Red Sox in season discussion

Red(s)HawksFan

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It doesn't have to be that way. This is a choice the team is making.
Yes, it's a choice. The right one, IMO. Your best pitchers should be pitching as many innings as you can get them. Full time starters throw 150+ innings a year. The best relievers rarely top 80. Whitlock is one of their best pitchers. Rather have him on track for 150 than 80, particularly if those other 70 might otherwise have to be covered by the Kutter Crawfords and Tyler Danishes of the world.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Yes, it's a choice. The right one, IMO. Your best pitchers should be pitching as many innings as you can get them. Full time starters throw 150+ innings a year. The best relievers rarely top 80. Whitlock is one of their best pitchers. Rather have him on track for 150 than 80, particularly if those other 70 might otherwise have to be covered by the Kutter Crawfords and Tyler Danishes of the world.
I've mentioned this before, but I don't believe that given the new emphasis on never letting a starter face a lineup for the 3rd time, that the old adage of "starting innings are more valuable than relief innings" hold as true any more. If he throws 150 innings but never gets past the 5th, that's significantly lower impact than the 80 or so high-lev innings he could be throwing out of the pen. And if they never let him go through the order a 3rd time, he' not gonna see the 6th inning much at all, which of course puts immense pressure on the pen that lacks the weapon that Whitlock was when he was still out there.

And given the choice I'd take the latter every single time, particularly given that he's capable of going multiple innings in nearly every appearance.

EDIT: This was posted back on May 16 but the point still holds:

View: https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/1526357023012659200?s=20&t=kZwBKRk_CiXxC1f0TyIc6w
 

CoffeeNerdness

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In fact, lost in Franchy's slam last night were a few questionable pinch-hitting and relief pitching choices.
They pinch hit Vaz for Plawecki in the 9th and he singled and moved the tying run to third. So which pinch-hit moves were the questionable ones? If you pinch-hit for Dalbec w/ JBJ on second in the bottom of the ninth and he fails then you have Plaw up to start the 10th. Looks like Cora pulled the right strings from my vantage point.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I've mentioned this before, but I don't believe that given the new emphasis on never letting a starter face a lineup for the 3rd time, that the old adage of "starting innings are more valuable than relief innings" hold as true any more. If he throws 150 innings but never gets past the 5th, that's significantly lower impact than the 80 or so high-lev innings he could be throwing out of the pen. And if they never let him go through the order a 3rd time, he' not gonna see the 6th inning much at all, which of course puts immense pressure on the pen that lacks the weapon that Whitlock was when he was still out there.

And given the choice I'd take the latter every single time, particularly given that he's capable of going multiple innings in nearly every appearance.

EDIT: This was posted back on May 16 but the point still holds:

View: https://twitter.com/redsoxstats/status/1526357023012659200?s=20&t=kZwBKRk_CiXxC1f0TyIc6w
I think the so-called emphasis on not letting a starter face a lineup for a third time is a lot of smoke and mirrors. Garbage made up to cover for the fact that pitcher development got screwed up by the COVID season and few pitchers were conditioned to go deep repeatedly (mostly vets). It's an excuse to baby pitchers along and keep their pitch/inning counts down without explicitly saying they're babying them and keeping their pitch/inning counts down.

I think it's a fad that will dissipate as the league continues to try to push against it. The three-batter rule, the roster limits of only 13 pitchers (coming in about a week), the new limits on how many times a player can be optioned per season, upping the IL minimum to 15 days again...they're all adding up to a re-emphasis on starters covering more innings and not having a constant shuffle of "fresh" arms so a team can use 6 different pitchers every day. That style just isn't sustainable over 162 games every season. Not without having about 25 MLB caliber pitchers in every organization every season. We may not see it go back to the days of starters throwing 300 innings and 20 complete games every year, but at least back to middle and even back of the rotation starters being asked to go six innings every turn.
 

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I’m open to the idea that it’s too early to say anything good about Barnes, but I’d read that the Sox believe he’s been throwing much better lately and just not getting the results. And they put him in a high-leverage situation on Saturday and he closed the game out with a perfect ninth. Generally speaking, though, you’re right that it’s probably too early to read too much into that.
Did you SEE that "perfect ninth"????

