Red Sox Bullpen Paying Dividends

With the baseball season a quarter of the way over, the Red Sox are game and a half behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. One reason for their early season success is the performance of the bullpen. In this post, we will examine three reasons why the Red Sox bullpen is paying dividends.

Offseason Signings Stepping Up

In the off_ season, the organization shored up the bullpen significantly. Adam Ottavino, Matt Andriese, and Garrett Whitlock have stepped up. Rule 5 pickup Garrett Whitlock has been one of the best relievers in baseball. Ex Yankee Adam Ottavino has been lights out in his last dozen appearances. Right_ hander Matt Andriese has been up and down. If the team wants to retake first place, the bullpen will have to continue to pitch on a high level.

Matt Barnes Having All_ Star Season

The veteran reliever is experiencing an All_Star season In 23 games he is 1-1 with a nifty 2.63 ERA. His 11 saves rank him at the top in MLB. If he stays on his current pace he will be the difference between the club having a winning season. Statistically, the team has a 2.84 ERA the seventh _best in baseball.

Bullpen Has Depth

The unit has been receiving valuable contributions from Darwinzon Hernandez, Hirokazu Sawamura, Phillips Valdez, and Darwinzon Hernandez. Hernandez has been Alex Cora’s most electrifying reliever. At some point, I feel Hernandez will be a starter with his proficiency.

Conclusion

If the team hopes to make the playoffs, it will fall on the pitching. The Red Sox has been enjoying quality starts from Nick Pivetta, Nathan Eovaldi, and Garrett Richards. Richards has turned his season around after a disappointing start. A consistent bullpen is a priority for a rewarding post_season.

3 Issues Concerning Red Sox Pitching

After 37 games, there are 3 issues concerning Red Sox pitching. With a 22-15 record they are 2 games ahead of the Yankees. Most fans would be ecstatic. Compared to last season the team is far ahead of expectations. In this post, we will evaluate the Red Sox, pitching staff.

3 Issues Concerning Red Sox Pitching

Logjam Of Pitchers

Considering the team is the best hitting team in the league, they are carrying 13 pitchers. With managers carrying 27 players, the starters are getting pulled too early. With 5 starting pitchers 8 are sitting in the bullpen.

In, the last 10 games the starters have gone 5 innings putting pressure on the offense. Burning out the bullpen early is not a healthy scenario. With a 162 game schedule getting pulled after 5 innings won’t cut it in July and August. Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Pivetta are both undefeated but have struggled after the 5th inning.

Garrett Whitlock/Shining Star

Rule 5 acquisition Garrett Whitlock has been the team’s shining star. With an impressive 0.63 ERA and 19 strikeouts, Whitlock has been one of the best relievers in baseball. Averaging 2 innings per appearance he has paved the way for Matt Barnes.

If Whitlock can stay on his current pace he will be a lock for the AL All_Star team. He has been a shining star. Matt Barnes has been stellar has a closer.

Help In The Pipeline

It’s still far to early to predict where the Red Sox will finish. One fact for sure is the starters need to go deeper into games. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez seems to be healthy after a stint with Coved 19. Will his strong outings continue?

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Chris Sale who missed all of 2020 has started throwing off the mound. I do not expect Sale to be activated until September at the earliest. So where does that leave Alex Cora? Pitchers Tanner Houck and Eduardo Bazardo were up earlier but got sent back down. Either one is ready. The team claimed Brandon Workman off waivers from the Cubs.

My gut feeling is it will be Brandon Workman or Connor Seabold. Seabold was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies last July for Workman.

Conclusion

If the club expects to make the playoffs, it starts with the pitching. Manager Alex Cora has been pulling his starters too early. Garrett Richard’s last two outings have been superb. Relying on the bullpen too early and often may result in disappointment.

Pitching Will Determine Red Sox Success In 2021

The Red Sox are off to a torrid start in 2021. Starting pitching will determine Red Sox’s success in 2021. Compared to last season the team has three dependable starters. The key element in the pitching will come from the fourth and fifth starters. Newly acquired Garrett Richards and Martin Perez round out the staff. In this post, we will review the organization’s starting pitching.

Five Quality Starters

In 2020, the starting pitching was non _existent. They shut down Chris Sale with Tommy John issues. Eduardo Rodriguez was out with Coved 19. This season Eduardo Rodriguez is 2-0 and healthy. Nathan Eovaldi is pitching well.

