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Thread: The Depth Argument

  1. #1

    The Depth Argument

    If every baseball team had no injuries and all players were consistent based on age, then depth would be a waste, but we all know that isn't the case. I have gone over the Yankees depth multiple times on the other side, but I have seen absolutely no mention of who the "next men up" are in Boston. With the culling of the upper levels of the minors, the sox have been left without blue chip depth, but what about replacement level or better depth beyond their starting 9 and the 5 starters. Just as a point of reference, the 2017 Red Sox had 10 different players start a game on the mound. They had 30 starts from players not in the original top 5. And that is with a team who saw 3 players start 32 games or more. Do you know the last time the sox had 3 starters start 30+ games or more? 2007 was the last time. You have to go back to 2005 to find a sox team that had 3 starters go 32 or more in a season. The point being, you need depth in the rotation. The same goes for the lineup. The sox had 6 players play 130 or more games in the lineup. That happened in 2016 as well. When was the last time before that? How about 2009? While most sox fans would consider 2017 an injury filled season, when you consider their starters both in the lineup and on the mound, they were remarkably healthy. What are the chances that continues? Who knows, but depth is incredibly important.

    Let's start with your starters.
    1. Chris Sale- He's an ace with miles on his tread, but age in his favor. Barring something unforeseen, you're likely to have him for the season

    2. Drew Pomeranz- 30+ starts for the second consecutive season, the perennially injured lefty has found a way to stay on the mound 2 years in a row. His elbow looked fine last year. He is in his walk year. Can he stay healthy once more?

    3. David Price- who knows with David. Dominant out of the pen and really good in the time he was on the field, he was limited to 74.2IP, only the second season since 2010 that he failed to reach 200IP. He has a known tear in his elbow, but of what we do not know.

    4. Rick Porcello- He has started 27 or more games in all 9 of his seasons, 6 of those he surpassed 30. His durability is only surpassed by his unpredictability. 2 stinkers and a CY in Boston. His track record at least points to durability

    5. Eduardo Rodriguez- enigmatic lefty with big time stuff, big time strikeout numbers and a seemingly baffling ability to lose his stuff down the stretch. Rodriguez had his patellar tendon re-done so he doesn't sublux his patella. He is likely out til the ASB

    6. Brian Johnson- 27 year old lefty who missed time with elbow issues and had previously missed time with anxiety issues. The sox are said to be moving him to the pen, but I am sure he is a candidate for the #5 spot out of the gate with ERod out. His numbers in 2017 were middling at best and he has a very limited ceiling

    7. Hector Velasquez- RHP who tore up AAA, he has become more of a AAAA guy. He old for a prospect and got his tits lit in his short work in the bigs

    8. Jalen Beeks- lefty spot starter who survived in AAA. Probably destined for pen work as he cannot hold velo late into games.

    That's about it right now. When you consider how healthy your team was in 2017 and you still needed 10, that is troubling. You also know you already need to dip down to #6. One of the things DD must do is add to this depth. You might not see a big signing, but getting some re-tread starters who could leapfrog your final 3 would be a good thing for you. I think you will see Anibal Sanchez as an option going forward, but we will see. Regardless, without any close, high end prospects in AAA, you have literally no buffer beyond your big guns, and one is already down for awhile.
    The rebuild is complete.

  2. #2
    On to the lineup

    At C- you have depth here, the quality is a bit suspect. Vazquez had a good year offensively, but that came with a BABIP of .348. Can he repeat that? Who knows. Leon is a replacement level guy who at least holds his own defensively

    At 1B- Right now, it is Sam Travis. And I know you guys seem to have a soft spot in your hearts for this kid, but he isn't very good. He turns 25 in 2018 and in 4 seasons in the minors and majors, he has a total of 28HR. Now 7HR a season isn't bad if you are a 2b or a speed demon, but he is neither. His lack of power out of the 1b spot makes him a nice story, but not a useful big league player. Hanley could slot here as well, but he is coming off bilateral shoulder surgeries. Who knows how he returns. Devers could also slide over if the sox acquire a top notch 3b. I anticipate the starting 1b for the Red Sox for 2018 is not currently on the roster

