Good afternoon everyone, it’s time to dive back into the mailbag and answer some of your questions. Remember to send in your questions for our bi-weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
The idiot that said, “Harper is coming” asks: Has Scott Boras overplayed his hand this time? He still has five of the top free agents available as clients. There’s very little buzz around any of them and we’re getting awfully close to spring training. Maybe all his clients sign on the same day and it will forever be known as Boras Day?
We’ve discussed this internally in the Pinstripe Alley Slack a bit, but the consensus opinion is that Scott Boras has earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to playing the waiting game. It may be frustratingly long, and it may come right before or even during spring training, but expect these clients to find sizeable deals. The wonder at this point is how far one side will cave to close the gaps that currently exist between Boras and any interested teams — we don’t know most of the exact numbers, but there’s reportedly a canyon between Blake Snell’s asking point and what teams have offered. If he fails this offseason then it would be the first real blow to Boras’ reputation in a long while, but he’s known as the super agent for a reason.
Doug M. asks: At one point during the 2022 season, Ron Marinaccio was the Yankees’ best relief pitcher. Now he largely goes without mention. What hope can we have of him capturing past effectiveness? Have you heard anything that may give us fans hope? When he was good, he was really really good.
There was a trend with Marinaccio’s season that emerged in 2022 and came back with a vengeance in 2023. Our own Noah Garcia covered it back in July — he’s dealt with severe innings limitations, hitting a brick wall after roughly 30-40 innings. Shortly after that observation, the wheels fell off for good and Marinaccio got sent down to work his issues out in Triple-A. He appeared in one game in September, and then his season was over.
Finding long-term stability for Marinaccio is going to be the key to his development. He’s got the talent to be in the backend of the bullpen permanently, but if he’s going to flame out midseason every year it’s going to get increasingly difficult to roster him, especially once his options run out. While games in April and May matter just as much as September, if he’s not going to be available for the postseason, it becomes a problem that could lead to the team shopping him to get a more consistent performer. Since becoming a full-time reliever, Marinaccio’s professional-high in innings came in 2021 with 66.1 split across Double-A and Triple-A. That’s about the workload they’ll have to aim for this year, barring injuries, and we’ll see if he holds up this time around.
LocalBlueWhaleRuinsEverything asks: As things stand, is Luke Weaver the sixth starter? If so, who would be the next man up behind him? Beeter, Warren, Poteet, or someone else?
By virtue of being locked into the roster without a minor-league option, it’s fair to say that Weaver is indeed first man up into the rotation at the moment. Whether he’s the best option remains to be seen, and the spring should give us a good idea of where each of these guys stacks up once a roster shuffle actually occurs, but for now the pecking order in some way has Weaver in the ‘pen for long relief with Clayton Beeter and Will Warren stretching out in Triple-A. Of the two, Warren has an outside shot of making the team as a reliever as well, but he’s now one of the team’s best remaining pitching prospects and they might want to give him some time to season. Meanwhile, Beeter fell apart once promoted to Triple-A, so he needs the development time the most.