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   1. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:50 AM (#2411667)
NO.

Exhibit A: Phil Hughes on the DL.

My options in no particular order: Lobsterman, Lester, or Gaabard.
   2. Darren Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:54 AM (#2411670)
What does Hughes's have to do with it? Does that mean that guys can never make their ML debuts from now on? Don't some pitchers get called up and not get injured immediately?
   3. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:05 AM (#2411674)
What does Hughes's have to do with it? Does that mean that guys can never make their ML debuts from now on? Don't some pitchers get called up and not get injured immediately?


You don't rush your best pitching prospect from AA. You just don't, especially when there are other options at AAA
   4. JB H Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:11 AM (#2411675)
Even if he's the best option, there's not a lot of benefit to having him in the majors this year because the Sox aren't missing the playoffs. Not having him be a FA for an extra year is worth more.
   5. NTNgod Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:15 AM (#2411678)
Not having him be a FA for an extra year is worth more.

You need six full years to hit free agency, so bringing him up now really wouldn't affect that, if you thought he was ready.
   6. jordan Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:21 AM (#2411683)
I would like to see Buchholz pitch with slightly better control before he is brought up. He did allow 3 walks in his last start. However, I am not concerned about rushing him because his stuff is just too good for that to be a major concern.

IronChef, if Buchholz improves his control at AA, would bringing him up still be rushing him?

I don't think that bringing a pitcher up from AA means that you are rushing him if the player's performance at AA indicates that the pitcher will be successful at the major league level.

If I was the Sox, I would go with Gabbard or Hansack at this point, but not hesitate to bring up Buchholz a little later in the year if his control improves unless Lester demonstrates that he is the better option.
   7. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2411689)
I'm in favor of Gabbard.
   8. Josh Posted: June 21, 2007 at 04:55 AM (#2411699)
40 man roster is not an issue because Clement can be moved to 60-day DL
Currently, roster is at 39 anyway, no? DFA'ed/waived Romero with no corresponding 40 man move.

I agree with the Gabbard fans.
   9. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2007 at 05:01 AM (#2411701)
IronChef, if Buchholz improves his control at AA, would bringing him up still be rushing him?

I don't think that bringing a pitcher up from AA means that you are rushing him if the player's performance at AA indicates that the pitcher will be successful at the major league level.


there is no reason to not let Bucholtz dominate AAA first.
   10. Chip Posted: June 21, 2007 at 05:33 AM (#2411717)
there is no reason to not let Bucholtz dominate AAA first.

Yeah. Just ask Chien-Ming Wang.

Or Scott Kazmir.

Or Josh Beckett.

Or Jake Peavy.

Or Chris Young.

Or Cole Hamels.

Or C.C. Sabathia.

Or Dan Haren.

Because they all just DOMINATED AAA before their callup to the majors.
   11. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2007 at 05:39 AM (#2411722)
Yeah, it was an awesome idea calling up Craig Hansen before he was ready.
   12. Chip Posted: June 21, 2007 at 05:49 AM (#2411723)
For every Hansen, there's a Papelbon. And a Frankie Rodriguez. And a Johan Santana. Unless they're actually injured during the development years, very little top pitching talent spends much if any time at all at AAA anymore, and it's been that way for years.
   13. Xander Posted: June 21, 2007 at 06:21 AM (#2411731)
There's no reason not to spell Buchholz's name right.
   14. NTNgod Posted: June 21, 2007 at 06:30 AM (#2411732)
Or Dan Haren.

That one's a bad example. He made nearly 30 starts at AAA.
   15. Chip Posted: June 21, 2007 at 06:52 AM (#2411734)
That one's a bad example. He made nearly 30 starts at AAA

And didn't dominate. Certainly not the way he dominated AA, or the way Buchholz is currently dominating AA.
   16. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 21, 2007 at 12:46 PM (#2411820)
As I said over in the newsblog thread, I agree that Buccholz is the best pitcher for the job.

The issue is how this will affect his development. I'm sure the Red Sox weren't expecting him to vault his way to such elite prospecthood so quickly, and I doubt they planned a midseason callup. So, is he ready for the possibility of MLB failure? Has he been prepared for how to face MLB hitters? Is he ready to come up and get sent down not too long after? I think the answer to those questions is probably yes, but I don't know. And if the Red Sox aren't sure, very sure, I don't see a lot of reason to take the risk. The Sox are doing very well as it is, and they've only got 2-3 starts to fill - the difference in expectation can't be more than a couple runs.
   17. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2007 at 12:55 PM (#2411827)
That one's a bad example. He made nearly 30 starts at AAA

And didn't dominate. Certainly not the way he dominated AA, or the way Buchholz is currently dominating AA.


He also before becoming a full blown starter pitched in low leverage situations out of the bullpen.
   18. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: June 21, 2007 at 12:58 PM (#2411829)
The Sox have a 10 game lead and four viable SP options in Pawtucket. The risk of stunting Buc's development, however small, just does not seem worth the reward given the big lead and the depth at AAA.
   19. villageidiom Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:17 PM (#2411847)
For every Hansen, there's a Papelbon. And a Frankie Rodriguez. And a Johan Santana.
And a Cla Meredith.

