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

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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Not a direct answer but your post got me thinking about defense. The Sox defense this season has been shall we say lacking at times. I feel that Bloom is really big into defense. It would not surprise when Bloom gets to remake this team next off season if we see more players like Story or JBJ in his prime. Slightly below average hitters, but superlative defensively. Obviously he is not going to fill the entire lineup with below average hitters, but I feel he really values defense. That is why Marwin and Santana were signed last year and that is why he had no issue shipping Vaz out. It was also why he had no issue not backing the truck up and giving Devers whatever he wanted last off season. Now that Dever's defense has improved I think it is likely he will sign a monster extension with the Sox. Defense is also why Bogey is not going to be finishing his career with the Sox. Even though a lot of fans just look at how far a player hits the ball, Bloom is interested in the entire package and getting elite defense can trickle down and make the pitching better which can trickle down and take some stress off the offense.
I'm not sure. I don't know how to prove or disprove this... but with the advancement of the Three-True-Outcome type baseball, infield defense has become less important while outfield defense I think is slightly more important. Having Pokey Reese types, John Olerud, etc... in the infield would be a little bit of a waste of their skills. I'm sure someone can figure out what the downgrade from an above average defender is with average offense to a below average defender with above average offense. I'm not. And I really can't put any trust into defensive stats. Xander still strikes me as good enough at SS and likely good enough for 3-4 more seasons.
Perhaps with the "shift-ban" next season, we may see a heightened level for a need for speedy, rangy middle infielders more though....?
 

Ganthem

a ray of sunshine
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Apr 7, 2022
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I'm not sure. I don't know how to prove or disprove this... but with the advancement of the Three-True-Outcome type baseball, infield defense has become less important while outfield defense I think is slightly more important. Having Pokey Reese types, John Olerud, etc... in the infield would be a little bit of a waste of their skills. I'm sure someone can figure out what the downgrade from an above average defender is with average offense to a below average defender with above average offense. I'm not. And I really can't put any trust into defensive stats. Xander still strikes me as good enough at SS and likely good enough for 3-4 more seasons.
Perhaps with the "shift-ban" next season, we may see a heightened level for a need for speedy, rangy middle infielders more though....?
I see your point about Xander. He is not going to make the highlight reels, but he seems to be able to handle what he gets to. I am wondering if Bloom is going to start to turn away from the three true outcomes. The last couple years the Sox offense has been either super hot or super cold with no in between. When the Sox traded for Kyle Schawber it was a breath of fresh air. He worked the count, took pitches and was willing to take a walk if he wasn't thrown anything good. He reminded me of the Sox offense five to ten years ago. Perhaps Bloom is going to be looking for those players plus defense in order to build this club.
 

nvalvo

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I'm not sure. I don't know how to prove or disprove this... but with the advancement of the Three-True-Outcome type baseball, infield defense has become less important while outfield defense I think is slightly more important. Having Pokey Reese types, John Olerud, etc... in the infield would be a little bit of a waste of their skills. I'm sure someone can figure out what the downgrade from an above average defender is with average offense to a below average defender with above average offense. I'm not. And I really can't put any trust into defensive stats. Xander still strikes me as good enough at SS and likely good enough for 3-4 more seasons.
Perhaps with the "shift-ban" next season, we may see a heightened level for a need for speedy, rangy middle infielders more though....?
Something to watch: league-wide, BB%, HR%, and K% are all down in 2022 for the first time since 2015.

https://theathletic.com/3434355/2022/07/21/mlb-three-true-outcomes/
 
Aug 20, 2007
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Boston
I'm not sure. I don't know how to prove or disprove this... but with the advancement of the Three-True-Outcome type baseball, infield defense has become less important while outfield defense I think is slightly more important. Having Pokey Reese types, John Olerud, etc... in the infield would be a little bit of a waste of their skills. I'm sure someone can figure out what the downgrade from an above average defender is with average offense to a below average defender with above average offense. I'm not. And I really can't put any trust into defensive stats. Xander still strikes me as good enough at SS and likely good enough for 3-4 more seasons.
Perhaps with the "shift-ban" next season, we may see a heightened level for a need for speedy, rangy middle infielders more though....?
https://blogs.fangraphs.com/where-defensive-opportunities-have-declined-most/

This article on Fangraphs is from 2018, so the data is a bit old. In 2017, SS and CF both saw over 8500 fielding opportunities. 2nd base saw a over 8000. Then 3rd base at about 7000. Then RF and LF at between 6000-6500. And finally 1st base at under 5000. The premise of the article is about how those numbers have dramatically gone down since 2007 (that "Where Have Defensive Opportunities Declined" chart is crazy - 27% decline in centerfield opportunities since 2007!) and that teams may stick with bat first players who are not superb defenders. But it seems like corner-outfield defense is the least important; players a those positions see the fewest opportunities (I'm not really including 1st base here, because there is more to that position than getting to batted balls - like dealing with short hop throws).
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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https://blogs.fangraphs.com/where-defensive-opportunities-have-declined-most/

