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infohawk
03-04-2005, 11:13 AM
Hey guys, yesterday I received my 2005 Baseball Prospectus book in the mail. I was particularly interested in their assessment of the Sox offseason, particularly since one of the BP contributors had said some positive things about the Sox offseason in one of the BP website "Triple Plays."

Here is what I concluded after reading their overall assessment of the team. The author seemed to indicate some appreciation for the efforts made each year by KW to improve the team. In reviewing the key pitching trades, the Foulke-Koch trade was ripped, as it should have been. Interestingly, the author placed part of the blame on Jerry Manual for the trade. According to the author, Jerry would quickly lose faith in players and push KW for changes. This was written about in the context of how, while it is generally good for GMs and field managers to have successful collaborative relationships, sometimes GMs need not always appease the manager. I received the distinct impression that the author was not impressed by Manual, particularly with respect to evaluating talent and utilizing his roster.

The author seemed to indicate that the David Wells deal was just bad luck. The article stated that the 2001 season had been the only time over a ten-year period that Wells sustained a season-ending health problem. I received the impression that the Colon trade was viewed as somewhat risky because of the potential for injury. It was mentioned that Loaiza didn't work out in 2004 because 2003 was a career year that will likely not be repeated. Trying to make Schoenweiss a middle-of-the-rotation starter was a bad idea. The Freddy Garcia trade didn't impress the author either. Garcia was described as a league average pitcher who benefited from Safeco Field. The author did acknowledge that, in retrospect, the financial terms of the deal were pretty good after the wild inflation of pitcher's values during the offseason.

Jerry Reinsdorf was mildly praised for his hesitancy to give out long-term contracts to pitchers. The author believes that the Sox starting rotation is actually only 2 1/2 pitchers deep. The 1/2 represents the times when Orlando Hernandez is healthy. It was opined that Contreras probably doesn't possess the control to be an effective 5th starter, much less a middle-of-the-rotation starter. Garland is average at best and it should be no condolence that he will now be the fifth starter.

Here are some other observations made by the author:

Jermaine Dye is more athletic than Ordonez, but won't hit as well;

Scott Podsednik isn't a very good player;

Iguchi wasn't mentioned at all, probably because the book went to press before he signed;

KW has made several very good small deals in acquiring the likes of Juan Uribe (who the author called Jose Uribe) and Miguel Olivo -- described as a useful catcher and good trading chip in the Garcia deal;

A.J. is an improvement over Davis, who should be nothing more than a back-up catcher;

The author thinks Aaron is a good player;

It was a good move to let Valentin go because he can't hit breaking balls. He will struggle both hitting and playing third base for the Dodgers;

KW ran Ordonez out of town, but the author acknowledges that Ordonez's health is a tremendous uncertainty;

Ozzie is a better field manager than expected. He utilizes his entire roster and avoids the temptation to make an over-abundance of pitching changes. He lets his pitchers work out of their own jams and saves his bullpen because of it;

The author likes Shingo but thinks it is possible he will get hit around a bit more next year because he benefited from so many outs being recorded on balls hit in play last year. The author suggests this could have been luck. It was mentioned, however, that the traditional rules might not apply because Shingo throws underhanded and slow, and is therefore somewhat comparable to a knuckleballer;

The Sox are predicted to finish toward the bottom of the division. The Twins are predicted to have just enough to win again. The Indians may regress because many of their players, including pitchers, performed significantly better than expected. They could revert to the mean like they did during the second half of the season last year. The Royals will be bad and I haven't read the Tiger's analysis yet.

If I remember anything else worth mentioning, I'll include it in the thread.

JRIG
03-04-2005, 11:23 AM
Pre-emptive strike:

These are simply a writer's opinion. They have no basis on what happens this season. There is no writer's poll or BCS to determine a national champion. It simply doesn't matter.

