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View Full Version : WHo has the better bullpen? Sox or Cubs?


MRKARNO
02-14-2004, 11:39 PM
Because the poll on Chicagosports.com is obviously filled with votes by people who will blindly support the flubs...

Jjav829
02-14-2004, 11:44 PM
I'd take the Cubs pen though I think the Sox pen has a chance to be as good (or better). There are more question marks in the Sox pen right now than there are in the Cubs pen. The Cubs made two solid additions with Hawkins and Mercker. The Sox signed Takatsu and Politte. Not too hard to see who picked up the better pitchers.

MRKARNO
02-14-2004, 11:50 PM
The thing is that Marte and Wunsch are the best 2 of the 11 listed. Takatsu has big game experience and Koch could rebound (he might be one of those every second year guys). If Koch is throwing 97+ again, then this is the Sox' by a longshot. Borowski is overrated but Hawkins will be really good. Farnsworth still has too many control questions and Mercker was probably a fluke last year.

Jjav829
02-15-2004, 12:00 AM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
The thing is that Marte and Wunsch are the best 2 of the 11 listed. Takatsu has big game experience and Koch could rebound (he might be one of those every second year guys). If Koch is throwing 97+ again, then this is the Sox' by a longshot. Borowski is overrated but Hawkins will be really good. Farnsworth still has too many control questions and Mercker was probably a fluke last year.

So you'd rather have a guy who has pitched in Japan because he has "big game experience" than a guy who has actually shown he can perform at a major league level because he might be overrated? Everything is if's. That is what I said in my last message. The Sox have more question marks/if's. Sure IF Koch is throwing in the high 90's and can combine that with a little actually pitching, and IF Takatsu shows he can be a major league pitcher the Sox bullpen will be good. Compare that to IF Borowski proves to be overrated, and IF Mercker proves to be a fluke, and IF Farnsworth's control struggles continue then the Cubs bullpen will be bad. Seems kinda like blind support to me...

SEALgep
02-15-2004, 12:10 AM
Originally posted by Jjav829
So you'd rather have a guy who has pitched in Japan because he has "big game experience" than a guy who has actually shown he can perform at a major league level because he might be overrated? Everything is if's. That is what I said in my last message. The Sox have more question marks/if's. Sure IF Koch is throwing in the high 90's and can combine that with a little actually pitching, and IF Takatsu shows he can be a major league pitcher the Sox bullpen will be good. Compare that to IF Borowski proves to be overrated, and IF Mercker proves to be a fluke, and IF Farnsworth's control struggles continue then the Cubs bullpen will be bad. Seems kinda like blind support to me... Basically it comes down to, if you good have one squad or the other, who do you feel more confident with. Me it's the Sox pen. Question marks, sure, but I take them. Besides, Hawkins should be good, but if Wrigley winds are blowing out, it won't feel the same as air conditionings blowing in. Borowski, solid- do it again. The Cubs pen is certainly improved, but to say it's better than ours isn't necessarily the case.

Jjav829
02-15-2004, 12:20 AM
Originally posted by SEALgep
Basically it comes down to, if you good have one squad or the other, who do you feel more confident with. Me it's the Sox pen. Question marks, sure, but I take them. Besides, Hawkins should be good, but if Wrigley winds are blowing out, it won't feel the same as air conditionings blowing in. Borowski, solid- do it again. The Cubs pen is certainly improved, but to say it's better than ours isn't necessarily the case.

Any reason as to why you would pick the Sox pen, other than because they are the Sox? How many times does Borowski have to do it? Hes had two good years. The same number as Marte. So shouldn't you be saying "Marte, solid- do it again?" Why, other than the fact that you are a Sox fan, do you write off what Borowski has done as a fluke but yet Marte is an automatic? For that matter, to say our pen is better than theirs isn't necessarily the case.

SEALgep
02-15-2004, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by Jjav829
Any reason as to why you would pick the Sox pen, other than because they are the Sox? How many times does Borowski have to do it? Hes had two good years. The same number as Marte. So shouldn't you be saying "Marte, solid- do it again?" Why, other than the fact that you are a Sox fan, do you write off what Borowski has done as a fluke but yet Marte is an automatic? For that matter, to say our pen is better than theirs isn't necessarily the case. Because our lefties are certainly better than theirs, there is no doubt about that. We have four guys who can close games- Marte, Koch, Pollite, and Takatsu. I believe Koch is going to rebound and be an effective closer (maybe not Oakland form, but good nonetheless.) I believe the fact that Takatsu is unknown by major league hitters, that he has a distinct advantage against, and yes he does have big game experience. Borowski is a very good pitcher, but I don't think he's going to be lights out as he was last year. That's just my feeling. Hawkins as well is very good, and he can close out games if need be. We'll just have to see, but it's my personal opinion, as I stated, that our pen is better.

MRKARNO
02-15-2004, 12:52 AM
White Sox Cubs Edge
1. Marte Hawkins Sox. Marte was the best RP outside of the big 5 (Gagne, Smoltz, Wagner, Foulke, Rivera). Hawkins was solid, but not as good. Both had bad years in 01 (Marte had a 4.77 ERA and Hawkins a 6 ERA), but Marte's was clearly part of his development while Hawkins' was out of nowhere.
2. Wunsch Borowski Cubs. Only because of IP the last 2 years
3. Taktasu Mercker Sox. Mercker hasn't even come within 1.5 ERA of last year's mark of 1.95 in 7 years and he did it as a starter. He's 36 too. Takatsu has an unconventional delivery and new pitchers always have an advantage
4. Koch Farnsworth Even. In 2002 it was Farnsworth with the horrible ERA (7.33) and Koch with the sparkling one (3.27). A pair of inconsistant flameballers
5. Politte Remlinger Cubs. Politte had a good 3 year stretch from 00-02, but Remlinger has been one of the most consistant relievers in the past 5-7 years. The only question is whether his higher ERA last year was an aberration or a sign of age (He'll be 38 on opening day)

So it's 2-2-1. A tie. How do I break the tie? By saying the Remlinger's age will make him a mediocre reliever at best next year. That gives a slight edge to the White Sox. The bullpen wont be a problem for the cubs this year unless Remlinger becomes this years' Veres. It will be a strength of the Sox. I predict that Marte will be somewhat better than last year as the dominating closer of this team. He will begin to shine this year.

chisoxmike
02-15-2004, 12:55 AM
I thought I heard Farnsworth signed with another team.

ChiWhiteSox1337
02-15-2004, 12:59 AM
Nope. But Alfonseca did. :whiner:

Anyways, the question is too close to call a winner. I think the main variable is how batters do against takatsu, they might have problems with him or they'll light him up.

Jjav829
02-15-2004, 02:14 AM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
White Sox Cubs Edge
1. Marte Hawkins Sox. Marte was the best RP outside of the big 5 (Gagne, Smoltz, Wagner, Foulke, Rivera). Hawkins was solid, but not as good. Both had bad years in 01 (Marte had a 4.77 ERA and Hawkins a 6 ERA), but Marte's was clearly part of his development while Hawkins' was out of nowhere.
2. Wunsch Borowski Cubs. Only because of IP the last 2 years
3. Taktasu Mercker Sox. Mercker hasn't even come within 1.5 ERA of last year's mark of 1.95 in 7 years and he did it as a starter. He's 36 too. Takatsu has an unconventional delivery and new pitchers always have an advantage
4. Koch Farnsworth Even. In 2002 it was Farnsworth with the horrible ERA (7.33) and Koch with the sparkling one (3.27). A pair of inconsistant flameballers
5. Politte Remlinger Cubs. Politte had a good 3 year stretch from 00-02, but Remlinger has been one of the most consistant relievers in the past 5-7 years. The only question is whether his higher ERA last year was an aberration or a sign of age (He'll be 38 on opening day)

So it's 2-2-1. A tie. How do I break the tie? By saying the Remlinger's age will make him a mediocre reliever at best next year. That gives a slight edge to the White Sox. The bullpen wont be a problem for the cubs this year unless Remlinger becomes this years' Veres. It will be a strength of the Sox. I predict that Marte will be somewhat better than last year as the dominating closer of this team. He will begin to shine this year.

