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14.05.2019 03:42
We all know what the narrative and expectations Antworten

The bullpen Kenny Lofton Jersey , folks, has been good." for this Red Sox roster were heading into the 2019 season. Beyond the simple expectation they’d be right in the thick of the race to win another championship, the individual components of the roster had clear expectations. The rotation was supposed to be outstanding one through five, giving the team an old school-type feel going deep into almost every game. Obviously, that hasn’t gone according to plan very early on. The lineup was supposed to be loaded, and even if they weren’t quite as great at the top there appeared to be a more balanced attack. The group did well in Seattle — though a large chunk of that was against the Mariners bullpen — but has mostly struggled mightily in Oakland before a bit of a breakout on Wednesday. Then, there’s the relief corps, who was simply supposed to be trash. If anything was going to set this 2019 Red Sox roster back, it was the guys at the end of games. Well, a week into the season, the biggest bright spot for Boston has been that same group.It goes without saying that the sample we are dealing with is incredibly small. Relievers in general deal in small samples, of course, which is why their performance year-to-year varies more than any other position group in the league. Here, we’re dealing with a small sample size in terms of team performance and infinitesimal sample size for individual pitchers. That said, as we’ll get to in a minute , it’s not just the numbers that have been impressive for these guys.Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY SportsThat is where we’re going to start, though. Again, the sample means these numbers really shouldn’t be expected to be sustained, at least just based on the numbers alone, but we need some good numbers to look at, right? As a team, the Red Sox bullpen has tossed 26 innings, the tenth most in all of baseball. In that time, they’ve pitched to a 2.42 ERA (fifth in baseball) and a 3.70 FIP (13th in baseball). Even being in the middle of the pack by FIP seems like a win given where they were expected to be this year. On an individual basis, Heath Hembree, Tyler Thornburg and Hector Vel谩zquez all have rough numbers largely because they’ve allowed a home run. That’s how these samples work, with one swing having a massive impact. On the other hand, the rest of the bullpen has an ERA of 2.08 or lower, with four guys yet to allow an earned run.Like I said, though , the good feelings around the bullpen in this first week haven’t really been about the numbers. None of these relievers have more than 4 1鈦? innings under their belt, and we’re all smart enough to not get caught up in numbers at that sample size. Most of these guys have looked better than at least I expected them to, and while things can change quickly and hitters adjust it’s a good step. For example:It’s obviously too early to question Alex Cora’s spring training strategyMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsBrandon Workman has been electric. He doesn’t have the fastball we typically associate with big-time right-handed relievers, but his curveball has been outstanding and most importantly he’s getting it over for strikes.Tyler Thornburg is sitting just below 95 mph with his fastball after sitting at 93 mph last year. His curveball is also looking very good.Colten Brewer has struggled with control a bit, but we’ve seen the intrigue with his cutter/curveball combination in action.Ryan Brasier is picking up where he left off in 2019 and concerns of him being a fluke are at least a little lower.Matt Barnes has only pitched once but, well, Matt Barnes is: Good.Personally, I’m already starting to adjust my views on some of these guys. Given the sample that may prove to be stupid, and I should emphasize that no opinions are being changed to any major extent, but the stuff looks better than expected for some. On the lower end, Heath Hembree is still the same guy, who flashes solid stuff but his command leaves too much to be desired. Brian Johnson and Hector Vel谩zquez are who they are as long guys with limited upside. However, I was down on Workman and Thornburg at the start of the year, and their stuff has been impressive. Brewer was intriguing but unknown, but it’s easy to at least see the toolshed in which the Red Sox were interested when they acquired the righty at the start of last offseason. Combine that with Barnes and Brasier Danny Salazar Jersey , both of whom I was already confident in, as well as the potential in the minors and perhaps they do have a stew goin’ here.There hasn’t been a lot of good in watching the Red Sox early in this season, with the west coast treating this team like no one expected. It’s been frustrating to watch, and the negatives are outweighing the positives seemingly on a nightly basis. The bullpen does give a small ray of hope, though. Maybe we were too harsh on this group and there is more here than originally met the eye. With the sample, it’s too early to say that. We don’t need to say that yet, though. For now, we’ll just take something to be happy about. How will things look, in the first poll of the post-Goldschmidt era?"December resultsThe last poll was taken just before the winter meetings - not than anything much happened there, but there was definitely the feeling that “something” was afoot. Rumors were circling about the futures of Zack Greinke and Paul Goldschmidt, and it felt almost like we were waiting for an inevitable shoe to drop, if not an entire, Imelda Marcos-sized closet of them. There was certainly no shortage of interest, with the highest number of voters since May putting in their two cents’ worth. 11% - 1 (not confident in the slightest)13% - 222% - 318% - 419% - 510% - 63% - 72% - 82% - 9 (very, very , VERY confident)As has become the standard of late, the only thing consistent about what people think is their inconsistency. Another month with no number reaching even a quarter of the votes. We had that every single poll from May 2017 through to August 2018 inclusive - but haven’t seen it at all since. Most of the changes from the previous month were small. No figure changed by more than six percent compared to the November poll. But the trend was unmistakable: choices 1 through 4 all increased, while 5 through 9 all decreased in popularity. Below, you can see the breakdown of voting for the past year. Time progresses from the top down, beginning with the December 2017 poll.After a moderate gain in confidence for November, all that and fractionally more was undone in the December poll. Average confidence dropped by just over half a point from 4.38 to 3.87, the lowest figure we have seen in this survey since October 2016, as we recovered from the Dave Stewart era. Here’s the chart with all the poll averages.January pollHoo-boy. I’m pretty sure this one won’t be pretty, as since the last time we checked fandom’s pulse, the team has simply traded away the best position player in franchise history. There will be no Paul Goldschmidt with the team in 2019. You don’t have to be Nostradamus - I think Criswell would probably do - in order to predict what that trade will do to confidence among Diamondbacks’ supporters. It’s less the direction of the move which interests me, as the size. The term “confidence” also encompasses many things, and short- vs. long-term is a fair question. Does Goldschmidt’s departure hurt the former, while making us feel better about the latter?As usual, explanations are welcome in the comments...

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