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View Full Version : Morosi assessment of the AL Central


DumpJerry
01-10-2010, 07:23 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Morosi-AL-Central-still-weak-011010

He says the Twins and White Sox are the best in the weakest division. He does like the potential in our rotation.

Oblong
01-10-2010, 08:15 PM
Morosi worked for the Detroit Free Press for a few years before going to Fox last year. He's very good. I considered him the best of the local guys. Very informative and researched. Not afraid to talk about stats beyond AVG, HR, RBI or W-L, ERA.

I think his analysis is spot on too in this. It's a tough division to get a handle on.

Frater Perdurabo
01-10-2010, 08:50 PM
Just win the division and get in the playoffs. Once there, our rotation will give us a good shot.

pythons007
01-11-2010, 08:53 AM
Just win the division and get in the playoffs. Once there, our rotation will give us a good shot.


Thats what I say. This division is so winnable it isn't even funny. After Detroit sent away half their key players this offseason, I'd be suprised if they finished over .500! This should be a two team race as always between Minnesota and Chicago. Cleveland and Kansas City are complete jokes with KC adding half of the Sox players who can't play Brian Anderson, Scott Podsednik (if he's going to be their starting CF), Chris Getz, Josh Fields.... anyone else????

I'd be surprised to see anyone besides the Sox or Twins atop this division come October!

Shoeless_Jeff
01-11-2010, 12:51 PM
I remember 06 when the central had three teams that won 90 or more games. Now its the laughing stock of the league.

Domeshot17
01-11-2010, 12:57 PM
Just win the division and get in the playoffs. Once there, our rotation will give us a good shot.

I disagree with this. I mean yes, we have a nice rotation. But our front 4 isn't the best in the AL, probably not the 2nd best in October, so if we assume Yanks and Boston both get in, we face 1 of them, We don't have a better rotation than either, maybe equal to Yanks, Boston has by and far the best in baseball, and we have punted offense because our division is winnable. Nothing about this plan screams championship to me.

asindc
01-11-2010, 01:02 PM
I disagree with this. I mean yes, we have a nice rotation. But our front 4 isn't the best in the AL, probably not the 2nd best in October, so if we assume Yanks and Boston both get in, we face 1 of them, We don't have a better rotation than either, maybe equal to Yanks, Boston has by and far the best in baseball, and we have punted offense because our division is winnable. Nothing about this plan screams championship to me.

If you are including Pettitte in your assessment of NYY's front four, then I disagree. If not, who do you consider their 4th best starter?

oeo
01-11-2010, 01:09 PM
I disagree with this. I mean yes, we have a nice rotation. But our front 4 isn't the best in the AL, probably not the 2nd best in October, so if we assume Yanks and Boston both get in, we face 1 of them, We don't have a better rotation than either, maybe equal to Yanks, Boston has by and far the best in baseball, and we have punted offense because our division is winnable. Nothing about this plan screams championship to me.

I couldn't disagree more. Our rotation is better than New York's. The only advantage they have is probably CC over Peavy, and I only say that because Peavy hasn't pitched in the AL...though his stuff looks like it succeed anywhere. Every other spot in the Top 4 is advantage White Sox...no way you can disagree with that. Burnett (somehow this guy is still thought of as an ace, but has been a dud in that department since entering the AL) and Pettitte are in no way better than Buehrle and Danks, also Floyd >>> Vazquez. It also matches up with Boston really well if Danks steps it up a notch like I think he will.

Why is the Yankees rotation so overrated? Our rotation was better than theirs last year, and we added Peavy while they only added Javy Vazquez.

Chez
01-11-2010, 01:10 PM
Thats what I say. This division is so winnable it isn't even funny. After Detroit sent away half their key players this offseason, I'd be suprised if they finished over .500! This should be a two team race as always between Minnesota and Chicago. Cleveland and Kansas City are complete jokes with KC adding half of the Sox players who can't play Brian Anderson, Scott Podsednik (if he's going to be their starting CF), Chris Getz, Josh Fields.... anyone else????