Scariest save I can remember with three SHOTS
 

CoffeeNerdness

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He was dominant in the pen and they've weakened the pen in order to get a starter who is not all that effective.
After calling for Bloom to be fired and yelling from on high that Trevor Story was underperforming because he wanted to be in Texas and not Boston maybe put the brakes on making bold declarations on Whitlock after 23 innings. 11.3 K/9 is great and leads all starters by a good margin in fact. Sure, there's room for improvement in the hits/walks and runs department, but we're talking about a guy who just made his sixth career MLB start and 20th total starts since 2018.
 

Rovin Romine

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I don't really follow this line of thinking. It's a little like saying that if heads comes up 65 percent of the time in the first 300 flips, tails are going to have to get extremely lucky/hot in the next 700 flips to get to 50 percent. A team's potential is its potential, and that potential usually comes with peaks and valleys over the course of a season. When the season starts out as valleys, the peaks should be just as likely to occur over the course of the season. And, as we saw last year with the Sox, vice versa. Obviously injuries, unexpected poor performance, trades, and clubhouse morale/chemistry can all affect these outcomes, but when the various hot and cold streaks occur over the course of a season should be largely immaterial.
I'd agree generally that teams can be swingy, and have hot and cold stretches, and that performance can even out over the long haul.

However, some ups and downs are random, while some are not. For example, the Sox (randomly?) started hot last year, faded a bit, and traded to up their game by the end of the season. The coin was not the same, nor was the flipping environment constant.

Here, when a team starts with a loss deficit, they have to make it up, and they know it. Maybe they have a shorter tolerance for developing a pitcher or a player because merely splitting a series isn't OK. Maybe you don't let Barnes go through a few blown saves, hoping that his second half will be hot. . .because even if it's absurdly hot, it won't be enough. There are only so many games.
 

tims4wins

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I'd agree generally that teams can be swingy, and have hot and cold stretches, and that performance can even out over the long haul.

However, some ups and downs are random, while some are not. For example, the Sox (randomly?) started hot last year, faded a bit, and traded to up their game by the end of the season. The coin was not the same, nor was the flipping environment constant.

Here, when a team starts with a loss deficit, they have to make it up, and they know it. Maybe they have a shorter tolerance for developing a pitcher or a player because merely splitting a series isn't OK. Maybe you don't let Barnes go through a few blown saves, hoping that his second half will be hot. . .because even if it's absurdly hot, it won't be enough. There are only so many games.
In the abstract your points are valid, but wouldn't you say that showing patience / faith in players, maybe too much so, has been a defining characteristic of Cora? To date have you seen him make any panic type of moves trying to squeeze out an extra win? I'm not as tuned in as I used to be, but just in reading the board I don't recall hearing about any examples.

The Whitlock example actually supports my argument IMO. A panic move would be to send him back to the pen to stabilize things back there. Letting him start every 5th day is taking the long-term approach.

Barnes too. Cora let him have a save opp in a one run game. If Cora was panicking about locking up that game, would he have still used Barnes?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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After calling for Bloom to be fired and yelling from on high that Trevor Story was underperforming because he wanted to be in Texas and not Boston maybe put the brakes on making bold declarations on Whitlock after 23 innings. 11.3 K/9 is great and leads all starters by a good margin in fact. Sure, there's room for improvement in the hits/walks and runs department, but we're talking about a guy who just made his sixth career MLB start and 20th total starts since 2018.
We're never going to agree on this because I believe at a fundamental level that you do not change a pitcher's role when he is thriving in it. Whitlock was absolutely killing it in the bullpen and given the general volatility of bullpen guys, when you have a guy who can throw multiple innings of kickass relief per performance I prefer to keep them there. And while Houck's stupidity was the catalyst for the move, Houk is back now and he's always been a starter, the Sox could easily have returned him to the rotation.

I remember the Sox trying to move Papelbon back into the rotation at the beginning of 2007 before throwing in the towel on that experiment (largely at Papelbon's request IIRC).

