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View Full Version : Inaugural post. Question for the experts...


Harry Chappas
03-15-2005, 02:28 PM
Hi all,

I stumbled upon this site several months ago and have been lurking on and off since then. As a lifelong Sox fan and dedicated Cubs hater, it was comforting to know that there is a whole community of like-minded fans.

Here is my question: Why is it that the Sox haven't had a "power" pitcher in recent memory? I suppose you could count Tom Gordon, but he was recovering from an injury when we had him. Before that, you have to go all the way back to Roberto Hernandez out of the pen. Among starters, we had Jason Bere (until injuries) and Wilson Alvarez (until pizza). Even our 6' 10" freak of nature Jon Rauch was more like Charlie Hough than Randy Johnson! And when we do go out and sign a "flamethrower" (ex. Billy Koch), they mysteriously lose 10 MPH of their fastball by the time they land in Chicago.

Of the current crop of pitchers, with the possible exception of Garcia, who throws in the low 90s, everyone else depends on location to get outs. This is true of Buerhle, Garland, Contreras, and Hernandez. Even our bullpen doesn't have any true flamethrowers with our likely closer, Takatsu, throwing 70 MPH frisbees. Is this part of Kenny Williams philosophy on pitching? It seems every other team in the league has at least one or two guys, either starters or relievers, who hit 95-96 on the gun.

Lastly, is it possible that Scott Ruffcorn has cursed our farm system? We always seem to have guys that have great success in the minors only to either suck or enjoy lackluster careers in the majors. Felix Diaz seems to be the latest casualty.

Sorry for the negative post out of the box, but these questions have bothered me for some time and I wanted to get some informed fans' take on the "power" outage among our pitching ranks.

jabrch
03-15-2005, 02:32 PM
It's not the speed that makes a good fastball hard to hit - it is the movement and the change of speeds. We may not have guys in the high 90s, but we have guys who throw fastballs that move very well.

daveeym
03-15-2005, 02:33 PM
Lastly, is it possible that Scott Ruffcorn has cursed our farm system? We always seem to have guys that have great success in the minors only to either suck or enjoy lackluster careers in the majors. Felix Diaz seems to be the latest casualty.
Oh boy, you better take cover.

spawn
03-15-2005, 02:35 PM
1) :welcome:


2) I wouldn't use the word 'cursed' around here if I were you...that's just asking for a beating.

bartmanisgod
03-15-2005, 02:40 PM
Hi all,

I stumbled upon this site several months ago and have been lurking on and off since then. As a lifelong Sox fan and dedicated Cubs hater, it was comforting to know that there is a whole community of like-minded fans.

Here is my question: Why is it that the Sox haven't had a "power" pitcher in recent memory? I suppose you could count Tom Gordon, but he was recovering from an injury when we had him. Before that, you have to go all the way back to Roberto Hernandez out of the pen. Among starters, we had Jason Bere (until injuries) and Wilson Alvarez (until pizza). Even our 6' 10" freak of nature Jon Rauch was more like Charlie Hough than Randy Johnson! And when we do go out and sign a "flamethrower" (ex. Billy Koch), they mysteriously lose 10 MPH of their fastball by the time they land in Chicago.

Of the current crop of pitchers, with the possible exception of Garcia, who throws in the low 90s, everyone else depends on location to get outs. This is true of Buerhle, Garland, Contreras, and Hernandez. Even our bullpen doesn't have any true flamethrowers with our likely closer, Takatsu, throwing 70 MPH frisbees. Is this part of Kenny Williams philosophy on pitching? It seems every other team in the league has at least one or two guys, either starters or relievers, who hit 95-96 on the gun.

Lastly, is it possible that Scott Ruffcorn has cursed our farm system? We always seem to have guys that have great success in the minors only to either suck or enjoy lackluster careers in the majors. Felix Diaz seems to be the latest casualty.

Sorry for the negative post out of the box, but these questions have bothered me for some time and I wanted to get some informed fans' take on the "power" outage among our pitching ranks.

Are we not counting Bartolo Colon as a power pitcher anymore?

Harry Chappas
03-15-2005, 02:56 PM
for this site? Sorry about the use of the word "c*rse" in association with the Sox. What other things are frowned upon or otherwise forbidden? I certainly don't want to say anything controversial on an anonymous fan website!:redface:

Also, good point on Colon. I'd guess he'd be considered a power pitcher.

Ol' No. 2
03-15-2005, 02:57 PM
for this site? Sorry about the use of the word "c*rse" in association with the Sox. What other things are frowned upon or otherwise forbidden? I certainly don't want to say anything controversial on an anonymous fan website!:redface:

Also, good point on Colon. I'd guess he'd be considered a power pitcher.Yeah. We try to avoid controversy at all costs.

