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Sox Bullpen Follies (2003-2005)


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#101 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:32 PM

Though... that also brings up the point of their desperation to never let anything go.  Matt White, Stern...  It's just very odd.  For being so smart they do a lot of odd/dumb things, IMO.

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I can see why the Rule V draft appeals to them: if you do your homework you can get free talent from other teams, sort of like an extra draft pick. I'm sure there's a picture of Johan Santana hung up somewhere in the offices when it's time for Rule V. ;)

But of course what's overlooked in that is that teams picking up Rule V players have to keep them on the roster the whole year, and the keeping a semi-useless guy on the roster in the midst of a playoff race is terribly retricting. The Twins were 69-93 the year they had Santana on their roster via Rule V; they weren't costing themselves anything and in fact he piched a fair bit. But having a Stern on the roster this year (and a Dinardo last year) who aren't going to play at all seems restrictive.

It can work out for them of course: DiNardo may actually turn out to be a semi-useful player one of these days. But when in a fight for the playoffs it makes less sense to muck around with these days.

#102 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:34 PM

I think a big part of the problem has to be lack of patience. Guys who don't start out well are buried and ultimately don't ever pitch well here. They probably don't pitch as much, press when they do get in, and the cycle repeats.

Then again, some guys you show patience in, perhaps too much (Embree?) don't pan out either.

I can't say I was really upset about the lack of opportunites given to Seanez, Todd Jones, etc. I thought those guys were finished when they were here. And maybe they were- guys do go through dead arm periods and the like, and often refind themselves in the right situation.

#103 PedroKsBambino


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:36 PM

The thing to remember about the Rule V guys is that you are comparing whatever future value they might have to pretty small current value of the 25th roster spot.

There's been a lot of complaints, largely well-founded in my view, about the utiliziation of the roster this year But if the "top 24" aren't getting enough exposure in the eyes of many, it's not likely that an additional player will have much value, is it? They'll play infrequently and (arguably) exacerbate the PT issues further, won't they?

Don't get me wrong...I'm not sold on the overall value of keeping one of these guys every year. But I think we should take a pretty limited view of the value of that roster spot, at least with the current management and roster construction. There's not that many guys to PH for, not that many platoon situations, and so forth.

#104 BigMike


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:38 PM

I can see why the Rule V draft appeals to them: if you do your homework you can get free talent from other teams, sort of like an extra draft pick. I'm sure there's a picture of Johan Santana hung up somewhere in the offices when it's time for Rule V.  ;)

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Of course the difference is that Santana is and was a player with unquestioned physical tools. He had the arm, the rudimentary breaking stuff, which made it easy to see that he had a chance to put the tools together and become a great player someday.

White was simply a shot in the dark at a loogy. DiNardo is basically another member of the 2003/2004 obsesion with lefthanded starters who throw low 80s and have pitchability.

Stern has somewhat better tools, but given his age, and lack of experience really isn't a traditional tools player

#105 smastroyin


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:38 PM

I entirely agree, and I think that's something we should keep in mind as we attack the manager and the FO every time a guy who isn't a "proven" RP or a vaunted prospie comes out of the pen.

I was happy to see all those guys go when they went. And now I regret it.

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If it wasn't for Frank Francisco losing his goddam mind in Texas last year, we might be spending most of our time lamenting giving him up for the worst 22.1 innings (and $2.5 MM) of Bobby Howry's career.

#106 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:38 PM

The thing to remember about the Rule V guys is that you are comparing whatever future value they might have to pretty small current value of the 25th roster spot.

There's been a lot of complaints, largely well-founded in my view, about the utiliziation of the roster this year  But if the "top 24" aren't getting enough exposure in the eyes of many, it's not likely that an additional player will have much value, is it?  They'll play infrequently and (arguably) exacerbate the PT issues further, won't they?

Don't get me wrong...I'm not sold on the overall value of keeping one of these guys every year.  But I think we should take a pretty limited view of the value of that roster spot, at least with the current management and roster construction.  There's not that many guys to PH for, not that many platoon situations, and so forth.

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Well, it depends what roster spot's being taken up.

If your Rule V guy is a position player, that pretty much precludes you from carrying 12 pitchers, I would think. I think 12 pitchers is far too many anyway, but if the Rule V guy is a hitter you really need to have the extra bench spot open for a player who will play more often.

