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If Pitching Wins Titles...

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If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby slegend » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:48 pm

We have debated the Tribe rotation to death in the off-season, but I wonder what your opinion is when comparing our rotation to the competition in the AL Central. I know we need to wait until the final week of spring training to factor in adjustments to who is #1-#5 for each team, injuries, etc. But as it stands today, I rank them as follows:

1: Minnesota Twins: Liriano, Baker, Slowery, Blackburn, Perkins
The rotation is young and unproven, but the upside is through the roof with these arms. If Liriano is finally back to 100% in 2009, they might have the best 1-5 starters in MLB and I think even the most die hard of fans would struggle to name three of players if asked on the street...

2: Cleveland Indians: Lee, Carmona, Pavano, Reyes, Laffey
Probably the best depth in the AL Central, with really 8-9 potential MLB starters. Too much concern with Carmona, Pavano, Reyes, Laffey all four returning from injuries - to put this rotation at the top of the AL Central. But, they have incredible depth with all the young arms...

3: Chicago White Sox: Buehrle, Danks, Floyd, Colon, Richard
The key is the #4/#5 spots holding ground until Contreras returns to the lineup. We could say the same as the Indians with Westbrook, but I would rather have a player returning from anything but TJ surgery. I look for Contreras to have a major impact during part II of the 09 season. If they get solid pitching from whomever starts 09 as the #4/#5 starter, I think the rotation of Buehrle, Danks, Floyd, Contreras will be tough to battle come August and September...

NOTE: I think the rotations for the Tribe, White Sox, Twins will be good enough that all three teams will compete for the division and wild card spot...

4: Detroit Tigers: Verlander, Galarraga, Bonderman, Jackson, Miner
The fans that predicted some down seasons after the World Series run were correct, so will the Tigers arms bounce back? I think they go into the season with only 4 legit starters and that is why they will struggle to hang with the Tribe, Twins, Sox in the division. They really need Miner, Robertson, or Willis to step up and post some numbers...

5: KC Royals: Meche, Greinke, Bannister, Hochevar, Davies
Who cares about the Royals, they are night and day better, but still put them near the bottom. Meche & Greinke are solid FOR arms, but Jeremy Sowers would win the #3 spot on their rotation and he will not make ours...

How do you rank the AL Central rotations, as they stand today???
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby Steve Buffum » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:55 pm

slegend wrote:1: Minnesota Twins: Liriano, Baker, Slowery, Blackburn, Perkins
...I think even the most die hard of fans would struggle to name three of players if asked on the street...

Including you!

Sincerely,
Kevin Slowey


Just goofin'.

Man, there's a lot of volatility in the division, isn't there? Liriano could be great ... or lousy. Reyes could be anywhere from below to above average and I wouldn't blink. Bonderman might be healthy or not or good or not: no single quadrant would surprise me.

I think in terms of pure upside, Minnesota is the top, but if you're asking about what I think the PERFORMANCE will end up being, I'll go:

1) Chicago
2) Minnesota
3) Cleveland
4) Kansas City
5) (null)
...
837) Detroit

Honestly, almost no order would surprise me to any great degree except Detroit moving up more than 830 slots.
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby OSU819903 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:56 pm

Agree with the list for the most part. One note of contention: I would trade Sowers for Bannister any day of the week. I think Bannister's upside blows Sowers away, and right now they're probably close to equal, but I would still rather Bannister.
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby reppination7 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:44 pm

lets not forget, we will get jake westbrook the second half of the season

(who in my opinion, is our most consistent pitcher since he has been in a tribe uniform)
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby WiscTribeFan » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:06 pm

reppination7 wrote:lets not forget, we will get jake westbrook the second half of the season


In theory we do. I don't expect Jake to be the old Jake until at least next season. Counting on him for any measure of production might bring some heart-ache. If he does contribute, more the better, but I don't think the Tribe has high expectations for a guy coming off major arm surgery last year.
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby Toxicadam » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:20 pm

I think it's going to come down to bullpens again this year.
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:32 pm

WiscTribeFan wrote:
reppination7 wrote:lets not forget, we will get jake westbrook the second half of the season


In theory we do. I don't expect Jake to be the old Jake until at least next season. Counting on him for any measure of production might bring some heart-ache. If he does contribute, more the better, but I don't think the Tribe has high expectations for a guy coming off major arm surgery last year.


Exactly. People expecting to see October '07 Westbrook when he steps out of rehab are going to be disappointed. 2010 is a more reasonable expectation IMO.
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby Toxicadam » Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:59 pm

You wonder, if the Indians pitching staff is going well, if Westbrook even makes it back to the team until September. Wouldn't make sense to have him as a 6th starter, when he could be getting more reps in Columbus.
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:05 pm

Toxicadam wrote:You wonder, if the Indians pitching staff is going well, if Westbrook even makes it back to the team until September. Wouldn't make sense to have him as a 6th starter, when he could be getting more reps in Columbus.


Guess it depends on what's going right and wrong at the time. If they're in the mix and getting nothing from 4 and 5 I can see the allure of running Westbrook out there. But that's about the only scenario. If they're dead and buried why risk it til he gets his innings in. If they're running away with it then obviously 4 and 5 aren't huge issues so you let him build up arm strength and get right in Columbus.

Who knows, maybe he's farther along than we think right now. Or maybe he's not even a consideration until 2010 already though we've heard nothing along those lines.

I just think anything he gives you is gravy and expecting anything is not being realistic.
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby carnegie44115 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:42 am

Well I did read the other day, Westbrook is like 4 weeks behind schedule but that was because they decided to do that surgery on the hip at the same time, so that pushed the table back a bit, but still won't be much a problem. It will be more of a benefit than a problem.