And...:welcome:

Flight #24
03-15-2005, 03:01 PM
Of the current crop of pitchers, with the possible exception of Garcia, who throws in the low 90s, everyone else depends on location to get outs. This is true of Buerhle, Garland, Contreras, and Hernandez. Even our bullpen doesn't have any true flamethrowers with our likely closer, Takatsu, throwing 70 MPH frisbees. Is this part of Kenny Williams philosophy on pitching? It seems every other team in the league has at least one or two guys, either starters or relievers, who hit 95-96 on the gun.



Actually, one of the things always cited about Contreras is his 95MPH fastball, so I'd consider him to be a "power pitcher" as well. Of course, his location isn't quite what you'd like it to be so he's getting hit hard, but that's what they're working on, and per Coop today on ESPN, he hasn'tbeen using the forkball as much on purpose, which helps explain why he's been getting knocked aroundso much (at least I hope it does!).

Iwritecode
03-15-2005, 03:03 PM
for this site? Sorry about the use of the word "c*rse" in association with the Sox. What other things are frowned upon or otherwise forbidden? I certainly don't want to say anything controversial on an anonymous fan website!:redface:

Also, good point on Colon. I'd guess he'd be considered a power pitcher.

Couple of quick tips:

This color is used for outragous pipe dreams that will never happen.

This color is used for sarcasm since it's hard to tell when somebody is "kidding".

This color or this color or sometimes even this color are used by the people that don't know what teal looks like...

This should help you avoid the teal police. :wink:

MisterB
03-15-2005, 03:09 PM
This color or this color or sometimes even this color are used by the people that don't know what teal looks like...

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/vbulletin/attachment.php?attachmentid=2571

Been waiting to whip that one out. :D:

daveeym
03-15-2005, 03:20 PM
for this site? Sorry about the use of the word "c*rse" in association with the Sox. What other things are frowned upon or otherwise forbidden? I certainly don't want to say anything controversial on an anonymous fan website!:redface:

Also, good point on Colon. I'd guess he'd be considered a power pitcher. Actually there is a rule book of sorts. At the top of each forum there are stickies laying out the rules for the site and that particular forum.

FoulkeFan
03-15-2005, 04:04 PM
What about Billy Koch and Danny Wright? They could throw hard.

Maybe they're why we don't have too many "power" pitchers anymore.

hold2dibber
03-15-2005, 04:41 PM
Hi all,

I stumbled upon this site several months ago and have been lurking on and off since then. As a lifelong Sox fan and dedicated Cubs hater, it was comforting to know that there is a whole community of like-minded fans.

Here is my question: Why is it that the Sox haven't had a "power" pitcher in recent memory? I suppose you could count Tom Gordon, but he was recovering from an injury when we had him. Before that, you have to go all the way back to Roberto Hernandez out of the pen. Among starters, we had Jason Bere (until injuries) and Wilson Alvarez (until pizza). Even our 6' 10" freak of nature Jon Rauch was more like Charlie Hough than Randy Johnson! And when we do go out and sign a "flamethrower" (ex. Billy Koch), they mysteriously lose 10 MPH of their fastball by the time they land in Chicago.

Of the current crop of pitchers, with the possible exception of Garcia, who throws in the low 90s, everyone else depends on location to get outs. This is true of Buerhle, Garland, Contreras, and Hernandez. Even our bullpen doesn't have any true flamethrowers with our likely closer, Takatsu, throwing 70 MPH frisbees. Is this part of Kenny Williams philosophy on pitching? It seems every other team in the league has at least one or two guys, either starters or relievers, who hit 95-96 on the gun.

Lastly, is it possible that Scott Ruffcorn has cursed our farm system? We always seem to have guys that have great success in the minors only to either suck or enjoy lackluster careers in the majors. Felix Diaz seems to be the latest casualty.

Sorry for the negative post out of the box, but these questions have bothered me for some time and I wanted to get some informed fans' take on the "power" outage among our pitching ranks.

Good question - I've wondered about this myself. The only "power pitcher" I can think of that has come up through the Sox system since Roberto Hernandez is Danny Wright (arguably). Not that being a power pitcher is necessarily the be all and end all (e.g., I'd much rather have Takatsu than Farnsworth), but it does seem odd that the Sox haven't really brought any power pitchers through the system in the last decade.

Harry Chappas
03-15-2005, 05:05 PM
What about Billy Koch and Danny Wright? They could throw hard.

Maybe they're why we don't have too many "power" pitchers anymore.

