What does 2023 look like?

JM3

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I think the point is it was an accident. It's not like he was doing bike parkour. Accidents happen, and I doubt riding a bike was a hazard written into his contract to avoid.
I mean, people can still at fault in accidents, but it's mostly a semantic disagreement. As long as he's worked hard to get back & continues to work, I'm not mad at him.
 

8slim

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He doesn't owe anyone anything other than to try his best.

It's not his "fault" that he tore his UCL, broke his ribs, had a line drive hit off his pinkie finger, and fell off his bike.
I think at this level “try your best” is not exactly the standard we expect athletes to live up to. The goal is strong performance, and Sale hasn’t done that in quite some time.

And he literally said that. So why are people saying he shouldn’t hold himself to the standard that *he literally expects of himself*? This place is so strange at times.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I think at this level “try your best” is not exactly the standard we expect athletes to live up to. The goal is strong performance, and Sale hasn’t done that in quite some time.

And he literally said that. So why are people saying he shouldn’t hold himself to the standard that *he literally expects of himself*? This place is so strange at times.
Yeah, you’re right. He owes us. Doesn’t matter why. He hasn’t performed and dammit, that’s hurt the team and us and so he owes us. Pedroia, too. His last 3 or so years, a complete failure. When’s he gonna pay up, huh?

Probably woulda won in ‘67 but for Tony C. And in ‘75, but, you know, Rice had to go and get hit by a pitch. Clearly not doing his best to do better than try his best, either.

This place sucks at times.
 

YTF

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I think at this level “try your best” is not exactly the standard we expect athletes to live up to. The goal is strong performance, and Sale hasn’t done that in quite some time.

And he literally said that. So why are people saying he shouldn’t hold himself to the standard that *he literally expects of himself*? This place is so strange at times.
I dunno, Sale at his best has been exceptional. It remains to be seen if 2023 Sale's best will be close to the Sale of '16 and '18, but really what more is there to give than his best?
 

jbupstate

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Yeah, you’re right. He owes us. Doesn’t matter why. He hasn’t performed and dammit, that’s hurt the team and us and so he owes us. Pedroia, too. His last 3 or so years, a complete failure. When’s he gonna pay up, huh?

Probably woulda won in ‘67 but for Tony C. And in ‘75, but, you know, Rice had to go and get hit by a pitch. Clearly not doing his best to do better than try his best, either.

This place sucks at times.
Great post.

It cracks me up the some fans want FSG to spend more and we hear “it’s not my money”

But when a player is hurt or underperforms the same fans complain as if it was their money.

Vern Ruhle….:mad::mad::mad:
 

8slim

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Yeah, you’re right. He owes us. Doesn’t matter why. He hasn’t performed and dammit, that’s hurt the team and us and so he owes us. Pedroia, too. His last 3 or so years, a complete failure. When’s he gonna pay up, huh?

Probably woulda won in ‘67 but for Tony C. And in ‘75, but, you know, Rice had to go and get hit by a pitch. Clearly not doing his best to do better than try his best, either.

This place sucks at times.
Right that’s precisely what I said. My goodness.

Again, in Chris Sale’s OWN WORDS…

“I owe these people something. I owe my teammates the starting pitcher they thought they were going to get. I owe the front office the starting pitcher they paid for. I owe the fans performances they’re paying to come and see.”
 

8slim

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I dunno, Sale at his best has been exceptional. It remains to be seen if 2023 Sale's best will be close to the Sale of '16 and '18, but really what more is there to give than his best?
Yes he was amazing in 2016 and 2018. That’s why I said “quite some time”.
 

8slim

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You led off with, "I think at this level “try your best” is not exactly the standard we expect athletes to live up to."
Yep. It’s not. This ain’t little league. These guys aren’t here to get a pat on the tushie and a “nice try, Champ”.

They’re here to produce. And for the most part, Sale hasn’t in several years. He KNOWS it, and clearly wants to crush this season. That’s great. I applaud it.

Not everything people post is a shot at someone. I’m thrilled to see the edge he has right now. It’s great. I hope the team feeds off it.
 

simplicio

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Sale can personally feel like he owes the the team and the fans an excellent performance, that's fine, that's great.

