What does 2023 look like?

Mar 30, 2023
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Oh, absolutely. We're on the same page. I'm just getting ahead of the inevitable reduction to "they are a last pace team" that would come with a theoretical 84 win season that is nonetheless behind TB/NY/BAL/TOR.
If we're going to get ahead of hypothetical complaints about them being in last place by pointing out that the AL East is really strong, should we also get ahead of hypothetical praise about them being only 1.5 games out of the playoffs by pointing out that they're only 8th out 15 teams in the AL and 17th out of 30 overall?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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A good way to ensure you don’t finish last is to win games within the division. Sox are 2-6 within the division, and were 26-50 last year.
 

SouthernBoSox

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A good way to ensure you don’t finish last is to win games within the division. Sox are 2-6 within the division, and were 26-50 last year.
4 of these losses are to the Rays who are 20-3 with one of the best starts in the history of baseball.

While the discourse is fun and part of being a message board, it is simply too soon to understand if the in Division woes from last year are real or not.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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4 of these losses are to the Rays who are 20-3 with one of the best starts in the history of baseball.

While the discourse is fun and part of being a message board, it is simply too soon to understand if the in Division woes from last year are real or not.
Oh, totally agree. And it’s less important this year with the new schedule, but obviously, head to head games against teams in your division is the most efficient means to moving up in the standings. Hopefully this years squad performs better against the Yanks, Jays, Rays, and O’s.
 

chrisfont9

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They seem similar to the Red Sox to me- a legit offense with a pretty suspect pitching staff (their staff seems to have a pretty low ceilings). They don’t have anyone as good as Raffy but their offensive core (Mountastle, Ruschman, Mullins, Henderson) is what we hope the Sox to have in a few years
Which team pops should come down to pitching ceiling, IMO. The Os top prospects include Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall, two pitchers with high ceilings, but TBD. I'm not sure any of our pitchers' ceilings are all that high either. It might come down to who scores a big name in free agency.
 

bosox188

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What I'm most interested in this year are the performances of the young players / top prospects. Admittedly the greater concern to me (and of course the miniscule sample size argument applies) are the struggles thus far of Whitlock and Bello at the MLB level. Houck has been our best starter, which is on the one hand encouraging but on the other an indictment of the rotation as a whole since he has a 4.29ERA (4.23FIP), but hey, at least SOMEONE'S FIP is below 5 and a quarter.

After those 3 (and Casas and Yoshida), I'm mostly focused on the performance and development of the prospects in the minor leagues more than anyone else on the big league roster. Mayer is off to a pretty good start, and Yorke is off to a good start. But all of Bleis, Rafaela, Mata, Perales, Walter, and Paulino are struggling while Romero is on the minor league IL). This has been somewhat tempered by the starts of Lugo and Drohan, to be fair, and of course the sample size caveat is there, but the early struggles in the minors do give me a bit of concern. Its early, but while I was anticipating a missed playoffs in the majors (I think I predicted 79-83) I was admittedly hoping to see a ton to get excited about in the minor league system.
I don't think the comparisons of farm systems and young player performance in the MLB are quite as scary when you add some context. I think it's been mentioned in here previously, but Chaim has obviously only had effectively 2.5 drafts so far to begin stocking the farm system, and much of what's in the upper minors is not his yet. The O's are of course extremely high on team prospect rankings because they've had a bunch of drafts picking high in the first round. The Rays are absolute freaks and that's where we're trying to go, but it just hasn't been that much time yet when you're talking farm systems.

Whitlock at least we believe can be a valuable pen arm if the starter thing doesn't work out. The rookie struggles that Casas and Bello are having are not unique to the Red Sox. Grayson Rodriguez was pretty much neck and neck with Andrew Painter for #1 pitching prospect in baseball coming into the year, and everyone thought it was a foregone conclusion that he'd be in the O's rotation to start the year. Well turns out, he had a bad spring, started out in AAA, and he's struggled since he got called back up. Gunnar Henderson was ranked the #1 overall prospect in baseball by many, pretty much top 3 by everyone, and his season so far looks a lot like that of Casas: he's walking a fair bit, but not doing much else. Anthony Volpe, another highly ranked prospect having a rough April for the Yankees.

