Closed Case?

Have the Sox found their closer?

Donnelly, 35, has compiled a 23-8 record and a 2.87 ERA with 295 strikeouts in 295 innings over 276 relief appearances with the Angels in the last five seasons. … In 2006, the righthander was 6-0 with a 3.94 ERA in 62 appearances with righthanders hitting just .204.

The Angels get Phil Seibel in return. Donnelly’s ERA and WHIP have increased every season since his 2003 All-Star campaign, topping out at 3.94 and 1.34. His K/BB was down to 2.53 last season (from 3.73 in 2004) and his BB/9 up to 3.94 (from 2.92 in ’04).

Color me cautious. It’s better than going in with Davern Hansack, if indeed they plan to try Donnelly out at closer, but at 36, his numbers seem to be showing his age.

63 comments… add one
  • bullpen by committee?

    Nick-YF December 15, 2006, 3:03 pm
  • Yuck. Don’t remind me. The only saving grace is that that team made it within a Grady Little of the World Series.

    Paul SF December 15, 2006, 3:16 pm
  • well….the sox finally have something the yankees have had for a few years now…..a cheater. paging mr. guillen.

    sf rod December 15, 2006, 3:39 pm
  • Timlin x 2.

    YF December 15, 2006, 3:40 pm
  • And here we thought the Sox, the last team to integrate, had the moral high ground in all matters. Our illusions have been shattered.
    How about this? Let’s stay away from moralizing when it comes to our respective baseball teams. There’s no such thing as good or bad, fandom just makes it seem that way.

    Nick-YF December 15, 2006, 3:42 pm
  • about Donnelly, his control slipped last year but he’s had a very good career and I’m especially impressed by his k-rate during his tenure with the Angels. The Angels and Padres are two of the only teams that consistently field strong and deep bullpens. Maybe it’s something about Southern California.

    Nick-YF December 15, 2006, 3:44 pm
  • Ok, maybe I’m slow, but am i missing some sort of major news event?

    Paul SF December 15, 2006, 3:57 pm
  • what do you mean?

    Nick-YF December 15, 2006, 3:58 pm
  • Two (negative) references to Timlin in two threads plus sf rod’s cheater comment. I don’t get it.

    Paul SF December 15, 2006, 4:02 pm
  • Wait a minute here. Didn’t someone in the know yesterday in the busy thread say that the Sox had no chance of trading anything for bullpen help? I think I remembered saying that it was only December, and that there were still a lot of moves to be made yet, but that guy stood his ground.
    Donnelly isn’t exactly closer material, but his bullpen services aren’t nearly as bad as some of the others.
    Also, having “timlin x 2” in your bullpen isn’t exactly a bad thing.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:03 pm
  • sf rod’s comment has to do with Donelly being caught lst year with pine tar in his glove (if memory serves me). His ejection led to the brawl between the Nationals and the Angels. Frank Robinson and Mike Scioscia, it turns out, do not like each other.
    In the other thread, I interpreted the Timlin reference as a joke to lighten the mood. I don’t think YFiB was really attacking Timlin. And I think YF’s Timlin comment was his analysis of the pick-up.

    Nick-YF December 15, 2006, 4:05 pm
  • Gotcha. Thanks! I figured it was something in Donnelly’s past, but I’m too lazy to do the quick research :-P I got scared though with the Timlin references around the cheater comment. That would be horrible.
    I agree that having two Timlins ain’t bad, assuming both Timlins are healthy and consistent.

    Paul SF December 15, 2006, 4:07 pm
  • my timlin remark was indeed intended as a joke.
    also…
    donnelly’s ERA against the yankees in 4 appearances last season: 9.82.

