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Pop-up BP arms 2023


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I saw this a few weeks ago. We desperately need a pop-up bullpen guy. I'd say Declan Cronin may be there:

Theo Denlinger probably showed the best swing and miss stuff in bham but is older so maybe is just part that. 49ks in 38 IP. Sammy Peralta too. Maybe Bilous makes the switch to BP and his stuff plays up enough for his horrendous control.

In Charlotte, I have for years hoped that Andrew Perez could put it together. He looks the part. His results are horrible. Maybe we get some pitching dust sprinkled over him this offseason.

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Caleb Freeman and Luke Schilling also have the potential to pop up.  They both were injured most of last year.  I personally think that Kohl Simas ends up in the pen, and there's a good chance Kelley ends up there as well.  The team's pitching depth is really bad, so almost anyone who gets off to a good start has a chance of being pressed into bullpen service.

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I don't know anything about the stat that is putting Cronin so high, but the 1.348 WHIP and 4.7 K/9 at Charlotte last year aren't giving me a lot of excitement. K rate at Charlotte was down from other levels, but still a 7.3 K/9 and a 2.08 K/BB ratio across the minors isn't particularly grand. 1.266 WHIP across the minors so I'm not seeing reason to think he's a huge ground ball pitcher either, giving up lots of hits. 15 hits in 10 innings in the AFL this year, no walks but again only 7 K's in 10 innings there. 

That's not a scouting report and maybe there's something here that could be deployed in an intelligent way out of the big league bullpen, but the profile of a low K rate and a WHIP that is 1.3 and above is pretty much a mop up guy out of the bullpen at best. Of course, the White Sox need a "mop up guy with an ERA around 5 who won't blow a multi game if they're called up" because they barely have that, but I have no clue how this guy is ranking ahead of Lopez on anything. 

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25 minutes ago, Timmy U said:

Caleb Freeman and Luke Schilling also have the potential to pop up.  They both were injured most of last year.  I personally think that Kohl Simas ends up in the pen, and there's a good chance Kelley ends up there as well.  The team's pitching depth is really bad, so almost anyone who gets off to a good start has a chance of being pressed into bullpen service.

It's possible with Simas but I think he should continue trying out as a starter. But he's at that velo range where if he instead goes to 96 mph he could whittle down his arsenal and might be really effective.

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2 hours ago, Balta1701 said:

I don't know anything about the stat that is putting Cronin so high, but the 1.348 WHIP and 4.7 K/9 at Charlotte last year aren't giving me a lot of excitement. K rate at Charlotte was down from other levels, but still a 7.3 K/9 and a 2.08 K/BB ratio across the minors isn't particularly grand. 1.266 WHIP across the minors so I'm not seeing reason to think he's a huge ground ball pitcher either, giving up lots of hits. 15 hits in 10 innings in the AFL this year, no walks but again only 7 K's in 10 innings there. 

That's not a scouting report and maybe there's something here that could be deployed in an intelligent way out of the big league bullpen, but the profile of a low K rate and a WHIP that is 1.3 and above is pretty much a mop up guy out of the bullpen at best. Of course, the White Sox need a "mop up guy with an ERA around 5 who won't blow a multi game if they're called up" because they barely have that, but I have no clue how this guy is ranking ahead of Lopez on anything. 

Agreed.  His stats alone make him appear like AAA fodder at best.  I don't understand how he scores so highly on stuff if he can't strike anyone out lol

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8 minutes ago, Squirmin' for Yermin said:

Agreed.  His stats alone make him appear like AAA fodder at best.  I don't understand how he scores so highly on stuff if he can't strike anyone out lol

Dylan Cease was having trouble striking people out a couple of years ago. Stuff can be great but if you're throwing too many non competes, you wind up in a lot of trouble. That said, this guy would seem to have a ways to go to be a piece in a major league bullpen. 

 

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2 hours ago, Balta1701 said:

I don't know anything about the stat that is putting Cronin so high, but the 1.348 WHIP and 4.7 K/9 at Charlotte last year aren't giving me a lot of excitement. K rate at Charlotte was down from other levels, but still a 7.3 K/9 and a 2.08 K/BB ratio across the minors isn't particularly grand. 1.266 WHIP across the minors so I'm not seeing reason to think he's a huge ground ball pitcher either, giving up lots of hits. 15 hits in 10 innings in the AFL this year, no walks but again only 7 K's in 10 innings there. 

That's not a scouting report and maybe there's something here that could be deployed in an intelligent way out of the big league bullpen, but the profile of a low K rate and a WHIP that is 1.3 and above is pretty much a mop up guy out of the bullpen at best. Of course, the White Sox need a "mop up guy with an ERA around 5 who won't blow a multi game if they're called up" because they barely have that, but I have no clue how this guy is ranking ahead of Lopez on anything. 

Those numbers from Cronin are from the AFL so I wonder if he made a tweak late in or after the minor league season that isn't apparent in the results.

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2 minutes ago, maxjusttyped said:

Those numbers from Cronin are from the AFL so I wonder if he made a tweak late in or after the minor league season that isn't apparent in the results.

0 walks, 15 hits in 10 innings there. Entirely possible he was somehow focusing on throwing strikes and gave up extra hits as a consequence, but the results weren't anything where you'd immediately say this guy is the next big thing. 