I think another thing to keep in mind is that the Rays lineup (which has been terrifying) has a bunch of guys who took some time to really break out in the majors. Yandy Diaz and Harold Ramirez both had issues unlocking their power for years. Josh Lowe was a top 100 hitting prospect who looked absolutely terrible for his first two years trying to break through, now he's been on fire. Sometimes you get guys who are disappointments for quite a while before they figure it out.
 

chrisfont9

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I think another thing to keep in mind is that the Rays lineup (which has been terrifying) has a bunch of guys who took some time to really break out in the majors. Yandy Diaz and Harold Ramirez both had issues unlocking their power for years. Josh Lowe was a top 100 hitting prospect who looked absolutely terrible for his first two years trying to break through, now he's been on fire. Sometimes you get guys who are disappointments for quite a while before they figure it out.
The bolded. Smart teams are patient. Sox fans are always pushing the team to be impatient. Baseball isn't the NFL. It is kind of cool that the Rays found their market advantage: our fans are so completely checked out that we can afford to develop players properly without them getting mad. That may be tough to replicate.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Is that what’s really happening with the Rays, though? Who among their current list of top players did they have to suffer through lots of lousy play from, that the fair weather fans of Boston seemingly wouldn’t endure?
 

moondog80

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Is that what’s really happening with the Rays, though? Who among their current list of top players did they have to suffer through lots of lousy play from, that the fair weather fans of Boston seemingly wouldn’t endure?
Not lousy with the Rays, but Diaz, Parades, Margot, Ramirez, Springs, and half of their bullpen are guys who had failed/plateaued with other teams, were targeted by the Rays, and blossomed. You think Boston fans would be OK with the equivalent of the Willy Adames/Drew Rasmussen or Austin Meadows/Isaac Parades deals?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Not lousy with the Rays, but Diaz, Parades, Margot, Ramirez, Springs, and half of their bullpen are guys who had failed/plateaued with other teams, were targeted by the Rays, and blossomed. You think Boston fans would be OK with the equivalent of the Willy Adames/Drew Rasmussen or Austin Meadows/Isaac Parades deals?
I dunno, but who cares? Lots of moves the teams have made weren’t popular with the fans. The idea that the Rays suffered through lousy performance from players (that the Sox couldn’t because of their mean and impatient fans) and are now reaping the benefits years later seems like a way to blame fans, and absolve the organization of a seeming inability to identify the right kind of players to acquire and developing them. Guys like Rasmussen, Springs were immediately dominant with the Rays- there was seemingly no adjustment period.
 

mikcou

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Not lousy with the Rays, but Diaz, Parades, Margot, Ramirez, Springs, and half of their bullpen are guys who had failed/plateaued with other teams, were targeted by the Rays, and blossomed. You think Boston fans would be OK with the equivalent of the Willy Adames/Drew Rasmussen or Austin Meadows/Isaac Parades deals?
Bloom traded Renfroe (a better player than Meadows albeit with 1 less year of control) and Benintendi (roughly the same player again 1 less year of control). His targets in those trades just havent worked out to date and the only one who seems to have a path is Winckowski. Thats on his talent eval; nothing else.

I think plenty of people would be fine with trading a Willy Adames if the reasoning is we had a Wander Franco.
 

chawson

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Is that what’s really happening with the Rays, though? Who among their current list of top players did they have to suffer through lots of lousy play from, that the fair weather fans of Boston seemingly wouldn’t endure?
This is an interesting question.

Certainly, other teams have suffered through lousy play from Margot, Harold Ramirez, Yandy Diaz, Isaac Paredes, Christian Bethancourt, Francisco Mejia, Jose Siri, Luke Riley, Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs, Pete Fairbanks and several other relievers. That seems relevant. A lot of our fan base complains when we acquire guys who are apparently JAGs or retreads.
 

Rovin Romine

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Bloom traded Renfroe (a better player than Meadows albeit with 1 less year of control) and Benintendi (roughly the same player again 1 less year of control). His targets in those trades just havent worked out to date and the only one who seems to have a path is Winckowski. Thats on his talent eval; nothing else.
Not all prospects work out, but of those two, Winckowski and perhaps Hamilton seem to be keepers. But that's really not the only thing Bloom did in terms of evaluating prospects. There are other trades, drafts, international FA signings, decisions to retain players or let them go/trade them. All that is fair game for analysis.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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This is an interesting question.

