Posts Tagged ‘Curt Schilling’

Mariners Bring Back Erik Bedard

February 7, 2010

Erik Bedard is one of the great teases in baseball. He is a left-handed pitcher with a ton of talent. There are very lefties in the game that have the stuff that Bedard has.

The problem is, he is always hurt. Not only is he seemingly always hurt, but some–including myself–have questioned his mental makeup. I believe he is one of the pitchers that would rather win in a small market than win in a big market.

Bedard has been a tease in Seattle

Bedard was involved in one of the most lopsided trades in recent years when he was sent from the Baltimore Orioles to the Seattle Mariners for Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Kameron Mickolio, and Chris Tillman. This trade has set the Orioles up for years to come, while Bedard has been a disaster in Seattle.

In two seasons, Bedard only made 30 starts and has gotten hurt every year. This is why Bedard is a tease. When he has been on the mound in a Mariners’ uniform he has pretty good for them.

In those 30 starts, Bedard had a 3.25 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, and averaged 9.8 K’s/9. Not bad at all.

Bedard’s 2009 season ended at the end of July because of a shoulder injury. Bedard eventually needed shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum.

The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Bedard. He was entering his free agent year and at 30-years-old, Bedard could have been inline for one more big pay-day.

Bedard didn’t get the big payday because his injury will sideline him until at least May. However, he will be returning to the place that I didn’t think he would return to.

According to Marc Brassard of Le Droit, Bedard has re-signed with the Mariners. The deal is for one-year and 1.5 million plus incentives with an $8 million mutual option for 2011.

If Bedard reaches all his incentives in 2010, he could earn around $8.5 million.

I am really surprised Bedard is returning to the Mariners in 2010. After his two injury plagued seasons, I didn’t think the Mariners would bring him back.

Then I got to thinking, the Mariners need all of the pitching help they can get. The Mariners actually needed Bedard.

Yes, I know Seattle has a lethal one-two punch at the top of their rotation in Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez, but what do they have after that? Ian Snell? Ryan Rowland-Smith? Doug Fister?

None of those guys strike fear in anyone. If the Mariners go into a three game series with those three pitching, they would be underdogs in all three games against most teams in the American League.

Now you can tell me that the Arizona Diamondbacks won the 2001 World Series with really only two starters and you would be correct. Outside of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, the Diamondbacks had nothing that year.

However, there is one big difference between what the Mariners have and what the Diamondbacks had in 2001–offense. Whether it was legit or not, Luis Gonzalez did hit 57 home runs that year and finished third in the MVP voting.

They also had Reggie Sanders who hit 33 home runs that year and Matt Williams, when healthy, was still capable of hitting the long ball. Mark Grace also hit .298 with .386 OBP.

Those players were able to bail their bad pitchers out because they could score more runs than their opponents. I don’t see that with this Mariners’ lineup.

If and that is a big if, Bedard can come back around mid-season, he would give the Mariners the third pitcher they need and a big lift as the season goes on.

Bedard will be entering his eighth season in the major league and has a career record of 51-41 with a 3.71 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP with the Orioles and Mariners.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Advertisements

Red Sox Trying To Land Another Ace On Thanksgiving

November 25, 2009

Back in 2003, Boston Red Sox GM Theo Eptein, along with then Assistant GM Jed Hoyer traveled to Arizona to have Thanksgiving dinner with Curt Schilling and his wife in order to convince Schilling to come to Boston.

The Arizona Diamondbacks traded Schilling to the Red Sox on Nov. 29, 2003 and the rest is history.

Six years later, the Red Sox are trying to land another ace on Thanksgiving.

According to Marc Feinsand and Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, the Red Sox are “putting on a full-court press” to land Toronto Blue Jays’ ace Roy Halladay.

“They would love to get it wrapped up before the winter meetings (beginning Dec. 7),” their source said of the Red Sox.

Unlike former GM JP Ricciardi, new GM Alex Anthopoulos seems to have a pretty good grasp on how handle trading Halladay. Anthopoulos already has said he would be willing to give teams a 72-hour window to negotiate a contract extension with Halladay–something Ricciardi wasn’t willing to do.

My take on this and the Red Sox offseason in general, is that Theo and company really want to do something big. Whether it’s trading Halladay, Adrian Gonzalez, or Miguel Cabrera, the Red Sox want to make a splash.