    Yankee Fan In Boston December 15, 2006, 4:10 pm
  • much like you analyze the other moves the Red Sox have made this winter, this makes the team better. If they are truly going to keep Papelbon out of the rotation, this bullpen needed some hard throwers who could carry a load if needed. Donnelly is a good choice if available, which he was. What I don’t get is: Why would the Angels let him easily to the Red Sox? They know they’ll face him, and they know better than anyone that he’s a capable pitcher, right? Maybe he wasn’t happy.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:11 pm
  • Seibel is a lefty who dominated the minors last year. The Angels are stacked with righty relievers. I guess they’re hoping he fills the LOOGY role for them.

    Nick-YF December 15, 2006, 4:13 pm
  • Donnelly is a nice pickup. Don’t know if he will be closer material but he has the ability and the poise. I think he is a great bullpen addition. Does this mean beckett saves his rotation spot.

    Seth December 15, 2006, 4:13 pm
  • Okay, something just hit me. Upon YFIB’s ERA comment, I wont over to MLB.com to look at Scott Proctor’s averages against the Red Sox, which are not even close to good. But, that’s not the point I’m making.
    HOLY COW. This guys pitched a ton for a bullpen guy last year, and even more so against Boston. His numbers are not good, but he sure was out there a lot.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:17 pm
  • Seth, I don’t think, in reality, that was ever serious.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:18 pm
  • brad, that’s why every single game between the two teams took a week to play. it was brutal to sit through the relief pitcher carousel at times.

    Yankee Fan In Boston December 15, 2006, 4:19 pm
  • Considering his stats — particularly the wins, which are overrated by a lot of people and teams — and the dearth of even average pitching, I’m surprised it only took Siebel. But Sieibel was a pretty good prospect, and if there’s anything rarer than above average pitching, it’s young pitching that could be above average.

    Paul SF December 15, 2006, 4:20 pm
  • Or maybe the Angels realized that this guy doesn’t have much left in him, and would trade him for whomever they can get. They got a promising bullpen arm who just came back fully from TJ surgery.
    The numbers are all there: Donnelly’s in a painfully obvious decline, and is due for an even more severe drop-off this season.

    Andrew December 15, 2006, 4:20 pm
  • Brad, the yankees have “overworked” a bunch of middle relievers the past few years. IP by Proctor, Gordon, Quantril were all very high.

    Seth December 15, 2006, 4:20 pm
  • Timlin x 2 not intended as a disparaging remark–just the opposite. I’d also note, on the “morals” issue, that the 2002 Angels bullpen was notorious for steroid use, as reported in Howard Bryant’s indispensible “Juicing the Game.” Anyway, that’s in the past at this point. One hopes.

    YF December 15, 2006, 4:21 pm
  • The nice thing is that Sheffield absolutely owned him. If he can miss Jeter in that lineup, it’ll help his cause.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:21 pm
  • Re: Yankee bullpen arms: Farnsworth was smart. Being inconsistent, he wasn’t used nearly as much as everyday Scottie Proctor. Thus, his arm is saved for this year. I for one don’t expect much from Proctor (or Villone, for that matter) this year after last year’s marathon of bullpen appearances.

    Andrew December 15, 2006, 4:23 pm
  • Siebel is about to be 27. That seems more journeyman than prospect. His 06 numbers are very good though but that was by far his beast season in the minors. Over 4 K/BB
    (Beckett comment was a complete joke)

    Seth December 15, 2006, 4:23 pm
  • and is due for an even more severe drop-off this season.
    ________
    Guy, The Red Sox are better than they were before getting him. Do you need to come up with “painfully declining” predictions based on a last year’s stats? Is Farnsworth in decline because of his numbers? Of course he’s in decline, he’s 36. But, he’s still a solid guy to have in the bullpen no matter what. He’s going to strike guys out and give Boston a better chance at winning than they had yesterday. That’s all. I’m sure he’s not part of the long term plan for them, but rather a nice pickup for this year.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:26 pm
  • Farnsworth was smart…
    _______
    Yeah, and having chronic back problems really played into it as well. Not “being able” to be overused seems to be the way to last and labeled “smart”.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:28 pm
  • On Proctor, he’s young and strong, so I’m sure he’ll be back okay this year. But no human can endure that kind of abuse year in and year out. Proctor’s success lies solely on the ability to not see the middle of Boston’s lineup – those numbers for him are not pretty.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:30 pm
  • It ain’t just last year’s stats, buddy.
    All I see is just another over-the-hill pitcher who will come in and blow games because he just doesn’t have it any more. Are the Red Sox better for adding a guy who posted better numbers last year than everyone in their bullpen besides Papelbon? Sure. But it’s not really something to brag about.

