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View Full Version : Ozzie expects Davis and Burke behind the plate in 2005


maurice
09-29-2004, 01:44 PM
From the Southtown (http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southtown/dssports/pro/291sd5.htm):
Unless a catcher falls into their laps this winter, the Sox will start next spring training with Jamie Burke and Ben Davis at that spot, with Davis likely getting a majority of the work. Guillen said he would have no problem with that situation. "Right now, they've earned to come back," Guillen said. "They have both done a good job for us, even though Davis isn't hitting the ball right now the way we want him to hit. This kid has been great all year long, on the field and off the field." . . . "'Burkie' is the type of player I like," Guillen added. "You can hit and run with him, you can bunt with him, he comes to play hard every day. They are in my mind right now for next year."
From the Sun-Times (http://www.suntimes.com/output/sox/cst-spt-doug29.html):
Offense from the catching position has cooled of late. That is especially true of Ben Davis, who is in a 12-for-82 slump. But the Sox still seem to be comfortable heading into next season with Davis and Jamie Burke as their catchers. . . . "Not too many catchers can hit. [Jorge] Posada, [Ivan] Rodriguez, Jason Kendall and guys like that. The type of job [Davis is] doing for us, he has big hits for us."
I didn't see anything in the Trib, largely because the Trib contains virtually no Sox coverage at this point. However, it appears that JR's "lowering of expectatons" strategy is in full swing.

I recently predicted a rather ****ty roster (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=503790&postcount=34) for 2005. With all the love Ozzie has been heaping on mediocre players, I'm beginning to think that my modest estimate was WAY too optimistic.

jeremyb1
09-29-2004, 01:53 PM
Gross.

34 Inch Stick
09-29-2004, 01:54 PM
I think we are going to see a lot of platooning next year. That can work as long as you have excellent players at a few positions, strong pitching and the platoon players can field.

This team feels a little rudderless right now but opening day is still 6 months away.

HebrewHammer
09-29-2004, 01:59 PM
Why do I get the feeling that both will be hitting around .200 for the majority of next year?

AddisonStSox
09-29-2004, 02:17 PM
We'll be seeing a lot of familiar faces in 05, don't get your hopes up.

kittle42
09-29-2004, 02:25 PM
We'll be seeing a lot of familiar faces in 05, don't get your hopes up.
Don't worry. Some of the folks around here who refuse to see a yearly pattern in JR's ownership will get their hopes up only to have them dashed apart.

JRIG
09-29-2004, 02:36 PM
Davis and Burke behind the plate...Gload possibly at 1st Base...Uribe guaranteed a spot in the everyday lineup by Guillen...Jose Contreras with a 9.21 ERA and a 2.12 WHIP in September...

Yep. Smells like a 90-loss lineup.

E Coast Sox Fan
09-29-2004, 02:43 PM
Let's go get Jason Kendall. A legitamate leadoff hitter with speed. Let's face it the Catcher position has been nothing but a big black hole for us since Carlton Fisk retired (with the exception of a decent start by Olivo this year)....

or better yet....

Maybe we could trade Crede and Burke or Davis (or both) for Reed (.455 and 2 steals already) and Olivo.

E Coast Sox Fan
09-29-2004, 02:48 PM
I will even go one step further and say that I'm surprised this is not the obvious place that KW is looking to upgrade this team. As far as hitters go, it's not much better then NL pitchers.

hitlesswonder
09-29-2004, 03:12 PM
I was hoping it would take a while longer before my posts started becoming pessimistic and cynical, but hearing news like this is rather disheartening. In my opinion, catcher is the biggest hole position-wise on the roster. I wouldn't mind taking a chance on Burke or even Davis as a backup, but Davis as a starter doesn't seem like a good idea. For most of his major league career, he just hasn't hit. He has a lifetime OBP of .300. I understand that many regard catcher as defensive position, but is Davis that good of a defensive catcher? Just from watching games, his arm seems OK but he doesn't seem real mobile behind the plate (although maybe that was Contreras's fault in the game I'm thinking of). I'd love to hear opinions on this from people that know more about catching skills than I do. Also, isn't Davis a free agent? If it costs much over the league minimum to sign him, I'm not sure the Sox couldn't find the same performance for cheaper. In any case, I hope his hot streak this season wasn't a fluke and he really can contribute.

