PDA

View Full Version : Sox Lineup Analysis


RKMeibalane
01-19-2004, 09:39 PM
The way I see it, the Sox will probably feature the following lineup when they take the field in Kansas City on April 5:

2B- Harris
LF- Lee
1B- Thomas
RF- Ordonez
DH- Konerko
SS- Valentin
3B- Crede
CF- Rowand
C- Olivo

Realistically, this lineup should have no problems scoring runs. However, we heard that before last season started, and the Sox spent the first two months of the season struggling to get anything accomplished offensively. Things started to improve during Interleague play, when Frank was back at first base. Assuming that Guillen has no objections to Thomas seeing regular playing time at first this season, the Big Hurt should post solid numbers again in 2004- .290-40-110. Thomas must avoid "swinging for the fences" this season, as that approach only increased his strikeout totals in '03.

Carlos Lee has shown tremendous improvement over the past year and a half. However, the one concern about his plate approach was his regression in patience at the plate during the 2003 season. Lee became caught in the "swing for the fences" game that Frank and Maggs were playing, and it didn't do much to help his walk totals. El Caballo must get back to being patient at the plate, especially because the Sox are extremely weak at the top of their order. Someone needs to be on base for Thomas and Ordonez, and I don't see Willie Harris being that man. I do see big numbers for Carlos in '04, however: .310-35-120

I expect Paul Konerko to bounce back from his dissapointing 2003 campaign. I do not think he's going to post huge numbers, but I do think numbers comparable to .275-25-85 are not out of the question for him. What I would like to see Guillen try is use Konerko in a sort of platoon arrangment with Jose Valentin. Here's how it would work:

Konerko has always hit well against left-handers. Valentin has not. Konerko struggled against righties last season, but Jose has always hit well against them. Therefore, it makes sense to platoon them at designated hitter, with each seeing action depending upon who is pitching each day. Juan Uribe can play shortstop if necessary, and Frank can spend time at first base when Konerko is not around. Guillen will have time experement with the platoon during ST, and he should have an idea of whether he wants to use it once the regular season begins.

Magglio Ordonez is a lock for .300-30-100 (at least) in right. The only question surrounding him is his future with the ballclub. The rumors of him being shipped to Boston, New York, or Los Angeles continue to persist, in spite of the fact that most of these talks have not been serious. If the Sox ultimately decide to hang onto their best player, Maggs seems fit to remain a big piece of the White Sox sixty-million-dollar puzzle.

Joe Crede has shown improvement in each of his two seasons at the big league level. After toiling in the minors for several years, Joe seems to have a firm grip on the hot corner position. Crede still has occasoinal problems with the strike zone, as evidence by his tendency to chase pitches down and away. As is the case with Carlos Lee, Crede must focus on being more patient at the plate, waiting for pitches he can handle. An increase in his numbers to .270-25-85 is reasonable, especailly if he can avoid prolonged slumps.

Aaron Rowand is an enigma. He seems destined to be a fourth outfield, yet he continues to find himself in the starting lineup. Whether this is good or bad remains to be seen. Rowand improved in 2003, showing suprising power at times. However, as is the case with many of his teammates, he lacks the necessary plate discipline to be consistent as a hitter. Aaron must improve this part of his game if he is to remain a starter. The Sox have spent part of this off-season exploring trades with Boston, possibly involving Johnny Damon. One doesn't need to think too hard to understand the logic behind that idea.

Realist
01-19-2004, 09:46 PM
Konerko has always hit well against left-handers. Valentin has not. Konerko struggled against righties last season, but Jose has always hit well against them. Therefore, it makes sense to platoon them at designated hitter, with each seeing action depending upon who is pitching each day. Juan Uribe can play shortstop if necessary, and Frank can spend time at first base when Konerko is not around. Guillen will have time experement with the platoon during ST, and he should have an idea of whether he wants to use it once the regular season begins.

I really like this idea.

JRIG
01-19-2004, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane
Carlos Lee has shown tremendous improvement over the past year and a half.

