Spring Training 2021

billsleephus1

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Jan 31, 2020
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This is one of the best analyses I have read in some time. It is easy for us to allow our emotions (especially concerning Mookie) to overrule the logic required of building a competitive team. Well done!
Bravo! In other words, the true value in having a generational talent on your club may be more likely trading him (at the righ time, of course) than in keeping him.
 

cournoyer

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Yeah I tuned out last year. My reasoning was that the games really just didn't matter to me because of the short season. It felt pretty dumb, and I just couldn't get myself excited about it. Once the Red Sox started their tailspin I was like ehhh idk I'm kind of over this. That being said, super excited for this year. I think Chaim has done a great job in a short period of time of developing a decent ballclub while stocking the proverbial minor league shelves. Obviously the starting pitching has to show up this year but it's going to be a lot of fun following this team as well as the aforementioned younger guys on the outside ready to scratch the surface and contribute.
 

Tuff Ghost

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The excitement about Richards is his spin rate on his pitches are super top tier. That usually precludes success in the Statcast era. It's a good gamble for a team still rebuilding its pitching depth.
One note on Richards and his spin rate is that he actually has a lot of inactive spin (i.e. gyroscopic spin, similar to a football spiral), which means he gets less movement on his pitches than a pitcher with high active spin rate.

For example, his 4-seam fastball does not get that "rising" effect (pitches do not actually rise, but drop less than expected due to 12 o'clock spin) because it drops more than the average 4-seam fastball. He also does not get any run on it.

See the thick-red lined circle for his 4-seam fastball movement, and the broken-red lined circle for MLB average. A right-handed pitcher usually has some right-side run and more spin to keep it from dropping. That's a pretty straight fastball even though it is spinning a ton.
39698

Similarly, his slider gets less horizontal movement than average (yellow). It still seems to be his most effective pitch typically, though.

His only pitch with above average movement is his curveball, which he does not throw very often (most recent seasons it is in the vicinity of 10% usage). He does get better results with his slider than the curveball.

Looking at the last 3 seasons worth of curveballs, it looks like he may have issues controlling it.

Curveball, 2018-20:
39699

Slider, 2018-20:
39700
 

CapeCodYaz

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Sep 24, 2020
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No upgrades? Sorry, no. Garrett Richards and the return of E-Rod are significant upgrades over last year's parade of "who?" that followed Eovaldi and Perez. Pivetta and Houck are promising as well. And Sale is going to be a built in mid-season acquisition.

It's not the 90s Braves, but it isn't exactly a black hole of suck either.
I know but none of our starters have a history of staying remotely healthy all year and that is desperately needed for this team to get to 90 wins
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I know but none of our starters have a history of staying remotely healthy all year and that is desperately needed for this team to get to 90 wins
So basically your initial statement was wrong, and instead of acknowledging it, you decided to "but" your way to moving the goalposts.
not to mention Martin Perez has had 4 full seasons out of the past 5 years. And I don't think Nick Pivetta missed time before last season
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I know but none of our starters have a history of staying remotely healthy all year and that is desperately needed for this team to get to 90 wins
Health isn't something you can predict reliably, so how do you build a rotation that is guaranteed to stay healthy? Even if you think you can, who should they have acquired to assure that strong and healthy rotation? Let's run down the top 10 free agents signed by size of contract.

Trevor Bauer. Age 30. One career trip to the IL for a stress fracture in his leg. He missed nearly six weeks. So good health history in general. Got $34M/year which was clearly out of the Sox' price range. Also came with the qualifying offer penalty.

Jake Odorizzi. Age 31. Most of his career a reliable 150-160 inning guy with some occasional minor injuries. Did three separate stints on the IL last season and pitched in just four games. Hung around all winter before finally signing with Houston for a reasonable deal (3/23.5M).

Taijuan Walker. Age 28. Now two years removed from Tommy John. Four years removed from a season where he pitched more than 100 innings. Signed 3/23M.

Mike Minor. Age 33. Had shoulder surgery five years ago. One of the few available free agents who has topped 200 IP in a season at all in his career, including in 2019. Signed 2/18M.

