PDA

View Full Version : Notes from TSN


Daver
12-27-2002, 06:10 PM
CHICAGO WHITE SOX

SO FAR

RHP Billy Koch gives the team the dominant closer it has been looking for. Koch cost the team RHP Keith Foulke, C Mark Johnson and RHP Joe Valentine, a promising prospect, in the trade but can be a top-notch reliever, and the team wants to lock him up to a long-term deal.

DH Frank Thomas received little interest as a free agent. The team gave him a new deal that rewards production and should give Thomas plenty of motivation.

The team didn't want to go into the 2003 season with only rookie Miguel Olivo and inexperienced Josh Paul behind the plate. So it brought back veteran C Sandy Alomar Jr., signing him to a one-year deal. Alomar will be a good mentor to Olivo.

STILL AHEAD

LHP Mark Buehrle remains the only reliable starter, and the rotation needs another proven arm or two. It would take several top prospects to land Expos RHP Bartolo Colon, so the team is going to have to keep looking. As it stands now, Buehrle heads the 2003 rotation, followed by RHPs Jon Garland and Dan Wright. RHP Jon Rauch appears to be the No. 4 starter, with RHP Rocky Biddle and LHP Josh Stewart fighting for the fifth spot. That's a pretty questionable back end of a rotation. Look for the team to go after a free agent, such as LHPs Omar Daal or Chuck Finley. RHP Jeff Suppan, a workhorse starter who hasn't won much lately, is another option. --Scot Gregor

duke of dorwood
12-27-2002, 08:24 PM
Suppan would be this years Ritchie, and not nearly the #2 this staff needs.

RKMeibalane
12-27-2002, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
Suppan would be this years Ritchie, and not nearly the #2 this staff needs.

If that's the case, then I expect KW to sign him to a long-term deal.

jeremyb1
12-28-2002, 02:24 AM
Originally posted by daver
CHICAGO WHITE SOX

STILL AHEAD

LHP Mark Buehrle remains the only reliable starter, and the rotation needs another proven arm or two. It would take several top prospects to land Expos RHP Bartolo Colon, so the team is going to have to keep looking. As it stands now, Buehrle heads the 2003 rotation, followed by RHPs Jon Garland and Dan Wright. RHP Jon Rauch appears to be the No. 4 starter, with RHP Rocky Biddle and LHP Josh Stewart fighting for the fifth spot. That's a pretty questionable back end of a rotation. Look for the team to go after a free agent, such as LHPs Omar Daal or Chuck Finley. RHP Jeff Suppan, a workhorse starter who hasn't won much lately, is another option. --Scot Gregor

i wouldn't say that's a good back end of the rotation but i've seen worse. people talk about rauch like he's a complete and total gamble. a former minor league player of the year as your fourth starter isn't too risky if you ask me. no one said it was that risky when kip wells started the '99 season as our two and that was just because he'd had six good starts the season before. no one talked like rick ankiel was a risk the year he was a rookie or juan cruz last season. i'll admit that i guess biddle/stewart could be construed as somewhat shaky but rauch is a top prospect who appears to be healthy now i wish people would give him some credit and not act as though there's no great reason to believe he'll succeed at the major league level.

duke of dorwood
12-28-2002, 08:58 AM
You forget who the manager is. Thats the wild card in some of these guys developing. I think the Tinkerer does not believe in Rauch. How do you account for the long periods of inactivity at both the start and end of last year when he was on the team? This manager holds back the young players as if he's on the Bears coaching staff.

ScottyTheSoxFan
12-28-2002, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by daver
a workhorse starter who hasn't won much lately, is another option.- Scot Gregor

i hope this doesnt mean bringing ritchie back.

RKMeibalane
12-28-2002, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by duke of dorwood
This manager holds back the young players as if he's on the Bears coaching staff.

You may be onto something.

The Unholy Trinity of Chicago Sports:

:jerry :shammy :jauron

kermittheefrog
12-28-2002, 03:05 PM
I wouldn't mind us bringing in Suppan. I think he'd be a good acquisition. Prior to last year he put up 3 straight seasons with 200 IP and an above average ERA. Last year he still pitched 200 innings and his ERA was slightly below average but not terrible. Suppan is a good #3 or #4 starter. He's pretty much what Ritchie was hyped up to be.