    At 2B- Pedroia would be the starter, but he had microfracture surgery, a last ditch effort to halt or reverse an arthritic condition developing in his knee. I'd say he is staring at an all-star break return and if he comes back earlier, good for him. He was also trending downward as the season wore on, so you don't know if you will get replacement level Pedroia or All Star level. Either way, 2b depth will be incredibly key out of the gate. Behind Pedroia eventually could be Michael Chavis, but the idea of him starting 2018 off position in Boston is more a fantasy than anything else. He is really a CIF and you'll lose a lot defensively with him at 2b. Also, he didn't exactly light the world on fire in AA and is probably ticketed there again in 2018 until he earns the promotion to AAA. He could be an option later in the season, but not here. Brock Holt is an option as well, but I think he has settled down into what he is, a replacement level guy who plays hard, gets hurt, and can play a lot of position. That is useful, but if he is suiting up at 2b on a regular basis, that will not be good news for you guys. Lin and Martinez are in the equation as well, but none appear to be plus replacement level players

    At SS- Do you know that Xander Bogaerts led the team in hitting at .273? Xander is an enigma. He has the power to hit 25HR, but he can't consistently show it. He has the ability to hit .300, but he cannot do it regularly. One wonders if he will ever put it together and have a .300 25HR 100RBI type season everyone was pegging him for when he came up. The talent is there. Until then, sox fans need to give him a break. He has 12.5 WAR over the past 3 seasons. While he might not be reaching the sky high expectations placed on him, he has been damn good and damn durable. 144+ games for 4 seasons in a row. You could certainly do worse

    At 3B- Devers is the new kid on the block. His defense is suspect, but that bat is beautiful. Long term, he is a 1b, but if they can just make him average defensively for now, he will be a monster. Unless you find yourself signing Frazier or Moustakas, you pencil in Devers name and sit back and watch this kid hit

    In LF- Andrew Benintendi wins the ROY most seasons with the year he had. 20/20 season, average OF defense, and by the end of the year, he was the offensive leader of that team. I don't move him to CF since I don't think he is a CFer long term, but he is a really good player who I think will be a .300 hitter with 25HR power and 25 steal potential. Pencil him in and let him fly

    In CF- JBJ, the oft maligned and never truly appreciated CFer is a defensive wizard. He is typically healthy, albeit often platooned. His defense never wavers, his offense is incredibly streaky. For now, you play him in the OF and just live with it.

    In RF- Mookie Betts proved he wasn't ready to be the man in the lineup, but he is still a great player. His defense grades out better than Bradley's eerily enough. He also has put up 18.1 WAR in his 3 seasons in the bigs. That is awesome. He has also played 145 games or more in all 3 seasons. Anyone considering moving him is an idiot.

    At DH- Right now it is Hanley. He is coming off shoulder surgery on both shoulder and he is on the wrong side of 30. You don't know how he will respond. He has a good chance of being either the 1b or the DH and in the end, might end up in a platoon role. Either way, right now there is no way he isn't in the lineup

    Reserves: In the OF, you have Bryce Brentz. He has power, but is very hit or miss and hasn't proven anything in the bigs. Maybe he is ready? Maybe he takes on a bigger role as DH? Maybe he becomes the platoon partner JBJ needs? In the IF, Holt, Lin and to a lesser extent, Martinez are there. Neither are very strong options. You have 3 catchers if you count Swihart, but none really own the job. Either way, the starting lineup lacks big power and the backups don't help. After DD figures out the starters, he really needs to also sign some non roster invitees who could catch lightning in a bottle and claim a 25 man slot
    The rebuild is complete.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonianmarch View Post
    On to the lineup

    At C- you have depth here, the quality is a bit suspect. Vazquez had a good year offensively, but that came with a BABIP of .348. Can he repeat that? Who knows. Leon is a replacement level guy who at least holds his own defensively

    At 1B- Right now, it is Sam Travis. And I know you guys seem to have a soft spot in your hearts for this kid, but he isn't very good. He turns 25 in 2018 and in 4 seasons in the minors and majors, he has a total of 28HR. Now 7HR a season isn't bad if you are a 2b or a speed demon, but he is neither. His lack of power out of the 1b spot makes him a nice story, but not a useful big league player. Hanley could slot here as well, but he is coming off bilateral shoulder surgeries. Who knows how he returns. Devers could also slide over if the sox acquire a top notch 3b. I anticipate the starting 1b for the Red Sox for 2018 is not currently on the roster

