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chaotic8512
01-21-2006, 03:20 AM
I was discussing this with some others at forums.mlbcenter.com, and I came across one Twins fan who had the following argument:

[T]he Twins were 5th in the AL in ERA last year, .10 behind Cleveland and Chicago. And their pitching should be better this year. Let's look at last year's pitchers and their ERA.

Johan Santana - 2.87 ERA (231.2 IP)
Brad Radke - 4.04 ERA (200.2 IP)
Carlos Silva - 3.44 ERA (188.3 IP)
Kyle Lohse - 4.18 ERA (178.7 IP)
Joe Mays - 5.65 ERA (156 IP)

Joe Nathan - 2.70 ERA (70 IP)
Jesse Crain - 2.71 ERA (79.1 IP)
Juan Rincon - 2,45 ERA (77 IP)
JC Romero - 3.47 ERA (57.0 IP)
Terry Mulholland - 4.27 ERA (59 IP)
Matt Guerrier - 3.39 ERA (71.2 IP)
Scott Baker - 3.35 ERA (53.2 IP)
Fransisco Liriano - 5.70 ERA (23.2 IP)
Travis Bowyer - 5.59 ERA (9.2 IP)
Dave Gassner - 5.87 ERA (7.2 IP)

Team ERA - 3.71

This year? Johan should perform at least as well or better, if his track record is any indication. Radke and Silva should remain consistent, though I could see a slight dropoff. Lohse too came on very strong at the end of the year, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him repeat his performance.

But the real difference comes in the #5 spot. Joe Mays was just awful last year, and getting rid of his 5.65 ERA will be a great help, especially since Scott Baker will most likely be the #5 starter. He had a very good year in AAA, has a very good minor league track record, and as evidenced by his 3.35 ERA in 53 IP, he should be a significant upgrade over Joe Mays.

The bullpen remains intact except for the loss of JC Romero, but that should be made up for with the insertion of Fransisco Liriano, one of the best prospects in baseball.

The Sox probably have the deepest starting staff, but I do see Jon Garland and Jose Contreras have a slight dropoff, though they're very solid. In the pen, Jenks for the full year is great, but I have a hard time believing Cliff Politte, Dustin Hermanson, and Neal Cotts are quite as good as they were last year, considering they were all spectacular last year. We'll see.

The Indians lose Kevin Millwood, their best starter last year, and Bobby Howry, their best RP last year. I have no doubt they still have a very solid staff, but I expect a little hit with these losses.

What does all this mean? Well, I think all three have excellent pitching staffs. I think Minnesota's is the best by a little bit, but I think the difference will be small enough that the offenses will win the division. And I think Cleveland has the best offense by a good margin, which is why they're my pick to win the division at this point. But without a doubt, I think we'll see a very good 3-horse race in the AL Central.

Now he makes some valid points, but I fail to see how Minnesota can reach the top of the mountain that is the White Sox pitching staff. According to him, the #5 starter is expected to be Scott Baker. Who? Our #5? Freakin' Javier Vazquez, who could easily be their #4, or even #3. The depth we have is unparalleled (Oakland comes the closest, but I think we are slightly deeper than they are), and a #4/#5 combo of Lohse/Baker is enough reason to say that the White Sox starting five are considerably better than the Twinkies front five. Let's put it into perspective and throw some reasonable numbers into the picture. You could estimate that the White Sox starters, on average, are good for about two wins more than the Twins starters (I argue that Garland/Vazquez will outperform Lohse/Baker enough to offset a likely strong season from Santana), making a +10 win differential. Our bullpen has the same type strength up front (Nathan/Crain/Rincon, Jenks/Politte/Cotts), and for purposes of making things simple, we will consider the bullpen battle to be a push. Then, looking at the offense would suggest the Twins fall further behind and out of any sort of AL Central title contention, that is, unless many players have career years.

The Indians are a different story, and will pose more of a threat to the title, but I think we are still going to take it by a comfortable margin.

Alas, I digress: the question I wanted answered was how do the Twins and White Sox pitching compare, in your completely unbiased opinions?

MERPER
01-21-2006, 03:33 AM
I actually think the Twinkies are gonna give us fits next year.. at least more than the Indians.... Our good buddy Torrii is back, Luis Castillo is a solid player and will play the same kind of games at the plate as Christian Guzman... Morneau and Mauer are only hetting better and replacing Jacque Jones with Lew Ford is not a dropoff....

Last year, the Sox pounded on Mays meaning his subtraction hurts.... We all know we can't hit Santana and struggle a great deal with Radke.... their bullpen is always tough

I still think we'll win the division by a decent margin, but the Twins will make it be a battle...

