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We don't need a legitimate CF to contend


legacyofCangelosi
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I always point this out on the threads, but I wanted to open the floor for discussion on this matter. As someone who watched most of the games last year, it seems clear that the biggest weakness was the bullpen. If, our bullpen improves the CF issue is moot. In other words although it does help to have a better CFer, or even a real CFer, it isnt essential for the team's success or contention. Wiht someone like amezaga there, we can win. Bullpen is what the focus should be on, even though everyone seems to care more about the Cfer.

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Completely agree.

 

Depends on two things:

 

1. Hermida and Jacobs bounce back like I believe they can. Two healthy lefty bats will do wonders for our lineup. If that happens, 1-7 we will be pretty damn solid.

 

2. Young guys and old invites alike step up in the pen. I'm probably in the minority, but I think Pinto, Tank, Mitre and Owens gives us a strong core of young guys in the pen. After that hopefully one of the vets step up: Gregg, FRod, Koplove, Field.. and I think that is a good possibility. Then after that one of Lindstrom, Petit or Garcia can step up given the chance.

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

I'd tend to agree. But it assumes that everything that went well last year has to continue at the same pace. Which is a big assumption. If every surprise performer last year continues to consistently play well, we should be able to contend. The reason I wanted a CFer is for insurance. Having a well below league average CFer forces all the other players into the position of having to play at a level that could be over their heads (we won't know until their performance this year either confirms or refutes last year's). If we have another good player in Center, then it takes the pressure off the rest of the roster, and increases the likelihood that the team as a whole will contend.

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We're far more likely to see Uggla and Olivo come back down to earth than we are to see Jacobs and Hermida produce at a level that could carry the aforementioned two's dropoff as well as make up ground necessary to be a marked improvement over last season.

 

Our bullpen's going to be garbage either way at this point, I'd much rather just bite the bullet and get a position player now for now and the future (meaning a Rios or Baldelli type) and if it works out well this season, make the move for an arm or two during the season.

 

Respective value of prospects considered, it's cheaper to make a deal for a position player before the season than it is during the season, and it doesn't make sense for a team like us to make active trades for bullpen arms until we know how competitive we are.

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For every performer from last year that declines in 2007 we'll have another one step up and improve. I expect better years our of Hermida and Jacobs... Uggla may decline. I honestly don't see Hanley or Willy decline.

 

Overall I think our offense is going to be about the same... but, to be quite honest, I expect Miggy to have a monster season. I'm talking 40+ bombs and a .340-.350 average and .440 OBP. That will elevate the offense to the top third in the league.

 

So, I also I agree with the original poster and Iowa... what we need is a better pen.

 

We're far more likely to see Uggla and Olivo come back down to earth than we are to see Jacobs and Hermida produce at a level that could carry the aforementioned two's dropoff as well as make up ground necessary to be a marked improvement over last season.

 

On what do you base that opinion?

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I agree with the venerable Leg of Cangelosi on this one about the bullpen being our main weakness. What makes this difficult to say is that it is too early to say what we have in terms of relief pitching, as many of the guys are either new or inexperienced. Theoretically some of the new guys like Owens and Lidstom can become reliable, but on paper this is not a good bullpen, and other than Tank I have little faith in most of these guys right now.

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We're far more likely to see Uggla and Olivo come back down to earth than we are to see Jacobs and Hermida produce at a level that could carry the aforementioned two's dropoff as well as make up ground necessary to be a marked improvement over last season.

 

On what do you base that opinion?

 

Opinion 1: look at how Uggla and Olivo finished 2006. Certainly not as strong as their season averages. That kind of decline indicates one of two things to me, either they hit a wall or the league figured them out. Checking around and seeing Marlins2003's signature, and I'd say that the former is less likely than the latter.

 

Opinion 2: Counting on marked improvement from two players who have no established big league credentials is not wise. Asking Hermida and Jacobs to each put up .900+ OPSes to make up for the below average centerfielder and the decline of Uggla and Jacobs is just unrealistic.

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I disagree, mostly because we play half of our games in the expansive DS and the fact that we're in the national league (and no DH). On nights when D-Train isn't pitching (and hitting), and Olivo isn't playing (not saying he's amazing, but he is clearly our best offensive catcher), the bottom third of our order is horrendous. We are essentially giving away 3 innings a night. Now, you can say that we could solve this problem by picking up an offensively-gifted backup catcher, but your backups are supposed to play sporadically, and when they do, a manager can usually find ways to put the backup in the best position to win (utilizing righty-lefty matchups, pinch-hitting for the backup with an offensively superior player in crucial situations, etc.). If we had just an adequate offensive CFer, it would exponentially alter how teams pitch the top of our lineup. Further, it will not help a struggling Hermida/Jacobs (aka, whomever occupies the 6th slot) to have offensive black holes occupying the 7-8-9 spots in the order.

 

But, it doesn't stop on the offensive side. We play in DS, which is perhaps the most expansive CF in the majors. Having a true CFer that can run the outfield and adequately field his position will do more than incrementally improve our defense, it could honestly win us a handful of games.

