Red Sox Notes: Bard, Theo, Valentine, Cook

While three games isn't a great sample size, it's never too early to panic in Boston or New York.  Some items on the Red Sox this afternoon..

  • The season may be young but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports fears that the Red Sox's bullpen issues might be a sign of a long-term problem.  Rosenthal writes that it might be time for the BoSox to turn to Daniel Bard as the closer since it is far too early in the season to trade for a reliable replacement.
  • Theo Epstein left behind quite a mess from his final years in Boston, writes Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe.  When adding up the salaries of Carl Crawford, John Lackey, Bobby Jenks, Andrew Bailey (not an Epstein acquisition, though), and Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Red Sox effectively have more than $60MM on the disabled list.
  • Is skipper Bobby Valentine looking to take Moneyball out of the equation in Boston?  While some of Bobby V's decisions have raised eyebrows early in the year,  Rob Neyer of SBNation says that it's far too early to tell one way or another.
  • Veteran Aaron Cook can opt-out of his minor league deal on May 1st but it's more likely that the 33-year-old will have a place on the major leauge roster by then, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.  Cook will earn the prorated portion of $1.5MM if he is called up to the varsity squad.


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77 Comments on "Red Sox Notes: Bard, Theo, Valentine, Cook"


jwsox
3 years 4 months ago

Please make bard the closer. I need another lights out strike out machine for my fantasy team!

dc21892
3 years 4 months ago

I’m not going to freak out yet because it is still early in the season, but what does concern me is the fact that every loss hurts. Now, many will say “it doesn’t matter there is still 159 games to go.” While that is true, look at what happened last year. If they started off with a couple more wins, they would have made the playoffs. As for the bullpen, teams go through tough stretches in the pen and unfortunately they started the season off bad which makes it worse than it really is. If this was mid June and the Sox are in first or second place this isn’t nearly as magnified as it is on a winless ball club through 3 games.

Paul Shailor
3 years 4 months ago

 Didnt Tampa start off worse than the red sox last year?

dc21892
3 years 4 months ago

No idea. Point I’m trying to make is no matter what people say, in a way every game does count. Now, it’s easier to be more lackadaisical at the beginning of the season, but why? Then you only have to work harder later in the season. Im not saying the players need to go out and approach everything with 100%, but it would be nice if they did more often than it seems they are.

melonis_rex
3 years 4 months ago

like 1-8 and their DH retired abruptly.

Guest
3 years 4 months ago

The team’s a mess. End of Story.

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 4 months ago

Yes, 3 games into the season, end of story. Do you even watch baseball? Last year they started like 2-8 and still almost made the playoffs had it not been for their epic collapse…

3 years 4 months ago

Last year the Rays and Red Sox had perfect loss records until the Rays went to Fenway. Don’t remember who won that series but both walked away with wins. The rest is history, of course.

Guest
3 years 4 months ago

Yes, I do indeed watch baseball. I don’t think you can compare last years bad start to this years bad start. (You’d know if you watched baseball). Last year they were much more healthy, they actually had a back end of the rotation and a bullpen. There in a much tougher position to come back and do what they did after the bad start last year.

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 4 months ago

Well that settles it then. The Red Sox bullpen is atrocious through 3 games! Since the Mets have one of the best bullpens in baseball in the first 3 games, we should now crown the Mets 2012 World Series Champions! No, now lets be serious, you cant judge their pen by the first 3 games. Mariano Rivera blew his first save this year, does that make him a bad closer? I’m not really sure what injuries you are talking about. Crawford is due back later this month, Lackey is better off injured, Dice-K doesnt really matter. Then you have Bailey, but when is he not injured? Lincecum and Cain had awful first starts, does that mean anything? No…

Guest
3 years 4 months ago

Your not sure what injuries i’m talking about? You stated them there smart guy.

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 4 months ago

What injuries are you talking about that are actually significant enough to make the Red Sox panic? I dont see any…Either way you are judging that the Sox have no back end of the bullpen based on what happened in three games and for some reason you seem to not even acknowledge the fact that you are using a three game sample size…

Guest
3 years 4 months ago

We’ll see who’s right after the first month. Red Sox are not a playoff team, all i’m trying to say!

