couldn't seem to get anyone from AAA to produce when called up. And yet, some go on to do well elsewhere - e.g., Chavis.

Probably time for new aproach.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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sorry JMOC. Of course you or anyone else can criticize Blooom or Cora as much as you want. But to me it would be like criticizing Mookie Betts because he is only hitting like 220 or Schwarber for barely being over 200 I don’t think now is the time to do it. Bloom clearly did well last year. He is the same Bloom now as he was then. If you want to blame him for not knowing Pavetta would look this bad, or Houck would not get the vaccine, or Barnes would lose his fastball or that they all would forget what the strike zone looks like, that’s fine. But the bottom line is that they are not going to fire Bloom. It would be silly to fire Bloom or Cora for whatever happens this year. It would be like all those people going crazy because they didn‘t like the substitution patterns of the new Celtics coach over the first 20 games. When a baseball team is playing poorly, that doesn’t mean that by definition someone must be blamed.
Yeah, I kinda do want to blame him for thinking that Nick Pivetta is a number three starter which means that he assumed that Chris Sale is going to be healthy enough for this entire year to be a 1 or 2. And yeah, if Houck isn't going to get vaxxed, then yes, Bloom needed a contingency plan. Same with Barnes. He barely pitched in the post season and was a disaster in the second half last year; it's Bloom's job to think, "it would be great if Barnes comes back as a stud reliever, but if he doesn't here is a player X that can take his place."

That's literally job number one of the President of Baseball Ops. Yes, he also has to build the farm system but that's just a bunch of hand-wavey bullshit that most people don't care about once the season starts. "Yes, the prospects we got back from Hunter Renfroe are great and they're going to do real well this year. And our draft last year! Wow! I mean, Salem and Greenville are going to have tremendous years!" Bloom's first order of business is to make sure that the Boston Red Sox don't suck. I don't care about Salem, Greenville, Portland and Worcester all have bang up years and the Sox wallow in fourth. I want those teams to do well, but not at the expense of the big club.

When any exec does this, they're selling the fandom on potential. And for a team that was two games away from the World Series last year and who had to go through a complete bottoming out the year prior, I want the big league club to be better. I don't want to hear about how great the minors are and how right field and first base and the bullpen and the starters are hoping that the guys they brought in are going to do okay. When this team started on April 8, it looked like a half-cooked roster. Many of us were waiting for other transactions to be made. Why weren't they?
 

Papo The Snow Tiger

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I vehemently disagree that Travis Shaw should be considered a backup plan. And it's not based on his performance this year, Shaw has't had a decent year since 2018 when he hit 32 home runs. The last three years he's batted:

.157/.281/.270
.239/.306/.411
.200/.286/.373 (and he had some big hits for us last year)

I'm trying to find the logic here in Bloom's thinking. Shaw hasn't hit well since 2018, did he think that he's going to revert back to that production at age 32? I mean, these numbers over the last three seasons are pretty bad. I don't understand what Bloom was thinking here.



This is Bloom's third season in Boston. When does he get blame? I mean, he was getting a ton of credit last year (and deservedly so, especially in the first half of the season and October); why does he get to skate when things go poorly?

FEW YEARS? Like three more years, we have to wait before we criticize Chaim Bloom? And then "maybe" he'll deserve blame? You guess? Wow. Okay. So much for the toughest fanbase in baseball. You get six years AND then we can start thinking about whether we should debate about whether this is the Head of Baseball Ops fault that the team is bad. I mean, his hands are tied! How can he compete with the Yankees AND the Blue Jays? Nothing could be done! Wow.
It's completely fair and reasonable to question/criticize the approach to preparing this club to compete this year. Expecting to win it all, or even go deep into the playoffs every year, is entitlement, but with this much talent, and payroll, expecting a competitive, exciting, professional club that stays interesting all summer is, I think, a legitimate expectation. They don't appear close to being any of those things right now.
 

KillerBs

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Nov 16, 2006
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Hard to see how JBJ makes sense as 4th OFer especially if we keep running with only 11 position players (which is a consequence of having a rotation made up of a few guys who cant get to the 5th inning on a regular basis).

The team needs a right handed hitting 4th OFer who can play 3 positions, IOW Jaylin Davis (or Hunter Renfroe (lol)). I love JBJ but they need to be thinking about him as a cut candidate if he doesn't get it going pronto. I mean we arent running a whole season with a JBJ/Arroyo RF platoon are we?

I am not an advocate of dumping Dalbec now -- he is a short half of a platoon guy who I think they keep in the fold as much as anything to protect Casas against LHPers this year. But if so, this means going down to 13 pitchers (or cutting Arroyo?) which I think should be done in any event.