Certainly, other teams have suffered through lousy play from Margot, Harold Ramirez, Yandy Diaz, Isaac Paredes, Christian Bethancourt, Francisco Mejia, Jose Siri, Luke Riley, Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs, Pete Fairbanks and several other relievers. That seems relevant. A lot of our fan base complains when we acquire guys who are apparently JAGs or retreads.
The complaints are largely because the Sox haven’t shown an ability to get more out of these types. The Rays, OTOH, seemed to have almost immediately gotten much better performances out of the guys they acquired than their previous teams got. To what extent that’s identifying the right players, changing something, or the environment they’ve created- who knows. Only the latter is something the Sox can’t compete on, I think.
 

mikcou

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Not all prospects work out, but of those two, Winckowski and perhaps Hamilton seem to be keepers. But that's really not the only thing Bloom did in terms of evaluating prospects. There are other trades, drafts, international FA signings, decisions to retain players or let them go/trade them. All that is fair game for analysis.
I was responding to the idea that Bloom hasnt (or cant due to Boston fans) been able to make trades similar to Meadows/Paredes. The fact that he traded two outfielders that are pretty comparable and hasnt come up with much seems like a pretty compelling fact to bring up.

I dont disagree that there are other areas; I was responding to the prompt. I think most of us would love if Renfroe or Benintendi was traded for something similar to Paredes. They werent.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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This is an interesting question.

Certainly, other teams have suffered through lousy play from Margot, Harold Ramirez, Yandy Diaz, Isaac Paredes, Christian Bethancourt, Francisco Mejia, Jose Siri, Luke Riley, Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs, Pete Fairbanks and several other relievers. That seems relevant. A lot of our fan base complains when we acquire guys who are apparently JAGs or retreads.
One thing that leaps out to me about this list is that most of those players were under the age of 30 when the Rays acquired them. Bloom has done this with the occasional Arroyo or Schreiber, but he's also wasting time with guys like Turner, Duvall, Martin, Bleier and Kluber, who are well past 30, probably on the downside of their careers, probably more injury prone because they are older, and, while not budget busters, not exactly cheap either. Even if they work out, they are probably headed to another team when their short term contracts are up, like Wacha last season.

The Rays seem like they know what they want - cheap younger players who have potential. We sort of want those players too, but then we end up with a bunch of JAGs and retreads after all. And he spends a lot more money to get there. What exactly does Bloom want?
 

moondog80

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he's also wasting time with guys like Turner, Duvall, Martin, Bleier and Kluber, who are well past 30, probably on the downside of their careers, probably more injury prone because they are older, and, while not budget busters, not exactly cheap either. Even if they work out, they are probably headed to another team when their short term contracts are up, like Wacha last season.
How is this wasting time? Because the Sox don't retain their rights in perpetuity? Where the Rays wasting their time with Kluber last year? The Yankees with Anthony Rizzo this year?

You can't sign a mega free agent for every spot in the lineup, and when the farm doesn't produce all the young talent you need, this is how you try and win now without sacrificing the future.
 

Rovin Romine

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I was responding to the idea that Bloom hasnt (or cant due to Boston fans) been able to make trades similar to Meadows/Paredes. The fact that he traded two outfielders that are pretty comparable and hasnt come up with much seems like a pretty compelling fact to bring up.

I dont disagree that there are other areas; I was responding to the prompt. I think most of us would love if Renfroe or Benintendi was traded for something similar to Paredes. They werent.
That's because Meadows was (prior to the trade) a 3.9, 0.3 (in 2020), and 1.9 bWAR player, 27 years old, who had 3 full years left before he became a FA. Good control, moderate potential for improvement.

Renfroe was a 2.4, 0 (2020), 2.4 bWAR player, 30 years old, who had 2 years of control, limited to corner OF. He is what he is, most likely. (Also, you don't want to say the guy's a clubhouse cancer or anything, but it's remarkable Tampa, Boston, and Milwaukee all moved on from him after a year. Maybe that's just a contractual concern though.)

Benintendi was a 4.8, 1.8, .01 (2020) bWAR player, 26 years old who had two years of control. He was trending in the wrong direction by every metric under the sun, but the value was in the possibility of a rebound, partially because of his age. Still don't think he's equal to Meadows though - he was put on the shelf in August of 2020 after looking completely clueless in 14 games. .442 OPS.

These are not at all equal trade chits. By any stretch of the imagination.

