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View Full Version : Platooning and Grinding to the 2005 playoffs


Frater Perdurabo
08-09-2004, 05:12 PM
Whether or not the Sox catch fire to end 2004, it's clear they must "re-scramble the eggs" in the lineup. With Frank's return, here is one *possible* way Kenny can surround him with high-OBP "grinders" at relatively low cost to fill holes in the lineup and on the field:

Middle of the order OF to replace Maggs career .889 OPS.
We can't replace Maggs, but we can come close.
Trade Lee or Konerko to Tampa Bay for Jose Cruz, Jr. to platoon with Everett in RF.
Everett vs. RHP: .876 OPS (01-03)
Cruz vs. LHP: .813 (01-03) and a sterling .878 this season

A leadoff hitter who gets on base.
Get Kenny Lofton to platoon with Rowand in CF.
Lofton vs RHP: .354 OBP (01-03)
Rowand vs. LHP: .356 OBP (01-03)

Another OBP guy in the #2 spot.
Sign free agent Frank Catalanotto to play LF or 1B (replaces Lee or Paulie) and bat second.
Catalanotto's career: .299 AVG., .360 OBP, .821 OPS.

Need better production at 3B and SS.
Valentin (SS) vs. RHP: .264 AVG, .337 OBP, .859 OPS (01-03)
R. Alomar (3B) vs. RHP: .311 AVG, .388 OBP (01-03)
Uribe (SS) vs. LHP: .271 AVG, .309 OBP (01-03)
Crede (3B) vs. LHP: .292 AVG, .332 OBP, .843 OPS (01-03)

The lineups:

vs RHP: Lofton (CF), Cat (LF/1B), Frank (DH), Everett (RF), Lee/Konerko (1B/LF), Valentin (SS), R. Alomar (3B), Davis/Burke (C), Harris (2B).

vs. LHP: Rowand (CF), Cat (LF/1B), Frank (DH), Lee/Konerko (1B/LF), Cruz (RF), Crede (3B), Uribe (SS), Burke/Davis (C), Harris (2B).

Crede and Valentin platoon power, while Uribe and Alomar platoon average. Harris bats ninth to turn the lineup over. Alomar can spell Harris at 2B, allowing Crede to get more ABs against RHP. Cruz also can get some ABs against RHP to spell Everett.

Is this tinkering? No. There are just two set lineups, with lots of defensive flexibility: There are three decent defensive options at every position except C and SS (which have 2). With Lofton and Cruz, the OF always will have at least one Gold Glove-caliber player on the field.

Cost? Worst case scenario, assume all of Maggs' $14M already is spent (Garcia, Contrereas, raises to players on the team right now). Subtracting Lee or Konerko saves ~$8M. Catalanotto comes for $2M, Cruz for $4M, Lofton for $3M, R. Alomar for $1.5M., Valentin for $2M. These moves could be made for a maximum $4.5 million NET increase in payroll.

Lofton and Alomar will be done by 2006 or 2007 at the latest. Give Borchard another year if he needs it. By Sept. 2005, we should know for sure if he is MLB-caliber. Anderson should be ready in 2006. By 2007, Fields can step in if Crede continues to falter. Look for Sweeney in 2008. These platoons aren't long-term solutions, but they give the Sox a good shot at the playoffs for 2005-06 until more position players are ready from the farm system.

Thoughts?

OG4LIFE
08-09-2004, 06:49 PM
wow. i really like what you have laid out there, but i think you need to adjust some of your theoretical FA salaries:

Catalanotto comes for $2M, Cruz for $4M, Lofton for $3M, R. Alomar for $1.5M., Valentin for $2M. These moves could be made for a maximum $4.5 million NET increase in payroll.

valentin is currently making 4.5 mil, and he'll probably get that on the FA market. someone will pay for 25-30 bombs from a ss. i also think cat will get a significant raise from his current 2.3 mil deal: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=5907

other than that, i like it.

Mohoney
08-09-2004, 06:52 PM
I would be worried that Frank Catalanotto's groin injury would hamper his ability to play LF. Plus, I wouldn't trade Carlos or Paulie. I would trade GARLAND, COTTS, and perhaps 2 PTBNL for a good hitting CF, perhaps a Rocco Baldelli. If we can go into 2005 with 4 solid starters, and add a Mike Myers to shore up our bullpen with a viable 4th option in late innings, I think the offense will take care of itself with the return of Frank Thomas.

I think Robbie Alomar and Wilson Valdez can provide some of the OBP we are lacking, and whatever money Alomar makes over Willie can easily be offset by the savings that Valdez brings over Valentin.

Of course, all our problems can disappear in a flash if Reinsdorf agrees to pony up Valentin and Magglio's cash for a good free agent starter like Carl Pavano or Russ Ortiz. If these guys are too expensive, then get Matt Morris and perhaps a 5th bullpen arm like Ron Villone.

Either way, if we go into 2005 pinning all our postseason hopes on Jon Garland having a "breakout" year and Neal Cotts being an "integral part" of our bullpen, we're destined for failure anyway. Get what you can for these guys from a pitching-starved team.

Instead of trying to win with a dominant offense, which hasn't worked for the past 3 years now, let's try, just once, to win with dominant PITCHING. We have already taken the first steps in this plan, acquiring Freddy Garcia and Jose Contreras to compliment Mark Buehrle. All we need is another solid #3 type starter, and we're good to go.

calderon
08-10-2004, 09:39 AM
you can't platoon half the team and expect to win

PorkChopExpress
08-10-2004, 09:59 AM
you can't platoon half the team and expect to win
I agree. It seems like that's what we've been doing for half of this year. We need good, everyday players.

Frater Perdurabo
08-10-2004, 10:58 AM
I agree. It seems like that's what we've been doing for half of this year. We need good, everyday players.

Catalanotto, Lofton and Cruz are good everyday players. However, putting them in situations where they can excel in favorable conditions (complimenting existing players who are under contract but won't yield much in trade) maximizes their contributions to a dynamic, multidimensional lineup.

This isn't Playstation, where we can trade Burke, Harris, Borchard, the Alomar brothers, Everett, Uribe, Valentin and prospects (junk) for Ivan Rodriguez, Renteria, Soriano, Crawford and Pujols ( pipedreams). Also, we should know by now that JR is unwilling/unable to spend the money to sign Maggs, Beltran and Nomar, as much as we all believe that doing so would guarantee a World Series victory!

If you have better realistic ideas for mutually beneficial trades or financially prudent free agent signings to help the Sox in 2005, I really would like to see them. PM me. It's going to get really boring really quickly if the Sox don't turn it around soon, so all I have to look forward to is hot stove baseball talk.

The Sox have 80% of a the best starting rotation in the division. They have plenty of options for the #5 starter, from letting Munoz, Diaz and others battle it out in Tuscon to signing a low cost free agent or reclamation project. That is an excellent start. The bullpen will be OK once they dump "Billie Jean." They need an offense that gets on base and scores. This plan addresses that need without sacrificing defense or mortaging the farm.

Sell Jerry Sell!
08-10-2004, 11:24 AM
Frater, this was the wrong week to start sniffing glue

Frater Perdurabo
08-10-2004, 11:30 AM
Frater, this was the wrong week to start sniffing glue

How do you know I'm not eating paste? :bandance: