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View Full Version : BP Triple Play on the Sox


Dadawg_77
07-20-2004, 01:19 PM
Chicago White Sox (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/team_CHA.php)



The Very Big Hurt: The White Sox got terrible news on Sunday, learning that designated hitter Frank Thomas (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/thomafr04.php) would miss another eight weeks with a broken bone in his left foot. At 36, the future Hall of Famer was having his best season since 2000, batting .271/.434/.563. His .334 EqA (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/statistics/eqa.html) leads the Sox and ranks fifth in the American League.

The Sox have no way of replacing Thomas' OBP in the middle of the lineup. While some teams, like the Twins, have a glut of first base/DH types just clamoring for playing time, the Sox are thin at the right end of the defensive spectrum. On the major league roster, Ross Gload (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/gloadro01.php) has been a replacement-level hitter so far this year, while Timo Perez (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/perezti01.php) hasn't even been that good. Triple-A Charlotte boasts little that can be expected to make up for the loss of Thomas.

Compounding the problem for the Sox is a lineup that can't afford to lose OBP. Jose Uribe (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/dt/uribejo01.shtml) hasn't been getting on base for a month now, and Joe Crede (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/credejo01.php) is quickly becoming a bust. The Sox also start Jose Valentin (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/valenjo03.php), an excellent player whose offensive value is in his power (.320 OBP). A team can only afford so many out makers, and the Sox, sans Thomas, are reaching the breaking point. They scored just 33 runs in the first eight games after losing Thomas, nearly a run-and-a-half a game below their average prior to that.

On the same weekend that the Sox found out the extent of Thomas' injury, the Twins called up Justin Morneau to be their DH. We might look back in October and see that the first few days after the All-Star break were what determined the race in the AL Central.

Meet the New DH, Same as the Old CF: In an effort to patch for the loss of Thomas, GM Kenny Williams re-acquired Carl Everett (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/evereca01.php) from the Expos in exchange for Jon Rauch (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/rauchjo01.php) and Gary Majewski (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/MAJEWSKI19800226A.php). Williams had made a similar deal in '03, picking up Everett from the Rangers for prospects.

There are some key differences between the two trades. Last year Williams added a presumably healthy player in the middle of a strong season in exchange for three middling prospects. This time, he added an injured guy who is having a lousy year, and gave up two of his better prospects for the privilege. Rauch had been buried by the team in part because of an incident that occurred during his last call-up, but with 61 strikeouts and 25 walks in 72.1 innings at Triple-A, he'd shown that he was just about ready for a major league job. Gary Majewski (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/MAJEWSKI19800226A.php), the second pitcher in the deal, might be ready to help a major league bullpen right now. The Sox gave up real value in this trade.

In spite of that, there are reasons to believe this can work out. Because of Aaron Rowand (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/rowanaa01.php)'s strong play, Everett will be asked to play right field--and eventually DH, when Magglio Ordonez (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/ordonma01.php) is 100%--rather than center. Everett has been hampered all year by shoulder, hamstring and ankle injuries, but is reportedly over all of them and healthy for the first time since last season. Everett is a strong batter from the left side, an important consideration for the Sox--just as it was last year--who lean heavily toward the right side.

Combined with the deal that sent Jeremy Reed (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/REED19810615A.php) and Miguel Olivo (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/olivomi01.php) to the Mariners for Freddy Garcia (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/garcifr02.php), it's clear that Williams believes that the window on his team is closing. Since last summer he's dealt away the organization's top two prospects, a bunch of lesser ones, and a cheap young catcher, for short-term improvements. Williams' job is likely riding on the Sox winning the division this season, because he's mortgaged the future to make it happen.

Outstanding Performer: He gets less respect than reality television, but Damaso Marte (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/marteda01.php) has shaken off a so-so start to once again be one of the AL's best left-handed relievers. Marte blew the save on Opening Day in Kansas City, allowing two home runs and a single as the Royals rallied for five runs in the ninth inning off of him and Billy Koch (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/pecota/kochbi01.php) Since then, however, he's allowed just eight runs in 42.2 innings, while putting up the strong peripherals--37:15 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 574 OPS allowed--that marked him as an underrated contributor to a good team. He's once again been passed over for the closer role, but look past the saves and you'll see that he's every bit as good as his teammate Shingo Takatsu. In a division lousy with good left-handed hitters, Marte is a weapon.
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=3090

delben91
07-20-2004, 01:29 PM
I agree with most of it, but I think they're vastly over-rating Majewski.

hold2dibber
07-20-2004, 01:37 PM
The Everett pick-up will help to replace Thomas to some extent; but I completely agree that the Sox really need to find someone who can get on base at the top of the order. Otherwise, we're going to be seeing a lot of solo homers and "rallies" that amount to only 1 or 2 runs instead of 3 or 4. I wonder if there's anyway KW could pry Melvin Mora away from the Orioles. The O's are clearly a few years away and Mora is 32. He has a .430 OBP this year (as well as 13 HRs and 44 RBIs, a .418 OBP last year and a career OBP of .361. I don't know much about his defensive abilities at 3B, but Crede hasn't been getting it done with the stick (of 25 MLB 3Bs with enough ABs to qualify for the batting title, he is 22nd in OPS, 23rd in BA, 18th in SLG, 24th in OBP and t-16th in HR), and while I still am cautiously optimistic that Crede will at least become a mediocre major league hitter, Mora would be a big improvement right now.

rdivaldi
07-20-2004, 01:43 PM
Majewski is awful, mediocre arm, miserable control, etc. BP really needs to get their heads out of their asses before they print such trash.

jeremyb1
07-20-2004, 01:53 PM
Majewski is awful, mediocre arm, miserable control, etc. BP really needs to get their heads out of their asses before they print such trash.