Charlie Morton. Age 37. Has spent time on the IL in pretty much every season of his career with varying degrees of severity from inflammation to surgery (elbow and hip). Age 37 (I mention it twice for emphasis). Signed 1/15.

Corey Kluber. Age 35. Sox tried to sign him but he chose the Yankees instead. Threw one inning last season before tearing a muscle in his shoulder. This after missing most of 2019 with a broken leg. Not really a model of health.

Drew Smyly. Age 32. Tommy John three years ago. IL for nerve tightness in his arm two years ago, a season in which he was released by two different teams. Missed a month last season with a sprained finger. Signed for 1/11M.

Garrett Richards. Age 33. We know his story. Sox signed him for 1/10M.

James Paxton. Age 32. Has spent various stints on the IL in every season for the last seven. Was shut down halfway through last season with a strained flexor. Signed for 1/8.5M.


The only conclusions I can reach is that a) pitchers with a history of "good health" are hard to come by in free agency, b) such pitchers are expensive, and c) if you need a pitcher, you have to roll the dice on somebody and take your chances.

Bloom's approach this winter was to build depth, so that there isn't a repeat of 2020 where the top two guys went down, the third spent some time on the IL, and they had to dig deep on the scrap pile just to finish out a shortened season. Worcester's rotation is going to have 2-3 guys who can be called up if needed and won't be hopeless. That's a plus too.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Bravo! In other words, the true value in having a generational talent on your club may be more likely trading him (at the righ time, of course) than in keeping him.
I think if you have the right combination of a generational talent combined with the payroll flexibility for the long term... a strong farm system... AND a player that is willing to sign away his arm years for long term security, then you've got a chance to lock up a player through their prime years and possibly to retain them after the 8-10 year contract is up at a lesser rate.
I would have liked to have been able to hold Xander through his age 32 season. The market for declining SS's would be less, so it'd be possible to move him to a less impactful position while retaining his bat.
Mookie was never signing that type of contract. I think Chaim did a great job of leveraging one year into a good return.
Perhaps Devers will be willing to sign a 12 year contract at a reduced rate and he'll be the long term anchor to the lineup and corner 3B for 2 more years, then split 1B and DH duty for longer?
 

nvalvo

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Bravo! In other words, the true value in having a generational talent on your club may be more likely trading him (at the righ time, of course) than in keeping him.
I don't know if I'd go quite that far. Two exceptions:
  • You'll notice that my analysis depended on paying Betts a fair market deal. If Betts had accepted the $200m extension offer after 2017, that would be another matter entirely. But that basically depends on Betts, personally, footing the bill for his team's maintained competitiveness, similar to the way many feel Tom Brady did in New England, by being underpaid (if well-compensated). Getting to yes with him on an extension early in his career would have really helped.
  • Alternately, you need to have enough going on in terms of farm system productivity that you can either surround your superstar with good pre-arb players or afford to not worry too much about the draft penalties. This is the Dodgers' situation on both counts. That's why it made sense for them to trade for and extend Betts.
Basically, this is a team sport. As the Angels — or the Ted Williams-era Red Sox or Willy Mays-era Giants or Verlander/Cabrera-era Tigers — show, just having a single amazing player, or even a handful of stars, doesn't get you there. You need to be able to staff all aspects of the team.

It's been clear since 2015 or 2016 that, if the farm system didn't generate any homegrown pitching, this team was going to hit a wall around 2020 as our Betts/Benintendi/Bradley/Bogaerts position player core approached FA. It's true, the imagined composition of that core changed over time (Blake out, Benintendi in).
 

nvalvo

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I think if you have the right combination of a generational talent combined with the payroll flexibility for the long term... a strong farm system... AND a player that is willing to sign away his arm years for long term security, then you've got a chance to lock up a player through their prime years and possibly to retain them after the 8-10 year contract is up at a lesser rate.
I would have liked to have been able to hold Xander through his age 32 season. The market for declining SS's would be less, so it'd be possible to move him to a less impactful position while retaining his bat.
Mookie was never signing that type of contract. I think Chaim did a great job of leveraging one year into a good return.
Perhaps Devers will be willing to sign a 12 year contract at a reduced rate and he'll be the long term anchor to the lineup and corner 3B for 2 more years, then split 1B and DH duty for longer?
Or... exactly what SLT said.

