There’s a number of ways to indicate the bipolar nature of this team, but looking above you’ll see that there’s one big problem that the White Sox face heading into 2004: not enough innings on the board. The bullpen is again supposed to be a strength of the club, but Guillen is again an open question. He at least should have a healthy bunch this season, assuming he doesn’t tax them when his starters aren’t able to go as deep as he’s expecting. PECOTA doesn’t have high hopes for Shingo Takatsu, but at least this pen is deep. In fact, instead of looking for the innings in the rotation, this is where Guillen should be looking. If he could overcome ‘the book’ and start using this deep and potentially very effective pen for longer stretches, he’d be placing his team in a much better position to win.
Dusty Baker doesn’t think much of walking; he also doesn’t think much of pitch counts. Reggie Jackson thinks modern-day sluggers are on ‘the juice,’ while Julio Franco admits to being on a juice of a different kind. Jim Hendry is old school, and proud of it. Torii Hunter is about the only non-Yankee in MLB who doesn’t hate George Steinbrenner. All this and many more quips from around the league in this edition of The Week In Quotes.
The Cards’ decision to make Albert Pujols the everyday first baseman opened a hole in left field, and no matter who stands out there on April 5, it’s going to be hard to argue that it’s been filled. None of the candidates for the platoon–and it will almost certainly be a platoon–has anything resembling a track record of success. Kerry Robinson and So Taguchi are fifth outfielders who bring defense and some speed and little else. Mark Quinn and Ray Lankford combined for 76 major-league at-bats in 2003. Emil Brown hasn’t played in the majors since 2001, but he’s 8-for-14 with two homers so far, so he’s in the mix. I don’t think there’s an acceptable solution here.
The Marlins may finally Free Ramon Castro!, to fine results. The Yankees’ pitching depth has thinned considerably. The Pirates could benefit from creative handling of their young pitchers. These and other news and notes in today’s Prospectus Triple Play.