What To Do About the Bullpen

How to fix the bullpen?

  • A. Move Houck to the pen, and Richards/Perez back to rotation

    Votes: 9 11.4%
  • B. Move Houck to the pen, with Seabold promoted and moved into the rotation

    Votes: 13 16.5%
  • C. Promote Valdez and Rios and shed some dead weight (Robles, Davis)

    Votes: 22 27.8%
  • D. Add some players, like Brice, Ort, Feltman to the 40-man, promote them, and shed dead weight

    Votes: 26 32.9%
  • E. Hang tight and hope guys that are currently on the team get better

    Votes: 21 26.6%
  • F. Something else

    Votes: 2 2.5%

  • Total voters
    79

Petagine in a Bottle

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He’s got a bullpen filled with pitchers who don’t throw strikes. The games when Whitlock is unavailable (which is most) are particularly difficult to manage - made even more challenging with Barnes imploding. A manager with bad options will try to steal outs. Why is Perez even still on the team?

A lot of relievers acquired at the deadline have been performing well for contenders; Bloom certainly appears to have chosen poorly in the guys he acquired.

Andriese was a guy who was supposed to be a key part of the pen; he flopped. Ottavino has been fine, but they spent a lot of money on him (and helped the Yankees out) and perhaps that salary could have been allocated more wisely esp for a team up against the cap?

Look at Tampa; they signed Kittredge and McHugh who have provided 3.7 war (3x Otto) for 1/3 of the cost. Rich Hill has been Garret Richards equal this year at ~30% of the cost.
 

joe dokes

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He’s got a bullpen filled with pitchers who don’t throw strikes. The games when Whitlock is unavailable (which is most) are particularly difficult to manage - made even more challenging with Barnes imploding. A manager with bad options will try to steal outs. Why is Perez even still on the team?

A lot of relievers acquired at the deadline have been performing well for contenders; Bloom certainly appears to have chosen poorly in the guys he acquired.

Andriese was a guy who was supposed to be a key part of the pen; he flopped. Ottavino has been fine, but they spent a lot of money on him (and helped the Yankees out) and perhaps that salary could have been allocated more wisely esp for a team up against the cap?

Look at Tampa; they signed Kittredge and McHugh who have provided 3.7 war (3x Otto) for 1/3 of the cost. Rich Hill has been Garret Richards equal this year at ~30% of the cost.
They probably don't get Whitlock if they don't take Ottovino.
 

chawson

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They probably don't get Whitlock if they don't take Ottovino.
I may be missing something but how do you figure the relationship here? German was the throw-in for Ottavino, who was traded to the Sox six weeks after they selected Whitlock in the Rule 5.
 

jon abbey

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They probably don't get Whitlock if they don't take Ottovino.
These were unconnected, Whitlock was taken in the Rule 5 and later Ottavino and Frank German were packaged together.

Espinal and Ort were also Yankee prospects, Chaim loves his Yankee pitchers. :)
 

Rovin Romine

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He’s got a bullpen filled with pitchers who don’t throw strikes. The games when Whitlock is unavailable (which is most) are particularly difficult to manage - made even more challenging with Barnes imploding. A manager with bad options will try to steal outs. Why is Perez even still on the team?
I'm not sure you mean it this way, but Cora's not entitled to have everything handed to him on a platter. I'm sure he could do fine with the best pen in the AL.

As it is he's got a middle of the road one.

As a whole, this team walks a lot of batters (fifth worst), and gives up a lot of hits (second worst.) However, they've stranded more of those runners than any other team. (Don't know about the %.) Probably because they're excellent at avoiding HRs and inducing Ks (second best in each.) Overall, they're average in terms of earned runs allowed, and total runs allowed. The bullpen isn't significantly worse than the starting pitching.

What I did find interesting while looking at the numbers is that the worst usage category (by ERA) was for relievers that went on 0 days rest. I imagine that would be true for any team, but how often does that happen with our extra arm and short bench? A lot.

89 games, 76 IP. ERA is 5.17, although there are 12 saves in there.

At one days rest? 100 games, 100 IP. 3.15 ERA.

(Sawamura, Robles, and yes Barnes are particularly swingy this way.)