I'm pessimistic on our ability to sign Devers longterm. He's going to want to be paid as a 3B, and we're going to want to pay him as a 1B/DH, and as a result, I just don't see the basis of a deal. Maybe an extension that buys out his arb years in exchange for a year or two of FA, but I doubt we'll see a 12 year deal.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Raffy is not close to worth a long-term deal yet. Poor spring so far, another slow start coming this year?
 

chrisfont9

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One note on Richards and his spin rate is that he actually has a lot of inactive spin (i.e. gyroscopic spin, similar to a football spiral), which means he gets less movement on his pitches than a pitcher with high active spin rate.

For example, his 4-seam fastball does not get that "rising" effect (pitches do not actually rise, but drop less than expected due to 12 o'clock spin) because it drops more than the average 4-seam fastball. He also does not get any run on it.
Any idea whether this is the kind of thing where a different grip or other minute adjustment results in more movement?
Raffy is not close to worth a long-term deal yet. Poor spring so far, another slow start coming this year?
Pretty much the only evidence in your favor is last year's weird, deflating 60-game season (in which his OPS+ was still 110), and maybe some spring performances, which is right up there with Gammo's "best shape of his life" pronouncements in terms of reliability. Considering he put together a nearly 5-win season at age 22 and he was a fucking monster in the postseason at age 21, including defensively, I'd say there's plenty of evidence there to justify locking up Raffy, and not waiting until he has an all star season and drives his value way up.
 

chrisfont9

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This is a great post and explanation. It really bothered me recently when the usually so great Joe Posnanski also trotted out the same line in his spring training summary of the Sox (paywalled). The bottom line is that the Sox had a ton of holes opening up, and almost nothing to look forward to in the farm system. There was no way they could have kept filling out the roster exclusively through free agency and maintained competitive. It sucks that it was Mookie, but some kind of deal like that was necessary to avoid a long slow decline, and even longer rebuild.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see the team poke back a bit above the luxury tax line in 2022, given the huge amount they have coming off the books after that year, they can easily drop right below again (assuming this part of the CBA doesn't change much).
The Rico Brogna anecdote in that Joe Pos article gave me chills. Somehow I don't remember that happening.
View: https://youtu.be/8BtsmXke1QE?t=6148
 

DeadlySplitter

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Pretty much the only evidence in your favor is last year's weird, deflating 60-game season (in which his OPS+ was still 110), and maybe some spring performances, which is right up there with Gammo's "best shape of his life" pronouncements in terms of reliability. Considering he put together a nearly 5-win season at age 22 and he was a fucking monster in the postseason at age 21, including defensively, I'd say there's plenty of evidence there to justify locking up Raffy, and not waiting until he has an all star season and drives his value way up.
Paying for past performance, are we?

The potential is there for him of course. I have seen a hacker this spring still looking unsteady at 3rd. I'd think long and hard about any extension... may he prove me wrong when the games start counting in 9 days.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Paying for past performance, are we?

The potential is there for him of course. I have seen a hacker this spring still looking unsteady at 3rd. I'd think long and hard about any extension... may he prove me wrong when the games start counting in 9 days.
WOOHOO!!!!

Edit-(add some content)- Devers is borderline at this point.... if he has another slow start but turns into a beast again at the beginning of May and doesn't stop and ends up with another .950 OPS 30HR performance... then I think it should be expected of him to do that for another 7-8 years and would definitely look at locking him up as our Cornerstone Player.
But he's always a little worrisome... he can look like a hacker and despite his good range at 3B still has some painful mental errors. I don't buy that he's not a good 3B though and needs to be moved ASAP
 

Tuff Ghost

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Any idea whether this is the kind of thing where a different grip or other minute adjustment results in more movement?
Yes, it is possible, albeit difficult. I recall a pretty good article from a year ago about how the Rays were helping their staff improve spin efficiency. They did not necessarily have the best raw spin rates on their fastballs, but their high spin efficiency (active spin %) led to above average movement.