JKryl
03-04-2005, 11:24 AM
"The Sox are predicted to finish near the bottom of their division"? Up until then, I pretty much agreed with the assessments except for Scott Podsednik. This guy needs to give up the cool aid. Maybe with Podsednik and Iguchi contributing, it will tilt the division in the favor of the Sox. Or, at least that's the excuse he can use next year when we win the division.

fuzzy_patters
03-04-2005, 11:25 AM
Hey guys, yesterday I received my 2005 Baseball Prospectus book in the mail. I was particularly interested in their assessment of the Sox offseason, particularly since one of the BP contributors had said some positive things about the Sox offseason in one of the BP website "Triple Plays."

Here is what I concluded after reading their overall assessment of the team. The author seemed to indicate some appreciation for the efforts made each year by KW to improve the team. In reviewing the key pitching trades, the Foulke-Koch trade was ripped, as it should have been. Interestingly, the author placed part of the blame on Jerry Manual for the trade. According to the author, Jerry would quickly lose faith in players and push KW for changes. This was written about in the context of how, while it is generally good for GMs and field managers to have successful collaborative relationships, sometimes GMs need not always appease the manager. I received the distinct impression that the author was not impressed by Manual, particularly with respect to evaluating talent and utilizing his roster.

The author seemed to indicate that the David Wells deal was just bad luck. The article stated that the 2001 season had been the only time over a ten-year period that Wells sustained a season-ending health problem. I received the impression that the Colon trade was viewed as somewhat risky because of the potential for injury. It was mentioned that Loaiza didn't work out in 2004 because 2003 was a career year that will likely not be repeated. Trying to make Schoenweiss a middle-of-the-rotation starter was a bad idea. The Freddy Garcia trade didn't impress the author either. Garcia was described as a league average pitcher who benefited from Safeco Field. The author did acknowledge that, in retrospect, the financial terms of the deal were pretty good after the wild inflation of pitcher's values during the offseason.

Jerry Reinsdorf was mildly praised for his hesitancy to give out long-term contracts to pitchers. The author believes that the Sox starting rotation is actually only 2 1/2 pitchers deep. The 1/2 represents the times when Orlando Hernandez is healthy. It was opined that Contreras probably doesn't possess the control to be an effective 5th starter, much less a middle-of-the-rotation starter. Garland is average at best and it should be no condolence that he will now be the fifth starter.

Here are some other observations made by the author:

Jermaine Dye is more athletic than Ordonez, but won't hit as well;

Scott Podsednik isn't a very good player;

Iguchi wasn't mentioned at all, probably because the book went to press before he signed.

KW has made several very good small deals in acquiring the likes of Juan Uribe (who the author called Jose Uribe), Miguel Olivo -- described as a useful catcher and good trading chip in the Garcia deal;

A.J. is an improvement over Davis, who should be nothing more than a back-up catcher;

The author thinks Aaron is a good player;

It was a good move to get let Valentin go because he can't hit breaking balls. He will struggle both hitting and playing third base for the Dodgers;

KW ran Ordonez out of town, but the author acknowledges that Ordonez's health is a tremendous uncertainty;

Ozzie is a better field manager than expected. He utilizes his entire roster and avoids the temptation to make an over-abundance of pitching changes. He lets his pitchers work out of their own jams and saves his bullpen because of it.

The author likes Shingo but thinks it is possible he will get hit around a bit more next year because he benefited from so many outs being recorded on balls hit in play last year. The author suggests this could have been luck. It was mentioned, however, that the traditional rules might not apply because Shingo throws underhanded and slow, and is therefore somewhat comparable to a knuckleballer.

The Sox are predicted to finish toward the bottom of the division. The Twins are predicted to have just enough to win again. The Indians may regress because many of their players, including pitchers, performed significantly better than expected. They could revert to the mean like they did during the second half of the season last year. The Royals will be bad and I haven't read the Tiger's analysis yet.

If I remember anything else worth mentioning, I'll include it in the thread.

Overall, I think that was a pretty fair assessment of our situation. I did not see anything that I really disagree with.

However, the author failed to address the middle relief unless you left it out, and I think that is the key to our team this year. Most teams have some question marks in their bullpen, but the only pitcher we have that is unproven is Cotts in long relief. Everyone else is a proven major league pitcher.

veeter
03-04-2005, 11:32 AM
IMO just more garbage thrown out by a know nothing writer. If Cotts improves or dare I say, becomes really good, the Foulke trade becomes much better. The A's lost Foulke just like the Sox would have, the had to trade him. Cotts was always the key to that deal. On a side note, the Sox are going to win this division. All naysayers will be proven wrong but will not even mention it.