On the dangers of rushing a guy, I think it is impossible to say. I more inclined to notion there will inevitably be an adjustment phase for Duran and Casas at MLB, whenever they are brought up. We need to be realistic and what they can offer this year, but the bar is low in this case. Put them in position to succeed -- certainly do not call them up on a 2-4 week make good proposition. Give them defined role, either more or less FT or strict platoon, whatever it is, bat them low in order and settle in and watch for the rest of the year unless by early August they obviously need some time to clear their heads (or we in a pennant race have clear superior alternative) in which case you have learned something about who these guys are for 2023. There is a decent chance they very significantly improve the team right away and there is the added bonus of giving the team a chance to be watchable again.

Admittedly May 2 may be a bit early for this discussion but surely May 15 is not if we still playing sub 400 ball.
 

mikcou

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Hard to see how JBJ makes sense as 4th OFer especially if we keep running with only 11 position players (which is a consequence of having a rotation made up of a few guys who cant get to the 5th inning on a regular basis).

The team needs a right handed hitting 4th OFer who can play 3 positions, IOW Jaylin Davis (or Hunter Renfroe (lol)). I love JBJ but they need to be thinking about him as a cut candidate if he doesn't get it going pronto. I mean we arent running a whole season with a JBJ/Arroyo RF platoon are we?

I am not an advocate of dumping Dalbec now -- he is a short half of a platoon guy who I think they keep in the fold as much as anything to protect Casas against LHPers this year. But if so, this means going down to 13 pitchers (or cutting Arroyo?) which I think should be done in any event.

On the dangers of rushing a guy, I think it is impossible to say. I more inclined to notion there will inevitably be an adjustment phase for Duran and Casas at MLB, whenever they are brought up. We need to be realistic and what they can offer this year, but the bar is low in this case. Put them in position to succeed -- certainly do not call them up on a 2-4 week make good proposition. Give them defined role, either more or less FT or strict platoon, whatever it is, bat them low in order and settle in and watch for the rest of the year unless by early August they obviously need some time to clear their heads (or we in a pennant race have clear superior alternative) in which case you have learned something about who these guys are for 2023. There is a decent chance they very significantly improve the team right away and there is the added bonus of giving the team a chance to be watchable again.

Admittedly May 2 may be a bit early for this discussion but surely May 15 is not if we still playing sub 400 ball.
They can only keep 14 pitchers until the end of May as a roster cap of 13 will go into effect so they're going to have to add a bench guy in the next few weeks for a pitcher no matter what happens.
 

CoffeeNerdness

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None of the excuses were valid, I focused on the most ridiculous one for effect.

Playing quality teams is a joke of an excuse, again, the Sox are supposed to be a quality team. New baseballs are a joke of an excuse, Rizzo has nearly outhomered this entire team by himself, he doesn't seem to have a problem with the baseballs (Rizzo has 9, Sox as a team have 13).

The Sox are supposed to be one of the tough teams playing in the toughest division in baseball. Going 5-11 in the division shows they're just another more northerly version of the Orioles, who took the series from them.
Ok, right on. I look forward to the team righting the ship here as the weather improves and they play a softer schedule. Seems like a saner tack than firing Bloom, but we'll just have to agree to disagree. Felger and Mazz are probably a more receptive audience for that kind of take.
 
Sep 29, 2017
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Going 5-11 in the division shows they're just another more northerly version of the Orioles, who took the series from them.
Why do you keep on hammering on this point? Good teams lose series to bad teams all the time and have entire bad months even.
2004 Sox lost the season series to the O's who were 78-84! 2007 Sox lost a series to the O's who were 69-93. 2018 Sox lost a series to the Twin who were 78-84 that year. This year the Dodgers have already lost a series to Arizona, a known junk team.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Why do you keep on hammering on this point? Good teams lose series to bad teams all the time and have entire bad months even.
2004 Sox lost the season series to the O's who were 78-84! 2007 Sox lost a series to the O's who were 69-93. 2018 Sox lost a series to the Twin who were 78-84 that year. This year the Dodgers have already lost a series to Arizona, a known junk team.
I'm hammering on it because the Sox have won only one series all season. ONE. They're playing like garbage against everyone.
 

Daniel_Son

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What about Sweet Willie Calhoun?

Willie Calhoun said Sunday that he wants to be traded after the Rangers demoted him to Triple-A Round Rock.

Between injuries, bad luck and sporadic chances, he was always someone on the precipice of being a solid bat. Goes oppo sometimes and doesn't K very much.
Hitting .163 on the year with a 68 OPS+. Better than JBJ, Arroyo, Dalbec, and Vazquez.

Good god.
 

moondog80

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Yeah, I kinda do want to blame him for thinking that Nick Pivetta is a number three starter which means that he assumed that Chris Sale is going to be healthy enough for this entire year to be a 1 or 2.


Between 2021 and the tail end of 2020, Pivetta gave them 32 starts with above average ERA, and then he was excellent in the postseason. I had no problem giving him a lot in the rotation.

