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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Chicago White Sox/Baltimore Orioles

Chicago White Sox:  Recalled 3B Joe Crede and C Josh Paul from Charlotte (AAA).

Baltimore Orioles:  Placed P Jason Johnson on the 15-day DL; recalled P John Stephens from Rochester (AAA).

I put these two transactions together because of their similarities to each other.  Both Crede and Stephens are good prospects that have done everything that was asked them and have waited longer than should have been required to get real opportunities on teams that are clearly out of the running this season. 

No matter how it impacted the jobs of veterans on their respective teams such as Jose Valentin and Scott Erickson, the All-Star Break should have been the latest to get these two into the game.  Both teams dropped the ball and kept them in AAA to essentially pass time at levels they’ve already mastered.

Joe Crede is a player who I have begged the White Sox to call up repeatedly and who I believe, has suffered in the way Tim Raines will on the HOF ballot; he’s very good at all aspects of the game without one characteristic to make him stand out.  Crede’s a very good defensive player, but not Scott Rolen or Jeff Cirillo.  A good offensive player, but not Albert Pujols.  Robin Ventura was a bit like that during his Sox years and I hope Crede’s given the extended shot he clearly deserves.

John Stephens is one of my absolute favorite pitching prospects around.  A former fastball guy, his arm blew up 3 or 4 years ago and he had to start completely over, which he did, to phenomenal results.  Now with a fastball that doesn’t hit 90 even on a good day, he compensated by developing a whole smorgasbord of breaking pitches, all of them nasty and placed impeccably thanks to his constantly improving control. 

Stephen’s a pitcher, not a thrower and lack of fastball aside, they don’t come out of the minors much more polished than this.  I would be very disappointed and very suprised if, given a fair shot over the rest of the season, Stephens doesn’t make a very loud noise.  His only weakness is the occasional gopher ball and since he’s not going to Coors or Minut…err…Houston, I wouldn’t worry too much.

Crede, Joe - MLE Record (Born 4/78) - 3B
Yr Tm   Lv   AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
00 BIR AA 525 83 155 34 0 20 90 53 117   2 .295 .359 .477
01 CHA AAA 449 62 114 31 1 15 55 38 92   0 .254 .313 .424
02 CHA AAA 344 51   97 19 0 19 52 20 50   0 .282 .322 .504

Stephens, John - MLE Record (Born 11/79) - RHP
Yr Tm   Lv   W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER   HR   BB   SO   ERA
00 BOW AA 10   5   18 17 132.0 108   49   13   24 104   3.34  
01 ROC AAA 4   3   9   9   58.0   57   26   6   21   49   4.03
02 ROC AAA 10   6   21 21 142.2 138   56   13   26   94   3.52

Dan Szymborski Posted: July 30, 2002 at 10:51 PM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Repoz Posted: July 31, 2002 at 05:06 AM (#558121)
John Stephens had a bad start,a Kevin Bearse type bad start or a monumentally bad Fred Talbot start,a start so bad it brought back memories of going to The Yankee Stadium to see Mike Cuellar's last start in MLB.
   2. Clyde Posted: July 31, 2002 at 04:43 PM (#558122)
Nice to finally see Crede get the call. He shoulda made the club in spring training, IMO.
   3. Robert Dudek Posted: August 06, 2002 at 10:35 PM (#558124)
After a rough start, Stevens did well against the Jays in his 2nd start. When he can locate his breaking stuff and mix in the occasional fastball, he can get batters out. His fastball was around the 83-84 MPH range; his slow curve was about 57 MPH.

John Cerutti (Blue Jays color man) noted that a knuckleball is probably faster than Stephens' slow stuff. I believe he can be reasonably successful only when his location is impeccable. He could become a Larry Gura type pitcher.
   4. Robert Dudek Posted: August 06, 2002 at 10:35 PM (#558125)
Sorry, that should be 'Stephens'.
   5. Greg Franklin Posted: August 11, 2002 at 05:07 AM (#558126)
If any of you Crede fans (and there are many in the stathead community) read the game stories for today's M's-White Sox game and notice a Crede error in the 7th inning leading to 3 unearned runs, be aware that it's a bogus error.

Ichiro hit a spinning opposite-way grounder (typical of how he hits) which came up quick on Crede and caromed off his glove. 99 out of 100 hometown official scorers would've called it an infield hit for Ichiro.

The announcers said the Sox are still committed to Crede. Just realize this when Ken Williams in 2003 demotes the man or trades him for John Mabry because of his .220ish BA and his "costly defensive mistakes."

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