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bigredrudy
12-20-2006, 11:50 AM
I like the move for Toby because he hits lefthanders pretty well and is OK defensively. But I wonder what this means for Charlie. Knuckleballers are extremely difficult to catch and AJ did not look like he was going to do that well catching Charlie. If Toby can't catch him it looks like Charlie might be screwed. I like Charlie a lot and I think he could be a very good pitcher but as we all know Varitek could not catch Mirabelli and even Stewart had a lot of trouble catching him. If a am not mistaken Matos caught Haegar at Charlotte.

Baby Fisk
12-20-2006, 11:54 AM
I like the move for Toby because he hits lefthanders pretty well and is OK defensively. But I wonder what this means for Charlie. Knuckleballers are extremely difficult to catch and AJ did not look like he was going to do that well catching Charlie. If Toby can't catch him it looks like Charlie might be screwed. I like Charlie a lot and I think he could be a very good pitcher but as we all know Varitek could not catch Mirabelli and even Stewart had a lot of trouble catching him. If a am not mistaken Matos caught Haegar at Charlotte.

If the ability of a team's catchers to catch a knuckleball is so limiting to a knuckleballer's prospects on a given team, why does anyone bother to become a knuckleball pitcher anymore? It would seem to be a career-limiting move if that were truly the case, which I don't think it is.

White Sox Randy
12-20-2006, 11:58 AM
If the ability of a team's catchers to catch a knuckleball is so limiting to a knuckleballer's prospects on a given team, why does anyone bother to become a knuckleball pitcher anymore? It would seem to be a career-limiting move if that were truly the case, which I don't think it is.

It is limiting ! Why do you think I'm not on a Wheaties box ?

ondafarm
12-20-2006, 01:45 PM
CANADA FUN FACT #49:
The USA has never successfully annexed the Dominion of Canada, and here is the reason why: what would we do with it?

SoxyStu
12-20-2006, 01:50 PM
I like the move for Toby because he hits lefthanders pretty well and is OK defensively. But I wonder what this means for Charlie. Knuckleballers are extremely difficult to catch and AJ did not look like he was going to do that well catching Charlie. If Toby can't catch him it looks like Charlie might be screwed. I like Charlie a lot and I think he could be a very good pitcher but as we all know Varitek could not catch Mirabelli and even Stewart had a lot of trouble catching him. If a am not mistaken Matos caught Haegar at Charlotte.

If it keeps him out of our bullpen, it's fine with me.

Huisj
12-20-2006, 02:32 PM
If the ability of a team's catchers to catch a knuckleball is so limiting to a knuckleballer's prospects on a given team, why does anyone bother to become a knuckleball pitcher anymore? It would seem to be a career-limiting move if that were truly the case, which I don't think it is.

I think usually the people who become knuckleballers are guys who already had reached that career limit as conventional pitchers, and that's exactly the case with Haeger. He quit baseball a few years ago before making a comeback with a knuckleball. I don't think it's so much a career limiting move as it is a career extending move for guys who have talent with the knuckleball but don't have the arm or the stuff to get by with fastballs/curves/sliders etc.

Interestingly though, there are VERY few knuckleballers around right now. Obviously there's Wakefield, and he's 40. Steve Sparks floated around here and there a few years back with so-so results, and there was that Springer guy who bounced around a bunch too. RA Dickey on Texas tried to become one last year . . . and he gave up 6 home runs to the Tigers in his first start. There's a guy named Fernandez who's used one for a few teams recently.

Point is, there aren't many out there right now, and even fewer actually find major league success with it. Kind of seems like a dying art.

spiffie
12-20-2006, 03:46 PM
I think usually the people who become knuckleballers are guys who already had reached that career limit as conventional pitchers, and that's exactly the case with Haeger. He quit baseball a few years ago before making a comeback with a knuckleball. I don't think it's so much a career limiting move as it is a career extending move for guys who have talent with the knuckleball but don't have the arm or the stuff to get by with fastballs/curves/sliders etc.

Interestingly though, there are VERY few knuckleballers around right now. Obviously there's Wakefield, and he's 40. Steve Sparks floated around here and there a few years back with so-so results, and there was that Springer guy who bounced around a bunch too. RA Dickey on Texas tried to become one last year . . . and he gave up 6 home runs to the Tigers in his first start. There's a guy named Fernandez who's used one for a few teams recently.

Point is, there aren't many out there right now, and even fewer actually find major league success with it. Kind of seems like a dying art.
You forgot Jose Canseco.