If a pitcher is keeping one finger on the ball longer than others, that last touch may end up creating the gyroscopic spin (spiraling, not generating movement).
How can the Rays help add spin efficiency to pitchers they acquire? Bill Hezel, director of pitching at Driveline Baseball, had a few ideas that he’s used with pitchers in similar situations.

“For me personally, I usually start with the grip,” Hezel said. “I always prefer attempting to tweak the grip before using or pairing that with some type of cue. If I can just suggest that the guy moves his fingers a little closer together or alters his thumb position, for example, and say nothing else but get the desired result — that’s ideal.”

The best technology in the business can help. Edgertronic high-speed cameras can show a pitching coach exactly how the ball is coming off the fingers with different grips or cues.
The Red Sox even get a mention as Sarris discusses Jalen Beeks improving spin efficiency with the Rays:
...when Beeks came to the Rays from the Red Sox, he had both a poor spin rate (2017, or 652nd out of 697 in 2018) and not much spin efficiency (339th out of 606, with an 82.9 spin efficiency). This year, he’s upped that efficiency to 93.6 percent and jumped into the top 50 in Active Spin. The result seems modest when you report it in inches since he added about an inch and a half of ride compared to last year according to Baseball Savant. But now Beeks has more ride than other pitchers at the same velocity. And in terms of whiffs, he’s doubled the swing-and-miss rate on his fastball so far this year.
https://theathletic.com/2003319/2020/08/18/sarris-what-is-spin-efficiency-and-why-do-the-rays-have-it-in-spades/?source=user_shared_article
 

chrisfont9

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Paying for past performance, are we?

The potential is there for him of course. I have seen a hacker this spring still looking unsteady at 3rd. I'd think long and hard about any extension... may he prove me wrong when the games start counting in 9 days.
What is the alternative to considering past performance? A crystal ball? Maybe you're joking there. He's so young that sure, he could turn into a guy who decides not to get much out of his talent, but he's already several years and thousands upon thousands of hours into honing his craft, so I don't see him quitting now. He's an elite talent. Cora got the best out of him last time around. I like his chances of being himself again.
 

chrisfont9

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Yes, it is possible, albeit difficult. I recall a pretty good article from a year ago about how the Rays were helping their staff improve spin efficiency. They did not necessarily have the best raw spin rates on their fastballs, but their high spin efficiency (active spin %) led to above average movement.

If a pitcher is keeping one finger on the ball longer than others, that last touch may end up creating the gyroscopic spin (spiraling, not generating movement).


The Red Sox even get a mention as Sarris discusses Jalen Beeks improving spin efficiency with the Rays:


https://theathletic.com/2003319/2020/08/18/sarris-what-is-spin-efficiency-and-why-do-the-rays-have-it-in-spades/?source=user_shared_article
Thanks!
 

nvalvo

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I don't know if I'll be able to find this, but someone on twitter was saying the Red Sox have acquired some number of the pitchers with the worst spin efficiency in the sense of high spin, low active spin.

My first thought is that that seems like something you'd do if you thought you could do something to improve it — i.e. if your theory of the case was that spin was unteachable but that spin efficiency might be. If that were true, you could potentially buy low on pitchers who are underperforming because they're not converting spin into movement as efficiently as they could, and then try to help them do just that. But it might also be more nuanced than that.

***

I gave up looking for it on twitter, and just went straight to baseball-savant instead. (It was probably SoxScout.) In short: Garret Richards, but also Tanner Houck, Colten Brewer, Marcus Walden, Josh Taylor, Josh Osich, Mike Kickham, Darwinzon Hernandez, Zack Godley... 6 of the 16 pitchers with the lowest spin efficiency on their four-seam fastballs are now or have recently been Red Sox.

Then again, Barnes, Pivetta, Eovaldi, Perez are all at the higher end on that spin-efficiency metric for four-seamers, and I couldn't detect any obvious pattern on any of the other pitches.
 

nvalvo

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https://www.google.com/amp/s/prospects365.com/2020/01/01/redefining-the-80-grade-fastball-spin-efficiency-spin-axis-and-movement-profile/amp/

This is a good primer on spin rate, spin efficiency, etc. Rays have been all over this for awhile, as TuffGhost’s article alluded to, and now, with Bloom, presumably the Sox are, too.
Great read! Thank you. So if that's right, it seems like the way you try to get more spin efficiency is to coordinate finger placement on the baseball with arm slot. That does seem teachable.
 