    At 2B- Pedroia would be the starter, but he had microfracture surgery, a last ditch effort to halt or reverse an arthritic condition developing in his knee. I'd say he is staring at an all-star break return and if he comes back earlier, good for him. He was also trending downward as the season wore on, so you don't know if you will get replacement level Pedroia or All Star level. Either way, 2b depth will be incredibly key out of the gate. Behind Pedroia eventually could be Michael Chavis, but the idea of him starting 2018 off position in Boston is more a fantasy than anything else. He is really a CIF and you'll lose a lot defensively with him at 2b. Also, he didn't exactly light the world on fire in AA and is probably ticketed there again in 2018 until he earns the promotion to AAA. He could be an option later in the season, but not here. Brock Holt is an option as well, but I think he has settled down into what he is, a replacement level guy who plays hard, gets hurt, and can play a lot of position. That is useful, but if he is suiting up at 2b on a regular basis, that will not be good news for you guys. Lin and Martinez are in the equation as well, but none appear to be plus replacement level players

    At SS- Do you know that Xander Bogaerts led the team in hitting at .273? Xander is an enigma. He has the power to hit 25HR, but he can't consistently show it. He has the ability to hit .300, but he cannot do it regularly. One wonders if he will ever put it together and have a .300 25HR 100RBI type season everyone was pegging him for when he came up. The talent is there. Until then, sox fans need to give him a break. He has 12.5 WAR over the past 3 seasons. While he might not be reaching the sky high expectations placed on him, he has been damn good and damn durable. 144+ games for 4 seasons in a row. You could certainly do worse

    At 3B- Devers is the new kid on the block. His defense is suspect, but that bat is beautiful. Long term, he is a 1b, but if they can just make him average defensively for now, he will be a monster. Unless you find yourself signing Frazier or Moustakas, you pencil in Devers name and sit back and watch this kid hit

    In LF- Andrew Benintendi wins the ROY most seasons with the year he had. 20/20 season, average OF defense, and by the end of the year, he was the offensive leader of that team. I don't move him to CF since I don't think he is a CFer long term, but he is a really good player who I think will be a .300 hitter with 25HR power and 25 steal potential. Pencil him in and let him fly

    In CF- JBJ, the oft maligned and never truly appreciated CFer is a defensive wizard. He is typically healthy, albeit often platooned. His defense never wavers, his offense is incredibly streaky. For now, you play him in the OF and just live with it.

    In RF- Mookie Betts proved he wasn't ready to be the man in the lineup, but he is still a great player. His defense grades out better than Bradley's eerily enough. He also has put up 18.1 WAR in his 3 seasons in the bigs. That is awesome. He has also played 145 games or more in all 3 seasons. Anyone considering moving him is an idiot.

    At DH- Right now it is Hanley. He is coming off shoulder surgery on both shoulder and he is on the wrong side of 30. You don't know how he will respond. He has a good chance of being either the 1b or the DH and in the end, might end up in a platoon role. Either way, right now there is no way he isn't in the lineup

    Reserves: In the OF, you have Bryce Brentz. He has power, but is very hit or miss and hasn't proven anything in the bigs. Maybe he is ready? Maybe he takes on a bigger role as DH? Maybe he becomes the platoon partner JBJ needs? In the IF, Holt, Lin and to a lesser extent, Martinez are there. Neither are very strong options. You have 3 catchers if you count Swihart, but none really own the job. Either way, the starting lineup lacks big power and the backups don't help. After DD figures out the starters, he really needs to also sign some non roster invitees who could catch lightning in a bottle and claim a 25 man slot
    JBJ has not been "platooned".

    Good solid takes all around.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonianmarch View Post
    If every baseball team had no injuries and all players were consistent based on age, then depth would be a waste, but we all know that isn't the case. I have gone over the Yankees depth multiple times on the other side, but I have seen absolutely no mention of who the "next men up" are in Boston. With the culling of the upper levels of the minors, the sox have been left without blue chip depth, but what about replacement level or better depth beyond their starting 9 and the 5 starters. Just as a point of reference, the 2017 Red Sox had 10 different players start a game on the mound. They had 30 starts from players not in the original top 5. And that is with a team who saw 3 players start 32 games or more. Do you know the last time the sox had 3 starters start 30+ games or more? 2007 was the last time. You have to go back to 2005 to find a sox team that had 3 starters go 32 or more in a season. The point being, you need depth in the rotation. The same goes for the lineup. The sox had 6 players play 130 or more games in the lineup. That happened in 2016 as well. When was the last time before that? How about 2009? While most sox fans would consider 2017 an injury filled season, when you consider their starters both in the lineup and on the mound, they were remarkably healthy. What are the chances that continues? Who knows, but depth is incredibly important.