Other teams games/innings for 0 days rest and 1 day:
Jays 50/42, 124/115
Baltimore 53/47, 122/128
Yanks 58/53, 110/116
Rays 62/58, 87/95

I couldn't find pitches thrown numbers but here are the Starter/Reliever inning numbers, with number of relief appearances in parens:
Yanks: 679/477 (402)
Sox: 678/482 (448)
Jays: 663/463 (439)
Rays: 621/558 (415)
Baltimore: 595/528 (444)
 
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Petagine in a Bottle

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Part of that is that the best Sox arm doesn’t go on 0 days rest. So I assume the innings split by pitcher on 0 days test doesn’t mirror the overall.

and yes- I think we are on the same page regarding Cora needing to get more out of his relievers. I think it’s a system wide failure, from Bloom to Cora to Bush and the scouting staff (were Robles and Davis guys they targeted or just who they end up with?)
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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But he uses pitchers on 0 days rest often ,in part, because his best reliever is often unavailable, and the back of the pen is poor.

Whitlock has pitched 13% of the teams relief innings but 0% of the 0 days rest innings. Two thirds of his innings are with 3+ days reat

Whitlock has only pitched in 38 games, compared to 50-56 for the other top relievers on the team.

Would pitchers be more effective with more rest? Maybe- but that requires more good pitchers on the team.

The games pitched by Sox relievers don’t seem that egregious, frankly. Ottavino is 14th in the AL in games, Barnes is 20th, Taylor 21st. Tampa is interesting in that they don’t have any individual pitchers in the top 50 for appearances, but again- they have a lot of good arms .
 

joe dokes

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These were unconnected, Whitlock was taken in the Rule 5 and later Ottavino and Frank German were packaged together.

Espinal and Ort were also Yankee prospects, Chaim loves his Yankee pitchers. :)
Right. Wrong guy on my end. Not Whitlock.
 

dynomite

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The COVID outbreak is taking a particular toll on the bullpen. With Sawamura now joining Barnes and Perez in testing positive and Josh Taylor quarantining, getting through this next week is going to take some doing.

The Blue Jays just surprisingly DFAed Brad Hand. He’s apparently still owed ~$1.9M (if claimed) and was dreadful for our Canadian friends (7 ER in 8.2 IP, hence DFAing him a month after trading for him) but he was pretty decent for the Nats as their closer.
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/08/blue-jays-designate-brad-hand-for-assignment.html

Thoughts?
 

TonyPenaNeverJuiced

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A minor league acquisition unlikely to be seen on the big league roster at all. He's an arm that allows them to call someone else up and not leave Worcester or Portland short-handed. Basically the pitching equivalent of getting Delino Deshields Jr.
Will you be sending that #44 Peacock jersey to my home or work?
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Will you be sending that #44 Peacock jersey to my home or work?
To be fair, I posted that before half the bullpen went on the COVID IL. Desperate times and all.

Don't understand choosing him over someone already in the org. Of course, having said that, watch him throw seven scoreless or something.
 

cantor44

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It took me a while to figure out what the V and N thread was, but I finally have and will save comments about COVID itself for there ... but will say, the decimation of the roster, particularly the bullpen, almost makes this thread moot (I say as the person who initiated it). Or, radically reorients it.

I suppose we can discuss these possibilities in anticipation of when everyone returns (assuming the rolling positive cases don't keep on happening) ...

But ...must say, I'm so depressed that a regular old baseball decision debate has been usurped by this terrible externality.
 

Rovin Romine

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But he uses pitchers on 0 days rest often ,in part, because his best reliever is often unavailable, and the back of the pen is poor.

Whitlock has pitched 13% of the teams relief innings but 0% of the 0 days rest innings. Two thirds of his innings are with 3+ days reat

Whitlock has only pitched in 38 games, compared to 50-56 for the other top relievers on the team.

Would pitchers be more effective with more rest? Maybe- but that requires more good pitchers on the team.

The games pitched by Sox relievers don’t seem that egregious, frankly. Ottavino is 14th in the AL in games, Barnes is 20th, Taylor 21st. Tampa is interesting in that they don’t have any individual pitchers in the top 50 for appearances, but again- they have a lot of good arms .
I think we're talking past each other here.

Cora uses relievers on 0 days rest far more often than his peers. In aggregate, the results are far worse than him using the same bullpen relievers on 1 days rest. That's Cora's choice, and those are the results from his choices.

Saying Cora would do this differently if he had better players to do it with misses the point entirely. The point is that he is doing it, and it appears to be far from optimal for the bullpen he actually has.
 

YTF

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The COVID outbreak is taking a particular toll on the bullpen. With Sawamura now joining Barnes and Perez in testing positive and Josh Taylor quarantining, getting through this next week is going to take some doing.