Uhh, did you pull these matchups out of a hat? If you think that this is the way to determine which pen is better, at least compare them by their roles (Koch vs. Borowski, Marte vs. Hawkins, Mercker vs. Wunsch, Farnsworth vs. Takatsu, Politte vs. Remlinger).

Jjav829
02-15-2004, 02:15 AM
Originally posted by chisoxmike
I thought I heard Farnsworth signed with another team.

That would me impossible seeing as how he wasn't a free agent. He did however avoid arbitration with the Cubs and sign a 1 year $1.4 million deal.

RichFitztightly
02-15-2004, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by Jjav829
Any reason as to why you would pick the Sox pen, other than because they are the Sox? How many times does Borowski have to do it? Hes had two good years. The same number as Marte. So shouldn't you be saying "Marte, solid- do it again?" Why, other than the fact that you are a Sox fan, do you write off what Borowski has done as a fluke but yet Marte is an automatic? For that matter, to say our pen is better than theirs isn't necessarily the case.

The big difference between Marte and Borowski is that Marte has more talent and better stuff. Even the Cubs announcers claim that Borowski doesn't have the stuff. What he's done is been perfect with his pitches. When you rely on having to be perfect all the time, it has a tendency to catch up to pitchers. Sure there are exceptions... Jamie Moyer comes to mind. However, Marte has been lights out. He has superior talent and I'd rather bank on superior talent when I don't have the luxury of hind-sight.

patbooyah
02-15-2004, 03:22 AM
... is that our good friend jerry is no longer going to be playing his nutty games with our pitching staff. im interested to see how ozzie handles our guys- is he going to buy into the right/left handed matchups as much as jerry did? is he going give pitchers the chance to redeem themselves or is he going to pull them out before they can do more damage? will kelly wunsch be used more often? how long is he going to have faith in billy koch if billy continues to sputter?

these are all reasons i am excited to see a new manager at the helm.

by the way- does anyone know how billy's off season workouts are going? we should have a pretty decent idea by now if is going to get his fastball back.

CWSGuy406
02-15-2004, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by Jjav829
Uhh, did you pull these matchups out of a hat? If you think that this is the way to determine which pen is better, at least compare them by their roles (Koch vs. Borowski, Marte vs. Hawkins, Mercker vs. Wunsch, Farnsworth vs. Takatsu, Politte vs. Remlinger).


Using those matchups:

Koch/Borowski - Cubs. Borowski has been consistent, and Koch is all about speed. A straight 94 MPH fastball doesn't really fool hitters.

Marte/Hawkins - Sox, but almost a wash. Both of these guys have it. Ill say Marte because I believe his delivery is harder to hit and he's put up better numbers. Almost a wash though.

Farns/Takatsu - Cubs. Until Shingo shows he can throw against MLB hitting, you can't put him better than any other pitcher. However, this might change if Shingo can, in fact, pitch well against MLB hitting. Farns is mediocre. Again, almost a wash.

Remlinger/Politte - Cubs. Politte was injury riddled last season and needs to rebound. Remlinger will have a little less pressure because he won't be the one and only guy in the Cubs pen.

Wunsch/Mercker - Sox. Wunsch has proven to be one of the better left handed guys out of the bullpen. Mercker had a great year the previous year, and will need to show he can do it again.

To throw one more in there, I'll say (long relief purposes):

Wright, Ginter/Wellmyer, Cruz - Sox: Wright showed at the end of the year he can be effective out of the bullpen, the question is if he can sustain it for a whole year. Cruz has to show he can hit the strike zone consistently, and Wellmyer, while did very well in his little time in the majors, needs to be able to sustain it.