    Let's start with your starters.
    1. Chris Sale- He's an ace with miles on his tread, but age in his favor. Barring something unforeseen, you're likely to have him for the season

    2. Drew Pomeranz- 30+ starts for the second consecutive season, the perennially injured lefty has found a way to stay on the mound 2 years in a row. His elbow looked fine last year. He is in his walk year. Can he stay healthy once more?

    3. David Price- who knows with David. Dominant out of the pen and really good in the time he was on the field, he was limited to 74.2IP, only the second season since 2010 that he failed to reach 200IP. He has a known tear in his elbow, but of what we do not know.

    4. Rick Porcello- He has started 27 or more games in all 9 of his seasons, 6 of those he surpassed 30. His durability is only surpassed by his unpredictability. 2 stinkers and a CY in Boston. His track record at least points to durability

    5. Eduardo Rodriguez- enigmatic lefty with big time stuff, big time strikeout numbers and a seemingly baffling ability to lose his stuff down the stretch. Rodriguez had his patellar tendon re-done so he doesn't sublux his patella. He is likely out til the ASB

    6. Brian Johnson- 27 year old lefty who missed time with elbow issues and had previously missed time with anxiety issues. The sox are said to be moving him to the pen, but I am sure he is a candidate for the #5 spot out of the gate with ERod out. His numbers in 2017 were middling at best and he has a very limited ceiling

    7. Hector Velasquez- RHP who tore up AAA, he has become more of a AAAA guy. He old for a prospect and got his tits lit in his short work in the bigs

    8. Jalen Beeks- lefty spot starter who survived in AAA. Probably destined for pen work as he cannot hold velo late into games.

    That's about it right now. When you consider how healthy your team was in 2017 and you still needed 10, that is troubling. You also know you already need to dip down to #6. One of the things DD must do is add to this depth. You might not see a big signing, but getting some re-tread starters who could leapfrog your final 3 would be a good thing for you. I think you will see Anibal Sanchez as an option going forward, but we will see. Regardless, without any close, high end prospects in AAA, you have literally no buffer beyond your big guns, and one is already down for awhile.
    I guess you have written off Wright due to the spousal incident.

  5. #5
    Hah, I totally forgot about Wright. I am not sure how much of an impact he has due to this legal troubles, but I also don't think he is that good. That being said, in terms of depth, he slots squarely into the 6 hole
    The rebuild is complete.

  6. #6
    One thing Jacko is right about: DD is going to have to get one more decent SP. Our depth at the position is suspect.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by FredLynn View Post
    One thing Jacko is right about: DD is going to have to get one more decent SP. Our depth at the position is suspect.
    3 or 4 more atarting pitchers. Any team that enters the season without knowing whobtheir 7-10 starters are is fooling themselves...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jacksonianmarch View Post
    Hah, I totally forgot about Wright. I am not sure how much of an impact he has due to this legal troubles, but I also don't think he is that good. That being said, in terms of depth, he slots squarely into the 6 hole
    Wright has put up some decent numbers.

    2014-2016
    250 IP
    18-11 3.49
    (Better than any other Sox pitcher in this period with 250+ IP.)

    82 ERA-
    1.25 WHIP

    2014 AAA: 5-5 3.41 in 95 IP
    2013 AAA: 8-7 3.46 in 135 IP
    '12-'13 winter: 0-1 2.48 in 29 IP
    2012 AA & AAA: 10-7 2.54 in 142 IP

    2016 was not a fluke.



  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by moonslav59 View Post
    Wright has put up some decent numbers.

    2014-2016
    250 IP
    18-11 3.49
    (Better than any other Sox pitcher in this period with 250+ IP.)

    82 ERA-
    1.25 WHIP

    2014 AAA: 5-5 3.41 in 95 IP
    2013 AAA: 8-7 3.46 in 135 IP
    '12-'13 winter: 0-1 2.48 in 29 IP
    2012 AA & AAA: 10-7 2.54 in 142 IP

    2016 was not a fluke.


    Moon people for some reason are adverse to knucklballers.

    Wright did some good stuff before returning to second base.
    "Hating the Yankees like it's a religion since 94'" RIP Mike.


    "It's also a simple and indisputable fact that WAR isn't the be-all end-all in valuations, especially in real life. Wanna know why? Because an ace in run-prevention for 120 innings means more often than not, a sub-standard pitcher covering for the rest of the IP that pitcher fails to provide. You can't see value in a vacuum when a player does not provide full-time production."

