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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

 

Looping Back

Oh uh, don't look now, but it seems the Cubs and Jacque "I'm Not French" Jones have some interest in each other. They must have wanted a big upgrade from Burnitz. As a Cards fan, you have to hope this works out, especially with all of the lefties we have in the pen now. Jones 2005 vs. LHP: .201/.247/.370 -------------------- If Braden Looper were to accept an offer from the Cards (you have to think Philly's reported interest would be more lucrative though), it would be something of a homecoming for the right hander. The Cards picked Looper in the first round (third overall pick) of the 1996 draft, and you were meticulous about keeping your scorecards from 1998, you'd see his name on them in four games (3.1 innings pitched) that season. Looper went to Florida in the deal for Renteria after that season, where the Marlins accelerated (detrimentally, IMO) the 24 year old's development by working him for 83 innings in 1999. If Looper were to sign with the Cards for a decent salary and if he were to pitch well for us, it would be kind of a weird, karmatic situation in a year that saw Renteria traded from Boston after being a $10M bust. Maybe it's a stretch, but still... Looper's 2005 flopped, especially in light of a career year in 2004. Let's go to the stats. 2004: EqERA 3.12; VORP 24.8; 6.48 k/9; 3.75 k/BB; 9.29 h/9; 0.54 hr/9; 2.70 G/F 2005: EqERA 4.74; VORP 5.3; 4.10 k/9; 1.23 k/BB; 9.89 h/9; 1.06 hr/9; 1.79 G/F Career: 5.61 k/9; 1.73 k/BB; 9.12 h/9; 0.72 hr/9; 2.00 G/F Looper struggled with his control last year, walking more, striking out fewer, and getting killed by the long ball. LaRussa and Duncan must like that he's a ground ball pitcher and believe they work with him and get him to cut down on his walks. The Cards, and other interested teams, view him as an 8th inning set up man, but he'll have to fare better against lefties going forward than he did last year, .336/.408/.578 against. He's never been particularly effective versus the left-side hitters, but he did manage to limit their effectiveness to a .765 OPS in 2004, .754 in 2003, and .753 in 2002. He's a project for sure, hence his willingness for the one year deal in a season of five year deals, but at 31 the former Cardinal draft pick is hardly finished. It will be interesting to see what kind of offers he is getting. Has anyone out there heard anything regarding dollar values being discussed? I've said before that I am a firm believer in relievers being prone to the really bad year (and the really good year for that matter) from time to time. When you also consider Duncan's track record with guys in this situation, and removing the pressure of closing (and doing it in NYC), I'm inclined to think this guy might not be a bad addition. He made +$5M last season, but I would think he'd command less for 2006, the most risky assumption of all in the current market. At the right price though, he could replace Tavarez and have an important role in a year without Al Reyes. Your thoughts?
Comments:
i think looper's iffy. I'd take Dotel for my $$
 
I think Philly will likely throw more $ at him. But if not, I'd have mixed feelings signing him. I think he will feel less pressure here in StL, but he blew so many games last year for the Mets.

Between him and Izzy, the 8th and 9th innings may get to adventurous for me....
 
aww, come on, where's your sense of adventure...
 
you're all stupid, both those guys are shit
 
Ryan-

I feel suddenly much more adventurous after looking at the list of available free agent relievers.

Give me Dotel 1st if possible, then if not I'll take my shot on Looper. Outside of those 2 and Seanez, it's a scary list. -

http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2004/06/possible-free-agent-pitchers.html
 
I agree with El Birdo - the 8th and 9th innings could be adventerous! Not sure I want any more of adventure before the 9th.

I don't know if I can handle much more - Izzy and the 9th have already grayed me LOL
 
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