Red Sox in season discussion

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,622
Happened with Mientkiewicz too, Sox were playing Twins the day of the Nomar trade.
 

canderson

Mr. Brightside
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
34,409
Harrisburg, Pa.
I fully expect Fatse or one of his two other assistants to get canned this week. Safe to say the three man hitting coach experiment isn’t working.
 

twibnotes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
19,128
I fully expect Fatse or one of his two other assistants to get canned this week. Safe to say the three man hitting coach experiment isn’t working.
Three different guys saying “swing early and often” seems like a bad use of financial resources
 

OCD SS

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Going from playing half the games a mile high in a market with minimal media/fan pressure to playing in Boston is quite the switch. Some thrive on the extra "pressure" playing in a market like Boston ..others struggle.....
Or there could be a long, documented history of “the Coors effect” including Rockies’ players suffering offensive hangovers when they go on the road and facing pitching with normal break and movement at lower altitudes, so that their road splits exaggerate towards the negative just as their home splits are inflated.

But yeah, let’s just keep citing unadjusted road splits as his obvious true talent level.
 

Remagellan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
If you want to know Story's story, just look at Francisco Lindor's season last year. Both players changed teams, changed leagues, and became first time fathers right as the season began.

Lindor's 2021 OPS by month:

April/March .531
May .637
June .765
July .989
August .440 (in seven games after coming back from a strained oblique that caused him to miss significant time.)
Sept/Oct .895

This season: .757 (124 OPS+)

Now obviously they're two different people, but isn't it possible that Story is dealing with a lot of the same issues that Lindor did early last season? I've never been a father, but I did take care of both of my parents near the end of their lives, and I remember how erratic my sleep was back then because of my responsibilities as a caregiver. As for his time at the park, you well might concentrate on his road splits, because the season probably will be three quarters done before every game stops feeling like a road game to Trevor. He's a human being dealing with a lot of upheaval in his life. It's reasonable that there is going to be an adjustment period, and while it might be longer than anyone here, or Story himself, would like it to be, it doesn't mean it's going to be forever.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
63,418
Mike Petriello is the guy who has written extensively and for years about the reverse Coors effect, batters have to prepare for entirely different repertoires at home and on the road. At least one year they had the best team OPS of all 30 teams at home and the 30th on the road, clearly the latter is no more generally representative of actual skill level than the former, even though we all believed that for many years.

I have posted this here a bunch over the years but the Chris Iannetta table demonstrates it nicely as he played for three other teams in between separate stints for the Rockies and there are 5+ seasons for both.

View: https://twitter.com/mike_petriello/status/1084192801309556738
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,133
Mike Petriello is the guy who has written extensively and for years about the reverse Coors effect, batters have to prepare for entirely different repertoires at home and on the road. At least one year they had the best team OPS of all 30 teams at home and the 30th on the road, clearly the latter is no more generally representative of actual skill level than the former, even though we all believed that for many years.

I have posted this here a bunch over the years but the Chris Iannetta table demonstrates it nicely as he played for three other teams in between separate stints for the Rockies and there are 5+ seasons for both.

View: https://twitter.com/mike_petriello/status/1084192801309556738
I feel like this post should auto-replace anytime someone writes “Coors Effect,” à la misspelled Buchholz.
 

cantor44

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2020
1,398
Chicago, IL
Bad years happens to all teams. Maybe he'll be accountable when he has a real off season and the farm has a chance to develop under him.

Sorry, but your argument just reads as you crying about the sox being cheap. The sox are not cheap, you just don't like the way they spend their money. We have a lower bar of player acquisition? What? Prove this. After all, it is a "fact."

Literally nothing has changed. People have always used past performances for reassurance, and a lot of the times they are right. These arguments took place under DD, BC, and TE. You are just upset they aren't signing home grown guys to massive contracts so you created a narrative.
eh ... I dunno ... I didn't say there was anything wrong with "using past performances for reassurance" - certainly that's appropriate.

I noticed the mention of using past performances for evidence players were "solid" ...And solid is a lowered standard. Nor did I say the team was cheap. My observation is this: Bloom has a conservative approach. And he has the team in an in-between. Neither GFIN nor rebuilding. I think he'd like to rebuild, but knows the fan base doesn't have the patience for it. So, he's done just enough to stay respectable, but not enough to be good enough ...(though it turns out, they're not so respectable this year).

Both his big off season acquisition, and last year's big deadline acquisition were made cuz he could make 'em for a little less ... Schwarber because he was injured, and Story because he was the last all-star standing, and coming off a down year.

I would have liked for Bloom to have gone for Suzuki, or Schwarber again, or decent platoon for first base, or maybe at least one blue chip reliever like Iglesias. You can say "they can't afford all that!" ... but they really probably could - or at least two of those guys.

He's left the team with many holes.

Of course he wants to win. But my guess is he wants to win with guys he brought to the team, his team from the ground up, and ideally for less $/WAR or whatever, to prove his cleverness. He'd like to totally rebuild, but that's politically difficult to do in Boston.

Nor am I "just upset about homegrown guys." I get the complication with both X and Devers - both liabilities in the field, and X not getting any younger. While I'd like them to stick around, I recognize that they're both complicated cases. But the talent level is not going UP or even staying even under Bloom ...

