Friday, June 16, 2006


It has been mentioned here a few times that RSN would not tolerate rebuilding. I happen to agree. But it looks, at this point, like the Sox are just trying to put a team out there that will hang around this season. But, as the team stands now, could you see them contending for a championship? There's too much inconsistency throughout the lineup, and the pitching is fairly poor.

There are also some "bridge guys" that are everyday players, which sort of smacks of rebuilding or waiting for the young guys to come along. So, I ask, what is the difference?

Gonzalez, Loretta, Tavarez, Seanez are four that pop to mind. Wells is another, but he's been hurt all year so I am not sure if he counts.

Crisp is very good and if not for his injury would probably have great numbers. He's young, and it is as though he came from our farm system (although he hasn't)...A young, cheap, talented outfielder for years to come...

Wily Mo is young, but hurt. There is no doubt the FO is looking at him as an everyday outfielder with power. Probably at the end of Manny's contract, not Trot's...

So the outfield in two-three years is probably Wily Mo, Crisp, and David Murphy (who is apparently coming into his own)...and Stern...Ellsbury?

The infield is Youk, Pedroia, Machado and other (Wily Mo at first? Free agent slugger at first or third?)...

The pitching? This is where most of the rebuilding is taking place, and where I start to question the spending...

Seanez and Tavarez are obviously guys they thought would be serviceable giving Hansen and Delcarmen one more year of development in the minors.

Papelbon, as awesome as he's been in the closer role, should move (at some point) to the rotation. If the Sox continue to fall, I could see this happening this year.

Guys coming along?
Edgar Martinez
Matt Ginter

Lester is up here now. Pauley looks like he needs some more time...

That's a lot of young arms, and many of them need more minor league time. However, I think that Hansen could be just as good as Seanez and Tavarez. Delcarmen has looked pretty good. I think that some team would take Seanez (an NL team) for a prospect or two...Maybe we could trade Seanez for Bard...just kidding.

Not sure what to do about Tavarez. He just looks like damaged goods at this point.

I don't think that many of the position players are ready at this point. Stern actually looked better at the Major League level than he does in Pawtucket. Kapler is nearing a return.

So, rebuilding is not a possibility at this point. But, I do think that the fans would be more tolerant of Hansen, Delcarmen, and Alvarez getting knocked around (but developing) than watching the disaster that is the bullpen now. I am starting to think, though, that the front office might see Delcarmen and Alvarez as a modern day Brian Rose in that they aren't the real deals...Remember how much hype there was about that guy? I would not be surprised to hear that either of those guys get traded.

Maybe getting Gordon from Philly as another setup guy, giving the Sox Timlin, Gordon and Papelbon at the end of the game...That might help, and then throw Hansen in the mix and save Tavarez as your mop-up guy. Then, designate him for assignment when Foulke returns.

They also need another starter...Who's out there? Maybe Lester pans out...He replaces Wells/Pauley...Beckett might turn it around. But even that rotation isn't deep enough to carry this team through. And there are two ifs in that equation...Throw in Clement having to do something...yikes.

Then, what about the lack of power besides Manny and Ortiz? The inconsistency in the lineup? How do you fix that? Another power hitter could solve that problem. They could always trade for Soriano with the idea that he plays RF next year instead of Trot. Hell, maybe they trade Trot and prospects for Soriano? (I know that Trot is in his last year, so they'd need good prospects in that deal). Loretta goes to the bench as the backup. Soriano leads off, followed by Youk, Ortiz, Manny...not too shabby.

But, the question remains...Do you bring up the young arms and let them learn in the bigs (a sort of rebuilding), or do you start trading prospects to try to fix a team with many holes?

I'd rather know that they were writing the season off and building for next year, than to have them try to temporarily fix a team that might do something.


  1. Yikes...that was a long post...Too long...It didn't seem that long when I was typing it...

  2. Loretta is a KEEPER. And not just for this year but for many more to come. And a big start for Lester tonight, one that will make him a household hero for the rest of the year....maybe. I will be watchin".

