•   
  •   
  •   

Sport Garrett Richards’ bullpen rebirth is good for him and the Red Sox

22:00  20 september  2021
22:00  20 september  2021 Source:   mlbtraderumors.com

Red Sox place Danny Santana on COVID-19 IL as outbreak continues to worsen

  Red Sox place Danny Santana on COVID-19 IL as outbreak continues to worsen Shortly after announcing that right-hander Nick Pivetta had been placed on the COVID-19-related injured list, the Red Sox announced that infielder Danny Santana has also been placed on the list. The #RedSox today placed INF/OF Danny Santana on the COVID-19 Related Injured List. To fill Santana’s spot on the active roster, the Red Sox recalled OF Franchy Cordero from Triple-A Worcester.

The Red Sox’s offseason addition of right-hander Garrett Richards to their rotation didn’t pan out quite like chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, general manager Brian O’Halloran and the rest of the Boston front office hoped. Richards got out to a solid start, pitching to a 3.75 ERA through his first 11 trips with a 20.2 percent strikeout rate, an 11.6 percent walk rate and a 48.9 percent ground-ball rate. He wasn’t exactly dominant, but for a pitcher who signed a one-year, $10M contract with a club option, the results to that point were a bargain.

a person in a baseball uniform throwing a ball: Boston Red Sox pitcher Garrett Richards © David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports Boston Red Sox pitcher Garrett Richards

Things spiraled downhill rapidly for Richards from that point forth, however. Over his next 11 starts, from June 6 through Aug. 8, Richards was clobbered for a 6.97 ERA. He went from averaging just over 5 1/3 innings per start to 4 1/3 frames, and his strikeout rate plummeted to just 14.3 percent.

MLB on Hunter Renfroe's COVID testing claims: 'Completely wrong and inaccurate'

  MLB on Hunter Renfroe's COVID testing claims: 'Completely wrong and inaccurate' The Red Sox also refuted Renfroe's comments."MLB basically told us to stop the testing and just treat the symptoms," Renfroe said Thursday on WEEI's "Merloni and Fauria" show (h/t ESPN's Joon Lee). "And we were like, 'No, we're going to figure out what's going on and keep trying to keep this thing under control.

This isn’t intended to serve as some form of exposé on pitchers utilizing foreign substances, but it’s important context to note that Richards, a traditionally high-spin-rate pitcher, saw his decline coincide with the league’s memo on the forthcoming foreign-substance crackdown. Richards didn’t shy away from acknowledging that he’d used foreign substances, though he insisted to Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic that he’d only ever used a combination of sunscreen and rosin. (Both McCaffrey’s June 24 and June 30 interviews with Richards are well worth a full read for context.)

“(I’m) going through a little transition period right now,” Richards told McCaffery in late June. “Changing some grips on some of my pitches, learning new pitches, just trying to figure this whole thing out.”

Astros right-hander Zack Greinke confirms he tested positive for COVID-19

  Astros right-hander Zack Greinke confirms he tested positive for COVID-19 Greinke has slowly been working his way back to the mound and will start Tuesday's game against the Texas Rangers.Greinke provided an update Saturday, saying he, his wife and two sons all tested positive for COVID-19, adding that all four are fully vaccinated, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.

That “transition” period didn’t exactly pay dividends for Richards, evidenced by the previously referenced plummet in his results. The Red Sox gave him some runway to try to sort things out, but on Aug. 11, they pulled him from the rotation and plugged him into the bullpen. So far, it’s proven to be a game-changer for both the Sox and for Richards himself.

Since moving into a short-relief role, Richards has dominated. He’s tossed 20 2/3 innings of relief, pitching to a 0.87 ERA with a 29.4 percent strikeout rate, a 9.4 percent walk rate and a 48.1 percent ground-ball rate. Richards’ fastball averaged 94.2 mph out of the rotation, and that’s jumped to 95.0 mph in the ’pen — 95.3 mph since Sept. 1.

Richards has also seen gains in swinging-strike rate (from 9.4 percent to 10.8 percent), opponents’ chase rate (27.9 percent to 34.5 percent), opponents’ average exit velocity (91.6 mph to 89.4 mph) and an overwhelming drop in his opponents’ barrel rate — from 9.3 percent all the way down to 1.9 percent. Since moving to a relief role, he’s allowed just one “barreled” ball, as measured by Statcast, and he has yet to surrender a home run.

Denise Richards Wants Sami 'to Have Boundaries' Amid Charlie Sheen Drama

  Denise Richards Wants Sami 'to Have Boundaries' Amid Charlie Sheen Drama Denise Richards Wants Sami 'to Have Boundaries' Amid Charlie Sheen Drama“Denise is just like any other divorce parent dealing with a rebellious teenage daughter,” the source says. “It’s better for Sami if Denise and Charlie were coparenting her during this time. They are not. Sami is living with Charlie at his apartment in Malibu.

