Pitching Depth?

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    Pitching Depth?

    Unless you have been living under a rock or been in a coma for the past five months, you have heard endless debate about the Sox starting pitching or lack thereof.  I have seen it stated numerous times that this team lacks pitching depth, needs to acquire a #3-4 type starter and that if any of our top three miss more than a few starts they will be golfing come October.  I thought it would be interesting to have a realistic discussion of our actual pitching depth and compare that to competitors, prior years' teams and our expectations.  

    In another thread, I made a bold (and fairly uninformed) guess that we'd field 9 starting pitchers this year and listed some GS #'s for them.  Moon replied with his own names and numbers which I have put to the right of my own (FFS, he lists 7 starts for Andrew "just hit the bull" Miller).  While I would love to have "The Pitcher Who Shall Not Be Named" or Gavin Floyd, the more I look at this list the more I feel like this team has more depth than we have had in a long time.  We have a very solid top 3, Bard & Ace are wild cards but are capable of putting up a sub 4 ERA (not saying it will happen but that's the ceiling) and then 3 guys (Douby, Cook & Padilla) who have a pretty decent chance of putting up a number of sub-5 ERA innings... not to mention half a season of Dice and his new bionic elbow.  
    (***I will not mention Miller again, but you should feel free to do so ... and may god save your soul***)

    Granted, beyond or top 3 we really don't know what we will get ... but then again, do you EVER really know?  From my armchair, the depth looks pretty damn good and it should have a very positive impact on the pen in terms of long relief options.

    My List Moon's List
    Lester 32 Beckett 29
    Buchholz 30 Lester 27
    Beckett 25 Buchholz 27
    Doubront 25 Doubront 22
    Bard 20 Dice 17
    Dice 14 Cook 12
    Cook 10 Padilla 7
    Ace 3 Bard 7
    Padilla 3 Miller 7
    Aceves 7
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    Clay Buchholz, who turns 28 in August, has made more than 16 MLB starts only once when the righthander started 28 games in his breakout 2010 season. A projection of 27-30 starts is optimistic considering Buchholz is coming off season in which a back injury limited him to 14 starts.

    As a sidenote, I recently participated in a mock fantasy draft in which Buchholz was not among the 184 players selected* in the eight-team league with 23-man rosters.

    * I have Buchholz as the No. 5 starter on my rotisserie team
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    I'm not confident that all three of our top starters will get 27+ starts and be productive. It has never happened. Guys like softy think it's enough and would rather us go out and get a slugger.

    Others think by having 10 known starters, we somehow have depth. We don't. 

    I'd rather have two solid 5/6 slot guys than 6 shaky 5-10 slot guys.

    Maybe we'll get lucky.

    (hill, Buch has started over 24 games in several season, counting the minors. His limited MLB starts were not all injury-related. I'm not saying I am highly confident he will be healthy this year, but I think the odds aren't as bad as some imply they are.)
     
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  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from TBINFL. Show TBINFL's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]Unless you have been living under a rock or been in a coma for the past five months, you have heard endless debate about the Sox starting pitching or lack thereof.  I have seen it stated numerous times that this team lacks pitching depth, needs to acquire a #3-4 type starter and that if any of our top three miss more than a few starts they will be golfing come October.  I thought it would be interesting to have a realistic discussion of our actual pitching depth and compare that to competitors, prior years' teams and our expectations.   In another thread, I made a bold (and fairly uninformed) guess that we'd field 9 starting pitchers this year and listed some GS #'s for them.  Moon replied with his own names and numbers which I have put to the right of my own (FFS, he lists 7 starts for Andrew "just hit the bull" Miller).  While I would love to have "The Pitcher Who Shall Not Be Named" or Gavin Floyd, the more I look at this list the more I feel like this team has more depth than we have had in a long time.  We have a very solid top 3, Bard & Ace are wild cards but are capable of putting up a sub 4 ERA (not saying it will happen but that's the ceiling) and then 3 guys (Douby, Cook & Padilla) who have a pretty decent chance of putting up a number of sub-5 ERA innings... not to mention half a season of Dice and his new bionic elbow.   (***I will not mention Miller again, but you should feel free to do so ... and may god save your soul***) Granted, beyond or top 3 we really don't know what we will get ... but then again, do you EVER really know?  From my armchair, the depth looks pretty damn good and it should have a very positive impact on the pen in terms of long relief options. My List Moon's List Lester 32 Beckett 29 Buchholz 30 Lester 27 Beckett 25 Buchholz 27 Doubront 25 Doubront 22 Bard 20 Dice 17 Dice 14 Cook 12 Cook 10 Padilla 7 Ace 3 Bard 7 Padilla 3 Miller 7 Aceves 7
    Posted by 111SoxFan111[/QUOTE]