He does not in fact owe anyone a damn thing beyond doing his best to make that happen.
 

geoflin

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Yep. It’s not. This ain’t little league. These guys aren’t here to get a pat on the tushie and a “nice try, Champ”.

They’re here to produce. And for the most part, Sale hasn’t in several years. He KNOWS it, and clearly wants to crush this season. That’s great. I applaud it.
So if Sale stays healthy and tries his best but is unable to duplicate or maybe even approach his past performance what will your response be?
 

chrisfont9

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If you want to try to have perspective on Sale's career, which the Sox management probably does, then hardly anything is all that odd or maddening, apart from last year's freak injuries. His dropoff from late 2018 until TJ surgery was not only predictable but was something people had been saying for years, given his body and delivery. He pitched at a god-like level until his body couldn't, then he spent some time trying to avoid surgery, until it became inevitable. Now, he's back for Act 2, but it got frustratingly delayed a year. My point is, I'm not sure he owes anyone all that much, though if he likes to think so, great. He's always had an edge and it's made him great. And as to his contracts, the Sox signed up for this, Dombro bought his front end results in exchange for the longer term risks, which ended up happening. Why people get mad about his career or his contract is beyond me. It's all playing out the way we should have expected, the Sox got one ring (so far) (I know), and now it's time to fire up Act 2.
 

lexrageorge

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If Sale was sloughing off his rehab and showed up late to spring training out of shape, then, yes people could rightfully be upset at Chris Sale. He indeed does owe fans and the team more than that.

All Sale truly owes anyone is to work his butt off to get in shape for the season, and then pitch to the best of his ability. It may be that the "best of his ability" is worse than what it was in 2016-18, and he is no longer the dominant pitcher that he was. But he doesn't owe us or the team that level of dominant performance. The blame for him being overpaid rests on the shoulders of the Red Sox organization, not Chris Sale.

Now, he is free to take the bull by the horns and tell us he owes it to everyone to produce to a very high standard. In fact, that is great news. Now let's see what happens.
 

Sin Duda

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Well put CF9! There's nothing wrong with hoping for the best out of Chris Sale's Act II, and I, for one, am hoping he can ascend to a #2 with Ace upside. IF he can do that and give us 140 IP in 2023 (a stretch), we may stay in contention all season. But, my realistic expectation is 100+ innings, an IL stint in June or July, and recovery in time to help if we're still fighting for a wildcard.
 

chrisfont9

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Well put CF9! There's nothing wrong with hoping for the best out of Chris Sale's Act II, and I, for one, am hoping he can ascend to a #2 with Ace upside. IF he can do that and give us 140 IP in 2023 (a stretch), we may stay in contention all season. But, my realistic expectation is 100+ innings, an IL stint in June or July, and recovery in time to help if we're still fighting for a wildcard.
Thanks! I'm pretty bullish too, the history of people post-TJ is fine -- look no further than Nate Eovaldi. Once a UCL is healed, it's healed. What he really needs though is a smooth run-in to the season, so he can get all the little details of his delivery dialed in, get his arm feeling ready, etc. Honestly, I think the Sale extension had a lot to do with the Sox betting on post-TJ Sale still being a top pitcher, so they bought those years preemptively.
 

JM3

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And as to his contracts, the Sox signed up for this, Dombro bought his front end results in exchange for the longer term risks, which ended up happening. Why people get mad about his career or his contract is beyond me. It's all playing out the way we should have expected, the Sox got one ring (so far) (I know), and now it's time to fire up Act 2.
I mean, the concern is that he was already signed through 2019 to begin with...as part of his 5 year, $32.5m extension he signed with the White Sox (total, not per year). So the extension portion has been an unmitigated disaster...

It added $8.5m to the 2019 salary #, & the 2020-2022 cost $47.4m (including the salary adjustment for the shortened '20 season), so for $55.9m, so far they have gotten a total of 1 fWAR. It seems perfectly reasonable to be "mad" about those results from a contract perspective.

