Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tripped Up In Texas

I think after watching last night's game, it should be clear to everyone that John Smoltz is a five-inning pitcher. That's not a knock on him, just the reality of the situation.

Last night, a game the Sox had going their way fell apart because Smoltz was left in one inning too long. It turned a 2-1 lead into a 6-2 deficit and led to a 6-3 loss to the Rangers. Combined with the Yankees' win, the Sox are now tied with the Yankees for the AL East lead.

After five innings, Smoltz had given up just one run on four hits. It was a solid outing. But then the sixth inning came along and Smoltz looked horrific, giving away doubles and home runs like it was Christmas and he was Saint Nick. His final line was 5.2 innings and six runs allowed on nine hits. Oh, and three homers. Ugh.

Compare that to Smoltz's win in KC last week. He went just five innings and surrendered only one run on four hits. I think it's clear that Smoltz has a ceiling now and it's five innings. That's not a bad thing, it's just something to consider and work with.

But his performance last night will again stir the pot as far as changes go, with everyone clamoring for one of two things; the promotion of Buchholz or trading for Halladay.

I don't have a problem with promoting Buchholz, but who are you replacing? Will it be Penny or Smoltz? Considering that Buchholz couldn't go six in his outing, how much of an improvement is that over Smoltz? Especially when their lines over five innings were pretty similar. So I would say the guy you are moving out is Penny. But who do you think you are bringing back in return? And that is the key question here, because the issue is not Boston's pitching.

As I said the other day, Boston's problem is in their batting. They only got two runs and six hits off Kevin Freaking Millwood last night in six innings. Are you kidding me? Milwood has sucked since 2007 and the Sox could only grab a pair off of him? In the words of Ron Burgundy, Great Odin's raven! Isn't this the real problem here?

Ellsbury went 1-4 in the leadoff spot and struck out twice. Pedroia went 0-4. Bay went 1-4. And so forth and so on. Too many guys are not getting on base right now. And the Sox have to try and correct this. Three runs off the Rangers is ridiculous. Their bullpen has looked good recently, but they aren't this good. Texas is a big stick team with weak pitching. Boston should be dominating them and last night they didn't.

So what to do? I think the first thing is to insert Buchholz into the rotation and trade Penny. Smoltz isn't a major problem provided you recognize his limitations. And that means keeping Masterson ready for the days Smoltz pitches so you can get two or three from him and save the pen for your other pitchers. As for trading Penny, I am sure some teams in contention in the NL would want him. I just don't know what you'd get in return. Maybe if he was packaged with Saito you could get a bigger haul.

Then you have to get aggressive on trading for a hitter. I put forward the idea yesterday that Adrian Gonzales in San Diego would be a good target. But there are others. You could target Prince Fielder in Milwaukee, Joey Votto in Cincy or Nick Johnson in Washington. If you wanted to go outside the box, there's a young first baseman with the Cubs named Jake Fox who swings a pretty nice bat. But you'll notice all these guys play first base. And there is a reason for that.

Yes, it would be nice to go after an Adam Dunn or a Ryan Braun or some other outfielder who is mashing the ball. But where does he go? You can't say "You bench Drew" because, as attractive and nice as that thought is, it's not realistic. Not when he makes $14M a year. But you could move Mike Lowell to a team if you ate just a little bit of his contract and added a minor sweetener. Then you shift Youk to third and put your new acquisition in at first. You'll also notice all those names I mentioned are under the age of 30.*

In an ideal world the Sox would be able to jettison Drew and bring in a Braun, rather than trade away a guy who plays hard and hurt like Lowell. But business is business. If the Sox want to improve their lineup, that is where they can make it happen.

But for now Boston will fight on with what they have, which is still pretty good all things considered. Tonight Beckett takes the mound and when you are coming off a loss, Beckett is the guy you want on the mound. Hopefully he'll notch the "W" and straighten things out.


Attention Mets Fans:I am adding this a day a later so you drooling misanthropes stop commenting. And I'll use all caps so you understand.


Okay? So chill the hell out and go back to watching your team get shut out. Again.


* If you want to go completely outside the box and down Crazy Street...is a possible trade for David Wright out of the question? Hear me out on this. The Mets have had Wright for a few years now, have won nothing and are falling out of contention in 2009. Wright also has a growing rep for not playing unless he's 100%. He's also the leadoff hitter the Sox are missing (.407 OBP). The one negative would be that he is under the Mets' control until 2013 and that would raise his price even more.

Still...the Mets' problem is a lack of depth. Would a package of Lowell (with salary help), Bowden, Lars Anderson and Ryan Kalish be enough to entice them, weighing their need for young cheap players (and some veteran leadership) against trading the face of the Mets? Hell, toss in Penny and make them think they could get back in the hunt. In return Wright would come to a well-run franchise with veteran leadership, exactly the situation Wright needs to bring his game to the next level. And you get to keep Youk at first.

I know the odds here are next to zero, but it's a fun thought exercise.


JJ said...

I think you need to check your facts a bit or are getting your players mixed up. Wright certainly doesn't have a growing rep of "not playing unless he's 100%". He hardly ever misses a game and never takes himself out of the lineup. If anything he has the rep of not taking a day off when he needs one.