Tuff Ghost

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The other aspect of spin efficiency that is fascinating is when a guy intentionally wants to lower spin efficiency on a pitch to create a bit of a gyro ball with less movement. Ottavino designed a cutter in which he wanted minimal active spin, so it would not have as much horizontal break as his slider or as much vertical break as his sinker.

Eno Sarris, 2018 article in the Athletic:
For example, the goal for Ottavino was to get as close to zero percent spin efficiency as possible, in order to give him a new pitch he could command in the face of rampant takes. That’s the gyroball, and that’s the information he was checking his Rapsodo tracker for over the offseason.

“For him, we were trying get below 15 percent spin efficiency,” Daniels said of the Ottavino’s time at Driveline. “His best ones were around 8-12 percent range. Now I’d guess it’s a little higher, it’s not behaving like a pure gyroball. That’s okay.”

The pitch is settling in at 87 mph, about four mph faster than his slider and six or seven mph slower than his fastball. The new cutter has half as much cut as his slider, and drops a quarter as much compared to his sinker. As with David Price’s cutter and sinker, he now has a pitch that tunnels better with his sinker.
https://theathletic.com/316941/2018/04/18/sarris-the-art-and-science-of-designing-a-new-pitch-from-beginning-to-end-with-adam-ottavino/

You can see in 2019 how much horizontal movement he gets on his slider versus MLB average (dotted-line). His sinker is slightly better than MLB average on vertical drop, but not notably, and has normal throwing arm-side run. The cutter is a much straighter pitch, but gives him variety and can keep hitters off-balance. It also falls in the middle velocity-wise (88.2 mph) between the sinker (93.9 mph) and slider (81.9 mph).
39728
 
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grimshaw

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https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/03/mlb-discipline-pitchers-foreign-substances-doctor-baseballs-spin-rate.html

Something to monitor for guy like Garrett Richards and others of his ilk. There is an unwritten rule that a certain amount of aid is ok (pine tar or something else) to give pitchers better grips on the baseball as long as it's not an oil slick like Michael Pineda had. Batters also don't want to get hit.

I'm not sure how much better grip = better spin rate but it'll be interesting to see if there is a noticeable decrease in stuff for certain guys.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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I for one am excited for the start of the new season. I'll miss JBJ catching everything in center (the pitchers will, too) and getting on a hot streak, just like I missed Mookie last year. Players leave all the time. Few retire with the team they start with, or even become identified with (like Pedro). It's a tough business, too much money involved for sentiment, sadly.
Anyway, I choose to enjoy who we have rather than being pissed about who's gone. After all, this isn't the incompetent Sox management of the 70s, losing Fisk and Lynn because they failed to meet contract deadlines. They've had to make tough choices, and I think they've done what they think is in the best long-term interest of the team.

Hell, I even watched or listened to most of the games last year. I love baseball. And since my son stopped playing, the Sox are all I've got. I watched Mike Kickham get shelled, and Robert Stock get shelled, and Jeff Springs get shelled, and Ryan Weber get shelled, and, well, a lot of guys got shelled. But Tanner Houck amazed, and Nick Pivetta looked ok, and Phillips Valdez was ok, and Dugie was fun to watch, and Dalbec came up and hit bombs to right-center when he wasn't striking out.

On the pitching side, this year we won't be seeing those guys who never should have been pitching in the big leagues, like Kickham. But you know what? Good for fucking Mike Kickham. He started a couple of big league ball games. He even got a W. He was mostly overmatched, but one day his stuff was good enough to survive. Good for him! That's the beauty of baseball -- on a special day a guy who shouldn't be there can put it together and walk away with a win. Makes me think about the guy who coaches for the travel team program my son used to play with. Local kid, pitched for a lower level D1 school, got drafted, made it to Double A. Great guy. Good person, works really well with the kids. I wish he'd had the chance Mike Kickham had, to get to The Show and for one game to have his stuff play up enough to walk off the mound with a W. To forever have an entry in the Baseball Encyclopedia with a mark in the win column.

