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SouthSideHitman
04-27-2004, 12:50 AM
Now believe me friends, I am the number one supporter of the "Get Billy Koch the Hell Outta Town" Club, as I think are most Sox fans but this begs the question, should Marte necessarily be the closer? I think not and I'll tell you why.

I ascribe to parts of the doctrine that says saves are meaningless and closing isn't really that hard. For most save oppurtunities, all you need is a guy who can go out and give you one solid inning that, in reality would be no different than pitching, say a scoreless fifth or seventh. I think a Cliff Politte or Danny Wright could easily handle most of these pressureless situations well enough. Because Marte is our relief ace, I would rather not waste him on these times or have Ozzie handcuffed and not able to use him in a tough spot in the seventh. I think Marte should be availible for whenever there is a real jam that needs his skills. This may often be in the ninth depending on matchups or how the inning goes but persoanlly I've liked him as our fireman. I mean in 2002 Osuna was a perfectly decent closer while Marte did the real work and that's what I think we should go with this year.

Here's my dream world. 1) Koch is given his immediate walking papers. 2) Cotts is given the #5 slot. 3) Wright is moved into nominal "closer". 4) Wunsch is recalled from AAA.

What do y'all think?

OurBitchinMinny
04-27-2004, 12:55 AM
Order of who should close

1. Polite
2. Koch
3. Marte

Its not neccessarily that I dont trust marte, though he does make me nervous. Its just that polite would be better and marte is more valuable in a setup role. None of the 3 are good long term choices. Koch should get some chances too. All closers blow saves, not usually how he did, but it was only one game. But Poilte needs to be the guy

OurBitchinMinny
04-27-2004, 12:57 AM
Also Id rather see adkins in the #5 spot. 3 lefties may be too many in a starting rotation. I agree the sox do need to develop a closer. But wright is coming off a fairly decent start. He kept them in it. Give him at least 2 more. Hes not the reason they lost

batmanZoSo
04-27-2004, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by SouthSideHitman
Now believe me friends, I am the number one supporter of the "Get Billy Koch the Hell Outta Town" Club, as I think are most Sox fans but this begs the question, should Marte necessarily be the closer? I think not and I'll tell you why.

I ascribe to parts of the doctrine that says saves are meaningless and closing isn't really that hard. For most save oppurtunities, all you need is a guy who can go out and give you one solid inning that, in reality would be no different than pitching, say a scoreless fifth or seventh. I think a Cliff Politte or Danny Wright could easily handle most of these pressureless situations well enough. Because Marte is our relief ace, I would rather not waste him on these times or have Ozzie handcuffed and not able to use him in a tough spot in the seventh. I think Marte should be availible for whenever there is a real jam that needs his skills. This may often be in the ninth depending on matchups or how the inning goes but persoanlly I've liked him as our fireman. I mean in 2002 Osuna was a perfectly decent closer while Marte did the real work and that's what I think we should go with this year.

Here's my dream world. 1) Koch is given his immediate walking papers. 2) Cotts is given the #5 slot. 3) Wright is moved into nominal "closer". 4) Wunsch is recalled from AAA.

What do y'all think?

It's obvious the Billy Koch can't close a game out anymore. And I don't see how Marte or Politte can be worse. We're gonna have to close-by-comittee until we get a real closer. It'll hurt our middle relief to use those two to close, but we have no choice.

SoxxoS
04-27-2004, 01:06 AM
Originally posted by SouthSideHitman
I ascribe to parts of the doctrine that says saves are meaningless and closing isn't really that hard. For most save oppurtunities, all you need is a guy who can go out and give you one solid inning that, in reality would be no different than pitching, say a scoreless fifth or seventh.

To say that pitching a scoreless ninth inning is the same as pitching a scoreless fifth or seventh is a complete fallacy.

In the middle innings, a team is still playing for the "big inning." A leadoff hit will most likely NOT be followed with a bunt to sacrifice the runner over to scoring position. That is the first big thing.

The second is pressure. There is A LOT more pressure on the closer than on that middle relief guys, that is why some middle relievers can't be closers. They can't handle the pressure. When a team is playing for one or two runs, they HAVE to get those one or two runs, the complexity of the game changes drastically. For example, the pitcher can get so preoccupied with the tying runner on 1st base that he forgets about the batter and gives up a two run jack.

I will agree that saves as a statistic are overrated, as we just saw a pitcher last week get a save in a 17 run ballgame. Saves are overrated. Closers aren't. Just think, with a true closer (Gagne, Rivera, Percival, Wagner) we have two more wins right now.

nodiggity59
04-27-2004, 01:21 AM
A couple things:

1. Politte had documented trouble closing in Toronto. It was supposed to be a mental thing where he just couldn't work the 9th.

2. Koch must go.

3. I agree with the Cotts/Wright switch, but I think Wright should be the long relief cause we know he can do it so don't mess with it.

