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View Full Version : Bullpen help just a phone call away?


Frater Perdurabo
05-20-2005, 10:18 AM
I want the opinions of the "experts," not the knee-jerk brigades on this one.

IMHO, the "weakest link" in the Sox bullpen is long relief (the loss to Texas, where Vizcaino and Politte pitched well, is a notable exception). If the starter gets torched early and Ozzie pulls him, he has a tendency to burn through his bullpen. Seems to me the Sox need someone who could go four or five or even six innings in relief if needed.

Barring injury that would bring him here sooner, would it be advisable to bring up Brandon McCarthy mid-season to pitch long relief? Something tells me his ability to get strikeouts would be just what the Sox need in a long reliever. Then, if the injury bug should bite Hernandez or another starter, McCarthy's already with the Sox and ready to go. He also could spot start if one of the starters goes through a "dead arm" phase.

Would there be any downside to the Sox or to McCarthy to do so?

rdivaldi
05-20-2005, 10:35 AM
There's probably no reason why we couldn't do it at the end of the season, Buehrle was up in 2000 as a reliever and it seemed to be a valuable lesson. But Brandon needs innings and experience, so I would think that he's going to be in AAA for pretty much the entire season unless one of our starters goes down.

EastCoastSoxFan
05-20-2005, 11:05 AM
...agree with rdivaldi. This is McCarthy's first full season pitching higher than Class A, so he definitely needs the innings and experience against better hitters before he comes up to the bigs full time. That said, his learning curve at the big-league level will probably be closer to Buehrle's (< 1 year) than Garland's (~ 5 years).
The problem with being a long reliever is that if your starters are all pitching well there aren't a whole lot of innings to be had (as Cotts is finding out), and I'd rather have McCarthy pitching every 5th day than sitting around waiting for the starters to get rocked and maybe filling in with an inning or two here and there.
If one of our starters doesn't make it out of the 2nd or 3rd inning (which I don't believe has happened yet, but someone can check me), Cotts can give us 4 or 5 solid innings of relief, as he has been a starter in the past. But let's hope that doesn't happen often, if at all...

maurice
05-20-2005, 01:28 PM
If McCarthy comes up mid-season, it will be to fill in for one of our starters.

Open bullpen slots would be filled by Adkins, Diaz, Baj, or Munoz. While Adkins and Munoz don't look too hot right now, neither did Walker.

California Sox
05-20-2005, 03:47 PM
Add to that (the other) Josh Fields and Bobby Jenks. If Jenks' stuff gets back to where it was, he's a potential force in middle relief.

soxfanreggie
05-24-2005, 04:35 AM
In my MVP baseball season, I have B-Mac as the closer (yes I made him...and yes...he's a force). However, that is fantasy land and this is real life. I think finishing the season in Triple A, maybe making one or two more starts in the majors will help him. If we bring up any bullpen help, I vote it to be Bajenaru who is tearing it up this year. He could definitely help our bullpen in any struggles it may have.

Randar68
05-24-2005, 11:51 AM
In my MVP baseball season, I have B-Mac as the closer (yes I made him...and yes...he's a force). However, that is fantasy land and this is real life. I think finishing the season in Triple A, maybe making one or two more starts in the majors will help him. If we bring up any bullpen help, I vote it to be Bajenaru who is tearing it up this year. He could definitely help our bullpen in any struggles it may have.

McCarthy will make 1-2 more starts in place of El Duque if he heals normally, and it's probable we could see him again later in the season if El Duque needs a similar rest.

Bullpen help? I think they'll look for a proven MLB bullpen arm before they turn to Bajenaru, Smith, Jenks, Diaz, etc down the stretch...

rdivaldi
05-25-2005, 10:26 AM
Bullpen help? I think they'll look for a proven MLB bullpen arm before they turn to Bajenaru, Smith, Jenks, Diaz, etc down the stretch...

Really Randar? I would think that they'd give one of the youngsters a shot to see if we catch some lightning in a bottle. You never know, Baj or Jenks could give us a KRod type boost. It's still early enough to experiment a little.

Randar68
05-25-2005, 11:53 AM
Really Randar? I would think that they'd give one of the youngsters a shot to see if we catch some lightning in a bottle. You never know, Baj or Jenks could give us a KRod type boost. It's still early enough to experiment a little.

Neither of those guys are ready to be thrown into a playoff race, IMO. Baj isn't half as talented as K-Rod. Jenks is a different case. Talented as all hell, but he's been a head-case in the past, a cancer according to some, and why do you rush him into the middle of a playoff race. They have the resources to get some legit help, no reason to try to catch lightning in a bottle if you don't have to, that's a high-risk proposition, IMO.

rdivaldi
05-25-2005, 02:19 PM
Neither of those guys are ready to be thrown into a playoff race, IMO. Baj isn't half as talented as K-Rod. Jenks is a different case. Talented as all hell, but he's been a head-case in the past, a cancer according to some, and why do you rush him into the middle of a playoff race. They have the resources to get some legit help, no reason to try to catch lightning in a bottle if you don't have to, that's a high-risk proposition, IMO.

I gotcha. Got anyone in mind? I was actually thinking that Lidge would be a good addition, then of course he got battered by the Flubs last night.

Randar68
05-25-2005, 02:32 PM
I gotcha. Got anyone in mind? I was actually thinking that Lidge would be a good addition, then of course he got battered by the Flubs last night.

I'd still take Lidge in a heartbeat. No thanks to Dotel. Not sure yet who is going to be available, a bit early yet.

California Sox
05-25-2005, 02:38 PM
The price for a quality closer like Lidge would be prohibitive. The back of our bullpen has been pretty good. If we were looking for someone it would be in the mold of Vizcaino, Frank Francisco, etc. a sixth inning-type righthander or a lefthander who was a little more reliable than strike-throwing machine Neal Cotts.

rdivaldi
05-25-2005, 04:16 PM
a sixth inning-type righthander or a lefthander who was a little more reliable than strike-throwing machine Neal Cotts.

Even though I'm not his biggest fan, I think the Cotts bashing goes a little over the top around here. Neal has done a decent enough job keeping us in games. We could be doing a lot worse for the last guy in the bullpen.

California Sox
05-25-2005, 08:08 PM
I actually like Cotts, which is why he frustrates me so much. If he could simply repeat his delivery a little more frequently, he could be a serviceable third starter or a very good LH reliever. Until he can do that, however, he can not be used to get a big lefthanded out 6th inning or later with a one or two run lead. A player who could might be valuable in the playoffs.

mccoydp
05-26-2005, 09:47 AM
If one of our starters doesn't make it out of the 2nd or 3rd inning (which I don't believe has happened yet, but someone can check me), Cotts can give us 4 or 5 solid innings of relief, as he has been a starter in the past. But let's hope that doesn't happen often, if at all...

El Duque didn't make it past the 3rd inning when he pitched vs. Texas last week. I think that is the earliest one of the Sox starters has been pulled all season.