Red Sox in season discussion

Aug 20, 2007
268
Boston
OK, but pitchers may be working up high more in recent seasons to offset the launch angle approach by batters:

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/fastballs-keep-pouring-into-the-top-of-the-zone/

I'd expect fewer passed balls on higher pitches.

The Baseball America article says that passed ball/wild pitch chances has remained the same since 2017.
The opportunity rate for wild pitches and passed balls has remained quite static. The overall percentage of balls in the dirt with runners on was 2.3% of pitches in 2017 and is 2.2% of pitches in 2022, according to Baseball Savant.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Oct 1, 2015
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Passed balls in general are a wildly overrated thing in terms of impact, no MLB catcher currently has more than 8 for the season. Vazquez was tied for the AL ‘lead’ last year at 10, but that seems to me like essentially a rounding error in a 162 game season.

Also I just saw a study in the past week or so that the one knee approach actually lowers passed balls, although I don’t remember where.
I don’t know the data on this but for whatever benefits it may have, the one knee technique opens the door to more injuries for a catcher. Look at the photo. The catcher’s left thigh is exposed because the leg protection is on the ground while the thigh has nothing covering it. Contrast that with the right leg which is fully protected by the shin guard.

Like I said, I don’t know how many more catchers get hit with foul tips in the exposed thigh… maybe it’s minuscule. But clearly they’re more exposed to that kind of thing.

And as someone who once caught…. Getting a foul tip off the body hurts like crazy. And I’ve never had a foul tip from a 98 mph pitch. Can’t even imagine what that feels like.
 

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Johnny Rico
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It’s been pretty crazy to watch. I’ve only watched maybe 5 games since the deadline but he doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself.
I’d prefer it to be an injury but I have a suspicion that the Vazquez trade and X’s likely departure have really affected him.
Should we send him some Vazquez and X bobblehead dolls and Tshirts?
 

BravesField

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Oct 27, 2021
111
It’s been pretty crazy to watch. I’ve only watched maybe 5 games since the deadline but he doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself.
I’d prefer it to be an injury but I have a suspicion that the Vazquez trade and X’s likely departure have really affected him.
Yes, he does seem unhappy, but there could/might be other reasons.

1. He plays for a last place team. Not a lot to smile about there.
2. Pitchers are pitching around him since the struggles of X, JDM and departure of Varitek.
3. He feels the Sox are not going to give him the money he wants after next year.
4. Injury, as you say.

But no doubt whatever the reason, he is not a happy camper.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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It’s been pretty crazy to watch. I’ve only watched maybe 5 games since the deadline but he doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself.
I’d prefer it to be an injury but I have a suspicion that the Vazquez trade and X’s likely departure have really affected him.
Not trying to single you out, but this kinda thing seems like the astrology of baseball fandom to me. His slump corresponds to his return from an injury, a recovery likely rushed as the team was on a losing streak. Why wouldn't it be the injury? What makes Xander's departure "likely" when both sides have consistently said they want him in Boston?
 

absintheofmalaise

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The gran facenda
I don’t know the data on this but for whatever benefits it may have, the one knee technique opens the door to more injuries for a catcher. Look at the photo. The catcher’s left thigh is exposed because the leg protection is on the ground while the thigh has nothing covering it. Contrast that with the right leg which is fully protected by the shin guard.

Like I said, I don’t know how many more catchers get hit with foul tips in the exposed thigh… maybe it’s minuscule. But clearly they’re more exposed to that kind of thing.