The starting pitching has been very good this year. 3.51 ERA, 23% quality starts against a league average of 13%. This is in part because the Sox singed enough starters to fill out the rotation in case of injury. How have Rich Hill and Michael Wacha done? Yes, it's a small sample, but that's also true of Pivetta (and Dalbec and Dikeman and everyone else who is struggling), right?
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Between 2021 and the tail end of 2020, Pivetta gave them 32 starts with above average ERA, and then he was excellent in the postseason. I had no problem giving him a lot in the rotation.

The starting pitching has been very good this year. 3.51 ERA, 23% quality starts against a league average of 13%. This is in part because the Sox singed enough starters to fill out the rotation in case of injury. How have Rich Hill and Michael Wacha done? Yes, it's a small sample, but that's also true of Pivetta (and Dalbec and Dikeman and everyone else who is struggling), right?
So what's your solution? Let them keep playing and hope that everything evens out?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I wouldn’t say Hill has been good; 4 starts, 17 innings, a 4.56 FIP. His peripherals are lousy (1.1 HR, 3.2 BB, 5.8 K).

By FIP
Eovaldi 4.45
Wacha 4.02
Hill 4.56
Pivetta 5.46

Whitlock and Houck have been pretty good in their starts. And the reason why they’ve had to start is probably because the Sox don’t really have any other options.

The only SP on the 40-man in the minors are Mata, Groome, Darwinzon, Seabold, and Winckowski. First two are hurt / not ready, the third has been awful, and the last two don’t strike anyone out.

(Oops and Bello, best of the bunch but not ready).
 
Last edited:

chawson

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I wouldn’t say Hill has been good; 4 starts, 17 innings, a 4.56 FIP. His peripherals are lousy (1.1 HR, 3.2 BB, 5.8 K).

By FIP
Eovaldi 4.45
Wacha 4.02
Hill 4.56
Pivetta 5.46
Or if you prefer xERA

Wacha 3.37
Eovaldi 3.63
Hill 3.73
Pivetta 7.04

Hill’s been solid enough. May be notable that his worst start came the day after his father died.
 

moondog80

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So what's your solution? Let them keep playing and hope that everything evens out?
Because everything is either a 0 or a 10?

The solution is definitely not radically change the philosophy because of one bad month. Improve the team where you can, but trades and the expense of the long term future don't seem to be prudent at this point. Between Casas, Duran, Paxton, and yes, Chris Sale, there are internal options on the way that are at least as likely to help as your typical deadline deal.

Hyperbole aside, what would you have them do at this point?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Sale and Paxton aren’t particularly close to helping, are they?

Seems like DFAing Bradley, platooning Duran / Davis, and calling up Casas to platoon with Dalbec would make the team marginally better. And in a playoff race which should be close, every little bit counts.

I imagine they won’t want to cut bait with Bradley, yet, though. Perhaps when they have to lose a pitcher at the end of May they will be ready to shuffle things up a bit.
 

johnnywayback

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So what's your solution? Let them keep playing and hope that everything evens out?
I think "let them keep playing" seems like a pretty good plan for Verdugo (653 OPS), Story (606 OPS), and Hernandez (595 OPS), all of whom are significantly better than they've been so far. I have less faith in Dalbec and Bradley, but Casas will be here soon enough that it's not worth paying for a 1B upgrade and if you're getting actual offense out of the rest of the lineup, you can live with Bradley because of his defense and Vazquez because apparently they can't find their catcher of the future.
 

soxhop411

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So what's your solution? Let them keep playing and hope that everything evens out?
The issue so far this season has been the offense. Not the pitching. (15th in MLB in team era (3.59) the 6th ranked ERA in MLB is the Twins with 3.15, 8th in MLB in SO, 10th in AVG , 13th in hits

The offense on the other hand
23rd in runs, 25th in HR, 20th in RBI, 20th in BA, 26th in OBP, 21st in slugging 24th in OPS
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Because everything is either a 0 or a 10?

The solution is definitely not radically change the philosophy because of one bad month. Improve the team where you can, but trades and the expense of the long term future don't seem to be prudent at this point. Between Casas, Duran, Paxton, and yes, Chris Sale, there are internal options on the way that are at least as likely to help as your typical deadline deal.

Hyperbole aside, what would you have them do at this point?
I don't think that they should bomb the front office philosophy, even if I don't agree with all of it. Unfortunately, I think that the Red Sox are kind of stuck. They have a lot of holes on this roster that needed to be addressed in the last off season; Bloom seems to be laser focused on improving the minor leagues and I think that he really missed the ball when it came to augmenting the Sox. Right now, he can only do what he can do, right? He has to keep trolling that waiver wire and hope that he can find a platoon right fielder and first baseman, while also trying to find someone to bolster the bullpen. And maybe find another starter.

Like I said, he has a lot of holes to fill and he has to do this without appearing desperate and unloading the farm for a season that might be lost all while knowing that most trades aren't made until after June 1. By then, if the Sox keep playing this way, it might be too late. IDK, maybe Bloom looked at last year's team as a fluke and this year as a bridge year*. Which, you know, kinda sucks. I don't think that the Boston Red Sox should punt any years away and I'd rather not watch a longer version of the 2020 season. That's why I'm frustrated.