Flight #24
03-04-2005, 11:32 AM
Interesting, but you'd think that BP would know things about Freddy's stats, including 3-year road #s like:

1.28WHIP (which would have ranked him around 25 in MLB last year when compared to other pitchers total stats)

7.44 K/9 (would've been 22d)

2.84 K/BB (20th)

The one stat where he doesn't fare that well is road ERA, where he put up 4.38, which would have ranked him 51in MLB (just ahead of Mark Mulder).

If that's an "average" pitcher, then did I miss it where they contracted teams to take the total starting pitchers down from 150-ish to 50-75?:?:

MRKARNO
03-04-2005, 11:47 AM
The problem with predicting the AL Central is that there are 4 teams which could all finish within 10 games of each other. The teams are pretty close and a few optimistic or pessimistic PECOTA projections might drop a team or lift a team by 2 spots in their prediction. I think history is against the White Sox finishing under .500 or worse than 3rd as well.

Iwritecode
03-04-2005, 12:27 PM
The Sox are predicted to finish toward the bottom of the division. The Twins are predicted to have just enough to win again. The Indians may regress because many of their players, including pitchers, performed significantly better than expected. They could revert to the mean like they did during the second half of the season last year. The Royals will be bad and I haven't read the Tiger's analysis yet.


So let me see if I have this right...

The Sox are going to finish toward the bottom of the division yet the Indians may regress and the Royal will be bad (again). :?:

So what's that mean, the Twins will be in first and there will be a three-way tie for 4th and the Tigers will finish somewhere between 2nd and 3rd?

infohawk
03-04-2005, 12:27 PM
IMO just more garbage thrown out by a know nothing writer. If Cotts improves or dare I say, becomes really good, the Foulke trade becomes much better. The A's lost Foulke just like the Sox would have, the had to trade him. Cotts was always the key to that deal. On a side note, the Sox are going to win this division. All naysayers will be proven wrong but will not even mention it.

If I recall correctly, Cotts was mentioned. The author believes that the Sox are going to be disappointed when they find out that Cotts will never be an effective starter and is probably confined to relief work.

ma-gaga
03-04-2005, 12:38 PM
BP was overly harsh. They stated that the 'window has closed' in the preview box. I think they said that KW built a team that didn't fit with the ballpark. That the team will have a hard time scoring runs at home, and be miserable on the road. They like the pitching staff, but they just don't feel like the W.Sox will get full seasons out of Hernandez/Conteras, leaving them short in the end.

I think that they predicted: Minny, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, KC. Really not that far off from every other idiot sportswriter out there. :cool:

jeremyb1
03-04-2005, 03:02 PM
Interesting, but you'd think that BP would know things about Freddy's stats, including 3-year road #s like:

1.28WHIP (which would have ranked him around 25 in MLB last year when compared to other pitchers total stats)

7.44 K/9 (would've been 22d)

2.84 K/BB (20th)

The one stat where he doesn't fare that well is road ERA, where he put up 4.38, which would have ranked him 51in MLB (just ahead of Mark Mulder).

If that's an "average" pitcher, then did I miss it where they contracted teams to take the total starting pitchers down from 150-ish to 50-75?:?:

"Garcia isd not a bad pitcher, but he's not much better than an average one. The White Sox traded for him at the high-water mark of his value, entranced by his Safeco-enhanced ERA while ignoring peripheral numbers that hadn't improved much and an arm that has a lot of mileage on it."

That's the exact quote. I think some of the disagreement in this thread is from seeing what BP wrote secondhand. The effects of Safeco are solely in the context of Garcia's vast improvement from '02 and '03 at the beginning of last season when the trade went down. Since just 2 of Garcia's 22 home runs allowed came at Safeco and his ERA at the park was 2.61 there compared to 3.81 overall, the argument is supported by the numbers. I think the author would agree with you that a 4.31 ERA is better than average but not by very much (MLB ERA was 4.63 in '04, 4.53 in '03, and 4.46 in '02).

santo=dorf
03-04-2005, 03:09 PM
Jeremy, how much of an effect do you think Garcia's ruptured eardrums had an effect on his pitching in 2003? Let's also not forget that he was an all-star in 2002.

