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What does Zach Stewart offer the Red Sox?
Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:48 PM
What is Lillibridge's defensive reputation? His metrics (admittedly SSS) suggest he's a bad defensive infielder.
Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:59 PM
Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:01 PM
Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:00 PM
Stewart has consistently put up significantly better xFIP's than ERA's. As maufman points out above, his xFIP this year (4.22) is almost two runs lower than his ERA (6.00). The same was true last year (5.88 vs. 3.79).
The reason for the disparity is that he's been victimized by home runs, which may be simply be because he's gopher-prone, but it may also be because he's been unlucky and/or he plays in the bandbox of U.S. Cellular (especially this year - of Stewart's 30 innings in 2012, exactly 3 of them have been on the road). Stewart's HR/FB ratio is 20.4% in his brief MLB career, which is absurdly high (league average is about 10%). There's certainly some reason to think that his HR numbers might go down.
Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:03 PM
Stewart is being assigned to Pawtucket, so with a scarcity of starters, he automatically becomes AAA depth. He was once a highly ranked prospect who could hit 95, but he has bounced from the Reds to the Blue Jays to the White Sox, and now the Red Sox. Something happened to his velocity along the way, and he has struggled to hit 90 with the fastball in the majors. Does anybody know how or why Stewart became such a mediocrity?
Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:05 PM
Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:35 PM
Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:44 PM
Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:05 AM
A year and a half later at age 25, Stewart has obviously been a disappointment.
This article was from a fantasy baseball perspective, but Eric Karabell described him today:
Well-traveled right-hander Zach Stewart is past prospect status, and had recently been demoted to Triple-A Charlotte. In 97 1/3 innings for the White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays the past two seasons he has allowed 131 hits and 21 home runs. It's unlikely he'll matter to fantasy owners or the Red Sox this season, if ever.
He's most likely the type of guy in the majors who will at worst be an innings-eater from the bullpen, and at best a "past-prospect" guy who turns it around for a surprisingly solid (possibly lucky) year or two over the next five. That's a useful addition, I think.
Edited by Batman Likes The Sox, 25 June 2012 - 09:08 AM.
Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:01 AM
"Throws 88-91. Good life on two-seam fastball. Average curveball and changeup. Curveball can be long at times. Has a feel for changeup but doesn't use it much. Fringy fifth starter stuff.
Can't rule out plus-command in the future--and he'll need it."
Gray goes on to say in his column that "Stewart's two-seam fastball or sinker has flattened out, according to report, and scouts have noticed a dip in velocity. Nonetheless, the kid has 'pitchability,' meaing he can outsmart hitters, paint the corners and find a way to create outs."
He also notes that Stewart "revved up his fastball to 93-95 mph" while with the Fisher Cats and quotes their pitching coach, Tom Signore, as saying, "If I were coaching him, I'd get him back to that high leg lift we had. It always allowed his arm to get out front and generate better arm speed."
Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:31 PM
I had posted in the other thread that Keith Law had him as #44 in his top 100 prospects for 2011.
I'm a defender of this deal, but Stewart was never regarded quite as highly as that ranking suggests. Iirc, Ricciardi was still running the show in Toronto when Stewart went there as the centerpiece of the Rolen deal. I suspect Law's regard for the judgment of his former colleagues caused him, probably unconsciously, to overrate Stewart.
If Zach Stewart can find his lost 4 mph, I will be glad to consider this trade far more charitably.
Stewart wasn't a full-time starter until his third professional season (2010). Perhaps he can only throw 95 for short stretches, suggesting his future may lie in the bullpen. A lot of touted prospects who fizzled as SPs have managed to stick as RPs -- Andrew Miller may be on the verge of becoming the latest former phenom to make this transition.
Stewart's two options, however, probably mean that any conversion to a relief role will wait until the 2013 season. They need SP depth more than RP depth this season, and even if he doesn't break through, they'll probably keep him stretched out through next spring just in case they have multiple injuries in the rotation during Spring Training. Once the 2013 big-league rotation is fixed and doesn't include him, a move to the bullpen is likely imo.
Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:24 AM
Wow. That is one annoying home run call.
White Sox broadcasts are the most effective form of advertising that MLB.TV could ever ask for, at least for non-White Sox fans.
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