And as someone who once caught…. Getting a foul tip off the body hurts like crazy. And I’ve never had a foul tip from a 98 mph pitch. Can’t even imagine what that feels like.
Catchers get the crap beat out of them by foul balls and many other types of contacts with hard and fast moving objects. I admire that you were a catcher. I would never play that position. Your post got me curious about catcher injuries and I found this on Fangraphs that lists injuries, along with for all players who went on the IL by year, position, and team. And yes, I do know that players take off for days and don't go on the IL for nagging injuries, but those aren't listed here. I wasn't able to find a way to just list catchers.
Undisclosed seems to be a popular injury category. Ten catchers had that listed as their injury. I only checked for this season, but except for a few hand injuries, which could come no matter what type of stance the catcher is in and could also happen while batting, I didn't see anything that stood out for injuries because of foul balls and wild pitches. There were quite a few concussions too. But, those are to be expected because of the position they play. I'm not sure if their stance would play in to that. I'm not sure how stance related injuries could be tracked, but I'm also sure the teams do that internally.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Not trying to single you out, but this kinda thing seems like the astrology of baseball fandom to me. His slump corresponds to his return from an injury, a recovery likely rushed as the team was on a losing streak. Why wouldn't it be the injury? What makes Xander's departure "likely" when both sides have consistently said they want him in Boston?
Since when has any poster ever taken a teams or players comments at face value? Unless there’s anyone here with inside info, we’re all reading into things. I acknowledge and hope it’s likely an injury but players are emotional beings and for whatever reasons they can get into a funk that can affect their performance.
I’m reading tea-leaves that say Xander, Devers mentor on the team, is likely gone.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Catchers get the crap beat out of them by foul balls and many other types of contacts with hard and fast moving objects. I admire that you were a catcher. I would never play that position. Your post got me curious about catcher injuries and I found this on Fangraphs that lists injuries, along with for all players who went on the IL by year, position, and team. And yes, I do know that players take off for days and don't go on the IL for nagging injuries, but those aren't listed here. I wasn't able to find a way to just list catchers.
Undisclosed seems to be a popular injury category. Ten catchers had that listed as their injury. I only checked for this season, but except for a few hand injuries, which could come no matter what type of stance the catcher is in and could also happen while batting, I didn't see anything that stood out for injuries because of foul balls and wild pitches. There were quite a few concussions too. But, those are to be expected because of the position they play. I'm not sure if their stance would play in to that. I'm not sure how stance related injuries could be tracked, but I'm also sure the teams do that internally.
Great post. Yeah I don't know how this gets quantified. And maybe the benefit to the one-knee stance far outweighs the potential dings a catcher might take. I just know that I've taken foul balls off shins, and thank God for the shin protectors. It would have scared me to put one knee down and expose my leg like that. But then, I caught a LONG time ago and it wasn't even a thing to catch with one knee down, so it wouldn't even have occurred to me, I don't think.
 

johnlos

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Aug 22, 2014
73
Yes, he does seem unhappy, but there could/might be other reasons.

1. He plays for a last place team. Not a lot to smile about there.
2. Pitchers are pitching around him since the struggles of X, JDM and departure of Varitek.
3. He feels the Sox are not going to give him the money he wants after next year.
4. Injury, as you say.

But no doubt whatever the reason, he is not a happy camper.
Probably won't be a better time to sign him to a long-term deal. Not gonna get much of a discount since it's only 100 AB. But I've been really impressed with his defense (positive defensive fWAR!) so we really need to lock him up
 

JCizzle

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Dec 11, 2006
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It looks like Wong and Bazardo are on their way up. I still don't understand why Casas isn't with the big league club. In my opinion, it makes the most sense to call up Wong and Bazardo, DFA Brasier for German, and option Dalbec for Casas. He needs to play.

 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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Hopefully we will be seeing mostly Wong and McGuire at C the rest of the way.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Yes, he does seem unhappy, but there could/might be other reasons.

1. He plays for a last place team. Not a lot to smile about there.
2. Pitchers are pitching around him since the struggles of X, JDM and departure of Varitek.
3. He feels the Sox are not going to give him the money he wants after next year.
4. Injury, as you say.

But no doubt whatever the reason, he is not a happy camper.
Not trying to pick on you here, but I believe this is the second time you've done this, and in reference to the same player.

That player is Christian Vásquez, not Jason Varitek. They are much different in age, heritage, size, and, at this point, skill. Also, Varitek is still with the Sox. He's one of the coaches. Vásquez was the one who was traded away.

Vásquez, not Varitek. Vásquez.
 

scottyno

late Bloomer
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Dec 7, 2008
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Yes, he does seem unhappy, but there could/might be other reasons.

1. He plays for a last place team. Not a lot to smile about there.
2. Pitchers are pitching around him since the struggles of X, JDM and departure of Varitek.
3. He feels the Sox are not going to give him the money he wants after next year.
4. Injury, as you say.

But no doubt whatever the reason, he is not a happy camper.
Are teams really pitching around him? He had 8 walks in August, but only 2 in the last 2 weeks.

My guess is he's unhappy because he just had the worst month of his career in the month that effectively eliminated his team from the playoff race and he's been even worse over the last 2 weeks.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Dec 22, 2002
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people still rushing to pay Devers 10/300? Maybe his slump is just him returning back to career norms and 2022 didn't establish a new baseline of production.

What does the 130-140 OPS+ Devers get?
 

YTF

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Not trying to pick on you here, but I believe this is the second time you've done this, and in reference to the same player.

That player is Christian Vásquez, not Jason Varitek. They are much different in age, heritage, size, and, at this point, skill. Also, Varitek is still with the Sox. He's one of the coaches. Vásquez was the one who was traded away.