TomParrish79
12-20-2006, 03:50 PM
who was the knuckleball pitcher that the D-Rays had? And did Hall ever catch him?

soxinem1
12-20-2006, 04:27 PM
who was the knuckleball pitcher that the D-Rays had? And did Hall ever catch him?

Dennis Springer, and no, that was awhile before TH arrived in TB.

ChiSoxLifer
12-20-2006, 05:48 PM
I like the move for Toby because he hits lefthanders pretty well and is OK defensively. But I wonder what this means for Charlie. Knuckleballers are extremely difficult to catch and AJ did not look like he was going to do that well catching Charlie. If Toby can't catch him it looks like Charlie might be screwed. I like Charlie a lot and I think he could be a very good pitcher but as we all know Varitek could not catch Mirabelli and even Stewart had a lot of trouble catching him. If a am not mistaken Matos caught Haegar at Charlotte.

The problem AJ had with catching Haegar was that he was a midseason call up. AJ didn't have a whole lot of time to work with trying to catch a knuckle ball. If Haegar does make the team, hopefully Pierzynski and Hall will benefit from working with him the whole spring.

gowhitesox
12-20-2006, 10:45 PM
Give Haeger and AJ a chance to know each other. Haeger is a good prospect, his minor league stat's look pretty good.

wcw2323
12-21-2006, 09:09 AM
Charlie has the best record in the minors the past two years. His 28 wins tops all! He has earned a place in the bullpen. Long relief replacing Fingernails on a blackboard makes the most sense. It will allow him to adjust to the big leagues while awaiting a place in the rotation, which could easily happen this year or in 2008. He has performed at every level and his ERA has been dropping as he progressed thru the Sox system.
If you only looked at his stats...28 victories, ERA of 3.00 last year, he would be a lock for the LR spot. When you combine his durability and versatility to the equation, it's a no brainer! Don't be surprised if he's a lock in the minds of Coop and KW. Charlie was awesome in September. Cooper stated that he would rather evaluate Charlie coming out of the pen last September vs AZ in the spring due to the dry air.

Charlie belongs on the staff in 2007!!

maurice
12-21-2006, 01:04 PM
Don't be surprised if he's a lock in the minds of Coop and KW.

I'd be absolutely floored if he were "a lock in the minds of Coop and KW." Ozzie already has said that he doesn't want a knuckle-baller in the BP, and I don't know that he's changed his mind. There's no room for him if Floyd and Sisco both end up in the pen. Even if a spot is available (which could be true), he'll have to compete for the open spot.

It looks like he'll be back starting for Charlotte. If he outpitches Broadway, he could get the first shot at a spot start, since Floyd probably won't be stretched out.

the gooch
12-21-2006, 01:11 PM
I'd be absolutely floored if he were "a lock in the minds of Coop and KW." Ozzie already has said that he doesn't want a knuckle-baller in the BP, and I don't know that he's changed his mind. There's no room for him if Floyd and Sisco both end up in the pen. Even if a spot is available (which could be true), he'll have to compete for the open spot.

It looks like he'll be back starting for Charlotte. If he outpitches Broadway, he could get the first shot at a spot start, since Floyd probably won't be stretched out.When did Ozzie say this? It is news to me.

Domeshot17
12-21-2006, 01:11 PM
It is kind of a shame Haeger gets overlooked. He really didn't pitch poorly when he was up. We just need someone to get a clue HOW to catch him. In his first start vs Anaheim, I was there and kept noticing AJ not being able to frame pitchers, often pulling balls OUT of the strike zone instead of back in. I think the kid has earned a chance to pitch in the big leagues. I also think he would be a GREAT change of pace between the power arms we have. I would rather he became the long man and Floyd went to triple A to learn how to pitch, because Floyd ultimately should have more value to us as a starter.

If not, trade him. I am sure plenty of teams see his 28 wins in AAA over the last 2 years and how sick his Knuckler can be and could find a place for him in the rotation. I mean, Charlie Hough has called him the best Knuckleballer since Wakefield, which is a pretty high compliment.

eriqjaffe
12-21-2006, 01:30 PM
Ozzie already has said that he doesn't want a knuckle-baller in the BP.Great, now we can put Haeger in the rotation and demote Vazquez to the bullpen like we all wanted to last year!

oeo
12-21-2006, 03:32 PM
I like the move for Toby because he hits lefthanders pretty well and is OK defensively. But I wonder what this means for Charlie. Knuckleballers are extremely difficult to catch and AJ did not look like he was going to do that well catching Charlie. If Toby can't catch him it looks like Charlie might be screwed. I like Charlie a lot and I think he could be a very good pitcher but as we all know Varitek could not catch Mirabelli and even Stewart had a lot of trouble catching him. If a am not mistaken Matos caught Haegar at Charlotte.

