Where the Red Sox have gone wrong

Status
Not open for further replies.

Mueller's Twin Grannies

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 19, 2009
5,179
The Red Sox are currently tied with Texas as the fifth-best team in baseball. At what point should we stop saying things have “gone wrong” this season? When they make the playoffs? Or only if they win the wild card game?
Given how poorly they came out of the gate the the historical odds stacked against them, my answer is when they qualify for the playoffs. Anything less than that is going to be a disappointment and also mean middle of the road draft picks. That's not going right in my eyes.
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
19,447

Mueller's Twin Grannies

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 19, 2009
5,179
this is more filling column space than anything following another rough home series loss to an inferior team, but Pete considers selling if they're still playing like this in 3-4 weeks.

Well, in 3-4 weeks they'll have to be one or the other because 4 weeks from today is 10 days prior to the deadline and that doesn't really give a lot of leeway to wait and see. If they are at least 10 games over .500, buy if it makes sense. Otherwise, start mulling offers. Then again, some teams are already making deals so hesitation could be a killer for Boston.
 

patoaflac

Member
SoSH Member
May 6, 2016
1,734
this is more filling column space than anything following another rough home series loss to an inferior team, but Pete considers selling if they're still playing like this in 3-4 weeks.

If this was a scientific paper, Pete would have been destroyed by the reviewers.
1. Anything less than repeating as WS champs is a failure. Yeah right, if you lose a 7 game LCS or WS it is a failure. Come on, only one out of 30 teams wins the WS, so 29 fail every year, or do the Sox have now to be perfect?
2. Little chance the Sox could win a 5 game series against the Stros (3-7, in their last 10) or the MFY (let their thin pitching fade late in the season). Saying that in June is stupid, seasons are too long and a lot of things happen (1974 and 1978, are good examples for the Sox and there are many other examples in baseball, and now there are 2 wild card teams).
3. Mookie and JD are not playing with the same flair. That is true, but are we sure we will continue to see this underperformance. Maybe, but both are superstars that if not injured could rebound at any moment.
4. They are a decent team, but not a good one. Decent? No they are a team underperforming at every level. Hitters swing at pitches far from home plate and let strikes over the middle go by. Starters are not going deep into the game which taxes a mediocre bullpen night after night. Mental mistakes and field errors are the norm nowadays. If Sox starting pitchers perform at their level, no MFY pitcher could defeat Sale, Price, or Eovaldi and if all 25 play like they should, this team would be very difficult to defeat in a short series.
5. Hoarding prospects. Prospects are prospects and this team’s window is not very ample. Penalties in the luxury tax, besides the money could be a problem in the future, but what if you could win another WS.
6. The proposal to trade everyone. Laughable, to put a combination of Pawsox and Sea Dogs at Fenway.
Finally, John Henry, DD, et al. should trade for 2 good bullpen arms and forget about the luxury tax. I want, as many in here, another WS title and I want it now.
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
19,447
point 2 you make is my biggest complaint. If we make it the ALDS, at worst we're a 35% shot to make it through. that's baseball.
 

Green Monster

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 29, 2000
2,045
CT
This team is over priced and underperforming.

Sell.

The job of leadership is to recognize and deal with reality.
I could not agree more....my concern at this point is that they make a trade that represents some marginal improvement and further depletes the farm system. They thought they could squeeze another title run out of this group but it is just not going to happen. They have to make some tough decisions. The Yankees recognized reality a few years ago and ended up with Gleyber, Frazier, and a handful of others. I am not suggesting that the Sox have the pieces to get similar players as many of the obvious trade candidates are injured or not performing particularly well (Moreland, Pierce, Nunez, Thornburg). Others like Porcello, Bradley, Hembree, Workman, Holt might have some value..........JD has limited no-trade, and I am not ready to give up the idea of re-signing Mookie, but they would obviously command huge returns.
 
Last edited:

streeter88

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 2, 2006
984
Melbourne, Australia
They are tied for the 5th best record in the AL, not in all of MLB, in a league where 5 of the 15 teams are basically not trying.
And they just lost a series at home to one of those five teams. Which they would have won had they not let 7 runs score from the 7th inning on.

Bullpen seems spent, and it is still only June. Yeesh.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
10,371
Somewhere
With a team that is in playoff contention you do not sell, period.