MisterB
12-28-2002, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
i wouldn't say that's a good back end of the rotation but i've seen worse. people talk about rauch like he's a complete and total gamble. a former minor league player of the year as your fourth starter isn't too risky if you ask me. no one said it was that risky when kip wells started the '99 season as our two and that was just because he'd had six good starts the season before. no one talked like rick ankiel was a risk the year he was a rookie or juan cruz last season. i'll admit that i guess biddle/stewart could be construed as somewhat shaky but rauch is a top prospect who appears to be healthy now i wish people would give him some credit and not act as though there's no great reason to believe he'll succeed at the major league level.

Uh..at what point in '99/'00 was Kipper ever considered our #2? I thought he was 4th behind Baldwin, Sirotka, Parque and Eldred. And Ankiel started out as the 5th starter in the Cards' rotation his rookie year.

The problem is that on a quality starting staff Rauch, Wright and Biddle would be fighting for the #5 spot (if you assume Garland as #4). But as it stands, all of them could be in our rotation next year. Consider the candidates:

Buehrle - Proved that '01 wasnt a fluke. A #1 starter.
Garland - In 2+ seasons has worked himself up to 'average'. Still has time to improve. Balanced out some dominant starts with some horrible ones. Assuming some improvement over last season, a decent #3 starter.
Wright - Improved over '01, but still below average. Had a few dominating starts, but needs to improve his control. If improvement continues he's a #4 starter.
Biddle - Pitched well in relief despite recovering from surgery. If he has similar effectiveness as a starter could pass Wright in the rotation. Should be #5 to see if his arm is up to a starter's workload, otherwise back to the 'pen.
Rauch - Recovering from shoulder surgery, had an 'ok' season at AAA. Early season ML stint too soon in recovery process to indicate true ability, pitched better in 2 late season appearances. His current level of ability is murky due to recovery and adjustment to new level. Could be good, could be Rod Bolton. If he has a good ST, would pencil in as #5.
Ritchie - A mediocre pitcher who had a horrible year. If he bounces back he could be a servicable #3, but no better.
Stewart - Had a good season at AA. Like anyone without ML experience, unknown how (or if) he'll adjust in the bigs. Just turned 24 and now is the time to find out. Possible #5.

Hopefully Don Cooper can get more improvement out of the youngsters than Nardi did (he couldn't do worse, could he?), otherwise it looks like our choices are from a #1, two 3's, two 4's and two 5's. That is a questionable staff.

jeremyb1
12-29-2002, 02:09 AM
Originally posted by MisterB
Uh..at what point in '99/'00 was Kipper ever considered our #2? I thought he was 4th behind Baldwin, Sirotka, Parque and Eldred. And Ankiel started out as the 5th starter in the Cards' rotation his rookie year.

The problem is that on a quality starting staff Rauch, Wright and Biddle would be fighting for the #5 spot (if you assume Garland as #4). But as it stands, all of them could be in our rotation next year. Consider the candidates:

Buehrle - Proved that '01 wasnt a fluke. A #1 starter.
Garland - In 2+ seasons has worked himself up to 'average'. Still has time to improve. Balanced out some dominant starts with some horrible ones. Assuming some improvement over last season, a decent #3 starter.
Wright - Improved over '01, but still below average. Had a few dominating starts, but needs to improve his control. If improvement continues he's a #4 starter.
Biddle - Pitched well in relief despite recovering from surgery. If he has similar effectiveness as a starter could pass Wright in the rotation. Should be #5 to see if his arm is up to a starter's workload, otherwise back to the 'pen.
Rauch - Recovering from shoulder surgery, had an 'ok' season at AAA. Early season ML stint too soon in recovery process to indicate true ability, pitched better in 2 late season appearances. His current level of ability is murky due to recovery and adjustment to new level. Could be good, could be Rod Bolton. If he has a good ST, would pencil in as #5.
Ritchie - A mediocre pitcher who had a horrible year. If he bounces back he could be a servicable #3, but no better.
Stewart - Had a good season at AA. Like anyone without ML experience, unknown how (or if) he'll adjust in the bigs. Just turned 24 and now is the time to find out. Possible #5.