Obviously the Sox have made their choice. But I will never be convinced it's the correct one given the way this bullpen is otherwise set up and given Whitlock's success back there. We'll see how it plays out but early returns are very meh. I was going to make a snarky comment about the Sox being only 3-3 in Whitlock's starts but frankly that's an improvement over the rest of the season.
 

Yelling At Clouds

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The Braves never had a stretch as bad as 10-19 or whatever... but they didn't even reach .500 for the first time all season until they were 44-44. They ended up winning 88 games.
We should maybe also note that they benefited from a massive collapse by the Mets and a smaller, though still significant, collapse by the Phillies to make the playoffs at all, though. The Red Sox might be turning things around, but they may still need similar “help.”
 

Rovin Romine

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They pinch hit Vaz for Plawecki in the 9th and he singled and moved the tying run to third. So which pinch-hit moves were the questionable ones? If you pinch-hit for Dalbec w/ JBJ on second in the bottom of the ninth and he fails then you have Plaw up to start the 10th. Looks like Cora pulled the right strings from my vantage point.
- Robles gave up the HR in the top of the 9th. Diekman was obviously available as he pitched later. (Possibly Strahm also?) Preventing that HR wins the game, with no chance of loss.

- In the top of the 9th, JBJ was on 2nd with 2 out. Driving him in wins the game with no chance of loss. I'm sort of agnostic as to whether not PHing was a bad call or not.

- In the bottom of the 10th, Diekman was brought in. Now we're in the longer game, potentially losing, potentially burning arms. I'm agnostic as to whether Strahm should have been used instead (if available), but if he was, the 9th is a better call all the time.

- In the top of the 10th the, PH call is fine. However, the send on Vaz was questionable.

Franchy went to 0-2 before his HR with two out (and a play at every base) so the outcome could have been very different.

There may be handedness and matchups that influence the above. But this was a game that could have gone another way, and if it had, it's hard to see how the managerial choices would have been seen as good. That's really the take-away point for me; the outcome was fine, but I don't look at that string and want to see it repeated night after night, with little margin for error.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I think the so-called emphasis on not letting a starter face a lineup for a third time is a lot of smoke and mirrors. Garbage made up to cover for the fact that pitcher development got screwed up by the COVID season and few pitchers were conditioned to go deep repeatedly (mostly vets). It's an excuse to baby pitchers along and keep their pitch/inning counts down without explicitly saying they're babying them and keeping their pitch/inning counts down.

I think it's a fad that will dissipate as the league continues to try to push against it. The three-batter rule, the roster limits of only 13 pitchers (coming in about a week), the new limits on how many times a player can be optioned per season, upping the IL minimum to 15 days again...they're all adding up to a re-emphasis on starters covering more innings and not having a constant shuffle of "fresh" arms so a team can use 6 different pitchers every day. That style just isn't sustainable over 162 games every season. Not without having about 25 MLB caliber pitchers in every organization every season. We may not see it go back to the days of starters throwing 300 innings and 20 complete games every year, but at least back to middle and even back of the rotation starters being asked to go six innings every turn.
I certainly hope you're right about this, I hate the trend and I think it detracts from both the skills of the game and from the watchability.
 

grimshaw

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Yes, it's a choice. The right one, IMO. Your best pitchers should be pitching as many innings as you can get them. Full time starters throw 150+ innings a year. The best relievers rarely top 80. Whitlock is one of their best pitchers. Rather have him on track for 150 than 80, particularly if those other 70 might otherwise have to be covered by the Kutter Crawfords and Tyler Danishes of the world.
Thank you. The second part is what seems to be lost on those supporting Whitlock's move to the pen.

