Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxDOrtiz. Show RedSoxDOrtiz's posts

    Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    For those that haven't noticed, Mark Melancon was only given 4 games with the Sox before he played himself into the minors... pretty darn small sample size if you ask me for a solid vetran.  The primary reason he was was sent down was from one game with an epic failure when he gave up 6 runs on 4/17 to the Texas Rangers without recording an out.  

    Our team panicked and wasn't able to let him work out his problems in the majors because we were in a tail spin.  Since being demoted a month ago to AAA, he is absolutely dominating the minors right now and is our best pitcher down there.

    In 14 games his ERA is 0.64 with 22 Ks and only 2 BB in 14 innings along with 5 saves.  To go along with these stats he just gave up his first run on 5/20... it took over a month after his demotion to have a single run scored on him and had a zero ERA up till then.  He hasn't given up a home run and players are only batting 192 off of him.  

    This is not some fringe prospect, but is an established veteran who we traded Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland for.  He closed for the Astros last year and pitched in 13 games in 2009 for the Yankees in 2009 with a 3.86 ERA.  He showed that he can pitch in the AL East.  He is under our control until at least 2015 and is part of the long term future of the team.  We exercised his last remaining option for 2012 so we can send him back and forth as many times as we like moving forward, but I think it is time to work him back to the major league roster soon.

    The problem that I see right now with the Red Sox pen is one that I haven't seen in years.  We are literally overflowing with deserving relief pitchers for a change.  Andrew Miller, Tazawa, Mortensen, Hill, Atchinson, Albers all have ERAs under 2 for the Sox.  

    The problem that I see going forward is that the pitcher with the second worst ERA is currently closing for the Red Sox right now.  We won't have Baily back until after the All Star break and even then we don't know what we are going to get out of him.  

    I for one would feel a hell of a lot better having Melancon being either the primary 8th or 7th inning guy marinating in case Aceves blows up, gets injured or for any other reason.  He is 27 years old and it is the primary year statistically for pitchers to be at their peak.

    I think Aceves is a good setup man, but quite frankly he makes me nervous whenever he closes a game.  His ERA is 4.66 and is far above his career 3.05 ERA.  He simply isn't as good at being a closer as he is being a rock solid swing man like Embree or Timlin was that can fill in the high leverage middle innings.  The best quality that Aceves had for this team was his flexibility.  Right now that job goes to Padilla and Albers and they aren't as good at it. 

    Right now Aceves is our best option when we want a strikeout that we have right now, but to be a championship team we need to improve this area.  We have a log jam of players coming up soon with Dice K, Cook, Youks and McDonald so Mark Melancon might get pushed to the back burner for another month or more before he gets a crack at the Sox again.  I think this is a darn shame because he is a better pitcher than at least Padilla and Morales.  

    Aceves has the highest ERA of any relief pitcher besides Padilla who has an ERA of 5.60 and a career 4.33 ERA.  Morales is tied Padilla in appearances with 16 and has an ERA of 4.50 with a career 4.60 ERA.  The problem that we have that could potentially blow up is that we are giving the most innings to the guys who have the worst numbers, but they have more experience.  

    So this leaves the part of the discussion... what in the bleeping hell do we do with this conundrum?  





     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    There's no reason to rush anything.  I disagree that Melacon is an "established vet".  He really only has roughly 2 years of experience in MLB, the bulk of which was pitching for the Astros.  Yes, the NL is also part of MLB, but it's a very different animal than the AL East.  I have to laugh a little bit when you claim small sample size for making a judgement on him, then cite a 13 game (16 1/3 inning) sample as proving he can pitch in the AL East.  He currently has a career ERA of 8.84 while pitching for AL East teams, in an equally ridiculous small sample of 18 1/3 innings.

    Yes he's pitching lights out in AAA, and he should be the first to get the call if we have an injury to a late inning reliever, but he doesn't have the flexibility that some of our other options provide to go multiple innings or spot start like Tazawa or Mortensen and they're also at AAA right now because we may, for the first time in the history of baseball, have too much pitching.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    A 2 or 3 for 1 deal solves everything.