Banix12
01-21-2006, 03:48 AM
Certainly the twins have the best starter in the central, possibly all of baseball, in Johan Santana but I'm not so sure about the back end of the rotation. Lohse has been pretty erratic the last couple of years (one great start, one awful start) and Mays was nothing special last year. Baker might be a good starter, though he is still young and likely there will be an adjustment period.

I think all of us know that while having top pitchers is great, depth is often more important than having a couple of great pitchers. Certainly if the sox had greater depth in the rotation prior to last year they would have had a better chance of making the playoffs from 2001-2004. Particularly the bleak fifth starter year of 2004.

Bullpens are always tough to read in the preseason. The play of most relief pitchers fluctuates so much from year to year that you really don't know what you are going to get. Right now though I think I give the Twins a slight edge in the pen only because they have Nathan and the sox are still a bit unsure about Hermanson's back, how Jenks will respond to a full season of work and if Politte comes back with another strong year.

Even without Millwood the Indians still have a very strong pitching staff top to bottom so I'm not going to count them out either.

All three have very good staffs and all three are in the top 5 in the american league when it comes to pitching. It's tough really to rank them because were are talking about something that each team should consider a strength but for now because of depth I have to say the sox are superior overall.

IlliniSox4Life
01-21-2006, 03:53 AM
I think TwoxFour Said it best:



When the Twinkies have an ad like that, we can revisit this argument.

ChiSoxIn06
01-21-2006, 08:11 AM
Dont forget about the Tigers. they have a few young arms over there that keep getting better every year. Guys like Bondermann, Maroth, Johnson, and Robertson. Now they wont be in the best in the Central but they too should have a legit staff this year.

caulfield12
01-21-2006, 08:38 AM
Certainly the twins have the best starter in the central, possibly all of baseball, in Johan Santana but I'm not so sure about the back end of the rotation. Lohse has been pretty erratic the last couple of years (one great start, one awful start) and Mays was nothing special last year. Baker might be a good starter, though he is still young and likely there will be an adjustment period.

I think all of us know that while having top pitchers is great, depth is often more important than having a couple of great pitchers. Certainly if the sox had greater depth in the rotation prior to last year they would have had a better chance of making the playoffs from 2001-2004. Particularly the bleak fifth starter year of 2004.

Bullpens are always tough to read in the preseason. The play of most relief pitchers fluctuates so much from year to year that you really don't know what you are going to get. Right now though I think I give the Twins a slight edge in the pen only because they have Nathan and the sox are still a bit unsure about Hermanson's back, how Jenks will respond to a full season of work and if Politte comes back with another strong year.

Even without Millwood the Indians still have a very strong pitching staff top to bottom so I'm not going to count them out either.

All three have very good staffs and all three are in the top 5 in the american league when it comes to pitching. It's tough really to rank them because were are talking about something that each team should consider a strength but for now because of depth I have to say the sox are superior overall.

I think any time you are relying upon rookies for the 5th spot in the rotation, it can be dicey. In time, Baker and-or Liriano might be great, just like McCarthy, but you can hardly count on them succeeding their first to second seasons in the bigs.

The Twins have always had a sound bullpen, especially in the days of Hawkins, Romero and Guardado (now Crain and Rincon) at the top of their games. Nathan was a great pick-up as well.

However, everything comes down to offense...Tony Batista´s career OBP is .298. And he is a defensively liabilty. Morneau regressed...Lew Ford is not someone I would rather have than J. Jones...Ford slipped a lot as well in his sophomore season. And I think Luis Castillo is getting up there a little in years, to the point he is not as much of a steal and speed threat as he was 2-3 seasons ago. I also think the turf will take a toll on his body through a long season.

The Twins might be better off trading Hunter tot the Red Sox and getting the best possible package in return...as I think Torii´s value will go down from this point forward in his career.

I also am not sure about Silva or Lohse ever being consistently dominant enough to compete with those 3-4 slots in the White Sox rotation. Radke, at this point in his career, is also more of a 3 than a 2.

Hitmen77
01-21-2006, 10:08 AM
I respect this person's rational analysis of AL Central pitching. One thing I disagree with him on is his assessment of Neal Cotts and his having a hard time believing Cotts is as good as he was last year. It might be that he's just not familiar with Cotts as someone following the Sox might be, but I think Cotts last year lived up to what alot of people were expecting of him. I wasn't surprised by his strong performance and expect the same in '06.

He does give props to the Sox rotation. It's fair for him to expect a slight dropoff from JG and JC. However, I think he's underestimating the important fact that the Sox have six solid starters who have proven themselves at the big league level.