It doesn't matter how well you build your system the fact is the stars don't align all that often so you have to take your chances now.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Mar 5, 2004
20,741
Saskatoon Canada
With a team that is in playoff contention you do not sell, period.

It doesn't matter how well you build your system the fact is the stars don't align all that often so you have to take your chances now.
I am a notorious "half empty" fan, but this is correct.

1. What can you do? I guess trade Porcello
2. This seems like a house money year, they won, are in cap mess, (made worse by Evoldi signing, granted) so will ride with they have and then have more flexibility to maybe take another serious run with this core.
 

donutogre

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
1,802
Philadelphia
I am a notorious "half empty" fan, but this is correct.

1. What can you do? I guess trade Porcello
2. This seems like a house money year, they won, are in cap mess, (made worse by Evoldi signing, granted) so will ride with they have and then have more flexibility to maybe take another serious run with this core.
This feels right to me, as well. In a lot of ways, this reminds me of 2005. A team that was still good enough to compete, but also one with a handful of fatal flaws. But I don't think selling makes sense.
 

chawson

Member
Aug 1, 2006
1,632
Benintendi since the ASB:

.277/.352/.411, 9 HR, .134 ISO in 587 PA.

His 103 RC+ is 50th out of 84 qualified outfielders over that time, and 16th out of 21 left-fielders (min 250 PAs).
 

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
10,763
St. Louis, MO
Benintendi since the ASB:

.277/.352/.411, 9 HR, .134 ISO in 587 PA.

His 103 RC+ is 50th out of 84 qualified outfielders over that time, and 16th out of 21 left-fielders (min 250 PAs).
Good question for a new thread but when does he make the leap or is this what he is? A still developing star or a Trot Nixon with less power?
 

FinanceAdvice

lurker
Apr 1, 2008
165
Albany, NY
I think in my humble opinion, the Red Sox are wrong in their bullpen usage. I still believe in this team and am convinced they will at least win the wild card BUT this closer by committee isn't working. Or so it seems to me that the Sox do not have a definitive closer. I say go with one man as your closer, be it Workman, Barnes or Brasier. This one up and one down does not seem to be working. I still think the can win the division with what I believe are 11 games left with the Yankees.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 19, 2009
5,179
I think in my humble opinion, the Red Sox are wrong in their bullpen usage. I still believe in this team and am convinced they will at least win the wild card BUT this closer by committee isn't working. Or so it seems to me that the Sox do not have a definitive closer. I say go with one man as your closer, be it Workman, Barnes or Brasier. This one up and one down does not seem to be working. I still think the can win the division with what I believe are 11 games left with the Yankees.

You don't say...

If you're going by save percentage, Brasier is still the best candidate (7 SV, 3 BS) of the ones that have been given the opportunities. If they aren't comfortable letting it be him, I think it's Taylor's turn.

Short of a trade, though, they aren't going to have a definitive closer for the rest of the season because Cora doesn't seem like he is interested in going back to the traditional closer designation and will continue to play matchups.
 

FinanceAdvice

lurker
Apr 1, 2008
165
Albany, NY
You don't say...

If you're going by save percentage, Brasier is still the best candidate (7 SV, 3 BS) of the ones that have been given the opportunities. If they aren't comfortable letting it be him, I think it's Taylor's turn.

Short of a trade, though, they aren't going to have a definitive closer for the rest of the season because Cora doesn't seem like he is interested in going back to the traditional closer designation and will continue to play matchups.
Thanks for your input. I believe in Cora and if it's his decision to go by match-ups (i.e. the case with Barnes the other night) so be it. I still like the traditional closer role. I like Brasier because I think he has the mental make-up as a closer.
 

absintheofmalaise

too many flowers
Dope
SoSH Member
Mar 16, 2005
12,966
The gran facenda
Thanks for your input. I believe in Cora and if it's his decision to go by match-ups (i.e. the case with Barnes the other night) so be it. I still like the traditional closer role. I like Brasier because I think he has the mental make-up as a closer.
How did you reach this conclusion? What does Brasier have mentally that someone like Barnes or Workman don't?
 

twibnotes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
18,093
How did you reach this conclusion? What does Brasier have mentally that someone like Barnes or Workman don't?
It’s impossible to prove mental toughness or lack thereof, but Barnes can’t close. His numbers when he pitches back to back nights are horrible.
 