Flight #24
03-04-2005, 03:20 PM
I think the author would agree with you that a 4.31 ERA is better than average but not by very much (MLB ERA was 4.63 in '04, 4.53 in '03, and 4.46 in '02).

I just don't think ERA by itself is a fantastic indicator of a pitcher. The stats I provided take out the Safeco impact (except for if/when he pitched there as a ChiSox), and all of his other metrics are very good - yet that's ignored by BP in favor of ERA to label him "not much better than average". Ranking in the top-20-25 pitchers in all of baseball in most stats makes him much much much better than average.

JRIG
03-04-2005, 04:19 PM
Jeremy, how much of an effect do you think Garcia's ruptured eardrums had an effect on his pitching in 2003? Let's also not forget that he was an all-star in 2002.

So was Byung-Hyun Kim.

Dadawg_77
03-04-2005, 04:32 PM
Jeremy, how much of an effect do you think Garcia's ruptured eardrums had an effect on his pitching in 2003? Let's also not forget that he was an all-star in 2002.

So much a factor that it took him two years to get it repaired.

Updating previous items, KOMOTV.com reports the ruptured eardrums suffered by Seattle Mariners (http://www.kffl.com/team/66/mlb) SP Freddy Garcia (http://www.kffl.com/player/4783/mlb) (eardrums), which were surgically repaired over the offseason, didn't affect his balance. "As far as I know, there never was an equilibrium problem, no vertigo, no balance problem or anything that prevented him from doing his work," said Mariners (http://www.kffl.com/team/66/mlb)trainer Rick Griffin. According to Griffin, the condition dated back to the 2002 season, and was caused when Garcia flew with a cold on two separate flights, rupturing the second one just a few days after the first one. Further, Griffin said Garcia wore cotton in hisears while pitching only to prevent sweat from getting inside his ears, and not because of his eardrums.

http://kffl.com/player/4783/mlb

Dadawg_77
03-04-2005, 04:35 PM
I just don't think ERA by itself is a fantastic indicator of a pitcher. The stats I provided take out the Safeco impact (except for if/when he pitched there as a ChiSox), and all of his other metrics are very good - yet that's ignored by BP in favor of ERA to label him "not much better than average". Ranking in the top-20-25 pitchers in all of baseball in most stats makes him much much much better than average.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/g/garcifr03.shtml

Look at LgERA, ERA and ERA+

LgERA is the ERA a "average" pitcher would post with the factors that the pitcher faced. ERA is ERA and ERA+ is: 100 is average, 100-ERA+ is the percentage the pitcher pitched then average.

jeremyb1
03-04-2005, 05:50 PM
I just don't think ERA by itself is a fantastic indicator of a pitcher. The stats I provided take out the Safeco impact (except for if/when he pitched there as a ChiSox), and all of his other metrics are very good - yet that's ignored by BP in favor of ERA to label him "not much better than average". Ranking in the top-20-25 pitchers in all of baseball in most stats makes him much much much better than average.

Personally I agree with that statement and it's one that's pretty popular amongst the BP type crowd. The problem with Garcia is that while his strikeouts are strong his BB's allowed are not amazing and more than anything, he gives up a ton of long balls. BP has a stat called PERA (peripheral ERA) which calculates what a pitchers ERA theoretically should've been based on his park and defense adjusted hits, walks, home runs, and strikeouts per 9 IP. Garcia's PERA was 4.35 in '02, 5.20 in '03, and then 3.57/3.92 last season the primary reason being that he surrendered a lot of EQH9 (equivalent hits per nine, 9.0, 9.2, 8.2/8.2) but moreso because his EQHR9 were 1.2, 1.3, .6/1.1 which is more or less astronomical.

