Sox Rotation '22- The Good, The Pretty Good, The Not-Bad, the Pretty Bad and the Ugly

nvalvo

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But more broadly, as we assess Bloom and the shortcomings of the roster, the backup 1B spot looks pretty mild compared to the excellent SP depth decisions he made.

Unless I missed something, here are the one-year deal FA SPs from last offseason, along with the rounded contract dollars, IP and fWAR:

Verlander $20m, 65, 1.1
Syndergaard $18m, 46, 0.8
Kluber $10m, 50, 0.8
Cueto $8m, 24, 0.5
Richards $8m, 3, -0.1
Wacha $7m, 50, 0.8
Martínez $7m, 0, 0.0
Perez $5m, 69, 2.0
Hill $5m, 45, 0.5

Noting that the top shelf options like Kluber, Syndergaard, and Verlander were never going to sign without the commitment of a rotation spot, it looks to me like Bloom got comparable production at low cost while maintaining flexibility to incorporate our SP from the IL and the young guys. Really nice work.

Martín Perez is the real outlier here, and of course, Bloom has already signed him a couple times. And, well, we gave Carlos Martínez a minor league deal after the Cardinals DFA'd him, but it didn't work out here, either.
 

A Bad Man

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I should have posted this here first, but a quote from Cora from last night:

“I know we get criticized sometimes with our pitching program early on in the season, taking care of pitchers and taking them out early,” Cora said. “Like we tell them, the reason we do that is to save bullets and to be ready when it really matters. That’s when we can be creative in October and September using starters as relievers, and just being disciplined early on is paying off right now.”
 

simplicio

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We've been seeing some really efficient pitch counts lately. IMO, that efficiency also plays a part in the entire pitch count equation as we progress into the season.
One thing I noticed last night is Vazquez wasn't calling a lot of pitches out of the zone when up in the count; maybe that's cause Wacha is pitching to contact more, but it was a very nice change from the days when every 0-2 Edro count was just a prelude to a 3-2.
 

BaseballJones

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Might not be the worst time to put him on the IL and let him heal up from whatever it is he has going on. Then he'll get a break at the ASB as well. I'd be fine with that if it means getting dominant Whitlock back.
 

YTF

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Might not be the worst time to put him on the IL and let him heal up from whatever it is he has going on. Then he'll get a break at the ASB as well. I'd be fine with that if it means getting dominant Whitlock back.
Yep, if I'm looking at the schedule correctly his next three starts look to be against Seattle, St. Louis and Cleveland. After that it's a pretty tough stretch of 20 out of 23 games vs TB, Toronto and NY
 

effectivelywild

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Question from the analytically impaired: Is that low BABIP baked in to the FIP#?
It is, in a ways. FIP is based on K's, BB's and HRs---that's it. From Baseball Reference

"Fielding Independent Pitching, or FIP, is a sabermetric pitching statistic that is philosophically derived from the concept of Defense-Independent Pitching Statistics (also known as "DIPS").
The core tenet of DIPS theory, as first proposed by Voros McCracken in the late 1990s, is that pitchers have minimal (if any) control over the outcomes of balls that are put in play against them. The two corollaries of this discovery, which has proven to be true in the most general sense (with a number of caveats and exceptions), are that a pitcher's Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP) will regress toward the league average - usually .300 - if given enough opportunities, and that the Three True Outcomes - walks, strikeouts, and home runs - are the primary indicators of actual pitching skill.
With that in mind, sabermetrician Tom M. Tango developed FIP, a DIPS stat that mirrors Earned Run Average but only uses BBs, SOs, and HRs. The formula for FIP is simply: (13*HR + 3*BB - 2*K)/IP + C, where C is a constant term that re-centers the league-average FIP to match its average ERA."

In short, pointing out that Wacha's FIP is higher than his ERA and that his BABIP is unsustainably low are two sort of related ways of stating the same regarding his luck. Which makes sense---since FIP stands for "Fielding Independent Pitching" and BABIP is affected by fielding.
 

jon abbey

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Are those signs of concerns or things to work on? Even veteran pitchers go through periods where they are tipping. Once it is pointed out they usually can fix it.
Signs of concern, since he is on the IL now.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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What’s the status of Seabold ?
Seabold just came off the IL on Thursday. Threw 51 pitches in three innings (2 hits, 3 BB, 2 K, 0 R). The WooSox are off tomorrow, same as the big club, so he's probably in line to start Tuesday, same as Pivetta. They conceivably could have him throw a short outing and pitch on somewhat short rest on Saturday.

Bello started on Friday (90 pitches in 6 innings), so he's a possibility if they hold him out of his next start. That's what I'd love to see. Given him one start, just for the taste, and let him go back to Worcester with a better understanding of what he needs to do (or continue to do) in his development.
 

YTF

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Seabold just came off the IL on Thursday. Threw 51 pitches in three innings (2 hits, 3 BB, 2 K, 0 R). The WooSox are off tomorrow, same as the big club, so he's probably in line to start Tuesday, same as Pivetta. They conceivably could have him throw a short outing and pitch on somewhat short rest on Saturday.