Some numbers for discussion:

Carlos Lee:
'00: .301/.345/.484
'01: .269/.321/.468
'02: .249/.318/.454
'03: .270/.314/.459

Those '02 numbers are from the first half of the season, before he started actually taking pitches. The '03 numbers are from when Lee batted anywhere but in front of Frank. The only times Lee has excelled is when:

a) he is patient at the plate -- .283/.402/.521 2nd half of '02
b) he bats in front of Frank -- .320/.349/.557 batting #2 in '03

It can be argued that Carlos Lee has been in a steady decline since 2000. The only time he shows glimpses of consistent production is when other circumstances help him out or he helps himself by being patient.

Do you think KW even bothered to check these numbers before he gave Lee the extension?

beckett21
01-19-2004, 10:20 PM
I am prepared to be abused in this forum, but here is the lineup I would LIKE to see opening day 2004:

1)Reed-CF
2)Lee-LF
3)Thomas-1B
4)Ordonez-RF
5)Crede-3B
6)Konerko-DH
7)Valentin-SS
8)Olivo-C
9)Harris-2B

Don't know what the opinion is on Reed with this board, but let's see what the kid can do. As much as I wish Rowand could do the job, I just don't think he can hit major league pitching. Let's bump Crede up a bit and hope for a resurgance of Paulie. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. If I am Ozzie Guillen, that is my tentative lineup going into camp. (I will be hammered on Reed, but so be it). :D:

chisoxmike
01-19-2004, 11:00 PM
I don't know or remember much of Reed, but, the lineup isn't that bad. You only have TWO different guys on there from last year. I think Ozzie wants Maggs to bat third. (That's what I heard) But, if the Sox arn't cold for the first three months of the season, they should NOT have a problem scoring more than five runs a game.

If the hitting is there, pitching will be the issue.

Buehrle can't go 1-10 through June, I don't expect Loaiza to have another 21-win season. It seemed like hitters started to figure him out toward the end. Garland... well, who knows.

The rotation....

Loaiza 15-20 wins
Buehrle 15-20 wins
Garland 10-15 wins
Schoeneweis 10 wins
5th starter (whoever) needs 10 wins

StepsInSC
01-19-2004, 11:26 PM
I could be wrong, but Reed hasn't seen any AAA action has he? I would like to see him put up solid numbers there before he is rushed to the majors.

I like the idea about platooning PK/Jose, BUT there is the possibility that like Frank, they will not perform as well offensively (can't believe I'm saying that about PK and Jose....) when they're DHing. Something to consider.

mdep524
01-20-2004, 01:08 AM
Originally posted by StepsInSC
I could be wrong, but Reed hasn't seen any AAA action has he? I would like to see him put up solid numbers there before he is rushed to the majors.

I agree, I am really high on Reed, but I don't want to see him rushed up to the big leagues. A year a AAA would do him well. Borchard is the man that needs to have an impact this season.

depy48
01-20-2004, 02:23 AM
again, i dont think scoring runs will pose a problem. i think that thomas-mags-lee-konerko can drive in runs, i'm worried about if there will be anyone on base to drive in. harris needs to be consistentky ion base, same goes for lee. if there runners on the basepaths, i think the sox will drive them in. in any manner, i think that borchard and rowand will platoon center this year. then in '05 rowand and reed will platoon right/center field

Frater Perdurabo
01-20-2004, 09:32 AM
CF should be a wide-open competition in spring training between Rowand, Borchard and Reed. May the best man win.

RichFitztightly
01-20-2004, 12:34 PM
As it stands now, I don't see pitching as a big problem. Any possible drop off by Loaiza will be made up by an improvement from Beurhle. I'd be certain of that. Overall, their performances will be equal as last year. They say Ozzie is a fireball, so this may be what finally wakes Garland from his slumber. Top 3, they'll be fine. I have a feeling that Schoenwies will be in the bullpen by the third month. Somebody will step up to replace him. I'd say the Sox will have the best rotation in the Central division and be among the top 5 in the AL.

