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MattSharp
01-10-2002, 01:45 PM
In a continuing trend, the top bullpens in both leagues:

AL:

1. Seattle

Arthur Rhodes was maybe the best reliever in baseball last year. Jeff Nelson, Norm Charlton, and Jeff Franklin all had good years. Sasaki is one of the best closers in the league. Lots of depth here.

2. Yankees

Rivera is prolly the best closer in baseball. Add Stanton and Mendoza and that's a real strong three. Randy Choate also pitched well in relief.

3. Boston

Urbina is a Top 5 closer when hes on. Rolando Arrojo may have found his calling as a reliever, Tim Wakefield, Rich Garces, and Rod Beck all had big years. The loss of Derek Lowe to the starting rotation kept them from being No. 1.

4. Oakland

Chad Bradford, Mike Magnante, and Jeff Tam all had ERA's no higher than 3.01. Jim Mecir is coming off of a solid year, but can Billy Koch be as effective as Jason Isringhausen?

5. Cleveland

They lost Karsay and Rocker since the start of last year. They added Bob Wickman. Ricardo Rincon finally stepped it up along with Paul Shuey. David Riske is risky, but had a start season. The likely move of Danny Baez to the rotation hurts.


NL

1. Arizona

Kim was effective as a closer and Mantei should be back. Brett Prinz and Miguel Batista were effective and they have added Mike Myers.

2. Atlanta

Even w/o a closer officially named this pen is deep. Mike Remlinger, Jose Cabrera, and Kerry Ligtenberg are coming off good years. Steve Reed rouns out a deep pen.

3. Philadelphia

Jose Mesa returned to the man he once was, maybe he can repeat. Ricky Bottalico can still become great. Jose Santiago was effective and John Wasdin adds experience.

4. San Fransico

Felix Rodriguez became great and Robb Nen has always been. Tim Worrell was effective and Jay Witsiack should help.

5. Los Angeles

Giovanna Carrara pitched well. Matt Herges, Jesse Orosco, and Terry Adams (When he didn't start) all helped. Paul Quantrill should give them a boost, but they still desperately need a closer...


That's my story and I'm sticking to it....

Soxboyrob
01-10-2002, 02:21 PM
The Sox and Cubs both have a chance to be in those top 5 by mid season.

With Foulke in your pen, you only need decent production out of the rest of your pen to be considered a very good pen. It'll be interesting to see if any of these recently surgically repaired, once productive relievers can do anything this year. I was most disappointed about seeing Barcelo go down. He got hot back in 2000 and really looked like he was the stuff. I'd really like to see Parque become a long innings relief guy. Can we send Howry away for another surgery just to keep him from being able to pitch?

If Farns and Gordon return to their 2000 form this season for the Chubbies, then they only need for one more guy in their pen to step up in order to be a Top 5 pen....sorry to say.

MattSharp
01-10-2002, 05:25 PM
The Sox and Cubs both came in No. 6 in my poll.

For the Sox:

Losing Sean Lowe and Kip Wells hurt a bunch. Too many guys coming off injuries and not a whole lot of reliable depth just yet.

For the Cubs:

They lost Van Poppel their best reliever last year. Gordon and Farnsworth are both quality, but that's about it.

Vsahajpal
01-10-2002, 06:30 PM
The Sox have a top 5 bullpen.

Did you know that over the past two years, Keith Foulke has been the #1 reliever in the American League? Elias Rankings have him at 94.24 I believe, 2 full points ahead of #2, Mariano Rivera.


The Cubs pen took a hit, but they have some young blood that will easily replace Van Poppel. I'm not a big fan of the Dodgers pen, Adams is gone I believe, and Shaw will follow.

Foulke You
01-10-2002, 06:42 PM
I'd have to put the Sox in the top 5 in the AL. That bullpen was the unsung hero of the 2000 division championship. How else does a team starting Jim Parque in Game 1 of the playoffs even make it there? We do have some question marks in our pen though.

Question Marks:
1) Can Howry regain his dominant "get to Foulke" 2000 form?
2) Are Wunsch and Barcelo fully recovered from injury?
3) Just what did we get in Antonio Osuna? Is he the pitcher that KW thought was worth locking up for 2 seasons?
4) Will Biddle, Glover, Parque, or Wright be in the rotation or in the bullpen?
5) Can we find someone as reliable as Lowe for long relief?
6) Any lefties beside Wunsch?

Strengths:
1) Keith Foulke (nuff said)
2) Returning elements of 2000 bullpen (Kelly, Lorenzo)
3) The addition of a starter for long relief (the odd man out in ST whether it's Wright, Biddle, Garland, or whoever)
4) A happy, paid, content, Keith Foulke (so good, had to list him twice)

:keith
I'm the man!

