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— Where Rangers Fans Come to Pray for Pitching

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   1. Spivey Posted: July 09, 2010 at 11:41 PM (#3584162)
I think you could make a good argument that Cliff Lee is the best pitcher in baseball today. Lincecum will have projections favor him because of the last 2 years - but his lack of velocity this year seems to have affected him. His K rate has stayed up, presumably because he's nibbling a lot more which is what his BB/IP rate would suggest.

Halladay has the track record and is even more of a horse. But this year, Cliff Lee appears to be on some type of mercenary mission. 6 walks in 103 innings - absolutely incredible.
   2. RTsquared is not a Double Juggernaut Posted: July 10, 2010 at 12:02 AM (#3584200)
I am so on board with this deal. I was not thrilled with iterations that involved Smoak/Holland, but it was going to take one of Smoak/Davis plus a top-notch pitching prospect. I'm not convinced Beavan is truly top-notch.

Jamey's Step Five, without Perez/Holland/Scheppers being included. I'm pumped.
   3. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 10, 2010 at 12:33 AM (#3584256)
Come on, Wilson and Lewis could finish the season with ERAs a run or more higher than they are now.
   4. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 10, 2010 at 12:40 AM (#3584266)
Great trade by Texas...it's always fun to play trader guy in hindsight. What could other teams have offered, given what the Mariners accepted from Texas?
   5. Textbook Editor Posted: July 10, 2010 at 12:42 AM (#3584270)
The real question is: Had Amaro kept his dick in his pants for a few more weeks this past winter... could he have gotten this kind of deal for Lee? I say yup, and this is just more proof that Amaro is a rube, a buffoon, and a putz.
   6. Spivey Posted: July 10, 2010 at 01:17 AM (#3584340)
Come on, Wilson and Lewis could finish the season with ERAs a run or more higher than they are now.

They could. A lot of things *could* happen. But Colby Lewis looks very good, and if you've watched him a lot I think he's really shown that his Japanese results were not a fluke.

CJ Wilson has shaky control, but ultimately is a tough pitcher to hit. But he's a good #3 - he'll have good games and bad, and I don't think he's a true 3.2 ERA pitcher but he's pretty dependable.
   7. BWV 1129 Posted: July 10, 2010 at 01:31 AM (#3584369)
I guess the Angel Divisional Dynasty had to come to an end some time. Congrats to the Ranger fans; this pretty much guarantees that they won't fade in September as long as they're healthy.
   8. Pingu Posted: July 10, 2010 at 01:41 AM (#3584387)
Come on, Wilson and Lewis could finish the season with ERAs a run or more higher than they are now.


I will confidently take the under on this one for Lewis.
   9. LionoftheSenate (Pirates v A's World Series) Posted: July 10, 2010 at 02:10 AM (#3584463)
Lincecum will have projections favor him because of the last 2 years - but.....


Scouts know better.
   10. LionoftheSenate (Pirates v A's World Series) Posted: July 10, 2010 at 02:11 AM (#3584465)
By the way, Smoak will become an excellent player. He will have enough power too. Jack Z, if he can spot one thing in baseball, it is a good hitter.
   11. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 10, 2010 at 02:34 AM (#3584498)
Interesting deal. We get to see if:

a) Smoak busts out despite the wrist injury last year;
b) Lueke can build on his video-game numbers this year (1.04 WHIP and 62K in 38.1 IP????);
c) Beavan turns into a rotation horse instead of a #5 guy (FWIW BP had Roy Halladay as one of his comps)
d) Lawson amounts to anything.

We also get to see a huge trade made BETWEEN division rivals. JZ has got to be thinking that Texas can't afford Lee for next season due to the tumultuous sale saga. If he's wrong, Seattle's contention possibilities take a huge hit.

Lastly, we get to ridicule Ruben Amaro for his ridiculously weak haul for Lee. That he traded him in the first place is bad enough. But the haul just received for Lee only magnifies how badly Amaro jobbed himself on last year's deal.
   12. Spivey Posted: July 10, 2010 at 02:39 AM (#3584503)
If you have a cavernous ballpark, do you want a guy who hits fair balls 450 feet 25 times a year, Or a guy who gets on base a lot and hits a lot of line drives? Smoak will probably do well in Seattle. But then of course there's Cliff Lee. Well done indeed.

Texas is a park that yields a lot more hits than Seattle, and his batting average has never really been higher than .230 this year. I mean, I'm not ready to just call him a bust - but I don't think he's a clear allstar either - I think he has a long way to go to reach that level, if he ever even gets there. Hell, he has a long way to go just to become a good first basemen. And because of that, I still recognize he's a solid prospect, but I'm not losing sleep over dealing him. You aren't getting a big time pitcher for nothing. Unless you're dealing with Philly, I guess.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2010 at 03:30 AM (#3584531)
I would bet you could find a non-embarrassing 1B for pretty cheap on the trade market in the next few weeks. Ty Wigginton, Russ Branyan, Wes Helms will all be available for not much.

