Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
My turn for some notes, with Craig on child watch (which makes me wonder how he posted so many messages yesterday!). On to the gibberish

In addition to the fact Kansas City really isn't very good, does anyone remember last year when the Indians started out 11-1? On a related topic, Rob Dibble on Baseball Tonight said the Royals have what it takes to compete with the Twins. I assume he was talking about the little-known AL Central Yahtzee tournament held each all-star break in Topeka, Kansas.

Did anyone see Kerry Wood yesterday? His curve ball was snapping, his fastball had giddy-up AND movement, and, more importantly, his motion seemed smoother than it ever had. Forget Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder; in two years we'll be talking more about Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, and Carlos Zambrano, assuming Dusty Baker doesn't fry their arms. So it looks like we'll still be talking about Hudson, Zito, and Mulder in two years.

I have been reserved so far about this, but Jeremy Giambi is off to a terrible start with the Red Sox. After Saturday night's drubbing by the Orioles -- at least the 'pen didn't blow a save opportunity -- Jeremy is now 2-25 with an even dozen whiffs. It's too early to say "I told you so," but I'm warming up the fingers. On the other hand, given how well Kevin Millar is hitting -- and, frankly, has always hit -- it makes all the fuss over his signing seem a bit more justified. Millar was a player I really wanted the A's to go after, even more than Durazo, because he's a RH hitter with some sock, something the A's could have used more than another injury-prone left-handed slugger (see Justice, David).

One more Red Sox note. It would not be a shock at all to see Robert Person emerge as the main closer for the Sox, as Grady Little indicated yesterday. Not because Person's got "closer mentality" or is demonstrably better than anyone else down there, but because his career path screams "Future Closer." That is to say, a failed starting pitcher or starter converted to relief in the majors -- Eric Gagne, Billy Wagner, Keith Foulke, Mariano Rivera, Jose Mesa, John Wetteland, et al -- an injury-riddled starting pitcher converted to relief to spare his arm -- Tom Gordon, Billy Koch, Jason Isringhausen, et al -- or a successful starter winding down his career -- John Smoltz, Dennis Eckersley, et al. Then there's the former position players converted to relief aces, such as Trevor Hoffman (shortstop) and Troy Percival (catcher). Person's failure during his brief tenure as the Jays closer notwithstanding, he will take the job and run with it, leaving another team with less to lose than Boston to tackle the closer-by-committee approach.

Very, very quietly, the Expos have assembled a nice nucleus that includes, in addition to superstar Vladimir Guerrero, the underrated Jose Vidro and Brad Wilkerson, plus three pitchers who form one of the better, if similarly unheralded, front-end rotations in the league: Javier Vazquez, Tony Armas, and Tomo Ohka. The Expos' depth, both in the majors and down on the farm, rivals that of a John Hughes movie, but, like those lovable teen romps, the Expos will be fun to watch this year -- and hopefully beyond.

Finally, I don't want to bring down the Prodigy Aaron Gleeman, but I'm lukewarm at Bobby Kielty's prospects for stardom. He'll be 27 this August, and, while he has a nice skill set -- some extra-base pop and a good batting eye -- his age limits his upside somewhat. He could yet be Brian Giles, and I hope for Aaron's sake he is, but he's more likely to be Bobby Higginson -- and that's not too shabby a fate, except for the playing in Detroit part. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Well, maybe Mick
Notes from nowhere | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Dave Till - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#90673) #
Person has the stuff to be a closer, but I'm not sure he has the confidence or the command. He reminds me a lot of Escobar, actually.
robertdudek - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#90674) #
Kielty is already a fantastic hitter, pretty much the best hitter on the team, so who cares about his potential.
_Dan Shaughnessy - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#90675) #
I think it's ridiculous to say or even think that eleven games into the season Theo Epstein is going to cave in and designate a "closer", no matter who it is. Red Sox managment has already caved and picked up Pedro Martinez's option months before they said they would, and to delcare the 'committee' thing a failure and appoint a singular closer at his point, would undermine the new GM, and send a clear message of who really runs the Boston Red Sox - Me, and the rest of the New England media witch hunters.
_Cristian - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#90676) #
"Forget Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder; in two years we'll be talking more about Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, and Carlos Zambrano, assuming Dusty Baker doesn't fry their arms. So it looks like we'll still be talking about Hudson, Zito, and Mulder in two years."

For those of you keeping track, Dusty had Wood throw 122 pitches yesterday.
Craig B - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#90677) #
Incidentally, Wilkerson is usually underrated rather than overrated; he's a useful player but not an elite hitter and he's a leftifelder only. He's a terrible centerfielder.