Offensively, the Sox will be fine. They strike me as being very prone to that whole "honeymoon period" with a new manager. I expect Willie Harris to have a career year. Not enough to make him an All Star, but he'll be good enough that Kenny Willliams will give him a big contract based on his potential.

chisoxmike
01-20-2004, 12:55 PM
RichFitztightly- I pretty much agree with you, expect with the Willie Harris thing, but I don't think Ozzie will have a problem getting Harris to work his butt off, which will help.

Are you saying division champs in '04?

boog_alou
01-20-2004, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by RichFitztightly
As it stands now, I don't see pitching as a big problem. Any possible drop off by Loaiza will be made up by an improvement from Beurhle. I'd be certain of that. Overall, their performances will be equal as last year.
Pitching is a huge problem for the White Sox. Yes, Loaiza should drop off some. He'll still be very good, but not 2003 good. And, I'm not so sure Buehrle will do better in 2004. EVERY one of his stats has gotten worse over the last three years. Constant decline every year. He's striking out fewer hitters, giving up more walks, allowing more hits and allowing more runs. This is a pretty awful and consistent trend.
They say Ozzie is a fireball, so this may be what finally wakes Garland from his slumber. Top 3, they'll be fine. I have a feeling that Schoenwies will be in the bullpen by the third month. Somebody will step up to replace him. I'd say the Sox will have the best rotation in the Central division and be among the top 5 in the AL.

Loaiza - 3.50 ERA
Buehrle - 4.10 ERA (maybe)
Garland - 4.40 ERA
Schoeneweis or whoever - 5.20
Minor leaguer - 5.00 (maybe)

That could easily NOT be the best rotation in the Central. And, top 5 in the AL? Wow, not even close. The Sox have two HUGE gaping holes in 4 and 5. How could that possibly lead to them being a top 5 rotation?

And then, there's the bullpen. Two good lefties, Pollitte is so-so, then it is basically hopes and prayers that Koch can fix himself, that Wright can learn to pitch and that someone else can finally become a legitimate major league pitcher.

That makes for a poor rotation and a poor bullpen.
Offensively, the Sox will be fine. They strike me as being very prone to that whole "honeymoon period" with a new manager. I expect Willie Harris to have a career year. Not enough to make him an All Star, but he'll be good enough that Kenny Willliams will give him a big contract based on his potential.
Wow, I couldn't possibly disagree more with your statement on Harris. He is unrelentingly awful. I'll be impressed (and surprised) if he can manage a .600 OPS this season.

boog_alou
01-20-2004, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by JRIG
It can be argued that Carlos Lee has been in a steady decline since 2000.
I'm glad somebody besides me sees this. There has been some inconsistent improvement in counting stats like RBI's and HR's, but his averages are flat or getting worse. He is a low-to-mid .800's OPS hitter and that's all. He's good, but not great. He hasn't been showing improvement (except for a limited stretch in 2002 where he really showed plate discipoline) over the years, not at all. Anyone who expects a "break out year" from Lee needs to look at the stats. He's topped out already.

beckett21
01-20-2004, 01:40 PM
I may have been a little hard on Rowand. He deserves a last shot, for sure. I didn't realize he hit .365 after his call-up June 10, so I have definitely been too hard on the guy. Borchard has been a big disappointment considering how highly touted he was. Amazing how much more human these guys look without an aluminum bat in their hands.

As far as Reed, it may be a push, but I would be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt if he has a strong spring. After all, look at the Albert Pujols story. He may not be ready, but I do not suscribe to the AAA theory either. AA is where it's at, IMO. AAA is for the hangers-on, has-beens, and never-were's (if that is a word!) And Pujols came out of A-ball at age 20, if memory serves me correct.

Rotation-wise, Loaiza had a career year and ran out of gas at the end, sadly when it counted most against the Twinks he laid an egg. He has been sketchy throughout his career and I think it is too soon to say whether or not he has found himself or if last year was a bit of a fluke. If he does it again this year...fine. I don't count on him for more than 12-15 wins this year. Premature and unreasonable to expect anything more IMO.