    Or, trade a couple RPs for nice prospects and bring up Mortensen and Melancon.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from notin. Show notin's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    I wouldn't cal sending Melancon down a panic move.

    While he only had 2IP, he was about as far from effective as can be.

    The bullpen has been stellar lately, but with their IP pace, more arms will be needed.

    Let's not forget - Melancon was demoted, not released.  We can call him back up anytime.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    Don't mess with success. The Sox bullpen has been the best in the AL since April 21--basically for a month. During that time Aceves has pitched 16.1 innings and given up 2 runs and not blown a save. For the season he has 9 of 11 saves. Mortensen has shown he can pitch for Boston. Melancon has not.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxDOrtiz. Show RedSoxDOrtiz's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum:
    There's no reason to rush anything.  I disagree that Melacon is an "established vet".  He really only has roughly 2 years of experience in MLB, the bulk of which was pitching for the Astros.  Yes, the NL is also part of MLB, but it's a very different animal than the AL East.  I have to laugh a little bit when you claim small sample size for making a judgement on him, then cite a 13 game (16 1/3 inning) sample as proving he can pitch in the AL East.  He currently has a career ERA of 8.84 while pitching for AL East teams, in an equally ridiculous small sample of 18 1/3 innings. Yes he's pitching lights out in AAA, and he should be the first to get the call if we have an injury to a late inning reliever, but he doesn't have the flexibility that some of our other options provide to go multiple innings or spot start like Tazawa or Mortensen and they're also at AAA right now because we may, for the first time in the history of baseball, have too much pitching.
    Posted by JB-3

    I don't think it's that we have too much pitching... we have too much relief pitching specifically.  Starting pitching... jury is still out.

    So to clarify if I came across as though I am stating that Melancon is guarenteed to pitch well in the AL East then I am sorry because there are no guarentees.  All I am saying is that he was given 4 outings and was sent down in a panic.  

    To me this is a rebuilding year and if that is true then we have to put some merit into players that can contribute for the future and I think Melancon as well as Tazawa and Mortensen fit that bill more than players like Padilla.  I was hoping to have him go down for a short while to work things out and come back.  He worked things out and I would like to see him up here to have a chance to earn his way into the 8th inning slot where we are missing that Bard presense.

    In the past 30 days, Padilla has a 6.97 ERA and he was given time to work things out and it is starting to pay off.  Mark came up through the Yankees system so he has been groomed for big market teams in the AL East.  He showed that he can successfully close for a team albeit in the NL.

    I think he could be the best relief pitcher that we have and we gave up a decent package to get him.  Instead of having Lowrie who has 124 at bats, 5 homers and an 801 OPS we have Punto who has no power and a career average of 247 and has hit over 240 one time since he was 30 (he's 34 now).   His average right now is at 135, but yet he still sits on the team.  In 2638 at bats he has exactly 14 home runs and he isn't doing us any favors.

    The bullpen is pitching better as of late because the starters are going further into games.  I think the sooner that we get to get Melancon back into the pen, the better because he has closing experience and we can break him into the mix without panic to see what we really have in him.  



     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from MadMc44. Show MadMc44's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    RedSoxDOrtiz---re: Aceves

    Just to make a quick point:
    If I am not mistaken Ace is 9 for 9 in saves since he blew the first two. I think he has worked his ERA down from 19 after those first two outings to 4.6 or 4.7 after today.

    This kid is a unique closer, if you put him on the market, you could command an amazing return. To be able to pitch two or three innings as a closer on successive days, 2,3 or 4, is unheard of in todays game. In addition he's comfortable throwing four pitches. The Sox can move Bard to the pen but not to the closer slot. Ace has the mentality to close Bard doesn't.

    Bard to me is about the most tradeable player on the team--we do not need him as a starter and we don't need him as a closer. Package Bard and any number of other players and you will get GM's attention.

