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Why are so many down on Richards, Santiago, and Skaggs?


Angel Oracle

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Did not Richards and Santiago show good promise in 2013 with real good stuff as MLB starters?

Was not Skaggs one of the better lefty prospects until 2013, and even then still a solid prospect. 

 

It's not like they are being counted on to be aces.

Why can't they possibly emerge like so many A's starters have the past 2 seasons?  

 

They are so much preferable to "Sign A Retread".

All they need is someone to take some starts from Skaggs if he truly isn't ready for even 180 MLB innings in 2014.   Didn't Shoemaker show some solid promise there?

Edited by Angel Oracle
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I don't think it's so much that people are down on them, AO, it's that they are all pretty big ?'s, and we're talking about 3/5ths of our rotation.  We're all in agreement that the rotation sucked last year and was a big reason the team disappointed, and we're supposed to swallow that the solution is to trust these 3 guys.  

 

Richards showed promise, sure, but he also's still young and developing and best case scenario will probably still have some bumps along the way.  Still a decent possibility that he takes a step backward in 2014 or never fulfills his promise. Everyone just assumes he's going to take a big step forward this year - maybe, maybe not.

 

Santiago seems to be pretty solid, but has a somewhat limited ceiling.  Not a problem, just not a guy that is going to turn your staff around or make a huge difference.

 

Skaggs has a high ceiling but is still WAY risky at this point in his career.  Most contenders would probably have him down in 7th or 8th on their SP depth chart.  At this point the Angels are almost counting on him contributing as a 4/5 all year.

 

Beyond that it's Shoemaker (a guy with one ML start under his belt) and Blanton.

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Did not Richards and Santiago show good promise in 2013 with real good stuff as MLB starters?

Was not Skaggs one of the better lefty prospects until 2013, and even then still a solid prospect. 

 

It's not like they are being counted on to be aces.

Why can't they possibly emerge like so many A's starters have the past 2 seasons?  

 

They are so much preferable to "Sign A Retread".

All they need is someone to take some starts from Skaggs if he truly isn't ready for even 180 MLB innings in 2014.   Didn't Shoemaker show some solid promise there?

 

All three of these guys have upside potential but will their upside show up in time to help get us into contention? That's the big question.

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I wholeheartedly agree with the topic of this post.  This is the time of year where fans get really bored and when they get really bored they begin to nitpick and overthink their team.  The Angels made an amazing deal when they acquired Santiago and Skaggs for Trumbo.  In Weav, they'll likely get 180+ innings and 3-3.50 ERA.  They'll get the same out of Wilson.  I think Richards will give you 180 innings and 3.50-4.25 ERA.  The same goes for Santiago and Skaggs.

 

That's a really solid pitching staff.  Plus, the Angels were "giddy" when they watched Mulder pitch.  One scout said he could pitch in the majors again right now (as of a month or two ago).  They also have Blanton, who if nothing else will eat innings, and Shoemaker who as we saw last season, may actually be effective in spot starts.  

 

Fans right now will pretend that if Weaver gets hurt that the Angels won't have the depth to absorb such a blow.  But outside of the Cardinals, what organization in baseball could stomach losing their ace for an extended period of time?  None.  The only way you can possibly prepare for such an event is if you've drafted well over the past five years and have three guys in AAA that shouldn't be there.  No team in baseball outside of the Cardinals has that depth and you can't build it through free agency.

 

At this point, there's only one free agent pitcher worth considering, and that's A.J. Burnett, mostly because he's good, looking for a short term deal and won't cost a draft pick.  But all signs point toward him not wanting to be on the West Coast.

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Santiago is a hard pitcher to gauge. Not too many throw screwballs these days. His peripherals have never been all that good and his command is spotty. Still, he's pitched above his peripherals the last two seasons. He's a candidate for regression, but there's no reason to think he can't do it again.

 

Unlike Santiago, Richard's peripherals paint a portrait of a pitcher on the verge of taking the next step. His groundball rate (57.9%) was elite. His xFIP was 3.58, which was well below his ERA. His SwStr% has always been above average. He has the ability to miss bats. The key for him will be getting ahead in the count and throwing more first pitch strikes. You're not in a position to put away hitters if you don't get those 0-2 and 1-2 counts. He also needs to become more comfortable pitching from the stretch. His strand rates need to improve. That's one of the biggest reasons why his ERA was a little inflated last year.

 

Reports on Skaggs losing velocity the last few seasons are a concern. Still, his curveball is a plus-plus pitch. I see Barry Zito upside if he develops.

 

None of them will ever be aces. Santiago could be a good 4 or 5. Richards could be a good 3 or 4. Skaggs could be a good 2 or 3.