Bello started on Friday (90 pitches in 6 innings), so he's a possibility if they hold him out of his next start. That's what I'd love to see. Given him one start, just for the taste, and let him go back to Worcester with a better understanding of what he needs to do (or continue to do) in his development.
I know they don't want to rush him, but there is a need and pitching him at home (short travel) vs Oakland if possible might not be a bad thing.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I know they don't want to rush him, but there is a need and pitching him at home (short travel) vs Oakland if possible might not be a bad thing.
I was picturing holding him out of his next scheduled start (Wed or Thurs?) and going against the Cards next weekend. But maybe pushing Hill back to Friday and let Crawford get Saturday is the way to go. I do like the idea of Bello debuting against a AAAA lineup instead of a playoff contending team.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Bello isn’t on the 40-man. I’m sure you could call him up and dump someone like Refsnyder (replace him with Duran), Valdez or Wong, but why would you want to, especially when you will potentially need spots for Sale, Paxton, Taylor down the road?
Bello absolutely is on the 40-man, which is the only reason I brought him up at all.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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D’oh, you are right. My bad. Still think they are no likely to go with Winckowski but Bello is intriguing, and the org has made similar type moves in the past.
 

YTF

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D’oh, you are right. My bad. Still think they are no likely to go with Winckowski but Bello is intriguing, and the org has made similar type moves in the past.
Well there are currently 2 starters on the IL. Winckowski could conceivably go Tues., Bello on Thurs. and everyone else gets an extra day on top of tomorrow's scheduled day off. It could also allow a starter to toss an inning out of the pen on his scheduled "throwing day".
 
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E5 Yaz

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Two starters on the IL, and neither of them is Rich Hill. What were the odds?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Two starters on the IL, and neither of them is Rich Hill. What were the odds?
Three really. Sale was “expected” (rolls eyes) to be on the opening day roster.
Wacha-4th- missed some time.
Pivetta has that body type that seems like he could throw 300 innings a season and then go throw axes in the off-season without a slight pain even.
 

BigSoxFan

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What are the realistic chances Bello gets the Thursday start? I would love to see him tested at the MLB level in a spot start. Haven’t had a young starter from the farm with this much promise in quite some time.
 

E5 Yaz

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What are the realistic chances Bello gets the Thursday start? I would love to see him tested at the MLB level in a spot start. Haven’t had a young starter from the farm with this much promise in quite some time.
Well, you'd think Crawford would get one of the starts, based off yesterday. After that, if the pen hasn't been overly taxed, they might opt for a pen game
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Well, you'd think Crawford would get one of the starts, based off yesterday. After that, if the pen hasn't been overly taxed, they might opt for a pen game
Absolutely no discussion of his performance last night.... I was expecting a 3 inning 2 run performance at best. I couldn't watch the game but saw some highlights and the movement on his pitches (not calling them "bullets"... they're F'in pitches!!!) was fantastic.
Anyone actually watch the game that could comment?
 

Jason Bae

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Some rotation rankings:

WAA: 8th in MLB
fWAR: 12th
ERA: 8th
ERA-: 7th
FIP: 14th
xFIP: 11th
IP: 18th
K/9: 14th
BB/9: 8th
HR/9: 21st (though a good chunk of the home runs have been allowed by Eovaldi)
BABIP: 6th
K-BB%: 10th
SIERA: 10th
BAA: 8th
WHIP: 6th
GB%: 25th
FB%: 23rd
IFFB%: 2nd
LD%: 22nd
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Trying to not sound cynical…. But as good as the starting pitching has been- the competition has been AAAA quality at best.
im thrilled with Pivetta (and not surprised either!)- and the success of Wacha, Hill….recently Crawford and Winckowski… but generally the last month has been weak competition.
 

Rovin Romine

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Trying to not sound cynical…. But as good as the starting pitching has been- the competition has been AAAA quality at best.
im thrilled with Pivetta (and not surprised either!)- and the success of Wacha, Hill….recently Crawford and Winckowski… but generally the last month has been weak competition.
Yes.

But it's perfectly OK the stars are aligning for us. We've nearly maxxed out on less-difficult teams at a time when our own starting rotation is dinged. We've got 10 games before we face a crunch, 16 games before we hit our toughest stretch. Hopefully we'll have Eovaldi and Whitlock back by then, with slightly rested arms. And perhaps one of our stand-ins will be impressive enough to displace the then-weakest link in the bullpen.
 

johnlos

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Trying to not sound cynical…. But as good as the starting pitching has been- the competition has been AAAA quality at best.
im thrilled with Pivetta (and not surprised either!)- and the success of Wacha, Hill….recently Crawford and Winckowski… but generally the last month has been weak competition.
Cynicism is pretty justified. I keep checking Wacha and Pivetta's fangraphs pages thinking 'maybe the analytics will catch up to the performance?' and it sure doesn't seem that way. For both Wacha and Pivetta velo is down, Ks down, GB% the same or worse--just have lucky HR/FB, BABIP, and LOB%. As much as I'd love to give the coaching staff or Vazquez credit like the NESN guys do the simpler answer is they're just facing teams when they're not hitting.