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Spudboy View Post
    Moon people for some reason are adverse to knucklballers.

    Wright did some good stuff before returning to second base.
    Unlike Wake, Wright did not have excessive passed balls. That is part od the reason some people are adverse to knuckleballers.

    I used to pitch knucklers in slow-pitch softball, so I have an affinity to them.

    They not only mess hitters up, but sometimes it affects them the following day(s).

  11. #11
    every fucking team in MLB "needs another SP or two".
    JBj has never platooned
    Sam Travis will never ever be the opening day starter in 2018
    the quality of our C's is NOT "suspect". either one is above avg defensively and avg offensively. how is that fucking "suspect"?
    lets also ignore one of the biggest assets of the team: lights out relief pitching.
    other than that...great fucking thread yankees troll....
    other names i have posted under: none

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Slasher9 View Post
    every fucking team in MLB "needs another SP or two".
    JBj has never platooned
    Sam Travis will never ever be the opening day starter in 2018
    the quality of our C's is NOT "suspect". either one is above avg defensively and avg offensively. how is that fucking "suspect"?
    lets also ignore one of the biggest assets of the team: lights out relief pitching.
    other than that...great fucking thread yankees troll....
    Here's 5,000 words of nothing. Enjoy!
    Fire Farrell - fucking check mark!
    Trade Pedroia
    Sign JD Martinez to play 1B/DH
    Sign Alex Cora for MGR - check plus!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Slasher9 View Post
    every fucking team in MLB "needs another SP or two".
    JBj has never platooned
    Sam Travis will never ever be the opening day starter in 2018
    the quality of our C's is NOT "suspect". either one is above avg defensively and avg offensively. how is that fucking "suspect"?
    lets also ignore one of the biggest assets of the team: lights out relief pitching.
    other than that...great fucking thread yankees troll....
    Love you too slasher. The sox catching defense is above average. Vasquez and Leon are top 12 in pitch framing. They also put together the second best CS% and the 3rd toughest team to run on in baseball. But their defense isnt without its warts. They were tied for 7th in errors at the C position and were 3rd in passed balls. When Gary Sanchez is considered the biggest passed ball liability in baseball and your team is only 2 behind his team, that is saying something. On offense, your catchers combined for 22nd in baseball in OPS. When you consider Vasquez put up his numbers with a .348BABIP, it makes you wonder how back your catching offense really is.

    JBJ never platooned? Prior to 2016, he was definitely a platoon player. In 2016, he went off and shook the platoon. By season's end 2017, he was platooning again as Beni proved he could hit and JBJ wasn't, plus JBJ had a late thumb injury. Regardless, he may not have been in a full on platoon the past 2 yrs, he was definitely the odd man out much more often in 2017 than in 2016 when a lefty was on the hill

    Sam Travis is your opening day starter, right now. Can you read? I honestly wonder if we need to send you a packet from Hooked on Phonics.

    Your relief pitching has a lights out closer. The other guys in front of him were quality, but nowhere near "lights out". Look at the names and the numbers. Barnes had a good season, Kelly a good season, Hembree a deceivingly low ERA hidden by poor performance. Robby Scott was a HR machine. You have one guy who was good and left in Reed. You have only one guy in the pen beside Kimbrel whose FIP is lower than his ERA. Everyone outperformed their expected performance. I wouldn't consider that "lights out".
    The rebuild is complete.

  14. #14
    2014 - 141 games for JBJ between PAW/BOS
    2015 - 145 games for JBJ between PAW/BOS (season where he had the crazy 2nd half breakout)

    Uh, wut?
    Fire Farrell - fucking check mark!
    Trade Pedroia
    Sign JD Martinez to play 1B/DH
    Sign Alex Cora for MGR - check plus!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Spudboy View Post
    Moon people for some reason are adverse to knucklballers.

    Wright did some good stuff before returning to second base.
    Farrell ruined his career.
    The King of TalkSox has Spoken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dojji View Post
    [T]he conclusion to be drawn is that there is no practical value in seeking this ideal lineup, and in that case any way in which it might be meaningfully termed "best" is irrelevant, academic at best, pedantic at worst
    Quote Originally Posted by a700hitter View Post
    Unlike hot streaks and clutch, the “Cliff” is a myth. It can’t be defined, and it’s future existence cannot be proved.

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