Should the Sox sign a right handed bat? If so, who?

If the Sox could pick anyone from the remaining RH hitting free agents, which would you choose?

  • Tommy Pham: Mediocre glove in LF that's still better than Yoshida (vs LHP .792 in 23' /837 OPS).

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    162

kazuneko

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
2,836
Honolulu HI
There has been much talk of the Sox still needing a right handed hitter. Who, if anyone, do you think the Sox should sign? Realistically Breslow has said he is not interested in a dedicated DH, so that would seem to take JD Martinez off the table. That said, I've left it as an option for those who think Breslow should reconsider that position.

Here is the list of possible candidates for the poll:

Gio Urshela: Provides 1b/3b flexibility and a RHB with good numbers against LHP (875 OPS in 23'/ 776 OPS for career). Better than Casas and Devers in the field but not great. This move would suggest a fairly good amount of DH time for the current 1b/3b starters. Can play SS in a pinch but not well. Only an upgrade defensively because the incumbents are that terrible in the field.

Garrett Cooper: A respectable RHB (.908 in 23'/ .818 for career vs. LHP) who can actually field a position well. Problem is that position (1B where he was +4 OAA last season and +8 for his career) is taken by Casas, and while he's been terrible in the field it seems likely that the team is hoping that he improves with more playing time (i.e. they are probably not willing to make him a regular DH yet). Cooper has been given playing time in the OF as well but he's been bad enough that playing him there might make DHing Yoshida meaningless.

Tommy Pham: A fairly good RH Bat (.792 OPS vs LHP in 23'/ 837 vs LHP for career) with some speed (22 SB in 23'). Not a great fielder and should be limited to LF but likely better than Yoshida.

Michael Taylor: Aging, Gold-glove caliber CFer who put up career best power numbers and pounded LHP in 2023 (.914 OPS). He is also reasonably productive against LHP for his career (.744). That said, he's only a career .644 OPS hitter against RHP, and he probably would want to be more than a platoon bat. If the team really wants to focus on upgrading their fielding, Taylor would be their best choice for doing that. That said, he plays the same position as Rafaela, who the team might prefer in CF - especially if they see this as a rebuilding year.

Donovan Solano: A fairly good RH Bat (.746 OPS vs LHP in 23'/ .776 vs LHP for career) who has positional flexibility (3400 career innings at 2b; 64 career innings at 3b; 773 career innings at 1b; 272 career innings at SS) and a decent glove, especially at 2b (0 OAA for his career). He's been decent at 1b as well (0 OAA for his career, though less good last year) but pretty bad at 3b (-8 OAA). He'd be a great insurance policy against Grissom flopping at 2b (especially defensively) and could also get some 1b ABs to get Casas's glove out of the lineup occasionally. He'd be less exciting at 3b, even replacing Dever's lead glove, but at least has some experience at the position. He's been tried in the OF but in so few innings that it's hard to judge his ability as a fielder. He's old (36) but a late bloomer who has been a far better hitter in his 30s than he ever was in his 20s and had arguably his best season last year.

Adam Duvall: Hit well (vs LHP .762 OPS in 23' and .783 for his career) last year year (though he did have reverse splits; tends to be slightly better against LHP for his career) but declined significantly with the glove, particularly in CF. That said, he was good enough last year and historically in LF/RF that he is still probably a big improvement to the defense any time he plays and Yoshida DHs. Could be the starting RF with O'Neal in CF and Duran in LF (with Yoshida at DH), but this would block Abreu/Rafaela (at least until someone gets injured).

JD Martinez: The very definition of a dedicated DH ( almost no fielding innings in 2 full years), which Breslow is on record as not wanting to sign. Signing him to DH would mean more time in the field for Yoshida thereby downgrading the team's fielding - their biggest weakness last season. Seems highly unlikely Breslow has any interest but he's probably the strongest hitter of RHB on the list (.932 OPS vs. LHP in 23' and 1.000 for his career).

Matt Chapman: Will be expensive, cost a pick, and would make Devers a 27 y/o DH. That said, Devers is such a bad fielder and Chapman such a good fielder that this would mean a massive upgrade to the defense. On offense he is streaky but he hits LHP hard (890 OPS for 23' and .820 for his career). Hard to see the Sox spending what it would take to get him and Breslow is on record that he doesn't want to give up a compensation pick.
 
