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View Full Version : Could Mark Buehrle Be The Sox Closer in 2011?


cards press box
09-26-2010, 11:57 AM
In the last few seasons, the Sox coaching staff has been watching Mark Buehrle's innings to avoid fatigue late in the season. Here is my question: if the Sox non-tender Bobby Jenks, do they (and should they) consider making Buehrle the closer next season? I don't know if the Sox should consider this but I wondered what the thoughts are here.

The Braves made John Smoltz a closer late in his career and the A's did the same with Dennis Eckersley. Buehrle doesn't have Smoltz' fastball but, like Eckersley, he had great control.

Any thoughts?

konerko 14
09-26-2010, 12:00 PM
I doubt the Sox would do that, either Sale or Santos will be closing next year.

sox1970
09-26-2010, 12:01 PM
Yeah, let's take a $14 million dollar pitcher who puts up 200+ innings every year and never misses a start, and put him in the pen. Sounds like a plan.

Craig Grebeck
09-26-2010, 12:04 PM
Quentin for Adrian Gonzalez! Buehrle for closer!

WEEEE!

asindc
09-26-2010, 12:06 PM
No.

DirtySox
09-26-2010, 12:09 PM
Yea.... No.

shingo10
09-26-2010, 12:39 PM
I doubt the Sox would do that, either Sale or Santos will be closing next year.


There's always that possibility of Kenny going on and grabbing a free agent closer too. Not sure who's available though. K-rod anyone?

cards press box
09-26-2010, 12:40 PM
Yeah, let's take a $14 million dollar pitcher who puts up 200+ innings every year and never misses a start, and put him in the pen. Sounds like a plan.

Yes, the Sox are paying him $14 million a year but that is really beside the point. And look at my original post -- I said "I don't know if the Sox should consider this." And I don't know whether it would be best for the Sox or for Mark Buehrle. But I think it is worth discussing.

Consider these facts: (1) Buerhle is coming off his worst year since 2006 (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/buehrma01.shtml); (2) his ERA is 4.27 and (3) he is leading the league in hits allowed. Buerhle has led the league in hits allowed before so that really doesn't concern me. He will, however, turn 32 next year. Will he bounce back and pitch like a #2 starter? I sure hope so. Buehrle is one of my all-time favorite White Sox and I want to see him excel.

And that is why I started this thread: does closing now give Buehrle the best chance to excel?

Quentin for Adrian Gonzalez! Buehrle for closer!

WEEEE!

Glad to see you are so open minded on these topics, Little Hurt. Of course, as my original post said "I don't know if the Sox should consider [moving Buehrle to closer]." If you had actually read my post, you should have seen that but apparently you didn't. I simply wonder whether Buehrle's future lies as a closer. It was for Smoltz and Eckersley and I think it is worth discussing about Buehrle. Apparently you do not.

And one more thing: Quentin/Gonzalez has nothing to do with this thread. But as you have brought it up, I have a few things to say about that, too.

We disagree on: (1) what one year of Adrian Gonzalez is worth on the open market, (2) Carlos Quentin's value on the open market and (3) how baseball economics might drive the Padres to trade Gonzalez for far less than what he is worth.

And consider their respective numbers this year:

In 513 plate appearances, Quentin has hit 25 HR 84 RBI 49 BB .238 BA .337 OBP .474 slugging average and .811 OPS.

In 660 plate appearances, Gonzalez has hit 29 HR 97 RBI .301 BA .394 OBP .512 slugging average and .905 OPS.

Quentin and Gonzalez have similar power numbers but Gonzalez has the better batting average and on-base percentage. I'm not sure that the difference betwen the two is anywhere near as stark as you think.

And for what seems to be the hundredth time, I will again say that Gonzalez is the better player and in a economic neutral world, no one would trade Gonzalez for Quentin straight up. But baseball is not an economic neutral world! In the actual economic reality of baseball, a team that trades Adrian Gonzalez with one year left on his deal will never ever get 100 cents on the dollar. Apparently, you cannot grasp this concept.

If the Padres decide to deal Gonzalez, I am not sure they can get more than Carlos Quentin on the open market. You obviously think so. We'll see.

A. Cavatica
09-26-2010, 12:45 PM
Buehrle makes his living off of minimizing damage over 6 or 7 innings. He doesn't have the stuff to close, where everything rides on getting the next batter out.

guillen4life13
09-26-2010, 12:46 PM
Buehrle simply doesn't have the makeup to be a closer. I think you'd rather have a guy who has a high K/9 rate as the closer because you simply don't want the ball put in play. Buehrle is a ground ball pitcher.