And, the Mets would never even consider a trade like that. They aren't trading Wright, and that package isn't even close to equal value. Think about what it would take to get the Sox to trade Youk and then add some prospects onto that (given Wright's age) and you'd get an estimate of what it would take for the Mets to think about trading Wright.

big baby giv said...

it's fascinating that you can be so dumb to think that this is a good idea, but smart enough to operate a computer and formulate sentences.

Anonymous said...

i think it's time to shut down the internet after reading this one.

it's had a nice run.

crack is wack said...

Would a package of Tatis, Niese, Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada be enough entice the Sox for Youkilis? Hell, toss in Nieve.

Anonymous said...

NO exaggeration...this could very well be the stupidest thing I've ever read.

Anonymous said...

You may well have set the human race back a hundred years by posting this nonsense. We have all been damaged.

PhuckPhilly said...

i think its pretty obvious that you made that stupid write up just to get some more hits on ur shitty little blog. did u really come up with this trade on ur own? i hope so, if you had any hekp with this you should shoot that person.

Dave said...

Are you people fundamentally retarded? Honestly, I am asking b/c you obviously missed the part where I said I was going down Crazy Street and that "I know the odds here are next to zero, but it's a fun thought exercise."? Did you miss that part?

Typical Mets fans. At least Yankee fans know what the Hell they're talking about most of the time. You idiots can't even read something in context.

Look on the bright side, though: you guys suck so bad this year that you don't have to worry about choking in September. Losers.

Anonymous said...

God you are stupid. You had no idea Wright has to be ordered to take a day off and never wants to come out of a game. And he's not a leadoff hitter. In Boston with those fences his power would come back tomorrow.

Why would any team want to give up a franchise player for crap? Teams that are in the playoff chase have to overpay for talent, which is usually for free agents to be. They don't toss in Penny and Dreck for one of the most valuable players in baseball. Now if you said, maybe the Mets would be dumb enough to get raped, and Theo should embarrass himself by making that phone call. Fine. But to say that trade somehow helps the Mets is ludicrous.

Dave said...

Again, dumbass, read the context. I said it was little more than a thought exercise, not a serious suggestion.

Enjoy your mediocre team, your laughable farm system and years of not making the post-season. That should be a lot of fun for you.

Anonymous said...

this is one of the dumbest trade ideas i've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

You should have claimed you were drunk when you posted. At least then people would have figured when you sobered up that you knew what you were talking about.

Instead you confirmed you really are this stupid. God it must suck to be you.

Dave said...

I imagine the only thing that sucks more is being unable to read the whole thing in context. But you are a Mets fan, so that is to be expected.

Anonymous said...

Yes, one can read "in context" that it was just a "thought exercise", but that doesn't mean that its not a ridiculous one at that. If I created a blog saying "I know its unlikely the Sox are going to trade him, but maybe the Mets can get Youkilis for Wilmer Flores and Fernando Tatis (he has some vet leadership and can play 1b or 3b). And maybe we throw in Livan Hernandez to help the Sox with their stretch run", I'd expect to get slammed for it, whether or not I put a "its highly unlikely to happen" disclaimer on my idea.

And whats the excuse for the statement about Wright not playing unless he's 100%. That wasn't part of the "thought exercise" and is about as silly of a notion as the trade proposal itself.

Dave said...

Once again, not a serious proposal. But since you put names out...

Comparing the top prospect in a shit farm system to three of the top eight, and two of the top four, prospects in one of the best farm systems in the game is laughable. And comparing Tatis and Lowell is a joke. So while I wasn't serious, at least try to make a comparable joke of an offer.

Anonymous said...

Flores isn't the Mets top prospect. And my joke of an offer was meant to mock your joke of an offer. And it is comparable... both have a zero chance of happening.

And you still haven't addressed your made up facts. Please enlighten us as to where the rep of not playing unless he's 100% is "growing" from. Is it that one entire game he missed this yr?

big baby giv said...

you misused "misanthropes" about as badly as you can ever misuse a word.

the red sox being good doesn't change the fact that you're a fucking idiot.

Anonymous said...

God, I never knew Kevin Smith was such a shithead.

Anonymous said...

Dave, you have an astonishingly poor grasp on how professional sports work, my friend.

Not only did I not laugh at your "thought exercise", as you put it, of a trade proposal, but I didn't even crack a smile. And not only did I find your thought exercise not worth thought and/or time of day, I found it extremely offensive to every mentally challenged being out there.

In fact, I would not be surprised if your embarrassing effort to play GM, so to speak, resulted in the slaughtering of brain cells of anyone who read it. Please, I beg you, take down this blog so that no one else will be harmed from merely reading your cruel attempt at fitting in. Thank you.

Dave said...

"And not only did I find your thought exercise not worth thought and/or time of day..."

And yet here you are commenting on it.

Listen Mets fans, your point has been made. So crawl back under your rocks. If you are so pained and disgusted...DON'T READ THE BLOG. How hard is that? Don't you have Mets blogs to go read that bitch about how your team chokes every year and is a poor cousin to the Yankees?

Dave said...

And now that you have all made your spittle-flecked points, the comments are closed. Run along, losers.