The Ballad of Andrew Bailey: Will the harvest come in?

JM3

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Dec 14, 2019
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I've been rooting for this since <checks notes> October 23rd. The long wait is finally over.

Nice to have cohesion between Bailey & Breslow. Now just need a good AAA pitching coach.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Must have offered more than the Yankees bench coach, maybe the Breslow connection helped out a close offer as well.
 

jon abbey

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Must have offered more than the Yankees bench coach, maybe the Breslow connection helped out a close offer as well.
We were only told that he interviewed yesterday for NY bench coach, we don't know how that went or if he was offered the spot. To me from the start that seemed like a hamfisted NY attempt to keep him away from fixing the BOS pitching, obviously unsuccessful. I said in the other thread that it seems exceedingly rare for a former pitcher to be a bench coach but NY didn't have a pitching coach opening (they still love Matt Blake and crew).

If Breslow was really Machiavellian, he could have told his buddy "sure, take the meeting, let's see if we can learn anything we don't know about them already, then you can sign here the next day."
 

jon abbey

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I'd like to see a spot for David Ross.
He is getting paid by CHC for one more season, he has already said he is only taking a manager job this year or he will take the year off.
 

JM3

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Prior to joining the Giants in '20, Kevin Gausman's best full season xFIP was 3.77. In the 4 seasons since, Gausman's worst xFIP is 3.28.

Not quite as distinct a jump with Carlos Rodon because his breakout year was '21. But when he joined the Giants his xFIP dropped from 3.17 to 2.91 & his fWAR jumped from 4.9 to 6.2. His 3rd best season was 2016 when he had a 3.89 xFIP & 2.7 fWAR.

The Giants put up that #4 FIP this past year with only 3 pitchers who pitched at least 100 innings (the Red Sox had 5). They had 13 different pitchers start at least 3 games (Red Sox had 9). Anthony DeSclafani was 3rd on the team with 18 starts.

Logan Webb is another success story. The 26 y/o has put up 3 straight 4+ fWAR seasons after being a 4th round pick in 2014.
 

GPO Man

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I’m liking the emphasis on pitching. Let’s see if these two can work their magic. No more Kluber-type soft tossers.
 

chawson

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I’m liking the emphasis on pitching. Let’s see if these two can work their magic. No more Kluber-type soft tossers.
There are a pretty good amount of soft-tossing pitchers that Bailey dramatically improved in SF (Jose Alvarez, Jakob Junis, Zach Littell, and even Logan Webb). I don’t know that bringing him aboard would necessarily mean anything in that way.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Are we still "closing in" or has Bailey been hired?
Some in the media are writing it like it's a done deal.
The Athletic says it's "expected" to be done "this week":
https://theathletic.com/5063963/2023/11/15/red-sox-pitching-coach-andrew-bailey/

Guess it must be agreed to and they are just waiting for the official announcement for some reason?

Interesting that Bailey will be the on-field pitching coach, but not be the director of pitching in the organization, and Breslow is considering bringing in another hire for that role:

In San Francisco, Bailey worked closely alongside former Red Sox assistant pitching coach and VP of pitching development Brian Bannister, who left th Giants in September to join the White Sox.
At the GM meetings, Breslow suggested he would consider bringing in a similar director of pitching role to streamline the entire organization’s pitching process, but for now Bailey will fill the big league component.
Bailey is supposed to be just one part of the pitching system, and it sounds like more "new voices" will be coming in.

Bailey will be just one cog in this organizational pitching overhaul. Even before Breslow was hired, it was clear the Red Sox were serious about fixing their pitching problems when they fired pitching coach Dave Bush and Triple-A pitching coach Paul Abbott, each of whom had a strong impact on the development of several pitchers from Brayan Bello to Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock. But the Red Sox felt new voices were necessary. The Red Sox have some interesting young pitchers rising through the system, including Wikelman Gonzalez and Luis Perales, who were added to the 40-man roster Tuesday. Bailey will get a chance to work with them along with the established veterans on the major league staff.
 

joe dokes

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There are a pretty good amount of soft-tossing pitchers that Bailey dramatically improved in SF (Jose Alvarez, Jakob Junis, Zach Littell, and even Logan Webb). I don’t know that bringing him aboard would necessarily mean anything in that way.
I think "soft-tossing" generally serves as a euphemism for "doesn't miss enough bats." The two are not mutually exclusive, though. I think Breslow said that missing bats is what's important to him.
 

Van Everyman

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All I care about is pitching this offseason. Boston is a market that has never struggled to attract good hitters. If hiring Bailey means we are getting an on field guy focused on getting rostered pitchers to execute Breslow's program, then I am all for it.

We also need more guys from outside of the organization, but getting a dude who is focused on helping the Whitlocks and Houcks of the world to the next level is a big part of that too.
 

joe dokes

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I thought it meant the exact opposite -- that the pitches were missing bats despite a lack of velocity. Think Jamie Moyer.
I agree. And I wasn't clear. I was responding to the post that said "no more soft-tossers."
 

Jimbodandy

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I thought it meant the exact opposite -- that the pitches were missing bats despite a lack of velocity. Think Jamie Moyer.
Same. Everyone wants to miss bats. "Soft tossing" means you don't throw hard. Sometimes those guys miss bats, and sometimes guys can throw straight 96 fastballs middle-middle and get jacked.
 

Jimbodandy

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I agree. And I wasn't clear. I was responding to the post that said "no more soft-tossers."
He also said that command was important to him, so guys with live stuff who walk too many or leave too much stuff in the middle of the plate aren't high on his list either. Of course guys with great stuff who paint are what everyone wants, so it remains to be seen how Breslow scatters the Wild Things and crafty guys through the system and who he chooses to prune.
 

sezwho

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I think "soft-tossing" generally serves as a euphemism for "doesn't miss enough bats." The two are not mutually exclusive, though. I think Breslow said that missing bats is what's important to him.
Maybe we’re saying the same thing but I think he said missing bats in the zone was the real prize.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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For every Wasdin there's also a Keith Foulke or a KOJI!!! both who barely touched 90 on the FB's. For starters though, I do think it's possible but more difficult. Your control and arsenal has to be pretty impressive and with a large gap between your FB and Change with little to no difference in the delivery.
 

RG33

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Where does Brad Radke fit into the conversation?

View: https://youtu.be/f2b8R6P7WBU?si=70ekZWZAvLzA02lN
That is hysterical, and an interesting choice by his agent to have him partake in.

I remember fawning over him in the mid-90’s and wanting him on the Red Sox. His career numbers were pretty average. Giving up 72 bombs in the first 2 years of your MLB career and surviving through 12 seasons and winning 148 games is still impressive though.
 

GPO Man

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I think "soft-tossing" generally serves as a euphemism for "doesn't miss enough bats." The two are not mutually exclusive, though. I think Breslow said that missing bats is what's important to him.
I’d rather try to rehab a 93+ fastball over an 88-92 soft-tosser that tends to get pummeled. It will be interesting to see what they can do with Houck.
 

joe dokes

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I’d rather try to rehab a 93+ fastball over an 88-92 soft-tosser that tends to get pummeled. It will be interesting to see what they can do with Houck.
And *that* is the sentiment I was responding to. Velocity (or lack of) and pummelment (or lack of) are not necessarily correlated.
 

JM3

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Yeah...bottom line if a pitch is the exact same in terms of shape, vertical movement, horizontal movement & location, if one can throw it faster, that is better because the hitter has less time to react (unless it's a changeup, in which case the 10 mph difference being optimal is still valid I believe). But if you can't maintain the movement & location, more speed isn't necessarily going to be a net positive. Breslow is on the record as saying it's easier to get pitchers to improve their velo than their command, & also that the most important thing a pitcher can do is get swing & misses in the strike zone, so we shall see how those things play into his organizational philosophy & actual results with pitcher acquisitions, retentions & prioritizations at all levels.
 

Hank Scorpio

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That is hysterical, and an interesting choice by his agent to have him partake in.