The Blue Jays just surprisingly DFAed Brad Hand. He’s apparently still owed ~$1.9M (if claimed) and was dreadful for our Canadian friends (7 ER in 8.2 IP, hence DFAing him a month after trading for him) but he was pretty decent for the Nats as their closer.
https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/08/blue-jays-designate-brad-hand-for-assignment.html

Thoughts?
Tomato...ToMAHto. Covid has elevated arms that haven't been used up like some of the guys in the pen. Yes, there is a different level of talent, but ATM a few arms with a little less recent use, MIGHT be helpful.
 

Manzivino

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That would make sense, with the rules for COVID replacements they can get a free look at Crawford against major leaguers before they have to make a decision on adding him to the 40-man this offseason.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Mentioned in the game threads but worth discussion here- Richards performance recently (SSS) as a bullpen ace is pointing towards a potential playoff strength with the reduction in starters to 3.5.
Sale, Eovaldi and hopefully continuing Good E-Rod might be the best top 3 starting combo. Pivetta being the .5 required starter.
That adds Houck to the pen where his stuff will really play up with Whitlock and this version of Richards (and who knows…. Maybe Barnes returns with his good stuff?) along with Playoff-Cora’s usage of starters and it’s very good suddenly.
Obviously if they make it there….
Edit- I thought we had a weak schedule coming up. After Cleveland it gets tough
 

Cesar Crespo

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Petagine in a Bottle

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If he’s scratched coming off two terrible starts, might it be fatigue / injury and not a call up? Hope it’s a call up though, obviously
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Sox have scratched Seabold from tonight's start, same as they did with Crawford last night.

I don't think anything is imminent with either guy. It's more likely preserving depth just in case there are more positive tests and they need emergency starters or relievers.
 

ehaz

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Mentioned in the game threads but worth discussion here- Richards performance recently (SSS) as a bullpen ace is pointing towards a potential playoff strength with the reduction in starters to 3.5.
Sale, Eovaldi and hopefully continuing Good E-Rod might be the best top 3 starting combo. Pivetta being the .5 required starter.
That adds Houck to the pen where his stuff will really play up with Whitlock and this version of Richards (and who knows…. Maybe Barnes returns with his good stuff?) along with Playoff-Cora’s usage of starters and it’s very good suddenly.
Obviously if they make it there….
Edit- I thought we had a weak schedule coming up. After Cleveland it gets tough
I kind of love this idea for the playoffs if they make it.

Starters: Sale / Eovaldi / E-Rod / Pivetta

Multi-inning relief aces: Whitlock / Houck / Richards

Closer/Set-Up: Ottavino / Taylor

Middle Relief: Sawa / Robles

Wild Card: Barnes
 

cantor44

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I kind of love this idea for the playoffs if they make it.

Starters: Sale / Eovaldi / E-Rod / Pivetta

Multi-inning relief aces: Whitlock / Houck / Richards

Closer/Set-Up: Ottavino / Taylor

Middle Relief: Sawa / Robles

Wild Card: Barnes
Might be able to replace Robles with Drawinzon, too ....
 
Richards' transformation in the pen has been astounding to me, especially given how much trouble he had the first time through the order as a starter. I dug into the numbers to see what the deal is:

Here are his stats from 6/11 through 8/12, the garbage fire era:

  • 5.76 K/9
  • 3.18 BB/9
  • 1.83 WHIP
  • 16.8% Soft/45.7% Med/37.6% Hard
  • OSwing 29.3% / ZSwing 71% / Swing 49.7%
  • OContact 62.3% / ZContact 90.1% / Contact 81.8%
  • Zone 49%
  • SwStr 9.1%
  • 55.7% FB/ 24.4% SL / 9.5% CB / 10.4% CH
  • FBv 94.3 / SLv 87.4 / CBv 76.2 / CHv 90.2
And here are his stats since, as a reliever:

  • 10.8 K/9
  • 2.7 BB/9
  • .9 WHIP
  • 21.9% Soft/46.9% Med/31.3% Hard
  • OSwing 39.1% / ZSwing 71.7% / Swing 54%
  • OContact 65.1% / ZContact 86.4% / Contact 78%
  • Zone 45.5%
  • SwStr 11.9%
  • 45% FB / 31.2% SL / 7.4% CB / 16.3% CH
  • 94.8 FBv / 88.2 SLv / 76.8 CBv / 90.9 CHv
The results are clearly night and day -- he's nearly doubled his K rate, cut down on the BB rate a little, and has cut his WHIP in half.

