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jeremyb1
04-26-2004, 04:18 PM
No Relief: Maybe because everyone's more comfortable categorizing things, but whatever the reason, the media won't seem to leave manager Ozzie Guillen to make use his bullpen as he chooses and instead require him to label someone "closer" and everyone else as "lacking that secret special closer stuff". The choice for the ultimate fireman is still between Billy Koch and Damaso Marte. Assuming that the White Sox are still stuck in the mode of the classic closer usage--and there's little reason to think that they're not--there's little reason for Guillen to consider Koch the top reliever in the pen.

Koch's numbers from the past few seasons:


Year ARP EqBB9 EqSO9 EqHR9
2003 -8.6 4.6 7.0 1.6
2002 12.4 4.1 8.6 0.6
2001 -2.0 4.0 6.6 0.8


(ARP is Michael Wolverton's Adjusted Runs Prevented, a key stat for relievers whose ERA and other stats are often clouded by their stuttered usage.)

Koch has always been wild, but he's been making a living in baseball because he can sometimes hit triple digits on the gun. As that's no longer the case, Koch has become hittable. His fastball has virtually no movement and the rest of his pitches are below average, leaving him totally dependent on velocity to get outs. This situation isn't a case of performance analysts versus traditional baseball men; it's not an issue of EqBB9 versus "closer makeup"; there's no reason for Koch to be used in anything resembling a high leverage situation for the Sox and it's debatable if he's even above replacement level at this point. Koch looks like Yosemite Sam, used to throw fast, and acts like a closer, but those are his only claims to the role; Guillen needs to recognize that and put the issue to rest.

Despite the well-publicized implosion--as much Koch's doing as Marte's--in the first game of the season, Marte has been perfect when called upon this season. He is clearly the top man in the bullpen and should be used as such. If Guillen recognizes that the highest leverage innings are not necessarily save situations, then all the better for ChiSox faithful, but the least he could do is use Marte to lock up the ninth.

Scott Free: On the other hand, the "experiment" of moving Scott Schoeneweis into the starting rotation has turned out well so far. Schoeneweis was in top form in 6.2 scoreless innings against the Rays and he two decent starts against the vaunted Yankees offense. There is some cause for concern at this point with a seven-to-nine strikeout to walk ratio, but Schoeneweis's K-rate has been increasing steadily for several seasons, a nice compliment to his low walk-rate. The Sox knew that replacing Bartolo Colon would be difficult, but Schoeneweis has done an admirable job thus far and he didn't cost the Sox the buckets of cash that Colon or a comparable free agent pitcher was demanding on the market. There's little reason at this point to think that he can't continue to fill the role adequately.

One of the main improvements Schoeneweis made last season to compliment his increased K-rate is his drastically decreased HR-rate. Having surrendered 21 and 17 dingers in 205.1 and 118 IP in 2001 and 2002, Schoeneweis kept all but three balls in the yard last year in 64.2 innings. Jorge Posada's shot off Schoeneweis in his first start has been his only blemish in that department this season. A slight increase in strikeouts would be encouraging, but for the time being, whatever adjustments Schoeneweis has made are working well.

http://premium.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2806

kermittheefrog
04-26-2004, 05:35 PM
Yeah I'm still wondering why the Sox can't just give up and admit Koch can't pitch. Thats one of the things that pisses me off about Williams, he can't acknowledge his mistakes. He still publically insists the Ritchie trade was a good move. He won't just cut or trade Koch and move on. Royce Clayton had to be chased out of town. Kenny needs to acknowledge his mistakes and make moves to fix them rather than trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.

JoeyCora28
04-26-2004, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Kenny needs to acknowledge his mistakes and make moves to fix them rather than trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.

:kermit

You go, Kenny!!!

jeremyb1
04-26-2004, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Yeah I'm still wondering why the Sox can't just give up and admit Koch can't pitch. Thats one of the things that pisses me off about Williams, he can't acknowledge his mistakes. He still publically insists the Ritchie trade was a good move. He won't just cut or trade Koch and move on. Royce Clayton had to be chased out of town. Kenny needs to acknowledge his mistakes and make moves to fix them rather than trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.

Yeah you make a good point. The man seems to have too much of an ego for his position. A good GM should be open minded, not too opinionated, willing to admit his mistakes, etc. Williams doesn't seem to possess these qualities and it gets in his way. We should've moved Koch for any salary relief it would've given us this summer but I doubt KW was willing to cut bait on his prize acquisition so easily.

mac9001
04-26-2004, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
He still publically insists the Ritchie trade was a good move...

Actually on several occasions he's said he'd like to have that one back. I think a while back when he was being interviewed on the Final Word (FOX) he called that trade his "biggest mistake" since taking the job.

jeremyb1
04-26-2004, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by mac9001
Actually on several occasions he's said he'd like to have that one back. I think a while back when he was being interviewed on the Final Word (FOX) he called that trade his "biggest mistake" since taking the job.

Really? I remember him snapping at callers on the radio when they implied it was a mistake in '02 and supposedly he recently commented that Kip wouldn't have succeeded in Chicago.

Mohoney
04-26-2004, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Yeah I'm still wondering why the Sox can't just give up and admit Koch can't pitch. Thats one of the things that pisses me off about Williams, he can't acknowledge his mistakes. He still publically insists the Ritchie trade was a good move. He won't just cut or trade Koch and move on. Royce Clayton had to be chased out of town. Kenny needs to acknowledge his mistakes and make moves to fix them rather than trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.

Exact same thing with Dan Wright. They just refuse to give up on this guy.

owensmouth
04-26-2004, 07:34 PM
Despite the well-publicized implosion--as much Koch's doing as Marte's--in the first game of the season

That is a blatant outright lie. Koch faced two batters, getting one out. The other got a hit. Koch never faced even the potential tieing run, let alone the winning run.

You have also glossed over the handiwork on Politte in that debachle, something that I would expect from someone spreading evil like your work does. Politte walked the first two batters he faced. But no, you don't want to mention that because you're only interested in backstabbing one person.

Marte gave up the game tieing home run and then after putting on the potential winning run, gave up another home run. He bears responsibility for that loss.

Jeremyb1 - you're a liar.

kermittheefrog
04-26-2004, 07:43 PM
Originally posted by owensmouth

Jeremyb1 - you're a liar.

I think this man is making mistakes of Joe Morgan like proportion.

jeremyb1
04-26-2004, 08:13 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
I think this man is making mistakes of Joe Morgan like proportion.

Hahaha. I'm just too flattered to be considered a BP author to complain.