The bullpen is decidedly weaker with the loss of Sullivan and Gordon. Hopefully Wunsch steps it up and stays healthy. Koch is a bust and we are saddled with him, as with Konerko I am afraid. The problem is their contracts, and it is hard to sell a guy when he is down i.e. the buy low-sell high adage. So the best case scenario would be to showcase those guys, try to build their value up a bit, then dump them if possible. Otherwise we are going to have to take much less in return. Of course if they bomb again we are doubly screwed, but looks like a chance we have to take. We can't expect Marte to take the ball 6 days a week, either. I personally like Wright out of the pen. I don't think he has starter stuff. What was the reason we let Sullivan go, and to the Royals no less?? :?:

Looking it all over, it may not be absolutely hopeless, but we need a lot of things to go right and a lot of career years to win with what we have now, IMO.

And if I repeated anyone else's statements, sorry, I haven't had time to read all the other messages yet.

beckett21
01-20-2004, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by boog_alou
Anyone who expects a "break out year" from Lee needs to look at the stats. He's topped out already.

Sadly I too agree with this assessment. IMO Lee has bad habits and is capable of dogging it at any time. Supposedly Big Frank had to stay on his case last year to keep him focused. He has great talent, but I am suspicious of his commitment--I think he is the type of guy capable of becoming content with his present game and not trying to get to the next level. He also could be the next ManRam--I don't know is that a good thing or not? :?:

jeremyb1
01-20-2004, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by boog_alou
I'm glad somebody besides me sees this. There has been some inconsistent improvement in counting stats like RBI's and HR's, but his averages are flat or getting worse. He is a low-to-mid .800's OPS hitter and that's all. He's good, but not great. He hasn't been showing improvement (except for a limited stretch in 2002 where he really showed plate discipoline) over the years, not at all. Anyone who expects a "break out year" from Lee needs to look at the stats. He's topped out already.

One of the few things that Manuel really did to upset was fail to take a more disciplined approach with Carlos in the first half last season. Carlos went from walking 65 time in his final 391 plate appearances at the end of '02 (1 BB/6.1 PA) to walking once every 17.8 plate appearances last season. So Carlos basically decided to start walking a third less than he had previously walked and Manuel despite preaching the importance of plate discipline to Carlos in '02 allowed this. In my opinion Carlos should've been benched until he rediscovered the importance of plate discipline.

RichFitztightly
01-20-2004, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by boog_alou


Loaiza - 3.50 ERA
Buehrle - 4.10 ERA (maybe)
Garland - 4.40 ERA
Schoeneweis or whoever - 5.20
Minor leaguer - 5.00 (maybe)


I think your estimates of their ERA's are a bit high. Loaiza led the league in ERA last season. He's not going to regress that bad. Beurhle will have a year similar to after he discovered how to stand on the third base side of the rubber. In my opinion, you have to separate the two halves with Buerhle. Look at Foulke, he struggled the first half of his final year with the Sox and rebounded the second half, then turned out fine the following year in Oakland. I'm eternally optimistic that Ozzie's fire will rub off on Garland. He stuff is too good to be as bad as he's shown.

Originally posted by boog_alou

That could easily NOT be the best rotation in the Central. And, top 5 in the AL? Wow, not even close. The Sox have two HUGE gaping holes in 4 and 5. How could that possibly lead to them being a top 5 rotation?

I agree, it could easily NOT be the best rotation in the Central. My opinion is that it will be. Cleveland and Detroit have very little to offer. Minnesota as a few injuries. KC has a really young staff and the team as a whole had a really poor runs scored/runs allowed differential. When I say that the staff will be among the top 5 in the AL, I'm saying they'll be among the best in ERA and Winning percentage. Bear in mind that I certainly don't mean they'll be among the most feared staffs in baseball. They'll just go about their bizness and get the job done.

Here's my opinon:
1) Oakland's staff
2) Angels
3-7) Boston, Yankees, White Sox, Seattle(due to their cavernous park), Toronto

Boston has a lot of question marks. Schilling will be the only sure thing. Pedro is good for about 25 starts now-a-days, and Boston always gives up a lot of runs. Yankees have a lot of newbies who may crack in NY. They're also fairly injury prone. Both Boston and NY are very unlikely to get a full season from their studs.


Originally posted by boog_alou

Wow, I couldn't possibly disagree more with your statement on Harris. He is unrelentingly awful. I'll be impressed (and surprised) if he can manage a .600 OPS this season.

