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MisterB
09-21-2003, 01:35 PM
Don Cooper has been the Sox pitching coach for over a year now. What do you all think of the job he's done so far?

I don't doubt that he's been a marked improvement over Nardi, but if you look closely at the staff (especially the younger pitchers), you have to wonder if he's really taken it up a step or not. Consider:

Buehrle - not as good as last year
Garland - no improvemant
Wright - no improvement
Glover - incomplete (but pitching much better since going to the Angels)
Schoeneweis - incomplete (but pitching much worse since coming to the Sox)
Marte -slight improvement (but pretty darn good to begin with)
Koch - tanked (but previous overuse a big factor)

The veterans:
Loaiza - an amazing success
Colon - maintaining his established level of performance
Sullivan - maintaining
Gordon - returning to an established level of performance
White - maintaining an established level of suckitude

To give a letter grade based on that, I'd give Cooper a B-, but a lot of that would be due to Loaiza. Without Loazia he'd get a C at best - the youngsters just haven't progressed that much.

delben91
09-21-2003, 01:46 PM
I agree with your assesment save for one point. I think Jon Garland is much better this season, if only in terms of consistency, than he was last year. Pretty much gone are the 2.1 IP 6ER 5BB 1K outings, and much more common are quality starts with fewer walks and occasionally a spike in strikeouts.

He's not "great" yet, but he's certainly closer to "good" and is more often than not "solid". Rare was the outing that he didn't at least give the Sox a chance to win.

Just my two cents.

ChiSox14305635
09-21-2003, 01:53 PM
I think Coop's been great for this club. After Contreras and all of his questionable decisions, Coop has been a stabilizing presence for the pitchers. If Buerhle struggled, it was because he threw over 400 innings in 2 years, and maybe he suffered through a dead arm phase. Remember, at one time, Buerhle was 2-10. He's now over 500 again. Wright has flat out sucked this year, but I also think he never fully recovered from the injury during spring training, which was probably a good thing as it opened the door for Loaiza. I can't wait to see how he works with guys like Rauch, Diaz, Schoenweis, & Cotts during spring training. The Sox need to sign this guy long term, so some other team doesn't snatch him up.

bc2k
09-21-2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by MisterB


Garland was a favorite whipping boy of mine, but I couldn't say jack this year since he was good. Cooper, or maybe it was Ed Farmer, really turned JGar around. I think before the Minnesota start, he had given his team 6 straight quality starts.

I believe JM ruined Glover's career.

Cooper was not the reason Koch was so bad, just like he was not the reason Loaiza was so good. Loaiza said he experimented with his cutter at the end of last season on the suggestion of the Blue Jay pitching coach.

Not looking at each individual pitcher and pointing fingers of praise or fault at Cooper, a better gauge of his performance is looking at the pitching staff as a whole. The pitching was consistently giving their team quality starts. I remember hearing a stat that the Sox starters were second in the league in quality starts.

I believe it is entirely the fault of the hitters as to why we aren't going to the playoffs.

Tragg
09-21-2003, 03:39 PM
Garland has improved a lot. The pitching was good - kudos to cooper.

The question is, what has Greg Walker done as a coach? Same old thing - swing at everything and refuse to walk as that can't help your batting average. Now, it's hard to teach grizzled vets to suddenly get patient, so it may not be him. But I don't see much overall improvement.

MisterB
09-21-2003, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by bc2k
Garland was a favorite whipping boy of mine, but I couldn't say jack this year since he was good. Cooper, or maybe it was Ed Farmer, really turned JGar around. I think before the Minnesota start, he had given his team 6 straight quality starts.

I believe JM ruined Glover's career.

Cooper was not the reason Koch was so bad, just like he was not the reason Loaiza was so good. Loaiza said he experimented with his cutter at the end of last season on the suggestion of the Blue Jay pitching coach.

Not looking at each individual pitcher and pointing fingers of praise or fault at Cooper, a better gauge of his performance is looking at the pitching staff as a whole. The pitching was consistently giving their team quality starts. I remember hearing a stat that the Sox starters were second in the league in quality starts.

I believe it is entirely the fault of the hitters as to why we aren't going to the playoffs.

Critiques of the Sox offense has already been done to death around here, so I won't bother discussing it again. The pitching staff as a whole is improved over last year, but I was just trying to see if that is more attributable to the talent added to it (Colon, Loaiza, Gordon) or to Cooper himself. I heard ELo had tried the cutter at the end of last season although he wasn't particularly effective with it, so I'm willing to give Cooper some credit for helping Loaiza get it right. I might be underestimating Garland's improvement - he has 4 more quality starts so far over last year, although his overall numbers haven't changed much (he's walking a few less betters this season). On the other hand, I think I overestimated Wright's progress. Looking at him again, he's walking more and giving up bigger hits than last year and only has 5 QS out of 14 as opposed to 18 of 33 last year. Buehrle's problem is just that in his bad games this year he's been hit a lot harder than in his bad games last year. Otherwise the increase in quality starts (since Buehrle, Garland and Wright have combined for 9 fewer than last year) are all on Colon and Loaiza.

MHOUSE
09-21-2003, 08:54 PM
Our pitching got screwed by a lot of bad defense, lack of offense, etc. We were way up there in quality starts which is a huge stat. Cooper has been good and I like his honest no s--- attitude. I think Coop and Walker are good guys to keep around. I hope Manuel is the only one fired. Keep Nossek, Coop, Walker, and Kushner. Those guys are good coaches to have around.