Wednesday, December 01, 2004

The Post on Ortiz and Loaiza

Today's Post discusses Russ Ortiz, pointing out that we're probably not going to be able to afford him. Not being an Ortiz fan at all, that makes me happy. What scares me is this:

[Ortiz' agent, John Boggs] has also talked to Bowden about another of his clients, righty Esteban Loaiza.


Despite his horrible performance last year (5.70 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 5.75 K/9), I would expect Bowden to be willing to give him a shot by giving too much credit to his fluke 2003 performance (2.9 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 8.23 K/9). Note that his 5.70 ERA is not inconsistent with past performances. Even with his one good season over a 10 year career in the majors, lifetime he's got a 4.70 ERA with a 1.42 WHIP and 5.86 K/9. Lifetime, batters have hit .287 off him, with a .338 OBP.


At 10:00 AM, Blogger Sam from LA & DC said...

Those Loiaza numbers are not encouraging. Esp. since it is easy to imagine Bowden shooting for him given the limited pitching options out there and his desire to land a name folk will recognize. Also, if I recall correctly, Loaiza had a couple of really stong outings in the 2004 playoffs.

(my first comment; thanks for taking the time to blog the new team -- sam)

At 11:03 AM, Blogger John said...

Thanks, Sam. Being a Yankees fan, I actually watched all of Loaiza's postseason performances. I even watched him in person in Game 5 of the ALCS, as I happened to be in Boston that day. In that game, he pitched several innings, and gave up the game-winning run to Ortiz. I actually blamed Torre for this more than Loaiza... I thought he'd been in for too long.

In that game, it took a while for him to give up a run, but I recall him allowing a reasonably high number of base runners. It turns out he had 8 baserunners in 6.1 innings over two games, one of those being Ortiz. He only pitched 2 innings in the division series, in which he gave up 4 hits. While there were no runs as a result, I remember being really uncomfortable as he was giving up hits... he didn't look sharp.

But you're right, he did seem to be okay in the ALCS. Personally, I'd attribute that to the very small sample size (and perhaps the pressure on the Red Sox, because they were on the brink when he was pitching).

If I were Bowden, I would look at his lifetime and 2004 overall stats, then stay very far away.

At 1:28 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

With Paul Wilson's and Esteban Loaiza's names being linked with the Nats, it seems Bowden's out there looking for an innings starter. As long as Loaiza would pitch for a million bucks, he wouldn't be too bad of an investment on a one-year deal.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger JammingEcono said...

Two words: Odalis. Perez.

Offer him 4yrs/$26M and be done with it. Sure it's beyond the so-called $5M pitcher cap that's been bandied around as Bowden's limit, but you'd be getting a 27 y.o. leftie with a very bright future ahead of him. Lefties with ace potential are worth their weight in gold in this league.

The comment about Bowden looking for an innings eater is right on the money, IMHO. I think he should be looking harder for youngish talent to build on (Clement, Lieber, the aforementioned Perez), but what do I know? Looking at the free-agent pool likely to sign for <=$5M per, I "like" Byrd, Matt Morris (surgery will drive his price down), and maybe Ismael Valdez (4.05 career ERA).

At 3:17 PM, Blogger John said...

We already have a few prospects that would do at least as well as I'd ever expect Loaiza to do in the 5th starter slot, so I wouldn't even waste my money. Actually, if that's the best we can do in acquiring a starter, I would pass altogether, and try to bring in some decent bullpen assistance.


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