Of course, this is just an analysis of pitching. When you look at offense, the key will be Thome's health. If he is healthy and we can have him, Konerko, and Dye in the heart of our lineup - I don't think the Twins can match that.

ma-gaga
01-21-2006, 10:37 AM
Dumb question here. Is anyone else getting a dialog box popping up on THIS THREAD? I'm active on a bunch of other threads and haven't had any problems, but this thread is killing me.

It's from University of Illinois Champaign, so I'm assuming its' coming somehow thru this site. But I don't know why...


:?:

Jjav829
01-21-2006, 10:42 AM
Dumb question here. Is anyone else getting a dialog box popping up on THIS THREAD? I'm active on a bunch of other threads and haven't had any problems, but this thread is killing me.

It's from University of Illinois Champaign, so I'm assuming its' coming somehow thru this site. But I don't know why...


:?:

Yes, I was getting the same thing. The image that IlliniSox4Life posted was hosted on a UIUC server that must have been password protected. I deleted the image so that box won't come up.

Ol' No. 2
01-21-2006, 10:44 AM
Three of the top five teams in the AL in pitching were in the Central division. The Twinks' 3.71 ERA was only 0.1 higher than the Sox' 3.61. That small difference wasn't why the Twinks finished 3rd and were almost as close to 4th as they were to 2nd. It was because they couldn't scratch a run to save their lives. They finished dead last in the AL in runs scored. And it doesn't look like they're going to be significantly better in 2006. The Twins are done as a factor in the AL Central for at least the next 3-4 years.

ma-gaga
01-21-2006, 11:12 AM
And it doesn't look like they're going to be significantly better in 2006.

Yeah, but they don't need to be SIGNIFICANTLY better. They need marginal returns. The good news for the Twins is that their hitting HAS to improve, it can't get any worse. However, the bad news is that their pitching is going to eventually slip. Maybe it'll be this year. Maybe they can maintain it for 2-3 years. I don't know.

If they get marginal hitting improvement and can maintain that staff, they will win 90 games. I just don't know if that will that be enough.

The original question, 'which staff is better'? The W.Sox have the better rotation. Both teams have similar bullpens, but I'd give the Twins the slight edge in terms of depth and experience. But the big difference IMO is the managers. Ozzie knows his pitching staff, and Gardenhire knows 'managing by the book'. In terms of overall pitching staffs, I think the manager is a huge difference maker. And it's clear to me that Ozzie > Gardy.

and that is my biased opinion. :cool:

caulfield12
01-21-2006, 11:29 AM
Yeah, but they don't need to be SIGNIFICANTLY better. They need marginal returns. The good news for the Twins is that their hitting HAS to improve, it can't get any worse. However, the bad news is that their pitching is going to eventually slip. Maybe it'll be this year. Maybe they can maintain it for 2-3 years. I don't know.

If they get marginal hitting improvement and can maintain that staff, they will win 90 games. I just don't know if that will that be enough.

The original question, 'which staff is better'? The W.Sox have the better rotation. Both teams have similar bullpens, but I'd give the Twins the slight edge in terms of depth and experience. But the big difference IMO is the managers. Ozzie knows his pitching staff, and Gardenhire knows 'managing by the book'. In terms of overall pitching staffs, I think the manager is a huge difference maker. And it's clear to me that Ozzie > Gardy.

and that is my biased opinion. :cool:

I do not see the Twins getting much more than 80 wins, unless Baker or Liriano take off and win the ROY award (not sure if either has pitched more than 50 innings, I think Baker has)...their offense has too many question marks.

We are not sure what we are going to get from Thome and B. Anderson, but Crede, Uribe, Iguchi, AJ and Pods all could and should improve offensively, especially from a batting average standpoint, especially the first four. Iguchi might sacrifice some of his average for more power....we will see.

You know what you are going to get from Santana and Radke...but the other three starters could give you 8 wins or 18, there is no telling. The White Sox pitching staff is a little more projecteable in that sense, even if Garland and Contreras fall off a bit.

As far as OG versus Gardenhire, it would laughable to say Guillen was better at this point, because Ozzie was a Grady Sizemore catch in KC from being possibly at home for the playoffs...Gardenhire took three consecutive ragtag collections of talent to the division championship against superior White Sox clubs. Ask the same question at the beginning of the 2008 season...unless you just consider his WS to trump everything Gardenhire has done.

Ol' No. 2
01-21-2006, 12:03 PM
Gardenhire took three consecutive ragtag collections of talent to the division championship against superior White Sox clubs. The first two were teams managed by Jerry Manuel. The third was crippled by injuries to Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez.

caulfield12
01-21-2006, 12:47 PM
The first two were teams managed by Jerry Manuel. The third was crippled by injuries to Frank Thomas and Magglio Ordonez.