As to why he's getting these better results, it looks like he is fooling batters much more effectively. He's pitching out of the zone more but he's getting way more swings outside the zone. His contact rate outside the zone has gone up a bit and his contact rate in the zone has gone down a bit, thus resulting in trading quite a bit of hard contact for a little medium contact and a lot more soft contact. His reduced ZContact and dramatically increased OSwing are resulting in more strikes, including more swinging strikes.

He's getting these results with a touch more velocity on all of his pitches and by trading some of his fastballs and curveballs for sliders and changeups.

All this leads to an interesting question: is the improvement actually a result of his move to the pen, or has Richards finally made the needed adjustments to the sticky stuff ban by building his confidence in his changeup and slider while cutting way down on his curveball and fastball? Or is it just noise?

The answers to these questions aren't at all clear to me, but I do think they will have quite a bit of bearing on whether the team picks up his option.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I think it’s way too premature for any discussion of picking up the option. Paying him $10M to be a set up man because of a few good outings seems insanely risky. Given the teams payroll commitments and needs, I can’t imagine that happening.

Its great that he’s pitched well, but it’s 7 total games, and four of them were in garbage time / mop up / long relief situations. Let’s wait and see a little bit more to know what we’ve got here. That being said he’s been an effective reliever before so he can certainly do it.
 

Rovin Romine

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As to why he's getting these better results, it looks like he is fooling batters much more effectively. He's pitching out of the zone more but he's getting way more swings outside the zone. His contact rate outside the zone has gone up a bit and his contact rate in the zone has gone down a bit, thus resulting in trading quite a bit of hard contact for a little medium contact and a lot more soft contact. His reduced ZContact and dramatically increased OSwing are resulting in more strikes, including more swinging strikes.
If you go to baseballsavant and sort his pitches by outing, it's interesting in that his fastball was getting absolutely crushed up to 8/3, and after, has become barely hittable.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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If you go to baseballsavant and sort his pitches by outing, it's interesting in that his fastball was getting absolutely crushed up to 8/3, and after, has become barely hittable.
It could be, after almost two months, he finally figured out his grip issues. More likely, he's cutting loose and not holding back knowing he's in for a short outing, which maybe adds a little jump and movement to his fastball that he wasn't getting while trying to pace himself for 80+ pitches.

Eck were saying last night that relieving versus starting changes his pitch mix and how he attacks hitters. He had a couple outings (and he's not the only one that's done it) where he simply didn't show one pitch or another for an entire turn through the lineup. Either he didn't have the feel for it or was saving it to give the batters a different look the next time through. Coming out of the pen, he doesn't have to do that and can bring more of an element of surprise to each hitter.
 

cantor44

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If you subtract Valdez's one ninth inning meltdown in the 20-run-barrage game the Sox had, where he was essentially in there to the last out no matter what, he's been a very effective reliever. Better, perhaps, than deadline acquisitions Robles and Davis ...I hope they don't send him back down when guys start go come off the IL. He stuff seems good, too, to the eye test ...
 

Lose Remerswaal

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If you subtract Valdez's one ninth inning meltdown in the 20-run-barrage game the Sox had, where he was essentially in there to the last out no matter what, he's been a very effective reliever. Better, perhaps, than deadline acquisitions Robles and Davis ...I hope they don't send him back down when guys start go come off the IL. He stuff seems good, too, to the eye test ...
You are ignoring his second to last outing, which is fine. You might also want to ignore his fourth to last appearance where he gave up 3 runs in one and two thirds innings as well
 

cantor44

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You are ignoring his second to last outing, which is fine. You might also want to ignore his fourth to last appearance where he gave up 3 runs in one and two thirds innings as well
I stand guilty as accused of selective perception ...maybe blurring my eyes to enable hope ...?
 
His second take one for the team shit show.
Is that really fair? I figured it'd be a shit show after the Sox went down 6-0, but the garbage time squad of Schrieber, Gonsalves, Tilt and Robles combined for 5 hits, 1 walk and 1 run over 6 innings. The game became very winnable and I think the Sox still had a decent chance until Valdez "took one for the team" in the ninth. It definitely wasn't a "take one for the team" outing when Valdez first took the mound, although perhaps he turned it into one.
 

cantor44

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Is that really fair? I figured it'd be a shit show after the Sox went down 6-0, but the garbage time squad of Schrieber, Gonsalves, Tilt and Robles combined for 5 hits, 1 walk and 1 run over 6 innings. The game became very winnable and I think the Sox still had a decent chance until Valdez "took one for the team" in the ninth. It definitely wasn't a "take one for the team" outing when Valdez first took the mound, although perhaps he turned it into one.
Actually, I stand corrected, in a sense. You're right, it was not a "take one for the team" appearance when Valdez entered the game. But clearly Cora wasn't going to use another arm, or any of the "A" arms, once Valdez let a couple runners on and then lost the lead, and I actually don't blame Cora all things considered (he was more interested in re-setting the pen for the TB series).