4. Here's the long shot: Try Adkins as the closer. I'm serious. I know it's a small sample size but he looked great on Sunday's 9th, albeit in a non save situation. Adkins has an ideal even keel temperment, he's not one to get shook up from what we've seen. PLus, his stuff is pretty rounded ie not just velocity which after just over a year of Koch sounds great to me.

5. This would leave Marte and Politte as setup men, a combo which would work admirably.

6. Marte could still be available for certain saves/9ths if he was rested and the matchup worked.

batmanZoSo
04-27-2004, 01:48 AM
Originally posted by nodiggity59
A couple things:

1. Politte had documented trouble closing in Toronto. It was supposed to be a mental thing where he just couldn't work the 9th.

2. Koch must go.

3. I agree with the Cotts/Wright switch, but I think Wright should be the long relief cause we know he can do it so don't mess with it.

4. Here's the long shot: Try Adkins as the closer. I'm serious. I know it's a small sample size but he looked great on Sunday's 9th, albeit in a non save situation. Adkins has an ideal even keel temperment, he's not one to get shook up from what we've seen. PLus, his stuff is pretty rounded ie not just velocity which after just over a year of Koch sounds great to me.

5. This would leave Marte and Politte as setup men, a combo which would work admirably.

6. Marte could still be available for certain saves/9ths if he was rested and the matchup worked.

Hawk is sure that Adkins will close out some games this year. He could be the guy, you never know.

TaylorStSox
04-27-2004, 02:31 AM
A) In our current situation: Yes
B) Ideally: No


You really can't compare the eight and ninth innings with any others. Everything is magnified. EVERYTHING. It really does take a guy with a combination of stuff and make up.

Ideally, Marte's a set up man. I don't care what his stats are. At times, I don't feel comfortable with him facing good RH hitters in the ninth. There's too much on the line. If he can't get his slurve over, he's a sitting duck, as we saw in the opener.

I like Danny Wright. I really do. To propose that he be a closer based on "stuff" alone (which I've heard suggested) is insane. His main problem is that he's prone to the "big inning." Closing would destroy him.

mdep524
04-27-2004, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by nodiggity59
A couple things:

1. Politte had documented trouble closing in Toronto. It was supposed to be a mental thing where he just couldn't work the 9th.

2. Koch must go.

3. I agree with the Cotts/Wright switch, but I think Wright should be the long relief cause we know he can do it so don't mess with it.

4. Here's the long shot: Try Adkins as the closer. I'm serious. I know it's a small sample size but he looked great on Sunday's 9th, albeit in a non save situation. Adkins has an ideal even keel temperment, he's not one to get shook up from what we've seen. PLus, his stuff is pretty rounded ie not just velocity which after just over a year of Koch sounds great to me.

5. This would leave Marte and Politte as setup men, a combo which would work admirably.

6. Marte could still be available for certain saves/9ths if he was rested and the matchup worked.


Yes! Yes! YES! Could someone please get nodiggity into the Sox' dugout or front office???? This would be my EXACT plan. :D: :D:

TaylorStSox
04-27-2004, 02:38 AM
Adkins has never succeeded on any level until this year. IMO, he's the last guy that should be closing. He should be the last option in the pen as well.

mdep524
04-27-2004, 02:41 AM
Originally posted by TaylorStSox
Adkins has never succeeded on any level until this year. IMO, he's the last guy that should be closing. He should be the last option in the pen as well.

And Billy Koch DID have success at every level until last year, by your logic does that mean he should be the first option in the pen?

TaylorStSox
04-27-2004, 02:46 AM
Originally posted by mdep524
And Billy Koch DID have success at every level until last year, by your logic does that mean he should be the first option in the pen?


Apples and oranges my friend. You're talking about a guy who was a premier closer at one point in his career vs. a guy who hasn't even been a premier AAA middle reliever.

The chances of Adkins maintaining this type of performance for the year are slim to none.

mdep524
04-27-2004, 02:56 AM
Originally posted by TaylorStSox
Apples and oranges my friend. You're talking about a guy who was a premier closer at one point in his career vs. a guy who hasn't even been a premier AAA middle reliever.

The chances of Adkins maintaining this type of performance for the year are slim to none.

Not true. Any young (or even old) pitcher is capable of a break out season. Gagne, Marte, Guardado....none of them had big time success or projected to be anything special until something just clicked. Joe Borowski will turn 33 years old in about a week and defined mediocre until two seasons ago. Sometimes you just never know where and when a good pitcher will come.

SoxxoS
04-27-2004, 03:04 AM
Originally posted by mdep524
Not true. Any young (or even old) pitcher is capable of a break out season. Gagne, Marte, Guardado....none of them had big time success or projected to be anything special until something just clicked. Joe Borowski will turn 33 years old in about a week and defined mediocre until two seasons ago. Sometimes you just never know where and when a good pitcher will come.

That's a good point, but Adkins hasn't had the minor league success those guys you listed have had at a point. Gagne was a high prospect, just not as a reliever.

jeremyb1
04-27-2004, 03:44 AM
Originally posted by SouthSideHitman
Now believe me friends, I am the number one supporter of the "Get Billy Koch the Hell Outta Town" Club, as I think are most Sox fans but this begs the question, should Marte necessarily be the closer? I think not and I'll tell you why.

I think a Cliff Politte or Danny Wright could easily handle most of these pressureless situations well enough. Because Marte is our relief ace, I would rather not waste him on these times or have Ozzie handcuffed and not able to use him in a tough spot in the seventh.

Excellent post. I for one would love to see what Wright can do in the pen and you're dead on about the ability of the traditional closer role to waste talent compared to the use of an ace reliever.

SSN721
04-27-2004, 06:58 AM
Sadly I am still prepared to give Wright a few more starts before I would shuffle him around. He has pitched well enough in two of his games to keep the team in the game, nobody hit for him. But I cant see him as closer, he seems ready to blow up at any point in time, I dont think he has the mental makeup for it. As for Adkins closing I think we need to see more of him. It is a very small sample size and not putting up any numbers at any other level up until now I really think it would be better to see if he is capable of pitching this well for more then a few weeks.

OurBitchinMinny
04-27-2004, 11:12 AM
Adkins should be the guy to go into the #5 spot if wright struggles much more (although his last start was good enough for a #5). Cotts would be the guy if adkins sucks as a starter

mdep524
04-27-2004, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by ChisoxfaninMinny
Adkins should be the guy to go into the #5 spot if wright struggles much more (although his last start was good enough for a #5). Cotts would be the guy if adkins sucks as a starter

I doubt Adkins is "stretched out" enough to be a starter right now. (Remember that was the big deal with Scho?) He's been pitching only relief for some time so he might need some time to adjust to pitching more than 1 or 2 innings.

jlh0023
04-27-2004, 02:13 PM
Originally posted by nodiggity59
A couple things:

1. Politte had documented trouble closing in Toronto. It was supposed to be a mental thing where he just couldn't work the 9th.

2. Koch must go.

3. I agree with the Cotts/Wright switch, but I think Wright should be the long relief cause we know he can do it so don't mess with it.

4. Here's the long shot: Try Adkins as the closer. I'm serious. I know it's a small sample size but he looked great on Sunday's 9th, albeit in a non save situation. Adkins has an ideal even keel temperment, he's not one to get shook up from what we've seen. PLus, his stuff is pretty rounded ie not just velocity which after just over a year of Koch sounds great to me.

5. This would leave Marte and Politte as setup men, a combo which would work admirably.

6. Marte could still be available for certain saves/9ths if he was rested and the matchup worked.

Sounds like a fine plan, but if 'trying' Adkins at closer doesn't work, then who takes his spot. With his level of experience, I wouldn't feel comfortable depending on him as our sole closer option. You must remember he is only a 27 year old with 8 total games experience in the majors.

jlh0023
04-27-2004, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by SSN721
Sadly I am still prepared to give Wright a few more starts before I would shuffle him around. He has pitched well enough in two of his games to keep the team in the game, nobody hit for him. But I cant see him as closer, he seems ready to blow up at any point in time, I dont think he has the mental makeup for it. As for Adkins closing I think we need to see more of him. It is a very small sample size and not putting up any numbers at any other level up until now I really think it would be better to see if he is capable of pitching this well for more then a few weeks.

I wouldn't call it sad to give Wright another shot. He hasn't pitched THAT badly in his games, and although he is not consistently dependable, if he could pull off .500 in the #5 slot i'd be satisfied. Plus I'd like to see Cotts in the bullpen a bit more before he starts. I'd say give Danny 1 or 2 more starts, depending on how they go, and if he looks capable to keep on going then leave him in, or else go to Cotts, who will soon be ready.

jeremyb1
04-27-2004, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by ChisoxfaninMinny
Adkins should be the guy to go into the #5 spot if wright struggles much more (although his last start was good enough for a #5). Cotts would be the guy if adkins sucks as a starter

Beware small sample sizes. (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=32350&perpage=15&display=&pagenumber=1)

Also, I believe it's been close to two years since Adkins started. He certainly didn't start last year and that was probably done for a reason.

oheeoh...magglio
04-27-2004, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by SouthSideHitman
Now believe me friends, I am the number one supporter of the "Get Billy Koch the Hell Outta Town" Club, as I think are most Sox fans but this begs the question, should Marte necessarily be the closer? I think not and I'll tell you why.

