The Red Sox announced Tuesday that right-hander Austin Brice has been outrighted to Triple-A Worcester after he went unclaimed on waivers. He was designated for assignment last week when Boston selected Danny Santana’s contract. While Brice has the requisite service time to reject the assignment and elect free agency, doing so would mean walking away from the remainder of this season’s $870K salary, so he’ll likely head to Worcester and hope to pitch his way back into the team’s big league plans.
Brice, 29 next month, has shown plenty of promise throughout his big league career but never put it together outside of a solid 2019 effort in Miami. He has, at various times, flashed not only the ability to miss bats at a high level but also shown strong ground-ball tendencies and posted solid walk rates. He’s never been able to get all three of those traits to align in a single season, however.
With the 2019 Marlins, Brice tossed 44 2/3 innings of 3.43 ERA ball with roughly average strikeout and ground-ball tendencies, but his time in Boston hasn’t gone well. He’s been clobbered for a 6.32 ERA with the Sox, and his overall career mark now sits at 5.18. Brice has had consistent success in Triple-A whenever he’s pitched there (career 2.70 ERA), so if he can get back in track in his fourth stint at that level, it’s possible he’ll return to the big league bullpen later this year.
AUSTINTACIOUS INFO: There have been 24 players with the first name “Austin” in Major League history. Of those 24 Austins, 13 have played this year. Also, 20 of the 24 began their MLB career in 2010 or later, while a 21st, Austin Kearns, started in 2002 and played until 2013. The only Austin to make an all-star team is Austin Meadows in 2019. Since most modern baseball trends are considered bad for the game, one can assume all these Austins are as well. We need fewer Austins and more Vladimirs.
humphrey x boegarts
don’t give Putin any ideas
You must really like the name.
I still got my Austin Kearns autograph from his Chattanooga Lookouts days.
Brice wasn’t mad enough to take the release.. NOBODY was going to give this guy a MLB deal after last season was my 2c, excepting for Bloom and waste a 40/26man spot. my question was why it took 1/4 of the way into the season and pitching worse than even his 2020 pathetic numbers to ditch the guy?
Have seen a cpl of Workman’s AAA games.. So-so on him. he doesn’t look like the guy from 2019 and prior. Curious if something wrong with his arm again? he is 1 of those 50% curveball guys.
waste a 40/26man spot. my question was why it took 1/4 of the way into the season
He was holding Brasier’s roster spot. Brasier’s finger is long healed, but the calf injury set him back.
He’s banished to AAA for the season unless there are a ton of injuries.
800k to play minor league baseball is a nice way to spend your time, and the money is good
You know things are not good in Boston when the recent stories are about players Bloom brought in that will not have an impact (yep almost every guy he’s brought to Boston except Pivetta) and possibly Verdugo if you think Bloom had anything to do with the Mookie give away.
Right now, the ship is speeding into an iceberg on June 1 and Bloom’s foremost thought is about Brice or Santana, not the replacement for Mookie’s enormous skill set with money gained by going under the luxury tax. Heck even a few low level live arms for the future is better than discussing the future of utility retreads.
Sure hope the Red Sox get a new manager and GM soon. It would be fun to at least have a hope of making the playoffs. That can’t happen until they acquire talent to replace Mookie and Price. The 2018 guys are swimming as fast as they can to pull the boat to the playoffs but there are simply too many anchors for that to happen. Bloom’s job is to replace the anchors with great swimmers. Apparently, he’s nodded off at his desk and/or knows that he’s not capable of doing what DD did, so why try! I’ll tell you why, it’s your job dbag!!! Go get some talent. You got lucky and jumped to a big lead and it’s already squandered by you not finding more talent to perpetuate the lead so go get some talent right now before your team sinks to the bottom of the division and all hope is lost for the playoffs.
Wouldn’t it be nice to see something other than Bloom retreads showing up as the top stories of the day? How can Bloom bridge the time from now until Sale and Houck come back to ensure the playoffs aren’t out of reach?
Red Sox fans, what would you do?
“It would be fun to at least have a hope of making the playoffs.” Yeah, you’re trolling.
Curtisrowe – Seriously? Trolling for suggesting the Red Sox don’t have a hope of making the playoffs? I guarantee I have supported the Red Sox for much longer than you and my angry words come from the colossal screw ups since 2019. As far as not having a hope, look at the June schedule. Then go back and look at April and May. The hot start was against many weak teams. Being far ahead of expectations should land you in first place. It didn’t. There are 8 teams that are withing 2 losses of the Red Sox after their incredible start. When they come back to reality those team under performing yet within two games will blow by them. Let’s hope they finish in front of the Orioles because that’s not even a certainty.