Acquiring Halladay would give the Red Sox a formidable rotation heading into 2010. Halladay, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Daisuke Matsuzaka would give the Red Sox one of the best–if not the best rotation in baseball.

I wouldn’t put it past Epstein pulling off this trade before Thanksgiving. Who knows, maybe Epstein will go to the Halladay’s for some turkey dinner in order to get a deal done.

It worked once before right?

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

 

Odds Are Against Strasburg….

April 15, 2009
The 2009 MLB Draft is just 2 and a half months away and the Washington Nationals are on the clock. By all accounts the Nationals will take San Diego State RHP Stephen Strasburg with the first pick. Strasburghas been called by Keith Law and others as the best pitching prospect in the last 10 years and could pitch in the majors today. As Rob Neyer so effectively pointed out, we have heard this before. We heard this about Mark Prior, we heard this about Ben McDonald andwe heard this withDavid Clyde. Trying to figure out if a 18 or 20 year old kid who faces batters not on his level 99% of the time can get out major league batters is the greatest inexact science in sports. That, coupled with the fact that a pitcher’s arm is the most fragile body part in all of sports makes trying to scout an NFL QB look easy. I don’t want to come across as I am wishing bad things on Strasburg, I am not. I hope he does well because young, star pitchers are good for the game. However, as you will see, the odds are not in Strasburg’s favor.

First, let’s look at all the pitchers who were taken with the #1 overall pick in the draft since 1965 and their stats. Please note that I have not counted the stats for David Price (#1 pick in 07) and Luke Hochevar (#1 pick in 06) because it is too early to give them a complete evaluation.

2007 – David Price

2006– Luke Hochevar

2002– Bryan Bullington, 9 G 0-5 5.45 era

1997 – Matt Anderson, 257 G 15-7 51.9 era 26 saves

1996 – Kris Benson, 196 G 68-74 4.37 era

1994 – Paul Wilson, 170 G 40-58 4.86 era

1991 – Brien Taylor, Never Pitched in Majors

1989 – Ben McDonald, 211 G 78-70 3.91 era

1988– Andy Benes, 403 G 155-139 3.97 era 1 save

1983– Tim Belcher, 394 G 146-140 4.16 era 5 saves

1981 – Mike Moore, 450 G 161-176 4.39 era 2 saves

1976 – Floyd Bannister, 431 G 134-143 4.06 era

1973 – David Clyde, 84 G 18-33 4.63 era

All of the above 11 pitchers were can’t miss pitching prospects who were worthy of the #1 pick (Well, maybe not Bryan Bullington but that is for a whole other post). And for all of their talents all these pitchers could do is combine for an average era of 4.63, a lifetime average record of 74-85 and appear in a total of 3 All Star games. The best pitcher on this list was probably Andy Benes. Benes was a solid #2 for most of his career and finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting in 96. If you are a Nationals fan are you happy with an Andy Benes?

Stephen Strasburg

Stephen Strasburg

Ok, you might be saying that some of these pitchers were taken 1st because of maybe the best talent in the draft was not signable or they were the #1 pick because it was a weak draft. That’s fine and I agree that might be a factor. So let’s expand shall we? Let’s take a look at all the pitchers taken in the top 5 from 1995-2005. I think 10 years is a fair sample size.