I ascribe to parts of the doctrine that says saves are meaningless and closing isn't really that hard. For most save oppurtunities, all you need is a guy who can go out and give you one solid inning that, in reality would be no different than pitching, say a scoreless fifth or seventh. I think a Cliff Politte or Danny Wright could easily handle most of these pressureless situations well enough. Because Marte is our relief ace, I would rather not waste him on these times or have Ozzie handcuffed and not able to use him in a tough spot in the seventh. I think Marte should be availible for whenever there is a real jam that needs his skills. This may often be in the ninth depending on matchups or how the inning goes but persoanlly I've liked him as our fireman. I mean in 2002 Osuna was a perfectly decent closer while Marte did the real work and that's what I think we should go with this year.

Here's my dream world. 1) Koch is given his immediate walking papers. 2) Cotts is given the #5 slot. 3) Wright is moved into nominal "closer". 4) Wunsch is recalled from AAA.

What do y'all think?

Great post. Only thing I disagree with is that i'd make Polite the closer, Marte the setup man, and put Wright into Polite's current spot as a 6th and/or 7th inning guy that bridges the gap to the 8th and 9th.

I think Cotts is ready to start, and babying him along as the #5 starter is the perfect way to do it. I also think Marte could be one of the best 2 or 3 setup men in baseball, and that Polite has the dominant stuff that a closer needs.

As for Wright, I've said this for a couple years now. The man has the stuff and mentality to be a solid pitcher out of the pen, but simply isn't cut out to start. Period.

SouthSideHitman
04-27-2004, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Beware small sample sizes. (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=32350&perpage=15&display=&pagenumber=1)

Also, I believe it's been close to two years since Adkins started. He certainly didn't start last year and that was probably done for a reason.

But Wright's isn't a small sample size. He hasn't really been able to get it together for three years as a starter and has been consistently solid out of the pen.

I agree with most of the posts on here in that I could see trying Polite, Adkins or Wright as closers however I also think that it'd be a bad idea to try Adkins in the #5 spot. As stated before he 1) hasn't had sucess in the minors and 2) isn't stretched out to be a starter. Cotts on the other hand, has had much success in his minor league carrer and is far more ready to start than Jon.

MRKARNO
04-27-2004, 04:23 PM
Well I think that Marte should be used as the goto guy whenever the lead is in serious doubt and the starter has already been removed, but that doesnt necessarily mean the closer. The biggest opponents scoring threat might be in the 6th or 7th after the starter has been pulled, not necessarily the 9th. It's better that Marte does not have a defined role. However I think we also do need a closer and that it should be Politte because he doesnt allow baserunners and he strikes people out, both of which you want your "closer" to do.

jeremyb1
04-27-2004, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by SouthSideHitman
[B]But Wright's isn't a small sample size. He hasn't really been able to get it together for three years as a starter and has been consistently solid out of the pen. [

I agree with most of the posts on here in that I could see trying Polite, Adkins or Wright as closers however I also think that it'd be a bad idea to try Adkins in the #5 spot. As stated before he 1) hasn't had sucess in the minors and 2) isn't stretched out to be a starter. Cotts on the other hand, has had much success in his minor league carrer and is far more ready to start than Jon. /B]

Then we should give the fifth spots to Diaz, Rauch, or Cotts. We do have a large sample size with Adkins in the minors and it is not impressive.

Dadawg_77
04-27-2004, 06:52 PM
:whocares

who the closer is. What you need a is a stopper. I would rank the relievers in order, Marte (1) to Koch (123). Then rank how difficult a situation is. Bases loaded nobody out, and up by one run in a late inning, would be the hardest, while 3 run lead in the ninth would be one of the easier ones. Your higher ranked relief pitcher are called upon in more difficult positions, while your lesser one are take care of the easy situations. So Koch can take care of three run leads while Marte or Polite handle the bases loaded ones.

Lip Man 1
04-27-2004, 10:52 PM
Politte walks far to many guys to be a closer.

Lip

jeremyb1
04-27-2004, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
We do have a large sample size with Adkins in the minors and it is not impressive.

Wow. Could my timing have been any better?

MHOUSE
04-28-2004, 09:40 AM
What about Mike Jackson? He has experience as a closer (142 career saves) and had three solid seasons with Cleveland from 97-99. He's been good so far this season and I know he's old and didn't pitch last year, but why not give him a shot?

Also, I buy the belief/hope that sometimes a good closer comes from an unlikely place. Gagne was a crap MLB starter, but won the Cy Young as a closer. Smoltz was a successful starter, but somebody had to give him the 9th and he saved 100 games over two seasons. I don't see why Adkins or Wright couldn't somehow click and work out. The only problem I have is that we're trying to win the AL Central and plugging guys into the ninth to see what happens is what rebuilding clubs do. We need to fix this ASAP.

Career SV-BS
Koch 156-28
JACKSON 142-58
Marte 23-11
Politte 13-9
Wright 1-0
Adkins 0-0