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Just a little "Where did they go?" update on another ex-Jay, Mike Timlin, now a proud member of the Red Sox bullpen. Apparently, the Sox are seriously considering a closer-by-committee with Timlin, Alan Embree and Bobby Howry. It's a good idea in principle -- exactly what I'd expect from Epstein and James -- but they may discover what Mike's previous employers have also found, that Timlin has the temperament to set up but not to close.

It's been quite an off-season for former Blue Jays hurlers. Here's a quick update:

Mike Timlin -- signed with Red Sox
Chris Carpenter -- signed with Cardinals
Mike Sirotka -- signed with Cubs
Brandon Lyon -- signed with Red Sox
Luke Prokopec -- signed with Dodgers, claimed by Reds
Dan Plesac -- re-signed with Phillies
Woody Williams -- re-signed with Cardinals
Pat Hentgen -- re-signed with Orioles
Joey Hamilton -- negotiating with Cardinals
Steve Parris -- renovating his basement
Esteban Loaiza -- would you like fries with that?

Timlin to Boston | 5 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Coach - Wednesday, December 18 2002 @ 05:53 PM EST (#100883) #
The hirings of Bill James and Theo Epstein show (finally) some vision on the part of the Red Sox, but I still dislike that franchise for reasons I can't explain, even to myself. (Just 35 years ago, when their top farm club was in Toronto, I was a big fan -- fickle, eh?)

This bullpen-by-committee is the potential Achilles heel for a Boston playoff run. All three "co-closers" aren't dominant enough, though Embree did have a superb 2002, and they will take turns blowing saves -- I hope. I associate Timlin with yet another former Jay, Steve Karsay, as both "should" get better results than they do with such good stuff, so I assume their problems are under their caps.

Another move that looks just fine on paper -- the acquisition of the "wrong" Giambi -- could backfire, because of factors no stats can interpret. Two organizations have dumped Little G in less than a year, and word is the Blue Jays, who worship at the OBP altar, wouldn't touch him with a 10-metre pole. It's possible his minor troubles so far are the tip of the iceberg.

Now if the Yankees waste money on Godzilla, and he bombs...
_Sean - Wednesday, December 18 2002 @ 06:05 PM EST (#100884) #
The same "splat!" could occur to whichever organization ponies up enough money to sign the Cuban pitcher Contreras, who has just been declared a free agent by Selig's office after establishing his legal residence in Nicaragua.
Dave Till - Wednesday, December 18 2002 @ 06:32 PM EST (#100885) #
37-year-old Mike Timlin as a closer? In Fenway Park? And Brandon Lyon on the staff? This calls for a public service announcement!

Attention Massachusetts baseball fans: Do not, I repeat do not, park your car beyond the left field fence at Fenway Park. Due to recent developments, there is an increased risk of your car's being damaged by flying missiles. Your insurance company will not cover such damage, as this area has been designated an "extremely high risk" zone. Pedestrians walking in the vicinity should remain alert at all times.

(I like the updates on the status of Parris and Loaiza. And I was discombobulated when I heard that the Reds had offered arbitration to Joey Hamilton.)
_Dave Till again - Wednesday, December 18 2002 @ 06:40 PM EST (#100886) #
"Pedestrians walking" is redundant. Argh.

A note on Timlin: I think his problem is just that he's a sinkerballer. The occupational hazard of sinkerballers is that sometimes their balls don't sink. When the ball doesn't sink, it's basically a batting-practice fastball. A pitcher like Timlin will look good on 90% of his pitches, and the other 10% will get absolutely crushed.

The most extreme case of this that I know of is Jim Acker in 1991: he allowed only 77 hits in 88 1/3 innings, but gave up 16 home runs.
_Kent - Wednesday, December 18 2002 @ 08:05 PM EST (#100887) #
Further to Sean's mention of Jose Contreras, here is the announcement from ESPN.

Since the two big AL East rivals are both going to be among the leading bidders for his services, let's hope it cripples the "winner" financially for 3-4 years.

Somewhere else, I mentioned the "culture shock" factor that can affect some players from other countries, so this guy isn't a sure thing. But if you saw that game on TV against the Orioles in 1999, you know he's a talented pitcher. My guess? He gets "ace" money and is a decent #3 or #4 for a few years.
Timlin to Boston | 5 comments | Create New Account
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