    Pap was a fine closer for the Sox but honestly I would get sick if the Sox had a 1 run lead with him coming in to close. One run leads, no matter the closer,are scary.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxDOrtiz. Show RedSoxDOrtiz's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum:
    Don't mess with success. The Sox bullpen has been the best in the AL since April 21--basically for a month. During that time Aceves has pitched 16.1 innings and given up 2 runs and not blown a save. For the season he has 9 of 11 saves. Mortensen has shown he can pitch for Boston. Melancon has not.
    Posted by maxbialystock



    I have this line of thinking as well.  We have too much ground to make up and I simply hope that the first chance that somebody can get promoted that it is Mark to see if we can have one of the four essential championship bullpen ingredients.  Mark needs time to prove he can pitch here because he has the potential to be a key cog in this bullpen for the playoff run.  

    In past championships we needed a solid closer, 8th inning guy, 7th and a lefty.  I am thinking Foulke, Timlin, Embree and Meyers or Papelbon, Timlin, Okie and Delcarmen.  Right now it feels like it is closer to Gabbard, Hansack, Tavarez and Gagne.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from maxbialystock. Show maxbialystock's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum:
    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum : I have this line of thinking as well.  We have too much ground to make up and I simply hope that the first chance that somebody can get promoted that it is Mark to see if we can have one of the four essential championship bullpen ingredients.  Mark needs time to prove he can pitch here because he has the potential to be a key cog in this bullpen for the playoff run.   In past championships we needed a solid closer, 8th inning guy, 7th and a lefty.  I am thinking Foulke, Timlin, Embree and Meyers or Papelbon, Timlin, Okie and Delcarmen.  Right now it feels like it is closer to Gabbard, Hansack, Tavarez and Gagne.
    Posted by RedSoxDOrtiz


    You just don't get it.  The bullpen has been almost lights out for a month, and you keep wanting to fix it.  It doesn't need fixing.  Repeat, it doesn't need fixing. 

    If anyone comes back up first, it should be Mortensen because he actually pitched very well for the Sox.  Melancon was terrible.  Yes, he's doing great at Pawtucket, but right now he is the guy I would trade and maybe Bailey too depending on what the Sox could get.  Of course, I doubt the Sox would get much for either one, so they can spend some time at AAA awaiting an injury or collapse by someone in the current bullpen. 

    Also, you seem to think the bullpen only has to pitch 3 innings, but that's not the case.  Moreoever, your idea of having one lefty, one set up guy, one 7th inning guy, and one lefty ignores the fact that the Sox when they are winning can regularly use 6 or 7 guys over a three game span.  Right now this is the deepest Sox bullpen I can remember. 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxDOrtiz. Show RedSoxDOrtiz's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum:
    RedSoxDOrtiz---re: Aceves Just to make a quick point: If I am not mistaken Ace is 9 for 9 in saves since he blew the first two. I think he has worked his ERA down from 19 after those first two outings to 4.6 or 4.7 after today. This kid is a unique closer, if you put him on the market, you could command an amazing return. To be able to pitch two or three innings as a closer on successive days, 2,3 or 4, is unheard of in todays game. In addition he's comfortable throwing four pitches. The Sox can move Bard to the pen but not to the closer slot. Ace has the mentality to close Bard doesn't. Bard to me is about the most tradeable player on the team--we do not need him as a starter and we don't need him as a closer. Package Bard and any number of other players and you will get GM's attention. Pap was a fine closer for the Sox but honestly I would get sick if the Sox had a 1 run lead with him coming in to close. One run leads, no matter the closer,are scary.
    Posted by MadMc44

    The only problem with Bard is that you don't want to sell low.  I think the plan will be to work Bard up to the point when Dice comes back to limit his innings and then put him in the pen.  I am worried that with the level of velocity drop in Bard that he is injured.  You are however right in that Bard is the most tradeable asset we have in that we have shown that he can be used as a starter or a lights out setup guy... and with that cannon somebody will want him to close.  I haven't thought about putting Bard on the block since he is only 26 years old and cannons like he has don't come around often at all.