Craig Grebeck
09-26-2010, 12:47 PM
The fact that you cannot figure out whether or not it's a good idea for a starting pitcher who just led the league in hits allowed to become a closer is mystifying. Then add the salary, the fact that Buehrle's strongest asset is his durability, etc. and this topic becomes even more mind-blowingly asinine.

DirtySox
09-26-2010, 12:49 PM
Quentin and Gonzalez have similar power numbers but Gonzalez has the better batting average and on-base percentage. I'm not sure that the difference betwen the two is anywhere near as stark as you think.

And for what seems to be the hundredth time, I will again say that Gonzalez is the better player and in a economic neutral world, no one would trade Gonzalez for Quentin straight up. But baseball is not an economic neutral world! In the actual economic reality of baseball, a team that trades Adrian Gonzalez with one year left on his deal will never ever get 100 cents on the dollar. Apparently, you cannot grasp this concept.

If the Padres decide to deal Gonzalez, I am not sure they can get more than Carlos Quentin on the open market. You obviously think so. We'll see.

Carlos Quentin is a headcase who is the definition of streaky and is unanimously one of, if not the worst outfielder in baseball. Adrian is one of the premier defensive 1B in the league. Also, a .100 difference in OPS is significant. Adrian's fWAR this year 5.6. Carlos Quentin's is .3. He is barely replacement level. He was below replacement level last year. Adrian has a sustained track record, Carlos does not.

Why on earth would the Padres take a on bad Carlos Quentin who is becoming rather expensive in exchange for one of the best 1B in all baseball? It makes absolutely no sense. The Padres would hold onto Adrian and take Type A compensation before making this trade. It's asinine.

cards press box
09-26-2010, 12:57 PM
The fact that you cannot figure out whether or not it's a good idea for a starting pitcher who just led the league in hits allowed to become a closer is mystifying. Then add the salary, the fact that Buehrle's strongest asset is his durability, etc. and this topic becomes even more mind-blowingly asinine.

Buehrle has always had tremendous control. With the reduced number of innings that would he pitch as a closer, wouldn't his hits/inning naturally go down?

The lack of open-mindedness around here to solutions outside the box is truly disappointing. I have no doubt, Little Hurt, that if given the opportunity, you would have been among the first to call Oakland mind-blowingly asinine for converting Dennis Eckersley into a closer. Eck had better stuff than Buehrle but he was basically a control pitcher, too. And that was a big part of his success as a closer. Eck threw nothing but strikes as a closer and didn't walk anybody.

Craig Grebeck
09-26-2010, 01:01 PM
Buehrle has always had tremendous control. With the reduced number of innings that would he pitch as a closer, wouldn't his hits/inning naturally go down?

The lack of open-mindedness around here to solutions outside the box is truly disappointing. I have no doubt, Little Hurt, that if given the opportunity, you would have been among the first to call Oakland mind-blowingly asinine for converting Dennis Eckersley into a closer. Eck had better stuff than Buehrle but he was basically a control pitcher, too. And that was a big part of his success as a closer. Eck threw nothing but strikes as a closer and didn't walk anybody.
What does Buehrle give this team? Innings. Your solution: reduce his innings.

Great.

cards press box
09-26-2010, 01:02 PM
Carlos Quentin is a headcase who is the definition of streaky and is unanimously one of, if not the worst outfielder in baseball. Adrian is one of the premier defensive 1B in the league. Also, a .100 difference in OPS is significant. Adrian's fWAR this year 5.6. Carlos Quentin's is .3. He is barely replacement level. He was below replacement level last year. Adrian has a sustained track record, Carlos does not.

Why on earth would the Padres take a on bad Carlos Quentin who is becoming rather expensive in exchange for one of the best 1B in all baseball? It makes absolutely no sense. The Padres would hold onto Adrian and take Type A compensation before making this trade. It's asinine.

OK we can agree to disagree, too. 2008 is not that far in the past. If the Padres dealt one year of Gonzalez, what are they going to get? Maybe a prospect or too or maybe they take a chance on getting Quentin back to his 2008 form. He is from San Diego and maybe playing at home would put in a comfort zone where he finds what made him so dominant in 2008.

Quentin is coming off a bad year but, believe it or not, Gonzalez is coming off a down year for him. The don't think this suggestion is asinine, as you say. I understand that you disagree with me but I would ask that you respect my right to my view. I have thought about this and I don't agree with you and the Little Hurt.

