Fenway Park Park Factors: Hits 103; Runs 102; HRs 86
(100 is average, under 100 is favorable to pitchers)
Values ~ 2000: $54 2001: $19 2002: $34 2003: $27
Injuries have robbed Martinez of some of his velocity but he still throws a low 90s fastball, change and slider and works the entire plate. He is very tough to hit and struck out batters at better than one per inning for the eighth year in a row. He established early in his career that he will work inside with just enough wildness to keep hitters loose and if anyone needed a reminder they got it during the 2003 ALCS. Martinez' repertoire is impressive and is unquestionably the best pitcher in the AL when healthy but therein lies the rub. Martinez missed starts in 2003 for the fourth straight year and there were indications he was less than 100% as he finished last season. Watch this situation this spring.
Values ~ 2000: $14 2001: $24 2002: $34 2003: $17
Schilling's 2003 was hampered by an appendectomy and a broken hand, but when he pitched, he was as dominant as usual. Schilling dominates hitters with a mid 90's fastball that he spots on the corners or will rise out of the zone. He mixes in an occasional sharp slider or splitter and is working on a change-up this spring. Schilling is a workhorse who will go deep into games and will appear to get stronger in the later innings. Schilling loves to challenge hitters with his high heat. As a flyball pitcher, I don't think he'll have quite as good numbers pitching in Fenway, but he should still be a starter you can build your staff around.
Values ~ 2000: $33 2001: $15 2002: $32 2003: $6
Lowe struggled with recurring blisters on his right thumb last year, particularly early in the year. His numbers improved down the stretch after apparently getting the problem under control. He has an effective sinker and gets a high proportion of ground-ball outs which make him well-suited to pitch in Boston. He also has a low 90s fastball and curve. I think he will rebound in value this year but won't come close to his 2002 value.
Values ~ 2000: -$4 2001: $7 2002: $20 2003: $7
Knuckleball after knuckleball - there is little mystery to what you're going to get from Wakefield. If his butterfly flutters, you'll get a good outing from him; if it doesn't, he gets banged around hard. Last year he delivered a decent performance working primarily in the rotation. Although I don't care to have knuckleballers on my staff, I would not be surprised to see him come close to last year's value.
Values ~ 2000: $11 2001: $22 2002: $31 2003: $21
Kim is difficult to hit (he has a career .204 BA against) and has a high strikeout rate of 1.12/IP. He throws with a submarine style, bending at the waist, a la Quisenberry, so the ball looks as though it's coming off the top of the mound. He has a fastball with good movement and a slider. His stuff will appear to have an upward break when it crosses the plate. His walk rate made a double digit improvement for the third straight year in 2003 as a result of becoming less prone to opening his shoulder too soon. Kim wants to start and although there's some thought that batters will adjust to his unusual delivery the second and third times through the line-up, his numbers as a starter last year (1.19 WHIP; 3.38 ERA) were very good and not much worse than his numbers out of the pen (1.01; 3.22). Kim has struggled this spring with soreness behind his shoulder, is likely to lose his rotation spot and open the season on the DL. I've dropped his price.
Values ~ 2000: -$8 2001: -$7 2002: -$1 2003: $4
Arroyo throws four pitches; all are good, none exceptional. He gained notoriety last year when he threw a perfect game at AAA. His value last year was based on fewer than 20IP during a late season call-up and though it's encouraging, he needs to do it over a longer haul. His best pitch is a curve. His fastball is in the 88-92 range and his change has been a work in progress. Could be worth a minimal gamble. Arroyo is the probable #5 starter if Kim is unable to answer the bell.
Values ~ 2000: $31 2001: $33 2002: $14 2003: $43
With a fastball that tops out under 90, Foulke doesn't overpower hitters, but he has an outstanding changeup and a slider with good late movement. He changes speeds effectively. His short arm delivery makes his fastball seem quicker than it is. Foulke capitalized on the opportunity provided by Oakland to re-establish himself as a closer and heads into 2004 with the Boston job locked down; however, I wouldn't pay what he's going to cost.
Values ~ 2000: $7 2001: $0 2002: $10 2003: $12
Williamson appeared to have won the Reds closer job, then got traded to Boston. He was not especially effective in 24 appearances and consequently had no saves in the remainder of the regular season but did save three games in the ALCS. Williamson dominates hitters with a mid 90's fastball and splitter. He throws strikes, gets ahead in the count and has the command to put batters away as his career K rate of 1.17 attests. Williamson appears to be a trade candidate since the signing of Foulke, but could stick around to set-up.
Values ~ 2000: $8 2001: $2 2002: $12 2003: $11
Timlin has become a much more consistent reliever the last three years, having apparently mastered his mechanics and significantly reducing his walk rate. He throws a sinking fastball and slider and will get a lot of ground ball outs when he's effective.
Values ~ 2000: $1 2001: -$9 2002: $11 2003: $5
Embree restructured his mechanics and now drives toward the plate instead of throwing across his body. His fastball is in the upper 90s and he mixes in a slider. His numbers last year, though strong, were closer to career averages than his exceptional 2002 campaign was and his 2003 value is probably a better indication of what you should reasonably expect. Filler pick at best.
Values ~ 2000: $7 2001: $14 2002: $10 2003: -$9
Mendoza's 2003 season with his new team got off to a poor start on reports of mechanical flaws; which was followed by stints on the DL due to tendinitis in the right knee. Mendoza's bread and butter pitch is a sinker that helps him get a very high proportion of groundball outs and helps account for a usually low HR rate. Mendoza throws strikes and, as a consequence of being around the plate, has a low walk rate but has been hittable for most of his career. Mendoza also throws a 90s fastball, slider and changeup with good sinking action. He was valuable in NY as a guy who could either start or relieve and I can't help but think Torre and Stottlemyre knew how to get the most out of this guy and that he's going to struggle anywhere else. Mendoza has an abdominal strain this spring that has slowed his activity.
Values ~ 2000: $1 2001: NA 2002: -$5 2003: NA
Jones missed most of 2001 with a shoulder problem that required surgery and since then has been through a few organizations posting unimpressive numbers. He throws a 90 mph fastball and slider with good movement, but he is inconsistent and struggles frequently with his mechanics. I have liked Jones' stuff and felt he could emerge, but he's 32 now with an NRI invite. He's rumored to have a good chance of opening the season in middle relief at least until Kim returns.