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hold2dibber
01-23-2003, 09:08 AM
I know some of you hold out hope that the Sox will acquire a CF or another starting pitcher, but IMHO, we've seen the last personnel move of the off-season with the signing of White (other than, perhaps, minor league deals). So I thought it might be a good time to take a look at how the team has changed since the end of last season.

The only change in the starting lineup, I think, is that at the start of the offseason, MJ was penciled in as the starting C, whereas now, Olivo is slotted there. At this point, I view this as a wash; I think Olivo will be better offensively than MJ, but not as good defensively. So I'll focus on the bench, rotation and bullpen.

Likely '03 bench as of the start of the off season:

Graffinino
Olivo
Paul
Liefer
Harris


Current likely '03 bench:

Graffinino
Alomar
Paul
Rios
Harris

I view this as a minor downgrade, as I prefer the MJ/Olivo combo behind the plate over the Alomar/Olivo combo, but only slightly. Rios vs. Liefer is a wash.

Likely '03 rotation as of the start of the offseason:

Buehrle
Garland
Wright
Rauch
Biddle

Likely '03 rotation now:

Buehrle
Colon
Garland
Wright
Rauch

A big upgrade in the rotation; the Sox now have both of the 2 best starters in the Central Division, and Garland, Wright and Rauch are now all in slots for which they are better suited.

Likely '03 bullpen as of the start of the offseason:

Foulke
Osuna
Marte
Glover
Ginter
Wunsch

Likely '03 bullpen now:

Koch
Gordon
Marte
Glover
White
Wunsch

A slight upgrade. When he's on, Foulke is better than Koch. But Foulke can get "shaken up" and lose his confidence and/or his release point and go through real bad stretches. And Koch is very solid. Overall, a slight downgrade at closer closer. However, they are deeper and more versatile. As long as he's healthy, I like Gordon over Osuna. White is an upgrade over Ginter and gives us more depth, since Ginter is still in the organization and still has promise. In addition to Koch, Gordon and Marte (and possibly even White) can close games. (As an aside, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Munoz overtake Wunsch in the bullpen - or to take Josh Paul's spot on the roster).

So, overall, I give KW a solid B for his offseason work this year. He addressed the team's biggest (by far) problem by adding Colon, and he was able to easily replace (and even slightly upgrade) the guys he lost to acquire Colon. I think he overpaid slightly in the Koch trade, and while I don't think Koch is quite as good as Foulke, he is very good and will be under the team's control for 3 years, whereas Foulke is in his contract year. He wasn't able to upgrade at CF or C, but in light of the budget constraints he appears to be under, I think he did a good job nonetheless.

Are the Sox a WS contender? No (unless Garland and Wright miraculously turn into Greg Maddux and Curt Schilling during the course of the season). But they should be able to contend for the Division title and, with MB and Colon at the top of the rotation, are a threat to win a playoff series, should they get that far.

maurice
01-23-2003, 11:02 AM
Nice post.

doctor30th
01-23-2003, 11:22 AM
Nice post, but I don't think they are going to carry 3 catchers. But they may, there is no telling till spring training gets going.

Fridaythe13thJason
01-23-2003, 11:33 AM
I hate to continually bring up the Angels in every post anyone ever makes about the World Series, but I think that any team who can win their division has to be considered a World Series contender.

Would it be difficult to take out the yankees with a Dan Wright Start? Yes, but not impossible by any means. If this offense learns to click like it did in 2000, then you could have some very impressive displays. If the bullpen of veterans clicks like the Angels' pen did, then you could have some 5 or 6 inning games to work with. Consider the possibilities, don't just discount them.

gogosoxgogo
01-23-2003, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by doctor30th
Nice post, but I don't think they are going to carry 3 catchers. But they may, there is no telling till spring training gets going.

I hope you're right... it's a waste of roster space. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that we're going to keep all 3.

Iwritecode
01-23-2003, 11:43 AM
Originally posted by doctor30th
Nice post, but I don't think they are going to carry 3 catchers. But they may, there is no telling till spring training gets going.

Well, neither Paul nor Alomar can go to the minors without clearing waivers first. IMO, Alomar is to unreliable as the only back-up catcher. I guess they figure if they put 3 backups (with the hopes of getting Olivo some experience) on the roster, they'll be ok.

maurice
01-23-2003, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by GrandSalami
Would it be difficult to take out the yankees with a Dan Wright Start?

I'm not sure. While the yanks have tons of veteran starting pitching depth, they don't necessarily have stoppers like Johnson and Schilling. I'd venture that at least one of their high-paid guys is likely to have a mediocre season in 2003, though the impact of that is uncertain given their depth.

The Sox rotation = two proven number one starters + three guys who lots of folks believe could become top of the rotation guys pretty soon.

