Break out the ‘Riske/Risky’ Puns

The Red Sox made the first (we hope of several) trades to shore up the woeful bullpen, trading David Riske to Chicago for minor-leaguer Javier Lopez. Although tearing it up in AAA (0.55, 12 saves), Lopez also has some ML success, unlike others we have tried this year (read: Mike Holtz). However, that was three years ago, and the results since have been somewhat Seanez-like.

Here’s Lopez, year-by-year:

  • 2003: 75 G, 4-1, 58.1 IP, 58 hits, 12 BB, 40 K, 3.70 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
  • 2004: 64 G, 1-2, 40.2 IP, 45 hits, 26 BB, 20 K, 7.52 ERA, 1.75 WHIP
  • 2005: 32 G, 1-1, 16.1 IP, 26 hits, 11 BB, 12 K, 11.02 ERA, 2.27 WHIP

I understand we wouldn’t be able to trade Seanez or Tavarez for dog crap right now, but do we really want to trade Riske, who actually has an ERA under 4, for a minor-leaguer with spotty ML stats? I guess we’ll see, but I can’t say I’m thrilled with this.

Also of concern, this comment from Theo, courtesy of the Globe’s blog:

"He’s a very uncomfortable at-bat for lefties, but he has been effective against righties," said Epstein. "I’m sure Tito [Francona] will use him to get out good lefties, but he’s not a guy you always have to yank after a 1/3 of an inning."

Well, great. So we let Mike Myers go because we figured it was inefficient to have a guy who’s only good for one batter a game, then trade for … a guy whom we "won’t always have to yank after 1/3 of an inning." Well, as long as we’re not always doing it. But, um, how much success can you have when you’re allowing righties to hit .322 off you (as opposed to .245 for lefties)?

Update: The Herald’s blog reports that Epstein said he didn’t want to be tied up with the multiyear contract Myers was wanting, which makes sense. What doesn’t make any sense, however, is this:

He made it clear that the team is waiting for another reliever to step up and become a reliable option in the middle innings before the ball can be handed off to Mike Timlin and Jonathan Papelbon. Whether that pitcher is a veteran like Rudy Seanez or Julian Tavarez, or a younger pitcher like Manny Delcarmen, Jermaine Van Buren, Craig Hansen eventually or even Lopez, remains to be seen.

The way it’s written makes it unclear who is talking for the bulk of this paragraph, but it’s distressing that the Sox front office might still consider Seanaez and especially Tavarez as viable candidates to "step up and become a reliable option."

8 comments… add one
  • How much was Riske making? Any chance that this is designed to free up some salary? I can’t say Lopez’s numbers impress me much.

    Nick-YF June 15, 2006, 5:00 pm
  • He did pitch for the Rockies the first two years and part of the third, but removing Coors Field only lowers Lopez’s BAA by five points (.283 to .277).

    Paul SF June 15, 2006, 5:05 pm
  • Nick, Riske was making an exorbitant $1.8 million, so I doubt that was the reason…

    Paul SF June 15, 2006, 5:10 pm
  • Why are we so quick to dismiss the Tavarez/Seanez for dog crap trade? At least dog crap makes me laugh.

    MJL in L.A. June 15, 2006, 5:13 pm
  • Francona already got the dog crap, therefore it’s unnecessary.

    Nick-YF June 15, 2006, 5:15 pm
  • The move sounds pretty dubious. Riske has been a pretty good pitcher and Lopez really hasn’t. If former major-leaguers tearing up AAA was a reliable indicator of success, Ramiro Mendoza would be back in the majors. A lefty out guy is valuable, but only if he’s really a lefty out guy, and Lopez’s track record suggests he’s not close to that.

    Fred Vincy June 15, 2006, 6:10 pm
  • What really galls me is this idea that, “Riske was expendable because he wasn’t used much.” Because that’s his fault? Francona overuses two crappy pitchers, so we should get rid of the good ones because they aren’t being used enough? Good grief.

    Paul SF June 15, 2006, 6:18 pm
  • i would like to whole heartedly welcome back the hardest working man in baseball, mike timlin, to the ranks. it feels like it’s been years since we’ve seen ya. thank god there’s an option that doesn’t end in “ez”(translated=disaster). that said, color me less than optimistic about new arm lop”ez”. let the new kids lester/hansen/alvar”ez”/delcarmen develope at the big league level. young experienced arms in september could be a god send.

    sf rod June 15, 2006, 6:33 pm

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