150 innings at 4.5 million a year through conceivably 2028 when he's 32? Doesn't seem like a terrible idea to try that first.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Of course that’s true, in theory, but it assumed that the starting innings will be of the same or similar quality to the reliever innings. If there’s some reason to think that Whitlock’s relief innings, similar to say Papelbon or Bard’s, are significantly better than the innings he would throw as a reliever, than it could make sense to use him as a reliever. Last year, for example, Whitlock was more valuable than Pivetta by bWAR despite pitching exclusively out of the pen an throwing 73 innings to Pivetta’s 155.
 

grimshaw

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Of course that’s true, in theory, but it assumed that the starting innings will be of the same or similar quality to the reliever innings. If there’s some reason to think that Whitlock’s relief innings, similar to say Papelbon or Bard’s, are significantly better than the innings he would throw as a reliever, than it could make sense to use him as a reliever. Last year, for example, Whitlock was more valuable than Pivetta by bWAR despite pitching exclusively out of the pen an throwing 73 innings to Pivetta’s 155.
And I get the WPA added argument as well, but wouldn't most competent starters succeed better in high leverage relief situations? It's also not impossible that he'll be better than Pivetta and his ilk as a starter moving forward. I think it's better to see what his full capabilities are.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Of course that’s true, in theory, but it assumed that the starting innings will be of the same or similar quality to the reliever innings. If there’s some reason to think that Whitlock’s relief innings, similar to say Papelbon or Bard’s, are significantly better than the innings he would throw as a reliever, than it could make sense to use him as a reliever. Last year, for example, Whitlock was more valuable than Pivetta by bWAR despite pitching exclusively out of the pen an throwing 73 innings to Pivetta’s 155.
And if Whitlock doubled his innings, maybe his bWAR doubles with it, which would put him somewhere in the top 5 in the AL in 2021 (Ray posted 6.6, Eovaldi 4.5 just for perspective). Which is inarguably better for the team, no? Especially if the alternative is those extra 70-odd innings are covered by someone posting a 0.1 WAR or something. This cuts both ways.
 

Ganthem

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We're never going to agree on this because I believe at a fundamental level that you do not change a pitcher's role when he is thriving in it. Whitlock was absolutely killing it in the bullpen and given the general volatility of bullpen guys, when you have a guy who can throw multiple innings of kickass relief per performance I prefer to keep them there. And while Houck's stupidity was the catalyst for the move, Houk is back now and he's always been a starter, the Sox could easily have returned him to the rotation.

I remember the Sox trying to move Papelbon back into the rotation at the beginning of 2007 before throwing in the towel on that experiment (largely at Papelbon's request IIRC).

Obviously the Sox have made their choice. But I will never be convinced it's the correct one given the way this bullpen is otherwise set up and given Whitlock's success back there. We'll see how it plays out but early returns are very meh. I was going to make a snarky comment about the Sox being only 3-3 in Whitlock's starts but frankly that's an improvement over the rest of the season.
[/QUOTE]

So if Whitlock manages to develop into a top of the rotation option or even a number 3 and gets a few all star nods and maybe a cy young or two, you won't change your mind?
 

Pandemonium67

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Credit where credit is due: Barnes struck the first guy out. The other two outs were line drives, so the point stands. It wasn't a comfortable ninth.
 

Rovin Romine

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In the abstract your points are valid, but wouldn't you say that showing patience / faith in players, maybe too much so, has been a defining characteristic of Cora? To date have you seen him make any panic type of moves trying to squeeze out an extra win? I'm not as tuned in as I used to be, but just in reading the board I don't recall hearing about any examples.

The Whitlock example actually supports my argument IMO. A panic move would be to send him back to the pen to stabilize things back there. Letting him start every 5th day is taking the long-term approach.

Barnes too. Cora let him have a save opp in a one run game. If Cora was panicking about locking up that game, would he have still used Barnes?
I'm generally concerned the Cora/Bloom combo is too hands-off for a small margin of error campaign. I'm not so much concerned about panic moves, but losing games in the quest to "show faith" in players or get them up to speed.

Right now they're winning, so no one much cares if Dalbec goes 0-3 with 4 LOB. And that's fine. But suppose they start losing a bunch of one-run games again because they have no offense? At some point, it's going to get counterproductive.
 

tims4wins

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I'm generally concerned the Cora/Bloom combo is too hands-off for a small margin of error campaign. I'm not so much concerned about panic moves, but losing games in the quest to "show faith" in players or get them up to speed.