I'd be surprised as well if Hollywood's stats approached the impressive type. I just think he'll have one of those career years with his intangibles that'll garner him a big contract that he'll never live up to. As a fan, I've always looked at the positives of everthing. Anything I say can very easily go the other way. I just can't stand being a fan of a team I don't think will win. This year I think they'll win the Central Division and I hope they'll go further than that.

ondafarm
01-20-2004, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by StepsInSC
I could be wrong, but Reed hasn't seen any AAA action has he? I would like to see him put up solid numbers there before he is rushed to the majors.


Reed split his time last year between Winston-Salem (high A) and Birmingham (AA.) He did well both places, but I look forward to seeing him play next year at AAA. Also, Reed is not a center fielder. Corner outfielder only.

jeremyb1
01-20-2004, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by ondafarm
Reed split his time last year between Winston-Salem (high A) and Birmingham (AA.) He did well both places, but I look forward to seeing him play next year at AAA. Also, Reed is not a center fielder. Corner outfielder only.

Ideally, Reed plays at AAA next season but when looking at a contending team with some sizable holes to fill, one has to consider the possibility that we're a better team with Reed and prioritize winning over development. Certainly some players lacking AAA experience have made huge contributions at the major league level. Look at Cabrera last season or what Pujolz accomplished without any experience above A ball.

beckett21
01-20-2004, 07:30 PM
For how long the Sox like to sit on and "develop" (?) talent, anything short of the 2008 campaign would be "rushing" Reed to the majors. Enough coddling these guys--let's see what he can do. If he can't cut it, send him down. Sometimes I wonder what happens "down on the farm." Seems most of our top prospects fall flat on their face. Let him learn at the Major League level. AAA ball sucks IMO, sorry. Waste of time.

jordan23ventura
01-20-2004, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by RKMeibalane


Someone needs to be on base for Thomas and Ordonez, and I don't see Willie Harris being that man. I do see big numbers for Carlos in '04, however: .310-35-120



How is Carlos going to put up 120RBIS with no one on base?

RKMeibalane
01-21-2004, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by jordan23ventura
How is Carlos going to put up 120RBIS with no one on base?

When I figure that part out, I'll get back to you. :smile:

hold2dibber
01-21-2004, 01:51 PM
Originally posted by RichFitztightly
I agree, it could easily NOT be the best rotation in the Central. My opinion is that it will be. Cleveland and Detroit have very little to offer. Minnesota as a few injuries. KC has a really young staff and the team as a whole had a really poor runs scored/runs allowed differential. When I say that the staff will be among the top 5 in the AL, I'm saying they'll be among the best in ERA and Winning percentage. Bear in mind that I certainly don't mean they'll be among the most feared staffs in baseball. They'll just go about their bizness and get the job done.

Here's my opinon:
1) Oakland's staff
2) Angels
3-7) Boston, Yankees, White Sox, Seattle(due to their cavernous park), Toronto

Boston has a lot of question marks. Schilling will be the only sure thing. Pedro is good for about 25 starts now-a-days, and Boston always gives up a lot of runs. Yankees have a lot of newbies who may crack in NY. They're also fairly injury prone. Both Boston and NY are very unlikely to get a full season from their studs.

The Yankees have the best rotation in the AL, IMHO. At least three of their starters (Mussina, Vazquez and Brown) would be the no. 1 starter on the Sox. And Contreras may be better than any of them. Leiber is a question mark coming off the injury, but he's had as many 20 win seasons as everyone in the Sox starting rotation combined.

Boston's top 2 guys are WAY better than anyone the Sox have and the Sox's 4 and 5 starters (Schoenweiss and a minor leaguer) aren't even close to good enough to crack Boston's rotation. In fact, Garland might have a hard time cracking the Red Sox rotation (Pedro, Schilling, Lowe, Wakefield and Kim).

In fact, because of the holes in the no. 4 and 5 spots, I don't see how you could possibly rank the Sox ahead of any of the 6 other teams you list.

I understand that some people need to look at the possible upside, but you're in la la land on this one.