***
Meadows netted Paredes, who while young and with a lot of control remaining, had only had two lackluster campaigns with Detroit. He turned into a 2 bWAR player last year for Tampa in a fairly streaky season. Jury's still out, but this has a chance to be a solid trade for Tampa.

Renfroe netted Binelas and Hamilton. Two prospects: bat tool, speed tool. Binelas stalled in AA, and Hamilton is currently lighting it up at AAA. Frankly, that seems to be a wash for the Paredes trade, even with JBJ's salary stapled to the prospects. You can make a case that playing JBJ and going over the threshold last year was a mistake, but Bloom got decent prospects back, each with a chance to make a ML impact.

Benintendi was sell-low, for sure, but brought back Cordero, Winckowski, and three scratch tickets. Frankly, that's a fantastic trade. A project for a project, with a highly regarded pitching prospect thrown in, probably due to Benni's residual aura.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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This is an interesting question.

Certainly, other teams have suffered through lousy play from Margot, Harold Ramirez, Yandy Diaz, Isaac Paredes, Christian Bethancourt, Francisco Mejia, Jose Siri, Luke Riley, Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs, Pete Fairbanks and several other relievers. That seems relevant. A lot of our fan base complains when we acquire guys who are apparently JAGs or retreads.
Have they really, though?

Yandy Diaz was a slightly below average hitter in Cleveland 94 OPS+ there (which would have been 6th best on the current Sox, as of now at least) and that was about half a season's worth of appearances, combined.

Jose Siri got less than 200 plate appearances in Houston.

Paredes had less than 175AB in Detroit.

Drew Rasumssen pitched a total of 32 innings in Milwaukee before Tampa acquired him.

Fairbanks pitched 8 innings in Texas.

Luke Raley had less than 100 PA for the Dodgers.


I for one would really like it if Bloom went out at the trade deadline and tried to acquire guys like Luis Garcia (the Nationals version) just to randomly name an example of a young player whom hasn't been amazing, but hasn't been a complete waste 92OPS+ in roughly 800 at bats and is only 23 years old. It might work out (McGuire has so far), it might not (Chang has not) but I like that kind of attempt.
 

mikcou

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That's because Meadows was (prior to the trade) a 3.9, 0.3 (in 2020), and 1.9 bWAR player, 27 years old, who had 3 full years left before he became a FA. Good control, moderate potential for improvement.

Renfroe was a 2.4, 0 (2020), 2.4 bWAR player, 30 years old, who had 2 years of control, limited to corner OF. He is what he is, most likely. (Also, you don't want to say the guy's a clubhouse cancer or anything, but it's remarkable Tampa, Boston, and Milwaukee all moved on from him after a year. Maybe that's just a contractual concern though.)

Benintendi was a 4.8, 1.8, .01 (2020) bWAR player, 26 years old who had two years of control. He was trending in the wrong direction by every metric under the sun, but the value was in the possibility of a rebound, partially because of his age. Still don't think he's equal to Meadows though - he was put on the shelf in August of 2020 after looking completely clueless in 14 games. .442 OPS.

These are not at all equal trade chits. By any stretch of the imagination.

***
Meadows netted Paredes, who while young and with a lot of control remaining, had only had two lackluster campaigns with Detroit. He turned into a 2 bWAR player last year for Tampa in a fairly streaky season. Jury's still out, but this has a chance to be a solid trade for Tampa.

Renfroe netted Binelas and Hamilton. Two prospects: bat tool, speed tool. Binelas stalled in AA, and Hamilton is currently lighting it up at AAA. Frankly, that seems to be a wash for the Paredes trade, even with JBJ's salary stapled to the prospects. You can make a case that playing JBJ and going over the threshold last year was a mistake, but Bloom got decent prospects back, each with a chance to make a ML impact.

Benintendi was sell-low, for sure, but brought back Cordero, Winckowski, and three scratch tickets. Frankly, that's a fantastic trade. A project for a project, with a highly regarded pitching prospect thrown in, probably due to Benni's residual aura.
I guess we strongly disagree with their respective values - those guys are all more similar than they are different. They're all corner outfielders with varying degrees of solid defense and good, but not great bats. I guess if you really bought in to Meadows being a 4 win player rather than the bad/mediocre player that he was in 2020/2021 (and has been since), maybe you have a different view.

