PDA

View Full Version : AL Central Preview


IndianWhiteSox
02-07-2007, 10:16 AM
Not that anyone here cares what outsiders are saying about the sox but this is just another article about the AL Central

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AuPebprOI53p1rnAg.YnK78RvLYF?slug=ti-alcentral020707&prov=yhoo&type=lgns
(http://http//sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AuPebprOI53p1rnAg.YnK78RvLYF?slug=ti-alcentral020707&prov=yhoo&type=lgns)

WizardsofOzzie
02-07-2007, 10:23 AM
Not that anyone here cares what outsiders are saying about the sox but this is just another article about the AL Central

http://http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AuPebprOI53p1rnAg.YnK78RvLYF?slug=ti-alcentral020707&prov=yhoo&type=lgns (http://http//sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AuPebprOI53p1rnAg.YnK78RvLYF?slug=ti-alcentral020707&prov=yhoo&type=lgns)

Linky no work

Mr.1Dog
02-07-2007, 10:23 AM
Link doesn't work

IndianWhiteSox
02-07-2007, 10:25 AM
Sorry about that but the article was on yahoo sports.

oeo
02-07-2007, 10:38 AM
If you paste the link, http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AuPebprOI53p1rnAg.YnK78RvLYF?slug=ti-alcentral020707&prov=yhoo&type=lgns into the webbrowser, it works. I'm not sure what the deal is with the link, though.

EDIT: Yet now it does work. :dunno:

Ah, I see what you did. When you click the insert link button, it puts "http://" in there for you...you pasted the whole link in there (including http://), so your link was http://http://...

IndianWhiteSox
02-07-2007, 12:10 PM
If you paste the link, http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=AuPebprOI53p1rnAg.YnK78RvLYF?slug=ti-alcentral020707&prov=yhoo&type=lgns into the webbrowser, it works. I'm not sure what the deal is with the link, though.

EDIT: Yet now it does work. :dunno:

Ah, I see what you did. When you click the insert link button, it puts "http://" in there for you...you pasted the whole link in there (including http://) (http://%29), so your link was http://http://...

Thanks for that and now it works.
:cool:

ondafarm
02-07-2007, 01:19 PM
A rather thin, bone-headed analysis. He thinks Erstad is more likely to take Anderson's job permanently than Pods. Pretty poor analysis and lousy reasoning. Thinks the Tigers will repeat and the Indians will chase them.

TDog
02-07-2007, 02:04 PM
.... Thinks the Tigers will repeat and the Indians will chase them.


How can the Tigers repeat? They blew their big lead and ended up finishing in second place. For that matter, in the history of the AL Central, only the Indians, Twins and White Sox have finished in first place.

chisoxmike
02-07-2007, 02:05 PM
More of the same crap...I was looking through a few Baseball preview magazines today and saw that the Sox were predicted to finish in 3rd place in one, and in 4th in the other. Although a lot of people seem to be high on Gavin Floyd.

ondafarm
02-07-2007, 02:44 PM
How can the Tigers repeat? They blew their big lead and ended up finishing in second place. For that matter, in the history of the AL Central, only the Indians, Twins and White Sox have finished in first place.

I stand (currently sit) corrected. Tigers will be the favorites, Indians will contend. Seems down on the Sox and Twins.

MrRoboto83
02-07-2007, 03:14 PM
Seems like a fair article to me.

Corlose 15
02-08-2007, 10:29 AM
More of the same crap...I was looking through a few Baseball preview magazines today and saw that the Sox were predicted to finish in 3rd place in one, and in 4th in the other. Although a lot of people seem to be high on Gavin Floyd.

Hopefully both of those publications weren't high on Floyd as well because I don't understand how you can be high on Floyd and pick the Sox any lower than 2nd.

ondafarm
02-10-2007, 09:18 PM
Hopefully both of those publications weren't high on Floyd as well because I don't understand how you can be high on Floyd and pick the Sox any lower than 2nd.

Unless you are expecting Contreras arm to fall off, Garland to be a fluke, Vazquez to always be a headcase, Buehrle to be a complete bonehead and Thornton and Jenks to be one-season wonders, I just don't see how you can be so down on the White Sox.

Oblong
02-10-2007, 10:13 PM
I tihnk a lot of the pundits are going to forget what the Sox did most of the season in 2006. They'll just see a third place team in the standings and not remember that for what seemed like most of the year, they were either in first place or right on Detroit's tail.