The hot start was against many weak teams.
That had little impact. We’re 11-6 against teams > .500, and 8-4 against 1st place teams.
How can Bloom bridge the time from now until Sale and Houck come back to ensure the playoffs aren’t out of reach?
Red Sox fans, what would you do?
Nothing really to do. Our BP has the #5 ERA in the league. Our rotation is #6. And our offense is #3. I’m not a fan of trying to improve a strength, so I wouldn’t add any hitting. There is no one in the rotation right now that I’d want to replace. Assuming Pivetta and Perez are our #4/5, it would be really expensive to find someone that is a material improvement.
IRT the BP, Barnes, Ottavino, Hernandez & Taylor all have an OPSa of less than .600 this month, and that is likely sustainable. Sawamura & Whitlock could be good. Outside of Ottavino’s inconsistency, there are no changes that can be made.
JB – Good answer. I agree that it would take a DD-like move to change the future of the 2021 season and like you I don’t see it happening.
All the stats you present and the team isn’t in first and there are 8 teams within 2 losses of the Red Sox. That to me, suggests a need for a move by Bloom to keep them swimming with the teams that are passing them as they settle into a more normal winning percentage for their talent.
In April while playing a weaker schedule the Red Sox went 8 – 8 at home and 9 – 2 on the road. In May, with a slightly tougher schedule they have gone 6 – 5 at home and 7 – 5 on the road. With the juggernaut June schedule, I predict the over .500 winning percentage will end and they will struggle to maintain .500 at home. The May numbers saw them fall in the standings by several games. That’s how good the division is and why it’s just a matter of time.
You say there is no one in the rotation you would want to replace? Will you sit Sale when he comes back to keep ANY of the current starters in the line-up? Same with Houck. There is a big difference between SPs doing far better than expected and pitching well enough to win a playoff spot. Would any of the starters qualify as the starter in the all-star game? NOPE. That’s what Sale did for Boston in both 2018 and 2017. That’s what missing from the pitching. Right now the Red Sox have many #3, #4 and #5 type starters filling the 5 slots. They need a true #1 like Sale and a true #2 like Price in the old days. It wouldn’t hurt to have a better #3 as well. Then the current guys could fill the 4 and 5 slots where they belong.
Hitting is a bit different in that the leftovers from 2018 are doing a fantastic job keeping them in games. I applaud JD, Bogey, Devers and even Verdugo for keeping the team near the front of the pack. The problem is with the four spots other than catcher that aren’t playing as well as other teams #6 thru #9 hitters.
Last point about money. The Red Sox didn’t need to dump Mookie for money. Picture a few fat old kings sitting on a pile of gold that nearly reaches the ceiling of the room they are in. That’s what they had when they DIDN’T pay Mookie what he wanted. That pile has grown since then and so I truly believe money is not a problem for the Red Sox. Ownership greed might be the problem now. Lack of an experienced GM who can make big time deals is definitely a problem right now. But money? Nope, it is not a problem right now!
As the organization looks to 2022 what are they doing to improve the future? Utility retreads don’t make for a brighter future in my book. Renfroe homers more than JBJ but can’t field nearly as well. Verdugo is a nice tier two player but he’s filling the shoes of a tier 1 player. Benny is thriving in KC now and Cordero is terrible. Other than Pivetta, Bloom has struggled to add value to a team desperately needing value. Time to eject him and the cheating manager and build some quality and integrity into the organization. The 2021 season will be over in a month so why not prepare for the future by figuring out how to fill the long-term holes they have created around the ball club. Sure, Duran can plug the CF hole and Houck with Pivetta gives you two great supporting parts for Sale. If you believe E-Rod is a #2 SP then like Bloom you aren’t qualified to select the future players that will take Boston back to the playoffs and WS. E-Rod is a decent #3 SP with Houck and Pivetta being the future #4-5 pitchers. The Red Sox need a legit #2 SP to go behind Sale. Houck or Pivetta may some day fill that role but for now they need at Tier 1 pitcher not Richards or Perez in the 2 slot. Cheap acquisitions won’t win divisions or give you a playoff spot.
I loved your stats but OPSs don’t mean much if the team can’t win enough games to make the playoffs. Being good in this division will get you a seat in front of your TV in October. You need to have an outstanding team to beat NYY, TOR and TB to make the playoffs. The Red Sox are good right now, not outstanding. It’s Bloom’s job to make them outstanding and they have the money to do it.
I miss DD. He would have upgraded the team by now
All the stats you present and the team isn’t in first and there are 8 teams within 2 losses of the Red Sox.