It can be done so that the impact on the team is minimized. But again, I'm not sure you do that in a tight pennant race; that last roster spot mught be needed for a Dave Roberts-type of specialist.

#107 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:40 PM

Of course the difference is that Santana is and was a player with unquestioned physical tools.  He had the arm, the rudimentary breaking stuff, which made it easy to see that he had a chance to put the tools together and become a great player someday.

White was simply a shot in the dark at a loogy.  DiNardo is basically another member of the 2003/2004 obsesion with lefthanded starters who throw low 80s and have pitchability.

Stern has somewhat better tools, but given his age, and lack of experience really isn't a traditional tools player

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I suppose we'll have to guess then at how the front office views these guys. None of them scream Santana-like to me. Do they really want to get Rule V guys who's top end is a 9th man on a pitching staff or a 4th OFer?

Edited by Smiling Joe Hesketh, 23 September 2005 - 02:40 PM.


#108 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:40 PM

I think a big part of the problem has to be lack of patience. Guys who don't start out well are buried and ultimately don't ever pitch well here. They probably don't pitch as much, press when they do get in, and the cycle repeats.

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As I mentioned earlier in this thread, this is problem with a bullpen designed for a few batters a time. Two or three bad pitches over the course of five batters, perhaps two weeks, and you're suddenly in a big slump. I do agree that the Red Sox patience is even worse than that, but I think a lot of pitchers would be well served to stretch out a few times before showing them on their way. I am especially concerned by what this portends for our young pitchers.

#109 DieHard3


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:42 PM

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
I disagree; Miller was slotted as the 6th starter, and Mantei was not counted on to be any better than the #4 reliever (behind Foulke, Timlin, and Embree).
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Slotting Miller as the 6th starter reveals their inept evaluation of Schilling's injury though. When Mantei was signed he was quoted as saying, "They told me the 8th inning would be mine." You can look it up. And, even if they were only looking at him as the #4 reliever, that's still a position I think needs to be filled by a "sure-thing" (to the extent it exists).

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Essentially; the problem wasn't that Mantei got hurt- it was that Foulke, Embree, and Mantie were all ineffective. And to a lesser extent, guys like Halama were lousy too.
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The dropoff from Embree should not have come as a surprise. Losing Foulke was going to hurt, but apparently they asked him to have surgery in the offseason and he refused. If they knew he was hurt to the degree that they thought he needed surgery, and he didn't have it, that makes the lack of proven bullpen depth an even greater oversight.

Same goes for Miller; it wasn't even unexpected that he got hurt. It just became a problem because Schilling was already hurt and others were ineffective.

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How much proven veteran depth can you really build into a pitching staff?
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I don't know, look at the Yankee pens from 1998-2000 and get back to me?

#110 saintnick912


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:42 PM

The 2005 bullpen had the underpinnings to be solid, but you just can't replace the loss of Schilling, Foulke, and Embree and have a reasonable backup plans. And having that number of replacement level innings is just a killer.

On the other hand, the part of the rotation plan that has worked is replacing Pedro and Lowe with Wells and Clement. Some rudimentary calculations add up like this:

Pedro + Lowe 2004 - 399.2IP @ 4.59 ERA
Wells + Clement 2005 - 350.2IP @ 4.57 ERA

Assuming Wells and Clement make their starts for the rest of the season the two lines may very well end up identical. I have less confidence of them equaling the playoff performance of the two starters they 'replaced' though, especially since one of those wasn't even in the playoff rotaoin.

#111 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:43 PM

What responsibilty do we have as fans? I'm the kind of guy that says to give the kids a chance in February and to be patient; yet I'm screaming at the top of my lungs when they are blowing a game in May. I don't think I'm the only one.

Theory and practice seem to be too different things.

#112 The Gray Eagle


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:43 PM

" I don't think they've shown themselves to be all that good with talent evaluation on the pitching side."

I agree. They people they've brought in since Dave Wallace was made Grand Pohhbah of Organizational Pitching, or whatever his big title is, have either been obvious stars they paid big bucks for, like Schilling and Foulke, or just haven't been that good. (Except for Arroyo, who I think was brought in as a flyer based on his stats, not as someone who was going to be a big piece of the solution.)

I'd like to see someone new get a chance at evaluating pitchers at the big league level. I don't know who that might be, but the results lately haven't been good.