This article on Fangraphs is from 2018, so the data is a bit old. In 2017, SS and CF both saw over 8500 fielding opportunities. 2nd base saw a over 8000. Then 3rd base at about 7000. Then RF and LF at between 6000-6500. And finally 1st base at under 5000. The premise of the article is about how those numbers have dramatically gone down since 2007 (that "Where Have Defensive Opportunities Declined" chart is crazy - 27% decline in centerfield opportunities since 2007!) and that teams may stick with bat first players who are not superb defenders. But it seems like corner-outfield defense is the least important; players a those positions see the fewest opportunities (I'm not really including 1st base here, because there is more to that position than getting to batted balls - like dealing with short hop throws).
A lot of shit talk about bad lurkers in the main board… but this post surely isn’t that!
Great info! Thanks
 

jon abbey

Shanghai Warrior
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Jul 15, 2005
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A lot of shit talk about bad lurkers in the main board… but this post surely isn’t that!
Great info! Thanks
Except the game has kind of drastically changed a few times since 2018, the launch angle mania, the different balls, and now this year as @nvalvo said above, HR, K and BB percentages are all down. The sport seems to be changing fast enough that historical studies aren't too relevant.

Also I have been thinking about it, and I'm not sure that less balls in play makes defense less valuable anyway, it may mean that it's that much more important to make the plays on the balls that are in play, lest you give another player or two a chance to go deep.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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Except the game has kind of drastically changed a few times since 2018, the launch angle mania, the different balls, and now this year as @nvalvo said above, HR, K and BB percentages are all down. The sport seems to be changing fast enough that historical studies aren't too relevant.

Also I have been thinking about it, and I'm not sure that less balls in play makes defense less valuable anyway, it may mean that it's that much more important to make the plays on the balls that are in play, lest you give another player or two a chance to go deep.
Generally commenting on the lurkers quality of post. It was good regardless of whether it confirmed or not….
But on point- the shift rule will likely deman higher range types
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Dec 19, 2009
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Eovaldi has made comments about wanting to be here long term. Maybe it's posturing for the media, but it could mean QO would be accepted with the hope of working out an extension. I'm guessing they'll wait to see if his velocity comes back before they do anything crazy, like, say, signing him to a 5-year, $150 million contract.
 

grimshaw

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May 16, 2007
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Eovaldi has made comments about wanting to be here long term. Maybe it's posturing for the media, but it could mean QO would be accepted with the hope of working out an extension. I'm guessing they'll wait to see if his velocity comes back before they do anything crazy, like, say, signing him to a 5-year, $150 million contract.
Musgrove signing for 5/100 should hopefully lower the cost significantly. As great as Eovaldi was last season, his value has gone down and Musgrove is (probably) better now and younger. I think 4/90 may be the top end for Nate - particularly with his injury history but maybe I'm an optimist. I'd go higher AAV and short term - like 3/80, let him shop around, and see if he bites. If another team blows that out of the water, thank him for his tenure.

The fact that he succeeds in this stacked division, is a playoff stud and seemingly stand up guy would make me sad to see him go, but he's a bit of a risk.
 
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Apisith

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I don't see how Eovaldi gets more than 3 years on a new deal, especially if his velocity doesn't return. I also don't see him getting a higher AAV than his current deal without the velocity coming back. He's had two very good years in his 4-year deal (although one was the 2020 season), one bad year and one below average year (this year). If the velocity returns then yes, he's an ace and there's value in giving him $25m/year for 3 years but it's been 5 consecutive starts of below average velocity, with the latest start having the lowest in-game average.

It makes sense to offer him the QO to see if he can be good with lower velocity or if his velocity comes back after a long offseason (the initial injury was a hip injury) and I bet his agent tells him to accept it because there's too much uncertainty about his value.
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
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I suggested back in April that we re-sign him for 3/$63 million with an innings-based vesting option that would bring it to 4/$84. That seems a tad high at this moment, but not by much. Assuming the velo keeps creeping back up, I’d still do it.
 

Apisith

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I suggested back in April that we re-sign him for 3/$63 million with an innings-based vesting option that would bring it to 4/$84. That seems a tad high at this moment, but not by much. Assuming the velo keeps creeping back up, I’d still do it.
The velo is trending down though, not up.

53919
 

BaseballJones

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At this point, I'll be happy if Paxton is good and healthy for next year. This year is probably, barring a huge miracle run here, a lost cause. But this is still a good sign and is encouraging as we look down the road.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mar 11, 2007
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Didn't watch last night, but Pivetta looked okay. Against a AAAA team basically. I'll take it but any comments on him from anyone who watched?
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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At this point, I'll be happy if Paxton is good and healthy for next year. This year is probably, barring a huge miracle run here, a lost cause. But this is still a good sign and is encouraging as we look down the road.
I would definitely like to see 3 or 4 starts out of him before the Sox have to decide on his 2 yr/26 mil option.