Re: Red Sox will not resign Wakefield
posted at 8/9/2011 8:47 PM EDT
In Response to Re: Red Sox will not resign Wakefield
In Response to Re: Red Sox will not resign Wakefield : I'll throw this nugget out there...what if John Lackey looked like he does, was as tall, and everything about him including his statistics in every year was the exact same as it is now. Nothing statistically changed...but the only difference was he was Tim Wakefield's younger brother and threw the knuckleball (think Joe and Phil Niekro). Tell me moon, and tell me harness, who would you rather have in October? A guy who in his last 3 starts gave up 20 baserunners in 21 IP total in hits/walks (less than 1 whip) or Lackey? It's all about people's fears of the knuckleball. And the funny thing is in that argument is if I'm reading these posts right, moon is defending a pitcher he's not really all that in love with, and harness is doing the same when I've seen harness totally defend Wakefield the last few years.moon has been clear about his overall non-confidence in Wake in the postseason despite the numbers still showing Tim being overall more effective than the "injured" Lackey. (I have made a long post or two about the wait factor that Wakefield had in the postseason. He has to sit 2 to 3 weeks before throwing, and he's almost always rusty to poor when he has to sit that long. That's why he's better off throwing in a game 2 of a series not a game 4). My point is that Wakefield's 45 and I think it's really about people worried about the world crashing down fast when he throws. I must be the only guy who has never once worried about that factor. And I guess when push comes to shove, Wakefield could throw another 5 straight starts with this type of effectiveness, but Lackey would probably get the playoff start and Tim left off the playoff roster. Because I feel Tito/Theo are thinking precisely the same way. They enjoy what Wake is doing, but have no plans for him to pitch an "important" postseason game if they don't have to throw him, something that my guess a high percentage of all Sox fans agree with. This is just the regular season, so it's ok for Tim to throw in the pennant race, just not the postseason anymore. That is why the No. 6 starter thing got coined. It's part of the Sox PR machine, and a way to show Tim the door for the postseason. He wasn't in the plans, we're glad he fills in admirably, we gave him a job, he's a good soldier, but we are frankly afraid he will get bombed in a potential playoff game. That's the mindsight, and it's because of the knuckleball. It's the only thing that can be distinguished as the problem. Wakefield is healthy, he is 45, he is a professional, and he's a veteran of the wars, and I think he is just as capable of throwing a 2003 gem now as he was then.
Posted by dannycater
Yes, it is ironic that both Moon and I are defending players that aren't personal favorites. He won't stand by and see Wake being slandered because of his pitch, physique, or age. I won't let these "Lackey is in steep regression"/ "Lackey is a bust" allusions go because I know they aren't true.
As for UR question, I don't have to assimilate Lackey as a knuckler to answer it (although as a fan, I do love watching the pitch and how it baffles the game's elite:). If it came down to Wake or Lackey in a PO game, I think it should come down to who's in better form and who the competition is. Form being equal, I like Wake against a lefty line-up. Switch hitters hit righty off him for a reason.
I like Lackey against a RH line-up.
I have no qualms about starting Wake over Bedard or Lackey if Im feel he can give the team it's best shot.
As for Wake post back surgery, I'll kill two birds with one stone and address Moon's position on this as well as yours: The only difference I see in Wake this year from last is a pitcher who, by circumstance, now knows his spot. He's not being jerked around with multiple days off, which Moon, you and I felt definitely affected his performance last year.
I took the position last year that he was not the same pitcher as he was prior to the surgery. What I mean is that he doesn't have, or wish to utilize, as much volatility to his "out knuckler". Instead, he's pitching more to contact. Look at his BB/IP numbers since his back issue: they are quite different than before it. The downside is giving up more dingers. But less walks means being more pitch efficient and less stress on the back.
Look at his 2010/2011 numbers: his SO/IP rate is actually better in 2010. His HR/IP rate is up from 1.2 to 1.4. Nothing earth-shattering.
His ERA is different by .42, which can be skewed by any one outing. His WHIP in 2010 reflects his career norm. It's 1.288 so far this year, which I think is the result of pitching in a normal environment.
Now, let me show you the difference
between Wake healthy and Wake really
2009: after the AS break:
ERA 6.00 WHIP: 1.714
He gutted it out as best he could. I say no way Boston re-signs him in 2010 unless they were very comfortable
with his post-surgery. I think he was monitored closely, had a decent SP in 2010 if memory serves, and I don't believe they would have pitched him if he were not right.
Pitchers, as they age, have to deal with injuries and loss of stuff. But their experience allows for making the necessary adjustments to still be effective. IMO, I don't think we'll ever see Wake revert back to 2008/first half of 2009 form.
But that doesn't mean he should be put out to pasture. His durability since the back issue is strong indication he's physically fine and contributes by giving the team a chance to win. Something neither Buch nor Dice are now doing.
The biggest difference between Wake 2010 and now, beyond the inconsistencies of days between pitching and the great Tito shuffle, is his W/L record/team W/L record when he starts. And this is easily explained by having a deeper pen (recall, Tito compromised pen depth when Wake pitched last year. He lost some games he could have won if Tito treated him as he did Buch or Lester) and an offense not decimated with injuries. Same thing for Lackey. Wake is the same pitcher he was last year. Lackey, beyond his elbow issue, is the same pitcher he
was last year.