In Response to Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part III
[QUOTE]harness, I don'ty think Scutaro
has great instincts, but I think he is aboutr average, That ball was hard to read in slow motion on a TV screen. Marco was running hard. It was a matter of inches. I can't agree with this Moon . Not when there are proven dogs in the top slots, and Lester/Beckett have strong track records. I love Beckett and Lester on our staff. They can both be true aces, however, Beckett has not had a 10 seasons of 23+ start/season sample size. He's never has more than 213 IP, and has been over 201 IP just twice. He has been under 179 six times. He has been out hurt or pitching hurt
for a pretty big percent of his career. He has been better in Boston, missing only about 25 starts over 6 years, but his 21 starts last year were not the "real" Beckett. The question always is, which Beckett are we going to get this year, this month, this game. He was on pace for becomming one of the best "money pitchers" in baseball history, so I still think he has the winner's mentality even today, but he has had rough times when it counts in his last 4 playoff starts and the end of this year. His reliance on VTek is scary. While you know I agree with you on what a value VTek is with pitchers, there's a big concern on why Beckett totally loses it with anyone else. The disparity is frightening. Lester has put up fantastic numbers for 4 straight years. He's been within a pretty tight range of 3.21 to 3.47 ERA and 192 to 208 IP. His WHIP has also been between 1.202 and 1.274- very good. He's been even better in the playoffs (2.57/1.119) in 6 starts. He's ace material for sure. My point is that we need another top pitcher, not becaus these two are bad, but because our competition has had better from the #1 to #8 slots. Getting an arm better than those will be very, very difficult and costly. And while we are mentally paralyzed by the poor pitching for reasons already discussed, it doesn't mean spending a ton more will ease our minds. Pitchers' health is risky business. I know it will be costly and risky, but I am convinced we need to try hard to find solid innings eater ace or #2 type pitcher. I think the best we can realistically hope for is that Theo addresses depth issues and gets a really good sounding board willing to put in the time and effort. I'd like to see Guthrie in a Boston uniform. Rebuilding this present pitching staff is not likely. Hard not to like Lester/Beckett/Buich going into any season. I'd be happy with 2 Guthrie types. harness, if you had to bet on it,
what are the chances that all of our top 3 starters have very good to great seasons in 2012? Beckett is about a 60-40 gamble, Lester is about a 90-10 good bet, and Buch with a back injury (which rarely ever get 100% better) is maybe a 70-30 bet. Add these all together and we're probably not going to win a trifecta. (I hope you appreciate the analogy.) I have zero confidence in Lackey
, Dice or young starters to fill the 4/5 slots.
ZERO! Maybe I'm over-reacting to the Ray's staff, but their model has been more successful than ours the last 4 years.
They were much better than we were where it counts: pitching. Pitching down the stretch is almost always the biggest key to making the playoffs. They bring back all their starting 5 ... AND... have Alex Cobb and Matt Moore knocking on the door. Both those kids could be better than most of the top 5. The Rays should get vastly better next year, even of they deal away Upton. The pieces they will lose this winter pale compared to last year, and they never spent Manny's money. I think at worst, we need to sign Buehrle
and get a guy like Guthrie. I know Theo won't like having Lackey at the 6 slot, but if he's number #5 we are in trouble. The Yankees got very lucky improving their staff "from the bottom" with garcia and Colon, but that is very hard to repeat. For every Garcia/Colon, there are 50 Penny/Smoltzs. If it takes losing Papi, Scutaro, and maybe even having to trade Youk in order to get a solid ace and #5 guy or two solid #2-3 guys, I'm thinking thats what I prefer. Pitching wins games. I have always believed that. I thought we had enough this year. It's the first year I can remember where I didn't say starting pitching was a high priority. I was wrong. I did want Cliff Lee over CC, but I'm not going to say we ever could have had him, so the argument is moot. I'm not sure about Wilson. He could easily be the next Lackey. Wilson is 31, but he doesn't have a ton of IP under his belt, since he's only been a starter for 2 years. Trading for an ace would be very costly indeed. Maybe we could pry Johnny Cueto from Cincy by giving them Youk and some kids. (I'm not saying I like this deal, but to keep the money even, maybe a Youk, Douby & Bard for Cueto & Cordero deal coul get it done.) Anyway you look at it, Theo is going to have to get creative if Henry's purse string's are not opened. Even if they are, it won't be easy.
Posted by moonslav59
On Scutaro: Moon
, that play was a no-brainer. It was a gapper from the time it left the bat. Certain players can read a play instantly. Like Pedey or Youk. You can look at Scutaro's decision-making since he came to Boston in a two-hour video...and find a series of question marks.
Certain players see a play unfold in front of them and where it's going
...instantaneously. Guys with limited vision, like Scut, see only the moment.
This can best be described in hockey. Watch Gretzky or Orr and you'll see what I mean.
In regards to pitching health, I can't set odds on that because ya just never know. I understand your concerns. Which is why I advocate getting a guy like Guthrie,who has a good health record. Problem is, there's a fine line between a moundsman having enough experience to produce at a relatively high level...and logging too many IP.
I would never use the Rays model
to draw a comparison. They got to monopolize the league's best picks. They get to play in a pitcher's venue with little pressure of expectation. A far cry from playing in Boston.
In addition, I think you over-estimate the Rays FO. They inherited rich farmland and have little choice but to sell high on those they can't afford. I'm willing to bet you Theo's moves would also be viewed as "uncanny" if he had to market Lester or Pedey or Bard or Paps or Jake - and got the low-cost goods in return.
I also think perception of Wake/Miller as inadequate depth beyond the front 5 is short-sighted (read this from others). They filled in and were very serviceable for a time. They are not paid to replace Buch/Dice/Lackey. Long-term injuries, coupled with short-term ones, coupled with an inefficient sounding board will result in free-fall. Maybe we should consider how long the team was able to withstand losing so many arms for so long.
Realistically, a GM can't stockpile starters. The good ones need to pitch. The journeymen have limited value. Ya can't just put #6's and #7's on the shelf.
I have no problem with seeing Lackey, who is likely to continue to have physical issues if I read this year right, in the #5 slot, with a guy like Tazawa and a low-cost journeyman and Douby or Bowden returning to staters in AAA next year for insurance.
I think we'll see one main acquisition to replace Dice, but that's about it.
And I have no problem bringing back Wake for starter ins. He was healthy and gave the team several QS's, which is all one can ask from a "#6".
You spent much of the season effectively comparing Wake to other spot starters or other #5's. No reason to stop that analogy. Show me any team that can withstand losing the amount of starts this team lost.
I doubt we'll see a repeat of that. But making moves to insure against it may turn out to be very
costly, and I'm not
limiting this to $$$. Buehrle would make the commish happy with expedited games, but his stuff is pretty straight and his H/IP don't translate well to Fenway. Guthrie is a better bet, regarding both venue and health gamble. But it's all a gamble.