Re: Francona More and More Showing His Discomfort With Wakefield on Roster
posted at 5/22/2011 3:12 PM EDT
In Response to Francona More and More Showing His Discomfort With Wakefield on Roster
[QUOTE]I've always thought that Wakefield has been on Fracona's radar the past few years as someone he begrudgingly trusts. He likes the results when they are good from Tim, but basically he really showed his true colors in today's article about Salty "enjoying" catching Tim. Every quote is a negative from Tito..."when he keeps the ball up..." ... "I'm the one who panics" that a catcher can't receive his knucklers. It's obvious Tito just doesn't trust him to go out and throw 6 solid innings. He feels he has to have a "backup" reliever/starter for him. I think he just overmanages when Tim is on the hill...undermanages it seems when it comes to conventional relievers, who he just puts guys in bizarro spots. Maybe if he micro-managed the way he does with even throwing Wakefield (let's face it, he does everything he can to KEEP HIM OFF THE MOUND)...the extended breaks of service for Tim. Will he get bombed today? That's Tito's mindset. Instead of, here's a guy who has for years and years thrown big games at big times in clutch spots. ... Epstein has a PR nightmare in that you don't release Wakefield right now, something I'm sure if it were up to Francona, would have been done in the offseason. Tito did not want to use Lowell last year, until he was basically out of options from a depth standpoint. I feel Wakefield is 2010 Lowell....
Posted by dannycater[/QUOTE]Tito was reluctant to use Lowell because he could not play a position in the field very well anymore and struggled with pain running the bases.
I think you read too much into his comments about Wakefield which are simply stating the obvious. His knuckleball is hard to catch and nearly impossible to contain runners on base from stealing on. When he is on he can be a revelation, when he is off hitting a ball off of a T is more challenging to MLB hitters.
And throughout his career there is no predicting when the good or bad Wake will show up, often even in the same game.
The first time I saw Wake was in his first season in Boston. In those days before the all the information we get today all I could really follow on the RS from LA was the box scores. So when the RS came to Anaheim I mad sure the night I went was when this new stud the RS got to pair with Rocket was going. After all I had seen Roger before. Based on his double digit wins at that point in the season I assumed that Wakefield was a power pitcher.
I get to the game and through 6 Wake was up 3-0 and pitching a no hitter. In the 7th inning in the space of 5 minutes and 6 batters Wake went form no hitter, to shutout to down 5-3.
That game in a way is just a snapshot of who Tim Wakefield the pitcher has been his whole career. The only thing that changed in that game is the knuckleball stayed high. He is a pitcher who is quick to admit that when the ball leaves his hand he has no idea what the action will be on it or where it will end up in the strike zone as it makes its 62 MPH journey to the hitter.
As a conventional reliever the guy is not what any manager would like. Command is happen chance not solid mechanics and control can be elusive for him. He is so hard to catch that the RS rather eat their own children than have Tek catch him. Runners can advance at will on him via the SB and WP - PB are always a possibility, in fact the better his stuff the more probable. As a conventional reliever Tim is far from ideal and Tito's reluctance to use him in that role is not a negative reflection on Tito or Tim.
His place on the roster this year was for just this situation, so let's hope the good Timmy appears today.