    Andrew December 15, 2006, 4:32 pm
  • I was completely kidding bout Farnsworth. And Proctor’s success comes from him being consistent, and sometimes hitting 98mph day after day. Not ‘solely’ from not seeing Ortiz and Manny. Most pitchers would have better numbers without seeing those two.
    A better example of something being good solely because of something, would be the Red Sox being over .500 solely because of the National League. They were under .500 vs. real baseball teams.

    Andrew December 15, 2006, 4:35 pm
  • 1. Donnelly is not the closer. This is simply a depth pickup, and not a bad one.
    2. Four appearances against a team is a small sample size. Let’s not extrapolate based on such small numbers, particulalry not for a short relief man.
    3. Moving sucks.

    SF December 15, 2006, 4:35 pm
  • Sure. But it’s not really something to brag about.
    Who’s bragging? It’s a good move that makes them better. You seem to be the only one wanting to piss on the news? Why? Because it’s another move by Boston, and you refuse to use common sense when analyzing it?

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:36 pm
  • As I said, Donnelly does appear to be in decline, but his numbers as they stand are not bad numbers. He is an improvement to the bullpen, which doesn’t look as bad as it did, particularly when you account for Lester as a long reliever. Having Timlin healthy and rested will be a big boost, as well.

    Paul SF December 15, 2006, 4:38 pm
  • i made a point to mention the low appearance total because i was aware that it was a small sample, but i felt like getting excited regardless.
    if those appearances were in the 2nd half, however, i would be happy. his 1st half was terrible.
    best of luck with the move.

    Yankee Fan In Boston December 15, 2006, 4:39 pm
  • You’re right, it’s just another move by Boston, and people are overrating it by calling it ‘solid’. I’m just here to temper expectations based on rational analysis of stats and trends.

    Andrew December 15, 2006, 4:39 pm
  • Real Teams? Didn’t the Yankees play those same teams? At least you aren’t shy about those blinders of yours at times.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:41 pm
  • So, it’s not a solid move? It’s not a good move by Boston? What are these trends you continue to speak of? Can you post them? Who was the comparison pitchers? Have you found some “all-knowing” trend sheet that I haven’t stumbled onto? If you rationally analyzed the trends, where are they so I can see them?
    Is the Sox bullpen better now – yep.
    Did it cost them a lot – nope.
    How is this move not solid? Am I losing something in the analysis?

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:44 pm
  • the devil rays signed iwamura.
    3 years/ $7.7M
    http://tinyurl.com/y2sd3l

    Yankee Fan In Boston December 15, 2006, 4:47 pm
  • The Sox are going for a known quantity in this trade while the Angels are going for an unknown one who has a higher upside but has yet to prove anything at the major league level. Because the Angels have a much stronger bullpen, and there isn’t much room for a righty such as Donnelly (with Speier, Shields and K-Rod on board) the Angels are gambling a bit. and they can afford to because of their position. It’s a decent move by both teams.

    Nick-YF December 15, 2006, 4:49 pm
  • Was I talking about the Yankees being good solely because they played National League teams? Nope, the Yankees didn’t need the interleague buffer to vault themselves over the .500 mark. Although playing Boston 19 times certainly helped.
    And oh my god Brad, if you can’t look at Donnelly’s stats and not say he’s quickly declining, you need some serious help in basic baseball statistical analysis.
    I never said the move wasn’t a good idea, I’m just saying it’s not really that great or noteworthy a move. Certainly not worthy of such discussion and argument.

