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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Pickoff Moves

Goin' Down, Down, Down

The Chisox were mighty unhappy with their rookie starter Jon Rauch, so much so that famed knucklehead GM Kenny Williams actually issued a press release telling other clubs Rauch is getting the bum's rush in the Sox organization. Quote, unquote: "If there is any team that's interested in Jon Rauch they should call Ken Williams." If Dan Evans were still here, he'd be all over that one, you can be sure, what with his ties to the team. The Baseball America 2004 Prospect Handbook says of him
Rauch turned in a solid Triple-A, recovering from a midseason sore shoulder -- the same one he had operated on in 2001 -- to finish strong. He's not overpowering but gets seldom-seen arm angles from his height and has become a polished pitcher. His height causes his 91-92 fastball to appear harder than it is. He seems on top of hitters when he releases it. Rauch also has two above-average breaking balls and a decent changeup, but he must [have] command of all his pitches to succeed. He's in the picture for a 2004 spot with the Sox, who praise his positive attitude [!]. This will be a make-it-or-break-it year for Rauch, who's likely to be traded elsewhere if he doesn't secure a job in Chicago.
Translated, he's exactly the kind of guy the Dodgers seem to have a knack for converting into usable starter/long-reliever types. With nitwit Williams deflating the value of his flustered prospect with that public ventilation, DePo might be in a good place to pick him up.

(Thanks to Texas Rangers Blog for the link.)

So He's Not Perfect

On the subject of bad trades:

Jason Frasor, RHP: 0.84 ERA, 22.1 IP, 5.64 K/9, 4.02 BB/9, 1.03 WHIP
Jayson Werth: on 15-day DL retroactive to April 15th.

The Infield Fly Rule Confuses Even The Players

If you think the Infield Fly Rule is confusing as a spectator, you oughta see what happens when players have to remember its implications, and quick. Batgirl's Legovision reenactment once again clarifies an amazing combination of befuddlement and clear-headed thinking on the field, with the Royals scoring a run, and the Twins effecting a double play. It reminded me of another wacky play last year between the Giants and Expos where the Expos simultaneously forgot the IFR, but the umpires didn't. Funny, funny stuff.

Frasor's K/BB rates aren't anything to shout about. Which is the fluke - those or his ERA?
Agreed, but it's interesting to note that he's having some success. I was shocked to read that he's getting serious consideration as the team's closer. The Jays are rumored to be dropping even more payroll next year, which could -- not will, could -- cause a tailspin in performance.

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