Again, if Haeger is in the plans to be in the bullpen, then AJ has to learn how to catch the knuckleball. What are we going to do, sub AJ out in the 6th or 7th inning so Haeger can come in? That wouldn't be very smooth.

wcw2323
12-22-2006, 07:59 AM
Again, just look at Haeger's stats. If he was a traditional pitcher (fastball, curve, slider), he would be a lock in the pen. His September stats prove that he's major league ready. 14 innings pitched, 17K's, 7BB's, 1.28 ERA. He had two appearances where he was virtually unhittable.
AJ and Toby need to spend some time with Charlie in ST to learn how to catch the knuckler. I think it's more of a desire not to learn as it relates to AJ. When Haeger made his debut in May, AJ was obviously not inspired to catch him. The Sox have used the Mirabelli/Varitek combo to the benefit of resting Varitek every 5 days. At this point in AJ's career, he will need to be spotted from time to time. Hopefully, both AJ and Toby can catch on to the flutterball!
Going back to my initial premise, Haeger has earned a spot in the pen this year and, when successful, he will be in contention for a SP role long term. I think the Sox are very high on Haeger. He's an intriguing option vs the power arms in the pen. Keep in mind that power arms break down during the rigors of a long season. It's a luxury to have Haeger's versatility available in the pen.

Zisk77
12-22-2006, 11:26 AM
Catching a knuckleball is easy...you just pick the ball up when it stops rolling :rolleyes:

maurice
12-22-2006, 01:07 PM
If he was a traditional pitcher (fastball, curve, slider), he would be a lock in the pen.

That's part of it, but the other part is the organization he's in. The Sox rarely (and usually only reluctantly) put their pitching prospects in the pen. KW prefers either veterans or young flame-throwers. Haeger is neither.

Lately, KW has decided to use a pen slot to groom his top guy for a future spot in the rotation. Last year, it was McCarthy. This year, it's probably Floyd.

I agree that Haeger has earned a spot, but life in the Sox org. is not fair. If he were in almost any other organization, Haeger probably would have a spot in the rotation with his name on it. Unless he gets traded, he'll probably have to wait.

rdivaldi
12-22-2006, 01:12 PM
That's part of it, but the other part is the organization he's in. The Sox rarely (and usually only reluctantly) put their pitching prospects in the pen. KW prefers either veterans or young flame-throwers. Haeger is neither.

But aren't we seeing sort of a renaissance in the way they're treating the prospects maurice? Maybe it was because the rotation was full, but McCarthy was in the bullpen for almost all of 2006. I think a couple of years ago they would have had him starting in Charlotte for most of the season.

I guess we'll see how they handle Gio, Broadway and Mucullough over the next two years...

maurice
12-22-2006, 01:21 PM
But aren't we seeing sort of a renaissance in the way they're treating the prospects maurice? Maybe it was because the rotation was full, but McCarthy was in the bullpen for almost all of 2006.

I agree to a point. Like I said:
Lately, KW has decided to use a pen slot to groom his top guy for a future spot in the rotation. Last year, it was McCarthy. This year, it's probably Floyd.

I really don't think it goes beyond that one pen spot though, which leaves no room for Haeger. It seems like KW's ideal staff is 5 top starters + 1 up-and-coming starter + 5 flame-throwing relievers. JMHO.

2006 up-and-coming starter: McCarthy
2007 up-and-coming starter: Floyd
2008 up-and-coming starter: Gonzalez? Broadway?

White Sox Randy
12-23-2006, 12:04 PM
Haeger might be the sleeper ?

There's still plenty of talk around that the Sox are going to trade another starter - like apparently, they had Garland traded.

If they did, what would they do ?

Maybe they don't want Haeger in the pen but maybe they are considering putting him in the rotation for 2007 ?

Personally, I like Haeger but don't want him in the pen. I would like to see him have an even better year at Charlotte and improve his command and then use him in the 2008 rotation.

I have a lot of doubt about Floyd having much success in any role.

wcw2323
01-04-2007, 08:03 AM
Haeger already auditioned for the #5 spot last September and passed with flying colors!! (14 innings, 17K's, 7BB's, 1 win, 1 save) The White Sox brass took their long look in September vs ST as the knuckler will not dance as well in the dry AZ heat. He has proven himself over the past two seasons 14-5 AA, 14-6 AAA and he also has the durability to pitch 200+ innings.