Optipessimism
02-10-2007, 10:45 PM
I tihnk a lot of the pundits are going to forget what the Sox did most of the season in 2006. They'll just see a third place team in the standings and not remember that for what seemed like most of the year, they were either in first place or right on Detroit's tail.

Quite honestly, I think you can pick any of Detroit/Chicago/Cleveland for first without taking too much of a jump.

Detroit's areas of concern, as far as I can tell, are the front of the bullpen, the reliabilty of Jones as closer, and most importantly the ability of the starting staff to have close to repeat performances following a deep postseason trip last year. For the Sox the concerns are LF, the youth in the front of the pen, Contreras' and MacDougal's health, the fifth starter, and Buehrle after his career-worst season. Cleveland has issues with the health and reliability of their bullpen, Sowers over a full year, and all the youth that will be getting regular playing time (Barfield, Marte, Garko, Gutierrez?, Carmona in particular). The only thing I think you can say for sure is that going into 2007 these three teams are in the top 5 in all of baseball. It should be an interesting and gut-wrenching season.

ondafarm
02-10-2007, 11:39 PM
Quite honestly, I think you can pick any of Detroit/Chicago/Cleveland for first without taking too much of a jump.

Detroit's areas of concern, as far as I can tell, are the front of the bullpen, the reliabilty of Jones as closer, and most importantly the ability of the starting staff to have close to repeat performances following a deep postseason trip last year. For the Sox the concerns are LF, the youth in the front of the pen, Contreras' and MacDougal's health, the fifth starter, and Buehrle after his career-worst season. Cleveland has issues with the health and reliability of their bullpen, Sowers over a full year, and all the youth that will be getting regular playing time (Barfield, Marte, Garko, Gutierrez?, Carmona in particular). The only thing I think you can say for sure is that going into 2007 these three teams are in the top 5 in all of baseball. It should be an interesting and gut-wrenching season.

Cleveland's shortstop is a huge factor. While a fair hitter, his defense is very poor. He's taking lessons to increase his range this winter, but I'll believe that when I see it. Poor infield defense is Cleveland's biggest weakness.

Grzegorz
02-11-2007, 05:14 AM
How can the Tigers repeat? They blew their big lead and ended up finishing in second place.

What does that have to do with this year? Surely you do not believe that the psychological scars of finishing in second place and getting clubbed in the WS will keep this team down in 2007?

the Indians, while showing early promise, and their starts look good (sans Byrd) they didn't solve issues with:
their bullpen needs (quantity'=quality)
infield defense is suspect (Peralta as Lip points out)

While they have nice talent on the move up (Garko, Crowe) and made a nice move in Barfield, Showalter is a clown.

This is just one fan's opinion but tribe management thinks they have enough but I am not so sure.

I think the Twins will be somewhere in that mix.

caulfield12
02-11-2007, 07:26 AM
What does that have to do with this year? Surely you do not believe that the psychological scars of finishing in second place and getting clubbed in the WS will keep this team down in 2007?

the Indians, while showing early promise, and their starts look good (sans Byrd) they didn't solve issues with:
their bullpen needs (quantity'=quality)
infield defense is suspect (Peralta as Lip points out)

While they have nice talent on the move up (Garko, Crowe) and made a nice move in Barfield, Showalter is a clown.

This is just one fan's opinion but tribe management thinks they have enough but I am not so sure.

I think the Twins will be somewhere in that mix.

I think you mean Wedge.

Right now, it looks like Blake will play 1B with Nixon in RF (as long as he's healthy), with some type of Dellucci/Michaels combo in LF. They also have to work Choo into that rotation, I would assume in RF.

That cuts off playing time for Garko, despite his surprising final two months of the season. Peralta and Marte need to pick it up both offensively and defensively. If Martinez still is catching, you have the Freddy Garcia "Express Lanes" running, which is demoralizing to pitchers and the entire fanbase. Move him to 1B and he takes time from Garko or Blake, is an "average" 1B offensively instead of a "plus" one and they become instantly below-average at catcher again.

SOXSINCE'70
02-11-2007, 08:11 AM
I was looking through a few Baseball preview magazines today and saw that the Sox were predicted to finish in 3rd place in one, and in 4th in the other.

The White Sox were picked to finish as low as 4th place in 2005 as well.
What happened?? Enough said.Let the pretenders make their fake
prognostications.The 2007 baseball season will sort this all out.

