Whiter than Rice

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My Big Insano Red Sox Off-season Plan, 2005 Edition, Part I

I did it last year... I'm doing it again this year.

The Red Sox are still a good team despite being swept by the White Sox. We also have some problems we need to fix.

Part I: The Bullpen

The bullpen really hinges on 2 things:
1) The acquisition of the "relief ace".
2) The fixing of Keith Foulke.

If both those things can be done, the bullpen will become deadly.

I have a "modified" line on bullpen usage. Yes, I believe the best bullpen pitcher should be brought on in the 7th and 8th innigns to clean up messes, but I also think they dont' necessarily need to "finish" the game in the 9th inning, instead bringing up a less good but still competent enough pitcher. I also believe that the relief ace is to be "pampered" with if you will, avoiding overwork and pitching too many consecutive days. Hard to find Marshalls and Quisenberrys these days.

Without further ado...

Step 1: The Acquisition of BJ Ryan

I don't know how much money he's looking for, but I'd offer him something along the lines of 19 million over 3 years. For the traditionalists, this is a big lefty with a live fastball. For the stats folk, this is a lefty with a super K-rate.

This guy can turn the pen around for us folks.

Of course, there's a few problems:
1) Eveyrbody else will be bidding for him
2) According to some sources (Mike Emiegh of Primer), BJ won't want to go anywhere he won't get to close. Which I don't want him to do here because it's a waste of talent. But if he wants to go to NYY, he DEFINITLY won't get to close THERE, so I think if the money is right the role won't be an issue.

BJ Ryan: Bullpen Relief Ace 2005: 85 IP's of 140 *ERA+ with a K rate over 9. Sounds jolly.

Step 2: FIX KEITH FOULKE

The man won us the World Series in 2004 Folks. That and his refusal to undergo surgery in the offseason last year probably caused his total teh suckage last year. He needs to be fixed.

I actually have no idea how to do this, but he needs to be healthy first, then we can start working on his pitching. Supposedly he tried like 16 different release points last year, and he tried to throw a krappy slider...

Stop drinking and fix yoruself Keith! We're payign you 8 million dollars!

The role of Keith Foulke: the "traditional" 9th inning closer. If he can fix himself, he still probably won't be the "old" Keith Foulke, but if he can finish a game by getting 3 outs with nobody on base with an *ERA+ of in the 115-130's... he could be a valuable pitcher again. 65 IP's of 120's *ERA+ from Keith would be excellent.

Step 3: Keep Little Papi in the Pen

Here's what Sox Therapy Had to say:

Papelbon has only been pitching for a few years and the majority of his pitching experience has been as a reliever. His brief stint as a starter last year was pretty rocky, and it appears that his secondary pitches may not be reliable enough for him to be a consistently good SP. Add to this the fact that he has never thrown more than ~150 IP in any season. All of these factors add up to Pap, in my mind, being much more likely to succeed as a reliever than a starter. My WAG would be 80-90 IP, 3.50 ERA as a reliever, 150-170 IP, 4.30 ERA as a starter. That’s either a horse in the pen or a starter who overtaxes the pen.

Yeah, what they said. Keep him in the pen. Make him the #2 Relife Ace Option behind Ryan.

We still need a nickname for him, and they won't let me call him the Papsmear. Maybe the Papilloma? That's like a DISEASE! A DISEASE UPON HITTERS!!

Step 4: Bring Back Mike Myers

I mean, I could probably get a hit off of this guy, but the man kills left handers, and has done it for his entire life. He had a really good year last year actually (but with only 37IP). Bring him back I say. I know my fellow stat folk don't necessarily believe in the LaRussa LOOGY, but the guy is a GOOD LOOGY. He can get lefties out. It's not like he's one of those Run Fairy types wherre he can't get ANYBODY out.

Step 5: Never Let Mike Timlin Come On Inherting Runners

He re-upped at 3.5 mil a year I think. He had a good year last year, kept the walks down, kept the ball in the park, and was a workhorse again. That being said, he coudln't keep an inherited runner from scoring to save his life.

He's a good pitcher. I have no problems with him pitching in the late innings. Won't give the other taem freebies. But please, he's not a relief ace. He doens't strike out enough batters to do this. I say his role on the team should be pitching middle relief. You know, start the 7th, start the 6th, maybe start the 8th, but DON'T PUT HIM ON WITH INHERITED RUNNERS.

Step 6: I actually don't know what to do with Chad Bradford

I like the guy, he's still pretty effective, but he's had some minor injury tweaks, and only pitched 23 IP's last year for the Sox (mid-season acquisition). He's not as good as he used to be, but again, I like what he does desipte the high hit rate. Keeps the ball in the park, doesn't walk folks. The thing is for this last bullpen spot we might need a long man that can occasionally start. Tried John Halama but failed miserably. I say we keep Chad for the time being and see what happens.

Step 7: keep Delcarmen and Hansen in the minors

Craig Hansen showed us he could be an effective major league reliever last year. but he definitly need some time in AAA. Drafted in June, majors the next year? No way no how. Give him a little more time, maybe he'll be ready by mid-season, I don't know.

Manny Delcarmen needs A LOT more work too. In 9 Innings he walked 7 guys. That krap in the majors will burn you. Showed some good strikeout potential. Back to the minors he goes.

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