Maybe it's gotta go down before it can go back up ... but if that's the case, just rip the goddamn bandaid off already and fire sale it, and let's do what the White Sox did a few years ago.
 

cantor44

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 23, 2020
1,398
Chicago, IL
They did have the a backup to JBJ. His name is Durran. Though most of SOSH might have decreed that he is not a mlb player, I doubt Bloom will come to that conclusion based on 112 ab. They had a backup for Dalbec. His name is Cassas and I believe Franchy was taking reps at first base last year. As cool as it would be to have all stars at every position, in order to remain competitive and not have a massively bloated payroll, Bloom needs to take swings on JBJ and he needs to have a reasonably long leash with guys like Dalbec and Durran. At the end of the day though, signing Pham or some other backup outfielder would not matter. Verdugo, Kike, and Story can't hit their way out of a paper bag. JDM spent a bulk of time on not playing due to an injury and Devers started hot, but has cooled down considerably. There is no way Bloom could have protected the Sox against that.
It is true - the abysmal performances of Verdugo, Kiké, and Story are not on Bloom. At the same time, he's traded Benintendi, Betts, and then Renfroe ... while there are arguments for all of those, we're left with JBJ starting and no RHH platoon. We're left with Dalbec starting and no RHH platoon for him except for Franchy, who we all know will never be a good major leaguer ...(and as a back up plan Casas needs at least a few more months in AAA) ....

It's not necessarily about having all-stars at every position, but at some positions while the other positions are filled by good players.

Critics can be reactive and sometimes lose the longview - I confess this myself. But Bloom defenders are reactive, too, finding any and all ways to defend him in all instances. There is a need to worship Bloom ... but, well, he's just a man. And for whatever combination of factors - some in his control and others not - his team is currently one of the worst in baseball.

He's done good things. And he's also failed in some ways. How about the critics agree to keep it in perspective, and the acolytes agree that maybe, while intelligent, he's a flawed GM.
 
This thread is getting as hard to read as the games are to watch.

Digging down into the data some more, here's a year over year comparison:

Stats in all of these are AVG/OBP/ISO/BABIP/wRC+

2021

  • AL (using AL not MLB due to no NL DH in 2021) - .245/.316/.169/.291/100
  • Red Sox - .261/.328/.188/.309/107
  • Devers - .279/.352/.259/.307/134
  • X - .295/.370/.198/.333/130
  • Kike - .250/.337/.199/.278/110
  • Verdugo - .289/.351/.138/.327/107
  • Story (COL) - .251/.329/.221/.293/100
  • JBJ (MIL) - .163/.236/.098/.226/35
  • JD - .286/.349/.232/.340/128
  • Dalbec - .240/.298/.254/.316/107
  • Vaz - .258/.308/.094/.301/79
  • Arroyo - .262/.324/.183/.325/107
  • Plawecki - .287/.349/.102/.328/102
  • Franchy - .189/.237/.071/.307/32
2022

  • AL - .231/.302/.137/.279/100
  • Red Sox - .226/.279/.116/.274/79
  • Devers - .293/.322/.172/.323/127
  • X - .337/.389/.135/.423/154
  • Kike - .182/.252/.111/.221/58
  • Verdugo - .210/.245/.120/.202/56
  • Story - .202/.287/.079/.310/68
  • JBJ - .205/.267/.096/.270/65
  • JD - .296/.341/.222/.375/148
  • Dalbec - ..143/.230/.078/.196/33
  • Vaz - .214/.270/.089/.244/65
  • Arroyo - .205/.250/.068/.229/51
  • Plawecki - .138/.161/.000/.174/-20
  • Franchy - .222/.250/.056/.235/48

Overall, league offense is down but the Red Sox are down much, much worse. The AL is at -5.7%/-7.9%/-18.1%/-4.2% in AVG/OBP/ISO/BABIP while the Red Sox are at -13.4%/-14.9%/-38.3%/-11.3%/-26.2% in AVG/OBP/ISO/BABIP/wRC+ year over year. wRC+ is normalized to the run environment, so that 26.2% dropoff is a solid number to use to conceptualize the overall team performance relative to the league. We can see that the Sox are struggling relative to the league in every category, with declines in every category roughly double what the league has experienced.

To save time, I'm going to focus on year over year change in BABIP/wRC+ for the individual players:

  • Devers +5.2%/-5.2%
  • X +27%/+18.5%
  • Kike -20.5%/-47.3%
  • Verdugo -38.2%/-47.7%
  • Story +5.8%/-32%
  • JBJ +19.5%/+85.7%
  • JD +10.3%/+15.6%
  • Dalbec -38%/-69.2%
  • Vaz -19%/-17.7%
  • Arroyo -29.5%/-52.3%
  • Plawecki -47%/LOL
  • Franchy -23.5%/+50%
Let's look at some statcast data, too. Here are year over year changes in xBA, xwOBA, and xwOBACON:

  • Devers +3.4%/-9.9%/-13.8%
  • X +4.3%/-2.2%/-3.5%
  • Kike -17%/-19.4%/-18.9%
  • Verdugo +.3%/0/-1.1%
  • Story -11.8%/-14%/-2.5%
  • JBJ +20.6%/+14.2%/+5.7%
  • JD -.7%/0/+4.5%
  • Dalbec -10.6%/-16.3%/-28.4%
  • Vaz +8.1%/+18.1%/+24.2%
  • Arroyo +13.4%/+15.6%/+12.2%
  • Plawecki -23.3%/-33%/-24.4%
  • Franchy +1%/+27.6%/-9.1%

So with all that in mind, lets go player by player and see what the data suggests:

Devers - overall Devers only lost a little bit this season, with his wRC+ dropping by about 5%. That said, there are some concerns looking at the underlying data. His BABIP is actually up, but his xwOBA and xwOBACON are both down substantially, particularly his xwOBACON. I think this fits with his big drop in ISO. Maybe it's just the ball, but if Devers is losing power that's a pretty big deal, and the bad (for him) xwOBA and xwOBACON numbers suggest that he is less likely to just turn it around by luck.