But I digress. I'm ready to see OB and Jerry and Eck, to listen to Joe Castig, to be thrilled and bored and frustrated and astounded, for the automatic strike zone home plate robot umpire to bleat out "Play Ball" (well, maybe next year for that one), to see grown men play a kids game with incredible skill. I'm ready for baseball. I'm ready for Red Sox baseball. It's a new season; anything can happen.
 

jon abbey

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Goddamn, that post was so good that it even got me revved up, and I am 1) a Yankee fan and 2) already pretty revved up. Congrats on your new member status.
 

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I for one am excited for the start of the new season. I'll miss JBJ catching everything in center (the pitchers will, too) and getting on a hot streak, just like I missed Mookie last year. Players leave all the time. Few retire with the team they start with, or even become identified with (like Pedro). It's a tough business, too much money involved for sentiment, sadly.
Anyway, I choose to enjoy who we have rather than being pissed about who's gone. After all, this isn't the incompetent Sox management of the 70s, losing Fisk and Lynn because they failed to meet contract deadlines. They've had to make tough choices, and I think they've done what they think is in the best long-term interest of the team.

Hell, I even watched or listened to most of the games last year. I love baseball. And since my son stopped playing, the Sox are all I've got. I watched Mike Kickham get shelled, and Robert Stock get shelled, and Jeff Springs get shelled, and Ryan Weber get shelled, and, well, a lot of guys got shelled. But Tanner Houck amazed, and Nick Pivetta looked ok, and Phillips Valdez was ok, and Dugie was fun to watch, and Dalbec came up and hit bombs to right-center when he wasn't striking out.

On the pitching side, this year we won't be seeing those guys who never should have been pitching in the big leagues, like Kickham. But you know what? Good for fucking Mike Kickham. He started a couple of big league ball games. He even got a W. He was mostly overmatched, but one day his stuff was good enough to survive. Good for him! That's the beauty of baseball -- on a special day a guy who shouldn't be there can put it together and walk away with a win. Makes me think about the guy who coaches for the travel team program my son used to play with. Local kid, pitched for a lower level D1 school, got drafted, made it to Double A. Great guy. Good person, works really well with the kids. I wish he'd had the chance Mike Kickham had, to get to The Show and for one game to have his stuff play up enough to walk off the mound with a W. To forever have an entry in the Baseball Encyclopedia with a mark in the win column.

But I digress. I'm ready to see OB and Jerry and Eck, to listen to Joe Castig, to be thrilled and bored and frustrated and astounded, for the automatic strike zone home plate robot umpire to bleat out "Play Ball" (well, maybe next year for that one), to see grown men play a kids game with incredible skill. I'm ready for baseball. I'm ready for Red Sox baseball. It's a new season; anything can happen.
Amen, brother.
 

CanvasAlley

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Bravo! In other words, the true value in having a generational talent on your club may be more likely trading him (at the righ time, of course) than in keeping him.
That is the sad reality of professional sports. While I will always "ride for the brand," it is so much easier with players I have grown to love over multiple seasons of inspiring play. Fortunately, Mookie now plays for my hometown team, so I can still drop by and see him in action.
 

Yo La Tengo

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"I had a year. You have a year to get your (expletive) together. And I had every resource to do it. The only reason I wouldn't do what I did was because I was lazy. I see it translating on a very small scale, so when I put this on a big scale I can only hope it's the same."

"I wasn't springy. I'm springy again. I'm lighter. I feel better. I feel whippy again. I feel loose. I feel free and easy."

Really interesting interview with Chris Sale. I feel like "whippy" is a great description for Sale on the mound.

https://www.radio.com/weei/sports/red-sox/1-year-later-how-tommy-john-surgery-has-changed-chris-sale
 

Tuff Ghost

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Tough break for Eduardo Rodriguez- he's going to miss the opening day start due to a dead arm situation. The pitching depth may get tested earlier than we'd want.
Pete Abraham @PeteAbe
Nate Eovaldi will start on Opening Day.

