Re: A Realistic Look at 2011: Part III
posted at 10/1/2011 4:08 AM EDT
We will never agree on Rays "model". 10-20 teams were not ever in the same boat as the Rays. They didn't dwell in the cellar for 10 years like Smelly. New mgmt. had the constant leverage of the farm and revenue sharing for player movement. Most every player new MGMT. has is directly or indirectly linked to old mgmt.
They started with less than Theo did. They had way less money to spend on filling holes with FAs. They made shrewd trades over the last 4 years. Theo's trade and FA signing record since 2008 is not very good.
I know no other team had as many top picks as TB for so many years, but many of the player's who helped build this team were not the #1 picks.
I also doubt their pitching would be as effective playing in Fenway for 81 games under very different degree of pressure.
They'd certainly have higher ERAs and WHIP, but these kids are seasoned. (their hitting would look better if they played in Fenway as well.) Yes, there is added pressure playing in Boston, but these kids have mostly done great under pressure. They have exceeded expectations and overachieved in many areas, year after year. I don't see how you can't accept that they are a "model of success".
The Rays did have a nice 4.04 ERA on the road, which included many games in hitting parks like Fenway, Yankee Stadium, and Baltimore. Their overall ERA was 3.58 with a WHIP of 1.219.
Vs the Sox: 2.88/1.065 (In Fenway: 2.85/1.051)
Vs the NYY: 3.85/1.377
Vs. Tor 2.79/1.083
Vs. Balt 3.86/1.193
vs teams over .500: 3.41 / 1.226
vs teams under .500: 3.77 / 1.212
The Rays drafted 10 guys in the top 60 picks this year. They drafted 12 in the top 89. On paper, they should have got a lot worse this year by getting all these picks for losing top quality FAs. They barely blinked an eye. They had 5 of the top 79 picks last year.
This management team drafted Hellickson (4th round), Longoria (#3), Alex Cobb (4th round), Desmond Jenning (10th round: watch this kid next year!)David Price (#1), Niemann (4th round).
They also signed Carlos Pena off the scrap heap to a minor league deal in 2007.
This management team traded some good talent drafted by the old management team, but they did very well picking up good players in nearly every deal:
Junk for Edwin Jackson, then traded Jackson for Matt Joyce
Seth McClung for Balfour
Ty Wiggington for Wheeler
Delmon Young, Brendan harris and J. Pridie for Garza & Bartlett.
Kazmir for Sean Rodriguez, Alexander Torres, and Matt Sweeney.
Garza> Sam Fuld, Robinson Chirinos, Brandon Guyer, Chris Archer and Hak-Ju Lee
Aubrey Huff for Ben Zobrist
Bartlett for 3 relievers in this year's MLB pen: Gomes, Ramos &Russell
Lackey is lower rotational pitcher. If backed by an arm to replace Dice,andperhaps a low-cost gambit, I think Wake & Miller (w/new pitching coach) and Tazawa/Douby/Bowden is all the team will realistically stock.
I agree that's what they "will" do, but think they need better to overtake the Rays or Yanks.
I'm not a Weiland fan, and I expect he and Bowden or Douby to be packaged with Lowrie this winter. Guthrie's numbers don't reflect what I think he can do in a winning atmosphere. I've always liked his stuff, but it's predicated on what he's got behind him.
I like Guthie too, and mentioned him this past July.