X - X is obviously hitting, but his unsustainably high BABIP has had a lot of us suspicious. That said, his xwOBA and xwOBACON numbers are only down slightly. While his BABIP may regress, the statcast data doesn't suggest a big regression in the overall picture.

Kike - Looks like a disaster. Everything is down substantially.

Verdugo - Initially looks like as big of a disaster as Kike, but his xwOBA is flat, his xwOBACON only barely down, and his xBA is actually up a tiny bit. That strongly suggests that Verdugo's dropoff is due to luck and he's a great candidate to bounce back hard.

Story - At first Story looks like a disaster. His BABIP is up a bit, but his wRC+ is hugely down. His xBA and xwOBA are both also down substantially, but interestingly his xwOBACON is only down slightly. I'm not 100% sure what to make of this but it seems to suggest that Story's degradation largely has to do with situations where he isn't making contact. His BB% is steady, but his K% is way up. I think the story (sorry) that this data is telling is that Story is pressing. He might be trying too hard to smack the shit out of the ball, and as a result his strikeouts are up and his xBA/xwOBA are both down, but when he is making contact he's still hitting the ball well.

JBJ - While JBJ has been getting a ton of hate in this thread and elsewhere, he's actually one of the few bright spots year over year. His BABIP is up (which you would expect, as it was incredibly bad in '21) and his wRC+ is massively up. He's not a good hitter by any stretch, but he really has improved on last year's numbers by quite a lot. His improvements when he makes contact are modest, but his K% is way down and his BB% is up, which is helping his xwOBA a lot.

JD - It sure looks like JD is just being JD, with only minor changes in his statcast data, and a jump in wRC+ that is likely fueled by a luck-based BABIP increase. He's hitting a touch better than last season.

Dalbec - Looks like even more of a disaster. His success last season was propped up by an absolutely massive xwOBACON. Basically when Dalbec actually hit the ball he did damage. He's cut his strikeouts down and upped his walks a little this year, but not enough to offset the massive drop in quality of contact. If he can somehow start producing elite results on contact again while maintaining the drop in K rate he could be quite good, but I have no idea if that's possible or not. It does look like he is having some bad luck as his BABIP is down 38% but his xBA is only down 10.6%, and his BABIP wasn't insane or anything last year.

Vaz - Oddly Vaz looks like a great candidate for luck-based improvement. His BABIP and wRC+ are both down substantially, but his statcast data suggests that he's actually improved quite a lot since last year. His quality of contact is way up, but his results are down.

Arroyo - Basically the same story as Vaz. His performance is terrible this year, and yet his underlying statcast data shows significant improvement over last year.

Plawecki - Appears to have completely forgotten how to hit. He's down massively across the board, and his pitch framing is mediocre (33rd percentile by Baseball Savant).

Franchy - Seems like some actual improvement here. He's traded some quality of contact but has cut down on his K rate by a LOT. Sample size is tiny, but there is at least a glimmer of hope here.


So overall, I think that we can break things down into a few categories:

Business as usual (X, JD) - no concerns about these guys based on the data.

Optimistic (Vaz, Verdugo, Arroyo) - Statcast data suggests that poor performance this season is largely a factor of luck, and Arroyo and Vaz have actually been fundamentally hitting the ball better this year despite getting hugely worse results.

Improved, still needs work (JBJ, Franchy) - Definite improvement year over year, but still needs to be better. JBJ would actually be acceptable if he could sustain his current level.

Worried (Devers, Story) - Devers is producing, but his underlying data is a bit ugly. Story has been bad, but there seems to be a clear, narrow problem that is hopefully fixable.

Really Worried (Kike, Plawecki, Dalbec) - I almost put Dalbec in the category with Devers and Story, but the difference is that although his problems appear to be one-dimensional that dimension is his entire game and he hasn't the track record to suggest a lot of patience. Every red light is flashing for Kike and Plawecki.


Plawecki and Dalbec seem like the most obvious replacement candidates at the moment as Plawecki as neither player is good on offense nor defense.

If Vaz, Verdugo, and Arroyo were hitting like their statcast data suggests that they should be, we'd probably be annoyed at the team but not despondent. But clearly there is a lot of work that needs to be done and there's no easy fix.
 

richgedman'sghost

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 13, 2006
1,707
ct
10-19.

Every day it gets worse.

It’s time for people to lose their jobs. This is absolutely disgusting.
Who should be fired in your humble opinion? Cora or Bloom? Do you think the players have checked out on Cora? Yesterday I don't know what Cora could have done. He finds out that Wacha has a bad back and so turns yesterday into a bullpen game. A lot of the bullpen and pitching woes is beyond Cora's control
On offense, I think that the team has lost its way. Whatever happened to the disciplined hitting approach from 2018? Looking at the Dodgers game last night, David Cone suggested that the Dodgers are so tough to pitch against. They force the pitcher to throw strikes and absolutely refuse to swing at pitches outside the zone.
The Red Sox seem to have gotten away from that approach. It is frustrating to see Devers and Bogey swing wildly at pitches outside the zone. Maybe fire the hitting coach? Usually I don't think firing a hitting or pitching coach really makes a difference but maybe this year could be an exception.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
1,894
This thread is getting as hard to read as the games are to watch.