That’s the same with all the playoff contenders. Except for the NYMs, every 1st place team is less than two games above the 2nd place team.
More importantly, it is too early to chase. Just like every other ~ .600 team, no one is making any moves yet. It is too early. While I applaud you changing your stance form ’70 wins is a fantasy’ to ‘what do we need to do to win a WS this year’, I would not do so for two reasons.
1-As stated above, we do not have any mission-critical weaknesses to address. While I would like some more certainty in the 8th inning, I’d only pay a modest amount to upgrade.
2- While yes, we are a .600 team, I only predicted them for 86 wins. If we are still playing .600 at the trade deadline, then I think we should certainly acquisition mode.
FWIW, #1 & #2 are strongly interrelated. Too many fans want their team to ‘make a move’. Right now, we have no big weaknesses. If we make a move now, for a setup guy for example, and then later on, we need a catcher or SP, then the move for a setup will hurt our chances of getting someone that we might really need.
In addition, you also need to wait until some teams fall out. My guess is that, in another month, maybe 10 more teams will realize they have no shot. That’s when guys like Castillo or Castellanos might be on the block.
That process cannot be pushed, which is exactly why exactly no one is making any major moves right now.
They need a true #1 like Sale and a true #2 like Price in the old days.
I agree with the theory. But I don’t share your optimism that this is a WS contender. Like I said, if we are still at .600, even at the ASB, I’d be inclined to see if any #1/2 types are available. But we don’t know yet if we are a WS contender, and we don’t know yet if any big SPs will be available.
The absolute last thing we should do is to empty the farm for a #1, and then find out that 90 wins aren’t enough to make the playoffs.
JB – Sorry for the delay I was out of town. Actually caught a Sea Dogs game last friday!
Lets start with being a .600 team. The Red Sox finished April at .630 as their winning percentage. In May, they finished the month with a .577 winning percentage leaving their YTD winning percentage at .604 which is .026 lower than a month earlier. Don’t see any reasons to be concerned?
Ok, lets address you refuting my point that April and May were relatively easy months. When a schedule is set up there is no way who will be hot and who will be cold when a team plays them. I classify teams into tiers. Good teams are going to make the playoffs.
In the AL that means TB, NYY, TOR, HOU and CHI. Average teams will hang out just below the playoff teams and in the AL that would be MIN, LAA, CLE and OAK. Bad teams are not terribly competitive like BOS, BAL, DET, KC, SEA and TEX. SInce I consider BOSTON Tier 3 and they don’t play themselves their competition is comprised of 5 TIer 1 teams, 4 tier 2 teams and 5 tier 3 teams.
A quick summary of their schedule based on the tiers I just laid out shows:
APRIL – 17-10 record
TIER 1 – 9 games (6-3 thanks to early season sweep of TB)
TIER 2 – 6 games (4AL/2NL) (3-1 in AL and 2-0 in NL)
TIER 3 – 12 games (6-6 splitting every series)
MAY – 15-11 record
TIER 1 – 6 games (4 AL/ 2 NL) (2-2 in AL and 1-1 vs NL)
TIER 2 – 9 games (6 AL/3 NL) (3-3 in AL and 2-1 in NL)
TIER 3 – 11` games (9 AL/2NL) (5-4 in AL and 2-0 in NL)
So after 1/3 of the season they have played 15 Tier 1 games, 15 Tier 2 games and 23 Tier 3 games. Not exactly a challenging schedule!!
JUNE – 0-1
TIER 1 – 21 games (0-1 so far)
TIER 2 – 0 games
TIER 3 – 7 games (6 AL/1 NL)
That’s a tough month!! If you had looked at the entire schedule before we started responding to each other you would have seen why I thought a sub .500 season was unlikely but the season hinged on the early part because the soft part of the schedule was April thru May. If you had said they would to be over .500 thru May, I would not have disagreed. Through June? No way.
No major injuries other than those pre-existing and the first two months ended with them NOT in 1st place despite leading after April by several games. The start has been unexpected but what is more unexpected is them doing well in June. If it happens your theory on .500 for the season becomes viable. A bad June puts them right where I said they would be, 4th just barely ahead of Baltimore and not in contention for the playoffs. Remember, they must finish ahead of one of the three big teams in the division. Otherwise, they are just repeating 2020 but with an exciting start to the year.
Next, you stated that it’s too early to deal. That’s is precisely why you are not a GM but you might still be better than Bloom!!!