Right now they're winning, so no one much cares if Dalbec goes 0-3 with 4 LOB. And that's fine. But suppose they start losing a bunch of one-run games again because they have no offense? At some point, it's going to get counterproductive.
Right I agree, maybe I am confused by what I thought you were saying earlier - that by digging themselves into a hole, it had the tangible effect that they had to make up ground, and thus couldn't afford the same patience. Except, they do seem to be exercising the same patience.
 

Rovin Romine

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Right I agree, maybe I am confused by what I thought you were saying earlier - that by digging themselves into a hole, it had the tangible effect that they had to make up ground, and thus couldn't afford the same patience. Except, they do seem to be exercising the same patience.
Yes - that's what I'm worried about. That the same patience will cost them. It may not - people may start hitting from here on out.

But I think that being patient with too many players at the same time has a very real risk of costing them games. And they just don't have the margin to do that anymore.

Dalbec seems like an obvious player to exercise an option on. Call up Durran (he's on the 40) or Fitzgerald - they can hardly be worse. Start Franchy at first, use D or F to spell the current OF. If they suck you can always swap 'em back anyway - who cares at that point. Call Dalbec back up when he gets warmed up in AAA.

Arroyo has had flashes of good play in his time here, and I'm sure they're considering him at second next year if Xander walks and Story shifts to SS. But if he had an option, I'd use it as well. Then there's Arauz. . .very young, also on the 40, but unless they have some secret sauce metrics on him, eminently replaceable.
 

chawson

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Yes - that's what I'm worried about. That the same patience will cost them. It may not - people may start hitting from here on out.

But I think that being patient with too many players at the same time has a very real risk of costing them games. And they just don't have the margin to do that anymore.

Dalbec seems like an obvious player to exercise an option on. Call up Durran (he's on the 40) or Fitzgerald - they can hardly be worse. Start Franchy at first, use D or F to spell the current OF. If they suck you can always swap 'em back anyway - who cares at that point. Call Dalbec back up when he gets warmed up in AAA.

Arroyo has had flashes of good play in his time here, and I'm sure they're considering him at second next year if Xander walks and Story shifts to SS. But if he had an option, I'd use it as well. Then there's Arauz. . .very young, also on the 40, but unless they have some secret sauce metrics on him, eminently replaceable.
I'm not sure what these moves solve. Kiké has a 120 wRC+ in his last 10 games (with only a 19% pop-up rate -- progress!) and JBJ has a 129 wRC+ over his last 16 games.

Duran (not "Durran") and Fitzgerald are doing alright. Duran has a 113 wRC+ in May and probably should be up or traded in the next two months. Fitzgerald is a relative rando and the team's 23rd-best prospect. He's cooled off quite a bit (.827 OPS in May vs. 1.064 in April). I'm not sure whose PA he'd get if he comes to Boston, especially if the team is committed to trying Duran again, and its probably best he just keeps collecting PAs in Worcester to see if he's found some kind of breakout. I'm with you on the relative fungibility of Araúz, though he'd arguably have a little more projectibility at 23 than Fitzgerald, who is 28 in three weeks.

I'm with you on starting Franchy at first though *wink*
 

joe dokes

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- Robles gave up the HR in the top of the 9th. Diekman was obviously available as he pitched later. (Possibly Strahm also?) Preventing that HR wins the game, with no chance of loss.

- In the top of the 9th, JBJ was on 2nd with 2 out. Driving him in wins the game with no chance of loss. I'm sort of agnostic as to whether not PHing was a bad call or not.

- In the bottom of the 10th, Diekman was brought in. Now we're in the longer game, potentially losing, potentially burning arms. I'm agnostic as to whether Strahm should have been used instead (if available), but if he was, the 9th is a better call all the time.

- In the top of the 10th the, PH call is fine. However, the send on Vaz was questionable.

Franchy went to 0-2 before his HR with two out (and a play at every base) so the outcome could have been very different.