Craig Grebeck
09-26-2010, 01:03 PM
OK we can agree to disagree, too. 2008 is not that far in the past. If the Padres dealt one year of Gonzalez, what are they going to get? Maybe a prospect or too or maybe they take a chance on getting Quentin back to his 2008 form. He is from San Diego and maybe playing at home would put in a comfort zone where he finds what made him so dominant in 2008.

Quentin is coming off a bad year but, believe it or not, Gonzalez is coming off a down year for him. The don't think this suggestion is asinine, as you say. I understand that you disagree with me but I would ask that you respect my right to my view. I have thought about this and I don't agree with you and the Little Hurt.
Second highest OPS of his career is a down year for him? Huh? He also plays 81 games at Petco.

cards press box
09-26-2010, 01:30 PM
Second highest OPS of his career is a down year for him? Huh? He also plays 81 games at Petco.

For the thousandth time, Quentin is not the euqivalent of Gonzalez . . . oh, the heck with it. If you want to deliberately miscontrue my argument, no one can stop you or should even try. I'm done.

Craig Grebeck
09-26-2010, 02:00 PM
For the thousandth time, Quentin is not the euqivalent of Gonzalez . . . oh, the heck with it. If you want to deliberately miscontrue my argument, no one can stop you or should even try. I'm done.
Quentin is coming off a bad year but, believe it or not, Gonzalez is coming off a down year for him.
I'm using your words here, cpb. You said Gonzalez is coming off a down year for him -- he's not.

Dibbs
09-26-2010, 03:50 PM
I honestly think this is the worst idea I have ever heard. No way would anyone make Buehrle a closer. Not even Ozzie.

Daver
09-26-2010, 04:00 PM
They don't have a starter to replace him.

LITTLE NELL
09-26-2010, 04:15 PM
In the last few seasons, the Sox coaching staff has been watching Mark Buehrle's innings to avoid fatigue late in the season. Here is my question: if the Sox non-tender Bobby Jenks, do they (and should they) consider making Buehrle the closer next season? I don't know if the Sox should consider this but I wondered what the thoughts are here.

The Braves made John Smoltz a closer late in his career and the A's did the same with Dennis Eckersley. Buehrle doesn't have Smoltz' fastball but, like Eckersley, he had great control.

Any thoughts?

My thought, no way.

Tragg
09-26-2010, 04:17 PM
He doesn't strike out enough batters to close.

Brian26
09-26-2010, 04:24 PM
The fact that you cannot figure out whether or not it's a good idea for a starting pitcher who just led the league in hits allowed to become a closer is mystifying. Then add the salary, the fact that Buehrle's strongest asset is his durability, etc. and this topic becomes even more mind-blowingly asinine.

Buehrle doesn't really have a "wipeout" pitch that terrorizes hitters. I'm happy with Buehrle's save in Houston. Let's keep it at that.

Nelfox02
09-26-2010, 04:37 PM
I doubt the Sox would do that, either Sale or Santos will be closing next year.


not sure what concept scares me more----Santos closing next year or Dayan annointed the starter at 1B..........I think it is Dayan but not by much....

Daver
09-26-2010, 04:50 PM
Buehrle doesn't really have a "wipeout" pitch that terrorizes hitters. I'm happy with Buehrle's save in Houston. Let's keep it at that.

Neither did Eckersley.

cards press box
09-26-2010, 05:20 PM
I honestly think this is the worst idea I have ever heard. No way would anyone make Buehrle a closer. Not even Ozzie.

Thank you -- it's not every day that I come up with an idea so thoroughly scorned.

They don't have a starter to replace him.

That's probably true, too -- if Peavy is not healthy to start the 2011 season. If Buehrle went to the bullpen, we would be looking at this starting staff, assuming that Peavy is available:

Peavy
Danks
Floyd
Jackson
F. Garcia

I realize that there are two big "ifs" there" -- Peavy's health and Garcia's continued effectiveness. Look at it this way: if the Sox find themselves with six or more capable starters (including Buehrle), then one possible option is for Buehrle to go the "Eck" route and become a control oriented closer. People forget that the preferred styles for closers are cyclical. It's been hard throwers for while. Years ago it was guys like Hoyt Wilhelm and Stu Miller.

psyclonis
09-26-2010, 05:31 PM
If KW was smart he'd trade Mark to a NL team (Cards). (helping both Mark and the Sox)
MB is a #4 in the AL and a #2 in the NL...

A ~30M/2 contract is a bargain if you're a NL team looking to win in '11-'12.

