First, a moment of silence for departed hero, Pedro Martinez. I’m not going to launch into a monologue about you in this space … because I have already done that in my “Ode to Pedro“.
To your right, is something I remember vividly, occuring in 1999. Take a look at it. A smiling Pedro, a smiling Nomar.
Boy, how five years can change the world.
I wish Pedro the best with the Mets. While I am a little upset that he is not returning to the Red Sox and is going to go to a team that just simply isn’t going to win in the direction it is (and has been) going in. I will root for Pedro in a Mets uniform, and I will choose to remember the glory days then wonder what might have been.
On to your regularly scheduled column.
Now that Pedro is gone and Curt Schilling will most likely not return until early May, the question is – what to do with our rotation? Right now, it is David Wells, Bronson Arroyo, and Tim Wakefield. That’s not so hot, and we need at least one bona-fide pitcher to slot into #4 (although #1 would be great) and put in someone who can hold the fort down until Mr. Schilling can make his return.
There’s been a lot of talk about acquiring Tim Hudson, and most everyone agrees that Bronson Arroyo would have to be included in any package. So if we’re including Bronson Arroyo in any package, why are we even bothering? I believe that Bronson Arroyo, taken in his entirety, is better than Tim Hudson. Here’s why.
Here is Arroyo and Hudson in 2004.
Player W L ERA GS CG IP H R ER HR BB SO H9 W9 K9 WHIP Age Arroyo 10 9 4.03 29 0 178.2 171 99 80 17 47 142 8.6 2.4 7.2 1.22 27 Hudson 12 6 3.53 27 3 188.2 194 82 74 8 44 103 9.3 2.1 4.9 1.26 29
So we have the statistics. Now what?
Let’s outline what the statistics tell us.
Tim Hudson has more endurance than Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo goes roughly six innings a start, while Tim goes about seven innings per start. However, Arroyo gets a lot more strikeouts and less hits than Hudson, although he gives up quite a few homeruns, while Hudson is good at keeping the ball in the park. Arroyo’s WHIP is less than Hudson’s, and he is two years younger.
Hudson is much better at home, and worse on the road. At home, he has a 3.19 ERA, 1.18 WHIP. This is not surprising, considering the vast amount of foul space the Athletics have in their home stadium, and their outfield dimensions are not as close. Away, Hudson had a 3.84 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP.
It was the opposite for Arroyo, who pitched significantly more innings on the road than at home. At home he had a 5.35 ERA with a 1.51 WHIP. On the road? 3.05 with a 1.01 WHIP! Imagine if he pitched the same at home that he did on the road. We’re talking Cy Young material. We’re talking lower ERA than Curt Schilling. So if Tim Hudson is better at home than on the road, and Arroyo is better on the road (better than Hudson even at home) and Arroyo will most likely improve at home (perhaps he just needed to get used to Fenway/the pressure of the fans?) …
Bronson Arroyo is still under the Red Sox’s control for roughly two more years via arbitration, but Tim Hudson is a free agent after this year and will most likely ask for $10 million a year annually over four years.
Arroyo had the 18th best WHIP in the majors, Hudson the 24th. Arroyo was 25th in Batting Average Against, Hudson was 34th. I just can’t see, factoring in statistics, age, and salary … it’s a no-brainer. Trade for Tim Hudson if you want, I have no problem with it. Just don’t include Bronson Arroyo in this package.
The Sox, who let bullpen coach Euclides Rojas go after he refused a reassignment to Double A Portland [The Red Sox wanted to groom him to become a pitching coach, but he did not want to go to the minors], also have let go of bullpen catcher Dana Levangie, a local product who had served in that capacity for eight years. Levangie, a Brockton native and former Division 2 All-American at American International College who played five seasons in the Sox minor league system, was caught by surprise by the move, according to friends. (Boston Globe)
While the Red Sox continued to work on a number of scenarios concerning their player personnel, a curious decision came to light yesterday concerning the future of the team’s medical care. Though Red Sox officials are remaining mum on the topic, sources have confirmed team doctor Bill Morgan will not return for the 2005 season. Morgan has been out of the country for roughly a week and could not be reached for comment, but the Sox apparently informed the doctor of the decision before he left for a scheduled vacation. [Curt Schilling said that he was told the Red Sox wanted to go with a team of doctors, not just one doctor.] (Boston Herald)
[Matt Mantei] called the Cubs and offered to pitch for them for the minimum salary, $312,000. The Cubs inexplicably had to think about it. In the meantime, the Red Sox invited him to Boston, flew him in first class, decorated his hotel room with world championship Red Sox pennants and balloons and a bucket of locally brewed beer on ice. They also flew in manager Terry Francona to meet him. Mantei immediately signed for $750,000. (Twins Killings via CNNSI)