Right now the team is far above their skill set. It’s not sustainable so as reality sets in the GM MUST choose NOW not at the deadline whether they want to compete this year. Without any cap retraints, it’s time to convince GMs with players like Castellanos or Castillo on thier rosters that trading now will benefit them because it will give them a longer look at the future team after the trade. The Red Sox need to think long-term so filling the #2 SP spot with Castillo is a great idea since he’s a righty and Sale the #1 SP is lefty. That’s a brilliant move to do right now because it’s not to win this year it’s to build the future starting staff. Give them whatever they want other than Sale, Houck, Pivetta, Bogaerts, Devers, JD. Vazquez or Dalbec. It’s a great long term fix and the type of move DD would be looking at right now not waiting until the deadline when they won’t be in race and the price will be higher.
Timing of trades is critical and you are using EVERYONE’s playbook and that’s very predictable. Use the element of surprise and dazzle someone into trading you a building block when buyers and sellers are NOT defined. The Red Sox have building blocks at C, 1B, 3B, SS, CF, RF, SP1, SP3, SP4. The most critical missing piece is SP2. They have money and they have fabricated the value of the farm system players by marketing them above their real value. Trade them and anything else Cincy wants to add a big piece of the future.
Last comment relates to your second comment.
This is not a contender as of today. As I just talked about, it needs several key pieces to become competitive with NYY, TOR and TB. It needs a solid 5 man rotation and I don’t believe guys like Richards should be in the future vision of the rotation. Sale, TBD, Houck, Pivetta and Perez is highly competitive as Houck and Pivetta settle in as MLB pitchers. Perez is cheap enough to fill the #5 spot until someone like Mota is ready.
C – Vazquez
1B – Dalbec
2B – TBD
SS – Bogey
3B – Devers until JD moves on
LF – TBD
CF – Duran
RF – Verdugo
DH – JD for now, Devers eventually
The TBDs need to be identified and procured and a few of the players need to develop into legitimate MLB starters. The Bloom approach of a billion utility guys needs to be honed to address injuries to the above 9 hitters and the pitching staff.
Depth in late inning relievers is needed along with depth at closer. Barnes has performed above his skill level and when he comes back to reality they will need to use Ottavino. More live and accurate arms are needed.
So, Bloom has ONE huge challenge in finding a legitimate #2 SP that will stay as long as Sale is in Boston. He needs to determine the timing of moving JD to another team and move Devers to DH to improve the defense and maintain the middle of the batting order. Bloom needs to find a high upside left-fielder who can hit, run and step in for Verdugo in right or Duran in center if one gets injured. Renfroe is another player way above his skill set. He is not the LF long term solution. He is an excellent #4 OF and pinch hitter since he’s always a threat to go downtown.
JB, it always comes back to the same thing. When Bloom traded away Mookie and Price he created a monster hole in the team skills. He needs to find a #2 SP to fill the pitching hole and he needs to find a huge bat to fill the hitting hole. The rest of the team has enough skill to make them a contender when those two moves are completed. I think fixing the problem sooner rather than later moves up the recovery time line
I agree 2021 will not be a playoff year and if they get the crap beat out of them in June I am curious to see how ownership reacts, how management reacts and how the players react. The .500 season is by no means a lock but the quick start should put them above 65 wins. How many above will be a lot clearer after June and after Sale and Houck return to the line-up.
” you would have seen why I thought a sub .500 season was unlikely ”
You thought a sub-.500 season was unlikely? When did you come to that epiphany? The entire discussion started when you said that 70 wins was a fantasy. If you thought a sub-.500 season was unlikely, then we are in complete agreement.
JB – Calm down it was a typo.!!!
It should have read “you would have seen why I thought a sub .500 season was so likely”
The Red Sox are 0-2 in June and you’ve seen the June schedule. When I saw they weren’t playing the Yankees until June I knew a decent start was possible but that by the end of June, they would be sub .500. That still looks to be the case but the fast start suggests 65 wins should be surpassed unless key injuries happen. Heck, they could win 70 games thanks to their good start but they also could still win 65. There is a lot of season left and lots of time for good and bad things to happen. Any time a team has all good things happen in the first two months I always figure they are overdue for some bad things to happen, especially with Cora as manager and Bloom as GM. Mistakes alone should curb their winning like it has in the past years with Cora at the helm.
“you would have seen why I thought a sub .500 season was so likely”
That’s what I love about the True Believers. No amount of evidence will convince them otherwise.
“The Red Sox are 0-2 in June”
Still running with the small sample sizes? I’ve studied math. It doesn’t work that way. Even now, as the RS have played .500, on the road, against top teams, 4 games is fairly meaningless.
But, as they always say, never educate a bad poker player.