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Boston Red Sox 2021 Season Preview: Major League Starting Pitchers

Welcome to the 2021 positional preview series. Over the next seven days, we will be looking at each position group catcher, corner infield, middle infield, corner outfield, center field, starting pitchers, and relief pitchers ?throughout the organization. For each installment we will take a look at the projected starter, the options to come off the bench, the depth pieces who will be waiting at the Alternate Site/at Triple-A,the top prospect, the sleeper prospect, and all the rest of the prospects for each position. Today we look at the starting pitchers, starting here with the major leaguers, with the minor-league portion coming later today.OverviewWhen PECOTA came out last month, I was pleasantly surprised by the Sox projection. It was an 80 win projection, a far cry from the 65-win pace of last year team. Combine recency bias with my general frustration with the team new organizational ethos and you get a skeptic.So I took a deep dive into PECOTA looking for an explanation for what I thought was a rosy projection and learned a lot Without giving up the goods, here some things I found.The Red Sox are going from terrible to averageThere was an episode of For All You Kids Out There during the 2018 where Jarrett Seidler was talking about the Angels?terrible third base situation Eduardo Rodriguez Cat Jersey. I forget the specifics of the conversation, but the lesson was that the easiest upgrades to make are from terrible to average. You cut the bad player and replace him with one of the many readily available average players at that position and wallah! You instantly made a multi-WAR jump with minimal capital surrendered. Much easier than trying to upgrade something that already a position of strength where there aren as many upgrades available and where the cost will be higher.The Red Sox did this with their rotation. Now, some of this is minimized by Chris Sale Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez opting out of 2020.It wasn their plan to go into the season with Ryan Weber as their third starter, but good teams have the depth necessary to combat injuries and this team did not Pedro Martinez Dog Jersey. Their opening rotation last year was Nathan Eovaldi, Martn Prez, Weber, Josh Osich, and Matt Hall. This year, they getting back Rodriguez, bringing back Eovaldi and Prez, and are replacing Weber and Osich with Garrett Richards and Nick Pivetta. Granted, Pivetta doesn have a good track record, but they don have to pencil him in for 160 innings because they signed Richards, Matt Andriese, and acquired Connor Seabold in the same deal with Pivetta The Richards and Andriese signings along with Seabold and Pivetta have given this team some much needed depth, which is good news because PECOTA doesn project a single pitcher to throw 135 inningsThis is not a durable rotation. Rodriguez has thrown 170 innings only twice in his pro career.Prez has missed parts of three seasons with injuries. Richards spent several seasons trying to fight off Tommy John surgery before his UCL finally tore in 2018. Eovaldi has two Tommy Johns on file and last threw 160 innings in 2014. This stable isn going to stay healthy all year long and there a big chance several of them get hurt at once, depleting the depth they accumulated. It not a matter of if, but when, Connor Seabold and Tanner Houck are making starts for this team. Chris Sale returning smoothly from his own Tommy John would do wonders, but they are in some trouble if they have to dig any deeper than Seabold and Houck before he makes his way back Franchy Cordero Pet Jersey.

Jenkins Jenkins Apr 09 2021 0 30
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Apr 09 2021 (70 days ago)
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