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hold2dibber
01-03-2002, 12:59 PM
Have the Sox given any clue as to what their plans are for Liefer next year? Although he doesn't appear to be able to hit lefties at all, the guy is absolutely explosive against righties. If they could get a solid starting pitcher, I'd love to see the Sox trade C. Lee and platoon Liefer and Rowand in right. If not, maybe they could get a decent starter for Liefer and (Durham? Clayton? Singleton?). Liefer deserves 250-350 at bats next year, and I don't see him getting them with the team constituted as it currently is.

MattSharp
01-03-2002, 01:03 PM
He has always looked to me like he could be a Jim Thome like player. Lots of HRs and lots of Ks.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-03-2002, 01:17 PM
I think your assessment of Liefer's value is generous. Of all the corner fielders the Sox have, Liefer has the weakest bat and constitutes no upgrade in the field either. He's old to only be in his second year in the Show. I doubt Liefer would bring much of anything in trade. Guys like him aren't too hard to find.

Liefer = a left-handed Jeff Abbott?

MattSharp
01-03-2002, 01:24 PM
Liefer has more power than Abbott, but I agree that he is old to be that valuable.

Soxboyrob
01-03-2002, 01:47 PM
Liefer is an excellent lefty bat to have for spot starts or to platoon vs. righties. He's pretty much worthless vs. lefty pitchers but it's a little unfair to compare him to Jeff Abbott of all people. Liefer did more for us last season than Abbott did in his entire career here.

For example, Liefer in 2001 had:

A better OPS than Lee and Durham.

An OPS about equal to or slightly below that of Konerko and Valentin.

His HR per AB ratio was 1 per 14.1 AB's.

All of those are fairly impressive for a guy who was virtually a rookie getting his first real chance to hit in the majors in 2001. I don't see him ever really being an impact guy but he can be a valuable lefty bat in the middle of our lineup. Even w/ his low BA, he drives in runs and occasionally gets hot enough to carry a team for a few days.

hold2dibber
01-03-2002, 03:01 PM
I agree that he's not much with the glove and that he can't hit lefties, but as Soxboyrob rightly points out, he put up some pretty compelling numbers for a guy getting his first shot at MLB pitching. And while he was somewhat old for a rookie, that wasn't his fault - I thought he deserved to be on the roster a year or two ago, but the Sox left him languishing in AAA even though he had already proved he could tatoo AAA pitching. When he finally got his chance, he delivered pretty decent numbers; and I think he'll improve with more experience. I'm not trying to say the guy is the be all and end all, only that he has, in my opinion, earned the chance to get more playing time and has given every indication that he can be a very dangerous bat against right handed pitching. Does anyone know how he fared against lefties in the minors?

PaleHoseGeorge
01-03-2002, 03:13 PM
Liefer should have gotten the left-handed pinch hitter's role Jerry Manuel gave to Harold Baines leaving spring training camp last March. I agree, he should be a fine bat off the bench (thus the Abbott comparison).

Liefer never got his shot before last year because nobody is getting fooled by those inflated offensive numbers the Charlotte Knights put up inside their bandbox ballpark. Even now he strikes out far more than a ballplayer with his offensive production can expect to be allowed and still retain his major league roster spot.

Maybe my memory is failing me, but Liefer showed no aptitude for pinch hitting duty last season. So the question becomes, where do you put Liefer if not pinch hitter? Manuel made a comment about trying Liefer at third base last September, but I believe even he has given up on that pipedream. I haven't heard a word about it since.

I think we're dealing with a square peg for a round hole in the roster. Unless he pinch hits, I don't see how Liefer fits without downgrading the team.

hold2dibber
01-03-2002, 03:19 PM
I agree to an extent - he wasn't effective as a pinch hitter; but if they can deal Lee (maybe with a minor leaguer or two) for a decent starter, I think a platoon of Liefer and Rowand in left will give you comparable offensive numbers and better defense (at least when Rowand is out there) while upgrading the pitching staff. If that isn't possible, Liefer won't get at-bats and may not prove to be much help as a PH. Then maybe you try to deal him to a team that is rebuilding and trying to shed some salary and is willing to take a flyer on a guy with great minor league stats and numbers last year that at least showed some power hitting potential.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-03-2002, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
I agree to an extent - he wasn't effective as a pinch hitter; but if they can deal Lee (maybe with a minor leaguer or two) for a decent starter, I think a platoon of Liefer and Rowand in left will give you comparable offensive numbers and better defense (at least when Rowand is out there) while upgrading the pitching staff. If that isn't possible, Liefer won't get at-bats and may not prove to be much help as a PH. Then maybe you try to deal him to a team that is rebuilding and trying to shed some salary and is willing to take a flyer on a guy with great minor league stats and numbers last year that at least showed some power hitting potential.

I suppose if KW can get the right deal from somebody for Lee, the solution might be a left field platoon of Liefer and Rowand. I imagine both those guys will become expendable if/when Borchard gets his shot.

KW's attempt to land Erstad tells me the Sox are trying to fix center field with someone besides Borchard--a smart move, IMO. Borchard and Maggs would be two of the finest corner outfielders in the big leagues. Now we need someone in the middle.

:slowswing
"Not me!"

:gun
"Not me!"

:manos
"Not me!"

:ray
"Fuggettaboudit!"

:rowand
"If you squint your eyes, I can pass as a centerfielder!"

:ohno
"Will somebody please get serious about fixing this?"

:KW
"Not me!"

:reinsy
"Not me!"

Jerry_Manuel
01-03-2002, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
Liefer should have gotten the left-handed pinch hitter's role Jerry Manuel gave to Harold Baines leaving spring training camp last March.