If Ray Miller could somehow be acquired, I'd have no problem if they sacked Wallace and gave the whole job to Miller.

We've gotten lucky with Arroyo, but not with many others. The guys from '02 and '03 who went on to pitch well in other places were not helped by the way they were used here, IMO. I remember the furor over Seanez being left out there for like 50 pitches one time, not long after he had come back from an injury, for example. At the time, the defense was, "he's Rudy Seanez, he sucks, it can't be related to his usage, he's a crappy pitcher, period." Looks like he doesn't always suck, and I think usage was an issue for some of these guys.

#113 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:45 PM

I don't know, look at the Yankee pens from 1998-2000 and get back to me?


This just doesn't make sense. The Sox problems this year were the equivalent of Rivera, Nelson, and Stanton of those years all being ineffective. Had that happened (it could have, it just didn't); the Yankees pen would not have been very good.

#114 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:46 PM

I don't know, look at the Yankee pens from 1998-2000 and get back to me?

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The best two relievers on those teams were Mariano Rivera and Ramiro Mendoza, who were young and developed in-house.

#115 PedroKsBambino


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:46 PM

The guys from '02 and '03 who went on to pitch well in other places were not helped by the way they were used here, IMO. I remember the furor over Seanez being left out there for like 50 pitches one time, not long after he had come back from an injury, for example. At the time, the defense was, "he's Rudy Seanez, he sucks, it can't be related to his usage, he's a crappy pitcher, period." Looks like he doesn't always suck, and I think usage was an issue for some of these guys.


They did at least fix the reason for the crappy reliever usage during that period, though.

I can't imagine Ray Miller coming here, but he is a guy who seems to have a proven track record of improving pitchers. It's a very short list of guys for whom that is true, though. Other than Mazzone, is anyone else really on it? Wallace had a great rep in LA, but here it's been pedestrian. I think with 95% of pitching coaches there's just no way to tell

#116 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:48 PM

The dropoff from Embree should not have come as a surprise.  Losing Foulke was going to hurt, but apparently they asked him to have surgery in the offseason and he refused.  If they knew he was hurt to the degree that they thought he needed surgery, and he didn't have it, that makes the lack of proven bullpen depth an even greater oversight.

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How should they have expected Embree to collapse this season? This isn't a half a point in ERA we're talking about here, we're talking 3.5 runs worse. They should have expected that?

Surgery or not for Foulke, they should have expected him to completely implode?

#117 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:49 PM

They did at least fix the reason for the crappy reliever usage during that period, though.

I can't imagine Ray Miller coming here, but he is a guy who seems to have a proven track record of improving pitchers.  It's a very short list of guys for whom that is true, though.  Other than Mazzone, is anyone else really on it?  Wallace had a great rep in LA, but here it's been pedestrian.  I think with 95% of pitching coaches there's just no way to tell

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Ray Miller ordered the Nomar beaning in '99 which led to his wrist problems. He can burn in hellfire for eternity.

#118 smastroyin


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:52 PM

I don't know, look at the Yankee pens from 1998-2000 and get back to me?

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The 1998 bullpen was set up remarkably like our 2005 bullpen, only it got great performance.

Closer/relief ace: Rivera versus Foulke
Lefty set-up: Stanton versus Embree
LOOGY: Lloyd versus Myers
Right set-up: Nelson versus Timlin
Other righty guy: Holmes versus Mantei
Swingman: Mendoza versus Halama

You could argue that Holmes was a safer pick than Mantei but he was awful the previous year and basically a journeyman.

Obviously our guys underperformed by a lot, but it wasn't by design.

In 1999, the Yankees replaced Holmes with Jason Grimsley and got a lot out of him. They got a great LOOGY+ performance out of Allan Watson, for whom the Yankees were his third team of the season.

In 2000, the Yankees used Randy Choate, a farmhand, as their LOOGY and did things like play around with Dwight Gooden in the pen.

Again, you can criticize the evaluation of talent, you can criticize the guys they selected to fill the roles, but you can't criticize them for trying to use no-names or whatever to fill the roles. If Keith Foulke in 2005 pitched like Mariano Rivera, a lot of this dicussion simply goes away.

#119 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 02:55 PM

The bullpen problems are also far mor evident because of the Schilling injury. You can't underestimate that...it's a huge part of the problem.

