Cokin’s Corner, Friday 7/15/16
The Boston Red Sox are one of several teams vying for a spot in the playoffs come October. Whether or not they make it remains to be seen. But if the team falls short, it won’t be for lack of effort by the front office.
Dave Dombrowski has been dealing, and if nothing else, he has certainly beaten his rivals to the punch in terms of making what were deemed necessary maneuvers. Boston had already added a platoon infielder and a veteran bullpen piece prior to the All-Star break.
Obtaining Aaron Hill and Brad Ziegler turned out to be little more than a prelude for the first big deal of the pre-deadline trading period. Boston pulled the trigger on a significant swap on Thursday, moving prized prospect Anderson Espinoza to the Padres in return for lefty hurler Drew Pomeranz.
Espinoza is extremely well regarded among those who grade prospects. The numbers at Greenville in the Sally League aren’t especially impressive, but Espinoza is only 18 years old and his stuff has drawn rave reviews. The Padres are in full rebuild mode, so from their standpoint, garnering a very high end arm for down the road makes plenty of sense.
Pomeranz is a gamble in terms of his endurance. The lefty has a checkered injury history, and his 102 innings worked to date this season is already a career high at the big league level. But if the ability of Pomeranz to stay healthy is still very much a question, his results to date this season sure aren’t. Pomeranz added a cutter to his arsenal this season, and as he’s become more trusting in that offering, he has also ascended to being a high level pitcher. The 8-7 ledger is more reflective of being stuck on a bad team, which was certainly the case with the Padres. Fact is, the southpaw has pitched well enough to win as many as 12 of his starts.
Pomeranz becomes arbitration eligible this winter, so it’s safe to say that he’s going to cost the Red Sox a good deal more than the “paltry” $1.35 million he’s earning this season. But if the lefty continues to flourish as he has through the first half of the campaign, I wouldn’t think Boston management will have any problem opening the check book in the off season.
I like this trade for both sides. The Red Sox are contenders right now, but there is absolutely no question they had to add at least one quality starting pitcher. The Padres are making necessary moves to acquire legitimate prospects that might help them become legit contenders toward the end of this decade.
Best of all, as far as those of us who are hoping for a frenzy of activity are concerned, this trade should get things rolling for other teams that will likely need to add a piece or two for the stretch run. This should be fun to follow!
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It’s back to real baseball, following the entertaining exhibition along with the home run derby that rook place this week in San Diego. Let’s get the post-break slate of daily free plays underway with a nicely priced road underdog.
WHITE SOX (Gonzalez) @ ANGELS (Santiago)
Take: WHITE SOX +130
Tough to ‘cap these two starting pitchers, as both Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago are highly erratic. Each is capable of getting drilled, although the two veterans went into the break off two good starts each.
My overall numbers slightly favor Gonzalez. The team data points to the Chisox. They’ve been very productive against lefties, although I should mention that in limited dealings Santiago has shut down their big bats. The White Sox bullpen has been erratic on the road, but they do have better overall numbers than their Angels counterparts.
One notable difference between these two is close game results. The White Sox have been outscored by 12 runs altogether, but have a winning record. The Halos are only -20 net runs, yet they’re 15 games under .500. That speaks volumes about their lack of ability to win tight battles, and this game has that look.
I look at this game as being pretty close to dead even, with the Pale Hose getting the majority of check marks via category comparisons. So with the price where it is, I can build a decent case for the White Sox and they’re the play for Friday evening.