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Friday, June 25, 2004
Evaluating the Bullpen

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, I thought I'd take a look at one of the Weaknesses of the sox. Early in the season the Bullpen was considered a strength, but it has become readily appearent that the bullpen has now become a weakness. Even with the 'addition-by-subtraction' move of trading Billy Koch to the Marlins, there is still little continuity in the middle innings. Neal Cotts and Mike Jackson have ERA's above nine in June. Cliff Politte has shown that he's not very reliable in pressure situations. Jon Adkins has been underutilized. Damaso Marte has been inconsistent, though he seems to be putting it together as of late. The emergence of Shingo Takatsu is the 'pens lone saving grace.

Here's the pen's #'s for 2004

NAME                G  W  L Sv Hld  IP   H   ER HR BB SO  K/9 WHIP  ERA

V. Darensbourg 2 0 0 0 0 1.33 1 0 0 1 0 0.00 1.50 0.00
Kelly Wunsch 3 0 0 0 0 2.00 2 0 0 1 1 4.50 1.50 0.00
S. Takatsu 25 4 0 2 4 27.00 12 3 1 7 18 6.00 0.70 1.00
Jon Adkins 17 2 2 0 0 24.00 24 7 1 11 17 6.38 1.46 2.63
Damaso Marte 29 2 2 3 9 33.00 21 10 4 11 28 7.64 0.97 2.73
Neal Cotts 21 1 2 0 2 25.67 20 13 4 14 20 7.01 1.32 4.56
Cliff Politte 27 0 2 1 10 24.00 26 14 3 13 23 8.63 1.63 5.25
Billy Koch 24 1 1 8 1 23.33 24 14 3 16 25 9.64 1.71 5.40
Mike Jackson 25 2 0 0 3 28.67 33 18 6 8 13 4.08 1.43 5.65
NAME G W L Sv Hld IP H ER HR BB SO K/9 WHIP ERA
White Sox 67 12 9 14 29 189.0 163 79 22 82145 6.90 1.30 3.76


Some of these numbers can be pretty misleading. Adkins has a very nice ERA, but has been shelled on a couple of occasions. Overall he's been underutilized, though I don't know how much I trust him in a pressure situation w/RISP. Neal Cotts whose ERA lately has been terrible, has been lights-out with inheritted runners. Cotts has only allowed 3 of the 15 runners he's recieved reach home. Compare that to Mike Jackson, who let three inheritted runners score with one pitch on Wednesday.

I've included a copy of BaseballProspectus.com's reliever report. Definitions for the various categories can be found here.

IRP is a measurement of Inheritted Runs Prevented. ARP is Adjusted Runs Prevented. These two are my favorite evaluation tools. A positive number means the pitcher is "saving" the team runs, negative means you've cost your team runs.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pitcher G IP R ARA APR IRnr/G EIRs/G IRP BRS RRA ARP
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adkins,J 17 24.0 8 2.95 4.9 0.24 0.08 0.4 0.7 3.07 4.5
Cotts,N 20 23.3 14 5.31 -1.4 0.70 0.27 2.4 -1.2 4.08 1.8
Darensbourg, 2 1.3 0 0.00 0.7 0.00 0.00 0.0 0.0 0.41 0.6
Jackson,M 24 27.7 17 5.44 -2.0 0.62 0.21 -3.2 -0.6 6.52 -5.4
Koch,B 24 23.3 15 5.69 -2.4 0.25 0.09 -1.5 1.0 6.75 -5.1
Marte,D 29 33.0 10 2.68 7.7 0.66 0.23 1.5 -0.2 2.32 9.0
Politte,C 27 24.0 15 5.53 -2.0 0.48 0.11 -1.1 1.3 6.61 -4.9
Takatsu,S 25 27.0 3 0.98 11.4 0.44 0.14 2.2 0.0 0.30 13.4
Wunsch,K 3 2.0 0 0.00 1.1 1.00 0.30 -1.1 0.0 5.60 -0.2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
TOTALS 171 185.7 82 3.91 17.8 0.50 0.16 4.10 13.8


The Sox really lack the "bridge" guys to get them to the closers. The Sox pen has been used less than any other pen but Oakland's, and I know we don't have the starting staff that Oakland does. There's a reason both the Sox and A's have the least used bullpens in baseball: They're afraid to use them. Oakland has tried to addres thier issues, with Billy Beane picking up Octavio Dotel in exchange for a couple of prospects, while being the middle man in the Carlos Beltran deal. Tomorrow I'll look at guys who are likely available, and who is the best option for the Sox.

Schoeneweis to the DL
The Sox announced during thier 7-4 loss at home to the Cubs today that Scott Schoeneweis was being put on the DL due to elbow "stiffness". Schoenweis was 1-5, with a 5.78ERA, in his last 6 starts. The Sox have called up Felix Diaz to take his place and start tomorrows game at home vs. the Cubs. Diaz was called up earlier in the season to attempt to fill the 5th starter role. He posted a 11.42 ERA in 8.2 innings during his two attempts to fill the 5th spot. While in Charlotte, Diaz was much more sucessful, going 8-2 with a 3.51 ERA.