#120 FelixMantilla


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:00 PM

Wasn't Ramiro Mendoza the first guy Theo signed for the bullpen?

Theo's done some nice things, but in general his bullpen pickups have been far below what he's otherwise accomplished. It's the only area where, rightly or wrongly, I don't have a lot of faith in his abilities.

#121 yecul


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:00 PM

(Except for Arroyo, who I think was brought in as a flyer based on his stats, not as someone who was going to be a big piece of the solution.)


Heck, even Arroyo... When was he called up? When was he given a starter's spot? They were so confident in him and knew what they had that he was in AAA all year then started in the pen. Besides, I think we overrate him.

I think DH3's takes on Embree and Foulke are a little harsh... however, why should they expect Schilling to recover perfectly, Foulke to pitch fine sans surgery they thought he needed, Embree to not be a top 3 reliever on a championship club, Mantei to be healthy, and Miller to be effective after injury while changing his arm slot.

Blah blah blah...

My whole point is that I would rather they start to develop from within than bring back someone like Timlin over and over until he inevitably falls apart. If you carry Bradford and Myers and Timlin and whoever else (or some combination) then where do MDC and Hansen go? What if you want to use Papes too?

#122 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:03 PM

I think DH3's takes on Embree and Foulke are a little harsh... however, why should they expect Schilling to recover perfectly, Foulke to pitch fine sans surgery they thought he needed, Embree to not be a top 3 reliever on a championship club, Mantei to be healthy, and Miller to be effective after injury while changing his arm slot.


I doubt they expected all of those things; they just didn't expect them all to go wrong at once. And they did have some depth guys- Neal, Halama, Gonzalez, who at least appeared competent...none of them really worked out either.

I mean- what were the Sox supposed to do? Convince proven veteran relievers(let me know whose those are) to come to the team even though they might not have room on the roster?

#123 Todd Benzinger

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:08 PM

I am preaching patience for fans... But then again, if we helped run Tolar, Neal, Remlinger*, and Doza out of town... well, good for us.

OTOH, I hope we will all be patient with the kids.

*who may well be next year's Bobby Howry for all I know...

Edited by Todd Benzinger, 23 September 2005 - 03:10 PM.


#124 yecul


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:10 PM

How about do a better job of evaluating those secondary types and/or working from within?

If you guys think I'm just saying to go out and sign everyone in sight then why would I not want Wagner? Christ, work with me here... Stop putting in the most convenient argument in my mouth that you want to defeat.

#125 Bernie Carbohydrate


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:21 PM

I think the underlying point is that if you try to get those lightning in a bottle pitchers on short/cheap money too often then you'll just keep shuffling the deck chairs over and over.



This made me think about "short/cheap" guys and how we use them. Consider last year's AL Playoff teams; all four built their bullpens in differnet ways, but every one of them had 3-5 "short/cheap"/"let's see if there's anything" kinds of guys. All salaries are 2004 money in millions, per baseballreference.com.

BOS
Player---Salary
Foulke---3.5 mil (more, really, but deferred)
Timlin---2.5
Embree---3.0
Williamson---3.175
Mendoza---3.6

So the Sox threw serious money at five relievers, all "proven" veterans (Leskanic got his 1.25mil paid by KC I think). They pulled the short/cheap money move on Dinardo, Terry Adams, Malaska, Myers, etc Those guys pulled in the minimum or a little above it. So the "short/cheap" guys were all where you might expect--in the mopup/long relief/loogy/11th pitcher spot.

ANA
Percival---7.8 mil
F-Rod--.375
Shields--.375
Gregg--.301
Donnelly---.375

The Angels pour their money into Percival, but hit the jackpot with four "short/cheap" guys who were all effective. These are the "lightning in a bottle" types.

NYY
Rivera---10.8
Quantrill--3.0
Gordon--3.5
Herdia---1.8
White---1.8

Like the Sox, the Yanks stocked their BP mostly with pricey vets, then used the last slot for "short/cheaps" like WOTS, Scott Proctor, and Nitkowski and Prinz.

MINN
Nathan--.440
Rincon--.330
Romero--.820
Fultz--.440
Roa--.320

Minn went ALL short/cheap, and had excellent results.

So for me the problem is not simply "short/cheap" guys as a concept, it is how we find, evaluate and decide to keep them. How does Minnesota, with 1/3 our payroll and probably 1/3 our resources find a Joe Nathan but we end up with Bobby Jones? Did Anaheim (good) luck into Brendan Donnelly whereas we simply (bad) lucked into Jamie Brown? By what method do we decide Bobby Howry can't help us but Alan Embree can?

