Re: A Realistic Look at 2012: Part II
posted at 5/22/2012 9:29 PM EDT
I'm going to go back to an issue I have brought up before, namely the state of our pitching staff.
Despite having Lackey, Dice-K, Cook, Carlson and others out of action due to injury, we still have a very deep staff (particularly in the pen), but it is so deep and so mediocre, that we can't likely need or use them all effectively.
There are many MLB teams in dire need of bullpen help and/or depth. I still think we can improve our staff by trying to trade 2-3 mediocre to decent pitchers for one better one (we may have to wait until the deadline, but maybe not).
Here's how our staff looks right now...
13 Starters: Beckett, Lester, Buchholtz, Doubront, Bard, Dice-K (inj), Cook (inj), Lackey (2013), Germano, Duckworth, Mathis, Pena, and Olendorf
11 Relievers: Aceves, Padilla, Morales, RHill, Albers, Atchison, Miller, Mortensen, Tazawa, Melancon, Carlson (inj)
With Buch struggling, our need for a quality starter is greater than many want to believe it is. Doubront has shown signs of quality, but he has a WHIP above 1.400, and ERA near 5.00, and had motivational issues last winter/spring. Bard is a big question mark as a starter.
This team is hard to gauge. At times, it seems like we might do better planning for 2013 and beyond and hoping for the best with this flawed team of 2012. At other times, it seems we are so close to the wild card slot, have several injured played close to returning, and are just a piece or two away from being a top contender in 2012.
To try and maximize our chance to win this year without over-leveraging our future is always a tough line to walk for a GM.
I've mentioned specific trades and specific names all winter and spring. To me, it's a philosophical view. I know a rash of injuries would make Ben look foolish if he traded 3 pitchers for 1, but I think we need to strongly consider upgrading a pitching slot by lessening our depth, hopefully, without losing a top prospect(s).
I know we are not going to get much by trading 3 of these guys: Cook, Albers, Atchison and/or Miller, but I do think trading for a better starter by maybe offering Buch and 2 of these guys (Miller, Albers, Atchison or Miller) could net us a better starter. A team looking to the future would much prefer a package including guys with more team control at lower costs: Morales, Mortensen, Melancon, Tazawa or possibly Bard, but I wouldn't trade 2-3 of these guys for a 2 month rental or even a 1.3 year controlled starter.
I didn't get into dealing prospects, and I'd really prefer not to have to do that, but we do have some prospects that are blocked (Gomez, Anderson & Coyle) and a lot of young propsects ready to rocket up the prospect charts this summer.