Don’t Know What You Have Until It’s Gone

With rumors that the Sox and Cubs may be working on a Coco Crisp-Jason Mrrquis swap (Count this Yanks fan as elated!), David Pinto weighs in on the Sox current pitching situation:

Watching the Red Sox pitching moves this spring, signing Colon, looking
at Freddy Garcia, and now a rumor about Marquis, I get the feeling they
were woefully unprepared for adversity in the starting rotation. The
depth that was a great strength for them last season seems to have
vanished. In all likelihood, they’ll be very good, but an injury to one
of the projected top five starters and one of the rookies not working
out and you suddenly have a team that’s very dependent on the offense.

I don’t know what the Sox could have done earlier in the off-season that would have addressed the current situation better. It’s fair to criticize the Schilling signing, which at the time, seemed like a bargain. But the pitching market was thin. In any case, I don’t understand why the Sox would make this move. Given the age and recent durability issues of their corner outfielders, I think a great defensive fourth outfielder is not as much a luxury as necessity for Boston. How much more value does a mediocre fifth arm give the team?

27 comments… add one

  • “I think a great defensive fourth outfielder is not as much a luxury as necessity for Boston”
    the problem is that this would cause either a malcontent in Crisp, or it would discourage the development of ellsbury taking away at bats

    Ric March 9, 2008, 1:00 pm
  • I’m with you on Crisp and Marquis (no, thanks!)…but (and I think I’m agreeing with you here too) I don’t think their signings and lookings ’round with regard to pitching are particularly stupid and actually are, um, a way of not being “woefully unprepared”. While I’m eager to see Lester pitch for a year (I’ve been saying it for awhile), he looks to me like a league-average starter who will have trouble getting through the sixth. I don’t think that’s a surprise to anyone, let alone the Sox management (except maybe “#2 potential” John Farrell, but hey, he’s the pitching coach, maybe he sees something I don’t). It’s really the Schilling injury (not unpredictable) that has thrown a wrench in the works, but I don’t think taking a look at Colon and Garcia is so bad under the circumstances. If Buchholz has to pitch early and often, there will be a lot of growing pains in the rotation, but I think you can expect that from the Yankees, too.

    Devine March 9, 2008, 1:21 pm
  • The only thing I can really criticize Theo for this offseason is not going harder after Santana. Sure, you can say “we did it with this squad last year”, but why not give up non-essential pieces like Lester and Ellsbury to make your rotation better than any since perhaps the 2001 Diamondbacks? It boggles the mind, and I think it will come back and bite them in the ass, hard.

    AndrewYF March 9, 2008, 1:26 pm
  • Okay, maybe I should say “…have a better top two than any since perhaps the 2001 Diamondbacks”. The rest of their rotation was terrible.

    AndrewYF March 9, 2008, 1:36 pm
  • I think the entire answer, Andrew, is money, cash, dollah dollah bill, y’all. I don’t think it’s a no-brainer to sign a dude to $20+ mil a year, even when he IS Santana, though I will say I was tentatively in favor of them doing it.
    And you WOULD think it will come back and bite them in the ass; it’s in your best interest!

    Devine March 9, 2008, 1:37 pm
  • Well, let me state that if the Yankees were indeed able to get Santana for some combination of Kennedy, Horne and Melky, it will come back to bite them in the ass as well. Money has never, and should never, hold these two teams back.

    AndrewYF March 9, 2008, 1:42 pm
  • Speaking of Sox starters; Matt Kemp just torched one off of Dice-K. 3-0 Dodgers. I tell you, just hearing the sweet mellow tone of Vin Scully’s voice makes me so happy baseball is back.

    bloodyank78 March 9, 2008, 1:43 pm
  • Hughes looking GREAT. Perfect through 3, pitch count low.

    AndrewYF March 9, 2008, 1:55 pm
  • I get the feeling they were woefully unprepared for adversity in the starting rotation.
    I get the feeling that Pinto is woefully underinformed about the Red Sox’ moves this offseason, and seems to have allowed the Sox’ stupendous luck in their output from the sixth- and seventh-starter slots.
    Considering the Red Sox offered Schilling a half-year contract, it seems they really didn’t expect as much of a contribution from him as perhaps the fans and other observers did. The Red Sox go into 2007 with the following six starters they used last year: Beckett, Matsuzaka, Lester, Wakefield, Buchholz, Tavarez. Plus potential replacements in Colon, Snyder, Pauley, Hansack. Plus potential late-season help in Schilling.
    Granted, some of these options are better than others — I’ll be happy to never see David Pauley starting a game in 2008 — but raise your hand if you thought Kason Gabbard was going to have the second-best ERA of any Sox pitcher to start at least five games last season. The Red Sox were extremely fortunate; frankly, they lucked out there. To attribute giving seven starts to Gabbard and receiving a performance worlds above his potential for half a season as the Red Sox having tons more depth last year is misreading the reality of the situation, in my opinion. Put it this way: If Bartolo Colon winds up 8-3 with an ERA of 4, the Red Sox will once again be lauded for their pitching depth in 2008.
    That said, I remain mystified why they didn’t trade Crisp/Lester for Santana (assuming they could have), given what they clearly suspected regarding Schilling’s ability to give the club a full season. Marquis lights no fire for me, and I would prefer not seeing him trotted out for even one inning in a Red Sox uniform, particularly if it means he’s costing us real talent in return (as opposed to the Bartolo Colon costs-nothing-but-money signing). If they could have used Crisp in a package for Santana, and instead get Jason Marquis for him, that’s a huge disappointment.