I think its really hard to argue that Bloom got comparable value even if you think Meadows is demonstrably better than the other two. He messed up; its really ok to admit it. It doesnt mean the future is doomed nor does it mean he will continue to do so. It only means that he did have the forum to make the type of deal that the original post discussed, he just botched the implementation of the strategy.

Edit: The parallels between AB and Meadows are pretty fascinating - they are basically the same player. Former top prospects where people hoped they could play center (they couldnt); had one elite season, one decent season, and a terrible pandemic year in the three years prior to the trade. If you think that they are vastly different trade values other than slight control premium for Meadows, I just dont see it.
 
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Rovin Romine

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I guess we strongly disagree with their respective values - those guys are all more similar than they are different. They're all corner outfielders with varying degrees of solid defense and good, but not great bats. I guess if you really bought in to Meadows being a 4 win player rather than the bad/mediocre player that he was in 2020/2021 (and has been since), maybe you have a different view.

I think its really hard to argue that Bloom got comparable value even if you think Meadows is demonstrably better than the other two. He messed up; its really ok to admit it. It doesnt mean the future is doomed nor does it mean he will continue to do so. It only means that he did have the forum to make the type of deal that the original post discussed, he just botched the implementation of the strategy.

Edit: The parallels between AB and Meadows are pretty fascinating - they are basically the same player. Former top prospects where people hoped they could play center (they couldnt); had one elite season, one decent season, and a terrible pandemic year in the three years prior to the trade. If you think that they are vastly different trade values other than slight control premium for Meadows, I just dont see it.
Bloom got decent prospects at the time of the trade - which is all you can do if you're trading for prospects. Not all of them were going to pan out. One (Winkcowski) looks very promising, and we have many years to see what happens. Another (Hamilton) looks like he has a chance of contributing as well.

Why do you think that's "messing up?"
 

chrisfont9

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I was responding to the idea that Bloom hasnt (or cant due to Boston fans) been able to make trades similar to Meadows/Paredes. The fact that he traded two outfielders that are pretty comparable and hasnt come up with much seems like a pretty compelling fact to bring up.

I dont disagree that there are other areas; I was responding to the prompt. I think most of us would love if Renfroe or Benintendi was traded for something similar to Paredes. They werent.
Winckowski's development is a caution against judging trades too soon, but my earlier point about the Rays seems wrong. Still, why didn't the Sox go full sale at last year's deadline? How many teams would have cashed out on Bogaerts in that situation? Fan pressure seems like a factor.
 

mikcou

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Bloom got decent prospects at the time of the trade - which is all you can do if you're trading for prospects. Not all of them were going to pan out. One (Winkcowski) looks very promising, and we have many years to see what happens. Another (Hamilton) looks like he has a chance of contributing as well.

Why do you think that's "messing up?"
I disagree that: 1) they were particularly good prospects at the time; and 2) we can only look at the time of the trade; results matter. None of the guys in either trade were particularly well thought of at the time and certainly none of them came any where close to the rep of Paredes at the time of the trade - Paredes was a top 100 guy before he exhausted his eligibility in 2020 and admittedly scuffled a bit in his first 200 MLB PAs in 2020/2021. Hamilton and Binelas werent making the Sox (a relative mediocre system pre-2022) top 10 immediately after the trade - they were complete dart throws.

On the second point, id agree that the strategy is to get good prospects, but evaluating performance goes beyond what did people think at the time. Forecasting results is Bloom's job - he is going to be wrong at times; if hes wrong too often, then hei snt good at his job - just like any forecaster/modeler in any business.

Going further into this seems more re-litigating the Renfroe and AB trades than anything else, which was not my original point. The point was it is incorrect to say that Bloom hasnt had the opportunity to make a trade similar to Meadows/Paredes, he has, its just, being charitable, not clear that he took advantage of those opportunities in a comparable manner.
 

scottyno

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Winckowski's development is a caution against judging trades too soon, but my earlier point about the Rays seems wrong. Still, why didn't the Sox go full sale at last year's deadline? How many teams would have cashed out on Bogaerts in that situation? Fan pressure seems like a factor.
None because he had a no trade and made it clear he didn't want to go anywhere
 

grimshaw

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Apropos of nothing, the Sox have scored 48 more runs than the Yankees, and allowed 48 more runs than them.
And just like that, they are half a game behind them, also in the wild card standings.
 

moondog80

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This is an interesting question.