There may be handedness and matchups that influence the above. But this was a game that could have gone another way, and if it had, it's hard to see how the managerial choices would have been seen as good. That's really the take-away point for me; the outcome was fine, but I don't look at that string and want to see it repeated night after night, with little margin for error.
There's no universe in which I want the Sox to use Diekman ahead of Robles in that spot. The rest is interesting bar conversation. I'd have preferred Strahm over both, but the fact that he wasn't used at all suggests unavailability.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Any update on JDM? Is he actually going to miss time? Hoping not as the whole lineup has really been going well of late.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Any update on JDM? Is he actually going to miss time? Hoping not as the whole lineup has really been going well of late.
Cora sounded hopeful during the post-game press conference last night when he was asked. Basically said they erred on the side of caution when JD felt spasms just before the game, figuring sitting yesterday plus the off-day today would be enough for him to be ready to play again. Probably won't know anything more until the lineup comes out tomorrow.
 

Rovin Romine

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There's no universe in which I want the Sox to use Diekman ahead of Robles in that spot. The rest is interesting bar conversation. I'd have preferred Strahm over both, but the fact that he wasn't used at all suggests unavailability.
OK, then, I have no take away point. Cora is perfect.
 

scottyno

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No, it's all good. Our OF is totes awesome. And if it's not, there's clearly nothing that can be done about it. Forget I brought it up.
A bunch of hitters with proven track records were far far below expectation in April. Most of them are now starting to hit, which not coincidentally is translating to a lot of wins. Shockingly, the correct solution appears to have been to let those hitters play through it rather than make panic moves.

And yeah, the outfield actually has been pretty damn awesome over this last 10 games or so. Why wouldn't you want Verdugo to play through it when you have a pretty decent expectation of what he should end up being and it's a pretty good player.
 

Diamond Don Aase

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What do you want them to do with Verdugo? He has a 2+ full season sample as a good major league hitter and they aren't sending him down.
Since May 23, 2021– a full calendar year, Verdugo has a 91 wRC+. That is not a good major league hitter, much less a good-hitting major league left fielder. Verdugo’s claim to being a good major league hitter rests almost entirely on four weeks during a truncated season in the middle of a pandemic. That stretch seems to be more of an outlier with each passing month.
 

scottyno

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Since May 23, 2021– a full calendar year, Verdugo has a 91 wRC+. That is not a good major league hitter, much less a good-hitting major league left fielder. Verdugo’s claim to being a good major league hitter rests almost entirely on four weeks during a truncated season in the middle of a pandemic. That stretch seems to be more of an outlier with each passing month.
If you ignore the entire 2019 and 2021 seasons where he had almost 1000 PAs with a wrc+ of like 110 then yes his entire claim is based on a short ended season
 

Diamond Don Aase

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If you ignore the entire 2019 and 2021 seasons where he had almost 1000 PAs with a wrc+ of like 110 then yes his entire claim is based on a short ended season
Verdugo had fewer than 550 at bats between 2019 and 2020, barely a full season’s worth. He was mediocre last season, worse since mid-May of last year, and worse yet this season. He is a platoon left fielder whose patience and power are increasingly suspect.
 

curly2

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- Robles gave up the HR in the top of the 9th. Diekman was obviously available as he pitched later. (Possibly Strahm also?) Preventing that HR wins the game, with no chance of loss.
Nothing personal against you RR, because people have been doing this as long as there has been baseball: Saying Pitcher A gave it up, so if they had brought in Pitcher B instead, the team wins the game.

There's no way to know if Diekman closes the game out if he pitches the ninth. He gave up two hits in the 10th, so it's not like he was dominant. He did strike out two, but how do you know if he pitches the ninth, HE doesn't give up a homer?
 

scottyno

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Verdugo had fewer than 550 at bats between 2019 and 2020, barely a full season’s worth. He was mediocre last season, worse since mid-May of last year, and worse yet this season. He is a platoon left fielder whose patience and power are increasingly suspect.
So if you ignore the like 700 at bats covering 2019 through early 2021 and only focus on the others then he becomes a not very good hitter.
 

Diamond Don Aase

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So if you ignore the like 700 at bats covering 2019 through early 2021 and only focus on the others then he becomes a not very good hitter.
Verdugo has not been a very good hitter.

For a full calendar year.

The past calendar year.

The most recent calendar year.