You still cannot blame the 2003 season entirely on Manuel...the White Sox had the best team in the AL heading into the final game of the NY Yankees series at the stadium. Gardenhire had a lot to do with them winning, particularly that season.

ma-gaga
01-21-2006, 01:09 PM
I do not see the Twins getting much more than 80 wins,
...
As far as OG versus Gardenhire, it would laughable to say Guillen was better at this point, because Ozzie was a Grady Sizemore catch in KC from being possibly at home for the playoffs

You overrate Gardy. Gardy is a good manager, he won't make any glaring mistakes or kill himself, but he's not "a great" manager. His in game tactics are predictable and by the book. The Twins pitching talent base is very good. Any team should be able to scratch 80 wins out of a pitching staff that gives up less than 4 runs a game.

If the Twins have a team ERA of less than 4, they'll win 80 games with their crappy ass-offense. If they can somehow get themselves to a league average offense, and maintain that pitching staff, they'll push 90 wins.

TheOldRoman
01-21-2006, 01:24 PM
As far as OG versus Gardenhire, it would laughable to say Guillen was better at this point, because Ozzie was a Grady Sizemore catch in KC from being possibly at home for the playoffs... That's strange, I remember sweeping the Indians to end the season. :rolleyes:
I think the mods should change your name to HangarJr, as you are clearly his protege. What are your thoughts on Carlos Lee?

TheOldRoman
01-21-2006, 01:28 PM
You still cannot blame the 2003 season entirely on Manuel...the White Sox had the best team in the AL heading into the final game of the NY Yankees series at the stadium. Gardenhire had a lot to do with them winning, particularly that season.
Yes you can. When the walls a crumbling, you have to do something. Sitting by and watching your building fall does not accomplish anything. The Sox were stumbling and bumbling into June, and then they finally started to pick it up. The first two months of the season were agony. The team was lackadaisical, and really needed someone or something to snap them out of it. Manuel just sat back and let the players "do their thing", and they came out of their slump after two months. When the same slump came back in September, he had the same reaction. If the Sox would have replaced Manuel in June, the Sox might have won it all that year.

California Sox
01-21-2006, 01:34 PM
Interesting debate as the Twins have the best starter (Santana) and the best reliever (Nathan) in the division but the Sox feature very few holes. We have 5 number 2-3 starters plus McCarthy who looks like he may be the best of the bunch. I believe the Indians are significantly behind the other 2 with losses of Howry, Millwood, and Elarton and the addition of Paul Byrd, a player I just do not like.

I agree the Indians have the most promising offense. (Grady Sizemore is going to be a pain in the a**.) But you've got to say Sox O>Twins O. At this point, I'd say the Sox have the best overall balance in the division and have to be slight favorites in what should be a very spirited race.

ChiSoxNationPres
01-21-2006, 01:57 PM
I do not see the Twins getting much more than 80 wins, unless Baker or Liriano take off and win the ROY award (not sure if either has pitched more than 50 innings, I think Baker has)...their offense has too many question marks.

We are not sure what we are going to get from Thome and B. Anderson, but Crede, Uribe, Iguchi, AJ and Pods all could and should improve offensively, especially from a batting average standpoint, especially the first four. Iguchi might sacrifice some of his average for more power....we will see.

You know what you are going to get from Santana and Radke...but the other three starters could give you 8 wins or 18, there is no telling. The White Sox pitching staff is a little more projecteable in that sense, even if Garland and Contreras fall off a bit.

As far as OG versus Gardenhire, it would laughable to say Guillen was better at this point, because Ozzie was a Grady Sizemore catch in KC from being possibly at home for the playoffs...Gardenhire took three consecutive ragtag collections of talent to the division championship against superior White Sox clubs. Ask the same question at the beginning of the 2008 season...unless you just consider his WS to trump everything Gardenhire has done.

I think otherwise with Iguchi, I think his average will go up because he wont be sacrificing at bats and he will have good protection.

TheOldRoman
01-21-2006, 02:19 PM
Interesting debate as the Twins have the best starter (Santana) and the best reliever (Nathan) in the division but the Sox feature very few holes. We have 5 number 2-3 starters plus McCarthy who looks like he may be the best of the bunch. I believe the Indians are significantly behind the other 2 with losses of Howry, Millwood, and Elarton and the addition of Paul Byrd, a player I just do not like.