Vásquez, not Varitek. Vásquez.
In all fairness, Tek isn't all that recognizable these days.
https://www.yahoo.com/video/dude-got-stunned-fan-doesn-221450235.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAJ1a86bb90JrocUufNjL4teTUuMi8YHnVw0ZV5D01wWYNg8Epwyj6eJiQWdiU-sV3RSFwtNAlLDgoddEyreZPs9vrb7P-I6B8vG9RL-251O7bnl9pFFSp2tHYt0DDAu1_QDjAQwZn7Bv_47NCW_hOWs3ac127o_gxyo_Kme5SycS
 

mikcou

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May 13, 2007
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people still rushing to pay Devers 10/300? Maybe his slump is just him returning back to career norms and 2022 didn't establish a new baseline of production.

What does the 130-140 OPS+ Devers get?
Given Austin Riley just got 10/215 with all three arb years remaining, I think Devers easily gets $300M as a FA. If you assume Riley would get like $35M in arbitration pay ($5M, $10M, $20M); that puts his FA years at 7/180 or a $27M AAV. Getting that guaranteed three years early, strongly suggests to me that ATL views him as a $30M+ a year player and if you think Devers is a bad fielder, Riley is pretty brutal and shows no signs of improving.
 

BravesField

lurker
Oct 27, 2021
111
Not trying to pick on you here, but I believe this is the second time you've done this, and in reference to the same player.

That player is Christian Vásquez, not Jason Varitek. They are much different in age, heritage, size, and, at this point, skill. Also, Varitek is still with the Sox. He's one of the coaches. Vásquez was the one who was traded away.

Vásquez, not Varitek. Vásquez.
If I keep this up, I'll never be promoted from Lurker Status.............
 

YTF

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Kutter has been pretty terrible lately, anyways. Seabold should get another shot, I would think. He and Mata are really the only choices.
Mata's on the 40 man. He's coming back from TJ last season, but has looked good in 15 starts this year between Portland and WOOstah. He's only thrown 68.2 innings in 15 starts and 1 relief appearance so if he gets the call I wouldn't expect him to be pushed too far into a game. If he can get through four innings or even into the fifth with a relatively low pitch count it might be a good chance to see what he can do at the ML level. That said, he's only pitched 2 games in AAA to date, so there might be some reluctance to rush him.
 

E5 Yaz

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Bogaerts has back spasms (via PeteAbe) and won't play Wednesday.

What is it with this team and back issues?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Personally I’d start Whitlock. I want him in the rotation for ‘23.

But Seabold deserves a shot. His K and BB rate is very good and he just seemed unlucky his prior starts
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Oct 23, 2001
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After last night's performance, Hill's ERA+ stands at 87 (his worst showing since 2013) and his WAR is 0.1. He's not a JBJ-level waste of money, but do we still think he was a shrewd signing by Bloom?
 

moondog80

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After last night's performance, Hill's ERA+ stands at 87 (his worst showing since 2013) and his WAR is 0.1. He's not a JBJ-level waste of money, but do we still think he was a shrewd signing by Bloom?
His peripherals suggest he was a little unlucky and closer to league average. But even if you reject advanced metrics, he cost them $5 million and no players. So if it wasn't a success, it's not like it really hurt them either.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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His peripherals suggest he was a little unlucky and closer to league average. But even if you reject advanced metrics, he cost them $5 million and no players. So if it wasn't a success, it's not like it really hurt them either.
He was also much better in the first half before the team was out of the playoffs. He held down the Chris Sale sized hole in the rotation admirably while it mattered.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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His peripherals suggest he was a little unlucky and closer to league average. But even if you reject advanced metrics, he cost them $5 million and no players. So if it wasn't a success, it's not like it really hurt them either.
You only have so many roster spots, though. A $5M replacement level starter isn’t the end of the world, but there was an opportunity cost to signing Hill, I think.
 

moondog80

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You only have so many roster spots, though. A $5M replacement level starter isn’t the end of the world, but there was an opportunity cost to signing Hill, I think.
What opportunity did they pass up? Assume you can only spend the same amount of money.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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What opportunity did they pass up? Assume you can only spend the same amount of money.
Impossible to know for sure; but passing on Hill, Paxton, and Bradley is more than enough to pay Rodon. Skipping out on Hill and Paxton frees up enough to get Jansen and keep Whitlock or Houck in the rotation. Lots of different things they could have done, theoretically at least. 100 innings at a 87 ERA+ is fine but not sure what it really did for the team.