3 years 4 months ago

I’m inviting Tony Massarotti out for a beer. Theo made some real bonehead moves, not just with the signing of Jenks, Lackey, Dice-K, etc. (I’m still okay with Crawford), he traded off way too many prospects for players like Erik Bedard, and remember when he considered trading for Bruce Chen last year so Chen could pitch ONE game? Good luck, Cub fans. 

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

Because Massarotti is clearly the intelligent one out of the two, right?

vtadave
3 years 4 months ago

How many World Series winners has Massarotti built?

notsureifsrs
3 years 4 months ago

which prospect in the bedard trade do you want back?

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

All of them as long as it doesn’t undo the trade or cost anything to get them back 😉

johnsilver
3 years 4 months ago

 At least Boston still has Seattle’s wasted 1st round pick from several years back, Josh Fields toiling around at “I think” AA this year.. Boston did end up with something from that catastrophe.

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

That was absolutely the right move to make at the time.  Just because something doesn’t work out the way you intended doesn’t mean it was the wrong move.

johnsilver
3 years 4 months ago

 Pretty decent story by Bradford at Weei with regards to Cook and later on Matsuzaka as later on season, acquisition type SP Boston could have for the rotation.

Have to skip past the NE overall media blah, blah how almost every one is calling for Bard back to the pen now (ex for today it seems Tomase at the Herald does not) in typical fashion.

Shame Cook has such an early opt out date, same with Ohlendorf as both could be back end options and that story even said Cook hit 93mph.

Add those 2 with Matsuzaka and Wilson’s 1st game appeared to be pretty slick. They might be alright on the back end afterall? Just maybe..

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

I’m not sure Ohlendorf will have any impact on this team, but I’d be willing to bet that Cook is on the MLB team, in some capacity, before his opt out date.

johnsilver
3 years 4 months ago

 They are both there as options, early on at least and that is more than they really had at Pawtucket in 2011.

wickedkevin
3 years 4 months ago

It’s not that Theo signed the wrong guys, it’s that the team was left with no money to spend and no plan B.

wadebets
3 years 4 months ago

Epstein has nothing to do with players getting hurt on the field. Punto went 3-6 in the lead off spot Rob.

BoSoxSam
3 years 4 months ago

I’m worried about this year simply because it will be so hard to avoid all this insane media. As Rob said in his post, it was crazy for anyone to be worrying about one lineup move three games into the season, especially when they don’t even bother to think about it very carefully. The only game so far that actually made me nervous was Game 2, for obvious reasons. Beckett getting hit hard, and the offense being shut down by…who? Fister and the bullpen, that’s who. Verlander was the excuse in Game 1, and no one reliever really got smashed, although they also couldn’t get the key outs. Game 3 stung, and obviously the pitchers couldn’t get it together, but when we score 12 runs, the LARGE majority of the time we’ll win. And Boston made 12 look VERY easy. Detroit’s lineup was also very clearly red hot the whole series; I’ve got to at least see one more series before I start making any sort of judgements.

notsureifsrs
3 years 4 months ago

don’t lower yourself to the level of the sports writers. there is nothing meaningful to analyze in three games worth of data. they are yapping because they are paid to yap

Karkat
3 years 4 months ago

I’d say we can reasonably conclude that our bullpen is in like Defcon 2 at this point.

notsureifsrs
3 years 4 months ago

we can conclude that aceves shouldn’t be pitching in high leverage situations, but that’s not based on the last 3 games

the bullpen is pretty weak without bailey, but again that isn’t based on the last 3 games

Karkat
3 years 4 months ago

 Well I didn’t say Defcon 1 quite yet anyway 😛

We need to pick a closer though. Melancon hasn’t exactly seemed like a fanatastic choice so far either. Bard’s a committed starter so far so he’s out for now (though I can’t imagine that’ll still be the case come May 1st unless he’s surprisingly spectacular). If they blow more comebacks, the morale effects will be catastrophic. This is something that needs fixing immediately and there’s no good solution in sight. We’re on the verge of a historically bad pitching season.

These are critical times, my friend.

Lamar Smith
3 years 4 months ago

Why panic over game 2? It is known at this time of the season the pitchers are further ahead than the hitters. You can see it across the league some so-so starters put up great stats for week one.