I agree the Indians have the most promising offense. (Grady Sizemore is going to be a pain in the a**.) But you've got to say Sox O>Twins O. At this point, I'd say the Sox have the best overall balance in the division and have to be slight favorites in what should be a very spirited race.
I think you are giving the Twins entirely too much credit. Yes, Santana is the best starter in the AL Central, but he is not the run-away best. I mean, on a scale of 0-100, he would probably be a 99 while Buehrle, Garland, Garcia, Jose, and Vaz are a measly 90-95. It isn't a case of: would you rather have one A, two B+, and two Cs or 5 Bs. The Sox have 5 A pitchers.
Also, Sox O>>>>>>>>Twins O. The Sox offense was leaps and bounds ahead of the Twins offense last year. Add into that Jim Thome, and breakout years from Uribe, Iguchi, and Crede.
I don't know how you can call the Sox "slight favorites". The Sox were far and away the best team in baseball last year. They improved significantly. The Indians got significantly worse, and the Twins improved minimally. If the Twins get offense, they and the Indians both could win 90 games. However, if the Sox all stay healthy, this team could win 110. The Twins and Indians are respectable teams, but I just don't see them coming close to the Sox if everyone stays healthy.

IlliniSox4Life
01-21-2006, 03:28 PM
Yes, I was getting the same thing. The image that IlliniSox4Life posted was hosted on a UIUC server that must have been password protected. I deleted the image so that box won't come up.

Whoops, Sorry, you were right. Forgot to change the perms on the image. I meant to post:


I think TwoxFour said it best:

https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/kshanks2/SOX_CompleteGamessmall.JPG?uniq=qssfst

Once the twinkies have an ad like that we can bring this discussion back.

santo=dorf
01-21-2006, 04:50 PM
Dont forget about the Tigers. they have a few young arms over there that keep getting better every year. Guys like Bondermann, Maroth, Johnson, and Robertson. Now they wont be in the best in the Central but they too should have a legit staff this year.
Johnson signed with the Indians, and sorry, Bonderman gets too much hype, and Maroth is best known for losing 21 games in a season.

caulfield12
01-21-2006, 04:50 PM
That's strange, I remember sweeping the Indians to end the season. :rolleyes:
I think the mods should change your name to HangarJr, as you are clearly his protege. What are your thoughts on Carlos Lee?

Carlos Lee looks better on paper than reality, I would rather have Podsednik and payroll flexibility

Ol' No. 2
01-21-2006, 08:34 PM
I think you are giving the Twins entirely too much credit. Yes, Santana is the best starter in the AL Central, but he is not the run-away best. I mean, on a scale of 0-100, he would probably be a 99 while Buehrle, Garland, Garcia, Jose, and Vaz are a measly 90-95. It isn't a case of: would you rather have one A, two B+, and two Cs or 5 Bs. The Sox have 5 A pitchers.
Also, Sox O>>>>>>>>Twins O. The Sox offense was leaps and bounds ahead of the Twins offense last year. Add into that Jim Thome, and breakout years from Uribe, Iguchi, and Crede.
I don't know how you can call the Sox "slight favorites". The Sox were far and away the best team in baseball last year. They improved significantly. The Indians got significantly worse, and the Twins improved minimally. If the Twins get offense, they and the Indians both could win 90 games. However, if the Sox all stay healthy, this team could win 110. The Twins and Indians are respectable teams, but I just don't see them coming close to the Sox if everyone stays healthy.The Indians got worse on paper, but in the same sense that the Sox got worse on paper last winter. They still have a good nucleus of young players and they have another year of experience under their belt. They're not going to go away.

TheOldRoman
01-21-2006, 08:38 PM
The Indians got worse on paper, but in the same sense that the Sox got worse on paper last winter. They still have a good nucleus of young players and they have another year of experience under their belt. They're not going to go away.
No, the Sox didn't lose their best pitcher going into last season. It isn't like the Indians retooled and changed philosophies. They will be playing the same way they did in 05, just with less talent. They wont win as many games, but they will still be a good team.

chisoxfanatic
01-21-2006, 08:46 PM
Carlos Lee looks better on paper than reality, I would rather have Podsednik and payroll flexibility

I would rather have Podsednik as well, as he is the catalyst of Ozzie Ball. He provided our offense with the speed spark needed to put this team over the top. I loved Carlos; however, I've changed my original stance on the trade since last offseason. Kenny Williams is a genius!

Oh, and it's obvious that the Sox have the best rotation in baseball once again, let alone the division.

