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View Full Version : 2002 Rauch Review


Randar68
10-02-2002, 03:04 PM
Here goes:

In the start of the season, a couple of things were clear from seeing him pitch in Spring Training and his first couple of starts.

1) He earned a spot on the roster based on his status as a top prospect.
2) I think the Sox did a poor job of looking at his control and velocity at that point compared to his history. He was consistently 5 mph down on his fastball and was not able to spot it.
3) He was never overmatched. However, he had a terrible time throwing strikes. This was primarily a result of the ongoing recovery process for his shoulder. He just didn't have a feel for his pitches.
4) He still had good movement on all his pitches. However, in the bigs, hitters are not going to get themselves out unless you can throw strikes early in the count.


Overall, he was not recovered from his surgery nearly enough to be back in the rotation. He probably could have worked out of the pen. However, he needed innings and time to get his control and stamina back.


Late season:

It was evident late in the season that the time in the minors had given him 1 thing......CONTROL.

In his last 2 starts, he was downright dominant. He was able to spot his fastball and kept hitters generally off balance. Unlike earlier in the season, he was able to overpower hitters when he needed to. Due to his improved control and confidence, he was able to use the inner half of the plate much more effectively. At one point in his final start, I think I counted 5 or 6 jams of hitters that went for outs over just 3 innings.

This was the Jon I had seen pitch in the minors. This was the Jon I had seen dominate SL hitters in 2000. The control was back. He has a presence on the mound and his swagger was back.

However, I think we are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg. His velocity on his fastball is still not back to where it was pre-surgery. His fastball was sitting in the 89-91 range and only topping out at around 92. I have seen him as high as 95 and 96 mph on scouts guns and he used to sit in the 93-04 mph range.

With his release point and control, those extra couple of mph will really add to his effectiveness.


I'm pumped for next year. While I don't think he's ready to be the solid #2 guy in 2003 (will still give up some longballs and will have his days), I think he will be a key performer for the Sox. IMO, more so than Garland or Wright (although I expect both to improve upon their 2002 performances).

Rotation:
Buehrle
???????
Rauch
Wright
Garland


Pretty good rotation, but I wish we had some higher strikeout guys with our defensive history of late.

hold2dibber
10-02-2002, 03:09 PM
I agree that Rauch's late season performance has elevated him back to "top prospect" status in my book. He has damn good stuff and when he's hitting his spots, he's awfully tough.

The rotation you suggest I think has serious potential to be a good one in '03. But that no. 2 spot needs to get filled with a top tier pitcher (Moyer, Maddux, Colon, Leiter, etc.) not some "we think he might be about to break out" veteran like Ritchie. If you add a real ace at that no. 2 slot, they'd have the best rotation in the Central.

maurice
10-02-2002, 05:53 PM
What's your outlook on Biddle? He posted credible numbers in limited action as a starter in 2002 (3.48 ERA with 26 Ks in 33.2 innings).

Now that Glover's back in the pen and assuming KW doesn't bring in a new No. 2, it looks like Biddle and/or Ritchie will be in the rotation coming out of spring training.

(Statements that the Sox may acquire Maddux, Colon, Leiter, etc. should be in deeppink.)

Randar68
10-02-2002, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by maurice
What's your outlook on Biddle? He posted credible numbers in limited action as a starter in 2002 (3.48 ERA with 26 Ks in 33.2 innings).

Now that Glover's back in the pen and assuming KW doesn't bring in a new No. 2, it looks like Biddle and/or Ritchie will be in the rotation coming out of spring training.

(Statements that the Sox may acquire Maddux, Colon, Leiter, etc. should be in deeppink.)

I have always liked Biddle. However, until someone is either injured or traded, he'll probably fill the Sean Lowe role. Long relief with spot starts if needed. Biddle attacks the hitter. With experience, I could see him becoming a solid #3 or 4 guy. As of now, he'd be the 5th starter IMO, but we'll see if they go out and get a #2, but I'm not holding my breath.

RichH55
10-03-2002, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by Randar68
I have always liked Biddle. However, until someone is either injured or traded, he'll probably fill the Sean Lowe role. Long relief with spot starts if needed. Biddle attacks the hitter. With experience, I could see him becoming a solid #3 or 4 guy. As of now, he'd be the 5th starter IMO, but we'll see if they go out and get a #2, but I'm not holding my breath.


How much would Moyer cost is the question i ask