    I don't think you can even say that.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from J-BAY. Show J-BAY's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Pitching Depth? : I don't think you can even say that.
    Posted by TBINFL[/QUOTE]

    Babe, the same thing was said about the NYY rotation last season.  You never know and sometimes best to expect the unexpected
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from lardin. Show lardin's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    There is one pitcher on this roster you can count on to give 30+ starts and 200 innings and thats Lester.  Everything else is a guess.  Beckett had arguablly the best season of his career last year, does anyone think he can repeat that without Varitek?  Buch has one season of 20+ starts and not more than 175 innings.  Bard and/or Aceves will be on an innings limit.  Who knows what you will get from Cook who spent the majority of his career in the NL West.  Does anyone believe in Padilla or Doubront or Miller?

    For the rotation to be good, everything has to break perfectly. If Lester, Beckett and Buch maker 90+ starts between them the Sox will be in good shape.   What are the odds that happens?  If lester, Becket or Buchholz get hurt they up a &^* creek.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from TBINFL. Show TBINFL's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pitching Depth? : Babe, the same thing was said about the NYY rotation last season.  You never know and sometimes best to expect the unexpected
    Posted by J-BAY[/QUOTE]

    That's exactly my point. You don't "know" what you will get from the top 3.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from J-BAY. Show J-BAY's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pitching Depth? : That's exactly my point. You don't "know" what you will get from the top 3.
    Posted by TBINFL[/QUOTE]

     No one knows what they'll get out of anyone from year to year, especially the pitcher. The bottom of the NYY rotation exceed expectations last season, Same may hold true for the sox this year. never know
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from lardin. Show lardin's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pitching Depth? :  No one knows what they'll get out of anyone from year to year, especially the pitcher. The bottom of the NYY rotation exceed expectations last season, Same may hold true for the sox this year. never know
    Posted by J-BAY[/QUOTE]

    Except the Guys the Yankees brought in for depth had track records for producing.  What are the track records as starters for Bard, Aceves, Doubront, Miller, Padilla or Cook?
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from J-BAY. Show J-BAY's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pitching Depth? : Except the Guys the Yankees brought in for depth had track records for producing.  What are the track records as starters for Bard, Aceves, Doubront, Miller, Padilla or Cook?
    Posted by lardin[/QUOTE]

    Burnett had a track record for producing, also......Bard was a proven starter, was drafted as one and has earned a shot. Everyone has to be given a chance to start somewhere. If everyone had to have a track record, no one would be working anywhere, at anything.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from 111SoxFan111. Show 111SoxFan111's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]I'm not confident that all three of our top starters will get 27+ starts and be productive. It has never happened. 

    Others think by having 10 known starters, we somehow have depth. We don't.
    Posted by moonslav59[/QUOTE]

    Moon - The first quote is a bit disingenuous.  It's factually true that Lester, Beckett and Buch haven't all had 27+ starts in the same season.  It is also true that Buch has only 2 seasons as a full-time MLB starter ... so that's a bit limiting.  Never mind that Lester has only 4 seasons as a full-time starter ... though he has 31+ GS in each of those.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't take an even money bet on all at 27+ GS ... that's a suckers bet for any team you might choose.  I would take even money on 80+ GS from those three though.

    Re: the second quote, I too would be much happier with a proven #4 starter (and filling out the theoretical starter list with 2 at the 5/6 slot). But in terms of depth, I think allocating ~80GS to 6 guys who can put up 100+ IP of 5/sub-5 ERA pitching is not a terrible way to cover the other half of the team's starts.  I think the work you have done showing the number of starters a team typically uses bolsters this point of view.  IMHO, our starting pitching is deeper than last year, should be better in the median projection and has much more upside potential. 
    [insert obv comment that last year is a really low benchmark.]