* Though if that's the case, why sign Trevor Story unless Xander is definitely gone and he's going to slot Story at SS.

Chaim Bloom shouldn't explicitly tell me exactly what his plans are. But at least with someone like Theo or DD, I knew that they wanted to win every single year. They went for it. Some times it worked, often it didn't. But that's the approach that I appreciate. I'll be the first one to tell you that I'm not a patient sports fan; I think it's foolish to think that patience is a good attribute of a fan. I want my teams to win every year, I completely understand that they won't, but I'd like them to at least try. Bloom is a smart dude and knows more about baseball than alll of us here, there's no doubt about that. But if a majority of us could see back in late March/early April that this team was a flawed collection of ball players, so why couldn't he? That suggests that either he unintentionally whiffed or that he was purposely fine with the team the way that it is constructed.

I'm not sure what's worse.
 

Ganthem

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I think Bloom went into this season not expecting Sale to pitch more then 120 innings. I also think he wasn't expecting more then 120 innings from Houck and around 100 innings from Whitlock. That is why Hill and Wacha came onboard. People seem to think depth means signing starters that will put up a 3.0 era or below. It does not. It means signing players like HIll and Wacha and hoping that they can either over perform (Wacha) or not completely suck (Hill). That being said, as many people have noted, pitching is not the issue.
 

JCizzle

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I asked for a citation because I wanted to know the basis of your opinion. Was it because his HRs were cheap shots over short porches, or came against crappy AAA teams, or that his swing is long, or something. You made an assertion without providing a basis for it and I was asking for the reasons.
It does look like some of his AAA numbers aren't quite what they appear and his MLB numbers were Dalbec-ian in terms of strikeout rate (35.7%).

Boston Red Sox are playing awful; could Jarren Duran, Triston Casas, any prospect help fix flawed team? - masslive.com

His [Duran] 2021 home/road splits at Triple-A were drastic. He slashed .304/.391/.679/1.069 with 19 extra-base hits in 28 games at hitter-friendly Polar Park. He slashed .220/.329/.379/.708 with 10 extra-base hits in 30 games on the road. He belted 11 of his 16 homers at Polar Park. As a left-handed hitter, he used the short porch in right field to his advantage. The ball carries to right there.
With that said, hopefully his change in approach will carry to the majors. If he's worse than JBJ offensively, then he shouldn't be on the roster.

He is batting .360 with a .458 on-base percentage, .560 slugging percentage and 1.018 OPS in 13 games so far for Worcester in 2022. He went on a power surge over the weekend, going 6-for-9 with a homer, two triples and one double Friday and Saturday combined.

But he has just one homer. As Red Sox Stats on Twitter pointed out before Friday’s game, Duran had hit five fly balls in his first 44 plate appearances this season. “Not sure if this approach is intentional or not,” Red Sox Stats wrote. Cora said the Red Sox talked with Duran about being more of a line-drive hitter and using his speed.
 

Ganthem

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I don't think that they should bomb the front office philosophy, even if I don't agree with all of it. Unfortunately, I think that the Red Sox are kind of stuck. They have a lot of holes on this roster that needed to be addressed in the last off season; Bloom seems to be laser focused on improving the minor leagues and I think that he really missed the ball when it came to augmenting the Sox. Right now, he can only do what he can do, right? He has to keep trolling that waiver wire and hope that he can find a platoon right fielder and first baseman, while also trying to find someone to bolster the bullpen. And maybe find another starter.

Like I said, he has a lot of holes to fill and he has to do this without appearing desperate and unloading the farm for a season that might be lost all while knowing that most trades aren't made until after June 1. By then, if the Sox keep playing this way, it might be too late. IDK, maybe Bloom looked at last year's team as a fluke and this year as a bridge year*. Which, you know, kinda sucks. I don't think that the Boston Red Sox should punt any years away and I'd rather not watch a longer version of the 2020 season. That's why I'm frustrated.

* Though if that's the case, why sign Trevor Story unless Xander is definitely gone and he's going to slot Story at SS.

Chaim Bloom shouldn't explicitly tell me exactly what his plans are. But at least with someone like Theo or DD, I knew that they wanted to win every single year. They went for it. Some times it worked, often it didn't. But that's the approach that I appreciate. I'll be the first one to tell you that I'm not a patient sports fan; I think it's foolish to think that patience is a good attribute of a fan. I want my teams to win every year, I completely understand that they won't, but I'd like them to at least try. Bloom is a smart dude and knows more about baseball than alll of us here, there's no doubt about that. But if a majority of us could see back in late March/early April that this team was a flawed collection of ball players, so why couldn't he? That suggests that either he unintentionally whiffed or that he was purposely fine with the team the way that it is constructed.