It’s true that we’re only looking at a sample of 20 2/3 frames right now, but Richards’ dominance is going to give the Red Sox a decision that as recently as early August looked to be a foregone conclusion. The 33-year-old’s one-year, $10M contract carries a $10M club option for the 2022 season, which comes with a $1.5M buyout. The Red Sox will effectively have to make a net $8.5M decision on him for the 2022 season, and while that looked like an easy option to buy out when he was floundering in the rotation, the price tag suddenly looks much more palatable.

Some may raise an eyebrow at the notion of doling out an extra $8.5M based on a few weeks of work in the bullpen, but there’s pretty recent precedent of a reliever being paid at that level following a similar late shift to the ’pen. When the Brewers acquired Drew Pomeranz from the Giants in 2019, they did so by somewhat surprisingly sending a fairly well-regarded prospect to San Francisco in return: Mauricio Dubon. Pomeranz had made just four relief appearances when the Brewers took that plunge.

It proved to be a terrific decision for Milwaukee, as Pomeranz worked to a 2.39 ERA with an overwhelming 45 percent strikeout rate in 26 1/3 innings down the stretch. He rode that wave of momentum into free agency, where he cashed in on a four-year, $34M contract with the Padres.

Red Sox reliever Garrett Whitlock heads to IL with pectoral strain

  Red Sox reliever Garrett Whitlock heads to IL with pectoral strain Alex Cora stressed that the club doesn’t view the injury as overly serious but wants to be cautious to not aggravate the issue. He didn’t rule out the possibility of Whitlock returning after a 10-day minimal absence. © Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Garrett Whitlock Even if Whitlock is able to make it by the middle of next week, his loss will still be a tough blow for a Boston team in a tightly contested wild-card race. The Red Sox enter play Tuesday up a game and a half on the Blue Jays for the top wild-card position in the American League.

Pomeranz was excellent through his first 44 1/3 innings of that contract before undergoing season-ending surgery, but the results of his contract aren’t really consequential with regard to Richards. The mere fact that Pomeranz was able to command a four-year deal in the first place certainly suggests that the market could bear a nice multi-year guarantee for Richards, assuming he sustains this pace for the season’s final couple of weeks. Richards hasn’t been quite as dominant in terms of missing bats and limiting walks, and it’s critical to point out that he’s two years older now than Pomeranz was when he hit free agency. Still, even if a four-year pact isn’t on the table, a two- or three-year contract could be feasible.

The Sox have just shy of $104M in guarantees on the books for next season. They’ll have to make decisions on club options for catcher Christian Vazquez ($7M) and left-hander Martin Perez ($6M). Boston also owes $16M to the Dodgers under the David Price trade. Even with those additional financial considerations, this is a former luxury-tax payor that came close to paying the tax in 2021. Payrolls in the $200M range aren’t out of the norm in Boston. A net $8.5M decision on a reliever who has looked largely unhittable late since moving out of the rotation is something the Red Sox can afford if they’re sold on Richards’ renaissance in the bullpen.

Cleveland ace Shane Bieber to return Friday vs. White Sox

  Cleveland ace Shane Bieber to return Friday vs. White Sox Cleveland won't have an October to remember this time around, but reigning AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber is getting his wish to return to the mound in 2021.Cleveland won't have an October to remember this time around, but Bieber is getting his wish.

If the Sox ultimately decide to buy Richards out and pursue other bullpen options, that could work out even better for the right-hander. He’d suddenly be one of the more interesting options in a free-agent class of relievers that doesn’t feature many high-end names. Whatever path the Sox choose, the decision to move Richards out of the rotation looks like a good one for all parties at this point.

Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive newsletter in sports. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. Emailed daily. Always free! Sign up now ▸

More must-reads:

  • Adam Ottavino 'got pretty annoyed' by Red Sox teammates not taking COVID-19 protocol seriously
  • Red Sox activate ace Chris Sale, closer Matt Barnes from COVID injured list
  • The '2018 Boston Red Sox World Series roster' quiz

Related slideshow: Babe Ruth: Career retrospective (Provided by Yardbarker)

As MLB brings 'Field of Dreams' to life: Here's 6 other iconic venues we want to see a game .
What if sporting events were played at sites made famous on the big screen? Here's a few ideas: Boxing at the Colosseum Commodus may not appear in the emperor's chair to give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down like he did in "Gladiator," but this would still be an iconic place for two fighters to face each other in the ring. It would prove tough to strengthen the infrastructure to seat thousands of people and construct a sturdy ring, all while preserving thousands of years of history. But the spectacle (imagine Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor-level hype) would be worth it.

usr: 1
This is interesting!