To dismiss that out of hand and appeal to a sample size of fewer than 550 at-bats as unassailable evidence of a player’s true talent is wishcasting, especially when the second season of that initial sample was inflated by a .371 BABIP.

Verdugo is a platoon left fielder whose patience and power are increasingly suspect.
 

scottyno

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To dismiss that out of hand and appeal to a sample size of fewer than 550 at-bats as unassailable evidence of a player’s true talent is wishcasting, especially when the second season of that initial sample was inflated by a .371 BABIP.
No one is doing that, I was looking at the 1202 PAs from 2019-2021 where he had a wrc+ of 112. I do find it ironic though that you're criticizing using 550 at bats as a sample size, while at the same time referencing his numbers over a full calendar year of 520 at bats.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Verdugo is fine; he’s an averagish guy who makes little money, and is serviceable enough. He probably shouldn’t be playing much against tough lefties and is perhaps not a guy they should give a long term deal, too. But, he just turned 26 so maybe there’s some growth potential there? If not, he’s still a useful major leaguer. At this point, I don’t think he’s a huge problem or much of an asset either. He’s a lesser version of Benintendi.
 

Diamond Don Aase

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No one is doing that, I was looking at the 1202 PAs from 2019-2021 where he had a wrc+ of 112. I do find it ironic though that you're criticizing using 550 at bats as a sample size, while at the same time referencing his numbers over a full calendar year of 520 at bats.
I am only criticizing dismissing the last calendar year of performance as nothing more than a blip in an established track record. Verdugo’s results have been mediocre or worse for nearly as long as his results were good. But they all matter. Just as the initial sample showed what Verdugo is capable of, the more recent sample has given cause to question whether it is reasonable to expect him to consistently play to those capabilities. He has now failed to do so for a full calendar year.
 

Rovin Romine

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Nothing personal against you RR, because people have been doing this as long as there has been baseball: Saying Pitcher A gave it up, so if they had brought in Pitcher B instead, the team wins the game.

There's no way to know if Diekman closes the game out if he pitches the ninth. He gave up two hits in the 10th, so it's not like he was dominant. He did strike out two, but how do you know if he pitches the ninth, HE doesn't give up a homer?
Fair enough. I'd just note generally that not all pitchers and matchups are created equal, so one is likely a better choice than another, or it's a coin flip.

However, there's little point in debating specific Cora decisions on the board, as this thread has reminded me.
 

effectivelywild

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The Athletic has an interesting article about some work that Bogaerts and Devers did in the offseason to work on their fielding. To summarize, Bogaerts has been working on his pre-pitch stance and hip mobility exercises while Devers focused more on the mental aspects of fielding, such as being sure to set his feet before throwing instead of rushing his throws. The article says that in addition to the team overall being more efficient defensively (of which some credit should go to Story and his Texas BBQ of de-suckitude, obviously) but that both Devers and Bogaerts have showed some improvement in their individual metrics (though in this case, "improvement" consists of being at 0 OAA for May). I realize that defense has probably flown under the radar given the early season offense futility but I was wondering if other people are noticing any improvement on defense from those two. Especially given Xander's upcoming free agency (assuming no changes to his opt-out plans), I wonder if he/his agent noticed that there was at least an eight-figure difference between "adequate defensive SS" and "technically a SS until he can be convinced to move off the position" in terms of expected contracts.
 

Max Power

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Fair enough. I'd just note generally that not all pitchers and matchups are created equal, so one is likely a better choice than another, or it's a coin flip.

However, there's little point in debating specific Cora decisions on the board, as this thread has reminded me.
You can debate them all you want. Strahm didn't even warm up at any point in the game, so your available bullpen options in the 9th and 10th were Robles, Barnes, and Diekman. I'd like to hear any kind of argument for one over the others with a lefty and two righties coming up. Seems like a coin flip to me.