     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from 111SoxFan111. Show 111SoxFan111's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    "Granted, beyond or top 3 we really don't know what we will get ... but then again, do you EVER really know?"
    [QUOTE]In Response to Pitching Depth? : I don't think you can even say that.
    Posted by TBINFL[/QUOTE]
    Yes, that's a valid point for any team and it is what I was trying to say when I followed it with "... but do you EVER really know."
     
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  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from DaffyDan. Show DaffyDan's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    Dice-K back in june...

    Positive?

    Negative?

    -Daf.


     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from lardin. Show lardin's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pitching Depth? : Burnett had a track record for producing, also......Bard was a proven starter, was drafted as one and has earned a shot. Everyone has to be given a chance to start somewhere. If everyone had to have a track record, no one would be working anywhere, at anything.
    Posted by J-BAY[/QUOTE]
    Bard's ERA was 7.08 in one year and 6.42 in the other, as a starter.  Theres a reason they moved him to the bullpen
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from J-BAY. Show J-BAY's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pitching Depth? : Bard's ERA was 7.08 in one year and 6.42 in the other, as a starter.  Theres a reason they moved him to the bullpen
    Posted by lardin[/QUOTE]

    The reason "he was moved to the bullpen" was necessity, which is the reason  they're moving him to the rotation. How about we give him a chance and wait and see. nothing ventured nothing gained.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from lardin. Show lardin's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pitching Depth? : The reason "he was moved to the bullpen" was necessity, which is the reason  they're moving him to the rotation. How about we give him a chance and wait and see. nothing ventured nothing gained.
    Posted by J-BAY[/QUOTE]

    I agree with nothing ventured, nothing gained.  But what do you realistically expect from a guy whos never know success in pro baseball as a starter and is on an innings limit?  He could turn out to be great.  But to expect it is a whole nother issue.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from J-BAY. Show J-BAY's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pitching Depth? : I agree with nothing ventured, nothing gained.  But what do you realistically expect from a guy whos never know success in pro baseball as a starter and is on an innings limit?  He could turn out to be great.  But to expect it is a whole nother issue.
    Posted by lardin[/QUOTE]

     I expect Bard will take the mound every 5th day, after that I don't realistically expect anything. Bard is an unknown, even to himself, at this point. Like most unknowns, only time will tell.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from 111SoxFan111. Show 111SoxFan111's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    I am surprised only 4 people have voted for the July Trade option ... I thought this would the no-brainer winner and "Make me wish I was a Mets fan" would be runner up.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from AL34. Show AL34's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    JBay I have a real bad feeling about this year and Bucholtz is the key here as wellas Bard. If those two struggle this is going to be a long year for fans,Young Dan, and Luchinno. They have to come out of the gate on fire to win back the support of the fans after last years disaster which still looms with me. Last year I was so excited about Spring Training, this year I check on it but have better things to do with my kids. I think the thing that got me last year was the attitude of players making the money they are with the country at war in two countrries. Soldiers would give their right arms to trade positions with these guys. to "Re: Pitching Depth?": [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Pitching Depth? : Babe, the same thing was said about the NYY rotation last season.  You never know and sometimes best to expect the unexpected Posted by J-BAY[/QUOTE]
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    Moon - The first quote is a bit disingenuous.  It's factually true that Lester, Beckett and Buch haven't all had 27+ starts in the same season.  It is also true that Buch has only 2 seasons as a full-time MLB starter ... so that's a bit limiting.  Never mind that Lester has only 4 seasons as a full-time starter ... though he has 31+ GS in each of those.  Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't take an even money bet on all at 27+ GS ... that's a suckers bet for any team you might choose.  I would take even money on 80+ GS from those three though.

    Beckett and Lester have only had 28+ startsat the same time 2 times in the last 4 years. Buch's record is spotty in 2008 and 2009, because he stunk or wasn'tm given a chance to pitch 28 starts. I get that, but once Buch became a regular starter in 2010, we've gotten 81 and 75 starts from the "big 3". I have been projecting the Sox to win close to 100 games the past two years based on these top 3 starters and a pretty deep 4-7 slots.  I'm tired of being wrong and wishful thinking. I'm not saying we can't get 90 starts from the three, but I would bet it is closer to 75 or 80 than 90. I'd even bet on 65 over 85.

