2004 Player Reviews: SP


Pedro Martinez Pedro had the most innings pitched since 2000, but alas did not go 18-6 with a 1.74 ERA. He went 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA, highest professionally. We all know what happened with Pedro this offseason. Truly a shame, but honestly, I think that money then went to better use. But last year, although he struggled with a 3.90 ERA, Petey was still Petey, and a joy to watch, especially in the World Series (Game Three). Martinez only had one complete game, an August 12th win over the Devil Rays, 6-0. He also coined the famous “Who’s Your Daddy?” phrase which will mercifully have a short end now that Pedro is gone and we exhibited who in fact, WAS the daddy in the postseason. Pedro came in Game Seven of the ALCS to make a statement, and yes, his line wasn’t so hot, but he started off slow and then just completely shut the Yankees down.
Curt Schilling In Schilling’s return to Boston, last donning the Red Sox uniform in 1988 when he had a 2.97 ERA for AA New Britain. (Jul 28,1988 – Boston Red Sox traded Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling to Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Mike Boddicker. Yes, that’s right. Brady Anderson.) Schilling hurled 226 innings, 21-6 in 32 GS. He had 3 CG, 0 SHO. Last year he had had 3 CG, 2 SHO. Schilling is now the complete definition of Red Sox, especially after what he did in the playoffs (and contributed, no doubt, to Pedro’s departure) on that foot of his. Schilling probably will decline in effectiveness next season to around a 3.50 ERA, then will probably post another 3.50 ERA the year after, at which point he becomes a free agent. His three complete games came against the Royals, Braves, and Devil Rays.
Bronson Arroyo Arroyo had 32 G, 29 GS, 178 IP. Cornroyo won ten games, lost nine with a 4.03 ERA. He pitched the most innings he ever had, and did not have a complete game, although I thought he could have easily had a few over the course of the season. (8 IP against the Blue Jays and Rangers.) The 27-year old quickly became a fan favorite, and I look forward to seeing him excel. I for one, think he is due for a huge breakout season next year. This year past, when I watched him (don’t get me wrong, he was good, 4.03 ERA out of someone like him is great) I always thought there was something there, inside of him, that was just screaming to get out and completely blow everyone away. That season is coming. And really, how can you not like someone who Alex Rodriguez just can’t handle?
Tim Wakefield Here’s a surprising fact. Tim Wakefield has career six complete games. Three with the Red Sox. One in 1995 and two in 1998. This past year, he started 30 games, down from 33 the year past. He relieved in two games, and had a total IP of 188. His ERA rose from 4.09 to 4.87, but his career ERA is 4.29. Yes, it’s that low, despite some hideous 5.00+ ERAs for the Red Sox. But you’d never know it because Wake never complains about his high ERAs and we never bat an eye when we see a 5.48 ERA out of him (2000 – 51 G, 17 GS, 159 IP) because he brings so much to the table. This year, he’s going to be shuttling from the rotation back to the bullpen, what with an injured Curt Schilling, a most-likely to be injured David Wells, Wade Miller being treated with kid gloves, and who knows about Clement and Arroyo. Consider this: Tim Wakefield has been a free agent twice. The first time was when he joined the Red Sox, the other time was in 2000. He resigned after the 2000 season to a 3-year deal. He positioned himself great with a 2.81 ERA in 2000. Could we see another great season out of him? I would hope so, but my money would be on an ERA around 4.00. From 1999 to 2002, Wake had consistently started in ~17 games, relieving for the rest of the games he appeared in. His ERA went from 5.08 to 5.48 to 3.90 to 2.81. It seems as if he is increasingly, and thus most, comfortable shuttling from the rotation and bullpen. He should have plenty of that in 2005. If he starts all the games he appears in, I would guess at a 4.50 ERA. Wakefield said to his wife the other day that he “can’t wait for the season to start so I can relax.”
Derek Lowe Derek Lowe … what an enigma! An ugly 5.42 ERA after a 4.47 season and precluded by (and not including rookie season of 1997) ERAs of 2.58, 3.53, 2.56, 2.63, and 4.02. Not that it wasn’t time for Lowe to go, it was. But I think Lowe’s going to post a sub 3.00 ERA for the Dodgers. Anyways, after posting a horrid 16-14 season for the Red Sox, he was money in the playoffs, clinching all three series, pitching 19 IP, allowing 4 earned runs, all in the ALCS. Lowe was very money in the playoffs, and in 1999, 2000, and 2002. Other than that, though, he’s always been a source of contention amongst Sox fans. I just don’t think he could handle Boston. We don’t really think about it, but honestly, the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry didn’t really take on fire until the off-season of 2001-2002. The Jose Contreras off-season, and when Derek Lowe started struggling. Sure, we had a rivalry with and hated the Yankees, but the way this rivalry is, is extremely out of control.
In other notables, at the Boston Baseball Writers Dinner, the following awards were handed out: “Red Sox MVP (David Ortiz), Executive of the Year (Epstein), Red Sox Fireman of the Year (Keith Foulke), Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year (Earl Snyder), Jackie Jensen Award for spirit and determination (Johnny Damon), Manager of the Year (Bobby Cox), Pitcher of the Year (Curt Schilling), Ted Williams Award to baseball’s leading hitter (Barry Bonds), Tony Conigliaro Award (Tampa Bay’s Dewon Brazelton), and Red Sox Rookie of the Year (Kevin Youkilis).”