Rodriguez has a "dead arm" and and when he next starts isn't determined.
Twitter link
 

Lose Remerswaal

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Rodriguez won’t be starting opening day due to “dead arm”.




Cora on Rodriguez: ‘He won’t be able to post on Thursday.’ He skipped his most recent bullpen session due to what Cora described as ‘dead arm - nothing specific there.’ Eovaldi will start in his place on Opening Day.

EDIT: Beaten by @Tuff Ghost
Soxhop411 is warming up
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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And so it begins...

How many of our starters have the combination of health and talent to make 20 starts? Erod seemed like the best bet and I know a dead arm isn't that big a deal (unless it's code words for something worse), but this can't be the beginning we were hoping for from him.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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And so it begins...

How many of our starters have the combination of health and talent to make 20 starts? Erod seemed like the best bet and I know a dead arm isn't that big a deal (unless it's code words for something worse), but this can't be the beginning we were hoping for from him.
Dead arm happens to most pitchers at some point during the spring. Shouldn't be any surprise that it has happened with a guy who missed an entire season. I don't think it portends anything.
 

chawson

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If E-Rod hits the IL, the silver lining is that Arroyo and Chavis now probably both make the team (I still think the latter will be moved sooner than later), and maybe we see a bit more of Whitlock and Andriese — who’ve both looked great — early on.
 

nvalvo

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If E-Rod hits the IL, the silver lining is that Arroyo and Chavis now probably both make the team (I still think the latter will be moved sooner than later), and maybe we see a bit more of Whitlock and Andriese — who’ve both looked great — early on.
It doesn't sound like E-Rod is headed to the IL. Rather, it sounds like he's just being pushed back a few days.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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Nov 24, 2007
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On the game broadcast today, Dave Flemming said Vasquez was hit in the face with a throw during practice yesterday. Shattered his sunglasses, several lacerations, needed some stitches. And he’s gone home to deal with a personal issue (sounds like unrelated to the injury). Flemming intimated Vaz would be catching the opener.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Aug 1, 2001
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At the end of an Athletic article about Barnes testing positive, they add this bit about relievers who are now available:
https://theathletic.com/2481051/2021/03/27/how-red-sox-reliever-matt-barnes-covid-19-positive-test-affects-the-bullpen-and-roster-picture/
As often happens at the end of spring training, plenty of relievers have opted out of their contracts in the past few days. This includes some notable names such as Tony Watson, Brad Boxberger, Jesse Chavez, Steve Cishek and Carl Edwards Jr. Also, free agent Shane Greene is still available after not signing with anyone this winter. (There’s not much chance he’ll be ready and available before Barnes returns, though.)
Seems like a couple of those guys might be better options than some of the pitchers who will make the opening day roster for the Red Sox. From the same article:
Before Barnes’ positive test, it appeared the Red Sox were left with two spots for three pitchers: Austin Brice, Colten Brewer and Phillips Valdez. Without Barnes, they might not have to choose. They could simply carry all three.
Personally, I'd rather pick up one of Watson, Cishek, or Greene than carry any of Brice, Brewer, or Valdez.
 

jon abbey

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Personally, I'd rather pick up one of Watson, Cishek, or Greene than carry any of Brice, Brewer, or Valdez.
Dunno how good Watson could be currently if the tire fire Phillies pen didn't want to keep him, but the stumbling block here is that BOS is about $5M under the $210M number and any of those vets would cut into that number. Also BOS may have some players with incentive clauses, I don't think those are counted there until/unless they are reached.
 

jon abbey

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Angels sign Cishek and Watson both, I think Greene may be waiting until a contender is desperate and willing to pay him a bit mid-season.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Nov 21, 2005
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Looks like the Sox are taking a look at Hector Rondon, who opted out of his minor league deal with the Phillies. Not a great spring, a poor 2020, and very good career stats. 33 years old and was at around 96 mph with his fastball last year. I think it is worth seeing what is left in the tank if the money works. He was due 1.5 million with the Phillies, which is roughly in line with what Cishek and Watson got.
 

DeadlySplitter

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