 

We don't need a true CFer to play .500 ball, but we need one to contend.

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With the exception of a few teams in the league, bullpen is a toss up. We don't know how ours will perform, we dont know if it will be in the bottom of the league again.

Last year we had one of the wosrt bullpens and we lost our best reliever in Borowski. The bullpen is filled with question marks. I think unfortunately we'll lead the league in blown leads. I think the bullpen will be a much bigger problem than CF.

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I completely disagree that we don't need a legit CF to contend.

 

 

1) As far as the "we need more help in the bullpen" comment goes, yeah so does EVERY other team. Bullpens are made up of pitchers who are the bottom feeders of the big leagues (yes there are a dozen or so "standouts" but the majority of bullpen guys are arms that couldn't make the starting fives or are on the decline of their careers.

 

 

2) As DelGot2Rings pointed out, having a struggling minor leaguer in CF makes our bottom three a barren wasteland of offensive productivity. ITS CRIPPLING to the offense.

 

 

3) Just simply adding an average CF'r makes a huge impact on our line up. Bullpens will always have holes on every team but having a black hole in CF is not an attribute of a contender, it's an attribute of a team going through the motions with no real shot of making the playoffs.

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TheDon, only #2 supports the claim that a CF is needed.

RFerry, you are correct....and succinct.

.

#1 is true of all teams but #3 is more about a team with the lowest payroll in MLB.

.

.

Hope springs eternal in February, but come July, we can only hope that the FO will address the needs of a contending team if our starting pitching performs well. Right now, I think they will if needed. Not like last year. I hope.

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The argument about the last 3 hitters beign free outs was only true against lefties, because amezaga was a decent hitter against righties. The strongest argument for acquiring a legit CF is the defensive necessities of patrolling cf in dolphin stadium. But to continue my point, with a good bullpen we can contend (assuming similar production from the batting order), but without the solid bullpen, we can have andruw jones in CF and we'll struggle to crack .500.

 

I also wanted to add to tswift's earlier point about the decline of jacobs and uggla at the end of the season, and a likely scenario was left out. 'Tiredness'. There are certain players around the league that tail off near the end of seasons for no apparent reasons. For most of his career, Lowell always had better first halves than second halves. It didnt mean he was 'figured out', he merely got 'tired' As for Jacobs, he was playign hurt for most of the year, so theres no reason why a healthy Jacobs wont put uo similar or better numbers.

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Opinion 1: look at how Uggla and Olivo finished 2006. Certainly not as strong as their season averages. That kind of decline indicates one of two things to me, either they hit a wall or the league figured them out. Checking around and seeing Marlins2003's signature, and I'd say that the former is less likely than the latter.

 

Opinion 2: Counting on marked improvement from two players who have no established big league credentials is not wise. Asking Hermida and Jacobs to each put up .900+ OPSes to make up for the below average centerfielder and the decline of Uggla and Jacobs is just unrealistic.

#1 Someone beat me to it, but can't outright fatigue be potential cause too? Uggla was surely playing a longer season than he ever had, having never been above AA. Olivo also more than doubled the # of innings he was behind the plate every season since 2003. Both were taking on bigger workloads in 06. And while there may still be a dropoff at the end in 07, I'm thinking if both stay healthy and fresh, they will be as productive as they were at any point last season.

 

#2 Fair enough. But even if Hermida improves to an ~800 OPS It will be a big help. Jacobs, even if it was a small sample size, still showed something of what he can do while healthy in 05. At the very least we have to assume that if both are healthy, their production will improve, rather than regress.

 

One more thing no one factors into the potential improvement of the team - our rotation now will begin the season likely as good as it ever was last season. No Brian Moehler every 5th game building up an ERA over 6. No Jason Vargas meltdowns (although I'll admit, I expected better of him, and it could happen to someone else). And even though Mitre will probably become involved with the rotation out of necessity (unless he is traded), our rotation won't hinge on him. JJ & Nolasco will begin the season being able to make a bigger contribution than they could opening day 2006. I think it's unlikely we'll begin the descent to 20-game below 500 in mid-May this year. We can just be the team that was there after, which if we were the entire season, we would've been in the playoffs.

 

Worst case scenario (IMO) with no one sticking in CF, you can at least put in Borchard & Cody to platoon and you will get some offensive bottom-of-the-order production from them.

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For every performer from last year that declines in 2007 we'll have another one step up and improve. I expect better years our of Hermida and Jacobs... Uggla may decline. I honestly don't see Hanley or Willy decline.

 

Overall I think our offense is going to be about the same... but, to be quite honest, I expect Miggy to have a monster season. I'm talking 40+ bombs and a .340-.350 average and .440 OBP. That will elevate the offense to the top third in the league.

 

So, I also I agree with the original poster and Iowa... what we need is a better pen.

 

We're far more likely to see Uggla and Olivo come back down to earth than we are to see Jacobs and Hermida produce at a level that could carry the aforementioned two's dropoff as well as make up ground necessary to be a marked improvement over last season.

 

On what do you base that opinion?

olivo's career number sand uggla's second half stats most likely. I cant disagree.

 

but I do think hermida will have a good year.

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