Then again, lots of potential and $1.50 will get you a cup of coffee on the South Side, but heck, pre-season is the time for optimism.

gogosoxgogo
01-23-2003, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by maurice
I'm not sure. While the yanks have tons of veteran starting pitching depth, they don't necessarily have stoppers like Johnson and Schilling. I'd venture that at least one of their high-paid guys is likely to have a mediocre season in 2003, though the impact of that is uncertain given their depth.

That's so true. Clemens is there to get 8 wins and he's done. He's going to have a bad year IMO.

hold2dibber
01-23-2003, 12:20 PM
Originally posted by doctor30th
Nice post, but I don't think they are going to carry 3 catchers. But they may, there is no telling till spring training gets going.

Personally, I hope you're right. I'd rather have Munoz or Ginter on the roster instead of Paul. I just don't see what he adds - Harris provides speed off the bench, as well as the <shudder> versatility to play several positions. But as someone else noted, Paul is out of options, and I thought someone else on this board posted recently that KW said he would carry 3 catchers.

dougs78
01-23-2003, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by doctor30th
Nice post, but I don't think they are going to carry 3 catchers. But they may, there is no telling till spring training gets going.


I tend to agree with you. My thought (or perhaps my hope) is that 1 of 2 things will happen in spring training.

1. Paul will really suck and they will have to send him down. Or he will be decent, but just overcome by someone like Munoz in the pen.

2. Alomar will show that he doesn't really have what it takes and the management feel comfortable with Paul and Olivo behind the plate. In this scenario I could see Alomar going on the "DL" or simply retiring and becoming a coach. In this case, he'd still be around in teh event of an injury to come back and play without taking the roster spot.


But then again, after watching the Harold Baines fiasco, perhaps #2 should be in deep pink.

gogosoxgogo
01-23-2003, 12:51 PM
1. Paul will really suck and they will have to send him down. Or he will be decent, but just overcome by someone like Munoz in the pen. [/QUOTE]
He's out of options. Can't be sent down without first clearing waivers.

2. Alomar will show that he doesn't really have what it takes and the management feel comfortable with Paul and Olivo behind the plate. In this scenario I could see Alomar going on the "DL" or simply retiring and becoming a coach. In this case, he'd still be around in teh event of an injury to come back and play without taking the roster spot.
Alomar is here purely for the veteran presence and to likely catch Colon's games. I do think they need some type of veteran, so Alomar is going to stay.

delben91
01-23-2003, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by gogosoxgogo

He's out of options. Can't be sent down without first clearing waivers.


Just out of curiousity, what's the worry about losing Josh Paul? If he's shown that he can't consistently stick with the major league club, why do we continue to try to keep ahold of him? Granted, it would be nice to trade him and get something in return, but realistically, what would we be able to acquire? Probably not much.

I just don't see why it's such a huge deal if we lose him on waivers.

gogosoxgogo
01-23-2003, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by delben91
Just out of curiousity, what's the worry about losing Josh Paul? If he's shown that he can't consistently stick with the major league club, why do we continue to try to keep ahold of him? Granted, it would be nice to trade him and get something in return, but realistically, what would we be able to acquire? Probably not much.

I just don't see why it's such a huge deal if we lose him on waivers.

I agree with you 100%, I was just stating the fact after dougs said we should send him down. I don't like Paul any more than you do.

yyz
01-23-2003, 01:29 PM
One more offseason move that KW should get a lot of credit for is handling the Thomas situation adeptly. He kept Frank while freeing up money to pay Colon, and did so without unduly embarrassing Frank.

dougs78
01-23-2003, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by gogosoxgogo

He's out of options. Can't be sent down without first clearing waivers.

Yep, I was actually quite aware of that. But I don't think that would have any bearing on the decision process. If he can't stick, then send him down. If he gets taken on waivers so be it. I really don't know if he'd even get picked up though, honestly.

gogosoxgogo
01-23-2003, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by yyz
One more offseason move that KW should get a lot of credit for is handling the Thomas situation adeptly. He kept Frank while freeing up money to pay Colon, and did so without unduly embarrassing Frank.

JR handled Frank's contract. KW was down in Puerto Rico during those negotiations. He had nothing to do with it.

Dougs, I do agree with you with everything you mentioned.

yyz
01-23-2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by gogosoxgogo
JR handled Frank's contract. KW was down in Puerto Rico during those negotiations. He had nothing to do with it.


I stand corrected - the last week has me seeing KW through rose colored glasses. Nonetheless, an important offseason 'move'.

RichH55
01-26-2003, 01:37 AM
Originally posted by yyz
I stand corrected - the last week has me seeing KW through rose colored glasses. Nonetheless, an important offseason 'move'.

Its the White Sox offseason, not KWs, anyway.....Overall a real nice offseason...and LIP....since we got Colon...I'm taking the bet we win the central...I might even stop harping about Jamie Moyer now :D: