Want to know why Dallas Keuchel is a bad fit for the Red Sox? Alex Cora's answer to a totally unrelated question tells the story.
Speaking to reporters before the game Wednesday vs. the Tigers, the Red Sox manager was asked about the evolution of baseball to a swing-and-miss league, with more strikeouts than hits across the game for the first time ever last year.
"I honestly feel that the stuff we see on a nightly basis…is better than any other moment in the history of the game," Cora said. "You have guys throwing 95, cutting the ball, spinning the ball, they used to be sinkerball pitchers and now they throw cutters and there's so much stuff that goes on to shape pitches and so much information about hitters. I think the pitching side of it, analytics-wise is ahead of the hitting side of it. Now there's no 88 [mph], sinker, and a slider, now a guy pitching the fifth inning or sixth inning is throwing 97, 98, so I think that has a lot to do with what's going on."
How does this relate to Keuchel? The free agent left-hander remains unsigned, joining a purgatory that includes ex-Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel. With Nathan Eovaldi out for one month and possibly two following elbow surgery, the Red Sox could be in a market for a starter, which has led some to identify Keuchel as a ready-made option, even though signing him before June would cost the team a draft pick.
Think again. Keuchel is basically the antithesis of the hard thrower Cora described above, and the Red Sox put a premium on pure stuff, not just in terms of velocity, but spin rate, too.