Digging down into the data some more, here's a year over year comparison:

Stats in all of these are AVG/OBP/ISO/BABIP/wRC+

2021

  • AL (using AL not MLB due to no NL DH in 2021) - .245/.316/.169/.291/100
  • Red Sox - .261/.328/.188/.309/107
  • Devers - .279/.352/.259/.307/134
  • X - .295/.370/.198/.333/130
  • Kike - .250/.337/.199/.278/110
  • Verdugo - .289/.351/.138/.327/107
  • Story (COL) - .251/.329/.221/.293/100
  • JBJ (MIL) - .163/.236/.098/.226/35
  • JD - .286/.349/.232/.340/128
  • Dalbec - .240/.298/.254/.316/107
  • Vaz - .258/.308/.094/.301/79
  • Arroyo - .262/.324/.183/.325/107
  • Plawecki - .287/.349/.102/.328/102
  • Franchy - .189/.237/.071/.307/32
2022

  • AL - .231/.302/.137/.279/100
  • Red Sox - .226/.279/.116/.274/79
  • Devers - .293/.322/.172/.323/127
  • X - .337/.389/.135/.423/154
  • Kike - .182/.252/.111/.221/58
  • Verdugo - .210/.245/.120/.202/56
  • Story - .202/.287/.079/.310/68
  • JBJ - .205/.267/.096/.270/65
  • JD - .296/.341/.222/.375/148
  • Dalbec - ..143/.230/.078/.196/33
  • Vaz - .214/.270/.089/.244/65
  • Arroyo - .205/.250/.068/.229/51
  • Plawecki - .138/.161/.000/.174/-20
  • Franchy - .222/.250/.056/.235/48

Overall, league offense is down but the Red Sox are down much, much worse. The AL is at -5.7%/-7.9%/-18.1%/-4.2% in AVG/OBP/ISO/BABIP while the Red Sox are at -13.4%/-14.9%/-38.3%/-11.3%/-26.2% in AVG/OBP/ISO/BABIP/wRC+ year over year. wRC+ is normalized to the run environment, so that 26.2% dropoff is a solid number to use to conceptualize the overall team performance relative to the league. We can see that the Sox are struggling relative to the league in every category, with declines in every category roughly double what the league has experienced.

To save time, I'm going to focus on year over year change in BABIP/wRC+ for the individual players:

  • Devers +5.2%/-5.2%
  • X +27%/+18.5%
  • Kike -20.5%/-47.3%
  • Verdugo -38.2%/-47.7%
  • Story +5.8%/-32%
  • JBJ +19.5%/+85.7%
  • JD +10.3%/+15.6%
  • Dalbec -38%/-69.2%
  • Vaz -19%/-17.7%
  • Arroyo -29.5%/-52.3%
  • Plawecki -47%/LOL
  • Franchy -23.5%/+50%
Let's look at some statcast data, too. Here are year over year changes in xBA, xwOBA, and xwOBACON:

  • Devers +3.4%/-9.9%/-13.8%
  • X +4.3%/-2.2%/-3.5%
  • Kike -17%/-19.4%/-18.9%
  • Verdugo +.3%/0/-1.1%
  • Story -11.8%/-14%/-2.5%
  • JBJ +20.6%/+14.2%/+5.7%
  • JD -.7%/0/+4.5%
  • Dalbec -10.6%/-16.3%/-28.4%
  • Vaz +8.1%/+18.1%/+24.2%
  • Arroyo +13.4%/+15.6%/+12.2%
  • Plawecki -23.3%/-33%/-24.4%
  • Franchy +1%/+27.6%/-9.1%

So with all that in mind, lets go player by player and see what the data suggests:

Devers - overall Devers only lost a little bit this season, with his wRC+ dropping by about 5%. That said, there are some concerns looking at the underlying data. His BABIP is actually up, but his xwOBA and xwOBACON are both down substantially, particularly his xwOBACON. I think this fits with his big drop in ISO. Maybe it's just the ball, but if Devers is losing power that's a pretty big deal, and the bad (for him) xwOBA and xwOBACON numbers suggest that he is less likely to just turn it around by luck.

X - X is obviously hitting, but his unsustainably high BABIP has had a lot of us suspicious. That said, his xwOBA and xwOBACON numbers are only down slightly. While his BABIP may regress, the statcast data doesn't suggest a big regression in the overall picture.

Kike - Looks like a disaster. Everything is down substantially.

Verdugo - Initially looks like as big of a disaster as Kike, but his xwOBA is flat, his xwOBACON only barely down, and his xBA is actually up a tiny bit. That strongly suggests that Verdugo's dropoff is due to luck and he's a great candidate to bounce back hard.

Story - At first Story looks like a disaster. His BABIP is up a bit, but his wRC+ is hugely down. His xBA and xwOBA are both also down substantially, but interestingly his xwOBACON is only down slightly. I'm not 100% sure what to make of this but it seems to suggest that Story's degradation largely has to do with situations where he isn't making contact. His BB% is steady, but his K% is way up. I think the story (sorry) that this data is telling is that Story is pressing. He might be trying too hard to smack the shit out of the ball, and as a result his strikeouts are up and his xBA/xwOBA are both down, but when he is making contact he's still hitting the ball well.