Last edited:

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
24,201
Miami (oh, Miami!)
Although many of the above players make sense in isolation, I voted "No one." The main problem is the Yoshida/Devers/Casas DH scrum. If you get a dedicated DH, you move Yoshida back into the field. If you get a player who is a primary 1B/3B, you take ABs away from Devers or Casas, or push them to DH, which pushes Yoshida back into the field.

If the bat we acquire were more versatile than that, or hit well enough to spell Casas/Devers - sure. That player would essentially be a massive Pablo Reyes upgrade.

However, complicating that is Rafaela (and to an extent Grissom). If the Sox believe this is the year to bring him up, and he's in part your backup SS. . .I don't know if you want someone who is going to take ABs and field appearances away from him.

***
That said, if Yoshida blows out his elbow in spring training I'd sign Matt Chapman in a heartbeat.
 

SouthernBoSox

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2005
12,104
Gio is the guy that stands out. He immediately upgrades the roster from Dalbec. Provides a nice right handed balance to Devers, Casas, and Yoshida and is an actual real life major league bat that can would be the first to plug in if anyone were to go down with major injury.

This team is rail thin right now. Injuries happen. We don’t need to see David Hamilton again.
 

Fishy1

Head Mason
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
6,029
Although many of the above players make sense in isolation, I voted "No one." The main problem is the Yoshida/Devers/Casas DH scrum. If you get a dedicated DH, you move Yoshida back into the field. If you get a player who is a primary 1B/3B, you take ABs away from Devers or Casas, or push them to DH, which pushes Yoshida back into the field.

If the bat we acquire were more versatile than that, or hit well enough to spell Casas/Devers - sure. That player would essentially be a massive Pablo Reyes upgrade.

However, complicating that is Rafaela (and to an extent Grissom). If the Sox believe this is the year to bring him up, and he's in part your backup SS. . .I don't know if you want someone who is going to take ABs and field appearances away from him.

***
That said, if Yoshida blows out his elbow in spring training I'd sign Matt Chapman in a heartbeat.
I'm not sure this is right, although I'm close to agreeing. I think adding Gio Urshela or Solano doesn't push Yoshida back into the field much, it just gives us a backup infielder who, with injuries and time off, will probably get somewhere between 200-400 at-bats. Casas and Devers will need someone to spell them occasionally, as will Story and Grissom, and I'd rather that was Urshela than Pablo Reyes if anyone goes down for a substantial period of time (and someone probably will). Solano doesn't give us as much flexibility in the field but I'd take him. Now, neither of those guys may not want a roster spot here, seeing that there's really nowhere they can start, but if they are cheap and available, I'd take them.

I don't see the need for Duvall. League-average bat, yes, but the outfield is very, very crowded right now, and I think O'Neill/Rafaela can probably give us a wrc+ of around 100 (which is what I expect from Duvall) with much better defense.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
20,832
Maine
I'm not sure this is right, although I'm close to agreeing. I think adding Gio Urshela or Solano doesn't push Yoshida back into the field much, it just gives us a backup infielder who, with injuries and time off, will probably get somewhere between 200-400 at-bats. Casas and Devers will need someone to spell them occasionally, as will Story and Grissom, and I'd rather that was Urshela than Pablo Reyes if anyone goes down for a substantial period of time (and someone probably will). Solano doesn't give us as much flexibility in the field but I'd take him. Now, neither of those guys may not want a roster spot here, seeing that there's really nowhere they can start, but if they are cheap and available, I'd take them.

I don't see the need for Duvall. League-average bat, yes, but the outfield is very, very crowded right now, and I think O'Neill/Rafaela can probably give us a wrc+ of around 100 (which is what I expect from Duvall) with much better defense.
The bolded is the key. These are guys that were starters last year and probably still want to be where they have a path to starting regularly again. Of course you want starter quality players on your bench, but typically if you have such a guy, it's a younger guy under team control for a few years, not a free agent who willingly signs up for a part-time job despite full-time skills. As spring rolls on, and these guys remain unsigned, maybe they get desperate enough to take a bench role at a reduced cost (though probably still a premium for an expected bench player).

I lean more to the play the kids side unless one of these type guys can be had for a song.
 

