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

Red(s)HawksFan

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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.
There's a bit of Slocumb for Lowe/Varitek redux with that deal. Like the Mariners back in '97, the Phillies that year were beyond desperate for bullpen help and they were willing to overpay for anything they could get. Bloom absolutely fleeced Klentak, who apparently thought he was getting 2018-2019 Workman and Hembree.
 

Sox Puppet

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The first time Pivetta really crossed my radar was during an interleague game, Phillies vs. Sox. I looked it up in the Fangraphs game logs and it was on 6/15/2017. Pivetta shut us down to the tune of 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 9K. The rest of that season was full of ups and downs for him, and he finished with a very pedestrian 6.02 ERA, but if you had seen him on that night you'd have had glimpses of what we're witnessing from him now. (He also had a great interleague start against us in 2018, FWIW, giving up only a single run).

I took notice, and I'm sure the Sox brass did too. Though this was pre-Bloom, I'm sure there's some institutional memory.
 

johnlos

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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.
Well, one bad Wacha start and good Pivetta start since then.

I know I'm being pretty glass half empty, but I'll point out that I'm not cherry-picking stats in my analysis. The top 3 luck stats I look for are BABIP, HR/FB%, and LOB% (all compared to career norms of course). And as a frequent Eno Sarris reader I'm definitely looking for changes that explain the performance boost--typically increased velo or K/BB% from some improved pitch. Just not seeing any evidence they've made changes to explain their above average performance. But yes, with this lineup, I'll take cromulent. Until the playoffs, at least.
 

effectivelywild

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Well, one bad Wacha start and good Pivetta start since then.

I know I'm being pretty glass half empty, but I'll point out that I'm not cherry-picking stats in my analysis. The top 3 luck stats I look for are BABIP, HR/FB%, and LOB% (all compared to career norms of course). And as a frequent Eno Sarris reader I'm definitely looking for changes that explain the performance boost--typically increased velo or K/BB% from some improved pitch. Just not seeing any evidence they've made changes to explain their above average performance. But yes, with this lineup, I'll take cromulent. Until the playoffs, at least.
Overall it sounds like you've got a pretty nuanced approach for evaluating the two. Part of what's fascinating (to me) about baseball is the amount of variance that separates process from results and how that affects how we look at players and performances. BABIP tends to even out on a long enough timeline, but the part of me that is focused on the present still thinks "squander" when Verdugo hits a line drive right at the CF in a key situation and thinks "clutch!" if Devers hits a grounder with eyes in the same situation, even though its just the BABIP gods doing their thing. The same is true for pitchers. I know that I tend to, personally, lean on stats that show stuggling players are just getting hit by bad luck and ignore it for the guys thqat are overperforming their peripehrals.

In the case of Wacha---he is what he is at this point in his career---more or less an acceptable starter who can pitch innings. Yeah he's been getting lucky, and I'm ok with that---hopefully Sale or Paxton can pick up the slack when his luck runs out. Pivetta I'm more oprtimistic about, but that's probably more due to where he is in his career (pretty young, under team control) than anything else. And similarly with Wacha, I don't care if his performance is a mirage, I just don't want the regression to happen in the playoffs for the Sox.
 

AB in DC

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Rotation as of 7/3

Sale IL
Eovaldi IL
Paxton IL
Pivetta
(Houck moved to bullpen)
Whitlock IL, going back to bullpen
Wacha
Hill IL
Winckowski
Crawford
?
Seabold?

We're literally on our 4th, 7th, 9th, 10th, and 11th starters going into the crucial two weeks against Rays/Yanks.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Crawford was scratched from his start today for the WooSox. Looks like he's going to start in Hill's place on Wednesday. Wednesday also happens to be Sale's next scheduled rehab start, so that would line him up to jump into that spot the next time through the rotation if they think he's ready.
 

BigSoxFan

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Wacha dead arm may mean Crawford goes Monday, which could free up Bello for Wed, right? I’m trying to will this into existence.
 

Rovin Romine

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Overall it sounds like you've got a pretty nuanced approach for evaluating the two. Part of what's fascinating (to me) about baseball is the amount of variance that separates process from results and how that affects how we look at players and performances. BABIP tends to even out on a long enough timeline, but the part of me that is focused on the present still thinks "squander" when Verdugo hits a line drive right at the CF in a key situation and thinks "clutch!" if Devers hits a grounder with eyes in the same situation, even though its just the BABIP gods doing their thing. The same is true for pitchers. I know that I tend to, personally, lean on stats that show stuggling players are just getting hit by bad luck and ignore it for the guys thqat are overperforming their peripehrals.

In the case of Wacha---he is what he is at this point in his career---more or less an acceptable starter who can pitch innings. Yeah he's been getting lucky, and I'm ok with that---hopefully Sale or Paxton can pick up the slack when his luck runs out. Pivetta I'm more oprtimistic about, but that's probably more due to where he is in his career (pretty young, under team control) than anything else. And similarly with Wacha, I don't care if his performance is a mirage, I just don't want the regression to happen in the playoffs for the Sox.
There’s a point past which BABIP can be taken too far. If a batter hits a line drive into their own sweet spot, which happens to be shifted perfectly against, as opposed to going the other way into a gap, can we really say it’s BABIP - in the colloquial way people seem to use it? That all batting approaches are equally random and unknowable? That balls are just barreled or not, and cosmic dice are rolled? How weirdly appropriate that metrics can only see what their own imagined eyes can tell them. It’s like the whole thing has come full circle. Johnnys got a sweet swing and carries himself like a player. Metrics say no one can ever influence their own batted ball outcomes, and that every single bullpen arm is equally likely to be Tom Bolton or Eck.
 

ookami7m

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Manramsclan

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What’s Steve Ontiveros up to these days?
Or Jason Johnson?

