Spring Training 2023 Thread

The Gray Eagle

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5 straight losses. Blow it up!
The reaction now should be fun: the people who were excited over a bunch of wins in spring training will now be reminding us that these games mean nothing, while the pessimists who earlier kept saying these spring games mean nothing will now be saying "Ha, they stink, this proves I was right!"

Speier with some spring training updates:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/03/13/sports/deep-minors-red-sox-have-prospect-with-eye-catching-potential/

Bleis looked good yesterday, but also showed he's still a million miles from the majors.
He's got a good role model.
He identifies Ronald Acuña Jr. when describing the type of player he wants to become. Why?
Cinco herramientas,” Bleis said, employing the Spanish phrase for “five tools.”
I think Cinco would be a good nickname for Bleis.

Speaking of tools, Ceddanne is gone, for now:
After Monday’s game, the Sox optioned center fielder/shortstop Ceddanne Rafaela, middle infielder David Hamilton, and lefty Brandon Walter to Triple A Worcester.
Injury updates:
Justin Turner
had a second consecutive day of baseball activities as he makes his way back from being hit in the face by a pitch March 6. Turner could get back in a game later this week … Connor Wong, who strained his left hamstring March 2, caught two bullpen sessions and took batting practice. “I feel like I’m over it for the most part and now I’m building back up,” Wong said. “I felt fine catching.”
 

joe dokes

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The reaction now should be fun: the people who were excited over a bunch of wins in spring training will now be reminding us that these games mean nothing, while the pessimists who earlier kept saying these spring games mean nothing will now be saying "Ha, they stink, this proves I was right!"

Speier with some spring training updates:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/03/13/sports/deep-minors-red-sox-have-prospect-with-eye-catching-potential/

Bleis looked good yesterday, but also showed he's still a million miles from the majors.
He's got a good role model.


I think Cinco would be a good nickname for Bleis.

Speaking of tools, Ceddanne is gone, for now:


Injury updates:
Whitlock starts tomorrow.

EDIT: Kluber starts...Whitlock to follow.
 
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Rovin Romine

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The reaction now should be fun: the people who were excited over a bunch of wins in spring training will now be reminding us that these games mean nothing, while the pessimists who earlier kept saying these spring games mean nothing will now be saying "Ha, they stink, this proves I was right!"
I think anything remotely predictive about spring training went out the window with the WBC making every game a split-squad game.

https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-club-list-of-world-baseball-classic-players
Boston Red Sox: Jorge Alfaro, C (COL), Richard Bleier, LHP (ISR), Rafael Devers, INF (DR), Edwin Díaz, INF (PUR), Jarren Duran, OF (MEX), Kiké Hernández, INF/OF (PUR), Norwith Gudino, RHP (VEN -- DPP), Rio Gomez, LHP (COL), Kenley Jansen, RHP (NED -- DPP), Alex Verdugo, OF (MEX), Masataka Yoshida, OF (JPN).
 

nvalvo

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One thing that makes Casas interesting as a leadoff guy is that — in the minors, anyways — he still had great OBP's against lefties. It was just his power that dropped off. Of course, this spring, he's looked great against lefties. So we'll see, I guess.

Playing around with baseline lineups with Casas up top:

vs. LHP
1B Casas LH
3B Devers LH
DH Turner RH
CF Duvall RH
LF Yoshida LH
RF Refsnyder RH
C Alfaro RH
2B Arroyo RH
SS Hernandez RH

vs. RHP
1B Casas LH
3B Devers LH
DH Turner RH
LF Yoshida LH
CF Duvall RH
RF Verdugo LH
SS Hernández RH
C McGuire RH
2B Mondesí SW

Now these wouldn't be strict platoons: you're not platooning Verdugo and Refsnyder or Arroyo and Mondesí. You're using Refsnyder and... Tapía? Duran? Alfaro? to rest all three of your starting outfielders, and Mondesî or Chang to rest both Hernández and Arroyo. Once Story returns, I think he's probably the leadoff man, and it starts being possible to put some very deep lineups together:

2B Story RH
3B Devers LH
DH Turner RH
LF Yoshida LH
1B Casas LH
CF Hernández RH
RF Verdugo LH
C Alfaro RH
SS Mondesí SW

SS Story RH
3B Devers LH
DH Turner RH
LF Yoshida LH
CF Duvall RH
1B Casas LH
2B Arroyo RH
C Mcguire LH
RF Verdugo LH
 

SouthernBoSox

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I love the idea of Casas leading off for a number of reasons
  1. He doesn’t expand the zone and make pitchers work within the zone to get an out
  2. High OBP in front of Devers
  3. He will be pitched to very aggressively in front of Devers. I love that position for him, especially as a Rookie. He’ll get opportunities.
  4. He’s a fatiguing at bat. And fatiguing at bats in front of Devers should be the goal.
I get that he’s slow, but he’s also going to get more doubles than your typical lead off guy. You want a slow guy at second? Or a fast guy at first?