Yo La Tengo

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
921
Signing a RH bat made sense when the plan appeared to be a trade for a starting pitcher that included Jarren Duran. Maybe that happens once Montgomery and Snell finally sign with a team? If not, I would rather see the current outfielders play rather than signing another OF. If there is a cheap/short term improvement over Dalbec to back up 1B/3B, that would be fine but if not, this is not a significant problem to be solved by overpaying for a free agent.
 
Last edited:

The Gray Eagle

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2001
16,820
Urshela makes sense, but he is coming back from a broken pelvis, which seems like a serious injury that could impact his range, hitting and running speed going forward.

If JD would accept a role where he only gets about 350 PA then he would really help the lineup, but he can probably find a fulltime DH job.

At this point, for new RH bats, we're hoping O'Neil stays healthy and hits and Grissom has a solid season. If neither or both of those happen, then none of the guys on the list will make much difference.

If one of O'Neil or Grissom is good but the other craters, then several of these players would help, but would we need an OF or a 2B? Nobody knows yet. And if those players have any other choice they probably wouldn't want to sign with a team where the only chance of regular PT they have is if someone ahead of them gets hurt or craters.

I'm going to just hope for healthy and productive seasons from Giolito, Story, and O'Neil. If we get that from all three, then we should be in the wild card fight. If we don't, then we'll probably have a losing record and be in last place again.

It's not how I would prefer it, but it looks like that's what we're going with.
 

Rovin Romine

Johnny Rico
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
24,201
Miami (oh, Miami!)
I'm not sure this is right, although I'm close to agreeing. I think adding Gio Urshela or Solano doesn't push Yoshida back into the field much, it just gives us a backup infielder who, with injuries and time off, will probably get somewhere between 200-400 at-bats. Casas and Devers will need someone to spell them occasionally, as will Story and Grissom, and I'd rather that was Urshela than Pablo Reyes if anyone goes down for a substantial period of time (and someone probably will). Solano doesn't give us as much flexibility in the field but I'd take him. Now, neither of those guys may not want a roster spot here, seeing that there's really nowhere they can start, but if they are cheap and available, I'd take them.

I don't see the need for Duvall. League-average bat, yes, but the outfield is very, very crowded right now, and I think O'Neill/Rafaela can probably give us a wrc+ of around 100 (which is what I expect from Duvall) with much better defense.
I think the right candidate makes sense for the reasons you say. . .and I was unaware Urshela was used as an emergency SS recently. So I'll think about that as I had him penciled in at 1B/3B only. If he had experience at 2B and was also Grissom insurance, he'd move to the top of my list.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
12,180
I just really disagree that the OF is very, very crowded.

You’ve got O’Neill, Duran, and Abreu as the starters- and then Refsnyder as a backup? Rafaela in the minors, Yoshida as DH.

That’s it. Nobody else on the 40 man; and not much at AAA (beyond Ceddanne). I certainly think there’s room for another bat here. Ideally one that could play some 1b too.
 

6-5 Sadler

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
210
Solano and Duvall so the bench becomes McGuire, Reyes, Solano, and Duvall. Dalbec and Rafaela in AAA (service time, continue to develop his discipline) and Refsnyder traded for cash.

I haven’t given up on the season yet so the thought here is to build cheap depth that can easily be dumped if we’re not competitive. Injuries happen and when they do I want capable major leaguers to fill the holes.

Chapman doesn’t make much sense at all. You’re not forcing your $300M 3b to DH in the first year of his deal. Devers is bad at defense but even a bad 3b is more valuable than a DH.

Urshela makes some sense but I bet he’s looking for more playing time than we can provide. He’s also probably waiting on Chapman to sign and then picking whoever was the runner up in the bidding.

Duvall/Pham/Taylor I’ll lump together. Taylor makes the least sense because his value is being a good CF…a role he wouldn’t play here behind Duran (who you need to see if he can develop into a capable CF), O’Neill, and eventually Rafaela. Duvall has the ideal batting profile for Fenway so he’s the preference.
 

Brohamer of the Gods

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,960
Warwick, RI
If we were to get Chapman, is there any thought on whether Raffy might be better at 1B than Casas? Then the team would be getting some defense for their Raffy investment.
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
4,675
I voted JDM but I'm not super committed to it. I think he's got the most right-handed thump and is probably flippable at the deadline if need be. I'm not as down on Yoshida in left field as most so I think this helps facilitate a trade.