Ol' No. 2
01-21-2006, 08:57 PM
No, the Sox didn't lose their best pitcher going into last season. It isn't like the Indians retooled and changed philosophies. They will be playing the same way they did in 05, just with less talent. They wont win as many games, but they will still be a good team.Best in ERA, yes, but he was 9-11. But I consider Lee, Sabathia and Westbrook all to be as good or better than Millwood. They added Byrd, who will fill Millwood's spot just fine. Jason Johnson isn't any great shakes, but he's replacing Elarton, who wasn't all that hot. Overall, I'd say their pitching is only slightly worse. But the rest of their team will be significantly better with another year's experience. They're going to be a major pain in the ass this season.

santo=dorf
01-21-2006, 09:25 PM
Best in ERA, yes, but he was 9-11. But I consider Lee, Sabathia and Westbrook all to be as good or better than Millwood. They added Byrd, who will fill Millwood's spot just fine. Jason Johnson isn't any great shakes, but he's replacing Elarton, who wasn't all that hot. Overall, I'd say their pitching is only slightly worse. But the rest of their team will be significantly better with another year's experience. They're going to be a major pain in the ass this season.

Jason Johnson is a downgrade from the 2005 version of Scott Elarton. He had a Devilish ERA of 6.66 away from Comerica National park.

Millwood was very unlucky last season with the lack of run support (especially when he pitched against us,) whereas Lee got a ton of run support and good only beat the easy teams (TB, KC, SEA.)

Their offense should remain the same, but they lost a valuable arm from the BP, and who knows how Bob "Horseshoe up my ass" Wickman will do after a great season.

Ol' No. 2
01-21-2006, 09:36 PM
Jason Johnson is a downgrade from the 2005 version of Scott Elarton. He had a Devilish ERA of 6.66 away from Comerica National park.

Millwood was very unlucky last season with the lack of run support (especially when he pitched against us,) whereas Lee got a ton of run support and good only beat the easy teams (TB, KC, SEA.)

Their offense should remain the same, but they lost a valuable arm from the BP, and who knows how Bob "Horseshoe up my ass" Wickman will do after a great season.I don't know if Millwood was all that unlucky. His ERA was the second best of his career, but his other numbers weren't all that great. WHIP was the same as Lee and only marginally better than the rest. The ERA starts to look like a fluke. More importantly, what's the chance he can repeat that next year? Not likely, IMO. I think Byrd is an ample replacement looking forward. The offense sucked the first half of 2005, but with another year's experience under their belt, I don't think that's going to be repeated. They're going to be tough.

Tragg
01-21-2006, 09:58 PM
As far as OG versus Gardenhire, it would laughable to say Guillen was better at this point, because Ozzie was a Grady Sizemore catch in KC from being possibly at home for the playoffs...Huh - was that game worth 6 games in the standings?

oeo
01-21-2006, 10:37 PM
Gardenhire took three consecutive ragtag collections of talent to the division championship against superior White Sox clubs. Ask the same question at the beginning of the 2008 season...unless you just consider his WS to trump everything Gardenhire has done.
I don't think you can compare that to Ozzie.

First of all, 2 out of those 3 years were under Manuel. Also, in the third year, not only did Ozzie not have the mold of team that he wanted, he also had an injured Maggs and Frank. And even though we'll never know if they would have won the division if they were around...I can tell you that it would have been a lot closer had we not had the Charlotte Knights playing at the end of the year.

Ozzie has been a manager for two years, won the World Series once already in those two years...I'd say that's pretty damn good.

caulfield12
01-22-2006, 01:00 PM
Those two things, the Crede homer off Riske and the Sizemore missed ball in the sun just sapped the life out of Cleveland. Yeah, they were still in the WC hunt and we gave away those first two games in DET by playing not to lose...but the odds changed significantly that Sunday afternoon, the perception that the Indians overtaking everyone was not inevitable, that they were actually human.

Huh - was that game worth 6 games in the standings?

SOXSINCE'70
01-22-2006, 01:15 PM
The Sox will win the Central, but it will be a dogfight,
just as it was last September.

Ol' No. 2
01-22-2006, 07:20 PM
Those two things, the Crede homer off Riske and the Sizemore missed ball in the sun just sapped the life out of Cleveland. Yeah, they were still in the WC hunt and we gave away those first two games in DET by playing not to lose...but the odds changed significantly that Sunday afternoon, the perception that the Indians overtaking everyone was not inevitable, that they were actually human.
Poppycock. The Indians played way over their heads through most of August and September. They just came back to earth.

chaotic8512
01-23-2006, 02:32 AM
My assessment of Twins rotation vs. Sox, as argued on www.forums.mlbcenter.com (http://www.forums.mlbcenter.com) ... thought it would be a trigger for discussion and I would like to know what you all think.

The Indians, White Sox, and Twins are all AL top 5 rotations and perhaps even top 5 bullpens. But you can't ignore the fact that the White Sox significantly improved what was the best starting five in all of baseball last year by replacing an injury-prone El Duque with Vazquez, a pitcher who has pitched well over 600 innings in the past 3 years. I think, with a little work, Vazquez can bring his ERA down to a low 4 (now that he's out of NY and calming down some) and do an excellent job of filling the 5 spot. If anyone does falter though, or gets injured, we've got a 6th starter who would be in many teams' starting five, Brandon McCarthy, who could fill in.