Nor was it a "take one for the team" appearance in the 20-run game outing, until Valdez shat the bad and it was clear he wasn't gonna be pulled unless he, well, gave up like 18 runs. That Valdez appearance started out more as a "garbage time" appearance and turned into "take one for the team" appearance. That is, in each instance, he was the last Sox pitcher the game was going to see except in the event of an eventual tie, or allowing literally 18 runs. The fact that Cora let him dangle and just rack up the earned runs turned both appearances, in the end, into "take one for the team" appearances. Just to use the official advanced analytics lingo ....

Also know as wTOFT ... a simpler version of xWTOFT.
 

cantor44

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And an explanation for Valdez's appearance against Cleveland from BG:

Hansel Robles retired the side in order in a 6-5 game, and the plan was to have him go back out for the ninth. But he felt a little tightness behind his shoulder. It’s not believed to be anything serious, but the decision was made to take him out to ensure his availability for later in the week.

So Phillips Valdez warmed up quickly, went in the game, and allowed five runs. He was a victim of the situation.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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It's been discussed in various places but I'm about at the point that while I want Houck (and am bullish on his potential there) as a starter long term... we need him in the bullpen NOW and should just get Seabold up to make his starts.
Obviously if Seabold's first start went to shit it'd be considered a terrible call... but I believe the general view both here and in the FO is that Houck will be either coming out of the pen or be a 3 inning "opener"... it makes sense for the pen and for Houck to start moving in that direction.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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It's been discussed in various places but I'm about at the point that while I want Houck (and am bullish on his potential there) as a starter long term... we need him in the bullpen NOW and should just get Seabold up to make his starts.
Obviously if Seabold's first start went to shit it'd be considered a terrible call... but I believe the general view both here and in the FO is that Houck will be either coming out of the pen or be a 3 inning "opener"... it makes sense for the pen and for Houck to start moving in that direction.
Those seem to be reasonable thoughts. Any idea why the Sox aren’t doing that?
 

joe dokes

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Those seem to be reasonable thoughts. Any idea why the Sox aren’t doing that?
I'd guess at the obvious ones that apply to any similar situations.
They dont think Seabold is ready for MLB?
They dont want to throw a rookie into the middle of a pennant race?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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They threw Kutter Crawford into a situation. Seems like the two are pretty comparable. Based on the performance of the players have called up, it’s hard to have confidence that the Sox have really figured out who is ready and who is not.
 
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I don't think they are comparable. Sox Prospects has Seabold at number 8 in the farm system and Crawford 25th. Seabold was a third round draftee and Crawford 16th round. Somewhere I picked up the idea that Seabold was a big part of the Pivetta-Workman deal and not just a throw-in.

Seabold might have a future with the Sox. Crawford, who is sporting a 5.5 ERA with Worcester and is Rule 5 eligible this year probably does not
 

cantor44

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Provided that no one goes on the IL between now and the time the team activates Sale and Bloom, there's an interesting roster decision impending.

The Sox are currently carrying 13 position players and 15 pitchers. Sale comes back, and you demote Feliz. That's easy. Barnes comes back and you ....?:

- Demote Lopez and go to 12 position players and 16 pitchers?
- Or demote/DFA another pitcher? Braiser? Houck on a yo-yo? Release Perez?

What's the best solution?
 
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Red(s)HawksFan

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Provided that no one goes on the IL between now and the time the team activates Sale and Bloom, there's an interesting roster decision impending.

The Sox are currently carrying 13 position players and 15 pitchers. Sale comes back, and you demote Feliz. That's easy. Barnes comes back and you ....?:

- Demote Lopez and go to 12 position players and 16 pitchers?
- Or demote/DFA another pitcher? Braiser? Houck on a yo-yo? Release Perez?

What's the best solution?
Demoting Lopez is obviously what they'll do. He's only on the roster due to COVID rules so it's the simplest move, and they've been operating with a 3-man bench all year long so it's not like they'll be operating short-handed.