FinanceAdvice

lurker
Apr 1, 2008
165
Albany, NY
How did you reach this conclusion? What does Brasier have mentally that someone like Barnes or Workman don't?
While I haven't seen much of him, I think his physical demeanor on the mound (facial and body language) speaks of an aggressive I can do it attitude. But I agree with other posters that it's hard to determine. If not Brasier, my second option is Workman based on ERA.
 

Pandarama

lurker
Aug 20, 2018
102
While I haven't seen much of him, I think his physical demeanor on the mound (facial and body language) speaks of an aggressive I can do it attitude. But I agree with other posters that it's hard to determine. If not Brasier, my second option is Workman based on ERA.
Is it fair to say, then, that Brasier has The Good Face?
 

Sampo Gida

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 7, 2010
5,038
If they dont do anything else they need to get an elite closer. That makes the rest of the bullpen better.

Yankees look to be having one of those years. Crazy lineup now that they are mostly healthy. Red Sox grab a WC spot, win it and beat them in the LDS or LCS. Anything can happen in the post season. It was good enough in 2004, so it will be in 2019
 

Doctor G

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 24, 2007
2,322
i would like to see a system of arranging the starters into 3 Starting teams of 2 guys each.For instance Sale/Eovaldi', Porcello/ Price ,Erod/Velasquez.Use Johnson and Wright as utility/long guys.Starting teams would ideally give you 7 innings which would give the bullpen a significant innings reduction. The designate relievers ato defined roles with one assigned closer.In other words treat the second half like game seven of the WS.
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
26,163
Stumbled across what I believe is the genuine Lou Merloni twitter account. Posted today:

If Dumbo waits any longer to add a couple big league arms, he may get to the point where he feels this team may not be worth it. If that’s the case he should look in the mirror when he asks why that is.
Should be an interesting time for Lou and DD at the breakfast buffet Sunday morning.
 
Last edited:

Pedroia's Itchy Nose

Member
SoSH Member
I know you guys mocked my use of Fangraph's clutch stat earlier, but it really does illustrate where things have gone wrong this season. The pitching in particular has been at its worst when it matters the most. Red Sox starters are dead last in the league and relievers are third from last in the league. Clutch measures a player's performance in high leverage situations against his own performance at baseline, so basically this shows us that over the course of the year the starters have been way worse than they should be when it really counts, and the relievers have been somewhat worse than they should be when it really counts.

The key question is whether this is describing an actual phenomenon that the team has some control over or whether it's just variance.

Red Sox starters, relievers, and hitters are 3rd, 5th, and 3rd in the league in fWAR. Sox fielders are 3rd in the league in UZR/150 and 5th in "Def" (whatever that is, I am definitely not as in the know on defensive stats). And yet the team's overall results don't match up.

The Sox are 3rd in hitting fWAR and 4th in wRC+ but 5th in runs. The pitching staff is 3rd in fWAR, 3rd in xFIP, 2nd in FIP, and 7th in ERA (also 7th in runs allowed).

Again, it's clear that on both sides of the ball there is a gap between the team's raw performance and outcomes. This is also reflected in the huge difference between the Sox's actual win % of .537 and 3rd order win% of .571.

I think any tactical argument that the team should be selling must start with a good explanation as to why this gap is anything but luck -- particularly given that the exact opposite thing happened last year (actual win % of .667 vs. 3rd order win% of .612) with largely the same personnel.

That being said, I think we should also consider a strategic argument for selling. To be clear, what I mean by a tactical argument is one largely concerned with the outcome of this season whereas a strategic argument is largely concerned with the overall direction of the franchise over the foreseeable future. It's possible that the strategic question deserves its own thread.

I'm not entirely sure when the Red Sox first started pursuing the strategy of "make the playoffs every year in perpetuity", but since the start of the 2003 the Sox have managed to compete in nearly every season, finishing out of the playoffs only 6 times in 17 tries, and only three of those seasons (last place finishes in '12, '14 and '15) were truly terrible. The other three misses were 2006 (86-76, 9 games out of a playoff spot), 2010 (89-73, 6 games out of playoff spot), and 2011 (90-72, 1 game out of a playoff spot). In both 2010 and 2011 the Sox would have made the play-in game under the current format.