    Re: the second quote, I too would be much happier with a proven #4 starter (and filling out the theoretical starter list with 2 at the 5/6 slot). But in terms of depth, I think allocating ~80GS to 6 guys who can put up 100+ IP of 5/sub-5 ERA pitching is not a terrible way to cover the other half of the team's starts.  I think the work you have done showing the number of starters a team typically uses bolsters this point of view.  IMHO, our starting pitching is deeper than last year, should be better in the median projection and has much more upside potential. 
    [insert obv comment that last year is a really low benchmark.]

    I totally disagree. Last spring we had Lester, Beckett, Buch, Dice and Lackey as our top 5. They all seemed healthy and there was no reason to think they'd be hurt or get worse from 2010 to 2011. We had a very capable 6th starter in Wakefield (who proved to be one of the best 6th starters in MLB last year.) We then had a very promising Doubront, a gifted Aceves, and projects such as Miller giving us what looked like a nice 9 deep starting staff.

    The only reason this staff has more :"upside potential" is because they are starting much lower than we've had in years.

    BTW, these are the starts we got from our 6 and lower starters...

    2011:
    6) Wake  23
    7) Doub    0
    8) Aceves 4
    9) Miller  12
    10) Weiland 5
    (Bedard 8)
    That's 52 starts from the 6 to 11 starters.

    2010:
    6) Wake  19
    7) Doub    3
    8) Atch     1
    Not bad with just 23 starts.

    2009:
    Wake   21
    Buch    16
    Mastsn   6
    Byrd      6
    Taz        4
    Bowden 1
    54 from our 6-11 slots. 

    That's an average of 43 starts from our 6 or worse starters over the past 3 years.
    If we get anywhere near that this year and have to use Cook, Padilla and Miller for 40+ starts, we're in deep doo doo.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from J-BAY. Show J-BAY's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]JBay I have a real bad feeling about this year and Bucholtz is the key here as wellas Bard. If those two struggle this is going to be a long year for fans,Young Dan, and Luchinno. They have to come out of the gate on fire to win back the support of the fans after last years disaster which still looms with me. Last year I was so excited about Spring Training, this year I check on it but have better things to do with my kids. I think the thing that got me last year was the attitude of players making the money they are with the country at war in two countrries. Soldiers would give their right arms to trade positions with these guys. to "Re: Pitching Depth?":
    Posted by AL34[/QUOTE]

    I don't have a true feel for it one way or the other yet, AL. Last year, I didn't like the whole crowning the Sox WS Champions in spring training and had a bad feeling from the beginning. I agree, Bucholtz is a BIG key to our success. If Bard can keep our heads above water, Cook may be a dark horse. Dice K may be another. Lester and Beckett have to win back the fans, but 1-3 are solid and Sox still have one of the best offenses. Hope you'll still join us in the game threads this season.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from dgalehouse. Show dgalehouse's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    The thing with Buchholz is that he really has only had one good year. Still has to prove that he can be a consistent winning pitcher. He has good stuff , but needs to be consistent with it. Can look unhittable at times , but then he falters. Let's hope he can put it all together this year.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from moonslav59. Show moonslav59's posts

    Re: Pitching Depth?

    In Response to Re: Pitching Depth?:
    [QUOTE]The thing with Buchholz is that he really has only had one good year. Still has to prove that he can be a consistent winning pitcher. He has good stuff , but needs to be consistent with it. Can look unhittable at times , but then he falters. Let's hope he can put it all together this year.
    Posted by dgalehouse[/QUOTE]

    Buch certainly has the skills; it's his health I am worried about.  
    Lester has been very reliable and consistent, but that is no guarantee.
    Beckett has had his share of nagging injuries and some serious ones too.

    If we get 82 starts from the 3, I think we will be lucky. That leaves 80 for the rest. To me, that is too scary to contemplate. Just because we have 12 pitchers we've all heard of, doesn't make it meaningful depth. 

    Doubront
    Aceves
    Bard
    Cook
    Padilla
    Tazawa
    Miller
    Mortensen
    Ohlendorf
    Wilson
    Mathis
    Maine

    I'd still rather have quality than quantity.


     

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