I remember fawning over him in the mid-90’s and wanting him on the Red Sox. His career numbers were pretty average. Giving up 72 bombs in the first 2 years of your MLB career and surviving through 12 seasons and winning 148 games is still impressive though.
I actually had to fact-check that commercial, not on the homeruns, but on the strikeouts. Radke did indeed strikeout 75 batters in 1995... over 181 innings pitched - good for a 3.7 K/9. Not quite the worst in baseball. Mark Gubicza had a 3.4 K/9.

The lowest of qualifying pitchers in 2023 was Jordan Lyles, with a K/9 of 6.1. In 1995, a K/9 of 6.1 would have been good for roughly 40th in MLB.

Haven't found any good HR/9 numbers for 1995 yet... but I will say Radke's 32 in 1995 is dwarfed by the 44 allowed by Lance Lynn, the 41 allowed by Lucas Giolito, or the 39 allowed by Jordan Lyles in 2023.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Haven't found any good HR/9 numbers for 1995 yet... but I will say Radke's 32 in 1995 is dwarfed by the 44 allowed by Lance Lynn, the 41 allowed by Lucas Giolito, or the 39 allowed by Jordan Lyles in 2023.
Radke had the second highest HR/9 among qualified pitchers in 1995: 1.6. Kevin Foster of the Cubs was the only one higher at 1.7. In contrast, Lance Lynn had the highest in 2023 at 2.2, followed by Giolito and Lyles (2.0). Radke would have ranked sixth in 2023, between Patrick Corbin (1.7) and Aaron Nola (1.5).
 

JM3

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Radke had the second highest HR/9 among qualified pitchers in 1995: 1.6. Kevin Foster of the Cubs was the only one higher at 1.7. In contrast, Lance Lynn had the highest in 2023 at 2.2, followed by Giolito and Lyles (2.0). Radke would have ranked sixth in 2023, between Patrick Corbin (1.7) and Aaron Nola (1.5).
Was coming here to post this about Radke. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Greg Maddux had the lowest hr/9 innings in 1995 with 0.3, followed by Tom Glavine with 0.4.

The league average was 1 homer per 9 innings. In 2023 it was 1.2 per 9. This year, Sonny Gray led the league at 0.4 with no one else better than 0.7.
 

TapeAndPosts

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Radke had the second highest HR/9 among qualified pitchers in 1995: 1.6. Kevin Foster of the Cubs was the only one higher at 1.7. In contrast, Lance Lynn had the highest in 2023 at 2.2, followed by Giolito and Lyles (2.0). Radke would have ranked sixth in 2023, between Patrick Corbin (1.7) and Aaron Nola (1.5).
Radke somewhat made up for his poor HR/9 and mediocre K/9 by not walking anybody. His career BB/9 of 1.63 is 33rd best all time, and way below the career mark for any active pitcher with 1000+ IP (Kyle Hendricks is 1.99 and everyone else is over 2.00). Maddux is 52nd at 1.80 BB/9.

He was a pretty good pitcher. Gave you 200+ innings every year (in his prime 10-year stretch he did it 9 times) with a career ERA+ of 113. I would love it if the Red Sox developed a pitcher who turned into Brad Radke, even if he made me shout at the TV from time to time.
 

Trapaholic

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Radke somewhat made up for his poor HR/9 and mediocre K/9 by not walking anybody. His career BB/9 of 1.63 is 33rd best all time, and way below the career mark for any active pitcher with 1000+ IP (Kyle Hendricks is 1.99 and everyone else is over 2.00). Maddux is 52nd at 1.80 BB/9.

He was a pretty good pitcher. Gave you 200+ innings every year (in his prime 10-year stretch he did it 9 times) with a career ERA+ of 113. I would love it if the Red Sox developed a pitcher who turned into Brad Radke, even if he made me shout at the TV from time to time.
This sounds a bit like Rick Porcello. Obviously the Red Sox did not draft and develop him, but the guy was steady. I shouted at the TV during his starts more than once, but he was reliable.
 

JM3

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Radke somewhat made up for his poor HR/9 and mediocre K/9 by not walking anybody. His career BB/9 of 1.63 is 33rd best all time, and way below the career mark for any active pitcher with 1000+ IP (Kyle Hendricks is 1.99 and everyone else is over 2.00). Maddux is 52nd at 1.80 BB/9.