Craig Grebeck
09-26-2010, 05:32 PM
Thank you -- it's not every day that I come up with an idea so thoroughly scorned.



That's probably true, too -- if Peavy is not healthy to start the 2011 season. If Buehrle went to the bullpen, we would be looking at this starting staff, assuming that Peavy is available:

Peavy
Danks
Floyd
Jackson
F. Garcia

I realize that there are two big "ifs" there" -- Peavy's health and Garcia's continued effectiveness. Look at it this way: if the Sox find themselves with six or more capable starters (including Buehrle), then one possible option is for Buehrle to go the "Eck" route and become a control oriented closer. People forget that the preferred styles for closers are cyclical. It's been hard throwers for while. Years ago it was guys like Hoyt Wilhelm and Stu Miller.
Yes, years ago that was the case. It's not cyclical -- it's better.

KRS1
09-26-2010, 05:40 PM
LOL at this thread.

TommyJohn
09-26-2010, 05:51 PM
Thank you -- it's not every day that I come up with an idea so thoroughly scorned.






I scorn thee! Scorn, do you hear me? Scorn!

I for one don't think it is a horrible idea. It isn't a good one, but it isn't worthy of the contempt being poured on you by the brave knights of the keyboard.

Domeshot17
09-26-2010, 05:58 PM
Buehrle would be a terrible closer. His entire value lies in spreading out damage and giving you a **** ton of innings. He is a guy who might give up 6 runs in a game, but he will fight through 6 IP for it, not 3.

You don't want a pitcher who gives up a ton of hits to close. It is why there are very very few soft tossing closers. Smoltz still had strike out stuff, there was just concerns over his durability and there was a team need.

guillensdisciple
09-26-2010, 05:58 PM
Can't really think of an argument. I just know this is not happening.

Domeshot17
09-26-2010, 06:03 PM
Thank you -- it's not every day that I come up with an idea so thoroughly scorned.



That's probably true, too -- if Peavy is not healthy to start the 2011 season. If Buehrle went to the bullpen, we would be looking at this starting staff, assuming that Peavy is available:

Peavy
Danks
Floyd
Jackson
F. Garcia

I realize that there are two big "ifs" there" -- Peavy's health and Garcia's continued effectiveness. Look at it this way: if the Sox find themselves with six or more capable starters (including Buehrle), then one possible option is for Buehrle to go the "Eck" route and become a control oriented closer. People forget that the preferred styles for closers are cyclical. It's been hard throwers for while. Years ago it was guys like Hoyt Wilhelm and Stu Miller.

(1) Another option would be trade Buehrle, use the money we waste on him (and yes, Burls at 14.5 a year is not good money anymore) to sign an effective 5th SP and a closer.

(2) I don't know why you think its cyclical, its not. It is evolved. The same way pitchers dont throw a million innings anymore. It is a very different game.

This may be the worst idea I have read on this board.

Gavin
09-26-2010, 07:03 PM
Mark Beurhle could be anything, but he won't be the closer in 2011. He is decomposing in front of us.

tstrike2000
09-26-2010, 07:56 PM
:?:

Zisk77
09-26-2010, 09:38 PM
Neither did Eckersley.

Hello, slider on the black, thanks for plaaying, we have nice departing gifts for the would be slugger - ricearoni the San Francisoc treat,

Mark pitches to contact, not what you want in a closer.

Next years' closer:

Jenks - if we want him
Sale - if he doesn't become starter.
Thornton
Santos

If you wanted to make a starter a closer its Edwin Jackson.

TornLabrum
09-26-2010, 09:51 PM
In answer to that question, Buehrle will become a closer at the same time Joey Cora becomes the pitching coach.

PaleHoser
09-26-2010, 10:01 PM
If you wanted to make a starter a closer its Edwin Jackson.

Agreed.

I would also throw Peavy in that mix as well, depending on his rehab. For all we know, he might be better served throwing short relief for a year instead of starting.

Pablo_Honey
09-26-2010, 10:20 PM
I would also throw Peavy in that mix as well, depending on his rehab. For all we know, he might be better served throwing short relief for a year instead of starting.
God I hope not. For the amount of money he makes, he better be a starter, unless his health becomes such a concern that he has to pull off a Kerry Wood.

A. Cavatica
09-27-2010, 06:13 AM
A better question is could Mark Buehrle be used in a Tim Wakefield-type role if the Sox have five other starting candidates: spot starts, two or three innings of relief regularly, every once in a while finishing out a game.

Even so, he makes too much money and has too many wins as a starter to be considered anything but. And he can still get the job done as a #3 or #4.