Edited by Llewyn Davis
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Reports on Skaggs losing velocity the last few seasons are a concern. Still, his curveball is a plus-plus pitch. I see Barry Zito upside if he develops.

 

None of them will ever be aces. Santiago could be a good 4 or 5. Richards could be a good 3 or 4. Skaggs could be a good 2 or 3.

 

The Angels and Skaggs have already identified the major culprit behind the reduced velocity, which wasan adjustment in his stride which threw  him off considerably and the fact that he was fading down the stretch.  I feel pretty comfortable saying that assuming good health, Skaggs will again be sitting 91-93 this next season.  As for your projections, I think Santiago could be a good #3-4, Richards can eventually be a 2-3 and the same with Skaggs.  For next season however, I think Santiago will be #4-5, Richards a #3-4 and Skaggs a #4-5.

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I'm actually higher on Skaggs than the consensus seems to be. I think he's one tweak (or correction of previous tweak) away from being a middle-to-top of the rotation arm. I an lower on Richards because I just don't see him as a number three. In fact, I see him more as a late-innings reliever in the future. The jury's still out on Santiago, but he performed decently in the White Sox rotation last year.

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I'm not really down on any of them, but they do come with plenty of question marks. They've also never surpassed the 150 inning range.

And between those 3, Weaver and Wilson, guys will get hurt.

As it stands now, this team is entrusting all the innings that will need to be covered because of injuries, underperformance, and the young guys potentially hitting a wall to Shoemaker, maybe Blanton, and maybe Mulder.

That's quite a few innings and that's kind of horrifying.

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I just don't like the depth. 

Mark Mulder and Joe Blanton shouldn't be the 6th starters.

 

I really don't know a lot about Shoemaker. All I know is he got shit on in AAA for two years straight and isn't really a prospect.

Edited by Poozy
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yeah.  it's not really even about Santiago, Skaggs, or Richards.  Even if you add another pitcher, those three will about max out at however many starts they can handle for 2014.  Let Capuano eat some decent innings and then let the young guys increase their load as the season goes on.  Then you have more options for the postseason.  Yeah, that's right.  The postseason. 

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I just don't like the depth. 

Mark Mulder and Joe Blanton shouldn't be the 6th starters.

 

I really don't know much about Shoemaker. All I know is he got shit on in AAA for two years straight and isn't really a prospect.

Shoemaker might be one of those guys whose career was derailed by SLC.  I feel like he could be somewhere between his AA and AAA seasons with a full year in Anaheim.  I am gonna start a campaign - GIVE SHOEMAKER A CHANCE!!!

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I can't wait to see these guys pitch.

 

It's as simple as this.  With Weaver and Wilson I'm confident that either will more often than not give us a solid start.  With Richards, Skaggs, and Santiago I'm looking forward to seeing a young player possibly come into his own each start.  Something to look forward to with every slot in the rotation, rather than every time that 4th or 5th slot rolls around with a mediocre Blanton type just hoping he doesn't suck that night.  

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Nobody is down on them, it's just that they are inexperienced and don't have a track record of success for folks to lean on to ease their worries about the questions for this team heading into the season

 

Would have loved them to nab another good starter so they could move Santiago to the pen. Would have improved both areas with 1 signing. Either way, looking forward to seeing these guys pitch and hopefully grow/continue to improve. This team is gonna need these guys to pan out because the price of pitching continues to go through the roof and they already have a ton of money committed to 4-5 guys(with Trout next in the fold)

 

I'd like to see them move Kendrick for a young arm as well. Lindsey is on the doorstep and waiting for his opportunity

Edited by bloodbrother
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Shoemaker might be one of those guys whose career was derailed by SLC.  I feel like he could be somewhere between his AA and AAA seasons with a full year in Anaheim.  I am gonna start a campaign - GIVE SHOEMAKER A CHANCE!!!

 

I think his numbers in SLC were actually impressive -- that K/W rate in that park was no joke.  He obviously wasn't afraid to challenge guys despite being in hitter happy league and park, put him in Anaheim and he could be a really strong number 5.

 

Matt Shoemaker should get a shot.  He's a guy that you would think a saber inclined GM like Dipoto may see as undervalued.   Wouldn't shock me to see him have a Jeff Fassero type career, someone who doesnt get a shot til he's in his late 20s and then hangs around for a decade.

 

Shoe better be part of Operation No Blanton.