Hopefully Don Cooper can get more improvement out of the youngsters than Nardi did (he couldn't do worse, could he?), otherwise it looks like our choices are from a #1, two 3's, two 4's and two 5's. That is a questionable staff.

kip wells started the '99 season as our number two starter. he was eventually demoted that season and then didn't make the rotation to start the '00 season but he started the second game of the '99 season for us. ankiel started out as the number five starter for the cardinals because they had a good rotation. in other rotations he would've been higher in the rotation. there isn't some rule that all prospects begin as number five starters just because they're unproven. really good prospects can be number four starters or higher if they have some minor success at the big league level as kip did.

you could make an argument that garland was a decent three or at least an above average four last season. i don't think he needs a major improvement to be a "decent three". i think he should be considered a decent and quite likely above average three going into this season. his era was the 32nd best in the al among starters meaning that if you do the math and devide by 14 teams in the league giving each equally good pitchers, he'd be a number two starter. obviously that isn't the case but if you take all 70 pitchers that will begin next season as starters he'll be in the upper half for sure. you convienently mention his 2+ years of experience without mentioning his age. if you go by pitchers that were 22 or younger last season as he was only behind two players, cc sabathia and joe kennedy (whose era was 4.53 to garland's 4.58). also, garland was dominant at time and had a number of dominant starts. the fact that he also had several really poor outings make his era somewhat misleading.

as for wright, he threw nearly 200 innings and his era was the 36th best in the al so i think calling him below average is a stretch. he'd certainly be as good as a lot of number four starters.

rauch and biddle are both capable of being considered strong fives at best especially since most teams don't have strong number five starters. considering the upside of rauch and biddle's major league experience and success as a starter last season, they're well suited for the job.

what this basically leaves us with is the fact that we're simply short a number two starter (kip wells would be nice). if all of those pitchers were put back a spot, garland as a three, wright a four, and rauch or biddle as a number five we'd actually have a rather strong back end of the rotation. so i would argue that its not our back end of the rotation that is lacking since we have guys that can fill in there, we merely need a good number two starter. i don't think that means our entire rotation is in shambles though. we have at least one guy in garland that has shown he's more than capable of stepping it up and performing as a strong number two. rauch certainly also has the potential although it may be a stretch for him to realize it this season. however, if he pitches like he did in '00 its far from out of the question.

MisterB
12-29-2002, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
you could make an argument that garland was a decent three or at least an above average four last season. i don't think he needs a major improvement to be a "decent three". i think he should be considered a decent and quite likely above average three going into this season.

Sorry, I didn't make clear that my rotation slotting was not graded on the curve. Although every team has a #1 starter, not all of them are "#1 quality". There are less than 32 pitchers in the majors I'd consider "#1's" (very good, dominant pitchers). Some teams have more than one #1 quality starter (the D'Backs with Johnson & Schilling for example) while others teams have no one on the staff of #1 quality (I consider the Giants as having had three #2's in their rotation). Therefore a #3 I'd consider being around league average, which Garland was. I predicated his being a 'decent 3' on his current rate of improvement. If he makes a major improvement, I think he moves into #2 territory.

his era was the 32nd best in the al among starters meaning that if you do the math and devide by 14 teams in the league giving each equally good pitchers, he'd be a number two starter. obviously that isn't the case but if you take all 70 pitchers that will begin next season as starters he'll be in the upper half for sure.

Um...if you do that math, your #1's are 1-14, #2's 15-28. At 32nd, he'd be a #3, which is what i think he is now.

you convienently mention his 2+ years of experience without mentioning his age. if you go by pitchers that were 22 or younger last season as he was only behind two players, cc sabathia and joe kennedy (whose era was 4.53 to garland's 4.58). also, garland was dominant at time and had a number of dominant starts. the fact that he also had several really poor outings make his era somewhat misleading

I didn't mention his age specifically, but it was implied by saying he still has time to improve. If he had his current stats at age 27 instead of 23, I'd write him off as rotation filler (kind of like Ritchie). As for his ERA, you have to take the good with the bad. There was only one game where he gave up a lot of earned runs in a very short outing (7/19 vs BAL, 8er, 3ip), but even when pitching poorly he would usually make it into the 5th inning, so the numbers aren't skewed any more than for any other pitcher.

as for wright, he threw nearly 200 innings and his era was the 36th best in the al so i think calling him below average is a stretch. he'd certainly be as good as a lot of number four starters.

His ERA was over 5, it's not much of a stretch to call him below average. Taking a second look I might have been a little harsh in my assesment. He had a handful of games where he was lights-out, and a half dozen or so where he was throwing BP out there. Manuel also had a quicker hook with Wright than Garland. I'd call Wright not too far behind Garland at this stage, but he's 25 and has less time to work with, development-wise. He's a definite #4 that could move to a passable #3 with improvement.

rauch and biddle are both capable of being considered strong fives at best especially since most teams don't have strong number five starters. considering the upside of rauch and biddle's major league experience and success as a starter last season, they're well suited for the job.