You know who put him on the team George, and it wasn't Manuel.

duke of dorwood
01-03-2002, 03:44 PM
Most power hitters strike out more than they should. But Jeff has a great eye. He can go from 0-2 to 3-2 and does regularly. Watch him in BP-he goes all over-with big power. He warrants a good look-especially with our lack of left handed power.

czalgosz
01-03-2002, 03:48 PM
Liefer was 1-for-9 with an RBI double and 2 Ks as a pinch-hitter last year; I don't think that's enough to judge him one way or the other as a pinch hitter. Liefer can be a valuable addition to the ballclub; as he proved last year, he's an adequate fill-in for if a regular has to take the day off. I was campaigning for Liefer to get an opening day roster spot in ST last year, he really did deserve it.

As for the centerfield situation, I really don't know. If Borchard can be good defensively, there's your answer. If he's just going to stand around out there and wait for his time up, then we're going to have problems if he and Lee are in the same outfield.

PaleHoseGeorge
01-03-2002, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
As for the centerfield situation, I really don't know. If Borchard can be good defensively, there's your answer. If he's just going to stand around out there and wait for his time up, then we're going to have problems if he and Lee are in the same outfield.


Assuming he continues to develop, I'm sure Borchard will be at least a serviceable centerfielder--maybe a very good one. He was drafted as a corner outfielder (and quarterback) from Stanford. If he has any skills to play center, it will be because the Sox worked with him.

With Borchard in CF, and Maggs in RF, matched with Lee (or the Liefer/Rowand platoon) in LF, he Sox would have an average outfield--at best. Compare that with an outfield of Maggs in LF, Borchard in RF, and a lead-off man CFer like Darrin Erstad? That would be an outstanding outfield, both in the field and at the plate.

Does anybody else remember the Expos outfield of the late-70's with Dawson, Cromartie, and Valentine? That was championship-caliber stuff. (Too bad Rodney Scott couldn't hit. Dick Williams was too hard-headed to admit the guy was a bust at second base. But I digress...)

The Erstad trade would have fixed at least three problems for the Sox:

1. lead-off man,
2. center field production and defense,
3. improved production at the bottom of the order.

Imagine either Durham or Valentin batting #7 or #8. Imagine, too, having top-flight throwing arms from all three outfielders!

I'll give KW credit for nearly pulling this deal off. Given our weak division, he could practically ignore the shortstop and catcher problems of the team had he landed Erstad.

czalgosz
01-03-2002, 04:31 PM
Oh yes, I agree. I think that we were giving up too much for him (the A's got Johnny Damon for Ben Grieve and A.J. Hinch; it would be like the Sox getting Erstad for Lee and Josh Paul), but Erstad would have been a great addition to the ballclub. It would have instantly made the team a whole lot better, and solved two big problems at once. I just wish that KW wouldn't seem so eager to make a trade. That's why I think he gets ripped off; it seems like he gets his eyes on a player and will do "whatever it takes" to get him.

FarWestChicago
01-03-2002, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz
I think that we were giving up too much for him (the A's got Johnny Damon for Ben Grieve and A.J. Hinch; it would be like the Sox getting Erstad for Lee and Josh Paul):KW

Now don't be comparing me to Billy Beane, Czal. I don't like to make my fellow GM's look bad.

czalgosz
01-03-2002, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by FarWestChicago
:KW

Now don't be comparing me to Billy Beane, Czal. I don't like to make my fellow GM's look bad.

And we certainly wouldn't want that...

Daver
01-03-2002, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by czalgosz


And we certainly wouldn't want that...


:dumbash

Now you say that,gee thanx.

czalgosz
01-03-2002, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by daver



:dumbash

Now you say that,gee thanx.

Well, the Jays might yet come out ahead on that trade. Of course, even if it does, it'll be too late for Gordie...

Foulke You
01-03-2002, 06:24 PM
Alright, since I'm getting to this thread a little late, it's time for me to weigh in on my man Liefer. I've been lobbying for Lief since the Rivals days when everyone called him a "AAAA" player and I'm still going to lobby for him now.

Liefer's Defense- Why is everyone comparing Liefer's outfield ability to Carlos Lee? Yes, Liefer is slow and nobody is going to confuse him with Ichiro in the outfield but if I recall correctly he didn't make 1 error in all of his starts in Left Field. The other errors he made were when he was at 1B or his brief stint at 3B. Also, Liefer takes great routes to flyballs unlike Carlos. I never saw Liefer look as dazed as Lee does out there. Jeff's arm is about average. So is he a gold glove? No. Is he better than Carlos Lee? Yes.

Liefer's Offense- I still maintain that if Liefer got to play nearly every day, he would be a .270 100+RBI 35+HR guy. He'd strike out a lot but would provide some pop in the 7 or 8 spot in the lineup. I think it Duke of Norwood said that he saw Liefer in BP and it was impressive. I couldn't agree more. I watched Lief take BP before the Cubs series and he hit some mammoth shots to all fields.

Overall, if he can't be a starter I still think he has value to the team coming off the bench.

Daver
01-03-2002, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by Foulke You
Also, Liefer takes great routes to flyballs unlike Carlos. I never saw Liefer look as dazed as Lee does out there. Jeff's arm is about average. So is he a gold glove? No. Is he better than Carlos Lee? Yes.



Carlos Lee would be better served wearing his glove on his head,that way it might block out the reflections off the roof of the Twinkie dome.
That being said,I don't see Leifer as an everyday answer in LF either,but perhaps a platoon of C.Lee and Leifer might be considered an option,since I doubt that the Sox would be able to trade Lee.

RichH55
01-08-2002, 01:53 AM
I wouldn't discount Lee's value totally just yet....still a promising player...one bad half doesnt ruin everything for a guy 25 and under.....and please get Liefer some at-bats....if he bombs he bombs, but he is a guy I want to know if he can get it done one way or the other