PaleHoseGeorge
02-11-2007, 08:14 AM
More of the same crap...I was looking through a few Baseball preview magazines today and saw that the Sox were predicted to finish in 3rd place in one, and in 4th in the other. Although a lot of people seem to be high on Gavin Floyd.

It's really just par for the course. The people who write this stuff have perfect 20/20 hindsight. Whoever won the division last year is nearly always the pick to repeat.

They really don't know anymore to write about such things than any of us posting here. Most of them do hardly anymore research to back up their position, too. Now that's a scary thought...
:o:

IndianWhiteSox
02-11-2007, 08:35 AM
It's really just par for the course. The people who write this stuff have perfect 20/20 hindsight. Whoever won the division last year is nearly always the pick to repeat.

They really don't know anymore to write about such things than any of us posting here. Most of them do hardly anymore research to back up their position, too. Now that's a scary thought...
:o:

Are you kidding? With all the BS that gets printed this really isn't a shock to me at all.

Rounding_Third
02-11-2007, 10:10 AM
"Shapiro signed potential closers Joe Borowski (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/5448/) in early December and Keith Foulke (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/5817/) a month later, setting up a battle for the ninth inning."

Oh, please, give me a break!!!!! I, for one, won't lose any sleep over that "battle".

Cleveland's bullpen will not allow them to be contenders. And even with MN's great organization, they have too much to replace this year and had too many "career years" last year. The Al Central will be a 2 team race between the Sox and Tigers with both making the playoffs. Health may be a factor but again this year, we'll have the best bench in baseball. Assuming Aardsma, makes the team, we'll have 4 "smokers" in the back end of the bullpen which leaves about 10 lively arms to complete for 3 or 4 spots (5th starter & 2 or 3 in the pen). I think we'll easily find 3 good ones among them. Let's not forget about Logan, Broadway, Tracy, & Haager who were the "heir apparent's" before the trades and are all a year older. It's going to be fun this spring watching the competition. KW will again be praised, come October (for years to come), for his innovative approach when the rest of the league went dollar crazy ("back in 2006").

OKCSoxFan
02-11-2007, 10:19 AM
How can the Tigers repeat? They blew their big lead and ended up finishing in second place.
What does that have to do with this year?

I could be wrong, but I took TDog's comment to mean that they can't repeat the Division Title this year because they didn't win it last year.

Grzegorz
02-11-2007, 10:49 AM
I could be wrong, but I took TDog's comment to mean that they can't repeat the Division Title this year because they didn't win it last year.

Ok, that makes sense; I was thinking the AL representative in the World Series.

As for the Tribe prospect, it was this guy in which I referring: Trevor Crowe.

As for the 2007 Chicago White Sox chances all I have to say is that I like 'em...

downstairs
02-11-2007, 11:06 AM
To be fair... I often forget the Tigers were the Wild Card because Minnesota didn't bother to show up for the playoffs after the season ended... and the Kitties *did* make it to the World Series...

PaleHoseGeorge
02-11-2007, 11:24 AM
I could be wrong, but I took TDog's comment to mean that they can't repeat the Division Title this year because they didn't win it last year.

Exactly right.

Don't you just hate it when basic factual points get in the way of all these "expert" opinions you see in print and have shouted to you over sportsblab radio?

:wink:

ondafarm
02-11-2007, 03:13 PM
"Shapiro signed potential closers Joe Borowski (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/5448/) in early December and Keith Foulke (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/5817/) a month later, setting up a battle for the ninth inning." . . .

Oh it'll be a battle all right, just not one the Indians fans will cheer for. I think both of these guys may get booed off the team by September.

Bearsman
02-11-2007, 06:33 PM
I look for this year to be one hell of a race, it will come down to who ever's pitching hold up in the long run

beasly213
02-11-2007, 11:13 PM
I don't see why the Sox shouldn't be one of the front runners to win the Central.

A lot of people are forgetting this team won 90 games last year. Five more wins and their in the playoffs.

Think of all those games last year when the White Sox were down by 2 runs or it was even tied then Cotts, Pollite, or Riske would come in and then boom were down by 5 or 7.

The only thing they needed to do was sure up the Bull Pen and if a couple of these new guys come through we got that.

As for the Tigers, we saw how they broke down in the 2nd half and the only reason Kenny Rogers took off in the playoffs is becasue of his magic "Dirt".

The Twins always scare me because they play the game so hard and never give up.

I just don't see the Indians being big contendors because they dont have any pitchers that scare me.