So it's 3-3, but I'd probably say the Cubs pen is better. The Sox have too many IFs right now that I cannot put them ahead of the Cubs.

MRKARNO
02-15-2004, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by CWSGuy406

Farns/Takatsu - Cubs. Until Shingo shows he can throw against MLB hitting, you can't put him better than any other pitcher. However, this might change if Shingo can, in fact, pitch well against MLB hitting. Farns is mediocre. Again, almost a wash.

Remlinger/Politte - Cubs. Politte was injury riddled last season and needs to rebound. Remlinger will have a little less pressure because he won't be the one and only guy in the Cubs pen.


I disagree with you on these two. Farnsworth has not shown that he can string together 2 good season back to back and only listening to Cubbie optimism would lend you to believe that. Last time I checked in game 6 of the NLCS, it was Farnsworth who was on the hill when the lead ballooned from 4-3 to 8-3. Great way to end the season. And Farnsworth is ONE year away from a season where he had a 7.33 ERA. I'm not sold on Farnsworth, while Takatsu and his unconventional delivery are going to be a Dontrelle Willis-like mystery to hitters the first few times around, but while Willis would see batters 3 or so times a game, Takatsu will see most batters that many times in the entire season. I think this matchup benefits the White Sox

Politte is healthy now and when he was healthy, he was a very good reliever for three straight years from 00 to 02. Remlinger has been a very good reliever consistantly for about 7 years, but it appears that age is starting to catch up to him as shown by the 3.6 ERA last year where he had been posting ERAs around 2.6 for the past 5 years or so. I think this is an even matchup.

Jjav829
02-15-2004, 05:56 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
I disagree with you on these two. Farnsworth has not shown that he can string together 2 good season back to back and only listening to Cubbie optimism would lend you to believe that. Last time I checked in game 6 of the NLCS, it was Farnsworth who was on the hill when the lead ballooned from 4-3 to 8-3. Great way to end the season. And Farnsworth is ONE year away from a season where he had a 7.33 ERA. I'm not sold on Farnsworth, while Takatsu and his unconventional delivery are going to be a Dontrelle Willis-like mystery to hitters the first few times around, but while Willis would see batters 3 or so times a game, Takatsu will see most batters that many times in the entire season. I think this matchup benefits the White Sox

Politte is healthy now and when he was healthy, he was a very good reliever for three straight years from 00 to 02. Remlinger has been a very good reliever consistantly for about 7 years, but it appears that age is starting to catch up to him as shown by the 3.6 ERA last year where he had been posting ERAs around 2.6 for the past 5 years or so. I think this is an even matchup.

You're right, Farnsworth hasn't shown that he can string together two good seasons, back-to-back. Meanwhile, Takatsu hasn't even shown he can get an freaking out in a major league game! You're basing your entire thoughts based on the possibility that hitters will be surprised by his delivery. You know, it's not like this is something new. You think hitters are going to walk up there and go "Holy crap, a sidearm pitcher! We've never seen that before!" Plenty of guys have funky deliveries. Hitters adjust quickly now. From El Duque's high kick, to Ben Weber's triple pump, to Rob Nen's stutter, hitters have seen it all. What it will ultimately come down to is how he can pitch. Especially against our divisional opponents. Sure, there is a chance he may fool teams that we only face twice, but by the time the Twins seen him for the second chance, there is a good chance they won't be fooled. Sidearm deliveries aren't exactly revolutionary. I'll take the guy who has proven that he can be effective as a major league reliever over the guy who has yet to make a major league pitch. What next, you're going to take Takatsu over Eric Gagne because those damn hitters have already seen Gagne so he won't fool anyone?

MRKARNO
02-15-2004, 09:36 PM
Originally posted by Jjav829
What next, you're going to take Takatsu over Eric Gagne because those damn hitters have already seen Gagne so he won't fool anyone?

No, but I would take Takatsu over Kent Mercker. Based on the quality of japanese pitchers I've seen so far, I think this is a far guesstimate. Obviously he's no Sasaki, but he might be a Hasegawa.