  3. Wow that was long. A few things jump out at me:

    I think Alvarez could be the trade bait but not Delcarmen. Alvarez is a junk baller and likely has a better chance in the NL. Delcarmen is the type of power arm you can't really trade.

    I think we are seeing that many teams (Sox included) are now bringing some guys along a lot more slowly - in the pen to let them develop and keep the innings down. Twins did it nicely with Johan (although they sort of had to since he was a Rule 5 guy and not really ready).

    I disagree 100% that the fans would accept the kids getting knocked around more. And then on top of that you risk a guy going all Ankiel on us.

    Its a good thing that noone else (except the White Sox again and sort of the Tigers) is really looking "put together" at this point.

    I don't see the Phils giving up Gordon and, frankly, I don't want him. He's got two more years at closer money. He's old. And the Phils are not really out of it.

    And Soriano in my estimation would be horrible. First off, there is zero chance of getting him for Trot even with prospects (unelss you are talking Lester). And the guy has been terrible in the OF. Shockingly terrible. As bad as Manny can be at times, Soriano is worse than him.

    Who knows how the injury will affect WMP, but I think the FO see him as the RF next year.

    And Manny, I will say it again, those $20 MM options (one at a time) don't look so bad.

    Its tough since they could easily go on a nice little 16-4 run and get a tad of a cushion. It should have started this week leading up to the break, with series against MN, Was, FL, TB.

    And no matter what happens there is always the lure of those 9 games with MFY oin Aug/Sept, so unless they get real far behind everyone will say hey win 6 of 9 and we are right back there. which is of course sad to say since we are only a game back even if it feels like we are 5 back.

  4. Loretta is not a keeper for a long time. He's a heck of a ballplayer, but he is in his mid-thirties and a streak hitter. He is very slow, and does not like to dive to knock down ground balls even with guys in scoring position (probably to protect himself from injury). I like the guy, but you've got to believe that Pedroia will be there sooner than later.

    Gordon's numbers are excellent. If they could get him, I'd take him. Hell, it even buys you time to bring Hansen along. You could even think about making him the closer and moving Papelbon into the rotation next year.

    I agree on Soriano, but I could see it. You get a leadoff hitter, a power bat, and a guy with speed. You definitely give up defense, but Wily Mo was not Mays out there, either. And maybe it is him playing in Washington on a non-contender that leads to his boredom. Is that an excuse? No. I am not touting him as the answer, but he would bolster this fairly flat lineup.

    My point was...and IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH SHORTER...that there are a ton of holes on this team and there is a choice. Try to fill them (by trading away prospects) or bring up some of the younger guys and give them a consistent shot. Bringing up Hansen for 1 appearance to send him back down to bring in Van Buren or (now) Lopez doesn't make sense.

  5. I strongly doubt that the Sox are gunning for an all-system-product team at any point. The point of a farm system isn't to completely fill up an MLB roster, it's to give you options. The Sox will always be active in trades and FA signings; prospects are for filling the holes, or for providing top-level talent when it comes along (which isn't often). There are a bunch of guys you list that could contribute at some point - Murphy, Machado, Pauley, Stern, Alvarez. Ginter and Breslow aren't really prospects, they're MLB and mL journeymen that the Sox picked up this offseason as backup. I doubt many of these guys will be in the system in even a year's time.

    As for the rebuilding point, that rebuilding isn't realistic, I'd argue that rebuilding is precisely what we're doing; bridge guys, as you call them, are there to hold spots for developing players, which is a pretty essential part of the rebuilding process.

  6. Andrew...that's sort of what I said about the rebuilding. That the Sox ARE rebuilding now, but they are just disguising it. I just can't see the FO looking at this team and thinking they are built to win it all.

    The Sox are building up all those players in the minors to do both things you said. To trade and to groom into a 90s Yankee-like dynasty. With Crisp and Wily Mo in the mix (and like X said, Manny probably for the options), there isn't room for Stern, Murphy and Ellsbury. So someone will get traded.