A strong #5 is nice to have if the top of your rotation is solid which, as of now, ours isn't. Rauch and Biddle are both question marks since neither were 100% healthy last year. Biddle comes out ahead simply because he's more of a 'known quantity'. Rauch had an excellent season of AA ball two years ago, but wheter that translates to ML effectiveness is the eternal question of any inexperienced player. The odds for both of them look good, but the dice have yet to be rolled.

what this basically leaves us with is the fact that we're simply short a number two starter (kip wells would be nice). if all of those pitchers were put back a spot, garland as a three, wright a four, and rauch or biddle as a number five we'd actually have a rather strong back end of the rotation. so i would argue that its not our back end of the rotation that is lacking since we have guys that can fill in there, we merely need a good number two starter. i don't think that means our entire rotation is in shambles though. we have at least one guy in garland that has shown he's more than capable of stepping it up and performing as a strong number two. rauch certainly also has the potential although it may be a stretch for him to realize it this season. however, if he pitches like he did in '00 its far from out of the question.

From the context of that TSN blurb, I think the 'back end of the rotation' refers to everyone behind Buehrle, not just the 4 & 5 slots. If the Sox get, say, Valdes to fill the #2 slot (which I'm ok with at this point), then the 3 - 5 slots are filled by guys who are of an appropriate talent level for their slot. Which means that our rotation comes out average to slightly above (depending on improvement). But a quality staff should be top-heavy with talent (like the Yankees, whose top 4 starters would be #1's or #2's on most other staffs). To get to near that quality, not only would we need that legitimate #2, but for the rest of the rotation to all take a step up to the next talent level, which is a big 'if'.

Daver
12-29-2002, 05:50 PM
I think everyone puts way to much emphasis on slotting a rotation into a 1,a 2,a 3 etc.,Pitch your best pitcher on opening day,and let the rest fall into place.

Dadawg_77
12-29-2002, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by daver
I think everyone puts way to much emphasis on slotting a rotation into a 1,a 2,a 3 etc.,Pitch your best pitcher on opening day,and let the rest fall into place.

Exactly, it doesn’t matter what slot a pitcher since each slot will start about the same amount of games. Hopefully your opening starting rotation will start at least 30 games each. Failure to do that means, either there was an injury or some one was demoted. Tom Glavine lead MLB with 36 games started last year and 67 pitchers started over 30. Mark Buehrle was tied for fifth with 34 games and Wright and Garland were tied for 18th with 33 games started. The point here is it really doesn't matter who starts where, since everyone would pitches basically the same amount of games. The only thing slot would affect is who you pitch against.

Tangent warning: Since there was only a game difference between our number 4/3 started last year and our number one, would it make sense to move Buehrle to the 3rd or 4th spot in order to face lesser pitchers, in order to gain a greater advantage? Now we would give an advantage with who ever filled the one spot pitched, but would we gain a greater advantage with Mark vs an another staff’s number 2/3/4 vs 5/2/1? But that would be an interesting study of what slot faces what slot.

jeremyb1
12-29-2002, 06:55 PM
Originally posted by MisterB
Sorry, I didn't make clear that my rotation slotting was not graded on the curve. Although every team has a #1 starter, not all of them are "#1 quality". There are less than 32 pitchers in the majors I'd consider "#1's" (very good, dominant pitchers). Some teams have more than one #1 quality starter (the D'Backs with Johnson & Schilling for example) while others teams have no one on the staff of #1 quality (I consider the Giants as having had three #2's in their rotation). Therefore a #3 I'd consider being around league average, which Garland was. I predicated his being a 'decent 3' on his current rate of improvement. If he makes a major improvement, I think he moves into #2 territory.

A strong #5 is nice to have if the top of your rotation is solid which, as of now, ours isn't. Rauch and Biddle are both question marks since neither were 100% healthy last year. Biddle comes out ahead simply because he's more of a 'known quantity'. Rauch had an excellent season of AA ball two years ago, but wheter that translates to ML effectiveness is the eternal question of any inexperienced player. The odds for both of them look good, but the dice have yet to be rolled.