I'd be surprised to see anyone besides the Sox or Twins atop this division come October!

The great Wilson Betemit also has signed with the Royals!

doublem23
01-11-2010, 01:17 PM
I disagree with this. I mean yes, we have a nice rotation. But our front 4 isn't the best in the AL, probably not the 2nd best in October, so if we assume Yanks and Boston both get in, we face 1 of them, We don't have a better rotation than either, maybe equal to Yanks, Boston has by and far the best in baseball, and we have punted offense because our division is winnable. Nothing about this plan screams championship to me.

Boy you're going to have to explain your love affair with the Red Sox rotation. They've got Lester and Beckett, which is nice, but I'll take Jake Peavy over either of them as a #1 any day of the week, but their back 2, Lackey and Dice-K are as ho-hum as white bread. Lackey's never been anything more than an innings-eating, league-average pitcher who had the convenience of playing his home games in a giant ballpark. Dice-K is a mystery, is he the guy that dropped a sub-2.00 ERA in 2008 or is he the trainwreck he was last season? That will go a long way in determining who has the better starting pitching staff, but you're give the Sawx way too much credit (or selling our boys short) if you're willing to say they're "by far the best rotation in baseball."

FarmerAndy
01-11-2010, 01:47 PM
Lackey's never been anything more than an innings-eating, league-average pitcher who had the convenience of playing his home games in a giant ballpark.

Lackey might not be in the Sabathia category, but he's more than a league-average pitcher. On our staff, he'd easily be the #2 starter behind Peavy. (Who, by the way, enjoyed the convenience of baseball's most pitcher friendly park for almost all of his career.)

Domeshot17
01-11-2010, 01:50 PM
The top 4 of each team in my view:

Peavy Burls Danks Gavin

Beckett Lester Lackey (1 of Dice K or Bucholz)

CC Burnett Pettite Javy/Joba

All 3 have a clean number 1. Yanks probably have the best in CC, I would say Peavy and Beckett are pretty equal.

my projected: CC 21-8 3.41 ERA Peavy 17-7 3.54 ERA Beckett 19-8 3.74 ERA

Number 2, Lester takes it in my mind, hes starting to enter into his own, he is basically already where we are praying Danks goes, and he has plenty to grow with. Burls is 2nd best, with AJ not too far behind.

My projected: Lester 17-6 3.55 ERA Burls 14-9 3.77 Burnett 14-10 4.14

Number 3

I don't care if you want to cut Lackey down and call him league average, The man has been great in his career. Infact, he compares very well to our Mark Buehrle. I would rank it Lackey Danks Pettite, but the the big key here is does Danks step up to the next level or hover like he has.

My projected: Lackey 15-10 3.79 Danks 14-11 3.92 Pettite 14-8 4.05

Number 4

Good depth for all 4 in the 4 spot here. Yanks have Javy who was amazing last year. We have Gavin who took a step back last year but wasn't bad, and the Red Sox have 1 of Dice K Wakefield or does Buchholz (A) Get enough time in the Boston rotation or (b) also step up.

This is really a crapshoot here, Javy had the best year last year by far, but NL park, we will have to see. Joe Girardi seems like a great manager to handle him. Gavin could step back up or he could stay down. Boston has a good group of guys but no one has stepped up yet, and the Yanks also have a big time prospect they are holding out hope for in Joba, who on sheer potential could possibly be the best of the young pitchers of the 3 teams, but also doesn't yet shown the endurance to maximize his ability.

My predictions: Javy 16-11 3.84 Gavin 12-9 3.99 Dice K 13-10 4.02

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now here is why ultimately I ranked them the way I do:

Lets say Lackey or Lester goes down: The Red Sox have Clay Buchholz to step in, they have Wakefield in the 5 spot, they have a very deep farm to pick up a starter if need be

The Yankees have the best back end (4-5) in my opinion with Joba and Javy. On a better braves team Javy would have drawn some cy young attention last year.