This is not hindsight--nobody on SOSh ever posted "we'll rue the day we let Howry and Todd Jones go!" Bot those guys were let go, and somebody (with better scouts? better coaching? better luck?) took them on as "short/cheap" guys and made it work. Meanwhile we used the slots vacated by the those guys who sucked for us to sign new guys who suck for us.

What is not fair is to say that the Sox don't spend on their bullpen. The spend plenty. But the best bullpens are not the most expenseive ones.

#126 yecul


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:23 PM

You can't count home-grown talent as short/cheap.

#127 Smiling Joe Hesketh


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:25 PM

You can't count home-grown talent as short/cheap.

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No, it's long/cheap, the best kind.

Left out of the above analysis is Jesse Crain, another home grown player by Minnesota.

#128 Todd Benzinger

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:32 PM

IIRC, when the Yanks signed Gordon, plenty of us soshers thought it was for the best that the Sox passed/missed out on him.

One thing we are seeing here is that RPs are the most difficult to project of any baseball players.

#129 PedroKsBambino


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:39 PM

Donnelly certainly counts as a "flyer" though as he was a career minor leaguer when the Angels picked him up. That he worked out doesn't really change that he looked a lot like many of the Sox misses in terms of where he came from, I don't think.

#130 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:45 PM

Oddly, there's been a lot of good relievers coming out of nowhere for the Southern California teams lately (SD, LAD, LAA). Must be the weather. ;)

Edited by Rudy Pemberton, 23 September 2005 - 03:45 PM.


#131 Todd Benzinger

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:47 PM

Well, having a pitcher's park (LA, SD) probably helps.

#132 Rudy Pemberton


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:50 PM

I'm sure that's the major factor. I wonder if having a pitching park helps the pitchers on the road too? They get their confidence up, less wear and tear at home, etc. Of course, it hurts the hitters in the opposite way.

#133 Buck Showalter


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 03:56 PM

I had a brief conversation with Steve Phillips (ex-GM of the New York Mets) at Pittsburgh Airport yesterday........

He stated that: 'as many thought......he too felt that Embree / Timlin / & Foulke was one area that didn't look like it needed to be modified at the end of last season and in Spring Training. And often times, a GM is hard-pressed to locate bullpen talent late in the year........especially this season when so many teams were still in contention or afraid to fold their cards'.

As I said to him......."let's face it......the only partially available guy that truly could have been a difference maker given his experience in playoff drives (if Boston didn't think Foulke was returning) was Billy Wagner.........and Philly just wasn't out of it at August 31st."

By the way..........nice guy.

Edited by Buck Showalter, 23 September 2005 - 03:57 PM.


#134 LahoudOrBillyC


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 04:13 PM

I'm sure that's the major factor. I wonder if having a pitching park helps the pitchers on the road too? They get their confidence up, less wear and tear at home, etc. Of course, it hurts the hitters in the opposite way.

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This is where coaching comes in. Pitchers in Fenway have to be held to a lower standard than pitchers in Petco, and the coaches need to work with the pitchers on this. If you are Cla Merideth, and you come in to a game and give up a pop fly grand slam, it needs to be treated as a different sort of failure than something similar happening somewhere else.

Back to the main point, I think GMs get far too much credit/blame for single moves like this. A lot of it is unknowable, and luck. Theo Epstein likely had no hope that David Ortiz was going to be this good, and he had plenty of reason to expect that Jeff Suppan would perform better than he did. Over time, we can judge a GM, but I have not seen enough evidence to conclude that the Red Sox don't know how to find relief pitchers.

What I am more suspicious of is our ability to develop the relief pitchers that we do find. At some point, it would be nice to see our pitching coach help someone turn the corner.

#135 lonborgski

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 04:22 PM

This is not hindsight--nobody on SOSh ever posted "we'll rue the day we let Howry and Todd Jones go!"  Bot those guys were  let go, and somebody (with better scouts?  better coaching?  better luck?) took them on as "short/cheap" guys and made it work.  Meanwhile we used the slots vacated by the those guys who sucked for us to sign new guys who suck for us.

