Alright, first up is Buchholz: yesterday in the trade comments I posted what Crawfish Boxes blogger rastronomicals had to say on Willy Taveras, these are his thoughts in a subsequent e-mail regarding Taylor Buchholz:
Baseball Prospectus calls Buchholz its"FLAKE-iest" pitcher (minimum 100 IP) because his game-by-game support neutral value added scores show the most variation. The dude was literally all over the place with his performance.
Buchholz has a fantastic curve ball--the best I have seen in the organization since Darryl Kile--and a low 90's fastball which he can locate effectively most of the times. The problem was homers, which he gave up in bunches. He gave up two homers in a game six times, and three homers in a game twice. Some of them were moonshots, too.
To be honest I was never quite sure what the deal was, but my best guess was that while he can put the fastball where he wants it, he doesn't make it move much while getting there.The Astros kind of gave up on him at the end of the year, and of course, it seems that the White Sox believe that he is still experiencing residual shoulder problems from his shoulder surgery after the '04 season.
So I don't KNOW that Buchholz will make it. But the curveball of his is so good, that it seems to me he's already halfway there. Maybe it's a matter of not throwing his fastball in a particular location. Maybe it's pitching backward, using the curve to set up the fastball. Maybe it's a mental thing. Maybe he's tipping something. Perhaps he's a pitching coach away
As for Clint Barmes, Bob Melvin denies offering Brady Clark for something the Brewers have plenty of.
Okay, finally I get to the Dodgers. The Blue Jays have offered Vernon Wells a huge contract, indicating to me, that if he doesn't sign that they'll try to move him before Spring Training, and the Dodgers are the best fit for a deal. I think Wells is the type of player -as long as he's playing center field- that could completely tip the balance of the division in 2007 into the Dodgers favor, so I'm hoping the deal with the Jays is enough to keep him in Toronto.
Still, even with Wells, the Dodgers would have a weak enough offense at the corners to give us a fighting chance. Again, there are no excuses for the Rockies not being in the thick of things in mid to late September this year, the team's got too much talent right now to use the young rotation or the youth up the middle as a crutch.