He was a pretty good pitcher. Gave you 200+ innings every year (in his prime 10-year stretch he did it 9 times) with a career ERA+ of 113. I would love it if the Red Sox developed a pitcher who turned into Brad Radke, even if he made me shout at the TV from time to time.
Can I interest anyone in a lightly used Jedixson Paez? He allowed 1.3 bb/9 as a 19 y/o in A-Ball. 7.8 k/9, 3.31 ERA.

Based on this nice find from The Gray Eagle, & due to the fact I'm too lazy to use better metrics as these are easily available, let's look at the bb/9 of our guys who made it to at least A-Ball this season. I think I included basically everyone I consider a top 200ish prospect who pitched more than a few innings in the minors this season.

Jedixson Paez 1.3 (A)
Jordan DiValerio 1.9 (A+)
Brock Bell 2.3 (A, A+)
Isaac Coffey 2.5 (A+, AA)
Hunter Dobbins 2.5 (A+, AA)
Justin Hagenman 2.6 (AAA)
Nick Robertson 2.7 (AAA)
Ryan Miller 2.8 (AA)
Ryan Fernandez 3.0 (A, AA, AAA)
Gabriel Jackson 3.0 (A, A+)
Cristian Nunez 3.1 (FCL, A)
Brian Van Belle 3.2 (AA, AAA)
Alex Hoppe 3.2 (A+, AA)
Grant Gambrell 3.3 (A+, AA, AAA)
Jonathan Brand 3.3 (A)
Brandon Walter 3.4 (AAA)
Nathan Landry 3.5 (A, A+)
Yordanny Monegro 3.6 (FCL, A, A+)
Cam Booser 3.7 (AAA)
Juan Daniel Encarnacion 3.8 (A+)
Taylor Broadway 3.9 (AA, AAA)
Angel Bastardo 4.1 (A+, AA)
Andrew Politi 4.3 (AAA)
Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz 4.4 (A)
Caleb Bolden 4.5 (A, A+)
Michael Valera 4.5 (FCL, A)
Reidis Sena 4.6 (A, A+)
Chase Shugart 4.7 (AAA)
Dylan Spacke 4.7 (AA)
C.J. Liu 4.8 (AA)
Zach Penrod 4.8 (A+)
Felix Cepeda 4.9 (A, A+)
Brendan Nail 5.0 (AA, AAA)
Luis Perales 5.0 (A, A+)
Rio Gomez 5.1 (AA, AAA)
Luis De La Rosa 5.1 (A)
Chris Murphy 5.3 (AAA)
Shane Drohan 5.3 (AA, AAA)
Railin Perez 5.5 (A)
Garrett Ramsey 5.5 (FCL, A)
Wikelman Gonzalez 5.7 (A+, AA)
Dalton Rogers 5.7 (A, A+)
Luis Talavera 5.7 (A)
Oddanier Mosqueda 5.8 (AAA)
Brendan Cellucci 5.8 (AA)
Jacob Webb 5.8 (AA)
Luis Guerrero 6.1 (AA, AAA)
Noah Song 6.1 (A, A+, AA, AAA)
Theo Denlinger 6.2 (AA, AAA)
Christopher Troye 6.6 (A+, AA)
Maceo Campbell 6.8 (A+)
Wyatt Olds 7.1 (FCL, AA)
Nathanael Cruz 7.7 (A)
Ryan Zeferjahn 7.8 (A, AA)
Bryan Mata 10.0 (AAA)
Noah Dean 10.3 (A)
Connor Butler 11.2 (FCL, A)
 

The Gray Eagle

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This sounds a bit like Rick Porcello. Obviously the Red Sox did not draft and develop him, but the guy was steady. I shouted at the TV during his starts more than once, but he was reliable.
I always call a start where the starter goes at least 6 IP and allows 4 or fewer runs a Porcello. 4 runs allowed in 6 innings is very bad by ERA, but it keeps you in the game and you'll end up winning a lot of those games, as well as preventing overwork by the bullpen.
We didn't have too many Porcellos last year. If we have a lot of Porcellos next year I would expect us to make the playoffs.