And the Royals...well I'm sure they'll be a pain for the Sox as they tend to be.

MAN, I can't wait for baseball. :D:

Optipessimism
02-12-2007, 03:10 PM
Oh it'll be a battle all right, just not one the Indians fans will cheer for. I think both of these guys may get booed off the team by September.

Borowski had a decent year with Florida last year. Foulke is supposed to be healthy and his career numbers say he is pretty good when he's healthy. Hernandez has always been a solid reliever and at worst Fultz eats innings or becomes a decent LOOGY. I think, given the track records of these guys, they will be pretty solid this year. Plus the Indians still have Betancourt and Carmona in their pen, and if Carmona turns it around he will be a force.

russ99
02-12-2007, 03:34 PM
Quite honestly, I think you can pick any of Detroit/Chicago/Cleveland for first without taking too much of a jump.

Detroit's areas of concern, as far as I can tell, are the front of the bullpen, the reliabilty of Jones as closer, and most importantly the ability of the starting staff to have close to repeat performances following a deep postseason trip last year. For the Sox the concerns are LF, the youth in the front of the pen, Contreras' and MacDougal's health, the fifth starter, and Buehrle after his career-worst season. Cleveland has issues with the health and reliability of their bullpen, Sowers over a full year, and all the youth that will be getting regular playing time (Barfield, Marte, Garko, Gutierrez?, Carmona in particular). The only thing I think you can say for sure is that going into 2007 these three teams are in the top 5 in all of baseball. It should be an interesting and gut-wrenching season.

Seriously, how are Cleveland better than that complete train-wreck of a team we saw last season? Barfield, the new (backup) outfielders and the 2 broken-down relievers (Foulke & Roberto) still don't add up to a contender. Despite their SP deficiencies, there's no way the Twins finish lower than the Indians this season, and the Royals might even sneak up on 'em.

chisoxfanatic
02-12-2007, 07:22 PM
While it's great the AL Central is finally getting due respect, I can't see how predictions can be made even before spring training begins. I'll take the predictions made in mid-March much more seriously.

ondafarm
02-12-2007, 08:51 PM
Borowski had a decent year with Florida last year. Foulke is supposed to be healthy and his career numbers say he is pretty good when he's healthy. Hernandez has always been a solid reliever and at worst Fultz eats innings or becomes a decent LOOGY. I think, given the track records of these guys, they will be pretty solid this year. Plus the Indians still have Betancourt and Carmona in their pen, and if Carmona turns it around he will be a force.

It's the truly exceptional hard-throwing reliever who comes back from real arm trouble. Do you think Boston would have let Foulke get away if they thought he could seriously contribute?

As for Borowski, the Cubs let himwalk and he does well? with Florida. That's what you are saying?

Looking at track records of relievers is always dangerous. The stresses they put on their arms is always so great, they cam literally loose it overnight.

If you are counting on Betancourt and Carmona to save you, you are really in deep trouble.

Rounding_Third
02-12-2007, 08:57 PM
Borowski had a decent year with Florida last year. Foulke is supposed to be healthy and his career numbers say he is pretty good when he's healthy. Hernandez has always been a solid reliever and at worst Fultz eats innings or becomes a decent LOOGY. I think, given the track records of these guys, they will be pretty solid this year. Plus the Indians still have Betancourt and Carmona in their pen, and if Carmona turns it around he will be a force.

"Given the track records of these guys", the only two you listed that are moderately dangerous are Betancourt & Hernandez. Carmona & Fultz were 5+ era's in 2006, Foulke and Borowski (add .5 to era in AL), their closers, were 4+ and Foulke hasn't been sub 4 or over 45 games in 3 years. With all the Central Division's heavy bats, there's no way these guys will be consistently effective. Too many "ifs". They do have a nice rotation but no guns in the pen.

Optipessimism
02-12-2007, 09:15 PM
It's the truly exceptional hard-throwing reliever who comes back from real arm trouble. Do you think Boston would have let Foulke get away if they thought he could seriously contribute?

As for Borowski, the Cubs let himwalk and he does well? with Florida. That's what you are saying?

Looking at track records of relievers is always dangerous. The stresses they put on their arms is always so great, they cam literally loose it overnight.

If you are counting on Betancourt and Carmona to save you, you are really in deep trouble.