BoSoxSam
3 years 4 months ago

 Sorry to not be clear; my point wasn’t that Game 2 WAS something to panic about, just that each game has been blown way out of proportion so far and Game 2 was the only one I saw as being even slightly worthy of mention.

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 4 months ago

Which is how Jon Niese almost pitched the mets first no hitter.

hawkny1
3 years 4 months ago

Verlander, an excuse?  He is the #1 pitcher in the AL…  I concur with you on Beckett..either he is not ready to pitch or he is injured.  Either way…he owes some sort of an explanation for his “rookie” performance in that second game.. simply awful…

Lamar Smith
3 years 4 months ago

True, But I truly believe B. Valentine really screwed the pooch by not making Bard the closer after Bailey went down. I didn’t and still don’t see Aceves as the closer. And I never liked Melchanon, he may have saved 20 games for Houston. But that because of a serious need.

VadaPinson
3 years 4 months ago

What will ESPN and all these other news outlets do if the Yankees and Red Sox both have years like 1966 or 1992  (Last and 2nd to last both years) ??

Does that mean they will actually have to look at other teams and do some research on them?

notsureifsrs
3 years 4 months ago

probably not. they don’t cover them disproportionately because they themselves are fans; they cover them disproportionately because a disproportionate number of their viewers are fans

dc21892
3 years 4 months ago

They’ll do the same exact thing. They will show the winning teams. NY and Boston just happen to be more popular baseball teams than many. Can you blame them for advertising the best of the best?

johnsilver
3 years 4 months ago

 1966 Red Sox were brutal and quite young anyway.. Boston was a rebuilding team with Yaz, Tony C, Mikey Andrews, Joe Foy, Rico Petroclelli, Reggie Smith, Jim Lonborg and going from memory.. Think The Monster, Dick Radatz and The Stinger, Lee Stange might have been the 2 vets on that team.. That 66 Sox team was young from top to bottom…. VERY unlike the one from 2012…

Paul Shailor
3 years 4 months ago

Last time the Rays started 3-0 they lost a franchise record 102 games. Last time the yankees started 0-3 they won the WS in 1998.

First series of the year is a joke.

 

Mike1L
3 years 4 months ago

If it’s any comfort, we Yankee fans aren’t having a very good time either.  Baseball writers get paid to stir the pot, but it’s only three games.  No three game stretch is a microcosm for a full season, and no GM always makes all the right moves (Cashman certainly has his share of clunkers.) Whatever Theo’s flaws, he had a lot to do with building a highly successful team, and a lot of the mistakes he made on free agents were for players that the market thought well of.  I just looked at a Bob Ryan clip after Crawford was signed-he called it “a great day for the Boston Red Sox”.  

dc21892
3 years 4 months ago

Glad to see a Yankee fan able to realize something positive for the Red Sox.

BoSoxSam
3 years 4 months ago

 I wish I was a Yankees fan right now to be honest; you guys must love Boston starting slow again so nobody will talk about your own slow start. :) The same kind of thing that Atlanta got last September.

hawkny1
3 years 4 months ago

I hope you are not including Mike Cameron in this…  At age 37 he got $15M from the Red Sox for hitting .150  and sitting on the bench.  What a waste of resources..

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 4 months ago

The thing that scares me about how they are handling the Bard situation is that it reminds me of the Yankee and Chamberlain. Make up your mind already and stick with it, Bobby needs to sit down with Cherington and sort the issue out asap. I would agree with Bobby that Bard should close. Bard was one of the most lights out relievers prior to the final two months of last season and I have full confidence that he can be just that in the 9th inning. Make Aceves the fifth starter, Bard the closer, if Aceves struggles a lot then address that situation in July. Personally I think Aceves would make a serviceable fifth starter. Once Bailey comes back  they can push Bard into the 8th inning and Melancon into the 7th. 

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

Absolutely nothing has come out of the organization about moving Bard back, it’s all talk by those in the media, so it’s not like they aren’t sticking to what they have decided.  Also, Aceves is not a starter; he should be no where near the starting rotation.  If, for whatever reason, Bard isn’t the 5th starter it should be Padilla or Cook.