Certainly, other teams have suffered through lousy play from Margot, Harold Ramirez, Yandy Diaz, Isaac Paredes, Christian Bethancourt, Francisco Mejia, Jose Siri, Luke Riley, Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs, Pete Fairbanks and several other relievers. That seems relevant. A lot of our fan base complains when we acquire guys who are apparently JAGs or retreads.
You know might be turning into a Sox version of this? The former top 100 prospect they picked up last year for a guy that everyone hated and is 343/381/489 with 1.1 WAR through 150 PA and plays an elite defensive position, with 2 arb years left after this year. Have we seen enough of Reese McGuire to say that while he's probably not a 139 OPS+ guy, something has been unlocked that wasn't there before?

Jake Dikeman has 10 walks in 9.2 IP for Chicago this year.
 

TimScribble

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Not sure if this is the right thread for this or if it is potentially a new thread, but I’m curious how everyone would construct a healthy Red Sox lineup. Basically, if you get Duvall, Story, Paxton, Joely back and the current team is playing at or similar production, how do you construct this lineup/rotation?

There are still some question marks on the rotation. Sale, Kluber, Paxton, etc

If Duran cools off some but stays improved, how do you fit all the outfielders into the lineup?

This may all be for nothing if Duran falls off, Story doesn’t come back, etc. but I think there will be some tough (but welcomed) choices in the upcoming months if everything falls into place.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Looks like the Sox and Yankees will be tied in the standings at the end of the day today.

The offense continues to chug along (leading all of baseball in doubles and third in runs). Yoshida and Verdugo have lived up to the expectations, the catching tandem has looked solid, Duran is a nice surprise (leading the team with 9 doubles in just 13 games), and Devers is putting up strong power numbers. Plus, there is the potential for more if Casas can find his footing and they find a functional 2B/SS combo.

And there have been a couple of glimmers of hope with the rotation the last two days. Hopefully Jansen and Whitlock recover quickly and the rotation can get on track. I was hoping to see some reinforcements push their way into the bullpen in order to allow the team to move on from the usual suspects but Mata is walking a batter an inning and I'm not seeing any other options right now in AAA. It seems like any near term improvement in the bullpen would come from pushing someone out of the rotation.
 

tims4wins

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Seems to me this team is basically what we thought it would be: right around .500. They may end up plus or minus a few. I have some optimism based on how Sale has looked on his good days. But pessimism based on how he’s looked on his bad days, and with Whitlock’s injury.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Seems to me this team is basically what we thought it would be: right around .500. They may end up plus or minus a few. I have some optimism based on how Sale has looked on his good days. But pessimism based on how he’s looked on his bad days, and with Whitlock’s injury.
I think the biggest April takeaway is that the new core for beyond ‘23 looks stronger now than it did prior to the season.

Yoshida being very legitimate while adjusting to the league: Verdugo taking the next steps: Wong looking like a very viable two way catcher: Duran emerging….

I said before the season that while of course I’d like to win a ton of game, the underlying players under control are much more important than the difference between winning 82 or 85 games.
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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After one month the Red Sox are 15-14. They've played these teams with these results:
2-1 BAL (19-9 overall, 16-6 non Red Sox)
0-3 PIT (20-9, 17-9)
3-0 DET (10-17, 10-14)
0-4 TB (23-6, 19-6)
3-1 LAA (15-14, 14-11)
2-1 MIN (17-12, 16-10)
2-1 MIL (18-10, 17-8)
1-2 BAL (19-9, 16-6)
2-1 CLE (13-15, 12-13)
Overall record of the teams they've played is 154-101, .604 win %. Removing Red Sox games, those teams are 140-86, .619.
For all the worries about this team, I think that they made it through that schedule with their heads above water is a successful month. They won six series, lost three (that two of the three were sweeps by two first place teams is why the record isn't better).

Here's what the May schedule holds:
4 vs TOR (18-10)
3 @ PHI (15-13)
2 @ ATL (18-9)
3 vs STL (10-19)
3 vs SEA (12-16)
3 @ SD (15-14)
3 @ LAA (15-14)
3 @ ARI (16-13)
3* vs CIN (12-16) *Includes June 1
Overall record of these teams -- today -- is 131-124, .518.
It will be interesting to see how they do against a weaker schedule.
 
The schedule has been brutal so far, as @Heating up in the bullpen showed above. The Sox have had the toughest SoS in the game so far, so yeah I'd agree that a winning record is a success at this point. IMO they are playing better than expected given this context.