Another way to look at this is Fangraph's "Value" Metric. Sale has had a value of $350.1m during his career - but only $7.7m during the extended portion of his contract.
 
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Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I really don't like Chris Sale. That said... he's probably the most exciting starter (Koji the most for a general pitcher) the Sox have had since Pedro. When he's on, he's just a blast to watch. I also really couldn't stand Curt Schilling but was thrilled when he was taking the mound. Beckett, Papelbon, Lackey, hell even Lester came off as an entitled shitstain to be honest.
All that is beside the point though.... he has absolutely driven the fan-base bat shit crazy over the past 4 years and his contract is likely the biggest (not the only) reason why the Sox figured there was no way that Mookie was going to be able to make it to FA and then resign with the Sox (please let's not open up this can of pandora's box-worms). It's understandable why the fans are not exactly Chris Sale fans and like Hillary Clinton.. some of it is actually legit, some of it is bullshit media driven garbage. But the only thing we're entitled to (again) is to either pay attention or find some other team to follow.
I'm bullish on him for '23 and think we'll likely get 125-135 innings out of him, borderline ace. He'll likely hit the DL for July and August again, but hopefully can get back up to full speed for a playoff push and deep run.
 

chrisfont9

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I mean, the concern is that he was already signed through 2019 to begin with...as part of his 5 year, $32.5m extension he signed with the White Sox (total, not per year). So the extension portion has been an unmitigated disaster...

It added $8.5m to the 2019 salary #, & the 2020-2022 cost $47.4m (including the salary adjustment for the shortened '20 season), so for $55.9m, so far they have gotten a total of 1 fWAR. It seems perfectly reasonable to be "mad" about those results from a contract perspective.

Another way to look at this is Fangraph's "Value" Metric. Sale has had a value of $350.1m during his career - but only $7.7m during the extended portion of his contract.
OK but my point is that this extension goes on a few more years and that the Sox were trying to buy those years. Yes, the part where his UCL finally gave out was not good, but there again, if we knew that was probably coming, they definitely knew. I'm sure his extension came after a detailed medical exam. Let's see what the value is at the end of the deal before declaring it a disaster.
 

chrisfont9

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I really don't like Chris Sale. That said... he's probably the most exciting starter (Koji the most for a general pitcher) the Sox have had since Pedro. When he's on, he's just a blast to watch. I also really couldn't stand Curt Schilling but was thrilled when he was taking the mound. Beckett, Papelbon, Lackey, hell even Lester came off as an entitled shitstain to be honest.
All that is beside the point though.... he has absolutely driven the fan-base bat shit crazy over the past 4 years and his contract is likely the biggest (not the only) reason why the Sox figured there was no way that Mookie was going to be able to make it to FA and then resign with the Sox (please let's not open up this can of pandora's box-worms). It's understandable why the fans are not exactly Chris Sale fans and like Hillary Clinton.. some of it is actually legit, some of it is bullshit media driven garbage. But the only thing we're entitled to (again) is to either pay attention or find some other team to follow.
I'm bullish on him for '23 and think we'll likely get 125-135 innings out of him, borderline ace. He'll likely hit the DL for July and August again, but hopefully can get back up to full speed for a playoff push and deep run.
Yeah, you hit on the keys. They viewed him as a Pedro-type anchor, that's the only explanation, and they wanted him long term because... they expected (and still expect) him to perform at an ace-ish level long term. Also, unlike Mookie, he was clear about wanting an extension rather than testing the market. Yet another piece of the puzzle -- keeping Sale long term with a repaired elbow -- that probably makes sense if you approach it with patience. And therein is the problem for some large percentage of Sox fans.
 