    We don't have that strikeout pitcher right now in the pen anywhere.  I really miss Bard out there as a setup guy.  I think Ace had his best role as he was with us last year.  It gave us the most value on high leverage innings and I like what he has been doing lately more than earlier in the year.  You do make a good point of the mental makeup of Ace as a closer however and there is something to be said for that.  If I were to choose between keeping Ace or Bard... I would have trouble deciding but I would have to go with Bard after seeing what he did in the setup role for the past few years.

    The players I see as not minding to trade for the future of the team are as follows for age and performance decline reasons.

    1.  Padilla (34)
    2.  Atchinson (36)
    3.  Youks (33)


     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedSoxDOrtiz. Show RedSoxDOrtiz's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum:
    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum : You just don't get it.  The bullpen has been almost lights out for a month, and you keep wanting to fix it.  It doesn't need fixing.  Repeat, it doesn't need fixing.  If anyone comes back up first, it should be Mortensen because he actually pitched very well for the Sox.  Melancon was terrible.  Yes, he's doing great at Pawtucket, but right now he is the guy I would trade and maybe Bailey too depending on what the Sox could get.  Of course, I doubt the Sox would get much for either one, so they can spend some time at AAA awaiting an injury or collapse by someone in the current bullpen.  Also, you seem to think the bullpen only has to pitch 3 innings, but that's not the case.  Moreoever, your idea of having one lefty, one set up guy, one 7th inning guy, and one lefty ignores the fact that the Sox when they are winning can regularly use 6 or 7 guys over a three game span.  Right now this is the deepest Sox bullpen I can remember. 
    Posted by maxbialystock

    Oh I do get it, but what you aren't getting is that you can't trade a person who has an all time low of trade value.  In order to get something of value you have to prove that Melancon can pitch on the Sox.  I am not saying to throw somebody out the door to bring him up, I am saying with the inevitable injury happens to have Mark come up for a second chance.  I am confident in what  Mortensen can do and we control him for longer and his stats are trending towards improvement.  Melancon however is more marketable because he closed and has more major league experience that was successful.  Mortensen is more of a diamond in the rough. 

    Once we find out if Melancon can pitch for us or not then we have more options.  It will either be in an 8th or 7th inning role or we will have some trade value and its a win win.  I just don't want to give up on a guy for a period of 4 games to say he can't pitch... that's what we did with Clay Merideth and he was pretty damn good when we traded him.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from tomnev. Show tomnev's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    The bullpen has been great and as of right n0w does not need fixing....that said, thi is baseball and we will need more guys eventually. For me, the pen has originally envisioned is where we are heading, but it may be even better. Bailey as the Closer....Bard and Aceves as the 7/8 guys, interchangeable....Bard back to the pen for innings limit and to free up a rotation spot for Dice or Cook.....Miller, Morales and Hill the lefties....Albers, Mortenson or Melancon as another righty....Padilla as the long guy....I left out Atchison...and he has been great, but he seems to always lose the #'s game.  Tazawa also pitched well when he was up, but cant fit him in either.....our BP depth despite the rough start is fantastic and a creedit to Ben C.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from notin. Show notin's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum:
    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum : I have this line of thinking as well.  We have too much ground to make up and I simply hope that the first chance that somebody can get promoted that it is Mark to see if we can have one of the four essential championship bullpen ingredients.  Mark needs time to prove he can pitch here because he has the potential to be a key cog in this bullpen for the playoff run.   In past championships we needed a solid closer, 8th inning guy, 7th and a lefty.  I am thinking Foulke, Timlin, Embree and Meyers or Papelbon, Timlin, Okie and Delcarmen.  Right now it feels like it is closer to Gabbard, Hansack, Tavarez and Gagne.
    Posted by RedSoxDOrtiz


    Recognizable names do not a good bullpen make.

    The Sox bullpen has been outstanding since the embarassment to the Yankees.  Melancon is still good depth to have.  But that is all he is right now, and he is behind Mortenson on the call up roster.