MattSharp
01-10-2002, 06:49 PM
There are too many guys coming off injuries and bad years. I agree that if the Sox relievers stay healthy and pitch like they can, they can be Top 5.

Soxboyrob
01-11-2002, 08:23 AM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal
The Sox have a top 5 bullpen.

Did you know that over the past two years, Keith Foulke has been the #1 reliever in the American League? Elias Rankings have him at 94.24 I believe, 2 full points ahead of #2, Mariano Rivera.


That said, I'd take Rivera over Foulke in a heartbeat. Elias is a subjective ranking and I subjectively feel that Rivera is clearly better. Looking back at last year, Foulke had 9 losses that seem to be entirely overlooked. I can live w/ the 4 or 5 blown saves per year that Foulke will have, but the 9 losses hurt and many of them were very crucial, make or break games against teams like Seattle, Cle, and the Twins. If you add Keith's 9 losses to the 3 blown saves, you have 12 different appearances for Foulke in 2001 where things went anywhere from badly to horribly. He had 72 appearances and 12 blew up in his face. Maybe I'm holding the guy to too high a standard, but I'd like for my ace out of the bullpen to have a little better success ratio than that. Taking all of that into consideration, I still really like the guy and hope and feel that 2001 was more of an exception than the rule.

Foulke You
01-11-2002, 01:40 PM
Foulke is probably my favorite player on the Sox so I'm going to speak up for my main man. There were 2 big elements in my opinion that led to some of Foulkey's troubled apperances in 2001.

The ineffectiveness of Bob Howry put a TON more pressure on Keith Foulke in 2001 than in 2000. Let's face it, for a better part of last year Keith was carrying the weight of the bullpen on his shoulders. Wunsch went down, Osuna went down, Barcelo went down, and Howry struggled causing Manuel to only count on Foulke in tough situations. Having Keith come in in the 8th inning and pitch 2 innings in a tie game and have to call on him the following day to save the team again in the 9th. More innings and non-save situations are not Foulke's forte'. He's a CLOSER and his job is to CLOSE game out and nail it down for the Sox. He did that in spades for the last 2 years. Foulke lost his concentration in tie games or games that extend in the 10th for whatever reason in 2001. Jerry Manuel didn't help things by putting Keith in those situations all the time. Of course, the bullpen was thinner last year and his choices were limited. I'd take Foulke in a non-save situation over Alan Embree any day.

Anyway, I wouldn't say he's better than Rivera but I'd say he's on the same level. Just because Keith hasn't pitched in a World Series yet, doesn't mean he can't hang with Rivera. I saw Rivera blow a good handful of games last year too. Including one in the deciding game of the World Series if I remember correctly.

kermittheefrog
01-12-2002, 06:10 AM
Personally I advise you guys completely disregard the Elias rankings. They are made to decide how much value a player has to his team for free agent compensation not to decide who is better than who. I've never really seen any claims saying "Elias' system is great for evaluating players" or anything like that so I'm not sure why the media makes a big deal out the rankings.

Now that's down I'd go with Rivera and here's why. Foulke tends to get into ruts when he can't get a good feel of his changeup and he gets hammered, sometimes they can last for a while like June of 2000, that was ugly. Rivera on the other hand really only throws two pitches and they are both fastballs with crazy movement. He seems to be more consistent than Foulke. I will say though I think Foulke when not in a rut is better than Rivera. I looked at their nuumbers and they are damn close. If Foulke didn't completely suck ass for a couple weeks every year he would be clearly better than Rivera in my opinion. I'm saying this as a big Foulke fan too, he's my fave current Sox player.

RichH55
01-14-2002, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by kermittheefrog
Personally I advise you guys completely disregard the Elias rankings. They are made to decide how much value a player has to his team for free agent compensation not to decide who is better than who. I've never really seen any claims saying "Elias' system is great for evaluating players" or anything like that so I'm not sure why the media makes a big deal out the rankings.

Now that's down I'd go with Rivera and here's why. Foulke tends to get into ruts when he can't get a good feel of his changeup and he gets hammered, sometimes they can last for a while like June of 2000, that was ugly. Rivera on the other hand really only throws two pitches and they are both fastballs with crazy movement. He seems to be more consistent than Foulke. I will say though I think Foulke when not in a rut is better than Rivera. I looked at their nuumbers and they are damn close. If Foulke didn't completely suck ass for a couple weeks every year he would be clearly better than Rivera in my opinion. I'm saying this as a big Foulke fan too, he's my fave current Sox player.

Big Foulke fan here as well....Also I think Keith is a consumate team guy...great in the locker room, takes less money to be where he wants to be..and if I recall...when JB was making rehab starts in the minors(could have been someone else other than JB)..Keith led a couple of teammates down there to watch....how can you not love having a guy like that on your team?