JM3

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OK but my point is that this extension goes on a few more years and that the Sox were trying to buy those years. Yes, the part where his UCL finally gave out was not good, but there again, if we knew that was probably coming, they definitely knew. I'm sure his extension came after a detailed medical exam. Let's see what the value is at the end of the deal before declaring it a disaster.
I think we can call the last 3 years an unmitigated disaster without assuming the next 2 or 3 years will also be an unmitigated disaster.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Yeah, you hit on the keys. They viewed him as a Pedro-type anchor, that's the only explanation, and they wanted him long term because... they expected (and still expect) him to perform at an ace-ish level long term. Also, unlike Mookie, he was clear about wanting an extension rather than testing the market. Yet another piece of the puzzle -- keeping Sale long term with a repaired elbow -- that probably makes sense if you approach it with patience. And therein is the problem for some large percentage of Sox fans.
I don't know what the overall payroll was for JUST the starting pitching for '18 and '19 but it was headed by 3 expensive non-homegrown pitchers, Porcello, Price and Sale with EdRo being the only "cost-controlled" asset out of that group (I don't really even remember who else was starting then...). But it's clearly an unsustainable way to move forward. Having just one guy like that is fine. Three cost-controlled home grown starters and then a re-tread or two at the back end. Bloom is approaching that and he has no plan, right!?
 

chrisfont9

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I don't know what the overall payroll was for JUST the starting pitching for '18 and '19 but it was headed by 3 expensive non-homegrown pitchers, Porcello, Price and Sale with EdRo being the only "cost-controlled" asset out of that group (I don't really even remember who else was starting then...). But it's clearly an unsustainable way to move forward. Having just one guy like that is fine. Three cost-controlled home grown starters and then a re-tread or two at the back end. Bloom is approaching that and he has no plan, right!?
If I'm correct in detecting sarcasm there, exactly! He inherited the Sale and Price contracts and got off the one that we could be sure was terrible value. He also inherited the Eovaldi deal, which might not fit his ideal scenario but at least paid off OK. But given all the teams that have better, younger, cheaper pitching, maneuvering this roster is like turning an oil tanker in a shallow harbor.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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If I'm correct in detecting sarcasm there, exactly! He inherited the Sale and Price contracts and got off the one that we could be sure was terrible value. He also inherited the Eovaldi deal, which might not fit his ideal scenario but at least paid off OK. But given all the teams that have better, younger, cheaper pitching, maneuvering this roster is like turning an oil tanker in a shallow harbor.
No... not intended sarcasm... just brain dead fart quick post. Eovaldi! Totally forgot already.
So yeah... complete rotation of outside either trades or FA signings/extensions. The '18 season had Porcello in that mix. Just a mess as far as sustainability goes.....
Bloom is clearly trying to put together a sustainable pitching staff. I know the Sox won in '18 with that... but half the board here is apparently clamoring for sustained competitiveness over the ups and downs and it seems that that half strangley overlays the same half that want Bloom fired.
I guess it should have been completely done and finished sometime around '21 though? I dunno....
 

Cassvt2023

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Jan 17, 2023
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vs. RHP

Yoshida LF
Devers 3B
Turner DH
Casas 1B
Kiki 2B
Verdugo RF
Duvall CF
McGuire C
Mondesi SS

vs. LHP

Yoshida LF
Turner 1B
Devers 3B
Duvall CF
Dalbec DH
Kiki SS
Arroyo 2B
Refsnyder RF
Wong C

Casas 1st PH off bench, Kiki to CF, Mondesi to SS for defense late in game
 

brandonchristensen

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Which Kiki qoutes are you referring to? has he made comments since the Mondesi deal was announced?
The ones on the last page about playing SS. He somehow compliments everyone except himself in a very natural and humble way.

It’s just perfect responses that feel more warm than the business first responses we get so much. Maybe it just hit me at the right time.
 

chawson

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vs. RHP

Yoshida LF
Devers 3B
Turner DH
Casas 1B
Kiki 2B
Verdugo RF
Duvall CF
McGuire C
Mondesi SS

vs. LHP

Yoshida LF
Turner 1B
Devers 3B
Duvall CF
Dalbec DH
Kiki SS
Arroyo 2B
Refsnyder RF
Wong C

Casas 1st PH off bench, Kiki to CF, Mondesi to SS for defense late in game
I wonder how they’ll handle off days, whether it’s by matchups or strict-ish platoons or what. You’d definitely want Mondesi in there against LHP, but I don’t think they’ll limit him to lefties only. The upside of something clicking with him is too great, and if he’s healthy you’ll want his defense in there too. I’d imagine Casas might sit against Rodón more often than not but I doubt they’ll relegate him to right-handers only this early in his career.