I'm not sure what's worse.
Why do you think Bloom doesn't want to win this year? Some of the contracts given out last off season were a bit insane. If Bloom had gone hog wild and signed a bunch of players, you would be complaining in a few years when the team had no financial flexibility and had to trade Houck or Whitlock to gain that flexibility.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Why do you think Bloom doesn't want to win this year? Some of the contracts given out last off season were a bit insane. If Bloom had gone hog wild and signed a bunch of players, you would be complaining in a few years when the team had no financial flexibility and had to trade Houck or Whitlock to gain that flexibility.
First question first: I don't know. I'm not Chaim Bloom.

Second observation second: no I wouldn't. I'm very much on the record as believing that the Red Sox are a team that is worth $3.9 billion owned by Fenway Sports Group that is valued at $9.81 billion (third most valuable sport group in the world, according to Forbes) and don't need to trod out the "financial flexibility" excuse like they're the Pittsburgh Pirates. BUT, I'm not getting into that discussion again. So if you want to disagree, that's fine.
 

BaseballJones

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Starting pitching has been pretty decent. Bullpen has been pretty decent. Offense has been worse than anything I’ve ever seen from a Red Sox team. So far anyway.

But only a couple of guys are hitting. You gotta let the good hitters just stay the course. They’ll get better. A lot better. And if they don’t, yeah then you’re sunk. But you’re not a bad GM if you’re counting on Kiké, Story, Devers, X, JD, and Verdugo to be good. If they continue to suck that’s on them, not Chaim. They can, however, work to improve the bottom three. I’d definitely weigh the merits of Duran and Casas. I would NOT panic and start looking to make rash trades.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I would NOT panic and start looking to make rash trades.
Just want to use this line as a jumping off point.

Last week in the "Everything must go" thread, I argued that that thread was premature and it's too soon for trades not just because it's still too early to write anyone off, but because who is there to trade with right now? No one is trading noteworthy pieces on May 2. The only moves available at the moment are waiver wire discards (like Jaylin Davis) or bringing up organizational depth from Worcester.

So the hue and cry that Bloom has to do something significant now, now, NOW or he's failing is petulant and ridiculous. Patience and hope is all there is. That's not pollyanna-ish, it's realistic. No one is happy with how the team is doing. It gets us nowhere to be irrational about it.
 

Rovin Romine

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Just want to use this line as a jumping off point.

Last week in the "Everything must go" thread, I argued that that thread was premature and it's too soon for trades not just because it's still too early to write anyone off, but because who is there to trade with right now? No one is trading noteworthy pieces on May 2. The only moves available at the moment are waiver wire discards (like Jaylin Davis) or bringing up organizational depth from Worcester.

So the hue and cry that Bloom has to do something significant now, now, NOW or he's failing is petulant and ridiculous. Patience and hope is all there is. That's not pollyanna-ish, it's realistic. No one is happy with how the team is doing. It gets us nowhere to be irrational about it.
Yes. There's certainly little or nothing to be done to fix the season via trade at this point. And once you determine the season is a non-competetive one, the playing calculus changes. You can call up some AAA guys and trade some vets.

But it makes little sense to even attempt to gut the farm today to fix one position (say RF) when you also need to also fix C, 1B, 2B, LF and CF. Some of that will just come with time. If they start hitting and winning, the season may be salvageable. If they don't and the season slips away, I doubt one bat would have make a difference.

Two things that can happen - change the "aggressivity" message, and/or replace the hitting coach.

The future take-away is be ready and play hard early (2021) as opposed to opening with a lack-luster effort (2019). All the games matter.
 

Zupcic Fan

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I got a bit sidetracked with JMOH about when it’s ok to blame Bloom. But I most agree with what Baseball Jones just said. In Verdugo, Kike, Story Jd, Devers, and Xander, and even Dalbec, you are definitely not seeing a team where the general manager doesn’t want them to win. For the life of me I don’t see why most of the criticism is being directed towards the man assembling the team and none towards the ones affecting the team’s performance on the field.
I simply don’t understand why this aggressive philosophy to every at bat is acceptable to this manager and hitting coach. I used to love to watch the Sox grind out at bats, get the other team’s starter to 100 pitches by the fifth inning, draw walks, wait for the perfect pitch to hit, etc etc etc.
Now the philosophy seems to be the exact opposite of that. Im amazed by the number of outs this year in key situations where the batter swings at a borderline strike on the first pitch and ends the inning. It’s almost as though the manager thinks that walks are bad things.
If we are going to talk about blame, I would start with whoever is failing to deal with that weakness, not with the person who assembled the lineup, which supposedly was a pretty good one.
 

AB in DC

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Two things that can happen - change the "aggressivity" message, and/or replace the hitting coach.
This is where I am. It's more about the coaching than the GM at this point. They are seriously scuffling at the plate and showing zero benefit to the aggressive posture at the plate. Figure out how to get the most out of what we have now rather than rearranging the deck chairs.
 