Can totally see a Urshela or Solano deal too, but if I'm them I'm wondering where my PAs are gonna come from. Devers is kind of an ironman and Casas doesn't need platooning, and neither would Yoshida in a DH slot.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I just really disagree that the OF is very, very crowded.

You’ve got O’Neill, Duran, and Abreu as the starters- and then Refsnyder as a backup? Rafaela in the minors, Yoshida as DH.

That’s it. Nobody else on the 40 man; and not much at AAA (beyond Ceddanne). I certainly think there’s room for another bat here. Ideally one that could play some 1b too.
Another OF would definitely have to carry a couple of gloves because with your primary DH only being able to play in the OF, you essentially have 5 on the roster without Rafaela.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
If we were to get Chapman, is there any thought on whether Raffy might be better at 1B than Casas? Then the team would be getting some defense for their Raffy investment.
Aside from the fact that it's incredibly unlikely that the Sox are looking to spend that much on another 3B when that's not the greatest need, what becomes of Casas? DH? Do we see a better path toward defensive improvement from Yoshida in LF than Casas at 1B at this stage in their careers?
 
Last edited:

Yelling At Clouds

Post-darwinian
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
3,422
In terms of how much sense they'd make, I'd rank them thusly:
1. Solano
2. Cooper
3. Urshela - you could rank these three any way and I wouldn't really object; they're all multi-positional deluxe bench guys, which is what the team needs right now
4. Taylor - He's probably looking for a starting job, but he'd probably have the opportunity for something close to a starter's workload in Boston between platoons, injury possibilities, and the possibility that Abreu or dare I say Duran struggle a bit. He's also the player on this list I'd most trust in Fenway's RF.
5. Adommy Duvam - I don't really separate these two, they're both unexciting but competent
6. JD - Great hitter, but would he really sign to be a platoon DH?
7. Chapman - I guess it's ironic that the best player on the list makes the least sense, but I just don't see it unless Devers is super on board. Even then, if they're going to break recent precedent and spend the kind of money it would take to sign one of the Boras Four, why wouldn't they go for Monty or Snell instead?
 

Brohamer of the Gods

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,960
Warwick, RI
Aside from the fact that it's incredibly unlikely that the Sox are looking to spend that much on another 3B when that's not the greatest need, what becomes of Casas? DH? Do we see a better path toward defensive improvement from Yoshida in LF than Casas at 1B at this stage in their careers?
I agree it is highly unlikely. I was just questioning the assumption that if we were going to sign Chapman it is Devers that would become the fulltime DH. A lot of Raffy's errors come on throws, and when he plays in the shift, he seems somewhat mobile up the middle so he may well be better at 1B than Casas. With the current roster, if Casas were out for any extended period of time, I think I would prefer trying Raffy at 1B and putting Reyes at 3B than the other way around.
 

Fishy1

Head Mason
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
6,029
I just really disagree that the OF is very, very crowded.

You’ve got O’Neill, Duran, and Abreu as the starters- and then Refsnyder as a backup? Rafaela in the minors, Yoshida as DH.

That’s it. Nobody else on the 40 man; and not much at AAA (beyond Ceddanne). I certainly think there’s room for another bat here. Ideally one that could play some 1b too.
I get this, but I'm still pencilling Yoshida in for about 60-80 games in left field, so that changes my calculus I guess. I imagine Duran and Abreu might struggle quite a bit against LHP, and Yoshida has a fairly neutral split, so I figured there would be some games where Refsnyder would be in right, O'Neill in center, and Yoshida in left, especially at home at Fenway. Obviously we don't want to see a ton of Yoshida out there in left, but I'm fine with 60-80 games. If you REALLY don't want him to play out there at all, then it makes more sense to pursue Duvall, I guess. YMMV, of course.

I also think that there's a good chance Rafaela forces the issue by tearing the cover off the ball at AAA again or someone will go down, and he'll be starting in CF by June or July.

I just think the need for a quality backup in the infield is more pressing. Behind Devers, Story, Grissom and Casas we've basically got what, Reyes? Dalbec? And then Hamilton, Valdez, and Rafaela in the minors. Not great shakes.