GAsoxfan
09-27-2010, 11:31 AM
Agreed.

I would also throw Peavy in that mix as well, depending on his rehab. For all we know, he might be better served throwing short relief for a year instead of starting.

I don't think any of the starters should be moved to the closer role, but if they were going to move one, I think it should be Peavy. Given the injury history, throwing motion, and the fact he can strike people out, I think he'd be the best option.

Milw
09-27-2010, 02:41 PM
Let me first say that I agree that this is a horrible idea.

HOWEVER, it's worth pointing out that there are exactly three players in White Sox history to record a save in the World Series: Jerry Staley, Bobby Jenks and Mark Buehrle.

I understand that was a sort of bizarre situation. But still, someone had to bring it up...

doublem23
09-27-2010, 02:45 PM
Let me first say that I agree that this is a horrible idea.

HOWEVER, it's worth pointing out that there are exactly three players in White Sox history to record a save in the World Series: Jerry Staley, Bobby Jenks and Mark Buehrle.

I understand that was a sort of bizarre situation. But still, someone had to bring it up...

Doc White would like to have a word with you.

downstairs
09-27-2010, 02:47 PM
Mark is not a closer-type pitcher. He tends to start off the 1st inning giving up runs way too often. He often recovers, and even gets the win. I've always seen him as a "settle into it" type pitcher.

Milw
09-27-2010, 02:54 PM
Doc White would like to have a word with you.
Fine, fine, four pitchers.

Last thing I need is to be haunted by the ghost of Doc White...

FielderJones
09-27-2010, 03:04 PM
Last thing I need is to be haunted by the ghost of Doc White...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/Doc-white.jpg/200px-Doc-white.jpg
"Boo! And don't you forget it!"

Nellie_Fox
09-27-2010, 03:35 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/Doc-white.jpg/200px-Doc-white.jpg
"Boo! And don't you forget it!"Now THAT'S a bat that won't shatter and send shards flying around to impale players and fans. I'll bet you could hit a brick wall with that bad boy and it wouldn't even crack.

southside rocks
09-27-2010, 07:58 PM
The fact that you cannot figure out whether or not it's a good idea for a starting pitcher who just led the league in hits allowed to become a closer is mystifying. Then add the salary, the fact that Buehrle's strongest asset is his durability, etc. and this topic becomes even more mind-blowingly asinine.

Once every five years I agree with you. This is that time.

cards press box
09-28-2010, 02:24 AM
Quentin for Adrian Gonzalez! Buehrle for closer!

WEEEE!

The fact that you cannot figure out whether or not it's a good idea for a starting pitcher who just led the league in hits allowed to become a closer is mystifying. Then add the salary, the fact that Buehrle's strongest asset is his durability, etc. and this topic becomes even more mind-blowingly asinine.

What does Buehrle give this team? Innings. Your solution: reduce his innings.

Great..

I honestly think this is the worst idea I have ever heard. No way would anyone make Buehrle a closer. Not even Ozzie.

While the vast majority continues to just pile on my idea, please consider this: Mark Buehrle has thrown over 2,260 innings in his career. He has averaged 223 innings per season through his 11 year career. He twice led the AL in innings pitched. Given the heavy workload on his arm, why is everyone so confident he can continue to be an effective innings eater?

Can anyone seriously dispute that Buehrle's effectiveness dropped off on in second half this year. Look at his line tonight against Boston: 6 innings, 11 hits, 4 earned runs and 3 strikeouts. For the season, he is 12-13 with a 4.32 ERA.

That, however, doesn't tell the whole story. Buehrle has gone 0-4 over his last seven starts with 29 runs allowed over 44 innings for an ERA of 5.93. Buehrle's record in September 2010: 2-6. Buehrle's record in September 2009: 2-6. Think this is just a recent occurrence? It isn't. At the All-Star break in 2006, Buehrle was 9-6 with an ERA of 4.02. Buehrle ended 2006 at 12-13 with an ERA of 4.99.

Look, Mark Buehrle is one of my all-time favorite White Sox. Nonetheless, the evidence shows that the long baseball season wears him down and makes him less effective down the stretch. That trend is likely to continue.

I know that the Sox aren't going to make Buehrle their closer. I thought it was an interesting idea, though, and given his continued problems staying effective late in the season, I thought it was worth discussing. I didn't expect some posters to go "Around the Horn" on me and maybe I should have.

ode to veeck
09-29-2010, 02:33 AM
I really wanna see Mark Buhrle as the Sox closer, but only in game 7 of the WS