YTF

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I would prefer to leave Casas in the minors. Casas needs regular ABs, not a platoon situation. I would strongly consider calling up Duran and letting him play RF. This is a sink or swim year for him in terms of being a major leaguer. JBJ can be the 4th OF.
You've got to help me with this. Duran has has appeared in a grand total of 33 MLB games having started 26 with a grand total of 112 PAs. He's played in 73 AAA games with 242 PAs.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Duran is 25. The team will have potential openings in CF and RF next season. I think the idea is that now would be a good time to see if he can fill one of those roles.
 

Ganthem

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This is where I am. It's more about the coaching than the GM at this point. They are seriously scuffling at the plate and showing zero benefit to the aggressive posture at the plate. Figure out how to get the most out of what we have now rather than rearranging the deck chairs.
I think the be aggressive angle was faulty going back last year. I will concede that it lead them to within two games of the world series, but the massive shifts between hot and cold did not seem conducive towards a team winning it all. The team never seemed to have a middle ground gear. Either they were scoring bunches of runs or they were not scoring any. I am hesitant to jump on Cora, but I am wondering if his managing needs to be called into question. In addition to the adherence to the hitting philosophy he seemed loathed to change his position on pitching up until recently. Pulling guys when they were doing well and had a low pitch count was not conducive to a healthy and happy bullpen.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Why do you think Bloom doesn't want to win this year? Some of the contracts given out last off season were a bit insane. If Bloom had gone hog wild and signed a bunch of players, you would be complaining in a few years when the team had no financial flexibility and had to trade Houck or Whitlock to gain that flexibility.
I think Bloom WANTS to win every year. If he didn't, he wouldn't be in the job. However, I don't think he's going to go for broke every year when he sees a better opportunity to contend at time in the not-too-distant future at a cost more in line with the organizational philosophy. In the interim, he fields a team that can compete enough to not be a complete embarrassment (in theory) and, with enough things going their way, might surprise and get into the tournament. I think he saw 2022, between the lockout (it wasn't a strike) and the contracts he had to deal with and the free agent crop and trade market, as a year that would require a departure from the organizational philosophy to truly contend and decided the risk was not worth the reward.

I don't think he's done tinkering with the roster this year, but I think all of his moves have been and will be with an eye to the future, with any benefit to the present a positive byproduct.
 

Daniel_Son

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I think the be aggressive angle was faulty going back last year. I will concede that it lead them to within two games of the world series, but the massive shifts between hot and cold did not seem conducive towards a team winning it all. The team never seemed to have a middle ground gear. Either they were scoring bunches of runs or they were not scoring any. I am hesitant to jump on Cora, but I am wondering if his managing needs to be called into question. In addition to the adherence to the hitting philosophy he seemed loathed to change his position on pitching up until recently. Pulling guys when they were doing well and had a low pitch count was not conducive to a healthy and happy bullpen.
FWIW, the team was middle of the pack (14th, still above average) last year in Pit/PA, with 3.92 pitches seen. This year, they're dead last - 3.67 pitches seen per plate appearance. They're also last in % of strikes looking and second (behind ATL) in strikes swinging. The other major difference is the lack of home runs - just 1.5% HR/PA this year (compared to 3.6% last year) and 4.4% of their fly balls are home runs this year (compared to 10.3% last year).

They're being more aggressive than they were last year, seeing fewer pitches per at-bat, and producing far-worse results because of it. I think part of it is frustration, but at some point you'd have to think they need to adjust and start being more patient.
 

chawson

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Jarren Duran, right fielder is a notion that needs to be put to bed.

He has not played an inning there this year. There are no baseball writers or prospect sites I can find that project him as an option in right field. There are many who say his arm is fringe-average at best.

SoxProspects: Below-average arm strength, passable in the outfield, but throws lack carry. (Also discussed recently on their podcast as not an option in right.)

Baseball Prospectus: He's got a Notorious-ly [they were doing a name pun] weak arm that could limit him to left field

MLB.com: Duran lacks experience in center field and it shows. He has improved his reads and routes but they still need more work, and he often relies on his speed to overcome his mistakes. His fringy arm strength is playable in center.

Fangraphs: “Instincts in right field are still not great but they have improved to the point of viability…Arm grade: 40”

Prospectslive.com: Solid mechanics with average arm action; accurate, stays through the ball; arm strength is fringe-average when he gets his body into it, below-average when he doesn't; some arc to long throws, can miss cut. Fine for center/left, too weak for right Grade: 45

[I don't have a Baseball America subscription]

His outfield defense — specifically his routes — seems to have improved to the point where he’s an option, which is great. Even putting aside that we have the hardest right field in baseball, his arm strength is not the trait that has gotten better. I suppose it’s possible he plays center and Kiké shifts to right, though that would downgrade the CF defense substantially. But I think we should stop trying to plug him into right field.
 