    All those pitchers won't make it to the Sox either. (Breslow is only 25 with excellent numbers this year...Ginter is 28 with great numbers), both tradeable, both might be serviceable on the Sox in the pen. Who knows?

    The questions is, do you start emptying out some of those guys and acquiring players for this year, or do you give them a shot in the bigs and see if they have what it takes?

    My view is that there are a ton of holes to fill...2 starters, 2 or 3 pen spots, and at least one more power bat in the lineup (meaning Gonzalez or Loretta or Nixon will have to go).

    I just look at Lastings Milledge, Cabrera, Phillips, Cano all forced into playing over the last year or two and they are all performing extremely well. We've got to give some of these guys a shot.

  7. "I just look at Lastings Milledge, Cabrera, Phillips, Cano all forced into playing over the last year or two and they are all performing extremely well. We've got to give some of these guys a shot."

    The problems with that is that statement is that a) there are no pitchers on that list and b) for every one of those guys there are about 5 busts - guys like Brandon McCarthy, Cla Meredith, Josh Barfield, or Khalil Greene.

  8. Holy crap that's a lot of stuff. I can't possibly respond to everything I agree with/disagree with, but here are some random things:

    - yeah, I think RSN is too impatient to accept an admission of "rebuilding"; perception counts so much in this business, so the ownership/FO would never admit to a rebuilding. For somewhat more patient people (like us), it'd be nice to hear, but it'll never happen.

    - I worry about sending young guys out there too early, but not because of Ankiel-like meltdowns. That sort of mental collapse seems to happen to a great or promising pitcher every couple years, and I don't know of any common threads between the different cases.

    - bullpen help: Damaso Marte? Dan Kolb?

    - So far Soriano's really surprised me this year. But I don't want to see him in a Sox uniform, because I just don't like him. Guy is a great ballplayer, but not quite as great as he (or maybe his agent) thinks he is.

  9. Oh yeah, and Wang is a pitcher that GR could've mentioned. But yes, I agree with X: for every Wang, there's a..., I really don't like where that sentence was going...

    ...uh, Stubby?

  10. I don't know if you can say 5-1 ratio. There are lots of guys that succeed coming up right away.

    Jenks, Street, Papelbon...There's three. Of course, they are all closers, not starters. But, many great pitchers started out getting knocked around at the major league level.

    And I wouldn't write of Meredith, yet. Plus, Bard looked like a complete bust. A change of scenery and I already here Sox fans wanting him back from SD.

  11. Soriano is a free agent next year. What, another rent-a-player? No way.

  12. Well who knows what the ratio is or even how you would define success and bust. My point is that young guys are going to struggle. And especially in a high leverage bullpen role, when one struggles it is very noticeable.

    And you helped my point with Meredith and Bard examples. Meredith was rushed and couldn't handle it big time. The fact that he may bounce back is fine, just shows that it takes time. Same for Bard. Not long ago he was the Indians catcher of the future. and one of the other guys on your list - Melky - came up last year and was completely overwhelmed.

  13. All right. First off. No to Soriano. Bad 2Bman, bad OFer. Crisp would have to make up for both he and Manny's shortcomings. Not to mention the fact that Trot plays RF well and his hitting stats are just as good as our boy Youks. Also...Soriano at leadoff? I don't think so...

    It's also too early, I think, to call Brandon McCarthy a bust. Correct me if I'm wrong, but he's never really done anything but start until he came up to the White Sox. The White Sox could easily trade Garland for a CFer who can hit a bit and actually end up having a better rotation. I saw McCarthy in a couple ST games last year, and he looked phenomenal, and in neither game was he facing less than 7 regulars. Also, Andy Phillips is as old as Youkilis (or older?). It's been a few years since he could be legitimately called a "prospect".

    As far as the bullpen help goes, I like what Damaso Marte might be able to bring to the table. Dan Kolb has proven he's a guy who can have some success with Mike Maddux in Milwaukee...and that's about it.

  14. Allen, Soriano did more than a fine job at leadoff for the Yankees...

    But I was just using Soriano to ask a question...not saying that the Sox should get him.