The latter part of the staff, Garrett Richards and Martin Perez have been inconsistent. Garrett Richards is struggling. Lefty Martin Perez has been OK. Prospect Tanner Houck is starting Sunday against Chicago.

Well Balanced Offense

In, 2021 the team’s 356 ERA is the fifth_ best in the league. Offensively, the club ranks first in the league in slugging percentage, OBP, and team average 273. They have 16 home runs, which are fifth in the league.

The offense will be a significant factor for the Red Sox this season. Third baseman Rafael Devers is one of the best hitters in the game. Designated hitter JD Martinez has gotten off to an excellent start. Manager Alex Cora has gotten huge contributions from Marwin Gonzalez, Alex Verdugo, and Christian Vazquez. Depth is essential for any hopes of making the playoffs.

Bullpen Depth

The Red Sox are carrying 14 pitchers. In, 14 games the bullpen has been sensational. Veteran Matt Barnes has appeared in six _games and has a 0.00 ERA with 1 win and 2 saves. Rule 5 draftee Garrett Whitlock is turning heads. Whitlock was selected by the Red Sox from the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft. Veteran Matt Andriese has contributed significantly.

Conclusion

Any hopes of a deep playoff run hinges on the starting pitching. Offensively, they are the best in the league. With, Alex Cora at the helm, the future is bright.

Five Free Agent Fits For The 2021 Red Sox

With baseball free agency around the corner, it’s time to predict what the 2121 Red Sox roster may look like. With only $25,000,000 to spend they have a lot of holes to fill. The first order of business is to address the second base position. A long time favorite Dustin Pedroia career may be over. Another area is pitching. Boston had one of the worst bullpens in baseball last season. Overall, they squandered 25 blown saves. With no closer insight, the team will have to search elsewhere.

Five Free Agent Fits For The 2021 Red Sox

Anthony Descalfani

This would be a reclamation project. Descalfani has been injury_ riddled the past two seasons. In 2020 he finished with a 1-2 record and a 7.22 ERA. The lanky right _hander would be a bargain.

In 2020 Descalfani had a disappointing season. He only appeared in 9 games due to a strain in his right shoulder. Given the right situation, he could be a perfect candidate as a fourth or fifth starter.

His current salary with the Reds last season was $5.9. This would be an ideal signing for the Red Sox. The knock_ on Descalfani is he has a high walk ratio of 10%. When healthy, he throws with good velocity averaging 93

Chris Archer

Red Sox General manager is very familiar with Chris Archer. The long time Devil Ray was dealt to Pittsburgh two_years ago. He missed the entire 2020 season due to numbness in the fingers.

A fresh start would be the best alternative for Archer. I look for him to return to the AL East where he once one of the best Rays pitchers on the staff. At $11,000,000 he would be the perfect one or two _year deal fit. When he’s healthy he eats up a lot of innings. This is a department the Red Sox sorely lacked in 2020.

Jackie Bradley Jr

This is a must signing. Forget signing George Springer or Michael Brantley. At 30 years old Bradley is the best all _around center fielder in baseball. He wins more games with his glove and arm than anyone.

A career 239 hitter Bradley also has a 412 slugging and 321 OBP. At $6,000,000 he is still the best deal on the market. He would be a perfect short term deal until Jared Duran or Gilberto Jiminez are ready. He’s also a threat on the basepaths.

For several years,

Bradley has been the talk of trade rumors. A personal favorite of mine Bradley is one of the game’s streakiest hitters. Also, one of the team’s leaders on and off the field.

Cesar Hernandez/2b/Indians

A true second baseman, he would add a spark to the Red Sox lineup. A veteran of eight major league seasons. He broke in with the Phillies and signed with Cleveland as a free agent in 2020.

Would be a great fit as the team’s leadoff hitter. A career 277 hitter and 352 OBP/ and 383 SLG. Hernandez can provide speed and is an excellent situational hitter.

With a cap hit of $7.75.000,000, he would be the perfect substitute until Jeter Downs is ready. He is an excellent bunter which would be a bonus with the club’s lineup. Has a career 80 stolen base

Christian Arroyo/ Inf/ Red Sox

This may be the best alternative for the Red Sox. Christian Arroyo joined the team in early 2020 after being released by Tampa. Even though he appeared in only 20 games it’s his defensive skills that caught management’s eye.

career _wise Arroyo is a 219 hitter with 9 home runs and 35 RBI’s. As a player, Arroyo provides versatility playing multiple positions. If Arroyo has a good spring training he could prove to be a diamond in the rough.

conclusion

Red Sox President Chaim Boom has a difficult task rebuilding the current roster. With $25,000,000 available the organization can only get better. The club finished with the fourth _worst record in baseball last season.