YTF

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Duran is 25. The team will have potential openings in CF and RF next season. I think the idea is that now would be a good time to see if he can fill one of those roles.
That's a bit different from what was stated. Also, FWIW in addition to the 33 MLB games and 73 games of AAA experience, the rest of Duran's Minor League experience includes 117 games in A ball (2018-19), 82 games in AA in 2019 and of course no games in 2020. As much as I would like to see some sort of solution to the OF issue, Duran doesn't need to be here in May to audition for an opening next year. He needs to be here in May if he's ready and able to contribute on a daily or near daily basis.
 

YTF

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Jarren Duran, right fielder is a notion that needs to be put to bed.

He has not played an inning there this year. There are no baseball writers or prospect sites I can find that project him as an option in right field. There are many who say his arm is fringe-average at best.

SoxProspects: Below-average arm strength, passable in the outfield, but throws lack carry. (Also discussed recently on their podcast as not an option in right.)

Baseball Prospectus: He's got a Notorious-ly [they were doing a name pun] weak arm that could limit him to left field

MLB.com: Duran lacks experience in center field and it shows. He has improved his reads and routes but they still need more work, and he often relies on his speed to overcome his mistakes. His fringy arm strength is playable in center.

Fangraphs: “Instincts in right field are still not great but they have improved to the point of viability…Arm grade: 40”

Prospectslive.com: Solid mechanics with average arm action; accurate, stays through the ball; arm strength is fringe-average when he gets his body into it, below-average when he doesn't; some arc to long throws, can miss cut. Fine for center/left, too weak for right Grade: 45

[I don't have a Baseball America subscription]

His outfield defense — specifically his routes — seems to have improved to the point where he’s an option, which is great. Even putting aside that we have the hardest right field in baseball, his arm strength is not the trait that has gotten better. I suppose it’s possible he plays center and Kiké shifts to right, though that would downgrade the CF defense substantially. But I think we should stop trying to plug him into right field.
I don't advocate Duran ATM, but if/when the time comes he probably plays left. Verdugo likely moves between left and right.
 

scottyno

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I think what Bloom failed to account for is that the offense in general fell off rather drastically after the ASB last season, and needed far larger improvement than what we got in order to remain competitive.
They had their 2 best offensive months of the season in August and September/October. You could have found this with 10 seconds of research, but instead you're just making shit up to try to argue your ridiculous point that everyone should be fired if they don't make massive changes because of less than one months worth of games.
 

chawson

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I don't advocate Duran ATM, but if/when the time comes he probably plays left. Verdugo likely moves between left and right.
I mean, maybe? For a game or two sure, but if Verdugo were an everyday solution in right field, wouldn’t he be playing there? It’s much easier for the Sox to find a left fielder than a right fielder.
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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They had their 2 best offensive months of the season in August and September/October. You could have found this with 10 seconds of research, but instead you're just making shit up to try to argue your ridiculous point that everyone should be fired if they don't make massive changes because of less than one months worth of games.
Maybe he meant they fell off in the last two games of the season? Games 5 and 6 against the Astros weren't pretty offensively (nor was Game 4). That would be just as over-reactive as panicking over 23 games.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I mean, maybe? For a game or two sure, but if Verdugo were an everyday solution in right field, wouldn’t he be playing there? It’s much easier for the Sox to find a left fielder than a right fielder.
If Verdugo were playing RF, who would be playing LF, Jackie Bradley Jr? They only have three OF on the roster, right?

And if Arroyo can play RF, couldn’t Duran?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If Verdugo were playing RF, who would be playing LF, Jackie Bradley Jr? They only have three OF on the roster, right?

And if Arroyo can play RF, couldn’t Duran?
I think the only thing that doesn't play in RF with Duran is his arm. He's not a very instinctive OF, but his speed could play in RF as well as it plays in CF.

Verdugo has the experience for RF at Fenway, though his instincts/smarts aren't the best either. Probably wouldn't make much of a difference which one was in which corner.
 

YTF

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I mean, maybe? For a game or two sure, but if Verdugo were an everyday solution in right field, wouldn’t he be playing there? It’s much easier for the Sox to find a left fielder than a right fielder.
I'm talking strictly if/when Duran gets called up. If he and Bradley are both here what are your options? You don't want Duran in right, you don't want Kike' out of center and it seems most of us don't want Bradley in the starting line up. That sort of limits things.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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If Duran gets called up, I can’t imagine they’d keep Bradley around. Bradley as a backup when starting Duran and Verdugo just doesn’t make any sense.
 
Then they were all wrong. Including Bloom.

Bloom built this mess. He needs to fix it now. That means making changes, and big ones. If that means punting Dalbec into the sun, so be it.