Well his mediocre arm is getting him a strikeout an inning in Charlotte and his miserable control has somehow allowed him to walk only about a guy every three innings which while not incredible is far from miserable. Maybe you need to have some reason to backup your arguments before you post such trash.

Flight #24
07-20-2004, 02:31 PM
Well his mediocre arm is getting him a strikeout an inning in Charlotte and his miserable control has somehow allowed him to walk only about a guy every three innings which while not incredible is far from miserable. Maybe you need to have some reason to backup your arguments before you post such trash.
Majewski's not terrible, but if he's one of our better prospects, we're in a lot of trouble. He's a decent AAA reliever, but I'd certainly rate him behind at least 6-8 others even in a depleted system (off the top - Diaz, Munoz, Sweeney, Anderson, Field, Honel, Borchard at least).

In general, Kenny's done pretty well with the low level guys he's acquired v. the ones he's let go. I'm not that worried about this one.

As for Rauch, he's the most seasoned of the pitching prospects (and therefore ML ready), but he's done nothing impressive. I can see the argument that he never got a great chance, but I fully expected Munoz to pass him next year (Diaz already has), and that he'd forever be that prospect you hear about who can never really make the jump from AAA decency to solid ML play. I won't miss him, and the only downside to the trade that I see is that I'm not sure if he might have had more trade value because others outside the org may have seen more in his AAA stats and his former high status.

maurice
07-20-2004, 02:42 PM
Majewski's not terrible, but if he's one of our better prospects, we're in a lot of trouble. He's a decent AAA reliever, but I'd certainly rate him behind at least 6-8 others
More like 16-28 others. The key to the deal was Rauch. Majewski was just a throw in, departing the Sox organization for the third time.

SoxxoS
07-20-2004, 02:45 PM
Throw out the starting rotations! Ignore the lineups! Forget about the bullpens...Justin Morneau will decide the Central!

soxtalker
07-20-2004, 03:06 PM
I'm missing something here. It seems that whenever someone in the media gives an opinion of a move by the Sox (or relative play of the team) that isn't completely complimentary, a large number of the WSI faithful seem to take it as an insult. They then proceed to do everything they can to discredit the writer's view. Now, this is a great forum in which to do so, but I don't quite understand the point. I've never had the impression that KW paid much attention to our advice on player personnel moves, and I doubt that he pays any attention to the national press.

This isn't a popularity contest, except, perhaps, to a limited extent with the Cubs. I say limited, because the Sox will draw somewhat better if they are winning and the Cubs aren't, which may, in fact, be the case this year. So, I understand the complaints about local coverage. But it doesn't really make much difference on the national scene. In fact, it might help us a bit if we weren't "discovered" by the national media. Let the other teams overlook us.

rdivaldi
07-20-2004, 03:27 PM
Well his mediocre arm is getting him a strikeout an inning in Charlotte and his miserable control has somehow allowed him to walk only about a guy every three innings which while not incredible is far from miserable. Maybe you need to have some reason to backup your arguments before you post such trash.
Oh please. I'm not excited about a guy repeating AAA, as he was completely overmatched against major league hitters in every appearance during ST. There's a reason he's been traded so many times. Sorry to actually judge a player based on the way he pitches as opposed to the allmighty stat G-ds at BP.

Majewski might turn out to be a decent middle relief guy one day, but BP is smokin something wacky if they think this kid has any significant value.

jabrch
07-20-2004, 03:30 PM
Majewski will be a rule 5 pickup next month by someone. Nobody - anywhere - has projected this guy to ever be an impact player in the bigs.

samram
07-20-2004, 03:37 PM
Throw out the starting rotations! Ignore the lineups! Forget about the bullpens...Justin Morneau will decide the Central!
LOL. I believe he is going to be sent down anyway once Mientkiewicz comes back. Terry Ryan thinks he needs more seasoning.

lowesox
07-20-2004, 03:39 PM
I believe wholeheartedly that we gave up far more last season for Everett.

fledgedrallycap
07-20-2004, 03:39 PM
The fact remains that if the Sox continue to win and lock up a solid core of players - fill in losses during the offseason with smart aquisitions; "mortgaging our future" isn't as much of a concern for a club interested in winning now. While the Sox must target their blue chip prospects and treat them as almost untouchable, I have no problem using the rest to aquire MLB caliber talent to help immediate interests.

Dadawg_77
07-20-2004, 04:45 PM
Majewski will be a rule 5 pickup next month by someone. Nobody - anywhere - has projected this guy to ever be an impact player in the bigs.No one ever said Majewski was going to be an impact player. What was said was he might be able to help a team in the pen. He can't be much worse then anyone in Clevelands pen or Mike Jackson, can he?

Rauch has a chance to be a quality 3-4 guy in the majors. He could have been a lot better if not for the injury but them the breaks. Value comes form that he will cost under two million for the next four years and could bring decent level of production to your team.

Last year we gave up wasted first round draft pick, and middle relievers. Not much there.

JRIG
07-20-2004, 04:46 PM
LOL. I believe he is going to be sent down anyway once Mientkiewicz comes back. Terry Ryan thinks he needs more seasoning.
If he believes that, Terry Ryan is wrong.