The White Sox really hinge on the 2 spot. How good will Mark Buehrle be. Can he start pitching like an all star again, or will he remain somewhat inconsistent. Hes 50-44 over the last 4 years, 3 years with a mid to high 3 era, 1 year with an era almost 5. We NEED HIM to be better than .500. Danks is the other wild card, he needs to put it together. Floyd, we will see, he did what a ton of people predicted he would do. but it isn't like he had a bad year. The Sox had Hudson as the insurance, and Freddy in the 5 hole. Freddy is probably the weakest of the group of SP, Hudson the weakest back up plan AS OF NOW, but he could be fine, we really don't know enough to judge him.

That said, The Yankees pitchers will still win more games, because baseball isn't all pitching. They have such a sick offensive attack they have the type of pitching they need to win.

The Red Sox Pitchers, again, in my opinion, are the most talented. They have 3 guys who all can be game 1 starters in a playoff series and compete with any pitcher.

The White Sox, have a great 1-4, but can Buehrle go pitch for pitch in a big game with a John Lester? I don't know, depends which Burls shows up. Danks can pitch with anyone when hes on, but will he be? The Sox seem to have the biggest boom or bust rotation of the 3.

That said, The Sox also have NO SAFETY NET. If the pitching is off, they will lose. The offense is woefully weak right now, and it in itself is a lineup almost entirely full of question marks. The Yankees can win games when AJ burnett gives up 6, the offense is fantastic, and Bostons offense is very balanced and deep.

Corlose 15
01-11-2010, 05:26 PM
How did Gavin Floyd take a step back this season other than in wins and ERA?

He pitched 13.1 fewer innings than '08 because his hip shut him down for a couple starts at the end of the season.

In 2009 compared to 2009 Floyd had fewer walks, more strikeouts, a higher GB ratio, a lower WHIP, a lower SLG against, a lower OBA, a higher K/BB ratio, a lower BB/9IP ratio, a higher K/9IP and gave up roughly the same ammount of hits/9IP. Also, the number of steals against him dropped from 37 to 14.

Going into his last two starts of the year which were hampered by his hip injury, his ERA was 3.84, not a bad season for someone who was tipping his pitches the first month and a half of the season.

Corlose 15
01-11-2010, 05:30 PM
Lackey might not be in the Sabathia category, but he's more than a league-average pitcher. On our staff, he'd easily be the #2 starter behind Peavy. (Who, by the way, enjoyed the convenience of baseball's most pitcher friendly park for almost all of his career.)

I've brought this up in another thread but Lackey isn't better than Mark Buehrle. Lackey strikes out more and has a lower SLG against but Buehrle has a better WHIP and OBA and has been far more durable than Lackey.

oeo
01-12-2010, 02:47 AM
How did Gavin Floyd take a step back this season other than in wins and ERA?

He pitched 13.1 fewer innings than '08 because his hip shut him down for a couple starts at the end of the season.

In 2009 compared to 2009 Floyd had fewer walks, more strikeouts, a higher GB ratio, a lower WHIP, a lower SLG against, a lower OBA, a higher K/BB ratio, a lower BB/9IP ratio, a higher K/9IP and gave up roughly the same ammount of hits/9IP. Also, the number of steals against him dropped from 37 to 14.

Going into his last two starts of the year which were hampered by his hip injury, his ERA was 3.84, not a bad season for someone who was tipping his pitches the first month and a half of the season.