In the Schilling thread, I'd asked whether people think it's worth promoting Snyder to the rotation if Schilling is out for an extended period. Personally I don't think so, because I don't think Snyder will do well the second time around in the order; but I'm willing to consider I might be misjudging him. Besides, I think Snyder will get enough extra work in the pen given whoever they bring up will probably struggle to get to 6 IP.

On that note, yes Buchholz is dominating AA, but averaging 5 2/3 IP per start. I don't know if they're pulling him early to avoid overworking him (I can't find minor league pitch count data), but I'm confident the MLE on 5 2/3 IP per game in AA is something well south of 5 IP. DO NOT BRING HIM UP YET. Same goes for Lester. We need to make sure we don't burn out the bullpen while Schilling is out, because that affects every game, not just the games Schilling would have started. I don't think either of those guys will give you innings at the major-league level.

Hansack or Pauley, both around 6 IP/start at AAA and pitching reasonably well, should be fine for now.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:34 PM (#2411858)
vi-

I don't follow your IP point. What is the difference between 5.7 IP/S in AA, and ~6 IP/S in AAA? Those are the same. Your IP argument applies to every one of the pitchers the Red Sox might bring up. They keep all their minor leaguers on pretty short leashes.

It's hard for me to accept that Buchholz's development would be stunted by pitching more than a half-season in the high minors. Even King Felix threw more in the high minors than that. I mean, it's possible, and if the Red Sox bring up Buchholz, that might be one of the reasons, but I'm inclined to be conservative given that this is a temporary promotion, given the Sox' pleasant position in the standings, and given what an incredibly valuable prospect Buchholz has become.
   21. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:36 PM (#2411860)
In the Schilling thread, I'd asked whether people think it's worth promoting Snyder to the rotation if Schilling is out for an extended period.

Snyder has been good out of the pen. He was shiittea as a starter last year, let's keep him in the pen.

Give Gabbard a couple of starts. He was Ok the last time out, maybe we can improve his trade value.
   22. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: June 21, 2007 at 01:40 PM (#2411862)
I like the idea of Gabbard, Pauley or Hansack. Those guys may be trade bait, and it might not hurt to give them a little MLB showcase so that teams *cough*Texas*cough* could see them. I don't think it hurts to leave Lester and Buchholz down on the farm for the time being - they'll certainly get their shot soon enough. I imagine both of them will be up before the year is through. At least by September, if not earlier.

I love that we can even have this discussion. With the exception of Hansack, all of these guys are young, decent options. I wouldn't be that upset seeing any of them, really.
   23. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:13 PM (#2411892)
From Cafardo on the Globe blog:
In the meantime, the Sox will use Josh Beckett Sunday in San Diego and Julian Tavarez Monday. The Sox will then need a pitcher for Tuesday, and that could be either someone from Pawtucket (Jon Lester?) or it could be someone from within.
That is, the Sox plan to use the off-day to move both Beckett and Tavarez up in the rotation, and they will pitch the fill-in in the spot after that. While anyone would use an opportunity ot pitch Beckett more, the choice to move up Tavarez seems to me to point to a plan to get the right minor leaguer lined up for Tuesday. Tuesday is five days from today, so this move sets up today's minor league starter to pitch Tuesday.

Kason Gabbard starts for Pawtucket today. Gabbard will pitch Tuesday, I'd put money on it. (Bowden's starting for Portland, but he seems an unlikely pick. Maybe John Barnes and the knuckler from Lancaster, though.) If the Sox were going to go with Buchholz or Lester, they would have set up Tavarez for Tuesday so that the minor leaguer could pitch on normal rest.
   24. villageidiom Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:34 PM (#2411923)
I don't follow your IP point. What is the difference between 5.7 IP/S in AA, and ~6 IP/S in AAA? Those are the same. Your IP argument applies to every one of the pitchers the Red Sox might bring up.
I'm operating under the assumption that it takes fewer pitches to retire batters in the minors than it takes at higher levels. I'm also assuming that there's a difference between AA and AAA. To be honest I don't know if this is generally true, but it's what I remember about Papelbon when he came up.

Digging for his numbers... When Jonathan Papelbon first came up he averaged 6.21 IP/start in AA, 5.69 IP/start at AAA, and then 5.33 IP/start in MLB. If that pattern holds - and, again, I don't know if it does - then 5 2/3 at AA would translate roughly to 4 2/3 in MLB, whereas 6 IP in AAA would translate to 5 1/3 or 5 2/3 in MLB.

The encouraging thing with Buchholz is that his IP/start has been rising in each level so far. I'm not sure if they're trying to stretch him out or what, but he's still not at the "efficiency" level Papelbon was at before they sent him to AAA.
   25. John DiFool2 Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:47 PM (#2411938)
On that note, yes Buchholz is dominating AA, but averaging 5 2/3 IP per start. I don't know if they're pulling him early to avoid overworking him (I can't find minor league pitch count data), but I'm confident the MLE on 5 2/3 IP per game in AA is something well south of 5 IP.

You understand that they play in a 7 inning league, right? His manager has to give his bullpen guys some work too. Plus IIRC there's been some rain delay issues.

