After a thrilling and entertaining post-season, the World Series set us to be rather simple. The St. Louis Cardinals have an elite offense, but a middling rotation that they've saved by leaning heavily on their bullpen. The Rangers have operated the same way, with an even better offense and a better bullpen. It's also a 7-game series so, you know, randomness.
The Cardinals feature two former White Sox in Edwin Jackson and Octavio Dotel, just the type of mercurial talents that are never supposed to be key contributors on elite teams. Of course, Edwin Jackson is the fourth starter on this team, hasn't gotten past the 5th inning in his last two outings, and has a 5.98 K/9 in 90.1 IP since joining the Cardinals (post-season included).
If someone told me after Jackson struck out 20 batters in 14 IP in his first two starts of 2011, that he would have a below-average K-rate with a mid-90's fastball and his slider, I would have...well, I would have just shrugged my shoulders and muttered "Edwin Jackson".
Back to the point, I can't conjure up a rooting interest in this series. Countless replays of Nolan Ryan with the current White Sox manager in a headlock make it hard to take a lot of joy in the success of his franchise, personal feelings about Texas aside. The Cardinals on the other hand, are the old guard of the NL, a perennial contender whose late-season comeback might seem more magical if it wasn't the 6th time they had made the playoffs in the last 10 years.
It'd be cool to see E-Jax toss 7 strong innings, it'd at least be amusing to see Octavio Dotel record the final out in his striped socks, and it'd be downright hysterical if a distraught Jon Daniels wailed in regret about the Danks trade during a post-game press conference.
Let's just hope for great baseball.
How them kiddies doing up in Ari-zona?!?!
While the Arizona Fall League is no doubt a useful tool for scouts because it aggregates a lot of interesting prospects into one place, I am not a scout. I also have not been watching these games. There's been some really good stuff on TV. As such, there's not much for me to do besides to try to not freak out about a small collection of games.
Terry Doyle--most recently of the Birmingham Barons--leads all pitchers in the AFL with 12.2 IP, and he's done quite well. He has a 1.32 ERA, has walked only one guy, with his two runs allowed both coming on solo HRs. He's only allowed one hit that's stayed in the park while striking out 8. In 12.2 IP, he's had two guys on base, and gotten 30 outs by means other than strikeouts. I'm going to assume he's been a little fortunate on balls in play.
From his past two years, Doyle's status as a control pitcher who thrives on weak contact and walking no one has been known. Because of that, alongside the fact that he's turning 26 next month, Doyle's isn't considered much more reliable than the most recent level he was successful at. There's a chance he could be next year's Dylan Axelrod, scrounge up some spot starts, and possibly become a 5th starter at some point. Of course, Dylan Axelrod could be next year's Dylan Axelrod.
Jacob Petricka RHP: 5 IP, 3.60 ERA, 0 HR, 8 K, 2 BB
Brandon Short OF: 43 AB, .279/.392/.419, 7 BB, 16 K - Nice to see Short taking some walks, not so nice to see him leading in strikeouts. Kind of ruins it for me.
Tyler Saladino SS: 25 AB, .280/.333/.440 - 25 AB? FREE SALADINO
These are all just, preposterously small samples. When in doubt about what conclusions to draw, just remember that this is probably the worst minor league system in baseball.
Ozzie Guillen is still obstinate
While doing press for his broadcasting run with Fox Sports, Guillen reiterated that he had "no regrets" about his departure from the White Sox, citing again that the team refused to commit to him beyond his remaining year.
Of course, this time, he threw in a bit about how the team stunk way too bad for him to do anything about it
"I see some media people and some radio people talking about me quitting on the team," Guillen said. "Well, it's easy to say you're quitting on the team when you're down by seven, eight, 10, 13 runs every night. That's something you can't control.
I suspect there could be a time where Guillen will give an insightful, reflective, and possibly even-handed account of the circumstances of his departure. It's probably going to be a bit longer though.
If you're in the Zanesville, Ohio area, uh, don't go outside for a while.
Tags: arizona fall league, baseball, brandon short, dylan axelrod, Edwin Jackson, jacob petricka, John Danks, jon daniels, nolan ryan, octavio dotel, Ozzie Guillen, Robin Ventura, st. louis cardinals, terry doyle, Texas Rangers, tyler saladino, White Sox, world series