Over the same time span, the Red Sox have finished 6th in MLB for opening day payroll once (2003), 4th four times, 3rd five times, 2nd five times, and first twice. In the three lost seasons of '12, '14, and '15 the Sox were 3rd, 4th, and 3rd in payroll respectively.

Basically, over this time span there have been no years in which the Red Sox have not tried to compete. For a large chunk of that time the Sox were able to supplement their relatively poor draft positions by first spending more on bonuses, and once that avenue closed the Sox moved on to spending on international talent. Now that strategy is also defunct.

So as it is, the Red Sox don't really have any particular advantage in terms of acquiring young talent, and young talent is becoming increasingly important to team success. The only members of the Red Sox current core that were acquired through free agency are, if I recall correctly, JDM and Price. I just don't see throwing money at free agents being a viable path to sustained success.

I think the Sox are looking at a very difficult situation on the horizon. The team's core is only getting older, and with the worst farm system in baseball by far there isn't much help coming down the pipeline. If not by intentionally rebuilding, how does the team avoid an extended period of mediocrity punctuated by a few seasons of wild card contention?

I'm certainly not saying that the team should tear it down now, but exactly what conditions actually merit a rebuild is a question worth considering.

I don't think that the approach of "never sell if you are in wildcard contention" is viable for a team like the Sox, which barring a particularly bad confluence of bad luck is probably always going to at least be arguably in contention for as long as the league's dynamic stays like it is now.
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
19,447
all of those stats means this team is capable of a huge run, but it's probably too late for the division. unless it's like the Dodgers a few years ago when they won like 40 of 50 games. hopefully that run comes in October instead and they just sneak / solidly have a WC before then.

as to why the luck has turned? is it just plain regression? I think the pen plan blowing up is a small factor also.

right now it feels like that run will never come...
 

effectivelywild

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
239
I know you guys mocked my use of Fangraph's clutch stat earlier, but it really does illustrate where things have gone wrong this season.
Yes. That is because clutch is a descriptive stat---it describes what already happened.

The pitching in particular has been at its worst when it matters the most. Red Sox starters are dead last in the league and relievers are third from last in the league. Clutch measures a player's performance in high leverage situations against his own performance at baseline, so basically this shows us that over the course of the year the starters have been way worse than they should be when it really counts, and the relievers have been somewhat worse than they should be when it really counts.
You just described how the clutch stat works. From the Fangraph's definition of clutch: "Clutch does a good job of describing the past, but it does very little towards predicting the future. Simply because one player was clutch at one point does not mean they will continue to perform well in high-leverage situations (and vice versa). Very few players have the ability to be consistently clutch over the course of their careers, and choking in one season does not beget the same in the future. "

Please continue.

The key question is whether this is describing an actual phenomenon that the team has some control over or whether it's just variance.
Here's where we get into actual data. Studies have found that a. "Clutch" may be real and b. it's effects are likely very small, and is at best limited to a few players. The following may be useful to you: http://www.espn.com/espn/page2/story?page=betweenthenumbers/ortiz/060405 and http://www.insidethebook.com/ee/index.php/site/article/clutch_skill_does_exist/


I think any tactical argument that the team should be selling must start with a good explanation as to why this gap is anything but luck -- particularly given that the exact opposite thing happened last year (actual win % of .667 vs. 3rd order win% of .612) with largely the same personnel.
PIN, you just really answered your question right there. That's one of the big pieces of data as to why "clutch" as a team characteristic, is more about luck than an individual skill. If a team is particularly "clutch" one season, it has essentially no bearing on how "clutch" they will be the next season. You just proved the inverse hypothesis! The data supports this!


Buried behind your defense of clutch is a more relevant strategic point: "What is the value of staying 'in wildcard contention' vs. doing a limited sell off?" That's the really tricky dynamic the Red Sox are dealing with right now. I would say that most posters on here say "hey, if you can make the playoffs, you gotta do it; in baseball anything can happen." We saw some of that last year actually---the team looked great but everyone was saying "anything can happen in the playoffs, so let's not get cocky." Obviously, making it to the WC game makes life harder, but all it takes is a few (CLUTCH) performances for things to break one way or the other.