It is really a marked change this year from the history of the Red Sox in that when they need a starter there is at least a serviceable one waiting in the wings in the minors.

So many times in the past 20 years they were signing some also ran veteran who was only available because he had a fork sticking out of his back.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Rotation as of 7/3

Sale IL
Eovaldi IL
Paxton IL
Pivetta
(Houck moved to bullpen)
Whitlock IL, going back to bullpen
Wacha
Hill IL
Winckowski
Crawford
?
Seabold?

We're literally on our 4th, 7th, 9th, 10th, and 11th starters going into the crucial two weeks against Rays/Yanks.
That’s really amazing but HAS to inevitably start to falter against better teams. Having Eo back at least I’d feel we could possibly take 2/3 in a series
Or Jason Johnson?

It is really a marked change this year from the history of the Red Sox in that when they need a starter there is at least a serviceable one waiting in the wings in the minors.

So many times in the past 20 years they were signing some also ran veteran who was only available because he had a fork sticking out of his back.
im also hoping that all this “rest” for Sale, Eovaldi, Paxton, Whitlock, etc… is setting up a nice playoff pitching situation while the MFY’s , BJ’s, staffs are all hitting their ceiling.
Accidental strategy
 

Manramsclan

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Correct. Minimum of 15 days down for a pitcher unless recalled to replace an injured player.
Wacha could be considered injured though right? Back date him if he isn't ready to start Friday then he could probably come off Saturday or Sunday
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Wacha could be considered injured though right? Back date him if he isn't ready to start Friday then he could probably come off Saturday or Sunday
IL for pitchers is also minimum 15 days so putting Wacha on the IL would mean he's gone for two weeks. I expect Wacha is probably who they plan to start Friday after a few more days off to recover from the dead arm.
 

richgedman'sghost

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It's either that or ask Paul Byrd to come out of retirement again.
How about Bruce Chen? He was going to be traded to the Red Sox just so he could start game 163 in 2011. Unfortunately due to unforseen events of the Yankees rolling over and losing in Tampa and the Sox losing in Baltimore there was no game 163.
 

Coachster

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BaseballJones

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I'm loving how the "kids" have performed this year on the mound.

Whitlock: 3.51 era, 1.13 whip, 9.1 k/9
Houck: 3.47 era, 1.22 whip, 9.3 k/9
Winckowski: 3.12 era, 1.39 whip, 6.6 k/9

Even Seabold (nice start yesterday) and Crawford (good outing in Sea, good performance today) have helped. And now Bello gets the start on Wednesday.

In a season where they've lost a bunch of starts from their best starters, these guys have come in and helped out a lot. Nice to see.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Totally agree- they are getting positive contributions from a ton of different players, expected and unexpected. Makes things a lot more fun too.
 

Jason Bae

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The Worcester rotation has been rather exciting. Winckowski has held his own and Seabold did look much better against the Cubs (for all their flaws, their lineup is hardly mediocre). Bello's got a sub-3 ERA and 12.6 K/9. I think he's the most exciting AAA pitcher since E-Rod.

And we've still got Walter and Murphy in AAA.
 

Niastri

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Totally agree- they are getting positive contributions from a ton of different players, expected and unexpected. Makes things a lot more fun too.
All these young pitchers coming seemingly out of nowhere to help the big club seems positively Rays-like as well.

People have been complaining about too great a focus on efficiency from the current front office. But the Rays also are big on redundancy and always having a conga line of young pitchers, in addition to being cheap.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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I'm loving how the "kids" have performed this year on the mound.

Whitlock: 3.51 era, 1.13 whip, 9.1 k/9
Houck: 3.47 era, 1.22 whip, 9.3 k/9
Winckowski: 3.12 era, 1.39 whip, 6.6 k/9

Even Seabold (nice start yesterday) and Crawford (good outing in Sea, good performance today) have helped. And now Bello gets the start on Wednesday.

In a season where they've lost a bunch of starts from their best starters, these guys have come in and helped out a lot. Nice to see.
I’m quite optimistic about the young arms. They’ve all been knocked around a bit, but seem to be shaking it off, gaining confidence and having good results.
We might expect Bello, if he gets the start Wednesday, to have a rough go, but to gain from the experience in the long run.
 

BaseballJones

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I saw Bello pitch in Portland last year and he was terrible. But he's obviously been amazing during his minor league career.

AA stats this year: 33.2 ip, 16 h, 7 r, 6 er, 12 bb, 42 k, 1.60 era, 0.83 whip, 11.2 k/9
AAA stats this year: 51.1 ip, 39 h, 16 r, 16 er, 21 bb, 72 k, 2.81 era, 1.17 whip, 12.6 k/9

I mean....not too shabby.
 

Apisith

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Have we ever had this quality of upper minor pitching prospects? Bello, Winckowski, Walter, Crawford, Seabold, Murphy and Mata. Houck and Whitlock are also cost-controlled. Hopefully we can lock a few of them up long-term and then have loads of money to re-sign Devers.
 

soxhop411

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Have we ever had this quality of upper minor pitching prospects? Bello, Winckowski, Walter, Crawford, Seabold, Murphy and Mata. Houck and Whitlock are also cost-controlled. Hopefully we can lock a few of them up long-term and then have loads of money to re-sign Devers.
2008/2009?
March 17. 2008
Clay Buchholz
Jacoby Ellsbury.
Justin Masterson
Lars anerson
Jed Lowrie
Michael Bowden
Nick Hagadone
Oscar Tejeda
Ryan Kalish
Will Middlebrooks
Brandon Moss
Josh Reddick
Kris Johnson
Aaron Bates
Chris Carter
Che-Hsuan Lin
Mark Wagner
Argenis Diaz
Ryan Dent
Dustin Richardson
https://soxprospects.com/history.htm