JBJ - While JBJ has been getting a ton of hate in this thread and elsewhere, he's actually one of the few bright spots year over year. His BABIP is up (which you would expect, as it was incredibly bad in '21) and his wRC+ is massively up. He's not a good hitter by any stretch, but he really has improved on last year's numbers by quite a lot. His improvements when he makes contact are modest, but his K% is way down and his BB% is up, which is helping his xwOBA a lot.

JD - It sure looks like JD is just being JD, with only minor changes in his statcast data, and a jump in wRC+ that is likely fueled by a luck-based BABIP increase. He's hitting a touch better than last season.

Dalbec - Looks like even more of a disaster. His success last season was propped up by an absolutely massive xwOBACON. Basically when Dalbec actually hit the ball he did damage. He's cut his strikeouts down and upped his walks a little this year, but not enough to offset the massive drop in quality of contact. If he can somehow start producing elite results on contact again while maintaining the drop in K rate he could be quite good, but I have no idea if that's possible or not. It does look like he is having some bad luck as his BABIP is down 38% but his xBA is only down 10.6%, and his BABIP wasn't insane or anything last year.

Vaz - Oddly Vaz looks like a great candidate for luck-based improvement. His BABIP and wRC+ are both down substantially, but his statcast data suggests that he's actually improved quite a lot since last year. His quality of contact is way up, but his results are down.

Arroyo - Basically the same story as Vaz. His performance is terrible this year, and yet his underlying statcast data shows significant improvement over last year.

Plawecki - Appears to have completely forgotten how to hit. He's down massively across the board, and his pitch framing is mediocre (33rd percentile by Baseball Savant).

Franchy - Seems like some actual improvement here. He's traded some quality of contact but has cut down on his K rate by a LOT. Sample size is tiny, but there is at least a glimmer of hope here.


So overall, I think that we can break things down into a few categories:

Business as usual (X, JD) - no concerns about these guys based on the data.

Optimistic (Vaz, Verdugo, Arroyo) - Statcast data suggests that poor performance this season is largely a factor of luck, and Arroyo and Vaz have actually been fundamentally hitting the ball better this year despite getting hugely worse results.

Improved, still needs work (JBJ, Franchy) - Definite improvement year over year, but still needs to be better. JBJ would actually be acceptable if he could sustain his current level.

Worried (Devers, Story) - Devers is producing, but his underlying data is a bit ugly. Story has been bad, but there seems to be a clear, narrow problem that is hopefully fixable.

Really Worried (Kike, Plawecki, Dalbec) - I almost put Dalbec in the category with Devers and Story, but the difference is that although his problems appear to be one-dimensional that dimension is his entire game and he hasn't the track record to suggest a lot of patience. Every red light is flashing for Kike and Plawecki.


Plawecki and Dalbec seem like the most obvious replacement candidates at the moment as Plawecki as neither player is good on offense nor defense.

If Vaz, Verdugo, and Arroyo were hitting like their statcast data suggests that they should be, we'd probably be annoyed at the team but not despondent. But clearly there is a lot of work that needs to be done and there's no easy fix.
Great post! One thing I've thought re: Vaz's "better" contact this year is it feels like the little flares to short right that made up a good chunk of his OBP last year seem absent now.
 

CoffeeNerdness

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2012
6,703
Bloom acquired all of these players, how is their failure to perform ultimately not his responsibility?
Can you first explain how Verdugo (.768 OPS w/ Boston) and Hernandez (.744 OPS w/ Boston) have failed to perform or are you really taking 206 poor ABs between the two of them and calling that a "failure to perform" while tossing away the other 1253 AB?
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
15,293
Well run teams don't fire a GM over one bad season.

The Red Sox roster had some long-term structural problems, which they were able to unexpectedly overcome last season. Hasn't worked out this season for a number of reasons, and they may be too far into it to fix it. But Bloom was hired by ownership to implement a longer term plan that was very much focused on avoiding the luxury tax as the team's highest priority. And that plan has a much longer time horizon than 2 years.
 

mikeford

woolwich!
SoSH Member
Aug 6, 2006
28,011
St John's, NL
Can you first explain how Verdugo (.768 OPS w/ Boston) and Hernandez (.744 OPS w/ Boston) have failed to perform or are you really taking 206 poor ABs between the two of them and calling that a "failure to perform" while tossing away the other 1253 AB?
Thats not my point. He brought them in. If they've fallen off a cliff, that's still his responsibility.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
1,894
There is certainly a failure present in that none of the failing players have managed to make positive adjustments over the course of a month. I'm not sure on whose shoulders that rests though.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,557
Can you first explain how Verdugo (.768 OPS w/ Boston) and Hernandez (.744 OPS w/ Boston) have failed to perform or are you really taking 206 poor ABs between the two of them and calling that a "failure to perform" while tossing away the other 1253 AB?
That's not his point. The GM is responsible for the product on the field. Whether all those players were all stars last year and are pumpkins this year, it still falls on the GM. It doesn't mean the players are blameless but ultimately, it falls on the GM who put the team together. How can it not? Outside of a meddling owner, anyway.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,124
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Well run teams don't fire a GM over one bad season.