Right now, in the next few weeks, the Red Sox will have to do some complicated calculus: What is the potential FCPA (future championship probability added) vs CCPA (current championship probability added) for buying vs. selling vs. standing pat. That's a hard question! Complicating things is something that you noted---the core ain't getting younger. I think where you are getting some of your mockery is that you are taking a team that a. Given neutral luck, should be doing better than it currently is and b. may have a kinda narrow window and are saying that this is the time to sell. It is possible to contend, each year, even doing both buying and selling. The Yankees, certainly, have benefited from shrewd moves for the last several years, while mostly remaining in contention. But I think its hard to argue that now is the time to make the decision---if anything, the team's underlying stats and currently limited window suggest that now is the time to be buyers---flags fly forever!---rather than selling. Of course, if in a couple of weeks they are fading out of the WC, its totally reasonable for them to see what kind of return they could get for a few guys, ala the Yanks.
 

Pedroia's Itchy Nose

Member
SoSH Member
Yes. That is because clutch is a descriptive stat---it describes what already happened.

...

You just described how the clutch stat works. From the Fangraph's definition of clutch: ...

...
For what it's worth I never intended to suggest that team clutch might be predictive -- kinda the whole point of my argument was that one of the largest and most obvious reasons why the Sox have struggled relative to last year was that the team was lucky last year and unlucky this year, and the team clutch stat describes that very well. The fact that it's very likely not predictive is kinda the point. For all the people out there claiming that the team is bad, I think for that argument to hold water they need to provide some sort of substantive evidence to support that position.

I just find it a bit disappointing that the "sell now!" crowd is largely ignoring the most likely explanation for the team's troubles while the "never sell!" crowd is ignoring the more substantive question that will eventually motivate a rebuild (either now or likely in the near future).
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
6,328
2018 vs. 2019

Nunez
2018: .265/.289/.388/.677, 80 ops+
2019: .235/.252/.320/.572, 48 ops+

Benintendi
2018: .290/.366/.465/.830, 122 ops+
2019: .275/.356/.434/.790, 105 ops+

Betts
2018: .346/.438/.640/1.078, 185 ops+
2019: .261/.381/.453/.835, 117 ops+

Martinez
2018: .330/.402/.629/1.031, 172 ops+
2019: .298/.374/.549/.923, 137 ops+

Pearce
2018: .279/.394/.507/.901, 140 ops+
2019: .180/.245/.258/.503, 32 ops+ (plus being hurt)

Barnes
2018: 3.65 era, 121 era+, 1.27 whip
2019: 4.93 era, 97 era+, 1.36 whip

Brasier
2018: 1.60 era, 277 era+, 0.77 whip
2019: 3.41 era, 140 era+, 1.14 whip

Sale
2018: 2.11 era, 209 era+, 0.86 whip
2019: 3.82 era, 124 era+, 1.03 whip

Porcello
2018: 4.28 era, 103 era+, 1.18 whip
2019: 5.07 era, 94 era+, 1.40 whip

Velazquez
2018: 3.18 era, 139 era+, 1.27 whip
2019: 5.31 era, 90 era+, 1.30 whip

Rodriguez
2018: 3.82 era, 116 era+, 1.27 whip
2019: 4.79 era, 99 era+, 1.36 whip

Eovaldi
2018: 3.33 era, 133 era+, 1.28 whip
2019: 6.00 era, 80 era+, 1.52 whip (plus being hurt)

Johnson
2018: 4.17 era, 106 era+, 1.43 whip
2019: 6.43 era, 75 era+, 2.00 whip


So in some cases, great players are doing ok, but it's still a significant drop-off. And in other cases, mediocre players are performing at horrifically bad levels, and it's a significant drop-off. We can complain all we want about how this team is structured, but there are a TON of guys in their usual roles that are just seriously underperforming compared to last year. With, of course, predictable results. I mean, it's not just bench guys underperforming. There are some star players that are way off from last year: Betts, Martinez (more Betts than Martinez but still), Sale, even Porcello.
 

bosox79

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
10,441
2018 vs. 2019

Nunez
2018: .265/.289/.388/.677, 80 ops+
2019: .235/.252/.320/.572, 48 ops+

Benintendi
2018: .290/.366/.465/.830, 122 ops+
2019: .275/.356/.434/.790, 105 ops+

