Re: Bard Is Not A Starting Pitcher!!
posted at 5/19/2012 7:45 AM EDT
In Response to Re: Bard Is Not A Starting Pitcher!!
In Response to Re: Bard Is Not A Starting Pitcher!! : Soriano was the exact same pitcher with the Mariners Bard was with the Red Sox for the last 3 years. I hope Bard is a success, even if he is removed (probably wisely so) when Daisuke comes back. But as a starting pitcher, he is a project, and probably an ill-advised one. He is getting the chance because that is the trend. Teams follow each other around with cost-cutting ideas. And while many, mny other RP have failed as a converted starter, CJ Wilson didn't, and suddenly he is the new model everyone is following. (CJ Wilson, whom I always felt was overvalued, was the nest SP on the reigning AL Champion last year, and went to the FA market, by the way.) And actually, most of the long term deals being handed out lately are for younger position players. The Rays went all in on Matt Moore, but that team has a track record of getting deals done ridiculously early. (Evan Longoria was extended after 6 career games!!) The truth is, teams are NOT tying up young top-of-the-rotation arms the way you are claiming. The infrequent number to hit free agency is probably only due to the extremely limited number that meet your defintion of a true #1. While some younger pitchers (Verlander, Cain, Bumgarner) have been extended, many others (Shields, Greinke, Price, Strasburg) have not. Some small makret teams like Tamp do sign them. Others like Oakland pass them on for even younger pitchers, who will in turn be dealt for younger pitchers, and the circle of life continues in Oakland. Young pitchers are much, much less of a risk than young hitters, so some GMs are actually reluctant to sign them to extensions. Billy Beane is a prime example of this, and certainly one who has traded away MANY young pitchers...
Posted by notin
the biggest difference between Bard and Soriano is that Bard was a starter in college and in his first year of pro ball, before being moved to the pen. Bard has been a pitcher since HS...Soriano was converted to pitching by the Mariners and right from the begining was developed to be a reliever...
In Bard's case it came down to a few factors. The Sox had a need entering the season due to the injuries to Matsusaka and Lackey (tying up some 26M in payroll). After Wilson the FA market didn't have a ton of quality depth. So moneys were indeed part of the reason, but not the driving force, more so it came down to price value...With Lester, Beckett & Buccholz all entering the spring healthy the Sox were looking to fill the 4th, 5th and 6th starter rolls. They had Miller and Dobrount both as internal options but otherwise the cubbord was bare...Once they decided to move Bard into the rotation. They then went out and aquired Melancon and Bailey both of whom came at a reasonable cost both in terms of players and moneys. In effect with thier aquisitions, the Sox then had the flexibility to give Bard a legit shot to earn a spot in the rotation in the spring...In hindsight I don't think that anyone can judge his performance to be lacking, he's simply learning how to pitch every 5 days, a transistion that will take most of this year to complete.
The recent trend of closer to starter, isn't new... the Red Sox did the same with Derek Lowe and also were close to doing the same with Papelbon. The reason is simple, if they can make the conversion and maintain thier stuff. 200 IP with a sub 4 ERA vs 70 IP with 2 ERA is far more valuable in the big picture.
In the end it comes down to commanding the ball and repeating your delivery for 100 pitches while maintaining your stuff and navigating a ML lineup 3 or 4 times in a single game. Those that can't end up in the pen...those that have plus stuff end up in the back of the pen...Those that can stay in the rotation...time will tell which of the three groups Bard falls into...