That first month and half skewed his numbers the entire year. He was better in 09.

oeo
01-12-2010, 02:50 AM
The top 4 of each team in my view:

Peavy Burls Danks Gavin

Beckett Lester Lackey (1 of Dice K or Bucholz)

CC Burnett Pettite Javy/Joba

All 3 have a clean number 1. Yanks probably have the best in CC, I would say Peavy and Beckett are pretty equal.

my projected: CC 21-8 3.41 ERA Peavy 17-7 3.54 ERA Beckett 19-8 3.74 ERA

Number 2, Lester takes it in my mind, hes starting to enter into his own, he is basically already where we are praying Danks goes, and he has plenty to grow with. Burls is 2nd best, with AJ not too far behind.

My projected: Lester 17-6 3.55 ERA Burls 14-9 3.77 Burnett 14-10 4.14

Number 3

I don't care if you want to cut Lackey down and call him league average, The man has been great in his career. Infact, he compares very well to our Mark Buehrle. I would rank it Lackey Danks Pettite, but the the big key here is does Danks step up to the next level or hover like he has.

My projected: Lackey 15-10 3.79 Danks 14-11 3.92 Pettite 14-8 4.05

Number 4

Good depth for all 4 in the 4 spot here. Yanks have Javy who was amazing last year. We have Gavin who took a step back last year but wasn't bad, and the Red Sox have 1 of Dice K Wakefield or does Buchholz (A) Get enough time in the Boston rotation or (b) also step up.

This is really a crapshoot here, Javy had the best year last year by far, but NL park, we will have to see. Joe Girardi seems like a great manager to handle him. Gavin could step back up or he could stay down. Boston has a good group of guys but no one has stepped up yet, and the Yanks also have a big time prospect they are holding out hope for in Joba, who on sheer potential could possibly be the best of the young pitchers of the 3 teams, but also doesn't yet shown the endurance to maximize his ability.

My predictions: Javy 16-11 3.84 Gavin 12-9 3.99 Dice K 13-10 4.02

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now here is why ultimately I ranked them the way I do:

Lets say Lackey or Lester goes down: The Red Sox have Clay Buchholz to step in, they have Wakefield in the 5 spot, they have a very deep farm to pick up a starter if need be

The Yankees have the best back end (4-5) in my opinion with Joba and Javy. On a better braves team Javy would have drawn some cy young attention last year.

The White Sox really hinge on the 2 spot. How good will Mark Buehrle be. Can he start pitching like an all star again, or will he remain somewhat inconsistent. Hes 50-44 over the last 4 years, 3 years with a mid to high 3 era, 1 year with an era almost 5. We NEED HIM to be better than .500. Danks is the other wild card, he needs to put it together. Floyd, we will see, he did what a ton of people predicted he would do. but it isn't like he had a bad year. The Sox had Hudson as the insurance, and Freddy in the 5 hole. Freddy is probably the weakest of the group of SP, Hudson the weakest back up plan AS OF NOW, but he could be fine, we really don't know enough to judge him.

That said, The Yankees pitchers will still win more games, because baseball isn't all pitching. They have such a sick offensive attack they have the type of pitching they need to win.

The Red Sox Pitchers, again, in my opinion, are the most talented. They have 3 guys who all can be game 1 starters in a playoff series and compete with any pitcher.

The White Sox, have a great 1-4, but can Buehrle go pitch for pitch in a big game with a John Lester? I don't know, depends which Burls shows up. Danks can pitch with anyone when hes on, but will he be? The Sox seem to have the biggest boom or bust rotation of the 3.

That said, The Sox also have NO SAFETY NET. If the pitching is off, they will lose. The offense is woefully weak right now, and it in itself is a lineup almost entirely full of question marks. The Yankees can win games when AJ burnett gives up 6, the offense is fantastic, and Bostons offense is very balanced and deep.

You're grasping at straws with most of this. This is an ultimate 'the grass is always greener on the other side' post. You don't give Sox pitchers credit where they deserve their due, but there's plenty to go around for the Yankees and Red Sox. Is this your way of being objective? That's not objectivity, that's pure nonsense. The question wasn't, 'which staff wins more games?' It was, 'which staff is better?' Basically you're saying, even though the Sox top the Yankees at 2-3-4 in the rotation, they're better because they have Joba at #5 and have a great offense. Makes a lot of sense.