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Todd Jones wasn't awful for us in 2003 and the same can be said for him at Cinn and Phil in 2004, but this year he has cut his walks from 33 in about 70 innings to 13. He's found the strikezone in Miami at age 38 or whatever. He was released by Tampa Bay at the end of 2004 spring training. Blaine Neal or Tim Bausher might have found the strike zone this year too, . . . . but didn't.

Mike Gonzalez was the one Theo was right about--and then the stupid injury in Pittsburg after the physical to what's his name who's now in Arizona happened and we were Suppaned.

Howry was an wait-a-year to recover from surgery for Cleveland. I'm thinking that we should do more of that--Flash Gordon, Scott Williamson. Notably we tried it with Pedro's brother without success.

The Sox may have more 40 man roster pressure and less 25 man roster patience for guys like Jones to wait for the lightning.

#136 philly sox fan


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Posted 23 September 2005 - 04:36 PM

ANA
Percival---7.8 mil
F-Rod--.375
Shields--.375
Gregg--.301
Donnelly---.375

The Angels pour their money into Percival, but hit the jackpot with four "short/cheap" guys who were all effective.  These are the "lightning in a bottle" types.

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F-Rod isn't completely a short/cheap guy. He was signed for 700k out of Venezuala. That's pretty huge money for latin teenage pitching prospect. So while his salary was low. he required a premium investment as an amatuer.

I think health is a huge unknown. There's the old cliche that young pitchers have ot learn how the difference between pitching with pain (which everybody does) and pitching with an injury. I think in a lot of cases you have releivers who don't make the distinction between pitching with pain and pitching with pain effectively.

Because Todd Jones also spent some time in Philly there have been some stories in the local papers about his amazing year. He claims the main difference is that his arm is healthy. He said he couldn't get full extension on his breaking ball for a couple of years because his arm hurt. This year for whatever reason it doesn't and he's pitching well.

The same is true of Howry. People didn't like the Howry deal because he was pitching poorly for the White Sox. I don't think it's much of a stretch to now believe that that poor pitching was due to the deterioating condition of the ligament in his elbow. It probably took him blowing it out nad getting it fixed in order to get him back pitching both healthy and well.

And that's a risk with a lot of these pitchers who can be had cheaply. One of the reasons their teams are willing to let them go is because they're pitching poorly and one of the main underlying reasons for that is that they may be hurt. So I don't think it's bad luck that someone like Howry stunk and got hurt with the Sox, but has been really good with the Indians. When you rifle through the bargain bin you're looking at guys who may be struggling due to an injury that they can pitch through, just not pitch well through.

#137 Eric Van


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Posted 24 September 2005 - 07:54 PM

Papelbon has now allowed 1 SB and 4 CS. That very likely represents a valuable skill (we'll know better when we see his minor league data in Nov. when the Bill James Handbook is published) that will be measured better by ERA than by more "advanced" pitching metrics (other than my own :)). His 4.48 CEE (Contextual Runs ERA) would be 5.28 if he had allowed 4 SB and 1 CS.

#138 soxfan121


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Posted 25 September 2005 - 11:04 AM

After reading through this whole thread...I have three questions and a comment.

1. What teams have been "good" at identifying and utilizing the type of talent that many in this thread say the Sox FO "cannot" find?

2. How can Arroyo be eliminated as a data point in such discussions? There have been 1/2 dozen posts in this thread that say, "they can't find cheap/effective pitching, except Arroyo, and this is a huge problem in the current FO". Do teams regularly find a reliable "#3" starter on the waiver wire? And if not, doesn't a #3 starter with ~200 IP "equal" finding two low-leverage innings guys for the bullpen?

3. There's been plenty of guys who've come through the Sox bullpen in the past 3 years who've gone on to success elsewhere. Is the reason the pitching coach (Wallace)? Is it the FO's fault for giving up on them too early? Or is it enormously difficult to pitch in Boston, with the expectations, the home-crowd booings, etc?

Lastly, as I said earlier in this thread, the biggest mistake the FO can make going forward into 2006 is depending on Foulke. IMO, Foulke should be considered unlikely to return to form and an "ace" reliever should be brought in, using the $$ that might be given to Damon. If Foulke regains form, they can truly use him as a Jamesian Relief Ace with the other guy as the Traditional Closer. If Foulke doesn't recover and a suitable replacement isn't brought in, 2006 will again devolve into "bullpen follies"