From the context of that TSN blurb, I think the 'back end of the rotation' refers to everyone behind Buehrle, not just the 4 & 5 slots. If the Sox get, say, Valdes to fill the #2 slot (which I'm ok with at this point), then the 3 - 5 slots are filled by guys who are of an appropriate talent level for their slot. Which means that our rotation comes out average to slightly above (depending on improvement). But a quality staff should be top-heavy with talent (like the Yankees, whose top 4 starters would be #1's or #2's on most other staffs). To get to near that quality, not only would we need that legitimate #2, but for the rest of the rotation to all take a step up to the next talent level, which is a big 'if'.

if that's your way of figuring out good rotations then there's a huge dropoff between the teams with good rotations and the ones that don't good rotations. when i say good i mean simply above average, better than most other teams in the league. since baltimore, tampa bay, kansas city, detroit, texas at a minimum are most likely not going to have a rotation as strong as ours, we only have to be better than two other teams to be above average. i never meant to imply that our rotation would be excellent if we added a number two but it would be solid. grading on a curve so to speak makes sense to me because otherwise you fail to take into account the fact that there are a lot of team's with terrible starting rotations out there. kansas city's number one starter next season will most likely be miguel ascensio or jeremy affeldt. there are a lot of team's with terrible rotations so ours certainly is at least average as of right now. it might not get us into the playoffs but its at least decent.

you're right an excellent season in '00 by rauch does not guarantee success. however, rauch's season in '00 was beyond excellent. it was dominant. i feel like a lot of people are losing sight of that and that if you views those numbers in context they are really spectacular. in 8 starts in AA in '00 rauch had a 2.25 era and gave up just 36 hits and 16 walks while striking out 63 in 56 innings. numbers like that aren't a dime a dozen. as the minor league player of the year rauch beat out roy oswalt and bud smith. the former is one of the best young pitchers in the nl and the latter pitched a no hitter at the major league level before struggling last season. smith's struggles this season do show that in fact rauch isn't a sure thing by a long shot but i think people are losing sight of how good he can be.

MisterB
12-29-2002, 07:37 PM
daver/dadawg:

OK, the slotting thing went a little overboard. I was using it less as the specific order they pitch in, but more as a shorthand to compare relative quality. The short version is that having one very good starting pitcher and the rest of the rotation average or less is no way to be competetive.

jeremy:

It's a matter of definition then. I term 'good' as significantly above average, rather than simply above average (i.e. a 'B' grade instead of 'C+'). And the goal of the team is to be better than all the other teams, not just the weak ones.

Daver
12-29-2002, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by MisterB
daver/dadawg:

OK, the slotting thing went a little overboard. I was using it less as the specific order they pitch in, but more as a shorthand to compare relative quality. The short version is that having one very good starting pitcher and the rest of the rotation average or less is no way to be competetive.



Are you basing your analysis on the rest of the rotation on tools or stats? I will probably disagree with you in either case,but I was just wondering.

I think Don Cooper can make a better than respectable starting five out of what is on the roster right now.

Iguana775
12-29-2002, 09:17 PM
i agree, daver. if wright and garland pitch like they did the last month or so, the starting rotation will be decent to good.

TornLabrum
12-29-2002, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by daver
Are you basing your analysis on the rest of the rotation on tools or stats? I will probably disagree with you in either case,but I was just wondering.

I think Don Cooper can make a better than respectable starting five out of what is on the roster right now.

Did PHG show you the column I sent him yesterday?

Daver
12-29-2002, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by TornLabrum
Did PHG show you the column I sent him yesterday?

Hal,you know full well I would give you credit if it came from you.:)


You also know how I feel about pitching......

jeremyb1
12-29-2002, 10:01 PM
Originally posted by MisterB

jeremy:

It's a matter of definition then. I term 'good' as significantly above average, rather than simply above average (i.e. a 'B' grade instead of 'C+'). And the goal of the team is to be better than all the other teams, not just the weak ones.

true. it is all a matter of definition. i choose to view good as simply above average because i think we have an outstanding offense and a simply above average rotation coupled with a strong pen could get us pretty far in my mind.

TornLabrum
12-29-2002, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by daver
Hal,you know full well I would give you credit if it came from you.:)


You also know how I feel about pitching......

I was amused at how much of what you said summarized the as yet unpublished column I wrote and sent to PHG last night. When you read it, you'll see what I mean.

TornLabrum
12-29-2002, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
true. it is all a matter of definition. i choose to view good as simply above average because i think we have an outstanding offense and a simply above average rotation coupled with a strong pen could get us pretty far in my mind.

That's what everybody said the last two years, when we've managed to hover right around .500.