Javy isn't going to repeat those numbers. He's never done it before, and it's unlikely he's ever going to do it again, especially in the AL. He's an innings eater. He's the worst #4 of the three teams, and it's not even close. Floyd did NOT do what people predicted him to do. In fact, he did the exact opposite. Where the hell is that coming from? Go look at his numbers. And Joba can't even start for an entire season! They had Sergio Mitre starting games at the end of last year for crying out loud.

Also, your projections are pretty optimistic for a 3-man rotation that went deep into the playoffs. After the steroid era, pitching staffs that went deep into the postseason have taken a huge hit the following year. Only one World Series team in the past four has actually improved their ERA the following year (2007 Red Sox). The rest took pretty large hits, other than the 2008 Phillies, but they added an ace at midseason.

2005: Sox 3.75 to 4.65...Astros 3.46 to 4.15
2006: Tigers 4.00 to 4.68...Cards 4.79 to 5.04
2007: Red Sox 4.21 to 4.02...Rockies 4.58 to 5.14
2008: Rays 3.95 to 4.54...Phillies 4.23 to 4.29

We'll see, but recent history shows collapses in the second half following a World Series appearance. The Yankees better hope Javy is as good as last year and they can finally stop babying Joba.

And for the record, Buehrle has been at the top of the rotation his entire career. Yes, he can go pitch for pitch with a good pitcher because, well, he's a good pitcher too.

russ99
01-12-2010, 08:04 AM
we have punted offense

The offense is woefully weak right now, and it in itself is a lineup almost entirely full of question marks.

I disagree with this assessment. Sure, there are some question marks, but overall the talent level in the lineup 1-9 is better than we've had since before the championship.

I'd be willing to bet we score more runs this year than in the last 2. Maybe nowhere near as many home runs, but runs win ballgames while solo homers and station-to-station running along with a total lack of clutch hitting often doesn't.

Maybe it's just me, but I'd prefer to lose 10 more slugfests and win 30 more one-run ballgames.

asindc
01-12-2010, 08:06 AM
You're grasping at straws with most of this. This is an ultimate 'the grass is always greener on the other side' post. You don't give Sox pitchers credit where they deserve their due, but there's plenty to go around for the Yankees and Red Sox. Is this your way of being objective? That's not objectivity, that's pure nonsense. The question wasn't, 'which staff wins more games?' It was, 'which staff is better?' Basically you're saying, even though the Sox top the Yankees at 2-3-4 in the rotation, they're better because they have Joba at #5 and have a great offense. Makes a lot of sense.

Javy isn't going to repeat those numbers. He's never done it before, and it's unlikely he's ever going to do it again, especially in the AL. He's an innings eater. He's the worst #4 of the three teams, and it's not even close. Floyd did NOT do what people predicted him to do. In fact, he did the exact opposite. Where the hell is that coming from? Go look at his numbers. And Joba can't even start for an entire season! They had Sergio Mitre starting games at the end of last year for crying out loud.

Also, your projections are pretty optimistic for a 3-man rotation that went deep into the playoffs. After the steroid era, pitching staffs that went deep into the postseason have taken a huge hit the following year. Only one World Series team in the past four has actually improved their ERA the following year (2007 Red Sox). The rest took pretty large hits, other than the 2008 Phillies, but they added an ace at midseason.

2005: Sox 3.75 to 4.65...Astros 3.46 to 4.15
2006: Tigers 4.00 to 4.68...Cards 4.79 to 5.04
2007: Red Sox 4.21 to 4.02...Rockies 4.58 to 5.14
2008: Rays 3.95 to 4.54...Phillies 4.23 to 4.29

We'll see, but recent history shows collapses in the second half following a World Series appearance. The Yankees better hope Javy is as good as last year and they can finally stop babying Joba.