But @Red(s)HawksFan makes a good point that Urshela and Solano will probably want to start, so that complicates things.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I agree it is highly unlikely. I was just questioning the assumption that if we were going to sign Chapman it is Devers that would become the fulltime DH. A lot of Raffy's errors come on throws, and when he plays in the shift, he seems somewhat mobile up the middle so he may well be better at 1B than Casas. With the current roster, if Casas were out for any extended period of time, I think I would prefer trying Raffy at 1B and putting Reyes at 3B than the other way around.
My position on this would be a hard no. Unless Raffy begins to serioulsy workout at 1B in the offseason, spring training and/or in season I want no part of a continued, put anyone at 1B and learn on the fly mentality. Should something happen to Casas and Dalbec can't be trusted as a long term backup then the team needs to get rid of him in favor of a better solution
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
5,055
I like Solano's hitting profile more than Urshela's (OP's focus on hitting LHP doesn't make a lot of sense to me because both Devers and Casas already hit LHP just fine. We don't need or even want a platoon guy like Cooper, just someone to give them a day off), but I'd be fine with either. I just think Solano is more likely to take a bench job at bench job prices, as he did last year ($2m for the Twins) and Urshela can probably find someone to give him starting money. I also agree with @Fishy1 about Yoshida probably getting a decent amount of OF starts at home, and I like Solano taking DH more in those situations too.

I don't think any of the OF options make sense really. We just need someone to keep Dalbec off the team.
 

Fishy1

Head Mason
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
6,029
@simplicio I'll add that the obsession with right-handed power (and therefore Duvall) bothers me. I'd rather have right-handed OBP, to be totally honest. Of our top OBP guys, Urias is gone (and didn't play much), obviously Refsnyder is still here, and Wilyer won't hit .316 but might give us an OBP around .330-.340. O'Neill has been around .310 the last couple years and is projected for a Verdugo-ish .325, Urshela around .320, and Solano around .340. Those would be massive upgrades on Arroyo, Kike, and Hamilton, and would approximate Turner who combined for a OBP around of .270 (retch), and would approximate Turner's OBP.

78482
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
6,391
I voted Cooper but meant to vote for Urshela. I hope I'm not this tired and dumb during the actual election in November. But I don't think Urshela would sign to a team knowing he's the backup. Neither Casas nor Devers should take a break for more than a game once every other week if healthy throughout the season. How many AB's does that give to Urshela over a season if he's playing basically once a week? But that's exactly what the Sox need so I suspect that they're going to hold their noses and hope for Dalbec. If he's platooned strictly facing LHP he really should be fine..... so while I'm hoping for Urshela, I suspect it'll be Dalbec and hope that Cora doesn't try to Refsnyder him against RHP and expose his weakness even more. If there's an injury to either Casas or Devers the team is probably going to sink anyhow.
Then again.... maybe they'll catch a Dalbec in August-September '21 type of magic and carry the team again?
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
514
This is so simple. Refsnysder should NOT be penciled in as one of 26 to break camp with this team the way that it's presently constructed.

a few 2023 Stats:

Rob Refsnyder 202 AB, 1 HR, .682 OPS .2 WAR

Adam Duvall 320 AB 21 HR .834 OPS 1.9 WAR

Both profile similarly defensively in the OF, Duvall can play 1st in a pinch, his swing is tailor made for Fenway, he enjoyed his time here last year, he is a veteran who's been a good clubhouse presence.
 

Yo La Tengo

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
921
This is so simple. Refsnysder should NOT be penciled in as one of 26 to break camp with this team the way that it's presently constructed.

a few 2023 Stats:

Rob Refsnyder 202 AB, 1 HR, .682 OPS .2 WAR

Adam Duvall 320 AB 21 HR .834 OPS 1.9 WAR

Both profile similarly defensively in the OF, Duvall can play 1st in a pinch, his swing is tailor made for Fenway, he enjoyed his time here last year, he is a veteran who's been a good clubhouse presence.
Refsnyder is cheap and puts up great numbers against lefties: .308/.428/.400 against lefties last year and .359/.411/.594 the year before. He fits a need and has proven to be successful in that role. Replacing him makes no sense unless the team trades an OF and is looking to sign a starter.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
20,832
Maine
This is so simple. Refsnysder should NOT be penciled in as one of 26 to break camp with this team the way that it's presently constructed.

a few 2023 Stats:

Rob Refsnyder 202 AB, 1 HR, .682 OPS .2 WAR

Adam Duvall 320 AB 21 HR .834 OPS 1.9 WAR

Both profile similarly defensively in the OF, Duvall can play 1st in a pinch, his swing is tailor made for Fenway, he enjoyed his time here last year, he is a veteran who's been a good clubhouse presence.
In a vacuum, of course Duvall is a better choice than Refsnyder. This isn't a vacuum. How many PA are we projecting for this roster spot? If it's a true 4th/5th outfielder role, 200-250 PA seems like a generous projection. Is Duvall going to sign on for that? We already know that Refsnyder can ably fill that role, and with the number of LHH already in the outfield, it shouldn't be hard to keep him away from RHP for the most part. A .828 OPS against LHP (his 2023 numbers) looks pretty good for a bench role.
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
514
Refsnyder is cheap and puts up great numbers against lefties: .308/.428/.400 against lefties last year and .359/.411/.594 the year before. He fits a need and has proven to be successful in that role. Replacing him makes no sense unless the team trades an OF and is looking to sign a starter.
Yes the surface numbers against lefties are very good. But that's it. He has no power. He has little speed. He is average defensively. He is a 32 yr old journeyman. That is not what this team, presently constructed, needs. At all. A lot of RHH are good against lefties and have much more pop or speed or are better defensively. You don't keep a guy just because he is cheap that is taking up a valuable roster spot for someone like Rafaela who has a much, much higher ceiling and can impact a game in so many more ways. The .2 WAR in 225+ plate appearances should tell it all.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
5,055
Refsnyder and Duvall have very different roles. Ref is a platoon bat that's needed in an OF with 2.5 LHB. His numbers were brought down last year by being too much of an every day player, in part because Duvall broke for half the season, as he's done more often than not for the past five years.

By contrast, Duvall didn't hit LHP well and doesn't offer a defensive upgrade over anyone but Yoshida among the OF. He makes no sense for this year's team unless Duran or Abreu get traded.
 

Yo La Tengo

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
921
Yes the surface numbers against lefties are very good. But that's it. He has no power. He has little speed. He is average defensively. He is a 32 yr old journeyman. That is not what this team, presently constructed, needs. At all. A lot of RHH are good against lefties and have much more pop or speed or are better defensively. You don't keep a guy just because he is cheap that is taking up a valuable roster spot for someone like Rafaela who has a much, much higher ceiling and can impact a game in so many more ways. The .2 WAR in 225+ plate appearances should tell it all.
If/when Rafaela is ready, I would agree that Refsnyder's roster spot would be in jeopardy. But I don't think we're there yet and swapping out Refsnyder for Duvall doesn't fit the roster. Again, if they trade an OF, Duvall might make more sense.

EDIT: His stats last year were dragged way down with some poor results vs. right handed pitching. Check out his overall stats from 2022

78483
 

6-5 Sadler

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
210
How many PA are we projecting for this roster spot? If it's a true 4th/5th outfielder role, 200-250 PA seems like a generous projection. Is Duvall going to sign on for that?
I mean isn’t that the exact role he signed up for last year? At the time of his signing, Yoshida, Duran, and Verdugo were locked in the OF and Turner was the DH.
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
514
In a vacuum, of course Duvall is a better choice than Refsnyder. This isn't a vacuum. How many PA are we projecting for this roster spot? If it's a true 4th/5th outfielder role, 200-250 PA seems like a generous projection. Is Duvall going to sign on for that? We already know that Refsnyder can ably fill that role, and with the number of LHH already in the outfield, it shouldn't be hard to keep him away from RHP for the most part. A .828 OPS against LHP (his 2023 numbers) looks pretty good for a bench role.
Duvall in LF, Rafaela in CF and O'neill in RF against a tough lefty doesn't look so bad either.

Grissom 2B
Devers 3B
O'Neill RF
Casas 1B
Story SS
Duvall LF
Yoshida DH
Wong C
Rafaela CF

This lineup has the potential to be pretty darn good against a LHP. With Refsnyder it isn't nearly as deep.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2021
12,180
[
I mean isn’t that the exact role he signed up for last year? At the time of his signing, Yoshida, Duran, and Verdugo were locked in the OF and Turner was the DH.
I don’t think Duran was locked in last year. There could be a role here for Duvall but it probably does depend upon how committed the team is to Duran and Abreu- how open are their jobs?
 

pdub

Member
SoSH Member
Jun 2, 2007
517
Although many of the above players make sense in isolation, I voted "No one." The main problem is the Yoshida/Devers/Casas DH scrum. If you get a dedicated DH, you move Yoshida back into the field. If you get a player who is a primary 1B/3B, you take ABs away from Devers or Casas, or push them to DH, which pushes Yoshida back into the field.

If the bat we acquire were more versatile than that, or hit well enough to spell Casas/Devers - sure. That player would essentially be a massive Pablo Reyes upgrade.

However, complicating that is Rafaela (and to an extent Grissom). If the Sox believe this is the year to bring him up, and he's in part your backup SS. . .I don't know if you want someone who is going to take ABs and field appearances away from him.

***
That said, if Yoshida blows out his elbow in spring training I'd sign Matt Chapman in a heartbeat.
You read my mind! I will add that I hope Casas will improve his defense and stick at 1B long term, given his age and the fact that he has already shown a ton of offensive promise. Heck, Yoshida and Devers are young enough where you hope that they will also improve to at least become average defenders.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
5,055
I mean isn’t that the exact role he signed up for last year? At the time of his signing, Yoshida, Duran, and Verdugo were locked in the OF and Turner was the DH.
What? Duran wasn't locked into anything, he didn't even come to Boston until Duvall lost a hand 10 days into the season.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
7,978
Boston, MA
I mean isn’t that the exact role he signed up for last year? At the time of his signing, Yoshida, Duran, and Verdugo were locked in the OF and Turner was the DH.
No, Duvall was the starting centerfielder. Duran only got a chance because Duvall broke his wrist.
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
514
If our pitching staff as constituted stays virtually the same as it presently stands, we will need all the offensive firepower that we can muster. A journeyman 32 yr old who has 13 career HR's whose calling card is singles and occasional doubles against lefties the last 2 seasons is the last thing this team needs taking up one of the 26 spots. .2 WAR in over 225 PA. No Thanks.
 

6-5 Sadler

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
210
The problem with Refsnyder is that with injuries/ineffectiveness he will be stretched into a role that he’s not equipped to handle. O’Neill is hurt every year. Duran hasn’t be the model of health either. Abreu is completely unproven. We’re going to need a competent OF until Rafaela is ready (if at all this year).
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
514
The problem with Refsnyder is that with injuries/ineffectiveness he will be stretched into a role that he’s not equipped to handle. O’Neill is hurt every year. Duran hasn’t be the model of health either. Abreu is completely unproven. We’re going to need a competent OF until Rafaela is ready (if at all this year).
Agree 100%
 

Cassvt2023

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 17, 2023
514
Duran started last season in AAA. Duvall was signed to be the starting CF.
The fact the ST games start tmrw and Duvall is still unsigned, as are quite a few others with similar skill sets/warts, he may not have a choice but to sign somewhere that a starting job is his to lose. In addition, he knows it here, seemed to like it, and Fenway is good for him.
 

Yo La Tengo

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
921
Duvall in LF, Rafaela in CF and O'neill in RF against a tough lefty doesn't look so bad either.

Grissom 2B
Devers 3B
O'Neill RF
Casas 1B
Story SS
Duvall LF
Yoshida DH
Wong C
Rafaela CF

This lineup has the potential to be pretty darn good against a LHP. With Refsnyder it isn't nearly as deep.
All stats seem to point in the same direction, but here are Refsnyder and Duvall's OPS versus lefties the last three seasons:

2021
Duvall .611 over 129 at bats
Refsnyder .784 over 56 at bats

2022
Duvall .844 over 73 at bats
Refsnyder 1.005 over 64 at bats

2023
Duvall .757 over 86 at bats
Refsnyder .828 over 120 at bats

Refsnyder will turn 33 this year while Duvall will be 36 in September.

I see very little reason to expect Duvall to outperform Refsnyder vs left handed pitching this year.
 

simplicio

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2012
5,055
The problem with Refsnyder is that with injuries/ineffectiveness he will be stretched into a role that he’s not equipped to handle. O’Neill is hurt every year. Duran hasn’t be the model of health either. Abreu is completely unproven. We’re going to need a competent OF until Rafaela is ready (if at all this year).
Like it or not, the game plan at this moment appears to be giving the kids every opportunity to prove it in the outfield. I think if anyone goes down, Rafaela gets called up.
 