The Red Sox roster had some long-term structural problems, which they were able to unexpectedly overcome last season. Hasn't worked out this season for a number of reasons, and they may be too far into it to fix it. But Bloom was hired by ownership to implement a longer term plan that was very much focused on avoiding the luxury tax as the team's highest priority. And that plan has a much longer time horizon than 2 years.
Bloom is staring at his second last place finish in 3 years, both with a payroll over $200 million. That's a failure beyond words.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
31,512
Hingham, MA
That's not his point. The GM is responsible for the product on the field. Whether all those players were all stars last year and are pumpkins this year, it still falls on the GM. It doesn't mean the players are blameless but ultimately, it falls on the GM who put the team together. How can it not? Outside of a meddling owner, anyway.
Because sometimes it's just a slump.

In 2009 David Ortiz was hitting .185 with a .570 OPS and 1 HR on June 1. He then hit .265 with 27 HR and a .904 OPS the rest of the way.
 

CoffeeNerdness

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2012
6,703
That's not his point. The GM is responsible for the product on the field. Whether all those players were all stars last year and are pumpkins this year, it still falls on the GM. It doesn't mean the players are blameless but ultimately, it falls on the GM who put the team together. How can it not? Outside of a meddling owner, anyway.
I think the point- at least in my book- is that these guys have 300 ABs between them so the discussion of responsibility in relation to the theoretical falling off a cliff seems a tad bit premature(to a comical extent).
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
8,095
around the way
Of course he wants to win. But my guess is he wants to win with guys he brought to the team, his team from the ground up, and ideally for less $/WAR or whatever, to prove his cleverness. He'd like to totally rebuild, but that's politically difficult to do in Boston.
This speculation is so groundless that I'm embarrassed to see it. Like "turn off your computer and go back to bed" embarrassed.

This team was in the ALCS 30 games ago. Think about that.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,557
I think the point- at least in my book- is that these guys have 300 ABs between them so the discussion of responsibility in relation to the theoretical falling off a cliff seems a tad bit premature(to a comical extent).
Fair. I read it as if it continues.
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
Dope
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
63,418
SJH is completely right, someone should be fired, and that someone is Dave Dombrowski.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,862
To be fair, there is the equivalent of lot of dead money on the cap. Two of the teams three highest pitchers this year are Chris Sale and David Price, pulling in a combined $46 million. Add $24 million more for Bradley, Barnes, and Paxton. Granted, that still leaves $130m+ which should be enough to be competitive.

I also think that we can blame Bloom for th performance of Kiki and Verdugo and Pivetta this year as much as he was praised for it last year. Both seasons, so far, seem to reflect the range of performances you can expect from players like that.

A few years out, and the return on Betts and Benintendi certainly looks kind of meh. With Bogaerts most likely gone at the end of the year, if not sooner, and Devers not extended….it’s kind of sobering to see that the core of the incredible ‘08 team could be gone in 4 years with little to show for it.
 

Cesar Crespo

79
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
21,557
To be fair, there is the equivalent of lot of dead money on the cap. Two of the teams three highest pitchers this year are Chris Sale and David Price, pulling in a combined $46 million. Add $24 million more for Bradley, Barnes, and Paxton. Granted, that still leaves $130m+ which should be enough to be competitive.

I also think that we can blame Bloom for th performance of Kiki and Verdugo and Pivetta this year as much as he was praised for it last year. Both seasons, so far, seem to reflect the range of performances you can expect from players like that.

A few years out, and the return on Betts and Benintendi certainly looks kind of meh. With Bogaerts most likely gone at the end of the year, if not sooner, and Devers not extended….it’s kind of sobering to see that the core of the incredible ‘08 team could be gone in 4 years with little to show for it.
if 1 WS title is little, I guess.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,124
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Remind me how many games are left. Remind me how much of that $200M Bloom has spent. Remind me about the season that you've conveniently left out.
They're already out of it for the season. They're 8 1/2 games back of the 3rd WC already and in last place. They have a worse record than Oakland who has spent $35.16 on payroll this year. I sincerely don't know how anyone here can look at this team and not be completely embarrassed by their performance. This is the worst start to a season since 1966.

Realistically this season is toast. Bloom built this team, this is on him.

We were told that the big road schedule in April was the reason they weren't playing well. The cold weather. The trip to Toronto which screwed up the rotation. The soggy ball.

Well they're home now. The weather is getting warmer. Other teams such as the Yankees seem to be hitting just fine. They still can't hit. They still can't pitch in the late innings. They still are losing in a big way. The reason isn't because of the schedule, or the weather, or the balls, or solar flares. The reason is because they stink. The reason is that they are a poorly constructed team. That's on Bloom.

I don't see how anyone can have confidence in him after seeing him whiff on this season so completely. When he was hired I said here that I was worried that a Tampa mindset wouldn't work in Boston (there's a thread here somewhere on that), that the lack of fan and media interest that was in Tampa wasn't the same here and that the pressures were much higher. In Tampa you could fool around with openers and lack of a defined closer and guys off to slow starts and it would be fine because no one was watching. That would never fly in Boston. And well....here we are.
 