May is a weaker schedule for sure but still not easy by any means! If teams hold to their current performance, that will be only 5 series against teams under .500 compared to 13 against .500+ teams.

I'll still caveat this with concerns about early season instability, but by the end of May things should be a bit clearer. Here's hoping the Sox go on a tear.
 

chrisfont9

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in 2022 every schedule strength ranking has the Sox first or second hardest. WTF? Between the middle infield injuries and the steady diet of good teams, is this shit ever going to even out? Can MLB stop calling the Braves our "natural rivals" 70 years after anyone in Boston stopped giving a shit about them? At least we get two fewer AL East series this time.

Our May schedule is no picnic. June and July are middle of the road and the Sox get huge helpings of shit teams in early August -- nine games vs Royals, Tigers and Nats. If we are in the mix by the end of June, I like our playoff chances.
 
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scottyno

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in 2022 every schedule strength ranking has the Sox first or second hardest. WTF? Between the middle infield injuries and the steady diet of good teams, is this shit ever going to even out? Can MLB stop calling the Braves our "natural rivals" 70 years after anyone in Boston stopped giving a shit about them? At least we get two fewer AL East series this time.

Our May schedule is no picnic. June and July are middle of the road and the Sox get huge helpings of shit teams in early August -- nine games vs Royals, Tigers and Nats. If we are in the mix by the end of June, I like our playoff chances.
They get to play the horrendous teams in the other divisons so it'll at least even out a little bit. But finishing 4th in the division and making the playoffs is super realistic, right now they're tied for 4th and a half game out of the wild card
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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in 2022 every schedule strength ranking has the Sox first or second hardest. WTF? Between the middle infield injuries and the steady diet of good teams, is this shit ever going to even out? Can MLB stop calling the Braves our "natural rivals" 70 years after anyone in Boston stopped giving a shit about them? At least we get two fewer AL East series this time.

Our May schedule is no picnic. June and July are middle of the road and the Sox get huge helpings of shit teams in early August -- nine games vs Royals, Tigers and Nats. If we are in the mix by the end of June, I like our playoff chances.
The funny thing is that a couple months ago, people thought that April would be relatively soft for the Sox (particularly the first couple weeks) and they would need to make hay early. Then the Pirates turned into the hottest team not based in St Pete and the O's have the second best record in the AL and the Angels aren't quite as hapless as they've been, and that April schedule looks like a much tougher gauntlet than expected. Which just goes to show that looking ahead for easy or tough stretches of the schedule probably doesn't mean a lot. They've just got to keep trying to win series no matter who's in front of them.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The funny thing is that a couple months ago, people thought that April would be relatively soft for the Sox (particularly the first couple weeks) and they would need to make hay early. Then the Pirates turned into the hottest team not based in St Pete and the O's have the second best record in the AL and the Angels aren't quite as hapless as they've been, and that April schedule looks like a much tougher gauntlet than expected. Which just goes to show that looking ahead for easy or tough stretches of the schedule probably doesn't mean a lot. They've just got to keep trying to win series no matter who's in front of them.
was about to say the same thing but that at the end of the year, the Pirates Angels and Os could Al end up fading and appearing as a weak part if one didn’t consider how those teams we’re playing at that time.
 

chrisfont9

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was about to say the same thing but that at the end of the year, the Pirates Angels and Os could Al end up fading and appearing as a weak part if one didn’t consider how those teams we’re playing at that time.
That would be just our luck, catch everyone on their best stretch of baseball.

Why is the league depriving us of our natural rivalry with the Nationals?
 

lexrageorge

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in 2022 every schedule strength ranking has the Sox first or second hardest. WTF? Between the middle infield injuries and the steady diet of good teams, is this shit ever going to even out? Can MLB stop calling the Braves our "natural rivals" 70 years after anyone in Boston stopped giving a shit about them? At least we get two fewer AL East series this time.