It's never ever ever EVER acceptable to throw up one's hands and say "maybe they'll snap out of it." No. This is very possibly the worst Sox offense of all time in the modern era, and it simply cannot continue. That means players, coaches and yes GMs could lose their jobs. That's the deal. Always has been.
As much as I wish it were possible, I don't see how it can just be "fixed now." There are some things the team could possibly do that might help, but it's far from a guarantee of a fix and some of the possible solutions have significant costs attached to them. I don't follow the minors closely enough to have an opinion about whether it would be wise to bring up Duran or Casas, so I'll stay agnostic on that. But firing Bloom seems absolutely insane to me. I don't see how that would fix anything this season and could easily compromise the organizational plan. What GM would want to work here if they had to worry that they'd get fired if the team sucked for a month? It only makes sense to fire people if it will actually help fix the problem.

I think what Bloom failed to account for is that the offense in general fell off rather drastically after the ASB last season, and needed far larger improvement than what we got in order to remain competitive.

What's depressing is the complete non-competitiveness of so many ABs. There's zero plate discipline, zero game awareness, and zero ability to bear down and drive in a run when needed. We saw a lot of this same thing last season as well, which makes me wonder about the mental makeup of the club. Is there a sports psychologist on staff for the team?
Your first claim just isn't correct. Maybe the data from fangraphs is wrong, but here is what they have for the Sox last year:

  • 1st Half: .326 wOBA/102 wRC+/.753 OPS
  • 2nd Half: .341 wOBA/112 wRC+/.798 OPS
I absolutely agree that plate discipline is a huge problem. Looking at the statcast data it's the most glaring issue with the team, and could be why the team is also making such bad contact. I 100% agree with you that simple "wait and see" isn't a good approach, and I also agree with you that the quality of the opposition, weather, balls etc. are not a good enough explanation to wave away the Sox's offense. Like you said, many teams have dealt with the weather and ball quality and are performing better than the Sox. Offense is down across MLB, but not nearly as much as it is for the Sox. Quality of opposition does matter, but not enough to accept the garbage that we've been witnessing.

As far as "ability to bear down and drive in a run when needed" goes, is that even a thing? Like, players can just decide to hit better when there are men on base or the game is close? How does that work? Personally if I were a coach and I found out that my players were choosing to hit better when there were men on base I'd be kinda pissed. Why can't you just hit like that all the time? I get that perhaps some players are clutch and some players aren't, but I don't think that it's a choice or a skill that has been intentionally learned.

I also don't buy the argument made by quite a few people that the problem lies with Dalbec and JBJ. Yes, Dalbec and JBJ are not good and even I (who put a good amount of trust in Bloom) was scratching my head about going into the season with him JBJ starting in right. I was a bit more agnostic on Dalbec.

Regardless, how soon we forget that just last season the Red Sox routinely trotted out several players who were awful on offense and still as a team managed to perform really well. In the first half, the Red Sox handed 772 PA to Marwin Gonzalez, Danny Santana, Franchy Cordero, Bobby Dalbec, and Michael Chavis, plus another 381 to Christian Vazquez, Kevin Plawecki, and Connor Wong. That's out of a total of 3,425 PA. So roughly a third of the teams plate appearances were going to offensive black holes. Also recall that neither Kike nor Renfroe were actually good out of the gate. Both really started the season slow, with Kike posting a slugging heavy .671 in March/April and Renfroe offering a putrid .485 (!!!). Kike improved some in May and June and then really took off in July, and Renfroe had a great May before settling in to being solid after that.

Last year, the team trotted out a lot of dreck in March/April. But they managed to do well because of a combination of luck and JD (1.175), X (.915), Devers (.958), and Verdugo (.863) carrying the team.

The bottom half of our lineup this year looks a lot like it did last year, only corrected for the overall lower offensive environment. The real difference is at the top, where X is the only player pulling weight at .919. Devers (who many of you were clamoring to throw 300 million at) is OPSing .776. JD has been OK but has still only managed .825 in limited playing time. Verdugo is at .653 despite a hot start. Both Kike and Story are under .600.

So yeah, the bottom of our lineup has been awful but JD, Devers and Verdugo have all lost more than .200 of OPS versus their March/April performance last year.

If those numbers reflect what we are going to get from Devers, Verdugo, JD, Kike, and Story this season then this team simply isn't going to do well.

Regarding the arguments that the team came into the season without clearly defined roles etc., I'd argue that the same was even more true last year. Going into last season, the only really solid outfield spot was Verdugo, with the other two positions being split between Kike, Marwin, Renfroe, Franchy etc. The bullpen didn't exactly have a super clear-cut structure either, although I'll admit that at least it was presumed that Barnes would be the closer. First base was still Chavis/Dalbec/???.

So what do I think the team should be doing now? I don't have a good, specific answer to that question aside from trying to figure out if there is something systemic going on that is causing the whole team to drag. The most likely candidate is the plate discipline, but it's unclear to me what would be causing that problem. I'm inclined to think that the scrutiny should start with the hitting coach and spread from there. These aren't the kinds of problems that are going to be fixed by personnel changes quickly enough to save the season.