If pitchers Chris Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez can bounce back from injuries the rebuild should be easier. Promising youngsters such as Bobby Dalbec and Tanner Houck give Red Sox fans hope for a bright future.

Dismal Red Sox Season Ends On Several Positives

For the fourth time in nine _years, the Red Sox have finished in last place. However, with some talented prospects, things are looking up. Priority number one is to find a new manager. In this post, we will review How a dismal Red Sox Season Ended on Several Positives.                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                        Dismal Red Sox Season Ends On Several Positives                               

                                                                                                                                                                                   Search For A New Manager Since 20012 the Red Sox has gone through four managers. This year the victim was Ron Roenicke.   Roenicke guided the organization to a 24-36 record. Fourth worst record in the Majors.

For starters, the club added more depth to the organization.  Prospect Tanner Houck was dominating in three starts. While posting a 3-0 record Houck solidified himself as a starter, next year.

As the season progressed, the team added Christian Arroyo, Yairo Munoz, and catcher Deivy Grullon from St. Louis.They made trades.The team sent favorite Mitch Moreland to San Diego. In return, the Red Sox Received prospects Hudson Potts ss/ and outfielder Jeisson Rosario.

Several managerial candidates are  Jason Varitek, Sam Fuld/Phillies  James Rowson/Twins bench coach, Matt Quatraro/Rays bench coach, Luis Ureta Columbian baseball coach. Myself personally I think it will be Rays coach Matt Quatraro.

Restocked System  Since Chaim Bloom took over, the organization has restocked. With a thin depth chart, the team is ready to promote its younger players. The most recent was Tanner Houck. In three appearances Houck dominated opponents. Finishing 3-0 he is in the starting mix next season.

Other names to monitor are Jay Groome/pitcher, Bryan Mata Pitcher, Jeter Downs 2b/ss. Hudson Potts/ss. Also, Jarren Duran outfielder. Look for Chaim Bloom to trade anybody this offseason.

No Player Is Untouchable With a poor showing last season, no player is untouchable. That includes Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts, and JD Martinez. Overall, the fan base is dwindling.

Conclusion  The year 2020 was different. The virus reduced the season to 60 games. Players had to be tested daily. Travel was limited. Teams like the Marlins canceled games. Yet, the season went on. The performance in 2020 was ugly to say the least. There is a reason for optimism next year.

Chaim Bloom Begins His Restructuring Process OF The Red Sox

The Red Sox officially entered the midseason trade market. Friday the team sent Pitchers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree to the Phillies for Nicki Pivetta and Connor Seabold. The RedSox get a  mid_rotaion starter in Pivetta and a future starter in Seabold. In this post, we will evaluate three possible trade chips the Red Sox have to work with.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Chaim Bloom Begins His Restructuring  Process Of The Red Sox                                                                                                                                                                            

   Brandon Workman/Heath Hembree   Since his rookie season in 2013, Brandon Workman has been a workhorse for the organization. He enjoyed his best season in 2019 posting a 10-1  and a 1.88 ERA and 16 saves. Ditto for Heath Hembree. Hembree was acquired from San Fransisco in 2014 for Jake Peavy. In seven seasons Hembree pitched in 251 career games for Boston. This season, he posted a 2-0 record and 2 saves.

The Phillies have the worst bullpen in baseball. In getting Workman and Hembree the staff will be that much better. Workman is a free agent after 2020, while Hembree is one after the 2023 season.

 

Jackie Bradley, Andrew Benintendi, Kevin Pillar  There is a good possibility that one of the three will be traded. Andrew Benintendi is on the 10 days DL. He is off to his worst start a major leaguer. Before his injury, he was batting 103/314OBP/128 SLG.  In two seasons, his production has regressed.  Currently, Benintendi is in the middle, of a two_year contract.

A second option for the team is Jackie Bradley. He started off the year hot but since is in a moderate slump. He still wins games with his glove and is fun to watch. Career _wise, Bradley is 236BA/317OBP/406 SLG.

Another player to keep an eye on is Kevin Pillar. In the offseason Pillar signed an one_year deal.  He is a free agent after the season. At 31 years old he would bring you the most value in a trade.    He is one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball.

This is where it gets tricky. Martinez is in the middle of a long_term deal. He has the option of opting in or staying. As of now, he is one of the team’s hottest hitters. His home run swing is coming back. Look for Martinez to remain with the team.