    Andrew December 15, 2006, 4:51 pm
  • How does that Tampa Bay contract get done? Wait, is that overall or per year? If that’s per year, where the hell did they get that money? They should send a thank you card to Steinbrenner for that luxury tax money they’re using for it.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:53 pm
  • the TB deal is over 3 years.
    “Iwamura will make $1.8 million in 2007, $2.4 million in 2008 and $3.25 million in 2009. The Rays hold a $4.25 million option for the 2010 season or a $250,000 buyout. The contract also has escalating bonuses based on plate appearances in the first three years that could increase the option to $5.25 million and the buyout to $750,000. The Rays’ guaranteed money in the deal — including the posting fee — amounts to $12.25 million. Iwamura will also donate up to $100,000 to the Rays Charitable Foundation.”

    Yankee Fan In Boston December 15, 2006, 4:55 pm
  • what’s with the weird pissing contests on here lately? it seems both YF’s and SF’s can’t wait to tear apart any move the other team makes. This is a good move for the sox. They got some much needed depth, without having to give up a lot. Calling this anything else, is the same as SF’s calling the pettitte move bad. both help add depth.

    m.g. yanks fan December 15, 2006, 4:56 pm
  • …but TB should still send big $tein that thank you card…

    Yankee Fan In Boston December 15, 2006, 4:56 pm
  • You’re right, Andrew. I don’t know why I wouldn’t look at a whole body of work when I try to sum up a guy’s capabilities. I’ll use the same logic when I look at Mo, Farnsworth, Pettite, and the rest. I guess since they all had off years in one stat or another, they’re all very due for a serious drop off this year.
    Sounds dumb when I put it like that, no?
    Thanks for that YFIB. I didn’t think it was per year. Man, who wouldn’t love to have some of those TB guys on our teams.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:57 pm
  • Andrew is angry today, we forgive him. I’d be upset too if the Yankees had gotten so much better in the last week or so.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 4:59 pm
  • The Red Sox today signed a pair of free agents, lefthanded pitcher J.C. Romero and catcher Doug Mirabelli, to one-year contracts for the 2007 season. No further terms were disclosed.
    The team released the following details on the signings.
    Romero, 30, was 1-2 with a 6.70 ERA in 65 appearances for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2006. He held lefthanded batters to a .211 average, permitted just 13 of 44 inherited runners to score, and finished second on the staff in appearances. The lefthander pitched for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic after being acquired by the Angels from the Minnesota Twins on December 9, 2005.
    He became a free agent after the Angels did not exercise his contract option for 2007.

    TJ Sox Fan December 15, 2006, 4:59 pm
  • brad – you sure love baiting people don’t you?

    m.g. yanks fan December 15, 2006, 5:00 pm
  • mike timlin is still a total ass…

    Yankee Fan In Boston December 15, 2006, 5:03 pm
  • (this is still a joke.)

    Yankee Fan In Boston December 15, 2006, 5:03 pm
  • Now, JC is not such a good thing.
    mg – no. I hate when things aren’t right in line with my thoughts:)
    I’m happy to have Wake’s helper back, for lack of a better option really. But, I will not be looking forward to him accidentally getting a hit. Really, I don’t even know why he takes a bat with him to the plate. It’s ugly.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 5:04 pm
  • I guess Romero will be up for the LOOGY role.
    I agree with m.g. and Andrew on this one. This move isn’t noteworthy enough for a big fight. It’s a good move. By the Break, it could be a great move or it could be a non-move.
    Same with the Romero signing.

    Paul SF December 15, 2006, 5:04 pm
  • An ass? Yep. He’s a southern, right-wing, bible-humping, gay-hating republican. Everything that symbolizes what an “ass” is, Timlin does not disappoint.
    A good pitcher. Yep.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 5:06 pm
  • I think there is an argument to be made that Donnelly is trending downward, and that this doesn’t necessarily make the Sox a better team. There are plenty of instances in both teams’ recent histories where middle relievers with decent careers have come to NYC or Boston and completely fallen off a cliff. It’s really hard to predict what a reliever is going to bring from year to year, so when one of them shows a decline, it’s a warning sign. Again, I think this is an okay move by the Sox, but I don’t think it’s a slam dunk, and I don’t think it definitely guarantees that the bullpen will be better. I’m not sure Andrew deserves to be ridiculed by Brad for his point of view.