As for his return date, this is how I see it, if everyone is doing well in the rotation, I think they keep Westbrook on working back to form as much in extended ST, than put him on the full duration of his rehab, then maybe even consider him for the bully for the rest if the rotation is still doing good and were in contention. I am worried about Reyes though, no matter what problems he may have had with Duncan in St. Louis, but he had and still has lingering elbow issues.
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby twdelaney34 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:17 am

Steve Buffum wrote:
slegend wrote:1: Minnesota Twins: Liriano, Baker, Slowery, Blackburn, Perkins
...I think even the most die hard of fans would struggle to name three of players if asked on the street...

Including you!

Sincerely,
Kevin Slowey


Just goofin'.

Man, there's a lot of volatility in the division, isn't there? Liriano could be great ... or lousy. Reyes could be anywhere from below to above average and I wouldn't blink. Bonderman might be healthy or not or good or not: no single quadrant would surprise me.

I think in terms of pure upside, Minnesota is the top, but if you're asking about what I think the PERFORMANCE will end up being, I'll go:

1) Chicago
2) Minnesota
3) Cleveland
4) Kansas City
5) (null)
...
837) Detroit

Honestly, almost no order would surprise me to any great degree except Detroit moving up more than 830 slots.


I think Buff is right with his final point: any order could happen. These teams all have a lot of questions surrounding the starting pitching. Minn has some upside, but does Liriano have any more than Carmona, who has been the subject of much speculation on our boards? I would wager the Sox finish with the best rotation, but the Tribe could be right there, especially if Huff comes in and makes an impact like he can. I think our bullpen is what will push us over the top. We're stronger there than anyone else in the division.

Expecting a lot from Jake is a reach, given past performance of pitchers in his position. We would be fortunate if he can make a playoff impact (God willing).
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby CDAV6 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:41 pm

Unfortunately I fear Edwin Jackson could be a huge boost to Detroit's rotation. It doesn't fix their bullpen(thank God) but it could take some strain off of it. Bonderman is a mystery to me, FOR stuff that never seems to come together. If these two come close to their potential we could be in trouble. I think what allows me to have hope almost every year is the fact that there are so many variables it is impossible to predict anything. For me its fun to talk about the potential and skill sets of individual players. That being said my prediction is as follows:

1. Detroit- Power arms in top 3 spots may make it hard on opposing teams.

2. Cleveland- Depth is our strength. Watch out for Laffey, Lewis, and/or Huff. Pavano will rebound and have a productive year.

3. Minny- Fall off even farther if Liriano falters but also have some depth.

4. KC- Greinke takes over #1 with Meche and Bannister following could be much better if someone steps into the 4 hole and performs.

5. Chicago- I believe it is going to be a long year in the windy city for the Sox.
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby tribefan333 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:30 pm

Basement: Twins, Sox, Tribe, Tigers, Royals
Potential: Tribe, Sox, Twins, Royals Tigers
Overall projected: Twins, Tribe, Sox, Tigers, Royals.

The Twins have a very nice foursome of pitchers with Blackburn (I really like him).
I have the utmost confidence in Carmona, so that's one negative most people have that I do not share. I also like Laffey, which will round out the top 5 (although I have little confidence in Reyes. Call me backwards).

Either way, it could be argued that the Twins, Indians and Sox are head and shoulders above the other two. And potentially, the Twins and Tribe could further elevate themselves.

If the Twins didn't have the most underrated relief pitcher in baseball (Joe Nathan), the Indians would have this hands down.
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby davemanddd » Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:10 pm

. . . then why didn't the atlanta braves win more than just that one world series title in 1995, and over our cleveland indians, no less???

:dunno:
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby MadThinker88 » Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:53 am

For the record, the Pitching of the 1995 Indians was pretty good too.
People remember that offense for good reason, but forget that on the whole the staff was the best in the AL (if my memory serves).
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby brooks1957 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:48 am

Shapiro has said on more than one occasion one of his big concerns for 2009 is the starting rotation. I have a suggestion - Paul Byrd. He's without a team currently, and there's no way he breaks the bank to get here. Granted he's 37 yrs. old, but why not sign him to a non-guaranteed deal, and bring him to camp to see if he can realistically help you. If not at the back of the rotation, he sure would be adaptable as a long man in relief. He was very hot when we traded him, and it's not always wise to look back at that and think he'll pick up right where he left off, but what's the harm in a Spring Training look-see?
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby Steve Buffum » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:14 pm

I thought Byrd said he was going to retire, so a quick Google search "Paul Byrd retire" yielded some hits like this one:

http://griddle.baseballtoaster.com/arch ... 98888.html

The idea is that he wants to try the Roger Clemens mid-season train hop on a contender. It isn't out of the question that that team could be Cleveland, but it would take a pretty weird set of circumstances (and a whole heap o' failure by yoots).
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby brooks1957 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:42 pm

Thanks for the update, buffum!
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby justmebd » Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:21 pm

Didn't Sandy Koufax just lose a lot of money? Maybe we could sign him. I'm sure his arm is "well rested" by now.

Just throwing that out there :thumb up:

(Sorry for the sarcasm, I just don't think an older arm is going to be the answer here. I like Byrd, but 2007 is a LOOOOONGGGG time ago in pitching years after the age of 35 with very few exceptions)
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Re: If Pitching Wins Titles...

Unread postby CDAV6 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:40 pm

I was opposed to keeping Byrd and letting Guthrie go, so Byrd just brings bad memories for me. If one of our young arms cannot give us more than Paul Byrd we are doomed anyway. I'm all for not blocking anymore talented youngsters with less than average vets. Just my respectfull opinion.
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