Fouke's changeup was always what made him so tough. As far as I know his arm hasn't fallen off, he pitched almost 50 innings for Boston last year, and he still has that changeup. Just because Boston let him go doesn't mean they are smart. They also let Loretta walk and brought in Mr. Defense Julio Lugo, gave a bunch of money to JD Drew, and spent 50mil to talk to Matsuzaka. Ditto with your point on Borowski. The Flubs let him walk and he had 36 saves for Florida with a respectable ERA. The Flubs also let Farnsworth walk and regret it, traded Nolasco, Mitre, Koronka, etc. for nothing, signed Marquis, etc. Just because the they let Borowski walk doesn't mean anything.

Relievers are the biggest crapshoot in baseball but the Indians made some smart signings this winter. Instead of going all youth in their pen and begging for disaster or trading valuable position players they picked up some solid veterans for cheap and IMO they will reap the benefits. I bet if the Sox taken fliers on a few of these guys Sox fans wouldn't be so quick to say "we're doomed." If the shoe were on the other foot and we signed Foulke, Sox fans would say signing Foulke is a low risk/high reward situation and another genious move by super Ninja Gaiden KW.

Optipessimism
02-12-2007, 09:29 PM
"Given the track records of these guys", the only two you listed that are moderately dangerous are Betancourt & Hernandez. Carmona & Fultz were 5+ era's in 2006, Foulke and Borowski (add .5 to era in AL), their closers, were 4+ and Foulke hasn't been sub 4 or over 45 games in 3 years. With all the Central Division's heavy bats, there's no way these guys will be consistently effective. Too many "ifs". They do have a nice rotation but no guns in the pen.

So what? Todd Jones had an ERA a touch below 4 and for a good part of the year his ERA was above 5. Bobby Jenks had an ERA of 4. Borowski had an ERA better than either of them, and you can throw that "add .5 to ERA in AL" argument because closers NEVER face pitchers in closing situations.

Carmona is young and his ERA last year means very, very little. He will improve. Fultz had a somewhat high ERA last year (4.54) but how about those 71.1 IP? How about the fact that throughout his career he has averaged 63.1 IP per season? He eats innings and is at worst a LOOGY. He's just as valuable as Jamie Walker IMO and he comes without the $4mil/yr pricetag.

Optipessimism
02-12-2007, 09:39 PM
Seriously, how are Cleveland better than that complete train-wreck of a team we saw last season? Barfield, the new (backup) outfielders and the 2 broken-down relievers (Foulke & Roberto) still don't add up to a contender. Despite their SP deficiencies, there's no way the Twins finish lower than the Indians this season, and the Royals might even sneak up on 'em.

Sabathia-Westbrook-Lee-Sowers as a top 4 can be just as good as Contreras-Buehrle-Garland-Vazquez. If Gavin Floyd puts up numbers similar to Paul Byrd's numbers last year (10-9, 4.88), at this point in Gavin's career that will probably be considered a success.

Whether you like it or not, the Tribe is a contender and 2006 was a fluke. Just look at that lineup and how many runs they scored last year. Their IF defense is still bad at SS but it has gotten better at 2B, and in the OF they are very underrated. A lot will depend on what they end up doing with Victor Martinez, because he is holding back a better defensive catcher (Shoppach) and a better 1B (Garko), plus he may cut into Casey Blake's playing time and he hit pretty well last year. If it were me, I'd try to trade Victor for a pitcher or RF, but the Tribe won't do that.

caulfield12
02-12-2007, 11:08 PM
Sabathia-Westbrook-Lee-Sowers as a top 4 can be just as good as Contreras-Buehrle-Garland-Vazquez. If Gavin Floyd puts up numbers similar to Paul Byrd's numbers last year (10-9, 4.88), at this point in Gavin's career that will probably be considered a success.

Whether you like it or not, the Tribe is a contender and 2006 was a fluke. Just look at that lineup and how many runs they scored last year. Their IF defense is still bad at SS but it has gotten better at 2B, and in the OF they are very underrated. A lot will depend on what they end up doing with Victor Martinez, because he is holding back a better defensive catcher (Shoppach) and a better 1B (Garko), plus he may cut into Casey Blake's playing time and he hit pretty well last year. If it were me, I'd try to trade Victor for a pitcher or RF, but the Tribe won't do that.


Outside of Sizemore, the Indians only have spare parts in the OF. They platoon worked last year at 1B with Broussard and Perez, but they have huge question marks in Marte and Peralta, as well as the on-going Victor Martinez "wheres does he play and hurt us the least?" issue.