My assessment of the Twins' pitching staff:
1) Santana: perennial Cy Young candidate
- As much as I hate to admit it, he's better than Buehrle. Buehrle certainly is no slouch though, and would match up well with about any other #1, but Santana is simply above and beyond the competition. Hats off to him.
2) Radke: consistent, dependable... an ERA right around 4, 1.2 WHIP
- I'd put Garcia in as our #2 guy... Radke's got better control, but Freddy holds opponents to a lower BAA and has a lower ERA... I'd give the edge to Garcia.
3) Silva: breakout year last year, outstanding control. Has he turned a corner or will he regress to '03-'04 type numbers?
- Let's say Contreras is our #3... considering both have had "turning corner" years in 2005, I think it's fair to say is about even between the two. Silva's got the control advantage, Contreras has the BAA advantage.
4) Lohse: decent year in 2005, but an average WHIP (1.4) and average ERA (4.18)... same boat in Silva, but less impressive of a track record (career ERA of 4.72)
- Garland's likely our #4... even if Garland were to suffer a slight regression, I think he would have a considerably better year than Lohse. Consistently lower BAA (significantly), lower WHIP, lower ERA... similar control and K's.
5) Baker/Liriano: As you mentioned, Baker was tearing it up in AAA and had a decent showing at the major league level. But 2 of his 3 wins were against Detroit, and he gave up 5 runs in a loss to KC, so I'm still uncertain. Don't know much about Liriano, but his numbers are less impressive.
- I think that simply based on experience, it can be deduced that Vazquez will outperform the Twins' fifth starter.

Thus, here are the advantages, IMO:
White Sox considerably: 2 (#4, 5)
White Sox slightly: 1 (#2)
Even: 1 (#3)
Twins slightly: 0
Twins considerably: 1 (#1)

I would conclude the advantage is considerably in the White Sox favor.

Bullpen:
The 1-3 guys, Nathan, Rincon, and Crain, are all solid. The other three (or four, you'll have to enlighten me on your backend/long relief guys http://forums.mlbcenter.com/images/smilies/wink.gif ) don't quite have the track record. Guerrier had decent numbers, but not much experience. And Gassner and Durbin have little to experience at all... seems similar to the situation the White Sox find themselves in with filling Marte and Vizcaino's spots. In this light, I would say that you could warrant a slight nod to Minnesota's bullpen due to the fact that the top three are a little more established, but the margin isn't wide enough to make up for the White Sox' advantage in starters, IMO.

Who, by the way, will we be putting in the remaining two spots? Munoz? Baj? Reynoso? The newly acquired Javier Lopez? Kevin Walker? McCarthy? (There's how you do half-teal, half-pink, folks.) :thumbsup:

caulfield12
01-23-2006, 07:11 AM
3) Silva: breakout year last year, outstanding control. Has he turned a corner or will he regress to '03-'04 type numbers?
- Let's say Contreras is our #3... considering both have had "turning corner" years in 2005, I think it's fair to say is about even between the two. Silva's got the control advantage, Contreras has the BAA advantage.

I don´t think any team in baseball would sign Silva for more than $7-8 million, Contreras will get $10-12.

Contreras, after Santana, was the 2nd best starter in the American League in the second half. He was the opening starter for us throughout the playoffs.

I cannot even believe we are making a comparison here. If you look at Contreras´control during the 2nd half, it was definitely comparable. Contreras was top 5 in BAA and put up huge strikeout numbers.

No contest.

chaotic8512
01-23-2006, 08:16 AM
3) Silva: breakout year last year, outstanding control. Has he turned a corner or will he regress to '03-'04 type numbers?
- Let's say Contreras is our #3... considering both have had "turning corner" years in 2005, I think it's fair to say is about even between the two. Silva's got the control advantage, Contreras has the BAA advantage.

I don´t think any team in baseball would sign Silva for more than $7-8 million, Contreras will get $10-12.

Contreras, after Santana, was the 2nd best starter in the American League in the second half. He was the opening starter for us throughout the playoffs.

I cannot even believe we are making a comparison here. If you look at Contreras´control during the 2nd half, it was definitely comparable. Contreras was top 5 in BAA and put up huge strikeout numbers.

No contest.

Remember I am trying to be unbiased here, and you've got to admit Silva's other numbers (ERA, WHIP) match up well with Contreras... he was just very unfortunate in the win column. But yes, Contreras is much more of a power pitcher, and I would take him in a heartbeat over Silva.