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 4 months ago

Cherington and Valentine disagreed on Bard’s role the entire time, I dont really think thats been a mystery. If Padilla or Cook deserve a chance I don’t see why Aceves does not.

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

Valentine has never said that he doesn’t think Bard should be in the rotation, simply more speculation by the Boston media (in fact, what he has said is that by the end of spring training Bard looked like a starter and had earned a spot in the rotation).

And Padilla and Cook deserve spots in the rotation long before Aceves, mostly because they are better pitchers.

hawkny1
3 years 4 months ago

Padilla?  Oh, please…..  this guy is bad news..he reminds me of Mike Cameron, remember him?  Theo signed him for 2 years at $7.5M per…the guy did nothing except foment dissent on the bench and in the club house…  Padilla is that type….

$6101468
3 years 4 months ago

You gear a guy up to start and then toss him in as closer? Hey…they did it to Aceves and how has that worked out.

The problems are surfacing early:  Shoddy defense, weak bullpen, starting pitching issues and inconsistent hitting. Might be a battle with NY for 4th place.  Now that would be something.

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

Three games man.  Three games.

You can’t make anything (be it about the defense, the rotation, the ‘pen, or the offense) out of three games.

ugotrpk3113
3 years 4 months ago

Unfortunately, not true. The offense and defense aren’t worth getting worried about. The pitching staff had red flags all over it from day 1.

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

Way, way, overblown red flags.  And you still can’t take anything from 3 games, no matter what.

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 4 months ago

Aceves got the save today!!!! Now he is an all star closer!!! Pedroia hit a homerun so that means he will hit one every 4 games! 

imachainsaw
3 years 4 months ago

Of course, Theo signed those players with the intent that they would wind up on the disabled list. Great and very insightful assessment, Massarotti.

hawkny1
3 years 4 months ago

Man, like, every time A-Rod goes on the DL..its only $30M that is tied up…TEE is so much better off…

ugotrpk3113
3 years 4 months ago

It’s mind blowing to me that my fellow Sox fans panicked last year, when they had no reason to, and appear to think everything is going to be OK this year.

Forget what happened last year. What happened should have no affect for a full 162 game year. 

What DOES make a difference is that our team, from the start, took the easy way out. They traded Scutaro and let Paplebon walk (which I actually agree with), 2 of the only people in September to show up. They didn’t look for a cheap 4th starter, they decided to let a then overweight Dubront and unproven Bard (two pitches doesn’t make you an effective starter).

Then you go with Bailey, who has a history of injuries, and not have a backup plan. Sure you can rely on Aceves and Melancon, but both are ok and not really great relievers. We needed a PROVEN arm, the team traded Scutaro, then took that money to invest in some laminated 100th anniversary posters.

This year is different. This team doesn’t have that “don’t worry about it” feeling – it’s felt like a mess from day 1 of free agency. Bobby V was just the icing on the cake.

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

What’s mind blowing to me is that they panicked last year only to watch the team go on the be the best team in the game for five straight months, yet they are panicking again this year.

hawkny1
3 years 4 months ago

With a few timely hits and/or a few better pitches the Red Sox could just as easily be 3-1 rather than 1-3.  Lester pitched well enough to win in the season’s opener but matched up with Verlander, the best pitcher in baseball. Likewise, the offense scored enough runs to win 90 out of 100 times in game #3. IMHO, winning this series in Toronto will go a long way towards settling the team down for the remainder of the season.  The 0-3 start in Detroit can be avenged later when the Tigers visit Boston.  My only concern at this moment is Beckett who, frankly, looked like he was tossing batting practice, during his first outing.  Is he injured?  Is he still pouting?  He didn’t do much the other day and no one has given a very convincing explanation as to why.  

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

I don’t care how many times Beckett says he’s 100% healthy, I’m convinced that his thumb is still bothering him.  You don’t just lose 4mph off of your fastball in a week without something being wrong.

3 years 4 months ago

Aaron Cook won’t opt-out. When I was talking with him down at McCoy (PawSox Beat Writer) he said he’s not concern with it and is only looking forward to the future… 

And he seems to enjoy Boston from the times I’ve been around the clubhouse. 