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Just now, Balta1701 said:

0 walks, 15 hits in 10 innings there. Entirely possible he was somehow focusing on throwing strikes and gave up extra hits as a consequence, but the results weren't anything where you'd immediately say this guy is the next big thing. 

There's a recent history of pitchers popping on stuff models, ending up in orgs with good pitching coaching/development like Tampa or LA & exploding. Katz is really good, imo, so this plus the fact he's already a ++ GB guy definitely should have Cronin on peoples radars.

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Eric Longenhagen from Fangraphs with a few tidbits on arms the Sox didn't add to their 40

"On the pitching side, we were surprised that Lane Ramsey, who was sitting 95 with a plus upper-80s slider by the end of the Fall League, was not added. Neither was Kade McClure, who amid a shift into a multi-inning relief role maintained good command over his four-pitch arsenal, including his above-average slider. Middle relief prospect Caleb Freeman spent a couple months on the IL and struggled to throw strikes when healthy. "

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/40-man-deadline-analysis-al-central/

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10 minutes ago, maxjusttyped said:

There's a recent history of pitchers popping on stuff models, ending up in orgs with good pitching coaching/development like Tampa or LA & exploding. Katz is really good, imo, so this plus the fact he's already a ++ GB guy definitely should have Cronin on peoples radars.

Is there a recent history of this specific pitching model having predictive ability like that?

For that list it basically looks like it is picking out guys who throw a 2 seamer and ranking them higher. 

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4 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

Is there a recent history of this specific pitching model having predictive ability like that?

For that list it basically looks like it is picking out guys who throw a 2 seamer and ranking them higher. 

That is a good question. I don't know how good or predictive this stuff plus model is. I do know Eno Sarris of The Athletic has one that's useful and has been predictive of nailing breakouts over the last few years. There are a lot of smart analysts who pop up on twitter/various baseball websites with models like this that immediately get snapped up by teams.

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If he's a groundball specialist, him giving up a lot of hits in AFL isn't as interesting as if the hits are ground balls. 

Not sure any of us figured Tanner Banks would see time this year or when Aaron Bummer jumped up, hence a pop-up.

I wouldn't be surprised considering sox love sinker ballers in their bullpen under hahn if a guy that throws strikes and has a power sinker makes it

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2 hours ago, Squirmin' for Yermin said:

Agreed.  His stats alone make him appear like AAA fodder at best.  I don't understand how he scores so highly on stuff if he can't strike anyone out lol

he's a sinkerballer

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25 minutes ago, bmags said:

If he's a groundball specialist, him giving up a lot of hits in AFL isn't as interesting as if the hits are ground balls. 

Not sure any of us figured Tanner Banks would see time this year or when Aaron Bummer jumped up, hence a pop-up.

I wouldn't be surprised considering sox love sinker ballers in their bullpen under hahn if a guy that throws strikes and has a power sinker makes it

Definitely seems like there's an interesting set of materials for him to be a useful reliever

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If I use Banks as a comparison, he had a K-rate of 10.5/9IP in 2021 at AAA before getting called up, whereas Cronin was at 7.71 in AA before moving up to AAA (and I'm not going to even hold his K rate at AAA against him). Maybe his control got better at Charlotte, but it was pretty bad in the first half - 14 walks in 28 innings, and when his BB rate went down his K-rate went down even lower too. His GB rate isn't world beating, only slightly higher than Banks's. There's nothing on this stat line anywhere that suggests he's going to be a big league contributor any time soon. He could potentially come out of the bullpen and put up an ERA of 5, I'd believe that while doing what he was doing in the minors, but could see him being worse than that also. Are you guys expecting something better than that? 

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5 hours ago, bmags said:

I saw this a few weeks ago. We desperately need a pop-up bullpen guy. I'd say Declan Cronin may be there:

Theo Denlinger probably showed the best swing and miss stuff in bham but is older so maybe is just part that. 49ks in 38 IP. Sammy Peralta too. Maybe Bilous makes the switch to BP and his stuff plays up enough for his horrendous control.

In Charlotte, I have for years hoped that Andrew Perez could put it together. He looks the part. His results are horrible. Maybe we get some pitching dust sprinkled over him this offseason.

What makes it interesting is this is the purest of the stats versus eyes of arguments.  There is nothing in his on the field performance that tells us that Cronin will amount to anything.  But apparently his spin rates and advanced metrics love him.  The guys like this make for really interesting test cases for these new metrics.  The Sox seem to really be chasing spin rates and advanced internal metrics in their drafting in the last few years.  I will be interesting to see what happens here.

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1 minute ago, southsider2k5 said:

What makes it interesting is this is the purest of the stats versus eyes of arguments.  There is nothing in his on the field performance that tells us that Cronin will amount to anything.  But apparently his spin rates and advanced metrics love him.  The guys like this make for really interesting test cases for these new metrics.  The Sox seem to really be chasing spin rates and advanced internal metrics in their drafting in the last few years.  I will be interesting to see what happens here.

I can't vouch for this model, but as I referenced earlier in the thread, Eno Sarris of The Athletic has a model that's been very successful at spotting breakouts over the last few years. His model seems to line up very well with whatever the Dodgers are doing internally considering their pitching staff + bullpen is filled with arms his model liked that weren't having great results prior to the Dodgers acquiring them. There are a ton of really smart people analyzing pitching through this perspective that teams continue to hire away.

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