Thursday, June 17, 2004
It is very difficult to measure the performance of relief pitchers using conventional stats like ERA. Baseball Prospectus uses a rating called Adjusted Runs Prevented (ARP). A reliever's ARP is the number of runs that he prevented over an average pitcher, given the bases/outs situation when he entered and left each game, adjusted for league and park (read the article linked to fully understand the concept).
The Sox pen rates fifth among A.L. teams in ARP (pre-mile high games). A lower ranking than I expected mostly due to the poor and limited work of J. Brown, the bad Bobby Jones, and the rookie Martinez. Baked mAlaskan also contributed but has thrown 15.3 innings. The foursome's ARP totals -12 in 35.6 innings of work. Combined with Rule V pick, DiNardo, the Sox long relievers have thrown 56.3 or nearly 32% of the Sox total relief innings for an ARP total of -12.6. The primary issue is not the players’ ineffectiveness; it is the need for Tito to use these long men. The numerous extra inning games, inconsistency from the rotation and injuries to Kim, Mendoza, and Williamson forced Tito into giving the ball to journey men or rookies.
Now that the bad news is out to the way. We can focus on the good and very good. First the good, Williamson, Embree and Timlin have been solid with each of them having an ARP above four in 74.3 innings of work. Williamson’s return from the DL should provide Embree and Timlin with a few more days off keeping them fresh for the rest of the season. When healthy, Willie can be a dominate reliever like the very good, Keith Foulke. For the most part, Foulke has been used well as an old school ace reliever. He has pitched multiple innings with the lead, down by one or two runs and in the classic one inning save situation. Foulke has been in 29 games, thrown 33.3 innings with an ARP of 11.7. He has been, in one word, awesome.
Tito needs to continue to use Foulke in various close and late situations regardless of Willie’s return (last night was a good sign). If the arms stay healthy and continue to be used efficiently, the Sox should have a dominate pen for the remainder of the season.
News, Notes, Trade Rumors and a Question
• The Red Sox scouted Jennings' start in Chicago on May 8 and have questions surrounding their fifth starter.
It would be very surprising if the Sox acquired a pitcher who averaged more than four walks per nine. Theo wants pitchers that pound the strike zone first and foremost.
• Dale Jensen, a D-Back owner, said that "Randy is a Diamondback, and he’s going to end up a Diamondback as far as I’m concerned," Jensen said. "That’s a sentiment shared by everybody."
Jensen and company do not want to turn off their fan base by trading the future HOFer.
• Michael Silverman brings the cheese to go with Nomar’s whine.
``Everyone assumes I'm someone different, or I'm trying to do something different, but people have been assuming what I'm like for so long now,'' he said, ``so apparently what I've done over the past eight years obviously means nothing. What counts is the end of last year or the offseason. Apparently eight years don't count, but I think they count - they count somewhere.''
It is justified. Nomar should not be judged on a weeks worth of at-bats. He is looking better every time in the box. As for his defense, Nomar has been overrated as a fielder. He plays an average to slightly above average short stop. It is only highlighted now after two months of Pokey.
• The Marlins are desperately looking for assistance in the pen.
According to sources, Florida is talking to Kansas City about right-handers Jason Grimsley and Rudy Seanez, who was promoted from Class AAA on Tuesday…Two high-ranking team officials said any possible deal likely will not be made until after the All-Star break. The team already has inquired about Red Sox right-hander Byung Hyun Kim and Reds right-hander John Riedling…Affordability will be a key factor in any trade because the Marlins will not assume the contract of a big-name player, the official said.
BK, Bellies and cash for Penny
• When is the last time Schilling walked two guys in the same inning? Please someone help me out with this one and post it in comments. Thanks.