Last edited:

CoffeeNerdness

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2012
6,703
So the first fix you're clearly advocating for is firing Bloom in May and doubtlessly throwing the front office into chaos. Say they do what you want and can Bloom and elevate O'Halloran on an interim basis, who is on your shortlist to run the club come Oct. 2022 and how enticing is the job to that candidate considering they just pulled the rug out from the guy who hasn't been given the full opportunity to execute their plan and whose team just made a deep playoff run?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,124
Deep inside Muppet Labs
Who should be fired in your humble opinion? Cora or Bloom? Do you think the players have checked out on Cora? Yesterday I don't know what Cora could have done. He finds out that Wacha has a bad back and so turns yesterday into a bullpen game. A lot of the bullpen and pitching woes is beyond Cora's control
On offense, I think that the team has lost its way. Whatever happened to the disciplined hitting approach from 2018? Looking at the Dodgers game last night, David Cone suggested that the Dodgers are so tough to pitch against. They force the pitcher to throw strikes and absolutely refuse to swing at pitches outside the zone.
The Red Sox seem to have gotten away from that approach. It is frustrating to see Devers and Bogey swing wildly at pitches outside the zone. Maybe fire the hitting coach? Usually I don't think firing a hitting or pitching coach really makes a difference but maybe this year could be an exception.
This is an infuriating take. Cora is the manager, there's almost nothing he can't do. The issue is that he won't. Why is Dalbec still playing? Why is Whitlock in the rotation while the back end of the bullpen has blown 7 leads in 3 weeks? Why is Story leading off or hitting second when he can't hit the ocean with a stick? Why does the hitting coach still work here?

The manager is not an innocent bystander.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,124
Deep inside Muppet Labs
So the first fix you're clearly advocating for is firing Bloom in May and doubtlessly throwing the front office into chaos. Say they do what you want and can Bloom and elevate O'Halloran on an interim basis, who is on your shortlist to run the club come Oct. 2022 and how enticing is the job to that candidate considering they just pulled the rug out from the guy who hasn't been given the full opportunity to execute their plan and whose team just made a deep playoff run?
What plan? I see no plan. I see X and Devers on their way out and meanwhile the team is going to finish in last place.
 

Yaz4Ever

stumps for Trump
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
SJH isn’t wrong. This season is over already. I know they don’t want to negotiate mid-season, but I’d approach Xander with my best offer. Take it or be traded. I’d trade JD as well. Severs, with his extra year, is a little tougher. If I know for a fact he isn’t resigning, trade him now while his value is higher than it will be with only one season remaining. Move Story to SS (might help his offense to be back in a familiar position). Then again, his arm might be toast. Trade Eovaldi and Hill. Wacha might’ve netted a nice return before his back issues. See if anyone will take Dalbec, Kike, and JBJ off our hands. Bring up the kids with no pressure and see what we’ve got. I’d watch more games with the kids out there than I likely will now.
 

Remagellan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
They don't even have to pick a game a week UNTIL THE ALL-STAR BREAK to get back into this, that's how much time is left in the season. If you want to rent your garments and shake your fist at the sky, fine, but this season is not over. My memory is short, but I'm guessing you were among those ranting about Bloom's failings during the team's swoon last August. How did that turn out? (Again, apologies for my short memory.)
 

CoffeeNerdness

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 6, 2012
6,703
What plan? I see no plan. I see X and Devers on their way out and meanwhile the team is going to finish in last place.
Just for shits and giggles can you please provide a list of baseball CEOs that have been fired in May? From my POV this simply doesn't happen, so all these keys clicked advocating for this seems ridiculous. But my memory may also be failing me. I'm not enamored with the job the guy has done- it's been a bit of a mixed bag- but you have to know he's not getting fired. No chance.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,124
Deep inside Muppet Labs
They don't even have to pick a game a week UNTIL THE ALL-STAR BREAK to get back into this, that's how much time is left in the season. If you want to rent your garments and shake your fist at the sky, fine, but this season is not over. My memory is short, but I'm guessing you were among those ranting about Bloom's failings during the team's swoon last August. How did that turn out? (Again, apologies for my short memory.)
Actually you're making a good point for me. The entire second half of last year was a prelude to this year; they stopped hitting and went through huge struggles and blew a 6 game lead and basically played like crap for 3 straight months. They were chasing pitches and pressing and doing the exact same stuff that's happening this year, and yet nothing has changed.

That was the warning sign Bloom needed to shore up this team. He didn't heed it.
 

JCizzle

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 11, 2006
17,601
They're not going to fire Bloom in season. However, Bloom needs to reflect on the difference he preaches between panic and urgency. It's not a "panic" move to make sure that Bobby Dalbec isn't on the 26 man roster by Tuesday. The "Red Sox Stats" point raised on Twitter says it all - 13 for his last 112 ABs with 43 strikeouts is not competitive. It's also not a panic move to change up the bullpen and make a move in RF. Those are urgencies. What would be a panic move is trading Xander tomorrow.
 

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,622
Actually you're making a good point for me. The entire second half of last year was a prelude to this year; they stopped hitting and went through huge stuggles and blew a 6 game lead and basically played like crap for 3 straight months. That was the warning sign Bloom needed to shore up this team. He didn't heed it.

You made this point last week, were called out for the BS, and here you are back again with it. For reference:

OPS by month, 2021
April: 759
May: 773
June: 757
July: 747
August: 809
Sept/Oct: 814

https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=b&team=BOS&year=2021
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
5,862
The offense was boom or bust last summer. They scored double digits in 7 games in July - August, and 3 or less runs 20 times. I’m not sure ops by month tells the whole story.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,124
Deep inside Muppet Labs
You made this point last week, were called out for the BS, and here you are back again with it. For reference:

OPS by month, 2021
April: 759
May: 773
June: 757
July: 747
August: 809
Sept/Oct: 814

https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/split.cgi?t=b&team=BOS&year=2021
They bunched tons of offensive performance into fewer games and went long stretches were they couldn't hit anything at all, costing them games. They did things like lose 2 out of 3 in Tampa, scoring 5 runs total in their two losses and scoring 20 in the win. Their offense was a huge problem in the second half and it was obvious watching the games.

