Monday, March 20, 2006

Then Went Bronson

The Red Sox trade rocker wannabe Bronson Arroyo for 24 year-old Cincinnati Reds Dominican slugger Wily Mo Pena. Arroyo had signed a three year deal for a bit over 11 million dollars, and developed a cult following for not only his pitching, but his singing. I'm sure my oldest daughter isn't liking this deal at all. Arroyo had a somewhat unconventional delivery, but a 90 mph fastball and a wide-breaking curve. Like the little girl with the curls, when he was good, he was very good, but...

I was surprised that Arroyo led the Sox in quality starts last year, but I guess I shouldn't have been. Quality starts correlate strongly with wins and he put up 14 last year. Some say he will be the Reds number one starter, which probably isn't a ringing endorsement for them.

From all reports, Arroyo loved pitching for the Red Sox, and cared a lot about living here and enjoyed his stay. With all the criticism we level at players, we've got to give Arroyo props for his attitude.

Wily (Coyote) Mo Pena has gargantuan power, runs well, and can play all three outfield positions. He's the kind of guy who has 30 plus homerun potential, but he's going to put up big strikeout numbers, too. As a young guy learning the game, he has the chance to develop with the tutelage of slugger David Ortiz, and we can only hope he doesn't get Manny-tized.

So, who gets the better end of the deal? WE CAN'T KNOW, yet. It takes years for these things to play out, with all the vagaries from injuries to personal issues that weigh on players involved. I'd rank it as potentially very beneficial for both teams, with the Reds pitching short, and the Sox getting insurance or more for Trot Nixon, a backup centerfielder, and a right-handed power bat lacking in the organization.

Let's hope it works out for everyone. Bronson, "fair winds and following seas; we barely knew 'ya.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pena "can" play all three outfield positions, but he stinks at all of them. He is a defensive liability who the Sox are going to put in a very large RF.

The guy is huge, Bigger than Ortiz. I've heard he "moves well for a big man." To me, that's like saying a player "runs well for a catcher." Pena will end up as a first baseman or DH.

I've heard Papa Jack will straighten Pena out, or Pena will be "tutored" by Ortiz. What does that mean? Wily Mo is 24-years old. He has never had a good OBP at any level of pro ball. He was a .256 career hitter in the minors. The odds are, he isn't going to become a patient hitter anytime soon--if at all.

Everyone seems to love Pena's power. But aside from that, he isn't a good hitter. There's little chance Wily Mo will become another Ortiz. Papi was a career .306 minor league hitter, and almost always had good on-base numbers.

Theo talked about how Pena's contract retarded his growth. Wily Mo was signed to a pro contract as a 17-year old. He was out of options and couldn't be sent down to get more playing time to develop as a player. Pena is in the same situation in Boston. He'll be splitting time with Trot.

Arroyo was a frustrating pitcher, but he was durable. The Sox have three pitchers with health problems at the top of their rotation. Riske and Seanez have looked awful this spring and Keith Foulke has yet to appear in a game.

This trade makes the Sox weaker in the short-run. I hope Pena works out. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

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