Sowers won't sneak up on anyone this year. I doubt Westbrook will be better. It all comes down to Lee not regressing and Sabathia taking the game (and every start) more seriously.

Their bullpen has lots of pieces but no roles established. If Foulke or Borowski can get the job done, they'll be fine. If not, it will be a revolving doors/closer by committee all year long, like 2006.

And Wedge just isn't a very good manager, the equivalent of Jerry Manuel. I would be more worried if Leyland or Piniella were there. I think they continue to have periods of brilliance and underachievement.

Optipessimism
02-12-2007, 11:30 PM
Outside of Sizemore, the Indians only have spare parts in the OF. They platoon worked last year at 1B with Broussard and Perez, but they have huge question marks in Marte and Peralta, as well as the on-going Victor Martinez "wheres does he play and hurt us the least?" issue.

Sowers won't sneak up on anyone this year. I doubt Westbrook will be better. It all comes down to Lee not regressing and Sabathia taking the game (and every start) more seriously.

Their bullpen has lots of pieces but no roles established. If Foulke or Borowski can get the job done, they'll be fine. If not, it will be a revolving doors/closer by committee all year long, like 2006.

And Wedge just isn't a very good manager, the equivalent of Jerry Manuel. I would be more worried if Leyland or Piniella were there. I think they continue to have periods of brilliance and underachievement.

I agree about Wede and have been saying all along that they need to dump him if they want to go anywhere.

IMO, if anything Cleveland has too many pieces but I wouldn't call them spare parts. In LF they have Michaels who is a adequate in the field and is a nice No. 2 hitter, and of course Sizemore is one of the best CF's in all of baseball, but in RF they have Choo who was pretty solid last year in the second half, Blake who had a monster first half, and Nixon who is just average. Plus they have Gutierrez coming, probably to LF.

IMO, the Indians need to make some deals. If I were them I'd be looking to deal VMart, Peralta, and one of Choo/Blake. Nixon is a nice 4th OF and a decent starter in an OF with a lot of power, but the Tribe doesn't have that. If they could use some combination of their pieces to get a young powerhitting RF (someone like Hawpe, Holliday, Bay, Rios, Francoeur, etc.) and a slick, defense-first SS they would be in excellent shape. Obviously those types of payers are hard to pry away from someone, but with the ability to deal former and potential future allstars they probably have a better shot than just about anyone else at getting a player like that.

ondafarm
02-13-2007, 11:24 AM
Fouke's changeup was always what made him so tough. As far as I know his arm hasn't fallen off, he pitched almost 50 innings for Boston last year, and he still has that changeup. Just because Boston let him go doesn't mean they are smart. . .

Okay, now you've proven that you know nothing about pitching.

A great changeup only works if you have the fastball to go with it. Foulke pitched 50 garbage innings last year and did nothing because his arm had almost fallen off. Foulke did have a good changeup, but as a power pitcher who threw the straight change, it just adds stress to your arm and that sounds like the last thing he'll need.

Cleveland did not do smart shopping this off season, no matter how much you wish it was true.

Jurr
02-13-2007, 11:44 AM
Outside of Sizemore, the Indians only have spare parts in the OF. They platoon worked last year at 1B with Broussard and Perez, but they have huge question marks in Marte and Peralta, as well as the on-going Victor Martinez "wheres does he play and hurt us the least?" issue.

Sowers won't sneak up on anyone this year. I doubt Westbrook will be better. It all comes down to Lee not regressing and Sabathia taking the game (and every start) more seriously.

Their bullpen has lots of pieces but no roles established. If Foulke or Borowski can get the job done, they'll be fine. If not, it will be a revolving doors/closer by committee all year long, like 2006.

And Wedge just isn't a very good manager, the equivalent of Jerry Manuel. I would be more worried if Leyland or Piniella were there. I think they continue to have periods of brilliance and underachievement.
People talk about pitchers progressing/regressing, though they never talk about Mark Buehrle looking terrible last year. Jose Contreras in the second half? What makes anyone sure at all that these guys will bounce back? It's all speculation at this point. I hope that the Sox can get good efforts from its starting pitching, or Cleveland, Detroit, and Minnesota will run right by our boys.

caulfield12
02-13-2007, 12:25 PM
I agree about Wede and have been saying all along that they need to dump him if they want to go anywhere.