Anyway, I have to agree with JRIG that I don't think next year's roster is looking good. I actually wouldn't mind starting Uribe at short (great defensive reputation, and he's put up an .800 OPS this year). But it's not hard for me to imagine that either Konerko or Lee will be gone to clear salary (which means no significant major league talent in return), the Sox "pursuit" of Carlos Beltran will shockingly fail, and the fifth spot in the Sox rotation will still be filled by someone with an ERA 7+.

idseer
09-29-2004, 03:31 PM
Anyway, I have to agree with JRIG that I don't think next year's roster is looking good.
this is going to be a sad place to be next season for sure. no catching, no second baseman, no rightfielder, no bullpen, no 3rd or 4th pitcher, no proven ss, no proven manager, and no owner. 9 glaring or at least questionable weaknesses. this team will struggle to make 3rd place in this division.
i can only hope we don't trade away our remaining prospects trying to compete. we should really be looking forward to '06 or '07. even then we'll have serious trouble. i doubt frank will be much good in 2 years and i doubt we'll have buehrle also.

tonight i'm going to program myself to dream about 1959 again.

jeremyb1
09-29-2004, 04:02 PM
i can only hope we don't trade away our remaining prospects trying to compete. we should really be looking forward to '06 or '07.

The best thing to hope for is probably that everyone remains healthy next season. Then the health excuse will be gone, the manager excuse will be gone since KW hired Ozzie, and perhaps KW will finally find himself on the hot seat. I still think that even if KW is fired though, we won't have any luck with his replacement. JR seems to value loyalty above talent in hiring and therefore would never go outisde the organization to hire a GM which means more of the same. It probably makes the most sense to hope JR sells the team and we all know how slim the odds of that happening are.

idseer
09-29-2004, 04:07 PM
I still think that even if KW is fired though, we won't have any luck with his replacement.
KW was not the problem this year.
it'd be just like this team to try to fix a part that ISN'T broke and ignore the real problems.

mdep524
09-29-2004, 04:19 PM
Let's go get Jason Kendall. A legitamate leadoff hitter with speed. Let's face it the Catcher position has been nothing but a big black hole for us since Carlton Fisk retired (with the exception of a decent start by Olivo this year)....
This move would be perfect. Granted, Kendall's contract is ridiculous, but the Bucos would pick up a good portion of it if the deal was right.

I am of the opinion that catcher is primarily a defensive position, but Davis is NOT a good defensive catcher, and neither is Burke. So if that is the justification for keeping those guys around, it is unacceptable. Kendall is no gold glover himself, but he would bring more than enough to the offense to make the trade off worthwhile.

maurice
09-29-2004, 04:31 PM
In a strained effort to generate a shred of optimism for next season's probable double-play combination, I dug up the following splits:

Harris at 2B: .347 OBP
Harris in CF: .298 OBP

Uribe at SS: .358 OBP
Uribe at 2B: .315 OBP
Uribe at 3B: .272 OBP

So, my highly optimistic working theory is that Harris and Uribe have depressed season stats, because they were forced to play outside of their natural positions after Valentin rejoined the club, causing them to be less comfortable in those games.

If they're capable of posting a combined .350+ OBP next year, our MIF will actually be relatively good.

Taking this logic a step further, Gload has a .477 OBP at 1B this year, proving that the 2005 Sox offense will be much improved.

Ol' No. 2
09-29-2004, 04:34 PM
this is going to be a sad place to be next season for sure. no catching, no second baseman, no rightfielder, no bullpen, no 3rd or 4th pitcher, no proven ss, no proven manager, and no owner. 9 glaring or at least questionable weaknesses. this team will struggle to make 3rd place in this division.
i can only hope we don't trade away our remaining prospects trying to compete. we should really be looking forward to '06 or '07. even then we'll have serious trouble. i doubt frank will be much good in 2 years and i doubt we'll have buehrle also.

tonight i'm going to program myself to dream about 1959 again.http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=2208&stc=1&thumb=1 (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=2208)

Get a rope, already!

nodiggity59
09-29-2004, 04:48 PM
In a strained effort to generate a shred of optimism for next season's probable double-play combination, I dug up the following splits:

Harris at 2B: .347 OBP
Harris in CF: .298 OBP

Uribe at SS: .358 OBP
Uribe at 2B: .315 OBP
Uribe at 3B: .272 OBP

So, my highly optimistic working theory is that Harris and Uribe have depressed season stats, because they were forced to play outside of their natural positions after Valentin rejoined the club, causing them to be less comfortable in those games.