I reckon we'll find out what's real in the next month!
 

effectivelywild

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Cynicism is pretty justified. I keep checking Wacha and Pivetta's fangraphs pages thinking 'maybe the analytics will catch up to the performance?' and it sure doesn't seem that way. For both Wacha and Pivetta velo is down, Ks down, GB% the same or worse--just have lucky HR/FB, BABIP, and LOB%. As much as I'd love to give the coaching staff or Vazquez credit like the NESN guys do the simpler answer is they're just facing teams when they're not hitting.

I reckon we'll find out what's real in the next month!
Yikes, tough crowd. I mean, yeah Wacha is overperforming his peripherals, but even his peripherals suggest he's a perfectly cromulent starter with a FIP of around 4. And Pivetta---his overall peripherals are pretty good. Was just reading about his overall performance the last several starts in a different thread and there's a lot to be happy about.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Elite company for Nick: "Nick Pivetta is 8-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his last 10 starts. Most recent Red Sox with 8+ wins and a sub-1.90 ERA over a span of 10 starts: Nick Pivetta, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Tim Wakefield, Roger Clemens, Luis Tiant"

View: https://twitter.com/SoxNotes/status/1540528868175511554


I thought he was doing his usual leaving stuff over the heart of the plate early on and getting away with it a bit, then settled down fairly good. Managed to scatter a lot of singles tonight.
 

Niastri

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Elite company for Nick: "Nick Pivetta is 8-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his last 10 starts. Most recent Red Sox with 8+ wins and a sub-1.90 ERA over a span of 10 starts: Nick Pivetta, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Tim Wakefield, Roger Clemens, Luis Tiant"

View: https://twitter.com/SoxNotes/status/1540528868175511554


I thought he was doing his usual leaving stuff over the heart of the plate early on and getting away with it a bit, then settled down fairly good. Managed to scatter a lot of singles tonight.
But bad for a bad start
 

Jason Bae

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Elite company for Nick: "Nick Pivetta is 8-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his last 10 starts. Most recent Red Sox with 8+ wins and a sub-1.90 ERA over a span of 10 starts: Nick Pivetta, Pedro Martinez, Derek Lowe, Tim Wakefield, Roger Clemens, Luis Tiant"

View: https://twitter.com/SoxNotes/status/1540528868175511554


I thought he was doing his usual leaving stuff over the heart of the plate early on and getting away with it a bit, then settled down fairly good. Managed to scatter a lot of singles tonight.
I'm surprised Lester wasn't one of those names. Came close in 2010, going 8-0 with a 2.18 ERA from April 28-June 16. Buchholz also came close that year, going 7-1 with a 1.93 ERA from June 15-August 22. Buchholz had a 1.73 ERA in his first 10 starts in 2013, but had "only" 7 wins.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I know Bloom has often been praised on the deal that brought Pivetta in but it needs to be posted more. Just a great steal- and lots of us thought his primary target was Seabold.
 

effectivelywild

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I know Bloom has often been praised on the deal that brought Pivetta in but it needs to be posted more. Just a great steal- and lots of us thought his primary target was Seabold.
What astonished me at the time and continues to astonish me is who the Sox traded to get Pivetta and Seabold. Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree! These were two relief pitchers that we had in a lost season and they weren't even good relievers! Cumulatively they had generated 0.1 WAR that season when they were traded and that turned out to be the high point! They delivered sub-replacement level innings to the Phillies after that. Even if the Sox had JUST gotten Seabold you could argue that they won the trade. Hell, they could have given away Workman and Hembree and still come out in the black. Pivetta's success since then has turned this from an easy win of a trade to a massive steal.
 

BaseballJones

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What astonished me at the time and continues to astonish me is who the Sox traded to get Pivetta and Seabold. Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree! These were two relief pitchers that we had in a lost season and they weren't even good relievers! Cumulatively they had generated 0.1 WAR that season when they were traded and that turned out to be the high point! They delivered sub-replacement level innings to the Phillies after that. Even if the Sox had JUST gotten Seabold you could argue that they won the trade. Hell, they could have given away Workman and Hembree and still come out in the black. Pivetta's success since then has turned this from an easy win of a trade to a massive steal.
Right now it looks like one of the better trades in team history, not joking.

And if Seabold actually becomes something….holy smokes.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Right now it looks like one of the better trades in team history, not joking.

And if Seabold actually becomes something….holy smokes.
Seriously have begun to wonder about a 5 year deal for Pivetta. I think the guy is going to continue to be good- not this good- but also very healthy. He has a 200 innings per year arm and build.
 

Ganthem

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I think the Sox won the trade when Pivetta put up a 4.53 era across 155 innings last year to say nothing of what he is doing this year. Even if Pivetta continued to be a guy who can give the Sox 150 innings plus at a 4.53 era that is still valuable. Just a great trade hands down.