EDIT: Petagenie says it perfectly.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
6,212
Boston, MA
Well run teams don't fire a GM over one bad season.

The Red Sox roster had some long-term structural problems, which they were able to unexpectedly overcome last season. Hasn't worked out this season for a number of reasons, and they may be too far into it to fix it. But Bloom was hired by ownership to implement a longer term plan that was very much focused on avoiding the luxury tax as the team's highest priority. And that plan has a much longer time horizon than 2 years.
If that's the case, then they need to immediately change their priorities. The highest priority of the Boston Red Sox should be to put a good, entertaining baseball team on the field that people want to support. Whether they do that by avoiding the luxury tax at all costs to hoard draft picks and international pool money or spending on free agents or whatever, the point is to have a good product, not to avoid chipping into revenue sharing.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
15,293
If that's the case, then they need to immediately change their priorities. The highest priority of the Boston Red Sox should be to put a good, entertaining baseball team on the field that people want to support. Whether they do that by avoiding the luxury tax at all costs to hoard draft picks and international pool money or spending on free agents or whatever, the point is to have a good product, not to avoid chipping into revenue sharing.
Fair, except that’s a criticism of Henry, not Bloom. And Henry isn’t going anywhere. Nor is Henry going to fire Bloom anytime soon.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,124
Deep inside Muppet Labs
They're not going to fire Bloom in season. However, Bloom needs to reflect on the difference he preaches between panic and urgency. It's not a "panic" move to make sure that Bobby Dalbec isn't on the 26 man roster by Tuesday. The "Red Sox Stats" point raised on Twitter says it all - 13 for his last 112 ABs with 43 strikeouts is not competitive. It's also not a panic move to change up the bullpen and make a move in RF. Those are urgencies. What would be a panic move is trading Xander tomorrow.
I am absolutely baffled as to why Casas hasn't been called up to replace Dalbec. He's up to .873 OPS in AAA after a slow start, he's been crushing the ball of late. Every day he spends in the minors is a waste of his talent at this point. More importantly, Dalbec isn't hitting. He'd be an immediate improvement plus we'd have the bonus of seeing an exciting young player break into the majors. I simply don't understand the hesitation here.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
3,133
Well they're home now. The weather is getting warmer. Other teams such as the Yankees seem to be hitting just fine. They still can't hit. They still can't pitch in the late innings. They still are losing in a big way. The reason isn't because of the schedule, or the weather, or the balls, or solar flares. The reason is because they stink. The reason is that they are a poorly constructed team. That's on Bloom.
The Yankees’ road OPS is .668. Judge has been good overall and Rizzo has definitely popped a few over the short porch (1.141 OPS in NY vs. .603 OPS on the road). Not to single out the Yankees -- the dumb and boring ball is the problem everywhere.

Instead of descending into histrionics, why don't we talk about the downstream effects of the bad ball? The drag has reduced the productivity that fly balls are hits.

2021 wOBA on fly balls (leaguewide) vs. 2022
.457 / .400

So the league is already hitting considerably worse on fly balls off the bat. Let's check how this has affected the Red Sox in particular.

2021 wOBA on fly balls (BOS) vs. 2022
.494 / .403

So far, it looks like the Red Sox are disproportionately affected relative to the league. I'm not sure if that's because of the roster construction (fly ball hitters) or Fenway's dimensions. But it definitely seems like the ball, because the Red Sox are hitting fly balls harder this year than they were last year.

2021 AVG. Exit Velocity on fly balls (BOS) vs. 2022
92.1 mph / 93.6 mph

What we're probably seeing is a real-time adjustment to this, on top of a short spring training. The team may be trying to hit line drives instead of fly balls, or maybe they haven't changed their approach. I'm not sure which is a better tactic right now, but the takeaway is not that they suddenly suck.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
Dope
May 20, 2003
33,124
Deep inside Muppet Labs
From watching the games, my guess the Red Sox are affected disproportionally by the soggy ball because they insist on swinging for the fences in every AB despite the obvious futility in doing so. Everyone is trying to hack one out. Their lack of flexibility in their hitting approach when they know fly balls are just going to be outs is yet another sign they are completely lost at the plate.

EDIT: look at the final out of the game yesterday. Plawecki, who is not a good hitter, tried to jack one out of the park. He tried to hit a HR instead of a line drive on a pitch that was right down the middle. The tying run was on second, all he needed was a single. Instead, big uppercut at the end of the swing.

That's what I mean by stupid hitting approaches. I don't know if the Sox were one of the launch angle disciple teams but if they were it's not working.
 
Last edited:

moondog80

heart is two sizes two small
SoSH Member
Sep 20, 2005
6,622
I posted this in one of the other threads, but Casas was 219/289/301 vs LH last year and 154/267/192 so far this year. If they decide to give him a little more time to season in AAA instead of bringing him up now where it might be too late to make a difference, I'm OK with that. Can we at least agree that what's best for Casas is a higher priority than what's best for the 2022 Red Sox?