Conclusion; The organization is off to the worst start in years. Look for Chaim Bloom to move anyone in order to be more competitive.

be competitive.

Grading The Red Sox 2020 Draft Class

Last week the MLB held the yearly draft process. The Red Sox selected four prospects. First _year GM Chaim Bloom selected two high school prospects as well as two talented college prospects. The Red Sox were penalized a pick, due to their participation cheating in the 2018 World Series. In this post, we will review each prospect.

Grading The Red Sox 2020 Draft Class                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                                                         Nick Yorke The 17th selection in the draft. Nick Yorke was well ahead of himself as a hitter. The second baseman for Arch Bishop Mitty High School in California is remarkably plate disciplined. He has a short compact swing and makes excellent contact.

As a fielder, he has excellent hands and quick feet. Recruited by Arizona, he may sign with the organization this summer. General Manager Chaim Bloom was impressed with his maturity.                                                                                       

                                                                                                                                                                              BlazeJordan  One of the youngest players in the draft, Jordan is noted for his power.  In four years at Desoto high school, Jordan Finished with 19 home runs,98 rbi’s, and an impressive 440 batting average.                                                                                                       

As a third baseman, he was one of the best fielders in the state. with the certainty of MLB look for Jordan to attend college at Mississippi State.      

                                                                                                                                                                                   Shane  Drohan With the 148th pick, the Red Sox selected Shane Drohan of Florida State University. If all goes well, Drohan will be a third or fourth starter. He possesses three pitches a fastball, slider, and changeup. Noted for his athletic skills, Drohan is also a dominant fielding pitcher.   

In four years at FSU Drohan pitched 22 appearances striking out 72  batters and finishing with a 4.98 ERA.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jeremy Wu Yelland, This player was selected with the organization’s 4th pick.  Noted for his versatility Wu Yelland contributed both as a starter and reliever for the University of Hawaii. The Red Sox see Wu Yelland as a long reliever.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He also spent some time in the Cape Cod League for the Chatham Angels.  In 2019 Wu Yelland finished the campaign with a 2-1 record and a 3.15 ERA. He also struck out 26 batters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Future With MLB at a standstill, these draft picks may not see any action at all this summer. General Manager Chaim Bloom did a significant job in drafting needs. Look for the two high school players to attend college. Overall, the Red Sox get a B- for this year’s draft class.

   Grading The 2020 Red Sox Draft Class

Why The Red Sox Farm System Is Not As Bleak As Fans Realize

With the Pandemic still halting all baseball operations, it’s time to get into some baseball talk. With the Red Sox losing one of the games brightest stars in Mookie Betts Its time to look at the future. In this post, we will evaluate some prospects in the Red Sox system. I will focus on pitching.                                 Why The Red Sox Farm System Is Not As Bleak As Fans Realize                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Jay Groome    Jay Groome was the team’s number one draft pick in 2016. Hampered by injuries Groome is slowly working his way back. Noted for his curveball, his fastball ranges in the mid too high 90’s. His third pitch is a changeup that has been clocked between86 and 88 mph.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      With his massive frame 6’5″ 2301bs he could possibly be a late_ season call up. Noted for his strong work ethic, the organization has been impressed with his progress.

 

Jarren Duran/Gilberto Jiminez cf  Both prospects are blessed with superior athleticism. The edge goes to Duran. Although he does not hit for power, he is noted for his short sweet stroke. Will most likely be a spray hitter when he reaches the majors.  Duran has the tools to be an everyday centerfielder.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gilberto Jiminez is the fastest player in the organization. Like Duran, he not hit for power.  Being more of singles and doubles hitter, his unique speed will make him an offensive threat.

Noah Song  Pitcher One of the most promising pitchers in the organization. Noah Song was drafted 4th in the 2019 draft out of the Naval academy. With his wide frame 6’3″ 200lbs Songs fastball clocks between 95-97.                                                                                                                                                                                                        In Lowell, last season Song finished with a 1.06 ERA in 17 total innings pitched. If Song can stay healthy he could be a top of the rotation starter by 2022. The last starter developed by Boston was John Lester.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Tanner Houck pitcher Tanner Houck is another I testing prospect. With excellent size6’3″ 220 lbs Houck is projected to be a reliever. His three bread and butter pitches are the slider and fastball.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In three years Houck has progressed well compiling 15-20 wins and losses and a 4.06 ERA. If the season is salvaged Houck could make his way to Fenway in September.