Billy Koch never regained the velocity on his fastball that he had earlier in his career. I think he topped out at around 93 with the Sox, but was usually in the upper 80s. He lived and died with his fastball, so he got rocked when his velocity dipped from the upper 90s to more pedestrian numbers. As for Wright, he threw pretty hard, but not hard enough to overcome his control problems and average off-speed stuff.

Ol' No. 2
03-15-2005, 05:08 PM
Billy Koch never regained the velocity on his fastball that he had earlier in his career. I think he topped out at around 93 with the Sox, but was usually in the upper 80s. He lived and died with his fastball, so he got rocked when his velocity dipped from the upper 90s to more pedestrian numbers. As for Wright, he threw pretty hard, but not hard enough to overcome his control problems and average off-speed stuff.I saw Koch hit at least 96 on many occasions. And Wright could hop it when he wanted. It takes more than velocity. Almost any major league hitter can hit a 98 mph heater if he knows it's coming and it doesn't have any tricky movement.

Daver
03-15-2005, 05:09 PM
The Sox don't draft many power pitchers, they have a tendency to burn out in the minors.

Ol' No. 2
03-15-2005, 05:11 PM
The Sox don't draft many power pitchers, they have a tendency to burn out in the minors.Good power pitchers also will generally get drafted high. The Sox haven't had a top-10 pick in 14 years.

Foulke You
03-15-2005, 05:29 PM
I'd say our bullpen has some pretty lively arms right now. Marte, Hermanson, Polite, and Vizcaino can all bring it in the 92-96mph range.

fquaye149
03-15-2005, 05:58 PM
I'd say our bullpen has some pretty lively arms right now. Marte, Hermanson, Polite, and Vizcaino can all bring it in the 92-96mph range.

Not to mention Shingo's bringing it in the low 90's these days...allegedly

gobears1987
03-15-2005, 10:01 PM
I saw Shingo hit 90 when I saw him pitch against the toons on June 22. He got his 4th win that day pitching 2 innings and getting a lot of "He Gawns!" from Hawk.

A little off topic, but if anyone plays MVP 2005 online, use Shingo against other humans and watch them when you throw the changeup (which is really his frisbee). Throw it again and for #3 throw the fastball.

SOX ADDICT '73
03-15-2005, 11:02 PM
Give me a thrower like Beuhrle or even (gag) Maddux over a power pitcher any day. Seems that the sCrUBS have a couple of so-called "power pitchers" who can't shake chronic arm problems. Danny Wrong was cited in this thread as being one of our last power pitchers, and oh guess what - arm problems. Let's see, do I want a pitcher with 12+ SO per 9 inn. but who burns out after only four years, or one who records 2 or 3 SO per 9, but manages to win 200+ games over a 15-year career? Tough decision.

Tragg
03-15-2005, 11:48 PM
Welcome to the board, Harry.

How is Bee Bee Richards these days?

TaylorStSox
03-16-2005, 12:11 AM
I agree that we haven't had alot of power pitchers starting, but there have been some in the pen.

For the sake of arguement, let's define "power pitchers" as guys that can hit 95 MPH. We've had a few in recent years.

Wright
Colon
Osuna
Gordan
Politte
Viscaino
Contreras
Embree (perfect example of how velocity + no movement will get you hit hard)
Koch
Marte
Howry (didn't consistantly hit 95 but was definitely a power pitcher IMO)

Bucktown
03-16-2005, 12:58 AM
I would add David Wells to that list.

As far as other things that you can't say...Don't ever suggest that Sammy Sosa is a good player or that he was a loss for the Sox.

Also, don't get too optimistic.

MIgrenade
03-16-2005, 02:38 AM
I don't follow development or anything but my guess is that control pitchers are a bit more certain as prospects than power pitchers. Power is subject to injury and location issues. 100mph straight is no good, just ask Kyle Farnsworth. Control is deceptive and gets wins. These pitchers are usually more durable as well. In my opinion, the Sox are drafting guys that will make to the major league level and the best bet is on control pitchers rather than power pitchers.

Randar68
03-16-2005, 10:32 AM
The Sox don't draft many power pitchers, they have a tendency to burn out in the minors.

The Sox also like to move their pitchers away from a 4-seamer to the 2 seamer. 93 mph and straight can get a lot of HS hitters out, but that won't work in professional baseball. 90 mph with movement is MUCH more likely to be successful.

mccombe_35
03-16-2005, 11:25 AM
Besides the names posted, Bobby Howry is a name that comes to mind.

I thought Politte could bring it as well.

After watching Farnsworth the past few years I'm more than happy with our "soft tossers" :wink:

mccombe_35
03-16-2005, 11:35 AM
No mention of Loaiza? He threw pretty hard & did lead the league in strike outs in 2003!