Friday, June 10, 2005

Sayonara, Kid

Tomo Ohka has been fined for the last time.

He was shipped to the Milwaukee Brewers for the second baseman I speculated they'd go after, Junior Spivey.

Spivey is hitting a disappointing .236/ .308/ .374, but there's reason to be optimistic. His isolated numbers (the remainder of OBP and SLG when you subtract Batting Average) are quite high, meaning that if those hits start dropping in, his overall numbers will be quite respectable.

His career line is .277/ .362/ .447, which is excellent for a second baseman, even if he was helped by his park in AZ.

Ohka, despite having a low ERA, has been a disappointment, and his latest dustup with Frank was probably the cliched last straw.

Ohka was walking 4.5 batters per game and only striking out 2.8. And despite playing in the toughest park to homer in, he was still allowing 1 HR per game.

If you look at those numbers in isolation, you would not guess that his ERA would be only 3.33. He's been exceedingly lucky, because he's not been taking care of those things that a pitcher can control. Ohka's ERA pretty much had nowhere to go but up.

Combined with an already unhappy Frank, that might not have been pretty.

It's an alright trade on straight value. Ohka's had a solid career, but he's on the verge of collapse today. And Spivey is filling a gaping hole in this team. Jamey Carroll is simply not cutting it.

But, Spivey is going to have to go to the bench by August (maybe sooner), when Jose Vidro is finally healthy. And I keep thinking about the great numbers Ohka has put up in the past.

However, it's not necessarily a steep downgrade from Ohka to Sunny Kim, who would presumably step into the rotation. But, it is a HUGE upgrade from Carroll to Spivey, even if it's for the short term.

But, even when Vidro comes back, it will be nice to have a solid PHing bat off the bench.

Bowden definitely deserves some credit for dealing from a position of strength for a position of weakness. It's a shame he didn't do that when Vidro was first injured, but it's awfully hard to cry given the team's results over the last two weeks.


In other roster news, the team has claimed Ryan Drese off waivers from Texas. He has a $1.75 MM contract for next year, which we now assume.

Drese had a rough year this year, but put up solid numbers last year.

Working in his favor is a move from Arlington in the AL to RFK in the NL. He goes from the best park in the AL for pitchers to the best park in the NL for pitchers. That's probably worth 1 run of ERA there alone.

Given the success he had last year, when he had an ERA that was 20% better than league average, it's a good risk.

Anytime you can acquire a pitcher for nothing (other than the cash value of the contract) it's probably not a bad deal. Taken in package with the Ohka deal, he's probably not appreciably worse than Ohka, once you look at the context of their performances.

The only thing that makes me slightly nervous is that Orel Hershiser is giving up on him. Orel is developing a reputation as a miracle worker with pitchers -- a Mazzone-lite. Maybe he knows something we don't know.

Either way, we'll find out. Worst case, we're out $1.75MM next year, which George Soros or whoever owns the team, will be able to find in their seat cushions.


UPDATE: If you're interested in some realtime analysis, we've been tossing around the trade at Yuda's. Start here and scroll down.


Post a Comment

<< Home