View Full Version : Offense vs. The Bullpen
10-24-2009, 12:37 AM
Here are my thoughts. Let's hear some other ideas.
10-24-2009, 08:54 AM
Here are my thoughts. Let's hear some other ideas.
Agree with everything you said. I'd probably have Prado hitting second in that lineup, Escobar sixth and Heyward seventh, at least initially... subject to change depending on who the first basemen turns out to be. Just wish there weren't so many lefties in that lineup.
10-24-2009, 06:55 PM
BFH, what is it about Craig Kimbrel that gives you as much confidence in him as you seem to have? I keep hearing about how he is very wild. I'm just wondering what it is about his stats and progression that makes you seem so optimistic about him?
10-24-2009, 09:59 PM
As usual, I agree with most of what BFH offers. I would add that the success of the 2009 bullpen was helped along by a very strong starting staff. Even though Cox typically overworked his best guys, they were in a lot of very good situations afforded them by the starters being able to go 6 or more frequently. That type of strength was a vital cog in the Braves run throughout the 90s and allowed them to be very flexible with the bullpen contributors.
Also, I was among the early posters wondering out loud about the possibility of Moylan becoming the closer. I believe he's capable and I also understand why he has a very real value to the team by not closing. If you realize that games aren't only "saved" in that ninth inning, but may just as well be saved by clutch pitching in the seventh or eighth, having Moylan as a middle man makes a lot of sense. Running him out there close to 90 or 100 times a season, does not. I've always felt that a ML pitcher should be able to get three outs without giving up anything, almost any time you call on him. That doesn't happen, but the odds suggest that a closer like Rivera is great, but not the difference maker worth dropping a fortune on. Particularly when your offense is very limited. Closer shouldn't be the main item on the search list this off-season.
10-25-2009, 12:11 AM
To me the way to get a good closer is to get a good setup man and turn them into a closer, like what was done with Soriano. Let's look at the bullpen my way.
O'Flaherty-the LOOGY, nice player to have in the bullpen but strictly a LOOGY
Moylan-nice reliever while he lasts, #3 reliever
Medlen-I'll put him as a #3 reliever as well, but I may be optimistic and he may be a #4
Logan/Acosta-They can be 7th relievers, maybe 6th relievers. Put one in the bullpen and another at AAA ready to fill-in.
Looking at the bullpen I believe the Braves need to add three relievers, two good ones and one acceptable one. I hope Gonzalez falls through the cracks because he's an acceptable closer in my book. That would leave two relievers, one of which comes from a KJ trade. The bullpen looks pretty fixable.
10-26-2009, 10:30 AM
I think for a guy that is getting 1 BB per K Kimbrel HAS to get that down before we bring him up. If I was at bat against him his wildness would be a huge concern in my book as a guy that throws 100mph and can't find a strike zone is extremely intimidating. I have a feeling when he fixes his wildness we'll finally see what kind of a pitcher he is... vs a thrower. I'd rather see that in the minors than the majors.
10-26-2009, 04:37 PM
Does he throw 100? Someone said he was around 93 94. Which is it? Anyone know for sure?
The pen will be more easily fixed than the offense. There are a lot of decent middle reliever/setup types on the FA market so the overall price to land one or two shouldn't be to steep. Here's a list of the FA's out there MLBtraderumors FA list (http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/12/2010-mlb-free-a.html). That's a lot of middle-reliievers.
First thing I would do if I were Wren is offer arb to both Soriano and Gonzalez. i don't see how the Braves can lose on that move. It will lower their FA value since a team would have to factor in sacrificing a high draft pick to sign them. If they both accept arbitration it wouldn't kill the Braves since they would probably get Soriano thru arb at about 7mil and Gonzalez at 5mil. It would put the Braves over budget on paper but those are both very reasonable contracts. The Braves could easily trade one of them before the season starts and pick up a really good middle reliever in the process. Or one of them could be used as a great adder to a package with someone like Kawakami, KJ, Church or Lowe to get the RH bat they desperately need.
If neither accepts arbitration I'd go for resigning Gonzalez. He should come cheaper and a good lefty closer is a nice neutralizer since the number of top LH bats seems to be much higher than their RH counterparts. The 2 high draft picks for Soriano would be gravy.
So I think the closer will be one of these two which is fine by me. Moylan, Medlen, O'flaherty are set to fill the short relief/loogy roles. As I said, there's plenty of middle-relief fodder to be had to go with them. I'd take a shot at Brendan Donnelly. He could be a great sleeper pickup. He looked really good at the end of last year and he should come at a pretty reasonable price since he's coming off a 1yr 950K make-good deal with the Marlins. I'd take him at 1.7mil-2mil, put him in as the 7th inning guy and move Kawakami (if he's still around) to long relief. I personally like Medlen a lot in short relief. I think he's going to be a big contributor in that role next year.
Anyway, to make a long-story-short, I think the Lowe/Kawakami/Hudson/LaRoche thing needs to get resolved fairly quickly so the Braves can figure out what they have to spend against what they need. To me it's a right-hand middle of the order power bat for either 1b or the OF. That is not going to be easy to find so the quicker they can get after it the better.
10-28-2009, 03:21 PM
I still think we should pursue Billy Wagner who proved he can still bring it after the surgery.
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