Also, average is a highly arbitrary term. Certainly nowhere near half the pitchers that make a start or even 20 starts in the AL next season will pitch 200 innings and have an ERA in the 4s as Garcia most likely will. If you're using the term in that sense, Garland is an above average starter. In this context the author seems to be speaking in terms of the relatively small (60 or 70) number of starters that will make substantial money and start 33 games.

shbart
03-05-2005, 11:15 AM
I really enjoy the Prospectus. Even though I don't really understand PECOTA or half the number manipulations, I like the writting. The part I found a bit depressing was that the author pointed out that teams that have tried to make a major change to small ball, have failed more often than succeeded. He sites the '91 Indians w/ Alex Cole at the top of the lineup and the '82 Yankees with Dave Collins at the top of their order. That's 2 orders of harsh reality served sunny-side up:(: Of course, their are exceptions like the '91 Braves.

As mentioned, the omission of Iguchi when this went to press may have changed the author's perspective a little bit. In a follow up on the BP website, the analysis of Iguchi put his numbers in a comparable range with Orlando Hudson. Sure all these analysis are crapshoots, but it's fun to prognosticate ...as long as your parents don't catch u doing it after lights out:wink:

fquaye149
03-05-2005, 02:17 PM
Pre-emptive strike:

These are simply a writer's opinion. They have no basis on what happens this season. There is no writer's poll or BCS to determine a national champion. It simply doesn't matter.

Ok. Maybe. But this is a poorly thought out article on some points. Yes, it is just a writer's opinion, but so is anything written.

If I were to write an article saying the Sox were to finish 25 games up on the 2nd place royals this year with the tigers in 3rd, indians in 4th and twins a distant 5th 25 games below .500, would you merely say it was my opinion, one i'm entitled to? especially if I were writing for a major baseball publication? I don't mean to equivilate what this article is to that prediction, I just mean to illustrate that some "opinions" must be held up to criticism, even if they have no impact on the season (they don't.)

for instance, the Freddy Garcia trade didn't impress him, but the resigning did? I'm not sure where to start on that. Either Freddy Garcia is a good pitcher worth signing at 9 million a year or else he is not. Jeremy Reed - BAH. Garcia is not Larry Anderson and Jeremy Reed doesn't even PROJECT to be Jeff Bagwell. So let's not get carried away.

Plus, saying definitively (I admit, I haven't read the article and am only relying on this secondhand account)that podsednik is not a good player is a bold statement based only on 2 seasons vs. major league pitching.

And then there's the whole can of worms of pitchers who let the ball get put in play are automatically inferior to K pitchers...

I think overall this article is decent, but for you to preempt it like that shows a bias, jrig. I think if it were an article excessively praising the sox or maligning the twins (who haven't done anything at all to improve this offseason) you would be tearing the article apart.

I don't think it's wrong to be overly critical of your team. However, you have to accept that reason should allow fans to be overly critical of those who are overly critical.

Some things are just wrong, no matter if we don't have a bcs system. Period.

Fake Chet Lemon
03-06-2005, 12:52 AM
Wouldn't the world be a far better place if writers had to begin any columns with predictions, with a list of their predictions from the previous season?

Tragg
03-06-2005, 11:11 AM
Plus, saying definitively (I admit, I haven't read the article and am only relying on this secondhand account)that podsednik is not a good player is a bold statement based only on 2 seasons vs. major league pitching.





It's not fair to say that he's a bad player; but when you trade Carlos Lee, you should be able to say that the player you got in return is a good player. We can't say that yet.

batmanZoSo
03-06-2005, 11:56 AM
Interesting, but you'd think that BP would know things about Freddy's stats, including 3-year road #s like:

1.28WHIP (which would have ranked him around 25 in MLB last year when compared to other pitchers total stats)

7.44 K/9 (would've been 22d)

2.84 K/BB (20th)

The one stat where he doesn't fare that well is road ERA, where he put up 4.38, which would have ranked him 51in MLB (just ahead of Mark Mulder).

If that's an "average" pitcher, then did I miss it where they contracted teams to take the total starting pitchers down from 150-ish to 50-75?:?:

Thank you. Freddy Garcia is a quality starting pitcher, period. Anyone who says he's average really needs to define the word. And maybe watch him pitch every now and then.