Some of the narratives about our role players’ splits might have been scrambled since we acquired them. SSS, but Arroyo and Refsnyder both have lefty-masher reputations, yet each hit better against RHP last year (by expected wOBA). McGuire hit lefties better. Not sure if it means anything.
 

Yo La Tengo

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I wonder how they’ll handle off days, whether it’s by matchups or strict-ish platoons or what. You’d definitely want Mondesi in there against LHP, but I don’t think they’ll limit him to lefties only. The upside of something clicking with him is too great, and if he’s healthy you’ll want his defense in there too. I’d imagine Casas might sit against Rodón more often than not but I doubt they’ll relegate him to right-handers only this early in his career.

Some of the narratives about our role players’ splits might have been scrambled since we acquired them. SSS, but Arroyo and Refsnyder both have lefty-masher reputations, yet each hit better against RHP last year (by expected wOBA). McGuire hit lefties better. Not sure if it means anything.
Over the last few years, the Sox have usually had 7 or 8 players reach 400+ plate appearances in a season (last year's injuries sank that number to 5).

In comparison, Tampa tends to mix/match players and lineups, with just 5 or 6 players reaching 400+ plate appearances per year.

While we are all tired of the "Tampa North" blather, I think the Sox will have a very different look this year, with a lot of variation in the line up from day to day.

Assuming health, I predict only 5 Sox players will get over 400 PAs this season:
Devers 600 PAs
Yoshida and Verdugo with get 550+
Casas and Hernandez will get to 500
A bunch of players in the 200-400 range.
(Arroyo, Story, and Mondesi's health/production will have a big impact on whether Duvall gets to 400+)
 

tbb345

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Yeah, you’re right. He owes us. Doesn’t matter why. He hasn’t performed and dammit, that’s hurt the team and us and so he owes us. Pedroia, too. His last 3 or so years, a complete failure. When’s he gonna pay up, huh?

Probably woulda won in ‘67 but for Tony C. And in ‘75, but, you know, Rice had to go and get hit by a pitch. Clearly not doing his best to do better than try his best, either.

This place sucks at times.
Good lord. That’s not even close to what he said. The whole performative sarcasm schtick sucks and that’s when it’s used to be negative AND when it’s attempting to shame someone for having even a slightly negative opinion or not falling over themselves to be optimistic

@8slim said EXACTLY what Sale said about how he feels. He didn’t make it up out of thin air
 

8slim

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There's a difference Sale saying "I owe" and a third party saying "Sale owes." The crux of this disagreement is 8slim saying that Sale owes the team better performance.
He does! He owes his teammates to be better. He literally said he does and I agree. They need him to be the ace that the team was literally constructed to be reliant upon. He doesn’t owe ME, he owes his teammates who depend on him. And they’re not going to hate him if he doesn’t deliver.

Man, not everyone needs to defend the wall here. It’s OK.
 

chawson

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Interesting tidbit in the latest Rosenthal

Another curiosity in the free-agent market is the continuing availability of three accomplished left-handed relievers — Zack Britton, Andrew Chafin and Matt Moore. In the view of one executive, the expectations for those pitchers changed after the Phillies awarded Matt Strahm a two-year, $15 million deal in early December.

“That deal destroyed the market,” the exec said.


For those clamoring for Chafin or Moore, this suggests that the 2/$15 range is probably what they’re asking. On the other hand, that Strahm deal might have inflated Taylor’s value to the point where he was worth Mondesi.
 

JM3

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Dashing Dave Dombrowski doing decisive deals.

ETA: not long enough...

Devastatingly dashing Dave Dombrowski doing decisive, daresay destructive, double-year December deals.
 
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gammoseditor

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Interesting tidbit in the latest Rosenthal

Another curiosity in the free-agent market is the continuing availability of three accomplished left-handed relievers — Zack Britton, Andrew Chafin and Matt Moore. In the view of one executive, the expectations for those pitchers changed after the Phillies awarded Matt Strahm a two-year, $15 million deal in early December.

