…that time of year again. Kind of…I guess COVID-19 will tell us when it’s that time again…
In any event, we were planning to do this three, four, five weeks or so ago (I have kind of lost track of time, to be honest), before MLB shut down. Let’s do it anyway. Not sure how much change there will be in the end regardless.
And based on the bums listed on the pitching staff on the current 40-man roster, I imagine we will see most of them throughout the year at some point anyway…on top of several others not on the 40-man or not even here, to be honest. One right off the bat, sad to say.
Actually, looking at the Red Sox active roster as it stands, it looks like the roster is actually set. There are only 28 names on it. Once the season starts, I believe that teams will be able to carry 29 guys for at least a short period of time. So there’s that.
For these purposes, we will go with the original rule of having 26 guys on the Opening Day roster. Still not going to make much of a difference.
Who knows when the season will start, or if there even will be a season? The prospects for the 2020 Boston Red Sox season weren’t exactly glowing anyway. Maybe a shortened season would help them?
There is talk about still trying to play as many games as possible. With playing 7 inning doubleheaders. Games in neutral spots. All teams playing in one, perhaps remote location with no fans, and players sitting six feet apart in the stands. Pitch clocks and different changes that NO ONE in baseball would EVER consider in a normal season. A player even suggested playing the only the 10th inning in a tie game, then having a Home Run Derby to decide the outcome. Amazing. Baseball hasn’t exactly been quick to adopt any changes over the years to catch up with other sports. To get young people back interested in the game. And all that.
I mean, the changes would only be temporary. This season only, more than likely. But if some of these potential changes work, perhaps they can be long term changes as well?
But back to the Sox. Maybe some of these proposed changes help them. After trading Mookie Betts (doesn’t that seem like 3 years ago now?) and David Price, losing Chris Sale for the season, letting Rick Porcello go while adding no real relievers (or starters either, now that I think of it), most people think that their prospects for success are minimal this season. Myself included.
The lineup should still be stout enough. But the pitching frightens me. And I absolutely wanted Price out of town at any cost. The minor leagues should not provide a ton of help anytime soon. So 2020 appears to be a “bridge year”. Or the first of a few bridge years, to be honest.
There will be more analysis on the actual season once we get closer to figuring out if there is an actual season. For now, we will just focus on who projects to break camp with the big club.
Starting with the aforementioned bums on the pitching staff:
The far from “Fearsome Five”: Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Martin Perez, Ryan Weber, Brian Johnson
DL: Chris Sale, Collin McHugh
Actual prospects that may make starts this season: Tanner Houck (#10 Red Sox prospect), Kyle Hart
Additional flotsam likely to make a start or five this season: I honestly do not see anyone else inside the organization on the current 40-man roster, any of the non-roster Spring Training invitees or on the Top 30 prospect list that would be a candidate to start any games with the big club this season. Would have to be someone from outside the organization. Or a collection of “openers”. Or one guy that will start in the bullpen this season that we will talk more about in that group. This, my friends, is quite frightening. And, quite frankly, unacceptable. Especially for a big market club with plenty of resources. Sigh…
Comments: Yikes!! Eddie Rodriguez goes from a nice depth starter, someone with potential but who seemed to always have nagging injuries that kept him out way longer than it seemed they should, to a staff ace? Hard to figure. Sure, E-Rod had a real nice year last year. And should have won 20 games, if it wasn’t for Matty Barnes in his last start. But all of a sudden to anoint him the “ace” seems a bit much. That being said, what is the other choice??
Eovaldi will always be remembered warmly in this region, and certainly by myself, for his performance in the 2018 playoffs. But he is also injury-prone. And has thrown more than 155 innings ONCE in his career. Now he’s cemented into the #2 slot.
Perez is eminently average. Weber has pitched 42 major league games and only 11 of them are starts. It appears that the most innings he has pitched in a season is 128. That was in 2015. And 100 of them were in AA & AAA. Plus, he stinks.
Speaking of stinking, Johnson seemed to have the lead for the #5 spot when we last were paying attention. BRIAN F’NG JOHNSON?!! This guy couldn’t break a pane of glass. More importantly, he really has never been able to get anyone out. Not to mention the fact that he was designated for assignment over the winter by the Sox…and not a single team wanted anything to do with him. So he is back on a minor league deal. And appears to be the #5 starter. This is incredible to me.
Additionally, the Sox have no one “waiting in the wings” to actually provide competition once one or (likely) more of these guys fail or get hurt. Houck is only 23 years old and MAYBE has potential. Hart is 27 and it’s doubtful he does.
Sale is on the Injured List, as we know. Waiting until late March to have the Tommy John surgery he needed probably 6 plus months ago (giving him the benefit of the doubt here) will cost him this season and at least part of the 2021 slate. McHugh? Are we really counting on him to add to the rotation? Whenever he gets back from his injury, that is. Last time I read something on him, no one even knew when that would be.
This is an absolute DISASTER. Even if Chief Baseball Office Chaim Bloom brings the “opener” strategy with him from Tampa, this is still ugly. With all the money owner John Henry has and Boston being a big market team, this is laughable. I cannot even comprehend how these guys think entering the season with this rotation is an option.
But it’s happening. Brace yourself.
Next: Some of the bats.