    Paul SF March 9, 2008, 2:02 pm
  • Hughes through 4 innings: 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. Mmm.

    AndrewYF March 9, 2008, 2:25 pm
  • “I get the feeling they were woefully unprepared for adversity in the starting rotation.”
    I agree with that statement, but I don’t there’s much they could have done otherwise. The Yanks got very lucky (and maybe Oppenheiner is a little good) that both Kennedy and Joba seem ready. If not, they’d be in the same boat looking at the same free agent market. Next year at this time the Sox could have Masterson and Bowden ready to go and then they don’t look so woefully unprepared. Still, a front five of Beckett, Matsuzaka, Wakefield, Buchholz, and Lester is a very nice place to be. There just can’t be any injuries in that group.
    Sure, Santana was available but the money was significant. If he misses one year to arm troubles, that’s 27 million/year for five years. Worse, for the Sox and Yanks, add 40% to the total because both are over the cap. It’s a clear example where there are real limits to the wealth of both teams, especially for a pitcher.
    “If Bartolo Colon winds up 8-3 with an ERA of 4, the Red Sox will once again be lauded for their pitching depth in 2008″
    Sorry, that’s not happening. Not in the AL East. Maybe an ERA of 4.75 or 5.00, and that’s a very good #5. Still, that, I think, is a best case scenario.

    A YF March 9, 2008, 2:52 pm
  • Hey, if Bartolo Colon can have an ERA of four, Mike Mussina can have an ERA of 3. Let’s make it happen.

    AndrewYF March 9, 2008, 2:56 pm
  • 4 is a bit unbelieveable. Remember Wang is great for having a 3.8, so yaaaa..

    Lar March 9, 2008, 3:35 pm
  • Also, I thought the Sox wasn’t up to the 40% yet – isn’t it lower for them?

    Lar March 9, 2008, 3:36 pm
  • “One of our readers, chifan, says he heard on the radio that the Cubs and Red Sox are close to a deal….”
    LOL
    Maybe SAS is right about bloggers. One thing for damn sure, no way is Coco being traded for Marquis and change. Just for starters, if Lohse can put up a WHIP under 1.40 splitting between Philly and Cinci he is a better bet, and at no player expense.
    But unless Josh is shot for the season the Sox have plenty of depth to deal from. They do not need Marquis or anyone else, for that matter.

    Dirty Water March 9, 2008, 5:30 pm
  • Maybe an ERA of 4.75 or 5.00
    Worth noting that only Tim Wakefield and Julian Tavarez had an ERA that high among Sox starters last season. 4 may be low, but 5 is likely too high — if Colon is going to be good enough to be allowed 11 decisions next year. As I said, if before the 2007 season I had said, “Kason Gabbard will not lose a game for the Red Sox and have a sub-4 ERA,” the response would have been very similar. And rightly so. Yet, because Gabbard managed to pull off the highly improbable, the Red Sox are lauded for having terrific pitching depth in 2007. Should Colon do something similar — and he’s actually got a track record — pitching depth will be another Red Sox preseason “strength.”

    Paul SF March 9, 2008, 5:53 pm
  • Coco shouldn’t just stay. Coco should start.

    Kazz March 9, 2008, 5:59 pm
  • ….hitting.

    Dirty Water March 9, 2008, 6:11 pm
  • “Worth noting that only Tim Wakefield and Julian Tavarez had an ERA that high among Sox starters last season. 4 may be low, but 5 is likely too high — if Colon is going to be good enough to be allowed 11 decisions next year.”
    Of course, it may not be a question of it he’s ‘good enough’. There is a pretty good possibility that Lester or Buchholz gets knocked around so much he needs to go back to AAA, and Colon is the only option.

    AndrewYF March 9, 2008, 7:17 pm
  • So true, Andrew. Hence, that is why Yankee fans should be very concerned. It’s one thing to have 2 rookies in your starting rotation when that rotation is led by a Beckett, Dice and Wakefield, who is either brilliant or terrible (and Tito claims he can tell which during his first inning), quite another when its led by a shellshocked Wang and soon-to-be-retiring Pettitte.
    Having a rotation held up by two rookies could work. I think. Maybe it’s happened before.

    Dirty Water March 9, 2008, 8:25 pm
  • Dirty Water March 9, 2008, 8:54 pm
  • Mm, darn. Jeez, the Sox really do have zero leverage with Crisp, if Marquis is the best offer they can get.

    AndrewYF March 9, 2008, 9:19 pm
  • “4 may be low, but 5 is likely too high — if Colon is going to be good enough to be allowed 11 decisions next year. ”
    If the Sox need Colon pitching, they’ll be more than willing to take a 5.00 ERA in whatever number of starts he gives. And let’s remember that Colon hasn’t had an ERA under 5.00, or pitched more than 100 innings, in two years.

    A YF March 9, 2008, 11:01 pm
  • I’d also like to point out that Kei Igawa has yet to give up a hit to MLB batters. :)

    A YF March 9, 2008, 11:42 pm
  • I assume we’re not counting the 76 he gave up in 67.2 innings last season?

    Paul SF March 10, 2008, 2:31 am
  • this colon talk reminds me of just how important tavarez’s starts in the months of may and june were last year. in 10 starts he was 4-3 with a 3.64. if colon could be tavarez-esque for two to three months he’d be worth a 1/3rd his weight in gold.

    sf rod March 10, 2008, 5:23 am
  • Can we please stop talking about Colon? I get confused and nauseated whenever this happens.

    Adrian-YF March 10, 2008, 11:53 pm

Leave a Comment