Betts
2018: .346/.438/.640/1.078, 185 ops+
2019: .261/.381/.453/.835, 117 ops+

Martinez
2018: .330/.402/.629/1.031, 172 ops+
2019: .298/.374/.549/.923, 137 ops+

Pearce
2018: .279/.394/.507/.901, 140 ops+
2019: .180/.245/.258/.503, 32 ops+ (plus being hurt)

Barnes
2018: 3.65 era, 121 era+, 1.27 whip
2019: 4.93 era, 97 era+, 1.36 whip

Brasier
2018: 1.60 era, 277 era+, 0.77 whip
2019: 3.41 era, 140 era+, 1.14 whip

Sale
2018: 2.11 era, 209 era+, 0.86 whip
2019: 3.82 era, 124 era+, 1.03 whip

Porcello
2018: 4.28 era, 103 era+, 1.18 whip
2019: 5.07 era, 94 era+, 1.40 whip

Velazquez
2018: 3.18 era, 139 era+, 1.27 whip
2019: 5.31 era, 90 era+, 1.30 whip

Rodriguez
2018: 3.82 era, 116 era+, 1.27 whip
2019: 4.79 era, 99 era+, 1.36 whip

Eovaldi
2018: 3.33 era, 133 era+, 1.28 whip
2019: 6.00 era, 80 era+, 1.52 whip (plus being hurt)

Johnson
2018: 4.17 era, 106 era+, 1.43 whip
2019: 6.43 era, 75 era+, 2.00 whip


So in some cases, great players are doing ok, but it's still a significant drop-off. And in other cases, mediocre players are performing at horrifically bad levels, and it's a significant drop-off. We can complain all we want about how this team is structured, but there are a TON of guys in their usual roles that are just seriously underperforming compared to last year. With, of course, predictable results. I mean, it's not just bench guys underperforming. There are some star players that are way off from last year: Betts, Martinez (more Betts than Martinez but still), Sale, even Porcello.
Team OPS+, ERA+
2018: 111, 118
2019: 107, 106

Interesting side note: The team is slashing .269/.344/.457 for an OPS of .801 and an OPS+ of 107.
Last year, the team slashed .268/.339/.453 for an OPS of .792 and had an OPS+ of 111.

The league as a whole is slashing .252/.322/.431 this year as opposed to .248/.318/.409 last year.
 

Sampo Gida

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 7, 2010
5,038
Aside from adding an elite BP arm I dont think DD could have done anymore.

JDM, Betts and Sale all have had significant fall offs from last year. Some others have underperformed. XB has been great. Price has done well.

Maybe Cora deserves some of the blame for the slow start but its July and they have been relatively healthy. They should be firing on all cylinders now

The cup cakes they face until the ASB should help them tune up for the 2nd half. I still like their chances of grabbing a WC spot but the 2nd half looks like a tougher schedule
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
10,998
Maine
Aside from adding an elite BP arm I dont think DD could have done anymore.

JDM, Betts and Sale all have had significant fall offs from last year. Some others have underperformed. XB has been great. Price has done well.

Maybe Cora deserves some of the blame for the slow start but its July and they have been relatively healthy. They should be firing on all cylinders now

The cup cakes they face until the ASB should help them tune up for the 2nd half. I still like their chances of grabbing a WC spot but the 2nd half looks like a tougher schedule
I'm not sure an "elite BP arm" would have made that much of a difference to this point. The pen didn't really start giving up leads (and racking up their league high BS) until 6-8 weeks into the season when the overload of innings caught up to them. Whatever elite guy they may have signed would have been caught up in that same as the rest.

The overload on the pen has been caused by one starter going on the IL in April that they've yet to adequately replace (in part because their #6 was already on the shelf) and under-performance by half the guys that remain.

I'm not sure I'd say they've been relatively healthy either. In addition to the issues in the rotation, the right side of the infield has accounted for a lot of games spent on the IL (Pedroia, Holt, Nunez, Hernandez, Lin, Moreland, and Pearce). If they can get relatively healthy, which I think means getting Moreland back at the very least since Holt and Nunez and Hernandez are healthy now, then I think the offense will really start clicking.
 
Jul 5, 2018
221
Team OPS+, ERA+
2018: 111, 118
2019: 107, 106

Interesting side note: The team is slashing .269/.344/.457 for an OPS of .801 and an OPS+ of 107.
Last year, the team slashed .268/.339/.453 for an OPS of .792 and had an OPS+ of 111.