Or you could go for broke and get Adam Dunn.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 10, 2010 at 03:31 AM (#3584533)
And I agree this trade makes Philly look really bad. Especially considering they could use Lee right now.
   15. The Ghost fouled out, but stays in the game Posted: July 10, 2010 at 04:19 AM (#3584573)
Ty Wigginton, Russ Branyan, Wes Helms will all be available for not much.

Branyan would have been the obvious guy to ask for as part of this package. The Mariners could have parted with him since they were getting Smoak.
   16. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 10, 2010 at 04:49 AM (#3584585)
I guess the Angel Divisional Dynasty had to come to an end some time.
Like in 2006? 3 years is a Division Dynasty now? Jeeze.
   17. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: July 10, 2010 at 06:24 AM (#3584610)
I just hope there's more dealing to come in Arlington. They're doing about as well as can be expected with a 6-man offense, and both Davis and Borbon have big platoon splits that are likely to be exploited by LOOGY's in key moments come playoff time.... and there's no one on the bench who's a credible PH threat from either side of the plate.
   18. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: July 10, 2010 at 01:39 PM (#3584655)
Kelly Johnson could probably handle 1B
   19. BDC Posted: July 10, 2010 at 02:00 PM (#3584663)
Cliff Lee, Colby Lewis, and CJ Wilson as your top 3 is very, very impressive


And it's just barely possible that Scott Feldman isn't dead yet, given a strong outing last night. For the first time in maybe 14 years, the Rangers seem to have a surplus of good pitching. I can't believe I'm writing that sentence.

Chris Davis is a good glove man at first, and they'd be well-advised to simply bat him eighth and tell him to concentrate on defense. "Six-man offense" is a legitimate critique of this club, but heck, the '06 Cardinals had a three-man offense to go with their fortuitous starting pitching. Really, I'd be squirming with delight if the '10 Rangers won even one playoff series. Never happened before.
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 10, 2010 at 02:53 PM (#3584677)
Good deal for all.

This "Smoak ain't all that" commentary puzzles me. Have we failed to understand that some guys take longer to adjust? And wrist injuries affect a hitter for a good year after being healed. Smoak controls the strike zone and looks to have a clue.

I ain't giving up on LaPorta and am certainly not on Smoak

Now, am I going to get any acknowledgement for suggesting Smoak as a trade piece a while back? I recall a mocking at that point. Hmmph.
   21. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: July 10, 2010 at 03:20 PM (#3584699)
we get to ridicule Ruben Amaro for his ridiculously weak haul for Lee

Don't we get to ridicule Jack Z just a little bit for "building" a team that couldn't manage to win 40% of its games despite having Lee and Hernandez and getting 425 innings of sub-3 ERA from their four best starters? Team OPS+ is 80; last in the AL by a substantial margin.

I recall a mocking at that point.

I guess I don't pay close enough attention. Are there really posters here who have yet to learn that it is unwise to mock Mr. Wallbangers?
   22. Spivey Posted: July 10, 2010 at 06:10 PM (#3584810)

Now, am I going to get any acknowledgement for suggesting Smoak as a trade piece a while back? I recall a mocking at that point. Hmmph.


From whom? Either way, I'm not writing him off. But I've seen him play enough to where he's not a clear all-star in the making and the next half year he's likely to be a hindrance. He's also seemed pretty poor at defense, which is a shame as he had a good defensive rep coming through the minors.
   23. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: July 10, 2010 at 06:21 PM (#3584815)
Don't we get to ridicule Jack Z just a little bit for "building" a team that couldn't manage to win 40% of its games despite having Lee and Hernandez and getting 425 innings of sub-3 ERA from their four best starters? Team OPS+ is 80; last in the AL by a substantial margin.
Well, Jack Z figured it was a World Cup year, so he could get by winning 2-1 and 1-0 all season.
   24. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 10, 2010 at 06:35 PM (#3584828)
Spivey;

Not you. I don't even think it was a Ranger fan. Just a poster wanting to put someone down.
   25. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: July 10, 2010 at 07:34 PM (#3584906)
Branyan would have been the obvious guy to ask for as part of this package. The Mariners could have parted with him since they were getting Smoak.

This is an excellent point. I actually forgot for a moment that the M's had just acquired Branyan, and it looks a little silly now taken as a whole. With Saunders/Gutierrez/Suzuki pretty well set, does Branyan become the full-time DH? Platoon with Bradley? Hilariously for a team who's just had Casey Kotchman start like the last 7 games at 1B, they don't seem to have a whole lot of room for another player at this end of the spectrum. You can't really platoon Smoak with anybody, he's been woeful against LHP so far this season. Seems like any way you look at it, Branyan should have come back to Texas in this deal.
   26. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 10, 2010 at 08:34 PM (#3585009)
Not to mention that Texas could definitely use Branyan as Davis might well be terrible.
   27. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: July 12, 2010 at 02:52 PM (#3586725)
This "Smoak ain't all that" commentary puzzles me. Have we failed to understand that some guys take longer to adjust? And wrist injuries affect a hitter for a good year after being healed. Smoak controls the strike zone and looks to have a clue.


