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Adele_H
06-23-2012, 12:41 AM
most of the hype and attention have gone to Chris Sale, Addisoon Reed, Viciedo and even Beckham when his **** was in town anyway -- and rightfully so. Likewise, in the minors everyone is all about what Jarrod Mitchell and Trayce Thompson did in their last AB.

Why has Nate Jones received so little attention since making the team out of ST? Granted, his ERA is ruined by a rather thankless blowout appearance with runners on base during Monday's blowout (thanks Sox for the Zach Stewart Experiement yet again!).......

....with Sale predictably making a spectacular transition from bullpen to starting rotation -- so much for all those oft-stated fearts that bullpen stints supposedly "ruining" Sox starting prospects, btw........Why isn't Nate Jones talked about as a starter candidate for 2013?

What's not to like this season? 95-100 mph fastball -- and unlike say Addison Reed, Nate Jones fastball has late movement, both tailing and sinking depending on the situatin. Jones slider so far has been more impressive, too. I know Don Cooper has been trying to teach him a change-up, something Coop excels at, but realistically that will probably take entire next off-season. Moreover, Nate Jones is not even using a curveball as a releiver, even though he has had what was referred to as the Best Curveball in the Organization by some in the minor leagues.

I understand, that as a starter Jones would lose a tick off his fastball, but even if it's "only" 92-97 mph ala Chris Sale.......with movement....with 2 different breaking pitches and possibly a decent change-up, to boot...... I think it's a worthwhile project for the Sox to give it a shot. Especially considering that unlike Chris Sale or John Danks, Nate Jones has "easy" heat, more fundamentally sound throwing motion.

I am thinking Alexi Ogundo in Texas or Daniel Bard in Boston type of a situation/telent.

mzh
06-23-2012, 12:47 AM
Jones had a 4+ ERA in Single A ball his only year as a starter in the minors. Why mess with a good thing?

PalehosePlanet
06-23-2012, 12:57 AM
Jones struggled mightily as a starting pitcher in the minors. The Sox gave him another shot to start in 2010 in Hign A ball -- after failing in the role in '08 -- but he was not effective. They moved him to a setup/closer role in AA last year and he responded by pitching well.

He should stay where he is, in my opinion.

Adele_H
06-23-2012, 01:37 AM
Jones had a 4+ ERA in Single A ball his only year as a starter in the minors. Why mess with a good thing?

a) That was then, and this is now. People mature, both physically and psychologically. Brandon McCarthy was a so-so prospect, then in 2004-2005. Same with Daniel Hudson in 2009. Many simililar examples. As well as

b) I know it's counter-intuitive, may sound strange to say considering baseball is stats-heavy sports there is... but when it comes to minor-leagues, throw away the numbers. Scout the player/stuff, NOT the numbers -- kinda like NCAA basketball where great prospects have mediocre totals, and guys like Tyler Hansborough rule the roost.

I am not saying do it now. Obviously, it would have to wait until the off-season, 2013 Spring Training, maybe even 2014 off-season. Learning change-up in particular would be challenge.

But I think it's worth it in the longer-run if it works out ---- remember, how many nay-sayers there were with Chris Sale going back to his college days.

With Peavy likely gone after 2012 and Gavin Floyd after 2013. Thinking longer-term here: unless John Danks is fully healthy, and Phillip Humber/Simon Castro/Jose Quinrana/Nestor Molina..... Sox may need another cheap arm.

Adele_H
06-23-2012, 03:18 AM
Jones struggled mightily as a starting pitcher in the minors. The Sox gave him another shot to start in 2010 in Hign A ball -- after failing in the role in '08 -- but he was not effective. They moved him to a setup/closer role in AA last year and he responded by pitching well.

He should stay where he is, in my opinion.

For now, of course. I was talking more about AFTER the season -- unless of course Sox are so injury-decimated and desperate in a pennant-race type of a scenario, perhaps an emergency start where he would have to pitch more than 3-4 innings with a hard pitch count limit at 60-70. Sure beats automatic loss when Zach Stewart starts.....

Again longer-term, I dunno... Sox will lose Jesse Crain one way or another --- he looks like he will break down any time, going by his history sadly it's a likely possibility; irregardless, he's only signed through 2013.

So unless Greg Infante, another dark horse part-time starter I liked back in 2010 who had a bit of a health setback.... unless Infante or someone like Petricka step up to fill in Crane's shoes, Sox may indeed be forced to keep Nate Jones in the pen as a set-up man to Addison Reed.

Then again, it's up to Jones. He keeps refining his secondary pitches, he may force the Sox hand next season -- like Sale who took the rotation by storm.

voodoochile
06-23-2012, 11:12 AM
Well it's also been only 3 months and he was never mentioned as a major prospect I don't believe. Sale was pretty much drafted as a starter and then worked in the bullpen briefly to get his feet wet in the bigs. Maybe Nate ends up being a starter candidate down the road, but it's way too soon to have that discussion, IMO.

Tragg
06-23-2012, 11:19 AM
I think Nate will be a good reliever who can get that key K.

Santiago is the guy I would look to start, perhaps.

Adele_H
06-23-2012, 03:03 PM
Well it's also been only 3 months and he was never mentioned as a major prospect I don't believe. Sale was pretty much drafted as a starter and then worked in the bullpen briefly to get his feet wet in the bigs. Maybe Nate ends up being a starter candidate down the road, but it's way too soon to have that discussion, IMO.

I am sure that's true, but it does happens more often than you'd think especially with lower level minors, raw talent, late bloomers, so on. That's why I try not to follow the hindsight 20/20 monkeys like Sickels, Goldstein and the rest of so-called experts who not only fail so often in predictions/projections, not only pretend to know things they clearly do not, but also seem to only make safe bets, as it were.

I dunno, I guess I try to stay consistent: was always in the camp of "bullpen stints not only do NOT ruin starting prospects but often help harness their potential in the longer run"......as well as big backer of Chris Sale going to the rotation even after health concerns & early season struggles in the pen in 2011. What the heck, will go out on a limb with Jones, hopefully did not just jinx his chances or health, haha.

One thing's for sure, for the time being 2012 things should probably stay where they are, you're right.

Adele_H
06-23-2012, 03:15 PM
I think Nate will be a good reliever who can get that key K.

Santiago is the guy I would look to start, perhaps.

Granted, I haven't followed the team as closely since 08, but I know Santiago made a start with the Sox already I think in 2010.

Both Santiago and Jones would have to take their overall control/command to the next level before being considered viable starters -- at the Cell, in a DH league. Santiago's stuff is pretty good for a LHP, but it's not the same level as Nate Jones, IMO and his velocity is already down compared to March-April when he impresed the Sox originally as closer. In outings when Jones had to go 2-3 innings, he didn't seem to lose speed which is promising.

Jones can probably pitch at "only" 93 mph on some off days because the ball moves late and his off-speed arsenal shows potential (if not quite there).

Santiago does have a deceptively quick fastball -- kinda like Neal Cotts circa '05, or Eddie Guardado. One of Santiago's problem is that he's having all kinds of issues with his screwball, I guess it's part mental block, part the fact that baseballs in the majors don't seem to grip quite as well as what Santiago is used to. Another thing is that he clearly tips his change-up by visibly slowing down his arm prior to release and almost "guiding"/pushing the ball which the pitch's been hit fairly hard.

Either way, right now I would rank Simon Castro and even the (dissappointing) Nestor Molina ahead of Nate in terms of being given a shot at the rotation. Axelrod and Stewart, too, though I am not thrilled with either.

But who knows.