3 years 4 months ago

Moneyball is just a concept of finding things that are undervalued. It worked for the Athletics because no one was looking at OBP, etc. and now everyone is, so it’s no longer an edge.

Moneyball isn’t built around a single stat, it’s built around an idea, and as long as there are smart minds in baseball, Moneyball will be around.

East Coast Bias
3 years 4 months ago

Would you say the Rays have moneyball’d their way to success lately through the draft?

Spit Ball
3 years 4 months ago

The OBP thing while valid, is not the thing that made the early 2000’s Athletics good. They had the best pitching big three in the game plus Tejada, Chavez etc. etc. It was revolutionary in that it got pro baseball to start looking at what was really important as far as stats go but look they did not invent the idea and they did not win that many games from implementing the plan. Who were the three players they added to make up the lost value of Giambi, Damon (who had a crappy year in 2001) and one othe player I can’t think of. They added Hatteberg, Justice and gave little Giambi playing time. Look at those three guys. Not one of them added that much value to the 2002 team. Those early 2000’s teams were just really loaded with good pitching and homegrown talent. Heck in 2002 they traded Jeremy Giambi and Carlos Pena; two true three outcome players. Carlos Pena is the definition of a Moneyball player; low batting averege, plus power, walks and good defensively. Yup they traded a moneyball stud for a short term setup man.    

3 years 4 months ago

I don’t see a way of telling right now. With their great drafting, it might be early positions, great luck, or maybe they’re finding undervalued stats that aren’t known public right now that they look for in their would-be prospects, and draft based on that.

Who knows, maybe they’re finding new stats and using those to determine who they want. I’m sure eventually we’ll find out what it is, though.

notsureifsrs
3 years 4 months ago

and then some. check our jonah keri’s book “the extra 2%” on the rays’ model

3 years 4 months ago

They work having young player  working hard  to cash on free agency.
 Mariners were the best drafting pitchers for a while based on experience not on overhyped nerdiness

notsureifsrs
3 years 4 months ago

there’s no doubt that they have and do. one of the metrics they beat most everyone to the punch on (and continue to leverage in a big way) is velocity off-the-bat for their pitchers – including their kids in the minors. matt moore is the most impressive example, but part of how they measure all of their pitchers’ success is quality of contact surrendered as measured by velocity rather than ultimate defense-dependent results (hit/out). that data bridges the gap in large part between things like ERA, WHIP, BABIP and the DIPS (FIP, SIERA, tERA)

3 years 4 months ago

This would be the very interesting confirmation I was waiting for.

notsureifsrs
3 years 4 months ago

the idea behind the ‘nerdiness’ is to be able to be among the best for more than just awhile. even brian sabean can be the best for awhile

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

Jonah, is that you?

3 years 4 months ago

I’m not stating just OBP, just that it’s the most populary cited, so it makes it easier to refer to the stats used as OBP, etc. rather than other stats.

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 4 months ago

They are both rp who were converted to sp which is my point. I don’t want Bard to turn out like Joba. Valentine and Cherrington have to agree on where they want him, not jumping from sp to rp constantly.

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

“not jumping from sp to rp constantly.” The problem with your whole line of thinking is that this hasn’t happened, not even once.

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 4 months ago

Oh yeah because all 8 of those players would be on the 25 man roster this year…therefore its 1/3 of the team. Last year they didnt have Buchholz almost the entire year, that is a bigger loss than Dice K and Lackey combined. Youkilis was injured constantly as well, CC struggled all year yet they still managed to score the most runs in baseball. Bailey is a big loss but it was predictable that he would get injured at some point. I think they will be fine until the All Star break.

Tko11
Tko11
3 years 4 months ago

Actually it has happened…he was drafted as a starter, had terrible numbers then moved to reliever. Now he is once again a starter. 

MaineSox
3 years 4 months ago

99.9% of relievers were drafted as starters and then converted to relievers in pro ball, that’s not exclusive to Bard and Joba.  Literally every reliever-turned-starter in the game has gone through essentially the same progression to Bard at this point: Drafted/started out as a starter, turned to a reliever at some point as a pro, turned back into a starters at some later point in their careers.  Where Joba diverged from this path is when he went back to a reliever again a second time and then back to a starter again and then back to a reliever again