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Tuesday, September 30, 2008


K-Rod gets all of the glory for LAA’s pen, but Steve Shields and rookie Jose Arredondo did at lot of heavy lifting as well. K-Rod has actually slipped some from his past seasons. The closer has struck out fewer hitters and walked more in his record breaking year than in recent history. He is slightly over a K per inning and 2:1 K/BB. The plus-plus fastball and killer slider reliever known as K-Rod is now throwing a curve or change 25% of the time, according to ESPN’s insider scouting report. He is still good; just not automatic for the OC anymore.

Shields is back with his fastball-curveball combo average a K per inning and 2:1 K/BB. He has been tough all year. Please note that David Ortiz has hit three home runs off Shields in only 12 abs. It will be interesting to see if Shields faces Big Papi.

K-Rod’s other setup man is Arredondo. He works a mid-90’s fastball and a sick split. The winter minor league report on Arredondo from Baseball America indicated that the small framed kid had a live arm, questionable control and was being converted to a reliever. He must have improved by leaps and bounds as some think he has the best pure stuff coming out of LAA’s pen.

Darren Oliver is the designated LOOGY and Jeff Weaver is the ROOGY. Oliver has held southpaws to a 231/277/380 line. Even though Weaver hasn’t been as dominate against RHB this year as he has been in the past – a 228/276/349 line in 06-07, his not so extreme Luis Tiant motion still makes it tough for righties to pickup the baseball. It would not surprise me to see Weaver face DP, Youk or Bay to start a middle inning.

LAA has three very good relievers and given the schedule, the Sox should see them in the late innings of each game. LAA’s lack of depth in the pen should not be an issue in this series. Runs are going to be hard to come by at the end of the game.


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