Buchholz is 22, will turn 23 during the season, and it would be great to call him up in late August (assuming double-digit lead), see what he can do. I don't think they need to pull the trigger right now, tho they should put him at AAA immediately as he has nothing left to prove at AA.
   26. Marc Sully's not booin'. He's Youkin'. Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:50 PM (#2411940)
Games are 7 innings only on double-header days.
   27. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: June 21, 2007 at 02:58 PM (#2411949)
Sox Prospects compares Gabbard with Pete Shourek. Which version of Pete Schourek? 1995 Mets Pete Schourek, or 2000 Red Sox?
   28. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:03 PM (#2411952)
I think calling up Buchholz is a good move later in the season - let's say, enough to get him 4 or 5 starts. Think about it this way - if Schilling doesn't come back at all, they'll need to think of the post-season roster. If Buchholz does what he can do, he's more likely to do better than Gabbard or Pauley or whomever in the October.

Or, I might be delusional.
   29. Sean Forman Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:28 PM (#2411973)
Sitting here in Philadelphia, it seems to me that the Sox ought to be looking at dealing Tavarez or a bullpen arm at some point. I know the Sox are going really well right now, but with what appears to be really good depth in the minors, I would like to see them get aggressive and deal some major league arms from a position of strength. That said, I'm not sure, what I'd want to see them get in return. Probably infielders or a catcher. For example, Tavarez and Crisp (and a pitching prospect) at the trade deadline might return a pretty good player, perhaps a player like Saltalamacchia and stuff.
   30. Xander Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:28 PM (#2411974)
Just something to think about: Buchholz's innings cap is 155 this year.
   31. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 21, 2007 at 03:34 PM (#2411978)
Just something to think about: Buchholz's innings cap is 155 this year.

Can somebody explain this to me? A hard innings cap?

Thanks.
   32. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: June 22, 2007 at 12:30 AM (#2412591)
Sean has a great point.

Will the stocks of Tavarez beany higher, than they are now???
   33. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 22, 2007 at 12:02 PM (#2412784)
Sean -

I don't fully understand what you want the Sox to get. Is it prospects, or help for this year? The team could use a backup catcher, for instance, who can hit occasionally, but I fear it would stunt anyone's development to work as the knuckleball catcher, and I would be shocked if Saltalamacchia could be had for such a package - Crisp is under contract at a pretty high rate the next few years.

I don't think I agree that the Sox should be trading value today for value tomorrow. I don't see anyone good coming in return for rotation / bullpen depth - could Tavarez really fetch more than a C prospect? - and I don't want to mess with a good thing. I'd rather not test how good the team's pitching depth is, not when we have such a great shot at October.
   34. Josh Posted: June 22, 2007 at 02:04 PM (#2412848)
I'm reminded of the Bill James quote, in reference to Matt's and Sean's points, that "What appears to be good pitching is in actuality good defense
, other than in left field."
   35. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: June 22, 2007 at 02:12 PM (#2412850)
Sean it seems to me the strength in the pitching staff is the depth in options and not so much the depth in talent, if that makes any sense. You have Tavarez, a surprising fifth starter, with 4 capable pitchers in AAA. The bullpen is probably an arm short even if Donnelly comes back strong, with Hughes, Breslow, and MDC as replacements. The problem is that it doesn't appear to me which options are the best. They all have question marks so I think the best thing to do would be for the Red Sox to try them out and see who sticks.
   36. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: June 22, 2007 at 02:52 PM (#2412905)
David Murphy up.
   37. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 22, 2007 at 09:25 PM (#2413189)
I totally called it: Gabbard up for Tuesday.
   38. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: June 22, 2007 at 10:53 PM (#2413247)
David Murphy up.

Why not Moss? Is Murphy that much better defensively? Is it to continue Moss' development?
   39. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: June 23, 2007 at 05:44 AM (#2413863)
David murphy did not look good in his brief appearence today.

Manny D was good though.
   40. Dave Cyprian Posted: June 23, 2007 at 03:32 PM (#2413958)
That was a filthy breaking pitch he struck out on though Wok, whatdya gonna do? The look on Murphy's face after was priceless, a little in shock, as if saying, "So, this is what it's like up here huh?"
   41. Darren Posted: June 24, 2007 at 12:41 AM (#2414372)
Gabbard has given up 10 HR in 75 IP this year, which is really strange because he has a very nice 2.61 GO/AO ratio (BTW, who decided that was a good stat?). I don't really know what to make of him, but I don't think he's as good as the other three. On the other hand, there's something to be said for the 'lefty just brought up from the minors' mojo.
   42. Darren Posted: June 24, 2007 at 08:47 PM (#2415788)
Here are the relevant AAA numbers for Hansack and Gabbard:


Hansack: 73.1 IP, 64 H, 5 HR, 16 BB, 71 K, 1.04 GO/AO, 3.19 ERA.
Gabbard: 75 IP, 66 H, 10 HR, 25 BB, 64 K, 2.61 GO/AO, 3.24 ERA.

Gabbard had the better time in their brief callups, but Hansack looks like he's having a better year.

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