IMO, if anything Cleveland has too many pieces but I wouldn't call them spare parts. In LF they have Michaels who is a adequate in the field and is a nice No. 2 hitter, and of course Sizemore is one of the best CF's in all of baseball, but in RF they have Choo who was pretty solid last year in the second half, Blake who had a monster first half, and Nixon who is just average. Plus they have Gutierrez coming, probably to LF.

IMO, the Indians need to make some deals. If I were them I'd be looking to deal VMart, Peralta, and one of Choo/Blake. Nixon is a nice 4th OF and a decent starter in an OF with a lot of power, but the Tribe doesn't have that. If they could use some combination of their pieces to get a young powerhitting RF (someone like Hawpe, Holliday, Bay, Rios, Francoeur, etc.) and a slick, defense-first SS they would be in excellent shape. Obviously those types of payers are hard to pry away from someone, but with the ability to deal former and potential future allstars they probably have a better shot than just about anyone else at getting a player like that.

Nobody wants to touch Peralta with that contract, and until he proves himself again. If he does, Cleveland will keep him...if not, they had a mini-disaster on their hands.

Martinez has the most trade value, but he's getting more expensive each year...is very up and down offensively (he would be an average MLB 1B statistically, but great offense/horrible defense at catcher).

Choo still hasn't proved he's anything more than a platoon player.

I guess you could see a team like the Angels trading Aybar and someone else (not sure who, maybe Shields?) to the Indians for Martinez. Then again, Mike Scioscia, a former catcher, might be too smart for that. OTOH, his ego might be big enough to think he can "fix" Martinez's throwing/mechanical problems.

caulfield12
02-13-2007, 12:27 PM
I agree about Wede and have been saying all along that they need to dump him if they want to go anywhere.

IMO, if anything Cleveland has too many pieces but I wouldn't call them spare parts. In LF they have Michaels who is a adequate in the field and is a nice No. 2 hitter, and of course Sizemore is one of the best CF's in all of baseball, but in RF they have Choo who was pretty solid last year in the second half, Blake who had a monster first half, and Nixon who is just average. Plus they have Gutierrez coming, probably to LF.

IMO, the Indians need to make some deals. If I were them I'd be looking to deal VMart, Peralta, and one of Choo/Blake. Nixon is a nice 4th OF and a decent starter in an OF with a lot of power, but the Tribe doesn't have that. If they could use some combination of their pieces to get a young powerhitting RF (someone like Hawpe, Holliday, Bay, Rios, Francoeur, etc.) and a slick, defense-first SS they would be in excellent shape. Obviously those types of payers are hard to pry away from someone, but with the ability to deal former and potential future allstars they probably have a better shot than just about anyone else at getting a player like that.

duplicate post, delete

oeo
02-13-2007, 12:35 PM
duplicate post, delete

Just an FYI...you can delete it yourself. Click edit, and then Delete.

maurice
02-13-2007, 01:00 PM
the Tribe is a contender and 2006 was a fluke.

It's more likely that they are NOT a contender and that their hot streak in 2005 was a fluke.

Just look at that lineup and how many runs they scored last year.

Yet they lost, because they had poor run distribution, a ****ty bullpen, bad defense, and a severely overweight "ace." It remains unclear whether they have improved in any of these areas. I doubt it.

Jurr
02-13-2007, 02:47 PM
It's more likely that they are NOT a contender and that their hot streak in 2005 was a fluke.



Yet they lost, because they had poor run distribution, a ****ty bullpen, bad defense, and a severely overweight "ace." It remains unclear whether they have improved in any of these areas. I doubt it.
There's a lot of uncertainty in the AL Central. The least questions clearly belong to Detroit.

1.Twins - Solid fundamentals, great hitting (which is steadily improving over time with Mauer, Morneau, Castillo, Bartlett, and others), but the question is going to be the back of the rotation. Can they keep plugging kids in to win games? Can Silva do ANYTHING?

2. Indians - Another team that can mash, but can their bullpen rely on aging veterans? Can they find consistency out of Paul Byrd? Can they get 200 innings out of Sabathia?

3. Sox - Can Buehrle rebound? Can Floyd actually win 10 games in a season? Will they actually be able to get back to some fundamental offense and not rely so heavily on the long ball? Will Contreras repeat his second half of '06? Is Vazquez worth his weight in gauze? Will any of the young arms be steady in the bullpen?

4. Tigers - If Todd Jones sucks, they have Zumaya. Every position player on the team can hit. The big question - can the pitchers field their position?