“That deal destroyed the market,” the exec said.


For those clamoring for Chafin or Moore, this suggests that the 2/$15 range is probably what they’re asking. On the other hand, that Strahm deal might have inflated Taylor’s value to the point where he was worth Mondesi.
That might be the asking price but it’s almost February and no one has offered it. They can be waiting until next February if they don’t come down.
 

JM3

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Pivetta is their most durable starter. I highly doubt he'd be moved to the bullpen. I'd actually expect Boston to start Bello in AAA and be ready to move him up to the majors before I'd see Pivetta in the bullpen.

(I mean, don't misunderstand; Bello is, I think, a better pitcher than Pivetta, and certainly has more upside, but Pivetta is good for 30+ starts a season, and that's valuable.)
@BaseballJones

I'm going to pull this conversation from the bullpen thread & put it here because it's more of a philosophical question that would impact the upcoming season more than a bullpen one.

I do not think the ability to make 30 starts in and of itself is valuable to the Red Sox as currently constituted unless he is actually going to pitch WELL in those starts.

Assuming health, the Sox can have a rotation of Sale/Paxton/Bello/Whitlock/Kluber with depth options including Houck/Mata/Murphy/Walter/Winckowski.

If Pivetta isn't going to pitch better than those guys, he's not providing value simply by pitching innings.

Pivetta led the league last year in pitches per inning & pitched about 5.4 innings per start. He's not adding value by simply existing & taking the ball every 5 days unless he pitches better than whoever else would be taking the ball that day.

If they filled Pivetta's 33 starts with 11 starts each from Mata/Murphy/Walter & those starts were cumulatively better than Pivetta's would have been, starting Pivetta 33 times would take value away, not add to it.

I'm fine if someone wants to project Pivetta being a better pitcher than he was last year (although I disagree), but I absolutely don't see it as being enough to simply exist & not having gotten injured, yet, for a team with as many starting pitchers on the 40-man as the Red Sox have.
 

BaseballJones

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Well the problem last year was that their starters got hurt and they had to fill a million starts with absolute dreck and it killed them. They needed 36 starts from Crawford and Winckowski alone, at a combined line of: 147.2 ip (4.0 ip per start), 166 h, 96 r, 93 er, 56 bb, 121 k, 5.67 era, 1.50 whip, 7.4 k/9.

Pivetta alone started 33 games and put up this line: 179.2 ip (5.2 ip per start), 175 h, 91 r, 91 er, 73 bb, 175 k, 4.56 era, 1.38 whip, 8.8 k/9.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Why would we expect Mata, Murphy, and Walter’s starts to be better than Pivetta’s, though? Pivetta and Verdugo seem like the guys SOSH thinks can be easily replaced, for whatever reason, but taking the ball every fifth day- even if you are just average- helps avoid the well below replacement level starts (or at bats) that you usually get from “deep depth”.

Mata had a 5 BB rate in the minors last year. Walter hasn’t had success beyond AA and was hurt at the end of last year; and he’s already 26. Murphy had a 5 BB rate in AAA, struck out <7 per 9 and had a 5.50 era.

Maybe these guys, or others, eventually force their way into the rotation at the expense of Pivetta, Kluber or Paxton, or there’s injuries, but thinking that the Sox have a ton of SP depth seems exaggerated.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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@BaseballJones

I'm going to pull this conversation from the bullpen thread & put it here because it's more of a philosophical question that would impact the upcoming season more than a bullpen one.

I do not think the ability to make 30 starts in and of itself is valuable to the Red Sox as currently constituted unless he is actually going to pitch WELL in those starts.

Assuming health, the Sox can have a rotation of Sale/Paxton/Bello/Whitlock/Kluber with depth options including Houck/Mata/Murphy/Walter/Winckowski.

If Pivetta isn't going to pitch better than those guys, he's not providing value simply by pitching innings.

Pivetta led the league last year in pitches per inning & pitched about 5.4 innings per start. He's not adding value by simply existing & taking the ball every 5 days unless he pitches better than whoever else would be taking the ball that day.