1995

#4 Kerry Wood, 77-61 3.65 era 34 saves

#5 Ariel Prieto, 15-24 4.85 era

1996

#1 Kris Benson, 68-74 4.37 era

#3 Braden Looper, 58-58 3.92 era 103 saves

#4 Billy Koch, 29-25 3.89 era 163 saves

#5 John Patterson, 18-25 4.32 era 1 saves

1997

#1 Matt Anderson, 15-7 51.9 era 26 saves

#4 Jason Grilli, 16-16 4.64 era 15 saves

1998

#2 Mark Mulder, 103-60 4.18 era

#4 Jeff Austin, 2-3 6.75 era

1999

#2 Josh Beckett, 90-63 3.77 era

2000

#2 Adam Johnson, 1-3 10.25 era

#4 Mike Stodolka, Never Pitched in Majors

#5 Justin Wayne, 5-8 6.13 era

2001

#2 Mark Prior, 42-29 3.51 era

#3 Dewon Brazelton, 8-25 6.38 era

#4 Gavin Floyd, 26-19 5.01 era

2002

#1 Bryan Bullington, 0-5 5.45 era

#3 Chris Gruler, Never Pitched in Majors

#4 Adam Loewen, 8-8 5.38 era

#5 Clint Everts, Never Pitched in Majors

2003

#3 Kyle Sleeth, Never Pitched in Majors

#4 Tim Stauffer, 4-7 6.37

2004

#2 Justin Verlander, 46-35 4.18 era

#3 Phil Humber, 0-0 5.79 era

#4 Jeff Niemann, 2-3 6.33 era

#5 Mark Rogers, Never Pitched in Majors

2005

No Pitchers Taken In Top 5

The outlook for Strasburg looks a little brighter. I think every Nationals fan or any fan would take a Josh Beckett type on their staff right now. However, out of those 27 pitchers only 1 in my mind turned out to be worthy of their #5 pick status. That would be Beckett. Mulder was on his way to being a great one but arm injuries derailed his career, the jury is still out on Verlander and sorry Cubs fans, Wood’s 7.7 wins a year over 10 years really is not that impressive. If you are a Nationals fan would you be happy with just getting 6 years out of Strasburg but was a Mulder like 97-50 in those first 6 years? Or do you believe “the best pitching prospect ever” should give you more than 6 years? Interesting debate.

I always believed that a team should draft the best position player available andthen find pitchers later in the draft because position players are usually easier to predict that pitchers. At least if I am drafting a position player #1, I can reference Alex Rodriguez (#1 in 93), Joe Mauer (#1 in 01), Ken Griffey Jr (#1 in 87) and Chipper Jones (#1 in 90). All of which are superstars. Plus, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that you can find top pitching in later rounds. Let’s take a look at some of the top pitchers from the last 20 years and see where they were drafted….

1. John Smoltz – 22nd Round

2. Tom Glavine – 2nd Round

3. Greg Maddux – 2nd Round

4. Randy Johnson – 2nd Round

5. Roy Halladay – 1st Round #17 overall

6. Andy Pettitte – Amatuer Free Agent

7. David Cone – 3rd Round

8. Curt Schilling – 2nd Round

9. Johan Santana – Amateur Free Agent

10. Mariano Rivera – Amateur Free Agent

11. Mike Mussina- 1st Round #20 overall

12. Pedro Martinez – Amateur Free Agent

13. Roy Oswalt- 23rd Round

14. Jake Peavy – 15th Round

15. Jaime Moyer – 6th Round

16. Orel Hershiser – 17th Round

17. Tim Hudson – 6th Round

18. Dwight Gooden- 1st Round #5 overall

19. Roger Clemens – 1st Round #19 overall

20. Dennis Eckersley – 3rd Round

So as you can see, this is a pretty talented group and only Gooden was picked within the top 5. Again, I hope Strasburg does well, but the odds of him being a great major league pitcher are certainly not in his favor.

On a side note, as I was doing the research for this post I realized that the Royals might be one of the worst drafting franchises ever. Take a look at their 1st round picks fom 1992-2001. Just brutal

Thank You Curt Schilling….

March 23, 2009

On his blog 38pitches.com, Curt Schilling announced his retirement today from baseball. Schilling finishes with a lifetime record of 216-146 with a 3.46 era and 3,116 K’s. But it was in the postseason where Schilling did his best work. Schilling was a remarkable 10-2 with a 2.23 era in 133.1 innings. Schilling played with the Astros, Orioles, Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox over his 20 year career. But I will remember Schilling the most as a member of the Boston Red Sox and as a Red Sox fan, I would just like to say Thank You….

Thank You for being traded to the Red Sox on November 28, 2004 for Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, Jorge De La Rosa and Michael Goss.

Thank You for the first time putting on a Red Sox uniform and completely changing the culture of the franchise.

No, thank you Curt

No, thank you Curt

Thank You for living up to the hype and going 21-6 in 2004.

Thank You for forming a dominant 1-2 punch with Pedro Martinez.

Thank You for pitching one of the top 5 greatest games I have ever seen pitched in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees. Forever known as the “Bloody Sock Game.”

Thank You for gutting it out and pitching 6 shut out innings against the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series.

Thank You for going 3-0 in the 2007 postseason.

Thank You for giving everything you got every time you took the mound.

Thank You for not using Performance Enhancing Drugs.

And finally, Thank You for bringing a World Series title to Boston for the first time in 86 years and another one just 3 years later.