He seems like the best fit and every lineup I make seems better with him at top

Casas
Devers
Turner
Yoshida

That’s and incredible balance of power and discipline in your top 4. The more I look at it the more I love it.
 
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Jack Rabbit Slim

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Casas at leadoff against RHP would be fine, but I can't see them going with 3 LHH in the top four against lefty starters. I would guess Kike will leadoff against LHP, at least until Story is back.
 
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LogansDad

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I love the idea of Casas leading off for a number of reasons
  1. He doesn’t expand the zone and make pitchers work within the zone to get an out
  2. High OBP in front of Devera
  3. He will be pitched to very aggressively in front of Devers. I love that position for him, especially as a Rookie. He’ll get opportunities.
  4. He’s a fatiguing at bat. And fatiguing at bats in front of Devers should be the goal.
I get that he’s slow, but he’s also going to get more doubles than your typical lead off guy. You want a slow guy at second? Or a fast guy at first?

He seems like the best fit and every lineup I make seems better with him at top

Casas
Devers
Turner
Yoshida

That’s and incredible balance of power and discipline in your top 4. The more I look at it the more I love it.
I agree with this post 100%.

The only thing that makes me wary is that leadoff is a lot of pressure for a 22 year old rookie, Moreso in Boston. If anyone can handle that, it seems like Casas is that guy, but you never really know.
 

Yo La Tengo

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I agree with this post 100%.

The only thing that makes me wary is that leadoff is a lot of pressure for a 22 year old rookie, Moreso in Boston. If anyone can handle that, it seems like Casas is that guy, but you never really know.
I agree- let Casas break in to the league in the bottom half of the order for a couple of months. There is already going to be a bunch of pressure on him- why ramp that up immediately?

I think Verdugo would be the best option. Career .341OBP (compared to Hernandez at .314). Bump Hernandez to the lead off spot against lefties (or maybe Refsnyder if he continues to hit like he did last year).


Against righties:

Verdugo
Devers
Turner
Yoshida
Duvall
Casas
Hernandez
McGuire
Arroyo

Against lefties:

Hernandez
Devers
Turner
Yoshida
Duvall
Casas
Verdugo
Arroyo
Wong/Alfaro
 
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Cassvt2023

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Ort getting shelled again today. If they need a 40 man spot for Alfaro, this has got to be the obvious guy who goes, yes?
 

simplicio

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Nick Pivetta is apparently in the best shape of his life, shape in this case being pitch shape:
https://theathletic.com/4317119/2023/03/17/sarris-spring-training-stuff-surgers?source=user-shared-article

...it used to be about his four-seam fastball — his other pitches last year rated about average or worse by Stuff+ — this spring, his breaking balls are both looking plus by this statistic.

For his curve, it’s all about velo. He’s throwing it four mph harder this spring, and even if that drops a tick or two, that’ll be much harder than his 77 mph curveball last year. That extra zip has cost some movement (about three or four inches of drop) but Stuff+ likes the change.

On the slider side, he’s just added drop to the pitch. Three inches of drop.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Houck hasn’t exactly been lights out this spring, has he?
Other than when facing Matt Olson (2 HR, 3 RBI), he looked pretty good today. 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K against non-Olson batters. Ran into trouble in the 5th which, coincidentally or not, was the third time through the order. He's working on a new pitch (splitter), so it's hard to read too much into the stat lines.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I would MUCH rather see Mata make the team in a bullpen role over Ort. Who's with me?
I’d honestly rather see Mata dominate AAA as a starter and then have him come up In August and September as a relief ace… help the team to a long deep playoff run and start in the ‘24 rotation with Bello, Whitlock and Houck as a young rotation core for the next 4 seasons.
And Crawford get Ort’s BP spot
 

Cassvt2023

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Split quad today. Batting 1-2 in Tampa game is Bleis and Mayer. Should be a fun glimpse of the future...
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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No others if we're just looking to replace him with another lefty. They do have Richard Bleier already in the pen. Ultimately it depends on how long they think Joely is down. If it's just a couple weeks and they really want a second lefty in the pen, they could promote Murphy or Walter. If it will be a while, they could promote Ryan Sherriff or Matt Dermody to the 40-man.
 

phineas gage

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Jan 2, 2009
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Unfortunately, tsetse flies are glossinidean dipterans, not culicideans. Your major mosquito vector pun choices are Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex, which makes things rather challenging.
 

Daniel_Son

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I’d honestly rather see Mata dominate AAA as a starter and then have him come up In August and September as a relief ace… help the team to a long deep playoff run and start in the ‘24 rotation with Bello, Whitlock and Houck as a young rotation core for the next 4 seasons.
And Crawford get Ort’s BP spot
Pretty remarkable that if everything breaks right - and it's a huge, huge if - we could be looking at an entirely homegrown rotation in the next few years. Bello, Mata, Whitlock, Houck, Crawford. How the times change.