Agreed on Kielty with Robert... he's the Twins' best hitter, he's a fine player, and he should certainly be the full time DH at least.
Gitz - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#90678) #
Robert,

It's pretty obvious Kielty is a good hitter. But "fantastic"? I'm not one to quibble over semantics -- well, I'm an English major, so yes I am -- but that is hyperbolic. If he can have a career as decent as Higginson's, Kielty would gladly take it -- and so would Twins' fans.
Gitz - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 01:25 PM EDT (#90679) #
Craig,

Yeah, I agree that Wilkerson is slightly underrated, which is why I lumped him in with Vidro. Jose is not terribly underrated, but he is a very good player; the ball jumps off his bat from both sides of the plate, and he's a good second baseman. As a hitter, he reminds me of John Olerud with a little less patience.
_M.P. Moffatt - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#90680) #
http://economics.about.com
Anybody watching the game today? How did Hinske score from second on an infield single.. or is ESPN lying to me?

MP
_Gwyn - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 01:56 PM EDT (#90681) #
MP - Hudson hit a sharp grounder between first and second. Rivas dived/slid to his left and knocked it down but it squirted out of his glove and ran a few yards away, allowed Hinske to score.
Lucas - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#90682) #
Hi Guys -

I hope I haven't made it seem like I think Bobby Kielty is going to turn into Brian Giles, because I don't. Bobby is already in his peak years and I don't think he's going to turn into a great hitter. I simply think he is a .280/.400/.475 hitter right now and for the next few years, and that is someone the Twins need to be playing for 600 PAs a year.

Johan, on the other hand, will turn into a great pitcher!

GO TWINS!
robertdudek - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#90683) #
The Blue Jays were completely outplayed today, in all facets of the game.

Mays outpitched Hendrickson (though Lurch was his own worst enemy on the bunt "single" which should not have been changed from a straight E1). The Twins hitters made solid contact while occasionally striking out, while the Jays hitters made poor contact while not striking out. The bullpen was, again, a mismatch - except for Aquilino, who came and went like a brilliant comet in the sky, striking out both batters he faced. If they had kept him in the game the final score would very likely have been 5 or 6 to 3 instead of 9-3. The Twins' baserunning and situational hitting was exemplary.

No contest, and a measure of revenge for last weekends sweep in Minnesota.
_Jurgen Maas - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 09:40 PM EDT (#90684) #
Speaking of weird things in the world of starting pitching, Loria's Marlins seems to be learning the lessons of past mistakes and are keeping their pitchers on (reasonable) pitch counts:

Beckett
4/05 - 100 pitches
4/10 - 93

Penny
4/06 - 106
4/11 - 93

Burnett
4/09 - 80 (!!!)

I know it's early and Torborg is bound to start letting Burnett throw 186 pitches in 10-2 blow-outs come July, but if they can keep A.J., Beckett, and Penny healthy (please God, please God) for an entire season, they'll be much more competitive than the Cubs.
_Jurgen - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#90685) #
... assuming Baker keeps abusing the young Cub arms, that is.
_jason - Sunday, April 13 2003 @ 10:51 PM EDT (#90686) #
The Colon trade doesn't look as bad as I intitially thought. Liefer is hitting well, Biddle is closing out games, and we'll have to see how El Duke does when he comes of the DL but his brother seems to be pitching well enough right now.
_Mick - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 01:52 AM EDT (#90687) #
except for the playing in Detroit part. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Well, maybe Mick ...

Why Gitz, you wish that I was playing major league ball? I didn't know you cared so!

As I mentioned on an earlier thread, I went to high school in Toledo, which means -- though I'm not a lifelong Tiger fan or anything -- I was in the thick of following the '84 "Bless You Boys" team, which has now begun to reassemble as the Tiger coaching staff.

Incidentally, is there any other team in major league history whose manager, hitting coach and first base coach (Trammell, Gibson, Parrish) could all pretty much start for the team?

I do wish Trammell had gotten his way and permission to hire Jack Morris as pitching coach. We would have been just a few transactions away from seeing Barbaro Garbey, Johnny Grubb and Rusty Kuntz getting front office jobs.
_Matthew Elmslie - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#90688) #
Incidentally, is there any other team in major league history whose manager, hitting coach and first base coach (Trammell, Gibson, Parrish) could all pretty much start for the team?

Sort of the opposite of the Jays, whose manager, hitting coach and third base coach, if I have all the details straight, never got paid for playing baseball at all.
Notes from nowhere | 16 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.