If they filled Pivetta's 33 starts with 11 starts each from Mata/Murphy/Walter & those starts were cumulatively better than Pivetta's would have been, starting Pivetta 33 times would take value away, not add to it.

I'm fine if someone wants to project Pivetta being a better pitcher than he was last year (although I disagree), but I absolutely don't see it as being enough to simply exist & not having gotten injured, yet, for a team with as many starting pitchers on the 40-man as the Red Sox have.
Obviously nobody can guarantee anything.... but breaking out Pivetta's stats against ALE opponents vs the rest of the competition and he turns into a very good pitcher (mid rotation quality). I can guarantee this though- he'll face those ALE teams way less this season, which is very likely to help him tremendously.
I'm also mildly bullish on him that he's going to overall improve his command with a better catcher (and if anyone really wants to check.... I was consistent in my view that Vazquez became a bad catcher sometime around 2020) which I think Mac clearly is.
 

JM3

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Well the problem last year was that their starters got hurt and they had to fill a million starts with absolute dreck and it killed them. They needed 36 starts from Crawford and Winckowski alone, at a combined line of: 147.2 ip (4.0 ip per start), 166 h, 96 r, 93 er, 56 bb, 121 k, 5.67 era, 1.50 whip, 7.4 k/9.

Pivetta alone started 33 games and put up this line: 179.2 ip (5.2 ip per start), 175 h, 91 r, 91 er, 73 bb, 175 k, 4.56 era, 1.38 whip, 8.8 k/9.
Crawford! I knew I forgot someone & that list should have been 11 deep, not 10. I think it's pretty safe to say neither of those 2 were ready last year, but there's reason to think that they might be more ready this year, especially Crawford. Plus the Mata/Murphy/Walter trio wasn't on the 40-man last year. Plus they can stretch our Houck.

Pivetta was absolutely useful when they didn't have this depth. I don't see it now, though.
 

JM3

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Obviously nobody can guarantee anything.... but breaking out Pivetta's stats against ALE opponents vs the rest of the competition and he turns into a very good pitcher (mid rotation quality). I can guarantee this though- he'll face those ALE teams way less this season, which is very likely to help him tremendously.
I'm also mildly bullish on him that he's going to overall improve his command with a better catcher (and if anyone really wants to check.... I was consistent in my view that Vazquez became a bad catcher sometime around 2020) which I think Mac clearly is.
I've talked about this before, but while the Blue Jays & Yankees were elite offenses last year, the Rays & Orioles were both below average so if he's getting lit up by everyone in the East, it's more likely a product of familiarity rather than just going up against great offenses, which would make me more concerned, not less.

To the extent that it is structural & the schedule is easier, that would apply to literally every other pitcher, too. Same with having really good defensive catching. Every one of those other guys in the list should benefit at least as much going from their previous catcher to the improved catching.

But Pivetta actually did have the benefit of that catching after the trade deadline last year...% put up a 4.50 ERA in the 1st half of the season & 4.69 in the 2nd half, including 5.29 in the last month of the season.

Pivetta was among the league leaders in steals allowed last year & I think the new rules will only make it harder for him this year.
 

JM3

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Why would we expect Mata, Murphy, and Walter’s starts to be better than Pivetta’s, though? Pivetta and Verdugo seem like the guys SOSH thinks can be easily replaced, for whatever reason, but taking the ball every fifth day- even if you are just average- helps avoid the well below replacement level starts (or at bats) that you usually get from “deep depth”.

Mata had a 5 BB rate in the minors last year. Walter hasn’t had success beyond AA and was hurt at the end of last year; and he’s already 26. Murphy had a 5 BB rate in AAA, struck out <7 per 9 and had a 5.50 era.

Maybe these guys, or others, eventually force their way into the rotation at the expense of Pivetta, Kluber or Paxton, or there’s injuries, but thinking that the Sox have a ton of SP depth seems exaggerated.
I disagree with Chawson on Verdugo. That's a much harder skillset to replace. They absolutely have a ton of depth. How much of it is quality depth is what remains to be seen.

But the thought of starting Bello in AAA to let Pivetta start games basically breaks my brain.