Just curious, but why did you bring up potential salaries for the two? Need I remind you of how much A.J. "I'm-under-.500-for-my-career-yet-I-still-make-a-buttload-of-cash" Burnett is making? :redneck

Oh, and a sidenote, folks... the Twin fan I'm arguing against actually thinks that Scott Baker is going to outperform Vazquez... :rolleyes:

longshot7
01-23-2006, 11:26 AM
Yeah, the rotations don't seem to be that close. Minnesota's good, no doubt, but their rotation can't hold a candle to ours.

As to the bullpen, who do we have?
Jenks, Hermanson, Politte, Cotts, McCarthy (presumably), and then 1-2 minor leaguers. Jenks is either brilliant or awful. Time will tell if he's the real deal - I have a feeling he's not, and the reason why he did so well in the playoffs was due to not enough temas seeing him beforehand. At this point, no one knows how Hermy's back is but him - he was amazing the first half last year, but how will it be after the offseason? He's a big question mark to me. Cotts & Politte are solid, and McCarthy was a terrific starter last year, but how will he adjust to the pen? I like Bajenaru & Sanders for the pen, but a ST competition will decide it for real.

If there's a question mark on this 2006 team, and that's a big IF, it's the bullpen. It could be fine, and be as good as last year's, or it could be the Mariners or Red Sox pens from several years ago when they couldn't hold a lead. Time will tell......

maurice
01-23-2006, 01:35 PM
As it currently stands, the Sox have seven guys who could start for pretty much any other team in MLB. Now that's depth. With those seven guys + Jenks, Pollitte, and probably Hermanson, it will be real hard for the rest of the staff to find innings.
:gulp:

BTW, when you're comparing numbers head-to-head, keep in mind that Sox pitchers play half their games in an extreme hitter's park (without a white roof and variable air conditioning).

ma-gaga
01-23-2006, 02:01 PM
BTW, when you're comparing numbers head-to-head, keep in mind that Sox pitchers play half their games in an extreme hitter's park (without a white roof and variable air conditioning).

Hey be careful. That's dangerously close to "propellerhead thinking". Next thing you know we'll be busting out the WARP and VORP to see how each of the pitchers compare in a "neutral park". :cool:

For the last 3 years, I had always compared Lohse to Garland. Both had a ton of potential but could never pull it together. Last year Garland did. I don't know if Lohse ever will...

the Twin fan I'm arguing against actually thinks that Scott Baker is going to outperform Vazquez

Baker could turn into a solid "#2 pitcher", but he's so raw and unproven at the major league level. I would remind that Twins fan that J.Morneau was going to (guaranteed to) hit 35 homeruns last year. That didn't quite go as planned.

*edit* not the official MLB boards. Move along, nothing to see here... *edit*
:gulp: and the beer is tasty!

caulfield12
01-23-2006, 03:02 PM
Remember I am trying to be unbiased here, and you've got to admit Silva's other numbers (ERA, WHIP) match up well with Contreras... he was just very unfortunate in the win column. But yes, Contreras is much more of a power pitcher, and I would take him in a heartbeat over Silva.

Just curious, but why did you bring up potential salaries for the two? Need I remind you of how much A.J. "I'm-under-.500-for-my-career-yet-I-still-make-a-buttload-of-cash" Burnett is making? :redneck

Oh, and a sidenote, folks... the Twin fan I'm arguing against actually thinks that Scott Baker is going to outperform Vazquez... :rolleyes:


Contreras was a different pitcher after he changed arm angles and started to work much more quickly instead of the Jason Bere-Danny Wright approach.

Silva has never been considered in the same vicinity as Contreras or Burnett by scouts...respected, like Mark Redman, but certainly not feared. Of course, you could say the same for Buehrle.

Liriano, over the long run, should be a better pitcher than Baker.

ondafarm
01-23-2006, 03:39 PM
. . . Jenks is either brilliant or awful. Time will tell if he's the real deal - I have a feeling he's not, and the reason why he did so well in the playoffs was due to not enough temas seeing him beforehand...

Jenks is a bona-fide flamethrower closer. With him listening to Ozzie and especially Cooper, he should be fine for several years. I don't know if you've ever faced three digit fastballs, but a guy who can bring them and get his change and his curve over is pretty close to lights out.

Jenks appeared in all four games of the WS. By the fourth game if it was just his newness then the Astros would've been tagging him pretty good. He does need to work on his curveball and show better confidence in it. (He'd pretty much come in, throw one curve early on and depending on it either throw no more or throw it well. You need to believe in all your pitches.) Jenks arm will eventually give way (see Bobby Thigpen.) But for now, he should be the stopper for the next several years.