The Pandemic  If and when baseball returns, the Red Sox have their work cut out for them. With Toronto and the Yankees getting betting the organization may have to count on their farm system to keep them competitive.

Red Sox 2020 Roster Projections

 

With the 2020 MLB season two_weeks away, the Red Sox are facing many questions moving forward. Interim manager Ron Reoenickie has many difficult questions to solve. Starting pitcher Chris Sale’s future is in doubt. Star player Mookie Betts is a  Dodger along with David Price. Pitcher Rick Porcello is a Met. Popular utility man Brock Holt is a Brewer. In this post, we will examine three areas facing the Red Sox this season. 

Red Sox 2020 Roster Projections                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Starting Pitching   With starting pitcher Chris Sale’s future in doubt  finding a starting pitcher is need number one. Currently, the team’s top three starters are Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi,, and Martin Perez. Fighting it out for athe fourth and fifth spots are Ryan Weber and Brian Johnson. Johnson has been injury_ prone for the past two years. Weber has been impressive in spring training and may earn himself a spot. If all goes as planned, the Red Sox could start the season with five starters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Relief Pitching    So far this spring training, relief pitching, has been one of the club’s strengths. With no closer, the Sox will turn to Brandon Workman. Workman was Stellar in 2019 with a 10-1 record.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Fighting it out for the middle relief are, Heath Hembree, Matt Barnes, Marcus Walden, Josh Oscich, Chris Mazza, Josh Taylor, and Darwinzon Hernandez. With rosters set for 26 players, look for the organization to take twelve pitchers north.  Look for Hernandez to stick with the club. Hernandez joined the team last season and made an immediate impression.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Offensive Production   The loss of star player Mookie Betts will hurt. The club was third in the league b hitting 269 last summer. Replacing Betts is injured Alex Verdugo, obtained in the deal from the Dodgers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The team still has JD Martinez, Xander Bogarts, and Rafael Devers to supply the power. If the team does not get off to a good start, there is depth in Pawtucket.  Prospects Bobby Dalbec and Josh Okimey are ready. Both supply power.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     The future  The key to any winning season depends on the pitching. The uncertainty of Chris Sale could determine the outcome of the season. Depth wise the team does not have much in the minors. Interim manager Ron Roenicke has an arduous task of putting together a playoff_ caliber team.                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

What The Red Sox Receive In Return For Mookie Betts And David Price

With last week’s blockbuster trade between the Dodgers and Red Sox fans are apprehensive. In 2019 they finished in third place at 84-78. Injuries to the starting pitching hindered any hope of repeating. Hopefully, Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi can stay healthy. In this post, we will examine three areas why the organization benefitted in the Mookie Betts trade.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What The Red Sox receive In the Mookie Betts And David Price Trade                                                                                                                                                                                      Prospects   Their is a saying in baseball that prospects mean nothing.  This may be true with this trade. On the flip side, Dustin Pedroia’s career is over. The club has no real back up catcher behind Christian Vazquez. Kevin Plawecki was signed during the off_ season. Plawecki is a career 218  hitter spending time with the Mets and Indians.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         In return for Betts and Price, the Sox receive Catcher Connor Wong and infielder Jeter Downs. In three minor league seasons, Wong is a career 275 hitter. He has some pop with 48 home runs. Downs can play either shortstop or second base.  In a couple of years, Downs could be the starting second baseman The third player Alex Verdugo is a fourth outfielder. In two seasons with the Dodgers, he is a career 282 hitter.

Cap Flexibility  In 2019 the Red Sox had the highest payroll in baseball. Overall, the club spent 244 million dollars on David Price, Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, and Stephen Pearce. All four players suffered season_ ending injuries.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By moving Betts and Price, the Sox payrolls down to 193,000,000. Granted, the club has to pay 14,000,000 dollars of Prices contract. The deal does give the club some wiggle room to add another pitcher or two.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fresh Outlook  If anything the Red Sox have a fresh outlook  for the upcoming 2020 season.  the 2019 team was heavily criticized for being non _likable. Pitcher David Price lashed out at broadcaster Dennis  Eckersley. This did not sit well with fans and the media.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               If  Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi can stay healthy, the club should be better in 2020 even without Betts.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Looking Ahead With a new manager in Ron Roenicke and a healthy pitching staff the Red Sox should have a successful 2020. Depending on the outcome of the cheating scandal  the Red Sox will move on from this grey cloud.