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This is one of those threads where everything I wanted to say was already said. I've very excited about these three guys, especially Skaggs, then Richards, then Santiago. While I'm not opposed to signing Capuano, I also think that Blanton will resurge a bit and the difference between the two isn't that large. Also, as some have said, Shoemaker will likely be a lot better in Anaheim than in Salt Lake. I really wouldn't count on Mulder, but rather see anything he can bring as a bonus. So we're left with a starting depth chart like so:

 

Weaver

Wilson

Richards

Skaggs

Santiago

Blanton
Shoemaker
Mulder

 

That isn't so bad. Capuano slots in somewhere in the Santiago-Blanton range, while Burnett gives the Angels another pitcher of the caliber of Wilson - which obviously really improves them but is very expensive (1/$15M).

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I'm really excited to see all 3 pitch next year.

The biggest concern is their workloads most likely. I think people are down on the fact that we don't have another depth starter that can step up. I don't think people are necessarily down on the pitchers themselves.

Skaggs should end up being the best of the bunch eventually. It may or may not happen this year but he should eventually settle in as a mid to high 3's ERA guy who can pitch 200 innings.

Richards could take a huge step forward or he could just settle in as a low to mid 4's ERA guy. I'm a big Richards fan due to the electric stuff, good GB rates and his low walk rate from last year. I think he could end up pitching around a 3.75 ERA if everything comes together.

I'm not 100% sold on Santiago quite yet but his results have been pretty good. Pitching to a 3.5 ERA at US Cellular is pretty impressive. His command is his biggest issue but he could be similar to CJ who gets by with limiting hits and striking out a healthy number of batters.

I'm confident in this rotation being good enough but my biggest concern is what happens when an inevitable injury happens. Blanton, Shoemaker or Mulder aren't going to get it done. Shoemaker could be passable but you'd like to see him as the next option after the 6th starter, not the first guy you go to.

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I think Richards will give you 180 innings and 3.50-4.25 ERA.  The same goes for Santiago and Skaggs.

 

That's pretty ****ing optimistic.

 

The most innings Richards has pitched as a starter at the MLB level is 103.1. Jumping up to 180 is quite the task. I'd expect him to be closer to 150. The ERA is fair but it's also a pretty big gap. If he puts up those numbers I'll be ecstatic but I won't hold my breath. I expect him to pitch around 140-150 innings with an ERA closer to 4.50 than 3.50.

 

Santiago is the most realistic, although the most innings he has thrown as a starter are 130.2. Still a big jump to 180 innings, but not unlikely. The ERA range I agree with. I'd expect him to be closer to 160-170 IP.

 

Skaggs hasn't even been in the ballpark of 180 IP. Expecting him to come out and do that in his age 22 season is not impossible, but it's a bar that I think is a little too high to set. He hasn't even pitched a full season yet. The ERA range is possible, but his numbers could be all over the place.

 

What it all comes down to is this: I like the current group of pitchers. What I don't like are the pitchers that will fill in for them when an injury occurs. Some people are ok with Blanton getting starts, and that is just something my mind cannot fathom. I agree that it is likely he will be better than last year, but he still ****ing sucks regardless.

Edited by tdawg87
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I find it ironic that most on here that clamor for the Angels to get younger and to not blow money on aging veterans, are also pissed that the Angels are younger and didn't blow money on aging veterans.

 

Aww yiss you build that strawman build it 20 stories high. the village to the north will know who is boss

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The most innings Richards has pitched as a starter at the MLB level is 103.1. Jumping up to 180 is quite the task. I'd expect him to be closer to 150. The ERA is fair but it's also a pretty big gap. If he puts up those numbers I'll be ecstatic but I won't hold my breath. I expect him to pitch around 140-150 innings with an ERA closer to 4.50 than 3.50.

 

To be fair, he's pitched 143 innings as a SP twice in the minors and at least that many both starting and relieving for three straight years..   Physically he should be strong enough to get to 175 innings.  I like that he's not really seen any massive jumps in IP totals the last few years.

 

I've gone on record as liking guys with GB rates as high as his -- wouldn't shock me to see him break out to a degree this year but if he just continues his trend of dropping his ERA, I'd be quite happy.

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Let's look at the math. The Angels need 162 starts. The average major league start is just shy of 5.9 IP, but let's round up to 6 IP. That's 162 x 6 = 972 IP from starters.

 

Let's be optimistic and say that we can count of 400 IP from Weaver and Wilson. That leaves 572 from everyone else, or about 190 from the #3-5 slots. Chances are those won't all come from Skaggs, Richards, and Santiago. But maybe we can hope for an average of 150 IP each, and then an average of 40 IP each from Blanton, Shoemaker, and Mulder.

 

It won't be so neat and tidy as that, but it gives us an idea. Maybe Wilson pitches 215 IP and Weaver gets injured again and only pitches 160. Regardless, chances are that the Angels will need starts from 8+ pitchers, but I'm fine with 25 or so coming from Blanton/Shoemaker/Mulder.

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