I can't speak for others, but my "Smoak isn't all that" commentary wasn't that Smoak isn't/wasn't a prospect, but that his prospect rank relative to other prospects seemed to be too high, considering his position and skill set.

BA had him at #13
BPro at # 17

why so far higher than Brett Wallace? or Ike Davis?
Why near top 10 and not around 25th or so?
   28. The Essex Snead Posted: July 12, 2010 at 03:05 PM (#3586740)
why [is Smoak ranked] so far higher than Brett Wallace? or Ike Davis?

I'm not exactly a prospect wonk, but I think his raw power projects better than Wallace's, and he's thought of as a better overall hitter (especially wrt plate discipline) than Davis.
   29. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: July 12, 2010 at 03:26 PM (#3586758)
Boy, if Smoak was all it took to get Cliff Lee the Yankees should have just offered Juan Miranda.
   30. AROM Posted: July 12, 2010 at 03:52 PM (#3586799)
why [is Smoak ranked] so far higher than Brett Wallace? or Ike Davis?


Close call between Smoak and Ike. Definitely better plate discipline, though Davis has so far shown more power. Smoak is a big guy with a good swing, so everyone thinks he'll develop power. But he has not shown it yet, and the Mariners don't have to look very far to find another 1B prospect, now 27, who never did develop that power.

Jason Giambi was once that kind of prospect, and he developed a lot of power. Same with Rafael Palmeiro. It's an open question how often this plays out:

Big kid + sweet swing + good eye + doubles power = future homerun power

In the abscence of steroids.

As for Wallace, if it weren't for draft position and the fact that baseball people still think decently of him, I would not even consider him a prospect. He's struck more than twice as often as he walks (I thought he was supposed to be a patient hitter) and his hitting is just not impressive enough for playing in the PCL. He's got 800 PCL plate appearances and is hitting 297/357/477. Including a .497 slugging this year in Las Vegas, which is one of the more ridiculous hitters parks in a hitter's league. For point of reference, the team is slugging .492, including .596 from Chris Lubanski, who nobody considers a prospect anymore.
   31. AROM Posted: July 12, 2010 at 03:53 PM (#3586801)
struck = struck out.

Where be edit?
   32. Spivey Posted: July 17, 2010 at 01:25 AM (#3591790)
Close call between Smoak and Ike. Definitely better plate discipline, though Davis has so far shown more power. Smoak is a big guy with a good swing, so everyone thinks he'll develop power. But he has not shown it yet, and the Mariners don't have to look very far to find another 1B prospect, now 27, who never did develop that power.

Smoak showed good power in college, and he showed very good power when he was with team USA this last year. I think comparing his power to Kotchman isn't fair to him, though I am thinking he may be more warning track power than big time HR threat power in the majors - hence why he showed a little more power at lower levels.

But he's young, and a rookie - so I don't think we can't right him off just yet. I've seen him turn on a letters high Wade Davis fastball and put it deep into the RF seats.
   33. Spivey Posted: July 28, 2010 at 02:41 AM (#3601172)
Cliff Lee is already one of my favorite Rangers pitchers ever. Damning with faint praise, but I just love his ability to pitch well, and pitch deep. I've never seen a starting pitcher consistently hit the corners the way he does. This season is Maddux-esque. But it's even better than that.
   34. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 28, 2010 at 02:47 AM (#3601176)
Meanwhile, Smoak has been awful in July striking out 26 times in 78 at bats and hitting .167. Yikes
   35. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: July 28, 2010 at 02:58 AM (#3601181)
Suddenly the Rangers hit like the Mariners when Lee is pitching.
   36. Spivey Posted: October 13, 2010 at 01:44 PM (#3662994)
This is why you bring in a guy like Cliff Lee. I loved the deal then, and I love it now. It doesn't hurt that Moreland actually looks better - both offensively and defensively - than Smoak did.
   37. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: October 13, 2010 at 02:10 PM (#3663016)
Some breathtaking pitching in this first round. While it's fun to watch Halladay and Lincecum blow guys away...watching Lee slice-and-dice and pitch out of trouble is exhilarating. Guy's an artist.
   38. The Essex Snead Posted: October 13, 2010 at 02:20 PM (#3663023)
Not that it really matters, since the Lee trade was a no-brainer kind of move, & Smoak had a similar surge earlier in the year, and it's only 57 PAs, but Smoak did hit .340 / .421 / .580 for Seattle after his September call-up (albeit w/ a .389 BABIP). (I have more caveats, if you're in the market for some.)

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