The league as a whole is slashing .252/.322/.431 this year as opposed to .248/.318/.409 last year.

As far as runs scored the Sox are a little bit ahead of last year's average pace. It's runs allowed that's hurting them. The pitchers, including unearned runs, allowed 647 last year, but are on a pace for 804 this year.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,078
point 2 you make is my biggest complaint. If we make it the ALDS, at worst we're a 35% shot to make it through. that's baseball.
Where do you come up with that?

If you assume all rounds are a coin flip, then the odds of winning the World Series after getting to the ALDS are 1/8 or 12.5%.

If they have to get to the ALDS through the wild card game, that reduces the odds of winning the World Series to 1/16, or 6.25%.

It’s not worth trading prospects to have a better chance at making the wild card game.
 

bosox79

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
10,441
Where do you come up with that?

If you assume all rounds are a coin flip, then the odds of winning the World Series after getting to the ALDS are 1/8 or 12.5%.

If they have to get to the ALDS through the wild card game, that reduces the odds of winning the World Series to 1/16, or 6.25%.

It’s not worth trading prospects to have a better chance at making the wild card game.
Not for short term rentals, anyway. Some guys named (that probably aren't really on the market) like Felipe Vazquez and Matthew Boyd would be worth the prospects.
 

DeadlySplitter

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 20, 2015
19,447
35% just to make it through the ALDS, is what I meant.

no matter how lopsided two teams are in a playoff series, the underdog has a pretty good shot. that's the scary thing when you're the "1 seed" in baseball, it's not like the NFL.
 

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
10,763
St. Louis, MO
35% just to make it through the ALDS, is what I meant.

no matter how lopsided two teams are in a playoff series, the underdog has a pretty good shot. that's the scary thing when you're the "1 seed" in baseball, it's not like the NFL.
Which makes you appreciate 2007/2013/2018. Top seed each time and took care of business.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
6,328
Which makes you appreciate 2007/2013/2018. Top seed each time and took care of business.
2018 especially. The more you look at last year's team, the more you (generic "you"; I'm not singling you out personally) should appreciated them.

- 108 wins and easily could have been, what, 110-112 if they had not taken their foot off the gas?
- Historically great season from Mookie.
- 11-3 record in the postseason, were never facing elimination, and beat two 100-win teams in the AL and then beat the defending NL champs (who look like they're rolling to that again this year).
- Plus-33 run differential in the playoffs (average of +2.4 per game) in those 14 games.
- Along the way they went 4-1 against CYA winners (2-0 vs Kershaw, 1-1 vs Verlander, 1-0 vs Sabathia).
- 7-1 on the road in the playoffs; the only game on the road they lost was the 3-2 game in 18 innings.

Just an absolutely epic, all-time great, performance by a major-league baseball team. Truly one of the greatest seasons any baseball team has ever had.
 

sean1562

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 17, 2011
2,636
I understand that JBJ is a very streaky hitter, but he is in his prime now, no? Are his best days behind him?
 

Hawk68

lurker
Feb 29, 2008
172
Massachusetts
JBJ best days behind him?
2017 Age 27 OPS+ 89
2018 Age 28 OPS+ 91
2019 Age 29 OPS+ 89
All over 1418 PA.

He is what his numbers say he is.
 

JMDurron

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
4,749
Montgomery, Alabama
As far as runs scored the Sox are a little bit ahead of last year's average pace. It's runs allowed that's hurting them. The pitchers, including unearned runs, allowed 647 last year, but are on a pace for 804 this year.
Building on this point, according to b-ref, the Red Sox are currently 15th in the AL in Defensive Efficiency (% of BIP converted into outs). This despite the team only being 8th in runs allowed per game, 6th in errors, and tied for 9th in fielding %.

It's possible that the combination of range issues at some defensive positions (Nunez at 2B, Bogaerts not being the rangiest SS, lack of experience at 1B, possible reduced range in the OF due to age) and pitchers like Sale and Porcello persistently giving up more hard contact than they have previously have created a situation where as bad as the runs allowed situation looks to be right now, the actual performance by the team's defense + pitching might be worse than the results of that performance to date.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.