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Sox sign John Maine to Minor League Contract


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#1 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 07:03 PM

According to the Fredericksburg Times, the Red Sox have signed John Maine

They're looking at him as a potential bullpen arm. He'll get an invite to Spring Training.

I think Ben is worried that Kyle Weiland will start important games in September, not knowing that he already traded him.

Edit: Sorry, Didn't see this in the bullpen thread.

Edited by HangingW/ScottCooper, 27 January 2012 - 07:05 PM.


#2 mabrowndog


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Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:21 PM

No need to apologize. Far too many newsworthy items and transactions (signings, arb settlements, etc.) have been lumped into megathreads this winter. So thanks for starting a new thread with this.

No way to mince words here: The guy's been a freaking mess in terms of both health and production. In 2010 he made 9 starts with the Mets, averaging just 4.4 IP per outing and prompting this Fangraphs writeup ("Slow fastball, quick hook"). It was posted after his final outing of the season on May 20 where he faced only leadoff batter Nyjer Morgan, throwing nothing but fastballs with none of the five eclipsing 85 mph:

Warthen said, “John’s a habitual liar in a lot of ways as far as his own health. He’s a competitor and a warrior and he wants to go out there and pitch. But you have to be smart enough to realize this guy isn’t right.” Maine, meanwhile, was peeved: “Look, I’ve felt pain for two years, but I’m over that…I don’t care about that. I’m well enough to pitch. I wanted to pitch. That’s the bottom line.”

The 29-year-old right-hander has dealt with a series of injury problems over the past three seasons. He was placed on the DL in August of 2008 with a right rotator cuff strain, returned to make three starts and was then shut down. In late September of ’08, he underwent surgery to remove a large bone spur from his right shoulder. Last year, he spent three months on the DL with right shoulder weakness. This year, Maine has battled left elbow soreness.

Maine, who’s scheduled to examined by doctors today, says he’s healthy enough to pitch. But whatever is ailing him, it’s clear that his performance is suffering.

This year, Maine (throwing his fastball three-quarters of the time) is sitting just 88.6 MPH. During his big league career, he has a +0.26 run value per 100 pitches with the fastball. In 2010, however, it has been hammered for -0.85 runs per 100 thrown. Of course, that’s actually better than his changeup (-2.17) and slider (-3.89).

While his 77.9 percent contact rate bests the 80.9 percent MLB average and he’s getting swings on pitches outside of the strike zone 28.1 percent (27.5 percent MLB average), Maine hasn’t been able to throw strikes consistently. Just 45.7 percent of his pitches have been within the zone, which is two percentage points below the big league average. All three of his pitches have below-average strike rates: 61.4 for the fastball (64.4 MLB average), 57.4 for the changeup (60.7) and 55.3 for the slider (63.4).

It’s no surprise that a starter, lobbing high-80′s fastballs with spotty control and a sky-high fly ball rate, is getting throttled. Hopefully, Maine and the Mets can find the root cause of his struggles.


Last season he pitched for the Rockies' AAA club and it was more of the same: 11 starts, averaging 4.18 IP/GS, with 58 H, 37 BB and 35 Ks in 46 innings for a 2.1 WHIP and 7.43 ERA. By June he was done with more shoulder problems.

Rotoworld says he's going to try his hand as a reliever, but if his FB velocity isn't improved I don't think a lighter workload will make any difference. While he won't need as versatile a repertoire, the guy still needs an out pitch -- and he needs to be healthy.

#3 AB in DC

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:37 PM

The Globe says he does not get a spring training invite

http://www.boston.co...ll_Sports_links

#4 Rough Carrigan


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Posted 29 January 2012 - 03:03 PM

The tragedy of Maine's career is that it was like a slow motion train wreck where you knew EXACTLY what was going to happen. From the time he first started to have arm trouble in, what was it, 2007, every successive decline was completely predictable. There are a lot of guys who can throw 140 or 150 quality innings but who simply can't throw 200 without breaking down. But even now, we have to hold everyone to an unrealistic standard. John Maine 2012 is the result.

#5 HangingW/ScottCooper

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:35 AM

I view this as a Kevin Millwood type scenario where even if an obvious need develops at the Major League level, they have no interest in promoting him. This is probably nothing more than Minor League depth.

#6 dynomite

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:03 PM

I view this as a Kevin Millwood type scenario where even if an obvious need develops at the Major League level, they have no interest in promoting him. This is probably nothing more than Minor League depth.


I certainly hope not, nor do I think that was the intent of the Millwood signing. If they're just looking for people to fill a uniform and pitch batting practice I'm happy to report for duty.

Maine's the very definition of a "no-risk" depth signing. With this kind of contract they can afford to take a look at him in Spring Training, maybe mess around with him at AAA, and see whether he can
A) regain his SP role or
B) transition into an RP role.

As recently as 2009 Maine put up a 92 ERA+ in 82 IP. The question will be whether our pitching magicians can help him stay healthy and regain his effectiveness (and hopefully some velocity on his fastball although, given his injuries, I have my doubts):

'08: 92.3 mph/average
'09: 91.2 mph/average
'10: 88.7 mph/average

If not, no worries -- wouldn't be surprised if he's cut before we leave Florida.

#7 mabrowndog


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:58 PM

Maine has been released per Matt Eddy of Baseball America. He'd been in extended spring training.

Edited by mabrowndog, 10 May 2012 - 01:58 PM.


#8 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 02:00 PM

Surprised they didn't wait until after July 24 to do this

#9 Soxfan in Fla


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:12 PM

They didn't want to run him out for a few games for the Sox before doing this first? They are letting every other mediocre pitch in the bigs season, why not Maine.

#10 Buzzkill Pauley


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Posted 10 May 2012 - 08:16 PM

They didn't want to run him out for a few games for the Sox before doing this first? They are letting every other mediocre pitch in the bigs season, why not Maine.


He's not a starter?