The best team on paper, as much as I hate to say it, is Detroit. However, I wonder if the team is going to have the same hot streak that they did last year. Leyland is good at keeping his team focused, and he's got the pieces to contend. We'll see.

But, like I was saying, every team has huge question marks but one.

maurice
02-13-2007, 04:27 PM
I agree that Detroit should be the favorite right now, but a good chunk of their roster has some sort of age- and/or health-related question.

It seems that they have an inordinate number of key players who are 35+ or 25-. Major exceptions include Ordonez, Polanco, Guillen, and Maroth, yet each of these 4 guys are health ? anyway.

caulfield12
02-13-2007, 04:28 PM
There's a lot of uncertainty in the AL Central. The least questions clearly belong to Detroit.

1.Twins - Solid fundamentals, great hitting (which is steadily improving over time with Mauer, Morneau, Castillo, Bartlett, and others), but the question is going to be the back of the rotation. Can they keep plugging kids in to win games? Can Silva do ANYTHING?

2. Indians - Another team that can mash, but can their bullpen rely on aging veterans? Can they find consistency out of Paul Byrd? Can they get 200 innings out of Sabathia?

3. Sox - Can Buehrle rebound? Can Floyd actually win 10 games in a season? Will they actually be able to get back to some fundamental offense and not rely so heavily on the long ball? Will Contreras repeat his second half of '06? Is Vazquez worth his weight in gauze? Will any of the young arms be steady in the bullpen?

4. Tigers - If Todd Jones sucks, they have Zumaya. Every position player on the team can hit. The big question - can the pitchers field their position?

The best team on paper, as much as I hate to say it, is Detroit. However, I wonder if the team is going to have the same hot streak that they did last year. Leyland is good at keeping his team focused, and he's got the pieces to contend. We'll see.

But, like I was saying, every team has huge question marks but one.

1) Post-season innings for pitchers, affect on Bonderman/Verlander
2) How the "goo" accusations affect Rogers
3) How much moving Zumaya to pen hurts middle relief...he was an emergency "band aid" 5th-8th last year, whenever most needed
4) No strong LH reliever with Walker gone
5) Sheffield in clubhouse...positive or negative?
6) Health of Mike Maroth
7) Health of I-Rod, Guillen, Ordonez, Sheffield
8) Can Inge, Thames, Monroe, Granderson continue to progress, or will they regress?

Optipessimism
02-13-2007, 04:59 PM
Okay, now you've proven that you know nothing about pitching.

A great changeup only works if you have the fastball to go with it. Foulke pitched 50 garbage innings last year and did nothing because his arm had almost fallen off. Foulke did have a good changeup, but as a power pitcher who threw the straight change, it just adds stress to your arm and that sounds like the last thing he'll need.

Cleveland did not do smart shopping this off season, no matter how much you wish it was true.

So what are you saying? He doesn't have a fastball anymore? He threw in the low nineties last year after coming back from injury and since when did a pitcher have to rely on a hard fastball in order to have an effective change?

All reports so far say he's healthy. He's on a one year deal with a mutual option for a second so even if it doesn't work out Cleveland isn't going to be screwed.

And no, I don't want Cleveland to succeed this year, but I do think with the amount of money being thrown around at LOOGY's, signing him for $5mil was a smart move. Personally I hope you're right and he sucks, but I don't see how anyone can say he's going to be terrible just because he puts stress on his arm. By that logic MacDougal shouldn't even be in baseball still.

caulfield12
02-13-2007, 07:14 PM
You need to have at least a 10+ MPH degree of difference between fastball and change-up, that's the most important thing.

ondafarm
02-13-2007, 10:05 PM
You need to have at least a 10+ MPH degree of difference between fastball and change-up, that's the most important thing.

Actually, more than that would be better. A devastating change should be 20 MPH off of the fastball.

caulfield12
02-14-2007, 05:36 AM
Actually, more than that would be better. A devastating change should be 20 MPH off of the fastball.

There's the theory the best is to throw everything over 90 or below 80.

But Jenks' slider is devastating and it's closer to 5-7 MPH slower than the fastball, same with Koch's slider when he was going well after first coming to the big leagues.

If you're like Foulke and throw 88-91, you might get in a little trouble dipping all the way down to 68 MPH. MAYBE you can get away with. Same thing with Takatsu and his "frisbee" pitch. Takatsu actually had a similar fastball, but anything coming up there in the 60's has a much better chance to be fouled off, with the exception of the knuckleball.