March 2, 2020

Rodriguez, Eovaldi, Sale All Look Good On Mound As Red Sox Also Consider Openers

Eduardo Rodriguez, who may get the ball on Opening Day three weeks from Thursday, struck out six Yankees in three innings on Saturday. He allowed two hits and no walks.

On Sunday, Nathan Eovaldi worked on his slider and struck out four in three shutout innings against Atlanta. He has been sharp in both of his starts this spring.
I had consistent break with [the slider]. I tinkered around with the grip a little bit, but the command on my off-speed pitches has been really good and my mechanics are really good right now.
Rafael Devers hit a two-run homer in the first inning.

Also on Sunday, Chris Sale threw 15 pitches in a live batting practice session. Catcher Kevin Plawecki gave a good report on Sale's slider:
It's still got that funk to it. It's a lot easier when I know it's coming rather than facing it. I've been looking forward to catching him ever since I signed here so it was good to get back there and see him first-hand, and everything looked really good.
Josh Ockimey, who bopped Sale's final pitch - a fastball - over the fence in right, still remembers a nasty slider Sale threw him three years ago.
It looked like the thing was in the dugout and it ended up coming across the plate.
Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom talked with the coaching staff on Sunday about the possible use of an opener.

Pitching coach Dave Bush:
My initial response back when [Tampa Bay] started doing it was, "What are they doing? This is weird, it's different. I don't understand it." [O]ut of curiosity, I dug into it a little bit and asked some questions of other people and had a much better feel for why they were doing it. ... [Bloom] likes hearing opinions from everybody and I don't know exactly what's on his agenda. If it's like other things we've done, it's a chance for everyone to have an opinion and talk and listen and educate ourselves and then collectively come up with whatever we think is the right solution.
Manager Ron Roenicke:
It's not always one formula. He said it changes from game to game, depending on whether you're winning, depending on whether you're losing, depending on whether that second guy that comes in is actually really good or if he's an inning-eater. And all these things change.
He's been really open about it since he was hired, that we are not necessarily going to do things that he did in Tampa, but that we might, if it suits our team and our situation the best. He's been very open and careful about that ...
Chaim mentioned that [with the Rays], they had two guys who were coming up in the minor leagues that they liked [for the opener role]. One they thought would have a hard time adjusting to starting one day and relieving the next time. It ended up just the opposite. The other guy, who they thought wouldn't have a problem with it, ended up having more of a problem with it. So until you do it, you really don't know. Darwinzon [Hernandez] is one probably of those guys. Down the road, this guy could end up a starter. ... And yet, his personality, he's got a lot of emotion. Is that what you want to maybe start off? ... Maybe he does it for a while and then proves that he does the other for a while. We don't know.

But there may be some optimism in MFY-land.

Maybe he'll get lucky and play in 20 games this season!!

1 comment:

Jim said...

The Sox should be focusing just as much on the guy who follows the opener, as he theoretically will need more outs. Oft-mentioned Brian Johnson does not elicit cartwheels.