Alternatively, they could option any of the following: Davis, Hernandez, Brasier, Sawamura.

The real crunch comes when they have more players to return from the COVID IL than available 40-man roster spots. They have five guys out beyond the two you mention (I'm not counting Munoz since he'll just be freely dropped back to the minors), and there are presently only two guys on the roster provisionally (Lopez, Feliz) plus one free 40-man spot.
 

dynomite

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Demoting Lopez is obviously what they'll do. He's only on the roster due to COVID rules so it's the simplest move, and they've been operating with a 3-man bench all year long so it's not like they'll be operating short-handed.

Alternatively, they could option any of the following: Davis, Hernandez, Brasier, Sawamura.

The real crunch comes when they have more players to return from the COVID IL than available 40-man roster spots. They have five guys out beyond the two you mention (I'm not counting Munoz since he'll just be freely dropped back to the minors), and there are presently only two guys on the roster provisionally (Lopez, Feliz) plus one free 40-man spot.
I think this is right, but I hope they also demote/IL Brasier.

He’s been out the entire season and still isn’t right. His fastball — his bread and butter pitch — is down from last season (96.4 mph to ~95) and his SwStk rate has fallen off a cliff (~15% to ~6.5%). Even in a tiny sample of 4 IP that’s not good.

It’s not like we have a plethora of better options, but right now I can’t see him getting MLB hitters out consistently and we can’t afford to have him work himself back into shape in these next three weeks.
 
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chawson

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Provided that no one goes on the IL between now and the time the team activates Sale and Bloom, there's an interesting roster decision impending.

The Sox are currently carrying 13 position players and 15 pitchers. Sale comes back, and you demote Feliz. That's easy. Barnes comes back and you ....?:

- Demote Lopez and go to 12 position players and 16 pitchers?
- Or demote/DFA another pitcher? Braiser? Houck on a yo-yo? Release Perez?

What's the best solution?
Red(s)HawksFan has it, but I’ll add that Feliz is out of options and can’t be demoted.

It’s an incredibly minor subplot, but I’m kinda curious if Feliz is worth hanging onto as a back-of-the-bullpen guy next year, his final year before FA. He was considered a solid middle relief option (when he was traded for Gerrit Cole) He’s recovered some velocity and the Sox have overhauled his repertoire a bit, ramping up his offspeed usage. He’ll be cheaper than Brasier, who does not look rosterable, and he’s still only 28.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Red(s)HawksFan has it, but I’ll add that Feliz is out of options and can’t be demoted.

It’s an incredibly minor subplot, but I’m kinda curious if Feliz is worth hanging onto as a back-of-the-bullpen guy next year, his final year before FA. He was considered a solid middle relief option (when he was traded for Gerrit Cole) He’s recovered some velocity and the Sox have overhauled his repertoire a bit, ramping up his offspeed usage. He’s still only 28.
Feliz was promoted via the COVID IL provision, which means they can return him to the minor leagues without DFA or waivers. Options don't matter with him (though he actually does have options...all three, in fact).
 

chawson

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Aug 1, 2006
2,305
Feliz was promoted via the COVID IL provision, which means they can return him to the minor leagues without DFA or waivers. Options don't matter with him (though he actually does have options...all three, in fact).
Ah, my mistake. Thanks. Still unlikely but even better chance he could stick around then.
 

cantor44

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Dec 23, 2020
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Chicago, IL
Demoting Lopez is obviously what they'll do. He's only on the roster due to COVID rules so it's the simplest move, and they've been operating with a 3-man bench all year long so it's not like they'll be operating short-handed.

Alternatively, they could option any of the following: Davis, Hernandez, Brasier, Sawamura.

The real crunch comes when they have more players to return from the COVID IL than available 40-man roster spots. They have five guys out beyond the two you mention (I'm not counting Munoz since he'll just be freely dropped back to the minors), and there are presently only two guys on the roster provisionally (Lopez, Feliz) plus one free 40-man spot.
Probably right on Lopez down this weekend.

My guess is that Santana, Duran, and Aaruz can all go on rehab stints in AAA, and subsequently the team won't have to cut anyone prior to the playoffs to account for any of those guys (and the latter two can just be optioned there). If Lopez down when Barnes returns, THEN when Arroyo comes back, I figure they dump a pitcher, since they'd be carrying 16.

The squeeze comes if and when the team makes the post season, though Iglesias not eligible, so that simplifies things.