    Nick-YF December 15, 2006, 5:08 pm
  • I have thougts of Giambi putting the LOOGY way into that short porch whenever he wants to.
    Okay, I’m out. You guys have a great night.
    Later.
    Andrew, I wasn’t trying to argue, just get you to admit that it was a good move for Boston to make. That is all.
    Later.

    Brad December 15, 2006, 5:10 pm
  • Just as a point of reference, see Julian Tavarez, 2004-2005, then look at 2006.
    I don’t even know how that one happened.

    Andrew December 15, 2006, 5:11 pm
  • Then he became a great starter of all things down the stretch. Bizarre.

    Paul SF December 15, 2006, 5:26 pm
  • Building upon Andrew’s point:
    The performance of seasoned Sox relief pickups in the past three years has been close to random, bordering on surreal.
    Think about it… Suppan? Riske? Jones? Williamson? Tavarez? FOULKE? Need I go on? The list is very long.
    My point is that the performance of Sox relievers pickups is very, very hard to predict.
    Generally they seem to do much better before *and* after their stints in Boston… But occasionally have a one brilliant year on Beantown’s behalf.
    I would hope the Sox might get one stellar year from Donnelly, but given recent history I wouldn’t be surprised if he fell off the roster by late June. Epstein’s track record with the pen is one of high risk, with unpredictable results.

    Hudson December 15, 2006, 6:39 pm
  • With Theo already investing over $210 MM plus about another $50MM in luxury tax, it would be a sad sight, though happy for me, to see the Sawx season fall apart because of their inability to trade/sign a lights-out 9th inning pitcher. The most it would cost would be WMP and Hansen/Lester/MDC. Their pitching staff would have no leaks if they get a closer; but that is still a big if.

    zrsahai (YF) December 15, 2006, 10:05 pm
  • Brendan Donnelly definitely makes the bullpen better, but to be quite honest making that bullpen better would not have taken a whole lot. That speaks more to the needs of the Red Sox rather than the ability of Donnelly. No that’s not a shot at the Red Sox, I am just joining the conversation.
    Zisahai, what’s your name mean??

    Triskaidekaphobia December 15, 2006, 10:17 pm
  • …all you need to ask yourself to assess this donnelly move, is: are the sox still looking for a closer?…

    dc December 15, 2006, 11:08 pm
  • I have to admit that I copied and pasted this from a comment I made on OTM, but I haven’t seen this “information” here yet.
    “Anyone see Gammons on ESPN this evening?
    He speculated that Romero and Donnelly could potentially share closing duties to start the season. He reported that the Sox seem confident they can fix Romero’s mechanics (Gammons said that his motion was…inconsistent last season). I hope this means John Farrell has the tools to be an uber-pitching coach, because last time I checked, Bud Black (late of the Angels, now Padres’ field manager) is a pretty good pitching coach. Gammons seemed to believe that between Cox and Hansen, one of the two should prove ready to take over the job in June. I think that’s high expectations for both; too high for Cox at this point. However, Hansen with 3 months (ST + April/May) of working on his own mechanics…could be ready.”
    So…take that as you will.
    Now, zrsahai: The “most” it would cost would be WMP and Hansen/Lester/MDC? Um. Not interested in trading any of those guys, myself. I could see trading WMP straight-up for Cordero coming back to haunt us. Mike Gonzalez? If you’ve been reading the Pittsburgh newspapers lately…and I’m sure you have, you’ll know that Dave Littlefield asked the Indians for Victor Martinez in return. Wow. I’m not even interested in the Sox finding out what he’d want from us.

    QuoSF December 16, 2006, 12:54 am

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