The pinch hitting situation was even more dire. Both JD and Verdugo were unavailable, so the bench was Vazquez and... that's it. Unless you wanted him to play the field or lose the DH, he had to pinch hit for Plawecki, which was what happened.
 

ookami7m

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Verdugo is fine; he’s an averagish guy who makes little money, and is serviceable enough. He probably shouldn’t be playing much against tough lefties and is perhaps not a guy they should give a long term deal, too. But, he just turned 26 so maybe there’s some growth potential there? If not, he’s still a useful major leaguer. At this point, I don’t think he’s a huge problem or much of an asset either. He’s a lesser version of Benintendi.
The issue with many posters here (and generally Sox fans in the wild) is that there is a false equivalency of Verdugo = Mookie since he's the big league player that came back in that deal and has been the most visible part of that. Verdugo was never going to be Mookie or even Wal-Mart brand Mookie - he'll never get a fair shake from a lot of people that expect him to be though.
 

m0ckduck

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Boston is 15th among 30 MLB teams in OPS, and 15th in ERA. That's pretty....... average.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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The issue with many posters here (and generally Sox fans in the wild) is that there is a false equivalency of Verdugo = Mookie since he's the big league player that came back in that deal and has been the most visible part of that. Verdugo was never going to be Mookie or even Wal-Mart brand Mookie - he'll never get a fair shake from a lot of people that expect him to be though.
I don't think anyone, even the most ardent Mookie-trade-haters like myself, thought Verdugo = Mookie. No one expected that.

I think the reasonable expectation was that Verdugo would be at least an above-average starting OFer. Maybe not an All-Star and definitely not an MVP like Mookie, but a solid starter at the very least.

I'm really not sure he's quite at that level. His hitting isn't quite good enough for star power and probably won't ever be much better than it is now (his OPS+ in LA was 106, in Boston it's 104, this is who he is). His fielding is, well, not quite good enough. His baseball instincts are extremely poor and he runs into a ton of outs on the basepaths and seems to make unwise decisions in the field.

He can always get better, but time's a-wasting and given that he's 26 I'm not sure how much he'll really improve. He's an average major league OFer, it seems.
 

joe dokes

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I don't think anyone, even the most ardent Mookie-trade-haters like myself, thought Verdugo = Mookie. No one expected that.

I think the reasonable expectation was that Verdugo would be at least an above-average starting OFer. Maybe not an All-Star and definitely not an MVP like Mookie, but a solid starter at the very least.

I'm really not sure he's quite at that level. His hitting isn't quite good enough for star power and probably won't ever be much better than it is now (his OPS+ in LA was 106, in Boston it's 104, this is who he is). His fielding is, well, not quite good enough. His baseball instincts are extremely poor and he runs into a ton of outs on the basepaths and seems to make unwise decisions in the field.

He can always get better, but time's a-wasting and given that he's 26 I'm not sure how much he'll really improve. He's an average major league OFer, it seems.
I think average-or-very-slightly-above is about right. In that sense he's expendable at the right time. But two caveats. It's Ok to have an average player at a position or two. It sure beats bottom 10%. Also, it appears from the outside that he plays hard no matter the circumstances, which is pretty handy to have around during, for example, a season-starting team slump. (tl;dr --- "good clubhouse guy," which has some value, however unquantifiable it is; and assuming he is one).
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I don't think anyone, even the most ardent Mookie-trade-haters like myself, thought Verdugo = Mookie. No one expected that.

I think the reasonable expectation was that Verdugo would be at least an above-average starting OFer. Maybe not an All-Star and definitely not an MVP like Mookie, but a solid starter at the very least.

I'm really not sure he's quite at that level. His hitting isn't quite good enough for star power and probably won't ever be much better than it is now (his OPS+ in LA was 106, in Boston it's 104, this is who he is). His fielding is, well, not quite good enough. His baseball instincts are extremely poor and he runs into a ton of outs on the basepaths and seems to make unwise decisions in the field.

He can always get better, but time's a-wasting and given that he's 26 I'm not sure how much he'll really improve. He's an average major league OFer, it seems.
Who thought that JBJ would be a more productive player than Verdugo at this point? That said... I still would put my money on Verdugo being the overall more productive player by season's end. Agree that he's not, and likely won't ever be, an All Star caliber corner OF but I'm optimistic that he will be better than he's at right now and not another weak point in the lineup.