If they're capable of posting a combined .350+ OBP next year, our MIF will actually be relatively good.

Taking this logic a step further, Gload has a .477 OBP at 1B this year, proving that the 2005 Sox offense will be much improved.
I agree with this, for the most part. I think people who got issues with Uribe as blind with pessimism. His defense is stellar and his offense, while streaky, produces as much as any SS in baseball when it's going good. Willie has quietly increased his SB total and was always good defensively. Gload, while he certainly has the possibility to be overwhelmed, is tough in the box and HAS produced most of the year. What more can you ask? Do we judge players based not on performance but on "tools"? What does that say about Borchard?

Two question marks are Frank's and Carl's health, but they are both good hitters.

Pitching wise, though our starters ERA are not flashy, it is also true that Buerhle and Garcia are clearly better than the oppositon's starters most of the time. Shingo and Marte form a solid back end relief core. Politte will be just fine form middle relief.

IF we get a quality (#2) starter, and a quality bullpen arm such as Percival, I think this team will be good. If we have to trade Paulie, I would also expect and upgrade in the bullpen, C, or 3B.

Most importantly, it will be a team not relient on the long ball and much better defensively.

AddisonStSox
09-29-2004, 05:19 PM
Does anyone else here feel this story epitomizes Reinsdorfian Baseball. Davis and Burke make for a nice backup tandum...that is all they are...that is all they will ever be. Now, don't get me wrong, you'r allowed to have one or two weak-spots if your an already productive baseball team, but the 05 Sox roster looks to have more holes than....um...something that has a lot of holes<insert witty comment here>. I'll settle for a catching crew of Davis and Burke, if and only if, we make significant improvements in other areas (bullpen, 5th starter, infielder).

White Sox Baseball: Yeah, we spend money.

c: Davis/Burke
1b:Gload
2b:Harris
ss:Uribe
3b:Crede
lf:Lee
cf:Rowand
rf:Everett
dh:Hurt

Damn thats depressing.

idseer
09-29-2004, 05:25 PM
http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=2208&stc=1&thumb=1 (http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=2208)

Get a rope, already!
smell the coffee already.

A. Cavatica
09-29-2004, 05:59 PM
this is going to be a sad place to be next season for sure. no catching, no second baseman, no rightfielder, no bullpen, no 3rd or 4th pitcher, no proven ss, no proven manager, and no owner. 9 glaring or at least questionable weaknesses.
The outlook is not much different than at the start of this season.

We have less confidence at C, 3B, and RF than we did six months ago. We have just as many questions about 2B, SS, pitching, manager, and ownership. We have more confidence at 1B and CF. And we know there will be good personnel moves and bad ones before the season starts.

idseer
09-29-2004, 06:03 PM
The outlook is not much different than at the start of this season.

We have less confidence at C, 3B, and RF than we did six months ago. We have just as many questions about 2B, SS, pitching, manager, and ownership. We have more confidence at 1B and CF. And we know there will be good personnel moves and bad ones before the season starts.
except we no longer have magglio. and that makes a BIG difference.
and i may be wrong but i think frank is also a question mark at this point.

Lip Man 1
09-29-2004, 07:29 PM
Ozzie himself said it best in the papers today when he stated that if you expect to have to rely on Ben Davis to generate offense for you you're in serious trouble.

Actually when I read that I was a little surprised because basically he dissed Davis although he is exactly correct in his assesment. Davis and Burke are back up's period.

Just another gaping hole to have to fill on a limited budget.

Lip

SEALgep
09-29-2004, 07:46 PM
Ozzie himself said it best in the papers today when he stated that if you expect to have to rely on Ben Davis to generate offense for you you're in serious trouble.

Actually when I read that I was a little surprised because basically he dissed Davis although he is exactly correct in his assesment. Davis and Burke are back up's period.

Just another gaping hole to have to fill on a limited budget.

LipA lot of teams would like to have to pretty solid defensive catchers who can get you some offense once in a while and call good games. Guillen didn't diss them, and they are certainly aren't in the gaping hole category.

nodiggity59
09-29-2004, 07:54 PM
Mike Mattheny comes to mind as a poor hitting C on a contender. Of course he's a former GG, but then again it is FORMER. And he's on the Cardinals, who have a lot of O to spare.