Our May schedule is no picnic. June and July are middle of the road and the Sox get huge helpings of shit teams in early August -- nine games vs Royals, Tigers and Nats. If we are in the mix by the end of June, I like our playoff chances.
The Sox play 4 games against the Braves, just one more than they do against other NL teams. It was unfair when the Sox had to play the Braves 6 times when Atlanta was really good while the Yankees played a bottom feeding Mets team 6 times. But the interleague schedule has long since been pretty much evened out. Issue in 2022 was all the games the Sox had against the AL East; the only reason the Yankees and Tampa had an "easier" schedule is because they got 19 games each against the Sox and their 78-84 record.
 

chrisfont9

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Bryce Harper is coming back from TJ surgery after 160 days. So does that give us some perspective on Story's elbow? He had a bracing procedure on January 11, a less invasive matter (maybe??) and were he to recover from that as quickly as Harper did, he would be ready in the middle of June. I can't find any stories about when Harper began to throw (his UCL tear was his throwing arm) because of the avalanche of stories out now with him returning, but he's been hitting for a few weeks. Obviously the injuries aren't quite the same, so we probably shouldn't pay too much attention to Harper's situation, but if BP is a threshold in elbow recovery and Story starts hitting in earnest, then at that point he could be down to 2-3 weeks away from playing.
 

Remagellan

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That would be just our luck, catch everyone on their best stretch of baseball.

Why is the league depriving us of our natural rivalry with the Nationals?
We play the Phillies this weekend and they've been scorching and are getting Harper back tomorrow. So, it is what it is. But this Sox team is entertaining and getting contributions from the youngsters and our pricey acquisitions, and that's all we could hope for coming into this season...and much more than a number of people here expected. L'Chaim!
 

lexrageorge

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Bryce Harper is coming back from TJ surgery after 160 days. So does that give us some perspective on Story's elbow? He had a bracing procedure on January 11, a less invasive matter (maybe??) and were he to recover from that as quickly as Harper did, he would be ready in the middle of June. I can't find any stories about when Harper began to throw (his UCL tear was his throwing arm) because of the avalanche of stories out now with him returning, but he's been hitting for a few weeks. Obviously the injuries aren't quite the same, so we probably shouldn't pay too much attention to Harper's situation, but if BP is a threshold in elbow recovery and Story starts hitting in earnest, then at that point he could be down to 2-3 weeks away from playing.
I read somewhere that Story has begun some light throwing, and is expected to start taking batting practice sometime in mid-May. The initial estimates for Story ran anywhere from immediately after the All Star Break to season ending, so my guess is that there is still a large variation of potential outcomes here.
 

bosox188

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Bryce Harper is coming back from TJ surgery after 160 days. So does that give us some perspective on Story's elbow? He had a bracing procedure on January 11, a less invasive matter (maybe??) and were he to recover from that as quickly as Harper did, he would be ready in the middle of June. I can't find any stories about when Harper began to throw (his UCL tear was his throwing arm) because of the avalanche of stories out now with him returning, but he's been hitting for a few weeks. Obviously the injuries aren't quite the same, so we probably shouldn't pay too much attention to Harper's situation, but if BP is a threshold in elbow recovery and Story starts hitting in earnest, then at that point he could be down to 2-3 weeks away from playing.
The Phillies also opted not to give Harper any minor league rehab assignment before coming back, so that's also a factor in the calculation. The Red Sox would have to be willing to do the same for any hope of emulating the Harper timeline. I imagine otherwise it might add another couple of weeks?
 

Max Power

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Harper isn't expected to play shortstop. I don't see any need to rush Story back to play DH, so they should wait until he's comfortable playing defense.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The speed of Harper's return is pretty much unprecedented, so it's tough to draw conclusions comparing anyone to him. Also, Story did have a different procedure (same ligament though) so it's probably not a one to one comparison anyway.

This article (linking to SI rather than the original pay-walled Athletic source) suggests that he was four weeks away from swinging a bat and that was four weeks ago. I'd guess we hear some kind of update this week.
 

BaseballJones

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Yoshida's first 13 games: 58 PA, 1 2b, 1 hr, 6 rbi, .167/.310/.250/.560
Yoshida's last 10 games: 44 PA, 3 2b, 3 hr, 10 rbi, .410/.455/.718/1.172

Looks like he's made the necessary adjustments. Now let's see the league adjust to him. And back and forth. Pretty clearly the guy knows what he's doing out there.
 

chrisfont9

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That's the big difference. We won't really have the basis for a point to point comparison until Harper takes the field.
Good point. I don't know that there's much of a difference between SS and RF, you still have to trust your arm to make a violent, unnatural effort. But if Bryce is DHing only, then that's not as much of a milestone as it may appear.