kazuneko

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
2,836
Honolulu HI
I voted Cooper but meant to vote for Urshela. I hope I'm not this tired and dumb during the actual election in November. But I don't think Urshela would sign to a team knowing he's the backup. Neither Casas nor Devers should take a break for more than a game once every other week if healthy throughout the season. How many AB's does that give to Urshela over a season if he's playing basically once a week? But that's exactly what the Sox need so I suspect that they're going to hold their noses and hope for Dalbec. If he's platooned strictly facing LHP he really should be fine..... so while I'm hoping for Urshela, I suspect it'll be Dalbec and hope that Cora doesn't try to Refsnyder him against RHP and expose his weakness even more. If there's an injury to either Casas or Devers the team is probably going to sink anyhow.
Then again.... maybe they'll catch a Dalbec in August-September '21 type of magic and carry the team again?
Devers and/or Casas don’t need to be on the bench for Urshela to play. DHing either one of them, and with Urshela on board they should both get at least one start a week at DH (I’d do it three times a week, rotating between the two of them) improves the defense without taking the big bats out of the lineup. Obviously that would mean Yoshida would have to field instead, but taking one of Devers/Casas out of the field does at least as much to address this team’s fielding woes as DHing Yoshida would.
 

Fishy1

Head Mason
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
6,029
Devers and/or Casas don’t need to be on the bench for Urshela to play. DHing either one of them, and with Urshela on board they should both get at least one start a week at DH (I’d do it three times a week, rotating between the two of them) improves the defense without taking the big bats out of the lineup. Obviously that would mean Yoshida would have to field instead, but taking one of Devers/Casas out of the field does at least as much to address this team’s fielding woes.
That dream is dead. Urshela to the Tigers.
 

KillerBs

New Member
Nov 16, 2006
940
I was an advocate of signing Soler, moving on from Refsnyder, and squeezing O'Neill especially some ABs vs righties. I can't really see much point in doing the same with Duvall. I get the depth issue, but Ceddanne is around as a 6 OFer and I am told O'Neill can play some CF too. The marginal benefit of Duvall over Refsnyder as Abreu's platoon partner is pretty minimal and not enough for me to get worked up about. Pham seems to offer a bit more than Duvall but at the same time I can see some value in just giving LF to ONeill and telling him it his to run with (at least until the ASB).

Likewise the Solano/Cooper/Urshela options -- in lieu of Dalbec -- do not do much for me either. I think I would rather just watch Dalbec hit a few balls over Lansdowne (even while whiffing in his other ABs).
 
Last edited:

kazuneko

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
2,836
Honolulu HI
All stats seem to point in the same direction, but here are Refsnyder and Duvall's OPS versus lefties the last three seasons:

2021
Duvall .611 over 129 at bats
Refsnyder .784 over 56 at bats

2022
Duvall .844 over 73 at bats
Refsnyder 1.005 over 64 at bats

2023
Duvall .757 over 86 at bats
Refsnyder .828 over 120 at bats

Refsnyder will turn 33 this year while Duvall will be 36 in September.

I see very little reason to expect Duvall to outperform Refsnyder vs left handed pitching this year.
That’s fair. But the big difference is that Duvall can hit righties too; he actually had reverse splits last year.
Duvall would also want way more ABs though, so it really depends on how much this team is interested in competing this year vs. how much they want to develop young players. Regularly starting Duvall (RF) O’Neal (CF) Duran (LF) could be strong offensively and defensively. But they won’t want to give that much playing time to two aging outfielders if their focus is on developing young players.
 

kazuneko

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 10, 2006
2,836
Honolulu HI
I was an advocate of signing Soler, moving on from Refsnyder, and squeezing O'Neill especially some ABs vs righties. I can't really see much point in doing the same with Duvall. I get the depth issue, but Ceddanne is around as a 6 OFer and I am told O'Neill can play some CF too. The marginal benefit of Duvall over Refsnyder as Abreu's platoon partner is pretty minimal and not enough for me to get worked up about. Pham seems to offer a bit more than Duvall but at the same time I can see some value in just giving LF to ONeill and telling him it his to run with (at least until the ASB.
What value does Pham provide that Duvall doesn’t? Pham has been a pretty bad fielder throughout his career. Duvall declined a bit last year, particularly in CF, but was still an average to plus defender at the corners.
And I’d be pretty shocked if they decided to make O’Neal, currently their best defensive outfielder on the major league roster, their regular LF. I certainly hope they aren’t considering that.