    There is no need to rush this guy up.  Every team in baseball will use over 20 different pitchers this year, most of them relievers.  Melancon will be back...
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    The only problem with Bard is that you don't want to sell low.  I think the plan will be to work Bard up to the point when Dice comes back to limit his innings and then put him in the pen.  I am worried that with the level of velocity drop in Bard that he is injured.  You are however right in that Bard is the most tradeable asset we have in that we have shown that he can be used as a starter or a lights out setup guy... and with that cannon somebody will want him to close.  I haven't thought about putting Bard on the block since he is only 26 years old and cannons like he has don't come around often at all.

    I agree, and I refuse to write him off after 6 bad games in September and management mistakenly making him a starter this year.

    We don't have that strikeout pitcher right now in the pen anywhere.  I really miss Bard out there as a setup guy.  I think Ace had his best role as he was with us last year.  It gave us the most value on high leverage innings and I like what he has been doing lately more than earlier in the year.  You do make a good point of the mental makeup of Ace as a closer however and there is something to be said for that.  If I were to choose between keeping Ace or Bard... I would have trouble deciding but I would have to go with Bard after seeing what he did in the setup role for the past few years.

    I think we need to keep both, but to get someone really good, we may need to part with one. 

    The players I see as not minding to trade for the future of the team are as follows for age and performance decline reasons.

    1.  Padilla (34)
    2.  Atchinson (36)
    3.  Youks (33)

    If Youk, Ells, CC, Bailey, and Dice-K all are healthy, I'd list them like this:
    (assuming Middlebrooks goes down until the deadline.)

    1. Padilla (34), Cook (33), DMac (33) or Byrd (34) 
    2. Youk (33), Atchison (36)-amazingly still has 4 years of team control.
    3. Albers (29)- 1 more arb year, Nava (29)-prearb
    4. Ross (31)-for the right price if CC & Ells are 100% (keep 2: Nava, Byrd or DMac)
    5. Miller (27)- 2 arbs left, Punto (34)-signed through 2013
    6. Melancon (27)- 4 more years of team control (prearb then 3 arbs)

    If we could get a major upgrade player or a younger player with more team control, I'd include one or more of these players as well:

    Salty (27)- 1 arb year left.
    Buch (27)- 4 more years of team control under contract ($30M/4)
    Ellsbury (28)- 1 arb year left 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from JB-3. Show JB-3's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum:
    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum : I have this line of thinking as well.  We have too much ground to make up and I simply hope that the first chance that somebody can get promoted that it is Mark to see if we can have one of the four essential championship bullpen ingredients. 
    Posted by RedSoxDOrtiz


    The Sox are only 2.5 games back from the last wild card spot right now....
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from hankwilliamsjr. Show hankwilliamsjr's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    LOL! The pen is working wonderfully. Start a thread on making changes to it? Are you serious! If changes need to be made, down the road, farm meat will get a call at that time. But not now!
     
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  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from dannycater. Show dannycater's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    The thread had to be started by Melancon's father.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from andrewmitch. Show andrewmitch's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    I don't want to see Oppy pitche for us ever again........that's how bad he was.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from dannycater. Show dannycater's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    i agree, he is/was as horrendous as they come
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from 111SoxFan111. Show 111SoxFan111's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    For those who feel that Melancon's time in Boston precludes him from being called back up no matter what he is doing AAA, try this: 
    Look at Aceves' stats for the first two weeks of the year then reread the original post and this time, everywhere it says Melancon, instead read it as Aceves.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from andrewmitch. Show andrewmitch's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    You mean look at Oppy's eyes versus The Ice Man's?
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from jimedfred. Show jimedfred's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    In Response to Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum:
    You mean look at Oppy's eyes versus The Ice Man's?
    Posted by andrewmitch

     No, mitch.
    Franklin Morales is Ice Man.
    Aceves is Ace.
    Padilla is El Lancero Loco.
    Fat Albers is self-evident.

    Any help on Topeka - Santa Fe-Atchison ( I know, weak) , Miller, Hill, Melancon or Mortensen nicknames is greatly appreciated.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from andrewmitch. Show andrewmitch's posts

    Re: Mark Melancon and the relief conundrum

    :)
     
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