Re: Gomes - Sox agree on 2-year 10 mil deal
posted at 11/21/2012 11:15 PM EST
In response to notin's comment:
The Sox bullpen was actually outstanding last year, and really, the main problem was overwork. Bailey was not good, but he was also coming off an injury. The bullpen is actually the least of their concenrs, and actually could be considered an are of surpus.
Starting pitching is another matter. Four spots are pretty much etched in stone, and the fifthe name should be the interesting one...
Notin just being notin.
To call the Sox bullpen outstanding last year is at best an overstatement. Morales was effective more often than not, before filling in as a starter and Miller was outstanding for about half the year, then so-so. Atchison was very good throughout, though he had to take a bit of time off, as were Hill (when available) and Tazawa (once promoted). But Padilla, Aceves, Bard, Carpenter, Thomas, Beato, Melancon, Bailey and McDonald pitched over 220 innings (over 24 complete games worth) and all had ERAs north of 4.50 (with Aceves over 5.00 and he was the stopper!!), and all but Padilla with ERAs over 5.00. Nothing outstanding about that.
Is the bullpen a strength in the sense that the Sox could afford to use some of their relievers as trade bait? Yes. The Sox have more decent arms than they can use at any one time, and probably should trade some off if they can get value in return. Is it the least of their worries? Hardly. Anyone who does not think the Sox need to find a closer AND at least one dependable set-up man (whether that is done in ST with the arms and talent available, or through trade and/or FA signing) wasn't paying attention last season.
Aceves, in the role of closer, lost 10 games and blew 8 saves. Turn just half of those into wins and the Sox are pretty much a .500 club. Add in the 4 losses and 8 blown saves that Bailey, Melancon and Padilla contributed, and turn half of those into wins; now the Sox are better than .500 on the season without improving their rotation at all. They need to improve their bullpen.