Archive for January 24th, 2007

Wednesday Quickies

Reds acquire Saarloos from A’s for minor league reliever. We all know Billy Beane’s track record in this department, so I think it’s appropriate to declare the A’s the victors in this one. Best quote in the article comes from Wayne Krivsky, in whom I have less and less faith as time rolls on:

“He’s a very capable major league pitcher that knows how to get people out.”

Krivsky did see his 1.67 WHIP from last year, right? And the 1.50 WHIP he carries for his career? That means, by definition, that he doesn’t know how to get people out. He does induce the ground ball, though, which can play to his advantage at the homer-friendly Great American Ballpark. I wish Krivsky had said that instead.

Pirates add Matos with minor-league contract. The best part about Luis Show ‘Em My Matos is his nickname. This guy has had exactly one season where he was above average, and was downright putrid last season. Waiver wire, here we come.

Blue Jays add Ohka to compete for fifth spot in rotation. I was going to make fun of J.P. Ricciardi for this one. It’s fun because he’s supposedly a Moneyball disciple, yet makes batshit insane decisions on a regular basis (Royce Clayton and John McDonald at short? Might as well have the pitcher bat). But Ohka makes plenty of sense, especially on a one-year deal. He’ll find a rockier path now that he’s in the AL East, but he should still be able to post league-average numbers.

Jorge Posada: Bernie not going to retire. This is a story that I don’t quite understand.

“He’s not even thinking about (retirement) yet,” Posada said. “He said he wants to play one more year.”

Then, later in the article:

“If he doesn’t come back as a Yankee, it would be tough to see him in another uniform,” Posada said. “I don’t think he would even consider that. . . . Bernie wants to be a Yankee forever.”

Thanks, Jorge, for telling us NOTHING. And I heard the comments via radio on the way to work. Judging by his stutters, he knew he sounded like an idiot.

Sox to replace light-hitting corner outfielder with light-hitting corner outfielder

News came down earlier this week that Scott Podsednik injured his groin, and surgery will shelf him for six to eight weeks. The White Sox left fielder could be out until the end of Spring Training, which would hurt his chances to be ready for Opening Day 2007.

I would never wish injury upon someone — unless, of course, I’m playing a video game (I always burst out in cheers if I induce a career-ending injury in Madden). This injury, though, may have had a positive effect on the White Sox 2007 roster. Podsednik, as has been noted ad nauseum over the past year, does not hit to the level one would expect from a corner outfielder. Yes, he has excellent speed and steals his share of bases, but that’s a skill you want from an up the middle player.

The good news for the Sox: they have a few in-house options that could very well turn out better than Pod. The first of which is prospect Ryan Sweeney, who would have headed the list had the team not traded for John Danks. Sweeney will be 22 in February, but seems far enough along in his development that a shot at the Major League team should be warranted. He fared quite well in AAA last year, hitting .296/.350/.452. He hit .229 without a walk or an extra base hit during his 35 at-bat call-up in September, but that’s not worth measuring.

Another farm option presents itself in Josh Fields. The 24-year-old third baseman fared better than teammate Sweeney in AAA last year, mashing at a .305/.379/.515 clip. At his age, it would appear that now is the time to give him a shot with the club. He could be slotted in left field, or the team could trot Joe Crede out in that spot, effectively handing third base to Fields.

Both of these options are likely better than Podsednik would have been in the first place. However, GM Ken Williams doesn’t necessarily think so. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Tribune, Williams is looking to ink Darin Erstad to replace Pod:

Without Erstad in the mix, the Sox likely would have had both Brian Anderson and Ryan Sweeney in the outfield, with speedy Jerry Owens also getting a look. That’s not the best-case scenario, Williams said.

Notice, however, that there are no quotes surrounding Williams’ statement. It makes one wonder what his actual words were, and how much Cowley spun the statement.

But you know what? Having younger players in the outfield may be the best-case scenario. Yes, you don’t know what you’re going to get from them, but you also don’t know what you’re going to get from the hobbled, 33-year-old Erstad. You do know his ceiling, though, which is about .275/.340/.390 — and that’s considering he stays healthy and plays his absolute best. Since that’s not bloody likely, you’re more realistically looking at .265/.325/.380 — just plain horrible for a corner outfielder. Plus, he doesn’t have nearly the speed Podsednik possessed.

I know that Brian Anderson didn’t wow the masses with his 2006 performance. But even if he only improves slightly, he won’t be killing the team from center field. Erstad and Podsednik, however, kill the team from a corner outfield position. The White Sox have better options in-house than a slower version of Podsednik.

January 2007