And for the record, Buehrle has been at the top of the rotation his entire career. Yes, he can go pitch for pitch with a good pitcher because, well, he's a good pitcher too.

My thoughts exactly. In fact, a lot of the carping and caterwauling about the roster each offseason seems to stem from the 'grass is greener' outlook of some. Bottom line is this for me: The only team I would considering trading 1-5 starters with is Boston. That's not 1-2 or 1-3 or ace plus 6-8 or any combination other than 1-5. It's 1-5 because that is how they will actually line up. Anything else is speculative.

Domeshot17
01-12-2010, 08:28 AM
You're grasping at straws with most of this. This is an ultimate 'the grass is always greener on the other side' post. You don't give Sox pitchers credit where they deserve their due, but there's plenty to go around for the Yankees and Red Sox. Is this your way of being objective? That's not objectivity, that's pure nonsense. The question wasn't, 'which staff wins more games?' It was, 'which staff is better?' Basically you're saying, even though the Sox top the Yankees at 2-3-4 in the rotation, they're better because they have Joba at #5 and have a great offense. Makes a lot of sense.

Javy isn't going to repeat those numbers. He's never done it before, and it's unlikely he's ever going to do it again, especially in the AL. He's an innings eater. He's the worst #4 of the three teams, and it's not even close. Floyd did NOT do what people predicted him to do. In fact, he did the exact opposite. Where the hell is that coming from? Go look at his numbers. And Joba can't even start for an entire season! They had Sergio Mitre starting games at the end of last year for crying out loud.

Also, your projections are pretty optimistic for a 3-man rotation that went deep into the playoffs. After the steroid era, pitching staffs that went deep into the postseason have taken a huge hit the following year. Only one World Series team in the past four has actually improved their ERA the following year (2007 Red Sox). The rest took pretty large hits, other than the 2008 Phillies, but they added an ace at midseason.

2005: Sox 3.75 to 4.65...Astros 3.46 to 4.15
2006: Tigers 4.00 to 4.68...Cards 4.79 to 5.04
2007: Red Sox 4.21 to 4.02...Rockies 4.58 to 5.14
2008: Rays 3.95 to 4.54...Phillies 4.23 to 4.29

We'll see, but recent history shows collapses in the second half following a World Series appearance. The Yankees better hope Javy is as good as last year and they can finally stop babying Joba.

And for the record, Buehrle has been at the top of the rotation his entire career. Yes, he can go pitch for pitch with a good pitcher because, well, he's a good pitcher too.

I don't think I did this, I tried to be as honest as I could. I guess my big mistake was just how I worded my original post. Bottom Line:

I still feel the Red Sox rotation is in its own world. A step above anyone else.

If you put the Yankees Offense on the White Sox, or the White Sox's rotation on New York, I would give the edge in the pitching to our guys. But we don't match up well in the playoffs versus either of those teams when looking at the entire pitcture. A lot can happen in a season. Guys get hurt, regress, step up, trades happen. Like I said in a different thread weeks ago, I think Kenny is being very frugile right now. I think he has a target for the DH position and feels if the Sox can hang with the Twins until June or July, He trade for his guy and land him at 4-6 mil and not 8-10.

In terms of pure talent in the middle, The Sox trump the Yankees. The Sox back end has a chance to be solid, the Yankees back end has a chance to also be solid, with each having a chance to struggle. Javy and Joba are going to be interesting to watch. On pure talent, both can pitch at the top of the rotation. However, Javy has never proven he can be effective in back to back years in the AL and Joba has to prove he has the endurance to throw 175-200 ip as a starter.

But I guess I still feel the Yankees pitchers have far more room for error than the White Sox do. That factored in very large in my assessment. I also felt our guys will win less games because of bullpens. They tend to be a crap shoot, and it can also be debated, but Bobby is the weakest of the 3 closers, all 3 teams appear to have some great talent setting them up. Putz will be a huge X factor for us this year, HUGE.